SPIRITUAL GIFTS FOR THE BELIEVER
Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., Pastor, Grace Bible Church of Costa Mesa, California
Copyright © 1995-2014 Rev. Thomas Tyree, Jr., All Rights Reserved
The doctrine of spiritual gifts continues to be one of the most misunderstood doctrines contained in the Word of God. This book about the doctrine of spiritual gifts is meant to help clarify what gifts were valid in the past and which ones are still valid today. The book also is meant to provide insight into the purposes for the function of each spiritual gift, who has given them in the past and who gives them today, when they are given to the believer, and why certain ones are bestowed to some and other gifts bestowed to others. First, it needs to be made clear that spiritual gifts only involve believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. No unbeliever is ever given any spiritual gift for any reason at any time! They all come from the sovereignty of God and are given to the believer in grace. They all serve to glorify Jesus Christ through the expansion of the Body of Christ and through each believers spiritual growth.
As with all spiritual information from the Word of God, this book is communicated from Gods truth from the Scripture and is provided to you in unconditional virtue love. It is an unconditional love because it does not depend upon your acceptance or rejection of what is presented. It depends on my own virtue and spiritual integrity as pastor-teacher of Grace Bible Church. Unconditional virtue love is the fruit of the Spirit. If you have an unconditional virtue love toward other people, you will want to share the Truth you have believed in a very caring, thoughtful and considerate way. This is my intent and purpose for this book. Bible doctrine or the Word of God should not be given forcefully to anyone who is not interested in it. You are not to take the Truth and beat others over the head with it or try to cram it down their throat! You take the truth of the Word of God and share it with thoughtfulness and consideration of the other person. This becomes critical when communicating Gods Word on subjects where emotions may run high and objectivity may have fallen victim to carnality or false teaching.
All of this has been said as the introduction to our study of spiritual gifts, because I do have to give some correction and rebuke to some of you. Speaking the Truth in unconditional love enables you, as you are filled with the Spirit, to be on your spiritual toes and be objective toward the communication of the doctrine of spiritual gifts.
Every believer today is directly responsible to God the Father for their own decisions and for their own spiritual growth. When selecting a local church for the consistent intake of Bible doctrine, we all must do so without any emotion. We should analyze the Bible doctrine being taught as it matches the Bible doctrine resident in our souls. We should be watchful and immediately wary of emotional displays. Failure to do so leaves you open to false teaching and abuses of grace provisions from God. False applications and teachings regarding spiritual gifts are areas of the Word of God that many fall into because they let emotional response lead their thinking. One such movement involved in this false behavior is the Charismatic Movement.
A Word about the Charismatic Movement
The Charismatic Movement or the Pentecostal Movement functions contrary to the Word of God. The doctrines taught by the pentecostals are contrary to the doctrines of the Word of God on salvation, spiritual life, and spiritual gifts. We are going to see from the Bible where this group is contrary to the Word of God. Many people in these charismatic environments are very kind and considerate because showing kindness, thoughtfulness, and befriending new people are the proof they are saved or spiritual. They believe that if you do not show this as they do that you are not saved or spiritual! Nothing could be further from Gods truth! Of course, showing these attributes is not spirituality. It is the result of being filled with God the Holy Spirit, NOT the cause. If we stick with the correct teaching of the Word, we will grow in His grace and begin to understand God's plan and purpose for our lives.
The Old Testament prophecy in Isaiah 28:11 indicates the gift of tongues would appear in the future to provide a means of giving the Gospel to the unbelieving Jews. That prophecy was fulfilled by God to the Jews beginning in 30 A.D. and ended in 70 A.D. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews were dispersed (also known as the worldwide dispersion or Diaspora). When that prophecy was fulfilled, the gift of tongues was no longer necessary and ceased as a divine operation.
Indeed, He will speak to this people through stammering lips and a foreign tongue, (Isaiah 28:11)
It continues in the Church Age, not as a divine operation, but as an emotional or sometimes demonic operation. This should not be held as judging other people or their beliefs because the authority of the Word of God says it is so. This is Gods truth - not just one pastors opinion. Based on the original languages of the Scriptures, what we see today and what we have seen since modern pentecostalism came into existence is not what the Bible teaches about the gifts of healing or tongues. Even if these two gifts were bonafide for the entire period of the Church Age, the Charismatic Movement does not practice them as the Bible says they are to be practiced. They are out of line. The Bible clearly states that healing and tongues (among other spiritual gifts) may have been spectacular when they had a purpose, but they were temporary spiritual gifts and do not function today.
Although this study of the doctrine of spiritual gifts will give some rebuke and correction along the way, the rebuke and correction are based on the Scripture from the original languages. It has been studied in detail under the filling of the Spirit and under the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher. It is also being communicated in this book under the filling of the Spirit in unconditional love. In criticism and correction of the Charismatic Movement, it is not to say that these people are not born-again believers. Most of them probably are. They have received Jesus Christ as their Savior. However, after salvation, they have added emotionalism and ecstatics as the basis of being or staying saved or spiritual. Speaking the truth in love means identifying both the sources and content of false doctrine. This is the job of every pastor-teacher. When standing for Gods truth, one must expose that which Gods Word has shown is untrue or evil.
