Grace Gospel Ministry
Today, there are many questions and much confusion in the Church as to what significant roles (if any) do signs, miracles, healings and like same phenomenal functions have in the Body of Christ? The fact that many ministries base their foundation on the so-called manifestation of these “gifts,” focuses a lot of attention on the issue. When inquiries of this nature arise, it is always safe to suppress ones personal opinion and allow the scriptures to provide the answers.
First and foremost, it must be recognized that a consensus is only possible when there is agreement that there is a distinction between the Gospel message directed to the original Kingdom Church at Pentecost (comprised primarily of Jews) from what later evolved as a result of the Apostle Paul’s call and commission; which ultimately culminated in the (predominately Gentile) Grace Church that begin at Antioch in Pisidia. It is only through the understanding of the concomitant nature of the directives to the Kingdom and Grace Churches and the fact that there was an overlapping period of them, that the issue of “The Gifts of the Spirit” can be properly explained. It must also be understood that the first church (Kingdom) was eventually phased out and seceded by the second (Grace).
In Paul’s first epistle to the Church at Corinth he states (Greek Text), “And God set in the Church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, species of languages” (I Cor 12:28). According to the words conveyed in this verse, God is the one who has eh•theh•to translated “set”, “placed” and “assigned”, given individuals and gifts to the Church. Notice from the usage of ordinals how these “gifted ones” and “gifts” are delineated in their order of importance for the transitional structure at that particular point in church history.
These gifted ones are distinctly identified in the following order: First, God set in the church apostles (ahp•os•tol•oos) for the purpose of establishing the message of the Gospel of the Grace of God (Eph 3:5). Second, God set prophets (proph•ee•tahs) in the church for the purpose of ministering in teaching that which the Holy Spirit revealed according to the message of Mystery Truth (Eph. 3:5). Third, God set forth “Teachers” (theeth•ahs•kahl•os) which is a permanent operation to administer the proper instructions of the word of God i.e., Mystery Truth (2 Tim 2:2).
Then gifts, as they are entirely distinguishable from gifted ones, are: “Miracles” (interchangeably translated “signs”, thee•nahm•ees or see•mee•on) which refer to the power and ability of extraordinary physical workings that were still associated with the (Kingdom and Grace) Churches during the transition period (Mark 16:20; Acts 5:12; 14:3; Rom 15:9; 1Cor. 12:4; Heb. 2:4). These physical phenomenal were a trademark closely tied to the Jewish economies, which always relied upon some sign or miracle to authenticate the credibility of the prophet’s ministry (Luke 7:16; 24:19; John 3:2; 9:16; Acts 2:22; 10:38; 14:3). Such is not the case in the present church economy because according to 2Cor. 5:7, “we walk (live) by faith, not by sight” (1Cor. 13:12; 2Cor.4:18; 8:23, 24; Heb 1:1, 2; 11:1).
Likewise, “Healings” (ee•ahm•ah•ton) were visible operations directly associated in conjunction with the Kingdom Gospel Ministry (Matt 10:8), as they apparently continued for a period in the transition Grace Church (Act 28:8, 9). It is very important to note that “all” healing is the work the Spirit of God, but the manifestation or demonstration of the curing of diseases or ailments outside the realm of medicinal practices, do not function as a prominent role in the present day Grace economy. “Helps” (ahn•teel•eemp•sees) and “Governments” (kee•vehr•nee•sees), which are also permanent; are given to the Church for the purpose of aiding, assisting, administering, and directing its functions.
Lastly mentioned (and most controversial) is yehn•ee glos•son, rendered “Species of Languages”, i.e., the ability to speak in various foreign languages never taught or learned by the one who is speaking. There should be no doubt of the non continuation of this gift as a public function in the Grace Church as we view Paul’s attempt to regulate it as a part of Church worship (1Cor. 14:1-33) and the fact that he spoke of its eventual termination (I Cor. 13:8). Though we obviously continue to see some limited manifestation of “tongues” or “foreign languages” today, there should be no dispute as to its lack of edification to the Church (I Cor 14:4). We are therefore instructed “not to forbid it” but rather to encourage its use in ones private devotion; thus utilizing the forum of public worship for preaching and teaching in languages that the general congregation can ascertain either directly or through an interpreter (I Cor 14:5).
The Grace Gospel Church Ministry believes and teachers that the Grace dispensation operates entirety on the basis of the spiritually unseen; for which the gift of faith is provided. We believe that the manifestations of the “visible signs” do not play a significant role in the ministering of our gospel. The bottom line is that “all things be done properly and in order” (l Cor 14:40).