Are the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit for today?
I was visiting with my friend Mr. Adam and his son when the door bell rang.
It was Miss Judy and a lady friend of hers. I had asked Miss Judy to come
over and pray for Mr. Adam. Mr. Adam was a diabetic and had to undergo
kidney dialysis three times a week. After visiting some she explained to Mr.
Adam that she had left her anointing oil in the car as God had impressed on
her that she should. She then began to tell him some things about himself.
She asked him if she could touch him. He said yes. Once she touched him
she said, This if different Father the Holy Spirit is flowing from him into me
usually it's the other way around.
After she finished praying for Mr. Adam I asked her to pray for me. She
told me, you need to pray more and you need to read the Bible more. I
thought yes she is sure right. She then indicated she sensed a lot of
pain and sorrow in my life. That was also true. Like most parents I had
been hurt by my kids and I was worried about them. I had also under-
gone a divorce several years ago so there were a number of things
around it that were painful. Then she and Mr. Adam laid hands on me
and prayed for me. I was glad they were praying for me but I felt
nothing. I really didn't expect to feel anything as I didn't think the
baptism of the Holy Spirit and the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit
were generally for today. I had asked her to pray for Mr. Adam as I
felt God had given to her the ability to affect a healing in others in the
name of Jesus.
She then prayed for Mr. Adam's 11 year old son. I knew he was a Christian.
I had shared the gospel with him and his younger brother two or three times
and they had both assured me they were trusting in Jesus as their Savior
Later I talked to Mr. Adam's son, and asked him what happened. He said
when she touched his hand he felt a cold sensation flowing into him from her
hand. Then when she touched his head he felt the cold sensation flowing into
his head. Always the curious one, I asked him where it went. He said it went
all the way down to his toes and filled him up! I asked Miss Judy about this
later and she indicated for adults the Holy Spirit is usually a warm sensation
but kids may sense things differently.
Later I also talked to Mr. Adam. He had assured me many times before, that
he had been baptized in the Holy Spirit. He had told me of some miracles and
even a healing that God had performed through him. I believed him but
assumed he had simply been blessed by God in a special way. Anyways he
told me as she was talking and praying for him the Holy Spirit began to fill
him. Thus, when she touched him the Holy Spirit flowed from him into her.
By the way, Copyright 2002 by Wayne Mckellips. Last updated 16 Jun
2003. You may copy and distribute for free. However, you do not have
permission to sell this article, or to mirror this article or site on the
As a student of the Bible for years I had understood the perfect in 1st
Corinthians 13:10 referred to the completed New Testament. I knew teleios
translated perfect was in the neuter tense. I also knew teleios can mean
perfect, complete, whole, or mature. Nevertheless, I decided to search the
internet to see if I could find someone who could shed some light on the
perfect in 1st Corinthians 13:10 in light of what I had just witnessed and
have heard others talk about. I also reread and restudied the passages in the
New Testament on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the miraculous gifts of
the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I found a charismatic scholar who presented a lot of evidence the perfect Paul
was referring to in 1st Corinthians 13:10 refers to the perfection or completion
we will have when we are with Jesus. He lists every place teleios is used in the
New Testament and pointed out that in almost all cases it refers to the
completion, maturity, or perfection we will have or the completed thing we
will be once we leave this world and are with Jesus. (My words not his.) He
also noted the New Testament was not completed until many years after
Paul's death. However, Paul wrote in 1st Corinthians 13:12 now I know in
part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. Since the New Testament
was not completed during Paul's lifetime, how could the saying then shall I
know even as also I am known be true for Paul. However, if the perfect refers
to the perfection or maturity we have once we are with Jesus then Paul certainly
could say once he was with Jesus he would see face to face and he would
know even as he was known. You can visit this author's site The Baptism
of the Holy Spirit, Part Two This charismatic scholar has many other indepth
articles. I feel this one is outstanding. I personally don't believe in coaching
people to pray in tongues or languages. I also don't believe all "tongues
speaking" is evidence of having been baptized in the Holy Spirit. 1st
Corinthians 12:30 says Have all the gifts of healing: Do all speak with tongues?
Do all interpret? The obvious answer is no. Not everyone receives the gift of
tongues or languages. The gift of tongues or languages while real and desirable
is certainly not the best or most desirable gift. I also believe a lot of people
mistaken think they have been given the gift of tongues or languages but in
actual fact they are just babbling, that is, uttering nonmeaning sounds. I do
think some individuals today have actually been given the gift of tongues,
that is, languages by the Holy Spirit.
