With much prayer while seeking the leadership of the Holy Spirit, I approach the subject of GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT. We must first have an understanding and working knowledge of the Tabernacle, or at least a working relationship with the basic truths revealed to us there. The first couple of lessons will deal with the Tabernacle and lay a foundation from which to proceed to become of one mind in the mind of Christ.
My objective in this study is to place God’s movement of His Holy Spirit in its proper place; the Body of Christ in order or, rather, God’s order. There is no confusion in the operation, manifestation or supernatural engagements of the Holy Spirit when done according to the blueprints that God has laid out for us to follow.
Before we begin with the Scriptures, we need to understand that the Church of Jesus Christ “Yeshua” is seen in many different figures. It’s a Body; it’s a Bride; it’s a Man; it’s a Pearl; it’s a Vine, and so forth. There are numerous references and they all point to the Lord Jesus.
It’s always desirable when you are pursuing these to view each one of them separately. In other words, if you are addressing the Church as the House of God, the Pillar of Truth, then be careful not to mingle figures that relate to the Bride because it’s going to bring confusion.
The Lord sets down one and He proceeds to another. God always moves from the known to the unknown. The first thing we want to look at is the Church as a building; then we will see how the building transfers to a body. After that, we will see the life that God puts into that body to make it function properly.
Let us begin at Hebrews 11:8-11:
8 “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9 By faith he sojourned in the Land of Promise. as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise
10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God.
11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.”
Let’s just stop there for a moment and meditate on two statements made here regarding the builder and the maker who is God. First, let’s look at the word "builder". It is derived from the Greek word technites which figuratively means a founder or creator; a builder, craftsman. One who designs and thinks it up, the originator of the building, the one who first had the idea for the building and its purpose. One has to have a purpose for building a building before building it. You don’t just build a building without having a reason for it. So God is the builder or designer of the building.
Who is the maker of the building? It is, of course, the Holy Spirit. Let’s look at it this way.
THE FATHER THOUGHT IT, THE SON SPOKE IT, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WROUGHT IT. ALWAYS IN THE WORD OF GOD, THE ENTIRE GODHEAD BODY IS INVOLVED IN ANYTHING DONE BY GOD. NEVER DOES THE FATHER DO ANYTHING APART FROM THE SON AND HOLY SPIRIT FOR THEY ARE ONE.
Now let’s look at the word “maker”. It comes from the Greek word demiourgos (day-me-oor-gos) which means a worker for the people; for example, mechanic (spoken of the creator), maker. Remember what I just said? THE FATHER THOUGHT IT, THE SON SPOKE IT, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WROUGHT IT. The Holy Spirit is the One who ministers the work of God before the eyes of men. He is the public worker. The Holy Spirit is the One who in-gifts the child of God and; therefore, gives the public demonstration of the life of Jesus Christ before the world. The head is in heaven, but it is the members of the body who are functioning on earth. First Corinthians 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God.” With God who? God, the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.” The Greek word for "Comforter" is paraclete which means the one called alongside. So that is the word we have translated maker who is the Holy Spirit, the One called alongside to help and to comfort.
So the Father, God, is the designer of the building, and the Holy Spirit is the maker or public worker in that building. Obviously, we have to have the third member of the Godhead. In Matthew 16:18, Jesus said, “I will build my Church.” Here we find the word build, and it is the same word spoken by Solomon and used by Stephen in his defense in Acts 7:47 where the Scripture tells us that Solomon built the temple.
Now, let me ask you something. Did Solomon go out there to the temple building site and personally lay stones? Of course not. It was his responsibility to see that the building was built. So Solomon is the builder of the temple as Jesus is the builder of the Church. Jesus has authority over its construction. Matthew 28:19, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
The Father is the perfect designer of this glorious structure; the Lord Jesus is its builder with perfect authority over its construction. The Holy Spirit is the public worker who labors diligently and lovingly to assure the perfection of the completed building.
It is then, the Holy Spirit who is functioning through the believers giving demonstration to the desires over the head of that body. In turn, the head of that body is doing the work of the designer. The Father thought it up for a purpose; the Son is speaking it into existence; and the Holy Spirit is bringing it to pass.
You might be wondering why I am going into all of this to teach spiritual gifts relative to the Tabernacle. The answer is simple. If one does not have the basic understanding of these truths and begins to move into spiritual things, he or she then begins to move out of order, causing many problems in the body of Christ. Therefore, I feel it necessary to lay down a foundation of basic truths before moving into deeper things. It is also good to notice that God always moves from the known to the unknown, never the other way around. It is necessary to establish certain things known. I have found, however, that most believers don’t know these simple truths.
Now let’s look at the word “architect.” Too often in some translations, the word builder is translated architect. That is an unfortunate translation. I don’t know really why they did that when; in fact, the Greek word will not even suggest it. The Greek word architect does appear in the Scripture. In First Corinthians 3:10, “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.” Here the Greek word "architect" is translated masterbuilder. Who then is the architect of the New Testament? The apostle Paul is the New Testament architect. And Paul is saying, as a wise architect in First Corinthians 3:10, “I have laid the foundation.”
So what is the responsibility of the architect? It is to take the idea of the designer and lay it out in written form so the workers know what they are doing. Isn’t that right? So that is what Paul does. He is taking the idea of the Father, revealed to him through the Son, put it down on paper, and said, “Build it this way.” What does that remind you of from the Old Testament? God told Moses the same thing in Exodus 25:40, “And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount.”
The Father thought it, the Son spoke it. To whom? To Paul. Remember the visitation in the heavenlies?
In our next lesson, we will begin to see how Paul built it according to the plans also given to Moses in the wilderness.
We begin this lesson taking a look at the two architects, Moses and Paul. They were chosen by divine revelation, they were chosen of the Lord from their mothers' womb, and were rejected by their brothers. They received a revelation of a dispensation of God, and were instructed by the Lord in a desert experience. This list goes on and on. The point is they were both architects, one of the New Testament, and one of the Old Testament. What God did with Moses, He did with Paul as well.
God gave Moses the revelation of the Law. God gave Paul the revelation of the Grace of God. Moses draws pictures of the Tabernacle blue-prints. Paul draws pictures of the Church, The House of God, which are also blue-prints. We must assume that there are illustrations in the Tabernacle showing the order of things in the Church.
What we are going to address here is not a complete study of the Tabernacle. I feel it necessary to establish the understanding one needs to have in order to begin to see the truths of the spiritual gifts in the body of Christ.
Let us now take a look at the Tabernacle of Moses. This tabernacle, as you may remember, was in three major sections. First, there was the outer court which was 50 cubits by 100 cubits. Do NOT translate that into feet because when you do, you lose what God has to say. Many of the new translations unfortunately, do translate it that way, and when they do, they lose it altogether. We know a cubit was approximately a foot-and-a-half long but that is not important. The cubit of the sanctuary and the civil cubit of Israel were different.
We are going to leave it like God laid it down because it is the numerical value of the numbers that is important, not the actual size. The dimensions of the outer court being 50 by 100 tell us something. Fifty is the number of liberty in the Spirit of God, while 100 is the number of the divine election. Who cares how big it was? It is, however, important to see how perfectly God made the Tabernacle in its numerical order.
Look at the drawing of the Tabernacle. You will notice that there are 15 cubits on either side of the entry gate. Fifteen is the number of rest. The gate is 20 cubits and 20 is the number of redemption. It is nice to notice at this point that to enter the gate, you must be redeemed. But it is even more important to notice that the height of the gate is 5 cubits. The gate is 5 cubits high and 20 cubits wide and 5 times 20 equals 100. One hundred is the number for divine election. Now isn't that interesting! You see now how important it is not to convert the cubit to feet because the numbers prove everything to us, and God said to prove everything.
Let's now look at
the door to the inner court. It is 10 cubits by 10 cubits. Ten times ten equals
one hundred. So again, to enter this door, the number is divine election. Ten is
responsibility and testimony. So whether we go through the narrow or the wide
door, we must go by divine election. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the
truth and the Life; no man comes to the Father but by me." For Jesus is the
door, and there is no other way to enter. There are no other doors.
The Tabernacle's furniture is what we want to briefly look at next. As we enter into the outer court, we first come to the brazen altar. This altar addresses the work of the Cross. You then come to the laver which addresses the Word of God. The Laver was made of brass which came from the mirrors of the ladies around the Tabernacle. Brass is the metal of judgments. God said, "The Word of God is like a mirror." James tells us in James 1:23 -24, “For if any be a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.” It is appropriate then that God would make the laver of brass out of looking glasses. Then it is filled with water as it addresses the Spirit of God as He works in the Word of God. These two are never seen separately. First was the work of God on the Cross and the Blood; then there is the work of God in cleansing.
Then we come into the Tabernacle proper. On the north side is the table of showbread and on the south side are the seven lamps. Then before the veil is the altar of incense. With respect to the Lord Jesus, we have the door to enter. That is redemption and divine election. Then we have His work on the Cross and the blood sacrifice at the brazen altar. After the Cross we come to the Word of God and cleansing at the laver. Then Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life" and that brings us to the table of showbread. He said, "I am the Light of the World." Here are seven lampstands (candlesticks) as described in Exodus 25:31-40 and set-up according to Numbers 8:1-4. (You will find these Scriptures referenced in Lesson 4 under the heading of THE LAMPSTAND).
After the Tabernacle we come to the place of prayer and fellowship with the Saints at the altar of incense. Then we pass through the veil which is the point of Covenant; to the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. This is the place of the Glory of God. All of this, of course, points to the work of the Cross as we draw it through the furnishings of the Tabernacle. And the whole thing addresses the finished work of the Lord Jesus.
For the purpose of our study, we have to see first of all that the building is pointing to a man. This Tabernacle was given to Moses so that it would not only address the house of God, the pillar, the ground and the truth, but that house is not just a house, but is a living being.
Let me try to explain. Let's assume that we are a container, and we are putting in those things of God that He has prepared for us. After we have done that, we are not a container any longer, but we are a living being. We are not a building either, we are part of a living body of Christ. But we go to the building first to understand that we are a structure formed by God for a given stated purpose. Now we know that we are human beings in which the Glory of God dwells. A human being is not going to sit in one place and never do anything. First, we must discover that there is a foundation, that we are part of that building. Then we find that there is life in it, and that we are going to move around demonstrating the life in us.
The manner in which God gave this architectural design to the man Moses was done in such a way as to illustrate that this was, in fact, a picture of a body, The Redeemer.
In our next lesson I will draw a chart showing the body of the Lord in the Tabernacle. It will indeed shock some and bless others. We will take a much closer look at the furniture and what it means to us.
We will begin this one by looking at the Tabernacle as it pertains to the man Jesus. In the Hebrew language, often times a word is used in the context of the sentence more than in any other language I know of. There are approximately 7,000 root words in Hebrew and around 300,000 in English. This gives you some idea of the problem of translation from Hebrew to English. Even in the English language a word has many meanings. Considering this, when we look at the Hebrew with only 7,000 root words, a single word can have multiple meanings and often does. Being a Jew, and an Israeli, I could give several pages of examples, but for the sake of this lesson we will stay with the matter at hand, that being to show the Lord Jesus "Yeshua" in the Tabernacle.
Look at the chart. Begin with the word that Moses used when addressing the east side of the outer court. It is translated “side” in the King James Version of the Bible and all the other English Bibles I've read, but the word clearly does not mean "side" in Hebrew, it is shoulder. I have written it in Hebrew for you. When Moses was laying out these plans, he was, in fact, receiving orders from God pointing directly to the Lord Jesus.
However, when you are building a building you call the walls sides and not shoulders. But Moses was obedient to write only the things God gave him, not having the total revelation of the job he was given to do. Remember Peter's words in I Peter 1:10-12:
10 “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. 12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.”
God gave revelation unto Moses. He saw it, but he didn't see it, if you understand what I mean. He heard it, but he didn't hear it. He could see that God was giving a revelation that was an orderly revelation but he couldn't get the end of it. The Lord Jesus "Yeshua" comes on the scene and suddenly the whole thing begins to blossom out. The word translated side is, in fact, the Hebrew word for shoulder.
We move on now to the north and south sides of the Tabernacle. The Hebrew word used for side here is not the same as the east side. Instead in reference to the boards on these sides, the word for "ribs" is used. Again, I have written the word used in Hebrew. Suddenly a picture starts to form with the word shoulder on the top and ribs on both sides. We are starting to see the body of a man. It is interesting to notice that when the Lord gives Moses the instructions for the west side, He says six boards. Then there were seventh and eighth boards which formed the corners on either side. We are not going to address that aspect of it right now because that takes you into a very deep and long teaching altogether. We might notice here that six is the number of man, eight is the number of new beginnings, and it points to our approach to the Lord Jesus "Yeshua".
When the Lord addressed the west side, He says it in an interesting way. He says in Exodus 26:22 -23, “And for the sides of the tabernacle westward thou shalt make six boards. 23 And two boards shalt thou make for the corners of the tabernacle in the two sides." That is the way the Lord describes it. It is only one side. Why does He break it up like that?
Because here we have another word translated side in the English versions, but as I have shown you on the chart, the Hebrew word used means "thighs." Obviously, we have drawn the body of a man with shoulders at the top, ribs on both sides and two thighs at the bottom. The whole outer court, which is the hanging of white fine linen, addresses the garment of the Man who is inside.
We wouldn't complete our study of this if we didn't point to the fact that in the Holy of Holies is the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord which contains the Tables of the Law which were given to Moses. We read in Psalm 40:8, "I delight to do thy will, O my God: Yea, thy law is within my heart." The word used in Psalm 40:8 is heart but in the Hebrew it is "bowels."
Refer again to the chart. If the top is His shoulders, the sides are His ribs and the bottom His thighs, then obviously in the place of the Holy of Holies is His bowels, isn't it? The Hebrew understanding considers the base of the stomach to be the base of the emotions and the spirit. Because of this they would address the Law of God to be in the base of the being. In John 7:38, Jesus said, "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” This points to the spirit of the man.
The whole thing then points first of all, to the Man, Christ Jesus. John 1:14, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt (or Tabernacled) among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." The Tabernacle, the structure in the wilderness which contained the glory of God, points first of all to the Man, the Lord Jesus. It is important to note that this structure has no head, because the head is in the heavenlies. I might add also that it has no feet, because it has no continuing dwelling place on earth. It's also interesting to note that neither does the lampstand have feet or legs. (The lampstand will be the main subject of our studies concerning Spiritual Gifts.)
The Tabernacle is addressing first of all, the Man, the Lord Jesus whose head, the Father, is in the heavenlies. Paul tells us, in First Corinthians 11:3, “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." The Head of Christ is God, and the Head of the Church is Christ Jesus. WHILE THE HEAD IS INVISIBLE TO THE WORLD, THE BODY ISN'T. First of all, the Tabernacle was to point to a building which was to be the habitation of God, and by the Spirit of God, we are made to be living stones of the Lord’s body, or tabernacle. We see how clearly Peter expresses this truth in First Peter 2:5, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” From this we can move from the building to the body analogy. When we begin to look at the body functions, the Lord begins to narrow the illustration and make it even more explicit.
We don't want to get into a detailed prophetic study now, but I think it also is important to review, so that we see the Lord Jesus in the work of the furniture of the Tabernacle (mentioned in the second lesson).
The Brazen Altar - addressing the Cross, the blood and redemption
The Laver - addressing the Word of God, cleansing, and judgment of God
The Table of Showbread - holding forth Jesus as the Bread of Life
The Lampstand - typifying Jesus as the Light of the World
When we see the Lord Jesus, we begin to see His people, and that is where we pick up in our next lesson.
We begin this fourth lesson after seeing the Lord Jesus “Yeshua” in the Tabernacle by looking at how the people of God are shown in the Tabernacle. Who He is redeeming, in other words. Take for instance, the table of showbread. It has on it twelve loaves of bread. There are twelve tribes of Israel. The table of showbread, as we pursue it, begins to suggest the prophetic experience of the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve sons of Jacob as it relates to God’s Kingdom in the world. God’s Word tells us that Abraham’s seed would be like the sands of the seashore, speaking of his earthly inheritance, and then of the stars of the heavens, speaking of his heavenly inheritance.
As I mentioned in an earlier lesson, this table has legs and feet, meaning it spoke to the earthly things. In contrast to that, the lampstand on the other side of the Tabernacle didn’t have any mention of a base or legs of any kind, meaning that it didn’t have any permanent dwelling place on earth, and that it spoke of Spiritual things.
The Lord very carefully draws us a detailed picture of this lampstand. He tells us how many branches and even how many cups, bowls, and buds each branch has; even that it was to be beaten of one solid piece of gold. He tells us how much it would weigh but there is no mention of a base or legs as he so carefully gives for the table of showbread. Why doesn’t God give the details of the base? Again, we have here no continual dwelling place for the lampstand on earth. Whereas, the earth is the sphere of Israel’s kingdom, the Heaven is the sphere of the Church’s kingdom. The lampstand doesn’t have a base because it doesn’t have permanent residence here on earth. For as there are twelve loaves of bread pointing to Israel, there are seven lamps pointing to the Church.
When we look at Revelation Chapter 2, we find that there are seven Churches that the apostle addressed. In the seven Churches he speaks of the character, the quality, and the experience of the Church from Pentecost through to its ultimate translation, and resurrection, in the Book of Revelation. The number seven relates to the Church as does the number twelve to Israel. As a matter of fact, as numbers go in the Scripture, the number twelve is the number of governmental perfection and becomes the number that represents Israel. It is Israel according to the Word of the Lord that is one day going to govern the nations. God said, “He would make Israel the Head and no longer the Tail.” The Head points to what runs things. In these two pieces of furniture, the table of showbread and the lampstand, we have the primary aspects of the work of redemption.
I might add that the brazen altar and the altar of incense each have four horns. The reason is that the number four, as we have already learned, is the number of the world, and horn is the Scripture word always used for kingdom. These two altars then address the kingdom of this world that are going to become the kingdoms of our Lord, and He shall reign forever.
David said in Psalm 18:2, “Thou hast exalted the horn of my salvation.” The horn pointed to his kingship over the nation of Israel. In the seventh and eleventh chapters of Daniel, those horns are addressed as they relate to the kingdoms of this world. And you always have four primary kingdoms. It is every tribe, tongue, people and nation. It is always a four-fold division. Four is the number for the world. That is why we have four seasons, four points on the compass, four corners of the earth. Also, Gen 2:10, “A river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.” The four horns, mentioned above, point to the fact that the Lord Jesus “Yeshua” is ultimately going to rule the world. The table of showbread points to the Nation of Israel, and the lampstand points to the Church of Jesus Christ, “Yeshua”.
Now we are coming to the place in these teachings where we can begin to narrow in on the lampstand. As you will see, it has been necessary to establish a basic understanding of the Tabernacle, but please do understand that this has in no way been a comprehensive study of the Tabernacle, only an overview for the purpose of illustration.
THE LAMPSTAND (the Temple LAMP, the seven branch Menorah)
Reference to the lampstand is found in Exodus 25:31-40, and Numbers 8:1-4. Prayerfully read the referenced Scripture and refer to the charts. I have drawn the lampstand by the description given in the Word.
Exodus 25:31-40, “And thou
shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be
made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall
be of the same. 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three
branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the
candlestick out of the other side: Prayerfully read the referenced Scripture and
refer to the charts. I have drawn the lampstand as nearly as I could by the
description of it given in the Word. 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with
a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the
other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of
the candlestick. 34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto
almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35 And there shall be a knop under
two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop
under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out
of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all
it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. 37 And thou shalt make the seven
lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light
over against it. 38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall
be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these
vessels. 40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed
thee in the mount.”
Num 8:1-4, “And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto Aaron, and say unto him, When thou lightest the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light over against the candlestick. 3 And Aaron did so; he lighted the lamps thereof over against the candlestick, as the LORD commanded Moses. 4 And this work of the candlestick was of beaten gold, unto the shaft thereof, unto the flowers thereof, was beaten work: according unto the pattern which the LORD had showed Moses, so he made the candlestick.”
There are seven lamps mounted. In many translations the word candlestick is used. You understand, of course, that there was no wax used in the Tabernacle of Moses, or in the Temple of God, because wax distorts. Furthermore, if you think it was wax candles, then you omit the oil, and oil is absolutely essential. If you leave the oil out, it would sound like some kind of modernistic teaching designed to leave out the Holy Spirit.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer that produces light, and that olive oil was essential to perform the figure of the lampstand in order to bring forth light. There are seven lamps burning olive oil on top of the branches that grew out of the center shaft.
The word translated shaft in the King James Version of the Bible is the Hebrew word for "loin," Exodus 25:31. I emphasize this because, whereas the Tabernacle was an artificial design of the body of a man, so also this lampstand suggests the body of a man but in a much narrower sense. It points to the loin of that man and the loin produces life. God is telling us then that this loin, the center shaft, is giving birth to these branches. Here is the loin, the Lord Jesus “Yeshua”, out of which we, the branches, are growing to produce light to the world. Matthew 5:14, “YE ARE THE LIGHT TO THE WORLD.” The Lord said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches.” We are then members of Him and in particular of one another, joined together in one body and in one Spirit. We are the branches growing out of that vine, and we are supposed to produce the life of the vine. That is the idea of the lampstand.
points to the Almond Tree, and the almond tree is the tree of Priestly Ministry.
It was an almond rod that Aaron received as representative of the tribe of Levi
(the priestly tribe) in Numbers 17:16-26. When his authority in this office was
questioned by the rebellious Israelites, the almond rod with his name marked on
it, was laid down with the staffs from the other ancestral houses, in the meeting
tent in front of the Commandments. His staff budded, blossomed, and brought forth
almonds. The almond rod suggests the priestly ministry.
There were, on this lampstand with the seven lamps, sets of knobs, bowls and buds. That is another way of saying it budded, blossomed and it brought forth fruit. There was a set at each point where the branches grew out of the loin, or out of the center shaft, or stock of the tree, if you would. Then there was one under the center lamp on the center shaft.
On each of these branches, there were three sets of knobs, bowls, and buds. Budded, blossomed, and brought forth fruit. Understand it is not a knob, bowl, or bud. It is three in each of these sets. These sets of three point to the level of maturity in the life of the believer. He is a child, an adolescent, and an adult. It also first produces green fruit, then maturing fruit, and then multiplying fruit reproducing more seeds. It is all designed to reproduce life.
We begin to see how the seven lampstands produce life in the body and at the same time life is produced in the body through Spiritual Gifts. Second Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness."
I've heard preachers say that all Scripture has only one interpretation and many applications. With due respect to all well meaning preachers, I want to suggest to you that isn't true. EVERY SCRIPTURE HAS FOUR INTERPRETATIONS AND MANY APPLICATIONS. I will come back to this point more thoroughly later in another lesson.
If you ask an evangelist to preach John 3:16, he isn't going to preach doctrine. He is going to preach salvation. On the other hand, you give John 3:16 to a teacher and he is going to take it apart, analyze it, and explain all of its doctrinal teaching. My point is, you can give John 3:16 to a missionary, to an evangelist, to a pastor or to a teacher and no two of them will look at it the same way, or preach or teach it the same way. Yet, each one of them will preach or teach precisely what that verse says. "ALL SCRIPTURE IS PROFITABLE FOR DOCTRINE, FOR REPROOF, FOR CORRECTION, AND FOR INSTRUCTION." You can do all four of these with any one verse.
