Secrets of the Spirit: Building Up the Body

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Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord. And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person. A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial. (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)

And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. (Ephesians 4:11-13)

Pentecost

The gift of the Holy Spirit has always been God’s means of regenerating his people to new life and empowering spiritual leaders, but since the miracle of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been given to all believers to enable them to carry out the wide variety ministries God calls them to, to enable supernatural signs and gifts, and to guide Christians in their gospel proclamation.

Pentecost

Pentecost is celebrated by Christians on Sunday, June 5. The Jews also celebrate their Pentecost (Shavuot), which begins at sunset on Saturday, June 4 and ends at sundown on Monday, June 6. The word Shavuot means “weeks.” It marks the completion of the seven-week counting period between Passover and Shavuot. The giving of the Law (or Torah) was a far-reaching spiritual event, compared to a wedding between God and the Jewish people. Shavuot also means “oaths,” for on this day God swore eternal devotion to the Jewish people, and they in turn pledged everlasting loyalty to Him.

At Sinai on that first Shavuot and later at Pentecost, God created a nation set apart for Himself. He revealed Himself and how to live as a redeemed community, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (Exodus 19:6).

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As the Jewish people celebrate this feast year after year, they recount the awesome events that took place at the foot of Mt. Sinai. It is what defines them as a people. Therefore it was not by chance that God chose Shavuot, called Pentecost among Christians, for this miraculous event took place exactly seven weeks following Jesus’s last Passover. This was a time when Jerusalem would have been filled with Jews from all the surrounding lands who had come with great anticipation to “meet with the Lord”—the meaning of the “appointed times” listed in Leviticus 23—Jewish people of that time had a keen sense of this.

The Secrets of the Spirit

The first followers of Jesus must have had a greater sense of expectation as they were told by the Lord Himself that, “in a few days you will be immersed in the Holy Spirit!” (see Acts 1:5) before He was taken up before their eyes.

Acts 2 records that approximately 120 followers of Jesus were gathered in Jerusalem for the Shavuot celebration when “suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1-4).

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No longer would man walk by commandments on tablets of stone, but by the Holy Spirit, who would write the law on hearts of flesh and give power to overcome the powers of darkness…the law of sin and death…while empowering us to become witnesses to the ends of the earth! The “church” had been born.

Just as the nation of Israel had been created in the wilderness of Sinai to reveal the one true God to the world, now the doors had opened to the nations to come and know and worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Whereas God once dwelt in the Temple fashioned of bricks and mortar, by His Spirit, He now dwells in vessels of clay.

Whereas men once went up to Jerusalem to enjoy God’s presence, His presence now remains with us as we travel the earth taking His wonderful message—this Good News of the Messiah of Israel to the Jewish People and to the nations.

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* The Kingdom began on Pentecost, along with the End Times

* The Lord descended upon man in the form of fire on both Pentecost and Shavuot

* Pentecost was the reverse of the Babel curse

holy spirit ani

There are many misconceptions about the identity of the Holy Spirit. Some view the Holy Spirit as a mystical force. Others understand the Holy Spirit as the impersonal power that God makes available to followers of Christ. What does the Bible say about the identity of the Holy Spirit? Simply put, the Bible declares that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also tells us that the Holy Spirit is a divine person, a being with a mind, emotions, and a will.

There are several ways in which the Spirit of God was operative in the Old Testament. The Spirit is portrayed as the creative power of God as well as the one responsible for bringing renewal and new life to both the material creation and humanity (see Gen. 1:2; Ps. 104:30; Isa. 32:14–15; 63:11–14; Job 33:4).

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The Spirit was also responsible for empowering both civil and military administrators in the nation of Israel (Num. 11:16–17). In Judges, with the exception of Abimelech, at least seven judges received the enabling of the Spirit to perform ministries on behalf of the whole community of Israel (for example, see Judg. 3:10; 6:34). Military commanders, such as Joshua, were empowered and enabled by the Spirit (Num. 27:18). We see this especially in the case of Samson (Judg. 14:5–6; 15:14–15; 16:20).

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Kings in Israel were anointed with the Spirit to enable them to fulfill their calling (see 1 Sam. 10:1–10; 16:12–14). The Spirit also empowered and enabled some with unique skills for the sake of the people of Israel, such as those commissioned to build the tabernacle (Exod. 31:1–4). The Spirit sustained an especially important relationship to those who were called upon as prophets (see Num. 11:24–30; 2 Sam. 23:1–2; 1 Chron. 12:18). The Spirit also enabled some to excel in the interpretation of revelatory dreams and visions (Dan. 4:8–9, 18; 5:11,14).

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The fact that the Holy Spirit is God is clearly seen in many Scriptures, including Acts 5:3-4. In this verse Peter confronts Ananias as to why he lied to the Holy Spirit and tells him that he had “not lied to men but to God.” It is a clear declaration that lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God. We can also know that the Holy Spirit is God because He possesses the characteristics of God.

