Question

Thank you for this site.I am having a problem understanding something a this is it. concerning the gifts of the Spirit is it possible for one person to have more than one gift? If so were does it tell us in the Bible? 

Answer

To begin with, the Apostles were baptized with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2. This had been prophesied in Joel 2, and Peter quotes from that prophecy in Acts 2:17-21. Christ had also promised the Apostles that they would receive this gift (Acts 1:4-5).

After the Apostles received the Holy Spirit, we read of their laying hands on others to pass the Holy Spirit on to them. For example, Stephen, along with 6 other men, was chosen in Acts 6 to help with the “daily distribution” (Acts 6:1). The Apostles, after having prayed, “laid hands” on them. Acts 6:8 shows that this laying on of hands enabled those men (Stephen is specifically mentioned in Acts 6:8) to perform “great wonders and signs among the people” (Acts 6:8).

From these passages, it seems apparent that both the Apostles and the men to whom they chose to pass the gift of the Holy Spirit could indeed perform different kinds of miracles.

However, you asked your question in the present tense: “. . . is it possible for one person to have more than one gift?”

The answer to your question is no, it is not possible for one person to have more than one gift. In fact, it is not possible for any person to perform any kind of miracle today. Acts 8 clearly teaches that the *only* people who could give others the power to perform miracles were the apostles. In Acts 8, Phillip preached Christ in Samaria and performed miracles there. After people were converted, Peter and John, 2 of the Apostles, came down from Jerusalem and “prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 8:15-16). This point is further illustrated in verse 18: “Now when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

On earth, only the Apostles could give the Holy Spirit to others. Since they all died in the 1st century, it isn’t possible that they could lay their hands on anyone living today.

So, the only other way that someone might be able to perform miracles today through the Holy Spirit is if God poured out His Spirit on them, just as He did the Apostles in Acts 2. Is this possible? Not according to the Bible. Paul plainly states that the gifts of the Holy Spirit would not last forever: “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away” (I Cor. 13:8-10). The “that which is perfect” that Paul refers to is the completed Bible. The New Testament Christians did not have access to the complete Bible as we do today. They had access to the Old Testament, but the New Testament hadn’t been compiled or even completed when Paul wrote to the Corinthians. He was looking ahead to the time when the complete Word of God would be accessible to everyone in the entire world. Once that happened, God knew that there would be no need for miracles any longer. Instead of believing because I saw someone raised from the dead, I believe because I can read eye-witness testimony about someone being raised from the dead. I don’t need to hear a foreigner speak to me in my native tongue even though he doesn’t speak my language, just to believe. I can read about creation in Genesis and look around me and know that there is a God.

There are many false teachers today who say that they can perform miracles. However, even a brief examination of relevant scriptures shows that God said miracles would be around for a while, but not forever.

By Michael Molloy

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