Part 12: Gifts of the Spirit – Power Gifts Defined

The Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 are:

  1. Gift of Faith
  2. Gifts of Healing (“gifts” is plural, meaning that there is more than one kind of healing. There is physical healing, emotional healing, mental healing, spiritual healing, relationship healing, financial healing, and more.)
  3. Gift of Miracles

 

Gift of Faith

Definition:  The God-given ability to believe the Lord for the impossible in a particular situation. It goes beyond general faith (knowing God is able). It is where a person with this gift knows the will of God for a specific matter and knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that it will happen.

Three Kinds of Faith Revealed in Scripture:

  1. Saving Faith – Initial faith response to God at salvation where we accept and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
  1. A Fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) – Faith as an attribute within one’s character. It is developed by the Holy Spirit and our faith becomes more mature and strengthened over a process of time.
  1. Gift of Faith – A divine (sometimes instantaneous) faith that God downloads to someone to believe for a miracle, healing or for God to do something specific in someone’s life (such as believing for large sums of money or calling life back into the dead). The person with this gift receives a “quickening” from the Holy Spirit (the Lord revealing His will or plan about a matter) and the person has supernatural faith to believe for this miracle. It transcends human faith—it is God’s faith downloaded to a person.

There are examples of the operation of the Gift of Faith in Scripture:

  1. In John 11:11, Jesus knew Lazarus was dead, but He also knew that He was going to raise him from the dead. He had no doubt about it.
  1. In John 9:1-7, Jesus knew that the man born blind from birth would be healed so that the works of God would be made manifest.
  1. In Matthew 14:19-21, Jesus had the Gift of Faith when He took five loaves of bread and two fish, gave thanks to His Father, and began breaking the bread and fish into fragments. The food multiplied and 5,000 men (not including the women and children) were fed. There were twelve baskets of food left over. (With the women and children, it was probably 15,000 – 20,000 people present that were fed.)
  1. In Mark 4:39, when the storm arose on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus rebuked the wind and commanded the sea, saying “Peace, be still!”. The winds and the waves obeyed Him, and there was a great calm.
  1. In Acts 3:1-7, Peter had unwavering faith as he proclaimed a man’s healing and even took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet. Immediately the man’s feet and ankle bones were strengthened, and he walked, leaped and praised God as he entered into the Temple.
  1. In Joshua 10:12-14, Joshua was fighting a battle and had almost defeated his enemies when it was transitioning from afternoon to evening. Joshua rose up in faith, with no doubt in his heart that this miracle would take place, and commanded the sun to stand still upon Gibeon and the moon to stand still in the Valley of Ajalon. The sun stood still, and the moon did not move, until they had avenged themselves upon their enemies. The sun did not go down a whole entire day. There was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel.

What key factor recurs over and over again in the Gift of Faith?

Knowing the will of God through the written Word, as well as through a Word of Knowledge, dreams or visions, or by the inward voice of the Holy Spirit. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

 

Gifts of Healing

Definition:  The God-given ability to supernaturally impart healing to others. There are several kinds of healing: spiritual, physical, emotional, mental, relational, financial, and more. The person with this gift is not the healer. Jesus is the Healer. The person with this gift is the vessel whom God uses to flow through.

God uses different individuals to specialize in certain types of healing. For some, God uses them to bring emotional healing to people’s lives, and people are set free from bondages, captivity and inner wounds. Others are primarily used to bring physical healing. Some people have an anointing to pray for specific diseases, and they see many people healed from it. Some people have an anointing to minister to people who have addictions, and many people are set free. Some are called to help heal marriages and families.

Some healings are instantaneous, while others are gradual. What does gradual healing involve?

Being healed of inner problems, and the mind, soul and physical body responding accordingly. Often inner wounds can take years to heal.

Some sicknesses are healed over a period of minutes or hours. An example of this in Scripture is Luke 17:11-14 where Jesus met ten lepers who pleaded with Him to heal them. Jesus replied, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” As they obeyed and went their way, they were cleansed of their leprosy.

Some people are healed from physical sicknesses gradually over a period of time. They improve and get more and more well, until their healing is complete. Matthew 16:18 says, “They shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” Total recovery does not always happen overnight. Sometimes it takes hours, days, weeks or months.

What means or methods were used in Scripture to operate the gifts of healing?

  1. Calling for the elders of the Church and anointing the sick with oil in the Name of the Lord (James 5:14).
  2. Holy Communion. My mother and I have seen sickness healed, as well as answers to prayer, when we took Communion over a particular situation. There is healing in the Blood Atonement.
  3. The spoken word or command (Matthew 8:8-13).
  4. Laying on of hands and prayer (Matthew 16:18).
  5. Handkerchiefs or aprons by the hands of Paul (Acts 19:11-12).
  6. The shadow of Peter walking by (Acts 5:15-16).
  7. Touching the hem of Jesus’ garment (Matthew 9:20-22; Matthew 14:34-36).

