Speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues, prophecy, miracles, healing, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, discerning of spirits, laying prostrate in the presence of God… real or fake? If they are real signs of God’s Kingdom, what place do they have in our lives today?

The Pentecostal/charismatic experience did not suddenly come upon the world but is found in the ancient church and scattered throughout the Old Testament.

You cannot read the Acts of the Apostles or the Pauline epistles without encountering a charismatic movement of God’s Spirit empowering and operating through the believers.

While some will contend that those events are only intended to happen for that apostolic age, many others believe that the Spirit is still active in the life of the Church today with signs and wonders.

Think about Luke, an ancient historian and physician who was raised with a Jewish history of God performing supernatural deeds. Luke was an educated man who observed much of the supernatural history through the lives of Jesus and his followers. He could not be discounted as being illiterate or careless about detail.

Acts 1:
1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

When pastors change churches there is a human tendency to compare that new one to the old one. If the first had a great history and brought life to the congregation, the one following will have a tougher time getting the acceptance afforded to the first.

Can you imagine how people felt when Pastor Jesus was leaving? Fortunately, he was replaced by the Holy Spirit and not by one man. No one has surpassed the greatness of Jesus’ leadership, but there are generations of followers who have learned from his ways. In his concluding remarks as their pastor, Jesus gave specific instruction to the first followers.