Archive for the 'Charismatic Movement' Category

Charismata (Spiritual Gifts)

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts (Greek: charismata). Use them well to serve one another.

1 Peter 4:10 NLT

We need supernatural power to fight and win a supernatural war, therefore the Father gives us spiritual tools and grace-filled weapons for the battle–the spiritual gifts. These weapons are concrete expressions of grace, charismata, which enable and empower every believer to do the words and perform the works of Jesus. The word explains the reason for the works and the works demonstrate the power of the word.

It is not enough to believe in the spiritual gifts or even occasionally participate in their practice; we must intensely hunger for their manifestation. The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “eagerly desire the spiritual gifts” (1 Cor. 14:1). The phrase “seek not, forbid not” concerning the gifts of the Spirit is an unbiblical aphorism (1 Cor. 1:7, 12:31, 14:39; Heb. 2:3-4).

But while indeed the Church’s sacramental and apostolic order witnesses to the historical givenness of gospel and Church, there is need to remember the continuing lively action of the Spirit whereby alone the believers are Christ’s body. The many charismata shared among the Church’s members are not personal qualities or possessions so much as constant actions of the Spirit in which the liveliness of God touches human lives.

Michael Ramsey, Holy Spirit: A Biblical Study (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1977), 127-128.

An Open Letter to a Friend About Divine Healing

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011


An Open Letter to a Friend About the Gift of Healing

It is the one and only Spirit who distributes all these gifts. He alone decides which gift each person should have.

1 Cor. 12:10-11

Dear My Brother in Christ:

Thank you for your email and for your willingness to discuss theological ideas with which you disagree. This freedom to understand our theological differences under the umbrella of inerrant scripture is one of the pleasures that I enjoyed about our common seminary experience.

Concerning your statement, “If you, or I, or someone we knew had the gift of healing and did not go to that hospital and heal all those sick boys and girls, what kind of monsters would we be?” Your concern is a real and common objection to the operation of the gift of healing today. Allow me to speak to your concerns.

We all long for the second return of Christ when suffering and sickness will be no more and the innocent will no longer suffer tragedy. Presently, we experience the now and not yet of the Kingdom of God, a foretaste of heaven, but not the kingdom’s full realization. The Kingdom is an advance sample of what life will be like when dwelling in God’s exquisite presence in heaven. In this life, the people of God will experience freedom from sickness and deliverance from oppression, but deliverance from all suffering will not occur until the second coming of Christ. Therefore, we eagerly anticipate Satan’s total overthrown and the complete restoration of this fallen world.

I would take exception to your idea that Charismatics claim to possess the gift of healing. We do not possess the gifts of the Spirit: the Spirit possesses us. When God, the Holy Spirit, sovereignly chooses to heal through the spiritual gifts, then and only then, will a man or woman be healed (1 Cor. 12:11). The gift of healing is not something we own. Only God, the Holy Spirit, can heal physical sicknesses and he alone chooses through whom he will operate.

I have prayed for hundreds of individuals through the years: some were instantaneously healed, and some were gradually healed, and some were not healed at all, but all who asked for prayer experienced God’s love and grace. Again, the timing and nature of God’s healing work is his sovereign choice.

Numerous times, Peter walked through the Temple gate and passed a crippled beggar, but on that particular day Peter was filled with faith and for the glory of God touched that broken man and he stood up and walked (Acts 3:6). No doubt other sick people were begging at that very gate on that very day, but God choose to heal only that one man on that particular day.

A few years ago, I prayed for woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer. We prayed on Saturday night before her anticipated surgery on Monday. Before the surgery, the doctors took one final X-ray before her procedure. When they did, the cancer was no longer apparent. She was medically verified as healed.

However, I prayed many hours for a friend, just a teenager, who was suffering from lymphoma. Despite all our prayers, the situation worsened. She passed away. Why God chooses to heal some while allowing others to pass is not a question I can answer. I do know that in the light of eternity, we will know that God was good and loving to both the healed and the needy. By his love and grace, the Lord had something greater for us and them (Heb. 11:39-40).

You stated, “Since there were no hospitals like we have today, all the sick were at home.” I beg to differ. In John five, Jesus visits the Pool of Bethesda. Scripture says that, “Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches (v. 4). Jesus heals one man and one man only-the invalid who had lain there thirty-eighty years.  There is no indication that anyone else was healed at that location.

Bethesda was an ill-equipped and ill-informed hospital compared to today’s standards. However, Jesus entered that ancient excuse for a hospital and healed only one individual.  Jesus said, “I assure you, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does” (John 5:19). Evidently, the Father by his sovereign choice only desired to heal one person in that hospital on that day.

