Some Christadelphians argue that the Holy Spirit was given to certain people in Biblical times so that they could perform miraculous signs to prove that their message was truly from God. They then go on to argue that seeing as we now have the Word of God in its final and complete form (i.e. in the Bible), there is no further need for these authenticating miraculous signs, and therefore no further need for the Holy Spirit.
However, this argument lacks Scriptural support.
For example, John the Baptist (of whom Jesus said: "among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist" [Matthew 11:11]) was "full of the Holy Spirit even from birth" (Luke 1:15). If the Holy Spirit was given to individuals for the purpose of authenticating their message through miraculous signs then we should expect that this man who was the greatest of the prophets (and indeed the greatest among those born of women!) and who was full of the Holy Spirit from birth would have performed some outstanding miraculous signs. Yet we are told very specifically in Scripture that "John never performed a miraculous sign" (John 10:41).
A couple of things puzzle me. The Christadelphian writer I quoted in an earlier post also wrote: "When God pours out his Spirit, He gives unmistakable signs so that others can see and believe."
However, this is not what I see in Scripture. David had the Holy Spirit (Psalm 51:11; Mark 12:36; Acts 1:16; 4:25), but what "unmistakable signs" did he do "so that others can see and believe"? John the Baptist was full of the Holy Spirit from birth, but what "unmistakable signs" did he do "so that others can see and believe"? What about those in the early Corinthian church who Paul quite specifically said could not speak in tongues or perform miraculous signs, yet were filled with the Holy Spirit? What "unmistakable signs" could they do "so that others can see and believe"?
Some Christadelphians resort to emotional arguments when it becomes clear that their position lacks Biblical evidence. For example, I've had Christadelphians say to me "if you have the Holy Spirit then why don't you go into hospitals and heal everyone? If you were truly a loving and compassionate person you would use this gift to eradicate suffering." This question and its accompanying comment not only lack logic, they actually ignore the Biblical evidence. If anyone could go into hospitals and heal all the sick then it would have been our Lord Himself. Yet Jesus didn't heal all the sick people He encountered, even when He had the opportunity. In Acts 3:1-10 we read of a man who had been crippled from birth and who was carried every day to the Beautiful Gate at the Jerusalem Temple. Anyone going into the Temple had to pass through this gate. It was the perfect place to beg. This would have meant that Jesus passed him every time He went into the Temple, and every time He passed up the opportunity to heal this man. Did Jesus lack love and compassion?
In 2 Timothy 4:20 we read Paul saying that "I left Trophimus sick in Miletus". Paul clearly had the Holy Spirit, yet he didn't use this gift to heal a fellow-missionary who was sick. Either he couldn't heal him, or he wouldn't. Did Paul lack compassion?
The assertion that someone who has the Holy Spirit should go into hospitals and heal all the sick is not only contrary to the examples of people full of the Holy Spirit such as Jesus, Paul and John the Baptist, but is based on the false assumption that the Holy Spirit enables its recipients to perform miracles and to heal the sick. John didn't perform miracles, and Jesus and Paul didn't heal all the sick they encountered. Paul explained very clearly to the Corinthians that while all believers have the [Holy] Spirit, they do not have the same kinds of gifts: "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit" (1 Cor 12:4). He explained that there are different "manifestations" of the Spirit. Through some people the Spirit is manifested in miracles, through another in healings, through others in faith, words of wisdom, or knowledge. Paul went on to ask the questions "Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?" (vv. 29-30). Obviously not everyone can work miracles. Not everyone speaks in tongues. We can't all heal the sick. Yet everyone in the body of Christ has the [Holy] Spirit (e.g. see verses 3 and 7).