Initiated: Saturday, May 02, 1998. Last amended: July 5, 1999.











Spiritually working or resting; which one, when? As believers in the Lord we sometimes wonder when and where we are to spiritually work or when we should be resting. I believe that there is a time when God calls us to work in the white field and against the enemy and there is a time where He calls us to rest. There are at least two incidents in the Bible where Jesus called his disciples to work. In one instant He send His disciples in the fields to work miracles and it was followed by a resting time. The other incident is when He had some of the disciple work against the enemy and temptation, followed by a period of rest.

Working for a while as ambassador of Jesus, and then resting! Jesus sent the apostles two by two to work in the field mightily. Mark 6: 7-13 says in the KJV: "7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits; 8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse: {money: the word signifieth a piece of brass money, in value somewhat less than a farthing, but here it is taken in general for money} 9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats. 10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place. 11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city. 12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them." Later on when they got back from their work, Jesus took the apostles aside to rest. Mark 6: 30-32 says in the KJV: "30 And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus, and told him all things, both what they had done, and what they had taught. 31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat. 32 And they departed into a desert place by ship privately."

Watching and praying for a while is also "work", and then resting! Sometimes it takes work to prepare oneself against evil. This has to be done, or the resting period is not restful! We have an example of this situation right before Jesus was betrayed and He would stop His work for a while. There was a time where He told some apostles to prepare themselves, and a time to stop for the time was over. It was now time for a resting period! Matthew 26:36-46 says in the KJV: "36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. 37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. 38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 42 He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. 43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. 44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me."

Do you work when you are supposed to work, and rest when you are supposed to rest? The bottom line is that we must work while God tells us to, and we must rest when He tells us to. It all has to be in His timing.

Spiritual influences while working in the white field. As workers within the kingdom of God, we sometimes find it difficult to know how to "work in the field" (John 4:34-38 and Matthew 9:35-38). We even lack the energy to do what we think we should. Somehow, we seem to lack to spiritual influence of the Spirit. We become confused with the task to "go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I (Jesus) have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20).

For the work at hand, should I be concerned with the type of character I am as a Christian? Are there specific gifts in my life God wants me to use? How do I edify others? Should I follow or should I lead brethren? Should I shepherd or be shepherded? Sometimes it is difficult to clearly recognise and differentiate between what is the fruit of the Spirit, what are the gifts of the Spirit and what are the leadership positions the Holy Spirit expects me to have within the local and overall church of this "earthly field."

We sometimes find it difficult to decide if we are fully submitting to the Holy Spirit or somewhat resisting Him. We even may find it difficult to discern the subtle deceptions of the evil one and unawarely entertain evil spirits within! Do you clearly recognize spiritual forces and the gifts associated with them as you work or rest away from the spiritual field?

Spiritual influences while resting in Him and intimately communicating with Him. Once in a while we need to rest, away from the "working field." We need to commune with our Lord. When resting, what is the language of intimacy used with the Lord? Is my spirit fully in communion with His Spirit while I pray, intercede in supplication, thank, sing and worship Him? Is the Spirit of God in control of this intimate communion, in the father tongue (ie, not the mother tongue!)? The Intimate Spiritual Language is often shunned upon.

There are three areas of responsibilities while in "the field." Just as we do in the secular world, in our work place, we should also categorise workers in the kingdom of God on this present earth based on three areas of responsibilities and accountability. These areas are:

a. Working Character - What character (ethic) do we have as Christians? Do we reflect the fruit of the Spirit, the character of God the father?

b. Working Skills - What skill do we have in order to be employed effectively as servant of the most High? What "talents" do we have, what spiritual gifts have we received so far? Are these gifts effective or are we failing to abide in God the son? and

c. Working Leadership Positions - What authority and leadership position do we have among our co-workers? Is God the Spirit confirming our authority through powerful events?

There is one area of responsibility, while resting in Him - With intimate spiritual language. When resting in Him, we are responsible to let Him know us. This is the area where the words of Jesus "I never knew you (Matthew 7:23)" take their meaning. Furthermore, while in that rest and in close communication with the triune Godhead, the communion can become very intimate and so can the language. An intimate communication is in the language of the father. John 4:24 says in the KJV: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Furthermore, Philippians 3: 3 says in the KJV: "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh." What language does the Godhead speak? What language does the spiritual or angelic world speak?

How do you feel about another language? Would you be comfortable with the idea of letting go of your natural language and submitting to His for a while? It is interesting to see that many of us feel uncomfortable with other earthly languages. We also may unconsciously feel the same with the issue of the spiritual ones.

Paul speaks of the "New Man" within these four areas of responsibilities. Paul reflects these overall four areas of personal responsibilities when he talks of the character of the New Man (Colossians 3:12-15), his actions (Colossians 3:16-17) and some of his leadership role or serving areas (Colossians 3:18-20). Note that he also talks of an intimate, inner communication when he says in verse 16: "singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." How do you sing in your heart or spirit? In what language?

The involvement of the Trinity in the workers. It is interesting to note in 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 that Paul refers to the involvement of the Holy Spirit (verse 4), the Lord Jesus (verse 5, 3) and God the father (verse 6) when relating to the spiritually gifted workers. The KJV says: "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." Note that each member of the triune God influence the spiritual worker through the Holy Spirit.

The work of the Spirit in me is a character known as the "Fruit of the Spirit." The work of the Spirit through me is an action reflected outside of me and known as "a spiritual gift!" The works of the Spirit in me is clearly identified in Scripture as traits of holiness, Fruit of the Spirit. The fruit is reflected by the inner character of a person. As for the "gifts of the Spirit," they are outward fruit also as a result of the work of the Spirit. Overall, we have inward fruits, a holy character, and outward fruits, gifts of action.




Put on, let & be thankful - Colossians 3:12-15 KJV: "Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."


Your true character is hidden within your expressed personality with its temperament. Each human being is known for its personality. Our personality is what we show to others. This personality reflects our inner character as a civilized individual with a temperament. Our natural temperament is a combination of traits we were born with and that subconsciously affects our behaviour. This natural temperament is modified by childhood training, education, basic attitudes, beliefs, principles, and motivations. Furthermore, this natural temperament can be affected by spiritual forces. Tim LaHaye, in his excellent book called " Strength for Every Weakness - Spirit Controlled Temperament," acknowledges this reality. He points out that the weaknesses in our temperament can be transformed into good through the Spirit of God. On the other hand, it could also be affected by spiritual evil influences.

Our temperament has a natural tendency towards evil because of sin in our flesh! It is interesting to realize that our daily temperament reflects some strength and weaknesses. It struggles between good strength and evil weaknesses. Examples of words describing good and positive temperaments would be: enjoying, optimistic, friendly, compassionate, self-controlled (strong will power), practical, leader, sensitive, perfectionist, faithful friend, self-sacrificing, witty, dependable, efficient. On the other hand, our weaknesses are when we are restless, weak-willed, egotistical, emotionally unstable, hot-tempered, cruel, impetuous, self-sufficient, self-centred, pessimistic, moody, revengeful, lazy, teasing, stubborn, indecisive, etc. These are part of our sinful nature (Romans 3: 9-18 & 23).

Indeed, our weaknesses are the result of the presence of sin in our human nature. Sin dwells in us and as such our flesh has no natural good influence. Positive influence has to come from somewhere else, from the author of Good! The apostle Paul acknowledges this depravity when he says in Romans 7:18-20 of the KJV "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me."

Temperament can be changed for the better! "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" These were the words of Paul in Romans 7:24 of the KJV. Yet, there is hope. Romans 7:25 says in the KJV: "Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" Jesus is truly the way to a full and victorious life. We can experience the presence of Jesus though the Holy Spirit. When Jesus left after His first coming on earth, He did not leave us alone! John 16: 7 KJV: "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." Indeed Paul knew that the Lord could be with us wherever we are. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 KJV "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all." What would be the result of the Lord being in us?

A Spirit-filled temperament produces a good inner spiritual fruit. When the Holy Spirit comes in an individual, the temperament weaknesses are progressively being expelled. For "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance... (Galatians 5:22-23)" God desires to give us good and strong temperament. As we die to self, more of His life comes in.

More will be said later on the filling of the Spirit and the affected areas of the person [mind (understanding), desire (heart) and deeds (power to speak or act)].

A man of God must pursue after the fruit of the Spirit, the character of God the father. We must seek more of the fullness of His fruit. 1 Timothy 6:11 says in the KJV: "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." To get more of His fruit, we must die to self and carry our cross of afflictions (persecutions, trials, tribulations, etc).


God is love, holy and just. God is love and desires to have a close relationship with each one of us. Because He is pure, our natural person and its impurities cannot commune with Him. Yet, there is hope. He is willing to cleanse us so that we can be holy too by using the blood of Jesus, His sacrifice. If we accept His offer, there is peace and rest. If we refuse and don't let Him in, He is just to be upset and bring judgement for sins.

The character of God is Holiness - "Be Ye Holy!" God is Holy and desires a holy people. In the Old Testament, God desired His people to have Godly character. This is why He would say: "Be ye Holy!" Leviticus 20:26 says in the KJV: "And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine." 1 Peter 1:15-16 emphasizes this truth to Christians. Indeed throughout time, God always wanted His children to reflect the father's character and to be "separate" from this evil worldly generation. Yet, by nature we are not holy. We have a heart of stone that needs to be changed. The sad part is that our inner nature cannot change on its own and suddenly become without sin. It needs an outside intervention to switch from a selfish, fleshly, evil character to a Godly (good) one.

There is only one good: God the father! As Jesus says in the New Testament, there is only one source of goodness, holiness. It is all from God the father. Matthew 19:17 says in the KJV: "Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God."

God can give a "new heart," a "good fruit" - For example, Saul the king! In the Old Testament we read of examples where the Spirit of God would come upon people. Saul was an example of that when we read in 1 Samuel 10: 6 KJV: "And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man." 1 Samuel 10: 9 also says in the KJV: "And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day."

God indwells believing Christians! Now a day, believers become new creatures the moment they accept Jesus Christ as Lord. As a result, the Holy Spirit comes and indwells the believer, making the person a new creature. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says in the KJV: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature." 1 Corinthians 6:19 also 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?"

Hunger and thirst for righteousness - God will fill you, with His Son and Spirit! As Matthew 5: 6 says in the KJV: "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Jesus is the bread of life which can satisfy my hunger and the Spirit is the drink that can satisfy my inner being with spiritual satisfaction. John 6:35, 51 in the KJV says: "35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst... 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

Inner needs are not satisfied by partaking of alcohol but with the filling of the Spirit! Truly the filling of the Spirit is much more satisfying than the filling with alcoholic drinks. Ephesians 5:18 says in the KJV: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit."

The early disciples got a taste of the Spirit shortly after the resurrection of Jesus! The early disciples received a tastes of the Spirit shortly after the resurrection of the Lord. John 20:22 says in the NKJV: "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said 'Receive the Holy Spirit.' " This event is also recorded in other words by Luke in Luke 24:45 that says in the NKJV: "He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures." Note that it was not a full filling; the touch of the Spirit was limited to their mind. Luke 24:49 clarifies that the power from on high was yet to come to them.

Peter also talks of believers receiving a taste of the Spirit. 1 Peter 1: 1-3 says in the NIV: "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." We should not limit ourselves to just a taste, we should be filled with the Spirit so to have a powerful and victorious Christian life as we rest in Jesus.

The early disciples were first filled with power at Pentecost! The early disciples were fully filled with the Spirit at Pentecost. It was then that they received spiritual power. Acts 2: 4 says in the KJV: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."

The inner fruit of the Holy Spirit tastes "Good!" God is good and His character has traits comparable to a fruit. Just as we can recognise a fruit by its flavour, so it is with God. Galatians 5:22-23 describes the flavour of the Godly fruit when it says in the KJV: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."

I experienced the flow of God's good flavour in my life. When I first experienced God, I experienced the fruity flavour of what is good. Truly, as Jesus said, there is only one who is good (Matthew 19:17) and it is good to experience Him. To experience pure goodness, I had to experience God in the person of Jesus Christ. The fulness of the Godhead dwells in Him (Colossians 2: 9 and Ephesians 3:19).

I also came to realise that the flavour of God flows or follows a specific order, as given in Galatians 5:22-23. The Spirit takes what is of Jesus and passes it on in steps!
Love The good character of God is not only in words but also in action; it became active. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only son…" I experienced God's love through Jesus Christ and what He did at Calvary as a result of His love for me. I started to know the father when I started to know Jesus. John 14: 7, 9 says in the KJV: "If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him... Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?"
Joy As I sense what is good, the perfect sacrifice, it brings joy. I receive joy as I realise that I have been forgiven and I have become a child of God by accepting through faith the price paid for me.
Peace The goodness of God expels anxiety and fear of the wrath that was awaiting me because of sin (John 3:36). The peace of Jesus fills me, not the peace that comes from this world. John 14:27 says in the KJV: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Patience (longsuffering) Realising how much has been forgiven me and the soon redemption of the whole creation, I become more and more patient towards others through trials. The hope of heaven, a good city, gives me patience in this temporal world. 2 Peter 3:10-18.
Kindness I experience His kindness through His continual mercy and His compassion as I live in the weakness of the flesh. Read Psalm 107 as a reminder of God's kindness.
Goodness I experience His goodness through His grace, His generosity, His blessings, His gift of Eternal Life. As a believer, read Romans 11:22 to remember His goodness of personal salvation, which should not be taken lightly.
Faithfulness I experience His faithfulness, His everlasting goodness, by His encouraging words "I will never leave you." God will remain faithful to save us in the end as He said He would. Yet, according to many Scriptures, the question is: "will I be faithful to Him through trials and death (Revelation 2:13-14, 13:10)?" Am I presently a faithful, wise and good servant towards my fellow servants under me (Matthew 24:45-51, 25:21 & 23)?
Gentleness God gently disciplines me for my good. I should have gentleness in instructing and acting, yet with the boldness (2 Corinthians 10: 1) that comes from the truth and the armour of God in this spiritual war (2 Corinthians 10: 3-6 and Ephesians 6:10-20 ). Must instruct without being judgmental of the sinner. Judgmental of the sin in gentle discipline to those calling themselves brethren!
Self-control God is a God of order with a plan. I get confidence in knowing that He is in control and that He will bring in everlasting good. He can be trusted to control my inner self to bring in good. His grace will eventually be fully brought forward at the return of Jesus (1 Peter 1:13). Until then, I need to be serious, have self-control, watchful in prayers in this present age (1 Thessalonians 5: 6 and 1 Peter 4:17) for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). Satan is seriously seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5: 8-9)! I must suffer pain now before I get the glory of heaven. This is the "Delayed Gratification" for the Christian. There has to be tribulations before the glory of the second coming.

Romans 14:17 KJV "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost."

We can see the presence of God the father in the character of a person. Is God bearing fruit in me? When God fully dwells in a person, He "bears fruit" in that person. God transforms the heart and renews the mind of the believer through the presence of His Spirit! To do so, we must submit our body, our minds to God. He cannot do anything unless we choose to let Him do so. Romans 12: 1-2 KJV: "1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." I must chose to put off the old way of thinking and talking and put on through my spirit this new character! Ephesians 4:21-24 says in the KJV: "21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."


To have charity and be hospitable is not a gift but a command for all! Our actions can be the result of obedience to a command or as a result of a special spiritual gift in us. 1 Peter 4:8-10 shows the two groupings. We are to obey all the commands but we may not receive all the gifts to do them all! Scripture confirms that God odes not desire that we all prophecy or heal or perform miracles. Paul emphasises this truth in 1 Corinthians 12:29 when it says in the KJV: "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?" Yet, as we will see in more details later, we all receive at least one gift (1 Peter 4:10) each and we are to let it be expressed for the glory of God. Our actions dealing with the commandments are not limited to only one in each of our lives. We are all commanded to obey them all. We are all commanded to love and be hospitable. 1 Peter 4:8-9 says in the KJV: "And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging."


The spirit of fear has left because of Christ and the Spirit of adoption has appeared! As a result of the way created to deliver us from death and the adoption into the family of God, we are freed from the fear of death and the eternal separation from everlasting life. Jesus made it possible for us to escape the grip of Satan and sin. Hebrews 2:14-15 says in the KJV: "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage." This spirit of fear has been replaced by the Spirit of adoption, the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:15 says in the KJV: "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." Galatians 4: 5-7 says in the KJV: "To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."

A Spirit of power, love and clear mind. This new reality in Jesus Christ gives us all the boldness required to appear before the father. Furthermore, we are not ashamed to tell anyone how they too can receive the adoption into the family of God. 2 Timothy 1: 7-8 says in the KJV: "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"

Praying for continual boldness! The Spirit can fill us with boldness, fire and excitement to speak to Word. The early disciples knew this and they prayed that the Word they knew would come to full power. Acts 4:29-31 says in the KJV: "29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."

Paul asked that others would pray for his boldness! Paul did not always feel full of boldness, he needed the prayer of others so that God would keep him energized! Ephesians 6:18-20 says in the KJV: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak."

God answers prayers! Paul was known to speak boldly in the face of false knowledge or teaching. Acts 19: 8 says in the KJV: "And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God." 1 Thessalonians 2: 2 says in the KJV: "But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention."

