Spirit – Baptism – BT12

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Why not get so “filled by living water of the Spirit” that you get drunk on the fullness of God?

 

 

 

 

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See Spirit-Power – BT3 for more about this!

 

The Holy Spirit is the “living water of life” that was meant to “routinely gush, spring, or well up from our innermost being” (a).  It wasn’t meant to just sit there as a “deposit in a bank” (b) silently collecting interest!  Neither were we meant to drink a few sips from our metron ‘measuring-cup’ and then let the ‘cup’ sit for days, trying to live off of such little water.  By definition the remaining water would no longer be “living water,” which always had to be “fresh or running” – and certainly not by the time we finally get back to the glass to find the water is full of dust, algae, and bacteria from the environment to only find it has gone stale, just like ponds of water do in nature.  And if the glass sits outside for an entire winter in many parts of the world, all we have is ice – how can we live off that?  <Notes> a) John 4:14, 7:38, b) 2 Timothy 1:14.

 

The Holy Spirit is “living (fresh, running) water” that’s meant to routinely drink, just as with a spring, routinely giving us the life we need to get through every hour, every day, every week, every month, and every year, so that we “never thirst again” (a).  <Notes> a) Matthew 5:6; John 4:14, 6:35, 7:37; Revelation 7:16, 21:6, 22:17.

 

And why not drink of God’s abundant-fullness so much that we get “drunk” by the Holy Spirit instead of getting drunk on wine, according to Ephesians 5:18?  We cannot live on the energema “energizing, effectual workings, even miracles” of the Holy Spirit (a) yesterday, last week, last month, last year, on what happened to Moses, Abraham, Joseph, the prophets and others who heard directly from the Lord in the OT 5000 years ago, nor on what happened to the apostles, prophets, and early Christians in the NT 2000 years ago, nor the movement of the Holy Spirit in the first 250 years of the Church before the Catholic Church in its quest for bishop control persecuted it and created a NT bible that only the “clergy” could read, especially when they translated it into Latin, nor the great revivals of the Holy Spirit that have periodically broke out of the mostly-dead church since then – that’s a lot of winters to freeze the “living water” into solid, unusable ice!  No animal can survive that many winters! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 12:6, 10.

 

The New Covenant “promise” wasn’t for more dusty scripture to create an even bigger bible with more commandment – there are absolutely no “promises” found to indicate this, but that ALL of God’s children would have 24/7 access to the “spring’s rains” (a) of the Holy Spirit!  The zoe genuine life-giving Holy Spirit is Christ living on the inside of Christians while they are still on earth, described as an artesian spring that will forever bubble up zoe genuine life-giving waters in order to give them more and more of Christ’s zoe genuine-life, and this is all “by the means of the Holy Spirit” (b).  <Notes> a) Acts 14:17; Hebrews 6:7; James 5:7; 1 Kings 8:36; 2 Chronicles 6:26-27; Isaiah 45:8, 55:9-11; Jeremiah 5:24, 14:22; Hosea 6:3, 10:12; Zechariah 10:1, b) John 6:63; Romans 8:2, 6, 10, 11; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 6:8; Revelations 22:17.

 

This is the “living waters” spoken of in OT scripture (a) and the NT writings (b).  “Living water” is never what has sat in a puddle or lake but is water from the “early and latter rains” (c), water that is “fresh, running, and that gives genuine life.”  It never comes from a “cistern” that no longer is being fed by a spring.  And certainly not from a “broken cistern that can hold no water” (d) – that’s what man’s religious “might & power” is (e), religious “works for God” using our own external and internal resources! <Notes> a) Song of Solomon 4:15; Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13; Zechariah 14:8, b) John 4:10, 11, 7:38; Revelation 7:17, c) Deuteronomy 11:14; Psalms 84:6; Joel 2:23; James 5:7, d) Jeremiah 2:13, e) Zechariah 4:6.

 

All Christians “have already [passively] been made to drink towards/reaching ONE Spirit, just as by ONE [Spirit] we were all baptized (a) into one Body” (b), just as the Jews “[had already] drank from the same Spirit-kind-of petra Massive Bedrock [in the wilderness].”  This is not the “small piece broken off from such” called petros, the name of Peter in Greek, contrary to the Catholic belief that Peter was the “rock” Christ would build His Church on (c).  For they continually/repeatedly drank (d) from the Spirit-kind-of Petra Rock that followed them [in the pillar of fire and whirlwind], and that Petra Rock was Christ” (e), not Peter!  Would Christians given the Holy Spirit need to drink any less than the Jews in the wilderness?  Somehow, Christians think they can go day without “the living water.”  The OT was but a shadow of the realities that were to come in Christ (f), so shouldn’t we be drinking “continually/repeatedly?”  <Notes> a) water immersion that inherently changes you because the Spirit creates a new man, b) 1 Corinthians 12:13, c) John 1:42, Matthew 16:18, d) rare imperfect tense, e) 1 Corinthians 10:4, f) Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 8:5, 10:1.

 

So, let us drink, drink, drink “all the fullness of God” as the content.  Let us do this until we are “filled up to the brim” as pleroo “filled” means – even until we are “drunk” – “by the means of the Spirit” as Ephesians 5:18 practically commands us to habitually do byhabitually, genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knowing God” through “habitual, devoted, patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, proseuche conversational-prayer.”  That’s the one habit asked of us!

 

As Christian musicians, are we “routinely being filled up to completion by the means/instrument of the Spirit” to “routinely gush out from our innermost being?”  Isn’t this the distinct New Covenant “promise” for “Worship by [singular] Spirit and/coupled Truth?”  How can we play anointed music if we aren’t?  How we try to lead people to “living water” if we aren’t even drinking it?  Do we even know where it is?  Are we trying to live off of memories of past revivals or off of ancient biblical records of ancient moves of the Spirit?  Are we thus drinking old, stale water or trying to live off ice from 2000 winters gone by?

 

Can we say that we are so “full of God’s abundant-fullness” that we are no longer starving or parched, or is the truth that we are “running on empty” as the song goes?  I can’t find any “promises” of more scripture when it didn’t even work for the Jews in the first place.  I do find many promises for “life-giving water” that would be “fresh, spring rains producing fresh springs, fountains, or artesian wells of fresh, running water.”

 

Just as the Jews repeatedly had to drink from the Rock of Christ in the wilderness, don’t you think that Christians need to also?  We won’t survive in the deserts of this corrupt world without this habit!  Spirit-baptism is a repeated drinking, drinking, and drinking of “the living waters” of “the Lord, who is the Spirit” per 2 Corinthians 3:18, so that we can “routinely be completely filled with the abundant-fullness of God.”  This is also how we repeatedly eat the bread of life who is Christ.  God has given us this “bread and water” to survive and thrive in this world!  Without it we will perish in the wilderness!

 

Finally God has made it crystal clear “how-to” do this – by routinely asking, seeking, and knocking for this “good grace-gift of living water,” like asking our bartender for more booze, so that we can drink, drink, and drink until we are completely-full and even get drunk on God!  This ONLY happens through trusting-relying-faith in routine, conversational-prayer that God is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek-out Him.

 

No other “religious work or discipline” will do, despite the hoops churches will have you jump through.  Christ’s yoke is easy and light – simply to keep coming to Him and asking Him “to work in me to desire and do your good pleasure for your kingdom to come and your will to be done here on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Lord, give me more of Your ‘living water’ to quench my thirst, more of the daily bread that is You to satisfy my hunger, and more of Your enabling-power to do Your will and experience everything else You have for me.”  Now that is a prayer He will gladly answer!

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT11

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‘Being filled with all the fullness of God by the means of the Spirit’ is impartially accessible

 

 

 

 

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The word pleroma that Paul uses in Ephesians 3:19 for God’s “abundant-fullness” is the “content” of what we are to be “pleroo completely-filled” with.  That’s exactly why God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or imagine, down-from/according-to the enabling-power at work IN us” (a), a clear reference to the indwelling Holy Spirit!  This is the same “abundant-fullness” used in Ephesians 1:22-23, “He (the Father) put all things under His (Christ’s) feet and appointed Him (Christ) as Head over all things to/for the Church, which is the Body of Him – the pleroma abundant-fullness of Him who is routinely pleroo completely-filling these (His Body members) all by the means of everything.”  And we know in context this is referring to the grace-gift the Holy Spirit and His supernatural grace-gifts of ministry to build up the Body-of-Christ, where each person is pleroo filled-to-the-brim in their “metron measuring-cup unto the stature/maturity of the pleroma abundant-fullness of Christ” (b), and we know this “measuring-cup” is one-size-fits-all because it “measures the same, equal amount” so that God shows no partiality!  John confirms that “one gracious grace-gift after another we have already received” is “from His pleroma abundant fullness” (c).  This is the same pleroma abundant-fullness of God that dwelled in Christ in bodily form (d).  That’s why Christ can bring perissos super-abundant life (e). <Notes> a) Ephesians 3:20, b) Ephesians 4:13, c) John 1:16, d) Colossians 1:19, 2:9, e) John 10:10.

 

This pleroma abundant-fullness is also obviously referring to the ploutos riches of His glory” in Ephesians 3:16 that God’s Holy Spirit enabling-power comes from.  It is also where our hope and inheritance comes from in Ephesians 1:18, which takes the Holy Spirit’s revelation to even eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know.  It’s where the riches of God’s grace and mercy dwell (a).  This is how “God will supply every need of yours, down-from/according-to His ploutos riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (b).  “The ploutos riches of the glory of [God’s revealed] mystery IS Christ in you [by His indwelling Holy Spirit], the hope of [future] glory [by our inheritance as sons of God, co-heirs with Christ]” (c).  It’s where the “riches of full assurance of sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding and/coupled the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God’s mystery in Christ” dwell (d). <Notes> a) Ephesians 1:7, 2:4, 7, b) Philippians 4:19, c) Colossians 1:27, d) Colossians 2:2.

 

That’s what Paul is referring to in God’s sovereign plan to include the Gentiles in Romans 9:22-23, “What if God, desiring … to make known His dunamis enabling-power, has endured with much patience [the] vessels of wrath fitted/prepared for destruction, in order to make gnorizo known the ploutos riches of His glory upon the vessels of mercy, which he has prepared-beforehand/preordained toward/reaching [this] glory – that is, us whom He has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles.”  This is where all of God’s riches are:  of kindness, forbearance, and patience (a); bestowing them on all who call on Him (b); where the depth of the wisdom and gnosis knowledge belonging to God dwell (c); It’s how God can “richly provide us with everything to enjoy” (d). <Notes> a) Romans 2:4, b) Romans 10:12, c) Romans 11:33, d) 1 Timothy 6:17.

 

What’s the purpose of Christ “filling up” the saints from the “abundant-fullness of God”?  We’ve already seen in Ephesians 4:7-16, that Christ as the agent impartially gives every Christian from His own singular standard metron “measuring-cup” based purely on unearned, unmerited, unconditional-favor of grace from His singular grace-gift of the Holy Spirit, dispensing individual grace-gifts that vary only by praxis function (a), like church-planting apostling, prophesying, evangelizing/preaching, eldering/shepherding/overseering that also teaches others – see Coaches & Facilitators – BT12.  We have to remember where the difference in the Spirit’s manifestation really lies:  “There are many varieties of activities (b), but it is the same God who habitually energeo effectually works [them] all in all (c) – to each person is given the manifestations of the Spirit for the common good” (d).  <Notes> a) Romans 12:4-6, b) energema: energizing or working or operational effects, c) persons in the Body of Christ, d) 1 Corinthians 12:6-7.

 

These are the “equippers” of Christians.  But it is ALL Christians who “do the work of the ministry” and who are to build up the Body of Christ with their grace-gifts used toward unity of The Faith and/coupled ALL genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knowing Christ, with the purpose to grow up into the mature singular ‘measuring-cup’ of pleroma Christ’s abundant-fullness, so that we aren’t so [easily] deceived by human teachers, like little children can be, but instead speaking The Truth of Christ in/by/with unconditionally-loving, growing up in every way INTO Christ, who is the only Head/leader in which the rest of the Body parts each work together in unity to build itself up by unconditional-love.

 

So the purpose of our Holy Spirit’s “filling” and grace-gifts of “filling” are all to unify the Church by having a common, genuine, experiential, relational knowing of Christ so that together we will grow up in every way into the single “measuring-cup” of Christ’s abundantly-full stature, thus full of The Truth and full of His unconditional-love.  He really is our One Teacher and leader per Matthew 23:8-10 – certainly not the “equippers of the saints” – see Coaches & Facilitators and Teach One Another – BT10  Paul said “there are many varieties of activities (b), but it is the same God who habitually energeo effectually works [them] all in all (c) – to each person is given the manifestations of the Spirit for the common good” (d).  Do we really believe that everybody in the Body is called to a commonness – unity?  Then why isn’t everybody called the “laity” which means “common” and some made special, called “clergy?”  Isn’t this partiality and division?  <Notes> a) Romans 12:4-6, b) energema: energizing or working or operational effects, c) persons in the Body of Christ, d) 1 Corinthians 12:6-7.

 

Too many churches have seriously misunderstood Paul’s teaching – they miss the forest through the trees!  Every Christian is a common minister!  A pastor who has been given a “grace-gift to teach” or is “able to teach,” doesn’t mean he should be called “Teacher,” especially when Jesus made it really clear that there is only “One Teacher” and to “call no man ‘teacher’ (rabbi) because we are ALL brethren” per Matthew 23:8 – see Teach One Another – BT10.

 

Why do many churches insist on misinterpreting Paul’s discussions about the “praxis functioning grace-gift of teaching” and “being able to teach” (a) and “paideuo childlike-training (b)” (c) and “equipping” (d) others (e) and “nourishing the mind” (f) (g) and “exercising/training the mind” (h) (i)?  It really comes down to elevating some men to be “special” and somehow “over” others, but this negates all of Christ’s teaching on authority, titles, and offices, His “only headship,” God’s impartiality, and thus us ALL being equal “brethren.”  <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 2:2, 24, b) paideuo: correcting, chastening, disciplining, as with children, c) 2 Timothy 2:25; Titus 2:12, Acts 22:3, d) katartizo: thoroughly make fit, prepare, e) Hebrews 13:21, f) entrepho: form the mind, educate, g) 1 Timothy 4:6, h) gumnazo: exercise the body or mind, i) 1 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 5:14, 12:11 “Trained by paideuo discipline.”

 

As Christians musicians, are we leading ALL people EQUALLY to “routinely be completely-filled with the content of the abundant-fullness of God by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit?”  Only with God’s enabling-power IN us, can it work OUT of us to do more than we can ask or imagine!  We can’t honestly give what we don’t have!  Are we building The Great Wall by saying NO to the way God works IN and OUT of us – a lifestyle of regular Spirit-baptism overflowing with His signs & wonders of His grace-gifts to build up the Body of Christ unto the full-stature of Christ?  Are we still promoting partiality and favoritism that God gives only some of these grace-gifts nowadays or gives more to some and less to others, thus limiting “ministry” to a select few on our church stages?

