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Studies in 1 Cor. 12-15, Power From On High:
Study #3: Manifestation of the Spirit
To God be the glory, that He chose to work His awesome power through such weak vessels as ourselves.
1 Cor. 12:7: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."
As we saw before, there are diversities of gifts that God gives to Man, diversities of administrations that rule in the Kingdom of God, diversities of operations when God does various things in this physical world.
It is the same Spirit that provides the power behind the gifts, the same Lord the administrations are centered around, the same God that works the operations.
But God is infinitely creative and able, and thus His abilities, His concern for Mankind, His ways of blessing His creation have been evident in many ways.
Coming out of Egypt, Moses asked Jehovah who should he say sent him.
You see, Moses was Hebrew, but he was raised Egyptian, in the court (and customs) of Egypt.
Egypt had a pantheon of false gods, and each had a "job," each had an ability, and their names either derived from that ability or had become associated with it.
Moses was not only asking God for a name, he was asking God what His job was, what His ability was.
God answered, "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?
"And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you." (Ex. 3:13-14)
What an odd name that seems to be, especially since after that God goes on in the next verse to say "the master God" (yahweh, or adonai, elohim) has sent him.
But God is responding to the scope of Moses' question.
In Egypt, Moses knew Isis was the patron of nature and magic, Horus was the symbol of power, seen as the first pharaoh and the incarnated deity in each ensuing king of Egypt.
God said, I am that I am.
Ehyeh asher ehyeh is the Hebrew.
Literally, it means "I-shall-be what I-shall-be."
In fact, the Amplified Bible translates it as "I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE."
God is saying that for His people, He is not just a god of the hills or a god of the plains, a god of healing or a god of prosperity.
He is saying that whatever He needs to do in relation to His people, He will do in accordance to what He has promised.
Diversity of gifts, diversity of administrations, diversity of operations.
"But," 1 Corinthians 12:7 states, "but" in contrast to the diversity, the so-called mysterious ways of God, the manifestation of the spirit is given to everyone among the Christians.
Every one of us has the ability and the responsibility to manifest the spirit!
What does "manifest" mean?
It means "to make evident."
1 Cor. 12:7-11: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
"To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
"To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
"But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
People have pointed to things in their lives and said "This is how I manifest the spirit: I give to the poor, I comfort the oppressed, I counsel the young."
These are good things, these are things that we are supposed to do. They may even be inspired by the spirit. But these things can also be done without the immediate intervention of spirit.
There are only nine ways spirit manifests, and we are all to manifest. "Gifts of good works" are not listed among these manifestations. Those are some of those physical details Paul addresses elsewhere in 1 and 2 Corinthians. We are to manifest, we all are given this.
The first listed is word of wisdom, where God by revelation what to do about a situation. Word of knowlege, where God gives information we have no way of knowing by the senses. When these things happen, that is making evidence the spirit, the spirit is manifest, is "shining" into the world.
Faith that goes beyond what our minds are capable of, to trust God explicitly, to expect the impossible to come to pass just as it does, that brings to pass a witness of the spiritual. Whenever spiritual faith effects the mind of Man, the spiritual and the physical interact, and one of these other manifestations occur as well.
Healings make manifest. Whenever a healing takes place, it is not simply a miracle, although it is a miracle. It is also a gift to the one healed. It is evidence that the spirit has pushed around neutrons, electrons, protons, to restructure or to form pieces of flesh an/or bone to be as it should be.
When a miracle takes place in front of people, does it provide evidence that something spiritual is affecting the physical realm?
Israel walked over the dry land across what had just been the Red Sea, which is connected to every main body of water in the world. The water did not just of it's own accord decide to defy gravity.
The spirit somewhere pushed atoms around.
As a result, this activity of the spirit was manifest.
Miracles are evidence, they are proof.
How about prophesy? Prophesy, which is simply saying out what words the spirit puts on your tongue, is the spirit moving to provide the words.
It differs from the ministry of a prophet.
A prophet may prophesy in this sense, one would hope, but a prophet may be called on to reveal things he has learned by revelation.
What is revelation? It is knowledge God reveals that one has no senses way of knowing, it is God revealing what to do about a situation when one's logic and senses would conclude other options were best, or would conclude there is no hope. It is information regarding the presence or the identity of spiritual life.
In short, what also called in the Word "revelation" is seen more specifically as "word of knowledge," "word of wisdom," or "discerning of spirits."
Discerning of spirits is a manifestation, an evidence that spirit has interacted with the physical realm.
You see, the same operation may manifest in more than one way, but it will still be seen as one or more of these nine manifestations listed. A healing is also always a miracle, but not all miracles are headings. In a miracle, God and the believer are involved, but in healing you may add a third party, the one being healed.
But it is all evidence that the spirit is doing some work.
Divers kinds of tongues, where a speaker prays in a language of men or of angels and does not himself understand the language is evidence the spirit is giving speech to the person. Interpretation of what has just been said is a manifestation that the spirit has acted, since without this action, the speaker would not understand what he has just prayed in the tongue.
These are the only nine ways spirit is seen to work.
Moses parting the sea? What happened?
He could be said to manifest spiritual faith, since any fool knows an ocean doesn't just part so you can walk to the other side. This is why James said "faith without works is dead."
We are not justified by works, but by the faith we have through Jesus.
This faith is a spiritual activity. But if we have it, something will happen.
We will act as we are supposed to, whether it is good works, or believing miracles will happen when God says they are coming.
God also told Moses what was about to happen.
Could Moses have known by his sense what would happen? No. He learned by revelation, which was in that case word of knowledge, and what to do, which was word of wisdom. Would you walk out on a sea bed just because the water receded miraculously? Maybe, maybe not.
God told Moses to lead Israel across.
And obviously a miracle took place.
At least four manifestations can be seen that spirit interfered with natural occurrence.
But that these things can be seen is what it means by "manifestation."
Furthermore, each of these are divided "to every man as he will."
The word "severally" is the word "idios," which means "one's own."
Of course, we are limited to revelation to when God wants to tell us something, and of course to healings and the miracles are as God says "do it.'
But it is as "he, the man," wills.
God is not going to have us heal without our active participation, He is not as likely to be giving us revelation on a regular basis if we don't want to be part of it, or if we reject anything He might say because we've convinced ourselves "God doesn't do that anymore."
God gives every one as the individual will.
"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal."
It says "manifestation" in the singular. If you have spirit in you, if you have confessed the risen Jesus Christ as Lord, you have the spirit, the gift of pnuema hagion. Furthermore, this manifestation is given to profit.
"For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;"
People read this and say "For one man...word of wisdom, for another...word of wisdom."
But Moses regarding the parting of the Red Sea was given both the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge. The words "for one," as in "for for one is given" go back to the nearest relative noun.
People go back to the noun "every man" but they miss the word "profit."
This is saying "for to (the end being) one (profit) is given by the spirit the word of wisdom, for another (profit) the word of wisdom by the same spirit.
Thus, "To another (profit) faith by the same Spirit; to another (profit) the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
"To another (profit) the working of miracles; to another (profit) prophecy; to another (profit) discerning of spirits; to another (profit) divers kinds of tongues; to another (profit) the interpretation of tongues:
"But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will."
That one and the self-same spirit divides to every man severally (one's own) as the man will.
Again, for a believer to receive revelation from God on a regular basis, as needed and according as conditions dictate, takes participation on the part of the believer.
For God to give the go ahead for the miracles and healings takes participation, takes will, on the part of that believer.
Some of us have seen where unbelievers are around when miracles take place.
Some were convinced and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord, believing the power of God that raised him from death.
They have gone on to serve God and see many more wonderful things.
Some rejected repentance. They sometimes admitted "something" happened, sometimes they chalked it up to "trickery" or "illusion."
What other workings of the spirit have they witnessed since then?
A good guess might be "probably zero."
And which of these manifestations are divided to each man as he will?
Well, what do you need at any time?
Faith we need on a regular basis.
Prayer is good continuously, so tongues are good always.
Paul said he spoke in tongues, in his personal prayer life, more than anyone in Corinth.
But in the Church interpretation edifies, and that decently and in order.
How many times is a person going to need a healing?
When we among the sick is a good time for healings, in drastic conditions for miracles.
We read before "covet earnestly the best gifts," and the best is always that which is needed.
We always need prayer so we should speak in tongues like a house a'fire.
We should indeed be on fire for God so that where we find ourselves, we will be ready to manifest to the nations the spirit we have been given, the gift of God, where ever we may find ourselves.
Eph. 5:1: "Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children."
God said "I-shall-be."
We are to follow, literally this verse should be translated "imitators," we are to imitate God.
In giving us each the manifestation of spirit for profit, He has made us part of that process.
As we walk in the spirit in obedience, we shall be what we need to be.
We will receive with eagerness what God tells us and act accordingly, we shall believe for the miracles, we shall pray, we shall edify the Church, we shall walk in faith.
We have seen in these three studies a series of foundational truths that will enable us to more clearly see the rest of 1 Corinthians 12 through 15.
We have set the context, that this entire section deals with spiritual realities.
We have analyzed some key verses regarding spiritual realities such as the manifestation of spirit more clearly. We see that if the spirit is working in our life, we will see specific manifestations.
It has been a lot of work but we are ready to move through the rest of these chapters.
In the end, we will be left with a choice.
Rom. 8:1: "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
We are seeing more clearly exactly what it means to walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit.
Rom. 8:14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God."
You are seeing more clearly what it means to be led by the spirit.
"Led by the spirit" is not possession, it is will, as you will. It is at every moment a choice.
This makes it a challenge, but brothers and sisters, we have the tools.
Those who are led by the spirit of God are His children.
Does it surprise you He wants to give you knowlege and wisdom, that He wants to speak with you?
Eph. 1:17-19: "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
"The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
"And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power..."
You are His dear child, called by His name before the foundation of the world. What is this revelation and what is this exceeding great spirit power, but that which when energized is manifest how? That's right, only nine ways.
Let us in the days ahead go deeper into this spiritual truth, and see more clearly what great power has been given to the Church, so that even being weak vessels we can better glorify the Great I Am, He Who has delivered us from this evil world.
And in so doing, serve the Head of the Church, he who also loved us and set before us the example, the arch-type of the walk in the spirit, Jesus our risen Lord.
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