ANSWERS: 50
  • Because they probably are.
  • We all have someone/thing we treat as God, even atheists. Socially, science has taken this preferential status in our current society and the modern prophets are scientists. If we are objective we can see that our understanding of our universe influences what we view as normal.
  • St. Paul says "Test all things; hold fast to what is good."
  • Nowadays, it seems as if people need factual evidence to prove to them that something is true. People don't just take thing when their said-- they need proof.
  • Thats the way they treated the prophets alot of the time back then too!
  • Most prophets today tend to act and speak in different directions.
  • because to speak to God, a prophet must know God's name. It is not God. When they say they are speaking to God, we automatically know they are crazy. He has A Name, and it is not GOD.
  • every one is a sinner and nobody wants to believe in any thing other than resting in peace... its a lot easier than admitting your mistakes! people who take the easy way out end up taking the hard way in!
  • Scriptural Prophets followed certain protocols. They gave prophecies which had to come true, or they would risk being stoned to death. They also had the power to work miracles. Modern 'prophets' do neither. And many don't even agree with previous [proved] scriptures.
  • I agree with Talim - do you have any idea how many schizophrenics believe they are the Savior? In fact, I recall a study I learned about while getting my degree in psychology; they put several delusional men, all of whom thought they were the Savior, into a room together to see if any could convince the others of his identity. In the end, the subjects all still thought they were the Savior, and that the others were all nuts! My parents' former neighbor was hospitalized for that exact delusion. My own former next door neighbor was bipolar (not taking her medications as she should) and progressed to a manic psychosis. She could "hear" God talking to her. When God told her to steal a van from a store parking lot, the path to getting her hospitalized became much easier. It's all so sad, even if there's a little bit about it that's funny.
  • Because of all the other odd things they do as well... ;-) As far as who wrote the bible, it was not conceived by man, it was conceived by God who inspired men who wrote what he inspired them to. This is why it's referred to as "God's Word". "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" 2 Timothy 3:16 In ancient times when the bible was being written, if a prophet spoke or wrote anything which was found to be untrue or did not come to pass, he was known as a "false prophet". The penalty for being a false prophet was pretty severe - he was stoned to death.
  • Because we know a lot more. In the times of the prophets, many people would have been illiterate (writing was not common) and word of mouth was the ONLY way information was communicated. The majority of people would also not have seen much of the world beyond a day's walk from their township. So, some guy with a strong voice and a bit of conviction could say almost whatever he wanted and many would believe simply because they did not have the resources/experience/knowledge to discern his truth from his fiction.
  • A propget only speaks what he is given from God. I'm not a morman, but yes, I believe there's people that has got the power and the touch from the master to do works.
  • Because the Bible is done and written, and we are afraid that the next prohets will be about the end of the world.
  • Becase there are no more prophets to come. God sent Moses to his people who were into magic. God sent Jesuse to his people whoi were into healing. God sent Muhammad to his people who were into poetry. All prophets came to their people but Muhammad came for all mankind and there will be nobody else after him. BUT! Jesus will return on this earth as he did not die on the cross but was raised into heaven alive and will return to complete his mission and put everybody straight.
  • They've all been crazy, more of us accept it now.
  • The Qur'an is written and has never been changed since its revelation. 'Read: in the name of your Lord who creates, creates man from a clot. Read: and your Lord is the Most Bounteous, who teaches you by the pen, teaches man that which he knew not'
  • a generation kills their prophet and their children adorn their tombs.
  • Apparently, being dead gives some serious credibility.
  • Because many of them do kooky inhumane things. Which ones are you talking of? On a related topic, I thought this quote was funny, "why is it when we talk to God, we are praying, but when God talks to us it is called paranoid schizophrenia?"
  • Yes, it's long, but U might as well get the "Whole Story" as it will save U from asking more later. Enjoy!!! John DOCTRINE OF SPIRITUAL GIFTS SPIRITUAL GIFTS A. The Source of Spiritual Gifts.œ 1. All three members of the Trinity are the source of spiritual gifts. 2. God the Father as the source is documented in Heb 2:4. "God [Father] also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various works of power, and by various distributions [of spiritual gifts] from the Holy Spirit in accordance with His will." a. God the Father uses the ministry of God the Holy Spirit for giving spiritual gifts. b. Distribution of spiritual gifts are made as a witness to the strategic victory of our Lord Jesus Christ during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union. c. God the Father is also the author of our portfolio of invisible assets. The primary assets include escrow and computer (election and predestination) assets. The secondary assets include volition, production, Christian service, undeserved suffering, and the invisible impact of the invisible hero. The personal assets include both temporary and permanent spiritual gifts. 2. God the Son as the source of spiritual gifts is documented in Eph 4:7. "To each one of us, this grace has been given according to the measure of the spiritual gift from Christ. Therefore, it [Old Testament Scriptures] says, `When He ascended into heaven, He led a host of captives in a triumphal procession from a state of captivity, and He gave spiritual gifts to men.'" a. There were two results of our Lord's ascension. (1) The transfer of Old Testament saints from Paradise in Hades to heaven. (2) Spiritual gifts were distributed. b. God the Son is involved in the initial distribution of spiritual gifts which were temporary gifts, no longer extant. Today, it is God the Holy Spirit who gives permanent spiritual gifts to us at salvation. 3. God the Holy Spirit gives to each of us at salvation a spiritual gift as He wills, 1 Cor 12:11. B. Definition and Description. 1. The Greek noun CHARISMA for spiritual gifts is based on the word CHARIS, or grace. All spiritual gifts are a matter of grace! No gift is given based on God's foreknown merit of the believer. CHARISMA is primarily a Pauline expression, though it occurs once in 1 Pet 4:10. 2. Spiritual gifts are sovereignly given by the Holy Spirit to each believer at the point of salvation. Therefore, a spiritual gift is never earned, deserved, or developed through any form of emotional experience. 3. The gift given represents the wisdom of the Holy Spirit; remember that when you object to your own or to someone else's. Your spirituality has nothing to do with your spiritual life as such; i.e., you're not given a more spectacular or visible gift if it's anticipated that you'll be more spiritual, and you're not given a more "invisible" gift if it's anticipated that you won't turn out to be much anyhow. 4. The initial distribution of spiritual gifts, from the day of Pentecost for about twenty years, came from the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit. He made the first distribution on the day of Pentecost, ten days after His ascension, according to Eph 4:7-8. But since that time, the Holy Spirit makes the distribution of all spiritual gifts, according to Heb 2:4 and 1 Cor 12:11. In several passages, spiritual gifts are ascribed to God without distinguishing which member of the Holy Trinity is the giver. But today the Holy Spirit is the giver. 1 Cor 12:11, "But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. This is one of the few New Testament references to the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit. 5. Spiritual gifts are not earned, not deserved, not developed, and not acquired through emotional experience. Your spiritual gift becomes operational through normal spiritual growth. 6. From the standpoint of the Word of God, all believers have equal privilege and equal opportunity from their computer assets. This means that the distinction between believers in the eyes of God is never related to appearance, personality, or any form of human or alleged spiritual achievement. 7. The only distinction between believers can be categorized under two concepts. a. Spiritual growth. Some believers use their equal privilege and equal opportunity and achieve phenomenal growth. Distinction among believers on the basis of their spiritual growth is a result of their motivation, volition, and priorities. b. Spiritual gifts. The distinction among believers in spiritual gifts has its source in the sovereign wisdom of the Holy Spirit. 8. God the Holy Spirit in His sovereign wisdom has provided different spiritual gifts, so that some difference in modus operandi exists in the body of Christ, just as different functions are assigned to different parts of the human body. 9. The effectiveness of the spiritual gift depends upon two factors. a. The filling of the Holy Spirit is the absolute concept of experiential Christianity. b. The degree of spiritual growth is the relative concept of experiential Christianity. If you are growing spiritually, your gift will function. Communication gifts can function to some degree even when a believer is out of fellowship, because God honors the gift. But this only applies to communication gifts, and is not a desireable situation. 10. Therefore, spiritual gifts only function inside the divine dynasphere under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and momentum from metabolized doctrine, totally apart from emotion. Emotion neither characterizes the filling of the Spirit nor the function of spiritual gifts. As you have momentum from doctrine, your spiritual gift will function, even without your cognition. But you will find yourself becoming involved in things where your spiritual gift is functioning. 11. Spiritual gifts are the Father's witness to the saving work of Christ, and to the strategic victory of our Lord in the angelic conflict. They are distributed today by God the Holy Spirit under that concept according to Heb 2:4 and Eph 4:8, though they were initially distributed by the Lord Jesus Christ as a result of His ascension. 12. There are four prerequisites before we receive our spiritual gift. a. We must have the imputed righteousness of God. b. We must have the same life as Christ, eternal life. c. We must have all of our pre©salvation sins forgiven. d. We must be entered into union with Christ. 13. We do not know what our spiritual gift is until we reach the point of spiritual self©esteem. Therefore, we have to advance in our spiritual life before we recognize what our spiritual gift is. Those who do not advance in their spiritual life never know what their spiritual gift is. But when we reach spiritual self-esteem our spiritual gift will function whether we know it or not. C. There are two categories of spiritual gifts.œ 1. Temporary spiritual gifts were operational during the pre©canon period of the Church Age, i.e., from circa A.D. 30, the day of Pentecost when the Church Age began, to A.D. 96, the pre-canon period of the Church Age. These spiritual gifts were sensational spiritual gifts like apostles, prophets, teaching, miracles, healing, tongues, interpretation of tongues. 2. Permanent spiritual gifts function from the completion of the New Testament in 96 A.D. until the Rapture of the Church, whenever that occurs. 3. Temporary spiritual gifts only functioned during the pre-canon period. On the day the Church Age began, there was no New Testament. So temporary spiritual gifts were designed to take up the slack in the Church Age until the New Testament Canon was completed and circulated, and the mystery doctrine of the Church Age was reduced to writing. a. Not one principle of the Christian way of life was ever taught in the Old Testament. All mystery doctrine was taught in the New Testament; none of it was ever taught in the Old Testament. b. So the temporary spiritual gifts were designed to function in place of the New Testament, and many of them were spectacular in nature. 4. On the other hand, permanent spiritual gifts function throughout the Church Age, but are emphasized from the time of the completion of the Canon. D. Distinctions and Spiritual Gifts 1. The temporary gifts of the apostolic age became the source of abuse under two concepts. a. While operative, there were some abuses. b. Since they have been discontinued, people still claim to have them. This is an abuse since they no longer exist. The Corinthian Church was involved in some of these abuses. c. The Corinthians emphasized and exalted spectacular gifts, and related them to spirituality. Spectacular gifts are not spirituality, any more than less spectacular gifts. Spirituality is not based upon spiritual gifts; spirituality is based on the filling of the Holy Spirit. 2. Every believer has a spiritual gift in his portfolio of invisible assets; this gift is given to him at salvation. 3. No matter how insignificant a spiritual gift may appear to you or to others, it is essential for the function of the body of Christ; just as every position on a team is important for the function of that team. 4. One principle has always been true: spiritual gifts, like any other human activity, function under authority. No divine institution can function without authority. Authority doesn't always exist in the person who is most capable, or who is the best leader. Nothing in life is effective without authority. Orientation to authority is the beginning of virtue. 