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Posts by: Denver House of Prayer

Is Jesus Coming Back?

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The second coming of Christ is mentioned more than 300 times in the New Testament! The Apostle Paul refers to it at least 50 times in his Epistles alone. It is claimed that the second coming of Jesus is mentioned 8 times as often as his first coming 2000 years ago. Whole books (1 and 2 Thessalonians) and entire chapters (Matthew 24; Mark 13) of the bible are devoted to it. It is without doubt one of the most important doctrines of the New Testament. Jesus is coming twice in the future, not once. He will come once for His beloved church (Rapture) and the second time to judge the world in Power and Glory.

How will the manner of His coming be?

  1. Personal – (John 14:3, Acts 1:10,11; 1 Thess 4:16, Rev 1:7;22:7)
  2. Literal – (Acts 1:10, 1 Thess 4:16-17; Rev 1:7, Zech 14:4)
  3. Visible – (Heb 9:28, Phil 3:20, Zech 12:10)
  4. Glorious – (Matthew 16:27, 2 Thess 1:7-9, Col 3:4, Matt 25:31).

 

When exactly is He coming back (the first time)?

  1. No-one knows, as it is hidden in the counsels of God (Matt 24:36-42, Mark 13:21-22). Although we may know His coming is near by the signs that are abundant.

 

How will he come (the first time)?

  1. Suddenly – (1 Cor 15:52; Matt 24:27)
  2. Unexpectedly – (2 Peter 3:4, Matt 24:48-51), Rev 16:15)

 

What are we supposed to be doing in the mean time? – Luke 19:13

 

What are the signs of His first coming?

Scriptures teach that the appearing of Christ again will usher in the Millennial age where he has total rule and sovereignty for a thousand years, prior to God creating a New Heaven and Earth (Isa 65:17, 2 Peter 3:13, Rev 21:1). In the time period prior to His first coming there will be a cross over or transitional period characterized by the following:

  1. Physical disturbances (signs in the moon, heavens, stars) – Luke 21:25
  2. Wars (Rumors of wars) – Matt 24:6
  3. Economic instability
  4. Moral decay
  5. Religious apostasy – 2 Thess 2:3.
  6. Infidelity
  7. General panic, perplexity and loss of leadership – Luke 21:25

 

What is the precise order of events just prior to His first coming?

  1. After 70 AD, the Jews will be wanderers among all nations, driven from their land and persecuted. Their land will come under Gentile control until the ‘times of the Gentiles’ be fulfilled (Luke 21:24). One major indication that the time of the Gentiles is drawing to an end is the reformation of Israel as a nation (1948) and gaining Jerusalem back (1967). Never before in History has a dispersed nation been re-born.
  2. During this 2000 yr. time period (approx.) from 70 AD until Christ’s coming, Christ’s servants (the Church) will carry on His work by preaching the Gospel to all nations, in every language and occupying until he returns (Luke 21:24).
  3. It will seem like Christ is delaying his coming (Luke 18:1-8), when some will prepare themselves diligently, whilst others will be negligent (Matt 25:1-11) and fall away.
  4. At a time when ‘no soul knows the day nor the hour,’ Christ will appear (Matt 24:36, 42, 50). This event is called the “Rapture” in common vernacular although the word Rapture is not found specifically in scripture (1 Thess 4:17). In times past, this event was known as the “Great Assembly” or the ‘gathering’ of the saints. At this time, He will gather his servants and judge them according to their works (because their salvation is assured) (Matt 25:19, 2 Cor 5:10).
  5. There is some speculation as to the timeframe between the ‘Rapture’ and the commencement of the following 7 year tribulation period (Matt 24:21), but most scholars agree that it is simultaneous. The definition of when the tribulation starts is the signing of a peace treaty between the Jews and the Antichrist (Dan 9:27).
  6. The Second Coming of Christ will occur at the end of the Great Tribulation as he arrives on Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4) for the world to see. Utter oblivion and catastrophe, as it was in the days of Noah and Lot, are the pre-cursors to his 2nd Coming (Matthew:37-39, Luke 17:28-29). When Christ appears in his second coming, it will be in outward glory and power to judge and rule over the nations of the earth.