REPROOF (or conviction): Preach through that verse in terms of conviction to either believers or unbelievers.
CORRECTION: Exhort the children of God out of the way of error and into the way of truth.
INSTRUCTION and RIGHTEOUSNESS: Teach them ways to stay out of trouble from now on.
There are four interpretations to every verse of Scripture. You can take applications off of each of these four interpretations. If you have the ministry of an apostle or missionary, you are going to preach doctrine because that is what apostles do. They lay foundations; they are architects. The prophet now overrides and he sets the plumbline. He is going to minister reproof or conviction. He will say, "That window should be over there so move it."
The evangelist will minister correction. He sees all the idols. He says, "I see you are very superstitious; you have the one called the unknown God (your money, your pride, and your ego) I declare unto you there is but One God." The evangelist has the attitude that nobody has the right to hear the gospel twice until everyone has heard it once. Can you imagine the disciples, after they fed the 5,000, going up and down the front row continually saying, "Are you sure you have enough? Come on, have a little more." Isn't that what we are doing in Churches in America?
Then we have the pastor-teacher. His responsibility is to instruct in righteousness. This is not to say that there is no overlapping of ministries for there certainly is at times as the Holy Spirit desires. This is why Timothy, who was a teacher, had to be exhorted by the Apostle Paul to do the work of an evangelist. It is hard to get a teacher to do the work of an evangelist, because that is not where his desires are. You don't have to tell an evangelist to do the work of an evangelist; you have to hold him down.
If you will allow me, I will talk about my own ministry or ministries for a moment. I have the heart of an evangelist. When I find myself talking to a stranger and discover that he or she is a believer, I experience a little disappointment within myself. I ask the Lord, "Why this person, Lord? With all these lost people, why lead one of the believers across my path?" But a teacher would rejoice in the opportunity to teach that believer.
In my case, God started a work eight or nine years ago in my life and ministry. He gave me the burden of a missionary to my Jewish people. I rejected His calling to evangelism, at first much the same way Timothy did. It took much exhortation from the Lord before I would respond to His calling and obey.
Let’s get back to the seven lampstands. If you will look closely and meditate deeply, you will see that God has illustrated all of His Spiritual Gifts in this particular article of the Tabernacle furnishings. In Second Timothy 3:16-17, we see the apostle, the prophet, the evangelist, and the pastor-teacher. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” This is the center shaft or the loins of Jesus.
It may be wise at this point to go back and read over this lesson 5, to really understand this. Pray before you do.
Ephesians 4:11-12, "And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." These verses are the center of all the Spiritual Gifts. It is the shaft or loins of the lampstand. All other gifts grow out of, and into these. They are also the only gifts mentioned in the Word of God that are in the masculine gender.
These four are the foundational ministries in the body of Christ. All other ministries grow out of, and into these four. These are the ministries out of which grow the branches. When Paul went into a city, seeds were planted out of which came forth pastors, teachers, evangelists, and prophets. And from these grew the whole almond tree, and the seven lampstands. This is why there were seven Churches, and each one of them had a lampstand.
God says in Revelation 2:5, "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” In other words, if you don't shape up, I will take away your lampstand. He didn't say they would cease to be believers. He said He would take away their lampstand.
I want to suggest to you right now that this is what has happened to the Church here in the United States. Review the chart concerning the Lampstand.
As we go into this lesson, let's go back and review Exodus 25:10: "And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof."
There are perhaps a few things that need to be more clearly understood before moving into the individual gifts. We will attempt to place a little more clarification on the illustration of the Tabernacle relative to the body of the Messiah.
We pointed out in past lessons that God was building a building. We cited Hebrews 11:10 to emphasize that Abraham looked for a city whose builder and maker was God. We also emphasized that the builder looked to the Father as the designer, whereas the maker looked to the Holy Spirit as the public worker.
Then we noted that the Son, the third member of the Godhead falls between these two as the builder of that Church as He said to the Apostle Peter in Matthew 16:18, " and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." We also emphasized that the word translated build, accurately translated, is the same word that is used of King Solomon as he built the temple. Solomon did not, with his hands build the temple, but rather he was head or in authority over its construction.
Just so is the Lord Jesus the head over building of the Church, He is the foreman on the job. Jesus is the head of the Church, while the Holy Spirit is the public worker who has equipped the Saints to do the work of the ministry, so the manifestations of the Godhead seen in the individual members of the body of Christ, are the operation of the Holy Spirit. In the past lessons, we have seen how all this relates to the Lampstand.
You may remember that within the confines of the Tabernacle and the sanctuary proper, on the north side was the table of showbread. On the opposite south side stood the lampstand. We emphasized that while the lampstand with its seven branches looks toward the Church, the Lord Jesus; the table of showbread with its twelve loaves of bread looks toward the nation of Israel. These two articles constitute the two major redemptive purposes of God; Israel being the wife of God, and the Church being the bride of the Lord Jesus, the number twelve pointing to Israel.
It is important to note that God never says just one thing. When God speaks, it always has a multiple purpose. As well as looking to Israel and the Church, it also points to the Lord Jesus. In one example, the table of showbread or Messiah is the Bread of Life. In another example, the lampstand, or the Messiah, is the Light of the World.
Every piece of furniture in the Tabernacle points first to the Lord Jesus and then to those He is redeeming. As we noted earlier, the pattern for the Tabernacle takes the form of a body of a man, it points to the Man, Christ Jesus. John 1:14, "And the word was made flesh, and dwelt or tabernacled among us." While the Lord Jesus became flesh and tabernacled among us, He ascended to the Father and sent us the Holy Spirit, and by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body. We have become the body of Christ, the expression of God in the world over which Christ is the head. The head is in the heavenlies. The body is functioning in the earth. The Lord Jesus is giving direction to that body, and the Holy Spirit who is in us is demonstrating the nature, and the character, and the power of God.
These are, of course, all introductions to the things of the Spirit that we will be getting into soon.
Let's go back to Exodus 25:31-40, to look at the lampstand. (Refer to charts.) I want to put it into context to Israel with respect to building the Tabernacle. God first addresses the material used to make this lampstand. These materials are very important as they all speak to special things God is telling us.
It is, however, important now for us to notice that the first piece of furniture God instructed Moses to make was the Ark. The Ark was the most sacred portion of the Tabernacle. It was in the holiest of all places, which addresses the Spirit of the man where the Glory of God dwells. You have now become the habitation of God.
Into your Spirit is where God first comes. A good thing to always remember is that God always begins from the inside and moves out. God never refers to us as body, soul and spirit. When we address our tri-part being, we address ourselves as body, soul and spirit because we are by nature always carnally conscious. But when God addresses us, it is always spirit, soul, and body. First Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God you whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." God always starts with the spirit, moves from spirit to soul and lastly to the body. Your spirit tells your soul, and your soul tells your body what to do. By contrast, the liar Satan, always comes first to the body, then the soul, and then to the spirit. His attack always starts on the outside, whereas God always starts on the inside.
God begins not with what we see on the outside, but with what is primarily on the inside. He builds the location for the glory of God, and then He moves outward.
The second piece of furniture to be addressed is the table of showbread. This is found in Exodus 25:30. Once again, I would like to say that the materials of construction are very important. Verse 30 says, "And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread (showbread) before me always." Showbread means the "bread of the face", the idea being that when they ate the bread, they were coming face-to-face with God. In typical correspondence to that, and not a carry over, is the Table of the Lord which we now approach. When we approach the Table of the Lord, we come into communion with Jesus Christ.
The word communion is just another way of saying, common union. The Greek word is Koininia, meaning fellowship. When the Jew comes to the table of showbread, he comes to a face-to-face position with God. He has fellowship with God. It may be interesting to you that the bread even had a face drawn on each loaf. This is where we get the word, "face bread".
So God gave representation of Himself on the outside of the Holy of Holies until such time as the Veil would be rent in twain from the top to the bottom, at the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus, "Yeshua", the Holy One of Israel. We then, who were excluded, have entrance to the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus.
The first piece of furniture God addresses is the Ark, which represents the Glory of God. The second piece of furniture, the Table of Showbread, represents the Nation of Israel. The third piece of furniture, the Lampstand, is that which represents the Church. Those things which are the most important to God in the work of redemption are first to be set forth.
Now, beginning with Exodus 25:31, is the lampstand. Sometimes we find the word candlestick translated for the Hebrew word, Strong’s number H4501, menowrah, or menorah. We should understand that candlestick could cause some to think wax rather than oil, and the Hebrew word Menorah helps us keep the understanding clear. There should be no implication that there was wax used in the Tabernacle, candles being things with strings in them stuck in holes. Wax distorts and deteriorates in the Tabernacle of God. There was oil that burned with the fire of God in lamps symbolizing the Holy Spirit who is functioning in the believer.
We will begin our next lesson looking at the Lampstand and the Spiritual Gifts.
Exodus 25:31, "And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold." Gold in the Word of God addresses divine nature. The Apostle Peter tells us in Second Peter 1:4, "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature." As the lampstand is made of pure gold, it further implies the fact that we have been brought into a union with Jesus Christ as partakers of God's divine nature, as Peter tells us, being made one with Jesus Christ.
The lampstand is to be of pure gold. It is not altered in any way. By the blood of Jesus Christ, we have been separated from everything that is not pure before the Father. God has, by the Cross, crucified all that is not consistent with the character of God. In us, He has created a new life in the Lord Jesus "Yeshua", the Holy One of Israel, in righteousness and true holiness.
It is, God said, a beaten work. "Of beaten work shall the candlestick be made.” While pure gold addresses divine nature, beaten gold addresses divine workmanship. Yes, God does beat on us. Many of us certainly know that is true.
In Hebrews 12:6: "For whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." He scourges us that we might be sharers in His Holiness. It is important that every son that comes before the Lord has experienced the chastening of the Lord.
The lampstand has to be one piece of gold, beaten out. Not just formed in a mold, but beaten out to testify to the fact that God is working in us, which is well pleasing in His sight. There is nothing that is profitable that does not come through the energies of God expended on His people.
When God commanded King Solomon to build the Temple, the Scripture tells us that every stone was to be made ready before it was brought to the Temple site. God said, "so that there was neither hammer nor ax nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.” What does that suggest to us? t God is now carving on you, and me, who are living stones builded together in a Holy Temple in the Lord Jesus.
First Peter 2:5: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house." God is carving on those stones now. He is going to finish carving every stone so that when each one comes into His presence in that day, it will be finished and it will fit. Every one of you that God is carving on now is going to fit when you get there in that day. How do we know that? Because God tells us that in Romans 8:29: "We were predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son." It must be of beaten gold.
Now, back to Exodus 25:31-40:
"And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knobs, and his flowers, shall be on the same. 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side. 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick. 34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers. 35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick. 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold. 37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it. 38 And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold. 39 Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels. 40 And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was showed thee in the mount."
In verse 31 the bowls, the knobs, and the flowers budded, blossomed and brought forth fruit. When reading verse 33 it may be good to remember that the almond tree addresses priestly ministry in the Word of God. And what has God made us now? He has made us a kingdom of priests unto our God. In verse 34 God is addressing the center shaft, or the loins. Refer again to the chart. See how life is being produced out of each of the knobs referred to in verse 35.
Verse 36 is a refreshing statement. We have so many denominations, but we are still one. If you will allow a little humor, you can tell it is a divine institution, or, it would have never survived all these denominations. Regardless of the division, we have worked on this body.
The lampstand addresses the unity of that body in One. The oil is flowing through the lampstand to shed light through its lamps. As it flows through the lampstand, it is the life of the Lord Jesus that is producing the branches, which in turn, produces the light. “It must be of one beaten work of divine nature.” It is the only piece of furniture in the whole Tabernacle in which God said that. You remember when Moses first started out, God told him to take heed that he build it according to the pattern that he saw in the Mount concerning the whole of the Tabernacle. But God never made that comment about any individual piece of furniture except this one.
Moses made seven lamps just as God instructed, and when he finished with it, the glory of God filled the Tabernacle. This is why God spoke to Moses and said, Deuteronomy 4:2, “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.”
The lampstand with all of these various necessities is addressing the Church in a unique way. First is the spirit empowering gifts, and second, the ministry of the spirit in character. Now we are going to point to the Church as a whole. First, the Apostle lays the foundation thereof.
Refer to the chart. In each of the branches there is a knob, and a bowl, and a bud. It budded, it blossomed, and it brought forth fruit. These three stages address the levels of maturity in the believer. He is first a child, then an adolescent, and then an adult. Every experience we have in the Lord, and every ingifting we receive from the Lord, must go through these stages.
If, at this time, you are finding it rather hard to follow, I suggest you go back and read the earlier lessons.
If a man is a teacher in the body of the Messiah, he begins his teaching ministry as a child, then as an adolescent, and then an adult. If he is a prophet in the body of the Messiah, he first begins as a child, then as an adolescent, and then an adult. Paul tells us for example in Romans 12:6, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.”
So you grow in grace in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and it is from faith to faith that we make manifest the qualities of Christ that are committed to us. Wouldn’t it be wonderful that the minute you are born again you have total maturity in the Lord? We would have mature peace, mature longsuffering, mature grace and so on. But do we? Of course not! No, it starts out budding, then blossoming and then bringing forth fruit. It is always good to see the green fruit because it is the evidence of life, but don’t ever eat any of it, for it will make you sick. There are a lot of people eating green fruit today.
To take that one step further there are a lot of immature believers feeding others from their green fruit, making many sick. We find that as we grow by God’s grace into maturity, the mature fruit is very satisfying to the One who needs to be satisfied. Who is the One who needs to be satisfied? It is the Father, of course, for it is His garden. When the Father is satisfied, then everyone is satisfied. The Father was satisfied with the Lord Jesus. Matthew 17:5, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” Everything that God wanted in a man was manifested in the Man, Lord Jesus, “Yeshua”, so God the Father was satisfied.
We must ask ourselves a question. Was there any danger then that His work on earth would in any way fail? That is not to say that everyone on earth is going to like the Father’s work on earth. You understand that this world is no friend to righteousness, nor is it a friend to grace. The world does not embrace the character of the Lord Jesus. When we take a look at the first murder on earth, Gen 4:8, “And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.” Hebrews 11:4, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous.” So how does evil get rid of the presence of righteousness? It kills it, and that is how they handled the Lord Jesus. They had to get rid of their guilt so they slew the One who painted the picture of righteousness.
When we look at the lampstand, we see each one of the fixtures on the lampstand points to the levels of growth in the believer. Each of the points from whence the branches grow, points to ministries that are to be found. The fourth one is under the lamp on the top of the lampstand. On either side there are three branches and on each branch there are three sets of knobs, bowls, and buds. Now each of these on either side is representative of the ministry of the Spirit.
We now want to see how God works in the local assembly through the individual to make manifest the full fruit of the work of the Spirit. (Refer to the chart). On the one side, I have the Fruit of the Spirit, and on the other side the Gifts of the Spirit, as they are enumerated in First Corinthians 12:8-10, “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 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.”
As each of these are in the individual believer, and in the local assembly, they grow up as the Lord works in us, maturing us to the fullness and the stature of the Messiah. We grow up in Him to make manifest in the local assembly those ministries which were enumerated in Romans 12. Looking across the top of the lampstand are Prophesy, Ministry, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Ruling, and Mercy. This is the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit that we find in Isaiah 11:2, “And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.”
As the believer is growing up and these branches are proceeding out of him, not all of them are manifested simultaneously. In the local assembly, as that assembly is maturing in the Lord, not all of these things are manifested at once. But, as the assembly matures in the Lord, and the ministries in these individual men which are essential to it are brought into it, then life from God flows and God begins to equip that Church according to their particular needs.
So the apostle comes on the scene and he sets the foundation for the Church then the initial things are born. That is why I placed them on the branches in the chart, so you can see how this comes together. The initial ministries, as they are recorded in the book of Acts, begin to manifest themselves; temperance, meekness and faith. God builds these through the ministry of the apostle.
As we go on the other side of the lampstand we see Interpretation of Tongues, Kinds of Tongues, and Discerning of Spirits. These are the first things to begin to manifest themselves. When the Holy Spirit fell on the day of Pentecost did they demonstrate the coming of that power by the Word of Wisdom? No, they did not, because they were in infancy. So God manifested the coming of that power in diverse kinds of tongues. That was the sign which was evident. Remember that the Lord tells us through the Apostle Paul that tongues are a sign to them that believe not. When we define these in the future we will know the difference between believers and unbelieving believers. We do need to know the difference between believers, unbelievers, and unbelieving believers. We will find that tongues serve as a sign for unbelieving believers.
Thus, it was on the day of Pentecost that all of the Jews that had been anticipating the Messiah all this time, when God evidenced to them that Jesus is the Lord and He does so by a sign ministry. When the Apostle Peter went to Cornelius’ house, God wanted to confirm to Peter that He was authorizing the call. Peter was an unbelieving believer “at that time" which explains why that sheet was let down three times. Remember, he didn’t want to go into that Gentile’s house. God let that sheet down to evidence that whatsoever He cleansed, call that not common or unclean. You see, to a Jew all Gentiles are unclean.
So Peter goes into the Gentile’s house to preach the Gospel and the Holy Spirit fell on them. Peter said, “As on us at the beginning.” It was a sign to the unbelieving believer. Testifying to this is the Lord who is doing this thing.
When he got back to the unbelieving believers at the Church in Jerusalem, they said, “Peter, what is this we hear about you going into the house of the Gentile's?” And he replied “Let me tell you what happened.” Acts 11:15, “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning.” All of a sudden, unbelieving believers are turned into "Believing Believers" in that case, God has granted repentance to the Gentiles.
We start out with those things which are necessary to demonstrate that the Lord is working in the service. After the apostle’s ministry, then comes the prophet. We have learned that the apostle is the architect. He lays down the blue-prints for the building, and he gets the design from the designer, the Father, who says what it is that He wants built. That is the job of the architect, to get what the person wants built on paper so the builders know what to do with it. So Paul wrote it out in 14 Epistles, so we, the builders, would know what to do with it. We are laborers together with God, the Holy Spirit. The architect has precisely recorded on paper the exact plan from which we are to build.
Let’s be honest, we are, at best, poor builders. That is why He said, “He will build His Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Aren’t you glad we are not building it? So He will build His Church, and while He is building His Church, the Head over this whole construction program is in very close contact with the public worker, the Holy Spirit, who is functioning in us. That is why we have so many gift ministries because we are such inadequate people.
When the apostle has set the foundation, then the prophet comes on the scene.
After the apostle has done his job, then the prophet comes. The prophet is the building instructor. The prophet comes up to the foundation then looks at the plans and says, “Say fellows, the window you put there goes over here. And that door is out of place. You need to get this thing right.” Nobody likes a building instructor. A prophet speaks unto edification, exhortation, and comfort. He also comes in and says, “Brethren, you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work.” So the prophet is the building instructor and he puts the plumbline to the wall and he says, “Yes, Brethren, it is good,” or, he corrects whatever needs to be corrected.
Let’s clarify something about the prophet before we go any further. A prophet is not someone, who in every case, foretells something. You might observe that the balance of prophecy in the Old Testament is not foretelling, it is forthtelling. It is speaking the Words of the Lord. Where something is needed to be foretold, God foretold it without any problem. God has not lost any of His ability to do this. If He wants to foretell something, you can be sure He will.
The ministry of a prophet is to speak unto edification, exhortation, and comfort. There is no suggestion anywhere in the Scripture that a prophet of the New Testament is an infallible utterer of the Words of God.
This also holds true about apostles. The Greek translation of an apostle is one who is sent with a message. Paul was sent with a message. There are 22 apostles in the New Testament, including the Lord Jesus who is The Apostle and the High Priest of our confession; He is the first one.
I think it’s important that there are 22 of these knobs, bowls and buds on the lampstand. There are 22 gift ministries that are shown in the New Testament. There were 22,000 Levites who were set forth originally to do the work of the house of the Lord. Twenty-two in the Word of God is the number of light. Psalm 119:130, “The entrance of thy words giveth light.” That which gives light in the Tabernacle is the lampstand.
An apostle is one who is sent with a message. Timothy is placed with the Apostle Paul as an apostle. Barnabus in Acts 14 was an apostle. Do we have any inspired writing from Barnabus? Do we have any inspired writing from Timothy? No, they were men of like passions as we are.
Have you noticed that God is careful to let us know that He always uses imperfect man to testify of a perfect Messiah? How tragic it would be if we had a perfect men testifying of a perfect Messiah. I am so glad that God has used men who were beggars, to come and tell other beggars where there is bread.
So the Apostle Paul in like manner, was a man subject to like passions as we are. Isn’t that what James said about Elijah? “Elijah was a man of like passion as we are.” God is always so plainly honest about the failure of His men. Notice that in Hebrews 11: “By faith Samson.” Samson was a reprobate. The first thing Samson did when he went to a new town was look up a harlot. Abraham laughed at God when He promised him a son. He took Hagar to help God out thinking God was in a tough spot. Sara, in like manner also laughed in the tent door. God is using imperfect people who are failures at best to testify to His grace upon them. He is the fulfiller of His promise and whether I want to walk in it or am able to walk in it or not, God will finish what He started. The Cross is the great eradicator of everything that is inconsistent with the character of God. That is called Good News.
So apostles where not perfect people. They where sent people. The church today doesn’t like that word “apostle”. They are afraid someone will write a letter and say it is from God. So we kind-of stay away from that word "apostle", but, the Churches are still sending out apostles anyway, we have just changed the name. Now we call them missionaries. Missionary is the Latin word for apostle. So the Church today just goes and finds another word and they hide from what they don’t understand. When you send a missionary into the mission field you "apostle" him. The apostle lays the foundation and the prophet is the building instructor.
Now the evangelist is the building supplier. He is the one who comes up with his truck and dumps the material. They say, “Hey, Brethren, it is looking great.” He takes off and he is gone. The evangelist comes into the assembly, wins souls to the Lord and says, “Here they are brethren, do something with them. I’ll see you later.” And he is gone. That is the character of the evangelist.
The evangelist thinks the only thing the Lord has placed him in the world for is to win souls. But the teacher says, “What good is it to lead them to the Lord if we don’t disciple them, if they are not taught of the things of the Lord?” So these two, not understanding each other too well, are often at odds with each other. Often times they don’t see that they are both necessary to each other. How would you teach what you haven’t won, and why win them if you aren’t going to teach them? But God is raising both up in the body of the Messiah. You give birth to a child, then you put a bottle in his mouth. On one hand there is the giving of birth, and on the other hand there is the feeding of that child. Both of them are essential to the body of the Messiah.
The evangelist is the one who supplies the material for the building of God, the habitation of God.
