Operating in the Power of the Holy Spirit

In my last article, Spiritual Gifts and the Emergent Church, I discussed four categories of spiritual “things”.

They are:

  1. Gifts
  2. Ministries
  3. Effects
  4. Manifestations

These can be found in 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

As we study spiritual “things” it is important to know the DIFFERENCE between gifts and manifestations.

Gifts are “things” given to us by God, naturally.  We “own” them.  We exercise them at WILL.  They are listed in Romans 12:6-8.

They are:

  1. Prophesying (or preaching)
  2. Serving
  3. Teaching
  4. Encouraging
  5. Giving
  6. Leading
  7. Mercy

Manifestations, on the other hand, are ENABLEMENTS of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4).  God controls these.  He gives them severally as He wills.  They are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.

They are:

  1. Word of Wisdom
  2. Word of Knowledge
  3. Faith
  4. Gifts of Healing
  5. Effects of Miracles
  6. Prophecy (Illumination not Revelation)
  7. Distinguishing of Spirits
  8. Various Kinds of Tongues
  9. Interpretation of Tongues

When a distinction between gifts and manifestations is NOT made, 2 major errors occur:

  1. People think that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are theirs to operate at WILL.
  2. People think that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit no longer occur because they don’t see credible expressions of them in the world today.

Both of these views are wrong.

When we understand that manifestations are GOD CONTROLLED, and when we understand the PURPOSE of His coming— which was to establish His Internal Kingdom in us (see my article The Emergent Church Deception, i.e. Internal Kingdom), the gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit take their natural place.

How Do the Gifts and the Manifestations of the Holy Spirit Work Together?

Jesus shows us how the Manifestations of the Spirit and the Gifts work together in the following statement:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33

What is Jesus saying here?

He’s showing you HOW to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit.

He saying if you will seek my Internal Kingdom FIRST, I will take care of all your needs.

He’s saying that if you want to operate in the POWER of my Kingdom, then seek my RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Let me cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

He’s saying that when you can begin to express MY FRUIT in your mind, will, and emotions, that is, through your own personal GIFTINGS, then I will come along side you and express my MANIFESTATIONS to help you along the way.

God wants to express Himself through you.  He wants to give you a word of knowledge or a word of wisdom.  He wants to use you to assist in the manifestation of healing, but before He will ever do that, He is looking for people who will seek His Internal Kingdom— FIRST.

He wants people who will die to SELF.  He wants servants that will follow His lead.

That’s what Jesus did.  He followed the lead of the Father.  Jesus only said and did what the Father commanded:

For I (Jesus) did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.

John 12:49

As a result the Father manifested Himself in Jesus.  Jesus operated in the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:14).

Here are a few examples of the Holy Spirit manifesting in Jesus:

Word of Wisdom

Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him.

Mark 12:17

Word of Knowledge

“But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Matthew 17:27


But (Jesus) said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.  So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”

Matthew 8:26-27

Gifts of Healing

News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them.

Matthew 4:24

Effecting of Miracles

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.

Matthew 8:24-26

Prophecy (Illumination not Revelation)

He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him.  He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

Luke 4:16-21

Distinguishing of Spirits

In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice,  “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”  “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.

Luke 4:33-35

Jesus Had the Holy Spirit Without Limit

Of course, Jesus had the Spirit without limit (John 3:34), but He also spent hours and hours in prayer (Luke 5:16) listening to the MIND of the Spirit in Him.

We can too.  The Apostle Paul says we’ve been given the mind of Christ:

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.  For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.  But, we have the MIND OF CHRIST (or Spirit of Christ).

1 Corinthians 2:10-11, 16b

Having the MIND of Christ does not make us infallible, if fact, it’s what’s needed to sanctify us.  As we read scripture and we allow His presence to cleanse us, He prepares our hearts for the manifestation of His Spirit.  When He manifests, He is always 100% accurate.  He doesn’t make mistakes.

I know first hand.  In my article, Three Steps For Getting God Involved in Your Prayer, I wrote about how God manifested “faith” in my life.

In my next article I’m going to discuss the Manifestation of Tongues in the Church.  This is one manifestation Jesus did not exercise as it was given with the arrival of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost (Acts 2).  But where do tongues fit into the modern church?  It has been abused.  What is it and how does the Holy Spirit use it in His people today?

As in my article, Spiritual Gifts and the Emergent Church, I am including the Spiritual “Things” chart below: