The Rhema Women’s Conference “Forever Real 2018” will be taking place from Friday 31 August – Sunday 2 September

The Rhema Women’s Conference “Forever Real 2018” will be taking place from Friday 31 August – Sunday 2 September. We have a fantastic line up planned for you with great speakers and numerous top specialists in lifestyle, personal finance, business, medical, marriage and relationships. This will be a conference with a difference.

Register NOW by clicking on this link, DON’T DELAY! Link: www.rhemaconference.co.rhema.jpega  

 

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Rhema Social media links: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhemabiblechurch.north/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/RhemaSA?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rhema_sa/  Ps Ray McCauley: https://www.facebook.com/ray.mccauley7/?fref=ts

MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN By Pastor John Sigudla

12/08/2018

MANY ARE CALLED BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN

By Pastor John Sigudla

    • The calling of god has been extended to all the people on earth. We are called from utter darkness to the marvelous light of the Almighty God.
  • We called to be obedient to our creator.
  • We are called to be the light of the world.
  • We are called to be the salt of the world.
  • We are called to represent God wherever we go and are working.
  • We are called to be the ambassadors of Christ in our communities.
  • We are called to take care of our neighbours through our God given lives.
    • BUT FEW ARE CHOSEN.
  • This is an extra-mile of God’s choice in the life of a person.
  • Here we see people who leaves everything and serve God full time in their ministries that God has called them to do.
  • Here we find full time workers for God such as pastors, evangelist, prophets, apostles and Teachers of the Word.
  • This is the most difficult task to be in the hand of God full time. Not all are called and chosen in this category. Hence the lesson here below.
  • Others are calling themselves in this very difficult God’s work, and I called them SAP’s Self-Appointed Pastors, Self-Appointed Prophets, Self-Appointed Priests, while others are Self Appointed Bishops, SAB.

 

 

  1. TWO MESSENGERS WHO TOOK THE MESSAGE TO DAVID AFTER THE DEATH OF ABSALOM.

One was Chosen and the other called himself.

2 SAMUEL 18:19-35

 

19Then Zadok’s son Ahimaaz said, “Let me run to the king with the good news that the LORD has saved him from his enemy Absalom.” 20“No,” Joab told him, “It wouldn’t be good news to the king that his son is dead. You can be my messenger some other time, but not today.” Sam 18: 19-20

 

THE APPLICATION OF THIS STORY

  1. Ahimaaz self-appointed messenger
  • Ahimaaz was not called, he called himself. Verse 19.
  • Ahimaaz was stopped from his calling to take the so called Good news to David. Verse 2.
  • He was not thrown away that he cannot be a messenger, but he was told that not now. Verse 20.
  • He ignored the secret and power of waiting or patience. He wanted to serve during his own time and not the appointed time according to the divine appointment.
  • One man was called by God and he said to God “Not now, I am still busy working and later on I will respond. He indeed responded and bought a big tent and instruments and went out preaching and nothing happened. Then he asked God why nothing is happening and God said to him “You responded at your own time and not at God’s appointed time.”

 

  1. THE MAN FROM CUSH [ETHIOPIA] DIVINELY APPOINTED MESSENGER.

 

21Then Joab said to a man from Cush, “Go tell the king what you have seen.” The man bowed and ran off. 22But Ahimaaz continued to plead with Joab, “Whatever happens, please let me go, too.” “Why should you go, my son?” Joab replied. “There will be no reward for you.” 23“Yes, but let me go anyway,” he begged. Joab finally said, “All right, go ahead.” Then Ahimaaz took a shortcut across the plain of the Jordan and got to Mahanaim ahead of the man from Cush. 2 Samuel 20: 21-24

  • When the man from Cush was sent he responded immediately. Verse 21
  • This man had no name, he was called the man from Cush. Cush stands for Africa. He was a man from Africa, who took the message to David the King and not a man from Israel Ahimaaz.
  • God has his own way of doing things beyond our own understanding.
  • The man from Cush bowed down and ran off. Verse 21. We need to run when God calls us and sent us out to serve him. We don’t have to drag our legs when God sent us, but we need to run, criminals are running, bad people of all types are running in order to fulfil their bad intentions, witches are not even running, they are flying using any means of airplanes to fulfil their darkness assignment given to them.
  • The man from Cush ran with the clear message, that Absalom is dead.
  • Ahimaaz insisted that he wanted to go too, verse 22.
  • Ahimaaz was told that there was no reward for him to go there. Verse 22.
  • Ahimaaz admitted that there was no reward for him but still he wanted to go. Verse 23.
  • Ahimaaz was eventually allowed to go on his own accord and not as supposed to be. Verse 23.
  • Ahimaaz since he know that the man of Cush was almost half way, he took a short cut to the place where the message was supposed to be taken.
  • Let us by all means avoid serving God through short cuts.
  • Ministries started yesterday and they took short cuts and they seem to be flourishing and you go there.
  • The work of the Lord need patience and process.
  • God is interested in our character building rather than our eloquence, talent and gifting. They are all needed but the godly character is what is needed.
  • Because of the short cut he took, he arrived first and started giving the message that was not clear. Verse

29“What about young Absalom?” the king demanded. “Is he all right?” Ahimaaz replied, “When Joab told me to come, there was a lot of commotion. But I didn’t know what was   happening.” 30“Wait here,” the king told him.

  1. Conclusion

Ask God to call you to serve him by serving your pastor through prayer and many other ways that I cannot specify, only the Holy Spirit can specify those tasks for you.

  • The Holy Spirit has already given you the way you need to be supportive to the work of the Lord in your local church.
  • The Holy Spirit is not quite about what we are supposed to be doing for him in a local church.
  • Ministry amongst the elderly is a very serious ministry for the elderly to die in the Lord.
  • Ministry amongst the youth is a very important ministry and in big churches in South Africa and Europe, they have full time pastors in this position.
  • Ministry amongst our children is very important as I saw yesterday how the children ministry unfolded with great results, thus Boipelo keep up the good work and may others join you.
  • Music ministry that goes with praise and worship is a very important part of the church ministry that deals with spiritual war-fare. Thus worship team you are doing excellently very well.

 

 

 

Originally published on Rev John Sigudla’s Site

Notice of closure of my blog together with all my social media platforms:Billy Sigudla

As we are four months away to the end of the year 2018. I saw a need to close my blog with a statement on my year ending blog page(to be continued further below)-together with all my social media which I attached a disclaimer on 07.08.2018 at 06:30 informing my followers that I was closing my sites being:

This blog site:

Welcome to Billy Sigudla’Site – Many souls will be won for Christ

Both my facebook  profile accounts and one facebook page

  1. Billy Sigudla (@billysigudla1) | Twitter
  2. Billy Sigudla (@billysigudla2) | Twitter
  3. Last but not least backup account @SigudlaBilly) | Twitter

    https://twitter.com/sigudlabilly (all accounts created by me,myself and I)

     

     

    One Instagram account

    Siphiwe Billy Sigudla (@billysigudla) • Instagram photos and videos

(continued from top)blog page with a special page of the work I did under the Sinobuntu value in Zulu meaning  “we care” .
The value of charity in my life means a lot as i trust that i am called to serve every where there is a need.  I tried and helped another a needy organisation:
The Orphanage : iKhona Children’s Home in Germiston.
Kids are Our Pride, Our Future! poverty must be fought and defeated by all means.
I was involved with a team of young professionals to assist bring happiness into the lives of this sweet young souls
on different occasions.
experience1 :
or
or https://billysigudla.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/siphiwe-billy-sigudla-kids-for-jesus/
and
experience2:
experience2 billy sigudla involvement in charitable work
I hereby withdraw my participation from all the platform mentioned above .
See you again in 2019,
I will be starting new project under the framework

THE PROJECTDOITYOURSELF FRAMEWORK

PROJECTDOITYOURSELF: GOAL-SETTING THAT WORKS
At the beginning of last year I wrote down a comprehensive list of goals that I wanted to accomplish and saved this to Evernote so that I could review it often.

I accomplished none of those goals and seldom referred to the list; yet, if you ask me whether I consider last year to have been a success I would say “Hell yes.” So what happened here? I found a better way of thinking about goal-setting and started using a better system…

GOAL-SETTING: CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS
Goal-setting has been lauded and it has been criticised. Some people love it – others hate it. I think goal-setting fails way too often and there are a few layers to this failure:

Judgement failure

Have you ever accomplished something and then lost the drive to continue? Or failed miserably and started wondering why even bother?

You’re not alone.

Unfortunately goal setting is inherently constructed to judge you as a loser or a winner. Being the loser sucks. It demotivates you. It fuels that critical voice in your head. Being the winner is awesome – until it leaves you drifting along with those lost souls who now have no direction.

Although it’s technically and objectively important to judge your actions as successful or unsuccessful, this can become a heavy emotional burden.

What would happen if you changed your thinking towards goal-setting, seeing goals more as a target to aim for than a binary conclusion? What if you separate emotion from data and instead of judging your shortcomings you zero in on your progress?

Time-span failure

There is just no way to know how your life will change in the next 3, 6, 9, or 12 months. Actual life-changing moments happen more frequently than you might imagine. It’s the main reason why I accomplished none of my ‘1st of January’ goals; my life moved in a different direction – one that I hadn’t accounted for at the beginning of the year.

We think we can predict or at least anticipate what the future will bring. We can’t, so we should stop trying.

What would happen if you acknowledged what you intuitively know about what you want to accomplish in the long-run but focused your efforts on the short-game?

Systems failure

The last problem is a systems problem. The amount of goal-setting frameworks at your disposal can be overwhelming and the need to align them all precisely is a painstaking process. Paired with this is the absence of a system that supports your progress along incremental steps.

What would happen if you decided on one framework, stuck with it for a while and then customised it to really suit your individual preferences?

INTRODUCING PROJECTDOITYOURSELF
PROJECTDOITYOURSELF is the name I have given to my current way of setting goals. It’s not unique – few things are. But for me and hundreds of others, it works like a bomb.

How does it work?

Simply; you set 3 Moves (goals) that you want to work towards in the next 28 days.

Let me expand on this.

One book that really changed my thinking on goal-setting is the 12 Week Year by Brian Moran. In it he advocates for setting goals that are 12 weeks into the future and then to further break it down from there.

I have found that a 90 day (12 week) big goal gives great context to the PROJECTDOITYOURSELF So this will be your starting point. To decide on the 1-3 context goals that you want to give attention to for the next 90 days.

Choosing can be hard. It’s supposed to be. Remember that the more your attention is spread across goals/tasks the more diluted it will be.

Once you have your context goal you come to the present day and ask yourself the following question, “Which 3 Moves will produce the biggest results in the next 28 days?”

Again, choosing only 3 is hard.

A Move is simply a goal that you will focus on every day, for 28 days. I liken it to chess in that you strategically move pieces around the board to ultimately defeat your opponent.

As a side note, the ratio here is 1:3. One context goal to 3 Moves.

Each Move has a few criteria:

It should leave you in a better position once completed.
It should require intentional effort and focus from you to execute it.
It should be specific.
So we have our context goal and our 3 Moves for the next 28 days. Now we break it down into daily actions. I stress the daily part here because you need to be working on your Moves every single day. (I realise the previous sentence could work in many different contexts :))

The question here is, “What does a daily, repeatable practice look like?” and I will get to an example in due course.

The success of PROJECTDOITYOURSELF will ride on your ability to sit down every day and review your progress.

You do this by asking yourself three questions:

Did I accomplish my daily practice?
What did I learn?
What can I do better?
And that is PROJECTDOITYOURSELF in its entirety. Once you have reached day 28 you re-assess your progress and confirm 3 new Moves for the next 28 days.

WHY DOES PROJECTDOITYOURSELF WORK?
Because it addresses all the objections I mentioned earlier. It changes the language around goal-setting to make it a more friendly and learning-focused process. It removes judgement. It works with time-frames that are short enough to predict but long enough to give time to do meaningful work. It’s an easy-to-use system that you can stick to and modify as needed.

TWO EXAMPLES
Context goal: Make R5000 p/m from a new business
Move 1: Find a viable niche Daily action: Internet research for 2-3 hours
Move 2: Learn the basics of WordPress Daily action: Complete a tutorial
Move 3: Learn the basics of marketing Daily action: Read and digest 10 pages
Note: This would be a typical PROJECTDOITYOURSELF8 setup. An action done every day that can be repeated without much thought about what needs to be done. You can also have a few different configurations where the moves follow on each other sequentially to get you to a desired scenario by 28 days.

Context goal: Lose 8 kilograms
Move 1: Find and schedule a personal trainer. Daily action: Research and review personal trainers and then make contact.
Move 2: Find and schedule a an appointment with a dietician. Daily action: Research and review dietician and then make contact.
Move 3: Clean cupboards of all junk food. Daily action: Sort through all food and throw away/donate food that no longer align with goals.
In an ideal world, everything happens instantaneously. In the real world, you have to wait to get an appointment and manage your own schedule and responsibilities.

The above configuration does not involve a specific daily action that will be repeated for 28 days but you might find that getting everything done takes time. However, if you accomplished your Moves by the time you reach day 28, then the foundation has been firmly laid for you to move on to your next PROJECTDOITYOURSELF.

You might also find that completing all of the above only takes a week. What do you do then? You start over.PROJECTDOITYOURSELF is not bound to actual days of the week or month. It is based on stand-alone goals that you can rework at any time.

Siphiwe Billy Sigudla

Meet Lebo Sekgobela Today Wednesday 01 August 2018 At Musica Vaal Mall For Umusa Album official Release

lebo umusa

[Lebo Sekgobela At Vaal Mall Umusa Album 01 August 2018]

FOR BOOKINGS & QUERIES
LUCKY SEKGOBELA (Manager)
{m}: 082 365 6565
{t}: 016 931 1475
{e}: lebopsekgobela@gmail.com
{e}: bookings@lebosekgobela.co.za
{w}: http://www.lebosekgeobela.co.za

Lebo Sekgobela was born in Sebokeng in 1981. She is an anointed vocalist and comes from a loving and supportive family. Lebo is married to Lucky and they are blessed with three Children. Lebo is a born again child of the King of kings and Lord of Lords JESUS. Although she is well travelled in her ministry she has a spiritual home which is Trinity Community Church in Vereeniging where she also serves as a member of the praise and worship team.