Miss Judy told me she prayed for three years for God to give her all nine
gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in 1st Corinthians 12:8-10. They are the word of
wisdom, the word of knowledge, faith, the gifts of healing, the working of
miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, divers kinds of tongues, and the
interpretation of tongues. I believe God has given her all nine.
Once I became convinced through what I had seen and heard and the further
testimony of Mr. Adam and Miss Judy as well as the Scriptural confirmation
of the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit for today I decided to seek them.
I started out by just praying. Then it was brought to my attention that we can
often approach the throne of grace more effectively if we fast as well as pray.
So I decided to fast and pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of
the Holy Spirit detailed in 1st Corinthians 12:8-10, and God's annointed for
the work He has for me to do. You can read about my fasts and the lessons
I learned from them at Lessons I learned from my fasts.
Some other gifts of the Holy Spirit listed in Romans 12:4-8 are prophecy,
ministering, teaching, exhorting, giving, ruling, and showing mercy.
Ephesians 4:11-12 says, "And he gave some apostles, and some prophets,
and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers, for the perfecting
of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
Christ." 1st Peter 4:10-11 reads, "As every man hath received the gift, even
so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold
grace of God. If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if
any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that
God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, ..." In 1st
Corinthians 12:28-31 Paul wrote, "And God hath set some in the church,
first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then
gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 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? But covet
earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way." In
the next chapter Paul tells of the value of love over prophecy, tongues,
knowledge, and even faith, and hope.
As of yet God has not chosen to give me any of the "miraculous" gifts
of the Holy Spirit but I believe he gave me the gift of teaching years ago,
and I think more recently he has given me the gift of wisdom in understanding
certain Biblical questions. James 1:5-8.
Miss Judy is not infallible. We occasionally disagree on Biblical things.
Sometimes we have to agree to disagree. I recognized she knew a lot more
about the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit then I did so I asked her to
mentor or guide me in this and she agreed.
For a time, after this, I attend a noncharismatic church. I visited a large
charismatic church and found very few adults in Sunday School. But
whenever I've attended evangelical noncharismatic churches I've always
found the Adult Sunday Schools to be well attended. One needs to study
the Word of God diligently whether or not they've been baptized in the
Holy Spirit. As of now, I have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but
the Holy Spirit does live in me, as He lives in all Christians. Romans 8:9.
The Holy Spirit came or fell upon the apostles and the household of Cornelius
without the laying on of anyone's hands. Acts chapters 2, 10, and 11:15-17.
At other times the apostles laid their hands on converts that they might
receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:5-20. Acts 19:1-7. Truely, the
Holy Spirit was transfered by the laying on of the apostles hands as Simon
noted. This does not mean the apostles were the only ones who could
transfer the Holy Spirit to a convert. Certainly, God sometimes had the Holy
Spirit fall upon His people directly, without the laying on of anyone's hands.
I have heard testimony of Him doing that today, in our time. I believe the
apostles had a much greater anointing by the Holy Spirit and so they were
able to easily transfer the Holy Spirit to believers. I think to receive the
baptism of the Holy Spirit we generally need to know it is available for us
today. Then we need to really desire and seek the baptism and gifts of the
Holy Spirit. Fasting if we are physically able to fast, along with earnest and
several times daily prayer can show God we really desire the baptism in
and with the Holy Spirit. We must also carefully examine our lives for sin
and rid them from sin, as much as possible. I know we will sometimes
occasionally yield to sin as humans but we should strive very hard not to.
When we do find we have or are sinning we need to repent immediately, ask
God's forgiveness, and claim forgiveness and victory over it in the name
and by the blood of Jesus. Be sure to use the way of escape when you are
tempted. That is, run away or stay away from places and people that tempt
you to sin. 1st Corinthians 10:13. You may need to get yourself some new
friends and find some different places to hang out. I suggest you get
involved in a good, active, Bible believing and practicing church. I also
suggest you get into God's Word. Read and study his Word daily and pray.
I also think it helps to get people to pray for you. Besides praying and
fasting for the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit I
resolved to ask certain people who had already been baptized in and with
the Holy Spirit to pray for me.
