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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Skip Heitzig » Skip Heitzig - 1 Corinthians 12:9-10

Skip Heitzig - 1 Corinthians 12:9-10

Skip Heitzig - 1 Corinthians 12:9-10
TOPICS: Expound, 1 Corinthians, Bible Study

Turn in your Bibles, please, to the book of 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12. If you remember, we started, well, back up. We're going through the Bible. We're going through the book of 1 Corinthians presently. We started Chapter 12 a few weeks ago. I made it through on the first night the first seven verses. Last week we covered verse 8 alone. And now we're on verse 9. I told you last week that I'm slowing down and that I have taught the Bible from 30,000 feet, where I could do the whole book in one night. I often do chapter by chapter. But we're doing, we're slowing down. This is the Bible from maybe 3 inches, not 30,000 feet, because we're dealing with an area where not only is there a lot of lack of understanding or misunderstanding, I believe, confusion.

Paul would call it ignorance, as we'll see in verse 1 again. But also because some of the gifts of the Spirit that we are dealing with have no supplemental material, some of them do. Prophecy and tongues and interpretation are given lots of material in Chapter 14 as to their proper usage. And some of the other ones, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, gift of faith, healings, miracles, aren't given the same amount of material as if it would be understood by the Corinthian church. So I have found it necessary to compare scripture with scripture. That's what I did last week when we talked about two gifts in particular, the gifts of the word of wisdom and the gift of the word of knowledge, trying to show you what I believe the Bible says about those two entities, those two gifts, in particular and how they're used in the church.

So that's why I'm slowing down. And I'm also slowing down because I do understand that not everyone who is a saved individual, who's a born-again Christian, believes in these gifts as being for today. They believe that whatever they were, they existed back then. And they're not valid in usage in the contemporary church. And I showed you the first night why I believe that to be wrong and why they, I believe they are, in the right place, to be continued in a proper environment and proper balance. So if you fall into the camp that says, I think that God worked in that way in times past, but not presently, I acknowledge you, though I disagree with you. I would be happy to discuss it with you if that's something you want to do after our study tonight. But I'll say this. It's very convenient to just say whatever they were, they existed back then.

But they're not valid for today, because if you say that, then you don't have to deal with it. Because these things can become messy, and some of us just don't want to get messy. And we just dismiss it and don't deal with it. But I don't think that really honors the text. And I don't think it honors the Lord. So I happen to believe in the perpetuity of spiritual gifts. But I believe that they should be in their proper context and in the proper environment. And usually they are for believers in a believers-only meeting, and a small meeting, I would say, at that, where they can be judged by the elders. And it is something that we're going to start up again this Friday night. Kevin Miller is going to be in Solomon's Porch Friday night at 7 o'clock for what is called "Unscripted", a time of waiting on the Lord, being open to some of these gifts to see how they would work in your life.

If that's something you want to attend, we welcome you out for that, Solomon's Porch, 7 o'clock. Now, verse 1 again, even though we'd already covered it, concerning spirituals. Remember what we said, gifts, you'll notice in your Bible, is in italics, means it was not in the original autographs. The original Greek manuscript does not have the word "gifts" in it. It's just Pneumatikon. In the Greek. "Now concerning spirituals, brothers", gifts are added, because gifts are mentioned. Spiritual gifts are enumerated in the following verses. So the translators, and I believe rightly, chose the word "gifts," so we would understand the context that Paul is introducing. "Concerning spirituals or concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be 'Agnoeo'". Sounds like "uh-oh," but Agnoeo is where we get our word "agnostic", without knowledge, uninformed, or here translated "ignorant".

Let me give you modern parlance. Brethren, concerning spiritual gifts, I don't want you to stay spiritual ignoramuses. I want you to get with it. I want you to have a broad, full understanding of what these things are and how they are to be used in the church. So concerning spirituals, I don't want you to be ignorant. I remember reading years ago something that John Lloyd Ogilvie said. John Ogilvie was a minister in California, in Hollywood. He then became chaplain for the United States Senate. But he wrote a book where he made this statement. He said, "Sadly, many Christians are content with only two-thirds of God". And he said, "They acknowledge God as their father. They acknowledge Jesus as their Savior. But when it comes to the daily relationship with the Holy Spirit, it is lacking".

They're content with two-thirds of God. And yet Jesus, our Savior, promised the Holy Spirit would come, and He would be our helper. He would be called alongside, come alongside, and help us in a variety of ways. And if you remember a few weeks ago, I noted that there were three Greek prepositions, in, or "with," "in," and "upon". And I said those represent three stages of the way the Holy Spirit works in our lives. He's with us. He's in us. He comes in us at salvation. And then He comes upon us. So think of it this way. The Holy Spirit comes after us to save us. The Holy Spirit then comes inside of us to sanctify us. Then the Holy Spirit comes upon us to supercharge us. So the first one, He comes after us to save us. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgment, of sin, because they do not believe in me. That's the job of the Holy Spirit, to convince you you need help. You need salvation.

