It is important to understand the purpose of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in order to discern the difference between the true gifts of the Spirit, and the false gifts of the spirit of antichrist. This is an important matter because the spirit of antichrist is leading people away from the gospel, and polluting the souls of many with idolatry and witchcraft; all while claiming to be the work of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of this article is to explain the purpose of the spiritual gifts, and to make the distinction of the false spiritual gifts.
The use of the gifts throughout history is subject to much dispute, because various church elders have reported the presence of spiritual gifts in the church. However, Roman Catholics makes the same claim, such as St. Augustine and St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Therefore, claims of spiritual gifts being used throughout church history requires extensive detective work, because the claims of the presence of spiritual gifts by false believers can only amount to the affirmation of the false gifts of the spirit of antichrist.
Here is a short list of reports of the claims of spiritual gifts throughout the church age:
1. The Didache 11:10-11. Ante-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
2. Clement, Letter to the Corinthians 2:2. Ante-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
3. Shepherd of Hermas 43:9. Ante-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
4. Irenaeus, Refutation and Overthrow of Knowledge Falsely So Called, Ante-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
5. Irenaeus, Against Heresies 5:6:1, Ante-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
6. Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho, chapter XXXIX. Ante-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
7. Origen, Against Celsus, Book I, Chap. XLVI, 2, 8. Post-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
8. Origen, Against Celsus, Book VII, Chapter. VIII. Post-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
9. Novatian, A Treatise of Novatian Concerning the Trinity, Chapter XXIX, section 251. Post-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
10. Augustine, The City of God, Book 22, Chapter 8. Post-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
11. Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967) 415.
12. Augustine, The City of God, Book 22, Chapter 8. Post-Nicene Library 10 vols. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
13. The Venerable Bede, Ecclesiastical History of England, Chapter 31, trans. J. A. Giles (London: George Bell & Sons, 1900) 57.
14. The Venerable Bede, Ecclesiastical History of England, Chapter 31, trans. J. A. Giles (London: George Bell & Sons, 1900) 57.
The spiritual gifts were used to establish the 1st century church (Hebrews 2:1-4, Acts 2:1-43, Acts chp 3, Acts 5:1-15, Acts 13:6-12, …etc.). Now that the church has been established through the use of these gifts, the result, of these gifts, is the New Testament (the written word). Therefore, it would be folly to turn back to the gifts that were used, by the will of God, to give us the very thing that grounds us in our knowledge of God and the gospel, which is the “word of God”. Therefore, the church should not seek spiritual gifts, but the study, meditation upon, and obedience to, the word of God (John 15:3-6, Psalm chp. 1, Psalm 119:1-18). This is abiding in the word of God, and it leads to living under the control of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25, John 8:30-32).
After the 1st century, the use of counterfeit gifts became popular by false churches. These were cults, and their heresies were the same heresies that we hear being taught today by the same kind of charismatic cults, such as the New Apostolic Reformation. For about the last 1900 years these kind of cults emerged, and reemerged, and have tried to claim to be the true Christian faith, or the “complete” Christianity. One of these ancient heretical movements was called “Montanism“. The link provides an idea of what this movement was like. For more information, click on the link entitled “Why Were the Montanists Condemned?“
The foundation that modern charismatics use to build their heresy of practicing spiritual gifts is the claim that after salvation is the need for a second blessing from God, that comes be either a private mystical experience, or by the laying on of the hands of a charismatic leader, such as a modern day apostles, prophet, pastor…etc. This claim contradicts the word of God which teaches that believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise upon believing the gospel, and that anyone who does not have the Holy Spirit does not belong to God, but is still a child of the devil.
The accounts within the book of Acts describes the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, which was prophesied by Joel, John the Baptist, and Jesus (Joel 2:28-29, Matthew 3:11, Acts 1:5). The manifestation of the Holy Spirit, which was prophesying, and speaking in tongues, made the fulfillment of the prophecy evident to the Jews. Now that the doctrine of “the Holy Spirit is for every believer” has been established, their is no more need for these signs to be repeated (Acts 2:14-18, Acts 10:37-48). Now the command to the hearer is simply “repent and believe the gospel, and you will receive the Holy Spirit”. Therefore, every believer has the Holy Spirit upon believing the gospel, and there is no need for a second blessing (Ephesians 1:11-14, Ephesians 2:1-6, John 3:3-8, John 1:12-13). To teach that their is a need for a second blessing pollutes the gospel message, and sets the foundation for the spirit of antichrist to build its false gospel alongside the true gospel (Galatians 5:7-10).
The gifts of the Holy Spirit must provide sound doctrine, and inspire the church to obey the word of God, and it must never teach people to disregard, or disobey, Scripture, and it should not lead the church into speaking falsely about God, or the gospel (1Corinthians 12:1-13, 1John 2:26-29, 1John 4:1-6). However, cults do all of these things, and, through false spiritual gifts, lead people away from the gospel. The true gifts of the Holy Spirit must lead people to the gospel, which is what the word of God does when it is taught.
The occasional occurrence of miracles is not proof that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are just as active in the church as they were in the first century. Rather, a common occurrence of the spiritual gifts is proof of their continuance.
For the sake of fairness, one may also find the gift of the word of wisdom, the word of knowledge, and the gift of faith, at work in various, even non-charismatic, believers, who may not even be aware that this is their gift. But for the most part, the majority of the spiritual gifts have not been active in the church throughout the church age, as they were in the 1st century. This does not at all mean that God cannot cause the gifts of the Spirit to be in operation within the church. Neither does this mean that God will never bring some of these gifts into use again. On the contrary, they will be made abundantly evident during the great tribulation, but not throughout the “pretribulation” church age (Revelation 11:3-6).
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues
Believers need to see that Scripture was the goal of the spiritual gifts, and that adherence to Scripture grounds believers in the faith, and matures them, because it is truth (John 17:17), it is perfect (1Corinthians 13:8-12), it is the mirror for the souls of men (James 1:21-25), It is the “more sure word of prophecy” to be trusted above any experience (2Peter 1:18-21), and it is able to make believers wise in our knowledge of the gospel, and it is profitable for doctrine, testing, correction, instruction in godly living, so that God’s people will be matured, and equipped, for every good work (2Timothy 14:17).
17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; where unto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Those who taught, within the last hundred years, that the gifts of the Holy Spirit should be just as active in the church today as they were in the 1st century, were heretics and occultists. They have brought about a false Christianity that is currently leading the masses into believing false gospels, and into being controlled by the spirit of antichrist. For more information on the invasion of the false gifts in the church, see the videos below.