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  Site F Graceland Estate, Chima Bus stop, Off Alakija Road, Satellite town, Lagos.

WHAT WE BELIEVE

THE MANIFESTATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT


INTRODUCTION:

God’s original plan for His people is to be a kingdom of priests (Exodus 19:3-6). In order to carry out our priestly duties, within and without (especially the harvest of souls), we as God’s people need the manifestation of the Holy Spirit : that is; the various ways the Holy Spirit shows, expresses or demonstrates His power in us and through us (1 Corinthians 12: 1-11).

The Manifestations of the Holy Spirit are:

  • The Word of Wisdom
  • The Word of Knowledge
  • The Gift of Faith
  • The Gifts of Healings
  • The Working of Miracles
  • The Gift of Prophecy
  • The Discerning of Spirits
  • Divers kinds of Tongues
  • Interpretation of Tongues

These manifestations can be grouped into 3 categories which are:

 Revelation gifts 

Power gifts 

 Utterance gifts

 Word of wisdom  The gift of faith  Gift of prophecy
 Word of knowledge  Gifts of healings  Divers kinds of tongues
 Discerning of spirits  Working of miracles  Interpretation of tongues


THE WORD OF WISDOM

Genesis 41:1-40

Joseph’s ability to interpret the dream of Pharaoh accurately was supernatural. It takes having a gift from God or a divine enablement to do such (Genesis 41:15, 16). This divine ability can be described as The Word of Wisdom.

A difference must be drawn between the ability to interpret and the message obtained through the interpretation. The message obtained through the interpretation can be a word of comfort exhortations, a direction etc.

There are two (2) kinds of wisdom (of God):

  • Wisdom that is as a result of one’s development in the knowledge of God and the things of God: This kind of wisdom gives interpretation (Ecclesiastes 8:1).
  • A word of wisdom given, as a manifestation of the Spirit. This also gives one the ability to interpret (Genesis 41:15, 16).

When Joshua met the commander of the army of the LORD by Jericho, he (Joshua) was given a strategy for defeating Jericho. This can be described as the word of wisdom. It is important to note that the word of knowledge was also in manifestation because The Commander of the army of the LORD told Joshua certain facts in the future that were in the mind of God. (Joshua 5: 13 - 6: 5)

 God’s divine strategy to David on how to defeat the Philistines (2 Samuel 5:22-25); the divine revelation of God’s plan and purpose concerning the birth of Jesus Christ, our Saviour that was brought to Mary through angel Gabriel (Luke 1:26-36); the divine revelation by the Holy Spirit concerning God’s plan for Simon not to see death until he had seen the Lord’s Christ (Luke 2:25, 26); the supernatural revelation to Ananias concerning God’s plan and purpose for Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:13-16) can all be described as the manifestation of the word of wisdom.

Other scriptural examples in which the word of wisdom was manifested are:

2 Kings 3:6-19, Acts 10:9-21, Acts 13:1-3, Acts 16:6-12, Acts 27:9-25

From the scriptural examples given, we can define the word of wisdom as the supernatural revelation of God’s plan, purpose, specific instruction, strategy, interpretation, or direction on a specific issue, at a specific time, to a specific person, family, people or nation.

The word of wisdom is access into God’s acumen that could not have been received by natural means.

WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

The Word of Knowledge is the supernatural revelation of facts in the mind of God that either existed in the past, exist in the present or in the future which could not have been known by natural means. When the facts revealed are pure facts containing no plans or purposes of God, they are categorised as the Word of Knowledge.

Scriptural examples were the word of knowledge were manifested are:
David concerning the people of Keilah (1 Samuel 23:10-13); Elisha and Gehazi as regards to Naaman’s gifts (2 Kings 5: 20-27); Elisha and the Syrian army (2 Kings 6:8-12); Jesus and the Samaritan woman by the well (John 4:16-18, 39-42); Ananias concerning Saul’s eye sight (Acts 9:10-12); Cornelius and Peter (Acts 10:1-6, 17-20); Prophet Agabus’ prediction of Pauls ordeal in Jerusalem (Acts 21:8-14).

