October 2017 Newsletter – “The Spiritual Gifts, Signs, and Wonders” by Nathan Padilla
There is an order to the way God operates His Kingdom. He operates in a way that is not easily conceived by those who know not His ways, i.e. the Torah of the Spirit. One way the church today is confused, has no biblical understanding, and has no apostolic tradition (2 Thessalonians 3:6, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, 1 Corinthians 11:2) is in spiritual gifts, signs, and wonders. Because of this, the church has digressed into the same operations in the spirit of some very notorious heretics (some of whom were magicians). This was opposite to how the Earliest Christians operated as taught by the Holy Apostles (pre-Roman Catholicism 325 AD). First of all let us establish what the gifts are and understand how they defined them. What if I told you that signs and wonders were the lowest (that’s right I said lowest) realm of spiritual gifts? You want to continue on this journey? You can turn back now before we go any deeper. I only offer you truth and nothing more. Let us continue. This is from Origen:
And Paul also, in the catalogue of “charismata” bestowed by God, placed first “the word of wisdom,” and second, as being inferior to it, “the word of knowledge,” but third, and lower down, “faith.” (cf. 1Co_12:8) And because he regarded “the word” as higher than miraculous powers, he for that reason places “workings of miracles” and “gifts of healings” in a lower place than the gifts of the word. 1
As we see, Origen refers and expounds beautifully how Paul ranked the order of the gifts of the Spirit. Paul wrote nothing as mere coincidence. Therefore in observing this excerpt, we find that the lowest gifts are the workings of miracles (signs and wonders) and healings, and the highest is Wisdom. How can this be? Well as we know, Pharaoh’s magicians were able to replicate some of the miracles Moses did. Even the sages teach that Pharaoh summoned little children to perform signs and wonders to show how common it is. That is the problem with today’s move. I went to the LA Coliseum last year (2016) to what was described as “the next move of God,” and they all said this is going to be “the most powerful move anyone has ever seen, the final harvest, and it’s going to be by signs and wonders.” So they’re saying this next “powerful” move is going to be by powerful signs and wonders. Let me now apply what they’re saying the rankings of the gifts. They’re saying the “most powerful move of God” is going to happen with the most common and lowest realm of spiritual gifts that pagans and magicians can even do. Where’s the separation? It comes from wisdom that separates us from the rest. Here’s what Origen says about the wisdom of Moses:
“For the king, entertaining such a suspicion, summoned the Egyptian magicians, and wise men, and enchanters, who were found to be of no avail as against the wisdom of Moses, which proved superior to all the wisdom of the Egyptians.”2
Origen also describes the meaning of some of these spiritual gifts as well. Even the gift of “the word of knowledge” is grossly misunderstood and misdefined by today’s standards. The Early Church described the word of knowledge as a word to separate the veil from the letter and rightly divide the Word of God. It wasn’t “I have a word of knowledge for you ‘Thus saith the Lord you’re getting a house, the Father knows your grandma is sick, and God is going to heal her, etc.’” It was never once described as that, and there is no biblical evidence to support that way of thinking. Here is another passage from Origen describing this gift:
Divine wisdom, accordingly, being different from faith, is the “first” of the so-called “charismata” of God; and the “second” after it - in the estimation of those who know how to distinguish such things accurately - is what is called “knowledge;” and the “third” - seeing that even the more simple class of men who adhere to the service of God, so far as they can, must be saved - is faith.
As Origen describes the gift of faith to be for the more simple and common folks, which is below Wisdom and knowledge. As I already stated above, signs and wonders, healing, and even faith is more for the common folks. What does that mean to you? Satanists have faith in their belief, so faith is a common gift. Sorcerers and diviners can “prophecy” and perform signs and wonders. Even Paul said that the Antichrist will perform lying sings and wonders. It’s the Wisdom of God and His knowledge that separates us from the common. What does that mean to be common biblically? It means you’re not holy! The word holy means to be set apart. So let us now describe what knowledge is with scripture to further testify to what Origen is stating what the gift of knowledge is:
Hab_2:14 For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea.
