Posts Tagged ‘spirit’

watchman-on-wall

I wrote this upon waking from a dream:

I stand high above the sea of souls

Gazing at the wondrous beauty of the Body

The building upon which I stand is enormous

The purest white, spacious, with many rooms, and many floors, and many wings

I stand watching…

I stand waiting…

I stand listening…

I hear countless tales and lore

I hear many words come forth

Sometimes I hear something strange

Sometimes I see a wall coming

That alienates

That separates

Then the Word comes

Then the Spirit comes

They come together as One

With the Father

In the high tower

Of protection it’s sure

Inside that which my invocation seeks

The prayer of the heart

For upon which I stand

As a watchman…

Psalm111

Psalm 111 Observations:

Verse 1:
1. Glory and honor are due unto God
2. Not just ordinary praise, but high praise given to God
3. This high praise comes from all of our being
4. Those who have been made righteous give this praise
5. God’s work in creation, providence, & redemption is exceptional

Verses 2-4:
6. God’s workings are so marvelous they cannot be forgotten
7. Those who love God delight in and seek out His wondrous works
8. The nature and character of God is justice and holiness
9. Memorials: eternal covenant, Law, Passover (Pascha), the Lord’s Supper, Baptism
10. God has tender mercy and is actively compassionate toward us

Verse 5:
11. The Psalmist reminds the people of God’s goodness
12. The God of peace, Who through the blood of the eternal covenant

Verse 6:
13. God’s powerful working is seen in the regeneration of our souls

Verses 7-8
14. God has always had a purpose and design for His works

Verse 9:
15. There is a transition from…
15. The Psalmist declaring the mighty works that Jehovah has done for His people
16. To Mt. Sinai and the commandments that He has given to them
17. “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”(Galatians 5:14)
18. “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
19. “but he became a priest with an oath when God said to Him: “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind: ‘You are a priest forever.'” Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.” (Hebrews 7:21-22)
20. Jesus Christ is the surety, the guarantee, the insurer of the eternal covenant

Verse 10:
21. Holy and terrifying is His Name – Yahweh, Jehovah, THE LORD!
22. In vs. 9 awesome or fearful = to stand in awe, to be afraid, to fear, to inspire reverence
23. In vs. 10 The fear of the Lord, = fear, terror, a terrifying thing, to stand in awe
24. “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” (1 Corinthians 3:19-20)
25. Psalm 111 speaks of God’s divine attributes: power, wisdom, faithfulness, and goodness
26. Psalm 111 issues the need for our response to God by: deep inquiry into communion with Him, being in awe of God that He is God, obedience in trusting in and relying upon God, and that true praise and worship flow from our inner most being in the gatherings of the local church, in our special personal times of devotion, and at all times in our hearts

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When God was displeased with the Jews, he delivered Jerusalem to the enemy, and they were conquered by those who hated them; there were no more sacrifices or feasts. Likewise angered at a soul who had broken his commands, God handed it over to its enemies, who corrupted and totally dishonoured it. When a house has no master living in it, it becomes dark, vile and contemptible, choked with filth and disgusting refuse. So too is a soul which has lost its master, who once rejoiced there with his angels. This soul is darkened with sin, its desires are degraded, and it knows nothing but shame.

Woe to the path that is not walked on, or along which the voices of men are not heard, for then it becomes the haunt of wild animals. Woe to the soul if the Lord does not walk within it to banish with his voice the spiritual beasts of sin. Woe to the house where no master dwells, to the field where no farmer works, to the pilotless ship, storm-tossed and sinking. Woe to the soul without Christ as its true pilot; drifting in the darkness, buffeted by the waves of passion, storm-tossed at the mercy of evil spirits, its end is destruction. Woe to the soul that does not have Christ to cultivate it with care to produce the good fruit of the Holy Spirit. Left to itself, it is choked with thorns and thistles; instead of fruit it produces only what is fit for burning. Woe to the soul that does not have Christ dwelling in it; deserted and foul with the filth of the passions, it becomes a haven for all the vices.

