THE NIGHT I MET THE HOLY SPIRIT

201002_112_HSBaptism_art“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:4)

High School was not like I expected, there was almost 4000 kids in one school. You try to look cool, like you know what you are doing but I got lost so many times trying to find my classes, I needed a GPS to get around. They had initiations the first day and they would egg and paint the Freshman with makeup. It was ugly. But my brother and I were so tall they thought we were Sophomores so no one bothered us. We got through it, I was saved now and I knew God protected us.

Not long after my family was invited to hear preaching in huge tent on the other side of Staten Island. It rained earlier that day, and it stopped by night time but I was amazed at hundreds of people walking through the mud to get inside. I sat with my church and I did not know who Morris Cerullo was but he and some other guy R.W. Shambach were preaching there. I don’t remember the message that night, the only night we came but he talked a lot about youth. I was a young convert so I did not know much. He called for people to come up front, he actually encouraged us to run up front and the church people were smiling and saying to me, “Go ahead, go ahead.” So we ran up front and Rev. Cerullo prayed over the crowd and then he asked us to go to a side tent where people would pray for us.

So I went and found a place to sit in the sand of that side tent and I prayed. As a young convert, I only knew to quote scripture in my prayers. That night it felt like a door closed and it was just me and the Lord. I did not even notice anyone around me, everything was tuned out.  The only thing I felt was the hand of someone who came over and prayed quietly for me for just a moment. I did not see who they were because my eyes were closed.  All of a sudden I began to speak in a foreign language. It was amazing! I did not expect this. No one told me about it. I was flooded both with a bubbling joy and peace and it flowed out of me. I did not know what was happening then but I was being introduced to my Friend, the Holy Spirit. More people came by and prayed and in the mind of this young convert thought I was getting more of the Holy Spirit.

I was thrilled but I had questions. I told my brother what happened. He was still new at this as well but he took a crack at it.

He said, “That language is so you can talk directly to the Father.”

I did not say anything it just made me think of the possibilities when I would pray. I thought that was incredible. Direct access to God in prayer. Going home I felt God’s presence-it was bubbling in my soul. I was excited and refreshed. Again like when I was saved, this was a quiet experience but it had wonderful results.

But my unsaved Father who for some strange reason came with us, was unnerved and was what the old saints called, “under conviction.” He was next in line for God’s incredible grace.

This is part six of my testimony.

©2015 Rev. Stephen S. Gibney, give credit where credit is due.

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GOD IS OUR FRIEND

04psalm139_3-vi“My journeys and my rest you scrutinize with all my ways you are familiar.” (NAB)

How God knows us, He is familiar with us. We are of great interest to God. This is difficult to comprehend. God must be love, grace and mercy. All who put their faith in Christ are his friends. To the most boring and mundane person, to the most active and exciting. It is no matter. The all-seeing, all-knowing God is familiar with all our ways. He being familiar, does not mean he just knows us, but he associates with us.

The word “acquainted” in the KJV and familiarity in the NAB are colder than the Hebrew teaches. God is associated with us by friendship. He makes it a habit of being around us, being seen with us, talking to us. He has decided to be our friend and He enjoys our company. Jesus is the friend of sinners and the friend of saints. He likes us as friends and loves us as children. I mean we all have people who love us but do not like us. It seems crazy but it is true. When people like us they like being around us and being with us.

This verse three of Psalm 139 says he “scrutinizes.” us. The word in Hebrew is sift or winnow. He inspects our travels and rest closely. It would seem he looks closely at our activity and leisure. He likes being a part of what we do. He lives in us and his word lives in us. It is no wonder that he is our friend.

When he scrutinizes it teaches that God isolates that which is most important or useful and gets rid of that which is undesirable. This can be a reference to growing in holiness as he purifies our heart, very true.

But it would also indicate that God is not pettily criticizing every word, action and thought. He KNOWS us. He sees the big stuff, the deep stuff, the stuff that counts in our lives and he loves that about us.

After all, we reflect who he is as he gives us holy desires and abilities.

DONT REFUSE THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

gift_of_the_holy_spiritThis is for people who believe in the operations of the gifts of the Spirit today.

The Holy Spirit wants to move in church meetings. Instead of Paul stopping everything in Corinth he instructed them on how to operate in the gifts of the Spirit.

There is no reason for us with proper instruction and biblical parameters to not see the Holy Spirit in the gifts in the midst of the church meeting.

