The Holy Spirit & the Local Church 3

Supernatural Control & Guidance, Part Two
by Pastor John Hamel

“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:1-4)

We are continuing with the series, “The Holy Spirit & the Local Church.”  In our last study we saw how the Holy Spirit provides Leaders for the Local Church.  He also sets individuals in the Local Church of His choice to do the work of the Ministry.  

We saw how the Holy Spirit determines the order of Worship, leads in bold congregational prayer and also leads in loud music and shouting.  Once we take music out of our services, like some denominations would have us to do, we remove the potential for the anointing.  The anointing is simply the power. 

The Prophet Elijah was dependent upon music, both singing and playing, to bring the anointing when nothing else would. (2Samuel 3:15)  

The Bible says, “I am God and I change not.”  If God enjoyed music in Elijah’s day, He still enjoys music today.  He is not a grumpy, white-robed, moody, puritanical monster who hates music, joy and exuberance.  He is a happy Father God because He knows how this whole thing is going to turn out.  Ultimately He is going to be surrounded with a family of Believers for Eternity.  

Believers who chose to love Him as a conscious act of their own free wills and that is enough to make Him turn the volume up and dance a little Himself, I am sure. 

Let us pick right up today where we left off in our last lesson.

The Holy Spirit Commands Believers to Lift Holy Hands

“I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” (1Timothy 2:8)

Somebody once said, “I’m not lifting my hands in Church in front of people.  That’s what the Pentecostals do.”  Well, there you have it.  It is the power of Pentecost that makes people want to lift their hands to a Holy God in Church.  To the carnal, religious mind it is an unusual thing to witness, but it is so precious to God that He said we should do it everywhere. 

“Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS as the evening sacrifice.” (Psalm 141:2)

King David lifted his hands up before the Lord and he was a mighty warrior.  He was not ashamed and he was not offended when he realized that God was calling him to do it.  Somebody said, “Well, I’m just not going to do it in public.  I’ll do it in private.” 

“LIFT UP YOUR HANDS IN THE SANCTUARY, and bless the Lord.  The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.” (Psalm 134:2-3)

This verse specifically says we are to lift our hands when we come into the House of God.  When we tell God what we will and will not do, we quench His Holy Spirit.  If you want to see the power of God move in your life, lift your hands without wrath, doubting or backtalk.  Anyone who is Born Again and filled with the Spirit desires to lift his or her hands to God.  It just takes a time or two to get used to it and it becomes pleasurable. 

While we are on the subject of lifting hands, we must say something about clapping hands.  Nowhere in the New Testament are we instructed to clap our hands while in the presence of God.  Clapping is a fleshly way for man to express his appreciation of man.  God does not desire for us to honor Him in the same way we honor one another.  Now, I am not talking about clapping our hands to the beat of the music.  The Bible clearly tells us that we should clap with the music.

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah.  O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” (Psalm 47:1)

Notice that this Psalm is to the chief Musician.  It is a specific reference to clapping to music.  It is also instruction to unregenerate people under the Old Covenant who did not have the indwelling Holy Spirit.  This is the only time in the Book of Psalms where clapping is referred to.  You will find absolutely no New Testament precedent for clapping today. 

I have been in many services where the Holy Spirit began to move by the Gifts of the Spirit.  (Prophecy, Word of Knowledge, healing anointing, etc.)  Suddenly one person would begin to clap like a child and then many others would follow suit.  Soon the whole place was applauding as if it were a concert hall.  Suddenly I would experience a tight “knot in my gut.”  The Holy Spirit of God was grieved and the Gifts stopped operating.  My spirit was grieved because the Holy Spirit within me was grieved.  

Many of you have experienced this “knot in the gut” as well during congregational clapping and did not understand why.  Now you do.  It grieves the Holy Spirit when we bring His meeting down to a fleshly, carnal entertainment level. 

God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)  To worship in spirit and in truth is to worship according to the truth of God’s Word.  God’s Word says to lift holy hands to God not to clap holy hands for God.   The congregation should never applaud speakers and singers.  Their job is to direct people towards God and His Holiness, not towards themselves.  

It is one thing to greet a guest with applause, but it is another thing altogether to applaud a Preacher for his preaching or a Music Minister for their music Ministry.  These individuals are called of God to lead us into the presence of the Holy Spirit, not to get our focus onto them. 

I am going to say it again.  It is wrong for congregations to applaud a Minister’s preaching or the musicians.  It is wrong for the Minister or the musicians to receive the congregation’s accolades.  Ministers and musicians are to lead people into the presence of God, not to entertain or to be seen of man. 

Jesus appeared to Dr. Kenneth Hagin and told him, “Clapping is neither praise nor worship.  It brings God down to a human level.” 

The Holy Spirit Inspires Spontaneous Dancing

“And David DANCED before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.  So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.  And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart. … And David said unto Michal, IT WAS BEFORE THE LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: THEREFORE WILL I PLAY BEFORE THE LORD.” (2Samuel 6:14-16,21)

There is no New Testament precedent for dancing in the Spirit.  But that does not mean that the Holy Spirit does not lead in spontaneous expressions of joy through inspired dancing or other spiritual outbursts.  Keep in mind that when David danced, he danced before the Lord, not before man to bring attention to himself or to “boogie down.”  He was not entertaining himself or anyone else.  He was praising God. 

In the Scripture above, David danced before the Lord with all his might.  The Hebrew word for “danced” means “whirled.”  The Hebrew word for “might” means “praise.”  David could not contain his joy when the Ark of the Covenant was returned to Israel and it caused him to spontaneously whirl as a means of praise.  

Like the crippled man who was healed at the Gate Beautiful, he could not contain his Holy Spirit inspired joy and began leaping and praising God. (Acts 3:8)  David did not care who was watching.  

Some people only dance because they care that others are watching.  That is not praise and worship.  That is pompous and worthless. 

By the way, the man who was healed at the Gate Beautiful began leaping.  The Greek word used there for “leaping” means “to gush forth, to spring forth, to be filled with joy of the Holy Spirit.” 

Notice also how this dancing of David’s was before the Lord, not before the congregation.  It was spontaneity, not choreography.  All eyes are on the dancers, not on God, during choreographed dance in Church.  When David danced, there were no skintight leotards defining body components or purple banners flying.  No one was being exhibited.  No one was being entertained.  No girls in tight dance costumes were being “oogled” by men in the congregation.  God was being praised spontaneously.  All eyes were on Him, not on the cute little dance team. 

There is a place for spontaneous expressions of joy through Holy Spirit inspired dancing only. 

“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and A TIME TO DANCE;” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)   

There is a time for spontaneous Holy Spirit inspired dancing.  However, we should not take it upon ourselves to start dancing in the aisles or to run down in front of the congregation where everyone can see.  When the Holy Spirit overtakes you with jumping, skipping, leaping, gushing, whirling and springing about for joy, that is one thing.  Choreography and dancing with one another or to be seen of man is another thing altogether.  

I realize that there are those who will argue with this wisdom, insisting that there is a place for choreographed dancing in the Church.  We would remind them that God is a Spirit and those who worship Him must worship Him in the Spirit, not in the flesh, and in truth, not by the traditions of man. (John 4:24)

The Holy Spirit Inspires Falling Prostrate

The presence of the Holy Spirit can become so overwhelming at times that it is simply not possible to continue to stand in His presence.  Like the musicians we have referred to in Solomon’s Temple, the anointing can be so strong that it is impossible to stand upright.  (2Chronicles 5:13,14)  Many fall under the power of God while receiving the Baptism with the Holy Spirit, while being prayed over for healing and for many other reasons.  This is perfectly Scriptural. 

The night that Jesus was arrested, over 600 individuals fell backwards to the ground when He opened His mouth and the power of God was released through His words. (John 18:1-6)  At Jesus’ Tomb the soldiers fell to the ground when the Angel of the Lord appeared to them. (Matthew 28:1-4)  On the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter, James and John fell under the power of God, completely blown away by His presence. (Matthew 17:1-6)  

The Apostle Paul and everyone with him fell to the ground when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus. (Acts 9:4; 26:14)  When the Lord appeared to Ezekiel, he fell to the ground. (Ezekiel 1:28)  There are many other examples in Scripture of individuals falling prostrate in the presence of God.

People have fallen in the presence of the Holy Spirit’s power in every great move of God throughout history.  John Wesley was born in England in 1703 and preached the Gospel until 1791.  He reported that he had hundreds of people falling prostrate in his services at times.  

George Whitefield, an associate of John Wesley, would draw crowds so large that people would have to climb up into trees to see and to hear him.  When he would see the people in the trees, he would insist that they come down before he would start preaching.  He knew that when the power of God manifested, the people would fall under God’s power thereby falling out of the trees.  

Charles Finney, the great 19th Century Evangelist, said that over 400 unsaved individuals fell under the power of God in one of his services.   

Maria Woodworth-Etter ministered at the turn of the 20th Century.  One night while she was preaching she froze with her mouth open, upright on her feet, for three days and three nights.  All bodily functions ceased and she could not be moved.  Some estimate that tens of thousands came to see her in this inanimate, suspended state.  At the end of a three-day period, she came back into this realm and picked up preaching right where she had left off three days before. 

I myself fell under the power of God for NEARLY THREE FULL DAYS at the time of my conversion.  I did not change positions or dream during this entire period.  All bodily and soulical functions ceased.  When I came back into this realm, I had been supernaturally delivered from drug and alcohol addiction. I have been preaching and teaching the supernatural Gospel of Jesus Christ from that very day. 

The Apostle John fell prostrate in Heaven in the presence of Jesus.

“And when I saw him, I FELL AT HIS FEET as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:” (Revelation 1:17)

In recent days, under the Ministry of Rev. Reinhardt Bonnke and Rev. Benny Hinn, literally thousands of individuals fall at the same time under the power of God while these men are preaching. 

I know of a Minister who was afraid of dogs.  A blind man with a seeing-eye dog came up for prayer in his meeting.  The Minister shied away from the dog and the man until the Holy Spirit told him, “You pray for the man.  I’ll take care of the dog.”  The Minister then boldly stepped up to the blind man and put his hand on him.  Both the man and the dog fell prostrate under the power of the Holy Spirit.  It is my understanding that the man was also healed of blindness at that time.  

To those who say that people are “faking” when they fall under the power of God, I submit the following.  Do you believe the blind man’s dog was faking, too?

It is not unusual for a human being to fall prostrate when the power of the Holy Spirit comes upon them.  It is simply a sign of His supernatural working in their life.  

Jesus told John to not be afraid, and neither should we be afraid of the Holy Spirit’s power today.  Neither should we criticize the Holy Spirit’s power today.

Be Blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



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