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Showing posts with label Holy Spirit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holy Spirit. Show all posts

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Soul Music & The Infilling of the Holy Spirit - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 22 - Purity 1295

Soul Music & The Infilling of the Holy Spirit - 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther – Day 22 - Purity 1295

Purity 1295 03/09/2024 Purity 1295 Podcast

Purity 1295 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of a high definition view of the sky reflected in the waters of Lake Hiawassee near sunset comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this scene from his visit to the Hanging Dog Recreational Area on social media on Thursday, March 7th.  Fred is always sharing stops along the path of his life with his friends on FB, but this one is really special. It's so beautiful it’s almost unreal and it made me wonder if Fred got a new camera! But that’s life, we do the same things day after day and then time, circumstances, and the Lord come together to make otherwise normal days have spectacular moments. 

Well, it’s Saturday and I had one of those spectacular moments after work yesterday during my commute to my countryside home in Easton. I had a long day at work yesterday and when quitting time came I was rejoicing over the fact that another week of work was over, and I decided to worship the Lord in song to thank Him.  Right now I am trying to recall the events that led to that decision because there was something there that triggered that decision, something to do with God and my life right now, but I can’t recall the specifics. Anyway, when I turned on my “Crossroads” Playlist – which is a mix of inspirational secular songs from my past and some “heart songs” of Christian praise and worship the Lord’s presence came storming into the moment bringing to my mind and heart the truth of my relationship with him, the victories of the past, and hope for the future.  God was in the car with me, and I was undone emotionally, rejoicing over His love for me and simultaneously letting the pain of recent difficulties in my life come pouring out to be healed.  God was speaking to me through the music to remind me that I wasn’t alone, He had been with me in the past to deliver me, and I could rely on Him in the future to do the same. These realizations caused me to whoop, holler, sing, raise my hands, cry, and emphatically rejoice over my life of freedom that has been given to me.  The manifest presence of the Lord was in the house crafting time and space to give me this magic moment that I would call the “filling of the Holy Spirit”. Paul talks about this in.

Ephesians 5:18-21 (NKJV) which says:
18  And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
19  speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,
20  giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
21  submitting to one another in the fear of God.

Do you see the tie in here of music, thanksgiving, and the Lord?  My baptism in the Holy Spirit happened when I went into recovery and one day sang to, thanked, praised the Lord, and asked Him to “Come Holy Spirit, Come”. Yesterday, I didn’t ask, I didn’t knock but the Lord’s presence came all the same. He knew I needed it as I have been overcome with anxiety and frustration during recent events and He wanted me to know that I wasn’t alone and that I could trust Him to move everything together for good even if I couldn’t see it. I had been trying to “fix things” on my own and He showed up to remind me to remain faithful but to “let go” and let Him do what He has always done.  Even though I had been trying to be encouraging to others, my heart and mind need to be encouraged to surrender all the uncertain outcomes and concerns in my life to Him. As the Lord brought to mind all the blessings of my life I shouted in triumph because I even though I “knew these things”, my heart had forgotten just how glorious this strange journey has been and how wonderful my life is.  

Yesterday, God used “soul music” to bring me back to joy and to pipe in the “filling of the Holy Spirit”.  Although John MacArthur would disagree with my calling my initial experience of the manifest presence of God – the “baptism of the Holy Spirit”  his commentary on Ephesian 5:18 tells us about this infilling: The Macarthur commentary says:

“Paul is not speaking of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling (Ro 8:9) or the baptism by Christ with the Holy Spirit (1Co 12:13), because every Christian is indwelt and baptized by the Spirit at the time of salvation. He is rather giving a command for believers to live continually under the influence of the Spirit by letting the Word control them (see note on Col 3:16), pursuing pure lives, confessing all known sin, dying to self, surrendering to God’s will, and depending on His power in all things. Being filled with the Spirit is living in the conscious presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, letting His mind, through the Word, dominate everything that is thought and done. Being filled with the Spirit is the same as walking in the Spirit (see notes on Gal 5:16–23). Christ exemplified this way of life (Lk 4:1).”

(John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Eph 5:18.)

That’s what I try to do live in the conscious presence of the Lord  but I can tell you sometimes our walk with God has special moments where the Lord reaches out to strengthen us and yesterday was one of them for me and I had to write about it because I don’t want to forget it or blow it off. I want to stay in that place where I knew the truth of my relationship with God in the present moment, experientially.  These moments fuel our faithfulness and never know when God will reach through the veil to give them to you but when they happen you know it!

