Let’s talk about the Gifts: ready for a major mind-renewal?
1 Corinthians 12 KJV
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
Verses 1 – 3
God made man with natural sensitivity beyond the basic five senses, which are what we see, hear, smell, taste and feel. The world often refers to the sixth sense as telepathic or paranormal abilities. They are simply intuitive sensors and are part of the human make-up. They are the receptors and senders in the human soul by which we “receive data filled vibrations” and “send data filled vibrations”. However, man without God has used his senses according to his own understanding and without God’s divine influence.
In pagan worship practices man allowed evil spirits and demons to influence them. Their goal being to express the inversion of everything that is Godly. For the Christian believer established in the Gospel truth their heart and soul are renewed to sense the work of the Holy Spirit within them. The Holy Spirit will then operate His abilities (Gifts) through the believer. The Holy Spirit’s ministry has the clear direction and purpose to confirm the Gospel which puts the focus on Jesus and glorifies God.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
The Greek word for Gifts is Charis-ma-ta. This comes from the root word Charis, which means Grace. The word Grace is often defined as unmerited favour, but it’s much more than that. Grace is God’s ability to save, heal, deliver, make whole, provide, and guide. God’s grace is His ability.
Ma-ta from the Greek Charismata speaks of the results of Ma, Ma on its own being in the singular form. Mata are multiple results.
Thus, the word “Gifts” (of the Holy Spirit) are to be understood as: The Holy Spirit manifesting His multiple abilities.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
Differences of administrations refers to different ways and methods of how the Gift (ability) is administered. God works out the influence, the effect and end result through them all.
6 And there are diversities of operations (energema), but it is the same God which worketh (energeo) all in all.
Operations from the Greek Energema means: effect
Worketh from the Greek Energeo means: work effectually in
All in all: All in only a few chosen ones? No all believers.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
The word “Manifestation” from the Greek means: bestowment, expression.
The “Given” from the Greek is that word Didomi again, which we saw in the discussion on Romans 1:11 and means: to cause to come forth.
The word “Profit” from the Greek means: contribute.
The word “Withal” is not in the Greek.
The word: ”to” just before the words “every man” and the word “profit” just isn’t there in the Greek. These are additives put there by translators and reveals from which paradigm they were working. If man is the one who causes to come forth or gives, then then what they are doing is contributing. Notwithstanding it is the Holy Spirit operating through them. The English in the King James suggests that God gives or causes to come forth, but that doesn’t fit with the rest of the Greek word here in verse 7, even though all the Gifts are the abilities of the Holy Spirit. The context of the rest of this chapter gives clarity on this and reveals that the sentence in verse 7 can only read as:
“But the expression of the Spirit comes forth by every man for them to contribute”.
Reading verse 4 through 7 it dawns on the ardent student of scripture that though gifts and offices might differ in their effectual working they are given to all and expressed through the believers for each one to contribute (to the body of Christ).
8 (For to) one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; (to) another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
Are you ready for this one? The words “for to” and the word “to” are NOT in the Greek. The sentence begins with “One”. Now the word given is again the Greek word Didomi and means: to cause to come forth. So this is talking about people who express, give forth, cause to bring forth, administer, ministers, etc.
The verses 8 through 10 should then be read as starting of with: One gives forth or ministers….
9 (To) another faith by the same Spirit; (to) another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 (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:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
The word “Worketh” from the Greek means: effectively working.
The word “Dividing” from the Greek means: distributing.
The word “Severally” from the Greek means: each or every, any, both, each one, every man, every woman, particularly.
The famous old religious words “As he will” at the end of verse 11 is usually understood as in God being the one who wills and determines who gets which gift and manifestation of the Spirit. This is not consistent with the context.
Take the dictionary definitions for the word “Will”: to will, wish, to deliberately, to have a purpose, to be minded: followed by an infinitive, of willing as an affection, to desire: followed by an infinitive, to be disposed towards.
The dictionaries synonyms shed further light on the meaning of the word: Disposed, disposition is: tending toward, inclined, given to, liable, nature, make-up, constitution, and tendency.
