Since I began my walk with the Lord in 1989, I have been blessed by tremendous prophetic encounters and visitations.
In June 1994, during an increased time of holy desperation and yearning, I attended a Benny Hinn conference in Dallas, Texas, and received a powerful deposit of the anointing.
This anointing radically changed my life. Over the next few years, the Lord moved mightily through my ministry in unbelievable ways—through healings, signs, wonders, and demonstrations of the Holy Spirit's power. I saw thousands impacted in many regions and nations. Normal meetings became extended times of profound supernatural demonstrations of God's Word and power.
Lives were completely transformed. Yet, even though God poured out so much upon my life and ministry, I knew deep in my spirit that there was something more, and I hungered for it.
My First Angelic Encounter
In August 2002, in Amarillo, Texas, we were planning the school of revival. The Lord spoke to me that something powerful would happen. I pressed into God for something deeper. During one of the school sessions, the Lord gave me a life-changing prophetic vision that catapulted me to another level in Him. Then in August during the worship at a meeting, I was caught up in the heavenlies and I saw a huge, massive angel. He was the perfect picture of strength. He resonated with authority and might.
He shouted, "Open your mouth and eat this!" I did and he threw something into my mouth and I ate it! I thought, What in the world was that? It appeared to be a scroll or a book.
I had never experienced anything like it, even though prophetic encounters were not new to me. It blew me away. I grabbed my Bible, searched the Scriptures, and marked several passages that related to the experience. (See Ezekiel 3:1-4; Revelation 10:8-11.) My team, curious, asked me what had just happened.
Although I was still in shock, I stammered, "I-I-just ate a scroll—the big angel threw it at me!" They looked just as surprised as I felt. This event launched a series of prophetic encounters with the Lord.
For the next three months that experience had a profound impact on my ministry, my family, and in my life.
A Second Angelic Encounter
In September 2002, I had another encounter. I woke up one morning at three o'clock. I knew the Lord wanted to meet with me, so I got in my car and went to my office. Stepping inside, I felt the atmosphere in the room change instantly. The whole room was filled with the Lord's electrical presence, along with a deep holiness.
It was as though the old atmosphere had been vacuumed out and a purity of the holiness of His presence came rushing in. I thought, Yes, this is going to be one of those times.
I kicked off my shoes and headed toward my office.
At the back part of the corridor was the same massive angel who had given me the scroll.
He radiated strength, power, and authority. I shook, I trembled, I came undone. I knew I was not having a vision. I was seeing him in the natural—he was as real as any human being. He looked down at me, unsmiling. I dashed right into my office and slammed the door. I said, "Holy cow! OK, Lord, what's going on?" and I began to pray.
My heart was racing. My desire was to seek God's purpose.
I cried out to be a vessel, a proclaimer to release the heart and mind of the Father. During this time, the Lord pulled down a heavenly movie screen. He showed me the counsel of His heart and strategies for cities and regions. I got all excited.
After about 45 minutes of divine instruction I knew the Holy Spirit was finished talking to me.
I said, "OK, Holy Spirit, what's up with the big angel in the hall?" He said, "Go look; he's got a name on each arm." I had to muster up some courage to see if he was still there. I was sure all the cloud of witnesses in Heaven were laughing at me.
But you must understand—this guy was huge! I looked, and sure enough, he was still there. There was a name on each arm. Stature and Strength! Then he was gone.
The Lord spoke to me that the Body of Christ needs stature and strength to begin walking in the next level of the commissioning and deposit of the anointing He wants to release to us. To walk in those realms, we can't be weak. We have to be people strengthened in our inner man, so as to completely fulfill and be finishers of that which is given us to do. We have to walk in the maturity of Christ in us.
Right now, you may be in a place of character and strength building. Embrace that. As the Holy Spirit reveals His depth to us, the mature stature of Christ forms in us. A new level of destiny requires us to ask the Lord, "Search me, and try me!" It demands that we walk not by our ability, but by that very character and stature of Christ in us as mature sons and daughters in the Lord. The angel actually had a name on each leg as well, but I haven't been released to share those yet.
A Third Meeting and a Throne Room Encounter
After that experience in September, I was invited to preach at seven days of meetings. During preparation, I spent time down on the floor of the pastor's office. I asked the Lord for the counsel of Heaven for the meetings, the church, and the region. Instantly, I was caught up before the Lord's throne.
It was massive, full of energy; majestic, filled with glory, and white. It was an incredible experience to see the Lord. Power! Glory! I do not have the words to adequately describe the magnitude of power that radiated from Him. It was just so intense. It took my breath away—literally.
The same angel was there again, and I saw the Lord pass an envelope to him. Then the angel came to me and handed me the envelope.
Now I was totally blown away. I took the envelope but was in such awe that I dropped it. The angel picked it up and handed it back. You have got to understand that I was totally flipping out the whole time. I opened the envelope. Inside were written two Scriptures: Revelation 4:5 and Isaiah 11:2.
"And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God." (Revelation 4:5)
"The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:2)
Since this encounter, I have been on an intense journey with the Lord to learn about the Seven-Fold Spirit of God, which is the seven manifestations of the one Holy Spirit. I now teach and minister out of a deep flow of this revelation, which many Christians have never heard of. The last few years have been a time of awesome spiritual growth.
