Topic: Frequently Asked Questions About Holy Spirit Baptism
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Posted: 08/18/2010 at 8:37am
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.
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
Edited by Ron McGatlin on 04/24/2014 at 9:27am
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Posted: 08/18/2010 at 8:53am
Here are Scriptures to learn more about the person of the Holy Spirit.
But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. -Mark 13:11
Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. -Matthew 12:32
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 2:38
And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. -Luke 2:26
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. -John 14:26
[ The Church Prospers ] Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied. -Acts 9:31
And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased." -Luke 3:22
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. -Acts 2:4
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 11:13
But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. -John 7:39
These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
-1 Corinthians 2:13
PRAYER FOR THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Do you desire the baptism of the Holy Spirit? His Majesty invites you to pray this prayer and believe God for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
(Pray alternately: direct link to MP3 file)
"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 11:13 (NKJV)
"And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4 (NKJV)
Want to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit? We’ll join you in prayer at spiritbaptism.charismamag.com
Edited by Moderator on 12/06/2010 at 11:40am
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Posted: 08/18/2010 at 9:07am
Why 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
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Posted: 01/21/2013 at 7:28pm
WELCOME to another FAITH MESSAGE from The GFM Ministry. May you be inspired and challenged as you consider with us the wonderful benefits of developing the purposes, heart and will of God in your life; and to see what He can do through you by His mighty Holy Spirit in this 21st century. In this Faith Message we are taking a small look at the benefits of our exercising Spiritual Gifts. This is more important than we realize. As disciples of Jesus Christ, He wants us to speak and act on His behalf. I pray it will help us all to be more and better committed ~ and set aside for God’s use ~ so that we will accomplish the will and purpose of Jesus Christ in our generation. May the following inspire us to be even more committed than ever to the call of Jesus Christ that He desires of us today.
The Benefits Of Exercising Spiritual Gifts
By Rodney W. Francis
When we make an open and honest appraisal of what the Bible teaches on Spiritual Gifts, we see that there are wonderful benefits to be had. They are given so that we might be edified (“the act of building, built up; a confirmation”), exhorted (“edification, spiritual profit or advancement, inspired”) and comforted (“to comfort through speech, a soothing medication”) (1 Corinthians 14:3). They are given “that all may learn and all may be encouraged” (1 Corinthians 14:31).
· Every person needs to be the recipient of the gifts and their benefits.
· There is a spiritual dimension that we cannot receive any other way.
When we are not functioning and exercising Spiritual Gifts we are actually “robbing” others of these needy benefits. No wonder the Bible tells us to “desire them earnestly” (1 Corinthians 12:31; 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39), to stir them up (2 Timothy 1:6), to so love people that we want to do the utmost good to them, that the gifts will operate in and through us to encourage others. Spiritual Gifts functioning encourage us to press in to God and enable us to know His “now” word for us. It is not surprising, therefore, that we are told that “all may prophesy” (1 Corinthians 14:31); that we are “not to despise and prophecies” (1 Thessalonians 5:19), but rather to “take heed to the prophetic words spoken over our lives” (1 Timothy 1:18-20). Through prophetic words spoken over our lives we are able to fight a much better warfare against the tactics of the enemy against us; we are able to hold on to faith more definitely, because we know more clearly the word and will of God for us personally; and we also are able to have a clean, pure conscience that enables us to obey the voice of the Lord when it comes to us. Without a clear conscience, whenever God speaks, the enemy comes and pricks our conscience and accuses us of things we have done wrongly, etc., and that has the effect of stopping us from being obedient (because we have a guilty conscience).
· Spiritual Gifts in operation are God’s idea.
· They are not something that man has dreamed up.
· They are a vital part of New Testament Christianity.
· We neglect them to our loss.
My experience is that operating in the Spiritual Gifts has opened the world to me to minister. I have seen more lives converted to Jesus Christ, backsliders restored, spiritual, emotional and physical healings take place, the call of God revealed, people finding their rightful place in God’s purpose, etc., through the operation of the Spiritual Gifts than any other way of ministry. Why so many churches and church leaders neglect and ignore them puzzles me. We can never accomplish in our own efforts what the Holy Spirit can when we listen to Him, obey Him and release His gifts to the people. It is a totally different realm to the “norm” of “accepted Christian beliefs” which (through ignorance and neglect) we then have to settle for lesser results and fruit. May God open our eyes more to see more of the ways of the Holy Spirit and His wonderful gifts.
