The gifts of The Holy Spirit are just that. Gifts from God resulting from His Grace and Love towards us and are designed to be used for His Purposes as well as to help us do His Will.
You can ask for them or 'impart' them. But it is up to God whether or not they are given. If He does not give the gifts requested then Satan will try and give you his version of corrupted gifts and at times will succeed because a gift is expected and the source is expected to be The Holy Spirit. As The Holy Spirit does not give this gift Satan fills this empty spiritual space with His version of the 'gifts'.
You do not need to ask for gifts, guidance or understanding. These are all promised when you live according to Mat 6:33. Not asking, but waiting for God to give one avoids this trap of a false gift being given to a person. Its being given also shows the start of the period when it is to be used as well of the ministry it is to be used in.
Gifts, like the Baptism of The Holy Spirit, are given for the purposes of service and are really part of the anointing (authorising) a person to minister in a certain area God has promoted them to minister in.
‘Signs and wonders' are for evangelistic purposes while gifts are given to minister to a citizen of The Kingdom of God. This is why healing is mentioned as a gift and as a sign of evangelism. The gift of healing used in evangelism is to demonstrate to non-Christians the power of God over Satan and his works and that The Kingdom of God has come to them while the gift of healing is to demonstrate the Love of God to His people
Spiritual gifts are given for one purpose only. It is to assist a person in doing their work as a citizen of The Father's Kingdom and through their correct usage bringing Glory to Jesus. Any other reason is a misuse of the gifts, makes the gift an idol and is a sin against God if deliberately done.
The gifts are given as God determines and not because someone asks for them. If God was to give you what you ask and it was not beneficial for you it would cause you to stumble and/or sin. Accordingly, God gives you only what you need. It is we who desire more than we should and in doing so can allow demons to give us their corrupted gifts, who will gladly help us 'achieve' what we should not have or do as well as express these gifts in the way they desire them to be manifested.
The true test of a person's gift is whether it is used for the purposes of The Father or for their own edification whether they use their God-given gift to promote The Kingdom of God or to promote their 'own ministry' achievements.
By their fruits you will know the source of their gift.
Ministries that advertise that at their services you will receive The Holy Spirit or gifts of The Holy Spirit, be healed or prophesied over or other gifts will be present are misusing the gifts and the anointing they are using them to sell their ministry and not to glorify Jesus unless they have asked Jesus and have been told what will happen to specific people. Even then it can only be in regard to some people and not all who will attend the service. They are also ignoring the role people have to play in having a right attitude towards God to be able receive the gifts as well as the fact that the gifts of The Holy Spirit are a result of promotion and for service and not for self-edification and their expression is for the purposes of encouraging the faith of a person.
They are ignoring the fact that God determines what gifts a person has as well its expression and also where and when He desires these gifts to be used. It is in these types of services, that advertise the gifts are to be given to anyone, that demons step in and place their 'gifts' on people in place of The Holy Spirit. Beware of people freely giving the gifts and anointing of The Holy Spirit to whoever asks for them.
1 Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
And The Holy Spirit is the one who decides how they should be given:
1 Cor 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
They are given to unite The Body and to help each other care for one another:
1 Cor 12:25 That there should be no schism (doctrinal division) in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
Each of us is given the gift(s) we need to play our part in The Body (Kingdom)
1 Cor 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1 Cor 12:10 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:
Rom 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; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching: 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.
1Cor 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; To another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another, discerning of spirits; to another, divers kinds of languages; to another, the interpretation of languages
Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
These are the three main lists of spiritual gifts. Note the five-fold ministry are also a gift from God and are not earned by working or studying but by the maturity in your relationship with Jesus and are provided by Jesus to help you minister in the area He has sent you to minister in. In other words they are not the result of years of service in a denomination or church or seminary, university or other types of degrees or certificates. One wonders what God makes of the modern system where these five 'gifts' are 'learned' and 'exams' passed to be given the right to use them even though God may not have approved the person to minister in the position for which he has been qualified by man's criteria.
There is a ‘cloud’ over the fivefold classification because it is found in a book not considered to be written by Paul but by another using his name so that it was not something Jesus taught and may really have no biblical authority for existing.
I will give a brief description of the gifts then discuss other relevant points about some of them later in this chapter.
