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Gift of the Holy Spirit

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[center:f2d527f3d7]What Does the Bible Say About.... the Gift of the Holy Spirit?

By Betty Miller
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Acts 11:14-17:

"Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. For as much then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?"


God's gift of the Holy Ghost is promised to us today and not just for the saints back in the time of the early church, as we find Peter saying, "...Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:38-39). The Holy Ghost is God's gift to us. As we are baptized in His Spirit we will find that we will experience the gift of speaking in tongues, plus all the other gifts when needed, if we continue to follow Him (1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14). These are God's gifts of power to enable us to accomplish the task to which we have been commissioned. Although the gift has been abused by many, we should not take lightly the Lord's words to us in John 7:37b-39,

"...Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

[center:f2d527f3d7]ZEAL WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE[/center:f2d527f3d7]

A "Balanced Christian Walk" is something that each of us needs to strive to attain since our eagerness and zeal can create problems for us. The Scripture talks of this in Romans 10:2, "For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.'' We need the zeal, yet it must be balanced according to the knowledge of God's Word. The Scripture says in Hosea 4:6a, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Dangerous heresies, erroneous teachings and false doctrines can destroy God's people unless they have a complete knowledge of God's Word. Just memorizing a few Scriptures will not keep us from error. We must study the Word of God and apply it to our hearts if we are to remain free from error and extremes. John 15:7 says, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." This is a powerful promise of God, but it is conditional as we notice two "if" in this Scripture. These are if His words are abiding in us, and if we are abiding in Him. He states we can ask anything and it will be done if these two things are existent in us.

In looking at this Scripture, we can deduce that if our prayers are not being answered, we either do not have God's complete Word abiding in us, or we are not fully abiding in Him. We would be receiving answers to all of our prayers if we had all of God's Word in us and we were completely controlled by the Holy Spirit. The way for us to be overcomers and get our prayers answered 100 percent is to allow the Word of God to dwell in us and change us until we are conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Then we would never pray for anything that would not be the will of God for we would know and obey the will of God. God's Word is His Will. If we are not receiving the answers to our prayers, we need to allow the Word of God to change us. The Word of God never changes, and Jesus never changes; so if there is any changing to be done, it must be on our end. "For I am the Lord, I change not" (Malachi 3:6a). "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" ( Hebrews 13:8 ).

Jesus is the Rock. He is solid and stable and will not change. For this reason we can trust Him and believe the Words He has spoken to us. If He said it, then that settles it. It is truth because He cannot lie. If He said it and we believe it, then faith in His Word will produce those things that are promised to us in the Bible. Knowing only portions of the Word can cause us to become imbalanced. We must seek to know the whole truth and be completely surrendered to the will of God for us to be victorious and successful Christians. Stressing one portion of God's Word will invariably produce prayer failures. This is the reason for many "faith" failures today. It is not so much people's lack of faith that fails to produce the answers they are seeking, but their failure to apply other portions of God's Word.
 
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Are you saying that the only way to know if someone is born of the Spirit, is by the Gift of Tongues? Do you considers this as a sign of discipleship where you worship? What do you do about the ones who aren't?
 
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Member
I read this post twice and I don't see where it states or implies this, aremessenger?
Are you saying that the only way to know if someone is born of the Spirit, is by the Gift of Tongues?
Please point out where you see this.
 
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aremessenger said:
Are you saying that the only way to know if someone is born of the Spirit, is by the Gift of Tongues? Do you considers this as a sign of discipleship where you worship? What do you do about the ones who aren't?
"Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophesy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines." (1 Cor 12:8-11).

Two points (based on the verses I've cited):

1) Not every born again Spirit filled believer receives the gift of tongues. And if you check 1 Cor 14, you'll find that Paul would rather we prophesied because prophesy builds up the church.

