“Demonstrations of the Spirit and Power”

by Roger Hicks

I was Pastor of one church for 18 years, and our very best services were always on Sunday nights. God did incredible things! We ended up changing the name of that service from “Sunday Night Service” to “HOLY GHOST NIGHT”.

I always had a prepared message, but expected that the Holy Ghost would pre-empt me (and He usually did). I just turned the service over to the Holy Spirit and we received whatever HE had for us. It was awesome. Wonderful healings! Dramatic demonstrations of the Holy Spirit! Great moves of the Spirit!!!

Oh … that churches everywhere would yield to the Holy Spirit, so that their people could experience the power of God!

The theme of my ministry was and is:
“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”  (1 Corinthians 2:4-5)

I yearn for churches that will yield to the power of God and experience “DEMONSTRATIONS of the SPIRIT” and “DEMONSTRATIONS of POWER.” I’ve experienced them!!! There’s nothing in this world quite like it. And there’s not a single reason in this world that every church can’t move into that place.

I’ve searched for almost 7 years for such a church, and have yet to find one. Some get close but always seem to come up short. Why???

The reasons are varied. Sometimes, those in leadership fear they’ll lose control, and are unwilling to trust the Holy Spirit. In other cases, it’s the fear of the unknown that keeps people from experiencing God’s best. Sadly, in still other situations, “professional jealousy” is the culprit. Some leaders fear that God will mightily use someone in the congregation … rather than using them.

There are other factors involved as well. In order to experience great moves of the Holy Spirit, we’ve got to be “hungry and thirsty” for those moves. THAT … is a spiritual principle!!! Too many people today, are satisfied with “just a little bit of God.” I’m told that in some quarters, church attendance has fallen off dramatically. It’s no wonder. If God is not going to show up, why should I? When the Holy Spirit is doing mighty works in our midst, nothing the world has to offer can possibly compare with that. People will arrive an hour before the services just to get a seat. Some of you know what I’m talking about!!!

In addition to “hungering and thirsting after God”, we’ve got to invite the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself in our midst. INVITE HIM??? Yes … INVITE HIM. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman. He never manifests Himself in awesome ways, where He’s not welcome!

Not only do we have to “invite Him” to manifest Himself in our presence, but we also have to “give Him the space” to do so. Sometimes we have to just “be still” and “be quiet”.

“Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Some leaders get nervous, when things get quiet. So they just start talking. In such cases, “less is better.” Sometimes, we need to just “be still” and let the Holy Spirit have His way.

Another factor involved in positioning ourselves to experience “demonstrations of the Holy Spirit” is through our worship. I’ve attended churches where the music resembled a  “disco” or a “honky tonk.” The people were “shuckin and jivin.” Their churches have become  “pop culture churches.” I’ve yet to see the Holy Spirit manifest Himself mightily in an atmosphere like that. Oh, because God is a God of mercy, occasionally there’ll be a tad of God’s awesome power revealed. But, I’m not talking about “tip-toeing around the fringes” of the supernatural … I’m talking about taking the plunge!!! I’m talking about diving in. I’m talking about LIVING in that wonderful place!

Jesus said, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

If what we’re doing is working … we should continue with what we’re doing. But, I’d ask churches that’ve become “pop culture churches”“How’s that working out for you?”

Oh, you say that by bringing the world’s music and the world’s habits into your church, your attendance has increased? Well, let me ask you, “Is the Holy Ghost in manifestation?” Oh, you don’t even know what Paul was talking about when he spoke of “demonstrations of the Spirit and of power?” Somehow that doesn’t surprise me!

The good news is that it’s not too late to change!!! God is seeking those who will do things HIS way. He’s seeking those that will worship HIM. Not only worship HIM … but they must be “true worshippers”. It’s not about how feverously a person can “shuck and jive”. It’s not about how boisterous we can be. It’s not about substituting “clapping” for PRAISE. (Clapping is the world’s way of showing appreciation for rock stars, athletes, and politicians. Praise … is the way the church shows appreciation to the Lord.)

1 Timothy 2:8 tells us what the church is to do with our hands. “I will therefore that men pray every where, ‘lifting up holy hands’, without wrath and doubting.” We’re instructed to “raise our hands.” That’s a sign of our unconditional surrender to God.

“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3)

What is PRAISE? First of all, it’s NOT clapping!!! Clapping is a “cheap substitute” for PRAISE. Clapping is a counterfeit for the real thing. The Word of God defines PRAISE as “the fruit of our lips, giving thanks unto His name.” No matter what people claim, you can always tell when people are involved in true worship … by looking at their faces and their hands.

