Advertisements

BLOG

GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

(Thursday, April 16, 2020)

INTRODUCTION

The Gift of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:38 is the miraculous endowment of supernatural power in nine different categories listed in 1 Corinthians 12: Knowledge, Wisdom, Faith, Prophecy, Miracles, Healing, Distinguishing of Spirits, Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues. These nine gifts have existed in both the Old and New Testament. All the patriarchs including Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob directly communicated with God and functioned as prophets. Joseph saw dreams and was a prophet, Moses performed miracles, David had the gift of prophecy, Solomon had the gift of wisdom, Bezalel had two gifts: knowledge and wisdom. Elijah and Elisha each had two gifts: The gifts of miracles and healings. Balaam’s donkey spoke miraculously in the supernatural gift of tongues! Elisha may have had the gift of interpretation of tongues by interpreting the Aramaic language ambush plans spoken by the king of Damascus in his bedroom for the Hebrew speaking king of Israel (2 Kings 6:12). The same gifts we find in the New Testament, we see in the Old Testament.

Joel 2:28 was written in 588 BC, one year before Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and burned by the Edomites. It was a primary messianic prophecy of when the “common folk” would be supernaturally endowed by the Holy Spirit. What was unique about the New Testament era in contrast to the Old Testament, was not WHAT supernatural powers were given but WHO the supernatural powers were given to. The first recorded miracle performed by a man was Moses when his staff turned into a snake (Exodus 4:1). Subsequent “spirit filled” men who had the miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit tended to leaders who performed specialized jobs like Bezalel (Exodus 31:2-3), judges, kings or prophets. Starting at Pentecost AD 33, a completely new and unique group of God’s people would be given supernatural power: “Young, old, male and female slaves”. In this new way, “the Spirit was not yet given” (John 7:39), even though the 70 disciples had been empowered for a time when they preached the gospel 2×2 (Luke 10:17-20). Jesus promised that after He ascended and was glorified (John 7:39) that He would send the supernatural Holy Spirit, which he called the “Comforter/Helper/Advocate” (John 14,15,16). Acts 2:33 confirms Jesus sent the Comforter when the Apostles were baptized in the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost as evidenced in the miraculous speaking of tongues. Peter connects the miracle of tongues with Joel’s prophecy (Acts 2:17) for his audience, then surprised them by saying that the miraculous gift of the Holy Spirit you see in us, is also for you too (Acts 2:38)! To suggest that Peter’s listeners would have understood the promise that they would received the “Gift of the Holy Spirit” as anything other than miraculous is absurd. They directly connected the Gift of the Holy Spirit with the miracles they witnessed in the Apostles that day.

Every Bible character in Old and New Testament who possessed supernatural power had been “baptized in the Holy Spirit”, had the “indwelling of the Holy Spirit” and were recipients of the “promise of the comforter” made by Jesus. When you realize that full water immersion (baptism) was widely practiced every Sabbath before entering synagogues as early as 280 BC, it becomes natural for Jesus to employ baptism as a new metaphor for the same supernatural endowment which is seen in Moses, Samuel, Daniel, David and Elijah. An old power was given a new name, or in this case, a new metaphor!

To limit the miraculous “Comforter” to the apostles becomes impossible when every detail is seen fulfilled in non-apostles. To neuter the miraculous out of the Comforter promise and morph it into some non-miraculous indwelling is an egregious contradiction of the context. What we see in John 14,15,16 is the miraculous, what we do not see is the non-miraculous personal indwelling. The fact that Jesus says that the Holy Spirit “will be in you [miraculously]” (John 14:17) merely echoes numerous Old Testament examples of the supernatural indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The Apostles, Philip and his four daughters, Cornelius and the tongue speakers in Corinth all had:

a.       The personal miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit

b.      The baptism of the Holy Spirit miraculously (Acts 1:5; 11:15-16)

c.       The comforter/Helper miraculously

d.      The Gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 10:44-45) which simply cannot be anything BUT miraculous.

