Gifts Of The Spirit

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God qualifies the called, He does not call the qualified.

This statement best summarizes the difference between gifts and talents. The gifts are supernatural abilities given by God to do His work.

Talents And Education. Talents are our best abilities that we have nurtured through practice, personality, genetics, education and interest.
Unfortunately, the gifts have become synonymous with education. While God can use our talents, they can get in the way of God communicating with us because we have learned to rely on our internal abilities not on the external leading of God.
Often, God's methods appear very foolish, even self-destructive. But this is because we judge by our talents, common sense and common thinking.
It is the gifted that will recognize the purpose of God or have the faith to go forward, not the educated. Common thinking demands that we take the terrorist approach to attacking our problems - big, spectacular, massive appeal, recognition, and memorable. But the foolishness of God relies on the simple means and the dependent child and patience.

The gifts must be a separate phenomenon from talent and a superior human mind because it must be clear to the recipient that these abilities are not of human origin.

The Fruit Of The Spirit. The gifts are also not the fruit. The fruit are permanent traits that help us to share the very nature of God. These are love, joy, peace and mercy.
The gifts are used to help the church in the present. They are temporary abilities needed while we have to battle evil. Some are administrative gifts which help the church run more efficiently. Others are gifts of evangelism which bring others to God. Others are gifts of community which help us to bond together.
Because the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts according to His will and the needs of the church at the present moment, you might find a different set of gifts predominating at different points in time.

The Body Of Christ
Gift Text Problem Solved
Trumpet Church Planting (Creating The Garden)
Apostle Foot Ephesians 4: 11; Elijah
1 Corinthians 12:28
Lead many churches by the witness of signs
Evangelist Ephesians 4: 11; Elijah Lead the unknown
Missionary Acts 22: 21; Romans 1: 5 Multi-cultural ministry
Martyr Bone 1 Corinthians 13: 3;
Samson, prophets
Lead by example to the point of death
Strength, Courage Muscle Judges 14: 5-6, Acts 9: 28; 14:3;18:26; 3 Hebrew Boys Boldness, Courage to face the unknown
Jar Community Building (Feeding and Growing the Church)
Pastor Mouth

Ephesians 4: 11 Lead the known
Teacher Exodus 35:34; Ephesians 4: 11; 1 Corinthians 12: 28 Explain spiritual realities
Music 1 Chronicles 25; David Singing about God
Administration Hand1 Corinthians 12: 28 Organize
Helps 1 Corinthians 12: 28; Ruth Fill in the gap
Serving Romans 12: 7; Ruth Needs of the church
Arts and Crafts Exodus 35: 31-35 Creative with objects
Voluntary Poverty Hand1 Corinthians 13: 3
John the Baptist
Devote personal resources
Scribe 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Chron 34:13 Write about God
Celibacy 1 Corinthians 7: 7-8; Jeremiah 16: 1-2 Devote Time
Hospitality Heart 1 Peter 4: 9; Matthew 25: 35 Entertain strangers
Mercy Matt 25:34-40; Rom 12:7 Help the undeserved
Intercession James 5: 14-16; Esther Talking to God
Encouragement Hebrews 3: 13; Isaiah 11: 2 Lifting others
Giving 2 Corinthians 9: 7; Exodus 25: 2; Romans 12: 8 Devote money
Sword Guidance (Training and Pruning the Branches)
Faith Brain1 Corinthians 12: 9;
Know and believe in the power of God
Wisdom 1 Corinthians 12:8; Isaiah 11:2; Exodus 28:3; Solomon Know what is best
Knowledge 1 Corinthians 12: 8; Isaiah 11: 2; Exodus 35:34 Know truth by the Word of God
Distinguish spirits Eye

1 Corinthians 12: 10 Recognize deception
Prophecy 1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28
Ephesians 4: 11
Know the future. Speaks for God
Seer Joel 2: 28 Sees the future
Watchman Ezekiel 3: 17; Isaiah 56:10-12; Revelation 14:6-12; 18:4 Warns the people
Lamp Proof of God (Display the Flowers and Advertise the Garden)
Tongues Mouth1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28 Communications
Interpret tongues 1 Corinthians 12: 10, 30 Understanding languages
Interpret dreams see Daniel 2; Genesis 41 Interpret prophecy dreams
Healing Hand1 Corinthians 12: 9, 28 End disease and pain
Miracles 1 Corinthians 12: 10, 28 Control nature
Exorcism Luke 9: 49 Demon possession
Teleport FeetActs 8: 38-40; Ezekiel 3 Supernatural travel
Fruit of the Spirit Fruit John 15: 8; 17: 22-23. Galatians 5: 22 - 23 Love, unity

The Structure Of The Church
We must recognize the real structure of the church in order to work effectively and win this battle.