So I’m encouraged to encourage you to keep walking and talking with God and what better time to do that than now -in the season of Lent. And speaking of Lent….

It’s the twenty-second day of Lent and so we continue my personal walkthrough of Gracia Grindal’s 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther to observe and celebrate the Lenten season.   In this walkthrough of Grindal’s devotional,  it is our hope that we will get to know Martin Luther a little better as we seek to draw closer to the Lord on our journey to Resurrection Sunday – Easter.  

And so we continue.

Journey Day 22

I believe in the Holy Spirit, one holy Christian church, the community of saints, forgiveness of sins, resurrection of the flesh, and eternal life. Amen.

To this article, as I have said, I cannot give a better title than “Being Made Holy”. In it are expressed and portrayed the Holy Spirit and his office, which is that he makes us holy. Therefore, we must concentrate on the term “Holy Spirit”, because it is so precise we can find no substitute for it... God's Spirit alone is called a Holy Spirit, that is, the one who has made us holy and still makes us holy. As the Father is called a Creator and the Son is called a Redeemer, so on account of his work the Holy Spirit must be called a Sanctifier, or one who makes us holy. How does such sanctifying take place?

Answer... the Holy Spirit effects our being made holy through the following: the community of saints or Christian church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. That is, he first leads us into his holy community, placing us in the church's lap, where he preaches to us and brings us to Christ.

Biblical Wisdom

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. John 16:13-15.

Silence for Meditation.

Pause the podcast, or stop reading, and sit quietly for 60 seconds, a few minutes, or 10-15 minutes, or however long you feel comfortable with and have time for. Focus on your breath and the calm stillness in the present moment that is always available to us in God’s creation. Meditate on Martin Luther’s comments for the day, and the content of today’s Biblical wisdom.

Questions to Ponder

·       What do you think Luther means when he says the Holy Spirit is the “one who makes us holy”? What does it mean to be made holy?

To be made holy means to be set apart for God’s purposes, to live to serve His kingdom.  A cursory study of scriptures regarding the Holy spirit reveals that He leads us into all truth and grants us repentance. It is through the Holy Spirit that we see the truth of the gospel and are led to turn from our sins and grow in our faith. This is for real – they don’t call it walking in the Spirit for nothing – we can experience God’s presence, love, and help in our lives when we walk with Him.

·       Luther says the Spirit “effects our being made holy” through “the community of saints or Christian church, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting”. Reflect on these four; how do they make us holy?

The community of the saints gives us a place to grow – where the word is preached, studied, reflected on, and practiced with how we live. 

The forgiveness of sins gives us freedom and healing and encourages us to not go back into darkness. 

The Resurrection of the body – gives us proof that Jesus is God and that He blesses us with the gift of the comforter who indwells within our bodies – making us spiritually alive. We were resurrected to life with Christ. 

Everlasting life gives us the freedom over the fear of death and the eternal purpose of serving God’s kingdom. We stop living for ourselves and start living for God’s kingdom.  

·       According to today's reading from Luther, what is the church's primary task? Why?

Luther’s comments indicate that the church’s purpose is to preach the word. Why?  To bring people to Christ, and to make us holy.

Psalm Fragment

These all look to you to give them their food in due season; When you give to them, they gather it up; When you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground. Psalm 104:27-30

Journal Reflections

·       Meditate in writing on your understanding and experience of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit guides us into a deeper walk with the Lord by illuminating the scriptures and convicting our hearts to obey God’s word. His presence comforts us and strengthens us.  His intuitions reveal to us things to come and inspires us to good works and sanctification.

·       Have you ever felt as if the Holy Spirit was bringing Christ to you as you studied his word or heard it preached, or participated in the activities of his church? If so, write about the experience and its impact on you.

Yes, all the time. Part of the purpose of my blogging and podcasting is to proclaim the truth of the Holy Spirit’s power and presence in the lives of Christians who surrender to God’s will for their lives.  Pick up your cross and follow Jesus and the Comforter will accompany you on the path of Christian Discipleship.

·       Have you experienced yourself “being made holy”? If so, has it changed how you make decisions? How you live in relationships? If not, can you imagine being made holy and its consequences?