There are several ways a person may know if he/she has the Gift of Healing:

  1. Inner witness of the Holy Spirit
  2. You have visions and dreams, and see yourself healing the sick
  3. Ability to believe God for healing
  4. Compassion for the sick and afflicted
  5. By results (people who you minister to are healed)
  6. It was prophesied over you by the Elders and imparted to you by the laying on of hands
  7. Others will recognize this gift within you

There are at least ten purposes for the Gifts of Healing in operation:

  1. God loves His people and wants them to be in good health.
  1. Jesus heals because He is full of compassion. A leper came to Jesus, “…beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean” (Mark 1:40). What was the Lord’s response? “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean” (verse 41). It was compassion that led to the miracle. Jesus Christ heals people today for the same reason, so that “…the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance” (Romans 2:4).
  1. Jesus heals because healing belongs to His children. Once, when Jesus was preaching near the city of Tyre, a Syrophenician fell at His feet, asking Him to cast an unclean spirit out of her daughter. Jesus said to her, “Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it unto the dogs. And she answered and said unto him, Yes, Lord: yet the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7:27-28). The Lord saw the woman’s faith and the daughter was delivered. If you are a child of the King, healing should come to you first, even before unbelievers receive their miracle. Yet I watch as those who do not know the Lord reach out in great faith, hungry for the crumbs. And time after time He pours out His healing virtue upon these people. Thank God, healing is often the entry point that helps people receive Jesus Christ as Savior.
  1. Jesus heals to bring glory to His Father. On the side of a mountain near the sea of Galilee, “great multitudes came unto Him…and he healed them…(and) the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see: and they glorified the God of Israel” (Matthew 15:30-31). On another occasion, there was a similar response when Jesus healed a paralytic man. “…When the multitude saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God” (Matthew 9:8). All glory and praise belongs to the Father. Healing is a wonderful, awe-inspiring faith-builder that should lead to glorifying God.
  1. Jesus heals to fulfill God’s promises. At Capernaum, “they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses” (Matthew 8:16-17). When the Master heals, it is a fulfillment of the prophecy spoken through Isaiah. On the cross, Christ took our sickness and infirmities.
  1. Jesus heals also to confirm His own word. Healing was promised by the Father, then declared by Jesus Christ. He said, “If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him” (John 10:37-38). Christ knew exactly why He was sent to earth. He came to perform the works of His Father. Miracles confirm the spoken word of Jesus. He heals to fulfill His personal word to you.
  1. Every time the Lord heals, the devil’s defeat at the Cross is exposed once again. The Word tells us, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). At the house of Cornelius, Peter said, “You know…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:37-38).
  1. Healing and health are aspects of rectifying the curse of the law.
  1. To confirm the Gospel message with signs and wonders.
  1. Healing, along with salvation, is included in the Blood Atonement of Christ. Jesus not only bore our sins, but He also bore our diseases, sicknesses and sorrows, and by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus paid a heavy price so that we could be healed. He just wants us to believe and to receive it.

The original sources of sickness are:

  1. Satan
  2. Sin

When mankind fell and sin entered into the world, so did death and sickness. However, Jesus took the curse upon Himself and redeemed us from it. By accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, we can have eternal life in Heaven one day (where there is no more curse, no death, no sickness, no darkness, no night, no weeping, no pain, no sin, no demons, no poverty).

While we’re here on this earth, we can enjoy abundant life right now. John 10:10 says, “For the thief (devil) comes only for to steal, and kill and destroy; but I have come so that you may have life and have it in abundance (till it overflows).” Part of abundant life is living free from sickness.

Things we can do in the natural also help us to live in good health. For example, good nutrition, clean water, exercise, vitamins and minerals, sleep and rest, recreation and relaxation, and getting sufficient sunshine. Avoiding strife, learning to forgive, being healed of anger and temper, removing the root of bitterness and having joy in your life contributes to better health.

God also heals us through doctors and medicine. It is off balance and foolish to refuse to go to doctors, or to the hospital, when you or your children need to. Also, it’s wise to remain on your medication until the doctor confirms you are healed and takes you off of it. Going to doctors and taking medicine does NOT imply a lack of faith on your part. God has given doctors wisdom and knowledge about how the body works and what to do to cure it. In the near future, God is going to reveal the cures to many dreadful diseases, such as cancer to scientists.

God just does not want us to exalt doctors above Him, because He is the Great Physician and our Creator. He ultimately knows how our bodies work and what to do to cure it.

Exodus 15:25-26 shows us a type and shadow of the redeeming work of Christ, and His Atonement on the Cross, which makes us well and whole:

“So Moses cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree (represents the Cross). When he cast it into the [bitter] waters (represents the curse), the waters were made sweet (the curse broken).

There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, and said, ‘If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you (healing is part of the Atonement).’”

 

Gift of Miracles

Definition:  It is God performing something supernatural, which transcends natural laws, through an individual.

