Allan Swift was the founder of Eastern Bible Institute which is now Valley Forge Collage.
In a former publication entitled, “Lessons On the Holy Spirit” the writer gave a rather brief treatment of a subject which because of its importance, seems to demand a different handling. He is, therefore, sending forth this new publication in the hope that it will with its fuller treatment be of more help to those whose hearts desire some simple statements concerning the place of the Holy Spirit in our life and service.
The present title will suggest to the reader the thought of a dual working of the Spirit of God in those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Such is quite evident from the reading of the Scriptures, and we will endeavor to show how God brings it about, and what two-fold development He expects in His Spirit-filled children.
In the book of Acts we read of the spread of the Gospel, and of the manner in which the various classes of people were led into the experience of full salvation and the Baptism with the Spirit. Four distinct groups existed at that time as far as religious profession was concerned: the orthodox Jew; the Samaritan; the proselyte to the Jewish faith; and the Gentile. Each was visited by God and given the same spiritual light and experience. For example: the Jew on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2; the Samaritan in the revival under Philip, Acts 8; the Proselyte at the outpouring of the Spirit upon Cornelius and his friends, Acts 10; and the Gentiles at Ephesus, Acts 19.
When we turn to the epistles of Paul we find that he has been given teaching for those who have left the old way and are enjoying the new life in the Spirit. The new proposition is not to proceed as before conversion and by one’s own efforts try to become righteous, but to submit to the leaking and control of the indwelling Spirit, Who becomes very real to those who pray and feed on the Word of God.
Bearing in mind the title of this book, “The Spirit Within and Upon” we shall see to point out the fact that Christ promised the indwelling and also the outpouring of the Spirit. The first is mentioned in John 14:17 where we read, “For He dwelleth with you, and shall be IN you.” Then in Acts 1-8 Jesus said, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come UPON you.” In John’s Gospel a like two-fold reference to the Spirit is made. To the woman at the well Christ said, “The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” When one, however, refers to the seventh chapter verse thirty-eight we find that the promise reads, “He that believeth on Me, as the scripture hath said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake He of the Spirit.” The first reference would seem to indicate an inward state which benefits the one so blessedly filled, and the latter makes provision for others to whom the Spirit’s blessing flows forth after the Baptism, when the Spirit comes upon the believer.
In John 14:16 the Lord Jesus promised another Comforter, implying the He, their Comforter, would be removed, and that Another would be sent. Since Jesus Christ of Nazareth could not be in them He naturally fulfilled the experience mentioned in verse 17, which was that He was with them.
In the prophecy of Ezekiel Ch. 36:25-27 we read the following words: “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them.”
Ezekiel goes on to say that Israel should dwell in the land which God gave to their fathers; and that they should be God’s people, and He would be their God. This clearly points to a blessing which is in store for the Jews and we would not wish to interpret it otherwise. There is, however, an earlier application of the same to the Church, for the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews in Chs. 8:10 and 10:16 teaches it in that way.
Three things are included in the promise in Ezekiel. The first is cleansing by clean water. We might call this the washing of regeneration mentioned in the third chapter of Paul’s letter to Titus. Jesus said in John 15:3, “Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.” Couple this with what Paul states in Eph. 5:26 that Christ cleanses the Church with the washing of water by the Word. We thus learn that one who submits himself to the Word of God for salvation and subsequent sanctification may be regarded as being sprinkled with clean water.
It is true that cleansing from sin comes by the blood, but when that takes place God immediately performs the work of regeneration and subsequent sanctification. This is made possible as one abides in the Word, and it becomes the water by which a believer is sprinkled and kept clean that he might walk acceptably with the Holy One Who has so mercifully saved him.
The second thing of note in the promise in Ezekiel is that one’s spiritual nature is changed. A new heart and a new spirit are mentioned. By nature man is more or less selfish. This is described as the stony heart, but when God changes the believer his heart of stone becomes one of flesh, and he has compassion on his fellow men. God also offers to put His Spirit within him. When one is thus possessed, there is a new power which causes him to walk in God’s statutes: to keep His judgments and do them.
The foregoing is a very full treatment in the Old Testament of what one may expect God to do for those who believe Him and claim the fulfillment in these days of the New Testament. Jesus must have had this in mind when He promised the Comforter and said, “He shall be in you.” The apostle John also makes reference to the same experience in Ch. 20:20 of his Gospel, for we read that Jesus breathed on His disciples and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” It evidently accomplished something in them, for they were changed from confused and hesitant people to men and women who according to Luke, “returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.”
Another way of referring to the indwelling of the Spirit is by using the term “the Spirit of Adoption.” In Gal. 4:4-6 Paul reminds us first of all that in the fullness of time Christ was born of a woman, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Then he says, “And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.” From John 1:12 we learn that one obtains the right to become a son by receiving Jesus Christ as his Savior. When this act takes place God then puts the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, which is equivalent to saying, “He shall be in you.”
