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Spiritual Anointing

Gifts of the Spirit

It is very difficult to explain spiritual gifts without being limited by my own experience. For every example that I share there may be unlimited ways that a particular gift works that was not included. Paul states: 1CO 12:4 ¶ Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 12:5 And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 12:6 And there are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. We may even see overlapping of several gifts when they are being manifested. As we near the end of this age and the church comes forth in the power of the next age, we will be amazed at how these gifts function far beyond what we understand now.

1) Prophesy

According to Paul the gift of prophesy is for edification, exhortation, and consolation. 1CO 14:3 This gifting is for positive use and doesn't include negative or a destructive element. It encourages and lifts up the down trodden with words of hope and faith. The prophetic gifting is different in that they can prophesy good as well as destruction. People moving in the gift of prophesy are not necessarily called to be prophets. Conversely one can be a prophet and not move fluently in prophesy, though they should. The office of prophet is not just for prophesying. This will be address further under the Prophet.

Prophesy is probably the most abused gift. Many use it to manipulate others to do what they think is best. It is also confused with the office of a prophet and thus creating more problems for the church as well as for the person so gifted. Some feel that unless people listen to and do all that the prophetic words say to do, they are missing God. Paul said that we know in part and prophesy in part, so we cannot know what our prophetic word was sent to accomplish. We can only assume that we know, which is different than actually knowing. When giving a word we must give them to the person and then leave it up the person to act or not to act upon it. We are in the wrong when we insist on monitoring the person’s life as to the word we gave. We are just a mouth piece for the Spirit and not His enforcer. We see this principle illustrated in Paul's life. Paul on his way to Jerusalem had many people warn him about the abuse that he would undergo when he got there (Acts 21:4-13). You may think that Paul missed God by proceeding to Jerusalem, especially after being warned so many times by the Holy Spirit. We know that Paul's troubles just started in Jerusalem and would ultimately bring him to Rome. We would miss the greater truth if we failed to look beyond this place. The Lord told Ananias about Paul just days after his conversion, ACT 9:15 But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel. The apostle Paul was destined to bear witness to kings and rulers and I am sure he knew that when everyone was trying to stop him from proceeding toward Jerusalem. This word from God was fulfilled because Paul went towards his destiny, even though it meant hardship. It took being thrown in prison for several years in order for Paul to fulfill his destiny. So we must refrain from premature judgment.

We may even see the operation of different gifts while prophesying. It is not uncommon to have words of knowledge as well as wisdom. Discernment of spirits is another gift that often works while prophesying. We must check our motives before prophesying and while we are prophesying. Many good people are wounded severely because of false words.

If we bare witness with the words spoken then we must be obedient to what the word requires and stand in faith for the word to be accomplished. If we don't fully agree with what was spoken we should not hastily dismiss it, but pray and wait to see if it is God. God uses people and they may not say things the way we want to hear them, but it may still be God's word to us.

2) Discernment of spirits

Discernment is not only a Spirit-on-us gift but also an ability that the Spirit-in-us possesses. The discernment from the Spirit-in-us operates by spiritual senses. We may feel as if there is oppression when around some person or as if someone's hug left a uncomfortable residue.

Some may even feel ill when around certain people or totally drained after just a few minutes with another person. These are operations of the spirit-in-us and we must strive to understand what each feeling means. Even a check or uneasy feeling is a result of the inward spirit. Everyone has the ability to mature to the point of discerning through the spirit.

The gift of discernment is far different. It can and will work in conjunction with the inward discernment but does not have to. We may see the Holy Spirit move and hover over a person or demons moving in and out of another's eyes. The presence of angels can be discerned as well as when Jesus is walking among the body. We may even see wicked disembodied spirits that defend their respective areas. It is not easy to divide where the discernment from in-us stops and the discernment from on-us begins. Some may see black spots on a person or have visions of creatures that inhabit them. Certain odors may be present which indicate a demons presence. For as many people that have the gift of discernment there may be that many ways to discern.

3) Gifts of healing

When talking about the gift of healing we are saying that the person so gifted is given an ability to effect a healing over a person and have the healing materialize. Some people have abilities to bring healing only for certain problems while others can bring healing to many problems. This includes the ability to drive out demons that are causing the malady and the regeneration of the physical body. Jesus not only cured physical problems present from birth but also used spittle mixed with dirt to recreate eyes. JOH 9:1 And as He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth.... 9:6 When He had said this, He spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and applied the clay to his eyes, 9:7 and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which is translated, Sent). And so he went away and washed, and came back seeing. Jesus performed healing of many illnesses and infirmities. MAT 15:30 And great multitudes came to Him, bringing with them those who were lame, crippled, blind, dumb, and many others, and they laid them down at His feet; and He healed them. It was not only accidental or natural problems that Jesus healed but also injuries that were inflicted by man purposely. MAR 5:25 ¶ And a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 5:26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse, 5:27 after hearing about Jesus, came up in the crowd behind Him, and touched His cloak. 5:28 For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I shall get well." 5:29 And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. As well as: LUK 22:50 And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 22:51 But Jesus answered and said, "Stop! No more of this." And He touched his ear and healed him. We must not limit to what extent the gift of healing is affective. Healings can happen over great distances and to great numbers at one time. Jesus declared that we would do greater things then what he did, so let's stretch our faith and see what God can do.

