I hope you don’t mind but I would like to ask two other questions and in doing so I hope the answers to those questions will help to answer your question. The questions are: 1) Are there ‘apostles’ today? and 2) Are there ‘gifts of healing’ today?

Are there apostles today? I don’t believe there are. Why? Because the reason that Christ gave the gift of apostles (see Ephesians 4:7-8, 11a) was to “lay the foundation of Christianity” and as we shall see “the foundation has been laid” and thus there is no need for apostles any longer. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “Upon this ROCK I will build my church.” Peter had just confessed that Jesus was “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (verse 16) and that confession of Christ IS THE ROCK! After the church came into existence (see Acts chapter 2), Christ raised up apostles so they could teach all the fundamental truth concerning Christ. In doing so, they were “laying the foundation.” We see this truth clearly in Ephesians 2:19-20, “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES AND PROPHETS, JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF BEING THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE.” Paul was teaching the saints that because they had believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and confessed Him as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” they were now members of the true church, the house of God. Again, Christ is the main foundation, the “chief cornerstone,” as we see in 1st Corinthians 3:11, “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” But the apostles LAID that foundation in their teachings about the Person and work of Christ and all of the results of His work on the cross. You only lay a foundation for a house once so once their teachings were completed there was no more need for them; their work was done. We now reap the benefits of that work for we have their teachings preserved in the New Testament and now we need to do as the early church did, for they “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine” (Acts 2:42) and so should we. I will add one more point to confirm there was “no succession of apostles” (as some teach). In Acts chapter 20 we see the apostle Paul meeting with the Ephesian elders for the last time and in his closing words to them he said, “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to BUILD YOU UP and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified” (verse 32). Notice, he does not commend them to future apostles but to “the word of His grace,” for Paul knew that God’s Word was sufficient to “build them up” on their most holy faith. Thanks to the apostles, the Word of God gives us all the foundational truths of Christianity and they are all we need.

Are there gifts of healing today? Surely God can and does heal at times, but has God actually given men today the gift to heal as He did in the early church? I don’t believe so. Why? Because the reason that God gave men this gift (see 1st Corinthians 12:9) has also been fulfilled and thus there is no need for them today. You are probably thinking, “So, what was the reason for the gift of healing?”  In Mark 16:17-18 Jesus said, “And these SIGNS will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons….they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Notice, Jesus said the gift of healing would be a SIGN. Then in verse 20 we read (after Jesus’ ascension to heaven), “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and CONFIRMING THE WORD THROUGH THE ACCOMPANYING SIGNS.” Here, dear friend, we have the mean purpose for the gift of healing and other “sign gifts”; they were given to CONFIRM, which means to ESTABLISH, the Word that they were preaching. We also see this truth brought out in Hebrews 2:3-4, “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and WAS CONFIRMED TO US BY THOSE WHO HEARD HIM, God also BEARING WITNESS WITH SIGNS AND WONDERS, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His will.” In time the Word was confirmed, for people believed that the messages they were preaching were a revelation from God. And when that time came the signs were no longer needed and they ceased.

In closing, I said that “God can and does heal at times,” but for men to claim they have the gift of healing is unscriptural. They are neither “apostles” nor “faith healers” and we should avoid these “religious charlatans” who, I believe, are trying to gain a following for monetary gain and for fame. They will claim that all should be healed and if they aren’t they lack faith or are living in sin, but I wonder how they respond to the passages in scripture where godly believers became sick (even the apostle Paul himself…see 2nd Corinthians 12:7-10) and yet they were never healed by a “faith healer” (see Philippians 2:25-30; 1st Timothy 5:23; and 2nd Timothy 4:20).  (DO)  (543.3)