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Posts by: Denver House of Prayer

What’s the difference between conviction and condemnation?

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PrayingladyThe simple answer is that God convicts and the devil condemns, but a more thorough answer will require an explanation of the two natures of these vastly contrasting and diametrically opposed spiritual beings. Yet before we go there, let us define clearly what these words mean.

  • To convict is: “to impress with a sense of guilt, to convince of error or sinfulness.
  • To condemn is: “to express judgment or strong disapproval, with impending judgment after sentencing.

 

Role of the Holy Spirit

Friends, let’s start by saying that one of the roles of the precious Holy Spirit is to convict the sinner of his sin issue and make him aware of his need for a Savior. This really is one of the primary roles of the Holy Spirit and is the pre-cursor to repentance. There is a difference between convincing someone of something, so they have an opportunity to correct themselves and condemning them as if the trial has already occurred and the sentence passed. Let’s look at what the word says:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient (beneficial) for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (Holy Spirit) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:Of sin, because they believe not on me.” (John 16:7-11)

It is the Holy Spirit’s job to ‘reprove’ the world of sin because Christ died for the world (John 3:16). Now that Jesus has completed his task of redemption and is seated at the right hand of the Father (Heb 7:25), the Holy Spirit now interacts with humanity to reprove (or gently correct) man into the knowledge of his sinfulness and need for Christ. He gently corrects because His nature is that of a gentleman.

Friends, there is only one sin that sends us to Hell and that is the sin of unbelief. It is the sin of believing not on the Son of God (John 3:18). If the sinner decides to respond by willful choice to the conviction in his heart, acknowledge his sin, and repent (or turn away) from it, then he has an opportunity to receive the Lord Jesus into his or her life and be saved (Rom 10:8-10). Conviction is one of the Holy Spirits jobs amongst others. Let’s look now at some of his other roles.

In John 14:16, the nature of the Holy Spirit is discussed and expounded upon in the Amplified version, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever” Friends, the loving, all powerful, all seeing and all-knowing Holy Spirit is the comforter who convicts the sinner, yet He also goes on to convict Christians if they too have sinned or warns them that they are leading down a path to temptation. He is an ever present helper who abides with us and helps us along the path of victory in Jesus as He strengthens, encourages and intercedes for us along the way.

 

Role of satan

Satan, however, in sharp contrast is a slanderer. The word satan literally means ‘accuser of the brethren’, he is contesting with the saints day and night and brings railing accusations against them before the throne of God (Job 1). So evil and perverse by nature, he is NOT all powerful, all seeing or all knowing. He is a fallen angel and limited in his capacity on this earth. He needs co-operation and agreement from man to oppress humanity (voluntarily or involuntarily). He relies on ignorance and deception as his two greatest weapons and to those in Christ, he is a defeated foe, a whipped pup, posing as a lion (1 Peter 5:8) without any real teeth!

The easiest way to discern whether the Holy Spirit or satan is trying to influence you is ‘how’ it is said. The loving and gentle Holy Spirit will use words to build you up, encourage you, comfort you and strengthen you. He will follow the path of the gentleman and NEVER speak to you in a way that hurts. He won’t use an accusatory tone or a sarcastic spin. He is genuine, truthful, patient, kind and caring. He always speaks in line with the Holy Scriptures, He will never contradict the word of God. He can also show you things to come (John 16:13) as personal edification or warning.

Satan and his demonic cohorts however will use phrases like, “you shouldn’t have done that”, “you’ll never get out of this”, “no one likes you”, “why don’t you just quit this life”. His tone is accusatory and condemning. Or to ‘up the ante’ he might use words that sound like you said them; these are called fiery darts, e.g. “I can’t believe I did that, “I am so stupid”, “I cant’ pay the rent”, “I am a loser”, “I never seem to keep friends”, “I can’t succeed at anything”. His agenda is to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).

If you don’t listen to the “yous”, he starts changing his tactics and moves on to the “I’s”. Once he has agreement then he has influence over you. Listen to conviction for sure but tell the condemner to take a hike! Stop him dead in his tracks right now, worship and praise the living God, pray in the Holy Spirit or English. Now is the time for God to do mighty things in your life and break negative cycles of agreement with condemning thoughts and meditate on the word of God for victory (Josh 1:8)!

 

Pastor-Carl Senior Pastor Carl Joseph desires to see God move in power in the downtown Denver area. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Amy. In his spare time, he rides his motorcycle and plays golf.

 

Am I being tempted or tested?

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HoldingbibleHave you ever heard someone say, “God is tempting me, or He’s testing me”? (Maybe you’ve said this yourself.) The bible makes it very clear that God neither tempts us nor can He be tempted (James 1:13). Most of the time we’re tempted when we’re drawn away by our own lusts and desires. But what about testing? Would God test us or allow us to go through tests?

In James 1:2-3 it says, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” Notice he said: “various trials.” That means we will experience different kinds of tests in life, but not all tests are the same or come from the same source. The word “test” simple means to prove, be approved or examine. Now let me differentiate between tests, temptation and tribulation, because most people think they mean the same. Jesus said in John 16:33 “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” The word tribulation means pressure. It’s relating to the problems we face and battles in this life. We do live in a sinful and fallen world and bad things happen no matter who you are. In many cases, the devil who comes to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10) is bringing these tribulations. He wants believers to stop walking by faith and trusting God. He wants you to give up, and he tempts us to throw in the towel and quit. The devil sets traps that are tailored just for us in our weak areas to see if we will be ensnared.