I will be the first to admit that there are many charlatans among us masquerading as divine healers. However, we cannot abandon the practice of praying for the sick even though some are abusing and misusing its practice (1 Thes. 5:19-22). When praying for the sick, I prefer the model that John Wimber of the Vineyard Movement developed: an off-the-stage, away from the cameras, unpretentious prayer ministry for the sick and needy.

In summary, believers do not possess the gift of healing: we are dependent on the Spirit’s enablement. Jesus did not clean out hospitals, but only obeyed his Father’s will when choosing who and when to heal. The timing of the healing dynamic is God’s and God’s perfect timing alone. Healing is an outgrowth of the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom will not be fully established in this world till Christ’s second coming (Rev. 11:15).

May God use you, my friend, to advance his kingdom and proclaim his most gracious gospel.

Christus Victor,

Fr. Glenn



Five Action Verbs of the Holy Spirit (Updated)

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010



The Holy Spirit’s Ministry in the Book of Acts

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Acts 1:8 (ESV)

Biblically, the experience of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit can be described by the phrase, “one baptism, many fillings.” All believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit at conversion, but presently they may not be experiencing all his presence, benefits, power, and gifts. Therefore, renewal is needed as we seek to obey Paul’s injunction, “Be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).

1. “Baptized”-The baptism of the Holy Spirit is an overwhelming experience of the Spirit’s presence, power, and purity: a total submergence within the person of the Holy Spirit. This individual experience is instantaneous and may be reoccurring. The Baptism refers to the initial work of the Spirit in uniting believers to Christ as well as on-going encounters with the Spirit bringing refreshment and strengthening in the Christian life (Mark 1:8; Acts 11:16).

2. “Filled”-The phrase, “to be filled,” points to an inner penetration or pervasion of the Spirit into my whole being as a believer. Also, “release” and “infilling” are terms which express the Spirit’s work of totally, inwardly occupying a believer’s heart and life (Acts 1:4; 9:17).

[It should be noted, that “baptized” and “filled” are the same event and denote the totality of the Spirit’s working both within and without in the believer’s life.]

3. “Outpouring”-The outpouring of the Holy Spirit suggests an overwhelming experience of the Spirit’s person and presence as well as to the idea of abundance (i.e., without limitation) (Joel 2:28-29; John 3:34; Acts 2:17-18, 33; 10:45).

4. “Falling of the Spirit”- Falling connotes suddenness, forcefulness, and power (Acts 2:21; 8:16; 10:44).

5. “Coming Upon” or “Clothed With”- To be clothed with the Holy Spirit expresses an active, continuing endowment of the Spirit: possession by and investiture with the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 19:6).

J. R. Williams, “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” in The New International Dictionary of Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements, Revised and Expanded, ed. Stanley M. Burgess (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002), 355.

When we are baptized with the Holy Ghost self is effaced in a glory of sacrifice for Jesus and we become His witnesses. Self-conscious devotion is gone, self-conscious service is killed, and one thing only remains, Jesus Christ first, second, and third.

Oswald Chambers, Bringing Sons into Glory : Studies in the Life of Our Lord (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1996), 41.

What Do You Do With a Personal Prophetic Word?

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Active or Passive Response?

Here and here, we defined the word of prophecy as a spiritual gift and how during this season of Advent, we especially need to seek the prophetic word. Today, we reflect on how to respond when a prophetic word is given by the Holy Spirit.

What should our response be to a confirmed prophetic word (1 Cor. 14:29)? Do we just sit around and wait? Do we just discuss it, debate it, or analyze it? Is it possible that the Holy Spirit desires for us to pray this move of God—an inbreaking of the kingdom—into existence?  The Holy Spirit calls us to obey Isaiah’s injunction, “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near” (Isa. 55:6, NLT). We seek the gift of prophecy for we hunger for God’s direction in the midst of the chaos and confusion of this world (1 Cor. 14:1).

The prophetic word is an invitation to enter God’s promises, to receive God’s provision, and to release God’s kingdom (1 Cor. 14:1-5). When a prophetic word is given to us, we are called to pray the promise’s fulfillment, believe the promise’s pledge, and obey the promise’s command.  In other words, we are not to sit passively waiting for a prophetic word to come true, but we are called by God to be actively cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that word fulfilled.

Elijah is a biblical example of responding to God’s prophetic word: he acted and prayed into existence God’s promise of rain (1 Kings 18:1, 41-46).

Elijah sought the Lord even when the word of the Lord was clear and unequivocal; he did not wait passively, but pursued Yahweh while he could be found. God promised Elijah, “Go, present yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth” (1 Kings 18:1, NKJV). First, Elijah obeyed the word of the Lord and was immediately obedient to the heavenly command. For in verse two, Elijah went and presented himself to his greatest enemy King Ahab. He obeyed despite the threat of rejection, persecution, and even possible death.