The various gifts are as follows in (alphabetical order)
Apostles: An apostle is someone sent by a person in authority on a special mission to represent them. In a Christian context they are sent by Jesus to evangelise in areas churches do not exist and to establish these churches. It is of no use to send them to preach the gospel; to churches where it is already known.
Apostles do not stay after they are established a church and administer it as that is not their role and they do not stay and spiritually minister after it is established as that is a pastor’s role and not theirs.
A church cannot declare anyone an apostle unless Jesus tells them to as they are His representatives and not a church’s representative. God alone can give them the ministry for which He declares them to be an apostle of His.
They will stay in a place for a period. Either to found a new ekklessia or to spiritually strengthen the group they are staying with. Then they will move on to new areas.
An apostle does not go to an establish Church and stray there afterwards as that is not their role. If they do that they are not apostles but pastors, teacers or administrators. In fact a church can only declare someone an apostle who is going to leave them and go out and church plant in places where there are no churches. They cannot declare a person an apostle and leave them in the church to minister.
So any apostle who says they are sent to an established church is deceived as they can only be teachers, pastors or administrators as apostle is sent away from established churches to work and not to an established church to minister in.
If they are sent to a church for any other reason it can only be as a prophet or teacher usually to warn the church when the prophets in the church are not doing this.
Discerning of spirits: The ability to tell the nature of a spirit in a person, whether it belongs to Jesus or Satan. There is also the ability to look into a person's soul and see what their spirit is like. Often a person’s eyes will show the spirit in them, and even demons in them looking out through them.
Evangelists: The ability to tell clearly the good news of the Gospel of The Kingdom as well as demonstrate it in some way (through signs and wonders).
Exhorting: The ability to encourage another to persevere in their trials and suffering and endure whatever is happening to them.
Faith: The ability to believe God when others would have given up doing so.
Healing: Physical and spiritual healing of a person. Spiritual and inner healing is done in the deliverance ministry, which is part of the Pastoral Ministry but which every Christian should be able to do. Physical healing is more the gift this refers too.
Remember. The gifts are for the church while the miracle of healing is for evangelism to demonstrate The Kingdom of God is there
There may be lessons to learn through the illness
You may have asked for the wrong reasons
Jesus may delay it to use the healing to bring someone into The Kingdom
The demon causing the illness (and the sin associated with them) has not been dealt with
Jesus may be using the illness to show His reality to others as you endure it in faith in Him even though He is not healing you
Through the example of your faith in the way you deal with the illness you will Show His Lordship and sustaining power
He may want you home with Him in heaven (The example of Hezekiah shows what can happen of you are healed and God does not desire it because of what will happen afterward).
Other reasons we do not know about (Duet 29:29, He only tells us what we need to know)
Whatever happens well be for your eternal best (Rom 8:28)
Mercy: The ability to show God's love when others cannot. Everyone can show love and compassion but these people can do so when others find it hard to do so.
Pastors: Those who look after the people of Jesus on a day-to-day basis, pray for them and minister The Word to them. Bishops and similar are just pastors who mentor other pastors.
These spiritual leaders do not get involved in worldly affairs such as administration or maintenance (see Acts 6). Their role is to wait on God then advise people of what God says. They are mentors and counselors relying on God to tell them what to say to people.
There is a gift of administration which anyone running the physical organisational side of a church or oranisation needs to have. People like deacons and elders who oversee the day to day running of an ekklessia are examples of people who should have this gift.
Prophets: The ability to speak on God's behalf in regard to future events or current situations. Their gift is used to correct, encourage and warn but also to call people to repentance, especially those that are out of a proper relationship with God. Anyone with the gift of prophecy who is not calling people to repentance when God says too is not using their gift properly.
Prophets should be warning leaders of nations and telling them what God says they should be doing but are not!
Ruling: stewardship of others under their authority and possessions. These people have a gift to be able to organise and maintain things, using wisely what God gives them to be stewards of, whether it is people or assets. These are the people you want running the church finances and administration. They will be deacons in the church and not elders as elders minister the word and pray (See Acts 6). It is also handy for the running of a family.
Teachers: The ability to teach the things of God correctly and clearly to people in a way the people can clearly understand and apply them.
The word of knowledge: The ability to tell of things unknown in the natural by them or another about a person or object. This is to do with things a person does not know but needs to know to minister to them self or others.
