Making A Difference in the Lives of Others

 

Each of us were meant to make a difference in the lives of others. This includes the people with whom we interact with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. You see God meant for each of us to live a life of divine purpose. Our greatest purpose in life is to share in the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. His ministry (lived through us) is not just for those who have a church position, a seminary degree or a license to preach. Ministry is for all of us. It is about fulfilling the specific mission God decreed over our lives even before we drew our first breath.

 

Psalm 139:13-16 says, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

 

TheAltarofHisPresence_Share-2

 

I believe that David’s declaration about “the days written about us” specifically includes us making a difference in the lives of others. What will the Lord be interested in when we stand before Him? Will He be concerned with how many degrees we obtained? Or, how much money we made? Or, how many businesses we ran? I think not!

 

When our works are thrust into the fire of His Presence, all that will endure is what we accomplished for Him! To accomplish His will for our lives, we must grasp the importance of His manifested Presence ministering from and through our lives! It is the overflow from His glory that ministers best to those around us. His Presence flowing from us enables others to be touched, healed and changed!

 

It is important that each of us learn and embrace these five statements concerning our purpose in life.

1. We all have been given a purpose and destiny that includes making a difference in the lives of others.

2. We are most fulfilled when we are fulfilling our purpose and moving toward our destiny.

3. Not everyone uncovers or realizes their God-given purpose. We must be diligent (this is the reward of those who diligently seek the Lord) in our process and progress.

4. Our purpose will be revealed as we embrace and enjoy God’s personal design for our lives. Our purpose is not found in the opinions of others (no matter how well intentioned).

5. We will be held accountable concerning our obedience to the purpose to which God has called us.

 

Remember: The gifts and callings of God are irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

 

His Hand-extended

 

 

In the Bible we see at least four different ways God revealed a person’s purpose in life.  This purpose is usually realized as:

 

1. A DIVINE LIGHTNING BOLT OUT OF NOWHERE.  Example: the Apostle Paul. God revealed his purpose and destiny in a moment of time on the Damascus Road. It came by a supernatural event and was instantly clear. Paul remembered this moment the rest of his life.

 

2. WE WALK THROUGH THE DOORS THAT ARE OPEN BEFORE US. (Example: Queen Esther). God revealed her purpose and destiny by ordering her steps. the Lord began by opening the door for Esther to become Queen. He then took something bad (Haman’s plan to destroy the Jews) and turned it into something wonderful. Esther learned her purpose by moving ahead step by step. Greater understanding was given to her as she embraced each new opportunity.

 

3. THE DIVINE CALL TO MINISTRY FROM BIRTH: (Example: Jeremiah). God revealed early in Jeremiah’s life his purpose, call, ministry and destiny. Jeremiah 1:4-7 says, “The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you.” Jeremiah was moved toward his destiny even from before his birth (as was John the Baptist) and his ministry was set in motion in a divine manner.

 

4. GROWING AWARENESS: (Example: Joseph). God reveals purpose and destiny for many people in a general sense. As we move toward our purpose in life, He provides the details. The idea of such comes from the Greek word: kaleo. The word is used chiefly in the writings of the Apostle Paul (though the idea and term are found also elsewhere). George Henry writes that Paul realized “the invitation given to men by God to accept salvation in His kingdom through Jesus Christ. This invitation is given generally and outwardly by the preaching of the gospel, inwardly by the work of the Holy Spirit. With reference to Israel, it is on the part of God irrevocable, not repented of. Having in His eternal counsel called this people, He entrusted them with great gifts, and because He did thus enrich them, He also, in the course of time, summoned them to fulfill the task of initiating the world into the way of salvation, and of preparing salvation for the world.”

 

Paul also wrote that this “high calling” in Christ is made in and from heaven by God on account of Christ (Philippians 3:14). Similarly it is a heavenly calling (Hebrews 3:1) as well as a holy calling, holy in aim, means, and end (2 Timothy 1:9). Paul told the Ephesians that every Christian is to walk worthy of this calling (Ephesians 4:1) and to be encouraging others to live in such a way that God will count them worthy of their calling (2 Thessalonians 1:11).

 

I ask you to consider this…

 

ARE YOU MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS?

IF NOT, WHEN WILL YOU BEGIN?

IF YOU ARE, ARE YOU ENCOURAGING OTHERS TO DO THE SAME?

 

I encourage you to do your best to make a difference in the lives of others–today and everyday!

 

I love you,

 

Robert

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Do You Have an Altar’ed Moment?

This past weekend was really special.  On Sunday morning I was ministering from God’s Word in a local church here in Texas. About halfway through my message I and everyone in the building experienced an “altar’ed” moment.

 

The Presence of the Holy Spirit poured into the auditorium. Without effort, the message I was preaching came flowing out from my heart and mouth like an unstoppable flood. The people began raising their hands and expressing themselves, each giving glory to God. The atmosphere changed in a matter of moments causing tears to flow and lives to be changed. For over an hour we embraced, enjoyed and experienced His glorious Presence.

 

A few hours later the Holy Spirit nudged me. Everyone had gone home and I was on my way home to Austin. That’s when the Spirit began reminding me of similar times and experiences. He reminded me of a time when I was a teenager. My family had moved because my dad had found a new job. Because of the move, I had to change school districts between my sophomore and junior year. Changing high schools can be hard. Making new friends, learning new teaching styles, adjusting to new teachers and new surroundings for some teens can be really difficult and the changes were taking their toll on me.

 

Then a few months into the school term I had an “altar’ed” moment. It happened during the praise and worship time of a Sunday night church service. We were not singing anything special or new. In fact, we were singing an old chorus, when all of a sudden the Presence of God began filling the room. Without invitation people began leaving their seats and moving toward the front and gathering at the altar.

 

A local ministry team/singing group called The King’s Witnesses (they were was based out of our church) went to the platform and began ministering in song. The pastor and the elders began praying for people. In a matter of minutes heaven filled the place. It was as though we were in the throne room of the Most High. You could almost hear angels singing. The Shekinah was so thick it felt awkward to breathe.

 

I was kneeling at the end of the altar when I looked up and saw my name written on the front of one of the guitars that belonged to a member of the King’s Witnesses. At that moment my life was altar’ed. I don’t know why me seeing my name on that guitar did anything. I just remember that at that moment…the Lord touched me and did the work. I don’t remember asking the Lord to act on my behalf, heal me or deliver me. I just know that at that moment, I was altar’ed and the struggle I had been experiencing was over.

 

Peace flooded my heart and soul like the storm surge that invades the coast when a hurricane comes onshore. I knew at that moment everything was going to be ok. I knew…that I knew…that I knew…the Lord would not leave or forsake me. I knew that He had the whole world AND ME in His hands! After that night the school seemed different. The teachers were not the same. The other students were changed. Even I was different. What had really happened? I can say with confidence, I had been altar’ed by being in the Presence of the Lord.

 

I have been reminded of that night many times since. It has become a “touch point” of faith for me. Whenever I face difficult circumstances or a situation to which I have no answer, I am reminded of that night. I am reminded that the Lord knows where I am, He knows who I am and He knows what I have need of before I even ask. The time spent that night at the altar…truly altered my life.

 

Would you like to share one of your “altar’ed” moments? If so, email me today at info@altarofhispresence.com. I will read your story and rejoice with you concerning the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ. The bible says that we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and I want to rejoice with you. Let me know if I have your permission to share it with our readers. I know that there are many who are reading today that would love to hear the story of your life being altar’ed.

 

One more thing, if you are carrying a heavy burden or if you are ill, hurting or need an answer from the Lord, email me. Susan and I will pray for you. We will ask and agree with you for the Holy Spirit to provide an answer to your prayer. We will pray that He will give you an altar’ed moment! Soon you will be healed, delivered and rejoicing over what the Lord has done for you! Either way, write to me today and share your heart!

 

I look forward to hearing from you…Robert.

Clouds of His Presence

 

I pray that this blog on the ministry of the Holy Spirit has brought you in contact with the Manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit as never before. Every one of us experience Him in special and unique ways. Each person’s experience is different than that of others and yet similar. Examples of such are that in the Scripture He is said to manifest His Presence quietly and sweetly at certain times, then at other times He reveals His Presence with wind and fire (Read Acts 2). In the Old Testament the Manifest Presence of Yahweh (The LORD) is called Shekinah. The Shekinah is described in the Jewish Encyclopedia as the majestic Presence or manifestation of God which has descended to “dwell” among men.

 

In the Old Testament, the Shekinah generally manifested in the form of a cloud. Such is seen in 1 Kings 8:10-11 which says, “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.”

 

In the natural clouds are visible accumulations of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in the Earth’s atmosphere. Clouds form when air becomes saturated, or filled, with water vapor. Clouds usually appear white because the tiny water droplets inside them are tightly packed, reflecting most of the sunlight that hits them. The color white is what we see because that is how our eyes perceive things when all the wavelengths of sunlight mixed together with the moisture.

The metaphoric and symbolic uses of clouds in Scripture are many, and provide some of the most powerful and glorious illustrations. English Baptist pastor and biblical scholar, John Gill wrote about the Shekinah being manifested as a cloud in his commentary on Isaiah 60:8 which says, “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?” Gill believed that Isaiah was referring to a vast number of future converts. These converts are being compared to a “cloud” because of the number of them, because they covered the land of Judea as the clouds fill the heavens, and for their elevation and situation, being raised from an earthly to a heavenly state; being called with a high calling, and made partakers of an heavenly one; and for their being filled with the grace of God, as clouds with water; and for their unanimity, their coming together in a body, making as it were one cloud, and that openly and publicly, professing Christ, and joining them in His Church.”

No doubt the foundation of Gill’s understanding is found in Numbers 11:24-25. “So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.”

 

Clouds, according to McKenzie, are “an almost universal element of the revelation of Yahweh to His people.” The occurrences of clouds indicate the Divine Presence is heavily distributed throughout both Testaments. The cloud is, perhaps, the earliest element that was connected to the Divine presence by Israel. Such is the example of the “Pillar of Cloud” which guided and protected the Israelites during their escape from Egypt. When the host of Israelites first met the LORD, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the mountain was covered in a “Pillar of cloud.” Hiebert suggests that the image of the cloud is connected to the Hebrew term for “glory”. While this image is directly connected to Priestly writings and, often, associated with the Temple, Hiebert argues that it “may more narrowly also derive from the aura of the fiery storm cloud.”

 

I truly believe that we are seeing the formation of His glorious Presence. Pressure is being put on Christians from every country to surrender to secularism and religion. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is calling a group of us to come together for the purpose of true worship and intercessory prayer. The same type of pressure was put on the infant church right after the resurrection of our Lord. An in response to the obedience, worship and prayer of God’s people the manifested Presence of the Holy Spirit was experienced on the Day of Pentecost, during the prayer meeting in Acts Chapter 4 and at the house of Cornelius in Acts 10:44-47.

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

 

Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to manifest the Lord Jesus Christ into, for and through our lives. Such manifestation will reveal the love, the peace, the joy and the righteousness we see in the life of Jesus (as He walked here on earth). When others see His Presence being manifested in and through our lives they will see Jesus. They will see His grace, His goodness and His glory.

Let us gather together as mighty clouds of joy and fill the heavens with shouts of praise. Let us become one (as clouds do) and form one glorious cloud of His Presence. Let us be witnesses and surround the hurting and dying around us with the testimony of Jesus (which is the spirit of prophecy). For as we call upon the Lord together, humble ourselves and seek His face, then will we hear from heaven. Only then will the Lord heal our land. Bless His Name!

I love you!

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.

Experience His Power and Presence!

The truth of Christianity is spiritually discerned. In other words spiritual truth can only be discerned by the illuminating and indwelling POWER and PRESENCE of the Holy Spirit. In the name of “reality,” science sometimes repudiates these inner experiences as “mystical.” But as followers of Christ we cling to them as most real, data of experience as true and reliable as any other form of human experience.

To repudiate them would be for them to repudiate reality itself.8 For the greatest reality known within the human heart is when a human “knows” the Heavenly Father and the Son of God has come and made their home within the believer (John 14:23).

This is only made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit and no doubt is another form of assertion of the Spirit’s Presence within those who believe, and not a distinct line of mystical teaching. (Compare Woods, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, page 243.)9

In John 14:26 the promise of the Spirit is repeated. The Father was to send the Spirit in the Name of Christ Jesus and teach the disciples all things as well as reminding them of everything Jesus had said to them.

The power of the Spirit quickens the memories of those who have learned the Word of God. Throughout the New Testament, and especially in John’s and Paul’s writings, there is no sense of conflict between Father, Son and Spirit in their work in the Christian. Everything proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and is accomplished in the Christian by the Holy Spirit. When Paul speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ being and living within the believer, he is saying that the Spirit does nothing apart from Christ Jesus and is in the heart of the believer to glorify Christ Jesus.

There are several Scriptures that give us understanding of the personality of the Holy Spirit. The designation “another Comforter,” taken in connection with the description of his work, is one. The fact that the Holy Spirit is sent or given as “Another” and “Another” is seen in the specific work which the Spirit is given to do.

I shared in an earlier blog that the Holy Spirit is “Another of like kind” Who has become our Paraclete, Helper, and Advocate, with the Father (1 John 2:1). This old word, from parakaleô, was used for legal assistant, pleader, advocate, one who pleads another’s cause. This title of the Holy Spirit is only in John’s writings, though the idea of it is in Romans 8:26-34.10

In John 15:26 this concept is made even more comprehensive: “He shall bear witness of me,” and yet more emphatically in John 16:14, “He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.” The sphere of the Holy Spirit’s activity is the heart of the individual believer and of the community of believers or Church. The Holy Spirit’s chief function is to illumine the teaching and glorify the person of Jesus.11

John 15:26 says, “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.” This verse of Scripture supports the doctrine of procession of the Spirit. Jesus used the words I will send (Future tense of the Greek word: pempso) to describe the Spirit of Truth Who proceeds in the present tense (ekporeuetai) from the Father.

The present tense here suggests eternal action of the Spirit and has been taken to indicate an essential relation of the Holy Spirit to God the Father.12

The Holy Spirit is The Spirit of Truth. His power always involves truth.  When He convicts, He is causing the person to realize the truth. When He justifies, He is making the new believer understand the truth.

When He sanctifies, setting us apart unto Christ and empowering us to be holy as He is holy, He again is causing us to know the truth. In other words, He Who deals in truth, makes His appeal through the truth, causing us to know the truth and therefore to be set free from all sin, self-condemnation and shame.

Knowing the truth sets people free. This freedom is won alone by Christ (John 8:36) and we are sanctified in truth (John 17:19). In John 1:17 truth is mentioned with grace as one of the marks of the gospel through Christ.

Freedom (intellectual, moral, spiritual) is only attainable when we are set free from darkness, sin, ignorance and superstition by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that causes the Light of the World to shine on us, in us and through us.13 


 

End Notes

See Earlier Blog Post for Notes 1-7.

8.    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385.

9.    Ibid.

10.  Robertson’s Word Pictures Entry John 14:16

11.  International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385

12.  Compare Godet, Commentary on John 15:26

13.  Robertson’s Word Pictures John 8:32

The Outpouring of Revival

John’s Gospel is more elaborate in his presentation of the office and work of the Holy Spirit than the other three Gospels combined. After John the Baptist’s testimony of the Spirit descending upon Jesus at His baptism, John begins his discourse regarding the ministry of the Holy Spirit with his description of this statement by Jesus to Nicodemus. “Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit’” (John 3:5).

Jesus’ use of the expression, “except one be born of water and the Spirit,” is explanatory of the term “born again.” And yet, there are two different schools of thought as to the Lord’s words. Either, Jesus was saying that the action of the Spirit of God (directly) must be accompanied by water baptism (indirectly) for the salvation experience to be complete, or that a person must be born naturally (of water) and spiritually (of the Spirit).

In the light of other New Testament teachings, however, we do not teach that salvation occurs at or as a result of water baptism.  The “birth,” in so far as it relates to baptism, is of a symbolic and legal nature, not actual.

Water baptism is an outward legal act that speaks to the order of the Kingdom of God. One must die and be buried as a “son of Adam” before they can be raised to newness of life as a “son of God.” The legal symbolism and spiritual fact move on parallel lines.

Our entrance into the Kingdom of God happens when the Holy Spirit executes our “new birth.” Being “born again” is definitely an act planned by the Heavenly Father, purchased by death, resurrection and ascension of the Son and performed by the Holy Spirit.

John’s second reference to the life changing power of the Holy Spirit takes place during the message of Jesus in John 6:63. Jesus said, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit (or Spirit) and they are life.”

It is the spirit within a person that quickens that person. When God breathed into Adam, he became a living soul; for the body, without the spirit, is dead. In an even greater way, it is the Spirit of God that quickens those who are dead in sin. When the Holy Spirit enters into a person He is the Spirit of life causing them to live spiritually. In a spiritual sense, the Holy Spirit raises men from death to life. Just as Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead the Holy Spirit raises the person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ and they are saved.1

The Holy Spirit quickens, refreshes, and changes the heart of the new believer. He is the same Spirit that quickened and raised Christ from the dead, and now quickens our mortal bodies.2 The life that the Spirit gives is arousing, invigorating, quickening, producing and like the nature of seed; springing up, growing, productive and abundant.3 The life of the Spirit overflows the heart of the believer with righteousness, peace and joy.4 Within the words of Jesus are the breath of God as well as the life of God. Never man spoke like Jesus (John 7:46). There is life in His Words today because the Spirit is in His Words.5

The next mention of the Spirit in John’s Gospel is found in John 7:37-39 which says, “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Who-ever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

Jesus came to Jerusalem with His disciples. They were there to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths.

On the last day of the feast Jesus spoke making reference to the Scripture in Isaiah 55:1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” Jesus spoke concerning the Word of God because it was the supreme authority for His life and teaching. Both of which included the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He also wanted His hearers to know that the Old Testament was full of descriptive prose concerning “water.”

Water is used throughout the Scriptures as an allegory and metaphor of the Spirit. Some of the Scriptures are:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. Psalm 46:4

I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. Isaiah 41:18

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3

The words of Jesus concerning the ministry of the Holy Spirit were confirmed to John after the resurrection. Prior to the coming of the Spirit the Lord Jesus was speaking prophetically, but when John wrote his Gospel, the prophecy had become John’s reality.

John’s words were the apostle’s way of giving his audience the teaching of Jesus and not his own theory of Jesus. The words, “whom those who believed in him were later to receive,” is a clear reference to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.6 For the Spirit was not yet given (oupô gar ên pneuma). The reference is not to the existence of the Spirit, but to the activity of the Spirit. John inserts this comment and interpretation of the words of Jesus in reference to the coming of the Holy Spirit as The Comforter.7

Every fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit brings revival to the earth. I have no doubt that given our current world situation we stand on the precipice of either revival or destruction. As believers we must remember the promise given by the LORD to Solomon.  He said, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Join us in praying today for revival!


 

End Notes

1.    Romans 10:10-13

2.    Romans 8:11

3.    Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Entry 2227

4.    Romans 14:17

5.    Robertson’s Word Pictures Entry John 6:63 and International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385

6.    Acts 2

7.    Robertson’s Word Pictures Entry John 7:39

 

To Be Like Jesus

Acts Chapter Two tells of how the believers of the Lord Jesus Christ received power from on high. They were supernaturally enabled to witness for Christ so the lost would be won over to Him and then taught to obey everything He had commanded. The end result was for Christ to be made known, loved, praised and made Lord of God’s chosen people. Oh, that we would see such happen again!

Everything proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and is accomplished in the Christian by the Holy Spirit. For the Lord Jesus Christ to fully abide within and rest upon the believer he must be filled with and anointed by the Holy Spirit. Or, as the Apostle Paul said, the believer must have continuous fellowship and communion with the Holy Spirit.

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God, and the fellowship (communion) of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Jesus explained how such would come about when He said, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor (Comforter) to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17).

Before His death, resurrection and ascension Jesus told those closest to him that He would send to them “Another”. The word “Another” is a transliteration of the Greek word, parakletos. Parakletos is usually translated “Counselor” or “Comforter” and always speaks of the Holy Spirit (in the New Testament).

The word parakletos means a Person who is called to be at one’s side and especially called to be one’s aid. This Person is one who pleads another’s cause before a judge. He is an advocate, and in the widest sense a helper, succorer, aider and assistant.1

When talking about the Holy Spirit, we would be right to say that He was sent to take the place of Christ Jesus. First, with the apostles (after His ascension to the Father), and second, to all who believe, the Holy Spirit has been sent to lead people to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth as well as to give them divine strength. He also enables people to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the divine kingdom.2

The fact that He is sent or given as “Another.” So, when Jesus used the word “Another” He is telling us that there is specific work which the Holy Spirit has been sent to do.

The name, Another, includes the masculine pronoun ekeinos meaning the Holy Spirit is Another of the Same Kind, Realm, Rank, Degree, Kindred and Purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Book of Acts contains the historical record the ministry of the Holy Spirit as the Comforter and Counselor. The form of the Holy Spirit’s activities begins quite dynamically. The description of His arrival on the Day of Pentecost was said by the Apostle Peter to be the fulfillment of the Prophet Joel’s prophecies.

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (or languages) as the Spirit enabled them. This is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: Acts 2:2-4, 16

The Wind of the Spirit may have been in fulfillment to Ezekiel’s prayer, “Come, O Life breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live”4 or to the call to “Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden.”5

The Holy Spirit (like the north wind) first clears away the mists of gloom, error, unbelief, and sin, which intercept the light of the Sun of righteousness.6 Then, like the south wind, He infuses spiritual warmth, causing the “spices” (i.e. graces) to “flow out” from on high, causing the desert to become a fertile field, and the fertile field to become like a forest.7

The form of the Spirit’s activities in second chapter of the Acts is chiefly compelling and energetic, that is, the miraculous endowment of disciples with power or wisdom for their work in extending the Messianic kingdom. It appears that the work of the Spirit within those believers, as the chief sanctifying agency, was not as fully developed as was later described with great fullness in the Apostle Paul’s writings.8

Acts 2 tells of the believers receiving power from on high enabling them to witness for Christ so the lost would be won over to Him and then taught to obey everything He had commanded. The end result was for Christ to be made known, loved, praised and made Lord of God’s chosen people. The power (dunamis) means more than strength or ability. It designates power in operation or in dynamic action. The power included the authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal the sick as the two essential signs accompanying the proclamation of the Kingdom of God.9

The release of the power of the Holy Spirit in and through the believer’s lives caused them to witness “with all boldness” (Acts 4:29), “with great power” (Acts 4:33), with “many signs, wonders and miracles” (Acts 2:43, 5:12-16, 6:8; 8:6-8), and with great results (Acts 4:4; 6:7; 8:8; 9:33-35; 11:21-24; 19:10-20).10

It is important to note both dimensions speak to the Holy Spirit’s reason for being sent. He was sent to help us to be as like Jesus. To demonstrate the good news by healing the sick, raising the dead and setting the captive free.

He also came as a friend committed to help us. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would empower us; He would lead and guide us in the true course for our lives, to comfort us in difficult situations, to intercede for us in prayer and to remain with us forever.11

(This  blog is from Robert’s new and dynamic book on the Holy Spirit)

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  1. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance Entry 3875
  2. Ibid.
  3. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385
  4. Ezekiel 37:9
  5. Song of Solomon 4:16
  6. Fausset’s Bible Dictionary Entry 1652
  7. Isaiah 32:15
  8. International Standard Bible Dictionary Entry 4385
  9. Donald Stamps Commentary, Life in the Spirit, Zondervan, 1992. Entry Acts 1:8 Note.
  10. Ibid.
  11. Donald Stamps Commentary, Life in the Spirit, Zondervan, 1992. Entry John 14:16 Note..