a great relationship with God?</em>]
First of all, I would refer you to the book by my friend Douglas Jacoby who
is certainly much more the expert on this subject.? His book is The Holy Spirit.?
It available at www.ipibooks.com.
Nevertheless, let me give you as least a tentative answer.? First of all, they
do not believe this because it is taught in the Bible.? Perhaps some use Mark
16:17 which says "these signs will accompany those who believe."? This is a
reference to the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit which certainly did accompany
the first outbreak of the church and the new revelation from the apostles in
the first century.? Nevertheless, neither this passage nor any other anywhere
else in the Bible teaches that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit are a requirement
to be saved, or even to have a great relationship with God.? The NT book which
discusses the miraculous gifts the most is clearly 1st Corinthians.? In this
book, one can see that the misuse of the gifts had definitely not drawn people
closer to God.? In fact, it had caused division due to the pride of those with
the supposedly "greater gifts" which were not greater at all.? The greatest
gift is love.
So, the Bible does not teach that the miraculous gifts are helpful to getting
closer to God.? In fact misuse of the gifts actually made people less close.?
The purpose of the gifts was not to bring those possessing the gifts closer
to God anyway.? They were intended as signs, most commonly that the teaching was
inspired (Hebrews 2:4).? Why, then, do some people teach this?? One must first
recognize, that what are commonly taught to be spiritual signs in the charismatic
movement, are almost certainly not from God at all in the first place.? 2 Thessalonians
2:9 and other passages clearly warn against false signs and miracles.? The New
Testament example is that the true God-given miraculous gifts were without exception
handed through the laying on of the hands of an apostle.? We have no apostles to
hand on the gifts today, which would explain why true disciples of Jesus do
not exhibit such supposed miraculous signs which are not even from God anyway.?
Could God use such miracles as speaking in tongues or miraculous healings today??
Of course he could.? Does he?? If so, it would not be according to any particular
statement in the New Testament that he will, as the apostles are not still around
laying on hands.? Perhaps we would do best not to dogmatically declare that all
miraculous gifts exhibited in every situation are definitely false miracles.?
However, to claim that these are required to have a close relationship is absolutely
not biblical.? Any sort of statement such as this is most likely coming from someone
who is deceived into believing that their false-miracles are from God.
John Oakes, PhD