Go back to Rev.Tim's Bible Studies


For teaching on the MOTIVATIONAL GIFTS go HERE.

For my eBook "Painting the Picture" on discovering your spiritual gifts click HERE or on the book picture to the left. This book is part 2 of my Big Picture Trilogy. This book deals extensively with the three categories of spiritual gifts and finding your place in using them.

For some background teaching on this topic see:

Receive the Holy Spirit

Use the Gifts

Living Out the Gifts




"There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all."

1 Corinthians 12:4-7 (NKJV)


These refer to Ministerial (Ephesians 4:11) and Motivational Gifts (Romans 12:6-8) which define our main orientation in ministry and are given by the Spirit at new birth. We could say that these gifts are like our spiritual uniform (e.g. a doctor and a builder may be recognized by their uniforms).


"But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills."

1 Corinthians 12:7-11 (NKJV)


These gifts are different to the previous ones. They are supernatural manifestations of the Spirit's power and are released with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. We may see them like a toolbox that we can dip into as the Lord wills. According to our 'uniform' each of these manifestations will take a slightly different form (e.g. a hammer for a doctor is different to a hammer for a builder).


Some important points about the 9 gifts:


  1. These are not spiritual fruit as they are not linked to spiritual maturity. They can be abused (Matthew 7:22-23) and must operate with love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13).

  2. The role of the Holy Spirit is to inspire and anoint, the role of the believer is to yield or surrender. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, never over riding our free will.

  3. These gifts are given by grace and operate through faith.

  4. They are given not for the person who acts as the channel, but for the benefit of others (1 Corinthians 12:7).

  5. These gifts are released as God wills in any ministry situation and are the tools of our ministry gifts. At any time the best gift is the one most needed at that particular moment (1 Corinthians 14:1-3)

  6. The purpose of the gifts varies with the gift but in general we can say that they include building up the church, exhortation of believers, comfort, warning, confirmation of the word, ministry to needs, demonstration of the reality of God to unbelievers, revealing facts or situations not known to the natural mind and/or power to deal with evil spirits.


These Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit are generally categorized in three groups:

(1) Revelation gifts;

(2) Utterance gifts

(3) Power gifts.




 We shall deal in this lesson with the three revelation gifts, these are Spiritual gifts that reveal something:


(i) The word of wisdom
The word of knowledge
The discerning of spirits


These gifts operate best in an atmosphere of quiet strong faith. In these gifts the Holy Spirit makes Himself known in divinely imparted knowledge and wisdom and in knowing whether we are dealing with evil spirits, human spirits, or the Divine Spirit.



This is a supernatural revelation of things that are not previously known to the one receiving the word. The Holy Spirit brings this knowledge to the mind of the believer at the moment of need.


The Gift of the Word of Knowledge is just that a 'word' or a 'part'. God is all knowing but He does not reveal everything He knows to man. He gives a word or part of what He knows. A word is a fragmentary part of a sentence, so a word of knowledge would simply be a fragmentary part of the entire knowledge or counsel of God.


It is often given in conjunction with another of the gifts such as healing (e.g. 'this person is suffering from colon cancer'). It requires wisdom as to how to apply it and faith for speaking it out.


The Word of Knowledge is not:

1) Is not natural knowledge.
2) Is not a profound knowledge of the Bible.
3) Is not knowledge of God through close communion with Him.


The Bible has examples of the Word of Knowledge manifest through a vision, a dream, a message from an angel, or through the gift of prophecy, or directly from God to an individual.


Biblical examples of the Word of Knowledge:

1) John on the Isle of Patmos -- Revelation 1: 10-20 -- vision.
2) To Ananias about Paul -- Acts 9: 10 - 12 -- vision.
3) To Peter in Joppa -- Acts 10: 9 - 19 -- vision.
4) To Samuel regarding Saul's donkeys -- 1 Samuel 10:2 -- from God
5) Jesus at the well with the woman -- John 4: 18 -- from God.
6) Regarding Ananias and Sapphira -- Acts 5: 1 - 4 -- from God.


How do I know how the Gift of the Word of Knowledge operates?

We most likely receive the message from God's Spirit through our human spirit and speak what comes to our mind. To some it is like a screen in our minds and we begin to see the picture frame by frame. Then we begin to describe these frames to the individual. Others may just begin to have an unction by the Spirit to speak and sentence by sentence the thing is revealed, as one thought after another begins to flow. Sometimes it comes as an actual feeling of pain in the area God want to heal the other person.



