Listen to What People Are Saying…

The Altar of His Presence will be available through our bookstore after June 20th. You can view it and my other books at http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

Here is a sampling of what people are saying about this dynamic new book…

Rev. Doyle Fulkes, Superintendent of the Southern Idaho Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God in Nampa, Idaho said, “Prayer is the power that sustains change, drives commitment, and creates the Christ-likeness for every Christian. Robert Stone has laid out the process, potential, and practice of prayer for the believer using systematic and biblically based principles in a devotional form. Follow these principles through study and reflection in each chapter and find a whole new way to experience Christ and the dynamic of the Holy Spirit with life changing results.”

Charles Patterson, Pastor Emeritus of Church of the Hills and Founder of Charles Patterson Ministries (in Austin, Texas) said, “Many people today are often intimidated by the idea of developing a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord. A relationship within which one can actually experience His Presence and recognize His voice as He speaks in many different ways. Robert Stone skillfully opens Scripture to reveal that this idea is actually God’s. Furthermore, as God’s invitation to us becomes our priority we discover God’s purpose, pattern, and path-way to know and experience Him in a new and very intimate way. I highly recommend this book both as a study guide and a daily devotion to discover the beauty of God’s Presence more fully. It will truly alter your life.”

Jeff Knebel from Cedar Park, Texas said, “Robert Stone is a revolutionary. In his new book, The Altar of His Presence, Robert gives insight to mankind’s ability to commune with God on a personal and unprecedented level. Robert can take the most difficult biblical concepts, particularly involving the wonderful intervening Presence of the Holy Spirit, and make them seem extraordinarily simple for the average Christian. Robert’s teaching that each of us can experience the manifest Presence of God through a loving relationship with our Lord is truly life-altering. I encourage everyone to join the Lord at the altar of His Presence (the meeting place of our heart). Thank you, Robert, for another “altar’ed” work. Your message has forever changed my view of the Holy Spirit and His work in my life.”

Mike Valiton, Pastor of Finance and Operations, Lake Hills Church in Austin, Texas said, “The Altar of His Presence is a powerful, passionate, and uplifting read that inspires the reader to come experience the manifest Presence of God. This book is rich with spiritual guidance, biblical truth, and practical application. Robert leads us through a journey into the proper order of God and His will for our lives. The book details God’s promise to meet us, deliver us, heal us, and create in us a new heart and mind. All we have to do is believe!  Author Robert Stone uses Scripture, stories, and vivid word pictures to wonderfully illustrate how much God loves us and wants to bless us with a personal relationship with Him. This book is motivating, captivating, encouraging, and invigorating. Finally, The Altar of His Presence reminds us that through God’s grace we not only have a place, a person, and a people to meet the Lord, but most importantly we have God in us, and that is where God ultimately wants to meet. There’s no better time than now!”

Finally, Ministry Partner Dwight Karm from The Woodlands, Texas said, “The Altar of His Presence is one of the best books I have read. The book is full of insight born out of Robert’s research. He presents it in a very understandable way. The information about the materials and manner of how the people in the Bible built historical altars fascinated me. I was inspired to learn how God blessed every one of His people who came to the altar and that He gave many of them a special ability to communicate with Him and other believers. The book also reminds the reader that an altar can be built anywhere and at any time. The promise of God is true. If we will come to the altar, the Lord will always meet us there.”

To Order Your Copy of The Altar of His Presence click here or go to www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

I had an “altar’ed moment” last night.

I had a very special “altar’ed moment” last night. The Presence and Glory of God was so thick that I fully expected to visibly see the glory cloud of shekinah at any moment. For several hours I watched people of every race and color being saved, healed and delivered. On four different occasions a supernatural sound filled the auditorium. The only words I have are awesome, wonderful and glorious!  Where did this “altar’ed moment” take place?

My family and I experienced this tremendous move of the Holy Spirit during Tye Tribbett’s “Bloody Win” tour stop at Grant A.M.E. church here in Austin. The praise and worship was dynamic. The music was the best I have ever heard. In response to the glory of God that poured into the room hundreds of people celebrated the victorious and ascended Lord Jesus Christ. We literally stood in awe for hours.

