Have the Extraordinary Gifts Ceased?

Absolutely not. As our fellow reformed brother James Wenger shows us in the Bible, those who claim or teach otherwise have a lot of explaining to do.

 

HOME

THE GOSPEL

STATEMENT
OF FAITH

ARTICLES

NEWZ

GOSPEL VERSES

GOSPEL SHOCKERS

TWO GOSPELS?

GOSPEL PROOFS

FAITH ALONE

GOOD WORKS

BIBLE AIDS

ABOUT THE MASS

HOLY COMMUNION

COUNCIL OF TRENT

DOGMA

END TIMES

EWTN

LINKS

 

HAVE THE EXTRAORDINARY GIFTS CEASED?

By James Wenger

http://www.graceplaceonline.net/page4.html

Preface Remarks, Please Read First:

The primary purpose of this rather lengthy article on the question of the cessation (or end) of the extraordinary gifts (of the Holy Spirit) is not to critique, defend or expose the spiritual faults and doctrinal distinctives of any one wing of the professing church. Nor is it the purpose of this article to prove or disprove the reality of claimed healings or give credence to any of the supposed exercise of the extraordinary gifts apart from the author's own experience (1).

It is also recognized there is a Divine sovereignty conversant about all of the gifts that are given severally as the Spirit wills (Ephesians 4: 8,10-13; 1 Corinthians 12:18, 20, 27-30). This sovereignty extends to the panoply of the gifts wherein they can be selectively manifested as God in his wisdom and providence sees the need for the edification of the church. However, it is also the assumption of this article that if any of the extraordinary Charisma are being manifested by the Spirit of God, that all can be manifested. However the argument that when it comes to the manifestation of the extraordinary gifts it must be "all" or "none" is simply not valid or Biblical.

The principal purpose of this article therefore will be to focus upon the theological and Biblical premises of the continuation of the extraordinary gifts of 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, 27-28. It is also assumed, because they are all called “spiritual gifts” and are given for the edification of the body of Christ, they are to be valued as such. The abuse of the gifts on the part of some should not keep us from their correct Biblical use. It is our prayer that you will read with an open mind and may what is written lead you into a greater experience of God’s grace and power in your life as it has us.

Introduction:

There has been and continues to be much controversy over the subject of the continuation of what is commonly called the “extraordinary gifts” listed in 1 Corinthians 12: 8-10. These gifts include the gift of faith, the speaking in tongues and their interpretation, the gift of healing, the working of miracles, prophecy and the word of knowledge .

“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; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” (1 Corinthians 12: 8-10, KJV)

The standard position held by much of the Evangelical church has been, that the miraculous extraordinary gifts practiced by the Apostles ended with the Apostles. They were signs and wonders given by the Spirit as confirmation of their authority and message. Thus they are the “signs of the Apostles”, quoting II Corinthians 12:12. Also they claim that the Baptism of the Spirit and these signs which accompanied it likewise have ceased with the passing of the Apostolic age. They argue that the manifestations of the miraculous was necessary for the establishment of the infant church and were needed as a source of confirmation and communication of divine revelation until the New Testament canon of Scripture was completed. I Corinthians chapter 13 is cited as proof that the gifts have ceased (verse 8), the word “perfect” of verse 10 they say refers to the completed canon of Scripture. Dr. Benjamin B. Warfield book “The Cessation of Miracles”, is often quoted whose view was included in C.I Scolfield’s Bible notes.

These views dominated the theology of the Evangelical church until the rise of Charismatic movement. The twenty-first century now finds the Charismatic wing of the church a major player if not a dominant force of western Evangelical Christianity. The Charismatic experience is increasingly crossing over to include people from diverse ecclesiastical and denominational lines such as Presbyterian, Reformed, Baptists and other traditional evangelical groups, along with Episcopalians and Catholics. But, controversy continues to swirl about the alleged abuses of the spiritual gifts, money, unsubstantiated reported healings, abuses of the gift of prophecy, the abuses of “Spirit anointed leaders”, questionable doctrinal and ecclesiastical associations, and on and on it goes. Though some of these accusations and objections do have their merits in fact, however they necessarily do not disprove the gifts. At best they only prove that some are bad actors or in some cases, God even works in less then perfect lives, churches and places, as was the case in the church of Corinth itself. However, let us keep in mind, bad acting is not new to religious practice and profession. The church from the beginning has struggled with sinful behavior, false doctrine, heresies and the abuses of God’s gifts and graces. Much of New Testament inspired literature was written to correct these very things, including the abuse of the Spiritual gifts themselves. If one thinks God only works in perfect places and lives one does not understand the true nature of human depravity, divine sovereignty and God’s unconditional mercy and grace in Christ.

