Gifts of the Holy Spirit

St Thomas Aquinas

Edited by J E Bradburn

Isaiah 40:31 (KJV) But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


The Meaning of Numbers: The Number 9


Used 49 times in Scripture, the number 9 symbolizes Divine completeness or conveys the meaning of finality. Christ died at the 9th hour of the day, or 3 p.m., to make the way of salvation open to everyone. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) is the only one of God's annual Feast days of worship that requires believers to fast for one day. This special day, considered by many Jews to be the holiest of the year, begins at sunset on the 9th day of the seventh Hebrew month (Leviticus 23:32).


Leviticus 23:32 KJV It shall be unto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye shall afflict your souls: in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye celebrate your Sabbath.


Nine also represents the fruits of God's Holy Spirit, which are Faithfulness, Gentleness, Goodness, Joy, Kindness, Long suffering, Love, Peace and Self-control (Galatians 5:22 - 23).


Galatians 5:22 – 23 KJV

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


Appearances of the number nine

·        Hoshea, who was Israel's last king before the kingdom fell to the Assyrians in 723 B.C., reigned for just 9 years (732 to 723 B.C.).

·        The total destruction of Jerusalem's temple began, on the Hebrew Calendar, on Ab 9. It was also on this day that the second (also known as Herod's) temple was burned to the ground by the Romans in 70 A.D.

·        The first battle mentioned in God's word is between a confederation of 4 kings against another which has 5 kings for a total of nine (Genesis 14:1 – 2)

·        Genesis 14:1 - 2

1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;

            2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

·        It was at the 9th hour of the day that a Roman Centurion named Cornelius was told, in a vision, to contact the apostle Peter. Cornelius would eventually be baptized and receive God's spirit, becoming the first recorded Gentile convert to Christianity (Acts 10).

1 x 9 = 9 = 9 One (1) Denotes unity: and commencement:

2 x 9 = 18 = 1+ 8 = 9 Two (2) Denotes difference:

3 x 9 = 27 = 2 + 7 = 9 Three (3) Denotes completeness:,

4 x 9 = 36 = 3 + 6 = 9 Four (4) Denotes creative works:

5 x 9 = 45 = 4 + 5 = 9 Five (5) Denotes Divine Grace:

6 x 9 = 54 = 5 + 4 = 9 Six (6) Denotes the human number:

7 x 9 = 63 = 6 + 3 = 9 Seven (7) Denotes spiritual perfection:

8 x 9 = 72 = 7 + 2 = 9 Eight (8) Denotes resurrection, regeneration;

9 x 9 = 81 = 8 + 1 = 9 Nine (9) Denotes finality of judgement:

10 x 9 = 90 = 9 + 0 = 9 Ten (10) Denotes ordinal perfection:

11 x 9 = 99 = 9 - 9 = 9 Eleven (11) Denotes, disorder, and disorganisation:

12 x 9 = 108 = 1 + 0 + 8 = 9 Twelve (12) Denotes Government perfection:

   13 x 9 = 117 = 1 + 1+ 7 = 9 Thirteen (13) Denotes rebellion, apostasy, defection, disintegration, revolution, etc:


The table above indicates the procession from 1—12, (although the multiplication would carry on in multiples of nine indefinitely).

 1—13 = Death to Resurrection and judgement. = Nine (9) Denotes finality of judgement: It is 3x3, the product of Divine completeness. The number nine, or its factors or multiples, is seen in all cases when judgement is the subject.


1 Corinthians 15:50 KJV I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.


The purpose of the Holy Spirit by John, in his presentation of the Messiah, is to say to us and to us all, “Behold your God”; and His Deity is preserved throughout this Gospel. This is emphasised by the first and last references (1:1 and 20: 28, 31). The same purpose and design are seen in the presentation of the Lord as having the Divine attribute of Omniscience. This is not entirely absent in the other Gospels; but it pervades the fourth Gospel, and is manifested by much more frequent reference.


Of all the gifts, wisdom seems to be the highest. Now each of these is necessary for salvation: since of wisdom it is written God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom; and of fear.


Eccles 1:28 He that is without fear cannot be justified.  Therefore the other gifts that are placed between these are also necessary for salvation.


Ecclesiastes 1:18 (KJV) For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow. .  


As stated above, the gifts are perfections of man, whereby he is disposed so as to be amenable to the promptings of God. Wherefore in those matters where the prompting of reason is not sufficient, and there is need for the prompting of the Holy Spirit, there is, in consequence, need for a gift.


1 Corinthians 12 (KJV) Gifts of the Holy Spirit (9).

01 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.

02 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

03 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

04 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

05 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.

06 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

07 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.(Genesis 2:7 KJV)

08 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

09 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

14 For the body is not one member, but many.

15 If the foot shall say, ‘Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?’

16 And if the ear shall say, ‘Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?’

17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?

18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him.

19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?

20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.

21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, ‘I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.’

22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.

26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?

30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.


Now man’s reason is perfected by God in two ways:


1.      First, with its natural perfection, to wit, the natural light of reason.

2.      Secondly, with a supernatural perfection, to wit, the theological virtues, as stated.


And, though this latter (2) perfection is greater than the former (1), yet the former is possessed by man in a more perfect manner than the latter: because man has the former in his full possession, whereas he possesses the latter imperfectly, since we love and know God imperfectly. Now it is evident that anything that has a nature or a form or a virtue perfectly, can of itself work according to them: not, however, excluding the operation of God, Who works inwardly in every nature and in every will. On the other hand, that which has a nature, or form, or virtue imperfectly, cannot of itself work, unless it be moved by another. Thus the sun, which possesses light perfectly, can shine by itself; whereas the moon which has the nature of light imperfectly sheds only a borrowed light. Again, a physician, who knows the medical art perfectly, can work by himself; but his pupil, who is not yet fully instructed, cannot work by himself, but needs to receive instructions from him.

Accordingly, in matters subject to human reason and directed to man’s connatural end (inborn) man can work through the judgement of his reason. If, however, even in these things man receives help in the shape of special promptings from God, this will be out of God’s superabundant goodness: hence, according to the philosophers, not everyone that had the acquired moral virtues had also the heroic or Divine virtues. But in matters directed to the supernatural end, to which man’s reason moves him, according as it is, in a manner, and imperfectly, informed by the theological virtues, the motion of reason does not suffice, unless it receive in addition the prompting or motion of the Holy Ghost, according to:


Romans 8: 14—17 KJV

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.


Psalm 143:10 KJV Teach me to do Thy will; for thou art my God:Thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness


Because, to wit, none can receive the inheritance of that land of the Blessed, except he be moved and led thither by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in order to accomplish this end, it is necessary for man to have the gift of the Holy Ghost.


Whether the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost Are Suitably Enumerated (Listed).


Isaiah 11:2-3 (KJV)

2 And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord;

3 And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:


The gifts are habits perfecting man so that he is ready to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, even as the moral virtues perfect the appetitive powers so that they obey the reason. Now just as it is natural for the appetitive powers to be moved by the command of reason, so it is natural for all the forces in man to be moved by the instinct of God, as by a superior power. Therefore whatever powers in man can be the principles of human actions, can also be the subjects of gifts, even as they are virtues; and such powers are the reason and appetite.

Now the reason is speculative and practical: and in both we find the apprehension of TRUTH  (foreboding; which pertains (relates) to the discovery of TRUTH), and judgement concerning the TRUTH. Accordingly, for the apprehension of TRUTH, the speculative reason is perfected by understanding; the practical reason, by counsel. In order to judge aright, the speculative reason is perfected by wisdom; the practical reason by knowledge.—The appetitive power, in matters touching a man’s relation’s to another, is perfected by piety; in matters touching himself, it is perfected by fortitude against the fear of dangers; and against inordinate lust for pleasures, by fear.


Proverbs 15:27 (KJV) He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house; but he that hateth gifts shall live.


Psalm 119:120 (KJV) My flesh trembleth for fear of Thee; and I am afraid of Thy judgments.


Hence it is clear that these gifts extend to all those things to which the virtues, both intellectual and moral, extend.


