Introduction to Gifts of the Spirit
The Father's elect are sent into the world by Christ to share the good news that, through him, a person can be reconciled with the Father and become a member in his family as an immortal god-being. As Christ’s representatives, the elect also represent God the Father, his Family, and his Kingdom. Because the elect are authorized to speak on behalf of Christ for the Father, some are authorized to use whatever spirit-power necessary in order to carry out their mission to proclaim the Father's offer of reconciliation through his good news message and to warn the world of the consequences of not accepting this offer.
"You go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy spirit: Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Be it so" (Matt. 28:19-20 KJV Para.).
"You go to all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Those that believe and are baptized shall be saved; but those that do not believe shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new languages; They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mk.16:15-18 KJV Para). See also Acts 1:4-5,8; 5:12-15; 6:8; 13:8-11; 15:12.
"And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen" (Mk.16:20 KJV).
Few realize the awesome power the Father placed at the disposal of the early church, and that this power is still available to those who will use it for its intended purpose. Before the end of this age of human rule on earth, the Father will authorize and empower the elect to perform the greater work Christ predicted, which was also recorded by Joel and Habakkuk:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to my Father" (Jn.14:12 KJV Para,).
"And I will pour out my spirit on my slaves and on my slave-girls in those days. And I will give signs in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord" (Joel 2:29-31 KJV Para.).
"Behold you [i.e., the various tribes of Israel] among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvelously: for I will work a work in your days, you will not believe, though it were told" (Hab.1:5 KJV). See also verses 1-4; Acts 13:40-41.
The supernatural abilities the Creator God (Jesus Christ) gave to individuals before the gospel age were real and produced perceivable, tangible results in the physical and spirit realms, just as the abilities God the Father gives today.
If any of the elect think that the Father has not given them any supernatural abilities, they are mistaken. During this gospel age, everyone the Father calls to salvation and empowers with his holy spirit is also given abilities beyond that of a normal human.
Biblical prophecy clearly shows that many of the elect will have powerful supernatural abilities, attributes, and authorizations of power during the final days of human rule on earth. The scriptures also show that many supernatural abilities, attributes, and authorizations of power from the Father are still available to the elect in this age, so why are they not being exhibited or exercised? There are several reasons, including the inability to recognize these attributes and abilities due to not studying the scriptures where they are mentioned, the fact that specific abilities must be passed from one individual to another, or a person not being advised that they have these abilities and what they should be doing with them.
THE FATHER'S WORK ON EARTH
John chapter 5 contains the account of Jesus healing a lame man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath and telling him to take the bed he was lying on and walk away. When the Jews saw the man carrying his bed, they accused him of working on the Sabbath. After the man knew it was Jesus who had healed him, he told these Jews about the healing, and they then went to Jesus and accused him of breaking the Sabbath. To which Jesus answered: "My Father continues to work, and I also work" (Jn.5:17 Para.).
Jesus said his heavenly Father is actively engaged in doing a work and that he is also doing a work. But what is the Father's work and how much effort is he putting into what he is doing? The few scriptures we will review reveal a work the Father is doing which is extremely important to each person who has received the indwelling of the Father's holy spirit after being called by him to salvation, because we are an integral part of this work.
We know from the scriptures that Jesus Christ created all things for the Sovereign God, and that he sustains this creation and governs the heavenly and physical realms for him. This might give the impression that the Father does not have much to do, but Jesus said our Father is doing a work. So, what is the work he is doing and how much effort is he putting into this work?
The Father's Work
Besides whatever else our heavenly Father is doing, it is clear from the scriptures that he has spent and is now spending a tremendous amount of thought, planing, and effort to make sure the greatest and grandest of all his projects is successfully completed. But, what is this extremely important project the Father is working on?
The answer is that he is putting a tremendous amount of thought, planing, and effort into helping each person he calls during this age to successfully enter his family as an immortal spirit-being and to correctly represent him, his son, and his message of salvation to the world before he sends Christ to establish his kingdom on earth.
