Read, Write, Subscribe
Grace, Faith and Spiritual Gifts
The subject of spiritual gifts has come up in several other papers in the past, but I need to address this subject in a little more detail, so, here we go. I remember from my past involvement in traditional religion the strange (and wrong) emphasis put on this aspect of the Holy Spiritís ministry. And I think it best to repeat at this point some of the things Iíve said in other papers about spiritual gifts as they relate to traditional religion to sort of set the stage for what I have to say.
Spiritual gifts cannot be taught. You do not learn from men (or women) how to function in these gifts that come from the Spirit, for that very reason. They come from the Spirit. They are never a result of the whim or imagination of men. They are spiritual, which means they have their source in God and they are spiritually discerned. Yes, you can learn about them, to a degree, but certainly not to the extent that religion proposes. As a matter of fact, you will hopefully realize from this presentation that spiritual gifts are one of the ways God teaches us his character and nature (Who He is and what He does). They are Godís method of spontaneous, on the job training in the exercise and demonstration of His love.
Also, spiritual gifts are not a result of our fleshly desire to "minister to the body". Itís not our responsibility to go around trying to decide what people need and whether or not they could benefit from "our giftings", simply because weíve worked so hard to develop them. Neither can it be "our ministry" to equip the saints for the fleshly exercise of these gifts. True spiritual gifts come as a result of our submission and subsequent obedience to God as we struggle to learn how to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit in our lives. And when weíre submitted to Him, He decides the when, the how and the who, in regards to the timing, the manifestation of the specific gift and the person or persons to be on the receiving end of what He has planned.
The prevailing concept in religion is that spiritual gifts can be identified through an evaluation or test and enhanced by training. Wrong! The most common result of such foolishness is that people manipulate the evaluation and it results in confirming what they think they already know, what they want to be, how they see themselves or how others see them. In this way, their so-called giftings either line up with their natural abilities or what theyíve determined to be the most prestigious or attention-getting gifts. For those in the traditional church that tend to be somewhat ambitious or competitive in nature, this is their opportunity to shine. They now have an acceptable opportunity to publicly exhibit their supposed spiritual superiority over those with less ambition. Of course, this is all done for the sake of strengthening the Body and meeting the needs of others. Itís really nothing more than the exercise of their flesh. But then again, as Iíve said before, religion is specifically calculated to appeal to the flesh and give it opportunity to manifest itself in the name of God.
Religion attempts to separate spiritual gifts into several categories. According to the religion experts, there are ministry gifts, power gifts and gifts that are reserved for the pseudo-spiritual elite, those who have the education, the training and the talent, the ones who have chosen religion as a career. Then, depending on their particular bent, different religious groups can emphasize certain gifts and ignore others. They can justify their leadership roles and manipulate those under their supposed authority. If itís possible to read this paper void of any religious bias, youíll see that God doesnít make those distinctions.
In our consideration of spiritual gifts, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of course, is our expert. There are three major passages, all in Paulís epistles (I Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4). And since I Corinthians was probably the first one written, weíll start there. The following is a paraphrase of verses 1 through 13.
OK, letís look at this pretty much verse by verse. Iíll try to be brief. Paul didnít want there to be any misunderstandings with regards to spiritual gifts, so he reminds those in the church at Corinth that things are different now that theyíre following the real God who speaks through the ministry of His Spirit, instead of the pagan gods they had known before. He tells them that all true spiritual gifts have the same source Ė the one and only Holy Spirit of God. They all serve that same God. And they all represent His working in our lives. In other words, He determines, not us, what itís going to be, how itís going to be carried out and who is going to be involved.
Then Paul moves on to identify the different kinds of gifts the Holy Spirit can give. There are nine listed in this passage. Letís define them in some detail, so we can understand them (but not so we can set out to develop them on our own). We must always remember that spiritual gifts tend to be fragmentary and temporary in nature. So, just because the Holy Spirit may impart, for instance, the gift of wisdom to someone does not mean that they "have" the gift of wisdom from that point on to use as they wish or as they believe the need arises. Traditional religion, depending on their particular agendas, tend to either make these gifts out to be something theyíre not or ignore them altogether.
