When Signs And Miracles Ceased (Part 3)

In our study so far we have learned that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit made the Apostles Witnesses, Ambassadors, and Earthen Vessels, guiding them into all truth, and enabling them to perform signs and miracles including those listed in Mark 16: 17-18. They also had the power to lay hands on others and give those on whom they laid their hands the power of Revelation and Inspiration, as well as the power to perform miracles in conformation of the word these others would be preaching.

However, those who received this power through the laying on of the Apostles hands could not in turn, pass such power on to a third party. So when the last Apostle died, and the last person on whom the Apostles died, signs and miracles ceased. By this time the Word of God had been transferred from the "Earthen Vessels" and committed to written form which we know as the New Testament. The New Testament is the COMPLETE, REVEALED, and CONFIRMED Word of God, and there is nothing that man dare try to add to or take from it. John warned of this in Rev. 22: 18-19, and that warning applies not only to the Revelation Letter, but to the entire New Testament--In fact to the entire Bible. It is the complete revealed word of God and is the ONLY medium through which God speaks to man today.

"God, who in sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;" (Heb. 1: 1-2) The "all things" which Christ inherited were "the all things spoken by the prophets" and these "all things" were fulfilled by Jesus Christ during His public ministry (Matt. 5: 17) and thus inherited by him when he pronounced, ""It is finished" bowed hishead and died (John 19: 30) and was taken down from that cruel cross and laid in Joseph's new tomb. (Matt.27: 59-60)

"And he said unto them, these are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me." Luke 24: 44) "And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulcher." (Acts 13:29) Thus he inherited "all things spoken by the prophets" and not only the Old Law, but also the Old Testament Prophets ended at the cross of Christ, and when Christ ascended to Heaven and took His place at the right hand of God (Acts 1: 9) He took possession of these "all things" he had inherited, and on the first Pentecost after his ascension he sent the Holy Spirit to these Apostles as He had promised, and they being thus inspired by the Holy Spirit preached Him as being "both Lord and Christ". (Acts 2: 36)

Proof that only the Apostles had the power to impart these spiritual gifts to others through the laying on of their hands is found in Acts 8: 4-17. I will not quote this entire lengthily passage, but I ask you to read and examine it carefully. Philip had the power to perform miracles, and by the performing of these miracles he confirmed (proved) the word which he preached. Verse 6 says, "And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did". Verse 7 lists some of the miracles which he performed. These miracles confirmed (proved) his preaching, causing the people to believe; "And when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, (the church) and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women". So, while Philip could perform miracles to confirm or prove that what he was preaching was from God, he did not have the power to enable those he had baptized to perform miracles. That being the case, two Apostles (Peter and John) were sent down to Samaria, "Who, when they were come down, prayed f or them, that they might receive the Holy Spirit: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit."(Verses 15 - 17) This means they received the same power that Philip possessed. We know this is not talking about the "gift" of the Holy Spirit of Acts 2: 38 is received at the time of one's baptism.

Now, we turn to the 12th. and 13th. chapters of the first Corinthian letter and learn exactly when these signs and miracles ceased. Chapter 12 enumerates the signs and miracles that were necessary in the infancy of the early church, while the word was being revealed through inspired men.

Chapter 13: 8-10 tells us that "whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall vanish away." "That which is perfect" is the word of God.

When that perfect word of God came, these signs and miracles, which were temporary in nature were no longer needed, so they have vanished away.

I can illustrate this by comparing the church to the great ship launched at the harbor. When that ship is ready to set sail, Tug Boats are attached to it to pull it out in the open waters. Once it is out in the deep, the Tug Boats are cut loose, and the ship sails the open waters under it's own power. The church is the Ship of Zion. In it's beginning (Harbor) these signs and miracles were the Tug Boats, necessary to help the Ship of Zion out to open sea. Now that She is out in the depth of the open waters, with her own Map and Compass (The written Word of God) She is under the direct authority (Matt.28: 18-20) of Jesus Christ, "the Captain of our salvation" (Heb. 2: 10) and I personally trust Him completely to guide us aright through His Blessed Word as He has promised. I have therefore proven beyond any shadow of doubt, that signs and miracles have ended with the completed Word, and I firmly believe that our Captain will continue steadfastly at the helm of the Great Ship of Zion until "time shall be no more", and "even though the tide may bear me far, I hope to meet my Pilot face to face when I have crossed the bar".

Go to Lesson 10
The Gift Of The Holy Spirit