This is a supernatural flash of inspiration that enables us to speak the right word in a difficult situation with an ability beyond our own natural wisdom.


The gift of the Word of Wisdom usually works in conjunction with the Word of Knowledge. It will often give supernatural guidance and direction in a tough situation. It will be specific, accurate and related to the present need.


Let us look at some Biblical examples of The Word of Wisdom:

1)      King Solomon - 1 Kings 3:23-28

2)      Jesus - Matthew 2:17-21

3)      Paul and team - Acts 16:6-9


How do I know how the Gift of the Word of Wisdom operates?

This Gift of the Holy Spirit operates in the same manner as The Gift of the Word of Knowledge. It may come either as a picture in our mind or by faith as we just open our mouths. God is faithful to show us the part that is needed to help the individual(s) in their particular situation. Remember that the Gift of the Word of Wisdom gives us the revelation of the ways of God in very specific situations.



This gift of the Holy Spirit gives us supernatural insight into the spirit world, to see what spirit is behind a person , teaching or situation.


 "To discern" means to perceive by seeing or hearing. Discerning of spirits is the same as seeing or hearing in the realm of spirits. This gift has a more limited range of operation, because it is limited to a single class of objects -- spirits. It reveals the kind of spirit that is in operation behind a supernatural manifestation, whether evil, human, or Holy Spirit.


What Discerning of Spirits is not:

1) It is not the gift of discernment. It could be Word of Knowledge.
2) It is not spiritual mind reading. Not power to discern faults in others
3) It is not just discerning of evil spirits but of human and good spirits.


This Gift is used to help many who are ensnared by Satan, to help the captives be set free. We must remember that supernatural manifestations can come from different sources. Many things that seem to be supernatural or miraculous to us actually do not come from God. Remember that Satan comes as an angel of light and is a supernatural being. Too many people are ready to follow anything that is supernatural or spectacular whether it is of God or not. Supernatural manifestations are not necessarily a demonstration of the Spirit of God. If the Discerning of Spirits is in operation, we can know the spirit behind a given manifestation or operation.


In the book of Acts the 16 chapter verses 16 - 18, we see this gift in operation with Paul.


Usually, a person who has been involved in witchcraft will display what seems to be the valid gift of Discerning of Spirits, when it is nothing more than the working of a familiar spirit.


This gift needs to be in operation more today than ever before. The Body of Christ is

being invaded by seducing spirits, doctrines of devils like never before (1 Timothy 4:1) We need to expose these things and cast them out with a word of authority in the name of Jesus.





In this lesson we will deal with the three oral gifts, these are Spiritual gifts that say something:


(I) The gift of prophecy
The gift of diverse kinds of tongues
The gift of interpretation of tongues


These gifts are not very well received in some congregations. The gift of prophecy, if used in the congregation, would bring edification, encouragement, and comfort to the Body of Christ. It takes the gift of tongues and interpretation working together to be edifying in a group situation (see 1 Corinthians 14:5).



Prophecy is a supernatural utterance in a known tongue. It is the speaking for or on behalf of God by the direct inspiration of His Spirit.


The Hebrew of "to prophesy" is to flow forth, to bubble forth like a fountain, to let drop, to lift up, to tumble forth, and to spring forth. The Greek word "prophesy" means to speak for another. We are told to desire to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14: 1, 39).

Those who prophesy are not prophets, for in the office of a prophet there would be other gifts in operation. Prophets may foretell but those prophesying with this gift usually forth-tell quickened words of edification and comfort to the Body.


Prophecy can be spoken, sung, written or come in the form of a dream or a vision (Jeremiah 32:6-8; Isaiah 1:1; Num 12:6). This gift is highly commended by Paul as it is understandable and immediately builds up and comforts those listening (1 Corinthians 14:1,5). The anointing to prophecy is frequently quite powerful but is still under the control of the believer ( 1 Corinthians 14:32).


All prophecies must be judged by the witness that is felt by the body of believers (must be Biblical, confirm what the Spirit is already saying and bring comfort and edification).  Where the witness is strong, hearts may be greatly stirred and a sense of excitement can grip a whole congregation as all sense the presence of the Lord 1 Corinthians 14:29-33, 40).