The first gift in this list is the word of wisdom. Here, "wisdom" is sophia, commonly translated "prudence". This is a word that has specific meaning, namely, the knowledge of how to regulate oneís relationship with God. In other words, wisdom is the ability to understand how to correctly relate to God according to His will and purpose. So, then, a word of wisdom is revelation from the Spirit that brings understanding regarding the divine will and purpose. This insight into the mind and heart of God reveals His plans and intentions. (Acts 27:21-25)
The next is the word of knowledge. The word translated "knowledge" is gnosis and is a word used to designate partial or fragmentary knowledge as opposed to epignosis, used to indicate full or complete knowledge. This is a revelation gift as well and gives one the ability to understand either divine or human intention in a particular circumstance. It is also a good example of demonic activity in some segments of traditional religion where the word of knowledge is presented by the spiritually ignorant as full and detailed information about individuals in areas of their lives that have nothing whatsoever to do with Godís intentions towards them. Of course, the purpose of counterfeit gifts is to deceive. Peter experienced both a word of knowledge and discerning of spirits in the episode with Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11. When you read these verses, youíll see that the Holy Spirit revealed to Peter only partial knowledge of what Ananias and Sapphira were up to. This then prompted Peter to ask them questions to get to the full truth.
Then comes the gift of faith. This is the ability to trust God in the absence of human doubt, fear, unbelief or reasoning. When you read the scriptures, you find great examples of this in the lives of those who experienced extraordinary things with God. Abraham is one that immediately comes to mind (Romans 4:17-21). Iíve mentioned Hebrews 11 several times in the past. Itís probably the most concentrated passage in scripture that illustrates this point. By the way, I purposely use Old Testament characters here to remind you that these same spiritual gifts weíre talking about in the New Testament existed then and were in operation through the same Spirit. This is an illustration of the fact that the eternal, invisible God didnít change from the Old Testament to the New Testament, and that He hasnít changed from New Testament times to today.
The fourth is the gifts of healing. This is straightforward in meaning and needs no explanation as far as the gift is concerned. However, the counterfeit in traditional religion needs to be exposed for what it is, a fraud. Over the years I attended countless so-called healing services and never witnessed one legitimate healing. Iíve had people tell me they were healed, but then days, weeks or months later, they still had the same problem. I listened to the outrageous claims made by those who were purported to have the gift of healing, but never once saw them heal anyone. I saw seriously ill people leave meetings disappointed and people turned away because the "healers" prayed only for those who were willing to give an offering first (and the ones who did give werenít healed either).
So, letís put this gift in context, expose the charlatans and move on. (And if I sound angry here, I am. What religious manipulators do in the name of God is criminal. People get disappointed and angry with God, not because of what God does, but because of what men do in the name of God.) God can and does heal, at His discretion, in His timing, those He chooses. And He uses the gifts of healing sometimes to accomplish this. What he doesnít do is give certain men or women the permanent ability to heal whomever they choose, whenever they choose. You donít find it in scripture, either by example or by teaching and youíll never see it in reality, except as it is demonically inspired in counterfeit form. There were times Paul sought healing for others to no avail. Then there were times when the gifts of healing were evident in his life to fulfill a specific purpose (Acts 28:8-10). Again, itís important to remember, in religion men are in control, and God appears to be in subjection to them to do their bidding. But in spiritual reality, God is in control, and men are in subjection to Him and serve Him.
The claims of some in traditional religion that God wants to heal everyone are false and misleading. It has never been Godís purpose to heal everyone who is sick. He, in fact, has always used sickness to humble us and strip us of our strength and anything else that makes us self-sufficient and unwilling to seek Him. The insistence of those who want to believe that God wants everyone healthy and wealthy in this life only shows how far they are from understanding His will and purpose. The claims of Christian fakirs aside, Christ did not die on the cross so we could be healthy and wealthy; He did it so we could be delivered from our sin.
Next is the gift of miracles. Here, "miracles" is dunamis, and is used to illustrate the ability to demonstrate the power of God over the laws of nature. For most circumstances in this world there is an expected cause and result due to the natural laws that God put into operation to govern it. This gift of the Spirit allows one to intervene or contradict the natural laws that normally affect us all. I used Acts 28 above to illustrate the gifts of healing. In the same chapter (Acts 28:1-6) Paul gained favor with the superstitious inhabitants of the Island of Mileta when he was bitten by a poisonous snake but suffered no harm from it. It was this same gift of the Spirit that enabled Jesus to turn water into wine, calm the storm and walk on water.