5. Spiritual gifts have their highest function in spiritual adulthood. When a person has mastered the functions of virtue-love at gates #5 and #6 of the divine dynasphere, then his gift will function to the maximum. Virtue©love includes personal love for God the Father at gate #5, impersonal love for all mankind at gate #6, and occupation with the person of Jesus Christ. Your spiritual gift will not function to the maximum before you reach spiritual maturity, for its maximum function comes in spiritual adulthood. 6. Spiritual gifts are said to differ in value, as we'll note in 1 Cor 12:28. While we have equal privilege and equal opportunity under our computer assets, there are differences of modus operandi among believers in the utilization of their spiritual gifts. 7. Spectacular spiritual gifts do not imply spiritual growth, superior Christian experience, or Christian greatness. Greatness comes by advancing to spiritual maturity and becoming an invisible hero. You can be an invisible hero with a relatively unknown or apparently insignificant gift and be just as great as a mature believer with a more visible gift. E. Temporary Spiritual Gifts. The temporary gifts were operational during the pre-canon period of the Church Age, circa A.D. 30 - A.D. 96. Temporary gifts were designed to take up the slack for the beginning of the Church Age until the New Testament was completed and circulated, and until the mystery doctrine was reduced to writing. A list of the temporary spiritual gifts follows in order of merit. 1. The gift of apostleship. (See the Doctrine of Apostleship.) 2. The gift of prophecy was not a national leader like that of the Old Testament prophets. This gift was second in order of merit, and is so listed in 1 Cor 12:28. It is also mentioned in Rom 12:6; 1 Cor 12:10, and 14:1-40 where it is presented in contrast to the gift of tongues. a. Old Testament prophets were national leaders, especially in times of crisis. In times of prosperity, he was the final authority on Bible doctrine. However, this gift is not related to national leadership. Many of the Old Testament prophets were great national leaders, e.g., Elijah. Isaiah dictated the correct foreign policy that saved Israel. But those with the gift of prophecy in the Church Age were not national leaders; they only functioned within the realm of the Church. b. The gift of prophecy included a message of divine guidance or a warning of judgment, or a prediction about the immediate future. In Acts 11, Agabus the prophet predicted the famine and depression to come. In Acts 21:10-11, he warned Paul not to go back to Jerusalem. c. Prophets had a limited teaching ministry related to contemporary events; that's why they are called "prophets and teachers" in Acts 13:1. d. Males with the gift of prophecy recorded in Scripture. (1) Agabus, Acts 11:27-28, 21:10-11. (2) Others included Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manaen, and even Paul, according to Acts 13:1. Judas and Silas had the gift, Acts 13:32. e. Acts 21:19 presents a problem, because the four daughters of Philip the evangelist are said to "be prophesying" in the present active participle. However, they did not have a spiritual gift. So we must distinguish between people permitted by God to prophesy, and those who had the spiritual gift of prophecy. No record of their prophecies is ever given, and obviously they did not have the spiritual gift of prophecy. f. In exercising the temporary spiritual gift of prophecy, the prophet must receive his message from God, or he must declare God's will to someone in terms of prophecy, i.e., in terms of future events. The prophecy must be doctrinally accurate. g. Because of the tremendous amount of eschatology in the New Testament epistles, it is quite obvious that the writers who were apostles also had the gift of prophecy. h. The gift of prophecy warned about judgment on sin, indicated the will of God regarding current events, and predicted future events during the apostolic age. But the gift did not extend into the postcanon period because of the doctrine of historical trends. Every function of the gift of prophecy during the pre-canon period is fulfilled by the doctrine of historical trends during the postcanon period. By metabolizing doctrine, you become your own prophet. i. With the completion of the canon of Scripture in A.D. 96 and its gradual circulation, temporary gifts of communication ceased to exist; they were replaced by the permanent communication gifts of evangelism and pastor©teacher. 3. The gift of miracles is found in 1 Cor 12:28; 2 Cor 12:12. a. This temporary spiritual gift was designed to authenticate and certify communication gifts during the apostolic age. This gift was used by an apostle, a prophet, a pastor-teacher, or an evangelist as a credit card to certify that he had that communication gift. The person who had a communication gift could perform a miracle at will. This was the sign that he was from God. b. Today, no one has the gift of miracles, since the completion of the canon of Scripture. The greatest miracle in all of history is the power of Bible doctrine in the life of the positive believer who makes doctrine his #1 priority. c. People tended to lean on miracles during the apostolic age, resulting in terrible apostasy. Whenever someone had a problem, instead of using and applying Bible doctrine, they just waited around for a miracle. So that miracles became the basis for leading many into apostasy, even though it was legitimate at that time. d. While no believer today has the gift of miracles, God still performs miracles if He chooses to do so. But they are not performed by any human through a spiritual gift. e. Of course, Satan has a clever system for duplicating miracles. But there is no such thing as an intermediary between you and God for the performance of miracles. There is no ceremony; there is no system of prayer for miracles. Believers who practice this today insult God, regarding Him as a genie. f. The easiest thing God can do for a human being is to perform a miracle. This is because it does not require any cooperation or positive volition from a person; it only requires a decision from the sovereignty of God and the use of His omnipotence. g. The greatest demonstration of God's power toward mankind today is the fulfillment of His protocol plan through the believer's consistent residence inside the divine dynasphere, under the enabling power of the Spirit, and momentum from metabolized doctrine, utilizing his very own portfolio of invisible assets. h. God never designed miracles to alleviate suffering. Otherwise, our Lord would have been remiss in not healing everyone when He was on earth. Miracles were designed to focus attention on the power of God and the Word of God, to focus attention on the man (or Messiah) with the message. The fact that miracles often alleviate suffering is incidental to the point; it is an after-the-fact result. The greatest thing in life is not a miracle, but Bible doctrine resident in your soul. i. Miracles are sovereign and personal, never in the hands of a human being during the postcanon period of the Church Age. j. Paul performed miracles, indicating that he had the gift of apostleship; therefore he was given a hearing. Whenever our Lord performed a miracle, it was always in relationship to His message. The message of doctrine is infinitely more important than any miracle that has ever occurred. k. All the hocus-pocus in the false function of miracles today is designed to call attention to man. It's an ego trip. It is an arrogant person trying to control and influence a lot of dumb sheep. Miracles are not the issue today. The very fact that people want, ask, and pray for miracles means they do not begin to understand the true greatness of God's power, the greatness of His plan and the portfolio of invisible assets. No one in the Church Age has the power to heal you via a miracle. 4. The gift of healing is mentioned in 1 Cor 12:9, 28, 30. a. Just as miracles was designed to authenticate the person, so healing was designed to focus attention on the message of apostles, prophets, pastors, and evangelists before the New Testament was completed and circulated. b. Miracles authenticated the person; healing certified the message. So they were different, though they both had the same connotation in that they dealt with supernatural phenomena. A man with the gift of miracles could perform a miracle at will, anytime he chose to do so, and he could heal as well. In fact, people could just touch Paul and they were instantly healed. c. Healing as a spiritual gift does not exist today, for it ceased with the completion of the Canon. Any healing today must come directly from God, and not through any delegated human authority or intermediary. Normally, healing is performed through medicine or even a tranquil mental attitude so that the body can heal itself. d. Healing is not a question of God's power. Healing is not even a matter of someone's faith. It is the wisdom of God's sovereign will in individual situations. God heals today only in special cases in which He has a special purpose, such as extending your life so that you can learn doctrine. But no person has the right to take any credit, should such healing occur. The credit lies with the wisdom and sovereignty of God. e. Paul had the gift of healing. It was used as a credit card to establish his apostleship, since he murdered more Christians in the first century than anyone else before the great persecutions began. Acts 19:11-12 tells of the spectacular nature of his healing gift, for a person only had to touch Paul to be healed instantly. f. But once Paul's apostleship and message was established and generally accepted, God withdrew the gift of healing from him since it was no longer needed. We know this because Paul could not heal two of his closest friends. He solicited prayer on their behalf, but he could not heal them. One was Epaphroditus in Phil 2:27, the other was Trophemus in 2 Tim 4:20; Paul had to leave Trophemus behind because he could not heal him. g. There is true healing that occurs when a demon possessed person experiences the demon leaving his body; such a person is then "cured." This method is used by Satan to establish false teachers. 5. The gift of tongues. (See the doctrine of Tongues.) a. The gift of tongues was designed to warn the Jews of the coming of the fifth cycle of discipline by evangelizing them in Gentile languages, cf. Isa 28. b. Tongues was the first of the temporary gifts to be removed 70 A.D. 6. The interpretation of tongues is in 1 Cor 12:10, 30, 14:26-28. a. When anyone stood up in a church and spoke in tongues, presenting the Gospel to Jewish unbelievers who were present (Jews whose native tongue was a Gentile language), the rest of the congregation could not understand what was said. They thought the man speaking in tongues had gone off his rocker; he didn't even know what he was saying. b. So the one with the gift of interpretation of tongues stood up and explained what was said by the one who had just spoken in tongues. This gift was designed for the rest of the congregation so they would know the one with the gift of tongues was not crazy. c. The gift of tongues never functioned without the gift of interpretation of tongues also functioning. The gift of interpretation of tongues was the ability to translate the message of the one speaking in tongues. d. Today any alleged speaking in tongues or interpretation of tongues is either a psychological malady of an emotional reject or demon activity. The EGGASTRAMUTHOS demon who possesses an unbeliever controls that person's vocal cords, causing him to "speak in tongues." 7. The gift of knowledge is found in 1 Cor 12:8, 13:8. With this gift, you had instant cognition of mystery doctrine. This was a spiritual gift whereby you knew a Church Age doctrine without studying it, for there was as yet no New Testament canon in writing to study. This knowledge was provided directly by God the Holy Spirit who inserted previously unknown doctrinal information into a person's right lobe as epignosis. In other words, the gift of knowledge functioned totally apart from the function of operation Z. 8. The gift of wisdom is found in 1 Cor 12:8. This gift accompanied the gift of knowledge, as the ability to explain and apply the mystery doctrine taught by the gift of knowledge. So some taught the mystery doctrine; others taught the application of that doctrine. Today, wisdom comes with spiritual adulthood only. No believer before reaching spiritual self©esteem has wisdom. 9. The gift of exhortation is found in Rom 12:8. a. Before the canon of Scripture was completed and circulated, the spiritual gift of exhortation was necessary. This was the temporary gift of counseling, comforting, warning, and advising. b. The Greek word used for this gift was PARAKLESIS which means comforter. But today, the Holy Spirit is the PARAKLESIS. We have the permanent indwelling of the Spirit, the filling of the Spirit, the ministry of the Spirit in teaching, metabolizing, and applying doctrine. Hence, with the completion of the New Testament, this temporary gift was no longer necessary. c. Today you can do these things for yourself in spiritual adulthood. Beginning with spiritual self©esteem, you counsel yourself; you comfort yourself; you warn yourself; you advise yourself. However, there is still a place for these things in the ministry of the pastor-teacher. d. Of course, we can always learn from people. Anyone who is honest with you is your friend. 10. The gift of discerning spirits is found in 1 Cor 12:10. This was the spiritual gift for the detection of false doctrine. With the completion of the canon of Scripture, this gift was no longer necessary, since the New Testament contains true doctrine and thereby exposes false doctrine. 