As promised, I wanted to be back in touch and send you some more Bible
information regarding your questions.
> We are questioning a lot of what we have always believed until now. we
> got saved in a Pentecostal church, and recently, we have become more and
> more disgruntled with some unbiblical practices. We have heard a few
> people use 1 Cor 13 as a sort of "prooftext" that tongues and other sign
> gifts have passed. We are not entirely sure of what you believe there,
> but we are wondering if there is any further Biblical proof that the
> sign gifts will cease?
I have attached a file of a sermon outline on the miraculous gifts of the
Holy Spirit which, in part, addresses this question. Please study it
carefully and feel free to follow up with other questions and comments.
> Also, we have been taught that speaking in tongues is the sign of the
> initial infilling of the Spirit. To us, this does make sense and does
> seem to be backed up by the accounts in the book of acts. However, I
> have recently come to here many discuss that these were signs that
> "admitted' the various groups into the church, rather than a normative
> experience for everyone. Again, we are searching teh Scriptures to see
> whether these things are so, and would like some input on these
The Bible teaches that speaking in tongues was one of the miraculous gifts
of the Holy Spirit which He distributed to people who were already
Christians (1 Cor. 12:11; Heb. 2:4). This gift was given by the apostles of
Christ through the laying on of their hands (Acts 8:12-17). Please note in
Acts 8:12-17 that the Christians in Samaria had been baptized into Christ
(12) - therefore they had received the remission of their sins and the gift
of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38). They had the "gift of the Holy Spirit"
_before_ any miraculous manifestation was given to them (Acts 8:15-17).
Furthermore, their miraculous gift was only received by the laying on of the
hands of the apostles (Acts 8:17). So, we can confidently say that people
are saved from their sins and have the "gift of the Holy Spirit" without any
miraculous gift being present.
The "gift of the Holy Spirit" (Acts 2:38) is the gift which the Spirit gives
all those who are saved: "seasons of refreshing from the presence of the
Lord" (note the parallelism of Acts 3:19 with Acts 2:38). To force "gift of
the Holy Spirit" in Acts 2:38 to always mean a miraculous manifestation
contradicts Acts 8:12-17. The Samaritans had been "baptized in the name of
the Lord Jesus" but the Holy Spirit had not fallen on any of them (16).
They received the Holy Spirit only _after_ the apostles Peter and John laid
hands upon them. Nobody today can have an apostle lay hands upon them and
impart miraculous gifts of the Spirit. But everyone can obey Acts 2:38,
have the remission of their sins and the non-miraculous gift of the Holy
Spirit. Every Christian, because of coversion, comes into fellowship with
the Spirit of God.
> what we have been taught is that there is a difference between
> speaking in tongues as a "gift of the Spirit" and speaking in tonuges as
> the initial sign of the 'promise of the Spirit" or "infilling fo the
> Spirit" (which one sees the differences there when you read it in
This distinction of the miraculous gift of speaking in tongues cannot be
sustained by an appeal to the New Testament. Tongue-speaking was a
miraculous gift which was given to Christians - not as some "initial sign of
the 'promise of the Spirit' or 'infilling of the Spirit'". (Acts 8:12-17;
19:5-6; 1 Cor. 12:7-11). Such miracles were intended to confirm the
validity of the new revelation of the gospel which was occurring (Mark
16:15-20; Heb. 2:1-4).
There are very few greek scholars in the world, and I am certainly not one
of them. I am confident that we can determine, from our English
translations, what our relationship to the Holy Spirit is today (cf. Eph.
I sincerely hope this material is helpful as you study the Bible. Please fe
el free to correspond if you have any questions or comments.
Because of Calvary,
Joe R Price
Mt. Baker church of Christ