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The gift of the Spirit

THE GIFTS ENUMERATED

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

  1. word of wisdom (note: not wisdom but word of wisdom)
  2. word of knowledge
  3. gifts of healing (note: the plural "gifts")
  4. faith
  5. working of miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. discerning of spirits
  8. divers kinds of tongues
  9. interpretation of tongues

These nine gifts are divers, given to every man severally as the Lord wills, and given to profit withal (verses 7 and 11).

DEMONSTRATION AND MANIFESTATION

One may demonstrate because of the blessing of God. "He may shout, laugh, sing, clap, dance, jump and run because of blessings." The way he reacts to the blessing of God upon him will depend largely upon his own emotional disposition and the way he has been taught.
 
The reaction to the blessing of God is different in different parts of the country and among different nationalities. It is the same blessing, the same Spirit of God moving but the reaction is human.

However, manifestation is the operation of the gifts of the Spirit as a direct result of the exercising of the spiritual gifts.

MEANING OF THE WORD "GIFTS"

The word "gift" in the New Testament is a translation from four different words in the original text.
 

  1. Gratuity or giving to a pauper, used when mention is made of the gift of salvation (John 4:10; Acts 2 38).
  2. Present or offering (Ephesians 2:8) The faith to believe is God's gift to us in the same way that a present is given.
  3. Distributions. The church, which is His body, has many members and in order that the manifestation of the Spirit of Christ be in the body, the Lord distributed the multiple workings of the gifts to all the body (Ephesians 4:7).
  4. Endorsement of miraculous faculty. This is the word used for the gift of prophecy and gifts of healing where that which is given enables one to speak with divine unction (Romans 12:6-8; 1 Peter 4:10-11).
  5. This is a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy (Acts 2:18).

GROUPING THE GIFTS INTO THREE GROUPS

Gifts of Knowledge (to know):

  1. word of wisdom
  2. word of knowledge
  3. discerning of Spirits

 
Gifts of power (to act):

  1. faith
  2. working of miracles
  3. gifts of healing

 
Gifts of utterance (to speak):

  1. Prophecy
  2. divers kinds of tongues
  3. interpretation of tongues

GROUPING THE GIFTS ACCORDING TO 1 CORINTHIANS 12:4-7

 
Diversities of gifts:

  1. gifts of healing
  2. prophecy
  3. divers kinds of tongues
  4. interpretation of tongues

Differences of administrations

  1. word of wisdom
  2. word of knowledge
  3. discerning of spirits

Diversities of operations

  1. faith
  2. working of miracles

THE GIFT OF PROPHECY 

The great commission was given to the disciples by their leader Christ to evangelize the world (Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8).
 
The gift of prophecy was bestowed upon the apostles and preachers of that day; with it they preached the word with signs following.
 
New Testament Prophesy is a forth telling of scriptural truths kept strictly within the framework of the Bible. This prophetic gift has a threefold manifestation:

  1. Speaking with tongues
  2. Interpretation of tongues
  3. Prophecy

The first one is a supernatural utterance by the Spirit speaking through the believers in other tongues, and in order that the message be understood one is given by the same spirit the interpretation of the message. There is also prophecy, or speaking by inspiration in one's own native tongue. "Good sound spirit anoints preaching becomes New Testament prophecy along with anointed testimony from the laity."
 

SPEAKING WITH TONGUES 

It might be called a vocal miracle.
1 Cor 14:2 "says no man understandeth him." Verse 14 says "My understanding is unfruitful,"
 
At least three different ways in which speaking in tongues is used are found in the Scriptures:

  1. When receiving the Baptism of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4; 10:44-46; 19:6). Every baptized believer has had this experience.
  2. Speaking to God in worship, or prayer, or in song (1 Cor. 14:2, 14-15)
  3. Addressing the church coupled with interpretation (1 Cor. 14:13-27). "Speaking in tongues at will does not say that we have the gift of tongues." One may receive the ability to speak with tongues at the same time he gets the baptism, but the proper use of same is always by the moving of the spirit whether he receives the gift or whether he just speaks as unto God (1 Cor. 14:2, 14).

