I have shown in previous lessons that the baptism of
the Holy Spirit was to the Apostles only and that the purpose of it was to
guide them into all truth, and bring to their remembrance all things. This is
Revelation plus Inspiration. and the signs and miracles performed by these
inspired men confirmed (proved) that what they taught was the Word of God. This
confirmation was necessary since the Word was in the man, and not in the Book.
Now that it has been revealed and committed to the Book (New Testament) signs
and miracles are no longer needed, and have therefore ceased.
The gospel (the Lord's plan of salvation) was a mystery until it was revealed to inspired men under the New Testament dispensation. It was promised and prophesied of from the fall of man in the garden of Eden. When God told Eve her seed would bruise the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15) that was a promise of the Christ, as was the promise unto Abraham, "In thee and thy seed shall the nations be blessed". Paul said that seed was Christ. (Gal. 3: 16) Thus, God planned down through the ages to offer all nations salvation through Jesus Christ, and the prophets of old prophesied of that salvation, but it remained a mystery until it was revealed through the Apostles. Now that it has been revealed it is no longer a mystery. Paul said, "If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to youward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the myste ry of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise of Christ by the gospel: Whereof I was made a minister,according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power." (Eph. 3:2-7) Thus, we can see from these verses that the gospel which was once a mystery had been revealed, or made known to the apostles, and they wrote it down, so we can understand what they understood. Therefore the gospel is no longer a mystery, but is now revealed and is confirmed by the "signs, wonders and divers miracles" which the Holy Spirit enabled these inspired men to perform. Since this gospel has thus been revealed and confirmed, signs and miracles are no longer needed and have therefore ceased. We now have, in the New Testament the complete revealed will of God, which Jude says is "the faith once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 3) These inspired men were the WITNESSES, AMBASSADORS, and EARTHEN VESSELS of Christ. (Luke 24:48 - Acts 1: 8 - 2Cor. 5:20 - Eph.6: 20 & 2Cor. 4: 7) No person today can scripturally call him self a "Witness for Christ". We are not witnesses--we have the evidence given by these inspired witnesses, and this evidence (the revealed Word of God is what produces faith, and it comes in no other way. (Heb. 11: 1 & Rom. 10:17) We are not "Ambassadors". An ambassador is one who represents or speaks for another. When our government sends an ambassador to a foreign country, that ambassador has the authority to speak for, or in place, of our government. These inspired men had the authority to speak for, or instead of, Christ. "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled unto God." 2Cor. 5:20) Last, but not least, we are not "Earthen Vessels". These men were. Paul said of the gospel, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2Cor. 4:7) At that time the Word was in the man--Now it is in the Book (The Bible). When I hear people today say they are "Witnesses" or "Ambassadors" or "Earthen Vessels" of Christ, I know they do not understand inspiration as they should. We cannot "witness for Christ" today-We can tell the world the evidence these witnesses g ave. We cannot speak instead of Christ today--We can tell lost mankind what His Ambassadors commanded. We cannot claim to be "Earthen Vessels" - We can "go into all the world" and preach the word once contained in these "Earthen Vessels", but now contained in the Book.
Go to Lesson Eight
Signs And Miracles Ceased (2)