Illustrated Message Review with Marjorie
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May 13th, 2018 - Holy Spirit Power
Has Christ given you a ministry gift? We talked about it last week so we trust that you’ve thought and prayed about it. Maybe you’ve discerned what it is or what they are. If so, are you presently positioned in the church and operating in your gift or gifts to build up and edify your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ? If you’re more concerned about your career than your ministry gift being used to edify and build the church, then its time to re-establish your order of priority’s in life and begin using the gifts of God not in a secondary place, but rather in a #1 place of priority. We’re in a career and works driven society with so many demands and pressures, yet as a Christian, we’re to keep our spiritual gift or gifts as a priority.
The Apostle Paul’s main focus to us in I Corinthians 12 is about ministry gifts, so let’s start by reading vs. 11; “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” And then in vs.18 he says; “But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.” It’s not a work of the flesh by our doing, but a work of the Holy Spirit.
The sovereign will of God is always involved in imparting the gifts of the Spirit and he choses who manifests these gifts, and no man operates in these independent of Gods sovereign will. Last week we talked about co-partnering with the Holy Spirit. You’re a partner, but there is nothing equal about it. There is no equality with God. You partner with the Holy Spirit to do what he wants, not what you want. You’ve simply made yourself available and willing to work with him and for him. It’s the Holy Spirit’s choice, it’s his dispensation. It has little to do with you, other than what is going on in your heart and the fact that you’re born again of the Spirit. Like we said last week, it has nothing to do with the natural realm; your education, financial status, doctrate degrees etc.
We read in 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.”
Just to clarify that the tongues that he refers to here is the gift of tongues, not the tongues or prayer language that you receive when you’re baptized in the Holy Spirit.
If Jesus is Lord of your life, you have the giver of these gifts living in you, and the Holy Spirit will manifest these gifts through you as he wills and will use you as a vessel to manifest these gifts and it’s not you using the Holy Spirit to operate in these gifts. You’re the vessel that the Holy Spirit lives in and is using. 1 Corinthians 12:7 says; “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”
Manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit are given to every man, no one is excempt. Every believer has one or more of these gifts, you’re a vessel, an important partner with the Holy Spirit who manifests the gift through you and it's not you manifesting the gift. Keep in mind that it’s a move of the Holy Spirit thru you a vessel a co-partner, and its not the opposite, the roles are never reversed.
Your natural abilities never qualify you for the gifts to operate. Paul the Apostle had exceptional background in religious training but this never qualified him to be used of God. It took 15 years of retraining after his conversion before he was really used of God in the church at Jerusalem.
This is what he says in Philippians 3:4-7 about himself; “though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”
He also says this in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29; “For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.”
God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. If you’re thinking that your natural ability’s will surely qualify you for receiving gifts of the Spirit, then think again. The twelve apostles were not chosen from scholarly ranks from the school of Judaism, but rather humble positions. Not that God doesn’t use those with scholarly education, but it’s not the qualification God looks at.
Being baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues is needed for the manifestation of the Holy Spirit gifts to operate in their fullness. In order for the gifts of the Spirit to operate in the church, there is a procedure that needs to be followed. It’s the same one the disciples followed. The disciples operated in ministry gifts prior to the day of Pentecost where they were filled with Holy Spirit.
We read this in Matthew 10:5-8; “These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” This sounds like quite a bit of power to me, how about you? But this was prior to Pentecost.
The apostles operated in a measure of the Spirit, but it was after the day of Pentecost that the full dispensation of the gifts of the Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 12 were given for the building up and edifying the church under Roman and religious persecution. They operated in a measure – but a great measure. Interestingly enough, you barely see this happening today in spirit filled churches, right.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit qualified them to be used in a greater way by the Holy Spirit and we see clearly that gifts are given in fuller, much needed measure. So, if you want to qualify to be given the gifts of the Spirit found in 1 Corinthians 12, you might want to consider the early churches example to be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues which then gave way for the manifestations found in these scriptures.
If we don’t follow the early churches example regarding the need of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, we will then settle for healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, and lose out on rest of the manifestations of the gifts found in 1 Corinthians 12 from operating in their fullness in the local church. That’s the power! That’s why the Holy Spirit was sent.
Could this be the reason why the rest of the gifts of the Spirit are not in operation in the churches that have rejected the baptism of the Holy Spirit and believed a lie that because they operate in healing the sick, casting out devils, raising the dead, that they are filled with the Holy Spirit?
If that was the case, then Jesus would have not left the following command which we read in Acts 1:4-8, “And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus said “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you”, but when you think about it, what can be more powerful than casting out devils, raising the dead and healing the sick. I mean, what could they possibly experience that was more powerful than these ministry gifts? They probably couldn’t figure it out but were obedient to wait for the promise.
Acts 2:1-4 says; “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.”
I’d like to share what Matthew Henry’s Commentary says regarding verses 1-4. He says; “II. What was the immediate effect of this? 1. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more plentifully and powerfully than they were before. They were filled with the graces of the Spirit, and were more than ever under his sanctifying influences—were now holy, and heavenly, and spiritual, more weaned from this world and better acquainted with the other. They were more filled with the comforts of the Spirit, rejoiced more than ever in the love of Christ and the hope of heaven, and in it all their griefs and fears were swallowed up. They were also, for the proof of this, filled with the gifts of the Holy Ghost, which are especially meant here; they were endued with miraculous powers for the furtherance of the gospel. It seems evident to me that not only the twelve apostles, but all the hundred and twenty disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost alike at this time—all the seventy disciples, who were apostolic men, and employed in the same work, and all the rest too that were to preach the gospel; for it is said expressly. Ephesians 4:8; ‘Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.”’. When Christ ascended on high, he gave gifts unto men, not only some apostles (such were the twelve), but some prophets and some evangelists (such were many of the seventy disciples, itinerant preachers), and some pastors and teachers settled in particular churches, as we may suppose some of these afterwards were. The all here must refer to the all that were together, Acts 2:1; Acts 1:14, 15. 2. They began to speak with other tongues, besides their native language, though they had never learned any other. They spoke not matters of common conversation, but the word of God, and the praises of his name, as the Spirit gave them utterance, or gave them to speak apophthengesthai—apophthegms, substantial and weighty sayings, worthy to be had in remembrance. It is probable that it was not only one that was enabled to speak one language, and another another (as it was with the several families that were dispersed from Babel), but that every one was enabled to speak diverse languages, as he should have occasion to use them. And we may suppose that they understood not only themselves but one another too, which the builders of Babel did not, Gen. 11:7. They did not speak here and there a word of another tongue, or stammer out some broken sentences, but spoke it as readily, properly, and elegantly, as if it had been their mother-tongue; for whatever was produced by miracle was the best of the kind. They spoke not from any previous thought or meditation, but as the Spirit gave them utterance; he furnished them with the matter as well as the language.”
That is power and that’s what they had in one accord and that’s what’s needed to see the continual manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the church today. If you go to Luke 10:17-19, you read; “Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”
Again, this is pre-Pentecost! Just as the disciples were wowed by the power gifts, Jesus reminded them that he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven, and then proceeds to remind them of the authority that they have over the devil.
So in the natural and supernatural you would think that the disciples were good to go, but this is not the case as we’ve read in Acts1:4-8. They needed to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. Jesus could have said when he rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, that they were good to go and that he’d return for them. But that’s not the case as we read and believe this scripture.
So, for those of you who say that you're good to go, that you are baptized with the Holy Spirit because you operate in the gifts of healings, casting out devils and raising the dead; well apparently, you’re not. Because the disciples operated in these prior to Pentecost, but the difference is that at Pentecost, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues and were equiped to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit that were much needed for the birth of the early church. That’s the difference.
Paul expressly tells us to desire to operate in the best gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:31; “But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” Every gift has a vital purpose; therefore, the best gifts would be the one that the Holy Spirit chooses to manifest thru you at that given time. That’s the best because the Holy Spirit knows what’s needed in every circumstance and situation. You can’t really say one gift is better than another because they’re all the best.