Bold, yet not arrogant or argumentative! It is sometimes difficult to be bold and not be caught into becoming arrogant or argumentative and have the flesh intervene. 1 Corinthians 3: 3 says in the KJV: "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" Read also James 3:14-18. It can be easy to dispute between believers. The early disciples did it, even Peter, Paul, Barnabas (Acts 15: 2 and 39)! Yet, as Philippians 2:14 says in the KJV: "Do all things without murmurings and disputings."

WARNING: The Spirit could stand still, not protecting or acting with power, and I am put into the hand of Satan for a while - A weird character comes out! The Spirit does not continually remain on all believers, but fills them as He desires. Whenever He fills a person with His fullness, there is boldness and power. Furthermore, just as the Holy Spirit could protect (the armour of God) and come also with power on a person, He could also stand still, not protecting anymore! This is the other side of the coin. 1 Samuel 16:14 testifies of this truth in the life of King Saul whom the Spirit had "departed." It says in the KJV: "But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." Paul indicates a very similar situation happening when he talks of Hymenaeus and Alexander in 1 Timothy 1:20 whom he had "delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." This is a sad situation. I do not wish it to happen to anyone. Don't allow this situation! Don't take lightly the hindering or quenching of the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19 )! For how long will God be patient? More is said about how we handle testing in our lives in the book "The Test."


The message - Repentance towards God and faith in Jesus. The message of the Bible is sample: repent of your position with God the father and believe in the messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Acts 20:21 confirms this truth when it says in the KJV: "Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

Bold about: There is ONLY one who saves and gives the fulness of life! As we bring Good News to people, we realize that the bolness is in a single truth. There is only one way to God, to adoption into the family, to the fulness of life, to salvation. It is through one man, Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death that paid the price! John 14: 6 says in the NKJV: "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Acts 4:12 also says in the KJV: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Truly, as John 4:22 states, "salvation is of the Jews!"

Faith in the Author of life. Faith in Jesus, the Christ, is the true source of life. A pure eternal life requires a pure faith. Indeed through faith one is saved. Romans 10: 9-10 says in the KJV: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

Your faith is continually tested. To say "I have faith" is not all we need for ultimate salvation in the end. God tests the level of purity of our faith. James 1:12 says in the KJV: "Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him." 1 Peter 1: 7 also says in the KJV: "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."

Tested so to lose faith and boldness in what Jesus stands for. We are tested so to lose the boldness of faith in one saviour, Jesus Christ. Satan will continually test our allegiance in this truth and try to destroy it. Don't lose your witness and power!

The blocs that make for a powerful witness: character, words and works! As believers, we are commanded to be witness of our faith into the whole world as indicated in Matthew 28:19-20. Yet, this witnessing can not be done on our own strength. It has to be God in action for optimum results. This is why we need the Spirit. The disciples had to wait for Him (Acts 1: 4), so do we! The followings are areas that make for a powerful witness. Overall, our holy character, words and works come from the father and Jesus through the Spirit.

Showing the faith through an authentic good character. Our witness starts with what others see in us, our character. Do they see a good fruit in us? Are we authentic or do we hold some hypocrisy?

Showing a genuine faith through compassion, love. Faith must surface through love. Galatians 5: 6 KJV says "For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love." 1 John 4: 7-8 says in the KJV: "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love."

Showing a genuine faith through works. Love is expressed in actions, in works. James 2:26 KJV: "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."

Showing a genuine faith through sacrifices in three areas of life. The greatest demonstration of love is through sacrifice. The ultimate sacrifice is the sacrifice of self. John 15:13 says in the KJV: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." As believers, there are three high impact areas where we can sacrifice the "self."

a. Time. We must give up our own personal time to respond to the leading of God in doing things with others. Jesus was a friend of sinners and spent time with them (Matthew 11:19 or Luke 7:34);

b. Resources. We must share personal resources to help others in greater needs. James 2:15-20 in the NIV: "Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?" and

c. Liberty, my Rights. Truly the Lord Jesus desires to free us from bondage (Luke 4:18). He has created us for full liberty. Galatians 5: 1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Yet, while on pilgrimage on this earth, I should deny my liberty, if need be, for the sake of the salvation of others. 1 Corinthians 8: 9 says in the KJV: "But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak." Galatians 5:13 also says in the KJV: "For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another."


Don't need a special gift to do some tasks! Sometimes there is a confusion that exists as to who should do certain tasks in our Christian life.



We have covered a description of the "good" character of the true Christian. Yet, it is only when we express this character in our daily lives that "the rubber truly meets the road." Your skill to speak or to act your holiness is what will affect others and produce fruit in them. This expression of your inner fruit is true holiness in action.

While working in the spiritual field, the spiritual skills are good gifts intended to produce eternal fruit in others. These are for the edification of others in the body of Christ. Furthermore, as we will see, the gifts of the Spirit are distributed differently by God through the Spirit.

Having said that, there is another aspect of the Spirit's touch that is not intended for the other members of the "body" but for the beholder. While away from the "field," this special touch is for Spiritual Intimacy and it will be covered under Part 4 of this expose.


Received a gift - 1 Peter 4:10. When we accepted the Lord Jesus in our lives, we all received at least one gift, one "spiritual talent." 1 Peter 4:10 says in the KJV: "As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God." Romans 12: 6 KJV: "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us ..."

Work in the field. The servants of God can work in the field or be "at home" with their master. While at work, Scripture uses the field analogy. Matthew 9:37-38 says in the KJV: "Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest." Examples of what a labourer would do is in the previous verses (Matthew 9:35-36). John 4:35-38 says in the KJV: "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours."

What you do in words or deeds - Colossians 3:16-17. That gift will be evident either in words or in deeds. Colossians 3:16-17 says in the KJV: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

Bear fruit - John 15: 2, 4 and 8. The gifts are so that we would bear fruit also in others! John 15:2 says in the KJV: "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit... 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me... 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples."

Other References: Many references exist on this topic of Spiritual Gifts. See the reference list attached that I used for what follows.


The people recognized Jeremiah as "a tree bearing a specific fruit." Jeremiah was compared to a tree that was bearing "prophesying fruit." Jeremiah 11:19, 21 says in the KJV: "But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered... Therefore thus saith the LORD of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the LORD, that thou die not by our hand."

The fruit seen outwardly in words or deeds is also called "spiritual gift." Jeremiah was known to have the gift of prophecy. Consequently, his fruit was prophesying. The people wanted to get rid of his fruit!

Christians are to be a holy and fruity people. A good people who love. The expression of the "good fruit" can be summarised by the word "love." 1 John 3:14 says in the KJV: "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." I can pass on the flavour the inner Fruit of the Spirit through the outward expression of love by my skills.

Others recognise our loving character, as Christians, by the words and deeds coming out of us. The way it comes out is through our different skills. These skills may come from our natural individual skills received from birth or by a definite involvement of the Holy Spirit the moment we believed in Jesus Christ. I will discuss "skills" in Part 2 of this document.

Note that the desire and the power to do good comes from God, His Spirit. It is a great sign of wisdom to realize that all comes from God. Even our desire and power to do good comes from the father of good! Philippians 2:12-13 says in the KJV: "Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." This desire and power is in the Spirit. Have the Spirit, have good desire and power!

A good fruit tastes like... Paul emphasises the need to have inwardly and be outwardly matured fruit as Christians. Romans 12: 9-21 describes what a good mature fruit "tastes like" in me and to others. I strongly recommend that you read it.

Am I a "good tree" with a pure heart? A person confirms the presence of God by the type of character being revealed to others. The Bible explains this truth by comparing the Christian to a fruit tree. Do others see by "the fruit" I produce, a good tree or a bad tree (Luke 6:43-45)? Do they see a true Christian? This tree analogy is not new to the New Testament. Psalms chapter 1 also compares the righteous to a tree. As a nation, the people of Israel are compared to an Olive tree in Jeremiah 11:16.

Do my words and actions show a gift, a fruit that has come to maturity? I realise that the fruit in someone may not be fully matured yet. However, I should be careful that I "bring no fruit to maturity (Luke 8:14)." God wants us to follow Him whole heartily and to be mature in bringing out fruit. He wants us to be holy now and to have the spiritual gift in us come to maturity. This is why Paul would say to Timothy to "fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands (2 Timothy 1: 6 NIV)." We must be mature and "bear fruit with patience" as Luke 8:15 says.

Jesus will come for a mature bride, not an infant bride! The Scripture is clear that Jesus is a bridegroom that will come for a bride, His people. Isaiah 62: 5 says in the KJV: "For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee." Jesus wants a pure and mature bride who is well adorned when He comes back. Isaiah 61:10 says in the KJV "I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels." Read the challenging words about "The Infant Bride" by Silvana Lupetti. As a bride, are you ready to say, "Come Lord Jesus?" Revelation 22:17 says in the KJV: "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

Overall - Bear Fruit in you (from the father) and in others (from Jesus) through the powerful gifts of the Spirit! The father is good and He desires to bear good fruit in our own lives. Jesus is the vine of God and He desires to bear fruit in the lives of others through us. He wants us to be good branches abiding in Him, the trunk, so to bear the Fruit of the Spirit (John 15: 1-8). Good fruit starts in us and it influence those who need to become good fruit. A smile can influence someone else to smile! Truly, my life will reveal if I am a good tree or a bad one, by the fruit it produces! Is my fruit sweet, good or is it bitter? Are you filled with the power of the Spirit or is the Spirit only touching your understanding without powerful actions? We will cover more later on the difference between touched and fully filled by the Spirit.


"Natural" skills or Supernatural gifts? When Christians consider their present skills, it can be difficult to determine what is natural and what is somewhat supernatural, a direct interaction from the Holy Spirit as a result of becoming believers. There is a difference between our natural gift before we became believers and the one(s) after we became Christians.

We must be careful not to use our natural talent and assume that it is the powerful gift from the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Natural skills and "spiritual gifts" are not synonymous. This is not to say that we should not use our natural aptitude to glorify God within the church. Our natural talents can be channels for spiritual gifts as they both really come from God.

If wandering about a specific supernatural gift, ask yourself: Did I have the gift before I became a believer in Jesus, a Christian? If so, it may not be one resulting from the immediate impact of the inner presence of the Holy Spirit. Also remember not to confuse the fruit and the gifts of the Spirit.

Natural talents in the Old Testament examples. The following Old Testament biblical references show natural talent examples.
Genesis 4:2 Abel Keeper of sheep
Cain Tiller of the ground
Genesis 4:20 Jabal Dweller of tents
Genesis 4:21 Jubal Player of the harp and flute
Genesis 4:22 Tubal-Cain Craftsman in bronze and iron
Genesis 25:27 Esau Hunter
Jacob Dweller of tents

Remember that there is more to life than just using our natural talents and reflecting the inner character of the Spirit. God desires to have full control in specific moments to edify others through His Holy Spirit in our lives.


Spiritual gifts were evident in the Old Testament. Gifts of the Spirit are not only for the New Testament people. These were evident in the Old Testament days. There are many examples in the Old Testament when the Spirit mightily entered servants of God.
2 Peter 2: 5 Noah Before the Great flood. Preached.
Genesis 41:38 Joseph Before Pharaoh. Received prophetic dreams, Interpreted dreams.
Exodus 31: 3, 6 Bezaleel, the son of Uri Artisan for building the tabernacle. Had wisdom in building things.
Numbers 11:16 Moses Performed miracles, prophesied, etc.
Numbers 11:25,26 Seventy men of the Elders of Israel To help Moses bear the burden from the people. Wisdom, etc.
Deuteronomy 34: 9 Joshua, the son of Nun Moses had laid his hands, to prepare to lead the people. Miracles.
2 Kings 2:15 Elijah Before he left in whirlwind chariot of fire, in front of Elisha. Miracles: Fire from heaven (1Ki 18:36-38, 2Ki 1:10-12). Life back into a child (1Ki 17:22). Prophet (1Ki 18:22)
2 King 2: 9 Elisha Received double portion of Elijah spirit. Miracles: split water (2Ki 2:13-14).
Psalm 110:1, Mark 12:36 David About Jesus the Lord. Prophesying
Daniel 4: 8b, 18, Mark 13:14 Daniel In front of Nebuchadnezzar and his second dream. Prophesied, Interpreted dreams.

The greatest gift is Life through the Spirit of God - Don't hinder Him! The ultimate gift we can all receive, is the gift of an Eternal Life (Romans 5:15-16, 6:23) through the presence of faith in Jesus Christ. Once the gift of the Spirit of Life (Acts 2:38, 10:45) enters us, we must be careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit by not letting His fruit and His special gift(s), His empowerment, come through. Don't quench Him (Ephesians 4:30, 32)!

Don't be ignorant about Spiritual gifts; know what they are! As Gentiles, you may have heard of people acting "funny" because of the presence of spiritual powers. The Holy Spirit has great power expressed in different ways by differently gifting people. However, the spiritual power could also come from an evil power. It is important to recognized where the "gifts" come from. For that reason Paul wants believers not to be ignorant about Spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1). We need to know what they are and the deception that can come from the evil forces. More will be said later on "Spiritual Forces."

Know how many spiritual talents you have! As indicated by Jesus in the parable of the talents, Matthew 25:14-30, the servants of God all receives "talents" intended for growth. Some receive more than others. Yet, they all know what they have. It would be foolish not to. Matthew 25:15 says in the KJV: "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey." The Lord will come back and you better have had your talents active!

Be faithful in using your gift. Use it or lose it! The Lord expects us to use the gifts so to bear fruit. Even the one who has only one "talent" must not hide it away. Are you obedient and using your talents or are you afraid of people (Luke 12: 4-5), and perhaps God, and hiding your talent(s) (Matthew 25:25)? On the other hand, you may not have fully experienced perfect love, for "perfect love casts away all fear (1 John 4:18)!" Are you a good Stewart who uses the gift from God (1 Peter 4:10)?

Work out you own salvation by walking in the works He has set before you. The gifts are part of the salvation process. They need to be activated for the process to be complete. For faith without work is dead (James 2:17-26). This is why Paul emphasize the importance of working out the salvation to completion. Philippians 2:12-16 says in the KJV: "12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain." Indeed God has planned a way for faith to express itself in concrete ways. Ephesians 2:10 says in the KJV: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

Paul knew and acknowledged his gifts! Paul knew the gifts God had given him. He even acknowledged his three anointed gospel related gifts to the Gentiles. 2 Timothy 1:10-11 says in the KJV: "But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: 11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles."

He also acknowledged the some other gifts, which are sometimes more uncomfortable for us to consider. 1 Corinthians 14:18-19 says in the NIV: "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue."

Paul could also perform miracles. Acts 19:11-12 says in the KJV: "And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them."


How many spiritual gifts are there? The tradition of nine! When talking of "spiritual gifts" as referred in the New Testament, we refer to the Greek word "charisma" and "charismaton." This word appears 17 times in the New Testament. The traditional modern-day view is that there are nine spiritual gifts. They are highlighted in the upcoming table of Spiritual gifts. Many book writers grouped these nine into three categories:

a. gifts of intellectual power;

b. miraculous power; and

c. tongues.

There are more than nine spiritual gifts! Overall, I believe that there are more than nine spiritual gifts. As seen in the reference list, other scholars also tend toward a greater number of gifts by taking into consideration more Scriptures. Jim Burns/Doug Fields and Kenneth O. Gangel point out as many as 20 gifts. Most spiritual gifts are identified in the following three Scripture references. Note that I believe that 1 Peter 4: 9 is not a gift but a command for all. Hospitality is intended for all to obey. So is love a command for all (1 Peter 4: 8).


GIFT OF Romans 12: 6-8 1 Corinthians 12: 8-10, 28-30 Ephesians 4:11 (7-8) REMARKS
1 Faith X X Every Christian should have the gift of faith in salvation. We should all have the faith to believe that God will give us eternal life! Faith in moving a mountain may be a different story!
2 Apostleship X X
3 Prophecy X X X
4 Teaching X X X
5 Pastoring, Shepherding X
6 Giving X
7 Exhortation, Encouraging X
8 Serving X
9 Mercy X
10 Leadership X Could be considered as falling under pastoring, shepherding.
11 Administration X
12 Wisdom X
13 Knowledge X
14 Distinguishing between spirits X
15 Evangelism X
16 Tongues X
17 Interpretation of Tongues X
18 Healing X
19 Miracles X

Spiritual gifts can be grouped into 2 categories! The spiritual gifts fall under one of two categories, such as "the knowing / speaking the words of God" and "the doing / serving in deeds." 1 Peter 4:11 clearly points to the two categories when it says in the NIV: "If anyone speaks…. If anyone serves…" Paul also says in Colossians 3:17 KJV: "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." At His first coming, Jesus expressed the gifts of the Spirit in these two areas. Luke 24:19 says that Jesus was "a prophet mighty in deed and word (KJV)." Acts 1:1-2 also says in the KJV: "The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen." These two general categories were present within the early disciples when they came back after Jesus had sent them with His authority and power. They testified of "what they had done and taught (Mark 6:30)."

Proverbs also talks of this truth. Proverbs 16: 1 says in the KJV: "The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD." Proverbs 16: 9 says in the KJV: "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps."

