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    PROPHECY IN THE EARLY CHURCH

    On looking through the Acts of the Apostles the fact is apparent that the Lord had many sons and daughters who were favored with divine revelations. In chapter 11 is mentioned the case of Agabus, who predicted the great dearth that was to come on the land of Judea, which prediction moved the Lord’s people to provide relief for the poor saints in Jerusalem. Verses 27-30. The exact fulfilment of this prophecy established the faith of the believers in Agabus as a true prophet among them, so that when at Caesarea, nineteen years after, he told them what would be done to Paul in Jerusalem, there seemed to be no question as to the certainty of the fulfilment of his prediction; for they at once besought Paul not to go to Jerusalem. Acts 21:10-11. In the church at Antioch, four prophets are mentioned, namely, Barnabas, Simeon (Niger), Lucius, and Manaen. Acts 13:1. It seems also that Philip, the evangelist, who resided at Caesarea, “had four daughters, virgins,” that were prophets. Acts 21:8-9.SGL 18.1

    Paul, when writing his epistles to the Ephesians, spake of the gifts of the Spirit on this wise: “Wherefore He saith, When He ascended up on high, He led captivity captive (“a multitude of captives,” margin), and gave gifts unto men ... And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in (“into,” margin) the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” Chapter 4:8-16.SGL 18.2

    The Lord gave these gifts for the accomplishment of a certain purpose in His church (perfecting saints and edifying the church), and there still exists a need for such work to be done; who will say that the Lord will not even now, as formerly, manifest those gifts for the same purpose, until probation shall end? It is further seen from the writings of the apostle that he recognizes these gifts as members of the body of Christ; and as such, who has a right to mutilate that body, and say that this or that gift is not now necessary?SGL 19.1

    As other scriptures are considered it will plainly appear that it is the Lord’s purpose that the gifts of His Spirit, in the work of the Comforter, shall, in harmony with the prediction of Joel, be manifested all through these last days, even down to His coming.SGL 19.2

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