The Gift Vs. Gifts Of The Spirit
By G.T. Haywood
The Birth Of The Spirit
That to be born of the Spirit is to be baptized with the Holy Ghost, is the conclusion drawn from the word of God by every close student of the Holy Scriptures. No church, no creed, whatever their differences may be on other passages of the Scriptures, holds a contrary view of this matter. The Word of God emphatically proves this to be true.
What We Must Do
Jesus told Nicodemus that he “must” be born of water and the Spirit. When the multitude cried, “What ‘shall’ we do?” Peter’s answer was to “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ (in water)…and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Saul cried out to Jesus, “What wilt Thou have me to do?” but Jesus told him to go on to Damascus and it would be told him what he “must” do. The thing that he was told that he “must” do was to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 9:6, 17, 18; 22:16.) At Philippi, when the keeper of the prison said, “sir, what must I do to be saved?” the Apostles’ answer was, “Believe in the Lord, Jesus Christ,” which implied baptism as in all other cases before it. (Acts 16:14, 15, 3Oth to 34th verses.)
I am sure that almost all will agree that no one could honestly deny or misconstrue these facts. To show that other writers or commentators saw this fact that the new birth implied the baptism of the Holy Spirit, in the days of the Apostles, we hereby quote what Mr. Adam Clarke, the famous Bible commentator, had to say on the subject:
“When John came baptizing with water, he gave the Jew’s the plainest intimations that this would not suffice; that it was only typical of that baptism of the Holy Ghost under the similitude of fire, which they “must” all receive from Jesus Christ (See Matt. 3:11). Therefore, our Lord asserts that a man “must” be born of water and the Spirit, i.e., of the Holy Ghost. …I would not merely say to thee (reader), read what it is to be born of the Spirit: but pray, 0 pray, to God incessantly, till He gives thee to feel what is implied in it! Remember, it is Jesus only who baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. (See chapter 1:33 John.) He who receives not this baptism has neither right no title to the Kingdom of God; nor can he with any propriety be termed a Christian, because that which essentially distinguished the Christian dispensation from that of
the Jews was, that its author baptized all his followers with the Holy Ghost.
The above quotation is what that eminent servant of God draws from the Word of God concerning the “birth of the Spirit.” Not only is this his view of what the Bible teaches, but many, many others also.
But with many of today, although they acknowledge that the birth of the Spirit and the baptism of the Spirit are synonymous, yet they disagree on the point as to whether speaking in other tongues accompanies the “birth of the Spirit.” As long as we were taught that the birth of the Spirit was one thing, and the baptism of the Spirit was another, practically all of those who received this miraculous experience as it is recorded in the second chapter of Acts, stood firm and proclaimed far and wide that, according to the apostolic record, all who were baptized with the Holy Spirit spoke with other languages as the Spirit gave them utterance. Wherever this was preached all who received the baptism of the Spirit spake with other languages as they did at Pentecost.
As time rolled on the illumination of the Holy Spirit began to reveal to the church more truth. (John 14:26; 16:12-15). And many of those who saw the light began at once to walk therein. (John 12:35,36). While others faltered, and began to draw back. Because of this some have attempted to prove that the “birth of the Spirit” and the “baptism of the Spirit” are two different experiences, while others hold that the two are synonymous, but that all who receive it do not speak with tongues. It is the latter view that we especially wish to dwell upon.
The argument used is strengthened by this passage of scripture, “Do all speak with tongues?” (I Cor. 12:30). We do not take this up for mere argument’s sake, strife nor controversy, but that by this we may arrive at just what the word of God teaches on this matter. If we are wrong, it is our desire to be set right by the Word. The time is too short for us to seek honor, or applause. The church of God is at “take. If we err, many souls will be required at our hands. There is but one thing upon which we can rely to judge between us in this matter, and that is the infallible Word of God, “which liveth and abideth forever.”
There Is A Difference
In the first place, the Bible teaches that there is a difference between the “gift” of the Holy Spirit, and the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit. The second chapter of Acts records the reception of the “gift (singular) of the Holy Ghost,” while the twelfth chapter of I Corinthians deals with the operation of the “gifts (plural) of the Holy Ghost.” If we consider this, the rest will be clearly understood. The speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance accompanied the “gift” of the Holy Ghost; but the “divers kind of tongues” is one of the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit, which He divides severally has He wills.
At Caesarea the Apostle knew that the Gentiles had received the “gift of the Holy Ghost” (not one of the gifts), “For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God.” (Acts 10:45,46). When Peter rehearsed the incident that transpired at the house of Cornelius, he declared that God gave them the “like gift” as He did unto them at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost
The Gift Of God A Sacrifice
That we might note that there is a distinction between “gift” of the Holy Ghost and the “gifts” of the Holy Ghost, we will refer you to the original Greek wording of the same. We do not do this to make a display of knowledge, but since some have resorted to this method to strengthen their points, or overthrow the truth, we feel that we have an equal liberty to use the same methods. We do not profess to be a Greek student, but we desire to use a little Greek at this point, as we believe it will help some. In the New Testament there are fourteen places where the word “gift” is used in reference to the Holy Spirit, directly or indirectly (note the following places: John 4:10; Acts 2:38, 8:20, 10:45, 11:17; Rom. 5:15, i6, 17, 18; II Cor. 9:15; Eph. 2:8, 3:7, 4-:7; Heb. 6:4); and the word in each instance is taken from the word doron, which means, a sacrifice, while the word used for “gifts” is charisma, which means a spiritual endowment, that is, a religious qualification, or a miraculous faculty.
