Apostolic Preterist

Are the gifts for today?

Have the gifts of the spirit ceased

A big majority of Preterists and futurists believe that the gifts of the spirit have passed away. They give lots of convincing scripture, but if healing's, miracles and other gifts are still being used, then that proves that the gifts have not ceased. If the gift of healing's, miracles and other gifts do not take place then that proves they have ceased. Here is one scripture that is used to convince people that tongues have ceased.

1 Corinthians 13:8-12Love doth never fall away, though that prophesying be abolished, or the tongues cease, or knowledge vanish away.9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.10 But when that which is perfect, is come, then that which is in part shall be abolished.11 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.12 For now we see through a glass darkly: but then shall we see face to face. Now I know in part: but then shall I know even as I am known.

This scripture has been the bone of contention in many groups of people. Even online I was reading so many different viewpoints that I decided to pray about it and then explain what I believe it is talking about. This scripture is also the one scripture I heard my parents disagree on the most. My dad would say that tongues have already ceased and my mom would say that tongues are still for today.

Paul was addressing a very immature group of people that were using the gifts improperly. They were in competition with one another and not loving one another. Quite frankly they were very immature. Paul  makes it clear when he speaks about “when I was a child, I spake as a child, understood as a child, but when I became a man I put away childish things.” The theme of what Paul wrote was about love being the most important thing. I believe that when it said when that which is perfect would come that it was referring to love and love brings maturity, (The entire scripture is talking about love) If you have love like Christ, you will be spiritually mature and not need the gifts.  

What other scripture in the Bible talks about perfect love? There is no fear in love but perfect love casteth out all fear.:because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love 1 john 4:18. If you do not have fear and you have perfect love you will have faith,

So When that which is perfect(love) is come that which is done in part will vanish away. The law vanished away and under the law there was no faith. With grace came love and faith. When a person is completely spiritually mature then they are 100 fold in Christ. There are not very many 100 fold Christians today. I will explain why in a bit. The Christians that lived in the first century some were living in a 3rd day of perfection or maturity and some became a 3rd day Christian. The 3rd day was very symbolic in the bible it represented death to the flesh being buried and resurrected with Christ. I plan to write an article on the 3rd day, but for now I will just give one example. Paul was blinded and on the 3rd day he was 1. Baptized 2. Filled with the spirit 3. Given his sight both physically and spiritually all on the 3rd day of perfection.

Perfection

1 John 4:12-18

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

These are the reason that I believe that the gifts of the spirit have not passed away is 1.  Knowledge has not ceased. 2.  I don’t know anyone who is perfectly mature and has nothing more to learn. 3.  I have been used in, and received gifts of spirit. I do believe that the church in the future will reach spiritual maturity.

One of the main things that is causing the church not to grow spiritually is the fact that most churches preach law mixed with grace.  They still want the church to go by the moral law and believe that people are saved by what they do and don’t do.  In other words How often they pray, read the bible and go to church ect. I assure you that if anyone is saved it is because of faith in Jesus Christ and not by old covenant works of the flesh. The moral law passed away with the sacrificial and ceremonial parts of the law.

When did the spirit first come to man- When God breathed the breath of life in Adam he breathed his holy spirit in him. This was lost during the fall. God breathed the breathe of life in his disciples as he was ascending into heaven John 20:22 yet they didn't speak in tongues until Pentecost, because that was the sign of what they had received. I believe when we are spiritually mature that we will receive Gods spirit and not need a sign of what we have received. God only gave them a sign because of their unbelief. Isaiah 28:11. I do not believe everyone who receives the spirit speaks in tongues because the bible says ,not all speaks in tongues. Their are other manifestations of the spirit.

Below is the prophecy that Joel the prophet wrote in the Old Testament which was what would happen in the last days. Compare it with what Peter said on the day of Pentecost. Note: Many people in the charismatic and Pentecostal movements say that we are in the last days now since the holy ghost (speaking in tongues) happens today. I hope to show that according to Peter the last days was when Joels prophecy transpired which was on the day of Pentecost.

Joels Prophecy

Joel 2:28-32 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke(Heaven and earth here represents the old covenant of law).31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come(The sun and moon and stars represented ruler ship ). 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.

