Great question my friend…and exactly the right question too. James 4:8 says ” Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” Spending time with God through prayer, meditation on His words and obedience will draw us near to God. Staying in prayer, in the Word, and in obedience to His Words helps significantly. God is everywhere, you may not see Him with your physical eyes (Jer.23:23-24). God & Jesus are very much concerned with what you do in your heart (1Sam.16:7). Truly, once you determine in your heart that you really want to be close to Jesus, the Holy Spirit will start immediately to help you, guide you, train you to be following the prescriptions(as found in the Holy Bible) of God to live. As you continue to faithfully follow God’s instruction the closer you will be to Jesus Christ (John 14:23). Even start to pray now that the Lord Jesus should help you to get close to Him, you will soon have testimonies to give, which will help others too. I am not sure I answered your question well enough. I am heading to work shortly and so hope this helps somewhat my friend. Biblical Verses Image
This has been a long time in coming to my understanding over the years as I also listened to hear what others who said they loved GOD would share …some were correct , other’s just sounded good , and some solicited my yearning for something l already liked and thought was godly by teaching what I liked was ‘good’ when later I learned it was harmful!
How true this is. You can put lipstick and earrings on a pig but inwardly they’re still a pig so Peter writes that “the hidden person of the heart” is precious to God and the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quite spirit” to God is “very precious” and that’s all that matters eternally. We’ll all get new bodies someday anyway and so why should we be so preoccupied with what we look like when God only cares about what we are like on the inside? Bible Scripture Images
He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay (called discernment).” These are important gifts and some of them are similar to but different from the gifts of the Spirit that Paul talks about in the New Testament in I Corinthians chapter twelve. There are nine gifts of the Spirit mentioned by Paul in I Corinthians chapter twelve: Biblical Verses Image
Hello Pastor Jack! Thank you for a great article. I completely understand the confusion and hesitancy to believe that miracles, healings, and tongues could exist today. But when I read in the Bible about how such great wonders were done back then I think to myself “Why couldn’t such things happen today within the church?” I believe it’s because we’ve set limits to what we think is possible in our day. But is anything impossible for our God? If we let Him work in us and through us anything is possible. With regards to speaking in tongues, I can testify that tongues can be both a known and unknown language. Several years ago I left a women’s retreat speaking in tongues. While the Spirit spoke through me in what sounded to me as an unknown language, my husband understood what I was saying in his native language, spanish. I had no idea what God told him at the time because it was a message only for him at that moment. That same night the Spirit sent me to call someone else who I spoke to in this unknown language and they understood me in english. I encourage you to seek further with the Lord; experiencing these gifts are too wonderful to pass up! For me, I felt closer to the Lord, like He was allowing me to participate in His plans in a very unique and special way. God bless you!
I think many of us struggle with the way we look. If we only understood that God made us the way we are we might think that other’s expectations and our own isn’t important. The way that God sees us is the most important thing of all because God doesn’t look at the outward appearance the way that we or others tend to do. Many people judge us from our outward appearance and not by what is inside. What is inside is what really counts in God’s eyes and in God’s eyes it’s the only thing that’s important. The outward man or woman is not of eternal importance…it is what is inside as Jesus once said “it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person” (Matt 15:11) so we must keep our focus on what really defiles a person and it’s not what’s outside that does it but what comes out of the person’s mouth for that reveals what’s in our hearts.
The next gift of the Spirit Paul mentions is the gift of faith (v 9). Those with this gift are truly amazing in how they see things. They tend to exude confidence in all situations. For example, our church deacon has said about our church growth “when” it grows we will need more Sunday school books, while others say “if” we grow we will need additional books. I met an evangelist once that spoke about things as if they already had existed or had come to pass. He spoke about finances that God would provide while simultaneously have nothing to show for it in the church’s bank account. He would always later prove to be right. This is a person more like God. He sees things that aren’t as if they already are! Bible Scripture Images
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat from it'; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. "Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return."