Then we come to the pastor-teacher. There are two gifts in one man. This is not to be confused with a teacher as it relates to Romans 12. As you have noticed we have started at the bottom and moved up the shaft of the lampstand. The reason is that an almond tree, like all others grows upward. We started with the foundation, and the one who lays the foundation, and moved upward. At the top you come to the pastor-teacher and the house is topped out. With respect to the building, the teacher is the on-the-job trainer. He is the one who brings the new guys in and says, “This is how you do it.” The pastor is the one who nurses their wounds when they get hurt. A pastor will always have the gift of mercy. He is not a hired Sunday and Wednesday speaker. He ministers to his flock with love and compassion. Did you know that the theme of First Corinthians is the same as that of the book of Numbers; there is a place for every man, and every man in his place.
The body of the Messiah is equipped with several ministries each of which, taken together, testify to the totality of the person of the Messiah. God then is nurturing individual believers, branches if you would, that are growing out of the loin of the Lord Jesus through the ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelist, and pastors-teachers. Ephesians 4:11: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.” These are gifted men which are in these positions in the body of the Messiah. We will address these four men more completely in another lesson.
The gift ministries of First Corinthians 12 are given to the individual believers by the Holy Spirit. The gift ministries of Romans 12 are given to the local assemblies by the Father. The ministries of Ephesians 4 are given to the body of the Messiah by the Son. Now we will be looking at all of these in great detail as we build more foundation.
We are now getting to the place where we can see how the Father is equipping the local assembly with the gift ministries. As they are maturing in the body as God has need and sees fit. He will take individuals from these various ministries and put them into a body ministry and send them out. The evangelist may come from ruling, he may come from ministry, or he may come from prophesy. Usually you will find that the evangelist comes from prophesy, teaching, or both. The apostle will usually go out as a prophet, or a teacher. Notice that the Apostle Paul was a teacher to the Gentiles. His ministry was basically that of a teacher but he was sent out as an apostle. At first Paul traveled with Barnabas, whom the Scripture defines as a prophet. After a division, next came Silas who was also a prophet.
So God sends the teacher and the prophet together. I am not saying that is how it has to be, but it is the way that God did it at the outset.
Timothy also was a teacher, but God exhorted him to do the work of an evangelist. The evangelist goes out of the local assembly and he ministers wherever God sends him. He sees souls won, like Philip going down into Samaria. Then having ministered, he brings those new believers back to the Church. By doing that, he relates them to other believers, and puts the seal of God upon that work.
My opinion is that there is no such thing as a one-man show or a lone ranger in the body of Christ. You noticed that the evangelist is sent out and he brings the fruit of his labors, the redeemed, back into the local assembly. Too many times the evangelist becomes a lone ranger and the rest of the body must control that tendency. When someone is out ministering they are either under authority, or they are doing their own thing. The man that goes out and does his own thing is in danger of falling into the hands of the devil, because nobody is covering him. He has too much self-appointed liberty, and no guidance from the body. He will end up in error and build his own kingdom. If he is related to someone and submitting to the body, then he has a check that never allows him to go too far off track.
I must admit that this has been a problem in the Jerry Golden Ministry. It has been very difficult to find a Church with a burden for Israel, one who wants to extend itself in that direction. I have always had a Board of Directors, and even with this as a check for this evangelist and missionary, I still long for a New Testament Church to back this ministry 100 per cent.
As for the pastor-teacher he is more pastor than teacher; he bleeds with the Saints. He cares for their needs while the evangelist or the teacher is more concerned with why and how to avoid this problem in the future. The pastor is bleeding with them that they are healed. He then teaches them as only a pastor can. This is why God places these two gifts together. That is not to say that a pastor is a teacher, as far as an anointed teacher goes. These gift ministries do cross each other at times as God sees fit. God will also add gifts to individuals as He sees fit, and as the body has need.
A quick look at the four ministries that are on the shaft of the lampstand--apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher. All four are mobile by character. All four are related to a body ministry. God sets these four in the body wherever the body needs them. They may see other men raised up, as you have, for example, in the New Testament Scripture, pastor-teacher. They may not move their home geographically but they will go out and begin another separate work but still be part of their roots, bringing growth to the body ministry. The Apostle Paul, apostled Philip. Paul said, "He is my Apostle to you", talking to the Church of Philippi. Paul sent him to the Saints at Phillipi to minister to the needs of the body there because he, Paul, had that burden from the Lord.
Out of these ministries of the local assembly, God in-gifts men with these qualities and they go out, but they are always responsible to, and related to, a local assembly. Or, they become a lone ranger in the body, doing damage to the overall cause of the Messiah. When you hear a man say, "I don't serve men, I serve only the Lord," he has declared himself independent and he is in rebellion. I know because I've been there. Nobody can check him because he is hearing from God. I want to suggest to you, if we can't hear from God through the Saints, who is going to hear from God personally? If we reject the body through whom the life flows, then we also reject the Head.
Now we will look at the Seven Lampstand Chart. Read Colossians 1:15-19,
“Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.”
Now let's take a closer look at this 19th verse, and read it this way. For all fullness was pleased to dwell in him. The KJV translators were always careful to put in italics any word which was thought necessary to add for clear translation which was not in the original. You notice that the words "the Father" are in italics, meaning the words are not in the Greek manuscripts or Textus Receptus. "For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell." That is the Lord Jesus.
Read Colossians 1:24-28,
“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: 25 Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”
So it is Christ Jesus in you, the hope of glory, which brings about your being presented perfect or mature, if you would, in Christ Jesus.
Now let's move over to Colossians 2:9-12
"For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 in whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead."
Let's get a picture of what He is saying. It is important to understand that God is not ministering the Gifts of the Spirit just to give us something to do while we are down here, before we are taken home to heaven. Everything that God gives to us here is with a view towards His finished product. We have illustrated this with the Temple of Solomon; God was tooling for the Temple the stones that were to be put together for the Holy Temple in the Lord. Solomon's Temple addresses the Glorified Body of Christ, in the last days.
Right now we are in the Tabernacle. Second Corinthians 5:1: "For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens." We have a building, not a tabernacle. One is temporary; the other is permanent.
A house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Solomon's Temple is looking forward to that finished work, "the finished body." When God is in the process of building the temple, it is then like in Solomon's day. Every stone was made ready before it was brought to the temple site and put into place. Now God is equipping His people with the tools to fashion the stones to be placed in that temple. On one hand, God provides tools to fashion, and on the other hand He ministers of His own life and Spirit in order to produce the character of Christ, and the activities at any one time, in any one given believer.
Let’s take an illustration. All of the Scriptures tell us that Jesus Christ is all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. So let's look at the Godhead--Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now they desired to incorporate themselves fully into the person of Jesus Christ. So in the incorporation we read, Matthew 1:23 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” When the Lord Jesus was walking in the flesh among us, He was the man, Christ Jesus. He was the incorporation of everything that the Godhead is.
When Philip asked the Lord Jesus in John 14:8, "show us the father” Jesus said in verse 9 "He that hath seen me, hath seen the father.” Jesus did not say he that hath seen me hath seen God. God is the person, Father is the nature. Jesus came to manifest the nature of the Father. The word God is used by every pagan religion and cult. This is why Jesus said, “He that hath seen me, hath seen the father.” Father gives us a relationship. Jerry Golden is a person to everyone, but a father to only four. Father implies relationship. When God revealed himself to his people, he revealed himself by his name YHVA, not as God. He is a personal God, one with a relationship, and a name.
That breaks down in Hebrew to "I am." I will show you this with the following. God's name means Past, Present and Future. He is the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
He manifested Himself to his people by a name that described His nature. Under the Old Testament economy God manifested Himself under an eight-fold, compound character addressing His natures. They were:
YHVA TSIKENU = RIGHTEOUSNESS
YHVA KADDESH = SANCTIFICATION
YHVA SHALOM = PEACE
YHVA SHAMMAH = THERE
YHVA ROPHE = HEALS
YHVA JIREH = PROVIDES
YHVA NISSI = BANNER
YHVA ROHI = SHEPHERD
In the time before Jesus, if a Jew needed healing, He called on YHVA ROPHE. If he needed peace he called on YHVA SHALOM, and so one.
There are Churches going back to that today, thinking it to be Holy or very Jewish; therefore, it must be OKAY. I am Jewish and I tell you that it is not OKAY. Let me explain something here before going on. The Jew believes only in One God. They were addressing Him relative to their particular needs. They did not have a Messiah to turn to at that time. Under the New Covenant economy, the Scriptures tell us in Acts 4:12, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” So now, if you need healing you call on the name of the Lord Jesus, "Yeshua"; you need peace, you call on Jesus, if you need deliverance, you call on Jesus. Because, there is no other name given. Incorporated in the person of Jesus is the totality of the Godhead Bodily.
This Scripture is when Moses came down from the mountain in Exodus 3:13-14, “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” Here was YHVA coming down and introducing Himself to His people. As "I AM THAT I AM." So now possibly you can see how this was so meaningful to the Jewish people.
Now God comes to us, not in a name any longer, but in a relationship. Let me explain it this way, you can call me Brother Golden, Jerry, Mr. Golden, or whatever. But, only four people call me father. So the next time the Jehovah's Witness comes to your door to talk to you and they talk about Jehovah, you can tell them they know Him as Jehovah, but you know Him as Father. That is relationship.
So Jesus said, "He that hath seen me hath seen all that God is." God is only manifest through the Son. There is no illustration in the natural that can illustrate the oneness of the Godhead. Men separate themselves trying.
Read John 3:31-36:
"He that cometh from above is above all: He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. 32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the spirit by measure unto him." 35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. John 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Remember we read in Colossians that He is the fullness of the Godhead Bodily, and when God ministered the Spirit in the man, Christ Jesus, He did it without measure.
First Timothy 3:16, "And without controversy great is the mystery of Godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
So here is the manifestation of God in the flesh, the mystery of Godliness. It is called a mystery because it is not comprehended by natural means. So Jesus then becomes the man totally God filled. He is the God man, not half man half God. He is thoroughly God, thoroughly man, and God gave not the Spirit unto Him by measure. Now you understand that can not be said of us. It needs to be understood that the Spirit is not a commodity that is divided. Often we try to describe the moving of the Spirit, the fillings of the Spirit as though He were some kind of commodity. You can not have half of the Spirit or a part of the Spirit. The Spirit is a person. He acts, He wills, He chooses, He desires, He functions, He is the executor of the Godhead. In Acts 13:2-3 we see Barnabas and Saul, ”As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. 3 And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” So He, the Holy Spirit, wills. He addresses personalities to Himself.
He speaks to them as well. Throughout the book of John, Jesus is addressing the Holy Spirit as a person. "For when He the spirit of truth is come. He will not speak of himself. He will guide you into all truths." So then the Holy Spirit can not be divided as a commodity for He is a personality.
So in what sense then do we talk about the measure of the Holy Spirit? This is what we will begin with in our next lesson. We will study this in great detail as we build more of a foundation.
We have so many gift ministries because we are such inadequate people.
First of all, the Apostle (lays the foundation thereof.) When the apostle has set the foundation, then the prophet comes on the scene. Second, the ministry of the spirit in character. Now we are going to point to the Church as a whole.
(Refer to the chart) In each
of these branches, there were three sets of knobs, bowls, and buds. Budded,
blossomed, brought forth fruit. Understand it is not a knob, bowl, or bud. There
are three in each of these sets. These sets of three points to the level of
maturity in the life of the believer. He is a child, an adolescent, and an
adult. Every experience we have in the Lord and every in-ifting we receive from
the Lord must go through these stages. It also first produces green fruit, then
maturing fruit, and then multiplying fruit reproducing more seeds. It is all
designed to reproduce life.
If, at this time, you are finding it rather hard to follow, I suggest you go back and read the earlier lessons.
We spoke in Lesson 10 about the personality of the Holy Spirit. We noted that Jesus always spoke of the Holy Spirit as a personality, never as a commodity that could be divided and distributed in parts. In what sense do we talk about the measure of the Holy Spirit? It is not His person but rather His ministry and the ministries of the Holy Spirit that were, in their totality, in the person of the Messiah Jesus. So the Lord Jesus could allot “the ministry or separate gifts” of the Holy Spirit as we needed them.
Read Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” Verse 6: “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith.” He is talking about the portioning out of the ministries of the Holy Spirit.
Now read First Corinthians 12:12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body; as also is Christ.”
Christ is the singular body and life that the Church “His Body” manifests. First Corinthians 12:13-15, “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. 14 For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?”
The Lord is emphasizing that it takes many members of the body to make the one body. Ephesians 4:4-6: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” The same Father manifested in the Son is manifested in the body.
Verse 7 “For unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” If the Father gave not the spirit by measure to the Lord Jesus, He did give the spirit by measure unto us. Again, that does not suggest that the Holy Spirit is divided in any way.
The totality of the person of the Holy Spirit is resident in the spirit of every believer. But the ministries of the Holy Spirit are divided across the body so that we, every individual one of us, need each other. And the totality of the body is necessary for the expression of all that the Messiah is.
First Corinthians 12:18: “But now hath God set the members everyone of them in the body, as hath pleased him.”
What is God saying? When the Lord Jesus ascended to the Father, He gave gifts unto men. And to some He gave, and to some he gave, and to some he gave. What is He doing then? In the presence of the Father, He is administering the gifts of the Holy Spirit to the various members of the body as the body needs those gifts.
For example, in a local assembly if there is a ministry missing, it is our responsibility to beseech the Lord to give us that missing part so that we may function properly as the body ministry. That is what He is addressing in I Corinthians 12:31 “But covet earnestly the best gifts:” What is needful in one assembly may not be needed so badly in another. So we seek those gifts that are most needful to manifest the person of the Lord Jesus in any given local assembly.
Not one of us has all 22 of the gifts. We however, will see that very clearly in due course. There may be two here, six there and eight yonder. For God distributes to the body as He will. The reason for that is very important, but we will address that in detail as we go on in later lessons. When we do start to dig into these truths, we will see how God divides the gift ministry among members of the body (1) as it suits the purpose of the Church and (2) as the individual is able to handle it. God wants to mature us first to the point where we can handle the responsibility that goes along with gift ministry. So far we have seen in the lampstand that God will develop, through the apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher, other ministries that grow out from them. Then, He will pick from the ones growing out from these four to call men back into these four as found in Ephesians 4:11-12 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” God is raising us up to a level of comprehension and understanding; then He trusts other responsibilities to us.
But God never puts responsibility on immaturity. We are to be equipped first and then set forth. You will never face anything that God has not prepared you to handle.
Refer back to the lampstand. The lampstand in the Tabernacle of Moses, had 22 sets of knobs, bowls, and buds. There were a total of seven lamps, one on each of the stems of the lampstand. In the center of the shaft there was a set of knobs, bowls, and buds at the top and one at the point of each branch. We noticed that there was no base or stand mentioned in the Word because the Church is pointed to in this lampstand, and the Church has no continual dwelling place on Earth. So this lampstand is not an Earthly instrument; it is a Heavenly instrument.
Notice that in the lampstand we have apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers. We might note once again that these four gift ministries are separated by the word, “some”. “And He gave some, apostles;, and some, prophets; and some, evangelist; and some, pastors and teachers.” So we find that there are two gifts in one pastor-teacher. The main distinction between these ministries and the ones growing out of the branches of the lampstand is that these are mobile ministries. That does not mean that each of these travel all the time. It does mean that God places these men in the body where they are needed and when they are needed. They may never move personal locality, as to where they live. But they are traveling in the body to meet the needs wherever they may be.
When Paul was through with his journey, he always came back to Antioch, because his relationship was with Antioch. When he came back to Antioch, then he was a teacher in Antioch. He was an apostle in Ephesus, but a teacher in Antioch. As he traveled, he exercised the anointing that God had placed upon him but he didn’t need that anointing in Antioch. He was a teacher there and didn’t need the anointing of an apostle.
Now let’s move on to the other ministries and gifts that are addressed on the branches. We will be looking at several Scripture verses; First Corinthians 12:7, Romans 12:6-8, and First Corinthians 12:28.
First Corinthians 12:28 adds to the list of gifts found in Romans 12:6-8. He added the gifts of helps and governments. These two gifts do not appear in any other area of the Scripture. They fall in the category of gifts found in Romans 12. These gifts are gift ministries to the local assembly or Church.
The Greek word we use for the word Church means “called out assembly”. I think I should address this word just a little deeper. It could mean the assembly where you worship, or it could mean the body of Christ in the World, or in a given city, because they are all called out assemblies. It was always in the cities where all the assemblies in the Lord came together, that Paul had to regulate the gift ministries. You can regulate some ministries in a small group but not in a large one where people don’t even know each other. It is important to make a distinction between the local assembly in a town and the assembly that makes up all the believers in that town. The body of Christ as a whole around the World and then the Universal Body of Christ that includes even those who have already entered into the presence of the Lord.
When Paul wrote the Epistles they were circulated and for the most part read to the different assemblies, noting that most people in those days could not read.
For example, the Epistle to the Ephesians is not the Epistle to the Ephesians. In the Greek text there is no name of any Church there. It was a circular letter, it went to all the Churches of Asia and ended up in Ephesus. That is how it obtained the name “The Epistle to the Ephesians”. That is why in the Epistle to the Ephesians you see no personal comments by Paul to any individual he knew, even though he knew people in Ephesus. You may remember he lived there over two years. He addressed none of them because the Epistle was not written just to them but to the Church as a whole. In every other one of Paul’s Epistles he gives personal greetings to the believers that He knew.
In First Corinthians 12:28, we have gifts to the local assembly. “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” In First Corinthians 12:7, we have gifts given to the individual. “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” Then in the ministries that are shown in the shaft in Ephesians 4:11 we have ministries to the body that is the body of Christ as a whole. 11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;” God calls men out of all the other ministries to fill the gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 as He has need. He may take a man with a gift of mercy and make him a pastor, or take a teacher and make him a prophet, and so forth.
In First Corinthians 12:1 “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” He says that the subject is going to be spiritual things. You will also notice that the word “gifts” is highlighted and does not belong there. Many have disagreed on what the word spiritual means or what it means here. It is the same word you have in Ephesians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”
It is the same word you have there, so He is talking about the function and ministry of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ and what the Holy Spirit does in us. Notice, that as I have indicated in earlier lessons, each of these three groups of gift ministries are given by a member of the Godhead.
Read again First Corinthians 12:4-8
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit.”
In verse four the Holy Spirit is the giver, the Lord Jesus is the giver in verse five, and God is the giver in verse 6.
In verse eight is the third group of gifts of Romans 12 which the Father gives. Notice in First Corinthians 12:8: “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;” the Holy Spirit is giving these gifts to the Church. Ephesians 4:7: “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” So here the Lord Jesus is giving the measure of the gift to the body of Christ as He is the head. Ephesians 4:8: “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”
Ephesians 4:11: “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelist; and some pastors and teachers;” What did Jesus give them for? He did not give these men these gifts so they could be sought out and hired and to look over a flock so the rest didn’t have to do anything. The reason these gifts were given is found in Ephesians 4:12: “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” They were given so that they could equip the Saints to do the work of the ministry, so that the body of Christ could be edified. In other words, they are the equippers of the members to build the body. That is the idea of these ministries. So that is another reason why they are mobile in their character. They will go to a new place and establish their purpose. After reaching their purpose they will go on.
The responsibility of every minister in the Gospel of Jesus Christ is to work himself out of a job. I am sure the pastors who are founded in the Word will forgive me for that. The rest need to get founded. Once he has worked himself out of a job, then go find somebody else who needs that ministry, minister there and work himself out of a job again. This way he is seeing the assembly built up so that if He does not show up for a Sunday morning service, he isn’t really missed; for they came to praise the Lord and worship the Lord’s Holy Name, not to see a man.
They do this for the perfecting of the saints, for the doing of the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ. How long do they do this? Ephesians 4:13: “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, (mature man) unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:”
I want to simply ask you. Are we there? Of course not! Then we must know that these ministries are most needful today. If you will allow me this observation, it is my opinion that God is giving apostolic ministries today to Churches simply because they don’t have any foundation and they need to start from the beginning in order to understand their roots in His Word. It is that same reason God that hassled me by His spirit to do this teaching. It is apostolic in nature, as I am sure you have noticed. You see, when you have a building with a bad foundation the building starts to shake after a while, and then it will come down.
But the Church that is built on Godly foundations will never fall. In many cases today God is putting a foundation under structures that have never really had a good foundation, but do love the Lord Jesus. But you simply can not build a roof first. We must take first things first. It is the apostle that lays the foundation, then comes the prophet, and then the evangelist, and then the pastor-teacher.
Let’s take another look at the word, apostle to clear a couple of things up once more. The first thing we think of when we hear the word apostle is somebody who speaks or writes inspired, infallible utterances. Isn’t that what you think of? An apostle is simply someone sent with a message. Now there were apostles who wrote in the New Testament. That is indeed inspired, infallible utterance. But not every apostle wrote in the New Testament. Not every time an apostle in the New Testament spoke did He speak infallible utterance. People didn’t go around copying down everything the apostle said. Peter said they were men like we are. They were men sent forth with a message to a given locality.
The word apostle simply means one sent with a message. Some have suggested that they have seen the Lord Jesus after His resurrection. They reference the Apostle Paul seeing the Lord Jesus after His resurrection. First Corinthians 15: Certainly the eleven saw Him after His resurrection; by the eleven we include in that Matthias as well. They saw Him after His resurrection. But when did Barnabas see the Lord Jesus after His resurrection? There is no suggestion that he ever did. Or when did Timothy see the Lord after His resurrection. Or Silvanus. None of these men ever saw Jesus after His resurrection. Yet, each of these men are identified as apostles. An apostle is not someone that saw Jesus after His Resurrection. An apostle is someone who is sent with a message.
Believers today expect an apostle, prophet, evangelist or pastor-teacher to be larger than life and walking a few inches off the ground. In fact, most denominations have gone so far as to say most of these don’t even exist any longer. As if to say that God stopped doing what God does; He only does what men allow Him to do.
John 1:6, “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” He was a man like you and me. Remember Elijah was a man of like passion as we are. He prayed that it wouldn’t rain, and it didn’t rain. God is taking clay vessels to do His wonderful works. Even with all our problems, He uses us to His glory.
As we look at the shaft of the lampstand we see the ministries given by the Lord Jesus to the body of Christ for the perfecting of the saints so that they may do the work of the ministry. As you look at the lampstand, you can see how these ministries grow out of the loins, or shaft of the lampstand. All the gifts grow out of these four and then, in turn as they are needed, mature back into one or more of the four as we grow to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Jesus Christ for He is our example and all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in Him.
God did not give us the gift ministries to entertain us while we are still down here on earth. Ephesians 4:15-16, “But speaking the truth in love, many grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 16 “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”
You now can see that Paul was using the diagram of the lampstand in the Tabernacle to visually illustrate and explain Spiritual Gifts. First, the head is ministering. It is flowing through the parts that are joined together. The ministry is flowing from joint to joint in the body or lampstand, according to the effectual working of the measure of every part. Each one of us is a part and as we are joined together, we minister to one another. What you have I need and what I have you need. None of us can do without the other. If God brings one of us home first then someone else replaces the function that the departed brother or sister carried on in the body. We minister to each other; we are needful of each other’s needs.
The result of this mutual ministering is the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. When we come into His presence we have grown to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Jesus Christ, as we have been predestined to be conformed in the image of His Son.
