The Power Of Dead Men 6th April
The Power Of Dead Men 6th April
At Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out as promised by God and therefore, if we are born again we have the Spirit of God – we do not need to wait, we do not need to tarry for that which has already been given. This is the age of the Holy Spirit – the age of our great advantage according to Jesus Himself. You know when we look at the scriptures and read the wonderful works of Christ, the supernatural things He did and said and demonstrated – we are amazed!
We are in awe of the power and the miracles, the things Jesus did are some of the things we are captured by – and we often think “if only I could have lived then, if only I could have walked with Jesus” – yet He Himself said that this age we live in is greater! That we would do greater works, that this is the age of great advantage to us, greater than the age of the apostles walking with Him. This, the age of the Spirit in which we are born again, is supposed to be of greater glory to God!
Jn 14:12-14“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
As we know from the book of Acts and church history this truth has been demonstrated by men and women who embraced it, and with understanding, and giving their all, they allowed the indwelling Holy Spirit – the very same Spirit of Pentecost to glorify God in Jesus Christ through them. It begins always with believing in Jesus – “I say to you he who believes in Me” – and we believe in Him by His Words – “if you abide in Me and My Words Abide in you!”
Now we know the baptism of the Holy Spirit happens when we accept Christ and are born again into this age of Pentecost – it is by faith and not by feeling, this is not speaking about gifts or ministries – but it is the Spirit of God poured out in our hearts that shows us the love of God, it is the Holy Spirit who applies the grace and imparts the faith that enables us to walk this way. Jesus said I will give you another Helper and He will abide with you forever.
Now we also know that when the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost in that Upper Room there was a manifestation of power – we know many of them staggered under the glory of it – some accused them of being drunk! We know they began to see healing and miracles and great signs were done for the glory of God – we know there was enormous conviction by the Holy Spirit so that men and women were cut to the heart and cried out.
We know there was great power and that it produced great Fear of God – Reverence and Awe and God was glorified through men! We know that many others, not only the apostles, knew this power and that it was a very significant part of the church being born and spreading. It was a vital and fundamental aspect of Christianity – Being filled with the Spirit was accompanied by an evidence of that reality in many ways – even to martyrdom!
Remember as the church began to grow the apostles were soon run off their feet doing Pastoral work, so many people coming in, their compassion and desire in Christ to help the poor almost overwhelmed them – it was robbing their time in the W.O.G. necessary to understand Christ etc.
Ac 6:1-7 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.
Look they chose 7 men already full of the Holy Spirit – they were not filled with the Holy Spirit when the apostles laid their hands on them – they were already FULL!! – The apostles laid hands on them to appoint them, to acknowledge them – to affirm them before the people and to pray for them – but these 7 men were already full of the Holy Ghost. –-- In modern Pentecost we have produced some very dubious doctrines and exaggerated them in order to maintain and promote a hierarchy.
Things like impartation and the laying on of hands and mantles and so many other things – taking truth and distorting it to promote ministries and position and authority – but we are all kings and priests – we all have the Holy Spirit – we all have Christ in us the hope of glory – don’t we! You don’t need me to lay hands on you to receive Jesus Christ – that is entirely by faith through Grace – it is not of works – my works or yours!!
All of these things though – promote this understanding which I think most of us have – that we are not full enough of the Holy Spirit – that we can get more of Him, that there is another and greater baptism yet to come --- the affect of this belief is that we deny Him whom we have already been given – we don’t look inward, as it were, to know and find Him – we wait for something outside – constantly waiting and tarrying for the Holy Spirit to come and so we live grieving Him ---
Eph 5:15-21 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.
The Ephesians believed that being drunk opened you up to the god Dionysus – and allowed sexual depravity and sensual practices in the name of their gods – getting drunk removed the inhibitions. Funny how we take a scripture like this and Acts 2 and make a doctrine of acting drunk in the Holy Spirit – Paul was saying this is not the Christian way – don’t look for something you drink – or take from the outside and put into the body – but be filled with the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is a Person, He is God and He is complete and He is not a liquid – we cannot be topped up with Him. We cannot go to some meeting and have someone lay hands on us and tell us we are being filled up – if we have the Holy Spirit we are already FULL just as those 7 young men in Acts – so this scripture we have distorted over the years to make allowances for our own lack of evidence of His Presence – promoting the thought that there is always more to come –
more of the Holy Spirit – actually steals away from us the reality that He abides in us and we have no need of more of Him – He needs more of us : --
1 Jn 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
So if the Holy Spirit abides in us what was Paul trying to convey by saying be filled and it literally means be continually filled with the Holy Spirit – let me try and show you this way : --
Lk 4:28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
Ac 13:45 But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy; and contradicting and blaspheming, they opposed the things spoken by Paul.
These people filled with wrath did not have it poured into them from outside – it rose up in them from the inside – it was an attitude a behaviour – it was an internal response to a strongly held belief or even in some cases a feeling --- those filled with envy were not filled from outside – their own insecurities and sense of inadequacy their lusts compelled them to a certain unrestrained behaviour! – This being filled with is talking about an attitude and a response to that attitude.
