Vision and Hope 18th Feb
Mk 16:14-20 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
Ac 5:12-16 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
What Jesus promised was the practiced reality! It happened, and the Church prospered. There is nothing in the bible that replaces this example. In fact in Revelation the churches that have moved away from this are rebuked. In the Epistles the churches that erred in their outworking of this are corrected and taught the right way. All the discipline and instruction was to maintain this purity of the teaching that Christ is Lord and Saviour, Messiah risen from the dead – Alive!!
Anything less than this slips into religion, tradition and a sort of Christian mythology. The Holy Spirit poured out at Pentecost was the means, the enabling, if you like, of this truth of Christ the Living God crucified, buried and risen, seated at the Right Hand of the Father to be preached and DEMONSTRATED – if our God is alive – if this Person we worship is living, then there must be a proof – a testimony – a manifestation of this TRUTH.
Jesus taught us this proof, this testimony, this witness is actually the Person the Holy Spirit – That is, God the Holy Spirit who will dwell in us and thereby glorify Christ through us and in us.
The “proof” of this indwelling Presence is what Jesus said would testify of Him. These things will follow those who believe!! Does this not also therefore imply that if these demonstrations, evidences, manifestations of His Spirit glorifying Him are not seen – people will not believe?
The Holy Spirit is the centre of all things to us in this age of the Church – Jesus Himself taught us this – Jesus, this God we worship and believe in, this God we pray to, this God we seek to see the Face of – Jesus the essence of everything that is Christian – if we do not believe Him, if we do not take the things He says literally, as absolute, then we have nothing at all, and we might as well walk away now – what is the point if we don’t believe literally –
There is a such a huge move away from this fundamental acceptance of the W.O.G. as literally the Words God is speaking – not just HAS spoken but is speaking to us still – those upon whom the end of the ages might come! There is such a liberalisation of the Bible, a fresh interpretation – not inspiration of even revelation – but interpretation – God doesn’t need to be interpreted – He needs to be believed!! And the simplest person can know the Bible
You do not need to be a theologian or bible student or great scholar – in fact do you realize that some of the current theologians teaching in our universities are not Christians – they study theology – the things about God. Just like someone who is an expert on coal and fossil fuels and knows all about them does not have to be a coal miner! -- But as Christians we just have to believe what Jesus said – and by the Holy Spirit LIVE IT!!! – Jesus said this : ---
Lk 11:13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Lk 12:10-12“And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven. “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
Jn 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jn 14:15-18“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. EXPAND
Jn 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Jn 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.
Jn 16:7-9 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Jn 16:13-15 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
Our whole lives should be taken up with searching for, and knowing the Holy Spirit –for in Knowing Him we know Christ, we know the deep things of God, we are witnesses, we have testimony in us! O to Know the Holy Spirit – we search scripture and church history and don’t our hearts respond to those who have known Him, really Known Him, and been known by Him!
Anything less than this is settling for a religion that is no different to any other.
Is God indeed alive they ask us? Doesn’t the world question us, in fact reject us, because there is no evidence of what we believe except our Sunday Club?? – In fact we are mocked because we tithe and give and yet seek after the same things they seek after, houses, lands, securities, possessions, -- and these tools God has given us, as the means to get us into eternity, have actually become the goals of our lives!
Just like Israel – the tools of their success became their idols! The world looks on and sees us spending so much of our time seeking the same prosperity – and look, many of them think the whole thing of tithing is for the wealth of the leaders – preparing great inheritances to leave behind for the security of our families and teaching them there is no need to trust God!
And all the while there is no evidence God is alive to those looking on –
We don’t even Fear Him as much as the Moslems fear what they believe – we certainly don’t have the reverence or fervour and zeal. Many of the Hindu’s, even in our community who are devout and diligent rise early and pray to their gods – every morning!
O Church we must know God the Holy Spirit ---
1985 – led to bible – no man – deliverance – revelation – GOD IS!! – Repentance – anointing!
Lived by that all my Christian life – God’s grace and gift. --- Depend, rely, cannot survive without it. --- It is the primary reason I pray – to be in His Presence – not what I can get – but BEING found IN HIM!!
5-6 weeks Christian – Leslea –
- Kay Wellington – Carl demons –
- Clark Taylor – Mike Connell’s church. –
- Orama – K’rd – Sandringham – great outpouring ---
- Liberty – I felt I was dying – the corporate-ness of the Spirit’s Presence was going, gone and I would weep and agonize – I just cannot, will not , should not settle for less!!
That’s why we are here really – the getting may not have been nice – but here God has separated us – He called us H.O.P. – you know I didn’t want this because we should be our name – Names to God are incredibly important – they state who we are!
The Church has lost its desire for the Holy Spirit and the evidence of God in Him – of Christ in Him! -- and has adopted a practice of growing, sustaining and prospering “the church”. The business of church. --- Our greatest testimony to this dying, collapsing world – this mass of humanity enslaved to their Adamic nature, ignorant of what it is that compels and drives them into sin – in fact ignorant of SIN now – not believing in SIN – how powerful our enemy is!
But our greatest testimony is how well we can compete and do what they do with greater excellence, our music, our production, our events, our festivals – everything but the Holy Spirit
Glorifying Christ Jesus our Lord.
We need to return to this church of Acts – this instruction of Christ Jesus – we need a revival, not an event, not like anything else, we need a revival –
As parents how can we settle for anything less for our children?
As Christians how can we settle for religion?
As church how can we not show our God is alive?
That’s why we are here – to pray, and hold and on, and press in, and cry out and support one another and agonize if necessary, and maybe even to suffer and wait until God comes upon us.
I know this is hard –
I know we must find a way to bring our children in
I know it seems fruit-less in many ways –
But O the Holy Ghost – the Holy Spirit!!! He is God!
Ho 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
This from Orama years ago – A promise I hold still : ---
Mal 4:2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves.