“On Your Mark” – Day 145
‘Gifts of the Spirit’ (Chapter 16 Verses 9-20)
Perhaps in the area of the supernatural working of God’s Spirit, as with other Christian truth, it is a question of balance, that point needs to be made often in many areas of truth. We would not in any sense want to limit God as to what he can or cannot do in the supernatural realm, neither would we say that God cannot or does not heal people today, that would be contrary to what the Lord tells us to pray for in the Bible, particularly in the Book of James (James 5.13-16), and elsewhere. No, God does, but according to his sovereign will and purpose, he can and does heal today, without question. There was a Puritan, a Calvinistic Baptist preacher, called Hansard Knollys (1599-1691). Now this man delivered two lectures saying that these supernatural gifts and operations of the Spirit had ceased with the Apostolic age. Now you might not agree with that. Some would say there is nowhere in Scripture that actually says that I would disagree. However, in 1630 this man was sorely tempted by Satan concerning the integrity of God’s word concerning a sick woman’s life, so he felt compelled to go and pray for her, which he did, and she was, completely restored.
On another occasion, the same man in 1689 took himself to prayer over a leading Baptist preacher called Benjamin Keach, who sought the Lord and asked him to add to his life the years he gave Hezekiah the king in the Old Testament (Isaiah 38). He left his friend telling him he himself, would be in heaven before him. And true it was too, Knolly’s died two years later and Keach lived another fifteen years, dying in 1704. Now I would not question that. I would put it down to the sovereign operations of God’s Spirit. Knolly’s, as a result of what happened, did not begin to hold healing meetings or lay hands on everyone he met who was sick. People are always wanting to put labels on things and people, the New Testament Church is essentially a charismatic Church, essentially, but with a small ‘c’, it was created, and is developed, built up by and sustained through the gifts given to it by the Holy Spirit, preaching and teaching are charismatic gifts. The Church is a supernatural entity, we are a supernatural people born of the Spirit. It is the extremes that cause the problems, seeing the supernatural around every corner, or at the other end, virtually no Holy Spirit activity at all. The one I declare is as bad as the other. Avoid the extremes at all costs. Again, Dr Lloyd-Jones said, it is better to be credulous than to have a grudging, critical attitude, for that quenches the Holy Spirit.