Jeevan Jal Ministries
 
  Teachings

About Spiritual Gifts

I Cor 12:1 Now concerning the spiritual gifts brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant

The Gk word Agnoein is translated in the following versions differently.

NKJV & NIV – do not want you to be ignorant
KJV – would not have you ignorant
RSV – do not want you to be uninformed
NAS – do not want you to be unaware
TLB – don’t want any misunderstanding
NAB – do not want to leave you in ignorance
JB – clear up wrong impression

St. Paul says that a thorough understanding of the spiritual gifts is very important for every believer, it is not to be neglected. You must know what they are, how to be used, for what purpose it is given and how to receive them.

  • Gifts are attributed to the Holy Spirit. He is the distributor.
    I Cor 12:4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit.
  • Administration, Service, Ministries, Offices are attributed to the Lord Jesus. Gk.Diakonion.
    I Cor 12:5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord.
  • Working and operations are attributed to the Father. Gk. Energema.
    I Cor 12:6 and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one.

I Cor 12:8-10 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

Gifts of Inspiration or Speech : Tongues, Interpretation and Prophecy.
Revelation : Wisdom, Knowledge and Discernment.
Ability or Power or Sign : Faith, Healing and Miracles.

There are nine gifts mentioned in this verse and these are known as Charismatic gifts. The word Charism comes from the Gk. meaning ‘gift.’ However, there are other gifts which God bestows to his Church.

Eph 4:11 And His gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers

These gifts are known as the five fold ministry of the Church

Rm 12:6-8 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

I Cor 12:28-30 And God has appointed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

I Cor 12:31 But earnestly desire the higher gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way.

Earnestly desire, Gk. Zelos = a strong passion.
Higher, Gk. Kreitton = stronger.

I Cor 14:1 Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.

We should be motivated by genuine love for God and for His Church, in order to receive the spiritual gifts.

I Cor 14:12 So with yourselves; since you are eager for manifestations of the Spirit, strive to excel in building up the Church.

We should have a pure desire to edify the body.
We should seek to excel in the operations of the gifts.
Gifts are not toys for the individual but tools for building the community.

TONGUES

Mk16:17 ‘They will speak in new tongues.’ To speak in new languages which they had not learned as other men learn them Gk. Lieterais Glossais; other tongues, languages which was different from the native language of the speaker. The following lists given by Paul places gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues, lowest in the scale.

I Cor 12:8-10 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

I Cor 12:27-28 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues.

I Cor 14:15-17 What am I to do? I will pray with the Spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the Spirit and I will sing with the mind also. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how can any one in the position of an outsider say the "Amen" to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? For you may give thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified.

The main characteristic of the tongues is that it is unintelligible. The man “Speaks mysteries”, prays, blesses, gives thanks in tongues. No one understands praying in tongues, it is a gift of prayer. It is the Spirit of God in me praying to God. It is a powerful tool of intercession, when I do not know what to pray and how to pray.

Rm 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

Tongues are of two types praying in tongues and speaking in tongues. Every believer can receive the gift of praying in tongues, whereas speaking in tongues is a rare gift. It is actually a gift of prophecy, a message for another or a group and whenever there is speaking in tongues, it has to be accompanied by interpretation.

I Cor 12:3 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

I Cor 14:5 Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. He who prophesies is greater than he who speaks in tongues, unless some one interprets, so that the Church may be edified.

I Cor 14:13 Therefore, he who speaks in a tongue should pray for the power to interpret.

I Cor 14:27 If any speak in a tongue, let there be only two or at most three, and each in turn; and let one interpret.

INTERPRETATION

It is a companion gift to the gift of speaking in tongues, it is a supernatural enablement by the Holy Spirit to interpret tongues into the known language of the congregation. It is not the gift of translation. All who speak in tongues are clearly told, let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. I Cor 14:13.

If there is no interpreter then one should not speak in tongues. I Cor 14:28

Rom 12:6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith;

Take care not to speak beyond the proportion of your faith, no personal thoughts, don’t interpret the interpretation.

I Cor 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.

The one who has this gift speaks under a powerful anointing of God.

