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beloved

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Jan 12 13 8:07 AM

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Why can’t all believers do signs and wonders today just like the apostles did in the early church?



First of all we are NOT to listen to those who promote their opinion that we can do anything the apostles or Jesus did. And neither should we listen to those who claim that miracles no longer take place. What we need to hear is the word of God, the apostles teaching on this and what took place in the early church history.






Any Scripture we may find has to agree with the actual events otherwise it must mean something other than what you may think it means. We are to believe it as it is written to be in the truth. What the apostles did is seen in the book of Acts as recorded history and doctrine. What the apostles taught the church is in the epistles. Believers are not given the supernatural ability cart blanche like the apostles to do miracles at the drop of hat.Otherwise they would not have had to call Peter to raise Tabitha - they would have done it themselves.






Acts 9:36-10:1:At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.”






Acts 6:5-8:And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”





We also see Acts 6:8-9 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.”



Stephen was specifically chosen by the apostles, again this proves the point of what is called an apostolic legate, a chosen representative of the apostles. If we go back a few verses we can understand what took place and see that Stephen and Philip also did a miracle are a specific group chosen out of the church to be evangelists especially to the Jews.



Acts 8:5-7: “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.”






He was able to deliver people from demons and heal the sick. What we notice is that there were just a few not the many, not the majority of believers.





Acts 2:43 “…and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles




Acts 5:12: “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's Porch.






Acts 14:3:therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”






 If all the church could do it miracles like the apostles and this was normal, then this would be meaningless for Paul say in 2 Corinthians 12:13 Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.”






Throughout the book of Acts (actually called the Acts of the Apostles) we see the apostles doing the signs and wonders. There are only two non apostles specifically mentioned that did these miracles and they were directly appointed by the apostles.






The writer of Hebrews 2:3-4:how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders , with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”




I believe in God’s power and we can pray and he can still do mighty things, heal and do miracles. He can do beyond what we ask (Eph.3:20) but to promise an absolute recovery by supernatural healing, or resurrection of dead people to people as a guarantee is not faith but presumption, God does not have to obey what you ask or command, instead we are to obey him.It says according to His Will (in Heb.2:4)






Mike Oppenheimer



I believe this relates to another article that Quasar posted , "

How can we know what parts of the Bible apply to us today?








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quasar

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Jan 12 13 9:19 AM

Hi Beloved:  Since editing of the posts of other members is not possible here, I have taken the liberty of doing a cut and paste of your post so it is easier to read.  Thanks for an outstanding subject that is a dilema for many of us to struggle with.  I regret that it does not provide the emphases in it your original does.


Why can’t all believers do signs and wonders today just like the apostles did in the early church?

First of all we are NOT to listen to those who promote their opinion that we can do anything the apostles or Jesus did. And neither should we listen to those who claim that miracles no longer take place. What we need to hear is the word of God, the apostles teaching on this and what took place in the early church history.

Any Scripture we may find has to agree with the actual events otherwise it must mean something other than what you may think it means. We are to believe it as it is written to be in the truth. What the apostles did is seen in the book of Acts as recorded history and doctrine. What the apostles taught the church is in the epistles. Believers are not given the supernatural ability cart blanche like the apostles to do miracles at the drop of hat.Otherwise they would not have had to call Peter to raise Tabitha - they would have done it themselves.

Acts 9:36-10:1: “At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, arise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.”

Acts 6:5-8: “And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.”

We also see Acts 6:8-9 “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.”

Stephen was specifically chosen by the apostles, again this proves the point of what is called an apostolic legate, a chosen representative of the apostles. If we go back a few verses we can understand what took place and see that Stephen and Philip also did a miracle are a specific group chosen out of the church to be evangelists especially to the Jews.

Acts 8:5-7: “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.”

He was able to deliver people from demons and heal the sick. What we notice is that there were just a few not the many, not the majority of believers.

Acts 2:43 “…and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles”

Acts 5:12: “And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon's Porch.

Acts 14:3: “therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.”

If all the church could do it miracles like the apostles and this was normal, then this would be meaningless for Paul say in 2 Corinthians 12:13 “Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.”

Throughout the book of Acts (actually called the Acts of the Apostles) we see the apostles doing the signs and wonders. There are only two non apostles specifically mentioned that did these miracles and they were directly appointed by the apostles.

The writer of Hebrews 2:3-4: “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders , with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”

I believe in God’s power and we can pray and he can still do mighty things, heal and do miracles. He can do beyond what we ask (Eph.3:20) but to promise an absolute recovery by supernatural healing, or resurrection of dead people to people as a guarantee is not faith but presumption, God does not have to obey what you ask or command, instead we are to obey him.It says according to His Will (in Heb.2:4)

Mike Oppenheimer

I believe this relates to another article that Quasar posted , "

How can we know what parts of the Bible apply to us today?



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quasar

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Jan 12 13 9:21 AM

As I have run out of time for the moment, I will return to respond to yout post ASAP, Beloved.  Thanks for the very interesting subject.  It is indeed a brain teaser!


