Category: Newsletter

June 28: Walk In The Spirit

Candles

This is the Sixth part of the series “The Holy Spirit – Who Is He?”

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The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. Proverbs 20:27 (Amplified)

The key to understanding this proverb is the concept that God, who is a spirit, will lead humans by their spirit; that part of the human being directly created in his image. This becomes all the more important for the believer who has been Born Again, as they have a Brand New completely recreated human spirit. One translation of IICorinthians 5:17 says “a brand new species of being that never existed before.” In other words, not just renewed as much a brand new creation. It is this part of the human being that directly contacts the spiritual world, and in particular, as the believer invites the Holy Spirit to abide within them, it is that part of them where the Holy Spirit resides. It is here that God principally contacts and speaks to the heart of the believer.

As believers we are all called to “Walk in the Spirit.”:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious:sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self- control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:16-25 (NIV)

There haSpirit Soul Bodys been much confusion and conjecture regarding this particular instruction from the Apostle Paul. The argument has been regarding whether or not he is talking about the Holy Spirit, or the Human Spirit. However, through a simple deductive process it is possible to determine that the subject of this entire chapter of the New Testament is concerned Not with a battle between the Flesh of a man and the Holy Spirit. But, it concerns itself with the struggle that the New Creation has to overcome the many habits and practices that have been dominant in the life of the believer prior to their New Birth.

Given that the Holy Spirit is God himself, to suggest that the Flesh of a man would be able to overcome the Holy Spirit goes against even basic common sense. It would also suggest that this New Creation had given up their  personal “Free Will” and that a Christian is nothing more than an automaton; a puppet waiting for the Holy Sprit to pull the strings.

Furthermore, since there is the suggestion of a struggle between the flesh and the spirit with the possibility of the flesh winning out in certain circumstances (Paul discusses such a struggle in the Seventh chapter of the Book of Romans 7:7-25) if that were the case it would suggest that God wasn’t actually all that powerful; it would also suggest that Satan was running the show and that God was being pushed around by him. Not so.

The fact is that this is about the operation of the human spirit, the struggle between the recreated human spirit and the desires of the flesh, the body through which the spirit interacts with the world around us. The Apostle is encouraging us, as believers, to walk in line with the desires of the new ME; to choose the actions prompted by the Holy Spirit within our spirit which desires to fulfil the will of God the Father, over the fleshly desires of the previous sinful nature that was previously in control.

Now, that does not suggest that the person who has come to Christ has previously desired to commit, or has ever acted on some of the more extreme fleshly desires mentioned in the list. But, the nature of the human that doesn’t know God, personally, has the nature of the fallen man as a result of Adam’s fall.

If we then re-read the passage in Galatians 5:22-23 in this light, the Fruit is in fact the product of the human spirit as a result of its interaction with the Holy Spirit. But, it is still the fruit of the human spirit. The fruit of any treegive-receive Heart crop is found on the branches, rarely on the trunk.

Jesus, while discussing the coming of the Holy Spirit, with his disciples, also talked about the need for his disciples to understand their relationship to him as the Vine and they the Branches would be both expected to produce fruit and that if they did produce fruit they would find they would be pruned and nurtured to produce more fruit and that if they did not then they would find themselves cut off. John 14:15 – 15:17.

So, we are called upon to learn to Walk in the Spirit. In other word we are being required to live our lives dominated by the spirit rather than simply following after the dictates of the carnally natured flesh; relying solely on our feelings and the 5 physical senses to guide and direct us. But the question is: How do we follow the spirit? How do we contact our human spirit and how do we know that it is our spirit?

WE need to remember that our recreated human spirit will only desire to do and live in the perfect will of our Father. Where do we find the will of the Father? In the Word. So, the key thing we need to remember here is that if a desire, or an opportunity to make a choice, or decision comes before us we need to tune in to understand what out heart, our spirit directs us to do. This is not about emotion, which is an element of what makes up the soul. But, the heart of the person is another name for the spirit, the very core of your being.

The first 3 main ways that we are to be led by the spirit are:

1 The Inner Witness

2 The Inner Voice

3 The Voice of the Holy Spirit

The Inner Witness: The Child of God is called to be led principally by the guidance of the inner witness. Some would refer to this as intuition, or as simply a knowing. Not a feeling, or a sense. But a Spiritual knowing, right down-spiritual-large300n deep on the inside of you, you don’t know why you know, but you just do.

It must be stated that learning to be led by this important guidance, from the Holy Spirit, to our spirit, involves a process of success and failure and takes time. It doesn’t come overnight. But, as you practice being led by that Inner witness you will see just how effective and how productive your spiritual walk will become.

From personal experience, it has led me at times to change the direction I was driving in the car, or the place I had chosen to have lunch. Or, even, for that matter the direction I was taking walking down the street. It has put me in the place to meet up with people that I had been recently thinking about. Or people I haven’t seen for, in a couple of cases, thirty years. But, by making those changes, by following that direction, which can eventually become an almost unconscious action, people’s lives have changed, or saved (literally, physically).

There have been so many instances that it is too difficult to single on such instance out here, it would take up a lot of time. But, as this is the principle way that we are to be led by our spirit. Then it won’t take long for you to amass your own collection of such testimonies.

The Inner Voice: Once again, it is important to note that this is the voice of your own spirit and is often referred to as “The Still Small Voice of The Spirit.” This is not some great booming voice from the heavens. This manner of being led by your spirit requires you to get quiet. it is that time, when in quiet contemplation, you will hear yourself talking to your own mind, from the depths of your own heart. This is that guidance that you may well be seeking regarding a major decision that you are facing and you have done the principal thing, sought the wisdom of God in prayer.

FastingFasting provides you with the opportunity to hear this voice more clearly, if the answer seems to be evading you. However, if you are going into the fast with the intention of changing how God will operate, you have set yourself up for failure. Fasting is not about changing God. But, rather, it is about getting yourself quiet enough to be able to hear the voice of your spirit over the voice of your flesh and its desires.

Once you’ve got beyond the point where the body has quietened down, in the fast, then you will be able to hear your spirit’s voice more clearly. Whether, or not, you choose to act on what it says will determine how successful the fast is. Because at the end of the day, you can choose to act on what you’ve heard, or not; your free will is still intact.

Most importantly, remember this point: hearing the spirit and acting on the wisdom of the spirit are two separate events. Spending time to get the mind of God on a situation or regarding a decision you need to make, is NOT going to make you follow that direction. That will still require an act of your will and the follow-through of putting faith into action that you have heard what the will of God is in the situation.

The Holy Spirit will NEVER force you, or MAKE you do anything and the whole purpose of stopping to get to know what the mind of God is on a situation will not change either what God has said in his Word, nor prevent God from doing what he wants you to do; especially if you are seeking for the wisdom of God about what YOU are supposed to do.

Just one example:

If you have gone into a time of prayer and even into a fast when the word is pretty clear and very plain about WHAT you are supposed to do in a situation all you’re doing is trying to weasel your way out of doing what you know to do. Let’s say you’ve gone to the Word about whether or not you are supposed to be Tithing. You’ve read the Word where it says that Jesus is still the High Priest of the Tithe under the New Covenant in the book of Hebrews and you have read Malachi, and Deuteronomy and Genesis regarding the Tithe but, you’re still arguing with yourself as to whether or not you are supposed to pay your tithes; how you are to pay your tithes and you’re not sure you’re supposed to pay tithes.Wheat

It doesn’t matter how long you fast and pray for. It won’t matter how long you spend in quiet contemplation waiting to hear the voice of your spirit. The word of God is never going to change regarding tithing. At the end of the day you will have wasted all that time and effort when you could have been preparing your tithes and more importantly your heart and your attitude regarding the tithes. As well as spending time in the word building your faith on the promises that God has made regarding what he will do when you tithe.

Until you stop and change your attitude and your mind regarding this ordinance you will not receive any of the blessing associated with the action of tithing. In point of fact you are NOT Tithing; you may well be plunking ten percent of your income into the bucket. But, tithing involves the heart the soul and the body. The same goes for making offerings, or any time that the inner witness, or the still small voice tells you to give something you hold as precious, to someone. God id NEVER going to MAKE you take part. BUT, you will never reap the reward of WILLING obedience, as opposed to painful sacrifice.

The Third way that we are to walk in the spirit, or to be led by the Spirit is by the voice of the Holy Spirit.

The Voice of the Holy Spirit: Once again, I wan to make it very clear. When I speak about hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit of God, we are NOT and I stress that point WE ARE NOT talking about hearing audible voices. If you go into a situation wanting to hear an audible voice you may well find that there is a spirit out there willing to comply and provide you with an audible voice that you can hear. People talk about hearing voices all the time. But, we generally tend to lock those people away, or at the very leastSpirit Upon require them to seek serious mental health services; that is the outcome of going into this area seeking to hear audible voices.

That is not to say that God cannot, or will not speak in an audible voice. But, the occasion of such is extremely rare. One such occasion we read of, in the Gospels is at the baptism of Jesus, by John, in the river Jordan. Where, when Jesus came back up out of the water the heavens opened up and we are told that John the Baptist saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus in the same manner as a dove would descend and He heard the voice of God, from Heaven say: “This is my beloved Son, In whom I am Well pleased!” Matthew 3:17.

It is interesting to note that those who were spiritually minded heard what the Voice of God actually said. However, it is reported that the rest of those present looked around to wonder where the sound of thunder had come from as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. As I say, however, the occurrence of an external audible voice of God, especially in the life of a believer who has the Holy Spirit himself residing in them is not something that God should need to do, to get his message through.

The voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to the believer, from the depths of their spirit can, for all intents and purposes appear to be almost audible. It is authoritative, and intimate. Someone who has spent the time in prayer and in the spirit developing the gift of prophecy (for edification, exhortation and comfort) will have developed a relationship with the Father and thereby Jesus and will, over time and through study of the Word of God, learn to recognise the voice of the Holy Spirit, in their spirit.

Jesus was very clear that he would lead and guide you into ALL truth and in particular as you practice reading AND studying the Word the Holy Spirit will reveal and guide and encourage and instruct you and through the Word of God you will gain a greater understanding of when the Holy Spirit himself is speaking to you and when your spirit is speaking to you through your renewed mind and when your Inner witness, guided by the Word of God, is leading you and guiding you in the affairs of life.

leap-of-faithThere are some other ways that you can be led by the spirit. But they are for another time and include Angels and Visions. But, once again, there are some very important points to consider even with the areas we have already covered here. The principle way that ALL believers are to be led of the spirit is by The Inner Witness. Secondly by The Still Small Voice of their own spirit and Thirdly by The Voice of the Holy Spirit in their spirit.

Remember something very important about these leadings and that is that the Holy Spirit will NEVER speak, or ask you to move or do something that is contrary to the Word of God. Alternatively, remember that if you get instruction that is designed to get you to take some particular action or step out in a particular action it is important not to simply jump and do. Sometimes you need to stop, for a moment, or to WAIT.

Remember, your will is involved. The spirit of God will NEVER override your will. He will NEVER force you to do anything; an example of that is the giving of a prophecy. As Paul says: “Everyone should desire to prophesy.” there is the potential for every Christian, in a meeting, or service, to be able to prophesy. But, not everyone will. Additionally, not everyone who can (or operates in this gift) will prophesy; Paul even includes some rules for managing how the gift should be operated to ensure order and effectiveness.

So, if someone blurts out with tongues, or begins to shout out a prophecy, in a meeting and the person later says “I just couldn’t stop it. Or, God made me do it.” I will usually take their immaturity into consideration as to whether or not it was actually from God or not; particularly if it is in the middle of the message being delivered. Mainly because it would be extremely rare for God to interrupt himself. As Paul suggests “things in the Spirit need to be done decently and in Order.”

amys-helping-hands-homepage-imageIf you feel compelled to speak, or say something specific to someone, particularly a stranger, God will not mind if you step back for a moment to check your spirit, particularly the inner witness, to ensure you are actually hearing from God. Remember one key; timing is everything.

Jesus had passed the pool of Bethesda many times over the period of his ministry. The man laying on his pallat had been there for many years before that. I’m very sure that God had wanted that man to walk, healed and free from his infirmity from the very beginning. But, it was on one particular Sabbath, at one particular time in his ministry, that Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit to speak to this man, in particular.

We are not told as to whether it was because this man had finally got to the point where he was ready to receive. Or whether it was simply His time to receive his healing, or whether or not this was the first time Jesus had actually seen him.

But, we are very clear that When someone asked Jesus about the things he did he said: “I only do the things I see my Father do. I only say the things I hear my Father say.” John 5:19 and 12:49 (paraphrased) Jesus said and did these things because  he took the time out to find out what the Father wanted to say and what the Father wanted him to do.

We have the privilege of having the Holy Spirit residing IN us. we can choose to walk in the Spirit. Or, we can choose to walk by the dictates of the flesh. Or we can choose to train the flesh to follow the promptings of the Spirit and as we do so we will begin to produce much good fruit for the world to come and receive and thereby get to know God as they are drawn to him, in us.

Amen!

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio    Walking In The Spirit

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June 21: Receive Power From On High

Dove book

This is the Fifth part of the series “The Holy Spirit – Who Is He?”

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“And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak………But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth” Acts 1:4&8 (Amplified)

It is important to note that this wasn’t a suggestion by Jesus. I like the emphasis that the Amplified text gives here, in verse 4. Jesus actually commanded the disciples to WAIT! He Explosionwasn’t asking them to do him a favour; or themselves for that matter. He was very sure that the information he had spent time imparting to them should be impetus enough to get them to realise the importance of following this command.

To suggest that these people had no choice in the matter would be without merit. Given Peter’s personal disposition to get impatient he could have chosen, at any time, just as he did when Jesus had been buried, to return to his fishing. Or, he could have gained a senses of self-importance that he and the other disciples had been ‘especially’ blessed to have seen the risen Christ and headed off under his own steam. Because he was very aware of the potential for this to happen Jesus took no chances and using the strongest language possible gave them a very clear picture of what they were to do.

It must have been effective, because:

“AND WHEN the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place” Acts 2:1 (Amplified)

In another translation it says that they were all together and in one accord. There were at least 120 men in that upper room and it says that they were in one accord. That was a miracle in itself, if you think about the behaviour of these disciples over the previous 3 and a half years. They were of one mind, working together, pulling in the same direction. There was no dissent between them. They had come together, in the same place and had resolved any differences. They were unified in one purpose.Pentecost

This was all so important. As Jesus had emphasised. They were to receive the World changing, dynamic, earth shattering POWER (dunamis) from and through the Holy Spirit. they were to be equipped for the work that they had been specifically selected and mentored to do; to be able to spread the Gospel; to continue the spread of the Gospel that Jesus had begun to spread abroad from that sabbath in the synagog in Nazareth in Luke 4:16-18.

An important point in Peter’s declaration to the masses gathered in the street after the commotion caused by the arrival of the Holy Spirit is that he said “This is the BEGINNING of what was prophesied by the prophet Joel.” The Beginning, not the culmination, not the pinnacle. He was declaring the beginning of the church age; the beginning of the times of the end of all time. The time of preparation for the return of the soon and coming King of Glory.

To believe that, at its inception, the church needed to have the supernatural manifestations of the Power of the Holy Spirit and that in the modern age those manifestations are no longer required requires more presumption than I can possibly lay ahold of. I can’t even begin to suggest that it would require Faith, because that would be a dishonour to the Vital force that we all require to please God. No, it is presumption, plain and simple hubris, pride, call it what you will. But, it smacks of the belief that “we’re too sophisticated in this ‘Modern Age’ to need superstition and such demonstrations to persuade.”

It is perhaps this pride that has caused the great Apostasy of the young from the church; religion; the beliefs of their ancestors; in general from the very tenets and beliefs that have id-10073179controlled their forebears. In their place they are drawn to alternative religions; the acceptance of witchcraft and wicca in general; to a belief in the dark path spiritually and the embrace of anything New Age. The very nature of the drug culture that so besets the western world, in particular, is driven by the desire to enter altered states of consciousness and thereby, if not the supernatural, then at the very least the preternatural and all it has to bind them with.

