Heaven’s Mighty Wind

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 30, 2015

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.  Acts 2:2 (ESV)
~~~
“The year, 1904, stands out in the history of WALES, as a year that will never be forgotten, and those who were privileged to live in those days still speak of its heaven-sent scenes with the greatest awe !
LIKE A MIGHTY TORNADO THE SPIRIT OF GOD SWEPT ACROSS THE LAND UNTIL MOUNTAINS AND VALLEYS, CITIES AND VILLAGES WERE FILLED WITH THE MIGHTY MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD. CHURCHES WERE CROWDED AND MEETINGS WENT ON DAY AND NIGHT. PRAYER, SINGING, AND TESTIMONY WOULD SWEEP OVER CONGREGATIONS IN TORRENTS, AND HUNDREDS TURNED TO CHRIST, NEVER. NEVER IN THE HISTORY OF WALES HAD SUCH INDESCRIBABLE SCENES BEEN WITNESSED.
DR. CAMPBELL MORGAN, PREACHING ON THIS GREAT REVIVAL, IN THE WESTMINSTER CHAPEL, IN 1904 DECLARED:
‘Here is REVIVAL, that comes from heaven; There is no PREACHING, no ORDER, no HYMNBOOKS, no CHOIRS, no ORGANS, no COLLECTIONS, and finally no ADVERTISING! Now think of THAT for a moment! There were organs, but they were SILENT; there were ministers but no preaching—-they were among the people praising God! Yet the Welsh Revival is a ‘revival’ of preaching’ for EVERYBODY is preaching! No order, yet it moves from day to day, county to county, with matchless precision, with the order of an attacking force. No songbooks, but ah, me, I nearly wept tonight over the singing! When the Welsh sing they abandon themselves to their singing. We sing as if we thought it wouldn’t be respectable to be heard by the one next to us! No choir, did I say? It was all choir!’”
Rev. Owen Murphy
When God Stepped Down From Heaven, 6-7




Posted in Holy Spirit Comments Off on Heaven’s Mighty Wind

Carnal Believers

Posted by Jerry White on Aug 8, 2015

But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.

(1 Corinthians 3:1, ESV)

~~~
“The difference St. Paul makes between the two kinds of Christians is of great importance. Man’s natural life is altogether carnal. The Christian at his new birth receives the Holy Spirit, and immediately there begins a struggle between the flesh and the Spirit. So long as the Christian allows the Spirit to conquer, and is led by the Spirit, the power of the Spirit over him increases, and he becomes a spiritual man. The flesh is still there, and in the flesh is no good thing, but he learns that it means that his flesh is crucified as something that deserves the accursed death, and he becomes the spiritual man, of whom it may be said: ‘The spiritual man discerneth all things.’
When on the other hand, the Christian is ignorant about the Spirit, or if informed, disobedient, then the flesh obtains the mastery, and the Christian remains weak; and as there is no spiritual growth, he remains a babe. He may try in his own strength to do better, and what was begun in the Spirit is continued in the flesh—-a carnal attempt to become holy (cf. Gal. 3:3). By degrees the flesh triumphs, so that he has no power to resist the works of the flesh or the spirit of the world.
This is the sad condition of the Church, that the majority of her members remain carnal. They constantly fall under the power of the flesh, and, and as a result, are overcome by envy and anger and uncharitableness. Such Christians have no insight into spiritual truth. If their life in Christ, daily fellowship with Him, and what God promises to do for His children is mentioned, they can hardly understand what is meant.
How earnestly we should pray God to reveal to us what is carnal and what [is] spiritual, and enable us to yield ourselves completely to the guidance of His Spirit.”
Andrew Murray
The Secret of Christ Our Life, 18-19




Posted in Holy Spirit Comments Off on Carnal Believers

The Touch of God

Posted by Jerry White on Apr 19, 2015

“With penetrating insight A. W. Tozer wrote decades ago:

‘One distinguishing mark of those first Christians was a supernatural radiance that shined out from within them. The sun had come up in their hearts and its warmth and light made unnecessary any secondary sources of assistance. They had the inner witness. It is obvious that the average evangelical Christian today is without this radiance. Instead of the inner witness we now substitute logical conclusions drawn from texts…

Nothing can take the place of the touch of God in the soul and the sense of Someone there. Where true faith is, the knowledge of God will be given as a fact of consciousness altogether apart from the conclusions of logic. The spiritual giants of old experienced God.