Quasar

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beloved

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Jan 12 13 10:17 AM

As I have run out of time for the moment, I will return to respond to yout post ASAP, Beloved.  Thanks for the very interesting subject.  It is indeed a brain teaser!

Quasar

-quasar

Thanks for editing the post Quasar. I thought it was in better shape. *G* But when it was posted it  put so much space between the paragraphs. Thanks again. May the Lord bless you today and you have a very happy weekend.

Romans 1:17, For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:"The righteous will live by faith."

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quasar

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Jan 12 13 9:08 PM


Thanks for editing the post Quasar. I thought it was in better shape. *G* But when it was posted it  put so much space between the paragraphs. Thanks again. May the Lord bless you today and you have a very happy weekend.

-beloved


The spacing on the lefora sites has been erratic for most of our time here and even though I have complained about it, they have been unsuccessful in correcting it.  It is not your fault it happens.


Quasar

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quasar

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Jan 12 13 9:28 PM

All I have time for again is the following as a reason why the power given the apostles no longer fits present day company.

“Here is God's 'bottom line' on signs for our present age: He has already provided one through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

'...A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.'
(Matthew 12:39-40). ”

More at a later time.


Quasar

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quasar

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Jan 13 13 6:30 AM

This is a very lengthy article, written by John Piper, I believe to be very well done, from which I will post only the third section of it, of three,for your evaluation, Beloved.

Part 3: Signs and Wonders till Jesus Comes

n the previous section I argued that "signs and wonders" in the New Testament were not the prerogative of apostles only. The "seventy" performed them (Luke 10:9,17), deacons performed them (Acts 6:8; 8:6), Galatian Christians performed them (Galatians 3:5), Corinthian Christians performed them (1 Corinthians 12:9-10). Since signs and wonders were not the prerogative of the apostles, there is no New Testament warrant for inferring that these miracles were to cease after the apostolic age.

In fact, I want to argue in this section that the New Testament teaches that spiritual gifts (including the more obviously supernatural or revelatory ones like prophecy and tongues) will continue until Jesus comes. The use of such gifts (miracles, faith, healings, prophecy, etc) give rise to what may sometimes be called "signs and wonders." Therefore signs and wonders are part of the blessing we should pray for today.

There is no text in the New Testament that teaches the cessation of these gifts. But more important than this silence is the text that explicitly teaches their continuance until Jesus comes, namely, 1 Corinthians 13:8-12.
The main point of this passage is that love is superior to spiritual gifts like "prophecies" and "tongues" and "knowledge". The basic argument for the superiority of love is that it lasts forever while these gifts do not. They cease "when the perfect comes," but love goes on forever. The reason given for why these gifts cease is that they are "imperfect". But when the "perfect" comes the imperfect will pass away. So the key question is: When does the "perfect" come which marks the end of the imperfect gifts like prophecy?

The answer is plain in the text if we follow Paul's line of reasoning. Verse 8 says, "Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away" (RSV). Why are these gifts temporary? The answer is given in verse 9: "For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect." So the reason these spiritual gifts are temporary is their incompleteness or imperfection.

How long then are they to last? Verse 10 gives the answer: "When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away." But when is that? When does the perfect come? The answer is given in verse 12: "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood." The "now" of incompleteness and imperfection is contrasted with the "then" of seeing face to face and understanding even as we are understood.

So the answer to the question of when the perfect comes and when the imperfect gifts pass away is the "then" of verse 12, namely, the time of seeing "face to face" and "understanding as we are understood." When will this happen?

Both of these phrases ("seeing face to face" and "understanding as we have been understood") are stretched beyond the breaking point if we say that they refer to the closing of the New Testament canon or the close of the apostolic age. Rather, they refer to our experience at the second coming of Jesus. Then "we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2) The phrase "face to face" in the Greek Old Testament refers to seeing God personally (Genesis 32:30; Judges 6:22). Thomas Edwards' hundred-year-old commentary is right to say, "When the perfect is come at the advent of Christ, then the Christian will know God intuitively and directly, even as he was before known of God" (First Epistle to the Corinthians, p. 353, italics added).

This means that verse 10 can be paraphrased, "When Christ returns, the imperfect will pass away." And since "the imperfect" refers to spiritual gifts like prophecy and knowledge and tongues, we may paraphrase further, "When Christ returns, then prophecy and knowledge and tongues will pass away."

Here is a definite statement about the time of the cessation of spiritual gifts, and that time is the second coming of Christ. Richard Gaffin does not do justice to the actual wording of verse 10 when he says, "The time of the cessation of prophecy and tongues is an open question so far as this passage is concerned" (Perspectives on Pentecost, p. 111). It is not an open question. Paul says, "When the perfect comes [at that time, not before or after], the imperfect [gifts like prophecy and tongues, etc.] will pass away."

Therefore, 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 teaches that such spiritual gifts will continue until the second coming of Jesus. There is no reason to exclude from this conclusion the other "imperfect" gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. Since these include miracles, faith, healings, etc., with which we associate "signs and wonders", there is clear New Testament warrant for expecting that "signs and wonders" will continue until Jesus comes.

