Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Awesome, Wonder-Working Power - Holy Spirit





But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)





There are four baptisms mentioned in the New Testament:  

¨ baptism of suffering (experienced by Jesus), 
¨ the baptism of John the Baptist, 
¨ baptism in water and 
¨ baptism of the Holy Spirit.

After the resurrection and prior to His return to Heaven, Jesus gave important instructions to His followers:

And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.  (Luke 24:49)

The promise to which Jesus referred was the Holy Spirit.  Jesus had spoken of this previously to His followers:

And I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless.  (John 14:16-18)

  One of the main purposes of the Holy Spirit is given in the passage just quoted:   To comfort believers

But the Bible gives many other purposes for the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The Holy Spirit is to:

*    Fill and baptize him:           Acts 2:4                                       
*    Dwell in him:                       I Corinthians 6:19
*    Unite him in one spirit with God and other believers:           I Corinthians 6:17
*    Pray for him:                        Romans 8:26                                           
*    Guide him:                           John 16:13
*    Show the love of Christ to him and through him:       Romans 5:5
*    Conform him to the image of Christ:                              II Corinthians 3:18
*    Reveal Biblical truth to him:                                            I Corinthians 2:10        
*    Teach him:                                        John 14:26
*    Inspire him to true worship:         John 4:24                          
*    Strengthen him:                              Ephesians 3:16
*    Quicken him:                                   Romans 8:11                                    
*    Sanctify him:                                    II Thessalonians 2:13-14
*    Change him:                                                 Titus 3:5                                                   
*    Convict him when he does wrong:          John 16:8-11
*    Give assurance of salvation:                      Romans 8:16                   
*    Give him liberty:                             Romans 8:2
*    Speak through him:                                    Mark 13:11                                   
*    Demonstrate God's power:            I Corinthians 2:4
*    Give him power to witness:           Acts 1:8                            
*    Inspire him to worship:                 John 4:24

The Holy Spirit has many purposes in the lives of believers, but the main purpose and true evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit is to make the Christian a powerful witness for the Gospel:

But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me...to the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

The evidence of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was present immediately in the life of the Apostle Peter. Before the Day of Pentecost he had fearfully denied that he knew Jesus.  After his baptism in the Holy Spirit, Peter stood and gave a powerful witness to the Gospel that resulted in the salvation of 3,000 people. It was the power of the Holy Spirit in the early church that resulted in the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. The book of Acts is a record of this powerful witness which was evidence of baptism in the Holy Spirit.

There are seven passages in the New Testament where the word "baptize" is used in relation to the Holy Spirit. Four of these are the words of John the Baptist recorded in the Gospels:

I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.   (Matthew 3:11)

I indeed have baptized you with water: but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost. (Mark 1:8)

John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.  (Luke 3:16)

And I knew Him not: but He that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending and remaining on Him, the same is He which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. (John 1:33)

Jesus also spoke of the baptism of the Holy Ghost:

For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:5)

When Peter spoke of events which took place in the home of Cornelius, he quoted the words of Jesus:

Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that He said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost.  (Acts 11:16)

Paul also used the word "baptize" in relation to the Holy Spirit:

For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (I Corinthians 12:13)

Use of the phrase "to baptize into" the Holy Spirit is the same as when it is used to describe baptism in water. In both cases baptism is an outward confirmation of an inward spiritual condition.

The Holy Spirit came down from Heaven on the disciples on the day of Pentecost and completely immersed [or baptized] them in the Holy Spirit. Peter said this experience was the fulfillment of God's promise: "In the last days...I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh”:

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions  Joel 2:28

The Holy Spirit is invisible to the natural eye. He was compared by Jesus to the wind:

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)


Although the wind is invisible, the effects which it produces can be seen, felt and heard.  When the wind blows the dust rises from the ground, the trees all bend in one direction, leaves rustle, the waves of the sea roar, and clouds move across the sky. These are all physical signs of the wind. So it is with the Holy Spirit. Even though He is invisible, the effects which the Holy Spirit produces can be seen and heard.


(Biblical Studies)

04/06/15
09/01/16

Friday, April 18, 2014

Resurrection Power










That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. (Philippians 3:10)







Apostle Paul spoke of spiritual power being experienced in two ways through Jesus:

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death. (Philippians 3:10)

Apostle Paul understood the spiritual reality of the resurrection [revival, restoration, resurgence] power of Jesus Christ which indwells believers; and the power of the fellowship of His suffering. There is not an awareness of God more hated by Satan than the resurrection of Jesus because it shows Satan’s inability to defeat God more than any other event recorded in the Bible.

After His death for the sins of all mankind, Jesus was raised from the dead by God:

But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;  And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.
 (Acts 3:14-15)

Buried with Him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.            (Colossians 2:12)

Who by Him do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. (I Peter 1:21)

The account of Jesus’ resurrection can be found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.  The resurrection of Jesus is a powerful truth because it is fundamental to our faith:

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:  And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your faith is also vain. (I Corinthians 15:13-14)

Believing in the resurrection of Jesus is necessary to salvation:

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. (Romans 10:9)

The resurrection of Jesus confirms that believers are justified:

Who (Jesus) was delivered for our offenses and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

The resurrection means death is defeated:

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the Devil. (Hebrews 2:14)

The resurrection of Jesus confirmed He is supreme over all created beings:

And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places. Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church.   
(Ephesians 1:19-22)

The resurrection confirms Jesus was the Son of God:

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. (Romans 1:4)

The Bible speaks of a time in the future when this world as we know it will come to an end.  At that time there will be a resurrection of all the dead. Those who have died as believers will be resurrected to eternal life. Those who have died as unbelievers will be resurrected, judged, and condemned to eternal punishment.  These assertions about the future resurrection can be found in: 
  • I Corinthians 6:14; 15:1-58; 
  • I Thessalonians 4:13-18; 
  • John 5:28-29; 
  • II Corinthians 4:14; and 
  • Revelation 20:4-6.
It is true that those that have died will someday experience resurrection from the dead, but the power of the resurrection is not reserved only for the future. Its power can be experienced now by believers.

The resurrection is the basis for spiritual power now because it gives you:

Ö    A NEW HOPE:

It is through resurrection power that we have hope. Our life will not end with the grave. We have eternal life:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. (I Peter 1:3)

Hope is a powerful force. Without hope, people grow discouraged and weary. The power of the resurrection keeps hope alive.

Ö      A NEW LIFE:

When we accept Jesus as Savior, we are resurrected from the spiritual death of sin to spiritual life:

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
 (Colossians 2:13)

Spiritual resurrection results in death to sin. Through resurrection power we can live a new life. We do not live like we used to live. We are dead to the evil things of the world and alive in Jesus.

We cannot live this new life by self-improvement. We cannot live it in our own power. We live it through the power of the resurrection:

Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.   (Romans 6:11-14)

The struggles we face are between spiritual death and life working within us. Resurrection power defeats the law of sin and death and frees us from bondage. Jesus said:

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.  (John 10:10)

Not only eternal life in the future, but abundant life in the present is ours because of the power of the resurrection.

Ö     A NEW MASTER:

Spiritual resurrection makes Jesus the master of our life. Instead of living for yourself, we live to serve Him:

And that He died for all that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again. (II Corinthians 5:15)

Power comes from understanding our position because of the resurrection. We are a servant of the living God. No longer are we a slave of Satan.

Ö     A NEW LIFE PURPOSE:

A new life purpose results from spiritual resurrection. Instead of concern about temporal things of the world, such as material gain, ambition, etc., our attention is focused on eternal things:

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:1-3)

The material things of the world no longer control a believer who has experienced resurrection power. The circumstances of the world no longer defeat us. Experiencing the power of the resurrection gives us a new perspective and purpose.

Ö     A NEW QUICKENING:

But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)

The word "quicken" means to make alive and to endue with life. God has already quickened us from sin:

And you hath He quickened who were dead in trespasses and sins.   (Ephesians 2:1)

But He also wants to quicken our mortal body. God wants to endue our mortal body with resurrection power:

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. (II Corinthians 4:7)

If we have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and been filled with the Holy Spirit in accordance with the word of God, then that same power that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us. That life flow can quicken you NOW with the power of the resurrection.

The source of this resurrection power in the life of the believer is Jesus. He said:

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. (John 11:25)

Just as natural life is in the blood, spiritual life is through the blood of Jesus. Just as natural blood flows through our veins, resurrection life flows through our spirit. Are you walking in the power of His resurrection NOW?  In your daily Christian life? In your ministry? Tap into that life flow today!




(Biblical Studies)


03/21/15

04/25/16
05/15/17

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Spirit of Pride








For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think ; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  (Romans 12:3)






Jesus is the head of the church . . .

For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  (Ephesians 5:23)

Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?  (Matthew 21:42)

and we that serve God are the body . . .

Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.   (1 Corinthians 12:27)

The head leads the body, directs it in which way it should go.  When we do not allow Jesus, as the head, to control the body, we set our selves up for error and sometimes catastrophes.  This applies both on an individual level as well as on a corporate level.

Apostle Paul gives us an excellent example of establishing and maintaining order in the church.  What is interesting to note in this review of Apostle Paul is that He always kept Jesus as the head and maintained through the demonstration of his words and actions that Jesus was indeed the head of his life.  He did not exalt himself above his service or commitment to God.  At one point, he made this affirmation: 

 But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you.  For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:  Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men's labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly,  To preach the gospel in the regions beyond you, and not to boast in another man's line of things made ready to our hand.  But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.  For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth (II Corinthians 10:13-18)

King Solomon spoke of the dangers and pitfalls of pride:

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.  (Proverbs 16:18)

James picks up that same thought and re-enforces it:

Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?  But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.   James 4:5-7

We are not, by virtue of our God-given appointments, gifts or our talents, to present our self as higher than we are.  Peter was explicit when he said:

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  I Peter 5:6


Apostle Paul tells us:

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think ; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  (Romans 12:3)

In the church [body of Christ], God has ordained order and set in place the manner in which the body should operate:

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  (Ephesians 4:11)

God has a reason and a purpose for everything He does.  The reason for appointing some within the body to a higher position is not for self elevation or ego boosts.  It is set in place:

For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  (Ephesians 4:12-13)

Apostle Paul cautions us of becoming lifted up in ourselves because of our gifts in Romans: 

Be of the same mind one toward another . Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.  (Romans 12:16:17)

Alas, too often, this passage of scripture is not taken to heart and as a result, pride has crept into the church [body of Christ] and into the hearts of men.  In many cases, the head (Jesus Christ) is no longer leading.  We've allowed our flesh; our self nature, to rule in the form of our ego and we are thinking more highly of our self than we ought.

The reason why people in the main stream of ministry are being exposed is because there is something that God is rejecting.  The spirit that God is resisting is the spirit of Pride.  
We have become an extremely prideful church; much more so than ever before.  The spirit of pride; the spirit of mega:  the spirit of look at me, the spirit of look at what I have, the spirit of look at the size of my church, or the size of my membership; not to mention, look at me - at the car I'm driving, at my house, at the clothes I'm wearing. This is all the spirit of pride.

So what has happened now is that the anointing is no longer determined by us being delivered and set free from sin but by numbers; the size of our church, the size of our membership and by crowds we draw in our churches or on the television or radio or internet.  We have become shallow without substance; celebrities and not servants.  We know through God's word that this is not pleasing nor acceptable in the eyes of God.

Peoples’ lives are no longer being changed by the anointing and power of God.  People are being led by prosperity plans, healing cloths, healing water and healing oil when the word clearly tells us that God desires us to prosper EVEN as our SOUL prospers.  

Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.  3 John 1-2


Plans and healings that have little or no emphasis on the condition of our soul go against the will of God.   We need the spirit of God back in the church and not the spirit of ego!  How do we change this?  How do we bring ourselves and the body of Christ back into alignment with the will of God?

We have to make a conscious decision to take authority of our body in the manner that our Lord, Jesus Christ commands if He is to be the head.  We are authorized by God and powered by the Holy Spirit within to take dominion of our mind, our body, our sphere of influence, the atmosphere in which we operate, and our homes.  This also includes  our local church assembly which is to operate in love and unity with Jesus as the head and we as the body.

We must exercise authority over ourselves before we can properly exercise authority over others.  We have to rid our self of our own selfish thoughts and desires and see the big picture of God.  It does not take a PhD to do this.  All it takes is an active knowledge of the word of God [hear and do], have an active [two way conversation] prayer life, demonstrate the fruits of the spirit, squash the works of the flesh; pride being a big one, obey those that have the rule over us and not take advantage of those in whom we are charged to attend.  Trust God that your pastor was set by God and God speaks through your pastor.  Know that when you are disrespectful in your words and actions toward your pastor that you are disobedient to God.  (Refer to Numbers 16 regarding the matter of Korah)

Pastors are to lead with a servant mentality; having a heart for the sheep under their care.  Apostle Paul explains to Timothy of the manner in which ministry leaders should conduct themselves.


Let us all strive to come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man.


 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  Ephesians 4:13


(Bible Study)


02/25/15
04/23/16
05/12/17