2Co_4:6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Eph_1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,
So where did we ever get this “word of knowledge” from? And where does it have to do with giving people a “word” about their life? Where in the bible does it describe knowledge in that sense? You can’t not blow this off and just say, “Let’s agree to disagree.” Sorry folks, it’s not that simple. Paul said this about how serious this is:
Gal 1:8-10 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
Not only that, but the gifts were not “activated” by just anybody. They didn’t get people saved and then immediately “activate the gifts in them.” It wasn’t until you were baptized into faith after three years of being a catechumen (from the Greek word G2727 katēcheō κατηχέω) and learning the Torah and the prophets, and then were baptized into the faith. Once they were about to ordain you into the priesthood (yes that’s right a priesthood, it was never done away with (1 Peter 2:5, 9), then the Bishop, who is the High Priest and Apostle of the house, releases the spiritual gifts onto the ordained priest. It wasn’t done by any other office in the house (prophet aka deacon, teacher, pastor, or evangelist). This was all understood by the EARLIEST Christians, because it was passed down to them by the Apostles.
Now there was a group that did operate contrary to this, and it was ran by a sorcerer/magician by the name of Marcus (the magician). Irenaeus describes this now. I will have to warn you though: this may be startling to a lot of you as it was to me, so brace yourself because this will shock you as it did me. This is from Irenaeus writings “Against Heresies”.
“Behold Charis (grace) has descended upon thee; open thy mouth and prophesy.” On the woman replying,” I have never at any time prophesied, nor do I know how to prophesy;” then engaging, for the second time, in certain invocations, so as to astound his deluded victim, he says to her,” Open thy mouth, speak whatsoever occurs to thee, and thou shalt prophesy.” She then, vainly puffed up and elated by these words, and greatly excited in soul by the expectation that it is herself who is to prophesy, her heart beating violently [from emotion], reaches the requisite pitch of audacity, and idly as well as impudently utters some nonsense as it happens to occur to her, such as might be expected from one heated by an empty spirit. (Referring to this, one superior to me has observed, that the soul is both audacious and impudent when heated with empty air.) Henceforth she reckons herself a prophetess, and expresses her thanks to Marcus for having imparted to her of his own Charis (grace). She then makes the effort to reward him, not only by the gift of her possessions (in which way he has collected a very large fortune), but also by yielding up to him her person, desiring in every way to be united to him, that she may become altogether one with him.”3
How many of you were imparted the “spiritual gifts” especially the “gift of prophecy” and even the “gift of tongues” in this way? Right now in the church, the people, not God, are telling others to prophesy, but this what Irenaeus says from the same chapter concerning that:
“This they have done, as being well aware that the gift of prophecy is not conferred on men by Marcus, the magician, but that only those to whom God sends His grace from above possess the divinely-bestowed power of prophesying; and then they speak where and when God pleases, and not when Marcus orders them to do so. For that which commands is greater and of higher authority than that which is commanded, inasmuch as the former rules, while the latter is in a state of subjection. If, then, Marcus, or anyone else, does command, — as these are accustomed continually at their feasts to play at drawing lots, and [in accordance with the lot] to command one another to prophesy, giving forth as oracles what is in harmony with their own desires, — it will follow that he who commands is greater and of higher authority than the prophetic spirit, though he is but a man, which is impossible. But such spirits as are commanded by these men, and speak when they desire it, are earthly and weak, audacious and impudent, sent forth by Satan for the seduction and perdition of those who do not hold fast that well-compacted faith which they received at first through the Church.”3
Not only that but this is what the angel that visited Hermas the Shepherd said concerning how people flock to false prophets:
“These doubters then go to him as to a soothsayer, and inquire of him what will happen to them; and he, the false prophet, not having the power of a Divine Spirit in him, answers them according to their inquiries, and according to their wicked desires, and fills their souls with expectations, according to their own wishes. For being himself empty, he gives empty answers to empty inquirers; for every answer is made to the emptiness of man. Some true words he does occasionally utter; for the devil fills him with his own spirit, in the hope that he may be able to overcome some of the righteous. As many, then, as are strong in the faith of the Lord, and are clothed with truth, have no connection with such spirits, but keep away from them;” 4
I shall leave you with this. I want you to meditate on this, and I pray this really help set some of you free from false teachings and false spirits that we may have been in covenant with and even operated in the realm of false prophesy. Yah forgives us, as many of us have operated in this way before, however it was done in ignorance. So now what do you do with the truth now that it has been presented to you? You are now responsible for what you have read. Paul said the following in the book of Acts about the accountability of truth:
Acts 17:30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
References: 1~Origen - Against Celsus Bk 3 Ch. XLVI, ANF Vol. 4 2~Origen - Against Celsus Bk 3 Ch. XLVI, ANF Vol. 4 3~Irenaeus - Against Heresies Bk 1 Ch. XIII, ANF Vol. 1 4~Hermas the Shepherd - Bk. 2 Pt. 2 ANF Vol. 2