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CHAPTER 1

 THE ESSENTIALS

 To enter into the Spiritual gifts that are given to the church by God, one MUST be a BORN-AGAIN Christian (John 3:3, 5,6) and BAPTISED IN THE HOLY  SPIRIT (Matt. 3:11; Acts 1:8). Without being born-again a person has no claim to God's inheritance which is promised and given to His true children, exclusively (John 1:12-13). Without being baptised in the Holy Spirit, one is unable to enter into the fullness of being a part of the body of an omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient Christ.

 These two criteria are mandatory to ensure that no one who comes claiming to have a "spiritual gift(s)" but does not meet these conditions should be taken seriously. In these days of the proliferation of the new age movement with its accompanying involvement in witchcraft, occult practices and pagan religions there will definitely be people who have real spiritual gifts, but they have a satanic origin. 

 Christians should not be so naive as to think that every one manifesting a spiritual gift is necessarily a born-again and spirit-filled Christian. Christians must NOT be afraid to ask or challenge anyone whose Christian background they don't know about, to give a full account of their conversion and baptism in the Holy Spirit experience in order, as a first step, to verify whether their claim to Spiritual giftedness from the Holy Spirit is authentic.


 

 CHAPTER  2 

Spiritual  Gifts - An Outline

 

1) Who gives the Spiritual gifts?

 In I Cor. 12:11, the Apostle Paul, talking about the gifts of the Holy Spirit states, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills"

 2) What are the Spiritual gifts?

 The nine gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed in I Cor. 12:8-10

as follows: "for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues"

 3) For what purpose are the gifts given?

 While we are all encouraged to desire Spiritual gifts in I Cor. 14:1, the purpose for giving that gift to the members of the body of Christ are spelt out in

 I Cor. 12:7, it reads, "But the manifestation of Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.."

 4) What are the essential motivations for operating in the gifts?

 It is very important that our motivations be right in God's sight if we are to be blessed when we exercise the gifts to bless others. The gift will operate even though our motivation may be wrong. Our motivation may, however, taint the gift and so cause what could otherwise have been a blessing to become a "curse" to the person receiving the ministry through the gift. In I Cor. 13, the whole chapter devotes attention to the acceptable motivation before God, that is, Agape - the God kind of love.

  

Spiritual Offices - An Outline

 1) Who gives Spiritual Offices?

 The Scriptures makes a clear distinction between who gives the Spiritual gifts ( that is, The Holy Spirit) and who gives the Spiritual offices. In Eph. 4:7-10, it is clear that Jesus Christ is the one who gives Spiritual offices to The Church as an Ascension gift. The Scripture reads, "But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. Therefore He says: "When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men "(Ps 68:18)."

 2) What are the Spiritual offices?

 The Spiritual offices are given to only a few people in The Church unlike the gifts of the Spirit which are given to everyone. In Eph. 4:11, it reads, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers". In I Cor. 12:28, additional Spiritual offices include: "..miracles, ..gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues"

 3) What are the purposes of the Spiritual offices?

 The purpose is given in Eph. 4:12, "for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ". In addition, with regards to the Apostolic and Prophetic ministries their purpose is also very foundational in The Church -(Eph 2:20).

 4) What are the essential motivations for operating in the Spiritual offices?

 The motivations include: Agape (I Cor. 13); a good and faithful servant (Matt 20:25-28; 25:21).

  

Discussion Questions

 1) List five natural talents of humans.

 2) What are some of the limitations of the five natural talents in dealing with spiritual matters?

 3) Why did God see it fit to give Spiritual gifts on top of man's natural talents?

 4) Why are there supposed to be no lone ranger Christians?

 5) Why must all the gifts and offices work together?

 6) Have you noticed any significant difference between those who are born-again who are also baptised in the Holy Spirit and those who aren't?   What are they?

 

CHAPTER 3

 Fruits Of The (human) spirit - An Outline

 1.         What are the Fruits?

 " But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control." (Gal. 5:22)

 "Fruits" as used in the above Scripture indicate that which is grown, NOT that which is given. Like a farmer who plants vines, there is the need  to:

 ensure that the seed or seedlings are planted where there is adequate  sunshine, fertile soil, adequate  water.

 prune the branches so that you can get more branches and hence fruit,

 remove the weeds from the plantation,

 guard it against pests, and

 wait patiently for the vine to grow until  in the right season it will bear fruit.

 NOTE: THERE IS A LOT OF DILIGENT LABOUR AND PATIENCE INVOLVED BEFORE THE FRUIT CAN BE HARVESTED. 

2.         What is the human spirit?

 "Then God said, "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness....So God created man in His own  image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them." (Gen. 1:26-27)

 "And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being." (Gen. 2:7) 

These Scriptures clearly show us that the human spirit is the part of man that is in the image of God, and what makes man a living being.

 "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth." (John 4:23-24)

 "The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, ..." (Prov. 20:27)

 This Scripture reveals to us that God will guide or enlighten us, regarding His will and purposes, through our human spirit because it is His lamp.

 "For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries." (I Cor. 14:2)

 " For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful". (I Cor. 14:14)

It is very clear from these Scriptures that man can only communicate to God through the human spirit and NOT through the mind, emotions, or body. It is therefore very important to develop this part of man in earnest from the moment one becomes a true believer. 

