Archive for April, 2013



As a local church here at PlentyValleyChurch (www.pvcoc.org.au) we are part of an international church planting movement that began in Brisbane Australia, called Christian Outreach Centre. (www.coc.org.au)

At the beginning of our church movement in 1974, we were birthed in a world wide phenomenon that was called Charismatic Renewal. All around the world in the 1970’s there was a massive growth and revival of churches that emphasised the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts of the Holy Spirit included: (from 1 Cor 12:8-10) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_Movement

  1. Word of wisdom
  2. Word of knowledge
  3. Gift of faith
  4. Gifts of healing
  5. Gift of miracles
  6. Gift of prophecy
  7. Gift of discerning of spirits
  8. Gift of tongues
  9. Gift of the interpretation of tongues

All of these gifts were readily practiced, however the gift that had always been the most well known and identifiable gift from an observers point of view was the gift of speaking in other tongues. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speaking_in_tongues This gift attracts the curiosity of the world because it seems so strange and different. It doesn’t seem to have a purpose and it has this supernatural aspect that not everybody can do it. Only some people can do it, and it’s not like wiggling your ears where some people can do it, some can’t, and that will never change. With tongues, you can start off not being able to do it and then God does something to you and then you can do it – that’s supernatural. It’s not learned, you can’t study to be able to speak in tongues. I know people who have tried really hard to speak in tongues for decades and simply cannot.

Of course speaking in tongues was restored to the church world wide in a supernatural revival of Pentecostalism in two places; 1901 in TopekaKansas and 1906 in Azusa Street in Los Angeles. Since that time the Pentecostal church has spread out around the world and now numbers around 12% of world population and 36% of the world’s Christians and rapidly growing. See…



Today I want to address two important questions for our church and for maybe a lot of churches in Australia and in western cultures.

  1. Isn’t it true that only some people can speak in tongues? – It’s a gift.
  2. Why do I even need to speak in tongues?

I intend to show from the scriptures that anyone who is a Christian believer and who wants this gift can receive it and secondly that one must deeply hunger and thirst for it with passion in order to receive it.


My fear is that the practice of speaking in tongues is falling away in the Pentecostal/charismatic scene in Australia. People don’t see a value in it and the media bias is that it’s weird and only crazy people do it. It’s associated with Fundamentalist Christianity (a dirty word in the west); and further that it’s antithetical to the educated mind.

Just as the preaching of the cross was foolishness to the Greeks in Pauls day, I believe that tongues is foolishness to the educated minds of our day (1Co 1:23)

As if Christianity hasn’t got enough to contend with in our pluralistic and secular society, modern Christians today probably feel like, “I don’t want to have to defend tongues when it just seems so weird and unhelpful. You can get to heaven without it so why bother?” We confidently teach that a person will go to heaven if they have repented of their sins and received by faith the Lord Jesus Christ. After that, being baptised in water has powerful advantages and also baptism of the Holy Spirit is also a powerful advantage but neither is necessary for salvation. (Interestingly the Old Testament picture here is 1Co 10:1  FOR I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, that our forefathers were all under and protected by the cloud [in which God’s Presence went before them], and every one of them passed safely through the [Red] Sea, [Exod. 13:21; 14:22, 29.] 1Co 10:2  And each one of them [allowed himself also] to be baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea [they were thus brought under obligation to the Law, to Moses, and to the covenant, consecrated and set apart to the service of God]; In other words, this is a picture of two baptisms – one in the Red sea and One into the cloud – Water and Spirit)

The problem from my point of view is that tongues is very valuable and is a sign that one is baptised in the Holy Spirit to receive power. This power is essential for us as Christians to be successful in winning lost people to Christ.  As Christians become lukewarm, they back away from some of the basics that empower their faith like:

  1. Regular personal times of prayer
  2. Regular reading of God’s Word
  3. Regular attendance at church.
  4. Sharing their faith with non-churched people.

On fire Christians, who are spreading their faith all over the world, are passionate people, not lukewarm people. They are people who are motivated by love and empowered by the Holy Spirit for witness. In the last three weeks we have taught that:

  1. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is necessary for the purpose of being a witness of our faith (Week 1 – April 7)
  2. Being baptised with the Holy Spirit is a subsequent experience to being born of the spirit. (Week 2 – April 14) (Also what regeneration means)
  3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit has enormous advantages to the believer for their walk in life. (Week 3 – April 21)

As I said, my fear is that less and less people are speaking in tongues for all the reasons I have spoken about here; and that is a diminution of the power and effectiveness of our local church. So my goal is to assure you that you can speak in tongues should you so wish; and that you should so wish, because we all need this power. If you haven’t received in the past then don’t give up – press in and passionately seek God so that you can have all the gifts and power that He has for you.


In my view there are two kinds of tongues that the bible speaks of.

  1. A prayer language available to all.
  2. A gift that is to be used in the church service and coupled with the gift of Interpretation is equal to prophecy.

Let’s look at two groups of scriptures – the first speaks of tongues as it refers to your own personal prayer language; the second as it refers to the gift of speaking in other tongues to be used in conjunction with interpretation in the church service.


Mar 16:17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Rom 8:27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV)

1Co 14:2  For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit.

1Co 14:4  The one who speaks in a tongue builds up himself, but the one who prophesies builds up the church. (ESV)


1Co 12:28  And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 1Co 12:29  Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 1Co 12:30  Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues*? Do all interpret?

(*The answer to this rhetorical question is expected to be “No.”)

1Co 12:8  For to one is given….1Co 12:10  to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.

1Co 14:5  Now I want you all to speak in tongues, but even more to prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be built up.

1Co 14:13  Therefore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret.

