Welcome back Pebble pals. We are still celebrating Pentecost, the Feast of the first fruits of the harvest fifty days after Easter. It is a time to be aware of the amazing power given those who wait on the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual ghosts are dangerous. Paul warns us in the book of Timothy against a form of godliness. See-through, wishy-washy church activities with no substance, no power, no truth. We are to avoid such people – a strong warning indeed!
Powerless Christians give Christianity a bad reputation. They fight against the wrong people and make loveless judgments to condemn and exclude. A mere glance at church history is enough to make my head hang in shame of what was done in the name of my Father. Church leaders, so justified in their own man-made doctrine, with no consideration of the revelational knowledge of the Presence of a loving heavenly Father, that they tortured and murdered, thinking they act according to the will of God.
2 Timothy 3:5:
They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
For [although] they hold a form of piety (true religion), they deny and reject and are strangers to the power of it [their conduct belies the genuineness of their profession]. Avoid [all] such people [turn away from them].
The church with no Jesus could never be the answer that the world around us so desperately seeks. Church ghosts wander around in a neutral zone of comfort-worship discussing overwhelming evil, crime and irresponsible living that reduces our world into a garbage heap of pollution and death, as the news of the day, without the sure knowledge of ultimate victory and the power in true Christianity to face the day head-on.
Church ghosts have no answer for the one-dimensional, superficial challenge from the post modern community, who constantly questions the God of love allowing blood on the streets and black flag extremism with murder on their lips. It amuses me that by asking this very question, the unbeliever puts God in control as if He, without invitation, should intervene and solve the mess. The core principle, from the very beginning of God’s involvement with mankind, is choice. Without choice there can be no love. Love is always a choice; otherwise it is not true love. Therefore it is only in the powerful rendering of our own testimony that this question can be answered.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;
Our own testimony, our pebbles of perpetuity, is the story of our ultimate triumph in God. We are still living in a broken world and it may feel that God does not intervene on your behalf in a way that you perceive as beneficial, but our ultimate victory is guaranteed in Jude 24 – a verse that has been quoted numerous times as an important pillar of faith.
By the Holy Spirit we are challenged to see beyond the superficial reality revealed to our senses. We are invited to look into the unseen, into the invisible Kingdom of God, which is a greater reality, though not visible to the fleshly eye, and, by His power to overcome the obstacles.
When we combine our soul (mind, will and emotion) with our body we become flesh and are reduced to superficial thinking. When the Holy Spirit quickens our spirit the combination of soul and spirit is spiritual thinking.
Looking at the world today and the challenges of the future may cause a jungle of thoughts with a windmill-effect – round and round with no solution. Let us apply the soothing salve of ancient words.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you…
And I will put my Spirit in you…
God’s word stands firm and true through all the ages, just as He promised Ezekiel a two-fold process, He re-affirmed on the day of Pentecost.
Jesus breathed on His disciples to receive the Holy Spirit.
And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Why then did they have to wait in Jerusalem to be filled with power?
According to Ezekiel we are given a new spirit and thereafter the Spirit of God Himself. The Holy Spirit builds the house for God to live in. The process of rebirth is all the work of the Holy Spirit, a new spirit in us, our spirit-man rebirthed. Thereafter – God Himself lives in us.
That is the true meaning of Pentecost. More than 25 centuries after Ezekiel God is saying: And I will put my Spirit in you…
This infilling, full baptism takes place by invitation only. The Holy Spirit is a true gentleman. He will not come uninvited. The promise is for all – let it be clear. Acts 2:39:
The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
A friendly reminder who those are whom the Lord will call.
2 Peter 3:9:
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The process of rebirth is repentance and water baptism – a blessed identification with Christ in His death and resurrection according to Romans 6:1-4. Ask God to fill you with His Spirit. We need the power to overcome our obstacles and to be prayer warriors in an age where true Christianity is tested.
Rejoice in this ancient Feast that celebrated the beginning of the harvest. On the day of Pentecost after Jesus’ ascension, the first fruits of the church were celebrated. We are the labourers that are harvesting in God’s field. We need the power; we need the indwelling of God Himself.
John the Baptist acknowledged Jesus as the One baptizing with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Nothing is possible without Jesus. He is the source of everything. Only through His blood we are cleansed and prepared for the indwelling of God Himself.
On the day of Pentecost the people heard the disciples speak with many tongues. God destroyed evil ambition and pride with the confusion in language at the Tower of Babel and united His church with language on the day of Pentecost. The different tongues of the Holy Spirit, the interpretation thereof, gifts of miracles, healing, discerning of spirits, our words of prophecy, faith, wisdom and knowledge are given to us where ever and for whatever the need may be.
1 Corinthians 12:13:
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.
Be aware of the amazing power to our disposal for our lives and those around us. We are never a victim of our circumstances. We have the power of God in us and we are in prayer-control of our lives within a broken world.
Till next time – be greatly blessed.