A way of escape

Now God always gives a way out of these situations, and will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle (1 Corinthians 1:13). During these trials and tribulations, Christians are tempted to abandon their faith and stop trusting God. Remember, God has no part in tempting the individual, or bringing problems to us. In James 1:17 he said, “Every good and perfect gift come from the Father.” So clearly, the Lord is not bringing the bad things in our lives. Here is the point, the temptation and trials we experience are tests in and of themselves.

We have the opportunity to pass these tests by using our faith. Romans 10:17 says, “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” It’s true we get faith from God’s word, but it is through these tests in life that we actually get to use our faith and help it grow. This is just another opportunity to trust God and prove ourselves faithful because it’s our faith that’s being tested at this point. The apostle Peter alludes to this in 1 Peter 1:6 – “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire.

 

A test of the heart

As we go through these trials in life, God is watching one thing: our heart. You see, God tests man’s heart, motive, character and faithfulness. 1 Thessalonians 2:4 says, “But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our heart.” Once we’ve passed the tests that come our way, we go to a higher level of trustworthiness with the Father and enter His rest. At this point, God pours out His best because you choose to do the right thing and overcome. Instead of being discouraged when life gets tough, we can approach these tests with a smile, stay calm and not lose our peace. This is an opportunity for us to grow in faith and pass a test to receive His best. 1 Corinthians 3:13 states: “3 each one’s work will become clear; for the day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.” Be of good cheer, my friends, our Lord overcame so we could be overcomers! Pass the test and receive God’s best.

 

Bobby-Wayne-2 Associate Pastor Bobby Wayne Musgrove is an ordained minister at the Denver House of Prayer. He is joined in the ministry by his wife, Bobbi Allison, and two children. In his spare time, he is a violinist and loves to hunt.

What are the operations of the Holy Spirit today?

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There are five operations of the Holy Spirit in relation to man, let’s look at each of them together:

  • Conviction.

  • Regeneration.

  • Indwelling.

  • Sanctification.

  • Endowment with power! (often ignored)

 

  1. Read John 16:7-11, how does Jesus describe the work of the Holy Spirit? Look up the word ‘conviction’ in the dictionary and consider how it relates to the conscience spoken of in Romans 2:15.
  2. What does a Comforter mean to you? Look up John 14:26 and John 15:26 in the Amplified Bible and meditate on the numerous attributes of the Holy Spirit. Consider the plethora of ways He is willing to assist you in your journey in life.
  3. Although man is spiritually dead from birth due to his sinful heritage from Adam, Scripture reveals that God is not far from us at any moment (Acts 17:27). Based on your history, would you consider your salvation experience merely a theological doctrine or a powerful transformation in which you saw changes in your own life? Describe these profound experiences with a close friend.
  4. Indwelling: This is such a powerful and exciting topic to study! Look up the following passages and highlight them in your bible. If you are afraid of marking your bible, then buy another inexpensive one and go for it! (See John 14:17, Rom 8:9, 1 Cor 6:19, 2 Tim 1:14, 1 John 2:27, Col 1:27, 1 John 3:24, Rev 3:20). We are spirit, soul and body. Those who are without Christ have a soul and body yet they’re spiritually dead in trespasses and sin (Col 2:13). When we receive Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes along to permanently abide in us! Indwelling means He is present in a new way, sustaining a personal relationship with the individual. When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts forever! Consider now, the Holy Spirit lives IN you!
  5. How do we define ‘Christian’? Consider this definition, “He is a man in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. His body is a temple of the Holy Spirit in virtue of which experience he is sanctified as the Tabernacle and consecrated by Father God’s indwelling”.  He is also called a ‘saint’ because it is his duty to guard the sanctity of the temple of His Body (1 Cor 16:9, Rom 12:1).
  6. Sanctification: this sounds like a religious word but it basically means that after your spirit man has been regenerated from death to life at the point of salvation, your soul (mind, will and emotions) are slowly transformed by the word of God and conformed to the image of Christ. This process is called sanctification. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2). As we walk with him, we grow in fruit and character. This is also known as ‘maturity’ in Christ.
  7. Sanctification II: Because we live in this world, we must contend with our own flesh (which still has the potential to sin), the world system, Satan and his cohorts. The soul is transformed in a progressive manner. The Holy Spirit acts directly upon the soul producing special virtues (Gal 5:22-23) as we have been born of the ‘incorruptible seed’ of the word of God (1 Peter 1:23). As newborn babes, we need the milk of the word to grow (1 Peter 2:2).
  8. Endowment with Power: This topic is too large to be covered in this study alone, although we will touch upon it. Look up Acts 1:8 in your Bible and discuss it together.
  9. Consider this, although Jesus had commissioned the disciples to do his works already, they were still not equipped with the necessary power to perform all that He desired for them, otherwise Christ would not have said so (Acts 1:8). Recall up to this point the disciples had:
    1. Been sent out to preach, armed with some spiritual power for that service (Matt 10:1).
    2. Their names were written in Heaven (Luke 10:20).
    3. They were clean through the words Jesus spoke (John 15:3).
    4. They were branches connected to the vine (Jesus) (John 15:5).
    5. They knew the presence of the Holy Spirit was with them (John 14:17).
    6. They had felt the breath of Christ and had received a measure of the Holy Spirit (John 20:22).

Despite all of this, they were not equipped for influential service in ministry until they received POWER (Acts 1:8). The above facts re-iterate that one may be in touch with Christ (be ‘saved’) and be a disciple of Christ but lack the necessary power to function in ministry to full effect.

This necessary power encounter occurred in Acts 2:1-4, after they had tarried in Jerusalem, and after that (Acts 8:12-16). These power encounters with the Holy Spirit occur today and have not ceased. People who say they have ceased are ignorant or in unbelief (see also Acts 10:44-46 and Acts 19:1-6). In layman’s terms when we are saved we have a ‘measure’ of the Holy Spirit but when we receive the enduement of power we are ‘filled’ with the Holy Spirit to overflowing (John 7:38).

This second encounter with the Holy Spirit in addition to salvation has been both hidden and heavily contested down the millennia because it is the truth. A powerful Christian is a severe threat to Satan. This impartation is described as a baptism (Acts 1:5). Jesus in his own words described this necessary power encounter by being, “baptized with the Holy Ghost”. It is also described as, “the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38, Acts 10:45). Know this; Scripture clearly states that being ‘endued with Power’ has nothing to do with your salvation whatsoever that is settled. It is a separate and distinct encounter to equip you for service in Christ’s army.

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Am I righteous in God’s eyes?

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Am I righteous?

Yes, as long as you’re in Christ Jesus.

What does it mean to be righteous? A dictionary definition of Righteousness is, “to be right, equitable, innocent, holy, in right standing, or justified.” To the Christian, righteousness is further described as, “to be able to stand before a Holy God without a sense of inferiority or condemnation.”

 

How does a person obtain ‘right standing’ with God the Father?

This is a question that is often asked by many and the Bible has a clear answer for us:

The righteousness of God, or in other words, being in ‘right standing’ with God is revealed through His word (Rom 3:20-31). God has made us righteous through Jesus, and only through Him.  Romans 3:22-24 says, “Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.  For there is no difference (vs. 23), for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (vs. 24) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Jesus lived a perfect life as a man (2 Cor 5:17-21; I Tim 2:5; Phil 2:5-11) and took the sins of the world upon Himself (John 1:24; 1 Pet 1:19). All have sinned and the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:22-23). But because of the love of God, Jesus became sin for us who knew no sin (2 Cor 5:21) and paid for our sins with his own blood. We could never pay for our sins or work hard enough to become holy or righteous. When you put your faith in Jesus and what He did for you, your faith in Him is accounted for righteousness.  Romans 4:5 says: “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.” Romans 4: 9 says: “faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.”

To be in right standing with our Heavenly Father, we must put our faith in Jesus, and His full redemptive work at the cross.  Jesus paid for our salvation with His precious blood (Heb 9: 12-14; I Pet 1: 18-19) and through faith in Him, we no longer walk as sinners separated from God (Eph 2:13-14; 2 Cor 5:21).

 

Am I a sinner saved by grace?

You cannot find that statement in the Bible.

The truth is you were a sinner, but if you have been born again (John 3:3) your identity has been changed!  You’re no longer a sinner that is ‘saved by grace’; you are a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17-21). The word sinner implies that someone lives a lifestyle of sin and is still a slave to it. This person is not repentant of their lifestyle of sin, nor free from it.  Romans 6:20, 22 says: “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness, but now having been set free from sin and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness.

Note: I did not say we would never sin again or make mistakes.  When we do sin and miss the mark, we ask God to forgive us and repent of the sin we committed (1 John 1:9; 1 John 2: 1, 2). Even though a person is saved by God’s Grace (Eph 2:8-9) and God calls you righteous and holy, that person does not have the right to live in sin and violate God’s word. The word is clear when it comes to sin and not living a lifestyle of sin.  Jesus told the people to repent and turn from sin (Mt 4:17; John 5:14) as it’s harmful.

Your position or identity in Christ is now righteous and holy, but only ‘in Christ’. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says this about the believer in Christ, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” Verse 21 says: “for He made Him who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” You are a new creation in Christ; He paid for your sins and lived a holy and perfect life for you and me, because we couldn’t.

No longer does God see you as a sinner, but righteous and holy in Christ. Eph 4: 24 says, “and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

 

Identity of righteousness: our righteousness or God’s?

There is a dangerous and erroneous doctrine that teaches good deeds, long prayers or penance, are required in order for us to make it to Heaven.

Though doing good deeds, giving, and praying are all things Christians should do, that will not result in a person becoming a saint and qualifying them for Heaven.  Phil 3:9 says, “and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.”  God knows that we could never be good enough or work hard enough to become righteous and holy, that is why Jesus came. He lived a perfect, holy and righteous life, died for us and then gave us the gift of righteousness. You cannot work for grace (Rom 4: 4-5; Eph 2:8-9) or salvation; it is a gift from the Father. In God’s amazing grace He gave us the gift of righteousness and we are made right with the Father when we accept this gift through faith in Christ.  Romans 5:17 says, “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

When you focus on Jesus’ perfect life and God’s grace and mercy, you focus on His holiness and righteousness.  At this point we stop focusing on our unrighteousness and how we’ve missed it and made mistakes in life. The enemy wants you to focus on yourself and not Christ in you (Col 1:27). When we do this we fall into the trap of guilt and condemnation, “but there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom 8:1). Jesus has made us kings and saints and has qualified us to become such.  He did it all for us as our King of kings (1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6; Col 1:12; Eph 2:19).