God has made all these gifts accessible to everyone in the body of Christ regardless of who they are. However, it is the individuals will, disposition and own decision to determine whether they will learn to draw upon these workings and abilities of the Holy Spirit.
Verse 11 should therefore read something like this:
But all these operations by the same Holy Spirit are drawn upon by each man’s own choice and willingness to participate.
So then let’s read verses 4 through 11 again based on our word study.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
4 Now there are divers’ results of the abilities, but they’re all of the same Spirit. 5 There are different ways to administers them, but they are from same Lord. 6 And there are different effects, but it is the same God who works all these effects through all.
7 But the expression of the Spirit is given by every man to contribute. 8 One ministers (causes to come forth) by the Spirit the word of wisdom; another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 another faith by the same Spirit; another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 another working of miracles; another prophecy; another discerning of spirits; another divers kinds of tongues; another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these operations by the same Holy Spirit are drawn upon by each man’s own choice and willingness to participate.
Consider this: If it was all up to God to decide how and when the Holy Spirit would manifest then why would He bother to teach us about the Gifts in the first place?
The nine gifts in this passage are sometimes divided in to three categories.
Three Revelation Gifts. The gifts that provide insight about a present situation something
1. The Word of Knowledge reveals a present situation about a person(s), or circumstances or situation that we could not have known otherwise. This can also mean that you will receive insight about the past history that led up to a present situation.
2. The Word of Wisdom reveals God’s answer and instructions providing a solution, that we could not have come up with ourselves, as a way out of a present difficult situation.
3. Discernment of the spirits. Mainly discerning manifestations of the Holy Spirit, then angels, and evil spirits and demons. This Gift hyper-develops a sensory acuity to the spiritual world. The Holy Spirit may cause one to see into the spiritual world or heighten the other internal senses. The five senses of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting, and smelling are both external and internal. When you see into the spiritual realm it is likely to be an internal visual. You can see it with your “minds eye”. Sometimes I could smell the presence of the Lord, but it is an internal olfactory discernment.
Three Power Gifts that do something:
1. The Working of Miracles.
The word “Working” from the Greek energema again means: operation, working.
The word “Miracles” from the Greek Dunamis means Miracle working power. A combination of things done that might trigger faith and the release of power.
2. Special Faith. This is Special Faith because it is not your own faith in what you know you have a scriptural right to but rather a faith dropped in you by revelation from the Holy Spirit, concerning someone or circumstance and situation.
3. Gifts (Multiple/Charismata) of Healings (also multiple). Different operations and ways to administer the abilities of the Holy Spirit to heal the sick.
Three Gifts of utterance that say something:
1. The gift of Prophecy: 1 Corinthinas 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. The word Edification means: to build up. The word exhortation has sometimes been claimed to mean: to strongly correct. Preachers who were just rudely rebuking the crowds they preached to, were called exhorter’s or told they had the gift of exhortation. This is just arrogant behavior with a serious attitude problem. Then some have the nerve to say they had a powerful anointing on them to exhort the people. I wouldn’t call that the anointing, but rather the annoying. The word Exhortation comes from the Greek word: paraklesis, which very close to the Greek word: parakletos, and is one of the titles of the Holy Spirit meaning comforter. This word exhort means: to comfort, to console and encourage. Comfort meaning to give strength and hope.
Now I referred to prophesying as referred to in 1 Corinthians 14: 3. But this is the type of prophecy which can be stirred up for that purpose of edifying the believers or anyone who will receive the words of encouragement. The office of the Prophet is different in that it is one of the fivefold ministries, which I will discuss later.
2 and 3. The gift of tongues and the gift of interpretation of tongues. Anyone can speak in tongues. This is not for a reserved few. However, all these gifts work in us for the purpose of ministering to the body of Christ, for example in Church meetings, or even anywhere when reaching out to people whether it be in an Evangelistic event or at work or anywhere anytime really. Praying in tongues you can do whenever you want to in your own practical way privately. However, the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues is for the assembly of the believers for their encouragement. You will know when the Holy Spirit moves on you to give out a message in tongues. But this is a partnership or teamwork with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, paradoxically, you may sense that it is appropriate to give out the message in tongues and you act on your faith. It is not your usual praying in tongues, but more like the volume of power and intensity has been raised from two to ten. Then another person may be given the interpretation and they will follow as soon as you are done. But you will know when you have been given the interpretation yourself. It is not a translation of unintelligible words, but an interpreting a spiritual message and codifying it into intelligible words.