Happy Birthday Madiba , Today 18/07/18 we celebrating Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. Nelson Mandela Centenary. International Mandela day

saHappy Birthday Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela wena MadibaRolihlahlaNelson Rolihlahla MandelaNelson mandelaMandelaNelsonMadibaFeatured Image -- 1641

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PS: One Man’s Prayer For Mandela

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The fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22-23 Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

In this the love of God was made manifest among us

As we step into a deeper abundance of relationship with our heavenly Father, our hearts will naturally burn to love people as he has loved us. Loving people was never a chore for Jesus. He loved those around him with the fiery passion of his Father, and God calls you and me to do the same.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”- 1 John 4:7

&
1 John 4:9-12 says, “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” God’s love, perfected in you, will be demonstrated in the way you love others. Allow that fact to rest in your heart for a minute. Allow Scripture to establish in you the core value of selfless love.

I used to think that the highest form of Christian spirituality would be surrendering all forms of pleasure and human contact in order to devote my entire life to relationship with God. But Scripture is clear that God desires to produce in us a passionate pursuit and love for everyone around us. We demonstrate the depth of our love for him through the depth of our love for others. Christianity is not a religion of cliques, comfort zones, or isolation. Rather, it is a personal relationship with a God who loves people and longs to fill us with his love for others.

Our heavenly Father knows that we are incapable of consistently and selflessly loving others in our own strength. He knows that apart from him we are selfish, prideful, fearful, and inconsistent. But our God is fully capable of remarkable transformation if we will open the doors of our hearts to his love and allow him to change us for the better. If we will allow him to satisfy us and heal our wounds, we will receive a flood of genuine love for others that casts out all fear, selfishness, and pride in light of God’s glorious grace.

Jesus said in John 15:12-14, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” What is holding you back from loving others selflessly? Where do you need a fresh filling of God’s love to heal your wounds and satisfy your heart? What fear or source of pride is keeping you from receiving God’s passionate heart for others around you?

Spend time in prayer allowing Scripture to influence and reprioritize what you view as most important. Allow God to flood the dry and wounded places of your heart. And allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with his heart for those around you who desperately need someone to reveal God’s love to them.

 

Prayer:

1. Meditate on Jesus’ commandment to love others in response to his love. Allow Scripture to lay the foundation for how you will decide to live your life.

“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” 1 John 4:9-12

“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” Romans 13:8-10

2. Spend time receiving God’s love. Where do you need his love in order to love others well? What wound is causing you to live fearfully, selfishly, or pridefully? What area of your life needs to be healed or satisfied? Ask God to pinpoint that place.

“So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

3. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you with God’s heart for others. Allow him to show you how he feels about people at your work, school, church, or neighborhood. Ask him to reveal specific people he desires you to love well today. Ask him for specific ways he would have you love them.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:12-14

“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour.” Romans 12:9-10

How to Know When God Is Speaking

  • One of the questions I get asked a lot is, “How do I know if something is from God?”

Like, is this God? Or is that from God?
Is that the Holy Spirit?
Am I hearing things?
Could this just be a bad case of gas, like I ate too much chili?
When should I follow this voice that I’m hearing?

How do I know if something is from God?

Basically, how do I follow God, and specifically the Holy Spirit?

Here are three simple truths, three filters to apply, to know whether or not what we’re hearing is from the Holy Spirit:

1. Follow the fruit.

In the Bible we’re told that the fruit of the Holy Spirit, like the result of the Spirit inside us, are things like love, joy, peace, patience and goodness (Gal 5:22–23).

So if we’re wondering whether or not something is from the Holy Spirit, look for things that bring joy, peace and self-control—not just to yourself, but to others and the world around you.

Are you trying to make a decision, and even though it seems a little crazy you just have this overwhelming peace?

It’s most likely God. Follow it.

Are you feeling like you’re supposed to listen to a family member who’s hard to listen to?
Like you should help a coworker move, and you just so happen to have a pickup?
Or there’s a friend you know you’re supposed to share some hard truth with?
Those sound like love and kindness and goodness. Follow them.

Maybe you need a boundary in your life. Even if something isn’t necessarily wrong, you know it’s not good for you.

That looks like self-control. Follow it.

Look for things that bring out the Fruit of the Spirit, and if you see that fruit appearing in your life and the lives of others, follow it.

There are so many things that we don’t need to wonder about or even pray about. Why? Because God has already made them crystal clear in the Bible. Examples: Should we cheat on our spouse? Nope. Should we forgive the person who cut us off in traffic? Yup. Should we body-slam our coworker? Nope.

There are so many things that we don’t need to wonder about or even pray about.

2. Be consistent, not big.

Often when it comes to following God, we wait for “something big” to happen before being used by him.

We tell ourselves I’m not gonna help this stranger, I’m trying to figure out a way to help 10 strangers. I want to change the world, not just help one person. And with this decision I’m waiting for God to give me a clear sign, like a huge rainbow. In the meantime, I’m not going to do anything.

And with my time and my money, I wanna do something big. And so, I’m just going to sit and wait and wait and wait.

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with big, and being used by God to do big things. We have a God who can do abundantly more than we can imagine. But instead of worrying about big when it comes to following and listening to God, just be consistent.

Imagine what would change if we woke up each morning and asked God what His plan is for our day.

Want to be used by God? Get up each morning and consistently pray:
Holy Spirit, God, what do you want me to do today?
Where can I join you today?
What’s your plan, not mine, today?

And here’s the truth: most big things rarely happen overnight. Instead big things happen when we’re consistent. For how long? Years.

Do you want to do something big? Just be consistent.

Just consistently follow Jesus each day.
Each week.
Each year.
And big things will happen.

3. When I don’t want to.

Honestly in my own life, away from the Bible, one of the clearest filters I have for knowing if the voice inside me is God or not is if what I’m hearing is something that I don’t naturally want to do.

It’s in these moments where things are clearly not from me, because I don’t want to.

Should I make this phone call? I don’t want to.
Should I have this hard conversation? I don’t want to.
Should I help them?
Should I apply for this job?
Should I tell this person about Jesus?
I don’t want to.

Yet inside of me I just keep hearing this still small voice. I keep hearing God. I keep hearing the Holy Spirit telling me to follow him.

And it’s in these moments when instead of saying I don’t want to, we begin to say yes to God.
It’s in these moments when we begin to pray the words of Jesus, “not my will, but yours.”
It’s in these moments when we begin to follow Him that God starts to change us from the inside out. Our heart, our actions, and our life.
It’s in these moments that God begins to transform us in ways we can’t imagine.
It’s in these moments that God begins to do something big in and through our lives.

The voice of God can be hard to hear sometimes, but using these three filters—following the fruit, looking for consistent, not big things, and doing what we naturally wouldn’t want to do—will help us figure out if what we’re hearing is God, or just a bad batch of chili.

Learning from the Past

“These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed. God saw my affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked you last night”. – Genesis 31:41-42

How many times in our life have we taken matters into our own hands rather entrust them to God’s? I did so many times only to be reminded its fruits are always bitter and things don’t end up going as planned. In this passage, we learn of Jacob’s long-suffering and God’s faithfulness. He was fleeing from his uncle Laban who had cheated and deceived him repeatedly. Jacob for his part wasn’t always a man of honesty as he now accuses his father-in-law of trickery. Twenty years before, together with his mother, Rebekah they craftily snatched from Esau his birthright and Isaac’s blessing. Laban became a painful reminder to Jacob’s past deeds. Through the years Jacob was humbled, matured and remained grateful to the Lord. Likewise, when presented with an opportunity don’t give in to the temptation of achieving that edge with dishonourable means. Be a person of integrity and take the high road. Life isn’t fair but that doesn’t give us the excuse to employ dirty tricks. Trust in God; His ways are perfect and timely.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and faithfulness. I will always keep that in my heart by not doubting Your plans for me and by trusting all matters to be done in Your time and way. Amen.

Count down Nine days to go to Nelson Mandela’s Birthday: Happy Birthday Madiba100th Birthday 18July18

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Receive more grace by knowing your Identity in Christ

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)

When you learn to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and your Lord, you become then and there a new creation. You are reborn with a new spirit and are given the chance to walk a new life.

Sure, there may be countless hold habits that you may have carried over to your new self, but with enough discipline anything is possible.

Remember that the Lord shall lead you to new opportunities, open new doors for you, and guide you to create new relationships.

In turn, when you embrace Jesus Christ, you let go of the old and welcome in the new.

Do not let anything discourage you. If anything, be encouraged because you are bound to receive the Lord’s favor no matter what.

Give yourself a chance at a new beginning because you of all people know you deserve it, and the Lord knows it as well.

He is only biding His time for the right moment to unleash His blessings upon you.

Embrace a new faith that accepts Jesus Christ and you shall be rewarded abundantly at a time when you most deserve it.

how to pray

Matthew 6:7-15
In Matthew 6:7, Jesus cautioned against meaningless repetition when talking to the Father. Just two verses
later, He left a pattern to help us pray. However, in using this passage, which is known as the Lord’s Prayer,
we’re often guilty of the very thing Jesus warned against: Instead of thoughtfully praying each line, we run
through the words mindlessly. But if we take time to carefully examine Christ’s words, we’ll find the pattern
that can transform our prayer life.
• ADORATION OF THE FATHER (Matt. 6:9). God the Father is the focus of all our prayers.
We should never forget what a privilege it is to bend our knees on earth and reach almighty God
in heaven.
• SUBMISSION TO HIS WILL (Matt. 6:10). Prayer should reflect a desire to align ourselves with
God’s goals and purposes, not to get Him to follow our plans.
• PETITION GOD FOR OUR NEEDS (Matt. 6:11). We are dependent upon the Lord, and He wants
us to come to Him with our requests.
• CONFESSION OF SINS (Matt. 6:12). When we repent and forgive others, we maintain fellowship
with God. But if we hold grudges, that fellowship is broken. God loves to answer our prayers when
the lines of communication are not disrupted.
• DELIVERANCE FROM EVIL (Matt. 6:13). Our enemy is too strong for us, but Christ has already
won the victory over him.
Jesus ended the prayer where He began—with praise to the Father for His kingdom, power, and glory
(Matt. 6:13). Next time you say this prayer, concentrate on each verse. Then, following this pattern will result
in a more dynamic and effective prayer life because it will be God-centered.

PRAY FOR OTHERS

PRAY FOR OTHERS. Sometimes God gives us a burden to intercede for someone else. Although
we may not be able to help, the Lord can.
• TRUST IN GOD’S POWER. Jesus said that an earnest prayer of faith has the power to move a
mountain (Mark 11:23). No task in harmony with God’s will is impossible to perform when we believe
in Him. Whatever He commands us to do, He gives us the strength and resources to accomplish. As
our heavenly Father, He’s protecting, supporting, and providing everything we need to obey Him.
• PRAY FOR DIRECTION. The Lord wants to guide us into His plan for our lives. If we’ll ask Him
for direction, He may not show us the entire course, but He will provide the next step. To receive
further instruction, we must be willing to obey whatever He has already revealed. As we keep walking
with Him, the path will gradually unfold to us.
• PRAY WITH THE WORD. Effective prayer is anchored in the Word of God. If we try to pray
without it, our requests may not be wise. But as we consistently read the Bible, the Lord will show us
how to pray wisely and according to His will

Making Prayer a Priority

ECCLESIASTES3:1-8

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace.

The Lord Almighty

Psalm 24:10 Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty— he is the King of glory.

Jehovah of hosts, Lord of men and angels, Lord of the universe, Lord of the worlds, is the King of glory. All true glory is concentrated upon the true God, for all other glory is but a passing pageant, the painted pomp of an hour. The ascended Saviour is here declared to be the Head and Crown of the universe, the King of Glory. Our Immanuel is hymned in most sublime strains. Jesus of Nazareth is Jehovah Sabaoth (Romans 9:29  And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.)

 Romans 9:29 It is just as Isaiah said previously: “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”

It signifieth hosts or armies standing ready in martial order, and in battle array, and comprehend all creatures in heaven and in earth, which are pressed to do the will of God.

 

