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I've been so busy I haven't kept up here, but I wanted to pose a question that I will also pose in the forums.

I wanted to check out the beliefs of a local church that is closer to home where a family member attends.

Everything seemed to be good until I read their stand on gifts.

We believe that God is sovereign in the bestowing of his gifts, and that these gifts are intended to edify the Church. We believe that the gifts of healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues, performance of miracles, and other gifts associated with the charismatic movement were temporary, sign gifts that are no longer needed after the completion of the New Testament and therefor are not practiced in the Church today. We do believe that the sick may call on the elders of the Church to administer anointing oil and to pray for them. God is the great and divine healer and does hear and answer prayers of faith in accordance with His will for the sick and afflicted.

Where does scripture tell us the gifts were only temporary? How can one say the believe God bestows gifts but then say....except these?

A lot of churches hold this belief, but I've always heard the reasoning as being they "believe" (they believe they were only for the 12 or only for a time...though Paul spoke in tongues but wasn't one of the 12). What I haven't seen is any of them say...this is what scripture says.

So if we say the Bible is truth and the Bible says God gives the gifts of prophesy, tongues, healing, etc., aren't we saying God's Word isn't true?

Isn't it more plausible to believe that people's trust and belief in miracles has grown dim rather than God only giving temporary gifts while saying they follow everyone who believes rather than just the New Testament saints?

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Hi Seek,

I firmly believe God's Word (The Holy Bible) is ageless (is that a word?) and is alive and timely now as when it was written.

In fact, I like to say - Jesus says in-----, or the Apostle Paul says, with the Holy Spirit breathing on him------.

And, whenever anyone talks about certain things being obsolete in the Bible, I'm like you, Char, I ask where it says that.

I don't know of anything no longer valid in the Bible.

The only thing  I've noticed = I can read a Biblical passage 50 times........and on the 51st time - God had added something.

I wonder when did the Lord add that?? It wasn't there before.....That's a joke, Char........ (I think).

Grace and Peace.

ageless

adjective age·less \ˈāj-ləs\

: not growing old or showing the effects of age

: lasting forever

You shouldn't joke like that with me Richard.  I'm too serious for that stuff. 

That's how I read 1 Corinthians too.  I can't see how anyone could take that differently.  If they read that prophecies, they will cease, tongues, they will be stilled, and knowledge will pass away, then stop there, it's no wonder they believe this.  But they're not reading the context or the rest of it. 

It says when completeness comes, then says that  now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.  There are tons of scriptures that talk about being made in the "image" (reflect as in a mirror) of Christ.  We aren't complete until we're with Him (face to face). 

I also see where you italicized unknown tongue, but I also focused on the last 5 words. 

1 Corinthians 14:27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret.  28 If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.

I've heard so many times that people only spoke in languages that could be understood by people of that language (such as what happened on the Day of Pentecost) and there was always an interpretation.  That a person wouldn't speak in tongues unless they understood what they were saying.  But Paul spoke of unknown tongues and the tongues of men or angels.  And here in those last 5 words:  "pray that he may interpret".  Paul did not say you will be able to interpret but pray that you might.  And Paul is the one who prayed 3 times to remove a thorn and God said no.  So just because we pray, it doesn't mean God is going to grant us an interpretation. 

I know. But in a sense, He did say no. Paul asked that God remove it. God didn't honor that request but for a good reason. People like to say all the time how God didn't answer their prayer...but a) what were they asking for and b)did He not answer for real or was it just not the answer they wanted?

Now it's my turn to not be silent.

...so he proceeded to read, and when he got to the part that says there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, I said stop! And said now what was it? He said no one knows, I said sure we do, read the rest of that verse, “a messenger from satin,” to buffet me. Then he could see it.

Yes. Satin has a way of buffeting us. I once had satin sheets and got buffeted all over just to keep from sliding off the bed.

Are you talking about the miraculous gifts?

All the gifts. 

1 Corinthians 12:8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.

Paul has put tongues, interpretation, faith, prophecy, knowledge, wisdom all in with healing and miraculous powers.

