Thursday, February 24, 2011

Have you received the Holy Ghost since you have believed?

 Jesus breathed upon His disciples and said "receive ye the Holy Ghost" (Jn 20:21-23) herein they were given the power to remit and retain sins. The breath of God which is Jesus Christ the Word made flesh breathed "on" His disciples and sent them forth in the power of the Holy Ghost. On the day of Pentecost the Breath of God (Acts 1:5,8, Acts 2:1-39) came into the room as a sound of a mighty rushing wind and there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire and 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 them utterance. They were all "filled" with the "Word of God" and went forth in the power of the Holy Ghost and spoke in different languages so that all would hear the saving Word of God (Jesus and Him crucified, resurrected and coming again)! It was also at this point that Peter said to them: Repent and be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the "Gift of the Holy Ghost"(Greek 4151 blast, breath, breeze, air) for the promise (Acts 2: 38-39) is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off (that would include us), even as many as the Lord our God shall call (this also would include us). And many wonders and signs were done by the Apostles. The Promise, The Gift of the Holy Spirit that Peter is referring to here is the Word/Breath (Greek 4151) of God (Jesus) via the Holy Spirit has been planted into the hearts of each one. Faith has been planted in each heart after hearing the Gospel to believe, repent and be baptized (baptism unto repentance) in the Name of Jesus! Thus the beginnings of our faith so as to be "saved". That is where most people stop. By faith and the grace of God I am saved, I have been forgiven and I will make heaven my home. The end.

I do not want to diminish the miracle of saving faith and the grace of God. A "changed" heart is the greatest miracle of all but should it be just for the sole purpose of salvation and eternity and nothing more? What about operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit for here and now? Eternal salvation has been taken care of but Paul speaks of the gifts of the Spirit as well. The gifts of the Spirit in operation is essential for us today.

The gift of the Holy Spirit (operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit) is not for today many will say. I will have to strongly disagree with such a statement. And here's why:

When the Apostles head off to Samaria word has it that the people there have already received the Word of God and were baptized with water in the name of the Lord but they had not yet received the Holy Ghost. They believed and accepted the Word of Jesus and was baptized in His name but they had not received His Holy Spirit yet (Acts 8:14-17). At that time the Apostles laid hands upon them and they received the Holy Ghost. Correct me if I'm wrong but Isn't the popular teaching out there that when you repent and are baptized and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ that you automatically receive the Holy Spirit? If so then why does Paul ask this question? (Acts 19) Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on Him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied (wow! they seem to be operating in the gifts of the Spirit here) They weren't doing this before when they only believed.

(Acts 10:44-48) While Peter yet spoke these words The Holy Ghost fell upon all of them (Gentiles) which heard the Word, so also upon the Gentiles was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost and they also began to speak with tongues and magnify God, and "then" they were baptized with water in the name of the Lord (ah.. this time the Gift of the Holy Spirit came first and then the baptism with water in the name of Jesus unto salvation came second. (Acts 11:15-17) And as Peter began to speak the Holy Ghost fell on them (Gentiles) as on us (the Apostles) at the "beginning" (still going beyond the Apostles here). Then Peter remembered the Word of the Lord, how that he (the Lord) said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave Peter and the others the like "gift", who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was Peter that he could withstand God (Acts 11:15-17)? You gotta be kidding, the Gentiles are operating in the gift of the Spirit just as the Apostles? They were baptized with water unto repentance in the name of Jesus and they were also baptized with the Holy Ghost? Evidently it doesn't stop with the baptism of repentance/salvation, there's this extra receiving the Holy Spirit gift thing going on.
How does one know if he has received the Holy Spirit since he has believed? Well now that we have established that believing and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit are two different things let's take a look at God's Word and see how one can know. Tongues, Prophesying, Speaking the Word of God with Boldness is all evidence of receiving the Holy Ghost and also according to Apostle Paul in (1 Cor. 12: 7-11 Amp.) here is the manifested presence of the Holy Spirit in ones life: For to one is given in 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 Spirit. To another extraordinary powers of healing by the same Spirit. To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the devine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between the utterance 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. So, if you are a special messenger then you would be considered an Apostle, If you are an inspired preacher, expounder then you are a Prophet of God. Some are teachers, some are wonder workers, some are the healers with the gift of healing, others are helpers, administrators, speakers in different unknown tongues (1 Cor. 12:28 Amp.). So with that said, I would say that receiving the Holy Ghost is very much for today and desperately needed in the body of Christ so as we can be about our Father's business.

So now I will ask you, have you received the Holy Ghost since you have believed/Are you operating in the gifts of the Spirit? If your answer is no or even I don't know but you desire to receive the Holy Spirit here is what you must do. First you must whole-heartily open your heart and humble yourself before the Lord. In other words you throw your "mind" back and your "heart" forward with a true desire to receive all that the Lord would desire to give you. This is hard for many especially those who have a hard time receiving when giving is their comfort zone. Peter for example had a hard time receiving when Jesus began washing his feet, but Jesus told him that if you want to have any part of me Peter then you must receive this washing from me (this was a symbolic example of the blood of Jesus that is needed to wash our sins away), It was a truly humbling experience for Peter. Peter said I should be washing your feet Lord, do not wash mine. But when Jesus told him that if he did not receive this washing from Him then he could have no part of Him, it was at this point Peter whole-heartily received and said Lord don't just wash my feet but wash my hands and head also, in other words Peter was saying "wash me all over". That is the key that unlocks the treasure box in receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. One must be willing to humble himself and receive from the Lord "all" that the Lord would have to give him, and one must have the attitude as Peter did.. Do what you must Lord for I desire all that you would need to do unto me so that I may have "all" of you. If that is your attitude then you are open to the receiving of the Holy Spirit. Humble your self before the Lord, lift your hands, or prostrate yourself before the Lord, kneel, just present yourself humble physically as well as spiritually before the Lord your God and say here I am Lord wash me all over and baptize me with your Holy Spirit and fill me to overflowing, for I desire all of you and all you have to give me. I am yours Lord!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Birth of a Warrior

The storm is violent, the sea is raging
The boat is tossed and darkness engaging
But there's hope in the distance, a Light he does see
Penetrating the night causing the darkness to flee
Clothed in his battle gear, Shield in his hand
With the Sword of the Spirit he takes a stand
He sets his course and aims straight for the Light
Though the wind is blowing he won't give up this fight
JESUS! he proclaims standing strong and tall
He's my Savior my King I will not fall
The shield of faith guards him round about
Quenching and deflecting every mindful doubt
With the sword of the Spirit he does proclaim
"That I'm more than a conqueror in Jesus name"
Salvation is his, he knows in his heart
That the winds must cease and the darkness depart
The Truth is known and now he does see
That the Light of Jesus has set him free
Though the boat is battered
And ripped and torn
Under his mantle
Tamela Greenwell

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Great Romance

If you read the Song of Solomon you will find the most Intimate Expressions of love in it's purest form. Our almighty God is the Author and Creator of these passionate affections. We all know the world's definition of love, for we see it everywhere. How sad it is that the world has defiled and perverted such a beautiful thing created by God by plastering the televisions, theaters, magazines and books with such a shallow idea of what they consider to be love.

There are many people looking for love but in all the wrong places. Sadly, they will continue to remain empty until they look to the Author and Creator of Love (their Great King and Shepherd). Only Christ can fill this void in all of mankind's heart. Oh! to know the love of Jesus that far surpasses all of our shallow understanding. Christ's desire is to flood our beings and fill us to saturation and overflowing with His great love. Listen to some of the Intimate Expressions of the Shepherd's great love for His Bride in the Song of Solomon.

HOW FAIR you are, my love [he said], how very fair! Your eyes behind your veil [remind me] of those of a dove; your hair [makes me think of the black, wavy fleece] of a flock of [the Arabian] goats which one sees trailing down Mount Gilead [beyond the Jordan on the frontiers of the desert]. (Song of Solomon 4: 1 Amp. )

[He exclaimed] O my love, how beautiful you are! There is no flaw in you! (Song of Solomon 4:7 Amp.)

Come away with me from Lebanon, my [promised] bride, come with me from Lebanon. Depart from the top of Amana from the peak of Senir and Hermon, from the lions' dens from the mountains of the leopards.

You have ravished my heart and given me courage, my sister, my [promised] bride; you have ravished my heart and given me courage with one look from your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace.

How beautiful is your love, my sister, my [promised] bride! How much better is your love than wine! And the fragrance of your ointments than all spices!

Your lips, O my [promised] bride, drop honey as the honeycomb; honey and milk are under your tongue. And the odor of your garments is like the odor of Lebanon.

A garden enclosed and barred is my sister, my [promised] bride-a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. (Song of Solomon 4: 7-12 Amp).

Will we heed the call from our Great Shepherd the Lover of our souls and come away with Him? He desires to rescue us from any harm or danger from the lions dens and the mountains of the leopards (evil schemes and temptations of the enemy). With one look from His Bride's eyes His heart is ravished with love and filled with great courage, how He longs to be with His Bride and His Bride with Him. Our praise unto Him is like sweet honey from our mouths and wine from our lips. The garments of His Bride are not defiled for He sees no flaw in her for she is covered with His righteousness. He sees only virtue and honor in His Bride. There is an exchange of pure love between Christ and His Bride, Her heart is only for Him. Christ does not see His Bride as "what" he or she is, but "who" he or she is. Not what we have done, but what we have become. He sees us for who we really are. His Bride is like the beautiful garden that is barred, and His eyes are beholding Her. In His sight, His Bride is as the garden that has already blossomed into all of it's glory and beauty. Christ's love for His Bride is so passionate and strong that it's what held Him to the cross. His love for His Bride is like a spring that is shut up or a fountain sealed. To be with His beloved Bride fills His heart to bursting with love and joy.

[She said distinctly] My beloved is mine and I am his! He pastures his flocks among the lilies. (Song of Solomon 2:16 Amp.).

A Prison of Harsh Words

Harsh words may come from another man's tongue

How will you respond what must be done

Do you believe the lie and let it have it's way
Or do you believe the truth and listen to what God has to say

Don't live your life inside a prison of harsh words

Be rescued from the lies that you have heard
Choose the Truth and you will see
That this cage of harsh words was only to deceive

Tamela Greenwell

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Cry of the Humble

The cry of the humble God will open His ear
It's a call for His mercy and He will draw near
The cry of the humble is a heart that overflows
With thanksgiving and praise for the love He bestows
He realizes his need for a Lord and a Savior
And for that God will pour out His unmerited favor
His heart is not proud rebellious or cold
Before God's throne he has come ever so bold
For this is great strength It's humility God sees
For it denies self and falls on its knees
The cry of the humble is true repentance
Death will not hold him it won't be his sentence
The Truth he does see God's Son he believes
For who the Son sets free is free indeed
"Go and sin no more" Jesus does say
"Draw from the wells of salvation Joy for this day"
Remove the veil from off of your face
Let God's splendor shine forth His glory embrace
The cry of the humble God will hear
For it is a heart that is crying "I long to draw near
To my God my Creator my Lord and my King
Jesus my Savior without Him I'm nothing"
Tamela Greenwell

A New Year Praise!

Upon entering the year 2018 I am seeing just how great our God is. He is forever faithful and worthy of all praise. He is the God of all glo...