Saturday, July 29, 2017

From Desperation, to Manifestation

Mark 6:45-51 – Suggested Reading

This morning while reading this passage I was reminded of the positive power of desperation. As difficult as it is to goes through some storms, and as hard as it is to accept that they are part of God’s plan, many times the desperation that is created by the storm is exactly what we need to position us to receive the help and revelation that we need to, “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (I Peter 3:18)

Desperation is where we come to an end of ourselves. Desperation is where I was when God delivered me from the bondage of drugs and alcohol. The best part of coming to the end of myself, I found Jesus.

In the text from Mark 6:45-51, the disciples had received an instruction from Jesus, a word from the master, but not just any word, it was a prophetic declaration of destiny, “Cross over to the other side.”

As they were obeying the Lord, don’t miss this aspect of the story it’s significant, the storm arose. If you plan on doing anything for God, you better get ready for the storm. Pew warmers, those who never do anything for God, don’t have to worry much about the storm. But those who walk in obedience to His voice will find themselves constantly facing opposition. I’m talking about satanic opposition! When you start moving in destiny hell will resist you, and the satanic forces of this world will try to stop you.

Anyone can serve God when the sky is clear and the seas are calm, but it takes committed people of faith to stay the course through the storm. It takes courage to stay on board when everything around you is telling you to abandon ship.

God allows the storms, because they benefit his children and make them stronger. The storm tests our level of commitment, helps us see what is important and what is excess baggage, it shakes loose the things that aren’t connected in the spirit of Christ, it exposes your best and your worst. The storm brought these disciples to a place of desperation.

Why did they need to reach this place of desperation? Because Jesus was coming to them in a different way than they had ever seen him before and if they had not been desperate they could have easily missed this fresh revelation. Jesus waited until they were exhausted, worn out, and desperate. In other words, they knew that self-effort was useless, and without God’s help, they were going to die. It’s amazing how far we must go sometimes to run into grace.

They saw Jesus on the water but Fear almost kept them from receiving him. Fear hinders us from receiving from God: Fear of the unknown, fear of what other people might think or say, fear of breaking a tradition, but desperation forces us to overcome our fears. Their desperation became a positive force in preparing them for this awesome revelation and manifestation of the power of God.

Friends, I know God gave me this word today specifically for some of you, I feel in my spirit what God is showing me today. Many of you have sensed a growing desperation in your spirit. You have not known which way to turn, nothing seems to be working anymore, and your exhausted. The word that He gave me for you is simple, ‘don’t give up, Jesus is on the way.’

I believe you’re on the verge of a revelation that is going to bring you into a deeper relationship with God than you have ever known before, and you are about to experience a greater manifestation of the power of God in your life than you have ever imagined was possible. He can do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we can ask or even imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Nobody likes to feel weak, or unsuccessful or like they don’t know what they’re doing, but sometimes we must reach that place before our ears open to really hear what God is saying, and our eyes are open to see how to do it Gods way.

Like the woman with the Issue of blood for 12 years, it wasn’t until she had spent all her money and exhausted every avenue at her disposal that she came to Jesus. Had she had more money, or another doctor to turn to she may never have come to Jesus.

It was desperation that caused Jairus to risk his reputation by coming to Jesus because his daughter was dying. It was desperation that caused Bartimaeus to cry for mercy, despite the persecution of those around him. In 2 Kings 4, it was desperation that brought the widow woman to the prophet, her husband had died and left her in debt, and her creditors were coming to make slaves of her two sons. Her desperation created an avenue for a miracle of divine provision, as she poured from her pot of oil into many borrowed vessels.

Friends I know what it’s like to struggle with the feelings of desperation, when you’ve done all you know how to do. You have prayed, fasted, you’ve confessed, and it seems like nothing has changed. I’m on a mission from God this morning to tell you to get ready, because on the other side of your desperation is a miracle, is a greater revelation of Jesus than you have ever known.