COMBAT IN THE HEAVENLIES Spiritual Warfare

We continue with spiritual warfare. It is very bad if you don’t know your enemy. We must know our
strategies but also we need to know the strength of the enemy we fight with. You are a very weak army if
you don’t know the strength of your enemy. As people called by the name of the Lord, we are like spies of
the kingdom of the living God. Always know about the spiritual mapping of the area you come from.
Always know what the devil is doing alongside with what God is doing. If you keep informed about his
devices, you can come against them. But you will not be beating around the bush. You will be destroying
his targets. Let us pray for protection upon us for we are touching a sensitive area.
We said in the last lesson that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against spiritual wickedness,
principalities, powers and the rulers of darkness. We saw that the principalities are fallen angels, which
work with the devil, and they rule over bigger regions, districts and continents. We saw that there are
some other smaller hierarchies below these. These are the spiritual wickedness. These we saw that their
work is to develop every wickedness we see everywhere. Then the rulers of darkness blind the eyes of
people so that they don’t see the truth. And we saw powers. These are forces that make people to do
things that are wicked. It is like a government in the kingdom of the devil.
We see that after Jesus defeated the devil and demon gods on the cross He went to hell and removed
the keys of death and Hades, the devil and his demon gods went up in the sky and made a firmament.
There is a firmament, which is like a blanket covering the nations of the world. The aspect of the devil is
that they may destroy the fellowship and relationship with people and God. In Isaiah 25.7 it talks about
the firmament or the covering that veils the nations. This shroud is cast by the devil and his hordes of
demon gods. God will destroy it one day even as Isaiah prophesied it.
Above it, (i.e. is the fig above), the spiritual wickedness powers and principalities who act as agents of the
devil and are always above the firmament. These try to withhold our prayers to go through but they have
lesser devils who work here on earth. Some rule where there are sacred stones, others in big trees,
Holes in pillar
Tree
stumps
Born again family
John –
Backslidden
Christian
Jane – Christian
with unbroken
relationship with
God
Open heavens, & divine
protection, pillar of fire
FIRMAMENT
Stone/rock
River
s
Shrine/idols
On mountain
tops
Demon Gods incl. principalities, powers,
rulers of darkness, wicked spirits
Non- believers
Under big
trees
others in rivers, others on mountain tops, others in valleys and others work using idols, tree stumps, at
cross roads etc. Everywhere the priesthoods of the devil give sacrifices.
We saw that the devil cannot rule over the area unless he has a covenant with the people of that area.
We saw that in Daniel, when the angel brought a message to Daniel, he revealed what was happening in
the spiritual realm. He said “on the day you sought your heart to seek God I was sent with your message
but I have been withheld for 21 days by the prince of Persia – but also the ruling kingdom down here were
the Medes and Persians. There was a connection there.
If God sees that an area has the priesthood of the enemy taking hold of the area, where you find that
people are under the rulership of the kingdom of darkness, always, God will make sure He will find a
person who will stand for the kingdom of God. That is why He said in Ezekiel 2230 I looked for a man
willing to stand in the gap. Where there is darkness ruling over villages and towns, God brings people
from different areas, some come in marriage, some looking for work, but in any way God is bringing them
in an area where He wants to use them as a point of contact in dealing with spiritual powers in that area.
So brothers and sisters you find that you were not born here, you may have come from different areas of
the nation, but God brought you to the place you are for a purpose.
If someone comes in that area, he is a born again Christian and uses his/her heart to God you find that
there is a pillar of fire that comes upon your life. This acts as your protection against the powers ruling
over the area. If that pillar is around you, you find that it goes through the firmament. If you develop your
lifestyle of prayer so that it becomes a discipline and you let your heart become a prayer altar so that
whenever you are, the heart is still praying when others are conversing your heart is always conversing
with God, you are keeping up the fire so that the firmament won’t come back and block your prayers.
John the Baptist said “I baptize you with water, but behind me is coming One who will baptize you with
the Holy Spirit and fire”. As we go on seeking God He baptizes us with the Holy Spirit and fire; and you
find that this fire continues to consume our sinful nature. We find that if we start to pray, in an area that
has been blocked by a firmament; and you have the right fellowship and relationship with God; your
prayer acts like fire in this firmament. It is like bringing cooking fat near fire, it starts melting. It is the same
thing when we yield our hearts to God. When we go back and check our heart and we let go of malice
jealousy, anger etc and our hearts are clean before God, we find that because of that fellowship and
relationship, as we pray, the fire of prayer makes the firmament melt away and gives way. Even these
spiritual wickedness, rulers etc will have to run away because they cannot sustain the fire.
Angels
You find that the moment you become born again, you are given an angel to minister to you. This angel
passes through this pillar of prayer to bring messages to you. The moment you keep up your fellowship
and relationship with God, the more you receive answers. That is why we find many today asking “why is
it that when so and so prays they receive, but I have taken years praying for this but it does not come to
pass?” Maybe the time for that has not come but another thing is that maybe you don’t keep your
passage open by an unbroken relationship with God.
Your angel is dressed the same as you put on in the spiritual realm. We are not talking about that now. It
takes an entire seminar. However, Paul talks in Ephesians 6:13- that we should put on the full armor of
God.
Put on the helmet of salvation, the boots of truth, breastplate of righteousness, holding the shield of faith,
and the word of God as the sword of the Spirit and pray from your mouth in supplication. As you put these
on, also your angel wears as you are wearing and he is already there to serve you. As you move in the
land you go with your presence. The pillar of fire is around you and one thing you are doing, you are
bringing chaos in the kingdom of the enemy. As you move, your pillar goes on piercing the firmament.
That is why I told you wherever you are, keep your heart yielded to God, continue with prayer as you are
in your car keep praying. As you go around, as you dig, wash plates etc let your heart keep bubbling up
prayer. Even if you are doing anything you can pray. That is why God gave us the spiritual language.
Many people don’t want to pray in different tongues. Even when we come to church, they feel ashamed; “I
don’t want this one to hear”, but brothers and sisters, these are mysteries the devil wont even understand
and they keep your passage open.
If you go back in your family and start prayer altars, the pillar becomes bigger. In the illustration, there is a
family of born again Christians where they have a family prayer altar every evening lets assume. Before
sleeping and maybe in the morning they pray together. You find that everyone in your family has a
ministering angel. So as we come together as family and create a bigger opening, we are allowing many
angels to be coming.
Put this in your life, the angel won’t move unless we Christians pray and they cannot pass through that
firmament. The Bible says, “Aren’t the angels ministering spirits?” That is why without you God can do
nothing. Without Him we can do nothing. We cannot receive from God unless we cultivate our hearts to
be praying people.
Angels bring protection over the family. They bring messages because there are free openings in heaven.
That is why we saw that when Jacob was at Bethel, Abraham had set up an altar in that place; even after
some years there were open heavens; and you find that angels were descending and ascending. It was
free for them to move around. God could talk to a sinner like Jacob there. If you can just pray and keep
your hearts yielded to God even before we can go to minister to these people because of the free heaven
above, you find that God will convict people of their sinful lives. Many will come to church repenting.
Some will be crying in their beds asking what they can do so that by the time we go to evangelize, it is
already done in the spirit realm. Praise God.
Let us look at John in the illustration. One day he was a born again Christian. Somehow somewhere in
his walk, he got something that hit his heart. Maybe there was someone who talked about him and it was
lies, and he heard bitterness in his heart. He says, “I will not forgive that person”. When you do that, even
when you start to pray, that fire will be quenched by the sin that has entered in your heart. It is prayer
from your heart that can open up the firmament. You find that slowly by slowly, these spiritual wickedness
and principalities slowly start bringing back the firmament in your life. That is why you need to be very
careful that whatever circumstance and situation, the devil can use anyone to bring hurt to you. If you are
not alert and allow it to enter your life, your prayers are no more effective. They are not still fiery. You
bubble out words from lip service. Where true prayer is coming from has been corrupted by sin and the
devil will bring back the firmament above you.
That is why most people today, say, “last year, two years ago I was praying and I could feel the presence
of God. I could feel I touched the heart of God, but today as I pray I feel that my prayers are bouncing
back. I don’t know what is happening.” It is like smoke coming up. And when it reaches the firmament it
just spreads beneath it because it cannot go through, as it is not hot enough. So be very careful. The
devil is fighting for your passage to be closed. If it goes on like that, the Holy Spirit will come and convict
you “please John, forgive and forget”. If you refuse, even your pillar and protection starts to have holes
and the demon gods start throwing things through the walls upon your life. The prayer life goes, when you
pray you start sleeping, when you read the bible you start sleeping, you sleep even when the sermon is
going on. You have been overcome. Why? There is something you are harboring in your heart. Your
prayers cannot go through.
Make sure you set up time for praying. If you don’t do that, the moment you say, “We are going to pray,”
the devil will bring slumbering, and you feel “oh today I feel tired, I will pray tomorrow.” If you don’t keep
this as a discipline, slowly the devil will come and bring back the firmament.
And let me tell you this, if you have asked for anything from God, that is where the most spiritual warfare
is. Let me tell you, you are a married woman. You want a child from God, and then one morning you say
“but God I feel I touch Your heart when I pray, but God I want a child. A baby girl please God give it to
me.” Your angel is there to minister to you. He say’s “okay Joyce wants a baby.” Then he runs to God and
says, “I have been sent. Your daughter wants a baby. They need it. I want to take it.” Then as the angel
has gone, the devil will try to see that he fights you from every corner. It may come from a neighbor
bringing harsh words in the morning, your boss, your husband, etc and you find you are disturbed. If you
are not alert in the spiritual and you keep resentment in your heart, and you wonder “I felt the presence of
God and I even asked for something, and I felt God was answering my prayer, but where is all this chaos
from?”
The devil wants you to lose your contact through the day. If you do that, slowly he comes back because
your heart has been wounded with words, he closes and waits for your angel to come. So here comes
your angel with your baby but on arrival he finds the firmament closed. Remember your angel is dressed
as you. For instance you are good Christian, you are truthful, and have belt of truth, you are saved so you
have your helmet, you walk righteously, and have breastplate of righteousness and you read the word of
God so you have the sword of the spirit, and with faith you move, but you refuse to preach the gospel of
peace i.e. sharing the word with others in any forum. So you are well dressed in the spiritual but you don’t
have shoes.
You are there, smart and ready for war, and your angel is dressed in exactly the same armour as you
have on. The demon will look at you. He is not looking at your angel. He looks at how you are dressed in
the spirit and will use the same weapons you are not wearing to fight your angel. He will bring fire in the
spiritual realm. So the angel is holding the baby trying to fight with the sword, but because there is
somewhere you lack armoury and because of the fire on his feet, he will be shifting his feet trying to fight
but he will not give up the baby. He will try to put on armour and fight back but also tell the Holy Spirit
“please tell Joyce to pray, tell her I am coming with her prayer request.
Maybe during the night as you are sleeping, around 3.00a.m you feel something shaking you. Something
bangs on the roof, you wake up, and you wonder “why am I awake?” You feel something telling you
“pray”, and you say, “It is not time. I will go to morning devotion, I feel tired. God you know I was busy
yesterday.” You have not helped your angel. Because the war is going on and if you pray and repent, the
firmament will give way and he comes.
How many times has the Holy Spirit called you to pray and you refused? You feel during the day you are
uneasy, awake, “maybe today I take a fast but no, it is Thursday I will do that on Monday when the week
is starting”. We always postpone God. “On the weekend we will have a barbeque so I will do it on
Monday”. If you don’t pray these demon gods in the spirit bind your angel, take him as captive, and
remove the gift baby from him. Those are the babies and wealth you find, are got from the witchdoctors in
the shrines. Those are the riches they get from witches. The devil has nothing he can create. Those are
blessings for Christians who are not alert, and you find that other people say “we got a baby”’ and you are
here crying, “oh God I asked for one”. Because you do not keep your opening, you lose many things in
the spiritual.
Repent before God for whenever He has been calling you to come up and pray and you have been
refusing and go on asking God to give you grace whenever you pray, to know what is going on in the
spiritual realm. Maybe there is something good and the devil is fighting it.
Now you have legal ground to break every firmament that is blocking your prayer. Call upon the fire of
God to burn the firmament.
Pray that the fire of prayer will be continually burning in your life

The Example of Moses

Summary
Living an unveiled lifestyle is the way in which we experience the fullness of what’s available to us in our restored relationship with God. It’s a powerful lifestyle of faith, direct encounters with our heavenly Father, and life transformation. It’s when we live our lives in light of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that we begin to experience all his death was purposed to bring us. God longs for his children to walk in intimacy with him directly connected to his wellspring of love for us. May you experience a more tangible, loving, and powerful connection with your heavenly Father this week.
Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.Exodus 34:29
The Devotional

We find in the character of Moses a man transformed by a face-to-face, unveiled encounter with the living God. Exodus 34:29-35 says:

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. But Moses called to them, and Aaron and all the leaders of the congregation returned to him, and Moses talked with them. Afterward all the people of Israel came near, and he commanded them all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai. And when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with him, he would remove the veil, until he came out. And when he came out and told the people of Israel what he was commanded, the people of Israel would see the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face was shining. And Moses would put the veil over his face again, until he went in to speak with him.

Moses serves as an important example for you and me. Moses was a man chosen to go before God on behalf of his people and relay the will and heart of God back to them. And by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, we are now chosen and transformed to live out the same calling. In 1 Peter 2:9 Peter declares that we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of him who called [us] out of darkness into his marvelous light.” We are to operate in the same capacity that Moses did. We are to be children of God that bear the image of our heavenly Father and declare his grace, love, power, and goodness to a world in desperate need of relationship with him. What happened to Moses in Exodus 34 holds true for you and me today: when we meet with God we take on the image of his glory. The difference is that the glory of God now dwells internally rather than externally by the powerful sacrifice of Jesus. As Moses’ face shone with the glory of God, our new nature is now meant to shine, declaring the immeasurable grace and power of Jesus’ sacrifice.

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:6-7“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” The glory of God now dwells within us. And we are to contain his glory as water in jars of clay, that we would pour out his love and grace for all to see. Just as the people of Israel saw the face of Moses and knew he had met with God, we are to meet with our heavenly Father face-to-face and be transformed by his presence for all to see. Jesus’ death has paved the way for you to meet with God face to face–unveiled. Take time in prayer to see the face of God and allow him to transform you into the likeness of Jesus.

The Prayer:

1. Meditate on Exodus 34:29. Allow Scripture to stir up your desire to meet with your heavenly Father face-to-face.

“Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.” Exodus 34:29

2. Renew your mind to your new calling in Jesus. Allow Scripture to fill you with faith to encounter God unveiled.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

3. Spend time meeting with your heavenly Father face-to-face. Ask him to reveal his nearness to you. Rest in his presence and allow it to lay a new foundation for you. Ask him to make you more like him. Ask him to show you how to be a reflection of his glory to the world around you today.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

SBSJesus said

Our Sin and the Holiness of God

Living an unveiled lifestyle is the way in which we experience the fullness of what’s available to us in our restored relationship with God. It’s a powerful lifestyle of faith, direct encounters with our heavenly Father, and life transformation. It’s when we live our lives in light of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that we begin to experience all his death was purposed to bring us. God longs for his children to walk in intimacy with him directly connected to his wellspring of love for us. May you experience a more tangible, loving, and powerful connection with your heavenly Father this week.

 

Leviticus 21:23

“But he shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.”

 

Our heavenly Father is both entirely full of love and completely holy. And in the greatest tragedy of all time, our sin caused the love and holiness of our God to be at opposition with one another. His greatest desire was for unadulterated, perfect relationship with us. And with Adam and Eve that longing was fulfilled. He could enjoy communion with us without separation. But when sin entered the grand narrative of human history God’s unshakable, holy nature could not allow him to walk in perfect communion with us any longer. Our sin caused a rift between us and him that his love could not yet overcome.

So great is the holiness of our God and so great was the depth of our sin that a veil was placed between us and our heavenly Father, a veil signifying the horrific separation of God and man. In a description of the veil, Exodus 26:31-33 says, “And you shall make a veil of blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen. It shall be made with cherubim skillfully worked into it. And you shall hang it on four pillars of acacia overlaid with gold, with hooks of gold, on four bases of silver. And you shall hang the veil from the clasps, and bring the ark of the testimony in there within the veil. And the veil shall separate for you the Holy Place from the Most Holy.”

Only one man, chosen to go before God as Israel’s representative, was allowed to pass through the veil once a year on the Day of Atonement. And so great was God’s holiness and our sin that if anyone else was to enter, the power of God’s holiness would kill them. In Leviticus 16:2, God commanded Moses, “Tell Aaron your brother not to come at any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat that is on the ark, so that he may not die. For I will appear in the cloud over the mercy seat.”

In order to appreciate the power of Christ’s sacrifice, we must acknowledge the status from which we have been redeemed. In Luke 7:47, in reference to the depth of a prostitute’s love for him, Jesus says, “Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” You have been forgiven much regardless of what lifestyle you have come from. So great was the chasm your sin created that you were incapable of communion with your Creator. Without the sacrifice of Christ you would have no restored relationship with God, no Holy Spirit dwelling within you, and no grace, mercy, or total forgiveness.

So that you might greatly love your heavenly Father today, spend time in prayer focusing on the depth of your sin, which has been sacrificially redeemed by the love of Jesus Christ.

The prayer

1. Meditate on the depth of your inherited sin. You were, by nature, completely separated from the love of your heavenly Father.

“We all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” Ephesians 2:3

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23

2. Take time to reflect on what your life would be like without relationship with your heavenly Father. What would it be like to be without God’s grace and forgiveness? What would it be like to be without his presence for all of your days?

3. Take time to thank God for the abundance of his goodness. Worship him for his sacrifice. Love him greatly in response to the depth of your sins.

“I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.” Psalm 138:1-3

“So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.” Psalm 63:2-4

“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” Psalm 145:8-9

 

 

 

Deep Sin & The Christian Soul

Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal. 5.19-21)

As I recently finished a Church Bible Study on the book of Galatians, those verses inevitably caused some discussion.

I mean, we’ve all to some degree engaged in most–if not all–of the items on that list at some point in our lives, right? Even if you’re a Christian.

So what does it mean to say “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”?

As we discussed it, we arrived at the answer many of us come to if you grew up in the Church: these scary statements only apply to those individuals who have these “works of the flesh” as a pattern of their life to such a degree one might be able to say that the sins have “dominion” over them. That answers it, right?

Not really. Because there are Christians who find themselves in seasons–days, weeks, months, decades, even–where these sins are their practice over time, seasons where these sins have a very real sense of dominion over them and their lives.

And, this isn’t theoretical or theological for me. To be honest, I myself am coming out just such a time.

. . . . . 

I wrote the above words a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I’ve only sunk deeper into the bewilderment of this season I’m coming out of. How does a Christian understand a period of time in which they’re given over so deeply into self-absorption, sin, and hurting of others? I’ve sat on this question, mulling it over, letting it ruminate within me to see what fruit it bore. I’ve wanted to figure out a nice, tidy answer to this post–for the sake of both others and myself.

And alas, I have been found wanting.

In the end, why do we/I ask such questions? Control? Minimizing our shame? Explaining our wrongs away? Emotionally masturbatory navel-gazing? Intellectualizing or theologizing sin so as to disconnect from the depth of pain that would come if we really saw ourselves and what we’ve done?

Probably all of the above (again, at least for me).

Ultimately, this walk with God isn’t that complicated. We’re called to love God and love others. We/I fail in that simple task repeatedly–even to dramatic, painful, extreme, and sustained degrees. And, yes, also to a million lesser, little degrees. In short: we’re terrible even at this grand, beautiful simplicity.

And that’s anticipated. Whenever God gives a law, he assumes failure, sin, and disobedience and provides a way to maintain relationship. This has always been the case with God, not just since all the Jesus stuff. Therefore even with the simple call to love God and love others, our failure is factored in.

But that’s just the divine perspective–how God might be thinking about the Christian who is in the fog of sin, failure, and weakness. To be frank, though: as beautiful as that idea is, it’s not exactly helpful to me in processing my own unique period of profound sin against God and others. For that, I turn to ground-level human stories of how people processed this as they related to God and themselves.

When you do, you see that over and over again people in the Scriptures just acknowledge and lament their sin, and ask God to move on their behalf. There’s no deep analysis of “why”, nor dissecting what was going on in the human heart, nor anxiety over what was theologically happening at the time.

It seems that those scary verses like the one from Galatians aren’t meant to guide your understanding while you’re in the midst of a season of profound soul-sickness, but to either prevent others from falling prey to such sickness or explain why others “died” in that sickness.

In other words, the identity of one joined to the life of God is not defined by whether or not they fail (even in big ways against others), but whether after that time of failure, chaos, and sin, they come back. If they at some point (even decades down the road) return to their senses, then I think we can say in hindsight they’ve belonged to God all along.

We see this throughout the history of God’s people. For example, Moses was no less God’s chosen and beloved deliverer of his people even as his anger and violence kept him from the Promised Land. Of course, the disciples themselves belonged no less to Jesus even as they denied him. Paul was no less joined to Christ even as he “did what he didn’t want to do and didn’t do what he wanted”.

But some of the other stories are deeply offensive. Abraham was no less chosen by God even as he distrusted God’s word and committed horrendous acts of sexual violence against an African slave-woman. Isaac was no less the son of promise even as he pimped out his wife to save his own skin. David was no less God’s own, even as he famously had an affair and killed the woman’s husband to hide it.

On one hand, I don’t like that. These men abused women and exerted their power and sexuality in a way that harmed others deeply and profoundly. On the other hand, what do I do when I act the same way? What do I do when find myself at that place where I have done what I never thought I’d do? How do I process it when I find myself having crossed lines and committed injustices that I find so deeply unacceptable and offensive in others?

This story of belonging to God even during horrendous acts of pain against others has to be offensive, because at some point, we will act in a way offensive to many of our own most deeply-held personal convictions and sensibilities.

I say that not to be dramatic, but I genuinely think that all humans, at some point in their lives, will find themselves at that place of sitting among the ruins of former beauty asking, “what on earth have I done? Did I really do this? Is this even real?”

And when that happens (not if), a precise theological understanding of our soul’s state during that season is not what will sustain us. All we can do is confess, lament, feel the pain deeply without intellectualizing it, and ask for God to move on our behalf, knowing he probably won’t do so right away; there’s a strange alchemy that needs to happen in the soul during such a time. And it’s never on our timetable. All we can do, it seems, is follow the example of Micah 7:

I will look to the Lord,
    I will wait for the God of my salvation;
    my God will hear me….
I must bear the indignation of the Lord,

    because I have sinned against him,
until he…executes judgment for me.
He will bring me out to the light;
    I shall see his vindication.

While that doesn’t answer all (or really any) of my questions, it’s enough to help me go to sleep tonight and continue walking tomorrow into increasing light, freedom, discipline, repentance, and wholeness. And I think, at least for now, that’s enough. And for that, I’m grateful.

Pastor Billy Sigudla

Our Righteousness in Jesus Christ

Living an unveiled lifestyle is the way in which we experience the fullness of what’s available to us in our restored relationship with God. It’s a powerful lifestyle of faith, direct encounters with our heavenly Father, and life transformation. It’s when we live our lives in light of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus that we begin to experience all his death was purposed to bring us. God longs for his children to walk in intimacy with him directly connected to his wellspring of love for us. I trust that you enjoyed your church service this Sunday morning. May you experience a more tangible, loving, and powerful connection with your heavenly Father this coming week ahead.

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For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

2 Corinthians 5:21

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2 Corinthians 5:14-21 describes one of the most powerful outcomes of Jesus’ sacrifice for us on the cross. Scripture says,For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus’ death on the cross defeated the power of sin and darkness and set us free to walk in the glorious light of righteousness. You and I have been transformed by the power of Jesus’ death. He took every sin we would ever commit and bore the entirety of their penalty. Through the death of Jesus, you and I are now free to live as new creations formed in the righteous and holy image of our heavenly Father.

When God tore the veil, he demonstrated that our sin and depravity couldn’t hold back his presence any longer. Thousands of years of pent-up longing for restored relationship burst forth proclaiming the newfound nature of God’s people who would choose to accept and follow Jesus.

There is no more important way to end this week of pursuing a greater connection to our heavenly Father than accepting our new standing before God. Even though Jesus defeated the power of sin in our lives, our great enemy continues to tempt us, lie to us, and steal from us the abundant life God intends. He continues to try to rob God of what he so fully deserves: unencumbered relationship with his children.

Satan lies to us and tells us that sin still causes God to withhold himself from us. We allow condemnation that is not of God to creep in and cause us to believe that our heavenly Father doesn’t want to be with us. But the truth is, God always wants to be with his children. God runs out to us, calls us his beloved, wraps us with honor and his righteousness, and leads us into his glorious embrace.

Take time and renew your mind to your righteousness in Jesus. Ask the Spirit for fresh revelation of your freedom from sin and allow your longings to be satisfied in God rather than the world today.

Pastor Billy Sigudla

Resurrection Sunday message just for you by Pastor Billy 16.04.2017

Introduction :
The Gospel has Five doctrinal Truth.

1. The Birth
2. The Life
3. The Death
4. The Resurrection and
5. Ascension
If your church does not preach about this I’m afraid it’s a scam, a fly by night .

Sermon:
There are three classes of Christians: (read:2Cor2:10,Rev12:8-9,2 Cor11:3-4,1Tim4:1-3,John8:44 and 2 Cor 12:7-9)
The are three classes of Christians
Class One: I call, un surrendered – Deceived. These people are not Christians and are easily deceived about what’s going on in the spirit realm.
Class Two: I call Surrendered-Deceived . These group are #Christians, but are still into thinking that everything comes from God . ( Yes #PastorBilly #SBS said it publicly as I was taught in my pastoral studies and I have shared it with you now you know)
Class Three: I call, Surrendered- Undeceived . These Christians have no misplaced illusions concerning what’s going on behind the scenes. Satan and #FalseProphets , #FalsePastors, cannot hide from Them.
Think about what happened to Adam . He wanted to be like God. Who would not want to? But seeking to become God he became #Satan. #Praying to become a spiritual father at any price is a prayer God wants to answer . Just be certain that it’s God who is answering and not Satan.
It is possible for Christians to be trapped behind enemy lines.
It’s naive for Christians to think that because they are Christians they are immune from #SatanicAttacks . These deceived ones often use verses like : 1 John 4:4 Greater is he that is in me than he who is in the world to Justify their position. However , just because the #HolySpirit resides within us does not mean that we are free from delete spiritual battle. There are spiritual battles galore occurring all around us; that’s why there are so many verses in the bible warning us about demonic struggles! (read: John 17:15, 2 Timothy 2:24-26
1 Peter 5:8, 1 Timothy3:7, Ephesians 4;27
Don’t stumble blindly through an open door to the #occult world
Just because entering into the promised Land , God declared occultist activities off limits upon penalty of death . God’s instruction are recorded Deut18:10

Conclusion :
When Christ was baptized a voice was heard from the father saying this is my son whom I’m pleased . This teach us we need to test and get validation from the father before you take ever word from a Person.
Here are some ways to overcome Satan
1. Live in the present #John10_10
2. Use #James4_7 as guideline : submit to God, resist the devil.
Read:2Cor10:3-7, Rom16:20
3. The armor of God enunciated in #Eph6_10 to16 will quench any and all fiery arrows which Satab may send against us.
Finally #ApostlePaul reminds us that every demonic or spiritual attack calls for #Prayer project by which we #Pray fit Satan’s defeat and God’s victory .
Enjoy you #ressurectionsunday

Calvary Regards,

#PastorBilly

#MorutiSBSigudla #SBS
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Sharon Baptist Church Under Leadership Of Senior Pastor John Sigudla, Pampierstad! Easter weekend 2017

Wow!!! Sharon Baptist Church, Pampierstad!! For the whole weekend kindly come and celebrate with us!!! In God we Trust. see the attached program for service times!! Your life will never be the same. Senior Pastor John Sigudla. PAMPIESTAD FOR JESUS!!

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Pastor Billy Sigudla

CONFESSING YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS PLEASES GOD

Every time you confess, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ”, God the Father is pleased. When you confess that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, it reminds Him of what His Son has done for you to become righteous.

Also, by making you righteous, God is showing Himself righteous to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justified of the one who has faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:26)

Each time Jesus hears you confess, I am the righteousness of God in Christ, it brings much pleasure to His heart too, because you are laying hold of what He suffered and died to give you.

The Holy Spirit, who now indwells you to convict you of righteousness (John 16:10), also rejoices when you confess, I am the righteousness of God in Christ. He is pleased when you flow with Him.

The delight of the Godhead is not the only thing you gain when you declare, I am the righteousness of God in Christ. The Bible tells us that when you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33)

Whether it is food, clothing or other necessities in life, all these things will be added to you. They will not just be given to you, but added to you as your inheritance when you seek first His righteousness.

You don’t need to use your faith for every single need in life. You just need to use your faith for one thing—to believe that you are the righteousness of God in Christ, and it will cause all the blessings you seek to come after you and overtake you!

Don’t Deal With Fear…Get Free From It!

Do you ever feel afraid? How about when you drive in heavy traffic, or hear news of a tornado headed for your neighborhood? Or how about when you hear the sound of emergency vehicle sirens when your teenager is out with friends? If you find yourself afraid, you can be free from that fear! Listen and learn how to utilize your faith in God and command fear to leave every part of your life forever . Read the #Bible

Is Your Head Getting in the Way of Your Faith?

Have you ever had a problem come up, and couldn’t help but ask, Lord, is this a test? The fact is, every person alive will face challenges of some sort in his or her lifetime. Jesus said, In the world you will have tribulation.” But He didn’t stop there. He added, “be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33, NKJV). So, what do you do when you face one of the many challenges life holds for all of us? How do you make it through times of trial and tap into that world-overcoming victory? How do you pass the tests? God has never taken away our ability to choose how we handle tests, but He has given us a Book with all the answers! #TheBible

The Spirit-Filled Life (Part 1)

The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit

Introduction

The Apostle Paul reminds us that the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power (1 Cor. 4:20), and that the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in (or “by” pointing to the means) the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). The message of the Gospel brings the power of God into every believer’s life through the person and work of the Lord Jesus and the empowering ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

1 Corinthians 1:18, 24 For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…24 But to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5 My conversation and my preaching were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Far too many Christians, however, are not experiencing the enabling power of God. For these believers it is simply a matter of doing the best they can to conform to certain expected standards. On the surface, some appear to be more successful at conforming to the rules than others, but if they are honest with themselves, and this is no easy task because of our bent for self-deception, there is the ever present awareness that something is wrong.

In our attempt to rationalize, we may seek to find comfort in thoughts such as: “No one is perfect, we all have our weaknesses,” or “I am doing the very best I can, and I am sure God understands.” Of course, no one is perfect, and certainly God does understand. Let’s assume we are doing our best, but this does not alter the fact that unless we are walking by faith in God and in His abundant resources in Christ, we are missing the abundant life Christ offered when He said, “I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly” (John 10:10b).

Is our best what God wants? No! He wants faith in His best, the Lord Jesus, and in the person of the Spirit whom God has sent to indwell us and empower us so we can experience the power of Christ and the ability to do our best, not in our own strength, but in the strength which God supplies. “Toward this goal I also labor, struggling according to his power that powerfully works in me.” (Colossians 1:29, author’s translation).

Because of human weakness, no one can live the Christian life any more than one can perfectly keep the Law of the Old Testament (cf. Rom. 3:9-20; Gal. 3:10-14). If we could live the Christian life without God’s enablement, why do you suppose God would promise the Holy Spirit to indwell the church (John 7:37-39; 14:17)? If we could live the Christian life and serve the Lord without God’s power through faith, why would the Lord Jesus give the Holy Spirit the title of “the Helper” or better, “the Enabler” (John 14:16, 26), then point out the disciples’ inadequacy apart from the Spirit (John 16:7-15), and tell them not to attempt any ministry until the coming of the Spirit (Acts 1:4-8)? Yet, it seems to me that we so often try to do just exactly that. So often, we tend to run off to do this or that in our own steam because we are all so prone to trust in our own resources.

Since the Spirit is our Enabler, the doctrine of the filling of the Holy Spirit (like positional truth) is critical to fellowship with God and to obedience. Without an understanding of this doctrine the believer cannot properly function in the Christian life.

It is sometimes said, Christianity is not a way of life, it is a life to live. It is the reproduction of Christ in the believer’s life by faith just as the apostle stated in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” However, it is God the Holy Spirit who reproduces the character of Christ in the life of the believer. This has both a positive and a negative side.

(1) The Positive Side: Paul had the positive element in mind in Romans 8:4 when he wrote “so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Positive righteousness, i.e., the fruit of the Spirit or the character of Jesus Christ, is reproduced in the believer who is under the Spirit’s control.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law

(2) The Negative Side: In Romans 8:13 Paul added, “(for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.” This teaches that, on the negative side, the deeds (sins) of the flesh are put off, not by will power—though our will is certainly involved—but by the enablement of the Holy Spirit. Note Galatians 5:16, But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.” Producing the character of Christ from both the negative (putting off the deeds of the flesh) and from the positive (putting on godly characteristics) is the work of the Holy Spirit.

The necessity of a proper understanding of the filling/controlling ministry of the Spirit is intensified by such passages as Galatians 4:19 where Paul prayed, “My children—I am again undergoing birth pains until Christ is formed in you!” Included in the meaning of the Greek word translated “formed” ( morfow) is the concept of giving outward expression of inward character. “The form means the essential form rather than outward shape. The idea is therefore of real Christlike character.”45 Paul is praying for Christ to be outwardly expressed in the believer, but from within through the power of the Spirit. Mere external conformity is not the goal. Note also that the verb “formed” is passive. This means the subject receives the action rather than produces the action.

Christ formed in one’s life is not something the Christian can do, nor is it something Christ does Himself. Christ does not manifest Himself in the life of the Christian. This ministry has been given to the Holy Spirit and that fact is born out in numerous passages such as John 16:14 where the Lord says of the Spirit, “He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.” Compare also, the following passages:

Ephesians 1:16-19 I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you spiritual wisdom and revelation in your growing knowledge of him, 18 —since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened—so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of his immense strength.

Galatians 5:16-25 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God! 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit.

Perhaps it can be illustrated this way if one doesn’t take the illustration too far. The believer is like an automobile whether new and beautiful or old and not so pretty. Either way the automobile has all the equipment necessary to run with power—a transmission, an engine, a carburetor, wheels, tires, etc. But without one ingredient, gasoline, the car cannot function. All of its equipment is there, but it is useless unless there is gas to bring about internal combustion. The Holy Spirit is that combustion power for the believer, who, unlike the gas in our cars, is always present since He comes to permanently indwell every believer (Eph. 4:30).

In Romans 6, Paul points to our wonderful resources (our position in Christ) which provide the basis for newness of life. But in Romans 7 he teaches us two important truths with regard to deliverance and spirituality. First, the Law or any other system of ethics, while it exposes our sin, cannot make us righteous or deliver from the power of sin. Second, the apostle teaches us our new position, though absolutely necessary for spiritual transformation, is powerless by itself. It is the necessary foundation for deliverance, but with this new position, we need the empowering work of the ministry of the Holy Spirit as described in Romans 8 to utilize our new resources in Christ.

We need to understand that every believer has been indwelt by the Spirit and has both the resources and the power necessary for the abundant life that the Savior promised us in John 10:10b. Our problem is not putting gas in the tank, but using (walking in dependence upon) the power that is there. The need is for every believer to understand and follow the biblical injunctions of Ephesians 5:18, “be filled (be controlled) with (by means of) the Spirit,” and Galatians 5:16, “live by the Spirit.” Later in this study, support for this view of Ephesians 5:18 will be given.

Learning to walk by the Spirit, however, is not so easy. In the first place, the Scripture does not give us a simple definition of how to be filled, and it is not learned by a casual reading of the New Testament. In the second place, there are all kinds of erroneous concepts floating around in Christian circles today. Some teach a spirituality by works (legalism) or will power. Legalism (spirituality by the keeping of the Law) was the problem at Galatia. Others teach a relative concept of filling in that they treat the Spirit as a substance which we get a little at a time. Still others today are viewing the filling of the Spirit as merely a quality of life that is somewhat analogous to spiritual growth. They may even talk about the control of the Spirit, but when you carefully look at their whole proposition for the Spirit-filled walk, it seems to me it borders on a form of self-reformation wherein one simply learns to replace old life dominating patterns with a new lifestyle patterned after the Scripture. There is truth in this approach, but not the whole truth. It lacks the concept of the moment-by-moment dependence on the Spirit coupled with the concept of growth.

Many fail to understand the difference between indwelling, anointing, sealing, and baptizing, and the filling of the Spirit. We often hear people pray for a special anointing. Hymns are sung such as Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove, or Fill Me Now which do not reflect sound theology in relation to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The second verse of Fill Me Now says, “Thou canst fill me, gracious Spirit, though I cannot tell Thee how; But I need Thee, greatly need Thee, Come, O Come, and fill me now.” Surely the writer of this old hymn was expressing our need of the ministry of the Spirit and His control, but the wording is inaccurate and misleading because it fails to distinguish between the indwelling of the Spirit and the filling (control) of the Spirit. The same applies to the chorus Spirit of the Living God, Fall Afresh On Me. The Spirit, as will be explained in more detail later, is not a substance which comes to fill us, but a person who has come to indwell us if we have trusted in Christ. Indeed, one of the proofs of salvation is the presence of the Spirit. Romans 8:9 reads, “…Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him.”

The purpose of this study is to:

(1) Define and clarify just who the Holy Spirit is and what it is that He does.

(2) Understand the unique age in which we live as it relates to the Holy Spirit.

(3) Define and clarify the terms used of the Holy Spirit such as anointing, indwelling, and filling, etc.

(4) Demonstrate from Scripture how to be filled with the Spirit, i.e., how to walk under the control of the Holy Spirit in order to experience the character of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ will not express Himself in the life of the believer apart from the ministry of the Spirit. If the Spirit’s ministry is not understood, then His work in reproducing Christ in us is hindered, if not completely quenched.

Before we actually begin to deal with the Spirit-filled life, what it means, and how we can experience it, there is some ground work that must be laid or we could quickly go off into error with regard to the ministries of the Spirit.

The Person of the Holy Spirit
(Who the Spirit Is)

THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The least understood person of the Godhead is the Holy Spirit. Yet a proper understanding of the truth of His personality is crucial to a number of other doctrines of Scripture, including the ministry of the Spirit Himself.

To deny the personality of the Spirit is to “deny His real existence, the existence of the Trinity, and the teaching of the Scriptures on the subject. Nevertheless, His personality has been denied throughout the ages, first by the Monarchians, the Arians, … and the Socinians in the days of the reformation.” In modern days, His personality has been denied by one Pentecostal group and by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The name “Holy Spirit” occurs 89 times in the New Testament, and this number does not include the times He is referred to simply as “Spirit.” This, plus the fact He is promised in the Old Testament and is a special gift from God in the New Testament, should show just how important it is to understand what the Scripture teaches about the Spirit.

HE HAS THE ATTRIBUTES OF PERSONALITY

(1) Intellect.

These verses show the Holy Spirit has a mind, that He thinks, searches, and teaches. When we combine this with the other attributes of the Spirit set forth in the Bible, we see this is not like a programmed computer with memory, or like a sign that gives direction along the road, but the Holy Spirit has a mind and does things as a person.

1 Corinthians 2:10-13 God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things that are freely given to us by God. 13 And we speak about these things, not with words taught us by human wisdom, but with those taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.

Romans 8:27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will.

(2) Emotion.

We cannot grieve or cause pain to an influence. We are only able to grieve a person who can love and feel. Because of the Spirit’s holy character—another element of personality—He is grieved by our sin. Note in particular the statement in James 4:5: Or do you think the scripture means nothing when it says, “The spirit that God caused to live within us has an envious yearning?” An “influence” or an “it” does not envy or jealously guard another.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Hebrews 10:29 How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace?

James 4:5 Or do you think the scripture means nothing when it says, “The spirit that God caused to live within us has an envious yearning”?

(3) Will.

Concerning the will of the Holy Spirit, Ryrie writes:

The distribution of spiritual gifts is said to be according to the will of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:11), and He is able to direct the activities of God’s servants. This is well illustrated by the Spirit leading Paul at Mysia and Troas. He forbade Paul to preach in Asia and Bithynia, …

We can translate, “as he decides” of 1 Corinthians 12:11 as “as He purposes or determines.” This could hardly be predicated of a mere it.

1 Corinthians 12:11 It is one and the same Spirit, distributing as he decides to each person, who produces all these things.

Acts 16:6-11 They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this, 8 so they passed through Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 A vision appeared to Paul during the night: A Macedonian man was standing there urging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 After Paul saw the vision, we attempted immediately to go over to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. 11 We put out to sea from Troas and sailed a straight course to Samothrace, the next day to Neapolis,

HE PERFORMS THE ACTIONS OF PERSONALITY

(1) He teaches.

John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

John 16:13-15 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.

(2) He testifies or bears witness.

John 15:26 When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me,

(3) He guides or leads.

Romans 8:14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

(4) He performs miracles.

Acts 8:39 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him any more, but went on his way rejoicing.

(5) He convinces.

John 16:7-8 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment—

(6) He restrains.

Genesis 6:3 So the Lord said, “My spirit will not remain in mankind indefinitely since they are mortal. They will remain for one hundred and twenty more years.”

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 And so you know what holds him back, so that he will be revealed in his own time. 7 For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way,

(7) He commands and directs people.

Acts 8:29 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.”

(8) He intercedes in prayer.

Romans 8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings.

We can learn from books or from our experiences, but they do not really function as teachers who possess will and purpose. Handcuffs can restrain, but in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 (if this refers to the Spirit through His role in the church, and many believe it does) the restrainer is spoken of as “he”—a person. (See below on the concept of accidence.)

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 And so you know what holds him back, so that he will be revealed in his own time. 7 For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way,

The aspect of bearing witness is presented as the work of one who is a person. All of these actions of the Spirit are presented in Scripture, especially when taken as a whole, as the work of a person who is vitally involved with us as people in a relationship. For instance, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us and performs miracles—things which only a person can do.

HE RECEIVES ASCRIPTIONS OF PERSONALITY

Ryrie writes: “Certain acts are performed toward the Holy Spirit which would be incongruous if He did not possess true personality.”

(1) He can be obeyed.

Acts 16:6-7 They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them to do this,

(2) He can be lied to.

Acts 5:3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back for yourself part of the proceeds from the sale of the land?”

(3) He can be resisted.

Acts 7:51 You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors did!

(4) He can be blasphemed.

Matthew 12:31 For this reason I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

(5) He can be grieved.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

(6) He can be insulted.

Hebrews 10:29 How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God, and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy, and insults the Spirit of grace?

HE RECEIVES ACCIDENCE OF PERSONALITY

The Greek word for Spirit is pneuma which fundamentally means “breath, wind.” “Wind” in John 3:8 is pneuma. From this word, we derive English words like “pneumonia” or “pneumatic.” Pneuma is a neuter gender word and would normally require a neuter gender pronoun according to a rule of Greek grammar called concord. However, because the Holy Spirit is a person, the New Testament writers sometimes used a masculine pronoun in place of a neuter pronoun for the neuter noun pneuma. Masculine pronouns are used of the Spirit in John 15:26; 16:7, 8, 13, and 14.

RAMIFICATIONS OF THE PERSONALITY OF THE SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit is related to people as a distinct person rather than simply an influence. The following are some illustrations:

(1) He is related to the apostles as a distinct and separate person who thought about what was best and related that to the apostles who were in accord with the Spirit.

Acts 15:28 For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules:

(2) He is related to the Lord Jesus as a distinct and separate person.

John 16:14 He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.

(3) He is related to the other persons of the Godhead so as to indicate personality. Concerning this, Ryrie writes:

In the passages where this occurs it would be completely unnatural to regard the Spirit as a thing while understanding the Father and the Son as persons. The baptismal formula is in the “name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19). Not only does the association of the Spirit with the Father and the Son argue for the Spirit’s personality, but the use of the word “name” in the singular also indicates that He is a person just as the others are. The apostolic benediction leads to the same conclusion: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (2 Cor. 13:14).

(4) He is distinguished from His own power as a person. Ryrie writes:

Further, the Holy Spirit is related to His own power and yet distinguished from it, so that one may not conclude that the Spirit is only power. “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee” (Luke 4:14). A verse like this leads one to understand that the Spirit is a person who has power, and not that the Spirit is simply a powerful force or thing. Other examples of this distinction between the Spirit as a person and that person’s power are found in Luke 1:35; Acts 10:38; Romans 15: 13; I Corinthians 2:4. The phraseology of these verses would be useless and inexplicable repetition if the Holy Spirit were conceived as merely a power or influence and not a distinct personality with power of His own.51

The Deity of the Holy Spirit

PROOFS FOR THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

The fact that the Holy Spirit is a person does not prove that He is God, but the reverse of that is true. If He is God, then He must be a person as God is. However, the denial of His deity and personality usually go together. Erickson writes:

The deity of the Holy Spirit is not as easily established as is that of the Father and the Son. It might well be said that the deity of the Father is simply assumed in Scripture, that of the Son is affirmed and argued, while that of the Holy Spirit must be inferred from various indirect statements found in Scripture. There are, however, several bases on which one may conclude that the Holy Spirit is God in the same fashion and to the same degree as are the Father and the Son.

