How many times have you heard it? You tell someone that God is no longer giving men the power to speak in tongues or heal the sick, and you hear the response: “You’re limiting God. God can do whatever He wants.” If you’re not sure how to reply to this accusation, here’s an approach you may find helpful:
God limits Himself. He limits Himself in a couple of ways. First, He is limited by His holiness. God can do anything He wants, but He cannot sin (cf. Tit. 1:2). The righteousness of His holy nature prevents Him from doing anything that even remotely approaches unrighteousness. Thus our limitless God is limited by His own holy nature.
But God also limits Himself by His Word. While He can do anything He wants, He cannot flood the world again because He has given His Word that He won’t. Remember the promise He made to Noah?
“…I will establish My covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth” (Gen. 9:11).
After three thousand years passed with no additional worldwide flood, God compared His faithfulness to this promise to His faithfulness to Israel:
“For this is as the waters of Noah unto Me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
“For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee…” (Isaiah 54:9,10).
All those who teach that God washed His hands of Israel after they murdered His Son, and will never have anything further to do with her, and took all her promises and gave them to us, are guilty of charging Him with breaking this most solemn vow (Cf. Isa. 49:15; Jer. 31:35-37). God can do anything He likes, but He cannot forsake Israel, for He has given His Word that He won’t, and someday they will once again be His people (Hosea 1:9-11 cf. Rom. 9:25,26).
And He cannot give anyone spiritual gifts, such as prophecy and tongues, after vowing that these gifts would “cease” and “vanish away” in the present dispensation once the Bible was complete (I Cor. 13:8-10). So don’t let anyone tell you that you are limiting God when you insist that these gifts, which are conspicuously absent in this dispensation anyway, are gone. In so saying, we are simply acknowledging a dispensational limit that God has placed on Himself.
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.