Bible Q&A

I met this girl the other day and it turns out that she is Pentecostal. Well we started talking about speaking in tongues.  Are they real and still going on today?

Thanks for the question,

The gifts were temporary (1Cor. 13:8-13) and they could only be given by the laying on of hands of an Apostle (Acts 8:14-19). When there were no more Apostles on the earth, then the giving of miraculous gifts stopped. There is no instance of anyone other than an Apostle giving this power.

We also learn from history that this miraculous power ceased around the second century. Then there is a comeback of miraculous claims around the end of the third and beginning of the fourth century.

The reason for the gifts has to be held up to those who claim powers today. It was to confirm the word spoken by the Apostles as really coming from God. (Heb. 2:1-4) If there is further revelation coming from God then it should be accompanied by signs. 
But the problem with that is that Jesus promised the Apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them into all truth, (John 16:13). If there is more revelation today then it wasn't ALL truth, and Jesus was wrong. But if you believe Jesus and it was ALL truth, then there isn't further revelation coming from God today and therefore no signs and wonders to accompany it.

The bottom line is that we have no need of the miraculous gifts today because our faith is in the complete revealed truth of God that was once (for all) delivered to the saints. (Jude 3) The word "once" there means, once for all time. Compare Heb. 9:26-28; 7:27.

This isn't to say that nothing of a supernatural nature occurs anymore. Our new birth is supernatural. Prayer is also. The interceding of the Holy Spirit in prayer is supernatural (Rom.8:26-27). The answer to prayer is supernatural. 

But miracles are a whole other subject. All the miracles in the Bible were always signs, i.e. they pointed the way to something, or wonders that demonstrated something publicly. They were for the early church, like children trying to speak and learn. The church now is grown up and has put away childish things.

Hope this helps you. I pray to God that he'll lead you and guard your faith.

Larry White