Posts Tagged ‘Book Of Acts’

Ministry of the Spirit

“This man (Apollos) had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he knew only the baptism of John. So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:25-26)

Christian Accuracy:

This story is a powerful example of how Christian Truth must go beyond just getting the facts correct. The dedication of Apollos was wonderful and needed in Ephesus, yet for some reason it was ineffective at transforming the culture and calling the region into the Kingdom of God. He was eloquent in speech, fervent in delivery and fully committed to the information he had. But, there was something missing in his ministry, between what he knew and what he needed to know by experience. The text says Aquila and Priscilla explained some things to him that enabled him to become more accurate.

What He Knew:

Apollos’ ministry consisted exclusively from experiences received from a season in John the Baptist’s ministry. That is, he was preaching the Kingdom of Heaven and practicing water baptism for the same reason John had taught and preached it. Remember, John did baptize in the wilderness and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins (Mk 1:4). It would seem very possible that anyone who had experienced such a powerful ministry would find it of value and want to pass it on as God’s message to the world.

What He Did Not Know:

Now, what was it Apollos did not know? Keep in mind that Aquila and Priscilla had served with the Apostle Paul and had learned some amazing things from experiencing the mantle of grace that rested upon Paul. They had a congregation of saints that met in their house and Paul had frequented that ministry often releasing his revelation and exposing the true nature of effective ministry. They had some marvelous opportunities to experience both the teaching of Truth and fellowship in the Holy Spirit. The Book of Acts tells of how Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:9), spoke the Word of God with boldness and did ministry with powerful miraculous signs followed him everywhere he preached (Acts 14:3)(Acts 19:11).

The Substance Within:

The Apostle Paul carried an enormous anointing within his ministry and this is the substance that makes accurate Truth carry accurate manifestation. An effective Christian life is full of Truth and full of power. The ministry of the Holy Spirit releases us into effectiveness, because we are equipped with power from on High to live as God’s Children, clothed in the Father’s Glory and manifesting His power right where we live. We can walk as people of Truth only as we have the energy of Heaven flowing through us to allow the Truth to make an impact.

Power Flowing From Heaven:

The key to making accurate Truths more effective is the authority of the Holy Spirit who stands behind it. We must be thankful for God’s servants who are gifted and zealous in their ministries; but zeal and knowledge can be a dangerous thing if not accompanied by the work of the Holy Spirit. It has done great harm to the Church through the centuries to see a pattern of religious fervency carry no power to transform the culture (2 Tim 3:1-5). We must have a more accurate teaching of the Truth.

The Presence of the Holy Spirit:

Many today are still laboring under the Kingdom ministry of John the Baptist and have no clue of the more accurate ministry given by Jesus and expressed by the Apostle Paul (Acts 19:2). It was not a new message, but a more accurate message, accompanied by the Presence and ministry of the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13-15).

Receive the Holy Spirit

Can anyone receive the Holy Spirit?

If a person has repented of their sin and received Jesus Christ as Lord of their life, then they have what the Bible calls the seal or guarantee of the Holy Spirit’s presence in their hearts. This is most evident by the experience of inner promptings and the development of personal convictions. Growing in our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s voice is vital to our spiritual relationship with God. We must learn how to yield our affections to Him.

It is important to understand that the Holy Spirit is God… not an “It” or a “thing”. He, the Holy Spirit is the comforter that Jesus spoke of, who would lead us in all righteousness. In regards to our daily experience with God, we are able to continually fellowship with the Holy Spirit and enjoy the love offered by our Heavenly Father (Rom 5:5). God is a good Father and He works by the Holy Spirit to minister grace for all of our needs to be met (Mt 7:11). This is a wonderful promise of God, that equips us with a confidence in knowing that our sins are forgiven and we have become an “adopted” child of God.

Holy Spirit releases needed fruit into our lives like patience, peace and joy, so that even in the midst of very difficult circumstances we are able to find God’s help and wise counsel to make good decisions. The Bible even tells us that through the Holy Spirit’s counsel in our lives, we are able to have the “mind of Christ” (1 Cor 2:16). God wants us to enjoy the full benefits of a victorious, Christ-centered life and that is why He has told us to ask for the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13), to yield to the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:14-16) and to never grieve or quench the Holy Spirit’s voice (Eph 4:30 & 1 Thess 5:19).