The word of Wisdom: The ability to give God's guidance on a situation, problem or question that is not covered by the Bible. (Wisdom is applied knowledge).
The working of miracles: The ability to change supernaturally natural events. Note: All the gifts are empowered by The Holy Spirit and as people pronounce their faith in Jesus and His authority He expresses these gifts in this world through people and uses them to minister through people to others.
Tongues: (Various kinds of languages). There is only one type of this gift. It is the ability to be understood in a language foreign to the one you speak, (demonic and angelic tongues are still a tongue that is foreign to us).
Tongues, Interpretation of: The ability to understand what a person is saying in a language that is foreign to you.
Both are mentioned together as if they only really are both used together and not individually. One is of no use without the other. Without the interpretation you do not know if it is from God or Satan. There is no need usually for interpretation in the church service as there should usually be no 'tongues' as it is only for communicating to others who do not speak your language and that is not usually necessary in a church service.
Eph 4:12-13 summarises this as follows
For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
For bringing to full maturity all those who have set themselves apart for Jesus, to help those in the offices appointed by God to minister in the way God desires them too, for the building up of all those who follow Jesus until we come to a common agreement and unity in our belief in and knowledge of Jesus, to the level of maturity He requires of us who have The Holy Spirit's presence in us.
The gifts are given for the benefit of all and not just for the benefit of those considered worthy of them.
Webster 1 Co 12:7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the proftt of all.
God gives everyone the gifts they need to live the Christian live.
Websters 1Co 12:4-7 Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are various kinds of service, and the same Lord. There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all.
The Holy Spirit gives them as He wills in accordance to need of the ministry or service and not as we think we need them.
I quote two verses:
Webster Jam 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, nor turning shadow.
Webster Mat 6:32-33 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first God's Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.
All good gifts come from The Father so you can ask Him to release them towards you but only if you are seeking the good of His Kingdom and are wholeheartedly seeking His righteousness and ministry in accordance with His Will for His Kingdom. But it is The Holy Spirit who distributes them as He thinks necessary and works through your faith to release them as He tells you too. He is the one whose presence is in you and knows what you need and what God wants you to do with whatever He has trusted to you with.
Laying on of hands
The uses in The New Testament are as follows:
For the healing of the sick. Laying on of hands on the sick and their being healed are a sign of a follower of Jesus.
(Mar 5:23) And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
For the Impartation of a gift.
(1Ti 4:14) Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
The Holy Spirit would have told them to impart these gifts or healing or it would have been a sin to try to do so without God's authorisation. A prophet or someone with the gift of ‘Words of Knowledge’ announced the gift to impart and then it was imparted.
Note the conditions:
The person to impart the gift may be any mature Christian who has been authorised by God to impart that gift. The gift must be ordained by God (authorised) so the gift is really from Jesus (and at His direction) and not the people actually laying on hands. They are just carrying out the orders of their Lord and Master. It is Jesus that authorises the gift to that the person under the guidance and empowerment of The Holy Spirit.
It may also be a group of people who have Jesus as Lord of their life and service and so represent Him and hear Him clearly to know what He wants them to.
Gifts must be in accordance with the Will of God so should not be quickly or carelessly given. Time must be taken to ask The Holy Spirit what type of gift(s) to give as well as when to give them and not just assume these things. To assume and not ask God may result in sin and the warning here is against people who go around supposedly imparting the His Gifts of The Holy Ghost at their command and direction while ignoring God's Will in this matter. The devil will gladly give gifts in place of those of The Holy Spirit. The people they are 'ministering' too are receptive to a gift and are open to it because they have been told that they are to receive one and have usually not checked with The Holy Spirit to ensure it is from Him.
(LTi 5:22) Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.
1 Cor 12 is the main passage on spiritual gifts and is coupled with 1 Cor 13 the main passage on what God's quality of love really is.
It is no coincidence that the gifts are mentioned followed immediately by the main passage on God’s quality of Love which I how to express the gifts and any type of ministry.
So many people desire the filling of The Holy Spirit as they desire Spiritual power and Spiritual Gifts! There is nothing wrong with that if it is asked for the purpose of The Kingdom, for showing the Love of God in ministering to others and to defeat the work of God's enemy, Satan. But if Love for others with the desire to serve them is not the motive for the Gifts then those imparting them or receiving them have missed the purpose of them and God will not give them gifts to use but the devil will try and substitute his own version of these gifts. The Gifts are an expression of God's Love and should be ministered in that way!
