The Staff's ROD
a Review Of Doctrines held at Mission Bible Church
Our 5th emphatic belief states "that the supernatural Apostolic gifts have ceased". We hold this because some believe the Apostolic-era gifts of miraculous healing, speaking in tongues, and new prophesies, to still be in operation today. Appeals are made to passages in 1 Cor. 12 and 14, as well as Mark 16. True, God may choose to heal when we pray for a loved one to get better, but that's not what we're talking about here. The miracle God continues to provide, and of which we are in desperate need, is the healing of our sin-sick souls by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.
Consider these ten facts about apostolic miracles. (i) Miracles validated the messenger as one sent by God (salvation ° spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us ° God also bearing witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, Heb 2:3-4; cp Jn 3:2). (ii) Jesus' supernatural miracles validated Him as the promised Messiah (But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, Mt 9:6; cp Jn 6:14). (iii) The Apostles and select disciples were granted the ability to perform supernatural miracles, not the entire church (Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and might deeds, 2Cor 12:12; cp Ac 5:12, 14:3). (iv) Paul's ability to heal apparently ceased before the close of the Bible (Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick, 2Tim 4:20; cp 1Tim 5:23). (v) Paul said tongues would permanently cease (Gr. pauo, 1Cor 13:8-10), and our church fathers confirmed this ("In the earliest times, 'they spake with tongues' ° was done for a betokening, and it passed away", Augustine, 354 AD). (vi) Satan and his duped disciples come with miracles, especially near the end of time (Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 2Thes 2:9-10; cp Mt 7:22-23, 2Cor 11:14, Rev 16:14). (vii) The spirit of antichrist is already here (even now there are many antichrists, 1Jn 2:18; cp 1Jn 4:1,3). (viii) True signs are those recorded in, and preached from, the Bible (But these signs are written, Jn 20:30-31; cp Lk 11:29-30,32). (ix) Miracles don't produce faith or salvation if men will not hear and obey God's Word (If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead, Lk 16:27-31). (x) Proof of God's Spirit isn't a miracle, but a life that reflects Jesus' character (i.e., fruit of the Spirit never lists miracles, Gal 5:22-23).
Does Jesus do miracles today? Yes, in a very limited sense -- when we pray for a loved one and they become healed without any obvious explanation, I'd chalk that up to a miracle. But there aren't any miracle workers today, who can unilaterally and always successfully, do miracles as the Apostles did. Those foundational gifts have ceased, and you only lay one foundation.