We have found that there are 22 sets of knobs, bowls and buds on the Lampstand; and that there are 22 gift ministries in the New Testament. Seven gift ministries are listed in Romans 12, and two more are listed in First Corinthians 12:28 making nine in the local assembly category. First Corinthians 12 lists nine individual gift ministries and Ephesians 4:11 lists four body ministries. This makes a total of 22 gifts. I have shown you that there are 22 apostles that are named in the Scripture. Remember that 22 is the number of light. There were 22.000 Levites that were first appointed to the work of the Tabernacle as found in Numbers chapter 3. This review is important as we continue and repetition is often the price of knowledge.
This could be suggesting that what the Levites were carrying on in their ministry was a prototype of what we are to carry on today. Let us look at a couple of things concerning this tribe called Levites.
Remember the story of how the children of Israel came out of Egypt? Who was the priestly segment of these people that served in the Tabernacle before the Lord? The firstborn served. This goes all the way back through Noah. God spoke to Noah, Genesis 7:1, “And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.” Can you see how Noah functioned as a priest?
Do you realize what God is going to say to the Son in that day? He is going to say, Son, you only have I found righteous of all the people on earth. Come thou and thy household. Do you know how you get in? Because Jesus gets in. He said in John 14:19, “Because I live, you shall live also.” We are not living individually. We are living in Him. If He doesn’t live, we don’t live. If He lives, we live. It is just that simple.
The firstborn was originally set aside in priestly ministry. The children of Israel came out of the land of Egypt. Beginning with Exodus 13, God begins a new thing: a new dispensation setting aside the firstborn of the household; now who is He going to choose? God chooses Levi because He is setting aside the firstborn. That figures prophetically with the Nation of Israel. What did God have Moses tell Pharaoh? “You tell Pharaoh Israel is my son, my firstborn. Let my son go.” The firstborn of the household looked to the Nation of Israel, and God is going to set the firstborn aside He is choosing another body of people to testify to that new body of the redeemed, “The Church”. So the firstborn is set aside and Levi is called out as a Priestly Tribe unto the Lord. Levi, thereafter, becomes a prototype of the Church.
God clearly asserts that Levi has no earthly inheritance, because their inheritance is the Lord. We might notice that the Levites owned property. They had cattle. They engaged in buying and selling but God is repeatedly pointing out that they have no earthly inheritance. They had to get what they had out of the Tribes of Israel. There were 48 cities allotted to the Levites in the Nation of Israel. Forty-eight is the priestly number for Israel, yet 24 is the priestly number for the Church.
What did God say to Abraham? Genesis 22:17, “I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore.” The sand on the seashore addresses the Nation of Israel; that is earthly. The stars in the heaven address the Church; that is heavenly. So we have the same thing in the first born which is earthly, and the Levites which is heavenly. Numbers 4:1-2, “And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, 2 Take the sum of the sons of Kohath from among the sons of Levi, after their families, by the house of their fathers.” Now, before we carry this further, remember that Aaron’s house had three lines. Aaron is, of course, out of the line of Levi. It is the High Priestly Tribe. Out of Levi’s line came three lines, and Kohath was the chief of those lines out of which came Aaron. The Line of Kohath always produced the High Priest.
Now read Numbers
4:21-22, “And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, 22 Take also the sum of the sons
of Gershon, throughout the houses of their fathers, by their families;” Verse
29: “As for the sons of Merari, thou shalt number them after their families, by
the house of their fathers;” Now these are the three lines that come out of
Levi. They are Kohath, Gershon, and Merari. We have three group ministries
here and three lines coming out of Levi.
Refer to the chart and follow closely, and we will see how these ministries take shape. The ministries of Kohath point to Ephesians 4:11. The ministries which are addressed in Merari correspond to Romans 12:6 and the ministries found in First Corinthians 12 are addressed in Gershon.
First, we will look at Kohath. Numbers 4:3, “From thirty years old and upward even unto fifty years old, all that enter into the host, to do the work in the Tabernacle of the congregation.” Thirty is the age of maturity, and Jesus started His ministry at that age. This is Kohath’s family and their ministries in the house of their Fathers. (Just an interesting note about the numbers mentioned here. Thirty is also the number of blood, while 50 is the number for liberty. The distance between these two is 20 and that is the number of redemption. The supreme purpose of the 20 years of ministry was redemption. So they ministered from the year of blood to the year of liberty and their testimony was redemption.)
Numbers 4:4-5, “This shall be the service of the sons of Kohath in the Tabernacle of the congregation, about the most holy things: 5 and when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons, and they shall take down the covering veil, and cover the ark of testimony with it.” The first piece of furniture they carried was the Ark of the Testimony. Verse 7 they carried the table of shewbread; verse 9, the lampstand; and verse 11, the golden altar. Now we can begin to see a picture. How many pieces of furniture did they carry? Four. How many ministries are in Ephesians 4:11? Four. We have four ministries that are related to the going forth of the Camp of Israel and what Kohath carries.
Four ministries that are related to the going forth of the Church are what Ephesians 4:11 enumerates. It is interesting to note that Kohath and his family had to carry these four pieces of furniture while Gershon and Merari were allowed wagons to carry their parts. You might also remember that the Ark was overladen with pure gold, and therefore, very heavy. Kohath, being the High Priestly line, had a far greater responsibility to the Tabernacle. They simply had to carry a heavier load. Kohath is, as we have said, directly related to the ministries of Ephesians 4:11.
What if Kohath had said to God, these burdens you have given us are to heavy, give us a wagon like you did Gershon and Merari to make it easier on us. We could be sure that the Tabernacle would never move. When you seek the gift, be sure to accept the responsibility that goes with it. The responsibilities of Ephesians 4:11 are very heavy indeed.
If we are to relate
this to the lampstand, we need to remember the warning God gave to the Church of
Ephesus in Revelation 2:5. “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and
repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will
remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” What is God
saying here? If you don’t repent, I will remove the lampstand. If you don’t
repent, God will remove from His place (the Church) the gift ministries. He is
going to take away gift ministries. That indeed has happened. After about the
third century A.D. when the World Church came into being and we incorporated
what was of the world into the Church of the Lord Jesus, we see less evidence
that the ministries of the Holy Spirit were being carried on. God was taking
away the lampstand. They didn’t cease to be God’s people. That is not the
issue. The issue was the life of God being manifest in His people through the
ministries which the Holy Spirit gave. God removed the lampstand because they
did not repent.
Taking it from the broad view, understand that there are always some exceptions in any period in the history of the Church; we see that it was the former rain and the latter rain. God gave the former rain for the planting and now He is giving the later rain for the harvest.
During the time of the latter rain for the harvest, we are beginning to see the manifestation of the ministries of the body of Christ once again. So if Kohath says, “No, we are not going to carry all those heavy items,” then the camp is not going to go anywhere. You would have no maturity, no growth, no moving from one place to another place.
Similar correlations are seen with the other families, Gershon and Merari. If they didn’t want to bear their burden, the Tabernacle would have been stopped. God would say, “You just stop right there until everyone takes his responsibility.” The theme of the book of Numbers is a place for every man, and every man in his place. It is so important that the people of God discover their relationship with the rest of the members of the body, and function in that relationship.
You might say, “But Brother Golden, I just can’t do anything.” You must remember that every gift starts out like green fruit, and then matures. It is first the bud, then the blossom and then the fruit. Green starts out manifesting life, it is a healthy thing.
How about some straight talk! It is very difficult for a believer or a Church to function as it should unless it starts from grassroots. Often times the lampstand will begin to function and then cease to function simply because of confusion or immaturity in the assembly. They may continue imitating, all the while knowing in their spirit that something is very wrong. Too often traditionalism will seep in and men will begin preaching and teaching that which they feel most comfortable with.
It was the case with the
Pharisees and is still the case today. While on the one hand the people of God
may visualize what needs to be done, getting off dead center and moving from
traditionalism is most difficult. On the other hand you have this desire on the
part of the leaders in the Church to maintain their position. As for the
members of the assembly, it is comfortable for them to come into the
assembly sit down and know that no responsibility is going to be cast upon
them. Sadly the comfort zone has been safely maintained. That is why they pay
the Pastor! So all they have to do is come in, sit down, maybe sing a little,
then leave. They are being robbed of the joy of their salvation and don’t even
know it. Many say yes, but we have order.
But "whose order" is the
question? Man has put order in things and then said, “God, this is your
order.” There is liberty in the body of Christ, but, we must know that every
liberty brings responsibility. It is so easy for us to lay down our
responsibility, but when we do we also lay down our liberty. God is calling on
us to exercise our responsibility, and when we do we will disciple those who are
coming up. If the young Christian never sees the old Christian exercising his
responsibility, he will never learn either. That is how the Church got in the
state it is in today.
You may be one who says, “I am not really spiritual. I don’t have anything to say. I am not a preacher or evangelist.” By this statement they are side-stepping individual responsibility in the body of Christ.
Concerning levels of responsibility, we shall turn to an illustration out of the Book of Leviticus. As I go into it, you will see that it directly relates to the body of Christ.
Read the offerings found in Leviticus 1 through chapter 5. These five offerings presented before the Lord covered the needs of every believer. Three of them were peace offerings and the other two were sin offerings. The first chapter there is one of the main peace offerings that were offered before the Lord, the blood offering. The blood offering is in three parts. It was first a bull ox, then it was a goat or a sheep, then it was two turtle doves or pigeons. These offerings were offered by the Israelites, relative to individual wealth. If he was a wealthy Israelite, then he was required to bring a bull ox; if he was middle class, then he had to bring a goat or a sheep, and if he was poor or lower class, he had to bring two turtle doves or two pigeons. When Jesus was offered for the circumcision on the eighth day, Joseph and Mary presented the offering of two young pigeons as commanded by Moses. They were a poor family. Had they had been a wealthy family; a bull ox would have been required.
How does that relate to the New Testament believer presenting his or her offering before the Lord in the assembly of God’s people? If he is a mature believer, he has the responsible to bring a bull ox; if he is an adolescent in the body of Christ, then he brings a goat or a sheep, and if he is a child, he then brings two turtle doves or two pigeons. Not one of these offerings is of any less worth before the Lord, if offered by the appropriate level of growth. If the mature believer is coming with turtle doves, God is not going to accept that. By the same token, the child in the body need not feel that he must bring a bull ox. You might say, “I can’t preach like our pastor, or I can’t teach like so and so.” Because of this attitude you deny the gift that is within you. We all begin like a small child and when you offer what God has given you to the local assembly, you bless that assembly and the Lord. You also begin to grow at that time because you have accepted your responsibility in the body.
What I am trying to say is that you will stay spiritually poor until you begin to exercise the gift you have already received. You must accept your responsibility in the local assembly. The whole purpose of the body of Christ is that each one of us should contribute a portion to the other. God will then take each offering as it is and form it into something pleasing to Him. We then become a living body of Christ functioning as God intended us to function. God is doing something in you, so you present to the body what God is doing in you. You present it in whatever level you are at that time. Don’t be concerned of how it will come out. Begin to grow, glorify God, and deny yourself. Stand up and be obedient to the calling of God, and when your congregation starts moving in the Spirit, the glory of God will fall.
We will start again at First Corinthians 12:1, “Now concerning spiritual gifts.” Another way to put it is, “things spiritual as opposed to things natural.” Paul has been talking in the previous chapters about things that work in the sphere of the natural. Now he is going to talk about things that work in the sphere of the spiritual. That is to say they have no natural explanation or origin.
There are some well-meaning but misguided individuals who have taken some of the ministries that are enumerated here and placed them on a natural level, for example, the gift of the Word of Wisdom, or the Word of Knowledge. They have referred to it as the gift of wisdom, or the gift of knowledge, and put in on a natural basis; as if it is something we could accumulate or increase by natural means. In other words, if I study harder, I become more wise. That is not how you obtain the gift of the Word of Wisdom. By its very nature it is supernatural and, therefore, must come supernaturally by the Holy Spirit to the individual believer. Certainly any believer should increase in knowledge and also increase in wisdom, but when you talk in those terms you are not talking about a supernatural gift. We are growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus but that is something you grow into. You don’t grow into gifts. The gifts will grow, but you don’t grow into the gifts. You come into the gift by the impartation of the Holy Spirit, it is a supernatural function which you could not learn, and which could not be obtained by any other means.
First Corinthians 12:1-2, “Now concerning spiritual gifts brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.” The word gifts is italicized and means it is supplied. You also noticed that it reads “ye were Gentiles,” meaning you are not Gentiles any longer. You do realize, of course, that God does not consider you Gentiles any longer. There are only three categories of people in the world before the Lord. They are Jews, Gentiles and the Church of God. You are in the Church of God, and not Jew or Gentile. When you were outside the body of Christ you were a Gentile, but now you are part of the body of Christ. The entire New Testament is focusing on those three areas.
There is a redemptive program for the Church, there is a redemptive program for the Jews, and there is a redemptive program for the Gentiles. When we look at the prophetic Scriptures, we must look at them with these three groups in mind.
Now, to continue with First Corinthians 12:2-3, “Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 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.” No man can say he has the power, or has the ability to say, Jesus is Lord.
Here Paul is talking about words that come out of the heart, not those out of the mouth. He says a man cannot say from the heart that Jesus Christ is Lord except by the workings of the Holy Spirit.
We have already looked at the following verses but I want to go through them once again. First Corinthians 12: 4-7:
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
Verse four addresses the group of gifts in First Corinthians 12:7 and following. These are gift ministries given to individuals by the person of the Holy Spirit. In verse five are the gift ministries which are given to the body of Christ by the Lord Jesus. Verse six is the work of the Father in Romans 12. And verse seven is the manifestation of the revealing of all of these.
The word translated profit is the Greek word from which we get our word symphony. It means to bring together into a harmony. So God is bringing a symphony together in the body of the Lord Jesus. You might remember when Solomon was dedicating the temple, the Word says that the trumpeters came together and gave one sound. When the saints were gathered together on the day of Pentecost, they were all together in one accord and in place. Everyone in the symphony is not making the same sound, but they are coming together in one accord. They are giving one sound by their many sounds.
The character of the Church is unity in diversity. Each or us are very different, but taken together collectively we make a harmony before the Lord. Isn’t harmony so much better than just a melody? The body of Christ is designed to come together and make a harmonious sound unto the Lord, each one of us making our own sound.
It is necessary for these three ministries mentioned in verses 4, 5, and 6 to work together to make that symphony. In Revelation 2:5, if the Church of Ephesus did not repent of their sin, God would take from them their lampstand. He would take from them their gift ministries. In other words, they would be unable to make the right sounds unto the Lord. Think about it. What if you had a band that only had drums or cymbals?
First Corinthians 13:1, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” What is being said is that if one gift ministry is without the other gift ministries, it is just noise. If you will allow me this observation, it seems to me that the Church today sounds like a band tuning up. When you listen to it there are possibilities there, but for the moment it is just tuning up. It is like children playing in the nursery, as you look at them you know there is promise. There is promise of life in the Church that is just beginning to learn to get it together. The Church was subnormal for so many generations that when it starts to act like the Church of Jesus Christ, many think it is abnormal. In fact, God is bringing back the normal activity to the Church which is supernatural.
We read in First Corinthians 12:4-7 that God is, in fact, bringing these ministries together to make a harmonious sound unto him. This is the normal activity for the Church of Jesus Christ. Now I want to place the individual gift ministries found in First Corinthians 7-11 into two categories; one with respect to the types of persons to whom they are given and the types of gifts that they are.
TYPES OF GIFTS
I Corinthians 12:4
WISDOM GIFTS UTTERANCE GIFTS POWER GIFTS
WORD OF WISDOM PROPHECY FAITH
WORD OF KNOWLEDGE TONGUES HEALING
SPIRITS INTERPRETATION MIRACLES
We will look first at the types of gifts. Refer to the chart. The first gift is the Wisdom gifts. In this category we have the word of wisdom (not to be confused with the gift of wisdom). Then we have the Word of Knowledge.
Before going on to the other gift in this category I need to explain the difference between knowledge and wisdom. There are really three categories that God sets down in the book of Proverbs. In Proverbs 4:7b, "Get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding." First we have knowledge and that is an accumulation of facts. Then we have wisdom, and that is how to use those facts. Then we have understanding, and that is when to use those facts. It's first what, then how, than when. Many today address themselves to the what and never to the how. Then we sometimes go to the how, and forget about the when. We just start using these gifts on anyone anytime, too often throwing our pearls before the swine. We go to child or knowledge, to adolescence or wisdom, to adult or understanding.
First, is the Word of Knowledge, and then the Word of Wisdom. As we have discovered in earlier lessons, God always starts at the most Holy and moves out. As we travel through these gifts we will be going from the most Holy to the least Holy.
The third in this category is the gift of Discerning of Spirits. This also is a Wisdom gift. I will go ahead now and give you this entire list and then come back to them each one individually.
Read First Corinthians 12:9-11.
“To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same spirit. 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
The Greek word for gifts in verse 9 is plural. In verse 10 notice the number of gifts that are plural. When talking about divers kinds of tongues, it is referring to various kinds of tongues. Verse 11 did not say divided to every man as the Baptist, Methodist, Assembly of God, or any other division of the body of Christ would want it. It is as God would want it.
God truly knows where the need is and He gives the gift where needed. God does, however, give us the privilege of earnestly seeking the best gifts.
God gives us the gifts as they are so needed in the body in regards to who is able to handle it and where it should be.
First Corinthians 12:12-14 and 18:
12 “For as the body is one, and hand many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 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. 14 For the body is not one member, but many.”
18 “But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.”
We find the Lord gathering together these members, all working in a supernatural realm. The world can not understand them.
In Lesson Twelve I talked about the sons of Kohath. There was a reason. There were parts of the Tabernacle that were seen outwardly and there were parts not seen outwardly. For example, the boards in the sanctuary were not seen from outside the outer court. That vision belonged to someone who had come into the outer court. Whereas the hanging of linen could be seen by everyone. So it is with the ministries of Romans 12. Everyone can see the gifts of helps, the gifts of giving, or the gifts of ministry. These are gifts visible to everyone even nonbelievers. But as to the ministry of First Corinthians 12, that is not understood by the world. Try having a conversation, as I am sure you have, with a person of the world or a carnal Christian concerning the gift of Prophecy, or the gift of the Word of Wisdom. You see those who have not entered into the truth of the Word of God have no way to address it. God gives ministries that are hidden to all but the Church. The word mystery comes from a Greek word which translated means sacred secrets, revealed only to the believer. When you are brought into the body of Christ, God says, “I will now reveal certain things to you.”
Jesus made a profound statement in Matthew 7:6, "neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” You see, some gifts are not to be understood or seen by unbelievers or for that matter unbelieving, believers. When we do cast our pearls before the swine, they have no frame of reference. They can't understand what you are saying or doing. God has built into His plan of gift ministries, gifts that can be seen and understood when set before unbelievers. There are, however, things they will never understand until they come into the knowledge of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Even then they will understand in accordance with their level of growth.
Can you imagine how it was when the Apostle Paul told in Second Corinthians 12:4, “How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” What if God had permitted him to tell us? How would we have understood it? What would be our frame of reference? How would we have comprehended it? The few visions we do have of the Glory of God are in such terms that all we can see is a mere shadow. For example, the description that Ezekiel gives of the Cherubim. He said they have wings like eagles. They also have four faces; one the face of an eagle, one the face of a man, one the face of an ox, and one the face of a lion. It is hard for me to get my mind to accept that. We have no frame of reference for such a description. We read in the Book of Revelation about the same creature. Here it says they have eyes within and without. You and I can't understand that because we have no frame of reference. When John is describing the manner of judgments that are to come in the last days, they are beyond our comprehension.
The Lord is, first of all, bringing us into a place where we can comprehend what He is doing. After He gets us in that place, then He begins slowly to introduce us to things that we have never seen before. As we get hold of these things, and we begin to move more freely and more comfortably, then the Lord begins to introduce us to other things. Each of these is intended as a temporary tool to bring us closer into His presence and give us a greater knowledge of Him and a deeper relationship with the brethren. The gifts are tools.
Paul tells us in First Corinthians 13:1, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. Verse 13, And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” These three are all that are going to abide. If you are building a house, you can walk around the house and find tools. As you walk around the house that is being built, you will find hammers, saws, and all sorts of tools. When you finish the house, you will walk in the house and find furniture, not tools.
I just had an interesting thought. I wonder how the Angels view the Church? They are watching the Church working feverishly to build the house of God, but they have no tools (spiritual gifts). First Timothy 3:15, “But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”.
God has given tools to the Church so that when the Church is completed it will be done properly. Then the tools will be moved away. Prophecy will vanish away, healing will vanish away, tongues will vanish; but faith, hope and love will abide. Why will they abide and the others vanish away? It is because they are the mortar that holds the whole thing together. These are the things that bind you and me together, and you and every other believer together. It is the difference between what God is building, and what the other religions of the world are building.
Remember in Genesis 11 when Cain went out to build the city? Scripture says they had slime for mortar and brick for stone. This suggests that they had substitutes. All the rest are substitutes. Instead of love they have sentimentality or humanitarianism. Instead of a service that is guided by the Holy Spirit, it is easy believism.
God is moving the Church to meet needs as there are needs. Man always seems to want to bring some kind of counterfeit thing in. Man wants to make it appear as though we know where we are going. But in fact, we for the most part, don't know where we are going. There seems to be a doctrine that is very popular today that says; that if we go fast enough, we will hit something that God wants.
The Wisdom Gifts
The Word of Knowledge - Is God imparting to you a revelation or truth about a circumstance or a person, which you could know no other way.
The Word of Wisdom - is like unto it. Not only does He tell you the fact but He tells you what to do about it.
In one case, God tells me about something, or someone, so I can be aware. For example, Second Corinthians 11: 32-33, the Apostle Paul was given a Word of Knowledge. He knew his enemies were lying in wait for him in the City of Damascus, so he went down over the wall. Here knowledge was imparted and Paul makes an intelligent decision. By contrast, if he had received a Word of Wisdom, God would say, "That this is the case, and this is what you do about it." To illustrate this further. Here is the Apostle Peter with the rest of the Apostles. They have been gathering up all the goods the believers have been selling. They bring them to the Apostle Peter's feet and made distributions as necessary. Acts 5:1-11 in comes Ananias. He lays his money down in front of Peter, and says, "Here it is; we have sold the land and here are the proceeds." Peter asked him, "Did you sell your land for this amount?" And Ananias said, "Yes, this is what we sold it for." Then Peter says, "Why is it that you conceived in your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? Wasn't it yours to keep if you wanted to? When you sold it, couldn't you have brought whatever you wanted to and kept the rest? Why is it that you have conceived in your heart to come and say here is all of it?" How did Peter know that? He had a Word of Knowledge. God said, "Peter, that isn't what they sold it for." The rest of this story is really rough for the modern day Christian. This is where you move from the Word of Knowledge to the Word of Wisdom. Peter said to Ananias, "The young men are at the door that will carry you out." and he fell dead. But that is not all. Now his wife comes in behind him and Peter asks her, "Why is it that you have agreed in your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? The young men who have just buried your husband will carry you out. And she dropped dead and they carried her out.”
