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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 116

The Gifts Part 21

Healings continued...

Acts 3:4-5, “And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.”

There are other aspects of this passage worth exploring besides the extraordinary healing that is about to take place, and since we are discussing it, and it is wise never to miss an opportunity to learn, I want to point out a few key things in this passage that stood out to me upon further introspection.

The first key thing that stood out was the fact that we must respond when someone asks something of us. The lame man that was by the gate asked for alms every day, from everyone that passed by, but chances are he didn’t receive something from everyone, nor did everyone pay him any mind. For some the needs of others have become background noise, something they have learned to dismiss or ignore, but as children of God and followers of Christ when someone asks, we must pause, and respond.

My calling is such that I meet many needy people, men and women, brothers and sisters in desperate situations who require aid. I ask everyone what it is that they need, and since our resources are limited sometimes we don’t have that particular thing, or the funds for that particular project, but we help them out the best way we can, within the limits of our abilities. If you don’t have what someone is asking for, give them something that you have. In the least, when nothing else is available there is still a kind word to be spoken, a hurt be comforted, a prayer to be prayed. Speaking a kind word to someone who is hurting, speaking a word of healing to someone who is wounded, speaking a word of comfort to someone who is desperate costs you nothing, but often times the kind words you speak are worth more to the person in question than any material thing.

We have been so indoctrinated by the materialistic society we live in that we’ve come to believe if we can’t write a check then it’s not worth trying to do anything else. Money is not the end all and be all of life, and many a time a kind word is more valuable than money. There are moments in everyone’s life wherein no material thing can bring comfort or peace or joy, but a kind word just might do what things could never achieve.

As believers we must be full of the word and wisdom of God, so much so that whenever a situation arises, we go to scripture to find that comfort or that peace or that healing balm, and speak it into the lives of others. It has often been said that the Bible has the answer to every question, and although the statement has been repeated countless times it does nothing to minimize its veracity. When we know the word of God, we will speak the word of God into the lives of those who are hurting and broken, and it is the word that will bring healing and restoration into their lives.

Colossians 3:16, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”

In order for the word of Christ to dwell in us richly, we must collect it and harvest it daily, hiding it in our hearts, keeping it there not only for ourselves but also for the use of others at the appointed time. Make time to read the scriptures, make time to meditate on the word of God, make time to study and show yourself approved unto God, that when you are called upon to speak His word you will know it. When we neglect the word of God and the reading and understanding thereof it is to our detriment because we are ill equipped when the situation arises that we will have to speak the words of life. If we are children of God, it is not a matter of if the situation will ever arise that we will have to speak the words of life, it is a matter of when.

One thing that troubles me to no end is when I see debates between atheists or agnostics and Christians, and the atheists and agnostics know scripture better than the Christians do. It is a shameful thing, one that is prevalent because we take God and the things of God lightly, and do not consider the consequences of our dismissal of His word.

Psalm 119:11, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

Know the Word; hide the word of God in your heart, not only that you might not sin against God, but that you might be that comfort, that balm, that solace, and that salve for the wounded and the broken.

Peter and John could have ignored the man sitting in the dirt by the gate called Beautiful, he was after all a lame beggar, and they were apostles of Christ. It is because they were apostles of Christ however that they did not ignore him as so many had, but bade him to look at them. They possessed the heart of Christ, and as such they could not turn away, pretend they had not seen him, or think the lame man beneath them. Peter and John were servants of Christ, and servants serve all men equally, whether they be rich or poor, hurting or happy, wise or foolish, Pharisee or lowly beggar. Serving all equally sounds easier than it is in reality, because some expect favor whether due to their possessions or position, and when they do not receive it they grow angry and bitter.

The man gave Peter and John his attention, expecting to receive something from them, not realizing that what he would be receiving would be from the very hand of God. All he expected at this point were a few shekels, what he would receive was beyond his wildest expectation.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 115

The Gifts Part 20

Healings continued...

In realizing how many things we need to be healed of, one also realizes the need for the plurality of the gifts of healings. The gifts of healings are a plural gift, because as individuals we need healing for more than one thing. Some need spiritual healing, while others are in need of inner healing, while others still are in need of physical healing, and some within the household of faith are even in need of healing from demonic oppression and influence.

By far the most often seen among the gifts of healings within the congregation of God, is the gift of physical healing. I say it is most often seen, because it is a visible gift, unlike spiritual healing or inner healing which one realizes has occurred only when the person in question testifies of their being healed. It is impacting and awe inspiring to see the gift of physical healing with one’s own eyes, to see the broken made whole again, to see the hurting be restored and to see the afflicted receive respite from their pain.

Although we could readily discuss any of Christ’s many physical healings while He walked the earth, I want to highlight the healing of a man who was not healed by the hands of Christ, but rather by the laying on of hands of Peter and John. Formidable as these two men might have been at fishing, since both of them were career fishermen before they encountered Christ, we realize and vividly so that what transpired between them and the lame man and his subsequent healing was undeniably the power of the Holy Spirit, and the manifestation of the gifts of healings. What makes this particular event stand out to me is that chronologically speaking it happened shortly after the advent of the Holy Spirit and the pouring out of the gifts. The apostles of Christ wasted no time in manifesting the gifts they’d been given of God, and they walked in the authority of the knowledge that they indeed had received from the hand of God something that was beyond the ability of man.

I realize this series has gone on longer than I had first envisioned, but I would be remiss if we didn’t spend a little time and discuss the aforementioned encounter between Peter, John, and the lame man by the Beautiful gate, just to see the beauty of what God can do through faithful servants, as well as the reaction of those who had known the broken man that had been made whole again.

Acts 3:1, “Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.”

Ever since they had been called to be apostles of Christ, Peter and John seem to be together allot, and spend a considerable amount of time with each other as co-laborers in the harvest field of souls. Even though they had known each other before they were called by Jesus, seeing as John and James his brother were partners with Simon Peter in their fishing venture, it is interesting to see the continuity and growth of their friendship after they began to follow after Christ.

Whenever we are called into ministry it is inevitable that we form bonds and friendships with fellow laborers in the harvest field, it is inevitable that you get to know other servants of the cross, and that you spend time together.

As we peruse the word of God, we find Peter and John fishing together, we find them together on the mountain of transfiguration, during the preparation for Passover, at the grave of Jesus, on the Sea of Galilee after the resurrection of Christ, and now we find them going up to the temple together at the hour of prayer.

Acts 3:2-3, “And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms form those who entered the temple, who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.”

Though times may have changed, human nature has remained stubbornly level, and today, just as it was in the days of old, those who ask for alms gather by houses of worship knowing that those who go to worship, those who come to the house of God are more likely to give, are more likely to be charitable, and are more likely to extend a helping hand. Although this is uncommon in America, it is widespread and ever present throughout the European region.

The man in question was lame from his mother’s womb. He had never known the joy of walking through fresh cut grass, he had never known the joy of fending for himself, and every day someone carried him and laid him down at the gate of the temple to ask for alms from those passing by and those who were going in to worship.

His entire life this is all this man knew. For forty years someone would carry him every day, lay him down, and come back for him at a later time to collect him and most likely the money that he had been given throughout the day. His life was the very definition of monotony, something that he most likely took no pleasure in, or derived any joy from. This is in essence every man absent of God: spiritually lame, unable to do anything but occupy space.

For the lame man it was just another day in a long line of days, and as he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he did what came to him reflexively by now, something that he didn’t even have to think about, he extended his hand and asked for alms.

Many times we don’t know who is passing by us. The saints of God are no different than anyone else when you see them passing you on the street, but if you get a chance to talk to them, to observe them for more than an instant you begin to realize there is something different about them, and there is a noticeable difference between them, and all the others walking by.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Signs of the Times!

I just read an article disturbing enough to warrant the interruption of our current series, if only for one day. It struck a chord with me that was too powerful to ignore or put off, because it highlights the utter lack of humanity on a very basic level.

Apparently an elderly gentleman in West Virginia had a heart attack during the Black Friday melee and collapsed while shopping. Tragic as this is, what happened next is far more tragic as shoppers in their quest for the half off spatula, or the heavily discounted waffle iron stepped over this man’s still warm corpse, considering that getting their grubby hands on a worthless thing they will most likely never use was more important than seeing if the man they were stepping over needed help.

This is where moral relativism has brought us, this is the progress of which many speak with a smile on their face, this is the civilized society that we’ve created made possible only once we managed to banish God, and do away with His precepts.