 

Who is the Anti-Christ? (short response: a punk)

The spirit of the Antichrist is already in the world (1 John 4:3, 2:18, 2:22) and its goal is to deny that Christ came in the flesh (1 John 4:3) and that God has no Son (1 John 2:22). There is a final Antichrist who is to come (2 Thess 2:3). The Antichrist will be the paragon of evil, who will oppose and attempt to usurp any form of Yahweh’s rule in the earth. It is believed he will arise from the old world (Rev 13:1) and become ruler over a resurrected Roman Empire and super-state of coalesced nations. He will assume great power politically (Dan 7:8,25), commercially (Dan 8:25, Rev 13:16-17), and religiously (Rev 17:1-15). Knowing that man must have a religion of some kind, he will establish one based on the divinity of man and supremacy of the State. As the embodiment of the State, he will demand worship, and will appoint a priesthood to enforce and foster this worship (2 Thess 2:9-10, Rev 13:12-15).

The Antichrist will carry his doctrine to the extreme of the supremacy of the state. He will have complete control over world commerce, with all people requiring a “Mark of the Beast” to buy and sell (Rev 13:17). With the advent of modern technology in the use of RFID chips and electronic tattoos the resources are literally in place today to fulfill this prophecy. The Antichrist will teach that the State and its laws are supreme to God’s. He will command worship and even man’s conscience must be subordinated. The OT shadow of this was revealed by King Nebuchadnezzar’s totalitarian regime in Daniel chapter 3. A modern example would be the French Revolution, where God was cast out and a goddess was made of, “La Patrie” (the State). Said one of the leaders, “The State is supreme in all things. When the State has spoken, the Church has nothing to say.” Loyalty to the State was and will be elevated to the place of religion by the Antichrist and his False Prophet. When all is said and done, his ‘rear end’ will be thrown into the Lake of Fire for his evil deeds (Rev 20:10).

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What is Stewardship?

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Scriptural reference

Read the following passage together:

 

Matthew 20:1-16 (KJV) – laborers in the vineyard

 

Questions

  1. Who do you think the householder represents in this passage?
  2. Who do you think the laborers represent?
  3. Is the householder fair?
  4. If you were the first laborer would you be disappointed with your wage? If so, why?
  5. Did the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th laborers get paid more than they deserved? Discuss with your group.
  6. Discuss verse 16 together and what it means to you.
  7. Do you feel injustice for the 1st laborers? Can you relate to them?
  8. Do you think the 2nd, 3rd laborers etc. got more than they deserved?
  9. Do you think the 1st laborers misjudged the householder and should have trusted him to pay them what he thought was right, before agreeing to set terms of payment that had no flexibility?

 

Life Application

This passage does not discuss salvation. It talks of three hired laborers who worked for God (the householder). These men were already positioned for service and waiting for work before the householder arrived. We do not work for salvation in any way and I don’t believe this passage refers to it. These men were laborers and we do not labor for salvation. It is discussing the different kinds of people who are serving the living God and the attitude they bring in service.

The 1st laborers came to the householder with an agenda. They agreed to work for him for a set payment in advance. Presumably they negotiated before agreeing upon terms of payment. They not only limited God in his ability to remunerate them but their attitude was, “if I do this for you, you must do this for me in return”. They had an expectation that limited God, they expected only x and God was trying to give them y in abundance. Could it be that God wanted to reward the 1st group more but they limited him with their expectations? They could have answered him like the other groups, “whatsoever is right, that shall we receive“. God is an abundant and generous God and had the first group agreed on what was right instead of the set amount (a denarius) they might have received much more.

The remaining laborers however did not agree for a set wage in advance but trusted God to reward them accordingly as he was a generous and faithful boss. Their faith in God was rewarded as each of the remaining laborers got much more than they deserved. This shows Gods unending generosity. The final laborers got a full day’s pay even though they worked for only one hour. This was grossly unfair to the 1st laborers but God was still fair as they agreed to the terms. God is not unfair if he shows generosity to others. He can do as he wills. He was not unfair.

It should be noted that a denarius was a liberal wage for a day’s work in those days, so the householder was already generous from the start.

 

Who are chosen to be stewards?

V 16) Many are not called to salvation, all are called to salvation. The ones who are chosen for greater works and greater rewards are those who don’t come to God with a set agenda and trust him to reward them fairly and liberally. The laborers who trusted God got so much more than they deserved!!! This should be our attitude, we trust him with our finances, lives, time etc., and he will reward us for our service to him.

The ones who trusted God also were rewarded first v 16. Those who have faith in him for rewards Heb 11:6, will be rewarded in abundance. Those who agreed upon simple payment, were rewarded last with their agreed amount.