One of the Greek words for “miracles” is dunamis (Strong’s #1411), where we get the word dynamite. It means “to be able or possible; force (literally or figuratively); miraculous power; a miracle.”

The Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “miracle” as the following: “an unusual or wonderful event that is believed to be caused by the power of God; a very amazing or unusual event, thing, or achievement; an extraordinary event manifesting Divine intervention in human affairs.”

What is the place and importance of miracles in the Bible?

Miracles always accompanied Jesus and His disciples, as well as the apostles. Miracles, signs and wonders always accompanied the preaching of the Gospel. In the Old Testament, God displayed His awesome power through miracles, mostly for deliverance and preservation and to show the heathen nations that He is the One and Only True and Living God.

Miracles are governed by the will of God and the obedience of man.

There are four aspects relating to the working of miracles:

  1. Hearing the Word of God – God communicates His will to men through the Bible, a Word of Knowledge, a vision, an angel, through Jesus Christ directly in a vision, or an audible voice as in the case with Moses. Exodus 14:15-16 says, And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.”
  1. Believe the Word – Obey what God reveals to you. Accept and embrace it. In Exodus 14:21-22, it says: “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”

Mark 11:23 says, “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

  1. Speak the Word – God releases His power by His spoken Word, and it comes into existence. Romans 4:17, in the Amplified Version, says: “Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.”

The New King James Version says “Who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”

  1. Acting on the Word – Acts of faith which accompany the speaking of the Word. James 2:17 tells us that “Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

The purposes of miracles are:

  1. For deliverance, preservation and provision
  2. Edification and building up of faith
  3. Accompanying the preaching of the Gospel

In the last day Church, miracles will operate on a large scale prior to the coming of the Lord. Creative miracles, such as body parts being restored, the raising of the dead, and speaking to the weather and elements and it obeys you will become common.

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Part 11: Presbytery – Laying On of Hands and Prophesying

1 Timothy 4:14

Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

The Greek word for “presbytery” is presbuterion (Strong’s #4244). It is defined as: “the order of elders.”

A number of presbyters together constitute a “presbytery” (1 Timothy 4:14), a council or assembly of Christian elders.

These spiritual leaders should have the same high qualifications (Titus 1:5-9) and perform the same essential duties of teaching (1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:9), serving (James 5:14), decision making (Acts 15:2,6,22-29), and shepherding (Acts 20:17,28) as the New Testament presbyters. (From Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary.)

The word “elder” may refer to age, experience, and authority, as well as specific leadership roles. In the New Testament church, elders were appointed to the churches for governing, assisting the Bishop or pastors, explaining the Scriptures, teaching doctrine and ministering to the sick. They also imparted gifts to people by the laying on of hands and by prophesying.

An example of a presbytery meeting in our day and age is when spiritual leaders in the Body of Christ gather together who operate in the Gifts of the Spirit, especially the Gifts of Prophecy, Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom and Discerning of spirits.

They take turns prophesying over various individuals, by speaking into their destiny and sharing what the Lord reveals to them about an individual (especially their future and they confirm what God has called you to do). They help people to come into their placement into the Body of Christ (refer to Ephesians 4:11-16).

Every member of the Body of Christ as their own place, niche, or gift/s in the Body. There is no need for competition or jealousy, because we are all different and all of us have different gifts and ministries.

If you don’t know what your gift or ministry is, it is usually something that you are very good at and enjoy doing, something that comes natural to you, or something that burdens your heart (such as mercy ministry or helping young women and children who are involved in human trafficking).

Every Christian has a gift that God has given to them – whether it be a spiritual gift, or natural gift (like being a florist or musician). God wants us to use our gifts to bless other people and bring glory to God.

God also has a ministry for each person in the Body of Christ, ranging from the 5-fold ministry to being a stay-at-home mom and raising children in the fear and admonition of the Lord.

Only a few are called to the 5-fold ministry, but many people are called to marketplace ministry.

A presbytery meeting is a time of commissioning people into their ministry calling. Sometimes the elders lay their hands on people to impart gifts to them. Other times there is no laying on of hands, but just the spoken word only.

I was prophesied over at two different presbytery meetings several years ago (at the Bible College I attended and at a Bill Hamon meeting). At the Bible College meeting, the pastors and elders prophesied over me that God has called me to the office of the Teacher, and that I would write books and journal articles. At the Bill Hamon meeting, the elders prophesied that God was going to use me as a prophetic Psalmist (and other things that I may share at a later date). At another gathering at church, (which was not necessarily a presbytery meeting), one of the elders of the church prophesied over me to arise and lay hands on the sick. Since then I began a healing ministry.

Everything that was prophesied over me, I already knew it deep on the inside. It was a confirmation of what God had already revealed to me.

