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Miracles: Prophecy, Tongues, Healings, Gifts, Holy Spirit Baptism

The Bible Teaching about Supernatural Gifts and Miraculous Powers Today

Miracles-Spiritual Gifts|Tongues, Prophecy, Holy Spirit BaptismAccording to the Bible, what was the nature of true miracles and signs? What was the purpose of prophecy, tongues, revelation, and miraculous healings? How did people receive the power to do spiritual gifts? What about Holy Spirit baptism and laying on of hands? 

Does God approve of the modern charismatic, Pentecostal movement? What about faith healers, prophets, and those who claim direct guidance of the Holy Spirit?

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Much confusion exists about the work of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of this study is to learn what the Bible says about prophecy, miracles, and spiritual gifts, especially in the New Testament age. What about tongues, faith healing, Holy Spirit baptism, and modern prophets? Does God guide people directly today apart from the Scriptures? What about the modern charismatic and Pentecostal movements?

If you wish to begin by learning about the nature and Deity of the Holy Spirit, click here.

We begin our study of miracles and direct revelation with some important preliminary facts.

The Holy Spirit has done various different works in history.

This study concerns mainly His work in New Testament times. Prior to the birth of Jesus, He did the following things:

* Active in creation and in sustaining the universe - Genesis 1:2; Job 33:4; 26:13; Psalm 104:30.

* Guided Old Testament prophets - 2 Peter 1:21; Mark 12:36; 2 Samuel 23:2; Acts 1:16; 28:25; Hebrews 3:7; 10:15

* Conceived Jesus in Mary's womb - Matthew 1:18,20; Luke 1:35

Many miracles which God or the Spirit did in the past have ceased and will not be repeated.

  • Creation - Gen. 1,2 (cf. 2:1,2)
  • The flood of Noah's day - Gen 6-9 (note 9:8-17)
  • The virgin birth - Matthew 1:18,20; Luke 1:35
  • Jesus' resurrection
  • The work of apostles living on earth (Acts 1:21,22)
  • Sometimes folks claim that the Spirit/God did miracles in the past, so He must do so today. They claim God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If we say there are no miracles today, then we are told that we are denying that God has the power He used to have or that He loves us like He used to, etc.

    To admit there are any miracles he has done but is not doing today is to admit all such arguments are not valid. But here are a number of miracles He has done, which we must agree He is not doing today. The question then becomes whether He is doing any miracles at all today.

    In this study we will consider the following topics about miracles (please click on the links to study the specific topics):

    1. The Nature of Spiritual Gifts

    (What were the gifts like? How can we distinguish true miracles from counterfeit ones? Do modern tongues, prophecy, and healings have the characteristics of true miracles?)

    2. The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts

    (Why did God give these powers to men? Did they fulfill their purpose? Are these purposes needed today? Do modern "miracles" fulfill the same purposes?)

    3. The Imparting of Spiritual Gifts

    (How did people receive spiritual gifts? Do the means for receiving spiritual gifts exist today? What about Holy Spirit baptism and laying on of apostles' hands?)

    4. The Duration of Spiritual Gifts

    (How long did God intend for the gifts to continue? Were they ever to cease? If so, when and why? Are they available to people today? What about the modern charismatic and Pentecostal movements?)

    (C) Copyright 2000, David E. Pratte;
    Local churches and individuals may, within limits, distribute this Bible study guide for free, but not for sale.  Web sites may link to this page but not reproduce it. For details click here for our copyright guidelines.


    Topics for further Bible study

    Providence of God in Human Affairs
    Bible Teaching about the Holy Spirit
    Is the Holy Spirit a Being in the Godhead?
    Gospel of Physical Health and Wealth
    Number of Individuals in God
    Bible Inspiration: Infallible, Inerrant, Verbal
    Direct Revelation, Miracles, & Tongues
    The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
    Baptisms: A Comparison
    Evidences for God, Jesus, & the Bible - Return to the Gospel Way home page.

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    Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.

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