PROPHECY

To utter inspired words. This is a gift by which God, through a person, speaks a message to an individual or to the whole Christian community. It is God making use of someone, to state what He thinks about the present situation, what His intention is for the future or what He thinks they should know or be mindful of right now. It is not primarily nor necessarily a prediction of the future.

I Cor 14:3 On the other hand, he who prophesies speaks to men for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation.

I Cor 14:31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged.

I Cor 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.

Its purpose:

To edify.

  1. To exhort, stir up the believers, confront and challenge.
  2. To comfort, to speak encouragingly words of comfort.

I Cor 14:3 On the other hand, he who prophesies speaks to men for their up building and encouragement and consolation.

Many a times all these elements may be included. It should not be confused with preaching. It is not the ability to preach well. Preaching and teaching are usually the result of prayerful meditation in the mind of God. By careful preparation of his mind and spirit, a preacher can minister understanding to the people. Prophecy is not the result of careful study. It is usually an unpremeditated spontaneous speaking forth by the Spirit.

It is not for foretelling, whenever there is an element of prediction within a prophecy, it is usually because there is another gift (knowledge or wisdom) working along with it.

Scriptural teaching on Prophecy:

  1. Prophecy is speaking supernaturally to men. It conveys the mind of the Lord to the Church, the prophet speaks on behalf of God to believers for their edification, exhortation and comfort.
  2. Requires no interpretation.
  3. Convinces the unbeliever.
    I Cor 14:24-25 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.
  4. Believers may learn spiritual truths through the anointing of the Spirit. The verse also means that those newly come to faith, may learn how to use the gift of prophecy.
    I Cor 14:31 For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged.
  5. Everyone should desire and covet this gift.
    I Cor 14:1 Make love your aim, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.
    I Cor 14:39 So, my brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.
  6. The person operating the gift, is responsible for its use or abuse. It is not an uncontrolled utterance, nor is the prophet under any kind of trance or mind control. He is neither doing anything nor saying anything against his will.
    I Cor 14:32 And the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets.
  7. Because those who prophesy can make mistakes, prophecy must be judged.
    I Cor 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.
  8. Guidelines for judging a prophecy :
  • It should never contradict the written Word of God.
  • It should always exalt Jesus.
  • It should exhort, comfort, edify. It should never leave them confused, distressed or uncertain.
  • It should not break the spirit of the meeting, though it may change the course of it.
  • It should come to pass if there is a predictive aspect.It should come from one whose life and practice is according to God’s Word.
    Mt 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles?

     9.  How to Prophecy : Be relaxed, wait on the Lord, this gift operates by faith, do           not prophesy beyond the proportion of your faith

         Rm 12:6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use          them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith.

WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

A fragment of God’s knowledge, given to a person by the Holy Spirit at a particular time. It gives faith and information through the supernatural revelation of the Holy Spirit.

Examples

Jesus knew certain facts about Nathaniel before He ever met him.

Jn 1:47-48 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael said to Him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

Jesus knew many facts of the Samaritan woman, though He had never seen her, the exercise of this gift eventually brought a great revival in the village.

Jn 4:18-19 “For you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly." The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.”

In the early Church, Ananias received in great detail, information about Saul.

Acts 9:11-12 And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight."

In the O.T. God revealed to Nathan certain facts and details regarding David’s sins.

It is distinct from human knowledge.

Its employment in scripture:

  1. To uncover sin of David: II Sam 12:1-10 And the LORD sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, "There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his morsel, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveller to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb, and prepared it for the man who had come to him." Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." Nathan said to David, "You are the man.” Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul; and I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.'

    To uncover the sin of Ananias : Acts 5:1-10 But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much." But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
  2. To bring people to God : Nathanael and the Samaritan woman Jn 1:47-49 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" Nathanael said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." Nathanael answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" Jn 4:18-19 For you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly. The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.”
  3. To give guidance and direction: Ananias. Acts 9:11 And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying.
  4. To minister encouragement: I King 19:9-18 And there he came to a cave, and lodged there; and behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said to him, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He said, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." And he said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" He said, "I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts; for the people of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." And the LORD said to him, "Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus; and when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And him who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him."
  5. To impart knowledge of future events: Acts 11:28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius.
  6. To reveal hidden things: Saul I Sam 10:22 So they inquired again of the LORD, "Did the man come hither?" and the LORD said, "Behold, he has hidden himself among the baggage."

