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The Greek words God uses to describe His gifts
Grace gifts. "Charismata." Spiritual gifts have an important place with God's other "charismata.”
"Diaireseis." In 1Cor.12v4-7., Paul states, “Now there are different distributions and varieties of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit. v5. And there are different distributions and varieties of ministries, but the same Lord. v6. And there are different distributions and varieties of operations and activities, but it is the same God who energises and inspires them all in all. v7. But to each one there is constantly being given the clearly seen operations of the Spirit for the profit of all.” All three, “different distributions and varieties,” are the noun “diaireseis,” from “dia,” “apart,” and “haireo,” “to take;” which is akin to the verb “diaireo,” “to take asunder,” “to divide into parts, to distribute.”
In 1Cor.12v11., Paul writes, “All these gifts are inspired and energised by the one and same Holy Spirit, who distributes to each person individually and separately as He wills.” “Distributes,” is “dairoun,” the present active of “diaireo,” this shows the continual distribution by the Holy Spirit of His gifts. “As He wills,” is “kathos bouletai;” “bouletai,” the present indicative middle of “boulomai,” to will, to determine, the present tense shows the continual desire of the Holy Spirit to bind the body of Christ together in love by the distribution of His gifts, so that each member feels the need of each other's gifts and ministries. 1Cor.12v11-27. There should be no competition over spiritual gifts, or monopolisation by one person of the manifestation of the gifts. Paul instructs us to recognise the Divine source of each other’s gifts; and informs us that our diverse spiritual gifts are intended to complement each other, and bring dependence on each other, not division.
Ministrations. "Diakonion." 1Cor.12v5.
Demonstrations. "Apodixis." 1Cor.2v4.
"The works of power of the age to come." "Dunameis te mellontos aionos." Heb.6v5.
Paul states that spiritual gifts only cease in the sense that the partial use of “the powers of the age to come,” will continue until they are exchanged for the full, complete and perfect use of those powers in God's kingdom. The occasional manifestations of the power gifts will be replaced by the permanent, continual and complete manifestations of those powers. The permanent possession of power to do every kind of miracle will be a fact. The supernatural transport of Elijah and Philip is a rare and exceptional thing in the Scriptures, but it is the everyday norm in the kingdom of God. 1Kings.18v12. 2Kings.2v11. Acts.8v39,40. The partial words of wisdom and knowledge, and discerning of spirits, will be replaced by the continual and perfect revelation of the wisdom and knowledge that comes from face to face fellowship with God. The ability to know and worship in all the tongues of angels and men will supersede the ability to speak in and interpret unknown tongues. The partial revelations of a prophetic gift and ministry will disappear in the fullness and perfect revelation of face-to-face communion with God. Paul said that even his 23 years of mature Christian experience and knowledge was as babyhood compared with the experience and knowledge of the kingdom of God, when our present hazy image of God will be replaced by the glorious experience of a face-to-face vision of God. 1Cor.13v10-12. Ellicott confirms this interpretation, he writes on 1Cor.13v10., “This verse shows by the emphatic 'then,” that the time when the gifts shall cease is the end of this dispensation. The imperfect shall not cease until the perfect is brought in.”
Those who insist that God has withdrawn spiritual gifts, must, if they are to be consistent, insist that God has removed them all. The sceptics who believe that spiritual gifts are not for today, often pray for God to heal the sick, they should realise that they are asking God for a manifestation of the gift of healing. When they pray for illumination upon a problem, or for guidance from God, they are praying for a word of wisdom, or a word of knowledge. When they pray for God’s anointing upon themselves and other preachers, or pray for God to bless and uplift people, or pray for Satan's hold upon people to be broken, they are praying for operations of the gift of faith. When they pray for a miraculous supply of material needs, they are asking God for a workings of miracles. When they pray for a revelation of God to the soul, they are asking God for a discerning of spirits. When they ask God to inspire them in prayer, they should realise that this is the function of the gift of tongues and prophetic prayer. It is a fact, that Christians, who say that God’s spiritual gifts have been withdrawn, often pray for their manifestation. Those who reject spiritual gifts, would in reality totally remove God's influence from His Church. Let us accept the wisdom of God in giving His gifts, and not charge Him with folly, or frustrate His loving purposes through His gifts. “The powers of the age to come,” are still available today, for God has promised to confirm His truth by signs and wonders until the great and notable day of our Lord's second coming. Acts.2v17-21,38,39. Heb13v8.
