SHOULD THE TRUE CHURCH OF GOD TODAY BE DOING, GREAT SIGNS, MIRACLES, WONDERS, SPEAKING IN TONGUES [LANGUAGES] ?
IT DOES NOT TAKE VERY LONG WHEN READING THE BOOK OF ACTS, TO SEE AND NOTE THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH OF GOD, SPOKE IN TONGUES ON THE DAY OF PENTECOST [ACTS 2]; PETER SOON DID A MIGHTY MIRACLE OF HEALING A LAME MAN [ACTS 3]; PETER WAS ABLE TO BRING DEATH UPON PEOPLE [ACTS 4]; PAUL HEALS A CRIPPLE [ACTS 14]; SPECIAL MIRACLES WERE DONE BY PAUL [ACTS 19]; PAUL RESTORED A MAN TO LIFE [ACTS 20].
WE HAVE THE WELL KNOWN CHAPTER OF 1 CORINTHIANS 14, AND OBVIOUSLY A CHURCH WITH GREAT OUTWARD SIGNS, ESPECIALLY THE SPEAKING IN TONGUES OR LANGUAGES.
CERTAINLY SIGNS, MIRACLES, TONGUES, SUPERNATURAL HEALINGS, SPECIAL HEALINGS, RESTORING LIFE, AND ALSO ISSUING MIRACULOUS DEATH, WAS ALL DONE IN THE APOSTOLIC FIRST CENTURY CHURCH OF GOD.
BUT WE MUST READ AND TAKE INTO ACCOUNT ALL THAT IS WRITTEN IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
PAUL HAD A "THORN IN THE FLESH" THAT HE ASKED GOD THREE TIMES TO REMOVE, AND GOD SAID HE WOULD NOT [2 COR. 12].
TIMOTHY HAD SOME KIND OF STOMACH PROBLEM. PAUL TOLD HIM TO DRINK A LITTLE WINE FOR THE PROBLEM [1 TIMOTHY 5:23] AND FOR HIS OFTEN INFIRMITIES. PAUL DID NOT OR COULD NOT HEAL HIM.
We are also told, Paul being inspired, to tell us there are spiritual gifts. Now a gift is something given to you, from someone else. The famous chapter on spiritual gifts is 1 Corinthians 12.
Paul says there are different gifts, but the same giver - the same Spirit [1 Cor.12:4]. He goes on to say that with everything in the church of God, it is the same God working in all.
Now the gifts are then listed; Paul gives them to us:
* Word of wisdom [above normal wisdom]
*Word of knowledge [above normal knowledge]
*Faith [above normal]
* Healing [miracle things]
*Miracles [out of the normal]
*Prophecy [understanding prophecy, giving prophecy]
* Discerning of spirits [above anything normal]
* Tongues [different languages]
* Interpretation of tongues [able to understand and so interpret for others]
THESE ARE THE LIST BY PAUL OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS.
NOT ALL HAVE THESE GIFTS, JUST AS NOT ALL ARE APOSTLES [ONE SENT] OR AS NOT ALL CAN WORK MIRACLES, OR MIRACULOUS HEALINGS, OR SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES [AS A GIFT, NOT LEARNT]; OR INTERPRET [AS A GIFT NOT LEARNT].
God is the giver of spiritual gifts, via the Holy Spirit. A gift is something someone gives you, as a gift. Not something you "work at" and somehow by working you acquire it. I worked at being an Orthopedic Shoemaker for 4 years as an apprentice, to learn the skill. It was not a gift, I worked at it and acquire the skill through time and practice of being able to make custom hand-made shoes for people with various un-natural feet.
So spiritual gifts are just that, a gift; and in this case we are talking about, a gift from God. Something He gives that you do not have of yourself. Now if He gives the gift, then He can withhold the gift. It is His gift or gifts. So He can give them out as He determines. It is all in his power, not yours. You can do nothing to force Him to have to give you the gift. It is His gift, not yours, to give to WHOM He likes, WHEN He likes. And as it is not your gift, but God's, He can take it away from you, WHEN He likes.
Hence Paul could not heal himself of the thorn in his flesh. Hence Paul could not heal Timothy of his stomach problem or his often infirmities.
So now, we see in the book of Acts the start of the New Testament Church of God. It is clear from 1 Corinthians 12 spiritual gifts come from God, to whom He chooses to give them to, and when he chooses to give them. The New Testament church was given right from the start, MANY gifts of the Spirit. Plainly that is to be seen from reading the book of Acts. It was God's will and decision to give out those gifts of the Spirit. It was God's decision that at the beginning of the New Testament Church of God, many spiritual gifts would be handed to whom God decided to give them to, in order that a very PHYSICAL MIGHTY WORK of spreading the Gospel, near and far, would be done during the lives of the first century apostles and people of God [spiritual gifts can be given to anyone in the Church of God].