The sixth gift is prophecy. Weíve discussed propheteia in other papers and will see it again, both in Romans 12 and Ephesians 4 in this one. Prophecy is not predicting future events. Itís not reading peopleís thoughts or giving intimate details of their lives. Those are all demonic counterfeits used to deceive those in traditional religion that choose to believe that anything supernatural must be God. The true prophetic in every instance is the revelation of the mind and heart of God and always has to do with His desire to communicate some aspect of His will and purpose. False prophecy in all its varied forms may be the most fraudulent and misleading of all the counterfeit gifts (and if it is, tongues may be a close second). There are many examples of the genuine gift in scripture. Look at Acts 20:28-31 for an example of a prophetic word. Here, God uses Paul to warn the elders at Ephesus to watch for those who would surely come to deceive and destroy the church through false doctrine.
The discerning of spirits is next on the list. The word translated "discerning" is diakrisis and means, "to distinguish one from another". This gift is the temporary ability to see into the spirit realm to see and understand what is coming out of this real, but invisible, domain. It can be those who serve only the purposes of God, or it can be the enemies of God. And here it might be good to point out that the sovereign God of the universe is the One Who decides whether or not to allow us to recognize whatís going on around us in the spirit realm. Sometimes it is His intention that we suffer at the hands of evil as part of His plan to perfect us (even Jesus suffered at the hands of evil). But He promises not to test us in ways that are beyond our ability to endure (I Corinthians 10:13). Then sometimes it is His intention to protect us from evil. Either way, itís His choice, not ours. Look at Acts 13:6-12 for an example of this gift.
Then comes the gift of different kinds of tongues, literally the ability to speak languages that have not been previously learned by the one speaking them. This is genos, translated "kinds", or in other translations "diversities", used with the plural glossai, translated "tongues", but more appropriately for our understanding, "languages". This is a reference to what Jesus spoke of in Mark 16:17, the subsequent events described at Pentecost with the Jews in Acts 2:4, continued in Acts 10:46 with Gentiles, again in Acts 19:6 with the disciples of John the Baptist and then found in the instructions of Paul in I Corinthians 12-14. These appear to be either known languages that had not been learned by those who spoke them or ecstatic utterance, both in demonstration of the reality of the ministry of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4) and the power of God (Acts 2:7, 8).
Since the word "tongues" has appeared, the can of worms (or the barrel of monkeys, depending on your view) has been opened. So letís see if we can sort them out. In the past, traditional religion, depending on their agenda (they call it a statement of faith) has tried to deny tongues, ignore them, tolerate them, or over-emphasize them. Scholars have tried to categorize them, explain them or explain them away. But I have to tell you, thereís nothing like an open, honest and (I hope) unbiased examination of the subject to clear the misconceptions and gain even further understanding of the invisible God. This is going to take some time, but it will be worth it. So, get comfortable.
Letís start with Jesusí statement as recorded in Mark 16:15-18. This is Markís version of what religion commonly calls the Great Commission (actually, this is the Pentecostal Great Commission, the mainline, evangelical version is found in Matthew 28:19-20). It is both prophetic in the true sense and predictive. Here, Jesus has appeared to the eleven for the last time. He reproves them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart and then tells them they will take the good news of Godís plan of redemption to the world (which they did, look at Colossians 1:5, 6). He then says that those who accept this message, cling to it and identify themselves with it would be delivered (this is where you find the word "baptized", which doesnít mean participate in a ritual and "get wet", it means to make a real identification by changing from one thing into another). Then Jesus continues, saying those who donít accept it would be condemned.
Then He says there will be certain signs that will distinguish those who accept the message. The second sign He mentions is that they will speak in "new tongues". This is kainos, a word that is used to describe something that is qualitatively new, as opposed to numerically new (neos), and the plural glossai, mentioned above. Jesus is talking about new languages in the context of them being "different" from those normally spoken. And, unlike traditional religion, neither Jesus nor Paul attempts any distinction between the language of men or ecstatic utterance. Both are unknown or "new" to the one speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
And while Iím here, I may as well deal with the rest of Jesusí statement. He mentions casting out demons, handling snakes, drinking poison and laying hands on the sick so they can recover. I hope the context here is obvious, but to most, I know itís not. Itís not up to us to decide when to cast out demons, speak in different languages, handle snakes, drink poison, or lay hands on the sick. Thatís what people do in religion to try to prove their spirituality; but, itís not true spirituality, itís religious self-righteousness. Those who really cling to this message of truth come to understand that God is in charge, and theyíre submitted to Him. So, none of these things are determined by man, only by the Holy Spirit.