Desperation is like the last stages of pregnancy. You’re uncomfortable, nothing feels quite right, you cry for no specific reason, your emotions are right on the surface all the time, none of your clothes fit you, you can’t sit where you used to sit, and you’re desperate to get it over with. Meanwhile, something inside is growing, you may not be able to see what it I or touch it, but everyone can see your pregnant.

That’s the way it is for those who follow the voice of the Lord, even in the storm that creates desperation. There is a ministry growing inside you, a new anointing growing inside you, a special gift, a new vision, or a new level. Something is getting ready to be birthed, and desperation is that last stage before manifestation, and it is here that you either break down, or break through.

It is at this point that the devil will try to convince you that it’s not worth it. That God has changed his mind, that you misunderstood God, or that you just dreamed your own dream. I feel I need to let you know, to help you understand, that delay is not denial and desperation is a positive power when it causes you to surrender yourself completely to the one who, “even the winds and waves obey.”

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Destination Destiny, All Aboard!

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (KJV)

“For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.” (AMP)

God has a plan for all our lives. We often refer to it as our ‘destiny.’ It is a predetermined plan for the outcome of lives, but that plan is not forced upon, or even revealed to us, if we do not submit to the authority and Lordship of Jesus Christ. When we are in rebellion to God, we may see glimpses of what He desires for us, but we will never fully experience our ‘destiny,’ without complete surrender to His will.

Many have disputed predestination, but the bible is full of this truth. God predetermined that through Isaac he would bless all the nations of the world. He predetermined Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations, Samson to be a judge and a deliverer to Israel, and John the Baptist to prepare the way for Jesus. God predetermined for Jesus to die for the sins of the world, and to restore what Adam lost, before Adam ever sinned:

Revelation 13:8

“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

God has a perfect and divine plan for your life. God is a God of destiny and purpose, everything about Gods dealings with man is connected with purpose.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 17

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”

Romans 8:28-30

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

God has a desired outcome, His will for every person; it is that they should be saved, and can be saved, and can be conformed to the image of His Son. But beyond this, there is God’s predetermined plan for your individual life, your ‘destiny.’

It is a tremendous disappointment to the heart of God, that there are so many who will never fulfill their destiny. We will never find our individual destiny until we have fully embraced His will. We must act upon the Word of God and seek to be conformed to the image of Jesus, following Him daily through obedience and faithfulness. You will never know your ‘destiny,’ if your life is not in submission to His will.

So many in the church wonder why they constantly struggle, they are constantly in turmoil, and they cannot figure out how to get stability. It is because they are not living a surrendered life. They want life on their terms, instead of on God’s. They talk the way they want, they dress the way they want, and they live the way they want. God has called us to be like Jesus, but they want to be like the world. God’s blessings will never fall on lives like these, never!

Whether you reach your destiny, or not, is not up to God, or the devil. God has already predetermined what he desires for your life. Now it is up to you to set your course so that you reach your destiny.

We set the course of our destiny with our tongues. The Apostle James compared the tongue to a bit in a horse’s mouth, a rudder of a ship, and to a fire. The bit and the rudder, show us how something very small has the power to determine the course of something very large.
The tongue is compared to a fire, it can literally set on fire the course of nature. The tongue can totally alter the natural course of your life. The tongue is said to be an unruly member, full of deadly poison. The power of Your tongue in setting the course of your destiny.

Your life is that ship and your life always moves in the direction of your most dominant thoughts, and your most dominant thoughts will always find expression through your tongue.

Proverbs 23:7 “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

Luke 6:45: “For Of the abundance of his heart his mouth speaketh.”

Your tongue is the rudder of your life: You will either steer your life toward your destiny or away from it, with your tongue.

Proverbs 18:21

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Your life today is the fruit of your words. With your tongue, you determine what comes to you in life

Mark 11:23

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

You Speak what you believe, and when you speak what you believe it releases faith, and that faith that is released in your words will produce fruit, according to your faith.

Job 22:28

“Thou shalt decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee.”

Galatians 6:7

“Be not deceived God Is not mocked for whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap.”

Your words are seeds: You are sowing your destiny with the words you speak. I used to tell young people that I pastored, what you allow to come into your eyes and ears, takes seed in your heart, and once it takes seed in your heart it will eventually come off your tongue, and once it comes off your tongue it begins to steer your life.

Take control of the rudder of your life, seek holiness in all you do: in what your watch, in what you participate in, in your conversations, in the way you dress, and by speaking according to the Word of God.

Do not be conformed any longer to the patterns of this world, do not allow yourselves to be deceived by man-made logic and traditions that are not based in the principles of Christ, and offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, “holy and acceptable to God.” 

Set the course of your destiny by saying about yourself what God has already said about you: “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light,” and you will find yourself moving quickly in the direction of your destiny.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Road Home

Luke Chapter 15
There are three stories being told in the fifteenth chapter of Luke, but the moral of each of these stories is clear: Lost things matter to God.

To really understand this story, you must pay careful attention to the first couple of verses. If you read intently, you will see that there is a great deal of tension in these verses. Jesus was given many titles in the New Testament: The Door, The Light of the World, The Alpha and Omega, but in this passage, we see him labeled, though not with affection, “Friend of Sinners.”

In the first story, a farmer has one-hundred sheep and one gets lost. Jesus shows us how the Shepherd leaves the ninety-nine and goes on a search and rescue mission for the one. In the second story, a widow loses one of her coins and then turns the house upside down to find it. And when the lost son returns home, he finds the father not just waiting on him, but running to meet the son he has been eagerly watching for in the distance. There are many things we could point out about these three stories but there’s really one common thread: Whenever the lost are found, there is rejoicing.

In verse six the farmer calls his friends together and he says, “rejoice with me, I have found my lost lamb.”

In verse nine the widow says, “rejoice with me, I have found my lost coin.”

And when the lost son returns home the father throws a party, and again, they all rejoice.

I relate more to the son, so that is what I want to focus on today. He wants his inheritance and he wants it while his father is still alive. This was the same as saying, “Father, I’m eager for you to die.”

Normally in this situation a father would disown the son for making such a request. But instead the father gives it to him. He takes the money, leaves home and goes to a place the Bible refers to as a distant country. And there he spends his money down to the last cent. A famine comes in so not having any cash, he finds work. And the only thing he can find is to slop hogs. I’m pretty sure this was not the job he dreamed of, growing up as a Jew.

So how did he get to this place? How do you move from a life of luxury to living in a pigpen? Well actually it’s not as difficult as it may sound. The explanation, in my assessment, is simple: He was selfish, we all are to some degree because it’s in our nature, but he allowed his selfish desires to rule his heart.

Here’s why I relate to this story so much – I got lost the same way. After decades of preaching about the nature of all sin being rooted in selfishness, I forgot to ‘beat my body, and make it my slave.’

These are the words of the Apostle Paul, he says that we must do this as ministers of the Gospel, ‘so that after preaching to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

One decision of selfishness, led to another, and before long I was on the road to a distant country. A place I didn’t have any business going, because it led me away from the Father’s house.

I made a long string of bad decisions. This is the way sin works its way into our lives - one bad decision leads to another. You tell yourself, “I’m in pain, so it’s okay to take more of the medication than the doctor prescribed... Grandpa used to drink whiskey when he was sick... it’s not a sin to medicate yourself, and it just continues. Pretty soon you’re about 15 bad decisions down the road and then it’s just easier to keep traveling in the wrong direction.

Notice now what happens in verse 14. There was a famine in the distant country. That’s what happens when we lose our direction and we stray away. Everything looks good, plenty of opportunity; soon the money runs out, the road runs out and then you’ve lost everything. One who had it all, has now lost everything. He has bottomed out, and he realizes it. He came to his senses.