 

If our Christian assurance comes from ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding of God that is directly linked to an intimate knowledge of God,” no wonder so many in today’s churches aren’t quite sure where they stand or are going after the said “the sinner’s prayer.”  If God has “riches of His glory” stored up for us in His “abundant-fullness” and tells us to “routinely be filled” by this, who or what is stopping us?  What is our part for getting this?

 

Are Christians worship leaders “supposing” they are the one’s “doing the work of the ministry” when they are only coaches & facilitators “to equip the saints for the actual work of ministry?”  Are the church’s ranking of gifts, creation of a stage-audience format, assigning of who gets to play worship music, deciding who gets the time to speak, and lack of format that allows “everyone to weigh in on what was said” as Paul spoke discussed for a “decent and in order” worship service so “all could prophesy one by one” and so that “all may learn together” helping to actually create division instead of unity toward ALL of us equally experiencing Christ’s unconditional-love and growing up together into Christ’s full stature?

 

Christ as One full measuring-cup of His abundant-fullness of which He gives to us equally without partiality, but are we telling people they have different-sized measuring-cups or that they get less in theirs than others do?  Does it look like those on stage must have bigger cups or more in them?  Is that what we are portraying?  Is that really being impartial like God is?  If we are to honor others more than ourselves, shouldn’t the ‘leaders’ be setting the example by putting all the others on stage or giving them all an equal voice in “speaking to one another, addressing one another, admonishing one another, teaching one another, or weighing in on what was said so that all can learn together and be encouraged?”  Aren’t ALL the members in the Body of Christ actually “the ministers who do the work of ministry?”  Having a unity that builds us ALL up to the fullness of Christ won’t naturally occur until the churches move the New Testament Church model!

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT10

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Relational prayer gets the ball rolling to be empowered by the Spirit for faith and love

 

 

 

 

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Well, let’s see if what we have discussed so far fits into the context of what Paul was saying even earlier in Ephesians 4:1-16.  Living with “humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with each other in unconditional-love, eager to be unified by peace” and “speaking the truth in/by/with unconditional-love” to build up the Body of Christ by the means of unconditional-love are surely ways to “walk in a manner worthy of our calling” (a), and certainly the “best use of one’s time in ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding of the will of the Lord” (b).  Note the emphasis on unconditional-love! <Notes> a) Ephesians 4:1, b) Ephesians 5:17.

 

Ephesians 4:4-16 is one of Paul’s famous side-track tangents because he has to address division/disunity within the Church, which is definitely NOT showing unconditional-love! It also comes from NOT understanding that each Christian is an equal member of Christ’s Body with different praxis functions, so nobody should think more highly of themselves (a) – see Body-Ministry – BT2.  In fact, Jesus said that we were to be like little children (b), servants, and slaves of each other – who never gave orders, but only took them – instead of exercising authority over others like their world’s hierarchies were established (c) – see The Least Among You.  There is only one Head (d) over the Body.  There was nothing “special” in any member of the Body to give reason for the Holy Spirit to give any gifts to any of us – these were all undeserved, unmerited, and unconditional by the definition of charis grace and charismati gift.  There is no first, second, third, etc. ranking or hierarchy of grace-gifts or the people who get them!  1 Corinthians 12:28 “first, second, third, then” series of grace-gifts are simply numbers in the Greek – not ranking!  See Coaches & Facilitators – BT12<Notes> a) Roman 12:3-8, b) Matthew 11:25, 18:3, 19:14; Mark 10:14; Luke 10:21, 18:16, c) Matthew 20:25-28; Mark 10:42-45, d) master or leader who is “above” or “over” anybody.

 

Ranking would also violate the context of 1 Corinthians 12-14 and Paul’s other writings about the equality of the Body and that there is only one Head with ALL authority over the Church (a).  That leaves NO authority for anybody else, regardless of what a pastor says in order to get their way!  Christ prohibited the use of elevating titles such as Father, Rabbi (“Teacher”) or Master (b), because they we are “all brethren” of one another and there is only one Father, one Master (the Lord Jesus), and one Teacher – now Christ’s Holy Spirit, the Parakletos: Wonderful Counselor.  That’s why John confidently said there was “absolutely in fact no need that anyone should teach you, because the anointing of the Holy One (c) that you received from the Father abides/lives in you, and His anointing teaches you about everything” (d).  The “anointing” is always a reference to the indwelling Holy Spirit – now our One Teacher!  See Least Among You – BT5 and Teach One Another<Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 1:22, 5:23; Colossians 1:18, 2:10, 19, b) Matthew 23:7-9, c) 1 John 2:20, d) 1 John 2:27.

 

Let’s go further back to Ephesians 3:14-21 to Paul’s desperate conversational-prayer for all the Christians he intends this letter to circulate to:  “For this reason (a) I presently/ongoingly bow/bend my knees (b) before the Father . . . 16 in order that down-from/according-to the riches of His glory (t) He may grant you to be [passively] strengthened (c) with dunamis enabling-power dia through-the-realizing-channel-of His Spirit (d) within your inner-being (s), 17 [that is,] Christ (e) to dwell (f) through-the-realizing-channel-of The Faith (g) in your hearts, in/by/with unconditional-love – already having been with habitual results (h) rooted (i) and/coupled already having been with habitual results (f) grounded (j) [k] – in order that you definitively/wholly comprehend (l) with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth (m) and/coupled to wholly/definitively experientially, relationally ginosko know the unconditional-love of Christ that ongoingly surpasses gnosis info-knowledge (n) in order that you may be pleroo completely-filled (o) with (p) all the pleroma abundant-fullness (q) of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly (r) than all that we ask or think, down-from/according-to the dunamis enabling-power at work within us (s), 21 to Him be glory/praise in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

 

<Notes> a) resumes v. 1’s “for this reason” after another long parenthetical tangent, b) in worshipful, honoring prayer, c) passive of krataioo: empowered, invigorated, d) this is very close in meaning to en pneumati – by the means/instrument of the Spirit, e) in the accusative cases acts as general reference, f) inhabit us, g) “The Faith” is always a reference to the Christian Faith once for all delivered to the saints per Jude 1:3 – see next paragraph, h) perfect passive participle: with continuing lifestyle results, i) fixed in place, established, strengthened or made firm by roots, j) built on a foundation, k) the phrase “in/by unconditional-love” could possibly be placed here instead without changing the meaning, l) aorist tense of katalambano: ‘wholly accomplish this by seizing or grabbing a hold of, down from’ God, Christ, or the Spirit – see knowledge, m) the dimensions of ‘Christ’s unconditional-love‘ that is following, n) this is likely a slap in the face of the “secret gnosis knowledge” of Gnosticism and the Mystery Religions and even the scholastic gnosis knowledge of the Jews, o) pleroo: crammed full to the brim, completed, satisfied, p) eis:  towards and arriving at, in the genitive introduces the content of the filling in Ephesians 5:18, q) pleroma: that which is complete or abundant, i.e., “the riches of His glory,” which can in turn pleroo fill to completion, r) huperekeina is possible because of God’s pleroma fullness, s) vv. 16, 20:  The Spirit within our mind/heart/inner being, t) akin to “the His abundant-fullness” of Ephesians 3:19.

 

Why was it so important for Paul to appeal to God in conversational-prayer for these Christians to be empowered by the means/instrument of the Spirit to experience the abundant-fullness of God?  Paul’s “for this reason” of Ephesians 3:14 points backward to the “for this reason” of Ephesians 3:1-13, where he explains that the mystery of Christ was revealed to him, as with all the apostles and NT prophets, by the means of the Spirit – that the Gentile Christians are of the same Body of Christ as the Jews who first received the Spirit.  The Spirit by this same unconditional-favor-of-grace has empowered him to be an apostle to preach the unsearchable riches of Christ, so that through the one Church the wisdom of God will be revealed.

 

This is all a continuation of Paul’s thoughts in Ephesians 2:11-22, that the Gentile and Jewish Christians are one in Christ, since the Law of ordinances that made a Jew a Jew had been abolished, reconciling now both kinds of Christians to God into one Body through the cross, giving both access to the Father through one Spirit. The point of all this is verse 22:  “In Christ you also are being built together into a dwelling place (a holy temple) for God by the means of the Spirit.”  The reason why Paul is conversationally-praying in Ephesians 3:14 for Christians to be empowered by the means of the Spirit is because whether being, “rooted and grounded” or “built into a temple dwelling place” or getting wisdom or revelation, they will have to get it the same way the apostles and NT prophets got it – by the means/instrument of the Spirit!

 

“The Faith” refers to their trusting-relying-dependance in Christ when they first heard the logos gospel message of Christ about God’s unconditional-love through Christ.  And this unconditional-love is what now dwells within them as the person of the Holy Spirit – whose very nature is unconditional-love (a), just as God’s nature is (b) – all because of their trusting-relying-faith in Christ.  This is an unconditional-love they had already been rooted into the ground of (c) that also built them on top of the massive foundational Petra Rock of Christ (d) not petros Peter – see The Great Wall – BT4<Notes> a) Galatians 5:22, b) 1 John 4:8, 16, c) as branches into the Vine of Christ, John 15.  The seed needs to get rooted into good ground for it to produce fruit:  Matthew 13:3-8. d) Matthew 7:24-25, 16:18; Luke 6:48; Romans 9:33; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:8.

 

This “rooting and grounding” in unconditional-love isn’t only the beginning “event” of their Christian new birth!  This foundational experience should still be influencing them to the present day, thus Paul’s use of perfect participles for “having already been rooted and grounded with ongoing results.”  So, what is the ‘ongoing result’ of them continuing to exercise “The-trusting-relying-Faith” in the Father, Son, and Spirit’s logos message of unconditional-love given to them by unconditional-favor-of-grace?

 

But more importantly what is the ‘ongoing result’ of God granting Paul’s conversational-prayer in Ephesians 3:16-17 to “be power-strengthened through-the-realizing-channel-of His Spirit IN your inner-being so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through-the-realizing-channel-of trusting-relying-faith?”  A series of ongoing results ensue:  a deepening grasp or comprehension and definitively/wholly, experientially, relationally ginosko knowing of Christ’s unconditional-love that will always eclipse any gnosis info-knowledge that any philosophy or religion could offer!  What counts is not what you know about, but WHO you know personally!  Just as “ongoing results ensue” from encountering the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit here, we see that same “consequence” format in Ephesians 5:18-21 – “Being habitually completely-filled by the means/instrument of the Spirithabitually results in:  “routinely addressing one another . . . singing and/coupled psalming . . . always giving thanks . . . submitting to one another.”  Clearly this Spirit-filling is key!

We see this progression by the 3 uses of “in order that” above conveys:  Conversational-prayer starts the ball rolling.  Paul thus prays that from the “storehouse” of God’s glorious, abundant, full richness that every Christian will be granted empowerment from the Holy Spirit, who is Christ living within them since the time they had first had The Faith in God’s unconditional-love through Christ, granted empowerment to not only mentally grasp but also experientially, relationally know the full dimensions of Christ’s unconditional-love that far surpasses any kind of philosophical or religious head gnosis knowledge, but also granted empowerment to then be completely-filled from God’s abundant-fullness of His glorious riches, according to that same indwelling Holy Spirit.  Conversational-prayer starts the process!

 

We saw Paul praying in Ephesians 1:16-20: “In my proseuche conversational-prayers [I asked] . . . that God . . . might grant God them the Spirit who possesses wisdom and/coupled revelation by the means/instrument of genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge, [them] having had the eyes of their hearts enlightened with routine results toward/reaching you [thus] to having mentally “seen” to perceive/know [with ongoing results]:

 

1)  What is the hope to which He has called you,

 

2)  What are the riches of the glory of His inheritance IN the saints, and/coupled:

 

3) What habitually is the immeasurably-surpassinggreatness of His dunamis enabling-power toward/reaching us who have trusting-relying-faith down-from/according-to the [energetically-effective working of His great endowing, manifesting might.”

 

These Christians who already have the Holy Spirit need more of the Holy Spirit’s wisdom and revelation for these 3 things to ongoingly-result, and so Paul conversationally-prays this for them.  How can Christian can get the same ongoing-results?  By conversationally-praying within a genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God, just like Paul did!  It’s really that simple – simple for the Least Among You to do!

 

The “empowering work of God” that Paul is conversationally-praying for Christians in Ephesians 1:16-20 above and later in Ephesians 3:14-20 to experience is the same that “declared Jesus as the Son of God” (a); the same “dunamis enabling-power of God for our salvation (b) for everyone who has trusting-relying-faith” (c); the same “invisible attributes of God, namely His eternal enabling-power and divine nature” for which all creation shows off (d); the same power that God showed to Pharaoh through the plagues (e); the same enabling-power that creates charismatagrace-gifts” that powerfully affect and enable us individually:  message of wisdom, a message of knowledge, faith (h), healing, performance of miracles, prophecy (divinely given words), discernment of spirits – see New Covenant Ways – BT16, different kinds (family groupings) of tongues, interpretation of tongues (f), in order to powerfully work through us in these services or functions of:  prophecy, services (helps), teaching, exhortation, giving, leading, mercies or compassions (g) in categories of ministry as:  functional grace-gifts of administration as apostles (i) or shepherding (j) and speaking such as prophets, evangelists (preachers), and teachers in addition to grace-gifts of miracles, healing, helps (k), and tongues – the context refers only to the public use of tongues and thus includes interpretation of tongues so that others can benefit from them (l).  There are a 60 or so verses just in the NT about the dunamis enabling-power of God as the Holy Spirit. <Notes> a) Romans 1:4, b) mending wholeness within ourselves, with God, and with others, c) Romans 1:16, d) Romans 1:20, e) Romans 9:17, f) 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, g) 1 Corinthians 12:6-8, h) to do miracles, “to move mountains”, i) “sent out” ones, church-planters, j) pastors such as: elders, presbyters, or bishops, k) physically serving, l) Ephesians 4:7-11, 1 Corinthians 12:28.

 

We have one part to play to get the ball rolling!  It is to drawing near to God through Christ (a) with the single-mindness of trusting-relying-faith (b) or confidence (c) or a full assurance of trusting-relying-faith (d) or related hope (e), by having trusting-relying-faith that God is there to be found and that He rewards those who habitually seek Him (f).  See Conversational-Prayer. <Notes> a) Hebrews 7:25, b) James 4:8, c) Hebrews 4:16, d) Hebrews 10:22, e) Hebrews 7:19, f) Hebrews 11:6.