PROVEN BY HIS TITLES

The title “the Holy Spirit” is in itself an affirmation that He is God in keeping with the emphasis of God’s holiness found throughout the Bible. His deity, however, is further borne out by the various references to the Spirit which are clearly interchangeable with references to God, and in essence speak of Him as God. Two prominent illustrations show this.

The first illustration is Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-4. Concerning this Erickson writes:

Bringing a portion of the proceeds to the apostles, they represented it as the whole of what they had received. Peter spoke harsh words of condemnation to each of them, and both were struck dead. In rebuking Ananias, Peter asked, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land?” (v. 3). In the next verse he asserts, “You have not lied to men but to God.” It seems that in Peter’s mind “lying to the Holy Spirit” and “lying to God” were interchangeable expressions. It could, of course, be argued that two different referents were in view, so that Peter was actually saying, “You have lied both to the Holy Spirit and to God.” The statement in verse 4, however, was apparently intended to make it clear that the lie was told not to humans, to someone less than God, but to God Himself. Thus, we are led to the conclusion that the second statement is an elaboration of the first, emphasizing that the Spirit to whom Ananias had lied was God.

A second illustration is found in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 where again the titles “Holy Spirit” and “God” are used interchangeably in the apostle’s discussion of the body of Christ and believers as individuals.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.

It is also significant that the word for temple is the Greek naos which was used of the Holy of Holies portion of the temple, the place where the Ark was and where God dwelt in the Old Testament before the parting of His glory. Today, the believer’s body is the naos—the dwelling place of God through the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:21-22 In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

This was apparently in the apostle’s mind when he chose the word naos.

PROVEN BY HIS ATTRIBUTES

(1) Omniscience.

1 Corinthians 2:10-11 God has revealed these to us by the Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the things of a man except the man’s spirit within him? So too, no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10-11 combines both the personality of the Spirit as one who knows and thinks, and His omniscience. The Spirit could not possibly know the thoughts of God who is omniscient and omnipresent unless He too possessed these attributes. This shows the Spirit fully comprehends the depth of God’s thoughts and plans of grace. Who but God could comprehend the thoughts of God?

(2) Omnipotence.

Regarding this attribute of the Holy Spirit, Erickson writes:

In Luke 1:35 the phrases “the Holy Spirit” and “the power of the Most High” are in parallel or synonymous construction. This is, of course, a reference to the virgin conception, which must certainly be considered a miracle of the first magnitude. Paul acknowledged that the accomplishments of his ministry were achieved “by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:19). Moreover, Jesus attributed to the Holy Spirit the ability to change human hearts and personalities: it is the Spirit who works conviction (John 16:8-11) and regeneration (John 3:5-8) within us. It should be borne in mind that Jesus had elsewhere said with respect to this ability to change human hearts: “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26; see vv. 16-25). While these texts do not specifically affirm that the Spirit is omnipotent, they certainly indicate that he has power which presumably only God has.

(3) Omnipresence.

Psalm 139:7-10 Where can I go to escape your spirit?
Where can I flee to escape your presence?
8 If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there.
If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be.
9 If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn,
and settle down on the other side of the sea,
10 even there your hand would guide me,
your right hand would grab hold of me.

(4) Eternality.

Hebrews 9:14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.

Matthew 4:1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

The eternality of the Holy Spirit is affirmed in Hebrews 9:14 which states that Christ offered Himself “through the eternal Spirit.” Some have suggested that this is a reference to the human spirit of Christ, but it is more consistent to see this as a reference to the Holy Spirit since, from the standpoint of His humanity, Jesus Christ always lived His earthly life under the control and leading of the Holy Spirit (cf. Matt. 12:18-28).

PROVEN BY HIS WORKS

(1) Creation.

Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water.

Psalm 104:30 When you send your life-giving breath, they are created,
and you replenish the surface of the ground.

Erickson writes:

He was and continues to be involved with the creation, both in the origination of it and in the providential keeping and directing of it. In Genesis 1:2 we read that the Spirit of God was brooding over the face of the waters. Job 26:13 notes that the heavens were made fair by the Spirit of God. The Psalmist says, “When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they [all the parts of the creation previously enumerated] are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground” (Ps. 104:30).

(2) Inspiration of Scripture.

2 Timothy 3:16 Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

2 Peter 1:21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

In 2 Timothy 3:16 we are told all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable (literally, “God-breathed”). This verse declares the fact and value of the inspiration of the Bible. In 2 Peter 1:21 we are given the how of inspiration: men were moved by the Holy Spirit, borne along like wind in the sail of a ship. Here again the titles God and Holy Spirit seem to be used interchangeably of the person of the Spirit.

(3) Regeneration, Illumination, and Sanctification.

Considering the nature and condition of man, these are things which are miraculous and which only God can do as stressed by the Lord in Matthew 19:26.

John 3:5-8 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Titus 3:5 he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Romans 8:11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you.

Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, 18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

PROVEN BY EQUAL ASSOCIATION

Concerning this evidence, Ryrie writes:

One of the strongest proofs of the deity of the Spirit is the identification of the Spirit with Yahweh of the Old Testament. This is seen in passages where the Old Testament records that Yahweh said something and the New Testament quotation of that same passage is attributed to the Spirit as the Speaker. That would seem to say clearly that the Spirit, like Yahweh, is fully divine (Is. 6:1-13 and Ac 28:25; Jer 31:31-34 and Heb. 10:15-17).

Along these same lines, we find another line of evidence in the New Testament where the Holy Spirit is associated equally with the Father and the Son.

(1) The Great Commission.

Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,

Interestingly, the word “name” which refers to all three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is singular. There is one God, and yet, in some mysterious way, three distinct persons who are equal.

(2) The Pauline Benediction.

2 Corinthians 13:13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

(3) Declaration Regarding Spiritual Gifts.

As Paul discusses spiritual gifts In 1 Corinthians 12, he equally associates and coordinates the three members of the Godhead:

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are different ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are different results, but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.

(4) Peter’s Salutation in 1 Peter 1:2.

In the salutation of his first epistle, Peter links all three persons of the trinity together, pointing to their respective roles in the process of salvation.

1 Peter 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by being set apart by the Spirit for obedience and for sprinkling with Jesus Christ’s blood. May grace and peace be yours in full measure!

Clearly, all of these instances argue that the Holy Spirit is not only a person, but God, the third member of the Trinity. Now that we have some idea of who the Spirit is, we need to consider what the Spirit does for and in believers since He is God’s special gift and resource for living the Christian life.

The Advent and Age of the Spirit

Understanding the uniqueness of this age as the Age of the Spirit is crucial for our ability to correctly interpret the teaching of the New Testament on the Spirit and His ministry for today. The Church Age is often referred to as the Age of the Spirit because of His distinctive ministry during this time.

This truth needs to be stressed because the Holy Spirit is God’s special gift and means of power to experience Christ’s life in ours. In fact, there is no aspect of the Christian life, Bible study, prayer, witnessing, growth, etc., that is not vitally dependent on the enabling ministry of the Holy Spirit of God. Though God gives us spiritual gifts and a new capacity for life through the Spirit’s work of regeneration, it is the Holy Spirit, as our divine Enabler, who empowers our lives for both worship and service.

THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT AS GOD’S SPECIAL PROVISION

That God would one day do a unique work through the Holy Spirit in His people is not new revelation. Rather, the Holy Spirit is the object of many marvelous promises in both the Old and New Testaments in anticipation of what God would do through the Spirit for His people.

Ezekiel 36:24-27 “‘I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries; then I will bring you to your land. 25 I will sprinkle you with pure water and you will be clean from all your impurities. I will purify you from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit within you. I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put my Spirit within you; I will take the initiative and you will obey my statutes and carefully observe my laws.

Ezekiel 37:14 I will place my Spirit in you and you will live; I will give you rest in your own land. Then you will know that I am the Lord—I have spoken and I will act, declares the Lord.’”

Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water on the parched ground
and cause streams to flow on the dry land.
I will pour my spirit on your offspring
and my blessing on your children.

Joel 2:28-29 After all of this
I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your elderly will have revelatory dreams;
your young men will see prophetic visions.
29 Even on male and female servants
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.

John 7:37-39 On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and 38 let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 (Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)

John 14:16 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever—

Acts 1:4-8 While he was with them, he declared, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what my Father promised, which you heard about from me. 5 For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had gathered together, they began to ask him, “Lord, is this the time when you are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He told them, “You are not permitted to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.”

THE FACT OF THE SPIRIT’S COMING

When we come to Acts 2 and the events that follow in the book of Acts and in the rest of the New Testament, we have the declaration that the Holy Spirit has come to indwell believers with an explanation of His new and distinctive role. No longer is His coming an anticipation; it is a blessed fact.

Acts 2:1-4 Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like a violent wind blowing came from heaven and filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And tongues spreading out like a fire appeared to them and came to rest on each one of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak in other languages as the Spirit enabled them.

Acts 2:14-17 But Peter stood up with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: “You men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, know this and listen carefully to what I say. 15 In spite of what you think, these men are not drunk, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. 16 But this is what was spoken about through the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And in the last days it will be,’ God says,
‘that I will pour out my Spirit on all people,
and your sons and your daughters will prophesy,
and your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.

Acts 10:44-45 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the message. 45 The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were greatly astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles,

Acts 11:15-17 Then as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as he did on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, as he used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 Therefore if God gave them the same gift as he also gave us after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to hinder God?”

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

Ephesians 1:13-14 And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Galatians 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness.

AN EXPLANATION OF THE AGE OF THE SPIRIT

The following chart illustrates the change in the ministry of the Spirit from the Old Testament to that of the New Testament. From Acts 2 onward, the Spirit’s ministry took on a new and distinctive change beginning with the events of Pentecost as promised both in the Old Testament and by the Lord. From this point on we have the formation of the body of Christ, the church, and the universal indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit. This is when the church began and when the Spirit began to indwell all who believed in the Savior. This is proven by the following:

(1) In Acts 1:5, the Lord gave the promise of the baptizing ministry of the Spirit. “For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

(2) Baptism is a form of identification. “With the Spirit” may also be translated “by the Spirit” and should be in view of 1 Corinthians 12:13. First Corinthians 12:13a describes what the baptizing work of the Spirit consists of. It is the work by which the Holy Spirit joins every believer into union with the body of Christ so that the believer becomes identified with the body of Christ and with Christ Himself. This occurs simultaneously with the indwelling of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:13b). When we trust in the Savior, the Spirit joins us into union with the body of Christ, the church (Rom. 6). As a result, we become identified with Christ in His person and His work.

(3) In Acts 11:15-16, Peter equated the coming of the Spirit on the Gentiles in the house of Cornelius with that which had occurred to them as Jews in Acts 2 on the Day of Pentecost. But he also equated Acts 2 with the fulfillment of the promise of Christ regarding the baptism of the Spirit in Acts 1:5. In other words, Acts 2 began the indwelling and baptizing work of the Spirit for the body of Christ. This began the unique age of the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit.

The following chart illustrates the difference.

The Primary Ministry and Purpose of the Spirit

THE PRINCIPLE OF FOCUS

As we may need light to bring the printed page into focus, so we need the illumination of Scripture to shed light on the primary ministry of the Spirit in connection with all His ministries. Getting the Spirit in focus means (a) thinking rightly about Him and (b) thinking rightly about our relationship to Him: what He is to believers, and how this relates to Jesus Christ. Great emphasis is often given to the person and ministry of the Holy Spirit, but unfortunately, it is very often not in accord with the clear teaching of the Word.

SCRIPTURE’S FOCUS ON THE MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Some see the chief purpose of the Holy Spirit as power, some as performance, some as unity, some as the administration of the gifts of the Spirit, some as teaching, some as His miraculous workings, and so on. All of these either are or have been ministries of the Spirit and are important to the body of Christ. However, to emphasize any one of these while minimizing the others and ignoring the chief emphasis of the Word is to go off into error.

This is vitally important because Jesus Christ is our life. He is the hope of glory and the focus of the Bible.

Colossians 1:27-28 God wanted to make known to them the glorious riches of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him by instructing and teaching all people with all wisdom so that we may present every person mature in Christ.

Colossians 2:10 and you have been filled in him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Therefore, the chief focus given to us in the Word is that the Holy Spirit in all His ministries is given to mediate the presence of Christ. He is given to manifest the person and work of Jesus Christ, to make us aware of all He is to us, and to enable us to experience Christ’s life in ours.

John 16:13-15 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.

Ephesians 3:16-19 I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, 18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

Galatians 5:16-25 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God! 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is our Enabler and the power for the Christian life, and we are to walk by faith in dependence upon the Spirit’s control (Gal. 3:3; 5:5; 16-25 quoted above). However, Galatians 2:20 when considered in light of Galatians 4:19 and 5:1-5 gives us the primary focus—Christ living in believers or being formed in them by the power of the Spirit of God. Even when we are trusting in the Holy Spirit to empower our lives, our faith is ultimately in the Son because the Spirit proceeds from the Father through Jesus Christ at His request as one of His gifts to us. But the purpose is that we might share in the life of Christ.

John 14:16-20 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you. 19 In a little while the world will not see me any longer, but you will see me; because I live, you will live too. 20 You will know at that time that I am in my Father and you are in me and I am in you.

The ministry of the Spirit is Christ-centered. It is neither man-centered with an emphasis on our gifts, personalities, and experiences, nor Holy Spirit centered with an emphasis on Him and His miraculous activities or ministries, as important and rich as they are. This scriptural focus is seen in the following passages:

(1) John 7:37-39

On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and 38 let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 (Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Concerning the promise of the Spirit, the text says He was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. The Spirit is promised as a gift from God to indwell believers, empowering and energizing them, but the focus here is on the glorification of the Savior. This is a reference to Christ at God’s right hand following His finished work on the cross, the resurrection, and ascension into glory. The basis for the gift of the Spirit is the glorification of Christ. He proceeds from the Father, through the Son to believers because Jesus has accomplished our justification.

John 15:26 When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me,

(2) John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7-15

John 14:16 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever—

John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

John 15:26 When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me,

John 16:7-15 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment— 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned. 12 “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine; that is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what is mine and will tell it to you.

