The Holy Spirit and Me Part 1
Good Morning from England! Here is yet another Digestible and testimony, but this one is on the subject of fire, and it creates fire in lots of people. A fiery response, I mean. Still, I knew in October 2012, after the Lord set me free of demons, healed me from all of the illnesses and diseases, loosed me from every thing that bound me, delivered me from 5 years in a wheelchair and from all meds; that I was to preach the entire gospel of Christ crucified no matter what the cost. One thing I was freed from was fear of man, so I continue to do what I was born to do: preach and teach and tell about all that Jesus died for and all He has to give us.
May you all be blessed in every thing you do this day. May the Word of God dwell in you richly! Yours, PK x
A testimony of power:
The Holy Spirit And Me
My daddy was a pastor of a mainstream denominational church in the heart of the American Bible Belt. He was ordained to preach when I was 6 months of age. He was dramatically called by the Lord just prior to their discovery that mama was pregnant with me.
In this denomination, as it is with many, we were taught "The baptism of the Holy Spirit is not for today"..."tongues are passed away"..."God does not do miracles now except spontaneous ocassional ones"..."The gifts of the Holy Spirit are no longer needed by the church"...
Because God has placed such importance on these "passed away" subjects in His Word, it can be a bit tricky to avoid them when reading. But, we did manage to sidestep the subject in the denomination of my childhood. Somehow.
Sidestepping may have been more difficult for daddy because he was a preacher. He actually read His Bible. Each morning he poured over the Word in study and prayer. Three times a week he preached a sermon, preaching whatever God had laid upon his heart, instead of prepared written ones. He preached with love and fire from the heart. I well remember the tears streaming down his face as he compelled those ones who had never met Christ Jesus to step forward and receive Him before it was too late. This is how I often see him even today.
Avoidance was easier for the rest of us. We didn't have to think. Most of the thinking was done for us. We were a pretty helpless sort. A flock of sheep springs to mind. Our limited knowledge of the Word came to us by way of prepared lessons on Sundays from denominational quarterlies, and daddy's sermons. It was not enough spiritual food to feed a church mouse, but I had never known anything else or any other way. Most of us hadn't.
There were legends though. Daddy often spoke of these. With great skill, he wove stories into his sermons, of legends which alluded to the "Holy Roller" past of our fathers. In the distant past, they had been on fire, whereas we were lukewarm.
Those folks had more; we had less.
We were oblivious to the forbidden teachings. We were blind. We had eyes but we did not see, and ears but we did not hear.
The legends captivated me, yet I did not understand them. What had set them apart? What was it that lit their fires so brightly? I was to hide these stories in my heart. Like Mary had about the things of Jesus she couldn't understand, I pondered these things, these legends, in my heart.
I don't remember opening my Bible one time in personal study during the days of my entire youth. I believed it was sacred, but it gathered dust. I believed it was from God, and inspired by God. What I didn't know was that it is much more. It is God speaking to me. It's words are to me and for me. It is God speaking to you. It's words are to you and for you.
Obviously, God was the God of immense power in the Bible times. But for some reason, He wasn't in my time. I was simply told we didn't need His power now. Why not? Why didn't we need it? Where does God teach this in His Word?
When I now look, I do not find any evidence to support this traditional teaching that there’s no power now because we don’t need it. However, at the time, I did not question the founding fathers of our organization. I did not question their wisdom or their authority. I was a sheep. We are sheep. For many years, I acted like a sheep. I followed along with the rest of the flock, because I didn't look. I didn't search the scriptures as the Lord instructs us to do on each and every subject. We are not to place our trust in men but in the Word of God and either confirm or disapprove the things that differ from the truth. We do this by searching. I didn’t until the Lord shook up my complacency.
Paul prophetically warned Timothy of this day,
"Perilous (dangerous) times shall come. For men...having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof..." ( II Timothy 3: 1 & 5 KJV)
The NIV translation speaks more clearly,
""Having a form ("type", "appearance", "kind", "structure")of godliness but denying it's power..."
Being godly in appearance, in kind, in type but without power. Being a shadow of the former gospel that was preached throughout the earth. Yet, denying the reality of power of God to work through us.
Let’s look at the definition of Power. What an amazing word, “power". If your Bible has a concordance, look it up and notice how many scriptures attest to the power of God for us and in us. More specifically, see the many scriptures about the power of God there are in the Epistles (letters) to the Church. In the Greek power is "dunamis": the power to reproduce itself like a dynamo. Wow! Doesn't that definition knock your socks off?