For example, His omnipresence is seen in Psalm 139:7-8, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Then in 1 Corinthians 2:10-11, we see the characteristic of omniscience in the Holy Spirit. “But God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.”

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We can know that the Holy Spirit is indeed a divine person because He possesses a mind, emotions, and a will. The Holy Spirit thinks and knows (1 Corinthians 2:10). The Holy Spirit can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27). He makes decisions according to His will (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). The Holy Spirit is God, the third Person of the Trinity. As God, the Holy Spirit can truly function as the Comforter and Counselor that Jesus promised He would be (John 14:16, 26, 15:26).

Attributes of the Holy Spirit such as wisdom, knowledge, and power are manifested in the lives of believers for the good of others.

Building Up the Body

And He personally gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the training of the saints in the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a mature man with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness. Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit. But speaking the truth in love, let us grow in every way into Him who is the head—Christ. From Him the whole body, fitted and knit together by every supporting ligament, promotes the growth of the body for building up itself in love by the proper working of each individual part. (Ephesians 4:12-16)

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The spiritual gift of healing is the supernatural manifestation of the Spirit of God that miraculously brings healing and deliverance from disease and infirmity. It is the power of God that destroys the work of sin and the devil in the human body, such as the healings that Jesus and the disciples performed (Matthew 4:24; 15:30; Acts 5:15-16; 28:8-9). The gift of healing given to the church is primarily noted in 1 Corinthians 12, where the spiritual gifts are listed.

Are Holy Spirit healings for today?

This is a personal example of a Supernatural miraculous healing in a crowd at a small church in Park Hills, Missouri. My good friend, Ernie, a world wide evangelist, was in town visiting. I had taken him to this church by the Pastor’s invitation. While we all were worshipping the Lord during the beginning of service, and I noticed a boy about 12 years old who was holding up his Bible with some struggle. I saw that he had a regular length left arm, but his right arm length was one-fourth of what it should be. The Lord said to pray for him. I whispered to Ernie and asked him to pray for the boy, but he said no. Then the evangelist looked at me and said: “You lay your hands on him and pray for him! You are the one with the anointing for his healing!” Immediately I walked forward through the crowd and I asked the boy if he would like me to pray for him, and for his arm to grow out and be whole. He said yes, he would like that. As I reached my right hand out, I could feel the move of the Holy Spirit on me, the anointing was there.

Bioluminescent water in the Netherlands

Immediately the boy’s arm supernaturally grew out to the proper length! This happened in front of all the people at church. The people were surprised, some fell under the power of Holy Spirit, and all were shouting thanks to the Lord!!! It was joyous!!! The boy was so excited! Imagine how he must have felt at that moment! I began to walk to the door to leave, and the evangelist asked why we were leaving. I told him that we came to do what God wanted, and we must leave. All the credit is to be given to our Gracious and wonderful Lord who heals!!! “I must decrease so He may increase!”

About 3 years ago a young man come across my path who was from that church. He told that they often talk about how God touched that boy and affected the whole church that day!!! The Lord gets all the glory, as it’s supposed to be!!! Amen!!!

In God We Trust

We need to remember God may not heal us in the way we think He should. God may let us go through sicknesses and pain to bring Him glory, to keep us humble, or to test our faith. He let the apostle Paul suffer some type of health issue to keep him humble (2 Corinthians 12:7). God also let Job suffer from horrible skin sores to test his faith (Job 2:7).

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No matter what God allows to happen, all we can do is to trust Him, because we know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him. They are the people He called because that was His plan (Romans 8:28).

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Our salvation itself is miracle. We were dead in sin, but God entered our lives and made us new creatures (2 Corinthians 5:17). That is the greatest healing of all.

We experience the glory of the Lord when we are filled with His Holy Spirit:

Romans 8:28 — We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

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Psalm 23:6 — Only goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord as long as I live.

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1 Corinthians 13:4 — Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant … 

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1 Corinthians 13:6 — Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth.

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Galatians 5:22 ­— But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness …

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2 Timothy 1:7 — For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. 

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1 Corinthians 13:8 — Love never fails…

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1 Corinthians 13:13 — And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

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Psalm 91:14 — “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.”

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John 15:13 — Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

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Galatians 2:20 — I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

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Romans 8:39 — … neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Soon, the Lord will take all of us who are sealed with His Holy Spirit: 

You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.”

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But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

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See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:18-29)

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If you are not sure that you are saved, you can accept Christ into your life right now, by praying:

“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins.  Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life.  I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior.”

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Reader Comments:

There were a number of great points in that article. “Pentecost was the reverse of the Babel curse” – what a reversal that was! Also, the comparisons of the two mounts was good.

Gino, June 6, 2022


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