There is a fairly large split in the Church today about the “gifts” and whether they are for today or not. As a matter of fact, just yesterday I was approached by a man that told me that all manifestations of the Holy Spirit are demonic. He informed me that God had come to him in a dream and taught him that the Holy Spirit is like a beautifully clear river, but the banks of the river are muddy “because the Church is filled with filth and mud that shouldn’t be there.” He told me that any church which believes miracles, signs, wonders, and spiritual things are for today are the problem because they are mixing mud with Holy Spirit.
His main argument was the typical cessationist scripture, 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. This passage refers the “perfect” coming. They, cessationists, believe the “perfect” refers to the completion of the Bible. I do not believe that God will ever stop doing anything He has done. James 1:7 says “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” The gifts come from above, and God never changes. What He did yesterday, He will do tomorrow, not to mention scriptures like Joel 2:28-29, 28 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.” What am I saying? Scripture tells us God will never stop using the Gifts to reach His people. He will ALWAYS use the Gifts. Cessationists use 1 Corinthians 3:8-10 to explain why they don’t see the gifts in action any more, but that is wrong to do.
I never saw any gifts happen until I was 32, in 2015. Since then, I have seen countless gifts because I partnered with Holy Spirit. I learned to live by the Spirit, and in doing so I discovered a constant prompting by Him to share His love with everyone. Healings, Words of wisdom, Words of knowledge, Prophecy, Tongues, Interpretations, discerning of spirits, gift of faith, miraculous powers… I have seen all of them pour through me as I partner with Holy Spirit to love people how He instructs me. I was a Christian for 25 years and a pastor and missionary for a few years before I allowed Holy Spirit to actually teach me how to be led by Him. Before that, I always assumed that I just needed to try harder, but now I know trying only pushes Him away- resting brings Him closer.
The main argument of a cessationist is about the word “perfect.” They believe the Bible is the “perfect.” The Bible is not the coming perfect, Jesus is. 1 John 3:2-3 says, “2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears,[a] we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.” It’s really simple. 1 Corinthians 3:10 says the perfection will come and that when it does, prophecy will cease. I absolutely believe that, but I do not believe the Bible is the perfection that is coming. 1 John 3:2 says that it is Jesus, the real perfection that is coming. When Jesus returns, we won’t need the gifts anymore.
But for now, the gifts are absolutely necessary, and we must learn how to partner with Holy Spirit so that we can love people as Jesus loved. After all, everything Jesus did, He did because Holy Spirit was leading Him. How can we love as Jesus loved without being one with Holy Spirit? It is because of my partnering with Holy Spirit that I have seen tens of thousands of people come to Jesus in the last 6 years. I have given words of wisdom that I could not have known about without Holy Spirit. I have given words of knowledge that only God would know. I have seen faith given to someone who had no hope. In regards to healings, I have seen blind eyes and deaf ears, as well as cancers and tumors healed. In regards to miraculous powers, I have seen storms part or even stop where they were headed and a hail storm stop and disintegrate. I have given prophecies, spoken in tongues (which I believe is a lot more diverse than simply speaking in unknown utterances), and interpreted tongues. I have also been able to distinguish between demons and spirits, as well as having the ability to know what a spirit is. All of these things have happened in my life because Holy Spirit has given me instruction in the moment.
In closing, I want to make it clear that I am in no way special. Many of our members have had similar experiences as me. If you partner with Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead you, you will see the same things we have.
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