UNITED IN THE FAITH: EVIDENCE OF HOLY SPIRIT PRESENCE
An exceedingly marvelous thing occurred on the Day called Pentecost long, long ago. It is recorded in Acts Chapter Two.
The baptism of the Lord’s church in Holy Spirit presence and empowerment fulfilled Jesus’ promise to His little flock to impart to it the Comforter Who would lead it in power and illumination throughout the age.
Some folks question whether that same Holy Spirit continues with the Lord’s churches today or should the church be praying for a Pentecost repeat.
God’s promises never fail. There will not be a repeat of Pentecost anymore than there will be a repeat of Calvary’s cross. But the evidence of Holy Spirit’s presence is not as religious men of carnal minds think or in the antics of religious charlatans who appeal to the flesh nature. The most solid and obvious evidence of continued Holy Spirit presence, to the mind of this writer, lies in church members’ spiritual understanding, acceptance, and agreement with the faith once delivered to the saints, Jude 3. This distinguishes the Lord’s true churches from all other religious bodies on earth. And while the Lord’s churches are not cookie cutter entities, in many respects they are highly unified in core doctrines which the entire religious world rejects out of hand. Consider these specifics: 1) The hereditary depravity of the total man, 2) Salvation by grace through faith plus nothing else; 3) Eternal security of the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ; 4) Baptism as a burial in deep water of a professed believer by the authority of a New Testament church; 4) The perpetuation of the local, visible nature of the church, and its origin by Jesus during His personal ministry on earth. Other points of unity might well be mentioned, but these are all held as basic Bible truths by the Lord’s true churches. While being emphatically denied by the religious world at large, they are the basis of the churches assembling to worship and to advance the work of the Great Commission. How may this amazing thing be true? Could it be that the people in the Lord’s churches are smarter than everyone else on earth, especially those in other religious communities? Surely, that is not so. Thus, herein lies the marvel of the age, the greatest and most obvious evidence of the abiding work of the Holy Spirit in modern day churches of the Lord. These spiritual things are not carnally discerned. Their knowledgeable acceptance in the hearts of God’s people together with the marvelous unity and harmony they provide fulfill the quest of the spiritual student searching for such evidence. Though he certainly could, he actually needs look no further than this for irrefutable evidence that the Holy Spirit abides with His churches, and has done so since Pentecost.
Tag Archives: Holy Spirit
SOURCE OR FACILITATOR?
From the inspired pages of antiquity there comes powerful, spiritual lessons for individuals and churches in today’s Christian world. Consider the symbolism of the candlestick, It is chief among the many objects used to identify and illustrate the Lord’s New Testament Church. It was the instrument of light in the Holy Place of the wilderness tabernacle and later the Old Testament Temple. Among misunderstandings about the candlestick is that it is a light source. Now hold on! Think with me!
The candlestick of Bible times references the Jewish menorah. But the menorah (candlestick) was not a light source as many presume. Rather it was a light facilitator. That is, it was especially constructed for the purpose of facilitating the flow of oil through its pipes to the terminal bowls where it was ignited. It was the fire then produced by the combustible oil that created the light. The portable construction of the candlestick allowed positioning for light in specific places. In like manner, the Lord’s church, metaphorically called a candlestick, is not of itself a light producer. It is a facilitator of God’s light of truth to a lost, dark, sinful world of condemned men. The light it can only offer is the light (truthful content) of God’s Word, and its effects in life. The church supports the veracity of the Holy Word, by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that has resided within and upon it since Pentecost. Additionally, it is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to give understanding through the Word to saved men, and to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment to come. As men repent of sin and are enlightened by the Holy Spirit through the Word, they are not to obscure that light, but to be joined to the candlestick thus becoming a part of the great conduit/facilitator of truth and light.
In the first half of the last century, light in homes was furnished by burning oil in glass lamps. Sometimes that process blackened the chimneys of the lamps requiring them to be cleaned frequently. That process ignored, the lamp ceased to be an acceptable facilitator of light. Sometimes, the appearance of men to others is that of a dimmed light; a life that needs the cleaning of repentance and forgiveness. Christians are not light sources. But the question remains: how are they as facilitators? How bright or dimmed is the light of the candlestick? God help us all to be clean, excellent facilitators of the heavenly light!
THREE REQUISITES FOR YOUR LIFE
Ask a group of people, almost any people, to prioritize the important requisites of life, and the answers received will not be a surprise. People prize education, wealth, fame, and the human concept of immortality. It is as a noted professor of sociology in a large northern university is reported to have said to a group of male students. “Get a good education, a good job, and a good wife. Those having these requisites possess the wellspring of life.” Well, this writer does not belittle these requisites by no means. They are good, and they are important, but it is obvious that many who have an abundance of these things are most unhappy. Material things do not satisfy the spiritual need of people, and a loving mate cannot substitute for that either. Think about it!
Mankind was created by the Creator/God of heaven and earth. He was created to live in harmony with God, and he was placed on the earth to make good decision for material creation as its lord. Boy, did sin ever interfere with that!!!
With sin came condemnation and death to the delight of the Destroyer. However, there are three things he had not counted on and could not foresee. In short those are love, blood, and the Word. Thinking surely he had won the creation when he successfully caused the sin and fall of Adam and Eve, which incorporated sin into the species inherently, how Satan must have rejoiced, but it was to be short-lived.
Enter, the manifested love of God per John 3:16. God would redeem His created beings by becoming one of them and succeeding where the first Adam failed. Moreover that love would extend into longsuffering through the ages. But it was the gift of God’s love that did the trick. The Lord Jesus came into the world to die for sinners. He could do so because He alone was qualified.
Additionally, He gave the Holy Spirit to this sphere of creation to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment by which His unspeakable gift might be freely given to “whomsoever.” But that is not the end of the story. He made it possible for a remnant of the race to actually accomplish in spiritual maturity the purpose of their creation through His perfect Word.
So here it is, plain and simple: three requisites for your life. They are the Love that sought us, the Blood that bought us, and the Word that taught us to sanctification of life. The good news is that all three of them are accessed through the channel of faith. How great is God!??!
This is a day of apostacy that is as great as what Spurgeon faced. Those that will stand will face anger, arrogance, and ridicule for standing faithfully for the express truths of the Word of God.
Controversy isolated Spurgeon
October 28, 1887 – Charles Haddon Spurgeon withdrew from the Baptist Union. During the height of the dispute before he withdrew he wrote the following that gives insight as to the condition of the Union at the time. “No lover of the Gospel can conceal from himself the fact that the days are evil. A new religion has been initiated, which is no more Christianity than chalk is cheese, and this religion, being destitute of moral honesty, palms itself off as the old faith with slight improvements, and on this plea usurps pulpits which were erected for Gospel preaching. The Atonement is scouted, the inspiration of the Scripture is derided, the Holy Spirit is degraded into an influence, the punishment of sin is turned into fiction, and the Resurrection into a myth, and yet these enemies of our faith expect us to call them brethren, and maintain a confederacy with them!” At the back of doctrinal falsehood comes a natural decline of spiritual life, evidenced by a taste for questionable amusements, and a weariness of devotional meetings. Spurgeon’s early complaints centered upon three problems; the decline of prayer meetings among the Baptist churches, the worldliness of ministers relating to entertainment, and doctrinal problems which stemmed from the inroads of the “higher criticism” of that day. This controversy isolated Spurgeon from many who refused to stand with him for the defense of biblical truth. Many believe that the grief and conflict of this battle hastened his death after a period of illness at Mentone in Southern France. He died on Jan. 31, 1892 at 57 years of age. In our day when apostasy abounds, God grant us men of God like him.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 447-48.
The Holy Spirit began troubling their spirit for world missions
The Northhamptonshire Baptist Association in England was formally incorporated on October 02, 1792, and the first subscription, made on the spot, amounted to E13. 2s. 6d. This sum, though small, was comparatively large; for it was the contribution of a few poor but enlightened servants of Jesus Christ. Our forefathers were forced for years to worship in clandestine assemblies for fear of persecution. As a result, believers had long forgotten the Great Commission of our Lord. To be sure there was personal witnessing, but it was nearly impossible to carry the gospel into other nations.
