CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP, #6! (as it actually happened) WITH ATTACHMENT!!

 


CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP, #6! (as it happened)

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MEMORY VERSE:  I Corinthians 12:4-5, “There are different kinds of
gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different kinds of working, but
the same God works all of them in all men,” I Corinthians 12:4-5.

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THIS HIGH AND HOLY CALLING!

We have completed our discussion of the GIFTS listed in Ephesians
chapter 4.  We are now discussing another list of GIFTS in I
Corinthians chapter 12.  We may think of these gifts as a little
different from the gifts in Ephesians 4.  Remember that the gifts in
Ephesians 4 were PEOPLE given TO the church for its growth and
teaching.  The gifts in I Corinthians 12 seem to be GIFTS given to
CERTAIN PEOPLE for special work WITHIN the Church.  Obviously, BOTH
types of gifts are given for the growth into maturity of the Church.
Let us read I Corinthians 12:4-11 again.

-There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are
different kinds of service, but the same Lord.  There are different
kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  Now
to each the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to
another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to
another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that
one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to
another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in
different kinds of tongues, and to
still another the interpretation of tongues.  All these are the work
of one and the same Spirit, and He gives them to each one, just as He
determines.-

It is true that Christians do not all agree in our understanding of
this list of gifts in I Corinthians 12.  The list in Ephesians 4 is
easier to understand and most Christians agree about the understanding
of that list.   Therefore, we have a difficult job to try to
understand this new list in I Corinthians 12.  Let us work together in
humility, asking the Holy Spirit to be our teacher and guide us into
all the truth we need to understand.

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We plan to discuss briefly these 9 gifts:
(1) the message of wisdom, I Corinthians 12:8a
(2) the message of knowledge, I Corinthians 12:8b
(3) faith, I Corinthians 12:9a
(4) healing, I Corinthians 12:9b
(5) miraculous powers, I Corinthians 12:10a
(6) prophecy, I Corinthians 12:10b
(7) distinguishing between spirits, I Corinthians 12:10c
(8) speaking in different kinds of tongues, I Corinthians 12:10d
(9) the interpretation of tongues, I Corinthians 12:10e

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In Lesson 3 we discussed The MESSAGE OF WISDOM and THE MESSAGE OF
KNOWLEDGE.  In Lesson 4 we discussed THE MESSAGE OF FAITH and THE
MESSAGE OF HEALING.  In Lesson 5 we discussed the gift of MIRACULOUS
POWERS.  NOW in this lesson, Lesson 6, we must talk about the gift of
PROPHECY and the gift of DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN SPIRITS

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(6) The Gift of Prophecy, I Corinthians 12:10b

-...to another prophecy...-

The gift of prophecy can be so easily misunderstood.  There are two
kinds of prophecy: (1) foretelling and (2) forth-telling.  In the
Bible FORETELLING, or telling the future, is used a lot.  There are
hundreds of PREDICTIONS (prophecies) in the Old Testament.  Many of
them have already been fulfilled and they help us to believe other
prophecies which have NOT yet been fulfilled.  Sometimes the prophet
himself did not understand his prophecy.  Many prophecies, both in the
Old Testament and some in the New Testament, have already been
fulfilled.  Yet many prophecies, especially in the New Testament, have
not yet been fulfilled.

In the Old Testament, the prophet was not allowed to make mistakes.
If the prophecy he was talking about did NOT happen, often he was
killed.  Even so, there were false prophets in those days also.  We
are told that for one reason or another they LIED.  The
most-often-repeated warning to the church in the New Testament is
about FALSE  PROPHETS.

The other kind of prophecy is FORTH-TELLING, or telling forth, or
proclaiming, or preaching what God says.  There are MANY prophets in
the world today.  Yes, there are also many FALSE prophets.  Prophets
are preachers, or proclaimers.  They are required by God to preach His
warnings to all the world.  Sometimes, not very often, there will be
prophets foretelling the future.  Yet their MOST IMPORTANT job today
seems to be to TELL FORTH the Word of God with warnings of the
judgement of God.  This may not involve telling the future.  It may
simply be speaking forth what God tells you to speak, especially words
of warning about listening to and obeying God.

