“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 be studying the differing types of spiritual gifts today we will be studying the “Sign Gifts” the Lord has given us.
Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures
Accrediting gifts, another type of spiritual gift given through God’s grace to mankind, is also commonly called sign gifts. Lists of these gifts are found in the following verses…
“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. [Are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:28-31)
In 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, we find a sampling (incomplete list) of accrediting gifts given along with samples of other types of spiritual gifts (gifted men and ministering gifts).
“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 tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.” (1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
In 1 Corinthians 12:8-11, we find a complete listing of the accrediting gifts. Because we find the complete list in this passage, we will concentrate our study on this text.
To properly understand this text, we have to take notice of the words “another”. They are translated by two differing Greek words. The understanding of these Greek words is of utmost importance to our study.
Please notice these two Greek words:
1. “allos” – this word means “another of the SAME kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a dog and “Rin Tin Tin” is another. In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “allos”, it would be tqeaching us that Rin Tin Tin is the same type of animal as Lassie. Both are dogs.
2. “heteros” – this word means “another of a DIFFERENT kind”.
For example… “Lassie” is a collie and “Rin Tin Tin” is another. In this sentence, if “another” was translated from “heteros”, it would be teaching us that Rin Tin Tin is a different breed of dog than Lassie (RTT was not a collie).
Although both our example sentences use the word “another”, we can see that “another” can hold two differing meanings. This is what happens in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. If we understand this principle, we can see that our text clearly places the accrediting gifts into different divisions. Please notice our text…
Vs 8 –
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;”
This “another” is translated from the word “allos”. This teaches us that the gifts of “word of wisdom” and “word of knowledge” are gifts of the SAME type.
These are the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH.
Vs 9 – 10a
“To another faith by the same Spirit;”
This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”. This teaches us that the gift of faith is a different type of gift than the previous gifts mentioned.
“to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits;”
These “anothers” are all translated from the word “allos”. This teaches us that gifts of: gifts of healing, working of miracles, prophecy, and discerning of spirits are all the same type of gift as the gift of faith.
These are all gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH.
“to another [divers] kinds of tongues;”
This “another” is translated from the word “heteros”. This teaches us that another new division of gifts is beginning. In other words, this teaches us that “diverse kinds of tongues” is a different type of gift than the those we just listed under the supernatural signs of the truth.
“to another the interpretation of tongues:”
This “another” is translated from the word “allos”. This teaches us that the interpretation of tongues is the same type of gift as the interpretation of tongues. Both of these gifts form our third division among the accrediting gifts.
These gifts involve the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH.
Vs 11 – “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
All of these Accrediting Gifts are given graciously by God through the person of the Spirit. They are distributed among men based upon the sovereign will of the Lord.
Now let’s take a look at each of these gifts in detail…
Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth
1. “The Word of Wisdom” – This involves uttering wisdom (practical truths for living) through the inspiration of the Lord. It is a first- time revealing of God’s wisdom to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible. (2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 3:15-16)
2. “The Word of Knowledge” – This involves uttering knowledge (doctrinal truths) through the inspiration of the Lord. It is a first-time revealing of the truths about Himself to mankind which makes up the text of the Bible. (2 Peter 1:3-5; 2 Peter 3:18)
Please note: Both of these gifts came to an end at the completion of God’s Word. We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”
Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth
1. “Faith” – This is a supernatural faith that far exceeds the fruit of faith mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24. This supernatural faith results in many different types of miracles being performed.
Some mentions of this faith include:
a. Moving mountains – Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:23, 1 Corinthians 13:2
b. Lack of this gift hindered work of God – Matthew 13:58, Mark 6:5-6
c. Heavens shut up for 3 ½ years, Lepers healed – Luke 4:25-29
d. Uprooting sycamore tree – Luke 17:6
Again, it is important that this “gift” is not confused with the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit which bestowed at the point of salvation and then is exercised in every Christian’s life.
2. “Gifts Of Healing” – This is not the “gift of healing” but it is the “gift of the gifts of healing”. The name of this gift is translated from the Greek language. Literally it is translated “to freely bestow a cure” or “to graciously deliver from an infirmity” or “gracious healings”. This clearly points out the gracious nature of the healing. It is not a matter of those being healed are more faithful or more spiritual persons than those who are not healed. This is the ability to heal a person who is entirely underserving of that healing.
3. “Working Of Miracles” – The gift of “the working of miracles” allows acts of power to accomplish desired, yet naturally impossible results.
