A particular prophetic word to an individual. 1 Corinthians 12: 10b - 11. An end to my comments/teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
|English: Gian Lorenzo Bernini - Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, stained glass, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Once again, I give you the entire passage for context, though we are only focusing on the last half of verse 10 and finishing with verse 11.
1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NET. 7) To each person the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the benefit of all. 8) For one person is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, and another the message of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9) to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10) to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11) It is one and the same Spirit, distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things.
No matter the gifting God promotes in your life, keep one thing in mind, this is not about you. The actions and words resulting from your gifting are meant to build up the body of Christ. To do otherwise puts you in error and falsehood. While you may end up rich, with your own television show, you will still be in error and held responsible for your actions.
Let's pick back up with Prophecy. For some, this lends itself to excitement, as this means action and notoriety. To others, the word and the resulting activities associated with the gifting bring fear and disdain. Why? Because of bad teaching and outlandish behavior on the part of people (both from the person giving the word and those that receive it.) If you read my last post you know it ended, focused on the word Miracles (a gift,) and, I concluded with an example which used the apostle Peter, one of the many disciples gathered in the upper room that day, who waited for the Holy Spirit (the comforter that was to come.)
If you read my last post you know it ended, focused on the word Miracles (a gift,) and, I concluded with an example which used the apostle Peter, one of the many disciples gathered in the upper room that day, who waited for the Holy Spirit (the comforter that was to come.) In that example, I stated that Peter and the others did not know what was going come or how. What they got were tongues of fire and an empowerment in the Holy Spirit of God. The word/gift of miracles also carries the implication of power, and that is certainly what happened with Peter that day. The results of the infilling of the Holy Spirit in Peter's life moved him to do what some would certainly call outlandish, and out of character for Peter.
Sadly, Pastor John MacArthur, preaches adamantly, that these power gifts were only temporary, and needed for the initiation of the church. We saw that Peter's effort brought over 3000 into the kingdom that first day.
- ProphecyThis time, I went down the entire rabbit trail in pursuit of what the Greek word(s) were that made this one word.
[An explanation: A number such as this - G4394 represents a Strong's concordance reference for the word in the Greek language. If it has an 'H' before the number then the language would be Hebrew.]
Initially, we are given the Greek word propheteia, which carries multiple meanings and implications. As you can see propheteia is rather broad spectrum term covering: prophecy in general while including a particular prophetic word to an individual perhaps.
G4394 propheteia; from G4395; prophecy: - prophecies (1), prophecy (15), prophesying (1), prophetic utterance (1).
Because you are astute, you quickly pick up the fact that propheteia is a derivative word coming from propheteuo. So farther down the rabbit hole we go.
G4395 propheteuo; from G4396; to foretell, tell forth, prophesy: - prophesied (5), prophesies (3), prophesy (16), prophesying (3), prophetesses (1).
Strong's number G4395 propheteuo definitely covers the range I mentioned, as these words and phrases can be used to describe an oration from a stage; a pulpit; a word spoken privately to an individual; Or, even the speaking of God's word [This works because Jesus, in the Revelation, tells us that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, and you see this in Revelation 19:10.]
One more thing I noticed in here, the word prophetess. This would include then, the females giving forth words. Having been around this stuff for a while, it becomes clear that women are often more receptive to the voice of the Holy Spirit and his quiet nature. I suspect that we men are taught, or perhaps have shoved down our throats, the idea that God's voice comes across more like an army drill sergeant and therefore miss what He is saying to us. Maybe that is why God has had to invade our dreams, such as what we see with Abram and Jacob. Consider the reality of such a dream when it permanently disables you as it did with Jacob.
You can find the story of Deborah in Judges 4: 4-6.
Once again we are enticed down the rabbit trail because the word propheteuo has been derived from another word, which is itself a derivative.
G4396 prophetes; from a comp. of G4253 and G5346; a prophet (an interpreter or forth-teller of the divine will): - prophet (63), prophets (81).
The Greek word prophetes implies a prophet or many prophets. One of the most dramatic cases we have are the two prophets who stand in the streets of Jerusalem for 1260 days, declaring the Word of the Lord. They do other things as well, like: kill anyone who tries to harm them by shooting streams of fire out of their mouths, stopping the rain, and calling down plagues upon groups of people at their will. +I suspect this is the prophetic type we laypeople have come to fear.
Because the word prophetes is also a compound word then we need to ask what those words imply.
G4253 pro; a prim. prep.; before: - above (2), ago (4), ahead (2), ahead *(2), before (30), front (2), just outside (1), prior (1), right (1).
G5346 phemi; from a prim. root fa- pha-; to declare, say: - claim (1), mean (1), replied (1), said (57), say (4), says (2), stated (1).
