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For to one is given… to another...
A Deep Study of 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

"Gifts" of the Spirit or "Manifestations"?

Which is the truth... are these individual gifts or are they different manifestations of one single gift? This has been a major stumbling block for way too many Christians. We are going to be learning some Greek in this short bible study article so we can truly understand the following difficult passages found in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 that were translated from Greek to English. Unfortunately the translation leads to some common scriptural misunderstandings.

Many passages in the bible plainly state that when a person is born again they receive “power from on high” that is the gift of holy spirit and that person can then manifest all of the powers found within that one gift. But in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 some of the text seems to read that there are many different “gifts”; and that some people get some gifts while other people get other gifts, and that some people don’t get any gifts at all.

Let’s research the scriptures and find out whether it's "Gifts of the Spirit" or "Manifestations" of one gift.

1 Cor 12:7

1 Corinthians 12:7 “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
Greek Word Study:
But (The Greek word “de” used in the contrariety. “Now” would be a better translation)
the manifestation of the spirit (the physical showing forth of the spiritual gift of holy spirit – Remember the light bulb analogy)
is given (is bestowed)
to every man to profit withal. (Profit is the Greek word “sumpheron” which means bringing together for mutual benefit; or the collective spiritual profit of everyone in the church. As varied as these manifestations are, they are all given to everyone for the benefit of the whole body. No single manifestation of the Spirit is strictly for the sole honor, advantage or benefit of the person manifesting.)
Literal translation: Now the manifestation of the gift of holy spirit in bestowed upon every man for the collective spiritual profit of everyone in the church.
** This verse makes it very clear that everyone has the ability to manifest all the powers that are about to be listed found within the gift of holy spirit.

1 Cor 12:8

12:8 “For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;”
What is the subject of verse 7? The subject is the manifestation of the spirit, not the people manifesting. There is a major distinction between these two that can change a person’s perception of the following verses. This is another area where massive error and confusion have crept into the church and limited its power.
Greek Word Study:
For (reason or explanation of the previous statement.)
to (The word “to” does not appear in the Greek text)
one (manifestation – the main subject)
verily (truly, indeed; this word is found in the Greek text but missing in the translation)
is given (brought forth, bestowed, delivered)
by (through, because of)
the Spirit (referring to the Gift of Holy Spirit; staying within the context)
the (omit “the” as not in Greek text)
word of wisdom; to another (Greek word for another used here is “allos” meaning another of the same kind; this does not mean another person. Word of wisdom and word of knowledge are related in the same group.)
the (omit “the” as not in Greek text)
word of knowledge through the same spirit. (the same gift of holy spirit that Paul has been talking about)
Literal translation: For one manifestation, Word of Wisdom truly is brought forth through the Gift of Holy Spirit; another manifestation of the same kind, Word of Knowledge, is brought forth because of the same Gift of Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 12:9

12:9 “To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;”
Greek Word Study:
To another (Greek word “heteros” means a different kind. A new grouping of manifestations from that which was last referred to; not another person)
faith by the same spirit; (Same is Greek word for same; referring to the Gift of Holy Spirit being discussed; staying within the context)  
to another (Greek word used here is “allos” which means another of the same kind. So faith and healing are of the same grouping.)
gifts (Greek word charismata meaning free gift of grace; this is the one place that the word for “gift is actually used)
of healings by the same spirit; (Same is the Greek word “eni” meaning one; the one singular gift of holy spirit – Paul is attempting to be overly clear through redundancy, and still the church gets it wrong)
Literal translation: A different type of manifestation, faith is brought forth because of the same Gift of Holy Spirit; another manifestation of the same kind, the free gift of healing is brought forth because of the one Gift of Holy Spirit;

1 Cor 12:10

12:10 “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:”
Greek Word Study:
And (Greek word “de” omitted in translation but should be added because it denotes a continuance of a thought, list or theme)
to another (Greek word “allos” which means another of the same kind)
the working of miracles; and (Greek word “de” omitted but should be added denoting continuance)
to another (“allos”)
prophecy; and (“de” omitted, add it)
to another (“allos”)
discerning of spirits; to another (“heteros” meaning another of a different type; this starts an new grouping; notice the Greek word “de” is not used here)
divers kinds of tongues (speaking in tongues);
and (“de” omitted, add)
to another (“allos” another of the same kind as speaking in tongues)
the interpretation of tongues:
Literal translation:
And another manifestation of the same kind, the working of miracles; And another manifestation of the same kind, prophecy; And another manifestation of the same kind, discerning of spirits; to another manifestation of a different kind, speaking in tongues; and another manifestation of the same kind, the interpretation of tongues:

1 Cor 12:11

12:11 “But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.”
Another apparent contradiction right here, and it’s a big one.
Greek Word Study:
But (Greek word “de” should be translated “and” because of continuance)
all these (referring to the manifestations)
worketh (Greek verb energei – same word as in verse 6 - meaning energized by)
that one and selfsame spirit (referring to the single gift of holy spirit, God’s essence inside us. Verse 6 made it clear that it is God that worketh “energei” all in all)
dividing (distributing, giving variety)
to every man (to each man)
severally (Greek word “idia” meaning one’s own as in John 1:11 - He came to his own, and those who were his own didn't receive him.)
as (Greek word “kathos” meaning according to, as, how or when)
he will (Greek word “boulomai” Phonetic Spelling: (boo'-lom-ahee) a verb meaning intends, wills, wishes, wants, desires. Since the gift of holy spirit is a what, it’s God’s essence, a little piece of His power, then this verb refers to “God’s will”).
Literal translation:
And all these manifestations are the works of that one and the same spirit, which is the essence of God, distributing variety of His (God’s) own to each man as God wills.

Now let’s read verses 1 Cor 12:7-11 all together
in their correct literal translations:

(7) Now the manifestation of the gift of holy spirit in bestowed upon every man for the collective spiritual profit of everyone in the church.

8) For one manifestation, Word of Wisdom truly is brought forth through the Gift of Holy Spirit; another manifestation of the same kind, Word of Knowledge, is brought forth because of the same Gift of Holy Spirit.

(9) A different type of manifestation, faith is brought forth because of the same Gift of Holy Spirit; another manifestation of the same kind, the free gift of healing is brought forth because of the one Gift of Holy Spirit;

(10) And another manifestation of the same kind, the working of miracles; And another manifestation of the same kind, prophecy; And another manifestation of the same kind, discerning of spirits; to another manifestation of a different kind, speaking in tongues; and another manifestation of the same kind, the interpretation of tongues:

(11) And all these manifestations are the works of that one and the same spirit, which is the essence of God, distributing variety of His (God’s) own to each man as God wills.

These fit perfectly with other verses in the bible
and make sense now, right?

Verse 7 states that every person can manifest all nine of the manifestations. Verse 11 makes it clear that although everyone can manifest all 9, not everyone will manifest the spirit in the same way at any given time and place because the manifestation only takes place when God energizes the spirit within you.

This is to make sure that things in the Church are done “decently and in order” (1 Cor. 14:40), at any given time God energizes different manifestations in different believers. Thus at a Christian meeting, one person will speak in tongues and interpret, another will prophesy, another will minister healing, etc. It is important to point out that believers need to step out on what the Lord is energizing in them.

It often happens that he is working in someone to pray, speak in tongues and interpret, prophesy, etc., but the person will be too timid to step forth and manifest, or maybe just not want to at that time for whatever reason. God will always do his part; we need to be sure we are doing ours. Remember that God does not possess or control us like puppets on strings making us do things we do not want to do against our will.

Now you know the truth right from the Greek text!

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About Minister Daniel Sweet, the Holy Spirit Teacher:

Daniel Sweet is the President and founder of God's Word First Int'l . He is an ordained minister, expert on how to manifest the power of holy spirit and a world renowned author on the subject of Leadership.He and his wife, Debbra Sweet have overseen the growth and development of multiple in home fellowships since 1991 and have been instrumental in helping many people world wide come to the knowledge and truth of God’s Word.

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