The Spirit Within
For one indwelt by the Spirit three things must be born in mind. First: Constant renewals of the Spirit are needful. Second: It is important to walk in the Spirit that He may keep us fully informed of the manner in which God would have us live. And third: We should learn the way of the Spirit so that we can trace God in all of the circumstances which form our daily walk with Him. We shall now make brief reference to these three things.
Renewal of the Spirit
In order to benefit by the Spirit’s indwelling one has to obtain renewals of His quickening. After reminding the believers in Eph. 1:13 that they were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise following their faith in the Lord for salvation, Paul tells them in Ch. 5:18-20 to “be filled with the Spirit.” The context shows that his purpose in so exhorting them was because he wished them to have the buoyant spirit of praise which not only strengthens the believer, but also attracts the unbeliever and makes him desire a like experience. From this we gather that one infilling is not sufficient for all time, but a daily renewing is very essential.
A similar thought is presented in other epistles of Paul. In Tit. 3:5 he says we are saved “by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.” Any intelligent believer knows that he does not get everything at conversion. Since what we receive is through the Spirit it is only logical to assume that more comes from the same source.
In 2 Cor. 4:16 we are taught that the inward man is renewed day by day. By coupling this scripture with Eph. 3:16 we see that it is the working of the Spirit which brings it to pass. Therefore, we must seek God for frequent infillings to make it possible.
There is one more reference found in Rom. 12:2 where we are exhorted to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Mere human effort will not avail. It is only as the Holy Spirit quickens us again and again that such a change can be accomplished. Therefore the renewal of the Spirit is an absolute essential and should be obtained through a daily consistent walk with God.
Walking in the Spirit
The Word of God tells us that “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Many are glad because of the hope of eternal life by which we are assured of heaven. There is, however, an earthly side to the matter. In Psalm 103:4 we find the writer blessing God for redeeming his life from destruction. In order to enjoy such exemption God has given us His Spirit to sanctify or separate us from things which destroy one’s peace or injure one’s health. To make this possible we are told in Gal. 5:16 to walk in the Spirit that we should not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Purely fleshly or human desires are sometimes selfish and get one into trouble. To be instructed and reminded by the indwelling Spirit is indeed a fine provision of our heavenly Father. In Isa. 30:21 we read, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” To walk in the Spirit means to live according to God’s plan of salvation. When one does this, God will speak to the heart and keep one in His perfect will in all things.
Five things are mentioned as possible of attainment by one who walks in the Spirit. They are: Righteousness, Fruit, Might, Revelation, and Sanctification. In Gal. 5:5 Paul refers to RIGHTEOUSNESS by faith. To believe in Christ for salvation from sin is the first step that must be taken by the sinner. The Lord Jesus became sin for us “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” It is the work of the Spirit to bring this to pass, therefore we must walk in the Spirit that it may be accomplished.
The ninefold FRUIT of the Spirit mentioned in Gal. 5:22-23 is the desire of every sincere believer. Some strive hard to produce it by their own efforts but at best make a poor showing. The way of success is by the Spirit. If we could produce it ourselves the title would have to be changed to the “fruit of the Christian.” God has made no mistake. He knows we would fail so He has given us His Holy Spirit to work in us to do of His good pleasure. Fruit is the product of an inward life, and if we walk in the Spirit we shall be blessed with results far beyond our expectations.
MIGHT in the inner man is another thing given to us by the Spirit. In the baptism there is an outward manifestation noticeable to all, but the inner man is hidden and unperceived by others. In Eph. 3:16 Paul prays for the believers that they might be strengthened inwardly. Many an attack is launched against faith, but the enemy can be repulsed if we have the might of the Spirit within. Walking in the Spirit supplies this.
In I Cor. 2:9-10 the apostle tells us that man by his natural senses knows not the things of God. The Holy Spirit not only indwells the believer, but is also in the glory with the Father and the Son. Many things up there are intended for our enlightenment, but we miss them unless we walk in the Spirit. To the child of God who cultivates fellowship through prayer the REVELATION of the deep things of God will be given by the Spirit.
The SANCTIFICATION of the Spirit is a prize sought by many. Through misunderstanding of the Truth some have believed it is an experience to be received once and for all through a special season of prayer. Such, however, is not the teaching of the Word. In 2 Thess. 2:13 we read that God has chosen us to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the Truth. Jesus Himself was sanctified through the truth and prayed that we might be likewise sanctified. Dr. Torrey wrote: “We look at Jesus Christ to see what we ought to be, then we look to the Holy Spirit to make us this that we ought to be.” It is essential that we walk in the Spirit that such may be made possible.
The Way of the Spirit
God says in Isa. 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” One great lesson to be learned by a Spirit-filled Christian is that God has His own way of working out His will in our lives. Jesus was perfected by the things which He suffered. We are told that He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. One would not naturally choose such a way in order to grow in grace, but God sees differently. We poor humans pray more by compulsion than by choice, even though we promise so much at the time of our consecration. It is well to remember that some of our hardest tests are God’s way of leading us into a deeper place in Himself.