4. “Prophecy” – Literally, this gift is described as the ability “to reveal the mind of God”. When used in the context of the Accrediting Gifts, this gift involves the forth-telling of a future event. This was used as a proof that the speaker was speaking the truth. This is why the Lord has included this gift in the SUPERNATURAL INDICATORS OF THE TRUTH division and not the SUPERNATURAL REVELATION OF TRUTH division. (2 Kings 10:9-11)
5. “Discerning Of Spirits” – This involves the ability to PERFECTLY make judgment of the aim, content, and deliverer of a message. Put another way, this gift allowed men to discern the authenticity, reliability and intents of a verbal or written message without error. (Acts 5:1-6)
All of the gifts in the Supernatural Indicators of the Truth division came to an end in the same time frame as the completion of God’s Word. We will look at this in much more detail in the section of our study entitled “When did gifts given to establish the Word and the Local Church come to an end?”
In our next study, we will look in detail at the gifts involving the SUPERNATURAL PROCLAMATION OF THE TRUTH: “diverse kinds of tongues” and “the interpretation of tongues”.
Additional Information (Verses referred to in this study):
Accrediting Gifts (Sign Gifts) – gifts given to establish the local church and New Testament scriptures
Gifts Involving The Supernatural Revelation Of The Truth
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15)
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;” (2 Peter 1:3-5)
“And account [that] the longsuffering of our Lord [is] salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all [his] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as [they do] also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” (2 Peter 3:15-16)
“But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Gifts That Are The Supernatural Indicators Of The Truth
“And it will be in the morning, and he will go forth and stand and say to all the people, Ye are just: behold, I conspired against my lord, and I will kill him: and who struck all these? Know now that nothing shall fall from the word of Jehovah to the earth which Jehovah spake concerning the house of Ahab: for Jehovah did what he spake by the hand of his servant Elijah. And Jehu will strike all those being left to the house of Ahab in Jezreel, and all his great, and all his acquaintance, and his priests, till he left to him nothing escaping.” (2 Kings 10:9-11)
“And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” (Matthew 13:58)
“And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” (Matthew 17:20)
“And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed [them]. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” (Mark 6:5-6)
“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.” (Mark 11:23)
“But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, [a city] of Sidon, unto a woman [that was] a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. (Luke 4:25-29)
“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” (Luke 17:6)
“And a certain man, Ananias by name, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And separated from the price, his wife also knowing; and having brought a certain part, laid at the feet of the sent. And Peter said, Ananias, wherefore filled Satan thy heart, for thee to belie the Holy Spirit, and separate from the price of the farm. Remaining, did it not remain to thee? and sold, it was in thy power: for what hast thou put this thing in thy heart? thou hast not lied to men, but to God. And Ananias hearing these words, having fallen down, he expired: and great fear was upon all them hearing these things. And the younger having risen up, drew him together, and having carried out, interred.” (Acts 5:1-6)
“And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2)
The belief in the existence of ghosts is on the rise, and no wonder… in today’s world the subject of ghosts has flooded the TV screen. A few of the TV shows that have ghosts as a central theme are: “Ghost Whisperer”, “Ghost Hunters”, “Ghost Stories”, “Ghosts Lab”, “American Paranormal”, “A Haunting”, “Celebrity Ghost Stories”, “Being Human” the list goes on and on. One list I found said there are 50 shows currently on TV centering on ghosts. If you would like to see the list just click here: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110628172308AA4hkzC
With the existence of ghosts a major subject in today’s entertainment world, I thought it would be good to look at the truth about ghosts. The Word of God is the final authority on all issues of life here on earth and in the spirit world. Let’s take some time to examine the truth about ghosts.
Eph 6:10-12; Rom 8:38; 2 Cor 4:3-4; Acts 26:17-18; Mark 1:23-27; 1 Sam 28:11-20; 2 Cor 11:13-15; Mat 17:1-9;
In part #1 of our study we have seen that the Bible clearly tells us that the spirits of those who have died DO NOT return to earth and live among us. If this is the case, does this mean that the only living beings on earth are human, embodied beings? Absolutely not!
The Word of God tells us that there is a spirit realm that does exist on earth. This spirit realm includes Satan and others who oppose the things of God. Also, there are angels that exist to aid and protect God’s people.
First let’s look at those spirit beings that oppose the cause of Christ….