According to 1 Timothy 4:14-16, the exercising of the gifts of God in our lives brings benefits to all ~ to those who hear us, and to us as well. God always blesses obedience. I well remember the time when the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to keep exercising His Spiritual Gifts, for every time I did that, I was untying His hands to set my future up! How blessed and encouraged I have been to know that ~ and to see the impact of it! Yes, every time you and I exercise Spiritual Gifts we are enabling God to set our future up for us! That’s great!
The place of prophecy and prophesying is presented all the way through the Bible. It has always been a part of God’s way of speaking and ministering to His people. Prophecy received and acted upon enables us to prosper:
“So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel . . .” (Ezra 6:14). The people were inspired and motivated to do what God had called them to do. And He used prophecy to do that! He still uses prophetic words and other Spiritual Gifts to reveal, inspire, confirm and motivate people today. Theology will never accomplish what a man or woman inspired of the Holy Spirit can! The word “prospered” in the above verse means “to accomplish successfully; to reach the goal” (Wilson’s). It is time for us to stop being ignorant of the prophetic realm so we can all accomplish successfully the purposes of God and reach the goals He has given us! We are naïve if we think we can fulfil the purposes of God for our lives without the input of the prophetic word.
Christians are commanded to be baptized in the Holy Spirit so they can know power, a spiritual language (speaking in other tongues) to communicate spirit to Spirit to God, and to prophesy (Acts 1 & 2). The nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit are in the Holy Spirit and, when the Holy Spirit comes into us, we have them inside of us. Our responsibility is to strongly desire to release them to bless and build up others. To do that we have to see that it is very Scriptural to desire to release them, and then to give ourselves to God in an earnest and sincere way until we get the release and breakthrough in exercising them to bless others. That desire has to be stronger than any and every reason or excuse we may have as to why we are not functioning in them. You will never regret breaking through and seeing God using you in wonderful ways by His Holy Spirit. I know ~ from the word of God and my own experience ~ that the Christian life is much more effective and fruitful when we are flowing in the Spiritual Gifts. They are all a part of exercising faith ~ and faith exercised pleases the heart of God (Hebrews 11:6)!
The Prophetic Equips And Strengthens Us
In 1 Timothy 1:18-20 the Apostle Paul exhorts Timothy to remember and take heed to the prophetic words that had been spoken over his life. He said those prophetic words (prophecies) would enable him to “wage the good warfare, having faith, and a good conscience.” Paul gives Timothy three distinct benefits of being a recipient of prophetic words. When we take heed to and believe what is spoken to us prophetically, we are better equipped to fight the spiritual battles the enemy brings against us to make us doubt, and take us out of the will of God . . . to settle for less, and therefore be less effective in the Kingdom of God. Satan likes to challenge our believing the promises of God and seeks to undermine the principles of our faith. He tries to foul our conscience in such a way we will not be able to obey the voice of the Lord.
One reason why there is so much deception around today is because many Christians have not been exposed to the benefits of the true prophetic ministry, and therefore do not recognize or understand the subtleties and schemings of Satan. As a result their faith is not anchored in the confirmation of what the prophetic and Spiritual Gifts bring for us. Notice in 1 Timothy 1:18-20 that Paul named two men who were ridiculing the prophetic ministry, and Paul delivered them over to Satan so that they may learn not to blaspheme (“speak evil, defame”). Think about this for a moment. Paul so valued the place of the prophetic that those who spoke negatively and generally turning people away from believing it, were called blasphemers. That is serious! We do need to be careful on how we respond and/or re-act to prophetic ministry. This is especially so today, as there is so much ignorance about the prophetic realm, including Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:1).
I find it amazing how many Christians will try and talk us out of the will of God! I know for me that if it was not for numbers of prophetic words confirming the way of God’s call for me, I most likely would not be doing what I’m doing today ~ and thousands would be robbed of this teaching of the prophetic and Spiritual Gifts. I am so grateful that I was saved in a church that believed in and allowed the prophetic to function. The prophetic has taught me what to say “Yes” to, and what to say “No” to. When you know and believe what God is saying to you, it certainly helps one in the making of major decisions. And making decisions according to the revealed will of God for our life always brings forth “more fruit.” Yes, there are extra benefits when we take heed to the Prophetic Ministry and the exercising of Spiritual Gifts. God bless you.
Rodney is the Founder/Director of The Gospel Faith Messenger Ministry which ministers into more than 107 nations to thousands through literature, Bible Correspondence Courses, books, manuals, preaching/teaching, E-Mail and Internet Ministries, conducting Seminars, Schools Of The Holy Spirit, Prophetic Equipping Schools and the Equipping of Timothy’s. He has authored 35 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. Feel free to share this Message with others. Previous Faith Messages (No. 1-30) 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,
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(The previous Faith Message on “The ‘Dunamis’ Power Of God” is on our Website under Faith Message No. 03).