2)The Spirit distributes the gifts when and how he pleases, which means that he uses us to bless others through the gifts, but we cannot claim ownership of any of them They are his gifts alone and always. In the 22 years of my walk as a born again Spirit filled believer God has used me to deliver prophetic words and words of encouragement quite a few times and there've been a few times when he has used me to bring physical healing to folks through the laying on of hands.

I can back up my statement that I don't have permanent possession of any of the gifts by telling you this: If I had the gift of prophecy and the gift of encouragement in my possession, I'd have people lined up for blocks waiting to get to me for guidance. That is not happening. And, if I had the gift of healing in my pocket, I'd go down to our local hospital, start laying hands on patients, and have that place cleared out in an hour. That's not happening, either.

SLE
 
Member
Good response SpiritLedEd, let's don't mistake the gift of Tongues ( needs to be interpreted)with praying in tongues (intercession by the Holy Spirit)
 
Member
SpiritledEd, I'm with you 100%. How ever, I have watched the gift of tongues misused many times, with many people getting hurt. Wisdom is a key thought here I believe.

Rick
 
Member
"As we are baptised in the spirit we will find that we will experience the gift of speaking in Tongues, plus all the other gifts when needed." I have no problem with tongues, but when I see that listed above and first ahead of the others, then my previous question comes to mind. I know of many charismatic churches where that is the only evidence that matters. And many folks get hurt in the process.
 
Member
aremessenger said:
"As we are baptised in the spirit we will find that we will experience the gift of speaking in Tongues, plus all the other gifts when needed." I have no problem with tongues, but when I see that listed above and first ahead of the others, then my previous question comes to mind. I know of many charismatic churches where that is the only evidence that matters. And many folks get hurt in the process.
I agree that many have been hurt and that there seems to be a lot of emphasis on speaking in tongues (prayer language) But there is a difference between born of Spirit and baptized in the Spirit. They are both seperate experiences.

The best evidence of the Spirit are the fruits of the Spirit.
 
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Please elaborate if you would Jiggyfly; my opinions concerning this subject are somewhat intense. Since watching people "leave" God permanently because being judged as "spiritually inferior"; I have great difficulty in presenting to anyone what should be "Spirit Baptism" for them. To me this is a personal thing that is between only God and them, and no one else, ever.

Please do not take this as a personal attack, it is not meant to be as such in anyway. I have real problems with people trying to determine for other people, what their "Spiritual" filling should be. No one should ever attempt to be the "Holy Spirits" stand in for another, ever.

And believe it or not, I also have real problems with folks trying to "make" them believe in a particular doctrine, one way or the other. Lord bless you in your walk with Him.

Rick
 
Member
aremessenger said:
Please elaborate if you would Jiggyfly; my opinions concerning this subject are somewhat intense. Since watching people "leave" God permanently because being judged as "spiritually inferior"; I have great difficulty in presenting to anyone what should be "Spirit Baptism" for them. To me this is a personal thing that is between only God and them, and no one else, ever.
Please do not take this as a personal attack, it is not meant to be as such in anyway. I have real problems with people trying to determine for other people, what their "Spiritual" filling should be. No one should ever attempt to be the "Holy Spirits" stand in for another, ever.
And believe it or not, I also have real problems with folks trying to "make" them believe in a particular doctrine, one way or the other. Lord bless you in your walk with Him.
Rick
jiggyfly I agree that many have been hurt and that there seems to be a lot of emphasis on speaking in tongues (prayer language) But there is a difference between born of Spirit and baptized in the Spirit. They are both seperate experiences.
Acts 19:1-7
1*While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul traveled through the interior provinces. Finally, he came to Ephesus, where he found several believers.* 2*“Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” he asked them.
“No,” they replied, “we don’t know what you mean. We haven’t even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”
3*“Then what baptism did you experience?” he asked.
And they replied, “The baptism of John.”
4*Paul said, “John’s baptism was to demonstrate a desire to turn from sin and turn to God. John himself told the people to believe in Jesus, the one John said would come later.”
5*As soon as they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6*Then when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in other tongues and prophesied. 7*There were about twelve men in all.
Acts 2:1-4
1*On the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after Jesus’ resurrection,* the believers were meeting together in one place. 2*Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm in the skies above them, and it filled the house where they were meeting. 3*Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. 4*And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages,* as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.
Acts 8:14-17
14*When the apostles back in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. 15*As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new Christians to receive the Holy Spirit. 16*The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17*Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 9:17&18
17*So Ananias went and found Saul. He laid his hands on him and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road, has sent me so that you may get your sight back and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18*Instantly something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he got up and was baptized.
 
