Why have the Sign Gifts Ended

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Major

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Dec 12, 2020
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Hello and welcome to CC...
While the antichrist may be doing signs and wonders during the end times, bear in mind that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus, so we need not fear.

I would rather walk in faith and in the confidence that God is still in the business of miracles than walk in fear of being deceived.
I agree completely. The focus was on Signs & Wonders in the last days but my point was that those things will be done by the False Prophet poinitng men to the A/C and not from God.
 

Major

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The Bible does not use the term 'sign gifts.'



Look at the passage. The apostles preach the message, then them that believe do the signs. The apostles preach. Others believe and are baptized. Them that believe do signs. Where do you get that the apostles only do signs? That's not what the verses say.



I would encourage you to read through the relevant passages of scripture on the issue. It seems to me that you have not studied. Acts 14:4 and 14 indicate that Barnabas was also an apostle, for example. He and Paul told of the miracles they performed among the Gentiles in Acts 15. Prior to that in Acts, Stephen and Philip worked miracles also. I Corinthians 12 lists a number of supernatural gifts that are given to members of the body of Christ as the Spirit wills. This is inconsistent with your statement above. Also, read in Acts 2 about the Spirit being poured out on all flesh, including young men, old men, handmaidens, etc.



You should read the rest of the passage:
1 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 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.

The coming of the perfect is going to make Paul's speech, understanding, and thoughts back when he was writing scripture seem like a child's by comparison to what comes after. To argue that he is speaking of the scriptures does not make sense. It also puts the one who makes the assertion in a superior position to Paul in terms of their understanding.

By reading scripture, we can hope to attain to apostolic understanding, but not so far exceed them that they are like babes in comparison to us.

Ephesians 3:4
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

And I Corinthians 13 needs to be interpreted in line with the rest of the epistle.

I Corinthians 1
5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

If Paul did not anticipate coming behind in spiritual gifts while waiting for the Lord's return, why should we? Also, Paul continues the epistle after chapter 13, and in chapter 15 he describes the state of the believer in the resurrection at the return of Christ, and the end, telos, when Christ delivers up the kingdom to God.



If you insist that to teleion refers to a physical object or being, a substantive thing, you would have to prove that assertion. Perfection is coming in the future.



How is this an argument for anything? There were lots of people who did not get saved when the last book of the Bible was written.



This seems to me to be a hyperliteral understanding of 'that' in 'that which is perfect'. The whole phrase translates an article and a word in Greek. The perfect is coming. Your arguments here seem to be based on a naive understanding of semantics.



Because there are only four concepts in the universe? Some theologians, include cessationists, think 'to teleion' refers to 'the eternal state.' My inclination is that it refers either to the state of things (possibly individuals) at the resurrection/rapture event, or else when Christ delivers the kingdom up to God.

A verse that comes to mind is from I John where it says it does not appear what we shall be for we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Some time later, I read John Calvin's commentary on this chapter. He is not known for being a Charismatic. He was a language and literature scholar. He quoted the same verse from I John I had in mind. He took the passage to refer to what happened either at death or the resurrection, and wrote that interpretations that argued that the perfect had come in 'the intervening time' were stupid... stupid or foolish depending on your translation. This was from a Greek scholar who certainly had a strong opinion of the authority of scripture.
In the Greek....the word "TELEION" actually means complete/Mature and not the "Eternal state."

Please consider Mark 16:14-17 as for the term "Sign Gifts"........
"Afterward he appeared unto the ELEVEN as THEY sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe;".

In Greek grammar, the "antecedent" ....."THEM THAT BELIEVE" is the "ELEVEN" in verse # 14. That means that the ELEVEN Apostles were given SIGN GIFTS because THEY were the ones who believed and who Jesus commissioned.

That commission was not given to anyone today as no one today has stood before Jesus to have Him give that commission. Therefore, there is not one today who has the SIGN Gifts.
 

Dino246

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Jun 30, 2015
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In the Greek....the word "TELEION" actually means complete/Mature and not the "Eternal state."
Yes, but as "the perfect" is not explicitly defined in that passage, we must make reasonable inferences from the other information provided.