The Holy Spirits Modus Operandi for The Church Age
You should be absolutely confident that at the moment you expressed faith alone in Christ alone for salvation, you were immediately entered into union with Christ. This is called Positional Truth. Believers in the Church Age all share everything that the Lord Jesus Christ shares at the right hand of the Father. Positionally, He is the Lord of our life. However, He does not become Lord of our life unless we grow up spiritually under Bible doctrine through the filling of the Holy Spirit. The power of the Spirit and the power of the Word within our lives enables us to recognize to the fullest extent, as mature believers, the authority and the sovereignty of the Lordship of Jesus Christ over our lives. You do not have to take Christ as your Lord to be saved! The only thing you can do is simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and nothing more. If you have done this, you are eternally saved. If you have added anything to this, you are not. Its that simple. It all depends on Gods grace as stated in Ephesians 2:8-9.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
All believers in the Church Age come to the Cross with positive volition just as they did in the Old Testament. However, in the Church Age, what happens at the point of salvation is very very different. At the instant you believed that Christ died for all of your sins, you were baptized by the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for baptism is baptizo and means "identification with." It is not an emotional experience! It is something God does for you and to you. God the Holy Spirit takes you by the nape of the neck and enters you into both the Fellowship Sphere for Time and the Relationship Sphere for Eternity. You are then in union with Christ and can NEVER get out. This is your eternal salvation and your eternal security.
At the same instant of salvation, the Holy Spirit began to indwell your body and will continue to do so until God calls you home to be with Him for eternity. The Holy Spirit indwells your body so that your soul can be controlled by Him. At the moment of salvation, you are placed into the Fellowship Sphere for Time. You are filled with the Spirit and, through the intake of the Word of God, you can grow up spiritually. This is the modus operandi (method of operation) for the Church Age. The believer who is filled with the Spirit and learns and applies Bible doctrine to their experiences and problems will exercise faith-rest and will be humble and teachable toward learning more from the Word of God. Believers who prioritize their schedules and activities to focus on the intake and belief of Bible doctrine will also come to love the Lord Jesus Christ supremely. Thus, you are able to apply the Word of God that eventually results in development of an unconditional and relaxed love and appreciation for other people. Continued spiritual growth allows the believer to pass all systems of spiritual growth testing and eventually, sharing the very happiness of God. This picture of spiritual maturity provides a good share of God's happiness, contentment, satisfaction, fulfillment and tranquility, despite any overt circumstances in life. This is THE goal in the spiritual life! Its the all-important thing! Your spiritual gift is not the goal. Whatever spiritual gift you have received from the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation, only has maximum effectiveness as you grow up spiritually.
The modus operandi for Old Testament times was not the indwelling and filling of the Spirit as we know it today. The modus operandi of Old Testament times, for example in the Jewish Age, was special empowerment for special jobs as described in Matthew 10:1. At a point of time, God the Holy Spirit came upon David and empowered him to use his gift of prophecy as in Psalms 24:7-9. Here, he gave prophecy related to the incarnation of Jesus Christ. This was a prophecy about the ascension of the Messiah. The Holy Spirit would periodically empower David and then, once Gods purpose was completed, the Holy Spirit would leave him. It was a sovereign empowering and filling of the Spirit that came upon David, controlling him, and enabling him to fulfill his ministry. David was to be the greatest king in all of history and the greatest military man of his generation. David would become a man after God's own heart and a mature believer using his spiritual gift of prophecy to the maximum glory of God.
And having summoned His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. (Matthew 10:1)
Lift up your heads, O gates, And be lifted up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, And lift them up, O ancient doors, That the King of glory may come in! (Psalms 24:7-9)
In Matthew 10:1, the Lord Jesus Christ called His disciples to Him and gave them the authority as apostles to drive out evil spirits from physical possession of an unbelievers body. Evil spirits are also called demons or fallen angels. This is true biblical exorcism. This was a part of the signs and wonders during the incarnation of Christ. That authority was given to the apostles in Israel who later became apostles to the Church (except the apostle Paul). They were able to drive out evil spirits or demons to establish their spiritual authority to others. Jesus Christ cast out demons to establish His authority and to prove He was the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.
Paul goes on saying in Matthew 10:5-10 not to go to the Gentiles, but to take this authority to the house of Israel. The unbelieving Jews were the ones who needed to recognize that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah. In so recognizing Him, they would receive Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. This is something you do not see in the Charismatic Movement. They may say they have the authority and power to cast out demons and heal all sorts of diseases, but they do not follow it through to the grace plan of salvation as the disciples did to the house of Israel. Jesus illustrates this issue in Matthew 10:19-20.
These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them, saying, "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. "And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you received, freely give. "Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two tunics, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support. (Matthew 10:5-10)
"But when they deliver you up, do not become anxious about how or what you will speak; for it shall be given you in that hour what you are to speak. For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you." (Matthew 10:19-20)
Some ministers, charismatic ministers, and televangelists have come to the point that they think they are like God. They begin to believe that they are such important prophets and apostles that they think they can do anything they want. In this state of arrogance, they find themselves in all sorts of sin and evil. This is all from continued carnality from the misapplication of Bible doctrine. These authority gifts were given by Christ to the apostles who then shared a little bit of this authority with those who were close associates with them, like John Mark. John Mark was not an apostle. He was a close associate of the apostle Peter. He had apostolic authority, but that authority ended in 96 A.D. when the written Word of God or Canon of Scripture was completed. This was the same principle as in Old Testament times where the authority was used to drive out evil spirits and to heal disease and sickness. The prophets of Old Testament times were periodically and always temporarily empowered by God the Holy Spirit to perform a specific job in Gods plan.