However, when the facts revealed, also unfolds God’s plans and purposes, they are classified under both the word of knowledge and word of wisdom. This is the case in the following scriptures:

David and the Philistine army - 2 Samuel 5:17-19

When the news of David’s ascension to the throne as King of Israel reached the Philistines, they embarked on a search for him. David heard and went down to the stronghold. In the stronghold, David inquired from God on the line of action he should take.

As an answer to David’s inquiry, God gave divine direction to go up against the Philistines, this is a manifestation of the word of wisdom. God also revealed future facts about what would be the outcome of going up to face the Philistines in that battle which was “… for I will doubtless deliver the Philistine into your hand”, this is a manifestation of the word of knowledge.

Philip - Acts 8:26-29.

Philip was given a divine direction and specific instruction by an angel of the Lord concerning what God wanted him to do – this is a manifestation of the word of wisdom.

In this revelation, God described to Philip, the specific road and the particular chariot that was conveying the Ethiopian Eunuch (Philip was given descriptions of facts that were in existence) – this is a manifestation of the word of knowledge. It is possible that there were other people on the route that Philip was divinely directed to, hence the description.

DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

In the spirit world there are good spirits, and bad spirits. There are different nature of spirits which are - God’s Spirit, angelic spirits, human spirits and demon spirits. The ability to distinguish these different nature of spirits is the discerning of spirit.

Discerning of spirit is the supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to know the source of a spiritual manifestation. It is the supernatural insight into the realm of spirits, enabling us to identify the type of spirit in operation, whether it is of God, of man, or of the devil.

Discerning of spirits is God’s Spirit informing a Spirit filled Christian, what type of spirit is being manifested.

Discerning of spirits is not for the discerning of evil spirits only. It is not simply being suspicious of others.  A person who has never had the Holy Spirit can be suspicious of everyone, and often they are. This gift is not discerning of faults, but of spirits.  It is the spirit of the devil which causes people to accuse the brethren.  The devil is called the Accuser of the brethren in the book of Revelation. This heavenly endowment from God via the Holy Spirit is neither, simply, the ability to discern things but SPIRITS (Almost anyone can discern different colours, shapes, and sizes of things, but it will take this gift from the Most Divine Being to discern spirits.) nor should it be confused with spiritism, which is condemned in the Scriptures (see Deuteronomy 18:9-14).  The spirits of our dead relatives are not floating around in our houses or in the air outside.  They are either with Jesus, or else they have gone to hell.

As spiritism and demon-possessed people increase in number we need the gift of discerning of spirits more and more.

One may ask “How is the discerning of spirits, different from trance, vision, dreams, and intuition?”

In the list of gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12: 7-11, there is no mention of the gift of dreams, visions, trance, or intuition. You will not find anywhere in the Bible, the gift of dreams, visions, trance or intuition. Visions, trances, dreams, utterance, inward witness are all spiritual phenomena. They are spiritual experiences that the believer can have through the power of the Holy Spirit, that is why it is possible to confuse them with the gifts of the Spirit, (Joel 2:28,29).

Dreams, visions, trances, utterance, inward witness and intuition are vehicles, channels or means by which the gifts of the Spirit are demonstrated or expressed.

UTTERANCE:

This is a spiritual phenomenon, it is words inspired by the Holy Spirit and energized by Him.

In utterance, the words do not originate from your brain but from your belly: You think of what you have said after hearing it not before. It is one of the channels through which the discerning of spirits (as well as other gifts of the Spirit) can manifest.

Examples of the discerning of spirits includes the following:

  • Peter perceiving the nature of the spirit of Simon through utterance; what Peter said about Simon is far deeper than anything that he could have known naturally (See Acts 8: 16-24).
  • Paul discerning the nature of the spirit of Elymas by utterance in Paphos (See Acts 13:6-11).
  • Paul’s ability to ascertain the unclean nature of the spirit that was speaking through the girl by the inward witness (See Acts 16:18-23).
  • Stephen being full of the Holy Spirit gazing into the sky and seeing the heavens open, and saw (discerned) the Son of Man in a vision (See Acts 7: 54-55).
  • Paul, while praying in Jerusalem, seeing the Lord in a trance. He saw the risen king, the resurrected Lord (See Acts 22:17-21).

The operation of the gift of discerning of spirits helps to free the Church from the spirits of error.

THE GIFT OF FAITH

This is the supernatural endowment given by the Holy Spirit to a believer to receive outstanding miracles from God, which he cannot receive ordinarily by his own measure of faith.

This gift is different from saving faith which a believer receives at new birth and grows in as he hears God’s words (Romans 10: 17; 12: 3; Ephesians 2: 5-8; 2 Thessalonians 1: 3).

When this faith is in operation, all your doubts and unbelief are suspended. The gift of faith operates through believers to receive a miracle.

Examples includes:

  • Joshua commanding the sun to stand still – Joshua 10: 10-15
  • Elijah commanding that rain should not fall for years – 1 Kings 17: 1
  • Elijah commanding that rain should fall after three years – 1 Kings 18: 1-2
  • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refused the bow down to the golden image erected by the King Nebuchadnezzar at the risk of being thrown into the burning furnace – Daniel 3: 1-27
  • Daniel in the lions’ den – Daniel 6: 1-23.
  • Peter raising Tabitha from the dead – Acts 9: 36-43
  • Paul making Elymas blind – Acts 13: 5-11

THE GIFTS OF HEALINGS

This is the supernatural ability given to a believer in Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit to heal the sick.

It is important to note that this manifestation of the Spirit is called ‘the gifts of healings’ and not ‘the gift of healing’. Some Bible scholars believe that this gift is rendered in the plural form because there are different kinds of diseases and sicknesses which require different healing gifts of the Spirit to heal them.

There are different ways by which the ‘gifts of healings’ were administered in the scriptures.

JESUS’ EXAMPLE:

Jesus healed the Galileans who had all manners of sicknesses and diseases (See Matthew 4:23, 24).

The supernatural ability to heal all manners of sicknesses, diseases, torments, set free the demon possessed, the lunatics, and those who had the palsy is a manifestation of the gifts of healings.

This is the gifts of healings in full manifestation. Jesus embodied this gift because the Spirit was not given to Him by measure (John 3:23-36; Hebrews 1:3), in other words, He had the Spirit without measure. He could therefore heal every kind of diseases and sicknesses.

But we are given the Spirit in measures 2 Corinthians 10:13. Therefore, what Jesus was able to do because He was given the Spirit without measure; we are all able to do together, as His Body.

HOW JESUS ADMINISTERED HEALINGS

Matthew 8:1-17

Healing of the leper

In verses 1-3, a leper came to Jesus and expressed faith in His ability to heal him if He was willing.

The leper was certain about Jesus’ ability to heal him, but was in doubt about Jesus’ willingness to do it. According to the Law of Moses, Jesus ought not to touch the man because as a leper the man was unclean and whosoever touches the unclean becomes unclean (See Leviticus 13:44-46; Numbers 19:22). But as a demonstration of His willingness for the man to be cleansed Jesus touched and said ‘I am willing be cleansed’ and the leper was cleansed.

Healing of the Centurion’s servant

In verses 5-13, when the centurion met Jesus and agonized about his servant being sick, Jesus offered to go to his house and heal the servant (this was a demonstration of Jesus’ willingness to heal the centurion’s servant).

In spite of his high status, the centurion did not consider himself worthy to have Jesus to come to his house. This is unlike Naaman who was conscious of his status 2 Kings 5:1-15.
The centurion believed that if Jesus only spoke a word it was enough to heal his servant. In response, Jesus said that the centurion’s request was granted just as he had believed; in that same hour the centurion’s servant was healed.

Healing of Peter’s mother in law

Comparing Matthew 8:14 and 15, and Luke 4:38 and 39, we can see that a request was made of Jesus concerning Peter’s mother in law’s fever. In response to this, Jesus stood over her, touched her, rebuked the fever and she was healed.

Healing of many who were demon possessed and all who were sick

Comparing Matthew 8: 16, and Luke 4:41, we can see that Jesus cast out demons by the spoken word, and they cried out saying, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of God’ but He rebuked them and forbade them to speak.

Also, comparing Matthew 8:16, and Luke 4:40, we can see that all they that had people who were sick with diverse diseases and sicknesses brought them to Jesus and He healed them by laying hands on everyone of them.

The healing of these various sicknesses and diseases is the manifestation of the gifts of healings.

Matthew 12:1-15, 22

The supernatural ability to heal a great multitude of people, set free the demon possessed, heal the blind and the dumb is a manifestation of the gifts of healings.

Healing on the Sabbath day

Jesus healed the man with the withered hand in the synagogue, in the full view of the Pharisees who had tried to intimidate and entrap Him with their question, yet He demonstrated the healing gift without being intimidated.

Jesus healed this man to prove to the Pharisees that it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath. This also shows that it is good to heal the sick at any time.

How does this story apply to us in this dispensation? If a person in the church, perhaps a child comes with a gift of healing to heal the sick in the middle of the service; can he or she walk in this manifestation of the Holy Spirit without being intimidated? How will the leadership of the church receive it?

Whose responsibility is it to set things in order, in the flow of the Manifestations of the Spirit in the Church?

From 1 Corinthians 14:27-33 we can see the following:

Apostle Paul was teaching the Corinthian Church about order in the Manifestations of the Spirit.

He was charging them to do everything for the edification of the church.

The body of believers, collectively and individually who have the Holy Spirit have the collective responsibility of maintaining order, in the church. The Church was to do this by being sensitive to the Holy Spirit. The way we all ensure order is by all being driven by a desire to see that everything is done for edification

Sometimes there can be a move of the Spirit that violates the traditions of men, what we should care about is God’s order and not man’s. We can see this in the case of Jesus when He healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath day, in the full view of the Pharisees.

Every one of us has the responsibility of interpreting the move of the Spirit, we should be desirous to build the Church.

When there is confusion or any kind of disorder in the Church, we can safely deduce by common sense that as part of the oversight functions of the Shepherds or Leaders, they should set things in order; even in the Manifestations of the Spirit (See 1 Peter 5:1-2).

In this instance, the oversight that the leadership gives must be prophetic (1 Corinthians 14: 29, 37). The leaders are to give spiritual oversight by rightly interpreting the meeting. The oversight must be spiritual not carnal. It must be for the edification of the Church that is, building up of the Body of Christ, not the building up of persons.

The people came to hear Jesus and be healed (Luke 6:17-19)

The vast crowd of people from Judea, Jerusalem, Tyre and Sidon came with expectations and faith in the ability of Jesus to heal them from all their diseases and they received their healing.

In verse 19, we can see that:
The expectation of the multitude and their faith in Jesus was translated into action; as they sought to touch Him

As the multitude sought to touch Jesus, power went out from Him and He healed them.

The multitude were healed because Jesus’ presence was carrying power and virtue.

If a man is carrying power and there is no expectation and faith from the people, virtue may not flow out of Him to heal them (except by the Sovereign act of God’s mercy).

If the people are expectant and full of faith, but the man is not carrying power, virtue will not flow from him to heal them.

There is a connection between verse 12, where we see Jesus spending all night in prayer to God before He selected His Twelve apostles out of His disciples, and verse 19, where we see power flowing out of Him to heal the sick.

The lesson we can learn is that, prayer is important because it generates power. Just as Jesus, our Master was a man of prayer; we must also be a people of prayer if we want to see the power of God flow out of us to heal the sick.

Many of us have a desire for things, but lack the diligence to do what it takes to accomplish them. In other words, we desire that virtue will flow out of us to heal the sick, but we lack the diligence required in prayer to generate the power of God that will make it happen.

In Mark 5:25-34, the woman with the issue of blood, an individual touched Jesus in faith and power went out of Him and healed her. On the contrary, the multitude touched the same Jesus and was not healed.

When the multitude knew of Jesus’ whereabouts, they went out of the city on foot, to the place where Jesus had travelled to by boat. When Jesus saw them, He was moved with compassion to heal them. (See Matthew 14:13, 14)

Looking at Mark 6:30-34 and Luke 9:10, 11, we can see that in addition to healing the multitude, He also taught them.

Considering the effort that the multitude made to see Jesus and His assessment of them; as sheep without shepherd, we can say that the multitude came to Jesus with expectation to receive from Him.

In Matthew’s, Mark’s and Luke’s accounts of this event, the healing of the multitude, we can deduce how Jesus administered healing to the crowd:

  • He was moved with compassion for them
  • He taught them things about the kingdom.
  • He healed them.