So, the idea behind the prophetic is that it typically comes through a person, who often stands before you, but is not limited to vocalization alone, someone could write the words out and convey them through publication. My opinion is that the Word of God is free and those who charge you to hear a word, from the Lord should get whatever they deserve. Never, or least rarely, should you merely accept what someone says to you as being valid or from the Lord – we have this nasty habit of adding the "thus saith the Lord" garbage to the front end of the statement, which often gives it a false pre-qualifier. When, in actuality, they should say, thus says ME, because that is what is going on there. While what is personal to you may not be directly stated in scripture, scripture does speak personally to you about your circumstances in some form. Therefore, most of the time you can judge what is being said against God's word. If it lines up, then it is something you can probably accept. One other method of validating a "prophetic" word. God will have already been talking to you about and what they say at this point will not be a mystery.
That was a huge sidetrack for the purpose of explanation, but let's get back to the verse at hand verse 10.
“to another performance of miracles, to another prophecy, and to another discernment of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues."
- the distinguishing, or discernment of spirits
Vincent's Word Studies has this to say: Discerning of spirits, correctly, discernings. Distinguishing between the different prophetic utterances, whether they proceed from true or false spirits. See 1Ti_4:1; 1Jo_4:1,2.
1 Timothy 4:1 NASB "But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,"1 John 4:1-2 NASB "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2) By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;"
It's not meant to be mystical or something you cannot understand. Part of the toolset that we use comprehend is to allow scripture to interpret scripture. The two scriptures above tell us that there will be deceitful spirits roaming the earth. To say that there will be doctrines of demons move this falsehood into the church. John's writings tell us that we are to test the spirits. Sadly, you may not know you are dealing with a demon spirit that sounds like theology. John, fortunately, gives us another test, is this person delivering the word willing to confess that Jesus Christ came in the flesh? The others I mentioned earlier are judging the word against what God has been speaking to your spirit, and, can you validate the word given with or against the word of God.
- To another the ability to speak in different kinds of tongues
Robertson's Word Pictures explains this rather nicely:
"Divers kinds of tongues (genē glōssōn). No word for “divers” in the Greek. There has arisen a great deal of confusion concerning the gift of tongues as found in Corinth. They prided themselves chiefly on this gift which had become a source of confusion and disorder. There were varieties (kinds, genē) in this gift, but the gift was essentially an ecstatic utterance of highly wrought emotion that edified the speaker (1Co_14:4) and was intelligible to God (1Co_14:2, 1Co_14:28). It was not always true that the speaker in tongues could make clear what he had said to those who did not know the tongue (1Co_14:13): It was not mere gibberish or jargon like the modern “tongues,” but in a real language that could be understood by one familiar with that tongue as was seen on the great Day of Pentecost when people who spoke different languages were present. In Corinth, where no such variety of people existed, it required an interpreter to explain the tongue to those who knew it not. Hence Paul placed this gift lowest of all. It created wonder, but did little real good.
The scripture passages included above and laid out in this manner, give a clear, instructional walk through, not for the purpose of discouraging the usage of tongues, but the impracticality of its usage in a congregation. If you are the great prophet that hears from God, then just speaks out your word to the body in whatever language you are fluent in, then the church body will be able to understand and benefit from it.
I will add one passage that gives a simple, one sentence admonition for the usage of tongues.
Jude 1:20 NASB But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,
- the interpretation of tongues
Once again I draw upon Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament.
The interpretation of tongues (hermēneia glōssōn). Old word, here only and 1Co_14:26 in N.T., from hermēneuō from Hermēs (the god of speech). Cf. on diermēneuō in Luk_24:27; Act_9:36. In case there was no one present who understood the particular tongue it required a special gift of the Spirit to someone to interpret it if anyone was to receive benefit from it.You have to ask yourself, WHY? If you understood how much control you have and understand that the Holy Spirit is a gentleman, you might have refrained from giving the word in tongues. When you hear something like that you can typically assess that this person is still young in the Lord, but bold. I say that because you have to step outside of yourself to speak out like this.Another thing, if this is the church body where you regularly attend, how would you not know if there was someone willing to cover your enthusiasm with an interpretation? You probably would, but then there church organizations where tongues, as a prophetic instrument, are held in disdain. Then you would not know, would you?
1 Corinthians 12:11 tells us, "It is one and the same Spirit, distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things."
The gifting placed in you is all about God, not you. As the commentary from the RWP asserts, in the Corinthian church body, “ There were varieties in this gift, but the gift was essentially an ecstatic utterance of highly wrought emotion that edified the speaker.” If this is the reason why were doing this, we have missed the point entirely, as it all about building up the body of Christ.
I declare that the gifts of the Spirit are alive and well. And, because of the Prophet Joel, who in the second chapter of his prophecy about the final days and hours of the Earth, said: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29) And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit." Joel 2:28-29 KJV
These are an aspect and the main thrust of what Peter, now empowered, said as he addressed the crowd on the Day of Pentecost. He said this prophecy is fulfilled in your hearing. That is huge and if nothing else, opened the door for us to walk through and live in. Do you know anyone who lives this way.