Sign Gifts

Sign Gifts and the Church

In the Book of Acts and the rest of the New Testament letters, people do some amazing things. They miraculously speak foreign languages without study. They raise people from the dead and heal the sick. They provide direct revelation (prophecy) from God. These gifts are known as sign gifts.

This means they’re a sign or credential the Kingdom of God has broken into this world in the person of Jesus. Something new and amazing has happened, and these miracles are signs from God proving it. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “I am God the Son. See, watch this! [Insert miracle here] Now, listen to my message …”

Jesus pointed to His miracles as proof the kingdom had come (Lk 7:21-23; cp. Isa 35:4-6). That’s why the scripture says “God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will,” (Heb 2:4). The apostles agreed (Acts 2:22), and that’s why some of them had these gifts, too (Acts 2:43).

Do these sign gifts continue, today? People have different opinions, ranging from (1) absolutely not, to (2) yes, absolutely, and (3) many shades in-between.

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Signs? Prophets? Miracles?

Reprinted with permission from Baptist Bulletin Sep/Oct 2013. All rights reserved.

Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics meets

CLARKS SUMMIT, Pa.—“Traditional dispensationalists do not have a place where we can go to talk to each other,” says Mike Stallard as he welcomes the Council on Dispensational Hermeneutics, meeting on the campus of Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, Pa.

Stallard, the seminary dean, is explaining why the council was formed in 2008, and why the steering committee has planned two days of talk. Lots of talk.

Thirty theologians sit at the front of the room at long tables, members of the council. Most of them have their laptops open, looking at papers while the author reads them to the group. The wonky presentation style is familiar to anyone who has attended an academic conference, except the schedule leaves plenty of time for questions. Stallard describes it as “more of a discussion group than a presenter group.”

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