The Gifts
The gifts are given so that we can accomplish the will of God stated in the great commission
And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the son and the Holy Spirit. Teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and look, I am with you always, even to the end of the age". (Matthew 28: 18-20)

Gifts of the Spirit Sowing The Seed
God has sown the Seed. We are all seedlings in the garden of God. Everyone has been given a measure of faith. This is the seed planted in everyone so that we can respond as He calls the whole world.
Seed Faith. ... as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. (Romans 12: 3)
The first and most important seed is the gift of Christ.
The Father Sends The Son. Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. (John 14: 10)
The Son Sends The Spirit. I will ask the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever. (John 14: 16)
But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. (John 16: 7)
And the Spirit gives us gifts. But the Spirit and the gifts are only given to those who obey Him.
... And so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him. (Acts 5: 32)
God increases our seed of faith.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith ... (Hebrews 12: 2)

Gideon's Army
And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon. (Judges 7: 20)
The soldiers of God have a trumpet, pitcher, lamp and a sword like Gideon's army. The trumpets announce the army of God and declare war against the sons of darkness. The broken pots of clay give their life for the work of God. The lamps reveal evidence of God. The sword is the offensive work of the Holy Spirit no longer on the defensive.

Gifts of the Spirit Trumpet Church Planting Gifts
They announce the Kingdom of God. They have the ability to reach new people by going outside their culture. This is a ministry to the unbeliever. Seedlings from the garden are planted in other places to establish new groups of believers.

Gifts of the Spirit Church Building And Maintenance Gifts
They give their life to the church. The ability to orderly manage the church and to lead the members to accomplish the will of God. This is a ministry to the believer. Through knowledge of God, we bring the water of life and the light of God to make the seeds grow in a special garden until it produces trees of righteousness with fruit. They repeat the cycle by going out to plant and build new churches and ministering to the current members.

Gifts of the Spirit Sword Guidance Gifts
The ability to understand what God wants and why. These gifts bring the church back to the right path through knowledge and warnings. This is the person who pulls the weeds and does the pruning and brings fertilizer.
When I first wrote this lesson for the web site I was aware that I had many church building gifts. As far as I knew, I did not have any guidance gifts except for an extraordinary faith and trust that made me bold. Three years later, I have all of these gifts. Since these gifts are difficult to prove to the public, they become a "proof of God" gift to the recipient. The guidance gifts prepare the church for their exposure to the world, because they direct the planting and building.

Gifts of the Spirit Other Old Testament Gifts And Abilities
The list in the New Testament by no means covers all the abilities of the Holy Spirit. We can find many other gifts in the Bible. Some people do not recognize these as gifts because they are outside the traditional lists in Ephesians and 1 Corinthians. But I recognized some of these abilities in me as extraordinary supernatural abilities, not just as talents. So I searched the Old Testament for examples of my gifts and others.

Gifts of the Spirit Lamp Proof Of God Gifts
The ability to instantly control the physical and spiritual worlds and time in a public manner. While the guidance gifts are mainly in the head and mind of the person, these gifts are on public display. But they need other prerequisite gifts or are a special subset of other gifts. These gifts are like the fruit and the flower that opens to attract others around them to come to the garden. They are meant to call the world to God so that they no longer have an excuse to deny God.

Gifts of the Spirit Irrevocable Gifts
Speaking of the calling of the Jews and the Gentiles, Paul teaches that the gifts are never taken away because God does not regret His actions.
No Regrets! As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable [without repentance and without regret]. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience. (Romans 11: 28-30 NIV)
This confirms the statement of God in which He says He never changes.
Consistent! For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed. (Malachi 3: 6)
This is apparently true even if we change. So God's gifts and promises are an oath, based solely on His acts. Sometimes He chooses those who betray Him. Since He has foreknowledge, why would God give these scoundrels such a chance and honor?
The condemnation of Laodicea shows God's thinking.
Lukewarm Rejects. I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
(Revelation 3: 15-18)
God chooses the hot and zealous, pities the cold and rejects the lukewarm.

In all cases, God chose people with a passionate desire. Even though God knew that some would abuse his gifts, He still gave them the gifts. In the end they could do nothing but repent and watch as God succeeded. The same will happen to Satan. Like Napoleon at Waterloo, he will say "God Almighty has been too much for me".
The cold should wake up and open their eyes, put on their clothes and earn some gold. The lukewarm who think they are awake, well-dressed and rich should cure their eyes, realize they are naked and exchange their counterfeit for gold.