Joshua met a man with a drawn sword in his hand. When questioned he said, “As Captain … am I now come.” Josh. 5:13-14. That is the position of the Holy Spirit to the believer. We must give him recognition as such and then victory is assured. In our weakness we need someone to sponsor our cause. Satan overthrew the first Adam and we are as weak as he was. The Holy Spirit has come to make real the power of the last Adam, even Christ, but we must let Him do it in His own way.
When we trust God for physical healing, we are more inclined to have faith for a minor affliction than for one which is more serious. In Rom. 4:19 we read that Abraham “considered not his own body now dead.” Another words he say the promise of God and not the greatness of the need, and counted that God was able to perform any promise which He had made. It is right here we have to learn the way of the Spirit. We pray and seem to get worse instead of better, but finally learn that Divine Healing does not depend on our physical state, but upon the quickening of the Spirit. If, as per Rom. 8:11, the Spirit that raised up Christ from the dead dwells in us and quickens us by the same resurrection power, why should we be more deeply concerned about a serious sickness than we are over one which is more mild? If God is slow to respond to our pleading it may be He is trying to strengthen our faith by our exercise of it, or that He aims to bring us to an end of trusting in ourselves rather than in the living God Who raiseth the dead.
Sill another lesson on the Way of the Spirit is in the matter of intercession. Quoting again from Romans 8 we learn from verses 26 and 27 that “we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” One can be very conscious of either a personal need or the need of another, and yet feel unable to put it adequately into words so that a sigh or a groan is the best expression the prayer can produce. This should not discourage but rather encourage the intercessor, for it is the groan of the Spirit, and God will interpret the same and answer accordingly.
In the foregoing we have endeavored particularly to show what is meant by the indwelling Spirit. It has to do more with the personal state of the believer than with his service, and can be referred to as holiness rather than power. Once would not for a moment despise the power which comes with the baptism in the Spirit. There is, however, too little said about holiness, so that we are in danger of being overbalanced by our emphasis on power and of leaving God’s people in the dark as to His expectation for their personal walk with Him. When Christ said, “He shall be in you,” He had a real experience in mind, and He will surely fulfill it in those who seek to be more and more separated unto His standard for their lives.
The Spirit Upon
In this section we shall seek to show that just as the Spirit within is a definite experience which we should enjoy, so there is also a genuine outpouring of the Spirit which God gives to those who tarry for it, as did the one hundred and twenty disciples in the beginning of this church age.
If you will refer again to John’s Gospel and read in Ch. 20:22 where Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive ye the Holy Ghost,” and then turn to Luke’s Gospel, Ch. 24:45 where it says Christ opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures, you will notice that this was done after the resurrection of our Lord, but before the outpouring on the day of Pentecost. That something transpired within the disciples is quite evident. They were up to that time a mystified and troubled group of people. After meeting with the risen Christ, however, their condition changed, and even before the day of Pentecost they were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. All of this came about by the Spirit of Christ which was now dwelling within them.
In addition to this blessing the Lord commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to tarry until they were endued with power from on high. We are also told in Acts 1:8 that Christ said, “But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.”
It is rather significant that we have two groups of nine connected with the work of the Spirit. The first might be referred to as the result of the indwelling, and is mentioned in Gal. 5:22-23 as the ninefold fruit of the Spirit. Then in 1 Cor. 12:7-11 we are taught that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man, and here also we have a group of nine. From this one can easily draw the conclusion that the indwelling of the spirit is for fruit bearing, and the outpouring of the Spirit is for service. This introduces us to the fact that the baptism with the Spirit taught in Acts 2:1-4 is the one and only way in which we are given the complete ninefold manifestation of the Spirit. We will now seek to show from the Scriptures how it is possible to come behind in no gift, and that a deep Pentecostal experience is not to be despised but rather coveted, that one may enter in to all the fullness of God.
Upon examination of the Word one learns that what are commonly called the nine gifts of the Spirit are really divided into three groups. According to 1 Cor. 12:4-6 they are: Diversities of Gifts; Differences of Administrations; and Diversities of Operations. We will use these three names groups and make them the natural division of our teaching on the matter.
We considering gifts, we find that the word gift or gifts in the New Testament is a translation from four words in the original manuscript. In the Greek language the manner of giving and the nature of the gift decided what word should be used to express same.
One word which means a gratuity, or giving to a pauper, is used when mention is made of the gift of salvation, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. In either case the recipient is as a poor man, utterly without spiritual life or power and unless God is mercy gives the same he will always be without. For examples of this see John 4:10 and Acts 2:38. In the first reference we are told of the woman at the well to whom Jesus said, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and Who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to Drink: thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.” The second text contains Peter’s answer to the people who gathered about the newly baptized believers on the day of Pentecost. When they asked what they should do he replied, “Repent, and be baptized… and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” On these two occasions the word gift which was used means a gratuity. We merit neither salvation nor the baptism, and obtain both through faith and by the merits of the shed blood of Jesus.
