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Power From on High

Updated on December 3, 2010

There are so many beliefs on this subject. In the event of any disagreements, I offer first the message in this video for the applause of our common beliefs.


God has given to us of His power through the gift of holy spirit. See Luke 24:49: “clothed with power from on high.” - “Power” is ability!

Also, Acts 1:4-5, 8: “you shall receive power when the holy spirit has come upon you.” The Greek word in these verses for “power” is dunamis, which is potential power, or ability. Having the spirit of God is like having a toolbox of spiritual abilities. As you go to work for God you can confidently do what you know you are enabled to do. Those who receive this gift of holy spirit are filled with the power of God, His ability.

The promised spirit of God is a package of spiritual realities, spiritual blessings: Ephesians 1:13 and Acts 2:38.

The promised spirit that God would send by His son would be a gift. In Acts 2:38 it is called “the gift of holy spirit.” God’s gifts are freely given. They are not earned. And they can never to be taken back again (see Romans 11:29). Prior to the day of Pentecost, the spirit of God was upon certain people, upon certain conditions. But it is now called a gift. God does not change His mind once He has given a gift. His gifts and callings are irrevocable (Romans 11:29: "For the gracious gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.") !

Jesus Christ said that it was to his disciples’ advantage for him to leave and send back the spirit of God. John 16:7. The spirit of God is our comforter, meaning helper, advocate, intercessor. In a court of justice it means a legal assistant, an aid. John 14:16-17, 25-26, 16:12-15.

John 7:38-39 also states a great truth. "v38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. v39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)"

See also Mark 16:15-20: The gift of holy spirit is ability from God. Inwardly it guides us, counsels us into the truth. It also intercedes for us. Outwardly it enables us to "cast out spirits, speak in tongues and heal the sick." The spirit of God is the power of God given to us.

John 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”


Ephesians 1:3, Ephesians 1:23, Colossians 2:10, John 1:16. Everyone who is born again of God’s spirit has all of the abilities of that spirit. “For of his fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”

1 Corinthians 12:27-31 Not all do all, yet, we’re to zealously seek after the best (more useful) gifts. The most useful gifts are those most needed at that time. But there is yet a better way. The better way according to the following chapter is the love of God, which energizes the needed gifts of the moment.


We are told by scripture that we function in the Body of Christ according to the proportion of faith - Romans 12:4-8. See also Ephesians 4:16.

Each member of the Body of Christ is to function according to the proportion of faith. In what you have faith to do for God get busy doing. Growing in the gospel will produce more faith to function (Romans 10:17). As each member does its part, the Body functions together as one. You are a member in particular in the Body of Christ. You supply for the Body what you have faith to supply. How do you know when you have faith to do something? You won’t have to think about it. It will be as natural as breathing and feel as right as loving the brethren. As you mature in the ways that are in Christ according to gospel truth you will naturally settle into having more faith to function for God. The Word builds faith, therefore, functioning for God. Knowing and practicing 1Peter 4:10-11 will accelerate your growth.


As we walk in our new life in Christ old things are passed away. All things are become new. Even though we have been acclimatized to understanding everything according to the flesh, we can now learn to view all things according to the spirit. We are now children of God, having the spirit of God in us. As we acclimatize more and more to the realm of the spirit then the manifestation of the spirit will become more and more common in our lives. The manifestation of the spirit of God is evident in the Christ centered walk of a child of God.

1Corinthians 12:1 - “Now concerning spiritual matters, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” This introduction begins a section of scripture to educate the church (by reproof and correction) regarding spiritual matters. It would be well worth our time to study this section of chapters 12-14 in detail. But for now let’s look at 12:7-11.

Verse 7 - “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal.”

The word “manifestation” is in the singular. "Manifestation" means to make known, to disclose what is secret or unseen, to make clear or evident. To profit withal literally means, with a view to what is commonly profitable, or to carry the load together for advantage to all.

Literal: "the evidencing of the spirit is given to every man with a view to what is profitable for all."

So, the evidencing of the spirit is given to every believer, with a view to what is profitable for all.

Verses 8 through 10 give us a list of the profit of the spirit being manifested.

Verse 8 - “For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit:”

"for to one" is erroneously taught to mean that God gives special gifts to some and not others. But this cannot be true as we shall see. One reason is because verse seven has already told us that the manifestation of the spirit is given to “to each.”

