1 Corinthians 12:7 (REV) says, “Now to each one [each Christian] is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good.” A “manifestation” is something made visible, apparent, or evident in the senses world. Therefore, a manifestation of the spirit is something that is brought into the senses world via the gift of holy spirit.
The only way to have a “manifestation” of holy spirit is to have holy spirit itself, and one receives God’s gift of holy spirit the moment he is born again. This means that today, in the Grace Administration, the manifestations of holy spirit are available only to Christians, not to unsaved people, who do not have God’s gift of holy spirit. We must understand this because sometimes manifestations such as a message of knowledge or a message of wisdom are treated as if they simply referred to great knowledge or vast wisdom. Knowledge and wisdom learned via one’s five senses are not manifestations of holy spirit. Many unbelievers have much knowledge or wisdom, but that is not a “manifestation” of holy spirit because they do not have holy spirit.
Many Christians erroneously refer to the manifestations of holy spirit as “gifts of the spirit.” A “manifestation” is when something appears in the senses world or is readily perceived by the senses, while a “gift” is something that is given from one person to another. A good way to understand the difference between a gift and a manifestation is to think of a light bulb. If someone gives you a light bulb, it is the gift, and when it is turned on, the light and heat are its manifestations. If you have the light bulb, you automatically have its manifestations of light and heat when you turn it on.
Likewise, God gives us his gift of holy spirit. The manifestations come from the gift; they are not gifts in and of themselves. So, for example, the reason God can say, “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…” (1 Cor. 14:5a) is that speaking in tongues is a manifestation, not a gift. Every Christian has the gift of holy spirit born and sealed inside him, so each has the ability to speak in tongues, as well as evidence the other manifestations.