Day of Pentecost

1When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them (whether this happened symbolically or literally it represented the lamp stands in Gods temple being lit as the oil of the holy spirit was in them). 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia 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!” 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.

Peter Addresses the Crowd 14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17“ ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

I recommend anyone unfamiliar with the sun, moon and stars and heaven and earth meanings in prophecy to read the articles on them to the left on my website.  Here, Peter is letting everyone know it was the last days. Especially in light of the fact that Joels prophecy of what would happen in the last days was happening before their eyes. 3,000 people were added to the church that day. Some say that tongues are not for today, because it was only for those people living in those days.  This was the beginning of the new covenant going into effect. It wasn’t established until all of the old law was done away with in 70 A.D that was when the new covenant of grace was established and that is when the gifts of the spirit were established as a part of that covenant.  It makes no sense to say that the new covenant gifts of the spirit have been done away with right when the new covenant began. It also doesn’t make sense to say that some of the gifts are still here and some have been done away with. You can’t have it both ways. I believe they started at Pentecost and are still here today, but the prophecy of tongues being in the last days was referring to when it first happened in the first century generation that Jesus promised he was coming back in.

If what I have written has not convinced you that the gifts have not ceased then please read the testimonies below.

When I was 12 I went to a church teen camp. After the pastor stopped preaching I went down to the alter and asked God to fill me with his holy spirit. I began to speak in a language no one had ever taught me and it was a rush and amazing experience that cannot be described with mere words. I was like this for about an hour. I tried to stop, so I could go back to the dorm, but it was like I was drunk. It took my 2 cousins to put the arms around their shoulders just to get me back to the dorm. There was no denying the fact that I had experienced the super natural gift of the holy spirit.

My moms pastor was preaching one day and God told him to pray for a woman who had been coming to church and had a messed up leg. He went down and prayed and later on she told us it felt like heat was going through her leg, she got up and started jumping and walking.

Pastor Eric Ginder who is my mom’s pastor  was out when the man next to him dropped dead. After a while the paramedics had not gotten there and the man turned grey. Her pastor laid hands on the man, prayed for him and he came back to life.

Pastor Eric Ginder was giving a bible study to a family that was right next door to the church. The man somehow sat wrong and his back went out. Later on pastor found out that when it would go out it would be out for along time. The man came to church and was telling the story to everyone that after his back had gone out Pastor Ginder was praying for his back and it felt like something was pulling his back straight. He thought it was Pastor Ginder. Pastor Ginder thought he was sitting up, but it was God. As he was praying for him his back was completely healed.

A friend of my moms pastor who is also an evangelist was visiting a church down south. While he was there he saw a woman who was paralyzed. As he prayed for her she got out of her wheelchair. Completely healed.

My Pastor, Kelly Wilson was diagnosed with colon cancer. He chose not to do anything about it, but trust God. When he went back to the doctor later on the cancer was gone.

I know a pastor who was diagnosed with Hep C. It was from his wild life before getting saved. He was prayed for at our church and healed.

I was in a car accident and thrown out the back window into the cornfield. The car kept rolling until it rolled over my legs and stopped. I was so deep in the mud it didn’t break my legs, but from being thrown I had broken my neck C5 C4 vertebra's. After what seemed like a long time I was finding it harder and harder to breath. I knew that I was not living for the Lord. I made a deal with God. I told him “If you let me live, I will do anything you want.” Then I asked him to get the car off me. The car instantly rolled off my legs and onto the ground. My cousin Jeremy was then able to get out and go get help. Some people wonder why God hasn’t allowed me to walk yet. I believe there is a purpose, a real reason for everything. I also believe my day of walking will be in my lifetime in Gods timing.

I was in the hospital and had a serious bladder infection that spread throughout my body. It was called Pseudomonas. They tried every anti-biotic for that strain and nothing would kill it. My doctor came in and let me know what was going on and that they were sending me home. His voice cracked like he was starting to cry. I realized they were sending me home to die.  I sat in my bed and thought “I don’t want to die.” I prayed and asked God if he would give me a word which is a gift , letting  me know whether I would live or die. I told him I wanted his will. Later on someone I had never met and did not know what the doctor had just told me or that i had asked God for a word. came in and said “I have a word for you.” He said “You shall not die, but live” and then started speaking in tongues and praising God.  The word was correct and a year later all the of Pseudomonas was out of my body without any medical help.

Shortly after my accident, my mom was learning how to care for me and decided to cut my toe nails. We were not told that paralyzed people should have their toe nails cut by a doctor or have risk of a serious infection. This was in 1994. I developed a staph infection in my toe. I had an allergic reaction to the only drug they had at that time to kill the infection. My mom and I’s church prayed and the staph infection did not spread to my blood, but God healed me completely

I have many more stories, but my point is that I know the gifts cannot have ceased, because I have received them and had them manifest in the lives of myself , my family and church family.

 

The three main passages describing the spiritual gifts are Romans 12:6-8; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; and 1 Corinthians 12:28. The spiritual gifts identified in Romans 12 are prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, leadership, and mercy. The list in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 includes the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues and interpretation of tongues. The list in 1 Corinthians 12:28 includes healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. A brief description of each gift follows:

 

Prophecy – The Greek word translated “prophesying” or “prophecy” in both passages properly means to “speak forth” or declare the divine will, to interpret the purposes of God, or to make known in any way the truth of God which is designed to influence people. The idea of telling the future was added sometime in the Middle Ages and is in direct contradiction to other scriptural passages that condemn such fortune-telling or predicting the future (Acts 16:16-18).

 

Serving – Also referred to as “ministering,” the Greek word diakonian, from which we get the English “deacon,” means service of any kind, the broad application of practical help to those in need.

 

Teaching – This gift involves the analysis and proclamation of the Word of God, explaining the meaning, context and application to the hearer’s life. The gifted teacher is one who has the unique ability to clearly instruct and communicate knowledge, specifically the doctrines of the faith.

 

Encouraging – Also called “exhortation,” this gift is evident in those who consistently call upon others to heed and follow God’s truth, which may involve correction or building others up by strengthening weak faith or comforting in trials.

 

Giving – Gifted givers are those who joyfully share what they have with others, whether it is financial, material, or the giving of personal time and attention. The giver is concerned for the needs of others and seeks opportunities to share goods, money and time with them as needs arise.

 

Leadership – The gifted leader is one who rules, presides over or has the management of other people in the church. The word literally means “guide” and carries with it the idea of one who steers a ship. One with the gift of leadership rules with wisdom and grace and exhibits the fruit of the Spirit in his life as he leads by example.

 

Mercy – Closely linked with the gift of encouragement, the gift of mercy is obvious in those who are compassionate toward others who are in distress, showing sympathy and sensitivity coupled with a desire and the resources to lessen their suffering in a kind and cheerful manner.

 

Word of wisdom – The fact that this gift is described as the “word” of wisdom indicates that it is one of the speaking gifts. This gift describes someone who can understand and speak forth biblical truth in such a way as to skillfully apply it to life situations with all discernment.

 

Word of knowledge – This is another speaking gift that involves understanding truth with an insight that only comes by revelation from God. Those with the gift of knowledge understand the deep things of God and the mysteries of His Word.

 

Faith – All believers possess faith in some measure because it is one of the gifts of the Spirit bestowed on all who come to Christ in faith (Galatians 5:22-23). The spiritual gift of faith is exhibited by one with a strong and unshakable confidence in God, His Word, His promises, and the power of prayer to effect miracles.

 

Healing – Although God does still heal today, the ability of men to produce miraculous healing's belonged to the apostles of the first century church to affirm that their message was from God Some say, but men never healed anyone. God did through men back then and still today. Christians today do have the power to heal the sick or resurrect the dead.  Some say If they did, the hospitals and morgues would be full of these “gifted” people emptying beds and coffins everywhere, but even in the bible days only those who had faith and was used in the gift of healing and miracles received and performed these gifts. A good example is when Jesus went to the pool of Bethesda.  There was only one man healed out of many.  The bible says nothing about the rest being healed. Also, Jesus has his own timing for healing people. A good example is when the disciples passed by the gate beautiful often passing a crippled man but never healing him. Until one day it was his day because they healed him.

