What biblical or theological evidence is there that tongues have ceased? First, the gift of tongues was a miraculous, revelatory gift, and the age of miracles and revelation ended with the apostles. The last recorded miracles in the New Testament occurred around A.D. 58, with the healings on the island of Malta (Acts 28:7-10). From A.D. 58 to 96, when John finished the book of Revelation, no miracle is recorded. Miracle gifts like tongues and healing are mentioned only in 1 Corinthians, an early epistle. Two later epistles, Ephesians and Romans, both discuss gifts of the Spirit at length—but no mention is made of the miraculous gifts. Bible Scripture Images
When you turn to the prison epistles, the four letters written shortly after the end of the Book of Acts, while Paul was a prisoner in Rome—Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians…and we find that there is not one word about tongues, or the gift of healing. Even where we might have expected Paul to write of tongues in the passage about being “filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians 5:17, he has nothing to say about tongues. And as for the gift of healing, we read of a co-worker of Paul’s, Epaphroditus, who fell seriously ill during this time (Phil. 2:25-30) and Paul no longer had the gift of healing, and was no longer able to heal as he did only a few years earlier in Acts 28:9. The sign gifts were no longer operating at the time that Paul wrote the Prison Epistles. Biblical Verses Image
'Thus says the Lord GOD, "If the prince gives a gift out of his inheritance to any of his sons, it shall belong to his sons; it is their possession by inheritance. "But if he gives a gift from his inheritance to one of his servants, it shall be his until the year of liberty; then it shall return to the prince. His inheritance shall be only his sons'; it shall belong to them. Scripture Images
One new one he shared was Acts 10:45, 46 in which Cornelius (a gentile) and his household received the Holy Spirit and burst out speaking in tongues. But why? This was a sign to Peter that the Holy Spirit was also for gentiles. He got the message. Now, we don’t need to continue getting that message, we get it, too. Jesus is for ALL. Every time someone is saved we are taught in God’s Word to recognize the fruits of the Spirit and we don’t need these miraculous signs to know that God is at work. And in my humble opinion, it is not a sound teaching of God’s to try and force people to speak in tongues to PROVE that they have received the Holy Spirit and make them feel less of a Christian if they don’t.
Hello Pastor Jack! Thank you for a great article. I completely understand the confusion and hesitancy to believe that miracles, healings, and tongues could exist today. But when I read in the Bible about how such great wonders were done back then I think to myself “Why couldn’t such things happen today within the church?” I believe it’s because we’ve set limits to what we think is possible in our day. But is anything impossible for our God? If we let Him work in us and through us anything is possible. With regards to speaking in tongues, I can testify that tongues can be both a known and unknown language. Several years ago I left a women’s retreat speaking in tongues. While the Spirit spoke through me in what sounded to me as an unknown language, my husband understood what I was saying in his native language, spanish. I had no idea what God told him at the time because it was a message only for him at that moment. That same night the Spirit sent me to call someone else who I spoke to in this unknown language and they understood me in english. I encourage you to seek further with the Lord; experiencing these gifts are too wonderful to pass up! For me, I felt closer to the Lord, like He was allowing me to participate in His plans in a very unique and special way. God bless you!
I now realize many of the things that I did not know I should have been rightly privy to . One of the things he did early on in our marriage and I had lived with as a child was the idea that HIS life was his own private business. I did not poke around or intrude’ into his life . I would show interest and try to broach issues that I knew we should discuss in our marriage together but he was evasive and would not be transparent. I thought that would change but when some issue came up he got better at lying . Scripture Images
On gifts, one thing is clear, you can desire a gift! Working with the Holy spirit you can discover gifts already deposited in you or an awakening of ‘latent’ gifts or even one you feel you don’t have at all! However, it is meant for the body of Christ. Just as Jack says, we should reflect a life that attracts non-believers to the Kingdom. That life is largely judged by the fruits-Love, Joy, Peace, etc.
Paul knew that the outward man or woman was perishing, day by day, and as he said “was wasting away” but the most important work was being done inwardly by the Spirit of God and this was the renewal that each believer in Christ is undergoing, day by day. God’s Spirit works to convict us of sin, He works to make us more like Christ, and our sanctification is a lifelong process and even though we might be falling apart outwardly, what is eternal is what is inside and that’s the only thing that counts. We are new creations in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) even though the outward appearance is decaying, so that’s why Paul didn’t want us to lose heart.
I agree, Pastor Jack. A number of years ago, I’d say about 15, I was in a transitory time in my life and seeking answers from God. I had reached a point of asking the big WHY? Why are we here, why did you make me, what am I missing? I had been feeling distressed and anxious about my life for a while. One day, I cried out to Him, in my car, and clearly, as if just a whisper, I heard “It’s the love.” Wow. Of course. It’s like something you know, just like you know you have a nose on your face and yet you don’t really notice it all that much in the mirror unless it has a zit on it. In front of me the whole time, interwoven in my life and yet for the first time I really understood that God IS love, God created us because He loved us and He wants us to love Him. He never forces anyone though. Before that, I had a hard time understanding God’s love and how He could possibly love a sinner like me. That was a break through moment in my faith walk. It was a deeper understanding of the nature of our loving God and every day I just keep falling deeper in love with Him. He’s amazing.
What happened next truly changed my life. As I was working up the courage to do what I knew I had to do, I felt in my presence beside me, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit said to me; “If you do this I WILL take you home to be with me. But, before you do, think about the impact on your two sons. Who will finish raising them? My ex-wife is an unbeliever, and I KNEW that they would grow up without the knowledge of our Jesus and our Father. Through many tears, I gently laid the pistol back in it’s drawer, laid down in bed, and proceeded to speak to Abba in a spiritual language I had never heard before, for the space of about two hours. Never had done this before. I speak in tongues quite a bit since. I received the gift of speaking in tongues, and interpreting spoken tongues that night. I didn’t seek the gift, but if Abba wanted me to have it, I will certainly not reject it. Bible Verse Wall Art