When you read this in the Word you will notice that there is no big to-do over that. God moves mature Christians to know that was God, and that is the end of it. There was no, "Thus sayeth the Lord, Yea ye shall be, etc. etc." Peter just simply said, "The young men are at the door that will carry you out." God will speak a Word of Knowledge to warn His people. He will also speak a Word of Wisdom that will not only warn His people but give them His directions as well. You know a lot of the vain utterances and vain praying we do, is just to convince ourselves that God's Word will work.
Much of what we say and do in Church is only to build up our own confidence in the Word of the Lord. However, I must say that if we already believed that God was going to move, it would be sufficient to say what God was going to do. When we pray for someone who is sick, we often times really bring on the vain utterances, making long prayers. That is simply modern day Phariseeism. Notice the next time you hear a prayer that much of what is said is for the ears of the other believers. When we read of accounts in the New Testament we see that few words were spoken, "In the Name of Jesus the Christ be made whole." That was usually all that was necessary.
If I might say the following, many people "say" prayers and others just pray. The ones who just pray see people healed the ones who "say" prayers see themselves as being spiritual. Much of this is lack of understanding of the ways of our Lord. When you have a people who do not submit themselves to God's Word as students, you have serious problems in that assembly.
I want to say once again, that we are addressing these in a descending manner. That is to say, we are going from the most Holy to the least Holy. God always works in this manner. Satan, on the other hand, always works in the other direction. He will attack first the body, and work his way inward to the Spirit.
The Wisdom Gifts are given to adults. The Power Gifts are given to adolescents. The Utterance Gifts are given to the children.
Wisdom Gifts are given to adults because God would not give a child in the faith a Word of Wisdom concerning others in the assembly, because of the way they would handle some of the information. Some of these problems need to be handled with some maturity and not by children. A child in the local assembly would most likely use this new information for his or her benefit, rather than use it to minister to the need of that precious soul. These young ones in the body have not learned to apply the virtues of God to their lives and, therefore, do not love others with a Godly Love. They would use such information for their own purposes and not to lift up the person of the Lord Jesus "Yeshua".
God gives gifts to people that are able to handle them. Children start out with Utterance Gifts; Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, and Prophecy.
We will make a distinction between prophecy and he who prophesies a little later on. Prophecy is what is done. The prophesier is the one who prophesies. That is who you are looking at in Romans 12. Prophecy speaks to edification, exhortation, and comfort. These gifts are very important to children because they need to see something working. It encourages them that God has done something with them. Children, more than adults, need that encouragement from the Lord. It is also important for adults to have those ministries that are particularly important to the lives of others. This is certainly true with the Gift of Discerning of Spirits. We should notice that the Lord Jesus remarkably functioned in that area. He would meet one of these demons and He would ask: "What is your name?" In one case the reply was, "My name is Legion for we are many." You observe that as this gift functions in the body of Christ today, there is a discerning of not just what the spirit's name is, but what kind of spirit it is. There is a lot of guess work that goes on in dealing with spirits today.
I don't want this lesson to turn into a lesson on demonology, but, I think it's important for believers to know that there is a spirit world that far too many are unaware of. That spirit world has launched its attack against what God is doing in this world.
Jesus, when He cast out demons, was not accommodating himself to the ignorance of the people of that day. He was dealing, in fact, with unclean spirits that had taken up residence in people. Jesus was driving them out to be replaced by the Holy Spirit. He warned us that when we cast out such a demon from a man, it walks in dry places and it will find others and come back seven times worse than the first time. If the Holy Spirit comes into the man and fills that void, then the unclean spirit has no access of return to that man.
So Discerning of Spirits becomes a tremendous and important ministry in the body of Christ today because these ministries are being restored to the Church. It is necessary for me to warn you that you can get some real nuts in a Church where the Spirit moves. The danger is that some will start a deliverance ministry and become obsessed with it. They will, in fact, speak more of demons than they do of Jesus. Too often spiritual pride eases in. They will start to feel more spiritual than others for they have cast out a demon. When this happens, there is a serious problem in that local assembly. If it is not placed under the blood of Jesus, it can spread like wildfire and open doors for much demon activity in that assembly.
The one thing the devil can't stand is when we are lifting up the name of Jesus, when we are praising His Holy Name. When a preacher is preaching spiritual truth, it defeats Satan. When we have more of Jesus and are growing in His wonderful grace, the devil is already defeated. When a Church starts to give Satan too much of their time and plays games with him, he is delighted because he knows that sooner or later a door will be left open to him and he will claim a soul.
We must always know that our victory is in Jesus, not in our knowledge or wisdom. When we make that mistake, Satan has a good day. So be careful of those who have deliverance ministries. Each of us should be personally conscious of the Power we have in Jesus to cast out Demons. It is not a ministry bestowed upon a select few. When you do cast one out, be ready to disciple that soul and nourish him or her in the ways of the Lord. If you don't, that demon will return seven times worse than before.
One more thing, and then we will go on. If you go into a Baptist Church, you will find demons who act just like Baptists. If you go into a Pentecostal Church, you will find demons will act just like Pentecostals. They have to if they want to stay there. You go into a Charismatic Church and you will find demons who behave like Charismatics. This is why the Gift of Discerning of Spirits is so important in a local assembly, and that it is handled by one who will react in the proper way.
There have been times when I have heard prophecy in tongues that, through the Gift of Discerning of Spirits, I knew was of an unclean spirit, but there was no nudge from the Holy Spirit to speak out against it.
At other times, the nudge was there. You may have had similar experiences and not been able to understand what it was, but at the time you knew it was not of the Lord. If that is the case, then you need to nurture that gift until you know what God is saying to you.
It is also important to know the difference between the Gift of Discerning of Spirits and discernment. Discernment is something you mature into. The Gift of Discerning of Spirits is there to identify the intrusion of the enemy when he does so in such a subtle manner that it isn't evident who it is. Satan often sounds good, but it is a religious spirit.
In our last lesson we addressed the ministry of deliverance. I feel that we will have to come back for much more on this subject.
Because so many have shown a deep concern over the part women have in the body of Christ, we will direct this lesson to that subject. I do feel that I should say this is not a complete study on the subject of women in the Church, nor is it my opinion. It would only be fair for me to say that anytime one addresses this subject it upsets Satan. His anger is soon felt.
Phillip had four daughters who prophesied. They were not, however, prophet as in the sense of being in the office of a prophet. The offices that are referred to in Ephesians 4:11, are all in the masculine gender. For example, we have elders in the body of Christ. We do not have any elderesses in the body of Christ. We do, however, have deacon and deaconesses. We can have men or women who can be a deacon. The word deacon is translated servant, that is all it means. Those that are shown as an apostle, prophet, evangelist, or pastor-teacher are all in the masculine gender. They possess the position of authority.
Anytime a woman is placed in a position of authority, you take away her covering. She becomes a covering. When a women is without a covering, she becomes prey to the attack of the enemy. It is very important that she function under the covering that God has established in the Church. Women do not occupy the office of a prophet, but they may have the Gift of Prophecy.
The Apostle Paul addresses women's functions in First Corinthians 11. He addresses their privilege to prophesy in the assembly. He said, when they prophesy, let them prophesieth with their heads covered. Now Paul is not just talking about wearing a hat. There are some women who wear hats in the assembly, but are not covered. Then there are those who don't wear hats in the assembly but they are covered. That is the difference between a Jew who doesn't keep the Law, his circumcision becomes uncircumcision. In other words, what is right about him on the outside does not count, because he is wrong on the inside. Then there are those Gentiles who don't have the Law, but they keep the law. Their uncircumcision has become circumcision. In other words, what is wrong about them on the outside is right, because they have a heart for the Lord. This applies to women as well, and we will amplify on this theme as we continue.
There is a strict standard set by certain women concerning their hair, and the way they wear it. They have long hair, because Paul said that women ought to have long hair. I've noticed what they do with this long hair. They wrap it up in a knot and place it on top of their heads. It has always amazed me that they think that it is their covering. Why then, is it in a knot on the top of the head? If the hair is their covering, let it cover. Don't make a knot on the top of the head with it.
Can you see how totally inconsistent this practice is? There is always inconsistency in legalistic systems. When a woman prophesies in the assembly, God requires that she have her head covered. What is the meaning of her long hair? That she wears a hat? No. In First Corinthians 11:16, Paul has this to say about the head covering. "But if any seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the Churches of God." What Paul is saying is that if someone wants to make a law about that or argue about that, you just tell them there is no such custom in the Church of Jesus Christ. Paul said, "I am addressing a principle." He said, doesn't nature teach you, that a woman ought to have her head covered? It is just kind of a natural thing. It was natural for women to let their hair grow, and it was natural for men to cut their hair. It is the assembly ministry that is being addressed by Paul here, to edify the people of God.
Phillip's four daughters prophesied in the local assembly, but they did so under a covering. That is why Paul didn't say there were four women in the meeting that prophesied. He said, "Phillip had four daughters." The emphasis is that they were Phillip's daughters. He didn't mention, by name, these four women in the meeting who were so spiritual they could prophesy. They were under a covering and the covering was Phillip. They were his daughters. Phillip judged what they did and that is very important.
When it comes to an office, no. When it comes to a ministry, yes. It is appropriate and necessary that God should function in all of the ministries outside of Ephesians 4:11. A woman who is covered, as well as a man, but not in the ministries of Ephesians 4:11.
It is necessary to understand some of the Jewish customs, at the time of Jesus, to better understand what is being said. For example, a household that had leprosy or any kind of disease, under the Law of Moses the whole house became unclean. If there was a vessel in the house (we are vessels), whatever was in that vessel was unclean. In other words, if it didn't have a covering, the contents were unclean. But if it had a covering, then the vessel and its contents were clean.
Let's take that into the language of our Lord. If the plague comes into the house or if the sin comes into the assembly and begins to infect the assembly of God's people, then the woman who has the covering is clean. It is the husband that God views as responsible for the needs of the wife and of the family. The husband is, therefore, the covering for the wife and family. The moment the wife steps out from underneath that covering, she becomes open season for Satan. That is why Paul warns in First Timothy 2:14 "The woman being deceived."
I pray that the women reading this are not seeing this as some kind of indictment against them. Do you realize what God is saying here? God is saying, the woman was deceived; it wasn't her fault. God goes on to say, the man was not deceived. He knew what he was doing and he did it anyway. Adam should have been a covering for Eve but he wasn't. Eve stepped out from underneath that covering by deception and she became open season for Satan. For that reason we have the words of Genesis 6:2, "That the sons of God (fallen angels or demons) saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose."
This was the end and the decay of the society which brought in the flood. The sons of God were fallen angels. These angels, with the authority of Satan, cohabited with the daughters of men. There was no longer any covering for these women in those days or this would have never happened. In First Corinthians 11, the Apostle Paul is talking about the relationship of women in the assembly and warns that the woman ought to have a covering over her head because of the angels. First Corinthians 11:10, "For this cause ought the women to have power on her head because of the angels."
Why did God say this in First Corinthians? It should take your mind right away back to Genesis 6:2. Precious people, those same angels are still out there. The Word of God tells us in Matthew 24:37, "But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
At the time of Noah, men were seeking after men and women after women. The women had no covering, and as we have read in Genesis 6:2, the fallen angels possessed them. Once again we are seeing this same decay in our society where women are becoming spiritual leaders out from under the covering of their husbands. It was true before the flood, and it will be true before the last days. It is just another sign of the times we live in. I know of women Bible study groups that are not covered, where women are claiming that the Lord himself visited them and had affairs with them. In nearly every Charismatic Church, women are the strong spiritual leaders, giving 80% to 90% of all the prophecies. Many are widows or divorced. Some with husbands who are not a covering. In other words, there is not an eldership in these assemblies looking after what is going on in the meetings, and the women have no covering.
In any assembly, the husband is the covering. If she doesn't have that, then the eldership becomes her covering. But every woman needs a covering. For that matter, every person in the body of Christ needs a covering. Everyone needs to be responsible to someone. It is never wise for a single woman or any women without a husband or father to cover her, to be under one man in the Church. She needs to be under the eldership of the assembly, if she does not have a father or husband. It should be someone within the family, if possible. If not, then under the eldership, but not under one man in the Church. Not the pastor or an elder, but under the eldership. She can function in the Gift Ministry under a covering. It is then a safe ministry for the assembly. Then there is someone to judge what kind of ministry is coming forth.
In a word, if we are not under authority, we do not have any authority. Authority is always delegated and the ultimate end of that authority is God. The head of the woman is the man, the head of the man is Christ, and the head of the Christ is God. That is the ultimate end of authority.
When a stranger, man or woman, comes into the assembly and wants to give a prophecy without first checking with the local authority that God has placed in that position, certain questions need to be asked. Who has laid hands on you and sent you out? Who is standing behind you? Under whose authority are you moving? In most cases, their answer will be that they are submitted to Jesus, or they only answer to Jesus. Precious people, there are no lone rangers in the body of Christ. These people are very dangerous and cause much unnecessary trouble. If only the leadership that God has supplied would act in their proper position of authority, these destructive people could be stopped and even helped. We must be responsible to someone in the body who can correct us and say, "Brother or Sister, let's pray about that, or let's check that out with the Word." Someone must be able to approach you when necessary, and say, "I think you need to rethink what you are doing." For when a brother will do that for you, he loves you and is being used of the Lord. When a brother or sister is out of order in the body, they can get their dander up too quickly when approached about the authority in the body. It is only more proof that we need to be responsible to authority.
There is much more on the subject of women in the Word. I will end the subject with this. We all know that God can and does use women mightily. God is never mocked, and He never makes a woman an apostle, prophet, evangelist, or a pastor- teacher. If you disagree with this, your problem is not with me, it is with God. It is His Word. He gave it to us to live by, not just live with. "Women, remember the angels."
There is much more to a lesson on Godly authority, but for now, I will move on to another one of the Spiritual Gifts, Prophecy.
Prophecy functions as a ministry within the members of the body of Christ. In the words of Paul in First Thessalonians 5:20, "Despise not prophesying." Why did Paul say that? Because some prophesying could be easily despised. You sit back and listen to some of it and you say, "My, my, there she or he goes again." Paul says, "Despise not prophesying." You may not see any point in it but there may be somebody out there that needed it.
You understand that when prophecy comes in the meetings, it may not be for the meeting as a whole but might be just for one person. Do you think that God is interested enough in a meeting to take the time to say something? I do believe so. I've preached messages only to find out that the entire message was for one person in the assembly but didn't know it at the time. If I had known that, I probably would have tried to help God out a little, if you know what I mean. Possibly the rest of the assembly said, "Boy, it was a dry message today, wasn't it?" But God cares enough to do that for one person.
We will address prophecy in more detail in another lesson.
The Power we have
in Jesus to cast out Demons, is not a ministry bestowed upon a select few. But
when you do cast one out, be ready to disciple that soul, and nourish him or her
in the ways of the Lord. If you don't, that demon will return seven times worse
It seems that everyone is looking for that perfect Church to join while here on earth. The Church of Jesus Christ is perfect, but the one men have perverted isn't. As many will tell you, if you find the perfect Church don't join it. If you do, you will mess it up.
We have those who try to make sure that everything is done decently and in order. Then, of course, nothing ever gets done. You can stop all disorder by stopping all activity. In the words of Solomon, "Where there is no ox, the stall is clean." The verse goes on to say, "there is no increase either, from a clean stall." You can have a Church without any problems, but that only tells you the people are not doing anything. When you start doing something, then you are going to have some problems. People are going to make mistakes because something is being done. By all means let all things are done decently and in order, but let all the things be done.
When a Church is
reaching out into the community with the Gospel of Jesus, the Risen Messiah, and
new souls are being added weekly to the congregation, there will be problems.
This only means growth. You will have strange fires and wildfires, but the
leadership of the congregation should be able to handle these problems with the
wisdom of God. When a Church stops reaching out and becomes a social club for a
select small group, then you start to have different kinds of problems. Its
spiritual eyes are diverted from the vision of reaching the community with the
Good News and its members start passing judgment on each other.
Now, about the ministry of Tongues. This ministry has been subjected to the largest amount of criticism of all the gift ministries. It started off like that on the day of Pentecost. They were all accused of being drunk.
Let's begin by saying that the Gift of Tongues is not an accumulation of all the different kinds of languages. Tongues, by its very nature is like all the other gifts given to the body of Christ by God. It is a supernatural gift, given to an individual for the purpose of either: (1) personal edification, if praying in private, or (2) edification of the corporate assembly, if delivered in public AND accompanied by the gift of interpretation. Paul said in I Corinthians 14:5, "for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret.” The interpretation places the Gifts of Tongues on a level effectively with the Gift of Prophecy.
The Gift of Tongues is the supernatural utterance of a language either known or unknown, either earthly or heavenly, by the Spirit of God for the sake of the edification of the people of God. When the Apostle Paul begins in First Corinthians 13:1, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels,” he is saying the tongue will either come from the earthly sphere or the heavenly sphere.
When you hear someone say, "those tongues are a lot of gibberish; there is nothing like that on earth," that may very well be. It just might be something they have never heard before nor ever will, if they don't make it.
Let's look at something else about tongues. You will notice that the Gift of the Interpretation of the Gift of Tongues is not the gift of translation. There is a big difference. That is why when a Gift of Tongues comes to the assembly, it might be a very short but the interpretation is long. Or it might be a long tongue and the interpretation a short one. The interpretation is revealing to you what is meant, he is not telling you what was said.
I confess to you that I have given a message in Hebrew just to see what would happen, only to hear someone give the interpretation right on. Precious brothers and sisters, that will excite you when it happens, believe me. At other times, I have heard messages given in the Hebrew tongues, then sat still because God did not nudge me to respond, and then heard another give the interpretation right on. So, I can say for those critics of the Gift of Tongues, they need to read their Bible a little closer. God has made a believer out of this Jew in all that He says. I believe it. The knowledge of His Word is what will set you free, and without it you will perish.
Paul said that the Gift of Tongues is not for them that believe, but for them that believe not. He is talking about unbelieving believers.
Paul says in First Corinthians 14, that when you gather the large assembly, city wide meetings, where the whole Church has come together and you have unlearned, unbelieving or lost, that is not a place for tongues. He said if they hear it, they will think you are off your rocker, so don't do that. When the assembly is gathered in smaller groups or local assemblies, that is the place for the Gift of Tongues. At the local assembly the Gift of Tongues is a sign for the unbelieving believers. Paul quotes from Isaiah 28:11, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” Yet, for all of this they will not hear it.
Therefore, Paul says, First Corinthians 14:22, “Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not.” Tongues serve as a sign for them that believe not. He is talking about believers who won't hear the Word of the Lord when God brings a supernatural visitation. He follows it with an interpretation, and says, "Hey, listen, God is talking."
Whereas, the Gift
of Prophecy serves to convict them that believe not, lost people, or
unbelievers. Then their heart is revealed. They can fall down, confess their
sins, and know that God's Word is the truth. That is the intent here. Tongues
serve as a sign. When a Gift of Tongues comes in a meeting and then the Gift of
Interpretation, God is saying, "Hey, listen, it is Me talking." It is, however,
an interpretation not a translation.
You noticed that on the day of Pentecost they spoke known languages. That was because God was testifying something to those who were there, to those who needed to understand. They were for the most part, unbelieving believers. God needed to testify to these unbelieving believers that these men were not drunk. Remember when Daniel was brought up before Belshazzar and the Queen's mother said, "There was a guy herein the days of your Father that had contact with the Holy God." Think about that, they were used to dealing with unholy gods. Remember the writing that appeared on the wall and it terrified Belshazzar. The Word says, "That he was so frightened that his knees beat together." They called in Daniel to interpret this writing on the wall. Do you remember what it said? Daniel 5:25-28, "MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN." Not much of a message in tongues, but Daniel got a lot out of it.
From the one word MENE came this; "God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.” Then from the word TEKEL; “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” PERES; “Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.” Daniel sure got a lot out of the few words. It was an interpretation, not a translation. Thus it is with the Gift of Tongues.
Tongues will also rise out of a meeting where there has been a worship season. The tongue will continue out of the worship into the silence. Quite often that really isn't intended for the whole of the people of God. It was simply the continuation of worship and could be called out of order. Because our God is a God of all grace, He often interprets it and quite frequently you will observe that the interpretation of such a tongue is basically praise. This is what it was, the tail end of the worship and praise.
In connection with this, Jesus quoted the passage from the Psalms about his entry into Jerusalem. There is a parallel to be found between praise and strength. Psalms 8:2, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength.” Matthew 21:16, “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise” Praise builds strength, as in Nehemiah 8:10, “for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Interpretation of Tongues
We have already addressed this gift in the lesson on tongues to a large degree. God is simply, for the sake of the edification of the local assembly, interpreting that tongue. It needs to be understood that in private use, the individual believer is edified by the tongue whether he understands what he is saying or not.
First Corinthians 14:13-15, "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.” (So the Church can be edified.) 14 "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also." Let's make a distinction here.
Jude 1:20 addresses praying IN the Spirit. “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. That is not praying in an unknown tongue. Praying in the Spirit is praying by the function of the Holy Spirit even when you understand what you say. I would hope, when you pray, that you pray IN the Spirit. However, praying WITH the Spirit is praying in a tongue. I know this is a technicality, but it is an important one. Praying in the Spirit is praying by the unction of the Holy Spirit, whether you know what you are saying or not. But praying with the Spirit is praying in an unknown tongue. That is when you don't know what you are saying.
Let's go back to the end of First Corinthians 14:15, "I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the understanding also." The distinction is made for the sake of edification. First Corinthians 14:4-5: "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the Church. I would that you all spake with tongues" How does that verse get left out of the Scripture all the time?" "But rather than yet prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the Church may receive edifying." He is saying no greater in person, but greater in function. Tongues serve for personal edification. Paul said, "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than ye all." If Paul thanked God for it, it must have been useful.
The Power Gifts: Faith Healing and Miracles
The Gift of Faith: This is very different from maturing faith, with regard to our maturing faith. Paul said, "From faith to faith as it is to glory to glory." Now that is in contradiction to, justifying faith. These are both distinct from the Gift of Faith. Every believer ought to be moving in maturing faith and justifying faith. You are, in fact, moving in justifying faith or you don't believe in anything. If you are maturing in the Lord, then that faith is being strengthened by the Word of God. For faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. In this we are strengthening ourselves in the he ways of the Lord to believe the Lord and to see God work in our behalf and in the behalf of the people of God.
Now the Gift of Faith is quite another thing altogether. When Moses came up to the Red Sea with the children of Israel, he lifted that rod up over the Sea. This would suggest that it required the supernatural gift of faith. Moses had never seen that happen before, he didn't have any past experience or precedent to count on the fact of what God did before, He would do again. God was going to do a new thing. What Moses did acquire was the Gift of Faith.
The Gift of Faith is God imparting to any individual believer for a specific purpose and need, a faith necessary to see God work for a momentary necessity. It isn't necessarily something that is going to last, nor is God going to do this on your request every time you send up your order. This gift is God working through an individual believer with a supernatural engiftment of faith for a specific reason and purpose to fill a specific need at a certain time.
