You may speak in tongues for your own comfort, but I lay this down for a rule, that if anything is taught by the gift of tongues, it is not to be received for doctrine. No man can be a minister of Jesus Christ except he has the testimony of Jesus; and this is the spirit of prophecy [see Revelation ].
Now if any man has the testimony of Jesus, has he not the spirit of prophecy? And if he has the spirit of prophecy, I ask, is he not a prophet?
And if a prophet, will he not receive revelation? And any man that does not receive revelation for himself must be damned, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. For Christ says, ask and you shall receive; and if he happens to receive anything, I ask, will it not be a revelation?
And if not his, he must be damned. In the early days of the restored Church, members of the Church, as well as members of other religious groups, sometimes acted upon influences from evil or false spirits, believing they were under the influence of the Holy Ghost. Spirits of all kinds have been manifested, in every age, and almost amongst all people.
Who shall solve the mystery? Thousands have felt the influence of its terrible power and baneful effects. And we shall at last have to come to this conclusion, whatever we may think of revelation, that without it we can neither know nor understand anything of God, or the devil; and however unwilling the world may be to acknowledge this principle, it is evident from the multifarious creeds and notions concerning this matter that they understand nothing of this principle, and it is equally as plain that without a divine communication they must remain in ignorance.
And how can these gifts be obtained without revelation? There will be great manifestations of spirits, both false and true. Pray for him that he may have this gift.
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Consider these ideas as you study the chapter or as you prepare to teach. How can this account help Melchizedek Priesthood holders prepare to administer to the sick? How can it help us when we need a priesthood blessing? Why do you think it was important for Brother Fordham to express his faith in Jesus Christ at that time? What experiences have helped you understand the power of the priesthood in the healing of the sick? What principles should guide us in sharing our experiences with healing of the sick?
Why are some people not healed, even when they exercise faith and receive priesthood blessings? How has this gift helped in spreading the gospel throughout the world?
The Cost of a Healing Gift
How have you or someone you know received the gift of tongues to help preach the gospel? What does it mean to you to know that each member of the Church can have the spirit of prophecy? What is the gift of discerning of spirits? How can we avoid being deceived by evil influences?
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- 1. Desire to see People Healed.
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How do our current prophet and other Church leaders help us discern evil influences? This Page MP3. Our church services featured a steady stream of visiting modern-day Apostles and Prophets. Things continued this way for about 4 years. By then, I had become more knowledgeable of the Scriptures and began to see some problems. One of the problems I saw pertained to this question: are the same sorts of miraculous gifts mentioned in the New Testament being practiced today?
But these prophecies were not proving true. They either were untestable vague generalities restating truths already found in Scripture or flat out wrong: often failing spectacularly. Then there was the serious matter of modern-day Apostles—who you would expect to be among the most mature Christians on the face of the planet—exhibiting very fleshly sins, often falling into serious financial or sexual sin. From the outside, it looks like a genuine hamburger, but the most important element that makes it a hamburger the beef has gone missing!
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In this case, it had to do with the prophecies, healings, and signs which were not working out: they were false. If the Holy Spirit were in this, why so much falsity? This spurred me back to the Scriptures to see what was wrong. Could it be the Scriptures were false? Or was it, more likely, that what the modern Pentecostal movement served up as New Testament realities were in fact something much different. This realization eventually led to my departure from the Pentecostal movement.
What I came to see is that the Pentecostal movement fails to fully-appreciate the historic context within which the gospels and the Book of Acts were given. They insist that things are just the same today. The same signs, wonders, miracles, and office of Apostle, and Prophet are with us now as then.
But, I believe a careful examination of Scripture shows this is not the case. Instead, the Bible describes a transitional period during which signs, wonders, and various offices were used of God to testify to new revelation and teaching which were given at that time—which form the contents of the New Testament—which has remained unchanged since the formation of the canon.
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This is, admittedly, a huge topic. In the Great Commission, we read the following: And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Mark Notice that those who first proclaimed the gospel were accompanied by signs and that the signs had a purpose : to confirm the word. This was the new revelation given by Jesus to the early church—revelation which would eventually be collected and codified as the New Testament. Since it was new revelation, God saw fit to authenticate it by working unusual signs. On the Day of Pentecost, when Peter preached what could be considered the first gospel message to a large audience, we read, Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
Acts Notice that the wonders and signs were done through the Apostles.
follow In numerous places, we are told that both Apostles and Prophets are foundational to the establishment of the Church—something newly-established on the Day of Pentecost 1Cor. How often do you build a foundation?
Suggest a Verse
Only once—at the beginning of a construction project. Consider also this passage where Philip preached to the Samaritans. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 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. A similar situation confronts us when Paul and Barnabas are at Iconium on the second missionary journey.
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. Acts The Lord was using the signs and wonders to bear witness to the word — the message they spoke and the doctrine they were teaching. A doctrine which would later be gathered together in the form of letters that we now know as the New Testament.
In his letter to the Church at Corinth, Paul makes an interesting statement: Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds. Notice he appeals to his ability to perform signs and wonders as a witness to authenticate or certify that he held the office of an Apostle. Also, if the office of an Apostle is foundational, then once the foundation is laid, the office will cease—along with the need for God to certify new revelation given through that office.
Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 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?
Hebrews Several things should be noticed within this passage. The message that was being given had a beginning, at the first. This means it contained new revelation. The writer says the salvation message was past tense confirmed—that at the time he wrote the confirmation had taken place. The purpose of the confirmation was to bear witness to certify, to authenticate. This witness was provided by the signs and wonders, miracles, and various gifts of the spirit.
All of these had a purpose related to the new message. We also note that gifts of the spirit are included in this purpose.
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