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Posted: 10/21/2013 at 2:17pm
FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT!
SIMPLE SUPERNATURAL CHRISTIANITY!
We who love Jesus want to have a living breathing powerful life in the Spirit. Too often we add to what is simply a powerful life. Its a life of the love of God working in us. Its a life of power in the Holy Spirit. Next week is Pentecost Sunday -the day the church was first filled with the Holy Spirit. I've linked to three fifteen minute radio messages on being filled with the Holy Spirit.
BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT # 1
BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT # 2
BEING FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT # 3
Here are the important scriptures that go with the messages.
1. When God created man He gave him gave him His own Spirit rather than a created spirit.
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
2. Man fell and became dead in spirit
for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
3. The Lord promised a new spirit and His own Spirit within us
And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh:
4. John the Baptist announced that Jesus was the one who would baptize and fill with the Spirit.
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
5. Jesus said he would give the Holy Spirit to those who love and obey Him.
If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
6. Upon His resurrection Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the apostles - they were saved and born again.
And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
7. Jesus said to the Apostles to wait to be baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
8. The 120 were Baptized (immersed) and filled with the Holy Spirit.
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
9. The Apostles made sure all new converts were baptized with water and the Holy Spirit.
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: 16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) 17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.
10. This promise of the Holy Spirit is for all Christians. We must pursue and receive it!
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
"Baptized and Filled" Meeting
May 27, 2012 at 7pm
Christian Life Fellowship - Campbell River
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Posted: 11/12/2013 at 5:58pm
BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE
"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
The beginning of a new and living way had begun with the advent of Jesus, the Son of the living God stepping out on to His mission field to make disciples and to build His church of living stones. The old way was to be done away with and new wine was about to be poured out into a totally new wineskin. No more temple, ritual or dead man-made religion, the Holy Spirit was going to reside from now on in the hearts of men who are washed with the Savior's own blood and purified with the very fire of Heaven!
His kingdom had come and His will was being done on earth as it was in Heaven. God came down clothed in flesh to cleanse mankind from the generational curse of Adam with His own blood to set the captives free once and for all from the bondage of sin! The world was about to be turned upside down and the entire religious landscape would change from a dry and lifeless ritual to a vibrant living breathing temple of human beings filled with the Spirit of God! Unbelievable to many, impossible to the established religious leaders, but life changing to the poor and needy of the world, a Savior had come from Heaven to set them free, deliver and heal them, and even raise their dead!
I don't think we can grasp the full understanding of what Jesus did when He came to earth as a God-King to rule the world because we are so infected with religion and sometimes I think people believe this old, old story is just a fable or a fairy tale for children because if we really believed that Jesus died, was buried and rose again to give us life eternal we would act like Him! The assembly of the saints of God are now the same as their Lord, they have been resurrected from their fleshly graves, delivered by the power of God, washed in His blood and empowered with His Spirit to do the greater works that will continue His kingdom on earth until He returns!
The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death, Light has dawned. Matthew 4:16
THE TEMPLE OF GOD IS NO LONGER A PLACE TO GO
"Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down." Matthew 24:2
When Jesus was dying on the cross, the angels of God were tearing the veil of separation in two in the temple to signify that man no longer needed a fleshly priest to go before the Most High. The old priesthood was done away with along with it's rituals, traditions and laws and man was free to go before the throne of God by grace alone. When Jesus told the disciples that there would not be one stone upon another He meant that the whole religious system was coming down and a new and living way was about to be established in Him!
Man was the new temple made of flesh and blood and the Spirit of God would dwell in them, building a house with living breathing organic material that would ultimately become His body. A spiritual man was created by the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. When He arose He became the Head and we became His body in the earth, an exact replica of Him, empowered with His Spirit and commissioned to do the greater works that He said we would do. What we have today is a cheap imitation, demonically inspired to seduce man back under the bondage of the old priesthood, complete with temple, priest, (Senior Pastor) and rules, regulations and laws. This is why the modern day consumer driven, event-motivated, pastor ruled churches are dead and lifeless, because Jesus destroyed this system 2000 years ago!
The most powerful assembly of believers that ever lived upon the earth, filled with the Spirit of the living God and free from the bondage of religion, turned the world upside down, seeing thousands saved and delivered without the aid of Bibles, leaders, (the apostles didn't lead, they prayed and interceded for the saints) deacons, (deacons didn't come along for years) pews, buildings and media to distract them, and all they left was transformed new creations in Christ! There are no Cathedrals to see, no monuments to men or ancient artifacts to be amazed by, just the story of a Savior and His body of believers who changed the world by His Spirit. Sadly, today the only signs we see in front of the millions of man-made temples are the time and temperature.
Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your spirit, which are God's. I Corinthians 6:19,20
YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER
"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8
I am convinced that if Jesus had built a building and named it the First Church of the Firstborn Pentecostal Assembly of New Creations in Christ that that's all Christianity would have today, a dead and lifeless monument to a dead Savior, a museum of man's accomplishments and the memory of a potted plant instead of a living vineyard of the Lord of Hosts!
Jesus built a building of flesh, men and women sold out, blood bought and filled with power, sent to give testimony of His resurrection and preach the gospel of the kingdom around the world. The kingdom of God is not static, it is a living breathing organic vineyard that cannot be contained, boxed in or potted. Jesus is continuing His ministry upon the earth through us, walking about in His living stones while all the while millions sit in darkness in man-made temples of wood, hay and stubble, rotting away in a lifeless ritual of good intentions, always learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth! This is the reason for all the hype and promotion that these modern day CEO'S of "Mega Mania" are desperate for, to fill these temples of doom with nice clean white middle class tithers to pay their bulging overhead and pay their six-figure incomes. It doesn't matter that they are lost, it only matters that they show up and give and if they put on a good enough show they will eventually join up and stay in their comfortable little sheep pens, get counted, die and have a nice funeral!
If you are tired of this nonsense and the fact that the church of the living God is being mocked and scorned because of the wolves and devils, false profits and charlatans, then do this: shake off the dust and bonds of man-made religion and escape into the arms of the Savior who will bring you into the true fellowship of His sheepfold. The truth will make you free and making Jesus the Head, Master and Lord of your life will deliver you and allow you to ask to be filled with His glorious Spirit and become a true follower of Christ! The body of Christ was not meant to sit in a pew and die, you were meant to exercise your gift by becoming involved in His harvest, making disciples and build the kingdom according to His divine specifications. This is God's will for His blood bought saints!
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? (Satan) Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God. And they shall be My people." Therefore, "Come out from among them and be separate says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you." "I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty." II Corinthians 6:14-18
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
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Posted: 12/16/2013 at 7:03pm
THE HOLY SPIRIT'S DUAL WORK IN JESUS AND US: CONCEPTION AND ANOINTING
Had Herod succeeded in killing Jesus at age two, Matthew 2:16, His blood would have been just as efficacious for the redemption of mankind as it was 31 years later. As an infant, conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was fully the Son of God when Mary gave Him birth; death by the Herodian sword or the Roman Cross would have made no difference. But, an additional work of the Holy Spirit was necessary before the benefit of His blood could be applied to mankind. As with Moses in Egypt, killing the Passover Lamb and putting its blood in the basin did not deliver Israel. The blood had to be applied to the doorpost of each person being saved. Without the application of the blood, the Israelite’s firstborn would have died with the Egyptians. Identically for us, the blood of Jesus must be applied personally to each one. It is this fact which necessitated the Holy Spirit’s second work in Jesus. By that, I refer to the anointing that came upon Jesus in the Jordan and which initiated His public ministry.
The two works of the Spirit which Jesus experienced were: Conception and Anointing. Conception occurred in the womb of the Virgin Mary and Anointing occurred during His baptism in the Jordan river. One without the other would have left His mission incomplete. Jesus' conception by the Spirit was for the purpose of His incarnation and redemption; the angel explained this to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:35. In calming Joseph’s fears about Mary’s pregnancy, the same angel said, “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21. The work of conception pointed toward the Cross and redemption.
Jesus’ anointing by the Spirit imparted the miraculous power needed for His public ministry. He explained this in His first sermon in Nazareth immediately following His baptism when He said,"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He 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; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD." Luke 4:18-19. Prior to His anointing, Jesus healed no sickness, cast out no demon, performed no miracle. That changed immediately with the Spirit’s descent upon Him.
To be thorough students of the Word, we must be theologically confirmed in both aspects of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in Jesus. Conception equipped Him for the Cross and mankind’s redemption; Anointing equipped Him for the miraculously endowed works of the gospel. Not only so, but we must realize that the Holy Spirit has more purpose for us than just our new-birth/conception. We too urgently need His anointing. Much of modern Christianity ignores this vital truth.
1. Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit: Luke 1:35. “And the angel answered and said to Mary, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
2. Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. John 1:32-33: “John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' Jesus later explained to the synagogue in Nazareth, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.” Luke 4:18. "Anointing" and ministry are inseparably connected.
3. The first disciples experienced the new birth-conception by the Holy Spirit. The new birth: John 20:21-22. “So Jesus said to them again, Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.‘” The Resurrection now being historic fact and the New Birth having arrived with the New Covenant, these are among the first to officially witness the end of the Law and the introduction of the Reign of Grace.