It is evident that Tye Tribbett is an anointed young man and songwriter. He has considerable spiritual depth and insight. I first met him years ago. And, he continues to be a spirit-filled vocalist who knows how to get worshippers rejoicing. Tye has a  passion for the gospel that infuses everything he does. I like what he recently said, “things in the world can come against us so aggressively. Whether it’s bills or health or personal struggles, it can get harsh, but hold on! Hold on! We’ve got to sing louder for the God who is stronger!”

Several times this morning I have felt impressed to pray for Tye and the ministry God has given him. I truly believe that the Holy Spirit is giving him a “sound” that will reach this generation. The “sound” is more than his music, Tye spoke powerfully last night about the solutions that this generation must embrace to experience true spiritual revival.

His message reminded me of similar words given to me by the Holy Spirit. In my upcoming book, The Altar of His Presence, I wrote, “We often wonder why God has not done anything to change many of the issues in the world. We wonder why God hasn’t brought peace to war, overturned abortion laws, stopped the violence in our cities, or brought revival to our land. Many of us are waiting for God to take action when in fact God is waiting for us. God is waiting for His people to call upon Him. He is waiting for His followers to genuinely repent of lives that have become too busy, too focused on success, and too measured by how much money we make. He is waiting for us to humble ourselves and return to the altar of His Presence.”

We must remember that ALL the promises of God are Yes and Amen in Christ Jesus. Just as the Lord promised Jeremiah that He would answer his prayer and tell him of great and unsearchable things (see Jeremiah 29:12-13), He has declared the same to us. If we will ask, it will be given to us. If we will knock, the door will be opened. If we will seek, we will find.

The Lord wants to have a meeting with us. His will is not that we seek Him out only on Sundays or when we are having problems. He loves for us to be in His Presence. He loves to cover us with His wings. If we will draw near to Him, He has promised to honor us with His Presence, glory and power.  If we will come with a pure heart, call to Him and seek His face, He will listen to us and answer us in wonderful dimensions of goodness, grace and glory.

Pray for Tye. Pray for his ministry team. Pray that the Lord will use him to speak to and reach this generation with the gospel.

Pray for me. Pray for my new book. Pray that tens of thousands of copies will fill the earth with the message of meeting with the Lord. Pray that people all over the world will be inspired to experience intimate encounters with the glory of God…every day…and every hour.

TheAltarofHisPresence_Share-3

I love you!

Robert.

 

Remembering the Goodness of God

The political, educational and social spheres of our world find themselves in a season of transition. Any transition creates tension and tension has a tendency to give place to anxiety, worry and fear. Thankfully Christians have a solution. Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is the sacrifice continually offered by the Altar’ed life. Thanksgiving corrects our focus. Thanksgiving opens the way into the Lord’s Presence. When we offer the fruit of our lips by giving thanks, we set the table in advance of the blessing being prepared for us.

When we offer our thanksgiving and praise we are honoring the Lord. The honor we give Him indicates the level of our admiration, respect, and esteem.  When giving honor we should bow down with more than our knees.  Let us bow our heart, our soul, and everything else that is within us.

Psalm 95:6 says, “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.” Take the next ten days and focus on giving thanks, praise and worship. I promise it will change your life, it has mine.

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:14-19 KJV

Tell the Next Generation the Praiseworthy deeds of our Lord.

Let this Thanksgiving Day be a new entry point where we assist in the development of a deeper spiritual relationship between the Lord and our children and grandchildren.

Scripture Reading: Psalm 78:2-4 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done.

Thanksgiving is often brushed aside in all the frantic business of life, but it is the very attitude of giving thanks that must last beyond this week’s holiday. In the Scripture we are commanded to be thankful.  What must we do to develop and cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving? What does thanksgiving do for us and for the generations who are coming after us?

The Scripture tells us to enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise His Name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.   Psalm 100:4-5

Thanksgiving creates an atmosphere of gratefulness in our present circumstances and in our outlook on life. That outlook has a tremendous effect on our children and grandchildren. Whether it is taking extra time to give thanks at our Thanksgiving meal or asking family members to express what they are thankful for, thanksgiving should cause us to focus on:

  • HIS NAME

The Name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. Proverbs 18:10

  • HIS GOODNESS

Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8 

  • HIS GRACE

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10

  • HIS GLORY

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. Psalm 95:2-3

The Lord wants us to be a people who continually give thanks (something we do), and become thankful (something we become). The Lord honors grateful people who are always giving thanks.  2 Thessalonians 2:13 says,  But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.

Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp. He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call. His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. Psalm 147:7-11  

I pray you have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday. In Jesus’ Name.

Robert

The Fullness of the Spirit

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5:18-20

The level of spiritual influence and empowerment is equal to (or close to it) the level a believer submits to the Holy Spirit. The believer’s submission opens the opportunity to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s control is not about  putting the believer into bondage, but to lead the believer into a freedom that can only be experienced when a believer fully submits to the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is not a substance. Though there are Old Testament types that help us to understand the Person of the Spirit, we must not think of Him as wind, breath, wine, oil or water. The Scriptures use these and other examples and types to illustrate the Holy Spirit’s work, ministry and personality.

Therefore, we must not think of the Holy Spirit filling our hearts as we would think of water filling a bottle, a vacuum, or an empty basket. The heart of the believer is not a receptacle to be emptied in order that the Holy Spirit might fill it. The Holy Spirit is a Person and when a believer is full of the Spirit that believer is led, guided and controlled by the Spirit.1

In Ephesians 5:10 Paul told the church to, “find out what pleases the Lord.” The exhortations that followed this command speak directly to the very heart of the Pauline philosophy. He saw the victorious Christian life resulting from the believer being under the influence and in complete harmony with the Holy Spirit.

Paul expected the results to include: that the believer has nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11); the believer makes the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:16); understands the Lord’s will (Ephesians 5:17); and lives in submission to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:21).

In each of his letters, Paul wrote much about the will, heart, reason and the emotions of the believer being in harmony with the Spirit. Paul’s specific expression to the Ephesians, “be filled with the Spirit” speaks of the importance of the Holy Spirit possessing the heart and soul of the believer as well as implying the importance of the Holy Spirit’s influence over that person’s beliefs and actions.2

The phrase Paul uses here in Ephesians 5 (be filled with) refers to the level of influence and control that the Holy Spirit is allowed to exert over the believer who is said to be filled with Him. This influence and control starts when the believer decides to submit to the Holy Spirit. When we come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit breaks the power of sin and the sinful nature. He takes up residence within us. Not only does the Holy Spirit break the power of the old sinful nature, but He now gives opportunity to the believer to be filled, influenced, empowered and controlled by the divine nature.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 2 Peter 1:3

2 Corinthians 3:17 says, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” The freedom of the Spirit helps the believer to identify, isolate, suppress, defeat and overcome the old nature through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) and by giving the believer a new nature by replacing the old (2 Corinthians 5:17). A believer is not automatically controlled (filled) with the Spirit just because the Spirit indwells him. The believer has to make a decision to be filled with the Spirit. In other words, a person can “have” the Spirit without the Spirit “having” the person.

That is, the influence upon and control of, which the Spirit exerts over the believer, is dependent upon the believer’s active and consistent adjustment to the Spirit.3

For the Holy Spirit “to have us” we must be in a state of continuous decision.  This decision results in the continual filling of the Holy Spirit. The believer being in a continuous state of being filled enables the believer to be obedient and then conform to both the Word and the Will of God. Therefore, when we speak of a Christian being filled with the Spirit, we are referring to the control which a Divine Person, the Holy Spirit, has over a human being, a believer.4


 

 

End Notes

 

  1. Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament, Kenneth Wuest. Page 104-105.
  2. Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon Entry Fill, Filled
  3. Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament, Kenneth Wuest. Page 103
  4. Ibid.

The Spirit Filled Life is a Matter of Trust

On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) one hundred and twenty believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began speaking in languages or tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Many believe that the languages or tongues were used by God to testify of the Spirit’s control (due to the tongue being the member of the body that no man can tame—see James 3:8).

By enabling them to speak, the Holy Spirit was testifying that He was in control of the person and of the person’s unruliest member. Later, after the Church gathered for prayer due to the threatening’s of the Sanhedrin, believers were again filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Again, their boldness testifies of the fullness of the Spirit. Their boldness was a result of them submitting to the Spirit’s control and the Spirit manifesting His Presence.

We cannot appropriate the control of the Spirit unless we desire Him to control us. A desire for His control will include, among other things, a desire that He put sin out of our lives and keep it out, a desire that He dethrone our self-life and enthrone the Lord Jesus as absolute Master and Lord, as well as a desire to produce His own fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and administrate His gifts for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7).5

Paul’s command to the Ephesian believers was that they be full of the Spirit instead of being in a state of intoxication with wine. The very fact that they were urged to do something, stresses as a logical accompaniment that the action of them being filled with the Spirit would be the result of them making the decision to be filled. This tells us that the believer is not controlled by the Spirit because the Spirit indwells him.6 There must be a continuous and conscious dependence upon and definite subjection to the Holy Spirit by the believer. Each of us must continuously, constantly and consciously yield to His ministry and be relentless in our leaning upon the Spirit for guidance and power.

The results of “being filled with the Holy Spirit” start, as stated previously, with the Spirit breaking the power of our sin nature, followed by the isolation, suppression, defeat and overwhelming victory over that nature. Such is followed by the person living by the guidance and sustaining energy of the Spirit.

The workings of the Holy Spirit are invisible, glorious, and gentle, and within them, He never tells us about Himself. He comes to glorify Jesus—helping us to see Jesus and His Church more, to understand better, to respond to the Lord more obediently, and to love Jesus and the Church with a deeper heart of commitment.7

The Spirit filled life is a matter of trust. Trust enables the Spirit filled believer to depend upon the Spirit for all needed guidance, wisdom, strength, and aid. He proceeds from the Father and the Son to assist us the moment we avail ourselves to His help. There are just two things which the believer must do to be controlled by the Spirit. He must desire that control and trust the Lord Jesus for that control.8

If we ask the Father to fill us with the Spirit and believe that He heard and answered our prayer, we need not ask again and again for the Spirit to fill us. The level of His fullness is dependent on the level of our yielded life and not upon the number of times we ask. Jesus said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”9

The Holy Spirit comes to penetrate us, which is the invisible penetrating the visible.  His penetration, direction and control should not be spasmodic. Paul’s imperative command speaks of a continuous process or state of being. Believers are to be constantly, moment by moment, filled and filled-full to overflowing with and by the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit filled life is God’s plan for a normal Christian life. The Spirit filled life enables us to live victoriously over sin, radiate the beauty, fragrance and character of the Lord Jesus Christ, understand the will of God for our lives, live a life of prayer and possess an understanding of the Word of God as we should. A believer who does not have and maintain an interest and hunger for God’s Word is not cooperating with the Spirit. The Spirit desires to work through the Word of God that we have stored within our hearts, not apart from it (Psalm 119:11).

The Holy Spirit’s fullness is to provide help to us. When we are sensitive and submissive to the Holy Spirit, we will easily (the yoke is easy) follow His direction (the burden is light). How does He direct our lives?

 

• He guides us into all truth (Christ Jesus): John 16:13

 

• He quickens and convinces us: Romans 8:11-16

 

• He reveals the deep things of God: 1 Corinthians 2:10

 

• He empowers us to witness: Acts 1:8

 

• He testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children: Romans 8:16

 

• He intercedes for and through us: Jude 1:20 & Romans 8:26

 

• He produces fruit through our lives: Galatians 5:22-23

 

• He administrates His gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:1-28

 

• He gives us righteousness, peace and joy.  Romans 14:17

  1. He sets us free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 
  2. He searches all things, even the deep things of God: 1 Corinthians 2:10
  3. He gives life: 2 Corinthians 3:6 
  4. He sanctifies us through belief in the truth:  2 Thessalonians 2:13

 


 

 

 

End Notes

5.   Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament, Kenneth Wuest. Pages 103-104

6.   1 Corinthians 14:1

7.   Jack Hayford, Symbols of the Holy Spirit, Article.

8.   Ibid.

9.   Luke 11:13  

Power to Witness

Up to now we have learned these things as to the power of the Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth; He guides into all truth; He brings to memory Christ’s teachings; He shows things to come; He glorifies Christ; He speaks not of Himself but of Christ; He, like believers, bears witness to Christ; He enables Christians to do greater works than those of Christ; He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He comes because Christ goes away; He is “another Comforter”; He is to abide with disciples forever.14

Now we come to Acts 1:8. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The Greek word for power is dunamis. Jesus was not speaking of political power, ecclesiastical power or electrical power. He used a new and different word meaning His disciples were “to be enabled.” This enablement was to occur “when the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Greek: epelthontos tou hagiou pneumatos eph’ humas). Genitive absolute and is simultaneous in time with the preceding verb “shall receive” (lêmpsesthe). The Holy Spirit will give them the “power” as he comes upon them.15

This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit referred to in Acts 1:5. “For John baptized with (or in) water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” This baptism was to enable them to be witnesses.

You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:48-49

Therefore, it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection. Acts 1:21-22

We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. Acts 10:39

The word for witness or witnesses is the Greek word: matures. The word is generally translated into English as martyr. There for a witness had to have a direct and personal relationship with Christ Jesus, but they also were empowered to the point to having courage to witness—even unto death.

They were being sent from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and then to the uttermost part of the earth. The Holy Spirit’s power would send and is continuing to send witnesses for one purpose—complete world conquest for Christ.16

The events within the Book of Acts follow this outline: witnessing in Jerusalem until the end of chapter 7, with the martyrdom of Stephen. The scattering of the saints sent the gospel through Judea and Samaria in chapter 8. The conversion of Saul and the spread of the gospel to Romans in Caesarea by Peter (chapters 9 & 10) took the gospel to the edge of Palestine.

The gospel spread to the Greeks in Antioch (chapter 11), and through Paul’s witness during his missionary tours which ended with his arrest and arrival in Rome (chapters 11 to 28).17

The power of the Holy Spirit enabled the Peter, Paul and others with a message and preaching that was not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that the faith of every believer might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.18

The only secure place for faith to find a rest is in God’s power, not in the wisdom of men. One has only to instance the changing theories of men about science, philosophy, religion, and politics to see this. A sure and powerful word from God can be depended on and experienced in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Such was the testimony of Paul to the Romans, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit.

So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:18-19) He wrote similarly to the Thessalonians. “Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

The operation of the Spirit’s power is distinctly seen in the regeneration and sanctification of the believer as well as in the believer’s empowerment to confidently declare the gospel.

This endowment of divine power brings personal boldness and the power of the Spirit into the believer’s life in order to accomplish mighty works in Christ’s Name and thereby making his witness and proclamation effective.19

Other results of the power of the Spirit include: 1) prophetic utterances and the bold declaration of thanksgiving and praise (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 1 Corinthians 14:2); 2) enhanced sensitivity to any sin that grieves the Holy Spirit as well as a greater desire for righteous thinking and living (Ephesians 4:30, Romans 13, James 4:8-10); 3) a life that brings glory to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14; Acts 4:33; Ephesians 5:1-19); 4) a greater desire to pray (Acts 2:42-47; 4:23-31; 6:4; 10:9; Romans 8:26-28; 1 Corinthians 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17); 5) a growing desire for the true manifestation of spiritual gifts and the spiritual maturity needed to rightly administrate them (1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 14; Hebrews 6:1-2).

We must embrace all of the elements of the Spirit’s action: the charismatic for mighty works; the intellectual for guidance into truth; the moral and spiritual for producing holy lives. The power of the Spirit transfers the kingdom, so to speak, from the shoulders of the Master to those of the disciples, but the latter are empowered for their tasks by the might of the indwelling and abiding Spirit.

The Kingdom of God suffers violence when believers full of the Spirit’s power choose to pursue the Kingdom’s advancement. That advancement is clearly tied to the bold, obedient and holy lives of Christ’s disciples, who are full of the Holy Spirit.


 

End Notes

See Previous 1-12 End Notes in the Previous Two Blog Posts

13.  Robertson’s Word Pictures John 8:32

14.  ISBE 4385

15.  Robertson’s Word Pictures Acts 1:8

16.  Ibid.

17.  Ibid.

18.  1 Corinthians 2:4-5 

19.  Don Stamps Note, Life in the Spirit Study Bible, Acts 1:8

The Anointing: In and On the Believer.

The Holy Spirit lives within every believer. From within us He is passionate about His desire to regenerate our thoughts, words and actions. He yearns to have us depend totally upon Him so that He might discharge His responsibility to the One who sent Him, namely, that of causing the believer to grow into living a full, glorious and victorious Christian life. That statement does not mean His Presence or Anointing rests UPON every believer. Let me explain…

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22

It is important for us to see that from these verses:

The Lord has set His seal of ownership on us. The Greek phrase Paul used  includes the Greek word, sphragizô. Sphragizô is an old verb meaning, “to set a seal to prevent opening” (Daniel 6:17), or “in place of signature” (1Kings 21:18). First century examples show a wide legal use to give validity to documents, to guarantee the genuineness of articles as sealing sacks and chests, etc.

The Lord has put His Spirit in our hearts. Such was used to describe a deposit or to describe the earnest money in a purchase for a farm animal or for a wife (a dowry). Such was part payment on the total obligation and we use the very expression in buying a house today, “earnest money.” This earnest of the Spirit in our hearts is the witness of the Spirit that we are God’s.

We have been given the seal of His ownership: The anointing authenticates or notarizes the ministry God has given to us, in us and through us.

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit– just as it has taught you, remain in him. The Holy Spirit is placed within the believer. 1 John 2:27 

There are two ministries that 1 John 2 describes;

  1. The anointing does the work of bringing spiritual understanding of the Word of God to the believer.
  2. The anointing gives the believer an innate ability to know in an intuitive way, spiritual things. (Not from the soul or intellectual realm but by and of the Spirit.)

How does this occur? First of all, the Holy Spirit is sent into the believer’s heart for the purpose of making His home there. Each of us have the responsibility to make room for the Holy Spirit and to make Him at home in our lives.

We must give the Holy Spirit absolute freedom to change us from the inside out. We must yield all that we are to the Spirit’s control and depend upon the Spirit for guidance, for teaching and for strength. It is only then that the potential power resident in the Presence of the Holy Spirit can fully operate in our lives.

Once given freedom to dwell fully within us, the Holy Spirit desires to REST UPON us to demonstrate the Lord Jesus to others. He wants come “UP-ON” us. We see this happening in Luke 3:21-22.

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

The Purpose of the Anointing Being in Us (Internally) Is To:

  •  Teach us until we are taught. To teach means to:
  • Hold discourse in order to instruct others.
  • Provide knowledge in a methodical manner.
  • Impart information.
  • Instill understanding.
  • Interpret the significance of certain truths.
  • Illustrate for the sake of clarification.

Then the Anointing:

  • Uncovers and unveils revelations of truth which we cannot know on our own.
  • Quickens our cognitive powers to understand truth that has been previously; is presently; and will be in the future, revealed.
  • Enables direct communication from God to our heart. We then know things we cannot know in ourselves, but in Him.

This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 1 Corinthians 2:13

The Purpose of the Anointing Coming Upon (Externally) Us Is To:

Empower us for Ministry

Ministry means to give service either from, to or within the faith community through:

  • Speech (ministry of the Word)
  • Discipleship (mentoring of the people)
  • Giftedness (maximizing gift, talents and abilities)
  • Charity and Serving (such as feeding the poor)
  • The Demonstration of and Display of God (healings, wonders and miracles)

One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. Luke 5:17

Next week I will complete my teaching on the Holy Spirit coming UPON us for ministry. Don’t miss it! God bless you!

Robert

Changed from glory to glory!

Come to the altar today. Pray for the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit in your life and those closest to you. Ask Him to move you outside of what is normal, to help you live and serve in ways that would stretch you to your full potential. When you pray think about how He empowers our living, inspires our praying and enables our serving by filling our lives with His presence and glory.

 Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

 Galatians 5:22 & 23 describes the “fruit” or character of the Holy Spirit. Take a few minutes today and meditate on these verses while holding the list in front of you. Thank the Holy Spirit for the previous development of His character in your life. Trust the Holy Spirit to help you look at your current circumstances and think about what “fruit” or character is needed for the season you are in.

Being open to the Holy Spirit’s direction and then embracing His power to change us from glory to glory is described in the Bible as the process of sanctification. Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit that 1) sets us apart from the world and 2) enables to live holy lives. The Holy Spirit enables to live both for and as Christ. 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 

As we make more and more room for the Spirit to work in our lives, He begins molding and making us into the image or form of the Lord Jesus Christ by transforming us with ever-increasing glory. His purpose is to change us into the image of Christ or into true “Christians.” His ministry not only separates us from our old way of life but separates us to the progressive realization of whom and what we are to become in Christ Jesus through His power. 

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17-18 

But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 

There is a great debate going on in Evangelical Christianity today. The debate has to do with whether or not Christ followers should expect and be expected to see change in their lives. These verses explain the view Paul shared after years and years of ministry. Along with the word “justified by His grace,” Paul uses such terms as, reconciled, regeneration and renewing. I believe Paul is explaining the steps taken by the Holy Spirit to justify AND sanctify us.

By being justified, we are reconciled to God. Once far from God in sin we have been brought near by the blood of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:9-10) We have been accepted because 1) the price has been paid in full and 2) we accept the price Jesus paid on the cross in our stead. In other words, we have been redeemed and purchased by the most valuable of commodities, the blood of Jesus Christ. The payment of His shed blood and our willingness to accept His payment for our sin has reconciled us back to God.

Once reconciled, the indwelling Holy Spirit continually facilitates our ability to live in continual and progressive regeneration and renewal (being changed from glory to glory). The Greek word for regeneration is paliggenesia. Paliggenesia means new birth, reproduction, renewal, recreation, and regeneration. The word speaks to the renovation or continual regeneration of a Christ follower. It is the production of a new life consecrated to God, a radical change of mind for the better.

The word paliggenesia is often used to describe the restoration of a person or thing to their or its original or pristine state. This renovation, renewal and restoration of our lives can only occur as the Christ follower submits to and makes room for the ministry of the Holy Spirit. As the Holy Spirit fills the room that we have opened up to Him, a definite moral change begins to take place.

This change involves a definite break from the ruling power and love of and for sin, so that the believer is no longer ruled or dominated by sin and no longer loves to sin. Paul says, “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus….For sin will have no dominion over you” (Romans 6:11, 14). Christ followers have been “set free from sin” (Romans 6:18). In this context, to be dead to sin or to be set free from sin involves the power to overcome acts or patterns of sinful behavior in one’s life.

The purpose of our redemption, reconciliation and regeneration is so we can overcome any and every sin in our lives and to be filled to overflowing with the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. He enables us to live holy and upright lives. Why is this so important?

For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11 

 For the LORD is righteous, he loves justice; upright men will see his face. Psalm 11:7

From these verses you can see that the promises of God given to those who desire God with their whole heart, who seek to walk uprightly and live righteously, are some of the greatest in all of the Bible. God hates sin. He loves, looks after and is endeared to the righteous. Our own righteousness is not attractive to God. In fact, it is but filthy rags. But, His righteousness flooding our lives, enabling us to love the Lord with all of our heart, soul and spirit, gives us confidence to come boldly to the throne of grace. In our boldness, we ask without fear for what we have need of and for the assistance to do His great will. The power of the Holy Spirit that empowers us to live righteously emboldens us to believe the promises of God are now, yes and amen!

I pray that you will open your heart to the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power today. I can promise you as the Psalmist said, if you will delight yourself in the Lord…He will give you the desires of your heart!        (Psalm 37:4)  

God bless you today! 

Robert

Transformed by the Power of the Spirit

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is very significant in the life of the Christ follower. Every Christ follower must continually seek to understand the purpose of the Holy Spirit’s ministry, both personally and in their service to others. This purpose calls for continual adjustment to the Holy Spirit. Why? So that He can fulfill His ministry both in and through our lives in a way that brings glory to the Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It is also His responsibility to teach us all things and remind us of the words of Jesus.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 

The secret of a wonderful, exciting, purposeful, and victorious life in Christ is dependent on our willingness to hear and obey the quiet leadings of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, most modern believers see the Scriptures as suggestions which hinder them in their clear hearing of the Spirit’s voice. His voice is of one purpose and that purpose is to have Christ completely formed within us.

Paul shared this same thought with the churches of Galatia saying, “My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,” (Galatians 4:19).

T. Robertson writes that Paul is using the example of an embryo developing into a child. Paul likens himself to that of a mother with birth pangs. He is in travail for their complete development (Greek word: ôdinô).1

The phrase, “Until Christ be formed in you,” (Greek: mechris hou morphôthêi Christos en humin), is a future temporal clause (meaning: until which time) and the first aorist passive subjunctive of the word morphoô.2

The Greek word morphoô is the root from which we get the English word metamorphosis. Synonyms would include transformation and transfiguration. We see both of these words in the Scriptures.