This gift stands connected with the gift of Prophecy along with the interpretation of tongues and should be operated in strict connection with interpretation - read 1 Cor 14:27, 28. "Interpretation of tongues is by Divine Illumination." The Christian who is used along this line does not understand the language of the tongue he interprets. "In the original the word interpret does not mean to translate but to explain (1 Cor. 12:10, 30; 14: 13, 26)."
 
The one who receives this gift then explains the sense of the message in tongues, yielding to the Spirit in the giving forth of the message.

THE GIFTS OF HEALING 

In 1 Cor. 12:9 this is mentioned in the plural. The reason for this is probably because of the many causes of sickness and the different phases of the gift by which some should be treated.
 
Some ailments caused by demon activity may be through oppression obsession or possession. "This calls for discerning of spirits and defeating the devil before praying for healing." Perhaps the sickness is organic, maybe this cause for correction of living habits before the Lord will heal, etc." In Mark 16 the healing of the sick comes through laying on of bands - also in James 5:15.

DIFFERENCES OF ADMINISTRATIONS

This is the second division among the gifts and it deals with the administrative ministry of the Holy Ghost. There is plenty of opposition to our service for God and for this reason the Holy Spirit has placed in the church these differences of administrations.

  • The Word of wisdom - enlightening with the word of knowledge or illuminating with the discernment of spirits.

This is not wisdom but the word of wisdom - an example of this may be drawn from the experience of Christ (Mark 12:15). "The Pharisees tried to catch Jesus in his words." His answer confounded them because it was the word of wisdom. He promised his disciples similar aid (Matt 10:19-20).

  • The Word of Knowledge - not a profound knowledge of the Word for some has this without having the gift or manifestation. 

Examples of this gift operating can be found in scripture. Pre-understanding comes in this category - e.g. Peter knows that three men from Cornelius was to see him (Acts 1019). "This was the Word given to Peter by the Spirit." Paul gave information on the outcome of the shipwreck on the Island of Melita. "God counsels His own through the Spirit by the Word of Wisdom and enlightens them with the Word of knowledge, giving him an Armour against the devices of man and devil." Often God impresses with a need to go, stay, speak or keep silent. This goes to show that the Holy Spirit is an administrator.

  • Discerning of Spirit - wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

Satan has an army of demons always on the alert to disorganize the church and the individual Christian. To offset this the Holy Spirit dives into the body the discerning of Spirits by which we become aware of the presence and nature of demon spirits, giving us knowledge on how to deal with there powers and bring deliverance to those who are in captivity (Acts 16:16-18). In the commission in Mark 16 Christ said, "they shall cast out devils". Only the Spirit of God can really prove which one is demon possessed and in its administrative capacity gives discerning of Spirits to the Church so that it is equipped to check any opposition along these lines.

DIVERSITIES OF OPERATIONS

This is the third division of the nine fold manifestations .

  • Faith - A supernatural endowment by the Spirit, by which some special work is wrought. 

In Eph 2:8 we read of saving faith. "For by grace are ye saved through faith..." Faith is spoken of as a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Faith develops and increases until it becomes evident to others. Acts 3:16 give us a picture of a special endowment of faith. "Peter invoking the Name of Jesus over the lame man." This is a special operation of the Spirit and gives the ministry of faith to the believer.
 
Acts 4:29-30 is an example of a prayer for this endowment.
 

  • Working of Miracle. - In the minds of many this is associated with bodily healing -this is not the case. 

The meaning of miracle is "a supernatural act on the natural plane" - Got setting aside the law of nature. Examples: Christ turning water into wine, walking on the water, feeding the five thousand. "Philip's translation from the desert to Azotus (15 miles), Peter walking out of prison, Paul and Silas have the prison doors open and shackles fall off." These are done by the operation of the Spirit. "All these worketh the one and self same spirit as he will." Let us covet earnestly these gifts.