We need to check our hearts today that we have the right attitude in service to god. Our expectation should be that he will take care of us as we serve him, his rewards will be generous and we should not negotiate terms before we embark upon service. If so our negotiated terms can limit his generosity towards us. If he comes knocking on your door today for service, we should answer, “yes sir!”, knowing that he will take good care of us and our rewards for service will match his generous nature.

 

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18 reasons why evolution is a lie

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wheat2Evolutionary theory (not fact, I might add) is of the opinion that we developed from a primordial protozoon; merely an algae or amoebae from a water pool. Over “millions and millions of years,” man developed from this algae over a series of transformational events, i.e., the algae grew an eye, then a leg, then became a fish, which then became a mammal, then half mammal-half-ape, half ape-half man and so on. Basically, the opinion is that we evolved from ‘molecule to man’ or ‘particle to person’. This is known as macro-evolutionary theory. Despite much evidence for micro-evolution (as explained shortly) there is no evidence for macro-evolution (i.e. molecule to man) as many evolutionists would have us believe.

 

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck also came up with “redundancy theory” i.e. that we lose bodily functions and parts through time as we evolve (i.e. our little toe will soon be lost as we no longer have need for it). I would suggest that his theory is redundant. In fact Evolutionary theory was first established by Aristotle the Grecian Philosopher, then later developed by Charles Darwin. The predominant secular worldview that stemmed from Aristotle’s philosophy was brutal. It reduced man to beast like status, and originated the ‘survival of the fittest’ mindset, with morals discarded and primitive passions elevated to supremacy. The conscience of man has not evolved my friends but is a gift from God (Rom 2:15) and a means to temper our inherent lascivious nature.

 

Here are 18, clear and concise reasons as to why macro-evolutionary theory has no scientific proof and remains a flawed view, in comparison to creationism:-

 