Deuteronomy 10:12 (KJV) And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,


The excellence of the gifts then, can be measured in two ways:

1.      First, simply, by comparison to their proper acts as proceeding from their principles.

2.      Secondly, relatively, by comparison to their matter .

If we consider the excellence of the gifts simply, they follow the same rule as the virtues, as to their comparison one with another; because the gifts perfect man for all the acts of the soul’s powers, even as the virtues do, as stated. Hence, as the intellect virtues have the precedence of the moral virtues, and among the intellectual virtues, the contemplative are preferable to the active, viz. wisdom, understanding, and science, to prudence (careful good judgment that allows someone to avoid danger or risks) and art (yet so that wisdom stands before understanding, and understanding before science, and prudence and synesis (according to sense) before eubulia (not indeed to some particular end, but to the common end of all life): so also among the gifts, wisdom and understanding, knowledge, and counsel are more excellent than piety, fortitude, and fear; and among the latter, piety excels fortitude, and fortitude and fear, even as justice surpasses fortitude, and fortitude temperance.—but in regard to their matter, fortitude and counsel precede knowledge  and piety: because fortitude and counsel are concerned with difficult matters, whereas piety and knowledge regard ordinary matters.—Consequently the excellence of the gifts corresponds with the order in which they are enumerated; but so far as wisdom and understanding are given the preference to the others, their excellence is considered simply, while, so far, as counsel and fortitude are preferred to knowledge and piety, it is considered with regard to their matter. 


The gifts are bestowed to assist the virtues and to remedy certain defects, so that, seemingly, they accomplish what the virtues cannot. Therefore the gifts are more excellent than the virtues.


There are three kinds of virtues: for some are theological, some intellectual, and some moral.


1.      The theological virtues are those whereby man’s mind is united to God.

2.      The intellectual virtues are those whereby reason itself is perfected.

3.      The moral virtues are those which perfect the powers of appetite in obedience to the reason.


On the other hand the gifts of the Holy Spirit dispose all the powers of the soul to be amenable to the Divine motion.


Accordingly the gifts seem to be compared to the theological virtues, by which man is united to the Holy Spirit his Mover, in the same way as the moral virtues are compared to the intellectual virtues, which perfect the reason, the moving principle of the moral virtues. Wherefore (what? why?) as the intellectual virtues are more excellent than the moral virtues and control them, so the theological virtues are more excellent than the gifts of the Holy Spirit and regulate them. Hence: the seven gifts never attain the perfection of the number ten, unless all that they do in faith, hope, and charity.

But if we compare the gifts to the other virtues, intellectual and moral, then the gifts have the precedence of the virtues. Because the gifts perfect the soul’s powers in relation to the Holy Spirit their Mover: whereas the virtues perfect, either the reason itself, or the other powers in relation to reason: and it is evident that the more exalted the mover, the more excellent the disposition whereby the thing moved requires to be disposed. Therefore the gifts are more perfect than the virtues.


Of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit


Matthew 12:33 (KJV) Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.


 The word fruit has been transferred from the material to the spiritual world Now fruit, among material things, is the product of a plant when it comes to perfection, and has certain sweetness. This fruit has a twofold relation—:


1.      To the tree that produces it,

2.      To the man who gathers the fruit from the tree.


Accordingly, in spiritual matters, we may take the word fruit in two ways:


1.      First, so that the fruit of man, who is likened to the tree, is that which he produces.

2.      Secondly, so the man’s fruit is what he gathers


Yet not all that man gathers is fruit, but only that which is last and gives pleasure. For a man has both a field and a tree, and yet these are not called fruits; but that only which is last, to wit, that which man intends to derive from the field and from the tree. In this sense man’s fruit is his last end which is intended for his enjoyment

If, however, by man’s fruit we understand a product of man, then human actions are called fruits: because operation is the second act of the operator and gives pleasure if it is suitable to him. If then man’s operation proceeds from man in virtue of his reason, it is said to be the fruit of reason: but if it proceeds from him in respect of a Higher Power, which is the power of the Holy Spirit, then man’s operation is said to be the fruit of the Holy Spirit, as of a Divine seed, for it is written:


1 John 3:9 (KJV) Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.


Whether Ignorance is Sin?