Yes. I have repented and been set free from my former besetting sins to experience freedom. It has changed my entire life and my relationships.  My marriage has God at the center of it and my friendships are faith-based because no matter who you are, I will encourage you to seek the Lord – Christian or not. 

Prayers for the Life of Faith

Pray that your relationship with God through Christ and the Holy Spirit will become more dear to you and that the gift of faith you have received will flow from you into good deeds for your family, friends, and neighbors.

Lord, I pray that my relationship with You through Jesus and the Holy Spirit will somehow become more dear to me and that the gift of faith that I have received will flow from me into good works for my family, friends, and neighbors. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Prayer For Today

Come, Holy Spirit, teach me more about God, and quicken my love for you and my neighbors so that I may serve you as I should by serving them.

Amen!

(Gracia M. Grindal. 40-day Journey With Martin Luther. Kindle Edition.

(We encourage you to purchase Grindal’s book and take the 40 Day Journey with Martin Luther for yourself by purchasing Grindal’s book wherever books are sold. You can find it online at many different sites and purchase it new, used – paper or electronic for less than $15.00).

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verses come to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verse comes from the section on Contentment, Coveting & and Priorities.

Colossians 3:5 (ESV)
5  Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Today’s verse falls under the ninth point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Contentment, Coveting, and Priorities.

9. Put covetousness to death.

Today’s verse tells us to repent of sexual immorality – let’s not miss that – sexual purity is important to God and our lives of faith – but it also speaks of the root of lust- covetousness – wanting what is not rightfully yours.  Why is the command to not covet one of the Ten Commandments? Because it leads us into various sins that stem from covetousness. God has approved means to meet all our needs, but covetousness causes us to disregard those means because “we want what we want” and covetousness causes us to not care how we get it.  

So put to death what is earthly within you, and follow God’s ways to meet your wants, desires, and needs. When we decide to not “want” what is not ours, covetousness is cast out and results in the consideration of sin to be an illogical possibility.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from “According to Your Word: Morning and Evening Through the New Testament” By Stephen F. Olford – A Collection of Devotional Journals: 1940-1941.

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Olford’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

MORNING READING: LUKE 11

“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore,
when your eye is good, your whole body also is
full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body
also is full of darkness.” – Luke 11:34

The eye cannot contain light in itself; it reflects light from the source of light. If therefore the body is to be full of light, the eyes must be focused on the true source of light, even the Lord Jesus. Hence, the apostle says, “Looking unto Jesus” (Heb. 12:2).

Fellowship is only maintained as I walk in the light even as my Lord is in the light. How necessary it is then, that my eyes be fixed on Him.

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.7[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

Friday, April 21, 2023

I Don’t Have to Read the Bible– Lies of the Enemy #11– Purity 1023


I Don’t Have to Read the Bible– Lies of the Enemy #11– Purity 1023

Purity 1023 04/21/2023 Purity 1023 Podcast

Purity 1023 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of “Tranquility at Lake Nottely” comes to us from Fred Dimmick who shared this beautiful collaboration between God and man on social media on April 19th.   Apparently, Lake Nottely is a “man made” lake and is one of many reservoirs of the Tennessee Valley Authority. It is located entirely in Union County, Georgia, within the Chatahoochee-Oconee National Forests. The lake was formed in 1942 by the damming of the Nottely River and it extends 20 miles upstream to the town of Blairsville. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Nottely ).  So man dammed Nottely River to “make the lake” to help with flood control but you don’t get the lake without the river (God’s creation) and we don’t get that sense of “tranquility” without that sunset and we don’t get that underlying peace without the presence of God.    

Well, it’s Friday, let’s thank God for that too, and Fred’s photo has me thinking of the countryside home I will return to this evening and of the possibility of finding some tranquility out in God’s creation as the wife has scheduled a hike to Crowne Point  tomorrow. I have never been there, but I am trusting TammyLyn to lead me to something good and look forward to the trip.   

My research this morning shows me that there is a “Crown Point Historic Site” (https://parks.ny.gov/historic-sites/34/details.aspx) on the shores of Lake Champlain, but I’m honestly not sure if that is our destination or not, but I was able to download a couple of PDF maps to my Abobe cloud if I discover there is no other Crown Point in the Great White North and want to be able to find my way.  While I usually would just spontaneously “Go and See”, it can also be nice to know where exactly you are going and having a map or a guide to give you the heads up on the lay of the land.  It’s good to know the truth about what you will experience.  