Only in Him (Christ) do we have redemption and forgiveness of sins (Eph 1:7; Phil 3:9; Psalm103:3;12,-13). God does not want us to try to become self-righteous and approach him with our own works and good deeds.  Paul discussed this in Romans chapter 7 regarding works and attempting to fulfill the Law of Moses.  In fact, the law was a standard used to show us just how unrighteous we are apart from Jesus.

 

How does God see me?

Mankind was created perfect and holy in the image of God (Gen1:26).

God saw that everything He created was good (Gen 1:31).  When sin entered and mankind fell, mankind was no longer in right standing with God, and therefore was in need of a savior.  Because of God’s love for mankind He sent Jesus to save the world from sin (1 John 2:1-2; John 1:29; 3:16) and redeem us back into right standing with God the Father (Eph 1:7).  God is Holy and just and sin is not acceptable in His sight.  He said, “the wages of sin is death“, “and all have sinned” (Rom 3:23; 6:23). God also said, there is not one person righteous in and of himself apart from Christ (Rom 3:10). When we put our faith in Jesus, His righteousness becomes our righteousness. God is a Spirit and sees our spirit, soul and body (John 4:24; 1 Thess 23).  When a person believes in Jesus and puts their faith in Him as their Lord and Savior, they become “born again” (John 3:3), and a “a new creation” (2 Cor 5:17-21). At this point, God sees them “in Christ,” and not the old person they used to be (Rom 6:1-23; Col 2:12-13; 2 Cor 5:17-21).

The Bible says, “You died” spiritually, and are made alive in Christ (Col 3:3; Eph 4:24; Cor 1:27-28).  Christ lives in you and through you, and you are in Christ (Gal 2:20; Gal 3:26-28; Gal 4: 7,19; 2 Cor 5:17-21).  We are spiritually different and are changed through the power of the Holy Spirit.  We still choose to do right and live right before God and mankind, though all our righteous acts could never make us right with the Father by ourselves.  Even though God is pleased with the right things we do, our faith in Jesus is what truly pleases Him and makes us righteous in His sight.  Jesus freed us from sin and unrighteousness (Rom 3:22-27). Remember, this was a gift from God because of His grace and mercy (Rom 5:17)!

God sees you as righteous and calls you a justified and righteous person only in Jesus. To agree with God and confess that you are a righteous person in Christ is one of the most humble statements to declare. It takes true humility to repent, turn to Christ and admit you need Jesus and His righteousness. He lived a perfect and holy life for you and me. It is pride that will reject His gift of righteousness and not receive it (Jas 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5-6).  Let’s commit to seek His kingdom first and His righteousness and the knowledge of our righteousness in Him (Mt 6:33; Eph 6:14; 2 Cor 6:7)!

 

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Why should I pray in the Holy Spirit?

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The Spirit within vs. the Spirit upon

  1. There are many terms to describe this supernatural experience (Acts 2:4): praying in tongues (1 Cor 14:2), praying in the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 14:15, Jude 20), praying from your heart (John 7:38) and praying in your Heavenly language (1 Cor. 13:1, 1 Cor. 14:2). Please look up these passages in your Bible and meditate upon them.
  2. Every born again believer should be filled with the Spirit and pray in tongues (Mark 16:17). This is different from being born of the Spirit (John 3:3-6). These are two different experiences: having the Spirit within, and having the Spirit upon (oneself). One is for salvation, the other for empowerment to minister. You don’t have to have the Spirit upon to be saved you are already saved and choose empowerment for ministry.
  3. There is no evidence Jesus prayed in tongues, it was a gift for the church. The disciples didn’t speak with tongues until he ascended on high and gave ‘the gift’ of the Holy Spirit. The disciples had to be ‘born again’ before this gift was poured out, and Jesus had to go to the Father first (John 16:7). The disciples were born of the Spirit when Jesus was raised from the dead (John 20:22), when he breathed on them and said “receive the Holy Spirit“. But Jesus then said “wait and you will be endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49).  Jesus told his disciples to wait in Jerusalem and they would receive power when the Holy Spirit would come upon them and be witnesses.
  4. In John 14:17, Jesus said “You know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Every born again believer has the Spirit of God living inside of them, guiding them into all truth and bearing witness of the Word of God (John 14:16,17,26, John 16:13-14, Rom 8:16).
  5. But after Jesus ascended and went to Heaven, the disciples waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon them for power and to be witnesses, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Have you ever felt inadequate to minister to your friends in full effect? Discuss.
  6. When the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 in the upper room, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues (Acts 2:3-4). The first thing Peter did after he received the infilling of the Holy Spirit, was preach with power and 3,000 people got born again! When the Spirit of God comes upon someone an anointing resides upon that individual. This is a powerful witness, to do signs, wonders, and miracles. This gift of the Holy Spirit is given to do the works of Jesus (John 14:12) and available for every Christian.
  7. In Acts 8:16 and Acts 10:44, it says “The Holy Spirit fell upon all“. In Acts 19:6 we read, “And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.” Ask yourself this question, if the disciples were fully equipped in their initial state then Jesus wouldn’t have told them to tarry in Jerusalem for a separate encounter with the Holy Spirit. It is clearly requisite for impactful and influential ministry.
  8. The Spirit of God inside a believer is for guiding them and leading them to all truth (John 16:13), being filled with the Spirit is for doing the works of Jesus with power, witnessing, laying hands on the sick and casting out demons (Mark 16:16-18).

 

The initial evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit

  1. In Acts 2:4 we read “they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues,” in Acts 8:16-18 and Acts 10:44-46 we see “the Holy Spirit fell upon all” and “For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God” and finally in Acts 19:6, “Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
  2. In Acts 9:17 Ananias laid his hands on Paul (Saul) that he may receive sight and ‘be filled with the Holy Spirit’ (1 Cor14:18). Please note that prophecy is also an evidence of being filled, not tongues exclusively; although prophecy is not mentioned in all references of Spirit infilling.

 

Why should we pray in tongues

  1. We don’t always know what we should pray for, or how to pray as we should with our own understanding. The Spirit helps us pray God’s will out for our life (Rom 8:26-28).
  2. You pray directly to God (1 Cor 14:2), you talk to God, and spend time with Him (1 Cor. 14:2). You give thanks well (1 Cor. 14:16-17). You edify yourself, encourage yourself, strengthen yourself and build yourself up in faith (1Cor 14:4, Jude 20), when you are praying in the Spirit.
  3. You can pray out God’s will and future for your family, job and church (Rom 8:26-28). You can interpret what you’ve prayed in tongues by revelation from the Spirit (1 Cor. 14:5-6). You can pray or sing in the Spirit and be refreshed with peace and joy. You may find rest for your soul (Isa 28:11-12, 1 Cor. 14:14-15).
  4. It’s a sign for unbelievers (1 Cor. 14:22). God can and will reveal through tongues supernaturally what others need to hear (Acts 2:6-12, Acts 10:46).

 

Can everyone speak in tongues? Yes.

  1. This gift and promise is for all who have received Christ as Lord and Savior (Acts 2:39, 1 Cor. 14:5, Acts 10:34, Heb 13:8, Mal 3:6, Mark 16:16-18).

 

Has tongues ceased? Was it just for the early church? NO.

  1. One day we will not need prophecy, or knowledge or tongues as it mentions in 1 Cor. 13:8-13, but we are still on earth and Jesus hasn’t come back yet, so we still utilize all three today. 1 Cor. 14:39 says “Do not forbid to speak with tongues” (1 Thes. 5:20, Mark 16:17, Mal 3:6, Heb13:8, Acts 15:17-21, Acts 2:39, 1 Cor. 14:5). This gift is for every believer, it did not pass away after all the disciples died. This is a theology that man has taught and not God’s word.

 

What am I saying? Could I curse or say something unholy in tongues? NO.

  1. 1 Cor. 12:3 says “no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed“. You are magnifying God in tongues (Acts 10:46). You’re praying God’s will for your life or praying for someone who needs help whenever and wherever, commonly called intercession (Rom 8:26-28). You are saying the right thing that needs to be said at that time. The Holy Spirit helps you pray to God the Father, and the words come to the throne of God in perfect form. God is Spirit (John 4:24) and whether you pray in the spirit or your native language, you are speaking to God and He hears your prayers and answers them.
  2. Your understanding (mind) is unfruitful (1 Cor. 14:13-18). Your spirit is praying, not your head. When you pray in tongues, you are praying from your heart, the utterance is not understood by you or the listener (1 Cor. 14:2, 1 Cor. 14:16) unless interpreted.

 

Can a believer ever know what they are saying in tongues? Yes.

  • You can pray to interpret (1 Cor. 14:13), and there is a gift of tongues used in a public setting (1 Cor. 12:10, 1 Cor. 14:26-40). This is a huge benefit to the one praying and interpreting or to the one the interpretation is for, because you receive God’s pertinent revelation for your life. (Note: The revelation given should bear witness with your spirit and line up with God’s Word. Every word of prophecy or interpretation is to be tested and compared to God’s word).

 

How do I get filled with the Holy Spirit?

Praying in tongues will ‘build up’ the believer daily, and we all need to be constantly filled with God (Jude 20). When praying in the spirit we are edified, this is the same word used for edifice and is a foundational precept. If you’re not filled with God’s Spirit, you will be filled with something else such as worry, doubt or stress. We are constantly leaking as the cares of this world and the stresses of life can wear us down. Life drains us with its constant demands and agendas. We need times of refreshing in the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19). The strong feeling of refreshment you attain from praying in the Spirit is something you need to counteract Satan and his strategies. We are commissioned to lay hands on the sick, cast out demons, and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. With the power of the Holy Spirit in your life, you will see the things Jesus said you would (Mark 16:16-18, John 14:12). That is not to say that those who are not ‘Spirit filled” cannot do the works of Jesus, they can, but remember that if the disciples were equipped for ministerial power in their initial state, Jesus would have no need for them to be endued with ‘power from on high’. Yet, he made it abundantly clear that they needed this endowment (Luke 24:49). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues was ’the promise of the Father’ and surely necessary and crucial for effective powerful ministry.

Jesus said the Father would give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him (Luke11:13). You do not have to wait or tarry for the Holy Spirit today, He has already been given to us. You can have hands laid on you by other spirit filled believers to receive this gift, or you can ask God to fill you directly at His word. When the disciples began to speak in tongues (Acts 2:4), the Holy Spirit didn’t speak for them. They needed to speak but God gave the utterance. God is a gentleman and won’t make anybody do something against their own will. He won’t speak for you. If you don’t want it or are ignorant of it, you won’t get it. So trust in the Lord and speak from your heart. Jesus said “out of your heart would flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). This utterance which comes from within needs to be vocalized, and as you yield to it, more will flow.