The operations:

  1. Supernatural in character.
  2. Operates by faith.
  3. Revelation received in one’s spirit, not intellect or emotions.
  4. Not essentially a vocal gift, may be received quietly within the person’s spirit or audibly on occasion (Ananias) Acts 9:11-12 And the Lord said to him, "Rise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul; for behold, he is praying, and he has seen a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight."
  5. It may become vocal when shared with others, Samaritan woman Jn 4:18 For you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband.
  6. Any spirit filled Christian willing to hear God’s voice may experience this gift.
  7. Invaluable asset in the ministry of counseling.
  8. Obedient action and response, is essential to the continuing function of this gift.
  9. Frequently manifested in conjunction with Word of Wisdom, to know what to do about a Word of Knowledge.

WORD OF WISDOM

This gift stands first in the list in terms of its importance, enables us to speak and act with Divine wisdom to live a true Christian life and ensures the correct use and application of other gifts, when wisdom is absent, the other gifts can be used wrongly.

It is a fragment of Divine wisdom supernaturally imparted by the Holy Spirit at a particular time. It supplies with immediate wisdom to know what to say or do in a given situation.

Distinction:

  1. It is not natural wisdom.
  2. It is not wisdom gained from academic achievement.
  3. It is not gained by experience.
  4. It is not even the wisdom to understand the Bible.
  5. It is supernatural in character.
  6. It is given as the Holy Spirit wills.
  7. Is given for specific need or situation.
  8. It is not the gift of wisdom, but Word of Wisdom.

Biblical examples:

  1. Jesus replies to Satan with words of wisdom imparted by the Holy Spirit. Lk 4:3-4 The devil said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone."
  2. The Scribes tried to trap Jesus, but the word of wisdom given by the Spirit confounded them all.

    Lk 20:22-26 “Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?" But He perceived their craftiness, and said to them, "Show me a coin. Whose likeness and inscription has it?" They said, "Caesar's." He said to them, "Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch Him by what He said, but marveling at His answer they were silent.
  3. Scribes and Pharisees tried to trap Jesus with the sinner woman. Jn 8:3-9 The Scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law, Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?" This they said to test Him that they might have some charge to bring against Him. Jesus bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask Him, He stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her." And once more He bent down and wrote with His finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before Him.
  4. Giving wisdom in Church administration (distribution of bread to widows). Acts 6:1-4 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists murmured against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, "It is not right that we should give up preaching the Word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word."
  5. Solving a Church crisis (circumcision of gentiles) Acts 15:5-11 But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up, and said, "It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses." The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, "Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the Word of the gospel and believe. And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as He did to us; and He made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith. Now therefore, why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will."
  6. Gave Paul control over the situation resulting in the salvation of many lives (storm). Acts 27:23-24 For this very night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, and he said, 'Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar; and lo, God has granted you all those who sail with you.'
  7. It is promised to all disciples used in counseling, preaching, teaching, prophecy, how to respond to God’s command. Lk 21:14-15 Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.

DISCERNMENT

To distinguish between Satan, God and the human in the spiritual realm. We can discern the origin of certain actions, teachings, circumstances, that have been inspired by spirit beings. It is limited in its revelation to the origin of the behaviour. Primarily, this gift, discerns the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Function:

Gives one a supernatural understanding of the nature and activity of spirit, to distinguish and reveal the nature of the spirits themselves.

Acts 16:16-18 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying. She followed Paul and us, crying, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation." And this she did for many days. But Paul was annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, "I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour.

Need for the gift:

It is necessary for missionaries and evangelists in lands where spiritism, satanism and occultism abound.

Operation:

To reveal the presence of evil spirits in the life of people or Churches, it functions to evaluate the source of a prophecy, teaching or some supernatural manifestation. The person functioning with this gift will be able to tell whether the source is human, Divine or demonic. The person functioning in this gift will also usually be able to reveal :

  1. The nature of the demon: lying, infirmity (causing cancer, blindness), unclean behaviour.
  2. Name of the demon.
  3. The number of demons. Mk.5:8-9 For He had said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion; for we are many." Lk 8:2 And also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out.
  4. The strength of particular demons, which is strongest and has greatest authority.