Healing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter (Matthew 15:21-28)

A Canaanite woman made a demand on Jesus to heal her demon possessed daughter, but Jesus ignored her and His disciples urged Him to send her away. Jesus affirmed, ‘I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’. In response, the woman immediately worshipped Jesus and said “Lord, help me”. But rather than granting her request, Jesus replied, ‘It is not meet to take the bread of children and give it to dogs’.

Jesus’ first statement ‘I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel’, shows that He knew the boundaries of His ministry. How many of us know the scope of our ministry or those to whom we have been sent? Are we sent to everybody?

His second statement ‘It is not meet to take the bread of children and give it to dogs’, can be thus deduced: the Jews were referred to as ‘children’ and the Gentiles were referred to as ‘dogs’. The woman was referred to as a ‘dog’ (signifying reproach, humiliation and exclusion from the Covenant). Undeterred by Jesus’ derogatory statement, the woman replied “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table”. Here we see conviction, commitment, persistence, and perseverance in her faith in Jesus to receive healing for her daughter.

Jesus acknowledged and commended her great faith, saying “O woman, great is thy faith, be it unto thee even as thou wilt”, and immediately the woman’s daughter was healed. This woman’s resilience is a big lesson for us, she did not snap, react or give up, she continued in faith until she received what she went to Jesus to get (the healing of her daughter). This is because she was fully persuaded that Jesus had the solution to her problem.

Sometimes, we allow ourselves to get offended when we face oppositions, trials, or ridicule et cetera, like this woman, we should be ready to pay the price for the prize.

Jesus administered healing in this passage by speaking:

  • He acknowledged the woman’s great faith, by saying “O woman, great is thy faith, be it unto thee even as thou wilt”.
  • Her daughter was healed immediately.

Healing of a demon possessed man who was blind and mute (Matthew 12:22, 23; Luke 11: 14).

A demon possessed man was brought to Jesus to be healed. He healed the man by casting the demon out of him. The man spoke and saw after the demon was cast out of him. This shows us that it was the demon in the man that was responsible for his condition.

The presence of a demon in a person can be responsible for one sickness or the other.

The healing of the man with an unclean spirit that was out of his mind in Gadara (MARK 5:1-20)

When Jesus came to the country of the Gadarenes, a man with an unclean spirit ran out of the tombs to meet Him. Matthew’s account of the same story in Matthew 8:28, tells us that Jesus was met by two demon possessed people. The reason for this seeming difference is because of the imperfections of man. In spite of this, God still used men to convey His message, without His revelation being lost: Although the two accounts have slight differences the message communicated was the same, which can be seen if the text is read within context.

The man with the unclean spirit had his dwellings in the tombs and no man could bind him with chains. In time past attempts to do so had failed: he could not be tamed by any man. His actions showed that he had superhuman abilities. When the man saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him. Jesus said to the unclean spirit “Come out of him thou unclean spirit”, and he cried out with a loud voice “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not”.

By saying “I adjure thee by God,” the demons were appealing to the highest authority. Then, Jesus asked him “What is thy name?” (Meaning, what is your rank?), and the man replied, saying “My name is Legion: for we are many”, (telling Jesus his rank). Sometimes, when reference is made to a name in the New Testament, it is with regards to rank or authority, not necessarily to identification; Philippians 2:5-8 is an example of this. (The Microsoft Encarta Dictionary defines the word ‘Legion’ as a ‘Roman division: in ancient Rome, an army division of 3000 to 6000 soldiers including Calvary’). This shows that the man was possessed with many demons under the supervision of one controlling demon.

The demon pleaded with Jesus not to send them away out to a distant country. Near that place, there was a herd of swine feeding, and all the demons asked Jesus to send them into the herd of swine. Jesus granted their request, and they went out of the man and entered into the swine, and the herd of swine ran violently down into the sea. About 2, 000 of them drowned in the sea.
When the men who were keeping the swine came to the scene of the incidence, they saw the man who had been possessed with a legion of demons, sitting with Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, they were afraid and asked Jesus to depart from their country.

As a result of Jesus’ ministry to the man, he came to his right mind and became an evangelist for Christ.

In this passage, Jesus administered healing by casting the demons out of the man and sending them into the herd of swine which perished in the sea.

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