“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.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)
In our previous studies we have seen that there are three basic types of Accrediting Gifts which include several gifts under each type. In the above passage, we find each type of Accrediting Gift is represented by one gift from each type …
|Type Of Accrediting Gift||Gifts Included In This Type||Representative Gift Mentioned In1 Cor 13:8|
|Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth||The Word Of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge||Word of Knowledge (or Knowledge)|
|Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth||Faith, Gifts Of Healing, Working Of Miracles, Prophecy, Discerning Of Spirits||Prophecy (or Prophecies)|
|Supernatural Proclamation Of The Truth||Divers Kinds Of Tongues, Interpretation Of Tongues||Diverse Types Of Tongues (or Tongues)|
Please note the above verse (1 Cor 13:8), which includes one representative gift from each group, makes it plain that each type of Accrediting Gift will come to an end at some point in time. We now will turn our attention to the question at what point in time will these gifts go out of existence?
In this study, we will see that this question is answered by the Word of God using several different lines of teaching which all present the same answer for us. This will be the lines of teaching that we will be studying:
I. The Coming Of “That Which Is Perfect”
II. The 70 Year Accreditation Time Span
III. The Death Of The Apostles
IV. The Supernatural Beginning / Natural Perpetuation Of God’s Workings
V. The Prophecies of False Miracles In The “Last Days”
Please note MANY PASSAGES will be referred to in this lesson. As in all the lessons, the KJV text of each passage can be found at the end of this study. Please take the time to refer to them to come to a more clear understanding on the biblical teachings on these things.
As Christians, it is of utmost importance that we familiarize ourselves with Satan’s deceptive practices (2 Corinthians 2:11). Satan, the father of lies (John 8:43-45), uses deception as a chief tool to mislead people from the truths of God’s Word (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14). When we understand how Satan works we can more successfully guard against falling for His lies and counterfeit gospel message.
Let’s take a very quick look at some of the ways that Satan opposes Christ’s workings in the days in which we are living.
The Bible makes it very plain that in the time period described as the “last days” false accrediting miracles will be used by Satan to mislead many from the Biblical gospel message (Matthew 24:23-24; Mark 13:21-23; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14; 2 Thessalonians 2:8-12; 2 Timothy 3:1-8; Revelation 13:11-14; 16:13-15; 19:20).
These false miracles are very effective tools of deception for Satan, This is because of man’s fallen, carnal nature which is not satisfied with the exercise of faith in the Lord and His Word, but is only satisfied by witnessing supernatural miracles being performed (Matthew 16:3-4). This attitude flies in the face of true Scriptural faith that rests in “the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1-3).
Please note that… The “last days” is the time period in which we live today. It finds its beginning with the first coming of Christ (Hebrews 1:1-3). Knowing that the “last days” began with the first coming of Christ, we can know with certainty that the existence of false deceptive teachings, and false accrediting miracles, existed since the days of Christ on earth and will continue to exist until He comes back again at His second coming.
This is why John teaches us that antichrists existed in his day as well as would exist in today’s time (1 John 2:18-19)
Folks, the existence of false miracles is not something new, but has existed for many, many years. We find the exercise of false miracles periodically performed throughout New Testament church history.
The most important aspect of this teaching, for this study, is that these deceptive practices exist in today’s time. Because of this, we must take these prophecies seriously and always put the current day “miracles” to the test of God’s Word (Isaiah 8:18-20; Matthew 7: 15-20; 1 Thessalonians 5:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 1 John 4:1-3]. There is no excuse for a Bible believing Christian to not seek out the truth concerning these practices. To naively accept modern day miracles as being of God is to show a lack of understanding of clear Scriptural prophetic warnings from God Himself.
We should all be like the Berean Christians who, after receiving teaching from God’s Word, took the time to check it’s accuracy by comparing it with the Word of God (Acts 17:10-12). This same principles applies to the modern day accrediting miracles that are taking place around us. That is the purpose of this entire series of studies, to help us to clearly understand the teaching of God’s Word concerning spiritual gifts. This will give us the foundational information we need to properly judge that which is taking place around us.
False teaching and the use of false accrediting miracles is a big deal in the eyes of the Lord. It is such a heinous sin that, in the Old Testament scriptures these practices are deserving of death (Deuteronomy 13:1-8) and at the final judgment will result, apart from the Lord’s gracious forgiveness, in eternal death (Matthew 7:21-23; Revelation 19:20) . It is easy for us to understand why this is such a horrible practice… it is misleading many to eternal destruction and separation from God. And that is why there is such a grave need for all of us to take it upon ourselves to judge the validity of these practices.
You might be wondering why I have included this section under the heading of “When Did The Accrediting Gifts Go Out Of Existence?”. My thoughts centered on the need for us to understand that false miracles do exist in today’s time. There are those who argue that simply seeing these things take place proves that the Biblical accrediting miracles are still taking place in todays’ time and, therefore, they have not yet gone out of existence. My answer to them is this lesson.
Just because supposed miracles are taking place around us, there is NO SCRIPTURAL reason to assume that they are divinely originated, nor that they are of the same type of gifts as the accrediting miracles that were performed by the Apostles and other local church members of the New Testament accounts. There is another very Scriptural and plausible answer to these things…. they are simply the deceptive workings of Satan that the Bible clearly teaches will exist in our day and age.
Yes, I believe that all of the false accrediting miracles fall into three basic groups which all find their source in Satan and his workings…
1. If they are miracles that actually take place and supercede the natural laws of nature, then I believe they are the result of demonic enabling and oppression (or perhaps, possession). (Mark 5:3-4)
2. In many cases, I believe they are, in actuality, not genuine miracles at all, but simply illusions that are performed (much like that of a magician) purposefully to mislead others. If that is the case, they find their origin in Satanic workings. They are the result of Satan blinding and twisting the minds of the illusionist seducing them with the promises of fame and the riches of this world. (2 Tim 3:1-8)
3. Finally, there are some “miracles” that are performed by those who are misled, sincere in their beliefs and caught up in their emotions. But once again, these find their ultimate origin in Satan, who has kept them from the truths of the Word and is actively at work in their mind and psyche. It is this group of people that “two-fold more the child of hell” misled and unknowingly headed for the Lake of Fire, while believing they are secure in Christ. (Matt 23:15)
May the Lord graciously protect us from these workings of Satan as he lies in wait to make merchandise of our very souls through counterfeit teaching and miracles (2 Peter 2:1-3; Rev 18:12-13)
I would like to close this section of our study with two very sobering texts. They are found in Matthew 7:21-23 and Revelation 19:20…
Mat 7:21-23 KJV
“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
In this text we see that there will be those who stand before the Lord at the final judgment making an argument for their acquittal. Their three part argument goes something like this… “But Lord, we HAVE DONE the will of your Father, and we can prove it! …
1. have we not prophesied in thy name? – we delivered a Scriptural message
2. and in thy name have cast out devils? – we successfully opposed Satan and His workings among men
3. and in thy name done many wonderful works? – we performed miracles that prove we were doing the work of God
Although all of these 3 areas of ministry appeared to prove their ministry was of the Father, in actuality they were lost individuals who would be cast into the Lake of Fire as rebellious, disobedient, lying, ministers of Satan. By God’s grace may He allow us to escape such an end.
Rev 19:20 KJV
“And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
In this text we find the beast (ungodly political powers of the world) and the false prophet (false religious powers of the world) are facing their final judgment. Note how the false religions of the world are said to work miracles which deceived the nations. Once again, these miracles are proven to be counterfeit miracles that only add to their eternal condemnation (as those responsible for misleading multitudes of people).
In our next lesson we will take a look at several Scriptural principles to apply as we seek to judge the messages and miracles being performed by those who claim to be followers of Christ.
Additional Information(Verses Mentioned In This Study):
The Prophecies Of False Miracles In The “Last Days”:
Deu 13:1-8 KJV
(1) If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
(2) And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
(3) Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
(4) Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.
(5) And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee.
(6) If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;
(7) Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;
(8) Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:
Psa 119:11 KJV
(11) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Psa 119:105 KJV
(105) NUN. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Isa 8:18-20 KJV
(18) Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.
(19) And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead?
(20) To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Mat 7:15-20 KJV
(15) Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
(16) Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
(17) Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
(18) A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
(19) Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
(20) Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
(21) Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
(22) Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
(23) And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Mat 16:3-4 KJV
(3) And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?
(4) A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed.
Mat 23:15 KJV
15) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
(23) Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
(24) For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
3) Who had [his] dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4) Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any [man] tame him.
(21) And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not:
(22) For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
(23) But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.
Joh 8:43-45 KJV
(43) Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
(44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
(45) And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
Joh 17:14-17 KJV
(14) I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
(15) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
(16) They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
(17) Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Act 17:10-12 KJV
(10) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
(11) These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
(12) Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
2Co 2:9-11 KJV
(9) For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
(10) To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
(11) Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
2Co 11:13-14 KJV
(13) For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
(14) And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
1Th 5:20-21 KJV
(20) Despise not prophesyings.
(21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
(8) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
(9) Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
(10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
(11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
(12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2Ti 3:1-8 KJV
(1) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
(2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
(3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
(4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
(5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
(6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
(7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(8) Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
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.
Heb 1:1-3 KJV
(1) God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
(2) Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
(3) Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2) For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
1Jn 2:18 KJV
(18) Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
1Jn 4:1-3 KJV
(1) Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
(2) Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God:
(3) And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Rev 13:11-14 KJV
(11) And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
(12) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(13) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
(14) And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
Rev 16:13-15 KJV
(13) And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
(14) For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
(15) Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
Rev 19:20 KJV
(20) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.