STUDIES IN ACTS 12-14
I. A SIMPLE SUMMARY OF THE 9 GIFTS
1. WORD OF KNOWLEDGE
IT IS THE SUPERNATURAL REVELATION TO MAN THE PART OF KNOWLEDGE OF GOD. 1 Cor. 13:9-10
It is the impartation of facts and information, which are humanly impossible to know.
It is not knowledge that comes through natural ability, observation, study, education or experience. (It is not psychology)
It can come through dreams and visions but many times forth telling like prophesy.
v Peter knew about the sin of Ananias and Sapphira. Acts 5:1-5
v Jesus and the woman at the well John 4: 15-19
2. WORD OF WISDOM
a) It is not just a word on the subject or the situation at hand, it is the wordon it.
b) It is the answer or the solution or the will of God in that situation.
c) It is not just a God-given ability to use human wisdom. It is supernatural.
v King Solomon with the two women who were fighting over a baby. 1 Kings 3:17-28
v James, deciding for the future of the gentile believers. Acts 15:13-21
3. DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS
Paul with a young woman who was following them is prophesying.
Acts 16: 16-19
§ Peter and John at the temple gate. Acts 3:1-10
§ Aeneas healed by Peter Acts 9:32-35
§ Jesus’ turning of water into wine. John 3
§ Jesus walking on water.
§ Peter’s shadow and hankie healing people. Acts 5:12-15
§ The resurrection of Dorcas (Tabitha) in Acts 9: 36-43
§ The stopping of rain for three years. 1 Kings 17:1
§ The calling down of fire. 1 Kings 18: 20-40
WHAT IS THE GIFT OF PROPHECY?
1. The gift of prophecy is speaking under the direct supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit.
2. It is becoming God’s mouthpiece, to speak His words as the Spirit directs.
3. The word “prophecy” used in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is the Greek word “propheteia,” and means “speaking forth the mind and counsel of God.”
4. It is inseparable in its New Testament usage with the concept of direct inspiration of the Spirit. Rev 19:10 –
5. Prophecy is the very voice of Christ speaking in the Church. Jeremiah 33:11 speaks of the “voice of the bride and of the bridegroom.” This depicts Christ speaking to His bride, the Church.
v A prophet: Forth Tells and Fore Tells
v A prophet can also tell what happened in the past and God uses that to encourage the hearers’ faith.
v Agabus’ prophesy to Paul.
v The believers at Antioch.
WHAT ARE THE PURPOSES OF PROPHECY?
A. EDIFICATION – (1 Corinthians 14:3).
1. “Edification” is a word used in construction of buildings, speaking of building, erecting, or putting stones into place.
2. This is one means God has provided whereby we may build up the Church. It is vital that we build with quality materials (gifts, ministries) instead of wood, hay and stubble. (1 Cor 3:10-15)
B. EXHORTATION – 1 Corinthians 14:3. To “exhort” is to “incite, encourage, to advise and warn earnestly.”
.1. Many times prophecies contain strong urging and earnest admonition.
a. This often is the very “mood and attitude” of God being spoken to His people along a given line.
b. This makes a strong impression on those who have ears to hear.
2. The entire chapter of 1Timothy 4 also illustrates this type of prophetic utterance.
1. This Greek word for “comfort” (paramuthia) means “primarily a speaking closely to anyone, therefore implies consolation, comfort, with a great degree of tenderness.”
2. The prophetic word is Christ not only drawing near and speaking, but speaking with great personal concern/ tenderness and care.
3. This is a great comfort. It not only makes us aware that He is there and speaking, but that He speaks with great intimacy & concern.
D. TO CONVICT AND CONVINCE – 1 Cor 14:24-25
This relates to immature believers as well as to unbelievers.
E. FOR INSTRUCTION AND LEARNING –
1. Though much of the recorded prophecy of Scripture was predicting the future, much of the message was for the purpose of communicating the heart and will of God toward His people.
2. Prophecy is not therefore always foretelling future events but it is God’s way of communicating to His people primarily. 1 Cor 14:31.
3. There were various levels or degrees of inspiration/authority in prophetic utterances.
a. The message of a prophet, for example, would usually carry a greater unction and authority than one from a member of the congregation who prophesied for edification or comfort.
b. Among those who prophesy some have a greater authority by virtue of their personal knowledge of God and overall maturity.