Example of the Gift of Prophecy:

1)      Paul at Philips house -- Acts 21: 8- 11

2)      Paul and Barnabus set apart - Acts 13:1-4

3)      Timothy - 1 Timothy 4:14; 2 Timothy 1:6


We need to be very careful about personal prophecies; lives can be ruined through the misuse of this gift. That is why there is a need to practice in the Body where we can be corrected. Personal prophecies usually confirm what the person has already been gleaning from the Lord. Often prophecy will confirm a person's ministry and act as part of the setting apart of that person for the ministry (Acts 13:1-4).



Speaking in diverse kinds of tongues is the public supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue.


It is languages never learned by the speaker, nor understood by the speaker, nor understood by the hearer. It has nothing at all to do with linguistic ability, with the mind or the intellect of man.


There are two types of tongues:

i.                    Private tongues for personal edification an devotion (1 Corinthians 14:18)

ii.                   Public tongues that need to be interpreted (1 Corinthians 14:5)

This is referring to the public tongues that must operate with interpretation so as to be edifying to others. It is especially a sign to unbelievers (1 Corinthians 14:22-23) as it was in Acts 2:6. It may be in a human language that the speaker does not know but some of the listeners understand. More frequently it is in an angelic language that needs someone to vocally interpret in the common language of the gathering.


When bringing forth tongues in a meeting or praying we should desire to interpret (1 Corinthians 14: 13 - 15) and be willing to do so if others do not. The Holy Spirit should give us the unction to bring forth tongues in a public meeting but it must be exercised in an orderly way, no more than three utterances being given in one meeting (1 Corinthians 14:12-13, 27-40).



The interpretation of tongues is a supernatural speaking forth in an understandable language of that which has been said in an unknown tongue.


It is not translation of tongues; it is the interpretation of tongues, giving the sense of what was uttered in the unknown language.


This gift is the least of all the gifts because it depends upon another gift --diverse kinds of tongues -- in order to operate. The purpose of this gift is to render understanding of tongues to the hearers so that the whole congregation may be edified.

Tongues may be short but the interpretation may be long, to give a clear understanding of what God is saying.


The interpretation often comes across as a prophecy but the exact words would be directed to God rather than from God (1 Corinthians 14:2). On the day of Pentecost the disciples spoke in other tongues concerning the wonderful works of God (Acts 2:11).





We shall deal in this lesson with the three power gifts; these are Spiritual gifts that do something:


(i) The gift of faith
The working of miracles
The gifts of healing


When we remember that the whole purpose of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is to build up the church, we can see why we must take great care how to use them not bringing confusion in the church by unseemly behavior or presumption.



The gift of Faith is a gift of the Spirit to the believer in order that he might receive believe God for mighty miracles and works of God.


As with the other gifts mentioned this gift of the Spirit is supernatural. In the Amplified Bible this gift is called wonder-working faith. It is more than general faith or saving faith (Ephesians 2:8; Romans 10:17)


The other power gifts operate in conjunction with this gift of faith (Mark 9:23). People who operate in this special gift can believe God in such a way that God honours their word as His own (as it is His rhema Word to them).


We see the gift of Faith in casting out of devils or demons. We need this gift in operation and exercise it as we cast out the demons.


This gift of faith is more of a process and is manifested by the Holy Spirit to enable a person to receive a miracle beyond the capacity of ordinary faith to receive. It could be faith for healing, for miraculous provision and so forth.



1)      The disciples - Mark 11:23

2)      Peter - Acts 3:6; 9:34,40

3)      Stephen - Acts 6:8

4)      Paul - Acts 20:9-10



A miracle can be defined as a supernatural intervention by God in the ordinary course of nature. They come through the power of the Spirit over the material creation in ways other than healing.


Raising the dead is a miracle as it changes the order of material principles as does the growing back of a limb that was not there!


This is called the Working of Miracles as there are many kinds of miracles from God miraculously causing a car to work that has a broken part or an empty tank to miraculously proving food in a cupboard that was empty.


A look at the gift of working of miracles in the Bible:

1) Moses on Egypt -- Exodus 7 - 14.
2) Elijah and the widow woman's cruse of oil -- 1 Kings 17: 8 - 16.
3) Jesus feeding the five thousand -- John 6: 5 -14.
4) Divine judgment on Ananias and Sapphira -- Acts 5: 1 - 10.
5) Paul to Elymas the sorcerer -- Acts 13: 4 - 12.
6) Jesus speaking to the sea -- Mark 4: 39.


