Tag: speaking in tongues.

Receiving the Holy Spirit!

Scripture reading for May 30th:  Acts 19, Psalm 108, Proverbs 15

Key Scriptures:  Acts 19:1-6 “. . .Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus.  there he found some disciples.  And he said to them,”Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”  And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?”  They said, “Into John’s baptism.”  And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the One who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.”  On hearing this, they were baptized in the Name of the Lord Jesus.  And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying.”  

Paul found twelve disciples at Ephesus who had only been baptized by John the Baptist.  They had not received or heard of the gift of the Holy Spirit.  As Paul shared how John pointed all to Jesus, they believed and were baptized in Jesus’ Name.  Paul laid his hands on them and prayed and the Holy Spirit filled them with the evidence that they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  This was about 20 years after the first Pentecost.

Faith Confession:  I believe in Jesus Christ and have been baptized in the Name of the Father, Son (Jesus) and Holy Spirit.  I have also been baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.  I believe this gift is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as Lord.

Psalm 108:5 “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens!  Let Your glory be over all the earth!”   

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Receiving the Holy Spirit!

Scripture reading for May 31st:  Acts 19

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 19:1-2,5-7  “While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus.  There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”  They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” . . .”On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.  When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.  There were about twelve men in all.” 

Nearly twenty years after Pentecost, Paul encountered some disciples of John who had believed in Jesus.   They had only received John’s baptism of repentance so Paul baptized them in the name of Jesus Christ and then placed his hands on them.  As he did this, the Holy Spirit fell on them and they began to speak in tongues and prophesy in the same manner as the original day of Pentecost.  Later in this chapter, Paul preached boldly and a revival of repentance broke out where many came and confessed their evil deeds and burned their occult and sorcery paraphernalia. Power was needed to confront the darkness in that city!

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers are filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to confront the forces of evil.  They seek to help other believers walk in God’s power and anointing as well.  “You have exalted my horn like that of a wild ox;  fine oils have been poured upon me.  My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries; my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.”  (Psalm 92:10-11)

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God is impartial!

Scripture reading for May 18th:  Acts 10

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Acts 10:44-48  “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles.  For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.  Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?  They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”  So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.”

The early church came mainly from converts among the Jews.  Peter was a devout Jew, as were most of the other apostles.  When God called him to go to the home of Cornelius and preach to the Gentiles gathered there, it was a shock to his cultural upbringing.  But he took other Jewish believers with him as he obeyed the vision given him by the Lord.  As he preached the Gospel to them, the Holy Spirit fell upon these Gentiles and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues and praising God.  Peter then understood that God had given them the same gift and they should also be baptized and brought into fellowship of the Church!   Peter had actually prophesied this on the day of Pentecost when he said this gift of the Holy Spirit was for those who were “far off”!  (Acts 2:39)

Observations for over-comers:  God’s ways are often much higher than ours.  We must stay teachable and obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit and not be over-come by our own cultural prejudices.   “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.”  (Deuteronomy 10:17)

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God is no respecter of persons!

Scripture reading for May 19th:  Acts 10

Peter, now a Christ follower, had been a well-trained Jew.  He had been taught that Jews should maintain separation from Gentiles.  Gentiles were not to be associated with because they were not “God’s people” or “Abraham’s offspring.”  But God was interested in reaching Gentiles as well as Jews and making them all His children!

Cornelius was a Roman centurion stationed in Judea.  He was a man of prayer who feared God and helped the poor. An angel appeared to Cornelius and told him to send for Peter to come to him from Joppa.  At the same time, God gave Peter a vision of a large sheet with unclean animals on it.  “Get up, Peter, Kill and eat”  was what he heard.   Peter responded back, “Surely not Lord, I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”  (Acts 10:13-14)   After three exchanges like this, men from Cornelius appeared on the scene looking for Peter.  The Holy Spirit told Peter to go with them, even though they were Gentiles.

When Peter arrived at the centurion’s home, he found a large group of people waiting for him.  Cornelius told him how God had given instructions to send for him and now they were ready to listen.  “Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.  You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.””  Acts 10:34-36

As Peter preached the message, the Holy Spirit came on the Gentiles and they began to speak in other tongues and praise God.  Peter ordered that they all be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ!

 

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Sunday rest and reflection–Pentecost!

Greetings in the Wonderful Name of Jesus Christ!  Today is Pentecost Sunday and a time to celebrate the precious gift of the Holy Spirit!  The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and is the personal gift of the Father who was sent to dwell in followers of Jesus Christ. (Luke 24:49)  Jesus told His followers to wait for this promise and that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. (Acts1:8)  This power would be a divine enablement to be witnesses for the Lord.  God’s command was for these believers to go into all the world and preach the Gospel message with signs that would follow! (Mark 16:15-20)

On the day of Pentecost, 120 believers were gathered in a room of the temple praying and waiting on the Lord when suddenly the room was filled with the sound of a rushing wind.  Visible tongues of fire descended on this company and they all began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.  (Acts 2:1-4) These believers went out into the temple area and caused quite a stir among those Jews gathered from around the world for the Feast of Pentecost.  Each one heard them glorifying God in their own language! (Acts 2:8-10)  What a miracle!  Peter preached that day and many came under conviction through the power of the Holy Spirit!  (Acts 2:37)  They were told to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit!  (Acts 2:38-41)  Three thousand were baptized and added to the church that day!

Today, nearly 2000 years later, God is still empowering believers to be witnesses for Him.  He is still pouring out His Spirit on all flesh.  He is still sending His Church to be witnesses to the nations.  He is still baptizing people in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues!  He is still confirming His Word with supernatural signs!  God shows no partiality and wants all to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth!  (1st Timothy 2:3-4)  If you are not filled with the Holy Spirit, why not pray and ask the Jesus to baptize you with power to be His witness?  You can become even more effective as a witness with power!  God bless you this Pentecost Sunday!  May you be filled with power again and again.  (Ephesians 5:18-21)

Pastor John

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