This gift does not always give one the faith to expel demons, it is essential for effective deliverance, it is not sufficient by itself. It must work with the gift of faith and miracles.

FAITH

It deals with the unseen and things not physically possible. The gift of faith is the special endowment given to someone God is calling upon, to take impossible action steps because of what God has spoken to them. God supernaturally empties us of any doubt and fills us with special faith, that enables us to accomplish God’s purpose, despite every contrary and contradictory circumstance of life. The gift of faith is a special dispensation of faith, which God grants a spirit filled believer when the task He has given that believer, requires more than ordinary or general faith. The gift of faith has a function which is vastly superior to that of general faith. General faith grows from the original seed of saving faith which God has planted in our hearts. Rm 12:3 For by the grace given to me, I bid every one among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.

The degree of general faith varies with the stage of development of the believer, little faith, great faith etc. Peter walking on water. Mt 14:28-31 And Peter answered Him, "Lord, if it is You, bid me come to You on the water." He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus, but when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "O man of little faith, why did you doubt?"

Lk 7:2-9 Now a centurion had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death. When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue." And Jesus went with them. When He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, "Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the Word, and let my servant be healed. For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that followed him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."

General faith grows as a result of feeding on the Word and application of the Word in any circumstance of life. Faith can develop to a very high degree. However, the gift of faith has a superior function to even the highest degree of general faith. It is special faith for special circumstances. Elijah declares to King Ahab that there will be no rain until he speaks the word. His gift of faith produced the miraculous fulfillment of that prophecy. I King 17:1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my Word." This extraordinary faith was lacking when Elijah sat under the juniper tree wanting to die. The gift of faith was not needed at that time I King 19:4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying, "It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am no better than my fathers."

God wants you to know that you can minister with confidence knowing that when special demands are made upon you. He will supernaturally give you special faith to enable you to fulfill His purpose.

How does the gift work:

It seems to operate in a rather passive manner, but not always. Daniel’s protection from the lions is a passive instance of the gift of faith. Samson’s slaying of the lion is an example of working of miracles.

Judges 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion asunder as one tears a kid; and he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.

The gift of working of miracles involves man’s active involvement in the manifestation of the power of God. This impression that the gift of faith functions passively is because, it often works in co-operation with more dramatic gifts (miracles and healings).

It operates through the speaking of words and can be used in many ways to bless or to create.

  1. Joshua commands the sun and the moon to stand still. Josh 10:12-13 Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD gave the Amorites over to the men of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, "Sun, stand thou still at Gibeon, and thou Moon in the valley of Ai'jalon." And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation took vengeance on their enemies. Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the midst of heaven, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day.
  2. Elijah controls the weather by his word. I Kings 17:1 There shall not be dew nor rain these years but according to my word.
  3. Paul silences Elymas. Acts 13:8-11 But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith. But Saul, who is also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, "You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind and unable to see the sun for a time." Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him and he went about seeking people to lead.
  4. Peter speaks God’s judgement on Ananias and Saphira Acts 5:1-10 But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphira sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much." And she said, "Yes, for so much." But Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Hark, the feet of those that have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out." Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
  5. He shall have whatever he says Mk 11:22-23 And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”

GIFTS OF HEALING

It is a supernatural gift by which the healing process is hastened. E.g. If a wound is left to be healed naturally, it may take about 10 days to heal, if you wash the wound and apply ointment regularly, it will heal faster, maybe in 5 or 6 days, but if the same wound is prayed over by someone with the gift of healing, the wound will heal still faster, maybe in 1 or 2 days.

Note it is mentioned in the plural. There are many different types of this gift.

I Cor 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit.

I Cor 12:30 Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?

Gk. Charismata Iamaton = gifts of healings. There is a great variety of manifestation of this gift.

The purpose:

  1. To deliver the sick and the suffering : Acts 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how He went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

    Lk 13:16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?
  2. To prove Christ’s claim to be the Son of God: Jn 10:36-38 Do you say of Him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? If I am not doing the works of My Father, then do not believe Me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me and I am in the Father."
  3. To confirm the Word: Mk 16:15-18 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover."

