Monday, October 12, 2015

How Can We Find Who Is True When The Gifts Are Abused?

Can Signs, Wonders And Miracles Come From The Devil During End Time?

Question : I have a question in regards to apostles, prophets, false prophets, and the spiritual gifts, miracles, and signs. The question about apostles is, are there any left after the Book of Revelation and John? Also prophets we see, there is the gift of prophecy, but the word of God has been prophesied so we teach that. As far as false prophets are concerned, are they not who distort the word of God in teaching false doctrines? Spiritual gifts are given from God but the question I have, are they not abused, we see in Acts 2 there were tongues but of native language, today we hear people mumbling, is that from God? We know healing miracles take place and have in the past as told in the word of God with Jesus ministry. There still will be signs to come like that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 and 25. I'm doing a lot of research and getting to the truth of God but there are a lot of voices out there and they can get confusing. I like to pray about it and seek the word of God, but I feel like people don't want to get tricked and learn false doctrines, but in reality believe that which is not from God. I think God is a God of order, not of disorder (1 Corinthians 14:33). Most of the answers I get are from and some debate the issue of today's prophets and the use of the gifts. But I see this is one of your passions in teaching people about the spiritual gifts. I believe they are still active today but they can be misinterpreted and abused if not aligning with Scripture. So I am praying for God to give me discernment and wisdom into knowing the truth. God be with you and I look forward to your comments.

Answer : Greetings in Jesus wonderful name! You have asked a very deep question that every true believer in the end time should keep in mind to keep themselves from deception of the evil one that always comes because of lack of knowledge of the truth. Truth drives away doubt and keep believers strong and stable in faith. Faith is victory over the evil one (1 John 5:4-5).

To your question about apostles, are there any left after the Book of Revelation and John?

Yes John the apostle who wrote the Book of Revelation was the last of the foundational apostles who wrote the Scripture and also he was one among the twelve of the initial apostles that the Lord chose to be a foundation of the New Jerusalem. There are different categories of apostles who were present and also are present now,

1) THE APOSTLES OF THE LAMB — The twelve apostles of the Lord Jesus whom He chose to be a foundation of the New Jerusalem forever (Luke 6:12-16; Mark 3:13-19; Matt 10:2-8). These apostles were said to have become the foundation of the city of God which is New Jerusalem (Rev 21:14), and no one can ever replace them except Matthias who was chosen to fill the place of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus and went to hell because of being unsaved till death (Acts 1:15-26).

— The Scripture was written by John one among the twelve (John 21:20-24; Rev 1:1;1 John 1:1-2; 2 Peter 1:16-21 ), then Peter who was one among the twelve wrote and he did say that God revealed Scripture to Paul who wrote a lot of epistles according to the revelation given to him by God (1 Peter 1:1; 2 Peter 1:1; 3:15-16; Eph 1:1), Mark being the assistant of Peter wrote the gospel of Mark under Peter the apostles direction (Mark 14:51-52; 15:21; Acts 12:25; Col.4:10; 1 Pet 5:13). The Book of Matthew was written by Matthew who was the one among the twelve (Matt 9:9-13; 10:2-4; 16:13-19), the book of James and Jude were written by James and Jude who were the flesh Brothers of Jesus, James being the second born in the family of Jesus (Jude 1; James 1:1; Matt 13:55; Mark 6:3; 1 Cor 9:5; 15:7; Gal 1:19; Acts 1:14; 15:13). Luke the physician wrote both the book of Acts and Gospel of Luke, and was a companion of Paul the apostle (Luke 1:1-4; Acts 1:1; Phil 24; Colossians 4:14 and 2 Timothy 4:11). The authenticity of Luke's writing of Acts, can be seen in the internal evidence of the portions of the book which have come to be called the "we" passages (Acts 16:10–17; 20:5–15; 21:1–18; 27:1–28; 28:1-16). Luke joined Paul on his second missionary journey in Troas. During Paul's third journey, Luke joined him in Philippi (Acts 20:6) and went with him to Jerusalem (Acts 20:16). Paul considered Luke’s writings to be as authoritative as the Old Testament (1 Timothy 5:18; see also Deuteronomy 25:4 and Luke 10:7). Luke was a Gentile, he had a good education and was skillful at writing. He was well-traveled and well-versed in navigation (Acts, chapter 27).