Yesterday I talked about empathy, and pointed out that too few possess empathy nowadays, and this current tragedy just proves my point. It’s not that we are losing our humanity, we are slowly letting it bleed out of us, drop by precious drop, as we become so engrossed with our own selves that we no longer notice anyone or anything but our own wants and desires.

We reap what we sow, and now we are reaping the godlessness, lawlessness, covetousness, and selfishness we’ve sown for the last couple decades.

2 Timothy 3:1-5, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Postscript: I can't seem to shake the thought that people stepped over a dying man to get at some trinkets. What would men do in more dire circumstances I wonder? Not a happy thought but a realistic one!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 114

The Gifts Part 19

Healings continued...

The third kind of healing that comes from the hand of God through the Holy Spirit is of course physical healing. Yes, this is the healing that we pray for most often, it is the healing that we pray for with the greatest of ardor, and it is a healing that God can and does perform in us.

There are many facets to physical healing that are worth commenting on and discussing, because there are instances wherein although we’ve repented, although we’ve asked God for healing, although we’ve cried out, healing does not come, and we are left to wonder why.

The simple truth is that sometimes physical ailments and afflictions are allowed not because of sin in our lives, not because of disobedience, but simply that we might grow in the grace and mercy of God through them and in them.

Our spiritual walk must be consistent, our spiritual growth must be constant, and whenever there is resistance, whenever there is opposition, whenever there is some form of hardship that causes us to reach further than we would have otherwise, it simply helps us to grow all the faster. I realize no one likes to hear that God has allowed a certain affliction in their body that they might grow stronger in Him, I realize no one likes to hear that the reason they are suffering in their flesh is that their spiritual man might become stronger and more vibrant, but there are times when this is the case.

We’ve discussed Paul’s thorn in the flesh, we’ve discussed his affliction often enough, and although he prayed and beseeched God to take it away, God’s answer to Paul was that His grace was sufficient, for His strength is made perfect in weakness. I realize this is not something any of us want to hear when we come before God for healing, but this does not diminish the fact that sometimes this is His answer.

I know how horrible physical affliction can be. I do not speak of it as an abstract notion, as something I’ve heard spoken of often enough but never experienced, I too have a thorn in my flesh and it is a painful one. There are days when I can’t get out of bed because the pain is so great, and if I attempt to touch the ground with my feet the tears start to roll and it’s all I can do to keep from screaming. Yes, I have prayed often enough for God to take it away, to make me whole, to heal me of this debilitating affliction, but as yet He has not done it.

Do I believe that God can heal me? Of course I do, His word says so, and I am one who believes in the authority of Scripture above all else. Am I bitter because He has chosen not to heal me? Not in the least, because I know that some way, somehow, good will come of it, because all things work together for the good of those who love God.

I have already seen the good that has come from my affliction, and I know that I will continue to see it throughout my life. The first good that has come from my physical ailment is that it has taught me to be all the more dependent on God. There is nothing in this world that will better reveal one’s own impotence to them, and the need to be dependent on God, than realizing that you can’t get a glass of water for yourself, that although you are still young and ought to be able bodied you are bedridden and wholly dependent on loved ones to care for you.

The second good that has come from my physical ailment is that it has taught me to be thankful. I realize that it might sound strange, but whenever I have a day without pain, whenever I can go outside, go for a walk, or play with my nephew and my niece without pain, I am thankful. There is so much that we take for granted in this present life, there are so many blessings that we overlook or ignore because we think ourselves entitled to them, and it takes something as seemingly benign as chronic pain to wake us up to the realization that we must be thankful to God for the small blessings as well as the big ones.

The third good that has come from my physical ailment is that it has taught me empathy for others, for my fellow brothers and sisters as well as my fellow man. I grew up in a giving family, so I’ve always strived to be generous, some would say to a fault, but when I started experiencing the episodes of pain in my feet and my legs, I was more readily able to put myself in someone else’s shoes, especially if they were suffering, and understand their desperation. To this day I could never pass by someone who is hurting, someone who is in need, someone who is hungry or who is naked and not do something. Empathy is a gift that few possess nowadays, and the more materialistic we become, the more self-centered we become, the less empathetic we will be, it is the way of things.

Good does come from adversity, good does come from trials, good does come from afflictions, good does come from hardships, good does come from heartbreaks, good does come from disappointments, and all these things help us to grow and mature, and see the world differently than we once did.

Since I know the following question will come up eventually, I will answer it before it is asked, and as always I will be honest and forthright with you.

Would I have preferred healing rather than having learned the lessons that God has taught me through my adversity?

At this point I could feign spiritual superiority and say, ‘no, it never crossed my mind’ but the truth is that it has crossed my mind, and I’ve contemplated this question often enough. In the end however, taking everything into account, seeing where God has brought me through my adversity, the answer would be no, I would not have preferred healing over having learned the lessons that God has taught me through my affliction.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 113

The Gifts Part 18

Healings continued...

I realize full well that some might not realize the importance of having a clear conscience before God, the importance of confessing one’s transgressions, of coming before the heavenly Father in humility and letting Him heal our hearts, and our inner being, and I am also well aware that some might even scoff at the idea of being so open and transparent before God wherein we tell Him everything, from our hurts, to our worries, to our doubts, to our shortcomings, and to our hopes.

If it is any comfort, let me be the first to inform you that nothing you say will surprise God, nothing you bring before the heavenly throne will cause God to raise his eyebrows in amazement, because He already knows everything, your entire life, from the first breath you breathed to the last breath that you will breathe.

Few receive healing today because many choose to be dishonest with God, they choose to present themselves as some spiritual juggernauts, some master theologians, some valiant prayer warriors who have perpetually kept the faith and went beyond the call of duty consistently, dismissing the fact that God knows them wholly and completely to their inner depth, and that He blesses those in whom there is no guile.

Be honest with God, be forthright with God, do not attempt to be sly or sneaky or deceitful because no man has ever pulled it off, and no man will ever pull it off. He is omniscient, meaning all knowing, meaning that nothing is hid from His all seeing eye.

God forgives, God pardons, God heals, God restores, if we come humbly before Him, and acknowledge and confess our transgressions. When we refuse to do this, when we refuse to humble ourselves and come before Him as we are and not as we pretend to be, His hand will be heavy upon us, and our bones will grow old.

Psalm 32:3-5, “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledged my sin to You and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.’ And you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah”

So what does any of this have to do with healing or the gifts of healings? What possible correlation could there be between keeping silent and not confessing one’s transgressions and not receiving healing?

Jeremiah 5:25, “Your iniquities have turned these things away, and your sins have withheld good things from you.”

The things of which this passage speaks are the blessings of God, the favor of God, the healing of God, and various other things that we would perceive as being good. It is sin that withholds good things from us, and sin likewise withholds healing from many a soul unwilling to humble themselves in the sight of God.

As children of God, as followers of Christ we should never condone or attempt to excuse sin in our lives. It is a slippery slope when we begin to justify rather than remedy that leads further and further away from truth, from light, and from Christ Himself. There are only two things that should be done about sin in our lives and those are confess it and forsake it. Nothing can take the place of these two important aspects of our Christian walk, the confessing of and forsaking of those things that hold us back, and that keep us from the knowledge of the fullness of our God, and all that He can do in us and through us.

Until he confessed his transgression to the Lord, until he acknowledged his sin to God, David says that his bones grew old, and his vitality turned into the drought of summer. His transgressing before a holy God caused him to groan all day long, until he unburdened himself, until he came before God and confessed His sins, and God forgave him.

When we confess before God, when we approach Him in humility and acknowledge our transgression, He will be faithful and just to forgive us our trespasses and restore us. He will not turn us away, He will never say ‘I will not forgive you though you confessed and repented’ because He is a good and merciful God who desires a relationship with His children, and who desires to reveal Himself to them more fully.

If I could get one person to understand the following in all its beauty, then I would feel as though my labor is not in vain and that I have truly achieved something. No matter what you have to forsake, no matter what you have to unburden yourself of, no matter what you have to do away with in your life in order to know more of God, it is worth it. No matter how you analyze it, no matter how you stack it up, each and every time you forsake something of this world for something of God, that which God gives you exceeds that which you forsook in every possible way.

Psalm 32:6-8, “For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You in a time when You may be found; surely in a flood of great waters they shall not come near him. You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.”

What could be more precious than being instructed and taught in the way you should go by God? What could be more comforting than knowing that He is guiding you with His eye? What could be more reassuring than knowing that in a flood of great waters they will not come near you, that God is your hiding place, and that He will preserve you from trouble?

Is there anything in this present life that could possibly compare to these things?