I also believe God must be able to trust us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
When God shows you something about another person's life you must not
misuse that information, ever. You must not broadcast personal private
information that person would not want others to know. When God tells you
to not pray for someone's healing you must obey God. Perhaps God is
disciplining that person, perhaps it is time for that person to leave this earth,
or perhaps God has another purpose in not wanting you to pray for their
healing at that time. You must trust and obey God. You must not brag
and become proud. God loves the noncharismatic Christian as much as he
loves the charismatic Christian. It is my personal belief through observation
that the noncharismatic Christian worker is often much more diligent in Bible
study, preparation, planning, and sometimes even evangelistic outreach than
many charismatic workers. Do not become lazy in these just because you
have received the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Plan your worship
services, sermons, and lessons out carefully, completely, and prayerfully. If
God moves you or calls you to deviate from it that is fine. If He doesn't the
people will be well fed by your well planned out and prepared worship service,
sermon, or lesson. Also remember, we get our doctrine from the Bible, the
written Word of God. No doctrine should come from what anyone says today.
The New Testament scripture is completed and has been so for almost two
thousand years. Judge everything against the standard - God's Word!
At this point I want to state that I believe every Christian, every one who is
trusting in Jesus as their Savior and Boss or Lord has the Holy Spirit. We
are born again or from above when we put our trust in Jesus as our savior
and boss. John 1:12-13. John 3:1-8, 16, 36. In Acts 2:38 Peter said, "Repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission
of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." Notice Peter promised
them they would receive the Holy Spirit. Now listen to what Paul wrote in
Romans 8:9 "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit
of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none
of his." In Romans 10:13 Paul wrote, For whosoever shall call upon the name
of the Lord shall be saved. We can add to this 1st John 5:12-13. I believe the
new disciples in Samaria had the Holy Spirit in their lives and could through
Him produce the fruits of the Holy Spirit as listed in Galations 5:22-23.
However, they didn't receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit until the apostles
laid their hands on them and prayed for them. At that point the Holy Spirit
fell upon them - they were baptized in and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:16-17.
I believe it is far more important to allow God to produce the fruits of the
Holy Spirit through you, than it is for you to demonstrate one of the
miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1st Corinthians chapter 13. Of course, it
would be great to do both.
When we are sick I believe God may heal us or he may allow us to continue
to be sick or even die. No matter what happens, we need to trust God that
he cares about us and knows what He is doing. Only God can see the big
picture, we can't. We must remember the laws of nature and a person's
freewill are involved in our prayer requests. If I ask God to heal me but, I
continue to knowingly or unknowingly drink poison, God may let me die!
I believe God heals in many different ways. 1) God may heal one via their
doctor. 2) God sometimes heals us by directing us to better nutrition. For
years I suffered from allergies and frequent strep throat infections. I prayed
asking God to help me get well for years. Finally, God led me to books and
articles dealing with good nutrition. As I improved my diet, and supplements,
my health improved. I believe God helped me get well by guiding me to
books and articles that would help me improve my diet. 3) God may heal us
miraculously because of the effectual fervent prayers of one or more believers.
James 5:16. 4) God may heal us through the ministry of someone He has given
the gifts of healings to. 1st Corinthians 12:8-10.
I do not believe it is always God's will to heal a person. But, unless God told
me not to, I would pray for God to heal me if I was sick. I would plead my
case before him every time I prayed. I really hate being sick. I would also
seek the skilled help of trained doctors and perhaps nutritionists. I would also
ask others to pray for me. If I believed someone had the gifts of healings
from God, I would ask them to pray for me. I'm not afraid to die. I just
greatly dislike being sick. My point is, God may heal us in one of many
different ways or he may have a reason for allowing us to remain sick either
for a short time or a long time. Remember Job, and the man Jesus healed
who was born blind. John 9:1-3. Since we don't know the mind of God, we
should pray and do what we can to try and get well.
Remember, it is far more important that the fruits of the Holy Spirit, like love
and kindness, flow from our hearts, than it is that we exhibit any miraculous
gifts of the Holy Spirit. 1st Corinthians chapter 13 and Galatians 5:22-23.
A friend at work lent me "The Century of the Holy Spirit" by
Vinson Synan. This book details the start and spread of the
modern pentecostal and charismatic movement throughout
the world. It helped me understand how many of the different
churches came to take some of their different doctrinal
positions on topics related to the Holy Spirit. It's published
by Nelson, www.nelsonreference.com, ISBN: 0-7852-4550-2.
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