In each of these passages the Spirit is called “the Advocate,” ( parakletos) which, due to the nature of His ministry, might better be rendered, “the Enabler.” Parakletos contains the ideas of comforting, exhorting, encouraging, interceding, advising, and strengthening. He strengthens or enables us through His various ministries. But in none of these four passages does the gift and ministry of the Holy Spirit overshadow the person and work of the Son, the Lord Jesus. Rather, the focus is on how the Enabler (a) is sent in the name of Christ, (b) brings to remembrance what Christ taught the disciples, (c) bears witness of Him, (d) is sent by theSavior Himself, (e) does not speak on His own initiative, (f) glorifies the Savior, and (g) takes of the things of Christ and discloses them to us.

The Holy Spirit calls attention to neither Himself nor to man, but focuses all attention on the Lord Jesus Christ and what God has done in and through His Son. His purpose via all His ministries is to develop our faith, hope, love, adoration, obedience, fellowship, andcommitment to Christ.

This truth and this focus becomes a criterion by which we may judge any spiritual movement and its biblical authenticity. Swindoll writes:

Let me pass along something I hope you never forget. If you get involved in a ministry that glorifies itself, instead of Christ, the Spirit of God is not in that ministry. If you follow a leader that is getting the glory for that ministry, instead of Christ, the Spirit of God isn’t empowering his leadership. If you’re a part of a Christian school or mission organization or a Christian camping ministry in which someone other than Christ is being glorified, it is not being empowered by the Spirit of God. Mark it down: THE SPIRIT GLORIFIES CHRIST. I’ll go one step further; if the Holy Spirit Himself is being emphasized and magnified, He isn’t in it! Christ is the One who is glorified when the Spirit is at work. He does His work behind the scenes, never in the limelight. I admire that the most about His work.57

The Work of the Spirit

As a matter of clarification and in preparation for what the Spirit is to believers, it would be helpful to note the following facts:

Negatively: The believer is never told to seek or commanded to be (a) baptized with or in the Spirit, (b) or to be indwelt with the Spirit, (c) or to be anointed with the Spirit, (d) or to be sealed with the Spirit, (e) or in our age to even pray for the Spirit (Luke 11:13 was pre-Pentecost). Rather, these are all presented by the New Testament as accomplished facts during the Church Age.

Positively: The only commands in the New Testament given to believers in relation to the Holy Spirit deal with the filling of the Holy Spirit or with walking by means of the Spirit who already indwells us. There are only four direct commands that relate to the Spirit and the believer’s life. Two are positive and two are negative.

(1) The Positive Commands: We are commanded to be “filled with the Spirit” and to “walk by the Spirit.”

Ephesians 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, which is debauchery, but be filled by the Spirit,

Galatians 5:16 and 25 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh…25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also behave in accordance with the Spirit.

(2) The Negative Commands: We are commanded to “ not grieve the Spirit” and to “not extinguish the Spirit.”

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

1 Thessalonians 5:19 Do not extinguish the Spirit.

In addition, the following are some passages one might view as commanding the filling of the Spirit indirectly or by implication because the need of His ministry in the issue involved.

John 4:24 God is spirit, and the people who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

Ephesians 6:18 With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials

Romans 8:4-13 so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. 11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you. 12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh 13 (for if you live according to the flesh, you will die), but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.

WHAT THE SPIRIT IS TO BELIEVERS IN HIS INDWELLING PRESENCE

In anticipation of the coming of the Spirit, in John 14:17 Christ spoke of the unique change that would occur in the Spirit’s relationship with believers when He said, “… because he resides with you (Old Testament economy) and will be in you (New Testament economy).” Through this universal indwelling of all believers, the Spirit becomes a seal, an anointing, a pledge, and our enabler. All of this stems from the fact of His indwelling presence from the moment of salvation.

(1) A Seal

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 But it is God who establishes us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.

Ephesians 1:13-14 And when you heard the word of truth (the gospel of your salvation)—when you believed in Christ—you were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

According to 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, God the Father (the subject of the verb) does the sealing. The Holy Spirit is the seal, and believers are those who are sealed with God’s seal (the Spirit). The seal suggests the ideas of ownership and security.

A further consequence of the Spirit’s presence is the seal of ownership (cf. Eph. 1:13-14) which also is accomplished at the moment of faith. A seal on a document in New Testament times identified it and indicated its owner, who would “protect” it. So too, in salvation, the Holy Spirit, like a seal, confirms that Christians are identified with Christ and are God’s property, protected by Him (cf. 1 Cor. 6:19-20). It was probably this thought that caused Paul to describe himself as a slave of Christ. (Rom. 1:1; Phil. 1:1).

(2) An Anointing

1 John 2:20 and 27 Nevertheless you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know…27 Now as for you, the anointing that you received from him resides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things, it is true and is not a lie. Just as it has taught you, you reside in him.

Again, God the Father, as the subject of the verb in 2 Corinthians 1:21, does the anointing; the Holy Spirit, as 1 John 2:20 and 27 make clear, is the anointing; and we as believers in Christ are the ones who are anointed.

Persons and things were anointed, in the OT, to signify holiness, or separation unto God: pillars ( cf. Gen. 28:18); the tabernacle and its furniture (Ex. 30:22ff.); shields (2 Sa. 1:21; Is. 21:5: probably to consecrate them for the ‘holy war,’ see Deut. 23:9ff.); kings (Jdg. 9:8; 2 Sa. 2:4; 1 Kgs. 1:34); priests (Ex. 28:41); prophets (1 Kgs. 19:16). … Fundamentally the anointing was an act of God (1 Sam. 10:1), and the word ‘anointed’ was used metaphorically to mean the bestowal of divine favour (Psa. 23:5; 92:10) or appointment to a special place or function in the purpose of God (Ps. 105:15; Is. 45:1). Further, the anointing symbolized equipment for service, and is associated with the outpouring of the Spirit of God (1 Sa. 10:1, 9; 16:13; Is. 61:1; Zech. 4:1-14). This usage is carried over into the NT (Acts 10:38; 1 Jn. 2:20, 27). (Emphasis mine.)

The identification of the Spirit as our anointing is a portrait of the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit as an act of God which separates us, appoints us, and equips us for ministry in the purpose of God. Strictly speaking, then, it is doctrinally incorrect to ask God to anoint a believer today with the Spirit in preparation for a particular task. A more accurate prayer would be that the one involved in the task at hand be truly under the power of the Spirit, or that he or she might experience the work of the Spirit in a marvelous way because the Spirit is already present as God’s anointing.

(3) A Pledge

The Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence in believers’ lives is also viewed by God as His personal pledge (i.e., earnest or down payment) that God will fulfill His promises to believers and that our salvation will be consummated (Eph. 1:14).

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 But it is God who establishes us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, 22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.

Present redemption is only a foretaste of what eternity holds (cf. Rom. 8:23), and the presence of His Spirit in our hearts (cf. Rom. 5:5; 2 Cor. 5:5) is like a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. These last seven words are a translation of one Greek word arrabona , a down payment which obligates the payer to make further payments. The same Greek word is used again in 5:5 and Ephesians 1:14 (cf. “the first fruits of the Spirit,” Rom. 8:23).60

(4) An Enabler

John 14:16 and 26 Then I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever…26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

John 16:7 But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you.

In these passages the Lord promised the disciples He would give them “another Advocate.” “Another” is the Greek allos which means “another of the same kind.” This is a reference to the Holy Spirit who, as the third person of the trinity, is of the same essence and power as the Lord Jesus Christ. In His absence, there would be no lack. In fact, it would be for their advantage (John 16:7) that He leave so the Holy Spirit could come in His place and indwell their lives.

The Spirit is called “Advocate.” This is the Greek parakletos and refers to one who is called alongside on behalf of another as an intercessor, mediator, helper. It is translated variously, “helper,” “counselor,” and “comforter.” In view of the purpose and ministry of the Spirit along with the meaning of this word, perhaps “Enabler” is a better translation. He comes not just to give help, as a servant might help his employer or as one person helps another. Rather He comes and indwells us to enable—to empower us for the Christian life in witnessing, in prayer, in obedience, etc. The title “Enabler” not only teaches us what the Holy Spirit is to us, but what we are apart from His control and ministry—without ability or enablement.

WHAT THE SPIRIT DOES FOR US

There is no part of the believer’s life for which the Spirit is not needed. The following illustrates just how complete is the work of the Spirit who is our Enabler.

(1) He convicts and reveals Jesus Christ to men.

John 16:8-11 And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment— 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 concerning righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

(2) He restrains sin in the world.

2 Thessalonians 2:6-7 And so you know what holds him back, so that he will be revealed in his own time. 7 For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way

(3) He regenerates to new life.

Titus 3:5 he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit,

(4) He baptizes into Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body. Whether Jews or Greeks or slaves or free, we were all made to drink of the one Spirit.

(5) He empowers and reproduces the character of Jesus Christ in those who submit to Him by faith.

Galatians 4:19 My children—I am again undergoing birth pains until Christ is formed in you!

Galatians 5:5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we wait expectantly for the hope of righteousness.

Galatians 5:16-23 But I say, live by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the Spirit, and the Spirit has desires that are opposed to the flesh, for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God! 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

(6) He promotes spiritual maturity. (Cf. also Gal. 5:1-5; Heb. 5:11-6:6.)

Galatians 3:1-3 You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you? Before your eyes Jesus Christ was vividly portrayed as crucified! 2 The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort?

(7) He teaches: gives understanding in the Word. (Cf. also 1 Cor. 2:9-16; John 16:11-15.)

John 14:26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.

Ephesians 3:16-18 I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love, 18 you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

(8) He applies truth to our experience. (Cf. also John 14:26; Eph. 6:18.)

Romans 8:16 The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.

(9) He gives power to our prayer life.

Jude 20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith, by praying in the Holy Spirit,

John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you.

Psalm 66:18 If I had harbored sin in my heart,
the sovereign Master would not have listened.

(10) He promotes meaningful worship. (Cf. also John 4:23-24; Eph. 5:18-21; Isa. 59:1-2.)

Philippians 3:3 For we are the circumcision, the ones who worship by the Spirit of God, exult in Christ Jesus, and do not rely on human credentials

(11) He gives capacity, burden, and direction for witnessing.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the farthest parts of the earth.”

1 Thessalonians 1:5 in that our gospel did not come to you merely in words, but in power and in the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction (surely you recall the character we displayed when we came among you to help you).

(12) He gives capacity for ministry. This refers to gifts of the Spirit which are to be exercised in the power of the Spirit from the motive of love—which is also a work of the Spirit.

1 Corinthians 1:12-14 Now I mean this, that each of you is saying, “I am with Paul,” or “I am with Apollos,” or “I am with Cephas,” or “I am with Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Paul wasn’t crucified for you, was he? Or were you in fact baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius,

1 Peter 4:10 Just as each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of the varied grace of God.

The fact that the Holy Spirit is our Helper, indeed, our Enabler for these varied ministries demonstrates just how tremendously important the Spirit is to our daily walk. It shows how necessary it is that we walk by means of the Spirit, i.e., by constant dependence upon Him (Gal. 5:5, 16; Eph. 3:16-17). The lessons that follow are devoted to more biblical principles and promises that teach us more about the ministry of the Spirit and how to walk in His power.

 

Did Obama know date of Mandela’s death was June 26, 2013?

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It’s reasonable to wonder how many Western leaders in South Africa for Mandela’s memorial today have been keeping their tears of grief in check since June

Did Obama know date of Mandela’s death was June 26, 2013?

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President Barack Obama may have already known the real date of Nelson Mandela’s death and studiously planned funeral when he made his June 2013 African trip—and was even able to take the photo he would later Tweet on the day of Mandela’s officially announced death while he was still in South Africa.

Claiming to defer to Mandela family members on visiting the ailing Mandela during his June 28-30 whistle-stop trip through Johannesburg, Obama instead met with South African President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma was one of the key figures who kept the news that doctors had been keeping Mandela alive in a vegetative state, a top world secret.

Among thousands of news outlets,  only one newspaper made a valiant attempt to get the true story out and keep it there.

According to the read-by-millions Las Vegas Guardian Express, Mandela died on June 26th, 2013, but was kept on life support until December 2013.

On December 5,  2013, the White House tweeted a picture showing Obama behind the bars of the Robben Island prison, where Mandela had been incarcerated for 27 years.  The picture tweeted on Dec. 5, 2013 had been taken on June 29, 2013, when Barack and Michelle Obama visited the world famous site.

As president and first lady of the USA,  the Obamas make pretty good vultures.

This is the story of Mandela’s June 26 death following his persistent vegetative state as reported by theGuardian Express:

“On the morning of June 26, we received a message from one of our South African correspondents, Laura Oneale that Nelson Mandela had passed away the previous evening. The news had come to her in the form of a text message from an acquaintance who was well-placed in the South African media. It should be understood that this organization was not authorized to break the news. Clearly, the South African government and the Mandela family had already decided that the news would not be made public. Undoubtedly, this decision had been made even before his death; at least, that’s what we were thinking.

“Our assumption, at the time, was two-fold: firstly, we doubted that such news would not long escape the attention of the international media, even if the South African media was being muzzled. As is the nature of the news media industry, we saw that we had been handed a major scoop and that our window of opportunity to be the first to break this news was limited. Cynical? Perhaps, but we did not doubt the integrity of the source, given that individual’s position. We are in the news business. What other publication – given the gravity of the story and the knowledge of Mandela’s health condition – would not have immediately prepared to publish? We began both to work on a couple of articles and to seek out verification. We found no other corroborating evidence. We wrote our stories.

“In the interests of being completely honest, we cannot say that we did not second – guess ourselves. Did we have direct, first-hand proof that Nelson Mandela was dead? No, we didn’t. One must look at how news stories are broken, though: A media publication receives information from a trusted source; every good faith attempt is made to verify the information. In the absence of verification, the editor or editorial team must make a decision to publish or not to publish. What we did have was the best source we could have, other than first-hand, eye-witness testimony. Moreover, Mandela was seriously ill; according to reports, the icon and former African leader was on his deathbed; hooked up to medical devices that enabled him to breathe.

“We published.

“Now, we were walking on eggshells; our reputation was at stake. What were we thinking? Other news outlets actually published stories announcing Mandela’s death; they quickly retracted, without actually justifying why they had done so. To us, that in itself indicated that they had been told to retract, rather than doing so because they had discovered that Mandela was still alive. The Las Vegas Guardian Express, however, was a relatively new and completely independent publication with no government ties and no corporate owners or shareholders. We could not be pressured into retracting, other than through legal action. In addition, we were a tiny speck on the world news radar.