Another word translated gift in the New Testament means a present or an offering. In Eph. 2:8 we read, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God.” We learn from experience that if we are willing to repent when the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, that we come to the place where we are able to accept Christ by faith. There is no struggle. We simply rest in God’s Word and count it done, and in testifying of the same it becomes very real. The faith to believe is God’s gift to us in the same way that a present is given, and it is granted because we have obeyed by repenting and asking for forgiveness.
In Heb. 2:4 it says, “God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to His own will.” In this instance the word translated gifts means distributions, as is shown in the marginal reference in the Oxford Bible. To understand why such a word is used we need to make a comparison between Christ and His Church. In John 3:34 we read, “For God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him.” He was the “only begotten son” before Calvary, and as such was the sole human representative of His heavenly Father. as the only one indwelt by God and ministering the new things of the Gospel, the sprit was given to Him without measure. Now, however, the order is changed. As others have been made sons by receiving Christ, He now occupies the position of the “first begotton,” Heb. 1:6.
The Church which is His body has many members, and in order that the same fullness may become operative in the world there is a distribution of the Spirit certain measure is also expressed in Eph. 4:7 where we read, “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” God, as it were, takes the endowment of His power and by breaking up or dividing, distributes it in His multiple form of working all the members of the body.
One other word translated gift means endowment or miraculous faculty. By careful study is will be found that this is the word used for the gift of prophecy and the gifts of healing, see Rom. 12:6-8a, where that which is given enables one to speak, and labor with Divine unction. The same thought is contained in 1 Pet. 4:10-11 werhe we are told to “speak as the oracles of God.” In order to do this one must be anointed as a prophet of old, and this is really what happens when God pours out His Spirit in fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy as per Acts 2:18. In 1 Cor. 12:9 it says, “To another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit,” and in this instance we also have the word used which means endowment, or miraculous faculty. When we turn to Rom. 11:29 we meet the same word again. It says, “for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance,” leaking us to believe that those things which can properly be called gifts are given outright, and are to be used as we depend upon God to confirm His Word with signs following. This now brings us back to the threefold division of the ninefold manifestation of the Spirit, the first of which is Diversities of Gifts. We will now consider them in detail.
Diversities of Gifts
It is the Lord’s wish that the Gospel be given to the whole world. In order to accomplish this He has endowed His church with gifts by which the message can be proclaimed in word and deed. We need to remember that in John 14:12 Jesus said, “The works that I do shall ye do also,” A careful study of Mark 16:15-18 also reveals this fact. In this dispensation there has been given to the church a threefold manifestation of the prophetic gift as follows: Speaking with Tongues, Interpretation of Tongues, and Prophecy; and for physical deliverance the Gifts of Healing.
Speaking With Tongues
Speaking with Tongues is a supernatural utterance by the Spirit which is sometimes used in addressing the church, and in order that the message may be made intelligible, one is given by the Spirit interpretation of the same. Someone has said that the speaking with tongues is a vocal miracle and this is surely true. In 1 Cor. 14:2 it says, “No man understandeth him,” and in v. 14, “My understanding is unfruitful.” On some occasions a known language is spoken, but the person so used is generally unenlightened as to what he is saying.
There are various ways in which Speaking with Tongues is used, but in essence it is one and the same thing. At least three different ways are mentioned in the Word, as follows: When receiving the baptism with the Holy Ghost as in Acts 2:4, 10:44-46; and 19:6. also in speaking to God in worship or prayer, or in song, as mentioned in 1 Cor. 14:2, 14-15; and in addressing the church coupled with interpretation, as in 1 Cor. 14:13, 27.
A person might claim to have the Gift of Tongues because he has fluency of utterance, or, as he says, he can speak at will. It is not so taught in the Word, for the manifestation to be scriptural is to be as the Spirit gives utterance, and then the Spirit seems to confine Himself to worship, or intercession, or to give some edifying word to the church.
Interpretation of Tongues
Interpretation of Tongues is a Divine illumination of or revelation to the mind. The one so used does not understand the language he interprets. In the original the word interpret does not mean to translate but to explain, 1 Cor. 12:10, 30; 14:13, 26. By this we shall understand how an utterance in tongues may be lengthy and the interpretation more brief, or the utterance brief and the interpretation more lengthy. The one who interprets understands the sense of the message, and then yields to the Spirit to help him to give the same in the best words at his command.
To be able to interpret should be more common than many people think. According to 1 Cor. 14:13 one who speaks with tonges should pray that he may interpret. Since such an offer is made, it would appear that God is very willing to so endow His people that they may be fully qualified to keep informed and to inform others when a message in the Spirit is being given. Therefore interpretation of tongues is not for the privileged few as some would suppose. For the proper ordering of the speaking with tongues in the assembly there needs to be a stirring of ourselves to ask for interpretation of tongues. Then the stranger who comes in will be impressed with the good order in the service and will go out “and report that God is in you of a truth.”