    Acts 4:29-30 And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to Thy servants to speak Thy word with all boldness, while Thou stretchest out Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Thy holy servant Jesus.
  4. To attract people to the Gospel: Lk 4:40-43 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. And demons also came out of many, crying, "You are the Son of God!" But He rebuked them, and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ. And when it was day He departed and went into a lonely place. And the people sought Him and came to Him, and would have kept Him from leaving them; but He said to them, "I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose."
  5. To bring glory to God: Mk 2:12 And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

    Lk 13:13 And He laid His hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God.

    Lk 18:42-43 And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed Him, glorifying God; and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

    Jn 9:2-3 And his disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him.”

God works healing through normal channels, laying on of hands Mk 16:18 They will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.

Peter’s shadow. Acts 5:15 So that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.

Paul’s handkerchief, Aprons. Acts 19:11-12 And God did extraordinary miracles by the hands of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were carried away from his body to the sick, and diseases left them and the evil spirits came out of them.

WORKING OF MIRACLES

It is a supernatural power endowed by God to create, it does not depend on the laws of nature. It is more than healing.

a) Miracles give proof of the resurrection : Acts 4:30-33 While Thou stretchest out Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Thy Holy servant Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness. Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

b) Accomplished the following:

  1. Gave boldness: Acts 4:13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they wondered; and they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
  2. Encouraged prayer: Acts 4:29-31 “And now, Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to Thy servants to speak Thy word with all boldness, while Thou stretchest out Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of Thy Holy servant Jesus." And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the Word of God with boldness.
  3. Convicted of sin: Acts 5:28 Saying, "We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you intend to bring this man's blood upon us." Acts 5:33 When they heard this they were enraged and wanted to kill them.
  4. Converted 5000 in one day through one miracle : Acts 4:4 But many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to about five thousand.
  5. Glorified God : Acts 4:21 And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people; for all men praised God for what had happened.
  6. Spread the gospel quickly : Acts 5:12-16 Now many signs and wonders were done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high honor. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and pallets, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

    Jn 6:2 A great multitude followed Him because they saw His miracles which He did on them which were diseased.

    Lk 4:33-35 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon; and he cried out with a loud voice, "Ah! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God." But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!" And when the demon had thrown him down in the midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm.

    Lk 4:37 And reports of him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

20 facts and questions about Gifts.

  1. Their names and number. I Cor 12:8-10
  2. By whom imparted. I Cor 12:4
  3. Who operates them. I Cor 12:6
  4. Purpose, To confirm the Word of God. Mk 16:20
  5. Who may have them? Every believer. I Cor 12:11
  6. Can one have all of them? Yes. Has one man ever received all of them? Yes. Jn 3:34, Rm 15:29
  7. Were they manifested before Pentecost? Yes John the Baptist and others were filled with the Spirit but not baptised. Lk 1:15 Mary was filled Lk 1:41, Elizabeth was filled. The disciples had gifts and great power before Spirit baptism. Mt 10:1-8
  8. Can gifts be misused? Yes. I Cor 13:1-3
  9. Can gifts be exercised in backslidden state? Yes. Eccl 2:9-11
  10. Should one be afraid of getting an evil spirit manifestation? No true child of God should. Lk 11:11-13.
  11. Are gifts permanent or temporary? Permanent. Rm 11:29
  12. Are gifts exercised at will? Yes. I Cor 14:26-32
  13. Can gifts be neglected in use? Yes. I Tim 4:14
  14. When should gifts be used? When needed. I Cor 12:7, I Cor 14:17, 26
  15. Where should gifts be used? Where needed. I Cor 12:12-31, I Cor 14:1-40
  16. How can they be received? By faith and prayer. I Cor 14:1, Mt 7:7-11
  17. Do we need gifts today? Yes. Mk 16:15-20
  18. Can we choose which gifts we need today? Yes. I Cor 12:31, I Cor 14:1 & 12
  19. How do we know when we have received them? When the Spirit manifests them through us to accomplish their intended purpose. I Cor 12:4-11, 28-31
  20. Are gifts to continue throughout this age? Yes. Mt 28:20

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