September 2006



 1.  Jesus was attested as Messiah by means of signs, wonders and miracles: ACTS 2:22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know . . .” [Emphasis added.]

2.   The gifts of signs wonders and miracles was proof that a believer was a true apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 COR 12:12 "The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles." [Emphasis added.]

   In the NT God gave a decisive, complete and final statement about His own Son: HEB 1:1-2 "God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son. . ." [Emphasis added.]

4.   These sign gifts accompanied the apostles - those who directly heard Christ's teaching: HEB 2:3-4 "After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will." [Emphasis added.]

5.   Signs, wonders and miracles certified Christ and His apostles. Their use was thereafter fulfilled and not needed. Thus there was no succession of apostles and prophets. Paul was chosen last of all: 1 COR 15:7-8 ". . . then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also."

6.   With the verification of these sign gifts, the Apostles established the one and only foundation of the Church the revelation of the NT: EPH2:19-20 "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, ..." [Emphasis added.] 

7.    These miraculous sign gifts are linked in the Word with the apostles: 2 Cor 12:11-12; Mark 16:20 [see below]; Acts 2:41-43; Acts 8:4-8; Acts 14:3; Acts 9:32-43; Rom 15:18-19; Heb 2:3-4 The Word repeatedly highlights miracles as validating the apostles’ ministry.

8.    Be careful to distinguish between signs, wonders, and miracles and various oral revelatory gifts. Signs, wonders and miracles were given only to certain apostles [and those who worked closely alongside and with them], those of the Lord Jesus Christ, while various oral revelatory gifts were given to the body at large prior to the completion of the NT canon. Even during this period, before the canon was complete, oral revelation was subject to apostolic authority: 1 COR 14:37-38 "If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment. But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized."

9.    ACTS 9:32-43: The saints at Joppa traveled to Lydda to bring Peter back to raise Dorcas from the dead because there were no other apostles present and the gift of miracles had not been given to the believers in general.

10.  HEB 6:5: Apostolic gifts are attributed to the age to come; they were not indicative of the present age which ends with Christ's return. God used these gifts in advance of their time to certify Christ and His Apostles.

11.  1 COR 15:7-8: In the list of the gifts nothing is said about the sudden demise of miracles. But Scripture also mentions nothing about the sudden demise of prophets and apostles even though Paul was the last Apostle and the gifts of prophets and apostles are listed just like the gift of miracles.

12.  JAMES 5:13-18: Historically the age of miracles associated with the apostles ceased with the death of the apostles. However God still performs miracles today in answer to the prayers of His children.

13.  JUDE 3: The NT through the apostles was once for all delivered to the Church. It is self-authenticating today and a protection against heresy.

14.  Mk 16:14-20: A tough passage; these sign gifts could not be given to all believers: 1 COR 12:29-30. Given the bulk of the Word, it is best to link the gift of healing here to the apostles referred to throughout the text. See especially v. 20 indicating that the gift of healing confirmed the apostles' preaching as the Lord worked through them following His ascension. Also note that even the reference to believers in v. 17 is qualified with the word "accompany" and is related closely to the term "followed" in v. 20 which clearly refers to the apostles.[Also see Dr. Hendricksen on Mark regarding textual problems in vs. 16:9-20.]

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Community Church of the Santa Ynez Valley
240 E. Highway 246
Buellton, CA 93427