4. The disciples’ anointing: Acts 1:5,8. Jesus said, “John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" ...“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
Acts 2:1-4. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
5. The Samaritans experienced the new birth-conception and anointing by the Holy Spirit. Their new birth: Acts 8:12. “But when the Samaritans believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.”
6. The Samaritans anointing. Acts 8:14-17. “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”
7. Saul of Tarsus experienced the new birth-conception and anointing by the Holy Spirit. Saul’s new birth: Acts 9:3-5. “As Saul journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
8. Saul’s anointing. Acts 9:17-18. “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, 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.’ Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”
9. Cornelius, the Gentile, experiences the new birth and anointing by the Holy Spirit. Cornelius’ new birth: Acts 10:1-2. “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.” Acts 10:4. “So the angel said to him, Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.”
10. Cornelius and his household anointed. Acts 10:44-47: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word ... 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 ... For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
11. Believers in Ephesus have been born again but not received the anointing. Acts 19:1-2. “Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples, he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ So they said to him,’We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’
12. The Ephesian believers receive the Holy Spirit’s anointing. Acts 19:6: “When Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
13. Luke 11:13. “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!"
JESUS OFFERS THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ANOINTING
14. John 7:37-39. “On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
BELIEVERS ARE PROVIDED WITH SUBSEQUENT “FILLINGS” OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Acts 4:31. “When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
Acts 4:8. “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit ...”
Acts 13:52.“The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Ephesians 5:18. “Do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit.”
Ephesians 3:19. “Know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
IN TYPOLOGY, ISRAEL EXPERIENCED DUAL BAPTISMS
1 Corinthians 10:1-4. “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud , all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”
“Baptism in the cloud” corresponds to baptism in the Spirit. “Baptism in the sea” corresponds to baptism in water.
It was for a very necessary reason that Jesus told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were "endued with power from on high." Luke 24:49. Like His own, their ministry was not to begin until the Holy Spirit had equipped them. Their salvation was a past consideration. Anointing was not. Identically so with us, the all-important question for those born-again does not regard their new birth. Rather, it is precisely stated in Paul's question to the Ephesian believers, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit (baptism) when you believed?" Acts 19:2. If you study this passage it is obvious that Paul knew these men were genuine believers. His concern for them rested wholly upon their very obvious lack of spiritual power. This points out the fact that regeneration alone does not equip us for ministry. Baptism in the Spirit does.
The original disciples preached with Jesus for several years before receiving their personal anointing. So may we. But the difference before and after with them was the same difference that "turned the world upside down". Acts 17:6. After Pentecost, with the winds of the Holy Spirit within them, they covered the earth with the message of Jesus.
WORDS WE NEED IN OUR SPIRITUAL VOCABULARY
1. The Greek title "Christos" (Christ) means "Anointed One." This is the exact equivalent of "Messiah" in Hebrew.
2. "Chrisma" means "the anointing."
3. "Charisma" (with another "a" in the spelling) means "effects of the anointing", or more explicitly, "Gifts of the Holy Spirit." I Corinthians 12.
4. “Charis” is the Greek word for “grace” and is translated that way numerous times in the New Testament. In some scriptural instances, “gifts of the Spirit,” may more accurately be translated “grace gifts.” To claim that spiritual gifts passed away is to claim that a vital aspect of grace has also vanished. Not so!
At Pentecost the Holy Spirit identically anointed the second Body of Christ, the Church. I Corinthians 12:27. Jesus’ specific instruction to the disciples was “wait for the promise of the Father ...You will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now ... You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:4-8. The 120 disciples were already born-again before Pentecost; that work of the Holy Spirit in them was complete. But not so in the Holy Spirit’s anointing them for miraculous ministry and the evangelizing of the world. Without the anointing of God’s power upon them individually and corporately the gospel could not be presented to the “ends of the earth”.
The Holy Spirit’s provision for “getting the blood out of the basin” and onto the people occurred in two distinct events:
1. The anointing of Jesus in the Jordan. 2. The anointing of the disciples in the Upper Room.
In referring to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Himself in the Jordan, Jesus said, :”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel ... ” Luke 4:16-20. Whether Christ or us, kingdom-preaching is inseparably connected to anointing. The words “Christ” and “Christian”--from the Greek word chrios–are not designations of the new birth but of the anointing. Information about the gospel may be learned academically but the actual ministry of the gospel can be rendered only by the Holy Spirit. The difference between preaching and lecturing is the presence or absence of the anointing. Tragically, there is much Christian “lecturing” in our day. Paul explained the difference, “Our sufficiency is of God who has made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” II Corinthians 3:5-7. The Apostle’s statement is unmistakable: Without the Holy Spirit’s illumination, preaching that relies solely on the letter of the New Testament produces death. Be certain that you personally have received both the new birth and the Holy Spirit’s anointing. The anointing “breaks the yoke.” Isaiah 10:27.