By this one can we clearly see that the “gift” of the Holy Ghost refers to the life which was sacrificed and given unto us. The “gift” of the Holy Spirit is the life of Christ Himself. The gift (doron) which God has given us eternal life. But the gifts are spiritual endowment, religious qualifications, or miraculous faculties, given for the edifying of the Church. (I Cor. 12:1-11.) In Eph. 4:8, the original word for “gifts” is doma, which means presents. In Heb. 2:4, the original word used for “gifts” is merismo, which means distinction. In none of these latter cases is the same word used as that which is used with. reference to the Holy Spirit, thereby making a clear distinction between the “gift” (doron) of the Holy Ghost and the “gifts” (charisma, doma) for the Holy Ghost.
A More Simple Explanation
We trust that none of the children of God will stumble over these Greek words, for it is written to meet the oppositions of the learned ones. But we have a more simple manner of conveying the truth of this matter to those who love the Word of God.
“To speak as the Spirit gives utterance” is the thing that accompanies the “gift” of the Holy Ghost but the gift of “divers kinds of tongues” is distributed among the members of the body as the Spirit wills. (I Cor. 12:11; Heb. 2:4.) Though every man “speaks as the Spirit gives utterance” when he receives the “gift” of the Holy Ghost (which is the manifestation of the Spirit, I Cor. 12:7), yet all are not given the gift of “divers kinds of tongues.” It is this gift of “divers kinds of tongues” that the Apostle refers to when he says, “Do all speak with tongues?” By reading the entire chapter, it will be seen that he is dealing with all the gifts and not with speaking in tongues only.
The Gift Of Tongues
It was this gift that was most particularly dealt with in the fourteenth chapter of his first epistle to the Corinthians. Those having the gift of tongues, and not knowing how to control it, were causing much trouble in the church at that time and his instructions to those was “to keep silent in the church, and speak to himself and to God,” if there was no interpreter present. If they were all “speaking as the Spirit gave utterance,” would there be any confusion there? The Spirit of God is not the author of confusion (ver. 33). If they were “speaking as the Spirit gives utterance” would the Apostle give orders for the Spirit not to speak, or for the people not to let the Spirit speak through them? Would he be so foolish as to dictate to the Spirit of God in such a manner, and then at the same time tell the saints “quench not the Spirit,” and “grieve not the Holy Spirit?” God forbid. There must be a distinction between “gifts or divers kinds of tongues” and “speaking as the Spirit gives utterance.”
Concerning the gift of tongues, the Apostles says, “If I pray in an unknown tongue MY spirit (not the Holy Spirit) prayeth” (ver. 14.) If it is his spirit praying in an unknown tongue, then there must be a difference between his Spirit operating the “gift of tongues” and the “Holy Spirit giving utterance.” Hence, when he saith, “do all speak with tongues?” he has no reference to the Spirit’s utterance when one receives the gift of the Holy Ghost, but, to the “gift of tongues” which is among the gifts that are given to the members of the Church as He wills.
Tongues Are For A Sign
Tongues were a sign on the day of Pentecost that the Comforter had come. They were a sign to the saints at Damascus that Paul was one of them. They were a sign to Peter and the six Jews that God had accepted the Gentiles, and that they had received the Holy Ghost. They were a sign to Paul at Ephesus that the disciples had the real thing and were sealed to the day of their redemption, They were a sign that the Corinthians were baptized into the body. They were a sign that Isaiah’s prophecy was true. They were signs to Apostolic Fathers that a man received the Holy Ghost. They are a sign that modern Christendom has not received the Holy Ghost. They are a sign that the time of refreshing has come from the presence of the Lord (Isa. 28:11, 12; Acts 3:19-21), and Jesus is soon to come. And we cannot believe that a man has received the Holy Ghost until we see the signs as were manifested in Apostolic days, therefore tongues are for a sign.
THE TERMS BEGOTTEN AND BORN
In order to help those who seem to be a little confused over the meaning of the begotten, and born, we wish to give the following explanation:
Some of our young brethren have been trying to stir up the Greek language to prove that begotten and born mean the same thing. But it is not necessary to do that when we can go to the dictionary and find the following: Beget, or (begotten)-To procreate as a father, or sire. Born-Brought forth (by the mother).
Because the same Greek word, gennao is used in the original for both words, it does not necessarily imply that the words are the same in meaning. The word gennao, literally, means to bear, beget, be born, bring forth, conceive, be delivered of, gender, make, spring. And its translation depends upon what the sentence refers to in which it is used.
To ignore natural things in our search for spiritual or heavenly things, is a gross error on the part of the ministry today. Jesus said to Nicodemus, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you heavenly things?” And the Apostle Paul says, “For the invisible (spiritual) things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and God-head; so that they are without excuse.” (John 3:12; Rom. 1:20.) Look at the earthly things, things that are made and see if there is not a difference between begotten and born.
(The Life of G.T. Haywood from Apostolic Book Publishers, P.D. Dugas, Editor)
Christian Information Network