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The Olive Branch Christian Fellowship

Manifestations of the Holy Spirit in our Worship Services


The Holy Spirit


In Matthew 3:11, John the Baptist said, “He (Jesus) shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire..."  When Jesus promised the disciples the Holy Spirit would come in Acts 1:8, He said, "You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” Many unbelievers cannot see any evidence of God, because when they look at many Christians, they do not see any power.  At Pentecost, in Acts 2:1-3, there were roughly 120 people together who began to speak in tongues, all at the same time. Onlookers believed the disciples were “drunk”. Peter stood up and quoted Joel 2:28-29, saying God has fulfilled His promise to pour out His spirit upon all flesh. It is possible to feel inebriated through the Holy Spirit. You may hear the phrase “I am drunk” from some of our members, or even our pastor. Ephesians 5:18 says, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”


Spiritual Gifts


“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant” 1Corinthians 12:1

Paul writes about spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12, 13, and 14. In chapter 13 Paul writes that without love, all of these spiritual gifts are worthless. Love must be at the center of every move of the Holy Spirit. There are 9 spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; Wisdom, Word of Knowledge, Faith, Healings, Miracles, Prophecy, Discernment of Spirits, Different Tongues, and Interpretation of Tongues. Anyone can operate in any one of these gifts at any time as the Lord moves. Each person will have one or more gift they are especially strong in. It is important that we do not compare our gifts to others, but we should all seek spiritual gifts.

In Ephesians 4:11, five more gifts are listed, which make up the 5 fold ministry; Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. (See also Romans 12:6-8 and 1 Corinth. 12:28; administration, helps, ministry, encouragement, giving, leadership, and mercy).  Many believers are comfortable with gifts like mercy, faith or wisdom, but they are very uncomfortable with prophecy and tongues. And some really get uncomfortable when the Holy Spirit moves people to cry, mourn, wail, shake, yell, run, jump, etc. You must use the entire Bible as your guide to gauge whether these things are from God. Many times, people wrongly judge manifestations, only to later have that same manifestation overtake them. You may have a change of heart if this happens to you!

Some of the things the Holy Spirit does are simply unexplainable. “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” John 22:25. There are some times when people do strange things out of their flesh. There are also counterfeit manifestations that come from the devil, to distract from the real manifestations of God. Strange manifestation may come, but if you keep your eyes on Jesus, you will not be offended. There are times when manifestations of the flesh or of the devil will rise up, but we ask you to trust the leadership to address those manifestations as they come.

Cessationism is the belief that spiritual gifts have ceased and no longer operate. There are Christian groups that believe that when the Bible was written and Canonized (finalized), that the spiritual gifts were no longer needed. Some of these groups say that if you do speak in tongues, then you are under demonic control and are not saved. The main scripture used to prove this view is 1 Cor. 13:10. "10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away." These groups believe "that which is perfect" is the Canonized Bible.  It is very dangerous to take any scripture out of context. The rest of this scripture in 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 states "8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then (we will see) face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known."  Tongues and prophecy will cease when Jesus returns. "That which is perfect" is Jesus Christ Himself, not the Bible. Right now, we are in a physical realm, and we "see in a mirror dimly" because we can't always see in the spiritual realm. But when Jesus returns we will see him "face to face." It is easy to see that the words "that which is perfect" is clearly not about the Bible. And the arrival of the Bible does not do away with spiritual gifts.  There are other arguments for Cessationism, but they have been taken out of Biblical context.


Three Different Baptisms

In Acts 19:1-7, Paul, asked some disciples, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered that they had never heard of the Holy Spirit, but had received the baptism of John for repentance. Paul explained that John baptized for repentance, saying that people should believe in the one coming after him, Jesus Christ. Verses 5-7 says, “When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Now the men were about twelve in all.” You can see, that the baptism in water and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are two separate baptisms. Every time someone was baptized with the Holy Spirit, there was a physical evidence of speaking in tongues.

There are three ways to be baptized in the Holy Spirit: 1. Laying on of Hands - Acts 8:14-17, Acts 19:1-7, 2. Asking God to baptize you in the Holy Spirit - Luke 11:9-13., 3. God’s timing, without anyone laying hands on you and without even asking for it – Acts 2:1-3, Acts 11:15, Acts 10:44-48.


