In the Young’s Literal Translation 1 Corinthians 12:1 Paul wrote, “Concerning spiritual things, I do not wish you to be ignorant (untrained). King James version reads spiritual gifts instead of spiritual things but the words gifts nor things are in the original text. Thayer defines the word translated spiritual: relating to the human spirit, or rational soul, as part of the human which is akin to God and serves as his instrument or organ. Reading the YLT version helps to separate the spiritual in three categories: 12:4 And there are diversities of gifts; 5 and there are diversities of ministrations; 6 and there are diversities of workings or operations.
12:8-11 For to one is given by the Spirit word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another (divers)kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Word of wisdom, word of knowledge and discerning of spirits deal with revelation. Word of wisdom reveals something from God’s insight that will happen in the future. Scripture doesn’t read words of wisdom or the gift of wisdom. It is word of wisdom.
In Isaiah 38 Hezekiah was warned by a word of wisdom through Isaiah. God showed Isaiah what would happen in the days to come and warned Hezekiah to get his house in order. Hezekiah repented, changing circumstances. Once again, God showed Isaiah what would happen. Hezekiah was healed and he lived because he repented as a result of being warned by a word of wisdom. In Acts 9, Paul was shown a vision of Ananias coming to minister to him. That was a word of wisdom in the form of a vision. Sometimes the thought comes. Other times it is seen in a vision or a dream. Either way, the human knows things by the Holy Spirit giving insight.
Ananias had a word of knowledge in the same opening Holy Spirit told him about a man named Paul who had been praying and saw a vision of him. Word of knowledge reveals things in the present or past. Ananias knew Paul was expecting him because Holy Spirit revealed Paul’s experience to Ananias.
In Acts 5 there was another man named Ananias. He and his wife Sapphira, conspired to hide back part of the sale of their property. All the money was theirs to hold or to give. They tried to lie to the Holy Spirit. Peter saw them through revelation by Holy Spirit and knew what they had done. Peter had a word of knowledge in this situation.
Discerning of spirits refers to a supernatural understanding or having insight to recognize or perceive the difference between angels, cherubim, demons, human spirits and others in the spirit realm as Holy Spirit reveals. Moses saw into the spirit realm when God allowed him to see God’s hinder parts. In 2 Kings 6:17 Elisha prayed and Jehovah opened the eyes of the young man and he saw the hill was full of horses and chariots of fire, round about Elisha. In Acts 16 Paul recognized the oppressive spirit in a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination and he cast it out. Joseph, Mary’s husband had a few visits from an angel. He perceived the angel in a dream when he was told to marry Mary. God gave him a word of knowledge when the angel told him, in a dream that Herod was looking for the child to kill him. God warned Joseph to take Mary and go to Egypt for a while which was a word of wisdom. Sometimes these gifts, manifestations and operations work together with more than one being experienced.
It was a miracle that God caused the donkey to see the angel and speak to the human Balaam in Numbers 22. God gave the donkey discernment and he spoke in a human language that Balaam could understand or less likely Balaam interpreted donkey. Then Balaam discerned the angel too.
Paul said we see as through a glass, darkly. We know in part and prophesy in part. He told us to pray for the understanding. Understanding things that are revealed to us can be easier, if we practice fellowshipping with Holy Spirit, daily. Praying, as the Spirit leads is one way to hone our senses. Learning how God communicated with others by seeing examples in the bible is another. In 1 John 4, we are told to try the spirits: whether they are of God. John was talking about learning to discern if someone was operating by the Holy Spirit or other spirits. Paul told us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling in Philippians 4:12. It is true that the more we fellowship with God in his word and in prayer, the more acute become our senses.
The power gifts are: a special manifestation of faith; working of miracles (Greek Interlinear reads operations of powerful deeds) (Young’s Literal is in-workings of mighty deeds), and gifts of healings. The gift of faith receives miracles.
Holy Spirit can give us peace. Sometimes as an answer to prayer and sometimes it comes as a knowing or in a dream. It is as though a knowing was dropped in the human spirit.
There is no explanation for why or where. It isn’t regulated by humans. Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Isaiah 55 God tells us his ways are far above our ways and his thoughts above our thoughts. Scripture tells us that God reveals what he will to whom he wills. We have to be prepared to hear and see when he does. The gift of faith causes a human to know and believe as if they’ve already have experienced it, while the working of miracles, works miracles.
In the working of miracles, something is done which brings a miracle to pass. All miracles do not happen immediately. Some do. Exodus 14:21-27 is an example in the Old Testament of immediate working of miracles when the waters parted and came together again killing the enemy. In John 2:1-11 Jesus turned the water into wine. That was an immediate miracle. In Mark 8:23-25 Jesus led the blind man out of town. He spat on his hands and laid his hands on his eyes. Jesus asked the man if he saw anything. He saw men walking as trees. His vision was not clear. Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes again. His sight was restored. That miracle took a minute.
Healing, health and life belongs to every child of God. All healing is a gift from God and he has provided many ways to get health and life to his children. Gifts (plural) of healings (also plural in the Young’s Literal Version) sometimes operate through the laying on of hands or sometimes through cloths that have been anointed with oil. Restoration of healthy tissue over time could be gifts of healings in operation, where the immediate restructure, as a leg growing or immediate disappearance of a gorder, could be a miracle. In the Greek Interlinear Bible 1 Corinthians 12:9 reads grace-effects in health. Holy Spirit can operate as he pleases healing or helping maintain health. Miracles and graces or gifts of healings are orchestrated by Holy Spirit. God created the human body to heal itself. When a human gets a cut, the cells in the human body start a process to heal the wound. Even when an individual has gone to a healthcare professional and sought their help, it is appropriate to ask God to aide them. We ask God to give them wisdom, insight and courage. We can ask God to cause the medicine to function in cooperation with our cells to heal or maintain health. If a human has had surgery, it is appropriate to ask God for a speedy recovery with no complications or infection. Before the surgery the individual should ask God to give the surgeon and his team: skills beyond their training, insight, wisdom and witty inventions; pray for their rest the night before and resources that function to the perfection to which they were created.
Christians have an obligation as their reasonable service to eat appropriate food that fuels their body. Asking God to bless our food to the nourishment and strength of our body and our body to his service is not a cute little prayer. It is an act of war. We are submitting our bodies to God’s service, acknowledging him in all our ways and giving him place to cleanse our food for the health of our body.
It is God’s will that the human body be healthy. God will go a long way to help an individual who is trying. John said that we all receive grace over-against grace. As we try, we gain more grace to do.
What the gifts of healings are not, is a human with a gift of healing. No human has a gift that he or she works on demand. All the things in the spirit are subject to the Holy Spirit.
There are three utterance or inspirational gifts, graces or manifestations. These say something. Gift of prophecy is an anointing to speak forth and/or declare a message from the heart of God. There are different kinds of prophecy. Sometimes the message will be spoken forth in that person’s language. Other times prophecy comes through tongues and interpretation. The Holy Spirit uses a human to declare. All of the manifestations of the Spirit will edify the body of Christ and lift up or honor Jesus.
Diverse kinds of tongues include praying in a prayer language, speaking a message in other tongues and singing spiritual songs. A Baptist missionary gave his testimony. God had given him a vision in the 1950s of bibles he had translated into Hispanic versions: printing and distributing them to the Hispanic congregations in his community. At that time of the vision, there were no Hispanic communities in his area, and he did not read or speak any language but English. He and his wife were called to the mission field. His wife was fairly fluent in the Hispanic dialect of the people to which they had been sent. It was common for her husband to use an interpreter when he spoke to a congregation. One night while praying for the night’s service, he asked God for a miracle. He had been frustrated because he was unable to speak in the congregation’s language. God answered his prayer. That night when he stood up to preach, Holy Spirit filled his heart with Hispanic words for his message. The interpreter stood back. Under the anointing, the man did not realize it but he spoke in their language. After the service his interpreter told him he spoke succinct and eloquently. They were successful missionaries and later returned to the United States to build churches for the Hispanic people. At the time of his testimony, in 2010 he and his wife had built five churches in the Hispanic communities in their area and published many copies of Hispanic bibles. This was an example, like the day of Pentecost, where the people spoke the languages of their audience.
Interpretation of tongues is when an individual speaks in an unrecognized tongue, and a human who has not been trained in that language, interprets the words, by the Spirit, in a language the hearers recognize.
Unknown or unrecognized tongue refers to a language. If English is your preferred language, it is possible you would not recognize words spoken in French. If a message from Holy Spirit was given in French and you interpreted the message spoken, that would be interpretation of tongues. In addition to known languages that may be foreign to another human, there are ancient languages not understood by current linguistics.
Paul explains that every member of the body of Christ has a part, portion or function. In 12:28 he describes some of the types of ministries of the Spirit.
• Apostle: a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders; missionaries not only take the good news to humans, they build physical and spiritual churches; are anointed to gather resources and people to help.
• Prophets: interpreter of oracles or of other hidden things; one moved by the Spirit of God as his spokesman; Men and women who share from the heart of God; reveal the scriptures and bring greater understanding.
• Teachers: one who teaches concerning the things of God; teachers are given to research and line upon line study of a subject; talented i illustration verbally and written.
• Miracles: power to perform miracles; evangelist often operate under the anointing with signs following.
• Gifts of Healings: to heal; to make whole
• Helps: anointed to help, labor, resources and more; without the helps ministry there would be no churches. From the individual who runs the media ministry to those on the team of greeters, the church needs humans who are gifted to come along side and help wherever they are needed.
• Governments: to steer, pilot, direct, facilitate; pastors are gifted teachers who also manage the day-to-day practices of individual churches in the body of Christ. They are shepherds not cowhands. Shepherds lead the sheep.
• Diversity of Tongues: Kinds of speech; diverse languages or dialects from other nations
1 Corinthians 12;31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. “If I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not love, I am become as sounding brass or tinkling cymbal. Paul continues to illustrate the importance of operating out of love in 1 Corinthians 13. Love should be the motive and facilitator of everything we do. We need to learn to read the scriptures, the way they were written, as letters. It is a mistake to stop the thought in chapter 12 and not continue his teaching in chapter 13. Paul continues in chapter 14 explaining that we follow after love and desire spiritual gifts. He said if it is between tongues and interpretation or prophecy, we should desire prophecy. If one speaks in an unrecognized tongue they should pray for the interpretation. All tongues or languages are not for the edifying of the church. Sometimes it is a prayer language. By experience we learn which.
What would the best gifts be? The gift needed at the moment could be considered, “The Best Gift.” If a human needed a gift of healing, would a word of wisdom do what was needed? If a human needed insight in the future, would a gift of healing be the answer? Every member of the body of Christ and every spiritual favor is necessary.