  1. God’s Omission Leaves Unanswered Questions: How did life originate from non-living matter? Ask any scientist, no-one has ever been able to create life in a test lab, nor will they ever be able to from scratch. This leaves us with the ‘Big Bang theory’ or that an extra-terrestrial species more advanced than us cross-pollinated our gene pool. So who created the extra terrestrials? We are back to the original question. To think that life developed from an unknown combination of elements, there is more chance of finding a needle in a haystack as high and wide as the state of Texas. Even Einstein (perhaps the most respected scientist of his or any generation) was quoted as saying that his only conclusion to life was that it had to be created by some divine being, not by a random mis-match of elements. It requires a lot of faith to believe in macro-evolution as we will soon see.
  2. The Gap between the Animal and Vegetable Kingdoms: At some time in history they have shifted apart, evolutionists have no answer for this, why only two types of life? Why not millions randomly developed, why just animal and vegetable? Why? God created the heavens and the earth and everything is to stay within the boundaries of its own ‘kind’(Gen 1:11-12, Gen 1:21-25, Gen 6:20, Gen 7:14, Gen 8:19).
  3. Life Cannot be Reproduced Except by Life: Science has never been able to solve the simple equation of producing life. There is a limit to human wisdom. The chemist can separate a cabbage leaf into its component parts, but only God can take those parts and make a cabbage leaf.
  4. The Formation of Species Lines: Granted that man is affected by his climate and food to a certain degree there is no doubt (this is known as micro-evolution), however macro-evolution is based upon a change of inheritable characteristics of life forms which is not evident in nature. For example, climate might cause a rabbit to grow a heavier coat of fur; he will adapt to his environment and food can influence its strength and weight etc., but these changes die with the rabbit. DNA traits can be passed on as part of its genetic make up, yet the species remains the same. A rabbit is a rabbit, is a rabbit. This is where macro-evolution falls down. Moving a rabbit from Texas to Alaska may reveal a thickening of its coat within 2-3 generations, but it still remains a rabbit.
  5. There are No Transformational Species: This is by far the most tangible evidence (or lack thereof) as to why evolution is flawed. For every sequence of evolutionary advancement along the species line, we should find countless, if not millions of fossils that are half algae/half fish, half fish/ half-mammal etc. None of these have ever been found, despite countless investigations into the fossil record. Isn’t that a kind of major hindrance to the whole thing? None of these ‘monkeys’ and ‘lemurs’ in an exact line of descent to man have been found, simply use your imagination to fill in the gaps. Also there is practically nothing about a skeleton to indicate the bodylines of the animal that owned it. We are left to fill in so many gaps for ourselves. Carefully placing human and monkey bones in museum glass cases next to each other, doesn’t validate evolutionary sequencing. There have been numerous documented fossil frauds down the years where man has tried to authenticate evolutions existence using the bones of pigs or monkeys. This merely proves the decrepit sinful state of man in need of a savior and does not justify Darwin’s hypothesis.
  6. What Stopped the Evolutionary Process? Why? Because God created us in his own image that’s why. Why has the evolutionary clock stopped now all of a sudden? If we descended from apes then why is there not a shadow of an evolutionary change in my 50,000 year old Grandpa (a primate living in the Congo right now)? That’s what I want to know from the scientists. Some scientist’s have us believe that in 5 to 10 generations apes could have transformed into homo-sapiens. If we used simple germs as an example, we know it would take 50,000 to 50,000,000 years to go from say a typhoid to malaria germ. They are contradicting themselves; it’s one or the other.
  7. Embryos Do Not Propagate: It’s impossible to produce an apple seed from apple seed without first producing an apple tree and second, producing an apple. Caterpillars do not produce caterpillars; they produce butterflies, which produce eggs from lava, which hatch to produce caterpillars. Evolution demands embryos to be directly productive, yet these embryonic forms live side by side. If they really were embryonic and in the line of man’s descent, then human mothers would give birth to lemur babies, or some further removed form. No friends, these boundaries have been set by God and are never to be breached, unless science in the form of trans-humanism chooses to do so.
  8. The Sterility of Hybrids: A true hybrid is a cross between individuals of distinct species. Let’s remember that breeding can induce changes of individuals within a species but such changes do not change the species. Crosses produce true hybrids and such hybrids are sterile. It is true that there have been very few reports of hybrids that were fertile. In fact it rarely ever occurs in mammals, birds or reptiles. A mule for example is a hybrid and offspring of a donkey and a horse, which are typically sterile.
  9. The Question of ‘Reversion to Type’: It is possible to improve varieties within a species by carefully controlled breeding. Let’s say we use a Clydesdale horse as an example, which is a cross between a Cob and a Flemish Horse. If you were then to place a dozen or so of these prime Clydesdale specimens together (male and female) then every time, the progeny would return to the original Cob and the Flemish types. This is ‘reversion to type’ and is a biological fact. It’s in clear opposition to the evolutionary hypothesis.
  10. The Unexplained, but Admitted, Failure of Evolution at Unexpected and Unpredictable Times: Many scholars agree there is no proof whatsoever of organic evolution, so why then surmise that this will take place in the Animal Kingdom? If there were but one species that remain unchanged, we might by a stretch of the imagination accept it as the exception to the rule. However, reality states there are hundreds of these species that remain unchanged, a fact that is admitted by even the most dogged evolutionists.
  11. Conflict of the Theories of Evolution with Available Records: Archaeology has proven conclusively that man has had a fluctuating experience throughout history. He has traveled more nearly a circuitous route rather than an uphill climb. In Mesopotamia he’s gone from civilization almost to the depths of savagery and back again, some four or five times. Egyptian records tell almost exactly the same story. The conclusion is unavoidable; the earliest traces of man as far as records go are of a simple yet nonetheless civilized culture. Man did not build up to a civilized state, he started there. The idea that man has developed from a bestial state of savagery is based upon theory that is diameterically opposed to every fact thus far discovered and goes against the biblical record. Man has been building complex structures and forging iron and brass for Millennia (Gen 11:9 and Gen 4:22). It is not a recent discovery after years of adaptation.