3.         How does the human spirit develop?

 Essentials for Growth of the spirit man

 1. Daily praying in the spirit or praying in tongues

(I Cor. 14:2-4; Jude 20).

 2. Daily worship of God, in spirit and truth (John 4:23).

 You are a royal priesthood (I Peter 2:9) and therefore must offer up regular sacrifices of praise which is the fruit of your lips, giving thanks to His Name

(Heb. 13:15).

3. Daily spiritual warfare ( I Tim. 6:12;  Eph. 6:12; II Cor. 10:3-5) 

4. Daily receive Rhema (revelation) or living/active word from the Holy Spirit as you read/meditate/listen to the Scriptures.  The spirit of man can ONLY FEED ON THE SPIRITUAL MANNA NOT the written word or Logos. Remember: the Letter KILLS but the Spirit gives Life.

5.  Why Fruit of the human spirit?

 The versus in Gal. 5:22 regarding "the fruit of the spirit" does not refer to the fruit of the Holy Spirit as is normally taught because the Holy Spirit does not bear fruit, any more than the vine bears fruit. It is always the branch that bears fruit. The Holy Spirit (the Spirit of Christ) is the Vine, the Father is the VineDresser, and the Christian is the branch that is expected to bear the fruit.

 " I am the true vine, and My Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. " (John 15:1-2)

 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

 If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."" (John 15:4-9) 

6. Conflict between the spirit and the flesh

In Gal. 5:16-21, there is a description of the works (or fruit) of the flesh which is constantly in conflict with the works (or fruit) of the spirit.  It is important to realise that your flesh cannot have conflict with the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit does not contend with flesh. In fact, as you will have no doubt already recognised since you became a Christian, it is your (human) spirit that is forever struggling with the desires of the flesh.

 Your spirit is also called your conscience,  inward witness, or inner man.

 We need to walk under the direction of our human spirit which is being enlightened by the Holy Spirit, Whose temple we are.

 THE SOUL OF MAN

Essentials for Growth of the Soul

 The soul of man consists of his mind, will and emotions.

 1. Need to pull down the satanic/ traditional/religious mind-set that are strongholds in the mind/will and emotions (II Cor. 10:3-5).

 2. Renew your mind with the Scriptures (Rom. 12:2). The LOGOS or written word will show you the kind of mind-set a Christian should have.

 3. Break ungodly soul ties. That is, breaking all emotional/cultural/traditional/religious ties that bind you so that you are not able to freely obey God. 

4. Restore the fragmented soul.  That is, call back your soul from all the attachments to things/people/places that have made you show divided loyalty to God. We need to be SINGLE MINDED (or FOCUSSED) in our mind/will/emotions regarding our devotion to God. We are then able to Love the Lord our God with ALL our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Duet. 6:4-9).

 

THE BODY OF MAN

Essentials for Growth of the Body

 1. Flee youthful lusts (II Tim. 2:22); I Cor. 6:18-20; 10:1-14.

 2. The body must be brought under control by a forceful act of one's will  (I Cor. 9:27).

 3. We must look after our bodies because we are the temple of the Living God through His Holy Spirit (I Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20).

 4. Do not be unequally yoked or bonded to unbelievers because you are a child of light or righteousness (II Cor. 6:14-18).

 

CHAPTER 4 

The Heart of The Prophetic

 "Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit [or heart] of prophecy" (Rev. 19:10). This Scripture makes it very clear that ALL the intents, purposes and essence of prophecy is to testify of the Lord Jesus Christ. It must reveal not only His completed work and where He is seated at the present time, but must also reveal what He is actively doing on the earth through the Holy Spirit on behalf of The Father.

 New Testament prophecy is tenaciously and fiercely loyal to Jesus Christ's testimony. In I Cor. 2:1-2, Paul showed this tenacious and fierce loyalty to the testimony of Jesus Christ. Following his example, mature prophecy and prophets are tenaciously and fiercely loyal to Jesus Christ's testimony. Therefore, if any one claims to be a prophet, but does not hold fiercely to the testimony of Jesus Christ than they are a distraction and should be ignored.

 Jesus Christ is the focus of the prophetic. The prophetic must lead people to love Jesus deeply, intensely and know about Him as well as having a personal knowledge of Him in ever-greater depth.

The Father's Testimony

 1) "that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in Heaven and which are on earth.." (Eph. 1:10).

 2) "And put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be Head over all things to the Church..." (Eph. 2:22).

 3) That the Gentiles can also, with the Jews, enjoy the unsearchable riches of Christ (Eph. 3:8).

 4) "what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe..."   (Eph. 1:18-19).

 5) "that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His  grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus." (Eph. 2:7) 

6)  All the 'five - fold' ministry gifts must bring all the saints to the knowledge  of the Son of God (Eph. 4:13)

 

Discussion questions

             1) Why is the focus of the prophetic on Jesus Christ?

             2) How would you know that a prophecy is focussed on Jesus if you heard one?

             3) In Matt. 24 when Jesus is operating in the gift of prophecy, what is the focus of this prophecy? Why?

             4) How has The Father's testimony reveal to us the spirit of prophecy?

  

An Exercise

             What is Jesus Christ's testimony?  Hint: John 21:19

              Why is it different from the spirit of prophecy?

 

Published 2005

 

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