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Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 21

The Advent Part 13

Even though the question they asked Jesus had more to do with the earthly than the spiritual, the answer they received from Him was wholly spiritual. Jesus did not tell the when the kingdom of Israel would be restored, but rather what the duty to which they were called entailed. They were to be His witnesses, not among an isolated pocket of believers, not just in Jerusalem, but as far off as Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth.

Jesus was telling His disciples that the work to which they had been called was not their own. It was not Peter’s ministry, or John’s ministry, or Matthew’s ministry, it was Christ’s ministry, and they were the vessels that the Holy Spirit would use in order to bring His ministry to fulfillment.

By wrongly applying these verses, some individuals today believe that when you receive the Holy Spirit, He must manifest Himself via some unusual or abnormal outbursts or sensations, that you lose control of your bodily functions or that you start barking or clucking or mooing, whatever the case may be. Jesus made it clear as to what the purpose of the power of the Holy Spirit is, namely to give us the necessary strength to be His witnesses, and faithfully so.

The purpose of the power of the Holy Spirit is not to manifest feathers or gold dust or gold fillings, it is not to get oily hands or find hundred dollar bills in you Bible. The purpose of the power of the Holy Spirit is to equip us that when we confess Jesus we do it with authority, that when we lay hands on the sick they are healed, that when we pray over one who is oppressed the spirit flees, and that when we need direction He is there to give it.

All the foolishness that is being passed off as godly, all these manifestations that are being packaged as having their origin in the Holy Spirit, are nothing more than counterfeit signs and wonders that discredit and undermine the true work of the Holy Spirit.

From the now ex-wife of a famed televangelist who concluded that we all need ‘Holy Ghost enemas’ to the carbon copied hipster types that encourage the younger generations to step up and ‘toke the Holy Spirit’ counterfeit spirituality is growing by leaps and bounds. If there is one silver lining in all this, if there is one positive note to the overwhelming number of cases that have some form or another of a counterfeit Spirit, it is that nobody counterfeits a nonexistent currency. If the power of the Holy Spirit no longer existed, if it was no longer available to those who believe, then the enemy would not have bothered counterfeiting it so frequently and in so many ways. A person counterfeits something in the hopes of passing it off as the real thing, and the enemy likewise counterfeits the work and gifts of the Holy Spirit hoping to pass it off as the genuine article.

First and foremost the purpose of the power of the Holy Spirit is to make every follower of Christ, a witness. It is not to make us feel superior, it is not to make us theologians and talented preachers, it is not to make us world renowned writers and artists, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to make us witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the earth. In order to be a witness, one does not need a seminary diploma, one does not need pedigree, because in essence a witness is one who can give a firsthand account of something they have seen, heard or experienced. When someone is a witness in a court case for either the defense or the prosecution, they are not asked whether or not they graduated ‘cum laude’, but rather they are asked to describe what they saw, what they heard, or what they experienced. So the only prerequisite to being a witness is to have seen, to have heard, or to have experienced that thing to which you are testifying.

Sadly, a great many souls who carry the name of Christ are not His witnesses because they have not known, they have not felt, nor have they lived the one and true salvation that comes through Christ and Christ alone.

Have you been freed from your shackles of sin and despair? Have you been made clean by the blood of Christ Jesus the Lamb of God? Have you received a new nature? Have you been transformed by the power of the Word? Have you received the baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit? Then be a witness, confess and testify to that which you have known, and felt, and experienced, and men will hear your words, and see the transformation in you, and the Holy Spirit which dwells in you will compel them to seek forgiveness and reconciliation at the foot of the cross.

A witness will not speak his own opinions, he will not speak his own thoughts, he will not draw his own conclusions, but merely relate that which he has seen and heard. May we be as humble as the Disciples of Christ in this regard, and may we only speak the words of life, may we only speak that which we have looked upon and felt and known, may we lift high the name of Jesus, and preach Him and Him alone.

Acts 4:20, “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”

1 John 1:1-3, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life – the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us – that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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