  12. The Co-Existence of Types: It’s now a well known and generally accepted fact that some types, formerly supposed to have descended the one from the other, have actually lived side by side, e.g. our modern day horse was believed to have descended from a three toed animal the size of a fox (eohippus). Then one day the remains of our modern day horse ‘hippus’ was discovered in the same drift with “eohippus” and the bubble burst on that one. The same can be said of other species including man, who have lived ‘side by side’ with apes from the earliest traces. We have con-currently existed with all animal and vegetable types throughout the Millennia. Species can and have, of course become extinct for various environmental reasons. In fact the Biblical record speaks of Dinosaurs and man living side by side (Deut 23:33, Neh 2:13, Job 30:29, Job 40:15-17, Psalm 74:14). Examples of these Dinosaurs are the Leviathan and Behemoth, mentioned in the archaic Book of Job.
  13. The Constant Number of Species: The number of species on the planet has remained constant since the Tertiary period. This completely dismisses the entire basis of evolutionary theory. It states clearly that life has evolved from one single form, to form all various orders, families, varieties etc. as are found today. If that were true the number of species would of necessity be a constantly and regularly increasing one. Yet these evolutionists still harp on about this single form hypothesis.
  14. The Question of Method: There are several theories, Darwinism speaks of ‘survival of the fittest’, Lamarck preferred the ‘use and disuse of faculties’ and Yung and Boffon favored ‘adaptation in a modified form’. However none of these will stand the simple test any child can apply. If it’s survival of the fittest, then the ‘fully clawed’ domesticated house cat has outclassed the fearsome Tyrannosaurus Rex.  Also the humble rabbit and dog have outlived the Saber Tooth Tiger, Mastodons and Woolly Mammoth. In fact the only remaining reptilia on earth today are the smallest and weakest ones. This friend is not survival of the fittest, although I’ve seen some nasty Miniature Poodles and Chihuahua’s in my time. Also Lamarck’s theory of redundancy does not apply to apes for example. Some have no tails, which are extremely good climbers in the wild, which live alongside other monkeys with long tails that are equally good climbers. His theory would be that one species has lost its tail as it evolves….why? It is still an excellent climber? Why lose the tail? The reason exists in the mind of the creator who created all things for his own good pleasure and by design.
  15. The Preservation of Species Lines: Modifications of characteristics in an individual are not transmitted naturally and do not tend to change the species. Occasionally individuals are born with abnormal or distinctive characteristics. Some individuals have been born with mutations and these have entered the gene pool due to man’s corrupted state. Actually this is so rare as to sink into insignificance when compared to the species as a whole. Despite these ‘throwbacks’ as the evolutionists call them (e.g. dwarfs, albinos, giant’s etc.) they do not transmit their unique characteristics. They usually disappear in the first generation, only to have normal offspring. In fact it’s being investigated that these are a product of glandular deficiency or abnormality and not the result of heritage at all. We know that God gives these people greater grace to cope with these difficulties.
  16. The Mystery of Skin Color: It has been found that all men are from the same species but colored man would not run concurrently in the progressive evolutionary system. The cause of skin color is ‘Melanin’. All skin colors and tones stemmed from one man, Adam who had the DNA from which all skin colors could be propagated in time. Indeed, this same substance—a dark brown pigment called ‘Melanin’—colours the skin of all humans. Individuals that have much Melanin appear to have ‘black’ skin; people that have fewer allocations of it, appear ‘white’. Melanin is produced by organelles called melanosomes, contained in special cells called melanocytes. Melanocytes are located in the bottom layer of the skin, and produce melanin with the aid of tyrosinase and other enzymes. People with lighter-coloured skin have smaller, fewer and less dense melanosomes than darker-skinned people[1].
  17. The Mathematical Difficulty Based on Current Population: Let’s do the math. A constant life span in species is the rule rather than the exception. It’s very easy to determine the rate of increase of the human species, which is one of the least prolific compared to other species. Beginning with Abram (2160 B.C.) and following the scriptural account, we can conclude 2000 B.C. to be the commencement of the Jewish people. Let’s use 1960 A.D. as an arbitrary Datum. In 1960 there were 16-18 million Jews worldwide, including New York City. Thus we find that the descendants of Jacob have doubled themselves 23.5 times in the 4000 years since the marriage of Jacob to his two wives. We can therefore extrapolate this conclusion for humanity as a whole. If we date the flood to be 3500 B.C. approx., and begin with a family of eight (which was the number in the ark) and use the same ratio of increase for 5500 years since the time of the flood, we would estimate that in 1960 there should be about 2.6 Billion children of our father Noah, on the planet. To confirm our calculations, in 1960 the World Almanac estimated the population of the globe to be 2.5 billion people and if we project this same ratio of increase forward; the population projection remains close to 7 billion, which is today’s population. Now, if we do the same calculation for the evolutionists, starting at 50,000 years ago as the beginning of humanity and using the same rate of increase in population as for the sons of Jacob (not accounting for wars, famines etc.), then the human family would have doubled itself more than 294 times. If this were true, every surface of the earth including the water mass would be covered in people to a height of 13 miles deep!! Evolutionists also say that the human race would not begin with one trio but with a large number of trios, further dispelling evolutionary theory based upon current population estimates. Wait, there’s more, remember there are some 3 million animal species alone and most of them are much more prolific than the human species. We haven’t even considered them yet, and if we did, there wouldn’t be room to move an inch on this planet, being swamped by humans, animals and excrement, consuming it’s entire land and water mass.
  18. The Desperate Attempts of Evolutionists to Crush all Opposition to their Doctrine: We grant the right of every man to ‘freedom of speech’ so long as his speech is not offensive to decency and morals. If you want to make yourself unpopular in any sphere of worldly society just announce that you do not believe in evolution. The favorite answer by scientists to any creationist’s objection is usually that “No scientist would deny the fact of evolution“, my friend, the truth is that, “no ‘right minded’ scientist would affirm evolution as fact”[2].

 

The issue my friend has and always will come down to the question of accountability. If man evolved, there is no sin, if there is no sin, man is not accountable for it, therefore Christ died in vain. If Christ died in vain, then what do we need God for? Today’s secularists esteem self-worship, where man serves himself and concocts his own genesis to justify his sinful condition.  A more apt truth is that Satan has blinded people to the Gospel, utilizing man’s reasoning’s for his own gain (2 Cor 4:4).

Don’t believe the lies of today’s culture, choose today whom you will serve (Joshua 24:15).

 


[1] http://creation.com/the-genetics-of-skin-colour-in-peoplesomething-fishy

[2]Why I Accept the Genesis Record: An Answer to Evolution (1963)” by John Raymond Hand.

 

 

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.

What Jesus paid for on the cross

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CrossFriends, very few people have grasped the full ramifications of what Jesus Christ purchased on the cross for us, with his own blood. Our victorious life in Christ on earth is in direct proportion to the knowledge of what He did for us and who you are in Christ, as a result of his monumental sacrifice.

We are now (post cross) in possession of these majestic spoils and with this knowledge we may obtain victory in every area of our lives. The full outline of what Christ won for us is summarized below, with specific scriptural references:

 

  1. A Child of God (Romans 8:1).
  2. Redeemed of God and redeemed from the hand of the enemy (Psalm 107:2).
  3. Forgiven, having been delivered out of the power of darkness and translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son. (Col 1:13-14).
  4. Saved by Grace through Faith (Ephesians 2:8).
  5. Justified (Romans 5:1).
  6. Sanctified (I Corinthians 6:11).
  7. A new creature (II Corinthians 5:17).
  8. Partaker of His divine nature, having escaped the corruption of this world (II Peter 1:4).
  9. Redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13).
  10. Delivered from the powers of darkness (Colossians 1:13).
  11. Led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14).
  12. A Son of God (Romans 8:14).
  13. Kept in Safety wherever I go because an angel has been assigned for my protection (Psalm 91:11).
  14. Getting all my needs met by Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
  15. Casting all my cares on Jesus because he cares for me (I Peter 5:7).
  16. Strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10).
  17. Doing all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
  18. An heir of God and a joint heir with Jesus (Romans 8:17).
  19. Heir to the blessing of Abraham (Galatians 3:13-14).
  20. Observing and doing the Lord’s commandments (Deuteronomy 28:12).
  21. Blessed coming in and going out (Deuteronomy 28:6).
  22. An inheritor of eternal life (I John 5:11-12).
  23. Blessed with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3).
  24. Healed by His Stripes (I Peter 2:24).
  25. Exercising my authority over the enemy (Luke 10:19).
  26. Above only and not beneath (Deuteronomy 28:13).
  27. More than a conqueror (Romans 8:37).
  28. Establishing God’s word here on earth (Matthew 16:19).
  29. An overcomer by the blood of the Lamb and word of my testimony (Revelation 12:11).
  30. Daily overcoming the devil (1 John 4:4).
  31. Not moved by what I see (II Corinthians 4:18).
  32. Walking by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7).
  33. Casting down vain imaginations (II Corinthians 10:4-5).
  34. Bringing every thought into captivity (II Corinthians 10:5).
  35. Being transformed by a renewed mind (Romans 12:1-2).
  36. A laborer together with God (I Corinthians 3:9).
  37. The righteousness of God in Christ (II Corinthians 5:21).
  38. An imitator of Jesus (Ephesians 5:1).
  39. The Light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

Please take the time to look up these scriptures for yourself and meditate upon them. By knowing the truth, you will be set free form any hindrances in your life. Notice in the time of temptation in the wilderness, Christ never took up conversation with Satan; he merely quoted the word of God (Matt 4:4, Luke 4:4). Friends we have to have the same mindset to posture us for victory, instead of reasoning with the enemy, we need to cast down imaginations and quote the word back to him. The Holy Spirit will then recall these truth’s to your remembrance in the time of testing or temptation (John 14:26), to guarantee victory in every area of life!

 

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.

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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