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Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
OpenHeaven.com Forum : Encountering Life's Issues - Is there a God? Is God real?
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Posted: 07/20/2007 at 1:25pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Power through the Baptism with the Holy Spirit 


"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."
Acts 2:4
 

Introduction

In the book of the Acts of the apostles chapter 2, we read of the wonderful, supernatural experience of the first disciples of Jesus as they received the power of the Holy Spirit, which Jesus had promised they would receive; Luke 24:48 and Acts 1:8.

They had followed Jesus in His ministry, had heard His teachings and seen the many wonderful healings of the sick and the many deliverances from satanic powers. They had witnessed His resurrected life and had been totally convinced that He was indeed the one that had been crucified and had died. They had witnessed Jesus going back to heaven, had seen Him actually rising up from the surface and disappearing in a cloud high in the sky. Before He went He had commanded them to preach the Gospel to all creatures. But before they started with their mission to tell the world about Him they were to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. And power they needed! For how could they with their shattered dreams about the kingdom with the Messiah (read Acts 1:6) think of starting with a successful, dynamic  proclamation of a message that would save people and change the nations?
 

In Jerusalem on Pentecost

This is what happened: It was the Jewish feast of Pentecost in Jerusalem, probably in the year 33 A.D. The disciples of Jesus were together as they had been doing during the previous days and weeks. They were praising God, praying and discussing the task that was before them, to proclaim the message of Jesus Christ. But they did not have a clue as how they should start with it. They had to wait for power; so Jesus had told them.

Suddenly, there came from above them the sound of a terrific storm, the whole house was filled with it and it was even heard in the street. There appeared tongues of fire - was it a kind of electric fire? - the flames of which settled on the head of each one them. But most important of all they felt a tremendous surge of power within them and an uncontrollable urge to speak. And as they began to speak they uttered sounds they themselves did not understand. The experience was truly overwhelming, ecstatic and the power to speak and praise was irresistable. Suddenly they knew it: This was the power that Jesus had promised; it was wonderful!

In the meantime people began to enter the house. On the streets there was a vast crowd from all parts of the Roman Empire, wondering what was happening here. They were absolutely bewildered and began to ask questions and to criticize the strange behaviour of the disciples. Many had come from far to celebrate Pentecost in Jerusalem and they had learned to speak the foreign language of the nation where they were living. It was amazing because they understood what the disciples were saying for they heard them speak about the goodness and the greatness of God in their own foreign language. It was truly miraculous what was happening here!
 

Why the sound of a wind and tongues of fire?

The sound of a mighty wind was undoubtedly a symbolic manifestation of the spiritual, powerful arrival of the Spirit of God. As we know, the Hebrew word 'Ruach'' and the Greek word 'pneuma' can both be understood as breath, air, wind and spirit. Spirit is used to describe the being of God, as neither physical nor material. Jesus said about God, 'He is Spirit,' (John 4:24). In John chapter 3 Jesus gave a lesson on the need for sinful man to be born from above. He said that the saving  renewal of man is the work of the Spirit of God. He also said that as man cannot control the wind, so he cannot control the Spirit of God; we can only obey and use the wind and the Spirit of God. And this was exactly what happened on that day in Jerusalem and always happens when the Spirit truly works in man to regenerate him and falls upon believers giving them supernatural power, as Church History shows us..

The tongues as of fire that appeared were undoubtedly symbolic for the dynamic, holy and divine empowering of the spirit, mind, soul and body of the apostles for their ministry in the name of Jesus, proclaiming Him as Saviour and Lord. The Bible has recorded in the Gospels that John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, had prophesied some thirty three years before this outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost that the Messiah would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire! Truly, this prophecy was fulfilled on this Pentecost in Jerusalem (Luke 3:16).

Christians should always be filled with the Spirit and serving the Lord, as the apostle Paul encourages believers in his letter to the Ephesians. In Romans 12:11 he encourages Christians to be fervent (fiery) of spirit.  Our present day use of 'enthusiasm,' which originally meant in the Greek language 'with the godhead in you' could very well be used for Christians who have experienced this baptism with the Holy Spirit and know His power for serving Christ. All who truly want to serve Christ in bearing testimony of Jesus, preaching and teaching the Gospel, should do this empowered by the Holy Spirit.
 

The power of the Holy Spirit in action!

The apostle Peter gave that same day the Spirit fell his first message about Christ, His identity and the salvation He wanted to give to all men and three thousand people accepted Christ as their Saviour!

The book of the Acts of the apostles has recorded the first deeds of the apostles. Their preaching was effective, the sick were healed and demon possessed people - we would call them today insane, lunatics, psychiatric patients, were delivered and  totally healed. People involved in witchcraft, occult, paranormal and other practices recognized the danger and darkness of these things and got free from them by faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of the Most High  God.  We read in the book of Acts that the apostles reached all areas of the Roman Empire and from other historic sources we know that they even travelled beyond the borders of that Empire, reaching peoples with the Gospel and establishing churches.

And all down through the centuries, up to our present days, we read and hear of supernatural signs and wonders that accompany the preaching and teaching of the Gospel: Sick are miraculously healed sometimes to great amazement of physicians, foreign and unknown languages are spoken without having studies them, just by spontaneous inspiration and demons are cast out, unsane people become wonderfully sane. All these wonderful blessings can only be ascribed to the power of the Holy Spirit, that enables believers to do things that are quite impossible for humans in their own strength and abilities.
 

What is this baptism with the Holy Spirit?

This is an important question. It is an empowering that cannot be rationally explained or understood. It is an empowering from above - read Acts 1:8 - coming from the heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ (read John 14). The supernatural power operates through humans in the physical sphere and world.

Why is this experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit called a baptism? A comparison with a baptism in water may help to understand it a little: Just as in baptism in water the person is immersed in it and  totally surrounded by water so is the experience of the baptism with the Spirit a 'spiritual immersion' in His presence and power. That's the reason why it is called a 'filling with the Spirit.' It is very interesting to know that the Greek verb for baptizing 'baptizô' could also convey the meaning of 'overpowering, ' or 'being extremely overwhelmed.'  And truly, when we read the account of the coming of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 we cannot escape the conclusion that the apostles were overpowered - some people even thought that they had drunk too much wine that early in the morning!

But let me make clear that the personal experience of the baptism with the Holy Spirit varies from believer to believer. Therefore I give the advice not to look or crave for a certain kind of experience or a certain kind of manifestation, but just to open yourself by faith in Jesus Christ and be receptive for Him, the Holy Spirit of God.

There is one more part of Scripture, I like to refer to, John 7:37-39. Jesus invited people to come to Him to drink of the water of life. It must have been a hot and exhausting feast day in Jerusalem, people must have been searching for water. Then the apostle John who wrote this Gospel years later, added to this invitation: "This He said of the Spirit, which was then not yet given for Jesus was not yet glorified." He wrote his comment after He had experienced the baptism with the Spirit and seen and felt the life-giving power of the Spirit. Then He know what Jesus had been talking about!

The dynamic power of the Holy Spirit is available for you too, if you are a believer!

Dear reader, do you personally know (by experience) what Jesus had been talking about that day in Jerusalem? Do you truly believe in Jesus as your Saviour? Are you thirsty for the life of refreshing and power that He wants to give to all who believe in Him? Have you not received the filling with the power of the Holy Spirit and do you not yet experience that life-giving stream, that will not only satisfy you but others also? If not, then come first to the sin cleansing stream of Calvary, where Jesus poured out His blood and life as the sacrifice for the forgiveness of your guilt and the atonement of your soul with the Almighty God. Then, after you believe in total cleansing and forgiveness, ask for the power of the Spirit, for the live giving stream that will not only satisfy you completely, but make you overflow so that others will be blessed and filled too.

Pentecostal Pastor & Bibleteacher T. J. de Ruiter in The Netherlands
tdruiter@tiscali.nl

A COMPLETE ONLINE FREE EBOOK ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
 
The Walk of the Spirit-The Walk of Power Book Author: Dave Roberson



Edited by Moderator on 10/21/2013 at 2:48pm
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Posted: 09/17/2007 at 8:37am | IP Logged Quote Moderator

Watch online TV teaching on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by Andrew Wommack
http://www.awmi.net/tv/2006/week19
http://www.awmi.net/tv/2006/week20

Two very good audio teachings by Andrew Wommack

1. What Is The Baptism Of The Holy Spirit
http://media.awmi.net/audio/teaching/h06.ram

2. Speaking In Tongues
http://media.awmi.net/audio/teaching/h07.ram


Very good article.

The Holy Spirit
By Andrew Wommack

There are few things more controversial in the body of Christ than the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the accompanying gifts.

Much of modern-day Christianity sees the born-again experience as all there is to salvation. Many Christians oppose the belief that there is a separate experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and they especially oppose the validity of the gifts of the Holy Spirit for today's believers.

That type of belief puts them in conflict with the book of Acts and the very teaching of Jesus. Those who experience the power of the Holy Spirit today are labeled as fanatics or heretics. But what does the Bible have to say? What did Jesus say about this?

On the night before Jesus' crucifixion, He made one of the most astounding statements of His whole ministry. John 16:7 records these words:

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you."

Grasp what Jesus is saying!
Jesus said it is more beneficial for us to have the ministry of the Holy Spirit than it was to have Jesus present with us in His physical body!

Most Christians are totally shocked by this. They would give anything to have Jesus present in His physical body. How could anything be better than to physically see, hear, and touch Him?

Jesus knew His disciples would be shocked by His statement, so He prefaced it with the words, "I tell you the truth." As hard as it may be to understand, the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is better than the earthly ministry of Jesus.

This is not to take anything away from His ministry on this earth. Without Jesus coming to the earth and accomplishing what He did, there could be no ministry of the Holy Spirit. The whole plan of God hinges on the redemptive work of Christ.

But, once His work was done, it was actually to our advantage to have Jesus return to His Father and send the Holy Spirit to take His place. Therefore, we shouldn't lessen the preeminence of Jesus, but we should increase the importance of the Holy Spirit's ministry.

Most Christians don't realize how involved the Holy Spirit is in everything that the Lord does. They do not ascribe nearly enough importance to the Holy Spirit and what He is doing in the earth today. In Genesis 1:1-2, the Bible says,

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

In the beginning, God created all the elements needed for His creation. Then, everything else was formed from what had already been created. All the essential ingredients were in place. But nothing happened without the Spirit of God.

Notice specifically that the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) moved upon the face of the waters. The English word moved was translated from the Hebrew word "rachaph." It literally means "to brood." This is describing the manner of a hen sitting on her eggs to hatch them.

The Holy Spirit was brooding over the creation of God just waiting to bring forth whatever God the Father said. When the Lord said "Let there be light" (Gen. 1:3), then the power of the Holy Spirit brought that light into being. Likewise, with everything the Lord created and made, it was the power of the Holy Spirit that brought it all into existence.

God the Father conceived it. Jesus spoke it. And the Holy Spirit was the power that performed it. Everything God did in His creation was accomplished through the power of the Holy Spirit. When God the Father was ready to bring Jesus into the earth, He took the spoken Word (Jesus), the Holy Spirit brooded over Mary (a virgin), and she conceived Jesus' physical body.

This perfectly illustrates the Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are one. In fact, they are so much one that they can't operate independent of each other. They are a team. Jesus didn't do any miracles or start His public ministry until after He had been anointed with the Holy Spirit.

If Jesus couldn't, or wouldn't, operate independently of the Holy Spirit, neither should we. No one can have an effective life or ministry without the power of God's Holy Spirit working in him or her. This fact can't be argued by anyone who truly believes the Bible is God's Word. The Scriptures are replete with proof that it is "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the LORD of hosts" (Zech. 4:6).

So, why is there so much debate over this issue? The sad truth is that denial of the ministry and power of the Holy Spirit is a convenient theology. Believing that miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit don't operate today excuses powerless living. If it's true that the Holy Spirit is still willing to move as in biblical times (and it is true), then there is no excuse for living lives so far removed from the victory portrayed in God's Word.

The number one reason people resist the ministry of the Holy Spirit is because it exposes the lack of power in their lives. And once exposed, it demands a change. In an attempt to avoid responsibility for change, they change the Scriptures instead of themselves. Of course, it's not that blatant, but there is a predisposition against the ministry of the Holy Spirit, so the Scripture is twisted to support their views.

It's now politically correct to say that alcoholics are not responsible for their actions, depression is a chemical imbalance, and homosexuality is genetic. We've even had lawsuits where overweight people sue fast-food chains for their obesity. No one wants to admit that their lives are the result of their choices and actions. It's appealing to think that someone else is at fault for their messed up lives. Sadly, the lack of personal responsibility in our society has crept into the attitudes of the church.

But, the ultimate attempt to avoid responsibility is when we place the blame on God. This goes all the way back to Adam when he said, "It's that woman that YOU gave me" (Gen. 3). He passed the "buck" to the woman and then ultimately blamed God. But God's judgment shows that He held Adam responsible for his own actions.

Another group of Christians willingly accept a limited ministry of the Holy Spirit as their comforter and consoler, but they still deny His miraculous power. That's convenient, the benefits without the responsibility. These are usually the ones who also believe there isn't a second experience with the Holy Spirit beyond being born again. They may be sincere in their beliefs, but they are sincerely wrong.

There are many clear examples in Scripture where a miraculous encounter with the Holy Spirit enabled believers to live supernatural lives. Jesus taught about two separate experiences in the believer's life.