God can deal with the ignorant like Paul and the impatient like Jacob. However, those who know God's will or spurn His gifts and will not lift a finger to do His will are very displeasing to God.
The cold do not know that there is a gift. The hot desire the gift and appreciate its value and are willing to obtain it at any cost. Some will give all and die for God while using their gift. Others will lie, cheat, steal and kill for it.

God wants you to be passionate, but for His glory. So covet these gifts.
A Passion For God's Character. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5: 6)

Gifts of the Spirit Permanent Gifts
There are certain gifts that are permanent because they are God's way of fulfilling the covenant.

Fruit Love Is The Better Way
No matter how spectacular they are, the gifts are temporary abilities given to some people which will not survive in the new earth. There are other things that are even greater and these will be with us for eternity. And every Christian will have these. They are the fruit of the Spirit.
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love I am nothing." ... Love never fails, but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away. If there are tongues, they will cease. If there is knowledge, it will be done away. (1 Corinthians 13: 1, 2, 8)
The spectacular gifts are temporary. They can never substitute for the fruit of the Spirit, especially love. The ideal circumstances are for the church to grow the fruit of the Spirit so that they can fight evil and demonstrate the character of God to the world. Then God equips them with the gifts to do service.

The Role Of Faith
Many fake healers, temporary healings and fake healings thrive because the "lack of faith" on the part of the sick is blamed for the failure of the healing. What role does faith have in exercising these gifts?

Acquiring And Transferring The Gifts
When the bar of faith is set low, so that we can blame "lack of faith" for our failures, any abuses can occur. So gift-mongering is becoming a business. No human can give, teach or transfer these gifts.

The Miracle Worker
Miracle Working Abuses
Unscrupulous people have taken the most extreme forms of this power and made a cottage industry of healing objects.

» Relics. The possessions and body parts of dead prophets, apostles and "saints" are a big business. There is a huge market for blood, bone, teeth, hair, clothes and possession of these people and even the objects that killed them.
There is even a secondary market for modern objects that are used to touch these objects to make them sacred. Therefore, there is technically no limit to the amount of healing objects that can be produced and sold. Simply take the fingernails of a dead saint and let them touch 100 yards of fabric and you have 100 yards of holy cloth.

» Blessed Objects. These scoundrels bless objects and sell them as a cure-all or good luck charms.
The primary purpose of the gift is as a sign to the unbeliever, to give glory and honor to God and bring the unbeliever to faith. Since it is the Holy Spirit who executes the miracle, the miracle worker can be separated by distance from the miracle, but cannot be separated by time. The miracle must occur at the moment it is promised and the witnesses must know that this is an act of God. Therefore, the miracle must be dramatic enough and not so drawn out that it can be disconnected from the miracle worker so that credit is given to medicine, doctors, vegetables, potions, spontaneous healing or other gods.

Proving The Gifts
There has been an explosion in claims about the gifts, yet the secular nightly news is silent on the phenomena. Is there a conspiracy to suppress the proof of God miracles by a liberal, godless media? Does it make sense that even the suffering wicked would deliberately ignore and squelch such a miraculous event? Why does the media ignore this manifestation of the Spirit? Or, why do we not aggressively seek to show proof of the power of God?

The threshold of proof is so easy, why do we avoid it?
It is because the bar of faith is set so low because the efforts are ours? So we have much more failures than successes which are worse than drug companies, and so much randomness about who will be healed that we do not set up real scientific proofs because they will fail. Consequently, all we have are the cheap versions of unverified and unverifiable proofs accepted by the gullible Christian groupies on Christian networks limping from one healing crusade to another.

Physical Manifestations Of An Encounter With God
Sometimes, one who has an encounter with God has an accompanying physical manifestation that represents His throne.

Miracles As Advanced Science
While critics prefer to claim that the miracles were a fraud and a hoax or myths or the mad ravings of stupid people, some of these miracles could be understood by advanced science just as current science and technology would seem like impossible witchcraft only 400 years ago.