No one can replace these founding apostles too, in the Old Testament the prophets appointed by God wrote the Scripture and in the New Testament the foundational apostles handpicked by Jesus wrote the Scripture (Eph 2:20). All the Scripture has been validated and canonized by the Church Fathers in the Church even up to the Council of Hippo (A.D. 393) and the Council of Carthage (A.D. 397) who perfectly affirmed the same 27 NT books as authoritative, to be no more added forever by any and has been closed. Some of the books of the New Testament were being circulated among the first century churches itself (Colossians 4:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:27).

3) THE APOSTLES OF THE CHURCH — We know from the Bible according to Eph 4:11-13, "11 And He Himself [i.e. Jesus] gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." These apostles have always been there from the day of Pentecost to the present day. They are chosen by God and sent forth to fulfill a specific purpose of establishing God's people in strong foundational doctrine and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Himself (Acts 2:42-43; 1 John 1:3-4). The Church even though have continued to grow, it has not yet have come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Until that day of Rapture in which the Bride of Christ will be perfected, these apostles will continue to empower the Church of Jesus Christ (Eph 5:27). If there are pastor's working still with in the same category of ministers, why doubt the apostles? For more information about apostles read this following post : "Who is an Apostle?"

Just like the apostles, the prophets as we see in the above Eph 4:11 is a gift Jesus has given to the Church. So if pastors are available to minister in our times, so should the prophets must also be there according to the word of God to build the Church. All the five fold ministers are gifts from Jesus to the Church. They are all like five fingers in our hand, if one gets severed off, it cannot function properly. So we must give due respect to each ministry individually. The true apostolic Church is one in which all these gifts of Jesus to the Church like apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers all work together in building the Body of Christ effectively till all come to measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ who is the example of a perfect spiritual man for us all to follow (1 Peter 2:21).

Any believer can prophesy with the gift of prophesy according to their faith once the prophetic waters are stirred up to flow in the atmosphere of the Church (1 Cor 14:31, 24-25; Rom 12:3, 6; Acts 2:17-18), but the gateway to open up such a prophetic atmosphere God has set the prophets with a specific mantle to do that job (1 Cor 14:29, 32). The gift of prophecy is one of the twelve gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:10), this gift also can act in any believer according to the will of Holy Spirit if they open themselves up to God, but usually prophets will have this gift operating in them in various measures strongly according to the will of will of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:11).

The Old Testament uses three Hebrew words that are translated into the English word "prophet" or "seer": nabi, roeh, and hozeh. Nabi literally means "to bubble up." It describes one who is stirred up in spirit. A nabi, or a prophet, is an announcer—one who pours forth the declarations of God (Job 32:18-20). Roeh means "to see" or "to perceive." It is generally used to describe one who is a revealer of secrets, one who envisions (Dan 2:28, 29-30; Jer 1:11-13). Hozeh also means "to see" or "to perceive," but is also used in reference to musicians. It means "one who has insight or wisdom" to know spiritual things and may not necessarily be a prophet but a advisor to kings or the king himself who gives counsel with divine perspective (1 Kings 3:16-28; 2 Samuel 14:17, 20). The Hebrew for prophesy is NABA (naw baw) meaning to speak or sing by inspiration. In Greek we have CHAZAH (khaw zaw) meaning to mentally perceive, to have vision of. Numbers 12:6 tells us that when a prophet of the Lord arises, God will make Himself known to the prophet in visions and dreams. Deuteronomy 13:2 warns that false prophets lead away from God.........even if their prophecies come true. The New Testament says not to despise prophecies of the prophets and believers because unlike the Old Testament where prophets were able to speak the very words of God on His behalf (Exo 6:29; 7:1-2; Jer 1:9; Ezek 3:1, 27), in the New Testament, the revelation comes in part and those who receive it also receive that prophecy in part (1 Cor 13:9). And so prophecy may fail sometimes if the prophet or those believers who are prophesying continue to speak when the inspiration stops (1 Cor 13:8), they might add on to the exact message and thus fail to deliver the exact one because of lack of control of the spirit of prophet or believer which needs to be trained to start and stop under inspiration and not go beyond it even for a moment, which only comes over time of practice (1 Cor 14:32-33). This is why the Bible says, "Do not despise prophecies," (1 Thess 5:20) in the New Testament, but rather judge it through the filter of the Word of God and the spirit of discernment (1 Cor 12:3, 10; 14:29; Acts 17:11). To despise prophecies in the New Testament is like throwing the baby along with the bath tub. Those who think that the water becomes mucky and dirty should thrown the water away and expect the prophecy which comes from God to next time reach them on time with the exact Divine inspiration as a good word from the Lord (1 Thess 5:21-22).