We are only now emerging from a long ice age during which an undue emphasis was laid upon objective truth at the expense of subjective experience. Wise leaders should have known that the human heart cannot exist in a vacuum. If Christians are forbidden to enjoy the wine of the Spirit they will turn to the wine of the flesh for enjoyment… Christ died for our hearts and the Holy Spirit wants to come and satisfy them.’

Dr. Tozer also wrote, ‘When the Spirit presents Christ to our inner vision it has an exhilarating effect on the soul much as wine has on the body. The Spirit-filled man may literally dwell in a state of spiritual fervor amounting to a mild and pure inebriation. God dwells in a state of perpetual enthusiasm. He pursues His labors always in a fulness of holy zeal’” (Gems from Tozer, Selections from the Writings of A. W. Tozer, 18-19).

JRW
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 210-211




Posted in God Manifested, Holy Spirit Comments Off on The Touch of God

Spirit Filled Church

Posted by Jerry White on Sep 29, 2013

“The early Christian church prayed for the filling of the Holy Spirit, and this was the secret of its power. It lived in the Spirit, walked in the Spirit, prayed in the Spirit, and sang in the Spirit. Their meetings allowed everyone to pray, sing, or testify as they were moved by the Spirit.

The Gentiles as well as the Jews had their Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius, his household, and his friends (Acts 10). After that, Jews and Gentiles were all one in Christ (Rom 3:9; Gal 3:22-28; Eph 2:11-19). The apostle Paul could say to the church at Corinth, ‘Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?’ (1 Cor 3:16). And to Christians in general, the apostle John could write, ‘But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth’ (1 John 2:20). These and many other Scriptures show that the New Testament church was truly a Spirit-filled one. We read concerning the men chosen as deacons of the first Christian church that they were ‘full of the Spirit and wisdom’ (Acts 6:3). With such anointing, it is little wonder that the early Christian church went forth conquering.”

James Gilchrist Lawson

Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians, 10-11

~~~

Infinite and eternal Father,

You are beautiful in holiness. You are beautiful in love. You are beautiful in humble Sovereignty. You are astounding in power. Too much do we see the things of man and this world — the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. Too little do we see You in Your beauty and experience Your nearness. Too much do we see what our efforts try to do and too little do we see what Your power can do. Yet, we know that what truly satisfies our soul is when You let us see Yourself.

Gracious Father, please let us see more of You than we ever have. Give us that longing to see who Your Spirit came to reveal, our Lord Jesus Christ. We need the reality of His presence with us. We need Your fullness in us. We need Your anointing upon us. Without that our pantry is empty. Lord, make us thirsty for You and then gloriously satisfy our thirst. Amen.




Posted in Holy Spirit

Spiritual Dullness

Posted by Jerry White on Sep 22, 2013

“The most critical issue facing Christians is not abortion, pornography, the disintegration of the family, moral absolutes, MTV, drugs, racism, sexuality or school prayer. THE CRITICAL ISSUE TODAY IS DULLNESS. We have lost our astonishment. The Good News is no longer good news; it is okay news. Christianity is no longer life changing; it is life enhancing. Jesus doesn’t change people into wild-eyed radicals anymore. He changes them into ‘nice people.’

If Christianity is simply about being nice, I’m not interested.

What happened to radical Christianity, the un-nice brand of Christianity that turned the world upside down? What happened to the category-smashing, life threatening, anti-institutional gospel that spread through the first century like wildfire and was considered (by those in power) dangerous? What happened to the kind of Christians whose hearts were on fire, who had no fear, who spoke the truth no matter what the consequence, who made the world uncomfortable, who were willing to follow Jesus wherever He went? What happened to the kind of Christians who were filled with passion and gratitude, and who every day were unable to get over the grace of God? ….

A. W. Tozer said a long time ago, ‘Culture is putting out the light in men and women’s souls.’”

Michael Yaconelli (1942-2003)

Dangerous Wonder, 23-24

