AOG CHURCH MUST EMBRACE BIBLE AS ABSOLUTE TRUTH

It will be interesting to see what impact Dr Doug Clay will have in getting the AOG church to reaffirm the Bible as the absolute inerrant word of God – the truth about the cosmos from Genesis to Revelation.

During his recent consecration as the new general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Dr. Doug Clay had two things in mind: First, he wanted to reaffirm the identity of his denomination, and second, to look to the future by keeping four AG core values at the forefront.

Drawing an analogy between Martin Luther and his 95 Theses and today’s Assemblies of God church, Clay, 54, said he recently had a dream about what it would look like to start a Pentecostal Reformation through the denomination. It would begin, he said, with the reaffirmation of these tenets:

  • The Holy Spirit is a person, not an “it.”
  • The Bible is the absolute truth.
  • Character, regardless of your title or position, matters.
  • The purpose of the Assemblies of God is evangelism, and the denomination must avoid getting sidetracked from that purpose.

A third-generation pastor’s kid, Clay spoke passionately about each of these values as applied to the AG church. The largest Pentecostal denomination in the world, the Assemblies of God has grown to more than 67 million members worldwide.

“I really want to see the Holy Spirit do what He does best: magnify Jesus,” Clay said. “We just need to let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. … With the Bible, we really do believe it is the foundation for all of life transformation and community transformation. Biblical literacy is one of the major initiatives I want to take on during my administration.

“We also need to place a high value on character. Paul says that if you don’t have the fruit of the spirit, then you are not a tuned instrument. … And finally, I’m committed to say that, in the DNA of the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal organisation, evangelism is going to have a high priority, as it has for the last 103 years.”

 

WORSHIP THAT EXALTS ALL THREE MEMBERS OF THE TRINITY

So many worship songs are simple or cliche. This one from Hillsong will astound you. All three members of The Trinity are acknowledged in this worship song. How important it is we know the roles of each member of The Trinity.

Our heavenly Father sent His Son to pay the price of our redemption, to bring us back into a relationship with God. The Son made it possible for our heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit.                               

“The spirit of a man is the lamp of God. Proverbs 20:27 and “For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the spirit of God.” 1 Corinth. 2:11.

All three members of the Trinity are involved in our salvation. It is essential we understand their roles. To know that the Holy Spirit is our counsellor, our comforter, our teacher. How often have we quenched His work in us and grieved Him. He is the third person of the Trinity. He will indwell us forever including our resurrected body. We cannot be holy with the Holy Spirit indwelling us.

WAKE UP CHURCH: WE NEED BELIEVERS MINISTERING IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

We urgently need a mighty move of God. We need a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, which will awaken believers to the reality of people lost without God.

Urgency can be defined as importance requiring swift action. As such, one of the essential qualities of the kingdom of God is urgency. Let me suggest that if multitudes are going to receive the witness of Jesus Christ, there is a great urgency, which exists for the continual manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit

Jesus tells his disciples in Luke 10 as they engage in the evangelism of their generation: “Say, … the kingdom of God has come near to you” (Luke 10:10b-11b). How were the disciples to demonstrate the nearness of the kingdom? Jesus tells them to heal the sick—a direct manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power.

Urgency in 21st century evangelism is the announcement that the kingdom is just as near today as it was then.

Why would the kingdom manifest in our generation with anything less than it was in Christ’s? Urgency means that the kingdom is of supreme importance and requires a demonstration of God’s power. Such kingdom urgency necessitates a kingdom message, coupled with kingdom power. How do we live in this place of urgency?

We need the Spirit’s presence! We must not allow the “tyranny of the immediate” in today’s culture to numb us from our need of “immediate urgency” for the Spirit’s presence.

Paul reminds us that the kingdom of God is righteous, joy and peace in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14:17). Our ongoing fellowship with the Holy Spirit equips us to be kingdom ambassadors operating with kingdom urgency and power.

It is His holy and healthy power working in us and through us that draws the world around us to His transforming grace.

Let me offer two thoughts on this idea based on the internal and external expression of the Spirit’s presence in our lives:

His Grace Working Inward 

There is an inward urgency of the Spirit within the lives of believers:

We see this in Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.” The greatest need for every human being is hope. Paul tells us that no matter the obstacles or challenges it is possible to overflow with hope. This is the work of the Holy Spirit establishing the kingdom—righteousness, joy and peace—internally. Are you abounding with hope? Without it, urgency is impossible. Only the hope-filled recognize the importance of swift Kingdom action.

His Grace Working Outward

There is an outward urgency that the Holy Spirit release through the church to draw the lost to Christ’s transforming grace. This is found in
Romans 15:19: “By the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” This verse shows us Paul expressing the kingdom with urgency through his witness. The result was that throughout all the surrounding cities and provinces the Spirit manifested the message of the Kingdom.

The importance of the kingdom requires our swift and holy action. Our generation wants an expression of authentic kingdom urgency. Jesus the King is worthy of nothing less. 