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Posted: 08/26/2015 at 6:58pm
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S AWESOME GIFT
THE "WORD OF KNOWLEDGE"
I will soon be 85 years
old, my ministry is still expanding–though climaxing–and in the language of an
old hymn, "I brush the dew on Jordan’s banks–The crossing must be near." Having
said that, I still expect to live into my nineties. The Kingdom-work is
enlarging and my books and articles are being translated into French, Spanish,
Chinese, Japanese, and widely distributed across Africa. We routinely hear from
pastors in India, Pakistan, the Pacific Basin, other remote areas, thanking us
for the help they receive. I convey their thanks to those of you who support the
ministry. God bless you! With those facts prompting me, there are some important
memories from my early years I want preserved. Space limits me to only a few so
what I provide is a principle to emphasize their importance. As
a teenage-Christian I experienced "words of knowledge"–though I did not know to
call them that–nor did I understand how important they would be in directing my
life and future ministry.
My Baptist denomination
regarded the miraculous gifts listed in First Corinthians twelve as having
ended. I was too young to be aware of that doctrinal position and assumed all
believers experienced the same "messages" I did. It was disappointing to
discover later they did not–or did not recognize them. While I think I have
experienced all the gifts in the Corinthian list–at least minimally–I want to
focus on one that was very important to me: The "word of knowledge." Few realize
how important this gift is. It, and the "word of wisdom," are so similar it is
sometimes difficult to tell them apart. Basically, the "word of knowledge" tells
a fact; the "word of wisdom" tells what to do with it. Such gifts come from God
in the form of internally spoken sentences, mental impressions, prophetic
messages from other people, and various other ways.
call to the ministry came through a vision in the Autumn of 1948 when I was a
senior in a Miami, Florida, High School. Early one morning I was walking to the
bus stop, had reached an intersection near my house, when I looked up and in the
air above me saw a vision of myself preaching. In that blink-of-an-eye the
direction of my life was permanently–sovereignly–changed. Not only so, it was a
devastating moment for all my personal ambitions. Preaching was not what I
wanted as a life-work. I planned to go to the University of Florida, then to
Central America and study tropical-botany under the care of Dr. Charles
Lancaster in Costa Rica. We had corresponded; he had encouraged me to come.
Those plans were already made. My whole life was vested in that hope. Standing
at the intersection, looking up at the spot where the vision had been, my
cherished dreams now lay crushed at my feet. Traffic speeded past me not knowing
that on the roadside a young man’s destiny had just been changed forever.
I told no one about the "Vision" but prayed desperately
that God would not require the ministry of me–I even begged Him to call my
brother instead. God was unrelenting and I finally submitted–though I told no
one. Near the middle of March, 1949, another unshakable– frightening–message
came to me. A "word of knowledge" informed me that I would preach my first
sermon on Easter Sunday. That strange information was shocking–alarming but
incontestably real. It was as though cast in stone. Easter was the most
important event in the Christian year and no one wanted to hear a teenager
preach his first sermon on that special day. I said nothing but fearfully
waited. As the time approached I grew more panic-stricken.
Palm Sunday came on April 10th and I thought surely my pastor, Fred
Hartley, would speak to me about my call to preach. He did not. At Wednesday
night prayer meeting I stayed close to him but he said nothing. I was more
frightened, knowing it would "be as it was told me." Acts 27:25. The next
morning, Brother Hartley appeared suddenly at our house, confronted me with the
fact of God having called me to the ministry and the church’s desire to
acknowledge that by "licensing" me to preach. They wanted to do that officially
on Easter Sunday morning and have me preach my first sermon that night. I told
him nothing about my month of waiting, the fear I had undergone–but said "No" to
his request. I could not do otherwise. Fear held me in its paralyzing grip. He
left the house with the admonition that I call him if I changed my mind. Later
that day, I telephoned him and submitted to the will of the church–more so–to
the will of God.
Easter Sunday morning, April 17, 1949,
I sat in the congregation, numb with fear, dreading what was about to happen.
The course of my life was being re-directed in a way I had not chosen. But, I
had no option, only to submit to what I knew was the specific will of God–and I
wanted to please Him above everything else. After the official licensing I stood
at the front as the congregation filed by, giving me the "right hand of
fellowship" and assuring me of their prayers. The first one to come was a tiny
little widow, weighing less than 90 pounds, who took my hand and said, "Charles,
I am praying for you ..." The moment she touched me all my fear suddenly
vanished. It was gone. Sixty-five years later I still remember her and how she
looked. That Easter evening I delivered my first sermon: "For if by one man's
offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace
and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
Romans 5:17-21. The month-long "word of knowledge" had been perfectly
fulfilled–and I preached like a bird freed from its cage.
That miraculous "word," I Corinthians 12:8, imparted to me a sense of
trust and confidence in God that I will carry to my grave. Too, it established a
pattern in which I wanted all my preaching to be directed by the Holy Spirit. In
the years following, I failed many times and many times He succeeded. There were
occasions when the Holy Spirit invaded the building and old-line Baptists broke
into shouting, repentance, and open sobbing. I saw them grabbing each other
across the pews and weeping in one another’s arms. Even so, for the first 27
years of ministry I saw no one miraculously delivered by the power of the Holy
Spirit. Nor did I expect it. I was totally ignorant of this provision of the
gospel. Some of my church members suffered from alcoholism, depression, anger,
compulsive disorders, and other problems, but the only help I provided was in
directing them to secular therapy.
I served my first
church eleven years and when the time came to leave a "word of knowledge" told
me five months in advance which the next one would be. I knew which church I was
going to serve before the church knew someone else was coming. In 1970, I
resigned my pastorate in Delray Beach, Florida, with no income, no savings, and
no place to go. I left the church because a "word of knowledge" instructed me to
do so. For several months afterward my wife, daughter, and I, shuttled about
from one emergency-provision to another. We had "no certain dwelling place" and
lived on 10-cent cans of mackerel. Then, a wealthy acquaintance who owned an
ocean-front estate in Gulf Stream, Florida, invited us to stay in his home
rent-free. He and his wife were there only six weeks each winter. One morning
the Holy Spirit spoke a "word of knowledge" very clearly and told me not to
leave the house or grounds that day. I obeyed. About 8:15 that evening I was
standing alone in the living room, staring at the ocean and wondering about the
Lord's instruction that morning when the telephone rang. Before I turned toward
it, the Holy Spirit spoke. His exact words were these: "That is the Church in
Atlanta calling. They want you to become their pastor. Tell them you'll go."
When the caller explained who he was, why he was calling, I replied, "I accept
your invitation ..."
I was at my Atlanta desk one day
when a woman telephoned from Augusta, Georgia. Her daughter had run away from
home, they did not know where she was but assumed she had come to Atlanta. Would
I help? Atlanta was a city of several million and I explained to the mother that
our finding the girl would be impossible. We needed God’s revelation. With that
understanding we both agreed to pray. As soon as I hung up the phone I had a
"word of knowledge." It was the name of a hippy-bar in the tenth street
district. I called, asked them to put a note on their bulletin board. It had the
girl’s name and the plea that she call home.
later I was still at my desk when the mother called back, hysterically laughing
and crying, saying, "She called! She called! She came in the bar a few minutes
after they posted your note! She is coming home!" Two Sundays later the family
was in my congregation together. Only God could find that girl in a city of
millions. When I speak of the value of a miraculous word, this is what I mean.
Pity the Christians who naively reject God’s miraculous provisions!
Not long after my spiritual-baptism I had another encounter
with the Holy Spirit when His electric-like shock one night left my body
vibrating. It was beyond description–life changing. I thought I was dead. Soon
after that when I laid-hands on others they would crash to the floor in that
same astonishing way. One of my former church members, a woman who had been a
severe alcoholic for eighteen years, had lost her husband and the respect of her
family, was delivered in a few minutes time. She never drank again.
It wasn’t long before serious opposition to my new ministry
rose in the church. One party was leading the attack–so I went to a wooded
ravine near our house to pray. No sooner had I climbed down the slope than the
name "Ahithophel" was shouted in my ear. I knew it was a Bible name but I could
not remember having ever heard it. Scrambling back up the slope I ran all the
way home saying "Ahithophel –Ahithophel –Ahithophel," fearful that I might
forget it. When I found the man in my Bible I was shocked. Ahithophel had
attempted to overthrow King David , failed, and was killed. II Samuel 17:14-23.
Unfortunately, my attacker, like Ahithophel, also died. From that point on, I
knew not to be afraid of attackers.
I remained at the
Atlanta Church for seven years, my ministry there climaxing with my being filled
with the Holy Spirit. That occurred when a young, Spirit-filled prisoner in the
Atlanta Federal Penitentiary laid-hands on me. Quoting Ananias’s words to Saul
of Tarsus, he said, "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."
Acts 9:18. Both happened. Scales fell from my eyes, scriptures I had previously
ignored began leaping off the page at me. God’s flower of spiritual gifts that
first appeared in 1948 came into full bloom. But another encounter with the Holy
Spirit quickly followed. One night a lightening-bolt-electric-like-shock left my
body vibrating on the bed. I thought I was dead. It was beyond description–life
Soon afterward I visited a church in Florida
which I had formerly served, told them everything that had happened to me, and
they wanted me to return as pastor. One early morning before day, I awoke
abruptly and saw the name "Jephunneh" written in the air above
my bed. The name, like Ahithophel, was unknown to me. I quickly got out of bed,
and found it in Numbers 13, 1-20. When I saw the passage I began to weep. The
name was included in the list of twelve spies whom Moses sent into the Promised
Land–of which only Joshua and Caleb had been faithful. "Lord!," I spoke aloud,
"You are telling me that I didn't make it! I failed the test!" My anguish was
overwhelming. I then read the passage and these words leaped at me: "Caleb, the
son of Jephunneh ..." Jephunneh was not one of the bad spies, he was the father
of the greatest. In that phenomenal the Holy Spirit spoke: "You are to father my
Calebs". In the years following the assignment of "fatherhood"was committed to
me. That part of ministry became the joy of my life.
of the greatest ministers of modern times, Derek Prince, knew of my work, and
asked me to become part of his Pastors Conference team in Russia, Turkey,
Kazakhstan, and locations in the U.S. We saw Muslims and other hard-core cases
be set free, saved, filled with the Holy Spirit, and become active Christians.
His book, They Shall Expel Demons, contains a section on
homosexual-deliverance which he asked me to write. Today, because of my travel
with Derek, there are "Calebs" scattered from Kazakhstan to South America,
Europe, Africa, and across the U.S. These wonderful men regard me as their
After my "electric" encounter with the Holy
Spirit people for whom I prayed frequently crashed to the floor in the same
electrified way. Many vibrated uncontrollably. These are authentic "signs and
wonders" and cannot be faked. A big part of my ministry became "deliverance"
exorcism and over the years I ministered to more than 1,000 people in private,
office appointments. Many were pastors who flew-in from out of state. One,
secretly brought his gun, and told us afterward, "If this ministry had failed I
was not going home alive." Thankfully, he not only went home alive but empowered
for new ministry.
One of my former church members, a
woman who had been a severe alcoholic for eighteen years, had lost her husband
and the respect of her family because of her drinking, was delivered in a few
minutes time and never touched alcohol again. To her final day, she remained a
noble, God-fearing example of Christian womanhood and beauty. What brought the
change? The Holy Spirit cast out the demon of addiction. A Christian Counselor
sent eight of her worst patients to my office for ministry. We ministered
through "words of knowledge" and all of them were dramatically helped or totally
The counselor called me saying, "I’m giving
up my practice. I want to do what you’re doing! Will you teach me?" At a recent
Word, Spirit, Power Conference with Jack and R.T., a young woman who had
attempted suicide 22 times received deliverance-ministry. She came to me at the
end of the event and said, "I am healed!" And, thank God, she
was! As an example of how God has used the "word of knowledge" in my
writing-ministry I am including a testimony below. The article of which he
writes, The Parable Of The Muddy Dog, came to me as a "word of
knowledge." This testimony is an example of what such "Words" can do:
Dear Charles, I am the man who
drove from Augusta, Georgia, to hear you speak in Columbia, South Carolina, at
the Word, Spirit, Power, Conference. We prayed and I told you
about my struggles with alcohol. I have been battling this addiction for years
now. It has cost me a lot in life–money, jobs, family, relationships–not to
mention the toll it has taken on my physical condition. I use to be a very
athletic person. Played college golf and had a brief stint on the professional
mini-tours ...After reading your article, Parable Of The Muddy
Dog, meeting, talking, and praying with you, I feel like the power of the
Holy Spirit has driven that demon from me. I have not had any desire to drink
since the day I read the "parable." Nor have I experienced any withdrawal
symptoms and I feel like a different man. That makes sense because I am a
different man! In the past my car seemed to turn in the liquor store parking lot
without my doing it. Several times now I have passed the store without realizing
where I was. Thank you for opening my eyes to the power of the Holy Spirit. I
have always accepted Jesus as my savior therefore felt saved but I can tell you
something has changed in the last week. I believe that I had a demon of alcohol
in me. I want to thank you for your help. With the power of the Holy Spirit I
will continue to defeat that demon. Thank you again! John
Edited by Moderator on 08/26/2015 at 6:59pm
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