So then, is this scripture in Timothy speaking of our own personal power or lack of power? No. If not, then whose do we lack? The answer is in the definition of power ore dunamis. We have lacked God's power. His ability. His strength. His might. his anointing.
The Word of God is God speaking to me. It's words are to me and for me. It is God speaking to you. It's words are to you and for you.
We've long separated His Words. “That verse is for the Jews only”..."That is not for us, it was only for the Apostles" ..."That scripture is beautiful but it is not meant for us today." In our minds we have separated the scriptures, and in doing so, we’ve grabbed hold of the short straw, and come short in God's power.
One of the verses liberally sprinkled throughout the New Testament which support this “power” in us is II Corinthians 4:7,
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the power may be OF GOD, and not of us."
Having a type of godliness but saying, "there is no power"... it's not for today...it's not needed...it's passed away.
"...that the power may be of God, not us...that the power may be of God , and not of us."
In today's do-it-yourself church in this do-it-yourself world, this verse screams out, “Hear me! Hear me!"
In the following scriptures, John predicts power for us, and Jesus confirms John's words,
"I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance: but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire." Matthew 3:11.
So what now? No fire, no power of God? Where was it?
Where was the power of God?
Wait just a minute! No one asked me, I need power; and whether you know it or not, so do you, my friend.
Wasn't this one reason Christ died?
"For when we were without strength (power or as the NIV translation puts it, "when we were powerless"), in due time, Christ died for ( or in place of) the ungodly." Romans 5:6.
Christ died in my place to give me power, yet I still lacked it, along with every Christian I'd ever known.
Power goes hand and hand with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, but we were taught that we already had all there was to get of this Holy Spirit, however, The Bible teaches also, “You shall know them by their fruit.” We had no power. And we did none of the things Jesus promised we would once we are filled with the Spirit.
This teaching that power is not needed today was prophesied by the mouth of Paul 2000 years ago. When I first saw this verse, it really shook me up. And now? My heart sorrows. He warned of what was to come in the future. He spoke plainly of a teaching which would invade the church after his death . This heresy has dominated the church world for ages.
“..having a form of godliness but denying it’s power."
Denying God’s power? I hate to admit it, but I did deny God’s power. Do you? It’s what tradition teaches us.
We were like those sheep in Gary Larson's famous cartoon. They grazed on the field, as a whole, blinded to their own circumstances, until one stood up in the midst of them and cried out, “Wait, Wait, listen to me...We don’t have to be just sheep!”
But sheep, I continued to be,walking the well-worn path, blind and unquestioning, with daddy and mama, until the 1970s arrived.
An awakening known as "The Charismatic Movement" hit the world with fury, and flooded into our the docile pasture where we were grazing on grass-lite.
A few Evangelists who were prominent in this movement made it to television. There was one in particular that stands out in my mind. You would have noticed her in a crowded room, even amidst a whole slew of celebrity faces. She was well, different. In my own thinking, this woman really took the cake. Hey, I’ll say it with Cockney rhyming slang, “That woman’s a fake."
My family and I were convinced that she was as fake as a three dollar bill. The first time we saw her, as I recall, was in an interview. I was both intrigued and repelled by her. The woman was so filled with joy that her eyes sparkled and her face shone. Her presence was literally charged with excitement. There was a field of electricity all around her. It was so strong, it was almost visible.
Never had we laid eyes on anyone like her before. I remember the exact words I spoke, "No way is she real. Nobody can be that happy!"
I was to later eat these words for more reasons than one.
Perhaps it was this evangelist which caused mama and daddy to stumble into a meeting held by an organization called, "Full Gospel Business Men's Association." Perhaps not. They attended one meeting, then another, then another.
Pretty soon, daddy, who loved books as much as I, bought a couple of books by Charismatics, folks who believed all that had been forbidden to us was for today. Reading those books was a no-no.
Our denomination went so far as to term the baptism of the Holy Spirit, tongues, and all the gifts of the Spirit as "of the devil." Funny enough, that was what the leaders in Jesus' day accused Jesus of. Paul, the original apostles and the early church carried this identical gospel around the world, and the leaders again said , "this teaching is of the devil." Not only that, but so were they!
In Bible days, the leaders excommunicated all the ones who received the gospel. And you know, so did the mainstream church in my youth, and this is still true today.
In one famous classic movie, one boy in the poorhouse was bold enough to step back up to the Head Master who controlled the portions of food, and ask, " May I please have more, Sir?" The Head Master's voice boomed back, "MORE? MORE? You want MORE?"