Part 10: Gifts of the Spirit – Utterance Gifts Defined

The three Utterance Gifts of the Spirit are:

  1. Prophecy
  2. Tongues
  3. Interpretation of Tongues

Definition of the Gift of Prophecy

In the Old Testament, the main Hebrew word for “prophesy” is naba (5012), and is defined as: “to speak (or sing) by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse).”

In the New Testament, the Greek word for “prophesy” is propheteuo (4395) and is defined as: “(from 4396); to foretell events, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic office, poet.”

Therefore, to prophesy is to speak under the influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and to speak forth the mind and counsel of God. Speaking a prophecy could be given via a simple discourse, singing or poetical. The Holy Spirit loves music and poetry.

Prophesying and Preaching

Prophesying and preaching are similar but not identical. Preaching may contain prophecy, but there is a difference between the two. Both of them involve speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Preaching is exhorting and declaring the Word, and includes teaching.

There is one Aramaic word which is translated as “prophesying”, and is defined as “inspired teaching” (Strong’s #5017 – nebuwah). That word is found in Ezra 6:14a, which says, “And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.” This verse implies that Haggai and Zechariah were both prophets and inspired teachers of the law. The three gifts of prophecy, preaching and teaching overlap.

There is a difference between teaching and preaching:

Teaching

The Hebrew (Old Testament) word lamad (Strong’s #3925), translated as “teach” or “teaching” means to goad, to instruct, to learn, to become skillful or an expert at something.

The Hebrew word yarah (Strong’s #3384), translated as “teach” or “teaching” means to flow as water (i.e. rain); to lay or throw an arrow (i.e. to shoot at a target); to point out (as by aiming the finger); to teach.

The Greek (New Testament) word matheteuo (Strong’s #3100), translated as “teach” means to become a pupil; to disciple; to enroll as a scholar; a learner; to instruct.

The Greek word katecheo (Strong’s #2727), translated as “teach” means to sound down into the ears, i.e. (by implication) to indoctrinate (catechize).

Teaching is building a foundation of “precept upon precept, line upon line”. Isaiah 28:10 says, “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”

Preaching

The Hebrew word basar (Strong’s #1319), translated as “preach” means to be fresh, i.e. full (rosy, cheerful); to announce glad news; to bear, bring, carry, preach, and tell good tidings; a messenger; to publish; to show forth.

The Hebrew word qeriyah (Strong’s #7150), translated as “preaching” or “preach” means making a proclamation, pronounce, publish, to call forth.

The Greek word kerusso (Strong’s #2784), translated as “preach” or “preacher” means to herald (as a public crier), especially divine truth (the Gospel); to proclaim, to publish.

The Greek word euaggelizo (Strong’s #2097), translated as “preach” means to announce good news (evangelize), especially the Gospel; to declare, bring or show glad tidings; preach the Gospel.

Prophecy is valid for our day and age.

1 Corinthians 12:10, 28-29 shows us that prophecy is one of the Gifts of the Spirit and the Lord wants us to exercise our gifts. In 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 we are told to not despise prophecies or quench the Spirit.

We are now living in the Kingdom Age (which started with the early New Testament church). The Gifts of the Spirit did not die out with the apostles. It just was not as heard of or written about for centuries following the early apostles. And people did not have Bibles back then like we have today. The Catholic Church ruled the religious world for centuries. There was a mixture of Christianity and idolatry in the Church. This truth of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit was revived with the Pentecostal and Charismatic outpourings in the last few centuries. People got a hold of what the Word teaches and ran with it.

Salvation by grace and faith alone through Jesus Christ was also not taught in the Church for centuries following the early apostles, but that doesn’t mean this truth died out. This truth was revived, with much persecution, by Martin Luther. During the centuries, water baptism by immersion was unheard of, but that doesn’t mean that that truth died out. It was revived by the Anabaptists, with much persecution.

There is a difference between the written prophecies of the Bible and prophecy that is spoken today.

Written Bible prophecy is a higher level of prophecy. It was given by God as the authoritative Word of God. Today, prophecies are to be judged by the Word.

In the Old Testament only a handful of people were filled with the Holy Spirit, such as prophets, priests, seers and godly kings. The majority of the people had to seek out a prophet to get a word from the Lord about a matter. However, since the Holy Spirit was poured out on the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit indwells all believers. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is available to all believers. We can now hear from the Lord for ourselves.

In the New Testament era, we are not to seek out prophets for direction and guidance in our lives. But rather, prophets usually CONFIRM what the Holy Spirit has already revealed to us. Whatever a prophet says should bear witness in your spirit.

2 Corinthians 13:1 says, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

There are five primary purposes for prophecy in the local church.

  1. Edification – building up, erecting the church of God.
  1. Exhortation – encouragement, advice and earnest warning.
  1. Comfort – God speaking in great personal concern, tenderness and care; God drawing close to us.
  1. Convict and Convince – to speak to our own conscience or spirit and gently persuade us to change our ways.
  1. Instruction and Learning – God’s way of communicating to His people about practical life matters.

There are various ways that a prophecy may come to an individual.