 

As much as Paul relies on the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit, he knew the part we play.  We’ve seen 3 places in Ephesians where he desparetly conversationally-prays to God to invoke the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit (a).  In Romans 12:12 he says, “habitually be earnest towards (b) proseuche conversational-prayer,” including it in a list of Christian actions, likely as a practical way to “ongoingly not be conformed to this world, but being ongoingly transformed by the means of the anakainosis completely different-in-kind ‘making new within’ of your mind/heart/innermost-being, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God.” <Notes> a) Ephesians 1:16, 3:14, 6:18, b) persevere, diligent, attend assiduously.

 

In Colossians 4:2 Paul says,Ongoingly be earnest towards (a) proseuche conversational-prayer, habitually watching (b) in it with thanksgiving.”  Why?  Because he understands that if we pray like he did, we can also be filled with the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God’s will, as Paul said earlier in Colossians 1:9-12, “We have not ceased to proseuchomai conversationally-pray for you and/coupled asking [God] in order that you might be filled with the genuine, experiential, relational, epignosis knowledge of God’s will by all [kinds of] Spirit-kind-of sophia wisdom and sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding.  Clearly this is how we “learn, discern, or understand” God’s will – through revelation by the means of the Spirit!  But the whole process starts with proseuche conversational-prayer! <Notes> a) persevere, diligent, attend assiduously, b) staying awake, alert, attentive, vigilant.

 

That’s why Paul realizes in 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, that although the road to the final judgment of God is very long and there is much affliction and suffering expected from persecution, the only way these Christians are going to get there is by God’s enabling-power and this takes conversational-prayer:  “To this end we always proseuchomai conversationally-pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every one [of your] delights (a) of/belonging-to goodness and/coupld [the, singular] work of/belonging-to [the, singular] trusting-relying-faith by the means of His dunamis enabling-power, 12 [in a manner so] that the name/reputation of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in/among you, and you in Him, down-from/according-to the unconditional-favor-of-grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Paul knows that we desperately need God’s Spirit-power to “fulfill” our “delight in goodness” and our “work to keep the faith” or “the work of faith and labor of love” in 1 Thessalonians 1:3. This certainly is Paul’s “slap” across the teachers of the Law who push the “works of the Law.”  This is the only way Christians can become a reflection of Christ, to get the grace of the Father and Son from heaven down to earth – to see His kingdom coming!  Can you see why the “work of faith” even depends on the Holy Spirit’s enabling-power, but it all starts with our conversational-prayer!

 

As Christian musicians, are we still promoting a hierarchy of ‘leadership’ with the ranking of people, offices, or titles?  It naturally causes division, disunity, and favoritism contrary to the unconditional-love and impartiality that Jesus and Paul taught, but it hasn’t stopped most churches from disobeying them!  Jesus said, “You only have One Father, One Leader, and One Teacher and all of us are simply brethren.”  If ALL authority has been given to Jesus, what is left for any of us to “exercise over” others?  Is our approach to the organization of most churches actually helping to create The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in those churches?

 

Do we have the same reasons to routinely conversationally-pray as Paul does:  To be “empowered,” to be “rooted and grounded in Christ’s unconditional-love,” to be “built into a temple dwelling place,” or to “get wisdom or revelation,” knowing that ALL this ONLY comes by the means/instrument of the Spirit?  There is a whole cascade of “ongoing results” that ensue from this kind of devoted prayer to be “power-strengthened through-the-realizing-channel-of His Spirit IN your inner-being” such as:  Mentally ‘seeing’ to perceive/know God’s hope that He has for us or His riches of the glory of God’s inheritance for us, experiencing the immeasurably-surpassing-greatness of God’s enabling-power that comes from His own “might & power” through our own trusting-relying-faith in Him, having a deepening experiential knowledge of the extent of Christ’s unconditional-love that far surpasses book-learning, and finally all this in order to be completely-filled by all the abundant-fullness of God.”  All this is a result of “routinely being completely-filled by the means/instruments of the Spirit” and that is the results of routinely, conversationally praying!  Paul loves to lay out the process like a lawyer presenting a case!

 

Instead of ‘leaders’ hogging the ball and creating division, the natural result of the Spirit’s work is for everybody to be sharing in ministry and worship, overflowing with gratitude, and submitting to each other.  So many churches preach about unity and create programs to create such a “form or appearance” of it, hoping that their work will actually create such unity.  However, they aren’t committed to devotion of “conversational prayer” that actually brings about “the Spirit’s filling” that actually brings about all the other “ongoing results” very naturally by the enabling-power of God’s Spirit so that God gets all the credit for the work!  There’s a 100 verses about the Spirit’s enabling-power that makes godliness actually possible so that’s it’s not just “a form of godliness that denies the enabling-power thereof!”  Religion makes things complicated, but devoted conversational-prayer is simple enough for even the uneducated “least among us.”

 

Of the 5 things that Christians were “devoted” to in the early Church, conversational-prayer is the only one mentioned the most per Acts 1:14, 2:42, 6:4 and the only one that we are imperatively, strongly-urged to do habitually per Romans 12:12, Colossians 4:2, and Ephesians 6:18.  Sadly, it’s almost last priority in most churches, and you can see their “ongoing results!”

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT9

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Holy renewal of our New Man comes by the Holy Spirit through intimate relationship

 

 

 

 

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Now in Ephesians 4:23-24 Paul tells Christians to do the opposite of their previous “dark” lifestyle:  “to be ongoingly renewed (a) by the means/instrument of the Spirit (b) of/belonging-to your mind (c), and/coupled to put upon oneself like clothes (d) the completely different-in-kind kainos New Self.”  The humanist view that this “spirit of the mind” refers to our human spirit, even that of unregenerate man, ignores all of Paul’s writings about the Holy Spirit dwelling within the New Christian’s mind, heart, or innermost being (b)!  It also violates the context that focuses on what God has given us to live the Christian life – not our religious works we can boast in!  Most Greek scholars do NOT see this “to put on” (e) as a reference to the one-time act of regeneration that a Christian passively “received or welcomed” (f) when they actively lambano “took a hold of” Christ in order to be saved<Notes> a) ananeoo in the passive voice: renovated, reformed in the mind or innermost being, b) en pneumati, c) mind, heart, and innermost-being are used interchangeably by Paul – see Identity, d) enduo: put on like clothes, for one’s own benefit, e) enduo in the aorist tense, middle voice, f) apodechomai – Acts 2:41, dechomai – 1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 Thessalonians 2:13; James 1:21.

 

In this latter sense, Paul speaks in Titus 3:5, “When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us for righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the paliggensia washing of regeneration (a) and/coupled anakainosis renewal (b) of/belonging-to the Holy Spirit, whom He already poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that already having being made/declared righteous by His unconditional-favor-of-grace we might [in the future] become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”  <Notes> a) paliggensia:  ‘birthing/beginning again’ thus “born-again” either physically of thecreation at Christ’s 2nd coming in Matthew 19:28, cf. Romans 8:18-25, or here of the “New Creation” Christian, b) anakainosis: complete renovation or change from a corrupted life to a completely different-in-kind, New life within you.

 

Anakainosis regenerational renewal is the giving of completely different-in-kind kainos New life within you by being “born-again” into a radically different-in-kind kainos New Covenant, whereas ananeo “new-in-time-within you” renewal is like Lamentations 3:23 “Your mercies are new every morning” change of daily clothes, but certainly both are accomplished by the means of the Holy Spirit!

 

Many scholars see the aorist tense and middle voice of enduo “to put on” in verse 23 above as the reflexive action of “putting on oneself the new self’s clothes (behavior) for the benefit of one’s own self,” with the action viewed as a whole or in its entirety, regardless of the amount of time it takes to accomplish, with the focus on “getting the job done,” not so much on the ongoing process that it actually takes. They do so because the surrounding text emphasizes current behavior, not the historically past salvation of these Christians.  Therefore, in context, this translates best as “get the job done of putting on oneself for one’s own benefit the fresh, clean clothes (behaviors) of the completely different-in-kind New Self.”

 

This completely different-in-kind “New Self” was already created once-and-for-all-time inside Christians “after the likeness of God in true righteousness or “right-living” and/coupled holiness – sacred separateness or consecration for the ordinary or unclean world.  We are already made right and holy unto God by Christ’s righteousness and holiness!  However, the practical application of this “putting on the new clothes” is that Christians are now to speak the truth, viewing others as “neighbors, members of one another,” not “letting the sun go down on their anger,” giving “no opportunity for the devil,” doing “honest work to be able to share with others,” giving “grace to others and building them up with our speech,” and “not grieving the Holy Spirit but instead being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving as Christ has forgiven them.”  These are samples of the “fresh, clean clothes” they are to regularly put on themselves.

 

However, it is possible that Paul could have been using the aorist tense of enduo “to put on” as he had been all along in the immediate context of Ephesians 4:20-22, to simply remind the Christians of what they had already done, so that this remembrance will then affect their current behavior as well.  They already [aorist tense] learned, heard, and were taught Christ, but their decision in the [aorist] past to become a Christian was all or nothing.  Once you do “put off” and “put on” in order to become a Christian, you are locked into that same decision process for a lifetime:  “20But that is not the way you [aorist] learned Christ! – 21 assuming that you have [aorist] heard about Him and were [aorist] taught . . . 22 to [aorist] put off (a) your old self, [which is] down from/according-to/in-the-same-manner-as your former conduct (behavior) and is habitually corrupted through deceitful desires.” <Notes> a) apotithemi, aorist reflexive: put away, cast off.

 

This seems to be Paul’s “since you have been, now ongoingly” reasoning also in Colossians 3:1-11, where he uses similar words:  Since you [aorist] have already been raised with Christ, ongoingly seek the things that are above, . . .  ongoingly set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you [aorist] have already died, and your life [aorist] was already hidden with Christ in God. . . . Therefore [introducing present action based on past actions] definitely put to death (a) what is earthly in you:  sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. . . .  In these you too [aorist] once walked, when you [aorist] were living in them. But now [presently] you must definitely put off (b): anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Ongoingly do not lie to one another, [aorist] having already put off (c) the old self with its [current] practices 10 and/coupled [aorist] having already put on (d) the completely different-in-kind kainos New Self, which is presently, ongoingly being [passively] renewed (e) toward/reaching genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge down-from/according-to the image of its (the new self’s) Creator.”  <Notes> a) sometimes the aorist is viewed in entirety but here it’s used emphatically as ‘most definitively’ or ‘get it done,’ b) apotithemi, aorist reflexive: viewed as a whole, definitively: put away, cast off, c) apekduomai, aorist participle: past tense put off/away completely from, d) enduo, aorist reflexive participle is past tense in relation to the current renewal, e) anakainoo: complete renovation or change from a corrupted life to a completely different-in-kind, kainos New life within you.

 

Can you see that Paul appeals to the Christian’s past re-generational decision to “put off and to put on the new man” to remind them that they are similarly “locked into” discontinuing the “practices” of the “old man” and continuing the practices of the “new man?”  He doesn’t leave them with this daunting task to do all by themselves as “works religion” would have, but reminds them that the “new man” is ongoingly, radically being renewedBut how?  The answer is the key to the Christian life!

 

Being ongoingly made completely different-in-kind when the “renewal” is directed toward and reaching the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of the New Man’s “image of the Creator,” which we know is Christ per Colossians 1:15 and 2 Corinthians 4:4.  Holiness doesn’t come from reading scripture but making intimate contact with God through Christ by the Spirit!  That is how the New Man becomes renewed!  It is a work by the means of the Holy Spirit as we stay in intimate relationship with the Lord!

 

The danger in all of Paul’s letters is our tendency to focus on the many “do and don’t” verses, but then gloss over the “how to make holiness even possible” verses.  Too often we think by memorizing the “do’s and don’t” passages, turning them into even more than the 613 commandments than the Jews had (the internet says there are 1050 NT commandments, when I could only find 2), and setting off to obey all this “for Christ” or “in the name of Christ,” that this is what Christianity is all about – where the rubber meets the road.

 

Even here in this Ephesians 4:22-24 passage, it was easy to gloss over the “means/instrument” in which our “ongoing renewal, renovation, or reformation” is actually being done passively to us – “to be ongoingly renewed by the means/instrument of the Spirit of/belonging-to your mind/heart/inner-being.”  Here is Paul’s entire point:  The entire [aorist] definitive lifetime habit of “effectively putting on oneself for our own benefit the clothes of the completely different-in-kind New Man” comes as a result of the ongoing process of our mind/heart/innermost-self being renewed by the means of the Holy Spirit.  Let’s not get the cart before the horse!  The first makes the second possible.

 

In fact, the conjunction kai many bibles translate “and” means much more than this in Greek.  In Greek, de is more like our word “and,” translated as “also, next, etc.”  However, kai connects ideas together (is copulative), thus relating them, and sometimes even has a cumulative emphasis, so it can be translated “and even, or indeed.”  And in Greek the word order is what brings out the emphasis!  Paul’s emphasis is in the right place:  To [aorist] definitely “put off your old self’s” behavior like dirty clothes is kai connected to being ongoingly renewed by the Spirit that’s in your mind/heart/innermost being, which is cumulatively kai even how we are to [aorist definitively put on the New Man’s behaviors as fresh, clean clothes!  The Holy Spirit is how you become holy!

 

Paul speaks elsewhere of “renewal” as the key to practical sanctification or holiness.  In Romans 12:2, he says: “Ongoingly do not in possibility be conformed to this world, but be ongoingly transformed by the anakainosis renewal (a) of your mind, in order that by testing you may discern what is the will of God” – see New Covenant Ways – BT16.  This “transformation by renewal” is a “continuous process through which man becomes more fully Christ-like, being a co-worker with God.” Note that Paul again says this takes place in the Christian’s mind, heart, or innermost being.  Paul uses the verb form anakainoo in 2 Corinthians 4:16 to describe his evangelistic team’s reaction to persecution: “Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is anakainoo being renewed day by day.”  We saw the only other use in Colossians 3:9-10 above:  Ongoingly do not lie to one another, [aorist] having already put off the old self with its [current] practices and/coupled [aorist] having already put on the completely different-in-kind kainos New Self, which is presently, ongoingly being [passively] anakainoo renewed toward-and-arriving at genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge down-from/according-to the image of its (the new self’s) Creator.” <Notes> a) anakainoo: complete renovation or change from a corrupted life to a completely different-in-kind, kainos New life within you.

 

As Christian musicians, we know that the ongoing renewal of our mind/heart/innermost-being is what leads to changed behavior, like daily putting on clean clothes, but is this done through the work of religious disciplines that we are often taught like fasting, daily reading & study of the bible, faithful tithing, and regular attendance of church?  Paul says No!  He says this renewal is accomplished “by the means/instrument of the Spirit” or “the renewal that belongs to the Holy Spirit” – the Holy Spirit is the only one that can make you holy.  This day-by-day renewal is how we are metamorphically transformed instead of being conformed to the world, and the result is discerning through practice what God’s will is.  This knowledge isn’t gained by reading and studying scripture or any other “discipline” that the church is pitching.

