There are many people who believe and teach that people today receive from God and exercise miraculous power as the apostles (and some upon whom the apostles laid their hands-Acts 8:18) did in the first century. QUESTION: Is there any Scriptural proof that anyone today receives miraculous power from God as some did in the first century?
Holy Spirit baptism and other gifts of the Holy Spirit along with signs, wonders, and divers miracles were necessary in the first century for the revelation and confirmation of the Word of God unto man. (Read carefully John 14:25-26; 16:13; Hebrews 2:3-4; Mark 16:20). Once the Word of God was completely revealed to inspired men, confirmed and given to the world in written form, there would be no further need of miracle working power in the church! The apostle Paul declared: "...though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto." (Galatians 3:15). NOTE: By the close of the first century God's Word had been completely revealed, confirmed, and given in written form. (See 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3; 1 Corinthians 4:6; 2 John 9; Revelation 22:18-19, and Jude 3). In James 1:25 we read: "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." It is obvious from this passage that we have a perfect law of liberty! No more revelation is needed!
These additional observations may help clarify the truth.
1. When the need for the revelation and confirmation of God's Word ceased because it was fulfilled, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and other gifts of the Holy Spirit that were needed to accomplish the revelation and confirmation of the Word of God ceased! NOTE: Cornelius (and others) received Holy Spirit baptism to assure the Gentiles and convince the Jews that God had to the Gentiles granted "repentance unto life". (See Acts 10 and 11). This was a one time event that did not need to be repeated.
2. After the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost in Acts 2 there is no evidence that the apostles (or those on whom they laid their hands) ever tried to perform a miracle and failed! (Acts 5:16). NOTE: The apostles had been told that they would receive power after the Holy Ghost came upon them. (Acts 1:8). Obviously they did receive power! They could even raise the dead! (Peter in Acts 9:36-42 and Paul in Acts 20:7-12).
3. The fact that Jesus Christ performed miracles in the first century is no proof that He is doing the same thing today. Although Jesus is "the same yesterday, today, and forever" as Hebrews 13:8 says is no proof that He is now performing miracles as He did in the first century. Consider the following:
A. Although Jesus Christ is the same He is NOT creating the earth and all things therein as He once did! (See Colossians 1:16-17; John 1:1-14; Hebrews 1:1-2; Revelation 3:14).
B. Although Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, He is not turning water into wine, or miraculously multiplying a few loaves and a few fishes, or raising the dead as He did in the first century (John 2:1-11; Matthew 14:15-21; John 11:30-46) C. Neither is Jesus Christ NOW personally walking on the shores of Galilee nor dying on the cross NOW as He once did! No! Men today do not have power from God to perform miracles as some had in the first century!
--Carroll R. Sutton
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