Please consider Mark 16:14-17 as for the term "Sign Gifts"........
"Afterward he appeared unto the ELEVEN as THEY sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe;".

In Greek grammar, the "antecedent" ....."THEM THAT BELIEVE" is the "ELEVEN" in verse # 14. That means that the ELEVEN Apostles were given SIGN GIFTS because THEY were the ones who believed and who Jesus commissioned.
The phrase, "He that believeth" is the nearest antecedent, making the statement, "these signs shall follow them that believe" refer to "he that believeth"... in other words, not limited to the eleven.

That commission was not given to anyone today as no one today has stood before Jesus to have Him give that commission. Therefore, there is not one today who has the SIGN Gifts.
That's actually a fallacy called a non sequitur. Even if Jesus gave that commission specifically to the eleven (and my comment above refutes your claim), that would not support the idea that "there is not one today who has the SIGN gifts".
 

Major

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Dec 12, 2020
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The Bible does not use the term 'sign gifts.'



Look at the passage. The apostles preach the message, then them that believe do the signs. The apostles preach. Others believe and are baptized. Them that believe do signs. Where do you get that the apostles only do signs? That's not what the verses say.



I would encourage you to read through the relevant passages of scripture on the issue. It seems to me that you have not studied. Acts 14:4 and 14 indicate that Barnabas was also an apostle, for example. He and Paul told of the miracles they performed among the Gentiles in Acts 15. Prior to that in Acts, Stephen and Philip worked miracles also. I Corinthians 12 lists a number of supernatural gifts that are given to members of the body of Christ as the Spirit wills. This is inconsistent with your statement above. Also, read in Acts 2 about the Spirit being poured out on all flesh, including young men, old men, handmaidens, etc.



You should read the rest of the passage:
1 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 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.

The coming of the perfect is going to make Paul's speech, understanding, and thoughts back when he was writing scripture seem like a child's by comparison to what comes after. To argue that he is speaking of the scriptures does not make sense. It also puts the one who makes the assertion in a superior position to Paul in terms of their understanding.

By reading scripture, we can hope to attain to apostolic understanding, but not so far exceed them that they are like babes in comparison to us.

Ephesians 3:4
Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

And I Corinthians 13 needs to be interpreted in line with the rest of the epistle.

I Corinthians 1
5 That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge;
6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

If Paul did not anticipate coming behind in spiritual gifts while waiting for the Lord's return, why should we? Also, Paul continues the epistle after chapter 13, and in chapter 15 he describes the state of the believer in the resurrection at the return of Christ, and the end, telos, when Christ delivers up the kingdom to God.



If you insist that to teleion refers to a physical object or being, a substantive thing, you would have to prove that assertion. Perfection is coming in the future.



How is this an argument for anything? There were lots of people who did not get saved when the last book of the Bible was written.



This seems to me to be a hyperliteral understanding of 'that' in 'that which is perfect'. The whole phrase translates an article and a word in Greek. The perfect is coming. Your arguments here seem to be based on a naive understanding of semantics.



Because there are only four concepts in the universe? Some theologians, include cessationists, think 'to teleion' refers to 'the eternal state.' My inclination is that it refers either to the state of things (possibly individuals) at the resurrection/rapture event, or else when Christ delivers the kingdom up to God.

A verse that comes to mind is from I John where it says it does not appear what we shall be for we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Some time later, I read John Calvin's commentary on this chapter. He is not known for being a Charismatic. He was a language and literature scholar. He quoted the same verse from I John I had in mind. He took the passage to refer to what happened either at death or the resurrection, and wrote that interpretations that argued that the perfect had come in 'the intervening time' were stupid... stupid or foolish depending on your translation. This was from a Greek scholar who certainly had a strong opinion of the authority of scripture.
I appreciate your opinion of my "Naiviaty. We all have an opinion I guess.

My I say to you that when it comes to Scriptural understanding.....CONTEXT, especialy in the Greek language demands and explains the meaning of words.

The context of the word TELEION in verse #10 starts with verse one of chapter 13. Paul is explaining differences between tongues as a temporal unimportant gift verse love an eternally important gift. Read verse 9:
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part.”

