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SPIRITUAL GIFTS
THE HOLY SPIRIT
I. “Baptize in the Spirit”
(1) Explain the meaning of the phrase “baptize in the Spirit”, or “baptize with the Holy Spirit”.

   Baptism in the Holy Spirit might well be translated, "immersion in the Holy Spirit."  The word 'baptize' from the Greek 'baptizo'was never really translated in our Bibles. In fact, the word was actually transliterated from the original Greek form, so that it now appears in our scriptures as a pronounceable variation of 'baptizo'
   The word 'baptizo' means to dip or plunge....., to immerse. Therefore the word baptize' in our New Testaments could easily have been translated 'immerse', but was not. So the phrase 'baptize in the Holy Spirit' would refer to one being wholly immersed in the Spirit of God, or as Don DeWelt wrote, "the spirit of man immersed into the Spirit of God."

(2) To whom was the `baptism in the Spirit' promised?

Joel 2:28,29 -- 28“It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. 29     “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Acts 2:16-21 --16but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17`And it shall be in the last days,' God says, `That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; 18Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My spirit 19`And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. 20`The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. 21`And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'

Joel 2:28,29; Acts 2:17,18    There are only two instances of the 'baptism of the Spirit' in our New Testament. The first instance is found in Acts 2. In this case it is the 12 apostles who are baptized in the Holy Spirit. It can be easily understood from the context of Luke's letter, that the word "they" in Acts 2:1 is in reference to the twelve apostles, for these 12 were the subject at the end of the first chapter. So without any great effort we can easily understand who was baptized in the Spirit.
Acts 1:21-2:4   21“Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us- 22beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us-one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.” 23So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias. 24And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen 25to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.” 26And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles. Chapter 2: 1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
Let's look at the some other scripture as well to see who it was foretold would receive the baptism of the Spirit. Peter, after the Holy Spirit had come upon them (Acts 2:1-4), quotes the prophet Joel (Acts 2:17-21). See Joel 2:28,29. I believe that we need to take a moment to look at the prophecy of Joel concerning the promise of the Spirit, as this is often a misused passage of scripture to support the baptism of the Spirit for all believers.

Peter explains the event that is taking place in Jerusalem as the beginning of the fulfillment of Joel's prophecy. Now we know from the context that it was the 12 apostles who were baptized with the Holy Spirit; so why does Peter refer to Joel's prophecy that the Spirit would be poured out on all mankind? Perhaps we need to do a little background study.

We read in Matthew 16:16-19 that Peter was given the "keys to the kingdom'. and that upon the content of Peter's confession of faith (that Christ is the Son of God),  Christ would build His church. We also read the prophecy of Isaiah (2:1-3) concerning the 'house of God' going forth from Zion (Jerusalem). And although there are more prophecies (Dan.2:31-45; Zech.13:1) concerning the time of the church's beginning, all of which are consistent with the event in Acts 2, for lack of time and space, let's briefly look at just one more.

 Matt. 16:16-19   16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 18“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. 19“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

Isa. 2:1-3   1The word which Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. 3     And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Note: The `Last Days' as mentioned in Acts 2:17 and Isa. 2:2 refers to the days of the church, or as we commonly refer to it; the Christian Age. This facts is also confirmed by Hebrews 1:2 (2in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.) and evn more so by 2 Peter 3:3-18 (3Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, 4and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” 5For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, 6through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. 7But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. 9The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 10But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be £burned up.
11Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. 14Therefore, beloved, since you look for these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless, 15and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. 17You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Dan. 2:31-45  31“You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. 32“The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its thighs of bronze, 33its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 34“You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 35“Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
36“This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 37“You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 38and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold.
39“After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth.
40“Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 41“In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter's clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 42As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 43“And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.
44“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 45“Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.”

Luke 24:44-49   44Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48“You are witnesses of these things. 49“And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Zech. 13:1   1“In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.

Read Luke 24: 44-49. This passage plainly points out that the church would be established (Repentance and forgiveness of sins would be preached in Christ's name.) after the resurrection of Christ. And where? In Jerusalem. Therefore it is at the time of the church's beginning that this baptism of the Spirit is taking place as found in Acts 2. The church was also promised the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit as our Helper so that Christ might not "leave us as orphans". See John 14:16-20, 26; 16:7-16. And we see in Acts 2:38; Titus 3:5,6; Eph. 1:13,14 and Romans 8:3b -17, that the gift of the Holy Spirit was (and is) indeed given as promised to those who accepted (accept) Christ as their Savior and were (are) added to His church. This indwelling gift is mentioned here because It's important that we understand that this promise of the Spirit is for every Christian in contrast to the baptism of the spirit promised only to the apostles.
      Now back to the question at hand. Why did Peter quote Joel 2:28,29? Because the church was now being established as promised. Although it was the 12 who were being baptized in the Spirit, it was all mankind who now had the opportunity to accept salvation through the Gospel of Christ and therefore the INDWELLING GIFT of the Holy Spirit!
            Matt. 3:7-12; Lu. 3:7-17; Acts 11:16     Now let's also look at the prophecy of John the Baptist (Matthew 3:7-12 and Luke 3:7-17). John foretold that Jesus would baptize "with the Holy Spirit and fire". Now how could we possibly understand what he was talking about? Fortunately for us, Luke has made it much easier for us to understand this by referring to this prophecy in Acts 11:15-18 as he saw the Spirit come upon the Gentiles (as it had the apostles). This plainly shows that the baptism of the Spirit foretold in the gospels was speaking of the baptism with the Holy Spirit as had occurred with the household of Cornelius and earlier with the apostles.The household of
Cornelius was 'baptized with the Spirit' as a sign that God accepts ALL who come to Him in repentance (Acts chapters 10 &11).

