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.
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.