Then verse 10 starts with the word “but”. This is to contrast a previous thought,But when that which is [teleion] has come”.
The contrast is against that which is partial. It is further emphasized in the rest of verse 10: .....
“then that which is in part will be done away.”
When something is partial and then later completed there is no more need for the partial. Paul tries to further emphasize his point by using three illustrations.

In verse 11 Paul talks about the level of understanding of a child verses that of a mature adult. He no long thinks as a child. He does not need to think as a child because he has past that level of understanding.

Next, in verse 12, Paul compares looking into a mirror dimly as to seeing someone face to face. Remember in those days a mirror was just polished metal. It was not clear as our mirrors today are. It was like looking into a foggy mirror verse a clear mirror. If you can see someone face to face then there is no need to look in a dim mirror.

The last illustration is also in verse 12, that is knowing in part compared to knowing as he is known.

Apologetics demand that these examples must be understood to be illustrations to understand this passage. That is what CONTEXT is!!!!

Many people try to force this verse to be literal to fit a belief that the perfect is Jesus Christ or the enteral state. However, there is nothing to lead us to believe these are literal and much to explain them as illustrations.

Paul through out this passage states the difference between partial and complete, temporal and eternal. In relation to the context of chapters 12 and 14, Paul is attempted to stress the importance of love and the temporality of the revelatory gifts.

That being said, it is and has been my understanding that the CONTEXT demands that the "TELEION" is the compleness of the wrtten Word of God.

You are free to disagree with that.
 

Major

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Good points, Kenneth Copeland, who prophesied that March 2020 is the end of the pandemic as the "prophet of God" stands out in particular.

You may be keen on this related thread. https://christianchat.com/bible-dis...bout-how-god-heals-today.191215/#post-4205312
The Bible does not teach us that there are "Prophets" today in that anyone has the ability to FORETELL future events.

There are "False teachers" and people who pretend to be prophets but they are make believers IMHO.

Kenneth Copeland is an ardent follower of Kathern Kulman and Kenneth Hagan. Honestly, I have done the work and study many years ago on both of those individuals. There is really nothing about them I would care to learn but I thank you for the advice.
 

Major

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I agree with you, but I do understand that, like many scriptures, sometimes our pre-conceived doctrine can get in the way of interpreting passages so whenever I encounter people, like many here, who choose to interpret perfect as the 2nd coming of Christ, I agree to disagree.
Agreed brother. Allow me to share with you why some people will be so confrontational on this subject of tongues and miracles and healings.

You see, they were taught false teaching when that when young. Their mothers and fathers and pastors told them and they saw them doing those things.

Phycological, Now they like what they know and even if what they know is Biblically wrong, they do not want to go through the learning process and they are not going to admitt it to you and me. Their mind just will not alllow them to do so.

I was one of those people. I was raised in the Pentecostal Charismatic denomination of the Assembly. It was not until I was in the Army and was talking to some other men about this that I started to have questions and then the more I actually read the Bible the more I realized that it was all a sham.

I worked very hard at DTS and Liberty University to correctly understand the difficult question of life.

The one question that always kept coming to me was this......IF man has the ability to do faith healings...........
then why in the world are there people in hospitals???? Why does faith healing seem to only work in church gatherings and arenas????
 

Major

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There will certainly be false signs and wonders as Jesus warned in Matthew 24:24.

But there will also be 2 witnesses, most people think it would be Moses and Elijah also performing signs and wonders in Revelations 11.

My point 1 and 2 state that Israel always required signs for them to believe, but yes, you have raised a point that signs and wonders may not be reliable.
Good point, and I agree with you. Jews require a sign and the Tribulation Period is all about Israel and bringing the Jews to Christ.

But let me ask you a question. Why would God do that? WHY would He bring Moses and Elijah down from heaven to do what He could do through any man? I mean here they are enjoying the peace and joy of heaven probably with cable TV and a paid up cell phone and God says.....pack up guys.....You have to go back????

