CONCERNING SPIRITUAL GIFTS - KENNETH E HAGIN

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

For the body is not one member, but many.
(1 Cor. 12:1-14)

Don't Be Ignorant of Spiritual Gifts
Paul said by the Holy Spirit to the Church at Corinth, "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I WOULD NOT HAVE YOU IGNORANT" (1 Cor. 12:1). If the Spirit of God through Paul said that He didn't want the Church at Corinth to be ignorant concerning spiritual gifts, then I certainly do not believe He wants the Church today to be ignorant concerning spiritual gifts.

However, a gross ignorance does exist concerning these things. In some places people know nothing at all about the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or even that such gifts exist. They think these gifts have been done away with. In other places people know something about the gifts of the Spirit, but their knowledge is very limited.

Spiritual Gifts Will Exalt Jesus
Paul also said to the Church at Corinth, "Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led" (1 Cor. 12:2). These folks had previously worshipped idols and in this idol worship, motivated by the wrong spirit, they would say a lot of things that were in error.

For instance, Church history tells us that some of these folks would come into the Christian assembly and when the Spirit of God began to manifest Himself, these people would yield to a wrong spirit and say things under the influence of the wrong spirit.

In fact, some of them would even rise up in the services when the gifts of utterance were in operation and they would say that Jesus was accursed. And the Bible says that no one speaking by the Spirit of God would call Jesus accursed.

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
(1 Cor. 12:3)

No, Paul said that when the Holy Spirit is in manifestation, He will make Jesus Lord. If an utterance gift, that is, a vocal gift—prophecy, divers kinds of tongues, or the interpretation of tongues—is in manifestation, then, of course, it will be clear by what is said that Jesus is Lord.

If the other gifts are in manifestation, they will always uplift the Lordship of Jesus, not the lordship of some man. They will not attract attention to some man, but rather to Christ.
You can be sure that if someone is operating in what appears to be one of the vocal gifts, and calls Jesus accursed or speaks against Him in any way, then he's not speaking by the Holy Spirit.

Then Paul said in First Corinthians 12:3 that no man can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. In other words, Paul was saying that if someone is speaking by the right spirit—by the Holy Spirit—then what he says will exalt the Name of Jesus.

Once in a meeting while I was praying for folks for healing, I sensed that someone in the prayer line had a wrong spirit. I knew within my own spirit who this person was before she ever stood in front of me to be prayed for.

When she stepped up in front of me for prayer, I asked her, "Are you a Christian?" She replied that she belonged to a particular church.

I said, "Well, you can belong to any church and still not be a Christian. You have to be born again."

"Oh, I am saved and filled with the Holy Ghost," she said. "Do you want to hear me speak in tongues?" Then she started saying something that sounded like tongues.

I said, "Sister, say this prayer after me from your heart." I prayed a prayer to God the Father and she repeated the words after me. Then I said, "I acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ as Your Son, and I acknowledge that He is come in the flesh."

But when I said that, she said, "Jesus Christ is not Your Son and He is not come in the flesh." It was immediately apparent that wasn't the right spirit speaking.

Those tongues she was rattling off—some kind of "gibberish"—weren't given by the Spirit of God. I tried two or three times to get her to repeat that prayer after me. Finally, she said, "Something on the inside of me won't let me say what you said."

"I know it," I said. "Do you want to be free from it?"

"I sure do!" she answered. I cast that spirit out of her in the Name of Jesus. Then I had her pray the sinner's prayer and she was born again. She was then filled with the Holy Spirit and went home speaking in tongues.

This woman was saying, "I am saved, I am born again, and I am filled with the Holy Ghost," but she wasn't at all. People can make a lot of statements, but that doesn't necessarily make them true. When the Spirit of God is in manifestation, He will make Jesus Lord. The wrong spirit won't acknowledge that Jesus is Lord and won't say that Jesus is Lord.

Gifts, Administrations, and Operations

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
(1 Cor. 12:4-6)

There are two lines of thought on this particular passage of Scripture in 1 Corinthians 12. One line of thought says that the gifts of the Spirit are administered to different people in different ways. According to this line of thought, that is what 1 Corinthians 12:6 means by, "And there are diversities of operations...."

In other words, there are those who think that diversities of operations in First Corinthians 12:6 means that the gifts of the Spirit will operate in different ways and not always in the same way through various people.

The other line of thought, however, says that diversities of operations is not referring to gifts at all. These people maintain that just as there are different gifts of the Spirit, there are also different administrations of the Spirit, as well as different operations.

In other words, they say that Paul was talking about three different things in 1 Corinthians 12:4-6, not just gifts. He was talking about gifts, administrations, and operations.

First Corinthians 12:7 says, "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."

Notice Paul was calling the gifts of the Spirit manifestations. And he said, "...the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal" (1 Cor. 12:7). Paul was making the distinction here that "gifts" of the Spirit aren't gifts in the sense that the believer owns and operates the gift whenever he wants to.

They are gifts of the Holy Ghost, manifested through individual believers as the Spirit of God wills. The gifts of the Spirit aren't just given for the individual, but they are given in order to profit the whole local assembly or local body of believers.

The Nine Gifts Categorized

For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE by the same Spirit....
(1 Cor. 12:8)

Paul goes on to list nine manifestations or gifts of the Spirit. The nine manifestations or gifts of the Holy Spirit are generally divided as follows:

  • Three revelation gifts—spiritual gifts that reveal something:
    1. The word of wisdom
    2. The word of knowledge
    3. The discerning of spirits
  • Three power gifts—spiritual gifts that do something
    1. The gift of faith
    2. The working of miracles
    3. The gifts of healings
  • Three utterance or inspirational gifts—spiritual gifts that say something:
    1. Prophecy
    2. Divers (different) kinds of tongues
    3. Interpretation of tongues

Very often these gifts work together, as tongues and interpretation work together. But we divide them as they are divided here in 1 Corinthians 12 in order to distinguish them and to talk about them.

We can readily see that very often these gifts of the Spirit are in manifestation together. For example, sometimes what we call prophecy is actually a word of wisdom that is being given forth.

It is not really the simple gift of prophecy at all because the simple gift of prophecy has no revelation; that is, no foretelling or element of prediction with it. The simple gift of prophecy brings edification, exhortation and comfort (1 Cor. 14:3).

These gifts are listed in the order of their importance. Of the three gifts of revelation, the word of wisdom is the best gift because it brings supernatural revelation of the plan and purpose of God. Of the three gifts of power, the gift of faith is the best gift because it is the supernatural ability to work a miracle.

Of the three gifts of utterance, the gift of prophecy is the best gift because it is complete in and of itself and it brings edification, encouragement, and comfort to the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 14:3). The Bible does say to seek earnestly the best gifts (1 Cor. 12:31).

The word of wisdom is the best gift of all, because as I said, it brings revelation about the divine plan and purpose of God.

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Oluwaseun John Oluwawalemi

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