Monday, March 15, 2010

THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON A BELIEVER by Innocent Maja

THE SPIRIT UPON – THE BAPTISM OR OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come UPON you: and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and Samaria, and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.” [Acts 1v8 – Amplified Bible]
(a) In addition to the indwelling Spirit, the Holy Spirit also comes upon a believer when they are baptized in the Holy Spirit. The purpose of the Holy Spirit upon is to empower believers to minister.
(b) Disciples were not to start ministering without the Holy Spirit
(c) They needed this power to be effective

There are several incidents in the book of Acts where people were baptized with the Holy Spirit and all the incidents show that a believer receives power (manifested in different ways) when (s)he is baptized with the Holy Spirit. Here are the incidences:

(A) “And suddenly there came a sound from heavens as a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave the utterance.” [Acts 2v2-4 – KJV]
 A sound fro heavens as a rushing wind came and filled the house
 Tongues of fire sat upon each one of them
 They were filled with the Holy Spirit
 They spoke with other tongues - Tongues – God’s restoration of what He had put in disorder at
BABEL.
 There was rapid multiplication of the church – signs and wonders were done among them
(B) “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness… And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” [Acts 4v31,33 – KJV]
 The place was shaken where they were assembled
 They were filled with the Holy Spirit
 They spake the Word with boldness and power

(C) “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost” [Acts 8v14-17 – KJV] – See also Acts 9v17 – Ananias laid hands on Paul to receive the Holy Spirit
 The Baptism of the Holy Spirit happens after salvation
 Ministers can lay hands on people for them to receive the Holy Spirit

(D) “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message….” [Acts 10v44 – KJV]
 People can be filled with the Holy Spirit as the Word is being ministered.

(E) “Paul…came down to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he asked them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [on Jesus as the Christ]? And they said, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit….And as Paul laid his hands upon them; they spoke in [foreign, unknown] tongues (languages) and prophesied.” [Acts 19v1,2,6 – Amplified Bible]
 Only those who believed in Jesus as the Christ can receive the Holy Spirit
 Ministers can lay their hands on people for them to receive the Holy Spirit
 Believers speak in tongues and prophesy when they are baptized with the Holy Spirit

PURPOSE OF THE BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
 To receive power [might, strength, force] for all the necessary wisdom, guidance, prayer and ministry through the gift of supernatural signs – to tear down the kingdom of satan and to build the Kingdom of our Lord and God
 The reason this power is given to believers is to spread the Gospel in an explosive fashion from your home area, across cultures, to different ethnic groups and to the entire world
 The power gives us an ability to speak with boldness [Acts 4v31,33]
 The power enables us to work signs and wonders. Acts 8v6,7 says “And great crowds of people with one accord listened to and heeded what was said by Philip, as they heard him and watched the miracles and wonders which he kept performing [from time to time]. For foul spirits came out of many who were possessed by them, screeming and shouting with a loud voice, and many who were suffering from palsy or were crippled were restored to health. And there was great rejoicing in that city.” [Amplified Bible]
 The power enables us to do whatever God wants us to do
 The power comes with spiritual gifts that enable believers to minister. 1 Corinthians 12v7-11 says: “But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit. To one is given and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit; To another [wonder working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit. To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues. All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.”

CONDITIONS FOR RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT
 You must be born again to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Acts 2v39 says “For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord God invites and bids to come to Himself.” [Amplified Bible]
 You must have a hunger and thirsting after God. Matthew 5v6 says “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Psalm 42v1-2 says “As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for you, O God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? (Amplified Bible)
 This refers to an intense desire for the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The hart must have water or he will collapse and die
 It comes from a yearning and thirst heart, soul and spirit. It pants, thirsts and seeks after the Spirit of God
 You must have an eager, ardent, passionate, fervent, glowing, and ever-consuming desire for the fullness of the Spirit
 You must be completely surrendered to God - Psalm 51v16 says: “My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent] such, O God, you will not despise” (Amplified Bible]
 Abandon self
 Empty yourself of all your own importance and glory
 Be completely open to God
 Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you to the point of overflowing – there should be no empty place in the vessel

HOW TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
There are three fundamental things that you should do in-order to receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit namely:
(1) DO NOT BEG – Acts 2v38 says that the Holy Spirit is a gift to every believer. The gift is unmerited and is received by faith and thanksgiving. Remove all doubt
(2) THIRST FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT – John 7v37-38 says: “…Jesus stood and cried out in a loud voice, ‘If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink! He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Holy Spirit…” (Amplified Bible)
 Are you really thirsty for the Holy Spirit
 Jesus is ready to baptize you with the Holy Spirit [Matthew 3v11; Mark 1v8]
(3) DRINK – the thirsty have the responsibility to come and drink. The river is flowing. You need to begin to drink, drink and drink until there is an overflow

THE WORK OF THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT by Innocent Maja