Speaking in Tongues and Interpretation


1Corinthians 14 tells us many things about speaking in tongues. We should pursue love and desire spiritual gifts. One who speaks in tongues speaks to God, not to man. Paul wrote that he wants us all to speak in tongues and prophesy. Those who speak in tongues should pray for the interpretation. Prophecy edifies the entire church, but tongues is to edify the individual. If we speak in tongues in a service, we must be sure that we also speak in our language so that new comers understand what is going on. When you pray in a tongue your spirit prays. We should pray both in tongues and our language. We should sing both in tongues and in our language.

Paul also says we must be orderly in our worship services (verse 26). He does not say that it is against the rules to speak in tongues as a group. He writes that when someone wants to publicly share a song, a revelation, or a tongue they must take turns. It is ok to speak in tongues to God during a service, alone or as a group. But when someone takes the spotlight, with the intent of directing a tongue to the congregation, there must be no more than three people addressing the congregation in tongues at a time. They must take turns in an orderly fashion, and one must interpret. If there is no one with the gift of interpreting tongues, you should not address the congregation in tongues. Allow the people to speak in tongues as the Spirit leads and never forbid the people to speak in tongues.

Examples in scripture prove to us that large groups can speak in tongues together WITHOUT an interpreter; Acts 2- about 120 people spoke in tongues together, Acts 10:44-46 - the Holy Spirit fell upon the friends and family of Cornelius, Acts 11:15 - Peter was preaching, and the Holy Spirt fell on a group of people. Notice, these were large groups of people all speaking in tongues at one time, with NO interpreter.

Tongues is a very important gift, but you don’t have to speak in tongues to be saved. Some receive tongues quickly and some may take longer for it to manifest. Do not let the devil condemn you if you do not speak in tongues, and please do not judge others who already do. If you would like this wonderful gift, please let us pray with you.




Prophetic ministry is birthed out of intimacy with God. In 1Corinthians 14, we can see that Prophecy is the most important gift, according to Paul, and we should all seek this gift. The Bible is God’s word, and we trust it to tell us what God was speaking for the last 6,000 years. Prophecy is the word of the Lord for today. Since God is the same yesterday, today and forever, prophecy will always line up with God’s written word. It stands to reason, that if God spoke through men in Bible times, He still speaks through men today. Paul tells us that prophecy should edify and encourage the church. Many times, prophecy confirms something God has already spoken to you.




You must be very careful who you let speak into your life. Sometimes even your best friend can speak a wrong word, or even a good word, spoken the wrong way. We must judge prophecy by God’s word and be held accountable by leadership. If you have a prophetic word for someone, go to leadership first. Ask them to go with you to release that word. This will hold you accountable, and protect you from someone taking it wrong or twisting what you said later. If someone comes to you and says they have a word for you, politely stop them, find someone in leadership, and let there be a witness as you listen to that prophetic word. Again, this is all for protection and accountability. We are all human, and even the best prophet can “miss the mark.” Too many times, those who mean well have wounded others with delivering a word at the wrong time, or delivering a word that was wrong all together. Even between close friends and family members, you should take advantage of the safety net that has been put in place.


Slain in the Spirit


Sometimes when the presence of God overwhelms a person, they fall to the ground. We call this being slain in the Spirit. When people fall to the ground in His presence, God can give visions, revelations, and perform healings in a spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical way. Our flesh cannot handle the weight of God’s glory. God’s glory is a tangible thing that can actually fill a room and cause people to fall on the ground. In 2 Chron. 5:13, the priests could not stand to minister because a cloud of God’s glory had filled the temple. In 2Chron. 7:2, the priest could not enter the temple because of God’s glory.

This cloud is called the Shekinah Glory cloud and it can sometimes been seen in the sanctuary as a smoke or a haze. Even when this cloud cannot be seen in the physical realm, many are overwhelmed by the glory of God and simply cannot stand. Many of the Old Testament prophets fell to the ground when receiving visions or being visited by angels. In Daniel 8:15-18, Daniel saw a vision and fell prostrate (face down on the ground). He was found  in a “deep sleep.” Then the angel touched him and raised him to his feet. In the New Testament; John 18:1-6, the guards that arrested Jesus were thrown to the ground when Jesus said “I Am!”; Acts 9, Paul saw a bright light from heaven and fell to the ground; Acts 22:17–18 Paul was praying in a “trance.”

People fell to the ground, both in the Old and New Testaments, when God’s manifest presence and power were present. If you receive prayer, do not fall just because everyone else does. But, if you begin to sway or feel heavy, do not fight against it. To be afraid of falling is to be afraid of God touching you in a physical way. You may even see some fall when no one is touching them. Just open your heart and receive from God. If you do fall down, do not get up too soon. Take your time, and let God do His work in you. It is normal to see people still laying in the floor long after the pastor has begun preaching.