And speaking of the truth, that brings us to continue in our current series, which is an examination of some of the common lies that the enemy tells us to cause us to doubt our faith, steal our peace, or to influence us to choose not to follow the Lord with the way we live our lives.  And so today, because I am thinking about guidance,

Today’s big lie is:

Lie # 11:  I Don’t Have to Read the Bible.

How many people that you know who claim to be “Christians” have said those words to you?  I pray its not many, but the hard truth is that a recent article by Stephen Presley on Religionunplugged.com (https://religionunplugged.com/news/2023/4/8/no-one-is-reading-the-bible) indicates that there has been a “dramatic decline in Bible reading” quoting a study from the American Bible Society that noted ““an unprecedented drop in the percentage of Bible users in the United States” noting that  “nearly 26 million Americans reduced or stopped their interaction with Scripture in the past year.”

So more people are drawing away from reading God’s word, which would cause us to question “Do I Have to Read the Bible?” 

While the last thing I ever want to do is to create a legalistic requirement or checklist of “things you must do to be a Christian”, I would point to scripture to show that the study of God’s word should be a fundamental aspect of our faith.  

Before I present the verses (and another link to Open Bible . Info), I just want to tell you that when I was born again in 2010, I really had a sense that the Lord did indeed actually save me because I suddenly had a real desire to be a “real Christian” which was accompanied by a new found passion to know God more by reading His word.  I have been reading the Bible ever since.  I’ve read it several times in various translations and have consuledt numerous commentary’s and other Christian books and I have greatly benefitted from knowing what the Bible says and applying its wisdom to my life.  Which naturally brings me to the first verses that come to mind, when I seek to encourage others to read the Bible:

James 1:22-25 (NIV2011)
22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25  But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Head knowledge is one thing, but the Bible was meant to be a guidebook to living. It’s purpose is to draw us close to God, cause us to make Christ as our Lord and Savior, to teach us how God would want us to live our lives, and to tell us of what is it to come in the future.  Spoiler alert : Jesus is coming back.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NLT2) tells us
16  All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.
17  God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.

God gave us His word to teach us what is true, to do what is right, and to equip us for life.   Some people turn the word Bible into an acronym to remind us that it is our “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth to highlight its purpose.    

Hebrews 4:12 (NLT2)  tells us
12  For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

The Bible is a living word and it speaks to our hearts to guide us in the way we should go.   It’s the best way to hear God’s voice.  

Romans 10:17 (NKJV) tells us
17  So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Our faith comes through the word of God. The good news about Jesus that causes us to believe is, surprise, Bible based.  So our faith came by hearing what the Bible had to tell us about Jesus. Most of what know about Jesus is contained in its pages.  So this living word saves us but it also assures us that we have been made new and are transformed by its study.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV) tells us
17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

And

Romans 12:2 (NKJV) tells us to
2  … not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Our minds, hearts, and lives are to be transformed by the truth of who God is and who we are in Christ which is all found in the Bible.  

So here’s a link to open Bible.infos 59 verses about Bible reading, https://www.openbible.info/topics/reading_the_bible  to encourage you to not stand on your freedom to “not read the Bible” but to be further assured that God gave us His word to help us.     

We might be lazy, prideful or stubborn but we should also know the enemy, Satan, is delighted when Christians don’t read the Bible or know what it says.  So to combat that first person lie from the enemy that tells you “I don’t have to read the Bilbe”, turn the tables on the spiritual forces of darkness by saying: “Yeah, I don’t have to read the Bible but God invites me to read His word so I can hear Him speak and that’s a conversation that I definitely want to be a part of! I will read the word of God and do what it says!”   

So keep walking and talking with God, and pick up the Bible regularly to see what He is telling you there.    

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple apologetic will provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

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Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verses are:

Colossians 3:9-10 (NLT2)
9  Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.
10  Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.

 

Today’s verses contain the proof text of what I consider to be one of the first things a Christian Disciple should commit themselves to when they decide to “be a real Christian”.   Stop lying!

 

Satan is the Father of lIes (John 8:44) and so thr last person we want to resemble as Christians is the devil so we seek to encourage all who read this today to speak the truth in all things – stop lying to each other.  

