St Paul himself knew when he was speaking by the Spirit, and when he was not; and we too can recognize to some extent when the afflatus comes upon him.
In natural soothsaying this frenzy is the necessary physical accompaniment of an afflatus which, though it seems supernatural to a rude people, is really akin to poetic inspiration.
So far was the afflatus of the Spirit from being conditioned by the rite, that in Acts x.
As no one could curse Jesus except under the influence of a devilish afflatus, so none could say "Jesus is Lord" except he was inspired by the Holy Spirit.
It does not, of course, follow that everyone who had shared in the divine afflatus of prophetic enthusiasm gave forth oracles; but the prophets as a class stood nearer than other men to the mysterious workings of Yahweh, and it was in their circle that revelation seemed to have its natural home.
1896) of New York, who claimed the leadership; and there came into existence two if not three separate theosophical societies (following Judge and later Mrs Katherine Tingley in America, Olcott and Mrs Annie Besant in America and India, with a more or less independent organization in England), each one contending that the original afflatus of the founder had descended upon it exclusively.
In the conversation with Nicodemus we seem to overhear a protest against the growing tendency of the last years of the 1st century to substitute formal sacraments for the free afflatus of the spirit, and to "crib, cabin and confine" the gift of prophecy.
With the prophets it is quite otherwise; they appear not individually but in bands; their prophesying is a united exercise accompanied by music, and seemingly dance-music; it is marked by strong excitement, which sometimes acts contagiously, and may be so powerful that he who is seized by it is unable to stand, 2 and, though this condition is regarded as produced by a divine afflatus, it is matter of ironical comment when a prominent man like Saul is found to be thus affected.
More than this hardly lies in the expression "a divine spirit" (a'r5K min), which is used not only of the prophetic afflatus but of the evil frenzy that afflicted Saul's later days.
The recognized modes of communicating the afflatus, power or numen to a person or thing to be consecrated are many, and only a few can be enumerated.