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(READ – 1 Corinthians 12:8-27)

The miraculous gifts of the Spirit are talked about in the scriptures in two different ways: 1) the
abilities conferred; and, 2) the offices qualified for.

The abilities conferred

The word of wisdom indicates the ability to put into practical application the word of God. That is why
Biblical Examples are so important. Their application was not a matter of human wisdom, but the
wisdom of God provided by the Holy Spirit.

The word of knowledge is the revelation of God. They did not have the complete New Testament.
The knowledge they received was through inspiration. These were the words of God – those were
the words of the gospel – these are the words of the New Testament
.
The working of miracles includes those sign and wonders, both in dealing with nature and sickness.
As Mark lists them: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out
devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly
thing, it shall not hurt them; …” (KJV—Mark 16:17, 18)

Gifts of healing speaks of the ability to lay hands on the sick, and have them to recover. This is not
a gradual recovery; but, a full, complete, instantaneous recovery.

Prophecy in this instance seems to indicate the future telling, or predictive element of prophecy.

Discerning of spirits refers to the ability to determine if a spirit comes from God. Not all spirits – not
all supposed gifts – were from God. Without the complete New Testament a special gift would be
needed to determine where the spirits had come from. “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the
spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby
know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of
God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this
is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in
the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in
you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the
world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth
not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.” (KJV – 1 John 4:1-7)

Divers kinds of tongues refers to the ability to speak, in languages not learned. Tongues are
languages. Divers is diverse without the “e.” Eighteen plus different languages and dialogues were
spoken by the apostles on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:6-13). This is not the Adamic language, nor
the language of angels; it is languages which men could hear and understand.

The interpretation of tongues  is the ability to understand and interpret the languages spoken by
those who received the gift of tongues, or those who came from a different location.

All of these abilities are given by the Spirit – the same Spirit. The same Spirit gave different people
different gifts. “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of
knowledge by the same Spirit;”(KJV – 1 Corinthians 12:8) Therefore, because one had one gift, but
not another, they were not any better, or more blessed, or lifted to another level of Christianity.
“Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 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. {diversities: or, kinds} Are all apostles? are all prophets? are
all teachers? are all workers of miracles? {workers...: or, powers?} 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.” (KJV – 1 Corinthians 12:27-31) The understood answer is NO. No, not all have
the same gifts. Not everyone spoke in tongues.  Just as not everyone could heal or interpret. Those
who say that all should or must have a singular gift, such as speaking in tongues, are mistaken and
at odds with what Paul says here.

These gifts equipped people, by means of the Spirit, to be qualified for service.
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and
teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of
Christ:” (KJV – Ephesians 4:11,12) Some of these, such as apostles and prophets and miracle
workers, belong only to the apostolic age. Others such as evangelists and pastors and teachers are
continuing – being qualified for natural, rather than supernatural terms.

The reception of the Spirit with its attendant gifts was necessary for the stability and growth of the
church before the completion of the New Testament.

With the completion of the New Testament the qualities and instruction which were formerly
provided by the Spirit directly to individuals are now provided through the word. “All scripture is
given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
{throughly...: or, perfected}” (KJV – 2 Timothy 3:16,17)

CONTROL

One of the things which separates the gifts as they are spoken of in the New Testament and how
they are perceived in the religious world is the control of the individuals over the gifts.

(READ – 1 Corinthians 14:1-40)

Especially notice verse 32: “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” The
religious world often speaks of “being slain by the Spirit,” and other terms saying that they are not in
control of what happens. They have to do this or that, they cannot help themselves. Paul points out
that the Spirit that within the Christian is under his control. If he is not in control, IT IS NOT THE
SPIRIT OF GOD. The one who prophecies by the Spirit of God can control when he prophecies. The
one who speaks in tongues by the Spirit of God can control when he speaks in tongues. Whatever
the gift is, the Christian is in control. That way everything can and will be done decently and in order.

THE END OF THE GIFTS

(READ – 1 Corinthians 13:8-13)

There would be a time when prophecies fail, when tongues cease, when knowledge vanishes away
– when all these gifts of the Spirit would be no more. These spiritual gifts were partial, they provided
partial revelation, they provided partial prophesy. But, there would come a time when we would no
longer rely upon the partial, but have that which was complete and whole: the New Testament,
along with the Old Testament – the completion of the Holy Bible. (see 2 Timothy 3:16,17)
There was a time of infancy for the church. There was a time when the preparation was being made
for the completion of the revelation. For revelation was “once for all” given (Jude 3). The time was
coming when those childish things would be put away, and the church would be full grown
(Ephesians 4:7-16).

With partial revelation, the church could see only darkly. But, with the coming of the perfect law of
liberty (James 1:23-25), if the Christian is not a forgetful hearer, he can see himself clearly in the
mirror of God’s word, seeing himself even as God sees him and knows him.

Therefore, with the completion of the New Testament, the spiritual gifts no longer continued.

THEIR PURPOSE

(READ– Hebrews 2:1-4)

The purpose of the gifts of the Spirit was to verify the message, to both the world and the church. It
was the confirmation that the message came from God. The message has been confirmed. It does
not need to be confirmed again. The gifts have served their purpose. Their record is in the New
Testament. If a man will not believe the word, neither will he believe though one be risen from the
dead (Luke 16:19-31, especially verse 31).
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