Signs, wonders, and miracles are a vital part of the armoury of the Church of Christ. Mk.16v17,20. Lk.9v1,2. 10v1-9. Acts.5v12-16. 8v5-8. Rom.15v18-21. 1Cor.2v4,5. 14v25. 2Cor.12v12. The early Church did not depend upon oratory, but upon the truth confirmed by the signs and wonders of God. Lk.9v1,2. 10v1-9. Mk.16v17,20. Acts.4v16. 5v12. 6v8. 8v5-8. 2Cor.12v12. Rom.15v18-21. 1Cor.14v25. Miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were certainly not just confined to apostles, or only transmitted by apostles; Christ made them available to every member of His Church as they had need of them. Paul told the Christians of each Church to covet earnestly the gifts of the Holy Spirit, for ordinary Christians needed these gifts as well as apostles. 1Cor.1v7. 12v31. 14v1,5,18,39. The command to desire spiritual gifts is as binding as Paul's command to follow after love. 1Cor.14v1. 1Cor.2v4,5. This is why Paul told each local Church to covet earnestly the gifts of the Holy Spirit; local Churches needed these gifts as well as apostles. 1Cor.12v31. 14v1,5,18,39. Miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit were certainly not only confined to apostles, and were not only transmitted by apostles; Christ gives them to every member of His Church as they have need of them. Acts.8v5-8. 6v8. 9v10-18. 10v1-7. 1Cor.1v7. 12v7. The command to desire spiritual gifts is as binding as the command to follow after love. 1Cor.14v1. Spiritual gifts and their accompanying signs and wonders are promised to the Church until God's kingdom comes upon earth at Christ's second coming. Acts.2v17-21,38,39. Jn.14v12-14. Rev.11v1-15.
The confirmation of the Gospel by signs and wonders is a powerful appeal to the unconverted person, and Jesus said that unbelief and hatred of the truth in such circumstances can be a final act of spiritual suicide. See John.15v21-25. The final defence of the sceptic, who is confronted by an undeniable sign from God, is to say that it is a manifestation of Satan's power. When our Lord confronted the sceptics with signs that could only come from God, they said that they were a manifestation of the power of Satan; our Lord said this response meant they were in danger of committing the eternal and unforgiveable sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. Mt.12v22-32. Mk.3v20-35.
“Thaumazo,” a verb meaning, “to wonder at, to marvel,” occurs 46 times in the New Testament, and shows well the astonishment caused by our Lord's life and ministry. People marvelled at Christ's birth and childhood. Lk.2v18,33. The apostles marvelled at the stilling of the storm in Mt.8v27. and Lk.8v25.. The apostles marvelled when Jesus walked on the water, Mark writes, in Mk.6v51,52., “they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure and MARVELLED, for they did not consider the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was in a settled state of hardness.” “Thaumazo” is used to express the astonishment of the apostles when the fig tree withered. Mt.21v20. “Thaumazo” describes the astonishment of the multitudes at our Lord's miracles. Mt.9v8,33. 15v31. Lk.9v43. 11v14. Jn.5v20. 7v21.; and the effect of the miracles of the early Church, Acts.2v7. 3v12. 4v13.. It is used to describe how the people at Nazareth marvelled, even in their unbelief, at our Lord's gracious and beautiful words in the synagogue, Lk.4v22.; and how our Lord marvelled at the unbelief at Nazareth, Mk.6v6.; and marvelled at the faith of the Centurion in Mt.8v10. and Lk.7v9.. It is used to express the astonishment of Christ's critics at His gracious words and wisdom. Mk.12v17. Lk.4v22. 20v26. Jn.7v15.
THE STRIKING REACTION OF PEOPLE TO THE HOLY SPIRIT'S MIRACLES.
"Thambeo." Is a verb meaning, “to stupefy with surprise, to astound, to amaze, to astonish,” it only occurs in Mk.1v27. 10v24,32. and Acts.9v6., being translated either as “amazed, or astonished” in the Authorised Version. The noun “thambos,” means “amazed, astonished, dumbfounded,” it is probably derived from a root meaning, “to render immovable, to dumbfound,” and is associated with terror as well as astonishment and amazement; it only occurs in Lk.4v36. 5v9. and Acts.3v10..
"Ekthambeo." Is an intensified verb form of “thambeo,” meaning “to be greatly amazed, to be greatly frightened,” it only occurs four times in the New Testament, all in Mark's Gospel, Mark.9v15. 14v33. and Mark.16v5,6.. In Mark.9v15., we read that the people were “greatly amazed and fearful” when they saw Jesus after His transfiguration, it is quite obvious that they saw the residual glory and majesty of the transfiguration still upon Him after He came down the mountain and met the people, it reminds us of the experience of Moses. 2Cor.3v7-18. Another deeply moving Scripture which uses “ekthambeo” is Mk.14v33., which tells us that our Lord began to be “sore amazed” and deeply troubled and depressed at the extreme conflict and pressure that came upon Him in the garden of Gethsemane; it gives the impression that the pressure was even worse than He expected. In Mk.16v5,6. we see the women who went to the tomb being amazed and frightened at the vision of the angel at the tomb, the angel tells them not to be frightened, but to realise that Jesus was risen from the dead.
"Existemi," This verb “existemi,” means literally, “to stand out from, to be beside oneself,” and so “to be amazed.” It occurs 17 times in the New Testament. It occurs once in Matthew's Gospel, in Mt.12v23., in the imperfect tense “existanto,” all the multitude were beside themselves with amazement and excitement at the deliverance of a demon possessed person. It occurs four times in Mark's Gospel; at the healing of the palsied man, Mk.2v12.; it is used in the aorist tense, “exeste,” by Christ's family to say He was insane, in Mk.3v21., See Acts.26v24. and 2Cor.5v13. It is used with “ekstasis” in the raising of Jairus's daughter from the dead in Mk.4v52.. It is used in the imperfect tense in Mk.6v51., with “ekthaumazo,” when the apostles “were exceedingly beyond measure in themselves were amazed” (“existanto”), and marvelled, (“ethaumazon”), when our Lord walked on the water. “Existemi” is used three times in Luke's Gospel. In Lk.2v47., it is used to show the reaction of people to Christ's understanding and answers in the temple at twelve years of age. In Lk.8v56., it reveals the reaction of Jairus and his wife when Jesus raised their daughter from the dead. In Lk.24v22., it reveals the unreasoning astonishment and unbelief of the apostles to the women's testimony that they had seen the risen Christ.
“Existemi” occurs seven times in Acts. In Acts.2v7,12. of the amazement over the gift of tongues. In Acts.8v9. of the astonishment (translated “bewitched” in the A.V.) of the people at the evil occult miracles of Simon the sorcerer; and in Acts.8v13. of Simon's astonishment at the great miracles that God did through Philip. In Acts.9v21. it is used of the astonishment caused by the testimony of the newly converted Paul on those who heard him. In Acts.10v45. the Christian Jews, bound by their Jewish traditions, were beside themselves with astonishment, that Gentiles had been given the Holy Spirit. In Acts.12v16., it describes the amazement and exclamations of joy of the people praying for Peter's deliverance, when Peter came to the house of Mary, the mother of Mark, after his deliverance by the angel. Acts.12v12. Paul uses “existemi” once in 2Cor.5v13.; where he says if he was beside himself it was for God; he certainly did many things that the world and some Christians thought was quite mad, just as Christ's family thought that He was mad. Mk.3v21.
"Ekstasis." The noun “ekstasis,” is related to the verb “existemi,” it means literally, “a standing out,” from “ek,” “out of,” and “stasis,” “a standing.” It occurs 7 times in the New Testament. It is used in Acts.10v10. 11v5. and 22v17., when Peter and Paul became unconscious to everything else except the vision they saw. “Ekstasis” is used with “existemi” in Mk.5v42., when Jesus raised Jairus's daughter from the dead, and all were “astonished with great astonishment,” and the parents were “beside themselves with great ecstasy.” Lk.8v56. In Mk.16v8., when the angel told the women of the resurrection of Jesus, the women fled from the tomb “trembling and astonished,” “ekstasis;” Matthew reads, “with fear and great joy.” Mt.28v8. People were filled with wonder and ecstasy when the man born crippled was healed at the beautiful gate. Acts.3v10. In Lk.5v26., “amazement took hold on all,” “lambano,” “to take hold of,” is used with “ekstasis,” to describe people being gripped by amazement, at the healing of the paralytic, and by fear, “phobos,” when the widow of Nain's son was raised from the dead. Lk.7v16..
"Ekplesso." This verb is derived from the intensive, “ek,” “out of,” and “plesso,” “to strike,” and so means to be exceedingly struck in mind, and astonished. It occurs 13 times in the New Testament. It occurs 4 times in Matthew's Gospel. In Mt.7v28., the multitudes “were struck out of themselves;” the imperfect tense shows the continual buzz of astonished conversation at the authoritative teaching of Jesus. In Mt.13v54. His townspeople at Nazareth were likewise astonished at our Lord's teaching, wisdom and works of power; however, they were offended in Him, and refused to believe in Him; the imperfect passive shows the continual rejection of Christ. In Mt.19v25., the imperfect tense is used to show the disciples continuing mood of total astonishment when our Lord said that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. In Mt.22v33. the perfect passive shows the settled state of amazement of the crowds at our Lord's teaching, they were amazed, beside themselves, and overwhelmed by it. “Ekplesso” occurs five times in Mark's Gospel; Mk.1v22. 6v2. 7v37. 10v26. 11v18.; three times in Luke's Gospel; 2v48. 4v32. 9v43.; and once in Acts; Acts.13v12., the temporary blinding of Elymas the sorcerer” by Paul, astounded the proconsul Sergius Paulus, and caused him to become a believer in the Lord.
