Rabbi Schneider - What Are Gifts of the Spirit?
I want to pick up today where I left off last week. We're in the Gospel of John, chapter number 1. Now I ended last week by talking about John the Baptist introducing Jesus to the world as the Lamb of God. I want to continue now today as we see Jesus begin to gather his disciples together. We're gonna go now to John, chapter number 1, and I want to pick up here in verse number 45. We see that Jesus had called Philip to be his disciple, and then Philip went an told Nathanael about Jesus. Jesus is just beginning, beloved ones, to put together his team. I want to read this account to you because there is application that I want to make for your life today.
Hear the Word of God: Philip found Nathanael and said to him, We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote - Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. So once again Philip is saying to Nathanael, we found the One who Moses and the prophets wrote of. Once again I want you to get the fact that the Gospel comes to us, listen now, from a Hebraic and a Jewish context. I said last week, I'm gonna say it again, we can't just read the Gospels from a 21st century perspective. We want to as must as possible go back in time 2,000 years and put ourself in the shoes of a Jew living in Israel 'cause this is how it happened and this is where it happened. So Nathanael says to Philip or Philip says to Nathanael rather, we found the One, Nathanael, of whom Moses and the prophets wrote of. Note the Jewish context here.
Let's continuing on: Nathanael said to him, Can anything good come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see. Some of you probably feel like that about the home town that you came out of, right. But God can do anything, right, with any of us. Is anything too difficult, Hallelujah, for the Lord? Perhaps that's why the Lord brought Jesus from Nazareth, such a small place, to show us that God can do anything with anyone. Let's continue on. Once again, Nathanael said to him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him, Come and see. Philip was pretty sure of himself that he had found the One. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him and said of him, Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit.
Now that verse puzzled me for a long time. Jesus, Yeshua, looks at Nathanael and says, Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit. That verse really was troubling for me because the Bible says how evil is the human heart? Who can know it? You know, the Bible says that Paul said, for example, within us dwelleth no good thing. So reading all that I read about, you know, the corruption of the human heart, that there is none that doeth good, the Scripture says, no not one, etc. I was wondering how Yeshua said of Nathanael he was an Israelite in whom there is no guile. But what I believe is going on here, beloved, is that Philip in his heart was a very sincere, transparent person that didn't operate through deception and manipulation. He was just what you would call a very down to earth, honest person. Still had sin, still, you know, had a lot of the other issues that we deal with that come from the realm of darkness, but deep inside Philip, was a, was a, was a very transparent individual. Jesus said, he doesn't have any deceit or guile in him.
You've met people like that. Even sometimes people that don't know the Lord, some of those people can still be pure in heart but they can be innocently deceived. You know, Paul said this about Israel in Romans, 9-11. Paul said concerning Israel, he said, I bear them witness concerning their zeal for God, but it's not in accordance with knowledge. So if some of them had a very sincere zeal for God, but because they were trapped in darkness it wasn't in accordance with knowledge, and the path of it led to death. So let's continue on here. Jesus points to Nathanael. He said, you're an Israelite. There's not a lot of guile in you. You're an Israelite in whom there is no guile. Continuing on: Nathanael said to Him, How do you know me? In other words, how can you say these things about me?
Jesus was giving a word of knowledge. Jesus spoke concerning his life, and yet they had never met. Nathanael said to Him, How do You know me? Jesus answered and said to him, Before Philip called you, when you were under the tree, I saw you. Now obviously what we're seeing here is Yeshua operating in the spiritual gifts. He's operating in the spiritual gift that Paul calls the word of knowledge. He's operating in the spiritual gift that we sometimes call the word of prophecy, or the prophetic gift. And I want you to know, these same gifts that Jesus operated in, his church today operates in. In fact, Jesus said, greater works than these, Jesus said of his church, will you also do. In other words, Jesus said, the things that I've done, my church shall do even greater things. And Paul goes through all the gifts of the Spirit in the Book of Corinthians listing gifts of healing, gifts of miracles, gifts of, of prophesy, gifts of prophetic words of the Lord, etc., etc.
This that we see here is Yeshua, Jesus, operating in the gifts of the Spirit. He had the word of foreknowledge. He had the word of prophesy. He saw Philip under the fig tree, even before Jesus could physically see Philip under the fig tree. He had this word of knowledge, supernatural knowledge concerning Philip. What I'm wanting to stress, beloved church, we need to be open to God operating supernaturally through our lives. We read about these gifts in the Book of 1 Corinthians. And I want you to know, these gifts, all of them, are still for today. Some people teach that once the Bible was written the gifts of the Spirit passed away. But nothing could be farther from the truth. The gifts of the Spirit, beloved, endure until Jesus's return, until the fullness of the body of Christ, until we've matured into a complete man. It would make no sense that the gifts of the Spirit would pass away.
In fact, Peter tells us in the Book of Acts, chapter 2, that those that have been baptized in the Holy Spirit would walk in the gift of prophesy. God would speak to them in their dreams at night. They'd have supernatural visions of the Lord. I'm gonna be teaching about these in another series, but I just want to encourage you today that Jesus operated in supernatural spiritual gifts, and because you're anointed with the same Holy Spirit that Jesus was anointed with, you also can operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but you have to look to God. You have to believe God. You have to let go of your fear. You have to trust him. You have to step out and act on these gifts when you feel that he's showing you something. And as you do you'll learn that truly you are anointed in the Holy Spirit and you can operate in the supernatural gifts even as Jesus did.
Now don't misunderstand. The gifting that we have comes to us through Jesus. But he has anointed us, beloved ones, with his Spirit. That's why the Bible says God has given gifts to men by his Spirit; to some the word of knowledge, to some the gift of miracles, to some the gift of healings, to some the gift of prophecy, to some the gift of faith, to some the gift of teaching, etc., etc. You have to operate though, listen now, in the anointing that God has given you. Many people have been given opportunity to operate in the spiritual gifts, but because of fear, because of lack of faith, because of pride, because of the fear of being embarrassed, they've not stepped out to operate in the anointing that's on them.
I remember one time, beloved ones, I was sitting in my sanctuary teaching a Bible study. And in the midst of the Bible study, suddenly the door opened into the sanctuary and in walked a man I had never seen in my life. Something in me said, stand up and blow the shofar over him. But it seemed to strange and so odd, I didn't do it. I wait for the man to get all the way next to me and I say to him, how can I help you? And he said, I'm here to buy a shofar. And I realized, you just missed an opportunity. If you would have been obedient to the anointing that's on you, and trusted in it, and stood up and blown the shofar over that man, it would have been a supernatural confirmation that God was calling him to not only buy the shofar but to blow the shofar, and it would have been such an amazing demonstration to everybody there of the supernatural reality of the kingdom of God. But because I didn't trust in the anointing on me, and because I didn't step out in faith and act on it, I missed the opportunity.
And I've seen that happen many times in my life. As a result of that, when I sense the Holy Spirit leading me to say something or leading me to do something, I trust in the anointing. And what I find then is that I'm operating in the spiritual gifts. So to sum up, when John the Baptist saw Jesus, and when Jesus was speaking concerning Nathanael, they were operating in spiritual gifts. John the Baptist operated in the gift of visions when he saw the Spirit of the Lord descending upon Jesus as a dove in John, 1. And then Jesus also operates in the spiritual gifts when he sees prophetically and supernaturally Nathanael under the fit tree where Nathanael had been before Jesus met him, not with his natural eyes, but Jesus saw him in the Spirit. And then Jesus saw into his heart and spoke a word of knowledge saying to him, you're an Israelite in whom there's no guile.
And the point that I'm making, beloved ones, is that these gifts are not reserved that you just read about in the Bible, but these same gifts and demonstration of God's power that operated through the life of Jesus should be operating through the church today. And that includes you. But listen, you've got to trust in the anointing that's on you so that you could step out and operate in it. Maybe you feel the Lord leading you to call somebody on the phone and speak to them what the Bible calls a prophetic word or a word of knowledge. Do it. Obey him. Call him in love. You don't have to say to him, thus saith the Lord. You could just simply say to him, I don't know if this means anything to you, but I was sensing this and feeling this, and then share it with them.
And I want you to know, you're gonna find that often times you're gonna hit the mark and the word you're gonna deliver is gonna be exactly what they needed to hear because the same anointing that was on Jesus is on you and I today. The Bible says, we have received an anointing from the Holy One and it is not a lie. I want to encourage you, beloved, Jesus is our goal. The Bible says, as he was in this world, so also now are we. So let's continue on. Jesus, once again, sees Nathanael and he says to him, you're an Israelite in whom there is no guile. He begins to dialogue and he says, Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. In other words, Yeshua was saying to Nathanael, listen, you believe because I gave you this one prophetic word. You believe because I said I saw you under the fig tree before I could physically see you, and because I spoke a prophetic word concerning the nature of your heart.