In John 20:28, Thomas confessed Jesus as his Lord and God. That made him "saved" according to Romans 10:9-10. Yet, the Lord told Thomas and all the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they received the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4). The reason Jesus told them to wait on the baptism of the Holy Spirit was because they didn't have it yet. Look what happened to the disciples once they received that power. They were changed men.

Jesus said it this way in Acts 1:8,

"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."

After the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon Jesus' disciples, they were powerful. They faced persecution and death fearlessly. What made the difference? By Jesus' own words, it was the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

In Acts 8, Philip preached to the Samaritans, and the whole city believed on Jesus and was baptized in water. They were saved. But Acts 8:15-16 says,

"Who, when they [the apostles] were come down, prayed for them [the Samaritans], that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus)" (brackets mine).

This is a very clear example of people being born again but still needing to receive the Holy Spirit. This can also be witnessed in Acts 19. Paul found disciples who were not baptized in the Holy Spirit. He prayed for them, and they spoke with tongues.

Spirit filled, but no tongues!

There are other believers who acknowledge a second experience with the Holy Spirit which releases power, but they refuse the part of speaking in tongues, or at least say it's not for everyone. But the baptism of the Holy Spirit is like a pair of tennis shoes: It always comes with tongues.

I guess it's possible to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit and not speak in tongues, but why wouldn't you want to? If you're afraid, don't be! There's no reason to fear; you're in full control. I'm not speaking in tongues as I write this, because it's up to me to decide when I speak in tongues. It's the same for you. You'll control when you speak in tongues.

Maybe there's something else that is holding you back. I know from experience that a person whose understanding of this gift isn't right can stifle it. I did. In my case, a denomination had instilled such fear in me that I was afraid I would get something from the devil. It wasn't until later that I learned the Lord wouldn't let that happen (Luke 11:13).

Whether you're not sure or just having a problem receiving, my teaching entitled The Holy Spirit will answer your questions and set you free to receive this powerful gift. My life was completely changed when I received the Holy Spirit. If it were not for that, you would never have heard of Andrew Wommack.

Here is a little of my personal story; it may help you. In 1957 I was born again at the age of eight. I loved God and served Him to a degree, but was basically powerless. I prayed six months for my Dad to be healed, but he died when I was only twelve years old. As a young man, I was introverted, timid, and so shy I couldn't look people in the face when talking to them.

There wasn't any difference between me and an unbeliever in terms of visible results. If I would have been arrested for being a Christian, there wouldn't have been enough evidence to convict me.

Then, on March 23, 1968, I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My life was transformed instantly. Before the baptism of the Holy Spirit, I was in fear; afterward, I was as bold as a lion (Prov. 28:1). My love for the Lord went through the roof. It wasn't me living anymore, but Christ was living through me.

My life wasn't perfect then and still isn't now. But receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit opened up a whole new, dynamic relationship with the Lord. You would never have heard of me if I hadn't received the second work of the Holy Spirit, which the Bible calls the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It's my desire to see you experience that same power of the Holy Spirit and the gifts that come with it.

My teaching, The Holy Spirit, is now available in book form, as well as in a CD or tape album. This is the same material I give to those who receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at our Gospel Truth Seminars. It takes them from "A" to "Z" in the doctrine of this experience and shares very practical steps on how to receive the gift of speaking in tongues. Hundreds of people who were having trouble speaking in tongues were able to receive after reading the book or listening to this teaching. Every one of you knows people who haven't received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and this teaching could forever change their lives.




Edited by Moderator on 10/21/2013 at 2:47pm
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Posted: 09/20/2007 at 1:17pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

HOW TO RECEIVE THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
 
"If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
 
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!" Luke 11: 11-13
 
Shortly after my salvation experience I begin to hear about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and I began to seek out information about it and to study the Bible to see if it even existed. Being in a Southern Baptist church didn't make it any easier to find out about it because they did not believe it was real or was for today. Finally after much research I visited a revival in Indiana started by the Holy Spirit Himself and the second night I was there I was filled, and my life from that point onward was never the same.
 
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is only for those who have been born again and washed in the blood of Jesus and truly want to follow Him with all of their heart. Many today just want another experience or spiritual gift to play with because to them Christianity is a game or hobby, not a passionate pursuit of Jesus that will cost them their life. Obedience to the gospel requires a sell out, a giving of oneself to the Lord Jesus Christ to follow Him wherever He leads and the filling of the Spirit is necessary to be able to accomplish the mission that has been given to us.
 
"I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." Matthew 3: 11
 
Many want the outpouring, but few want the fire, because the fire is what burns out the impurities in our life making us more like Jesus. The Spirit not only empowers but burns away the dross of our lives and cleanses us all the way down to the bottom of our soul. In a previous message I wrote about a silversmith that said when the silver that he heats is ready he can see his image in it and that's exactly what the Baptism of the Holy Spirit produces, a purified vessel useful to the Master.
 
Jesus said, ''In the last days there would be many false prophets." and that is the reason that in everything we are to follow His example. Jesus was baptized in water at the beginning of His ministry and as He ascended from the water the Spirit of God descended upon Him like a dove filling Him and empowering Him to fulfill the mission His father had given Him.
 
Upon receiving the Holy Spirit Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil for forty days thus fulfilling the scriptures that stated that He would be tempted in all things. Following Jesus involves much spiritual warfare and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit enables us to fight the enemy with the same power that our Lord had, without it we would be blown away.
 
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. Luke 4: 1, 2
 
RECEIVING THE SPIRIT BY THE LAYING ON OF HANDS
 
In most cases the Holy Spirit was received by the apostles laying hands on those that had just been saved, as in the case where Samaria had received the word and Peter and John went down to pray for them. They had only been baptized in water and when they laid hands on them they received the Holy Spirit.
 
When the apostle Paul met Jesus on the Damascus road he acknowledged Him as Lord and was saved, then three days later Ananias laid hands on him and he was healed of his blindness and filled with the Holy Spirit. Although this is the norm it is not the only way and it is possible to receive without the laying on of hands. When Peter went to a gentile named Cornelius after receiving a vision from God as he was still preaching Jesus, the Spirit fell on the entire household and they were all filled.
 
Paul asked a group of disciples at Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed and they told him that they were not sure there was a Holy Spirit. He then proceeded to ask how they were baptized and they said, into John's baptism. Paul then baptized them in Jesus name and laid hands on them and they were filled with the Spirit.
 
And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. Acts 19: 6
 
When the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost the believers became empowered by the Great Apostle, Jesus, and then by the laying on of hands transferred the Holy Spirit to every one that they encountered who had been saved. This was a pattern and an example that Jesus gave the church to insure that the Holy Spirit would continue to be given to allow the body to operate properly. Sadly today because of false teachers and false doctrine many have been scared away by excesses that they have experienced or seen performed by ignorant people.
 
The evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not just speaking in tongues, some prophecy, some receive special gifts of healing or discernment and some, the gift of miracles. Don't ever be deceived by someone wanting you to speak in tongues when that is not the only evidence. God wants to fill His people with His very presence and power so that they can fulfill His mission in the earth, to make disciples of all nations, not to make a circus of His church.
 
RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT BY FAITH
 
We are saved by faith and we in turn receive the Holy Spirit by faith. Everything in God's kingdom is received by faith and without it, it is impossible to please Him. When you feel that you are prepared to receive the Spirit, cleanse your heart of anything that would separate you from God or man and then begin to ask God to baptize you with His Holy Spirit. If you feel that you want the elders of your church, or maybe someone that you trust to lay hands on you then that is good too. Just make sure they believe and are sound in their teaching. This is not something you have to work up, its not emotionalism or a show for others to watch, its the very empowerment of God's Spirit filling an honest and innocent heart.
 
The Bible says that if you seek Him with all of your heart He will allow you to find Him and if you ask Him anything it will be done for you. God is truly a loving Father and the Holy Spirit is a gentleman, so don't be afraid because of the excesses that you have seen and heard about. Trust Him with all of your heart and receive by faith the power and unfathomable love of God available to all who seek Him.
 
PRAYER TO RECEIVE
 
Heavenly Father, I come to You today seeking the Baptism of Your precious Holy Spirit, please forgive me and wash me of sin and unbelief, and unforgiveness, and cleanse me with the blood of Jesus. I believe by faith trusting in Your word for the promise of the Holy Spirit to fill me and release in me the gifts that you have given me. In Jesus name fill me now with power from on high, and I will in turn give you all of my heart.
 
If you prayed that prayer sit quietly and just receive all that God has for you. If you need more information or teaching please let me know and I will be glad to help you in any way that I can.
 
"And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Joel 2: 28, 29
 
 


May the Lord open the eyes of your understanding and bless you with wisdom,
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
 
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen. Hebrews 13: 20,21


Edited by Moderator on 10/21/2013 at 2:49pm
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Posted: 09/23/2007 at 4:14pm | IP Logged Quote Moderator

THESE SIGNS WILL FOLLOW THOSE WHO BELIEVE
 
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
 
"And these signs will follow those who believe: "In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover." Mark 16:15-18
 
Jesus rose from the grave and appeared first to Mary Magdalene whom He had cast seven demons out of. She was then appointed to go and tell the disciples that He had risen from the dead. When she told them they mourned and wept like a bunch of babies not believing her story even though Jesus had previously informed them of this spectacular event.
 
Jesus then appeared to two of them on the road, but they did not believe either. Later He appeared to the eleven sitting at the table and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. I wonder what He would say to us today if He entered some of our church services and saw the condition of our hearts?
 
Jesus trained these men for three and a half years to preach the gospel, cast out demons, and to lay hands on the sick, and here they were sitting around the table in unbelief not fulfilling His great commission. Needless to say He was not pleased with their performance. Signs will not follow anyone that does not first go and begin to operate in these powerful gifts that God has given His servants. By the way, the Greek word for go, is go!
 
After receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1980 I had my first experience with casting out demons. One night a friend of mine and I were called to the house of a man totally possessed with demons. As we walked in the door the man was lying on his back on the floor being supernaturally thrust up in the air by the demons. When he saw us he flipped over on all fours and glared at us like a wild animal. I immediately grabbed the phone to call my mentor, who had been teaching me deliverance and as I told him the circumstances he said, call me when its over and he hung up.
 
My friend looked at me and we both agreed that maybe this wasn't God's will for us to be there and then the man lunged up off the floor straight at us and we knew that if he was going to get free it was up to us. In fear for our very lives we grabbed the man and threw him down on the couch and proceeded to cast demons out of him for four hours. When we left him he was like a limp dish rag, totally drained of any signs of life, but free from the demons control.
 
In 1984 I left the church and went to the streets because I just couldn't sit in the pew any longer with this burning desire and passion for souls in my heart. From that time forward I had to learn on my own the necessity of signs, wonders, and the gifts of the Spirit to aid me in ministry. When I went out, the Holy Spirit went with me and trained me in the use of His gifts and weapons. For the next twenty years signs and wonders have followed me, not because I'm super spiritual, but because I was available to the need of those that I came across in my journey with Jesus.
 
Obedience to the call of God and the availability of the servant will cause these signs to follow you and people will get saved, and healed and delivered. God meant for His church to get up off their "But's", not just what they are sitting on, but all the excuses they give for not going. It used to amaze me the calls I would receive from very large churches asking me to cast out a demon or lay hands on someone that was sick. Some of these churches had thousands of members, none of which knew anything about how to cast out demons or heal the sick, may God have mercy on us all!
 
I can guarantee you that if you don't ever leave the building, and never lay hands on any one, or cast out a demon, that you will always have the same results, absolutely nothing! That is the testimony of the politically correct church in America, rich and increased in goods and sitting on their gifts waiting for Jesus to come and suck them up into heaven and deliver them from this vile world. For some the rapture might be a rupture, remember the man that received the one talent from his master and went and hid it in the ground? When his master returned he was furious because the man refused to use the gift that was given to him and he ordered that it be taken away from him, and he was thrown out into outer darkness.
 
What a sad commentary for the last days church, all that power available and all we do is sit around and talk about money and how it used to be. By the way, Jesus said, when you go, don't take any money, just believe and He would provide everything, that's a sign in itself.
 
Faith without works is dead and if you never go, nothing will ever happen. If Peter had not stepped out of the boat, he would never have walked on water, neither will you ever experience God's power until you use it by faith and freely give it away to a lost and dying world. What do people see in your life, power, signs and wonders, or just dried up dead religious nonsense? I can promise you one thing, if you "Go" He will show! Be blessed and get off your "But's"!
 
And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Mark 16: 20


May the Lord open the eyes of your understanding and bless you with wisdom,
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
 
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever, Amen. Hebrews 13: 20,21


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God's Gift That Terrorizes The Church--Tongues
Charles Carrin

GOD’S GIFT THAT TERRORIZES THE CHURCH–TONGUES

 

In 1977 I became aware that I desperately needed the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the power Jesus promised in Acts 1:8. At the time, I was nearly 30 years in pastoral ministry, but was void of all New Testament power and was witnessing the death of entire Associations (Synods) of Churches in my denomination. These were vanishing in epidemic proportions. Some were historic, pre-Revolutionary War congregations. Watching that tragedy, I knew my own ministerial-death would soon follow unless God came to my rescue. Our "denominational" gospel had no spiritual power and I knew it. Nor did I have answers for my own spiritual crisis. My wife had been in a critical automobile wreck and I was trapped in an equally critical depression.

