Understanding the Supernatural Gifts from God
By: David Martin
I want you to expect the supernatural to operate in your life. We have listed the twenty-one gifts of the Spirit, and now we want to examine the nine operational gifts in more detail. These nine gifts are broken into three different categories. First, the three power gifts, namely the gift of faith, the working of miracles, and then the gifts of healing. Then we have the revelation gifts, or revelatory gifts. These are word of wisdom, word of knowledge and discerning of Spirits. The third category is called the utterance or the vocal gifts. These include tongues, the interpretation of tongues and prophecy.
Let’s begin with the power gifts, starting with the gift of faith. My definition of this gift: the ability to believe beyond your own level of faith. You will generally move from faith to another one of the gifts of the Spirit. Its purpose is to pave the way for the operation of another gift, giving you the ability to operate in the supernatural. As an example, Peter got out of the boat and walked on water. The operation of the gift of the faith was that he had trusted in the word that Yeshua spoke, “Come!” We think of Peter walking on the water, but really it wasn’t walking on the water as much as he was walking with faith and the word of Yeshua by the gift of faith. It gave Peter the unction to get out of the boat. More likely, the working of miracles was the supernatural flow that allowed him to walk in that dimension, walking on the water. It is the gift of faith that most believers are going to need to raise the dead, at least until you have acquired a degree of experience with it.
Let’s also look at examples of what it is not. For example, it is not related to saving faith. Everyone has a measure of faith per se, and that faith is what you need to accept Yeshua as your savior. It is not what we might call ordinary faith. Ordinary faith as we see from the word of God, says, “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17). So the more you hear the word of God, the more you are going to grow in faith and trust and confidence in God, but that operation of faith is quite different. The gift of faith is an unction that comes on you for a moment and after that moment is gone, the gift of faith is gone.
What we want is to have our ordinary faith increase, so that we expect the gift of faith and the operation of the miraculous. Some examples of faith include what Moses did when he went into Pharaoh’s court. There were different elements there too. We see the working of miracles as Moses did things like putting his hand inside his garment, then bringing it out and it was leprous; or putting his staff down and it becomes a serpent. There was the operation of faith when he lifted up his staff and stretched out his hand to set the stage for the splitting of the Red Sea. I believe that quite frequently the gift of faith is preceded by a word from God: a word of wisdom, or a word of knowledge, along with an unction of the Holy Spirit. Often God gives you a small piece of information, and it could well be this small piece of information gives you the unction we see in Moses’case. God basically said, “Moses, what are you fretting about? Do something here.” And God told him, “Lift your staff, put your hands over the water,” and when he did that the Red Sea parted. Another example of the gift of faith is a stepping out to do something beyond your established level of faith. Like Joshua marching around Jericho seven times and leading the people, quite possibly represents a gift of faith. I heard someone say the real miracle was to keep that many people quiet for seven days! Another example that could be a gift of faith is David and Goliath—that unction for David to rise up and take on the giant, not even being concerned about it. That’s the unique thing about the gift of faith, that when this comes upon you, you are ready to go and do, no questions asked. It is the Spirit of God, that confidence working in you and through you. Another example is Yeshua walking on the sea. Whether or not Yeshua needed the gift of faith, we don’t know, but certainly it was outside of the norm of something He would do. I honestly think Yeshua probably walked in not only the gifts of the Spirit, but the operation of the fullness of the Spirit and the seven spirits of God. I really believe we’re coming into something that’s even going to take us past Pentecost into the fullness of the Spirit.
Another example with Peter is when he comes to the Temple. The beggar is there, begging for alms and what does Peter say? “Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give, in the name of Yeshua, rise up and walk!” And the man just jumped up, leaping, walking and praising God. For most people that would indicate the operation of the gift of faith. Another example would be Paul, with Eutychus. Paul is preaching at midnight and Eutychus falls out out of the window down to the ground. By all appearances he is dead, and Paul goes over and speaks life into him. Everyone is happy because he was raised from the dead.
From my personal life, I will give you a couple of examples. My mother died from cancer that was tumorous. It grew very rapidly; she was a believer but I think in her case there was a fear that was hindering the operation of the Spirit. When she died, I had a very busy schedule and it was devastating to have the devil take her out. Everyone was telling me, “Dave, just take some time off.” The day after the funeral I went right back into my schedule of ministry, and two or three days after the funeral, there was a lady that had the same problem. I prayed a good prayer of faith, believing God for the healing, but nothing happened. No change that I could see. But on the inside of me there was this surge that said, “Don’t give up. Don’t let the devil have a victory here.” I prayed again, and nothing happened. But there was such an unction on the inside of me. I just knew I had the victory even though I wasn’t seeing the victory, the lady wasn’t seeing the victory. All of a sudden the power of God hit her and the tumor just totally disappeared. It was a shocking moment! A gift of faith gave me the unction to fight.
