Powerful and Merciful Works of the Holy Spirit for the Last Days

We've been stirred to consider more of those wonders of old (Psalm 77:11). They are the miracles recorded in Scripture. We believe every word of their record is divinely inspired. They instruct us as to what constitutes a miracle, and they convey to us the energy of miracles. Their accounts help prepare us for miraculous living in a time that, for many people, already is becoming filled with impossibility. As the age moves on, this impossibility will only increase.
Recently it came to me that an impossible situation plus the power of God's Spirit equals a miracle. As I thought on this I began to question whether it was entirely right. Are there not some conditions we must meet for a miracle to come about? Must not we move in accordance with some divine plan that will place us in the path of a miracle? Will a miracle come to an unworthy person, or a sinner, or to someone who is not an utterly believing believer? The answer began coming to my own soul when the Lord whispered to me a primary component of every miracle is mercy. There is never anyone who deserves a miracle, otherwise it is no miracle.

As believers in the Lord Jesus, we may soon come to the point where our only hope of survival will come out of the miraculous provision of His Kingdom. Because of this, Satan will take every opportunity to seduce us away from that Kingdom. He will present his great signs and wonders to deceive us and draw us back into his realm--Matt 24:24. The last days will see a surge of his "miracles." Thus, we need that operation of the Holy Spirit called the discerning of spirits (I Cor 12:10) so we might reject the satanic work and yield ourselves to the miraculous works of the Lord.

This discerning of spirits, as well as the operation of miracles, is set by the Holy Spirit to work in every local body of believers. When the Holy Spirit holds the authority, this communion of believers becomes a place of safety--and a place for miracles. For this reason we expect Him to work every time we come together. To those who can't be a part of a warm, Holy Spirit-led fellowship, this is part of the reason for the mercy about which we tell. Remember how the ministry of Jesus went into homes, onto the streets, or wherever human woes were found. Presently, there's something beginning to happen that's more powerful than even when He was here. It will come to a scale never before known as the last great reach of the Holy Spirit extends to the streets. Miracles will happen. Bond servants, prepared and taught by the Holy Spirit will go forth everywhere as vessels for His work. What He performs through these will reflect what He has always wanted to do within the fellowship of believers, but has too often been ignored.

AS WE'VE BEEN CONSIDERING MIRACLES, the Lord has been drawing us to examine again what we call The Gifts of the Spirit recorded in I Cor 12:4-11. There are nine of them. They present a compressed view of the Holy Spirit's work, especially in the midst of believers. His central Gift is the operation of miracles. The discerning of spirits is also one. As this Scripture has been in our meditation, the Lord has spoken to us: All the Gifts are made of the same components as a miracle. They proceed from God's mercy and His power.

As Paul laid out the nine Gifts, I believe he placed them in a divinely inspired order. With the working of miracles as the middle one, the other Gifts support it. As the Holy Spirit moves out into the streets through the Lord's bondservants, we can expect the same divine operations leading up to the release of miracle power. Note the following introductory verses. They help us see how the Gifts of the Spirit relate to the full ministry that God ordained for the release of His power and mercy toward us. Just as it occurred in Jesus, we will see this fullness in the last-day, bond-servants of the streets.

I Corinthians 12
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

Diversities and differences in the above three verses are from the same Greek word, diairésis (de-ai-REH-sis). It means "divisions" or "distributions." There are distinct divisions in the gifts, administrations, and operations set in order for the followers of the Lord Jesus. Wonderfully, and somewhat mystically, the gifts relate to the Holy Spirit, the administrations relate to the Lord Jesus, and the operations relate to God.

Gifts is from the Greek chárisma which means "a free benefit, or favor" conferred as an endowment of grace. It comes from the same root word in the Greek New Testament as the word grace. We could say there are diversities of "graces." Thus, what the Holy Spirit gives us is not earned, otherwise it would not be a "grace."

Administrations is from the Greek diákonos, which means "the ministry of rendering service to another," especially humble service. It is the word from which deacon comes. It's used with reference to the Lord Jesus in Matt 20:28; thus He is well able to teach us how to become humble servants.

Operations is from the Greek energéo. This is a Verb form which means "the active release of energy." Paul used this word in Eph 1:19,20 to tell of the dynamics of the Resurrection released to work in us--and through us. Indeed, the power of the Resurrection is the energetic force God releases for all the ministry that will come forth in the lives of His servants.

We cannot separate the gifts from the administrations or operations any more than we can separate the Father from His Son or His Spirit. They work together in unity releasing the mercy and grace of His Kingdom.

OH, WHAT MERCY, GRACE, AND POWER is ready to be revealed in the last perilous days! Out of the gifts, administrations, and operations set to work in us, miracles will come, bringing sanity, order, safety, and provision to those who are caught in impossible living out in the streets and lanes and high ways and byways.