Philip Yancey tells the story of a prodigal daughter who grew up in a small town in Michigan. Fed up with her old-fashioned parents who didn’t like the music she listens to, the length of her skirts, she runs away. She ends up in Detroit where she meets a man who drives the biggest car she’s ever seen. She calls him boss. He recognizes that since she’s underage, men would pay a premium for her so she goes to work for him. For a while she thinks life is good. But she gets sick for a few days and it amazes her how quickly the boss turns on her. Before she knows that she’s out on the street without a penny to her name. She earns very little and all the money goes to support her drug habit. One night while sleeping outside, she began to feel less like a woman of the world and more like a little girl again. She begins to cry. God, “why did I leave?” My dog back home eats better than I do now. She knows that more than anything in the world she wants to go home. She calls home…three straight phone calls home and she is connected with the answering machine every time. Finally, she leaves a message. Mom, dad, it’s me. I was wondering about maybe coming home. I’m catching a bus up your way and it’ll get there about midnight tomorrow. If you’re not there, I’ll understand.

It was a seven-hour bus ride so she has plenty of time to prepare her speech for her father. And when the bus comes to a stop in a small town where she was raised the driver announces the 15 minutes stop. 15 minutes to decide her life. She walks into the terminal not knowing what to expect. But not one of the thousands seems that have played out in her mind prepares her for what she sees. There in the bus terminal stands a group of 40 brothers and sisters and great aunts and uncles and cousins and a grandmother and great-grandmother to boot. They’re all wearing party hats and blowing noisemakers and taped across the entire wall of the terminal is a large banner that reads-'Welcome Home!'

I remember when I came to my senses. I had left the ministry, moved to a city about 90 miles from home to work, I eventually called my wife one night and told her, “I think we should get a divorce. I’m never coming home.”

I had been living a double life. The next evening my phone rang, I saw it was my father-in-law, I hit the ignore button. He kept calling, so I just answered so he would stop bothering me. He said, “What is going on?”

I knew he had been told. I responded, “I am tired of not getting what I need, I do not want to be married anymore, I am going to do what I want from now on.”

Then he spoke words to me that I will never forget, “Where was God in anything that just came out of your mouth? Did you mean anything that you have preached for the last 20 years?”

I hung up on him. About a week later I found myself lying in the middle of the hi-way, unable to move my legs after a head on collision with a minivan, on my motorcycle. I knew I was about to die, and I was going to hell. 

I called my wife, while lying in the middle of that road, and told her I just wrecked the bike and I don’t think I’m going to make it. When the ambulance arrived at the hospital, she was already there.
I didn’t see anger in her face, I didn’t see happiness either, I seen love – I got a glimpse of the face of Jesus, “Friend of Sinners.”

I repented and asked the Lord to forgive me. Three days later, broken back and all, I walked out of that hospital. And the next day I called her and asked if I could come home. She had every right to say no. I had given her grounds to divorce me, but she didn’t hesitate to drive that 90 miles and get me. She brought me home. There was some healing that needed to take place, but that was years ago - it hasn't been perfect and neither am I, but I have been completely sober for 4 years now, I was baptized in Jesus' name, and filled with the Holy Ghost three years ago, God is good!

Friends I shared this today, got up out of bed a 3 a.m., to tell you this: it doesn’t matter how far down the road you’ve traveled from the Father’s house, He’s waiting, He’s watching for you in the distance, and as soon as He sees that you have turned around and are headed home, He will run to meet you and walk you to His house.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

It's Time to Fight Fire, With Fire!

Exodus 7:10-12
“So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the Lord had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent! [11] Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. [12] They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs.”

There is a word that has been in my mind all week, it’s the word ‘Fire.”

If someone were to walk into a room and yell, ‘FIRE,” the whole atmosphere would change, hearts would race, eyes would open wide, nobody would just sit there, everyone would be looking for the exits wondering where the fire is, and somebody would run for the fire extinguisher.

But I want to tell you this morning about a fire, that we don’t want to run from. A fire, that we’re not looking to extinguish, and that shouldn’t send us running for the exits. Friends I am talking about a fire that we should be crying out for; the fire of the Holy Ghost!

What we're seeing in this text is a power confrontation: The power of hell versus the power of God. I am compelled to tell you today; the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ must catch FIRE. There is an unholy, satanic, and demonic fire that is being unleashed in the earth today; and the sleepy, sloppy, passive, half-hearted slumbering, half-baked churches and church members aren’t qualified to deal with it. It’s going to take a Holy Ghost Fire baptized church that can pray heaven down and cast hell out.

Hell is on fire: The devil is sending his fire out against the church. In other words, the snakes are coming out of the woodpile, they're coming out of hiding, they are bringing hell fire destruction, and friends I’m telling you, that a bunch of wet blankets won’t extinguish their poison.

I am sure that most of you have heard the saying, “You’ve got to fight fire with fire.” Well, it’s true; nothing less than the fire of God that can put out hell's fire.

Even Shakespeare spoke of this fire against fire, “Be stirring as the time; be fire with fire; threaten the threatener, and outface the brow of bragging horror.”

Friends you might be saying by now, “you’re laying it on pretty thick aren’t you, surely it’s not that bad?” Yes, it is that bad! And any Pastor, minister, evangelist, or leader that does not sound the fire alarm to anyone who will listen is failing in their call, and is inviting disaster.

When witches are banding together and calling for the country to join them in casting spells hexes and curses against the president and the Supreme Court: We have a problem and it's not a disagreement of political parties, it's spiritual warfare! The snakes are coming out of the wood piles!

 And the most important thing the ministry can do today is to equip the saints to fight.

It's time for the Church to pray! ‘Now I lay me down to sleep’ prayers won't work here. If the church in the book of Acts would have prayed those type of wimpy prayers for Peter, he would have died. But the church went into deep spiritual warfare, they went into heaven-shaking, hell-breaking, unceasing prayer, and God sent an angel who delivered Peter from the same fate that James suffered.

It's time for the church to wake up! This is no time for the church to rest on her laurels, is the time for the church to catch fire!

I haven’t been focused on the Holy Ghost so much lately, because I think it would be neat for you to speak in tongues. I am focused on the baptism in the Holy Ghost, because hell is being unleashed against the church and in the world, and the only thing that will qualify you, equip you, and empower you to fight against it, is the Power of the Holy Ghost and Fire.

The Holy Ghost baptism is a fire baptism, you cannot separate the fire from the Holy Ghost. Fire has always been a symbol of the Lords presence among his people. Fire has always been an identifying characteristic of the people of God. Fire is heavens answer to our prayers, and it is heavens solution for our weakness. Fire is Heavens witness to an acceptable sacrifice, any time God finds an acceptable sacrifice he testifies and responds to it, and answers from heaven by fire.

Romans 12:1
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.”

Fire is Contagious; if there is material, the fire will burn. Proverbs 26:20 says, “Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out:”

Wherever there are hungry hearts, the fire will burn!

The Fire of God will burn out of you everything that is not like God; it will burn out selfishness, anger, drug addiction, alcoholism, lust, bigotry, fear, pride, deceitfulness, and unforgiveness. There are too many people in the church who want to know God, just as ‘Blesser,’ but God is not just a “Blesser,’ He is a possessor! God wants to possess you, He wants to fill you, control you, and flow through you. Jesus, the Holy Ghost, wants to make you a channel of his power.

When the Holy Ghost came on the day of Pentecost: He came as a rushing mighty wind and tongues of fire. Why? Because God knew the church without power was no match for the devil. He knew that hell’s fire was burning against the church, and the only thing that could put it out was fire From Heaven.

It’s still true today: I pray about many things through the week, but at the top of my list, and first in priority is, God send the fire. Baptize me with fresh Holy Ghost, and Baptize your church in the Holy Ghost.

The fire of God is not a mental concept or idea to be analyzed by the mind: The fire of God is the tangible manifested power of God – it is Heaven touching earth. The power of God invading the earth's realm, consuming your mind, your soul, your body, and setting you on fire for his Kingdom Sake.

This is not a time for the Church to go AWOL, it is the time for the church to catch fire, so that we can fight hell’s fire with fire from Heaven.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

What's In Your Belly?

John 7:37-39 (KJV)
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Acts 1:8
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Friends, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I am a Pentecostal, and this morning the message the Lord has given me to share is from the heart of a man who knows that trying to live a holy life without the power that comes from the baptism of the Holy Ghost, is impossible.

For generations, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and the ministration thereof has been going through a process of disintegration; not from Gods perspective, but from man’s perspective. Disintegrate means to break apart, dissolve, to break up, or crumble. We have reached the place where even within many so-called ‘Pentecostal' denominations, the baptism of the Holy Ghost has been reduced to the mere acknowledgement of an indwelling presence of Jesus experienced by all believers.

There is today, not only a depreciation for speaking with other tongues as the spirit gives the utterance as the initial sign and evidence of being Spirit filled, there is tremendous opposition against speaking in tongues; because it is not seeker friendly. 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. That’s hogwash, and it’s not scriptural!

Friends, if we are going to be New Testament believers, if we are going to be a book of Acts church, and be followers of Jesus, then we must do what he told us to do and follow the example of the Apostles in the book 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, and every occasion, in the book of Acts (the only NT book that records anyone being filled with the Holy Ghost), when they were filled with the Holy Ghost, they spoke with other tongues.

When the door of grace opened to the gentiles, they received this same gift and spoke with other tongues. And the Jewish believers that were there, knew that they had received the gift of the Holy Ghost. How? “And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. (Acts 10:45-46)”

They knew because, 'they heard them speak with tongues.' And all those there this time spoke the same language, so that different languages thing is out the window this time!

Why is speaking in tongues so important? As my pastor would say, “Glad you asked.”

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 supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit that are listed by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 12.

The Holy Ghost in you by virtue of the baptism in the Holy Ghost is the river of Ezekiel 47, that brings life everywhere it flows, but it is through the gifts of the Spirit that this river travels and extends itself.

John 7: 38-39 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

There are no rivers until we receive the Holy Spirit. It is impossible to experience the full, free, and abundant life that Jesus came to give us without the baptism of the Holy Ghost. And without the living water being placed in us by faith, it is impossible for the rivers to bring the blessings of the supernatural power of God into contact with the needs of the lost. Jesus in you, is a blessing to you alone, but it is Jesus flowing out of you through the gifts of the Spirit, that make you a blessing to others.

We must come back to the original purpose and power of the giving of the Holy Ghost: He is to first be in us as helper, teacher, comforter, illuminator, counselor, friend, and power to live a holy life. Then, He is to flow out of us by virtue of the gifts, to bring salvation, healing, deliverance, miracles, and signs and wonders, to set people free.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, (because) he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised… (Luke 4:18)”

How did Jesus do those things? By the gifts of the spirit: every blind eye opened, every demon cast out, every sick body he healed, feeding the multitudes, walking on water, calming the storm with His word, raising Lazarus from the dead, was all one or more of the gifts of the spirit at work in His life.

Acts 10:38
“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”

That’s how Jesus did it: By the anointing of the Holy Ghost through the mighty gifts of the Spirit.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)”

Someone might say: ‘Well the gifts of the spirit are only for certain individuals.’ Yes, they are, they are for humans: born again, blood bought, blood washed humans! “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal (1 Corinthians 12:7)

I like the way the Contemporary English Version puts it,” The Spirit has given each of us a special way of serving others.”

Why should we desire spiritual gifts? First, because the Word tells us to. Second, so that we can participate in the process of building up the Church, The Body of Christ. And thirdly, so that we have the power to overthrow the devil’s kingdom in the hearts and lives of lost men and women. The enemy’s kingdom is real, and it is through the gifts of the spirit that we meet the challenges of the enemy and bring deliverance to the oppressed.

Why are so many people unconcerned about the gifts of the Spirit and the operation of these gifts in their lives? Because they are not committed to living a holy life, because they are not committed to the building up and edifying of the church, and they are unconcerned about the condition of the world around them - unconcerned in the sense that they are unwilling to take steps that can make the difference.

To not Know these mighty gifts of power are available is ignorance, but to know and not care, and make no steps to receive them is foolishness.

Acts 2:38 - 39 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

The promise of the Holy Ghost is to whosoever will repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus, and the gifts of the spirit are offered, to every believer, on the same basis.