Then the Holy Spirit told me that I first had to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then God would impart to me the grace that would enable me to love my wife in this manner. The Holy Spirit went on to teach me whenever I would see something that would cause me to find fault in my wife, I should first pray for Him to help me get the logs out of my eyes, so I could see clearly, through God’s eyes of loving kindness, tender mercies, and forgiveness. Only through this would I be able to see clearly to remove specks, if any from my wife’s eyes. He taught me to pray for God to set a guard over my mouth, and keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3). He showed me that this would keep me from saying anything that hurt my wife and her walk with God. Then I was able to always speak words of encouragement to my wife even when I had to correct her about something to let her know that God was greater than anything she did wrong and could help her with any problems in her life as a Christian. This has been a beautiful experience for me as a Christian man.
1 “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Now it happened at the turn of the year that the army of the Arameans came up against him; and they came to Judah and Jerusalem, destroyed all the officials of the people from among the people, and sent all their spoil to the king of Damascus. Indeed the army of the Arameans came with a small number of men; yet the LORD delivered a very great army into their hands, because they had forsaken the LORD, the God of their fathers. Thus they executed judgment on Joash.
Paul wants to make clear that we should not elevate one gift over another but esteem each and necessary for the completeness of the Body of Christ as Paul says in I Corinthians 12:12-23, “Now if the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,’ it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
As Christians, it is so easy to become stuck in our daily lives that we easily forget about the fact that we are sharing the same space as those in the spiritual realm (that is, the devil and his minions, as well as the angels God sends down to complete His Will.) But this does not need to be our focus. Our focus must always remain on God. I feel that most people, in these days, are so out of touch with the idea of this that when someone comes along that is more sensitive to such things they’re not sure how to handle it and avoid questions or try to redirect.
Hi pastor just a question i have a friend that who always judge everyone.Not to say she is judging but i dont know ..she discourage by saying that others do worship in flesh and not in spirit..many have left church because she discourage alot of them..i just confused is she saying correct or wrong but she always judge.i cant say anything and others too because she is pastor daughter..but whenever she judge she says that she have the discerment spirit..i dont understand is judging and discerment spirirt is same? Biblical Verses Image
Thank you my brother. I would think that if God is with me He might be corrupted by my company but I know what you are saying and you are, as always, more kind to me than I deserve. If you like, you can hear some of my messages if you can’t find a good church where you are at and you have already told me that good, Bible-teaching and preaching is not available where you live. They are not as good as John Mac Arthur but maybe you’ll get something good out of them and hey, if you want, I can address you specifically in my next messages recorded in our church because we are going over the Gospel of John for…guess what…people who can’t find a church where they live and those who live with doubts and fear. These are found at this link Anthony and thank you sir. http://www.youtube.com/user/TheJackWellman
The next gift is the ability to speak in different tongues (v 10). This has been one of the most controversial and most misunderstood gifts of all. When the original outpouring of the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, there were many speaking in tongues. Paul wrote about tongues extensively in 1 Corinthians, chapters twelve through fourteen, but he was reproving the Corinthians for misusing the gift. It’s very difficult out of this passage to get any kind of mandate to speak in tongues, to get any kind of affirmation that this is something to be sought, because what you have here are primarily corrective orders given to the Corinthians. They had actually prostituted the gift of tongues into something pagan that wasn’t even representative of the work of the Spirit. All you need to do is to go back to Acts 2 and read verse 4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages”. The literal translation in Greek is “glossa” and means tongues. This same word “glossa” (language) is used again in Acts 2:11. This means it is a known language not some unknown tongue. Then it says (in Acts 2:5-11) that there were unbelievers present at Pentecost and were hearing God’s message in their own “dialektos” dialects or language: “Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues” (dialektos or dialects)! So there were unbelievers present at Pentecost hearing God’s message in their own languages and their own local dialects, not ecstatic gibberish.
