Cessation of Supernatural Signs through Hands

Jesus foretold of the last day when the dead will bodily resurrect and come forth from the tombs (John 5:28–29; 6:40; cf. 1 Thess 4:13–18). This event is “miraculous” — a supernatural wonder worked by God. The glorification of resurrected bodies, the catching up to be with Christ, the first heaven and earth passing away, and the new heaven and new earth coming to reality. This miraculous event is coming and so supernatural wonders have not ceased in every way forever. God does wonderful things today even healing all diseases (Ps 103:3).

Today, many people claim to receive direct revelation from God and some claim to work “miraculous” gifts through their hands (Acts 14:3). The apostle Paul revealed that spiritual gifts — supernatural works done by the hands of the faithful — would cease at the completion of knowledge and prophecy by the completion of God’s revelation (1 Cor 13:8–12). When was this completion of revelation? In the first century, the writer of Hebrews declared that God has spoken to humanity in these last days by His Son (Heb 1:2). Near the end of his life, Peter also reflected that God had given all things for life and godliness by the knowledge of Christ (2 Pet 1:3).

Along with claims to doing wonders, many are declaring that they have direct revelation from the Holy Spirit because Jesus promised that the Spirit would guide His apostles into all truth (John 14–16). However, Jesus promised this to His apostles and not every Christian. If this passage applied to every believer, then Christians would have no need of the Scriptures because the Spirit would reveal all truth to each believer (John 16:12–13). Because Jesus gave all truth through His apostles and prophets in the Scriptures, then He does not need to reveal all truth again (2 Tim 3:16–17; cf. Eph 3:3–5). However, many now claim to have more revelation to add to “all the truth” that the Holy Spirit already revealed.

The purpose of “miraculous” signs done by men’s hands was to confirm that these apostles and prophets spoke God’s revelation (Mark 16:17–20). The evangelist Mark revealed, “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs” (Mark 16:20). Hebrews 2:3–4 also revealed that God bore witness by signs, wonders, and powers through gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Have the miraculous signs confirmed the message of Christ? Yes. Has the Spirit revealed all truth through the apostles to the church in the New Testament Scriptures? Yes. The working of supernatural signs through people’s hands has fulfilled its purpose and has ceased, because the Spirit has completed His mission to reveal all truth accomplishing the completion of revelation by prophecy.

[Originally posted at Dean Road church of Christ]