It is my view from Scripture that tongues and prophecy and signs and wonder gifts have ceased. This does not mean God does not do miracles today. It means that no person can claim to have the gift of healing or signs and wonders like the apostles, because he would heal all. Very little healing does happen today or even immediately. This was not the gift of healing in Scripture. In Acts, merely the shadow of the apostles healed people. Where is this today, because this was the nature of the signs and wonder gifts the apostles had.
A second misleading is to think that one need gifts to experience God or to experience a close relationship with Him. Like hearing Him, or seeing Him doing things. Any person can have a full and living experiential and soul quenching relationship with Jesus without and of these gifts. Our relationship with Jesus is not proven by tongues and prophecy or signs and wonders. It is experienced in the heart first and foremost by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is proven by bearing the fruit of the Spirit ONLY as a proof of the presence and indwelling of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-25). The absence of the Holy Spirit is proven by bearing the fruit of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21). Gifts was to build the body and not the self (1 Cor. 14:12; 1 Cor. 12:12-31). Once we use gifts as personal proof and edification, we go against Scripture. The presence of the Holy Spirit as comforter and feeding on the Word of God by the revelation of the Holy Spirit, is the simple reality of a relationship with Jesus.
The Apostle Paul predicted that the gift of tongues would cease (1 Corinthians 13:8). Here are six proofs that it has already ceased:
1) The apostles, through whom tongues came, were unique in the history of the church. Once their ministry was accomplished, the need for authenticating signs ceased to exist.
2) The miracle (or sign) gifts are only mentioned in the earliest epistles, such as 1 Corinthians. Later books, such as Ephesians and Romans, contain detailed passages on the gifts of the Spirit, but the miracle gifts are not mentioned, although Romans does mention the gift of prophecy. The Greek word translated “prophecy” means “speaking forth” and does not necessarily include prediction of the future.
3) The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelieving Israel that God’s salvation was now available to other nations. See 1 Corinthians 14:21-22 and Isaiah 28:11-12.
4) Tongues was an inferior gift to prophecy (preaching). Preaching the Word of God edifies believers, whereas tongues does not. Believers are told to seek prophesying over speaking in tongues (1 Corinthians 14:1-3).
5) History indicates that tongues did cease. Tongues are not mentioned at all by the Post-Apostolic Fathers. Other writers such as Justin Martyr, Origen, Chrysostom, and Augustine considered tongues something that happened only in the earliest days of the Church.
6) Current observation confirms that the miracle of tongues has ceased. If the gift were still available today, there would be no need for missionaries to attend language school. Missionaries would be able to travel to any country and speak any language fluently, just as the apostles were able to speak in Acts 2. As for the miracle gift of healing, we see in Scripture that healing was associated with the ministry of Jesus and the apostles (Luke 9:1-2). And we see that as the era of the apostles drew to a close, healing, like tongues, became less frequent. The Apostle Paul, who raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:9-12), did not heal Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-27), Trophimus (2 Timothy 4:20), Timothy (1 Timothy 5:23), or even himself (2 Corinthians 12:7-9). The reasons for Paul’s “failures to heal” are 1) the gift was never intended to make every Christian well, but to authenticate apostleship; and 2) the authority of the apostles had been sufficiently proved, making further miracles unnecessary.
The reasons stated above are evidence for cessationism. According to 1 Corinthians 13:13-14:1, we would do well to “pursue love,” the greatest gift of all. If we are to desire gifts, we should desire to speak forth the Word of God, that all may be edified.
Adapted from: www.gotquestions.org/cessationism.html
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