One of my favorite stories demonstrates the working of miracles. I was in South Africa on a medical mission with a surgeon. She had asked me to mentor her on the operation of the supernatural because she was seeing people healed by surgery, but she wanted to see more of the miraculous. I encountered a lady that they were rolling into this convent/medical clinic in a wheelbarrow. I don’t know what the problem was, because I met her before the doctors got to her. She was in excruciating pain and couldn’t walk. The woman had been through some domestic violence and had fallen. Possibly it was a broken back. I got down on the floor and ministered to her that through the blood of Yeshua she was healed. I related the story about Peter and James at the Gate Beautiful and said, “In the name of Yeshua, rise up and walk.” And there was an unction! The doctor attending her stopped me because you don’t tell people with a broken back to get up and walk. So the doctor, my friend, is trying to stop me, saying “No, you can’t do that!” and I said, “Yes we can.” And faith rose up on the inside of me and she got up out of the wheelbarrow. Her first step or two, she was in pain, but I just stood alongside her and said, “In the name of Yeshua, you are healed.” For a few seconds she was walking in pain, and then the power of God hit her. She was completely healed. My doctor friend did an exam and the lady was completely healed. She left pushing the wheelbarrow. Later that night the doctor got filled with the Holy Spirit, and God opened the door for that whole convent. I was able to minister because of that miracle to forty nuns and over a couple of days they all got baptized in the Holy Ghost.
One of the things you are going to see as you step out is that miracles provoke people to jealousy, as the Bible says. They witness the reality of a miracle working God, and they want it. Here’s another example of the working of miracles: I was doing a meeting in Rwanda or Burundi. We were the first ministry ever that the United Nations allowed into the U.N. refugee camps to do campaigns. God moved miraculously. The fifth camp we were going into, people were dying, one per minute, from cholera, dysentery, malaria, machete wounds, and there was a lot of killing happening even in the camps while we were there. The militia came to us and said, “We don’t want you here.” We said, “We’ve got a letter from the president of the country. We have a letter from the head of U.N. refugee relief, so we’ll do this last meeting and we’ll be gone.” They said, “You don’t understand, if you value your life, leave!” And we said, “We do value our lives, but we’re going to stay.” All this was happening through my interpreters. They had 120 Africans; I had like five or six Americans on my team. And they started stoning our team! But there was like a supernatural shield. One person was hit, but no one was injured, no vehicle was damaged, and we all left safely. The next day, 100 Red Cross workers came with me and all 100 were under supernatural protection. I knew God had said, “Go there!”
Again, faith begins where the will of God is known. When you know God’s will then you are going to be in a place to receive the supernatural, naturally.
Now, let’s move into the working of miracles. This is my definition—doing the miraculous, something awesome as a sign or a wonder. Some years ago I would say the working of miracles is God overriding the laws of nature. But we have to remember God never breaks a law. He always works within His laws of creation. What happens is He allows us to operate in a level that we may not understand but it is a realm in the Spirit that is natural to Him. When we’re operating in miracles, we’re just really functioning in God’s realm. As I said earlier, quantum physics shows how we affect the world that we’re living in by what’s in our heart, and we literally call things into being that are not. But it is a natural realm for God. Working of miracles seemingly defies the laws of nature, but in reality the miracles are functioning within the ability of God.
Sometimes we say, “Well, that was a miracle,” but it may differ from the working of miracles. For example, looking at the development of a baby in the womb, you can’t help but say, “That’s the miracle of birth.” That is a natural miracle. Creation is miraculous in its design, but the working of miracles is an intervention by God through you, by the power of the Holy Spirit to do something outside of the bounds of your understanding, but within the laws of creation. My experience has been that it usually has an instantaneous manifestation. It is going to have a right now, “Ahhh, I can see it.” Sometimes when people get healed, whether you can see it or not, that healing can also have a miraculous edge, which causes it to be instantaneous. When a body part is made supernaturally, it is an example of a creative miracle. Once I was praying for a lady in a prison who had her finger shot off. She was there for armed robbery, and she had came forward for headaches because she had been shot in the course of the robbery. Some of the shrapnel was still in her head. They couldn’t take it out because of the proximity to the brain. So she had constant, serious headaches. When she came forward for the pain, I prayed and she was healed. As far as we could tell, the pain was all gone. She was one of probably twenty or thirty people in this prayer line. I was still praying for the others as she went back to her seat, but all of a sudden we hear this screaming—joyful screaming. There was an incredible commotion because when she got back to her seat she realized the missing finger was back! God literally created it from the first knuckle up! That’s what happens with the workings of miracles. It is creative, and it is usually instantaneous.
Right now, I’m going to believe God for a release of miracle power. By the power of the Holy Spirit that’s in me and flowing out of me, I pray that it is going to activate within you the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Especially an activation of the gifts of healing.