Just because there are abuses doesn’t mean that the gifts are not in operation anymore. Just because there is divorce doesn’t mean that marriage is a bad institution. what is mind-boggling is that we really would not know a lot of the specifics about the gifts of the spirit if the Corinthian people were not making mistakes with them! God is not intimidated by our problems and that is why he’s given us good teachers to keep people in check with the Scripture. we wouldn’t know what a word of wisdom is from a word of knowledge-if Paul would not have said, “Concerning spiritual gifts brethren I would not have you ignorant.” (1 Cor 12: 1).  In fact, in summarizing the spiritual gifts he points out the fact that all true spiritual gifts point to one thing – Jesus is Lord. Then his body, the church is edified by the proper and biblical operation of the gifts of the spirit.

But I can hardly see the Holy Spirit and the gifts moving in the church meeting when the worship team and the Pastors jump from song to song and they never stop to take time to worship and to wait on God.  It betrays a feeling of anxiety and fear – I would say that it is clearly unbelief to not allow the Holy Spirit to move-to quench the Spirit and grieve the Spirit in such a manner.

It is true there are many false prophets and prophecy – but that doesn’t mean there aren’t real genuine people speaking in confirmation of the Scriptures.. Don’t despise genuine prophecy that forth tells the Scripture in an elevated discourse.

Why? The Holy Spirit can do more in a few minutes, I say in a few seconds then anything we can do.

Do not quench the Spirit Paul says. Don’t put the Spirit’s fire out! Where the spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. What freedom? – a face-to-face encounter with Christ through his word, the ordinances and real fellowship. How can we offer in benediction the words the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of God and the communion of the Holy Spirit – what we don’t believe or allow for communion of the Holy Spirit. where is that communion is not limited to just the church service – but what a great place, in church as we worship together to learn about the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Do we want people to encounter God or not? Or do we want them to learn some better behavior modification and be completely unaware of God’s presence and reality. That is what were going to end up with-that is what we have right now.

Many people tell me what we have the prayer meeting. Then people can operate in the gifts. Who do you think you are? It is sad to think that you may be resisting God and you are limiting the holy One.  do you think that the God who is taken back by people’s rejection of his grace would not feel the same way about rejecting his gifts? Can you really take that chance?

Are you telling the Lord that he can do this here but not there?

Oh well, we do not want to scare visitors away. It would seem that you have lost your fire. Could it be that you are not preaching the whole counsel of God as you claim to? The Holy Spirit loves to move where the Bible is preached. It could be the problem is not people operating in the gifts of the Spirit but your refusal to preach all that God says in his Word!

Have you lost your way? Are you not afraid of  dishonoring God? Did not Jesus say that my house shall be called a house of prayer? Does this not even tell you that our main goal in the church is to address God and not man.

Does this not also indicate that God will speak to people through his Word and the operations of the gifts of the Spirit? This also may indicate that we are under a biblical mandate to allow the gifts of the Spirit to move in our church because that’s the way a church is supposed to be. Wow what a novel idea:  modeling our churches after what Scripture teaches.

© 2014 Soul Health Care Ministries. Give credit where credit is due.

THE ANOINTING

Anointing_of_fresh_oil1I found it necessary show the Biblical language about the Holy Spirit and the anointing and how it lines up with the Bible. There are always misuses and extremes but that NEVER eliminates or hinders the real and genuine anointing. Today, we speak of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. 

“And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.” (Isaiah 10:27NKJV).

This verse has been translated many different ways.

  • The Hebrew word for anointing here shemen can be translated oil or fatness. To anoint something or someone described the act of rubbing, smearing, sprinkling or pouring oil.
  • Then the anointing of which it refers is said to destroy the yoke. The word “destroy” means to take away strength, putrefy, rot or spoil.
  • The yoke is a bar of wood that joins two animals together as they work. It is symbolic of a burden, slavery or oppression.

Isaiah describes a, “fatness that breaks the yoke” or on translate this as “the yoke will rot at the presence of the oil”, or the one I really like is, “the yoke will be destroyed with one look from the Anointed.” All these wordings show the powerful agency of the “anointing.”

The sacred oil is a type of the Holy Spirit (1 Sam 16:13). The most familiar term for anointed comes from another Hebrew word masah where we get the word Messiah and the Greek word christos, where we get the title for Jesus the Christ (John 6:69). 

Thus, the anointing is the presence and power of God as seen in the Lord Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit in the individual Christian’s life as they are in the world but not of it. The anointing is also present when Christians meet together under the pure biblical teaching and gospel preaching in church, worship or in prayer. The presence of Jesus though the anointing brings freedom, strength, healing and wholeness, edification and refreshing.