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The Holy Bible

Study-guide

 

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Key Considerations

  1. Did you know there are two types of God’s word (stemming from the Greek)? There is the ‘Logos’ word (the total summation of God’s word written in the Holy Scriptures) and the ‘Rhema’ word which is the spoken word of God. Jehovah God spoke the Rhema word into existence, so that it could be written (Logos) in order for it to be spoken by us (Rhema).
  2. Did you know that the Bible contains 66 books, written by 40 authors, covering a span of 1600 years? The timespan in which it was written covers from 1500 BC to 100 AD approximately.
  3. Did you know that the chapters and verses in your bible were not in the original manuscripts? The Hebrews recorded scripture on long parchments or scrolls that were rolled and bundled. Hebrew is read from right to left as opposed to English. The saying goes that all languages lead to Jerusalem, i.e. all languages spoken by nations that are geographically west of Jerusalem read from left to right and all languages spoken by nations geographically located east of Jerusalem read from right to left! According to scholars, chapters and verses were introduced by Cardinal Hugo de S, Caro in 1238 AD. Verses were not added until 1551 by Robertus Stephanus.
  4. Did you know the Bible is historically accurate? There are several secular historians that wrote about distinct key events surrounding the New Testament Period, these would include Titus Flavius Josephus (born in Jerusalem in 37 BC and witness to the fall of Jerusalem), Philo Judaeus (Hellenistic Jewish Philosopher) and Tacticus (Roman historian who would have no benefit from telling the truth). Reports of Christ’s Resurrection were widespread and historically documented for example and are not anecdotal.
  5. Did you know the Bible (largely the King James Version) is the most sold book of all time? It regularly tops the best seller’s lists. The Bible has been translated into more than 1200 languages, in line with Christ’s mandate that the Gospel should be preached to all the nations of the earth, and then the end shall come (Matt 24:14).
  6. Did you know the most prolific authors of books in the Bible are the Apostle Paul (13 books alone, excluding Hebrews possibly) and Moses (5 books), Apostle John (5 books), Peter (2 books), Luke (2 books).
  7. Did you know the bible never contradicts itself? This has been contested down the years by numerous critics. People claim there are contradictions but they have to take verses out of context to do so. When looking at the totality of scripture and understanding all its teachings, there are no contradictions. This is incredible when you consider how 40 different authors synergistically combined their writings in one comprehensive volume. Think of the Gospels and you will understand that the four authors were writing to unique audiences (Matthew – Jews, Mark – Romans, Luke – Greeks/Gentiles, John – church) having witnessed events from their own perspective. If you asked four people to describe the same car accident for example, each one would explain their own viewpoint, details and perspective. The exclusion of some events by some authors in the Gospels does not mean they didn’t occur, merely that they were emphasized and inspired that way, each harboring their outlook.
  8. Did you know the bible claim to be God’s word and makes no bones about it. The Bible says more than 3000 times, “Thus Saith the Lord”. The term, “and God said”, is used over 2600 times.
  9. Did you know God’s word is eternal? Compare these passages (Matt 24:35 and Isa 40:8).
  10. Did you know that Scripture has many uses? Check out this scripture, 2 Tim 3:16 and meditate upon it, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” What does reproof mean?
  11. Did you know that the Holy Scriptures were divinely inspired? Compare these scriptures (2 Tim 3:16 and 2 Pet 1:21). Was the Holy Spirit involved intimately with the recording of Scripture?
  12. Consider the difference between illumination and inspiration. Illumination refers to the influence of the Holy Spirit, common to all Christians, which assists them in grasping the true meaning of the word and application for their lives (1 Cor 2:4, Matt 16:17). We are ‘illuminated’ to the already ‘inspired’ scriptures. This illumination is common to all but it is different from inspiration. The authors of the Bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit to write inerrant scriptures; this is a one-time affair. There are degrees of illumination and insight into scriptures but in the case of inspiration in a biblical sense this has ceased as the full Canon of scripture is complete (1 Peter 1:10-12, Gal 1:9, Rev 22:18-19). The scriptures emphasis is always on inspired words, not inspired men. The word of God is to be esteemed, not man.
  13. Did you know that Jesus Christ himself endorsed the Old Testament, quoting it and lived in harmony with its teaching? He also endorsed its truth and authority (see passages Matt 5:18, John 10:35, Luke 18:31-33, 24:25,44 and Matt 23:1-2, 26:54).
  14. Did you know that not only was the Old Testament divinely inspired, but the New Testament is too? Everywhere the New Testament claims to be a fuller and clearer revelation of God than that given in the Old Testament, and authoritatively declares the cancellation of the old laws, leaving the royal law in tact (James 2:8), that is to love God first and foremost, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37).
  15. Did you know that the New Testament speaks of its own divine inspiration? Peter seems to place the writings of Paul on a level with those of the Old Testament (2 Pet 3:15-16), and Paul and the other apostles claim to speak with a Divine authority (1 Cor 2:13, 1 Cor 14:31, 1 Thess 2:13, 1 Thess 4:2, 2 Pet 3:2, 1 John 1:5, Rev 1:1).

Throughout the annals of time, the Bible has been fiercely contested as the true word of God. It has remarkable preservation in the face of persecution and the opposition of science. As the saying goes, “The hammers (critics) break, yet the anvil (Bible) remains.” Intellectual defenses of the Bible have their place; but after all the best argument is a practical one. The Bible has worked. It has influenced civilizations, transformed lives, brought inspiration and comforted billions. Its work continues today and is applicable to all generations.

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Death and the Afterlife

Study-guide

 

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  1. Explore the common phrases for ‘death’ in the Bible (See John 11:11, Deut 31:16, 2 Cor 5:1, Luke 12:20, Job 16:22, Gen 49:33, Psalm 115:17, Acts 5:10, Gen 3:19, Job 14:2, Phil 1:23).
  2. How did death enter the world and what is ‘the last enemy’? (Rom 5:12, 1 Cor 15:26)
  3. Is death still an issue for a Christian? Do those in Christ now have ‘immortality’? (2 Tim 1:10)
  4. There are two terms,’ immortality’ and ‘incorruption’ which are both used with reference to the resurrection of the body (1 Cor 15:53-54). Look both words up in a dictionary, then compare with the term mortal. Are Christians mortal in your opinion? Try to delineate which terms apply to the soul or body.
  5. Are all people resurrected or just Christians? (John 5:29)
  6. Is Immortality a future event, present or past? (Rom 2:7; 1 Cor 15:53). Eternal life in contrast to Immortality concerns man’s spirit and soul and is a present possession for the believer, unaffected by the death of the body. All people are eternal beings, but only those who receive Christ will have ‘eternal life’. Immortality always refers to the glorification of our mortal bodies at the resurrection, as Jesus demonstrated in his earthly sightings after the cross.
  7. Are the dead floating around the earth in some other dimension or under the control of God who has the keys to both destinations (Heaven and Hell)? (Rom 14:9, Rev 1:18)
  8. Are the dead vagrants? Floating around in some ‘middle ground’ or immediately in the presence of Heaven with the Lord or Hell? (2 Cor 5:8, Luke 16:22)
  9. Investigate the concept of purgatory or ‘middle ground’ between Heaven and Hell in your Bible and find scriptural references to justify this doctrine…………………. (Hint: you won’t find any).
  10. Is it ok to talk to your dead relatives? Is this practice mentioned in Scripture? What does God have to say about this practice, also known as ‘Necromancy’ or ‘Spiritism’? (Study Lev 19:31, 20:6-7; Isa 8:19, Deut 18:7-12)…………(Hint: Abomination is not a good word).
  11. Are the supposedly ‘dead people’ that mediums and Necromancers talk to really departed loved ones? or more sinister and seducing evil spirits, trying to deceive humanity? (1 Kings 22:22, 1 Tim 4:1)
  12. Is there such a thing as soul sleep? As some Christian denominations believe. This is described as the soul existing in an ‘unconscious state’ after physical death until the resurrection. Scour the word of God and find evidence for this concept if you can. Does the bible teach that souls are conscious or unconscious after physical death? You might start with these Scriptures (Isa 14:9-11, Psalm 16:10, Luke 16:23,;23:43, 2 Cor 5:8, Phil 1:23, Rev 6:9).
  13. Is it beneficial for a Christian to die, providing he has done all that the Lord has asked of Him on earth? (Phil 1:21). Does man have a ‘second chance’ after physical death or not? (Heb 9:27)
  14. Meditate upon the many names for Heaven: 1) Paradise (Garden) reminding us of our ancestors walking with God (Rev 2:7, 2 Cor 12:4). 2) Fathers House and mansions (John 14:2). 3) A Heavenly Country (Heb 11:13-16). 4) A city (Heb 11:10, Rev 21:2).
  15. Consider the many Blessings of Heaven:-
    1. Light and Beauty (Rev 21:23, 22:5).
    2. Fullness of Knowledge (1 Cor 13:12) – The mysteries of the universe will be made plain, knowledge will be perfected, theological issues resolved.
    3. Rest (Rev 14:13, 21:4) – No more weariness, worries, sorrow, grief, pain or suffering.
    4. Service – (Rev 7:15, 22:3).
    5. Joy Everlasting (Rev 21:4).
    6. Social Joys (Heb 12:22; 23; 1, Thess 4:13-18) – In Heaven friends and relatives will be faultless, including you. No more bickering or strife!
    7. Fellowship with Christ (John 14:3, 2 Cor 5:8, Phil 1:23) – In that day we shall be like Him!

 

Synopsis

Though physical death continues for all on earth, it becomes a door to life in the case of those who accept Christ. It was never God’s intent for man to experience death. Death entered through sin. When Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they died both spiritually and physically (Gen 3:6) simultaneously. Spiritually because they were immediately disconnected from God (Gen 3:7) and physically because at that moment physical death began in their bodies. Had they eaten from the tree of life in that condition, they would have lived forever in a fallen corruptible state. That’s why God mercifully banned them from the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:24), as He planned to redeem them later on, through His Son. Since man is spirit, soul and body, the redemption must include all three facets of man’s tripartite being and whilst man may become right with God spiritually (Eph 2:1), he is still subject to physical death due to his racial inheritance from Adam. In the beginning God created man both spirit and body, and when spirit and body came together, they became a ‘living soul’. Physical death is separation of the body from the spirit (which we will all encounter), spiritual death or the second death (Rev 20:14,20:6, 2:11, 21:8) is separation from God (eternally), which no-one needs to encounter as Christ gave his blood for everyone’s redemption (John 14:6, John 3:16), should they choose him in this lifetime.[1]

 

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[1] Some Excerpts taken from, “Knowing the Doctrines of the Bible” by Myer Pearlman (Pentecostal Classics, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Mo. 1937, 25th Printing 2010).

