Are all the gifts of the Spirit available to the church today?

Are all the gifts of the Spirit available to the church today?

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, Ephesians 4:11
This caller asks if spiritual gifts are available to the church today. More specifically are dramatic manifestations of gifts being seen today? Pastor Doug speaks of waves of miracles happening throughout Scripture. Ephesians 4:11 clearly teaches gifts are needed until Jesus comes.

Holy Spirit: The Need (PB) by Doug Batchelor

Holy Spirit: The Need (PB) by Doug Batchelor
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Co-Host:  In Albuquerque, New Mexico – Hello Dorothy, you’re on the air.

 

Caller:  Good Evening.

 

Pastor Doug:  Hi thanks for waiting.

 

Caller:  I was just wondering in reference to 1st Corinthians Chapter 12 about the Spiritual gifts.

 

Pastor Doug:  Ok.

 

Caller:  You know I know there’s a lot of controversy about whether it exists today or not but is there really anything clear? You know I haven’t been able to find it but I was wondering if maybe, since you study the Bible more deeply than I, is there anything that Spiritual Gifts don’t exist today? You know, like the Gifts of Prophecy and so forth?

 

Pastor Doug:  Well no – the Bible actually says the opposite. The Bible is telling us that Spiritual Gifts do exist Dorothy. Matter of fact, the purpose for the Spiritual Gifts is for the edification of the Church.

 

Caller:  Right.

 

Pastor Doug:  Well let me give you an example: You’re asking specifically about Prophecy. In the book of Joel it says it will come to pass in the last days, this is Joel chapter 2, I’ll pour out my Spirit on all flesh and your sons and daughters will prophecy. And so one of the signs of the outpouring of the Spirit in the last days is that prophecy will again be visible.

 

Caller:  Well I think what I meant was like uh, you know like if you look in the New Testament, you’ll notice that people like Peter and Paul and many of the other saints of the Lord, they would hear his audible voice the way you and I hear each other speaking to them like the way Jesus spoke out of the sky to Paul when he was on the road to Damascus and he was converted. And you know things like um….

 

Pastor Doug:  Real dramatic manifestations of….

Caller:  Yes exactly! And you know I haven’t even seen the manifestations. I think a lot of people have noticed that also.  

Pastor Doug:  You say you haven’t seen them?

Caller:  Well really I haven’t. When I look at these Spiritual Gifts like to be specific, well not tongues but like, maybe the interpretation of tongues, the working of miracles, or prophecy, I really haven’t seen it.

 

Pastor Doug:  Let me tell you something that you can see in the Bible for yourself that I think will help you understand this. Miracles, signs, wonders come in waves. For instance, during the days of Isaac, God did not seem to do the same number of miracles that He did during the days of Abraham. But after Isaac, during the time of Moses, boy there was a big wave of miracles. Well then after they got into the Promised Land things settled down it seemed like God had disappeared and then all of a sudden along came some of the Prophets like Samson - you had an era of miracles and waves of power and manifestations and that died away. Along came a young man named Gideon. Now listen to what Gideon said. And keep this in mind, Gideon lived before Elijah the Prophet prayed and it stopped raining. Elijah prayed and fire came down from Heaven and all these miracles and this is what Gideon says to the Angel, “Whatever happened to all the miracles that we used to see that our parents told us about from the old days?” Now that’s what Gideon said hundreds of years before Jesus came and raised the dead and fed the multitudes and walked on water and did all those miracles. And then there’s an era of about 400 years, Dorothy, between the time of Malachi and Christ, when it seemed that God was very silent – and then all of a sudden Jesus came along and it was a tidal wave. And then during the time of the Apostles there was a wave of miracles and it seems to have died down a little bit. But you know even during the 1800’s, there was a great revival that went around the world during the time of John Wesley and Whitfield and these missionaries like David Livingston, and you read their stories, and there were just phenomenal miracles that attended their lives and ministries.

 

Caller:  You know I really do know there are a lot of denominations that don’t believe that Spiritual Gifts exists, but I do believe it because for one thing, I don’t see anyone the Scriptures’ word says that they have passed away after a certain era.

 

Pastor Doug:  No we need them till the end.

 

Caller:  Well you know that Jesus said in Mark 16:16 about you will cast out devils, speak in new tongues and you know He didn’t put an era on that statement you know. And I don’t see anything in the Scriptures that would state that um, I think it’s just that I haven’t um really noticed the miracles or anything. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

 

Pastor Doug:  I’ve seen some things happen. Let me read something from Ephesians chapter 4. Now Paul is talking about the need for Spiritual Gifts in the church and how long we need them okay? That’s what we’re talking about now. Ephesians 4 verse 11. “And He Himself gave some to be Apostles, some Prophets, some Evangelists, some Pastors and Teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ….” Now that’s what it’s for. Here’s how long we need it: “...till we all come to the unity of the faith of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ….” Now we haven’t come to that condition yet have we?

 

Caller:  No.

 

Pastor Doug:  Then we still need those gifts. And he says in verse 14 that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men. You know we still need the gift of prophecy and inspired leadership and all the gifts of the Spirit to keep the church together.

 

Co-Host:  I’d like to suggest to Dorothy that we are living in a time of miracles today in a sense because it didn’t take very long for the iron curtain to fall and it hasn’t taken very long for thousands, maybe millions of new Christians to come into the Christian church in Eastern Europe and in Africa and other places like that. And I really think that’s an evangelical miracle of what God is doing.

 

Pastor Doug:  Yes absolutely!
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