Whoever this was for, please do not take it lightly.

With love in Christ,
michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 112

The Gifts Part 17

Healings continued...

Now that we’ve established the first sort of healing we require is spiritual healing and that something such as bitterness or unforgiveness often times stands in the way of receiving it let us proceed to the second kind of healing that we can receive, or that is readily available to us, and that is inner healing or the healing of the heart.

To this day I cannot understand believers who still walk around with broken hearts, knowing that one of the things Jesus Himself affirmed He had been sent to do was to heal the brokenhearted.

There is healing in Christ Jesus that goes beyond physical healing, there is healing in Christ Jesus that is more important than an ache or a pain going away, or a broken finger being set aright. There are things that Jesus heals that would do far more damage to us both physically and spiritually than an ailment or a disease if they continued unchecked. Oddly enough we are reticent when it comes to asking for healing concerning aspects of our lives other than the physical, believing that it is the physical that takes priority over all else.

There are things that are far more detrimental to our wellbeing than physical irregularities, yet we somehow manage to either ignore or overlook them until their presence is as a crushing heavy weight upon our souls. The God who created us, knowing us better than we know ourselves, prioritized the sort of healing we would need to be complete and to be whole, and on the list of priorities, the healing of the heart, or the healing of the brokenhearted is one notch above physical healing as far as our need is concerned.

Although some of us might be quick to say we would rather have physical healing than be healed of a broken heart, especially if you suffer from a chronic and painful malady like I do, God knows best, His knowledge is all encompassing, and in His complete knowledge of His creation it is the healing of one’s heart that takes preeminence over the healing of one’s body. When I speak of the healing of one’s heart I am not speaking of coronary disease, heart murmurs, or other maladies of the heart as an organ, but rather the healing of one’s broken heart, or the healing of the brokenhearted.

Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn ,to console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Although Jesus was anointed to preach good tidings to the poor, He was sent by God specifically to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. Jesus does all these things that we might complete, that we might be called trees of righteousness, planted of God, that through our bringing forth the fruit of righteousness God may be glorified. In order for us to be complete and fruitful, our hearts must be healed, for if they are not, then no fruit of righteousness will grow therein.

Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?”

Jesus heals the heart of wickedness, of doubt, of unbelief, of malice, of hate, of envy, of covetousness, of bitterness, of jealousy, of rebellion, and a host of other things with which the heart must contend. He was sent specifically for this purpose, to give hope to the hopeless, to bring joy to the mourning, and to console the household of faith for it is the household of faith, the Congregation of God that makes up the Zion of which the scripture in Isaiah speaks of.

There are various reasons by which one comes to be brokenhearted, whether the loss of a child, a spouse, a parent, a loved one, a failure of some sort, wide ranging abuse from verbal to physical, all these things can bring about a broken heart, but no matter the reason, no matter the horrors of the past, Jesus is able and willing to bind up and heal the brokenhearted.

It is a tragedy indeed when one knows that they have the means by which their healing can occur, when they know that they no longer have to suffer, when they have been assured that Jesus will bind their broken heart, yet still wander about attempting to find other means by which they might attain their healing. There is nothing in this world that can heal the brokenhearted, there is no other power or authority in the universe that can do what Jesus can, and look as we might, try as we might, seek as we might, we will not find a substitute or a surrogate for Christ.

As a child of God you have access to the inner healing that only Christ can perform, He will gladly bind up your broken heart, and heal the wounds and the hurts and the disappointments that you might be that tree of righteousness, planted by God, deeply rooted in truth, and joy and peace and holiness.

Unlike a sprain, a strain, or a muscle cramp, a broken heart will not go away on its own given enough time, it will not simply disappear, but it is always there, constantly reminding you of your past hurt until the great Healer binds it up, and until He heals it.

I’ve known people who have held on to something that shattered their heart, something that broke them, not for months, or years, but decades on end, passing from this earth with that heartbreak fresh on their minds. Jesus can heal the brokenhearted if only they would let Him in.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Being thankful for the right things in life is just as important as being thankful.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 111

The Gifts Part 16

Healings continued...

Another aspect of forgiveness that I wanted to delve into if only briefly, and one which is important for us as believers especially when we desire the greater things of God, the deeper things of God, or the healing touch of God, is that just as we are forgiven, we must likewise forgive. Forgiveness is a two way street, it is reciprocal, and just as God the Father has forgiven us, restored us, made us new and whole again, we must likewise forgive those who have wronged us, who have maligned us, who have spoken evil of us, and who have hurt us.

I could sit here, and start rattling off quotes about forgiveness, like how it is the giving of life, how it is the fragrance of God’s kingdom, but telling others to forgive and teaching on forgiveness is allot easier to do than actually forgiving.

Yes forgiving someone, especially someone who has wronged you or hurt you, or what revs my engine into redline territory, when someone has wronged or hurt someone I love, is difficult. Saying you forgive the person is easy, don’t get me wrong, but actually forgiving them in your heart is where the problems arise.

There have been two people in my life that I found monumentally difficult to forgive, both of which hurt and maligned those closest to me in an unjust and untruthful manner. It took countless days on my knees, it took many hours of prayer, it took going to the word of God over and over again to come to that place where I knew I had truly forgiven them.

I won’t lie to you, it’s hard forgiving someone who has wounded you deeply and truly, because although the wound might have healed the scar remains, and each time you see it you are reminded of the heartlessness and ease with which someone you considered a friend plunged the knife in your back.

‘Stop picking at the scab’ these were the words a preacher friend of mine spoke when after asking him to pray for me, I told him it had to do with forgiving someone who had blindsided and effectively tried to destroy my family. It made sense to me at the time, and the more I pondered those simple words, I realized that by holding on to bitterness in my heart, by not forgiving, I wasn’t hurting the individual in question, I was only hurting myself.

When you hold on to unforgiveness, when you hold on to bitterness, they begin to pollute your inner man, they begins to take their toll on your relationship with God, and if we hold on to them long enough they can even become a stumbling block between us and Him.

Luke 6:36-38 “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Yes, it’s easy to read these words; it is far more difficult to apply them practically in our daily lives. No matter how difficult it might be to love our enemies however, no matter how difficult it might be to forgive someone who has wounded us deeply, we must do it, because with the same measure that we use, it will be measured back to us.

If we are cruel, and cold, and show no grace, if we judge everyone and everything harshly and without knowing all the facts, if we condemn brothers and sisters in Christ just because we see a certain issue differently, when it’s our turn under the microscope, when it’s our turn in the crosshairs we ought not to expect to be treated any differently than we had been treating others.

I’ve known a few people who after having mercilessly excoriated, berated and condemned countless individuals were awestruck and incredulous when the same was visited upon them. Only then, only when it was their turn to be publicly flogged, did they cry for mercy, but no mercy came because the same measure that they used was being measured back to them.

One of the things that made it easier for me to forgive is the absolute knowledge that we serve a just God and He will defend the righteous, and judge in uprightness.

Psalm 9:7-8, “But the Lord shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, and He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.”

‘But you don’t understand brother Mike, they’re spreading lies about me, they’re speaking untrue and hurtful things, they are besmirching my character and my name.’

Don’t I understand, really? I understand it far better than you can possibly imagine, I’ve lived it, and I’m certain to live it again, but keeping bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart will not bring you justice.

No matter the hurtful things that have been said against you, no matter the untrue smears that have been leveled against your character, be certain, beyond doubt that God will give you justice, for He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness. I have seen it, I have lived it, I have witnessed it, and this is largely the reason I can talk about it. Yes, God brings justice, He defends the righteous and He does not forsake them, and sooner or later the wicked is snared in the work of his own hand.

Your duty, your obligation before an omniscient God, is to keep yourself pure, to strive for righteousness, to forgive, to measure with mercy and with grace and with love and with kindness, knowing that the day will come when God will avenge you, reward you, and measure back to you with the same measure that you used.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 110

The Gifts Part 15

Healings continued...

What many fail to understand and too few perceive is that before we can have physical healing or physical restoration we must have spiritual healing and restoration. The reason for the confessing of one’s sins, before hands are laid on them is so that the Father in heaven may forgive and restore the repentant heart first and foremost. The spiritual health of the inner man is eminently more important than the physical health of the outer man. Though we have put this flesh on a pedestal, though we have made the flesh out to be something akin to a minor divinity in its own right, the blunt and honest truth is that it’s just flesh, and once the soul leaves it and it goes into the earth it decomposes becoming one with the earth from which it came. This flesh of ours is a vessel in which we carry the eternal spark of life that was breathed into us. It’s not flesh that is eternal, it is the soul which it encases, and if we keep this at the forefront of our minds as we journey through this earth there is much pain that we could spare ourselves.

