Sometime in the year 2004, I was privileged of God to watch a video of Reinhard Bonnke’s 1990 Fire Conference in South Africa. In attendance were Benny Hinn, Ray McCauley and a minister who was a protegee to David du Plessis (Mr. Pentecost) among other ministers.
Recall that David du Plessis (Mr. Pentecost), who passed on to glory in February 1987, was considered to be one of the major founders of the Charismatic Movement, a Movement which also emphasized the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the Bible evidence of speaking in tongues and took same to non-pentecostal denominations.
As I watched very keenly the various ministrations, ranging from salvation to healings and to miracles, I saw the host (Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke) take the microphone to call for people who desired to be filled with the Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues and people started trooping out in large numbers.
Suddenly Reinhard Bonnke said neither he, nor Benny Hinn nor Ray McCauley would minister to them but the man of God who was the disciple of David du Plessis (Mr. Pentecost).
Evangelist Bonnke said that man of God was SPECIALLY GIFTED along the line of Holy Ghost Baptism ministrations. As a matter of fact, he said he would not need to lay hands on people but pray a simple prayer and say a few words and every body would blast into tongues instantly.
Truly, before my very eyes that man of God collected the microphone, prayed a simple prayer and said a few words (with smiles), and instantly everyone who came forward started speaking in tongues. Since then, that picture has never left me; it helped to shape my orientation in ministry because then, I was just two years into ministry.
Looking at the likes of Reinhard Bonnke, Benny Hinn and Ray McCauley(these are people we would normally call ministry heavyweights) recognize THE SPECIAL GRACE AND GIFTING of another man of God and give him the platform to minister was, for me, a truly humbling sight to behold!
It wasn’t that these notable ministers could not minister Holy Ghost Baptism but they RECOGNIZED that someone else would get results along that line FASTER, EASIER and QUICKER.
Now that’s how ministries grow – we must recognize interdependence in ministry gifts’ operations and compact existence within the general terrain and landscape of the Body of Christ.
We have a Scriptural precedence for that SPECIALIST OPERATION that took place in Reinhard Bonnke’s South African Fire Conference.
In the eighth chapter of Acts of the Apostles, we saw Philip have a wonderful time of ministry in the city of Samaria – souls were saved, the sick were healed, the demon-possessed were set free and the seige of sorcery over the land was destroyed.
Yet when it was time for Holy Ghost Baptism ministration, the Jerusalem church sent Peter and John to administer it.
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them PETER and JOHN: WHO, when they were come down, prayed for them, THAT THEY MIGHT RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST. (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and THEY RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST.
Now if Philip, by the power of the Holy Spirit, could get souls saved, get the sick healed, get the demon-possessed freed and break the siege of sorcery over the land, we couldn’t say that he COULD NOT minister Holy Ghost Baptism to these Samaritan folks; the church only RECOGNIZED that PETER and JOHN were SPECIALLY GIFTED along that line and as such results would be gotten FASTER, EASIER and QUICKER.
Recall that it was THE SAME PETER who ministered at the house of Cornelius (without laying hands but just speaking words) and the Holy Ghost fell on all that heard the Word and they spoke in tongues and magnified God – Acts 10:44-46.
So it will not be out of place to establish that Peter had some level of SPECIAL GRACE to administer Holy Ghost Baptism with greater ease.
If Ananias who was a “disciple” could minister Holy Ghost Baptism – Acts 9:10,17, then we can’t say that Philip couldn’t; the early church only followed the apostolic principle of RECOGNIZING, CELEBRATING AND DEPLOYING THE GRACES OF OTHERS.
God expects more of that in the New Testament Church. Although we could say that as ministers, we’re all “GENERALISTS” by the virtue of the fact that we all minister by THE WORD and by THE SPIRIT – Acts 6:4, 1 Cor.2:4-5, we’re however also “SPECIALISTS” by the virtue of ministry gifts’ anointings, specific callings and peculiar operations of the Spirit – Eph. 4:11, 1 Cor. 12:28, and we should both RECOGNIZE and CELEBRATE these differences.
Our strength truly lies in our DIFFERENCES, not just in our SIMILARITIES – 1 Cor.12: 14-31. Our God is a God of diversity – 1 Cor.12:6, and He can, by divine sovereignty and eternal prerogative, decide to manifest any dimension of His operation through any of His vessels as He so wishes.
Ours as members of the same Body is to accept and receive the dimensions of Grace that God brings through any of His servants and the Body of Christ becomes stronger for it.
Why should a teacher be struggling to hold open-air crusades if he’s not gifted along that line, more so that evangelists abound in the Body of Christ?
Why should an evangelist be struggling to organize teaching seminars if he’s not anointed for it, more so that seasoned teachers of the Word abound in the Body?
Please don’t get me wrong; every ministry gift should at least be able to PREACH or TEACH or do BOTH at some level because ministry gifts are “oracular offices” but we must recognize those whose mainstream in ministry is that which we desire.
Even in medicine, doctors recognize the fact that there are SPECIALISTS. If someone sustains a femoral fracture for instance, and he goes to meet an ophthalmologist, the ophthalmologist will definitely refer him to an orthopaedic surgeon because he doesn’t specialize in that area.
Similarly if your car has wiring issues, you don’t take it to a mechanic, a vulcanizer or a panel-beater because they don’t SPECIALIZE in that area; you’ll rather take it to a rewire who will be able to address the problem.
Men have different callings; churches have different assignments; ministers are ordained for different people and generations – all of course is for the purpose of GLORIFYING CHRIST.
Peter noted and recognized the SPECIAL GRACE given to Paul despite the fact that he was far “above” him in ministry.
2 PETER 3: 15-16
And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also ACCORDING TO THE WISDOM GIVEN UNTO HIM hath written unto you; As also IN ALL HIS EPISTLES speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
These very words fell from the lips of Apostle Peter himself!
Paul, similarly, recognized the jurisdiction of his calling vis-a-vis Peter’s calling and also affirmed that Peter was A MAJOR PILLAR in the early church.
(For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) And when James, Cephas (i.e. Peter), and John, WHO SEEMED TO BE PILLARS, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave me and Barnabas THE RIGHT HANDS OF FELLOWSHIP; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
Notice that they didn’t see Paul as a THREAT but RECOGNIZED his grace and gave him the right hands of fellowship.
Little wonder the early church was such a strong and formidable entity. They were not COMPETITORS but CONTRIBUTORS to the greater cause of the Kingdom.
DEAR MINISTER, it is high time we began to RECOGNIZE and CELEBRATE our differences and keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Thinking that one is a loner, a lone-ranger, an island or the All-in-all in ministry is pride of monumental proportion. We still have a long way to go, and God is not a Respecter of persons.
We hope to see everyone rise up in the full strength of their calling and contribute their quota to the global vision of the Body of Christ!
Thanks for reading Sirs and Mas!!