The Holy Spirit – Part Five


Join our Pastor Ray as he shares the dynamic power of The Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit Video

Session 5

Welcome to number 5 of The Holy Spirit sessions

Last week, we had a closer look at the gifts of ‘knowing or revelation’, more of the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings with Him as He resides in us, in order that individuals become equipped to enter in and walk along the narrow road.

This is what we discussed:

  1. Word of Wisdom (How to act or speak) – receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables us to deal with a specific situation or circumstance, is a word of Wisdom.
  2. Word of Knowledge (Know about a situation) – God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know in any circumstance we may face, is a word of Knowledge.
  3. Discerning of Spirits – Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a spoken word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.
  4. Healings – The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.
  5. Working of Miracles – God working through individuals to perform the impossible or an act contrary to the physical laws of nature, is the working of miracles.
  6. Faith – The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith

This week we’ll look at the gifts that the Spirit gives to certain individuals for the purpose of building up, equipping, and serving the members of the local body (or His Church) – as confirmed in the scripture of Ephesians 4 .

Just a quick reminder here: Who are the true ‘Body of Christ’? Jesus tells us in John 3 who His body is… those who are born of water and of the spirit. We can refer back to the Gospel Explained sessions for a recap on being “born of water and of the Spirit”.

According to Gods plan, it is not sufficient for us to just enter in the narrow gate and walk along the narrow road. Rather through His unit, the Church or His body, we should be assisting directly or indirectly, in preparing others for what God wants of them.

The prayer of Jesus to the Father in John 17, was that His body would be one. In the prayer, Jesus asks God for His body to be perfected in unity so that the world would know He had been sent by God. Paul says in 1Cor that we were all baptized into one body.  Therefore, we have a responsibility to others in the body, and cannot just center on ourselves. To pray for others, encourage others, help others materially, are just some of the things we need to be doing for one another.

The Spirit adequately prepares us for these functions, by giving us specific gifts that we use to minister to others.  There are seven Gifts of Function that are used for the uplifting of the members of the body, in both the individual and corporate sense.

PROPHETICAL GIFT OF FUNCTION

This gift of prophecy is a gift that operates in different people from time to time …” just as God wills…” and this, as we see in 1Cor, is for the edification, exhorting, and comforting of the body. The gift operates differently to those who are appointed to the office of Prophet, in the Fivefold ministry.  These operate in the gift of Prophecy all the time. We will look more deeply into this topic in the next session.

THE GIFT OF SERVICE

This gift involves serving the brethren in a very practical way.  Such members of the body are reliable, willing helpers, that experience fulfillment in getting a job done. As confirmation of this, we can look at the book of Acts, to see how the early church dealt with this.

THE GIFT OF TEACHING

This gift involves the desire for truth and the willingness to share it with others.  It also involves the ability to communicate the truths from the scriptures to the body.  This person is usually found teaching in smaller home groups and to the children’s church.  Depending on the degree of the gift, some of those with this gift may well find themselves appointed to the office of teacher, as in the Fivefold ministry which we will discuss next session.

THE GIFT OF EXHORTATION

To exhort is to appeal, encourage, console or comfort.  Exhortation can even involve admonishing or urging someone to follow the right course of action.  The scriptures command us to do this for one another.  This gift enables a person to have a ‘spiritual eye’ for a need, and then respond with the proper advice, encouragement, warning, or counsel to others.

THE GIFT OF GIVING

This gift is the ability to generate money or acquire material goods and give generously for the work of God’s kingdom as we see in the book of Acts when Joseph (or Barnabas), sold his land and blessed the body of Christ.  The gift is manifested by consistent giving and also God’s blessing on the one who does the giving.

THE GIFT OF LEADERSHIP

This gift provides the ability to lead others into accomplishing God’s purpose for their lives and the life of the body as a whole. We see this as Peter leads the disciples at an outreach situation.

Those with the gift of leadership, are visionaries in the making and are used to establish different ministry areas by the Lord.  Those with this gift are being formed into the appointments of ‘administration’ or apostle as we see in the scripture of 1Cor.  The gift is vital for the growth of the local church and is particularly important for pastoral work.