The more we know and understand about our heavenly Father's work, the more we can appreciate him and the tremendous love, care, and concern he has for us and how grateful we should be that he has taken a very personal interest in each of us.
Twice Jesus said the following which shows that the Sovereign God’s personal call to salvation during this gospel age is extremely special given the billions of people on earth:
"No one can come to me, except the Father which has sent me draws them: and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn.6:44 KJV Para.). See also verse 65.
On the Festival of Pentecost the apostle Peter said the following to a crowd of people gathered to hear what he had to say about the gift of languages being manifested by those with him:
"For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call" (Acts 2:39 KJV).
While he was with his disciples a short time before being crucified, Jesus said the following in a prayer to his heavenly Father:
"I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours" (Jn. 17:6-9 NIV).
Clearly God the Father is personally involved in determining who will and will not be called to salvation during this gospel age, which means he knows an enormous amount about a person before he opens their mind to understand his message to them.
Before the Foundation of the World
The biblical record shows that, before the foundation of the world, the Father determined that he would cause some individuals to be born and then call them to salvation during this phase of his plan for humanity. These individuals would be given the opportunity to become holy and blameless through the sacrifice of his first-born son, Jesus Christ, so that they could be adopted into his family as his spirit-sons:
"According as he has chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestined us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will . . . In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his own will, for us to be the praise of his glory, the ones who first trusted in Christ" (Eph.1:4-5, 11-12 KJV Para.). See also 2.Tim.1:8-10.
Verses 11 and 12 tells us that the Father predetermined that certain individuals would come into existence. To do this, it took thoughtful planning and the execution of that plan throughout human history.
The predestination the apostle Paul speaks of in verses 11 and 12 has nothing to do with a person’s decision to accept or reject the Father's call. But, it has everything to do with the Father's predetermined plan (i.e., his will and purpose) for the salvation of specific individuals at a specific point in human history and for the salvation of humanity as a whole. To predetermine something takes thought, planning, and the power to make it happen.
Although God the Father calls some individuals to salvation because they happen to be in the right place at the right time (e.g., a spouse or a child of someone who is already one of the Father's elect). There are specific people whom the Father calls to salvation individually or as members of a specific family.
In order to call a specific person to salvation, at a specific time in history, a great deal of thought, planning, and manipulation of events throughout history must be done. Knowing and understanding that our heavenly Father put this much effort into making sure we had an opportunity to become an immortal member of his family of spirit-beings at this point in history, should make us extremely grateful to him, but probably makes us also wonder, "why me?" and what does he want me to do for him during my life on earth, other than successfully becoming one of his immoral children?
Called According to a Purpose
"But we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and for those who are called according to a purpose. For whom he foreknew, he predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover those he predestined, he also called: and those he called, he also made innocent: and those he made innocent, he also glorified."What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom.8:28-31Para.). See also Jms.1:18.
The English word glorified in verse 30 is translated from the Greek word doxazo, which has many meanings, some of which are: to render (or esteem) glorious, honor, magnify, describe or represent as admirable, especially unjustifiably or undeservedly or represented as or appearing more elevated or special than is the case.
Make no mistake, the Father's call to salvation during this age is very special and is an opportunity granted to only a very few individuals. Each person to whom the Father presents the opportunity for salvation during this age is called to perform a function and a responsibility within his earthly family. This is the reason the Father personally calls each individual and bestows additional supernatural abilities, attributes, and authorizations of power to some of his elect besides the ones initially bestowed at the time of one's adoption into his family.
Our heavenly Father has personally called each of us to be among the first humans to become a member of his family of immortal spirit-beings who are to inherit his kingdom and rule it with his firstborn son.
The biblical record tells us the following things about our heavenly Father's involvement in our lives and the work he is attempting to do with us, in us, for us, and through us:
He knows why he has called us during this gospel age and he wants us to also know and understand these reasons.
He knows and understands us better than we know and understand ourselves.
He knows our thoughts, emotions, anxieties, desires, needs, and potential.
