MIRACULOUS GIFTS FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT
1. - Is it not a fact that miraculous orders were inherent in the church as it left the hands of God? "God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues" (1 Cor 12: 28). "He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full-grown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4: 11). 1 Tim. 1: 18. Acts 8: 18.
2. - Is it not a fact that gifts of miracle spring essentially out of justification by faith? "This only would I learn from you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? ... He therefore that supplieth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" (Gal. 3: 2). "These signs shall follow them that believe: in MY name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take tip serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16: 17). John 7: 38, 39.
3. - Is it not a fact that God's gifts, which are never revoked, deepen holiness, enlarge knowledge, and constitute the true wealth of the church? "The gifts and the calling of God are without repentance" (Rom. 11: 29). "I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established" (Rom. 1: 11). "He that speaketh in a tongue edifieth himself" (1 Cor. 14: 4). "Ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things; and ye need not that any one teach you" (1 John 2: 20, 27). John 16: 13. 1 Cor. 2: 15. 1 Cor. 14: 3. "In everything ye were enriched in Him, in all utterance and all knowledge; so that ye come behind in no gift waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1: 5).
4. - Is it not a fact that miraculous gifts, lapsing with the fall of the church into worldliness and justification by works, nevertheless God still bids us seek? "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father" (John 14: 12). "I would have you all speak with tongues": "but desire earnestly the greater gifts": "follow after love; yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy: desire earnestly to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues" (1 Cor. 14: 5; 12: 31; 14: 1, 39). "For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto Him " (Acts 2: 39).
5. - Is it not a fact that the divine tests imply the possibility of either spirit manifesting itself at any moment, while ensuring the perfect safety of all tested intercourse? "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but prove the spirits, whether they are of God : because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: every spirit which confesseth not Jesus is not of God" (1 John 4: 1). "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking in the Spirit of God" - i.e., no inspired man - "saith, Jesus is anathema; and no man" - i.e., inspired – “can say, Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 12: 3). Matt. 8: 15-20. Gal. 1: 8. 2 John 7. "Quench not the Spirit; despise not prophesyings; prove [test] all things; hold fast that which is good; abstain from every form of evil" (1 Thess. 5: 19). Rev. 2: 2.
6. - Is it not a fact that miraculous evangelising powers were never more needed than at the present moment amongst the increased masses of mankind? "Christ wrought through me, for the obedience of the Gentiles, by word and deed, in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Holy Ghost" (Rom. 15: 18). "God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by manifold powers, and by gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will" (Heb. 2: 4). "They went forth everywhere, the Lord working with then, and, confirming the word by the signs that followed " (Mark 16: 20). "And now, Lord, ... grant unto Thy servants to speak Thy word with all boldness, while Thou stretchest forth Thy hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Thy holy Servant Jesus" (Acts 4: 29).
7. - Is it not a fact that prophecy indicates the restored activity of inspiration and miracle in the neighborhood of the second advent? "And the gospel must first be preached unto all the nations. And when they lead you to judgment, ... whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost" (Mark 13: 10). "And it shall be in the last days, saith God, I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy" (Acts 2: 17, 20). "Behold, the husbandman [God: John 15: 1] waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it, until it receive the early and the latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is at hand" (Jas. 5: 7).
D. M. PANTON.