The God-given ability to communicate God’s message in relation to the truth already revealed (Jude 3). It is not necessarily or even primarily a prediction. Rather, it is done for the purposes of encouraging, strengthening and comforting (1 Cor. 14:3). These have the ability to perceive the spiritual needs of others and meet those needs through Scripture.

Characteristics of a Prophet / Perceiver:

  1. Able to recognize good and bad and hates what is bad
  2. Sees everything clearly not dimly; no foggy or indefinite areas
  3. Recognizes character in people, whether good or bad
  4. Encourages repentance for the glory of God
  5. Is an introvert rather than an extravert
  6. Sees the Bible as the foundation for truth
  7. Courageously holds to spiritual truths
  8. Outspoken
  9. Powerful and persuasive speaker
  10. Distraught over the sins of others
  11. Sees their own shortcomings and those of others
  12. Desires to see God’s plans take place
  13. Promotes spiritual growth in others
  14. Fanatical about integrity
  15. Strongly communicates what they perceive
  16. Self examiner
  17. Opinionated and holds to convictions
  18. Holds to a high standard
  19. Desperately desires to obey God

Challenges of the Prophet/Perceiver:

  1. May be judgmental and upfront
  2. Delights in goal accomplishment not forward progress
  3. Forcefully pushes others toward spiritual growth
  4. Intolerant of other views
  5. Struggles with self image

Places in the church body where this gift could be utilized

  1. Small group leader
  2. Any type of lay counseling
  3. Security at any church function
  4. Providing oversight of any ministry function
  5. Great mentors and peacemakers

Important Reminders

Keep in mind that oftentimes the Holy Spirit gives us more than one gift which serves to keep our other gift (gifts) in check or harmonize to create a blended gift that God uses in unique ways. This is another reason why each and everyone of us has a unique role to play in the Kingdom even if your gift may seem just like someone else you know!

1. Scripture commands us to minister in many areas whether or not we have the corresponding spiritual gift. For example Scripture clearly tells us that some have the following gifts, yet all are to minister in these ways…

Gifts to some

Ministering (serving)

Commands To All

Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
Exhort each other (Hebrews 10:25)
All give (2 Corinthians 9:7)
Make Disciples (Matthew 28:19)
Be kind (Ephesians 4:32)
Walk by faith (2 Corinthians 5:7)
All witness (Acts 1:8)

Oftentimes as we are faithful to these commands, we discover our particular spiritual gift(s).

2. No matter what spiritual gift(s) we have received, the Christian virtue of love must accompany the exercise of those gifts; otherwise, they will prove unfruitful.

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”

— 1 Corinthians 13:1-3


Your God-given personality, talents, abilities and spiritual gifts all work together to make you uniquely you!

“Whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies; so that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belongs the glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.”

— 1 Peter 4:11

The Difference between Gifts and Talents

Talents have to do with techniques and methods; gifts have to do with spiritual abilities. Talents depend on natural ability, gifts on spiritual endowment. Talents instruct, inspire, or entertain on a natural level. However, when a gift is exercised, something supernatural happens in and through the one who is ministering.




Common grace of the spirit

Special grace of the spirit

Time Given

Present from natural birth

Present from new birth


Natural ability

Spiritual endowment


Instruction, entertainment, inspiration on a natural level

Spiritual growth of saints, Christian service

Just as the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “We do not want you to be ignorant concerning Spiritual gifts.” At Cross Connection Escondido we are committed to equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.  To this end we invite you to enroll in our School of Discipleship where you will have an opportunity to study the topic of Spiritual gifts more fully and be given an opportunity to discuss the topic during our extended times of Q & A.  We would also encourage you to consider Pastor Miles’ teaching on the topic of Spiritual Gifts and Power in the media section of the website.  We want that no one would be hindered from engaging in ministry due to confusion about Spiritual gifts.