2Ti 1:6 Therefore I remind you to stir up(fan into a flame) the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 2Ti 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. nkjv
The Gift of God is not just a spiritual gift or ability you were given by God but is the wonderful Holy Spirit Himself…He is the Gift of God to all who repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
Act 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Act 2:39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
As we saw in the previous chapter , when Peter declares that “you shall receive the Holy Spirit”, it is usually through the laying on of hands and prayer that the Gift of the Holy Spirit is given.
Terms like fallen upon, fell upon, came upon, come upon,. are all used to describe the giving of the gift of God to those who believe in Christ Jesus.
Act 2:33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
I also mentioned and will reiterate again that if you have had the Holy Spirit fall upon you and embrace your spirit with affection you will KNOW IT! Peter declared under inspiration of this same Holy Spirit that the promise of the Holy Spirit , which is the gift of God, was poured out on them…and what happened could be seen and heard.
Of course we walk by faith not by feelings or sight or sound from natural senses, but when one receives the Spirit of God He is sensed as being present in some way. Think of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. When the resurrected Jesus walked with them on the winding road their “hearts burned within” them as He opened the scriptures to them. Lu 24:32
burn”- kaio- means 1) to set on fire, light, burning. 2) to burn, consume with fire.
Their hearts burned within…what part of them burned within? Their hearts. Yes, as Jesus ministered to them out of Himself(spirit), He was ministering to their spirits…their inner man…their hearts!! What Jesus shared with them was not understood by these two disciples..but their hearts burned and were set on fire by His Spirit words. Your heart is your spirit. Your spirit is of God and is the same substance as God. God is SPIRIT and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. God is looking for spirit to worship Him. The only ones who are spirit in all creation are angels and mankind. God is looking for you and me. Spirit calls to spirit to turn our hearts towards the source of all life. Our spirit man came out from God and was lowered into this physical realm. I am talking about our body. We are first of all spiritual beings. We live in a body and have a soul. It is to our spirit that God comes.
All our lives we wander about in darkness having no light within us. Our spirit’s are darkened through the COMPLETE ABSENCE of God in our spirit centre–our heart. The soul can be educated very well and the body can be as sound as can be….but without the spirit receiving LIFE we walk around as dead men and women not knowing where we are going or where we came from. You are a spiritual being my friend. By that I simply mean that you were created in the image of God-Who is Spirit. You will forever be incomplete if your spirit does not receive to itself God’s Holy Spirit. What is stopping Him? Your soul.
We hear people say…”Oh I believe in God , but not like you born-again types!”
When God begins to awaken people to their need of Jesus Christ to save them they may feel very uncomfortable. This is the conviction of the Holy Ghost as He begins to draw them. At this point the soul which has been ruling as boss over the person’s whole being puts up its defences.
The attitude from most souls is, “I am my own person and I do not need Jesus Christ!”
However God does not ever give up pursuing us. It is funny how body language gives away what is really going on in the heart of a lost human being. When someone who is burning with the flames of the Holy Spirit in their spirit shares the good news about Jesus with an unbeliever, immediately they will fold their arms across their mid section. Why is that?
I have seen this so many times on the street, or at my workplace and in preaching meetings. When you understand that in the centre of our makeup is our spirit, then it makes sense. God wants to live in each and every person, so He comes to each one at certain times for that purpose. He is not going to force His way into a man. He gave you a free will with which to choose Him. A man may be saying loud no’s to God or to the evangelist, but his spirit/heart is crying out even louder YES’S to God. The cry of the lost is the loudest sound in all the universe!
The lost cry out night and day, and God Who is NOT FAR AWAY, hears their cry and is always coming to them.
“Save me Oh God!! Help me!” “Is there anybody out there!!??” “O God please hear my cry!”
God’s answer to your desperate situation is for you to receive His Spirit- the Spirit of His Son-the Holy Spirit- the Gift of God so that He will witness with their spirit that they are now children of God.
In life their are many difficulties we face. Our soul deals with these things all alone before we receive the Holy Spirit. We try our best to walk through life in the power of our reasoning and ideas. We develop the abilities of the soul in school, through books, through philosophies and meditation techniques and religion. The soul – mind and emotion- IS NOT MEANT TO RULE YOUR BEING. Rather, your soul is to be subservient to your spirit. But your spirit is not yet joined to God’s Spirit so it is of no use – it is dead to God!