John the baptist made the declaration about Jesus before He had begun His ministry that He would “baptize” or immerse us in the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11), so that we would have power to become His witnesses on the Earth (Acts 1:4-8). The entire book of Acts is filled with stories of people having supernatural experiences with the Holy Spirit. Jesus did what John prophesied and poured out a gift that would turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

Paul said “be filled… with the Holy Spirit” (Eph 5:18) and meant that we should continually be refueling our fullness in the Holy Spirit, like filling our gas tanks for the journey before us.

I often tell others that the Holy Spirit is inside of me for “me” (so I am continually growing), but He is upon me for “you” (so that I am enabled to release the power of God on your behalf). We truly are equipped with power from on high when the Holy Spirit comes upon our lives to anoint us to do the very works that Jesus did in His ministry (Jn 14:12-16).

The goal of Jesus was to destroy the works of the Devil (Lk 4:18-19)(1 Jn 3:8) and this becomes our mandate as well as He has asked us to follow Him and teach others to do the things He was doing (Mt 28:18-20).

The Holy Spirit is our source of life in God, both for our personal relationship and for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in the world. Receive Him… YES – and offer everyone the same opportunity! We owe the world an experience in the power and love that comes with living the Holy Spirit filled life.

Signs of the River

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)

Are you seeing any signs of the River? Just how thirsty are you?

Jesus said that when we drink from Him, receive His life and become filled with the Holy Spirit; rivers of living water would begin to flow out from within our lives. The River not only flows from His Presence, as wherever He went life would spring forth… His Presence flows through us. The Glory of the Lord becomes evident through us by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. From this Holy Spirit River, flow salvation, peace, healing and transforming joy. The joy that comes from knowing and partaking of God Himself. It is “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).

A glance through the New Testament, and especially the book of Acts; we see Jesus and His followers demonstrate the signs of Kingdom advancement (Mt. 11:4-6). Everywhere they preached the Kingdom of God broke out and healing miracles and signs of the River begin to flow (Mt. 4:23-24)(Acts 4:29-31)(Acts 5:12-16)(Acts 8:4-8)(Acts 19:11-12). Its more than just cause and effect… its the hand of God mightily impacting the world around believing people! He is wanting to break in with power, truth and compassion… and its thirst that makes His River rush in!

6 Bible Facts about the River:

1. The River flowed out of the Garden of Eden: This was the place where God communed with Adam and Eve. This river separated into four headwaters, sending out life-giving waters throughout the land (Gen 2:10-14). In this way, our Father prepared a means of life to nations and people long before they even existed.

2. The Bible begins with a River and ends with a River: In the last chapter of the Bible, we read of the River of Life flowing from the Throne of God. “On each side of the River stood the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Rev 22:2) Here in the final page of Scripture, we again see God’s heart for nations and people.

3. The River brings healing to the Nations: Ezekiel had a vision of a River with life-giving properties flowing out from the Temple, after God’s glorious Presence had returned there. Trees surrounding the river, bore fruit for food and leaves for healing. (Ezek 47)

4. The River of Life brings a Harvest: Where once there were no fish, fish abound and fishermen spread their nets for an abundant catch (Ezek 47:9-10). The harvest on God’s heart is souls… people from every tribe and tongue (Mt 4:19)(Rev 7:9).

5. The River of Life is a Source of Joy: The Psalmist says: “There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells” (Ps 46:4). “People feast on the abundance of Your House; You give them drink from Your River of Delights” (Ps 36:8).

6. The River flows from God’s Presence: Consistently, we see that the River of Life flows from the very seat of God’s Presence, the place He inhabits and reigns (Joel 3:18).

  • “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk. 16:15-18)

The Breakthrough Key

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My Name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” (Jn. 14:12-14)

The New Testament pattern for Christian Believers in the Book of Acts shows us the incredible influence of the Name of Jesus. It was the key to unlock breakthroughs they needed for the advancement of the Kingdom of Heaven. Notice that the disciples used their delegated authority by releasing it in the Name of Jesus.

  • [Acts 3:6] The Apostle Peter said to a lame man… “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” The Bible tells us that as Peter took hold of the man’s hand and lifted him up, instantly his feet and ankles became strong… strong enough to walk, leap and praise God with joyful excitement.
  • [Acts 4:30] The prayer of the church community is “Stretch out Your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” The Spirit came and shook the place and empowered the believers to speak boldly.
  • [Acts 16:18] The Apostle Paul speaks to the demonic spirit in a woman and says to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” And it says, “At that moment” the spirit left her.

