There is not a single Scripture to show that the early church was to be endued with miraculous spiritual gifts but that later these gifts were to be withdrawn. You cannot find such a Scripture. . .
We one day came by accident upon some stamped addressed envelopes scattered on the ground in a remote part of the Congo forest. We gathered them carefully and enquiry proved that a native postal runner, finding his mail-bags heavy, had deliberately extracted some of the letters and thrown them away, lightening his load. Of course he received severe punishment. Do you think that we can go unscathed if we set aside the plain statements of God’s Word – if we lighten our load by discarding portions of revealed truth?
Our only picture of the Church in its everyday life is in the Acts of the Apostles. That is the normal church life and the epistles of messages of the Spirit to the seven churches in Asia only confirm it. Had there been some other sort of church life, short of miracles, we should have been told about it. Right up to Paul’s letters to Timothy just before his death, we read “Stir up the gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands” (2 Tim. 1.6). The Acts of the Apostles should still be continuing. Thank God there are churches where they are still continuing.
How pathetic it was that the Pharisees before whom a withered arm had just been restored (Matt. 12.13), and a blind and dumb demon expelled (Matt. 12.22), should still follow the Lord Jesus asking for a sign (Matt. 12.38). The fact is unbelief was blinding their minds to the signs wrought in profusion befre them. Is it not the same in these days? “He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief” (Matt. 13.58).
I can only account for opposition to healings and tongues in a similar way, for thousands of humanly incurable people are being healed in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and even the highest authorities in the medical profession admit it.
– W.F.P. Burton, 1949.