Mama, daddy and I found we wanted More. Not more for our bellies, but more for our spirits, and these ones called “Charismatic” taught that God had "more" for us than we had already; the same "more" the Apostles had, and the same more the entire early church had.
The book that really influenced us was "Praise the Lord Anyway!" or was that "PTL Anyway!" The name doesn't matter as much as the affect it had on my daddy as he read it. There he sat in his favourite chair, kicked back, and laughing out loud.
"Hey, daddy, I said, "I want to read that book after you." But I had to wait in line. Mama was next.
Life was really livening up for us. Daddy and mama had taken to those meetings like happy ducks to water.
Down south we have a saying, "Hang around a slippery creek bank long enough and you're bound to slip in." And that bank was getting mighty slippery!
What was considered to be the thing that followed Salvation in the early church, is an actual part of Salvation-- the thing that often followed so close behind it, that it was hard to tell at first where the one ended and the other began. We had been baptised into Jesus by the Holy Ghost, yet not baptised by Jesus and the Father into the Holy Ghost. But this was about to happen.
It was the same for the ones that Philip preached to in the book of Acts. He was an anointed minister of the gospel and of healing, but none of the believers were filled with the Holy Ghost. The people had received the Lord Jesus, they were healed physically, and their lives were transformed. But none of the believers were filled with the Holy Ghost. So let's read what happened next in Acts 8: 14-17,
"Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God (keep in mind that the Samaritans were not Jews. They were considered heathen, or gentiles like us), they sent unto them Peter and John; Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. (For as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only that they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost."
This says the same thing I just said: The People had been baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, but none had as yet received the Holy Ghost.
In the Bible there are seven different baptisms. Seven, God’s number. I won’t mention all here, as it is a teaching in itself. So, sticking to the subject, some may think at first glance that they were baptised with John’s baptism. Not so. John never once baptised in Jesus’ name.
Water baptism can be ruled out too. For Jesus Himself taught us,
“Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit..."
This speaks of water baptism. And this is the one which is always done in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In Samaria, it doesn’t say if they had or had not been baptised in water yet. They probably were almost immediately. But, this was only after they believed. Believed in whom? In Jesus, in His name, which is “God our Savior".
“Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” 1 John 3:23, 5:13.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under the heavens by which men shall be saved."" “ Acts 4:12.
Confused yet? Well, you won’t be once you hear the definition for the word, “baptise". It made things so clear to me that weren’t clear before. The term baptise was first used in the Bible to describe the full immersion dipping into the water that John taught which follows repentance. Baptism is an ancient term which was used in the cloth industry when they dipped cloth into the dye. By this process, the dye was then in the cloth, and the cloth was in the dye. They were one and the same.
Listen to that last part again: THEY WERE ONE AND THE SAME.
Now take the word baptism and apply it to our receiving Jesus and making Him Lord of our lives. We become ONE AND THE SAME. The Bible teaches we are then IN HIM and He is IN US.
When we receive Jesus, we are baptised into Him, and He is baptised into us. We are one and the same...We are one and the same...we are one and the same. But Jesus does not baptise us into Himself. The Holy Spirit does the baptising.
This baptism into Jesus is the very first baptism we experience. It is the first of three that we are to receive.
The number three is important here. Three is God‘s number of perfection.
God is three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yet He is one God.
We are three: spirit, soul, and body, yet we are one person.
The baptisms are three: Baptism into Jesus, Baptism into the Holy Spirit, Baptism into water. And yet? One baptism.
The into Jesus baptism,
“For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body...” 1 Corinthians 5:13.
What body? Jesus’ body.
“For as many of you have been baptised into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3:27.
If we look closely, we see that in the book of Acts the baptism into Jesus and the baptism into the Holy Spirit often came so close together that they seemed to be one and the same. But, no they are not. They cannot be. The Holy Spirit baptises us into Jesus, and Jesus and the Father baptise us into the promised Holy Spirit.
Cornelius and his entire household received both at the same time. How do we know? The same way the Apostles knew. We know because they all spoke with tongues and magnified God.
Yet, in the case of the Samaritans, Peter and John needed to come and lay hands on them before they received.
Today, we don’t accept the fact that the two are separate. And because we do not believe, we do not receive. The two are not one and the same. Just like salvation does not come by water baptism.
In yet another place we hear the Apostles ask,
"Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?...Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?"
Mama and daddy and I hadn’t , but we soon would.
TO BE CONTINUED...