 

However, just as with “routinely being completely-filled by the means/instrument of the Spirit,” the question is “What is our part?  What do we do?”  A major clue is that the “New Self is ongoingly renewed toward/reaching genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge [that is] down-from/according-to the image of its Creator.”  Jesus is the exact image of God!  “Renewal and filling” is  NOT going to come from reading and studying scripture or any other “discipline” routinely preached to us, but ONLY if we move toward and reach an intimate relationship with Christ.

 

Holiness doesn’t come from reading, studying, or working to obey scripture through so many “disciplines” taught us –  that’s the Old Testament way, which is also common to all religions.  Paul says in Colossians 2:6-23, “they certainly have an appearance of wisdom but absolutely are in fact of no value in actually curbing the indulgence of the flesh.”  Only making intimate relational contact with God through Christ by the means/instrument of the Spirit will!  But then “What is our part?  What do we do?”  That will be in the next BLOG.

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT8

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More about God’s will and the Holy Spirit in the context of Ephesians 5:18

 

 

 

 

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Let’s look at what Paul has said so far about God’s will in Ephesians.  It’s pretty darn clear that Christians are to routinely look to the Holy Spirit to “completely-fill themselves up” with “the abundant-fullness of God’s riches in glory,” which is “the abundant zoe genuine-life that is Christ’s prophetic rhema words and Spirit (a) instead of getting filled up with booze that leads to sin.  Being filled to drunkenness by booze is a waste of your valuable time, especially to resultantly continue in the darkness of this world.  However, being completely-filled by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit leads us to using our valuable time to please the Lord while living in the light of Christ, leading us to routinely do such things as personal and community worship, thanking the Lord in all situations, and submissively, unconditionally-loving others. <Notes> a) John 6:63, 10:10.

 

Long after I did this study, one night the Lord gave me an all-night dream where I saw myself drinking really good nut-brown ales at a local bar.  As I “filled myself” I heard the Lord say, “Every time you drink, you choose between these ‘spirits’ and My Holy Spirit.”  Then I looked down and saw rows and rows of bottles of booze and remembered seeing the sign “spirits sold here” in so many bars and liquor stores.  Then I saw myself drinking in evil spirits with each gulp.  I couldn’t believe that I was making that choice!  It made me sick that I was choosing liquor in one form or another instead of the Holy Spirit.  Since then, I have had much less desire to even taste wine, beer, or ‘the hard stuff’ – and I used to pick wines out with the owner of a restaurant!  That is the Spirit-power of directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words of God – it really gets your attention and it alone is inherently powerfully-enabling enough to cause you to obey the Lord.  Reading bible commandments has never resulted in this ability!  But how do we really “drink from the living water” of the Holy Spirit, to “be filled, even get drunk on God, by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit?  I asked that question for a long time!

 

Let’s see if what we have concluded so far fits into the context of what Paul was saying earlier.  Ephesians 5:1-6 talks about imitating God as beloved children by walking/living unconditional, sacrificial love just as Christ did for us.  Certainly this is God’s will clearly stated, as unconditional-love is one of only 2 NT commandments!  We are repetitively warned to turn our backs on the lifestyle of this “dark” world that will certainly bring God’s wrath:  sexual immorality, impurity, covetousness, filthy language and crude joking.  According to Ephesians 4:17-32, this futile thinking, darkened understanding, hardness of heart, alienation from God’s life, sensuality, impurity, deceitful desires, lying, stealing, corrupt speech, bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, malice, and slander is how we lived BEFORE we “learned Christ, heard of Him, were taught the truth by [the means of] Him – not through a bible about Him – and put off our old self and put on the new self, which was created after the likeness of God in holiness.”  The Holy Spirit is the only way we can become holy ourselves!  That seems obvious!  But that doesn’t stop the religious from trying!

 

As Christian musicians, “routinely being completely-filled with the abundant-fullness of God by the means/instrument of the Spirit” is what actually leads us into discovering God’s will, not by reading, studying, or memorizing scripture!  But “how do we get this,” you may ask?  I’ve been told a 100 times, “by fasting, by daily reading and studying your bible, by regularly tithing, and be faithfully serving your church.”  But the New Testament actually doesn’t say this!

 

Certainly scripture tells us some things about God’s will:  It warns us to flee from the evil of this world because of the wrath facing it and tells us some things of what to embrace, especially the only 2 NT commandments of trusting-relying-faith in Christ and unconditionally-loving one another just as Christ did for us.  However, as we’ve seen most of what it says about God’s will is that you will have to practice discerning between good and evil by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit – see New Covenant Ways – BT16?

 

But does the NT tell us the “how-to” for this discernment?  Or how to “routinely being completely-filled with the abundant-fullness of God by the means/instrument of the Spirit?”  We will explore that in the next BLOG!

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT7

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The Spirit’s sword of rhema words also comes BY the means of the Spirit through prayer

 

 

 

 

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In Ephesians 6:10-20 Paul talks about putting on the “whole armor of God” and part of this in verses 17-18 is “taking . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the directly-spoken rhema word (a) of God . . . dia through-the-realizing-channel-of of all (b) proseuche conversational-prayer (c) and/coupled deesis supplication (d), at every [single] time, habitually proseuchomai conversationally-praying BY the means/instrument of the Spirit.”  Paul isn’t saying to go into battle using any graphe scripture consisting of OT gramma letters or even NT gramma writings or even about the preached logos gospel message as “the sword of the Spirit,” despite all the preaching that has come from pulpits!  No, “the sword” is clearly the prophetic rhema-words that God reveals directly to you through habitual, devoted, patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, proseuche conversational prayer, which we know is distinct but often is done alongside deesis supplication, as is here.  <Notes> a) rhema: directly-spoken prophetic word, never written, b) pas in singular: the whole of or more likely, every of a kind of c) proseuche: devoted, patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, conversational prayer, d) deesis: expression of personal petitions of need.

 

Sadly, most of us think that this conversational prayer is the same as deesis supplication, when the latter is supposed to only be a small part of the practice of prayerProseuche is much more about alertly watching and listening (a) for God to reveal Himself than for us to talk to God!  Proseuche prayer is supposed to be a dialogue, not the monologue of deesis supplication of telling God what we want.  This is in keeping with the reliance we will see that Paul has on proseuche conversational-prayer for everything else in Christianity (b).  <Notes> a) not falling asleep – Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; Luke 22:46, b) Ephesians 1:15-16, 3:14, 6:18; Romans 1:10, 8:26, 10:1, 12:12, 15:30; 1 Corinthians 7:5, 11:4-5, 13, 14:13-15; 2 Corinthians 1:11, 9:14, 13:7-9; Philippians 1:3, 4, 9, 1:19, 4:2, 6; Colossians 1:3, 9, 4:2-3, 12; 1 Thessalonians 1:2, 3:10, 5:17, 25; 2 Thessalonians 1:11, 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:1, 8, 4:5, 5:5; 2 Timothy 1:3; Philemon 1:4, 6, 22.

 

As Christian musicians, are we believing the erroneous preaching that the bible is “the sword of the Spirit” to do battle against Satan with, when it’s actually the prophetic rhema words of God directly revealed to you by the means/instrument of the Spirit through the habitual proseuche dialogue of conversational prayer along with the monologue of deesis supplication?

 

Such habitual prayer is the ONLY key I could find in the New Testament to starting the whole “personal holiness” ball rolling.  Isn’t it strange that although you find this practice of seeking, conversational-prayer to be a dominant reason for revivals and actually the dominant practice during revivals (see Cure of All Ills by Dr. Mary Stewart Relfe), you see very little of it in the modern Church today?  If you do see any prayer, it’s usually a ritualistic reciting of the Lord’s Prayer (I listened to this for a year while playing for a United Methodist church) or by using Rosary Beads when I was a Catholic as a kid!  And you sure don’t see that many books on conversational-prayer either!  However, I do highly recommend 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice by Mark & Patti Virkler!

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT6

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The nitty-gritty of Ephesians 5:18 “being filled BY the means of the Spirit”

 

 

 

 

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Now about the nitty-gritty of Ephesians 5:18:  “Being filled” is something we can only ask for to be done to us because it is in the passive voice, just as “being submissive to one another” is passive – yielding to another’s actions.  Based on the Greek grammar and context, most Greek scholars don’t see these present participle routines of “active practices” or “passive submission” as a formula that brings about or causes us to “be routinely filled by the Spirit,” but instead these participles are the empowering results of “being routinely filled by the Spirit,” just as debauchery and all kinds of other sins simply are the result of being routinely filled by wine to the point of drunkenness!  There is a “power” to both kinds of “spirit!”  Paul is asking us to choose between what we want to have “power” over us.  This is keeping with Paul’s theology of God’s indwelling Spirit-empowerment:  “It is God that works in you, both to desire (will) and to do (work) His good pleasure” (a).  Paul doesn’t need to give us a formula, partially because he has already told us the means/instrument in which to “be routinely filled” – it’s “by the Spirit.”  I can attest to many, many things radically changing in my life after every one of my Spirit-baptisms, so I can definitely agree to these ‘results’ being very natural when you are being naturally “led by the Spirit” (b) and “walking by the Spirit” (c) and “keeping in step with the Spirit” (d).  It seems that more Christians should inquire “how-to” do this!  <Notes> a) Philippians 2:13, b) Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18, c) Romans 8:4; Galatians 5:16, d) Galatians 5:25.

 

This phrase en pneumati in the dative case throughout Paul’s writings always refers to the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit.  Too many bibles erroneously translate this as “with the Spirit,” which is called the Spirit-Filled view.” However, choosing the “with” [the content of] translation can radically distort your view of the nature of the Holy Spirit and thus your interaction with Him.  The Holy Spirit is not like inanimate water or wine that you can be filled more or less with.  The Holy Spirit is “living water” because the Holy Spirit is the nature of the living person of Christ – see Prophetic Rhema – B12 and Identity page.  You can’t have more or less of a person!  That’s a good enough reason for rejecting the “with” [the content of] translation.

 

It is just as incorrect to think Christians can repeatedly be “filled WITH the content of the Spirit (a), because the Holy Spirit is a whole person that comes to dwell in a person, once and for all, sealed upon conversion (b)!  Again, if we don’t have “the Spirit of Christ,” we are then not “in the Spirit but still in the flesh” and therefore “do not belong to Christ” (c).  You are either “of the flesh” or “of the Spirit!”  The Spirit is not a Star War’s “force” that we can get more or less of.  The Spirit is not a quantity of “living water” or “light” or “electricity” or anything else that we can get more or less of.  The Spirit is a divine person, almost always in the masculine case!  However, if we refer to the enabling-power (d) or anointing (e) of the Holy Spirit, then we sometimes see the neuter case and can speak of varying quantities.  <Notes> a) the ‘Spirit-filled’ translational viewpoint, incorrectly translating the preposition en followed by the dative case as “with” as if it were the genitive of content used in Ephesians 3:19 of ‘the fullness of God’, b) Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; Galatians 4:6; Romans 5:5, c) Romans 8:9, d) Micah 3:8; Zechariah 4:6; Luke 1:35, 4:14; Acts 1:8, 10:38; Romans 1:4, 15:13, 19; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Ephesians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:7, e) 1 John 2:20, 27.

 

We can’t get more of a person, but we can get more of what they offer!  For example, we often see Paul proseuchomai conversationally-praying for Christians to get more “wisdom and revelation that Spirit alone possesses (a) by the means of genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Christ” (b). Christians have already been enlightened (c) when the Holy Spirit came into them, but Paul uses the perfect participle in Ephesians 1:18 to indicate:  “the eyes of your heart having been enlightened” with continuing lifestyle results, even implying that this to happen again and again! <Notes> a) and here is willing to share, b) Ephesians 1:16-20, c) Hebrews 6:4, 10:32.

 

You can be “filled” with more of the “fullness” or “abundance” or “the riches of the glory” of the content of God the Father, that is, to “become partakers” or “companion, fellowshipping sharers” (a) of “His eternal power and divine nature” (b), to experience more of Christ, who is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature” (c).  And you can get this “filling BY the means/instrument of the Spirit,” but we have to remember that Christ is still the agent – without Him, no grace-gift of the Holy Spirit nor His supernatural grace-gifts of ministry (d) would be given (e).  We owe everything to Christ!  <Notes> a) 2 Peter 1:4, b) Romans 1:20, c) Hebrews 1:3, d) Romans 11:29, 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1; Hebrews 2:4, e) Ephesians 4:7-16.

 

Nevertheless, as Douglas Petrovich stated for his Master of Divinity thesis in The Meaning of En Pneumati  in Ephesians 5:18 “Therefore, it must be concluded that the Spirit-Filled” view cannot be maintained as an acceptable interpretation of en pneumati in Ephesians 5:18, as the weaknesses of the view seems insurmountable.”  His 51 pages are exhaustingly detailed!  Another Greek scholar, of which many other scholars quote, Daniel B Wallace in Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the NT on pg. 375 says:

 

“There are no other examples in biblical Greek in which en + the dative case (i.e., pneumati) after pleroo (be filled) indicates content [for a translation of “with the Spirit.”  Further, the parallel with en + the dative case (i.e., by wine) as well as the common grammatical category of means/instrument when en is followed by the dative case, suggest that the idea intended by Paul is that believers are to be filled by the means/instrument of the [Holy] Spirit.  However, there seems to be an unnamed agent!  The meaning of this text can only be fully appreciated in light of the use of pleroo throughout Ephesians. Always the term is used in connection with a member of the Trinity. Three considerations seem to be key:

 

1) In Ephesians 3:19 Paul’s kneeling request from God that the believers ‘be pleroo completely-filled with (a) all the pleroma abundant-fullness (b) of God’.  The explicitly stated content of pleroo is thus “with all of God’s pleroma abundant-fullness.” <Notes> a) eis: toward and arriving at, introduces content, b) pleroma from pleroo: that which is complete or abundant, which can in turn fill to completion something else.

 

2) In Ephesians 4:10 “He who descended is the One who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might pleroo completely-fill all things.”  Christ is said to be the agent of the filling, with v. 11 adding the specifics of His giving spiritual grace-gifts (not people, positions, offices, or titles): “And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and/coupled teachers…”

 

3) The author then brings his argument to a crescendo in Ephesians 5:18: Christians are “to be completely-filled [‘from the agent of Christ’ in Ephesians 4:10] by the means/instrument of the Spirit [‘with the content of all the fullness of God’ in Ephesians 3:19].”

