Chapters 12-14 1 Corinthians are the basis for this teaching.

  1. God does not want us to be ignorant of spiritual things. Ignorance of the Word of God and the ways of the Spirit of   God is a hindrance.  God cannot bless ignorance.  God has provided the way we can become educated in spiritual things.    He has given us the written Word of God.  He has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us and bring revelation.  He has given the 5 fold ministry to teach the body of Christ. Spiritual ignorance can become a tool for the enemy to create frustration in our walk with God, confusion in our experiences, and cripple our confidence and our faith in God.


1 Corinthians 12:1 — the Greek word is “pneumatikos” which means “things spiritual, or supernatural.”

Other hindrances: 

  • Fear – fear of man, fear of making a mistake and displeasing God, fear of rejection of God, pastors, or other people, other insecurities in the soul of a believer
  • Doubt & unbelief (this is a lack of faith)
  1. The Gifts of the Spirit are to operate in the life of every believer  (1 Corinthians 12:7 & 11) 

The gifts of the Spirit are an effective tool in evangelism (1 Corinthians 2:4; Romans 15:19; 1 Corinthians 4:20; 1Thessalonians 1:5

The gifts of the Spirit edify, encourage, teach, exhort, comfort, prepare, and bring revelation to the church  (1 Corinthians 14:3,12 & 26)

We are told to desire the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:31 & 1 Corinthians 14:1 & 12)


  1. Categories of Gifts — 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Three vocal gifts = In these gifts, God is “saying” something

Message in tongues

Interpretation of tongues



Three revelation gifts = In these gifts, God is “revealing” something

Word of wisdom

Word of knowledge

Discerning of spirits


Three power gifts = In these gifts, God is “doing” something

The gift of faith

The working of miracles

Gifts of healings


  1. Definitions of the Gifts of the Spirit


TONGUES – A message in tongues in tongues is God speaking through an individual in a language the person has never learned naturally.  The language may be a known language, such as English, Spanish, Chinese, etc., or it may be a language known only by God or the angels, but it is an unknown language to the person who is being used in this manifestation of the Holy Spirit.  1 Corinthians 13:1


Differences between a message in tongues, and praying or singing in the Spirit (in other tongues).

A message in tongues is initiated by the Holy Spirit.  It is God speaking to man, and the message edifies the church.

Praying or singing in tongues can be initiated at a person’s will. (1Corinthians 14:14-15)  When a person prays or worships in other tongues, it edifies the spirit of the man.  The person is speaking to God, not man and therefore this does not need interpretation.


INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES – The Holy Spirit gives the interpretation to the message given in other tongues.  If there is not another person present to interpret a message given in other tongues, then it is the responsibility of the person who gave the message in tongues to pray and receive the interpretation, so the church can understand the message God is speaking.


PROPHECY – Prophecy is a message from God in the speakers known language.

1 Corinthians 12:7 — But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.   It is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit – not the human mind.  Though the human will and faith are active in prophecy (and the manifestation of all the gifts of the Spirit), the human intellect and reasoning are not the source of prophecy (or any of the gifts of the Spirit).


1 Corinthians 14:1 — Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.


1 Corinthians 14:3-5 — But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.  I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification. (NKJ)


1 Corinthians 14:31 — “For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.”


The function of prophecy:

  • to edify the church  – 1 Corinthians 14:3
  • to exhort the church – 1 Corinthians 14:3
  • to comfort the church- 1 Corinthians 14:3
  • that all may learn – 1 Corinthians 14:31

The Four Catagories of Prophesy — Different degrees of anointing operate at each of these prophetic levels

  1.  The spirit of prophecy (the simple gift of prophecy)  1 Corinthians 12:10; 14:3, 5, 31
  2. The gift of prophecy (resident gift, also called motive gift)Romans 12:6
  3. The ministry of the prophet (man in function) Eph. 4:11; 1Corinthians 12:28
  4. The prophecy of Scripture (canon of scripture, the written word of God, the Bible) 2 Timothy 3:16;  2 Peter 1:20-21

Judging Prophecy

Prophecy must be judged.  The word is pure, but the human vessel through which prophesy flows is imperfect.