After talking about the gifts in 1 Cor. 12, Paul says"I will show you a better way!" then talks about God's type of Love. Remember that the Fruit of The Holy Spirit all flow from the first one - Love, which flows from and is a result of God's Love awakening a responsive chord in you!
The Nature of The Holy Spirit is Love (Because He is God so everything he gives to us must be expressed in that quality of Love or it will not b e expressed as God desires us to express what He gives us to use on His behalf.
Desire the Fruit of the Spirit so you can live like Jesus! It is no use having the gifts if you are not living the life! The Gifts you can live without. But without the Fruit of the Spirit you cannot live as a Christian should. If you do not express God's Quality of Love how can He give you a gift based on His Love? For the gifts are a weapon of God to destroy the works of the enemy in a person. Notice that all the gifts are for personal ministry. Miracles are for evangelism, the gifts are for ministry to The Church but that does not stop using either in the church or evangelism.
Paul emphasizes the Love of God working through you as being greater than any Gift of the Spirit!
If I do something and the Love of God is not revealed or released as do it the act will be based on expediency and selfish purposes. Even though it may be morally good and appear the correct thing to do it may not be the Will of God and may be done for the wrong reason but God may still use it for the sake of the recipient of the gift but you will reap little or no reward for that service.
The Love of God in you releases the Fruit of the Spirit so that the action is done in the character and attitude that Jesus requires of His followers.
As a spiritual child one is expected to behave as a child (selfish). But as a mature follower of Jesus, the Love of God should be expressed in all you do!
When all is over, in heaven there will only remain three things in relation to you:
The Love of God in you and the resultant activities and relationships formed by this with Him and others,
Your faith in Jesus and His promises,
The rewards Jesus promised you in heaven, the knowledge of which helps you to endure the sufferings resulting from obeying Him.
Desire Spiritual gifts but remember that the greatest of all gifts is Love, for in it is found the purity and nature of God from which all things flow!
Turning to this passage
Spiritual Gifts can be imitated by demons (as can miracles Rev 16:14)). So Paul is about to give a lesson in regard to the source of the Christians' Spiritual Gifts, what they are and how they are to be used.
vl.Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
The people of Corinth had obviously seen demonic spiritual gifts in their worship of their gods and had been persuaded to follow the idols (demons) that showed these gifts before t hey became Christians. So they would have been familiar with the demonic manifestations of the 'gifts'. They had carried over into their Christian life some of the aspects of their understanding of these demonic gifts so Paul has to teach them the gifts from a Christian perspective to counteract this wrong learning so they would understand how to use the gifts properly.
Gifts from demons are used for selfish purposes and the purposes of Satan. Gifts from The Holy Spirit are used to serve The Kingdom and those in The Kingdom.
Satan knows the attractive power of demonstrating gifts and miracles so his demons use these to attract people. It is interesting that the 'gift' Satan uses most is the false equivalent of prophecy and words of Knowledge, the consulting of psychics, mediums and astrology.
Many follow Satan (often unwittingly or unknowingly) as result of demonic appearances, prophecy (mediums and psychics) and manifestations. If the church was to demonstrate the Power and Glory The Kingdom it too would attract people and not lose them to Satan and the spiritual; demonstrations by the various religions of the new age.
This lack f demonstrating The Kingdom of Jesus is why the western church is dying .
Christians have the source of their gifts in the Lordship of Jesus Christ over their lives. God will not trust you to minister to His people (with a gift) if you are not going to listen to how He wants you to use it (as directed by The Holy Ghost).
v2-3 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
There are different types of Gifts. They are used in different circumstance and manifest in different ways but the source is always The Trinity. The Holy Spirit gives you a gift so you can serve The Lord Jesus for the purposes of The Father.
v4-6 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
We are reminded that the purpose of the gifts is to help others. The moment we identify our self-worth with the degree of expression of these gifts through us, we either become proud at being used or depressed at not being used enough. The gift becomes an Idol being used for purposes other than that which God intended it for.
The reason we need to listen to The Holy Spirit in regard to their use is so that we do not evaluate them according to our understanding of what we should be doing with them but according to our obedience to God as when we are obedient to God we are doing His purposes so we know we are using the gifts as we should.
We do not need to know why God is using that gift, only that it is serving His purposes.
The other comment to make is that everyone has some gift From God which they are required to use for His service. Gifts are also a reward for service and promotion as you are prepared for a new and greater area of service. Greater in the way God defines greatness and not as man determines or reasons it to be.
v7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
Word of Wisdom: This is different to prophecy, which is God's telling of future events and guiding His people through this. The Word of Wisdom is used in counseling to guide people through everyday problems. It is supernatural as it is to do with things that cannot be reasoned out under the normal rules of Guidance.
Word of Knowledge: is the ability to tell others of things that cannot be humanly known by a person as they are either secret or unknown to the person counseling or at times the one being counseled and cannot be discerned naturally. This gift is usually used when a person cannot see what to do next so God gives them a hint.
v8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
The gift of 'Faith: is given to all who become Christians but here refers to faith that exists in spite of all that is adverse and contrary to it as the person has the assurance of God that what they have their faith in will come to pass. It is the gift given to martyrs so they can face death.
Healing: is supernatural (of the wounded soul and/or spirit) or natural (of the damaged body).
v9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
God is sovereign and can do what he likes, however what He does is logical and rational. He also works within the guidelines He has mandated. To work outside the guidelines He has given both us and Satan would make Him a hypocrite.
We are also to remember that He is Love and all He does is in Love, that He sees the overall situation and in control of it and that healing may not be what is necessary for His purposes either now or later if at all!
Will it give God Glory?
Does it show God’s quality of Love?
Will it further His Kingdom?
Is it what is best for the person?
Does it go against the rules He and Satan have to abide by?
God is sovereign and can act when people are not able to make a decision for healing such as in:
Mental incapacity (unable to understand they need healing or know what it is)
Too ill to be able to decide whether they need healing or not
Not conscious to decide as they are so ill
God may not heal immediately. The sickness may serve the purposes of His Kingdom and bring Him Glory and the waiting be what you need to mature as He desires you to.
This may also be to have the illness recorded by doctors as well as to show that medicine cannot cure it. So that when Jesus heals the illness, it will witness to doctors the Power of God. This is why you do not stop taking medication after a healing until a doctor takes you off it as this witnesses to the healing.
So healing may not be instantaneous but be delayed. This is why you need to ask God why there is no or little healing as it may be His purpose not to completely heal immediately
The Lord is concerned with the whole person and not just the immediate need of the person and healing may not be a need for wholeness at that time.
At times, God uses sickness to remove you from the world and the activities that stop you hearing Him so He can do a greater purpose in you or through you as you do the task He has prepared for you to do in this illness.
Evangelism - Signs are for non Christians
To show God is greater than Satan
Too show His Kingdom has come
Build up the faith of Christians
Heal people from damage Satan did to them - either mental and/or emotional damage or Physical damage
To Show He loves you
God does not have to heal - It is part of His Grace towards us that He does
Do we have the faith necessary to believe God can do it? The faith as big as a grain of mustard seed? One of the smallest of seeds.
Will it go against Gal 6:7-8 (We sow what we reap). We may need to repent of things we have done.
God's Mercy minimises physical damage but some things cannot be undone such as a pregnancy by a single mother.
Calvary removes all the spiritual consequences but not necessarily the physical consequences
Is sin preventing healing?
Is deliverance needed?
Is repentance needed?
The Person's free will does not accept that divine healing occurs
The person does not want to be healed
Wrong motive for desiring a Miracle
Self-promotion/self-esteem obtained by being used by God to heal
Not done for God's Glory
Not done out of love for the sick person
As usual The Holy Spirit is to be consulted before you act in The Name (Authority) of The Lord Jesus to ensure it is His will to heal and that you are acting in His Delegated Authority.
Miracles: are manifestations that control nature or natural things. What occurs as a result of the miracle will not naturally be possible and will go against what reason says should have happened.
The ability to Discern Spirits is not the ability to see them but to know in your spirit whether they are of Jesus or Satan and sometimes what the actual demon is behind the gift. This gift is vital for the 'Inner healing and deliverance' ministry which is the main reason it is given. This gift is also used when it is needed to 'test the spirits'.
Demons can control weather and animals and this discernment of spirits can tell you whether God or they are behind the weather, animal or other types of activities so you can deal with these things appropriately.