Each and every believer has been given by the indwelling of the Spirit of God, gifts of the Spirit (Acts 2:38). In Acts chapter 8; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11; Peter 4:11 and in 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 we see external gifts of the Holy Spirit, which comes from God (James 1:17). Isaiah 11:2-3 speaks of seven different spirits or gifts: “And the Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. He will delight in obeying the Lord. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay (called discernment).” These are important gifts and some of them are similar to but different from the gifts of the Spirit that Paul talks about in the New Testament in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve. There are nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter twelve: But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (1 Corinthians 12: 7-11)

According to Scripture, the Gifts of the Spirit are to continue to work through the Followers of Christ until His return, which are given to them freely.

1. THE GIFT OF WISDOM

A supernatural revelation, or insight into the divine will and purpose, often given by the Spirit to solve perplexing problems and situations. The first gift Paul mentions is the gift of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8). It is listed first perhaps because it is foundational to the church and this is a gift that the believer can earnestly desire (1 Corinthians 12: 31). Wisdom is clearly taught in the Word of God and “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding” (Psalm 111:10). This is the precious gift that Solomon asked for and received from God to be able to rightly rule God‘s nation (1 Kings 3:12). With this wisdom, Solomon could understand what do in difficult decisions. Wisdom is also associated with fearing the Lord. Fear is simply standing in awe of God in reverence and respect. It entails loving His Word and being obedient to what it says. There is no wisdom in disobedience.

There are three types of wisdom: The Wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 2:6-7); The Wisdom of the World (1 Corinthians 2:6); and The Wisdom of Man (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18). The gift of the word of wisdom is the application of knowledge that God gives us. This type of wisdom is a gift which cannot be gained through study or experience and should by no means try to replace them. The gift of the word of wisdom is seeing life from God’s perspective. As Christian exercise this gift, we begin to develop a fear of the Lord. This is the “beginning of wisdom” according to Proverbs 1:7. The gift of the word of wisdom is also the revealing of prophetic future; it is speaking hidden truths of what is not known. It is a supernatural perspective to ascertain the divine means for accomplishing God’s will in a given situation, and is a divinely given power to appropriate spiritual intuition in problem solving.

Furthermore, this gift involves having a sense of divine direction, being led by the Holy Spirit to act appropriately in a given set of circumstances, and rightly applying knowledge. The gift of wisdom is the wisdom of God. It is the supernatural importation of facts; it is not natural. We can’t earn it. It is received from God through prayer (Ephesians 1:17). The gift of the word of wisdom works interactively with the other two revelation gifts: knowledge and discernment.

2. THE GIFT OF KNOWLEDGE

The Word of Knowledge is a supernatural revelation of Divine knowledge or insight in the Divine mind, will or plan, to know things that could not be known of oneself. The next gift of the Spirit is that of knowledge (1 Corinthians 12: 8). Some people have such a gift of remembering scriptures. They have knowledge of God and His ways. They seem to be able to quickly distinguish which is biblical and which is not. Some translations say it is the “Word” of knowledge while others say that it is the “utterance” of knowledge. The Word is most certainly the Word of God. The “utterance” of knowledge could indicate that those with the gift of knowledge know when to speak particular words, when not to, and what words to speak with. Both words seem to fulfil what true knowledge is. These with this gift make excellent priests, teachers, deacons, elders, or pastors.

A word of knowledge is a definite conviction, impression, or knowing that comes to us in a similitude (a mental picture), a dream, through a vision, or by a Scripture that is quickened to us. It is supernatural insight or understanding of circumstances, situations, problems, or a body of facts by revelation; that is, without assistance by any human resource but solely by divine aid. Furthermore, the gift of the word of knowledge is the transcendental revelation of the divine will and plan of God. It involves moral wisdom for right living and relationships, requires objective understanding concerning divine things in human duties, and refers to knowledge of God or of the things that belong to God, as related in the Gospel. The gifts of the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge function together; knowledge is raw material and wisdom builds on it.

3. THE DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

The gift of “distinguishing between spirits” is having the gift of discernment. It is able to discern scriptures and their application to believers in the church. It is also being able to tell whether someone is earnest and sincere, or they appear to have an agenda. Peter displayed this in Acts chapter five when Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property and kept back part of the money and brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet but lied saying they had given it all to the church (Acts 5:1-10). Those with this gift of discernment or “distinguishing between spirits” may be able to know whether the church should or should not do particular things.