Most think that if they do yoga or Buddhist type meditation techniques or astral projection or other such things that they are spiritual. They equate certain psychic abilities with their spirit. In reality those things are soulish. Their spirit is dead and sunk down within them and the only Spirit that can can awaken and give them life is GOD. The soul of man is used by Satan. Man thinks he is free when in fact he is a prisoner of darkness. The soul is earthly and sensual and influenced by spirits. Whether that spirit influence is God or Devil is the question. Man is supposed to be spirit led. The spirit is supposed to lead with the soul in full humble agreement. But through the fall mans soul now has usurped the place of authority that the spirit had. Satan influences the soul realm and seeks to keep a man from being made right side up through surrender to Jesus Christ.
When approached with the claims of Jesus Christ a person whose soul is influenced by Satan will put up his or her defences and deflect everything that is said. They will cuss and swear, they will act very nice to appear like an angel who does not need God….they will avoid you from then on…or speak against you…or they may endure you, thinking you are a nut-job…all sorts of evasive tactics are used by the soulish man …anything but surrender to the Holy Spirit!!
But our God has a way of trapping us in situations where we have opportunity to choose Him.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
Joh 3:21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.
In these crises times a man is often brought to the end of himself. He has exhausted his mental and soulish ability to solve the problem….he looks away from himself to God to find the answer….his spirit has been crying out to God NOT JUST TO SOLVE SOME TEMPORARY PROBLEM like money or a relationship breakdown….but crying out to have GOD LIGHT UP HIS LIFE FOR EVER AND BE WITH HIM ALWAYS. That is the cry of every man’s heart/spirit.
It is why Jesus Christ , God in Human flesh, came and lived perfect before all, and died on the cross paying for our redemption. For God to answer the cry of your heart He had to cleanse you of all your sin, forgiving you of all. Jesus’ death has done that. You are clean and forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Your soul/mind does not understand all these things…but in the coming of God to you in your time of visitation, your spirit is given a touch from God and you surge toward accepting Jesus as your Saviour.
Many people testify saying, “I don’t know what happened, I was arguing against God…and the next thing, I walked out the front of the church and invited Jesus into my heart!”
It is the most wonderful thing in the universe to have Jesus Christ by His spirit come into your spirit and make you whole. As we saw in the previous post, this initial coming to faith in Jesus may include God’s Spirit falling upon you or it may not. Those in Cornelius’ house(Acts 10) , as they believed what Peter was preaching, the Holy Spirit fell upon them and they began speaking praises to God in tongues. But when the Samaritans(Acts 8) believed Philip’s message and were baptised, the Holy Spirit did not fall upon them. It was not until Peter and John had travelled from Jerusalem to Samaria and had prayed for them, laying hands upon them, that they received the Holy Spirit. The same was true for Paul at his conversion(Acts 9) and for the disciples of John the Baptist that Paul met at Ephesus(Acts 19).
Both Paul and those disciples believed first…but still needed to receive the Holy Spirit baptism afterwards. You might think I am labouring the point here. Yes, because I understand that many many dear believers in Jesus are holding out against receiving the Holy Spirit, because they believe there is nothing more to receive. They believed in Jesus at their initial conversion and were taught by their pastors that that is all there is. Scriptural examples show otherwise.
I personally know pastors who disagree with the need for a second experience of receiving the Holy Spirit. And I know for certain that they are filled with the Holy Ghost. He has embraced their spirit. But because they are in denominations that openly teach against tongues and the gifts of the spirit as in 1Cor 12 and 14, they have a blockage to those blessings. With the things of God it is always according to our faith. God does not force things upon us.
If I own a lolly shop or a candy store that stocks 100 different types of candy..just because I only eat 20 kinds does not mean I do not have the potential to eat all 100. Many have been baptised in the Holy Ghost but refuse to speak in tongues being biased against it.
It is not a salvation issue…however the gift of tongues is a wonderful blessing of the Spirit to us. To not partake in it’s blessing leaves us ripped off.
In 2009 I travelled to India to preach for 12 days. I preached in 11 different village churches encouraging the saints and praying for the sick. The Father had been preparing my heart for that trip for a few months prior. My first meeting was at the main church where 35 local pastors came to hear what I had to share. The main overseer was present on the stage and my interpreter and my host, a dear brother Sam. This was an old mainline Pentecostal denominational church. Even though they called themselves Pentecostal they had long since lost the flow of the Holy Spirit. None of the pastors spoke in other tongues.
This in not unusual today even in the west. Many Charismatics and Pentecostals do not speak in tongues much at all. They know they can if they want to, and they will do so if the pastor asks them to in a meeting when praying for some issue. But in their own time at home and at work etc, they never do so.
So here I was in India. I could sense the hunger in the hearts of these dear pastors…but could also sense the controlling hardness opposing me as I preached.
The enemy/Satan does not want people to
1) Receive Jesus at all and
2) Receive the Holy Spirit’s embrace and
3)Speak in tongues.
Satan joins with the flesh(soul) in a man to keep him from Jesus Christ. If that man does believe in Jesus, then Satan will attempt to snatch that seed of faith away immediately. Often a man will come to the Lord and say a prayer….only to be saying a few days later that it was all just emotion. Any attempts to interest that man in Scripture or fellowship with Jesus is met with the same evasive blocking tactics of any unbeliever. That man will have to go back into the crucible of wilderness wanderings until he is again brought to his senses and is granted repentance and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ. Believing in Jesus is not what changes the heart! Receiving the Spirit of Jesus- The Holy Spirit is What or Who changes us.
When He comes in and joins Himself to our spirit we come alive and He fills our inner core with joy and peace and love – Himself. If a man believes and then gets baptised in water ..then the next thing Satan will oppose is the receiving of the Holy Spirit. That is why we have tens of thousands in denominations that reject this experience. God loves them and works in them and with them…but they lack the inward power that characterised Jesus and the Apostles.
Jesus commanded the Apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise of the Holy Spirit which He would send.
Luk 24:49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.
They already were believers but that was NOT ENOUGH!
Act 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me;
Act 1:5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
He commands all who believe in Him to not depart their Jerusalem—not to go out to disciple the nations- until they are baptised with the Holy Spirit and with power! All those who do so will find they have no power. They may convince by reasoning, but the breath of the Spirit will be absent from their message. The Apostles and the rest of the 120 were obedient to Jesus…they waited for the Promise.
They did not say, ‘Well, we believe in Jesus as Lord and Saviour…so let us go out into the nations around about and preach the Good news.’” No!
They had done that when Jesus was with them in the flesh. They went out in His name and He had conferred upon them His authority to cast out demons and to heal the sick. But now that He was going away in the flesh….that would not work. He was going away in the flesh and returning to them in the Spirit! They had to wait for Jesus to come again to them before they went anywhere in His name.
On the day of Pentecost to fulfil the Prophets and the Law the Holy Spirit came upon them like fire upon Mount Sinai. They received Jesus as the Helper,the Comforter, the Holy Spirit sent from God to them.
Act 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
When the Spirit of God comes upon an unbiased soul and joins Himself as ONE with that person’s spirit He overflows out through the soul and flesh in praises and prophesying to the Father.
Act 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The book of acts records this same experience over and over again. It is normal Christianity to speak with “other tongues” to God. This is the third thing Satan will try to hinder or stop a believer from entering into.
It is bad enough to him that we believe in Jesus….going to church meetings does not bother him at all…our getting baptised in water does not worry the devil either….BUT if we begin to move towards receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues he will fight to block it. Every reason why you should stay away from such a message will go through your mind. People who are anti will try to convince you it is wrong. It is a battle because the rewards are great. We come into a life of power and the Devil’s kingdom suffers….or we stay powerless and the Devil’s kingdom goes on prospering. God gave this ability to release power from your own spirit…but your soul man can block it from being released by not assenting to you. (to your spirit/the real you)
Back to India..
In India when I preached to those 35 pastors, five of them stood up and received the Holy Spirit’s infilling for the first time and they spoke in other tongues. There were joyful tears as they gave free vent to their spirit’s voice in tongues to God. But in that same group of 35, many more were hardened and sceptical. God is a gentleman and very patient. At the end of my time in India, those pastors who were filled and spoke in tongues were so grateful to God for sending me to them. They told how they had thought that they were unworthy to receive such a gift!(lies of Satan)
They felt that they were not good enough to speak in tongues like those in Scripture. How sad! Such misunderstandings are the Devil’s work in the church. That is why I am writing this article–to destroy the works of the Devil and set you free into the fullness of all that He came to give you. So that you partake in, and share in, the wonderful stream and flow and gushings of God from within your own recreated human spirit!
Joh 7:37 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
Joh 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
Joh 7:39 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.
Paul told Timothy to fan into a flame the gift of God that is within through the laying on of my hands. 2Ti 1:6 This is what speaking in tongues does in us. I will share more in the next chapter