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Hebrews 13:15)

We’ve got to remember that the Holy Spirit is “God.” He’s to be “reverenced.” It’s about relationship. We need to remember our place. The Holy Spirit is not your “buddy”. He’s God the Holy Spirit. We need to remember that, and approach Him reverently. You can tell when people are worshipping. Their hands are raised in surrender; they often have tears running down their faces; and sometimes they’re prostrate before God. That’s quite a departure from all the “shuckin and jivin” that goes on in some circles. But, some respond … “We’ve got to be relevant to today’s young people”. I’ll answer that faulty logic by asking, “What’s more relevant than setting a scriptural example for young people to follow, by showing them how to worship in spirit and truth? How can compromising the principles of the Word, lead young people to the ‘truth’ of which Jesus spoke?”

Another problem is that some churches don’t pay as much attention to their music as they should. They often sing unscriptural songs. At other times their songs are screamed and yelled, in acid rock band style. Remember, when we’re involved in “true worship” we’ve entered the presence of God. He inhabits our praise. Think about it … if you were in the throne room of heaven, would you yell and scream at HIM? I think not! The church has let the world’s traditions creep into our midst. We’re to be the example for them to follow, rather that them being the example that we follow.

I attended one church for several months. Of all the songs we sung during that period, I only heard the name of “Jesus” mentioned in one song. “Jesus” is the name that’s above every other name. Yet almost every song was about all about “us”!

No matter what people claim, you can tell when people are involved in “true worship” … by looking at their faces and their hands. Their hands will be raised; words of Praise coming from their lips; faces focused … not on the musicians … but on the Lord; and often tears of love will stream down their faces.

During that same period of time of which I spoke, there were scores of songs sung about “us.” We need to analyze the words of each and every one of our songs, BEFORE selecting them, asking ourselves: “Who is this song about?” … and … “To Whom are we singing?” God inhabits the praises of His people. He DOESN’T inhabit songs about us!!! That’s plain and simple, and … “It’s not rocket science.”

Brother Kenneth E. Hagin was experiencing wonderful moves of the Holy Spirit in Oklahoma, at the same time that we were experiencing them in the church where I was Pastor. (I only discovered that about a year ago, even though my church was only 125 miles from his ministry.) I was always in my own services, thus didn’t have an opportunity to be in his services as often as I’d liked, because they were held at the same time.

(Brother Hagin was both my friend … and my mentor. He was my “spiritual father”. Through my years of my association with him, a portion of the anointing that rested upon him was transferred to me. I thank God for his ministry. He is greatly missed by me — as well as being missed by hundreds of thousands of others).

Getting back to demonstrations of the Spirit: The Thursday night prior to Brother Kenneth E. Hagin’s Annual Campmeeting in July of 1987, God granted him a vision. Let me precisely quote part of his account… so that you’ll get the full import of what Jesus said:

“In the vision, Jesus and I were standing near the ceiling of the building, looking down on one of the Campmeeting services.  The auditorium was full of people, and everyone was clapping. Then Jesus turned to me and said, “Clapping is neither praise nor worship.” Well, that startled me for a moment. So He went on to explain: ‘Clapping is applause’. Then He illustrated it to me, saying in effect, ‘If clapping were praise or worship, then people at political rallies are praising and worshipping God when they clap. And if clapping were praise or worship, then people at ball games are also praising and worshipping God when they clap. You shouldn’t clap for God; you should reverence Him. Then the lord said to me, ‘You’ve gone as far as you can go under the present circumstances. Tell my people to quit clapping and start praising. Then they will move up to a greater glory.’

(You can read the complete account, along with some wonderful teaching about PRAISE, in Kenneth E. Hagin’s mini-book entitled “GREATER GLORY” …  available by calling 1-800-54-FAITH, or online at www.rhema.org.)

Well, who’d know more about how to move up to greater glory than “Jesus, the King of Glory”? Jesus told Brother Hagin that we’ve gone as far as we can go under the present circumstances. That means we need to change the circumstances. If Jesus said that in order to move up to greater glory we need to QUIT clapping and START praising … then that’s what we need to do!!!

Often, as I travel to various churches, I hear leaders say, “Let’s give the Lord a handclap of praise.” It’d be sin for me to do that, since I know what Jesus said about clapping. (The Bible says in James 4:17: “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”) Before I knew what Jesus said concerning clapping versus praise, I wasn’t responsible. But now that I know better, I can’t do that any more! So what do I do? I just close my eyes and raise my hands to God, and offer him Praise … by the words that come out of my mouth.

God desires to manifest Himself to His children. He’s not playing “hard to get.” However, we’ve got to do things HIS way.

