UNDERSTANDING THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT 3
In our last article we examined in some detail the revelation gifts of the Holy Spirit. This week we will be looking at the power gifts.
THE POWER GIFTS
The power gifts are very important in preaching of the gospel and usually embellish or complement the office of the evangelist. They are used to arrest the attention of the unsaved and will gain increasing prominence in these last days, as the gospel of the kingdom is preached in this last day’s in-gathering of souls.
(a) the gift of (special) faith.
(b) Workings of miracles (temporary suspension of physical laws).
(c) Gifts of healings.
Two or more of these gifts usually work in conjunction. In particular the gift of special faith precedes the operation of the gift of workings of miracles.
Gift of Special faith and Workings of Miracles
The word ‘special’ is introduced in this title to distinguish this kind of faith from the ordinary faith which every Christian has. Ordinary faith is the faith by which we get born-again and live our daily Christian lives (Rom. 12:3, Eph 2:8, Hab 2:4). With ordinary faith God works supernaturally, though gradually, within the context of our natural lives and natural physical laws.
In contrast special faith is a temporary anointing that gives you the ability to trust God to work a miracle, which involves an instantaneous temporary suspension of natural laws, and instantaneous creation of physical substance or force resulting in a spectacular manifestation of God’s power.
Examples of the operation of special faith and working of miracles are:
(i) Joshua 10:9-13. The leader of the Israeli armies, Joshua commands the sun and moon to stand still in the sky for about 24 hours so that Israel could conclude the defeat of the Amorite kings. God put special faith in the heart of Joshua who spoke and the resultant effect was that the earth stopped rotating on its axis for about 24 hours.
(ii) 2 Kings 6:17 – The floating axe head miracle, which Elisha performed, was preceded by the gift of special faith which caused Elisha to throw a stick into the water. Now ordinarily the throwing in of a stick into water would not be sufficient to create enough upthrust to cause iron which is much heavier than wood to float. However in this situation God worked a miracle, temporarily suspending physical laws of upthrust and floatation, thus allowing the iron axe head to float to the surface of the water.
(iii) Jesus walking on water in Matt. 14:22-27 took Jesus’ ordinary faith operating like special faith implanted by the Holy Spirit in the heart of the Master. Furthermore in John 2:1-11, Jesus’ turning water into wine at Cana of Galilee involved the working of a miracle by special faith. Also the feeding of the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes involved workings of miracles through special faith.
God does not ordinarily contravene the physical laws, which He has instituted. It takes very special circumstances for God to bypass, or set aside the natural laws, which govern the physical realm, in order to perform a miracle.
Gifts of Healings
There is more than one type of gift that may be used to heal. The Holy Spirit may give to one the special gift for healing terminal cancers, to another, the gift of healing deaf persons; to yet another the gift of healing blindness.
Though every Christian has divinely-given power to heal by exercising faith through the laying on the hands (Mar 16:18), the Holy Spirit, also ministers gifts of healing as He wills. These special giftings or anointings come in a flash or spontaneously and deal with certain, specific diseases.
When the anointing for, say healing kidney malfunctions is in operation, practically all who are prayed for having kidney problems will be healed. This specific anointing to heal kidney malfunctions, however, may not heal a migraine headache or breast cancer.
The gift of healing is usually preceded by a word of knowledge that the gift is in operation then the person who receives the word can go on to minister with that anointing. When ministration is done through the operation of a specific gift of healing, the results are usually instantaneous and spectacular.
However, it is also possible to minister by ordinary faith when there is no specific gift of healing in operation (Mk. 16:18). When ministering in this way, the result are gradual as healing takes place over time, though the sick person begins to amend (John 4:52) from the time he is prayed for. This was how the Lord Jesus ministered most of the time. He would pray with strong crying (Heb 5:7) in the spirit early in the morning (Mark 1:35) and then go out and minister to the sick and oppressed by faith.
However, because of the capacity of His spirit and His high level of spiritual development, when He ministered by His ordinary faith, the healing was often instantaneous and spectacular, producing the same results as though He were ministering by the gifts of the Spirit.
Distinction between Gifts of Healings and Workings of Miracles.
Though it is true that anything God does, in one sense is a miracle, there is a difference between the workings of miracles and gifts of healings in that workings of miracles involves a creation of something that did not previously exist while healing involves a repairing or restoration of what already exists.
For instance a child born blind because of a defect of having no eyeballs in the socket must receive a miracle that would suspend natural laws, causing an instantaneous creation of new eyeballs in each eye socket, in order for him to see. This is workings of miracles in operation. However, suppose the child was born with eyeballs, but later developed an eye disease or defect that caused him to become blind, the gift of healing for blindness will restore his eyesight.
Lazarus raised from the dead: Three gifts in Concert-John 11.
The power gifts usually work in two’s and three’s. Lazarus, being raised from the dead by Jesus highlights the working of all three power gifts working together.
The gift of special faith was necessary to raise Lazarus from the dead because Heb. 9:27 says after men die then you have the judgement. To suspend this law took Jesus’ ordinary faith operating like special faith.
The working of miracles was also evident because Lazarus’ spirit had to be recalled from Abraham’s bosom (Lk. 16:22) where it went after death and re-entered Lazarus physical body.
The gifts of healings had to go into operation to repair and heal Lazarus’s body so his spirit could live in that body, so that Lazarus could emerge from the tomb alive and healthy.
In this end time, we are going to see an abundance of the operation of these power gifts and also their equivalent manifestation through the ordinary faith of saints that has been developed to the stature of the fullness of Christ to produce the same results as the gift of special faith, workings of miracles and gifts of healing.
In our next article, we will be examining the vocal or utterance gifts.