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Clearing the Smoke, Fanning the Flames: An Interview with Michael Brown In the book you mention a number of very powerful examples of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in action. Can you please tell us about a time when the operation of the gifts of the Spirit affected you personally?

Michael Brown: Before I was a believer, I experienced the deep conviction of the Spirit as people prayed for me, but I had no idea what it was. As a new believer, I was instantly healed of a bad case of hives, which was a wonderful intervention. And once I started preaching, I would often get a sense from the Lord of just what He would do in the meetings, and it would happen just as He showed me.

Early in 1982, when I was in my more skeptical mode, God used a young man to speak to my wife, Nancy, and to me prophetically with uncanny accuracy. That rocked my world. Then the Spirit would often move on me to pray for people, and they would literally be jolted by God’s power – and I mean jolted. I saw this for years, with many dramatically touched.

And there have been amazingly specific prophetic words I have received for others over the years, along with examples of the gift of faith operating in me, when I was able to proclaim something seemingly impossible in advance, and it came to pass as the Lord said.

In the late 1990s, during a critical time in my life, the Lord sent four different leaders to me with prophetic words, with each word dramatically confirming the others and helping me navigate through a storm. I could go on for hours with examples of how I have been used in the gifts and have been a recipient of gifted ministry. I am deeply indebted to the Spirit. What practical steps can churches take in order to guard against some of the abuses that you have described in the book?

Michael Brown: I would love to see every Pentecostal and Charismatic pastor in the world read this book and take to heart what is written. Let’s major on the major. Let’s learn to do systematic study of the Scriptures. Let’s put away financial manipulation. Let’s determine to serve rather than be served. In the last chapter of the book, I lay out four practical things we can do to be ready for the next great move of the Spirit here in America. I truly believe the best is yet to come. What can church leaders do to encourage growth in the biblical understanding of contemporary ministry of the Holy Spirit?

Michael Brown: Sadly, many of us have become dependent on the flesh rather than the Spirit. We follow the latest business models. We look at what’s trending. We learn all the methods to grow our churches – yet we forget our roots in the power of the Spirit. If man can grow it, it’s not God.

Of course, I believe in doing things with excellence and learning from whatever models are helpful. But in the end, it is our intimate walks with God that make the difference. It is our hunger for revival that is essential. It is love of the Spirit’s moving that makes the difference.

So, I would encourage that we get our houses in order, we renew our confidence in the gifts and power of the Spirit for today, we learn to walk in harmony with the Spirit’s promptings, and we desperate until the next visitation comes. God will fill us afresh!

Right now, with the first reviews of the book coming in, I must say I’m encouraged to see how many say, “Yes, I was hurt, yes I’ve seen abuses, but I’m committed to walking in the fullness of the Spirit’s power!”




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Category: Spirit, Spring 2018

About the Author: Michael L. Brown, Ph.D. (New York University), is founder and president of FIRE School of Ministry in North Carolina, Director of the Coalition of Conscience, and host of the daily, nationally, syndicated talk radio show, The Line of Fire, as well as the host of the apologetics TV show, Answering Your Toughest Questions, which airs on the NRB TV network. He is the author of more than 30 books including Our Hands Are Stained with Blood: The Tragic Story of the “Church” and the Jewish People (1992), Playing With Holy Fire: A Wake-Up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church (2018), Israel’s Divine Healer (1995), Saving a Sick America: A Prescription for Moral and Cultural Transformation (2017), Breaking the Stronghold of Food: How We Conquered Food Addictions and Discovered a New Way of Living with Nancy Brown (2017), Authentic Fire: A Response to John MacArthur's Strange Fire (2015), and the highly-acclaimed five-volume series, Answering Jewish Objections to Jesus. Read full biography at AskDrBrown Ministries. Google+. Twitter: @DrMichaelLBrown

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