This is a supernatural revelation or insight into the realm of spirits to detect them and their plans and to read the minds of men. The first thing to notice about this gift is that the “s” in the word “spirits” is with a small “s.” This means that it is not referring to the Holy Spirit. The only other spirits that are out there that this gift is referring to are the following three kinds of spirits: Demonic spirits, God’s angels, and Human spirits.

This is a supernatural revelation or insight into the realm of spirits to detect them and their plans and to read the minds of men. The first thing to notice about this gift is that the “s” in the word “spirits” is with a small “s.” This means that it is not referring to the Holy Spirit. The only other spirits that are out there that this gift is referring to are the following three kinds of spirits: Demonic spirits, God’s angels, and Human spirits.

Discerning of spirits is the supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to perceive the source of a spiritual manifestation and determine whether it is of God (Acts 10:30-35), of the devil (Acts 16:16-18), of man (Acts 8:18-23), or of the world. It is not mind reading, psychic phenomena, or the ability to criticize and find fault.


Discerning of spirits must be done by the power of the Holy Spirit; He bears witness with our spirit when something is or is not of God. The gift of discerning of spirits is the supernatural power to detect the realm of the spirits and their activities. It implies the power of spiritual insight – the supernatural revelation of plans and purposes of the enemy and his forces. It is a gift which protects and guards our Christian life. How to Test a Spirit? We can discern or test whether or not a spirit is of God by the following three ways: (i) Observing what a person does. In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus explains that false prophets are known by their fruit – by their conduct and actions; (ii) Observing whether or not a person exalts Jesus Christ as the Son of God and as Lord and Saviour (1 Corinthians 12:3); and (iii) By listening to what a person says (1 John 4:1-3). Does their confession line up with the truth of God’s Word?

4. THE GIFT OF FAITH

The next gift of the Spirit Paul mentions is the gift of faith (1 Corinthians 12:9). Those with this gift are truly amazing in how they see things. They tend to exude confidence in all situations. The gift of faith is the supernatural ability to believe God without doubt, combat unbelief, and visualize what God wants to accomplish. It is not only an inner conviction impelled by an urgent and higher calling, but also a supernatural ability to meet adverse circumstances with trust in God’s words and messages.
The Bible speaks of several different types of faith which increase from faith to faith (Romans 1:17): Saving faith – faith which gets you into Heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9); Fruit of faith – faith which gets Heaven into you (Galatians 5:22-23); Gift of faith – stems from saving faith and the fruit of faith; It is the ability to believe for the miraculous (2 Thessalonians 1:3).
This gift not only operates in healings and in miracles, but in the realm of the impossible as well. Saving faith produces the active faith of the fruit of the Spirit which, in turn, produces the gift of faith. When the gift of faith is empowered, the results are miraculous!

5 THE GIFT OF HEALING

The healing of all manner of sickness by supernatural power, without human aid or medicine. The gift of healings refers to supernatural healing without human aid; it is a special gift to pray for specific diseases. Healing can come through the touch of faith (James 5:14-15); by speaking the word of faith (Luke 7:1-10); or by the presence of God being manifested (Mark 6:56; Acts 19:11-12). The Bible speaks of “gifts” of healing because there are three types of healings: physical (diabetes, blindness, cancer, deafness, etc.), emotional (jealousy, worry, discouragement, and other destructive attitudes), and spiritual (bitterness, greed, and guilt, etc.). The gift of healing may be in relations to the power of prayer and we know that the effectual prayer of a righteous man or woman can accomplish miracles (James 5:16). In any event, we must attribute any healing that is done is “…by that one Spirit“ and not by humans (1 Corinthians 12: 9).