Mark 16: 17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

This one verse keeps telling me that the gifts didn't go away.  I've heard many who say they ended with the apostles and were only given to spread the Gospel at that time.  But Mark doesn't say these signs shall follow them who are my disciples and apostles.  He said to them that "believe"...all believers, then and now. 

My pastor once said that people in Africa and other such countries see miracles happen because they come innocently truly believing in miracles but American's are too watered down.  How many in America would go sit on the dirt in some rain soaked tent after walking 4 miles barefoot, just to sit in a church service?  But they do it in other countries.  We get up in arms here if the air conditioning is too high or too low or we can't hear the pastor or the music is too loud.  We're too busy focusing on self because we've been so spoiled, that it's harder to see miracles here.  But they never went away.

I believe that we must be careful about putting too much emphasis on gifts.  For instance, there are many "faith healers" out there who make claims to their touch being the healing touch.  This does not correspond with God's appointed way, He says to pray to Him.  James 5:14

God doesn't say go out and find someone with the gift of healing, He asks us to pray to Him.  

I read in the Bible that God had miraculous gifts given to certain generations.  This is not stating that God can't perform miraculous gifts throughout all of time, only that He chose three specific era's to do so.  Sign's and wonders, does everyone need signs and wonders in order to believe?  God states no, that those who believe without seeing are blessed.  Luke 16 is a good read about those who are looking for signs, wonders, miracles, etc.  

This is a really good conversation Seek, so Thank You.

Hi JB,

It seems to me that James 1:22 which you quoted about says nothing about healing.  However, it is speaking in regards to the Fruit of the Spirit which is found in Galatians 5.

In James verses 19-21 " (KJV)

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls."

We are told to be "swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath....then later to 'lay apart all filthiness...  ....and receive with meekness the engrafted word"

Galatians 5: 19-26 tells us the things we are to lay apart from....and the things we are to receive:

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

This is what it means to be a 'Doer of the word', but NOT ever in our own strength, but by the Power of God that lives in us.

James 1:22 has nothing to do with miraculous healing.

NOW---I am NOT SAYING that God doesn't heal, because I believe He does.  BUT, it's by HIS will, in HIS time, for HIS Glory and our good.  By what I see in scripture, we should tread very carefully here. 

Romans chapter 8 also has a lot to say about living by the Spirit rather than by the flesh...but again, there is no reference to miraculous healing, but rather it is emphasising our suffering with Him.

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" vs.18.

If anyone is able to heal because they have been gifted by God, I believe the fruit of the Spirit will be quite obvious in this person, and humility will be present in a way that is quite.... special...unique. 

It is not a lack of faith to question claims of miraculous healing... However, it is discerning and godly to do so.

Blessings, Carla

If anyone is able to heal because they have been gifted by God, I believe the fruit of the Spirit will be quite obvious in this person, and humility will be present in a way that is quite.... special...unique. Yes. That's why I think we don't see the more miraculous gifts in operation because most people aren't obviously humble. We say we are, we grow more humble, but to be completely humble? And our faith often falters. Can this be why the gifts are so very rare? It is not a lack of faith to question claims of miraculous healing... However, it is discerning and godly to do so.

If anyone is able to heal because they have been gifted by God, I believe the fruit of the Spirit will be quite obvious in this person, and humility will be present in a way that is quite.... special...unique. 

Yes. That's why I think we don't see the more miraculous gifts in operation because most people aren't obviously humble. We say we are, we grow more humble, but to be completely humble? And our faith often falters. Can this be why the gifts are so very rare?

It is not a lack of faith to question claims of miraculous healing... However, it is discerning and godly to do so.

Yes again...

Matthew 7:15
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.
Matthew 24:11
And many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray.
Matthew 24:24
For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
Mark 13:22
for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, the elect.
2 Peter 2:1
But there arose false prophets also among the people, as among you also there shall be false teachers, who shall privily bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
John 4:1
Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
Back to the spiritual gifts, what I find interesting is this...
1 Corinthians 12:8-10

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits

Can anyone shed light on that?

Where are scriptures that reference gifts to certain generations?