1 John 1:9, ‘If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

There are certain words in the English language that seem insignificant at first, but when fully understood have wide ranging implications. The word ‘if’ is one such word, and its weight and relevance is all the more visible when used in the context of scripture.

When the word ‘if’ is incorporated in any given sentence, it denotes an uncertain possibility, a condition, a requirement or a stipulation. A great majority today have an aversion to conditionality. Although many of God’s promises are conditional, and the word ‘if’ is employed in many cases, we don’t like the idea of the responsibilities and accountability that come along with this weighted word. It is often that I hear brothers and sisters wondering out lout why it is that God has not moved on their behalf, why it is that they have not received their healing, and when you asked them if they’ve followed the assigned order that God has laid out in His word, their answer is, ‘I didn’t know there was one.’

We serve a God of order. It has often been said that God is set in His ways, and rightly so. There is a comfort in knowing that our God is consistent, that He remains unchanged, ever the same, yesterday, today and forever. Imagine being engaged in a competition, only to discover that the rules have been changed halfway through. It would be disheartening and disappointing. If God were inconsistent, if God were not perpetually the same, it would be difficult, almost impossible for us to trust Him fully. Knowing however that He is consistent, we are able to rest in the comfort of His promises, and the continuity of His grace.

The established order that God has set forth to transform a sinner into a sanctified believer, is clearly defined. First is the confession of sins, followed by the forgiveness of sins, and finally the cleansing from all unrighteousness. Only after these steps are followed can we proceed to lay hands and anoint with oil.

It begins with confession, it begins with repentance, and only by fulfilling this first requirement can God proceed to forgive and cleanse us from all sin.

It is tragic when someone does not seek a cure, because they are unwilling to acknowledge that they are suffering from a malady.

‘I’m okay, just the way I am. Jesus loves me anyway. I don’t need to humble myself, I don’t need to repent, and I don’t need to confess my sins, because God knows my heart.’

This is the answer one hears most often when confronting a sinner, and admonishing them to confess their sins that they might be forgiven. Sin equals death and an un-confessed and un-repented of sin, is certain spiritual death.

Once again we see the entire process begin with a conditionality that is placed squarely on the shoulders of the individual. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive, if however we do not confess our sins, if repentance of the heart is not evident, then we do not have forgiveness.

What we must understand is that when a sin is not confessed, the enemy always has an opening by which he can pour shame and uncertainty into the soul. It may be difficult for the ego to humble itself and confess a sin to a brother, but confession in no way minimizes or negates one’s dignity but rather bolsters and strengthens it. The true strength of a man is evident when he is able to confess his weaknesses.

There will come a day, when the life of every man will be exposed in its totality before the One who is omnipotent, and nothing anyone will say will excuse sin in the lives of those who claimed to be of Christ.

Forgiveness is a great and wondrous thing indeed. Forgiveness makes us free from guilt, it allows us to breathe the fresh air of grace, and gives us peace. Forgiveness however, presupposes that the guilty party has acknowledged their guilt. It presupposes that one has accepted accountability, and has owned up to the sin or indiscretion they’ve committed. This is why confessing our sin is so vital.

Some have said throughout the centuries that the Christian faith throws people into a whirlwind of guilt, shame and self-reproach so much so that they develop a complex. They surmise that the church should stop talking about sin, and our culpability, and embrace everyone without mentioning the pesky things that might give them the aforementioned guilt complex.

This is disingenuous and also a false and dangerous premise. We are not being tolerant by tolerating sin in the camp; on the contrary we are being hateful. Faith in Jesus Christ frees us from guilt, and from the crushing weight of the burdened conscience, because our God is a God who is ready, willing, and able to forgive. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive, and only after we have confessed our sins are we able to approach the throne of grace and ask for healing.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 109

The Gifts Part 14

Healings continued...(sort of)

We preach a neutered gospel, we receive the bread and cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, we refuse to repent and fall at the foot of the cross, yet we have the temerity to ask why it is that God isn’t doing more in our churches, why it is that our services are so dry and absent of life, why it is that we have to continually come up with more outrageous schemes, bigger productions, shorter programs, and more flowery sermons just to keep the folks in the pews.

If we preached the whole council of God, if we presented the entire gospel of truth, if we compelled men to repentance and righteousness and holiness, if we did what is our duty to do in the first place, I guarantee that we would see a greater outpouring of the power of God, of the Holy Spirit, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

We’ve gotten the masses hooked on a morally ambiguous God, we’ve told people there was no need for repentance until they started believing it, we did away with the divinity of Christ and focused solely on the moral lessons His parables could teach us, we’ve widened the narrow path, we called God a liar to His face and insisted that all could find the way, we’ve encouraged a lukewarm spiritual state giving it the fuzzy name of ‘casual Christian’, we call ourselves sons of God when we are in word and deed illegitimate, we’ve surrendered our hearts to the material world ignoring the kingdom of God altogether, then we wonder how it is that the church is so weak and impotent and powerless and purposeless.

We think ourselves evolved, we think ourselves wise, we think ourselves tolerant, we think of ourselves as having progressed from the stringent constraints of a unambiguous and uncompromising gospel, we think ourselves little gods who can blaze our own trail, invent our own doctrine and serve the idols of our hearts without repercussion not realizing that we are nothing more than phlegm and God is getting ready to clear His throat.

Revelation 3:15-16, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth.”

To those of you wondering, no I am not having a nervous breakdown in written form, I’ve just been studying and getting deeper into the gifts of the Holy Spirit, seeing all the wondrous power we have access to, seeing all the glorious things that God is readily able and willing to do through His children, and the deeper I got into my study, the angrier I became with the current state of what we call the church today.

Much of what we call the church today is a circus show, and the preacher or pastor acts as the farceur, doing his best to make people laugh, to get them to feel at ease, to make them comfortable, and to make them think that they got their money’s worth.

‘Wasn’t that a great song from the special music team, they made sure not to sing about Jesus or the blood of Christ, or the cross, they made sure to keep it ambiguous enough where you never really know if they’re singing about God or some long lost love. Let’s give the music team a special clap offering for being sensitive to those of other religious beliefs, to the agnostics, as well as the atheists, and not offending anyone by mentioning the Son of God. Next up we have a skit, followed by the morning offering, and then we will continue with our sermon series entitled ‘self-esteem: the great healer.’”

Jesus is not returning for a circus, He is returning for a bride. Jesus did not hang on a cross, bleed and die so that we could get rich, have self-esteem, rediscover our inner child, or be at peace with our outwardly appearance. He gave Himself that He might sanctify and cleanse us, that we might be holy in His sight.

What have we done to the word of God? What sort of men have we been listening to? What sort of teaching have we allowed to worm its way into our hearts, if we readily lend our ear to the aberrations being passed off as gospel truth, and not only that but we defend them and violently so?

Ephesians 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

A glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, holy and without blemish, this is what Jesus is returning for, and He will accept nothing less. He gave Himself, He died, that He might present to Himself that glorious church for which He suffered and agonized, for which He bled and wept, yet with a wink and a nod we shrug our shoulders and smarmily think to ourselves, ‘I guess He’ll just have to make due with me, He wouldn’t leave heaven barren and empty just because of a technicality.’

Yes He would, He most definitely would leave heaven empty, because He is a righteous and holy God, and He would rather have an empty heaven than a heaven full of unrepentant sinners.

May we wake up to the reality of the times that we are living in, may we wholeheartedly and without reservation pursue righteousness and holiness, may we strive to be that spotless bride for which Christ is returning, and may we thoroughly equip ourselves for the coming battle having put on the whole armor of God.

Hopefully tomorrow we’ll get back on track, and continue discussing the gifts of healings, but once in a while I have to vent, or at least share what is heavy on my heart. This was one of those times.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 108

The Gifts Part 13

Healings continued...

Although I keep trying to move ahead with the teaching on the gifts of healings, I keep going back to the passage in the gospel according to James, and each time I reread it, something new, and relevant to the topic of healing stands out.

James 5:16, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

One reason that we don’t see as many healings as we ought within the household of faith is because there is very little teaching on the importance of confessing one’s trespasses. When a trespass or a sin is not confessed to either the elders of the church, the deacons, the pastor or a fellow brother, it becomes a stumbling block between man and God. Until the stumbling block is removed, until the trespass is confessed, there is no healing, and this is the reason many are weak and sick within the congregation of God.