Are we condemned or justified?

handsJustification is the act of God, as the infinite Judge, pronouncing the penitent believing soul free from the condemnation of His righteous law. It is preceded by forgiveness and followed by regeneration.

 

Forgiveness removes the guilt of sin; justification lifts the condemnation caused by those sins from the soul. God convicts, the devil condemns. It is crucial we know the difference. The just God makes the soul just and upholds His just laws. His law is righteous, and the trusting soul being made just is also made righteous by the same act. Both are one.
 

How are justification and righteousness similar?

Justification and righteousness come from the same word in the original scriptures. The “righteousness of the law is fulfilled in them who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Justification opens the way for the heart’s regeneration. A simple meaning of righteousness is “right standing” with God. Or another way of looking at it is, “just-as-if-I’d” never sinned!

The penitent believer is rightly related to law and justified by it through faith. The law endorses him because he is in Christ. Forgiveness, justification, and regeneration are not identical, but they all take place at the same time. The three are simultaneously received by the same act of faith.
 

How can I be justified?

We are justified by faith in the blood of Jesus only. We believe in the efficacy and sufficiency of the shed blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins committed in the past: for the regeneration, or new birth from above, of penitent sinners, and for salvation or deliverance from sin and sinning.

Scriptural references can be found as follows:

  • Matthew 26:28
  • Luke 22:20
  • Acts 20:28
  • Romans 5:9; 6:22; 7:24, 25; 8:1-4
  • Ephesians 1:7; 2:13
  • Colossians 1:14, 20
  • 1 Peter 1:18, 19
  • 1 John 1:7; 2:1; 3:5-10; 5:18
  • Revelation 1:5; 5:9

 
 

What is faith?

Faith is the result of divine persuasion effected by the promises of God.Faith comes by Hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). Faith in Hebrew simply means trust. Faith stems from the heart and is an encompassing word that means trust and confidence.

 

The promises, “exceeding great and precious,” express the faithfulness of God in the heart thus persuaded: confidence is begotten; trust is inspired. “The promises are yea [established] and amen [fulfilled] in him” (2 Corinthians 1:20) – the Christ; He, by them, is the “originator of faith” in the heart (Hebrews 12:2).

 

Confidence in and reliance (or trust) upon Christ, and the act of faith following repentance brings to the heart the realization of the forgiveness of sins. Faith grows by the same process that gives it birth – the promises of God, centered in Christ and fulfilled by Him. He is the finisher (also known as the perfecter) of faith.

 

The bible says that we have all been given the measure of faith to receive Christ (Romans 12:3). Learn more about this topic by clicking the button below.

 

How do I get to heaven?

 

 

What does God say about healing?

We believe provision was made in the atonement (Christ’s death, burial and resurrection) for the healing of our bodies as set forth in the following Scriptures:

 

  1. Isaiah 53:4-5
  2. Matthew 8:16-17
  3. Mark 16:15-18
  4. James 5:14-16
  5. Exodus 15:26
  6. Romans 8:26-28

 

And, while we do not condemn the use of medical means in the treatment of physical disease in any way, we do believe in, practice, and commend the laying on of hands by the elders or leaders of the church, the anointing with oil in the name of the Lord, and the offering of prayers for the healing of the sick (James 5:14).

 

A biblical perspective

All true healing comes from God. The use of medication is a wonderful gift to man having the capacity to control symptoms of sickness and disease, whilst the body is repairing itself or fighting infection. The human body, designed by God always strives for balance and repair. We are grateful for the wisdom of God, operating through man (via medicine and surgical means), to help in this fight against sickness and disease.

At DHOP, we also believe in the ongoing responsibility of preventative action in maintaining the body God has given us. Some disease can be caused by gross negligence and gluttony and is considered sin (Prov 23:21). There are natural consequences for actions in this world and many ailments are preventable with proper nutrition, hydration and exercise. God is merciful to assist us in healing if preventative measures are not taken and that’s where medicine and divine healing comes in to play. We should always seek God for healing first, not as an afterthought.

In the Gospels, approximately 75% of the healing that occurred were ‘by faith’ and the remaining 25% were by divine intervention. Often times the faith of the person came into play and they were healed because of it (Matt 9:29, Luke 8:48). Other times Jesus healed by the gift of healings and miracles. In the case of being healed ‘by faith,’ the person involved has an impact on the outcome. In the case of divine intervention, the person’s faith was independent of his healing. God has performed and still does perform both kinds of healing today.

 

God desires to heal all

Regardless of the outcome, it is always God’s will to heal just as it was for Jesus when he walked this earth. Jesus said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father” (John 14:9) and Jesus was a representation of God and His intentions on this earth. If Jesus healed all then it is the fathers will to heal all. If healing is not received, it is never Gods fault. The belief that God uses sickness and disease to ‘teach’ his people is perverse and blasphemous; otherwise Jesus would have left people in their sickened condition for more ‘learning’s’; this he never did. Not one person was left in their condition, Jesus healed all and he still does today.
 

Matthew 4:23 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
Acts 10:38,How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”