Duncan Heasterís First Speech
3-1-1 Holy Spirit Gifts Not Now Possessed
Ok. Well, Marie, Gary, ladies and gentlemen, as you know, Iím here tonight to talk to you about the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the proposition that I put to you is that the Holy Spirit gifts are not now possessed. They were possessed in the first century, but have now been taken away. However, Iím not here to push anyone into any corners with argument. Iím not here to engage in any kind of dialectical argument in that sense with anybody. Iím here to talk to probably a tiny minority of the audience thatís here tonight. Iím talking to the person whoís come here because theyíre seeking the truth, because theyíre searching, because they have heard the claims on one side and those on the other; they have searched the scriptures and they are searching for greater truth. And itís to those people that particularly, in the end, ultimately, I address myself.
On the one hand, thereís the issue of the Holy Spirit gifts, and I wish to put to you from the Bible tonight that the claims to possess those gifts are certainly not supported by Biblical testimony. But what I want to go much further to submit to you, is that actually this issue of Holy Spirit gifts is actually the tip of an iceberg. That the claim by many churches and individuals to possess gifts, which actually on close analysis (it turns out) is actually not the teaching of the Bible, actually is revealing a whole iceberg of other issues. For there are many other doctrines and things which are claimed in many churches today, that on the surface level appear to be credible and right, but actually under closer analysis, you realize that there is a whole system of error in Christendom generally.
So, to come, then, to the issue of the Holy Spirit, one thing weíre not here to discuss tonight is whether God answers prayer. We believe, and the Bible teaches that God answers prayer. Thereís no question about that. Weíre also not here to discuss whether God is active in His church today by His spirit. Of course He is active in his church today by His spirit. That is not under any debate or discussion; that is clear. What we are talking about is the possession of the miraculous gifts. I want to discuss this under the following headings, which you see there on the overhead.
Iím going to look, first of all, at the purpose of the gifts, then to analyze the claims of those who claim that they possess those gifts today. And then to talk about what the Bible says about those gifts being withdrawn, and then to talk about how actually the spirit of God is active in our world.
But starting off with defining this word ďspiritĒ. The word ďspiritĒ essentially in Hebrew and Greek really carries 2 ideas. One is of the mind, of the thinking; and the other is power. The doing of things. God says in Isaiah 14:24, ďAs I have thought, so shall it come to pass.Ē And itís so also of a man or womanís spirit: that as a man thinks, so he does, in his actions. And so the spirit of God is His mind, His breathing, the essence of God by which He also does things, because He does according to His thinking. By His spirit, He garnished the heavens, Job says (26:13). The spirit of God, the finger of God; these things are paralleled in the Bible. So then the spirit is the power of God. And so God is active in this world today.