Is it a deed from my will or from the Spirit? There is a difference between deeds done from our own will and those done through the will of the Spirit, which would truly be spiritual gift service to another. This is fairly obvious when dealing with a miracle or a healing towards another but it is not always so obvious when dealing with an administration gift or another service that could also come from a human effort.

Your speech may say that you know God but your actions speak louder! Some people may speak as if they know God but their human deeds show the opposite. Their speaking gift may not be from the Spirit of God! Titus 1:16 says in the KJV: "They profess [in words] that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."

Summary table of spiritual gifts grouped by category. The following table is a summary of most spiritual gifts from the Holy Ghost identified in Scriptures. The table is grouped according to two categories and it gives the referring Scriptures.
Intellectual Knowledge / Spoken Ministry.
1 To preach (doctrine) 1 Timothy 4:13, 14;

2 Timothy 1: 6;

2 Timothy 1:11

Divine ability to speak with conviction and authority about the kingdom of God so to convict people of sin and to bring a desire for greater obedience to God. Jesus had this gift (Mark 1:38-39). The early disciples had this gift as seen in Luke 9: 2 and 10: 9. Paul had the gift to preach the gospel (2 Corinthians 11: 7 & 2 Timothy 1:11). Timothy had a gift in him (2 Timothy 1:6) and he was to give attention to doctrine and to preach it (2 Timothy 4: 2).
2 To apostle 1 Corinthians 12:28, 29;

Ephesians 4:11;

2 Timothy 1:11

Divine ability to start and oversee the development of new churches or ministry structure. An apostle accomplishes certain signs. 2 Corinthians 12:12 talks of an apostle showing signs. Luke 9: 1-2 talks of having power over demons. The first apostles are mentioned in Luke 6:13 and 9:10. Paul and Barnabas were also apostles; see Acts 14:14.
3 To prophecy Romans 12: 6,

1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 29; 13:2, 14:26, 29, 31;

Ephesians 4:11

Ability to foretell a future event or to reveal truth and proclaim it in a timely and relevant manner for understanding, correction, repentance, or education. See the example of Zacharias in Luke 1:67-79. Women can also prophesy as stated in 1 Corinthians 11:5. The Old Testament also records of a prophetess called Huldah in 2 Chronicles 34:22. Prophets are not always well received, especially by those somewhat close to them! Mark 6: 4 KJV says: "But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house." WARNINGS! From personal desire, a true prophet could also lie! See the account of an old prophet in Bethel and the death of the man of God as stated in 1 Kings 13:11-32. Distressing spirits can also make one prophesy; see the example of Saul in 1 Samuel 18:10. A lying spirit can make us prophesy falsely (1 Kings 22:21-23 or 2 Chronicles 18). Furthermore, we should watch for false prophets altogether (Deuteronomy 18:20-22, Matthew 24:24 and Acts 13:6 & 8 -> Bar-Jesus, Elymas).
4 To teach 1 Corinthians 12:28, 29, 14:26;

Romans 12: 7;

Ephesians 4:11;

2 Timothy 1:11

Ability to understand and clearly explain the word of God, thus causing greater Christlikeness in the lives of listeners. Ephesians 4:11 indicates that some may be pastors and teachers. The two often go hand in hand. Remember that teachers will be judged more severely before God as they impact the life of people greatly! James 3:1 says in the NIV: "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." There are also false teachers (2 Peter 2: 1). 2 Peter chapter 2 talks of them and their followers.
5 To pastor, to shepherd Ephesians 4:11 Ability to nurture, care for, and guide people toward ongoing spiritual maturity and becoming like Christ.
6 To evangelise Acts 21:8;

Ephesians 4:11;

2 Timothy 4:5

Ability to effectively communicate the gospel to unbelievers so they respond in faith and move towards discipleship. Example: Timothy had the gift of evangelism (2 Timothy 4: 5)
7 To speak in tongues 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 30; 13:1; 14:1, 26, 27 Ability to speak, worship, or pray in a language unknown to the speaker.
8 To interpret tongues 1 Corinthians 12:10, 30; 14:26, 27 Ability to make known to the body of Christ the message of one who is speaking in tongues.
9 To speak Wisdom 1 Corinthians 12: 8 The ability to express in word or actions spiritual truth so to effectively meet the need in a specific situation.
10 To exhort, comfort, encourage and edify. Romans 12: 8;

1 Timothy 4:13, 14;

Hebrews 10:25

A special ability to present truth so as to strengthen, comfort, or urge to action those who are discouraged or wavering in their faith. Scripture encourages all of us to exhort one another toward truth and godly walk and work, as believers (1 Thessalonians 2:11, 5:11).
11 To have special knowledge 1 Corinthians 12: 8 To bring truth to the body through a revelation or biblical insight.
12 To discern 1 Corinthians 12:10,

1 John 4:1

The Devine enablement to distinguish between right and wrong, truth and error; discerning deceiving spirits. Scripture says to test the spirits (1 John 4: 1). Discern false prophets (2 Peter 2: 1, Deuteronomy 18:20-22). False prophets can be there to test your heart and soul [Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (verse 3)].
13 To have special Faith 1 Corinthians 12: 9,

2 Corinthians 5:7

Revelation 2:19

Divine enablement to act on God's promises with confidence and unwavering believe in his ability to fulfill his purposes. Walking by faith.
14 To lead Romans 12: 8 Special ability to cast vision, motivate, and direct people to harmoniously accomplish the purposes of God.
Serving Ministry through love; a physically action towards another. Galatians 5:13. Good Works (Revelation 2:19).
15 To perform miracles 1 Corinthians 12:10, 28, 29; A supernatural intervention to authenticate the ministry and message of God and glorify him. Galatians 3: 5 indicates that miracles come through the spirit and faith.
16 To give Romans 12: 8,

2 Corinthians 9:7

Ability to contribute financially to the work of the Lord with cheerfulness and liberality. Give cheerfully what God has given you (2 Corinthians 9: 7).
17 To heal (or cast out demons) Acts 4:30

1 Corinthians 12: 9, 28, 30

A divine enablement to restore people to wholeness. For example, Jesus did so through the early disciples when "He gave them power over unclean spirits (Mark 6: 7)." See also Luke 9: 1-2 and 10: 9&17. Peter did not have money at one point but he gave healing from Jesus (Acts 3: 6) ! Paul healed many (Acts 28 :8).
18 To be Hospitable Titus 1:8, Hebrews 10:25 To care for people by providing fellowship, food, and shelter. Also seen by the desire to not forsake the assembling of ourselves (Hebrews 10:25).
19 To show Mercy Romans 12: 8 To cheerfully and practically help those who are suffering or are a need. To give to someone who does not deserve it.
20 To serve, to minister Romans 12: 7

Revelation 2:19

Read about Jesus serving by washing His disciples feet in John 13:1-20. Read also about the seven, including Stephen, appointed to serve at tables in Acts 6:1-3.
21 To help 1 Corinthians 12:28

Romans 12:8, 16:3-6

To accomplish practical and necessary task that free up, support, and meet the needs of others. Make things happen without being noticed.
22 To administer 1 Corinthians 12:28 This gift enables one to understand what makes an organization function. It is a special ability to plan and execute procedures that accomplish the goals of the ministry. Example: What kind of administration advise did Jethro give Moses in Exodus 18:13-27?
23 To be handy with hands Exodus 31:3, 6 Craftsmanship when supernaturally empowered by God to create items to be used for ministry. This gift could appear instantaneously from the Spirit.

There may even be more spiritual gifts not specifically mentioned in the New Testament! You may think of other supernatural skills which could be considered as Spiritual gifts such as: Craftsmanship, Creative communication or intercession. Craftsmanship is described in the Old Testament as a skill empowered by God. Exodus 31: 3 says in the KJV: "And I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship." Creative communication through arts form may also be considered a craftsman skill. There might even be more gifts that come to mind that are supernatural. Again, I will cover "Intercession" separately later.

Jesus had ALL the gifts (full of them)! It is good to look at the life of Christ to have a good idea of what the gifts of the Spirit are. The Spirit did not just give Him a certain measure of gifts but all. John 3:34-35 says in the KJV: "For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand."

Are there Spiritual gifts that have ceased, that are no more needed for the "modern church?" Some say that there are spiritual manifestations that have ceased. Walter J. Chantry, in his book "Signs of The Apostles," goes as far as saying that all miraculous forms of Spiritual gifts have ceased. He bases his conclusion from 1 Corinthians 13: 8-12. If so, does it mean that some gifts were useful for the apostles and the early church but not for the end time church? Has the Spirit suddenly lost some of His talents? Has the modern day church grown to a level of maturity greater than that of the early church? Somehow I sense too much pride in the church of our days! I believe that all gifts still apply nowadays and that we demonstrate a Spirit-controlled life as servants of God through the expression of the gifts as the Lord wishes. As indicated in 1 Corinthians 12:11, God has appointed gifts in the church throughout this period of grace, distributing them individually as He wished through His Spirit.

Would the modern church be short of spiritual gifts, deprived, compared to the Corinthians! It is interesting to see that Paul said that the Corinthians were not short of experiencing all the gifts God had for the believers. 1 Corinthians 1: 7 says in the KJV: "Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed." I wonder if God wants His modern day church to be short of spiritual gifts as His people await for the return of Jesus? I don't think so!


Gifts are not meant for self but they are for the edification of others! The spiritual gifts from God are to be received within and used for the edification of others. The gift received is to be shared! There is a song about this that says" Freely, freely, you have received. Freely, freely give." As stated in 1 Corinthians 14:4-5 & 12, the spiritual abilities one receives are meant to edify the whole body.

Spiritual gifts are given for the spiritual growth of all the people of God. Our desire to excel in spiritual gifts should be for the edification of the whole church, NOT self (1 Corinthians 14:12). For example, the gift of prophesying is for the edification, the exhortation and comfort of all men (1 Corinthians 14:3).

Note: Spiritual gifts for the fields are different than personal intimacy in intercession! Note that Spiritual gifts are pointing toward other people "in the work field", especially members of the Church. Note that I do not classify "Intercession with God" as a spiritual gift as such but as a personal intimacy with God. I will look at this issue under the topic of "Spiritual Intimate Language."

Some gifts are better than others! According to 1 Corinthians 12:28-31, God has appointed different types of gifts. Some empowerment is better than others are (1 Corinthians 12:31). For example, prophesying is high on the list, according to 1 Corinthians 14:1.

Desire different spiritual gifts. You may not be full of them, yet! Beside the gift(s) we received at conversion, we can desire to get other gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:31 says in the NIV: "But eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way." 1 Corinthians 14:1 also says in the NIV: "Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy." Obviously to desire other gifts, we must have an idea of what they are! Furthermore, we could even be zealous in wanting them all (1 Corinthians 14:12 and 39). As stated in 1 Corinthians 1:7, the Corinthians were not short of spiritual gifts. We should seek to excel in gifts, with the fullness of the fruit of love. To have gifts without the presence of love (God the father - Good) would be vanity (1 Corinthians 13).

So, be full of the trinity! Full of the Father's love, full of Jesus's peace and full of the Spirit's power. A spiritual gift confirms the presence, the testimony of Jesus Christ in us (1 Corinthians 1:5-7).

PS: We may not be full of the Spirit yet!

Desire gifts, but do not envy! It is good to desire spiritual gifts and to express the desire through prayer to God. However, we need to be careful that the desire is not an envy. For to envy is to fall into the carnal trap. 1 Corinthians 3: 3 says in the KJV: "For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?" There could still be strong traces of the carnal nature in us! Any of the following surfacing in me? Titus 3: 3 says in the KJV: "For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another."

Motive: Don't seek signs! We must watch that our intentions are pure when seeking spiritual gifts from God. We must be careful not to ask God for signs and somehow test Him. We don't want to fall into the Sadducee or Pharisee hypocracy mode. Matthew 16:1 says in the NIV: "The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven." The bottom line is that we must seek God, Jesus Christ, and not the signs or gifts that come through Him. We must go to the top level of life, seek the Giver not the gifts! Christ is the fulness of powerful signs and of wisdom in knowledge. 1 Corinthians 1:22-24 says in the NIV: "Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Be faithful in little, with what you have, before you get more. As Scripture says, before God gives us more, He often looks to see if we are faithful with what He has given us so far before giving more. Luke 16:10 says in the KJV: "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much." See also Luke 19:17.

Do I discourage someone from allowing the gifts of miracles, prophesying, etc? In what I say or do, do I discourage some Christians from using certain spiritual gifts that I feel uncomfortable with? Do I display certain "religious prejudice" without realizing it? Do I think so highly of myself that others are not so go unless they are somewhat like I am? Romans 12: 3 says in the NIV: "For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you." Galatians 6: 3 says in the KJV: "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."

Forbidding someone from doing a miracle, casting demons out! Nowadays, we can forbid other believers from allowing God to express a special gift in them. We may even have a tendency to want to get people to make an allegiance to "our spiritual group" versus God Himself. Those that are not following our denominational practices, ways or moves are often talked lowly of or not promoted from within our ranks! If you want to test this point, let me ask: "How do you feel about the Baptist churches (Independent, Convention or Evangelical groups), Pentecostal churches, Vine Yard churches, Anglican churches, United churches, Roman Catholics churches, etc?" Is your first reaction to think positively or negatively of them? Could God have His people from within these groups? How does your thought compare to the words: "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves (Philippians 2:3 KJV)."

The early apostles had to face this natural tendency to think they were a special group and that others had to follow "the group," their ways! Could I forbid some from doing "special work" for the Lord if not part of their group? Mark 9:38-40 says in the KJV: "And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is on our part." They disciples really thought that miracles had to be done from their group only! Do we think that miracles are to be done in a special way and only at special times; ie, by the early church and by the apostles only?

It is not only the Apostles who could do miracles. The "normal" people can too! Some may say that miracles were only for the apostles and that the performing of miracles is not a gift for "ordinary" Christians! They may forget that Scriptures talks of many other peole, beside some apostles, who performed miracles. Acts 6: 5 talks of people who were not apostles and who were being gifted in special ways. Acts 6: 8 tells us of Stephen doing miracles and in Acts 8: 6 and 13, Philip did miracles. Acts 19:11 also acknowledges that Paul did miracles. Miracles were done even amongst Galatians. Galatians 3: 5 says in the KJV: "He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?" Paul recognizes the spiritual gift of miracles as one of the many. 1 Corinthians 12:10 says in the KJV: "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."

1 Corinthians 12:28 goes as far to say that workers of miracles were after apostles. It says in the KJV: "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." Workers of miracles are even grouped separately from the apostle grouping! 1 Corinthians 12:29 says in the KJV: "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?"

We can be just like Elijah and do miracles too! James 5:16-18 says in the KJV: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit."

Forbidding someone from prophesying! I remember the first time I heard someone prophesying. It felt very uncomfortable to me. I thought the person was somewhat "too" special. I definitely started analysing the situation thoroughly and wondered if it was truly from the Spirit of God or from an evil spirit. My first reaction was to despise the expression of such a gift and if possible quench that spiritual gift! Many in the early church probably had the same feeling as I had. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 says in the KJV: "19 Quench not the Spirit. 20 Despise not prophesyings. 21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil." From the words of Paul, and indirectly God, I need to be aware of evil forces and discern if the spiritual event is good or bad. Nevertheless, it is not because evil could come through that I should close the door to all spiritual influences, even to the Holy Spirit! This approach would be extremist. Testing the spirits and allowing the move of God is much more beneficial. Later on, we will look at Spiritual Forces in more details. Furthermore, prophesying has it place and time. It could be mishandled, done disorderly at the wrong place and time.

The more closely related is the person, the more my sinful nature can make me dishonour such gifted person! I believe that our sinful nature makes it difficult to honour a person whom God has specially gifted or empowered. Mark 6:4 says in the NIV: "Jesus said to them, 'Only in his home town, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honour.' " Matthew 13:57, Luke 4:24 and John 4:44 also restate this truth.

Jesus experienced this truth in many places. He was rejected in his home town, Nazareth (Matthew 13:54-58, Mark 6: 1-6 or Luke 4:16-30), by his earthly friends or brethren (Mark 3:21), by His brothers (John 7: 2-10, Matthew 12:46-50 and Mark 3:31-35) and by the religious people who wanted to kill Him (John 7:25 and 8:37-40).

Would the religious people in your church feel good about you if God started to use you in a mighty way? Perhaps, you may not be spiritually effective in your church because of this lack of honour, because of this engraved inner sinful nature. This prejudice surfaces when one feels like saying: "Why should God make you greater than me or use you in a more mighty way?" Or, "if you are from amongst us, you cannot be that special or different from us!" It is then very difficult to think highly of the brethren!

The effectiveness in where we go and preach has a lot to do with this sort of prejudice (Matthew 13:58). This is why Jesus purposely did no go near places that somewhat had robbed shoulders with Him in His earlier days. John 4:43-44 says in the KJV: "Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country." Great disregard can come from close ones. As indicated by Mark 6: 7, it may not been by accident that we read this verse following the incident in His home town. Sometimes it may be more effective if someone else went to preach the gospel in a mighty way to places that are too closely related to us!

