Spiritual Gifts vary from individual to individual! These gifts are many times given to people before they are born! Many prophets, kings, teachers, etc were ordained from their mother’s womb to be who they were or are!
One example of this is Jeremiah the prophet!
5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you [and approved of you as My chosen instrument],
And before you were born I consecrated you [to Myself as My own];
I have appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Another example is King David!
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
14 I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].
The last example I will share of this will be John the Baptist.
Luke 1: 13-17
13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.
16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.
17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, because your petition [in prayer] was heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him [g]John. 14 You will have great joy and delight, and many will rejoice over his birth, 15 for he will be great and distinguished in the sight of the Lord; and will never drink wine or liquor, and he will be filled with and empowered to act by the Holy Spirit while still in his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel back [from sin] to [love and serve] the Lord their God. 17 It is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous [which is to seek and submit to the will of God]—in order to make ready a people [perfectly] prepared [spiritually and morally] for the Lord.”
As we can see from these scriptures these people had a calling or gifting on their lives before they were born! Although they were called or gifted they still had to make the decision to follow that calling or use the gifting or anointing on them. Many people have an anointing for specific purposes and never recognize or use it!
A person can operate under the anointing and callings but still miss the Kingdom of Heaven! Just because you have a gift or anointing does not mean you have accepted Jesus as Lord of your life. He is more than a Savior, He has to be Lord also!
Do you recall Judas? The disciple of Jesus. Do you recall all the disciples operated under the anointing and gifts of the Spirit as Jesus walked with them here. He gave them all the ability to walk under the anointing of healing, even Judas.
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
This included Judas!
John 6: 70
70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
Amplified Bible (AMP)
70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve [disciples]? And yet one of you is a devil (ally of Satan).”
So, this to me is proof that someone can operate under the anointing but yet not have a converted heart. The scripture in another place in Luke 22:3 speaks of the devil entering the heart of Judas at the supper.
This being said let us go on the list of Spiritual gifts and try to get an understanding of them as the scripture presents them.
In the book of Romans, we find this list.
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.
In the book of 1 Corinthians we find this list:
1 Corinthians 12:8-10
8 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 you can see the gift prophesy is listed in Romans also!
The next place we see Spiritual Gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12.
1 Corinthians 12: 28
28 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.
Tongues are mentioned in the other scripture in 1 Corinthians also.
Another list of the Spiritual gifts are listed in Ephesians 4:11
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Some scholars and teachers consider some of these offices instead of gifts. I will not argue the purpose but that they are all anointing’s of God for the advancement of His kingdom.
Prophesy: Gives insight to future events and this can be warnings of punishment, blessings, end times, etc.
Remember when the prophet came to the gathering where Paul and his company were at? Acts 1: 10-11
10 And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus.
11 And when he was come unto us, he took Paul’s girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.
This was a modern day prophet warning Paul that he would be put in bonds when he went to Jerusalem.
We rarely see this in the local Ekklesia in modern times. This is also a work of the Holy Spirit!
Ministry: This comes from the word “Minister”. When we think of a minister we normally think of a Pastor, Evangelist or Speaker of some sort in the Ekklesia leadership. Although this can be a type of ministry it is not the complete definition of ministry!
The New Testament ministry involves the entire Ekklesia as it really literally means “to serve”, even as in waiting on tables as it was rendered in the book of Acts!
Whether it be helping others, waiting on others in need, preparing the sanctuary, mopping the floor, taking out the trash, evangelizing, pastoring or preaching the gospel on the streets or in the jails, ministering is to be a servant that edifies the Ekklesia and reaches the lost! This is also the work of the Holy Spirit!
Teaching: This is one of the most important of the gifts if any can be more important that another
This definition comes from Bible Study Tools .
Although several Hebrew words are translated “teach” in English translations of the Old Testament, two words predominate: yara [h’r”y], “to point out, ” and lamad [d;m’l], “to goad.” In the New Testament Greek words more frequently used are didasko [didavskw], “to teach, ” katecheo [kathcevw], “to instruct systematically, ” matheteuo [maqhteuvw], “to train disciples, ” paideuo [paideuvw], “to train, instruct, ” noutheteo [nouqetevw], “to correct, counsel, ” parangello [paraggevllw], “to command, order, ” and paradido [paradivdw], “to hand down tradition.”
Teaching is mentioned many times in the scriptures and Jesus was called teacher by many people! No doubt, teaching is at the heart of God! This is a way people learn of the plan of salvation! The scripture teaches us! The Holy Spirit teaches us! Jesus was a great teacher!
Parents are equipped through the scripture to teach their children and ministers and teachers are equipped through a calling and anointing to teach congregations or even small groups in homes.
