Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts

What Do We Take The Holy Spirit For?



To make mockery of the person and power of the Holy Spirit is to make trivial the very throne of God and the preeminence of Christ himself.

Of all esteemed personas of the Christian faith, be it kings, martyrs, apostles, disciples, priests, prophets and pastors of days gone by and the present, who could be trifled with in thoughts and words, the Holy Spirit certainly doesn’t make the long list.

Modern theology, especially among young believers, grapples with understanding the apt operations and ministry of the Holy Spirit. The issue of who He is, how He works and His role in the life of a Christian have often revolved around dark clouds of human doubts.

I certainly claim not to have comprehended the mystery of the Spirit but the Scriptures, to a great extent, is crystal clear on certain gray areas. The Holy Spirit is an integral member of the Triune God and thus, is deserving of reverence allied with the rest of the Godhead. But pitiably, the Holy Spirit is the most unrecognized, the most dishonored, the most grieved, the most abused, the most misrepresented and the most blasphemed of the members of the Trinity.

In the light of this discourse is a scrutiny of an article brought to the fore titled: “15 Ways to Unleash the Power of the Holy Spirit Right Now”. I find it rather disturbing to conclude that heresy, I tell you, heresy and utter misapprehension of the Holy Spirit embellish the claims of this article (click here to read).

If there were ever ways to unleash the power of the Holy Spirit (a thought not so absurd to conceive) in the life of a believer of Christ, the road map should unarguably start from a willful repentance at the Cross; by faith and prayer proceed into sanctification; and a genuine spiritual longing leading to an eventual – but continuous experience of – baptism of the Holy Spirit. Hence, the unleashing of the Spirit’s powers to the glory of God the Father and Jesus Christ the Son and Lord of all.

"You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). This infilling or baptism of the Holy Spirit is God’s promise to His children of grace through faith in Christ Jesus, and its offering is simply to this end: that Christ be glorified in and through us being His witnesses in all nations of the world.

This gives a clearer finality as to the purpose and ministry of the Spirit of God – the believers’ Helper, Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener, Standby (John 14:16; John 15:26; John 16:7 AMP), that Christ may be glorified.

But these heresies by the article in question suggest, amongst several others, that “when you stand on your head while speaking in tongues, you will literally feel the power of God activated within your soul.” It submits also that there is a thing called “Spiritual mouth-breathing” that should be observed “to the point of near-hyperventilation which will cause one to become extremely light-headed and dizzy, which always means you are having a personal experience with God.”

I suppose, at this point, you are entertaining an innocent chuckle fused with ‘godly grief’ at these erroneous views of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. What really do we take the Holy Spirit for? A supernatural force at one’s beck and call triggered by ‘chemical dumps in the brain resulting from forced emotional highs and lows?’ God forbids!

One tends to wonder the origin of such presuppositions that rattle the regenerated mind. This is certainly not Biblical if the case of the Apostles at Pentecost (see Acts 2:1-47) is anything to go by. The unleashing of the Holy Spirit’s power witnessed at Pentecost was preceded by a spiritual longing for the revelation of God’s promise (Joel 2:28-29; Ezekiel 11:19, 36:26-27) as affirmed by Jesus Christ, matched equally by prayer of faith at the upper room.

The book of Acts 10:1-48 reveals a similar case of unleashing the Spirit’s power. Cornelius, ‘a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always…’ moved the hands of God to his favour.

We shouldn’t fail to note Cornelius’ spiritual longing and prayer (as it was at Pentecost) before the unleashing of the Spirit’s power, “So Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago I was fasting until this hour…’ (Acts 10:30-31). ‘Then Peter opened his mouth and said: In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him… While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word. And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished… For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God’ (Acts 10:34-35, 44-46).

Both events of the Apostles at Pentecost and Cornelius have something in common. We see God-centered souls with a genuine spiritual longing for God’s manifestation backed by prayer of faith; and then, the unleashing of the Holy Spirit’s power.

Without exhausting the list of Scriptural references of how the Holy Spirit’s power was unleashed, it is, however, flawed to believe that the Spirit’s power could be wrought by mere mechanisms of human mind and reasoning. Unleashing the power of the Holy Spirit is not and cannot be about manufacturing and tweaking emotions. To suppose so is fit for a sacrilege or better still, a blatant blasphemy.

In lending illumination on “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit” on his blog, Morgan Guyton, director of the NOLA Wesley Foundation, defined blasphemy as “falsely attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to demonic activity.” And if this is Biblically irrefutable (Mark 3:19-30), what shall we then call an outright reversal of this – attributing the works of diabolic conception to the Holy Spirit?