Healing and Deliverance


In John 14:12 Jesus said that we would do greater works than he had done. It doesn’t seem like there is anything greater or more radical than casting out demons, curing “incurable” diseases, and raising people from the dead. But these are the things Jesus said we would do.

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Mark 16:17-18

Jesus was continually casting out demons, literally everywhere he went. Many times a demon had to come out first before physical healing could take place. If we look at the book of Matthew alone, the list is extensive: 4:23-24 in all of Galilee and the synagogues, 8:14-17 at Peter's house, 8:28-33 on the seashore, 9:32-33 Outside, 10:7-8 Everywhere, 12:15,22 to great multitudes, 15:22-28 and 16:13-19 on the coasts, 17:14-21 to the multitudes.

If we truly believe and do not doubt, we will do these things. We must cast out demons is in the name of Jesus (Luke 10:17, Acts 16:18). Jesus also said that sometimes our doubt or unbelief could get in the way, and some demons would only come out by prayer and fasting (Matt. 17:19-20). Sometimes when demons begin to manifest and come out of people, you will see them yell, growl, convulse, contort their bodies, cough up blood or foam, throw up, and even slither or levitate. We realize this seems very scary to many, but there is nothing to be afraid of. You are covered by the blood of Jesus. Your main concern should not be with yourself, feeling uncomfortable, but rather, focus on the person who is being delivered. Rejoice that this person who came in with demons on them will now leave a free man, no longer destined for Hell. Please pray for them until they are set free.

Possession is when demons have entered into a person’s spirit man and have begun to control a person, and they are not saved. However, believers can experience something called oppression, where demons have attached themselves to a person’s flesh, and are able to gain influence, sometimes causing depression, tormenting thoughts, nagging temptations, physical pain and sickness. Many let their pride keep them from asking for deliverance. We will all go through deliverance periodically if we are honest about the condition of our hearts. However, we can’t blame everything on demons. Some of these issues stem from our own desires in our flesh.

Do not be too quick to lay your hands on someone during deliverance because demons can transfer from person to person; let God lead you. And do not let people lay hands on you unless they are in leadership, or if you are sure of their spiritual condition.

Worship, Dancing and Waving Flags


Scripture says King David was a man after God’s own heart (1Samuel 13:14, Acts 13:22). In 2 Samuel 6, King David had recaptured the ark of God, which contained the presence of God, and was bringing it back into Jerusalem. The city was filled with dancing, shouting, and trumpets, and David “danced with all his might,” wearing only his ephod (his underwear).

Saul’s daughter, Michal, saw David leaping and whirling, making a fool of himself for the Lord’s sake, and she “despised him in her heart.” After David set the ark in its place, he returned to bless his household. And Michal came out to meet David, and sarcastically criticized David’s embarrassing and radical worship. David said he worshipped before the Lord, “And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight….” Because of Michal’s religious spirit that hated David’s worship, she was made barren and had no children to the day of her death (verse23). Many are offended at true worship. We do not suggest that you publicly worship in your underwear as King David did, but there should be freedom to worship God with passion and excitement.

Flags, banners, ensigns, tabrets, timbrels, and glory hoops used in worship are symbolic tools used to change the spiritual atmosphere and wage spiritual warfare. In scripture, the word Standard or Ensign are translated with 4 different meanings in the Hebrew; 1. (5127) to flee, to put to flight (Isaiah 59:19), 2. (5251) A banner, set on high mountains, especially in an invasion, shows people where to assemble (Jeremiah 51:12), 3. (1714) Banner (Numbers 1:52). 4. (5264) Ensign, to be lifted up or displayed, to exalt (Zechariah 9:17).

Jehovah Nissi means “The Lord Our Banner.”  As you minister with flags, you are declaring to the body of Christ that the Lord Is Our Banner. Those who are called to worship with flags are actually lifting up a standard against our enemy, proclaiming our identity in Him, and exalting the Lord.  Also see Isaiah 59:19, Jeremiah 51:12, Exodus 15:20, Jeremiah 51:27, Hosea 14:7, Numbers 21:9.


Other Manifestations

Travail - Wail before the altar, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly, Gather everyone and cry out to the LORD Joel 1:13-14

Trembling or Shaking – Let the people tremble Psalm 99:1,

Knees and palms trebling Daniel 10:10

Laughter – Fullness of Joy Psalms 16:11

Fire, Heat, or Burning – John the Baptist said that Jesus would baptize us with fire. Some feel a physical heat, especially when healing is manifesting. Some describe it as like a hot flash.

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