Notice Matthew 24:1-2.

-Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up
to Him to call His attention to its buildings.
<Do you see all these things?> He asked.  <I tell you the truth, not
one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown
down.>

Here our Lord Jesus Himself prophesied, or predicted, that the Temple
in Jerusalem would be destroyed and this happened about 40 years
later, in the year 70 A.D.  But Christ also called people to come and
follow Him.

John the Beloved foretold much of our future for us in the Book of
Revelation.  As John predicted many things about the future of our
world today He called people to leave their sins and come and follow
Jesus.

Revelation 3:19-20, -Those whom I love I rebuke and chasten.  So be
earnest and repent.  Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If
anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with
him, and he with Me.-

This verse is still used today to show people that Christ is still
looking for them, knocking at the door of their heart.  If anyone
(Maybe YOU?) will open the door and ask Jesus to come in, He WILL come
in, eat with us, and we can become one with Him!

There are many other examples.  The true prophet sometimes may tell
future events before they actually happen, but usually the work of the
prophet is to preach and warn people to turn from sin and turn to God
for the forgiveness of sins.


(7) The Gift of Distinguishing between Spirits,
I Corinthians 12:10c

-...to another distinguishing between spirits...-

This brings to our attention a problem that can so easily slip into
the churches.  In fact, it is about one of the most repeated warnings
in the New Testament.  There are many false teachers in the world.
They often slip into churches and can deceive the people and lead them
away from the truths of God.  ALL of us are told by God to learn how
to recognize the difference between True Prophets of God and false
prophets.

The gift we are talking about now is for some people who are
especially gifted by God for recognizing or -distinguishing between
spirits -.  That means, some people are very gifted at understanding
when the Holy Spirit is speaking and when evil spirits are speaking.
Every believer can study the Word of God enough to understand when a
person is preaching TRUTH and when he is preaching LIES or ERROR.  We
must ALL study the Word of God so that we can see that difference.
But we are also VERY thankful for those who have studied enough and
been with God enough to help us, to lead us, to teach us the
difference in TRUTH and ERROR.

A person, man or woman, may LOOK very good and SOUND very good.  They
may even ACT very good and still be teaching lies or confusion, which
comes from the devil, the #1 evil spirit, the ENEMY of God.  We are
called to recognize the gift of leaders who can help us to quickly
recognize error BEFORE the church gets into sin.  We are also called
to study as much as it takes to become able to quickly tell the
difference between Truth and Error ourselves.

We are also called to recognize that someone who is a true Christian
can become involved in error or in actions which are not true to the
Bible.  Then it becomes our responsibility to work with other
believers to STOP this false behavior or false teaching and replace it
with true actions and true teaching.  We do not HAVE to let lies take
control of us or of our church.  We have the GIFT of distinguishing
(or recognizing) the difference and doing something about it before it
gets out of control.  It is OUR responsibility!

One more very important thing needs to be said.  It is possible - In
fact, it is USUALLY what happens! - It is so easy to CRITICIZE - to
talk bad about false teachers.  BUT - please read again one sentence
in the paragraph before this one.  <Then it becomes our responsibility
to work with other believers to STOP this false behavior or false
teaching AND REPLACE IT WITH TRUE ACTIONS AND TRUE TEACHING!>  This is
REQUIRED as part of this gift!
Do NOT only criticize and tear down the teachings of the false prophet
and feel very proud of yourself!  Unless you provide true actions and
true teachings (TRUTH) you may become as bad as the false teacher!
TRUTH must be taught so people can understand WHY the false teaching
is a lie!  Tearing down false teaching is only doing half of the job.
Otherwise we leave a hole for other false teachers to come in and
teach different lies.  I hope you can see how VERY IMPORTANT it is to
tear down lies AND to always provide true teaching so the people can
understand their error and learn the TRUTH!
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NEXT LESSON will be about the gifts of SPEAKING IN TONGUES and
THE INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES!

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