Treasures New and Old
Elkmont Baptist Church
Beloved: Grace and Peace
Exercising Our Spiritual Gift(s) - Manifestation Gifts
Spiritual gifts became a serious area of contention in the early church and has occasionally raised its ugly head in the church over the last 2,000 years. Why? Mostly because of pride and greed. John speaks in tongues - why can't I? Susie has the gift of healing. Shouldn't everybody have that gift? From pride, jealously, and greed spring forth the contention that divides the church. Indeed, there are denominations today that consider you less a Christian if you do not at least speak in tongues - a clear outward sign that you have had the baptism of the Holy Spirit (or baptism in the Holy Spirit). These phrases don't exist in the Bible, and the Holy Spirit does not baptize us. In John 1:33, John the Baptist tells us that Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.
May God bless you all!
Yet these manifestation gifts seem to be the most coveted: tongues, healing, a prophetic utterance, etc. These manifestation events are the result of exercising our motivational gifts under a certain circumstance that God has deemed needed a special outcome - like healing. Let's look deeper.
God's Spiritual Gifts Manifestation List in 1 Corinthians 12
Manifestation gifts are different than those listed in Romans 12 which are more related to what motivates us to serve. Whereas a manifestation gift is an outward, visible exhibition or result of exercising our Romans 12 gift in certain situations at certain times. For example, God has allowed us to see some amazing healings in our church over the years, but not all the time. Healing is not generally considered a motivation gift, nor is it an office in the church (like teacher, prophet, preacher, etc.). When is the last time you stepped into a church and went to the healer's office? That's just an example. When we pray and anoint as instructed in James 5, many of us pray for the sick or afflicted and our motivational or office gifts are not evident - the manifestation gift of healing is however.
The Greek word translated manifestation is
. Literally it
means an exhibition, expression, or revealing of something (Wordsearch's Strong's G5321). Please note that although we display such a gift - a manifestation occurs only when the Lord wants it to be in play.
Gift List #1
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one
is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another
kinds of tongues; to another the
interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Before we look at the various gifts in the list above, I would ask the question - who profits from these manifestation gifts? The words
is actually a single
compound Greek word
which means to collect, profit, bring together, take
advantage (Strong's G4851). So a direct translation would be "profiting." So who is profiting? We will see in the next set of definitions.
Word of Wisdom:
(Strong's G3056, G4678)) Who profits from a word
of wisdom? Let's say you are trying to counsel a fellow Christian, and you need a breakthrough. You ask God for wisdom. A verse comes to mind and you share that verse with the other person, and light bulbs go off in that person's head. Insight is given and understanding dawns. Or you are in a committee meeting at church and you and the others are wrestling with a serious problem. God gives you a word of wisdom and the issues have a clear path for correction. In these two cases, the word of wisdom profits the hearers of the word more than the speaker.
Word of Knowledge:
(Strong's G3056, G1108)) Different than a word of
wisdom, this gift is about knowing something, usually hidden. It is very close to discernment in that God gives insight to a problem or into the person's life. You share a principle of Scripture. Someone rejects that principle by claiming an exception he/she experienced. On the surface it sounds good. But then God gives you an insight, and you ask a question of the "exception person." They hang their head and admit that the exception had a fatal flaw that they had hidden from you. The whole room profits from the lesson God taught that day.
) ". . .
, that is
the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially
in such profession; by extensive the system of religious
itself: assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity" (Strong's G4102). Quite
a wide use of the Greek word
. Who profits from faith? The believer who has been
given faith and those around him/her. Interesting that few clamor for
) to cure, healing (Strong's G2386). I wish I had this gift. I'd go around
and heal everyone I could. This gift is given by God to any believer who is praying for healing either for themselves or others. James 5:13-15 has directions regarding healing. Who profits? Those that are healed and those whose faith is strengthened when they see/hear of the healing.
Working of Miracles:
) The effect of force or power is the literal
meaning (Wordsearch's Strong's G1755, G1411). A miracle can result in anything God wants it to be. It is the display of His power and the effect it has on a person or the church. Your car goes over a huge section of washed-out road that should have resulted in a thousand-foot fall. A miracle. Angry enemies surround the missionary's hut but never attack, and later the missionary discovers that angel warriors surround them unseen by the missionary - a miracle. Who profits? The missionary, his/her family, and the enemies who come to faith partly because of the miracle.
) to make predictions (Strong's G4394), to foretell. If a true
prophecy, it will be truth, and it will come true. This is not exactly the same as the gift of a prophet who speaks God's truth to the people, but it is a foretelling of something that God wants revealed. Joseph interpreted dreams and, therefore, foretold what God was going to do in the future. Who profits? All that listen and obey.
Discerning of Spirits:
(Strong's G1253, G4151)) People often try
to say or do things that just don't seem right but sound good. When Satan tempted Jesus, he did so with truth but with satanic intentions. Did you notice Jesus never called him a liar? Satan said things that were true but with the intention of binding Jesus to Satan's will. When a believer is faced with a decision and "voices" take different position regarding it, a discering gift is needed at that moment to see past the words to the intent. The result is having God guide you because He showed you intents behind the words or actions. Who profits? Depending on the situation, the church as well as the individual.
Kinds of Tongues:
) Note that divers in the King James is
italicized meaning the translators added the word to help it fit English ways of speech.
means kin, diverse people, nations, offspring (Strong's G1085).
speech or language (Strong's G1100). This gift is NOT some angelic or heavenly speech or language, nor is it gibberish. It is the language of other people. In Acts when Peter speaks, the different peoples who were at the temple that day all heard in their own language. The miracle that day was in the hearing, not the speaking! Who profited? All who heard it. (I actually think that Peter didn't even know what was happening until after he spoke.) If one speaks a foreign language in a church setting, it is to be followed by an interpreter. If not, it benefits no one (except the speaker), and Paul warned about this behavior in 1 Corinthians 14 (particularly 1 Corinthians 14:14). This is the most sought after manifestation gift called a sign gift. Unfortunately, those who practice it tend not to know what they are saying, and few interpret it for them with a word from God.
Interpretation of Tongues:
(Strong's G2058) (
)) To correctly
interpret or translate what was said in a foreign language (Strong's G2058, G2059). Paul also talks about an unknown tongue/language - which means it can't be identified by anyone who hears it. Such a gift is for the edifying of the person himself, but the church does not get profit (1 Corinthians 14:4). The gifts are given for the edifying of the church. Self-edification should be limited among us.
So the main reason that we might seek a manifestation spiritual gift is to edify the church (not mainly ourselves) and, out of love, share God's truth (prophesy). Any believer may exhibit a manifestation gift if God deems the need appropriate. God never commanded us to seek and obtain a spiritual gift - but He did tell us to teach and make disciples. Where our focus supposed to be?
to sign gifts, isn't it?
upon Christ for
[computer software] . Franklin, TN: Equipping Ministries Foundation. (Original work published 1890)
Strong's Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.
Meyers, R. (2005). e-Sword.
Strong's Talking Greek_Hebrew Dictionary.
Wordsearch Bible. [computer software] . Nashville, TN: LifeWay Christian Resources. (Original work published 1890)