God is imparting this Gift of Faith, not just for the individual's sake but for the edifying of the body. God works in their behalf. What I am going to say to you now needs to be heard very clearly. IT IS NOT GOD GIVING SOMEONE AN ABILITY, WHICH PLACES GOD ON SECOND CALL. Some suggest to us that there are some men in the body of Christ who only have to ring God's bell and He does whatever they want. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Faith is God ministering to me for something He is going to do that will require a supernatural impartation of faith. God never does anything except through His people. God imparts the faith. The gift is not yours, it is the Lord's. You can't just use it as though it were yours. God may use you in a gift ministry on one occasion and choose to use someone else on another occasion. This way we don't start looking to one individual to provide us with all the gift ministries. We look toward God for He is our source. We get in so much trouble looking toward a man, lifting him up instead of Jesus.
We will begin our next lesson addressing the Gift of Healing and I feel it is one we, as the body of Christ, need to understand better.
GIFT OF HEALING
To begin with, this gift is in the plural but always it seem sit is said in the singular. It is a gift to who receives it, not to who is functioning in it. When a person is in need of a healing for a disease or sickness or whatever they receive the gift from the Lord. So the emphasis then is Gifts of Healing; not a person ministering with a gift but the Spirit of God ministering where He will, healing who He will. So God ministers in the Assembly as He would. God is not at our command, nor is God out to heal everyone who is sick. (Now don't get mad at me) I know that there have been many in the Body misleading many for their own profit concerning the Gift of Healing.
For example, John 5:2-6, “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? "
“The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.” He had been lying there watching people get healed and said," I can't get into the water. No one will help me out of this bed. He had been in that bed for 38 years, and Jesus said, "Wilt thou be whole?"
You see Jesus certainly knew the man wanted to be made whole. Why else would He be at the pool? THE QUESTION WAS: DO YOU WANT ME TO DO IT? You see, if he could have gotten in that water and been healed, the Pharisees would have patted him on the back and said, "God has been good to you." But if Jesus did it, they would have thrown him out of the Temple. So the issue is: "I know what you want, but HOW DO YOU WANT TO GET IT?"
You see, there is a legitimate way before the world to get your problem solved, and then there is an illegitimate way of the world.
Here is Jesus before that great multitude of very sick people at the Pool, but he heals only that one man. Why? Because, that was the man that God sent Him to heal. God is healing, according as the need arises, in the Body of Christ. What is the purpose of God in this? God gives gifts of healing in the Assembly for edification as it is necessary for the Assembly. Number One, to demonstrate His Glory and His Power. Number Two, to Edify the Body as is needful, individually or collectively.
Now, let's make a distinction between Gifts of Healing and what James addressed in James 5: It is not the Gift of Healing he is pointing to in James 5:14.
"IS ANY SICK AMONG YOU? LET HIM CALL FOR THE ELDERS OF THE CHURCH; AND LET THEM PRAY OVER HIM, ANOINTING HIM WITH OIL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD: AND THE PRAYER OF FAITH SHALL SAVE THE SICK, AND THE LORD SHALL RAISE HIM UP; AND IF HE HAVE COMMITTED SINS, THEY SHALL BE FORGIVEN HIM."
In the case at the Pool we have instantaneous healing. In the case here in James, we have a lifting up. In James we have a progressive recovery. The sick are anointed with oil by the Elders in the Assembly. These men are not functioning in the gifts of healing at all. It is their Office that gives them that prerogative before the Lord.
For those of you who have read my latest book, Burned Alive, know that I could go on and on about the Gift of Healings. For this reason I am trying to stay only with the text of this teaching. You can order the book Burned Alive from the Jerry Golden Ministries.
When a man or woman prays for another's healing, and lays hands on that person, he or she is moving in the Gift of Faith. At that moment, he or she is given, by God, a supernatural Gift of Faith to believe God for the other's healing. The Gift of Healing is given to the one who needs that Gift; it is not given by or through the person praying. Jesus is the only Healer. When one is healed, it is Jesus who we thank and praise, not the man or woman who prayed for us. They are moving in the Gift of Faith. When men begin to praise men for their healings, then Jesus is left out.
The Gift of Healings is like all the other twenty two Supernatural Gifts enumerated in the Bible. It is given by God to an individual as the Body has need. It is not a gift that works through one person to another.
All the Gifts come from God as a service gift to the Body or to an individual.
THE WORKINGS OF MIRACLES
It will be necessary once again to start with First Corinthians 12:7.
”BUT THE MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT IS GIVEN TO EVERY MAN TO PROFIT WITHAL.“
Again, the word "PROFIT" is taken from the word "Symphony," the harmony of order that God desires of us Every man is given the Gift so he or she may come into a harmonious relationship with the Lord, meaning that each of us, even though making a separate sound, when blended together make only one sound unto the Lord when making the correct sound. We come into one accord as we begin to allow the Holy Spirit to move in our ministries and lives.
First Corinthians 12:8-11 “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 WORKING OF MIRACLES; TO ANOTHER PROPHECY; TO ANOTHER DISCERNING OF SPIRITS; TO ANOTHER DIVERS KINDS OF TONGUES; TO ANOTHER THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES.” Verse 11 “BUT ALL THESE WORKETH THAT ONE AND THE SELFSAME SPIRIT, DIVIDING TO EVERY MAN SEVERALLY AS HE WILL.”
In the 11th verse, we see the measure of grace that the Apostle Paul said, that God separates to individual Believers severally as He will.
We might keep in mind that
we are now addressing the Working of Miracles. The first thing we want to
establish is that God is not giving anyone this gift so they can walk around
performing Miracles severally as they will, but as He (God) Wills. No one is
walking around with God at their command. Each one of these Ministries is given
for the purpose of edification of the Body of Christ and functions as the Spirit
of God sees necessary.
First Corinthians 14:31-32 “FOR YE MAY ALL PROPHESY ONE BY ONE, THAT ALL MAY LEARN, AND ALL MAY BE COMFORTED. 32 AND THE SPIRITS OF THE PROPHETS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROPHETS.”
Now, we know that Man is Spirit, Body and Soul. Now understand what the Apostle is saying.
“THE SPIRITS OF THE PROPHETS ARE SUBJECT TO THE PROPHETS.”
This whole thing is addressed to the context of Order. The Apostle is concerned that order will be maintained, and the Spirit distributes to everyone so that the symphony of order can be produced in the Body of Christ by individual Believers for the sake of that whole Body that all may be edified. That is the intent.
So what is Paul saying when he says, the SPIRITS of the PROPHETS are subject to the PROPHETS? The Word tells us that when God created Man He breathed into Man a breath of life, and man became a LIVING SOUL. We are, then, a living Soul. That is what we are. Instead of saying that Man is a Spirit, he has a Soul and he lives in a Body. He is, in fact, a Soul who has a Spirit and lives in a Body. What you are is a SOUL, for SOUL is the result of the union of the Breath of God. Man became a living SOUL. This is the conscious part of man. The Body is world conscious, the Soul is self-conscious, and the Spirit is God conscious.
We refer to the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind used to be our conscious mind. When man fell, a portion of that mind and ability to reason, to remember, and so-forth, became latent to man. It, is said we now use less than ten percent of the ability of our mind. However, we have lost our full potential to reason and think. That is a result of the all of Adam.
Man as a Soul is getting dictation from his Spirit as to what is Truth. For it is in the Spirit of a man that lies resident the knowledge of God. John tells us that we already know all things, that we have an unction from the Holy One that teaches us all things. Now obviously we don't know all things in our experience. The whole process of growth is to get out of our Spirit into our Soul the knowledge of God. So again, it is not making head knowledge, heart knowledge.
It is a matter of making heart knowledge, head knowledge. To the believer that is. So we are moving what is in the heart (that is, the Spirit) into the Soul of the Man. Here we have the hidden man of the heart. Here also, we see very clearly the inward and the outward man.
Paul says, I delight after the Law of God with my inward man. But my members bring me into the law of captivity which is sin and death. Peter tells us, it is the hidden man of the heart where the Spirit of God is resident that the knowledge of God is lying latent, wanting to come forth into the Soul. Now, as the Spirit begins to teach the Soul, the Spirit is functioning through the still renewing mind. Paul tells us for example,
Second Corinthians 7:1 “HAVING THEREFORE THESE PROMISES, DEARLY BELOVED, LET US CLEANSE OURSELVES FROM ALL FILTHINESS OF THE FLESH AND SPIRIT.”
So here is this renewing mind getting input from the Spirit, as Paul puts it. It is the responsibility of the soul to judge what comes from the Spirit.
For example, the Spirit feels the movings of God, and the Soul is setting in the context of the fellowship of the believer and there is information moving from the Spirit into the Soul. It is again the issue of order. The soul has the responsibility of judging what is necessary for the time. If, in a meeting, the Preacher is delivering a message, let's say on grace, and in the back of the congregation someone stands up and starts giving a message pertaining to something else, it is obvious they are out of order. Your soul makes that judgment even if it was a Spiritual thing. It is the Holy Spirit in the man who is functioning within that Spirit to teach us the truths of God, and is renewing the mind to give us the understanding of where, and when, it is appropriate.
God is not giving Spiritual Gifts to men so that they can move in the Spirit totally independent of the soul. The soul is the conscious part of man that sees the context in which he lives and discerns what is in order for the moment. That is the importance of our growing in Grace and the Knowledge of our Lord and Messiah Jesus (Yeshua), so that we become sensitive to what is good and what isn't good, what is profitable and what isn't profitable. Hebrews 5:14, “BUT STRONG MEAT BELONGETH TO THEM THAT ARE OF FULL AGE, EVEN THOSE WHO BY REASON OF USE HAVE THEIR SENSES EXERCISED TO DISCERN BOTH GOOD AND EVIL." Read also Philippians 1, on this subject. God wants us to have our senses exercised so that we can discern what is useful for the Body of Christ. After growing sensitive to the ways and the works of the Lord, then we can judge what ought to be done in a situation with the equipment God has given us. God is not giving a Gift to an individual so that he can just go out and lay hands on anybody he wants to, and to get any result he wants to get. That simply is not the purpose of the Spiritual Gifts. Otherwise, we would have a lot of freelance Ministers building up their own ministries as they want to, and not the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit always reserves the right to overrule. You may, like me, wonder why the Holy Spirit does not exercise gifts more often than he does.
Now, to finish with the Gifts of Miracles, If God was giving someone the power to work miracles as they so choose, that person could have a great day with that Gift. It wouldn't be very long before that person would lose sight of what God wanted and begin to do his own thing.
When you read about Saul, you see that when he was small in his own sight, then God could trust him. But, when he became great in his own sight God couldn't trust him. It is not a question of God just giving power to an individual to do certain things anytime he wants to. They are Gifts of Miracles and the Gifts come as occasion finds necessary. The term "Miracle" is a very large word in the Bible, by the way. It is Works of Power. The first miracle that Jesus performed defines the character of this gift. When He turned the water into wine, HE REVERSED A NATURAL PROCESS OF THINGS. JESUS OVERRULED THE NATURAL PROCESS OF THINGS.
So a miracle is the reversing of the natural order of things, or the over-riding of it, where Healing is the speeding up of the natural process. It may speed it up to the point that it happens instantaneously.
For example, God healed me of 3rd degree burns over 75 per cent of my body. That was a HEALING. But, when God restored my ear lobe, and half of my bottom lip, that was a MIRACLE.
Often times things are called a healing when, in fact, they are miracles and vice versa. I might add at this time, not everyone in that Hospital or even in that Burn Unit, was healed, just one man. There were certainly many there who wanted to be healed. It was like at the Pool of Bethesda. Again, Jesus only touched one, not everyone who needed it. Because, that one man at the pool was the one the Father sent Him to, to be healed.
God is demonstrating and authenticating HIS MINISTRY.
In lesson seventeen I capitalized “TO ANOTHER” in First Corinthians 12:8-11, because there are two Greek Words there that are being translated, "TO ANOTHER." One (ALLOS) means ANOTHER OF THE SAME KIND. The other word (HEDRAIOS) means ANOTHER OF A DIFFERENT KIND. They are both translated the same in the King James Bible. From these two words come Heterodoxy and Orthodoxy.
The word HEDRAIOS is used twice in this Scripture First Corinthians 12:8-11. FOR TO ONE IS GIVEN THE WORD OF WISDOM, "TO ANOTHER (ALLOS, another of the same kind) THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE. What is being done here is not the categorizing of the gifts but the kind of person receiving them. To one kind of person is given the Word of Knowledge and to another (ALLOS) of the same kind of person is given the Word of Wisdom. Now we come to that first, TO ANOTHER (HEDRAIOS) I capitalized. TO ANOTHER (Hedraios, of a different kind) FAITH BY THE SAME SPIRIT AND TO ANOTHER (Allos, of the same kind of person) TO ANOTHER THE GIFTS OF HEALING BY THE SAME SPIRIT; TO ANOTHER THE WORKINGS OF MIRACLES; TO ANOTHER PROPHECY; TO ANOTHER DISCERNING OF SPIRITS; TO ANOTHER (HEDRAIOS, of a different kind) DIVERS KINDS OF TONGUES; TO ANOTHER THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES. You noticed that each is set off by the term ANOTHER, ANOTHER, ANOTHER. But two of those ANOTHERS are different ANOTHERS. They make three different groups of two, five, and two. When we placed the gifts in groups they were Gifts of Power, Gifts of Utterance, and Gifts of Wisdom. For when we categorize the person instead of the gift we begin to see things in a different light. Now God is not separating men by the degree they hold from Colleges, or by denominations, God is talking about the one thing that always makes a difference between believers throughout the New Testament Scripture. That is LEVEL OF MATURITY. In other words what you are able to handle. For God always places into the hands of any believer equipment relative to what he or she is able to handle.
It is now necessary for us to start from the back end, as you remember in a past lesson, God always starts from the Most Holy and works to the less Holy. That is why when He instructed Moses in the building of the Tabernacle He started with the furniture that went into the Most Holy place and He moved out from the most Holy to the Outer Court. I want to remind you once again that when God addresses the being of man He always does so by first addressing the Spirit, then the Soul, and then the Body. Never Body, Soul and Spirit, because, He is going from the Most Holy to the Less Holy.
The same is true here when God is addressing the growth of the Believer. He starts with the most Holy, in other words, Maturity, and He moves from Maturity to Adolescence, and He goes from adolescence to the Child.
Now let's read First Corinthians 13:8-10, “CHARITY NEVER FAILETH: BUT WHETHER THERE BE PROPHECIES, THEY SHALL FAIL; WHETHER THERE BE TONGUES, THEY SHALL CEASE; WHETHER THERE BE KNOWLEDGE, IT SHALL VANISH AWAY. 9 FOR WE KNOW IN PART, AND WE PROPHESY IN PART. 10 BUT WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME, THEN THAT WHICH IS IN PART SHALL BE DONE AWAY.”
Let's stop right here for a minute. What is that which is perfect? Most would say Jesus, and that, of course, is true, but that isn't what is meant here. It is the Body of Christ, for we are talking about the perfect man now.
Let's look at Ephesians 4:12-13, “FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS, FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY, FOR THE EDIFYING OF THE BODY OF CHRIST: 13 TILL WE ALL COME IN THE UNITY OF THE FAITH, AND OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.”
So when the Body comes into maturity, (and that is what the word "perfecting" means), the Word Maturity addresses Perfection in the Body of Christ. Jesus says, "Be ye Perfect even as your Heavenly Father is Perfect." Jesus is talking about your growing into the revelation of the Father even as Jesus is the revelation of the Father. Come into full maturity, and, "Be ye perfect."
Back to First Corinthians 13:10, “BUT WHEN THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME.”
Has that perfect Body come yet? "NO", the Body isn't perfect yet. We are still maturing, and not until we come into the presence of the Lord in that day will we be perfect. When Jesus comes, that is when we are going to see perfection in the Body. For the Body is still reproducing, and as it does there are daily Babes who are a long way from maturity, so when the Lord comes there will be babes in that day. But when Jesus calls us unto Himself, we will, at that moment, be made perfect in Him. Collectively and individually, on that day we will all be made perfect in our blessed Yeshua Ha'Mashiach, Jesus the Risen Messiah. So, what Paul is addressing in First Corinthians 13? Is the Body coming before the Lord in final Maturity?
I have heard many good Preachers suggest that the perfect thing coming here is the Recorded Scripture, "The Bible," but Paul says in First Corinthians 13:9-10, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” The Scripture didn't make all us fully knowledgeable of everything there is to know about God. Otherwise, when Paul went into the third heaven he would have told us all he saw. There is a lot more yet to be understood. In Hebrew's when He is talking about the Chromium over the Mercy Seat He said I have a lot of things to say about that but I can't tell you now. I would like to speak to you concerning more things, but you are dull of hearing. There are a lot of things that, if God told us of, we wouldn't know what to do with them. No, the Scripture is not the end in itself.
Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah, is the End in himself and the Scripture is a revelation from God bringing us toward that end. The perfect thing he is addressing here is not the completed Word of God. The perfect thing He addresses here is the Body of Christ coming into His presence. When the Body of Christ comes before the Lord in that day, and is perfected before Him, that is when the Body of Christ will know its perfection; not until that day. That is when the building will be complete, that is when we won't need the tools (Spiritual Gifts) any longer. As long as the Body is being perfected and as long as the Body is being matured, we need these various tools to mature us. Because we know in part and we prophesy in part. The best we do is limited. So we are anticipating the day when the whole thing will be finished and we lay down the tools (Spiritual Gifts), and we won't need them any longer. Who cares about tongues in the presence of the Lord? Who will care about the Word of Wisdom in the presence of the Lord? Who would care about prophecy in the presence of the Lord? The three that will abide forever will be FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY, and the greatest of these is CHARITY, (LOVE).
First Corinthians13:10-11, “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The word translated, "CHILD" there is (NEOTERIKOS). It means minor or juvenile. Paul says, "When I was a minor I thought as a minor" and so forth. What is he addressing? He is addressing practical maturity. It is the same message Paul is pointing out in Galatians 4:1-2.
"NOW I SAY, THAT THE HEIR, AS LONG AS HE IS A CHILD, DIFFERETH NOTHING FROM A SERVANT, THOUGH HE BE LORD OF ALL; 2 BUT IS UNDER TUTORS AND GOVERNORS UNTIL THE TIME APPOINTED OF THE FATHER."
You should know that you are already perfect before Christ in the heavenlies. You can't improve on what you are in Christ. The Holy Spirit is now building you up so you can come into your practical position in Christ here on Earth. So you can positionally come into a measure of maturity. You are already practically, a Son of God, What the Holy Spirit is doing is working in you to bring you into the position of a Son, a grown, mature Son, not a child or an adolescent. So when the Body of Christ comes into its positional realization then we are not going to need any of these tools (Spiritual Gifts) any longer.
The Apostle is talking about what is related to childhood and therefore must of necessity be governed to what functions in the life of a child as he grows in maturity from CHILDHOOD, TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES, TO ADOLESCENCE, FAITH, HEALING, MIRACLES, PROPHECY, DISCERNING OF SPIRITS, TO SONSHIP OR MATURITY, WORD OF WISDOM, AND WORD OF KNOWLEDGE.
Here we have the division separated by the two “To Anothers” that are 2, 5 and 2, the 9 individual Spiritual Gifts.
It may be necessary to say something here. When I was a child I learned to walk, but when I became an adolescent I didn't stop walking or forget how to walk. It is the same with the Gifts. A mature Christian can still speak in tongues. For Paul could say, "I thank God I speak in Tongues more than you all". He also said he knew how to use tongues. The problem with the Corinthians was they didn't know how to use Tongues. Rather than using them for the people of God they used them on the people of God. We can relate to that today, can't we? The Gift of Prophecy is often used in that way as well. Rather than using it for the people of God it is used on the people of God. Any Gift Ministry can be perverted if left up to men and not kept in God's order of things. When a child learns to walk he goes from walking to other things. He doesn't stay at that level of maturity. He moves on into maturity. God is giving us the first fruit of the Spirit. Then, as we mature, He begins to give us other Gifts.
God is not trying to give us a glorified body right now. He may heal you of Cancer, and you can't get rid of a common cold. God is giving the first fruit to prove that the rest is coming. God confirms our relationship in our maturing in Him.
So as you grow and mature in the things of the Lord He is able to add other tools for you to work with, until you come to the position of receiving the Word of Knowledge, and the Word of Wisdom. I am not saying, by the way, that everyone receives all these gifts, but showing the process set forth in the Word of God. God sets out these gifts to those who are able to handle them. He gives Tongues and Interpretation to a child. You might say some of them can't handle it. That is true, but you can handle a child. It is very hard to handle Adults. It is easier to shut down disorder in a Nursery than it is in a University. So God gives Tongues to people who can be controlled. Remember that the Spirit of the Prophet is subject to the Prophet. We need to start allowing our Soul to tell our Spirit when to function and not the other way around. For it is the Soul that must make the final decision, not the Spirit. Your Spirit does not tell your Soul when to speak just because it makes you feel good. It is your Soul that tells your Spirit when to function. When we have a spiritual unction in our Spirit from the Holy Spirit, it is up to the Soul to wait till the proper time. God will tell you when, if, you will just wait on Him. God will never honor the destruction of order for the sake of something that is correct. Only immaturity does that.
In a meeting where someone gets out of order and has to be corrected by the Pastor, it is far better for that Spirit to be quenched than to have to be cast out later. For there is a large difference between Wild Fire, and Strange Fire. If a Church is growing it will always have a little Wild Fire for it comes with immaturity, but if wild fire is permitted to persist, strange fire always follows. The tragedy is, in most Churches today, like the Corinthian Believers, they don't know the difference because they look so much alike. So you discipline wild fire so you don't have to cast out strange fire. You crucify the Flesh but you cast out a Spirit. You don't crucify the Spirit and cast out the Flesh.
There is always a matter of maturity and understanding before you grasp how to use something. Paul says to quit being Minor's (Children) regarding these things and grow up into maturity. Paul always uses the Law as a School Master to give direction to those who don't know where they are going. The desired results are that Maturity would lead you by the Spirit. Paul speaks, for example in Romans 8:14 “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the Son's of God.” Not Children, Son's. In the Word that makes a very large difference in regards to maturity.
He is not talking about people who are going to heaven, he is talking about people who have matured in the Lord, and have an understanding of what God is doing, and why He is doing it. They are lead by the Spirit; they are not lead by precept or by law. Whenever the people could not understand the ways of the Lord, then Paul would refer them to the School Master to give them directions in the way until they could see the mind of the Lord. This is, by the way, how we deal with our children. We tell them to pick up the things in their room, what time to be home, etc, etc. Until finally when they become adults they finally start doing these things on their own and understand the reason for it. For example, we tell our children not to leave their roller skates on the stairs, because, some one might get hurt. So until the child is able to understand the principle, you just give him the precept. Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” This is what the Lord is doing with the Body of Christ.
