Pentecost, Dreams, and Spiritual Gifts

By Bob Thiel

 

The Feast of Pentecost begins at sunset June 7th and continues through sunset June 8th in 2014.

 

Notice the following from the first Pentecost after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection:

 

1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

 

5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs — we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”

 

13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

 

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:

 

17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,Your young men shall see visions,Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservantsI will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. 21 And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.’

 

22 “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know —  23 Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. (Acts 2:1-24)

 

The above Day of Pentecost started off with miracles.  The disciples spoke and other people heard the speaking in their own native tongues.  Peter mentioned that God’s Spirit was being poured out and that some followers would have dreams and some would prophesy.

 

Then, in Acts 3:1-10 it was recorded that a miraculous healing took place.  While most Christians accept that God can heal, many are confused about spiritual gifts such as dreams, prophecy, and interpretation.

 

What about dreams, prophecy, and other spiritual gifts?

 

Do dreams, interpretations, and prophets have any place in the Christian Church today?  Are any related to the Continuing Church of God (which did not officially form as a declared entity until December 28, 2012)?

 

The Bible records that God often has used dreams to give messages (Genesis 20:3-7, 28:10-17, 31:10-13, 31:24, 37:5-10, 40:5-18, 41:1-32; Numbers 12:6; Judges 7:13-15; 1 Kings 3:5-15; Daniel 2:3-45, 4:4-27, 7:1-28; Matthew 1:20-25, 2:12, 2:13, 2:19, 2:22; Acts 16:9).

 

The Bible shows that God often chooses to work with prophets through a dream:

 

6 “Hear now My words:
If there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision;
I speak to him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)

 

Notice that the above says that God will speak to His prophet in a dream. Notice also:

 

28 The prophet who has a dream, let him tell a dream (Jeremiah 23:28)

 

A few years ago I had a dream, which while I did not understand it at first, as it became more and more fulfilled over the years, I began to understand it and believe it was from God.

 

I was 50 at the time (which essentially makes me an ‘old man’ per Numbers 8:25; cf. John 8:57).   The Prophet Jeremiah at least once wondered about a message he received and later determined it was from God (Jeremiah 32:6-8), and the Apostle Peter at least once had a vision that he did not understand (Acts 10:9-17) until later as well (Acts 11:5-17).  The same goes for Daniel (Daniel 8).

 

In my dream, there seemed to be two parallel lines. The presiding evangelist of the Living Church of God (LCG) Roderick Meredith was on the top line and I was on the line much below. In the dream, I kept calling up to Dr. Meredith, but he never would respond.  This lack of response made no sense to me during the dream. Then after what seemed to be a long time, the lines-crossed with his line dropping and my line going up.

 

One reason that I did not understand it at the time was that I was on relatively close speaking terms with Dr. Meredith then, so that aspect made of the dream made no sense. Also, since I had no intentions of leaving Living Church of God then (and certainly no plans to start a separate church), it was not clear what the dream was saying. Another reason I was unsure about the dream then was that I had not had any anointing for the Holy Spirit beyond baptism when I had it.

 

But these matters changed eventually. For one, I was unexpectedly anointed for a ‘double-portion’ of God’s Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9) on December 15, 2011 by an LCG minister named Gaylyn Bonjour.

 

Furthermore, over time, Dr. Meredith became more distant from me, would not keep various promises to me, and ultimately stopped speaking with me. And after I got a letter from him on 12/28/12, it was clear to me that there was no way that the Philadelphia mantle could be with him or any of his remaining leaders. These subsequent events showed me that the dream was being fulfilled.  This dream gave an outline of what would happen in the future and that has happened.

 

I also had another dream (and do not recall precisely when, but it was prior to 2012) reminiscent of a vision that Isaiah.  In that dream, I recall responding to a request from God and saying, “Here I am, send me” (cf. Isaiah 6:8).

 

Related to dreams, the Bible also teaches:

 

8 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. (Joel 2:28-29)

 

28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? (1 Corinthians 12:28-30).

 

11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head–Christ– 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love (Ephesians 4:11-16).