  1. Spontaneous utterances
  2. Visions
  3. Dreams
  4. By an angel
  5. By Jesus Christ Himself appearing visibly in a vision to the prophet

There are at least five ways that a prophecy may be expressed by someone.

  1. Speaking or verbalizing
  2. Demonstrative actions (for example, in Acts 21:11 the prophet Agabus took Paul’s belt and bound his own hands and feet and prophesied that the Jews of Jerusalem would bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles to be imprisoned and eventually executed.)
  3. Writing prophecy down
  4. Through song or musical instruments
  5. Through liturgical dance

Should prophecy be judged?

The answer is YES.

1 Corinthians 14:29-33 says, “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If anything be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”

1 John 4:1-3 says, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.”

1 Corinthians 13:9 says, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.”

Who is to judge prophecy?

  1. Every believer who has the Holy Spirit indwelling them.
  2. Elders of the local assembly.
  3. Those with the Gift of discerning of spirits.
  4. Other prophets.

There are at least five criteria by which prophecy is to be judged.

  1. By the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”)
  1. By witness of the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27 “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”)
  1. By confession of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:1-3,6 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” Verse 6: “By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”)
  1. By its fruit (Matthew 7:15-20 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.”)

Galations 5:22-26 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”

  1. By fulfillment of the prophecy (Deuteronomy 18:21-22 “And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.”)

This can be a sticky issue because there is responsibility on the part of the recipient of the prophecy to obey a directive, or take action, or do something on their part, for the prophetic word to come to pass. Also, the recipient has to have faith and speak words of faith for the promise to come to pass. Doubting and unbelief can nullify a prophetic word.

Also, there is the issue of timing. God has an appointed season and timing for bringing prophetic words to pass in our lives. Some words come to pass within a short time, while other words may take many years to be fulfilled.

There is a difference between the gift of prophecy and the office of the prophet.

Not everyone who prophesies is a prophet or prophetess. The prophet is a part of the five-fold ministry mentioned in Ephesians 4:11-16.

“And He Himself gave some to be 1) apostles, some 2) prophets, some 3) evangelists, and some 4) pastors and 5) teachers,

for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry,

for the edifying of the body of Christ,

till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

The five-fold leadership equips (trains, teaches) the Body of Christ to do the work of the ministry.

God appoints individuals to these offices as He sees fit.

To be in the office of the prophet, an individual must be appointed by God to be in that leadership position, and be publicly acknowledged by man. The prophet should willingly submit to church or apostolic leadership (not be a lone ranger). The prophet must be a mature seasoned Christian (not in natural age but spiritually speaking). They must demonstrate good fruit (the fruit of the Spirit). They should have a good track record of prophecies they have spoken coming to pass. They should only speak what the Holy Spirit tells them to speak, not adding anything to it or taking anything away. The prophetic words they give are more weighty and authoritative than just simple prophecy. For example, they prophesy over nations and declare God’s purposes in the earth. When prophesying over individuals, they prophesy with detailed precision.

Also, they must operate in at least four of the Gifts of the Spirit:

  1. Gift of Prophecy
  2. Word of Knowledge
  3. Word of Wisdom
  4. Discerning of spirits

A prophet should have the Gift of Discerning of spirits to be able to see into the spirit realm to recognize angelic activity from demonic activity, to recognize truth from error, to recognize what is from God and what is from the enemy or what is just flesh.

A prophet has to have the gift of the Word of Knowledge to see things of the past, present and future. And then have the gift of the Word of Wisdom to give people direction as to what to do in a given situation.

Those who have the Gift of Prophecy speak under the influence of the Holy Spirit to one or more persons to give edification, exhortation and comfort.

When the Spirit of Prophecy is flowing in a meeting, anyone can prophesy when that anointing is present, even if they don’t have the Gift of Prophecy. An example is when King Saul began to prophesy when he came into the company of the prophets, and he was a changed man (1 Samuel 9:27 – 10:6).

There are some things that will contaminate prophecies being spoken.

  1. Root of bitterness (which defiles many – Hebrews 12:5).
  2. Unforgiveness
  3. Negative, critical attitudes
  4. Pride
  5. Stubbornness
  6. Antagonism
  7. Independent spirit
  8. Unyielding spirit
  9. Controlling spirit
  10. Anger displayed

There are some practical points of wisdom for those who prophesy in the Church:

  1. It is important to use good etiquette in your voice tone and mannerisms when prophesying. You should avoid yelling, screaming or other extremes in your voice or manner. You should avoid using harsh words or whipping the people. You should avoid scolding and lecturing.
  1. The timing of giving a prophetic word is important. You should be sensitive to the timing of the Holy Spirit and of those around you. Not all the prophets should speak in a given service (Paul said just two or three should speak in turns, and the other prophets should judge the words being spoken – 1 Corinthians 14:29-32).
  1. It is important for the prophecy to flow with the general theme of the service. If the word is on a totally different track, then wait until another time to share it.
  1. Avoid prophesying your pet doctrines or emphasis.
  1. Avoid giving out personal counsel to a need you are aware of.
  1. We are now living in the New Testament era. Prophetic words given today should be seasoned with grace to bring edification, exhortation and comfort to the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:3). A prophetic word should not be one of doom and gloom, or of whipping someone, or prophesying negative things to someone.

Even if the word involves warning, foretelling or prediction of something negative, the other part of that word should be redemptive, giving hope to the individual that if they choose to do this or that, that it can be averted. For example, in the Old Testament God sent prophets to warn the people that if they continued in idolatry that they would be taken into captivity. However, if they repented and walked in obedience to the Lord, it could be avoided. They didn’t listen and finally did end up being taken into exile in Babylon, but the positive part is that God said it would only last for 70 years and then they would return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple.

Gift of Diverse Kinds of Tongues

The Gift of Tongues is the God-given supernatural ability to speak in languages that you do not know. It could be any ancient or current earthly language, or a language spoken in heaven. Most often it is speaking an earthly language you have never learned.

The Gift of Tongues is for giving a public prophecy to the Church in an unknown language, and then either interpreting it yourself afterwards or someone with the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues interpreting the prophetic word.

The Gift of Tongues could also be in operation to an audience of one or more in a setting outside of the local church. Sometimes God uses people with this gift to speak a word from the Lord to someone who speaks a different language to minister to that person and/or lead them to Christ.

On the Day of Pentecost, in Acts 2, when the Galileans were filled with the Holy Spirit they began to speak eloquently and fluently in the languages represented of the thousands of Jews present for the Feast of Pentecost. They were declaring the wonderful works of God.

It was a sign and a wonder, because the Galileans were considered to be uneducated, crude in their speech, and rough around the edges. But when the Holy Spirit baptized them, they spoke as if they were highly educated and fluent in many languages. As a result, 3,000 people were saved the first day and the early church was birthed.

The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues is the supernatural ability to interpret what was spoken, or prophesied, in an unknown tongue into the language of the hearers so that all may understand.

There are three purposes for Tongues and Interpretation in the assembly.

  1. A sign to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:21-22).
  1. He who prophesies speaks edification, exhortation and comfort to believers (1 Corinthians 14:3-5). When a person gives a public prophecy in an unknown language, then that prophetic word should be interpreted by either the person who has the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues or by the person who gave the prophetic word in tongues.
  1. Lift congregation into praise or prayer (1 Corinthians 14:13-15 “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the Spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.”)

In what ways are Tongues a sign to unbelievers?

  1. Evidence of the supernatural
  2. Sense of the supernatural
  3. Witness of hearing a foreign language they may know

Not everyone has the Gift of Tongues or Interpretation of Tongues. However, all believers can speak or pray in tongues.

1 Corinthians 12:4-31 teaches that we all have our own gifts given to us by God, and we form one body.

The Gift of Tongues is for the edification of the Church. The Gift of Tongues is giving a public prophecy, or declaration, in a language you do not know, and then either you or someone with the gift of Interpretation of Tongues interpreting the word. Or as in the case in Acts 2, the Galileans spoke in the languages of the nations of Jews present for the Feast of Pentecost (and no interpreter was necessary … the Jews understood what the Galileans were saying). The Galileans were declaring the wonderful works of God.

Speaking or praying in tongues is for your own self-edification for your own personal prayer life.

I go into detail about the difference between speaking in tongues and the Gift of Tongues in another post. It’s very important to know this.

Pt. 5 – Speaking in Tongues vs. Gift of Tongues

There is a difference between “interpretation” and “translation”, as it relates to the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues.

To interpret is to explain, expound or unfold. To translate is to convert from one language to another.

When interpreting a message in tongues, the interpreter does not translate the language into the language of the hearers, but rather explains, expounds and unfolds what was said in tongues.

Who is to interpret tongues in the assembly?

The one to whom this Gift has been given to. If there is no interpreter, the one who has the Gift of Tongues should pray that he/she may interpret the prophecy they just gave so that all may be edified.

In previous posts, I went into great detail about speaking in tongues. To learn more, please click here:

Pt. 3 – The Significance of Galileans Speaking in Tongues

Pt. 4 – Tongues: Q & A

Pt. 5 – Speaking in Tongues vs. Gift of Tongues

Pt. 6 – Benefits of Tongues by Dr. Leroy Thompson

Part 9: Gifts of the Spirit – Revelation Gifts Defined

The three Revelation Gifts of the Spirit, mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, are:

  1. Word of Wisdom
  2. Word of Knowledge
  3. Discerning of spirits

Definition of the Word of Wisdom

Defined as: “The word” of wisdom from God concerning a particular situation, circumstance or subject.

It’s not just natural wisdom, but it is a directional word from God as to what to do in a specific matter.

The Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge often go hand in hand. They are dual gifts. Those who have the Gift of the Word of Wisdom usually also have the Gift of the Word of Knowledge.

Knowledge is a revelation of facts and information about a person or matter. Wisdom is knowledge in action. Wisdom is knowing what to do with that information. A Word of Wisdom tells one what to do in a given situation.

A good example of the Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge working together in action given by Jesus in His earthly ministry was in the account of the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:6-30) who was an outcast. His Word of Knowledge was that she had had five husbands, and the man she was now living with was not her husband. His Word of Wisdom was that those who drank from Jacob’s well would thirst again, but the water He would give them they would never thirst again (the water speaking of the Holy Spirit). Jesus also told her that God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.

After Jesus had a Word of Knowledge about her life, He spoke with the Word of Wisdom and told her what she needed to do to find the love, satisfaction and wholeness in her life. She responded by going into the town and telling everyone that she met a man who told her everything she had ever done, and that He was the Christ. Everyone then came from the town to see Jesus.

There are five primary ways in which the Word of Wisdom is manifested:

  1. By the Holy Spirit speaking within
  2. As a revealed application of Scripture
  3. By an audible voice or an angel
  4. By dreams, visions and trances
  5. By the unanimity of the Spirit among spiritual leaders

 

Definition of the Word of Knowledge

Defined as: A fragment of supernatural knowledge imparted to a person with this Gift concerning facts, details and information about someone else or a situation that you would normally have no knowledge of.

Six examples of the Word of Knowledge involves:

  1. Facts about the past, present or future – John 1:1-5
  2. Whereabouts of men – Acts 9:10-18
  3. The inner thoughts, or plans, of men’s hearts – Luke 5:22
  4. Warning of coming danger – Acts 20:28-30
  5. Exposing hypocrisy – Luke 12:1-12
  6. Revealing deception – Acts 5:1-10

The Word of Knowledge could include knowledge about someone’s personal life, business or ministry. This Gift is not meant to embarrass or discredit anyone, but it is God’s way of letting that person know that He is aware of and understands their situation, and that He cares.

There are four primary ways the Word of Knowledge is manifested:

  1. Impression by the Holy Spirit
  2. Vision or dream
  3. Quickening of Scripture
  4. Audible voice

Guidelines in operating in the Word of Knowledge:

  1. Privacy and confidentiality is essential if a word of knowledge is for an individual.
  2. Avoid pride. Our own words should be few and humble.
  3. When receiving a word of knowledge, ask God for wisdom in what to do with that knowledge.

 

Definition of Discerning of Spirits

Defined as: To perceive, distinguish or recognize the spirits which are behind manifestations, activities, or people’s behavior. It is a supernatural God-given ability. The spirits could be angels, demons, or the human spirit. This gift shows you what is of God, or what is of the devil, or what is of human flesh.

Prophets, seers and intercessors usually have this gift. God shows them the spirits behind people’s behavior, the spirits governing cities, government, education, economics, the arts and entertainment industry, churches and nations.

The Bible reveals several things about the spirit world. Five of them include:

  1. The Bible confirms the fact that the spirit world exists.
  2. The spirit world is more real than the physical realm we live in.
  3. The Bible teaches that God is a Spirit, and His entire realm is spirit realm.
  4. The realm of Satan is also a spirit realm.
  5. Mankind has a spirit which will live forever (whether in Heaven or Hell depending on whether or not one has accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior).

In light of the purpose of discerning of spirits, how would the church be affected if this gift did not operate?

Answer: Deception and false prophets would go unrecognized and enter right into the church.

There are examples of the operation of the Gift of Discerning of spirits in the Word of God.

  1. In 2 Kings 6:16-17, Elisha literally saw the angelic armies of the Lord surrounding them.
  2. In Matthew 12:25, Jesus discerned the spirits of the Scribes and Pharisees.
  3. In Acts 5:3, Peter discerned the lying spirits of Ananias and Sapphira.
  4. In Acts 16:16-18, Paul discerned the spirit of divination operating through a young woman and he cast it out of her.

Part 8: Gifts of the Spirit – Three Categories of Gifts

Gifts of the Spirit – Three Categories of Gifts

1 Corinthians 12:1-13

The three categories of the nine Gifts of the Spirit are:

  1. Revelation Gifts
    1. Word of Wisdom
    2. Word of Knowledge
    3. Discerning of spirits
  1. Utterance Gifts
    1. Prophecy
    2. Tongues
    3. Interpretation of Tongues
  1. Power Gifts
    1. Faith
    2. Healings
    3. Miracles

These Gifts operate through believers for the purpose of:

  1. Edifying the Body of Christ
  2. Encouraging and helping people
  3. Exhortation
  4. Comfort
  5. Doing the work of the ministry
  6. Living in victory
  7. The Holy Spirit is looking for vessels whom He can demonstrate His power through in the earth

Part 7 – The Holy Spirit is Associated With Life

The Holy Spirit, in Scripture, is always associated with giving life. In several Scriptures, He is likened to water, rain, rivers, springs and pools. He brings refreshment and flourishing.