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

This is wonderful. The manifestation of the Spirit is the "outward evidence" of that One not perceived by the natural eye. He is known in the inner parts of those who commit their lives to Him. From God's Throne, the Holy Spirit advances upon these and brings with Him the active power of the Kingdom. Thus, miracles happen--plus all the other operations of the Spirit that can lead up to them.

To profit withal means "for the joint-profit of every one." What the Holy Spirit does in one is for the benefit of all. We learn to wait quietly for His manifestation.

Now we will see precisely what the Holy Spirit will do in His manifestation. He will distribute His Gifts among us. The supporting Gifts, that is, those on each side of the central one of miracles, are especially for the bondservants. As they move about in humble ministry to the destitute and lost, each of the gifts will be of exceeding great value.

With the exception of tongues and the interpretation of tongues, we can see each of the manifestations in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus. And, I believe, had we been with Jesus in His most private times with the Father, we could have heard Him praying with the Spirit in tongues. {Allow me to believe this little point, even if you question it or see no reason to consider it.}

In the verses that follow, take note of the word another. It's repeated eight times. Six times it's from the Greek állos, two times from héteros. Allos means "another of the same kind." Héteros means "another of a different kind." We place a bullet (•) by the two that come from héteros. By observing the use of these two words, we perceive that Paul divided the Gifts into three groups--the first two, the middle five, and the last two.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit (1) the word of wisdom; to another (of the same kind) (2) the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To • another (of a different kind) (3) faith by the same Spirit; to another (of the same kind) (4) the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another (of the same kind) (5) the working of miracles; to another (of the same kind) (6) prophecy; to another (of the same kind) (7) discerning of spirits; to • another (of a different kind) (8) divers kinds of tongues; to another (of the same kind) (9) the interpretation of tongues...

IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE GIFTS there is given to one person the word of wisdom. To another of the same kind, is given the word of knowledge.

But, to another of a different kind comes faith. Then to another of this same kind, there are given gifts of healing. And to another of still this same kind, the working of miracles. And to another, still of this same kind, prophecy. And yet to another of the same kind, discerning of spirits.

Then, to another of yet a different kind come divers kinds of tongues, and to another of this same kind, the interpretation of tongues.

For years I saw this division Paul placed among these Gifts. I could come to no conclusion as to why he did this. Then, I believe it was the Holy Spirit Himself Who showed me that the first one mentioned in each grouping is a foundational Gift of the Spirit. The ones following each of these foundational Gifts either belong to its operation or proceed from it.

The three foundational Gifts of the Spirit are: the word of wisdom, faith, and divers kinds of tongues. Of the three, tongues is the primary one, being given first to the church when the Spirit was poured out on the believers in Jerusalem--Acts 2:4.

Speaking in tongues was the primary evidence of the Holy Spirit's coming upon the Gentiles who received the infilling at the house of Cornelius--Acts 10:44-47. The same was so with the believers at Ephesus when Paul laid hands on them--Acts 19:6.

It is the one Gift a believer who has received can set in operation at his or her own will. Thus, in an unusual way it becomes the foundation for all the other Gifts. Jude apparently believed something like this when he spoke of building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost--Jude 20.

While speaking with tongues has not been accepted on a large scale by traditional churches, there has been a resurgence of its phenomenon around the world, especially in this generation--even among many individuals in the traditional churches. Countless millions have opened to this Gift and have found unusual strength and blessing in it. The Apostle Paul found so much value in its operation that He said, I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all--I Cor 14:18. Admittedly, it was mostly a private practice with him, one that apparently brought unusual edification and strength to his personal life--and increased his value as a minister of the Gospel.

We have found in ministry, or in personal need of edification, that praying in tongues becomes like the priming of a pump. It brings on the operation of the other needed gifts. See The Value of Tongues as a Spiritual Gift.

The following verse needs our attention. In it Paul emphasizes how all the above named Gifts come from an energy supplied by the Holy Spirit.

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.

Worketh is our key word. It's from that powerful word energéo which means "to communicate energy and efficiency." Thus, the Holy Spirit communicates the energy and efficiency of God's Throne to the life of a believer.

Dividing to every man severally as He will means that the Holy Spirit apportions out to each particular believer what He determines is needed at a particular time. While we have said that tongues is the one Gift we can put into use privately at any time, it is here evident Paul has reference to the operation of the Gifts in an assembly. There are times when the Spirit determines whether its public use is beneficial and, so, apportions it in a particular manner.

WE'LL TAKE SOME TIME NOW to briefly consider each of the Gifts. Volumes could be written on each one. We only have room for a survey.

