“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:4)
After coming to an understanding of the basic definition of a “spiritual gift”, we now need to examine each of the different types of spiritual gifts that God has given to man.
There are three basic types of spiritual gifts given to the Lord’s local churches:
1. Gifted Men – These are men, used by God to serve the Lord as a part of the ministry of His local assemblies.
2. Accrediting Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to establish and accredit His Word and place of worship. A secondary purpose of these gifts is to minister to others within the context of local church ministries.
3. Ministering Gifts – These are the gifts whose main purpose is to testify of Christ and His Word through the ministries of His local assemblies.
We will continue our study of the accrediting gifts by looking at begin studying the Accrediting Gifts that involve SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.
Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)
In our last lesson we began to take a look at the gift of “diverse kinds of tongues” that are found in the division of accrediting gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH. In particular, we looked at the first time that the gift of tongues was exercised on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2:1-24…
1. The gift was given to the local church at Jerusalem, not to believers in general (vs 1)
2. The gift was given following the local assembly being baptized IN the Spirit (not BY the Spirit) (vs 2)
3. The gift was given following the Spirit filling the church members (vs 4)
4. The gift had a visible manifestation: tongues of fire sitting on their heads (vs 3);
5. The gift had an audible manifestation: speaking in other human languages that were unknown to the speakers but known to the hearers (vs 4-11)
6. The Word of God was used to clearly explain what had taken place amid the confusion (vs 12-21)
7. The message proclaimed through the gift of tongues was proclaiming the wonderful works of their God…. His message of salvation and all that He had done for them. (vs 11-24)
Following this event, when the Bible speaks of the gift of tongues, it simply mentions the gift without a lengthy description of what we have just learned. This principle can be used with many different teachings of the Bible. This principle of Biblical interpretation is described as “The Law Of First Mention”. This principle states that “the very first time a word, doctrine or other teaching is mentioned in the Bible, usually, the Scriptures gives that word, doctrine or teaching its most complete description and meaning.” This is the case with the gift of tongues. This first reference to it has given us the detailed description of the gift which is to be applied throughout all of the other Biblical mentions of the gift.
The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Resulting From Laying On Of Apostles’ Hands: The Church At Ephesus; The Samaritan Church
Not only did the gift of tongues take place following the baptism in the Spirit of the church at Jerusalem (Jewish local assembly) and the church in the house of Cornelius (Gentile local assembly), but it also given to local assemblies through the laying on of the apostles’ hands. We can see this taking place in Acts 19:1-7 (Ephesus local assembly) and also it is implied to have taken place in Acts 8:14-25 (local assembly at Samaria).
This will be our study for this lesson (Acts 19:1-7 and 8:14-25)…
Vs 1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
During Paul’s travels, he arrives at Ephesus and finds those who were followers of Jesus.
Vs 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
Paul then asked them if they had “received the Holy Ghost” since they believed. By this question, Paul was not asking them if they had been indwelled by the Holy Ghost. Every believer in Christ receives the indwelling Spirit AT SALVATION (Romans 8:9, Ephesians 1:13-14). Keep in mind, Paul said “since you believed”. This tells us Paul recognized them as true believers and, therefore, he recognized they had already received the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Paul’s question was referring to them receiving the empowering ministry of the Holy Ghost in the midst of their group. They answered that they had not even heard of the existence of the Holy Ghost. (The implied answer to Paul’s question was “No, we have not received the empowering ministry of the Holy Ghost among us.) This implied to Paul that they had not yet been formed into a local assembly.
Vs 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
Paul’s next question involved their baptism. Keep in mind their baptism, would be the first step to them entering into a local assembly. If their baptism was not Scriptural, or if it was non-existent, they would not be a legitimate local assembly.
They responded that their baptism was “unto John’s baptism”. In other words, they had experienced a legitimate baptism that was administered by John the Baptist. We know John’s baptism was a Scriptural baptism because we are told he was “sent by God” (John 1:6) and Jesus, Himself, submitted to his baptism (Matthew 3:13-17). If John’s baptism was not valid, Christ would have never submitted to it.
Vs 4-5 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Paul then recounts for them the nature of the Scriptural baptism that they had received. This would reinforce in their minds that they were legitimately baptized in the name of Christ.