Although there are three main types of healings, there is much diversity with the gift of healings. While one person might have the gift of healing to rid a person of cancer or perform a creative miracle, another person might have a diversity of the same gift to correct lower back problems or remove a root of bitterness). According to Mark 16:17-20, the gifts of healing belong to all believers. You can know whether or not you have the gift of healing by the following: (i) By the inner witness of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:16); (ii) When you have a special ability to believe for physical healing for someone (Romans 12:3-8); and (iii) When you have an overwhelming feeling of compassion which moves you to action (Matthew 20:34).

6. THE GIFT OF MIRACLES

A miracle is the performance of something which is against the laws of nature; it is a supernatural power to intervene and counteract earthly and evil forces. The word miracles comes from the Greek word dunamis which means “power and might that multiplies itself.” The gift of miracles operates closely with the power gifts of faith and healings to bring authority over Satan, sickness, sin, and the binding forces of this age.


Miracles can also be defined as supernatural intercessions of God. God exhorts us with energy to do something that is not natural or normal to us. Just as the ministry gift of miracles is the expression of prayer, so is the function of the Holy Spirit to direct our prayers (Romans 8:26).

However, the greatest miracle (and often least talked about) is the miracle of salvation. Sure, it doesn’t appear as spectacular as parting a sea or even raising a person from the dead, but then again, we as human beings are truly impressed by the manifestations of outward signs and wonders. God, on the other hand, isn’t so concerned about outward appearances and flamboyant showmanship but rather a person’s heart condition. It is God’s desire that believers utilize these spiritual gifts to combat unbelief and bring non-believers to repentance in order that spiritually dead people can be transformed into new creatures in Christ Jesus.

After you become a new creature in Christ, a miraculous transformation begins to occur in you every day to confirm you to Christ’s image (Ephesians 1:17-20) and to strengthen your inner man (Colossians 1:10-11). The power of God was miraculously manifested in the lives of believers in the New Testament church (Acts 4:33; Mark 16:20), and God wants His power not only working in you, but also through you (Acts 1:8).


Jesus said, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29). The Apostle Paul warned Timothy about those who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof, and he told him not to associate with such people (2 Timothy 3:5). If you want the gift of miracles to operate in you, make sure that the Word of God is in you and that you are being influenced by the right people. Miracles are the product of the spoken Word of God, because the Word of God and God are one (Psalm 33:6).

The greatest miracles that occur today are, for the most part, the miracle of human conversion. You see this as the greatest miracle of all since only the Spirit of God can illuminate the Word of God and reveal to us Who Jesus Christ is (John 6:44, Mathew 16:17).

7. THE GIFT OF PROPHECY

Prophecy is the supernatural utterance in the native tongue. It is a miracle of divine utterance, not conceived by human thought or reasoning. It includes speaking unto men to edification, exhortation, and comfort. The gift of prophecy edifies, exhorts, and comforts (1 Corinthians 14:3); helps us build up or strengthen; and should lead us to the Word of God. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment to come (John 16:8-11). Prophecy is divinely inspired and anointed utterance; a supernatural proclamation in a known language. It is the manifestation of the Spirit of God – not of intellect (1 Corinthians 12:7), and it may be possessed and operated by all who have the infilling of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:31)

Intellect, faith, and will are operative in this gift, but its exercise is not intellectually based. It is calling forth words from the Spirit of God. The gift of prophecy operates when there is high worship (1 Samuel 10:5-6), when other prophets are present (1 Samuel 10:9-10), and when hands are laid on you by ministers (Acts 19:1-6).

1 Corinthians 14:4: “But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”

1 Thessalonians 5:19-21: “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.”

When Paul says in the above two verses to “desire earnestly to prophesy” and to “desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy,” you know that this is something that the Lord would really like to do more of with His children.

8. THE GIFT OF DIVERSE TONGUES

The Bible tells us that we will be speaking out “mysteries,” and only God the Father and the Holy Spirit will be knowing exactly what the prayer will be about on any given occasion when you are actually doing it. Supernatural utterance through the power of the Holy Spirit in a person that manifests as spiritual language. The Holy Spirit energizes the tongue to edify believers through language and music. Diverse tongues is the most misunderstood and dynamic gift. It is not your prayer language, but it can surface through intercession, conference, or through the individual.