 

Though I began praying earnestly to receive the Holy Spirit’s impartation, there was a serious problem blocking my way: I did not want to speak in tongues. That was my absolute, final, unchangeable position, and I told God so. To me, tongues denoted an intellectual level just one step above idiocy. I had no respect for people who claimed such unintelligible babbling and publically declared that in my preaching. For that reason, the instruction I gave the Lord in prayer was this: "Lord, I want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. My only condition is this: I do not want to speak in tongues, I do not want to shout, I do not want to be spectacular. With that understood, You may go ahead." –But, as you have already guessed, absolutely nothing happened. Even so, I kept praying, waiting in full expectation that God would eventually accept my terms. He didn’t. And I got steadily worse–losing the battle against horrendous depression.

 

The day I finally received the Spirit’s impartation I was in the visitors’ room of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary counseling an inmate. The year before our meeting this young man had been miraculously born-again, miraculously delivered from drug addiction and suicide, and miraculously filled with the Holy Spirit. I did not know how to explain such transformation in a man’s life and was secretly afraid of his spirituality. In every way, he was a walking miracle which my theology could not explain. His "words of knowledge" and ability to tell me private events in my own life were outside my realm of understanding. He was locked behind bars but knew facts which he could have learned only from God. Thankfully, that cold November day my own depression was too desperatefor me to put any more conditions on the Lord. I felt like one whose boat was plunging toward Niagara Falls and could hear the thunderous roar below me. It was the prisoner who laid-hands on me, quoting Ananias’ words to Saul of Tarsus, "The Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road as you came has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." The scene must have been puzzling to the Maffia inmates and their wives who were watching from other tables: The pastor was receiving prayer from the prisoner. He was aglow with the glory of God–I was in deep distress.

 

What happened to me soon after I got home–a baptism of unspeakable joy and bone-rattling power–totally, radically, changed my life, my ministry, my theology, forever. That awesome day, "Heaven came down my soul to greet, And Glory crowned the Mercy Seat." I rose from the encounter a new man, a new minister, a new husband, a new father. Depression was gone forever. My encounter with the Holy Spirit was very similar to what Dwight L. Moody and Charles Fenny described in their’s. I soon began experiencing phenomenal power in ministry, received amazing "words of knowledge," prophetic wisdom appeared, people were healed, hardened sinners were born-again—but I still felt insufficient because I could not pray in tongues.

 

Some will not believe mine was a genuine baptism in the Spirit because I did not immediately experience this gift of the Spirit. Ideally, one does, but I did not because God demanded deeper repentance from me. My years of ridiculing and scorning the gift exacted severer penitence and I began to beg for it. Nor was this begging a mere, routine prayer. At times I lay face-down on my office floor weeping, other times I curled into a tight, prenatal position, crying out to God for forgiveness in having reproached this special provision of His grace. Once at a night-time home meeting, I sat outside in my car in the dark, refusing to go in because I felt spiritually naked without the gift. In a very graphic way, God showed me I dared not call any provision of His grace "common or unclean".

 

And I had done that arrogantly in reproaching the gift of tongues. Nor could I plead ignorance; in such cases God expects everyone able to read the New Testament to believe and practice all of it.

 

Then it happened: Two years after my baptism, I was standing–praying alone–in my church office. Suddenly, an unseen power slammed me so hard against the wall I knocked a picture loose from its’ nail. The room was filled with the Presence of God and moments later, I found myself face-up on the floor, listening to an unknown Oriental language flowing from me. It came forth poetically–beautifully–rhythmically–like a flow of music. In the next half-hour the tongue changed languages about seven times, climaxing, finally, with my singing what I believe was a Hebrew Psalm. As I lay there, I could not believe it was finally happening: That wonderful gift had come at last!

LEARNING A NEW LESSON ABOUT THE GIFT

 

A few years later, on the closing day of a Conference in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where I had been invited by the Mercy Ship, Anastasis, to speak at a series of Conferences, I had just finished my final message, when the Holy Spirit began sweeping through the room in an astonishing way. What happened was wonderful. The people in this congregation spoke creole-English and some fifteen other African tribal languages. The words, however, that began rising from us were in none of these tongues. People rose to their feet, and as the Holy Spirit started moving, we were instantly caught up in the glory of singing in the "tongues of angels". I Corinthians 13:1. The experience was awesome. As we worshiped "in the Spirit" we were suddenly in a realm beyond human understanding. Paul said, "I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding." For that wonderful time, like Paul, we too were beyond human "understanding" and lost in the dimension of the Spirit.

 

I had been in similar meetings in Latin America where Spanish, English, and Indian languages were in use, but this experience hit me with an understanding I never had before. In spite of all the cultural, ethnic, and language barriers that were crowded together in Sierra Leone’s Miatta Center, all of us were suddenly transported out of ourselves and into "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace". There is no way to describe the experience. It was as if the Glory of Heaven had suddenly fallen upon us. In that moment we ceased being Americans, Africans, New Zealanders, or Europeans, and instantly became "The Body of Christ." Our separate identities disappeared into an ocean of God's love. What I realized was this:

 

One of the blessings of tongues, "singing in the Spirit", I Corinthians 14:15, is God's way of drawing believers out of their own racial differences and into the universality of the Body of Christ. It transcends every form of human division and locks Christians into a oneness unlike any other. The only way I can describe the experience is that it was "heavenly". Nothing else would have accomplished this unity except the Holy Spirit's gift of worshiping in His infinite language. This kind of holy adoration puts Africans and Americans on equal footing. In it, one nationality is not superior to another, nor is one separated from the other. Rather, through it, the Holy Spirit inseparably joins our spirits –not just our voices. Believe me, when this happens, one is instantly aware of the fact that he is part of a Greater Body than just his own congregation. Denominations, factions, splinter-groups, lose all their meaning and importance before such an awareness. In moments like these, the "Kingdom of God comes with power." Mark 9:1.

 

Ordinary singing would not have done this, preaching would not have done it, healings, and other miracles would not have done it. In His wisdom, God knew how to provide the perfect instrument of worship which would allow men who could not otherwise communicate with each other to instantly become one united voice in praising Him. In Heaven, people out of "every tribe and tongue and people and nation" will join in singing a "new" song which none of us yet know. We may have not yet heard it, but if there is anything on earth that gets close to that heavenly song, it is this blessing of "singing in the Spirit".

 

History records that early Christians gathered on open hillsides and sang for hours. While I know of no reference to their singing in tongues–"in the Spirit"–at these events, it seems very likely that they did. Nor can I prove this, but I personally believe the Gregorian Chant which became part of 6th century Catholicism was a poor substitute for the lost "tongues of angels" which they had formerly known.

 

There are two directions of tongues. The first is from God, downward to the people. This comes as a public message to the congregation which requires interpretation. I Corinthians 14:27,28. When Paul asked, "Do all speak with tongues?," this is the one under consideration. The second direction of tongues is upward, from the people to God. This may be prayer, worship, or "singing in the spirit". I Corinthians 14:15. Of this message, we are told to ask for the interpretation–which may, or may not, be given. I Corinthians 14:13. Every Spirit-baptized believer should expect this type of prayer to become an important part of his spiritual life. I was late receiving because I was late repenting. That fact brings up this question: Why would any sincere Christian pastor such as I hold this gift in such low esteem? The answer is important:

 

Tongues is the only spiritual gift deliberately designed to attack man’s ego and pride; it exposes insincerity, self-centeredness, falsity, and other negative traits in believers.

 

Because of its unique attack on the human intellect, tongues remains the eternal "watch guard" at the gate. In a very calculated way this gift protects the other gifts from exploitation. The Holy Spirit will not allow us to choose one charisma and reject another. Many seek the gifts of healing, words of wisdom, faith, prophecy, etc., but will not endure the reproach of this strange gift. God says "No!" to this attitude. We must accept all grace-gifts as one package or we do not get any of them. Simply said: Unless you deal with pride and ego in your own life, become willing to endure the public’s humiliation and scorn, you will not be intrusted with other gifts. But that is only one aspect of tongues. This is also the only gift which personally edifies the believer.

 

While "tongues" becomes the key that unlocks amazing spiritual power in someone, it does that by "building up" the one who is employing it in prayer. Strange? Yes. Do I understand it? No. Do I believe it? Absolutely.

 

The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board recently announced that they would assign no one to the mission field who spoke in tongues. But–once the Board’s vote was taken–the Director, Jerry Rankin, acknowledged that he had prayed in tongues for the past 30 years. More recently, Lifeway Book Stores, the official book-seller for the Convention, conducted a survey and found that 70% of Southern Baptist lay-people believe that spiritual gifts, including tongues, are valid today; 50% say they are open to receiving that gift. More astonishingly, the survey discovered that 50% of SBC pastors privately pray in tongues. This disclosure was a spiritual-earthquake to SBC Executive leadership.

 

Historically, Baptists have been "cessationist"–claiming that the gifts ceased with the death of the Apostles or completion of Scripture. But Paul did not believe that. Nor does the New Testament teach it. In the introduction to his Corinthian letters Paul exhorted believers to " ... Come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 1:7. In that brief statement, Paul equated the duration of spiritual gifts to be the same length as the Church's waiting for Jesus' return. Examine it for yourself. This is precisely what the Apostle said. There is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than of spiritual gifts and Jesus' offer of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But, someone asks, why do I need the baptism in the Spirit and the imparting of spiritual gifts?

 

WHY YOU NEED THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

On the Day of Ascension, Jesus told the disciples on the Mount of Olives, "John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now ... You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." Acts 1:5,6. In a single statement, Jesus connected baptism in the Spirit to the imparting of His power. It is significant however, that on the evening of the Resurrection, before Pentecost, John 20:19-22, Jesus suddenly appeared in the closed room with the disciples, breathed into them, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit." This was their first receiving of the Spirit. But this encounter with the Spirit was not their "baptism" or an empowering for their gospel ministry. This first reception of the Spirit was their "new birth" and their personal regeneration. Pentecost was yet to come.

 

That wonderful event occurred forty days later when 120 disciples in the Upper Room received the miraculous blessing with tongues of fire blazing upon them. Even after Pentecost the disciples experienced many subsequent "fillings" of the Spirit. Scripture carefully explains that others who were not present at Pentecost received the empowering later. That included the Samaritans, Acts 8:14-17, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:17, the household of Cornelius, Acts 10:44, and the Ephesians, Acts 19:1-7. Young Timothy followed the example. II Timothy 1:6. Identically, today, multiplied millions around the world have stepped into the Spirit's wondrous baptism. It is estimated that of the world’s two billion Christians presently alive–one-fourth–or five hundred million now believe in the full quota of spiritual gifts.

 

The Apostle Paul, who received the Spirit's imparting through the laying-on-of-hands by Ananias, later wrote an 84 verse treatise on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12,13,14. His explanation provides the most comprehensive, authoritative information we have on the subject. More importantly, It is the only resource bearing the seal of Divine authorship. All conflicting opinions, no matter how cherished or long-established, are but human speculation and must be discarded. Scripture is our final, absolute authority.

 

The Apostle begins his dissertation with the plea: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant." 12:1. He then proceeds to detail carefully the operation of nine grace-works of the Spirit. These are the direct result of the Spirit's baptism. Having defended the need and purpose of the gifts, Paul then concludes his discourse with the stirring rebuke, "But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant." 14:38. In other words, he says, "After this careful explanation of spiritual gifts, if anyone refuses to learn, I have nothing more to say to him. Let him remain illiterate!" Paul seemingly anticipated that some believers would reject his teaching on miraculous works of the Spirit and added two harsh warnings: "Forbid not to speak with tongues!"

 

And, "If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." I Corinthians 14:37.

 

What are the "commandments" of which he speaks? The answer: The Apostolic teachings on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12 and 14 speak with God's authority as much as any other of Paul's writings. We are no more at liberty to reject these Biblically mandated instructions than any other commandment of the Lord. Instead of heeding Paul's instruction, the church has engaged in open warfare against them. This was done in full view of Paul's exhortation that we:

 

1. "Earnestly desire spiritual gifts." I Corinthians 12:31.

 

2. "Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy." 14:1.

 

3. "Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel." 14:12.

 

These admonitions do not indicate the reluctance that typifies the modern church's attitude against spiritual gifts. There was no such lukewarmness on the part of Paul or the Corinthians. Identically, believers today are encouraged to exercise the gifts for the benefit of everyone: 1 Corinthians 12:7-12: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills ... But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant."

 

My admonition to you is this: Don’t do like I did. You will regret it. If you are arguing with God about the reality of spiritual gifts or esteeming yourself too sophisticated for the gift of tongues, stop it! Believe me, God regards no one as being intellectually superior to Himself. Humble yourself before the gifts of God, surrender your pride, and give yourself fully to the Holy Spirit. Once when I addressed the student priests and faculty at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, I taught on this same subject of spiritual gifts and was afterward surrounded by a flock of these excited young men eager to hear more. Some were so over-joyed they were literally dancing on their toes.

 

When I said to them, "Don’t do like I did ...", one of them interrupted me and said "But, Father! (a title I don’t claim) You are what we want to be!" A shocking statement from young priests to an Evangelical? Yes. But they were hungry for truth. Some of them recognized the emptiness of ritual and their need for real spiritual power.

 

But, hear this: I have given this same teaching to so-called Bible-believing, Evangelical Churches and had them become irate and hostile at the mere suggestion they needed spiritual gifts. Denominational Christians should realize that God does not read church signs–Catholic or Protestant. He reads hearts. Mainline believers need to repent of their conceit, prostrate themselves before God, acknowledge their sin of sophistication, and accept the humbling experience of tongues. God’s motive is not to terrorize the church but to bless it. Stop your arguments about His "watch guard at the gate,"–the gift of tongues–and receive His complete provision. You will be very glad you did!   VVV

             

Charles Carrin

carrinmin1@aol.com



Edited by Moderator on 10/21/2013 at 3:01pm
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GOD’S GIFT THAT TERRORIZES THE CHURCH—TONGUES. Part 2

Charles Carrin


The dove, symbol of the Holy Spirit, has nine flight-feathers in each wing and is perfectly balanced for flight. Identically, there are nine ministry gifts of the Spirit, I Corinthians 12:4-11, and nine fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22,23. As the dove needs the full quota of feathers for flight, so the Church needs the full endowment of the Spirit's provisions for successful ministry. An unbalanced bird or an unbalanced Church can only flounder. The ministry gifts communicate power; the fruits communicate character. In personal life–integrity, not power–has priority; in the Church and individual-ministry, each should equally balance the other.