THE GIFT OF MERCY

This gift provides the ability to empathize with those who suffer misfortune or are experiencing some kind of hurt.  The gift leads those who have it, to perform acts of kindness, help, and comfort towards those in need.  We see in Psalms that God is the source of all mercy, and according to Luke, God requires His children to be merciful.

Just to help us get further understanding of what we’ve looked at this week, let’s have a look at this diagram:

– Once again we see the ‘fruit’ of the Spirit can be seen all together (as one unit) in the green section – showing that all parts of the fruit of the Spirit are within us at the same time.

The Holy Spirit brings ‘gifts’ with Him.

– The 7 Gifts of Function we’ve just discussed can be seen – made up of Prophecy, Service, Teaching, Exhortation, Giving, Leadership and Mercy.

Right – Let’s recap then, on what gifts we’ve heard about this week:

  1. The gift of Prophecy – This prophetical gift of function, is a gift that operates in different people from time to time as God wills – to lift up and encourage His body. Normally it is witnessed at a group gathering.
  2. The Gift of Service – Serving the body of Christ in a very practical way, is a gift of service.
  3. The Gift of Teaching – Teaching others involves the desire for truth and the willingness to share it.  It also involves the ability to communicate the truth of the scriptures, to the body.
  4. The Gift of Exhortation – Being able to appeal to, encourage, console or comfort others, is the gift of exhortation.
  5. The Gift of Giving – The ability to generate money or acquire material goods and give generously for the work of Gods kingdom, is the gift of giving.
  6. The Gift of Leadership – The ability to lead others into accomplishing Gods purpose for their lives, and the life of the body as a whole, is the gift of leadership.
  7. The Gift of Mercy – To be able to empathize with those who suffer misfortune or are experiencing some kind of hurt, is the gift of mercy.

LET’S PRACTICE….

To close this session, as in previous sessions, take a few minutes to go around your group, practicing the gifts that we’ve learned over the last three weeks. Be encouraged to leave your seat and lay hands on other members of the group whilst praying for them – as the Lord leads.

Remember as we mentioned before – The purpose of practicing the gifts is to help us overcome the ‘fear of man’ (or

shyness). PLEASE – IT IS NOT AN EXERCISE TO FORCE GOD TO ACT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH. Rather simply, the more we practice in front of others, the more confident we will become.

Once again – As you pray now – remember:

With the language gifts, we must Firstly, Believe and

Secondly, open our mouths and move our tongues – otherwise absolutely nothing is going to happen!

Thirdly, we must get rid of any unforgiveness or anger in us by praying quietly for the Lord’s help. (remember we said forgiveness is a decision not a feeling!). 

Also, please be sensitive to those who are not comfortable praying out aloud. Don’t force them to pray, but rather allow them to be still and let the Spirit of the Lord, wash over them during this time.

The Lord be with you as you discover new things this coming week – In Him!

Thanks so much for spending this time with me – next week in the last session, we’ll look at some more gifts the Holy Spirit brings to us which are more permanent, abiding gifts.  Until then, Bless you all.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Something to Celebrate? – Part One


We received an invite to our Granddaughter’s 7th birthday party. What an exciting event! I began to ponder that seven short years ago she was about to be born. At that time our lives still had an empty space that she was about to fill – what a joy! Reason to celebrate? – most certainly!

Recently our youngest daughter got married. Who would have thought 26 years ago that she would make such a beautiful bride and indeed, wife. Reason to celebrate? – most definitely.Marriage Celebration

Over the last two years, our youngest son had been having a great challenge finding a job after we had spent a good sum of money putting him through his training. Two months ago, he received a job offer in the industry he loves and is now employed. Reason to celebrate? – absolutely!Quatar Cabin crew

All of us have reason to celebrate something in our lives at one time or another, however big or small. Generally speaking, we put a lot of effort into the celebrations because we want to show those concerned how much we love and appreciate them.

Our spiritual relationship with the Lord should not really be any different.

Among the many reasons that we have to be filled with joy at what the Lord has done for us, are two incredible truths. These two acts are worth us celebrating – wholeheartedly.

Truth One (of many):
Jesus died for our sins. Our debt has been forgiven . Why do we still go through our journey of life bearing the weight of our mistakes?