So He comes after you to save you. Once you stop and yield and say, yes, Lord, and you ask Jesus to come into your life as Savior, the Holy Spirit also comes inside of you to sanctify you. And so Paul said, by one Spirit we are all baptized into one body by the same Spirit. He works inside of us, cleans us up. But then the Holy Spirit comes upon us to supercharge us. I, a few weeks ago, quoted to you John, Chapter 7, where Jesus said that there would be like rivers of living waters that come out of you, that not only satisfy you, but pour forth from you. And John gave a footnote in John, Chapter 7, that said, "This He spoke concerning his Holy Spirit, who was not yet given".

So the Spirit comes after us to save us, inside of us to sanctify us, upon us to supercharge us. And we looked at how the Holy Spirit works in part in these spiritual gifts in the first seven verses of Chapter 12. So I'm not going to go through those first seven verses again. But I will remind you of something. We're talking about spiritual gifts. And don't confuse those, once again, with two things. Don't confuse spiritual gifts with spiritual fruit, very, very different. Spiritual fruit, that's part of the sanctifying work of the Spirit. He comes inside of you to sanctify you, to make you Holy. So He works on you, on your character traits. That's the fruit of the Spirit, the evidence that Jesus is your Savior and that you're filled with the Spirit. The evidence is really the fruit of the Spirit, not speaking in tongues, not gifts of the Spirit or the fact that you could prophesy or teach or whatever. But it's fruit.

Galatians, Chapter 5, "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control". So spiritual gifts is not the same. They're not the same as spiritual fruit. Also, as we noted, I think, last time or the time before, I forget. But spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents. You might have an aptitude toward art or music or math or mechanics. Unbelievers can have that. Believers can have that. Unsaved people can play the piano and paint pictures like saved people can play the piano and paint pictures. Those are natural talents. Natural talents you get as a result of natural birth. Spiritual gifts come as a result of being born again, the spiritual birth, spiritual regeneration.

So we're talking about spiritual capacities or enablements beyond the fruit of the Spirit, beyond natural talent. And we covered a couple of them last time. The word of wisdom we said is not a reservoir of wisdom, so like you're the wisest person in the world. Or the word of knowledge, I know anything about everything. Ask me any question. But it's specific instances where the Lord gives you wisdom or knowledge for a specific purpose. And we tried to outline that last time. Now we continue in verse 9. "To another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, gifts of healing 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".

It'll be interesting to find out how many of those we get through tonight. "But one and the same Spirit, Holy Spirit, works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills". In verse 9, faith is mentioned, not just faith, saving faith, but the gift of faith. Again, the context is spiritual gifts. So to another, faith, it doesn't mean that one person has, in the church has saving faith, and another doesn't have saving faith. All Christians have saving faith. Every one of us has some kind of faith. Every one of us does. We all have faith. It says in Romans, Chapter 12, "God has dealt to each one a measure of faith".

Now it's funny, because sometimes people will say, well, I'm not a person of faith like you are. And I will say, actually, you are a person of faith. Oh? What do you mean? Well, do you completely understand the internal combustion engine? Well, no, I don't. I know a few things. I know that I put gas in my car. Yes, but you have faith that when you sit in your seat and put the key in the ignition and turn it a certain way, or push the button, depending on how old your car is, that your car will start. Or if you have an electric car, you might not know all the ins and outs of electronics or electricity. But you believe that when you push that button, something's going to happen, whether you understand it or not. That's a measure of faith. When you go to a restaurant, it takes faith. Some restaurants require a lot of faith because you just don't know what they're dishing up. But you believe that it was according to the health standards.

You believe it's according to a certain recipe. You believe that it's going to nourish you. You believe that you're not going to get sick. That's faith. That's a measure of faith. If you go to the bank with a little piece of paper, they call it a check, but it's just, you've got numbers and a signature on it. But there's no value in that little piece of paper. Intrinsically, there's no value. But you have a measure of faith that the institution that wrote you the check and the institution of the bank that is going to cash your check is going to make good on it. You'll receive the funds. And so when you drive away from the bank, and they give you a little receipt, they say that they put the money in your account. But did they? Did they really? Well, you believe they did. You're living by faith.