In the following chapter, I Corinthians 13:13, Paul refers to greatest gift where it says; “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Backing up, in verse 8 it says; “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”
We know that until we’re all in heaven with the Father, the gifts of the Holy Spirit will continue to manifest through us and when he comes and we’re with him, then it will all be done away with because it will no longer be needed. We see though in this scripture that even though you could be operating in these wonderful gifts, if you’re not operating in love, it’s a bunch of noise and clanging cymbals. The love walk has to be in these gifts when you move in them.
Living a holy life is a responsibility of those who manifest the gifts, because the spiritual warfare from Satan as a result of operating in them, will want to disqualify you by you living an unholy life. If you live holy, it will help you and be a defense from the spiritual warfare.
Judas Iscariot is a good example of a disciple who operated in the power gifts, and yet in the end was possessed by Satan, turned against Jesus and took his own life. Operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit is going to require you to live in surrender and consecration of yourself to God, leaving no door open for Satan to come in and rob, kill and destroy the ministry gifts in you.
All the more reason to be filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, because you know if you pray in the Holy Spirit, you never pray amiss because the Holy Spirit always knows how to pray in every situation. That’s the ‘one-up’ so to speak that you have over those who don’t pray in tongues. That’s not being proud, but it’s to say that your tongues are not praying amiss but according to God’s will, all the time.
Remember, all of the disciples operated in the power gifts prior to Pentecost, yet when Jesus was betrayed and crucified, they all fled and denied him for fear of persecution, except John. Yet, after Pentecost, they not only lived for him but died and were martyred for him except the disciple John who died of natural causes. There was a difference in them when they received power with the baptism in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking tongues. It enabled them to withstand the satanic opposition and persecution. That opposition has not changed today. You need the baptism of the Holy Spirit to overcome the devil in Jesus’ name. It has nothing to do with our own righteousness, good works or knowledge of the Bible, it’s the Holy Spirits work through you, his vessel.
Paul says in 1 Timothy 5:22; “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.” The baptism of Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues, is available to all men, but gifts of the ministry are of the Holy Spirits choosing only.
Ministry gifts are imparted thru the laying on of hands as it says in Romans 1:11; “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—” It also says in 2 Timothy 1:5-6; “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”
We see the gifts are imparted through the laying on of hands and then also the Apostle Paul tells Timothy that they’re imparted through prophecy in 1 Timothy 4:14; “Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.”
This is all after Pentecost. So, in order to see the gifts operate in your life, there is procedure to follow; you need to be baptized or filled with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. It was #1 for the disciples and Jesus’ last command for them and it has not change in over 2000 years. You're a vessel, your personal willingness needs to open up for him to impart to you what you need. These gifts are without repentance, they’re given to you when you’re born again and as we read last week in the parable of the talents, it’s what you do with them that Jesus is looking at and will bring you into an account for on judgement day. What did you do with the gifts he has given to you?
Are you a willing vessel today, yielded to and desiring to use the gifts the Holy Spirit has given you?
We read a short script that I’d encourage you to read. Please click on this link to read. It’s from BobSnook.org and it’s entitled, 'Pentecost'.
May 6th, 2018 - Holy Spirit Power
This teaching on the Holy Spirit is so powerful. Many churches that used to be fervent in the manifestations and gifts of the Holy Spirit have become dull and lukewarm, so it’s time to teach and preach again that the Holy Spirit has not left or gone anywhere, it’s us, the church, that has to start earnestly and passionately yielding to him to see his gifts in manifestation.
Today’s message is about talents or gifts, how we use them and what the Lord expects of us in their use. We read a short script that I’d encourage you to read first. Please click on this link to read. It’s from BobSnook.org and it’s entitled ‘Talents”.
The manifestation of the Holy Spirit gifts, operate on a partner basis with God and man, and are not just manifestations of the Spirit which require no human responsibility to be involved in its operation. It’s not that God just pours out his Spirit, but you’re very much involved in it as a co-partner.
Christians operating in the gifts of the Spirit have to take responsibility for the gift operating thru them, otherwise when they make mistakes in its demonstration, it would be to easy to blame it on God and not receive instruction when the gifts are operating out order by them. God is a God of order and one who operates in the gifts of the Holy Spirit needs to learn that. They need to be teachable as they grow in their gift.
The Apostle Paul gives clear instruction as to how gifts are to operate as we read in 1 Corinthians 14:23-32; “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? But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. 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.” 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. If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silent in church, and let him speak to himself and to God. Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.”
You may have seen in services where someone raises their voice in either a message in tongues (spoken or sung), there then needs to be someone else with the gift of interpretation of tongues to be able to interpret it, or the one who delivers it must trust God to give them the interpretation also. If there isn’t interpretation, it’s disruptive and out of order. The supernatural word of the Lord will minister to the uninformed or unsaved person. The person who delivers and yields to these gifts is being obedient to use the talents that Holy Spirit has given them.
Paul is not talking about the Spirit of God where he says “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets,” but rather the spirit of the prophet. It’s clear in these scriptures that the prophet is to take responsibility for how and when he is to manifest the gifts in an orderly way. The Spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet, but the partnership of the Holy Spirit in the operation of this gift is important and neither are indispensable. It’s an exchange. God’s chosen you and you qualify to be the messenger of what the Holy Spirit wants to say and do. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will not just take over a person.
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus talks about the parable of the talents. He is actually referring to himself as the man who travels to a far country – where is Jesus now – in heaven and we eagerly await his return. He also gave us the Holy Spirit and gave all these gifts that he expects us to use and be a steward of. He expects obedience from us as we read in this scripture.
“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them. So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord. He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’ “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. Therefore take the talent from him and give it to him who has ten talents. ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
God has given gifts, callings and elections for you to be a steward of as we read in I Corinthians 14. You’re not to bury them but step out into them. Jesus said in Luke 18:8; “…nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Have you been or are you operating in the gift or gifts that the Holy Spirit has given you? Do you have faith to believe he’s given you gifts? If not, ask him and he’ll show you.
The stewards did not own the talents, and it is the same with gifts of the Holy Spirit, you don’t own them, you are stewards and you have to give an account on how you use them. So let’s fast-forward to the judgement seat of Christ where each of us will stand some day and give an account of our lives. I believe we’ll have to give an account for the gifts that you or I have, or have not operated in. That’s what Jesus said in the scripture we just read. What are doing or have you done with the gifts of the Spirit since you’ve been a Christian, you will have to give an accounting some day for your stewardship. You don’t have to face a bad judgement watching everything that was wood, hay and stubble go up in smoke, but you stand with the precious stones which still stand after being tested with the fire. God can say to you, ‘well done good and faithful servant’.
Some believe that God says that just referring to the fact that you made it into heaven. It’s more than that though, he’ll ask you what you did with His gifts that he’s given you from the time you were born again until the time you die. Reflect earnestly about that today and repent if you haven’t yielded to the Holy Spirit and used the gifts he’s given you to use. This should motivate you today.
Go to this link when you have time to read it. It’s by Matthew Henry and he gives sobering insight into the neglect of using our God given gifts. https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/Matt.25.14-Matt.25.30
1 Corinthians 12:27-28 simply says; “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”
When you are given these gifts from the Holy Spirit, He is qualifying you for service in the church body. So if God has given these gifts individually, as He wills, then it’s important to be a good steward of the gift and operate in it. For everyone in the Church has at least one of these gifts to be a steward of and someday give an accounting of it to God on the day of judgement with regards to his or her stewardship of it.
The gifts of the Spirit are gifts and manifestations that are imparted to believers as He wills. These nine spirituals are named both manifestations and gifts. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 says; “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 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.”
In verse 4 it says; “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit”, and in verse 7 it says; “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all.”
We read in 1 Corinthians 12:31; “But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” And also, in 1 Corinthians 12:28; “And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”
We need to recognize the gifts of the Spirit as both gifts and manifestations and that we are to covet the best gifts. The ‘best gift’ that the Apostle Paul is talking about is not in reference to the ministry gifts found in verse 28, otherwise he’d be saying that we are all to covet the offices of apostleship and prophet and teacher etc. The rest of this text shows that Paul is referring to these 9 gifts of the Spirit we are to earnestly covet because he mentions some of them again as he did in verses 8-10, “…after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.”
So we have the 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit, verses 8-10 and the ministry-gifts which are mentioned in the beginning of verse 28.
