GIFTS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH
DID JESUS DO MIRACLES?
John 3:1-2 Now there was a man of the
Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He
came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who
has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are
doing if God were not with him."
did miracles to show that he was from God.
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out
your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." 28
Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" 29 Then Jesus told
him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those
who have not seen and yet have believed." 30 Jesus did many other
miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in
this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life
in his name.
miracles to cause people to believe in him.
WHY DID THE APOSTLES WORK MIRACLES?***
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command:
"Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised,
which you have heard me speak about. 5. For John baptized
with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy
Spirit." 6. So when they met together, they asked him,
"Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to
Israel?" 7. He said to them: "It is not for you to
know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
8. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and
to the ends of the earth."
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name,
will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to
you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to
you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be
"When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the
Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will
tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will bring glory to me by taking
from what is mine and making it known to you. 15 All that belongs to
the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is
mine and make it known to you.
Luke 24:48-50 You
are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my
Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with
power from on high." 50 When he had led them out to the vicinity
of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.
These men were specially chosen
by Christ to get His church started and guide it. He promised them the
Holy spirit would come and guide them in what they are to teach. They
had to spread the gospel through out the world in places where they had no
authority and did not speak the language. Like Christ people weren't
going to listen to them unless they were able to show that they had
authority from God. They proved it with their miracles and were able
to successfully carry out the work begun by Jesus.
Christ left them no book to guide the church.
Acts 2:4-12 All
of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other
tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in
Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they
heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one
heard them speaking in his own language. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked:
"Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is
it that each of us hears them in his own native language?
9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and
Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the
parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and
converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs--we hear them declaring the wonders
of God in our own tongues!" 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked
one another, "What does this mean?"
Here they speak in a way that all who hear do so in their own native
language - impossible except in a miraculous way with the Holy Spirit giving
them the ability to do so.
in tongues was definitely intelligible because each understood.
Acts 2:43-44 Everyone was filled with awe, and
many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44 All
the believers were together and had everything in common.
are verifying what they speak is from God by the signs and wonders they did.
GOD USED THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY
SPIRIT FOR A SPECIAL PURPOSE
Acts 10:44-48 While Peter was still speaking
these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. 45 The
circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift
of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. 46 For
they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then
Peter said, 47 "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized
with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have."
48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.
Up to this time only Jews had
become Christians. God chose this method to show that gentiles (anyone
who wasn't a Jew) could also become a Christian.
Notice that this baptism of the Holy Spirit
did not save them or forgive their sins - they still had their sins washed
away in baptism.
Acts 11:13-19 He told us how he had seen an
angel appear in his house and say, `Send to Joppa for Simon who is called
Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your
household will be saved.' 15 "As I began to speak, the Holy
Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I
remembered what the Lord had said: `John baptized with water, but you
will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17 So if God gave them
the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was
I to think that I could oppose God?" 18 When they heard this,
they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God
has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life." 19 Now those
who had been scattered by the persecution in connection with Stephen
traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only
Here Peter is explaining why he
allowed gentiles to become Christians. (Jeremiah 31 says that all men
would be under God's new covenant.)
SOMEONE WHO WASN'T AN APOSTLE IS
DOING MIRACLES - WHY?
Acts 8:5-9 Philip went down to a city in Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip
and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what
he said. 7 With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many
paralytics and cripples were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that
caused the people to pay attention to what he had to say about the gospel!
Where did Philip get the ability
to do these things?
Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and
amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great,
10 and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and
exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the Great
Power." 11 They followed him because he had amazed them for a
long time with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he
preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ,
they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Simon himself believed and
was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great
signs and miracles he saw. 14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard
that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them.
15 When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the
Holy Spirit, 16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of
them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.
17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received
the Holy Spirit. 18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the
laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money 19 and said,
"Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may
receive the Holy Spirit."
Peter and John were apostles and they could pass this gift of doing
miracles on to others. (verse 18)
So, where did Philip get his power?
