Church History and the Revealing of the Holy Spirit
Ever since the last part of the 19thCentury (1800s) the Holy Spirit has been tirelessly working to restore His 9 gifts to Christians as a normal part of life.
1 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NIV 1984) To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.
Where are we at in History? I want to say we are almost at the end – just 4 more gifts to go! Yes, just 4 more to go. Let’s take a 30,000 foot view of history as I explain more.
The Dark Ages (400-1200 AD) were called dark because there was no spiritual light! There was no light because the Holy Spirit was almost entirely shut out. There was no inhabitation, gifts, or fruits of the Holy Spirit in most of the world.
The main thing the Reformation restored was a salvation that brought the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit. This was a mighty thing. For the first time in 1200 years the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit was occurring. With this inhabitation people were first introduced to Jesus. This is the primary job of the Holy Spirit but He is so much more! He brings fruits and gifts with Him. Once He inhabits us He is on a continual journey to help us walk as natural in His fruits. He wants to do the same with His gifts! The gifts are listed above and here are the 9 fruits He brings.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV 1984) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
The 1700’s saw the start of a very large movement that we now commonly call the Holiness movement (especially evidenced by the Methodist denomination through John Wesley). This movement emphasized that it was not enough to just be saved but you needed to take on the character – fruits – of the Holy Spirit. For the next 150 years the fruits of the Holy Spirit were emphasized.
Through this restoring of the fruits we have come to understand that Jesus is love, joy, peace, patient, kind, good, gentle, and full of self control. Who wouldn’t want to love a God like this?
The inhabitation and fruits were now common and accepted among Christians in the earth.
In 1906 the Azusa Street revival started the widespread realization that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are valid for today. This was the start of what is commonly called the Pentecostal movement. Through this movement 2 of the 9 nine gifts were released on a large scale. These two gifts were speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. We came to realize that our spirits could talk and receive direct input from God. This was exciting because another barrier to God was removed. Through this we were built up on in faith (Jude 1:20) and realized God wanted to communicate with us in a direct way. He desired to speak to us! The Pentecostal movement spanned the globe and it is estimated that as many as ½ of Christians believe in these 2 gifts.
2 gifts down, 7 more gifts to be birthed. More revelation of Jesus needed to be given.
In 1960 the Charismatic movement was started that is still going on today. Much was birthed but it did restore to the church 3 more of the Holy Spirit’s gifts that He had to offer. They were Prophecy, Word of Knowledge, and Word of Wisdom.
It’s important to keep in mind that the goal is not the gifts. The goal is to see Jesus in His fullness. The fruits and gifts are to be used to reveal parts of Jesus that we wouldn’t see or understand other wise to ourselves and to others. It is no different that the fact that we get to know people by not just reading about them but watching their actions.
Through these 3 gifts we realize that Jesus is for us and that He desires to encourage and build us up. We realize that He knows all about us and has a good plan for us. Much revelation of Him has been revealed through this movement. It is not uncommon to hear about prophecies, words of knowledge and wisdom.
5 gifts down, 4 more gifts to be birthed!
So we are now up to the present. I believe that we are at the beginning of a new movement restoring these final 4 gifts – healing, working of miracles, discernment, and faith. This will be completed with a widespread adoption of the final 4 gifts. We have seen some growth in these gifts but the Holy Spirit wants to release them in all Christians as a normal way of life.
These gifts are power gifts that will reveal the awesomeness of God and His desire to restore us fully body, soul, and spirit and bring His kingdom to earth (Matthew 6:10). As these gifts come into the world it will reveal that God is a GOOD God ALL the time. They will desire to be saved because they will want to run to a God that has these characteristics! As Christians, we will be consumed with seeing Him because we realize how wonderful He is.
This is a great time! We are at the beginning of seeing these final 4 gifts revealed in the earth! Ask the Holy Spirit to release these gifts in you to show you and the world how good He is. The completion of Acts 10:38 that Jesus started will happen with these final 4 gifts being released:
Acts 10:38 (NIV) how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing GOOD and healing ALL who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.
Holy Spirit, I want all that I am able to receive from you. Do not let me ever limit or say no to you. What I can’t handle now, make me able to receive as soon as possible. Reveal to me Jesus in His fullness. Amen.