When my son was just a baby, I used to love to toss him up in the air. I'd throw him up in the air really, really high, like five feet past my arms. And he'd, and I'd see the look in his face, and it was a big smile. And then he'd laugh, and I'd do it again. And if somebody saw that, which sometimes they did, they would... they would shudder at it. Oh, you shouldn't do that. And I would say, well, tell him, because he thinks it's pretty cool. And the reason he thinks it's pretty cool is because I've done it before, and he has some kind of faith that I'm going to catch him. I don't remember slipping and dropping him to any recollection. If I had, he probably wouldn't have that kind of faith. But we all have a certain measure of faith. Here in this verse, it is referring to a specific gift of faith.

Now the gift of faith is special faith for a special situation. It's God-given faith for, that God is going to do something remarkable. And you have the faith for that to happen. It's a special gift of faith for a special situation or circumstance. One Greek scholar translates this verse, "wonder-working faith", wonder-working faith. I'm going to give you a definition. I had to write it down, so I could read it to you from one of the, I told you I had 64 books on this stuff, on the gifts of the Spirit or on the Holy Spirit, last week. So one working definition that I thought would be helpful is this. The gift of faith is a Spirit-given ability to see something that God wants done and to sustain unwavering confidence that God will do it, regardless of the obstacles. Again, the Spirit-given ability to see something that God wants done and to sustain unwavering confidence that God will do it, regardless of the obstacles.

I worked in radiology with a gal in my department years ago named Cathy, sweet gal, Christian girl, loved the Lord. Her husband was an unbeliever. Her husband had an affair. And her husband got the other girl pregnant. And the husband divorced his wife, Cathy. And I saw her every day with that broken heart, just weeping her way through that horrible situation in life. But she came to work one day, and she said, I believe the Lord is going to reunite me with my husband. And I'm thinking, reunite you with that creep? I mean, do you want him back? She said, yes, I'm willing to forgive him. And I believe that the Lord is going to save him and that he's going to come back, and we're going to get remarried. And then I'll raise that child. I went, wow, OK. And she would, weeks would go by. Months would go by. A year went by. And I remember saying to her one day, Cathy, you may want to just give up on that whole idea. Move on. She goes, nope, the Lord's gonna do it.

Well, I got to tell you, not only did the Lord do it, but I performed their wedding. After they divorced, he came to Christ. He's walking with the Lord today. And the Lord gave her this particular gift. It is going to happen, and I am unwavering in it. And the Lord did that. Now are there biblical examples of this gift? Well, I believe there are. In Acts, Chapter 3, Peter and John are going into the temple to worship. They go by one of the gates. They see a man who's been lame from birth. He's begging alms. And you remember, Peter said to him, hey, silver and gold I don't have. But what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he lifted him up. It's one thing to say, you're healed, or to say, in the name of Jesus Christ. I mean, you and I could say that, but we would probably then walk on.

The faith comes when you take a person who's been lame from birth, and you pick them up, and you have the faith that he's going to be able to stand. And you know the story. He was healed. And all the people marveled in Solomon's porch. And Peter had to say, "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this"? Or why do you look at us as though we, through our own godliness or power, made this man walk? And then he gives an explanation. This is through the name of Jesus, listen, and faith that comes by Him, faith that comes by Him. It was a gift of faith given to Peter for that to happen in Acts, Chapter 3. When we get to Acts, Chapter 6, we see there's a dispute in the early church over widows and the care of these women in the church. And the apostles say, look, we're going to give ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.

You choose seven men full of good reputation, filled with the Holy Spirit, whom we can set over this business. So seven are named. Among them is a man by the name of Stephen. It says, "a man full of the Holy Spirit and full of faith". And then it continues a little bit a few verses later and says that he, Stephen, is a man "filled with power and the Holy Spirit". And he was able to do wonders and signs among the people. And Stephen was a man of faith. Now, Stephen had the kind of faith not only to do signs and wonders among the people, and we're not told what those are. But he was a man of faith. It's described as faith. And he has the faith, we read in the very next chapter, to give a testimony before the Jewish people that is a very powerful historic testimony. And we know what happened to Stephen. He became the first martyr in the church.

Now, you're hearing about the gift of faith, and you're saying, OK, so this doesn't sound like it's very exciting if it means that you could get killed for your faith. Here's this man living boldly in faith and speaking out by faith and doing wonders and signs by faith. And the next chapter, by the end of it, he gets killed. And they take his clothes and lay it at the feet of a young man named Saul. You say, why would God give him the faith to be a martyr? Because of what it did to the church. You see, the church was in Jerusalem. And they were content to be in Jerusalem. They wanted to stay in Jerusalem. You want to stay under the spout where the glory comes out. I mean, it's good in Jerusalem. There's lots of activity, 3,000 souls, and then 5,000. It's just a great move. But Jesus said, you will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the Earth. But they weren't going anywhere until Stephen's martyrdom.