 

After being a habitual liar to cover up my shortcomings or sins for most of my life, it was a great relief to make that decision to stop lying.  When the Lord put this conviction on my heart I was far from perfect, still am far from perfect, but because the Holy Spirit in me convicts me to tell the truth, I have had the humbling but freeing experience of “ratting myself out” when I invariably would make some foolish decisions.  

 

When you are “throwing yourself under the bus” regularly because you want to walk the walk as well as talk the talk of being a Christian, by telling the truth, you eventually learn to stop the shady behaviors that normally have to cover up to.  

 

Telling the truth helps us to “know our Creator” and to become more like Him. Comically, I would and still sometimes do regrettable or foolish things and usually confess them shortly after because I couldn’t bear to remain in deception’s shadow. The Holy Spirit convicts me to “do what is right” now like all the time! And so I am increasingly honest in my actions as well as my words.  Not perfect mind you, by the deep relief that comes from living in the truth a I usually instruct anyone that I disciple to “stop lying” because of the joy that I have found that comes from knowing that you have nothing to hide and you are living in harmony with the Lord.

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

APPENDIX I

THE WILL OF GOD concludes..

 

Again; God commands us to be perfectly holy in this life (Matt. 5:48) because this is right in the nature of things, but He has decreed that no man shall be perfectly holy in this life because this is best, all things considered, that none shall be perfectly holy (experimentally) before they leave this world. Holiness is one thing, the taking place of holiness is another; so, sin is one thing, the taking place of sin is another. When God requires holiness His preceptive or revealed will respects the nature or moral excellence of holiness; but when He decrees that holiness shall not take place (fully and perfectly) His secret or decretive will respects only the event of it not taking place. So again, when He forbids sin His preceptive or revealed will respects only the nature or moral evil of sin; but when He decrees that sin shall take place His secret will respects only its actual occurrence to serve His good purpose. Thus the secret and revealed will of God respect entirely different objects.

God’s will of decree is not His will in the same sense as His will of command is. Therefore, there is no difficulty in supposing that one may be contrary to the other. His will, in both senses, is His inclination. Everything that concerns His revealed will is perfectly agreeable to His nature, as when He commands love, obedience, and service from His creatures. But that which concerns His secret will has in view His ultimate end, that to which all things are now working. Thus, He decreed the entrance of sin into His universe though His own holy nature hates all sin with infinite abhorrence, yet, because it is one of the means by which His appointed end is to be reached He suffered it to enter. God’s revealed will is the measure of our responsibility and the determiner of our duty. With God’s secret will we have nothing to do: that is His concern. But, God knowing that we should fail to perfectly do His revealed will ordered His eternal counsels accordingly, and these eternal counsels, which make up His secret will, though unknown to us are, though unconsciously, fulfilled in and through us.

Whether the reader is prepared to accept the above distinction in the will of God or not he must acknowledge that the commands of Scripture declare God’s revealed will, and he must also allow that sometimes God wills not to hinder a breach of those commands because He does not as a fact so hinder it. God wills to permit sin as is evident, for He does permit it. Surely none will say that God Himself does what He does not will to do.

Finally, let it be said again that my responsibility with regard to the will of God is measured by what He has made known in His Word. There I learn that it is my duty to use the means of His providing, and to humbly pray that He may be pleased to bless them to me. To refuse so to do on the ground that I am ignorant of what may or may not be His secret counsels concerning me is not only absurd, but the height of presumption. We repeat: the secret will of God is none of our business; it is His revealed will which measures our accountability. That there is no conflict whatever between the secret and the revealed will of God is made clear from the fact that the former is accomplished by my use of the means laid down in the latter.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/@MT4Christ247

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 255–257.

Friday, February 10, 2023

The Baptism of Holy Spirit – Will You Seek Him and “Go There”? - Purity 963


The Baptism of Holy Spirit – Will You Seek Him and  “Go There”?   - Purity 963

Purity 963 02/10/2023 Purity 963 Podcast

Purity 963 on YouTube: 



Good morning,

Today’s photo of the flock of ducks floating towards the edge of a partially frozen lake underneath the sun setting into the trees on the horizon comes to us from yours truly as I captured this scene during my spontaneous visit to Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville NY on February 8th.   

