Question:In Acts 9:40-41 it states that Peter kneeled down and prayed and turning him to the body said; Tabitha, arise [ exactly the same as that said by Jesus when He raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead. (Mark 5.41)] And she opened her eyes and when she saw Peter, she sat up. [Presents that the power of God working through Peter was the reason she came to life.] As you know the Bible tells us that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. God is also a God of miracles, not a day of miracles. There is nowhere in the Bible that states a date or time that these miracles stopped when the disciples died. If they had stopped, then God wouldn't be the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. The Bible tells us that he is not a respecter of person. What he does for one he will do for others. The Bible also states that greater works we will do. So if Acts 2 ended when the disciples died and Jesus went to Heaven then we would not be able to do greater works because the power of God would not be able to work through us. Act 2 is alive today.
God remains the same
The error being made is over generalizing the statement found in Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." The context states that God's teachings don't change:
"Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them" (Hebrews 13:7-9).The point is the same as Paul's point in Galatians 1:6-10: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." God does not follow the whims of man. Man follows the Almighty God.
But in over generalizing this statement, the person assumes that nothing God does ever changes. We know this claim to be false.
- There is a change in delivery of the message: "God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds" (Hebrews 1:1-2).
- There has be a change in expectations for man: "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30).
- There was a change in law: "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second" (Hebrews 8:6-7).
Therefore the claim that God cannot cease miraculous gifts to man because He doesn't change is false. "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 Corinthians 13:8-10).
True, God didn't say that on June 30, 96 AD He would stop giving men miraculous gifts. But He did say the miraculous gifts would cease when the perfect comes -- perfect as in a thing and not as in a person. The New Testament, God's will for mankind is called perfect: "But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does" (James 1:25). Thus we conclude that when the perfect will of God was completely revealed, then the miraculous gifts would come to an end. This matches Jude's statement: "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). There would not be continuous revelations of God's will. It was delivered just once for all Christians for all times.
God is no respecter of persons
Statements applied in regards to judgment are being applied to the giving of gifts.
"Then Peter opened his mouth and said: "In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him"" (Acts 10:34-35).
"But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who "will render to each one according to his deeds": eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law" (Romans 2:5-12).
In the matter of gifts, quite the opposite is stated. God did not give everyone the same gifts nor did everyone receive miraculous gifts. "There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. ... But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills" (I Corinthians 12:4-6, 11). A bit later Paul asks a series of rhetorical questions. "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?" (I Corinthians 12:29). The answer to each question is "No." Everyone was not given the same duties and therefore everyone did not receive the same gifts either. This fact does not make God a respecter of people; it only means God uses different people at different times for different purposes.
Greater works were promised
Yes, in speaking his apostles Jesus said, "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (John 14:10-13).
What is being assumed is that Jesus' statements to the apostles apply to all Christians for all times. Such is not stated. Jesus said that because he would be going to heaven, the apostles would be able to do greater works. That they did in turning, not just Jerusalem, but the whole world upside down (Acts 17:6). The impact they have on the world still lasts to today. Nothing Jesus said implies that continuous applications of miracles would be needed. He simply stated that greater things would happen and they did.