Looking closer at this verbiage of "for to one" from the Greek helps clarify (Greek words will be underlined for distinction). The phrase "for to one"incorporates three Greek words; yar, hos, and men. "For” is yar" actually meaning "for." "To one" is "hos" meaning "which, whom, that, or what." "Men" means "surely, certainly." Together they would read, "for which certainly," or "for what certainly." There is no word “to” in the texts. "hos" grammatically refers to the "profit" rather than "to each" of verse seven. For example, the Knoch Translation: "for to which" referring back to the profit of the manifestation of the spirit mentioned in the previous verse, verse 7. The Peshitta Version (Aramaic): "For another (profit) a word of wisdom...", "for another (profit) a word of knowledge..." etc.. The first word "for" is a conjunction, a word which joins together sentences, clauses, phrases, or words. It joins verses 8-10 to verse 7.

Expanded Literal of Verse 8: "For which (the profit of all through the manifestation of the spirit) certainly will be given through the spirit the word of wisdom; and another (profit of all), the word of knowledge according to the same spirit"

Verse 9 - “to another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit;”

Literal: "a different kind (of profit to all), faith by the same spirit, moreover, yet another (kind of profit to all) God’s gracious gifts of healing by the same spirit"

Verse 10 - “and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues:”

Literal: "yet another (profit of all), the operation of miracles of power, yet another (profit of all), prophecy, yet another (profit of all), distinguishing/discerning spirits, yet another (profit of all), kinds of tongues, yet another, interpretation of tongues."

Verse 11 - “but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will.”

Literal: "but all these profits that one and the same spirit energizes, distributing to each his own according to deliberate purpose."

Verses 7-11 could be literally translated as such:"but the evidencing of the spirit is given to every man with a view to what is profitable for all, for which profit certainly will be given through the spirit the word of wisdom; and another, the word of knowledge according to the same spirit, another kind, faith by the same spirit, moreover, for another, God’s gracious gifts of healing by the same spirit, for another, the operation of the power of miracles, for another, prophecy, for another, detecting spirits, moreover, another, kinds of tongues, for another kind, the interpretation of tongues, but all these that one and the same spirit energizes, distributing to each his own according to deliberate desire."

The gift of holy spirit from THE Holy Spirit, God, was given on Pentecost and is as readily available in our times as it was to the apostles, for we are all joint heirs in this Family of God. The gift comes with an individual’s acceptance of Christ as his Lord according to Romans 10:9. The book of Acts and the Pauline Epistles make frequent reference to instances of God's power being manifested through the believers. The reason we see so little of God's power (if any at all) manifested today is because people do not believe the gospel. They do not know who they really are, what they really have and what they really can do. We have the gift of holy spirit, but the manifestation is brought forth according to knowledge, belief and free will; and this most believers know nothing about.

The manifestation of the spirit can be divided by usage into three groups: (1) inspirational manifestations; (2) informative manifestations; (3) power impartation manifestations. The characteristics of the manifestations suggest these names. The following will be a brief definition of what the nine manifestations do for those who operate them.

Utterance, Speaking, Worship, Inspirational Manifestations

  1. Speaking in tongues – bringing forth a message from God in a language unknown to the speaker which will edify the one speaking. Speaking in tongues is to be used in the private prayer life of a believer.
  2. Interpretation of tongues – bringing forth in a believers’ meeting a message from God by way of speaking in tongues followed by the interpretation. It edifies, exhorts and comforts the body present. God gives the utterance to the speaker as the speaker brings it forth. It is also a sign for unbelievers present.
  3. Prophecy – bringing forth in a believers’ meeting a message from God in the language of the people present, a message that will edify, exhort and comfort them.

Revelation, Information, Instructional, Knowing Manifestations

  1. Word of knowledge – directly receiving information from God about something. And not to put receiving revelation from God in a box, but generally speaking this information from God is concerning situations wherein the believer needs to know something that he or she cannot know by their five senses.
  2. Word of wisdom – receiving instruction by the believer on what to do with the information which he has received through word of knowledge.
  3. Discerning of spirits – receiving information by a believer concerning the presence, non-presence, and identity of spirits; if the spirits be evil, they can then be cast out in the name of Jesus Christ.

Action, Power, Impartation Manifestations

  1. Faith – belief that comes from God working within a believer. This includes a gospel produced "faith unto faith" which also incorporates believing revelation given through word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and/or discerning of spirits.
  2. Working of miracles – the bringing about of phenomena, which usually exceed the natural law, by acting according to information received from God (from His written word and/or from word of knowledge, word of wisdom or discerning of spirits).
  3. Gifts of healing – ministering healing in the name of Jesus Christ to restore, to cure, to make sound or whole, or to physically reconcile. This manifestation is not prayer for the sick. It works hand in hand with ministering the gospel to someone as well as working hand in hand with word of knowledge, word of wisdom, faith and working of miracles.