"Phobos." A noun, which originally had the meaning of flight through being frightened, then it came to mean the fear, dread and terror that caused that flight. It is used of the fear that came on people when they saw the Divine miraculous. Mt.14v26. 28v4,8. Mk.4v41. Lk.1v12,65. 2v9. 5v26. 7v16. 8v37. 21v26. Acts.2v43. 5v5,11. Rev.11v11. “Phobos” is also used many times of the reverential fear of God, Acts.9v31. 19v17-20. Rom.3v18. 2Cor.5v11. 7v1,11,15. Eph.5v21. 6v5. Phil.2v12. 1Pet.1v17. 3v15. 1Jn.4v18.; and fear of death and eternal judgement, Rom.8v15. Jude.v23.; and the proper respect and fear of authorities and superiors in Rom.13v3,7. and 1Pet.2v18. In Acts.19v13-17. even a demon caused people to fear, and Christ to be magnified.
"Phobeomai." A verb akin to “phobos,” which in earlier Greek meant, “to put to flight;” in the New Testament it is always used with the meaning, “to be afraid, to fear, to show reverential fear. In the Authorised Version, it is translated, “fear,” 63 times; “be afraid,” 25 times; “be afraid of,” 4 times; and “reverence,” once. It is used of the fear of the disciples when our Lord stilled the storm, Mk.4v41. When the demoniac of Gadara was healed, all who saw him were afraid. Mk.5v15. Jesus told Jairus to believe and not be afraid. Mk.6v36. The apostles were sore afraid in the mount of transfiguration, Mt.17v6,7.; The visitations of angels, and even our dear Lord Jesus, brought fear to those who experienced them. Lk.1v13,30,50. 2v9,10. Rev.1v17.
When Jesus went up to Jerusalem just before His sufferings and death, the disciples were amazed (“ethambounto,” the imperfect of “thambeo”), and afraid (“ephobounto,” the imperfect of “phobeomai”), at the grimly determined way our Lord walked before them, and His whole grave and serious deportment. Mk.10v32. He steadfastly set His face like a flint to go to Jerusalem. Lk.9v51. Is.50v7.
"Phoberos." An adjective meaning “fearful,” it is used in the active sense in the New Testament, that is, in the sense of causing fear, and so means, fearful, terrifying, or terrible. It only occurs in Heb.12v21., and 10v27,31.. “Phoberos” is translated as “terrible,” in the Authorised Version of Heb.12v21., “And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceeding fear and tremble with terror.”
"Ekphobos." An adjective, from the intensive “ek,” “out of,” and “phobos,” “frightened.” It only occurs in Heb.12v21. and Mk.9v6.. In Heb.12v21., Moses said, “I am exceeding fearful,” even Moses was frightened and shaken by the manifestations of God's power and glory at Mount Sinai. Here, “ekphobos,” “I exceeding fear,” is used with “entromos,” to tremble and quake with fear.
In Mk.9v6., it is revealed that the disciples were “sore afraid” at the revelation of the glory of God manifested at Mount Hermon, during the transfiguration of Jesus and the visit of Moses and Elijah.
"Entromos." An adjective meaning “trembling with fear,” from the intensive “en,” “in,” and “tremo,” “to tremble, to quake.” It only occurs in Acts.7v32. 16v29. and Heb.12v21.. It is used in Acts.7v32., of Moses trembling with fear at the burning bush, and in Heb.12v21., of Moses trembling with fear at the manifestations of God's glory at Sinai. In Acts.16v29., the jailor trembled in fear at the heavenly earthquake that shook the prison.
We are told in Heb.12v28., to serve God with reverence, “aidous” and godly fear, “eulabeias:” and we are told in Heb.5v7. that our Lord's strong crying and tears were heard in Gethsemane because of His godly fear, “eulabeia,” which speaks of a careful and watchful reverence in every circumstance of life.
"Emphobos." An adjective, which literally means, “in fear,” from “en,” in, and “phobos,” fear; and means afraid, terrified and affrighted. It only occurs in Lk.24v5,37. Acts.10v4. 22v9. 24v25. and Rev.11v13..
"Perieko," “To encompass, enclose, contain.” In Lk.5v9., we read that astonishment encompassed and seized, “perieko,” Peter and his companions at the catch of fish.
The strength and repetition of these words of awe, amazement, astonishment, wonder and fear, convey in the most striking manner the remarkable effect of the gifts of the Holy Spirit on those who beheld His miracles. People were compelled to listen and take heed to the Gospel by the “wonderful things” that God was doing; the same response occurs today where these gifts are manifested in power. The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness when God's power and judgements are manifested in the earth. Is.26v8,9. Rom.15v18-21.
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