The Gifts we have covered up till this time are those that deal with the Spirit, and not in the area of the Temporal, or the Natural. For example, beginning in Romans 12:6, you have such gifts as Ministering or Service; Deaconing, if you will, Giving, Helps, Government, Exhortation and so-forth. These Ministries address what is temporal. It is difficult to get out of order in these temporal gifts. It could be done, I am sure; but no one would complain if the man who had the gift of Ministry would go around cutting old peoples front yards. So, this isn't something that has to be regulated so severely. If someone wanted to interrupt the service to give a million dollars to the Church, I doubt if anyone would complain. Or, for that matter, consider him out of order. So there isn't a necessity of regulation in the Gift Ministries mentioned in Romans 12. But there is a great necessity for the regulations of the ministries in First Corinthians.12, because they deal with the area of the Spirit. As we indicated before, any time you deal in the area of the Spirit, you always risk intrusion of the counterfeit. This is why we have spent so much time on the gifts ministries of First Corinthians 12, simply because we must be able to know the difference between the Holy, and the Unholy.
Here we find the Motivational Gifts. They are also identified as the Gifts to the Body of Christ. They line up coordinately with the gifts in Isaiah.11:2, And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD.” Also known as the Seven-Fold Ministry of the Holy Spirit. (See Chart of Lampstand). They are however, identified by Paul, as the Grace Gifts. So for now we will address them as Grace Gifts. We will begin in Romans 12:3.
We will begin in Romans 12:3.
“FOR I SAY, THROUGH THE GRACE GIVEN UNTO ME,”
Right here and before going on, it is important that we understand these words, so we can understand the Grace Gifts. Paul says that what he is saying, he is saying through or by the grace which God has given him. What he is saying is that this grace given by God becomes a motivating force, the reason for and the motivation of the things he is about to share with us. Right from the outset we see that the word "grace" possesses a unique connotation and has a different meaning from what we have always perceived grace to mean. We usually think of Grace as a free gift, but as we read and study the Word of God, we find a greater meaning to grace than "just a free gift."
First Corinthians 15:10, “BUT BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM: AND HIS GRACE WHICH WAS BESTOWED UPON ME WAS NOT IN VAIN; BUT I LABORED MORE ABUNDANTLY THAN THEY ALL: YET NOT I, BUT THE GRACE OF GOD WHICH WAS WITH ME. Paul is saying that God's grace is the motivating force for the things that he does. He says, it is not me who is doing the labouring, it is God's grace supplying him with the power and the ability.
Second Corinthians 12:9 “AND HE SAID UNTO ME, MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE: FOR MY STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS. MOST GLADLY THEREFORE WILL I RATHER GLORY IN MY INFIRMITIES, THAT THE POWER OF CHRIST MAY REST UPON ME.” My grace, My strength, My power; they are all synonyms. For here Paul sees God's grace as being God's strength, and God's power in his life which motivates him.
Now back to ROMANS 12 where we find Paul exhorting the believers at Rome, and I hope, exhorting you as you read this. We find this Gift of Exhortation in verse: 8 and we will be talking about that gift shortly. 8 “Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.” Paul, you see, was a great exhorter. he, of course, possessed this Gift. Paul is saying right here, "The way I am going to speak to you, the way I am going to exhort you in this letter, I am doing it by the grace and the empowering of God."
This is how many have come to call the gifts of Romans 12, Motivational Gifts or Grace Gifts. They are the gifts that motivated Paul and gave him the power to be what God has made him to be. And, they are the gifts that will motivate you as well.
Let's read ROMANS 12:3-8.
3 “FOR I SAY, THROUGH THE GRACE GIVEN UNTO ME, TO EVERY MAN THAT IS AMONG YOU, NOT TO THINK OF HIMSELF MORE HIGHLY THAN HE OUGHT TO THINK; BUT TO THINK SOBERLY, ACCORDING AS GOD HATH DEALT TO EVERY MAN THE MEASURE OF FAITH.”
Paul says don't get all bent out of shape, if you think you have a lot of faith. Don't think more highly than you should of yourself. Think of your abilities realistically, don't think it was something you did; God gave you that faith in the first place. It wasn't given to you to make you feel too highly of yourself.
4 “FOR AS WE HAVE MANY MEMBERS IN ONE BODY, AND ALL MEMBERS HAVE NOT THE SAME OFFICE:” the word, "Office" here, is a word that can also be translated, "operation," "business," "practice," and "profession." So let's read it that way. For we have many members in one Body, and all members have not the same FUNCTION, (operation), they have not the same business, they have not the same practice, and they have not the same profession. Paul is saying there is a difference between each one of us. The difference is the way God has made us, and that not of ourselves.
5 “SO WE, BEING MANY, ARE ONE BODY IN CHRIST, AND EVERY ONE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER.”
6 “HAVING THEN GIFTS DIFFERING ACCORDING TO THE GRACE THAT IS GIVEN TO US, WHETHER PROPHECY, LET US PROPHESY ACCORDING TO THE PROPORTION OF FAITH;”
7 “OR MINISTRY, LET US WAIT ON OUR MINISTERING: OR HE THAT TEACHETH, ON TEACHING;”
8 “OR HE, THAT EXHORTETH, ON EXHORTATION: HE THAT GIVETH, LET HIM DO IT WITH SIMPLICITY; HE THAT RULETH, WITH DILIGENCE; HE THAT SHEWETH MERCY, WITH CHEERFULNESS.”
Paul has shown us seven gifts here that we need to look at very carefully, so lets look again at verse 6.
6 “HAVING THEN GIFTS” (the Greek Word Charisma) “DIFFERING” (Which differ - Each one of us has a different "Charisma Gift")” "ACCORDING TO THE GRACE THAT IS GIVEN TO US.” (God's enabling, God's empowering, motivational force in us)
Now, we are beginning to see why we refer to these as motivational gifts. Grace gifts are motivational gifts. This truth will become even more clear as we study each one separately.
Listed are the seven Grace Gifts in Romans 12:6-8 and seen below in Isaiah 11:2.
PROPHECY, MINISTRY, TEACHING, EXHORTATION, GIVING, RULING AND SHEWING MERCY.
Romans 12:6-8, “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether PROPHECY, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7 Or MINISTRY, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on TEACHING 8 Or he that exhorteth, on EXHORTATION: he that GIVETH, let him do it with simplicity; he that RULETH, with diligence; he that SHOWETH MERCY, with cheerfulness.”
Isaiah 11:2 “ And the SPIRIT OF THE LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of WISDOM and UNDERSTANDING, the spirit of COUNSEL and MIGHT, the spirit of KNOWLEDGE and of the FEAR OF THE LORD;”
All of these gifts can be seen very easily in the natural. They can, in fact, operate out of one's logic, reasoning or Soul, as opposed to one's Spirit, if you will. You can exhort someone out of your head! You can give or show mercy, or rule; all of these out of the natural, soulish part of you. Maybe you're saying at this point, "what about Prophecy?" It must be understood that this is prophecy given in the natural form, soulish, so to speak. The gift of Prophecy on the Spiritual level is in First Corinthians 12:10. Later on, we will see how this operates by looking at the life of Peter.
All the Gifts of First Corinthians 12 operate strictly out of the Spirit. There is no way the Gifts there can be manifested, except by a Spiritual Manifestation. In fact, that is what they are called in First Corinthians12:1. The Gifts of Romans 12 originate in and come out of the Soul. But, Paul is telling us that even these are motivated by God's Grace.
WHAT IS YOUR GIFT?
Our prime objective in this and the remainder of this lesson will be to identify the gift God has given you. Everyone has at least one of these seven grace gifts. It is the seven-fold ministry of the Holy Spirit in the Believer. So together let's go on to discover what your gift is. You will recognize it as we go through them. Once you discover your gift, then you can appreciate what Paul is saying; that God wants the gift in you motivated, and energized with His Grace. As we read Romans 12:1-2.
“I BESEECH YOU THEREFORE, BRETHREN, BY THE MERCIES OF GOD, THAT YE PRESENT YOUR BODIES A LIVING SACRIFICE, HOLY, ACCEPTABLE UNTO GOD, WHICH IS YOUR REASONABLE SERVICE. “
Paul is telling us, here that these Gifts begin when they are energized and under the control of the Grace of God.
2 “AND BE NOT CONFORMED TO THIS WORLD: BUT BE YE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, THAT YE MAY PROVE WHAT IS THAT GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD.”
It is up to us to surrender the gift given us by God, into the control of the Holy Spirit. The image of God is in every man whether he is regenerate or unregenerate. God created man in His image. But when we are regenerated, "born-again," then the Ministry of Grace enters in.
With all of that said, I pray that we now have a basic understanding of what Paul is wanting to tell us in Romans 12. Now, on to each gift. Along the way, you will see yourself in at least one of these gifts.
The word "prophecy" is derived from a Greek word that means "to speak forth." So it is not foretelling; it is forth-telling. So the person with the gift of prophecy is a person who is highly motivated to speak out and to speak forth.
This gift is always directly related to the proportion of faith God has given that person. In other words, Paul is saying when a person with the gift of prophecy speaks; he or she should do so according to the measure of faith given unto them. Now what is faith? "Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
Paul is encouraging those with the Gift of Prophecy to speak-out; tell things that they have heard from the Lord. He is encouraging the use of these gifts, and wants us to see the gifts, and to understand the gifts, and to accept your Grace Gift, in the Body of Christ.
Let's first look at the characteristics of the person with the Grace Gift of Prophecy. We see the Scripture example in the life of Peter.
(1) The need to express thoughts and ideas verbally, especially regarding right and wrong. A person with this gift has a strong motivating desire to express his or her thoughts verbally. They are an outspoken type of individual. Peter became the spokesman of the early Church.
(2) The tendency to make quick judgment, on what is seen and heard and to speak-up quickly. Peter would speak-up first, and spoke more often than any of the other Disciples.
Matthew 14:28 “PETER ANSWERED HIM AND SAID, LORD, IF IT BE THOU, BID ME COME UNTO THEE ON THE WATER.”
Peter was the first one to speak-up when he saw the Lord on the water.
Matthew 15:15 “THEN ANSWERED PETER AND SAID UNTO HIM, DECLARE UNTO US THIS PARABLE.”
No one else would ask the Lord what He meant, Peter is always speaking out. He was not afraid to speak out.
Matthew 16:16 “AND SIMON PETER ANSWERED AND SAID, THOU ARE THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD.”
Here Peter spoke for the whole group and was the first to speak again.
Matthew 17:4 “THEN ANSWERED PETER, AND SAID UNTO JESUS, LORD, IT IS GOOD FOR US TO BE HERE:”
Again, Peter was the one quick to speak-up.
Matthew 19:27, “THEN ANSWERED PETER AND SAID UNTO HIM, BEHOLD, WE HAVE FORSAKEN ALL, AND FOLLOWED THEE; WHAT SHALL WE HAVE THEREFORE?”
Concerned in what he was going to get, Peter never hesitates to talk, or to ask questions.
Matthew 26:33 “PETER ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO HIM, THOUGH ALL MEN SHALL BE OFFENDED BECAUSE OF THEE, YET WILL I NEVER BE OFFENDED.”
John 6:68 “THEN SIMON PETER ANSWERED HIM, LORD, TO WHOM SHALL WE GO? THOU HAST THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE.”
John 13:6 “THEN COMETH HE TO SIMON PETER: AND PETER SAITH UNTO HIM, LORD, DOST THOU WASH MY FEET?”
No one else asked any questions, but Peter was never afraid to speak-out.
Peter is a good example of the person with the Grace Gift of
Prophecy. He had a tendency to make quick judgments, and to speak-up and be
(3) The person with the Grace Gift of Prophecy has a great ability to sense when something, or someone, is not what it or they appear to be; and to react harshly to dishonesty. Peter's condemnation of the deception of Ananias and Sapphira resulted in their death. Peter had the Grace Gift of Prophecy, while in the gift category of First Corinthians 12, he moved in the gift of the Word of Wisdom.
A person with the Grace gift of Prophecy can discern very quickly right from wrong, good from evil. They want things right and they don't want to see anyone putting anything over on anyone. They are quick to speak out when they see something out of order or wrong. They have the ability to discern the character and motives of people. They want to see genuine repentance.
(4) A desire to reject those who have sinned, so that justice will be done, and others will be warned. Peter was reluctant to forgive his offender and asked how many times he had to put up with him? Or how many times must I forgive my brother?
(5) An openness about personal faults and failures and honesty about himself as well as others. Peter fell at Jesus knees and said, "Depart from me; for I am a sinful man." when he saw himself in the light of the Lord. They are very open and very frank, very straight-forward concerning themselves.
(6) Tendency to be impulsive in action and to be wholeheartedly involved in whatever is done. Peter was eager to walk on the water. He forbade Jesus to wash his feet. He cut off the man's ear.
(7) Tendency to be painfully direct in correcting friends. You always know where you stand with a person who has the Grace Gift of Prophecy.
(8) A desire to give open evidence of loyalty and total commitment. Peter assured Jesus that he would never deny him, and, tried to defend Jesus by cutting off the ear of the High Priest's servant.
(9) A willingness to suffer for doing what is right. Peter rejoiced for being counted worthy to suffer shame for Jesus when he was beaten, or for obeying God rather than man in Acts 5.
We will in our next lesson take up a couple other Grace Gifts.
Note: You will see yourself, either in this gift, or one of the other Grace Gifts, in the following lessons. It will not only allow you to see your gift, but others as well, making it easier to love other members of the Body of Christ.
In our last lesson, we looked at the characteristics of the Grace Gift of Prophecy. You either saw yourself there or visualized someone you know. In either case, that is spiritual growth, for your eyes are now opening. You should now begin to identify Grace Gifts, making it much easier for you to relate to others. If you didn’t see yourself in that gift, possibly you will in the Gifts of Ministry.
Ministry or Serving, in the Greek, literally means Ministry in the Ministry. This word represents the servant in his activity in the Ministry. Paul is encouraging the use of this Grace Gift in Romans 12.
We will look at the life of Timothy as an example of this gift. The Characteristics of a Servant (Gifts of Ministry) are:
(1) An ability to see practical needs, and a burning desire to meet them. Timothy’s desire to meet needs is confirmed by Paul when he said:
Philippians 2:20 “For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.”
Paul was speaking that concerning Timothy. Timothy was the servant to Paul. Timothy met Paul’s practical needs.
(2) A joy in serving. This is a person that is usually in the background, and content to be there. They are seen caring for the needs of others at every possible occasion. They will always make sure that fellow believers have a good seat even before themselves. They will be the one to volunteer to set out the chairs, and clean the kitchen, to help you find your lost coat or Bible. They enjoy helping others, it is their ministry.
These people are often accused of not being spiritual enough. They are seen setting on the front row, they are in the back, and making sure everything is ready for the next part of the meeting, serving the coffee, or whatever.
Oftentimes, they seem to be uninterested in the teaching, but they are functioning in the Grace Gift, the motivation God has given them. They are meeting needs, so others can minister in their gift.
(3) A tendency to disregard personal health and comfort in serving others. Timothy’s physical elements were revealed when Paul wrote, First Timothy 5:23 “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.”
(4) A person with this gift has a real difficulty in saying no, resulting in a variety of involvements, and a tendency to get side-tracked. Timothy was told twice by Paul not to get side-tracked.
Second Timothy 4:9 “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me:”
Second Timothy 4:21 “Do thy diligence to come before winter. “
It seemed that Timothy had a tendency to get side-tracked. Paul continues to exhort him to be about his ministry.
(5) They have a special enjoyment in providing for the physical needs and comforts of others. An ability to remember likes and dislikes of others. They always know what you like and don’t like, they remember how you like your coffee, or your favorite dish. They delight in meeting these needs.
(6) A need for appreciation, to confirm that the service is necessary and satisfactory. They have a need to be appreciated. Timothy was given more instruction by Paul than any other assistant that Paul had.
(7) A strong desire to be with others, by providing more serving opportunities. Timothy is almost always working with others; all through the book of Acts, you read over and over of Timothy serving others.
(8) They enjoy short range projects, they like to see what they do and get through with it. See a finished complete result, they enjoy this rather than a long drawn out job that seems to never end.
(9) A tendency to feel unqualified, for any spiritual leadership. Their ministry is in serving. Timothy was reassured by Paul that he was qualified by his ordination and by the training of his mother, grandmother and Paul. Paul was continually encouraging Timothy.
A FEW MISUSES OF THIS GIFT
(1) Neglecting home responsibilities to help others.
(2) Accepting too many jobs at one time.
(3) Exhausting themselves physically.
(4) Being too persistent in giving unrequested help to others.
(5) Not seeing proper authority in getting jobs done.
(6) Excluding others from helping on a job.
(7) Interfering with God’s discipline by premature help.
(8) Becoming hurt by the ungratefulness of those who were helped.
(9) Missing spiritual teaching and messages from the Pastor or Teacher, by being “in the back” too much. Not allowing others to minister to them. Overly concerned with what they are doing at the expense of their own spiritual growth.
Does your life exemplify the characteristics of a person with this gift? Can you now see this gift in someone else more clearly? Is it easier to relate to them? If I haven’t described you yet, I will in the coming Grace Gifts. We must, however, keep in mind these are the Grace Gifts not the Gifts of First Corinthians 12. These are the soulish gifts, and the place where growth begins after our spiritual re-birth.
Characteristics of a Teacher are shown very clearly in the Life of Luke.
(1) A Teacher has the need to validate Truth, to certify statements which have been made by others. Luke’s purpose in writing was,
Luke 1:4 “That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.”
To validate truth was the purpose of Luke’s writing.
(2) A tendency to validate new truth by established systems of truth. If something new comes along they will compare it with all the existing Truth, even the doctrine that they now have. They will compare this new Truth with everything else.
Luke not only relates the Words of Jesus to the Old Testament Prophecies, but relates his writings to other Gospel accounts.
Luke 1:1-3 “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; 3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,”
(2) They avoid illustrations from non-biblical sources. Nothing annoys a teacher more than hearing someone misuse the Scripture out of context, or someone using a natural example to explain a spiritual one.
(3) A teacher likes to give his credentials before speaking, and wants credentials from others before listening.
In other words, they want to know where your authority is coming from. Where did you learn this? Why should I listen? Can you teach me? What is your experience? Show me some fruit of your teaching. They are willing to abide by these rules themselves before teaching. A teacher wants to establish that he has something to share and to teach. Luke emphasized that he was an Eye Witness, a qualified Minister, and had perfect understanding of all things.
(4) A desire to present truth in a systematic sequence. Luke emphasized chronological approach, to set forth IN ORDER from the beginning, “to write unto thee in order;” similar things keep re-appearing in Luke’s writings illustrating the desire to present truth in a systematic sequence.
(5) A delight in researching, and reporting as many facts on a subject as possible. He has a willingness to back up what he says, with the Word from Genesis to Revelation. Luke’s Gospel is the longest Gospel. It includes material omitted from the other three. He emphasizes the completeness of his words in Acts 1:1, “The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,”
(6) An emphasis on the importance and accuracy of reporting. Luke gives precise descriptions of events and conversations, circumstances, and physical conditions, such as noting a GREAT fever, not just a fever.
(7) An alertness to factual details which are not noticed or mentioned by others. Luke’s account is filled with more details and names, events, cities, dates and other points than we see in Matthew, Mark or John’s account.
MISUSES OF THE GRACE GIFT OF TEACHING
(1) They become proud of their knowledge.
(2) Despising practical wisdom of uneducated people. They may start thinking that only they have the answer.
(3) Criticizing sound teaching because of technical flaws, usually to impress others of their knowledge.
(4) Depending on human reasoning instead of the Holy Spirit. They begin to believe that they have all the answers in their own understanding.
(5) Giving information that lacks practical application. They understand where they are coming from, and think everyone else will, as well.
(6) Boring listeners with details of research.
They feel they must prove it, often at the expense of losing the attention of the congregation.
Do you know someone who has this gift? Do you have the Grace Gift of Teaching? Let’s not forget, this is not the Spiritual Gift of Teaching of First Corinthians 12:28; it is a grace gift that you may have had all your life. It is a soulish gift. When a person with this gift is Born-Again, it is then necessary for that person to present their bodies, as a living sacrifice, and to be transformed by the renewing of their minds (souls, intellect). The mind is part of our soul, which is the mind, will, and emotions. Proverbs 23:7, “For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he:” Our heart (spirit) is changed by the new birth. That is part of our reasonable service. A born-again Believer surrenders all that they are to God, upon rebirth. This is what Paul is telling us; he is telling us, that God’s grace will now motivate that Gift in a different way, and it is necessary for us to now apply God’s principles to our life.
Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."
After reading this teaching it would seem to many that Jerry Golden has the Gift of Teaching. That, of course, would be true. The obvious question is, which gift are we talking about, that of Romans 12, or that of First Corinthians 12? One is a natural gift or Grace Gift, Soulish, the other is a Spiritual Gift.
For those of you who have known me over the past 28 years, it was only in the past seven or eight years that I have been teaching. Before that time, I preached as an Evangelist and Missionary, but never as a Teacher. In fact, I was teaching in places like Israel, Egypt, Cyprus, and other places of the Middle East for over a year before it occurred to me one day that I had been doing far more teaching than preaching over the past few months. It was not something I was ever able to do in the natural. Therefore, it is not a Grace Gift from Romans 12 with me. It is a Spiritual Gift from First Corinthians 12.
If you have the Grace Gift of Teaching, it is quite possible God will use you in the Spiritual Gift as well. God is only limited to His own law, not to our understanding. If this happens, you will know when the Holy Spirit takes over, believe me.
If you are still looking for your own Grace Gift, and haven’t found it yet, remain steadfast, it is coming. Also, one of these gifts will be predominant; others may be present as a “minor” gift for you.
ROMANS - THE GRACE GIFTS
When I first discovered what Paul was actually talking about in Romans 12, it blessed my life in many ways. It helped me understand my own gift ministry as well as understanding why some people were like they were. This truth, when understood, will bless any Assembly in the Body of Christ. It will, for the first time, give the believer a starting place in understanding what the Holy Spirit is doing in their life, and in relationship to the over-all Body Ministry.
When we understand the Grace Gifts we will stop trying to conform others into what we want them to be, or trying to make everyone look and act the same way. Instead, we will begin to be blessed to see God's Grace Gifts moving in others. Suddenly, you will begin to realize that God is doing a great work here on Earth, and He is doing it His way. We begin to see how all of these Grace Gifts are necessary, and that we are all members of the glorious Body of Christ. The truth is, these Grace Gifts will be a real blessing in your family as well. It will relieve a lot of tension, and frustrations, between the man and wife, you will begin to appreciate each other in a more God-like way. You will begin to see why your children are not the same, and why they are different. Praising God and loving them even more because of their difference, rather then wondering why they are not the same.
You see we are each looking at the Lord and His grace from a different prospective. That prospective is through the way the Lord has made us. It is my prayer that you will be able to take these truths and apply them to your life by improving your relationship with the Father, and with other members of the Body. Also, you will begin to understand why they are like they are, making your relationship with them more fruitful for our precious Lord Jesus.
Our example, from the Scripture, for this motivational gift is the Apostle Paul. The word Exhort is made up of two Greek words brought together, PAR-AK-ATH-ID-ZO. The latter part of the word means TO CALL NEAR, and the first part "PAR" means ALONG-SIDE.
