Sunday, July 26, 2015

What's Following You?

Acts 1:8
“You shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth.”
Luke 24:49
“But tarry ye in Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on high.”
The greatest need of the church and the individual believer is the power of the Holy Ghost.  But it seems like we have reached the place where even within the “full Gospel churches” in America the baptism of the Holy Ghost has been reduced to the mere acknowledgement of an indwelling presence of Jesus experienced by all believers.  Today within the “full Gospel churches,” not only is there a depreciation for speaking with other tongues as the spirit gives the utterance as the initial sign and evidence of the baptism of Ghost there is in many denominations, who once affirmed this teaching, tremendous opposition against speaking in tongues period.
We are told that it is putting emphasis on the wrong thing and that by acknowledging speaking in tongues as the initial sign and evidence of being baptized, that we are belittling those who do not speak with other tongues. 
If we are going to be New Testament believers and followers of Christ then we must do what He commanded us to do and follow the example laid out before to us by the early Church in the book of Acts.
As recorded by Luke in the second chapter of Acts on the day of Pentecost all that were in the upper room were filled with the Holy Ghost and spoke with other tongues as the spirit gave them utterance, on every occasion after that when believers were filled with the Spirit they spoke with other tongues, and in Acts 10, when the door of grace opened to the Gentiles, they received this same gift and spoke with other tongues.
Matthew 5:6
“Blessed are they, which do hunger, and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
The number one prerequisite for this power is hunger, and the most dangerous thing that can happen to a believer and to the Church is to lose our hunger, our passion, and our desire for the presence and the power of God.
Ezekiel 47:1-9
“Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar.  2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.
3 And when the man went out to the east with the line in his hand, he measured one thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the water came up to my ankles.  4 Again he measured one thousand and brought me through the waters; the water came up to my knees. Again he measured one thousand and brought me through; the water came up to my waist.  5 Again he measured one thousand, and it was a river that I could not cross; for the water was too deep, water in which one must swim, a river that could not be crossed.  6 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen this?” Then he brought me and returned me to the bank of the river.
7 When I returned, there, along the bank of the river, were very many trees on one side and the other.  8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed.  9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.”
This passage of God’s Word shows us a picture of the mighty river of God, the Holy Ghost, the anointing of God and it is ever deepening and widening.
Why is speaking with other tongues such a big deal?  Because it the reception and activation of this initial gift of the Holy Ghost that opens the door to the operation and the manifestation of the nine gifts of the Spirit which demonstrate the supernatural power of God in the believer’s life.  The Holy Ghost in you through the baptism in the Holy Ghost is the river of life that is referred to in Ezekiel 47, it brings life wherever it flows, and it is through these gifts of the Spirit that this river travels and is extended from us to others.
John 7:37-39
“37 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.  38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing[g] in Him would receive; for the Holy[h] Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
This does not mean just a come to Jesus as a point of access, but it means fellowship, communion, and relationship.  Notice that there is no river until we receive the Holy Spirit.  It is impossible for us to experience the full and free abundant life that Jesus came to give us without the baptism of the Holy Ghost and it is impossible for us as believers to bring the blessings of the supernatural power of God, signs and wonders, into contact with the needs of our world without the gifts of the Spirit.
To put it another way, Jesus in You is a blessing only to you, but it’s Jesus flowing out of you through the gifts of the Spirit, that make you a blessing to others and you cannot operate in the gifts until you receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues.
In John chapter 15 Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches if you abide in me and my words abide in you, then you shall bear much fruit.”
We must come back to the original purpose of the giving of the Holy Ghost and the power of God: The Holy Spirit is to first be in us as helper, teacher, comforter, illuminator, counselor, friend, and for the power to live a holy life.  Then Holy Ghost is to flow out of us through the supernatural manifestation of the gifts of the spirit to bring salvation, healing, deliverance, and miracles. 
So many claim that they believe in Jesus, but scripture is clear on this issue:
Mark 16:17
“17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[b] 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 you say that you believe, then I ask you today, what is following you?  Is your life full?  Is the blessing of abundant life overflowing the banks of your life to the lost around you?  If you say that you believe, where are the signs?
The secret then to abundant life, overflowing life, and anointed life is a life lived in fellowship with Jesus.  Our goal then is not to have the power of God but to have the presence of Jesus, we do not seek for the power of God we seek for the presence of God in other words for relationship with Jesus.  Through this relationship with Jesus the life of God flows through us just as the life of the vine flows into the branch and it produces fruit.


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