After Stephen was martyred, it says a great persecution came to the church, and the disciples were scattered in Judea and Samaria. So the Lord used the faith of Stephen for him to give not only a bold witness, but to be martyred, that caused persecution in the church, that caused the church to be scattered, so that by being scattered, the message could spread to the rest of the world. But the gift of faith was being exercised. Last week, I mentioned Acts, Chapter 14, A Man at Lystra. And Paul looked down at that man at Lystra and looked at him and saw that that man had the faith to be healed. Now in this case, it wasn't Paul's faith. But Paul looked intently at him and saw that that man at Lystra who was in some kind of condition that was a disease condition, he had faith for healing, to be healed, to be cured. So he was able to see that. He had the word of knowledge that that was going to happen. And that man received a work of God.

So once again, the gift of faith is the conviction that God wants to do a remarkable thing. There's a book, there's a lot of books about this guy, but an autobiography written by George Muller about himself. George Muller ran an orphanage in Bristol, England in the 1800s. And the kind of faith that this man lived with throughout his ministry is, well, put it this way. It will incentivize you to pray for the gift of faith. George Muller began with 2 shillings, a few bucks. Millions of dollars passed through his hands over the next 60 years as he cared for 10,000-plus orphans. And he made it his policy never to share his needs with anybody else. He never announced, we have a need this week. We want you all to dig deep and give generously. Never did that. He said, I'm never going to make my needs known to humans, only to God. And then you read in his autobiography the stories of how he lived by faith.

So one morning, George Muller got up, got all the kids down to breakfast, in their places at the breakfast table. There was no food to give them. But he got them all seated. And he, I think, turned to his wife early in the morning. He said, look, we have no food, but they don't know that. So I think God's going to do something. So he got them all together at the breakfast table. And they prayed and asked the Lord to bless the food that they didn't have. Moments later, a knock came on the door. A local baker had a truckload of bread or a wagonload of bread. And he said, I don't know what it is, but I woke up at 2:00 in the morning. And I just felt the need to bake bread for you and for the orphans. Could you use it today? And George Muller said, well, yes, that'd be nice. We could. So they brought in the bread.

A few minutes later, another knock at the door. A milk truck in the area had broken down. And the man said, look, this is highly unusual, but my milk truck has broken down. I have to bring it in for repairs. But first, I have to unload all the milk. It's going to go sour. I just thought I'd check. And Muller said, bring it on in. We could use it. And just story after story of a man who lived his life with that kind of faith. And I think the Lord gave him a gift of faith. So to one is given the word of wisdom by the Holy Spirit; to another, the word of knowledge; to another, the gift of faith by the same Spirit. Look again at verse 9. "To another, gifts of healing". Now, notice something about that.

Notice that "gifts" is put in the plural, "gifts of healing". And it doesn't say "gift of healing". It doesn't say "gift of healers" or q. It's not like, I am the great healer with the gift of healing. And I'm going to touch you. I believe that if you've been sick, and the Lord has healed you, you have received a gift of healing. I think it's that simple, a gift of healing. And sometimes there are miraculous gifts of healing. Some of you can attest to that. Ever since Genesis, ever since the Fall of man in the Garden, when sin entered into the human bloodstream, when sin entered into the world, the Bible says death came by sin. Degeneration immediately happened. And God's masterpiece was marred. And mankind from that point on was in need of healing because we all are subject to deterioration. We're all subject to disease, illness, denigration, and eventually, death.

And every now and then throughout the Bible, Old and New Testament, you see God punctuating history with healings, intruding into that human consequence of what sin brings, that deterioration. And He intercepts with works of healing. Again, you find it in the Old and the New Testament. So a couple of people in the Old Testament that come to mind, Elijah the prophet. Now I say that name that way, because sometimes we get confused, Elijah versus Elisha, who came after Elijah. Elijah the prophet in 1 Kings, Chapter 17, meets a woman from Zarephath, an area of non-Jewish heritage, Gentile area. And this woman's son dies. And she's distraught. Elijah the prophet takes this child and puts the child on the prophet's own bed. He was staying in an upper chamber, up on the roof of the house. Laid the child, the dead child, out on the bed.

Elijah the prophet, you might remember the story, prostrated himself over the dead child once, then a second time, and prayed, then a third time. I don't know what he was going for, if he would keep going maybe to 10 times or 20 times. But the third time was the charm. The third time took, and the boy was healed and raised up, raised up. It was not just a healing, it was like a resurrection healing. Then the protégé of Elijah was Elisha the prophet in the book of 2 Kings. And in Chapter 4, and I just made mention of it, but in a different context last week. In 2 Kings, Chapter 4, Elisha the prophet was with a couple from Shunem. We call her the Shunammite woman because she was from Shunem. And there was a couple, a man and a woman. They didn't have a child. Elisha the prophet predicted that a year from now, you're going to have a baby. She said, you're full of hot air. And he says, no, trust me. You're going to hold a baby in your arms. And came to pass that child, at the word of the Lord, had a baby, a baby boy.

The boy grew up. And one day, the boy was out in the field working with his dad. And the boy grabbed his head. And he's, oh, my head. My head hurts. And we don't know what it was. I don't know if he had a sunstroke or a subdural hematoma, maybe hit his head like I did. I don't know what it was. But he grabbed his head. And Elisha the prophet prayed, and the boy was healed. Again, God interrupted human history with a healing. King Hezekiah of Judah was on the throne when Isaiah the prophet was one of the prophets in Jerusalem. And Isaiah the prophet came to him one day because the Lord told him to do that. And he said, Hezekiah, get your affairs in order, because you're going to die and not live. Thus sayeth the Lord, you're going to kick the bucket. God's giving you fair warning. So get all your household affairs, get all your will drawn up. Get everything in place, because the Lord said you're going to die, and you're not going to live.

So Hezekiah started crying. I'm going to die. And he freaked out and prayed to God. And the Lord, for some reason known only to God, granted King Hezekiah 15 years extra, even gave him a sign. But, but, the Lord told Isaiah to prepare a poultice, a medicine, poultice, out of figs to apply it to King Hezekiah. So the Lord healed him, but the Lord healed him using some kind of medicinal application. So using medicine, it was still a healing from the Lord, King Hezekiah was given another 15 years of life at the word of the Lord. By the time we get to the New Testament, we look at the Lord Jesus Christ. And of course, Jesus was one who performed miracle after miracle, proving that he was the Messiah, the unique son of God. By the way, if I'm not mistaken, there are 41, in the life of Christ, 41 gifts of healing that Jesus performed or miracles of healing that Jesus performed in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. About one-fifth of the entire real estate, written real estate, of the gospel of Jesus is devoted to the healing miracles of Jesus.

Now the reason Jesus performed miracles was, like I just mentioned, number one, to authenticate that he was the Messiah, the chosen one of God, the one the Old Testament predicted. That's why when John the Baptist was in prison and had said, look, this is the one who's coming after me. This is the Messiah. John believed that. But now he's in prison, you remember. And he's doubting. And he said, go to Jesus. Sent one of his disciples, go to Jesus and ask Him, are you really the coming one, or should we look for another? Remember what Jesus said to go tell John? Go tell John this. Go tell him what you hear and what you see. The blind see. The lame walk. The deaf hear. The poor have the gospel preached unto them. The dead are raised. You name all the things that you have seen because that authenticates who I am. John is wondering, am I the coming one, or should we look for another? Tell him what you see. Tell him about these miraculous signs. So Jesus performed miracles of healing to authenticate that He was a Messiah, number one.

Number two, it was a preview of coming attractions, because I believe in a literal millennium at the end of the age, so a 1,000-year reign of Christ on the Earth, where there will be an incredible time of health and healing. And I believe that Jesus' ministry in life was like a preview of those coming attractions, so for those two reasons. But beyond the Old Testament, beyond Jesus being authenticated as the Messiah, Jesus promised that miracles of healing would follow as signs the ministry of the disciples, right? He said go into all the world. Preach the gospel to every creature. And these signs will follow those who believe. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. So Jesus promised that signs and wonders and signs of healing, miracles of healing, would follow the disciples. And they did. We go through the Book of Acts. There's about 30 miracles in the Book of Acts.

Again, Acts, chapter 6, I mentioned Stephen. Signs and wonders were done among the people by Stephen. In Acts, Chapter 9, Peter the apostle preaches the Gospel. A woman named Tabitha/Dorcas dies. Peter goes to her bedside, prays for her. She gets raised up. So it's a resurrection, but a healing miracle, you could say. Then Paul the Apostle, another one, there are several instances, but let me just tell you about Ephesus. In Acts, Chapter 19, it says while Paul was in Ephesus that unusual miracles happened through the life of Paul the Apostle so that they could take handkerchiefs or sweat bands or cloaks that he had that touched his body, and they could be taken from him and laid on sick people. And they would recover, and evil spirits would leave them. So signs and wonders were following the believers, gifts of healing. In Acts, Chapter 1, I know I'm bouncing all over the place, but this might help.