Whatever coloration related responses may take in this regard, I leave you to decide as you see fit. But we could, however, deduce from this an indignity of the Holy Spirit and consequently, could label such notion as blasphemy.

“Punch yourself in the face as hard as you can. Your eyes will well up with tears as you encounter the Lord personally and intensely” or “stick your finger into a light socket. Instant Holy Spirit power!” What an appalling and heartrending depictions of the Holy Spirit’s power.

Christ’s urgent appeal to His beloved is these: “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation” (Mark 14:38) and “…do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).


Should we miss the foundational knowledge and principles of the Christian faith and our understanding of Scriptural doctrine be faulty, then have we not the truth and live not in the Spirit. We walk in darkness still and not in the light of liberty by grace through faith in Christ.

Now must we earnestly content for the faith once delivered unto the saints, upholding the truth of Christ and exposing the unfruitful works of darkness. We must not only study to shew ourselves approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth, but must also study to maintain the purity of the gospel by discerning the truth from concocted falsehood from the pit of hell meant to lure the very elect.

Finally, brethren, see then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15-17). And since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen (2 Peter 3:17-18).

*** Written by Michael Olajubu, alias Jacobs Adewale (Admin) ***


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The Once-Born And The Twice-Born



Classification is one of the most difficult of all tasks. Even in the realm of religion there are enough lights and shades to make it injudicious to draw too fine a line between men and men. If the religious world were composed of squares of solid black and solid white classification would be easy; but unfortunately it is not.

It is a grave error for us evangelicals to assume that the children of God are all in our communion and that all who are not associated with us are ipso facto enemies of the Lord. The Pharisees made that mistake and crucified Christ as a consequence.

With all this in mind, and leaning over backwards to be fair and charitable, there is yet one distinction which we dare make, which indeed we must make if we are to think the thoughts of God after Him and bring our beliefs into harmony with the Holy Scriptures. That distinction is the one which exists between two classes of human beings, the once-born and the twice-born.

That such a distinction does, in fact, exist was taught by our Lord with great plainness of speech, in contexts which preclude the possibility that He was merely speaking figuratively. "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God," (John 3:3). He said, and the whole chapter where these words are found confirms that He was speaking precisely, setting forth meanings as blunt and downright as it is possible for language to convey.

"Ye must be born again," (John 3:5-7) said Christ. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6). This clear line of demarcation runs through the entire New Testament, quite literally dividing one human being from another and making a distinction as sharp as that which exists between different genera of the animal kingdom.

Just who belongs to one class and who to the other it is not always possible to judge, though the two kinds of life ordinarily separate from each other. Those who are twice-born crystallize around the Person of Christ and cluster together in companies, while the once-born are held together only by the ties of nature, aided by the ties of race or by common political and social interests.

Our Lord warned His disciples that they would be persecuted. "In the world ye shall have tribulation," (John 16:33) He said, and "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:10-11).

These are only two of many passages of the New Testament warning of persecution or recording the fact of harassment and attack suffered by the followers of the Lord. This same idea runs through the entire Bible from the once-born Cain who slew the twice-born Abel to the Book of the Revelation where the end of human history comes in a burst of blood and fire.

That hostility exists between the once-born and the twice-born is known to every student of the Bible; the reason for it was stated by Christ when He said, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you" (John 15:19). The rule was laid down by the apostle Paul when he wrote, "But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now" (Galatians 4:29).

Difference of moral standards between the once-born and the twice-born, and their opposite ways of life, may be contributing causes of this hostility; but the real cause lies deeper. There are two spirits abroad in the earth: the spirit that works in the children of disobedience and the Spirit of God. These two can never be reconciled in time or in eternity.

The spirit that dwells in the once-born is forever opposed to the Spirit that inhabits the heart of the twice-born. This hostility began somewhere in the remote past before the creation of man and continues to this day. The modern effort to bring peace between these two spirits is not only futile but contrary to the moral laws of the universe.

To teach that the spirit of the once-born is at enmity with the Spirit of the twice-born is to bring down upon one’s head every kind of violent abuse. No language is too bitter to hurl against the conceited bigot who would dare to draw such a line of distinction between men. Such malignant ideas are at odds with the brotherhood of man, says the once-born, and are held only by the apostles of disunity and hate. This mighty rage against the twice-born only serves to confirm the truth they teach. But this no one seems to notice.

What we need to restore power to the Christian testimony is not soft talk about brotherhood but an honest recognition that two human races occupy the earth simultaneously: a fallen race that sprang from the loins of Adam and a regenerate race that is born of the Spirit through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.

