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YES, LET ALL THAT HAS BREATH PRAISE PRAISE THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY!
THANK YOU FATHER!
This is all good but I especially appreciate this:
My blessing has indeed come for you, but remember that even My blessing can become a distraction to you if you allow it.January 26, 2017 at 4:13 pm in reply to: *NOTE to members from the old OpenHeaven.com Forums #2180
Lonnie, just click on the forum you want to post in and then scroll down to the place to type in or paste in your message. You are always going past the previous posts to get to the place to post the next one. Put the title of your message in the box for title and post the rest in the place provided.when you finish click on submit at the bottom.
If this is not there then something is wrong? Just let me know.
Speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophesy are the gifts of the Spirit Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 14. He begins by referring to what he taught in chapter 13—pursue love and in chapter 12—desire earnestly spiritual gifts, then urges, “but especially that you may prophesy.” Then he shows the purpose of the gifts—edify—edification, how the Spirit works them in and through us, how to use them when we come together before God and proper decorum in such a gathering.
Edify is the action of building up ones self and one another in love (Ro 14:19, 1 Th 5:11) which results in edification, (Rom 15:2, 1 Cor 14:3, 1 Cor 14:12, 1Co 14:26, Eph 4:29).
Prophesy is inspired by the Holy Spirit and spoken in the tongue/language of those assembled together. “One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself; but one who prophesies edifies the church” (1 Cor 14:4). Prophesy is for edification, exhortation and comfort. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus ( Rev 19:10). The testimony of Jesus is what we call the New Testament, especially what Jesus said while He was on this earth. Everything in Jesus proclaimed while on this earth is the testimony of Jesus. Even the works He did testified He was the promised Messiah (John 10:25).
Peter urges: If you speak, say what God says. “Serve one another, each with the gift he received, as good managers of the various gifts of God. If you speak, say what God says. If you serve, do it with the strength God gives you so that in every way you glorify God through Jesus Christ. His is the glory and the power forever”! (1 Peter 4:10-11 AAT). John wrote: “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV).
The gift of tongues is speaking a language unknown to the speaker. It may be a tongues of men or of angels (1 Cor 13:1). “One who speaks in a tongue edifies himself”(1 Cor 14:4). “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What is the outcome then? I will pray with the spirit and I will pray with the mind also; I will sing with the spirit and I will sing with the mind also” (1 Cor 14:14-15).
Interpretation of tongues is speaking forth the gist of what has been spoken in tongues. Paul counts tongues with interpretation as prophesy (1 Cor 14:26-28).
1 Corinthians 14
The role of prophecy and tongues in a church gathering.
1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 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. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 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.
Tongues without interpretation do not edify a church gathering.
6 But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? 7 Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? 8 For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle? 9 So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air. 10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. 11 Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to him who speaks, and he who speaks will be a foreigner to me. 12 Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel. 13 Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. 14 For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 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. 16 Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? 17 For you indeed give thanks well, but the other is not edified.18 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all; 19 yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.
Tongues are for a sign to unbelievers. Prophesy is for a sign to believers. But it convicts unbelievers and brings them to worship God.
20 Brethren, do not be children in understanding; however, in malice be babes, but in understanding be mature. 21 In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. 22 Therefore tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophesying is not for unbelievers but for those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church comes together in one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those who are uninformed or unbelievers, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 25 And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you
We assemble for mutual edification through orderly flow in the Spirit. This flow is not limited to prophesy.
Here Paul includes, “each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation.” In Ephesians, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph 5:19 NKJV). In Colossians, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (Col 3:16 NKJV).
26 How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification. 27 If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. 28 But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God.
29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. 30 But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. 31 For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.
Tongues are limited to two or three and each in turn and one must interpret.
Prophesy is limited to two or three prophets and the others judge. Prophesy must be evaluated because, while the Spirit prompts, the mind forms the word of prophecy. Sometimes what the Spirit is saying doesn’t come across right. The prophet is not clearly saying what God is saying (1 Peter 4:11). In that case, one who understands what the Spirit is saying may add to or modify what has been prophesied. This is done in love, so as to minimize embarrassment. Sometimes someone will give what is purported to be a word of prophecy with subversive motives (Acts 20:28-30). That is why we are to test the spirits (1 Jn 4:1). That person should be called down as a false prophet.
“The spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” This makes for orderly flow int the Spirit rather than rude interruptions with ecstatic outbursts of the flesh.. It also shows we are not controlled by the Spirit as some Bible translations put it. Further, it illustrates the lack of understanding most charismatics have about prophets. In America, one is not generally considered a prophet until he or she becomes a nationally known celebrity.
Here Paul wrote, “Whenever you come together.” The saints came together in agape/love feasts hosted primarily in homes, like the communion Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 11 and the church that met in Aquila and Priscilla’s home (1 Cor 16:19). At the most, a huge home could accommodate 100 saints. Yet Paul taught that in a come together, “Let two or three prophets speak” and the rest should judge. That means Paul taught even a local church gathering of under 100 saints had at least 3 prophets and the rest of the prophets evaluated the words of prophecy,
Women’s role in a church gathering.
“Let your women keep silent in the churches.” On the face of it, that is a hard word. To understand it we must consider Paul was not saying women should not participate in the flow of the Spirit. Earlier he wrote: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all” (1 Cor 12:7). “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” (1 Cor 14:5).
Peter said of the outpouring of the Spirit: “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16-18 NKJV).
Both Greek and Roman as well as Jewish custom forbade the public appearance of women, especially their participation in public speaking. It seems that the Christian women of Corinth had a wrong idea of the meaning of Christian liberty, assuming that the ancient distinction made by God had been abrogated. But this rule made by God, that man is the head of woman, holds good for all time and under all circumstances. It is not a question of superiority or inferiority, but of headship and of government in the affairs of the church. Let women keep silence in the congregations; they shall take no part in public teaching in the church, they shall not be given authoritative direction. The public speaking and teaching in the congregation on the basis of the Word of God is a ruling and governing which is at variance with the position which God has given to woman, not only since the Fall, but before as well. And a Christian woman, knowing the high esteem in which she is otherwise held according to the Word of God (Eph. 5:22-33), will not attempt to break this rule, Gen. 3, 16, but will gladly acquiesce in His will, knowing that it is not permitted her to be a teacher in the public worship of the congregation (1 Tim. 2:12), but to be under obedience, leaving the leadership, the teaching, and the government to the men. Kretzman, 1924
34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
Paul’s conclusion of 1 Corinthians 14
36 Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached? 37 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. 38 But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.