The true gift of Tongues is manifest in service of The kingdom of God as Jesus is proclaimed to a people who do not speak the language you speak. This means that there is no excuse for not speaking to anyone in your language about Jesus. The gift of tongues may be given you as you speak and the person will understand what you are saying about Jesus and His Kingdom.
People misuse this gift of tongues as it is designed for evangelism and expanding the Kingdom of God and not for prophesying. Prophesying is a separate gift and tongues is not needed if you are prophesying to people who speak the same language you speak. God showed at Pentecost that tongues were to be used for evangelism. The evangelism conducted at Pentecost by the apostle Peter, is the only example of the use of tongues in the Bible as if to indicate this is the only real use for that gift.
Salvation is found only in a relationship with Jesus and the evidence of salvation is not works (tongues) but a changed life that lives for Jesus and not to exhibit gifts, miracles or knowledge.
v10 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:
The whole purpose of the Gifts is to build each other up and by this build and unify the body and manifest God in this world but only as led by The Holy Spirit so that the purposes of God are achieved.
v11-14 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many.
Remember that demons can copy the gifts and miracles. The test of the working of a gift is in the type of fruit that results in the person being used to impart the gift as well as the manner in which this gift is expressed in the life of the person receiving this gift.
If the gift is from Jesus it will give God Glory, further The Kingdom of God in someway and assist the person it is used to help
Joh 14:13-14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
The purpose of the guidance of The Holy Ghost is to know the Will of God so it can be done on earth. As we declare God’s will in prayer or command in His delegated Authority The Holy Ghost (Acts 1:8) brings it into existence.
The process is as follows:
In Heaven, Jesus has mandated something is to occur
We go to The Lord Jesus and ask Him what His Will is and He tells us it in line with the mandate He wants expressed on earth.
He will tell you what it is (or as much of it as you need to know to do what is necessary for it to be brought into existence).
You then go out and declare it through prayer, a command or action.
The Holy Ghost is the go-between in all of this
The Holy Ghost then brings it into existence on earth.
You can see the importance of being able to hear The Holy Ghost so you can hear what God desires you to do.
This is the usual way God has chosen to work on earth through our obedience to Him. As a King though, He reserves the right to work directly with people when they are not able to hear or are not listening as well as to plan battles and attacks on the enemy and set them up in the spiritual realm.
We are His representatives on earth, His ambassadors, doing His work in a foreign enemy land. (Remember our citizenship is in heaven and not earth, so earth is a foreign land to us spiritually). Those not doing His work or representing Him are tourists and not ambassadors. They may think they belong to the Kingdom of heaven but may not and need to evaluate their role in this foreign land very carefully in case their eternal salvation is at risk.
You represent Jesus when you do what He desires y ou do, whatever it is and whether or not it is done publicly.
While the Gifts may be used for evangelism to show the Love of God the main reason for them is to guide, build up and heal the body of believers that form the true church. Man's reasoned ways and management systems cannot meet the spiritual need of the Body of Christ which is why church management programs and counseling based on man's psychology (and similar) do not meet the needs of this spiritual body. This is the reason why churches that neglect the Gifts eventually 'die' or stagnate spiritually having the form of Christianity but not the empowerment to show they are different to man's organizations.
Denominations or churches are not The Body as they are not recognized in heaven and indeed have no outposts in heaven.
The true church is one and indivisible, not a denominationalised system where each has their own slant on theology and denominational rules or creed. Paul deals with this and the unity of the body after he lists the gifts.
12-14 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many
We are saved into The Kingdom of God and not a denomination. We are baptised into Jesus (and His Kingdom) and not into a denomination! We are baptised into the church of Jesus - one, indivisible, each part needing the others. If one part does not perform its part all the other members will suffer! Remember! Jesus does not recognize denominations, churches, ministries and similar but only the Body and its assemblies and members.
That there should be no schism (doctrinal division, the basis of the different denominations) in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
When this verse is fulfilled then will the true church completely defeat the enemy of God in the authority of Jesus and the Gifts and Power of The Holy Spirit.
The early church turned the world upside down. What did they have to do this?
