Actually, I see several discussions here on related issues, but I'll start this thread to begin on a question that was raised in the politics forum. The way the question was posed to me was, "I take it that you don't believe the gifts of the spirit have ceased." My response to that is, "Yes, I do not believe the gifts of the spirit have ceased." Meaning that I believe the Holy Spirit still gives spiritual gifts to Christians. I'm the recipient of some of them. As to the "miraculous gifts," had you asked me that question several years ago, I'd probably say that there was a distinction between the "miraculous" or "signs" gifts, and the ministry gifts. However, I've experienced a couple of the miraculous gifts, or at least have been in the presence of them, and I believe that a sovereign God is capable of using the Holy Spirit in his church in this way. I've never spoken in tongues, but have been present when tongues were scripturally practiced, with an interpreter, and the prophetic word that was given blessed the recipient. The test of a prophet is his accuracy. God doesn't make mistakes, all things are possible with him, and there are no coincidences. If this had been a single occurrence, I still would probably have my doubts, but I've seen this repeatedly. I have to conclude that God is in the results. I have witnessed miraculous healing through the laying on of hands on more than one occasion. I could relate several stories about that. I have also experienced what I can only call "fullness" of the spirit in prayer gatherings. This would include visions of answered prayer, and then they are answered, and while it is not an emotional "feeling", there is certainly a spiritual transformation that takes place. Others in the group have a similar experience. I can't find any clear teaching of scripture that specifically states that the miraculous gifts will cease, or that there was a specific time they would cease. Since these types of experience are common to every era of Christian existence, I have to believe they are of the Lord, especially since they are clearly mentioned in scripture.