Mikel French has challenged  spiritual awakening all across America, where many celebrations extended into multiple weeks, and has conducted celebrations in France, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Germany, South Africa, Malawi, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, India and Thailand. He conducted an outreach celebration in Manila, Philippines, reaching 200,000 teenagers with The Book of Hope. Through the generous support of partners, he has presented the message of Jesus Christ to millions of people in the nation of Russia through televised citywide Soul-Winning Celebrations. Mikel considers it an honor to assist in conducting the annual pastor’s conference, where thousands of pastors from Russia’s 11 time zones come for training, teaching and equipping. Mikel and his wife, Marsha, reside in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

GET BACK TO THE GOSPEL – RICKY DOES A GREAT JOB

Join Ricky in his prayer for you at the end of this powerful sermon, based solely on the Word of God. It is a sound exposition of 1 Thessalonians chapter 1 & 2 entitled “When your actions speak louder than your words”.

You need 45 minutes for this sermon, but it will be worth your time. It is a sermon that needs to be heard in our time.

Sadly, we are in the time that Paul wrote about in 2 Timothy 4:3-4. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

ARE WE BLOCKING THE FLOW OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thess. 5:19  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit..” Ephes. 4:30

This testimony by J Lee Grady will challenge you. He was editor of Charisma Magazine for 11 years before he launched into full time Holy Spirit led ministry.

flow-of-holy-spirit

A few years ago the Lord challenged me about my level of spiritual hunger. He showed me that even though I had stood in many prayer lines and repeatedly sung the words, “Lord, I want more of You,” I wasn’t as passionate for Him as I thought I was.

My church sponsored a conference on the Holy Spirit. At the close of one service, I was lying on the floor near the altar, asking God for another touch of His power. Several other people were kneeling at the communion rail and praying quietly for each other.

Suddenly I began to have a vision. In my mind I could see a large pipeline, at least eight feet in diameter. I was looking at it from the inside, and I could see a shallow stream of golden liquid flowing at the bottom. The oil in the giant pipe was only a few inches deep.

I began a conversation with the Lord.

“What are You showing me?” I asked.

“This is the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life,” He answered.

It was not an encouraging picture; it was pitiful! The capacity of the pipeline was huge—enough to convey tons of oil. Yet only a trickle was evident.

Then I noticed something else: Several large valves were lined up along the sides of the pipeline, and each of them was shut.

I wanted to ask the Lord why there was so little oil in my life. Instead I asked: “What are those valves, and why are they closed?”

His answer stunned me. “Those represent the times when you said no. Why should I increase the level of anointing if you aren’t available to use it?”

The words stung. When had I said no to God? I was overcome with emotion and began to repent. I recalled different excuses I had made and limitations I had placed on how He could use me.

I had told Him that I didn’t want to be in front of crowds because I wasn’t a good speaker. I had told Him that if I couldn’t preach like T.D. Jakes does, then I didn’t want to speak at all. I had told Him that I didn’t want to address certain issues or go certain places. I had placed so many cumbersome conditions on my obedience.

After a while I began to see something else in my spirit. It was a huge crowd of African men, assembled as if they were in a large arena. And I saw myself preaching to them.

Nobody had ever asked me to minister in Africa, but I knew at that moment I needed to surrender my will. All I could think to say was the prayer of Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me.” (Is. 6:8). I told God I would go anywhere and say anything He asked. I laid my insecurities, fears and inhibitions on the altar.

Three years later I stood at a pulpit inside a sports arena in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. As I addressed a crowd of 8,000 pastors who had assembled there for a training conference, I remembered seeing their faces in that vision. And I realised that God had opened a new valve in my life that day when I was on the floor of my church. Because I had said yes, He had increased the flow of His oil so that it could reach thousands.

Many of us have a habit of asking for more of God’s power and anointing. But what do we use it for? He doesn’t send it just to make us feel good.

We love to go to the altar for a touch from God. We love the goose bumps, the shaking, the emotion of the moment. We love to fall on the floor and experience one filling after another. But I am afraid some of us are soaking up the anointing but not giving it away. Our charismatic experience has become inward and selfish. We get up off the floor and live like we want to.

Pentecost is not a party. If we truly want to be empowered, we must offer God an unqualified yes. We must crucify every no. We must become a conduit to reach others, not a reservoir with no outlet.

Search your own heart today and see if there are any closed valves in your pipeline. As you surrender them, the locked channels will open, and His oil will flow out to a world that craves to know He is real.

BUILD UP TREASURE IN HEAVEN – IT LASTS FOREVER

Amazon image of LEN

My ebook Living Eternal Now – Empowered by the Holy Spirit will be available on Amazon as a FREE download from June 1st to 5th, 2016.

If you don’t believe God exists, the Bible is God’s Word, that God loves you and that He has provided a way for you to restore the lost relationship with Him, then you need to read my ebook “Living Eternal Now – Empowered by the Holy Spirit”.

You need to be born again by the Holy Spirit. You then know God is real and you have eternal life. The world becomes a different place, you notice the beauty of God’s creation in a new way, your priorities change. His priorities become your priority. The Holy Spirit living within your spirit (your body becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit) produces the fruit of the spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, goodness, gentleness, kindness, patience and self control. As the Holy Spirit enables, many of the nine gifts of the spirit will become evident in your life. Each one of these gifts are major power gifts, and they are all direct, supernatural, miraculous manifestations direct from the Holy Spirit: 1. Word of Knowledge, 2. Word of Wisdom, 3. Gift of Prophecy, 4. Gift of Faith, 5. Gift of Healing, 6. Working of Miracles, 7. Discerning of Spirits, 8. Speaking in Tongues, 9. Interpretation of Tongues.

Your life is transformed and God will use you to build His Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. You will truly enter into the joy of the Lord knowing you are a child of God, loved by your heavenly Father.

LIFE’S BIGGEST QUESTION HAS ETERNAL CONSEQUENCES

In Matthew 16, Jesus is having a conversation about His identity with Simon Peter, and Jesus asked him an all-important question: “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And he got it right.

Getting this question right is both the quintessence of salvation and the starting point for an eternal journey. You are saved when you come to know and believe in Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, but that is only the beginning of your relationship with Him.

When Simon correctly identified who Jesus was, Jesus identified who Simon was.

He said, “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” From then on, Simon was known as Rock. That’s what petros, or Peter, means in Greek.

“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18 ESV

What changed in that moment wasn’t who Peter was but rather his view of who he was. Jesus said he was a rock. Suddenly Peter could see the man he really was. Mind you, when it looked like his world was about to end, he denied Jesus three times just as Jesus said he would. Our journey will be no different. There will be times we need to repent and ask God for His forgiveness, which He freely grants.

Knowing God is paramount to finding out why He made you and who He means for you to be.

So who do you say Jesus is? It’s life’s biggest question.

God wants to give you a revelation of who you are too. He wants to show you your value now, and He wants to open your eyes to who you can become in Him. Jesus made it possible for our heavenly Father to send the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit to dwell within you to be your Counsellor, Comforter and Teacher. You have all you need to be who God meant you to be.

Stop talking about who you are not and what you cannot do, and start listening to what God says about your life. Stop labelling yourself, and start letting God do whatever He wants in, through, and with you. Dead to self, alive to Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I would like to thank Pastor Steven Furtick for providing much of the content for this post. For more information, please visit:   http://www.iamunqualified.com

SPEAK THE MORALITY OF GOD AND THE SCOFFERS WILL HATE YOU

How do we react to the scoffers and wicked people? The Bible gives us clear instructions:

“He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonour on himself, and he who reproves the wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, reprove a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man and he will still be wiser, teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:7-10

“Do not correct a scoffer… do not reprove a wicked man” We are not to try and teach God’s laws to unbelievers. It is counter productive! Sadly, the majority have become scoffers. Why? Because they no longer believe the Bible is literally true. This includes pastors and Bible teachers leading entire denominations into unbelief. They do not care what God says about morality.

Ten Commandments

“A natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” 1 Corinthians 2:14

Look what James says about confrontations:

“Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God… If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless.” James 1:19-20,26

What would listening to and understanding our “cultural” enemies look like? What would listening to homosexuals and alcoholics look like to understand their struggles? What would listening to liberals look like? How might we reach out to these groups with the love of Christ? How might we serve them? Remember the job of the Holy Spirit is to convict them of their sin. We need to be sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is doing, if anything, in their lives.

James then gives a second piece of advice:

“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. James 1:27

It is loving others as ourselves and living pure before Him despite what the world does that is what impresses our Heavenly Father. This is also what makes Christianity attractive. God does not win His battles through political means. He won and He wins by means of the Cross; self denial and love. Political activism won’t do it.

RELIGION OR JESUS?

Like the Pharisees and Sadducee’s are we playing church. The Book of Acts (Bible) tells us what the Christian life should look like and what is the church. Back then, the church grew phenomenally (3,000 on day 1) as believers operated with the gifts of the Holy Spirit given at Pentecost . Paul taught that when people repented of their sins, accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour and were baptised (demonstrated their dying to the old life and born again), they would be filled with the Holy Spirit. They were dead and now in Christ they are alive, eternally alive. Their body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and they are now the church. He taught the priesthood of all believers. Jesus expects us to make disciples wherever He has placed us, whatever our calling, bearing in mind work is a calling whether it is business by building culture and meeting people’s needs, a teacher, a farmer, a lawyer, a plumber.

The big question, is the church functioning today as presented in the Book of Acts and if not why not?

Torben Sondergaard is doing a great job demonstrating the church as it was in the book of Acts. The following video provides an answer to the question I have just posed. You need to watch Torben’s video, The Last Reformation (YouTube) to see Christians operating in the marketplace as in the book of Acts.