Yes all the five fold ministry gift of Jesus will have Divine inspiration of prophecy to edify, exhort and comfort men (1 Cor 14:3), so the prophetic Scripture becomes a prophecy to the hearers to walk in the divine will for their life situation (2 Peter 1:19-21). But this divine message will be stronger in prophetic inspiration to exhort and strengthen believers when they the ministers are actually prophets who speak as minimum two or three or even more than that as a team in a place (Acts 15:32). Usually they are used by God prophetically to forth tell people how to walk with God as He expects them, but many times even foretelling and specific words of the revelation of each one's heart or future destiny comes through prophets and prophetic believers (1 Cor 14:24-25), in the New Testament they are not lone individuals like in the Old Testament but rather are groups who minister or least in two (Acts 11:27-28; 1 Cor 14:29; Luke 10:1).

Sign tongue of language the hearer understand but not the speaker who speaks is for unbelievers, at the same time God can also speak to unbelievers through direct prophecy to convince and convict them to turn to Him and be saved (1 Cor 14:22, 24-25), but mainly prophesying is for believers because God mainly speaks first to his children through His Holy Spirit who reveals all things (1 Cor 14:22; John 16:13; Rev 19:10).

Yes false prophets are those who distort the word of God in teaching false doctrines, but the antithesis to solve such false thing is to know who is the true thing and avoid the false as much as possible completely.

You are saying, 'Spiritual gifts are given from God but the question I have, are they not abused, we see in Acts 2 there were tongues but of native language, today we hear people mumbling, is that from God?'

I agree with you to say that spiritual gifts are given from God, but when you say that speaking in tongues is a mumbling that abuses the gift of tongues because no one understand that as in the Acts 2nd Chapter where many understood in their own language, you are also right and you are also wrong, and I can surely say that you are still not baptized in the Spirit with the external evidence of speaking in tongues like in the Book of Acts. The first time the Gentiles got baptized in the Spirit, it was in the house of Cornelius, nobody understood their actual mumbling because it was not in anybodies native tongue. But Peter the apostle and his apostolic team were actually astonished because they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God having understood that they have received the Holy Spirit just like them as a gift with the external evidence of speaking in tongues which God understood perfectly as it magnified God (Acts 10:44-47; 11:15-18; 15:8-9).

There are different types of tongues that we see in the New Testament :

1) Tongues as a sign to unbelievers (1 Cor 14:22).

This was demonstrated on the first day when the Church was born in Jerusalem. "1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, the 120 disciples of Jesus were waiting with prayer and awe in the upper room to receive this gift of the Holy Spirit. 2 And suddenly a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind came and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire and One [i.e. the Holy Spirit] sat upon each of them. 4 Here once the Holy Spirit sat on each of the apostles as a gift individually and filled them with Himself, immediately they began to speak with other tongues, as the Holy Spirit gave words of utterance." (Acts 2:1-4).

To the apostles who received the tongues initially, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was same to them like any other person who receives the Holy Spirit gift. Once the Holy Spirit filled them, they did not understand what they were speaking at that time, but though they didn't understand it, they with all submission they received this wonderful gift and began to enjoy its ecstasy.

