The Holy Spirit and His gifts
What you are about to read is a topic that I know has been well documented by others before and I initially thought that another would be superfluous. It appears that much misunderstanding, if not confusion, still exists in many peoples’ minds however and I find this distressing because many good people are simply and unnecessarily missing God’s best for them. This is not right!
Please stop for a moment and pray before you read further. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to you. This is what Jesus said that he would do.
When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.
For more than fifty years, I have found this to be so very true for me and for many others.
He has made Jesus real; revealed truth; guided and encouraged me and has occasionally lovingly chastised me for being naughty.
He is also the one who touches our hearts and stirs our spirits to tell us that we need salvation.
...I am going away to the One who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going.
It is a subject that gives me great joy to present to you, that, as I said, is already a much discussed topic, so I initially thought that it would be totally unwarranted.
When I started teaching about the gifts, I thought of my own early experiences and the ways that the Holy Spirit gave me understanding on these things to allay initial fears or misconceptions and to show me the importance of His graces—for they are gifts indeed.
When someone offers you a gift, I believe that you have to do one of two things. One is to receive it and the other is to reject it. By rejecting the offer, it is very likely that you offend the one offering that gift. Once a gift is placed in your possession, we believe that it then belongs to us and that it is not withdrawn.
This may sound like I am splitting hairs on terminology, but false perceptions (mostly due to lack of knowledge of the truth) can at times cause harm in people’s lives, hinder them from receiving the fullness of God’s blessing, or perhaps offending or grieving Him.
Another preacher told of a man who visited an Arab country for business purposes. When proceedings had finished, this gentleman was looking forward to returning home and his hosts told him that they wanted to present him with a gift. He graciously declined, simply wanting to go to the airport and fly back home, but they insisted. They explained that it was their custom and would be offended if he did not accept, so he agreed and said that he would like a golf club. They agreed and he returned home.
Some time later a man he did not know came to his home and asked him to accompany him to take delivery of his golf club. The businessman had been thinking of a golf club, such as a driver, iron or a putter, but they were thinking of a golf club complete with clubhouse, greens, lakes and the like. They were saying the same things, but had totally different things in mind.
Christians can say similar sounding things, but have totally different concepts on what God really did say in His word.
I have found this to be very true even in my own experience because I was raised from childhood by God-fearing parents who were lay leaders in our denomination, but the things of the Spirit—the things we are discussing here were completely wrong, despite the way I was raised and cherished the relationships. My father was what we called the Priest’s warden, appointed to essentially run the parish administration wise. Priests temporarily boarded in our home. I was christened and confirmed, attended Synod, became the protégée of one of the priests, took communion, was much involved in all the parish activities but lacked one thing. I was not “saved”. The new birth experience was never taught at all. I eventually drifted away from the church, but a seed had been planted inside me and it took twenty-six years to grow. On September 1st 1968 at 7:30PM, I met the Lord Jesus Christ and was born again. I am so precise about this because it was indeed a supernatural encounter with the Living God, much like the encounter a man called Saul had on the dusty road to Damascus (i).
A month-long crusade was being held by another church in town. It was one of those churches I knew were in town but never bothered to investigate who they were, what they did or what they believe. I simply formed and opinion! Mutual friends who attended that church invited me to attend and, not wanting to offend them, tentatively agreed, kept putting it off. At that time, my younger son Gary took ill and was admitted to hospital with an incurable ailment that was causing the ball joint in his left leg to decay. The doctors could not help because they really did not know what it was and what to do about it. They showed me the condition in x-rays and it was alarming. These dear friends asked if they could pray for Gary and I readily agreed. Jesus healed him and he returned home in the closing days of that crusade. I went to the last two meetings and it was on the last night, I met the Lord. My onw early experiences were dramatic, but one thing that vivdly stands out is the fact that the bible became real to me and what I read in it lined up precisely with the things that happened to me. The manifestaation of the Holy Spirit was one element that drew my attention and this is precisely what Jesus said His role would be.
I share these things because God has not changed (ii). Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (iii) and His word has never changed (iv). The people I knew then and many of those I know today have changed the rules. They believe that the days of miracles are over. They believe that people like the apostles and prophets no longer exist. They do not believe that speaking in tongues is valid and necessary today and they certainly do not believe that the Gifts of the Spirit remain in operation today.
Many wonderful people can read the bible and not see it the way God sees it. They may have a pre-conceived religious mind-set about things and not see that the days of miracles and the things of the Spirit are far from over and that they are valid and vitally necessary. They are looking at a “nine-iron” but God is looking at the whole “golf course”.
With regard to spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.
See also Romans 12:1-8 Galatians 5:22-25 Ephesians 4:1-16
Our study outline is as follows-
Overview & definitions
The vocal gifts
The first group of Gifts we shall consider are the three Vocal Gifts comprising the Gifts of Prophecy, Diverse Tongues and the Interpretation of Tongues.
The revelation gifts
The following group of Gifts we shall consider are the three Revelation Gifts, comprising the Word of Knowledge, the Word of Wisdom and the Discernment of Spirits.
These Gifts are the ones that Reveal things.
The order in which the Gifts are mentioned has been chosen purely for convenience sake and ease of study. We consider every one of the Gifts of equal importance, because each individual Gift is best applied for a particular need or circumstance at a given time.
The power gifts
This group of Gifts are what I call the Power Gifts, or Gifts that Do something. They are powerful and as with all the Gifts operate by faith.
Anyone who is spirit filled may operate in them. They are not restricted to full time ministers, but to anyone who seeks and receives them. A good example is found in Acts 9:10-12, when Ananias had his experience with the Lord who instructed him to go to Saul and minister to him.
Ananias was not one of the first apostles. We do not know if he ever preached or pastored a church, but what he did in obedience to the Lord’s command has had a profound affect on all of Christianity and he flowed in the Gifts. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if he had refused to go to Saul.
The point I want to make is that anyone, preacher, layman, man, woman, boy or girl, educated or not, ordained or not can receive and flow with the Holy Spirit in all of these things.
To bring this topic to a conclusion, we shall share some practical matters that may be of help to you.
It is evident that much misunderstanding, misconceptions and misuse have occurred, but we cannot discount these gifts simply because of error and other mistakes, They are provided to help us in everyday life and in ministry life. We need balance.
The following shares things that are valid and practical
I think I have covered most of the major issues and will leave you with this-
Covet earnestly the best gifts (for you) and apply the love principle.
Subscribe to our Email publcations
Our ministry is registered with the Australian Government
Bashan Ministries ABN 83 173 400 921
PO Box 109 Stirling South Australia 5152
© 2021 All rights reserved