 

Miraculous powers – Also known as the working of miracles, this is another gift which involved performing supernatural events that could only be attributed to the power of God (Acts 2:22). This gift was exhibited by Paul (Acts 19:11-12), Peter (Acts 3:6), Stephen (Acts 6:8), and Phillip (Acts 8:6-7), among others.

 

Distinguishing (discerning) of spirits – Certain individuals possess the unique ability to determine the true message of God from that of the deceiver, Satan, whose methods include purveying deceptive and erroneous doctrine. Jesus said many would come in His name and would deceive many (Matthew 24:4-5), but the gift of discerning spirits is given to the Church to protect it from such as these.

 

 speaking tongues- was proof that you were filled what god’s holy spirit.  On the day of Pentecost speaking in tongues was the sign that they were living in the last days.  Speaking in Tongues today is the sign that the Holy Spirit now indwells within you.

 

Interpretation of tongues – A person with the gift of interpreting tongues can understand what a tongues-speaker is saying even though he does not know the language that is being spoken. The tongues interpreter will then communicate the message of the tongues speaker to everyone else, so all can understand.

 

Helps – Closely related to the gift of mercy is the gift of helps. Those with the gift of helps are those who can aid or render assistance to others in the church with compassion and grace. This has a broad range of possibilities for application. Most importantly, this is the unique ability to identify those who are struggling with doubt, fears, and other spiritual battles; to move toward those in spiritual need with a kind word, an understanding and compassionate demeanor; and to speak scriptural truth that is both convicting and loving.

Salvation and eternal life are also gifts of the spirit. Romans 6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

In the New Testament, there are several Greek words translated “gift.” Some of these words are used in contexts other than God’s gift of salvation, such as the reciprocal gift-giving of celebrants (Revelation 11:10), the things received from fathers (Matthew 7:11), offerings to a ministry (Philippians 4:17), and the gifts of the magi (Matthew 2:11).

 

However, when it comes to the matter of our salvation, the New Testament writers use different Greek words—words that emphasize the gracious and absolutely free quality of the gift. Here are the two words most commonly used for the gift of salvation:

 

1) Dorea, meaning “a free gift.” This word lays particular stress on the gratuitous nature of the gift—it is something given above and beyond what is expected or deserved. Every New Testament occurrence of this word is related to a spiritual gift from God. It is what Jesus offers to the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:10). It is called the “free gift” in Romans 5:15. It is the “unspeakable [or indescribable] gift” in 2 Corinthians 9:15. This gracious gift is identified as the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38; 8:30; and 11:17.

 

The adverb form of this word is dorean, translated “freely” in Matthew 10:8; 2 Corinthians 11:7; Revelation 21:6; 22:17. In Romans 3:24, immediately following God’s pronouncement of our guilt, we have this use of dorean: “Being justified FREELY by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The gift of salvation is free.

 

2) Charisma, meaning “a gift of grace.” This word is used to define salvation in Romans 5:15-16. Also, in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the GIFT [charisma] of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This same word is used in conjunction with the gifts of the Spirit received after salvation (Romans 12:6; 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6; 1 Peter 4:10).

 

Obviously, if something has a “gift of grace,” it cannot be earned. To work for something is to deserve it, and that would produce an obligation—a gift of debt, as it were. That is why works destroy grace (Romans 4:1-5; 11:5-6).

 

When presenting salvation, the New Testament writers carefully chose words that emphasize grace and freedom. As a result, the Bible could not be more clear—salvation is absolutely free, the true gift of God in Christ, and our only responsibility is to receive the gift by faith (John 1:12; 3:16; Ephesians 2:8-9).


Conclusion

If salvation is for today and it is a gift then all of the gifts of the spirit are still in effect. For that matter if anyone has been healed or given a miracle as I show above has happened, then the gifts are for today. Nowhere in the bible does it say that the gift of the holy spirit or any gift will be done away with. It only talks about the one scripture where tongues will cease and knowledge and we know that we still are obtaining knowledge and still learning to love one another and grow to maturity. There will be those who say that when the bible says “when that which is perfect is come” was referring to Jesus Christ coming. That scripture is talking about love and spiritual growth. Then again, God is love and I believe that generation after going through the tribulation came to spiritual perfection. Now its time we do too.

 

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