The sound and fanfare of this day of opening the Church was planned to be very supernatural and grand, so God magnified the supernatural sound to be heard in all Jerusalem and around so that all devout men from various nations gathered together to see from where this sound had come. When they traced it to the upper room, there they found men to loudly speak in tongues, but at this point of time, God used their tongues to be a sign message to these unbelievers and turn them towards Himself (Acts 2:5-13, 36-39).

Though God does not follow this sign tongue demonstration done on the Day of Pentecost as a rule to follow, but rather He did it uniquely as in an instance to reveal his Glory at that particular time to save people. This is not the same way God saves people in all churches today around the world, this shows that God chose those initial moments to be grand and spiritually colorful. But one thing we can depend upon God is that He uses guidelines to reveal Himself in the same way to all those who seek Him for that wonderful gift today as in the days of apostles through submission and humility to God (Acts 5:32), though the way He fulfills it might be different towards us like as He did differently to the people in the house of Cornelius who were baptized differently.

2) The tongues that no one understand but God only as it will be a mystery encrypted to devils and humans who hear it.

The tongues that each believers receives when they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit is actually given to each one of them to make them speak mysteries of God's heart to Himself so that He could answer it all in His time (1 Cor 14:2). These tongues are that which they can choose to start anywhere anytime and continue in it, and it is in each believer's will to continue or stop praying this supernatural praying in unknown tongues that only God understands (1 Cor 14:14-15). There is no valid reason needed for anybody to understand our personal prayer including ourselves when we know that the Holy Spirit is helping us supernaturally to not only help us pray but pray the content that He has personally generated to be prayed to God so that we as believer's could receive the perfect answers from God supernaturally in God's time (1 Cor 14:16-17; Rom 8:26-27). Praying the prayer of tongues to God is too high to understand for a normal carnal mind to understand, so God want each one of us to do it in faith to avoid pride in us and keep us humble before Him so that we may not stumble (Psa 131:1; 138:6). Paul's recommends all believers to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit or what we also call it as the gift of the Holy Spirit from which we can choose to speak in this personal prayer language to God at will whenever we want, we can pray for the rest of our life for a fantastic and supernatural spiritual growth for the Glory of God (1 Cor 14:4-5, 18).

3) The tongues that is spoken within the Church for its edification (1 Cor 14:5).

Many in the Corinthian Church spoke loudly in the congregation expecting others to take notice of their spirituality and caused confusion within (1 Cor 14:5), this they did due to spiritual ignorance not knowing that only those inspired to speak by the Holy Spirit who operates the gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues within the Church setting should do it within the Church for it to be edified and grow spiritually. Still others who wanted to show their so called spirituality before the Church to earn a reputation would stand up and start prophesying when someone is already moved by the Spirit genuinely, thus again causing confusion with in the Church setting (1 Cor 14:29-32, 33). Still more the other problem was, a person would loudly speak in tongues as though he was operating with the Holy Spirit's gift of tongues, then another one would stand up seeing them and then another would show themselves up as spiritual people before the Church, but no one would interpret all those so called inspired utterance in tongues because it was not genuine, thus causing confusion within the Church (1 Cor 14:12-13, 15-16, 19, 27-28). When these people were confronted, they would like to say that they were moved by the Spirit and couldn't control their prophetic utterances, to that apostle Paul replied saying, 'You cannot say madly that the Spirit of God overpowered you to say thing without your own control like that, because the spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets.' In other words, Paul the apostle was saying that the Spirit of God will never overpower someone against their own will to operate in the gifts of the Spirit and cause confusion within the Church (1 Cor 12:7-13), but rather their own fleshly errors to show themselves great before others were causing great confusion within the Church.

So there is a particular different kinds of tongues and the interpretation of tongues that the Holy Spirit gives to certain people for them to operate within the Church Body to edify the whole congregation (1 Cor 12:10, 27-31). So this particular gift of tongues should not be confused with the personal prayer language that comes to all individuals as a external evidence of the internal filling of the Holy Spirit when they receive it, and it stays with them to operate it when ever they want to continue to speak mysteries to God for personal edification. Once the Church gets raptured, all these various types of tongues which are both personal and public to edify within the Church will cease as all will know others and God, as we are known in heaven where God lives (1 Cor 13:8-9, 10, 12).