I like being a role model for younger people, and enjoy children a lot. If we’re going to have a positive impact on the lives of young people, we’re going to have to “set scriptural examples.” Otherwise, they’ll live their lives without ever experiencing those wonderful moves of God. Those experiences will be lost to their generation.

How do we reach this generation? During a recent minister’s conference, Pastor Happy Caldwell made this statement: “Love will draw people out of the ‘pop culture church’ to where ‘signs and wonders’ are happening.”

We’ll not reach them, by compromising the Word and substituting “disco” music for worship.  We’ll not reach them by substituting “clapping” for “praise“. We’ve got to demonstrate our love for this generation. We’ll reach them by leading them into “true worship” … and watching, as God inhabits that praise through “demonstrations of the Spirit and power”.

About children and teens: Sometimes, I just talk with youngsters … paying attention to them as if they were adults … demonstrating that I care about them, and care about what’s going on in their life. Remember that statement: “Love will draw people out of the ‘pop culture church’ to where ‘signs and wonders’ are happening.” It’s by caring about people that you reach them. There’s a saying that goes this way, “Don’t tell me how much you know, until you show me how much you care.” AMEN!

Let me share an example from my own life, demonstrating how LOVE drew me in: I remember a particular older man in a little Nazarene church that I attended as a teenager. His name was Mr. Rodgers. (He seemed very old to me then … because I was only 16 at the time.) I’m chuckling now, because as I look back on it (more than half a century later) it doesn’t seem that he was really all that old. Yes, it’s amazing how time has a way of changing your perspective!

Mr. Rodgers paid attention to the teens and did nice things for us. I remember him talking us bowling several times and paying for us to bowl. He had a brand new 1979 Ford Hardtop Convertible, and he even asked me to drive his new car to the bowling alley. Wow! Talk about impressing a young teenager!

That was the first time that anyone had ever shown enough interest in me to let me know they cared. I’m sure he’s been dead for many years, but he’ll never be forgotten. My desire is to be that kind of blessing to young people … so that after I’m gone (if the rapture doesn’t occur first) they’ll remember that I really cared about them and cared about what’s going on in their lives.

During the years that I attended that small Nazarene Church in Lithopolis, Ohio, I was hungry for the things of God. I walked to town (even during brutal snow storms) to attend church, three times a week. I wasn’t born-again and, of course, didn’t know that there was any such thing as the Baptism in the Holy Ghost. But I was hungry for God. It was Mr. Rodgers’ impact, plus the impact of my Godly grandmother, and the influence of some others, that drew me in. (LOVE will draw people in.)

It was many years later (when I was about 31), that I made an “unconditional surrender” to Jesus … and within a month or so, was gloriously Baptized in the Holy Ghost.

Oh … what a turning point in my life. I was forever changed!!! Hallelujah!!! People noticed the changes in my life and would often ask me what happened. When I told them about surrendering my life to Jesus and told them I’d been baptized in the Holy Spirit, some of the Christians remarked, “We thought so!”

In 1976-1977, I attended Bible School in Broken Arrow, OK (Rhema Bible Training Center). After graduation, I began traveling, teaching the Word, and I also published a monthly Bible Teaching Publication, entitled “IN THESE LAST DAYS”. Then, in 1978, Rhema started a second year of training, so I returned for that. Upon graduation, I flew a turbo-prop plane for Brother Hagin’s daughter and son-in-law (Buddy and Pat Harrison).

When our use of the aircraft was ended, the Lord sent me to Rogers, Arkansas to pioneer a church. I named the church, “Ozark Word Church” because we lived in the “Ozark Mountain Region”; our doctrine was the un-compromised “Word of God”; and we were a “Church” … and not just a fellowship. I remained there for 18 years as Pastor, later moving to Minnesota, while flying corporate jets for another ministry and serving as Interim Pastor for a church in Mora, MN.

During and since that time, I’ve traveled on numerous Missions Trips to seven nations, and seen the Lord do marvelous things. However, now the Lord is prompting me to encourage churches to make conditions conducive for upcoming great moves of the Holy Ghost. He’s prompting me to encourage His Saints to move into position, which will enable them to experience wonderful “demonstrations of the Holy Ghost and of power.”

The GOOD NEWS is that the BEST is yet to come!!! God saved the greatest move of the Holy Spirit for the closing days of this dispensation. Jesus is about to return and He wants us to flow with the Holy Spirit, in order to experience the greatest harvest of souls this world has ever seen. I hope you’ll be in the very center of that move of God.

© Copyright 2018 Roger Hicks Ministries