Are the gifts of the Holy Spirit really psychic powers?
The gifts of the Holy Spirit that the Apostle Paul enumerated in 1 Corinthians (12:4-11) can be considered psychic powers.
In the Acts of the Apostles, St. Paul said:
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of services, but the same Lord… To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
“To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are activated by one and the same Spirit who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.”
If we analyze each of these gifts of the Spirit, we can easily see that they refer to certain mental activities or psychic powers that are neither ordinary nor supernatural.
Wisdom refers to insight into things that is intuitive, not rational. Wisdom goes beyond reason.
Knowledge here may refer to knowledge not only of the present, but also of either the past or the future.
And only through the spirit can this be known, according to Paul’s understanding of it.
Faith is again conviction, not governed by reason alone but goes above and beyond reason.
Healing refers to the ability to make one whole. If one is sick, he is not whole; something is missing. There is no balance.
There are people who can heal through the power of the mind alone. This is what we call psychic healing. Although, of course, there are other modalities of healing.
Working of miracles is not beyond the powers of ordinary mortals.
Appolonius of Tyana, who lived in the first century, A.D., performed many miracles during his lifetime. The ability to work miracles can be considered a psychic power which, though present, is undeveloped in most human beings.
Prophecy is the power or ability to tell what is going to happen before it occurs. Prophets are revered during ancient times because they have saved whole kingdoms from catastrophes or calamities, among other things.
The ability to see the future is one form of psychic ability called precognition.
Discernment of spirits certainly requires clairvoyant or at least intuitive ability. Otherwise, how can one know what type of spirit is manifesting itself?
Speaking in tongues
One cannot speak another language that he does not understand unless he is in a trance. And the ability to go into trance is a psychic power. The technical term for speaking in tongues is “glossolalia”.
Interpretation of tongues is also done in a trance state. During ordinary waking consciousness, one may hear a language spoken but may not understand it.
In a trance state, he or she is able to interpret what the person speaking in tongues is saying, although the person himself may not know what he is talking about.
All the above gifts of the Holy Spirit can be considered as psychic gifts. They are beyond ordinary human awareness or consciousness.
Another example of a psychic power which can be found in the Bible is materialization.
It may be defined as the ability to produce something out of nothing or to make something appear physically out of nowhere.
The most commonly known case of materialization was when Jesus Christ fed some 5,000 people with only a few pieces of bread and fish. And they all had their fill.
Afterwards, there was some more bread left in the basket.
Less known to Christians is that, even before the time of Christ, there were people known to have materialized food.
In 2 Kings (4:42-44), we learn that the prophet Elisha fed 100 men with only 20 loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain.
Here’s that passage from the Bible itself:
“A man came… bringing food from first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat.’ But his servant said, ‘How can I set this before a hundred people?’ So he repeated, ‘Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord. They shall eat and have some left.’ He set it before them; they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.”
Materialization, the ability to make a physical object appear out of nowhere, is therefore, not really impossible.
Even in modern times there are psychics and healers who are able to do this. The materialization made by the late Indian guru, Satya Sai Baba, is very well-known.
Less-known are the materialization done by Israeli psychic Uri Geller and those of our Filipino healers. I have witnessed some of these acts by our healers in the Philippines.
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