Paul’s two sentence quote begins with “John verily baptized …” and ends with “…they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”. This is a very important point:
When we are told “When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”…
1. IT IS NOT SAYING THAT THE BELIEVERS AT EPHESUS WERE RE-BAPTIZED BY PAUL.
2. This sentence is continuation of the quotation of Paul. In this second sentence of his teaching, he is recounting to the Ephesus believers that those who received John’s baptism were baptized in the name of Jesus. In other words, he was reaffirming the validity of John’s baptism which they had previously received.
Vs 6-7 And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.
Once Paul had affirmed the validity of their baptism, he then recognized that they were prepared to become a local church. He then forms them into a church by the laying on his hands. This resulted in the Holy Ghost being given to empower their assembly. The receipt of the Holy Spirit by their assembly was shown by the exercise of the gift of tongues (both the visible and audible aspects as seen in Acts 2:) and the gift of prophesy. Both of these not only enabled the local assembly to minister but it also accredited their assembly as an authorized assembly for worship and a container of divine truth.
In our next example of the laying on of the Apostles’ hands resulting in tongues speaking, the tongues speaking is implied not actually stated…
Vs 14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
When the Apostles heard that Samaria had heard the Word and accepted the message by faith, they sent to Samaria two Apostles to continue their instruction and establish a local assembly there.
Vs 15-16 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
The two visiting Apostles prayed for this group of believers that they might “receive the Holy Ghost” (empowered by the Spirit as an assembly) see Acts 19:2 for more details about this phrase.
(Up to this point in time, the Holy Spirit had not “fallen upon” their assembly (speaking of the Spirit coming upon them displayed by tongues of fire as in Acts 2:).
Why did they pray for this? The Apostles recognized that these believers were properly prepared for church membership… they had been baptized in water in the name of Christ which, along with salvation, is the prerequisite needed for church formation and membership. Once the Apostles established that these believers had been properly prepared for to become a local assembly, they prayed for the assembly to be established and empowered.
Vs 17 Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
The Apostles then laid their hands upon the group of believers bringing the assembly into existence. This resulted in the empowering of the assembly by the Holy Ghost which came upon them (implied is the indication of this coming by tongues of fire and speaking of tongues.) Clearly, what took place in this assembly is the same type of manifestation as that of the Ephesian assembly that we have just seen in Acts 19:. Both of these accounts (Acts 19: and Acts 8: align themselves with the demonstration of the Spirit’s presence and empowering as seen in the Acts 2: Pentecost event.)
Vs 18-19 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
When Simon visibly saw … the Greek word translated “ saw” speaks of visibly examining closely. In other words, Simon studied with his eyes the visible proof of the Spirit coming upon the members of the assembly (the tongues of fire).
When he saw this display of the Spirit’s power, he offered to pay money for the ability to bestow this miraculous gift upon others.
Simon desired the ability to bestow this gift upon others for his own personal benefit. Perhaps he desired it to gain fame and recognition or, perhaps, for financial benefit. Also his thinking that this ability could be purchased with money, demeaned the very spiritual nature and divine purpose of the gift, making it a simple carnal, business venture.
These two issues clearly showed the nature of his request and the intent of his heart in this matter. It was obvious that Simon’s fleshly desire for the gift flowed from spiritual blindness, selfishness and greed.
Vs 20-23 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and [in] the bond of iniquity.
Peter then addresses this request made by Simon. Based upon Simon’s request, through the gift of discerning of spirits, Peter perceived that:
1. “Thy money perish with thee” – Simon was headed for total ruin and ultimate destruction
2. “Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter:” – Simon had no claim upon this ability for three reasons:
a. this ability was only possessed by those who held the office of Apostle.
b. Simon’s motives were sinful.
c. Simon as a lost individual who was not the servant of the Lord, nor member of his church.
3. “for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.” – His motives were sinful.
4. “Repent therefore of this thy wickedness,” – He was in dire need of repentance – this sin that could easily snowball and grow worse
5. “and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” – He needed to pray for forgiveness from the Lord
6. “I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness” – He was a lost man drowning in poisonous acid of sin
7. “and [in] the bond of iniquity.” – He was a slave in servitude of injustice and wickedness
Vs 24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
At this point, Simon appears to heed the warnings given to him by Peter and asks for Peter to prayerfully intervene on his behalf. We are not told of his conversion, nor of any fruits of repentance being shown by him.