The gift of Working of Miracles could also be called the working of acts of power. The Greek for Miracles is the word "dunamis", translated into such terms as acts of power, explosions of almightiness or impelling, staggering wonders or astonishments.

The Working of Miracles is the mighty power of God flowing through a person, the same power that created the universe.


Why don't we see this gift more in the Body of Christ? Because we do not earnestly desire spiritual gifts! If someone desires something, he is going to make an effort in that direction in order to see what he desires to come to pass. The word 'covet' means earnestly desire. Many are not very earnest about making sure there desires are fulfilled. Start praying for the fullness of the spiritual gifts to be in manifestation.




The gifts of healing are manifested for the supernatural healing of sickness and disease without any natural source or means.


These are, as you will notice, in the plural tense. There are many manifestations to these gifts. Being that God uses different personalities and each of us operate differently. The word 'gifts' could also refer to different types of healing such as physical, emotional or spiritual healing. Hence, healing could be physical healing, emotional inner healing or deliverance (casting out of demons).


Jesus said "freely you have received, freely give" (Matthew 10:8). The gifts of healing and other methods of divine healing are supernatural. As we receive of the Holy Spirit let us give to those who are in need freely. Healings were in prominence in Jesus' ministry and Jesus said we would see greater healings in our own ministries - John 14: 12; "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; even greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father."


Some people have a greater success in some areas of healing than others.

1 Corinthians 12: 30 states; "Have all the gifts of healing?" The answer of course is, no in the sense that not all have the ministry of healing but all can be used to pray for the sick and they will be healed.


It is important that we pray for healing only in conjunction with a word of knowledge. We can always pray a person can be healed generally as part of their salvation 'By His stripes they are healed' (Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24) but can only pray with great faith for a specific healing when we have received the rhema word of God about that situation.


There is no set formula for healing! In the Bible we see healing come in response to...

      -         The spoken word (John 4:46-54; 5:1-15; Matthew 10:46-52; 12:9-13)

-         Touching (Matthew 8:1-17; 9:27-38; Mark 5:25-34)

-         Commanding (Matthew 9:1-22)

-         Spitting! (Matthew 18:22-26)

-         Putting unbelievers out (Mark 5:40)

-         Shadows and handkerchiefs!


If no healing occurs do not be discouraged. Keep praying in faith and do not blame anyone's lack of faith for the lack of a healing. God is sovereign and will heal in His time and His way.



1)      Jesus - Matthew 4:23

2)      Peter - Acts 3:7; 9:30

3)      Apostles - Acts 5:12

4)      Stephen - Acts 6:8

5)      Philip - Acts 8:6

6)      Paul - Acts 14:8; 28:8

7)      Anointed objects - Acts 19:11-12

8)      Elders - James 5:14-15





Guidelines for receiving and moving in these 9 gifts:


i.        Enter into the supernatural realm through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Stay in that realm by praying in tongues daily and continually seeking to drink from the rivers of living water.

ii.       Desire and seek the gifts, waiting on the Lord in prayer and desiring to be used to minister in the Body, especially before a meeting.

iii.      Search the Word to know and understand how the gifts operate. There is no virtue in ignorance (1 Corinthians 12:1).

iv.      Believe! Have faith that God will answer your prayer and believe what the Word says, that the gifts are for all believers.

v.       In the meeting, have an attitude of expectancy. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit and be ready to receive whatever He would bring to you.

vi.      Seek further help and understanding as to when and how to move from the leaders. Be teachable and learn when and how to move and how to test what you receive. If any inspiration involves ministering to others and you are not a recognized minister in the Body, share what you have received quietly with the leaders and allow them to direct you.

vii.     Never be discouraged by guidance and correction from the leaders. Keep trying; it is the only way to grow.

viii.     Do not quench the Spirit. When the anointing and inspiration come move in faith. If in prophecy and tongues you only have the first word and feel the anointing, step out in faith and believe God to receive more as you speak. If you have a picture or the general sense of what the Lord is desiring to say, step out in faith, believing for the words to express it.

ix.      Give the glory to God. Keep a balance between resisting and trace of pride that may try to creep in and a false humility which is an attempt to avoid pride and can prevent us from doing anything.