Second, Elijah grabbed hold of the word of God and believed it for he heard “the abundance of rain” before it was ever visible (v.41). Third, Elijah sought the Lord in prayer basing his request for rain on the promise of God (v.1).  Fourth, Elijah humbled himself before the Lord, not demanding, but requesting that God honor his promise of rain. “And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; then he bowed down on the ground, and put his face between his knees . . . ” (v. 42). Fifth, Elijah was earnest; he wanted to see the word of the Lord fulfilled (James 5:17). He persevered until the answer came, for “seven times” he looked longingly to the sea for rain (v.43).

Sixth, Elijah was undeterred for he continued to believe God even after six times of seeing no results from his prayers. Seven, Elijah acted on God’s prophetic word for he gave Ahab instructions to drive through the Jezreel Valley before rain flooded the area. Elijah based his orders on seeing a cloud as small as a man’s hand, thus Elijah was a man of faith (v.44). Elijah saw his prayer answered (v.45) and became an example for us all (James 5: 16a-18). [F. B. Meyer, Elijah: And the Secret of His Power (Fort Washington, PA: Christian Literature Crusade, 1978), 90-100.]

Conclusion, Elijah is biblical example for receiving a prophetic word: we should pray until the promise is fulfilled. The great prayer warrior, E. M. Bounds, instructs us in the same manner:

All revivals are dependent on God, but in revivals, as in other things, he invites and requires the assistance of man, and the full result is obtained when there is cooperation between the divine and the human. In other words, to employ a familiar phrase, God alone can save the world, but God chooses not to save the world alone.

E. M. Bounds, Purpose in Prayer found in The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1990), 360.

We Have Something For Which They Longed . . .

Monday, June 15th, 2009


. . . the Indwelling Holy Spirit.

Trinity Sunday, June 7th, I preached the sermon, “We Have Something For Which They Longed.” This message had been burning in my heart for some time and many of you resonated with the biblical truths that I shared. As requested, the outline, notes, and text of my message is now posted for your spiritual encouragement. If you have any problems downloading the entire sermon in Google Documents, please email me and I forward the text to you in Word format.

We Have Something (or Someone) For Which They Longed

Pentecost Year B 2009

[Preached Trinity Sunday Year B 2009]

Rev. Canon Glenn E. Davis

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (emphasis mine)

Gal. 3:13-14 (NKJV).

Overview: The Old Testament people of God yearned for intimacy with God: conscience-cleansing forgiveness of sin, power to obey the law, and life-changing experiences of His presence. The finished work of Christ on the Cross performed the work needed for us to experience all these truths and much more. What Old Testament men and women of faith hoped for and desired, we as New Covenant believers now know. We must not take these precious truths for granted. This sermon is about these great doctrinal truths and how we can fully experience their power and purpose.

Read or download the entire sermon on Google Documents.

To believe fully in the Holy Spirit as the present and abiding and all-comprehensive gift of the New Covenant has been to many an entrance into its fullness of blessing.

Andrew Murray, The Believer’s New Covenant (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1984), 49.

The Rest of the Charismata

Friday, June 12th, 2009


Charismata: The Spiritual Gifts as Weapons of Spiritual Warfare

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit,to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit,who apportions to each one individually as he wills.

1 Cor 12:7-11 (ESV)

Over the last several weeks, I have been posting my definitions of key Christian terms related to the Charismatic stream of historic Christianity. With our fourth session of the Ps-501, Life in the Spirit course meeting tomorrow, I thought it would be helpful to post the entire list. This list covers all the charismata, spiritual gifts, found in 1 Cor. 12:8-11 and Eph. 4:11. Below are a couple of definitions to wet your whistle and the remaining definitions are listed in the attached Word document file.

FAITH, GIFT of -Supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to believe for a major victory in a power encounter with the Enemy. An other-worldly conviction that God will reveal his power and mercy in a special way for a specific instance (Acts 3:6, 1 Sam. 17:26).

HEALING(S), GIFTS of -The everyday expectation/faith that the Holy Spirit can heal any disease at any anytime. The plural endings on both Greek nouns indicate various kinds of healing for numerous and different types of diseases (1 Cor. 12:9, Acts 3:1-10).

INTERPRETATION of TONGUES, GIFT of -An enablement from the Holy Spirit to explain meaning of an unknown human language or heavenly tongue (1 Cor. 14:5).

MIRACULOUS POWERS, GIFT of -An extraordinary display of God’s power bringing individual deliverance from sin, death, and the devil. Supernatural power that goes beyond the regular healing of the sick (Acts 5:15, 9:36-43; Acts 8:6-7; 1 Cor. 12:10).