As one preacher put it, many years ago: “You told them about Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and Jesus. The first 3 turned out to be lies and you’re expecting them to believe you about Jesus and your church teaches that the gifts of the Holy Spirit petered out when Peter petered out! What do you expect?” What do you expect, indeed? If they’ve ever picked up a bible and read about the miraculous things that happened in Jesus’ ministry and then in the ministry of the apostles (in the book of Acts and they’ve read the Gospel of John, where Jesus says that: “whoever believes in the things you see me do, will do the same and greater than these.” John 14:12-14 and “I pray for these you have given me, but not just for them. But, for those who will believe on me through their message; through their testimony.” John 17:20) then they will also begin to doubt the authenticity of the Jesus they have been taught about.

The truth is that NOW, more than ever, the church has the need to embody ALL that the Holy Spirit has the ability to manifest, through those willing to be used by him for the demonstration of the very signs and wonders that the prophet Joel prophesied so many years ago. The coming revival and the rising up of the church, from amongst all of the5142129 denominations around the world will require an openness to accepting and walking in these supernatural manifestations. The Charismatic renewal that swept across the earth in the early latter half of the 20th century will be regarded as nothing compared to the promised outpouring.

The stage is set, the leaders are being moved into place. The rise of the affirming movement amongst the GLBTIQ population and the call to holiness, rather than the imposition of a code, is a step in the right direction.

We are all called to be ready. We are all called to intercede and pray this revival into being; it is our responsibility. Stand up and take your place.

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

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June 14: Being Led By The Spirit

 

holy-spirit-dove-fire stretched

This is the Fourth part of the series “The Holy Spirit – Who Is He?”

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“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ….” Romans 8:14-17a (NKJV)

In the Old Testament, the Spirit of God was upon the Prophet, the Priest and the King. God would speak to these three and that was how the children of God were led, by the Spirit of God.

However, under the New Covenant and in the New Testament the Holy Spirit Himself has come to dwell within our own spirit when we are ‘Born Again’ (John 3:16) of the spirit of God. We are no longer to be led by the word of the prophets. It is our own responsibility to learn how to be led by the Holy Spirit, through our own spirit, through study of the WordNew start and  through practicing the presence of God; getting to know him personally and becoming sensitive to his gentle promptings.

More often than not we are to be led by “The Inner Witness” that knowing deep down on the inside of you that challenges you if you fall into sin, of any kind. Some refer to it as the voice of your conscience. But, in reality it is your spirit making you aware that you have done, or are about to do the wrong thing.

We are not to be led by voices, or angels (Unless God is needing to speak to you, or sends an angel to talk with you and besides your personal angel, that would be very rarely) and if someone presuming to be a prophet tells you to do something that does not “Gel: with your spirit, you should question as to whether or not it is God’s will that they are speaking to you and you have become insensitive to the Holy Spirit. Or, that they are telling you something that runs contrary to what you know God has told you to do.

Remember, the visitation by angels to lead us is rare, as is the audible voice of God and if these are what you need to have to get motivated by God, then perhaps you need to consider the quality of your relationship with and your sensitivity to God’s leading, by the spirit; in particular, your spirit? that is not to say that God cannot use an angel, or use his audible voice. But, if that is what you are seeking, you are preparing to be misled.

Paul teaches that: “If we walk in the Spirit, we will NOT fulfil the lusts of the Flesh!” The other thing is that any leading you receive MUST line up with what God’s Word has to say. Because he will never lead you contrary to his word.

This Sunday was the celebration of Open Arms second Anniversary. Over that period there has been the opportunity to receive a very good education in being led by the Spirit. At the very beginning, when we first started, confirmation was given, by a number of sources, that I was doing the right thing. I was not seeking that confirmation, overtly. Instead, someone, totally unrelated to the situation would ask a question, or make a statement, that I was able to quietly tuck away and give thanks to the Father for that little gift, from him.

Over the time e have been running services there have been points where there was the chance to become despondent. However, there has always been that knowing, deep down on the inside, that I was doing the right thing. One of the things that struck me in my preparation for this particular teaching series was that I was reminded that, in being faithful to what God has called us to do, If you do not receive any further instruction then continue being faithful in what you have been doing. As you continue to be faithful in small things he entrusts you with more and more.

If God hasn’t said anything different and you are not aware of any check in your spirit about what you are doing and if your conscience is clear, then you just need to be consistent and persistent until God says there is something else to do; or he provides a different direction to take things. If there is no check in your spirit and you haven’t got people lining up to tell you that God says you’re on the wrong track; just stick with it.

If that’s the case (if you do have people lining up, even then; actually, especially then, you need to press in to hear thefiery-furnace-ted-larson-2006 heart of God on the matter. Because they might actually be wrong) get into your prayer closet, close the door, get quiet before God and hear what he has to say about it. At times like that you ned to remember Oral Roberts and Jerry Savelle’s sermon on “The Fourth Man.”

You also have to give yourself permission to fail. Particularly when you are first trying to learn to walk in the spirt. You need to realise that you’re not perfect and that you are going to make mistakes;just remember to learn from them. Don’t quit trying just because you got something wrong. Look at Peter, then consider the mistake you’ve made, in the light of his denial. In other words gain perspective.

This is the very same as in the process of learning to move in any of the public manifestations of the Holy Spirit as discussed in ICorinthians 12. Paul encourages us that we should ALL seek to prophesy. But, the truth is that we learn 5142129to prophesy in our own prayer time, with God. As we do this we begin to be prepared to stand publicly when we become aware of the unction of the Holy Spirit, in our hearts, that he desires to use us.

In both cases, your faith in the fact that you are either being led by God, or that you are speaking what God has asked you to say is built in direct relation to the relationship you have developed privately with God. He wants to spend time with you so that you can get to know him and his gentle voice, his tender promptings. Jesus said: “My sheep know my voice and a stranger they will not follow.”

Learn to walk in the spirit. It will lead you into an amazing adventure in God.

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio    Being Led By The Spirit

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June 7: Concerning Spiritual Gifts

Tree Wide

This is the Third part of the series “The Holy Spirit – Who Is He?”

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NOW ABOUT the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed. ICorinthians 12:1 (Amp)

The gifts that Paul is talking to the Corinthian church about in this section of his letter are also known as The Gifts of the Holy Spirit. What is strikingly important to realise here is that he is not talking about innate talents. They are not psychological or intellectual gifts. Instead, he makes it very clear that these are “Supernatural” gifts. They are of spiritual origin and that they are not resident; they don’t become the possession of the user.

holy_spirit_-_pentacost_jwiThere has been so much confusion, within the church, on this subject alone, that it is worth spending some time to give it the respect, it is due, and to take the time to examine some of the fallacies that have been perpetuated, most of them doctrinal, based on nothing more than mere opinion, rather than the due attention that scripture itself spends on this subject.

More often, than not, these same opinions were generated by men, themselves ignorant of any experience of walking in the spirit themselves; as Paul describes them: carnal minds unable to discern the difference between the Spirit, Soul and the Body. Paul, in an earlier part of this same letters already dealt with this inability:

But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. ICorinthians 2:14 (Amp)

The concept of Doctrine, Dogma and Tradition as the “Foundations of the Church” is insufficient when it comes to the discussion of spiritual matters. Doctrine, Dogma and Tradition are constructs of ‘religious’ men. They do not originate from the spirit, but from the sensory, or carnal, fleshly nature of the person.

Now, this is the second time I have referred to the opinions and constructs of “men” and I make no apology for that. By doing so, I am pointing out the lack of involvement that women have been permitted to be involved in these matters. I am laying the responsibility for these matters fairly and squarely at the feet of those responsible. This does not, for on moment mean that women are incapable of making the same mistakes. On the contrary, it is merely a matter of pointing out the facts.

freedom-rising-above-pain-hurt-angerIn Jesus’ day, as in Paul’s, the watchword of the Pharisees and the Sadducees was “Tradition.” On more than one occasion throughout the synoptic gospels Jesus is noted for pointing out how the traditions of these men had “Made the covenant of God ineffective.” The practice of their religious traditions had taken the place of the power of God to be able to manifest itself in healing and deliverance from sickness, disease and had allowed the devil to blind the minds of the Children of Abraham to all  the meaning of the redemptive names of Jehovah. Their traditions nothing more than human constructs trying to reach the God who is omnipresent.

Don’t get me wrong now, the pentecostal movement has had its far share and opportunity to fall into this snare of the enemy. many of the traditions have come about as a result of misunderstanding an aspect of a mighty move of God.Consider this:

In a revival in a small town church somewhere a member of the congregation received a miraculous healing and was able to see for the first time in 40 years. But, instead of looking to God to find out what they had done and the attitudes that had allowed this miracle to be manifest they looked to the circumstances:

“About the time that Sister so-and-so got her sight back we’d sung hymn number 34 four times. Brother Steve had been blowing his nose hard into his handkerchief. Mary-Jane was wandering among the pews and Old Mother Jones had felt the glory upon her so bad she’d taken off at a run around the church. With that the Pastor knocked over a vase of flowers beside the pulpit and Elder Samuel had slammed the front door to the church, real hard……….” And on it goes.  

Since then, every Sunday morning, faithfully, for the last 30 years they’ve been replicating those same conditions, to the point that there’s a hole in the floor beside the pulpit, where the water has caused the boards to rot and Old Mother Jones (we almost lost her last year) doesn’t so much run any more, as shuffles around the church, at a snail’s pace. “But we’re sure that one of these days God’s gonna do one of them miracles again!”

This particular example is an exaggerated  fiction. But, it is similar to stories I have heard, over the years an it is the way traditions and “Sacred Cows” are born. However, I think you probably get my drift. Human beings want to see everything that happens in relation to their 5 senses. But, as Paul said “The things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned.” That is where Faith, real bible Faith comes into operation. Faith takes over where the senses fall short and all things from God require us to approach them in Faith.

It is important to remember, that Paul is writing this letter to a church that had taken the use of spiritual gifts to the extreme. In his attempt to bring some order and decorum to the situation, he was also aware of the need not to quench the spirit and the enthusiasm of these people. As he says later on in this letter of instruction: “The Holy Spirit does things decently and in order.”

As we read the book of Acts of the Apostles we are given insight into the growth of the early church over something of a 30 year period. From its beginnings in Jerusalem at the feast of Pentecost, just after the resurrection and at each Dove Rainbow 1step of its growth out into the wider world, it is clear to see that the supernatural nature of the church, and the use of the supernatural gifts and ministrations of the Holy Spirit were not an adjunct to, but rather an integral part of that growth. You did not receive Christ without following through with water baptism and you did not receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, a subsequent action to salvation, without the manifestation of the Spiritual gifts; most importantly the individual, personal gift of “Other Tongues”; to ensure you had a way to build up and to maintain your faith.

Sadly, this spontaneous utterance has been watered down, to the point where people have been led to believe that the disciples, only on the day of Pentecost, spoke in tongues and that they were speaking the different languages of the peoplle in the regions that had gathered in Jerusalem. Very little, if  any, attention is paid to the significance of that particular event in Jerusalem, as well as the perculiar language that Luke uses to describe the event.

He does not so muc say that the disciples were speaking in kknown languages, as much that the people from all around ‘HEARD’ them in their native tongue. By diminishing the supernatural aspect of this event the neglect the fact that there was as much “Interpretation of tongues” going on, as there weere people speaking languages they had never learned.

The initial sign, the signature gift of the the Holy Spirit, endowed upon all of those who are baptised in the spirit, is also the doorway intom the supernatural aspect of Life in the Spirit and the empowering that Jesus emphasised that ALL his disciples would need to be able to function effectively as a part of the body of Christ. Anyone who suggestssnared that the supernatural aspect of Christianity is unnecessary is either a fool, or is blinded by “the god of this world,” or both. A cursory glance at the list if the most popular shows onn television over the past 20 years alone would demonstrate how much people crave the supernatural in their lives.

It has come to the point where witches, demons, vampires, werewolves and zombies, previously portrayed as either evil, or the villains in the past, are now regarded as heroes and states of life to aspire towards. The church, deservedly so, is portrayed as weak, ineffective and irrelevant in the face of oposition to this craving; particularly by the youth right through to those in their late forties. Deservedly so, because the church has been more interested in getting caught up in politics and affairs of distribution. It’s priests and ministers have been embarrassed as some within their ranks have been exposed for the fakes and charlatans that have sought refuge and abuse their privilege among those of good conscience within church organisations, bringing them into disrepute.

People, declaring themselves to be the prophets of a new age, the infiltration of ‘other‘ mysticism offering alternatives; usually accompanied by a taste of the supernatural, such as Yoga as well as the proliferation of ‘Martial Arts,’ in the guise of exercise and self defence alone have introduced Eastern mysticism that appears superior to the ways of Christ and his church. Yet the disciplines are rooted in religious practices in opposition to Christ.

The outcome of this is a drawing away, paricularly the next generation of leaders. With the ascendancy of these rites within the church as organisation, rather than as the body of Christ, has seen the undermining of the Charismatic renewal within the existing Christian denominations in the 1960s. The adoption of Aquarian practices and the attempt to mix these with authentic practice, in an attempt to legitimise them. The Buddistic Ohm took precedence over the Authentic Tongues as a gift from the Holy Spirit.

I will make a point here, in case anyone is of the opinion that any of these things, in and of themselves actually affect, or hurt God, or Jesus, or, are even slightly capable of inflicting harm upon God;; I would suggest a serious re-think. None of these things are capable of harming God. But, it is the people of God who are aflicted and undermined, while in this present world, by these practices and their accompanying dis – ease. It iis for this reason alone that God is even concerned about them; he is omnipotent, omniscient  and omnipresent, for our sakes.

The church that has the manifestation of the spiritual gifts, which are supernatural in origin  and demonstration and not What-is-the-Role-of-the-Holy-Spiritdependant upon emotion are more than sufficient to meet the needs of those who are drawn away from   churches that have become dry and lifeless as a result of dead tradition and nothinbg more than a social gospel. To address this falling away (which has been prophesied from old) will require a revival in the church heretofore unprecedented. The demonstratiion of the Holy Spirit and Power, the Dunamis, the world changing, life changing power of God will need to be commonplace, rather than sporadic and has been prophesied by Joel and spoken nof by Peter at the very beginning of the church age, on the First Pentecost.

This revival will require the emergence of the Five-fold Ministry gifts with both Ecsusia and Dunamis, both Authority and Miraculous power in the Name of Jesus. It will require leadership like the church and the world have not seen for a very long time; the word of God preached with authority and demonstration. The difference is that this revival will require those who have been regarded as base and unremarkable; those who have been rejected or undermined by those in leadership in recent times.

This is one of the reasons for the rise of the affirming movement in the church; as God alone builds his church.  It is the weak and the broken, who know that they are is the result of God and not their own efforts, are those preparing aHunger Bible testimony of power and with authority; able to attest to the saving Grace of God. Add to that their hunger for the Word of God, and their use of that word as their foundation and their benchmark; they build a testament to all that God is truly able to do to and for those who truly love and trust him.

As Paul commands:

But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces). And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all—love]. ICorinthians 12:31 (Amplified)

and

Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desireand cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching). ICorinthians 14:1 (Amplified)

and

So [to conclude], my brethren, earnestly desire andset your hearts on prophesying (on being inspired topreach and teach and to interpret God’s will and purpose), and do not forbid or hinder speaking in [unknown] tongues. ICorinthians 14:39 (Amplified)

Now more than ever we need to be encouraging the use and practice of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit combined with the development of the Fruit of the Spirit. Rather than the trend of forbidding, not through any blatant proclamation; rather constraining the opportunity for those gifts to be used and given the credibility they deserve.

Do not quench (suppress or subdue) the [Holy] Spirit; do not spurn the gifts and utterances of the prophets [do not depreciate prophetic revelations nor despise inspired instruction or exhortation or warning]. IThessalonians 5:19-20

Why the Devil Doesnt Want You to Pray in Tongues

For additional reading about the importance of Tongues in the believer’s life I highly recommend Robert Lardon’s book “Why The Devil Doesn’t Want You To Pray In Tongues.” Click on the image to go to RLM bookshop to purchase your copy today.

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio    Concerning Spiritual Gifts

Video    Concerning Spiritual Gifts

May 31: “I Would Not Have You Ignorant”

RipplePoolHorizontal

This is the Second part of the series “The Holy Spirit – Who Is He?”

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PentecostHave you ever wondered why the period from around 500AD to 1350 and the start of the Renaissance is referred to as The Dark Ages? More significantly, why the church, which had begun with such demonstration of the power and wonder of God, failed to continue that vigour; only to fall into a a pit of what can only be described as dead religion.

An empire built on the bones and despair and political determination of men determined to secure themselves a lifestyle of comfort and pleasure. A culture much akin to the rulers of the temple and the religious men of the day, when Christ walked upon the earth. Men whom he referred to as “Whitewashed tombs full of dead mens bones.” Men he declared had “Made the Covenant of God of No Effect.”

All of Europe is filled with great palaces and cathedrals constructed with every last penny that clerics could secure, byarchitecture_arches_dark_ages_1680x1050_desktop_1680x1050_hd-wallpaper-169335 one means, or another from the rich, who wanted to buy their way in the securing of a place in Heaven. Or, by demanding that the poor remember that the church was their only source of succour; that God had made them for this station in life as a purgative way to enter the pearly gates. The introduction of indulgences and penance discriminated very little.

Few would be saved and even that was not guaranteed. Hell was an ever present threat, by which the masses were to be controlled.Politics and the courting of princes became the mainstay of the church. No monarch could be named King, or Queen, without the ascent of Rome.

grunewaldcrucif1A dead Christ was ever before the face of the congregants. How could anyone nailed to a tree do anything to help your lot in this life. What was worse, was that every sin was another blow of the hammer upon those nails. Or another stroke of the lash upon that Christ. The children of God were brought to the Cross and left there to mourn and wallow in the guilt and shame that it was they who had put Christ on that cross.

Then to cap it all off the written word of God to His people, was hidden away, in monasteries. Imprisoned, behind insurmountable walls. Retained for the eyes of the elite few who could both read and were educated to even begin to172616_443805 comprehend and for them to interpret.

That last action. The locking away of the scriptures from the ‘common man,’ was the snuffing of the only remaining candle. But still, God would not be mocked.

It would appear that the scarlet thread that flows throughout the Old Testament, from Rahab and Joshua. That remnant that God has always had there in reserve, like the prophets that had not bowed to Baal, when Elijah thought that he was the only one who remained faithful. God has always had those embers sitting quietly, waiting to burst into wildfire, throughout even this dark period of time.

God would move, by his Holy Spirit, upon a St Francis, in Assisi; St Tereasa in Avila. and many others scattered throughout history; keeping that wondrous hope, that God was still the wonder-working God of the Old and New Testaments. That the miraculous, as infrequent as it appeared, could still manifest.

 With the advent of the printing press and the emergence of the  protestant church the word of God began a course that would secure the ability of every person, in the western world, who wanted to read the bible access; through the combination of both availability and the education of the masses.

Resistance to this access was maintained, in some quarters, right up to the mid 20th century. It was David du Plessis (Mr Pentecost himself) who petitioned the then pope John XXIII to allow the people to read their bibles. Permission was given, but was not encouraged while priests maintained their hold on what waining authority they had over their congregants.

The rise of a new Pentecost in the US eventually flowed into the denominational churches and this “Charismatic Move” saw the emergence of many who had never even known if they owned a bible, as much as opened one. The stock standard excuse they had been fed that it was all a “Mystery” when questions couldn’t be answered became, suddenly, baptism_by_fireunsatisfactory and unacceptable.

There is a much deeper understanding of church history to be gained through a thorough study of that subject, if you are so inclined. Penguin produced a very accessible series of books that will provide a very handy reference to the avid historian. Suffice to say that it is the current move of the Holy Spirit that concerns us today.

The 20th century saw the revival of the miraculous, supernatural church in a world in dire need of miracles. The Azusa St Mission, in Los Angeles, became a famous centre of this revival and an attempt to once again live according to the written word of God.

The Healing revival swept the globe, the Jesus Movement gathered momentum and Evangelism became a common occourance in the marketplace and every street corner.

People were reading their bibles, under the inspiration of the very same Holy Ghost who had inspired their writing in the first place. It is important to remember that the concept of the things of God being mysteries is correct. But, we are told that these mysteries are not hidden from the children of God. But, rather, they are hidden FOR the children of God. And as Jesus said “it gives your Father great pleasure to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32) and that “There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed (Luke 12:2).

in ICorinthians 12 Paul starts out declaring that he does not want the peolpe of God to be ignorant of Spiritual matters. In particular, in this chapter he discusses the nine public administrations of the Holy Spirit. But in all his writings he makes it very clear that the gateway to accessing anything of the Spirit of God and the Kingdom is through the individual and very personal gift of ‘Speaking with Other Tongues’ this is seperate to the public ministration.

Over the next few sessions we will delve further into these public gifts as well as looking at how the Holty Spirit, the Holy Ghost, is able to reveal to us the heart of the Father and make us more aware of the Kingdom of God that he desires to manifest.

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio    I Would Not Have You Ignorant

Video    I Would Not Have You Ignorant

May 24: The Holy Spirit- Who is He? “And They Were All Filled”

Screenshot 2015-05-26 22.53.29

This is the Second part of the series “The Holy Spirit – Who Is He?”

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The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is God, in the same way that Jesus is God and The Father is also God. They are one and the same and equal.

So when Jesus told the disciples, in John chapter 14, that he would be going away so that the Holy Spirit could come. He was letting them know that He was going away so that he wouldn’t just be limited to his fleshly body. But, that by going away, he would send himself, as the Holy Spirit, who would not just be WITH them, but, that he would also be IN THEM.

 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—
The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him. But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.
I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.
John 14:16-18 (Amplified)

The word chosen for the Holy Spirit in this and 2 other times in the same chapter is usually only translated as “Comforter.”  However, the greek word Parakletos, that is used, is much deeper and encapsulates the description of Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener and Standby.

Jesus is describing his own relationship with the disciples, but he is saying that when he is dwelling inside them they will have access to someone who is all of these things and will always be with them, providing all of these atributes.

As I’ve said, in this particular passage, Jesus describes the person of the Holy Spirit, in this way 3 times. It is certainly possible to take from this that Jesus is trying to drive a point home. In fact, youo can almost hear Jesus saying “c’mon boys! Have you got it yet?” behind the third time that he says it. Because they keep on saying to him “Lord, why don’t you show us the Father?” It’s very possible to think that Jesus’ patience is truly being put to the test with this bunch.

Post resurrection and Jesus spends the next 40 days visiting with the disciples (not just the 11 remaining apostles) appearing to them and sitting down to eat with them. By doing these things in particular he left them no doubt that he was truly risen from the dead. He knew what each one of them faced in their futures; he knew what they would be required to endure for His Name’s Sake.

So he was ensuring that they had a firm foundation. They knew, that they knew, that they knew, that Jesus Christ, The Messiah, The Annointed One, had risen from the dead AND was still Alive. We hear how important this is in the opening to the first Epistle of John. As well as in Peter and John’s proclamation, in the Book of Acts, within the first few chapters, speaking to the Jewish leaders when they had been arrested because they had raised up the man, crippled from birth, who daily sat at the Beautiful gate.

In that 40 day period, leading up to the Jewish celebration of Shavuaot (Festival of Weeks) and in particular in that year it accompanied the Festival of Yovel or Jubilee which fell 10 days later. For the Christian this is known as “The Day of Pentecost.”

Because of these particular festivals falling at this time men from every people and tongue from the Nation of Israel were required to be in Jerusalem, to present themselves to The Holy One; it should be remembered that this was the same temple where the curtain seperating the Holy of Holies from the people had been rent in two. I’m sure the significance of all of these circumstances  culminating at this precise moment in time and space is not lost when you consider them in the light of the book of Acts chapter 2.

The enabling, the enduement, with power from on high. Of Dunamis, life-changing, miraculous, world-altering power, that would not just be with them, but would come to liveScreenshot 2015-05-26 22.45.59 IN them. That is the reason that Jesus was so determined that they undesrstand that they were to WAIT in Jerusalem. He was adamant, because had they done otherwise there would have been serious consequences. Not the least of these being the birth of the church, the ekklesia.

In Old-Time Pentecostal circles the word Tarry became synonymous with those who wanted to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, with the manifestation of Other Tongues. They taught that the seeker had to tarry, or wait, because Jesus had told his disciples they had to wait.

But, the fact is that the day of pentecost has come and gone and the Holy Spirit HAS been poured out upon the Earth already. There is no longer the need to Wait to receive Him. There is no mneed to Wait to speak in Other Tongues. One only has to be Born Again and be open to RECIEVE the Holy Spirit.

You need only yield your tongue to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to give you the utterance. BUT, it is YOU who will do the speaking, NOT Him. You will use YOUR VOICE, YOUR BREATH, YOUR MOUTH AND YOU wil be the one making the sound. Just remember, it is NOT an earthly language, or any language you will have spent time learning. It will NOT come from the mind. It is a Spiritual language and will comedirectly from YOUR SPIRIT. These points are essential to realise, because this is where the majority of confusion comes from, regarding this essentail gift from God.

The Holy Spirit does NOT take you over to speak through you. He gives your spirit the sounds to make. To do otherwise would be akin to posession. God would never over-ride the free will of any human being; that was the particular atribute, the ability to self-determine, that identified humanity from the rest of His creation.

Many Christians want to argue along the lines that: “I don’t need other tongues. I have a very good prayer life. God and I understand one another very well.” My response to something is I won’t argue with you. But, I will pray that you cast aside the spirit of Pride that you are entertaining. Aside from that I believe that it is important to consider some VERY important issues around this gift.

In Mark 16 Jesus say’s that it would be one of the attesting signs of a person who is a follower and disciple of Jesus. In the first chapter of the Book of Acts Jesus commands, he doesn’t just suggest, that the disciples WAIT until they receive the enduement from on High; the gift of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 2 we see that there were nearly 360 people in the upper room on the day of Pentecost (remember they only counted the men) plus Mary, the Mother of Jesus, Mary, Mary Magdalene and Martha. As chapter 2 unfolds we discover that when the Holy Spirit descended and sat upon each one of them “AND they were ALL Filled AND began to Baptism-in-the-Holy-SpiritSpeak in Other Tongues” as the Holy Spirit gave them uttereance. ALL of them.

In all 5 accounts of the baptism with the Holy Spirit in the Book of Acts the accompanying sign was that they spoke with Other Tongues. That includes the experience of Paul on the road to Damascus.

Although the account in Acts doesn’t directly say that Paul spoke with tongues when Cornelius laid hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit, we can deduce that it did occour. Because, in the first letter of Paul to the church in Corinth, who had been using the Gifts of the Spirit to excess, Paul comments on their abuse of their use of Tongues when he states: “I Thank My God I Speak with Tongues, More than all of you.” ICorinthians 14:18.

My response to someone who says that “I don’t NEED Tongues to be a good Christian!” (beyond the temptation to laugh) is to agree. The truth is that there are plenty of non-Christians who leed good lives (in some cases even better than some Christians I’ve met). But, I would have to ask that person: “are you better than Peter, James, John, Mary the Mother, Mary Magdalene and even Paul?”

I would then go deeper into the reasons why a Christian cannot live the fulness of their life, In Christ, without this subsequent experience. Why they cannot receive the revealed knowledge God has for them within his word. But, most important of all, is the importance of the enabling to live the Christian life that can ONLY come once the believer has received and experienced this very special gift from God. Over the following weeks these are areas we will investigate further.

I’ve lived with the baptism in the Holy Spirit for 43 years. I was Born Again as a child and was confirmed and baptised in the Holy Ghost at Age 9. Unfortunately it took another 8 years for me to hear that the Holy Spirit was still manifesting himself with the gift of Other Tongues. I had heard about this during the week and on Sunday, after receiving Holy Communion, I returned to my seat and prayed a very simple prayer: “God, if it’s real, I’ll have it!” with that I began to speak (quietly,at the level of a murmur) in a language that I had never learned. It sounded like something you might make up, yourself. to my mind it was gibberish. BUT God had answered my heartfelt prayer.

From that point in my life things took a different direction. It is only by looking back that I can see that I attained a level of confidence that I had not experienced before; slight as it was, I began to engage with the world around me in a more determined way.

It was 2 years later that I encountered a group of Christians witnessing in the main city street and after accepting their invitation to go to their coffee-shop meeting, that I was able to go forward, at the invitation, to experience a fulness of that experience that I had been missing out on for the previous 10 years.

It was an infilling so great that the person who had stood by me saw my whole body shake, yet I stood up strong and tall. All I knew was that I was flooded in the most amazing,baptised_in_fire rev brilliant white light, It was like I was enveloped in a fire; but safe and secure; a comforting warmth; and that the language that I had experienced in short, but effective ‘dribbles’ had become a flowing torrent. It wasn’t a matter that I couldn’t stop. It was more a case of not wanting to stop. The toll of the darkness and pain of the previous years seemed to be shattered by the Joy that was flooding my entire being.

The point I make here is that, because I had required no-one to school me in the experience, no-one can take it away from me; I wasn’t just copying something I had seen, or heard. For me, this experience was and still is as real as the day that it happened.

So, Who is this Holy Spirit?  He is God. He is Jesus come to reside within us, personally. He is the Spirit of Wisdom and so much more. Jesus told his disciples that “when He, the Spirit of Truth is come. He will lead and guide you into All the truth.” For this reason alone we need to ensure that we have and continue to yield ourselves to the promtings,instruction and direction of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus descibed him to his disciples as:

giftsHoly-Spirit

Comforter

Counselor

Helper

Intercessor

Advocate

Strengthener

Standby

Over the next few weeks we will look deeper into the role that this wonderful person of the Godhead plays in the life of the church and in the individual life of the believer.

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio    And They Were All Filled

Video    And They Were All Filled

May 17: The Power of the Tongue – The Word Of Faith – We Preach

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Sticks and Stones, may break my bones.

But Words will never hurt me!   (Anonymous)

From personal experience, as a point I have made very clear in my book about my life, thus far, I can personally attest to the dirty lie that this little rhyme really is. Anyone who doesn’t believe that words are containers of power is really fooling themselves.

Proverbs 6:2 reminds us that we are snared by the words of our mouth andsnared taken captive by the words we speak. Proverbs 4:20-24

My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my words. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them and medicine to all their flesh. Above all else, guard thy heart; for out of it flows the issues of life. Put away from thee the perversion of the mouth, and the deviation of the lips put far from thee. (Jubilee 2000 Version)

The writer here relays the ability of words to be like medicine, or have a medicinal effect upon your flesh.

You only have to think back earlier in the day, or, for that matter, yesterday to remember a time when something that someone said to you, you overtheard, or you listened to, from the radio or the television where you experienced some level of discomfort, at the least. Or, outright offended, or hurt.  Remember, these words may not have even been spoken directly to, or at you, yet you still experienced their effect. This is a very simplistic, yet poignant example of the affect of words on you.

They have an even greater effect and affect you in a much more painful, or fiery-dartsgratifying way, when they are directed at you. This effect is increased, or decreased accordingly, the closer, or the higher in esteme, that person is to you, the greater the effect will be. For the most part this is actually a spiritual response and not just an emotional or intilectual response.

Words have spiritual nature about them. As we have found they have the potential to Bless, or to Curse; they caqn bring Life, or Death. Yet, in Deuteronomy 30:19 God gives Moses and Joshua the clue to the decision  put before them when he adds “Therefore, choose Life!” I must admit, that I can almost imagine God sitting there with a bit of a smirk on his face giving them a bit of a hurrah, c’mon guys, the clue to this quandary is in the Right hand box; go on “Choose Life!