Not every disease, not every ailment, not every thorn is a messenger of Satan sent to buffet us, as was the case with Paul, but in many cases, they are the direct result of sin in our lives. Yes, sin is a destructive force that brings about weakness and disease within the church, and until the sin is confessed and repented of, and the individual in question is prayed for, they will remain in their state of infirmity.

1 Corinthians 11:29-32, “For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.”

There is allot to unpack in these three verses, and although they don’t relate directly to the gifts of healings, they are nevertheless of great import in discovering the reason why so many within the church are in need of healing.

First of all, Paul is writing to the church of Corinth, he is writing to believers and not to those of the world. So this scripture passage pertains to believers, and it is the believer who is warned that if they eat and drink of the body and blood of Christ in an unworthy manner, they eat and drink judgment to themselves.

It is because men do not judge themselves, it is because men willfully sin and consider it an irrelevant thing, it is because men eat and drink of the body of the Lord in an unworthy manner, that they fall under judgment, and as such many are weak and sick, and many have already died.

I realize it’s progressive and tolerant not to preach against sin, I realize it gives the duplicitous and willfully sinful a warm fuzzy feeling to hear that Jesus loves them just the way they are with no need to confess, repent and pursue righteousness, but the men who tell these lies from behind pulpits aren’t doing the unrepentant sinner any favors, for not only will he be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord if he does not confess and repent, but he will be condemned with the world.

Try as some men might, we cannot change certain truths in the word of God, nor can we expunge certain scriptures because we do not like what they are implying.

Men throughout the land today are drinking judgment to themselves, not discerning the Lord’s body, and for this reason they are weak and sick with no hope of being made whole and renewed because they are not being taught the one thing that could bring them back to wholeness.

What we must decide is whether we want to be chastened of the Lord, or condemned with the world. Knowing that the Lord chastens those He loves, I would rather be chastened by the Lord, for when He condemns the world, and judges it in righteousness, there will be no mercy, nor will there be any reprieve.

Hebrews 12:5-8, “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.”

Now some will read this passage from the Word of God, and shake their heads and say ‘that’s not the God I serve’. If that’s not the God you serve, if you don’t believe that God chastens those He loves, and those who are without chastening are illegitimate and not sons, then may I humbly submit that you are not serving the God of the Bible.

The Word clearly says that God chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. To scourge is to flog or to whip, to punish severely, yet if we endure chastening God deals with us as with sons.

How many sermons have you heard of late on the scourging of the Lord? How many sermons have you heard of late on the chastening of the Lord? I wager not many, because chastening is unpopular and unwelcome, and a great majority today despises it, and you could never go wrong giving the people what they want rather than what they need.

If only we would begin to realize what it is that some of the most famous preachers and evangelists today are teaching the masses, if only we would begin to realize just how much of the Bible they are omitting, we would see just how spiritually deficient we truly are, and just how far we’ve strayed from the truth of God’s holy word.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 107

The Gifts Part 12

Healings continued...

What I’ve always found interesting in the scripture passage in the gospel according to James, is the fact that after the elders of the church are called, and the person in question is anointed with oil in the name of the Lord and prayed over, we are told that the ‘prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.’ Even in our most desperate situation, even during our darkest hour, even when we are suffering and are in need of healing, we must remember that being saved is the principal thing, the most important thing and the most relevant thing.

Do I believe that God can heal the sick? Yes, of course I believe it, because it is in the Bible. I believe in a God of miracles, I believe in a God of power, I believe in a God who can take away our diseases, and restore us to good health, and these things He does through His Holy Spirit, freely and without need for compensation, but what we must perpetually keep at the forefront of our mind is that salvation is our chief and primary goal in this present life.

I’ve known men who made oaths, and promised that if only God would heal them, they would make their lives aright, they would seek the grace and love of God, they would be different than what they had been, only to have them go back on their promise once God in His mercy healed them. No, they didn’t have a relapse, they didn’t get sick again, but though they thought they put one over on God, they didn’t realize that they had thrown away the greatest gift of all, something far more important than an extra few years on this spinning rock.

Does God heal? Most definitively! Does He always heal? No, and this is one of those areas in which we as believers have a difficult time because we are attempting to understand the mind of God. Some things will forever remain a mystery to us, the ‘why’ of a certain event, a certain illness, a certain trial that God has allowed in our lives may always be out of our reach, but no matter the struggle, no matter the hardship, no matter the thorn we must always remember that first, all things work for the good of those who love God, and second, His grace is sufficient even in our darkest hour.

Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

Sometimes trying to see the good in something God allows in our lives will bring us to the edge of despair because ‘the good’ is very difficult to see in times of grief, sorrow, illness or pain. God didn’t promise that we would see and understand, perceive and identify the good that would come out of a certain situation, but that good would come of it nevertheless.

Another thing that we must keep in mind is that the Word tells us ‘all things’ work together for good to those who love God. It’s not just some things that work together for good, it’s not most things, it is all things.

I don’t have to see the good in a situation but rather I have to believe that good will come of it because the word of God promised that it would. When we strive to see the good of any given circumstance ourselves, when we try to squint and concentrate and peer beyond the veil of tomorrow, often times we will even come to wonder if we really love God, and if we were called according to His purpose because we are not seeing the good with clarity.

My grandfather’s passing was the most difficult time of my life, followed closely by the passing of my mother. Both of these were two situations in which I could not see the good, and from which I could not perceive how any good could come. Yes, I wept both times, yes, I spent many days on my knees asking God the one question everyone asks in times such as those, ‘why’, and in both instances I received no answer to my query from God.

Rather than grow angry or bitter toward God for choosing to take the two pillars in my life, the two people I turned to time and again for counsel, advice, compassion and direction, I went to the Word and reread God’s answer to Paul, who pleaded with God not once, not twice, but three times that God might take his thorn from him.

2 Corinthians 12:7-12, “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

There will be times when we will ask for an answer and no answer will come, there will be times when we will ask for healing and healing will be delayed, there will be times when we will try to make sense of a certain trial, tribulation, hardship or lack, and no enlightenment will be reached, and in all these cases we must humbly conclude that His grace is sufficient for us. Even in the direst of circumstances, even in the darkest of hours, His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in weakness. Because His strength is made perfect in weakness, because His grace is sufficient, we take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, and in distresses for Christ’s sake.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 106

The Gifts Part 11

Healings continued...

So what do we know about the gifts of healings, or about the supernatural gift to cause one to become sound or healthy again?

The first thing that we know about the gifts of healings is that it is freely given, and likewise freely received. I wanted to discuss this first and foremost because there are allot of unscrupulous souls roaming about who attempt to convince God’s people that in order to receive their healing, in order to become sound again, they must first and foremost give a certain amount of money or sow a seed faith offering.

From the guys with the handkerchiefs who tell you it’s free, then inform you upon receipt of said handkerchief that in order to activate the healing powers you must send them a sacrificial gift, to the more unscrupulous who tell individuals that the reason they haven’t been healed is because they didn’t give enough, there are many who prey on the hurting, and it is a practice that I find repulsive, reprehensible and abhorrent.

Matthew 10:8, “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

These were the instructions that Jesus gave to His apostles, they were to heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons freely, for freely they had received the gifts that were operating in them.

It would have been one thing if Jesus would have said ‘heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead and cast out demons for a price, or in return for twelve easy monthly payments on your Visa or Master Card’, perhaps then these wolves, these charlatans, these unscrupulous workers of evil would have an excuse or a justification for doing what they are doing, but Jesus said, ‘freely you have received, freely give.’

From the onset, I want to get this point across and make it very clear to anyone who happens to be reading these words, if anyone asks you for money in return for healing, if anyone asks you for compensation in return for laying hands on you, or anointing a handkerchief, run the other way. No matter how many testimonials he might have on his television program, no matter how many people tell you they felt a tingle when they placed the handkerchief over their heart, if money is a prerequisite for you receiving your healing, it is a lie, a deception, and the only thing that will come of it will be the shattered hope that always seems to accompany such men.

This is the most disturbing thing of all, at least to me, that men could be so heartless as to prey on the hurting, get their hopes up, swindle them for as much money as they can, and then feel no remorse as the hope they inflated artificially shatters into a thousand pieces.

Tragically, I’ve known individuals who began to grow bitter toward God because they’d allowed themselves to be deceived by such men, never laying the blame at the feet of the responsible party, but somehow blaming God for not doing what these men had promised. At the very least such an experience leaves a bad taste in your mouth, at the very worst, people turn their backs on God because they fault Him and not the men who deceived them.

When God calls an individual to ministry, and endows them with a gift, especially one as needed as the gifts of healings, it is that individual’s duty to faithfully and dutifully perform the tasks to which he has been assigned without thought or expectation of monetary compensation.

Although I’ve been in ministry for over twenty four years now, I still find it strange that when someone calls me to come and speak in their church or to their congregation the first question I am asked is ‘how much do you charge?’ My calling is that of an evangelist, I was called to preach the gospel of Christ, and if I started charging people money, if I required compensation in order to perform the calling to which I have been called, then I would no longer be worthy of that calling.

You go because you are sent, you speak because you are commanded, and you labor because it is your duty, not because someone is paying you. When God calls you, when He sends you out, He will provide for your needs, but it’s one thing to have someone bless you in your travels, and another entirely to say that unless you are paid a certain amount you will not show up.

Money does not activate the gifts of healings, nor will pledging more than you already have. Men who insist that you compensate them monetarily so that they might intervene and plead with God on your behalf are nothing more than profiteers and charlatans.

Why are they so popular? Why do so many individuals flock to such men? Because these men only ask for money, while God asks for something infinitely more difficult to contend with in order to be healed. There are countless souls who would rather be duped into giving copious amounts of money and seeing nothing in return except empty promises and amateurish parlor tricks, than submit to the authority of God, and follow the guidelines set forth in the Word as to what we must do in order to receive healing.

James 4:13-16, “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Speaking in Indiana

We’re starting to wind down our fall tour with another trip to Indiana this weekend. I have three more meetings to go, and then I get to return to my wife and family. The older I get, it seems the more I miss my loved ones when I am gone, I don’t know why it’s just something I’ve noticed over the last couple years.

Tomorrow we press on with our protracted series on the Holy Spirit, and begin to discover what the ‘gifts of healings’ is.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday November 20, 2011 10:00 AM
Souls Harbor Assembly of God
3810 County Road #48
Auburn Indiana

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 105

The Gifts Part 10

Healings

1 Corinthians 12:7-11, “But the same manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

I wanted to include this scripture passage in today’s post for two reasons. First, because it is the start off point of the entire teaching on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and as such it is wise to reacquaint ourselves with it from time to time, and second because I wanted you to see the next gift we will be discussing for yourself, within the context of scripture, so that when I assert the following there would be no backlash.

The next gift we will be discussing is the ‘gifts of healings’ as Paul writes to the Corinthians. No this is not a typo, it is not a misspelling in my version of the Bible, what has been defined as the gift of healing within the household of faith for many a year, is actually ‘the gifts of healings’ the only gift, other than the gift of tongues, that has a plural connotation within Scripture.

It is doubtless that many a soul need healing in all its various forms. Whether physical healing, emotional healing, or psychological healing, being healed is in essence to be restored to soundness again.

Throughout the Word of God we are witness to various types of healings, performed through the hands of faithful servants of God, as well as by Christ Jesus the Son of God. It is only in our modern day and age, when it has become far easier to take a fistful of pills to mask the pain than beseech God for healing that the Congregation of God has minimized this awesome gift.

Don’t misunderstand me, I do not think doctors are of the devil, nor do I believe they are evil. In fact Luke the man who wrote the gospel according to Luke as well as the Acts of the Apostles was a physician, a doctor, a man of integrity and great wisdom. What I do find frustrating however, is that most believers would rather turn to men first rather than to God, seeking remedies or means by which they could dull the pain rather than believe for returned wholeness and soundness in their bodies. Yes, many believers today would rather seek the counsel of men than a touch from God, and it has become common practice throughout every denomination. Because we so readily run to men, because we never take the time to pray and ask God for restoration and healing, supernatural healing is rarely visible within the church, and because it is so rarely visible within the church many Christians have stopped believing in the power of God to heal, to restore, to make new, and to heal.

‘Well brother, God doesn’t do that anymore.’

How do you know? Have you asked? Have you come before God with sincerity of heart, believing that He is able to heal you, asking for a supernatural touch?

‘Well, no, but what would be the point, God doesn’t do that anymore.’

There is this vicious cycle that takes place within the hearts and minds of some believers, wherein because they do not believe that God is still a God of power, a present God, an active God, and an involved God, they do not ask Him for miracles, they do not ask Him for gifts, and because they do not ask, they do not receive.

It is the perfect definition of spinning one’s wheels, or being caught in the endless loop of a circular ideology from which one can never exit unless they break the cycle and begin to believe the Word of God.

Do I believe that God still heals? Yes, of course I do, if I didn’t I wouldn’t be taking the time to write about it. Do I believe that the gifts of healings are still available to the children of God? Yes, of course I do, otherwise what would be the point in discussing them?

Doubt limits the manifestation of God’s power in our lives, because as we discussed, we must have faith in order to receive from the hand of God those things reserved exclusively for His children.

If the enemy can sow a seed of doubt in your heart, if the enemy can get you to start doubting God’s ability to do miracles, His ability to heal, and His ability to speak to His children then the battle is all but lost, because what we’ve essentially done is erected doctrinal walls so high and wide around our hearts that the Word of God, and the truth of God can no longer penetrate them.

Too often, we are our own worst enemy, and the doubt that we allow to linger in our hearts keep the good things that God has for us perpetually out of our reach.

Because they’ve allowed doubt to worm its way into their hearts, there are men today, calling themselves preachers, and elders, and deacons who believe that the Word of God was exaggerated for effect, that all the miracles that took place weren’t really miracles but the result of some mass hypnosis, and in the end as logical reasonable people, living in the information age, we must do away with all the supernatural aspects of Christ, and embrace His morality, His teachings and His principles.

There was more to Jesus than His teachings, there was more to Jesus than His principles, He was, and is the Son of God, He walked this earth in power and authority, performing miracles, raising the dead, healing the blind, and He promised those who would believe in Him that they would do even greater things than those.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 104

The Gifts Part 9

Faith continued...

So what is the gift of faith, within the context of it being a gift of the Holy Spirit? The gift of faith is a passive gift, one that facilitates the manifestation and operation of other gifts, especially the gift of miracles. The gift of faith, simply put is the gift of believing that you have received from the hand of God that which you beseeched Him for.

When the gift of faith is poured out in a heart, and by using the gift of faith that heart believes for other gifts, they are received due to the gift of faith that was already there. The gift of faith is not an active gift, it is not a gift that does something, like the gift of prophecy or interpretation of tongues, but rather it is a gift that receives.

Hebrews 11:332-34, “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

So how did these men quench the violence of fire, or stop the mouths of lions, or become strong in weakness? Did they grab a bucket of water and try to quench the fire? Did they go up and grab the lion’s mouth so it wouldn’t open its jaws? Did they dig deep down and remember all the lessons on positive thinking and positive affirmations and in their weakness become strong? No, these men used faith, they trusted God, and in their faith watched the God they trusted in do great and mighty things in them, for them, and through them.

When we speak of faith, even the gift of faith, it must be faith in God and His omnipotence. There is no greater fool than the man who has faith in himself, because if any man has faith in himself his faith has been placed in a fragile and impotent thing.

I know it’s popular nowadays to encourage people to have faith in themselves, I’ve even heard a couple preachers spout this infernal idiocy from behind pulpits, but the faith that can quench the violence of fire, and make us strong in our weakness, and shut up the mouths of lions will not be found in ourselves, but rather it will be found only in God.

Our faith must be tethered in the One that is substantive and lasting, in whom there is no shadow of turning, who can speak universes into being, who can calm the seas with one word, who can heal the sick with one touch, who can raise the dead with one whisper, not something as frail and fleeting as man.

There are many examples in the Word of God wherein the gift of faith is visible, and readily manifested. In fact, the eleventh chapter of Hebrews is a symphony dedicated to faith, and the heroes of the faith. Every time someone spoke a thing that as yet had not occurred, it was the gift of faith operating through them. One of the greatest examples of the gift of faith in action is the encounter between Christ, and Martha as she went out to meet Him after the death of her brother Lazarus.

John 11:20-24, “Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. Then Martha said to Jesus, ‘Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give You. Jesus said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Martha said to Him, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’”

When Jesus spoke the words ‘your brother will rise again’ it was the gift of faith operating through Him that allowed Him to speak these words. Jesus believed that Lazarus would indeed rise again; He believed that once the stone would be rolled away and He would call to him, Lazarus would come out even though this as yet had not happened.

Martha however, did not perceive the full extent of what Jesus was trying to say, and in my mind’s eye I can see her shrugging her shoulders and hanging her head, and saying, ‘I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.’

It was not the last day Jesus was speaking of; it was not some time afar off that He believed Lazarus would rise again, it was for that moment, for that instant, and after He prayed, and called Lazarus, he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes.

Our faith must be immediate, and the gift of faith believes for immediate answers to prayer, for immediate answers to requests and to pleas that are brought before the throne room of heaven. God is able today, not tomorrow or a year from now, but today to do exceedingly beyond what we can imagine if only we believe.

All the great events of the Bible, all the miraculous occurrences, all the things that took place beyond human reason or comprehension had one common component, one common thread running through them all, and that was the gift of faith.

A man who possesses the gift of faith is never at a loss, he is never uncertain, he is never unsure, for he knows that when he bends his knee and prays to the heavenly Father, the heavenly Father hears that prayer and answers accordingly. Faith moves the heart of God, and He rejoices every time He sees His children come before Him in faith.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 103

The Gifts Part 8

Faith continued...

Although saving faith is a gift from God, we cannot confuse with the gift of faith which comes via the Holy Spirit. Saving faith is a gift from God in the sense that it is facilitated and enabled of God, but it comes via the hearing of the Word of God, or the hearing of the Holy Scriptures. The hearing of the Word of God is the vehicle, or the delivery system, by which the gift of saving faith is given to man, because as the selfsame word tells us, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.

Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Saving faith cannot be birthed in anyone’s heart independently, or in and of itself, it must be the result of having heard the word of God. What is born independently within the hearts of men, that which can appear in and of itself in those who have as yet not heard the word of God, is a vague and abstract notion of a divine force, but not an understanding of the one true God. Only by the hearing of the word of God can saving faith be birthed in men’s hearts, and this is why we must preach the word of God to those who are lost and dying.

We are not doing anyone any favors by omitting the word of God from our sermons; we are not doing anyone any favors by obfuscating what our responsibilities as children of God are and thereby rejecting the mandate to preach the gospel of Christ. In our ceaseless quest to spare feelings and make people feel comfortable and at ease within the house of God, we have ceased doing the one thing that is able to birth saving faith in their hearts, namely preach the word of God that they might hear it. No amount of self-esteem, no amount of self-worth, no amount of feeling good about one’s fallen state will bring a sinner to repentance or to the foot of the cross, only the hearing of the word and the stirring of saving faith in their hearts.

Our God gives us a living faith, He gives us a saving faith, it is the gift He gives to those who hear the Word and turn to Him with all their heart. It is in the word of God that we discover the Christ, it is in the word of God that we discover what Jesus did for us on the cross, it is in the word of God that we discover that we were bought with a price, and we are no longer our own.

It is also interesting to note that not all are given the same measure of faith, but that God deals to each one the measure of faith that He sees fit.

Romans 12:3, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”

So what does this mean? It means that the same message, the same exact word, the same exact scripture reading will have a different effect on every individual. One might not react to the word in the same way, with the same passion, with the same brokenness, as his neighbor, or as someone sitting three rows behind him. To each is dealt a measure of faith, not because God is unjust, because He is not, but because everyone receives the word of God differently, even though the same word is spoken to all.

God gives to all in like manner, the abundance of His word is the same for everyone, but He cannot force you to receive more than what you are willing to receive, and in the end the measure of faith we are dealt is directly proportional to how much we are willing to receive.

Although saving faith is given to each one, in the measure that God chooses, the gift of faith, is given to some, or as Paul writes in Corinthians, ‘to another faith by the same Spirit’. By this distinction, by the fact that saving faith is given to all who receive the word of God, and the gift of faith is given to some, we realize that these are two different aspects, two different works of faith, one being general, the other being a gift imparted by the Holy Spirit to those whom He so chooses.

Although God deals to each one a measure of faith, it is possible to grow in faith as one matures and progresses in their walk with the Lord. Paul even went so far as to praise the church of Thessalonica, and thank God for them, because their faith was growing exceedingly.

Yes, we can grow in faith, we can grow in God, and we do so by hearing His word continuously, by cementing our relationship with Jesus, by spending time in prayer, and by walking on the narrow path that He has set out for us.

Saving faith not only grows us in God, it gives us the boldness and courage to knock on the doors of heaven with the expectation of receiving the promises of God.

Some time ago we discussed Jesus cursing the fig tree, and the disciples marveling at what He had done, and looking at them Jesus assured them that they would be able to do far greater things if only they had faith, and did not doubt. The faith, of which Jesus spoke, was not the gift of faith which comes from the Holy Spirit, but the saving faith which is given to all who hear and receive the word of God. So yes, there is great power in saving faith, there is great power in believing and not doubting, in standing on the promises of God, and living with the expectation of receiving all that He promised His beloved.

Matthew 21:22, “And all things, whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

These were not the words of men, but the words of Christ Jesus, who assured us, that whatever we ask believing we would receive.

At this juncture some might ask why I rail against the prosperity doctrine so often if Jesus promised that we would receive whatever we ask in prayer believing, and the answer is a simple one. If we are of Christ, we have been born again, renewed of mind and heart, renewed in our desires and wants, and when we pray believing, that which we pray for will not be material in nature, it will not be money and jewels and boats and cars, but rather that which we pray for believing will be the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the power of God, and the greater things to which the children of God have access to. The reason I rail against the prosperity doctrine is because due to its popularity a great many of God’s children settle for scraps, for worthless, trivial, passing things that do nothing to mature and grow them in the faith.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 102

The Gifts Part 7

Faith

We continue our discussion on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, with the gift of faith since it is third on Paul’s list in his letter to the Corinthians. No, these gifts were not itemized by Paul by order of importance, since all gifts which come from the hand of God are good and work together for the building up and the edification of the Body of Christ.

Paul does say that we ought to desire earnestly to prophesy, but he never implies or infers that the gift of prophesy is better than all the other gifts.

1 Corinthians 14:39, “Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.”

Every gift of the Holy Spirit has a place and a purpose within the Congregation of God, every gift of the Holy Spirit has a place and a purpose within the household of faith and each one operates as the Holy Spirit sees fit, and as God wills.

Faith is a unique gift in that all the children of God can possess and must possess faith, we are even instructed to build ourselves up in our most holy faith, but it is also a gift of the Holy Spirit that can be poured out upon believers.

The word of God does an excellent job at defining faith, what it is, and how it has served the servants of God throughout the ages. It shows us that there is true power in faith, and that once we begin to build up our faith, once we begin to mature our faith, once we begin to grow our faith, we will begin to see the power and presence of God more thoroughly than ever before.

I realize this is a teaching on the gift of faith, but I would be remiss if I did not include the definition of faith as well, if only for those who are unaware of it.

Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

So now that we know what faith is, or at least what the Bible defines it as being, the obvious question is what is the gift of faith, and how is it used within the Body of Christ.

Galatians 3:2-5, “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain – if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?”

I wanted to begin our discussion on the gift of faith with this scripture passage, because it would seem we are reliving the times of the Galatians wherein men who began in the Spirit are reverting back to the flesh, believing as Paul suggests that they are being made perfect by the flesh. I also wanted to include this scripture passage because it highlights the fact that the hearing of faith is what activates the gifts of the Holy Spirit within a congregation, working miracles among the brethren.

Today I want to discuss the gift of faith, that faith that comes from God, that faith that is pure and righteous, although there are two other kinds of faith that we could talk about. The two other kinds of faith I am referring to is of course futile faith, a fruitless and purposeless faith in the most general sense, as well as the natural faith that men have concerning certain outcomes if they take a particular course of action.

As far as true faith is concerned, it takes on three distinct aspects that the Bible speaks of, three ways in which faith works among believers, which are in reality three branches of the same three, or three works of the same gift.

The first aspect of true faith that the Bible speaks of is what Paul refers to in Ephesians as saving faith.

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

What we readily understand from this passage in Ephesians is that both grace, and faith are gifts from God, and we obtained both faith and grace not of ourselves, but from Him. We have been saved by grace, through faith which comes from God as a gift that no man might boast, that no man might lay claim to that which God freely gives.

So what is saving faith? In essence, at its core, saving faith is the certainty that no one can free us from the shackles of sin, no one can free us from the prison of death, and no one can free us from the pit of despair but for Christ Jesus the Son of God.

