Posted by: Rina | October 14, 2009

Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts

This section is not intended to be an exhaustive study on these subjects.  The reasons to mention them are twofold.  First, they are an essential part of our identity as Christians.  Secondly, they equip us for the fulfillment of our destiny.  (The reader is referred to the endnotes for more comprehensive studies in this area).

Jesus instructed the disciples to “tarry in Jerusalem” (Luke 24:49) until the Promise of the Father came upon them.  Jesus had already commissioned them to preach the gospel, (Luke 24:47) yet, He told them to wait until they were “clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49).  Jesus knew that to effectively minister the Kingdom of God, the disciples needed power.  This is evident in the commission of the seventy and of the twelve.

The twelve:  “And as you go, preach, saying ’The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8)

The seventy upon their return:  “Then the seventy returned with joy saying, ‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.’  And He said to them, ‘I saw satan fall like lightning from heaven.  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)

Every time Jesus sent out ministers to proclaim the Kingdom of God, He sent them out with power.  It is absolutely no different today.  Those who will preach His Kingdom still need the power of God to effectively preach the Kingdom.  An encounter with the Holy Spirit is required to receive the power to accomplish your destiny. (1)  Baptism in the Holy Spirit is essential in order to effectively minister the Kingdom to a lost world.  Jesus commissions the disciples saying, “As the Father has sent me so I now send you. (John 20:21)”  If Jesus is sending us as the Father has sent Him, then He will equip us with a similar power.

If the baptism in the Holy Spirit is essential to walking in Kingdom Power, then the obvious question becomes: What does one have to do in order to receive it?  The answer is:  Nothing!  The baptism in the Spirit is not earned or deserved, it has already been purchased for us by Jesus.  Kenneth Hagan writes, “We don’t do anything to merit the Holy Ghost any more than we can do anything to merit salvation.  Babes in Christ can receive the Holy Ghost just as well as mature Christians.  We don’t get the Holy Ghost just because we have graduated to some marvelous degree of spirituality beyond everyone else, and God puts a seal on us saying we are perfect.  The Holy Ghost is a gift.  “…Ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).  If you are born again, you are ready to receive the gift.  If you had to do one thing to receive it, then it ceases to be a gift and becomes a reward.” (2).

How do we know if we have received the Holy Spirit? The real manifestation of the infilling of the Holy Spirit is the new acquisition of power!  There are several manifestation of this new power.  First, there are the gifts of the Spirit listed in I Corinthians 12: 8-10.  The gift of tongues and of prophecy are two listed frequently in scripture ( Acts 19:6)  Secondly, the ability to love in a Godly manner. (see I Corinthians 13:4-8)  Additionally, one could expect the nine “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal 5:22-23) as an indication of Spirit fullness.  Jack Hayford summarizes: “I believe an unintended but nonetheless restrictive barrier was built…I am referring to a classical Pentecostal conviction: the historic tradition that requires tongues as “the evidence”, verifying the validity of a person’s being baptized in the Spirit…  What are the Bible’s signs of Holy Spirit fullness?  With regard to signs of the Holy Spirit’s fullness, everyone acknowledges that Love is the first and foremost we should expect.  Next, few would challenge the proposal that if love is first, surely power must be the second sign we would anticipate, a third area of expectation may be found in the entire list of ‘signs’ I Corinthians 12:8-10. The nine gifts listed there are revealed as the unique domain of the Holy Spirit Himself.  Additionally, the full complement of the nine fruits listed in Galatians 5:22-23 are reasonable expectations to be manifested as traits of His character working in us.” (3)

God is Love (I John 4:16).  Therefore, the evidence of His Manifest Presence is the display His Character and Nature.  The exhibition of this type of love is power.  Love never fails (I Corinthians 13:8). (4)

A woman that I work with experienced this type of Spirit-fullness.  She had begun seeking God through prayer and bible study.  Additionally, she was reading a book by Beth Moore (Get out of that Pit).  She was attending a church where she’d had a personal encounter with God. About a week later, she asked if she could speak with me.  She was very puzzled and wanted to know, “What is happening to me?”  I asked her to elaborate and she told me that all the bitterness and resentment that she had toward her ex-husband was gone.  No matter how hateful he was to her, she could not reciprocate.  She had begun walking and imitating the love of God.  She was communicating it without even being consciously aware of it.  She had only noticed the change.  Before her encounters with God, she had continual strife with her ex-husband.  Afterward, she reported that her issues with him had resolved.  That is Power!

In regards to the spiritual gifts listed in I Corinthians 12:8-10, it must be reiterated that this is not intended to be a comprehensive discussions on these gifts. It is intended to familiarize the reader with these gifts and to acknowledge that they are part of the Kingdom identity. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge though the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues”  (I Corinthians 12:8-10)

Here is a list of each gift and a brief definition of what each gift entails (5):

1.  Word of Wisdom:  A supernatural utterance of the will and purpose of God at a given moment or for a given situation.

2.  Word of Knowledge:  A supernatural revelation of information about someone, usually having a need, given by a person who has no prior knowledge of the need.  An example is when a speaker reveals that someone has diabetes and God wants to heal the person now.

3.  The gift of faith:  A faith that goes beyond saving faith.  This faith is supernaturally inspired belief regarding events that will come to pass.  It is exercised to change the course of history and to reveal the heart of God.

4.  Gifts of healings:  A release of divine power from one person to an afflicted person that yields a result of improving health.  It is different from miracles which happen instantly, healings oftentimes occur over time.  Che’ Ahn is a modern day minister with this gifting.

5.  The workings of miracles:  The divine enablement to accomplish something above and beyond the ordinary course of natural law.  Ministers who walk in this gift often see miracles of healings.  After prayer, cancers are cured, handicaps are fully recovered, etc…  Modern day examples of these ministers are Bill Johnson and Benny Hinn.

6.  Prophecy:  A person is able to reveal at a particular time what God is saying and what God desires His people to do in a particular situation.  Prophecy is the revelation of the will of God either for the future or for the present.  Modern day prophets include:  Cindy Jacobs, Kim Clement, Bob Jones, Jim Goll, and Steve Shultz.

7.  Discerning of the spirits:  The supernatural ability to discern the activities in the spiritual realm.  It can be the ability to detects motives of people or determine the spiritual power behind a situations.  Many prophets also have this gift as well as many healers.  Determining the source spiritually, leads God’s people into an appropriate course of action.  Francis Frangipane has great resources on this gift.

8.   Different kinds of     tongues:  The supernatural gift of speaking a language that was not otherwise known to the speaker.  The language can either be known or unknown.  The plural of the word indicates that a mixture of languages may also be present.  This is a common gift given and is one very useful to all believers (more one this later).  Dave Roberson walks in this gift in our day.

9.  The interpretation of tongues:  The supernatural gift of translating the tongue that was given by another person.  The translator has no previous knowledge of the tongue and, under divine influence, reveals what the Lord is saying through the tongue.

The operating in the gifts of the Spirit is part of our identity.  The gifts should be embraced and exercised to build us up and advance the Kingdom of God.

Endnotes

1.  Jacobs, Cindy, The Supernatural Life, Regal books, Ventura CA, 2005, page 16.

2.  Hagan, Kenneth, Concerning Spiritual Gifts, Faith Library Publications, 1974, page     29.

3.  Hayford, Jack, The Beauty of Spiritual Language, Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson publishers, 1992, pg 92, 95-96.

4.  The reader is referred to Kenneth Hagan’s book, Love, the Way to Victory, as a comprehensive study on this subject.

5. Hayford, Jack, The Spirit filled Life Bible,  Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville TN, 1991, page,  1736-1737.

Recommended reading

1.  Developing a Supernatural Lifestyle, Kris Valloton
2.  The Walk of the Spirit, the Walk of Power, the vital role of praying in Tongues, Dave Roberson.
3.  The Voice of God, Cindy Jacobs
4.  Healing, Francis Macnutt
5.  When Heaven Invades Earth, A practical guide to walking in miracles, Bill Johnson
6.  The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, Bill Johnson
7.  Surprised by the Power of the Spirit, Jack Deere
8.  How to pray for healing, Che’ Ahn
9.  Authority in Prayer, Dutch Sheets
10.  Worship Warrior, Chuck Pierce
11.  Good Morning Holy Spirit, Benny Hinn
12.  Healing the Sick, a living classic, T.L. Osborn
13.  Face to Face with God, Bill Johnson
14.  Journey into the Miraculous, Todd Bentley
15.  The beginners Guide to hearing God,  Jim Goll
16.  The Seer, Jim Goll
17.  When God Speaks, Chuck Pierce and Rebecca Wagner Systema
18.  The Reality of the Supernatural World, Todd Bentley.
19.  The Supernatural Life, Kris Valloton

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