THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART FOUR)!

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…”

Ephesians 5:18

Back in January I said I would attempt to address four basic questions about the fullness of the Holy Spirit.  The first question was, “Why should every Believer be filled with the Holy Spirit?”  I dealt with this by examining the 14th, 15th and 16th chapters of the Gospel of John, because they contain an ongoing discussion by the Lord with His disciples about His soon-coming departure, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the role the Spirit would fill in the life and ministries of His followers.  If you have not already done so, I recommend you scroll down and read the last three month’s devotionals.

 This month I will focus on the last three questions.  Question two is, “What does it mean to be filled with the Holy Spirit?”  The Greek word “filled” in Ephesians 5:18 means “to fill; to be filled to the full.”  It carries with it a picture of “to be fully taken up with; to be fully under the control of!”  Thus, to be filled with the Holy Spirit means not so much to have more of the Spirit, but for the Spirit to have more (all) of you!

 Question three is, “Do you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit again?”  Some argue they do not need to be filled, because they were filled with the Spirit at conversion!  Certainly, a Biblical view of salvation teaches that it includes a full surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, but guess what?  You leaked!  The commandment to be filled in Ephesians 5:18 is in the present imperfect tense in the original Greek language meaning, “Be always being filled with Holy Spirit!”  Ask yourself this question, “Do I have the fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23 fully operative in my life today?”  The absence of any one of this cluster of fruit indicates you need to be filled again with the Spirit.  Likewise, “Is the power of the Holy Spirit demonstrated in your daily living, preaching, teaching, witnessing.  Acts 1:8 says we receive power when the Holy Spirit fills us.  The absence of power is a reminder we need to be filled again!  Note the experiences of the disciples in the book of Acts.  See 13:52 especially.

 The fourth question is, “How is one filled with the Holy Spirit?”  Peter in Acts 2:32-33 tells us that when Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, the Father exalted Christ to the right hand of God, the place of all authority and power.  He gave the Son the promised Holy Spirit.  Jesus then poured forth the Spirit on the disciples at Pentecost, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit!  In like manner when we as Believers genuinely surrender our life to the Lordship of Christ, crowning Him both Lord and Christ, He once again pours out the Holy Spirit into us in His fullness!

 Jon Moore

THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART THREE)!

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit!”

Ephesians 5:18

Two months ago, I began to address the question, “Why does every Believer need to be filled with the Holy Spirit?”    This is the first of several questions I will seek to address in this series.  We have been examining chapters 14, 15 and 16 of the gospel of John, because they contain a discussion by the Lord with His disciples about His soon-coming departure, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the role the Spirit will fill in the life and ministries of both the disciples and those who follow them.  I recommend you scroll down and read Part One and Part Two before you read any further.

The third reason every Believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit is not only that He indwells and instructs the Believer, but that He also endows the Believer (John 16:14)!  Remember, the word “disclose” means to tell back!  The blessed Holy Spirit not only makes Christ real to the Believer, but also in the Believer, and ultimately through the Believer!  Remember also the meaning of the word “another” in John 14:16=“Another like Me!”  Jesus, the Son came to disclose (To tell back) the Father (John 16:15), “He is the radiance of the Father’s glory, and the exact representation of His nature!” (Hebrews 1:3) So, the Holy Spirit came to disclose (To tell back) the Son (John 15:26).  Only the Believer who is filled with the Holy Spirit can effectually disclose the Life of Jesus Christ! 

We have examined three reasons from Scripture why every Believer should be filled with Holy Spirit.  Because He indwells the Believer, He instructs the Believer and He endows the Believer!  Yet, there is a fourth reason.  Ephesians 5:18 is not a recommendation, it is a Biblical commandment!  In the original writing of the New Testament (Greek) there is a way sentences can be constructed so that the reader (listener) can know the statement is an imperative commandment!  Such is the case with Ephesians 5:18, it is imperative that every Believer be filled with Holy Spirit!  And how did Jesus Himself tell us we are to express our love to and for Him?  “He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me…” (John 14:21).

Jon Moore

THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART TWO)!

“And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit!”

Ephesians 5:18

Last month we began addressing the question of why every Believer should be filled with the Holy Spirit!  Remember that we are focusing on John chapters 14, 15 and 16, because these chapters contain a time of ongoing discussion by Jesus concerning His soon-coming departure, and the ministry His disciples would soon be leading.  A significant part of this discussion focuses on the role the Holy Spirit will fill in the life and ministries of the disciples, and those that will follow them!  In this discussion Jesus deals with three reasons why every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).  The first reason is because the Holy Spirit indwells the Believer, both with you (John 14:16), and in you (John 14:17).  To review scroll down and re-read last month’s devotional!

The second reason every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit is He instructs the Believer.  “He will teach you all things.” (John 14:26a).  All the Believer truly knows of the Lord is taught/revealed to us by the Holy Spirit!  He instructs us in three ways.  First, He reminds us, “He will bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” (John 14:26b).  Some times we don’t need to learn something new.  Sometimes our memory needs to be prompted to remember Truth we have already learned!  That could happen when we are meditating on Scripture we have just read, or just heard, or in a conversation we are having with a fellow Believer.  The Spirit uses all kinds of instruments in His ministry to us!

The second way the Spirit instructs us is He refines us, “But when He, the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all the Truth.” (John 16:13a).  You may well ask, “Isn’t that the same thing as John 14:26?”  NO!  These are two separate things.  One is that the Spirit teaches us all things; the other is He not only teaches Truth, but He leads us INTO the Truth!  This is one of the ways of God that David referred to in Psalm 103:7, “He made known His way unto Moses, His acts to the sons of Israel!”  He reveals Truth to His servants and follows it by putting them in life experiences that will require them to validate the Truth in personal experience.  Only then can they minister the Truth in the Lord’s power!

Finally, the third way the Holy Spirit instructs the Believer is He reveals to us, “He will  disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13b).  The word “disclose” means to “tell back.”  If you want to know that for which you need to be prepared, pay attention to what the Lord is teaching you today!  There are no “accidents” in the life of a child of God, especially one who is committed to be a loyal follower!  Any educator will tell you the best environment for learning is one teacher for every student, and that is what the Lord has provided for each of His children!  Each Believer has the undivided attention and ministry of the Holy Spirit.  That is another reason every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit!

Jon Moore

THE FULLNESS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT (PART ONE)

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit…”

Ephesians 5:18 

The decade of the 1960s was marked by rebellion in America!  Against the war in Vietnam, the military draft, the sexual mores of the day and against organized religion.  There was experimentation with foreign religions, “free” sex, often accompanied with hallucinating drugs.  Young people argued they were “searching for the Truth!”  Notably, out of this some came full circle to discover salvation through faith in Jesus Christ!  Yet in this rebellious setting there was widespread false teaching that spread, particularly about the Holy Spirit.  Sadly, some preachers spent more time condemning the false teachers than they did communicating the Truth from the Bible! 

It is often said, “The more things change, the more they stay the same!”  Sadly, rebellion is a present problem, and Believers are not exempted from the temptation!  I am convinced there is a critical need for more teaching of Bible Truth about the Holy Spirit.  That is why I will seek to address four basic questions over the next several months.  Why should a Believer be filled with the Spirit?  What does that mean?  Who should be filled?  And How is one filled?  I will address these issues from the gospel of John, chapters 14, 15 and 16!  These chapters contain an ongoing time of discussion by Jesus concerning His soon-coming departure, and the ministry His disciples would be leading.  A significant part of that discussion deals with the role the Holy Spirit will fill in their life and ministries.  

In this discussion Jesus deals with three specific reasons why every Believer needs to be filled with the Spirit.  The first reason is because the Holy Spirit indwells the Believer.  “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper”  (John 14:16a).  Many know that the Greek word translated Helper is at other times translated Comforter, Advocate, or Intercessor.  The word means, “One called alongside to help.”  Another word important to understand is the word “another”.  That word in the Greek means, “Another like Me.”  Jesus says that the best description of the Holy Spirit is He is another like Me!  Then the Lord expands that statement, “that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16b).  Jesus came for a specific task assigned by the Father, to redeem lost humanity by paying the redemption price, the willing sacrifice of His sinless Life.  Soon He would return to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand.  With the coming of the Holy Spirit, He (the Spirit) is to abide with us FOREVER!  

Not only that, but the Holy Spirit is now in us, “…that is the Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you” (John 16:17).  When one first believes on the Lord Jesus Christ the temptation is to think that the Christian life will be so wonderful that it will be easy.  Then life happens, and sin enters the picture again.  We begin to realize that living for Christ will be harder that we thought, and finally we come to see it is an impossible task.  Just as we learn that we need Him with us in our loneliness, we realize our need for Him in our weakness.  Praise to God our Father that the Holy Spirit is our Divine Helper who makes the impossible gloriously possible!                                             

Jon Moore

Christmas Joy!

The Christmas season is here once again.  I love the music of the season. I am one that starts listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving.  So I get to hear the song, ”Joy to the World” a lot.  What exactly does this word joy mean? According to Webster dictionary:  Joy: to rejoice, an emotion evoked by well- being, to have a feeling of great pleasure and delight. That is a human emotion that comes and goes with the sunshine or clouds in our lives.  Is that how we are supposed to live as Christians? Can we have a different and settled joy in our hearts and lives no matter the dark the clouds that surround us?

What is the answer? YES! If God’s Word says that we can, then we can!

Psalms 87:7 “All my springs, my source of LIFE and Joy are found in You , oh Lord.”

John 10:10 “The thief came to steal, kill, and destroy, but I came that you might have Life, and have it more abundantly.” (Agape Life, God’s Life)

In 2nd Peter the Bible states that the Lord has given us everything pertaining to Life. The question that we must ask ourselves is, “Am I experiencing the Life that has been provided to me as God’s child? Am I letting the enemy, people, circumstances, moodiness, etc. rob me of experiencing real joy, God’s Joy ?”

What to do if you are not living in that kind of joy?

  1. Be saved! John 3:16, 2. Be filled with the Spirit, 3. Feed your soul on God’s Word, 4. Decide! How do you want to live, 5. Transfer the eternal truths of God into experiential reality in our life by faith, trusting Him to keep His promises.

We now as children of God have a choice.

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!  

HOW TO BE BORN AGAIN!

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life!”  John 3:16

 The verse written above is the most familiar verse in the Bible.  Many have it memorized, some who do not make any claim of being a Christian!  It comes at the end of a conversation between Jesus Christ and a man by the name of Nicodemus.  During the conversation, Jesus tells this prominent man from the Jewish community that every person (no exceptions) must be born again in order to enter the kingdom of God!  When Nicodemus misunderstands the meaning of this statement by saying, “How can a man be born when he is old?  He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?”  Jesus then explains there must be two distinct births, one a natural birth of water and a spiritual birth of the Spirit.  Nicodemus then asked, “How can these things be?”

 Jesus then expressed amazement that a man understood to be “the” teacher of Israel, obviously indicating Nicodemus had a reputation of being knowledgeable in the Scriptures, could not understand the necessity of two births, one natural, and one spiritual.  Nicodemus then exclaimed, “How can these things be?”  Jesus follows this question with His explanation of how one is born again in John 3:16 quoted above, requiring that one must “believe” in Jesus.  The challenge lies in properly understanding the meaning of the word ‘believe’.  Many have assumed that it means a merely intellectual transaction, but the demons in hell believe that much, and shudder (James 2:19)!

 The New Testament word ‘believe’ means, “To trust in; To cling to; To rely on.” 

1) To believe in Jesus that results in salvation means to trust in what Jesus has done for you!  “Christ also died for sins, once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us unto God.” (1st Peter 3:18). 

2) To believe in Jesus resulting in salvation means to cling to who Jesus is in you!  “Christ in you, the hope of glory!” (Colossians 1:27).  “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure!” (Philippians 2:13).

3) To believe in Jesus resulting in salvation means to rely on all Jesus has said to you!  “It is impossible for God to lie!” (Hebrews 6:18).

 Here is the question to be answered!  Here is the question you must answer, if not today, then once you die.  “It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgement!” (Hebrews 9:27).  Are you qualified to enter the Kingdom of God?  Have you been born again?

Jon Moore

 

Another Story of When God Comes in Revival!

In the early years of the 1700 – 1900’s the revival fires burned.  God sent powerful awakenings to: Wales, Scotland, Ireland, India, Korea, the United States and many other parts of the world.  God used many people such as John and Charles Wesley, George Whitfield, and John Hyde (known as praying Hyde). Hyde, a missionary to India, prayed for 12 years before he saw an answer to his prayers.

A revival began in Southern India where Amy Carmichael along with many others had been praying that a new visitation of the Holy Spirit would come all over India as it had in many other places.  Amy was a Protestant Christian missionary in India who opened an orphanage and founded a mission in Dohnavus.  She served in India for 55 years without furlough and wrote many books. On October 22, 1906 Jesus came in the close of the morning service.  It was startling.  Soon the whole upper half of the church was on its face on the floor all crying out to God, each boy, girl, man, and woman alike.  The sound was like a sound of waves or a strong wind in the trees.  I had never heard such a thing, Amy confessed.  Many outside rushed to the church.  Months later, most all of the children had been saved and most adult backsliders were restored.  Many in the village were converted and many were quickened to walk in newness of life.

Oh God, may we be found faithful to be fervent in praying, repenting of our sin, and seeking You above all else, so that You might pour out revival in our nation and world.  Oh Father, grace us again with Your Holy presence.

Burdened,

Phyllis

Parts of this were taken from “Revival Fires,” by Wesley Duewel.

THE RELEVANCE OF REVIVAL!

“O Lord, You showed favor to your land; You restored the captivity of Jacob. You forgave the iniquity of Your people; You covered all their sin. Selah! You withdrew all Your fury; You turned away from Your burning anger.”  Psalm 85:1-3 NASB

The question is being asked today in some of our religious institutions whether the subject of revival is “old-fashioned, out of date, irrelevant?”  After all, it seems like it has been ages ago since there has been a spiritual awakening among a group of God’s people that resulted in both fire in the pulpit and fire in the pew, which eventually led to churches being revitalized and large numbers of lost people getting saved! That all seems to many as “so yesterday!”

Similar thoughts may have passed through the mind of the Psalmist.  Notice that all the verbs in the first three verses of Psalm 85 are in the PAST TENSE (What God formerly had done). Then, after verse two he pens the word Selah! This word may mean Pause, or Musical Interlude. A pause, or interlude gives one time to think, consider, contemplate.  Is God unable to act on this level again? Or, is He simply unwilling? But the writer of this Psalm knows the Lord too well to fall for that! He knew the God Who told Moses that He had heard the cry of His people, and He had “come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians, and…bring them up to a good and spacious land.” And he was aware the Lord then accomplished all that He had promised! Based on the assurance of God’s faithfulness, and the obvious need of the hour, the Psalmist then presents his petitions.

The first request is for the Lord to cease His indignation. “Restore us, O God of our salvation, and cause your indignation toward us to cease. Will You be angry with us forever? Will you prolong Your anger to all generations? (verses 4-5)  In verse 8 he refers to being in a spiritual condition where we need to be restored as “folly” or “stupidity”!  It really is dumb for a Believer to let himself (or herself) get so indifferent and cold spiritually that he or she needs revival!

The second request is for the Lord to confer His revelation. “Will You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your lovingkindness O Lord and grant us Your salvation!” Revival is the work of God, and he is the only one Who can do it!  The same One who reproves us is the only One who can revive us!  The One who chastens is the One who quickens!

When Danish sculptor Albert Thorwaldsen completed his famous statue of Christ with His arms extended, and His head bowed, he invited a friend to view it before showing it to the public.  The man walked around the work and said, “I cannot see His face!”  Thorwaldsen replied, “You must get down on your knees!” 

Once we recognize the need for revival, the first order of spiritual business is to “humble ourselves!”  See 2nd Chronicles 7:14…

Jon Moore

Another Story of God’s Mighty Power

Job 42:5-6, “My ears have heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You.  Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”  Until we truly see our need, we have no hope to see the glory of God.  It is God’s nature to bless.  He wants to bless His children in a Spiritual cleansing and refreshing. Are we willing to prepare the way of the Lord, by prayer, fasting, and repentance?

Another story of God moving in revival in American history.

Charles Finney was greatly used of God to spread the revival fires in central New York in 1825.  On a Thursday night the Lord brought much brokenness to the leaders in the church where he was preaching.  God gave Finney a burden of prayer, and on Sunday, God suddenly came down in power. The people had begun to weep and sigh uncontrollably.  God gripped the people with such Holy Spirit conviction that Finney led in prayer in a low unemotional voice to restrain the people. Their sighing and weeping continued as they went home.  Everyone that came into that town felt a sense of God’s presence. The town was full of praying.

One story is told of Finney when he was invited to tour a large cotton mill.  He entered one large room where the girls were at the looms laughing.  As he walked toward the work area, one of the girls looked into Finney’s eyes and the loom stopped and the girl started to tremble. One after another all the girls began to weep.  Finney had not said a word. Oh, what glory when God’s presence changes not only the atmosphere, but all the people in it.

Burdened,

Phyllis

Some parts taken from ”Revival Fires,”  by Wesley Duewel

 

BACK TO BETHEL!

“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me and keep me on this journey that I take…and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God.  This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house…”  Genesis 28:20-22

After Jacob’s long and eventful stay in Haran, and the Lord’s deliverance from Laban, his uncle and now angry father-in-law, he began his return to his homeland.  Once again God miraculously delivers him, this time from his brother, Esau!  However, in spite of his former vow and the Lord’s promise, Jacob had a change of mind/heart and settles in Shechem.  There, due to his grand-daughter’s rape and to his two son’s treachery in killing all the males and looting the city, Jacob was forced to move once again.  It was at this point that God reminded Jacob to go BACK TO BETHEL (Genesis 35:1a)!  The name comes from two words, meaning House of God!

If you stop and think, it is a great thing the Lord has done that He has given us the Holy Spirit to remind us of what He has already told us (John 14:26b)!  It can also be a humbling thing to be reminded we haven’t kept our commitments to Him!  Notice the Lord makes two requirements for the trip (Genesis 35:2).  1) Put away your idols!  It has been well said that an idol is anything or anyone that substitutes for the place of God in your life!  2) Purify yourself!  “If we confess our sin, God is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (1st John 1:9)!

Not only does the Lord have two requirements for this trip, but He also has two remembrances to keep in mind (v 3).  1) It is God Who first makes a commitment to Jacob in Genesis 28:13-15 to bring him back to Bethel!  2) Then Jacob makes his vow to God in Genesis 28:20-22.

I remember a story of a man who was driving his wife and children to a remote campsite to take a camping vacation.  He came across a sign stretching across the road that read, “Road Closed!  No Entrance!”  He drove around the sign proclaiming, “I know where I’m going and how to get there!”  After a 10-mile long, bumpy ride, he came to a washed-out bridge!  He turned the car around, drove back another 10 miles.  When he arrived at the sign, someone had hand-painted a message on the backside of the sign, “Welcome back, Stupid!”

It is never a good thing to disobey God, but if you do make that mistake, it is a very good thing to get back to where you started (Bethel=House of God)!

Jon Moore