When a farmer prepares to till the soil he must put on clothing and use tools that are suitable. So Christ, our heavenly king, came to till the soil of mankind devastated by sin. He assumed a body and, using the cross as his ploughshare, cultivated the barren soul of man. He removed the thorns and thistles which are the evil spirits and pulled up the weeds of sin. Into the fire he cast the straw of wickedness. And when he had ploughed the soul with the wood of the cross, he planted in it a most lovely garden of the Spirit, that could produce for its Lord and God the sweetest and most pleasant fruit of every kind.

~ Saint Macarius, bishop (circa 330 AD)

 

            “I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear his threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”  Matthew 3:11-12

             “And he preached, saying, “After me comesHhe who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”  Mark 1:7-8

 John answered them all, saying, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”  Luke 3:16-17

 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  Acts 1:8

What Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

First, the Holy Spirit speaks to the hearts of unbelievers, showing them their need for salvation (John 16:7–11).  When a person accepts Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord, the Holy Spirit takes up residence inside the believer (John 14:15–17; 1 Corinthians 3:16).

The baptism in the Holy Spirit occurs when the Spirit of God comes upon a believer.  Jesus Christ “sinks into the Holy Spirit” the Christian who is baptized in the Holy Spirit.  The Baptism in the Holy Spirit has the idea of putting on clothing. Therefore, Jesus Christ “sinks us into or clothes us with” the Holy Spirit. We are to remain clothed with His power, as St. Paul says, “be being filled with the Holy Spirit.”

The Holy Spirit empowers the believer’s mind with a genuine understanding of truth, takes possession of the believer’s abilities, imparts gifts that qualify the believer for service in the Body of Christ, and begins a work of grace in cleansing and sanctifying the believer.

“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:4-5

Believers need the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit for every Christian?

Yes, because to do God’s work, we need God’s power. “And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord (Act 2:38–39).

 Why Do We Need the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

The purpose of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to empower believers for service, witness, spiritual warfare, and boldness in their testimonies (Acts 1:8; 4:19–20, 29–31; 6:8–10; 1 Corinthians 2:4).

Jesus commanded the disciples not to begin the work to which He called them until they were Baptized in the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:48–49; Acts 1:4, 8).  When the apostles met other believers in Christ, they at once asked whether the believers had received the Holy Spirit.  If not, they made sure they received Him (Acts 8:14–16; 19:1–5).

The baptism in the Holy Spirit is an absolute necessity in every Christian’s life for the service to which God has called us.

God’s energies in the Person of the Holy Spirit are communicated to believers for three particular purposes.

1.   That He might be in them, a sanctifying comforter, fortifying their souls and bringing to their remembrance whatever Jesus had before spoken to them.

2.   That their preaching be accompanied by His demonstration and power to the hearts of their hearers, so that they might believe and be saved.

3.   That they might be able to work miracles to confirm their pretensions to a Divine mission and to establish the truth of the doctrines they preached.

How Do I Know That I Have Received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

Speaking in tongues as the Holy Spirit gives the utterance is the initial outward physical evidence of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit and speaking with tongues are inseparable biblically (Acts chapters 2, 8, 9, 10, & 19). The cumulative evidence of the Scriptural experiences of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit corroborates the doctrine of speaking in other tongues as the initial evidence of the experience. St. Paul says he spoke in tongues, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.” 1 Corinthians 14:18   This experience announces the beginning of a life of full service in Jesus Christ.

How do we receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?

We must pray and ask God to baptize us in the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13).  God fulfills His promises in a variety of ways, and no two human beings are alike in how they receive spiritual things.

Ask a Spirit-filled elder of the Church to lay hands on you and pray for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Acts 8:16-17, “For he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.”

The New Testament tells us that some believers received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit the moment they placed their faith in Jesus Christ, such as Cornelius and his family (Acts 10).  Others, such as the believers in Ephesus, received it later:

“And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all.” Acts 19:1-7

We should never limit God by our own expectations.  God is sovereign and He will work in whatever way He chooses.

Prepare your heart. Repent and confess your sins. Pray and ask God to baptize you in the Holy Spirit and Fire today!