(c) 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. I wrote this, not you-but feel free to share it and give credit where credit is due.

DEFINE FOR ME, “PENTECOSTAL”

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THERE WAS NEVER A GREATER NEED FOR A GENUINE PERPETUATION OF PENTECOST IN THIS LAST HOUR! To see and be part of those who have turned the world upside down with the Gospel (Acts 17:6).

At this present time in one form or another there are around three hundred million people who claim to have experienced Pentecostal blessing and being baptized in the spirit. But sadly for some and an increasing number it is only in name are they alive but in reality they are dead (Rev 3:1-2). Yes we see the wildfire folks in some groups but sound and noise does not mean motion and forward movement. It is only madness.  Others churches have little or no sense of the presence of Christ in them, very little biblical, Christ centered preaching. They are dead or about to die! How sad!  It is those that used to be vibrant are now those with the dead preachers and dead congregations.

When I refer to “Pentecost” I am NOT referring to ONE DENOMINATION OR GROUP.  I am speaking about the movement that began on the day of Pentecost known as the true expression of Christianity.

This movement reached the world in exponential time with the gospel of God’s grace: that is, salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This movement in which the Lord Jesus Christ himself worked with men and women confirming what they preached by signs and wonders.

Those signs and wonders were exactly what they were: signs that pointed to Christ and things that were done by God himself that would lead people in wonder and awe of Jesus and Jesus alone.  Pentecost is not about signs and wonders. Pentecost is all about Christ who has been exalted in majesty at the right hand of God who, “hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33).

When the people saw them declare the wonderful works of God he explained, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel, ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:16-17). 

When I refer to “Pentecost” I am not referring to the charismatic movement which has distinguished itself from the Pentecostal movement. I’m referring to those who believe that after the new birth experience all believers in Jesus are promised to be filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:4).

We must embrace the baptism of the Holy Spirit, while yes, it brings a greater degree of holiness, it is really more of and empowerment to be a witness for Christ and his gospel (Acts 1:8) for those who are already saved by the blood of Jesus.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit brings what is written in the scriptures into personal experience as the reality of the presence of Christ in the preached word and of the ministry of prayer for those who have need. The real Pentecostal resists the post modern programs and inventions for marketing the gospel and sees any lack in the church attendance, backsliddeness, sickness, deliverance as a greater need for seeking God for a fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit in every dimension of their lives.

© 2013 Soul Health Care Ministries. Hey give credit where credit is due!

STOP AND LISTEN!

“Stop and Listen. Stop and LISTEN! In the ancient days does not the scripture say that God’s eyes were upon the land of Israel? Was it not the land which the Lord thy God cared for? A land flowing with milk and honey. It was the land of promise. He gave it to Israel and they were to conquer that land and all its inhabitants and possess houses and lands that were not theirs and He did not to fail keep His promise. He warned them that they were to drive out the inhabitants of the land or they would be thorns in their eyes and eventually would become a snare to them.
 
He has saved HIS people. He has promised them victory. He sees their hearts and lives like they are the land of promise. The land he cares for. He would have them flowing with the milk of His life giving Word and honey of His Spirit! But after years they are irritated and ensnared by old sins. He hears them confessing the sins from which HE would deliver them but they live with those sins as if they should be natives to their heart. He cannot forgive a people who do not repent. To repent is not only sorrow for sin but to stop that sin!
 
Sin was a native to the heart before God saved them, but NOW it is an alien that must be expelled. It is an enemy that must be attacked.  God’s people are not aggressive enough with their sins. Like Moses rod that struck the Sea, like Ehud’s knife that was plunged into the fat enemy king, like David’s sling that struck down Goliath, so is the cross of Christ. It will take what was a giant and so overshadow it, the giant will become as nothing. The cross must strike the Red Sea of sin in our thoughts and part them so God’s Word can flow freely in our mind. The cross must be plunged into the fatness of our hearts and be lost in it so it will circumcise the foreskin of our hearts. It must be like David’s sling when the rock thrown at the giant it will be guided by the Spirit to hit specific sins and bring them down by faith. By simple faith it will be done. By simple faith, the complicated is dealt a death blow with ease. Like the people who could by inherit the land because of unbelief my people are in danger of falling short of the rest of evidence that secures their inheritance. They need to take by faith my promises. God’s promises do not fail. They need to see all their sins as not only forgiven but dead and buried, the trophies of a war won for them on the bloody hill of Calvary.”