NOTE: A prophesy is often positive and constructive and not negative or a source of creating fear. A prophesy is never intended to shame the person addressed (warnings must be addressed privately)
PROPHESY SHOULD BE JUDGED.
1 Corinthians 13:9
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
1 Corinthians 14:29
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge.
1. Every believer should check and see whether a prophesy aligns with the scripture. The spirit within us also discerns error.
2. Church leaders should protect the flock from error but also from false prophets.
3. All of God’s dealings through man involve both the natural and supernatural elements.
4. The purity of the prophecy therefore depends on the degree of yieldedness to God.
These are tongues as a sign that the Holy Spirit has come
This is what happened at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit had come to the young church believers. They spoke in both known language and supernatural ones.
Acts 2: 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Tongues as a prayer language.
1 Cor 14: 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification
13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.
18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue
Prayer language is for personal edification and should be limited to private prayer time or in a prayer meeting. (example of people praying in tongues on a crusade ground.)
Tongues where God is speaking to his people just like prophesy.
A. The gift of tongues is the God-given enabling to communicate in a language one does not know, and to be interpreted in the assembly that all may understand.
B. This is a “manifestation of the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 12:7), and not human ability.
C. The gift of tongues is a supernatural manifestation or expression of the Holy Spirit through a person’s speech organs. It is a direct manifestation of the miraculous.
1 Cor different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.
3. INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES
13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret
This is a spiritual gift that operates where a message in tongues is interpreted in a language we can understand for our benefit.
This interpretation can be done by the very person who has the message or by another person.
III. PRACTICAL INSTRUCTIONS IN THE OPERATION OF THE GIFTS
God operates through a person as a co-operative act; man does not become a puppet, act unconsciously, or go into a trance, but co-operates with the Lord to express what God wants to say in the way God wants it expressed.
1. The Gifts Of The Spirit Are To Be Subject To The Written Word Of God – REV. 22:18-19 PROV. 30:5-6
No matter how sure one is that he has a spiritual revelation or a word from the Lord, if it contradicts the clear teaching of the Scripture, it must not be accepted. God’s Word is final.
2. The Gifts Of The Spirit Are To Be Subject To The Oversight Ministries Of The Church:
Leaders are accountable for the spiritual health and well being of the flock and have the authority and the responsibility to correct, rebuke and admonish the believers and establish them in truth. (1 Cor. 14:29).
3. The Principle of “Yielding” Your Members: (ROMANS 6:13)
We must obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit by faith and the act of our will, putting ourselves into a position in which the Holy Spirit can use us and manifest Himself through us. We do not use the Spirit, He uses us.
4. Gifts Are To Be Governed By Love: 1 Cor. 13.
This is the whole message of the “love chapter” is actually part of the teaching on the gifts. A person’s motive must be based on love for God’s people. It is not the right motive to just want to see that one’s ministry functions.
5. The Principle of “Edification. 1 Cor. 14:12; 1 Cor.14:26 – “Let all things be done unto edifying.”
Every action and operation should be weighed by this: “Does it edify?” “How will it effect the Church?” Moreover “How can this gift operate for the greatest benefit of the body?
6. The Manner in which it is Done
Gifts must be operated Scripturally, not in an abusive manner or emotionally or as an exhibitionist. (1 Cor. 14:32)
6. Timing: Paul tells the Corinthians not only to do things properly, but at the proper time.
1 Cor. 14:26, 27, 29-33
8. The Principle of Unity.
The Holy Spirit usually builds a theme or a message in a meeting, and everyone who is walking in the Spirit will speak the same. (1Cor 12:4-6. We should harmonise with the theme of the Spirit, especially regarding the vocal gifts during a meeting. “Crosscurrents”should be avoided. A person may have a heavy burden or strong inner message, but if it does not fit in with what God is saying, then it is probably not to be spoken (at least at that particular time).
9. In Conclusion
Any person will make mistakes; that is part of development. God has provided for this and knows they will occur. However, one only grows as they begin to move in their gift. A person must therefore begin to function according to his faith, and according to the level he is on As long as we remain open and teachable and submit to oversight, we will not go too far astray.