11. The gift of faith is found in 1 Cor 12:9. This must be šdistinguished from the faith-rest drill. a. This was a special spiritual gift before the New Testament was completed, whereby a believer demonstrated faith in a group which was being persecuted or was under some special pressure. Everyone would be moaning and groaning and complaining about some circumstance, and this believer would exercise great faith in deliverance or in confidence in God, and encourage that group to depend upon the Lord. b. This person would exercise his gift of faith on behalf of the group, either to comfort them with promises and doctrine, or to announce that a deliverance was about to come. If a group of believers were about to go to the lions, and one of them stood up with the gift of faith and said, "I'm trusting the Lord that we'll all be delivered," they would all be delivered and none of them would go to the lions. c. The New Testament didn't exist, so there were no promises to claim and no doctrine to apply. This gift was provided in lieu of having New Testament promises and doctrines, so that the faith-rest drill could function. 12. 1 Cor 13:8-10 explains the temporary function of certain spiritual gifts, "Virtue-love is never phased out; but if prophecies, they will be discontinued; if tongues, they will be terminated; if the gift of knowledge, it will be discontinued. For we know in part [gift of knowledge], and we prophesy in part [gift of prophecy], but when the perfect comes [New Testament Canon], then the partial [the temporary spiritual gifts] will be discontinued [abolished, phased out, withdrawn]." F. Permanent Spiritual Gifts. 1. Introduction and Identification. a. Permanent spiritual gifts function in the body of Christ throughout the entire Church Age, but they are emphasized as functioning from the time of the completion of the New Testament until the Rapture. Permanent spiritual gifts were operational before the completion of the Canon in most cases, and they will continue to function until the Rapture of the Church. b. While temporary spiritual gifts were phased out with the completion and circulation of the New Testament, permanent spiritual gifts will function in the body of Christ until the end of the Church Age. c. If you have personally believed in Jesus Christ and received Him as your personal Savior, you have a permanent spiritual gift. The question is: what is your spiritual gift? There are no exceptions; every believer is given a spiritual gift at salvation. d. The initial distribution of spiritual gifts was made by the Lord Jesus Christ after His ascension and session, according to Eph 4:7-11. e. Thereafter, at salvation, God the Holy Spirit sovereignly distributes spiritual gifts according to His perfect, eternal, and infinite wisdom. One of the forty things you received at salvation, and one of the seven ministries of the Holy Spirit at salvation was His sovereign act in giving you a at least one spiritual gift. This is taught in 1 Cor 12:7, 11, 18 and 28. f. The category of spiritual gift which you possess is not a sign of spiritual superiority, growth, or inferiority. Spiritual gifts are a matter of the sovereign wisdom of God the Holy Spirit. You are not better or worse than anyone else by virtue of your spiritual gift. g. The effectiveness of your spiritual gift depends upon two categories of experiential sanctification. (1) The absolute concept, which is the filling of the Spirit or life in the divine dynasphere. (2) The relative concept, which is a matter of your spiritual growth or lack of it. h. A distinction must be recognized between natural abilities or talents and spiritual gifts. Your natural abilities are related to your physical birth and genetics; spiritual gifts are related to regeneration. 2. There are three categories of permanent spiritual gifts. These are categorized according to the means of their identification. a. Communication gifts must be identified because they demand maximum preparation. There are two permanent communication gifts: the gift of pastor-teacher and the gift of evangelism, and any combination thereof related to missionary function. "Missionary" is not a spiritual gift; it is a function of the body of Christ. The communication gifts used out in the field are pastor-teacher and evangelism; non-communication gifts are used in the field as well. (1) The communication gifts are given to male believers only, and they are given totally apart from human merit. (2) From His wisdom related to His omniscience, God the Holy Spirit always over supplies. There are always more men with the gift of pastor-teacher than there are men who will actually use it. (3) These two communication gifts must be recognized as soon as possible, because it takes a tremendous amount of preparation to function effectively under the wisdom of God. This preparation requires many different things, e.g., military service and extensive academic training (to include five to eight graduate years). (4) Identification is not simple, because it demands persistence in the perception of doctrine. It is not connected with emotion. No feeling should lead or guide you; you have to know from doctrine, and have confidence from that knowledge. If you identify your gift too late for proper preparation, don't be concerned because God uses that gift in many other ways. (5) After the individual male recognizes his spiritual gift and prepares for it, then the Bible demands that some local church recognize his spiritual gift through the ritual of ordination. Eventually, some local church will recognize him by calling him to be their pastor. b. There are spiritual gifts that the pastor of a local church must identify among members in his congregation, i.e., the gifts of administrative leadership, which must be possessed by church officers and some deacons, especially the chairmen of standing committees. (1) Half of the responsibility of this spiritual gift is specified in 1 Cor 12:28 by the noun KUBERNESIS, which means administration. The ability to administer in the local church is not necessarily the same as the ability to administer in business, in the military, or in bureaucracy. (2) The other half of the responsibility of this spiritual gift is found in Rom 12:8. The present middle participle of PROISTEMI, which means leadership. (3) The two words together, KUBERNESIS and PROISTEMI, means administrative leadership. (4) Although the prevalent tradition is for the congregation to vote for deacons and church officers, it is really the job of the pastor to identify these gifts among men in the congregation and to appoint them as church officers. These men are responsible for the function and administration of a local church. No local church can function without deacons. The gifts of administrative leadership definitely carry authority. c. There are permanent spiritual gifts which function automatically without spiritual growth, and they can function without identification by the possessor. In other words, you can have a spiritual gift which will function without your cognizance of exactly what it is. (1) Like all spiritual gifts, these are also sovereignly bestowed by God the Holy Spirit at salvation. They depend upon the filling of the Spirit plus spiritual growth for their function. (2) Once the believer reaches a certain stage of spiritual growth, his gift functions automatically without identification. (3) These spiritual gifts function with maximum efficiency when the believer attains spiritual adulthood. These do not have to be identified, although with spiritual growth from this doctrine, many may come to recognize their spiritual gift. (4) These spiritual gifts are the most necessary part of the body of Christ. They include: the gift of service/ministry, the gift of helps, the gift of mercy, and the gift of giving. 3. Permanent spiritual gifts include the following. It is not implied that this list is exhaustive; however, it is categorical. Therefore, this list represents the entire concept of permanent spiritual gifts. a. First in order of merit: the gift of pastor-teacher, Rom 12:7; 1 Cor 12:8; Eph 3:7-13, 4:11-16. This is the highest communication gift extent in the Church Age today. There is no higher spiritual gift. It is given to male believers only and is designed to function primarily inside the local church. (See the Doctrine of Pastor©Teacher.) (1) The pastor is not an administrator; he is a policy maker. One of his titles, as found in Eph 4:11, says he has the responsibility of seeing that the policy of administration lines up with the Word of God, that it is a policy that fulfills the concepts of the New Testament. But he himself does not involve himself in administration. (2) No pastor should ever have anything to do with the money in the church nor with the building and how it functions. Administration is not the pastor's responsibility. b. The gift of evangelism is also a communication gift, Eph 4:11. (1) While the gift of pastor-teacher communicates the whole realm of doctrine inside the local church, the gift of evangelism is designed to communicate the Gospel outside the local church. (2) The male believer with the gift of evangelism has the God©given ability to communicate the Gospel in a manner that holds the unbeliever's attention. This is the spiritual gift by which people will gather or assemble to listen to the presentation of the Gospel. These unbelievers will give attention and listen to the evangelist, where they would not listen to anyone else. (3) While listening to something "religious," the unbeliever has a tendency to be on his guard and resentful. But all of this is overcome by the spiritual gift of evangelism while communicating the Gospel. (4) The evangelist exercises his spiritual gift in a group of unbelievers. His gift is designed to reach the unreachable with the Gospel message. (5) The gift of evangelism has the ability to teach and express the Gospel so that unbelievers will listen and have a clear understanding of the issue of salvation; i.e., that faith in Christ means eternal life, and that rejection of Christ means eternal condemnation. (6) Often an evangelist will have a speaking talent that goes with his gift, but it is actually the gift that provides hearing from the unbeliever. When this spiritual gift functions, the unbeliever will listen to the Gospel almost by compulsion. (7) The man with this gift is sensational in his communication of the Gospel to the unbeliever. He is a sensational speaker with a sensational personality; this is necessary in order to get a hearing from unbelievers. Such a person can hold the attention of unbelievers. (8) Pastors do not have this gift, but they are mandated to do the work of an evangelist in 2 Tim 4:5, "Do the work of an evangelist." (9) All believers are mandated to evangelize in 2 Cor 5:19. This is because, as a royal ambassador, every believer represents God before the human race. Therefore, it is necessary to personally witness for Christ and give the message of reconciliation as opportunity presents. So the gift of evangelism must be distinguished from personal witnessing, which is the responsibility of every believer. (10) Therefore, three categories of believers are mandated to communicate the Gospel. (a) The function of the spiritual gift of evangelism is the sensational approach. (b) The function of the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher is merely an accurate communication of the Gospel under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit, 2 Tim 4:5. (c) The function of every believer, 2 Cor 5:19. (11) Every evangelist must learn doctrine from his own pastor©teacher. c. The gift of administrative leadership, sometimes called the gift of governments, is found in Rom 12:8 and in 1 Cor 12:28. (1) This is the gift of administrative leadership, because it has delegated authority from the pastor. Rom 12:8, "He who leads must do so with diligence." 1 Cor 12:28 also mentions this gift under the word "governments" or "administrations." The two Greek words from these two verses, KUBERNESIS and PROISTEMI, describe the two parts of this gift. It entails both authority and leadership and the function of administration. (2) This spiritual gift is held by deacons, those who fulfill administrative responsibilities on missionary boards; leaders of Christian service organizations; those who lead and administer the training of children in the local church; church officers and chairmen of standing committees or other organizations within the local church. Apparently, this gift is given to men only. (3) Men with this administrative leadership spiritual gift must chair the various committees in the local church; such as the church office committee, finance committee, membership committee, missionary committee, nursery committee, prep school committee, property committee, and ushers committee. (Those who serve on committees must have the gift of ministry or service.) (4) So there are two kinds of deacons: those with the administrative leadership gift and those with the service administrative gift, called the gift of ministry or the gift of service. (5) It is the responsibility of the pastor to identify men who have this gift and appoint them into the appropriate slot. The pastor who fails to do this eventually becomes the loser himself. The very existence of this gift emphasizes the fact that the primary responsibility of the pastor is not administration. (6) The gift of administration, then, is linked to the function of the local church. One important distinction must be made. A person can be great in administrating some business or organization, but that does not necessarily mean he has this spiritual gift. (7) The gift of administration calls for more than simply effective administrative function. It is a spiritual gift which is sensitive to the needs of the local church and how they are best administered. d. The gift of ministry or service is found in Rom 12:7. The Greek noun DIAKONIA is translated "ministry" in the KJV; or "service" in better modern translations. (Some confusion arises because DIAKONIA resembles DIAKONOS, which though transliterated "deacon," actually refers to the gift of administrative leadership.) (1) DIAKONIA is a spiritual gift of service given to both men and women. DIAKONOS is an office in the local church, held by a man serving on the deacon board. The KUBERNESIS is the one with administrative leadership over the board. (2) This gift (DIAKONIA) functions in the administration of the local church. It means ministry or service; it does not refer to the office of deacon in the local church. This gift is given to men and women. (3) Those who have this spiritual gift should serve on committees and in specific