Exhorting: This is derived from “Exhortation” This word is “paraklesis” in the greek! It carries the meaning of exhortation or consolation. To build up on in the faith! This is also the work of the Holy Spirit!
Giving: This is an expression of our love for God and our fellow man. The scripture teaches us it is better to give than receive. Lets look at the book of 2 Cor, 8: 1-3
2 Corinthians 8: 1-3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
1 Now, brothers and sisters, we want to tell you about the grace of God which has been evident in the Ekklesia of Macedonia [awakening in them a longing to contribute];
2 for during an ordeal of severe distress, their abundant joy and their deep poverty [together] overflowed in the wealth of their lavish generosity.
3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave voluntarily,
As we look at this set of scriptures we see:
Giving out of their ability
These folks considered it a privilege to contribute to the necessity of the saints in Jerusalem! They even begged Paul to take the money he knew they probably needed for themselves!
This contrary to what a lot of folks have been taught is not a tithe! These folks had not been beaten over the head with the tithing stick, they gave abundantly from the heart, not from constraint or commandment! More on this subject in this article on tithing.
Ruling: This term means to have dominion over or reign. AS this is administered in the Ekklesia setting of the New Testament we see on several occasions where Paul appointed overseers or rulers of local Ekklesia when he left to go to other areas. The Disciples also appointed overseers or rulers over congregations. A pastor may put someone in charge over a Class, a ministry in the Ekklesia, etc., he or she would be considered a ruler in that position he or she has been appointed to. So, to rule well would and is a great ministry. This is also a function of the Holy Spirit.
Showing Mercy: This means to show compassion and love, not just have feelings or emotions about a situation. Actually showing the gift to those in need! Human nature is to not show very much mercy to our fellow man but the very nature of God is showing mercy on his creation! This is part of the very nature of God!
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Word of Wisdom: There are several different opinions of this term but my opinion is, that this is a word of scriptural wisdom given by the Holy Spirit in a given situation to a person or body of believers! Once this word has been given we will find peace and rest In our hearts about the situation as the Holy Spirit will bear witness to the truth!
Word of Knowledge: This is closely related to the word of Wisdom but in this instance the Spirit reveals the heart of another or to know what God is working in their lives. Through the word of knowledge we can minister more accurately to people as the Spirit reveals to us the condition or need.
Faith: This is talking about a faith apart from saving faith. Every believer has saving faith in order to trust Jesus as savior and liord. WE have all been given that portion of faith when Jesus is revealed to us through teaching, preaching, personal testimony, singing, etc. This is not the Gift of faith referred to here! This Gift of Faith is like the faith Stephen had! It is a faith that moves a mountain, stands in the face of adversary, walks through fire, stops the mouth of lions! It goes far beyond saving faith! This kind comes from building a close relationship with the Father! This is a trust and confidence in God that cannot be shaken!
Healing: With this gift we truly see the compassionate heart of God! We need to keep in mind it is know and the gift of healing! We are not healers, God is the healer! We are only instruments God uses at specific times and allows His gift to be ministered to others through us as we have faith in His desire to heal.
This gift is certainly tied and related to the gift of faith! It takes great faith in God to be able to administer this gift! All of the disciples had this gift and we see it at work when Peter commanded the cripple man who was laid at the gate called Beautiful to arise and walk!
Working of Miracles:
Here are three definitions of miracles from three different dictionaries.
1. An intervention in the natural universe by God
2. A phenomena that transcends natural laws
3. A divine act by which God reveals Himself to people
In each instance, it is God who does the work and not man.
This is another gift that requires the gift of faith. Like the gift of healing this requires the individual to have great faith in the working of god in a situation. Miracles are humanly impossible to perform but with God there is not difficulty in them at all!
Miracles are supernatural works of God and not man! We can only see the natural but God works in the supernatural! Every man has been given a portion or degree of faith and this is a gift that requires great faith in God as it always works in the supernatural!
There are many miracles mentioned in both the old and new testament! Many of these miracles were administered through people like Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Elijah, Etc. In the New Testament we see them being administered through the disciples and other converts. Jesus himself did many miracles as a man! He was filled with the Holy Spirit and was living and working all His works a man ordained of God, not as a God!
The laws of nature do not pertain to our creator as He made everything! He literally spoke this world into existence! What a miracle that was! The supernatural!
Discerning of Spirits: As we look into this gift we want to share this scripture with you,
1 John 4:1
1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
We certainly need to know if a spirit is of God or not! Just because things look or feel good do not make them Godly! Many people and even Ekklesia leaders miss Gods will and purpose because they sometimes mistake something they perceive as good to be from God when in reality it is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing! Satan is the master of disguise and the master of emotions as well!