The power of the spoken word and its ability to create Life, or Death, is a common theme throughout the Old and the New Testament. From Genesis chapter 1 right through to the Book of Revelation including Rev 12:11; where the saints have overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb AND the Word of their Testimony (their profession of what God has done, is doing and Will do, in and on their behalf; because He is their God and their Father).

Our very salvation is dependent upon first of all Hearing, then Speaking and Taking the promised outcome of the Words of the Gospel that is preached Romans 10:8- end of the chapter. In fact, as Jesus pointed out on more than one occassion these are the principles that govern the ability to receive anything by Faith; one of the most classic examples being Mark 11:22-25:

1 Have the God kind of (quality of) Faith

2 Believe in your Heart (Spirit)

3 Speak that Faith

4 Do Not Doubt

5 Take it by Faith maintaining your confessionof Faith until it manifests

6 Praise and Thank God for it as it is already in your posession/tangible

Mark 11:24 is where most people stop readiing  this passage of scripture. In fact the most essential element of the whole process is given to us in the very next thing Jesus teaches about this application of Faith. In the English language the word “AND” is referred to as aforgiveness conjunctive. It is a word that connects two points, or two statements in such a way as to make them co-dependent; in other words, the first statement will not work without the application of the second and vice versa.

Mark 11:25 begins with the word ‘AND’

7 When you are in the process of applying your FAITH you MUST ensure that you are not holding any UNFORGIVENESS. The key point is to ensure that you have forgiven ANYONE who has harmed you in any way. Without that FORGIVENESS you can essentailly forget the rest of your prayer.

This is borne out by the passage in scripture where the disciples ask Jesus to teach them How to Pray. Sadly, the church has taken this passage and created ‘A’ prayer, when in fact Jesus was teaching a METHOD of prayer, in Luke 11:2-4. Jesus taught that we could ask the Father for the things we need and that if we asked for forgiveness for our sins and only be forgiven to the degree that we have forgiven others (Now that’s food for thought).

“As we forgive those who have sinned against us.” those two words are so important. “As We” means In direct proportion to. We are in fact asking God to Forgive us in direct proportion to the level that we have forgiven others. This is a direct connectio to the Love walk.

We can only truly love others to the level that we have released unforgivemness in our own hearts. This is not a matter of saying that God is holding back. On the contrary, God HAS ALREADY given ALL that wee need. But, it is as if unforgiveness in our hearts takes up the very room that the Grace and the Love of God wish to and NEED to take up.

That purging of our very souls that can only occour as we allow the washing of the water of the Word of God Ephesians 5:26 to renew our minds Romans 12:2. The level to which we submit ourselves to becoming the embodiment of the Love of God in this world.

If nothing else, the whole prospect of being able to use your Faith effectively, is about being the most effective witness, to the world, of what God can do, in our lives.

The reason being our purpose of drawing those, in the world, to Christ. We need to to be witnesses to ALL that Christ can and wants to do in our lives. leap-of-faithWe need to ensure that we have a testimony, of what God can and has done, for us. WE need to have a genuine reason for people to come to Christ.

We need to ensure that we are looking for the times that God has worked amazing acts in our lives; not taking the things of God for granted. Our words govern us, in so many ways. We need to be able to account for every idle word. Yet, we also need to be real.

Remember: “Your Faith will NEVER Rise above the level of your Confession/Profession.”

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio  The Word Of Faith – We Preach

Video  The Word Of Faith – We Preach

May 10: The Power of the Tongue – “Even In Thy Mouth”

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“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21 (NIV)

and

“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live” Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)

There are more than 100 verses in the bible that deal specifically with the use of, as well as the outcome of, using and abusing the small member of your body that reside in the mouth.  In the last message we considered the woman with the issue of blood from Mark’s Gospel, chapter 5.

I suggest reading the passage again. Pay close attention to the detail contained in verses 25 to 34. Lets look at this passage a little closer:

WOMANWITHISSUEOFBLOOD.jpg~original1. This woman had an issue of blood, a haemorrhage for 12 Years.

2. She had originally been a wealthy woman. But over that time she had dwindled her money away seeing all the best doctors; to no avail.

3. In point of fact she had grown worse.

4. She heard about Jesus and what he had been doing AND that he was coming, in fact he had arrived in her town.

5. She went to see Jesus. Note that she didn’t go to look at Jesus, to see him wandering through the crowds in the street. She had no intention of simply observing him. She set out with the intention of actually getting to see Jesus. She was taking her life into her own hands, literally, because as a woman, with her condition, she was regarded as being unclean and anyone she touched would also be declared unclean. She was determined; she had set her face like flint.

6. As she went on her way she continually reminded herself of her purpose and her goal. She kept saying. She didn’t just speak her goal once. The scripture says that she kept saying to herself “If I can only get close enough to touch his garment. I WILL BE HEALED.” notice she didn’t say I could get healed; I might get healed; I might get lucky. No, she said, she spoke at the level of where her Faith was at: “I WILL BE HEALED.”

7. She fulfilled her task. She put her actions to her Faith, she achieved her goal and she touched the hem of his garment. She reached out and took her healing. She didn’t wait for her to fall on her like fruit off a tree. She reached out and drew on the power, the anointing that was upon Jesus.

We know that she did, because Jesus turned around, in a crowd pressing so close to him that he was almost suffocating and declared “Who touched my clothes.” This is confirmed by the disciples who said “Um, there are people up close, all around you touching your clothes. What do you mean, who touched me?” Jesus replied saying “I felt power, the anointing, virtue (it is translated in some versions) flow out from me.” He had felt her taking the healing from him.

8. She was Healed, completely.

9. She was not only healed from the issue of blood, but her health had been restored, in such a way that she even recognised the feeling of being well. She KNEW she was healed.

10.Jesus knew it. He had experienced the anointing flowing out of him.

11. She testified. She came to Jesus, in the midst of the crowd and declared what had actually taken place in her body and how she had got to that place. She expounded to Jesus how she had used her Faith. Because “He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health. Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [ distressing bodily] disease.”

Pay very close attention here Jesus did not say “I have healed you!” he said “Your Faith has healed you.” YOUR FAITH! Her very own faith and her acting upon that faith had produced the desired result.

Take note, throughout this entire passage, the word TRY does not appear. She did not go to the town square to see if it MIGHT work for her. She didn’t go saying MAYBE. She went Determined to receive. She heard about what Jesus was doing and she said: “I’ll have some of that! Thank You!”

12 We know that she testified to more than just Jesus, because WE got to hear about it.

There are 4 vital steps to receiving anything from God, by Faith, outlined here. They are:

1. Confess it out of your mouth. Say it. You need to speak yourtree_of_life_and_bible.b4u4gy3087wwkowk0c080ww08.6ylu316ao144c8c4woosog48w.th Faith.

2. Put Action to your Faith Confession, or Profession. Faith without a corresponding action is nothing more than wishing and dreaming.James 2:17-18. In fact it verges into the realms of Foolishness and Presumption.

3. You need to take it, all the while giving thanks to God for his provision. You need to praise God for the healing, the Job, the salary; in the same manner as if someone had walked up to you and placed it in your hand. That doesn’t mean you should go out and spend up big and max out your credit cards, or run up a line of credit.

It means you need to have an attitude of thankfulness that backs up your confession. Like this woman, You Will KNOW when you have received what you are believing for.

4. You need to give testimony about what God has done for you. The emphasis is ALWAYS on what God has done. NOT on what a great FAITH PERSON you are. Nurture an “Attitude of Gratitude.”

Be honest, when giving your testimony. Don’t exaggerate, or use what has been termed “Evang-ELASTIC.” That’s just another word for LYING. If there were 3 people, don’t say there were 15. If the healing process was sped up to take 2 days instead of 6 then don’t start talking about the regrowth of a missing limb. I know that these things should go, without saying. However, the teaching of the application of Bible Faith has been hampered and much maligned through the excesses and exaggerations of the past.