All we need to do is to go back to Acts 2 and read verse 4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages”. The literal translation in Greek is “glossa” and means tongues. This same word “glossa” (language) is used again in Acts 2:11. This means it is a known language not some unknown tongue. Then it says (in Acts 2:5-11) that there were unbelievers present at Pentecost and were hearing God’s message in their own “dialektos” dialects or language: “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues” (dialektos or dialects)! So there were unbelievers present at Pentecost hearing God’s message in their own languages and their own local dialects, not ecstatic gibberish.

Supernatural utterance in languages not known to the speaker; these languages may be existent in the world, revived from some past culture, or “unknown” in the sense that they are a means of communication inspired by the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 28:11; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4, 10:44-48, 19:1-7; 1 Corinthians 12:10, 13:1-3, 14:2, 4-22, 26-32). The spiritual gift involving ability to speak in foreign language(s) not previously studied or to respond to experience of the Holy Spirit by uttering sounds which those without the gift of interpretation could not understand. At Pentecost the church received the gift to communicate the gospel in foreign languages (Acts 2). God gave His Spirit to all His people to empower them to witness and prophesy. In Corinth some members of the church uttered sounds the rest of the congregation did not understand (1 Corinthians 12-14). This led to controversy and division. Paul tried to unite the church, assuring the church that there are different gifts but only one Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). There are three types of tongues mentioned in the Bible:

  • An unknown tongue unto God (1 Corinthians 14:2). This type of tongue edifies you (1 Corinthians 14:4; Jude 20), assists you in prayer (Romans 8:26-27), stirs up the prophetic ministry (1 Corinthians 14:5), refreshes your soul (Isaiah 28:11-12), gives victory over the devil (Ephesians 6:18), and helps you worship in the Spirit (I Corinthians 14:14-15; Hebrews 2:12). When you sing in the Spirit, God joins in with you and confuses and defeats the enemy (Isaiah 30:29-31); it breaks the yoke of bondage (Acts 16:25); it brings you into the presence of God (Psalm 22:3); and it aids you in intercession (Romans 8:26);
  • A known tongue that is a sign to unbelievers. (1 Corinthians 14:2; Acts 2:6);
  • A tongue that is understood through interpretation and edifies the church (1 Corinthians 14:15).

Please note that the gift of tongues (as well as your prayer language) is a product of both God and man. Every believer has a part to play in speaking in tongues for the Spirit gives you utterance, and you do the talking. The Holy Spirit does not talk with tongues. In fact, nowhere in the Bible does it mention that the Holy Spirit ever talked with tongues. Instead, you will be doing the talking in the flesh; after all, God said He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh. Everyone who has ever spoken in tongues was in the flesh; however, he or she was inspired by the Spirit when they spoke.

9. THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES

The supernatural ability to interpret in the native tongue what is uttered in other languages not known by the one who interprets by the Spirit. Interpretation of tongues is a supernatural verbalization and subsequent interpretation to reveal the meaning of a diverse tongue. This gift operates out of the mind of the Spirit rather than out of the mind of man. It is important to note that “interpretation” of tongues is not the same thing as “translation” of tongues, for the interpreter never understands the tongue he or she is interpreting. For example, the message in tongues may be long and the interpretation short because the interpretation only gives the meaning. On the other hand, one may speak a short time in tongues and then given a lengthy interpretation. Yet still, at other times, the interpretation is almost word for word.

The Word of God says that if you pray in tongues, you should pray that you will also interpret – not only for the benefit of others – but for your own benefit as well. If someone speaks in tongues, you can ask God to move through you to give the interpretation so others will understand, but you can also do this in your private prayers for your own personal benefit. You can pray, “Father, help me understand what I’ve just said to you in the Spirit,” and the Lord will give you the interpretation. The gift of interpretation of tongues is the second of three inspirational or vocal gifts of the Holy Spirit. When combined with the inspirational gift of diverse tongues, the miraculous and supernatural phenomenon known as prophecy results.

1 Corinthians 14: 27-28: “If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.”

1 Corinthians 14:13-14: “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.”

Edit
Advertisements

1 Comments on “BLOG”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: