THE INNER ROOM - "Learn and Grow - to Maturity". Please read the 1st Post.

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This past weekend we went to Nashville for the 40th YEC (Youth Evangelism Conference). Wow, what a blessing. Over 20,000 youth and youth leaders, everyone praising God, together in one place.

"We love Jesus...yes we do"!
"We love Jesus...how about you"?

Can you imagine a group of youth, so proud of being God's, standing and shouting on one side of the 50,000 capacity auditorium, to another group on the opposite side. Talk about love in the air.

We had a great speaker on Friday night, but Saturday morning, was the absolute best. We had the privilege to see and hear from Nick Kurjicic. Can you phantom 20,000 plus people so silent, that you could hear a pin drop. I have never before seen one man get anyones attention as did Nick.

Bondman, I'm sure you have heard of Nick as he is a fellow country man. For those of you who have not, Nick was born without arms or legs. Check out his website and ministry here Life Without Limbs :: Nick Vujicic

If you ever have the change to go see him, do not miss it. I grew more Saturday morning, in an hour than I believe I have in a life time.

God is, well, the BEST!
 
This past weekend we went to Nashville for the 40th YEC (Youth Evangelism Conference). Wow, what a blessing. Over 20,000 youth and youth leaders, everyone praising God, together in one place.

"We love Jesus...yes we do"!
"We love Jesus...how about you"?

Can you imagine a group of youth, so proud of being God's, standing and shouting on one side of the 50,000 capacity auditorium, to another group on the opposite side. Talk about love in the air.

We had a great speaker on Friday night, but Saturday morning, was the absolute best. We had the privilege to see and hear from Nick Kurjicic. Can you phantom 20,000 plus people so silent, that you could hear a pin drop. I have never before seen one man get anyones attention as did Nick.

Bondman, I'm sure you have heard of Nick as he is a fellow country man. For those of you who have not, Nick was born without arms or legs. Check out his website and ministry here Life Without Limbs :: Nick Vujicic

If you ever have the change to go see him, do not miss it. I grew more Saturday morning, in an hour than I believe I have in a life time.

God is, well, the BEST!

Wow, so wonderful how God met with you, JW, and that you grew that MUCH!!!

Yes, I'm right with you, man, He sure is THE BEST!!!
 
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PRACTICAL NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY


MESSAGE #26

GETTING ANSWERS TO PRAYER


Not an easy task for most of us! I've spent a lot of time over the past 20 years on this important matter. Made numbers of mistakes, confused myself, got things wrong - but here are a few things I've discovered that I've found to really help.

1. God does have His 'still small voice' as the Scriptures say. If you're not listening well, or talking too much, or simply 'not tuned in', you'll likely quite miss what He's saying. He's NEVER shouted to me, not even once!

2. Faith is obviously basic. If you're asking for guidance, you DO have to believe He'll give it! BUT...

3. With my faith fairly okay, I've so often purely and simply TRIED TOO HARD! This is a dreadful trap. Can you see why? I tried too hard. Get it? In doing so I got in the way so much that I kept missing what He was trying to tell me! (I bet He was feeling frustrated! *smile*) Trust and relax. Ask, then REST.

4. Don't ask for things you already have! I'd love five bucks for every time I've heard a prayer along these lines, "Lord, please be with us as we drive home." Don't be silly, He's already gonna do that! Some kind of thankyou prayer (He loves them, and doesn't get anywhere near enough!) may be much more appropriate: "Lord, thankyou that You'll be with us as we travel home!"

5. At the other end of the scale are the prayers that are out of order - and are NEVER gonna get answered! To know what to not pray, you have to know the New Testament. Yes, big ask, but there's just no shortcut to this. "I asked, but He didn't answer." Yes, cos you asked wrong. Get to know the New Testament till it's part of YOU! Then HE will be part of you as well, and you'll know what is RIGHT to ask, and how to ask it.

6. Provided you're 'not asking amiss' (James Ch 4:3a) then PERSIST. Jesus said, "Ask and you will receive." Matthew Ch 7:7a. And here's an excellent reason to choose The Amplified Bible as your study tool. It expands the Greek so you can learn what He's really saying here. It's "Ask and keep on asking, and you will receive." Thus to PERSIST is actually in the New Testament!

7. Another trap: US trying so hard to find the answer - this simply NOT being your job! Your task is to ASK. It's God's task to ANSWER! Then let Him answer, okay!! Don't we so easily get SO involved in trying to get the right answer that God ends up not even getting a look in!! Then we wonder why we're still unsure...


So... don't try too hard, but don't give up either. Keep on asking. But make sure you're not asking it wrong: selfishly, for the flesh, 'to consume it on your lusts' as James Ch 4:3 finishes with. Ask in faith. Be restful, AND WAIT FOR THE ANSWER. Wait for GOD to give you the answer: it's not your job to find it!

Hope my experiences may be of some help.

With much love!

- BM, with his best Supporter
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QUESTIONS WELCOME!

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Hey there! I made it back to the room!

The Good Lord knew I needed to! What an awesome message in regards to prayer! Thanks so much! Just so ya know.. it spoke loud and clear!

Have an awesome day!
Hugs to you and the Mrs.

Faithwoman:)
 
Yes! Yes! It spoke to me also. Sometimes I know I get so intense at finding answers and then get back into the old habit of depending on myself more than God. It's hard to let go.

Hey, though, I do have two praise reports! First one is that I went shopping for our trip to London in May. Knowing it will be hot there during that time, I tried on some shorts and tank tops. I found out that I was really surprised at how they made me feel. Uncomfortable, to say the least. I did not feel like they quite fit my style anymore. I don't know, but I feel like a whole new person, like somehow I'm not the same person anymore, even my tastes. So, I picked out more conservative clothes and felt so much more comfortable in them. Weird, huh?

So, then also, after our Bible study Mon. night, we held hands and I actually prayed outloud and felt sorta' annointed if that's possible considering I am not filled with the Holy Spirit. I mean, the way I prayed . . . it was soooo from my heart. I have had a hard time praying outloud in front of others. But, we'd had a really good study on fornification, something both women are struggling with right now and I feel like the Lord got through some tough decisions for them. It was a very productive study.

Well, maybe even a third one: today, I walked into the infant's room and found my Mormon friend, Joy, arguing with her husband about some scripture in Gen. about Adam and the fall. She said stuff like, "But you told me . . . and "then that doesn't make sense." She ended up saying she was sorry and that she didn't want him to feel bad. I think she is beginning to question the Bom and Mike is having to defend it. So, I just thank all of you for your prayers about this situation. I want Joy to be in heaven with me so bad. She is my best friend, besides Norm, that is. :p Please continue praying. I think I'll post this on a thread because this group of Christians can really "hit heaven" I know. Bonnie
 
Hey there! I made it back to the room!

The Good Lord knew I needed to! What an awesome message in regards to prayer! Thanks so much! Just so ya know.. it spoke loud and clear!

Have an awesome day!
Hugs to you and the Mrs.

Faithwoman:)

Good one, hon, 'loud and clear' works for me!

Love n hugs to you - and answers to prayer!

- BM and his One and Only
 
Yes! Yes! It spoke to me also. Sometimes I know I get so intense at finding answers and then get back into the old habit of depending on myself more than God. It's hard to let go.

Hey, though, I do have two praise reports! First one is that I went shopping for our trip to London in May. Knowing it will be hot there during that time, I tried on some shorts and tank tops. I found out that I was really surprised at how they made me feel. Uncomfortable, to say the least. I did not feel like they quite fit my style anymore. I don't know, but I feel like a whole new person, like somehow I'm not the same person anymore, even my tastes. So, I picked out more conservative clothes and felt so much more comfortable in them. Weird, huh?

So, then also, after our Bible study Mon. night, we held hands and I actually prayed outloud and felt sorta' annointed if that's possible considering I am not filled with the Holy Spirit. I mean, the way I prayed . . . it was soooo from my heart. I have had a hard time praying outloud in front of others. But, we'd had a really good study on fornification, something both women are struggling with right now and I feel like the Lord got through some tough decisions for them. It was a very productive study.

Well, maybe even a third one: today, I walked into the infant's room and found my Mormon friend, Joy, arguing with her husband about some scripture in Gen. about Adam and the fall. She said stuff like, "But you told me . . . and "then that doesn't make sense." She ended up saying she was sorry and that she didn't want him to feel bad. I think she is beginning to question the Bom and Mike is having to defend it. So, I just thank all of you for your prayers about this situation. I want Joy to be in heaven with me so bad. She is my best friend, besides Norm, that is. :p Please continue praying. I think I'll post this on a thread because this group of Christians can really "hit heaven" I know. Bonnie

Very interesting and informative post, Bonnie! Different clothes - that's interesting! God changes us inside, hey - then doesn't it makes sense this should affect us 'outside', if you get my meaning.

Yes, dependence on self is a dead end street. Common to us all - which is why I write about it so often, that we may be depending on HIM 99% and me just about 1%. That works!

Wow, prayed out loud. Proud of you, hon! And about not being filled with the Spirit - how do you know you're not? You've sought this, asked for it. And you can most certainly be filled without realising it! If you felt a freedom in prayer, that sounds like the Holy Spirit to me, so I'm rejoicing for you! Because like I wrote, one does NOT get filled at a specific date AND STAY FILLED FOR EVER!! It's not a once for all thing like our conversion. It's a daily thing. It's a process. Some can tell you when they feel they were first filled; many of us cannot. Does it matter? What matters to me is that I keep being filled with Him today, and every day! And once again it's The Amplified Bible that speaks the truth:

Ephesians 5:18b
Be being filled with Spirit!

Just like "Seek and you will find" is actually and truly "Seek, and keep on seeking, and you will find", and also "Ask and keep on asking and you will receive"; and here: "Be filled with the Spirit" is a COMMAND OF GOD for us to be keeping cos we love Him, that actually says: "Keep on being filled with the Spirit." I call this Present Continuous Tense for ease of understanding. It starts and then is never-ending, and I love being continually filled to the brim with the Holy Spirit of my God!!! I used to pray for this filling every day, and commend this to everyone. Now I seem to be, hmm... how shall I say this: it seems to be something like living close with Him enough that I don't seem to need to keep asking. Wow-ee, isn't HE JUST AWESOME!!!!

Bless you heaps!

- BM and Mrs
 
Hey, sweetie! Hope you and that man of yours are both doing well in amongst all the very very different things in each of your lives! Love and blessings to you both!


We are getting by :) I'm hoping he gets the chance to get online when he gets off work today. And tomorrow I'm mailing out a box full of candy and treats. His company has lost an average of 15 pounds in the 3 months they have been in Iraq. My hubby has lost 10 pounds and really he shouldn't be losing weight - he is a small guy that was perfectly healthy when he left. We had one guy told he had to gain weight or he was being kicked out :( War is so hard on people and sometimes in ways people don't even think about.
 
We are getting by :) I'm hoping he gets the chance to get online when he gets off work today. And tomorrow I'm mailing out a box full of candy and treats. His company has lost an average of 15 pounds in the 3 months they have been in Iraq. My hubby has lost 10 pounds and really he shouldn't be losing weight - he is a small guy that was perfectly healthy when he left. We had one guy told he had to gain weight or he was being kicked out :( War is so hard on people and sometimes in ways people don't even think about.

SO TRUE! I'm actually not surprised about the guys losing weight - but it sure gives you an idea of how tough this job is on them! That's what I call sacrifice!!

On a lighter note, the goodies you're sending may put a pound or two back on him...!! *hee!*
 
SO TRUE! I'm actually not surprised about the guys losing weight - but it sure gives you an idea of how tough this job is on them! That's what I call sacrifice!!

On a lighter note, the goodies you're sending may put a pound or two back on him...!! *hee!*


It makes me sad :( he only lost 10 pounds last deployment and that one was a year long - this deployment has only been going on for 3 months and he has already lost 10 pounds

:p that was the idea lol help the boy put back on some weight
 
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PRACTICAL NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY


MESSAGE #27

HOW TO WALK, LIVE & PRAY IN THE SPIRIT (very Important!) - Part 3

...Continued from Part 2 (Part 1 is HERE)


TWO things have become rather clear to me over recent years. The FIRST is that a great lot of us are simply NOT filled with the Spirit, and once again I have to come back to our life-style being so like that of the world around us - worldly - that either:

(a) we're not even aware of this COMMAND of the Lord to be filled, and so never get to be FILLED with the Holy Spirit, and/or

(b) even if we wanted to, we couldn't GET filled anyway because of our worldliness and lack of surrender and consecration to Him!

And that's very serious indeed, and nothing short of the worst possible TRAGEDY!!!

The SECOND is Scriptural confusion about what the filling (or baptism) of the Spirit actually means. One of the reasons I prefer "filling" rather than "baptism" is the confusion that's abroad about what this means. Another is that after Acts, baptism in this sense is barely mentioned, i.e., the early church was NOT heavily into the term "the Baptism of the Spirit".
So that we're absolutely clear on this: you will be filled with the Spirit only when you're:

wholly and totally committed to the Lord, given over to Him, and sold out to Him
wanting with all your heart, and learning to be, or already, OBEDIENT to Him
considering yourself and YOUR needs and wants to be as NOTHING, AND HIM TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING!!!

Do you know a lot of people like this? No? Well, sadly, neither do I. AND PLEASE TAKE CAREFUL NOTE: You do NOT need to speak in an unknown language (tongues) to be filled, even though it's clearly recorded - but again only in Acts - that people were. You may, you may not. Because speaking in an unknown language is a Spiritual GIFT from the Holy Spirit of God! Let's look at God's Word about this:

1 Corinthians Ch 12
4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.

So it's quite clear in these verses that not ALL have the same gifts, ministries or activities - even tho we all have the same Spirit, same Lord, same God working in all of us! Let's continue:

7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

"The manifestation of the Spirit", i.e, when and where He may be seen to be working via the gift or gifts He's gifted us with, is given to - EVERYONE. Good, hey! So as we've already seen, same SPIRIT, but NOT all the same GIFTS!!! Let's go on to read about these giftings of the Spirit:

8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues [unknown languages], to another the interpretation of tongues.

Rather a long list that! But it's SO important to take note that being able to speak in an unknown language or languages IS A GIFT! A gift to some, but not necessarily to all:

11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

As WHO wills? As HE, the Holy Spirit, gifts each of us INDIVIDUALLY according to HIS WILL! If you can grasp these Scriptures right now, you will be saved a lot of possible confusion in your Christian life, and even beliefs that are CONTRARY to the Scriptures, and are therefore, by definition, actually heresy! I don't know about you, but believing and living heresy is not the way I want to live!!!


Continued in Part 4...

- BM and his Love
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QUESTIONS WELCOME!

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M

Mark_18

Guest
Thank you again Bondman. Wonderful!

I want to print these Inner Room Messages out. Would you object to me doing things with them like giving them to my future pastor for ideas and what not?
 
Bondman, I just read your last message. It was soooo encouraging to hear your continued message about the Holy Spirit.

I had never realized that you must keep being filled with the H.S. every day. So that means if I just keep on going the way I am, I will stay filled and grow too! What a blessing. I think my pastor thinks you have to speak in another language to be filled because it is "the evidence." I'll study the scriptures you gave and maybe ask him about it.

I also want to thank you for your encouragement that I may already be filled:

"Wow, prayed out loud. Proud of you, hon! And about not being filled with the Spirit - how do you know you're not? You've sought this, asked for it. And you can most certainly be filled without realising it! If you felt a freedom in prayer, that sounds like the Holy Spirit to me, so I'm rejoicing for you! Because like I wrote, one does NOT get filled at a specific date AND STAY FILLED FOR EVER!! It's not a once for all thing like our conversion. It's a daily thing. It's a process. Some can tell you when they feel they were first filled; many of us cannot. Does it matter? What matters to me is that I keep being filled with Him today, and every day! And once again it's The Amplified Bible that speaks the truth:

I did feel like my prayer in front of the two girls was annointed. It was so amazing to me, that after I prayed, I mentioned it to them. What a trip!

I think I can go on now and feel the assurance of His filling me. Bondman, you are such a good teacher. Your simple, but profound messages bless so many of us.

If I knew how to, I would put a big kissy icon about right here. :p Carry on!!!
 
Thank you again Bondman. Wonderful!

I want to print these Inner Room Messages out. Would you object to me doing things with them like giving them to my future pastor for ideas and what not?

Mark, the Lord sent me here to minister to folks so they have the opportunity to both LEARN and GROW - if they wish to - towards becoming a MATURE Christian. Should that happen to just one person then Bondman is a happy fella!

From my perspective I'm simply sharing those things that the Holy Spirit has shown me over a number of years, so while I truly adore doing it, it feels like no big deal. And of course there can never be any 'copyright' on that, I don't reckon!! *heavenly grin* So please feel perfectly free to copy and share as you see fit!

Bless ya, man!

- BM
 
Bondman, I just read your last message. It was soooo encouraging to hear your continued message about the Holy Spirit.

I had never realized that you must keep being filled with the H.S. every day. So that means if I just keep on going the way I am, I will stay filled and grow too! What a blessing. I think my pastor thinks you have to speak in another language to be filled because it is "the evidence." I'll study the scriptures you gave and maybe ask him about it.

I also want to thank you for your encouragement that I may already be filled:

"Wow, prayed out loud. Proud of you, hon! And about not being filled with the Spirit - how do you know you're not? You've sought this, asked for it. And you can most certainly be filled without realising it! If you felt a freedom in prayer, that sounds like the Holy Spirit to me, so I'm rejoicing for you! Because like I wrote, one does NOT get filled at a specific date AND STAY FILLED FOR EVER!! It's not a once for all thing like our conversion. It's a daily thing. It's a process. Some can tell you when they feel they were first filled; many of us cannot. Does it matter? What matters to me is that I keep being filled with Him today, and every day! And once again it's The Amplified Bible that speaks the truth:

I did feel like my prayer in front of the two girls was annointed. It was so amazing to me, that after I prayed, I mentioned it to them. What a trip!

I think I can go on now and feel the assurance of His filling me. Bondman, you are such a good teacher. Your simple, but profound messages bless so many of us.

If I knew how to, I would put a big kissy icon about right here. :p Carry on!!!

Accepted as read! Thankyou!

You mentioned your pastor thinking that to speak in tongues is (necessary) evidence of being filled or baptised with the Spirit. Such teaching normally stems from a couple of instances of this happening in Acts. Once again this is part of a rather mammoth topic, and I shall write some more on this matter, probably next, to add to what I've already said.

It's definitely not something to get hung up on, but at the same time is something that's good to have a clear and especially a balanced understanding of. (Sad example: I was told years ago that I was not even SAVED because I did not speak in tongues!! That was most UNhelpful to a youngish Christian, and sad evidence of the misunderstandings that abound on this important subject of being filled with the Holy Spirit - something which can be for every Chrisitian who has a strong determination to fulfil the requirements I set forth in the last message!)

Meantime, yes indeed, be encouraged!!
 
AN IMPORTANT NOTICE...

... about my messages. I've now had two people ask can they use these for their friends and church. This is quite wonderful, of course, but for anyone doing this there are some things it's important for you to understand. I want you to know what's involved, so you are ready for whatever reactions you may receive.

First of all, please understand that each church has its own quite specific doctrine and practice, i.e., many if not most Christians will hold to the teachings of THEIR church! And also defend them strongly! As being "RIGHT", and the only 'right'!

HOW I CAME TO WRITE HOW I DO

Because of our chronic ill-health, we've been out of a church setting for more than a dozen years. Had this not been so I'd be writing differently here (or not here at all more likely), as I'd quite inevitably be 'affected' by church teachings of the one I was in and others I'd previously been in. Sad but true!

Then soon after we had to quit church there was another development: we soon found ourselves in a serious situation in the Spiritual realm, and it bombed us both out very badly.

My reaction to this was pretty swift: which was to throw out ALL - and I do mean ALL - of the things I'd ever been taught in various churches over a period of many decades - AND START AFRESH! I was sick and tired of being led astray by false teaching like had just happened to us.

MY DRASTIC DECISION...

SO... I went to the Lord with a most serious request to Him for the Holy Spirit to teach me the TRUTH from His Word. Which by His amazing GRACE He has! Unaffected by this doctrine and that, from this church and that, I've come to see and understand the New Testament with a clarity that still quite stuns me. And so that's quite simply what I teach here on this wonderful forum!

My source of TRUTH is the Bible, and specifically the NT, just as the Holy Spirit REVEALS it to me - and reveal He has. At the same time as this, I'm doing due diligence humanly by studying from The Amplified Bible, and by constantly looking to the meaning of the Greek text, to check what God originally wrote in that language! THAT'S what I want to know!! That's ALL that I want to know!!! If God did not clearly say it in the New Testament then I am NOT INTERESTED! End of story.

FURTHER, I also cross-check with a couple of the Christian greats from England some hundreds of years ago - men definitely with the runs on the board like Matthew Henry in his Commentary on the Whole Bible, where in turn HE consulted the writings of the greats up to his time, to compile them into his momentous work that's now stood the test of time for hundreds of years. This is seriously SOLID stuff, people! And of course ALL of the above is available on the Internet these days for anyone who wished to do the same as I have!

THE WARNING

Warning's not quite the right word, but anyone taking my writing to another person or group needs to be aware that people hold to THEIR doctrine very strongly! If you try to tell them they're wrong, quoting me, they may not take kindly to this! I personally don't mind you quoting me one little bit, as I've never claimed, and never will, that I have everything right. Only GOD has that! I just want you to be aware of how people think, so that you're not surprised by any responses you may get. Maybe you'll not get any - except positive ones! - and that would be a great blessing indeed.

Please know that I am NOT saying any of this to in any way dissuade you from taking what I write, first, to apply what you can to you own life, and second, to share it with others. That's totally Scriptural to do, and you can expect God to bless it! BUT every time good Spiritual work is being done, the enemy will fight it, and so you come to difficulties and hardships - just like I've written many times here that this is the normal Christian life! You can, and should, rejoice in them!

THE SUGGESTION

This applies at all times in every situation, including what I'm talking about here: never argue (or debate) with another Christian about Bible teaching. This is quite futile, and it is not helpful. Discuss, yes, that's great. But NEVER argue. Mostly you'll find that people will NOT shift from their beliefs. You see, all of us believe that we are right - crazy and all as that may sound! But some WILL, and THEY are the ones we want to reach for Jesus!!

CONCLUSION

Let's spread the word about His Word! AND DO THIS BOLDLY!! Let's spread the word about PRACTICAL Christianity, and how we can, and should, all be living this, living as the Lord wants us to! Let's decide today that we are going to LEARN and GROW so we meet Jesus face to face as a mature Christian man or woman. And we'll be there together. That's the wonderful part! I'll never meet you wonderful Brothers and Sisters on this earth, but we'll be TOGETHER with the Lord of Glory! Praise be to His Wonderful Name!!

