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Heavenly Visions

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    MANIFESTATIONS OF THE SPIRIT

    J. N. LOUGHBOROUGHHEVI 68.1

    “THE manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he [the Spirit] will.” 1 Corinthians 12:7-11.HEVI 68.2

    The “manifestations” above mentioned include what is called the “gifts of the Spirit.” There is, however, a distinction to be observed between receiving the Spirit and receiving the “gifts of the Spirit.” The scripture just quoted indicates that each individual receiving the Spirit does not have all these manifestations; but that the Spirit bestows them as he will. It is the good pleasure of the Lord to grant his Spirit to all who seek it. It is written, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13.HEVI 68.3

    The Spirit comes to the sinner in his sins as a reprover; but after he yields to the Lord, and it leads his mind to the blessed assurance of God’s promises, it is then to this believing penitent an approver. “In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.” Ephesians 1:13. Then it is, indeed, that “the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities.” Romans 8:26.HEVI 68.4

    Man, in his fallen state, is infirm, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in him, because of the blindness of his heart. Ephesians 4:18. “Alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works.” Colossians 1:21. “Through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue....are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:3, 4. After yielding to God and becoming partakers of the divine nature, we are recognized as “the sons of God,” being “led by the Spirit of God.” Romans 8:14. That Spirit dwelling in us shall also quicken (give life-even the life of God-to) our mortal bodies. Romans 8:11. It then “beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God,” and seals us as his. Romans 8:16; 2 Corinthians 1:22. When thus yielded to the life of God, we are strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. Ephesians 3:16, 17. It is then that we may say, in the language of the prophet Micah, “Truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord.” Micah 3:8.HEVI 68.5

    In “these last days” the Lord speaks by his Son through the Comforter-the Holy Spirit. He has founded his church as a place for the indwelling of the Spirit. The apostle says, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16. To the individual members of the church he says, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19. Again, “Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them.” 2 Corinthians 6:16. And once more, “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:21, 22. Standing thus, we are “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.” Ephesians 3:16. “Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long-suffering with joyfulness.” Colossians 1:11. Thus we may labor, striving according to his working, which worketh in us mightily. Colossians 1:29.HEVI 68.6

    Paul compares the church of Christ with a human body, representing the gifts of the Spirit, as members of the body,-the eyes, the ears, hands, etc.,-saying: “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body: is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye can not say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you... Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” 1 Corinthians 12:13-21, 27.HEVI 69.1

    After making this illustration the apostle proceeds to the application, in these words: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts [“ye earnestly desire the best gifts”-Boothroyd]: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” 1 Corinthians 12:28-31. The Revised Version reads, “Desire earnestly the greater gifts. And a still more excellent way show I unto you.”HEVI 69.2

    The more excellent way is not to have a church without these gifts of the Spirit; it is a more excellent way than simply to “covet” the gifts. That “more excellent way” is fully set forth in 1 Corinthians, chapter 13, in the apostle’s discourse on charity-fervent love of God and our fellow men. Instead of simply coveting some particular gift for ourselves, it is better to seek entire consecration to the Lord,-to have his love in our hearts, to “follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1. The Lord set these gifts in the church. We have no record that he ever set them out. What is said in the discourse on charity does not dispense with the gifts of the Spirit. We read: “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. By this it is understood that the gift of prophesy may be manifest, as it pleases the Lord, until the perfect state shall come. In that state, when the Lord is seen face to face, prophecy will no more be needed. “Now we see through a glass, darkly [like looking at the sun through a smoked glass; we see the outlines, but the glory of the scene is veiled]; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12.HEVI 69.3

    After dwelling upon the superior excellence of charity, the apostle says, “Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.” Again, “Forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.” And, “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:1, 12, 39, 40. Hence we see our anxiety should be for the upbuilding of the church through the manifestation of the gifts. Especially does he show that it is desirable that the gift of Prophecy shall be manifest.HEVI 69.4

    In meditating upon the comparison which the apostle makes of the gifts in the church to the members of the body, it would appear that the gift of prophecy might well be denominated “the eyes of the church.” Its position is of counsel and advice for the upbuilding of the church, and as a counselor against the wiles and snares of the enemy. As the eyes are important in the real body to discern the dangers, and to reveal the right way, so the gift of prophecy in its counsels and cautions is eyes to the church of God. The Review and Herald, July 28, 1903.HEVI 69.5

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