In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews
among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were
being overlooked in the daily distribution of food. 2 So the Twelve
gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right
for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on
tables. 3 Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to
be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to
them 4 and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the
word." 5 This proposal pleased the whole group. They chose
Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus,
Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.
6 They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their
hands on them.
Verse 6 says Philip was one of
the men that had the apostles hands laid on them. So, the apostles
passed this power to him.
ABOUT PAUL? HE WASN'T ONE OF THE ORIGINAL 12 APOSTLES.
Acts 19:1-8 While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul
took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found
some disciples 2 and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit
when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have
not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." 3 So Paul asked,
"Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's
baptism," they replied. 4 Paul said, "John's baptism was a
baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after
him, that is, in Jesus." 5 On hearing this, they were baptized
into the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on
them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and
prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all. 8 Paul entered
the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively
about the kingdom of God.
Paul was just as much an apostle
as the other 12 who had been with Jesus and had the same ability to pass the
gifts on to others.
WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS?
This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives
in his train and gave gifts to men." 9 (What does "he
ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly
regions ? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than
all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he
who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists,
and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for
works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until
we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and
become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the
waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning
and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
When the church was beginning there was no Bible to guide them- it was
in the process of being written. God gave different gifts to different
people so that His church would be guided and could immediately be what He
would have it to be. He wanted unity in the church not everyone
teaching something different, but all guided by the Spirit teaching the same
1 Corinthians 12:1-31
Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant.
2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were
influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I tell you that
no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be
cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the
Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same
Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.
6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of
them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is
given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit
the message of wisdom, to another the 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 gives them to each one, just as he determines. 12
The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its
parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we
were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks,
slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now
the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should
say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it
would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the
ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the
body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?
If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18
But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just
as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the
body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The
eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head
cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22 On the
contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with
special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special
modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But
God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the
parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the
body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored,
every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and
each one of you is a part of it. 28 And in the church God has
appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then
workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help
others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different
kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all
teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do
all speak in tongues ? Do all interpret? 31 But eagerly desire
the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent
was not greater because he had a better gift. All were necessary to
get the job done. God wanted harmony and unity.
SAYS THE GIFTS WILL PASS AWAY
1 Corinthians 13:8-11
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where
there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will
pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but
when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11 When I was a
child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a
child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
here are not just foretelling the future. They are simply telling what
God wants us to do and how to do it because they didn't have the Bible to
The tongues are the gift of speaking in
other languages so the gospel could be taught to people who didn't speak the
language of the person trying to teach them the gospel.
The gift of knowledge was needed because
they didn't have the Bible.
are two reasons the gifts passed away.
1. The apostles died and they were the only ones who could pass it to
others therefore when all that had them died it stopped.
2. Verse 10 says perfection will
replace imperfection. First imperfection - it took several people to
be able for a church to know all that God wanted them to know.
Perfection - the New Testament was being written
and once it was completed each church could have all it needed in this
Book. Today we can each have our own copy of God's word for ourselves
and to use to teach others the gospel.
GIFTS BECOME A PROBLEM IN THE CHURCH
1 Corinthians 14:1-40 1
Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the
gift of prophecy. 2 For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not
speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries
with his spirit. 3 But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their
strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 4 He who speaks in a tongue
edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would
like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you
prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues,
unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified. 6 Now,
brothers, if I come to you and speak in tongues, what good will I be to you,
unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or word of
instruction? 7 Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds,
such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played
unless there is a distinction in the notes? 8 Again, if the trumpet
does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? 9 So it is
with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will
anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.
