How the gifts of the Spirit can work together with power & authority
Sister Jane was suffering from cancer which caused one of her lungs to collapse. Her condition was precarious. Her loving husband convened a prayer meeting for her at the home of their daughter. Her voice was weak, and lacking strength she could barely stand.
At the prayer meeting, Ann began with a prophecy for Jane taken from Ezekiel 37—the Valley of the Bones.
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. (Ezekiel 37:4-7)
We see from these verses that the actual miracle did not happen until Ezekiel spoke directly to the bones as the Lord commanded him.
And so after Ann’s prophecy, we did for Jane what Ezekiel did—we spoke directly to Jane and her collapsed lung. With the laying on of our hands on her chest all of us commanded her lung to be healed and restored in the name of Jesus. We spoke with authority. Then I told Jane to breathe. I said, “Jane, stand up!” With that I helped her up.
Jane stood up from her chair, and began to walk around the room. She started talking, engaging the many people who had come in conversation and thanking them. Before the prayer meeting she could barely talk, let along stand up and walk around to greet others.
The following day Jane returned to the hospital for treatment for the cancer. She was told that the collapsed lung had nearly completely re-inflated. It was indeed miraculous.
What do we learn from this?
We learn that the gifts of the Spirit can work together very effectively with the power and authority over disease and demons given by the Lord to his disciples. Recall that Ann began the evening by ministering to Jane through the gift of prophecy. After that we spoke forth and commanded to come to pass what had been prophesied by Ann—just as Ezekiel had spoken directly to the dry bones. Only then did the prophecy through Ann come to pass.
The gifts of the Holy Spirit like prophecy, word of knowledge, or word of wisdom can work in conjunction with the exercise of power and authority—in particular when miraculous healing is needed. If the gift of healing is available or in operation, that is fine. But not everyone has the gift of healing, nor is this gift always in operation. However, every disciple has a measure of power and authority over disease and demons for the purpose of confirming the gospel to the lost. And when this power and authority are exercised properly and according to Scripture, miraculous healings take place.
Therefore people who have been trained in the use of the gifts of the Spirit should also be trained in the use of power and authority—which according to Scripture are separate and distinct from the gifts.
The gifts were not available to the Church until the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came bringing the gifts. But power and authority over disease and demons were given by Christ to the disciples in the gospels (Luke 9:1-2; 10:9) well before the day of Pentecost. The two categories moreover also operate in different ways. They also differ in their primary function: gifts are primarily for the common good of the body of Christ, while the authority and power are primarily for confirming the truth of the gospel to the lost.
Therefore the gifts of the Spirit are different and distinct from power and authority over disease and demons. And the Church can learn to operate in both. When they work together as in the case of Jane’s miraculously-healed lung, the results bring much glory to God!