Prophecy is usually considered to be speaking by inspiration in one’s own tongue. This is sometimes a special utterance and quite unpremeditated. The Holy Spirit will fill one’s mind with a thought for God’s people, and when the one so endowed yields to the Spirit the people are greatly edified, and a general quickening is usually felt all through the meeting.
Preaching the Word under the direction of the Spirit is also Prophecy, and since Paul has said in 1 Cor. 14:31, “Ye may all prophesy one by one,” there is no doubt that a good testimony indited by the Holy Ghost is also included. To predict the future is not usually inferred when speaking by this Divine unction, although there are a few isolated instances in the book of Acts when such was in evidence. Generally speaking, however, the prophets of the early church were used to edify the people and keep them informed of the mind of God in any vital matter of religious life and conduct.
To offset any tendency to be fanatical, provision was made that the prophets be judged as to the purity of their utterance whether it was of God or of self. Also that it be in accord with sound doctrine, that the church should not fall into the same error as Israel, who gave heed to the false prophets of her day who claimed to prophesy in the name of the Lord.
The Gifts of Healing
To speak of the Gifts of Healing as something which is only for a chosen few does not seem to be in accord with the Scriptures. When Christ sent out His disciples two by two as per Luke 9:1-2, He gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. The statement in Matt. 10:7-8 is stronger yet. There is says, “And as ye go preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” The Lord made no difference between His own ministry and that of His followers, and according to John 14:12 He expects the same of His church, for He said, “He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.”
Some seek to make a difference between the twelve apostles and later believers. To offset this God has left on record in Luke 10:1, 9, 17, the fact that other seventy also were sent out. These were in addition to the twelve, and they too were told to heal the sick. When they returned they gave the glowing report that even the devils were subject unto them through Christ’s name.
It is significant to note that Prophecy and Healing are the gifts mentioned by Mark in his Gospel, Ch. 16: 14-18. To preach with Divine anointing or to speak with new tongues by the Spirit is prophecy; and to cast out devils, have power over serpents, quench poison, and lay on hands for the recovery of the sick is healing in its various phases of operation. Thus we can say that the Gift of Prophecy in its varied manifestations, and the Gifts of Healing in a manifold application are the Diversities of Gifts which God has given to His church. Whoever in the church is bold enough to claim such working of the Spirit, and go so endowed to the needy masses in their spiritual and physical sufferings, will find Christ as ready as ever to confirm His Word with signs following.
We might call attention to the fact that healing is mentioned by Paul in 1 Cor. 12:9 and 30 as the Gifts of Healing. There is no doubt a good reason for stating it in the plural. Sickness as viewed by God and dealt with by the power of the Spirit can sometimes be of Satanic origin. One can be attached by demon spirits through either oppression, obsession, or possession. Ordinary laying on of hands would hardly meet the need. Through the Discerning of Spirits one can be informed of the condition and treat it accordingly. We are given power over all the power of the enemy, and as we work with God in the healing ministry, we must boldly command the enemy to depart that the sick one can be healed. In this department the writer has had some experience of relieving those oppressed, so that, through rebuking the devil and prayer, deliverance has been granted.
Obsession is just as though a dangerous insect settles on one. Demons are apt to do the same and sap life from the one so attacked. A woman came to a meeting one time with a splitting headache. It attacked her on her way to church. We perceived that it was an obsession of the enemy and in a few minutes she was delivered and able to enjoy the meeting.
Possession is the indwelling of one or more demons in a person’s body or mind. Physical or mental sickness is the result. Christ intends that we shall deliver such from their enemy, and to one who longs to be so used the Lord will not be slow in His response. He will not only confirm His Word with signs, but He will also instruct how to proceed so that deliverance shall be made possible.
In addition to any Satanic connection with sickness we have certain purely natural causes either functional or organic. If a person has eaten something which has disturbed the normal functioning of the body it would be folly to give him healing by the casting out of demons. Some people have diseased organs, inherited or otherwise, and while Satan is at the bottom of all disorder he would not have to indwell one for such a condition to exist. We need Divine help when praying for the sick, and according to the varied causes of the many physical needs, so we have the Gifts of Healing to combat the same. Thus we can well understand why the healing ministry should be stated with a plural application.
A word might be said about the common eligibility possessed by believers to have a healing ministry. Christ used twelve, and then seventy, and in Mark 16 He said, “These signs shall follow them that believe.” also according to James 5:16 we are told to “pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” It would certainly seem that more could be used in this way than there are at present, and if we all would do our part in seeking to help the needy within our own reach we would soon learn how ready God is to put forth His power in vindication of our testimony for Him.
While much is said about the nine gifts of the Spirit, and that since we have the Baptism we should now pray for the Gifts, the writer believes that of the nine manifestations four can be traced as Gifts, and the other five find their places among the Administrations and Operations of the Spirit. In Rom. 11:29 we read, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Among His many wonderful gifts, God has placed in His church for all believers: Speaking with Tongues; Interpretation of Tongues; Prophecy; and the Gifts of Healing.
