With the realization one treads deeply in the furrows of “theological grounds” in dealing with THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT, I choose to walk softly and rely heavily upon what I have learned concerning spiritual gifts from other writers, speakers, preachers, teachers, and prophets.
I especially concur with the opening statement of Lee Stoneking in the preface of his book, The Gifts of the Spirit: “The church needs the Gifts of the Spirit exquisitely adorned by the Fruit of the Spirit.”
In my lifetime of almost fifty years of having been filled with the blessed Holy Ghost, I have seen and heard ALL NINE Gifts of the Spirit operate within the Church of God. This statement I make very humbly and in the fear of God. To God be the glory for being a God of REALITY IN MY LIFE!
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 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. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 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 12:1-11).
The Gifts of the Spirit, which are given to operate in the body of Christ (the church), fall into three divisions:
(1)Gifts of revelation (mental gifts): The Word of Wisdom, The Word of Knowledge and Discerning of Spirits.
(2)Gifts of inspiration (vocal gifts): Prophecy, Divers Kinds of Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues.
(3)Gifts of Power (working gifts): Faith, The Gifts of Healing and The Working of Miracles.
Many questions have been asked down through the church age about the Gifts of the Spirit. Prayerfully read the following and glean the understanding God imparts to you:
To those whom God has filled with His Holy Spirit, according to Acts 2:4: “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” Acts 2:38-39: “Then Peter said unto hem, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto YOU, and to YOUR CHILDREN, and to ALL that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38,39).
Spiritual gifts are available and they are given to the believer who has received the initial infilling of the Holy Ghost. Every believer may receive one or more than one or even all of the spiritual gifts to be used in the church body for the edifying or strengthening of the Body of Christ, the church. Not ALL believers receive ALL the Gifts of the Spirit. Some believers may not receive even one of the Gifts of the Spirit to operate within the church. God is just and good and He, through His divine wisdom, gives spiritual gifts among the believers. It is scriptural to desire spiritual gifts. If a believer desires a spiritual gift, God will give to him according to his serving ability.
Many believers are afraid to receive the spiritual gifts for different reasons. Some fear they may not have the ability to use them properly. Others are skeptical about certain uses of the gifts. Yet others feel “unworthy” to be chosen of God for the use of the gifts.
Some have received a gift (or gifts) and have neglected to use or abuse its use. To avoid any and all of these pitfalls, the child of God must prize his or her relationship to God very highly. A daily communication with God is a MUST. A fully repentant life is a necessity. Pray for cleansing and purity of purpose in all you do for God. God is a good and gracious God: He NEVER TRIES to find fault with you. He is ALWAYS reaching to forgive and to give strength and to pull you up from a downward slide.
Jesus said, “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give GOOD GIFTS unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:9-11).
Our loving Heavenly Father will only give us the gifts best for us, when we trust Him and are obedient to Him. We should have no fear of receiving of our Heavenly Father that which He desires us to have. If we should ask for a certain gift and fail to receive it, then be assured our Lord knows what is best for us. It is His will to give to us the gifts suitable for us to the furtherance of His Kingdom.
WORD OF KNOWLEDGE
This is supernatural revelation of divine knowledge, or insight into divine mind, will, or plan; and also the plans of others that man could not know of himself.
A person in whom the spiritual gift, the word of knowledge, is resident will receive unction from the Holy Spirit to use his gift at different times. It does not operate continuously. By this, I mean the person whom God operates through does not in every church service bring forth a word of knowledge. If every person used his spiritual gifts in every service this would cause confusion and perhaps much interruption in the church services. Apostle Paul reprimanded the church at Corinth for allowing confusion in their church services. He concluded by admonishing them strongly: “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). At the same time, the wise apostle made it very clear he was in no way FORBIDDING the operation of spiritual gifts in the church.
The word of knowledge operates when God pulls back the curtain of the unknown and reveals to the person who has the gift of knowledge something about another individual or situation. This knowledge may be of the past, the present, or in the future. Ananias and Sapphira lied about selling their possessions as recorded in Acts 5. Apostle Peter was using the word of knowledge when he said, “…why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?” Peter did not know, only through the revelation of the Spirit, these people were lying. His facts came from God.
WORD OF WISDOM
The word of wisdom is supernatural revelation or insight into divine will and purpose, showing how to solve any problem that may arise.
A person whom God uses with the word of wisdom may calm a troubled soul about his past, his present, or even his future. Word of wisdom operates by wise counsel.
Impossible situations exist all around us today. Perhaps the reader of this book has an impossible situation…impossible as far as carnal wisdom knows what to do. I have seen this beautiful gift work through men who are pastors in directing poor, wretched, confused humanity. God, through His infinite mercy, imparts a word of wisdom through His servant to encourage, strengthen, and guide one of His lambs into green pastures of a beautiful life and productivity.
A yielded vessel in the hands of the Master craftsman can, pour forth a word of wisdom in God’s timing and bring wonderful changes in a troubled person’s life.
The spiritual gifts may be given to any member of the body of Christ, whether preacher or layperson. These gifts are for the members of the body of Christ, the church.
DISCERNING OF SPIRITS
This is supernatural revelation or insight into the realm of spirits. The gift of discerning of spirits is able to detect a troubling or unholy spirit attaching itself to a person’s life. Encounters with satanic forces many times can be eradicated by the use of discerning of spirits.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but TRY THE SPIRITS whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).
Many times this gift is used for the person’s benefit who possesses it. God has attempted to utilize this gift in Christian’s lives to keep them from being deceived or even to keep them from physical danger. It is wise to pay attention to a very strong impression when one has not even thought of it before.
With this discernment, the Christian may be able to help someone to know and name a particular spirit which attempts to attack or destroy his spiritual life. Because of this discernment, we can pray focused prayers, use the Scriptures in prayer which pertain to the particular spirit; therefore, rid ourselves or others by the powerful, focused praying of the Word of God. There is no MORE POWERFUL way to pray, than praying the Word.
DIVERS KINDS OF TONGUES
This gift is sometimes confused with the initial outpouring of the Holy Ghost in Acts 2. However, divers kinds of tongues is a gift just like the other eight Gifts of the Spirit. It is to be used for the edifying of the body of Christ. Again, this gift must be used only through the unction and timing of Cod. A person who possesses this gift needs to study closely I Corinthians 14. There are right ways and wrong ways to use the Gifts of the Spirit. All things done in the body of Christ must be authorized by the Word of God.
Sometimes a message in tongues given will be in the language of a person or persons in the congregation who fluently speaks the language in which the message is given. However, the person who interprets the message given will not have knowledge of the language nor speak the language. This usually confirms to that person that God is speaking for His benefit.
We must remember no spiritual gift is given to usurp authority or “take over.” Also, simply because a person possesses a spiritual gift or gifts does not mean this person has special privileges in the Kingdom of God. The Scripture strongly teaches it is not wise to measure ourselves by one another. No flesh should glory in the presence of or because of God’s Spirit working through their earthen vessel. The Spirit of the Lord will never linger where flesh heaps upon itself the glory that belongs to the Holy Spirit. Every vessel containing one Gift of the Spirit or all nine Gifts of the Spirit MUST draw strength from God and humbly submit to Him and to His bidding.
INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES
This is simply the supernatural ability to interpret a message given in another tongue by the unction of the Holy Spirit. The interpreter of the tongues given will not have the natural knowledge of the languages spoken.
Usually the interpreter of a message given in another tongue will be strongly impressed by the Holy Ghost and possibly given the beginning of the interpretation while the message in other tongues is being given. Fear sometimes grips the interpreter. Thoughts of whether it is really God giving them the interpretation will forcibly come to their minds. However, if the potential interpreter will humbly and sincerely yield to the Holy Spirit, the message of interpretation will be stronger than the fear or anxiety. “GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU…!”
When the giver of the message and possibly a person completely on the other side of the building gives the interpretation, usually a strong rush of the Holy Spirit fills the entire building and all the people present sense the great visitation of God’s Spirit.
The giving of a message in prophecy includes speaking for the edification, exhortation, and comfort of those present. Prophecy is a supernatural utterance in the native tongue, a miracle of divine utterance, not conceived in the natural thoughts and human reasoning.
Prophecy must always coincide with the Word of God. God’s Word is forever settled in heaven. It cannot be altered or diminished. If one attempts to sidestep the Word of God in order to present some “spiritual utterance,” we can be assured this person is totally out of the will of God. In fact, the person who does this is in danger of the judgments of God.