We can be healed and get healing for others through the spirit-in-us, but it is more a result of inner faith than the gift of healing. This kind of healing requires a maturity of faith which needs to be nurtured and cared for.

4) Gift of faith

The gift of faith as differentiated by the inner faith, is a bestowing of a supernatural amount of faith that can be used for any purpose. Inner faith must be planted by the spoken word and tended so that it will grow and bear fruit. This process takes time and effort, but the gift of faith is given as a temporary gift. It requires neither preparation nor effort to receive it. It can be used to accomplish any task, whether menial or great. We must be wise when dealing with the gift of faith for we may accomplish great things for God or waste it on our ignorance. We can see the gift of faith at work when Jesus demanded Lazarus to come forth out of the tomb (John 11:38-44) as well as when Isaiah made the shadow go back up the stairs ten steps (2 kings 20:9-10). One of the greatest examples of the gift of faith is seen in Joshua's life. JOS 10:12 ¶ Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, "O sun, stand still at Gibeon, And O moon in the valley of Aijalon." 10:13 So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, Until the nation avenged themselves of their enemies. Is it not written in the book of Jashar? And the sun stopped in the middle of the sky, and did not hasten to go down for about a whole day. The blessing of Solomon with wisdom and knowledge is also a result of a gift of faith even though it may not appear as one. 2CH 1:10 "Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people; for who can rule this great people of Thine?" 1:11 And God said to Solomon, "Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth, or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge, that you may rule My people, over whom I have made you king, These examples and others should be studied by those of us who move in this gift so we may know how to use it correctly.


5) Word of knowledge

Words of knowledge is an ability to know facts that are impossible for a person to know. This is often seen in prophesy when a past event is spoken about that the speaker has no prior knowledge of. Words of knowledge are also the knowledge of current happenings that can affect ones life positively or negatively. This gift is evident in the life of Elisha when he told the king of Israel all that the king of Aram had planned. 2KI 6:8 ¶ Now the king of Aram was warring against Israel; and he counseled with his servants saying, "In such and such a place shall be my camp."2KI 6:9 And the man of God sent word to the king of Israel saying, "Beware that you do not pass this place, for the Arameans are coming down there." 6:10 And the king of Israel sent to the place about which the man of God had told him; thus he warned him, so that he guarded himself there, more than once or twice. 6:11 Now the heart of the king of Aram was enraged over this thing; and he called his servants and said to them, "Will you tell me which of us is for the king of Israel?" 6:12 And one of his servants said, "No, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom." This gift has great potential in protecting nations from their enemies as well as protecting churches and individuals from harm that others are planning against them. It has a place inside businesses as people so gifted are obedient to use it for their welfare. It is not only in a positive way that it can be used but also as a warning about what one has planned to do. JOH 13:26 Jesus therefore answered, "That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him." So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 13:27 And after the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Jesus therefore said to him, "What you do, do quickly." It even includes the ability to know a persons thoughts; MAT 9:4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, "Why are you thinking evil in your hearts?

6) Word of wisdom

The word of wisdom much like the word of knowledge is sometimes mixed into prophet utterances. The "how" to bring about a particular thing is seen as the word of wisdom. Moses moved in the word of wisdom frequently. When backed up against the Red Sea, God told him to stretch out his hand and divide the water (Exodus 14:16). Moses was told how to eliminate the Egyptians that were chasing him, EXO 14:26 ¶ Then the Lord said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may come back over the Egyptians, over their chariots and their horsemen." Some may say that these are not illustrations of the word of wisdom because God was speaking directly to Moses. Well I will say that when we get words of wisdom who do you think is speaking to our spirit? God? The Holy Spirit? Is it any different than with Moses? Not really. Moses at Marah was faced with bitter water that the people could not drink. Faced with no water and a people becoming increasingly impatient, God shows Moses a tree that he threw into the water to make it drinkable (Exo 15:22-25). There should be no problem that we can not get divine revelation about. If we would allow this gift to flow we would never have to beg money again or be helpless in a situation that seems impossible to get out of.

