“Toward an Understanding of
Moves and Manifestations of God”
by Marty Gabler
(You may read an excerpt at the bottom of this page.)
With Scriptural, Historical and Recent Accounts
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This is an excerpt from Marty’s most recent book release: Toward an Understanding of Moves and Manifestations of God.
Amazed And Perplexed
It was one of those phenomenal explosions that rocks the senses, jolts the mind and sends you reeling. But this particular explosion was of obvious origin. Awesome Power which had its source in heaven hit the cosmopolitan city of Jerusalem. It was a holiday and the city had swelled its population by many thousands. A learned medical doctor used the best means of description he could find in his vocabulary to describe what it was like. Dr. Luke described the event in such a way that we know he will never forget what transpired; and he has left us with such a dazzling account that we shall never forget this divine event. It was not just divinely inspired. It was divinely perpetrated. The only way men were involved were as receivers. There was no doubt that the violent tempest blast (Acts 2:2 Amplified Bible), which rocked the entire city and shook the four walls of their meeting room while filling them, was from heaven.
It was at least the equivalent of a Boeing 747 landing in the middle of downtown Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost at 9:00 in the morning. And since they had no point of reference for such a tempest blast they became quite perplexed (unable to grasp something clearly or to think logically and decisively about something), cf.Acts 2:6,7,12. There was no warning that a Mighty manifestation would blast them suddenly into the miraculous church age where signs and wonders would follow them that believe (Mk.16:17). Believers were praying like their Lord had commanded them in the place He had commanded them to receive what He had commanded them (Lk.24:49) so that they could do what He had commanded them.
The people who were amazed and bewildered were not heathen! They were very religious people (v.5″God-fearing Jews“). These were the “churched people” of that day. They knew the Scriptures and they had been trained in theology, at least to some degree. They were those who were supposed to know about God and know what He was like and know the kinds of things He does. But they didn’t know everything about God nor everything about the way He does things. They hadn’t seen all the ways in which God moves. They didn’t have knowledge of all the ways in which God might manifest Himself. Cf.Isa 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. This unprecedented Power surge left these religious people “bewildered” in v.6, “utterly amazed” in v.7 and “perplexed” in v.12 (NIV).
BELIEVERS MADE FUN OF THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
These were the “churched people” of that day. Yet when the presence of God began to manifest in that city, they were bewildered. These religious, faithful members of the synagogue even made fun of the move of God: v.13 “Some, however, made fun of them and said, ‘They have had too much wine.'” Today people would say something like, “Oh, they’re just in the flesh.”
When God restores a truth to His people it can get messy because humanity, dug into its carnal comfort zones, is not easily moved. The way the God-fearing people reacted in Acts 2 is proof positive that God-fearing people can have carnal reactions to a move of God even to the point of making fun of it. A preacher I heard quoted said, “The ways of God must be inscrutable beyond understanding. If they were not, they would be surrendered to man’s mind. And if to man’s mind, then ultimately to man’s control.”
When God restores something that generations have lost, He must put emphasis on it. In this century we have seen an emphasis on Bible teaching, healing, faith, prophesying and joy. Each time God has restored one of these truths and highlighted it the teacher and the teaching have been rejected and even vehemently opposed by many. God must emphasize and spotlight each of these things because they have fallen into such neglect. Entire generations have become ignorant of them so that they must be jump-started. You cannot start a run-down battery with a typical 10 amp battery charger. You must put a 250 amp charger on it if you want the car to start right then and be useful then rather than many hours later.
There are people who, in recent years, have tried to summarily dismiss various manifestations of God. Some have claimed that because they do not see specific examples of some of the specific manifestations in the Bible that those manifestations are not of God. They go from making that point to actually speaking and working against groups which embrace such moves. If the upper room crowd would have had time to look over the manifestations of the Day of Pentecost, they might have rejected them on the same basis. Peter said, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;”(Acts 2:16-KJV). Yet, there is no mention in Joel of tongues, tongues of fire or Spiritual inebriation.
My mother, who is 80 years old at the time of this writing, has told me that, as a girl, she personally witnessed all of the manifestations we have seen in the past few years, including the gold fillings and gold teeth. God showing His wonderful Person through those manifestations is part of the reason that both sides of my family are Spirit-filled believers and ministers today. All of my uncles, but one, on both sides of my family are ministers because of the impact the character of God, displayed in manifestations, had on them as children.
THIS “STRANGE THING”
Moses was pretty much just going along minding his own business as he tended to his sheep. One thing he was probably doing on the back side of the desert is that he was walking around kicking rocks and working out his theology. As he walked along he noticed a bush that was burning. Although that did not seem to be a particularly unusual thing for that part of the world, Moses noticed that it simply continued to burn without being consumed.
It seems that his curiosity finally peaked, so he decided to go over and check it out. So Moses thought, “I will go over and see this strange sight– why the bush does not burn up.” (Ex. 3:3) While he is observing this phenomenon and while he is actually walking toward it, he refers to what he is seeing as “strange (NIV).” According to Brown-Driver-Briggs’ dictionary Moses could have also been calling this phenomenal spectacle “large in magnitude,” “great in number,” “great in intensity,” “loud,” or even “distinguished.” At any rate, it was something which was quite out of the ordinary. Moses was quite unaccustomed to being presented with such an unusual sight and circumstance. It was now something which had reached a proportion that he was going to have to deal with it or at least make a decision about it.
When Moses approaches the burning bush he discovers that what he has called “strange” is actually God. When the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” (Ex. 3:4-NAS) It is not the bush that is something phenomenal; it is the fact that God is in the bush that causes this whole scenario to boggle the brain. God in the bush is creating a scenario that is most extraordinary. If indeed Moses was actually calling this spectacle “strange,” it was God he was calling strange because God was within the bush making the bush to appear as it did. We best be careful what we label things in these days when God is fulfilling Joel 2. It very well may be wisdom to stop saying “this” is not God or “that” is not God. A good practice would be to say, “I don’t understand that.”
Just as God used the burning bush to get Moses’ attention, He uses signs to get our attention today. God desires to get our attention in order that He may say something to us which could lead us into a revolutionary direction as it did Moses. Out of the burning bush experience came a people to bless the nations.