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Another example one time last month I was reading Hebrews chapter 10. In verse 10 it tells us that we have been sacntified once and for all by the offering up of the body of Jesus. This sounds wonderful But verse 14 says that we have been perfected forever. I started to question that because I can see so many imperfections in my life. Then the Holy Spirit told me that my sanctification has perfected me and everything in my life for God ‘s calling upon my life.
The next gift Paul mentions is the gift of interpretation of tongues (v 10). This gift is someone who is able to interpret another tongue or language. I am bilingual and can speak English and Spanish but I would not say that I have this gift necessarily. Some have a natural gift or ability to learn a foreign language. It was not natural nor did it come easy for me. For those who this is easy, then they may be imbued with such a gift. If anyone was speaking in tongues in the church, there absolutely had to be someone there to interpret or they were to be silent. And no more than one person was to speak in tongues because there is only one interpreter available to translate at a time. If several were speaking in tongues at the same time, there would be confusion and God is not the author of confusion, but He is the God of order (1 Cor 14:33). It would not be edifying the church to have several speaking in tongues at the same time and with no one to interpret. Tongues are a sign for unbelievers and not for the church. Paul writes, “In the Law it is written: ‘With other tongues and through the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people, but even then they will not listen to me, says the Lord.’ Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers” (1 Cor. 14: 21-22). Isaiah 28:11-12 is where Paul quotes Isaiah the prophet, “For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, ‘This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.’” This clearly indicates that the gift of tongues (Greek for languages) and the interpretation of them is that of a known language as a witness to unbelievers.
Character Of WickedRevelation, Necessity Ofevangelism, nature ofSatan, Power OfSpiritual Warfare, Enemies InImagination, Evil SchemingPresent Evil AgeNames And Titles For SatanRevelation, Responses ToShiningUnbelief, Nature And Effects OfLikenessFalse ReligionUnbelief, Sourced InSatan, As DeceiverSpiritual Blindness, Consequences OfSatanticPrincehood Of SatanImage Of God Bible Scripture Images
For instance I use to attend a church where the pastor and I were friends before he had been ordained. When we were only friends, we would be discussing the Bible and he saw that I had certain insights on Biblical subjects that He had never heard before. When he began to work as a pastor, he would often ask me to present the message for the following Sunday. I would go through the whole week trying to figure out what I would speak about. However each time I would be asked to this. The Holy Spirit would wake me up at 3:00 am on Sunday and give me the message with the corresponding scriptures. Everyone would be blessed in the church and be encouraged. I would always advise the members to don’t just listen to what I am saying or teaching. But to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying through me. Because I am just a vessel He is using, and i being a human just like them, I could easily insert my own two cents into what is being taught. Jesus told us the Holy Spirit would teach us all things. He can speak through anything, including a donkey, as described in the book of Numbers. In His teachings Jesus often said “he who has ears to hear, let him hear” and as believers ask in faith they will be given ears to hear. In the book of Revelations He was advising the churches”He that has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches”. I believe that when we learn from the Holy Spirit, we will also be given the power to be doers of the word and not just hearers only Ezek. 36:27. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would teach all things. I can appreciate pastors who have gone to seminary to learn the Bible, but I have heard some strange teachings from many of them. But I believe that they are trusting in their education instead of believing in the Spirit to use them in teaching. I have often heard some teachings that I did not understand or agree with. Then the Holy Spirit would let me know it is the truth, then lead me to scriptures to prove it to me. I agree with most of what you teach, but some things I don’t believe you have a true spiritual understanding of. I am not trying to judge you, because only God knows your heart. I don’t claim to know everything in the Bible, because God has shown me how little I know by teaching out of one chapter in the Bible for five years. God Bless You, my Brother in Christ. Bible Verse Wall Art
I have enjoyed so many good things in my life despite the way my husband pretty much lived his life independent of any real participation in our marriage since he was ‘climbing the corporate ladder’ and began to reject the Lord in order not to offend those he preferred to please …which would be all of those who he worked with and made friends with. That pretty much put me on the outside of his life.