There is another dimension of the word of wisdom as well as the word of knowledge. The word of wisdom works in giving us insight (revelation) into the word of God. It is not uncommon for those who preach the gospel to make statements about spiritual things that the preacher did not know. It is an amazing thing to hear words come out of your mouth that did not pass through your head and know that it is not only right but what was needed. These revelations are not only in words of wisdom but also knowledge. This ability of getting wisdom concerning the scripture is surely a gift bestowed by the Spirit of God. Paul talks about this hidden wisdom: 1CO 2:6  Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; 2:7 but we speak God's wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined before the ages to  our glory; 2:8 the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. We must continually remember that all the knowledge and insight that we possess is really the working of a gift given to us by God and does not originate from our own understanding and intellectual abilities. It is a grave mistake to think that we have (that is in ourselves) the least ability to understand God or His word. 1CO 2:13 which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. ROM 11:33  Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!

7) Workers of miracles (Power)

The term miracle is not a very accurate word for the Greek word. The Greek word dunamis means power. So we are talking about workers of power! It would seem that any spiritual effect could be included in this gift. In the Old Testament we see scriptures that can easily identify what a miracle is: EXO 3:20 "So I will stretch out My hand, and strike Egypt with all My miracles which I shall do in the midst of it; and after that he will let you go. According to this scripture all the works that God did in Egypt are miracles but is the Hebrew word for miracle a counterpart for the Greek word for power? No. So what is the working of power?

When looking at New Testament scriptures that mention the working of miracles (which is actually working of power) we can get a insight into their operation. ACT 2:22 ¶ "Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles (powers) and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know- and ACT 8:13 And even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip; and as he observed signs and great miracles (powers) taking place, he was constantly amazed. 8:6 And the  multitudes with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. 8:7 For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. Jesus and Philip are said to have performed many miracles (powers) but in both cases there were no specific events that were differentiated as a working of power (miracle). In Philips case there was a mentioning of casting out demons and healing of the paralyzed and lame. This working of power (miracles) was taking place in the presence of the unsaved in both cases, seemingly for the purpose of drawing unbelievers to God. In both cases, as we well know, there were many healings and deliverances not just one or two.

We still have no direct evidence of what constitutes a miracle (work of power). We do see in the book of Acts a clear statement of a work of power that is classified as extraordinary. ACT 19:11 And God was performing extraordinary miracles (powers) by the hands of Paul, 19:12 so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out. Here the work of power is not the end result but that divine power was housed in handkerchiefs and aprons. We see this power flowing freely from Jesus when the woman with the issue of blood touched Him. MAR 5:28 For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I shall get well." 5:29 And immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 5:30 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?"

So the workers of power are those who have been given a supernatural gift of power that can perform healings and deliverances in abundance while in the presence of the unsaved. This power may also work through inanimate objects. We will see more about this gift when talking about the Apostle.

8) Various tongues and interpretation of tongues

I have group these two together because of the obvious relationship they have with one another. Some tend to think this gift is different than the tongues that Christian receives at the time of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Others think that they are the same gift. Many also think that speaking in tongues is required in order to actually be baptized in the spirit. These are not new arguments but they have plagued the church and Christians for a century. We must understand what the scriptures teach and do not teach in order to resolve these questions.

A) Is tongues the only evidence of Spirit anointing?

The validity of the baptism in the Spirit has already been dealt with as being one of the two parts of being baptized into Christ. We not only saw Jesus baptized in water but also in the Holy Spirit. Any good follower (if that is what we claim to be) would realize they must follow Jesus' example. It is at this point that things start to get vague. If Jesus is our greatest example of how we should live, why doesn’t the scripture report that at the time of His Spirit baptism He spoke in tongues? Many may overlook this fact when dealing with tongues as the only evidence of the Spirit's baptism but it is to their own mistake that they do. We don't see any evidence that Jesus was anointed with power until at least forty three days after his Spirit anointing. The very first sign performed by Jesus was turning water into wine (John 2:1-11). The second sign as some believe was the words of knowledge that Jesus had when speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:5-26).

There are three sections in the book of Acts that mention Spiritual Baptism and the affects it had on those being baptized. The very first is when the disciples were gathered together in the upper room waiting for the Holy Spirit to come upon them. There could have been as many as one hundred and twenty people in the upper room. ACT 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2:2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent, rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 2:3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. We see three things that took place at this time: 1) noise of a rushing wind, 2) tongues of fire resting on each person, and 3) speaking in unknown tongues as the Spirit willed. Only one of these is remotely similar to Jesus' experience and that is the tongues of fire that rested on them. While Jesus did not have tongues of fire resting on Him, He did have the Spirit in the form of a dove rest upon Him (Luke 3:22). So what accounts for the difference? First of all John prophesied that Jesus would not only baptize in the Spirit but also in fire (Matt 3:11) and God told John that he would be able to identify the Christ when he saw the Spirit descend upon Him and remain (John 1:32-33). So in Jesus' case it was so that John could identify Him as the one who Baptizes in the Holy Spirit and fire, and in the disciples case it was to fulfill the prophesy of John.. So the noise of wind and the speaking in tongues have no common ground with Jesus' experience.

