Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see Sermons & Articles further down the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
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Friday, 7 February 2014

Errors of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement Part 3

These posts stem from a series of fifteen studies conducted, in our Youth Fellowship meetings, at the request of the young people who attend, dealing with the errors of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement

Study 1 - Introduction
Study 2 - The Infilling of the Spirit

Study Three - The Purpose of New Testament Supernatural Gifts
Supernatural gifts most certainly did exist in the early New Testament church, in the days of the Apostles. These gifts are outlined for us in Mark 16:17,18; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; Acts 9:40. They include the nine gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 which are sometimes sub-divided into 3 classes -

1. The three Gifts of the Mind or Revelation:
• The word of wisdom.
• The word of knowledge.
• The discernment of the spirits.

2. The three Gifts of Action or Power:
• The gifts of healing.
• The working of miracles.
• The gift of faith, that faith that moves mountains.

3. The three Gifts of the Tongue or Speech:
• Prophecy.
• Speaking in tongues.
• Interpretation of tongues.

To these nine gifts are added four others found elsewhere in the New Testament:
• Casting out of devils
• Taking up serpents
• Able to drink poison
• Raising the dead

The New Testament clearly confirms that all these signs did accompany the preaching of the apostles in the first century, Mark 16:20: And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. When writing about the preaching of the Apostles and the gifts that accompanied them, Paul says in Hebrews 2:3,4: … which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
No one can deny that these gifts were evident in New Testament times. In this study we want to consider why were they manifested and why did they accompany the preaching of the Apostles?
In considering why they existed we are to underscore the word 'sign' in these passages. These were 'sign gifts', cf. Acts 2:22: Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know & Acts 2:43: And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. Christ did signs and so also did the Apostles. There are three specific points we can make about these 'sign gifts': 

I. These supernatural gifts were miraculous signs to authenticate the message of the Apostles. 
In considering the passages already mentioned, Mark 16:17-20; Hebrews 2:3,4, it can clearly be seen that a primary reason for these gifts was to prove the genuineness of the gospel message preached by the Apostles.
This was also true of the Lord Jesus in His ministry. His signs or miracles were done to authenticate who He claimed to be, cf. John 10:25: Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. He claimed to be the eternal Son of God. His mighty works backed up this claim.

The same principle was at work in the lives and ministry of the Apostles. They went out to preach in Jesus' Name. They went out to preach a message of repentance from sin; of belief in Jesus Christ alone; of resurrection from the dead for body and soul. The message of the resurrection of the body was particularly a unique message in its day, especially among the Gentiles, cf. Acts 17:18-20,32.

As the Apostles preached this message, and engaged in the use of these sign gifts, people believed what they heard, cf Acts 8:5,6: Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. This is but one example of what happened as the Apostles and their immediate successors/associates preached. People heard the message and saw the signs and believed. The signs confirmed the message that it was genuine. It was not a hoax or a deception. It was absolutely real and genuine. This was God's method of 'confirming' the truth of what was preached.

How difficult it was to argue against the message of the Apostles when it was accompanied with these signs or supernatural gifts.

II. These supernatural gifts were a miraculous sign primarily to unbelievers. 
The Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement makes a mistake in their emphasis on this point. They make these gifts generally a sign to believers. They will tell believers that the manifestation of these gifts, especially tongue speaking, is the sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Some will go as far as to say that a believer has unconfessed, secret sin if their lives if they are not manifesting these sign gifts.

This is seriously wrong! It could not be further from the truth of Scripture. The Word of God clearly states that these gifts, and especially tongue speaking, are a sign to the unbeliever, cf. 1 Cor 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not…. This text could not be clearer. The purpose of these sign gifts is directed towards the unsaved, unconverted heart. Not the believer!! It says a great deal about those who persist in claiming otherwise. They are contradicting Scripture and that is a serious issue before God.
The gift of tongue speaking was a means God employed to bring the Gospel to unbelievers. As the Apostles preached to Jews from across the then known world on the day of Pentecost the Lord gave them the gift of tongues to effectively and efficiently preach. Later as the Apostles spread out around the then known world and came into contact with people from different languages they were enabled to preach the gospel in the native tongue of these people. A wonderful help in evangelism.

III. These supernatural gifts and miraculous sign were not given to every believer
So teaches 1 Corinthians 12:8-11: 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: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Paul goes on to emphasis the point that not everyone has these gifts, cf. 1 Corinthians 12:29,30: 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?

Yet we have Charismatics/Pentecostals telling people today that every believer is to seek for these gifts and that every believer can know these gifts. This is plain falsehood. It is not according to the Scriptures. When people don't experience these gifts they are assaulted by the accusations of the devil, and sometimes by their fellow believers, in being made to feel inadequate and a lesser believer as if they were missing out on God's blessing in their lives.

Let's make sure we properly understand the purpose of these gifts in the New Testament.

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