During this time I began to realize when I was becoming under attack from the enemy by the feel of things (not just my own feelings, I could have a great day and suddenly be overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or angry/irritable for no real reason), sometimes by not only what I have seen but also perceived in my mind (by what I believe God has made me aware of around us in the spiritual realm), and even once what I smelled.
So I see that many entering into trusting Jesus have no idea that some teachings and teachers are not trustworthy but are wolves and this has been the case now for most of our society for over 100 years …of course it has gone all the way back to Eden , but more recently there was a movement to assault the church more by design of the enemy of GOD and of those who God loves.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. ...
I tell my Brothers and Sisters for God to give them the ears to hear what, if anything, the Spirit of God is speaking through me or any other preacher/teacher. I tell them that the Spirit may speak to them through the whole message I have to share, by one paragraph, by one sentence, or by one word. The words we receive by the Spirit will be life changing. The Spirit has shown me that a word received from Him will produce more love for God, more love for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ, and more love for our neighbors as we love ourselves, where we fulfill all the law of God (Mt 22:37-40). All Christians will stumble and fall in their walk with God. No one of us is perfect. Fortunately, by God’s grace and love for us, we can receive the grace to repent and confess our sins, then be forgiven, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Where God enables us to get up after we fall and get back on the path with Him. Biblical Verses Image
I must say that I had not thought he would go as a far as he did ….14 years of having set up such a deceitful way to excuse his many absences and late returns in the evening . He mastered the ability to deceive and I was kept busy with all that I had to do at home with teaching our family …showing and selling our homes and moving alone over many many moves while he was sent ahead.
The gift of “miraculous powers“ is another gift of the Spirit that appears to be unique to the New Testament church (10). This may also be associated with faith healers who claim that that have the gift of miraculous powers but they must remember that any gift or its results are always credited to the spirit and not to humans. It could also be attributed to those who are prayer warriors. There is an elderly lady that I know I want her praying for me. I have had some pretty interesting results when this lady has prayed for me. I would call some of the things that have happened miraculous in some ways. The greatest miracles that occur today are, for the most part, the miracle of human conversion. I see this as the greatest miracle of all since only the Spirit of God can illuminate the Word of God and reveal to us Who Jesus Christ is (John 6:44, Matt 16:17). Bible Scripture Images
These days it is difficult to hear how many believers have married those who they thought were of equal devotion to the Lord but due to wrong teaching, lack of knowledge of the Word and time applying it, often because we now have GENERATIONS not trained up in the things of GOD by parents who GOD ordained to do so ..and even if they were kids in church the churches have long since fallen away from godly right teaching in many instances….SO we have a lack of knowing what to look for and how to determine the true devotion of anyone who claims the Lord …until there has been sufficient time in study and right doctrinal instruction for a person newly entering into Christ. Scripture Images
In Isaiah 55:8-11 God tells us His thoughts and ways are not the same as His. His thoughts and ways are so much higher than our own, will accomplish what He pleases, and prosper in the purpose for which He has sent. Our problem as humans is that we often receive the word according to what we think it says, trying to get it to accomplish what we please, for our purposes. But when we are learning from the Holy Spirit in reading the word, or are taught by a vessel being used by Him, we will be able to go out with joy and be led forth with peace.
When you turn to the prison epistles, the four letters written shortly after the end of the Book of Acts, while Paul was a prisoner in Rome—Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians…and we find that there is not one word about tongues, or the gift of healing. Even where we might have expected Paul to write of tongues in the passage about being “filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians 5:17, he has nothing to say about tongues. And as for the gift of healing, we read of a co-worker of Paul’s, Epaphroditus, who fell seriously ill during this time (Phil. 2:25-30) and Paul no longer had the gift of healing, and was no longer able to heal as he did only a few years earlier in Acts 28:9. The sign gifts were no longer operating at the time that Paul wrote the Prison Epistles.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. ... Bible Verse Wall Art