In Mark 16:17-18 we read, “And these signs shall follow them that believe…they shall speak with new tongues…they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Every believer may receive the Baptism with the Spirit and speak with new tongues. Many do not, but that does not disprove the fact. Salvation is for all but all do not get saved, but any evangelical Christian would not on that account say it is not for all. When a man believes, he can get saved at that very moment. If we would only believe that God has not changed His method of baptizing with the Holy Ghost, we would get it the very same way that the original group did on the day of Pentecost.
The healing ministry likewise is for everyone who believes. Those who have the most outstanding results are classed by others as having the Gift of Healing, but it is because they dare to go to the masses with this full Gospel message that such results are granted. The ministry of healing is God’s gift to the church, and any believer may have his measure of it to the extent of his application of the same.
An objection might be raised when one reads 1 Cor. 12:30 where it says, “Have all the gifts of healing?” In verse twenty-eight it says, “God hath set in the church…apostles…prophets…teachers…miracles…gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” It is true that not all are apostles, or prophets, etc., for God has set IT the office int eh church. Another can be chosen for the office, and the power to carry on in his calling is available as he sets forth in the will of God to be what his office includes.
It might also be said that the same rule applies to the other things mentioned in the list. “Helps” is set in the church too the same as “Miracles,” and “Gifts of Healing.” Just as God fills the vacant office of prophet or teacher, will He not also choose any one in the church as occasion demands and use him in “miracles…gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues” the same as He chooses one to prophesy or teach?
Judging from what has been said about all speaking with tongues when receiving the baptism; and whoever speaks with an unknown tongue let him pray that he may interpret; and, “ye may all prophesy one by one;” and, “pray one for another that ye may be healed;” we feel that there is every reason to expect the Holy Spirit to endow anyone in the church whom He may desire to sue, and that He would draw upon whatever powers have been set in the church for that purpose.
Differences of Administrations
This second section of the ninefold manifestation of the Spirit has to do with the administrative ministry of the Holy Ghost in and through the members of the church. When Christ was here the disciples had His personal counsel in many matters. Through immaturity they made mistakes, such as Peter telling Christ that He should not yield to the tortures of His coming trial and crucifixion. The Lord say through it all and rebuked Peter as a tool of Satan. It was hard on Peter’s flesh, but if we had the counsel of the Spirit in some matters, and in dealing with some people, we too would be guarded against the wiles of the devil.
In order to be equipped for such emergencies the Holy Spirit is ready to manifest Himself in the Word of Wisdom, or the Word of Knowledge, or in Discerning of Spirits, so that we shall be equipped for our own good or to aid others in their puzzling situations which are understood fully by God. In this way we are instructed and can withstand all Satanic attacks, and prosecute the work of the ministry. We shall consider each one in detail.
The Word of Wisdom
This is not special wisdom but the Word of Wisdom, or some word of wise counsel which is given by the Spirit in a moment of difficulty. It may be for the one who receives it, or for such an one to give it to another who is in need. The rule is, “All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit,” so that it is not the believer but the Holy Ghost Who is the prime mover in the matter. In the New Testament there are some examples of this which occurred in the life and ministry of Christ.
In Mark 12:13-17 we read of how certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians tried to catch Him in His words. They asked whether it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not. Had Jesus shown any tendency not uncommon among the Jews of that time to resent the authority of Caesar, they would have reported the matter to Pilate, and he would have arrested the Lord as an insurrectionist. The men required an answer. With the Word of Wisdom Christ told them to bring Him a penny, and He asked whose image and superscription it bore. They said, “Caesar’s.” Then He said, “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” No one could withstand such wisdom, and the words were truly given by the Holy Ghost Himself.
Another example of the Word of Wisdom is that of the woman taken in adultery who was brought to Christ. His crafty opponents wanted to make Him appear to differ with Moses, and say that the woman should not be stoned. Instead of that, God gave His Son such a Word of Wisdom that the men were defeated by its directness and simplicity. The woman was spared to “go, and sin no more.” Moses had not been slighted, but the very men who plotted the downfall of Christ had to admit more than once that “never man spake like this Man!”
In Matt. 10:19-20 we have a specific promise that God will give the Word of Wisdom when a member of Christ’s body is in trouble. It reads as follows: “But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” What could be more plain? Christ would be absent and yet His own were not to be left alone. The Spirit, Who should dwell in them, would manifest Himself in the Word of Wisdom, so that the Lord’s own would be fully succored. And when another needs a word of wise counsel, a Spirit-filled child of God can count upon His help through the Spirit to meet the need.
Discerning of Spirits
We are as “lambs among wolves” and it is the desire of Christ that we should be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Satan through his finely organized group of demon spirits is ever on the alert to confuse and disorganize the church. He is also assailing the human family in body and mind, thus hindering them from appropriating the blessings of the Gospel. To offset this the Holy Spirit gives us Discerning of Spirits by which we become aware of the presence of and learn the nature of a Satanic spirit, and can deal with the same and bring deliverance to those who are held in such captivity. It is evident that Christ foreknew this, for in the commission to preach the Gospel given in Mark 16 He said, “They shall cast out devils.” Only the Spirit of God can really prove that one is demon possessed, and in His administrative capacity He gives Discerning of Spirits so that we may know what to do when such a need presents itself.