Preaching is a form of the gift of prophecy. The anointing of a preacher telling an age-old story makes that story come to life and blesses his hearers. So it is with the giving forth of a prophecy foretelling the future. Powerful anointing accompanies the message.
In Acts 21, a man named Agabus said, “Thus saith the Holy Ghost…” He told Paul what would happen to him if he went to Jerusalem. He foretold coming events by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
By permission of the author, I quote from The Gifts of the Spirit by Lee Stoneking, “Many frown upon foretelling and the office of a prophet because of abuse and fraudulence through the years, but everything that is good, the devil would counterfeit and destroy. There are frauds in everything, always have been and always will be. But God gave us the safety guide, and that is found in 1 Corinthians 14:29, the word “judge”, the right to judge. Just because someone has misused or abused any one of the nine Gifts of the Spirit does not validate anathema to the subject at hand. There is the genuine, the authentic, and it is for this that we so earnestly contend!”
Sometimes those whom God would use in pouring out His supernatural gifts shy away because of fearful feelings. They are afraid people will think of them as a fake. If God deals with our hearts to bear within us His gifts, humbly submit and walk softly before Him bearing His gifts.
The gift of faith is ability given directly from God to believe Him unconditionally. No matter what the circumstance, no matter the outward appearances or natural reasoning, the person with the gift of faith does not flinch. He stands firm, his faith anchored in the Word of God, and will not be moved. There is a difference in that kind of faith and just plain stubbornness. Stubbornness is born of the human will. Faith is born of God!
The spiritual gift of faith flowing from the life of Christians as they speak God inspired encouragement to others will work wonders in the lives of people. In this last hour all sorts of uncommon circumstances loom in the lives of good people as well as sinners. When a person in touch with the Spirit of faith, using the Word of God as a backdrop is sent by the Lord to these troubled souls, something supernatural is transposed into their lives and hope springs forth.
Even in the midst of one of life’s most severe storms, the gift of faith in operation says, “Everything WILL be all right. God knows exactly where I am and He has EVERYTHING in control.” It is more than mere words being spoken. It is the “Word mixed with faith.” The word is profitable when mixed with faith anywhere or at any time.
Even in the face of a “no way out” circumstance, one who possesses the gift of faith does not wince. Firm belief in God’s provision, in God’s will, and in God’s wisdom will reside in the bosom of the person who holds the gift of faith with tenacity.
GIFTS OF HEALING
Notice there is plurality in the healing ministry. The gifts of healing operate in varied circumstances and instances for the many differences in needs and for many different types of healings.
Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he hath anointed me to HEAL the broken-hearted.” Not only is there a need for healing the physically diseased or sick body but there is need for healing the emotionally and spiritually sick soul. Jesus admonished His followers to go and HEAL the sick.
So we concur that there are ministries of healing. The Lord may work through one individual by His Spirit in pouring into a “spiritual wound” healing oil. He may work through another of His vessels to lay hands upon a fevered brow and by that vessel pouring forth a prayer in the name of Jesus, I he sick individual becomes whole again. I have seen this happen. Again, there is a ministry to the emotionally unstable person. Jesus gives some people special anointing to minister to the downtrodden and depressed person. Through this ministry He pours words of peace and courage which bring the low in spirit out of despair and hopelessness up to a place of hope and faith once again.
All gifts of healing are motivated by the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the gifted one must determine the place and timing in which God moves upon them to perform His will and purpose.
THE WORKING OF MIRACLES
This is supernatural power to intervene in the ordinary course of nature and to counteract natural laws if necessary. A miracle is an impossibility that happens. We know that “with God all things are possible.” Through the individual who possesses the gift of working of miracles, the natural elements on earth must bend to the will of God.
Sometimes angelic beings are called by the Lord to work with a person whom God uses in the working of miracles. When human help is useless; when the doctor has done all that can be done; when the collision is inevitable; when all avenues fail in a financial calamity; when there is nothing that will change a drug addict, and on and on we could go; then God can show His power to work a miracle. He may choose an individual to work the miracle through. He may send an angel to drastically, suddenly change a circumstance. God does work miracles.
The above article “The Gifts of the Spirit” is written by Fredi Trammell. This article was excerpted from chapter six in Trammell’s book Spiritworks.
The material is copyrighted and should not be repainted under any other name or author. However, this material may freely be used for personal study or purposes.