“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)
“Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3)
The Lord has given me a holy zeal for the manifestation of the full spectrum of all things pertaining to the Holy Ghost. I see everything a failure without the workings of God’s Spirit. The programs, the projects, the props and all the ministry professionalism is futile without the demonstration of God’s Spirit and power.
There are two ditches. One is hype, sensationalism, and entertainment. The other is formality, deadness, and ritualism. We must find that delicate balance between unwholesome fanaticism and wild fire, and no fire at all.
I see two primary groups that have evolved and emerged in the body of Christ today. I see an older group who came out of dead formalism decades ago. They exited traditional and mainline denominational churches because their needs were not being met, and they were hungry for the deeper things of God. As a result, para-church organizations were raised up and played a key role in the training and discipleship of new converts. Bible schools were established to equip pastors and leaders. Many of those pastors and churches that were raised up during that time, however, have now become as structured, rigid, and set in their own agendas as the former churches they came out of. That’s one group.
I have never seen so many so called full gospel churches and denominations who have left the way of the Spirit and resorted to the methods, machinery, and traditions of men to try and get the job done.
The second group is a new generation of churches and pastors who do not know the real move of the Spirit but utilize substitutes such as contemporary forms of worship and use of the arts, visualization, and imagination in an attempt to demonstrate the Spirit. These substitutes result in a barren church void of the real Spirit and vulnerable to demonstrations of the flesh and even doctrines of devils.
These two large groups do not even include the segment of churches today who are totally ignorant of the operation, administration, and manifestation of the Holy Spirit in His gifts and ministries (1 Cor. 12:4-11, 28) (Eph. 4:11). I thank God for the remnant of those Word and Spirit churches who are still carrying the torch and moving strong in the Word and in the authentic ministry of the Holy Spirit. They are a treasure in this hour.
There are quiet churches who resemble a graveyard, and there are noisy churches who are just as dead. It is not being quiet or being loud that confirms the presence and power of God. It is that indescribable something called the anointing.
Who can describe, much less produce, the freshness of a morning when orient pearls abound on every blade of grass? Such is the essence of the precious anointing of the Holy Spirit. We may know it and discern it, yet are unable to tell others what it is. It’s counterfeit is worse than worthless for no one can ever manufacture it, though they continue to try. But the true anointing of the Spirit is priceless and such a necessity for edification, impartation, and a true equipping of God’s people.
Honestly, most Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians today cannot tell the difference between the operation of the flesh and the operation of the Spirit. Most can’t tell the difference between prophesying in the flesh and prophesying in the Spirit, giving a message in tongues without the anointing and with the anointing, dancing in the flesh or dancing in the Spirit, running and shouting in the flesh versus doing it in the Spirit, singing with the anointing and singing without it etc.
You see, when things are done in the Spirit there is something like a sweet smelling fragrance that pervades the atmosphere. Pastors and ministers have got to learn the difference so they can teach their people. We’ve either got too much dead formality or too much fleshly showboating in the church today. And even in some who claim to know the difference they cannot discern between brass and gold. It takes a trained eye and ear to know it. What do I mean by that?
In the Old Testament, Solomon built the temple/house of the Lord and overlaid the oracle, the altar, and the entire house with gold. He also made all the vessels, treasures, and utensils of the temple out of pure gold (1 Kings 6 and 7). Then the king of Egypt came against Jerusalem and removed the treasures from the house of the Lord and King Rehoboam later replaced them with brass (2 Chron. 12:9-10). This is what Christians have done in the church. They have brought the brass of the world into the church and used it as a substitute for pure gold. They’ve brought the music, the clapping, and the singing and dancing of the world into the church.
God is wanting to help us minister the Spirit. If we will truly sanctify ourselves and just learn to praise and worship the Lord in the Spirit we would experience deeper levels of the presence and power of God in our midst.
To be continued…