Chap. XLVI. - Catalogue of Spiritual Gifts

Contrary to popular belief these days in how the spiritual gifts are perceived, miracles and healings are considered a lower realm of spiritual gifts compared to the gifts of the word, i.e. the word of wisdom and the word of knowledge.

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And if you come to the books written after the time of Jesus, you will find that those multitudes of believers who hear the parables are, as it were, “without,” and worthy only of exoteric doctrines, while the disciples learn in private the explanation of the parables. For, privately, to His own disciples did Jesus open up all things, esteeming above the multitudes those who desired to know His wisdom. And He promises to those who believe upon Him to send them wise men and scribes, saying, “Behold, I will send unto you wise men and scribes, and some of them they shall kill and crucify.” (cf. Mat_23:34) 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. And in the Acts of the Apostles Stephen bears witness to the great learning of Moses, which he had obtained wholly from ancient writings not accessible to the multitude. For he says: “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.” (Act_7:22) And therefore, with respect to his miracles, it was suspected that he wrought them perhaps, not in virtue of his professing to come from God, but by means of his Egyptian knowledge, in which he was well versed. 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.

~Origen- Against Celsus Book III Vol. 4

XVI. Concerning the Ordination of Presbyters — The Constitution of John, Who Was Beloved by the Lord.

The spiritual gifts weren’t given until you were ordained. You’re either ordained a presbyter, deacon or bishop. The Apostle/Bishop is the only one in the church who can impart the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the church.

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Concerning the ordination of presbyters, who am loved by the Lord make this constitution for you the bishops: When thou ordainest a presbyter, O bishop, lay thy hand upon his head, in the presence of the presbyters and deacons, and pray, saying: O Lord Almighty, our God, who hast created all things by Christ, and dost in like manner take care of the whole world by Him; for He who had power to make different creatures, has also power to take care of them, according to their different natures; on which account, O God, Thou takest care of immortal beings by bare preservation, but of those that are mortal by succession — of the soul by the provision of laws, of the body by the supply of its wants. Do Thou therefore now also look down upon Thy holy Church, and increase the same, and multiply those that preside in it, and grant them power, that they may labor both in word and work for the edification of Thy people. Do Thou now also look down upon this Thy servant, who is put into the presbytery by the vote and determination of the whole clergy; and do Thou replenish him with the Spirit of grace and counsel, to assist and govern Thy people with a pure heart, in the same manner as Thou didst look down upon Thy chosen people, and didst command Moses to choose elders, whom Thou didst fill with Thy Spirit. (Exo_18:1-27, Exo_24:1-18, Exo_28:1-43) Do Thou also now, O Lord, grant this, and preserve in us the Spirit of Thy grace, that this person, being filled with the gifts of healing and the word of teaching, may in meekness instruct Thy people, and sincerely serve Thee with a pure mind and a willing soul, and may fully discharge the holy ministrations for Thy people, through Thy Christ, with whom glory, honor, and worship be to Thee, and to the Holy Ghost, forever. Amen.

~Constitutions of the Apostles- Book VIII Part 2 Vol. 7

XIII. - Word of Wisdom and the Word of Knowledge

The wisdom of God has to be properly discerned between God’s wisdom and man’s wisdom. If a person was a perfect life yet he did not have the wisdom of God, he is considered worthless. The Wisdom of God is considered the strong meat of the word whom only the perfect could partake of. The “word of wisdom” and the “word of knowledge” gifts are correctly defined in this article.

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According to the foregoing, then, the one kind of wisdom is human, and the other divine. Now the “human” wisdom is that which is termed by us the wisdom of the “world,” which is “foolishness with God;” whereas the “divine” – being different from the “human,” because it is “divine” – comes, through the grace of God who bestows it, to those who have evinced their capacity for receiving it, and especially to those who, from knowing the difference between either kind of wisdom, say, in their prayers to God, “Even if one among the sons of men be perfect, while the wisdom is wanting that comes from Thee, he shall be accounted as nothing.” (cf. Wisdom of Solomon 9:6.) We maintain, indeed, that “human” wisdom is an exercise for the soul, but that “divine” wisdom is the “end,” being also termed the “strong” meat of the soul by him who has said that “strong meat belongeth to them that are perfect, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Heb_5:14) This opinion, moreover, is truly an ancient one, its antiquity not being referred back, as Celsus thinks, merely to Heraclitus and Plato. For before these individuals lived, the prophets distinguished between the two kinds of wisdom. It is sufficient for the present to quote from the words of David what he says regarding the man who is wise, according to divine wisdom, that “he will not see corruption when he beholds wise men dying.” (Psalm 49:9, 10, LXX) 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. And therefore Paul says: “To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit.” And therefore it is no ordinary individuals whom you will find to have participated in the “divine” wisdom, but the more excellent and distinguished among those who have given in their adherence to Christianity; for it is not “to the most ignorant, or servile, or most uninstructed of mankind,” that one would discourse upon the topics relating to the divine wisdom.

~Origen- Against Celsus Book VI Vol. 4

XXVI. The Same Apostle Concerning the Exorcist.

An exorcist is not ordained. It’s not an office and nor are you ordained because of it. Exorcism, or deliverance, is done through the gift of healing by the process of revelation.

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I the same make a constitution in regard to an exorcist. An exorcist is not ordained. For it is a trial of voluntary goodness, and of the grace of God through Christ by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For he who has received the gift of healing is declared by revelation from God, the grace which is in him being manifest to all. But if there be occasion for him, he must be ordained a bishop, or a presbyter, or a deacon.

~Constitution of the Apostles- Book VII Part 2 Vol. 7