(I will discuss the topic of praying in tongues and praying in the Spirit in depth in a separate study)
Each of these brief summaries describing the Gifts certainly don’t do it justice. But this article is means to provide a new paradigm. A Grace oriented paradigm to look at these gifts and how anyone can theoretically operate in them.
All of the gifts mentioned above can operate in the most surprising ways. Many years ago, I saw a man sitting in a tram in Amsterdam. He was holding on to a pushchair with a young child in it. But I noticed he was wearing many rings and necklaces that had occult meaning. I just felt the urge to say to him: “you know when you do perform your occult practices you are not getting rid of a demon, you are replacing them with a stronger demon, suppressing the other one.” He looked at me with big eyes. I exited the tram. Then I could see as though by an invisible force the pushchair began to roll all the way to the front of the tram. The baby was absolutely fine, but it startled the man. I’m sure it had him thinking. Perhaps it was one of those moments which led him to come to the revelation of his redemption through Christ, and not the occult. I told a colleague he would be promoted a year before it happened when he himself had no perception that this would happen. What’s the point of the gift of the Holy Spirit working through me at that time? Well, now years later he is in that position and highly respects me and trusts my judgment of situations. His trust became important later, on several occasions, in challenging situations at the workplace. If that working relationship had not been there, it could have turned out bad for the organisation and several employees. Remember just simply trust God. He knows what’s down the road years from now. Yielding and operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit today may render immediate benefits, and amazing results years later. In 1998 I was conducting healing school in Wels, Austria. That afternoon a sad looking lady was sat on the front row. She looked like she was there physically, but mentally she seemed completely absent. Her head was shaved, and she had a scar where I was told she recently had brain surgery. The people who were with her told me she was suffering with depression. I felt slightly overwhelmed by her condition and I didn’t feel a powerful anointing at the time. In fact, I felt nothing. But I took a step of faith and just laid hands on her and prayed for her healing and deliverance. The next day I was told this lady was free from depression, and she was so happy and told her friends, and they were on a bus making their way to healing school. Was that by the operation of the gift of healing? No. It was simple faith in the word of God. Sometimes, if there seems to be no special anointing or gift of the Holy Spirit at work, there is always simple faith in the word of God. The power of God can always be accessed by faith.
I do not have enough room or time to tell you about all the times I witnessed the Holy Spirit and the power of God at work, healing people, setting people free, revealing important information, foretelling of things to come. But I’m sure you have many of your own testimonies to.
One Body, Many Members
1 Corinthians 12:12-17 KJV
12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
For years we have said that these scriptures mean to say that some people have been appointed to a five-fold ministry position and others have been assigned to, for example, the recording ministry in the back of the Church building. On the surface of what is said is that those in the five-fold ministry raised up by God for that work and everybody’s else’s position is also very important otherwise the preachers and the pastors couldn’t do their job. Yet, the deeper message subtly perceived by the subconscious of many is that the people in the five-fold ministry are selected elite by God and the rest are virtually in a lower place of spirituality. No one would ever come out and admit such a ridiculous idea, but people behave like they believe they are inferior to their preacher. A healthy respect for those whom God uses to enrich our life’s is hugely important, but that is automatically given by the grateful never demanded by the minister.
There is nothing wrong with any position, role, and function in the Church. True humility is grateful for the honor to serve the Lord in any capacity. However, what the above verses are saying is that no matter what position anyone might have there are no elite Christians or inferior Christians we are all part of the same Christ who has made us all elite. We are all part of His body. We have all received the same Holy Spirit.