An example of the Holy Ghost giving Discerning of Spirits is found in Acts 16:16-18. Paul was followed many days by a demon possessed girl who told fortunes for her masters. She would cry out, “These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.” The spirit finally and suddenly gave Paul the ministry of deliverance. He turned around one day and commanded the demon spirit to come out of her. The girl was delivered. Two things were necessary: One was the working of the Spirit, and the other was the obedience of faith on the part of Paul. God is ready to repeat Himself today when He can find among His Spirit-filled children enough humility and faith to enable Him to work.
Diversities of Operations
We have already shown that a Gift is something which has been deposited in the Church to be drawn upon by a worker who moves in God’s will in service, and who, by the Spirit, seeks to spread the Gospel throughout the world by word and deed. Four out of the nine manifestations have been included or classed as Gifts.
We have also shown that an Administration is an act of the Spirit by which He exercises care for the worker either for his own well-being or through him for the well-being of another. The Spirit also aids the worker in service by exposing the hidden activities of Satan as he seeks to oppose the spread of the Gospel, or hinder the saints in their efforts to do the will of God. Three out of the five remaining manifestations have been placed in this class.
An Operation is an act of the Spirit which is dynamic and of His own initiative, as He desires to meet a need through the ministry of the risen Christ, and He communicates this to any worker whom He may choose, and who is willing to give instant response to the desire of the Spirit for such service. In this group we place the two remaining manifestations, namely: Faith and the Working of Miracles.
The kind of faith we have in mind is God-given, and is a special supernatural endowment of the Spirit by which a certain ministry is brought forth, and a special need of someone is fully met.
There are three ways in which faith is referred to in the New Testament. In Eph. 2:8 we have what we might call Saving Faith. It reads thus: “For by grace are ye saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves: It is the gift of God.” Many have tried but without success to bring themselves to a state of faith, but when, being convicted of sin, they quietly surrender themselves to the Word of God, faith is imparted and peace fills the heart.
Faith is also spoken of as a fruit of the Spirit in Gal. 5:22. Within the heart of one who walks with God faith will develop and increase until it becomes evident to others. This is no doubt what Paul had in mind when he named it among the ninefold fruit of the Spirit.
In Acts 3:16 we read how Peter explained the healing of the lame man. He said, “And His name through faith in His name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the FAITH which is BY Him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” Peter had seen the lame man many times before, for he was laid daily at the gate of the temple, and was a well known character. On that particular day the Holy Ghost gave Peter the special endowment of faith, so that eh could address the lame man with absolute confidence. God does the same thing today, but if anyone tries of himself to perform such a healing the result is abject failure.
We see too often how cripples are exhorted to believe, prayer is offered, and then physical aid is given to support the lame person who painfully endeavors to walk. Let us pray for the operation of the Spirit that He may step in and give the ministry of faith. The early church prayed in Acts 4:29-30 for signs and wonders to be done in the name of Jesus. If we follow this example, God will answer prayer and operate among us by the Holy Ghost as in olden times.
The Working of Miracles
In the minds of many the working of miracles is usually confined to the healing of the body. While this is an important and blessed phase of the subject it by no means exhausts the manner in which Christ showed this power. The meaning of the word miracle is, “a supernatural act on the natural plane; a temporary suspension of the usual order; an interruption of the system of nature as we know it; it is a sovereign act of the Spirit of God irrespective of laws and systems.”
Some examples of the Working of Miracles apart from the healing ministry are easily found in the New Testament. The Lord Jesus turned water into Wine, walked on the water, and miraculously fed five thousand people with five loaves and two small fishes. Philip “was found at Azotus” after experiencing some fifteen miles of miraculous transit. Peter walked out of prison from between two armed guards to whom he had been chained, through doors which opened supernaturally. Paul and Silas saw prison doors open and shackles fall off of prisoners by miracle power. All of these things were brought about by the Operation of the Spirit.
In Heb. 11:34 we read of some who through faith “quenched the violence of fire.” God performs miracles like that in these days. Some years ago robbers burned down over one-half of the town of Kotchiu, Yunnan, China. They tried to set fire to a large wooden door by which the premises of the missionary could be entered. Through prayer and faith the door would not burn. The attackers poured oil on it but still the wood did not ignite, and the effort of the brigands was defeated. Surely this could be classed as a modern miracle. We should remind ourselves that the God of our fathers is unchanged, and if a miracle is needed in order to answer the prayers of His people, He is fully prepared to measure up to any requirement, no matter how impossible to the natural it may seem to be.