He gives each of us supernatural abilities, attributes, and authorizations of power so we can perform good works for him and other people, and become one of his immortal sons.
He is actively working to help us have a harmonious relationship with him and our Savior.
Created to do Good Works
When Paul wrote the following, he revealed a profound truth about the Father's work on earth:
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God [i.e., God the Father] has before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph.2:10 KJV).
The English phrase has before ordained is translated from the Greek word proetoimazo, which means to fit up in advance (literally or figuratively): i.e., to prepare in advance.
If you are one of the Father's elect children, you are his work, which he created in Jesus Christ. And your purpose for being created is to do good works for him. But, what are these good works and how are you to accomplish them?
The Father Began a Work in Us
"Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which has begun a good work in you will do it until the day of Jesus Christ: Even as it is fit for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my grace" (Phil.1:1-7 KJV). See also Job 14:14-15; 1.Cor.15:52-58.
Paul states that our heavenly Father began a good work in us, but when did he begin this work? Obviously, he could not begin a work in us unless we accepted the opportunity he offered to us. Therefore, he would have to cause many events to happen in order for us to be in the right place at the right time so he could open our minds to his message for us. Which means he took a personal interest in some of us long before we were aware of him or his son.
The Father's work which impacts every aspect of our life began for some in the timelessness of eternity when he predestined our existence before the foundation of the world in order for us to be called to salvation during this age.
In verse 6, Paul explains to the Philippians that we are a work in progress, which is to be finished at Christ’s return when we will be transformed into spirit-beings and enter our Father's heavenly kingdom and family as his immortal children.
The biblical record clearly shows that the Father's primary purpose for creating humans is to increase his family and kingdom through the transformation of humans into his spirit-sons (Rev.21:7) with whom he will share all he has or ever will create:
"But rather you seek the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you. Don’t be afraid, little flock; because it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" (Lk.12:31-32 KJV Para.).
A major part of the Father's work on earth concerns calling, guiding, teaching, nurturing, and protecting us so we can successfully fulfill the purpose for which he called us:
"For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Phil.2:13 KJV).
"Now the God of peace [God the Father], that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (Heb.13:20-22 KJV).
The work our heavenly Father has begun with us, in us, for us, and through us is extremely important to him and to us. This work is so important that he allows each of us to personally discuss our thoughts, desires, and needs with him, day or night, for him to consider and act on.
There are many good works we are to accomplish for our heavenly Father, many of which are mentioned throughout the biblical record. In order for us to accomplish these good works in addition to working out our salvation, the Father has carefully considered and continues to consider the needs and potential of each of his earthly children and he bestows the abilities, attributes, and authorizations of power each of his children need in order to perform the specific work he has called each to do during their life on earth.
Note to the Reader:
The gifts of the spirit presented in this study are not in any specific order of importance, because some, but not all, may be necessary for specific individuals to perform their personal functions and responsibilities as one of the Father's elect, but all are necessary to one degree or another for the elect to function as a dynamic and powerful entity in order to perform the collective work of the church.
This study has been designed in a progressive manner in that each section contains information that is necessary to fully understand the information in the next section; therefore, you will find the information to be better understood if you study each section in the sequence presented.
The sections that follow present an analysis of most of the more recognizable supernatural abilities, attributes, and authorizations of power in order to show why these are necessary to do the greater work Christ spoke of (Jn.14:12-14), to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to all nations (Matt.24:14), and to perform the awesome work recorded by Joel and Habakkuk.
Because most English translations of the biblical record do not convey the intent of many scriptures which deal with the gifts of the spirit, it is necessary to paraphrase (Para.) some scriptures in order to convey their true intent. Because of the complexity of the subject, it will sometimes be necessary to repeat a scripture or parts of previous comments in order to explain a gift of the spirit, an event, or topic surrounding the gift being discussed.
Hopefully, you will find the information about the abilities, attributes, and authorizations of power the Sovereign Father gives to the elect interesting, enlightening, and spiritually beneficial.
B.L. Cocherell 14w1a