administrative functions in the local church, on mission boards, in Christian service organizations. The deacon, who is the chairman of the committee, has the gift of administration. Those who serve on the committee have the gift of ministry or service. This makes for effective, administrative function in the local church. (4) This spiritual gift is strictly administrative without the leadership function provided by the Holy Spirit. (5) Rom 12:7, "If service, then serve within the framework of the gift of service." (6) The spiritual gift of service or ministry is one of the more common spiritual gifts among men; it also includes some ladies. It is from this gift that so many things are done in the local church. (7) Although women cannot have the first three spiritual gifts, they can have this spiritual gift. This explains the feminine form, "deaconess," in Timothy. No woman has the gift of pastor-teacher, the gift of evangelism, or the gift of administration. But this shouldn't keep ladies from teaching children, from personal witnessing, or from functioning in the administration of the church if they have the gift of service. e. The gift of helps is found in 1 Cor 12:28. Possessed by thousands of believers, this gift is very important. It is this gift that makes the royal family tick. It is the most sustaining gift, and it provides the real stability in a local church. (1) This spiritual gift functions by helping and ministering to the sick, the afflicted, the handicapped, and the helpless. It is held by men and women. (2) This gift is a marvelous thing to behold. It is this gift which functions by visiting the sick and those in hospitals. It is not the pastor's responsibility to call on the sick. But for those who have the spiritual gift of helps, this is their great and magnificent function. This is the spiritual gift that really undergirds all the other spiritual gifts. (3) This gift is synonymous with the gift of "giving aid," as it's translated correctly in Rom 12:8. It can be extended inside or outside the church; it can function to both believers and unbelievers. (4) Possibly one difference between the gift of ministry or service and the gift of helps is that ministry or service functions within the church, whereas the gift of helps functions both inside and outside the local church. f. The gift of showing mercy is found in Rom 12:8. Showing mercy is a virtue under grace, but the gift of showing mercy is quite different. (1) Rom 12:8, "He who shows mercy must always do so with cheerfulness." This implies that if you have the gift of mercy, you will automatically show mercy, but you won't necessarily like it without virtue. So this verse commands that virtue accompany the function of this spiritual gift. People often show mercy under the virtue of grace. But this is actually a spiritual gift. (2) This gift might be synonymous with helps, except that it extends primarily to the afflicted, to the persecuted, and to those who are victims of tyranny among believers and even unbelievers. Therefore, it is perhaps more dramatic than the gift of helps. (3) In the time of the writing or Rom 12:8, it was dangerous to help Christians who were imprisoned or under persecution. Hence, this spiritual gift is always related to courageous acts of mercy. g. The gift of giving must be distinguished from the individual believer's responsibility in giving. (1) Rom 12:8, "He who gives with generosity." (2) This is a special spiritual gift given to both rich and poor for the extravagant use of their earthly possessions in providing for the needs of both believers and Christian institutions, such as the local church, missions, Christian service organizations, to the destitute and needy, and to those who are financially helpless. (3) A very false doctrine prevalent today is that you must give all your money through or to the local church. In other words, if you give to any people in need, but not by means of the local church, it really isn't true giving. That is a lie from the pit of hell! You have a right to give your money directly to any number of organizations or people in need, and it is legitimate Christian giving. (4) Tithing commanded in the Old Testament was taxation. (5) Spiritual giving in both the Old and New Testament never has any percentage attached to it. Spiritual giving is first of all a mental attitude, one you can have though impoverished. (6) You can still have this mental attitude even if you're not able to give because of the superseding mandate from the Scripture: to provide for you family. Before you give to the local church, you have a responsibility to provide for your family! If a person has the spiritual gift of giving and he has a family, he is limited in how he can use his spiritual gift. (7) A person with the spiritual gift of giving will give sacrificially. There are two types of believers who have this gift: rich and poor. If they have this gift, they will give sacrificially. For the gift will function when they reach a certain stage of spiritual growth, even though they may not know they have the gift. But remember, by and large with most of the spiritual gifts, you don't have to identify the gift; you simply have to grow in grace and it will function automatically. (8) Those who are single, and those who are wealthy and have already provided beautifully for their family, have no problem in giving sacrificially. This gift of giving is giving sacrificially. (9) If you have the gift, God will provide for the poor and for the rich to give sacrificially. But this is a spiritual gift which relatively few seem to have. If you do not have this gift, then God only requires that you have the mental attitude of a desire to give whether you are able to give or not. h. These are a few of the spiritual gifts extent today. This does not imply that these are all of them. So where do you fit in? How do you read yourself into the picture? The answer is very simple. Unless you have the gift of pastor-teacher or evangelism, you do not have to know what your gift is. In fact, you may not ever discover your gift until there is momentum and spiritual growth in your life. i. You will know your spiritual gift by the time you reach spiritual adulthood, because by that time it should be functioning and operational. Without spiritual growth, your gift will not function; you're just a dead battery. G. The Function of Spiritual Gifts, Rom 12:4-8. This passage tells us how the gifts should function, using an analogy to the human body. 1. Verse 4, "For just as we have many parts [many spiritual gifts] in one body [royal family of God], and all parts do not have the same function." All believers do not have the same spiritual gifts. The Holy Spirit distributes different spiritual gifts to each of us at salvation, just as a coach might assign players to different positions on a team. 2. Verse 5, Ë  Ë"so we, who are many are one body in Christ, and each part [every spiritual gift in the body] belongs to all the others." a. While we all have equal privilege and equal opportunity as members of the royal family, the Holy Spirit assigns different spiritual gifts to us. The one with the gift of pastor-teacher belongs to all of you. You all have many different gifts which belong to him. We all belong to each other. We cannot separate from each other and be effective. We are all members of the same team! b. Spiritual gifts are the basis for the team concept in the royal family. Your spiritual gift determines what position you play on the team. No matter how inconspicuous or insignificant your gift may seem to be, you are on the team and your gift is just as necessary as any other gift. Your insignificant gift is needed just as much as a spectacular gift. c. Don't ever have a bad mental attitude about your less spectacular spiritual gift, because you are resenting the wisdom of God the Holy Spirit. All gifts function under the enabling power of the Spirit inside the divine dynasphere only. Effectiveness of function is determined by your spiritual growth. d. So how should your spiritual gift function, once you've gained some momentum, and once it begins to function with or without your consent? 3. Verse 6, "We have different gifts according to the grace given to us. If the believer's gift is prophecy, let him prophesy in proportion to his doctrine." This was a temporary gift. There was no sense in trying to use the gift of prophecy unless you had doctrine so that your prophecies were accurate. 4. Verse 7, "If his gift is the gift of ministry [or service], let him function in the sphere of his service. If his gift is the gift of teaching [pastor-teacher], let him teach." In other words, don't try to be something you're not. You're great in functioning within your own spiritual gift. If you try to do something else, you fall flat on your face. Scripture doesn't say the pastor-teacher is to run absolutely everything; that's ridiculous. He is to oversee that the policies line up with the Scripture; he should know that much. But he delegates everything. The pastor who doesn't delegate cannot study and teach. 5. Verse 8, "If it is the gift of exhortation, then let him counsel and comfort. If it is the gift of giving, let him give generously. If it is the gift of governments [administration], let him govern with diligence. If it is the gift of showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully." a. In other words, stick with you gift! Don't get ambitious and try to be something you're not. God the Holy Spirit gave you your gift. His wisdom is perfect; therefore, stay with your gift. b. If you have the gift of giving, though God will provide the means to give, your giving is sacrificial. This is different from all believers giving as a part of the privacy of their priesthood. If you have the gift of giving, then as you grow spiritually you'll find yourself being unusually generous and perhaps sacrificial. But you don't have to give to the local church; you can give to Christian service organizations or to missionaries. c. The gift of governments or administration is not necessarily the ability to administer in business or be an good executive in business. The person with this spiritual gift is able to function as an executive or to function as an administrator in a local church. He is sensitive to the needs of that local church, whereas in a business, he would not necessarily do well. d. Those who need mercy are generally the unattractive people in life, and especially unattractive to the one giving the gift of mercy. Therefore, this is an obscure gift, because it is being nice, kind, thoughtful, and loving toward someone with whom you have a natural antagonism. Doing it "cheerfully" means without any rancor, without any thought that "this person is a jerk and brought this on himself." H. The Team Concept of Spiritual Gifts, 1 Cor 12:1-14.œ 1. Just as every team as certain positions, so the body of Christ has spiritual gifts. Every operational spiritual gift is necessary for the advance of the body of Christ. 2. 1 Cor 12:1, "Now concerning spiritual gifts brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant." This emphasizes the importance of epistemological rehabilitation. 3. 1 Cor 12:4, "There are a variety of spiritual gifts, but the same Holy Spirit." a. The source of spiritual gifts is the sovereignty of God the Holy Spirit, who gives the believer his gift at salvation on the basis of HIS decision, not ours. Our spiritual gift is a matter of the wisdom of the Holy Spirit; it is not a matter of any personal merit. We do not acquire, attain, earn, or deserve our spiritual gift. In fact, we would not even know what to order if we had a choice. b. All spiritual gifts depend upon two factors for their effective function. (1) The filling of the Spirit, or residence inside your very own palace, the divine dynasphere. (2) Momentum, or spiritual growth, from perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. This is called epistemological rehabilitation or cognition of doctrine. 4. 1 Cor 12:5, "There are a variety of ministries [services], but the same Lord." There are many different kinds of Christian service, and many opportunities for Christian service. All believers are serving the same Lord, but all believers do not serve in the same way. 5. 1 Cor 12:6-7, "There are different kinds of activities, but the same God works all of them in all persons. Furthermore, to each of us is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good [team, body of Christ]." The manifestation of the Spirit in view here is in perception, in virtue, and in spiritual gifts. Every spiritual gift contributes to the common good of the body of Christ. 6. 1 Cor 12:8-10, "To one there is given through the Spirit the gift of wisdom, to another the gift of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another the gift of faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of healing by means of the same Spirit, to another the gift of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning spirits, to another the gift of tongues, to another interpretation of tongues." The spiritual gifts listed are all temporary. They were mentioned because many had been abused in the local church at Corinth. 7. 1 Cor 12:11, "All these spiritual gifts are the work of one and the same Spirit; He gives them to each believer just as He determines." 8. The concept of one body, 1 Cor 12:12, "For even as the body is one [one royal family] and has many parts [spiritual gifts], and all the parts of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is the Christ." a. Certain parts of the human body are prominent; others are hidden. So it is with spiritual gifts; some are obscure, others are obvious. b. The baptism of the Spirit at salvation entered every believer in union with Christ, and made us all members of the royal family of God. 9. How did we become royal family? 1 Cor 12:13, "For by means of one Spirit we were all baptized [baptism of the Holy Spirit] into one body, whether Jews or Greeks [no racial discrimination], whether slaves or free [no social distinctions], and all were made [caused] to drink one Spirit." a. There are no human viewpoint distinctions. There is no racial discrimination or social distinctions. Once you believe in Jesus Christ, you must regard yourself as a person, having no superiority or inferiority complex. You are a member of the royal family with equal privilege and equal opportunity. You are arrogant, if you are preoccupied with yourself in terms of inferiority or superiority. b. Drinking illustrates faith in Christ at salvation, the time when the baptism of the Spirit occurs. All kinds of people can drink, but the drinking process is the same for all. Drinking is a non-meritorious procedure which everyone can do. So also, faith is common to all members of the human race as a non-meritorious system of perception. c. "Drinking of One Spirit" is the fulfillment of our Lord's invitation on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles in Jn 7:37-39, "Now on the last day, the great day of the feast [Tabernacles], Jesus stood up and shouted saying, `If any person is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, "Streams of living water shall flow from within him."' But this He spoke about the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. For the Spirit was not yet given, because Christ was not yet glorified." d. So in a passage about spiritual gifts, it is fitting that drinking should be used as analogous to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, in which moment we receive our spiritual gift. 10. 1 Cor 12:14, "Now the body [royal family] is made up not of one part, but of many parts [spiritual gifts]." The body is a unity but it has many parts. I. The Abuse of Spiritual Gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:15-21.œ 1. There are two abuses of spiritual gifts. a. The attempt to perpetuate temporary gifts of the pre-canon period into the postcanon era. Many times people have tried to perpetuate into the postcanon period some temporary spiritual gift, like healing, miracles, tongues, or the interpretation of tongues. That's an abuse of spiritual gifts. b. The second problem is that of arrogance or inferiority. Many believers are arrogant because their spiritual gift is more obvious in its function. Others are in a terrible state of inferiority, thinking that because their spiritual gift is not obvious and doesn't function in front of people, they are second-class Christians. But there's no such thing as a second-class Christian. 2. 1 Cor 12:15-21 describes this abuse. This is a part of the dissertation on the body of Christ, the royal family of God, in which distinctions are made only where our spiritual gifts are concerned. Remember that when it comes to our privileges and opportunities, we all have equal privileges and equal opportunities from our portfolio of invisible assets. 3. 1 Cor 12:15, "If the foot should say, `Because I am not the hand, I am not part of the body,' it is not, for this reason, any the less a part of the body? No." a. Brother foot had an inconspicuous gift. Brother hand had a conspicuous, spectacular gift. b. Some people have an inferiority complex because their spiritual gift isn't spectacular. Some who have spectacular spiritual gifts suggest and imply that they are greater believers because they have this gift. Behind all this is the erroneous assumption that you earn, deserve, or merit your spiritual gift. In reality, it is the wisdom of God the Holy Spirit. c. Spiritual gifts are not issued on the basis of spiritual growth or spiritual advance. Those with less spectacular gifts are not spiritually inferior to those with an ostentatious gift. d. This passage was to correct the abuse resulting from Corinthian arrogance which said, in effect, "you're not really saved until you speak in tongues." Or, "you're not really saved until you exercise some spectacular and emotional function in life." e. The royal family of God, when it comes to spiritual gifts, is a team. Each part is necessary. So whether you are a lady or a gentleman, you are important in the royal family of God. Your spiritual gift is your position on the team. It was sovereignly bestowed to you by God the Holy Spirit at salvation, and your spiritual gift is just as important as anyone else's. f. The different spiritual gifts generally fall into just these two categories, foot or hand. The foot represents the gifts not so obvious, the behind-the-scenes gifts, like the gift of helps or service. The hand represents the spectacular gifts. Among the temporary gifts, these would have been tongues, the interpretation of tongues, healing, and miracles. These were prominent, dominant, and well-known, along with the gifts of apostleship and prophecy. But the many behind-the-scenes gifts are just as important for the modus operandi of the royal family. g. If you as a believer have an inferiority complex, there is either something vitally wrong with your understanding of doctrine or with your function in your experience. There is no place for an inferiority complex! h. On the other "hand," those with spectacular gifts are no better than those with hidden gifts. You're not more spiritual because you have a spectacular gift. An evangelist, especially one well-known, is often thought to be deeply spiritual and far greater than others. But this is not necessarily true. The same is true of a pastor-teacher. Neither the pastor or evangelist is necessarily any better as a Christian than anyone else. What differentiates them is simply that their spiritual gifts are exercised in public, while other believers' spiritual gifts are exercised in private. The actual spiritual advance of any believer really belongs to the privacy of his priesthood; it is really no one else's business. Every believer must live his own life as unto the Lord and before the Lord. i. So the only differences among believers are determined by their spiritual gift. Spiritual gifts have nothing to do with the natural inferiorities or superiorities that are assigned to race, to social, business, professional, or academic life, to athletic ability, to personality, or to human attractiveness or ugliness. j. Conclusion: you are just as much a part of the body of Christ if your spiritual gift is exercised in private! 4. Verse 16 brings in two other factors to repeat the idea, going from parts of the body to parts of the face. "And if the ear should say, `Because I am not the eye, I do not belong to the body,' it is not, for that reason, any less a part of the body? No." a. The ear refers to the congregational gifts, in contrast to the communication gifts. The use of the ear is very appropriate as a reference to the congregation. For no one ever grows spiritually without listening to Bible teaching. b. Since the ear is generally unnoticed, it refers to the various unseen congregational gifts, like the gift of helps or the gift of mercy. These hidden gifts are very important. c. The eye represents the communication gifts, like pastor-teacher or evangelist. While speaking, the communicator must look you in the eye. Again, the use of the eye is very appropriate. For by looking, the communicator can easily gauge the response to his message. d. The point is that many believers develop an inferiority complex and arrogant dissatisfaction because they do not have a communication gift. Timothy even faced this problem with certain women in his congregation. e. Spiritual gifts do not determine the status of experiential sanctification. Experiential sanctification, or the spiritual life, has two concepts, absolute and relative. (1) The absolute concept is being filled with the Spirit or life in the divine dynasphere, versus being carnal in cosmic one or two. (2) The relative concept is the stage of your spiritual growth or retrogression. f. Those believers with communication gifts are not superior to those believers with non-communication gifts. Those with communication gifts do have superior authority which is built into the gift. But their superior authority does not imply a superior spiritual life. g. The superior spiritual life results from consistent residence inside the divine dynasphere, under the enabling power of the Spirit, and momentum from metabolized doctrine. 5. Verse 17, "If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?" a. In other words, if everyone had communication gifts, believers could not listen and learn doctrine. Hence, the royal family of God would be composed of spiritual morons. b. Furthermore, if everyone had communication gifts, the royal family would be in a state of inordinate competition. There would be no authority for teaching Bible doctrine, and therefore no function of operation Z at gate #4 of the divine dynasphere. c. The sense of smell refers to the non-spectacular action gifts, such as service, helps, mercy, and giving, which in their function are almost evanescent. But these are just as important as the spectacular gifts. 6. Verse 18, "But in fact, God has arranged the parts of the body [distribution of spiritual gifts], every one of them, just as He willed." a. Spiritual gifts are distributed according to the sovereignty of God, not according to the merit of any particular believer. b. There is no excuse for a superiority complex because you have an ostentatious spiritual gift. In fact, a spectacular spiritual gift does not in any way indicate a superior spiritual status. c. There is no excuse for an inferiority complex because you have an obscure spiritual gift. In fact, an obscure spiritual gift, like helps or mercy, does not indicate an inferior spiritual status. d. Whatever spiritual gift we have is a matter of the sovereignty of God. Therefore, we cannot complain about our spiritual gift. It is the will of God, not ours. We did not earn it, deserve it, or work for it. It is strictly the function of the sovereignty of God. 7. The principle of spiritual gifts. a. All spiritual gifts are necessary for the function of the body of Christ, and they require faithfulness in the execution of the protocol plan of God for their proper function. b. Some spiritual gifts have to be recognized by the possessor, that is, the communication gifts, because they require extensive training and preparation. c. Other spiritual gifts, however, do not have to be recognized or identified, since they function automatically under spiritual growth. d. All spiritual gifts function in maximum effectiveness under spiritual adulthood, beginning at spiritual self-esteem. e. Regardless of spiritual growth, no spiritual gift can function apart from the filling of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we have the mandates of Eph 5:18 and Gal 5:16. f. There are two categories of arrogance related to spiritual gifts. (1) The superiority complex because of the possession of a spectacular gift. (2) The inferiority complex because of the possession of an obscure spiritual gift. g. Since the Holy Spirit assigned these spiritual gifts at salvation, there is no place for human merit, or assigning any greatness or arrogance to your spiritual gift. h. Under computer assets, every believer still has equal privilege and equal opportunity for the fulfillment of the protocol plan of God and the distribution of his escrow blessings for both time and eternity regardless of whatever spiritual gift he may possess. 8. Verse 19, "In fact, if they were all one part, where would the body be?" All spiritual gifts are necessary for the function of the body of Christ as the royal family of God. 9. Verse 20, "Now there are many parts [spiritual gifts], but one body." Regardless of spiritual gift, every believer is royal family of God with equal privileges and equal opportunities under his portfolio of invisible assets. The only differences are personnel differences, the third category of assets in the portfolio of invisible assets. 10. Verse 21 takes up the case of brother eye with a visible spiritual gift (like apostleship, prophecy, miracles) and brother hand, who has some invisible or less sensational spiritual gift such as administrative leadership. "The eye [a believer with a sensational spiritual gift] cannot say to the hand [a believer with an invisible spiritual gift], `I do not need you!' And the head [Jesus Christ] cannot say to the feet [a believer not using his spiritual gift], `I do not need you!" a. In other words, no pastor is an island to himself. No pastor can function effectively in the communication of Bible doctrine without the function of administrative gifts. b. The head refers to our Lord Jesus Christ, as in Eph 1:22, 4:15, 5:23, and Col 1:18. c. The feet here refers to the invisible or non-spectacular gifts, such as the gifts of service, helps, giving, showing mercy. Even Jesus Christ cannot say to the least of all spiritual gifts "I do not need you!" He cannot say to any part of the body, "I do not need you!" Therefore, every spiritual gift has significance in the body of Christ. d. We live in a time of the greater, better spiritual gifts. We live in a time when the spiritual gifts have more meaning, more power, more impact, more worldwide influence. But the spiritual gift does not work unless the Holy Spirit is your mentor. 11. 1 Cor 12:22-25 teaches the importance of obscure spiritual gifts. Some believers have invisible spiritual gifts, but they are the most important spiritual gifts. They often receive less honor and recognition, yet they are the more honorable and the more necessary. God gives great honor to the members of the royal family who do not have visible spiritual gifts. God gives greater honor to those believers with invisible support gifts. Verse 23, "and [when we understand this principle of necessary spiritual gifts] those members of the body which we are subjected to critical thinking erroneously judged as less honorable], on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members came to have greater presentability." a. Those members subjected to critical thinking is an attack on the team and the position some person plays on the team. It is a subjective opinion based on prejudice rather than fact. b. The person subjected to this critical thinking is important to the team as much so a the person being critical of him. c. Believers with non-sensational spiritual gifts (the less honorable members) received more abundant honor when the canon of Scripture was completed. It was a total reversal. Greater honor is bestowed on the believer with less sensational spiritual gifts during the postcanon period of the Church Age than on the believers with the sensational spiritual gifts during the pre-canon period. d. The invisible hero is the greater power in the body of Christ, just as the invisible parts of the human body (like the brain, heart, lungs, kidneys) are the greatest parts of the human body. e. The power of the invisible gifts of helps and administration cannot be overrated. They make it possible for doctrine to be taught and sent all over the world. You should never have to drive people in the spiritual life. Bible doctrine is the greatest single incentive in the spiritual life. Love for God and doctrine is far more powerful than any other incentive in life. f. Care for one another means the function of the unique virtue-love of the Church Age. This is a love that is not trying to seduce someone, trying to use others. g. Spiritual leadership must have great humility and that great humility must be related to virtue-love. No spiritual leader is objective without virtue-love, humility, fairness, justice, righteousness. 12. Verse 26-27 teaches the importance of teamwork in spiritual gifts. a. 1 Cor 12:27, "Now you are body of Christ and each members of His parts [individual members of the body of Christ]." You are the highest form of team situation that has ever existed. b. 1 Cor 12:28 mentions the old team in the pre-canon period of the Church Age. We are the new team in the postcanon period. 13. Verse 28-30 teaches the perspective of the diversity of spiritual gifts during the pre-canon period of the Church. Certain men were given the spiritual gift of teaching what would eventually be in writing in the New Testament. This was not the same spiritual gift as that of pastor©teacher. The spiritual gift of apostle, prophet, teacher (some had the ability to teach the content of the New Testament prior to it being written), a worker of miracles, healing were all temporary spiritual gifts for the pre-canon period. They were all sensational, but temporary, spiritual gifts. The same is true for the gifts of tongues, and interpretation of tongues. None of these are the greater spiritual gifts of the postcanon period of the Church. 14. Verse 31 is a transitional verse into the doctrine of Virtue-Love, as the answer to any apparent inequalities in spiritual gifts. 1 Cor 12:31, "But keep on seeking the greater gifts [the invisible impact of the postcanon period of the Church Age], and yet I point out to you for your benefit a way of life beyond all comparison [our spiritual life]." a. The sensational, temporary spiritual gifts of the pre-canon period were not the "greater gifts" mentioned in this context (apostleship, tongues, prophecy, interpretation of tongues). Many theologians consider the temporary to be the greater spiritual gifts, but they are not the greater spiritual gifts. The greater spiritual gifts are permanent spiritual gifts of the postcanon period of the Church Age. b. The sensational spiritual gifts belong to the pre-canon period of the Church Age (30-96 A.D.). These gifts provided the New Testament verbally before the New Testament was written. c. The greater spiritual gifts belong to the postcanon period of the Church Age. The sensational spiritual gifts of the pre-canon period were designed for the communication of the New Testament before it was written. 1 Cor 12:29-30 lists the temporary, sensational spiritual gifts of the pre-canon period of the Church Age. d. The spiritual team today does not have the sensational spiritual gifts. We have greater spiritual gifts that do not have to be sensational. We have spiritual gifts with more power than the sensational spiritual gifts. We have the spiritual life of our Lord Jesus Christ with invisible, dynamic impact for Christ. e. The greater spiritual gifts are formed by the baptism of the Holy Spirit, directly related to the unique spiritual life of Jesus Christ in hypostatic union. The most powerful influence in history comes from the permanent spiritual gifts. f. You cannot seek the greater gifts, if the greater gifts were temporary. Therefore, the greater gifts were not temporary, but the permanent spiritual gifts of the postcanon period of the Church Age. J. 1 Cor 13. 1. Outline. a. Verse 1, Vulnerability to Failure. b. Verses 2-3, The Two Premises. (1) First premise if you do not have virtue-love, you are nothing. (2) Second premise if you do not have virtue-love, you gain nothing. c. Verse 4-7, The Characteristics of Virtue-Love. d. Verse 8a, The First Conclusion. e. Verses 8b-12, The Parenthesis. f. Verse 13, The Final Conclusion. 2. 1 Cor 13:1, "If I speak with the languages of mankind and angels, but I do not have virtue-love, I have become a sounding brass or a clanging symbol." a. No human being ever learned an angelic language. We do not witness to angels verbally. This is an assumption by Paul because he is introducing a hypothetical case against the sensationalism of temporary spiritual gifts. This is a working hypothesis, using probable circumstances to explain the importance of virtue©love as the unique phase of the spiritual life of the Church Age. The reference to the languages of angels is a working hypothesis to assign the true value of tongues as a temporary spiritual gift to emphasize the fact that it has no validity apart from the spiritual life of the believer who used it. Even if you could speak in the language of angels, which we cannot, or converse with the gods, this would not be of any use to you. We can live spiritually without being sensational, but we cannot live spiritually without virtue. (1) When we have a personal sense of destiny, it is primarily related to personal love for God. This is love on a much higher plain than love for other people. We have no right to an inferiority complex, because we are royal family of God in union with Christ. There are two areas of God's happiness: sharing the happiness of God and occupation with Christ. This is where we should be. If we are not there, we will make ourselves miserable, and we will never understand that we have a responsibility to God, which must always be first in our life. (2) People are not going to pat us on the back when we advance to maturity and receive blessing by association. It will be invisible to them and to us. It is invisible impact. If we get our eyes on people, we are on our way down spiritually. b. The verb LALEO is a hypothetical present tense, which is part of the pictorial present, and is used for action in progress hypothetically. Paul produces the action as a hypothesis for establishing a principle related to the spiritual gift. (1) No spiritual gift can function apart from the spiritual life, and no spiritual life can function apart from having the information necessary to live that life, and using it, and growing up. People do not really have any God awareness, because they know nothing about Him. What God has given us is far greater than our stupid demands from God. We will never have any happiness until we share the happiness of God. (2) In the pre©canon period of the Church Age there were three sensational spiritual gifts of communication used as illustrations in this passage: tongues, prophecy, and knowledge. The gift of knowledge was to present doctrine that had not yet been reduced to writing by an apostle. (3) Paul focuses on tongues because it was such a spectacular spiritual gift. The attitude of associating spiritual greatness with tongues was based on the Greek culture. The Greek culture was ecstatic utterance related to emotional activity of the Phallic cult and religious mysteries, which the Greeks practiced. c. The dative plural of manner from the noun GLOSSA means languages. "If I speak with tongues" refers to Gentile languages, not unintelligible sounds, and not the ecstatic sounds of the Greek Phallic cult. Why was tongues a legitimate spiritual gift for forty years from A.D. 30-70? (1) The negative purpose of the spiritual gift was the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isa 28:11-12, quoted in 1 Cor 14:21 with the conclusion given in 1 Cor 14:22, "For this reason tongues are a signal, not to those who believe, but to [Jewish] unbelievers." Tongues was a sign to the Jewish unbelievers as the warning of the approach of the fifth cycle of discipline and the destruction of the Jewish nation, Lev 26:27-38; Deut 28:49-67. The prophecy of Isa 28:11-12 indicates that Jews will be evangelized in Gentile languages as a warning of the approach of the times of the Gentiles. The times of the Gentiles begins with the fall of the Jewish client nation in 70 A.D. (2) The positive purpose was to evangelize Jews and proselytes with positive volition at the point of God consciousness in their own languages on the day of Pentecost. d. The only motivation for the spiritual life, for anything related to Christianity, for whatever you do in this life, the only mental attitude that gives you a dynamic advantage over everyone else is personal love for God. We are not motivated by rewards for time and eternity, but by personal love for God. e. The sounding brass was used by a peddler, when he rubbed two pieces of metal together to draw attention to himself. The clanging symbol was used in the temples of the phallic cult and it was sound without meaning. Sound without meaning is love without virtue. Hence, it represents emphasis on self rather than on the message. This is the description of noise without power drowned in emotion without thought, meaningless and mindless irrationality. 3. 1 Cor 13:2, "And if I had the gift of prophecy, and I knew all the mysteries and all knowledge; and if I had all faith, so that I could remove mountains from one place to another place, but do not have virtue-love, I am nothing." a. Three temporary sensational spiritual gifts are mentioned here by way of illustration prophecy, knowledge, and faith. They are introduced in a hypothetical protosis. b. The temporary spiritual gift of prophecy provided parts of the information, which would be contained in the New Testament. Matthew, Luke, John, Paul, Peter all had this spiritual gift and all wrote part of the information of prophecy. c. The temporary spiritual gift of knowledge was understanding the mystery doctrines of the Church Age before they were written into the canon of Scripture: the indwelling of each member of the Trinity, the filling of the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit, the sealing of the Spirit, the thirty-nine irrevocable absolutes given to us at salvation. These are called mystery doctrines in Rom 16:25-26; Eph 3:1-10, 5:32, 6:19; Col 1:25-26. d. Faith here is a temporary spiritual gift in contrast to the four stages of the faith-rest drill as we have in the post-canon period of the Church Age. This spiritual gift did not actually have the power to move a mountain, but is hypothetical to demonstrate the spectacular nature of the temporary spiritual gifts. Paul is using a deliberate hyperbole here to emphasize the sensationalism of these temporary spiritual gifts. This hyperbole is used for an obvious and intentional exaggeration, a rhetorical figure of speech to dramatize the hypothetical case and add extravagant emphasis on the temporary spiritual gift of faith in contrast to the faithªrest drill. The gift of faith is identified with other temporary spiritual gifts, 1 Cor 12:8-10. This hypothetical case is designed to show us that even if we had such a spiritual gift, it would be no good unless we had the right motivation of personal love for God. e. The motivation for everything in your life must be virtue-love. None of these temporary spiritual gifts would ever be anything without the right motivation. This principle is carried into the spiritual life of the Church Age. Virtue-love of the spiritual love is the greatest motivation and power in all human history. f. We are nothing unless we have virtue-love, because it is the motivation for growing in grace, and the motivation for the honor code of the spiritual life, and the motivation for the execution of every command in Scripture. Virtue-love is the power of the spiritual life. If we do not have this virtue-love, we are nothing in the spiritual life. Without virtue-love we are nothing though we have everything. (The predicate accusative neuter Attic Greek word OUTHEN is used here, not the Hellenistic and Koine Greek word OUDEN. OUTHEN is dramatic. Note that the predicate accusative neuter is used with the nominative masculine verb EIMI.) (1) The word "nothing" emphasizes the failure of human agenda in rejection of God's agenda. If we follow our agenda rather than God's agenda, we will never have the perfect happiness available to us. (2) Emotional sins of arrogance replace the power of God the Holy Spirit as our mentor. (3) The only true motivation that comes when God the Holy Spirit is our mentor is virtue©love. (4) Failure to rebound means that we create a tragic flaw in our own life. The tragic flaw means that the supreme court of heaven will nail us sooner or later. 4. 