The Book of Acts begins by saying, "The former account which I wrote to you, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up," right? That's how it begins. Those are Luke's words. So I wrote, he's saying, the Gospel of Luke to show you what Jesus began both to do and to teach. Then he begins Acts, "The former account that I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and to teach till the day He was taken up, through which He promised the Holy Spirit to His disciples". Then, now that Jesus is ascended into Heaven, the disciples take on that mantle of sharing the truth, and when they share the truth, validating that with certain miraculous signs, and especially healing. So Jesus began to do it. He continued to do it in the Book of Acts. And I would say this. He continues to do it today, because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Several years ago when I was doing radiology, and I was looking at things very critically, I was in an accident. Now it wasn't a car accident. It was, I'll confess. It was a skateboard accident. There weren't skate parks in those days, so we looked for swimming pools. And swimming pools can be treacherous, can be dangerous. I discovered that. I wasn't a great skateboarder, so that only proved that I wasn't a great skateboarder. And I remember dropping down into the pool and taking a bad slip. And I hurt my shoulder. I didn't know what it was. I went into my friends in the X-ray department, had a doctor look at it. And he said, you have a acromioclavicular separation. And he showed me my shoulder on one side, which was closed, and the one on the bad side, which was subluxed. It was pulled apart. And he goes, you see the difference? You have an acromioclavicular problem. So you just have to put a sling on and let it heal.

So I went home that day. And I was living in a garage. I know this sounds really weird. But I was at that time living in a garage for $5.00 a month in Orange County, California and saving money, so I could get a real house. And the guy that I was renting from, he and his wife lived in the apartment. His name was Jack, Jack Stevens. He's now in Heaven. But I remember Jack sitting back. And I'm telling him the story. And I'm in my sling. And he goes, hey, let's pray for you. I go, OK, whatever. I said, you can pray for me, but I know what I have. I have acromio, AC separation. Pray for me, but, God can do anything, but I'm thinking He probably won't do it. So I didn't have any faith. Trust me. But I did receive a gift of healing. And when Jack prayed for me, it wasn't, he didn't hyperventilate. He didn't raise his voice and go, "Now, God, we come before you". None of that, just real quietly, and just said, "Lord, we just pray that you touch Skip's shoulder and heal him".

And I got to tell you, I had never experienced anything like this. I felt instant relief. And I took the sling off. I moved my shoulder around. And I thought, well, it could just be a fluke. Maybe, I don't know. Maybe it's just I'm feeling really good right now. And my emotions were heightened. I kind of bought into this. Again, I'm not living with a whole lot of faith, even though I feel relief. I went in to get it X-rayed again. This is, again, my scientific background. I got to compare before and after pictures. If it's a true healing, it will have gone back down. And I got it X-rayed again, and it had narrowed from previously. And I got to tell you, it was an incredible healing. I experienced a gift of healing.

A little while later, a friend of mine named Tony, who was a Christian, but had backslidden, had gotten into an accident with his shoulder. But his shoulder, his whole arm was messed up. His radial nerve was pinched because he moved his shoulder with a bag of cement that was too heavy. And the radial nerve pinched. And so his hands was sort of put together, like this. And he couldn't move them. And he was scheduled to go into surgery. And so I told him to spend a couple of nights with me. And one night, I didn't even pray out loud for him. He was going to sleep. I was going to sleep. And I just said, "Lord, I know You love Tony". This is just me in my head, talking to the Lord, whispering to the Lord. "I know You love Tony. I know You love him more than I do. I know, Lord, that You could heal him. And wouldn't it be a marvelous thing if You would just touch his arm right now and just show him how much he's backslidden, Lord? Show him how much You love him".

And I'm praying this, and I'm dozing off. And I'm going to sleep as I'm praying this. And just as I'm going, falling into a deep sleep, Tony starts yelling. He goes, Skip, turn on the light. Turn on the light. Turn the light. Turn on the light. And he takes his arm, and he goes like this. He moves his hand, right in front of me. And I said, Tony, OK, so we're flipping out, because it's legit. And I said, don't you see? You've been running from God. And he just starts weeping. And he runs right back to Jesus and says, I've got to recommit my life and live for Him from now on. But it was just one of those things. Again, it was no healing line. I didn't have a big sheepskin that I threw over him or yell in Jesus' name, spoke in a Southern accent, or anything like that. It was just, I didn't even say it out loud. Just, Lord, heal him. Lord, just touch him.

So to another, faith by the same Spirit; to another, gifts of healing by the same Spirit. Verse 10, look at that. We made a verse, and we're on to another one. "To another, the working of miracles". Now healing is a miracle, but this just says "miracles" generically. Could be a lot of things. Like Acts, Chapter 6, Stephen did many wonders and signs. We're not told what those are, but some kind of miraculous signs. So talking about miracles is sort of a hard one because the whole Bible is filled with miracles from beginning to end. The Bible opens up with the biggest miracle ever. "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth".

