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I have began an in depth study on the gifts of the Spirit. While doing research on the number of gifts and trying to define each one. I've been having a hard time finding apostolic material on the subject. I have found many schools of thought from non apostolic sources, but I have yet to find consistency. I decided to bring this subject to the network in hopes that somebody has material of their own they can share or that I may be pointed in the right direction. greetings from Houston, Tx.

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Well my material would just be first hand experience. Gifts and manifestaions of the Spirit are the same thing. Its just God manifesting himself to his people. The one I have seen most over the years is the prophetic gift. It definitely has blessed me to help keep my faith alive.

 

For me it usually comes in a dream. Then most of the time it comes to pass within a few days although several times it has been more long term.

Pablo,

 

I presume you are speaking of the nine gifts named in 1 Corinthians 12:8-12. If this is so, here is a synopsis of what I have taught about them.

 

Word of knowledge (knowing): supernaturally imparted information.

Word of wisdom (knowing): supernatural skill in using the information.

Discerning of spirits (knowing): ability to identify human and demonic spirits.

Prophecy (speaking): Spirit-empowered message to edify the church.

Messages in tongues (speaking): message to the church in an unknown tongue.

Interpretation of tongues (speaking): interpretation of the message into a known language.

Faith (doing): extraordinary faith for a particular situation.

Healing (doing): the ability to heal the sick.

Working of miracles (doing): the ability to do acts that far exceed human ability.

 

These nine spiritual gifts are what give the Church supernatural power to do the work of ministry. I believe at least one of these gifts should operate in the life of every believer. I don't believe anyone has all nine, except Jesus. I also believe that no one can have one of these gifts if he has not received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit imparts the gifts as He wills.

 

I am open for any corrections or additional thoughts.

Just some random thoughts from my study of this topic.

 

One interesting aspect to the list in 1 Cor 12:8-10 is that it is not an exhaustive list -- there are more gifts than are mentioned here.  See the list in 1 Cor 12:28: some of them are from the first list, but some are new.  1 Cor 12:28 also shows that "apostle", "prophet", and "teacher" are also gifts just like Eph 4 says (ref Eph 4:11). 

 

Also examine vs 4-6 from 1 Cor 12.  Very symmetrical verses although the KJV obscures the symmetry somewhat.   "Gifts", "administrations", "operations" ==> "gifts/enablements", "ministries", "workings".  These are not three categories of gifts, but three aspects of spiritual gifts in general: (1) they are given to you by the Spirit and do not originate within yourself, (2) they are "ministries" that you are accountable to God to perform, not only to use them properly, but to use them when called upon (i.e., there is an obligation to use them), (3) they are "workings" of God -- something God is doing: He is the power and the direction.

 

There is one puzzling passage in 1 Cor 14 regarding tongues vs prophesy that I cannot figure out:

1Co 14:21-25  In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.  22  Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.  23  If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?  24  But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:  25  And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

 

In vs 21 and 22 Paul says that tongues are a sign to unbelievers, but prophesy is to believers and not for unbelievers.  But in vs 23-25 he gives two situations that seem to show the exact opposite.  He has the unbeliever being totally unimpressed by tongues, but the unbeliever is convicted by prophesy.  What gives?  What does he mean by tongues being for the unbeliever?  Any ideas?

 

 --- Mike R. Prevost

 

Good question Mike I have wondered at this too.

Good question, whose answer I've been waiting for, but no one's replied...  I know this is a few months late, but since no one has added their thoughts on this I thought I'd add something to see what you all think.

 

We know that on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in scripture, people from abroad heard the Hebrews magnifying God in their own diverse languages.  This was a sign to them that God had indeed orchestrated the event.  Although I have not yet had someone tell me that they understand what I say when I speak in tongues, I have read of many stories, and some from believers I have met personally, where non-believers heard someone speaking in a language they themselves understood although the speaker had never learned that language and was speaking as the Spirit gave them to speak--in tongues.  For me, this would clearly demonstrate how tongues are used as a sign to unbelievers.   Paul must have been referring to this kind of context because obviously, in every context, tongues are not a sign ONLY to unbelievers.  Tongues were also shown as a sign to Peter that God had accepted the gentiles and is generally known as a sign--although not necessarily to unbelievers--of the initial baptism of the Holy Spirit.  "...these signs shall follow them..., etc."

Now, as for the rest of the 1 Cor. 14 passage—taken all together—I think it is also clear that Paul is mainly pointing out how much more beneficial for the edification of the church that one prophesy to the whole group as opposed to just speaking in tongues to the group.  He does end the chapter however by saying “forbid not to speak in tongues”.  This would be the equivalent to saying “after having shown you the superiority of speaking to the group in words that everyone can understand, both for the benefit of believers and for any unbelievers who come in, you should nevertheless still allow people to speak in tongues, for they speak to God and for their own edification.”  His example of unbelievers hearing everyone speak only in tongues and thinking they are mad makes sense.  I have even seen that happen once or twice in services that I have been in. 

Of course, this is not the same thing as tongues being used as a sign to the unbeliever, nor having a tongue and interpretation, which both are obviously divinely-orchestrated for the purpose of convicting unbelievers, or for edifying the body.  In Corinth, the church was evidently having many members speak aloud to the whole group in tongues at once, or successively, with no interpretation, and this was the problem, as Paul clearly explained and set aright.

So to sum it up, I don’t see a contradiction in the verses, but Paul showing how a principle or truth (that tongues are a sign to the unbeliever) can be taken too far and used in an inappropriate and disorderly way.  The Corinthians were reasoning like children—taking things simply and to the letter—and they often missed the spirit of the larger picture in doing what they did.

This is the most I could come up with on this.  Anyone else have any insight?

Just another comment relevant to your opening question.  Preachit.org (apostolic site) offers a packet entitled "unwrapping gifts of ministry".  It was compiled by Norman Chaudion of Family Praise Center in Noblesville, Ind. (I do not know him personally.)  I found it somewhat useful on the topic of spiritual gifts.  However, I think that a few of the gift definitions are a little lacking and there are some (such as "craftsmanship") which don't seem to fit the bill of a spiritual gift...  It may still be a good resource to you, though, if you've not already finished with your research!  Instead of signing up at preachit.org, you could also contact Bro. Norman at pastor@familypraisecenter.com and request the materials directly.

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