There is a gift of healing, that not everyone has, it’s a specific gift that a believer operates in when qualified to do so by the Holy Spirit as he wills to divide severally in the church body. The Holy Spirit knows who qualifies by knowing what’s in the heart of the believer and will divide or give to every man severally as he wills, not as man wills. God has the right to manifest his gifts through any believer any time he wants to regardless of external qualifications lacking in that believer at the time.
The Prophet Samuel and King David’s dad both overlooked David to be the Anointed King, but God saw the heart of David and anointed him.
Again, these 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:7-10 are ours to operate in. And we’re all to operate in at least one of them if not more. Maybe you haven’t yet or haven’t been in sync with Him. It’s important to reiterate, this is not a general blanket statement of being filled and baptized with the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. We’re talking about 9 specific gifts of the Holy Spirit that you co-partner with to bring edification to the church body with. So if you bury it and don’t use it, you’ll have to give an account of it to God in heaven. No if’s, but’s or maybe’s. If you haven’t been a good steward of the gifts or if you’ve never yielded to the gifts the Holy Spirit has given to you, maybe repent and then step out and see God use you in a powerful way for the edification of the saints.
Paul speaks about the imparting a spiritual gift in Romans 1:11 where it says; “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established—". Paul is referring to not only the Church as a whole, but individual members possessing these gifts he wants to impart. That’s how special you are today, co-partnering with the Holy Spirit, being a good steward of the gifts he’s given to you. He’s not looking at the outward qualifications that you may or may not have. The Holy Spirit isn’t looking to see how much money you have, or your education, your theological studies, your music career, your successful altar calls, the good ministry track record that you have that opens up doors for you to preach in different places, etc. No, He’s looking at your heart and he wants to impart very precious gifts to you.
What the Holy Spirit does on his part, is always perfect, but the gifts can be misused by believers. Here’s a good example in Luke 9:51-56; “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.”
James and John didn’t like the attitude the Samaritans had towards Jesus and they got in the flesh and had not Christ put a restrainer on them, they would have called fire down from heaven. The gift was operating there to call down fire, but it was out of a wrong spirit that they would have done it in. Hence, Jesus rebuked them. Maybe you can remember looking back over the years, the misuse of the gifts because people got in the flesh.
1 Corinthians 14:29-32 again shows how our human spirit can and needs to at times be restrained. It says; “Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge. But if anything is revealed to another who sits by, let the first keep silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” There is a timing in all functions of the Spirit. Prophets are to manifest their gifts in a certain order, and if need be restrained to operate in other specific circumstances.
The gifts of the Spirit are to be used in a joint venture with God, not independent of him which will always lead to misusing the gifts given you. So today, we have to look closely at our lives and see where we have not been good stewards of the gifts God has given. Whether you haven’t been using them or if you’ve been misusing them, you need to examine your heart today and repent of either or both. Recognize that the Holy Spirit needs you as a vessel to be able to carry the gifts and fulfill the great commission. You don’t need to feel goosebumps or the anointing, no, you need to co-partner and sync yourself with the Holy Spirit so he can use you with his gifts for whatever circumstance you’re in.
Don’t bury your talent, don’t bury your gift – use it!
April 29th, 2018 - Holy Spirit Power
Hot For Jesus is the title of today’s message. Let’s start by reading 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 from the Amplified Bible where it says; “Now you [collectively] are Christ’s body, and individually [you are] members of it [each with his own special purpose and function]. So God has appointed and placed in the church [for His own use]: first apostles [chosen by Christ], second prophets [those who foretell the future, those who speak a new message from God to the people], third teachers, then those who work miracles, then those with the gifts of healings, the helpers, the administrators, and speakers in various kinds of [unknown] tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire and strive for the greater gifts [if acquiring them is going to be your goal]. And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one of the choicest graces and the highest of them all: unselfish love].”
The Church is meant to be a supernatural organism, not a natural human organization. The manifestation of these gifts of the Holy Spirit began to cease for the most part, but not totally, after the apostolic age period which was roughly 33 AD – 100 AD. The apostolic age of the history of Christianity is traditionally regarded as the period of the twelve apostles, dating from the great commission of the apostles by the risen Jesus in Jerusalem around 33 AD, until the death of the last apostle, believed to be John the Apostle in Anatolia in100 AD.