 

As stated above, with the pneumati dative case ofSpirit,” the preposition en always denotes that the Spirit is the means/instrument by which you can be pleroo completely-filled, thus termed the “instrumental view,” which many scholars hold to but unfortunately is represented only in a few bibles that I could find:  Holman’s Christian Standard Bible, Lexham English Bible, and the New English Translation BibleThe Contemporary English Version has “Don’t destroy yourself by getting drunk, but let the Spirit fill your life,” which brings out the passive voice but erroneously implies the agent is the Spirit, though we have seen Christ is from Ephesians 4:10. Young’s Literal Translation says “But be filled in the Spirit,” erroneously treating the preposition en as the Dative of Location, which is very abstract and non-practical in parallel with a very concrete and practical exhortation to stop be filled by wine!   Finally, the Phillips translation has “Don’t get your stimulus from wine (for there is always the danger of excessive drinking), but let the Spirit stimulate your souls.” It’s really quite crazy the “artistic license” translators take with a sacred text!

 

Some scholars mentioned above that support the “by the means/instrument of the Spirit” “instrumental viewpoint” include:  Ephesians – a Bible Study, by Frederick Widdowson, Major Bible Themes, Lewis Sperry Chafer, John F. Walvoord, The Holy Spirit and the Effect of His Indwelling and Infilling Ministries on the Christian Life, Andrew S. Kulikovsky, The Filling of the Holy Spirit – A Quality of Life, Dr. Tommy Ice, The Moody Bible Commentary, Michael Rydelnic, Michael Vanlaningham, How to Enjoy the Bible, E. W. Bullinger, Filled with the Holy Spirit, Dr. W. A. Criswell.  Even Billy Graham in his book The Holy Spirit on pp. 117-120 says “The Bible teaches there are many fillings – in fact, we are to be continuously filled by the Holy Spirit.”  John F. MacArthur in Charismatic Chaos on p. 314 says regarding Ephesians 5:18 “As the Israelites gathered manna daily, the Christian must be kept filled by the Spirit daily.” And in The MacArthur New Testament Commentary on Acts 1-12 on p.19, he says “They need to experience the release of that power in their lives . . . and being continually filled and controlled by the Spirit.”  You can do your own internet search and you’ll see there is a lot of confusion on this subject, and some have tried hard to clear up the confusion between “with the Spirit” and “by the means/instrument of the Spirit.”

 

Paul uses the same en pneumati  phrase in the dative case earlier in Ephesians 2:21-22, “In Christ, the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy Temple in the Lord.  In Him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by [the means of] the Spirit.”  The whole passage makes it clear that the Spirit is the means/instrument by which the Body of Christ, or Church, is unified into the Temple of God.  Later in Ephesians 3:5, Paul refers to “the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the means/instrument of the Spirit.”  Again, the Spirit is the means/instrument of revealing Christ to His servants, though the Father ultimately is the revealer (a) even though the Son also selects who to reveal the Father to (b).  Although the Father or Son may be the agents of revelation, the Holy Spirit is always the means/instrument of this revelation (c).  Paul says:  “God has revealed these things to us dia through-the-realizing-channel-of His Spirit” (d).  Again, God (context: the Father) is the agent, the direct object is “these things,” the indirect object is “us,” and the “channel or conduit” that the revelation flows through to work on “these things” to get them “to us” is the Holy Spirit!  The Holy Spirit is the interface! <Notes> a) Matthew 11:25, 16:17, b) Matthew 11:27, c) Luke 2:26, d) 1 Corinthians 2:10.

 

As Christian musicians, shouldn’t we be asking how to get “routinely be filled to completion by the means/instrument of the Spirit,” which naturally produces an incredible “party” atmosphere to worship the Lord in?  Isn’t this easier that have Worship Team meetings to “program” a worship service?  Isn’t this “getting the cart before the horse?”  Why are we trying to do the Spirit’s work that naturally moves God’s people to zealously worship the Lord by “psalms, hymns, and Spirit-kind-of songs?”

 

Are we caught up in the Star-Wars mythology that the Spirit is a “force” to get more or less of, when He is a whole person that you either have or don’t?  Instead, we are to be “routinely filled WITH the content of all the abundant-fullness of God the Father BY the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit.”  Let’s get our language and understanding right!  What we want MORE of is what God has to offer!  We want MORE of is the singular fruit/nature of the Spirit of God that is unconditional-love with its “flavors” described as Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Mastery” per Galatians 5:22-23.  We want MORE of His wisdom and understanding to discern His will through revelation by the Spirit – see New Covenant Ways – BT16.  We want MORE of the enabling-power of the Spirit.  We can’t actually have MORE of Him as the indwelling Spirit, but we can have MORE of His “abundant-fullness” or “riches of His glory.”  We can’t have MORE of His Spirit, but MORE of what the Spirit does to influence us to partake in God’s holy nature.   Let’s go for the right MORE!  James says that “You don’t receive because you ask wrongly!”

 

The only part we play for ALL of this to happen is surrendering ourselves in perserchomai drawing-near-to-God prayerful-worship much like proseuchomai conversational-praying as we routinely ask, seek, and knock (A.S.K.) for this grace-gift of the Holy Spirit’s filling of God’s abundance, waiting patiently as we watch and listen for God to answer.  It’s up to God to do the rest!  Now that takes trusting-relying-faith!

 

Without Christ being the agent by first asking the Father to give us the Holy Spirit, and then giving the Church grace-gifts by the means/instrument of the Spirit, none of this “complete-filling of God” would be possible!  I could only find 3 bibles that accurately depict the Holy Spirit as the means/instrument for our filling.  This is pitiful even when so many scholars have shown this to be true throughout Paul’s uses of this Greek phrase en pneumati.  That’s why so much false doctrine “blows through the churches!”

 

Therefore, Paul is saying in Ephesians 5:18 something like this:  If you want a great ‘buzz’ worth seeking and really want to “party,” then “routinely ask, seek, or knock” for your glass/life to be “completely-filled with the contents of the abundant, rich, glorious fullness of God, through the giver Christ, by the means of the Holy Spirit.”  Simply do this in patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, conversational-prayer instead of “routinely asking” your bartender to ‘fill’er up’ with beer, wine, or any other unholy ‘spirit,’ because getting drunk on these things IS a self-indulgent, reckless waste of your valuable time in this evil, dark work.  Instead, focus your time on being more in the light by routinely ‘filling up’ on God by the means/instrument of Holy Spirit!

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT5

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The context of Ephesians 5:18 filling by the Holy Spirit tells us more about God’s will

 

 

 

 

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Now let’s get back to how all this ties into Ephesians 5:18 I mentioned earlier:  “And/coupled I strongly urge you do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery (a) but be routinely filled by the means/instrument of the Spirit.” <Notes> a) waste due to reckless, excessive, extravagant, self-indulgent, wanton, profligate, behavior along with its dire consequences.

 

We will get to the nitty-gritty but let’s first look at the immediate context leading up to this in Ephesians 5:15-17, “Therefore, look carefully how you walk (live), not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be foolish, but sunemi ‘connect-the-dots’ to understand/know what the will of the Lord [Jesus] is.”  Evidently being “filled by the Spirit” is key to “understanding the Lord’s will!”

 

Paul starts with oun “therefore” as a logical conclusion to Ephesians 5:6-14, just as a lawyer would do in presenting a case, paraphrasing:  “Don’t continue doing the things you once did when living in the ‘dark,’ because you know that God’s wrath is going to be poured out on such people.  Don’t be conned into doing this ‘dark’ stuff with them, but as ‘children of the light’ continue living in God’s light, trying to dokimazo habitually learn through testing (a) what pleases the Lord.  Let the “light” of Christ shine on you and let your life in the light expose the darkness that is in the world.  This is really about Christian lifestyle witness/evangelism that all Christians can do to fulfill the “Great Commission” (b).  God’s will isn’t as spelled-out as many preachers have you to believe as they point to their bibles!  The way to ‘connect-the-dots’ to know God’s will is NOT through habitual investigation of a bible as we will find out!  Discernment is something that even little children before reading age can do – see Least Among Us – BT8  and  New Covenant Ways – BT16. <Notes> a) dokimazo: discern, test, examine, scrutinize to demonstrate or prove something is acceptable, genuine, approved, good, and approved, b) Matthew 28:16-20.

 

Everybody is so concerned about “time-management” nowadays, and I used to teach it in the business world!  My wife will tell you that I have real issues with time, or what I see as the shortage of it!  Well, Paul is saying that the smartest thing you can do with your little bit of time on this planet is “to take advantage of every opportunity” (a) by dokimazo discerning what is pleasing to the Lord” (b).  Thus, the wise man takes the time to “suniemi ‘connect-the-dots’ to understand/know what the Lord’s will is” (c).  To do otherwise, would be “unwise” (d) or downright “foolish” (e). <Notes> a) Ephesians 5:16, b) v. 5:10, dokimazo: discern, test, examine, scrutinize to demonstrate or prove something is acceptable, genuine, approved, good, and approved, c) v. 5:17, d) v. 5:15, e) v. 5:17.

 

However, Paul didn’t leave it all up to his readers to figure out what to “make a habit of examining, scrutinizing, or investigating in order to prove the worthiness of” in order “to please the Lord” or to “suniemi ‘connect-the-dots’ to understand what the Lord’s will is.”  I don’t think Paul wanted his readers to go on an endless, getting-lost-in-the-jungle journey looking for the answer and risk falling into the traps the false teachers had set. No!  Paul gives some concrete aspects of God’s will but more likely the resultant lifestyle consequences of following the only imperative to “be routinely filled by the Spirit!”

 

Paul proceeds in vv. Ephesians 5:18-20:  Verse 18 “strongly urges us” by the imperative to practice habitually (h) being [passively] filled by the means/instrument of the Spirit, instead of being filled by booze to the point of getting drunk.  Now many believe that the following verse are more aspects of God’s will be order to us to obey or actively practice, but they are not in the imperative voice, but simply present active participles describing habitual practices that I believe are not a formula on “how-to” obey the imperative in verse 18 but as I’ve found in personal experience are natural results of obeying verse 18!  Instead of more commandments to follow like the OT has, I only see 1 strong “urging or encouraging exhortation” and the rest is a description of how the Holy Spirit will naturally express itself.  This is in keeping with Galatians 5:16-26 that describes how “walking by the flesh” versus “walking by the Spirit” manifests itself.  This is not a list of rules to follow but educating Christians to recognize the influence of the flesh versus the Spirit.

 

Here in Ephesians 5:18-20, we have to remember the context:  Tavern throughout the Roman Empire, private & public parties, weddings, and even temple celebrations were full of wine to get drunk from and people get very loud with singing, laughing, and trying to talk over the sound of the crowd or music – I’ve been in so many bars where the band and crowd were so loud I had to yell to the person right next to me!  In these Roman environments, they were easily getting into arguments & fights, into course-joking, into vulgarity, into sexual innuendo, into sexual flirting, and into dirty dancing that is “foreplay on the dance floor” and a prelude to “hooking up” for sex.  Some cities like Corinth were known for “What goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas” sinfulness!  Temple worship involved gluttony and sacrificial orgies!  Nothing has changed today.  Cabo San Lucas Mexico was completely out of control, like there were no laws or social norms!  All day & night drinking, partying, nudity, sex, or whatever you were into!  Everyone went crazy at night!  I lived in bars and strip-clubs for 15 years along with so many of my buddies from the world!  Every form of debauchery certainly results once you get drunk, but even before in those environments!  What Paul is proposing to Christians lured back into this prevalent lifestyle – I was backslidden and partied with many others just like me – is instead of asking “the bartender” for drink that “the power of the spirits” can then influence you to sin is to instead ask the Father for more Holy Spirit, and when you get drunk on this Spirit, then He will influence you for holiness.  You still be habitually “partying” but in a radically different way and with completely different people!  Let’s see how.

 

Verse 19 speaks of being habitually involved in community worship – “speaking to one another with psalms (a), hymns (b), and odes (c) of/belonging to the Spirit” – “habitually involved in singing [vocally] and/coupled making melody (d) in your hearts (e) to the Lord.  Verse 20 speaks of being habitually involved in giving thanks to the Father for each other (or for everything).  Verse 21 speaks of being habitually involved in being submissive (f) to one another out of reverence (g) for Christ.  Then in verse 22 and further, Paul goes into more details and examples of “submitting to one another.” <Notes> a) songs with instrumental accompaniment, b) pre-composed praise songs without instruments, c) spontaneous music, acapella or instrumentally-accompanied, d) psallo: ‘psalming’ by rubbing/touching, twitching, twanging a stringed instrument to celebrate/worship, as with Psalms since these were songs, odes, or chants with musical accompaniment, e) the key to “acceptable worship”, f) passive yielding, g) awe, respect, h) as the present participle indicates.

 

As Christian musicians, are we leading people to biblical sources of God’s will that are very sporadic, incomplete, and vague?  Are we dragging them backwards into an OT “It is written” method of God communicating the content of His Logos Message, even if we are told we have been “set free from the yoke of slavery to this ministry of the gramma written letter, which is a ministry of death?”  Or are we leading people directly to The Source of God’s will that is God Himself under a completely different-in-kind New Covenant method of Jesus Christ NOW being the Living Logos Message communicated directly to us by “The One Teacher” of “the Holy Spirit of The Truth who guides us into ALL the truth so that we have absolutely in fact no need that anybody teach us because of the anointing of the Holy One that gives ALL of us impartial access to ALL knowledge of God?”

 

We really can’t live in 2 opposite paradigms!  The OT says read, study, memorize, and debate this book to know God’s will!  The NT says that “God’s will in order to really know what pleases Him” is to be “dokimazo routinely learned through testing, examination, and discernment” in order to suniemi ‘connect-the-dots’ to understand/know it,” which in turn is a product of the Holy Spirit’s grace-gift of discernment to reveal truth to us!  You have to choose either the way of second-hand knowledge filtered down through a myriad of bible scribes over thousands of years of copying and translation OR the way of the prophets which is direct, first-hand knowledge.  Which do you think is more reliable?  If you go with the first, just know that there are tens of thousands of manuscript differences, many of them quite significantly changing the meaning – see Bible Info!  Remember that God is impartial.  Little children and other uneducated “least among you” can NOT know God reliably themselves through the “It is written” approach but they absolutely can “by the Spirit” approach!  Per 2 Corinthians 3:6-7, is your ministry going to be about “letters that even kill” or about the “Spirit that gives zoe genuine-life?”

 

It’s really easy to look through the Old Testament filter and see the New Testament as a list of rules.  Although there many strong urgings in the imperative voice in the NT, I could only find 2 officially decreed, universal entole commandments of having trusting-relying-faith in Christ and unconditionally-loving one another, so nicely combined in 1 John 3:23!  What too many people miss is that the NT is simply describing “the walk of the Spirit” versus “the walk of the flesh” or “might and power” of Zechariah 4:6.  Instead so many people see these descriptions as commandments to work at obeying in order to please God.  Instead they are simply results of “being routinely filled by the Spirit with all the abundant-fullness of God.” Just as “spirits sold here” have a “power to entice our flesh to sin,” the Holy Spirit has enabling-power to move us toward holiness!

