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1 - WERE SUPER-NATURAL GIFTS EVER LEGITIMATE?
2 - DOES THE 13TH CHAPTER OF 1ST CORINTHIANS PROVE THAT SPEAKING IN TONGUES, DREAMS OR VISIONS ARE NO LONGER NEEDED?
3 - WHY WOULD WE NEED SUPER-NATURAL GIFTS WHEN WE HAVE THE BIBLE?
God's word in the 2nd chapter of Acts makes it clear that there are super-natural gifts, for they were manifested on the Church on the day of Pentecost. Everyone needs to be familiar with the whole chapter, but I'm not going to quote much of it here except for what Peter spoke.
The apostle Peter spoke on Pentecost quoting the Prophet Joel about there being dreams and visions that would accompany the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit.
There are numerous places in the Bible where we were given specific instructions for the administration of gifts like tongues and interpretation of tongues.
There are also many places in the Bible where healing is promised though it doesn't say when it will occur. There are accounts in the Bible of the practice of the laying on of hands. The Bible teaches Christians to present themselves to elders for the laying on of hands.
In my opinion it is impossible to avoid the scriptural evidence that super-natural gifts were at least present in the early Church.
If you're a Christian who tries to use the Love Chapter (1st Corinthians chapter 13) to proof text those gifts of the Holy Spirit (like prophecies and speaking in tongues) are not valid in the current age then you can't avoid inconsistency. If 1st Corinthians chapter 13 proves that prophecy and speaking in tongues were made obsolete since "that which is perfect" has come then in order to be consistent you would have to believe that the other temporary or incomplete things compared to love were rendered obsolete by the same occurrence.
If "that which is perfect" is the Scriptures being gathered into one collection and being made more public and if it renders prophecy and tongues obsolete from that point in time forward then it would also have to render knowledge and faith obsolete since that point in time forward. You wouldn't say that knowledge or faith is not needed at this point in time would you? Well, knowledge was compared to unfailing love along with prophecies and tongues in the same sentence of the Love Chapter.
None of those temporary or incomplete things are addressed separately in the love chapter. Prophecy and knowledge were listed together as being incomplete - "For we know in part and we prophecy in part" and temporary, "But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away."
It's true that partial knowledge is done away with by complete knowledge and I suppose that the 66 books of the Bible are all that God wants us to know for now, but is that perfection? Does the bible complete prophecy? Even a faith that can move mountains was listed as incomplete in the Love Chapter because even then a person is still nothing without love. Does having the Bible make us so complete that we don't even need faith?
I think all the temporary and incomplete or partial things compared with love in the Love Chapter will be needed until Jesus comes. The Love Chapter also states, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."
Does this sound like the Apostle Paul was waiting on the Bible to do away with his dim vision and partial knowledge? He didn't live to see the King James Version and let's not forget that he penned most of the New Testament.
I believe we should be consistent with all the partial temporary things and our determination as to when they are complete. That doesn't mean we have to believe that they all will complete their usefulness at the same time but if they don't the Love Chapter doesn't prove it. On the contrary, I would say that the Love Chapter seems to lump all the temporary things together and place their completion at Jesusí return to earth.
Please consider that even before it was available to be read by the general public the Scriptures were taught by word of mouth. If tongues, dreams and visions were needed in times when those who penned the Scriptures or their letters were present to explain things then why would they not be needed more now when they are not here? Please don't get offended because I think that the use of the Love Chapter as a proof text that gifts of the Spirit are obsolete since the advent of the King James Version of the Bible is simply premature.
I know, some Christians that are not Pentecostals who believe that prophecy and tongues are premature childish things. When the Love Chapter makes an allegorical comparison of the era or state of prophecy and tongues and the era or state of childhood it compares the temporary aspect of both states only. It's not making a comparison to the immaturity aspect of the childhood state. It's not saying those things are bad. Is a diaper on a baby bad? You better believe in putting diapers on babies! Prophecy, tongues and knowledge are not compared to childishness in this context. It's the temporary aspect of both states that are compared.
One reason we need super-natural gifts is because God's word doesn't address every situation or problem though it does cover most. A dream or vision could motivate us, comfort us, teach us a lesson, increase our faith or make us aware that God is working on us. Speaking Tongues can help us take our focus off our problems and exercises trust, faith and surrender. Sometimes we get in the habit of trying to work out all our own problems ourselves. Responsibility is good to a point but we can get in this bad habit of trying to carry too much weight.
Just because we have the Scriptures doesn't mean that that we can interpret them and get them in context. There have been times in my life when the paradoxes of the Bible had me so confused I didn't know what to believe. I studied the Bible to the extremes yet when I would debate people their views would conflict with all the conclusions from my Bible study. This would leave me wondering, who's right? They had scriptures that seemed to prove their points just like me.
I've had God intervene super-naturally in confusing situations and then I was able to resolve the conflicts. I've seen preachers teaching a lesson that I needed to hear and I'm sure it wasn't coincidence. Once I saw a minister teach the context of 4 different passages of scripture. I had just asked God in prayer to teach me the context of those exact 4 passages. That's too coincidental to be just coincidence. I'm sure God arraigned for that minister to preach on that subject and those passages.
We also need healing and help in our lives. There are some situations too big or impossible for us to solve even through application of the Scriptures. The Bible will not heal us or get us a job but God answering prayer can help. God can do a multitude of things to help us and he can be clandestine so as not to over show his hand and eliminate his desire for us to have faith.
Please don't think that I am out to undermine the importance of Bible study for I believe that it is the fastest way I know to get God to respond super-naturally. I think that Bible study is even better than fervent prayer at getting God to respond and draw closer to people. We need God's word but we also need the Holy Spirit to guide us through it.