{Guest Post} testing the spirits–critical; Gifts of the Spirit #3

{There is a younger generation rising up. And with all force of the Holy Spirit they speak boldly. This post is one of those voices crying from the wilderness. To keep from focusing on the writer, this person prefered a new name for the blog. Paz, who is born the first time somewhat reserved; born again as a dedicated temple of an outspoken Holy Spirit. A guest post from Paz}

So, what are the gifts?

First of all, I do not believe Paul’s list to be exhaustive in the sense that the Holy Spirit is confined by it.  I do believe the list broadly covers the various categories of gifts and that within these categories, where people actually minister, there is a wide variety of individual, unique “flavors” expressed by the Holy Spirit.

The expression of a gift through a human being is as unique as everything else about that human being.  Two people may have the same gift, but the nuances of the gift in operation will be different between the two.  All expressions of the gift, however, will be in keeping with the nature of God and the Holy Spirit.

So, the gift list (in a compilation of different scripture translations) is as follows:

  • wise counsel/advice (wisdom)
  • clear understanding (special knowledge)
  • simple trust (great faith)
  • power to heal the sick
  • power to work miracles
  • ability to prophesy (proclaim God’s message to the people)
  • ability to discern whether a message or gift is from the Spirit of God or another spirit (distinguishing/discerning between spirits)
  • ability to speak in strange tongues or unknown languages
  • ability to interpret and explain what is being said in tongues

A perfect church fellowship would have all these gifts operating on equal footing, with equal respect and freedom, among the various members.  Living and fellowshipping in this ideal way  would result in a complete and perfect image of Christ, whose Body we are.

The beauty of God’s design is that each member is necessary.  No one gift is “more important” than another.  I love how The Message translation puts this:

           

            “No matter how significant you are, it is only because of what you are a part of.  An enormous eye or a gigantic hand wouldn’t be a body, but a monster.  . . -the ‘lower’ the part, the more basic, and therefore necessary.  You can live without an eye, for instance, but not without a stomach. . . If anything, you have more concern for the lower parts than the higher.  If you had to choose, wouldn’t you prefer good digestion to full-bodied hair?”   1 Corinthians 12:18-24        

If you see someone “operating in their gift or ministry” and they are proud, arrogant, and walk as if they are more important to the body than you are, it does not take the gift of discernment to realize something is very wrong there.

So far, I know there are at least two general ways to “go wrong,” as it were, in situations and places where the gifts are operating.

In the first case, you can have someone who truly has been anointed by God and gifted by the Holy Spirit in a certain way but the person has gotten slightly “off” in their ministry.  They may be in sin or some error in their life.  This does not mean, however, that the gift originally given to them by the Holy Spirit has been removed.  It has not.   For a time, the person may be able to continue to operate under their anointing and the Lord may continue to minister through them, although possibly in a limited way.

Those with spiritual discernment, especially those with the gift of discernment, will often pick up that something is not quite right and be cautious of the person; they will be lead to take great care and carefully examine everything coming from that person. 

After a time, if the person does not repent, the Lord will withdraw Himself.  The shell of the gift, the natural talents, the charisma, the ability to evoke the same emotional responses that were once real responses to spiritual experiences – all the methods of the gift – may remain, but the lights are out.  The Power is gone. 

To the spiritually undiscerning, everything may look the same.  There may be no change in the natural, the person may continue to operate in their “ministry” without hardly a ripple to indicate any alteration in course.  But in the spirit there is a vast difference.  With their heart hardened by their persistent refusal to listen to the Lord’s correction, this person will abuse whatever traits of the gift that remain and will increasingly veer ever further into error, taking others with them.

In the second case, there are people who operate in a false gift.  It is not given by the Holy Spirit; it is a counterfeit.  There is often, if not always, a wrong spirit attached to such a person and who operates through the false gift.  Contrary to being afraid of believers, this spirit thrives on operating within the church setting, and as high up in a leadership position as it can get itself.  The person is always in considerable pride, although it can be very difficult to perceive because there will often be a front of false humility. 

False humility tends to operate in the opposite of what a person is saying. In other words, for example, they will say, “I do not want to be the leader of this group (of believers) because I’m just another believer like you.”  When in reality, they actually operate within the group by doing the opposite and do most or all of the speaking or teaching. Undiscerning believers, especially young ones, are susceptible to its deception.

Everything about this “gift” or “ministry” will closely mimic the real thing while all the time subtly working against actual Truth.  The wrong spirit will often masquerade as the Holy Spirit, leading the person in error to say such things as, “The Lord told me”, or “The Lord is showing me”, etc.

Again, those with spiritual discernment will be aware that something is “off”, sometimes very much off!  The Holy Spirit is faithful; He does not fail to lead you into all Truth and keep you away from pitfalls and dangers as long as you are willing to be lead Take everything before Him.  He is your only Guide.

Stay with Him, even when it becomes uncomfortable, even when there are those around you who are afraid to go where He is leading you.  For He alone is able to keep you and eventually present you faultless before the throne.

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About Geneva

The road in my rear view mirror is marked by hard places. My Guide has been faithful. He came into my life and I was branded. Marked. Labeled. Ridiculed. Judged. Stoned. But the road ahead always looks grand and full of light! The furnaces from the past have only caused the fire of His Spirit to burn hotter. The edicts of man have tried many times to make me bend in worship to him, yet I have met the true Flame who delivers me in every furnace!
This entry was posted in church and the Holy Spirit, encouragement for the Body, Guest post, institutionalizing the church, kingdom principles, liberty and sacrifice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to {Guest Post} testing the spirits–critical; Gifts of the Spirit #3

  1. Pingback: Testing your thoughts to reveal their source: intelligence work » The Christian Authors of Radiqx Press

  2. Pingback: Faith healers « Minkyweasel World

  3. Pingback: while you were sleeping | firechronicles

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