Forbidding someone from speaking in tongues! Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14: 5 of the NIV: "I would like every one of you to speak in tongues..." The Lord also says in 1 Corinthians 14:39-40 of the NIV: "Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."

All done orderly and in love - either prophesying or speaking in tongues! As Paul says, all things should be done in love, any expression of spiritual gifts. The expression of spiritual gifts is intended to be in love. 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3 says in the NIV: "1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."

Prophesying is more profitable to the group than speaking in tongues! All gifts have their place and time. In a group, it is more profitable to exhort and encourage each other clearly through teachings, preachings or prophecies than to speak in tongues without interpretations! 1 Corinthians 14: 1-6 says in the KJV: "1 Follow after charity (love), and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy. 2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. {understandeth: Gr. heareth} 3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying. 6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?"

Don't put God into a cage! Do we limit the power of God in our lives? Do we fail to recognize Him because we are too strict to what we understand from Scripture? It does not mean because God has not done something in a specific way in the past that He never will! The Pharisees had a problem with God doing things the way they were not anticipating with Jesus or His disciples. John 7:52 says in the KJV: "They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet." A modern saying would be: "Out of the modern churches should not come any prophesying, doing miracles or speaking in tongues!"

To the letter of Scripture (The Word) only, or also with the Spirit? The Holy Scripture is more than enough to make anyone wise to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. We should definitely use the written Word to teach and preach. Paul remind us of this truth in the life of Timothy. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 says in the KJV: "And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works." However, should my sermons be only to the letter of the written Bible or should it be under the influence of the Spirit and perhaps even prophecy in some instances? 2 Corinthians 3: 6 of the NIV says: "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant-- not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." Paul acknowledges that the preaching should be by His working and through His mighty way. Colossians 1:28-29 says in the KJV: "Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily."

Don't be stubborn like a mule or a horse! Without realizing it, we may become very stubborn and stick to only what the Bible says, to the point of becoming somewhat cold to the Spirit. Don't get me wrong, the Word of God is definitely authoritative and true. The spiritual influence in my life should not contradict the Word. However, it is not because we might be influence wrongly by a spiritual force that we are to reject all spiritual forces including the one from the Holy Ghost who may wish to do something completely out of the "ordinary." Is it not possible for God to want to guide me with His eyes through difficult situations nowadays? Should I accept only some of the gifts from the Spirit as long as it uses only the Bible? Should I teach and preach from the Bible and never dare to prophecy or perform a miracle directly from the Spirit? Am I opened to God giving me specific guidance in my life now? Psalm 32: 8-9 says in the KJV: "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee."

Don't brag about your gift(s)! We should be careful not to bring personal glory to the gifts evident in our life. Do you have wisdom; do you have riches to give? Don't brag about it, for it is of the Lord! Jeremiah 9: 23-24 says in the NIV: "This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight," declares the LORD."

Jesus reminds us that we should not rejoice about the powerful gift active in us but about belonging to the family of God. Luke 10:20 says in the NKJV: "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."

How can you know your spiritual gifts? What are your spiritual gifts? What do you do well and enjoy doing? As Jesus said in Matthew 11:30, His yoke is easy and His burden light so you should expect to enjoy what He gives you as you work in the spiritual field of the kingdom of God (Luke 10:2).

What service has resulted in blessing? Do you see fruit in other people from your teaching? Do you bring peace by what you're doing? Does it help people trust Christ as a result of your actions?

How have others encouraged you? Someone in your church may recognize you as being gifted in certain areas. They may encourage you to pursue those gifts.

Do you sense that the spirit is telling you something? Yes God wants us to know what our gifts are and to use them. These gifts may surface at unexpected times. From 1 Timothy 4:14, there may be a reason why the Holy Spirit chooses to give a gift, later in one's ministry, or for a brief period of time.

Many questionnaires exist to help discover your gifts. You may or may not want to take the survey. Whatever you do, acknowledge you gift and don't hinder the Spirit but stir up the gift. 2 Timothy 1:6 says in the KJV: "Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands." The Spirit knows of the need in the local church and He will provide needed gifts to edify the whole.


Each Christian received at least one spiritual gift from the Holy Ghost! When we become believers in Jesus Christ, we each get at least one spiritual gift, one specific endowment of spiritual ability for service. Romans 12: 6 says in the KJV: "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us..." and 1 Peter 4:10 says in the NIV: "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." Every good gift truly comes from God for our betterment (James 1:17).

Some may lay hands and impart a gift! I believe that a spiritual gift is sometimes transmitted by touch. Acts 8:17-19 KJV says: "Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. 18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost." 1 Timothy 4:14 says in the KJV: "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." I believe that the laying on of hands from the elders did more than just affirm or recognize that Timothy was gifted. The act was to attract a spiritual gift more than to confirm its possible presence. Even today, God through another believer could impart a gift to you! Paul made it clear that he wished to impart some gift to the Romans. Romans 1:11 says in the NIV: "I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong." I believe that "this imparting of some spiritual gift" is more than just Paul simply using his gift of ministry to them in an attempt to encourage them and through the encouragement make them strong. Don't get me wrong, an encouragement does strengthen. Yet, Paul could have had the power of the Spirit in mind, beside human encouragement.

Moses laid hands on Joshua to impart the fullness of the Spirit of God! The concept of laying on of hands to impart a spiritual power is not new to the New Testament. Moses laid hands on Joshua to impart the fullness of the Spirit. Deuteronomy 34:9 says in the KJV: "And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses."

The doctrine of the laying on of hands - more than just displaying authority! Do you know the doctrine about the laying on of hands? Paul clearly states in Hebrews 6:2 that there is a truth associated with "the laying on of hands." Are you being tossed by different way of thinking about the laying on of hands? Ephesians 4:14 says in the KJV: "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." Don't be deceived. There is a truth on this issue. Just as there are: different types of baptisms, a resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment (Hebrews 6:2). The laying on of hands is not just a sign to show that I have some form of authority, which I could display by simply putting my hands on someone. It is not just a form of public display so to recognize a person suitable for a spiritual ministry. There is power in the touch, as Simon the sorcerer acknowledged in Acts 8:17-19!

Don't be too quick in laying hands to impart the filling of the Spirit! Paul warns Timothy not to rush into laying hands on people. The person may not be spiritually ready or mature! The heart may not be right. 1 Timothy 5:22 says in the KJV: "Lay hands suddenly on no man." Simon the Sorcerer may have been one of those people with a heart that was not ready, which Peter recognized and he did not lay hands on him. It says in Acts 8:21 "You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God."

You cannot buy the power to impart a gift from the Spirit! Some of the Spiritual gifts are very impressive. Just as the believing (Acts 8:13) Simon the ex-sorcerer of Samaria thought, you may even wish to be able to buy a powerful spiritual gift or sell one! Yet, Acts 8:20 says in the KJV: "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money." Simon the sorcerer was definitely not going to impart spiritual gifts to others! Be careful of what your view of the gifts is.

Paul experienced someone laying hands on him! Paul may well have first experienced the laying on of hands from Ananias. Acts 9:17-18 says in the KJV: "And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized." Note that the laying on of his hand was not for public display nor for a sign to display authority?

Timothy received a gift of God through the laying of the hands of Paul. 2 Timothy 1:6 indicates what Paul did to Timothy on this issue of spiritual gift. It says in the KJV: "For which cause I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee through the laying on of my hands."

Apostles laid hands on many. The laying on of hands was common with the apostles. I believe that it reflected more than a sign of authority; that it was an act requesting a special pouring from the Father through Jesus. One example is in Acts 6:5-6 where they laid hands on seven disciples for a special task. Another example is in Acts 8:14-18 where Peter and John laid hands on the Samaritan disciples who had not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit after having believed in the Lord Jesus.


We must all continually deal with good and evil spirits! As human being we frequently face spiritual forces, good and bad ones! For unbelievers, they are constantly under the influence of the evil spirit of the Prince of the air. Ephesians 2: 1-2 says in the NIV: "As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient." Furthermore, while the Spirit is still active, the present worldly person is also under the influence of the Holy Ghost who convicts the human conscience. John 16: 8 says in the KJV: "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment."

As for Christians, they are also under the influence of two types of spirits, the good and the bad! Just as the Holy Spirit is constantly trying to influence the disobedient people, so are the evil spirits constantly on the believers. Ephesians 6:12 says in the NIV: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."

The Holy Spirit has been around for a while, even with the Jews throughout the Old Testament! The Holy Spirit has been WITH people for a long time. He might not have been IN everyone, such as in the Old Testament prophets, but He certainly was with everyone. This is why Stephen could say to the religious Jews in Acts 7:51-52 of the NIV: "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit! Was there ever a prophet your fathers did not persecute? They even killed those who predicted the coming of the Righteous One. And now you have betrayed and murdered him."

Nowadays, the Spirit is definitely in all believers of Jesus Christ. James 4: 4-5 KJV: "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?" 1 Co 3:16 "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" 2 Co 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people." Romans 8:9,11 "9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his... 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you... 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." 1 John 4:13 "Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."

I have the Spirit because I can honestly say that Jesus is Lord! The only way that I can honestly say that Jesus is Lord is if I have the Spirit in me. 1 Corinthians 12: 3 KJV: "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost." Assuming that I speak honestly, the process involved before I spoke of Jesus was: I had to believe in my heart (not my mind only) and then confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord. This whole process completes the salvation from death to eternal life in my present being. Romans 10: 9-10 says in the NIV: "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

Some say that believers can only receive the Holy Spirit in them, no other spirits! Some believers say that once we have receive the Holy Spirit, we cannot receive any other spirits in us. However, Paul mentions that we can be deceived to receive another spirit in us. It is not only the Holy Spirit that can dwell in a believer. 2 Corinthians 11: 3-4 says in the NIV: "But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough." John was right to warn us to test the spirits that influence us. 1 John 4:1 says in the KJV: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."

Know which spirit to resist that comes in you! From Scripture, we know that we are to resist the evil spirits, the devil, and that we are not to resist the Holy Ghost, God. However, it is easy to do the opposite and this is why we have Scriptures reminding us of our possible errors. Stephen tried to point out to some religious people that, contrary to what they thought, some had always resisted the Spirit of God, still! Acts 7:51 of the NIV: "You stiff-necked people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!" As believers in Jesus Christ we may say that we certainly did not ALWAYS resist the Spirit but eventually accepted Jesus as personal Messiah. However, it does not mean that Christians have forever stopped from resisting the Spirit, never to do that again!

Don't resist the Holy Ghost - The Spirit can fully lead and empower only the one full of His presence! It is definitely possible for a Christian to reject the moves from the Spirit and as a result grieve Him and quench His power! Ephesians 4:30 says in the KJV: "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." 1 Thessalonians 5:19-22 says in the KJV: "Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil." Would it be that perhaps we are not full of the Spirit because we are grieving and quenching Him, as Christians? Fully submitting to the leading of the Spirit is a sign of being full of His presence. Luke 4: 1 says in the KJV: "And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness."

We may be quick to condemn the religious Jews and perhaps fail to see that we can do a similar thing as religious Christians! Most Jews profess to have accepted God the father but they had (and may still have) a tough time accepting God the son when He showed up, as Moses had predicted (Acts 7:37). Nowadays Christians profess to have accepted God the father and God the son but may have a hard time accepting the move of God the Holy Spirit as predicted by Jesus (John 14:25-26). To bring my point home, here is a challenge. How do you feel about Pentecostal believing brethren? Are they performing acts, perhaps some, truly from God the father? With my attitude, am I truly resisting an evil spirit or perhaps fighting God? Gamaliel's advice may also apply to us, Christians. Acts 5:39 says in the NIV: "But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God."

We must resist the evil spirit. As individual desiring holiness, we must constantly resist evil, the devil. James 4: 7 says in the KJV: "5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Resist spiritual evil forces but not evil actions of people! Matthew 5:39 says in the KJV: "But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also."

PS, God has power over all spirits. It is important to realize that God has power over all spirits. His power can help us overcome other spirits.

We don't even have power to retain our own spirit! God controls the spirits and He even control our ouw spirit of life. 1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Ecclesiastes 8: 8 says in the KJV: "There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death:" Ecclesiastes 12: 7 says in the KJV: "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."

ACTS of the Holy Spirit. The ACTS of the Holy Spirit are clearly seen in the early church as recorded in the book of Acts. I believe that His recorded acts are a testimony of the character of God the father, the things of God the son, Jesus, and the awesome power of Godhead. These types of gifted works are for the church throughout time until He (Holy Spirit) stands still (2 Thessalonians 2:7) and the Lord Jesus Christ returns. Read the book of Acts in the New Testament as it:

A. Informs of Christian doctrines. Especially, as Paul says in Hebrews 6: 1-2, the doctrine of:

i. repentance from dead work if done without the Spirit;

ii. baptisms, including the one from the Spirit; and

iii. the impact from the Spirit following the laying of hands.

B. Is intended for the church of all time.

C. Is intended to show what the gifts of the Spirit are. These were not only for the early church but they are intended to characterize a person Full of the Spirit. There are evidences of events in the lives of many Christians now-a-days. I don't think Satan is doing these to bring glory to God. It is not to say that, as a spiritual being, he cannot do miracles. God also allows him to show power to deceive (Mt 7:22-23, 24:24, Re 13:2, 5)!

Greater things than these shall the believers of all time do when they pray (in the Spirit)! There is a tendency in the church today to shrink at the thought that Christians could do greater things than what Jesus did at His first coming. We believe we are to ask in prayer and yet we think that we should ask just a little! The message from Jesus in John 14:12-14 is for all time, the part about prayer and especially the part about "greater works." It says in the KJV: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."

The problem when lacking the evidence of God is: not fully submissive, a bad connection, or perhaps not being full of the Trinity through the Spirit! The problem today with Christians lacking the evidence of great things from God may well be sin. The words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 is still meaningful. It says in the KJV: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." Do you have a good and powerful connection? Is the Spirit of power IN you? Are you full of the Spirit? Are you full of the Love of the father through the Spirit? Are you full of the Word and Deeds of Jesus through the Spirit? Is the Spirit remaining upon and fully in you?

The early disciples experienced many baptism type. How many baptisms have you experienced (Hebrews 6: 2)? Have you ever experienced the fullness of the Spirit?

Sorry, I am full. There is no room for an evil one! When a person is full of the Spirit, there is no room for Satan. Jesus was full of the Spirit and Satan could have no room in Him. John 14:30 says in the KJV: "Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."

For those who are not of the world, the Spirit dwells WITH you and perhaps is FULLY IN you! Do you see spiritual things? If so, that is great because it means that you are not of the world. However, are you fully possessed by the Spirit? Is the Spirit FULLY IN you? Do you display His power? As Pastor Frank said in September 1998, the Spirit may be covering me, but my heart may have some hard spots that are not allowing His power to penetrate! We may be filled but not quite full of the Spirit! Part 3 deals with the Fulness of the Spirit.

Jesus confirmed that there was a difference between having the Spirit WITH us and IN us. John 14:16-17 says in the KJV: "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Jesus said in Acts 1: 4-5 of the KJV: "And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."

The early disciples received the baptism of the Holy Ghost IN them at Pentecost. Acts 2: 4 says in the KJV: "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Obviously this event was also meant for those afar that God would call to salvation, as far in time as now-a-days. Acts 2:38-39 says in the KJV: "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."

In summary:

A. The worldly person cannot receive any portion of the Spirit nor see Him.

B. The believers know and see the Spirit because He dwells WITH them the moment they experience the baptism of repentance and accept Jesus as Christ.

C. The Spirit can dwell WITH a believer forever without filling the person fully!

D. One can have different filling (levels of inner possession). How do you know if you are full of the Spirit or if a brethren is full of the Spirit? "Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom (Acts 6:3 NIV)." Acts 6:3 says in the KJV: "Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business." It would be great if the fullness of the Spirit of God was upon all of us and we all prophesied! Numbers 11:29 KJV: "And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!"

E. The Spirit can still now-a-days powerfully possess a believer, be IN all those afar off whom the Lord shall call. It is not only an evil spirit who can possess a person throughout time!

F. Not only the Holy Spirit, but even my spirit will some day return to God.


Jesus baptizes in a special way - With the presence of the Spirit. Do you know who baptize with the Spirit? John 1:33 says in the KJV: "And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost." Jesus is the one who baptizes by pouring the Spirit on people ready to receive. Acts 2:33 says in the NIV that Jesus was "exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear." To be ready to receive the Spirit, two requirements exist: Repentance and the baptism by water from an earthly servant of God (i.e., one like John the Baptist). After that, will the promise come of a special baptism from the heavenly servant of God, Jesus the Christ! Acts 2:38-39 says in the KJV: "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call."

Not everyone confessing Jesus or preaching the things of God has the Spirit. Jude talks of some teachers not having the Holy Spirit. Jude 1:19 says in the KJV: "These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit." Even Jesus confirmed that it is not all those calling him Lord who will make it to heaven. Their power may be from a wrong spiritual force, deceived all along! Matthew 7:22-23 says in the KJV: "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

Becoming a new vessel in Christ does not mean that I am a full one! As believers in Jesus we become new creatures. The following verses from the NIV points to this new person in Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" Galatians 6:15 "Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation." Ephesians 4:24 "and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Colossians 3:10 "and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."