He said, I want you to know, Nathanael, you're gonna see way bigger things than these. And I want to encourage you and encourage myself to believe God for more. Jesus said to Nathanael, listen, you believe because of this. He said, you're gonna see much more. Listen again: Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these. He said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. I want to encourage us, church, to believe God for more. But we have to press in sometimes to faith. In other words, if we just get into a passive spirit and just accept whatever is on our heart, whatever is on our mind, we're gonna find ourselves making little progress. But Jesus taught that the violent take the kingdom of God by force.
Now sometimes when we hear that word violent, we have a perception that makes it difficult for us to receive it. You know, we think of violence in the moves, and, and murder and things of this nature. But when Jesus spoke of the fact that the violent take the kingdom of God by force, he was saying we have to have a firm, holy resolve to lay ahold of the kingdom. We have to press in. We have to take authority over principalities and powers of darkness. We have to exercise our faith, get it now, church, aggressively because all of us need to break out of having, listen, church, a passive spirit; me, you, all of us. There are things in our life that God wants to activate. There are things that he wants us to rise up out of. There are things that we're accepting, thoughts that we're accepting, ways of seeing things that we're accepting, ways of relating to people that we're accepting, that God wants us to cast off and break through and break out of. But it's only gonna happen if we believe God that there's more than we're experiencing. And if we get an aggressive spirit to lay ahold of the kingdom of God, a violent spirit to lay ahold of the kingdom.
We have to come against those things in our heart and those things in our mind that are inhibiting us from believing and from gaining more in the Lord. But sometimes the thing that holds us back is that some of us are more concerned, listen now, with what other people think of us than we are with what God thinks of us. I remember years ago, years and years ago when I would go to church with people, I'd raise my had in the church and the people sitting next to me that I had brought with me, they weren't comfortable raising their hands in the church. And a lot of the others in the church were not people that raised their hands. But I did it 'cause I couldn't help it. My hands just went up, you know, in worship and praise. The Bible says let men everywhere lift up holy hands.
And I remember the person sitting next to me said, you know, put your hands down. Do you have to do that? They were so concerned with how we looked to other people, and even my raising my hands was making them feel embarrassed that they were being trapped from greater experience and from greater fullness in the Holy Spirit to break through, to lay ahold of God so that you experience the more that Jesus spoke to Nathanael about. He said, Nathanael, you're gonna see more. Do you believe because of this? Nathanael, there's so much more. You're gonna see the heavens opened and the angel of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
And this concept of the heavens opening and angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man, beloved one, that's for you and I. That's for all of us. What it means for us is that God is gonna open windows in the Spirit for us to come into greater revelation of him, greater experience in him, a greater experience of the anointing of the Holy Spirit on our lives. There's so much more. But in order for us to enter into the more, listen now, church, we have to be bold. We have to press in. We have to come out of a passive spirit. Where we find that doubt is taking place in our heart, we have to come against it and speak faith declarations to those doubts, and also cry out to God for mercy and help.
Help me, Father God, to believe you for this. Help me, Father, to believe you for my healing. Help me, Father, to lay ahold of you. Help me, Father, to get more active in my faith. Help me to exercise your faith by the power of the Ruach HaKodesh that lives within me.
We have to come out of a passive spirit, beloved, take ahold of God. And this is something that doesn't happen all at once. It's something that we press into and warfare into more and more. And we also have to be on guard from letting what people think about us keep us from laying ahold of God. Jesus said to the people of his day, he said this, he said, listen, how can you believe when you seek the glory of men rather than the glory of God? Jesus was saying, you're not gonna be able to believe because you're more concerned about what men think about you than what God thinks about you. I want to declare to you today, beloved church, God has more. Just like God had more for Nathanael, God has more for every single one of us his kids today. But we've got to put him first. So let's put him first. Let's even now make a declaration together. I want to ask you to repeat after me.
Father God, in Jesus's name, I repent of not going after the more I want more of you. And I'm not gonna let anything hold me back. From this point forward, I will not allow the fear of what other people think of me hold me back from you. When I sense your Holy Spirit leading me to do something, I will step out in faith and not allow myself to shrink back for fear of looking like a failure. Father, I believe that you love me, that you've got more for me just like you did with Nathanael. And Father God, I'm hungry and thirsty for the more. So Father God, please forgive me for quenching your Holy Spirit. I repent. And I open my heart up to you now and I ask you, Lord Jesus, come inside me in a deeper way. Baptize me with fresh fire Give me wisdom and revelation to understand that you live inside me, and that you want to live your life through me.