Provided we accept Jesus as our saviour, and are truly sorry for things we haven’t got right in our lives, then our Lord has paid the ultimate price so that we can be free of the guilt of all our wrongdoings. “…and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more”, says the book of Hebrews.

Friends, from this moment onwards, let us walk in the newness of life, unburdened, as we realise we no longer have to account for our wrongdoings. Jesus gave us this free gift, all we need do is accept it. Reason to celebrate? – most certainly!

How do we celebrate this wonderful gift?

In 1 Corinthians we see that we should “..celebrate the feast…in sincerity and truth…”.

As we gather around the table to celebrate, we have something in common. Communion – from the word ‘common’. Jesus shed His blood for our sins. ALL sin for ALL who will accept the gift. ALL sin for ALL cultures. ALL sin for ALL nations. Jesus gave His life that the whole world could have something to celebrate – in common. A universal ticket out of spiritual death.

As we take the drink (which maybe any suitable liquid), we remember the words of Jesus when He said, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me”.

To Be Continued……

Something to Celebrate? is a two part series, join us next week for part two.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’
button).

A Timeless tale – Chapter Twenty Five


Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued

How often have you heard people say, or have read, that all you and I have is now, this moment in which we breathe and live; laugh and cry, sing and shout? Yesterday exists in our memory, tomorrow in our dreams; it is only today that we hold in our control. Where we make choices based on love or fear, faith, doubt….

Continue reading “A Timeless tale – Chapter Twenty Five”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Seventeen


Living a Life in the Kingdom of God – Continued

As an example of how one, who is living in the kingdom here on this earth, becomes visible – we turn to what Jesus reveals in the Sermon on the Mount.

 Before we continue I would like to raise a point here; you might find it a little confusing that Jesus uses expressions like: “The Kingdom of God” and “The Kingdom of Heaven”

Some say that the kingdom of God is the here and now and the Kingdom of Heaven in the eternal realm.

The expression ‘Kingdom of God” is used one way and another by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the Gospels.

The expression, “Kingdom of Heaven” is only ever used by Matthew.

My own opinion is that both expressions refer to the continued process from the time of Jesus’ ministry on earth until we dwell in the eternal realm and both expressions are applicable to: here on earth and in the eternal realm as well.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter Seventeen”

Our Pillar of Salt


Our Pillar of Salt

From the time of the Garden of Eden, mankind has continued to inherit a sinful nature. Scripture shows us in Genesis 1:26 that ADAM was created in the ‘image and likeness’ of God. Genesis 5:3 goes on to show us that Adam had a son in his (Adam’s) image and likeness. We descend from the lineage of Adam.

The sinful nature passed down from Adam to us today (and the one which we continue to procreate), can be likened to a car engine which drives a car in a certain way. Despite modifications being made to the engine, the car still moves the same way. The only way to drive that car differently would be to replace the engine completely.

It is little wonder then that mankind has survived for centuries but the world is no better morally than it was from the time of fallen Adam. Irrespective of culture, race or government, the nature of mankind continues to seek its own desires, not caring what others think or feel. Human (Adam) nature drives mankind in its quest for success.

Continue reading “Our Pillar of Salt”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Ten


With your permission, I am going to interrupt the theme we have been working on so far. I am doing this especially for those readers who might belong or have belonged to Christian Communities.

When I say Christian Communities, I am referring to those across denominational divides.

You will notice that in the previous chapters I have made no mention of two practices that the greater majority of these communities hold fast.  These are ‘Baptism’ and ‘Holy Communion’ (or ‘Breaking of Bread’ as it is often called).

My reason for not mentioning these topics before, is simply that they are ‘ceremonial practices’ that will in nowise affect your day-to-day spiritual life here on this earth and certainly never have any influence on your eternal future. On this basis, let us get some understanding on these issues.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter Ten”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Eight


Chapter Eight: Essential Keys to Unlocking the Power of God in this Life.

As a basis for this teaching, let us consider the words of Jesus:

New Living Translation: “For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up“.

New Living Translation: Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me”.

Before I set about explaining the beautiful revelation in the words of these scriptures, I would like to raise a few points that I have mentioned to you in previous chapters.

Hope you don’t feel that I’m repeating myself; but I firmly believe in what my theology teacher told me so many years ago: “Repetitio est mater studioram or Repetition is the mother of studies”.

