The Global School of Supernatural Ministry

By: Pastor Vincent Nicotra

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Let's begin at the source. The Global School of Supernatural ministry's doctrinal statement reads as follows:

  1. WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit was poured out on the church. The Spirit brings the permanent indwelling presence of God to us for spiritual worship, personal sanctification, building up the Church, gifting us for ministry, and driving back the kingdom of Satan by the evangelization of the world through proclaiming the word of Jesus and doing the works of Jesus.
  2. WE BELIEVE that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Jesus Christ and that He is our abiding Helper, Teacher, and Guide. We believe in the present ministry of the Spirit and in the exercise of all biblical gifts of the Spirit. We practice the laying on of hands for the empowering of the Spirit, for healing, for impartations of gifts of the Holy Spirit and for recognition and empowering of those whom God has ordained to lead and serve the church. We also recognize that another of the two ways recorded in the Bible that God empowers people is through individual or corporate prayer and waiting upon God, and in this latter scenario there is no laying on of hands. We value both of these ways of receiving impartations and empowering experiences from God.

Clearly this organization is charismatic/3rd Wave in their view of the spiritual gifts. I would wholeheartedly disagree with their position and caution believers strongly here. The following truths not only apply to this particular school, but to the subject of the gifts broadly. The belief in the ongoing nature of the miraculous gifts characterizes most, if not all, Charismatic churches today. It is the view of this writer that such beliefs should be rejected based upon the following evidence.

The signs that accompanied the Apostles were for the authentication of their message as appointed representatives of Christ. Their uniqueness is demonstrated by the fact that when they died they were never replaced. There is no warrant or evidence for equating their office with those who call themselves “apostles” today. Ephesians 2:20 tells us that the Apostles and prophets were the “foundation” of the church, and a foundation is only laid once. Paul also calls the miraculous signs which accompanied his ministry “signs of an Apostle” (2 Cor. 12:12). Therefore, these things ended during the ministry of the Apostles and while the New Testament was continuing to be formed. The fact that the sign gifts ended around the time of Paul's first Roman imprisonment is confirmed by Hebrews 2:1-4. That passage was written just prior to the destruction of the Temple (AD 70). In this passage the gifts, signs, wonders, and miracles are described as past tense grammatically (see MK 16 which also correlates with this).

The miraculous gifts of exorcism, healing, raising the dead, and other various miracles ended with the Apostles. Tongues appear to only have been associated with the Apostolic ministry and their bestowal of the Spirit as well, based upon Acts 2, 8, 10, and 19. The Epistle known as 1 Corinthians was an early Epistle written at a time when the gifts were still active in the church (AD 55). This particular text is primarily comparing "revelatory" gifts such as prophecy, faith, knowledge, and wisdom. The argument which is being made in 1 Corinthians is that tongues were inferior to prophecy as a revelatory gift because they required an interpreter, whereas prophecy didn't. However, even prophets had to verify one another’s prophecies (1 Cor 14:29). Apparently, some in Corinth had placed a higher value on the "flashier" gift of tongues than on prophecy. Further instruction in the letter indicates that the gifts were to be used in an edifying and orderly manner. They were not to be disruptive or selfishly used.

The gift of tongues was also always known dialects (Acts 2). Additionally, they were a sign of judgment for unbelievers - not believers (1 Cor 14:21-22); nothing like the gibberish that is spoken in the churches today. There was also a mandate that one who had the gift of interpretation be present.

Scripture indicates that nobody but Jesus and the Apostles ever healed (with rare exceptions), or did signs and wonders, that is why the rest of the church was afraid of the Apostles (Acts 5:13). In extremely rare instances some signs were performed by those whom the Apostles had laid hands on (Acts 6:1-8). Signs always had the purpose of establishing the speaker’s authority and identity as a sanctioned/appointed spokesman for Christ; it demonstrated their authority. Significantly, it is well worth noting that even the Apostles lost their ability to heal and perform miracles during their ministry. In fact, the Apostle Paul himself was unable to heal many. Note the following examples and the dates in which these situations occurred:

  1. He was unable to heal himself (Galatians 4:13-15 - AD 55)
  2. He was unable to heal Epaphroditus when he came to see him in Rome (Philippians 3:25-30 - AD 62)
  3. He was unable to heal Timothy; instructed him to use wine for his stomach (I Timothy 5:23 - AD 65)
  4. He left Trophimus sick at Miletus (2 Timothy 4:20 - AD 67-68)

Thus, it is clear that Paul was unable to heal by the time of his first Roman imprisonment, and certainly well before his death. Peter’s death not long after Paul’s also demonstrated this truth. In fact, 1 Peter 4:10-11, Peter does not even include the miraculous in his discussion of the use of gifts. He simply refers to speaking and serving gifts. Thus, as Israel rejected the kingdom which was being offered by Christ’s spokesmen, and as the gospel went to the Gentiles, the “kingdom miracles” began to fade from the scene. What remained was the written revelation which had been entrusted to these divinely appointed and empowered spokesmen.

Further, the Apostle John was the last living apostle when he wrote Revelation in Ephesus around AD 95-96. The last book of the Bible, written by the last prophet, says not to add to the text in the strongest possible terms. That is why there cannot be anymore prophets today. The canon of Scripture is closed, complete, and it is authoritative in its final form. No one can add to it because no one is authorized to do so. The sign gifts therefore, attested to the authority of the Apostles and prophets. Once Scripture was written by them, the need for the miraculous ended, and their writing became authoritative. We now have the revelation of God in its full and final written form.

Furthermore, The Global School of Supernatural Ministry, as well as other Charismatic groups would need to prove a few things in order to be considered legitimate:

  1. Are prophets and apostles being restored to the church today, and if so, why?
  2. If they are being restored, then are they THE prophets and apostles?
  3. Is there one shred of evidence to suggest that what they are doing is verifiable? Have they cleared out the cancer wards, or raised the dead?
  4. Is what they are doing in line with what the prescribed biblical practices are for the use of the gifts?

The gifts that are active today are Pastor-Teacher, teacher, exhortation, evangelist (speaking gifts); and Ministry/service, mercy, administration/governing, and giving (These are all serving gifts). They basically fall into two camps, ministry in Word, and ministry in deed. In any discussion of the use and purpose of the gifts they are always to be used for the edification of the body of Christ unto maturity in love. They were never condoned to be for private use or for one’s own personal aggrandizement.

Further, simply put, misinterpretation leads many to misapplication of the Scriptures. Just because something is revealed in the Bible does not necessarily mean it is for us to reproduce today. This may seem obvious, but it is often overlooked by many in Charismatic circles. Sadly, the historical context is often overlooked or completely forsaken by those who are interpreting the text, so the interpretation of the text becomes subject to the interpreter’s pre-understandings, based upon their experiences, rather than allowing the objective truth of the text to speak for itself. Such flawed hermeneutics can only lead to faulty conclusions and practices.

The long and the short of it is that I would stay far away from this group. They say the Bible is their sole authority for faith and practice in their doctrinal statement, but in practice their experiences really override what the Bible says. In fact, this is the concern with those who are in Charismatic circles in general; there is far too much weight given to personal experience, rather than understanding what the Scriptures teach and prescribe. One must ask if the Scriptures describe the events in the early church so that we would have confidence in the testimony of the Apostles, or if the Scriptures prescribe that we duplicate the unique ministries of those in the early church. If everyone can or should do what the Apostles did, then on what basis is their message authoritative? If anyone and everyone can do what they did, then why are they special? I am suggesting that Charismatic positions in the church today can only lead to a diminished view of biblical authority; experiences overrule. One can only conclude that those who practice such things are ignorant and untaught, or they are being disobedient to the biblical teaching about the gifts.

This article is copyright 2012  by Vincent Nicotra. This article may be quoted, in part or in whole, without permission.

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For further study we recommend the following:

  1. Charismatic Chaos – John MacArthur
  2. The Charismatic Phenomenon – Peter Masters
  3. The Final Word – O. Palmer Robertson
  4. Satisfied by the Promise of the Spirit – Thomas Edgar
  5. The Charismatic Challenge – John Napier


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