In the First Century Church, as recorded throughout the book of Acts, it was expected that all who received the gift of holy spirit would manifest it. When the saints didn’t manifest holy spirit, then action was taken for this purpose. In Acts 8:14-18 Simon saw something.

It's outside of the scope of this article to cover everything on this subject in detail; however, here's some information on speaking in tongues presented as an example of how beneficial and valuable the manifestation of our gift can be.

  1. Speaking in tongues is one of the nine ways in which the holy spirit is manifested (1Corinthians 12:7-10).
  2. The Apostle Paul said that he spoke in tongues more than the whole Corinthian church (1Corinthians 14:18). And Paul stated that speaking in tongues “edifies you.” This quality of edifying the one manifesting holy spirit is only stated regarding speaking in tongues (1Corinthians 14:4).
  3. Speaking in tongues is a “spiritual matter,” therefore it should be zealously sought after (1Corinthians 14:1 & :12).
  4. Speaking in tongues is speaking not unto men, but unto God (1Corinthians 14:2).
  5. Speaking in tongues is speaking secrets to God (1Corinthians 14:2).
  6. Speaking in tongues edifies you (1Corinthians 14:4).
  7. Paul’s desire as the Apostle to the Gentiles is that “all speak in tongues,” (1Corinthians 14:5).
  8. Referring to the spirit of God we have received, Jesus said that rivers of living water shall flow from within us. (John 7:38-39).
  9. We can pray by way of speaking in tongues (1Corinthians 14:14-15).
  10. We can sing in tongues (1Corinthians 14:15).
  11. Speaking in tongues is giving thanks well (1Corinthians 14:16-17).
  12. The Apostle Paul spoke in tongues more than the whole Corinthian Church (1Corinthians 14:18).
  13. Speaking in tongues is a sign to those who don’t yet believe (1Corinthians 14:22).
  14. We’re to seek to excel to the edifying of the church by way of interpretation of tongues and prophecy.
  15. Speaking in tongues will cease when Jesus Christ returns (1Corinthians 13:8-10).

Now, to speak in tongues is up to us. God has given us the ability in the gift of holy spirit. This is the same principle as in 1Corinthians 14:32, “The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”

The subject of manifesting holy spirit is vast and this hub barely touches it, but please feel free to shoot me an email if you'd like more information (scottm @ tgocm . org - no spaces).

FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT: From Galatians 5:22-23

This is not fruit of good Christian works as it has been erroneously taught. Neither is this section referring to self-development in these qualities. This list is “fruit.” It will result from living according to truth, the gospel of the grace of Christ (Galatians 1:6-7). See Matthew 13:23, Genesis 1:11-12. Seed is designed to produce fruit “after its kind.” The gospel message is as seed, producing the following fruit of its own kind:

LOVE: To abide in Christ and manifest unconditional love to others.

JOY: Delight, joy, gladness: When the things of God bring joy to us.


  • peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord.
  • security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous).
  • of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is. See Romans 5:1- 2, John 14:27, 16:33, Romans 8:6. To be joined to God, hence, Romans 5:6-11.

LONGSUFFERING: Putting up with things and people now in view of the return of Jesus Christ, so, enduring while patiently waiting. See Colossians 1:11.

GENTLENESS: Goodness, kindness; usefulness that shows itself in benevolence, kindness toward others.

GOODNESS: The quality of him who is ruled by and aims at the good, moral worth, and sterling goodness apart from the law of attraction.

FAITH: Having confident trust in God’s powerful ability and willingness to provide in any situation according to truth. Romans 10:17, Mark 11:11-14 and :20-24. It is our faith that will be recognized and rewarded at Jesus Christ’s appearing: 1Peter 1:5-7.

MEEKNESS: Gentleness, mildness, enduring all things with an even temper, tender, free from haughty self-sufficiency, hence, “meekness” toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the Old Testament, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustice. Thus, meekness toward evil people means knowing God is permitting the injuries they inflict, that He is using them to purify His elect, and that He will deliver His elect in His time. (Isaiah 41:17, Luke 18:1-8) Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will.

TEMPERANCE: Self-control, self-command; mastery or dominion over self (opposite to self-indulgence). See 1Corinthians 9:25

This fruit is sought after by people everywhere. But this is not what we, children of God, are to try to acquire. This is fruit, the result produced not by compulsion, but by the genuine gospel living in us. Also, this is not an exhaustive list of fruit produced by the spirit. Consider boldness, confidence, compassion, trust in God, etc.


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