Just me thinking brother but I do not think God will do that. I believe that He will supernaturally save 2 Jewish human Rabbis and fill them with the same kind of powerful gifts He have the APOSTLES and then do His work through them.
 

Major

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I agree with you, but I do understand that, like many scriptures, sometimes our pre-conceived doctrine can get in the way of interpreting passages so whenever I encounter people, like many here, who choose to interpret perfect as the 2nd coming of Christ, I agree to disagree.
May I help you with that concern. The PERFECT can not in any way be the 2 Coming of Christ.
The perfect can not be heaven and in fact the Perfect can not be Christ at all because the Greek Grammar does not allow it.

Now you will or have spoken to many people who have told you differently but I can assure you that they are doing so because they WANT TO BIBLICALLY CONTINIUE TO SPEAK IN TONGUES.

I am NOT a Greek scholar in way way whatsoever. My understanding comes from the studies we had to do many years ago but here is why it can not be Christ.

"When that (Greek: To Teleion) which is perfect is come" The pronoun "THAT" in Greek, describing the perfect, is neuter.
Christ however is masculine, not neuter, so "that which is perfect" cannot refer to Christ or His return.

The Bible is neuter. This fits the context perfectly. "Perfect" in Greek means "complete, finished". The N.T. by 96 AD was completed and finished as God's revelation for this Church age.
 

Major

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Paul had an infirmity that caused him to minister among the Galatians, possibly around the opening of Acts 14, and definitely before the mention of Galatia in Acts 16. After that, Paul did great miracles after that, the extraordinary miracles God granted through the hands of Paul in Ephesus, the healing of all the sick brought to him at the end of Acts, and signs and wonders all the way out to Illyricum. So an individual having illness at one point in time does not prove cessation of gifts after that point in time, according to scripture.
Do you wonder why Paul did not heal Timothy????

Do you wonder why God did not heal Paul when Paul asked Him to???
 
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Paul had an infirmity that caused him to minister among the Galatians, possibly around the opening of Acts 14, and definitely before the mention of Galatia in Acts 16. After that, Paul did great miracles after that, the extraordinary miracles God granted through the hands of Paul in Ephesus, the healing of all the sick brought to him at the end of Acts, and signs and wonders all the way out to Illyricum. So an individual having illness at one point in time does not prove cessation of gifts after that point in time, according to scripture.
That might be true according to your doctrine, but I am asking you to look at that scripture and ask "Why didn't Paul advise Timothy to read Matt-John and declare that "by his stripes he is healed"?
 

presidente

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In the Greek....the word "TELEION" actually means complete/Mature and not the "Eternal state."

Please consider Mark 16:14-17 as for the term "Sign Gifts"........
"Afterward he appeared unto the ELEVEN as THEY sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17And these signs shall follow them that believe;".

In Greek grammar, the "antecedent" ....."THEM THAT BELIEVE" is the "ELEVEN" in verse # 14. That means that the ELEVEN Apostles were given SIGN GIFTS because THEY were the ones who believed and who Jesus commissioned.
That's a very mechanical, non-intuitive way of reading the text. The grammar of the New Testament does not follow your rule. I suspect you did not make this up. I have found this interpretation in at least one commentary. But it does not stand up to scrutiny if we look at the rest of the Greek text of the New Testament. I will illustrate and share a few examples. This is not an exhaustive list of examples from the New Testament either.


The works in question in Mark 16:17 are
τοῖς πιστεύσασιν

τοῖς is a definite article, but in some cases it can function as a noun (from the perspective of linguistics. Greek studies has it's own tradition for grammatical categories.)

πιστεύσασιν is translated 'that believe'. It is in the Aorist Participle Active- Dative Masculine Plural. Look it up here:
https://biblehub.com/interlinear/mark/16.htm

We see the same sort of grammatical categories in John 1:22
22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

τοῖς γενομένου here is translated 'them that sent'. Like in Mark 16:17, τοῖς is in the Dative Masculine Plural followed by a verb in the Aorist Participle Active- Dative Masculine Plural. But there is no way you can look at a word earlier in the passage and reasonably conclude that it is the antecedent for τοῖς. And this passage illustrates that τοῖς can serve the function of a noun, doing whatever the verb after it describes. There are other examples of this, but I chose this one because the verb is in the Aorist Participle Active- Dative Masculine Plural.

You can study it here: https://biblehub.com/interlinear/john/1-22.htm

There is similar grammar in the following verses where τοῖς is used in a substantive sense and you cannot legitimately argue that it refers back to some other referent earlier in the passage:

Acts 1:16 has the same grammatical construction:
16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

'Them' that took Jesus is τοῖς in the Dative Masculine Plural... again. And συλλαβοῦσιν is in the Aorist Participle Active- Dative Masculine Plural. 'Them that took him' aren't mentioned anywhere earlier in the book of Acts. This is the first reference to them. There is nothing for the definite article to refer back to. It's another example of the definite article being used as a noun in this type of verb construction.

Other examples you might look up are Matthew 8:10, Mark 14:69, Matthew 26:71, Matthew:12:4 (though the men are referenced in verse 3 in this case)

We get what it means by the sense of the text. I therefore find your argument to be bogus. A plain sense reading of the text indicates that them that believe believe that Gospel that the apostles preached. I see no reason to think that switching from 'He that believes and is baptized' to 'them that believe' is any kind of grammatical error either. As far as I can tell, the general consensus of the translators of various translations on this passage is legitimate and there is likely no esoteric secret that only the Greek grammarians have uncovered that renders their consensus false.

I was on a mailing list with a Greek scholar who liked to debunk Greek myths preachers told about the Greek. He told me generally it is best just to go with translations. It seems like most secrets that preachers draw out of the Greek aren't legitimate, and some commentaries can even promote poor interpretation of the language.

That commission was not given to anyone today as no one today has stood before Jesus to have Him give that commission. Therefore, there is not one today who has the SIGN Gifts.
The Bible does not call them 'sign gifts.' The signs in Mark 16 were for them that believe. The apostles preached, and others believed. And apparently people who may not have even met the 12 apostles were doing miracles and prophesying as referenced in I Corinthians 12-14.
 

presidente

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May 29, 2013
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Do you wonder why Paul did not heal Timothy????

Do you wonder why God did not heal Paul when Paul asked Him to???
God may have healed Paul when he was in Galatia. If God heals through people, that doesn't mean we do not have to take care of our health.

The fact that there was some illness in the first century among the figures described in the Bible does not disprove the existence of miracles back then, does it? Does it disprove the parts of the Bible about healing and spiritual gifts?

Whether God gifts people to heal and do miracles and the idea that all healing and miracles are 100% guaranteed no matter what are two different issues.
 
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That commission was not given to anyone today as no one today has stood before Jesus to have Him give that commission. Therefore, there is not one today who has the SIGN Gifts.
Too many churches have the Great Commission as one of their founding principles, so many Christians would not have been taught this.

But strangely enough, all of them ignore the one found in John. Few of them even know this verse existed as part of the GC.

John 20:23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
 
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God may have healed Paul when he was in Galatia. If God heals through people, that doesn't mean we do not have to take care of our health.

The fact that there was some illness in the first century among the figures described in the Bible does not disprove the existence of miracles back then, does it? Does it disprove the parts of the Bible about healing and spiritual gifts?

Whether God gifts people to heal and do miracles and the idea that all healing and miracles are 100% guaranteed no matter what are two different issues.
So what you are actually believing, with regards to healing, is that God can heal if he wants to, but healing is not a guarantee when we pray.

Am I correct?
 

Dino246

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Jun 30, 2015
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That commission was not given to anyone today as no one today has stood before Jesus to have Him give that commission. Therefore, there is not one today who has the SIGN Gifts.
So what was the Holy Spirit doing in Corinth, such that Paul had to write three chapters about the "sign gifts"? Perhaps you cut that section from your copy of the Bible?

The truth is that you don't know what every Christian has been commissioned by Jesus to do.

As for what you call "sign gifts", I suggest you read The Case for Miracles by Lee Strobel.
 

shittim

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Dec 16, 2016
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this is up to 23 pages, sadly the original poster is no closer to understanding than the first post.