Brother Kenneth E. Hagin, who went home to be with the Lord in 2003, put itHow To Write Your Own Ticket With God succinctly in his minibook “How To Write Your Own Ticket With God” he puts it as:

1. Say It

2. Do It

3. Receive It

4. Share It

There is an overarching principle that MUST be brought to bear in sharing all of this. You can’t just go about attempting to fulfil “The Lusts of the Flesh.” The ONLY way that you can apply this teaching is by “First and Foremost” finding the promises of God, in his Word, that govern what you are believing for.

It’s NOT about preparing your Christmas list and thinking that God is like the mythical “Santa Claus” that you believed in as a child.

I like to deal with “First Principles” here, as in other areas of life. in Matthew 6:33 Jesus said “Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God AND HIS Righteousness.” He had just spent hours teaching the people that God knew what they NEEDED even more than They knew what they needed.

In Psalm 37:4 we are told that: If we draw near to God; If we delight ourselves in Him; if we are satiated by our relationship with HIM; then He will give US the Desires of Our Heart.” Now this particular scripture has been taught as:  “God is so desperate to know you, that as you spend time with Him; then, like a lovesick puppy, he will give you whatever your heart desires.”

love-hearts-and-kisses-wallpaper-hdOkay, so that might be an over-simplification of WHAT’s been taught. BUT, it is NOT an over-simplification of HOW it’s been used and abused.

Instead of God being the victim of Carpet baggers in this verse. I like to turn it on its head. It’s often a good way to approach scriptures that involve promises. In particular, it is a great way to examine the actual intention behind the promise.

What do I mean? Okay, let’s look at it this way:

The desires that you have “in your heart” will come about as a result of your principle action of Getting to know God better; through spending time With Him; In His Presence; Getting to know Him; Allowing Him to Know You. In other words: As your relationship with God develops and gets deeper and deeper in Him and With Him; because of WHO he is AND because of how mind-blowingly amazing that experience WILL be. YOU CANNOT walk in this world, as a RESULT of that relationship, without having been changed BY that relationship and throughout it all developing THE HEART OF GOD.

I believe that this simple phrase, from this psalm, holds a NUGGET, that is LIFE-CHANGING. As Your Heart grows into and develops God’s heart, wants and DESIRES, you would NEVER ask, or believe for anything that was not within the “Perfect Will” of God. In other words: He will Fill Your Heart with HIS Desires.

You see, there is a major key that many have forgotten. We CANNOT get our Faith to Work Without LOVE (Gal 5:6); in particular the LOVE of God as outlined in 1Cor 13:4-8a. Because, as the Beloved Apostle reminds us in 1John 4:7-8 LOVE and GOD are inseparably one and the same.

So, My prayer for you, as you head into the on-coming week, joins with the prayer of Paul in Philipians 4:7;

“And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (AMP)

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio     Even In Thy Mouth

Video     Even In Thy Mouth

May Press: Out in Perth Magazine

 

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Open Arms Fellowship: A Warm Welcome

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Religion is always a contentious topic. For many in the queer community it’s an especially difficult issue. Many LGBT people are told that their identity won’t fit in with their faith, or have passages from religious texts brought up in arguments against their human rights. However, some religious organisations are extending a welcome to the LGBT community in growing numbers.

One of these organisations is the Open Arms Fellowship, an affirming and Pentecostal church that prides itself on including all members of the community. Pastor Graham Douglas-Meyer shared with us some of the history of the church.

“The whole purpose of setting it up was basically because there wasn’t a Pentecostal GLBTI affirming or welcoming church in Perth. There was a particular gap for a group of people who were very excluded from the churches that they had belonged to in the past.” he said. Developing an inclusive Christian environment is a cause that’s close to Douglas-Meyer’s heart. He documented his experiences reconciling his faith and his.

“Having been through periods of depression in my life and in particular after coming out, and having psychologists turn to you and say ‘Well, maybe you should just drop that’, in relation to spirituality and particularly in relation to Christianity. It just didn’t feel very right.” he explained.

Douglas-Meyer said he’s committed to challenging stereotypes. “I’d be the only openly gay, openly HIV positive, openly married pastor in Perth. Damien and I have been married for just over eleven years now and we’ve been together for thirteen so we break the stereotype for a lot of people, in relation to homosexuals, anyway.”

Come June, the church will be celebrating its tenth anniversary. It’s part of an international movement of LGBTI-friendly congregations, and has a sister church in the New Covenant Church in Sydney, led by Pastor Sam Grebert, who Douglas-Meyer counts as a friend and source of inspiration.

“The wonderful thing about it is that in his church the trans community is welcome, and more than anything that’s one of my desires here for Perth, is to ensure that trans people realise there’s a church where they are not only welcome, but they’re affirmed for who they are, not for what people think they should be.”

According to Douglas-Meyer, the priority of Open Arms is to facilitate a relationship with Christ for anyone wishing to pursue it. “I believe in healing, I believe in people being saved. I believe in people being able to have their complete life turned around as a result of their spiritual experience.”

Find out more about the Open Arms Fellowhip at openarmsfellowship.org

Sophie Joske

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May 03: The Power of the Tongue – What You Say is What You get

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Be Careful about what comes out of your Mouth. You may find that you are getting, in your life, exactly what you have been saying all along.The simple truth is that we, as human beings have the ability to use words and words are carriers of power; energy.

Words can construct and words can destroy. As Christians we have the responsibility to ensure that our words construct The Blessing; that our lifeZipper-Mouth becomes a testimony to the wonder that it is to be In Christ.

Romans 10:8-10 gives a prime example of where our faith needs to be located; in our heart and in our mouth. The word of Faith which we preach is built and developed by hearing and constantly re-hearing the word of God and by acting on that word (Rom 10:17)

Whenever Jesus was involved in healing, words were spoken; faith was released; corresponding actions were put into motion and the manifestation healingtheblindeither instantaneously presented, or as in the case of the 10 Lepers they noticed they were cleansed as they were obedient to do as Jesus had told them to.

Our own salvation is dependent upon hearing; accepting; deciding; speaking and acting on the word of God that we hear.

Hope is an important part in the process. It provides the structure upon which we can layer our faith. But, it is Faith that is needed, in order to see the manifestation of that hope; that which we desire. Hebrews 11:1 puts it this way:

Now Faith is the SUBSTANCE of the thing hoped for; the EVIDENCE of what has not yet been manifested to our physical senses. (paraphrased)

If you want to change your life. If you want to move the mountains in your life. If you have a need for physical healing, finances, or peace. then youtaming_the_tongue need to change the words that you speak to come into line with what God has already said to us about those things in his word. Feed our faith, not just once, keep it before our eyes, keep it on our lips and put the corresponding action into play.

Just step back for a moment and think about it:

When was the last time you said anything positive about where you work?

When was the last time you proclaimed the blessing, which is within your authority, within your workplace?

Or, was it easier to join in with everybody else and complain, or attack the very conduit that God has used to get his financial blessing to you?

So many Christians are believing God to prosper them financially. But, they are cursing the very tree that God is using to get that blessing to them.

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You have the power to both bless and to curse, with your mouth. If things are not going the right way in your workplace are you going to bless, or curse your tree? Seriously, stop! Think about it! Is unemployment a real choice? (your resounding response should be NO!!!!)

So, if your employer is going through a bad time should you be a part of the blessing or part of the curse? I don’t think I need to really answer that one, do I?

Be recognised as the blessing in your workplace. It will bring about promotion, it will bring about supernatural favour. It will produce opportunities that you might never have imagined possible. BUT, it is allballoon-rides-in-tulsa-03 reliant upon Putting God’s word FIRST PLACE AND following through; putting that word into ACTION.

From personal experience, I can tell you that, FAITH, without corresponding action is nothing more than “HOT AIR.”

GOD responds to, rejoices in, requires, above everything else, that we walk in FAITH. We CANNOT please God without it; so the premium is revealed.

If NOTHING else in my Life I want my Father to know that I know he IS and That HE IS the rewarder of those who diligently seek HIM!

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To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Audio     What You Say Is What You Get 

Video     What You Say Is What You Get