The purity of prophecy depends on the degree of sensitivity and how much the person has yielded to God.

We judge prophecy by the written Word of God.  The prophecy must agree with a specific chapter and verse in the Bible, or the principles, character and nature of God.


Ways to Judge and Discern Prophecy

  1. Judge the source — where is it coming from?

There are three sources of inspiration

through the Holy Spirit

through the human spirit

through an evil spirit

  1. Judge the contents of the prophecy — what does it say or imply?

Is it in line with Scripture?

Does it line up with the testimony of Jesus?  Revelations 19:10

Is it in balance with the whole counsel of God?

  1. Judge by the character of the prophecy — whom does the message reveal?
  2. Judging by the test of fulfillment — does it come to pass?

We must understand:

The creative power of prophecy — the spoken word initiates and releases a divine process

The power of prophecy to impart spiritual things — 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6

The conditional aspect of prophecy – some prophecies require the person receiving the prophecy to meet a condition in order for the word of God to be fulfilled.

  1. Judging by confirmation of the spirit — does it bear witness in your spirit?Romans 8:16;  1 John 2:27
  2. Judging by the conduct of the prophet — the fruit of the life and character of the minister, does the life bear witness of Jesus nature and character.
  3. Judging through other witnesses — seeking the counsel of others who arewalking in the spirit — the law of confirmation (2 Corinthians 13:1); this could beresponsible leadership.


  1. Important Principles for Effective Prophesying and Moving in the Spirit.

The believer cooperates with the Lord to express what God is saying or doing. We must speak and act in the way God wants to express Himself.  The human vessel is called to RESPOND to the Holy Spirit, and not to and not REACT in their flesh to the Holy Spirit!

  1. Principle of desire — 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39.  This is a command!God puts His desires in our heart in order to move us in His ways and purposes.
  2. Principle of proving — those who desire to prophesy must be open and willing to allow their revelations or actions to be judged.This openness provides a safety measure for the one who ministers as well as those who receive the ministry.  A teachable humble spirit reflects the openness to acknowledge the final authority of the written Word and submission to recognized leadership.
  3. Principle of responsibility — the possessor of the gift (or the one being used by the Holy Spirit) is responsible for its correct use or misuse.1 Corinthians 14:32


Learn to understand and be responsible for:

  • Using our will properly
  • Our emotions disciplined
  • Our body disciplined
  • We must learn to be in total subjection to the Spirit.  We must learn to bring every DISTRACTING physical manifestation under control so as not to be a hindrance to the people receiving the message or ministry. Remember, gifts are given for the building up of the church.  The suppression or release of the gift is left to the responsibility of the person who is ministering.
  1. Principle of accountability — it is only those who submit to authority that are able to minister with authority.A willingness to submit our live, talents and gifts to spiritual  leadership provides us with proper checks and balances. The protocol of administering and the use of gifts will vary from church to church.  Acts 20:28;  Hebrews 13:17;  1 orinthians 14:29;  1 Chronicles 25:1-7
  2. Principle of regulation — 1 Corinthians 14:27-33, will remove confusion and disorder
  3. Principle of faith — Romans 12:6
  4. Principle of liberty — 2 Corinthians 3:17.  Wherever the Spirit is made Lord, there will be liberty.
  5. Be continually filled (Eph. 5:18) in order for the gifts to flow through our spirit.
  6. Principle of timing — Gifts loose their effectiveness if not used at the right time.