We must never lose sight of the fact that Jesus was not a ‘Christian’ but in every perfect way, he was a Jew and via Joseph, his earthly father, of the royal line of King David.

The word, “Christian” was born in Antioch in AD 34, and from that time the followers of Jesus were referred to as “Christians”, previously they were referred to as “The Way”.

History also tells us that in the reign of the Roman Emperor, Constantine, in AD 300 there was an alliance formed between the state of Rome and the Christian movement at that time. This was the origin of the Roman Catholic Church.

Born out of this arrangement was the myth that if you follow Jesus and His teachings, you are a Christian. You should now see clearly, that this is not the case.

We can be followers of Jesus and His teachings and choose to join the Christian religion, or we can choose to follow Jesus and His teachings and not be members of the Christian religion. It is a matter of personal choice.

Now, let us get back to the scriptures above.

Jesus points out that nobody can take hold of His accomplishment on the cross and the benefits of Godly power in this life, unless God chooses them to take part in these benefits.

Then He says that the only way to God, in the eternal sense, is by taking hold of the benefits of Godly power through His crucifixion and applying these to our lives, on this earth.

I say it to you once more: no amount of good, kind, gentle or disciplined living in this life on earth; no religious practice or traditionalism can give you what Jesus is saying in the above two scriptures.

Only this will work:

  • God chooses the one’s to whom He gives the benefits resulting from the crucifixion of Jesus.
  • You alone can accept His choosing and apply these benefits to your life on this earth.

Let me explain these two statements in plain contemporary English:

The only reason for God choosing you will be because you want to be chosen. He won’t choose you otherwise. Would you choose to befriend someone whom you know for sure does not want your friendship – no, of course not.

You know you want to be chosen, so you say to God, “Even though I do not fully understand all that I have been told here – I accept.”

Good! Now on this basis you are under way to your new life, drawing to yourself health, wealth, power and peace on this earth and immigration requirements for the life after your body dies.

Congratulations and well done!

I need to explain the issue of, “…I do not fully understand…”

Never in our relationship to God are we ever called to understand. We are only told to accept Him and what He says.

When I was eighteen, I understood everything and was wary of accepting anything.

As I have grown older I understand much less than I did then, but I accept all of what God shows and tells me now.

Another word for this condition is a wonderful gift called faith. Remember my definition: “Faith is believing that something exists even when all my senses say it doesn’t”?

Let me share something else; my faith has led to my trust in God’s plans and this has led to my hope in His promises.

Whilst I will appreciate that you might be a little fuzzy about all of this in your mind at the moment, I feel very safe to tell you that If you have read so far, you are on your way to a glorious life of health, wealth, power and peace on this earth and are booked on the flight to eternity with all your documents in order.

I am going to conclude with the explanation of two last verses of scripture:

New Living Translation: Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

New Living Translation: Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.

For the most part the scripture of John 3.3 has been a password in certain Christian Churches and movements. You may have heard the expression: “You need to be born again if you want to go to heaven”. Nobody could ever give me a reasonable explanation of what ‘born again’ really meant, apart from some very spiritual explanations, that I truly could not understand.

I eventually found that historically speaking, it was during the Azusa Street Revival, Los Angeles, California in 1906 that the expression became the password as the Pentecostal Movement came to know its birth.

In his wonderful book, a Christian best seller, “Born Again” Charles Colson, helped to fuel this password fire to the entire world.

What was even more wonderful for me was the revelation that one cannot use the scripture of John 3.3 without coupling it to John 3.5.

Let me explain to you what this means.

Firstly there are two positions that John speaks about here. The first is ‘see’ and the second is ‘enter’. One cannot enter without ‘seeing’ and one cannot see an entry point without it being there. So these two positions are interdependent on one another.

Let me give you a practical example of this: One day I am piloting an airplane to a city in our country called Cape Town. At ten thousand feet above sea level and the visibility is clear as crystal, I can see Cape Town ahead and in fact even the airport, for that matter. But the motor car below me has at least seventy miles to travel before it reaches Cape Town.

At this point it comes to me; I can see the big city and her airport, I have not entered it. The conditions to entering are another thirty minutes of flying and a safe landing.