As Baptists gained religious freedom the Holy Spirit began troubling their spirit for world missions. One group was the Association mentioned above. “At the meeting in Nottingham in 1784, it was resolved to set apart an hour on the first Monday evening of every month, ‘for extraordinary prayer for the revival of religion, and for the extending of Christ’s kingdom in the world.’ The suggestion proceeded from the venerable (John) Sutcliff”
From 1787 to 1790, William Carey presented the importance of missionary effort. Few were found who sympathized with him. Once in fact John Ryland censured Carey for suggesting a title for a younger minister to bring regarding a missions subject. But Thomas Potts had it published into a tract. At the May meeting Carey preached from Isa. 54:2-3. Expect Great things from God; Attempt great things for God.
The pastors were greatly moved which resulted in the organization of the missions organization and the launching of the modern day missionary movement. Carey himself was the first missionary to leave out for India.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon: From: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins/Thompson, pp. 408-10.
“The Lord saveth his anointed; he will hear him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand,” Psalm 20:6.
An agnostic mountain climber in the freezing Alps, holding to his rope, fell from a cliff. He came to the end of his rope facing up. Looking straight into the sky, all he could see above him was the cliff covered in heavy falling snow. He knew he must do something quickly before he froze to death. Looking into the snowy-white atmosphere above, he decided to see whether God really was up there. “God! If You are up there, help me before I die!” “Sure,” God yelled back, “Just turn loose of the rope.” The rescue team found him three days later, still clinging to the rope, hanging in space, looking up, three feet from the ground.
In the human experience, many trust in that which can be seen and held in their hands. Those who know Jesus Christ as Savior trust in the unseen God. That which is not of faith is sin. The Holy Spirit generates faith in the unseen God.
The rich young ruler had everything going for him, health, wealth and position. Jesus indicated whatever one trusts in for security that is his God.
Since God is Spirit and must be trusted in spirit and in truth, how then are we assured we are worshiping and trusting the right God? “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” (John 14:21). After faith comes obedience, then He says He will make it clear that He is busy bringing about His will in our lives.
IN OTHER WORDS
Turn loose of the rope.
A 29-year-old attorney, Charles Finney saw so many Scripture references in Blackstone’s Law Commentaries that he bought a Bible.
On October 10, 1821, he decided to head into the woods near his home, saying:
“I will give my heart to God, or I never will come down from there.”
After several hours, he returned to his office, later writing:
“The Holy Spirit…seemed to go through me, body and soul…Indeed it seemed to come in waves of liquid love, for I could not express it in any other way.”
The next morning, at his law office, a church deacon suing a fellow-church member asked Finney about his case. Finney replied:
“I have a retainer from the Lord Jesus Christ to plead his cause, and cannot plead yours.”
Finney began preaching, presenting the Gospel with a convincing lawyer’s argument and praying in common, colloquial language.
He began the tradition of an ‘altar call’ in his 1830 revival in Rochester, New York:
“I had found, that with the higher classes especially, the greatest obstacle to be overcome was their fear of being known as anxious inquirers. They were too proud…
Something was needed, to make the impression on them that they were expected at once to give up their hearts;
something that would call them to act, and act as publicly before the world, as they had in their sins;
something that would commit them publicly to the service of Christ…
I had called them simply to stand up in the public congregations…to bring them out from among the mass of the ungodly, to a public renunciation of their sinful ways, and a public committal of themselves to God.”
Finney’s revival preaching paved the way for evangelists Dwight L. Moody, Billy Sunday and Billy Graham.
Charles Finney’s 1835 Revival Lectures inspired George Williams to found the YMCA-Young Men’s Christian Association-in 1844.
He inspired William and Catherine Booth to found what would be called The Salvation Army in 1865.
Charles Finney formed the Benevolent Empire, a network of volunteer organizations to aid poor and aged with healthcare and social needs, which in 1834 had a budget rivaling the Federal Government.
Finney organized the Broadway Tabernacle in New York in 1831.
While Charles Finney was president of Oberlin College, 1851-1866, it was a station on the Underground Railroad smuggling slaves to freedom.
Under his leadership, Oberlin College granted the first college degree in the United States to a black woman, Mary Jane Patterson.
Charles Finney died AUGUST 16, 1875.
Concerning the Kingdom of God, he wrote
“Every member must work or quit. No honorary members.”
Charles Finney wrote:
“The time has come for Christians to vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics or the Lord will curse them…
Politics are a part of a religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to their country as a part of their duty to God.”
Charles Finney concluded:
“God will bless or curse this nation according to the course Christians take in politics.”