Jesus, in talking one day said, “I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Let us retain our simplicity and pray as did the early church in Acts 4:30 that God will stretch forth His hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of the holy child Jesus. We shall then see a return of the ministry of the early church. There should be no letting down, but as is mentioned in Jude we should “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”
The More Excellent Way
After the apostle had discussed at length how one might expect the Spirit to manifest Himself, he urged the believers to “covet earnestly the best gifts.” When one desires something to the extent of coveting it, there develops a condition of heart and mind that cannot be satisfied without obtaining some kind of satisfaction. That is exactly what God wants to develop in His children. It will lead one to earnest seeking until some definite result is obtained. If the church as a whole takes this attitude there will be a restoration of the power of God for dynamic service, such as characterized the gatherings of the believers at the beginning of the Gospel era.
The more excellent way of which Paul wrote must not be regarded as a substitute for the manifestations of the Spirit, otherwise the apostle would have said, “a more excellent thing.” God does not give gifts to the church and then recall them at random. His gifts and calling are without repentance. It would be more proper to contend for the working of God in the various manifestations, but in the proper spirit. The more excellent way, is to be clothed with power and also to be filled with the love of God. This impresses people more decidedly, for they see not only works of power, but also the humility and brokenness and forbearance of Christ, which is always so attractive and convincing.
In order to excel in love we must have real heart fellowship with Christ through prayer, and read His Word and obey the same, especially regarding our treatment of others. He was most perfect in His contact with those around Him. It was said of Him that the bruised reed He would not break, and the smoking flax He would not quench, until He brought forth judgment unto victory. Christ ate with publicans and sinners, and dealt with Zaccheus so that that hard man of questionable business practices just melted before Him. The woman at the well found in Him a sympathetic listener until her very heart was bared, and she was ready to ask for the living water He so freely offered. Mothers with their little children gathered around Him because He was so approachable, and no matter whether it was the leper, or the blind beggar, or even the gentle well bred Nicodemus, they were all attracted to Him and made welcome by Him, and in most cases got what they were most hungry for.
When we think of the more excellent way let us be practical. After the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, do not just expend it in the meeting on a few attractive fellow saints, but let it find a permanent and deeper place in our beings. Show it in the home, and have compassion on the multitude, until through His love and by His power we can “give…then to eat.”
In 2 Tim. 1-7 the apostle Paul sums up the matter by saying, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” This happens to be stated in the same order as is observed in 1 Cor. 12, 13 and 14. Chapter twelve explains what one might obtain by the working of the power of God, so that we may be endowed for all forms of necessary service. Then chapter thirteen shows how best to convey that power to others that they too might receive of the grace of God. And in chapter fourteen Paul seeks to steady those who are endued with power so that they do not run amuck and do more harm than good with the dynamite of God.
In chapter fourteen we have some clear and sensible directions of how to be a useful Pentecostal Christian. The average person seems to be under the impression that a Pentecostal meeting is given over entirely to speaking with tongues or talking about tongues. While we are not all prepared to change our view that speaking with tongues is the evidence of one receiving the baptism with the Spirit, yet we feel it would be in order before ending this short treatise to show from the Work how one may have power and yet be sane in our behavior, so that others may desire a like experience.
In 1 Cor. 14:1 Paul urges the believers to desire spiritual gifts but particularly that they might prophesy. People want to hear what we have to say. Speaking with tongues will not help matters unless it is coupled with interpretation. We are not called upon to be mystics, but if we speak with tongues and withhold the meaning from our hearers it leaves them in the dark and the air is filled with mystery. We are told in verses twelve and thirteen to seek to edify the church, and if any man speak in an unknown tongues let him pray that he may interpret. This surely shows God’s desire to impart knowledge as well as power.
Another point of regulation dealt with by Paul is mentioned in verse twenty-seven. Only two or at the most three should speak to the church in an unknown tongue in any one meeting, and only one should interpret. Those who go beyond this are not subjecting themselves to the wisdom of God, and will sooner or later find themselves in error. We cannot lightly disregard the Word and not pay for it. Satan is keen and quick to deceive, and since the Word is our only protection we should conform to whatever rules it lays down.
Prophets may speak two or three, but are to be open to the kindly judgment of the body. Those who claim Divine inspiration for everything they say in prophecy are not wise. When an utterance is out of accord with the Scriptures it is positively Satanic to regard it as “the spoken word” and therefore above criticism. The false prophets of old were guilty of such actions, and the enemy is finding fruitful soil in some minds for a repetition of such in these latter days.
A good Pentecostal meeting is always interesting because God is not monotonous. He always has a fresh program and there is never a Spirit-led meeting in which there is a superabundance of messages in tongues. If we would surrender to the dictates of the Word and really move in the Spirit, we could have meetings which would equal any ever held by the early church. We have been granted the same outpouring of the Spirit which the believers of those days received, and if we truly pant after God as the hart pants after the water-brooks, He will not remain hidden, but He will be seen coming forth in the full measure of power which this latter day baptism with the Spirit has made possible. Let us pray to that end and God will never let us be confounded.
For understanding of Brother Swift’s life of walking in the Spirit see post Oldpaths