Jesus is saying, “You will have to go through the experience of being chosen by God and accepting He has chosen you; then you will be able to SEE that God has got a new life for you on this earth.

When you believe what I did on the cross for you and how it is going to put you on your way to a glorious life of health, wealth, power, peace on this earth and booked on the flight to eternity with all your documents in order, then you have ENTERED.” (my translation)

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A Timeless Tale – Chapter Seven


Chapter Seven:

Self improvement and our own efforts to live a ‘better’ life on earth versus taking the power that God has equipped us with and applying it to our everyday life here on this earth.

I want to quote you two scriptures, which point to the foundation of God’s plan for humanity:

“Love God (the God of Abraham in the Old Testament) with your whole heart (Which is the seat of your emotions and moral code), your whole soul (Your intellect, emotion and will) and your whole strength” (Which is the dedication of the complete function of your body).   Translation and italics are mine. 

“Eternal life (The life we face once our body on this earth dies) is knowing (in the sense of a husband and wife in intimate relationship) God, the one true God and His only child, Jesus the Christ.” Translation and italics are mine.   

No human can live either of the above commands unless they really deeply desire to do so. If we carefully read and study these two scriptures it must become evident to our intellect, that having a deep intimate relationship with God is what this life on earth is all about. This process will not stop when our bodies on this earth die, but will continue into the next life.

These two scriptures are the very foundation upon which our lives on this earth need to be built.

It should now also be very clear to our intellect that no amount of effort on our part can accomplish God’s requirements above, unless God ably assists us to do so.

The good news is that God wants to assist us to reach the above place and His only requirement from us is to believe that He will assist us and then to trust that it is happening, even when our senses say it isn’t.

I hope that you are with me so far. In which case, let’s continue.                                                                          

I truly pray that you can see that no matter what we attempt to do by our own efforts, in terms of our relationship with God and our promised life after our body dies, will be completely fruitless, without God assisting us.

Every religion known to humankind, teaches that we need to ‘do’ certain things in a certain way, in order to get close to God and reach our new life. Nothing, as you can see from what I have shown you above, that we ‘do’, can achieve what God requires.

I refer to these religious teachings as ‘self improvement’ schemes. These self improvement schemes can often benefit one to live a better life, here on earth, but have absolutely no eternal value.

Hopefully, all of you reading this have enjoyed the wonderful experience of ‘falling in love’ (not to be confused with loving someone – which I will cover in a later chapter). How, absolutely beautiful is the experience of falling in love with someone else. You will know that the first thing you want to do is to get to know that person more deeply than just to have an outward friendship. You realize at that point, that in order to get to know the one you are in love with better, you will want and need,  to spend more time with them.

Getting to know God is like this too and the way to achieve this is also spending time with Him. Getting to know more about His great person and character, getting to know about His plans for the universe that He created and, as important, what His plans are for His relationship with you.

In later chapters I will discuss ways that we come to know God, but just for now it’s important that we understand how we must live our lives upon this earth.

Religion, generally teaches about God without God’s power in the teachings (Karl Marx said it was “The opium of the people”), whereas ‘knowing God’ empowers us to have a relationship with Him – to love Him.

Religion teaches ‘self-help’.

Knowing God is God’s power to live a healthy, wealthy, powerful and peaceful life on this earth and gains us entry into our new life, once our bodies die on this earth

Go to the below link for free download on related material:

Click to access thegospelexplained.pdf

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Next Chapter, we shall talk about the power of God working in the lives of humans on this earth.

 

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Four


Adam & Eve
Chapter Four – Your Future Body
Our acceptance to a new and better existence after our body on this earth dies, will automatically present us with a new body.
By way of explanation, let us go back to the Garden of Eden:

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter Four”

A Timeless Tale – Chapter Three


Adam & Eve

Chapter Three – Where You Fit In…..

Tell me that you are getting something out of what we have discussed so far. I’ll wager that a lot of it, you never heard before; I hope so, because, if you are like me, you love hearing about new things.

Let’s update then. You feel that there might just be the possibility that your soul and spirit may not dissipate with your body when it dies, so you feel that you would like to investigate a little further.

Continue reading “A Timeless Tale – Chapter Three”