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Did Apostles Have All the Gifts of the Spirit?

“In the March issue, you wrote that ‘apostles had all the gifts of the Spirit.’ What Scripture verifies that statement?”

When the gifts of the Spirit were given, each man was given one gift, as Paul makes clear when he wrote,

“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another…knowledge…to another faith…to another…healing… to another the working of miracles…tongues…the interpretation of tongues…but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will” (1 Cor. 12:8-11).

That word “severally” means one at a time, each by itself, apart from others, a definition that the context there makes clear when it says that only “one” was given the gift of wisdom, while others were given other gifts.

The Apostle Peter, on the other hand, had the gift of tongues (Acts 2:4), as well as the gift of healing (Acts 3:6-8; 5:16) and the working of miracles (Acts 9:36-41). He also exercised the gift of prophecy when he was able to tell Ananias was lying (Acts 5:3,4). Prophets just knew stuff like that (2 Kings 6:12; John 4:18,19). The Apostle Paul could speak in tongues (1 Cor. 14:18), heal the sick (Acts 28:8), and work miracles (Acts 13:11,12; 16:16-18; Acts 20:8-12; 28:3-5).

So “the signs of an apostle” (2 Cor. 12:12) weren’t exhibited when a man used one gift of the Spirit. They were exhibited when a man showed he could exercise more than one of them.

To the Reader:

Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:

"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."

To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.