 

Our only part is to routinely, submissively ask, seek, and knock (A.S.K) for our Father to fill our mind/heart/innermost-being with Himself instead of the bartender filling our glasses with booze.  Once we get “drunk on God by the Spirit,” radical changes will indeed occur in our lives that powerfully moves us toward holiness or godliness, which is simply the nature of God!

 

Yes, we will still habitually “party” but with a radically different crowd than the bars or world’s parties!  We will still be singing and dancing, but not because we are out of control by booze and hoping to “hook up” for sex.  Instead, we will be “possessed by the Spirit of holiness” – not by “spirits and wine sold here.”  We won’t be “crying into our beers” about our jobs, marriages, and politics but instead filled with gratitude toward God.  We won’t be trying to aggressively assert our pride and will over others nor pick fights in the bars, but instead yield respectively to others because of the reverent, serving character of Christ now living in us!  Our lives become the result of the Holy Spirit’s filling, not a “secret deposit” within us but “filling up so completely” that He “manifests and demonstrates” His presence through grace-gifts, signs & wonders, and through our new behavior!

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT4

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Knowledge of how to be habitually filled by the Holy Spirit

 

 

 

 

Please follow the BLOG Etiquette to stay on topic and pass the moderator’s check.  Bold, underlined text below = future links to the BLOG pages.

 

Recently I was sort of grumbling to my wife that although Paul commands all Christians in Ephesians 5:18 to routinely turn to the Holy Spirit instead of to wine in order to be “filled with all the abundant-fullness of God” per Ephesians 3:19, I didn’t feel that Paul had really told Christians the “how-to,” like he’s telling us to drink, or even get drunk on, the Spirit’s “living water” instead of “wine” but then doesn’t tells us how to.  After all, Christ is in heaven, invisible to most of us, and for most of us, it’s not the easiest to hear!  I told my wife that I thought that although the “how to” may have been common knowledge during the first three centuries when they didn’t have a NT bible to rely on but instead relied on  – the definition of pististrusting-relying-faith” – the Spirit of Christ for everything!  However, as the Catholic Church suppressed the movement of the Holy Spirit around 200 AD as a Montanist heresy in favor of expanding the bible to include the NT, mostly for political reasons and to compete with Judaism.  So after this happened the “common ‘how-to’ knowledge” may have been lost.

 

I say Paul “commands all Christians to be routinely filled by the Spirit,” because originally Paul wrote the letter of Ephesians to be circulated to all the churches he had been to, but later on the words “to Ephesus” got added by copiers into the opening of his letter.  I’ve included my original study on that verse below.  However, today I was researching gnosis info-knowledge about God, the verb to experientially, relationally ginosko know God, and the more intensive form for the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge or epiginosko knowing of God.  That’s when I came across the “how to” in earlier verses of Ephesians.  I should have known better to look at the bigger context of Ephesians 5:18, since it is common for Paul to introduce an idea, teach on it, but then go on very long side-tracking tangents, only to come back to the idea later.  Since I’ve been asking God for quite a long time about this, I’m very grateful that He has directed me finally to the answer.

Before I get into this, I was particularly struck by the Greek noun epignosis and the verb epiginosko used for having a “more intense, intimate, richer or fuller or more thorough, more precise or accurate or clearer, discerning” type of experiential, relational ginosko knowledge about God – see New Covenant Ways – BT16 , rather than very limited gnosis info-knowledge from bible study.  These words are only used 59 times in the NT and warrants further discussion – see the Knowledge page.  This kind of knowing is what the completely different-in-kind chadash or kainos New Covenant promises through Christ.  It’s important to know how Paul uses epignosis/epiginosko in all his writings, which will do later, but let’s focus now on Ephesians 1:17 and 4:13.

 

In Ephesians 1:17-18, Paul proseuchomai conversationally-prays that “God (a) would grant (b) them the Spirit (c) who possesses (d) wisdom (e) and/coupled [of: d] revelation (f) by the means/instrument of genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge, [them] having had the eyes of their hearts enlightened [with continuing results] (g)…”  Paul is talking to Christians who already have the person of the Holy Spirit living in them, who have already been enlightened, but he is proseuchomai conversationally-praying that because they do have the indwelling, Holy Spirit Teacher that they will then be given His wisdom and revelation by the means/instrument of genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God!  <Notes> a) the Father as agent of the action, b) the action, c) the content is a person, d) genitive case of possession: ‘who possesses wisdom and revelation,” not “the Spirit of/from wisdom and revelation.”  This is not human wisdom, but a Spirit-kind-of wisdom from revelation!  These coupled genitives limit the scope of Paul’s conversation about the Spirit, e) sophia: highest form of mental excellence: details of reason and tracing the relationships between them, all this producing God’s goodness and moral action, f) unveiled, uncovered, disclosed truth, g) perfect tense: past action of illumination, instruction, understanding with continuing results.

 

The agent, content, and instrument of God’s giving action are all spelled out above.  But now Paul gives the purpose in the rest of the verses 18-19:  “So that they may have already eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know with ongoing results (a) the hope (b) to which God has already called them – that [hope being] the riches of His glory, His inheritance in the saints – and/coupled/cumulatively what [is] the immeasurable/surpassing greatness of God’s dunamis enabling-power toward/reaching us who routinely have trusting-relying-faith, [this] down-from/according to the energetic, effectual working of God’s manifested enabling-power/force of endowed might/strength/power that . . . rose Christ from the dead.” <Notes> a) perfect tense of eido: past action of mental perception with the “eyes of their mind or heart” with continuing results, b) the richness of their glorious inheritance when we are bodily resurrected and eternally glorified at Christ’s appearing:  Titus 1:2, 2:12-13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; Romans 8:17-18.

 

These Christians already have a hope, just as they already have a calling.  However, Paul is proseuchomai conversationally-praying that their mind’s eye will be opened by God, by revelation, to “see” this but also to “see” the incredible greatness of God’s Spirit-power He will bring to us if we continue in this trusting, relying fellowship This indwelling Spirit-power doesn’t come from us, our study of scripture, or our feeble attempts at obeying scripture, but down-from/according-to God’s own effective working force of His will!  Can you see that our only part in this whole process is trusting-relying-faith, but even before that it comes down to proseuchomai conversationally-praying, like Paul did, for God to give all this to us?  The Christian life is simpler than most churches have made it to be.

 

As Christian musicians, we need to obey Paul’s strong urging to “routinely be completely-filled with all the abundant-fullness of God by the means/instrument of the Spirit.”  Instead of asking the bartender to “fill us up with wine to the point of drunkenness that leads to all kinds of debaucherously sinful acts, we need to habitually Ask, Seek, and Knock (A.S.K) on the door of the Father for the good grace-gift of the Holy Spirit’s filling so we can finally find zoe genuine-life, instead of “looking for life in all the wrong places!”

 

Our part is to simply relentlessly “press-into the presence” of God through persevering, patiently-waiting, devoted, watching and listening proseuche conversational-prayer and with our deesis supplication being primarily for the Spirit’s filling.  This is simple enough for little children or any of the other “least among you” to do.  It doesn’t require any bible gnosis-informational knowledge, only obedient steps of trusting-relying-faith.  We must “wait on the Lord” and “surrender ourselves to God by drawing near/close to Him so that He will draw near/close to us” as James 4:7-8 promises, so that “God can be a rewarder of those who are habitually, earnestly seeking-out Him through trusting-relying-faith” as Hebrews 11:6 promises.

 

Now when God arrives by the Holy Spirit, that’s when we actually are enjoying a genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God that exceedingly surpasses any bible gnosis-informational knowledge you could ever acquire through reading, study, or memorization of bible verses!  It’s not about what you know but WHO you intimately know!  Don’t we want to go beyond the failure of the Jewish bible scholars and teachers who knew all about God but that Jesus said absolutely did NOT really know God?

 

God shows no partiality and so NOW the uneducated “least among you” will actually eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know God before the “wise and understanding ones” for which “the secrets of the kingdom remain hidden to,” per the New Covenant promise of Jeremiah 31:34 and Christ’s words in Matthew 11:25 and Luke 10:21.  If we get “routinely filled by the Holy Spirit,” then we will receive the grace-gifts of “sophia wisdom and sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding through revelation!”  The “eyes of our hearts/minds/innermost-being that were once enlightened” for our salvation need to keep being so in order that we may “routinely eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know God” in order to “routinely discern through practice what the will of the Lord is and what is pleasing to Him.”

 

Every one of these “obedient steps of trusting-relying-faith” in our “walk by the Spirit” requires only 1 thing from us for God to do everything else:  “completely surrendering by relentlessly seeking Him out.”

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT2

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Spirit-baptism brings grace-gifts and signs & wonders

 

 

 

 

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Nowadays, you wouldn’t expect the next part of Acts 19:1-7 in most churches today: “And when Paul laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying!” Nowadays, the first thing people ask when they find out that you are a Christian is “What church do you go to?” as if that makes all the difference in the world!  But when Paul “found some disciples in Ephesus” he evidently saw something really missing and knew what was most important to ask:  “Did you take a hold for yourself the Holy Spirit when you previously were having faith?”  Paul could see that the Holy Spirit was missing, yet these were believers and disciples!  This does NOT fit many church’s theology!  What Paul did NOT see was the clear evidence of the Holy Spirit, which is speaking in tongues and prophesying per Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:4, 16-19, 33, 38-39, 9:17-18, 19:6, Mark 16:16-18, 20, 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 13:8, which we will explore some.

 

The grace-gifts and signs & wonders of the Holy Spirit is God’s way of “working together with us” to confirm the preaching of the logos gospel message (a).  If we don’t preach the gospel, or we don’t seek the Spirit’s baptism, or we don’t “routinely aiteo ask for, seek or earnestly desire” the supernatural grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit (b), including proseuchomai conversationally-praying and singing in tongues (c), but especially prophesying (d), or we quench the Spirit (e) by forbidding or despising any of these grace-gifts but especially tongues and prophecy (f), then we simply can NOT expect the same profound results that the early Church had until around 200 AD.  This was about the time the Catholic Church started persecuting the Montanist churches that held to “New Prophecy” given by modern prophets and extensive writings of Tertullian, the premiere documenter and theologian of the Holy Spirit.  However, the history of revival confirms the absolute truth of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit through grace-gifts and signs & wonders over and over – see the next BLOG Spirit-Baptism – BT3, Cure of All Ills by Dr. Mary Stewart Relfe. <Notes> a) Mark 16:17-20, b) Luke 11:13; 1 Corinthians 12:31, 14:1, c) 1 Corinthians 14:5, 14-15, 18, d) 1 Corinthians 14:31, 39, e) 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 – see The Great Wall, f) 1 Corinthians 14:39.

 

Jesus promises in Mark 16:17-20, “And these signs shall actually accompany those who are having trusting-relying-faith:  In My name/authority they shall actually cast out demons; they shall actually speak in new tongues; . . . they shall actually lay their hands on the sick to recover.” And Mark further records, “And they went out and preached (a) everywhere, while the Lord routinely worked together with (f) them and confirmed the logos message by accompanying signs.”  Hebrews 2:4 also says, “God also bore witness/testified by signs and wonders and various miracles and by grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed down-from/according-to His will.” All throughout the history of the Church, “grace-gifts, signs, wonders, and miracles as manifestations of the Spirit” (b) were being done as a result of “The Promise” of the Holy Spirit and follow-up practice of Spirit-baptism that began on the Day of Pentecost (c) and the supernatural results should always be the same: “the Lord [Jesus] added to their number daily those who were being saved” (d) – that is, if the Church still has the same mission, the same logos gospel message, still preaches it, and doesn’t quench the Holy Spirit by forbidding or despising tongues, prophecy, or any other of the Spirit’s grace-gifts (e). <Notes> a) v. 15: the logos gospel message, b) 1 Corinthians 14:12, c) Acts 2:43, 4:30, 5:12, 6:8, 8:6, 13, 14:3, 15:12, 19:11; 2 Corinthians 12:12, d) Acts 2:47, 5:14, 9:42, 11:24, 13:12, 16:34, e) 1 Corinthians 14:5, 39; 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20, f) sunergeo: co-working, partnering.

 

Paul’s ministry was “by the means of logos gospel message and deed, by the means of the enabling-power of signs & wonders by the means of the enabling-power of the Spirit so that … I have pleroo fully/completely preached the gospel of Christ” (a).  This implies that many of today’s preachers that don’t allow the supernatural aspects of the Holy Spirit are ‘incompletely preaching the gospel,’ but the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches are still preaching a ‘full gospel!’  This is especially true, since Paul qualified this preaching further:  “my speech and logos message were absolutely NOT in fact by the means of peithos plausible/persuasive/enticing/skillful words of sophia wisdom, but by the means of apodeixis demonstrating-proof of the Spirit and/coupled of enabling-power” (b), and furthermore “our gospel came to you absolutely NOT in fact only by the means of logos message, but also by the means of enabling-power and/specifically, by the means of [singular] Holy Spirit” (c).  Clearly today many churches are NOT preaching a ‘full gospel!’ <Notes> a) Romans 15:18-19, b) 1 Corinthians 2:4, c) 1 Thessalonians 1:5.

 

The Lord’s model of proseuche conversational-prayer for all Christians throughout the ages tells us how to make our request for “Thy kingdom to come, Thy will to be done” even a possibility in our lives.  Otherwise, we are only “wishing upon a star!”  As every good teacher does, Christ’s final teaching on proseuche conversational-prayer in Matthew 7:11 is about God’s “good grace-gifts to His children” (a), which likely refers to the same thing the parallel passage of Luke 11:13 does – “the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit [given] to those who are aiteo routinely asking Him.” This present participles within the Lord’s Prayer Model depicts a lifestyle habit of “diligently asking, seeking, knocking, begging or crying out for, craving, desiring, and requiring of” the Holy Spirit from the Father.  If you are going to be doing any deesis supplication within your proseuche conversational-prayer, this surely is key to the Christian life!