The key to understanding this is found in the phrase "in My name" found in verse 17. As Iíve said several times before, this is an idiom or word picture that literally means "as a representation of all that I am." And make no mistake about it; Jesus never did anything because He wanted to, because He decided it on His own or because someone else wanted Him to or expected Him to. He was totally submitted to the Father, to the Fatherís plan and to the moment-by-moment leadership of the Holy Spirit. And everything Jesus describes in verses 17 and 18 must be understood in that context. Those things will only happen in the lives of those who are submitted to God and following the Spirit like He was. And then, it will be up to God whether they happen or not.
In Acts 28:1-6 Paul didnít think, "I know how I can impress these stupid barbarians, so theyíll think Iím really something and treat me nice. Iíll do some snake handling and if that doesnít do the trick, maybe Iíll have them bring me some poison to drink. That always works." Paul didnít plan what happened; God through the Holy Spirit, in order to benefit both Paul and the inhabitants of Mileta, orchestrated it. Normally, the snakebite would have killed him, as it would any man. Paul would have died had he not experienced the gift of miracles. He was allowed to demonstrate the power of God by intervening in the laws of nature.
When you continue in Acts 28:7-10, you see the Holy Spirit again work in Paul through the gifts of healing, which put Paul and his party in favor with the people so that they were treated kindly and given everything they needed to continue their journey on to Rome. But, then again, we also know there were times when Paul sought Godís healing for himself or others and it didnít happen. Again, true spiritual gifts are temporary and under the control of divine discretion.
In His instructions to the disciples in Mark 16, Jesus is not telling them to do these things whenever the notion strikes. Heís not unwittingly establishing traditional, institutional religion. Heís saying that these things will happen in the course of believerís lives as they follow Him. Heís simply describing the result of the operation of the gifts and ministry of the Holy Spirit in those who are submitted to Him. And speaking in different languages is one of these gifts.
Now, to kind of speed this up let me give you a lot of information in a few short paragraphs. As already stated, there is no distinction made between known or unknown tongues (known languages or ecstatic utterances), in scripture; that distinction was made by King James translators who added "unknown" to the text and is unnecessary religious confusion (and if you donít think the King James translators had a religious agenda, think again). Therefore, speaking in tongues is only possible as a gift of the Spirit, under His direction (Acts 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6, I Corinthians 12:4, 11, 14:2). The one who speaks is not speaking to men, but to God (I Corinthians 14:2, 28). The benefit may be more to the one speaking than the one hearing (I Corinthians 14:4, 16), but there are exceptions to that (Acts 2:8, 11). The words spoken may be obscure to both the one speaking and the one hearing (I Corinthians 14:6-11); again, you have the exception above (and just let me slip this in right here, exceptions exist to illustrate the sovereignty of God and to mess up menís theology). So, if necessary, to balance this there should be interpretation (I Corinthians 12:10, 30, 14:5, 27-28). Tongues may come in the form of prayer, song, praise or thanksgiving (Acts 10:46, I Corinthians 14:14-17). The unrestrained use of tongues in the church would make it appear to be an assembly of crazy people to outsiders (I Corinthians 14:23); so it should be limited and controlled (I Corinthians 14:27).
Yet even with this appearance of madness, or in the case of the church at Corinth, impropriety, the proper use of the gift of tongues is a legitimate evidence of Godís power to unbelievers (I Corinthians 14:22). The manifestation of this phenomenon can be either through the languages of men, spoken by those who had not previously learned them, or by the language of angels, spoken by those who could not have learned them (I Corinthians 13:1). Even though there seemed to be problems in the church at Corinth regarding the use of tongues, Paul confirms the validity of the practice (I Corinthians 13:1, 14:18). Paul not only had experienced the gift of tongues, he also had first-hand experience with the gift of interpretation. When he was taken up into the third heaven, he both heard and understood the language (utterances) of angels (II Corinthians 12:2-4).
Again, the statement of Jesus in Mark 16:17, the events recorded in Acts 2, 10 and 19 and what is described in I Corinthians 12-14 by Paul are not different categories of tongues. And unless you have a hidden agenda, attempting to categorize tongues into one compartment of foreign languages and another of ecstatic utterance, is unnecessary. And those who struggle to make that distinction are really wasting their time. In similarity to what Paul says in I Corinthians 14, the following is what we see in Acts 2. Here, speaking in tongues is also an endowment of the Spirit (Acts 2:4). It had at least some appearance of ecstatic utterance due to the supposed drunken state of those speaking (Acts 2:13), to the point that Peter thought it necessary to explain (Acts 2:14-16). The emphasis appears to be on foreign languages (Acts 2:6, 8), but should not be limited to that, as we will see a little further down the line.