10 Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none
of them is without meaning. 11 If then I do not grasp the meaning of
what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker, and he is a
foreigner to me. 12 So it is with you. Since you are eager to have
spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church. 13
For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may
interpret what he says. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,
but my mind is unfruitful. 15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my
spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I
will also sing with my mind. 16 If you are praising God with your
spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not
understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does
not know what you are saying? 17 You may be giving thanks well enough,
but the other man is not edified. 18 I thank God that I speak in
tongues more than all of you. 19 But in the church I would rather
speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in
a tongue. 20 Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil
be infants, but in your thinking be adults. 21 In the Law it is
written: "Through men of strange tongues and through the lips of
foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen
to me," says the Lord. 22 Tongues, then, are a sign, not for
believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is for believers, not for
unbelievers. 23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone
speaks in tongues, and some who do not understand or some unbelievers
come in, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if an
unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is
prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be
judged by all, 25 and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So
he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among
you!" 26 What then shall we say, brothers? When you come
together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a
tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening
of the church. 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 God. 29 Two or three prophets should speak, and
the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation
comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop.
31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed
and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control
of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of
peace. As in all the congregations of the saints, 34 women
should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but
must be in submission, as the Law says. 35 If they want to inquire
about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is
disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church. 36 Did the word of God
originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? 37 If
anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge
that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. 38 If he ignores
this, he himself will be ignored. 39 Therefore, my brothers, be eager
to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. 40 But everything
should be done in a fitting and orderly way.
God does not want confusion in
His church but orderly worship and learning. The gifts were for
building up each other not to impress others with how much God had given
DO HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT TODAY
1 Thessalonians 4:8 Therefore,
he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you
his Holy Spirit.
DOES HE DO FOR US TODAY?
Romans 8:26-28 In the same way, the Spirit helps
us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit
himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27
And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the
Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. 28 And
we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love
him, who have been called according to his purpose.
He helps us in our weakness and makes us stronger than we could ever
be by ourselves. When we just pour out our hearts to God in prayer the
Spirit takes our request before God in a way that we cannot.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by
the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7 which is
really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into
confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even
if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we
preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9 As we have already
said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than
what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned! 10 Am I now trying
to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I
were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.
2 Thessalonians 2:8-13 And then the lawless one
will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his
mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the
lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all
kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, 10 and in every sort
of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they
refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God
sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12
and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have
delighted in wickedness. 13 But we ought always to thank God for you,
brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you
to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in
1 John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every
spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many
false prophets have gone out into the world.
DO I TEST THE SPIRITS?
Put them up against the Bible
and see if they measure up to the miracles and uses there.
I know of a man who was born crippled and he would go to the healing
preachers and get in line to be healed by them. He would always be
pulled from the line before he got a chance to be healed. Why because
these miracle workers couldn't handle this kind of a miracle but those in
the New Testament would not have hesitated. It would have truly shown
God's power in them.
In my hometown a group invited people to a meeting where the
"sick are being healed, the dead raised and people being
saved". Our preacher put an ad in the paper next to theirs
advertising "$10,000 reward for proof of the dead being
raised". Their ad was quickly changed.
Once a preacher challenged me with, "What would you do if I came
to your church and during the sermon the spirit came on me and I just had to
stand up and speak in tongues?" "Would you throw me out or
call the sheriff - just what would you do?"
I asked would you be alone? He answered yes. I asked if he could
stop if he wanted to; he said no the spirit controlled him and he couldn't
stop it. I told him we would handle it the Bible way.
Let's read I Cor 12:27-33
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 God. 29 Two or three prophets should
speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a
revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should
stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be
instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to
the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of
peace. As in all the congregations of the saints,
When we finished this I said,
"You say that you can't stop it when the spirit comes on you and these
people who spoke in tongues and prophesied had control over their
gifts." "You must get your gift from somewhere other than
the Bible." Hearing this he left quickly; very angry.
His gift didn't measure up to the test of the
gifts in the New Testament.
1:6. I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called
you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7. which
is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into
confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8. But even if we
or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we
preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9. As we have already said,
so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what
you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!
If someone has the gift of prophecy and
teaches something other than what we have in the New Testament he is
condemned - If he teaches less than what the New Testament teaches he is
condemned. The conclusion is that we have the New Testament written
for us today and there is no need for more prophecy - we only need to follow
what has been given to us.
'Scripture taken from the HOLY
BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION.
Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by international Bible Society
Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House."