~~~

And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

Acts 4:31 (ESV)

~~~

Only when individual Christians are full of the Holy Spirit when they come together for worship, will the church overflow with God’s life so that dullness is overruled with God’s presence.




Posted in Holy Spirit

Person Of Holy Spirit

Posted by Jerry White on Sep 1, 2013

When Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure through His crucifixion, burial, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, He promised, “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (John 14:16). The word He used for “another” means another of the same kind. He further said of this Helper, “You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:17). Jesus Christ, God’s eternal Son made flesh, would no longer be with them bodily, but in response to Jesus’ prayer, the Father would give another person exactly like Jesus to be to them everything He had been while He was with them, and yes, even more. Jesus in His human body could only be with them like we can be with another person, but the Spirit could be with them and in them every single moment. The Helper, who is the Spirit of Christ, would be their ever-present indwelling life, helper, strengthener, counselor, comforter, and teacher all the days of their lives. All the fullness of God in Christ would be theirs to enjoy and live by regardless of what they would ever face.

Through faith in Christ the believer receives astounding gifts of mercy and grace: Christ’s own righteousness —the perfect righteous life He lived on earth for thirty-three years put to the believer’s account; forgiveness for every single sin of one’s entire life because Jesus suffered God’s just wrath for all the believer’s sins; and the gift of Christ’s triumphant resurrection-life to actually live inside the believer through the person of the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. Completely forgiven, righteous with God’s own righteousness, and a living temple with God’s Spirit within. Stunning! And yet even though these blessings are permanent gifts of God’s love, we discover that the Holy Spirit can also be grieved like the Father was grieved to His heart, and like Jesus sobbed with deep grief over Jerusalem (Genesis 6:5-6; Luke 19:41-44). God commands believers, Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). The Holy Spirit is a person. He is not an impersonal power, or a neutral force untouched by a believer’s sin, but a person as real as you are a person. He is exactly like the Father and the Son, and sin in the Christian causes Him grief (Ephesians 5:29-31). Why? He grieves for two reasons. The Holy Spirit loves Jesus Christ, and sin in the believer’s life dishonors Him. Secondly, the Spirit loves the believer, and sin in the believer’s life robs him or her of God’s best blessing and fullness. Excused, ignored, or tolerated sin by a Christian causes sadness to the Holy Spirit.

JRW




Posted in Holy Spirit

Blessing Gained Or Missed

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 17, 2013

“The fullness of God’s blessing through the fullness of God’s Spirit living and working in and through our lives is available for every Christian. Enjoyment of Christ’s nearness is possible for every believer—without exception! So while we are not to seek after what Oswald Chambers called ‘exceptional moments of inspiration,’ we are to desire God and pursue Him with the expectancy that He is eager to grant to us the pleasure of His companionship, His nearness, and His fullness to be evidence of His presence in our lives.

Jonathan Goforth, a missionary to China in the early nineteen hundreds who experienced an outpouring of the Spirit where he served, wrote in his book, By My Spirit, ‘We are convinced that the majority of Christian people are living on a plane far below what our Master planned for them.’ Andrew Murray, who was a pastor in South Africa around the same time, wrote: ‘God wills a great deal of blessing to His people which never comes to them. He wills it most earnestly, but they do not will it, and it cannot come to them.’ Psalm 91 says, ‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High / Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.’ Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the great preacher of England in the late 1800s, commented on this verse in his book, The Treasury of David:

The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.”

JRW

The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 166-167




Posted in Holy Spirit

The Spirit’s Ministry

Posted by Jerry White on Feb 14, 2013

These things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.

1 Corinthians 2:10 (ESV)

~~~

“There is no darkness that God’s own Spirit cannot scatter, no difficulty He cannot remove, no portion of the Word He cannot explain. All that is necessary to your salvation is revealed in the Word; all that can be known of Jesus is there discovered. All this the blessed Spirit stands prepared to make known to you. He leads you to Jesus; Jesus lifts the veil and reveals the Father; and the Father, when revealed, appears full of love, mercy, and forgiveness to the poor returning prodigal, who in penitence and lowliness, seeks an asylum in His heart. And, oh, how ready is the Spirit to instruct you! He has such love and grace in His heart that the heavenly dove seems always poised on wing, ready to fly to the soul who even sighs for His inward teaching. Does He see a soul oppressed with a sense of guilt? He hastens to apply the atoning blood of Jesus. Does He mark one weary with his fruitless toil? He seals the promise of the Savior on the heart, ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy leaden, and I will give you rest’ (Matt. 11:28). Does He find a soul combating with temptation, tormented with fear, harassed with doubts, struggling with infirmity, or halting through weakness? Oh, how ready is He to show that soul where its great strength, comfort, and grace lie—in the fullness of a most loving, precious, and all-sufficient Savior!