POWER EVANGELISM is a presentation of the gospel which breaks down resistance to the gospel through powerful displays of God’s presence by the manifestation of the spiritual gifts. Through the church’s use of the spiritual gifts: words of knowledge, prophecies, healings, and deliverance from demons, the lost are draw to the Word of God by the power of God.

SIGNS and WONDERS-A special inbreaking of the kingdom which brings deliverance to those bound by sin, sickness, and Satan. This release includes the spiritual gifts manifesting breaking down barriers to the gospel. Synonymous with miracles and the word, “works,” as used in the Gospel of John for displays of God’s power (Acts 2:22, John 14:12). The entire list of definitions can be found on the Scribd page linked below:

Charismata Definitions document file

The Mind of God for a Perplexing Situation

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009


The Word of Wisdom

Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone’s opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar’s.” Then he said to them,”Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.

Matt. 22:15-22 (ESV)

The spiritual gift of a word of wisdom is insight given by the Holy Spirit into a present situation for the purpose of solving a perplexing dilemma. When caught in-between a proverbial rock and a hard place caused by either people or circumstances, the Holy Spirit gives understanding showing the way out of the predicament (1 Cor. 12:8, Dan. 2:21-22, Luke 21:15).

The word of wisdom is a spiritual utterance at a given moment through the Spirit supernaturally disclosing the mind, purpose, and way of God as applied to a specific situation.

Jack Hayford, NKJV Spirit-Filled Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 1991), 1736.

An example of a word of wisdom:

Richard Cunningham, leader of University and Colleges Christian Fellowship, in response to the question whether the gathering New Word Alive is “narrow, schismatic, conservative.”

‘It’s only as narrow theologically as the gospel demands, but as culturally broad and generous as the gospel permits.’

HT: Desiring God Blog

How Did You Know That?

Monday, May 18th, 2009


The Spiritual Gift of the Word of Knowledge

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

1 Cor 12:7-8 (NASU)

A word of knowledge is insight given to a believer into another person’s past which ministers God’s present love into their current problems and struggles. A word of knowledge reveals heart-felt secrets that only our omniscient God could know for the purpose of displaying God’s care and concern for that individual’s needs.

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

“I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.

John 4:13-19 (NIV)

Gift of Different Languages

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009



I [Paul] thank God that I speak in tongues more than any of you.

1 Cor 14:18 (NLT)

A special ability from the Holy Spirit to speak in a language never learned: earthly or angelic. Unintelligible speech directed in praise and prayer toward God for the edification of the speaker and for the building up of the people of God. Speaking in tongues is normal, but not normative. That is to say, do not be surprised to experience the gift of tongues upon being renewed in the Holy Spirit. However, the experience of this blessed gift is not a requirement, but a grace-gift from God to assist us in praying when we do not know how to pray.

(1 Cor. 13:1, Gen. 11:1-9, Acts 2:1-11).

Tongues is “a way of responding to the inexpressibility of God, a way of crying to God from the depths and expressing the too-deep-for-words sighings of the heart.”

The gift of tongues cuts at our pride. Receiving this gift surrenders our speech to the Lord and makes us like little children: humble, dependent and trusting.

The gift places us in unfamiliar territory and requires us to be childlike in prayer. But this may be why tongues are important. It is a means God uses to challenge strategies of control. It is a humble but also a humbling gift to which we should be open.

Clark H. Pinnock, Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996), 172-173.

Discernment of Spirits (Part Two)

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009


Evaluate, Discern, Distinguish, Weigh the Use of the Spiritual Gifts

Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world

1 John 4:1

It is the responsibility of the congregation to judge, weigh, discern, evaluate all prophetic words and teaching to discern whether the gift, ministry, or miracle is from God, demonic, or self -generated (i.e., the flesh) (1 Thes. 5:19-22). A prophetic minister should welcome evaluation and accountability for a Jesus-saturated ministry is a submitted ministry.

False teaching can be judged by comparing it with Scripture, but false spirits can be judged only by the true Spirit’s gift of discernment. That gift may be called the Spirit’s gift on gifts, because God uses it to reveal to His church whether or not a manifestation of the other gifts is of Him. All imitation of the gifts is not demonic. Much of it is simply the work of the flesh, carnal Christians trying to serve the Lord in their own power and for their own benefit and glory. Summarizing, it can be said that the gift of discernment is given to tell if the other gifts are of the Holy Spirit, if they are merely natural imitations, or if they are demonic counterfeits. I believe God still empowers some of His people to unmask false prophets and carnal hypocrites. He gives them insight to expose imitations and deceptions that most Christians would take as genuine.

The gift of discernment, however, can easily deteriorate into a critical, proud, and self-righteous spirit. It can be judgmental instead of corrective when it is imitated in the flesh. But rightly used it is a great protection to God’s people.

John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary: First Corinthians [CD-Rom] (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984).