1 Cor 13:3, "Also if I give all of my possessions to feed those who are in need of help, and if I deliver over my body that I may boast, but I do not have virtue-love, I gain nothing." a. The working hypothesis now changes from sensational gifts to spectacular self-sacrifice, which is useless and not a part of the filling of the Spirit. (1) The first spectacular good deed is sacrificial giving to the poor. Some people genuinely sacrifice all of their wealth to help the poor. This is what Barnabas did in Acts 4:34-37. (2) This is an honorable and generous deed, but without virtue©love produced by the filling of the Spirit, it is dead works. (3) Some of the Corinthian believers failed to use rebound. Therefore, they had such quilt that they thought the only way they could get rid of the guilt was to give away everything they owned to the poor. (4) Without virtue-love produced by the filling of the Spirit this honorable deed becomes dead works, human good, and has no relationship to the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. It has no productional significance related to virtue or love motivation and function. b. The second spectacular self-sacrifice is the hypothetical case of giving one's body to martyrdom. (1) Self-sacrifice without virtue-love is meaningless. Guilt motivated some believers to martyr themselves by burning instead of using the rebound technique. Martyrdom was often confused with rebound in Paul's day. They looked forward to the intense fire to burn away their sins. They were in blind arrogance and legalism. A legalistic scribe replaced the correct Greek word KAUCHESOMAI to boast, with the future subjunctive (which was never used in the Koine Greek until the Byzantine period (476-1453 A.D.) of KAUTHESOMAI to be burned. KAUCHESOMAI is found in all the best manuscripts. (2) If the motivation is emotion, it is not the spiritual life. The exception is that emotion could be a result of executing the spiritual life, but emotion is not involved in the execution. The spiritual life demands execution (Eph 5:18), which includes the filling of the Holy Spirit, which produces virtue-love (Gal 5:22) plus thinking doctrine plus concentration on doctrine plus application of doctrine, resulting in harmonious rapport with God. Virtue-love is both the highest form of Church Age spiritual life and the greatest motivation for the execution of the spiritual life. (3) If I deliver over my body to some kind of martyrdom and it is done in emotion, then it is not a part of the spiritual life. The spiritual life is execution by the filling of the Spirit, thinking and applying Bible doctrine, motivated by virtue-love. Virtue-love is both the highest form of spiritual life and the greatest motivation for the execution of the spiritual life. (4) Paul did not think of these martyrs as being great heroes, because their martyrism was oriented to self rather than oriented to God. Martyrdom oriented to self is a major problem of self-pity. Martyrdom must be oriented to God, and must be a stand for something that is truth from the word of God. True martyrdom is always oriented to Bible doctrine, not to self. The only true martyrdom is when we have taken and accurate stand, based on the word of God, about something of doctrine that is important, like salvation, freedom, etc. We are not martyrs because we got fired, or were treated unfairly, or because we have "taken a stand for Christianity." Paul was skeptical because the Corinthians had got involved in asceticism, perfectionism, individualism, libertarianism. (5) Heroic religious achievement becomes false righteousness of works, in which grace is no longer the issue. (6) Self-immolation was very popular in the Greco-Roman empire. The manuscript evidence does not support the translation "to be burned." Instead, the word KAUCHAOMAI is correct, meaning, "if I give my body to martyrdom that I may boast." The literature of the time was full of praise of persons who voluntarily gave themselves over to death by fire, but in every case they did it to glorify themselves. People were very impressed with this in the ancient world and were considered great heroes. It was all emotion without the execution of the spiritual life. (7) There is a martyrdom complex, which often accompanies the arrogance of self-righteousness. This complex lives under the illusion of always being unjustly treated. They feel very sorry for themselves. When they run out of sympathy from others, they do something desperate. This category must have a hero that can do no wrong to match their perfect view of themselves. They suffer from jealousy and possessiveness of others. (8) The martyrdom complex is constantly redefining human relationships and misinterpreting fellowship in terms of always being right and everyone else is wrong. Another form of martyrdom is some form of Christian activism, social engineering, and civil disobedience along with attacking the government. We do not superimpose Christianity on government; that is wrongdoing. It is not our responsibility to coerce others into believing in Christ. The government cannot follow Christian principles. It must follow certain others principles (like the protection of freedom), which are necessary for the survival of the nation. Martyrdom often results from trying to christianize the state rather than witnessing for Christ in the status of freedom. (9) Legitimate martyrdom glorifies God. Martyrdom that is arrogance glorifies the believer. The idea of believers attempting to please God by self-immolation is blasphemous and unthinkable. (10) Self-imposed martyrdom is not true martyrdom. True Christian martyrdom depends on the antagonism of others, therefore, the volition of others. A martyr does not become a martyr by his own volition, but by the volition of those who are antagonistic to Christianity. (11) True martyrdom involves the volition of others and the glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ. Self-induced martyrdom is not rebound, not glorifying to God. Self-imposed martyrdom is a sign of being in carnality for many years without a change. Carnality is often the basis for martyrdom in the past. In cases where martyrdom has often existed, it has not been honoring to the Lord and it is not a part of the spiritual life at all. It is basis of carnality perpetuated without rebound. Martyrdom in the status of carnality is the sin unto death. Supreme sacrifice in martyrdom may only glorify God, when the believer under the filling of the Holy Spirit functions under virtue-love. (12) When the supreme sacrifice of the human body occurs in the state of carnality, there is no glorification of God; the believer gains nothing. The supreme sacrifice only glorifies God when the believer is under the filling of the Spirit and functions in virtue-love as an advanced problem solving device of the spiritual life. c. "I gain nothing" refers to the loss of eternal rewards. If we fail to attain virtue-love, we lose our eternal rewards and blessings, though we cannot lose our salvation. 5. 1 Cor 13:4, "Virtue-love is forbearing and kind; is not jealous; is not impudent-type arrogance [insolent, effrontery, rude, insulting, presumptuous]; it is not inflated with arrogance," a. Virtue-love is the thing that makes the difference and makes all of the changes in your life. Virtue-love gives you wisdom, so that you do not allow anything to infiltrate your life that is not related to virtue-love. b. The Greek verb MAKROTHUMEW does mean to be patient, forbearing, self-controlled, but these are not the best meanings of the word. It really means not being swayed by emotion. Forbearing means that Virtue-love is steadfast, patient, self-control, free from emotional reaction of annoyance, free from anger and irrationality when confronted with stress. (1) Emotion is defined as an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate is experienced as distinguished from cognition and the volitional state of consciousness. (2) God does not possess emotion as a divine attribute. Therefore, God is not emotional in His relationship with rational creatures. (3) Emotion is only attributed to God as an anthropopathism. An anthropopathism is designed to explain to mankind in human language God's policy on a sovereign decision related to the integrity of God. Rom 9:13. (4) Emotion has no part in the execution of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. Execution is fulfilled through cognition, perception of pertinent Bible doctrine, plus subsequent thinking and applying Bible doctrine as epignosis. (5) Emotion can be the result and appreciation of Bible doctrine, which you have already metabolized. Emotion can be the result and appreciation of Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness, but never the means of epistemological rehabilitation or epistemological advance in the spiritual life. (6) Emotion is not the criterion of salvation or the spiritual life of the believer. How you feel is never the issue. (7) When God created the human soul of mankind, He included cognition and volition along with self-consciousness as part of the image of God connotation, Gen 1:27. Self-consciousness is being aware of our existence. We are rational creatures with self-perception. We also have moral reasoning power. Finally, we have self-determination. I am; I think; I ought; I will. There is no emotion I feel. (8) Emotion was designed in mankind as a system of appreciation for what God had provided in grace, and therefore, it is a responder, but never an initiator. (9) Good emotion is a system of response to what God has provided for mankind in His matchless grace. (10) The image of God does not include emotion. Emotion can only exist where cognition has preceded it. (11) Bad emotion is related to the doctrine of hamartiology. Emotional sins include: fear, worry, anxiety, jealousy, bitterness, hatred, angry, malice, guilt, vindictiveness, implacability. (12) The lowest elevation of human love is an emotional relationship devoid of integrity, virtue, honor, etc. (13) In Phil 3:18 Paul calls believers who are enemies of the Cross those who have made a god out of their emotions. The emotional viewpoint of life is constantly distracted by false opinions and values, which line up with Satan's system, because people think that feeling good is happiness. c. Kindness means to be loving plus merciful; hence, it is functioning under the principle of the integrity of God. d. Impudent type arrogance is insolent, rude, insulting, presumptuous; hence, the personality that accompanies all of the arrogance skills. e. Being puffed-up with arrogance is the advanced function of the arrogance skills. 6. 1 Cor 13:5,"it does not behave dishonorably [disgracefully, indecently, unmannerly]; is not self-seeking; does not become irritated [bitter]; it does not react to evil;" a. To behave dishonorably means to behave indecently or unmannerly. b. To be self-seeking also means in the Greek to be self-promoting. Virtue-love is not self-promoting or pre-occupied with self. If God does not promote you, then you are not promoted. God's promotion comes only through His spiritual life. c. To become irritated is to become bitter with anger reaction and pettiness. Virtue-love is not hypersensitive and is not easily provoked. d. Virtue-love is not mindful of wrongs, does not reaction to the wrongs or injustices that come one's way, does not think in terms of retaliation or reaction to hated or antagonisms. 7. 1 Cor 13:6, "it does not rejoice over injustice, but joyfully sides with the truth;" 8. 1 Cor 13:7, "it keeps all things confidential; it always believes; it always hopes (absolute confidence); it always perseveres." a. The Greek says, "throws a cloak of silence over all things," that is, it keeps and things confidential with no verbal sinning. b. Believing all things is the advance function of the faith-rest drill. 9. 1 Cor 13:8, "Virtue-love never fails; but if prophecies, they will be discontinued; if tongues, they shall be terminated; if knowledge, it will be discontinued." a. Virtue-love never falls down from a higher point. (1) The believer may fail to enter the door of hope on God's agenda, but virtue-love is still there for the believer of the next generation to attain it. God never has withdrawn any of His blessings because of failure. They are always available to those who are positive to doctrine. (2) This virtue-love remains in place as the greatest system of spiritual life in all of human history. It never stops being available because some believers fail to use it. b. "But if prophecies" refers to the temporary spiritual gift of prophecies. They will be discontinued because all prophecies become part of the eschatology of the New Testament. 10. 1 Cor 13:9, "For we know in part and we prophesy in part;" a. The phrase "in part" refers to temporary spiritual gifts and the communication of the mystery doctrine of the Church Age during the pre-canon period of the Church Age before it was reduced to writing. b. The whole or entirety or "perfect" is the completed canon of Scripture. 11. 1 Cor 13:10, "but when the perfect has come, the partial will be discontinued." a. "The perfect" refers to the completed New Testament canon. b. "The partial" refers to the temporary spiritual gifts, which are phased out because they are no longer necessary. 12. 1 Cor 13:11, "When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things." 13. 1 Cor 13:12, "For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known." 14. 1 Cor 13:13, "But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love." K. Questions About Spiritual Gifts 1. What happens to the male believer who has the gift of pastor- teacher and does not identify it or recognize it? Surely there are more men who have this gift than are functioning in churches or on the mission field or in some Bible teaching situation. Answer: This believer functions without a spiritual gift. If he doesn't recognize his gift of pastor-teacher in his own life, that means there is no other spiritual gift under which he can function. God replaces him with another male believer who has not only identified his gift, but has spent the necessary years in preparation for the function of this communication gift. 2. What happens to the carnal Christian? Obviously his spiritual gift does not function. Answer: The carnal Christian loses the blessing and the production associated with that gift. He spends a lifetime in self-induced misery related to the law of volitional responsibility, plus he suffers under the three categories of divine discipline: warning, intensive, and dying discipline. 3. When does the spiritual gift begin to function? Answer: When the believer has momentum in the protocol plan of God. Maximum function occurs in spiritual adulthood. It requires the filling of the Spirit and spiritual growth from the perception of Bible doctrine. The communication and administrative gifts require identification. But the obscure gifts, by and large, function without identification. 4. What happens when the believer does not function under his spiritual gift? Answer: He is replaced by a believer who has the same or a similar spiritual gift.
  • Because they are and on top of that are on crystal meth or something.
  • Because the last prophet was Mohammed. Even Jesus says this in the Bible.
  • The message of all prophets should be consistent with the teachings of The Old and New Testaments. If they are not, they are clearly false prophets, and are not to be listened to.
  • Beacuse we live in a post-Christian, non-JudaeoChristian society. We are taught that channelers and Witches, and ghost hunters are okay, and maybe even seances. But PROPHETS? It's like God wouldn't be capable of speaking through people today, but it is acceptible for Sylvia Browne to be on Montel and give readings. That guy who 'spoke to the dead' was on lunchtime TV in Cleveland! Lessee...Elizabeth Clare Prophet, Brooke Medicine Eagle, Aleister Crowley, Dione Fortune, Edgar Cayce...even people who channel aliens are more received by our culture. These people all have in common an experience of direct human-spirit communication. Source is not the point. We seem to have less trouble accepting that dear departed Aunt Lucy could talk to her grandkids, than that YHWH of the Bible still speaks. God does not change. People unfortunately, try to counterfeit and say he does. God will never contradict His word - there's another solid test for modern prophets. False prophets are predicted to be a veritable plague in end times, and people preaching false Jesuses too. Skepticism is good. The Bible is really the only authority on defining the true test of God's prophets. Anything else is just ..."anything else". And yes, there ARE a few, godly, careful believers who have been servants of God over 30 years, who have been given prophetic gift. That scares folks, though. Check the website for Dimitru Duduman, the Romanian tortured for Bible smuggling. Also references to Tom Deckard, a modern major prophet known in Israel, and items offered by the Spirit of Prophecy Church, via "the Prophecy Club". Hear a few speakers, and then decide.
  • To be cliche: "The problem is not that you speak with God. The problem is telling this to other people." Every Child of GOd speaks to God when they pray. Answers need not always come in audible words. When you reach that point in your relationship to Yah'shua (Jesus) you will know. Fast and pray regularly, and read the Bible daily. If you do this with whole hearted honesty, believing he still lives and answers, you will see for yourself. Do take care not to be fooled by a familiar spirit. Many people do, and get 'personal revelations' contrary to Bible, or telling them goofy, New Age type things. So we get wacked-out false prophets, and people too deceived to see straight. And unbelievers will mock. If you hear from the spirit world - fast and pray for God's affirmation. And to repel any counterfeits. That outta clear the line :-) Blessings and Shalom!
  • Well...back in that day, prophets were treated the very same. Take Joan of Arc, for example. She claimed to hear the voices of St. Catherine and St. Michael and because a handful of people believed she was "the maid of Lorraine" she was allowed to march into batlle and eventually lead France to victory. However, she was later burned at the stake for herecy when she was 19. I think our society is far to accepting to do something like that during this day and age. People are less likely to listen to a person who claims to be able to talk to God or the saints because people are afraid of the unknown, anything they don't understand and anything outside the established norm. it's the same reason it took so pathetically long to integrate the races in America. Too many people liked America the way she was, and didn't see the need for a change.
  • It's not that they are crazy it's their opinion and can it stand the test of time. Jesus said beware of false prophets. It's a fact in the beginning there was one religion and from that one religion grew into thousands of different religions because a person didn't like onr think or another. They all claim to be the real deal and preach everyone else is wrong. Take any religion I don't care what it is and look at it even that religion is divided into many branches. What does logic tell you?
  • Prophets were treated as crazy in their day too. Some of them had terrible lives. Nehemiah was put down a dry well to die. Many of them spent their lives in hiding from kings who didn't want to hear what they had to say. The thing is, what the prophet has to say some times doesn't come true for a long time. But when a prophet tells you that someone from the North by a specific name from a specific place is going to sack Israel and carry its people away, and that person and country doesn't exist yet, but eventually that person from that country comes to exist and comes to sack Israel and carry her people away, you tend to sit up and take notice. And when a prophet tells you that the exile will only last seventy years and a remnant will return to rebuild Israel, and at exactly seventy years, the country that sacked Israel and carried you away falls to another country and the new king almost immediately sends you back, that tends to get noticed too.
  • We live in a very cynical age, and people have been trained by commercialism to be very skeptical of claims to be "something special."
  • It's 2000+ years later?! ;-)
  • Prophets didn't write the whole Bible, just parts of it. The Prophets of old were treated badly usually because people didn't want to hear bad news about their sinful ways. As far as being true prophets of God today, I tend to think that there aren't. Many are treated like they are crazy because many of them are. The gift of prophet seems to have been a temporary gift given by the Christ for the laying of the foundation of the church. Prophets were foundational to the church (Ephesians 2:20). The prophet proclaimed a message from the Lord to the early believers. Sometimes a prophet’s message was revelatory (new revelation and truth from God) and sometimes a prophet’s message was predictive (see Acts 11:28 and 21:10). The early Christians did not have the complete Bible. Some early Christians did not have access to any of the books of the New Testament. The New Testament prophets “filled the gap” by proclaiming God’s message to the people who would not have access to it otherwise. The last book of the New Testament (Revelation) was not completed until late in the first century. So, the Lord sent prophets to proclaimed God’s Word to His people. Are there true prophets today? If the purpose of a prophet was to reveal truth from God, why would we need prophets if we have the completed revelation from God in the Bible? If prophets were the “foundation” of the early church, are we still building the “foundation” today? Can God give someone a message to deliver to someone else? Absolutely! Does God reveal truth to someone in a supernatural way and enable that person to deliver that message to others? Absolutely! But is this the biblical gift of prophecy? No. Whatever the case, whenever a person claims to be speaking for God (the essence of prophecy) the key is to compare what is said with what the Bible says. If God were to speak through a person today, it would be in 100% complete agreement with what God has already said in the Bible. God does not contradict Himself.
  • You mean like David Carresh in Waco, Texas? Yeah, that guy was a misunderstood prophet.......NOT.
  • If you believe prophets lived 4,000 years ago, you're Jewish. If you believe prophets lived 2,000 years ago, you're Christian. If you believe prophets lived 1,500 years ago, you're Muslim. If you believe prophets lived 150 years ago, you're Mormon. If you believe prophets lived 20 years ago, you're a Scientologist. If you believe prophets are alive today, you're certifiable. And a trend begins to emerge.
  • Cause the crazy ones..inspire people to kill themselves, not inspire others to live for God
  • Because we are better equipped to detect the emotionally troubled and liars. +5
  • Because it takes time to decide if any idea is really praiseworthy. We need to test it out and weigh the pros and cons before deciding who was inspired by the divine and who's just crazy folk.
  • in my opinion anyone from long ago or anyone now who claims to see or hear god is crazy. If a man claims to hear voices talking to him we lock them up, but if they claim the voice to be god we make him a prophet?!crazy indeed. But I don't see why they shouldn't add to the bible, it's already a muddled mess of fiction, why not add to it a little more. I can see it now {from the gospel of Billy Joe Buford Lee; And lo and behold god spoke to him at the Wal-Mart and said "be frugal with thee foodstamps and one will have malt liquor when he dines" and Billy Joe saw this as good and put down the fishing gear even though it had a rolled back price of 19.99.}
  • It's not true that "if someone heard god in biblical times, it was a miracle and unquestioned." There are plenty of writings from biblical times that claim divine witness that we don't accept. There are gospels and epistles and apocalypses, and they aren't in bibles because most people think they're bunk. Also there are writings from those times, written by Roman historians like Tacitus and also a Jewish historian named Josephus, where they talk about various popular figures who claim to witness God, but they write them off and we don't have any scripture about them. Also, there are many modern miracles that are accepted by the Roman Catholic Church. Maybe other churches too, I don't know. These aren't added to the Bible, but they are added to the general literature of the religion. The Bible is reserved for special things, not just any old miracle or vision of God, even if it is true. And I think most Christian denominations believe the Bible is a closed document. So, it can't be added to, even if amazing things keep happening between humans and God.
  • According to the Holy Bible written by the prophets, the prophetic ministry will continue till the end of the world. The present day prophets do not & cannot add anything to the word (Bible). But they reflect the glory of The Word - Our Lord Jesus Christ. A true prophet is always vindicated by God. The Lord God tabernacles in him and interprets His word Himself. God's interpretation of His own word through the prophet might be contrary to denominational interpretation. But the true interpretation will be free of work of human hands. No word will be added or deleted from the Bible. For information on the Prophet of our generation please visit: www.believethesign.com http://en.believethesign.com/index.php?title=Main_Page
  • We no longer need prophets. The age of prophets is over. When Jesus went to Heaven He said another was coming to take his place, He was talking about the Holy Spirit. The Bible and the Holy Spirit is all we need to hear from God. We are all prophets if you listen to the Holy Spirit. As soon as I hear any person say, "God told me." or I had a vision" I tune them out. Everything we need to know is already written In God's book.
  • What they knew then and what we know now is a whole new think. Everyone can pick out a false prophet just as long as it isn't their false prophet
  • the reason they are treated as crazy is. The flesh is not allowed to know the spiritual things. Same reason Jesus spoke in parables"dark saying" mark 4:11.. Jhon chapter 10 they thought Jesus was mad and full of demons. Only those that are filled with truth can know truth. they must be filled and led by he HolyGhost "Spirit of truth". if not they are without! May God rule in peace from your center ! Gerusalem Order.
  • Because in case you haven't noticed most "normal" people are not saints.
  • Because they are crazy. and the profits were crazy too. Got your Armageddon?
  • ???Moses was not a prophet.....he was the man God chose to lead the Israelites.......the Apostles were not prophets......they were Chosen to be 'sent out ' and lead....... the Bible speaks on what is to be done to those who prophesy falsely.....prophets were HATED and killed because they told of what was to come that the PEOPLE did not want to HEAR...just like John the Baptist.....the Bible also speaks on them being 'killed without cause', same as the Savior was.....
  • I think that the difficulty is in distinguishing what is real and true from what is fashionable and dishonest. If sanity is the former, and the world is caught in the grip of the latter, then whatever God has to say about anything will be called "crazy" simply because it is true. I have written a book titled "Book 67, Book of Unspin" as a protest to the idea that God stopped speaking after the book of Revelations - the warning at the end of the Bible should be included at the end of each of the 66 books. Adding and subtracting from the Truth changes it into a lie.
  • People by nature look for certainty when the only real certainty is change. When someone comes along who seems to be 100% certain, many people will glom onto him or her out of their need for certainty. Even Christians ( perhaps ESPECIALLY Christians! ) are led astray by some of these people. Some of these self-proclaimed prophets truly are insane, while others are simply power-mad or money-hungry. This is why the Bible instructs us to "prove ALL THINGS and hold fast to that which is good."
  • Because Muhammad (pbuh) is the last prophet. Deuteronomy 18:18-19 "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him."
  • Many people over many years wrote the bible and even into modern times people of various relgions rewrote the bible to their interpretation. http://www.allabouttruth.org/how-many-people-wrote-the-bible-faq.htm You believe all these so called men that started numerous religions under the guise of talking to God are in fact prophets, isn't that presuming a lot. If the line was On this rock I will build my church. , Would I even presume to think he would then speak to these men and say start this or that church. We live in a gullible world and believe what we want. Churches and these TV preachers say they talk for God and What makes them all alike, money they all claim God wants you to give them money and of course these churches become billionaires and these TV preachers atleast millionaires. and these poor sick people give their last buck to these people and pray for a miracle that isn't coming. Follow the money it's easy and now these people of God own big businesses,they are turning into mega corporations and what you ask a question or get to nosy what do they do get excommunicated. So they don't kick you out for what you don't know but what you do know. I get visits from, JW's, 7th day Adventists, Mormons all want to talk to you about God, I want o talk about their religion. Why don't they want to talk about there religion? You coild easily put 1+1=2 and see what is going on but people would rather shut up and follow orders. So what's the bottom line if you don't think there way it's you will go to hell. Oh well. Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch toward uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one-half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. -- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781-82

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