Now add to this conclusion the forthright command in 1 Corinthians 14:1, and you will see why some of us are not only open to, but also seeking, this greater fullness of God's power today. This command says, "Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy." And it is repeated twice: "Earnestly desire the higher gifts" (12:31); "Earnestly desire to prophesy and do not forbid speaking in tongues" (14:39).

I wonder how many of us have said for years that we are open to God's moving in spiritual gifts, but have been disobedient to this command to earnestly desire them, especially prophecy? I would ask all of us: are we so sure of our hermeneutical procedure for diminishing the gifts that we would risk walking in disobedience to a plain command of Scripture? "Earnestly desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy."

I have come to the point of seeing that the risk lies in the other direction. It would be a risk not to seek spiritual gifts for myself and my church. It would be a risk not to pray with the early church, "Grant your servants to speak your word with boldness while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through your holy servant Jesus." Disobedience is always a greater risk than obedience.

Much of my experience disinclines me to "earnestly desire spiritual gifts" especially the gift of prophecy. However, I do not base my prayer for such spiritual empowering on experience, but on the Bible. The Scripture is sufficient for all circumstances by teaching us the means of grace to be used in all circumstances. And I agree with Martyn Lloyd-Jones that one of the means of grace needed in our day is the extraordinary demonstration of power by signs and wonders. Here is what he said:

What is needed is some mighty demonstration of the power of God, some enactment of the Almighty, that will compel people to pay attention, and to look, and to listen. . . . When God acts, he can do more in a minute than man with his organizing can do in fifty years. (Revival, pp. 121-122)

Lloyd-Jones calls this mighty demonstration of power a fresh baptism in the Holy Spirit and he relates it directly to spiritual gifts.

The special purpose . . . of the baptism with the Holy Spirit is to enable us to witness, to bear testimony, and one of the ways in which that happens is through the giving of spiritual gifts. (The Sovereign Spirit, p. 120)

By the use of these gifts, he sees the possibility of "compelling people to pay attention" in their speed to destruction. By this, the gospel could receive fresh authentication in our day as in the days of the apostles.

It is perfectly clear that in New Testament times, the gospel was authenticated in this way by signs, wonders and miracles of various characters and descriptions . . . Was it only meant to be true of the early church? . . . The Scriptures never anywhere say that these things were only temporary–never! There is no such statement anywhere.

(The Sovereign Spirit, pp. 31-32)

But now we can say even more. In 1 Corinthians 13:8-12, there is a clear teaching that not only were these things not temporary, they were meant to last till Jesus comes.



From:   http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/signs-and-wonders-then-and-now



Quasar

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beloved

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Jan 13 13 8:30 AM

Thank you for the article by John Piper. I have much respect for him. With my "sitting" limitations I will have to come back later with my opinion. Maybe that is meant to be since I will put more thought into it.

Romans 1:17, For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:"The righteous will live by faith."

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quasar

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Jan 13 13 8:41 AM

I sure hope you are feeling better by now, dear sis in Christ!  It makes me feel badly to know you are still suffering some.

God bless!


Quasar




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Jan 15 13 3:15 AM

Actually the signs and wonders do take place in this time but the more progressive the society the less we see of it. There is a lot of it taking place in Asia at the moment, God is still very active but  not in our own back yards. The reason I believe can be summed up in this passage;


Mar 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Now notice a couple of things here. It was not the Apostles that had the power as such, it was the Lord. The Apostles preached the gospel of salvation correctly and the Lord then provided the confirmations to validate the words proclaimed by the Apostles. The problem we have have in the modern church is the lack of sincerity. The denominational stand gets promoted so the motivation is all off for starters and the doctrine is often incorrect anyway with the result the Lord is not going to be providing the confirmations.

You need both the correct motivation and the correct presentation of doctrine for the gifts of the spirit to manifest, anything less will not receive any confirmations.

Blessings in the name of my Lord Jesus Christ who came in the flesh and now sits at the right hand of our God on high. A confession of faith that the modern Evangelical movement can no longer make!

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beloved

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Jan 15 13 9:21 AM

Thank you Traveler for that post. After reading Quasar's article by Piper and your post I have started searching more Scripture and my view has changed somewhat. Maybe I earnestly prayed more for the Holy Spirit to guide me in the truth!!

I wonder how much our opinion is colored by (partly in not praying for the Holy Spirit guidance and wisdom) being exposed to the fake TV name it and claim it crowd? I think a great misuse of tongues is one of the things we may be turned off by? What a sad thing it is to not ignore those people and turn to the Word, study it, ask for guidance and get to the truth!. Godly teachers that have been proved trustworthy is another truth I believe the Holy Spirit guides us to just as he sent someone to the enuch to teach on his small part of Isaiah.

Quasar, I am doing MUCH better since I isolated what I was doing that caused my pain and have gone back downstairs all day and only upstairs at night. It limits my computer time but it gives me time to study one Chapter at a time rather than becoming scattered.

Praise God for His answer to ones that ask. *S*

Romans 1:17, For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written:"The righteous will live by faith."

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