Beginning to Move in Prophecy (as well as other manifestations of the Holy Spirit)

  1. Receive proper authorization – from the Lord, then from the pastor or leader of the meeting.  The leader of the meeting should be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  They should know if the Lord wants to use another person to minister one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  They should provide an opening or opportunity for the manifestation of the gifts of the Sprit.  This brings order in a meeting.
  2. Receive the message of prophecy — must hear and discern the voice of God and then respond to it

7 ways prophecy comes to us:

  1. We receive the exact words
  2. We receive the “sense” of the message
  3. We receive the first words or sentence
  4. We see a vision or strong impression
  5. An impression or revelation through song
  6. We receive a rhema word through Scripture
  7. We receive an activation through the prophetic anointing of others

If you feel you have a personal word for a person, use a respectful, calm, and tactful way in approaching the person.             Suggestions:  DO NOT SAY – “God told me ….” or “Thus saith the Lord … “

The following suggestions will help you avoid errors and keep us open for correction.

You might say:

  •  “This may mean something to you … “
  • “How does this sit with you …. ?”
  • “I may be wrong but what do you think about this …. ?”
  • “I’m not sure but I keep feeling this thing … “
  • “While I was praying, I thought this word could be referring to you and your need … “

If the person, does not give you an entrance to give the word or to pray for them, STOP!  Do not take it as a personal rejection.  If they say it does not bear witness in their spirit, do not get rejected.  You have been obedient, and done your part.  The problem may or not be within  you.  The word may be a word from God.  It might be correct, but the person may not recognize it.  The word needs to be judged and discerned.



THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE – The word of knowledge is a specific word, a fact, in the mind of God concerning a person or a situation, which deals with something either in the past or that is happening at the present time.  God reveals it to us by the Holy Spirit.

            5 Common Ways The Lord Gives A Word of Knowledge  

  1. A  Picture. ( YOU SEE IT)
  2. A Newspaper Headline. (YOU READ IT)
  3. Experience a Physical Sensation. (YOU FEEL IT)
  4. A General Impression. (YOU THINK IT)
  5. Inspired Speech. (YOU SAY IT)


THE WORD OF WISDOM – The word of wisdom is a specific word of God’s wisdom, revealed by the Holy Spirit.  Wisdom is the answer to a problem. Wisdom relates to the future.  It reveals the will of God, the plans or purposes of God.


DISCERNING OF SPIRITS – When the discerning of spirits is in manifestation, a person can literally see into the realm of the spirit, just as we see with our eyes this physical or natural realm.  God opens our eyes and we are able to discern all kinds spirits as the Holy Spirit wills. When this gift is in operation, a person can discern heaven, God, Jesus, Angels, the spirit of man, or devils and demons.  Discerning of spirits is not only discerning demons.


THE GIFT OF FAITH – Every believer must walk and live by faith.  Faith is believing and acting on the Word of God.  When the gift of faith is in manifestation, God gives a person supernatural ability to believe Him for something impossible.  It is faith that goes beyond ordinary faith. When the gift of faith is in manifestation, there is no doubt that what God has revealed or spoken will be fulfilled.  The gift of faith supplies the power of God to believe that what He has spoken will be performed.


THE WORKING OF MIRACLES – The working of miracles is the power of God intervening in the ordinary course of nature.  For example, when God caused the sun to go back for one hour (Isaiah 38:8), this is a miracle.  This is something that is impossible for man to do.  It is contrary to the laws God has set in motion in Genesis chapter 1.  But God has the power and the authority to do what He wills, when He wills, and how He wills for His purposes to be accomplished.


DISCERNING OF SPIRITS –  God has put His Spirit it in us to teach, lead, and guide us.  His Spirit working in us is like radar on an airplane.  If we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit, we will become discerning spiritual things. This is something that can be developed in the life of every believer.  But, the manifestation of discerning of spirit, goes beyond what your spirit discerns or understands.  When this gift is in manifestation, it operates only when the Holy Spirit wills.  The Holy Spirit opens the eyes of a person. The veil that separates this physical realm from the spiritual realm is removed.  God gives the person grace so they literally see into the spirit realm.  The person can see God, Jesus, angels, heaven, demons, or into the heart of another human.  This gift is not just seeing or discerning the presence or activity of the devil and demons.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.