There was no telegrams, no radio, no TV, no cel-phones, no computers, no Internet, no Facebook, no Twitter and etc. that we have today.
So God gave out spiritual gifts, to really get the New Testament Church of God, off to a mighty big SPLASH! It was obviously the Lord's will that during the lives of the apostolic church, a working of the Gospel would "turn the world upside down" as is reported to us in the book of Acts.
As the first century A.D. passed and we move on into the centuries following, there is no records of the gifts of the spirit being given out by God, as they were given out to the apostolic Church of God. It is written in Revelation 12 that the church of God would for 1260 years [days = years in prophecy] flee into the wilderness from Satan the Devil and his instrument of spiritual and physical destruction on God's true people. There is little record of them, some here and there. And the true Church in the wilderness, did not have the spiritual gifts anywhere remotely close to the spiritual gifts of the apostolic Church of God in the book of Acts.
Spiritual gifts are from God. He has them, to give AS He decides and WHEN He decides, and to WHOM He decides to give them.
The true Church of God over the last 400 years or so, has come out of the wilderness, slowly at first, but much more so in the last 200 years, and even greater in the last 100 years. And greater still in the last 30 years as the computer age and Internet age came on the world scene.
My website, is HUGE with studies for salvation and the Kingdom of God, and the spread of the Gospel. My website alone [other servants of God have their websites] can go to just about every nation on earth that has the modern technology of the Internet - personal computers, iphones, tablets, and all the modern gadgets that can access the worldwide Internet.
And today just about all nations speak the English language, either as their first language or as their second language. Then there are modern tech stuff that can quickly translate English into whatever language you like.
The world is more and more each day, becoming one world, inter-connected; just fast communications like the speed of light. People can contact other people of the world, share videos, and etc. in the space of minutes, and eventually it will be seconds.
THERE IS NOT THE NEED FOR MANY OF THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT IN TODAY'S WORLD, TO MAKE THE WORLD SIT UP AND TAKE NOTICE, SO TO SPEAK.
But some of the gifts of the Spirit God DOES STILL GIVE to His Church, as HE SEES FIT; the WHEN and WHERE and to WHOM in His hands.
The true Church of God does have MIRACULOUS healings at times, even through the outline given by James in his book chapter 5:13-15. I've seen it happen a number of times in my lifetime.
Knowledge of the truths of the Bible are still given by God to some, to serve the flock of God.
Prophecy, the understanding of Bible prophecy is given to some today.
God does perform MIRACLES through some in the Church of God, WHEN God decides. I have personally seen a miracle performed by God in connection with my ministry, when I was not asking but leaving the problem with the Lord to resolve. It was a miracle that was not pleasant for the receiver; but it was a miracle of power that transformed many lives within a local congregation. I have related it in some detail elsewhere on this website.
I have known a person in the Church of God, who had the gift of the discerning of spirits. Who could see demonic spirits hovering over a person. And they once helped me and the Church of God to discern the evil spirit controlling a couple that was deceiving part of the Church of God.
The mighty open powerful signs and wonders are not now being done in the Church of God, like at the time of the apostles. Such signs to give "notice" that the true Church of God is here, like it was given to the first century Church, is not needed like it was back then, for the true Church has the mighty power of the worldwide Internet. God gives the gifts of such mighty signs and miracles to the world, as He decides WHEN!
OH SUCH SIGNS WILL BE GIVEN AGAIN, AT THE VERY END TIME, TO THE TWO WITNESSES IN JERUSALEM, WHO WILL TEACH AND GIVE PROPHECY AND WARNINGS IN THE LAST 3 AND 1/2 YEARS OF THIS AGE. THEY WILL BE ABLE TO PERFORM MIGHTY OPEN POWERFUL MIRACLES - REVELATION 11.
The gifts of the Spirit can be given by God today, as He sees fit, when and where and to whom.
As it is written "God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform" - sometimes this way, other times that way, and still other times some other way.
Different ages God decides different ways to do His work. But through it all the Church of God lives, sometimes hardly noticed, in the wilderness. At other times open and proclaiming the Gospel near and far.
FOR THOSE IN THE CHURCH OF GOD, WE MUST REMEMBER THE FINALL INSPIRED WORDS OF PAUL ON THIS MATTER OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS: "......AND YET I SHOW YOU A MORE EXCELLENT WAY. THOUGH I SPEAK WITH THE TONGUES OF MEN AND ANGELS, AND HAVE NOT LOVE, I AM BECOME A SOUNDING BRASS, AND A TINKLING CYMBAL.....AND NOW ABIDES FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE, THESE THREE; BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE IS LOVE."
AND FOR THE BIBLE DEFINITION OF LOVE READ THE 1, 2, 3, LETTERS OF JOHN.
Keith Hunt (Pentecost 2014)