However it must be said from the outset, that all Evangelical and theologically orthodox sides in this controversy would agree that uniquely inspired Scriptural revelation has ceased, the canon of Scripture is now complete, and the Bible alone is the final authority of Christian faith and practice. But, for all this controversy to even exist about something that was supposed to cease with the passing of the Apostolic age should at least tell us that something indeed is happening. What exactly is happening is what the controversy is all about.

There is no question, that there is a very deep, and in some ways, an irreconcilable divide between the two camps of Scriptural interpretation. If one camp emphatically insists that the Bible clearly and unequivocally teaches that the extraordinary gifts have ceased never to be manifested again in the church, then the professed exercise of them must of necessity be of another explanation. It has been attributed to misguided fleshly enthusiasm, outright lying and deception or even Satanic activity. Tongues could be written off as misguided enthusiastic gibberish, but if indeed the miraculous is happening in the name of the spiritual gifts, they of necessity must conclude that it cannot be of God. It therefore leaves no other possible explanation but to say it is of the Evil one. Here one must be careful not to run the risk of attributing the works of the Spirit of God to the Devil. Our Lord was very clear:

“Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.” (Mark 3: 28-30)

Ultimately the question of the continuation of the extraordinary gifts must rise and fall on what does the Bible teach. However, to continue in this discussion some preliminary questions need to be asked before addressing this final question.

The Gifts and Satanic Deception:

First, if the present professed manifestation of the gifts is of the Devil, why is he wasting his time counterfeiting something that no longer exists? One must wonder why the Devil would want to have Christians even mistakenly believe that God is now manifesting the miraculous in the church and in the world. The miasma of unbelief in the supernatural has indeed been the best atmosphere in which the Devil to date has done his work. It is the fertile ground of Evolution, Atheism, Communism, Nazism, Secularism and the contemporary Political and Theological Liberalism of the western world. It is apparent that Satan has done quite well in promoting false doctrine without the miraculous. This can be demonstrated in the theology of “the higher criticism” of the Bible and the denial of the miraculous that has all but crippled the faith of many of our older main line Protestant denominations. Our Lord gave the principal of the “divided house” in response to the very accusation of His works being attributed to the Devil.

“…Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? Because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore shall they be your judges. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” (Luke 11: 17-23, KJV).

The only reasonable explanation as to why the Devil would seek to counterfeit anything is, because God is manifesting the real. It is evident in redemptive history that the Devil will always try to counterfeit the true work of God to muddy the waters. Suffice it to say at this point, there are indeed those who are of the Devil who have and will associate themselves with the manifestation of the miraculous, especially in the eschatological latter days (2 Thessalonians 2:9). The Apostle says in II Corinthians 11:13&14

“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

But it must be observed, where there is Satanic counterfeiting going on, it is a good indication of the manifestation of the true work of God.

The Gifts and the Miraculous:

Secondly, why do some Christians who would not dare deny the supernatural character of the Christian faith, draw the line of the miraculous at the extraordinary gifts? Of course we all know that belief in the supernatural is fundamental to the Christian faith. We believe in an unseen God, an unrealized life after death and a hoped for Second Coming of Christ. Hebrews 11:17 says:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

But one must still wonder why is it that Christians who believe in a literal “seven-day creation week”, “a twinkling of an eye” rapture, life after death, become uncomfortable with tongues, the working of miracles or gift of healing? We do know that such extraordinary gifts would have a present tense spiritually demanding dynamic of faith over those things that lie in the future or after death. Let us beware that our understanding of Scripture not be colored by an anti-supernatural bias born of spiritual mediocrity, but rather reflect an honest attempt to know what it teaches on this as well as all other subjects.

The Gifts and What Does the Bible teach:

Finally, and most important, what does the Bible teach regarding the subject of the duration of the extraordinary gifts of I Corinthians 12:8-10? In redemptive history there seems to be certain periods where the miraculous in deliverance and/or judgment was manifested over other periods. The first of course is the seven days of Creation. The second would be the time of the Noahic flood; the third is the period of Israel’s Exodus, wilderness wanderings, and entrance into the promise land. The forth would be the period of the prophetic ministries of Elijah and Elisha and the prophets. The fifth is the First Coming of Christ, His miraculous birth, life, ministry, death, burial, resurrection, and the Apostolic church. The sixth would be the events of the Second Coming of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom and the seventh the final ushering in of the Eternal State where God the Father shall be all in all. Some would take issue with this and point out exceptions as well as citing differing views of eschatology, but the miraculous character of these times as they are understood cannot be denied. It is also important to note that the whole period form the first coming of Christ on can be called the “latter days”, Numbers 24:14-18. Peter reflected this perspective in his sermon on the day of Pentecost. Peter quoting Joel 2:27-32 at Pentecost said of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and their speaking in other tongues:

“…Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy’ ” (Acts 2: 14-18, KJV)

The question that needs to be asked about this prophecy is how did Peter understand the extent of its fulfillment? Was it fulfilled just at Pentecost and in the life and ministry of the Apostles and the apostolic church? Or did he understand this outpouring of the Spirit to begin at Pentecost and continue through out the “latter days”? This is a pivotal passage especially as we observe how Peter understood its fulfillment. Peter concluded his sermon by saying this about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and it’s fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy:

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Acts 2:38&39)

Notice Peter says of Joel’s promise of the Holy Spirit and it’s present Pentecostal outpouring, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” This hardly sounds like Peter is a cessationist. One might stretch “your children” to include the second generation of the Apostolic church but what about “and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Is it not reasonable to understand the phrase “…and all that are afar off…” as referring to the fulfilling of the great commission? Our Lord said in Acts 1:8:

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

Unless the Elect of the Apostolic church were called differently to salvation then we who are from “…the uttermost part of the earth…” and upon whom the end of the age has come, we must conclude Peter is including us in Joel’s Pentecostal promise.

Having answered the question, to who is Joel’s promise given, we need to ask another related question, to what kind or types of people was the promise made? Is it just for the Apostles, pastors, evangelists, prophets and teachers of the Apostolic church? One of the wonderful things about Joel’s promise and its fulfillment at Pentecost is, “I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…”. The promise it is not just for the Apostles but for all of God’s people, “sons”, “daughters”, “young men”, “old men”, “servants” and “handmaidens”; in sum “all flesh”.

To continue our questions, what will “all flesh” be doing? They will be “prophesying”, seeing “visions”, “dream dreams”. We also know the initial outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost as well as subsequent outpourings recorded in the book of Acts, were signified by speaking in tongues. This list sounds somewhat familiar. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;” (1 Corinthians 12:8) “To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:” (1 Corinthians 12:10)

To sum up Peter’s understanding of Joel’s prophecy of the outpouring of God’s Spirit, it began then and would continue into the latter days right up until the Second coming of Christ. Peter by the Holy Spirit also quotes this part of Joel’s prophecy:

“And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” (Acts 2:19& 20)

When this passage is cross referenced with Matthew 24:29, and Mark 13:24-26 you will see that Peter is assuming the Spirit would continued to be poured out up until and especially just prior to the second coming of the Lord.

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” (Mark 13:24-26)

An even more important question, which needs to be asked, is how did our Lord Himself understand the promise of the Holy Spirit. We must first understand it is our Lord Himself in conjunction with the Father, who bestows the Holy Spirit and the gifts that are given through the Spirit. John the Baptist said of Christ.

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:” (Matthew 3:11); see also John 16:7, 17:5, 20:22; Acts 2:32; Ephesians. 4: 7-12.

It is also important that we understand all that was promised in the giving of the Holy Spirit. To review some of His ministries and blessings:

First the Holy Spirit is promised as the source of abundant life, John 7: 37-39.

Secondly the Holy Spirit is our Comforter who would reveal Christ to us and grant us the peace of Christ, John 14: 25-27, 16: 13-15.

Thirdly, He is the Spirit of evangelism and regeneration, John 3:3, 16: 7-12; Acts 1: 8.

Fourthly, He is the Spirit of assurance and His indwelling presence is the sign and seal of God’s ownership and our adoption into God’s family, Romans 8: 14&15; Ephesians 4:30.

Some aspects of the Spirit’s ministry are special and selective such as gifts and administrations, which are graciously but sovereignly given, Ephesians 4: 8,10-13; 1 Corinthians 12:18, 20, 27-30. Other aspects of the Spirit’s ministry are basic to his indwelling presence, which all believers must and do posses. Yet there seems to be no differentiation of duration made between these ministries and capacities other than some are basic and universal to all of God’s children, where as others are sovereignly and selectively bestowed. The selectivity and diversity of the Spirit’s bestowments of gifts and administrations does not negate the duration of the Spirits Baptism.

"For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance." (Romans 11:29) .

The Apostle Paul lumps the Spirit’s presence, ministry and gifting all together in 1 Corinthians 12:13&14:

“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether [we be] Jews or Gentiles, whether [we be] bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.”

None would deny that the church as the body of Christ has ceased to exist or the diversity with in the body and all the gifts that make up this diversity which by the way include the “extraordinary’ one’s.

“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12: 27-31)

Does it not say in 1 Corinthians 13: 8-13 that tongues shall cease? Yes, it most certainly does, along with the vanishing of knowledge. The critical question that needs to be asked is not will they cease but rather when? The whole matter rests on the question “when will they cease?”

“Charity never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” (1 Corinthians 13:8-12)

The key phrase which specifies the timing of the cessation of tongues, prophecy, and the vanishing of knowledge, is “when that which is perfect is come” as it stands in context with verse 12. “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” The “perfect” here is the perfect knowledge of Christ, which is realized when we shall see Him “face to face”. For the child of God, it occurs at death or for those who “remain alive at His coming”, (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). Paul says in Philippians 1:23:

“For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better”.

Also in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 Paul says:

“Therefore [we are] always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:). We are confident, [I say], and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

Also when our Lord comes again John says:

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2)

Right now we only know our Lord, the realities of heaven and the world to come “through a glass, darkly” and only “know in part”. Thank God we will have a new name and speak the language of heaven. We will behold the beauty of Christ, the glory of the Father and the continued blessed presence of the Spirit “face to face”. Revealed Scriptural knowledge as wonderful as it is, will vanish in our memories as we behold the realities of the glory of God and His dwelling place. As the hymn writer Carrie Breck puts it:

1. “Face to face with Christ, my Savior, Face to face- what will it be? When with rapture I behold Him, Jesus Christ who died for me!"

2. "Only faintly now I see Him, with the darkling veil between; but a blessed day is coming, when His glory shall be seen."

3. "What rejoicing in His presence, when are banished grief and pain, when the crooked ways are straightened, and the dark things shall be plain."

4. "Face to face- O blissful moment! Face to face- to see and know; face to face with my Redeemer, Jesus Christ who loves me so!"

Refrain:

"Face to face I shall behold Him, far beyond the starry sky; face to face, in all His glory, I shall see Him by and by!"

C.H. Spurgeon says of the state of the believer after death:

“Oh! It is a sweet thing gradually to melt away, and have the tenement gradually taken down, and yet to feel any trouble about it, but to known that you are in the great Father’s hands, and you shall wake up where, in everlasting youth, you shall behold the face of Him in love. (page 110, Barbed Arrows,)”

Again Spurgeon compares seeing Christ:

"as in a glass—darkly" in the Scriptures with see Him "face to face" in His presence. “We should always read Scripture in this light; we should consider the word to be as a mirror into which Christ looks down from heaven; and then we, looking into it, see his face reflected as in a glass—darkly, it is true, but still in such a way as to be a blessed preparation for seeing him as we shall see him face to face. This volume contains Jesus Christ’s letters to us, perfumed by his love.” (Evening, June 10, Morning and Evening)

 

The Gifts and The Canon of Scripture:

What about the popular interpretation of the word “perfect” in 1 Corinthians 13:10, “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away”, as referring to the completed canon of Scripture? All would agree that the Word of God is God’s in-errant sufficient revelation of Himself and his will for the church. On this side of glory we have no more perfect revelation. However, unlike the doctrine of inspiration, the doctrine of canon is implicit rather than explicit, with an added extra-biblical providential dimension to it. The New Testament canon question was not completely settled by the church until about the 4th century BC, nor was the Bible itself put into the print of the common tongue until the invention of the Gutenberg press in the 1430s. If the cessationists argument about the closing of the canon of Scripture was valid, the extraordinary gifts should have continued at least until the 4th century BC, if not until the invention of the printing press and the common distribution of the Bible during the Reformation. However, our Lord and the Apostle Paul himself would take strong issue with the idea that at any time in redemptive history God’s revelation of Himself was not adequate, see Luke 16:19-31. This is not to say that the Apostle Paul did not believe the canon of New Testament Scripture would at some point be complete. However in II Timothy 3:14-17 Paul is referring to the Old Testament and most likely those apostolic writings, including his own, which were already regarded as inspired (2 Peter 3:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:27, Colossians 4:16, Ephesians 3:4).

The idea that the early church was truth starved under the tutelage of Apostles is simply not the case. We cannot ignore the fact that the New Testament Scriptures themselves are based upon and are derived from the authority and teaching ministry of the Apostles (Ephesians 4: 8,10-13). Also to infer that the Apostles understanding of divine revelation was incomplete is to denigrate and undermine the authority and spiritual understanding with which they wrote and ministered. To assert that Paul was referring to the yet to be completed canon of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 13:10, is to strain the context. It is also not unreasonable to presuppose that the Christians at Corinth would not have assumed or understood the concept of "the completed canon of Scripture" unless it was clearly referenced in the context of the word “perfect”. We can assume the concept of “canon” is included in the idea and word “Scripture”, but then why did not the Apostle use the phrase “perfect completed Scriptures”, “completed Scriptures” or just "Scriptures"?

 

Conclusion:

A more fundamental issue in all of this is the fact that the cessationists declare certain portions of Scripture no “longer applicable”. The burden of proof for such an extraordinary claim always lies with the claimant. To say certain portions of Scripture “no Longer apply” should be clearly taught in at least one passage of primary mention with multiple secondary mentions and inferences, as is the case with the Old Covenant being fulfilled in the New. They may question the claimed manifestation of the extraordinary gifts and cite their providential character, (Ephesians 4: 8,10-13; 1 Corinthians 12:18, 20, 27-30), but to categorically say they have ceased is to go where they do not have to go. Also who has the authority to say which gifts are “ordinary” and “extraordinary” and which have ceased and which have not? The distinctions between “ordinary” and “extraordinary” gifts are those made by the cessationists and used in this discussion only for the sake of clarity. But even this distinction itself is arbitrary and forced as shall be illustrated. The cessationists would not dare say that a Christian’s healing and restoration to health as the result of a given churches prayers was “ordinary”. Yes John Doe Christian, God only heard our prayers and raised you up from the bed of sickness because it was His “ordinary” gift of mercy. It was just an “ordinary” prayer for your “ordinary” healing the minister prayed when he visited you in the hospital. It was just “ordinary” that God used the means of medicine and the doctors to bring you back to us healed. If you were terminally ill John Doe, I am sorry we could not pray for you because that would be asking God to “extraordinarily" heal you. It is also such a bore to hear “ordinary” preachers preach “ordinary” sermons; it does indeed put one to sleep. My! God must be impressed by such “ordinary” faith. Also to say categorically that the gifts have ceased is trying to put God in a box declaring “He cannot do something”, and this at best, based on questionable hermeneutics. The wise cessationists should at least heed the council of Gamaliel.

“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:38&39, KJV.)

It is therefore safe and within the bounds of Scripture to assume the following. The Baptism of the Spirit began at the day of Pentecost and all the gifts did not cease with the passing of the apostolic church. The increase of the manifestation of the extraordinary gifts we are seeing today corresponds with the increase of the miraculous that shall be evident prior to the Second Coming of Christ. All of this is the continued fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy and Christ’s promise, “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39)

James Wenger

 

See Also:

(1.) "A Theological Journey, Our Experience Of The Charisma" by Jim Wenger:

http://www.graceplaceonline.net/_mgxroot/page_10811.html

"For By Grace are you Saved" Eph 2:8

 

Hit Counter