The Bible is saturated with miracles. It doesn’t matter where you look, in the New Testament or the Old, the Bible is brimming with them. It is a common thought in this day in this age that miracles no longer occur, that they was just for Bible times, but I can assure you that there are miracles, displays of healing and Holy Spirit manifestations happening in countries across the globe today. For instance in China, half of the salvations that occur are direct results of a healing miracle. The gifts of the Spirit are manifesting, and learning how He moves will help you to flow with Him in these last days.
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Reason 1: Study is Essential to Growth and Development
1 Corinthians 12:1 (KJV)
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
- Growing Involves the Art of Asking Questions
- An important phrase here in this verse are the words ‘NOW CONCERNING’; ‘Now concerning spiritual gifts.’
- The Corinthians had several questions about the ‘Christian experience’ that they were engaged in.
- Paul takes each of these questions up, one by one and prefaces each Corinthian question with the words NOW CONCERNING.
Question One: Marriage and Divorce.
1 Corinthians 7:1 (KJV)
1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
Question Two: Proper Conduct for those Engaged to be Married
1 Corinthians 7:25 (KJV)
25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
Question Three: Food Offered to Idols
1 Corinthians 8:1 (KJV)
1 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.
- The third question dealt with food offered to idols in their temple.
- The question was ‘Can that meat be eaten since it was offered to an idol?”
Question Four: Spiritual Manifestations
1 Corinthians 12:1 (KJV)
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
Question Five: The Collection for the Saints at Jerusalem
1 Corinthians 16:1 (KJV)
1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
- It is imperative that we understand the importance of asking our spiritual leaders questions.
- What if no one had asked Paul this question on spiritual manifestations in the first place?
- What would we have in the Bible about this subject?
- But because someone asked the question, we now have a listing of nine manifestations all in one place.
- It is also important to align yourself with people who have spiritual depth about them.
Bible Background: Literacy Rate
Did you know that the literacy rate in the first century was only 10%?
Only one person out of ten could read and write in the first century.
Isn’t that interesting that God put the New Testament into a form that only one of ten people could read in the first century?
- The New Testament was put into a form not just for the 10% of the first century but for every century!
- Do you now see that Study is Essential to Growth and Development?
Reason 2: The Spiritual Realm is the Realm of the Believer
- The next word that should grab your attention in verse one is the word ‘spiritual’.
- It is used many times, in fact, 16x in this letter.
- The word ‘spiritual’ is plural in the Greek.
- The fact that it is plural means that ‘spiritual’ is not just one singular entity or dimension.
- People hear the term, ‘Being spiritual’, but what does that mean?
- How do I grow and become more spiritual?
- The realm of ‘spiritual’ does not encompass one area (singular) but many areas (plural).
1 Corinthians 2:13 (KJV)
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
- Paul discusses spiritual teaching, spiritual people, spiritual food and drink, spiritual manifestations, and spiritual bodies.
- When he gets to ‘spirituals’ in 1Cor. 12, he ends that chapter with this.
1 Corinthians 12:31 (KJV)
31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
- He goes on and describes in chapter 13, ‘love’ as the more excellent way.
- Walking in love is absolutely spiritual.
- Paul also talks about anti-spiritual things also in 1Corinthians; areas like strife, division, sexual immortality, lawsuits against fellow believers, idolatry, and pigging out at the communion feast.
- Do you now see that the Spirit realm is your realm?
Reason 3: Proper Study of the Word Avoids Confusion
- Now, we come to the word ‘gifts’.
- Notice that the word ‘gifts’ is italicized in the KJV meaning that it is not in the original Greek text. The translators, those that took the original Greek text and translated into English for us, added this word themselves thinking that we’re helping you to understand the context.
- The translators, in adding this word to help make ‘English’ sense of this sentence, inserted a word that does not really work with the rest of the verses in this chapter.
- Why is the word gifts not the best word here?
1 Corinthians 12:4–6 (KJV)
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
- In 1Corinthians 12:4, the word gifts is in the Greek text.
- It is not italicized in the KJV.
DEFINITION: gifts – χάρισμα/charisma – that which is freely and graciously given, favor bestowed, gift .
- The italicized word gifts in verse 1 was not best word to insert to try and make sense of the sentence because the manifestations described in verses four to six are not all ‘gifts’.
- Notice that there are two other categories listed; administrations and operations.
- So of the nine manifestations of the Spirit, some are gifts, some are administrations and some are operations.
Reason 4: We are Instructed, as Children of God, to Be Informed
- It is the not the will of God that you live life uniformed about spirituals.
- You can be smart about Holy Spirit manifestations.
- So, God said that He did not want us to be ignorant of spirituals, or things pertaining to the Spirit.
- The thought was is in reference to the fact that the Corinthians while trying to engage the simple gift of prophesy were apparently pronouncing a curse upon Jesus.
1 Corinthians 12:2–3 (KJV)
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
- They were say something like this, “Thus saith the Lord, Jesus is accursed.”
- Now, we do not have time to break these verses down, to go word by word, as we did for verse one (you see how much time it takes) other than let us give the definition for the word ‘accursed’.
DEFINITION: ἀνάθεμα/anathema – accursed (thing or person), curse .
- The Corinthians prophesying ‘Jesus is accursed’ does not register at all on our mental processes.
- But here is the background piece you need to help make sense of it.
It was common in that culture for pagan people to visit religious temples.
Pagans, in fact, prophesied, by other spirits, in their temples!
“Paul indicates that prophesying is not necessarily a sign of godliness; pagans prophesied, too, and at Greek oracular shrines possessed persons prophesied ecstatically, inspired by gods other than the Christian God.” .
- So, there was demon inspired prophesying going on in the temples and there was Holy Spirit prophesying going on in the church.
- And every now and then, they would get mixture.
- Paul helping them is a lesson to all of us in that we now can understand that there are guidelines for prophecy.
- The Word is always the standard for sifting through Holy Spirit inspired prophetic utterances.
Reason 5: Spiritual Manifestations are Part of the Harvest
1 Corinthians 14:22 (KJV)
22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.
- If you follow the flow of 1Corinthians, you have chapter 12, where Paul talks about Spirit manifestations and Spirit offices in the body.
- Then in chapter 13, Paul talks about love the more excellent way that desiring earnestly the best gifts.
- Then in chapter 14, Paul takes the vocal manifestations of the Spirit and breaks it down.
- This is the group of ‘gifts’ that the Corinthians needed instruction in, they needed to be informed.
- The Corinthians needed to know that tongues can be a sign to the unbeliever.
1 Corinthians 14:23 (KJV)
23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?
- The sign manifestation that is for the unbeliever occurs when the whole church has not come together or in other words, outside of church.
- Why? Unbelievers mostly do not come to church.
- This tongues sign manifestation is outside the church out were the sinners are at.
- But in the case where a sinner does happen to come into a church service and is in the midst of ‘the whole church’, or is in a believers meeting, everyone speaking in tongues would be a point of confusion to a lost person.
1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (KJV)
24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: 25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.
- But, if there is prophesy, that is supernatural utterance in a known tongue, and if the Word of Knowledge kicks in at the same time, and the secrets of the unbelievers heart are uncovered, their astonishment could lead to, their salvation.
- And isn’t lost people coming to Jesus reason enough to study, understand and know all that you can about Holy Spirit Manifestations?
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Question: What experience have you had in this area? How has the Lord used you in the area of soul-winning combined with spiritual gifts?