[Note: This MS is available in larger font on our Brief Articles 1 page.]
Many modern religionists claim the power to perform the same miracles and signs as those recorded in the Bible. Claiming and doing are two different things. Some can make claims that deceive multitudes (e.g., Simon the sorcerer [Acts 8:9–11]). Jesus and the apostles did not claim to perform signs and wonders; they performed them. Even their enemies could not deny their authenticity (Acts 4:16).
The Bible teaches explicitly that miracles ceased with the completion of God’s revelation to men (the New Testament).
The Corinthians were abusing their miraculous powers, and Paul wrote to correct them (1:12:1–30). He told them that non-miraculous love was superior to the miraculous gifts he had imparted to them (v. 31), and without it the gifts were vain (13:1–3). After personifying love (vv. 4–7), he contrasted the duration of love and of the gifts (vv. 8–13).
Love would never fail, but the gifts (prophecy, tongues, and knowledge, representing all of the gifts in 12:8–10) would be “done away” or “cease” (v. 8). Paul then stated when they would cease. The gifts enabled them to know and prophesy “in part” (God revealed His will part-by-part), but “when that which is perfect” (i.e., complete—God’s completed revelation) came, the “in part” entities (i.e., miraculous gifts) would cease (vv. 9–10). He next likened miraculous gifts to childhood traits, which end at maturity (v. 11). When Paul wrote these words, men could not see the fullness of God’s revelation (it was still being transmitted), but the fullness of that revelation would provide fullness of knowledge (v. 12). Paul followed a similar line of argumentation in Ephesians 4:7–13.
Has God finished His revelation to mankind:
- 2 Peter 1:3: “His divine power hath granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that called us by his own glory and virtue” (emp. added).
- Jude 3b: “Contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered unto the saints” (emp. added).
- Revelation 22:18–19: “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto them, God shall add unto him the plagues which are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book” (emp. added).
The miraculous gifts ceased with the completed revelation.
[Note: I wrote this article for and it appeared in the Denton Record-Chronicle, Denton, TX, March 22, 2013].
Attribution: From thescripturecache.com; Dub McClish, owner and administrator.