To accept this truth requires a tough mindedness and a spiritual maturity that modern Christians simply do not possess. To face up to it hardly contributes to that “peace of mind” after which our religious weaklings bleat so plaintively.

For myself, I long ago decided that I would rather know the truth than be happy in ignorance. If I cannot have both truth and happiness, give me truth. We’ll have a long time to be happy in heaven.

** Written by Aiden Wilson Tozer (A.W. Tozer) **
*** From the Book - "Man: The Dwelling Place of God" ***


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Religious Or Righteous?



Text: Matthew 23:1-7

Strict observation of religious activities like giving of alms, praying and fasting, regular church attendance, payment of tithes and offering, and so on, without genuine repentance should not be mistaken for righteousness.

There are many church people who practice these things and still continue in sin – secret and open. The Lord will not accept any of them in lieu of godliness.


However, righteousness comes when a sinner hears the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, becomes convicted of sin and makes a decision to turn to God for pardon and forgiveness. God has promised to forgive every repentant sinner. He says: ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’ (1 John 1:9).

Those who refuse to accept Christ but continue in religious activities which do not save will eventually regret at the end of their lives. According to the Scripture, God is angry with such people and if they die in that condition, they will spend eternity in hell where Satan will torment them forever.

But the sinner who believes God’s promise to forgive and cleanse, he or she will receive pardon on the merit of Christ’s atonement on the Cross. The pardoned believer will have a witness of the Holy Spirit that he or she is born again and has become a child of God. Therefore, a new lifestyle will begin: ‘Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

In this renewed state of being, the believer will not only be religious but righteous, godly, holy, kind, loving, gracious and God-fearing. His everyday life will be different from what it used to be. His passion and pursuit will be centered on God and he will labour to get to heaven on the last day.

The question now is this: ‘are you merely religious or righteous?’ This is a question for you and me and for everyone who professes to be in Christ. Now is the best time to ‘examine yourself to know whether you are in the faith; prove your own self… (2 Corinthians 13:5). Yet, don’t deceive yourself thinking nobody knows and sees you; ‘God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap’ (Galatians 6:7).

And ultimately, ‘…the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are His. And let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity’ (2 Timothy 2:19).




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It's Time To Grow Up 2



You grow up and get perfected so you can do the work of the ministry. When you do something for God He requires that you do it perfectly in a sense of following a thing through to its completion. You see it through to its end. You work on it, you continue on it until you have the satisfaction on the inside of you that the task is completed.

--- Please click: "HERE" to read It's Time To Grow Up 1 ---

Shortly before his death Paul told Timothy, "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5). He then said in vs. 7, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."

Every believer has a job to do and the more complete and mature you are, the better you'll be able to fulfill your ministry. You need to grow in faith and walk as Jesus walked and say what Jesus said and do the things Jesus did. Even Jesus said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father" (John 14:12).

When you begin something, see it through to the end. Jesus said, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" (Luke 9:62). Be led by the Spirit and follow what's in your heart until you get a release in your spirit to stop and move on to something else. The Bible calls this "perfection." When Jesus said "be ye perfect" He was telling you to be complete just as your Father in heaven is complete.

God created man in His own image (Genesis 1:27). He patterned you after His own self and He is perfection. Ephesians 5:1 (AMP) says, "Therefore, be imitators of God, copy Him and follow His example as well beloved children imitate their fathers."

The Message Bible says, "Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents." Paul did this and wrote in 1 Corinthians 11:1 (AMP), "Pattern yourself after me, follow my example as I imitate and follow Christ." People will imitate who and what they respect and imitation is the way God gives you to develop your spirit and your involvement in the things of God.

2 Thessalonians 3:11 says, "For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us, for we were not disorderly among you." 3 John 11 states, "Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God." Hebrews 13:7 says, "Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith." You must position yourself to be in the presence of strong, well developed believers who can show you how to grow up and be more mature and complete. We learn by observation. We imitate what we see people do, not what we hear them say.

In today's world there is too much "do as I say, not as I do." Paul addressed this when he wrote in Philippians 4:9, "The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you." The Amplified Bible says, "Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me and model your way of living on it and the God of peace will be with you." Jesus, of course, is the ultimate example of whom we are to follow. Press everyday towards the mark of being like Jesus.

Luke 2:40 says, "And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him." Vs. 52 says, "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man." Jesus grew up! He is your example and you are to pattern your life after His. At age twelve Jesus was in the temple "sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers" (Luke 2:46, 47).

