Monday, September 19, 2016

Baptism of the Holy Spirit







Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God(John 3:5)







When a person comes to Jesus Christ, they receives Christ into thier heart. The Spirit of God comes and joins with the spirit of the believer. This "indwelling Spirit" reproduces the life of Jesus in the believer's life.  

Jesus promised us the comforter; the Holy Spirit to us.  Just like we are immersed in water baptism, we are also baptized with the Holy Spirit.

What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

The spirit of God living inside of us.

And, being assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.  (Acts 1:4)

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

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  (John 14:16)

[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: I will come to you.   (John 14:17-18)

But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26) 

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5) 

Who is it for?

The baptism of the Holy Ghost is for everyone.

The baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot be earned. You cannot become "good enough" to receive it. It is a gift from God. It is not a "cure-all" for your problems. But the same wonderful power that enabled Jesus to open blind eyes, to command the elements of nature, and to live a life pleasing to the Father during His ministry on earth is also available to you.

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:  And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.  (Joel 2:28-29)

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.   (Acts 2:38-39) 

And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost.   (Act 10:45)

In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.  He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.   (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)   He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (John 7:37-39)   

But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, [even] in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;  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.   For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.   For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.   (Romans 10:8-13)

Why do we need it?

To know who Jesus is. The second coming. To be led by God.

We need a power beyond ourselves for service and ministry in God's Kingdom in order to do the will and work of God.

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.   (I Corinthians 12:3) 

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)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  (Romans 8:14)

How do you receive it?

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  (Acts 2:1-4) 

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;  (Mark 16:16)

Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.   (Acts 8:17)   

To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.   (Act 10:43)

While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word.  (Act 10:44)

For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Then prayed they him to tarry certain days.  (Act 10:46-48)

And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.  Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.  When they heard [this], they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid [his] hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve.   (Act 19:3-7)

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is an empowering for service that takes place in the life of the Christian. In it we are immersed in the Spirit's life and power.

 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)

The Holy Spirit is so much more than a shadowy figure to pay lip-service to on Sunday morning. He can be with you and in you to bring new life to your Christian walk. Likewise, the baptism in the Holy Spirit is more than a single experience. It is a continual dependence on the Spirit for guidance and strength in all circumstances. 

"If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (Galatians 5:25)



 (Biblical Studies)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Power of the Resurrection



Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.  No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father. (John 10:17-18)




If Jesus was crucified on the cross, did this mean His enemies had greater power than He did because they caused Him great suffering and in the end put Him to death?   Jesus responded to Pilate’s question with this responses:  

Then saith Pilate unto Him, Speakest thou not unto me? Knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?  Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore He that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. (John 19:10-11l)

The enemies of Jesus did not have greater power. Jesus chose to give His life for the sins of all mankind according to God's plan. Jesus did not have to do it. He had the power to deliver Himself from the cross. He willingly laid down his life.

The death of Jesus on the cross was not the end of the story. The power of the Gospel does not conclude here. Three days after His death, Jesus was resurrected from the dead. You can read about this in Luke 24:1-12.

Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that He should be holden of it. (Acts 2:24)

The greatest illustration of God's power was in the resurrection of Jesus Christ:  

For though He was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, but we shall live with Him by the power of God toward you. (II Corinthians 13:4)

The resurrection of Jesus is a vital part of the power of the Gospel because through it. . .

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:10,15)

Through His resurrection, Jesus triumphed over the power of the enemy. Because of it, we have power over all the power of the enemy. We even have power over death, because our mortal bodies will also experience resurrection. There is great power in the resurrection. Apostle Paul spoke of knowing Jesus in the power of the resurrection 

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)

There is one factor necessary to experience the powerful benefits of the blood of Jesus Christ. You must have faith in the blood:

Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through FAITH in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.  To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of Him which believeth in Jesus.

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:24-26,28)

It is not enough that there is power in the Gospel. You must apply that power to your own life. You do this through faith. Basically, faith is believing. You must believe in the power of the Gospel in order to experience it.