However, as new vessels, we are not necessarily all filled with the fulness of the Spirit at conversion.

They have the Holy Ghost but they are not necessarily ALWAYS full of the Spirit, full of the triune God. In Acts chapter 6 we have the account of the growth of the early church requiring others beside the apostles to serve the people. There was a requirement to find seven men who were full of the Spirit to fulfil the task. From the selection process, it seems that not all the disciples were filled with the Spirit at the same level; only some were full of the Spirit. Stephen was one of those who was full of the Spirit as indicated in Acts 6: 3, 5 and 7:55.

Scripture says in Acts 6:3, 5, 10 of the KJV: "3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full <4134> of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business... 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full <4134> of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch... 10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake. Acts 6:15 And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel. Acts 7:55 But he, being full <4134> of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God."

The "full" English translation comes from the original Greek word "pleres" (pronounced play'-race) Strong's Number 4134. It is translated in the KJV as :full 17. It has the meaning:

1) full, i.e. filled up (as opposed to empty)

1a) of hollow vessels

1b) of a surface, covered in every part

1c) of the soul, thoroughly permeated with

2) full, i.e. complete

2a) lacking nothing, perfect

Be filled with the Spirit, even often! Some say that once filled with the Spirit, this is it. The person will be filled forever to the full. However, Paul commands the believers to be filled with the Spirit on a continual basis. Ephesians 5:18 says in the KJV: "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit." In the following verses he specifies the areas where this filling will be expressed. The KJV says in 19-20 "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

The "be filled" English translation comes from the original Greek word "pleroo" (pronounced play-ro'-o) Strong's Number 4137. It is translated in the KJV as :fulfil 51, fill 19, be full 7, complete 2, end 2, misc 9. It has the meaning:

1) to make full, to fill up, i.e. to fill to the full

1a) to cause to abound, to furnish or supply liberally

1a1) I abound, I am liberally supplied

2) to render full, i.e. to complete

2a) to fill to the top: so that nothing shall be wanting to full measure, fill to the brim

2b) to consummate: a number

2b1) to make complete in every particular, to render perfect

2b2) to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)

2c) to carry into effect, bring to realisation, realise

2c1) of matters of duty: to perform, execute

2c2) of sayings, promises, prophecies, to bring to pass, ratify, accomplish

2c3) to fulfil, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment.

The Spirit felt upon Jesus and He remained filling Him to the full. To be continuously filled with the Spirit is possible. John 1:32-33 indicates that the Spirit came upon Jesus and not only that, He remained on Him. The Spirit filled Jesus of His presence and He stayed full of His presence.

In the early church, many were known for being full of the Spirit and powerful. Jesus was full of the Spirit and He was powerful (Acts 2:22). Stephen was full of the Spirit and powerful in performing great wonders and signs (Acts 6: 8). Philip was also full of the Spirit (Acts 6: 5) and powerful in miracles (Acts 8: 5-7). Barnabas was also full of the Spirit as stated in Acts 11:24. His actions reflected his faith as seen in Acts 4:36-37 where he sold land and gave the proceed to the apostles. In Acts 9:27 he even helped Saul called Paul. Overall, some of the characteristics when full of the Spirit are mentioned in Acts 4:31; 6: 5,8; 7:55; 8:6, 12,13; 8: 29; 10:45-47.

The Spirit fills many Gentile disciples. As a result of Paul's teaching, many Gentiles believed and were filled by the Spirit. Acts 13:52 says in the KJV: "And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost."

To be full of the Spirit is the only way to show a mature fruit, fully His fruit, His will, no trace of self! A person filled with the Spirit shows some special characteristics. Jesus indicated the presence of the mature fruit. He would say: "Thy will be done (Matthew 26:42)." We are also to pray for His full mature fruit in us. Luke 11: 2 says in the KJV: "And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth..."

The power of the Spirit flows out from within the innermost part. The power of the Spirit flows out of my heart. John 7:38-39 says in the NIV: " 'Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.' By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified." The KJV specifies the area within as the "belly." It is the innermost part of a man, the soul, heart as the seat of thought, feeling, choice. Note that this living water does not come from the mind or personal strength. Note that it is LIVING WATER that flows out. This water is spiritual and it is the Word of Life called Jesus through the Spirit. Only the Holy Spirit brings out the good water. An evil spirit would not bring out the water of Jesus!

Test the spiritual power to know where it is from! We must be careful not to believe every spirit or allow them to influence our lives. 1 John 4:1 says in the KJV: "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." A good spirit will always confess about Jesus Christ that:

a. He is the Christ come in the flesh. 1 John 4: 2-3 says in the KJV: "Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."

b. He is truly Lord and not accursed of God. 1 Corinthians 12: 3 KJV: "Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost."

Don't be suddenly filled with the thoughts of an evil spirit like Satan! Some say that Christians can only be filled with the thoughts of the Holy Spirit and never with those of Satan. Is it true that the Holy Spirit could fill us but not an evil spirit? I believe that we can be affected by both types. For examples:

a. Peter. Matthew 16:16-17 says in the KJV: "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 16:23 says in the KJV: "Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling-block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Also Mark 8:33.

b. Ananias and Sapharas. Acts 5: 3 says in the KJV: "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?"

Watch out for the condition of your heart that will affect the spiritual filling. We should watch out for the condition of our heart as it will affect the spiritual filling. Simeon the sorcerer was an example of a believer whose heart was not fully right with God. Acts 8:20-23 says in the KJV: "20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. 21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. 23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity."

A double minded person will not receive! Have a strong faith founded in good doctrine. Paul talks of the need of good leaders to protect the young believers against deceivers who can toss them with different false doctrines. Ephesians 4:11-15 says in the KJV: "11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; 15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ."

Different doctrines can make one weak in the faith. Good leaders have an important role to play in such situations. Romans 14: 1 also says in the KJV: "Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations." In everything, we need the wisdom from God with a faith that is not wavering. A condition of a wavering mind and heart would make us vessels not ready to receive. James 1: 5-8 says in the KJV: "5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

How much of the fullness of the Trinity do you have in your vessel? How much of the fullness of God the father, of God the son and of God the Holy Spirit do you have? Is your vessel leaking and empty, one third full, two thirds full or all full? Your vessel can be compared to a barrel with many staves filled with the presence of the living water.

The filling will be as high as the highest stave of your spiritual barrel! A vessel will hold as much water as allowed by the lowest stave. So it is in the spiritual realm. I will sense the filling of the Spirit to a level allowed by the holding characteristic staves. These spiritual staves are as follows. Connect to God by:

Continual repentance, with the will, leads to a deeper awareness of the Love of God (John 3:16, Ephesians 3:18-19). Obedience to the Word leads to the Grace of Jesus and the communion of the Spirit. Exodus 19: 5 says in the KJV: "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine." 2 Corinthians 13:14 summarizes this truth when it says in the NIV: "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." Philippians 1: 9-11 says in the NIV: "9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God."

Paul ended one of his letters with a benediction to the Ephesians wishing them the fullness of each of the triune God in all aspects of their being. He realized that perhaps many were still short of them in some areas! Ephesians 3:16-21 says in the KJV: "16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend [in your mind] with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."

Don't be negative or judgmental about others and the way they serve the Lord. Each one of us are responsible to serve the Lord. All things were created for Him. Colossians 1:16 says in the KJV: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him." We are ultimately accountable to Him alone, not another human being. It is not for us to judge the brethren and the way they serve the Lord. God is THE judge. Jesus is soon coming back to judge His servants. James 5: 9 says in the KJV: "Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door." James 4:11-12 says in the NIV: "Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you-- who are you to judge your neighbour?" 1 Corinthians 4: 5 says in the NIV: "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God." Matthew 7: 1-2 says in the KJV: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again."

Instead of being quick to judge another, we should judge ourselves. 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 says in the KJV: " For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world."

This is not to say that we are to ignore a sin against us! Luke 17: 3-4 says in the KJV: "Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him."

It is not to ignore one who sin in the church either. There is room for church discipline. Sometimes, a rebuke is necessary. Proverbs 27: 5 says in the KJV: "Open rebuke is better than secret love." See Paul rebuking Peter in Galatians 2:11-14. 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15 says in the KJV: "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother."

Whatever we do or say, let us watch not to desire what would exalt ourselves, seeking our own glory! It would be easy to provoke a brethren to envy! Galatians 5:26 says in the KJV: "Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another."



Introduction - Workers and a Leadership Structure. Just as there are different physical skills associated with all the workers in this world, so it is with the spiritual work field. As Christians, we are gifted in different areas. Furthermore, just as there are different positions of responsibilities within the same group of skilled workers, so it is within the church of God. A mason can either be a direct worker on the building, a supervisor, a manager, a foreman or a company president. As spiritual workers, we may lead or be under the leadership of someone else. The church is made of leaders and workers, of shepherds and sheep.

Overall, there are different positions of responsibilities for all the working "priests" in "the company" of God's kingdom. Obviously, as New Testament "priests," we must show the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit to be qualified "priests."

The workers of the gospel are men and women. The labourer, the priest of God, for the sake of the gospel can be either men or women. The gender is not a criterion. Only angels do not qualify to directly preach into the whole world and make disciples! Paul confirmed that workers of the gospel are from both genders when he said in Philippians 4: 3 NKJV "these women who … laboured with me in the gospel."

A worker, but NOT all leadership positions are for women. Nevertheless, this is a difference between a worker and a leadership role. God did not make all spiritual positions of authority within the church for both genders. As we will see, the shepherd position of responsibility in the local church is limited to men! Just as God determined that the husband is to be head over the wife and family (Ephesians 5:23), there is also a leadership order in the family of God, His church.

Purpose of spiritual leaders. According to Ephesians 4:11-12, the purpose of spiritual leaders is to equip the saint for every good work of ministry and for the edifying of the body of Christ. Scripture is the primary mean used to accomplish this task. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says in the KJV: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

To lead well, you must serve well! Many Scriptures point out that if you desire to lead, you must first desire to serve (Mark 9:35, 10:44). Jesus is our prime example. Even though He is Lord, He became a servant to all at His first coming on earth to show us the way to greatness.

The lord's bond-servant pursues what is good. As a servant of the Lord, you must show the fruit and gifts from the Spirit. You must forsake evil and seek after holiness. 1 Timothy 6:11 points this truth out when it says: "But flee from these things, you man of God, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness." 2 Timothy 2:24-25 also says in the NIV: "The Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead…"

Brainstorm on positions of leadership within the church workers. What are some of the names commonly given to the leaders within the church? What are the names used for the submitting workers? Note that the leadership position is often related to a special gift from the Spirit. For example, a prophet should have the gift of prophesying; an evangelist, the gift of evangelism; etc. Ephesians 4:11-12 says in the KJV: "11 And he gave some, apostles (leaders for all local churches); and some, prophets (leaders within the church); and some, evangelists (leaders reaching outside the church); and some, pastors and teachers (leaders within the church); 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ."
Leader's position name Position name of submitting worker Remarks
Apostle Gentile and Jewish believers There were 12 apostles to the Jews. Paul, Silvanus and Timothy were also apostles (1 Thessalonians 2: 6-7, 1: 1). Barnabas was one too, as seen in Acts 14:14. Paul was described as an apostle to the Gentiles (Ephesians 1: 1, Colossians 1: 1-2, etc). There are also false apostles; see 2 Corinthians 11:13.
Pastor (Shepherd) Followers


Note: Pastor, Shepherd, Overseer, Elder or Bishop are common terms for the same category of leaders (1 Peter 5:1-2). Even though God through Jesus our Lord delegates this responsibility to some of the disciples, we realize that the top "Chief Executive Officer (CEO)," the overall Shepherd and Overseer of our souls is Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:25). More to come under the heading: "Shepherds."
Overseer "Being cared for", the "sheep," the church Acts 20:28 KJV: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." From verse 17 Paul was talking to the elders of the church in Ephesus.
Elder Youngster (Young man) 1 Timothy 5:17 says in the KJV "Let the elders that rule well…" 1 Peter 5: 5 KJV: "Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder." 1 Timothy 5: 1 also says in the KJV: "Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren."
Prophet Sheep About the 12 disciples Jesus said in Matthew 10: 6 KJV: "But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Evangelist Lost sheep Acts 21: 8 KJV: "And the next day we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him." Timothy was also an evangelist. 2 Timothy 4: 5 KJV: "But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
Deacon and deaconess (servants) The being served Stephen and some others are examples of some appointed as Deacons, as supervising heads over the certain business of caring for feeding the widow (Acts chapter 6 verse 3 and 5). The apostles said in verse 3: "We will turn this responsibility over to them (NIV)." They were heads of possibly many other "working sheep" that helped in the task.
Task masters, rulers Servants Spiritual & Earthly Masters: Matthew 24:45 says in the KJV "Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?" Colossians 4: 1 "Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven." 1 Timothy 5: 17 says in the KJV "Let the elders that rule well…" James 3: 1 says in the KJV: "My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation [or, judgment]."

Spiritual and Earthly Servants: Hebrews 13:17 says in the KJV: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves." 1 Peter 2:18 KJV: "Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward."

Women ruling because of sins within God's people. Isaiah 3:12 says in the KJV: "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths."

Husband Wife The role of husband is not commonly seen as a leadership position. Yet Paul uses it as a criterion to determine if a man should move into the leadership position of elder or bishop. 1 Timothy 3: 4-5 says in the NIV: "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?" If a man can do well in little, than he can do well in bigger things (Luke 16:10)! Some specific Spiritual fruit associated with fulfilling the responsibility of a husband are described in 1 Peter 3: 7 (considerate, respectful: loving). 1 Corinthians 11:10 specifies that the husband has leadership over the wife when it says in the NIV: "For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign / symbol of authority on her head." The covering is a sign that her husband is responsible as head of the family unit. Ephesians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:18, Titus 2: 5 and 1 Peter 3: 5 emphasizes this point. The specific Spiritual fruit characteristic associated with the position of the wife are contained in 1 Peter 3: 4 (gentle and quiet spirit).

Note that all spiritual leaders should demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit.


Main Scripture text: 1 Peter 2:1-12

Definition of Priest: Not the RC way! When we say priest, some may have the definition of the Roman Catholic church idea. However, I believe that the RC church defines the priest as a leadership position that is defined in the New Testament as the position of Elder, Overseer, Bishop.

Paul's understanding of priests. Rulers of the people. Acts 23:2-5 And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. 3 Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? 4 And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? 5 Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people."

The Old Testament Levitical priesthood was an image of the New Testament Christian priesthood. The truth about spiritual priests in the church today can be understood by looking at the Levitical priesthood of the Old Testament (1 Samuel 2:28) that was an image of things to come. All Levites were to be priests onto God. Yet within these priests, one was assigned responsibilities specific to a high priest, another priest was responsible for a certain duty in the temple at a specific time, etc (1 Samuel 2:36). Exodus 38:21 says in the KJV: "This is the sum of the tabernacle, even of the tabernacle of testimony, as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest." All the Levites responded with respect to another Levitical priest whom God might have assigned to a specific responsibility over them at a specific time.

The Old Testament priesthood did not bring in perfection! Hebrews 7:11 "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

Heb 7:12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

Heb 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

Since the Old Testament, God intended to have a holy nation, a kingdom of priests. Exodus 19:3-6 "3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4 Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. 5 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: 6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."

Old Testament priests have to believe! Acts 6:7 "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith."

Every believer in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour is presently a spiritual priest unto God. All New Testament believers are priests as 1 Peter 2: 5 & 9 says in the KJV: "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ... But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people..." Revelation 1: 6 says in the KJV: "And [Jesus] hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father." Revelation 5:10 also refers to this priesthood of Christian believers when it says in the KJV: "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests..."

The spiritual gift of a Christian priest determines the leadership position the person may have if not a helper. Being a priest of God is an attribute that each member of the body of Christ has, making them peculiar people. Yet, within this body of peculiar people, there are different positions of responsibilities. A priest is not a leadership position or leadership role. A priest who fills the "high priest" position has that specific leadership position. Jesus fulfils this highest position of leadership of "high priest" (Hebrews 7:26-28, 8: 1-2 and 9:11). Believers fulfill other priestly leadership positions.

The gift of the Spirit in a person will determine which position of leadership within the priesthood a believer will fill. Overall, every New Testament "priest" should show the fruit of the Spirit, but not necessarily have all the gifts of the Spirit! Because the word priest is not representative of a leadership position, I do not include it as a church leader type.

Eventually, we shall be physical priests and we shall reign with Jesus Christ on the earth. Revelation 5:10 "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

Priests are to teach. Deuteronomy 24: 8 KJV says: "Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do." This gift of teaching appears again in the New Testament.

Priests are to offer spiritual sacrifices. Based on 1 Peter 2:5, we are as priests to present spiritual sacrifices. Do you know what the spiritual sacrifices are?

A corrupted priest! Read about corrupt priests in Malachi 2: 1-9. Some of the facts presented may well apply now to New Testament priests, us Christians!

Priests are not prevented from persecution - King Saul in the Old Testament is a foreshadow!