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aremessenger said:
SpiritledEd, I'm with you 100%. How ever, I have watched the gift of tongues misused many times, with many people getting hurt. Wisdom is a key thought here I believe.

Rick
Rick,

I don't doubt that there have been abuses. Some people try to use the gifts as spiritual badges of honor and power. And you are so right in saying that wisdom (discernment) is crucial.

SLE
 
Member
aremessenger said:
Please elaborate if you would Jiggyfly; my opinions concerning this subject are somewhat intense. Since watching people "leave" God permanently because being judged as "spiritually inferior"; I have great difficulty in presenting to anyone what should be "Spirit Baptism" for them. To me this is a personal thing that is between only God and them, and no one else, ever.

Please do not take this as a personal attack, it is not meant to be as such in anyway. I have real problems with people trying to determine for other people, what their "Spiritual" filling should be. No one should ever attempt to be the "Holy Spirits" stand in for another, ever.

And believe it or not, I also have real problems with folks trying to "make" them believe in a particular doctrine, one way or the other. Lord bless you in your walk with Him.

Rick
Rick,

You speak of people leaving God "permanently" because of condemnation. That statement troubles me. None of us can say these people are lost permanently. They have until the very last conscious moment of life to turn and run back into His loving arms. Remember the Prodigal Son (Lk 15)? Also, Peter thought he'd been kicked off the island permanently after denying Jesus three times in the high priest's courtyard. But, when we read John 20 we see Peter being brought back into the fold and commissioned to become the rock Jesus knew he was destined to be. Where spiritual things are concerned, the words of Yogi Berra ring ever so true: "It ain't over 'till its over."

SLE

SLE
 
Member
Ed, I am partly in agreement with you; but when people say with their mouths, "I want nothing more to do with God or His cruel people", I don't judge their hearts, because "from the abundance of the Heart the mouth speaketh". And there is such a thing as the sin against the Holy Spirit, where the spirit will no longer strive with people; I have seen this as well.
Yogie Berra, said a lot of things, most of which didn't make much sence, but in this case, I agree with you and Yogie, "it ain't over,'till it's over". All we can do is pray for these hurt folks, and hope that by Gods grace they can be won back, in whatever denomination that can show Gods love and grace the best.
Thanks Jiggyfly for the texts, I was sure that is what you meant, just had to be sure we were on the same page.

Rick
 
Member
Regarding the gifts, it seems that the physical evidence is generally tongues (kinda hard to know if you prophesy if you're alone :S ) but people may not always keep the actual gift, although I've noticed that generally they can use it as a prayer language, which doesn't need to be interpreted. I use it in my private prayers (along with praying in English) and..I think I've given a word of wisdom to some people, but not sure. I figure that however God can use me, I'm gonna let Him :smile: Regarding words of wisdom..I'm not sure if I have..I just remember talking to my friend Josh when he was talking about his non-christian brother and he was a bit concerned about visiting him..then a thought popped into my mind: "The wicked person cannot overcome the righteous child of God." or something like that..don't know if it was simply wisdom given by God or if I was actually being used to say words of wisdom. But of course in all this I pursue love and the greater gifts to build up the body; while praying in tongues builds ourselves up (which is vital to our own walk), it's better to prophesy or use another gift (which brings sinners to repentance and builds the rest of Christ's bride up.) Prayer in tongues is significant because we can choose whether or not to exercise it; the other gifts we definitely don't keep, but are used at various times in our walk.
 

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