First there is the word of wisdom and with it, the word of knowledge. This is supernatural wisdom and supernatural knowledge. In each case word comes from the Greek lógos. This is that unusual and full term that means "a word spoken plus the power of the idea behind that word." Jesus used it in Matt 13:19 to speak of the lógos of the Kingdom which He compared with a grain of corn planted in a field. As the grain holds the germ of "corn life," so the lógos of the Kingdom holds the germ of Kingdom life. When received into a life, it brings forth the Kingdom. A lógos of wisdom holds the germ of wisdom which, when released by the Holy Spirit into a human spirit, can grow to give forth a continuing stream of wisdom. This is how the wisdom of God's Kingdom finds its release in human beings.

The word of knowledge is coupled with the word of wisdom. This is supernatural knowledge, not knowledge acquired by learning, experience, or observation. We can call it revelation knowledge. It's the placing of something in a human mind a person could not naturally know. This may be knowledge of something pertaining to the future, such as an event that will take place, or of a person who will do something. It may be the revelation of a condition that presently exists, perhaps in the life of another. It could mean enlightenment with regard to the past.

Whatever the revelation, it must be received upon a platform of wisdom. This is lest the person receiving the revelation act unwisely. We see an example of these two gifts working in the ministry of the Lord Jesus when He talked with the woman at the well. Supernaturally, He knew enough to say, For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband... John 4:18a. What wisdom was required to deal with knowledge like that!

Suppose a revelation should come of eminent danger. Wisdom is necessary, then, to move in accord with the knowledge born of the Holy Spirit.

IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NINE GIFTS are FIVE POWERFUL ones that could never proceed from a human source. While there is human faith, and while there are natural and scientific means of healing, and while there are miracles that seem to proceed from human skill, or satanic manipulation, the setting in which these Gifts find their operation makes us know their reference is not to anything of human or satanic origin. It is for a time when human faith fails, when other methods of healing fail, and when conditions become so impossible that only a miracle from God can suffice, that these Gifts of the Spirit have meaning. In the dark times the Holy Spirit communicates them to open the Way for an answer from God's Throne.

Faith is the foundation from which healings proceed. Even human faith is naturally healing, but here we have the kind of faith that comes from the Holy Spirit. It remains when human faith fails. Paul discovered that this faith can come over into all of life. In his own testimony, he said, . . and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God--Gal 2:20b. This kind of faith has its foundation in the eternal Kingdom, is backed by the Covenants, has been refined through the fires of death and made sure through the Resurrection, and it is released to work in us by the Holy Spirit. Nothing can withstand this faith--and it's sent to work in us.

Proceeding from this faith there come the gifts of healing. Actually, healing is from a plural word in the Original and should be "healings." Gifts of healings, multiplied over and over till every hopelessly ill person is touched and relieved. Oh, what power and compassion are ready to flow unto us from that eternal Throne!

The gifts of healings lead up to the working of miracles. Here we begin perceiving the overcoming of impossibility. The working of miracles comes from the Greek energémata dunámeon (ener-GEH-mata du-NAH-meh own). This is wonderful. It means "the energizing of dynamic powers." This is more of that Resurrection language Paul used in Eph 1:19. Miracles flow out of the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus unto those who have embraced the Cross and the power of His Throne. Because of its placement in the list of nine Gifts, we're inclined to think first of miracles that come to those who are physically impaired and have no other hope of wholeness. But miracles reach beyond the need of physical ailment to touch every impossibility imposing itself upon the lives of those set to follow the Lord Jesus. And, because of God's mercy, we believe miracles will reach even beyond these.

We have no problem finding how faith, healings and miracles occurred in the ministry of the Lord Jesus, as well as among New Testament believers. We have no less confidence they will occur in the closing of the age. Even though human advancement seems to make it less necessary that miracles proceed from a supernatural source, the times of the end will see the failure of human advancement. Disease will become rampant and pestilences will rule. Famines will make food unavailable, even to the wealthy. Just see Matt 24:7!

There are two more gifts providing support for the working of miracles. They are prophecy and discerning of spirits. Prophecy is the speaking forth of a word that comes from the presence of the Lord. It may give guidance, search out a situation, tell what will happen, or simply make a call from the heart of God. Prophecy supports the working of miracles in that it directs human lives back into right relationship with God. It confounds the wisdom of the world by giving direction to believers for a path that will be laden with miracles. Never has there been greater need for the operation of this Gift than now.

In the light of the end-time signs and wonders proceeding from the realm of Satan, there has also never been greater need for the discerning of spirits. Discerning means the ability to make a distinction." Through this operation of God's Spirit, we distinguish what comes from His loving hand from that which comes from the hand of the enemy.

WE CAN'T DISCUSS this matter fully, so we aren't even attempting to. We simply want to point you, dear believer, to the hope that is set before us for the closing of this age when everything we have known and held dear will come under test from the enemy. It is the determination of the Holy Spirit that we shall prevail in the conflict--and that the powerful manifestation of God's mercy will come.

© Berean Ministries


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