39 Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.
I began functioning in the gifts of the Spirit back in 1974. I flow in several of the gifts of the Spirit and have seen them all in action. I have also seen and heard way to much weirdness and charismatic razzel dazzle. So, here, I present the solid wisdom and insight of men who were there in the 70’s.
Paul lists the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 but does not explain them or show how the Spirit works them in us. He tells us each person has been given the ability to manifest the Spirit and the manifestations are for the common good. He emphasizes “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”
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. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 NKJV
Explanations of the gifts of the Spirit*
Word of wisdom
Jesus manifested a word of wisdom when, to the Pharisees who were intent on tripping Him with their questions about paying a tax to Caesar, He gave His famous reply: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to god the things that are God’s” (Mt 22:21 NASB). He promised us similar wisdom for times of emergency, “for the Holy spirit will teach you in the very hour what you ought to say” (Lk 12;12 NASB). See Mt 10:16-20. Acts 6:17 is an outstanding example of the need of a word of wisdom to settle particular problems that arise in a church congregation. The answer of the twelve apostles manifest wisdom of the highest degree—deep spiritual principles coupled with sound common sense. The Spirit’s bless is evident in that their statement found approval with the entire congregation and enabled the word of God to keep on spreading so that many more became obedient to the faith. James, acting as a moderator of the first church council at Jerusalem, manifested a word of wisdom (Acts 15:13-21) which was accepted by all and which settled the controversy regarding legalism. The possibility of receiving a word of wisdom, however, should never cause one to stop seeking wisdom for life in general (James 1:5). We cannot depend on this charismatic gift for every situation because it is only a word of wisdom. As Donald Gee says, it is “a spoken utterance through a direct operation of the Holy Spirit at a given moment, rather than an abiding deposit of supernatural wisdom.
Word of knowledge
Dennis Bennett defines a word of knowledge was a “supernatural revelation of facts past, present, or future which were not learned through the efforts of the natural mind. It may be described as the Mind of Christ being manifested to the mind of the believer, and is given when needed in a flash of time (1Cor 2:16). This gift is used to protect the Christian, to show how to pray more effectively, or to show him how to help others.” A word of wisdom often is given in conjunction with the word of knowledge in order to show how to apply the information God has revealed. In the Old Testament, Nathan the prophet received a word of knowledge regarding David’s affair with Bathsheba, as well as wisdom to know how to bring the king to repentance (2 Sam 12:1-14). The prophet Elisha knew in his heart about Gehazi’s greedy act and therefore was able to expose his hypocrisy (2 Kings 5:20-27). Jesus our Lord knew the evil thoughts of the scribes (Mt 9:2-6) and the natural history of the Samaritan woman (John 4:17-19). A word of knowledge enabled Peter to rebuke Ananias and Sapphira for their lying wickedness (Acts 5:1-9).
Gift of faith
The three dynamic gifts provide extraordinary powers to effect changes in the lives and circumstances of both saints and sinners. The gift of faith is not saving faith, which a man exercises when on the basis of God’s word he trusts in Christ to redeem him. Nor is it the faith of Gal. 5:22, one of fruits of the Spirit, which develops in the believer as faithfulness or fidelity. The gift of faith, according to Dennis Bennett, is “a sudden surge of faith, usually in a crisis, to confidently believe without a doubt, that as we act of speak in Jesus Name it shall come to pass.” This is the wonder working faith that Jesus said can move mountains (Mt 17:20; 21:21; Mark 11:22-24; Lk 17:6; 1 Cor 13:2). As Lenski says, by means of this charisma, things that are otherwise impossible are actually accomplished in the course of our service unto the Lord. This gift frequently operated through Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament. Think of Elijah’s faith when he prepared for the fire to fall from heaven and when he announced that rain would come! (1 Kings18:22-38, 41-45). Daniel had the gift of faith when he “stopped the mouths of lions” (Heb 11:33; Dan 6:22). George Mueller’s orphanages at Bristol, England, for 2000 children, and Hudson Taylor’s obtaining 100 missionaries to evangelize the interior of China are modern-day examples of the gift of dynamic faith in action.
Gift of healings and workings of powers
The next two gifts appear in the Greek as plurals: literally, “charismatic gifts of healings’ and “workings of powers.” The plurals indicate that all healings and all miracles are in each separate case a supernatural operation of the Spirit. As Bittlinger says, “Every healing is a special gift. In this way the spiritually gifted individual stands always in new dependence upon the divine Giver.” Lenski explains: “In each instance a specific intimation came to them from the Spirit that the act should be performed, and not until that moment did it occur, but then I always too place without fail.” Peter and John for instance, had passed the lame beggar at the Gate Beautiful many a time, but not until a certain day did the spirit prompt them to channel healing to him (Acts 3:1-8). This principle explains why a Spirit-filled Christian cannot go into a hospital and administer healing to every sick person he sees. The plural nouns also indicate the different kinds of diseases and afflictions, requiring different sorts of healing. The implication may be that a certain person is especially used in bringing healing to those suffering from a certain disease or group of diseases.
Working of miracles
The “working of miracles” covers those wonderful works which are not strictly healings. Included under the category of miracles would be the exorcising of demons and the restoring of persons from death, such as Dorcas and Eutychus (Acts 9:36-41).; 20:6-12). Quite a number of authenticated cases of the raising of the dead have taken place recently in Africa and Indonesia, as well as in America. The creation of new bodily parts or organs much better be explained as an instance of the gift in operation instead of one of the gifts of healings. Since the beginning of the Indonesian revival in 1965, the Christians have repeatedly trusted God to turn water into wine for their communion services, in that tropical land where grapes do not grow.
Distinguishing of spirits
The third gift which operates by a direct revelation from God is the “distinguishing of spirits” (v.10 NASB margin). It goes without saying that this not a critical spirit in the natural or even the true intellectual discernment of the child of God that is developed through Christian fellowship and through study of the Bible. Yes, is is essential for us to partake of the word of righteousness and to train our senses or faculties to discern good and evil, i.e., to make moral decisions (Heb 5:13-14). The spiritual gift of discernment, however, does not come through training but is imparted in the moment when it is needed. The Greek word for “discernment,” diakrisis, literally means a “judging through,” a seeing right through to the inner reality with a judgment based on that insight. Dennis Bennett explains that by this gift the believer is enabled to know immediately what is motivating a person or situation. Those responsible for the orderly progress of a meeting of the brethren need to know whether a person is operating under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, whether he is expressing his own thoughts or feelings, or whether he is controlled by a wrong spirit. The Holy Spirit will manifest himself by this gift through those who pass judgment on the messages of the prophets in the assembly (1 Cor14:29). Usually the discerning of a false or evil spirit brings a sense of heaviness, unrest, or even sickness, whereas the sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit is one of joy and peace and love. This gift, then, is the gracious provision of the head of Church to arm her against the subtle deceptions of the enemy.
A striking example of the gift of discerning of spirits in operation is found in Acts 16:16-18. A slave girl having a spirit of divination met Paul and his party in Philippi, evidently desiring to follow them to the place of prayer. Even though her shouts to the crowds about Paul seemed lofty and spiritual, yet Paul detected the true nature of the motivating spirit and at last commanded it to come out of her. Probably he waited until the day she was ready to be saved so that when he exorcised the demon it would have no right to reenter her. See 1 John 4:1-6.
*From The Layman’s Commentary on the Holy Spirit, included in the Logos International Study Bible published in 1972.
In Part 4, we will consider prophesy, tongues and interpretation of tongues.
Link to good article by Charles Carrin on the word of knowledge.
Paul began this teaching: “Fellow Christians, I want you to know about the gifts of the Spirit” (1 Cor 12:1). He concludes: “But try to have the better gifts. And now I’ll show you the best way of all (1 Cor 12:31 AAT).
Cultivating love is the best way to function in the gifts of the Spirit.
Without love, manifestation the gifts of the Spirit counts for nothing and good works count for nothing. What counts is anything we do that is motivated by God’s love.
If I speak tongues of men and angels but don’t have any love, I’ve become a loud gong or a clashing cymbal. Even if I have the gift of prophesy and know every kind of hidden truth and have every kind of knowledge, even if I have all the faith to move mountains but don’t have any love, I’m nothing. Even if I give away all I have to feed the hungry and give up my body but only to boast and don’t have any love, it doesn’t help me. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Love is the stuff of good character.
Love motivates us to do what we should do and not do what we shouldn’t.
Love is patient. Love is kind. Love isn’t jealous. It doesn’t brag or get conceited. It isn’t arrogant or rude. It isn’t selfish. It doesn’t get angry. It doesn’t plan to hurt anyone. It doesn’t delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It bears everything, believes everything, hopes for everything, endures everything. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Practicing that love makes for shalom in the community of our king.
Now, we look at the eternity of love. Love never ends.
The gifts of the Spirit will end because we will no longer need them when that which is perfect comes.
Love never ends. If there are prophecies, they will come to an end; or tongues, they will stop; or knowledge, it will vanish. We learn only a part of anything and prophesy only a part. But when that which is perfect comes, what is only a part will vanish. When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, think like a child, reasoned like a child. Now that I’m a man, I’ve given up the ways of a child. Now we see by a mirror and are puzzled, but then we’ll see face to face. Now I learn only a part of anything, but then I’ll know as He has known me. 1 Corinthians 13:8-12
Paul compares ways of a child with the way of maturity in Christ in view of the major change from now to then by picturing how we see in a mirror versus face to face. He reinforces this concept with; “Now I learn only a part of anything, but then I’ll know as He has known me.” Knowing face to face is the knowing of life in the world to come (Rev 21 and 22).
When that which is perfect has come, faith, hope and love will go on eternally.
And now these three, faith, hope, and love, go on, but the most important of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
From all that has been urged in the previous verses it follows that these three graces—faith, hope, love—remain imperishable and immortal.
There need be no difficulty in understanding that “faith,” in the sense of trust in Christ as our Saviour, may continue in the heavenly state; indeed, when we see Him face to face, and see actually how great a salvation He hath obtained for us, that faith may’ be expected to glow with a new and increasing fervour Hope, too, need never cease if that new life is to be progressive. If hope lives by feeding on the present as the promise of the future, surely it will have a more abundant sustenance in that life than in this. Yet love stands supreme; indeed, both faith and hope would perish without her. (See Matthew 26:35; Galatians 5:6.) Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
All Scripture quoted on this page is from AAT An American TranslationDecember 12, 2016 at 10:39 am in reply to: Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire – Part 1- Tim Laughlin #1123
BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE – PART 5
“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
If you have been born again, washed in the Savior’s blood, filled with the baptism of His Holy Spirit, then this is your mission statement! As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we are as He is in the world, His mission is our mission and that is to bring His redemptive power to a lost and dying world by the preaching of the good news of the gospel. We are all called to preach, teach, cast out devils, heal the sick and even raise the dead and we were never meant to just fill a pew and sit there till we die, we are all called into the kingdom work of the Most High God, the greatest commission the world has ever seen!
Jesus told His disciples to go, not stay and rot away, He didn’t train them to sit and listen, He poured His very life into them for over three years, expecting them to be as He was in the earth and that is His plan for us. His intention for His church of the firstborn was never meant to be a potted plant, it was always intended to be a living vine that would spread across the earth bearing clusters of glorious fruit for God, replicating His divine nature in a harvest of newly born sons and daughters to fill His kingdom! Today’s generation of all about me spectators just sit on the sidelines and read or listen to some stirring story about someone else that was willing to give all for Christ and jump out of the religious box of modern day consumer driven, event motivated, Sundays only, so-called Christianity.
The modern day SPD (Senior Program Director) or Senior Pastor, a title the Bible doesn’t even contain will stand in judgment for not training and equipping new converts for the ministry of Jesus. By standing in the Headship of Christ and dominating people with religious rules and regulations and not allowing Jesus to be Lord of the assembly only continues to breed a complacent company of dead and lifeless church members whose only spiritual life comes by showing up once a week to hear what wonderful things pastor has dreamed up for them to do, and it is a stench in the nostrils of God!