Persecution of Christians took place all the way to Constantine the Great, who made Christianity the national religion of Rome (in the early 300’s AD), the gifts of the spirit operated less as organized religion took over, which being the birth of the Catholic Church.
The church became lukewarm and the gifts ceased to operate. So, history shows that Christians went from being hot for Jesus to lukewarm. During the Middle Ages the gifts were manifesting in the Waldenses and Albigenses sects. The Methodist Church in the 1800’s has records of the gifts of the spirit in operation.
John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, certainly would have concurred. In his journal entry for August 15, 1750, he wrote, "I was fully convinced of what I had long suspected, 1. That the Montanists, in the second and third centuries, were real, scriptural Christians; and, 2. that the grand reason why the miraculous gifts were so soon withdrawn, was not only that faith and holiness were well nigh lost; but that dry, formal, orthodox men began even then to ridicule whatever gifts they had not themselves, and to decry them all as either madness or imposture."
In a letter to Conyers Middleton (Works, 10:1-79), Wesley defined, described, and defended a whole host of spiritual gifts, including: "1. Casting out devils; 2. Speaking with new tongues; 3. Escaping dangers, in which otherwise they must have perished; 4. Healing the sick; 5. Prophecy, foretelling things to come; 6. Visions; 7. Divine dreams; And, 8. Discerning of spirits" (Works, 10:16). Although the order and even the mention of some "gifts" not normally associated with the biblical accounts (such as visions and dreams) may seem a bit strange, the fact remains that Wesley believed that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were not only important but also were active during the 18th century Evangelical Revival."
Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, a towering intellectual with the best Seminary education of his days writes the following, which is telling about life in the early Moravian Church: "To believe against hope is the root of the gift of miracles: and I owe this testimony to our beloved Church, that Apostolic powers are there manifested. We have had undeniable proofs thereof in the unequivocal discovery of things, persons, and circumstances, which could not, humanly, have been discovered: --- in the healing of maladies in themselves incurable, such as cancers, consumptions when the patient was in the agonies of death, etc., all by means of prayer, or of a single word.”
In 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 we read; “Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”
Those who hold to this scripture as proof that the gifts of the spirit have ceased in the church are not taking into consideration that this scripture is talking about an age to come, not now, for we can clearly see that the perfect has not yet come. A person doesn’t have to be a theologian or educated to realize that the ‘perfect’ hasn’t come yet. That won’t happen until Jesus Christ returns.
The great commission was not given to be changed somewhere in the future church, it’s ongoing until that which is perfect comes being that of the second coming of Christ, so until then signs and wonders are going to be used to win the lost souls to Christ and establish a living church that is operating in the supernatural as it was originally commissioned to do.
Mark 16:15-18 says; “And He said to them, “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.”
We read in the book of Acts chapter 28 where Paul was bitten by the viper while sitting at a fire, but he shook it off and nothing happened to him. The islanders at Malta thought then he was a god. But this sign of the scripture we just read, opened the door for him to bring healing to many sick people on the island.
The church cannot fulfill their God given destination without having the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifesting in their midst, be it in church, on the mission field, mass evangelism, without the gifts of the Spirit you become another, good works, humanitarian effort, which by the way is going on all the time in other non Christian religious and secular sects all over the world today with great success.
The Christian church has reached a satisfaction to function with out the gifts of the Spirit, and simply have no need of a supernatural ministry when it can be built in the natural quite well with good works programs that only differentiate from the secular in that they are called faith-based, which also makes it a part of all faiths doing good works without offending any other religions. You need to be calling yourself a Christian and that Jesus is Lord of your life. Jesus is the only person that can get you into heaven, absolutely, unequivocally no other message or faith will give you eternal life in heaven. Jesus said in John 14:6; "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."
Could it be that the church has lost her first love, and exchanged the supernatural for a natural? Has the church gotten lukewarm and that’s why we rarely see the gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation? Studying history we see that a little leaven of unbelief, leavened the whole lot of people.
In Revelation 3:14-22, we read what Jesus told the Apostle John to write to the churches. This last church is probably the best example of the present-day church. It says; “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore, be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 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.” “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
A portion of Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Revelation 3:14-22 says the following; “II. The subject-matter, in which observe, The heavy charge drawn up against this church, ministers and people, by one who knew them better than they knew themselves: Thou art neither cold nor hot, but worse than either; I would thou wert cold or hot, Rev. 3:15. Luke warmness or indifference in religion is the worst temper in the world. If religion is a real thing, it is the most excellent thing, and therefore we should be in good earnest in it; if it is not a real thing, it is the vilest imposture, and we should be earnest against it. If religion is worth any thing, it is worth every thing; an indifference here is inexcusable: Why halt you between two opinions? If God be God, follow him; if Baal (be God), follow him.”
The reference to Baal here refers to the prophet Elijah’s showdown with Baal’s prophets, a convincing factor that showed the heathen that God’s power was sovereign. Supernatural fire came down from heaven in front of their eyes and consumed the altar in one breath. It’s the supernatural that God will continue to use in the church in these last days. Are you settling for a natural lukewarm Christian life void of signs, wonders and miracles with the gifts of the spirit operating in your life?
I would encourage you to click on the link and read all of this commentary, https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/matthew-henry/Mark.16.14-Mark.16.18
Jesus has a supernatural life for you and you need not fear the supernatural in thinking that the gifts of the spirit could be of an evil spirit. Let’s read what Jesus said in Luke 11:11-13; “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Don’t allow fear to get into your mind to rob you of the gifts and speaking in unknown tongues that God has for you. He will not give you a counterfeit.
Has the church become like the children of Israel who wandered in the wilderness for 40 years and because of their fear and unbelief, that generation never entered into the land of promise. The old generation had to die before God could move. We read about it in Joshua 5:5-7; “For all the people who came out had been circumcised, but all the people born in the wilderness, on the way as they came out of Egypt, had not been circumcised. For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the people who were men of war, who came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they did not obey the voice of the Lord—to whom the Lord swore that He would not show them the land which the Lord had sworn to their fathers that He would give us, “a land flowing with milk and honey.” Then Joshua circumcised their sons whom He raised up in their place; for they were uncircumcised, because they had not been circumcised on the way.”
The full land of promise was theirs to take. Yet they wandered because of unbelief and disobedience. The same applies to the church today regarding the baptism in the Holy Spirit and all of the gifts he wants to give you. So much is at your disposal, it’s free, the Father wants you to take it to step into your call and election. These gifts will help you in every area of your life and will help you take possession of the land God wants you to take – whatever that land looks like for you. Just like Joshua and Caleb stepped into the promised land, you can step into your promised land.
God had to get rid of the old generation to make way for a new generation to go in and take possession of the promised land. Maybe that’s what needs to happen in churches today where the old generation – if they’re hindering the Holy Spirit – need to be removed so that a new generation of Holy Spirit filled Christians can step into all that God has for them. Pastors should re-evaluate who’s on their board and if they are hindering the Holy Spirit, his gifts and power, they should be removed. Even if the pastor is hindering the gifts of the Holy Spirit, maybe he needs to be removed. I believe it’s that grievous to God when he sees people in authority in churches who are stubbornly resisting the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit.
All throughout the history of the early church until now, you can find periods where the Holy Spirit gifts are operating according to the commission, and then because of the church becoming lukewarm, the gifts of the spirit cease to operate. It’s not because the Holy Spirit doesn’t want to show up any longer, because he is still here. It’s the church that isn’t showing up, yielding to him and desiring him.
What is the God given purpose of the Gifts of the Spirit? There are a few to mention here.
1)To make himself known on earth. We read in 1 Corinthians 12:12-14; “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.” As a member of the body, you have gifts available to you to use. 1 Corinthians 12:27 also says; “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”
Christ ministered on earth individually and corporately, with limitations of being in one place at one time while doing so. But after his ascension and the Holy Spirit was poured out on believers then those limitations came off and he was able to minister through many members of his Church all over the world at the same time. At Pentecost, the disciples went throughout the world preaching through the power of the Holy Spirit.
So, a church without the gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation is not going to have the effect on the world which he originally intended, thus resulting in lukewarm good works programs, humanitarian efforts, community service, etc., that are void of the power of the Holy Spirit and are no different than other non Christian faith based or secular organizations.
2)The Gifts of the Spirit are to help evangelize the world with signs wonders and miracles and not just good works programs, humanitarian efforts, community service, etc. alone.
Mark 16:15-18 in the Amplified Bible says; “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed [in Me] and has been baptized will be saved [from the penalty of God’s wrath and judgment]; but he who has not believed will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will get well.”
Let’s look at our fearless leader, Jesus, who set the example for those he commissioned. Jesus isn’t telling you to do something he hasn’t done already and he also says that you will do greater signs!
John 14:12-14 says; “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 My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it."
I’d like to share this chart with you from a document we found on the internet. I’ll give you the link below to read more statistics. These are the works of Jesus in the four gospels.
|Total number of healings||29||26||29||9|
|Casting Out of demons||11||13||15||0|
|% of demon casting vs. overall healings||37%||50%||52%||0%|
Let’s look now to a standard medical response to illnesses and these are just a few examples. Please click on the link to read the full document.
|STANDARD MEDICAL RESPONSE||CONDITION||JESUS' METHOD|
|Family doctor prescribing antipyretics (ie:ibuprofed & aspirin etc.)||Fever|
|Institutionalized - mental hospital||Demonized||Healed/Cured-Lk. 8:2|
|Custom wheelchair||Paralyzed||Healed/Cured-Mt. 9:2-7|
|Cochlear implants, hearing aids, sign language||Deaf||Healed/Cured-Mk. 7:31-37|
|Brail, walking sticks||Blind||Healed/Cured-Mt. 9:27-31|
|Artifical life support||Death||Healed/Cured-Mt. 9:23-25|
|Sign Language||Mute||Healed/Cured-Mt. 9:32-33|
|Drugs & surgeries||EVERY sickness/disease||Healed/Cured-Mr. 9:35|
Here is the link that you can go to for downloading the PDF document onto your PC or mobile device. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you’ll see; Jesus Deliverance and Healings. http://www.scripturesforamerica.org/freeresources.html
3)The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given for the edification of the Church. No matter what gift or gifts you have and operate in, should be for the edification of the body of Christ, the church.
1 Corinthians 14:1-5 says; “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.”
1 Corinthians 14:12 says; “Even so you, since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.”
1 Corinthians 14:26 also says; “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.”
4)The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to the church for the purpose of delivering them from evil.
Almost all of the gifts of the spirit, words of wisdom, knowledge, healing, miracles, and the gift of faith are all there to help provide deliverance for the people of God no matter what they are facing in life. All the gifts are at your disposal for every situation that you may find yourself in.
5)The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to help perfect the Church
Ephesians 4:11-14 says; “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,"
These gifts will keep you from false doctrines as we just read, from teachers who are walking in error, the Holy Spirit will show you what is truth and will lead you in truth.
I’d encourage you to ask yourself this serious question; are you lukewarm? Have you become indifferent and lukewarm to the things of God and the Holy Spirit? Or, can you honestly say that you’re hot for Jesus? Being cold is better than lukewarm. In being lukewarm, Jesus says he’ll spit you out of his mouth! So, if being lukewarm is keeping the gifts of the Holy Spirit from operating, then it might be a good idea to ask for forgiveness for being lukewarm, no matter what degree of lukewarmness you find yourself in. Whether it be allowing secular humanism to creep in and get you into programs that aren’t of the Lord, or the religious system to dictate to you that you have no need for the gifts of the Holy Spirit, or lukewarm in serving Jesus with all your heart, or lukewarm in your love walk, or reading and studying the Bible.
Is there a reason why we don’t see a manifestation of the Holy Spirit and his gifts in our churches in the province, country and around the world? Is it because the church is lukewarm? Is it possible...that Jesus will spit them out of his mouth like he warned the Laodicean church that he would do? Jesus said that “Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—.” Is that what he’s saying to his end-time church today? To operate in the natural instead of the supernatural. Something to ponder on and seriously think about.
Please click on the links to read and view previous books, messages and video reviews of;
A Sanctuary for Saints and Sinners in Need of a Saviour. Luke 18:9-14