From what I've read, the gifts are for 3 main reasons: 1) to show unbelievers, 2) to glorify God and 3) to edify and unify the saints. You can pretty much take any of the gifts and show it to be a gift of love...something that would definitely be in line with God's will.

For instance...
Wisdom so that one can impart wisdom to others to help them make better choices so they profit from the wisdom God gave one.

Healing...no explanation necessary. ;-)

Prophesy. Two types of prophesy. Either a word of hope given out of love to give hope to the hearer who's hope may beweakening. Or prophesy such as Nineveh given out of love to turn one to repentance.

Even gifts of preaching/teaching help to grow the body to unity, God's desire out of His love for us.

So by this token, I wonder if we shouldn't desire gifts more than we do.

If a faith healer says they have a healing touch...why? Just because or has God given them the gift of healing by His grace and mercy? In other words, do they exalt their gift or the gift giver?

We have scripture that says God is the one who heals, Paul saying we need the elders to lay hands on the sick and all through the New Testament is Christ's promise of the Spirit and the apostles speaking of the gifts, and displays of the apostles performing healing. I try viewing them all to get a complete view. It may be that since all do not have the gift of healing that we go to the elders. Perhaps God will answer the prayer, send someone with the gift or give the gift to one of those elders. But it is God and the Spirit who give those gifts for us to be the eyes, ears, hands, feet....body. Therefore it is God doing the healing. Even if done through doctors, they live only because God gave them breath and wisdom and knowledge to heal.

Below are some scripturesI pulled together which show how the gifts are in large part for believers to help one another and build one another up.

All of 1 Corinthians 12
Especially vs. 7
The manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal

Ephesians 4:11-17
He gave various gifts so that no one would “think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

Romans 12:3–8
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness”.

1 Corinthians 14:12
Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

1 Peter 4:11
If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Hi Seek, 

I see silence on the sign/wonders gifts.  

I have often wondered why certain healings weren't given....i.e. Timothy for instance.  

One thing I do know, is that when God heals, He heals completely.  

Going to the Elders is not necessarily because the Elders have healing powers, but instead the Bible says, "The prayers of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16

You are entirely right, it is not man who heals, or has gifts that he may exploit being more religious than all the followers.  It's to the Glory of God, always.  You have posted some Scripture's on false prophets who say that they are doing wonders/signs, etc. all in the name of Jesus but yet they are rebuked and God says, "I never knew you."  In other words they haven't come in Christ Jesus name...they may say they have, but they haven't.  

Do I believe that God can do the miraculous?  Of course I do, I just haven't seen these signs and wonders that they speak of in the Bible.  Do I believe that there are people out there who have claims on signs & wonders, yes, absolutely, but I believe it's for their own gain...not for Christ Jesus, but for themselves, they are marketeers.  Names like Hinn come to mind...able to just pass his hand over a congregation and they all fall down????  I don't remember that ever being recorded in the Bible.  

Please know, I am not only saying this in response to bad public perception of religion, I am simply stating this as a fact.  I haven't heard of any wonders/signs being given to the church since the days of John.  I also wonder why the tongues reignited so much later after the Bible was written?   It suddenly became a movement.  

These are just some of the questions I have, Seek.  I know that throughout the Bible there were silent times.  Yes, God does perform miracles daily....A believer in Christ Jesus is truly a miracle.  

I just think we need to be very careful and test the spirits when someone who 'feels' that they have received a word of God, whether it be wisdom, knowledge, prophesy, etc. and align it with Biblical truth by God's standards and His plumb line.  Same as with gifts.

We must be discerning.  

The Bible has been silent.  In the Book of Revelation 11 it speaks about the 2 Witnesses and the signs & wonders that will be following them.  

This weekend I just watched a debate about cessation of the sign/wonders gifts and the belief that they are still in effect.  

It was probably more pro-still in effect, but I will try to find it and post it.  It was really good.  

Still....be discerning.  

Love you much Seek and so thankful that you spent a little time back here.  I know you said you have been busy, I pray you are given more time, you bring much to the table of the Lord.  Love you Sister.

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