When one’s soul feels desolate, dry and parched like the desert, He provides the water of His Presence and glory, and He brings fruitfulness and healing. He resurrected Jesus from the dead, and He also resurrects our souls when we feel weariness, hopelessness and have dead dreams.

When you are baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues, it’s like rivers of living waters flow out of your belly (your innermost being). Speaking in tongues brings life to the spirit, soul (mind, will, emotions), body and finances.

John 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart (belly – KJV) will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. NKJV

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” NKJV

Isaiah 32:15 Until the Spirit is poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field is counted as a forest. NKJV   The analogy is that the Holy Spirit touches on areas of barrenness in our lives and makes it fruitful.

2 Corinthians 3:6b “For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” NKJV

Romans 8:10-11 “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” NKJV

Galatians 6:8 “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” NKJV

1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit.” NKJV

Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing (to make new) of the Holy Spirit.” NKJV

John 6:63 “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” NKJV

Isaiah 35

1 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

2 It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.

3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees.

4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.

5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.

6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.

7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.

8 And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.

9 No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there:

10 And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. KJV

Isaiah 41:18 “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.” KJV

Ezekiel 34:26-27 “I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Then the trees of the field shall yield their fruit, and the earth shall yield her increase. They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. NKJV

The River of Healing

Ezekiel 47:1-12

1 In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side.

2 The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.

3 Measuring as he went, he took me along the stream for 1,750 feet and then led me across. The water was up to my ankles.

4 He measured off another 1,750 feet and led me across again. This time the water was up to my knees. After another 1,750 feet, it was up to my waist.

5 Then he measured another 1,750 feet, and the river was too deep to walk across. It was deep enough to swim in, but too deep to walk through.

(These four levels of water are referring to four levels of the Glory and Anointing.)

6 He asked me, “Have you been watching, son of man?” Then he led me back along the riverbank.

7 When I returned, I was surprised by the sight of many trees growing on both sides of the river.

8 Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure.

9 There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows.

10 Fishermen will stand along the shores of the Dead Sea. All the way from En-Gedi to En-Eglaim, the shores will be covered with nets drying in the sun. Fish of every kind will fill the Dead Sea, just as they fill the Mediterranean.

11 But the marshes and swamps will not be purified; they will still be salty.

12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”

NLT

Part 6 – Benefits of Tongues by Dr. Leroy Thompson

Benefits of Tongues

by Dr. Leroy Thompson

https://twitter.com/DrLeroySr

 

Praying in tongues is help with your ultimate weakness!

Tongues pulls you from the past into the future!

By praying in the Spirit you are making a path of blessings and power for you to walk in and enjoy!

When praying in the Spirit you are prophesying your God ordained future!

When praying in the Spirit you are declaring the secrets of God!

Praying in the Spirit is a direct line to the Almighty!

Tongues reverses death and demonic assignments in your life!

As you pray in tongues you will reach higher and higher in a dying world!

Praying in tongues is praying things that have been concealed to be revealed!

Praying in tongues keeps you spiritually fit!

Praying in tongues piles up all the promises God has for you, and puts you in the position to receive them!

When you pray in tongues you are declaring the mysteries of God!

When you pray in the Spirit, you enter into another zone!

Praying in tongues synchronizes us with the timing of God!

Praying in the Spirit arranges your present to receive your future!

When praying in the Spirit you are breaking yokes that exist, and breaking future yokes before they can be put together!

Praying in the Holy Ghost enables you to live a yoke free life!

When praying in the Holy Ghost you are searching Christ!

Praying in the Holy Spirit keeps you ministry fit!

Praying in the Holy Spirit gives you step by step plans for your life!

Praying in tongues has no respect for your problem!

Praying in the Spirit cuts a path of blessings in tumultuous situations!

When praying in tongues secrets that were withheld from others are revealed to you!

When you pray in tongues, secrets and plans will be made known to you!

Demons scream when you pray in the Holy Spirit because they can’t understand or stop you!

When praying in tongues the enemy is helpless in sabotaging your prayer!

Tongues is the entrance into the supernatural!

Speaking in tongues is the language of glory!

Praying in tongues is spiritual management!

Praying in the Spirit paralyzes fear!

Praying in the Spirit is the trigger to the supernatural!

When you pray in the Holy Spirit the devil is reminded of his defeat and begins to have fits!

Praying in the Spirit is drawing out secrets to life’s complicated issues!

Praying in the Spirit will take you into God’s miracle zone!

Praying in the Spirit is a supernatural weapon!

Praying in the Spirit gives you unstoppable progress that your enemy can’t deny!

Praying in the Spirit arranges your present to receive your future!

When praying in the Spirit you are bathing in the invisible and getting wet with the visible!

Praying in the Holy Ghost gives you step by step plans for your life!