Spiritual Manifestations

This article was written by Frank Viola Author.

Beyond the gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4 (which are gifted people), Paul gave us another list of gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. These gifts are called “the manifestation of the Spirit.”

These gifts aren’t people, but supernatural manifestations of the Holy Spirit whereby Jesus reveals Himself through the members of His body.

In order for us to understand the fullness of Christ’s present-day ministry, we need to learn something about the manifestation of His Spirit in the church today.

I believe the “manifestation of the Spirit” can be divided into three categories: the revelatory gifts, the inspirational gifts, and the power gifts.

Note that these manifestations are different from other “gifts lists” in the New Testament (such as Romans 12) in that they are all supernatural in nature.

Note also that Jesus is the One who manifests Himself through these gifts by the operation of the Holy Spirit.

  1. The Revelatory Gifts: Spiritual Manifestations of Disclosure

The Word of Knowledge. The word of knowledge is a word from the Lord to the believer, revealing past or present facts in the mind of God.

The Word of Wisdom. The word of wisdom is a word revealing God’s purpose for the future (Luke 11:49).

The Discerning of Spirits. The discerning—or distinguishing—of spirits enables one to perceive the spirit world.

  1. The Inspirational Gifts: Spiritual Manifestations of Utterance

Prophecy. To prophesy is to speak forth the present mind of the Lord.

Different Kinds of Tongues. Different (various) kinds of tongues are supernatural utterances in unknown languages.

The Interpretation of Tongues. The interpretation of tongues is the supernatural gift that enables one to interpret (not translate) an utterance given in other tongues.

  1. The Power Gifts: Spiritual Manifestations of the Miraculous

The Working of Miracles. The working of miracles is the supernatural ability to manifest a divine intervention in the normal order of things.

Gifts of Healing. This gift manifests divine healing in a person’s body.

The Gift of Faith. The gift of faith is a special kind of faith that produces and receives the working of miracles.

Answering the Call

The burden of my heart is to see God’s people far less concerned with a fivefold ministry and supernatural gifts that are supposed to be recovered someday, and instead to see them focus their attention on discovering what the church is supposed to be according to the mind of God.

Upon making this discovery, the Lord’s dear people will be faced with a decision: to answer the call of meeting around Jesus Christ alone in the way that He has prescribed, or to remain chained to the unmovable traditions of men.

If the former path is taken, it will involve considerable cost. But all the giftings in Christ will eventually come forth in the way that He has designed organically. And those gifts will never usurp or dilute the ministry of the entire body.

Would to God that all men and women who feel called to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, and shepherds/teachers would soberly reexamine what these ministries were in the first century and in the thought of God. I believe that when this happens, many of those people will be led in brand-new directions. And those directions will undoubtedly lead them to break with cherished traditions and popular concepts. Yet only by these elements will the house of God begin to be restored on a broad scale.

As the builder of the ekklesia, the Lord Jesus Christ desires nothing less.

Frank Viola, the Author

Frank Viola is the author of many books. He has had immense output throughout his ministry, authoring dozens of books and essays, and appearing in numerous articles and interviews in high profile periodicals.


However, an amazing fact is that Viola did not receive any formal academic or theological training from a bible college or seminary. This was intentional on his part. While some may be skeptical about the effectiveness of such a prolific author, it should be noted that his work has been endorsed by numerous pastors and scholars.

In terms of his interaction with formally trained scholars, he has engaged in productive debate with them. His powerful writing and passionate oratorical gifts have been used to educate all sorts of people, from pastors to seminary students, and even to professors. In addition to his own work, Viola has co-authored two books with renowned theologian Leonard Sweet and Christian pollster George Barna. Viola’s writings have also been met with critical acclaim.

The centrality of Jesus and the church is at the root of author Frank Viola’s ministry. Over twenty years, he has focused on fostering Jesus-centered organic missional church communities that place emphasis on each individual congregation member’s relationship with Christ and with the others in the body. It’s an alternative approach to Christianity, and has very strong biblical and historical roots.

The organic church is intended to be a community where each individual member has a deeper understanding and meaningful connection with God, and uses this understanding to bring enrichment to the lives of others. Inquiry is a driving force, and Frank Viola, author, uses his gift to educate the congregation and challenge them with a deeper understanding of their spiritual lives. His ideals have been touched on in many publications such as TIME magazine.

The organic missional churches took root in 1988, and have stayed true for over twenty years. The basis of this church expression is to have the church return to its older roots. Instead of revolving around clergy and liturgy, Viola urges the community to rethink New Testament perspectives and foster open participation.

Mission work is a large part of their involvement. This organic experience means simple Christian gatherings are not confined to one particular building, and can take place anywhere, with or without trained worship leaders, clergy, or a formal liturgy.


Frank Viola, author has stayed true to his beliefs, serving as a teacher in the evangelical Christian community. In the past he has sponsored Rotary International and the Fellowship for Christian Students. Today, he is active in several foundations, such as Bread for the World, Heifer International, and a number of local homeless ministries.

This site is not run by Frank Viola.