 

Prophecy by definition is hearing/speaking the direct-spoken/heard rhema words of God – it is absolutely not knowledge gained from reading!  The “testimony of Jesus” isn’t supposed to be anything but “the Spirit of prophecy” (a), but we have a lot of people preaching a lot other than what was heard directly from God! Jeremiah the prophet, “spoke from the mouth of Yahweh” (b) and understood that this is how God speaks (c), even though he understood there would be false prophets who “speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of Yahweh” (d).  A lot of preachers are making stuff up or getting it from a book they read!  Micah also understood “for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken” (e). When Isaiah prophesied, “the mouth of Yahweh has spoken” (f), for “the mouth of Yahweh has commanded” (g) or “has spoken” (h). Isaiah heard Yahweh declare the distinction of the New Covenant people and their Messiah: “And a Redeemer will come to Zion, . . . this is My Covenant with them: My Spirit that is upon You (the Redeemer) and My directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words that I have put in Your mouth, shall not depart out of Your mouth, or out of the mouth of Your offspring, or out of the mouth of Your children’s offspring,” says Yahweh, “from this time forth and forevermore” (i). “The Promise” isn’t for more scripture but for more prophesying by ALL of God’s people!  “The Promise” of the Holy Spirit’s manifestations was clearly in mind for ALL of God’s people far into the future, to the end of the ages (j). <Notes> a) Revelation 19:10, b) 2 Chronicles 36:12, c) Jeremiah 9:12, d) Jeremiah 23:16, e) Micah 4:4, f) Isaiah 1:20, g) Isaiah 34:16, h) Isaiah 40:5, 58:14, i) Isaiah 59:20-21 cited by Paul in Roman 11:26-28, j) Acts 1:4, 2:33, 38-39.

 

Peter says “absolutely no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along (or moved, driven) by the Holy Spirit” (a). Jesus promises His witnesses: “For it is absolutely NOT in fact you who will speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (b); and “Do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is absolultely NOT in fact you who speak, but the Holy Spirit” (c); and “for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (d); and “The Helper (e) the Holy Spirit, … will teach you ALL things and bring to your remembrance ALL that I have said to you” (f); and “When the Spirit of The Truth comes, He will guide you into ALL The Truth . . . even things to come” (g). <Notes> a) 2 Peter 1:21, b) Matthew 10:20, c) Mark 13:11, d) Luke 12:12, e) Parakletos: ‘Close-beside’ caller, summoner, or inviter; helper, succorer, or assistant; encouraging teacher, counselor, comforter, or consoler; defense-attorney, judicial-advocate, or court-intercessor, f) John 14:26, g) John 16:13.

 

There was absolutely no need to write down all of Christ’s teachings to teach other Christians! Jesus didn’t have any scribes (scripture experts and copiers) record any of His teachings, nor did He ask His apostles to do so!  This is a radical deviation from standard rabbinical practice!  All important rabbis had recorded their teachings in 18 volumes of the Mishneh Torah or 22 volumes of the Babylonian Talmud or 73 volumes of the Gemera commentaries, which include 1500 years of Oral Torah called the “Traditions of the Elders,” which the Jews believe to this day ALL are just as authoritative as the scriptures.

 

Jesus expected there to be prophesy (a), even to the end of the ages, just as Peter said (b), even if some of this would be false (c) even if they did it in Christ’s name/authority (d).  The early Church had many prophets including Paul and Barnabas (e), even if some were false (f).  The key signs of the Holy Spirit coming upon Christians was tongues and prophesy (g) that are often related (h), even urging “routine proseuche conversational-prayer by the means of the Spirit” (i), likely in tongues (j) to build yourself up in your most holy trusting-relying-faith” that is directly related to “keeping yourself in The unconditional-Love of God” (k).  <Notes> a) Matthew 10:41, b) Acts 1:4, 2:33, 38-39, c) Matthew 7:15, 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22, d) Matthew 7:22, e) Acts 11:27, 13:1, 21:9-10, f) Acts 13:6, g) Acts 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6, h) 1 Corinthians 14:6, i) Ephesians 6:18, j) 1 Corinthians 14:14-15, k) Jude 1:20-21.

 

Prophecy is a grace-gift listed for the entire Church (a), often listed second after apostleship to possibly indicate its importance in the Church (b), certainly to be most sought after (c), and is thus assumed to be commonplace or the norm in the Church (d), but especially as a sign for believers (e) – even though an ‘outsider’ who hears the whole church doing this “will be convicted by all, he is called to account by all, the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you” (f).  Don’t we want this to happen in our churches?  But primarily, prophecy is to build the assembly up (g), even giving rules for orderly prophesying so that all of them could participate and/or weigh in on what was said (h), and that through prophecy other grace-gifts came into people’s lives (i) as with the laying on of hands imparted the filling of the Spirit and grace-gifts (j). <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 12:10, b) Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29, 14:5; Ephesians 2:20, 3:5, 4:11, c) 1 Corinthians 14:1, 39, d) 1 Corinthians 11:4-5, 13:8-9, 14:6, 24, 37, e) 1 Corinthians 14:22, f) 1 Corinthians 14:23-25, g) 1 Corinthians 14:3, h) 1 Corinthians 14:29, 31-32, i) 1 Timothy 1:18, 4:14, j) Acts 8:18, 9:17; 2 Timothy 1:6.

 

After the outpouring of the promised Holy Spirit on Pentecost, complete with supernatural prophecy and worship in tongues, Peter says in Acts 2:17-19 citing Joel 2:28-29: “This is what was spoken of through the Prophet Joel:  In the last days it SHALL ACTUALLY BE, God declares, that that I will pour out My Spirit on pas all mankind:  For your sons and your daughters SHALL ACTUALLY prophesythat is, your young men SHALL ACTUALLY see visions (a) and/coupled your old men SHALL ACTUALLY dream dreams, that is, upon My male servants and female servants in those days I SHALL ACTUALLY pour out My Spirit, and they SHALL ACTUALLY prophesy.” As often the case, pas, doesn’t mean every of a whole, but all those of a class/category/portion of, as defined by the context – here ultimately, the smaller class of “My servants” of the larger class “mankind” during the Church Age (b) before Christ’s Second Coming. Zechariah 4:6 also spoke 520 years earlier about the New Covenant period: “It shall absolutely no longer be by might nor power (c), but by My Spirit.” No more religious works for God! Clearly “The Promise” is the “the Spirit’s manifested outpouring, most often demonstrated by tongues and prophecy – speaking God’s directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words, particularly received by dreams and visions. There is absolutely no hint of more sacred gramma Letters collected into graphe scripture, or any second-hand contact, communicated logos messages! <Notes> a) optanomai: gaze in awe with wide-open eyes upon, b) Hebrews 1:2, c) Hebrew for all of man’s external resources and internal abilities.

 

Jesus had already told them “I am sending ‘The Promise’ of My Father upon you, but stay in Jerusalem until you are clothes with enabling-power from on high” (a). So Luke further records after the resurrection, “while Jesus was staying with them, He ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for ‘The Promise’ of the Father that you have heard from Me [many times earlier], for although John baptized (b) with water, you will be baptized (b) with the Holy Spirit (thus Spirit-baptism) not many days from now” (c). So Peter says in Acts 2:33, 38-39, “Having received ‘The Promise’ of the Holy Spirit, which He has poured out, this is what you yourselves are seeing and hearing (d). . . .Therefore, repent (e) and/coupled/thus be water-baptized every one of you in the name/authority of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (f). And moreover, you will [at an unspecified future time] receive the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit, for ‘The Promise’ is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Himself.”  <Notes> a) Luke 24:49, b) baptizo: transformational immersion in any liquid, even cucumbers in vinegar changed into pickles, c) Acts 1:4-5, d) this isn’t an invisible, quiet ‘deposit’ made into many Christians that churches that you just have to “take by faith” happened.  No!  This is clearly manifested in context by prophecy and tongues, e) turn your mind’s direction back, f) Clearly repentance and/coupled water-baptism are required for forgiveness of sins in order to save you – see 1 Peter 3:21.

 

Paul also says, “In Christ, the blessing of Abraham (eternal inheritance) might also come to the Gentiles, in order that we [all] may receive the promised Spirit through trusting-relying-faith,” not by obedience to OT commandments (a), and “The [previously hidden but now revealed to us] mystery [of Christ] is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same Body [of Christ], and/thus partakers of ‘The Promise’ in Christ Jesus through the gospel” (b), and so “when you heard the logos message of The Truth, that is, the gospel of your salvation (c) and had trusting-relying-faith in Him, and were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance” (d).  Paul uses “The Promise” consistently to refer to the demonstrable Holy Spirit that is a proof you are a Christian! <Notes> a) Galatians 3:14, b) Ephesians 3:6, c) the logos word/message of God in the NT has radically been redefined from the OT because of a completely different-in-kind New Covenant.  In the NT 99% of the time it’s either refers to Jesus Christ Himself as with John 1:1 or His gospel message, as here. d) Ephesians 1:13-14.

 

So far, what we have seen is that “The Promise” for the New Covenant wasn’t more scripture that never really worked in the old covenant to reveal God, bring people closer to Him, or help them do His will. It is the definition of insanity to believe and do the same things as before and somehow expect different results! God isn’t insane, but apparently many churches and Christians are!

 

As Christian musicians, like the apostles, shouldn’t we be looking for evidence that a person really does have the Holy Spirit instead of just taking it by faith because they “said the sinners prayer,” especially when the Holy Spirit’s filling indeed comes with grace-gifts and signs & wonders, particularly tongues, prophecy, or both?  If the demonstrable evidence is missing, maybe we should conclude that either God is no longer backing up the gospel during this “dispensation,” or more likely we aren’t preaching the gospel but something else and/or we really don’t have trusting-relying-faith in the supernatural ability of God.  Are we also going to perpetuate the Catholic Church lie around 200 AD that these manifestations all died off – because that’s when they tried to eradicate it, even though history continues to reveal these demonstrable proofs of God’s Spirit?

 

As Christian musicians, despite Paul’s approach, are we going to preach a “message-only gospel” devoid of the grace-gifts and signs & wonders, so that people can only rely on what we say instead of the power of God that confirms His message?  Are we telling people to pray for the kingdom to come but then not lead them to the enabling-power that actually makes the kingdom possible?  Are we building The Great Wall quenching the Spirit by forbidding tongues or despising prophecy, even though the NT repeatedly warns us against this?  Even though the NT says God has a completely new way of knowing Him and communicating His will to ALL His people, especially to “the least among you,” now treating each one of us as His prophets that Moses and the OT Prophets longed for, are we trying to go back to the OT ways of gramma writings collected hundreds of years later into graphe scripture and being satisfied with Sola Scriptura approach to God?

 

As Christian musicians, don’t you find it odd that unlike every other rabbi, Jesus didn’t have scribes following him around to write every one of his sayings down to collect into many volumes for disciples to study for thousands of years, nor did He ever ask for this?  John 21:25, 30-31 explains why not:  “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did/caused/made.  Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. . . . Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these [relatively few] things are written so that you may have faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by having faith you may have life in His name.” So evidently, having a written record of ALL His teachings just wasn’t that important to Jesus or His apostles!  This surely disappoints religious people and theologians that can only be guided from or financially benefit from what is written – many industries have formed around collecting, understanding, and teaching the bible.

 

As Christian musicians, are we going to cherry-pick the low-hanging gifts of the Holy Spirit for us today?  Are we going to forbid one of the most important gifts of praying/singing in tongues as Paul boasted of and that he wanted for the whole Church?  We will disobey Paul and NOT earnestly desire more than any other gift, the gift of prophecy, but actually despise it to quench the Spirit?  Can’t we see that “the promise” of the Father is simply the coming of the Holy Spirit that enables us ALL to prophesy in order to more directly know God, and that there is no such “promise” for continued use of scripture or that more was to come?  And why are we holding onto things from the OT that the NT said should be let go of?

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT3

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The Holy Spirit’s manifestation in the early Church continues through the Church age

 

 

 

 

Please follow the BLOG Etiquette to stay on topic and pass the moderator’s check.  Bold, underlined text below = future links to the BLOG pages.

 

The Didache orTeaching of the Twelve Apostles,” written between 50-120 AD treated prophecy as standard fair, even giving rules to test prophets who “speak in the Spirit.”  Justin Martyr around 155 AD, said the “prophetic grace-gifts formerly belonging to the Jews (i.e, the OT Prophets) are now at work in the Church” as well as other charismata grace-gifts.”

 

Irenaeus around 180 AD said: “It is impossible to name the number of all charismata, which the church, dispersed throughout the whole world, has received from God, in the name of Jesus Christ.  In like manner, we also hear that many brethren in the church, who have prophetic charismata, speak in all kinds of tongues through the Spirit and reveal the hidden things of people, for their benefit and explain the mysteries of God.  For some [of Christ’s true disciples] do certainly and truly drive out demons, so that those who are thus cleansed from the evil spirits often believe and join the church. Others have foreknowledge of future things, they see visions and utter prophetic words. Others heal the sick by laying their hands upon them and let them rise up healthy. Moreover, as we have said, the dead even have been raised up and lived with us for many years.”

 

Tertullian around 200 AD says the charismata grace-gifts were such common practice in Carthage that at a person’s water-baptism, he suggests they also: “Ask from the Lord, as a special grace-gift of His unconditional-favor-of-grace, the distributions of the charismata.”  The Shepherd of Hermas, written around 140–150 AD, consists of five prophetic visions, and was considered canon by some of the early Church Fathers, also quoted by Pope Callixtus 1 as having authority, was part of the NT’s Codex Sinaiticus and is in the lists of NT’s books in the Codex Claromontanus, having thus had great authority in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.  Here we see that “what was in our bible” varied greatly!  Other writings that mention the charismata grace-gifts are those by Firmilian (c. 232), Cyprian (c. 258), Hippolytus (c.170-236), Clement of Alexandria (c.150-215), Origen (c.185-254), Ephraem Syrus (c.306-373), Eusebius (c. 260-340), Chrysostom (c. 347-407), and near the end of St. Augustine’s life (c. 430) he said that some of the grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit such as healing were present during his own lifetime and within his own geographical region of North Africa.

 

We also see the Holy Spirit’s “manifestations and demonstrating proofs” show up in every revival.  A little book that shows this well is Cure of All Ills by Dr. Mary Stewart Relfe.  There is much written about the “outpouring of the Spirit, and Spirit possession” in Wikipedia’s article on Christian Revival  – see also Wikipedia’s Cessationism versus Continuationism.  The Encyclopedia Britannica says that spiritual gifts such as speaking in tongues has occurred in Christian revivals of every age. In the same vein, Souer’s History of the Christian Church cites a reference to the famed leader of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century, stating, “Dr. Martin Luther was a prophet, evangelist, speaker in tongues, and interpreter, in one person, endowed with all the gifts of the Spirit.”  For more about this, check out Grace-Gifts, Signs & Wonders, and Cure of All Ills by Dr. Mary Stewart Relfe.