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  2 Corinthians 3:17-18

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

There he (Jesus) was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Matthew 17

In Galatians Chapter Four the Apostle Paul is speaking to the Galatian believers who desperately needed the ministry of the Holy Spirit. His ministry would change them from a spiritual embryo into a baby. By using the Greek word morphoô Paul is telling them that they need to give outward expression of their inward character. This verse could be translated, “My children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be outwardly expressed in you.”3

Was Paul speaking to their inward character or to their new spiritual DNA? Was he saying that the character of the believer should be the DNA of the Lord Jesus Christ? Who is responsible to express this character?

The one responsible is the Holy Spirit. He is to express the Lord Jesus Christ first to and then in and finally through the life of the follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is an important spiritual aspect that has been misunderstood by most in the modern church. Most people have been taught that because Christ Jesus dwells in their heart by faith, it is their responsibility to experience, express and explain the work of grace in their lives. Such is not our responsibility. This responsibility has been given to the Holy Spirit.

If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17

I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. John 16:12-14

Let’s walk through this progression together…

  1.  We are commanded to obey the words of the Lord Jesus Christ when we become a  believer.
  2. We cannot do so on our own. To do so, we must rely on the Holy Spirit Who lives within us and has empowered us to hear and to do.
  3. The Holy Spirit “hears the words of the Lord Jesus” and then “speaks His words in and through us.”
  4. The Holy Spirit brings glory to the Lord Jesus by taking the commands and making them known, understood and then revealed through us.

It is then our responsibility to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit. His power includes the unction to receive understanding He has made known to us and walk in it. We are to be doers of the Word, not hearers only. Believe today for the Spirit to work His power within you and become the person you dreamed you would be.

Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…”

Receive His Power! Open up to His Power! Walk in His Power! Start today!

I love you!

Robert

The Sound of Heaven

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

There are two parts to the Holy Spirit’s ministry. First, He takes the things of Christ Jesus. Secondly, He reveals them to, in and through the believer. His revelation is not only to give knowledge and understanding, but expression.

The Holy Spirit desires to express the Lord Jesus Christ TO, IN and THROUGH the life of the believer.

The Christian’s life is a prism in which the Holy Spirit breaks up the expression of the Lord Jesus into His component graces (the beauty of our Lord—see Psalm 27:4). If the believer does not have an intelligent understanding of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and does not submit to His ministry, there is little of the Lord Jesus seen in the believer’s life.1

It is important to note that the Holy Spirit does the best He can under the limitations imposed upon Him by the believer. The Lord Jesus will not glorify Himself by His own self-expression through the Christian, and if the Holy Spirit cannot, because He is prevented by the believer, then the life of the Christian reveals a very small amount of the grace, goodness and glory of the Son of God. Herein lies the imperative necessity of every believer. He must first understand and then be willing to express the ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Dr. Max I. Reich put this beautifully when he said: “If we make room for the Holy Spirit, He will make room for the Lord Jesus.” The converse is true, that if we do not make room for the Holy Spirit, He cannot make room for the Lord Jesus.2 The Holy Spirit does all He can for believers. A believer’s life is certainly different than what it was before the believer was saved. For some believers there has been a right-about-face, and for others, the transformation is slow and almost unnoticeable. For most, there is only a small amount of victory over sin. Most enjoy some of the things of God. But as for their lives radiating the Lord Jesus, there is very little of that.3

If the Lord Jesus is only left to dwelling in their hearts, He will not give an outward expression of Himself in their lives. He has given that ministry over to the Holy Spirit. And if the Holy Spirit is not recognized, received and depended upon for this work, He simply cannot perform it. Just as Jesus never saves a person until a person recognizes His ministry, and by an act of his free will, chooses to trust Him to perform it.Most Christians never depend upon the Holy Spirit in this way. They see His dwelling in them as a guest. He is present, but confined to having little room to express His fruit and gifts.

I encourage you to make room today. How? Begin by rescheduling your time. Find 15-20 minutes each morning to spend fostering the manifest Presence of God. Second, open your heart through thanksgiving. Our spiritual eyes come open when we express our gratitude for our redemption. Express freely, openly and vocally your heartfelt thanks for all of the goodness God has shown to you. Begin with the day of your salvation and then focus on two or three things where the evidence shows the Lord loves you, has been with you and has chosen to bless you.

David said in Psalm 103, “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

Come to the altar today…the Lord will meet you there.