In Acts 10:44-46 we see Peter preaching the good news to the Gentiles and suddenly, unexpectedly the Holy Spirit falls on them and to the amazement of the Jews who had accompanied Peter, these Gentiles begin to speak in tongues. Depending on the translation and what liberty the translators took to define these tongues, you find both foreign languages and ecstatic utterance referenced here. Then Peter in Acts 11:15-17, when called on the carpet by the Jewish contingent in Jerusalem to explain his actions, says that when he was in Caesarea talking to the Gentiles, "the Holy Spirit fell on them just like He did on us at the beginning" (verse 15) and, "God gave them the same gift in equal measure as He gave to us" (verse 17). Now, depending on whom you choose to believe, it would seem that Peter is saying that the events at Pentecost did not simply involve the disciples speaking in foreign languages, but ecstatic utterance, as well.
And in fact, those who propose the idea that only foreign languages were heard at Pentecost may be somewhat shortsighted. When you read the account in Acts 2 (without taking any liberty to define the language as foreign), it says they all spoke "other tongues" (verse 4). This is heteros, and means "another". Iím sorry, heteros doesnít mean "foreign". It is used to designate the fact that the Holy Spirit was directing them to speak in a manner in which they were not accustomed, in this case, a language other than Hebrew. This presents another dilemma. Since those Jews werenít speaking Hebrew, then how did all the Jews who were present in that crowd hear about the miracles of God in their own language? Thatís what it says in verses 9 and 11! So, to assume that were speaking in foreign languages doesnít even begin to explain what happened.
Let me try to sort this out for you. In the account given by Luke in Acts 2 he tells us in verse 6 that when the multitude in Jerusalem heard the commotion caused by the manifestation of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples (the sound of a violent wind from heaven in verse 2, and everyone beginning to speak in "other" tongues in verse 4), they all rushed together to see what was going on. Now, this was a large group of religious people, both Jews and proselytes from all over the known world. Verse 41 tells us that 3,000 of them believed that day and surely there were many more than that present. But try to get the picture. Here are thousands of people in the midst of what had to be a very noisy mass of confusion.
Does the text explain how all the different people groups were separated, quieted and led into their own little Sunday School rooms so one of the disciples could come and speak to them in their native tongue? Of course not! This was not a typical, traditional evangelistic crusade, where everything was carefully planned and carried out by the numbers in an orderly, dignified manner by religion experts. They werenít separated and they didnít get quiet until the disciples all stopped speaking in other tongues. And then Peter quieted the crowd and began to explain what was happening (verse 14).
So by now I hope youíre beginning to see the picture. The miracle of Pentecost goes way beyond what most in religion assume took place there. The disciples were standing together in a small, single group (verses 1, 14), not spread out amongst the crowd. They were all speaking in other tongues at the same time (verse 4), not politely taking turns and making sure to not go past their allotted time. And yet in the midst of all this noise, confusion and astonishment, each one in this tumultuous, mixed crowd of thousands heard them speak of the great miracles of God (verse 11). This does not tell me that the miracle of Pentecost was that the disciples spoke in foreign languages and those present were somehow able to understand them amid the confusion. No, what this tells me is that the miracle of Pentecost was that the disciples all spoke in some spiritual language and everyone in the huge, frenzied and disorderly crowd, including the Jews, was introduced to the Father and His Son when the Holy Spirit caused each one of them to hear the message in their own native language!!!
There is a segment of traditional religion today that wants to believe that speaking in tongues is a spiritual panacea, the cure-all for anything and everything that ails you. To them, ecstatic utterance is the proof of salvation (it isnít), evidence of the ministry of the Holy Spirit (not necessarily), a sign of the presence of God (nope) and a gimmick to coerce God into doing what they want Him to do, when they want Him to do it (pure deception). In most cases, the continued and constant use of ecstatic utterance is, at best, an exercise of the flesh by those who possess little or no understanding of the true will and purposes of God. The people I know that run in this circle donít appear to speak in tongues at the direction of the Holy Spirit. They do it whenever they want to or whenever someone tells them to. The worst-case scenario is that it gives entrance to demonic activity and deception, as does any continual exercise of the flesh. Look at the problems evident in the church at Corinth and the fact that it was clear as well that they were abusing the gifts. I rest my case.
On the other hand, those who understand Godís purpose and are learning by their experiences with Him how He accomplishes that purpose, grow to prefer present reality and strive to attain some semblance of understanding. They donít continually give in to the flesh to exercise something they themselves view as a token of their spirituality (and again, if theyíre doing it on their own, itís not spirituality anyway, itís self-righteousness and God hates it). Instead, true believers submit themselves to God and wait on Him. And in reference to spiritual gifts, they follow Paulís advice to desire those gifts that will bring understanding and edify others (I Corinthians 14:1-4,12,15,19).
Which brings me to the last thing I want to talk about concerning the subject of tongues. It seems that nothing has changed from Paulís day up to the present time. With their pagan backgrounds, the Corinthians were inclined to view speaking in tongues as the spiritual gift par excellence. Which is why, in their flesh, they abused it. Have you ever wondered why Paul didnít have to correct them because they were abusing the gift of giving or the gift of mercy? The same is true in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles today. Speaking in tongues is the answer for everything, the cure for anything. They continually put it on display like a badge of honor. But, while Paul obviously accepts the validity of spiritual languages, he also restrains himself from making any judgments regarding their prolific use in Corinth. Instead, he wisely instructs the church to subject their exercise of this gift to order, limitation and testing (I Corinthians 14: 26-28).
He was also careful to point out in detail that prophecy was much more valuable for the edification of the body and rather to be desired (I Corinthians 14:1-5). But even before that, to even further emphasize his point, he lets these immature and ambitious believers know that there is something more important than spiritual gifts. Sandwiched in the middle of his discussion of spiritual gifts he urges them (in I Corinthians 13) to put their immaturity and anything else that would hinder the spiritual progress of themselves or others aside and embrace the concept of Godís love. And since that will be the subject of my next paper, Iíll not say anymore about it just now.
So, can there be a conclusion to all of this? Well, others may struggle with this, but hereís my conclusion. Speaking in tongues, whether languages of men or angels in its manifestation, is in reality, the language of the Spirit. It comes from Him at His discretion. Never at any time in scripture are we given permission to choose the where, the when or the how. This is spiritual, not fleshly. And the difference between the two is clearly illustrated for us. In Acts 2, it was spiritual. And because it genuinely came from the source of the Spirit, it quickly assumed fruitful forms of genuine spiritual activity. Peter preached the good news. The church in Jerusalem was born. The ministry of the Holy Spirit was beginning to flow freely to the edification of those who believed. It was an initial experience in the supernatural power of God that introduced them to the ministry of the Spirit and the purposes of the invisible God.
But in Corinth some years later, we see abuse, confusion and more problems than actual fruit as these believers gave in to their pagan past and the dominance of their flesh. Here Paul had to intervene and impose limits.
This is the plan. Relax. Let God do what God wants to do. Submit to Him. Trust in Him. Learn to follow Him. If He brings it, great! If He doesnít, then thatís great, too! And know that whatever He decides to do, itís in our best interest as long as weíre committed to Him (Romans 8:28).
The ninth and last gift listed in this passage is the ability to interpret these languages. Again, weíll not make any distinction between the languages of men or the language of angels. The point is that here Paul reminds us all that the Holy Spirit Himself imposes limits on spiritual language by imparting the gift of interpretation so those present can all benefit from the experience (I Corinthians 12:7).
And I suppose now is as good a time as any to mention this, all the spiritual gifts are feigned in both traditional religion and by those struggling to walk in truth. Even the most committed and submitted of us give in to our flesh from time to time. The difference is that those who are submitted to God will sometimes recognize their failure, turn to God in repentance and experience the instruction, discipline and testing of God as He puts us through the cleansing processes of His redemptive plan. But those who have embraced religion are unrestrained (scripture calls them lawless). They know nothing of submission, are spiritually blind and simply continue to do the things that religion has taught them to do, falling prey to their own flesh, ritualistic traditions and demonic counterfeits. And so they continue on with their fellows, down the broad road that leads to destruction.
Taken in chronological order, the Book of Romans was written next. The list of spiritual gifts is found in chapter 12. And, as with the list found in I Corinthians 12, I think it best to paraphrase the passage to set the context. The following is Romans 12:1-8. There are 7 spiritual gifts mentioned in this list.
Read, Write, Subscribe