Being able to discern spirits gives one the ability to know or understand the spirit involved in situations and personalities. Many times this is not evident to the natural because it can only be spiritually discerned! This is a wonderful gift and can bring much needed help to Ekklesia leaders if they observe and follow this gift!
Divers kinds of Tongues: This gift was given to be a witness to the unbelievers as it was in the book of Acts when Peter and the other disciples were speaking in divers kinds of tongues. The scripture tells us there were many different nations represented there and every man heard them speaking in his own native language!
This is a wonderful example of divers kinds of tongues and the results were that several thousand people were converted when Peter preached Christ to them. The fact that they were able to speak in divers kinds of tongues convinced the people that they were ministers of God!
Interpretation of Tongues: This is a very important gift as it deals with the divers kinds of tongues. If we speak in tongues in the congregation we either need and interpreter present of we need God to give us the interpretation ourselves. Speaking in tongues in this manner is like every other gift, it is to edify the Ekklesia! Every gift is to edify the Ekklesia! As the Apostle Paul so correctly stated, how will the ignorant and unlearned agree with you if you speak in an unknown tongue? Interpretation is necessary if the Ekklesia is to be edified!
This is not to be confused with the spiritual tongue that is used when we speak unto God through the Spirit! This is a totally different thing.
Apostles: This is looked more upon as an office or calling than if is a gift. I tend to agree with this view. An apostle according to my understanding was one called by Jesus who interacted with Him and was a witness of His death, burial, and resurrection. Now that being said, Paul considered himself as an Apostle. I would not disagree with him as Jesus himself called him into the ministry!
Paul became one of the most fervent preachers and witnesses of the New Testament and wrote over 1/3 of the books contained in them. He certainly had an encounter with Jesus himself! This left a mark on him and created a fire in him that could not be altered or extinguished by the gates of hell!
Helps: the Greek definition for the word “Helps” used in 1 Corinthians 12:28 is, “antilepsis”, and means “rendering practical aid and support.”
So this being said, it is an office or gift that is to encourage and be assistance to any need our pastors or Ekklesia’s have! Does your pastor have a vision for the Ekklesia, then aid him in that vision in whatever way you can. This office or gift in a person makes them become more interested in helping others succeed and become more effective in their work and they look to others well being above their own. It does just what it says, it helps others in whatever capacity they need help in.
Governments: This gift or office as it may be is an office that can be related to the office of administration as the definition of the Greek word, “kubernesis is” to steer” or “to be a helmsman”. Obviously, this office is designated to guide and lead congregations or bodies of believers through troubled seas and into calmer waters! These people are gifted with leadership skills and understand people. I would suspect that the discerning of spirits would be a gift that would operate in many of these people also!
Evangelist: A publisher of good tidings! More than not it is associated to missionary ministry. Phillip was called an evangelist and we find nowhere that he was a pastor or leader in a Ekklesia. He went from city to city and place to place preaching the good news of the gospel! This seems to be the thought implied to evangelist. One who takes the good news to places that have never been evangelized, to folks who have never heard it.
Pastors: This word in the Greek is, “poimén”. The meaning od this word is, “Shepherd, Someone who watches over the well being of his flock. Someone who cares for the sick and weak in the flock. They are the feeder and protector of God’s flock here on earth in a local congregation. They are given rulership over the local Ekklesia where they pastor.
As we can see from this list, there is no reason the Ekklesia of Jesus Christ should be lacking in any gift or office in this world! If these gifts and offices are working in the local Ekklesia as they should be, the Ekklesia would again turn the world upside down! As the writer states in Hebrews 12:1,
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Let us lay aside pride, deceit, lying, envy, division, etc. that we may be able to operate in the gifting or office we have been ordained to work in! Let us acknowledge Jesus not only as Savior but also as King and Lord in our lives!
Again, we need to recognize that God is above us and we are to honor him as Lord!
Romans 12: 1-2
1I 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.
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.
If we can present ourselves before God the Father as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable, we will be operating under the anointing and gifting of the Spirit! We must be submissive to Him before we can be holy!
We have to separate ourselves from the world! We have to put on the mind of Christ! Our lives need to show or prove to the lost world what the perfect will of God is! They will not see it anywhere else!
These two verses contain so much but this is sufficient for now.
As we look at these list of Spiritual Gifts lets remember, Our Father has given us everything we need through the Spirit! We should not be lacking in any Spiritual Gift in the local Ekklesia! He is living in us and wants to manifest through us! He does so through the gifts and anointing He has placed on us!
Something we all as born again disciples need to understand, These offices are not name tage to wear around and brag about or receive honor from men over. They are just what they say, offices ordained by the Holy Spirit.
Modern church leaders who go around boasting of these names for themselves need to be avoided at all cost. They are glory hunters and not ministers of the New Testament Ekklesia!
Be Blessed my Friends!