The Greatest Evangelistic Team With The Greatest Message

The Greatest Works. Truly, truly, I say to you, He who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father. (John 14: 12)
Jesus said that we will do greater works than He did. What are the possibilities?
Possible Instantaneous Miracles
Jesus' Miracles Greater Miracles Greatest Miracles
Church Planting Leadership gifts with power Persuade non-members
Church Building Teaching gifts with wisdom /discernment Persuade members
Guidance Gifts Perseverance gift with knowledge Battle Satan and the unseen forces
Proof Of God Undo destruction Creation miracles. Move or create mountains
Natural Forces Calm rain, quakes, wind, snow, waves Calm or cause hurricanes, part seas, quakes, volcanos
Multiply Food Replicate any object of any size Restore deserts and planets. Create from nothing
Knowledge Instant knowledge of all science, wisdom God, future, read minds, read electronics
Use any sense to interpret other senses Sight and sound by touch. Move objects by sound
Blind See Enhanced Color and distance All senses detect a wider electromagnetic spectrum
See through solid objects All senses detect spiritual realm
Deaf Hear Enhanced distance Hear thoughts, hear electronic communication
Dumb Speak Sing all ranges Sing all ranges and instruments simultaneously
Tongues The gifted understand all languages Babel Reversed. All people understand one language
Healing All acquired and congenital diseases Genetic mutation, mental and physical handicaps
Lame Walk Quadraplegic's Nerves cured Amputee limbs grow back
Amputee limbs grow, conjoined separated New or restored creation
Navigate Environments
(Walk On Water)
Walk on air Walk through dimensions
Walk on sharp or hot solid, liquid, gasFlesh survives fire, bombs, boiling oil
Survive internal poison Walk through dense solid, hot Liquid, poison gas
Teleport Greater distances, instantaneous Teleport, beyond earth with no support equipment
Exorcism Remove the works and influence of Satan Defeat Satan in verbal and physical battles
Raise The Dead Resurrect ashes, decapitated, embalmed Resurrection, Translation, Rapture

I believe in the ability of God to do anything. So, although the vast majority of the church seems to be preoccupied with success in this world. It is still possible for God to reach the entire world in one year by using a team of two or three people with the support of the local church, satellite and internet technology. This team could preach the great message about the love of God and His desire for humans to live. The hospitality of the local church could support the team and the new members by helping during and after the crusades.
Satellite technology would broadcast the services live and taped within the region. Internet technology could be used as a low cost distribution network and to teach with the Holy Spirit guiding the reader.
With the ability to teleport and the gift of tongues, this evangelistic team could minister in six time zones in one day. They could cover all nations in one year with a one week crusade preaching about the love of God. They could cover all nations in fifty days with a one day crusade. With a worldwide event that compels all nations and news media to capture the event, they could reach the entire world in one day. Now imagine a team of 144,000 filled with the Holy Spirit.
Using the curiosity and publicity generated by the sign gifts (healing, raising the dead and other miracles), the secular media would be begging to air these services at no cost.
Zechariah 12: 9-10 promises that God would pour out His Spirit in a spectacular way at the end of time so that Israel will be converted in one day. This is all Israel, Christians and Jews.
That day will be soon.

Your Response
God expects all Christians to work for His cause and tell others about His plan of salvation. He helps us by sending us the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is not given to every human being. But every Christian receives this gift either at baptism or when the commitment to God is made.
While God can use the talent and abilities that you have acquired through study and experience, they are not gifts. Sometimes God gives you gifts that enhance your talent. At other times, your gift may be improved by formal training. But actually, it is most likely that your gift improves your formal training. This is only because it gives you confidence that you are doing work that others recognize as valuable.

But in my experience, all the gifts that God ever gave me were totally opposite of my own abilities. It is as if God is demonstrating to me that what I do is His work, not mine. I can take no credit for the work because I am constantly aware that this ability did not come from within me.
It also appears that as you faithfully use the gifts that you have been given, that He will eventually add more. I have a mixed bag of many gifts so I can comment on some of the surprising aspects.
When you have a gift you will know it. Most do not come with a declaration from God and the attending fire and thunder. But you will know that something wonderful and strange has happened and you may even be tempted to think that something is wrong because it slightly alters your reality. Some gifts appear to be on a continuum. You must receive one before the other. Also, other gifts are clearly helped by other unrelated gifts. While a person with the gift of knowledge may not be a prophet, a prophet must have some of the gift of knowledge. A martyr must first have the gifts of faith and courage. An exorcist must have faith, discernment and intercession. While celibacy is not a prerequisite to any gift, it certainly helps if you can devote the time.

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7: 14) Time: 80 minutes
Print: 17 pages
Copyright   Updated : March 28, 2006. 2009
Credits: The Holy Spirit and personal experience.
Author: Laverna Patterson. Editor: Patterson (January 2008)
I recommend the book "Practical Spiritual Gifts" by James W. Zackrison, Pacific Press Publishing Association (1996)