“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
“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. “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in His Son. ‘If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” John 14:12-15
There is a war of words stirring in the body of Christ at large pertaining to the use of the gifts of the Spirit and the power of God. It seems that a well known Bible teacher has stated that the gifts of Holy Spirit have passed away and that the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are involved in the practice of creating “Strange Fire,” something that is also a well known belief throughout the main-line denominational churches of the world. If this is true and you choose to believe it, then the gospel of Christ was only written for a few and then passed away forever and is absolutely worthless to us today as it is just a history lesson reserved for the libraries of antiquity.
My answer to all of this is: nonsense! The glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ according to Romans 1:16 is the power of God for salvation, a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit to transform a lost man into a new creation to be endowed with power from on high and to replicate the entire ministry of Jesus in the earth! I don’t guess I got the memo on this 35 years ago when God saved me, filled me and allowed me to cast out demons by the thousands, see the sick healed, the dead raised, and experience the gifts and the power of God to transform a multitude of lives. Oh well, sorry, but Jesus didn’t waste His breath or His Word on just a few, nor did He only give His power to the apostles, He freely gave the experience of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit to all who are born again and ask for it! He also promised in His Word that we would do greater works than He, hard to believe, yes, but absolutely true and solely given to all who would take Him at His Word and believe!
Jesus said to us all who believe, “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified.” Can I just tell you, whatever covers a lot of ground and to those who literally take the Lord Jesus Christ at His word, signs and wonders will abound, people’s lives will be changed and the power of God will be poured out from on high and all the world will know that there is a God and He is still on the throne of power forever and ever! I don’t care what people think and I don’t pay attention to those who refuse to believe the truth of God’s holy Word and take it to heart because the world is spinning out of control and there are many lost who need the redemptive power of Christ to transform them into new creations to build up His body in the earth and to replicate His divine nature in all who would dare to believe!
“And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever. “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:16,17
YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER
“You shall receive power (dynamite) 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 end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
I can’t imagine Jesus sending the Holy Spirit down on 120 sold out believers only to jump start the church and then have their spiritual batteries drained only to become what we have today in most cases: a dead and lifeless assembly of spectators! Jesus said we would receive power to be a witness, someone who can testify about what he has seen, not only of what has transpired in his own life but in the lives of others touched by the power and presence of God! Witnessing is not just handing someone a tract and then lead them down the Roman road to mutter a prayer, it is the testimony of the witness telling of how the power of God changed his life.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that the power of God has passed away as well as the gifts of the Spirit, and the apostolic call of God on the life of the believer. If you are stuck in an assembly of dead unbelieving weekend warriors who never seem to get passed the church coffee shop, get out, because they will try to put out your fire because you are making them look bad! Jesus has saved you, washed you in His own blood, filled you with His Spirit for a purpose and His plan for your life will be hindered if you let people drag you down into their little sheep pens of doom and gloom. The sons and daughters of God are led by His Holy Spirit to bring about the redemptive process to a lost and dying world by preaching His un-compromised gospel of salvation and restoration.
You are called to go and to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not to follow the dictates of some church program director who will only lead you to fulfill his vision for his ministry, or to pad his pockets and promote his plan that will hold you in bondage forever. Either Jesus is your Lord or something, or someone else is, and you have to choose who you are going to serve. Everyone who walks with God has to choose the path he will take, the narrow road, that will cost you everything, or the broad road that will allow you to live for yourself and fit in with the religious crowd of complacent spectators that will ultimately put out the fire of God in you! My prayer for those who read these messages is for them to take to heart what the Spirit is saying in these last days to those who will sell out for Jesus, shake off the chains of religious dead works and come out and serve the living God for His kingdom purposes!
“All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
http://www.restorationtrainingcenter.orgDecember 12, 2016 at 10:37 am in reply to: Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire – Part 1- Tim Laughlin #1122
Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire, Part 4
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry. And the devil said to Him. “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’ ” Luke 4:1-4
Upon your Holy Spirit baptism you need to be prepared to follow Jesus into the wilderness and be able to overcome by enduring all the temptations and trials that He suffered when the devil tempted Him. This is the reason we are to be filled with Holy Spirit power, in order to be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the evil one, and believe me they will come upon you just as they came upon Jesus! We would do well to take a hard look at the walk that Jesus walked and learn to conquer the powers of darkness that will be sent against everyone who is sold out for Christ!
In the above mentioned passage of scripture you will notice that Jesus wasn’t tempted until He became hungry. The devil will not attempt to attack you when you are strong, only when you are in a weakened state of mind or weary in body will he take the opportunity to strike. Observe the lion or most predators in their quest for food, they don’t jump on the head water buffalo or the strongest in the herd, no, they are patient and wait for the stragglers, or the sick, or very young, and then they attack with deadly force quickly overcoming their prey. Satan is the master of disaster when it comes to tempting the believer and from the garden of Eden up until now he has brought down some mighty men of God, so beware and be on the offensive as he will surely come to you to test what you are made of just as he has with every other born again, Spirit filled saint that has ever stepped on to the battlefield of true Christianity!
The first temptation that the devil tried on Jesus was not with food as we would think because He was coming off a forty day fast and He was hungry and obviously weakened by the experience as anyone would be. No, Satan had the audacity to ask Him “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” If You are the Son of God! Was there any doubt that this Man Jesus, King of kings, Lord of lords, Savior of all of mankind, filled with the Holy Spirit, spoken to by God, His Father from above in an audible voice was not the One? Of course, Jesus knew exactly who He was as all believers need to know who they are in Christ because the devil will use this scheme more than once to take you out of the battle just as he tried to do with Jesus, but resist him firm in your faith just as Jesus did and use the Word of God against him and he will flee!
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, because He cares for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. I Peter 5:6-9
BEWARE OF THE SNARE
Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” Luke 4:5-7
The devil has taken out multitudes with this scheme and in today’s church the temptation to be a success in the world and be healthy, wealthy and wise has seduced millions of unsuspecting sheep who follow their false shepherds wherever they lead them! Everywhere you look today in media, TV and the internet they are promoting the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the deadly and seductive boastful pride of life. Self-help gurus and as the late David Wilkerson used to call them, “Pillow prophets” have led God’s people astray with the perverted and dangerous gospel of the all seeing I, or in other words, the worship of self!
Jesus said if anyone wished to be His disciple, they had to be willing to deny themselves, take up their cross ( a cruel instrument of death) and follow Him without the promise of a home or wealth or even the promise of keeping oneself from martyrdom, of which many suffered at the hands of violent men. Many a sold-out believer succumbed to a horrible fate because they chose to love not their life even unto death. Satan hates the word, self-denial because it denies him from controlling our lives with the promise of selfish ambition, pride and greed of which fuel his passion to destroy us.
Satan tempted Jesus with all the world had to offer, authority, power, wealth and influence if He would only bow down and worship him, the problem being, Jesus already possessed these and the truth of the matter was the fact that the devil didn’t, but only lied to gain an advantage. We would do well to follow Jesus as He defeated the devil by taking up His own God given authority and power to defeat him as we have also as born again Spirit filled saints been given to overcome the powers of darkness. A friend once said, “Deceived folks don’t know that they are deceived,” a very valuable word to the wise, don’t be deceived!
For to this you were called because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, nor was deceit found in His mouth;” who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously. I Peter 2:21-23
FALSE SIGNS AND WONDERS
Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. “For it is written: He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You,’ “and ‘In their hands they shall bear You up, lest you dash Your foot against a stone.’ ” Luke 4:9-11
Satan’s most dangerous tactic, the use of God’s word and false signs and wonders to seduce, pervert and to deceive the unsuspecting saint. If Jesus had fallen for this demonic scheme and jumped off the pinnacle of the temple where hundreds, maybe even thousands would have been watching He would have created a firestorm of frenzied new believers ready to join up and immediately Jerusalem would have had a mega church full of uncommitted thrill seekers like we have today.
In the past twenty or so years millions have been deceived by the rise of false prophets displaying false signs and wonders such as the appearance of gold dust and angel feathers, female angels appearing and people barking and acting like animals, uncontrollable laughing and other grotesque manifestations brought on by demonic activity, not discerned by an unsuspecting crowd of spiritual babies who want to be entertained. True signs, wonders and miracles such as healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead and the use of true prophetic utterance should be common place to the born again believer anointed with the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are not Christmas presents to be opened only on Sunday to entertain a complacent company of pew sitters, they are a supernatural arsenal of divinely powerful weapons to be used to defeat the enemies of God and to make true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Jesus passed the test in the wilderness against the most powerful and deadly force in the universe, the devil, fallen arch angel, former son of God, raised in Heaven and trained in the art of subterfuge and camouflage, but you, born again Spirit filled saint of the Most High God have been given power and the anointing to defeat even the most vile demonic forces! The same power and authority that Jesus used in the wilderness has been given to us to not only defeat the powers of darkness but to do the greater works that Jesus promised we would do in His name. So, what are you waiting for, an engraved invitation, if so, you already have one, because He has inscribed you on the palms of His hands, you belong to Him and He has called you into service in the kingdom of God, the greatest appointment anyone on earth can receive.
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. II Corinthians 11:13-15December 12, 2016 at 10:35 am in reply to: Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire – Part 1- Tim Laughlin #1121
BAPTIZED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT AND FIRE PART – 3
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. I Corinthians 10:1-4
There is a supernatural progression that must take place in the lives of every believer beginning with the “Born again” experience whereas a person acknowledges his sin to God, asks for forgiveness of sin and repents by turning away and surrenders up his will to the control of Holy Spirit. Jesus said that a man must be born again to enter the kingdom of God and once this is accomplished he must be baptized in water following the example of the Christ being crucified, buried and resurrected as a new creation!
As the above referenced scripture states concerning the children of Israel being delivered from Egypt, a type and shadow of being washed in the blood of the Lamb and set free from the bondage of sin and the world by signs and wonders, they were then led down to the Red Sea by the Holy Spirit and baptized, and upon their emergence on the other side they were delivered from their enemies, a type of deliverance from the powers of darkness. Crucified to the world and sin, buried with Christ into death and raised immortal into eternal glory, and then baptized with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our example to follow just as the children of Israel followed Moses example being a type and shadow of the coming Messiah.
Jesus began His earthly ministry by being baptized by John the Baptist symbolizing His subsequent death, burial and resurrection as our example to follow in His steps. Upon receiving baptism the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove immersing Him with power from on high as His Father proclaimed that this was indeed His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased, just as He is with us! Next, as the children of Israel proceeded into the wilderness to be tested, so the Christ, Son of the living God was about to be tempted by the devil in the wilderness signifying our own journey through the maze of temptation. Born again, baptized into death, baptized with the Holy Spirit, tested by fiery trials and equipped for service, each believer must experience this supernatural transformation in order to become sons and daughters of God, serving Him in His kingdom.
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him. Romans 6:4-8
BORN FROM ABOVE
If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans 10:9,10
The famous “Sinners prayer” originated from this scripture which was actually taken from Deuteronomy 30:14-20 that speaks of giving one’s life totally to God in obedience and devotion forever. To confess the Lord Jesus is to confess that He is truly your Lord, the master and controller of your life. Just to confess His name as Lord but not surrender your will to Him is futility and will render you absolutely nothing in respect to salvation. There is not a specific prayer that will save you as if it were a magical potion that would transform you by saying it, it is a covenant oath as in a marriage ceremony that specifies that you are giving your life up to the control of another in obedience and surrender forever!
First of all no one can be saved unless the Holy Spirit is drawing him and just because a preacher asks you to walk an isle and mutter a prayer doesn’t mean you are saved. Salvation is necessary to wash you from your sin that you inherited from Adam and must be accomplished in order to convert you from a sinner to a saint. Upon being convicted that you have sinned against a holy God you must cry out for mercy and by faith confess your sins and be willing to turn away from them in order to receive His grace and mercy. Once a sinner repents the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ will supernaturally cleanse him from all unrighteousness thus allowing him entrance to eternal life by conveying him directly into the kingdom of God. To be born again is to renounce the world, flesh and the devil, confess your sins before God, repent and receive by faith His forgiveness transforming you into a new creation!
Once you have been born again you need to be baptized in water and then baptized with His Holy Spirit, if you have no evidence of a salvation experience then cry out to God for mercy and confess your sins before Him and surrender your heart into His hands to lead you into His kingdom. One cannot enter or even see the kingdom unless he becomes born of His Spirit because it is a supernatural transition from a man born of flesh to a man born again as a new creation spiritual being who is to be conformed to His image. No one will enter by being good or doing good deeds and your salvation cannot be obtained by any means other than a total surrender of your will and a cleansing of your sins by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ!
For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
RECEIVING THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“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
In 1980 I gave my life to Jesus and He immediately delivered me from years of alcoholism, drug addiction and forgave all of my sins, all in one night. The next morning I discovered my vocabulary had also been changed and my foul mouth cleansed from cursing. Amazing grace had turned this wretch of a sinner into a saint over night by washing me in His blood and opening my eyes to see the very kingdom of God!
Everything in my life changed as I was given a Bible by a friend and wandered into a local church and began to learn about God and what He had just done in me. Within a few months I had heard about the baptism with the Holy Spirit and began to seek exactly what that meant and how I could obtain it. It wasn’t long before I was in Indiana with my pastor at a revival in a Baptist church that the Spirit of God had invaded because of four elderly ladies that had been praying for a visitation from above and so it came with supernatural power. Signs, wonders, miraculous healing and deliverance were taking place throughout the church when one night people began to weep uncontrollably and I immediately went to the altar when a golden cloud of God’s Holy Spirit began to descend upon the congregation and everything fell silent.
Laying prostrate on the altar weeping and worshiping God and praising Him was all that I could do, when all of a sudden it wasn’t me praying anymore, it was Holy Spirit praying through me and it was the most glorious experience of my entire life as the power of Heaven was poured out in me, I was being immersed from on high. I couldn’t move and thought that if the Spirit didn’t lift from my body that I would die, and what a glorious death it would have been. Finally things began to return to normal and the Holy Spirit lifted and the peace of God was so thick in that sanctuary that you could cut it with a knife. No one spoke, they just sat in His presence as He met with His people and poured out His glory on them changing many forever! I left the next day a changed man and in the weeks to come I felt a love for people I never had as well as a boldness to share and a new hunger for His word. It wasn’t long while praying that I began to speak in tongues and I knew I had received the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
Repent and let everyone 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
Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin
If this message has stirred your spirit and you have been seeking this glorious experience, then do this: ask God to cleanse you with His blood and forgive all of your sin, then ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and immerse you with power from on high. Let go of all earthly ties, forgive everyone that comes to mind and by faith believe and receive His power and His Holy Spirit baptism, I promise you will never be the same! If after reading this message you have been baptized with His Holy Spirit, let us know by contacting us on our website so that we can rejoice with you and pray for you to become a powerful witness for the Lord Jesus Christ!December 12, 2016 at 10:34 am in reply to: Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire – Part 1- Tim Laughlin #1120
Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire, Part 2
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all (together) 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. Acts 2:1,2
Jesus created a new man from the living stones He picked up on His journey to the cross and He trained them and sent them to wait on the promise of His Spirit to be poured out from Heaven into His newly created body! The miracle of the new birth was being displayed in the disciples of Christ in that they had become His physical presence in the earth, a supernatural divinely inspired body made up of believers submitted to His mission and vision to establish the kingdom of God.
God’s original vision was for Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply by giving birth to a multitude of people to fill the earth and replicate the nature of the Most High throughout the world. All was going according to plan until Satan entered the garden of Eden and seduced the first family by his craftiness! Mankind fell into sin and it would be thousands of years before God would create another divine being to rule His kingdom with a race of supernatural children created in His image and filled with His Spirit. God stepped out into the world in the image of the Lord Jesus Christ to create a divine family, born from above, set free from the bondage of sin and death and immersed in His Holy Spirit.
When a person is born again he is recreated by supernatural means and the Holy Spirit enters him giving him new life to become a Christ-like being endowed with the power and attributes of his Creator. In other words God created a new Adam in the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and a new woman, His body of blood washed followers, or the Bride of Christ. God would become the husband and we as His body would become His wife to procreate divine supernatural children to fulfill His vision of the kingdom of Heaven in the earth! This time Satan wouldn’t be allowed to destroy this new supernatural family although he tried time after time, but to no avail. The scripture was fulfilled, His kingdom has come, on earth, as it is in Heaven!
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. I Corinthians 15:42-44
THE LAST ADAM
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life giving Spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. I Corinthians 15:45,46
All of mankind is born in the likeness of Adam, inheriting his generational curse of sin, iniquity and disease. In order for God to set man free from the curse of sin He sent Jesus, the Last Adam born without sin to become the perfect sacrifice to shed His blood and wash away the effects of sin forever. This supreme act of divine sacrifice gave all of mankind the benefit of receiving forgiveness of sins and allowed entrance into the very kingdom of God.
This is why man must be born again of the Spirit to be able to have his sins cleansed supernaturally by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ! No more good works or deeds, no more human agency to confess one’s sin, no more temple with ritual and rote, only mercy that allows grace to enable us by faith access to the throne of the Most High God. Being born from above is hard for many to fathom because it involves a supernatural transformation to take place in the very soul of man recreating him from a man of dust to a supernatural being made in the image of God.
Thousands of years of religious tradition and ritual washed away in a matter of hours by the blood of Jesus, the Last Adam, who gave up His life so that we in turn could receive new life and become a new race of worshipers recreated in His image and filled with His Spirit and destined to continue His ministry of reconciliation as ambassadors of His kingdom! We have been given the stewardship of knowing and sowing the mysteries of the kingdom of God throughout the earth, to those who have eyes to see. Born from above and made in the image of God we are sons and daughters of the Most High sent to make disciples of the Lord Jesus and populate the earth with His Holy seed. It just doesn’t get any better than this!
The first man was of the earth, made of dust: the second Man is the Lord from Heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. I Corinthians 15:47-49
THE NEW MAN
Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24
We are the “New Man,” the very image of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth created to represent His presence, power and divine works to all of mankind! We have been endowed with His Holy Spirit to testify and to perform miracles, signs and wonders to validate His existence and to make exact replicas of Him further spreading the living vine of His body throughout the earth. An organic living Christ in us, walking as He walked, touching lives, casting out devils, healing the sick and raising the dead, all the while preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Open your eyes and see the mystery of the kingdom of God which is Christ in you! The body of Christ, blood bought believers, in the unity of the faith joined together to make one new man, a living breathing expression of the Lord Jesus Christ! Open your ears and hear the Word of the living God that we are Him in the earth, not a place or a building but a body, living breathing stones containing the very presence of the Holy Spirit. The temple of the Lord is in us, we are His dwelling place to represent to a lost and dying, sin-sick world that there is a God who loves them and has given up His life to shed His blood for them to set them free! We are the light and glory of His divine presence to shine brightly as His ambassadors of true peace in a dark and hopeless world in need of the Savior’s love, mercy, grace and forgiveness.
Shake off the chains of a dead and lifeless religion of ritual and repetition and be filled with His Spirit so that you can attain your destiny for Him and fulfill the ministry he has given you to accomplish during your stay upon the earth. Repent of allowing your mind to be blinded by the traditions of man-made religious dead works and come out and be separate from that which is unclean! Open your heart to the things of God, seek Him with all of your heart and receive that which He has for you. Don’t be satisfied with stale bread from hireling preachers with greedy motives to hold you captive to their little kingdoms of flesh, but instead even expose their deeds and be delivered! You are the very wife of the Lamb of God, the bride of Christ, created for good works and called to conceive spiritual children with the divine nature and character of God, for this is His will for His people! Amen!
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in Heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the Head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:13-18
First-fruits of God’s Harvest – chapter three
by Duane Stewart
To gain insight into the present tense purpose of God for man we need to know, just what are God’s plans and His purposes. Does scripture not tell us that all of creation is to be made subject to God’s Christ’ and His body? Heb. 2:8, “You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. …..”. If we are living in the last of “the last days,” the phrase “the last days” is speaking of the closing out of this present age and the preparing for the coming in of another. This also speaks to us of a coming new world while the old world is to pass away. The word “world” (OIKOUMENE) means “the world as inhabited, to dwell.” Thus, the word “world,” as spoken to us here is speaking of the inhabitants, the dwellers upon the planet and not the soil.
This speaks to us a new world order coming because of a change in rulership, a governmental change as the inhabitants who once ruled are now being defeated and removed while a new government is being established. Rulers of darkness and spiritual wickedness in high places, which have ruled the darkness of this present evil world, are to be without power and authority in the next age that is arriving. Rev. 20:1-3, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, which is the enemy and adversary, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. …..”.
With the adversary and his messengers being bound for that coming period, who is it that shall rule over this new government, this new world, God’s new age? Rev. 2:7 speaks to us, “He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.” Verse 11 says, “… He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.” Verse 17, “To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”
Verses 26-28, “And he who overcomes, and keeps my works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels, as I also have received from My Father, and I will give him the morning star.” Rev. 3:5, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels“. Verse 12, “He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more, I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem [God’s first-fruits and bride become this city], which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him my new name.”
Verse 21, “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” This word “overcome,” as used here repeatedly is from the Greek word “NIKAO.” A word used to mean, “to conquer, or overcome.” Therefore, unto the one who conquers the fallen world of the first Adam, he will rule in this new government of the coming age. Where is God’s government to manifest but from within man, a government that has been planted within the hearts, the nature of God’s new creation people.
It is from God’s word that we find God also declaring judgment upon a certain people. These people He calls a “world.” Thus, it is important for us to see that there is more than one world involved in God’s judgments. God has promised us a coming King and 2 Peter 3:3-7 declares insight concerning this promise. “Knowing this first: those scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to 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 creation. For this they willfully forget that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world [government, nature] that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word are reserved for fire until the Day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
According to these scriptures, it reveals that we are still living on the same earth or soil that saw the flood in Noah’s day. Was Noah’s ark transported to another planet somewhere, I think not. What world was destroyed by the flood, but the world created by the people, those people who were living in a rebellious nature against God? Yes, I think this is so for again, what does Peter show us as to this present world which is to be burned up by the wrath of God in these last days, which is our day? While heaven and earth shall remain, it will be this present day governmental world, both the political and the religious, that God destroys. All things birthed by ungodly men who follow their own lust began to know God’s wrath and judgment and they shall not remain. The truth is that while God does not destroy the natural earth, He does establish a governmental order, bringing forth the destruction of all ungodly governments that rule in the present time. It is through the Christ and His many member body, the first-fruits, which God has chosen to rule over His kingdom age that is to come.
Humanity needs to awaken and get the picture. God uncovers the truth of His kingdom as we read from Isaiah 11:1-9, “There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. His delight is in the fear of the Lord, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His Lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist. The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper’s den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” Read also Isaiah 65:17-25.
Today’s men still have an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to wake them up; can we not get the picture? We see a reigning on earth wherein the Christ and His body will minister life to all of creation. We will be able to know the reality of true living. There will be houses built and jobs to work at. Real animals alive that do not destroy nor hurt one another, with children being born that are not afraid of snakes and lambs that are not afraid of wolves. In all of God’s creation, the first-fruits of God are becoming a people that are conformed to the image of the Son of God. These people have overcome because they have put all their enemies under foot with the last enemy being destroyed, which is death.
Note the truth of God’s word in 1 Cor. 15:22-26, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits [God’s Christ, both head and his body], afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming [Jesus the head and His body with the bride]. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” With death destroyed, the end comes because there shall be no more sin and death, a time when every tongue shall confess Him as Lord.
First-fruits of God’s Harvest – More Than Conquerors Chapter Two
October 10, 2016 by Duane Stewart
Known by some throughout the earth and among a few of creation is the knowledge that “in-Christ” God’s people are more than conquerors. This word “in” is a word meaning, “being and remaining within.” Therefore, know that it is unto His redeemed first-fruits that God has chosen to dwell, and in them, He shall reap the harvest and establish His kingdom through spiritual warfare. Eph. 6:12, “because our conflict is not with blood and flesh, but with the governments, with the authorities, with the potentates of this darkness, with the spiritual things of wickedness in the heavenlies.”
When God purposed to create man and placed him in the Garden of Eden, according to His overall plan of creation, know that the angels were already in place as purposed by God. Angels, created by God and used according to His purpose, were not the highest or the ultimate of God’s creation. God had something greater in mind and for this cause, when He created man; it was man who is to become the ultimate manifestation of God as His sons, His family. Scripture reveals that God’s place for His sons is of a much higher realm.
Heb. 1:4-6, “Having become so much better than the angels, as He [Jesus Christ] has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did He ever say: You are My Son, Today I have begotten you? And again: I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son? But when He again brings the firstborn into the world, He says: Let all angels of God Worship Him”. Jesus Christ is of a much higher order than the angels. Jesus Christ, established as the firstborn Son of God, is God’s glorified and exalted man, becoming the pattern for redeemed creation, beginning with the first-fruits.
While noting that the angels are spirit beings, it is from humanity that God calls forth a ministry to become His flames of fire, and it is unto His Son that He declares an eternal throne. Heb. 1:7-8, “And of the angels He says: Who makes His angel’s spirits and His ministers a flame of fire. But to the Son He says: Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; a scepter of righteousness is the scepter of your kingdom.” As we continue to read, we can see that this throne is an eternal throne, anointed with “the oil of gladness.” Heb. 1:9, “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore, God, Your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness more than your companions.”
Therefore, we should recognize that this place in God, those becoming His first-fruits, is eternal in purpose. When God speaks of a coming forth of a new heaven and earth, it is speaking of a new way of life. The old way of life connected to the fallen Adamic race is the heaven and earth that shall perish. All that has existed in what God calls the old heaven and earth shall pass away. Know that repentant humanity shall know the reality of the passing away of that old life, that they might know a coming forth into that which is new and available. Heb. 1:10-12, “And: You Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; like a cloak, you will fold them up, and they will be changed. But you are the same, and your years will not fail.”
Angels then are of a lower state of existence than those who are becoming the first-fruits, for unto the angels the good and precious promises of God are not given. However, unto Gods first-fruits, these promises are stated and given that God shall put all enemies under the feet of these who overcome. Secondly, that in Christ and as His body, God causes them to sit down on the right hand of God. Thirdly, as God’s children, they can become heirs of His full salvation. Fourthly, they become joint-heirs with Jesus Christ and fifthly they gain the right to sit in the throne room of God. Heb. 1:13, “But to which of the angels has He ever said; Sit at My right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” In addition, we read again, in Rev. 3:21 as He declares, “to him who overcomes I will grant to sit with me on my throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
While many humans would tremble in the presence of a mighty angel, we must ever remember that they are but servants of God with the ministry of serving the saints. Therefore, it is unto the overcomers that God chooses to speak to and manifests Himself through. It is these first-fruits who shall be co-heirs of salvation unto the kingdom of God. Heb. 1:14 states, “Are they [angels] not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” Have you heard of or ever considered God’s promise for the overcomers in becoming a son? If not, you can, and in so doing, man receives instructions and warnings not to drift from that promise.
Heb. 2:1, “Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” What about you, does complacency and slothfulness seems to have become a way of life as with most of the Christian Community. These are those who dwell in the established mind-set that manifests what was and is being passed down from generation to generation. This established mind-set makes the Word of God non-effective, becoming a people never expecting nor seeking for its fulfillment. If an angel were to appear before them, most people would bow at his presence and at his voice. Yet these same people are very careless when it comes to respecting the Word of God when spoken through His ministries, the apostles, the prophets, the evangelist, the shepherds, and the teachers of God and His word, the preparers for Christ appearing.
Heb. 2:2-4, “For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”
If disobedience to a revelation transmitted by angels is punishable, indifference to salvation and the kingdom brought by Christ (head and body) receives even greater punishment. The greatness of salvation and entering the kingdom of God is given by these three facts of conformation: 1. Spoken by the Lord; 2. The apostles confirmed, 3. Attested by the ministry of the Holy Spirit through miracles and spiritual gifts. It is an age-long expectation that the Holy Spirit in confirming the gospel will minister manifestations of Christ’s glory. Remember, the angels are of a lower realm than Christ is, so the gospel of Christ and God’s kingdom is of a far greater realm than of the angels. The Holy Spirit shall not only anoint these first-fruits, Christ, and His body, but also the message as it comes through those who hear from heaven.
1 Cor. 2:1-5, “And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony 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, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.”
Gods’ ways, revealed to humanity through the sacrificial death of Christ on the cross are ways beyond the ways of man. Paul did not preach the message of the cross to show off his oratorical skills and to draw attention to himself; rather, he spoke with fear, and trembling, a figure of speech denoting the opposite of self-confidence. Demonstration of the Spirit and of power not only refers to the fact that the miraculous accompanies God’s Word when anointed, it also refers to the Holy Spirit’s transforming power in the individual lives of the saints at the time of their conversion. This is more than a mere intellectual conversion through human wisdom, but an encounter with the Spirit Himself, who demonstrated His presence in them. Thus, we have the way and walk of the first-fruits.
Angels purposed of God to minister to the saints, are not given the place of rulership over the world that is to come. It has been given to humanity, those of Christ’ body, who shall become ministers of “so great a salvation,” spirit, soul and body. These who are to usher in a new day in God in which we shall rule and reign with Christ. It is the eternal promise and purpose of God, that man shall rule all of God’s creation. Heb. 2:5-8, “For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him”.
What a promise and what we do not see manifested now, we shall begin to see. The fruit of the seed, the first-fruits shall come forth in a full measure, each one in their season. We shall see them because we see Jesus who states that He is bringing many sons unto that same glory. Heb. 2:9-11, “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for who are all things and by who are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.”
We can read in Heb. 2:12-18 that Jesus became, for us, a merciful and faithful High Priest. In this office as High Priest He makes reconciliation for our sins, a forgiveness of sins and a changing from the sin nature. In this, the process of our spiritual maturity, we might likewise bring others in and minister unto the nations the ministry of reconciliation. Jesus, as our High Priest whose purpose is to gather and lay hold of Abraham’s seed. Understanding is given that we are Abraham’s seed by faith in Christ, thus the call.
Gal. 3:16 & 29 states, “Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, and to seeds, as of many, but as of one, and to your Seed, who is Christ. … And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.” A call comes forth. We do not choose Him, but He chose us. In responding to the call in God choosing us, the process for our being apprehended begins. A desire springing up from within, to come to the place of truly knowing Him as a bride knows her husband. An intimate union in the Christ until a consummation and birthing takes place.
Phil. 3:10-14 declares, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
This is a seeking to know Him, a devoting of ourselves to the pursuit of intimacy with God. We can ask the Holy Spirit to birth in us a deep hunger and longing for more of Christ. Asking God to place in our hearts a burning desire to know Him in a greater way than ever before. Seeking Him with our entire mind, will, emotions and desires. Thus, the purpose of this life is to press our way into a full measure of that for which God has called us. We are to become that expression of God in the earth that all men might see Him, as He is, the Head with His body, the first-fruits of His harvest.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by Ron McGatlin.