Judges 20:16: Out of these people 700 choice men were left-handed; each one could sling a stone and not miss. (NASB)
Under the New Testament, God equipped us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote that the manifestation of the Holy Spirit is for the profit of all (1Corinthians 12). We should desire more and more of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit through us. There are nine on the list of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Word of wisdom
Wisdom has to do with a sense of direction. It is futuristic, predictive. It is a peep into the future, what can be or what will be. Jesus operating by the word of wisdom spoke of the invasion of Jerusalem (Luke 21:24), the destruction of the temple, the time of his second coming and of the end (Matthew 24).
Speaking by word of wisdom, Paul said: “the Spirit expressively says that in the last days, perilous times shall come. Men shall be lovers of themselves… (2Timothy 3:1-6)”
In the Books of Acts the word of wisdom came through a prophet Agabus who spoke of a coming famine and because of that people made preparation (Acts 11:28-30). Their actions was informed by supernatural knowledge of what was about to happen, and that is what the word of wisdom helps us to do. It is not wise advice, supernatural unveiling, knowing of the very mind of God concerning the future, possibly with practical implication for the present.
To be wise means to act in a way as to get the right result, therefore the word of wisdom is to inform wise action in order to get the right result.
Word of knowledge
Knowledge is supernatural awareness of current and past facts and figures. When Jesus told Nathanael that when he was under the fig tree, long before they met, he saw him. The spirit of revelation (in the word of knowledge) operated in Jesus to cause him to know facts about Nathanael beyond what was naturally possible (John 1:45-51).
Elisha operated in a high level of word of knowledge, able to tell the king of Israel what the king of Syria was planning against him at every turn, so much that he sent an army to capture him because he was so angry (2Kings 6:8-21).
Discernment of spirits
Then Prophet Elisha expressed discernment of spirits. He was able to see that there are angels, army of God on chariots and horses of fire round about him. In comparison to that, the army sent from Syria were a pitiful bunch. So he was as cool as cucumber, unnaturally so.
It was the discernment of spirit that was exhibited by Paul before he cast out the spirit of divination out of a girl following them about as they ministered in a place (Acts 16:16-18). He was not confused to allow her to become part of their work though she spoke the right words about them, saying: this people have come to show us the right way. You could have mistaken her for a follower of Christ, but a demonic spirit was behind her words and Paul discerned that, and acted appropriately by casting it out and not embracing it and thereby polluting his ministry.
This gift is about “seeing” angels and demons, Jesus, heaven etc. and being aware of the operation of these supernatural beings. Jesus in his lifetime exhibited this gift. He calls out different names of demons, to cast them out. And after he was through with being tempted by the devil, the bible says that angels came to minister to him (Matthew 4:1-11).
Faith as a gift of the spirit, it enable us to take steps that makes no sense in the realm of the natural but which result in supernatural acts.
With the gift of faith the natural processes are suspended or speeded up. Jesus walking on water is a display of the gift of faith in which he acts as if the law of gravity does not exist (Matthew 14:25-31).
Because walking on water was an expression of the gift of faith, it will be presumptuous of anyone to try it out without that gift in operation. When Philip was spirited away after he had baptised the Ethiopian Eunuch, it was as if there was no time or distance. In one second, he was with the Ethiopian Eunuch, and in the next he was many miles away (Acts 8:26-40).
Abraham and Sarah exhibited the gift of faith to give birth to Isaac. They were both past age, it was natural impossible for such a thing to happen, but it did (Romans 4:20).
When Joshua commanded that the sun and the moon to not move for a day (Joshua 10:12-13), while he routed the enemies of Israel, it was an exhibition of the gift of faith. The raising of the dead falls under the operation of the gift of faith.
Gifts of healing
Jesus walked the earth as the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings (Malachi 4:1-2). Supernatural instantaneous healing happened all the time in his ministry.
And now the healing abilities are released through gifts of healing. This gift is straight forward, it takes care of physical ailments, and happens with speed, it could be accompanied by certain sensations in the body of both the recipient of the gift and dispenser.
Working of miracles
While for healing it is a gift (by laying on of hands or the spoken words), and it is usually instantaneous, miracle have to be worked, and can cut across all needs, not just physical.
When Elisha performed the miracle of provision for a widow, she had to work it by locking herself in a room and pouring the little oil she had into the big bowls she had borrowed (2Kings 4:1-7). The working of miracle also occurred when Elisha caused the head of an axe to float when he threw a stick into the place where it fell. When this gift works with prophetic proclamation, it is a prophetic act.
Jesus worked the miracle of restoring the sight of a man born blind in John chapter nine. He did not just say as he said to Bartholomew, let it be to you according to your faith. In John 9, certain steps were taken which resulted in the healing. He spat on the eyes of the blind man and asked him to go and wash in a pool, from where he came back seeing. He spat on his finger and touched the tongue and put his fingers into the ears of a deaf and dumb man, commanding them to open (Matthew 7:32-35).
In the ministry of Paul handkerchiefs and aprons were taken from him and used to cast out devils and cause diseases to depart (Acts 19:11-12). The healing was not just be verbal declaration, materials were used to work the miracle.
This has to do with speaking forth the mind of God for comfort, edification and exhortation (1Corinthians 14). It is verbal expression. It is inspired speech. It is unplanned but that does not mean you cannot hold the sensation until you have the opportunity to speak, as the spirit of a prophet is subject to a prophet.
It is meant to be of help to the hearers. To prophesy is to bring the mind of God close to the people. It brings a sense of the immediacy of the word of God, of the presence of God and the mind of God. It is of a general sort, covering various issues, circumstances. It is empowering. It can be used to reveal the secrets of hearts.
Divers kinds of tongues
This specifically have to do with speaking languages spoken by other people without having learnt it before, in order to communicate God’s supernatural message. It is the gift of prophecy with a twist.
Interpretation of tongues
God likes the gift of prophecy so much, he makes it available in three or four flavours. The raw one is spoken forth in the language the speaker have learned, i.e. the traditional gift of prophecy.
In the “divers kinds of tongues” one where the speaker speaks in another langue spoken by other people in the world. This can be mixed with interpretation of tongues, in which a person learned in the two languages, the common language spoken in that environment and the language used by the one expressing the gift, can verify the meanings.
And lastly, when the raw gift of tongues (angelic languages) are spoken in public, for it to be of benefit to others, it needs to be interpreted. That is also prophecy. But why would God want to go in that roundabout way to communicate? That is for him to answer.
- The Spirit of God is Known by Fellowship (frmilovan.wordpress.com)
- Who Is Keeping You In God’s Hand? (Post #1,061) (ourdailybread101.wordpress.com)