 

The damaging “wind of doctrine” called “Cessationism” that believes “the Holy Spirit’s grace-gifts ceased with the death of the original apostles” obviously can’t be true, yet you will still see this doctrinal bias in the notes of many study bibles, like the Reformation Study BibleThe MacArthur Study BibleScofield III Reference BibleHolman Christian Study BibleRyrie Study BibleNKJV Study Bible, and Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible.  This has erroneously influenced the Church of Christ, Baptists, Associate Reformed Presbyterians, Presbyterian Church in America, and others.  It’s a shame they have not heeded Paul’s warnings in 1 Thessalonians 5:19 and 1 Corinthians 14:5, 39 to not “forbid speaking in tongues” or “quench the Spirit” but instead “earnestly desire to prophesy” and that he “wanted them all to speak in tongues.”

 

However, some study bibles are more encouraging of the modern experience or “Continuationism” of the charismata grace-gifts such as:  NKJV Spirit-Filled Life BibleKJV Life in the Spirit Study BibleDake’s Annotated Reference BibleModern English Version, Spirit-led Woman BibleMEV Spiritual Warfare BibleNIV Full Life Study Bible, and NIV Word in Life Study Bible.  I particularly like the English Standard Version Study Bible because the ESV is a formal-equivalence standard for scholarly interpretation and doctrine, and the notes are neutral concerning the charismata for today.  We see the grace-gifts alive and well in Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian, Pentecostal, and other Charismatic churches.

 

The grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit are given by unconditional-favor-of-grace by God’s own will so that nobody can feel more superior than another.  Actually, the entire Triune Godhead is involved in the initial deposit and subsequent grace-gifts of the Spirit.  The early Church believed and expected the deposit, the Spirit-baptism, and the subsequent grace-gifts of the Spirit to ALL be given during a Christian’s water-baptism, an immersion that changed the very nature of the person!  In the modern Church, I fear many people have just performed a ritual, a “form of godliness but denied its real enabling-power” per 2 Timothy 3:5 – see Water-Baptism and Spirit-Baptism pages.

 

All through the history of revival you see the same pattern: authoritative teacher-leaders criticizing, resisting, and even persecuting the supernatural gifts of the Spirit (a), carefully “cherry-picking” what grace-gifts of the Spirit they want, and instead pounding home Sola Scriptura or “By scripture Alone.”  So how does God react to all this resistance?  He “opposes/stands firm against the proud/unteachable but gives unconditional-favor-of-grace to the lowly/teachable” (b).  <Notes> a) tongues, interpretations, prophecy, healing, miracles, exorcisms: Mark 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30, b) James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5 citing Proverbs 3:34.

 

Some of these objectors get converted, but most don’t!   Irenaeus noted the same: “Others do not accept the grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit and cast the prophetic charismata far from their sight, through which man, when he is sprinkled with it, bears the life of God as fruit.  Citing Isaiah 1:30, he continues: “They, like a terebinth tree that has lost all its leaves and like a garden without water’ . . . have no use for God, because they bear no fruit.”  I couldn’t agree more!  The churches I’ve been in that reject the gifts have to “work really hard” to show any signs of life!  The Holy Spirit is the only way the garden of our lives can be cultivated!  To quench or suppress any part of His work is to shut Him out completely!

 

It’s no coincidence that we begin to see more criticism of the Spirit’s grace-gifts when the Church starting obsessing about what “scripture” was and also slid back into the Old Testament (OT) scripture!  It began about 200 AD when the Catholic theologian Tertullian erroneously started calling New Testament writings “scripture.”  But it really kicked in hard around 233-254 AD when the Catholic theologian Origen “almost single-handedly fixed the place of the Old Testament in the Catholic Church” through ground-breaking publications:  375 sermons as a commentary on the entire OT and his immense, word-for-word comparison of 6 versions of OT manuscripts (a) to bring the study, preaching, and teaching of the OT back into the Church.  By then the Church had already become corrupted with power, money (b), inventing the priesthood (c), inventing the mono-episcopacy or “one-bishop” rule (d), which was a time when all of the bishops were trying to rule larger and larger (and richer and richer) cities ultimately to become the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), who would receive many favors with the Emperor.  They invented the division of the Body-of-Christ into “clergy” vs. “laity” (e), reinstated one OT commandment after another, and created even more rules – all to exercise control over the Church.  All of this quenched the Holy Spirit because the foundation of The Great Wall is “borrowing” from the OT and placing “stones” on top “borrowed” from the world!  <Notes> a) 2 Hebrew, 4 Greek, b) reinstating OT tithing to pay for a priesthood, c) patterned after the OT, d) patterned after the high priests of the OT, e) based on the OT idea of the Levites.

 

As Christian musicians, since there is clear evidence from the NT, early Church writings from 50 AD until 430 AD,  and throughout the history of revivals that the Holy Spirit’s continued “manifestations and demonstrating proofs” of Himself to “accompany those who have faith . . . the Lord working with them and confirming the [preached gospel] message by accompanying signs,” wonders, miracles, and grace-gifts including tongues and prophecy, there is simply absolutely NO support of Cessationism that says this all ceased “after the apostles” or “when the perfect came,” which they erroneously called the New Testament writings.  This “doctrine of demons” that has helped build The Great Wall quenching the Holy Spirit in the Church has tainted at least 7 well-known bibles, but thank God that I know of 9 great bibles that it hasn’t!  I can confirm with Irenaeus around 180 AD that the churches that reject the charismatic grace-gifts “have no use for God because they bear NO fruit” – or they really struggle to show ANY fruit for God.  Work, Work, Work!

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism

Spirit – Baptism – BT1

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My own Spirit-baptism or “filling” experiences

 

 

 

 

Please follow the BLOG Etiquette to stay on topic and pass the moderator’s check.  Bold, underlined text below = future links to the BLOG pages.

 

In 1980 I had my first Spirit-baptism during my water-baptism.  I had become a Christian September 1980 through the Church of Christ on campus. Although taught accurately about water-baptism, they didn’t teach anything about the Holy Spirit except that they said it was an “invisible deposit of the indwelling Spirit.” So I had absolutely no expectations for what would happen.  I certainly didn’t plan on getting emotional because I was a proud, scientifically-minded engineer student, logically and intellectually rational, and unemotional since Star Trek’s Spock was my hero!  When I came up out of the baptismal waters, I distinctly felt a huge physical weight lift off me that I logically couldn’t explain, and I burst out in a flood of tears, full of unconditional-love and joy from seemingly nowhere!  It was absolutely other-worldly!  I had no idea that was the Holy Spirit though, but it sure didn’t seem like I created this experience!

 

In 1983 I had my first intense Spirit-baptism.  I diligently sought the Lord in proseuche conversational-prayer every morning around 7am at the top of the University of Arizona football stadium for about a month because Mountain Avenue Church of Christ had split over a power struggle.  I felt that maybe I had been brainwashed into believing Christianity was true.  Then I told God that He must not be real because I sought Him with no results.  I told him that as a tennis player that no longer just played against a backboard but had real partners, He must not exist because I kept hitting the ball into His court with no return.  I was done just chasing balls.  I turned around to go back to my old way of life. I didn’t get one step, before I lost all strength and fell to the ground in fear.  I saw myself in an infinite ocean with no shoreline in sight, being pulled down in a huge whirlpool.  I was terrified, especially when it went right into my chest and I thought I would explode with overwhelming, unconditional-love as electricity shot down my legs and out my hands as I shook there on the ground.  I had to cry out after 5 minutes for it to stop lest I die, and it did.  And then I just wept for a long time from what felt like infinite joy.  I kicked myself for 2 years for saying that, because for the next 6 months I was on Cloud 9, and I wanted this to happen again!  I read that Charles Finney had a similar experience but nobody at my church had a clue what I was talking about!

 

In 1985 I got another Spirit-baptism:  A friend from a charismatic church challenged me to use all my books to study out the Holy Spirit to explain my experience, especially since my church said the Spirit’s supernatural experiences ceased at the death of the apostles – see the next BT2 Blog.  Well after 8 hours of finding out they had misled me, feeling betrayed, and extremely hungry for what I was reading, I suddenly got intensely thirsty.  So I got up and turned around to go to the refrigerator but took one step and was frozen in my tracks.  I saw what looked like golden water – later in the Might and Power – BT1 page I found out this was like anointing oil made of liquid gold ­– shower into my head, down my body, out my hands like electricity, and down my legs to pin me.  Again I was overwhelmed with infinite, unconditional-love and hung in there longer, maybe 10 minutes, but once again I had to cry out to stop because I felt like I would explode and die!  Once again, I wept for a long time with infinite joy.  I rode my bike to the University of Arizona and barged into a bible study I knew my church was doing that all my friends would be at.  I told them what happened and they didn’t want anything to do with me.  Even my closest friends wouldn’t grab my hands that I said the Holy Spirit’s “electricity” was still coming out of.  I was convinced it would transfer!  They stayed back, like the Israelites after God invited them up Mt. Sinai to meet with Him personally, electing the religion of Moses being the intermediary in Exodus 20:18-20.  Well, it wasn’t long before I left to find a charismatic church that could teach me how to get filled more often!  Ephesians 5:18 says:  “I strongly urge you to be routinely filled by the means of the Spirit.”

 

In 2008 after being away from the Lord for 15 years and being very sick with pancreatitis for 8 months with a terrible nerve disorder and insomnia, having been to so many doctors to no avail, I was crying out for a miracle.  In August I saw a movie called “Miracles of the Passion” – a documentary of various miraculous healings in people who saw Mel Gibson’s movie “The Passion of the Christ.”  After that I was really open to the idea of a miracle.  One week later I saw what I thought was the same movie in the same spot at the thrift store, but it was the actual Mel Gibson movie, so I thought that’s weird and decided to watch it.  Well, I had lived like a pagan for 15 years and thought, “Hey, this is just a movie, but I’ll watch it.”

 

Well, somewhere after Christ’s horrifying beating and carrying of the cross, I was distinctly aware that I wasn’t alone in the room.  I became acutely aware of my sins and decided I just had no desire to live the next 15 years anything like the last 15 years – I pretty much surrendered.  I know now that this is the true essense of “repentance.”  Suddenly once again I was absolutely parched for water, so I got up and took a few steps toward the kitchen and ran right into an invisible wall of infinite, Unconditional-Love that wrapped right around me and once again I lost all strength and had to kneel on the floor to keep from falling over.  I was completely accepted into God’s arms as if I had never did any of those many sins.  I was completely overwhelmed and I felt that the world could end around me and I wouldn’t care one bit.  The feeling gradually turned into infinite joy and I just wept for the longest time.  Soon after this many sins just disappeared out of my life effortlessly – I hadn’t even thought about them – and I had an insatiable desire to genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko know God.  It wasn’t long before I was miraculously led to 2 Christian doctors and my physical healing process began.  It took me a year to ween off the narcotic drugs my previous doctors hooked me on – purely demonic!  And many miracles helped me to take more obedient steps of faith.  Each of these is an amazing story!

 

In 2010 after leaving a very stressful job with SCI Solutions after a year, stress that was fearfully bringing some of my previous adrenal issues back, the Lord gave me a daytime vision that showed me why He blocked 5 previous attempts of mine to move to Oregon since 2000 and afterward I was perfectly at peace, whereas previously I had always felt regret for not moving.  In February 2010 He had me point into an 8-translation bible and it landed on 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 underlined in the New Century Version on “the answer is:” and this solved all my roommate issues – all this have I had repeatedly deesis supplication-prayed, “I need answers” on the way to the park!  Just a week earlier, I had been supernaturally led to a class on the Holy Spirit.  We all had many powerfully-enabling experiences during that class, and I even had an anointing from a prophet from Alaska who only anointed me with “the mind of Christ” and then prophesied over me life.  She did anoint another prophet and prophesied something over her.

 

There were other experiences at a church I started going to called Freedom Fellowship, like 3 supernatural physical healings I had, along with another Spirit-baptism that made me shake like crazy for a day.  Nobody really knew what was causing it, but the pastor Frank Kemberling said the early Quaker were called “Shakers.”  Well the Lord “shook” a lot of junk out of my life that year and evidently prepared me for the death of my mom and a rebirth of my drum teaching as a ministry even 10 years later here!

In 2010-11, God showed me how I could prophetically hear from Him during my teaching of drum lessons.  More physical healings and revelation occurred in 2011 to start getting me off the meds the doctors hooked me on.  He also gave me a prophesy for a Buddhist friend he would get free from his cigarette addiction and a couple weeks later he did and started reading the bible. In November, I started to get lots of God-dreams about doing impossible things and running to the finish line.

 

In May 2012 I got 2 more Spirit-baptisms and many incredible directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words with one that overwhelmed me with 15 waves of intense unconditional-love while I was on a long conversational-prayer walk with my dog.  The Lord showed me random people I knew, some only superficially, and pulled me near His heart and my heart broke for them and wept so hard that I was heaving until I had no more tears left.  After recovering from one wave, I would walk a bit and get hit with another.  In the shower, I curled up in a ball under the presence of God and wept like a baby, and I heard Him say, “You can run as fast as you want to now.”

 

As a Christian musician, my many Spirit-baptisms or fillings prove that God can still accomplish His desires even if we are poorly educated by churches!  My first one was in complete ignorance after a month in desperate prayer just to see if God really existed or if my church had just brainwashed me.  The Spirit’s powerful manifestations radically changed me.  For 2 years I wanted this again but forgot how to get it because I still didn’t know even what it was – only that God was indeed real!  When I was challenged to “study out the Spirit” I yearned for what I read and when I got filled for the 2nd time, now I understood that it was the Spirit of God!  Again, the demonstrations of God were obvious and radically changed me!  What’s horribly sad in retrospect is that my new charismatic church after this 2nd filling never taught me how to get filled again and again as I would find out about much later in the New Testament.  Disgusted with the greed of this and other churches I went to and feeling empty on the inside, I fell back into the world for 15 years!  But God didn’t abandon me!

 

God led me to documentaries about divine healing and miraculously to Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ” to get radically filled a 3rd time.  If God can’t work inside churches, He will work outside it to reach those outside it.  I am proof!  I had forgotten my previous Spirit experiences but God hadn’t and He grabbed a hold of me big time and a lot of big changes suddenly happened in my life!  God led me down a long path of discovering the gifts and healing miracles of the Spirit.  As with little children, the Lord led me step by step within 2 years to experiencing MORE revelation, prophecy, tongues, more radical personal healings, a Quaker-like “shaking” filling and “fire” purging from my life, that then introduced prophetic drum-teaching to me to enliven my desire to revisit teaching drums!  Then God started to prophetically speak through me to help deliver others of addiction.  Just more baby steps!  But the deeper I waded into the “living waters” of the Lord, the more intense the fillings became with so many prophetic words that I couldn’t stop filling steno pads!  Well many more Spirit-events have occurred since then that I’m just logging into the My Prophetic Rhema page until I know what to do with them.

 

Would you like to share some experiences here?

 

 

 

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Categories: Spirit-Baptism