Bless you in all of His love!

- BM with his Lady
 
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PRACTICAL NEW TESTAMENT CHRISTIANITY


MESSAGE #28

HOW TO WALK, LIVE & PRAY IN THE SPIRIT (very Important!) - Part 4

...Continued from Part 3 (Part 1 is HERE)


LET'S START in Acts Ch 2 after Jesus ascended to the Father, and the promised Holy Spirit came upon the disciples with:

.. a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind
.. which filled the whole house
.. then cloven tongues like fire settled upon them
.. they were FILLED with the Holy Spirit
.. and began to speak in different [but understandable!] languages.

A most 'spectacular' filling with the Spirit!! Here's the record of this:

ACTS 2
1 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”

How astonishing is all of that!!! But most important to notice is that this is NOT the pattern of the later church or of being filled with the Spirit today. And when they spoke in different tongues or languages these were all contemporary KNOWN languages i.e., what they spoke about God was understood by way over a dozen different peoples! Again NOT the pattern of today. So already you can see that Scripture SERIOUSLY needs to be STUDIED, and COMPARED with other Scripture, and especially you need the Holy Spirit Himself to help you to understand what you are reading! - even when you're reading about Himself!!!

This record is all VERY early days of the beginning of the Christian church. Things happened that were not going to be seen again! Individual happenings in Acts should NOT be seen as the pattern for the church, but rather as a BRIDGE between Jesus being here on earth, and His CHURCH being effectively established not that long afterwards.

The next passages illustrate this, where there's quite a CHANGE from the above! First we see people receiving the Spirit, most unexpectedly! - and THEN being baptised with/in WATER!! How amazing! And more amazing these were NON-Jews hearing the Word preached, having the Spirit fall upon them, and they spoke in tongues. Peter clearly saw this as a SIGN that NON-Jews could also receive the Holy Spirit! An unheard of situation!!

Acts Ch 10
44 While Peter was yet speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them who heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. 46 For they heard them speak in languages, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.

Then later, another change. Paul found Believers and asked them had they received the Holy Spirit? They replied that they didn't know there was such a thing as the Holy Spirit! Further questioning revealed they were Believers in John the Baptist's repentance teachings and that Jesus the Messiah was coming.

This time the order was quite different again!

.. Paul baptised them in the name of the Lord Jesus first
.. then he laid hands on them
.. the Holy Spirit came on them
.. they spoke in languages
.. and they also prophesied.

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

Thus one more quite different pattern. So we must take VERY great care not to latch onto a particular PROCEDURE as being THE WAY! - and try to argue others into THAT WAY, when God is not saying that at all!! For example, we have laying on of hands here. And we have people speaking in tongues AND PROPHESYING. Again not the pattern for the church as it became established, or today.

Also early in Acts we have "baptism" in the Spirit used, but later and in the rest of the New Testament the expression is being "filled with the Holy Spirit":

Acts Ch 4
8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, You rulers of the people, and elders of Israel...

Saul (Paul)'s conversion, followed by Ananias laying hands on him, and being filled with the Holy Spirit:

Acts Ch 9
17 And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.

Later, Paul dealing with a Sorcerer:

Acts Ch 13
9 Then Saul, (who also [is called] Paul,) filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him...

And the disciples:

Acts Ch 13
52 And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Spirit.

I can handle that, can you!! Who will fill you with deep-down JOY that will never leave you? - THE HOLY SPIRIT, that's Who!

Romans Ch 15
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Now we have joy and peace and hope through the Holy Spirit!!

Ephesians Ch 5
18 And be not drunk with wine, in which is excess; but be filled with the Spirit,

And so finally we have God's incredible command for us to always be being filled (ON-GOING) with the Holy Spirit! - certainly NOT a "once-only" experience at all!!

Continued in Part 5...

- BM with his Lady
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QUESTIONS WELCOME!

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