Baptized With The Holy Spirit And Fire, Part V
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind. To set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Luke 4:18,19
If you have been born again, washed in the Savior's blood, filled with the baptism of His Holy Spirit, then this is your mission statement! As followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we are as He is in the world, His mission is our mission and that is to bring His redemptive power to a lost and dying world by the preaching of the good news of the gospel. We are all called to preach, teach, cast out devils, heal the sick and even raise the dead and we were never meant to just fill a pew and sit there till we die, we are all called into the kingdom work of the Most High God, the greatest commission the world has ever seen!
Jesus told His disciples to go, not stay and rot away, He didn't train them to sit and listen, He poured His very life into them for over three years, expecting them to be as He was in the earth and that is His plan for us. His intention for His church of the firstborn was never meant to be a potted plant, it was always intended to be a living vine that would spread across the earth bearing clusters of glorious fruit for God, replicating His divine nature in a harvest of newly born sons and daughters to fill His kingdom! Today's generation of all about me spectators just sit on the sidelines and read or listen to some stirring story about someone else that was willing to give all for Christ and jump out of the religious box of modern day consumer driven, event motivated, Sundays only, so-called Christianity.
The modern day SPD (Senior Program Director) or Senior Pastor, a title the Bible doesn't even contain will stand in judgment for not training and equipping new converts for the ministry of Jesus. By standing in the Headship of Christ and dominating people with religious rules and regulations and not allowing Jesus to be Lord of the assembly only continues to breed a complacent company of dead and lifeless church members whose only spiritual life comes by showing up once a week to hear what wonderful things pastor has dreamed up for them to do, and it is a stench in the nostrils of God!
"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; "they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover." Mark 16:15
"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 the Father. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in His Son. 'If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments." John 14:12-15
There is a war of words stirring in the body of Christ at large pertaining to the use of the gifts of the Spirit and the power of God. It seems that a well known Bible teacher has stated that the gifts of Holy Spirit have passed away and that the Charismatic and Pentecostal churches are involved in the practice of creating "Strange Fire," something that is also a well known belief throughout the main-line denominational churches of the world. If this is true and you choose to believe it, then the gospel of Christ was only written for a few and then passed away forever and is absolutely worthless to us today as it is just a history lesson reserved for the libraries of antiquity.
My answer to all of this is: nonsense! The glorious gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ according to Romans 1:16 is the power of God for salvation, a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit to transform a lost man into a new creation to be endowed with power from on high and to replicate the entire ministry of Jesus in the earth! I don't guess I got the memo on this 35 years ago when God saved me, filled me and allowed me to cast out demons by the thousands, see the sick healed, the dead raised, and experience the gifts and the power of God to transform a multitude of lives. Oh well, sorry, but Jesus didn't waste His breath or His Word on just a few, nor did He only give His power to the apostles, He freely gave the experience of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit to all who are born again and ask for it! He also promised in His Word that we would do greater works than He, hard to believe, yes, but absolutely true and solely given to all who would take Him at His Word and believe!
Jesus said to us all who believe, "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified." Can I just tell you, whatever covers a lot of ground and to those who literally take the Lord Jesus Christ at His word, signs and wonders will abound, people's lives will be changed and the power of God will be poured out from on high and all the world will know that there is a God and He is still on the throne of power forever and ever! I don't care what people think and I don't pay attention to those who refuse to believe the truth of God's holy Word and take it to heart because the world is spinning out of control and there are many lost who need the redemptive power of Christ to transform them into new creations to build up His body in the earth and to replicate His divine nature in all who would dare to believe!
"And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever. "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:16,17
YOU SHALL RECEIVE POWER
"You shall receive power (dynamite) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." Acts 1:8
I can't imagine Jesus sending the Holy Spirit down on 120 sold out believers only to jump start the church and then have their spiritual batteries drained only to become what we have today in most cases: a dead and lifeless assembly of spectators! Jesus said we would receive power to be a witness, someone who can testify about what he has seen, not only of what has transpired in his own life but in the lives of others touched by the power and presence of God! Witnessing is not just handing someone a tract and then lead them down the Roman road to mutter a prayer, it is the testimony of the witness telling of how the power of God changed his life.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that the power of God has passed away as well as the gifts of the Spirit, and the apostolic call of God on the life of the believer. If you are stuck in an assembly of dead unbelieving weekend warriors who never seem to get passed the church coffee shop, get out, because they will try to put out your fire because you are making them look bad! Jesus has saved you, washed you in His own blood, filled you with His Spirit for a purpose and His plan for your life will be hindered if you let people drag you down into their little sheep pens of doom and gloom. The sons and daughters of God are led by His Holy Spirit to bring about the redemptive process to a lost and dying world by preaching His un-compromised gospel of salvation and restoration.
You are called to go and to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, not to follow the dictates of some church program director who will only lead you to fulfill his vision for his ministry, or to pad his pockets and promote his plan that will hold you in bondage forever. Either Jesus is your Lord or something, or someone else is, and you have to choose who you are going to serve. Everyone who walks with God has to choose the path he will take, the narrow road, that will cost you everything, or the broad road that will allow you to live for yourself and fit in with the religious crowd of complacent spectators that will ultimately put out the fire of God in you! My prayer for those who read these messages is for them to take to heart what the Spirit is saying in these last days to those who will sell out for Jesus, shake off the chains of religious dead works and come out and serve the living God for His kingdom purposes!
"All authority has been given to Me in Heaven and on earth. "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, "teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-20