Ignorance differs from nescience (lack of knowledge; ignorance) in that nescience denotes mere absence of knowledge; wherefore whoever lacks knowledge about anything, can be said to be nescient about it: On the other hand, ignorance denotes privation of knowledge (a lack or loss of the basic things that people need to live properly), i.e. lack of knowledge of those things that one has a natural aptitude to know. Some of these we are under an obligation to know, those, to wit, without the knowledge of which we are unable to accomplish a due act rightly. Wherefore all are bound in common to know the articles of faith, and the universal principles of right, and each individual is bound to know matters regarding his duty or state. (Almost everyone knows their rights, but not their responsibilities).

Meanwhile there are other things which a man may have a natural aptitude to know, yet he is bound to know them, such as the geometrical theorems, and contingent particulars, except in some individual case. Now it is evident that whoever neglects to have or do what he ought to have or do, commits a sin of omission (something that has been omitted). Wherefore through negligence, ignorance of what one is bound to know, is a sin; whereas it is not imputed as a sin to man, if he fails to know what he is unable to know. Consequently ignorance of such like things is called invincible, because it cannot be overcome by study. For this reason such like ignorance, not being voluntary, since it is not in our power to be rid of it, is not a sin:

·        wherefore it is evident that no invincible ignorance is a sin, 

·        on the other hand, vincible ignorance is a sin, if it be about matters one is bound, to know;

·        but not, if it be about things one is not bound to know.  


Invincible ignorance: caused by mental illness, unable to study, physically illiterate, Absence from guidance from churches, &c


          vincible ignorance: Tares, Atheists, secular, laziness, or disdain (a feeling of strong dislike or disapproval of someone or something you think does not deserve respect) all = Apostasy.


Whether There is But One Divine Law?


Hebrews 7:12 (KJV) For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.


However; the priesthood is twofold, as stated in the same passage, i.e., the Levitical priesthood, and the priesthood of Christ. Therefore the Divine Law is twofold, namely the:


1.      Old Testament Law

2.      New Testament Law


Distinction is the cause of number. Now things may be distinguished in two ways:


1.      As those things that are altogether specifically different, e.g., a horse, and an ox.

2.      As perfect and imperfect in the same species e.g., a boy and a man: and in this way the Divine Law is divided into Old and New.


Hence; Galatians 3:24—25 KJV

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.


Compares the state of man under the Old Law to that of a child under a pedagogue (teacher); but the state under the New Law, to that of a full grown man, who is no longer under a pedagogue, but who needs tuition and knowledge to enable him to make a correct decision.

Now the perfection and imperfection of these two laws is to be taken in connection with the three conditions pertaining to law, as stated above.


1.      For, in the first place, it belongs to law to be directed to the common good as to its end. this good may be twofold. It may be a sensible and earthly good; and to this, man was directly ordained by the Old Law: wherefore, at the very outset of the Law, the people were invited to the earthly kingdom of the Chananæans (Canaanites), Exodus 3:8, 17. KJV 8 And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. 17 And I have said, I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt unto the land of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey. Again it may be an intelligible and heavenly good; and to this, man is ordained by the New Law. Wherefore at the very beginning of His preaching, Christ invited men to the Kingdom of Heaven, saying Matthew 4:17 KJV From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

2.      Secondly, it belongs to the law to direct human acts according to the order of righteousness: wherein also the New Law surpasses the Old Law, since it directs our internal acts, According to Matthew 5:20 KJV For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Hence the saying that the Old Law restrains the hand, but the New Law controls the mind.

3.      Thirdly, it belongs to the law to induce men to observe its ten commandments This the Old Law did by the fear of punishment: but the New Law, by love, which is poured into your hearts by the grace of Christ, bestowed in the New Law, but foreshadowed in the Old Law. There is little difference between the Law and the Gospel—fear and love


As the Father of a family issues different commands to the children and to the adults, so also the one King, God, in His own Kingdom, gave one law to men, while they were yet imperfect, and another more perfect law, when, by the preceding law, they had been led to a greater capacity for Divine things.


The salvation of man could not be achieved otherwise than through Christ, according to:


Acts 4:12 (KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.


Consequently the Law that brings all to salvation could not be given until after the coming of Christ But before His coming it was necessary to give to the people, of whom Christ was to be born, a law containing certain rudiments of righteousness unto salvation, in order to prepare them to receive Him.


Now; for those who have the ‘ears to hear’, prepare to meet your God