Let me begin by referring to a few passages found in I Corinthians. Please start by reading I Cor. 12-31. Please pay close attention to verses 29 and 30, which say: "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?"--N. K.J.V. (New King James Version)
The obvious answer to all these questions asked by Paul is: no. When taken in context with the entire chapter (especially the passage concerning the relationship of individual members to the entire Body of Christ), it is clear that the passage stresses the interdependence of members within the local church body, and, indeed, to the entire Body of Christ at large.
Is it necessary for a believer to speak in tongues? No. Is any of the gifts worth arguing and fighting over, causing further divisions in the Body of Christ? No.
I personally believe that we have all seen a partial fulfillment of Joel's prophecy (see the Book of Acts) with the birth of the Church. Though made reality in part, it remains one of the greatest End-Time prophecies which, I believe, will be literally fulfilled. It will result in the greatest world-wide revival the Church has ever known.
I think we will see more and more of the gifts, dreams, and visions listed therein, which will lead to the last, great in-gathering (Hebrew: Eisodus) just before the Rapture of the Church!
Let me interject my personal opinion about ordained apostles and prophets. To be an ordained apostle, one must be an eyewitness of the resurrected Christ, or be called by God Himself. To be an ordained prophet, one must be 100% accurate and have the testimony of Jesus, which is the Spirit of Prophecy (see: Deut. 18:20-22 and Revelation 19:10).
I think that the apostolic and prophetic gifts function to the measure of one's ability to flow within and and release these gifts. I really do not think that just anyone can hang out a shingle and operate as a true apostle or prophet. The Church must be the first to recognize and confirm these gifts; there must be accountability. Humility must be the mark of the genuine, Holy Spirit-anointed apostle and prophet of God.
Now if apostolic eyewitnesses and prophets are hard to come by these days, it is also obvious that not everyone speaks in tongues. Please read I Cor. 13:1-3, and then verses 8-10. Some believe that verse 10 refers to the completion of the Bible with the conclusion of the Book of Revelation. I disagree. I believe that it refers to Christ when he comes back to set up His kingdom. Only He is absolutely perfect. For a more complete view of the gift of tongues, the interpretation of tongues, and prophecy, please read the entire chapter of I Cor. 14.
Text: (c) 2009, Duane L. Smith Estate, All Rights Reserved
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