The Bible reveals a dual work of the Holy Spirit in believer’s life namely:
(a) The Spirit within – the indwelling spirit
(b) The Spirit upon – the out pouring of the Holy Spirit
Today, we are going to focus on the spirit within a believer

THE SPIRIT WITHIN – THE INDWELLING SPIRIT
** He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water. But He was speaking here of the Holy Spirit…… [John 7v38 – Amplified Bible)

** “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” [John 14v17 – KJV]

** “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be IN him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” [John 4v14 – KJV]

** Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]? [1 Corinthians 3v16 – Amplified]

** Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives WITHIN you, whom you have received [as a Gift] from God?... [1 Corinthians 6v19 - Amplified Bible]

**…For we are the Temple of the living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them, and I will be their God and they will be My people… [2 Corinthians 6v16 – Amplified]

LESSONS FROM THESE SCRIPTURES:
(I) The Holy Spirit comes within a believer in the New birth (i.e conversion, being born again, receiving remission of sins, receiving eternal life or receiving Christ as Lord and Savior).
(II) THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS THE PRESENCE OF GOD WITHIN A BELIEVER. IN THE OLD TESTAMENT GOD LIVED IN THE HOLY OF HOLIES OF A MAN-MADE TEMPLE. THIS CHANGED WHEN JESUS WAS CRUCIFIED. WHEN HE DECLARED IT IS FINISHED (John 19v30), “..THE CURTAIN [OF THE HOLY OF HOLIES] OF THE TEMPLE WAS TORN INTO TWO FROM TOP TO BOTTOM.” HE NOW INDWELLS BELIEVERS.

THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITHIN
(A) The Spirit bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God. Romans 8v16 says:
The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. [Amplified Bible]

(B) The Holy Spirit within us cleanses us, regenerates our spirit and causes us to walk in His statutes and keep His judgments or Word. Ezekiel 36v25-27 says:
“Then I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. AND I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT WITHIN YOU, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements [my words] and do them.[KJV]
See Hebrews 8v10; 10v16; Titus 3v5

(C) The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is for fruit-bearing. Galatians 5v22-23 says:
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].[Amplified Bible]

(D) The Holy Spirit comforts us. John 14v16 says:
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever. [Amplified Bible]

The Greek word for comforter is paraclete – It means ‘Helper’ which literally means ‘One called alongside to help. He is ready to help us when things get tough. Romans 8v26-27 says:
So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weaknesses; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groaning too deep for utterance. And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of saints according to and in harmony with God’s will [Psalm 139v1,2] (Amplified Bible)

CO-OPERATING WITH THE INDWELLING SPIRIT
** There are three truths we need to know if we are going to fully co-operate with the Holy Spirit namely:

(a) Constant renewals of the Spirit are necessary – initially, our human spirit is regenerated or recreated by the Holy Spirit in the New Birth (Titus 3v5) – the daily renewals of our spirit will also come through the same source – the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
** Daily renewals of your spirit by the Holy Spirit are essential in order to keep you strong spiritually. Ephesians 3v16 says “The he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.”[KJV]
** Ephesians 5v18-19 exhorts believers to stay filled with the Holy Spirit. It says “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord.”
What should I do?
** Seek God in His Word and Prayer. Isaiah 40v31 says “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”

(b) ** Walk in the Spirit – it basically means walking in holiness. In order for us to enjoy exemption from harm, God has given us the Holy Spirit to sanctify or separate us from things that would destroy our peace or injure our health [Psalm 103v4]. Ezekiel 36v27 says “And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgements and do them.”
** DON’T IGNORE THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PROMPTINGS – sometimes the indwelling Holy spirit tells you to do something or not to do something. Obey Him.
** Walking in the spirit also refers to walking in love [1 Corinthians 13].
• Romans 8v14 says “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are sons of God.”

(c) Learn the way of the Spirit – Isaiah 55v9 says “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

(i) The Holy Spirit leads you into the wilderness – Matthew 4
• It speaks about suffering for the Kingdom of God
• Smith Wigglesworth said “Great faith comes out of great tests.”
• We usually don’t magnify our suffering for the gospel but the hand of God that we see after the suffering.
• Mark 10v29-30 says “And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say into you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.”
• It costs something to be faithful to God
• It costs something to separate yourself unto the ministry God has called you to

(ii) He works with a people who desire. He is a gentleman. He does not force himself on anyone. He works with those with a deep yearning for Him. Psalm 42v1-2 says:
As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for you, O God. My inner self thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God? (Amplified Bible)

(iii) He works with people that are totally given over to him. Psalm 51v16 says:
My sacrifice [the sacrifice acceptable] to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart [broken down with sorrow for sin and humbly and thoroughly penitent] such, O God, you will not despise (Amplified Bible]
• You need to come to a time when you totally abandon self
• Totally empty yourself of all the pride and allow the Holy Spirit to fill you
• Learn the way of the Spirit. Let God have His way in your life.