God showed me that He is calling His people to a new level—a place where these seven Spirits of God are activated and flowing within each of our lives through deep communion with the Holy Spirit. Why does He call? Why does He desire this deep, intimate communion with us? Because He wants to reveal more of Himself to His children. That's you and me! He longs for us to enter into a deeper level of holy pursuit and holy hunger. It's a stirring of the Holy Spirit so deep within that it awakens our inner man, so that we know, that we know, that we know there is something more He desires to share with us. We ache, thirst, hunger, and yearn for it. The only thing that will satiate, fill, and satisfy is deep intimacy and communion with Him.
Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher, said that all mankind was created with a vacuum that can only be filled with God. God has sent His Seven-Fold Spirit to fill that empty place in our lives.
When we commune with God, the Holy Spirit searches out the deep counsel of God and reveals it to us: "But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10). How do we stimulate the thirst, fuel the hunger, and kindle the yearning? The Word tells us that the Holy Spirit stirs it up! "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know" (Jeremiah 33:3). The Hebrew word mighty, in the context of Jeremiah 33:3, means "inaccessible." God wants to release something to us that was once inaccessible; He wants to reveal to us the deep counsel of God that Deuteronomy 29:29 tells us "belong to us and to our children forever." (Photo via Unsplash)
God Opens the Door
In Revelation 3:20, there is a great invitation from the Lord to the Church: "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me." This refers to visitation or communion of a greater degree. The power of your "yes" will cause something wonderful and glorious to take place. What is it? It's found a few verses later in Revelation 4:1. We see now an invitation to go through the door that is opened by the Lord: "After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in Heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, 'Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.'" He is the door or gate that ascends to a place where we will meet Him. Every prophetic encounter that I have at this level has been a life-changing time for me—a true encounter with the Lord.
Revelation 3:1 describes Jesus as "He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars." From John 3:34 we learn that Jesus has the anointing without measure: "For He [Jesus] is sent by God. He speaks God's words, for God's Spirit is upon Him without measure or limit" (NLT). We find the seven Spirits of God listed in Isaiah 11:2. Each of these great flows of the precious Holy Spirit are available to every Believer. God desires us to see every function and expression of the Seven-fold Spirit of God in and through our lives.
Paul declared that his "speech and...preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" (1 Corinthians 2:4). Notice he said the Spirit and power. The Lord wants to release in and through your life rivers of living water so that your life would daily demonstrate the Holy Spirit's flow.
"On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone thirsts let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." (John 7:37-39)
Here the Lord shared that out of our hearts shall flow rivers of living water. "Rivers" (plural) is indicating multiple, continuous flows of the precious Holy Spirit day after day, without limit. There is only one Holy Spirit—but seven functions or expressions of the Holy Spirit as described in Isaiah 11:2 and Revelation 4:5.
The first flow of the seven-fold expression of the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Lord upon, or God's manifest presence. This means communion with the Lord and a place of intimacy with Him that in turn releases the rest of the expressions in and through our lives. We must begin with an encounter with God's manifest presence, and then all seven functions flow out of His presence: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord.
Abiding in Him
We must abide in Jesus and His presence to operate fully in the seven functions of the Holy Spirit. Everything flows out of the anointing—out of the Branch. That Branch is Jesus: "There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots" (Isaiah 11:1). Everything flows out of Christ. We cannot operate in the seven-fold anointing without first being in the Branch.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5) (Photo via Unsplash)
"And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree..." (Romans 11:17)
If you seek God, He will equip you to operate in the fullness of His holy presence. The rivers will be loosed in you, toward you, for you, and through you. In intimacy and communion, the Lord will reveal the seven-fold operation of the Holy Spirit. He will uncap the rivers of His manifest presence: the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. He will allow you to experience a new dimension of communion with Him for a new outpouring of His presence. By His divine power, we will be partakers of His nature in us. Press into that place of intimacy with Him, that place of abiding in His presence and anointing, so He is free to release all seven functions of His Spirit in your life. Through His grace, God will pour this seven-fold blessing out upon you.
My prayer for you is that the Holy Spirit will introduce Himself to you beyond any dimension you have ever known. How much you embrace Him, press into Him, and commune with Him is going to determine His increase in your life. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit for a true friendship—a length, width, depth, and height of communion together greater than you have ever known. Then the deep things of God will be revealed. It is our blessing and privilege as His children to know the mysteries, secrets, and thoughts of God.
I'm convinced that every Believer has a potential to operate out of this fullness. It is our inheritance (see Romans 8:16). Isn't that spectacular? The Lord Himself is our great inheritance. We are called not just to operate in an occasional gift, but also to live in a place of perpetual flow of the Holy Spirit. As a Believer, you can wake up every day in fresh anointing; you can live as an overcomer. You can be a finisher of the race that God has called you to run. You can do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond anything you can think or imagine, according to God's power that works for you and from you. Every Believer has the potential to see the impossible become possible. I long for you to know Him, not just as "holy," but also "wholly," with every fiber of your being filled with Him, moment by moment, for now and evermore.
Every blessing is ours in the heavenly realms, and we are seated in those heavenly places by one Spirit with the Lord (see Ephesians 2:6). In the following chapters, we'll examine the seven Spirits of God in more detail and learn how to activate them so that they flow within our lives. Deep to deep—as you engage in those deep things of God, they will wreck you and forever change you, because you will know the deep, deep, deep places in Him. "Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; all Your waves and billows have gone over me" (Psalm 42:7).
Holy Spirit, You are the Spirit of Truth. You will teach us the deep things of God. Thank You for teaching all that there is to know about the Lord. I'm hungry after the deep things of God. In Jesus' mighty name, amen!
The Story Of The Angel and The Oil