Every year, His parents went to Jerusalem at the Feast of the Passover. The previous year and the years before that Jesus went home with the rest of His earthly family. But this year, at age twelve, He stayed behind and went to the temple. A change had taken place. Jesus began to grow up at age twelve. His focus began to change. His interests and priorities were different than they were the year before. Instead of playing with the other children He chose to go sit in the temple to learn spiritual truths. He's asking questions about the Word and sharing what He knows.

As your example Jesus is showing you that children at age twelve should be hungry for and pursuing the things of God. They should want to learn more about Jesus than they want to go outside and play. It is not acceptable for a teenager to sit on the couch and play video games all day long. In times past, sixteen year old boys were putting on armor and going into battle and fourteen year old girls were getting married.

This generation is expecting far too little from their children. They let them act like children all through their teenage years and when they turn eighteen they're not developed as an adult and can't handle the pressures of an adult world. How do you know if you're grown up? You know when it's time to play and when it's not time to play.

God believes in vacations but not every week. Hebrews 11:24, 25 says, "By faith Moses, when he became of age" - when he grew up - "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin." The prodigal son was an impatient young man who wanted his inheritance and he wanted it now! His father gave it to him "and not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living" (Luke 15:13).

A characteristic of youth is waste and when his money was gone the prodigal son had no friends. Many people are users who will hang around you if you're popular and have money but scatter when the going gets rough.

Young people are easily influenced. They want to be like their peers and don't discern if they are doing good or not all for the sake of being accepted. It's popular today to get tattoos all over your body and body piercings and to dress in a certain way. They smoke and take drugs and have sex. Youth are impatient and wild and act insane and insecure. They have wrong priorities.

Jesus wanted the rich young ruler to sell everything he had and come follow Him. "But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions" (Matthew 19:22). Jesus wanted him to grow up and mature and He was showing him how. Jesus wanted him to put God first and offered him a place with Him in the ministry right then and there. The young man thought his money and earthly pleasures were more important so he turned and walked away.

It is time for the body of Christ to wake up and grow up! You have to change the way you think, talk, and act. You have to put away childish habits and behaviors. Paul said, "When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me" (1 Corinthians 13:11 NIV).

You are not supposed to go through a second childhood. The outward man is perishing but the inner man is being renewed day by day and growing stronger and stronger (2 Corinthians 4:16). A characteristic of one who is grown up is to be self-disciplined and self-motivated. You've got to make yourself turn off the television and read your Bible. Force yourself to pray and visit the elderly and help the widow.


Babies always express what they feel but a mature person learns the value of words and only speaks when necessary. He doesn't spew out of his mouth every lame thought or feeling that comes to his brain. Good listeners are not as common as they should be. Even a fool is considered wise if he keeps his mouth shut. Believers who are grown up don't use words to vent their feelings. They don't chat and say things that have no substance but instead use words as tools to build up and edify. What comes out of your mouth reveals the level of your maturity and development.

Children and those who are grown up speak differently. Adults don't talk about their problems nor do they gossip about other people and judge them. They talk about love and important things that have to do with the kingdom of God. Babies are carnal and ruled by their feelings but there will come a time when you feel one way but act another. You'll want to tell somebody off but you'll love them anyway. You'll endure hardness like a good soldier as you act in faith and talk in faith. You'll stir yourself up in the spirit as you press on and take that hill.

Jesus is the standard by which all spiritual growth should be measured. He is the perfect example of the perfect spiritual man. He is the complete one, the fully developed one. When you grow up you are to be just like Him. You can operate like Jesus. You can think like Him, talk like Him, act like Him, pray like Him, love like Him, be led like Him, live like Him. Most of the churches don't believe this. For them it is a reality not to be grasped but Jesus said in Luke 6:40, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher."

The Amplified Bible says, "A student who is completely trained will be just like his teacher." You can be just like Jesus. In fact, you're commanded to. You can grow up and be just as honest and faithful and genuine as Jesus. You're bridging the gap as the days go by. You'll never surpass Him but when you're grown up and fully developed you'll be just like Jesus. He was the brightness of the Father's glory (Hebrews 1:3) and the image of His person.

When you've seen Jesus, you've seen the Father. His plan for you is that when people see you, they've seen Jesus. And when they see Jesus, they've seen the Father. After the ascension the people said about the disciples, "They've been with Jesus." They trained under Him and they acted like Him and sounded like Him.

We are living in the last days and there is work to be done and little time to do it. He needs all of us to grow up and stop acting like babies. You need to put away childish things and operate in your full potential and do the job, and let the Lord come back. Babies don't get to rule and reign but only those who are perfect, complete, and whole. It is imperative that you grow up and become just like Jesus.

*** Written by Randall J. Brewer ***


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