Matt.3:7-12   7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance; 9and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, `We have Abraham for our father'; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 10“The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
11“As for me, I baptize you £with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Luke 3:7-17   7So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8“Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, `We have Abraham for our father,' for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. 9“Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?” 11And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.” 12And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” 14Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”
15Now while the people were in a state of expectation and all were wondering in their hearts about John, as to whether he was the Christ, 16John answered and said to them all, “As for me, I baptize you with water; but One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to untie the thong of His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17“His winnowing fork is in His hand to thoroughly clear His threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into His barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

         Acts 11:15-18     15“And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. 16“And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, `John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' 17“Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God's way?” 18When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

Acts 1:5     Let's look at some more scripture, to be sure that we have not drawn any incorrect conclusions. First, let's look at Acts 1:4,5. This passage also makes it clear that it was indeed true that the baptism of the Spirit had only been promised to the apostles. Here Jesus tells the apostles to "wait in Jerusalem" for what the Father had promised,.......that they would be
baptized with the Holy Spirit!

Acts 1:4,5    4Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

So we can see from the above passages that: (A) The Holy Spirit was to be given to anyone who accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and was immersed in repentance for the forgiveness of sins and the "gift of the Holy Spirit". AND (B) Only the apostles were promised the baptism of the Holy Spirit AND (C) The baptism of the Holy Spirit in the case of the household of Cornelius was a sign to the apostles, Jews and Gentiles of their acceptance by God. AND (D) There is no other account of the baptism of the Spirit


(3) How did the people know that they had been `baptized in the Spirit'?


Acts 2: 1-4, 16-21; Acts 10:44-46    I suppose that the question could be asked better in this way: What evidence was present to show that the people had received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

Acts 10:44-48   44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God. Then Peter answered, 47“Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?” 48And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay on for a few days.

   As we read in Acts 2:1-4 and verses 16-21 of the same chapter, we see that the recipients of the baptism of the Spirit (the apostles) spoke with "other tongues" as the Spirit gave them the ability to do so. The apostles received the ability to 'speak in tongues'. The word translated 'tongues' here is from the Greek word 'glossa', which refers to a language or dialect. The apostles were speaking in foreign tongues or languages without having studied or learned them
   The passage even says that the Jews "from every nation under heaven" were hearing them speak in their "own language". The evidence given here that the apostles had been baptized in the Holy Spirit is that they 'spoke in tongues'.
   We also read in Acts 10:44-48 of the Gentiles receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit just as the apostles had (v.47). Again we see the evidence of the recipients 'speaking in tongues' without any previous ability. ( It might be worth mentioning also, that these Gentiles were immersed for the forgiveness of their sins after this miraculous baptism of the Spirit, showing that the baptism of the Spirit was indeed  a miraculous sign, but not the means to accepting God's salvation. In fact, unlike Christian baptism, baptism 'came upon ' the hearers by no act of their own. In Christian baptism, the hearer and penitent believer must 'act' in submission in order to accept God's forgiveness.)

(4) Where are we promised the `baptism with the Spirit'?

   There is not one single passage of scripture to support 'baptism of the Holy Spirit' for anyone other than the apostles and the household of Cornelius. In fact, ONLY the apostles were ever promised this gift (See above.). For one to teach that baptism of the Spirit is a common Christian experience is to assume that we are promised all that the apostles were promised.
   If we claim to be 'baptized with the Holy Spirit' today we need to be consistent with the teaching of the subject in the New Testament. The apostles were given this gift as an empowerment for the task of establishing Christ's church (Acts 1:5). This meant speaking and writing under the Divine inspiration of God (Do you know anyone today who can do that?). This also meant being able to speak in a clear and defined foreign language (without previous knowledge)  that could be understood by those who knew the language (Do you know anyone who can do that?). But if we accept the scriptural teaching on the subject, these questions are of little value
   As we continue in our study of spiritual gifts, we will see that there is NO DOUBT that we do not have the powers and abilities that the apostles were promised and received during the establishment of Christ's church.


II. Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

(1) What “gifts” were manifested in the Holy Spirit as revealed in Scripture?


Acts  2:1-4    1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.



            Acts 10:44-46    44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. 45All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. 46For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.

        1 Cor. 12:4-11 and 27-30    4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

27Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they?


        Rom. 12: 3-17   3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with £liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.


        Eph. 4: 7-16   7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.”
9(Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

In part 1 of our study, we have already discussed the gift of 'tongues' as
exhibited by the apostles (Acts 2:1-4) and the Gentiles (Acts 10:44-46) when they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated 'tongues' is from 'glossa'. meaning language or dialect. The gift of tongues as given during the early days of the church was a specific language that could be understood by someone native to that language. Tongues are also mentioned in 1Cor. 12:10 and 28 as well as other verses of scripture.

    We also read in 1 Cor.12:4 -11 and 27 - 30 of the gifts of wisdom (8), knowledge (8), faith (9), healing (9), miracles (10), prophecy (10), distinguishing of spirits (10). tongues (10) and the interpretation of tongues (10). And later in the same chapter, apostles (27), teachers (27), helps (27) and administrations.  (27).

     And again in Rom. 12:3 -8 we find, prophecy (6), service (7), teaching (7), exhortation (8), giving (8), leadership (8) and showing mercy (8).

     In Eph. 4:7-16 we find that the gifts given through the Holy Spirit we given in as a manifestation of God's grace. Here Paul mentions only apostles, prophets, evangelists and pastors and teachers.

So we have compiled a rather lengthy list of gifts (Although not exhaustive.) that were given through the Holy Spirit during the beginning years of the church.

various tongues        wisdom        knowledge      faith
healing       miracles       prophecy      helps     
distinguishing the spirits interpretion of tongues       
apostleship       teachers     administrations      service        
exhortation giving         leadership       showing mercy         
evangelists     pastors and teachers

(2)   Other than by the `baptism of the Holy Spirit', how were these gifts given?

Acts 8: 14-18    14Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, 15who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. 18Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money

Acts 6: 1-6    1Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the £Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. 2So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. 3“Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. 4“But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a £proselyte from Antioch. 6And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them.

Acts 19:6,7     6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. 7There were in all about twelve men

We read in Acts 8:14-23 of the account of Simon the sorcerer. After Simon's conversion, he saw that the miraculous manifestation (A manifestation is a 'showing' or a 'revealing'. When the Spirit appears in a manifestation, it appears in the form or ministry that God has purposed to show Him.)  of the Holy Spirit was given by the apostles by means of the laying on of hands. After witnessing this, he desired this ability because he saw an opportunity to profit from such a great power. The 'old self' that should have been crucified when he acepted salvation in Christ had not yet been put to death, and Peter was quick to point out Simon's spiritual condition. We could go on about the lessons that we could learn from this account, but what is pertinent to our lesson now is that the apostles were empowered to give this gift by the laying on of hands.

We again read in Acts 6:1-6 the account of what appears to be the first deacons, or at least their equivalent (servants in the local congregation). Seven men were chosen to 'serve tables' in the congregation.Note that these men were already immersed believers who were 'full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom." But in order for them to perform the task that God and His people had selected them for, they were to be empowered with the miraculous manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Again, how was this done? By the laying on of the apostles hands.

Once again in Acts 19:6,7 we see that Paul, the apostle, empowered these men after immersing them with the special manifestation of the Spirit by the laying on of hands.

(3) What was the purpose of such gifts?

1 Cor. 14:22  So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe.

Acts 2:7f  Acts 2   1When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. 5Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7They were amazed and astonished, saying, "Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8"And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9"Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and £proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs-we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God." 12And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, "What does this mean?" 13But others were mocking and saying, "They are full of sweet wine." 14But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: "Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15"For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the £third hour of the day; 16but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17    `And it shall be in the last days,' God says, `That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions,And your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My spirit And they shall prophesy. 19 `And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. 20     `The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. 21 `And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' 22"Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know- 23this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24"But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25"For David says of Him, `I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. 26     `Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope; 27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 28 `You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with your presence.'
29"Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30"And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31he looked ahead and spoke of £the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32"This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33"Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34"For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: `The Lord said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, 35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet."' 36"Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus whom you crucified."
37Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?" 38Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39"For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." 40And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation!" 41So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and that day there were added about three thousand £souls. 42They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. 44And all those who had believed £were together and had all things in common; 45and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Acts 5:1-16  1But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet. 3But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? 4"While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." 5And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. 6The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.
7Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8And Peter responded to her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?" And she said, "Yes, that was the price." 9Then Peter said to her, "Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well." 10And immediately she fell at his feet and breathed her last, and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things. 12At the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were taking place among the people; and they were all with one accord in Solomon's portico. 13But none of the rest dared to associate with them; however, the people held them in high esteem. 14And all the more believers in the Lord, multitudes of men and women, were constantly added to their number, 15to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets, so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. 16Also the people from the cities in the vicinity of Jerusalem were coming together, bringing people who were sick £or afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all being healed.

1 Cor. 14;22, in reference to tongues, says that they are "for a sign". In the account of the establishment of the church (Acts 2:7f), the gift of tongues served two purposes. One was that those who were in Jerusalem for the Pentecost were able to understand the apostles teaching. The other is that it more than attained the attention of the bystanders, resulting in a tremendous impact upon the beginning of the church.

Another passage of scripture which supports thiis is Acts 5:1-16. In this account we read of Ananias and Saphira and their sin of lying to God. Both miraculously died because of their blatant sin as...., you got it,,,,,,, a sign to all of those who heard of it.

(3) Do we have these miraculous gifts present today? Have you seen anyone with these abilities?


1Cor. 13: 8-13  8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Cor. 13:8-13 gives us the answer to that question. We read that (1) gifts of prophecy will be done away, and (2) knowledge will be done away.  Why? Well, Paul goes on to explain that the church is 'growing up'

When the church first began the only written scriptures available were those of the Old Testament. These were valuable in confirming that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah, but did not tell of Christ's life, teaching, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension as do the Gospels that we now have. Neither did the early church have the book of conversions (Acts) or the letters to instruct them concerning important matters of Christian life, faithfulness, warnings about false prophets, instructions concerning worship and congregational organization (church government) and many other precepts and precedents that we have for our guidance today. That's a lot of words to say that they didn't have the Gospels or New Testament. They were dependent upon the apostles teaching  (Acts 2:42). They were dependent upon the signs and miracles to prove that these men were indeed those men who had been with Jesus during His ministry.

     Paul says in 1Cor. 13:8-13 that these times were coming to an end. The inspired Word was to soon be finished..., the New Testament. When it was completed, God's revelation to His church would be completed. There would no longer be a need for signs and wonders. There would soon be no apostles to impart miraculous spiritual gifts as they had been, or any need for the gifts to continue.

Prophecy would be complete. The 'partial prophecy' or incomplete prophecy that existed at that time would no longer be, but the PERFECT and WHOLE revelation that God was to give to His church. Again, no need for miracles or signs or divinely inspired authors, but only the inspired written Word of God.

"With the completion of the canon of Scripture prophecy apparently passed away, 1 Cor 13:8,9. Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, says, concerning the use of the word 'prophecy' here," In his measure the teacher has taken the place of the prophet, cf. the significant change in 2 Peter 2:1. The difference is that, whereas the message of the prophet was a direct revelation of the mind of God for the occasion, the message of the teacher is gathered from the completed revelation contained in the Scriptures."

(4) Are there still `gifts of the Spirit today?

1 Cor. 12:4f 4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; 9to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. 11But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.
12For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
14For the body is not one member, but many. 15If the foot says, "Because I am not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 16And if the ear says, "Because I am not an eye, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any the less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. 19If they were all one member, where would the body be? 20But now there are many members, but one body. 21And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." 22On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, 25so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. 26And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.
27Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it. 28And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues. 29All are not apostles, are they? All are not prophets, are they? All are not teachers, are they? All are not workers of miracles, are they? 30All do not have gifts of healings, do they? All do not speak with tongues, do they? All do not interpret, do they? 31But earnestly desire the greater gifts.
And I show you a still more excellent way.

Rom. 12: 3-13  3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with £liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Eph. 4"7-16  7But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. 8Therefore it says, "When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men."
9(Now this expression, "He ascended," what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.) 11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. 14As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, 16from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

1 Cor. 13:8-11      8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.

If we again read the passages that we read earlier (1 Cor. 12:4f; Rom. 12:3-13 and Eph. 4:7-16.) we see that there are several gifts mentioned that were not at all for signs of authenticity or to produce 'fear' in those who heard, but plainly to carry out the every day purpose of the church and to allow opportunity for every Christian to be a minister.

As we again look at the list of gifts and Paul's reference to the maturing of the church in 1 Cor, 13:8-13, we see that actually MOST of the gifts were and are for the building up of the church (edification, equipping). There is no scriptural reason to think that these gifts no longer exist. Quite the contrary!

wisdom        knowledge      faith
      miracles       prophecy      helps  
      distinguishing the spirits     teachers             
      giving        administrations
      service        exhortation        leadership      
      showing mercy     evangelists      pastors and teachers

Do you know anyone who think possessses any of these gifts? Perhaps you do? What gift(s) do you possess? Are you using your gifts? Are you jealous of the gifts of others? If so, perhaps you need to read 1 Cor. 12 again. Do you test the use of your talents and abilities with the Word?