 

Of all spiritual gifts, "tongues" is the most controversial. God planned it that way. While this strange gift is the only one designed to edify the believer, I Corinthians 14:4, it is also designed to attack his ego and pride. To the public, speaking in tongues denotes mental incompetence and ignorance. It is abnormal. The mere mention of this gift immediately arouses carnality in man's religious nature. People become irate, aggressive, hostile. These negative attitudes against the gift perfectly fulfills one of its purposes: It exposes pride.

"God has chosen the foolish things ...weak things ...base things ... despised things ...and the things which are not ...that no flesh should glory in His presence. I Corinthians 1:27-29.

 

Gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, do not infuriate people. Many would volunteer for the ministry of healing, faith, or discerning of spirits, while they want no part of tongues. God says "No" to that attitude. The gift of tongues is the "watch-guard" at the gate; power is the evidence Jesus promised with the Spirit’s baptism. Acts 1:8. Even then, warfare against pride is a never-ending, ceaseless battle. Galatians 5:17.

 

There are two directions of tongues. The first is from God, downward to the people. I Corinthians 14:27,28. When Paul asked, "Do all speak with tongues?," this is the one under consideration. The second direction of tongues is upward, from the people to God. I Corinthians 14:13-15. Observe carefully: The first is a message from God to the people; the second is a message from the people to God. Paul calls this the "tongues of angels". I Corinthians 13:1. God's language is universal; He does not confine Himself to English, German, Japanese, etc.

 

During my private religious war I had no problem accepting the other gifts. They did not challenge me intellectually. This was not true of tongues. I disliked it, feared it, wanted nothing to do with it. The Holy Spirit then forced me to acknowledge my spiritually-invalid state and made me weep over His absence in my life. My grieving became like Samuel’s mother, Hannah, yearning to give birth. I Samuel 1:7.

 

The day I finally received the baptism in the Spirit I experienced the most awesome God-encounter imaginable—though tongues still did not manifest. Power came in phenomenal ways; tongues, no. It was nearly two more years of repenting before the gift suddenly emerged in a flood of incredible revelation. Unexpectedly, I heard myself speaking in seven different languages. As a youth, I was fluent in Spanish, had two years of Greek at Seminary, and an audit-course in French at another University. In language, I am not ignorant. What happened to me was real. But, not everyone was happy with my experience. When I was called before a Church Council and specifically asked, "Do you speak in tongues?!," and I answered, "Yes," my 30 year-old Ordination was immediately cancelled. I was  expelled from denominational fellowship. Do I regret my answer? Never! The treasure I gained was so much greater than what I lost.

Paul explained the value of this gift when he said, "He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries." I Corinthians 14:2. The mysteries spoken through the Spirit are truths beyond the capacity of human intellect. Hear this point carefully: The mind has only five natural sources of information. These are the physical senses of hearing, seeing, touching, tasting, and smelling. Wonderful as they are, none are spiritual; if a believer's Christian life is confined to sensory-knowledge only, he is not as well equipped for survival as are animals.

 

Let me explain: A dog’s sense of smell is 100 times more powerful than a human’s. Peregrine falcons have "fast vision"–which, if our sight were as good as their’s–we could read print on a moving airplane blade. Many wild creatures know of impending earthquakes hours before seismographs record the tremor.

 

In such ways, man is inferior to animals. But that is with a purpose: God created us with lessor sensory ability to force us to rely on our greater spiritual nature. Instead of doing that, we refuse God's miraculous resources in preference for our own inadequate choices. By rejecting spiritual gifts, much of today’s Church is trapped in "Christianized" religion and is missing this dimension of spirituality. Our bad-choice began centuries ago when evangelical Christianity accepted the error that certain Scriptures lost their value when the Apostles died. A second claim states that the passages were valid until the year 367. Even so, these so-called, defunct Scriptures were not removed from the Bible but were left there and are confusing readers today. This position completely ignores the Scripture that says "all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." 2 Timothy 3:16,17. In spite of that injunction, Scripture-truth was abandoned and a deeply flawed theology replaced it. In effect, I Corinthians 11 was regarded valid, 12 was not, 13 was valid, 14 was not, 15 was valid, etc., etc. With this confusing distortion, gifts of knowledge, tongues, prophecy, disappeared from evangelical pulpits.

 

The year 367 was chosen as the terminal date for spiritual gifts because that year the canon of Scripture was declared to be complete. The argument is based on this verse: "Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away." I Corinthians 13:8-10. The assumption is made that the expression "that which is perfect" refers to the completed Bible. Be aware, this assumption has no Scriptural support. At the time of Paul's writing not all New Testament writings were composed or bound. The complete New Testament was not finished for approximately thirty years and canonizing of it (determining which books were to be included as Scripture) did not occur until the year 367 a.d.

 

Let's examine the claim, "that which is perfect", being a reference to New Testament Scripture:

 

1. All who believe in the inspiration of Scripture agree that Paul’s First Corinthian letter was perfect from the beginning.

 

2. The New Testament when finally completed was perfect.

 

3. The argument against spiritual gifts claims that the same time the New Testament was finalized, Paul's teachings about spiritual gifts became invalid. These teachings lost  their perfection at the same time "that which is perfect" had come. Though included in the New Testament, the gifts of knowledge ongues, prophecy, became illegitimate.

 

4. The long-awaited "perfect" book was not perfect at all. In fact, it was perfect until it was canonized and it then became imperfect.

 

Who can believe such double-talk?! In the light of common sense how can anyone sincerely believe that Paul's writings were perfect until they were canonized? This is not authentic Theology but religious chaos; it needs to pulled out of its' pompous fog and exposed to the light of Truth. Such claims are an insult to the Author of the Bible. If true, "that which is perfect" has not yet come and never will. It can’t.

To what then was Paul referring when he spoke of "that which is perfect" having come? The key in our English translations is the word "then". Observe that it appears three times in the text:

 

"But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away... For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known." I Corinthians 12:10,12. To resolve the dilemma honestly, let us ask these questions:

 

1. Are we no longer seeing dimly but "face to face"? No.

 

2. Do we now know "as we are known"? No.

 

3. These three events occur simultaneously. That which is perfect has not yet come.

 

What then is the real issue? The controversy is not about the question of tongues or other gifts of the Spirit but regard the reliability of Scripture. Can we believe the Bible or can we not? Is it truly the infallible Word of God? Is all Scripture given by inspiration of God? If not, then we need to be honest with the public and quit pretending that the Bible is reliable. If Scripture is trustworthy, then we need to obey God and preach every part with equal force. God has not asked us to choose select Scriptures with which we build our theology; nor can we reject other vital parts simply because they do not have denominational approval. What medical school would have its students read surgical procedures and treatments for disease that the faculty knows are already out of date? None! What restaurant offers items on its menu that it has no intention of providing? None! Does anyone publish catalogs listing items that are no longer manufactured? No! But that is the utter foolishness with which many Christians accuse God.

 

The Church needs to repent of its’ rebellion and accept the fact that: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable:

 

1. For doctrine,

 

2. For reproof,

 

3. For correction,

 

4. For instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." II Timothy 3:16,17.

 

Paul explains how this equipping takes place in his first Corinthian letter, chapter 14, where he instructs believers to "Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification ... Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding ... Do not forbid to speak with tongues."

 

Some churches ignore Paul’s admonition and even excommunicate members who speak in tongues. That action is based on the belief that are two different documents by which Christians can base their faith and actions:

 

1. The Bible: A carefully detailed presentation of spiritual gifts, their operation and discipline in the church.

 

2. Uninspired Human Documents: These deny the Bible’s teaching on spiritual gifts.

 

The Bible is our only authorized source of information regarding the gifts of the Spirit. There is no other. Absolutely none. Peter says, "Holy men spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit." Are we safe in rejecting what is inspirationally written and believe an unauthorized opinion? If we are free to do this in regard to tongues, can we apply that same practice to other teachings of the Bible?

 

The answer is obvious: No. We cannot. Why then do good people who are otherwise gracious and sincere become so enraged over spiritual gifts? The answer is that we are dealing with an alien spirit; in this specific case, it is the same religious spirit which Jesus encountered in His day. The spirit which replaces truth with tradition and the miraculous with mentality is a "religious" spirit. Good people get caught in bad influences and without knowing why, feel compelled to defend wrong positions. Interestingly, the Scriptures which this spirit rejects are the same ones which equip the saints for their most effective warfare against Satan.

 

For the sincere believer the issue can be settled once and for all: The New Testament is not a book; it is a Covenant. As such, it is inalterable and eternal. Jesus said, "Heaven and earth shall pass away but my words shall not pass away."

 

Of those words and the men who would later record them, Jesus said to the Father: "I have given them the words which You gave to me and they have received them." Everything which the Apostles wrote bears this same credential of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is the whole New Testament message which the Father "who cannot lie" has confirmed with an oath. Of it, He said: "My Covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips." Psalm 89:34. Finally, Let's confront four issues about yourself:

 

1. Does the gift of tongues attack your ego and intellect?

 

2. Do you treasure your pride more than God’s power?

 

3. Is tradition more valuable to you than truth?

 

4. Are you rejecting a very obvious message of Scripture to protect your dignity?

 

If so, my advice is that you humble yourself, confess to God your shallowness, self-centeredness, disobedience, and accept all of His gifts. You will be glad you did. Perhaps you have already received the Spirit’s baptism and its provisions. If so, I encourage you to guard your humility, fight pride, maintain truth and integrity at all costs, live a reverential, ego-free life and allow the Holy Spirit’s gifts and fruit to flow profusely from you. In other words, do what Paul required: "Pursue love, desire spiritual gifts, seek the prophetic gift ... pray with the spirit ... pray with the understanding ... sing with the spirit ... sing with the understanding ..." You will discover that like the dove, you are equally balanced with power and character for Heavenly Flight. Amen!

 

Charles Carrin

CarrinMin1@aol.com



Edited by Moderator on 10/21/2013 at 3:10pm
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Posted: 01/29/2008 at 7:17am | IP Logged Quote Brenda Sullivan

Hello All.  I've just joined the forum; and as I was scouting about, I saw this post and had to reply!!  I Thank God for the Holy Ghost!  I had my initially infilling at 10 years.  I'm now 60 years.  It's a wonderful and glorious gift.  It empowers my life, anchors my soul,  and gives me my song in the midnight season.  I don't know what I'd do without the Holy Ghost.  I thank God for this wonderful gift!!  You can't make me doubt Him.  I know too much about Him.  May we all be filled and re-filled over and over again with the wonder working power of the tongue talking Holy Ghost ; and that with a mighty burning Fire!!!   Hallelujah!!! Glory to God in the Highest!!!

Edited by Brenda Sullivan on 01/29/2008 at 12:30pm


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Jn 7:38-39 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 ...
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Posted: 02/01/2008 at 9:14am | IP Logged Quote Larry Silverman

Amen Brenda!  Thanks for sharing your personal testimony here.

Yes, I don't know what I'd do without the baptism in the Holy Spirit!

Blessings,

Larry



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GOOD WORD BRENDA



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They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.....

From Herb Dean
 
Dear friends,
 
     How are you doing? So often, I tell you about how I am doing and pray that things are well with you, but today I want to ask, "How are you doing; how are you really doing?". There's an old rock song that has the line, "I just dropped in to see what condition,your condition is in." The scripture says that we are seated in heavenly places, far above all rule and authority. That is our position, but if you are like me sometimes my condition and my position don't line up. I want to talk about His presence today, because I believe that if we are in His presence we experience the good of our position and our condition changes.
 
     When I talk about being in the presence of the Lord what do I mean. The psalmist made it clear that we cannot escape His presence and the Lord Himself promised He would always be with us. So what am I talking about. I am talking about His manifest presence. Jesus said," For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them." If we know that God is omnipresent any way, there must be something special about the two or more gathered in His name. I believe it is His manifest presence. In His manifest presence there is often a tangible awareness that the Lord is present.
 
    A couple of weeks ago I talked about those who seek after the Lord's presence as in Psalms 84, will make springs in the desert. Those springs are the overflow of His presence. Let's look at a few scriptures that make mention of the presence of the Lord. There are many.
 
Psalms 16:11 In thy presence is fulness of joy. Have you found that when you encounter the Lord's presence that the things that were troubling you seem to disappear. There is a sense of peace and well-being. Hopefulness arises within us.
 
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.   What are they waiting on? They are waiting on the presence of the Lord. The presence of the Lord gives us renewed strength. The presence of the Lord allows us to soar above our circumstances. The stronger the wind currents, the higher the eagle soars. The presence of the Lord brings endurance. If are experiencing His presence we can endure and continue on. There is nothing more tiring than to go through what we feel are our Christian (religious) duties when God is not in it.
 
Acts 3:19 Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that  times of refreshing may come fro the presence of the Lord.  The verse is to unbelievers, but there is truth relevant to all of us and that is that times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord. Many a time in my life I have come into the meeting house tired and discouraged but when I made a choice to worship and praise Him I found myself refreshed in His presence. God inhabits the praises of His people. He dwells in our praise. That is the reason that satan resists praise.
 