That's like the biggest miracle. And if you can get past Genesis 1:1, the rest of the Bible is easy. If you believe the first verse of the Bible, that it actually happened, then the rest of the Bible will be a piece of cake. The Bible opens with a miracle. The Bible closes with a miracle. Opens with creation. Closes with uncreation of the present world, and God creates a new Heaven and a new Earth. So there are miracles that run from the beginning of the Bible to the end of the Bible. And sometimes those miracles defy natural law. For instance, the Red Sea opening up, that's not natural. Given the laws of physics and density, et cetera, that doesn't happen. It defies natural law. Somebody who's lame from birth suddenly walking, that defies natural law. Turning water into wine, that defies natural law. Sometimes, however, miracles in the Bible cooperate or correspond with natural law.

Let me give you an example. Elijah calls fire down from heaven. Now, fire falling from heaven is not unusual. Lightning strikes happen all the time, all over the world. But for lightning or fire to fall from heaven at a specific location, at a specific time, that's a miracle. And the way it happened, in consuming the sacrifice that Elijah had prepared for the prophets of Baal, at that time, as soon as he prayed, was cooperating with natural law. But the miracle is how and when it happened. Hailstones fall from the sky all the time. But large hailstones that fall only on the Amorite army under Joshua's leadership, that's a miracle. So sometimes miracles defy natural law. Sometimes miracles cooperate with natural law.

What is a miracle? A miracle is something that is humanly impossible but divinely simple. We go, that's a miracle! People have faith to pray for a cold. Do you have the same faith to pray for cancer? Well, for you and I, one seems bigger than the other. But for God, is one more difficult than the other? No. It's humanly impossible, but it is divinely simple. So here's what a miracle is. Miracles prove that God is not a prisoner to His own laws. So God sets up laws in the universe, and He sets up natural laws. And one of those laws is the law of gravity. And we believe in the law of gravity. It's the reason we don't jump off buildings. We don't believe that we can fly. If you do jump off of a building, it's not because you think you can fly.

There's something else going on. I think most people would agree that anything that weighs 190,000 pounds isn't going anywhere. Something that weighs 190,000 pounds is bound to be stationary because of the law of gravity. But we also know that we can supersede natural laws by enacting other natural laws. So if we take something that weighs 190,000 pounds and configure it a certain way, say, in the shape of a Boeing 767, which is what it weighs, and apply other laws of thrust and aerodynamics that create lift, then you can have those laws superseding the law of gravity. So when God enacts a miracle, that's all He's doing, is taking and superseding His laws by His power with another law, known only to Him. It's humanly impossible, but it's divinely simple.

And I think that if God gives you or called you to be involved in any kind of wonders and signs, like Stephen in Acts, Chapter 6, any kind of miraculous activity, He will probably accompany that with the gift we just talked about, the gift of faith. You just believe it's going to happen. It's why Peter said, I'm going to take this guy and lift him up by the feet. He's going to receive a gift of healing. And I have the faith that you have two things that are operating together. So God is not a prisoner of His own laws.

Now, a warning about this. Jesus said, signs and wonders will follow those who believe. The problem is when those who believe start following signs and wonders. And sometimes I find believers doing that. They're always chasing the miracles, always chasing the signs and the wonders, the miracle service, where they have a miracle thing going on. And they're always chasing signs and wonders. Let the signs and wonders, if it's in the purview and will of God, follow you. And don't think that you have to have a miracle every day. I used to hear these guys on TV say, "Pray for your daily miracle". Well, if it's a daily miracle, it's not a miracle. It wouldn't be called a miracle. It'd be called a regular. A miracle is something that violates, supersedes, differentiates from natural order, natural law. Walking on water, that's a miracle. A resurrection, that's a miracle. A physical healing, that's a miracle. Finding a parking place at the mall is not a miracle.

Oh, I found a daily miracle. No, you didn't. You found a parking space, idiot. So let the signs and wonders follow you. Don't you follow the signs and wonders. Listen, you can go through the Book of Acts in a relatively short period of time. If you read through the Book of Acts, you're going to start thinking, man, there's a miracle on every page. But here's what you need to see. There's about 30 miracles in the Book of Acts. But the Book of Acts covers a 30-year period. That averages out to be about a miracle per year. And I would say from what I see in the body of Christ, we see that. I hear of that. So we have to be careful that we balance it out. And that's where that warning comes in, so faith healings, working of miracles. "To another", look at this. We're on the fourth gift in one night. "To another, prophecy; to another, the discerning of spirits".