 

Despite what the Bible supports, most Church of God groups do not seemingly accept that there are any prophets today, nor do they seem to accept that God actually sometimes speaks in dreams in the 21st century–some, oddly, seem indignant of the very idea.  Part of the reason for this is that those self-proclaimed ‘prophets’ outside of the Continuing Church of God have tended to proven to be false.

 

But that does not mean God doesn’t ever use dreams or have any in the office of prophet.  The Bible shows that God can pour out a ‘double-portion’ of His Spirit (cf. 2 Kings 2:9-15) as what happened when an ordained minister so prayed and anointed me on December 15, 2011.

 

Herbert W. Armstrong on Dreams

 

But first, let us start here with something that the late Herbert W. Armstrong wrote about dreams:

 

Let me say here that in about 99,999 times out of 100,000, when people think GOD is speaking to them in a dream or vision in this day and age, it is pure imagination, or some form of self-hypnotism or self-deception. I have only come to believe that this dream was a bonafide call from God in the light of subsequent events. (Autobiography of Herbert Armstrong, Volume I, chapter 10)

 

And that is correct.  Most dreams are not from God, even if people think that they are.  Dreams from God are shown to be correct in the light of subsequent events (though just because a dream ends up being correct, that does of itself, not prove that it was from God as there can be other factors, cf. Deuteronomy 13:1-5, but God Himself does sometimes use dreams, Numbers 12:6; Acts 2:17-18).

 

Though many discount all dreams, many also forget that Herbert W. Armstrong believed that his wife Loma Armstrong had a dream from God, although it took him some years to accept the validity of it:

 

Within 30 or 60 days after our marriage God spoke to my wife in what might have been an intense unusual dream, or a vision — but it was years later before we came to realize that this really was a message from God.  (Armstrong HW.  Brethren and Co-worker letter, November 28, 1956; see also, Autobiography of Herbert Armstrong, Volume I, chapter 10).

 

So, there was a dream from a woman that preceded the start of the old Radio Church of God that Herbert W. Armstrong led.

 

Would God Give a Dream to Another Woman?

 

A question to ponder is have there been any dreams from God in more recent years?

 

In addition to my dreams (which seemed consistent with Number 12:6, Isaiah 6:8 and Acts 2:17), there also seems to have been at least one other dream related to the Continuing Church of God that I would like to mention in some detail here that someone else had.

 

Unbeknownst to me until late September 2013, a woman named Fesilafai Fiso Leaana of New Zealand had a dream after going to bed on December 8, 2012.  Here is a report that Fesilafai Fiso Leaana wrote about her dream:

 

A few months before my dream, my husband and I noticed a contradiction in practice, regarding the sabbath commandment in LCG, from there we started to pray continuously for God to lead us to where the truth is.  It seems God has answered our prayers through the dream.

 

The dream began with myself and approximately 70 New Zealand Living Church of God brethren, then suddenly LCG vanished (I was wondering where is LCG?) and I was left standing with approximately 10 people excluding myself, on a very high building. We were standing on the very top of the building, where I couldn’t see the bottom, there were no other buildings, just this building. I could not see the bottom of the building but just clouds below the building and clouds surrounding the building which led to a beautiful white mountain – a mountain that had no ends on either side. The building was pretty close to the mountain, I could see the top of the mountain. The mountain was all white and so beautiful. I remember that I began to be filled with joy and peace. But also wondering how we got up on this building and confused why there were no other buildings but the clouds seemed like it was hiding the building and I felt protected or it felt like a safe place. I looked around there were still only about ten people there, the only person I could clearly recognize was Shirley constantly working, the approximate ten others were just sitting and standing around. So I walked around the building looking for the large crowd from LCG, but all I kept returning to was that Shirley was working and doing different types of work alone while the others were still sitting and standing around the building with me. I wondered why she was working a lot.  I could not find LCG.