   As I thought about what I might share today, I remembered the  disciples rowing with all their might against a contrary wind into the wee hours of the morning. They must have been very tired and when they saw Jesus walking on the water they thought He was ghost and that they were going to die. But He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid."  Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going. John 6:20,21     Isn't it amazing how the presence of the Lord can accomplish instantly what man in His best, well-intended efforts cannot accomplish. I had this thought and perhaps I have shared it before, but there are some of us who have been straining hard against the oars. We've grown tired and weary. Yes, we started across in obedience to the Lord and we encountered a contrary wind and it seemed that the Lord was not there. Lord, we want to see you walking on the water, but more than that we need you in the boat. Lord some of us need an immediately. I heard a pastor share that the key to church growth was in Mark 2. And again He entered Capernaum after some days and it was noised abroad that Jesus was in the house. Immediately many gathered together, so that there was no longer any room to receive them, not even near the door. and He preached the word to them. Mark 2:1,2  What we need is the presence of the Lord. In His presence we are changed from strength to strength and glory to glory and faith to faith.
 
        Lord,  I pray today that all who are weary, discouraged, and dry might be refreshed by your presence, even this day. We need you Lord in this hour more than ever before. Come, Lord Jesus in manifest presence into the lives of those who are crying out to you now, in Jesus name, Amen.
 
I finish as I began. How are you doing? Be blessed.
                      In His love,
                        Herb Dean 
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The Holy Spirit: Wonderful Gift Giver

By Charles Carrin

Check Your Knowledge About Spiritual Gifts
The Apostle Paul encountered Jesus on the Damascus Road and was born again; three days later in the Damascus Room through the laying-on-of-hands by Ananias. he encountered the Holy Spirit and received the Spirit's baptism. Later, this same man wrote an 84 verse treatise on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12,13,14. His Biblical explanation provides the most comprehensive, authoritative information we have on the subject. More importantly, It is the only resource bearing the seal of Divine Authorship. All conflicting opinions, no matter how cherished or long-established, are but human speculation and must be discarded. Scripture is our final, absolute authority.
 
The Apostle begins his dissertation with the plea: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant." 12:1. Interestingly, this appeal that we "not be ignorant" appears seven times in the New Testament concerning different topics. Once, it is by Peter and six times by Paul. Each time, the request reveals an especially deep concern of the writer. Its’ appearance here should command the attention of every conscientious believer. The Apostle then proceeds carefully to detail the operation of nine grace-works of the Spirit. These are the direct result of the Spirit's baptism. Having defended the need and purpose of the gifts, Paul then concludes his discourse with the stirring rebuke, "But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant!" 14:38. In other words, he says, "After this careful explanation of spiritual gifts, if anyone refuses to learn, I have nothing more to say to him. Let him remain illiterate!" Paul seemingly anticipated that some believers would reject his teaching on miraculous works of the Spirit and added this harsh warning:
 
"If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." I Corinthians 14:37.
 
What are the "commandments" of which he speaks? The answer: The Apostolic teachings on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12 and 14 speak with God's authority as much as any other of Paul's writings. We are no more at liberty to reject these Biblically mandated instructions than any other commandment of the Lord. Until recent years, there was probably no other subject about which the Church was more ignorant than that of spiritual gifts. Instead of heeding Paul's instruction, the modern Church has engaged in open warfare against them. This was done in spite of Paul's exhortation that we:
 
1. "Earnestly desire spiritual gifts." I Corinthians 12:31.
2. "Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy." 14:1.
3. "Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel." 14:12.
 
These admonitions do not indicate the reluctance that typifies the modern church's attitude against spiritual gifts. There was no such lukewarmness on the part of Paul or the Corinthians. Identically, believers today are encouraged to exercise the gifts for the benefit of everyone: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all; for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills ... But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant." I Corinthians 12:1;4-11;38.
 
The argument immediately arises, "These gifts passed away. They are no longer valid." Paul did not believe that. Nor does the New Testament teach it. In the introduction of his Corinthian letters (29 chapters and longest of all New Testament writings) Paul exhorted believers to " ... Come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 1:7. In that brief statement, Paul equated the duration of spiritual gifts to be the same length as the Church's waiting for Jesus' return. Examine it for yourself. This is precisely what the Apostle said.
 
There is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than of spiritual gifts and Jesus' offer of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. You may ask, “Why do I need the baptism in the Spirit and the imparting of spiritual gifts?” Here are a few of the many reasons:
 
1. Jesus said you needed it.
2. Without it, you are an incomplete disciple.
3. Good as you presently are, you will be better with it.
4. You need to be moved out of "soulish" effort into spiritual effort.
5. The baptism in the Spirit releases power in your life which can be had no other way.
6. Once you, your family, friends, recover from the shocking, personal change the baptism brings to your life, everyone will recognize you are a better person.
7. The Bible teaches it. Early Christians depended on it. History confirms it.
 
On the Day of Ascension, Jesus told the disciples at the Mount of Olives, "John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now ... You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." Acts 1:5,6. In a single statement, Jesus connected baptism in the Spirit to the imparting of His power. That wonderful event occurred on the day of Pentecost when 120 disciples in the Upper Room received the blessing. Scripture carefully explains that others who were not present at Pentecost experienced the same empowering later. That included the Samaritans, Acts 8:14-17, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:17, the household of Cornelius, Acts 10:44, and the Ephesians, Acts 19:1-7. Young Timothy followed the example. II Timothy 1:6. Identically, today, multiplied millions around the world have stepped into the Spirit's wondrous baptism.
 
We are told seven times in the New Testament to “be not ignorant.” The same Greek word for "ignorance," agnoeo, is used in all seven references though the King James version is probably the only one that translates it consistently. If you listen carefully you can detect the similarity between agnoeo and ignore. (agno/igno). It simply means "not to know;" that ignorance can come from lack of information, inadequate intelligence, or willful rejection of truth. These seven topics are fundamental to the Church. Notice they are in pairs. Two concern Israel, two concern the gospel, two foretell the end of the earth, and the final topic, # 7, the Church's spiritual gifts. Sincere Christians cannot deny the value of any. In all probability there is no one topic about which Christianity at large is more ignorant than spiritual gifts. Quoting from the King James Version, the seven are:
 
1. Israel's rejection and restoration; Gentile fullness: "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Romans 11:25.
 
2. Israel's dual baptism in the cloud and sea: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." I Corinthians 10:1. Israel's baptism unto Moses in the cloud and sea portrays Christian baptism unto Christ in the Spirit and water. The parallel is exact.
 
3. Opposition to the gospel in Asia: "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life." II Corinthians 1:8. Types of opposition which Paul experienced:
 
A. Physical infirmity. Galatians 4:13-15.
B. Stoning, shipwreck. II Corinthians 11:23-28.
C. "Contemptible speech." II Corinthians 10:10.
D. "Thorn in the flesh." II Corinthians 12:7.
E. "Weakness, fear," etc. I Corinthians 2:3.
F. Persecutions. II Timothy 3:11.
G. Apostolic division. Acts 15:36-40.
 
4. Opposition to the Gospel in Europe: "Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (but was let hitherto), that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles." Romans 1:13. Reasons for the opposition:
 
A. To prevent Paul's impartation of spiritual gifts. 1:11.
B. To handicap the gospel’s bringing salvation. 1:16.
C. To stop believers from living "by faith." 1:17
 
5. Jesus' Second Coming; Resurrection of the saints: "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." I Thessalonians 4:13.
 
6. The "thief in the night" destruction of the earth: "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day ... But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ..." II Peter 3:8,10.
 
II Peter 3:3-5. "Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water."
 
7. The Holy Spirit's miraculous gifts to the Church: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." I Corinthians 12:1.
The New Testament contains six passages in which gifts of the Spirit are identified. Since the New Testament is a Covenant, not merely a book–inalterably ratified by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ--not of bulls and goats, all these gifts are still active; none have been removed. Hebrews 9:19-26.
 
1. 1 Corinthians 12:8-12: “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
 
2. 1 Corinthians 12:28. “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”
 
3. Romans 12:6-9. “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”
 
4. Ephesians 4:11-12. “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers...”
 
5. 1 Corinthians 7:7. “For I wish that all men were even as I myself (unmarried). But each one has his own *gift from God, one in this manner and another in that. 1 Corinthians 7:7. *chárisma ek Theoú
 
6. 1 Peter 4:9-12. “Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
 
List Of Gifts and Times Mentioned.
 
1. Word of wisdom. 1
2. Word of Knowledge. 1
3. Faith. 1
4. Gifts of healings. 2
5. Miracles. 2
6. Prophecy. 4
7. Discerning of Spirits. 1
8. Tongues.   2
9. Interpretation of tongues. 1
10. Apostles. 2
11. Prophets. 2
12. Teachers. 3
13. Helps. 1
14. Administrations. 1
15. Ministry. 2
16. Exhortation. 1
17. Giving. 1
18. Leading. 1
19. Mercy. 1
20. Hospitality 1
21. Speaking. 1
22. Chastity. 1
 
It is probable that “speaking” and “exhortation” are the same gift; so also with “giving” and “hospitality.” There is a blurring of distinction between others. While prophecy is mentioned four times, teaching three times, and the other gifts a lessor number, we are expected to believe all of them without challenge. If the Bible says something one time only we are to believe it without question.
 
THE ARGUMENT AGAINST THE GIFT OF TONGUES.
 
“Whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away ...” I Corinthians 13:8-10.
 
Those who oppose gifts of the Spirit frequently quote the passage above to defend their position. Though an invalid claim, it is their only defense. The assumption is, “That which is perfect”, is a reference to the completed New Testament and that tongues were removed when the canon was complete. I find great conflict in believing that Paul's Corinthian letter was written by inspiration of the Holy Spirit”( I Peter 1:21) but when ‘the Bible was perfected’--completed--those ‘perfect’ writings about prophecy, tongues, knowledge, became imperfect. My question is this: How can the Bible qualify to being 'that which is perfect' if it contains passages which are erroneous and unsafe for us to believe? If this claim be so–that perfect Bible writings became imperfect when “that which is perfect had come”--we have a crisis that throws us completely out of authentic theology and into irrationality.
 
The key is the word “then”–which is used three times in the text–and in all three instances referring to the same future date. Observe the times it appears: “When that which is perfect has come,  Then that which is in part will be done away ... For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but Then face to face. Now I know in part, but Then I shall know just as I also am known.” I Corinthians 13:10,12. All three times the word 'then' appears, it points to the same future perfection. Question: Have we come to the time when we no longer ‘see in a mirror, dimly,’ “but 'face to face'?. No. Have we come to the time when we no longer know 'in part' but 'as I also am known'? No, Then we have not yet come to the time when 'that which is perfect has come'. Thankfully, knowledge has not yet vanished away.
 
 
The Following Scriptures Speak Of The Holy Spirits “Gifts”. 
 
WHICH ONES ARE YOU WILLING TO DISCARD?
 
Acts 2:38. Then Peter said to them,"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
 
Acts 8:20. 20 But Peter said to him, "Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
 
Acts 10:45. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also.
 
Acts 11:17. If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
 
Romans 1:11. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established — 
 
Romans 5:15. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
 
Romans 5:16. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
 
Romans 5:17. For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
 
Romans 5:18. Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
 
Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
 
1 Corinthians 1:7. So that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ,
 
1 Corinthians 7:7. For I wish that all men were even as I myself. But each one has his own gift from God, one in this manner and another in that.
 
1 Corinthians 13:2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
 
2 Corinthians 9:15. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
 
Ephesians 2:8. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
 
Ephesians 3:7. Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
 
Ephesians 4:7. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.
 
Philippians 4:17. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.   
 
1 Timothy 4:14. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.
 
Hebrews 6:4. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit.
 
2 Timothy 1:6. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
 
James 1:17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
 
My final word is this: “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10. As a conscientious Christian, you want to serve God and His people by allowing the free demonstration of His gifts in you. Being religious is not what He seeks from you. He wants genuine spirituality to be the hallmark of your life. That can only happen when His gifts are free to glorify Jesus through you. Do it!
 

Charles Carrin

CarrinMin1@aol.com

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Baptism 2.0 Basics

 

Answering the most frequently asked questions about the baptism of the Holy Spirit

My life is filled with amazing people. Recently, a widow I know pointed to a midnight intruder and boldly commanded him to leave her house. He did! Another friend refused to panic when her teenage daughter ran away. As she was calling the police, the Holy Spirit revealed the girl’s exact location to her. Another woman—a shy single mom—overcame a 12-year battle with bulimia. Today she teaches a weekly Bible study to women with addictions. Are these people superheroes? No, they’re just ordinary Christians who have received the extraordinary baptism of the Holy Spirit. 

When people are baptized in the Holy Spirit, they are filled with God’s ability. Natural people do supernatural things. Lives of chaos find serenity and purpose. Shy people become bold, and selfish people experience radical changes in their priorities. Sadly, many Christians today don’t seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit because they don’t understand it. They don’t know what they’re missing! Here are some of the questions I hear most frequently.

What is the baptism of the Holy Spirit?

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not salvation; it’s a secondary experience to salvation. God’s gift to sinners is Jesus the Savior. God’s gift to believers is Jesus the Baptizer. 

When Jesus became your Savior, He cleansed your sin by His blood; but when Jesus becomes your baptizer, He fills you with His Spirit. The result of salvation is forgiveness; the result of the baptism is power. 

I like to compare the baptism of the Holy Spirit to fuel for a car. Your car may be paid for, but you won’t get very far in it without a full tank of gas. Yes, through salvation, your sins have been paid for; but your journey in life will be easier and more productive if your “tank” is full. The fuller your tank, the further you can go with God.

What is the evidence of it?

The evidence of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit is, first of all, supernatural power. Power over what? Fear. Anger. Disease. Doubt. Discouragement (and more). This dunamis power helps you overcome anything that hinders you from experiencing God’s abundant life. It also helps you do things you never could have done in your own strength. Take Peter, for example. Before he received the Holy Spirit’s power, he denied the Lord Jesus three times. Afterward he healed the sick, raised the dead and won 3,000 souls with his first sermon!

The second evidence of receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit is a glorious prayer language, also known as “speaking in tongues.” Now, I understand that many wonderful Christians may disagree with me on this point. But my personal belief—and I think Scripture bears me out—is that speaking in tongues is a wonderful gift that every believer can embrace.

People ask me, “Do I have to speak in tongues?” My reply is: “You don’t have to. You get to.” Speaking in tongues is the Holy Spirit praying through you, speaking mysteries to God. How wonderful! 

Why speak in tongues?

By my count, the Bible gives 31 reasons for speaking in tongues. Since I don’t have room to list them all here, I’ll just share with you my favorite five.

  • Experiencing spiritual refreshment

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? Do you get bored with the routines of life? Speaking in tongues is a spiritual “refreshing” that causes “the weary to rest” (Is. 28:11-12, NKJV). Often the Holy Spirit has prompted me to get alone and worship God in other tongues. In minutes, I feel as if I’ve enjoyed a two-week vacation.

  • Overcoming weakness

According to Romans 8:26, speaking in tongues helps strengthen you in areas of personal weakness. Are you tempted with lust? Tormented with worry? Do you struggle with discouragement? Need help with your eating habits? Pray in the Holy Spirit often, because He is your Helper.

  • Praying God’s perfect will

Speaking in tongues helps you to always pray the perfect will of God (see Rom. 8:27). When you pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit prays God’s will through you, addressing issues and circumstances that are often too complicated for you to understand.

Here’s a personal example: When my beautiful friend Ava was killed by a drunk driver, I wanted that irresponsible drunk locked up forever. But as I continued to pray in tongues, I became aware of the man’s path toward hell. I prayed for his soul and gave the legal outcome to God. Praying in the Spirit caused my desire for revenge to yield to the wisdom of God.

 

  • Having the mind of Christ

 

According to 1 Corinthians 2:16, having “the mind of Christ” is synonymous with knowing the will of God. That means that when you pray in the Spirit, you not only pray God’s will, you actually have the mind of Christ.

The question often arises, “Did Jesus speak in tongues?” No, I don’t believe He did. He didn’t have to—He already had the mind of Christ! He knew the Father’s will because He and the Father were one.

  • Building up your “inner man”

Speaking or praying in tongues edifies and strengthens your “inner man” (see Jude 20; 1 Cor. 14:4). It builds you up and makes you strong in God. How much praying in the Spirit do you need to do? Well, how strong do you want to be?

Must tongues be interpreted?

The answer is, sometimes. The Bible mentions two different gifts of tongues. The first one, which is associated with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, is your personal prayer language. This is a language only God understands.

The language in Japan is Japanese, and the language in France is French. But personal prayer language is what I like to call Heavenese—the language of heaven.

The second gift of tongues is one of the nine gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians 12:10. It needs interpretation so that everyone who hears it can be encouraged (see 1 Cor. 14:26-28).

You might say that your personal prayer language is man talking to God; it doesn’t need interpretation because God understands. The gift of tongues, on the other hand, is God talking to man. Other people can’t be edified unless someone interprets the message. 

Is the baptism for everyone?

I believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for everyone. Jesus Himself said the Father would give the Holy Spirit to everyone who asks Him (see Luke 11:13). Later, Peter said the gift of the Holy Spirit “is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off” (Acts 2:39).

I once ministered to a dear woman who desperately wanted to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. She had been told the Holy Spirit wouldn’t fill her until she quit smoking cigarettes. She tried for 14 years to quit, with no success. She felt condemned and hopeless. 

“God doesn’t fill you with His Spirit because you are so good, but because He is so good,” I told her. She left that service speaking in tongues and with supernatural power to break her addiction. She quit smoking within one month!

In 1980 I was invited to minister the baptism of the Holy Spirit at a convention in Belize. Most of the 300 women attending were Catholics who recently had come to Christ. As I preached, I sensed great resistance toward the baptism. I wondered if the “brick wall” was a cultural response or a reaction to the mention of my Methodist upbringing.

I whispered a quick prayer for direction, and a flash of wisdom came. “How many of you want everything that the blessed Virgin Mary had?” I asked. Those devoted Catholic women perked up, and everyone raised a hand.

“Our precious Mary was one of the original 120 who received the Spirit’s power and spoke in her own prayer language,” I said. “Lift your other hand and receive the Holy Spirit, just as Mary did.” In minutes they were speaking in tongues.

Can I be Spirit-filled and not speak in tongues?

I personally know many precious believers who don’t speak in tongues yet lead godly lives filled with the fruit of the Spirit. Are they Spirit-filled? Yes, I believe they are Spirit-filled—just not Spirit-full. They are wonderful, God-fearing people who have learned to yield to and depend upon the Holy Spirit, but they have stopped just short of fullness.

In his classic book Bible Doctrines, the late P.C. Nelson put it this way: “You may heat water to 150 degrees, then 175, then 200, then 210, but it still does not boil. But, if it reaches 212 degrees, there is no doubt the water will begin to boil. 

“Many believers have mighty anointings with the Holy Spirit who have not received the fullness of the Baptism. So you may be anointed almost to the fullness, but until you speak in tongues, there’s still more to receive.”

How can I be baptized in the Holy Spirit?

The book of Acts shows believers receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit in many different ways. Personally, I received the baptism all alone while in my bedroom in 1972. I’ve known people who have been baptized in the Holy Spirit over the telephone.

The key is to be thirsty for all that God wants to give you. Since the Holy Spirit moved into your Spirit when you received Jesus as your Savior, He is already in you. 

Simply ask Jesus for the fullness of His gift to you. Then, in faith, begin to magnify God in your new prayer language. It might seem awkward at first, but keep going. Don’t give up!

Just as a baby starts with a few words, begin with a few syllables, saying them aloud. God will honor your faith. He is the baptizer—and He will fill you to overflowing.

The Holy Spirit will not come down from heaven. Rather, He will bubble up from within your spirit. Remember—because you received Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit is in you already.

Many people make the mistake of praying to be filled—then waiting. I’ve watched thousands of sincere believers reverently waiting at the altar for God to “do something.” They don’t need to wait for God; He is waiting for them!

Will I need a ‘refilling’?

I believe all of us should frequently receive a refilling of the Holy Spirit. In the often-quoted verse, “Be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18), the Greek word for filled means “a frequent, repetitive infilling.” In Acts 2:4, the disciples were filled; later, in Acts 4:31, the same disciples were refilled.

Why do you need a refilling? Because we dare not depend on our human logic or natural abilities to reach a hurting world. Instead, we must remember Zechariah 4:6

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Determine today to know Jesus, not only as your Savior, but also as your baptizer. Ask Him to fill you and refill you with His Holy Spirit. You and I may be ordinary people, but with God’s dunamis power working in us and through us, we can do extraordinary things. 

 


 

Rachel Burchfield and her husband, Tommy, are the co-pastors of Believers World Outreach Church and the co-founders of Burchfield Ministries International. Her ministry is based in the Houston area. For more information, go to burchfield.org.

 


 

Want to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? We’ll join you in prayer at spiritbaptism.charismamag.com




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Evidence of the Gift

 

Evidence of the GiftWhy speaking in tongues matters more than you might think

 

I’ll never forget when I first discovered the power of praying in tongues. It was 1953, and I was a 19-year-old student at a Bible college in Portland, Ore. I drove down to Salem with some friends to minister at a church, and after the preaching ministry all of us went to the altar to pray.

As I was praying, the Holy Spirit began to move in a way I had not experienced. I could sense this was a sovereign move of God taking place and that I should let the Holy Spirit have His way. I sat down crossed-legged so I could be comfortable while I spent time praying continuously in tongues.

In my natural mind it was like I was listening to two different people carry on a conversation. My spirit would pray through my mouth for four to five minutes in a tongue that sounded like the romantic soft language of French, Spanish or Italian. The prayer was expressed in a pleading tone. After a short period of time my spirit language would change to a deeper, harder, more authoritative tone like an African, German or Russian language.

I could feel the switch from my spirit talking to God to God talking to my spirit. His was an instructive, commanding voice as one giving important directions. It felt like He was saying: “Watch out for this. Be careful of that. This is going to happen, and when it does I will lead you. Fear not.” 

I didn’t understand the language in my natural mind, but my spirit conveyed to me the essence of what was being spoken. This continued for four solid hours.

About four months later there was a great upheaval in the Bible college. Five of our teachers left, and the students were in great confusion. We didn’t know if the president of the Bible college was in the wrong or the five teachers. I was fasting for days and praying for hours at a time asking God to reveal His will for me. He finally told me to not be afraid or overly concerned because He already had it all worked out for me.

He said: “You remember when you prayed those four hours, and you and I communicated in the Spirit? During that time I put into your spirit what you were to do. I gave you the wisdom and grace you would need in order to make the right decision and take the right action.”

Today the Lord might have said He “downloaded” to my spirit hard drive all the information and grace I would need from His Holy Spirit hard drive to navigate the situation. The more we pray in our spirit language, the more time and opportunity we give God to program our spirits to direct our thinking and actions.

When we pray in tongues, mysteries are being revealed to our spirit man. The apostle John declared that the Holy Spirit would show us things to come, bring all things to our remembrance, enlighten and empower us to glorify Christ, manifest His life, and do the works that Christ did (see John 16:7-15; 14:12,26). If we want to be built up in God and edify our spirits with the charge of God’s power, then we need to pray often in our spirit language.

The Greatest Gift

All works of God are accomplished by His Spirit and His Word. We can be filled with His Word by studying the Bible, memorizing Scripture and listening to anointed biblical teaching and preaching. We are filled with His Spirit when we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, which gives us the gift of being able to pray in unknown tongues, or a spirit language.

God the Father gave the world the greatest gift possible when He sent His son to die on the cross. But speaking in tongues is the greatest gift that Jesus could give the church because it activates God’s grace and power, and enables believers to live the life of Christ and fulfill their callings. 

Receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit is like a person obtaining a computer who has used only a manual typewriter. I’ve used a computer to write the last four of my 10 books, and I probably know only 10 percent of my computer’s capabilities. 

I’d estimate that 90 percent of the Christians who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit use less than 10 percent of all the spirit language is capable of doing in and through them. What are they missing? It would take volumes to list all the things speaking in tongues empowers a believer to do. Here are just a few:

Our spirit language enables us to have spirit-to-Spirit communication with God. Speaking in tongues helps us fulfill the Scriptures that instruct us to be filled with the Spirit, led of the Spirit, walk in the Spirit, live in the Spirit, and worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.

Our spirit language builds up our spirit man. Praying in tongues charges our spirits like a battery charger powers a battery. Jude 1:20 declares that we build ourselves up in the faith by praying in the Spirit. The apostle Paul also declared in Romans 5:5 that the love of God is poured into our hearts by praying in our spirit language.

Our spirit language is a catalyst that produces all the manifestations of the Spirit of God. Speaking in tongues empowers us to become more Christ-like, produce the fruit of the Spirit and manifest the supernatural gifts of God (see Gal. 5:22; 1 Cor. 12:7-11). First Corinthians 14:4 says, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself.” Edify means “to build up, enable, empower and charge.”

The gift of the Holy Spirit places a power-producing plant within us that generates the power of God like the Hoover Dam pumps electricity. The dam’s water gate is like our mouths, while the turbine inside the gate is like our tongues. The dynamo in the heart of the dam is like the Holy Spirit within our spirits. 

The fast twirling of the turbine’s blades is what causes the rotation of the great dynamo in the heart of the dam. The dynamo is what generates the power, but it’s the turning of the turbine that starts and keeps the dynamo going.

This is what happens when we are filled with the Spirit, open the water gate of our mouths and allow those rivers of living water to flow. As the turbine of our tongues begins to churn out the language of the Spirit, it starts a dynamo activity in our spirits that generates the power of God within us.

From this illustration we understand more what Jesus had in mind when He said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8, NKJV). You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit enables you to generate the power of God by praying in tongues. The reservoir is filled with good evangelical water for cleansing, baptizing and fishing for new converts, but it does not produce any power until it flows through the water gate and turns the turbine.

The spirit language is the activator of the gifts of the Spirit. In short, speaking in tongues grows the fruit of faith, which is the procurer of all God’s promises.

A Language for Everyone

The main reason most Christians do not receive the gift of tongues is their pastors have not taught them that it’s God’s will for them to have it. I’ve found that what a minister teaches about the gift of the Holy Spirit is based on the restoration movement from which his or her denomination emerged.

There have been eight general restoration movements, all of which restored truths and spiritual experiences that were lost or changed due to religious ritual during the 1,000-year Dark Age of the church. The first restoration movement, called the Protestant Reformation, began in 1517 and challenged corruption in the Roman Catholic Church, especially the teaching that God’s forgiveness could be bought. The last, which I call the Saints Movement, began in 2007 and is seeing lay Christians perform supernatural signs to demonstrate Christ’s lordship over every area of life.

The major denominations established to propagate the truths restored during the Protestant Reformation were the Lutheran, Episcopal and Presbyterian churches. The 1600s saw the beginning of the Baptist denominations. 

This was followed by the emergence of the holiness movement in the 1700s, which produced the Methodist Church. Then the divine faith healing movement in the 1880s produced such denominations as the Christian and Missionary Alliance.

All the denominations formed before the Pentecostal movement began in 1906 weren’t given the revelation and responsibility to restore the gift of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues. Because it was not part of their restoration revelation and spiritual experience, the gift of tongues never became part of their church doctrine and accepted Christian practice. Therefore most historic Protestant and evangelical pastors, except for the charismatic ones among them, don’t teach that the gift of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues is for Christians today.

But what happened on the day of Pentecost was according to God’s will and purpose. God the Father directed the Holy Spirit to give the 120 charter members of the church the ability to pray in languages they did not understand. 

Why did God do it that way? What would it accomplish for His church to speak in other tongues that originated from their born-again, baptized spirits and not from their natural learning?

God chose speaking in tongues because the tongue is the most powerful and influential member of the body (see James 3:1-12; Prov. 18:21; 1 Cor. 14:2). The father of all miracles is God’s transformation of a sinner into a saint, and the mother of all miracles is the Spirit taming the tongue by having it speak a language that it didn’t learn and doesn’t understand.

Just as Jesus gave many infallible proofs of His resurrection, the authors of the New Testament gave many infallible proofs that the gift of the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues was for all believers during the Church Age and for all generations to come (see Acts 2:38).

The Old Testament prophets spoke of the Holy Spirit’s gift of tongues. On the day of Pentecost, the apostle Peter referred to Joel’s prophecy to explain how the early believers were speaking unknown languages (see Acts 2:16-21). And in 1 Corinthians 14:21, Paul quotes the prophet Isaiah when instructing the church on the operation of the gift of tongues.

In the Gospels, John the Baptist prophesied that Jesus would baptize His followers with the Holy Spirit and fire (see Luke 3:15-16). And in the book of Acts, the gift of tongues was the sign that convinced the apostle Peter that gentiles could become children of God without first becoming proselyte Jews (see Acts 10:44-48, 11:1-18).

Jesus promised in John 14 to send the Holy Spirit, and the manifestation that came with His gift was not wind, fire or feeling God’s presence. It was speaking in tongues. God wanted it that way, and that should be incentive enough to receive the gift and speak in tongues (see Acts 2:4-11; 1 Cor. 14:5,39-40).

If that isn’t sufficient for a believer, however, there’s another major reason for receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit: Because Jesus commanded His followers to wait for it (see Acts 1:4). He paid a great price to fulfill His promise. He died, rose and, in order to send the Holy Spirit with His gift of speaking in tongues, ascended back to the Father (see John 16:7).

If everyone knew all the benefits of praying in tongues, they would want to receive the gift. The Holy Spirit is our helper, comforter, intercessor and faithful friend. Praying in tongues empowers us when we are weak, comforts us when we are saddened by life’s circumstances and enables intercession for us according to the will of God.

When we don’t know how to pray as we should, we can turn the intercession over to the Holy Spirit, and it will go directly to the heart of the matter with the wisdom and power of God to meet the need. Using the spirit language, we can wage spiritual warfare against unseen enemies. 

Praying in tongues fills us with the love of God, and it enables us to manifest the fruit of the Spirit and the mighty gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is why Jesus told His disciples it was best for them that He go back to the Father and send them the Holy Spirit, who would bring them the greatest gift of praying in their own spirit language.

How grieved the Holy Spirit must be when God’s people don’t receive His special gift. May all Christians fulfill Jesus’ command to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and embrace all He has to offer. 

 


 

Bill Hamon is the founder and bishop of the Christian International Ministries Network, a coalition of more than 3,700 ministers. He is working on a book that will give 70 reasons that Christians should embrace speaking in tongues.

 


 

Discover how science has validated the practice of glossolalia at tongues.charismamag.com



Read more: http://www.charismamag.com/index.php/component/content/artic le/1511-features/28937-evidence-of-the-gift#ixzz0wyMIivQD


Edited by Moderator on 08/18/2010 at 9:10am
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Posted: 02/07/2011 at 2:10pm | IP Logged Quote Keith demers

I know what I would do without the Holy Ghost. I know what I did. I still do not have Him and I still miss Him. There is no loss like losing Jesus. There is no greater depression.

Edited by Keith demers on 02/07/2011 at 2:11pm


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Posted: 02/07/2011 at 10:28pm | IP Logged Quote Gayle Getz

Keith, my Brother, I will pray for you.

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Posted: 02/08/2011 at 6:20am | IP Logged Quote Larry Silverman

Hi Keith,

Thanks for writing and sharing some from your heart. You
know walking with God, sharing in the Holy Spirit's
comfort is not a difficult thing. Even those who have
turned their back on God are welcomed back into His arms
and it's so easy. God doesn't make our relationship with
Him difficult in any way.

Below is a link to a very short audio recording. Please
listen to it and pray along with it and then get back
with me. If the link doesn't open properly, please just
copy/paste it into your browser.

http://www.rivercorp.co.za/mp3/PrayerCD.mp3

Again, please let me know if you prayed the prayer on the
recording. And, feel free to ask any questions you may
have. I am praying for you today!

Kingdom blessings,

Larry


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Posted: 05/10/2011 at 11:07pm | IP Logged Quote Guests

I still do not have Him and I still miss Him. There is no loss like losing Jesus. There is no greater depression. ...
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Posted: 05/11/2011 at 2:38pm | IP Logged Quote Larry Silverman

Marrylee....Just a quick reply to you.... You've not lost Jesus!  He's as close to you as your next heart beat.  I am not certain of your story on how you felt you lost Him.  But if any sin entered into your life, it's just a simple matter of confessing and seeking His forgiveness.  Jesus is right there for you.  You might want to take a few minutes and read the story of the Prodigal Son. 

Blessings!

Larry


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THE HOLY SPIRIT: WONDERFUL HELPER AND FRIEND

 

The Apostle Paul encountered Jesus on the Damascus Road and was born again; three days later in the Damascus Room through the laying-on-of-hands by Ananias he encountered the Holy Spirit and received the Spirit's baptism.  Later, this same man wrote an 84 verse treatise on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12,13,14. His Biblical explanation provides the most comprehensive, authoritative information we have on the subject. More importantly, It is the only resource bearing the seal of Divine Authorship. All conflicting opinions, no matter how cherished or long-established, are but human speculation and must be discarded. Scripture is our final, absolute authority.

 

The Apostle begins his dissertation with the plea: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant." 12:1. Interestingly, this appeal that we "not be ignorant" appears seven times in the New Testament concerning different topics. Once, it is by Peter and six times by Paul. Each time, the request reveals an especially deep concern of the writer. Its’ appearance here should command the attention of every conscientious believer. The Apostle then proceeds carefully to detail the operation of nine grace-works of the Spirit. These are the direct result of the Spirit's baptism.

 

Having defended the need and purpose of the gifts, Paul then concludes his discourse with the stirring rebuke,  "But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant!" 14:38. In other words, he says, "After this careful explanation of spiritual gifts, if anyone refuses to learn, I have nothing more to say to him. Let him remain illiterate!" Paul seemingly anticipated that some believers would reject his teaching on miraculous works of the Spirit and added this harsh warning:

 

 "If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord." I Corinthians 14:37. What are the "commandments" of which he speaks? The answer: The Apostolic teachings on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12 and 14 speak with God authority as much as any other of Paul's writings. We are no more at liberty to reject these Biblically mandated instructions than any other commandment of the Lord.

 

Until recent years, there was probably no other subject about which the Church was more ignorant than that of spiritual gifts. Instead of heeding Paul's instruction, the Church engaged in open warfare against them. This was done in full view of Paul's exhortation that we:

 

1.    "Earnestly desire spiritual gifts." I Corinthians 12:31.

2.    "Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy." 14:1.

3.    "Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel." 14:12.

 

These admonitions do not indicate the reluctance that typifies the modern church's attitude against spiritual gifts. There was no such lukewarmness on the part of Paul or the Corinthians. Identically, believers today are encouraged to exercise the gifts for the benefit of everyone: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all; for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills ... But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant." I Corinthians 12:1;4-11;38.

 

The argument immediately arises, "These gifts passed away." Paul did not believe that. Nor does the New Testament teach it. In the introduction of his Corinthian letters (29 chapters and longest of all New Testament writings) Paul exhorted believers to " ... Come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 1:7. In that brief statement, Paul equated the duration of spiritual gifts to be the same length as the Church's waiting for Jesus' return. Examine it for yourself. This is precisely what the Apostle said.

 

On the Day of Ascension, Jesus told the disciples at the Mount of Olives, "John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now ... You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." Acts 1:5,6. In a single statement, Jesus connected baptism in the Spirit to the imparting of His power. That wonderful event occurred on the day of Pentecost when 120 disciples in the Upper Room received the blessing. Scripture carefully explains that others who were not present at Pentecost experienced the same empowering later. That included the Samaritans, Acts 8:14-17, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:17, the household of Cornelius, Acts 10:44, and the Ephesians, Acts 19:1-7. Young Timothy followed the example. II Timothy 1:6. Identically, today, multiplied millions around the world have stepped into the Spirit's wondrous baptism.

 

We are told seven times in the New Testament to “be not ignorant.” The same Greek word for "ignorance," agnoeo, is used in all seven references though the King James Version is probably the only one that translates it consistently. If you listen carefully you can detect the similarity between agnoeo and ignore. (agno/igno). It simply means "not to know;" that ignorance can come from lack of information, inadequate intelligence, or willful rejection of truth.

 

These seven topics are fundamental to the Church. Notice they are in pairs. Two concern Israel, two concern the gospel, two foretell the end of the earth, and the final topic is the Church's spiritual gifts. Sincere Christians cannot deny the value of any. Quoting from the King James Version, the seven topics to which we are not to be ignorant are these:

 

1.  Israel's rejection and restoration; Gentile fullness:  "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in." Romans 11:25.

 

2. Israel's dual baptism in the cloud and sea:  "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." I Corinthians 10:1. Israel's baptism unto Moses in the cloud and sea portrays Christian baptism unto Christ in the Spirit and water. The parallel is exact.

 

3. Opposition to the gospel in Asia:  "For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life." II Corinthians 1:8.

 

4. Opposition to the Gospel in Europe: “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you (but was let hitherto), that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles." Romans 1:13

 

5. Jesus' Second Coming; Resurrection of the saints:  "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope." I Thessalonians 4:13.

 

6. The "thief in the night" destruction of the earth: "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day ... But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ..." II Peter 3:8,10.

 

7. The Holy Spirit's miraculous gifts to the Church: "Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant." I Corinthians 12:1. I repeat, there is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than of spiritual gifts—and Jesus' offer of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But, someone asks, why do I need the baptism in the Spirit and the imparting of spiritual gifts?

 

Here are a few of the many reasons:

 

1. Jesus said you needed it.

 

2. Without it, you are an incomplete disciple.

 

3. Good as you presently are, you will be better with it.

 

4. You need to be moved out of "soulish" effort into spiritual effort.

 

5. The baptism in the Spirit releases power in your life which can be had no other way.

 

6. Once you, your family, friends, recover from the shocking, personal change the baptism brings to your life, everyone will recognize you are a better person.

 

7. The Bible teaches it. Early Christians depended on it. History confirms it.

 

Stop your foolish arguments against the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit and receive all He has for you.  You will be glad you did!  

Charles Carrin
carrinmin1@aol.com

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OVERCOMING THE SPIRIT OF UNBELIEF
 
    For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world- our faith. I John 5:5
 
    Do you know what George Washington said to his men before crossing the Delaware? Get in the boat! Sounds silly but there had to be action put to his words in order for them to launch out to accomplish their mission. Do you know what Jesus said to Peter when He approached them on the stormy sea walking on water? Come!
 
    Walking on water is physically impossible, and for one to accomplish such a feat he must move into a different dimension of the Spirit. Raising the dead also requires faith outside the box of man's natural mind. The church of Jesus Christ has been given the power and the supernatural ability to overcome the natural realm to accomplish extraordinary miracles.
 
    Today we live in a world totally dominated by the media. Everything is electronic, hand held and information is instantaneous. The modern mind of man has been brain washed into believing anything that media wants him to believe. Even the court system is compromised by whatever verdict the media wants to attach to someone, subsequently swaying the juror's minds. They can ruin you in a matter of minutes or exonerate you, it all depends on what makes the most money.
 
    Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17
 
THE DIVINE MIXTURE
 
    For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. Hebrews 4:2
 
    If Jesus said it, believe it, if it's in His word stand on it and take it to heart. God is moved by people trusting His word and believing the promises contained in scripture. Not name it and claim it, or blab it and grab it, that's just childish gibberish reserved for new converts and TV preachers. God is not Santa Claus reading your list of selfish pleasures and rushing out to make you happy.
 
    That which moves God is true faith in His word and stepping out with a heart believing that He will watch over His promise to perform it. When one's motive is pure and sincere in regards to his need the Holy Spirit comes in power always glorifying Jesus and giving honor to God. Knowing God's will in regards to our circumstances involves prayer and meditation in His word leading to the answer to our petition.
 
    When Jesus arrived at the home of Lazarus, He was moved with compassion as he saw his sisters and friends mourning the loss of their loved one. He immediately proceeded to the tomb and wept with grief even though He knew the outcome and He called him forth from the grave and received him back into the land of the living. The loss of a dear friend moved the Holy Spirit to resurrect a man who was dead four days.
 
    Desperation moves the hand of God, for it is when we have reached the point of no return in regards to our own fleshly means of deliverance that Holy Spirit begins to work. Many years ago I was with the parents of a young lady that had just lost her baby and then suffered kidney failure. The doctor was telling them that there was no hope because her organs were shutting down and she was being kept alive by the assistance of machines.
 
    As we heard the hopeless news the Holy Spirit said to me, "Go and pray again." Out of obedience and not super spiritual faith I entered her room and saw her lying there hooked up to a heart and lung machine and her color was almost bright yellow, needless to say it looked pretty hopeless. I prayed and then left the hospital and two days later she was released, totally restored to perfect health.
 
    "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do, because I go to the Father." John 14:12
 
GOD WON'T MOVE IN UNBELIEF
 
    Jesus appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. Mark 16:14
 
    After seeing and experiencing three years of signs, wonders and miracles the eleven apostles sat in unbelief. Their Master dead, wanted by the authorities, and scared for their own lives the disciples huddled around the table discussing their plight. Suddenly Jesus appeared and rebuked them for their hardness of heart.
 
    Instead of beating them over the head with the scriptures, Jesus commissioned them into their lifelong mission to make disciples of all nations. We as the church would do well to take a hard look at what Jesus did with the eleven, He didn't tell them to put a church on every corner, He said make disciples. If we would just obey and unify under the banner of the cross the world would be harvested and He would return for a glorious church.
 
    Instead of arguing about doctrine and the color of the new carpet in the sanctuary, trying to hire a new "Senior Pastor" (Found no where in scripture) and bickering among themselves about nothing, the church has neglected the very thing that breeds spiritual life: the great commission! Because of her unbelief and hardness of heart the church has sunk into a cesspool of fear and doubt becoming a Sunday morning social club catering to the rich and famous!
 
    "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved: but he who does not believe will be condemned. "And these signs will follow those who have believed: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover." Mark 16:15-18
 
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin


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RELEASING THE POWER WITHIN!

By Rodney W. Francis

There is a power, an authority that is given to the Holy Spirit-filled believer for using in his/her day-to-day walk with Jesus. The Scripture says (Jesus speaking), “But you shall receive power (“dunamis”) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, NKJV). “Dunamis” is a Greek word and means: “act of power” (Young’s); “miraculous power, ability” (Strong’s); “natural capability, inherent power; capability of anything; then, absolutely, not merely power capable of action, but, power in action” (Bullinger’s). “Dunamis” is used 121 times in the New Testament and is translated into the following English words: ability (1), abundance (1), meaning (1), might (4), mighty deed (1), mighty work (11), miracle (8), power (77), strength (7), violence (1), virtue (3), wonderful work (1), worker of miracles (1), and mighty (4). Jesus was declaring that through the Holy Spirit living within us there would be a resident power that has the ability for us to overcome every obstacle that would come against us (to stop us from being His true witnesses) and can enable us to go to the furthest parts of the earth. In these days we need to know the reality of that statement ~ not in word only, but as a practical, outworking experience. The only limitations will be those that we place on ourselves! That power accompanies the Holy Spirit Who is the power of God NOW living inside of us! So when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives He brings with Him the power of God to enable us to serve God in “the power (“strength”) of His might” (Ephesians 6:10). The Holy Spirit is the anointing of God: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power (“dunamis”), Who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him” (see Acts 10:34-48)! The same Holy Spirit now resides within us and we should also be going about doing good and healing all who are oppressed of the devil. This power is to make us true witnesses unto the Lord Jesus Christ; not only in our speaking, but in our whole manner of living.

· Do you know the Holy Spirit is right now living inside of you?

Ephesians 1:13 tells us we have been “sealed (“impressed, stamped”) with the Holy Spirit of promise.” The Apostle Paul tells us that “the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). We have been sealed by God ~ sealed and filled with the Holy Spirit, making us to know we are part of the Kingdom of God. And we have come to the kingdom for such a time as this (Esther 4:14)! The power of the Holy Spirit in our lives should be so operating within us that our witness of Jesus is reaching out beyond our homes, churches, wherever we fellowship, to the regions beyond, even to the uttermost parts of the world.

WE MUST SPEAK THE TRUTH OF WHO WE REALLY ARE!

Far too often we are not able to convince others because we are not convinced ourselves about what God has already given to us by His Spirit. If we say we are filled/baptized in the Holy Spirit, then the anointing and power of God is in the Holy Spirit Who is now residing within us. The minor prophet, Micah, lived in days when false prophets and ungodly chaos polluted the land; yet he dared to positively confess: “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin” (Micah 3:8). That was his testimony: he was filled with power by the Spirit of the Lord! This is a power that is more than physical strength; it is a spiritual power, as Zechariah (another minor prophet) declared: it is “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

GOD HAS INVESTED HIMSELF IN US!

When we begin to realize and understand that God has already given you and me this power (resident in the Holy Spirit Who is now resident within us), we will accept that truth and rejoice and glory in His Holy Name that we are indeed “endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). We have become true “Jesus people” because of the Holy Spirit anointing and power now living, moving and working in and through us. Our bodies have now become “the temple of the Holy Spirit” (1 Corinthians 3:16 & 6:19). God has chosen your life and mine to place His Holy Spirit in so that He might live inside us forever (John 14:16-18). Right now He lives inside of us! Jesus sent Him to us so that He might indwell us for the rest of time and throughout all eternity! This is the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 8:11)! God’s Word says so, and what God says is right! He cannot lie!

So many times in life ~ because we do not know who we are right now as Holy Spirit-filled believers ~ we spend so much time asking God to do things that He has already “endued us with power from on high” to do in His Name! Now, irrespective of our feelings, if we want to know more of the Holy Spirit power working in our lives, we need not cry out, “God, do it! Do something . . . save, heal, deliver this person or that, etc.” we would be rather praying, “Lord, teach me more on how I can release Your power that is resident within me!”

HE TAUGHT US TO DO HIS WORKS!

Jesus came and taught these principles to His disciples (Matthew 10:1; Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 6:7-13; Mark 16:15-20; Luke 9:1-6; Luke 10:1-20; John 20:19-23). His will was to empower them to do His works and, after the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit power came, they went forth and did the works of Jesus. This pattern has not changed.

The very first miracle (after the disciples of Jesus were filled with the Holy Spirit) happened through Peter and John on their way to a prayer meeting (not on the way home)! They knew the power of God was within them. They knew they did not get “more power” by being in a prayer meeting as the power was already resident within them. They did not tell the crippled man to wait until after the prayer meeting so they could ask God if it were His will or not to pray for him. They knew they had received a mandate from on high to exercise power and authority over all that was an enemy to the cross of Christ. Peter and John stopped walking and stared at the cripple, saying, “Look at us” (Acts 3:4). The man responded and gave them his attention. Then Peter spoke and said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” Notice they did not petition God to do the healing ~ they exercised the power and authority of the Holy Spirit that was within them. They commanded the man to rise up and walk! And he did (read Acts 3).

· “What I do have I give you.” Can we say that too?

The Apostle Paul had a revelation of the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. In Acts 19:11-12 we read: “Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.” Paul’s heart and understanding were opened by the Holy Spirit to show him that the power of God was resident within him and that he could impart healing and wholeness from his body into a handkerchief or apron (or some other garment) that would bring healing and deliverance to others. Paul knew what it meant to release the power of God that was already inside of him! We need to know this too! We need to know that within each one of us there dwells the power of God ~ “But as many as received Him (Jesus), to them He gave the power (Greek word is “exousia” meaning “privilege, authority” – Young’s) to become the sons of God” (John 1:12). God has given to you and me the power to overcome every obstacle, every thing that will come across your path. He has given you and me power to overcome, and to become a son of God. What an awesome privilege. But do we know it? The power of God was working in Paul, and from his body this power (“dunamis”) of God was released. Yet his personal stance was: “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony (“mystery”) of God. For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power (“dunamis”), that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power (“dunamis”) of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5). Paul did not present himself as an arrogant “know-it-all, look-at-me and what I can do” sort of person. His natural presentation almost defied his spiritual power and authority that he walked in.

THE HOLY SPIRIT MASTERS OUR TONGUE!

Think of the tremendous victories that God has brought about when His believers (disciples) used their tongue, by declaring and speaking out the word of the Lord. And today we have been given a mandate to speak forth “all the words of this life” (Acts 5:19-20), to release the “dunamis” power of God to the people. That is why Jesus taught His disciples to “tarry until they were endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). The key to the early Church’s power and authority was the baptism in the Holy Spirit, the enduement of power from heaven! We are powerless without it! How did they know that they had been endued with power from on high? Because the Holy Spirit so got a hold of their tongues and gave them a spiritual language to build themselves up on their most holy faith to enable them to pray in the Holy Spirit (see Jude 20). Praying in the Spirit language built their faith to the point of action! The most unruly member of the human body was harnessed at Pentecost. The Bible says, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (see Acts 2:1-4). (Notice they only began at Pentecost to speak in tongues, not finish ~ the Holy Spirit language is still available for you today)!

TESTED IN WILDERNESS EXPERIENCES

All who will walk in the power of the Holy Spirit God will use for His own praise, honour and glory. The power of the Holy Spirit is available for you and me today, even in every “wilderness experience” that we go through. Luke Chapter 4 teaches us this. Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness! Nobody likes the wilderness ~ it is a desert, a dry place, a place where we are tested and tried (we all need these times). Jesus came forth out of the wilderness. He did not stay there and get overcome there! “Then Jesus returned in the power (“dunamis”) of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region” and then He declared: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He (God) has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed (“downtrodden”); to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (see Luke 4). Jesus was not defeated or lost in the wilderness, like so many are today. He came out in the power of the Holy Spirit!

· It is time for us to come out of our wilderness in the power of the Holy Spirit and proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord!

· That includes releasing the anointing of the Holy Spirit out of us to preach the Gospel, heal the sick and brokenhearted, to set the captives free, etc.

WE ARE WITNESSES OF JESUS!

The apostles gave witness of Jesus and His resurrection power because the Holy Spirit was ministering in and through their lives. They carried the same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead!

· And so do we!

They declared, “Knowing, beloved brethren, your election by God. For our Gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power (“dunamis”), and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:4-6). Let me remind you “to stir up the gift of God which is in you . . . for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power (“dunamis”) and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:6-7).

There are sufficient Scriptures and statements by Jesus to show us that what He taught His disciples about releasing the power within, and what we are generally taught today, make us realize that we do need to re-examine our Christian stance on this matter. Do we believe Jesus, or our own feelings? Do we believe Jesus and do what He taught us, or do we keep our Christianity in the realm of theological belief without the accompanying releasing of the Holy Spirit power? Paul very plainly declared: “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power (“dunamis”)” (1 Corinthians 4:20). In the verse before that he said he was not looking to know the Corinthians Christians words but their power!

SPIRITUAL GIFTS IN OPERATION HELP US TO RELEASE THE POWER WITHIN!

Spiritual Gifts functioning out of our lives are a major means of releasing the power within. Those nine beautiful Gifts of the Holy Spirit are resident within us by and with the Holy Spirit. They are there to be used in obedience to the voice of the Lord, to enable us to release the supernatural of God into peoples’ lives and situations that make them aware that “God is on their case”; that Jesus really does love them, knows all about them and has answers to set them free and bring them into a closer relationship with Himself. Spiritual Gifts in operation establish and build Christian believers and enable them to come to the maturity of the faith of Christ. They also cause unbelievers to know that God is real and can do great things for them if they will respond to those gifts that are released to help them and to give them answers to life.

We are living in a day when the natural world is more and more dominated by a “religious spirit.” The only way a religious spirit is going to be truly combated is by Holy Spirit-filled Christians demonstrating the power of the Holy Spirit, plus Spiritual Gifts, thus giving witness to Jesus being alive from the dead! Unless we can demonstrate the power of God then the world will not be convinced that Christianity is the only way to God, heaven and eternal life.

· It is time to release the power within!

Jesus said: “. . . out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35).

Jesus said: “He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor)” (John 7:37-39, AMP.).

· Jesus has now been glorified, and the Holy Spirit has now been given!

· Release the power of the Holy Spirit from your innermost being today!

Rodney is the Founder/Director of The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry which ministers into more than 100 nations to thousands through literature, Bible Correspondence Courses, books, manuals, preaching/teaching, E-Mail and Internet Ministries, conducting Seminars, Schools Of The Holy Spirit, International Training Schools and the Equipping of Timothy’s. He has authored 34 books and carries a heart to see this generation of believers equipped with leadership skills to do the job of fulfilling the purposes of God. He ministers out from Paraparaumu, New Zealand, carrying credentials both with The GFM Ministry, and United Kingdom Elim (ECI). Feel free to share this Message with others. Previous Faith Messages (No. 1-25) can be found on our Website.

For further spiritual help, literature and/or a free Bible Correspondence Course, and to get on to our free E-Mailing Ministry List,

Articles on The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit and Prophetic Ministry,

Please contact us at Head Office:

The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry

P O Box 57

Paraparaumu 5254

New Zealand

Telephone: (00 64) 4 904 0727

Facsimile: (00 64) 4 904 0726

E-Mail: gfm@gospel.org.nz

Visit our Website: www.gospel.org.nz

Or, for our free Bible Correspondence Courses, contact:

Mrs. Jackie Hodges

The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry

P O Box 5601

Frankton

Hamilton 3242

New Zealand

Telephone & Fax: (00 64) 7 846 0684

E-Mail: gfmbiblecourses@gospel.org.nz



Edited by Moderator on 10/21/2013 at 2:53pm
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