God's Priorities In The Church
God's Priorities In The Church!
By Rodney W. FrancisIn 1 Corinthians 12:28 we read: “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations varieties of tongues” (NKJV).
When I read this, the thought came to me that when the apostles, prophets and teachers are allowed to develop and function in their God-given calling, then their ministries and teachings will release the following gifts that are mentioned in this verse: miracles, gifts of healings, helps (“a rendering assistance” – Bullinger’s), administrations (“those who can get others to work together” – The New Living Translation), and varieties of tongues.
As in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit that are mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, no individual Christian or church can honestly say that these gifts are not required to be in operation today.The gifts are God-given to enable us to fulfil the purposes of God in the earth today.Tragically these gifts are missing in most Christian circles, and there is a lack of real concern as to why they are not allowed to function.
My experience in ministering the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are that when we take the time to focus on them, teach the guide-lines and operation of them (in love), then an environment is created and it happens. For example, if we focus and teach on the Word of Knowledge ~ and give the hearers the opportunity to receive and give Words of Knowledge, then Words of Knowledge come forth to bless, heal and strengthen the assembled people. If we focus on the Gift of Prophecy, then people prophesy. If we focus on healing, then people get healed.
Right now there is a huge need for miracles and gifts of healings to be flowing amongst the Christian fraternity! A secular, “unbelieving in Jesus Christ” world, will not be convinced by a “programme mentality” church service that produces no evidence of the power of God being present! We have somehow put God into a time slot, and tried to tie Him into a “programme” that He is not interested in. And God will not be tied down!! He sets the agenda and, when we obey what He says, then we start to see the miraculous and healings coming forth as never before.
I say it is time that the apostles, prophets and teachers were given more recognition ~ and listened to more keenly ~ than is presently the case. The Christian Church has paid a huge price of impotence for ignoring these major giftings. Notice the Scripture says: “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers”!! God Himself has given an order of priority for the church to heed to. Don’t you think it is time we listened to God? I repeat:
The Book of the Acts of the Apostles is a record of how the early Church functioned after the day of Pentecost and the outpouring and the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the believers on Jesus Christ. You will notice that often the “order of service” was first a miracle of healing, which then gathered a crowd of people, at which time the apostles would preach the Gospel to them, and the result was often scores of people making a commitment to follow Jesus Christ (see Acts 3, 4, 5 and 6 for starters). One does not have to be a “rocket scientist” to know that if they needed the miracles and healings back at the beginning, how much more, then, do we need them today!!
The truth is that if we will follow God’s priorities, then we will have the joy of being able to demonstrate that the Gospel of Jesus Christ far supersedes any other religious belief system in the world today. In 2008, when we were ministering in Nairobi, Kenya (conducting a School of the Holy Spirit), we had an impartation time where people could come and receive an impartation to help them to represent Christ better (see my article on “The Ministry Of Impartation” – freely available on E-Mail to those who request it). One lady came to receive an impartation to be able to more effectively heal the sick. On her way home from that very meeting, she met a man (whom she knew) on the street who suffered with a mental problem. The man asked her to pray for him, so she did and imparted healing into his life. The power of God was released through her, and the man was totally healed! So much so that he has now been released from the mental asylum he was living in! Both the man and the sister now have wonderful testimonies to share of what Jesus can do! And personal testimonies of the supernatural, miraculous power of God are hard to beat! Praise the Lord!
RECOGNIZING APOSTLES, PROPHETS and TEACHERS
In order for God’s priorities to come forth in the Church today, Christian Leaders must recognize the importance of the apostles, prophets and teachers being able to function. They ~ the apostles, prophets and teachers ~ hold the keys of the “now revelation” of God. Teachers must be able to interpret the revelation of God coming through the apostles and prophets, so they can teach it to the believers in such a way that the “miracles, healings, helps, administrations and varieties of tongues” come forth and are able to freely function in the life of the church. But it is the Christian Leaders who hold the keys to whether or not these priority giftings of God are allowed to function. Therefore, they, more than any others, must recognize the importance of those giftings to come forth and function in their midst. Until such time as they are in the midst and recognized, then Leaders need to invite recognized and proven apostles, prophets and teachers to come and impart their revelation to the people.
That is why God has placed them in the order of priority that He has. We neglect them to our own loss. I say we have neglected these ministries for too long and we have paid dearly ~ far too dearly ~ as a result.
God Bless YOU!