 

Then suddenly a message came to my mind: “There is a secret in the mountain”. And I was so happy to know that, I was still feeling elated and could still see the beautiful white mountain and wondered about the secret.  Then I asked: “What is the secret?” Then the message said, nobody knows the secret in the mountain but only you have received this message that there is a secret in the mountain. Then I asked ‘what is the secret in the mountain?’  I received a message to my mind that told me that “the secret in the mountain is the Ark of the Covenant”.  Then the dream abruptly ended because I woke up. And immediately, I woke up my husband and recounted the dream to him, and I told my husband that it reminded me of when God gave Moses the Ten Commandments on the mountain and that the mountain was also covered with clouds.

 

On the same day after my dream, at church service Mr Penman warned us to be careful what we read from Bob Thiel’s Obama book, because they do not support everything he wrote in it.  At the time I kept your name in my mind as I did not know who you were then.

 

Then 3 weeks later Shirley contacted me regarding your Chronology – the exit from LCG. Shirley had all of the Chronology and gave us all a print out of it and went over it with my husband and I. Shirley kept stressing the integrity of the LCG leadership and administration was compromised as proven by your Chronology account. Then my husband and I had to make a decision whether we would continue with LCG or go with Bob Thiel (you) since Shirley, John and Kayla had already decided to be with you

 

We decided to go with Bob Thiel and then left the meeting but a letter from Mr. Penman and a visit from the new New Zealand minister Paul attempted to obstruct our departure and tried to dissuade us from leaving LCG and coming with you. This forced us to carefully rethink our decision.

 

My husband and I were alone, that’s when my husband said to me, “remember your dream? This is what your dream means, that we need to leave this church and go with Shirley”. That’s when we knew what to do. And this dream is the reason most of us in the kiwi CCOG knew that we are in the right Church, God told us to come to this Church. We reaffirmed with Shirley and others that we were going to go with Bob Thiel and my husband told them the dream for the first time and that the dream is the reason my husband and I decided to come.

 

Not having all the details of the dream, Shirley then prayed about the dream. She asked God for more understanding on the dream. Then the next day she was reading the book of Psalm and Psalm 25:14 JUMPED out at her: “The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” (email 9/29/13)

 

Within several weeks of the dream, ten people in New Zealand, including Shirley Gestro (the Shirley above) began to attend the newly formed Continuing Church of God.

 

Biblically, mountains can symbolize government (Psalm 30:7; Isaiah 11:9; Daniel 2:35; Zechariah 4:7) and white purity or cleanness (Isaiah 1:18; Revelation 7:14, 19:14).  Clouds around a mountain (or at least the top of it) could show a separation—maybe a separation that keeps many from seeing all of the truth (cf. Job 22:14; Lamentations 3:44) or recognizing top leadership?

 

The dream seemed to be a signal to confirm that the Philadelphia mantle was not with the Living Church of God, but instead was associated with someone that that had something to do with the Ark of the Covenant.  Prior to the dream Fesilafai Fiso Leaana indicated that she had problems with how the leadership in LCG viewed the Sabbath, and that was one of the issues that I dealt within weeks of the formation of the Continuing Church of God.

 

Now, I (Bob Thiel) never heard of, nor learned of, this dream until after the start of the Feast of Tabernacles in September 2013 in New Zealand (which is where my wife Joyce and I began the Feast of Tabernacles in 2013).

 

Why is that potentially significant?

 

Back in 2006, when I was first asked to give a sermon at the Feast of Tabernacles, it occurred to me that never in WCG, GCG, nor LCG did I recall anyone actually fulfilling the requirement in Deuteronomy 31:10-13 about reading the “words of the law” in Deuteronomy every seven years at the Feast of Tabernacles.  So, when the opportunity to give a sermon came up (in Guatemala in 2006), I attempted to go through that book of the law.  In 2012, it occurred to me that since this was to be done every seven years, that somehow I would need to do this in 2013 (seven years later), but I was not sure how this would be done.  However, once the Continuing Church of God formed, I realized that how this would be done at the Feast of Tabernacles in 2013.

 

After I began to cite Deuteronomy 31:10-13 and started reading the book of the law at the Feast of Tabernacles in New Zealand in 2013, Fesilafai Fiso Leaana came up to me and told me about her dream.  We discussed some points about it and the Ark of the Covenant, etc.  As it turns out, one of the items that was kept besides the Ark of the Covenant was the very same “Book of the Law” (Deuteronomy 31:26) that I was reading in its entirety publicly during that Feast of Tabernacles.  This is a connection that, humanly speaking Fesilafai Leaana could not have known.  (There are also other potential ramifications related to the ark of the covenant that I may attempt to publicly address in the future.)

 

Subsequent events, events that Fesilafai Leaana could not have known on December 8/9, 2012, confirmed her dream.  She had no idea that the Continuing Church of God was going to form, and I had not made the decision to actually form it until after getting a letter on December 28, 2012. Fesilafai Leaana’s dream is another witness as to the proper start, etc. of the Continuing Church of God.

 

Although some have chosen not to believe all the facts about how and why the Continuing Church of God began, recall that the Bible teaches:

 

16 ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ (Matthew 18:16)

 

19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. (1 Timothy 5:19)

 

Of course, since Gaylyn Bonjour always freely stated that he did the ‘double-portion’ anointing, there long had been a second witness (though various ones have their own opinion about how to interpret that).

 

Yet, in addition to various facts, the dream from Fesilafai Leaana looks like perhaps God was planning on making it clearer for true Philadelphians (who are in various organizations/fellowships) to see that the mantle location had truly changed.

 

I also received information about a dream from one affiliated with the Continuing Church of God in Africa that I am considering as potentially valid, and if certain types of events confirm it, I expect to eventually report about it as well.

 

Of course, some will discount dreams and their confirmation as proper proof of anything they do not wish to believe.

 

Test the Spirits, But Be Willing to Believe

 

The Bible teaches, “test the spirits, whether they are of God” (1 John 4:1).  A former board member of the old Global Church of God, who is not part of the Continuing Church of God, wrote the following in late 2013 (bolding his):

When we need to know what is about to happen, God will show us through direct revelation and through the right Scriptures at the right time.

Surely the Lord GOD does nothing, Unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets (Amos 3:7).

The entire New Testament is like this…

1Cor 14:29-32 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

1Cor 14:37-39 If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord. But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant. Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues…

1Jo 4:1-2 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,

Note: If there were no true prophets, there would be no need to “test the spirits”—because every prophet would be a “false prophet”. But because there are both true prophets and false prophets, we need to “test the spirits”…

Many have said, “If God is still providing prophets to the church, where are they?” My church—even my whole denomination—does not recognize any.” Our national leaders do not recognize any either. That is “business as usual” when it comes to prophets. We must remember that God sends prophets to speak His messages and do His work, which often conflicts with the purposes of political and religious leaders…

The gift of prophecy is not vulnerable to electronic surveillance, network failures, police action, restrictive laws or religious censorship. It works in any language, custom or culture. It works no matter what other nations and churches do. (Edwards N. Need Prophets More than Prophecy.  Shepherd’s Voice, Fall 2013)

Yes, just because a group leader does not recognize a prophet does not mean the prophet is not valid.  The above article also quoted several scriptures that demonstrate that.

 

But one that was not quoted and all should consider is the following:

 

41 He who receives a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward. (Matthew 10:41)

 

So, people should test the spirits (1 John 4:1) and accept the prophet at his word according to Jesus.  People should also “search the scriptures” to see if these things are so (Acts 17:11).

 

Many do not believe that God would use His Spirit to ever speak through prophets today. (Note, just because I say or write something does NOT mean I am doing so as a prophet.  Unless I am properly reading scripture or giving a direct message from God, which I would normally identify as such, I can and do make mistakes.  The prophets in the Bible spent relatively little time actually prophesying and were mainly involved in biblical teaching, unless they also had secular jobs.)

 

Many want more dramatic signs (Matthew 12:38; 1 Kings 19:11-12), but God does not always do it that way (Matthew 12:39-42; 1 Kings 19:12-14).

 

Can you believe?

 

What About Interpretation?

 

Some have stated that one needs to be an ordained minister or evangelist or something similar to be able to interpret dreams and/or other messages from God.

 

But that is not a requirement according to the Bible.

 

Joseph of Genesis fame was an interpreter of dreams.  In the case of his interpretations of the dreams of the butler and the baker, Joseph’s position was that of being a prisoner (Genesis 40:1-22).  The Bible did not list that Joseph had any type spiritual title when he did that.

 

Daniel was also an interpreter of dreams.  He was a captive and his title may have been an advisor to one or more government leaders (Daniel 1:3-7).  FWIW, I was appointed an advisor to the LCG evangelists by its Presiding Evangelist Dr. Roderick C. Meredith in the late summer of 2005.  Spiritually speaking, that title is not less than whatever title Daniel held when he is first listed as interpreting a dream (Daniel 2:1-45).

 

Furthermore, the Old Testament is actually fairly clear that one does not need any particular title to interpret dreams.  Notice the following:

 

13 And when Gideon had come, there was a man telling a dream to his companion. He said, “I have had a dream: To my surprise, a loaf of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian; it came to a tent and struck it so that it fell and overturned, and the tent collapsed.”

 

14 Then his companion answered and said, “This is nothing else but the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel! Into his hand God has delivered Midian and the whole camp.”

 

15 And so it was, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream and its interpretation, that he worshiped. (Judges 7:13-15)

 

A ‘companion’ is not a title and that companion was the interpreter.

 

Furthermore, in the New Testament, Pilate’s wife is shown to have had a dream and given an interpretation that the Bible does not dispute (Matthew 27:19).  She would not seem to have to have to have some type of biblical title and presumably she was pagan.

 

Additionally, while the New Testament does not list than an interpreter of dreams has a separate title, it does discuss interpreters of tongues.  Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

 

27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. (1 Corinthians 14:27-28)

 

Paul is writing to converted Christians here. Thus, I believe that the New Testament allows for any who have God’s Holy Spirit to interpret if they feel properly led to.  Both myself and Solomona Leaana (husband of Fesilafai Fiso Leaana) who interpreted the dreams in this article were properly baptized and have had hands laid upon us for the Holy Spirit.  It was Solomona Leaana who interpreted his wife’s dream as specifically referring to me and the Continuing Church of God, thus it was not me who originally did that.  Recall Jesus said that “by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Matthew 18:16).

 

While an interpreter may possibly make a mistake, the scripture clearly does not show that one needs to have a title to be a legitimate interpreter.

 

What About Other Spiritual Gifts?

The Bible does teach about other spiritual gifts, such as discernment, which can be related to interpretation:

 

9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11)

 

Notice that Paul tied in real love, true knowledge, and proper discernment with righteousness.  These are all essentially gifts of the Spirit (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11).

 

Notice also the following:

 

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)

 

Not only do we need the gift of faith related to salvation, we need faith to walk the Christian way of life.

 

The Apostle Paul further taught:

 

1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts…12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.

(1 Corinthians 14:1, 12)

 

He further wrote about various spiritual gifts, with some cautions:

 

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant:..

 

4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:  8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:1,4-11)

 

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26)

 

True Christians possess one of more of the gifts of the Spirit.  And sometimes, we do not know until later what are spiritual gifts or talents truly are.  But all Christians are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18), and knowledge is a spiritual gift (cf. 1 Corinthians 2:10-14).  We should all have love, joy, peace, wisdom, faith, etc.

 

Notice, however, that while the Apostle Paul teaches that we are to desire the best gifts, that love is what profits:

 

12:31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.

 

13: 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

 

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

 

8 Love never fails…

 

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

(1 Corinthians 12:31; 13:1-8, 13)

 

Love is the most important spiritual gift that we can demonstrate and develop.

 

During this Pentecost season, consider that God still is on His Throne, He still pours out His Spirit, and all of us need to demonstrate more of the love of God, including loving His Word enough to have the faith to believe the truth about Him, His spiritual gifts, and to walk as a Christian.

 

 

 

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