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.
“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness,” Romans 4:5.
Some may have questioned, “Is my faith strong enough to save me?” “Do I have enough faith?” Many may believe that their childhood profession in Jesus was not strong enough and remake professions of faith as an adult. The faith of a child is just as good as the faith of an adult. Faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God that He died, was buried and rose on the third day is enough. Our faith in Jesus Christ saves us.
Thankfully, salvation is not based on how strong our faith is at the moment of belief or how strong it remains in our lifetime but is based on faith in Jesus Christ. Two other false beliefs are that there is a special prayer to pray and that faith keeps them saved. God judges the intent of the heart. Jesus offers us salvation as a gift because He loves us, not because we have earned it. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit keep us secure.
Faith is necessary. It is believing and trusting in Jesus Christ and accepting His free gift of salvation. It is an action of the heart, mind and soul and is necessary to please God.
Faith in our wonderful Savior is effective. Without it we cannot be saved.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8, 9).
Saved, Baptized, Called to Preach
The power of Holy Spirit conviction
Otis Robinson was asked to open his home for the occasion of having Rev. Eliaphalet Smith to preach in Livermore, Maine. Otis did not stay but later asked his wife what was the Sermon topic: “Who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” Though convicted, it was several weeks of great conviction before Robinson obtained the peace of salvation.
On April 27, 1793 Robinson was baptized by Smith and united with others in forming a Baptist church in Livermore. His growth in grace was rapid, and soon he experienced the call of God upon his heart to preach. Being licensed by the church, he visited the town of Sanford and preached several Lord’s Days in a Baptist church there. He was called to become their pastor and was ordained on June 7, 1798 the day of his 34th birthday. His ministry was blessed of the Lord in revival, and the work grew as he baptized one hundred and sixty-five there and many others in his itinerant work throughout the area.
Having a heart burdened for missions, Robinson resigned in the fall of 1809 and moved to Salisbury, Hew Hampshire, to establish a church. In the spring of 1810, he had gathered enough converts to begin a church and was settled as pastor. His labors were continued for sixteen years, and he finally resigned the pastorate in 1826. The church had grown to one hundred and thirty members and many more were in attendance.
Dr. Dale R. Hart Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 171.
The post 117 — April 27 – This Day in Baptist History Past appeared first on The Trumpet Online.
Author: William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person
A new movie currently in theaters bears a title of a theme movement some decades ago: “GOD IS NOT DEAD!” These four words are indeed absolute truth. Still, questions plague nominal Christians about a perceived lack of His appearance in human affairs which gives rise to the question. Men look retrospectively, longing to see another Pentecost; another national revival; another sense of closeness to God as was evidenced a couple of centuries ago. Questions pound concerned minds: Is the Holy Spirit dead? Does God not care anymore? Is His power diminished?
This writer boldly affirms the negative to each one. God still reveals Himself to penitent hearts. Herein is the problem: God has not changed, but man has. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, Heb. 13:8. Man, on the other hand insists on remaking God to suit himself. In self-willed worship, many have removed themselves from the immediate presence and working of the Holy Spirit, and in some cases have been turned over to a reprobate mind to meet the just reward of their obstinate determinations, Rom. 1:28.
Re-visit the story of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16. The man in hell was concerned about his brothers, five of whom were walking the same road of life he walked. He knew they were coming to hell, and God knew it. The tormented man’s plea for one to return from the dead to warn them was rejected. Why? The answer: they had (the writings of) Moses and the prophets; they were to hear them! God is not an arbitrary God!
Men today have the completed Word of God. There will be no additions to it or deletions from it. The Holy Spirit of God is intricately tied to it, accompanies its presentation, saves, and blesses those who properly respond to it. Men cannot worship God their way. He will be worshipped in spirit and in truth or not at all. Religious activity does not impress Him! Revisit Jesus’ words to the woman at the well in Sychar. John 4.
But what is that truth in which He must be worshipped? Pontus Pilate asked this millenniums ago, John 18:38: “What is truth?” Let it be forever settled that God is true! As such, He is the author of all that is true. David said, “Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.” Psalm 119:160. No, the Holy Spirit’s power is neither dead nor diminished, but is ever ready and waiting to receive and bless those who come to God in a contrite heart, and worship Him in truth.