Priests will be judges. We can learn more on the different roles Christian priests have or will have in the end based the Levites and the New Testament references. For example did you know that Christian priest will be judges. Deuteronomy 21: 5 says in KJV "And the priests the sons of Levi shall come near; for them the LORD thy God hath chosen to minister unto him, and to bless in the name of the LORD; and by their word shall every controversy and every stroke be tried." Deuteronomy 16:18 : "Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment." Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6: 3 of the KJV: "Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?" The twelve apostles are even going to judge the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28 says in the KJV: "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." It is also recorded in Luke 22:30.

Watch out for an attitude that says that all are priests and there should not be different leadership roles! We have an example in the Old Testament of some who felt that all were holy before God and that there was not any specific people amongst them with special responsibilities, leadership roles. Numbers 16: 3 says in the NIV: "They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, 'You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD's assembly?' " Such an attitude was not healthy! Read the account of how God reacted, in Numbers 16:4-35.


The smallest in the kingdom is greater than the great John the Baptist! Those in the kingdom of God are greater than any great Old Testament human prophets. Children of God are great because of the great Jesus in them! Luke 7:28 KJV "For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."

Who is the greatest? But then, it does not matter when every members are great because of Jesus! After coming back from performing miracles, preaching and healing people (Luke 9:1-6, 10), the disciples started arguing on who was the greatest among them. This is the account we read in Luke 9:46-48. Jesus clarifies this issue by using a little child who has Jesus and stating that a person is great because of God in the person. Jesus said in Luke 9:48 of the KJV: "Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great." In the kingdom of God, every believer in Jesus Christ is great. There is nothing that could make a person greater than Jesus; the kingdom will not have such thing as Greek or Jews, Men or Women, etc. Paul emphasise this point in Galatians 3:28 KJV: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Also in Colossians 3:11 KJV: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

This is not to say that in this group of great people that there won't be positions of leadership! There will be one sit at the right hand of Jesus and one at His left hand. There will be one in charge of thousands and one in charge of hundreds, etc.

The right and left-hand men of Jesus. Early disciples knew of positions of leadership such as the right-hand and left-hand positions of the Lord Jesus Christ. These are actual positions prepared purposely by God. Matthew 20:20, 21, 23 says in the KJV: "Then came to him the mother of Zebedee's children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom... And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father." Mark 10:35-40 indicates that the sons of Zebedee, James and John (Mark 3:17), certainly agreed with the ideas and probably asked Jesus too!

The tendency to value ourselves by where we fit in the organization. It is well known in our society that "People value themselves by how they fit in the organization." Christians are often not different in their thinking. Have you ever been disappointed because you were not promoted to a certain position? We definitely need a renewal of our minds! Romans 12: 2 KJV: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Ephesians 4:23 KJV: "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind."

A leadership position is not equal to greatness in the kingdom of God. We need to be careful not to equate each leadership positions to a different greatness level. In the kingdom of God none is greater in value than another. Every part of the "body of Christ" is important. Each member fulfills a function and all the functions are important. See 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 where Paul explains this truth using the different parts of the body. Furthermore, God places each members in an ordered structure, a hierarchy of leadership. Don't mix apples and oranges when thinking of membership and leadership, and then try to compare them as all being apples of different qualities!

The hierarchy (vertical) or the flat structure (horizontal) view of the team. Many psychologists such as Dr Pat Heim have identified two main views in looking at relations within a team. You can perceive the team members as being under a hierarchy structure or a flat structure. Reference videos viewed on 7 July 98, called: "Invisible Rules: Men, Women and Team" or "Power Dead - Even Rule: and Other Gender Differences in the Workplace." One could view the world as to where he or she fits in a hierarchy of leaders and followers. Or one could view himself or herself as a member equal to all other members of the team with no clear leaders having final responsibilities for certain aspects of the team performance. According to research, on an average, men usually have a tendency to view the world in a hierarchy structure and women in a flat structure. Could it be that God truly created the inner aspect of a woman to be a helpmate equal in value to man but gave the man the leadership responsibility as head in a family?

Promoted to greater responsibilities and yet Power-Dead because of others maintaining the Even Rule. If looking at all team members with the "flat structure" glasses, it may prevent the effectiveness of the leaders. It may well lead to the "Power Dead - Even Rule" scenario. For example, a peer is promoted to a different leadership position. The other members may try to deny the increased responsibilities or power and deny the new leadership in an attempt to bring back the promoted member to a previously equal level, somewhat neutral, an even level, where all use the "even rule" for all team members. When God appointed Moses in a leadership position, it was not well acceptable by those who felt that "everyone should be equal." Numbers 16: 3 says in the NIV: "They came as a group to oppose Moses and Aaron and said to them, 'You have gone too far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD's assembly?' " The KJV says: "And they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD?"

Even Miriam had rebelled against Moses earlier. God rebuked the sedition of Miriam and Aaron. Numbers 12: 1-10 says in the KJV: " 1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 "Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?" they asked. "Hasn't he also spoken through us?" And the LORD heard this. 3 (Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.) 4 At once the LORD said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, "Come out to the Tent of Meeting, all three of you." So the three of them came out. 5 Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud; he stood at the entrance to the Tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When both of them stepped forward, 6 he said, "Listen to my words: "When a prophet of the LORD is among you, I reveal myself to him in visions, I speak to him in dreams. 7 But this is not true of my servant Moses; he is faithful in all my house. 8 With him I speak face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?" 9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them. 10 When the cloud lifted from above the Tent, there stood Miriam--leprous, like snow. Aaron turned towards her and saw that she had leprosy..."

Overall, the hierarchy structure is for accountable leaders and the flat structure is for when looking at the value of different human lives.

The goal or the process focus. When looking at a task performed by leaders and followers, one may focus on the goal at hand as a source of satisfaction or one may simply enjoy the process in getting there. One is not better than the other. Both should be in balance in one's life. Have joy in what God is doing now in the process to bring you to eternal life and also have joy in considering the hope (goal) set before you. Again, according to surveys, in general men are more goal focus and women are more process focus. On average, the enjoyment of the present relational process is important to a woman.


Positional versus Functional leaders in the body of Christ. Note that we often perceive spiritual leaders are either functional leaders or positional leaders. What is the difference between Functional Leadership and Positional Leadership? A functional leader is one accomplishing a specific function, demonstrating a spiritual gift at a specific time and place. Functional leadership usually surfaces when a person demonstrates a special gift where no other "official" individuals in authority are acting. Until officially recognised (put in a Positional Leadership) that person would be a functional leader, a leader acting spontaneously to meet the immediate need within the group.

David was a functional leader until he was put in the positional leadership of king. The account of David defeating Goliath was an example of one taking a functional leadership role. There were many positional leaders who should have acted in the challenging situation with the Philistines. Saul was in the position of King with many military leaders beside him. Because of no response from those in position of leadership, David took functional leadership. We should all be functional leaders at some point, whenever the spiritual gift in us needs to be used!

Are there formal positions of spiritual rulers or are there only positional leaders within the ordinances of man? Are there only authorities and hierarchy of responsibilities in the world's human ordinances or is there also a similar concept within the church of God? Are there spiritual positions of authority while we are waiting for the return of Jesus? Would Jesus delegate authority to some of His sheep, in a hierarchy of spiritual leaders, to "rule" over his church in an orderly manner? Will he assign to believers positions of authority, positions of kings and priests over different cities when He rules during the millennium, on earth? Yes, Revelation 5:10 says in the KJV: "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." See also Luke 19:17. 1 Timothy 5: 17 says in the KJV "Let the elders that rule well…" Hebrews 13:17 says in the KJV: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves."

Spiritual positional leaders during the first coming of Jesus. This concept of spiritual leadership positions (positional leaders) within the people of God was known even during the first coming of Jesus. The Jews had official positions of religious leaders. Mark 8:31 identifies three types of positional leaders during the first coming of Jesus: Elders, chief priests and scribes.

The Pharisees did not know that failing positional leaders could be replaced by obedient functional ones; especially one like Jesus and the "church!" The religious leaders did not recognize Jesus as having any rights to be a religious leader. This is why they would ask in Luke 20: 2 "by what authority are you doing these deeds?" It is as if they were saying that He had no positional leadership amongst the people and that He should stop His deeds. The positional leaders of the day were not recognizing what God was doing through Him. Consequently, soon the religious leaders were to lose their positional roles.

Could God also rebuke our present day religious leaders if they do not acknowledge the functional spiritual leaders moved by God? Yes, God could do so. We most heed to the warning of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that says in the KJV: "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." Having said this, it is not to say that God has no positional leaders in mind for His people. However, if the positional leaders lose faithfulness, God will raise others to fill the positions.

Positional church leaders recognized by the early church - Apostles, Elders, brethren, etc. The church did not do away with spiritual positions of authority because the religious Mosaic Jews had mishandled it. The church body needs the leadership of gifted people. Such example is clearly recorded when the believing Gentiles sought the leading of the apostles and elders of the Jewish believers in Jerusalem about certain issues. The Gentile church sent Paul, Barnabas and gentile believers to Jerusalem to seek words from the leaders there. Acts 15:1-2 says in the KJV: "1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. 2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question." As a result, their was some direction given to the Gentiles on the matter. Acts 15:22-33 says in the KJV: "22 Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: 23 And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well. 30 So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle: 31 Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation. 32 And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them. 33 And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles." Note from these verses the words describing the leadership positions: apostles and elders. Note the authority word "command" and the authoritative name of the letter providing the written response: "epistle."

Make sure you are not a blind spiritual leader! We cannot teach and lead the blind in need of spiritual truth if we are spiritually blind ourselves! Jesus confirmed this truth when talking of the teachers of God such as the Pharisees when He said in Matthew 15:14 of the KJV: "Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." Before talking to others, I need to know the truth myself. We can lead others in the right direction once we are fully trained and only as we learn from the perfect teacher. Luke 6:39-40 says in the NIV: "39 He also told them this parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher." Jesus was the Word of God made flesh (John 1:14) and the truth. This is why He said in John 14: 6 NIV: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me."

John the Baptist was a leader with some followers, some disciples. A leader is known by the fact that he has some followers. As such, John the Baptist, the baptizing prophet (Luke 7:20, 28), was a leader because He had disciples following his leadership (Luke 7:19). He was not a leader in a recognized religious position in his society and as such, he fulfilled a functional leadership role most of his life. He was truly preparing the way to something new!

The church should have positional and functional leaders. Overall, a Positional leader is one formally placed in a position of overall responsibility for a group of people. Some are first functional leaders before they fulfill a recognized position of leadership. As seen in the New Testament, we should have responsible positional leadership positions in the local church; i.e. pastor, elder, deacon, and even Sunday school superintendent, small group leader, etc. These should be filled from those who have demonstrated functional leadership when led by the Lord in certain situations! We should obey these worthy of honour. Hebrews 13:17 says in the KJV: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."

The church should appoint positional leaders. I believe that God intends to acknowledge positional leaders. He does want us to appoint people in position of leadership. This is what Paul and Barnabas did in the growing Gentile churches. Acts 14:23 says in the KJV: "And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed."


David was an earthly shepherd before God made him a spiritual shepherd over His people. God often uses the analogy of a shepherd and sheep when explaining earthly leadership over His people. In a humorous way, God took the shepherd David to make him a great spiritual shepherd over His people.

The Old Testament spiritual shepherds. Throughout the Old Testament, God had appointed leaders to shepherd the flock of His people. However, many lost track of the overall big shepherd of the flock and rebelled against Him.

The Old Testament shepherds were to be replaced by New Testament ones. Mark 12: 9 and Luke 20:16 indicate that God would give the spiritual works to others beside the Old Testament religious leaders who were denying the owner. Mark 12:9 says in the KJV: "What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? he will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others." Matthew 21:43 says in the KJV: ""Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit." There would be a new brand of shepherds with another name! Isaiah 65:15 says in the KJV: "You will leave your name to my chosen ones as a curse; the Sovereign LORD will put you to death, but to his servants he will give another name."

Old Testament shepherds experienced destructions! Because of the overall leadership stubbornness, Jesus foresaw the forthcoming destruction of Jerusalem and he was sad. Luke 19:41-44 says in the KJV: "41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognise the time of God's coming to you." The Old Testament had prophesied of such event. Proverbs 1:24-31 says in the KJV: "24 But since you rejected me when I called and no-one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, 25 since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, 26 I in turn will laugh at your disaster; I will mock when calamity overtakes you-- 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. 28 "Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me. 29 Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD, 30 since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, 31 they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes."

The Great Shepherd. Jesus is also a shepherd. As stated in Hebrews 13:20, He is The Great Shepherd of our souls. Yet, he also experienced destruction for the price of thirty silver coins, but not for His own.

Jesus called Peter to be a New Testament shepherd and feed His sheep! This Old Testament task of a shepherd feeding the flock of God is reemphasized again for the people of God in the New Testament, the church. John 21:15-17 says in the NIV: "15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." 16 Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my sheep."

Am I a shepherd, an overseer, or a sheep in the flock of God? Depending of where you are on your spiritual growth, God may have called you to be a pastor, a shepherd of part of His flock, somewhere on this earth, now. If you love Jesus, God may ask you to feed His sheep as He did in John 21:17 with Peter. As indicated in Acts 20:28, this call was not only for Peter. The KJV says: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." Peter himself said in 1 Peter 5: 2 of the NIV: "Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve..."

Lousy shepherds - feeding themselves and not caring for the sheep! Yet, it is not because you are a shepherd now, that you are a good one. As seen in Ezekiel 34:1-16, the shepherds can become such that they do not do a good job of feeding the flock. Ezekiel 34:2-6 says in the KJV: "2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. 4 The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. 5 And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. 6 My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them." The New Testament can also have this kind of shepherds. Jude 1:12 says in the NIV: "These men are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm--shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted--twice dead." Zechariah 11:15-17 also talks of a foolish shepherd who does not care for the sheep.

A lousy sheep! It is also possible to be a lousy sheep amongst the castle of God. I could be a fat sheep "leading" or pushing others away! Ezekiel 34:17-22 indicates that it is possible to be a fat sheep who does not care for the slim ones. Ezekiel 34:20 says in the KJV: "Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle."

New Testament rebelling shepherds and sheep. As Paul prophesied, there has to be a great rebellion before the Lord returns. 2 Thessalonians 2: 3 says in the NIV: "Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs..." This spiritual divorce from God will not go unpunished.

In the end time, God will strike the shepherds again and also two thirds of the sheep! Zechariah 13: 7-9 says in the KJV: "7 "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!" declares the LORD Almighty. "Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones. 8 In the whole land," declares the LORD, "two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. 9 This third I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, `They are my people,' and they will say, `The LORD is our God.'" Note that this prophecy probably has dual fulfilment. One at the first coming (Zechariah 11:12-13) and another near the second coming of Jesus (Zechariah 11:10-11) for the shepherds with the "Favour or Beauty" staff.

Overview of the three shepherd types throughout time - Zechariah 11:4-17. God has three types of shepherds as indicated in Zechariah 11:8. As indicated by the two shepherd staves in verse 7, we read of two shepherd types. Shepherds with the staff called "Union or Bands" for the chosen people of Judah and Israel (Zechariah 11:14) and the Shepherds with the staff called "Favour or Beauty" for those who found favour from all nations (Zechariah 11:10). As for the Great Shepherd, Jesus, sold for thirty pieces of silver, He is mentioned in Zechariah 11:12 & 13. It seems that the flock always finds a way of detesting the Lord in their heart and the Lord allows the shepherds to die!


Jesus appoints servants to rule over other servants. God is a God of order and has assigned different level of authority. All power, below God the father, is given unto Jesus (Matthew 28:18). Furthermore, Jesus puts servants into leadership positions to rule over other servants in an orderly manner. Matthew 24:45 says in the NIV: "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them there food at the proper time?" The following are some other Scriptures referring to servants in positions of authority. Note that the issue of gender in the different authority positions will be discussed as we cover each different position.

  1. Mark 13:34 For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
  2. 2 Corinthians 10: 8 KJV: "For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed:"
  3. 1 Timothy 2:12 KJV: "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."

First, God sets some to be apostles. God assigns different leadership positions. The first one He has chosen for the church is that of apostleship. 1 Corinthians 12:28 KJV: "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."

There were 12 apostles of the Lamb for the Jews. God, through Jesus, first chose 12 apostles. Matthew 10: 2 mentions their names, with Peter being the first one. They are called the apostles of the Lamb. Revelation 21:14 says in the KJV: "And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb."

Matthias was the replacement for the office Judah forfeited. In line with Old Testament Scripture, Peter and the early apostles fulfilled the Word which said that Judah's position was to be taken by someone else. The account is recorded in Acts 1:15-26.

There are requirements to meet for someone to be an apostle. In Acts 1:20b-26, we see some of the requirements if someone is to be an apostle.

a. Know of John the Baptist baptism of repentance and be a follower of Jesus (Acts 1:22);

b. Be a witness of the resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:22); and

c. Be chosen by God (Acts 1:24-26).

Overall, the apostle seems to be responsible to start local churches and to get them properly organized in the Lord.

There are other apostles beside the 12 apostles of the Lamb. 1 Thessalonians 2: 6 (verse 7 in NIV) and 1: 1 indicates that Paul, Silvanus and Timothy were also apostles besides the 12. As seen in Acts 14:14, Barnabas was one too. Romans 16: 7 indicates of others in the KJV: "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me."