God is the great Composer and Director
1 Corinthians 12:18-31
18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
The word “Set” from the Greek means: to set, fix, establish, to ordain, advice, appoint, conceive.
The word “Pleased” from the Greek means: to be disposed to, to desire.
Note that the word “Him” is not in the Greek.
As is clear now so much depends on our willingness to participate with God. However, The Lord orchestrates. He is the great composer and director. Like the musicians in an orchestra, we choose to play in symphony under His mighty direction.
19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body. 21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. 22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: 23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. 24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: 25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. 27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
The word “Set” from the Greek is the same word as in verse 18
We all have the same potential, but we will not all do the same things
The Apostles were the first ministry gifts in the early church then prophets and as churches were being established God raised up teachers and pastor’s and Evangelist.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?
Though all believers received the fullness of the Holy Spirit will everyone do the same thing? No of course not. If you place a hundred Pastors together, they are not all going to function exactly alike. Different Christians have been exposed to different experiences, ministries, teaching and training. There is difference in personality, difference in passion, difference in overall life experience. There are many factors which determine how a person will flow in the anointing and what kind of gifts he or she will draw upon or not. Theoretically we all have access to the unlimited resources of the Holy Spirit and all the gifts. Reality is that all of us are unique in the way that we will communicate, deliver, and express what God has given us.
If God determines to only give us a limited portion of His Spirit, anointing and gifts then why would He tell us to earnestly covet the best gifts?
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
The words “covet earnestly” from the Greek mean: To be heated or to boil, to desire earnestly, to burn with zeal.
Scripture tells us that we should burn with zeal for the Gifts.
The word “best” from the Greek means: most fitting.
The best gifts are not the ones that might seem the most impressive to some. They are the ones needed most at the time of need as love would dictate according to next chapter in 1 Corinthians 13.
In the context of the assembly of the believers (Church service). We should burn with zeal for the most fitting gifts and manifestations of the Holy Spirit being expressed through anyone who knows how to yield to Him for that purpose.
I’m a stickler for the fact that the power and gifts are not a substitute for having your mind renewed by the Word of God (the Gospel truth). However, on the other extreme, I’ve heard ministers forever downplay the importance of the anointing and power of God using the same argument. It’s interesting to note that every one of them who ever did argue like that are not or hardly ever flowing in the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit. If you don’t know how these things operate, that’s fine. Watch others and learn. But refrain from speaking against the work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit.
For Christians the supernatural of God should be the most natural thing all the time. A daily occurrence. A lifestyle. They may not be the miracles of the raising of the dead, or the blind to see, and the deaf to hear again, everyday, but discern rightly, and you will see and notice the hand of God in your everyday life. It’s the many little things that matter of which you know that there had to be some divine intervention. Some of those divine appointments, divine timing, dreams, impressions, prophecies that were given to you specifically coming true. Financial miracles, divine opportunities, and on and on. These things are evidence that He cares for you and this world.
Enter His Ministry
The bad things that happen and all the evil in this world are evidence that there are dark forces at work who do anything to try and prove that God doesn’t love you. But you are called to be His witness. A witness of His death and resurrection, a witness of His life in you. Whether you are in the Ministry or feel called to the Ministry, remember this is not your Ministry. It always was and forever will be His Ministry, His Anointing, His Abilities, His Power, and His Authority. You are called to stand in His Ministry, trust Him, walk by faith and watch Him work.
Our world has entered an epic time of transformation. Whilst satanic forces desperately seek to throw the world into global totalitarianism, there are billions of people who want to be free from the deceit and enslaving systems of this world. More than ever the world needs people who know their God, and who know how to operate in the supernatural of God. Christians across the world are experiencing an intensifying of the manifestation of the gifts, and the power of God. I will tell you there is no limit to what God can do through you. One day you are just bored as a Christian and worried about all the troubling reports on the news. But you seek the Lord in prayer, and the next day God puts you in a completely new situation and performs miracles, signs, and wonders through you. The type of display of God’s power that will deliver His people, destroy the witchcraft and evil hypnosis of this world. The way God will use you is a major milestone in ending the abuse and crimes against humanity forever.