The Delegated Authority of Jesus to remove the works of the enemy (exorcism of objects, deliverance of people Mark 16:17, his plans, his purposes, and his infrastructure)
The encouragement, guidance and empowerment of The Holy Ghost
The Gifts of The Holy Ghost and Jesus
Complete trust in God's Power (Authority), Plans, Purposes, Provision and Protection
A knowledge of a contemporary Jesus (that He had existed, did what He said and was very real to them as a person and God)
The first four points are what God gave them to use, the latter was the relationship they had with Jesus, The Holy Spirit and God.
Many of the modern churches in the West states the first and third points are no longer applicable to this modern era and so are not available to modern Christians. They serve a callous and uncaring God who expects them to do the work of the early church without the equipment God gave the early church to do His work and wonder what God no longer works as He did in the early church.
God says in Malachi 3:6 "I change not" and in Rom 11:29, that he does not withdraw His gifts. He cannot have recalled the gifts He gave to the early church to use and has not changed His mind about our using them. If God has changed His mind about using the gifts today then Rom 11:29 is incorrect and the Bible is in error and thus cannot be believed as the inerrant Word of God. God would also clearly have stated He had done this or else He would not be able to condemn us for ignoring them.
To ask people to work in a supernatural sphere without the supernatural provision of God is callous and inappropriate. But this is what many in the western church ask its members to do. They have removed the supernatural element from the battle and wonder why 'their' church is dying and not achieving what God requires it to achieve.
They pray, it is true, but do not do what God asks them to do. He gave us the authority to cast out demons, to heal the sick, to preach The Word with miracles and did not tell us to ask Him to do it for us. The church prays and wonders why God does not act when most of the time He wants them to act. Prayer is important but it cannot replace the 'word of command' or our responsibility to act as He requires us to.
Jesus demonstrated The Kingdom of God and taught about it. He destroyed the works of the enemy and set people free from the enemy's bondage. Jesus said these signs would follow all who were led by His Spirit (Mat 16:17-18):
Cast out devils;
Speak with new tongues;
They would lay hands on the sick, and they would recover.
If you are not:
Preaching The Kingdom
Illustrating it by using your delegated authority to deal with devils,
Using the Gifts of The Holy Spirit,
Removing the works of the enemy in a Christian's life (deliverance and healing),
Destroying the works of Satan and
Walking accordance to the guidance and empowerment of The Holy Spirit (signs and wonders)
If you are not doing any of these then you are not living as the early church did and are not doing the work of Jesus, unless you are resting from the battle, teaching others to fight the battle or learning how to fight it.
If you do not use the supernatural weapons and gifts that Jesus gave you then you will be using the methods and coping systems of the world to compensate for the apparent lack of empowerment you have and the church will appear to them as being no different to them except that you are more moral and disciplined in some areas than they are. If the world cannot see the supernatural in your life, that Jesus and The Holy Spirit are still at work in the world, then they will not see any reason to follow your beliefs and that means they will see no reason to follow Jesus.
They will see the church as just another organization or social thing and will go to the New Age or Satanism where the supernatural is occurring because demons know this is what attracts people. Without the supernatural element the church is not a relevant faith to follow which is why cults are so easily able to lead people from the true church.
Unless the supernatural is relevant in your life you are not relevant to all who would want to follow Jesus and who would be encouraged to put their trust in Him. You are also not representing Him and His Kingdom as He requires all His subjects to destroy the work of the enemy in people and society.
If you are knowingly rejecting or not doing any of His work how can you call yourself a citizen of His Kingdom and a follower of Jesus (a Christian)? His early followers were noted for doing His work (evangelism, deliverance and teaching of the Kingdom) and loving others as He loved them. If you are not doing this then what will you say to Jesus when you are asked to give an account of how you used your life on earth?
You will not be judged for trying to use the gifts and not succeeding or incorrectly teaching the Kingdom out of incorrect knowledge about it. You will be judged for not bothering to do either when you knew you should have or for not studying The Bible to learn what it says about them.
When the church demonstrates The Kingdom of God with power and authority and with His Love flowing through them to the people they are sent to minister too then it will attract people to His Kingdom. Otherwise it may as well be a social club for all the relevance it will have to the world and God's enemy.
And Satan will watch it and laugh at it as it does not do what God desires it to do to defeat him.
Can Christians ask for more gifts than they have? Yes! But should they? No! Gifts are to equip us for ministry and are given by The Lord to equip us in an area in which He wants us to minister in. You only need more when a new area of ministry opens up and if God does not give it to you Satan may try and give you his version in place of God’s.