Jesus appointed Paul as an apostle to the Gentiles. Not only did Jesus choose Paul unto salvation, to become a worker in the gospel, he made him a minister responsible for a certain task. Acts 26:26 says in the NKJV "to appoint you a minister and a witness…" As a minister and a witness, Jesus set Paul as an apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13, 1 Corinthians 15: 9, Galatians 1: 1, 16-17; 2 :7-8; Ephesians 1: 1; Colossians 1: 1; 1 Timothy 2: 7 and 2 Timothy 1:11). In 2 Corinthians 10: 8, Paul testifies of his position of leadership when it says in the KJV: "For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed." His authority allowed him for times of sharp words (2 Corinthians 13:10). 2 Corinthians 11:5 also says in the NKJV: "I am not inferior to the most eminent apostles." In 2 Corinthians 12:11-12 Paul reaffirms his apostleship by the signs he did. This is a position of responsibility which the "Gentile" shepherds would do well to honour and follow his example, as Paul was himself following the example of Jesus Christ, the Head Shepherd (the CEO) over him. For those being shepherds now, it is good to remember that the Head Shepherd is the overall "boss!"

Possible woman apostle mentioned in the Bible! The Bible seems to indicate that there might have been a woman apostle named "Junia." Romans 16: 7 says in the KJV: "Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me." The NIV says: "Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was." Note that the apostle is not necessarily an elder of a local church. This consideration is important when considering the gender of the Elders of the local church!

Are there apostles today? 1 Corinthians 12:29 says in the KJV: "Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?" Galatians 1:17 "Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus." Ephesians 4:11-13 KJV: "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

Jesus is also called an apostle! Hebrews 3: 1 says in the KJV: "Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus."

There were and can still be false apostles. There were false apostles trying to take people away from the work of the apostle Paul. Paul described them and said in 2 Corinthians 11:13 of the KJV: "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ." Even in the last days there will be some false apostles. Revelation 2: 2 says in the KJV: "I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars."

Ordained in the position of leadership as an Overseer, Elder or Bishop. Besides apostles, there is another office known as Overseer, Elder or Bishop. As Paul indicated, Titus was to "set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city (Titus 1: 5)." As a bishop (Titus 1: 7), there were responsibilities and requirements to meet prior to being appointed (Titus 1: 6-11). These are covered later in a table.

Desiring the responsible office of Elder (Bishop). According to 1 Timothy 3: 1, should I desire the office of an overseer, of a bishop? Note that the Greek word for "bishop" is "episkope". It is referring to a person seeking overseership, a charge, the office of an elder. It refers to a position of responsibility as an overseer or presiding officers of a Christian church. 1 Timothy 3: 1 says in the KJV: "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work." The NIV says: "Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task." The issue of gender for this office will be discussed later.

Spiritual positions of leadership in the local church: Bishops (Elders, Overseers) or Deacons. Scripture seems to indicate that there are two main positions of responsibility within the local church. They are what Paul calls "elders (or bishops) and deacons." Philippians 1: 1 says in the KJV: "Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons." "Shepherd or pastor" is sometimes another word to describe the one that would have the overall responsibility over the elders and deacons. We have already covered in some details this issue of Shepherd.

Note that a pastor or an elder is not to be called "father," as indicated in Matthew 23: 9. Note that the associated duties to the roles of the elder and deacon can somewhat be compared to our modern day words "leaders and managers".

The difference between Elders and Deacons. Further details on the difference between Elders and Deacons are available in the document called "T he Elder and the Deacon/ness." The document will also present further details on the gender aspect of the positions.

The responsibilities associated with different spiritual leadership positions within the local church. The following are responsibilities associated with different leadership positions.
Leadership position Responsibilities / Qualifications Scripture
Bishop, Elder, Shepherd (pastor), Overseer Feed the sheep, shepherd the flock of God among you. 1 Peter 5:2
To preach, to teach, to pray and to lay hands on people who will minister. Acts 6: 2, 4 and 6;

1 Timothy 5:17

Being examples to the flock 1 Peter 5:3
Take care of God's church 1 Timothy 3:5
Be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 1 Timothy 3:2;

Titus 1:6

He must not be given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 1 Timothy 3:3;

Titus 1:7

He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. 1 Timothy 3:4;

Titus 1:6

He must also have a good reputation with outsiders. 1 Timothy 3:7
Sorry, position not opened to angels or women! Women, don't have a position of responsibility that would show authority over the men in the church!

Note that God will allow women to rule over men when there are sins within His people!

1 Corinthians 14:34-35

1 Timothy 2:11-12

Isaiah 3:12

Deacon To be full of the Spirit and wisdom.

Full of faith and of the Holy Spirit

Acts 6: 3

Acts 6: 5

Be grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre 1 Timothy 3:8
Blameless 1 Timothy 3:10
The husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 1 Timothy 3:12
Deaconess Women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. Romans 16:1;

1 Timothy 3:11

Church activity leader You desire to rule or lead, be a good servant first! Jesus assigns leaders over His servants! Mark 9:35

Matthew 24:45

Husband Render unto the wife due benevolence.

Let not the husband put away his wife.

Husbands, love your wives.

The husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. Ruling their children and their own houses well.

Dwell with them (wives) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life.

Walk with his house with a perfect heart.

1 Corinthians 7:3, 11

Ephesians 5:25, Colossians 3:19

1 Timothy 1:6

1 Timothy 3:2, 4, 12

Titus 1:6

1 Peter 3:7

Psalm 101: 2

Wife Wives, show some form of a submissive spirit to your husbands.

Don't neglect the teaching of children. Proverbs 31: 1 KJV: "The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him." See also 2 Timothy 1: 5 and 3:15.

To manage / guide the house, and give the adversary no occasion to speak reproachfully (slander).

1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-10

Ephesians 5:22-24, 33

Colossians 3:18

Titus 2:5

1 Peter 3:1-6

1 Timothy 5:14

Moses initially did not want the leadership position. According to Exodus 3:9-10, God assigned Moses to lead His people out of Egypt. He first did not feel that he had the skill to do it.

A humility that can lead to sin by not accepting the position of leadership! Could God assign someone to lead and yet the person subtly rejects the responsibility? I could fail to publicly acknowledge the God appointed leadership by showing a false form of humility. Don't say: "God has assigned all of us equal in leadership; none are somewhat responsible to rule over others by leading!" To fail to acknowledge a position of leadership from God is also a sin which can displease God! Moses almost died because of that (Exodus 4:24-26).

Danger: As a leader, seeking the approval of people more than God! It is a dangerous thing to seek the approval of people, to please them more than God. Saul learned this truth the rough way. This was the start of his fall (1 Samuel 13:11-14, 15:22).

Spiritual leaders during the millennium earthly reign of Jesus! Even when Jesus comes to literally reign on this earth over all, he will assign positions of leadership to believers. Revelation 5:10 says in the KJV: "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Consider also the words of the parable of the Minas in Luke 19:17 which says in the KJV: "And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities." Some may say that because it is a parable, the reference to "ten cities" are not actually dealing with leadership positions in the end times. I wonder if they would use the same logic to derive their understanding when reading the "parable" of "Lazarus and the rich man" in Luke 16:19-31?

The Bible acknowledges New Testament spiritual leaders by name and by their leadership position. The Bible often identifies people and their specific leadership role with a descriptive leadership responsibility. For example, you may have read of:

  1. Apostles. Paul, an apostle - Galatians 1:1 of the KJV says: "Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead. Eph 1:1 KJV "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus." Romans 1:1 KJV "Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God 2 Co 1:1; Col 1:1; 1 Ti 1:1; 2 Ti 1:1; Tit 1:1; 1 Co 1:1.
  2. Peter, the apostle - Luke 6:13 KJV says: "And when it was day, he [Jesus] called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles."
  3. New Testament Prophets. Judas and Silas, the prophets - Acts 15:32;
  4. Agabus, the prophet - Acts 21:10. James 5:10 KJV: "Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience."
  5. Evangelists. Philip, the evangelist - Acts 21:8. Timothy was also an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5);
  6. Pastors or Elders. John, the Elder - 2 John 1:1 KJV: "The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth." 3 John 1:1 KJV: "The elder unto the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth."
  7. Peter, the Elder - 1 Peter 5:1;
  8. George, the pastor. Just as Ephesians 4:11 clearly acknowledges the reality of the apostle, the prophet and the evangelist, so it is also with the pastor. The KJV says: "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers." Other words for pastor are: shepherd, overseer. So, would it be wrong to call one gifted in shepherding the flock: "So and so, the pastor of the local church?"

Recognizing a leader by how you call the person. Jesus called John: the Baptist or the prophet! The Old Testament people, including Jesus called some by their leadership role. For example, Jesus acknowledge John as John the Baptist or the Prophet. Read Luke 7:28.

Don't flatter a spiritual leader by calling him "father!" Jesus clearly taught that we are not to call any spiritual leaders with the title "father." He says in Matthew 23: 9 "And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven." The only person deserving the spiritual title of "father" is God himself. Furthermore, He does not take lightly someone else taking His glory! Unduly flattering men with special titles, beyond what they represent, may seem respectful towards a person but it is disrespectful to God. It can upset God the father quite a bite! Job 32:21-22 says in the KJV: "Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. 22 For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away."

The title "Padre" is also a subtle way of calling someone, "father." The dictionary defines padre as: "father: the title of a priest in Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Latin America (Excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. Copyright © 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 The Learning Company, Inc.)"

Someone could be called "chaplain." In the "spirit of the law," based on the descriptive purpose of some of the titles recognized in Scripture for spiritual leaders, the word "chaplain" preceding the name of someone is also an acceptable title to give a person. The Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia defines "chaplain" as "a minister, priest, or rabbi serving in a religious capacity with the armed forces, or in a prison, hospital, etc."

We are not all called to be leaders such as apostles, prophets, teachers, etc. Overall, 1 Corinthians 12:28-29 says in the KJV: "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?" No, all have different roles of leading or of serving!

Encouraging words on the authority of the spiritual leaders. A certain centurion from Capernaum knew the spiritual and physical reality of the authority associated with leaders. Being in a position of leadership, the centurion said in the KJV of Luke 7: 8 "For I also am placed under authority, having soldiers under me." Realizing that Jesus was a spiritual Lord with authority, he asked that Jesus would say a word to heal his servant.

At His first coming Jesus gave authority to His disciples. Luke 9:1 says in the KJV: "Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases." Even today Jesus has given authority to His followers to do different things. His power can come through his disciples as reminded in Matthew 28:18-20. Mark 16:17-18 says in the KJV: "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Do you have the authority to heal? Do you have the authority to cast out evil spirits? Are you also placed under certain authority with people under you? Do you have the authority to preach with the crowd under you? Do you have the authority to teach students under you? Do you have the authority to shepherd over the flock placed under you? If so empowered, be strong and courageous to act (Joshua ). Joshua 1:6 NIV: "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them." Joshua 1:9 KJV: "Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

Spiritual leaders are to be imitated. Just as Paul was imitating Christ, he expected people to imitate the attributes of Jesus in Him. 1 Corinthians 11:1 says in the NIV: "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ."

Don't be distracted away from your calling! Whatever the position of leadership we may receive, we must be careful not to be distracted away from it. In the early church there was a situation that rose which was to distract the apostles from their primary responsibilities of praying and ministering the Word. Acts 6:2-4 says in the NIV: "So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, "It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word."


Proverbs 29:2 KJV: "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn."

A leader has authority in a certain area of responsibility over others. The Bible often relates to positions of leadership by talking about the authority the person has in a certain area. For example, John the Baptist was a leader leading people to repentance. His authority was questioned by some!

To be rebellious to spiritual authorities is not new. No one is exempted from rebellion. Religious people can be rebellious to Godly appointed authorities. Does the following words sound familiar: "And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority (Matthew 21:23 KJV)?" Do you have a tendency to deny the authority God has given another believer? Would you rebel against the leadership in a specific area such as prophesying?

Key Issue: Obeying authorities or rebelling! Do you have a spirit of rebellion toward earthly and spiritual authorities? How could you say that you love and follow the Lord Jesus Christ whom you do not see yet, and not submit to all those He puts as representatives in spiritual leadership positions, whom you see? How about submission to a man who God puts in a leadership position as husband and father (1 Peter 3:6)? Submission is good. Ephesians 5:21 says in the KJV: "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God."

Christians, be subject to principalities, to those leading for your good! Overall, do you submit to authorities or are you an insubordinate, unruly, rebellious person? Titus 1:10 says in the NIV: "For there are many rebellious people, mere talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision group." Are you truly an obedient servant of the Lord? Paul had to preach on this issue! Titus 3:1-2 says in the KJV: "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men."

God has appointed authorities in different areas of life. These are on the physical and spiritual realms. Leaders are within the angelic realm and within His spiritual human children!


Don't envy the other leadership positions! According to Scriptures it is wise not to speak evil, talk against our spiritual leaders or to envy their positions. Psalms 106:16-18 gives us examples of what happened to some people who talked against Moses and Aaron in their leadership role.

Don't prefer a preacher or teacher over another one! I should be careful not to be tempted to prefer one preacher over another one. The truth is that it is God who makes the changes in my life. It is not the creature but the creator who is in control. 1 Corinthians 3:5-7 reminds us of the danger of preferring a group or individual. Our different denominational systems may be a reflection of this type of problem. "I am of the Baptist group!" "I am of the Pentecostal group!" "I am of the Catholic church!" 1 Corinthians 3:3-7 says in the NIV: "3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarrelling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4 For when one says, "I follow Paul," and another, "I follow Apollos," are you not mere men? 5 What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe--as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow."

Recognize and esteem your leaders! According to 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 we should acknowledge our leaders and esteem them. It says in the KJV: "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves." Hebrews 13: 7 says in the KJV: "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation." Perhaps some would have a tendency to be unruly towards these actions. If it is the case Paul says in the next verse, 1 Thessalonians 5:14 of the KJV: "Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men." Don't forget to "shake their hands." Hebrews 13:24 says in the KJV: "Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints."

Spiritual leaders are worthy of ruling and of honour! Hebrews 13:17 says in the KJV: "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." 1 Timothy 5:19 KJV says: "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses."

A word for the spiritual hearers of the Word - Do! As a follower of Jesus, would He say: "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?" Would you call someone preacher and not do what he preaches? Would you call someone pastor (Shepherd) and not want to follow? Would you call someone a prophet and not yield to the warnings of the prophecies? There are many Scripture supporting the fact that we are to be doers and not only hearers of the Word. See Philippians 4:9 and James 1:22-25. James 1:26-27 indicates what some of the doings are.

Another responsibility of the hearer - Pray! We must pray for the preacher (2 Thessalonians 3:1) and also for ourselves that we may be pricked to the heart and want to act (Acts 2:37). How beautiful it would be if the Word of God had COMPLETE free course. Let us pray as 2 Thessalonians encourages us to. The KJV says: "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you."

The four steps to encouraging leaders. The following are some of the main steps that we should follow when encouraging our spiritual leaders:

  1. Acknowledge the importance of encouraging each other. Hebrews 10: 24-25 says in the KJV: "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."
  2. Acknowledge the specific gift leaders have. Romans 12:6-8 says in the NIV: "6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully."
  3. Acknowledge some of the special moments where the leader was involved. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 says in the KJV: "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves." Hebrews 13:7 says in the KJV: "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation."
  4. Salute your leaders warmly. Hebrews 13:24 says in the KJV: "Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints."


Should there be a Clergy and Laity people? The answer depends on how we define Clergy and Laity people. Some may define a Clergy person as one appearing righteous because of the full time use of the spiritual gifts and the Laity person as one using spiritual gifts just occasionally. If it is the definition, I don't agree in the existence of such two groups. There should not be two classes of spiritual workers, the upper (clergy) and lower class (laity)! We should all use our gifts full time, wherever we are.

If we define Clergy as one having a leadership role of shepherding, pastoring and Laity as one ministered unto, I agree with such situation. In that context, God assigns different leadership responsibilities.

Overall, we should eliminate this perception that we don't have to exercise our gifts if we are not in formal positions of authority. If the use the words "Clergy and Laity" misleads you to not be active, don't use it. We should all be free to fully express giftedness as priests. Indeed, we should all be full of the Spirit, not hindering Him. This may not be the case for all believers!

Do I need an education to be a leader with spiritual authority? It is interesting to notice that Jesus did not say that all church leaders had to have a human education to qualify for spiritual position of authority such as apostles, teachers, preachers, evangelists, etc. The religious leaders noticed that Peter was not educated (Acts 4:13) in the human religious ways. Note however that he had spent three years with the greatest religious teacher that ever existed!

Even though Paul was religiously very knowledgeable, he had to spend time "in the Master's school" when he became a Christian! When Paul became a Christian, he did not seek knowledge from man but from God. He spent time with the Master before he started his ministry! If I chose to go to school, it should be in such a way that I should sense the Master (Jesus) teaching me, not men! Here is Paul's testimony on this issue, which is sometimes missed when reading Acts 9:19-20. Galatians 1:11-24 says in the KJV: "11 I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. 14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many Jews of my own age and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased 16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus. 18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 I saw none of the other apostles--only James, the Lord's brother. 20 I assure you before God that what I am writing to you is no lie. 21 Later I went to Syria and Cilicia. 22 I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ. 23 They only heard the report: "The man who formerly persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy." 24 And they praised God because of me."