Breakthrough Power:

There is supernatural power released when God’s people use the Name of Jesus! The lame walk, the bound are set free, miracles break loose and lives are brought into God’s Kingdom! Its more than a promise, its the reality we are experiencing everywhere we go… the breakthrough key is the Name of Jesus!

“I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in Heaven.” (Mt. 16:19)

Yet, many Christians today have forgotten what they have been called to do. They feel as though they have done their spiritual duty by just showing up on Sunday mornings, putting in their time and trying to grit their teeth in hopes that breakthrough is on the way… someday, maybe. Well it won’t happen, because the Kingdom requires effort – spiritual effort!

“…from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and its the violent that take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12)

How often do we stand in front of a locked “door of impossibility” and feel helpless. Brokenness, sickness and disease, lack or difficult circumstances hinder our progress. But, these were never meant by God to bring us to a place where there are no resources. When you stand at these doors, reach for the key of the Name of Jesus and say, “Door, open now… in Jesus’ Name!”

Everyday, we must learn to live in the delegated authority given to us in Christ, if real breakthrough is going to be acheived. We must pull our resources from heaven and use the key that offers more than just luck, wishful thinking or natural hope. The Name of Jesus is the Promise of spiritual breakthrough in every arena of life!

Access to Power & Authority:

The Name of Jesus gives us access to the realm of heaven, the realm of the miraculous. When we pray in the Name of Jesus, we are not standing in our own authority, but in His power to accomplish His purpose. Its the Name that is above every other name in all the universe (Phil. 2:9-11)! Every knee bows to the Name of Jesus… and no matter where you find yourself, God cares about what you care about. That means that you and I as believers, are specifically anointed by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:21) to use the authority of Jesus’ Name to unlock doors, solve mysteries and break out of confined places (Isa. 10:27). We must no longer allow the devil to hinder us from doing what God has called us to do… “the greater things” Jesus said we would do. When we speak forth the Name of Jesus to accomplish these greater things, there is power and authority made available that nothing can stand against. 

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us… was not Yes and No, but in Him was YES (it has always been YES). For all the promises of God in Him are ’YES’, and in Him “AMEN”, to the glory of God through us.” (2 Cor. 1:19-20)

The River of Life

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Jn. 7:37-39)

Jesus said that when we drink from Him; receive His life and become filled with His Holy Spirit, rivers of living water will begin to flow out from within our lives. The River not only flows from His Presence, as wherever He went life would spring forth… His Presence flows through us. The Glory of the Lord becomes evident through us by the Presence of the Holy Spirit. From this Holy Spirit River flow salvation, peace, healing and transforming joy. The joy that comes from knowing and partaking of God Himself. It is “Christ in you, the hope of Glory” (Col. 1:27).

A glance through the New Testament and especially the book of Acts demonstrates that Jesus and His followers go preaching the Kingdom of God and healings, miracles and signs of His River begin to flow (Mt. 4:23-24)(Acts 4:29-31)(Acts 5:12-16)(Acts 8:4-8)(Acts 19:11-12).

6 Bible Facts about the River:

1. The River flowed out of the Garden of Eden: This was the place where God communed with Adam and Eve. This river separated into four headwaters, sending out life-giving waters throughout the land (Gen 2:10-14). In this way, our Father prepared a means of life to nations and people long before they even existed.

2. The Bible begins with a River and ends with a River: In the last chapter of the Bible, we read of the River of Life flowing from the Throne of God. “On each side of the River stood the Tree of Life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the Tree are for the healing of the nations.”  (Rev 22:2) Here in the final page of Scripture, we again see God’s heart for nations and people.

3. Healing is associated with the River: Ezekiel had a vision of a River with life-giving properties flowing out from the Temple, after God’s glorious Presence had returned there. Trees surrounding the river, bore fruit for food and leaves for healing. (Ezek 47)

4. The River of Life brings a Harvest: Where once there were no fish, fish abound and fishermen spread their nets for an abundant catch (Ezek 47:9-10). The harvest on God’s heart is souls… people from every tribe and tongue (Mt 4:19)(Rev 7:9).

5. The River of Life is a Source of Joy: The Psalmist says: “There is a river whose streams make glad the City of God, the Holy Place where the Most High dwells”  (Ps 46:4). “People feast on the abundance of Your House; You give them drink from Your River of Delights” (Ps 36:8).

6. The River flows from God’s Presence: Consistently, we see that the River of Life flows from the very seat of God’s Presence, the place He inhabits and reigns (Joel 3:18).

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