I had never seen or even heard of Green Lakes State Park before that day but when a Google search for nearby state parks told me of its existence I decided to believe that it was real and went out to see it for myself.   Here I present some photographic evidence of its existence and can assure you that it the state park and lake really are there but would also suggest that you go and see it for yourself to have an experiential knowledge of it to remove any doubts. Once you “go there” and experience it for yourself, it is unlikely that anyone would be able to convince you that it isn’t real and you may actually testify of its existence and encourage others to trust you, and the other information out there about it, and tell them to go and see it for themselves.  

Well, it’s Friday, thank God, and it is my prayer that anyone who reads or hears this message would have a great weekend and that they would trust me when I tell them that God is real and that they should consider seeking the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  

Who, Whoa, WHOA!  Easy now M.T., you are letting your charismatic craziness show a little bit here!   My Pastor tells me that ALL Christians receive the Holy Spirit, and thus the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”, the moment they put their faith in Christ!  I don’t need anything other than what I received when I first believed! I have the Holy Spirit, I guess, so why would I seek something I already have?

Well, just like I can show you photos of Green Lake State Park, tell you about it, and you can research information about it online to give you an intellectual understanding about Green Lake State Park, your “knowing” Green Lake State Park would undoubtedly be increased and benefitted by actually “going there” and visiting it for yourself.   Until then you may be a “believer” in Green Lake State Park, but your stepping our in faith to actually go there and diving into the experience of Green Lake State Park would make put you in a relationship with Green Lake State Park. From the day you go to Green Lake State Park, you will have an experiential knowledge of it and relationship to it. After your visit, you can say you spent time there, experienced and related to it, and “know it”, because you have been there.   

And while I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that every person who puts their faith in Jesus Christ as LORD (all caps) and Savior, receives the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, I would have to tell you that there is more to receive from Him and to discover what I mean requires that you seek to develop your relationship to Him.  

The Holy Spirit is a person and is perhaps the most mysterious member of the trinity.

Acts 11:15-17 (NKJV) testifies to the fact that Jesus spoke of those who trust in Him being baptized with the Holy Spirit.  In This passage the Apostle Peter says:
15  And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.
16  Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, 'John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
17  If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"

So this confirms we receive the Holy Spirit but other passages in the Bible indicate that there may be more to our relationship with the Holy Spirit than just receiving His indwelling presence on the day of our salvation. 

In John 14:26 (NKJV) Jesus indicates the Holy Spirit will teach us and cause us to remember things -
26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV) indicates He helps us by interceding for us - He prays for us. The Apostle Paul writes
26  Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

In Acts 1:8 (NKJV) – Jesus indicates The Holy Spirit will give us power and boldness to share our faith – Christ said
8  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

In 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NKJV) – The Apostle Paul tells us that The Holy Spirit gives us freedom.  It says
17  Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

In John 16:13-14 (NKJV) Jesus states that He will guide us and will show us things to come.
13  However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
14  He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

All of these passages indicate that there is an experiential aspect to our relationship to the Holy Spirit. I can attest to the fact that The Holy Spirit is a real person who help you in your faith walk and can show up in your life in very dramatic ways.   This passage in Acts indicates that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit can reveal His manifest presence.

Acts 19:1-6 (NKJV)
1  And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples
2  he said to them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" So they said to him, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit."
3  And he said to them, "Into what then were you baptized?" So they said, "Into John's baptism."
4  Then Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus."
5  When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6  And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

The Holy Spirit showed up and stuff happened. But if you notice, these believers had to be told about Him and be willing to receive Him.   Jesus indicates that we are supposed to ask for Him. 

Luke 11:13 (NKJV)
13  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!"

So, have you asked for Him? Do you relate to Him? Have you experienced Him.  

For most of us, we were brought into Christianity by proxy – our parents took us to church and for many of us our faith was pretty shallow.  

“My parents are Christian – so I guess I’m a Christian. Sure, I believe… I guess?”

You guess!?!?   

Our culture may have caused us to never genuinely to seek the Lord for ourselves.  We may have never actually made Jesus the LORD (all caps – again) of our lives.  We may have never received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit because we didn’t know that was a “thing” or we may have never experienced the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives because we never sought Him or asked for Him to come into our lives.    

Hearing about the “Baptism of Holy Spirit” may fill us with curiosity or skepticism because we never heard of it and the people who speak about it may seem a little unbalanced because they “speak in tongues”.   Believe me, I completely understand.  I was extremely skeptical about anyone speaking in tongues and it was only after I got to know some of the people in my life that claimed to experience the Baptism of the Holy Spirit that I became curious enough to investigate it and seek it for myself.   