A bishop cannot be a novice in the things of the Lord! Notwithstanding, it is not to say that they were not taught. A young Christian should be taught and mature before getting a position of authority. 1 Timothy 3: 1-2, 6 says in the KJV: "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be .... 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil."

You may not need to be humanly skilled! Sometimes you may not even need to be "humanly speaking" gifted! Paul was not gifted with public speaking (1 Corinthians 2: 1-4, 2 Corinthians 10:10, 11: 6).


There should be earthly rulers. We know from Scripture that the ordinance of man, the governments are under God's control. Consequently, we are to acknowledge them and give respect to those in authority as our earthly ordinance leaders. Furthermore, according to 1 Peter 2:13, 14 & 17, we are to honour all people who are in positions of authority. As we will see, this rule is not only for secular leaders, it definitely includes those responsible for some leadership aspects within the church.

Obey earthly rulers without denying your God! Having stated that we should submit to secular rulers, this is as long as it does not go against God's commands. Some rulers may not be obeyed in everything if it involves denying God or His commands. We have many examples of this truth in the Bible, ie Daniel, Peter, etc.

The Antichrist will have great authority for a while. Amongst earthly rulers, the "son of perdition" will have great authority when he appears. Revelation 13:2 KJV says: "And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority." At that time many will submit to him in areas that they should not. When he comes, remember the words of Peter who said in Acts 5:29 "We ought to obey God rather than men." More could be said about the Antichrist, his purpose, his time of appearance and his destiny. Read more about him in "The Test." Don't be caught off guard when he shows up. Are you already being caught off guard by the many little antichrists around?

A person will have no earthly authority to buy or sell without the mark of worship! Authorities are often passed on or controlled by one with a higher authority. Authority goes hand in hand with allegiance to the power giving you that authority. Satan knew this and it is why he tempted Jesus by saying (Luke 4:6-7 or Matthew 4:9 NIV): "All this I will give you," he said, "if you will bow down and worship me." The authority we get is closely linked to who we worship! Do you truly worship God or someone/something else? We should seek the authority that is within the kingdom of God. Matthew 6:33 KJV: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." The temptation not to follow God will be great in the end of this age. Revelation 13:17 says in the KJV: "And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." Do you truly trust and worship God or mammon (money) to buy and sell?

Don't be deceived, Satan and his followers are not the ultimate authorities to be worshipped and sought after. Revelation 14:9-12 KJV: "And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus."

Secular rulers are for a while. God assigns secular rulers who are presently influenced by the Prince of the air, Satan. Secular human rulers will remain in place on this present earthly kingdom until Jesus Christ comes back. At that time, the Lord Jesus will bring authorities under His leadership and then put His authority under the Father. Read 1 Corinthians 15:24 and 28. Until then, the Lord has some already responding to His leadership through present spiritual leaders.


Michael, the archangel, a leading angel. Michael is one of the many chief angelic princes in the heavenly realm. Daniel 10:13 says in the KJV: "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Daniel 10:21 "But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince." Daniel 12:1 "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book." In the New Testament, Jude names Michael and archangel. Jude 1:9 says in the KJV: "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."

An archangel will also be involved at the return of Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:16 says in the KJV: "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God."

There are not only good angels, there are bad ones too. Revelation 12:7 says in the KJV: "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels...

Satan and his followers. There is also a leadership hierarchy with evil angels. God allowed Satan to take the supreme authority over the rebellious angels. Isaiah 14:12-13 says in the KJV: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God:" The Pharisees knew of the Prince of demons when they said in Matthew 12:24 KJV "This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils." Satan or Beelzebub is the chief angel as also mentioned in Luke 11:15 of the KJV: "But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils." Note that Jesus clarifies in Luke 11:18 that Satan is the head of the demonic house when it says in the KJV: "If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub."

Satan tempted Jesus with the lure of a powerful authority. Satan has some authority in this world. He knows of his power and he tempted Jesus with it! Luke 4:5-6 says in the KJV "And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it." Yet, his authority is below God and soon to be lost forever! But until then, he is a force to be reckoned with!

Spiritual dark angelic authorities. There are dark spiritual angelic rulers surrounding us, whom we face continually. Ephesians 6:12 KJV says "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." Indeed Satan is like a roaring lion seeking to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Is the authority in you pure to face evil? Only Jesus is the ultimate authority as Colossians 2:10 says in the KJV: "And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power." See also Ephesians 1:21.

Satan's power is also challenged by holy angels! Note that Satan's authority and power is counter-balanced by the holy archangel responding to the Lord's command. Jude 1:9 says in the KJV: "Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee."

Nothing can separate us from the powerful Love of God in us. The good news is that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 KJV)." Furthermore, we can have power over the enemy. In Luke 10:1-18 we read about Jesus appointing seventy disciples to have power over evil spiritual authorities. This authority is also present today as we read Luke 10:19 which says in the KJV: "Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." This is not to say that the Lord will not allow us to die at the hands of sinners or sickness!



What do you call a spiritual empowerment that is intended to touch me and not meant for the edification of someone else? Oil in my vessel! We have seen that spiritual skills (gifts) are meant for the edification of other fellow human. Yet, there is a spiritual empowerment that is meant to edify oneself and to minister to God. When such empowerment comes, I call it "Oil in my vessel." Such a touch from God leads a person to express personal "spiritual words" toward God, an intimate spiritual language from the heart and spirit. As we will see, these words are intended for personal activities that I group under "Spiritual Intimacy," a personal discipline leading closer to God.

Personal Discipline - The Christian ministries toward God! Paul gives us a list of personal discipline required when approaching God. 1 Timothy 2:1 says in the KJV: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men." This may well be what five of the New Testament prophets and teachers did in Acts 13:1. They approached God and ministered to Him. Acts 13:2 says in the KJV: "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them."

Personal Discipline - It solves the worrying problem and fills me with peace! Philippians 4:6-7 says in the KJV: "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Personal Discipline - The language shows where it is initiated! These disciplines can be initiated and empowered by my own person or from the person of the Holy Ghost. The verbal language I use in expressing the discipline is a clue of where the empowerment comes from. Do I use a language controlled by the Holy Spirit, a language coming from the human mind, or both?

One spiritual filling indicator! Whenever a person ministers to God, we are dealing with a personal versus a public ministry. When the power of God touches us in these circumstances, we should consider God's touch as an expression of a spiritual filling level. This spiritual filling can lead to a spiritual unknown language intended to praise or talk to God.

Sad with a heavy heart, then pray to God; happy then sing to God! James 5:13 says in the KJV: "Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms."

Prayers and supplications in the Spirit with an unknown tongue! Note that the ultimate prayer and supplication is in the Spirit. It is when we allow the Spirit to pray through us. When it happens, it may well result in a special phenomenon that some call "the Prayer Language." Ephesians 6:18 says in the KJV: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints." Jude 1:20 in the KJV says: "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost." 1 Corinthians 14:14 says in the KJV: "For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful." Have you noticed that Scripture says that to pray in the Spirit involves an unknown tongue that bypass my understanding, leaving my mind idle!

Praying simultaneously in the Spirit and with my known tongue. Ideally, I should have the unknown tongue pray within me and also activate my mind in prayer. 1 Corinthians 14:15 confirms this when it says in the KJV: "What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also." Remember that the prayer of the Spirit can usually not be expressed in human words; it is truly an unknown tongue. Romans 8:26 KJV: "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." The NIV puts it this way: "but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." In other words, with incomprehensive words!

The languages of spirits, angels. It is possible to speak with the tongues of angels, spiritual languages. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:1 of the KJV: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." Based on the context of 1 Corinthians 12:10, we know that Paul is thinking of the spiritual gift of speaking "different kinds of tongues," the human and spiritual kinds. I believe that the tongues of angels are more than just eloquent or special inspired utterance in human tongues. If it was only humans, Paul would not have used the words "different kinds." I realize that angels can also speak human languages as we see in so many accounts in Scripture; ie angels speaking to Abraham, Daniel, Mary, the shepherds, etc (Hebrews 2:2). Angels are also referred as spirits. This is why Scripture also says that we must "tests the spirits." Knowing that the Holy Spirit is spiritual, could He make someone speak a spiritual language that is not an understandable common tongue, even now-a-days? Yes, ie praying or blessing in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:15-16).

Intercession is very important - Make it meaningful, let the Spirit do it! Intercession is not intended for the edification of a human hearer but for the secret action of God in the lives of people. It is a very important action for the salvation and protection of another. This is why Paul would say in 1 Timothy 2:1 of the KJV: "I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men." Romans 8:26-27 talks of the intercession done through and by the Spirit. It says in the NIV: "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will." Such intercession is a gift performed by the Spirit. However, note that the intercession in 1 Timothy 2:1 could be a personal discipline from the mind. Eventually, it could reach the level drawing upon the Holy Spirit. It says in the NIV: "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone."

Being thankful for the blessings, through a powerful spiritual level! The discipline of being thankful should also be from the unknown language of the Spirit and with clear words if in a public place. 1 Corinthians 14:16 in the KJV says: "Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?"

An unknown spiritual tongue strengthen oneself while a clear language strengthen others! An unknown tongue resulting from the Spirit is usually meant to edify oneself. 1 Corinthians 14:3-4 says in the NIV: "3 But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement and comfort. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church." Some people call this unknown tongue their "prayer language."

The language in a public place must be understood by all! The unknown language could also be a source of edification for others if there is an interpreter. 1 Corinthians 14:13 says in the KJV: "For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says." In a public place, where believers gather together, the language should be so that all may understand and be edified. Consequently, if there are some speaking in tongues, there must be interpreters so that it is meaningful to all. 1 Corinthians 14:27-28 says in the KJV: "If anyone speaks in a tongue, two--or at the most three-- should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God."

Spiritual disciplines are good habits. To practice personal spiritual disciplines is a good habit that enables believers to become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:7 in NIV says: "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline ("sound mind" in KJV)." Titus 1:8 NIV says: "Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined ("temperate" in KJV)."

Don't forget fasting. It encourages the power of the Spirit! Fasting is also a discipline that should be known by all disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ! Until the Lord comes back, exercise this discipline. Mark 2:20 says in the KJV: "But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days (Also Matthew 9:15 or Luke 5:35)." I believe that fasting weakens the flesh and prayer allows the spirit to be stronger. This is good considering that the flesh is at war with the spirit. Galatians 5:17 says in the KJV: "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Romans 8:13 says in the KJV: "For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." John 6:63 says in the KJV: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing."

Summary. Overall, intercession, prayer, supplication and thankfulness can be at the level of the mind and body or it can also be at the spirit level, where the Spirit of God controls it with an unknown tongue in my spirit. What level have you reached lately? Have you spoken from the mind and from the Holy Spirit lately? Do you truly have an Intimate Relation with God through His Spirit? Does He truly "know" you? Have you fasted so to have a better communion with God? How disciplined are you? Ephesians 6:10 & 18 KJV: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might... Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."


When reading Matthew 25: 1-13, have you ever stopped to understand the difference between oil in the vessel and oil in the lamp (Mt 25:2-3)? When filled by the Spirit, is the "oil" going to your inner vessel or only to your working spiritual lamp?

Oil in my lamp shining outwardly - The outer light. As seen earlier in Part 3, the Spirit gives us gifted oil to shine upon others so that we may all come to a closer knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. This light is needed during periods of darkness to direct our path and encourage each others.

The Word of God is a lamp... The Word of God is the lamp that shines light to the steps of our lives. This is why Psalm 119:105 says in the KJV: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." The whole Bible is inspired by the Spirit and useful to shine on the path of the child of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says in the KJV: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works."

A person can bear witness of the Truth and be a spiritual shining lamp - John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a example of a burning and shining lamp. John 5:35 says in the KJV: "He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light." He bore witness of the Truth, preparing the way for Him. John brought the truth that we all needed to repent. Even though his witness was great, there is also a greater witness (John 5:36).

Jesus is the greatest witness, the greatest Light - The Word of Life. The ultimate light is Jesus. John 5:39-40 says in the KJV: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life." The light of the Scripture points to the greatest light, Jesus. John 5:24 says in the KJV: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

The Spirit ignites the oil of the lamp, bringing the Word to shine life! The Spirit fills us with boldness, fire and excitement to speak to Word. The early disciples knew this and they prayed that the Word they knew would come to power. Acts 4:29-31 says in the KJV: "29 And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, 30 By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. 31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness." The Spirit usually comes after the oil has been poured on a person. 1 Samuel 16:13 "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah." Even James used this truth again when he says in James 5:14 of the KJV: "Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:"

My body is the vessel, the temple of God. Many of us can see the oil make the lamp of the Word of Jesus shine through us. Yet, it does mean anything about the condition of the oil in the vessel that refills the lamp as stated in the context of Matthew 25. What vessel would that be, you may say? Aren't we just supposed to be a lamps? We are the earthly vessels and lamps used by God. 1 Corinthians 6:19 of the KJV tells us that we are vessels: "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?" Yet, even before the disciples received the Spirit, they were the light of the world; they were lamps! Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew 5:14 "Ye are the light of the world." Indeed, they were lights reflecting the rays of Jesus, the true light of the world (John 8:12). Yet, that did not mean that their inner vessels were full of oil!

The Bible calls the oil, the oil of gladness. Do you have a spirit of joy? Rejoice! One day you probably were filled with joy when you accepted the Lord Jesus into your life. Do you still have any oil of gladness left? Hebrews 1:9 KJV: "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows (Psalm 45:7)." You may say that this verse applies only to Jesus. Yet, Isaiah 61:3 says in the KJV: "To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." Furthermore, John 15:11 says in the KJV: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." Paul emphasises the need to be a joyous people. Philippians 4:4 says in the KJV: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice." How do we get this joy? By asking in Jesus' name. John 16:23-24 says in the NIV: "In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." The joy comes from the father who sends the Spirit to fill us with Jesus' joy and His power. Luke 11:11-13 says in the KJV: "11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 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?"

Have much oil, don't let it run out! Most Christians know that the lamp most hold fast shining to the end. It is important not to have the devil blow the light out. As the song says: "This little light of mine, I will let it shine... Don't let Satan blow it out..." Not only do we need to watch outwardly against evil and the darkness, we also need to watch inwardly. It is also important not to run out of oil!

I need oil in my vessel to feed my lamp during the spiritual night. A lamp without oil would be useless. A good supply of oil is very important. In the end-time, the oil supply will come from the vessel before it makes its way to the lamp. As John D. Harvey says in the Decision magazine April 1998 article called "The Parable of the Ten Virgins: "Buy your oil today, for you do not know the day nor the hour of his Return. The time of crisis will be too late. At that time, attempts to 'get right with God' will be too late to secure admission to the banquet." Indeed buy your oil for your vessels and your lamps while it is still day. When the spiritual night comes upon the virgins, it will be a time of crisis that may run long and emptying the lamps of oil! See more info in "Sunset Ministries" and the study guide called "The Test."

God also has a lamp to see within me. It is my spirit. God also has a lamp to see the inner parts of my being. The spirit He has given us is what searches the secrets within. Proverbs 20:27 says in the ASV: "The spirit of man is the lamp of Jehovah, Searching all his innermost parts." The KJV says: "The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly." God knows if I have oil in my vessel!


As believers, we are all workers, priests unto God, part of the same team called the kingdom of God. A true Christian priest of God is spirit controlled. The person should show the character of God (bear His fruit), be spiritually gifted, submit to the leadership positions and be disciplined towards God with an intimate communion when away from "the work of the harvest."

While working in edifying the whole body of the church, we all receive certain abilities. Scripture identifies at least 23 spiritual gifts where the Spirit moves a believer to edify the body of Jesus Christ, the Church in an intellectual spoken way or in an action way, natural or supernatural. Our effectiveness has a lot to do with how full we are of the Spirit. Furthermore, spiritual forces are not all good. We need to discern and to receive the right Spirit while resisting the entrance of the wrong ones. These spiritual gifts may well lead into a functional leadership role or a more permanent positional leadership role recognized by many.

Indeed, within this priesthood of believers, God has appointed different positions of leadership. These positions are worthy of honour by all Christians. A person's desire for positional leadership of deacon, elder or other leading role within the church body should occur once a person has demonstrated fruit of the Spirit, enough qualifying gifts and spiritual intimacy through the disciplines of prayer, supplications, intercessions and thanksgiving, singing of psalms. One may demonstrate functional leadership on his way to ruling / shepherding over the flock.

When away from the work and resting, we may have a "vessel" full of oil and a lamp shining. The oil of gladness may be such that the Spirit touches our spirit and makes us excited. This intimate touch is to be reflected back to God through prayers, supplication, thanks or songs. Enjoy His peace, His comfort and worship the Creator with the heavenly language of intimacy.

Even tough we may reflect some aspects of the father, the son and the Spirit in our lives, are we full of them? As a spiritual worker, are you truly full of the triune Godhead? When one looks at you for a task, do they see one full of the Holy Ghost?

In closing, here is my benediction for you. Ephesians 3: 16-21 says in the KJV: "16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend [in your mind] with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."