If you have not received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and been forgiven of your sins, then you cannot experience the power of the Gospel. To experience the power of the Gospel you must:

ADMIT YOU HAVE SINNED:  

For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
 (Romans 3:23)

BELIEVE THAT JESUS DIED FOR YOUR SINS:

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. (John 3:16-17)

CONFESS YOUR SINS TO GOD AND ASK HIM TO FORGIVE YOU:  

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:8-9)

BE BAPTIZED IN THE NAME OF JESUS AND RECEIVE THE GIFT OF GOD'S SPIRIT:


Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from your sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God's gift, the Holy Spirit.  (Acts 2:38)

EXPERIENCE A CHANGED LIFE:

Let the power of the Gospel work in you to change your old life-style, your sinful actions, attitudes, and thoughts:  

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (II Corinthians 5:17)


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Works of the Flesh - Part 5 ( Strife, Seditions, Heresies and Envyings)

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)






Review

We wrestle every day against the sinful influences of this world.  They bombard us every day in every way.  Our sinful or self nature does not have the capacity in and of itself to combat these influences, thus our spirit has to fight against the works of the flesh.  The works of the flesh are sinful qualities which contrast the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The works of the flesh are characteristics of the sinful nature of man caused by lust [sinful desire]. They are opposites of the qualities which the Holy Spirit wants to develop in your life.

John tells us that we are not to love the world neither to be influenced by the the characteristic temporal things:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.  1 John 2:15-17


There is a constant spiritual battle going on in the life of a believer. The works of the flesh are trying to destroy the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. (Galatians 5:17)

The fleshly desires of natural man are contrary to the nature of the Holy Spirit.  

Although the results of these sins are visible in wrong actions, the cause is not visible. The cause is sinful desires [lusts] of the heart:

And He saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him...

And He said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; And these evil things come from within, and defile the man.  (Mark 7:18, 20-23)

The sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21 are not all of the sins identified in the Bible. They are a group of sins called "works of the flesh" which contrast the fruit of the Spirit. This is why we are studying these specific sins. Today we are continuing with:

>        STRIFE

Strife is quarreling, fighting, or conflict. It means a clash or dispute. In addition to wrath causing strife, hatred also causes it:

Hatred stirreth up strifes; but love covereth all sins. (Proverbs 10:12)

Forward [aggressive] men also cause strife:

A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends. (Proverbs 16:28)

Pride causes strife:

He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat. (Proverbs 28:25)

Angry men cause strife:

An angry man stirreth up strife, and a furious man aboundeth in transgression. 
(Proverbs 29:22)

Scornful men cause strife:

Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea strife and reproach shall cease. 
(Proverbs 22:10)

To be scornful is to mock or show contempt for something or someone.

People who meddle, are argumentative, and talk about others cause strife:

He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears...

Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.  (Proverbs 26:17, 20-21)

Foolish questions cause strife:

But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. 
(II Timothy 2:23)

Strife is a carnal work of the flesh:


For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (I Corinthians 3:3)

Where envy and strife is, there will be confusion:

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not...For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:14, 16)

Apostle Paul admonishes us that nothing should be done through strife:

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. (Philippians 2:3)

Strife is one of the characteristics of false teachers:

He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (I Timothy 6:4-5)


     SEDITIONS

Sedition is the stirring up of unrest or discord. The passages on sedition are few where this term is used in the Bible.  

The account of Korah found in Numbers 16  is an excellent example of sedition. 

Consequence of rebellion against God:

Therefore thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.  Jeremiah 28:16

What a sad state that a man, because of sedition murdered was released in preference for the death of Jesus:

And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.   Luke 23:25

     HERESIES

Heresies are beliefs contrary to the Word of God. They are opinions of man which are in error and lead to division in the church.

Heresies are characteristic of false prophets:

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. (II Peter 2:1)

     ENVYINGS

Envy is jealousy excited by the success of others. It is resentment of the spiritual, financial, or material blessings of others. It is wrong longing and desire.