I researched the Baptism of the Holy Spirit quite a bit and found all kinds of teachings about Him and how one could receive Him There are plenty Christians historically and currently who speak on the “second blessing” of the Holy Spirit’s Baptism and experiencing His manifest presence of love and joy and the sign of speaking in tongues at times.  So were all of these accounts that I read about something that people just made up? Or Was it real?

Of all the lessons and “how to receive the Holy Spirit” recipes out there, one can easily be confused or even more skeptical about there even being a “baptism of the Holy Spirit” beyond “just believing”.   But after having experienced His presence for myself, I can tell you that, in my case anyway, we receive Him when we:

·       Surrender to the Lord’s will

·       Repent of our sins

·       Pray by faith.

·       Ask for Him to come.

 I really believe that we receive the Holy Spirit when we believe – He is with us the moment we put our faith in Jesus, but the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit, which I would say is a maturation of our relationship with Him, and is an experience of His presence manifesting outside of the four walls of our body.  The Shekinah Glory of the Lord surrounds you and pours over you giving you a supernatural experience – direct contact with the living God in the terra firma, of unbelievable joy and love – and I did speak in tongues.

I believe that the experience of the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” and “speaking in tongues” are signs to show us the experiential reality of God and is given to those seek Him to encourage them and embolden them to serve the Lord and witness of Him through the earth.   The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, I believe, is given to us for a reason – to give us an unshakable faith that propels us to continuously speak of the Lord’s goodness and the desire to spread the good news of Jesus Christ.   

The experience happened to me, and I have written about it before, so if you are curious, dive into the archives of the blog.  

For those who want to research it I would recommend looking up Derek Prince, Andrew Murray, Charles Finney, Perry Stone, Pastor Bob Engelhardt of the Catskill Mountain Christian Center, and maybe reading “The Holy Spirit, My Senior Partner” – By David Yongii Cho. They will all give you plenty of information about it.  However, just like reading about Green Lake State Park, you won’t discover the Baptism of the Holy Spirit unless you “go there” -by believing it’s real, (you have to have faith) and by asking and seeking Him for yourself.  

A great way to start the journey of receiving an experiential knowledge of our Lord is by simply walking and talking with Him.  As Christ said in:

Matthew 7:8 (NKJV)
8  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

So ask, seek, and knock if you have too, and see what happens in your life when you “go there.”

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Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verses are:

James 1:19 (NLT2)
19  Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.

Today’s Bible verse is great practical advice for those who seek to walk by faith on the path of Christian discipleship.  Our faith should change us and the way it does is by obeying the word of God. We must actually practice what the word teaches us.

And if we want to experience the fruit of peace in our lives, James 1:19 will certainly help us on our way. 

Reactive emotions like anger are often expressed with a quick verbal response of indignation.   So, before we “go there” with an angry outburst, the word of God directs us to slow our roll, by being quick to listen, rather than being quick to speak.  

So when we are talking to anyone about anything we should practice active listening, where we pay close attention to what is said, and pausing before we speak.  If we listen intently the likelihood of a misunderstanding is decreased and if we pause before we speak the likelihood of saying anything regrettable is decreased.  

So practice James 1:19, and see how paying attention to what others say and taking the time to consider our responses can help you to avoid anger and experience peace.

___________________________________________

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from A.W. Pink’s “The Sovereignty of God.”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase A.W. Pink’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD

By  ARTHUR W. PINK

CHAPTER SIX

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD IN OPERATION

“For of Him, and through Him, and to Him, are all things: to whom be the glory for ever. Amen” (Romans 11:36).

Has God fore-ordained everything that comes to pass? Has He decreed that what is, was to have been? In the final analysis this is only another way of asking, Is God now governing the world and everyone and everything in it? If God is governing the world then is He governing it according to a definite purpose, or aimlessly and at random? If He is governing it according to some purpose, then when was that purpose made? Is God continually changing His purpose and making a new one every day, or was His purpose formed from the beginning? Are God’s actions, like ours, regulated by the change of circumstances, or are they the outcome of His eternal purpose? If God formed a purpose before man was created then is that purpose going to be executed according to His original designs and is He now working toward that end? What saith the Scriptures? They declare God is One “who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11).

Few who read this book are likely to call into question the statement that God knows and foreknows all things, but perhaps many would hesitate to go further than this. Yet is it not self-evident that if God foreknows all things, He has also fore-ordained all things? Is it not clear that God foreknows what will be because He has decreed what shall be? God’s foreknowledge is not the cause of events, rather are events the effects of His eternal purpose. When God has decreed a thing shall be He knows it will be. In the nature of things there cannot be anything known as what shall be unless it is certain to be, and there is nothing certain to be unless God has ordained it shall be. Take the Crucifixion as an illustration. On this point the teaching of Scripture is as clear as a sunbeam. Christ as the Lamb whose blood was to be shed was “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:20). Having then “ordained” the slaying of the Lamb, God knew He would be “led to the slaughter,” and therefore made it known accordingly through Isaiah the prophet. The Lord Jesus was not “delivered” up by God foreknowing it before it took place, but by His fixed counsel and fore-ordination (Acts 2:23). Fore-knowledge of future events then is founded upon God’s decrees, hence if God foreknows everything that is to be, it is because He has determined in Himself from all eternity everything which will be—“Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18), which shows that God has a plan, that God did not begin His work at random or without a knowledge of how His plan would succeed.

God created all things. This truth no one, who bows to the testimony of Holy Writ, will question; nor would any such be prepared to argue that the work of creation was an accidental work. God first formed the purpose to create, and then put forth the creative act in fulfilment of that purpose. All real Christians will readily adopt the words of the Psalmist and say, “O Lord, how manifold are Thy works! in wisdom hast Thou made them all.” Will any who endorse what we have just said, deny that God purposed to govern the world which He created? Surely the creation of the world was not the end of God’s purpose concerning it. Surely He did not determine simply to create the world and place man in it, and then leave both to their fortunes. It must be apparent that God has some great end or ends in view worthy of His infinite perfections, and that He is now governing the world so as to accomplish these ends—“The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations” (Psa. 33:11).

“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure” (Isa. 46:9, 10). Many other passages might be adduced to show that God has many counsels concerning this world and concerning man, and that all these counsels will most surely be realized. It is only when they are thus regarded that we can intelligently appreciate the prophecies of Scripture. In prophecy the mighty God has condescended to take us into the secret chamber of His eternal counsels and make known to us what He has purposed to do in the future. The hundreds of prophecies which are found in the Old and New Testaments are not so much predictions of what will come to pass, as they are revelations to us of what God has purposed SHALL come to pass.

What then was the great purpose for which this world and the human race were created? The answer of Scripture is, “The Lord hath made all things for Himself” (Prov. 16:4). And again, “Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11). The great end of creation was the manifestation of God’s glory. “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His handiwork”; but it was by man, originally made in His own image and likeness, that God designed chiefly to manifest His glory. But how was the great Creator to be glorified by man? Before his creation, God foresaw the fall of Adam and the consequent ruin of his race, therefore He could not have designed that man should glorify Him by continuing in a state of innocency. Accordingly we are taught that Christ was “fore-ordained before the foundation of the world” to be the Saviour of fallen men. The redemption of sinners by Christ was no mere after-thought of God: it was no expediency to meet an unlooked-for calamity. No; it was a Divine pro-vision, and therefore when man fell he found mercy walking hand in hand with justice.

From all eternity God designed that our world should be the stage on which He would display His manifold grace and wisdom in the redemption of lost sinners: “To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the Church the manifold wisdom of God, according to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph. 3:11.) For the accomplishment of this glorious design God has governed the world from the beginning, and will continue it to the end. It has been well said, “We can never understand the providence of God over our world, unless we regard it as a complicated machine having ten thousand parts, directed in all its operations to one glorious end—the display of the manifold wisdom of God in the salvation of the Church,” i.e., the “called out” ones. Everything else down here is subordinated to this central purpose. It was the apprehension of this basic truth that the apostle, moved by the only Spirit, was led to write, “Wherefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory” (2 Tim. 2:10). What we would now contemplate is the operation of God’s sovereignty in the government of this world.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

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My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Ask Seek Knock blog (https://tammylynask.blogspot.com/ ),  her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

“The views, opinions, and commentary of this publication are those of the author, M.T. Clark, only, and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of any of the photographers, artists, ministries, or other authors of the other works that may be included in this publication, and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of any entities the author may represent.”

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship

 

[1] Arthur W. Pink, The Sovereignty of God (Swengel, PA: Bible Truth Depot, 1949), 117–120.