As long as we sincerely ask God for the Holy Spirit, he will not give you or me or anybody else a counterfeit spirit instead of the true gift as He has already promised through His Word (Luke 11:9-13).

To know about tongues deeply inside out : Read the following article of mine titled, "Why All Believers Can And Must Speak in Tongues?"

See healing miracles were given by God through Jesus to make people believe that He is the Son of God and could get saved from sins (Acts 2:22; 10:38; John 14:10-11; 8:23-24). Not only that, Jesus promised that His disciples will do the same kind of miracles and even greater things than what he did in quantity will be done by His disciples (John 14:12-13). When the disciples of Jesus wanted to stop a demon casting miracle worker who was doing it all in His name, immediately Jesus replied to them to not stop such miracle workers, because no one can work a miracle in Jesus' name and can soon afterwards speak evil of Him (Mark 9:38-40; 1 Cor 12:3). Further Jesus said, those who are working against Satan are with us in our Heavenly Father's group, even though they may be practicing His power in His name separately and away from the main group of the corporate Church (Matt 10:40-42; 12:27-28).

So if those who work miracles immediately speak about a doctrine that is against Jesus, then they are false prophets and false apostles whose fruit is bad and are actually wolves in sheep's clothing, immediately they should not be received by true believers and should be rejected (Matt 7:15-23; Rev 2:2, 14, 20, 24; 2 John 10-11). It may be even God might be testing us to see whether we love the truth to receive the love of the truth to be saved or not in our lives, or we are only after the benefits of religious spirituality that gives us amusement and good time on earth (2 Thess 2:9-10, 11-12; 2 Tim 3:5). When miracles, signs and wonders are the very focus of a meeting or large gathering without focusing on God, we can be sure that God is testing us to know that whether we will love the Lord and depart from these evil doers or we are amused by them (Deut 13:1-2, 3-4). Jesus speaks about such false prophets and apostles in his Matthew 24 and 25 discourse about the end times and its deceitful religions that will try to deceive as many people as it can. If we stay to the Word of God strongly like Jesus, we will never be deceived (Matt 4:4, 7, 10). But at the same time we should not close ourselves being afraid to move in to miracles, signs and wonders to prove that our Jesus is Lord and His Word is true before the whole world as much as possible (Heb 2:4; Mark 16:20). When we turn our focus back to God and stay humble by giving all glory back to God, we will be on the right and powerful track of God always glorifying Him in all things (Acts 3:11, 12; 14:11-13, 14-15).

Can Signs, Wonders And Miracles Come From The Devil During End Time? No as the Bible says, power belongs to God (Psa 62:11; 1 Peter 5:11; Jude 24, 25), even if Satan and his demons use it all through evil people who desire to use God's power to deceive, destroy and control others, it is God who allows it all to test the righteous and reward them more and more (Job 1:11-12; 2:3, 7; John 10:10). Satan may transform himself as the angel of light, so his minister also transform themselves in to ministers of righteousness many times with deceptive message of earthly prosperity, miracles and amusement whose end will be according to their works as God is the one who is going to judge all humans before His throne one day to send those who do not believe Him to eternal hell fire where worms do not die and fire is not quenched (2 Cor 11:12-13, 14-15; Mark 9:45-46; Rev 20:11-15). Just because counterfeits are there, nobody stops using the original currency but rather they use and use the original and touch it and see intently often that if ever they are given counterfeit immediately they come to realize and reject the counterfeit notes. So should we also diligently respect the true and original gifts of God to use it and be blessed to fulfill His will for us and the Church, but reject all counterfeit when we come to realize it.

So today's apostolic ministry from the apostles, prophetic ministry from the prophets, and use of all the gifts of the Holy Spirit need not be debated to cause division within the body of Christ, but with right understanding let us all rather use it all for the Glory of God to bring much fruit.

Yes as you believe they are all still active today but they can be misinterpreted, misrepresented and abused if God and His Word is not the focus. The cure and remedy for for such disorder is to bring order by aligning ourselves and all who want to follow the truth inline with the love of the truth by helping them believe the Scripture and not go beyond it.

Thank you.

Much Blessings.....


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