(Eph 6:10-12) – Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
(Rom 8:38) – For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(2Co 4:3-4) – But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
(Act 26:17-18) – Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
(Job 1:7) – And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.
(1 Peter 1:5) – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
As we can see, it is obvious that Satan and other fallen angels are present among us seeking to hinder the Christian’s walk with Christ and keep blinded the eyes of the lost world.
Keep in mind angels are spirit beings (do not have fleshly bodies)…
(Heb 1:13-14) – But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
(Psa 104:4) – Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
(Job 4:15-21) Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up: It stood still, but I could not discern the form thereof: an image was before mine eyes, there was silence, and I heard a voice, saying, Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker? Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly: How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth? They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it. Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.
Based on the above we can see that elect and fallen angels (including Satan himself) are spirits that are present on the earth with us. The existence and ministry of these beings explain many of the references to “angels”, “spirits”, “ghosts” and “demons” that we find in the Bible….
(Mat 14:24-27) – But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.
(Luk 24:36-40) – And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
Note in the above references, the followers of Christ understand that spirit beings (fallen angels) do exist on the earth… Christ Himself affirms it by saying “for a spirit has not flesh and bones” . he did not say, “there is no such things as spirits on the earth.”
Here are a few other, among many, verses that speak of fallen angels being active among mankind on earth…
(Jdg 9:23) – Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:
(Mat 10:1) – 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.
(Mar 1:23-27) – And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him. And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
There are two events in the Bible that seem to teach that the spirits of dead men did appear to those still living on the earth…
(1Sa 28:11-20) – Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel. And when the woman saw Samuel, she cried with a loud voice: and the woman spake to Saul, saying, Why hast thou deceived me? for thou art Saul. And the king said unto her, Be not afraid: for what sawest thou? And the woman said unto Saul, I saw gods ascending out of the earth. And he said unto her, What form is he of? And she said, An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel, and he stooped with his face to the ground, and bowed himself. And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do. Then said Samuel, Wherefore then dost thou ask of me, seeing the LORD is departed from thee, and is become thine enemy? And the LORD hath done to him, as he spake by me: for the LORD hath rent the kingdom out of thine hand, and given it to thy neighbour, even to David: Because thou obeyedst not the voice of the LORD, nor executedst his fierce wrath upon Amalek, therefore hath the LORD done this thing unto thee this day. Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines. Then Saul fell straightway all along on the earth, and was sore afraid, because of the words of Samuel: and there was no strength in him; for he had eaten no bread all the day, nor all the night.
Did Saul actually see Samuel or a demon masquerading as Samuel? To answer this question we should turn to ….
(2Co 11:13-15) – For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
The Lord would not have blessed the sinful efforts of King Saul by sending the genuine Samuel to deliver the message from the Lord. This is simply a demon masquerading as Samuel to deceive Saul. For an in-depth study of this Biblical event please look at my blog entry located at: https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/2010/10/17/halloween-part-4-%e2%80%93-the-necromancy-symbols/
Finally, the transfiguration of Christ is brought up as proof that spirits of dead men live among us…
(Mat 17:1-9) – And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
The appearance of Moses and Elijah was a “vision” that Peter, James and John saw. The spirits of Moses and Elijah were not on earth in actuality… they were simply a part of a vision that helped Peter, James and John see:
1. the importance of the OT law and prophets
2. Christ was the fulfillment of the law and prophets (ie He was the True Messiah)
3. a glimpse into what eternity will be like for all who have trusted in Christ.
For those who have trusted in Christ.
We must realize that those who have died do not return and live among mankind on earth. We should also understand that spirit beings do exist among us in the persons of elect and fallen angels (called spirits, demons, angels etc.) We are in a spiritual war and must be certain we are prepared on a daily basis wearing the armor of God that He has graciously given to us. (Eph 6:11-18)
For those who have never trusted in Christ.
There are spiritual powers that exist in this world that incredibly dangerous to man. To dabble in the spirit realm through channelers, Ouija boards, Satanism, Spiritism etc. is incredibly dangerous for Christian and non-Christian alike.
It is only through looking to the Lord Jesus Christ can we find protection and safety from the spiritual powers of darkness that are around us. Look to Christ for salvation, protection and eternal security in Him. (1 John 4:4)
If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area. They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.
Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at email@example.com. I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.
Also, if you look at my blog page “How To Have A Relationship With God”. On this page you will find several blog entries explaining the way of salvation.
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