To say that signs and wonders ceased after the last Apostle died has no basis in scripture, no verses to prove this, yet it is a major belief among Christians---WHY ???
Signs and wonders were primarily given to underscore and give credence to the new revelation spoken by Jesus and the apostles.
how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will. Heb. 2:3-4
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. John 14:10-11
It is clear from scripture that there is no further word of truth to be revealed to us by God at least until Jesus returns. Therefore the main reason for signs and wonders has ceased for the time being. I'm not saying God doesn't work miracle healings in response to prayer (I know he does - James 5:14-15) but I'm confident there have been no raising from the dead, multiplying of fish and loaves to feed thousands etc, since the days of Jesus and the apostles because the time of truth confirming has past.
Follow-up comment #1
"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines."
I definitely do not agree with many of today's T.V. "healers" and "miracle workers;" but; this verse is not talking about gifts that are used to confirm the truth of the gospel, but that are given for the common good of the Body.
The problem is, other parts of the body (teachers, pastors, etc.) reject the parts of the Body that have these gifts, making them least among the members, those members in turn withdrawing into a static position.
All gifts of the Spirit are connected to ministering God's truth---either 1) directly (e.g teaching, exhortation, pastoring), 2) indirectly by assisting others to minister the word (e.g. hospitality, giving, helps) or 3) by authenticating the word by the sign and wonder gifts (e.g. healing, prophecy, tongues).
The sign and wonder gifts are no longer applicable because the word has already been confirmed, and the recorded accounts of signs and wonders is all God has determined that our faith needs. For the body to seek signs and wonder gifts when they are no longer applicable just creates confusion---which is just what we see in many "sign and wonder" churches.
What is the purpose of the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
"for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming" Eph. 4:12-14 [In other words, God's purpose for gifts is so His people can be built up as 'word people'---children of light---while throwing off things of darkness. This is the "common good"]
Follow-up comment #2
You're giving me "seminary speak", not scripture to prove YOUR words, there is NO scripture that says the gifts of the spirit are no longer available to us, and are no longer necessary.
As for the verse above,
We have NOT "attained to the unity of faith" as this debate indicates.
If I am to believe you, you must post scripture, preferably by Jesus, that a time would come when, no longer, the "works I do, you will do also", and He did not put a time limit on them, that was done by Calvin, etal.
I presented scriptures that give the reasons for gifts in general and the particular role for sign and wonder gifts. Cutting the word straight from there is very much on the surface.
We are called to perfection and we will be perfect in heaven. But while on earth it's not a matter of reaching perfection but of direction...therefore we 'press on' (Phil 3:10-14)
The focus of that verse is the "and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father". It becomes clear as we read the whole of the upper room discourse and on into the prayer of 17, that the "greater [works] than these" refers to the work of love, because we have become 'word people'---i.e. new covenant people with the word of God written on our hearts by the Spirit who Jesus sends after he goes to the Father. The "greater [works] than these" is the same thing as the "more excellent way" of 1 Cor 12:31 where Paul goes on in chap 13 to describe the superiority of love over all gifts.
And in 1 Cor 13:8 we see gifts that do have a time limit because their period of usefulness has expired---i.e. no further word to be given and authenticated.
Follow up comment #3
But "the perfect" has not come, so we should not call the works of God completed until the time for Jesus to come back. If we do, many suffer, who Jesus willed not to suffer.
The "perfect" is not the bible, because verse 12 says we will see "face to face", we don't see the bible face to face.
The Lord's will is that His will in Heaven be done on earth, Luke 10:9 says "And heal those in it, (the home they entered) and say to them, the Kingdom of God has come near you."
According to some modern theology, healing is no longer is included in the "Kingdom of Heaven", where does it say these things were removed ?
No proof, therefore a foundation built on sand.
Has the Kingdom of God (heaven), changed?
Many believe this refers to the canon of scripture (not our black bound bibles) which was not complete at the time of this letter but was 'made complete' (i.e. perfect) when John wrote Revelation.
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book" John 22:18
Certainly a completed canon of scripture was foreordained. The use of the gender neutral in this verse argues in favor of this interpretation as opposed to the 'made complete thing' referring to Christ. However, that "perfect" thing could also refer to the perfected man (i.e. body of Christ) of eph 4:13 that will arise to heaven.
Paul uses "face to face" to describe the current ministry of the Holy Spirit as the word of God is 'written' by the Spirit on the hearts of believers and thereby transforming them into the image of the One whose 'face has become unveiled', 1 Cor chapters 3 and 4.
And so prophecy and knowledge represent word ministering gifts that will cease when the 'perfect' comes (whether the canon of scripture, Christ or the perfected Body of Christ) whereas tongues will cease of themselves (like a battery with a limited life)---two different verbs and verb tenses being used.
Moreover, It's clear from the gospel of John that Jesus performed miracles because the faith of many required it. And even though the faith that required works to believe His words was acceptable to God, He is even more pleased with faith that accepts His words without the need for miracles.
And lastly, we read in 1 Corinthian 14 how confusion and 'unprofitability' was rampant in those churches who utilized tongues 'unskillfully'---and that when sign and wonder gifts were applicable. I can only imagine how things are now when those gifts have long since 'wound down'.
In terms of ongoing physical healings in God's Kingdom, Why would the Kingdom of God be focused on physical healings when everybody dies anyway. No, the kingdom is all about righteousness (i.e. walking according to his word in the transformation power of the Spirit) with God's attending peace and joy--Rom 14:17.
The relevance of "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" in the context of this post is that God's word in heaven is received by the angels without God having to resort to signs and wonders to get their attention. And so shall it be on earth.