In the second instance we see gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit. ACT 10:44 ¶ While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 10:45 And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also. 10:46 For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 10:47 "Surely no one can refuse  the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" In this passage we see two occurrences: 1) the people spoke in tongues 2) the people exalted God. The speaking in tongues is the identifying feature that Peter recognized as the same experience as the disciples had on the day of Pentecost. If we are familiar with this story we know that Peter was hesitant to go and meet with gentiles for it made him unclean as a Jew. God would not allow Peter to just preach to the gentiles but by having them receive the Holy Spirit in the like manner as the Jews, Peter had to follow God's lead and declare the gentiles heirs of the same grace and recipients of the same Spirit. Was this the evidence (speaking with tongues) that all should experience? No, not according to this scripture. What about the baptism with fire that John said that they also would be baptized in? Not only does this scripture say they were speaking in tongues but also exalting God. Is this an evidence? If it is, it isn't mentioned in the other examples we looked at.

The third and final experience that is spoken about in scripture states: ACT 19:6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 19:7 And there were in all about twelve men. This is the third time that we see that tongues are mentioned as a evidence that a group of people have received the Holy Spirit. In none of the instances does it state that all spoke in tongues. We neither see Jesus speaking with tongues or prophesying for that matter. According to this scripture either of these experiences, speaking in tongues and prophesy would indicate that the Spirit was received. Yet in the case of Jesus we see no evidence of Spirit baptism until he changes water into wine. Now no "religious" person would stand for someone turning water into wine as the evidence of the Spirit anointing, but wasn't it in Jesus' case? It was His first supernatural feat.

It would seem that we are trying to make something a standard which God never intended to be the standard. Would it matter if a person prophesied or cast out a demon or spoke in a tongue or had a word of knowledge as their first sign of the Holy Spirit baptism? It shouldn't matter to us what a person displays or how long it takes for it to come forth. It may be that because we are bent on seeing this one sign (speaking in tongues), that the members of the body feel they are being oppressed and afraid to move in the very gifting that God wants to manifest as the evidence. The individual may even be moving in a gift that so unnerves church leadership that persecution has suppressed and stunted the moving of God in the person. We need to release the body to move as God desires, not push them into a mold that is just limiting and unhealthy. We who are spiritual know that anyone can speak in tongues as well as prophesy and on occasion move in any of the spiritual gift that are available, so why must we force the point to those who are immature?

B) Various tongues

What we know about the gift of various tongues is limited to 1 Corinthians chapters 12 -14 and possibly Acts chapter 2. Much emphasis is placed on this minor gifting that has so little explanation in the scriptures. What do we know about this gifting? 1) We know that there are human tongues and angelic tongues that are include in the gifting (1 Co 13:1). 2) A tongue is of no profit to the hearers unless there is an interpreter (1 Co 14:5-6, 14:11). 3) Paul seems to be saying that there are five things that a tongue can be spoken as: a) a praise or blessing (1 Co 14:16), b) a revelation, c) a prophecy, d) a word of knowledge, and e) a teaching (1 Co 14:6). 4) Everyone should not have this gift of tongues ( the Greek word for "not" here should not be understood as an "absolute not" but as a "should not" 1 Co 12:29-30). 5) Tongues is for a sign to the unbeliever (1 Co 14:22). 6) The church should not exercise every member speaking in tongues during a service (this indicates that all can speak in tongues and verse 24 that all can prophesy: 1 Co 14:23-24). 7) When speaking in a tongue our spirit prays but our mind is unfruitful (1 Co 14:14). 8) One who speaks in tongues should seek to interpret (1 Co 14;13). 9) Our goal should be to edify the church (1 Co 14:12).

In these nine facts about tongues, we can come to an understanding why tongues and prophesy were evidenced when people received the Spirit anointing. They can be done by all believers at the time of Spiritual baptism but should not be exercised by all in a church gathering. This doesn't mean that at the time of receiving the anointing upon our life that we must move in one of these gifts.

There is some evidence that would validate the event in Acts as an activity of the gift of various tongues. Scripture states that on the day of Pentecost people of all languages heard the now anointed disciples speaking in their own tongue. ACT 2:5 ¶ Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 2:6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were bewildered, because they were each one hearing them speak in his own language. 2:7 And they were amazed and marveled, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 2:8 "And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were  born? 2:9 "Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 2:10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 2:11 Cretans and Arabs-- we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." The scripture doesn't say what language Peter and the rest were speaking in, it is possible that they were speaking in tongues. Even if they were not speaking in tongues, Paul declares that speaking in tongues is a sign to the unbeliever: 1CO 14:22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe, but to unbelievers. The happenings in the book of Acts are without doubt a sign for those who stood and listened to Peter give his address, for three thousand were saved. Are we falling short in our exercise of the gift of tongues?


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