Having saving faith is paramount for all believers, of such import that although Jude desired to write the brethren concerning their common salvation, he found it necessary to write and exhort them to contend earnestly for the faith because of those who had crept in unnoticed, those ungodly men who turn the grace of God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jude 3-4, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Faith in anyone or anything other than Jesus is futile faith, it is vain faith, it is empty faith, it is a faith that will produce no results, because it is not anchored in Christ. Only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is saving faith, and this is a truth that we must contend for, and earnestly so, because those who have crept in unnoticed, those who attempt to turn the grace of God into licentiousness are more numerous than we first imagined.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 101

The Gifts Part 6

The Words of Wisdom and the Words of Knowledge continued...

The gift of the words of wisdom differs from the gift of the words of knowledge in that it anchors itself in future time. The gift of the words of wisdom, are divine messages, delivered via the Holy Spirit concerning the future, whether immediate or far off.

Via the gift of the words of wisdom, there are two important things that the Holy Spirit transmits to the faithful, those two things being the plan of God, and the purpose of God in any given situation.

Although there are many scriptures within the Bible that show us the working of the gift of the words of wisdom and the gift of the words of knowledge individually, there is one particular passage that combines the two, and shows us these two gifts working simultaneously. There is nothing in the Word that even alludes to or insinuates that more than one gift of the Holy Spirit cannot be in operation at the same time, and as we discover in the Word of God, the gifts working in tandem or simultaneously are biblical.

Acts 9:10-12, “Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘here I am, Lord.’ So the Lord said to him, ‘arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.’”

As I said, this is a fascinating passage, because we see the operation of the gift of the word of knowledge, wherein the Lord is telling Ananias what Saul of Tarsus was doing at that exact moment, namely praying, as well as the gift of the word of wisdom, wherein the selfsame Saul is seeing something that will occur at some point in the future.

There was no way that Ananias could have known that on the street called Straight, in the house of Judas, Saul of Tarsus was at that moment praying. No, there were no webcams, there were no cell phones, there were no instant messages, Ananias was unaware of Saul, of his presence in Damascus, or what Saul was doing at that particular moment. Saul was praying, God knew that Saul was praying, and via the gift of the words of knowledge, the Holy Spirit revealed this to Ananias.

The same gift was operating in Saul, who had been converted on the road to Damascus, and at the moment that the Lord was revealing Saul’s location, as well as what he was doing to Ananias, Saul was seeing this selfsame man named Ananias, who would come in and put his hand on him that he might receive his sight.

Acts 9:13-16, “Then Ananias answered, ‘Lord I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name. But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.’”

At first, as any man would be, Ananias was reluctant to go and meet with Saul of Tarsus, because he had heard many things about Saul, he knew him by reputation alone, and by the fact that he had caused much harm to the saints of Jerusalem.

It’s as if Ananias was asking ‘are you sure Lord? Are you certain that this is the man I’m supposed to go see, are you certain that this is the man that You want to heal by my hand? He’s not a nice guy; in fact he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name. Maybe you can pick someone else?’

It is at this moment that the gift of the words of wisdom begins to manifest, and God begins to reveal His future plans for Saul of Tarsus, informing Ananias that indeed, this persecutor of the brethren, this man who hunted the followers of Christ even as far as Damascus, was indeed a chosen vessel, one who would bear God’s name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.

None of this these had as yet occurred, at that moment Saul was nothing more than a blind man sitting in the house of Judas on the street called Straight praying, but the gift of the words of wisdom revealed what the future held for Saul, and via the Holy Spirit, God revealed the reality of what Saul would become to Ananias.

The gift of the words of wisdom is a practical gift, one that gives much comfort and encouragement, especially when God sets us on a course, or directs us toward a path that seems counterintuitive and even illogical to human reasoning. It is in such times, and in such circumstances that the gift of the words of wisdom is best utilized, because although we might not see the plan of God in its totality today, God knows the end from the beginning and He knows our destination long before we’ve taken the first step. In His goodness, He oftentimes reveals the reality of what the future holds for us if we remain in obedience, just as He revealed to Ananias what the future held for Saul of Tarsus, who we now know as Paul the Apostle of Christ.

Everything that God foretold concerning Saul came to pass, he truly bore the name of God and the saving grace of Christ to the Gentiles, to kings as well as to the children of Israel, and if we read all that he endured throughout his life, we also come to realize that truly he suffered many things for God’s sake.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Holy Spirit: Power Presence and Purpose Part 100

The Gifts Part 5

Words of Wisdom and Words of Knowledge continued...

So what are the gifts of the words of wisdom and that of the words of knowledge, and why are they relevant for us today?

The first and most obvious answer is that these gifts are relevant for us today because they are indeed gifts of the Holy Spirit which He distributes as He sees fit. There is no such thing as a bad gift from God, there is no such thing as a bad gift from the Holy Spirit, and so whatever gift He chooses to impart we receive it with gladness of heart and with joy. What we must realize is that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit are reserved exclusively for the children of God, and although they are freely given to believers, there is no amount of money an unbeliever could offer that could purchase any of the gifts. There is something comforting in knowing that God reserves His best for His children, there is something reassuring in the fact that God will not sell for treasure to unbelievers what He freely gives His own.

Both the gift of the words of wisdom and that of the words of knowledge are revelatory gifts, and along with the gift of discerning of spirits they aid the Body of Christ in keeping themselves pure and undefiled from the various snares and deceptions the enemy places in our path.

The gift of the words of knowledge is a gift of insight, wherein God reveals something of an individual’s past or present, something that they must either be rebuked of, corrected of, or warned of.

When you hear the words ‘the Lord showed me that you are struggling with such and such a thing, or the Lord showed me that you need to repent of such and such a thing’ it is the gift of the word of knowledge that is operating through the individual at the time.

Too often we confuse the gift of the words of wisdom and the gift of the words of knowledge with the gift of prophecy, blending them all together in an unrecognizable hodgepodge wherein we label everything prophecy even though it might be the gift of wisdom or the gift of knowledge.

The gift of the words of knowledge operates in the past, and in the present. This gift reveals events, deeds, mysteries that have already taken place, or reveals the secret of one’s heart in the present.

My grandfather was a man that operated in the gift of the words of knowledge, and as his interpreter throughout his ministry in the United States I can readily tell you it is not an easy gift to carry with you and operate in.

There were countless times when my grandfather would point out someone in the audience for either smoking, abusing their spouse, or adultery, other times when he would pray for individuals and reveal to them the secrets of their heart, and all these were attributed to the gift of the words of knowledge.

One thing is certain, you must be bold to operate in this gift as it will most likely offend some, and outright anger others, because it strips them of any disguise they might attempt to keep on, or any hidden sin they might still be clinging to.

In essence the gift of the words of knowledge is knowing certain aspects of one’s life that the Holy Spirit reveals to you, it is seeing beyond the veil of the Sunday dress or the Sunday suit, beyond the niceties of singing from the choir book and reading the weekly scripture passage, to the heart of the individual, to those things which they’ve tried long and hard to hide and to mask.

I’ll be the first to admit that having this gift will not garner you many friends, especially if you operate in it consistently, but I believe with all my heart that it is a gift that ought to be more visible within the household of faith because the Christ is soon returning, and He is returning for a bride without spot or wrinkle.

I often wonder how empty many churches would be if the gifts of the Holy Spirit operated in them consistently. How many mega-churches would have to close down if the gift of the words of knowledge were embraced by the congregation, and if God would reveal the sins of their hearts on a regular basis?

One thing is certain, whether a great majority would leave, or a great majority would repent and turn from their wicked ways the church would be the better for it, and the righteousness of God would shine in it as it should.

The household of faith has been bathing in the pool of compromise and dining at the table of political correctness for so long that ‘men of God’ today are expected to be mealy mouthed appeasers, tolerant of every proclivity and perversity, going out of their way to be non-confrontational, non-offensive, and non-judgmental.

If anyone dare stand for truth, if anyone dare preach the unadulterated word of God, they are quickly marginalized and labeled as hateful, unloving, and unmerciful not by the world but by those who ought to have been laborers in the same harvest field, who by having defined themselves as Christians ought to have been standing on the same truths.

The grim reality is that a great majority do not want the gifts of the Holy Spirit in their churches because they would upturn the apple cart, they would upset the status quo, they would reveal what lies beneath the surface of manicured lawns, marble foyers, velvet pews, and gold leaf pulpits.

The Holy Spirit is not in the business of sparing feelings; He is in the business of equipping and preparing the Bride that it be ready for the Groom’s imminent return. The Holy Spirit is not in the business of cozying up to politicians, of garnering influence or power, He is in the business of imbuing true believers with power from on high that they might stand and fight and overcome the darkness that is encroaching upon the light.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.