spiritual gifts

Wesley: It does not appear that these extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost were common in the church for more that 2 or 3 centuries. The cause of this was not because there was no more occasion for them, because all the world was become Christians. This is a miserable mistake.. the real cause was the love of many, almost all of them Christians, so called, was "waxed cold." The Christians had no more of the spirit of Christ than the other heathens. The Son of Man, when he came to examine his church could hardly find faith upon the earth. Because the Christians were turned heathen again, and had only a dead form left. The charism of discernment of spirits has to do with being able to judge whether inspirations come from God or not. These were gifts for the benefit of them that are without. These diversities are of great importance and should be exercised in their proper spheres.

As long as any Chrisitan group denies the power and validity of any of the gifts of the Holy Spirit or of the members of the body of Christ, they will not be part of what we are doing in the restoration. We could invite them but you know that they will only oppose us as they have been, they are all alone in their own little unity and that the truth ends with them. They talk about the power of the Holy Spirit and they are so close to full gospel but always hold back and retreat into business as usual. I cannot tell you why unless it is the same old story again of pride getting in the way. They have had the dominating influence for so long that they will not accept what we have to say, it is as simple as that. It challenges their sphere of influence.

As to prophesying, all in the New Testament had a opportunity of attaining the gift, and whoever obtained the gift, had a duty to exercise it for the uplifting of the fellowship. The Anti-Christ also works with demonstrations of power and with signs and wonders; and Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. Therefore, it is foolishness to boast of evidences of the spirit through spiritual gifts. And the knowledge and judgment of the person of faith are not a secure possession with which he is equipped but rather are only given to the one who actually leads a new life in humility and love.

Sorcery is the inverted use of spiritual power. Paul begins by saying that all special gifts (charismata) come from God. Any special ability that a man has comes from God and, therefore, must be used in the service of God.

We find also manifestations of spiritual gifts in our own time, instances of this kind are less frequent because there is less true faith. The Lord has placed in his church spiritual gifts, and the Scriptures contain no proof that the Lord would ever withdraw this blessing. If God has placed these gifts in the church, they belong there, and will be manifested where the necessary conditions are present and where the Lord sees that it can be done for the glory of his name. They experienced the same Spirit at work in the apostles that they had known in Jesus. Luke has a very special esteem for this fruit of the Holy Spirit. The word parresia, or the verb formed from its root, is used again and again by Luke to describe the speech and actions of early Christians under the guidance of the Spirit.
[60, 66, 87, 138, 146, 162, 296, 306, 311]

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