Desire more gifts only if you are willing to pay the price to obtain the gift and be prepared to suffer to be moulded to receive them and work in a ministry where these gifts will be used in. Desire the ministry and not the gifts and God might prepare you to minister in that ministry and give you the gifts you need to do so.
God is economical and gives you what you need and not what you do not need. To be given a gift you must prove you are worthy to receive it and this is done by obedience in trials and suffering as well as by being a good steward of what you already have so God can trust you with more. He will then trust you with more people (ministry) and also with what you need to minister to these people (spiritually authority, gifts, finances and similar).
God will not give you ministry in an area you have not shown that you are able to minister correctly in. Unless you rule your family in the way God desires you too He can never give you people to lead on his behalf. Unless you are a good steward of what He has given you He can never use you in an important position of stewardship (either spiritual or physical).
God expects you to minister to the best of your ability and there is no requirement but obedience. To be a leader He has made requirements and until you fulfill them you should not lead another.
As you faithfully walk in the principles of Mat 6:33, you will be given all the training you need to minister and/or lead that includes the anointing to minister in an area of which the gifts are a part of.
Another side effect of this walk is that you will show more and more of God's Quality of Love in your life as you draw closer to Him through the increased Lordship and the resultant changes in you increasing your openness to His Character as expressed through you by The Holy Spirit.
Gifts are not given because we are spiritual. They are given because we have been obedient and have been spiritually promoted. With the promotion comes the necessary giftings to add to the ones you already have.
To seek a gift you are not ready for and then have a person try to give it to you opens you up for Satan to give you his counterfeit version of the desired gift. You are not in the Will of God by desiring something He does not want you to have so are open to attack by Satan.
To desire a gift to make you more spiritual is idolatry as it is put before what Jesus wants you to have. To desire it to serve Jesus is how you should desire the gifts. Remember He will give you what we need, not what you think you need.
Ask The Holy Spirit and He will tell you unless you ask Him from a wrong reason.
Any gifts you have will be relevant to the ministry God has given you but not to any one you assume you have. Also, any gifts you assume you have may not be relevant to the ministry you have and as they are nonexistent will usually cause problems trying to use them in the ministry you do have.
Gifts will be naturally expressed in the way you hear The Holy Spirit tell you to use them and when you use them you will minister firstly to Jesus and then to others (Matt 25:40).
They will also be in The Bible as being one of the Gifts of The Holy Spirit.
They can never be taken away (Rom 11:29) but you can drift away from God so you do not hear the Spirit's voice clearly and cannot use them as He desires you to and Satan can influence them (he can give similar gifts to his followers so knows how to use them against God). We can only properly use the Gifts of The Holy Spirit for the purposes of Jesus in conjunction with the guidance of The Holy Spirit. So not to hear His voice means you will not be able to use the gifts as effectively as you would if you were in a proper relationship with Him.
If you blaspheme The Holy Spirit He is removed along with all else except the gifts but these are taken over by Satan so are no longer used or if they are, they are perverted by Satan.
Should one test themselves to see what gifts they have and what gifts they want or think they need?
To do this assumes you are the person who chooses the gifts you need and not God and that you need to see if God has not given you a gift you think you need. You are saying God does not know what He is doing as He has not given you something you believe you need.
The Father gives them to Jesus who allocates them as we need them and then the Holy Spirit imparts them to us. You are given the gifts you need to minister for Jesus and not the ones you think you need or others say you need. So to say you need a gift and then strive to obtain it because a test shows you do not have it is to leave yourself open to Satan giving you a polluted version of that gift.
A problem with the church is that people seek gifts they do not need and Satan gives them his version so that they minister from the flesh and not The Spirit. They act as if they had the gift and wonder why it is not as it should be when they use it and often will rationalise what happens so it appears what was suppose to happen actually happened.
Do not seek to obtain a gift because God will need to take you through suffering and trials to prepare you to be able to properly use that gift in the way He desires it used.
How much are you willing to suffer to be prepared for a new area of ministry and receive the gifts you will need for that new area of ministry?
Develop the ones He has given you and wait for Him to prepare you and give you any new gifts when He has prepared you to be able to use these gifts properly in the ministry He is calling you to.