Now the gift of prophecy is going to be given a lot of detail in Chapter 14. Prophecy versus tongues and interpretation will be given. But the gift of prophecy is one of those gifts that happens to show up on all three lists in the New Testament of the gifts of the Spirit. So whether you're reading 1 Corinthians, Chapter 12 or Romans, Chapter 12 or Ephesians, Chapter 4, those are the three New Testament passages that detail or name the different gifts of the Spirit. The gift of prophecy happens to show up in all of those places. In the second chapter of the Book of Acts, on the day of Pentecost, Peter stood up. And when the people of Jerusalem said, what is this?

Peter said, this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel, who said, "In the last days, says the Lord, I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh. And your sons and your daughters will prophesy. Your old men will see visions. Your young men will see dreams". That was predicted from the Book of Joel. Acts, Chapter 2, says, you're seeing a partial fulfillment of that. But we know that prophecy was a gift that was exercised in the Old Testament. There were prophets in the Old Testament. There's a number of them. Moses, I think, is considered the first prophet, because he said, another prophet is going to come, like me, in Chapter 18, in chapter, of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 13 and 18, Moses speaks about the gift of a prophet to the nation of Israel.

Now, a prophet is somebody who speaks to the people on behalf of God. The role of a priest is a priest is somebody who represents the people before God. He's representing the children of Israel to God, whereas a prophet is representing God to the people. He's speaking for God. Moses is called a prophet. There's Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel. There's the minor prophets. There's a lot of prophets. Now the prophets in the Old Testament did two things. Sometimes they would foretell the future. They would predict the future. And that's typically what we think a prophet does, is somebody who just predicts the future. But they didn't always foretell the future. Sometimes they just forthtold the word of God, telling forth, proclaiming the will or the work of God, saying, this is God.

This is what God wants. He would speak in political situations. They would speak in times of great sin or uprising. They would just speak a word on behalf of God to the people. It wasn't a prepared sermon or a message. And I'm bringing this up, because the more conservative branches of Christendom today, those who, I would say, are cessationists, don't believe in the gift of prophecy as such, would say that the gift of prophecy is associated with teaching and preaching. It's something you prepare. I don't see the gift of prophecy that way. I see it as foretelling or forthtelling the word of God in a specific situation that is not necessarily prepared in advance, but you know this is something God wants to say. And I'm looking at the time to see if I really want to give you many instances of that before we close tonight.

So I probably won't give you many instances. But I'll tell you this. In 1 Thessalonians, Chapter 5, we're told, "Quench not the Spirit". And you know what it says right after that? "Despise not prophesying or prophecies". Don't despise prophecies. Now I don't know why Paul wrote that, except perhaps there were some in the church, even in churches, that were despising words of prophecy that were given, saying, oh, that's made up. This really isn't from the Lord. But there were instances in the New Testament where words of God were given by the Spirit spontaneously for the people for a very particular reason.

And that's where I'm going to leave it. I'm going to tell you what those reasons were and what those instances are next time we're together, where I'll finish, because we just didn't even talk about the gift of prophecy. But we'll finish prophecy. And next time, we'll go through different kinds of tongues and interpretation. And this is what we'll do next time. We'll do that, and we'll finish up Chapter 12 next time we're together. You're looking at me like you don't believe me. And the reason we'll do that is because prophecy, tongues, and interpretation are really elucidated and expanded on in the 14th chapter.

So we'll, Lord willing, finish Chapter 12 next week, and then on into Chapter 13 and 14 the following weeks. Fair enough? OK. Yeah, you know, I've given you enough. I know that I'm going through all these different scriptures. And I'm watching you take notes. And you're holding on. It's like drinking from a fire hose. And I said a couple of weeks ago that I hope you get spiritual indigestion and burp up scriptures all week long. That's how I know you've been well-fed. So now I'll let it digest. Enough said.

Father, we want to thank You for the Godhead. Thank You, Father, that You sent Jesus as Savior according to Your perfect plan. Thank You for Your Spirit that lives in us, that was with us to convince us that we needed that Savior that lives within us to make us holy, to clean us up, to draw us closer to You, to remind us of truths, and to empower us, Lord, to supercharge us, that our lives would be like Jesus described, torrents, rivers of living water, that would not only satisfy us, but satisfy those around us, that it would splash out because of the gifts operating within us, because of the edification that we are exhibiting for their benefit. So thank you, Lord, for the hunger that is in your church to come out mid-week to dig, to delve, to study, to compare scripture with scripture. May we understand not only by study in our minds, but by experience in our hearts and in our lives how these gifts operate in us and among us in the body of Christ. Continue your work. May what Jesus began to do and teach be continued in Your church, Your church faithful and triumphant. In these last days, we pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

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