The Balance Of The Word & The Spirit
I was at a conference today where one of the speakers reminded us in her message of this Prophetic Word given by Smith Wigglesworth, the famous English Evangelist and Apostle of Faith in 1947:
“During the next few decades there will be two distinct moves of the Holy Spirit across the Church in Great Britain. The first move will affect every church that is open to receive it and will be characterized by a restoration of the baptism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
The second move of the Holy Spirit will result in people leaving historic churches and planting new churches.
In the duration of each of these moves, the people who are involved will say, ‘This is the Great Revival.’ But the Lord says, ‘No, neither is this the Great Revival but both are steps towards it.’
When the new church phase is on the wane, there will be evidenced in the churches something that has not been seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the Word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit.
When the Word and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest movement of the Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world has ever seen. It will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and the Welsh revivals of former years. The outpouring of God's Spirit will flow over from the United Kingdom to the mainland of Europe, and from there, will begin a missionary move to the ends of the earth.”
We have clearly lived through the first two moves of the Holy Spirit, now we are positioned for the third. It is with that thought in mind that I write this. I can recall during my teenage age years my Father having an expression that he used quite frequently: “Stay balanced and have fun.” When I got to Rhema Bible Training Center, Rev. Kenneth E. (Dad) Hagin used to say: “Most Christians get in the ditch on one side of the road or the other, when the truth is right down the middle." We need to be balanced in our Christian lives and must avoid the ditches.
I have noticed two extremes in the Body of Christ over the years that have me quite concerned. One extreme is the group of people I will call “Word” people. These are people who only want to hear the teaching of the Word of God. They make no allowance for the move of the Spirit of God at all. The other extreme is the group of people I will call "Spirit” people. These are people who only want to have manifestations of the Holy Spirit. They don’t think that the teaching and preaching of the Word of God is important. There is an element of truth in each, however, neither one can stand alone without the other. We need to have balance. We need to have both. It’s not one or the other that we need, but both working together.
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Romans 1:16 NASB
Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel because the Gospel was and is the power of God. That word power in the Greek is the word dunamis, which is a self-energizing explosive power. We get our English word dynamite from this word. Not only is the Gospel the power of God, but it is the power of God unto salvation. That word salvation in the Greek is the word soteria, which means total deliverance in every area of your life, spirit, soul, and body. The importance of the preaching of the Word of God is paramount in Scripture. According to Romans chapter 10 faith cannot come without hearing the Word of God preached. According to 1 Corinthians 1:18 the preaching of the cross is foolishness to those that are perishing, but it is the power (dunamis) of God to those who are being saved. According to 1 Corinthians 1:21 God was pleased to use the foolishness of preaching for man to be saved.
If the Word of God was not important, and all we needed was the move of the Spirit, why would God choose to have men saved by the foolishness of preaching? Without hearing the Word of God preached and taught, faith would not come and nobody would get saved. We need to realize the power that is in the Word of God! We also need to realize that God chose preaching! Man, did not choose preaching, God chose preaching. While I’m at it, let me also say that we need both the preaching of the Word as well as the teaching of the Word. Teaching is for education; preaching is for motivation. If all we have is teaching, we have people that know what to do, with no motivation to do it. If all we have is preaching, we have people that are motivated to do something, but don’t know what to do. Both are equally as bad as the other is. We can’t have one without the other. Let us bring the dunamis of God to His church by both preaching and teaching the full counsel of God.
“And my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of Power.” 1 Corinthians 2:4 NASB
In this verse, we see the use of the same Greek word for power dunamis describing the demonstration of the Spirit as we saw in Romans 1:16 describing the Word of God. Paul learned not to just rely on the power of the Gospel when he ministered, but he also used the power of the Holy Spirit. He wanted to demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit. Is it wrong to have demonstrations and manifestations of the Holy Spirit? No! A thousand times no! However, the demonstration without the preaching of the Word goes against the Biblical pattern.
Jesus said in Acts 1:8 that we would receive dunamis when the Holy Spirit would come upon us. According to Peter’s message at Cornelius’s house in Acts chapter 10, God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and with dunamis. We would have the same power made available to us that was made available to Jesus. Is it no wonder that Jesus said: “The works that I do he shall do also.” (John 14:12) We can do what Jesus did because we have access to the same power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus did. That is why Paul said it was not his preaching alone but also the demonstration of the Spirit and power.
When we bring the power of the Gospel and the power of the Spirit together we have an explosive force for God. We don’t want them working apart from each other but working in conjunction with each other. In Romans chapter 15 Paul said that he fully preached the Gospel…by word and deed…in the power of signs and wonders…in the power (dunamis) of the Spirit. We must not neglect the deed part of our preaching the Word is not enough. Paul said word and deed. Let us bring the power of the Spirit to the church of God as we allow Him to move and do as He sees fit!
“God also bearing witness with them both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.” Hebrews 2:4 NASB
This verse of Scripture is talking about the ministry of the apostles. God bore witness to what they preached by signs, wonders, miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit. This sounds exactly like Mark chapter 16. In verses 15 to 18 we see the command to go into all the world and preach the Gospel as well as the promise of the signs that will follow them as they go. In verse 20 we find: “And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.” How would you like to have God work with you? To confirm the word that you speak? To bear witness with you by signs, wonders, and miracles? All you have to do is preach the Word and expect God to do it. If we don’t preach it he can’t confirm it. God can only confirm what we preach.
We must have balance! We must have the power of the Word of God! We must both teach and preach the Word! We can’t just have manifestation meetings without the preaching of the Word! We must also have the Power of the Holy Spirit to confirm the Word that we preach! If we do not have the signs to confirm the Word we are nothing more than a form of godliness denying the power, there of! If all we have is the “Word” it leads to legalism and dry Christianity! If all we have is the “Spirit” it leads to emotionalism and flaky Christianity! If we preach the Word, and demonstrate the Word by the power of the Holy Spirit, together they make an explosive force as God works with us to confirm His Word!