So being filled with the Spirit – being continually filled with the Spirit is talking about becoming aware of His indwelling influence and His constantly bringing to our remembrance the Words of Christ! It speaks of submission and of the Holy Spirit getting more and more of us – not us getting more and more of Him! It speaks of allowing conviction and responding to that conviction – for He will convict the world – and we have so much of the world in us!!
Jn 16:13-14 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.
Everything the indwelling Holy Spirit does is to glorify Jesus – if this is an uppermost thought – if we are bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ - we will begin to develop a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit – you know we do not get Him by increment – piece by piece – but He gets us by increment – He gets us little by little, line upon line if we will allow Him – He will teach us and guide us and glorify Christ in us if we will just allow Him –
2 Co 3:17-18 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Everything the Holy Spirit does is to glorify Christ – EVERYTHING – so if we are being transformed from glory to glory then Jesus is being magnified in us, and for that to happen we must be having an ever increasing awareness of Jesus – the Holy Spirit bringing to our remembrance the Words of Jesus – Oh if we could just truly grasp the wonder and the power of the Words of Jesus – the W.O.G. – the more we know it, the more we read it and pray it the more we allow the Holy Spirit.
You know here is a profound little truth – the Holy Spirit cannot bring to our remembrance things we have not read or learned. You know we can read the W.O.G. and find it dry and boring and even at times frustrating, not understanding it at all – yet it is the language of the Holy Spirit – it is His vocabulary and at the right moment He can just quicken it to you and things you have not understood, suddenly He can use to guide you and lead you into all truth.
It is by faith – it is all by faith and believing this W.O.G. – it is believing what the W.O.G. tells us about the Holy Spirit and then by faith beginning to walk that way. – See what we have done is made our guidance by the Holy Spirit subjective and we have been taught that the anointing is enough or that if we feel this or that – that is the Holy Spirit - -and there is an element of truth in that but it is dangerous to be lead that way –
In these days God has spoken to us by His Son and that is written and recorded and as we read it and mediate on it the Holy Spirit picks it up – look we must get this deep into our whole concept and thoughts of God and Christ – the Holy Spirit has come to glorify Jesus – Jesus prayed this
Jn 17:16-19 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.
I know I am just pressing in on this and going over it but you see I think this is where true faith is – I think this is the essence of all we long for – the Holy Spirit breathing fresh life into the Words of Jesus – I think this is what times of refreshing from the Presence of the Lord just might be! Please bear with me – see we are a people who have been given every resource, every possible thing we need to be kings and priests to our Lord and God and to glorify Him – in this age of great advantage
We are the people Jesus said would do the greater works, we live this age of Pentecost!! Jesus said if we believe nothing would be impossible to us – ask anything in My Name and I will do it –
that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You know the more we know the Holy Spirit the more we must fall in love with Jesus – the more we will find ourselves thinking about Jesus – because He is altogether lovely – He is Precious and Beautiful – not His appearance or in some romantic way – but He is God the Creator, all things were made by Him and nothing was made that was not made by Him – He is before all things and in Him all things consist – He is the First and the Last –
He is the Alpha and the Omega, He is the Beginning and the End – He the First born to rise from the dead, He is the Head of the Church and He is Lord and Saviour – Oh He is glorious and marvelous to behold and you know if we can just see Him with the eyes of our faith, our hearts being enlightened then we will see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ!! – Oh and the Holy Spirit has been given for this very purpose –
Not that we have already attained – but we press on towards the higher call of God – Oh church it is the Holy Spirit that shows us Jesus! Without he Holy Spirit we cannot know Him and yet with the Holy Spirit we can know the very deep things of God. --- SO HOW do we develop this sensitivity – I truly believe we have begun again, as it were, by considering what we have learned these last few weeks – we have the Holy Spirit each and every one of us who have believed in Christ.
But you know it is in prayer and talking with Him – we have made prayer a thing of our closet – like we have been taught – pray an hour a day – or begin your day in prayer and give God this time – and so we should – but there is more, so much more than this – being filled with Spirit is to be always in prayer – an attitude of prayer or dependence – as soon as I say that I can almost hear the switches going off – click – click – can’t do that – too busy, too much to do – too hard!
Continue earnestly in prayer – pray without ceasing – it is an attitude. It is a heart attitude, it is thinking in terms of Holy Spirit guide me in this, teach me this – show me how Jesus would respond – and you will find your thoughts filled with the Words of Jesus – the W.O.G. – scripture quickened – and then you just might begin to hear Him whisper into your heart – and they shall lay hands upon the sick – and you will find faith! This is being filled with the Spirit – by us receding as it were!
You might hear Him whisper – tell them about Me – and as you witness Christ is glorified. You might hear Him say their tongues shall be stuck to the roofs of their mouths – and they shall be dumb!
But you will hear Him say – look at Jesus He is altogether lovely and there will awaken in your heart a longing to see Him, an ache of homesickness for Christ.
The Apostle said this : --
Ga 2:20 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.
If we are crucified with Christ – then we are dead –and you know it is the power of dead men we seek – dead men have no rights, no power of their own – it is no longer I but Christ. The Spirit of Christ to the glory of God!!