Thus, and Exhorter is one who calls others ALONG-SIDE.
He is one who can stand off and observe that somebody is taking wrong steps; if they continue in that direction, they will end up with problems and frustration, if not disaster, in their spiritual walk. He can see where they are going and He calls them along-side. He exhorts them by telling them they are going the wrong way. He asks them to come and walk with him.
If he is exhorting others to come along-side himself, it then is very necessary for that one who is doing the Exhorting to be walking very closely with the Lord Jesus himself. This gift, like all the other six gifts in Romans 12, must be brought under the control, and the direction of the Holy Spirit, because, a person can operate in any of these seven gifts, outside of the control of the Holy Spirit. This is why Paul is telling us to submit our bodies as living sacrifices, to renew our minds (our souls).
Let’s look at a few of the Characteristics of this Grace (Motivational) Gift, by looking at the life and ministry of Paul.
(1) A person with this gift has the motivation to urge others to their full spiritual maturity in Christ. Paul's goal was to present every man perfect in Christ.
Colossians 1:28-29, “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect (or mature) in Christ Jesus: 29 Wherunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.”
Here, Paul is simply expressing his motivation, his Grace Gift which motivates him to go forward for the cause of Christ. He said it works in him strong, or mightily to speak to others to call them along-side, and to mature them to a place in the Body of Christ. A verse that goes along with this is -
Ephesians 3:7 “Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of god given unto me by the effectual working of his power.”
(2) An ability to discern where a person is in his or her spiritual growth, and to speak on that level. Paul saw the Corinthians as Carnal Christians, and spoke to them as unto babes in Christ.
(3) He has a desire to give precise steps of action in urging people towards spiritual maturity. He enjoys those who will listen to him and take directions from him. He becomes very grieved, and perturbed, with those people who will not follow his directions. Paul's writings are filled with practical counsel and precise steps of action on how to grow spiritually.
(4) He wants to explain truth with logical reasoning in order to make it accepted. He says, walk this way, or talk this way. Paul's writings on the Resurrection in First Corinthians 15 are a great example in how Paul writes in logical thinking. Reasoning was Paul's basic message in dealing with the Jew's, and the Greek's.
(5) An ability to visualize spiritual achievement for people, and tend to use this to motivate them into action. Paul was always picturing spiritual goals for his workers, and his Churches. He reinforced goals by the example of his own life.
Philippians 3:17 “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example.”
Paul says walk as I walk. Come walk with me. Visualize spiritual achievements for people, and use this to motivate them.
(6) A desire for a face-to-face discussion in order to determine and insure a positive response. Paul's longing to see his fellow believers was constantly
reaffirmed. Many times Paul used personnel conferences. Also, this is a person who would rather speak one-on-one than speak to a large group; because, he wants to give precise steps, and make sure they understand it.
(7) An ability to identify with people with different types of backgrounds in order to gain a wider hearing. Paul says in First Corinthians 9:22, "I am made all things to all men," (he is talking about cultural backgrounds, not moral conditions) "that I might by all means save some." To the Jew he became a Jew; to the Gentile he became a Gentile.
(8) A motivation to bring harmony between diverse groups of Christians, and an awareness that the harmony is basic to spiritual maturity. Paul worked very hard to resolve conflict between individuals, Churches, and Groups. The money he raised united the Jew's and the Gentiles. This was a motivation to bring harmony.
(9) An ability to welcome personal tribulation as a chief motivator of spiritual growth. Paul gloried in his infirmities; because, he saw that the infirmities brought in Christ's power in a far greater way. He asked the Lord three times to remove his infirmities, but ended up being told by the Lord, that his strength is made perfect in weakness. Second Corinthians 12:9.
A FEW MISUSES OF THIS GIFT
(1) This person will take family time to counsel others.
(2) He will treat family and friends as projects. He gives the impression that they are projects rather than loved ones. Or, loved ones that are just part of his ministry.
(3) He jumps into new projects without finishing the old ones.
(4) He will exhort others to get involved in a project then abandon it for what he thinks is a better one.
(5) He will disillusion some because of his changing from one project to another leaving them high and dry.
(6) Raising the expectation of others prematurely.
(7) Allow others to depend on their counseling rather than going to God. They enjoy the counseling to the extent that they feel themselves far too important.
(8) Trusting visual results rather than a true change of heart.
So as we can see the gift of Exhortation is not just a person going around saying nice things to you all the time. In fact, he can upset you and do it very quickly. What makes it beautiful is when you know this gift and recognize it in another, and then it becomes easy to accept it. Then, even when he corrects you it will be received in love, because, you know it is his or her gift, and they are perfecting the Body, as are all the other Grace Gifts.
Do you have this Grace Gift? Or know someone with this gift?
LET HIM DO IT WITH SIMPLICITY. (Not complicated) The virtue of one who is free from pretence and hypocrisy. One who has an openness of heart in his giving. The example in the Scripture of a person with this Gift is Matthew.
The characteristics are:
(1) A keen ability to discern wise investments, in order to have more money available to give. Matthew included more counsel on the wise use of money than any other Gospel writer. You see he had that gift before he was touched of the Lord; he was operating apart from God's grace. Once again I want to say that we all have one of these gifts, even before we come to the Lord. It is then we surrender it over to the Lord. It was the way God made us from the beginning. It is a motivation that is to be brought under the control of the Holy Spirit.
(2) A desire to give quietly without public notice. Matthew is the only Gospel writer that says we should give secretly, that God himself shall reward us openly.
Matthew 6:1-4,”Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
(3) A motivation to give as unto the Lord, at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and not at mans appeals. Matthew notes that when we give to the needs of fellow Christians, we give to Christ.
This person sometimes gets a little perturbed at all the pleas from all the Ministries by mail, by Radio, and T.V.
(4) He has a desire to give gifts that are of high quality. Matthew records in great detail the costly gifts given to Jesus.
(5) An ability to test faithfulness, and wisdom, by how people handle funds. Matthew reveals the foolishness and rebellion of those who misused what they where given.
(6) An ability to be content with the basic necessities of life. Matthew had wealth and wealthy friends, but he left all to follow Jesus. Their motivation is to give where it is needed, not to raise their quality of life higher and higher.
(7) An interest in what other people do with their money, and how they give. Matthew is the only Gospel writer that explains what the religious leaders did with Judas’ thirty pieces of silver, and also, how they paid the soldier to lie. He also keeps track with what others are doing with their money.
(8) An ability to see financial needs that others overlook. Matthew recalls Christ condemnation of the Pharisees for not supporting their aged Parents. He also details the fairness of paying all the laborers the same wage. Matthew 20:1-16.
(9) A desire to use giving as a way to motivate others to give. Matthew was a tax collector; his job was to motivate people to give.
Christ condemnation of the man who was forgiven much, but refused to forgive another who owed him a little.
MISUSES OF GIVING
(1) Giving too sparingly to their own family, causing their family to resent gifts to others.
(2) Judging those who misuse funds, rather than advising them.
(3) Controlling people, or ministries by their giving.
(4) Corrupting people by giving too much.
As you have probably already noticed, when we begin to shine the light on these gifts with the Word of God, it becomes easy to notice these gifts in others, as well as in ourselves.
Have you found your gift yet?
Next lesson we will begin with Ruling, and finish with Showing Mercy.
Much of what we are teaching in ROMANS 12 is being taught by many others. It is so important to have this foundation and understanding of the Motivational Grace Gifts before going on into the Spiritual Gifts. I did, however, feel lead of the Holy Spirit not to start this teaching with Romans12. But rather with the Spiritual gifts. It was just in the past few minutes I understood why God had me to do this. I will share it with you briefly now. Many would not have continued on had we not started with the Tabernacle. It took something rather unusual to get their attention. Isn't God wonderful, and He knows us so well. Now we will be able to put it all together in the next few lessons in such a beautiful way, don't miss the following lessons.
We have now covered five of the seven Motivational Grace Gifts of Romans 12. If you have not seen yourself in any of the five, you will certainly recognize yourself in one of the two we are about to cover, Ruling and Showing Mercy.
Once again I want to say that one of these seven Grace Gifts is predominant in every human, whether or not he or she is a Believer. You are, in fact, born with a God given Grace Gift. (This is not a Spiritual Gift, First Corinthians 12.) Paul is telling us that when we accept the Lord Jesus into our life as our personal Saviour, we are to surrender this Motivational Gift over to Jesus. We are to present our bodies (all that we are) a living sacrifice. And we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (our soul, our intellect) by turning even this over to the Lordship of the Messiah. This is the beginning of spiritual growth, and maturity. Many today go straight to First Corinthians12 and want to receive Spiritual Gifts, but have yet to surrender themselves over to the Lord. They are still in the wilderness and cannot come out with the power of the Holy Spirit, until they take this first step. They, in fact, open the door to witchcraft, and demons, by playing spiritual games, seeking signs and wonders without first surrendering themselves over to the Lord.
Now the gift of:
This is a Greek word "PROISTEMI" which translated means, "to stand before" or "the one standing out front." It signifies an intense effort and determination; speaking of the one who is leading, and going before.
We may also look at this gift as one of Organization, the one endowed with it going before, organizing and bringing it all together. We'll use the life of Nehemiah as our Scripture illustration of one operating in this gift.
The Characteristics of this gift are:
(1) The ability to project an overall picture, and its end result.
Nehemiah visualized the goal of removing the great affliction, and reproach, of God's people by rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. He saw the end result.
(2) The ability to break down major goals into smaller achievable task. In other words, they have the ability to organize, and involve others.
Nehemiah accomplished the huge task of rebuilding the wall by assigning many groups to work on smaller segments of it. He could see the end result where others couldn't.
(3) The ability to determine what resources are available and what is needed to reach their goal, and how to acquire them.
Nehemiah asked the King for the resources he knew they would need to rebuild the walls.
(4) A tendency to remove himself from distracting details in order to focus on the ultimate goal. He does not permit small details to sidetrack him. He concentrates or keeping everything working together to reach the goal.
Nehemiah did not get involved with the building of the walls himself, but removed obstacles, such as finances that would hinder the workers. Nehemiah 5:1-13
(5) The ability to endure negative reaction from insiders, and outsiders, in order to reach the goal.
Nehemiah experienced opposition from within and without in his efforts to rebuild the walls.
(6) They have a need for loyalty and confidence from those who are being directed and served.
Nehemiah brought together a great assembly of people against the Nobles and Rulers. He required oaths of co-operation from them. There was a perfect show of unity, without which this God-Ordained Prophet could never have accomplished.
(7) The ability to differentiate between what should be, and should not be delegated to others. He knows who to delegate certain tasks to.
(8) The ability to inspire and encourage others by his manner: cheerfulness, approving, praising, and challenging. He can get the best out of people on the job. They want to please this person by doing their best work.
(9) They derived great joy out of seeing something come together. They also get easily frustrated with delay.
A FEW MISUSES OF THIS GIFT
(1) Regarding people as resources instead of respecting them as human beings.
(2) Using people to accomplish personal ambitions.
(3) Showing favor to those who seem to be more loyal.
(4) Taking charge of a project without the leading of the Holy Spirit.
(5) Delegating too much work to others.
(6) Being unresponsive to suggestions and appeals.
HE THAT SHEWETH MERCY
A person with this gift does it cheerfully, not out of pity. Mercy means "not getting what we really deserve." Grace is getting what you don't deserve. We don't deserve eternal life, we don't deserve forgiveness; we get these by God's Grace. We do, however, deserve punishment, but, He gives us Mercy and doesn't pronounce that judgment on us.
The Characteristics of the Motivational (Grace Gift) gift of Showing Mercy are illustrated in the life of the Apostle John.
(1) He has a concern about relationships. John said in First John 1:7, " But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another." John is concerned with relationships.
(2) An ability to sense joy, or distress, in an individual, or a group. This person has a real sensitivity to hurts, pains, or joy. He is also sensitive to words, and actions, that may hurt other people. Often, he will know the truth that needs to be spoken, but, he won't say anything because he is afraid it might hurt someone.
John's teaching is on Love and relationships. He uses the word Love more than in any other Gospel.
(3) A need for deep friendship, in which there is mutual commitment. He tends to close his spirit to those who are insincere. He withdraws from a relationship when he senses insincerity.
John established a very close relationship early on with Christ, and with Peter. John was vested with the gift of Mercy, and Peter with the gift of an Exhorter. Together they made a great pair.
(4) A tendency to react when intimate friends are rejected. John, and James, asked Jesus if they should call down fire from heaven and consume the Samaritans who rejected Christ?
(5) This person will have a greater concern over mental joy, or distress, than they will over physical joy, or distress. John wrote to give his readers joy, fellowship, hope, confidence, and to cast out fear, and torment.
(6) He has an attraction to, and an understanding of, people who are having mental and emotional distress. He has compassion (mercy) towards these people. These people are also attracted to him. John's deep understanding of love, and acceptance, made it easy to understand why others would confide in him, as Christ did during the Last Supper.
(7) He has a need to measure acceptance by physical closeness, and quality time together. John sought out the closest place to Christ. John 13:23, “NOW THERE WAS LEANING ON JESUS' BOSOM ONE OF HIS DISCIPLES,” His need for closeness may have prompted his request to sit next to Christ in Glory.
(8) They have a desire to remove the causes, and hurts, and bring healing. John's message was to get Christians to stop hating and hurting each other.
(9) A person with this gift avoids firmness, and making decisions. If he sees he must do something to avoid further hurt, then and only then, will he make the decision.
John was a follower until it came to denying Jesus. Then he was bold and decisive.
(10) A tendency to be attracted to those with the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy. Often, you will see these two gifted people married.
MISUSE OF THE GIFT OF SHOWING MERCY
(1) Failing to be firm and decisive when necessary.
(2) Taking the sides of the offended without understanding the whole problem.
(3) Making decisions on emotions rather than reasoning.
(4) Prompting improper affection from the opposite sex. A person from the opposite sex seems to be drawn to the person with this gift; because of the ability to be sensitive, understanding, and a responsive listener.
We have now covered all seven of the Grace Gifts of Romans 12. You have seen yourself in one of these gifts, and possibly traces in the other six. However, one of the seven gifts is dominant in your life. As you have studied, you have seen others and their gifts. You now know why they are like they are; now you have a better understanding of how to Praise God for their gifts. You can now begin to exhort the gifts in other members of the Body of our Blessed Messiah. More importantly, now you know to bring your gift under the control of the Holy Spirit. If you have missed that, then you have missed all that Paul has said in Romans 12. When counseling or ministering to others, the first thing you must do is try to know, and appreciate, their Grace Gift in order to understand their point of view. In the next lesson, we will bring the gift ministries together. Now is a good time for you to review all the previous lessons, in order to get the most out of the next lesson. We will now place them all together as the Holy Spirit leads.
My desire in this lesson will be to summarize the first 22 lessons. We will be placing everything into the perspective in which He (God) gave them to us.
The Lord Jesus gave birth to the Church on the day of Pentecost. It was a type of creation, comparable to that of Adam. To create Adam, the first man, God gathered together a hand full of dust, and He breathed into its nostrils the breath of life, and Adam became a living soul. "Thus, Soul is what we are". We are then a Soul that lives in a Body that has a Spirit. When God created Adam, He created what would be in the future, a prototype of the Man Christ Jesus.
God provided a Bride for Adam, as He has for the Lord Jesus. God breathed life into the first man, Adam, and he became a living soul. God breathed life into the Body of Christ on the day of Pentecost, and it became a living Soul. The Church, in effect, became a Soul before God. It has a Spirit, it is a Soul, and it lives in a Body.
The Gifts of the Spirit relate to the Body in the same way. There are the gifts that relate to the Spirit, gifts which relate to the Body, and gifts which relate to the Soul. (These are gifted men who are given to the Body, for the edifying of that body.)
As the Spirit of God was breathed into the lifeless body of Adam, it became a living Soul. Even so, when the Holy Spirit breathed into the Church, it became a living Soul.
We are talking about the Spirit of the Body of Christ, and the Soul of the Body of Christ, because, the Body of Christ is also Spirit, Soul, and Body.
First Corinthians 2:14-16, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.”
First Corinthians 12:14-20, “For the body is not one member, but many. 15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 16 And if the ear shall say, because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? 18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. 19 And if they were all one member, where were the body? 20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.”
Where does the Mind of Christ function? In the Body of Christ, of course. He is also renewing our mind, so that the Mind of Christ can function within the sphere of our mind, or, if you would, our soul, because, that is where your mind functions. Now, I have said all of that to say this. The ministries that we have been talking about in First Corinthians 12 are by their very character supernatural.
Each one of them is something that isn't thought out, and decided upon ahead of time. For example, the Gift of Tongues. Obviously, the gift of tongues is not a message that you just decide beforehand that you will deliver. Because Paul says he that speaketh in a unknown tongue does not understand what he speaks, so that cannot be decided ahead of time. It is not a soulish thing, or an intellectual thing. The same thing is true of the Gift of Prophecy, (we are not talking here about the Prophet who is prophesying). We are talking about a person operating in the Gift of Prophecy. The Gift of Prophecy, as it functions out of the Spirit of a man, is the Spirit of God setting an anointing on an individual to address a circumstance for the sake of the assembly. It could not have been premeditated, because it was not previously known. For he that prophesies speaks unto edification, exhortation, and comfort.
Something needs to be said here. Many will find fault with it. God is very jealous of your privacy; He will not go and tell others things about you. When He wants you to be Exhorted, Edified or Comforted, He will have someone stand and give the prophecy needed, who may not even know you, or your circumstances. This Prophecy will be what He wants to tell you. God wants to be Praised and Worshipped. He does not have people stand and take His glory by giving prophecy after prophecy on one person after the other, making themselves seem to be something special. Be very careful with those individuals. First John 4:1, “Try the spirits whether they are of God:" Don't be fooled because they say something you want to hear. "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name,” He will say; “I never knew you: depart from me," Matthew 7: 22-23.
Each of the gifts of First Corinthians 12 are supernatural in their character. Where the ministries of Ephesians 4:11 are intended to bring about order in the body so that the body can function, and so the gifts of First Corinthians can produce profitable results. The union of these two, then produce the gifts of Romans 12, the Gift of the Soul (or Mind). After this is done, then one has the thought process, and the ability to function in the Body of Christ. Understand that when God created us, He said that, “it was good.” We have this terrible view of the ego of man. It may be well to know that ego is the way God created you. We are, each one of us, individuals. There isn't anything wrong with that. The problem is not in the fact that you have an ego; the problem is who is running your ego? There is any one of three people who might be running it. You might be running it; the devil might be running it; or, God might be running it. Of course, the ideal would be for God to be in control of your ego.
It is as if your Spirit is one large concert hall. The question is who is conducting the band. People have no problem telling when you're conducting it. They might discern if the devil is conducting it, (he is more subtle) but, it becomes evident when God is conducting that band. So then, the Spirit of man is the Spirit in which God functions bringing about harmony. God created this three-part being, so we could fully express everything, that God is in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. Because, the Spirit of man corresponds to the Father, the Soul of man corresponds to the Son, and the Body of man corresponds to the Holy Spirit. Remember, THE FATHER THOUGHT IT, THE SON SPOKE IT, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT BROUGHT IT ABOUT. So, all of this constitutes how God created us.
First of all, the foundations are laid by the ministries of Ephesians 4. Then God, by the work of the Spirit, begins to create the ministries of First Corinthians 12. We have an example of this by the Apostle Paul in Acts 19:1-3 when he went to Ephesus, and found there certain disciples. "He said unto them, "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? It is my understanding, that in order to be justified, all you have to have is Faith. Paul's message is that if a man believes the Gospel message of Jesus, he has believed unto justification. Romans 5:1, "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
After Paul found the certain disciples in Ephesus, and after he had asked them "have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism."
Today I hear Ministers say that one should follow the Lord in Baptism. Well, let's take a closer look at that. The Lord Jesus was not baptized for the same reasons you and I are baptized. The Lord Jesus was baptized to be brought into a Priestly Ministry in order to fulfill all righteousness. The Law of God required that. It was a separation unto His Ministry. You and I are not baptized for that reason. John the Baptist baptized the Lord Jesus. If we are following the Lord in baptism then we have the wrong Baptist. Because Paul comes up to Ephesus and finds these believers who were baptized by John's baptism, and that was not good enough. They had to be baptized again in the Name of the Lord Jesus, because the name is Authority. Under the Old Covenant economy, John came under the Authority of the Law. He baptized under the authority of that law. Now we come under the New Covenant, and we are baptized under the authority of the Lord Jesus.
There are those who will tell you that if you haven't been baptized under the "Name of Jesus" you haven't been baptized. That is ridiculous to say the least. When you talk about doing something in the name of someone, it doesn't mean you articulate the name. It means you are doing it by their authority. If this country sends an ambassador to China, he is going in the name of the U.S.A. Whatever he says, is in the name of the U.S.A. whether he says he is doing it in the name of the U.S.A., or not. Because, that is why he is there; it is his responsibility. So if you baptize someone in the Name of Jesus, or by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, you do it under the same authority. For all authority is given unto Him.
We read in Acts 19:5-6,
“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.”
A healthy Church is produced by the functions of these Gift Ministries. And when these ministries, shown by the seven lampstand (showing an Almond Tree) goes to seed, it begins to reproduce after its own kind. We then begin to see those ministries growing out of the shaft (Ephesians 4:11), maturing, and then moving back into these offices. For example, a teacher may find himself suddenly with the calling from God to become an Apostle (Missionary), or Prophet, or Evangelist, or a Pastor-Teacher, ַthen the whole process starts over until it reproduces itself again.
Your Church, your local assembly must reproduce, it must reproduce Pastors, Evangelists, Teachers and so-forth. Using myself as an example, I'll try to show you how it has worked in my own life and ministry. Over the years, I've seen the Holy Spirit move on literally thousands of lives, from men in prisons, to the average person in Churches across the U.S., as well as a large part of the globe. After some 20 years, it is not uncommon for me to find Believers who have been led to the Lord, by those I have led to the Lord. There are Missionaries in Israel, South America, Egypt, Cyprus, and only God knows where else, that I lead to the Lord. They have, in return, done much the same thing; this is reproduction.
This kind of growth only happens when one takes the Bible literally and stands on it. What happens, far too often, is that denominations begin placing limitations on God’s Word. They say God has quit doing this or that, and in so doing, strip the Church of its power to reproduce, unless it does it as social clubs.
It has blessed my Jewish heart to see that today many are coming out of denominational backgrounds, as well as, out of the Charismatic Movement seeking the whole Word of God. Sensing in their Spirits that we are about to enter into a most difficult time, and we will need the whole “Armour of God” if we are to survive.
It is my most sincere prayer that this teaching will cause a hunger in you, and others, to seek the truths that can only be found in the Word of God.
There are two kinds of Christians it seems, those on the front line shooting at Satan. Then there are those in the back, shooting the ones on the front line in the back. In what position do you now find yourself?
With these truths that the Lord has given me to share with you, you now have the knowledge to claim victory over that liar and devourer of men's souls. Serve notice on Satan today, in your life, your family, and in your Church, that he no longer can survive in your presence, that you are a child of the Living God. That Jesus is Lord of your life.
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