Perhaps he was genuinely saved and the Bible simply does not record the event, or perhaps he is only showing a worldly, carnal type of repentance that did not result in salvation nor a changed life (2 Corinthians 7:9-11). One point that brings his desire for prayer to be questioned is the motive for his request… “that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.” It appears that he only wanted to escape the punishment of his sin, with no sorrow that he has sinned against the Lord and His local church. This would seem to imply a carnal type of repentance.
Vs 25 And they, when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, returned to Jerusalem, and preached the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
The Apostles continue to teach the Word of the Lord to this newly formed church and then preached the Word to many villages on the way back to Jerusalem.
We now must take a quick look at Acts 9:10-19 …
10) And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I [am here], Lord.
11) And the Lord [said] unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12) And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting [his] hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13) Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14) And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15) But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16) For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.
17) And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, [even] Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18) And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
19) And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
This event is not the same type of event as we were looking at in Acts 19: and Acts 8:. Please note the following comparison:
|TEXT||THE BESTOWER||THE RECIPIENT||THE RESULT||PURPOSE|
|NOTE THE SIMILARITIES…||APOSTLES…||LOCAL ASSEMBLIES…||RECEPTION AND MANIFESTATION…||TO ESTABLISH AND EMPOWER…|
|Acts 19:1-7||Paul||Church at Ephesus||Reception: Of SpiritManifestation: Tongues & Prophecy||To establish / empower local church|
|Acts 8:14-25||John and Peter||Church at Samaria||Reception: Of SpiritManifestation: Tongues||To establish / empower local church|
|COMPARE TO…||NOT APOSTLES…||NOT LOCAL ASSEMBLIES…||NO RECEPTION NOR MANIFESTATION…||NO ESTABLISHING NOR EMPOWERING …|
|Acts 9:10-19||Ananias, a disciple||Saul (Paul), an individual||Restoration Of Health“Filling” Of The Spirit||To physically heal & prepare Saul for great service and suffering.|
(Notes On Above Table:
1. As you can clearly see, in every category there are distinct similarities between the events found in Acts 19: and Acts 8: and distinct differences with the event found in Acts 9:. Acts 9: cannot be equated with the events of Acts 19: and 8:.
2. The meaning of the phrase “Filling of the Spirit” will be covered in great detail later in our study. But for now, the basic idea of Spirit “filling” is the Lord taking control of every aspect of one’s being. This is a far cry from a local assembly “receiving” the Spirit to establish and empower the assembly.)
3. Many times those “filled with the Spirit” did not speak in tongues – Lk 1:15, 1:67, 4:1, Acts 4:8, 4:31, 7:55, 11:24
Please notice with the completion of this study in Acts 19: and Acts 8:, we have now seen every time in the Bible that the gift of tongues is exercised…
Please notice that in both the above events (Acts 19: and Acts 8:)
1. The receipt of the Holy Spirit was to a local church to empower them for ministry, NOT TO AN INDIVIDUAL
2. The receipt of the Holy Spirit resulted from the laying on of the hands of the Apostles.
3. The 2 aspects (tongues of fire and speaking in unknown human tongues) of the gift of tongues were present in both cases, specifically mentioned in one and implied in the other.
When we put this together with our previous studies when tongues were exercised (Acts 2:, Acts 10:-11:) please notice that:
1. The receipt of the Holy Spirit only applies to the local assemblies. NEVER an individual.
2. The receipt of the Holy Spirit can take place following:
a. the local assembly being baptized in the Holy Spirit or
b. the laying on of hands of the Apostles.
NEVER are they received by individuals, nor part from baptism in the Spirit or laying on of hands of Apostles.
3. The gift of tongues always includes:
a. both the visual aspect (tongues of fire) and
b. the audible aspect (speaking in human tongues unknown to the speaker)
Is this the “gift” of tongues that we see being exercised in today’s time? None of the above three basic principles are seen in today’s “tongues gift”.
In our next study, we will look at Paul’s instructions on how the gift of tongues should be exercised in the Lord’s local churches.
Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts)
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.
The “Gift Of Diverse Kinds Of Tongues” Received By the laying on of the Apostles hands.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9)
In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer [it to be so] now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:13-17)
There was a man sent from God, whose name [was] John. (John 1:6)
Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, [what] clearing of yourselves, yea, [what] indignation, yea, [what] fear, yea, [what] vehement desire, yea, [what] zeal, yea, [what] revenge! In all [things] ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter. (2 Corinthians 7:9-11)