Summary: The New Testament, church history and personal experience each declare the Holy Spirit’s desire to manifest Himself in your life and our church.
ENCOUNTERING THE HOLY SPIRIT: What Does This Mean? 3
The Holy Spirit Then and Now
Last October, a church in California hosted a national conference entitled STRANGE FIRE. The focus of the conference was to identify the spurious and aberrant teachings and behaviors of some charismatic evangelists and ministries. What it ended up being was a bashing of anything Pentecostal or charismatic.
The conference speakers and organizers painted all things Pentecostal or charismatic as dubious, deceptive, diabolical, and deranged.
For those who have grown up Pentecostal, you may remember the days when Pentecostals were shunned, laughed at, and accused of being demon possessed.
By and large, those days are gone. Pentecostal/charismatics are not only accepted by the evangelical community many are in key positions of leadership within the greater church world.
Few today will say the gifts are non-existent. Thanks to multi media, television, and the internet, we see evidence how Holy Spirit is working around the world doing wonders. People are being saved, bodies healed, even the dead are being raised in places the early Apostles never knew existed.
This I believe is in fulfillment of Jesus promise, in John 14:12 where he said,
I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.(NLT)
Nevertheless, some sincere Bible believing teachers and pastors will argue that the gifts are no longer necessary or important to be pursued in the Christian life, today.
HAVE THE GIFTS CEASED? (1 Cor.13:8-10)
Those who argue that the spiritual gifts , especially tongues have ended or are irrelevant often quote this verse,
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.
The argument says that when the perfect has come, tongues, prophecy, and knowledge will cease.
What is the PERFECT? It is argued that now that we have all 66 books of the Bible, we no longer need to rely on tongues, prophecy or the other gifts. They are no longer needed.
It is important to understand what scripture is actually saying. What is the PERFECT Paul refers too? The answer is found in verse 12,
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Paul is describing face to face encounter with Jesus. This what Paul refers to as PERFECT, when we see Jesus in His full glory at His return!
Here is the point I want you to take home today;
Until we see Jesus face to face we continue to need and should seek after the power, promise and presence of the Holy Spirit everyday.
The New Testament, church history and personal experience each declare the Holy Spirit’s desire to manifest Himself in your life and our church.