Envy is one of the characteristics of false teachers:

He is proud knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. (I Timothy 6:4)

Envy comes from the spirit of man:

Do ye think that the Scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 
(James 4:4)

Envy is a sign of being a carnal Christian:

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? (I Corinthians 3:3)

Those living in sin are filled with envy:

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers...  (Romans 1:29)

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, and deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 
(Titus 3:3)

Where there is envy, other problems arise:

But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth...For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. (James 3:14,16)

We are warned not to envy sinners:

Let not thine heart envy sinners; but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. 
(Proverbs 23:17)


(Biblical Studies)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Works of the Flesh - Part 3: Idolatry and Witchcraft



Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)




Review

The works of the flesh are sinful qualities which contrast the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
  
The works of the flesh are characteristics of the sinful nature of man caused by lust [sinful desire]. They are opposites of the qualities which the Holy Spirit wants to develop in your life.

There is a constant spiritual battle going on in the life of a believer. The works of the flesh are trying to destroy the fruit of the Holy Spirit:

For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.  (Galatians 5:17)

The fleshly desires of natural man are contrary to the nature of the Holy Spirit.  The works of the flesh are:

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God.  (Galatians 5:19-21)

Although the results of these sins are visible in wrong actions, the cause is not visible. The cause is sinful desires [lusts] of the heart:

And He saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him. . .

And He said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness; And these evil things come from within, and defile the man.  (Mark 7:18, 20-23)

The sins listed in Galatians 5:19-21 are not all of the sins identified in the Bible. They are a group of sins called "works of the flesh" which contrast the fruit of the Spirit. This is why we are studying these specific sins.

Today we are continuing with:

IDOLATRY

Idolatry is the worship of idols. This does not just mean the worship of images made out of stone, wood, or precious metals. An idol is anything that is more important to you than God. Idolaters are those who practice idolatry and worship something other than the true God. Idolatry is the lack of acknowledgment of the rightful position of God in your life.

One of the first commandments given by God concerned idolatry:

Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the Lord your God.   (Leviticus 19:4)

Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the Lord your God. (Leviticus 26:1)

The gods of heathen nations are called idols:

For all the gods of the nations are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. (Psalms 96:5)

You will be confounded [or confused] if you serve idols:

Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols... (Psalms 97:7)

The idols of the heathen are the work of man. They have no power or true spiritual significance:

The idols of the heathen are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.  They have mouths, but they speak not; eyes have they, but they see not;They have ears, but they hear not; neither is there any breath in their mouths.  They that make them are like unto them: so is every one that trusteth in them. (Psalms 135:15-18) (See also Psalms 115:4-8).

A Christian cannot worship idols:

And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? (II Corinthians 6:16)

You are not to even keep company with idolaters:

But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one go not to eat.   (I Corinthians 5:11)

You are warned to keep yourself from idols:

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (I John 5:21)

Idolaters will not be part of the Kingdom of God:

Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived...neither idolaters...shall inherit the kingdom of God.  (I Corinthians 6:9-10)

The Bible reveals the destination of idolaters:

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)

For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. (Revelation 22:15)

The Bible calls covetousness a form of idolatry. Covetousness is wanting something with an intense and wrong desire. You are to mortify and destroy covetousness:

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. (Colossians 3:5)

You may have been an idolater in times past, but believers are no longer to continue with this practice:

That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries... (I Peter 4:2-3)

For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.     (I Thessalonians 1:9)

WITCHCRAFT

Witchcraft is the practice of witches including white and black magic, sorcery, astrology, voodoo, use of potions, spells, enchantments, and drugs. It includes all Satanic practices and worship.

The meaning of witchcraft can be expanded to include any controlling and manipulation of others. 

Even though you are not involved in Satanic witchcraft, you can be guilty of "witchcraft" as a sin of the flesh if you try to manipulate, control, or pray against others.

Witchcraft is spiritual rebellion against God. God says the sin of rebellion is as bad as witchcraft:

 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry.  (I Samuel 15:23a)

(Biblical Studies)