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By Ron Cantor

Whenever there is a controversial Biblical issue—timing of the rapture, signs and wonders for today, apostles and prophets, replacement theology—I ask myself one simple question: what conclusion would I come to if no one had influenced me and I simply read the Bible for myself.

If we were reading the New Covenant for the first time, would we conclude that there are no longer apostles and prophets? Most new believers, after reading the book of Acts, are eager to see God’s power.

“But Ron, we aren’t supposed to focus on power.” Amen! That was Yeshua’s warning after the disciples came back from casting out demons and healing the sick. He chided them for being overexcited about the supernatural and potentially missing the most important thing, that their names were written heaven.

He only lightly admonished them, and encouraged them in the supernatural. “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy.” (Luke 10:19)

Yeshua said that believers in Him will do greater works than Him (Jn. 14:12). In the book of Acts, we see believers healing the sick, raising the dead and casting out demons. If we conclude that miracles are not for today, what about demons? Do demons still oppress and possess? Is it now God’s will that we keep these demons? Or, are we called to cast them out as we see in the book of Acts?

Experience Means Something

The word lines up with my experience. Experiences mean something, particularly when it confirms the word of God. (I often remind people who don’t believe in the restoration of Israel, that Israel is indeed restored.) I have seen blind eyes opened and the lame walk—I have seen people full of demons find freedom in Jesus and that these demons fled when confronted in the name of Yeshua (even in countries where the possessed/oppressed person didn’t understand English).

In our congregation, we have a woman who was oppressed by demons for decades. The moment she was immersed in water, the demons left her and she is a new person. As for healing, my administrator used to get migraines every day at 13:30. In June, US-based healing evangelist Todd White prayed for her briefly in Jerusalem, just as he was getting in the van to leave. The migraines never came back. I have personally prayed for many unbelievers in Israel to be healed and have seen the majority cured instantly. (http://roncan.net/2GLw0BB).

Apostles and Prophets

What about apostles and prophets. Do we still need prophets today? Not everything we need is written in the Bible. Paul was warned by the prophet Agabus what would happen to him in Jerusalem. Nothing Agabus said could have been understood by Paul through reading the New Testament. He needed a prophetic word. When Ananias came to Paul, he came as a prophet sent by God to tell him of his calling. Paul had a vision in Acts 16:9 about Macedonia. Joel said in the last days we would prophesy. What was the ministry of Judas and Silas as prophets that is not still needed today? (Acts 15:32)

Paul spends three chapters on the Gifts of the Spirit. Why are such rules about prophecy even in the Bible, if it is done away with? He exhorts in 1 Cor. 14:1, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.”

Prophecy Will End

“But Ron, Paul says prophecy will end.” (1 Cor. 13:10) Yes, but when? Some say at the finish of the writing of the New Testament. Paul says that it will end when “that which is perfect comes,” when we see “face to face.” (v. 10, 12) That clearly refers to the Second Coming. Only then, will all be revealed and there will be no need for prophecy.

More believers identify as charismatic believers than non-charismatic. According to a Pew research poll, there are 584,000,000 Charismatics/Pentecostals as opposed to 285,000,000 evangelicals.

Also, in many of these charismatic movements around the world, they firmly believe in the restoration of apostles and prophets. Some use the term Bishop to refer to a leader of leaders. Other use the term apostle. An apostle is a leader of leaders. Like Paul, he wants to take the gospel where it has not been heard. (Rom. 15:20)

Christianity Today uses the term “spiritual entrepreneur” about someone apostolic who births multiple ministries. Is he a pastor, a teacher, an evangelist? Could he be an apostle?

Again, if you are reading the New Covenant for the first time, what are the chances that you would come away thinking the gifts of the Spirit and apostles and prophets are no longer needed? Very small.

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By | 2018-03-14T07:40:32+00:00 February 28th, 2018|6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Gary Merritt March 2, 2018 at 3:51 pm - Reply

    Very good article and it is needed for today’s dialog between charismatics and evangelicals.
    Thank you

  2. Sean Steckbeck March 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    Ron,

    I believe the five-fold ministry is clearly explained in scripture as a function and not as an office. The only two ordained offices are elders and deacons. Bishop is interchangeable to the world elder. In the New Testament you don’t find anyone ordained as apostles, Paul himself said that he is called an apostle appointed by no man (Galations 1:1). However, Paul told Timothy to appoint elders and deacons. The only explanation for this is that apostles are Yeshua given gifts or functions, whereas, elders and deacons are man-appointed offices. Apostles are then recognized by the function in which they operate in rather than an office of authority they are presiding over. I would say the same of pastors. Today we appoint pastors as the God given authority that holds the office as a leader of the church. I see pastors not as offices, but rather as functions and gifts that many people operate organically in a given church whether it is recognized or not. A church of 1000, could have 400 pastors and not even know it since it is a gift or function and not office. I see the apostle the same way. Simply put, an apostle has a gifting to go into unreached areas and establish new churches from scratch. He is not a CEO and is not an apostle by acquisition of other ministries who say, be my apostle….

    • David Wright March 5, 2018 at 9:53 am - Reply

      Very well reasoned, and I would agree.

      However Ron is asking ‘Does the Holy Spirit still work today? I would firmly answer YES. I have seen healing and demons cast out as well as listened to anointed teaching that has caused me to rethink many issues and sat as a disciple under prophetic leaders.

      This I seek to see again in my own ministry.

  3. Ron Cantor March 5, 2018 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Thanks for your input Sean.What would you call a person who overseas multiple pastors that willfully submit to him as a mentor/leader? Does the New Testament describe this person?

  4. Chavoux March 5, 2018 at 7:58 am - Reply

    Hi Sean & Ron,

    I agree fully with what you say. All I would add is that leadership in the body of Messiah is just the opposite of the way it works in the world… the greatest Leader is the Servant of all, pouring out his his life for every-one else. Leadership is a function of servanthood and God-given influence. We have one Head, Messiah Himself. And those who are elders (be their ministry as teacher, pastor, evangelist, prophet or apostle) are to help us to follow Him, not to follow them (except to the extent that they are already following Him). The five-fold gifts were given to enable us to better hear his voice and obey Him, not to learn to obey them or as a replacement for hearing Him as a body – this is unfortunately what has happened in the institutional church – like the Israelites asking Moses to talk to them instead of the Lord Himself, we have asked our leadership to stand between us and God, while there truly is only One mediator between us and God, the Man Messiah Yeshua.

    I long for the day when the Name of the Lord will be glorified through the mighty work of his Holy Spirit once again… a revival where the world will truly see Yeshua in us, in both his holiness and his power.

    Shalom

  5. Bonface Maina March 10, 2018 at 3:42 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this great article. I truly do believe that the Holy Spirit is still at work today in the body of christ and that signs, miracles and wonders are still performed through his power.
    Please pray for me. I have been battling evil spirits from my background for years now which have have robbed me of my peace and joy and caused my life to stagnate. I have prayed and fasted but i’m still struggling.

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