Oh, then, in the name of Jesus, seek this glorious gift of God. Seek Him as a life-giving Spirit who makes Jesus known to you; leads you into the deep things of God’s Word; deeply sanctifies you; imparts to you the love, confidence, and consolation of an adopted child; comforts you in every sorrow; strengthens the divine life in your soul; and proves to be your earnest and seal of eternal glory.”

Octavius Winslow

Evening Thoughts, 75-76

~~~

Often, modern day Christians with busy, distracted minds neglect consciously trusting the loving Holy Spirit who indwells them. His presence does no good without faith.




Self-control

Posted by Jerry White on Nov 8, 2012

The fruit of the Spirit is…self-control.

Galatians 5:23 (ESV)

~~~

“What is self-control? It is a governance or prudent control of one’s desires, cravings, impulses, emotions, and passions. It is saying no when we should say no. It is moderation in legitimate desires and activities, and absolute restraint in areas that are clearly sinful. It would, for example, involve moderation in watching television and absolute restraint in viewing Internet pornography.

Biblical self-control is not a product of one’s own natural willpower. We know there are plenty of unbelievers who exercise self-control in specific areas of life for the purpose of achieving some goal. But in other areas, they may live with little or no self-control. An athlete may be strict in his diet while totally lacking in control of his temper.

Biblical self-control, however, covers every area of life and requires an unceasing conflict with the passions of the flesh that wage war against our souls (see 1 Peter 2:11). This self-control is dependent on the influence and enablement of the Holy Spirit. It requires continual exposure of our mind to the words of God and continual prayer for the Holy Spirit to give us both the desire and power to exercise self-control. We might say that self-control is not control by oneself through one’s own willpower but rather control of oneself through the power of the Holy Spirit….

And because the virtue of self-control receives so little emphasis among Christians, we may find that we, at least in certain areas of life, do lack self-control. As you seek to grow in the area of self-control, remember it is a fruit of the Spirit (See Galatians 5:22-23). It is only by God’s enabling power that we can make any progress.”

Jerry Bridges

Respectable Sins, 110-111

~~~

Why would a believer want to exercise self-control in all things? Why not just please self by satisfying one’s fleshly desires? A true believer cannot be satisfied with a self-pleasing life because God’s indwelling Spirit motivates him to please and honor Christ in all things. This requires the fruit of the Spirit. This requires the fullness of the Spirit.




Posted in Holy Spirit

The Spirit Today

Posted by Jerry White on Oct 29, 2012

“As Jesus was filled and equipped by the Spirit, so those who belong to Jesus are filled and equipped by the Spirit (Acts 2:4), or at least potentially so (Eph. 5:18). Just as it was true that this filling of Jesus enabled him to be and do the extraordinary, so it is true of those who believe in him. The Acts of the Apostles (or ‘of the Holy Spirit’), to say the very least, was intended to show something of the nature of those things that God is able to do through people who yield themselves willingly to the influence of the Spirit. Through the Spirit those people of the very early church were enabled to preach boldly, convincingly, and authoritatively (Acts 2:14-41), to face crises and surmount obstacles with a courage and resoluteness and power they never dreamed they had (4:29-31), to cheerfully face persecution and suffering, and even to accept death with a prayer of forgiveness (5:40-41; 7:55-60), to heal the sick and raise the dead (9:36-41; 28:8), to arbitrate differences and bring about peace (15:1-35), to know where to go and where not to go, what to do and what not to do (16:6-10; 21:10-11), and so on. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that what was true of those earliest Christians is any less true of Christians in this century. Surely contemporary crises are no less great, the pains of the world are no less meliorated, the challenges to one’s strength, wisdom, patience, and love are no less demanding of resources beyond human resources than they were in the first century, and followers of Jesus today are no more sufficient for all these in and of themselves than were his followers yesterday. Furthermore, God’s program of enabling people to burst the bounds of their human limitations and achieve the impossible is still in place and still effective—that program that involves filling people with his Spirit, filling them with supernatural power.

In the spiritual as in the natural world there is a law which teaches that the same cause will, under the same conditions, produce the same consequence. Hence, under the same conditions of surrender and dependence as in which our Lord lived His earthly life, the same cause—the Eternal Spirit—will produce the same consequence, and our lives can thus be like His life (in kind though not in degree), in the reality and beauty of holiness.”

Gerald F. Hawthorne (Professor of Greek and New Testament Exegesis at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois)

The Presence & The Power, 238-239 (1991)




Posted in Holy Spirit