“Naturally, it was in our own interests to quickly verify Mandela’s condition. Is that an admission that we published news of his death without being sure? No, it is not; we were sure and we could clearly see that an official announcement could be kept under wraps for any number of reasons; a visit by US President Barack Obama was already scheduled and there were obvious security implications. Additionally, the South African government is absolutely capable of using such news for political purposes. Our only misgiving was that we had failed to uncover any corroborating source. The strength of our conviction is proven by the fact that, even as the days went by and no word of his death came from official or family sources, we maintained our position. It seemed logical enough that there was no reason to retract without absolute proof that Nelson Mandela still lived.

“As the few articles we published drew attention – along with numerous comments – it became self-evident that both the South African government and the Mandela family were aware of our reports. Had we been wrong – and had the family been able to prove that Mandela was still alive – it is beyond doubt that the Las Vegas Guardian Express would have received some form of legal threat. Not only did such action never transpire, but our publication was subjected to cyber-attack: Denial of Service attacks, originating in South Africa, disabled our site on more than one occasion. We took this as proof that we were reporting something that the South African government did not want us to report.

“It should be remembered that our publication was relatively small and generated only modest revenue through advertising. Nevertheless – and at considerable expense – we dispatched a senior editor to South Africa. During his time there, Michael Smith uncovered intriguing details of the situation regarding Nelson Mandela, the family, the African National Congress and South African President Jacob Zuma. Our investigations opened a door into the corruption and dishonesty of the aforementioned parties. During a Mandela family legal battle, documents emerged which stated that doctors had advised the family to turn off Mandela’s life support as he was brain-dead. At a later point, Zuma made a statement denying this, but we noted carefully that, while other news organizations were reporting that the doctors themselves had retracted their claims that Mandela was brain-dead, no such retraction had been made; Zuma himself claimed that the doctors had retracted this assertion.

“Now that it has been officially announced that Nelson Mandela has passed away, our position on the matter has not changed in any way. Inevitably, his passing had to be revealed. Many of our South African readers have believed us from the start; those that have criticized us have presented not one shred of evidence that we were wrong. The idea that we are proven wrong because the official announcement comes only now is absurd.

“This article has not detailed every piece of evidence that fell into place during our investigation into why Nelson Mandela’s death was covered up. One of the most compelling discoveries was brought back from South Africa by Michael Smith: He returned with an audio tape of a recorded telephone conversation Between a South African Defense Force officer and a private security contractor. The audio can be found in the first of the links listed at the foot of this article. For the reader who wishes to get the full story of our reporting on this story, each of those articles listed provide, collectively, the complete picture. During the call, the officer details the circumstances of Mandela’s death – which, according to him, occurred even earlier than we reported – and the possible implications of it, as well as the Mandela family’s motives for not releasing the news.

“Even now, the South African government, it seems, is attempting to prevent the Las Vegas Guardian Express from revealing the truth to the people of South Africa. Our Facebook page received a telling comment today. The comment reads:

Hallo
I am from South Africa and for some reason I cannot view your website or any articles regarding Nelson Mandela. Is it possible that your site being blocked by our country?
could you kindly send the the articles you recently wrote.

Kind regards

“Nelson Mandela is now officially dead – but he was already dead. Nothing has transpired between our initial June 26 reports and the present time to prove otherwise.

“Nevertheless, we would be remiss if we did not convey to the South African people, that we have the utmost respect for Madiba and the great legacy he has left the world. However, as a publication, read by millions across the globe, we have an obligation and responsibility to report the truth and what we were thinking.”

On the White House.gov website, the itinerary for Michelle Obama’s June African trip is still online.  The links from her page to Barack Obama’s page with information of the South African trip produce an error advising viewers that the page they’re looking for can’t be found.

It would take six months or more to plan a state funeral that would be the biggest since Winston Churchill’s.

It’s reasonable to wonder how many Western leaders in South Africa for Mandela’s memorial today have been keeping their tears of grief in check since June, 2013.

Was this week’s grief-stricken Obama let in on Mandela’s June 2013 death by family or the African National Congress (ANC) South African government when he was in South Africa June 28-30?

Or did Obama know they were keeping Mandela alive on life support courtesy of the international spying NSA?

Meanwhile, in a world where the mainstream media feeds government lies and propaganda to readers, listeners and viewers,  the courageous Las Vegas Guardian Express stands alone.

Resources:
Guardian Express: Mandela Dead or Alive
Guardian Express Nelson Mandela Cover Up Timeline

Shiloh Baptist Church building

Beloved in the Lord.

17/08/2018

Greetings in Jesus name.

Your prayers are hereby being greatly appreciated. Until thus far we say Ebenezer. He has been so good to us. started the entire building without enough cash in our Fellowship Coffers, Shiloh Baptist Church. We had to sell winter water bottles that can be recharged to people as fund raising for the building. We bought these winter hot bottles that are rechargeable from Johannesburg and started selling them to our community. The miracle of the Father happened that these water skin bottles were sold like hot cakes and we so ourselves being able to carry the work of this building forward. We are still selling them as they are re-usable for next Winter season, they are also massaging people against RAMATIKI join problems because of having worked in cold areas and used cold water in the past.

 

Would you please continue to pray for us for the completion of this project. We are almost 80% near completion. You can contact the Treasurer for any financial assistance @ 0609888083 being Mrs. Thukgwi Lovedalia and she will be glad to assist you with the bank details of the Church for the building. We need at least R25,000.00 to complete the remaining work respectively.

 

Thanks for your help in anticipation.

 

Be forever blessed.

 

John Sigudla

Senior Pastor

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Originally published on Pastor John Sigudla’s site

Enter His Rest, the only labor to do when you are in Christ Jesus

Hebrews 4:9-11 There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into His rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from His.
11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

The rest these verses speak of is the sabbath rest, not the sabbath or seventh day of the week but the Day of the Lord. The Scriptures concerning the sabbath relate more to the Kingdom of God than they do to a day of the week. For example, when the Bible says that one should not labor on the sabbath, it means that when we come to the Kingdom Sabbath what we do should not be done by our own energies or intellect but by the Spirit. Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Zechariah 4:6. The time comes when what we do must not be accomplished by our own energy or intelligence, but the Spirit of the Lord must accomplish it through us. Paul said, When I am weak, then am I strong (II Corinthians 12:10). God’s ability is manifested through a people who recognize their inability.

Entering His rest means that we have ceased from our own labors; we are no longer doing works for God. Instead, He is accomplishing His will through us. Paul spoke of the time when the Lord would come forth in His saints. When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. II Thessalonians 1:10. This is not a rapture nor a literal personal return of the Lord. This is a spiritual coming of His presence within His saints. (The Scriptures refer to it as the Parousia.) He is glorified and admired in them because He is functioning through them in a way that the church has not experienced. They have entered His rest. They have ceased from their own works. They are not working for the Lord, but He is working through them.

A surface reading of II Thessalonians 1:10 may cause us to think that we only have to be here when the Lord makes this coming. His presence comes forth within us and we have entered His rest. Hebrews 4:11 seems to indicate that it isn’t quite that simple. Let us labour therefore to enter that rest. But neither do we work our way into the day of rest, for the thing most indicative concerning the day of rest is that we have ceased from our own works (Hebrews 4:10). So the labor mentioned must have to do with something other than works performed.

There is another kind of labor spoken of in the Scriptures and that is the labor of travail. So we do not work our way into His rest, but we are birthed into it, born into the Kingdom of God. Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. John 3:3. It is obvious, since Hebrews 4:9 says that there remains therefore a rest to the people of God,that the birthing process into His rest is something more than conversion to Christianity. It would also seem that this is not an experience shared by all Christians. Christians that are really hungering after God and pressing on to know Him are few in number.

Following the thought of being birthed into His rest, let’s look at a few Scriptures concerning it.

I Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

We learn from I Corinthians 15:45-47 that Adam prefigures Jesus Christ, who is called the second Adam. God taking a rib from Adam and making Eve (Genesis 2:21-22) is prophetic of how the church is formed from the Lord Jesus Christ.

So Adam being first formed and then Eve speaks prophetically of Jesus Christ coming forth first. He was the Beginning, the first fruits (Revelation 1:8; I Corinthians 15:20). Then out of His ministry and sacrifice the church was created.

I Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

Jesus was not deceived, for He knew no sin (Hebrews 4:15). It is those who make up the church (Eve) that were in transgression.

I Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she (the church) shall be saved in childbearing, if they (the church) continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

The church will bear a manchild, a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (Ephesians 4:13). This manchild will be a company of believers, not an individual. The church birthing this manchild is seen again in the Book of Revelation.

Revelation 12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.

This is a picture of the church under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Twelve is the apostolic number dealing with divine government. So this is the church Paul described as being built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone (Ephesians 2:20).

Revelation 12:2,5 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.

The woman brings forth a manchild; that is, out of the church comes forth a manchild company. The manchild is a many-membered Body. Verse 6 refers to the manchild as “they.” The manchild company along with Jesus Christ will rule the nations with a rod of iron. In Revelation chapter three Jesus calls them overcomers. And he that overcomes, and keeps My works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron… Revelation 3:26-27. Notice that Jesus uses the phrase “keepeth My works,” meaning they allow the Lord to work through them. Thus they have entered His rest.

The manchild is caught up to God, and to His throne, meaning they ascend to a place of authority in God. They do not leave the earth; it is a spiritual ascendancy. It is the same as saying that they have entered the Lord’s rest. They are now in a place where God can accomplish His works through them.

Revelation 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

The manchild company with its new authority turns and ministers to the church. The same principle is seen in the story of Joseph. He was of the house of Jacob, which represents the church. After being sold into slavery in Egypt, God lifts him up to a place of authority, second in command to Pharaoh over all Egypt. During the time of famine Joseph ministered to his brethren. Joseph, in this sense, was prophetic of a Joseph-company. Thus, the manchild ministers to the woman in the wilderness.

Romans 8:18-19 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
19 For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation) waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Notice that Paul speaks of the glory which shall be revealed in us. This is referring to what he said to the Thessalonians, When He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (Thessalonians 1:10). Therefore the manifestation of the sons is actually a manifestation of the Son in the sons. The presence of the Lord comes forth in the sons. He is birthed within them. The sufferings of this present time that Paul spoke of in verse 18 is the travail, the labor to enter His rest.

Romans 8:20-22 For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of Him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature (creation) itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until now.

The glorious liberty of the sons is the rest that remains for the people of God (Hebrews 4:9). The Lord will deliver all of creation from futility, but it won’t be done until we break through into His rest. The deliverance of all creation is a ministry of the Lord through His saints. The Body of Christ is the channel or vehicle for everything that the Lord will do. The Head will not function without the Body.

Entering His rest means being under His control and direction. Can you imagine what it would be like trying to direct an obstinate mule in one direction when it wants to go in another? It’s a losing battle. What about directing a team of mules? That is the problem the Lord has with the church. It is divided into many different organizations, each one doing its own thing. Each denomination and non-denominational organization thinks it is the right one, has its heels dug in and will not change. Each one has its own creed, statement of faith, and form of worship. And each one has denied the Lordship of Jesus Christ by doing its own thing.

Out of this lukewarm and divisive church will come a manchild company that will follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth (Revelation 14:4). They will submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They will enter His rest. The Lord will have full liberty to function through them in any way He desires. It will be at this time that the judgments of the Lord will be turned loose, first in the church and then in the whole earth (I Peter 4:17). Satan’s antichrist system will be destroyed.

Those who enter His rest will be the ones that the Lord uses to minister His judgments. Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? I Corinthians 6:2. Let the saints be joyful in glory…Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all His saints. Praise ye the Lord. Psalm 149:5-9.

When the Lord is glorified in His saints (II Thessalonians 1:10), then they will have entered His rest because it will be the authority of the Lord working through them. They are not functioning by their own energies. And the judgments of the Lord are not turned loose in the earth until there is a people who can minister them. The Lord is revealed from heaven and ministers His judgments when He is glorified in His saints. And to you who are troubled rest with us (enter His rest with us), when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power; when He shall come to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. II Thessalonians 1:7-10.

THE BLOOD OF JESUS IS MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU THINK! By Pastor Vusimusi John Sigudla

THE BLOOD OF JESUS IS MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU THINK!

By Pastor Vusimusi John Sigudla

 

  1. My debt is paid, once and for all

“So Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” (Hebrews 9:28)

 

  1. I am justified

“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. “ (Romans 5:9)

 

  1. I am forgiven

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7)

 

  1. I am spared from God’s wrath

“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. “ (Romans 5:9)

 

  1. I am being spiritually healed; one day even my flesh will be replaced with an incorruptible body

“…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sin, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.” (I Peter 2:24)

 

  1. I am spiritually alive

“Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.” (John 6:53)

 

  1. My judgment has been satisfied and I am at peace with God

“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

 

  1. The bloodstream of His people Israel will be purged

“For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the Lord dwells in Zion” (Joel 3:21)

 

  1. I am cleansed

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (I John 1:7)

 

  1. I have the power to overcome the enemy

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

 

  • I am no longer under the curse of the law

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).” (Galatians 3:13)

 

  1. I have been reclaimed from the enemy

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

 

  1. I am no longer a stranger to the covenant of promise

“…that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:12-13)

 

  1. The final act of public expiation has been made on my behalf

“For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” (Leviticus 17:11)

 

  1. I have been moved from the enemy’s kingdom into the kingdom of God

“Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)

 

  1. I have gained the unmerited favor of God

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)

 

  1. I have been declared righteous

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

  1. I have been justified (just as though I had never sinned)

“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed…” (Romans 3:24-25)

 

  1. I am able to come close to God

“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13)

 

  1. I can participate in the sweet communion of remembrance of His sacrifice

“Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” (Luke 22:20)

 

  1. My redemption will never perish

“Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1:18-19)

 

  1. Jesus testifies on my behalf that I am clean

“…and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood and has made us kingsand priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (Revelation 1:5)

 

  1. I am free

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Galatians 5:1)

 

  1. I am protected from judgment

“that you shall say, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice of the Lord, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt when He struck the Egyptians and delivered our households.’” So the people bowed their heads and worshiped.” (Exodus 12:27)

  1. I am freed from a conscience defiled by guilt

“let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:22)

 

  1. I am no longer condemned

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)

 

  1. I have been separated from the world and declared holy (wholly) to God

“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

 

  1. I can proclaim total victory

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” (Revelation 12:11)

 

  1. I can enter boldly into the holiest of holies…and live

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

 

  1. I have further revelation of who God is

“Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high…” (Hebrews 1:3)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published on :

Pastor John Sigudla’s Site

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