1Co 14:23  If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your minds? (ESV)

It is my firm belief that God grants the ability to speak in tongues as a personal prayer language to help us be built up as spirit filled believers. This ability is available to anyone who is filled with the Holy Spirit. We confidently teach that one may be filled with the Holy Spirit and not yet be able to speak in other tongues. God also gives gifts to the body to help with the work of evangelisation and the building up of the church. Gifts such as Faith, Healing and Prophecy.  Speaking in tongues is the only incontrovertible evidence that a person is Baptised in the Spirit. If there was another evidence, it could only be that you are a witness for Him (Acts 1:8)

All other evidences such as love for God, patience, healing, prophecy, etc have been practiced by those in the Old Testament who were not filled with or baptised in the Holy Spirit. In the Book of Acts there are 5 occurrences** of people being baptised in the Holy Spirit. In four of these it states that the people spoke in tongues and in the remaining one, Simon the sorcerer wants to pay money for the gift. It was so different that he saw great value in it, however he had previously seen miracles sand healings so it wasn’t that. It may have been tongues.

**Acts 2:4; (Acts 9:17 + 1Cor 14:18); Acts 8:15-19; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:6.


1. One study on the subject of speaking in tongues made the amazing discovery that the human brain’s language centre is inactive when subjects were speaking in tongues. This is in agreement with the bible’s teaching that when speaking in tongues the mind is unfruitful because it’s from the spirit of man that the language arises. (1 Cor 14:14)

Youtube video about the study – http://youtu.be/NZbQBajYnEc

2. Indeed, an earlier study in Britain of glossolalia (TONGUES) among the clergy found that those who sometimes spoke in tongues showed more emotional stability and less depression than a control group.


3. DR. Carl R. Peterson, M.D

Through research and testing Carl found out that as we pray in the Spirit, or worship in the Spirit, (our heavenly language) there is activity that begins to take place in our brain. As we engage in our heavenly language the brain releases 2 chemical secretions that are directed into our immune systems giving a 35 to 40 percent boost to the immune system. –


4. Dr. Caroline Leaf a spirit filled Christian neuro-scientist who has studied the inner workings of the brain is teaching that when you pray in the Spirit (tongues) your brain goes into the highest intellectual state possible.

I know for myself that when I pray in tongues lots of ideas and creative thoughts come to my mind. I am in a place of receptivity that makes it easy to remember all kinds of things that are important to my vision, goals and strategies. So as I pray in tongues I am writing down lots of really great ideas and thoughts that help me plan out my future goals. Pastor Peter Pilt of Nowra COC is probably known best for his amazing creativity in preaching and presenting at church. He reports that easily half of all his creative ideas come from a time of speaking in tongues. (http://peterpilt.org/2012/08/04/56-ways-to-inspire-creativity-in-any-area-of-your-life/)

Many people I meet have been prayed for to receive tongues and have not received it.

I feel for these people because often they feel like a failure. They feel like God has favourites and He gives that gift to some but not to all, and that maybe they are inferior in some way. Of those who have shared with me their story of how they got filled with the Holy Spirit, almost every time there was nothing happening at first, but they pressed in and got HUNGRY and kept on seeking God for that infilling and the overflow that comes with it. You see tongues is the overflow – it comes out of the innermost being and flows out of the mouth…(John 7:37-39)  And one must be thirsty at first in order to receive. You may be only half filled? Or maybe three quarters, keep on seeking God and be filled to overflowing; then the overflow will come and you will speak in tongues.

In our modern world – let’s be honest – aren’t we used to “instant everything”? But when it comes to receiving form God; it’s not a push button A, receive the Holy Spirit next. Instead, God works in us to see how hungry and thirsty are we really? Do we really want it more than our next breath? If you haven’t received yet, even though you have been prayed for, read this verse…

Luk 11:13  If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts [gifts that are to their advantage] to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him! (AMP)

God wants to give you the gift. But you need to be thirsty and hungry first then press in and seek Him for it. Some might say, “Done all that – still no tongues!” But I challenge you to get serious with God and call on Him according to that verse just mentioned. Come on – have you fasted and prayed? Have you sought God till it hurts?


This wonderful gift is such a blessing and Oh So Needed!!  Paul thought it was so important he says, 1Co 14:18  I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. When we pray in tongues our spirit prays and our mind is unfruitful (1 Cor 14:14)

That’s important because Rom 8:26  Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Rom 8:27  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (ESV) You see praying in tongues means we are praying the perfect prayer and God hears and understands. The Holy Spirit is helping us and praying through us. That’s powerful. This is true intercession, God praying through me. When you pray in tongues, 1Co 14:4  He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, It edifies you and builds you up when you pray like that. Don’t we all need that? Look at this verse in the amplified… Eph 3:16  May He grant you out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the [Holy] Spirit [Himself indwelling your innermost being and personality]. (AMP)

Living this spirit life is about us being in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, being led by the Spirit, therefore we need to be filled over and over by the Spirit. This happens when we speak in tongues.

In the first sermon after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost Peter the apostle says, “This – what you see and hear, is the promise of the Father.” (Acts 2:33+39) What did they see and hear? They saw people reacting as if drunk and they heard speaking in other tongues. This promise Peter says is Act 2:39  For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself. [Isa. 57:19; Joel 2:32.] That’s go to be you!! This promise is for you!!

So again let me answer these two questions

  1. Isn’t it true that only some people can speak in tongues? – It’s a gift.
  2. Why do I even need to speak in tongues?

I believe we can show here that speaking in tongues as a prayer language is for all who are afar off even as many as the God shall call. In my name they shall speak with new tongues. Also we need to speak in tongues because God designed it as a prayer language, so that we can pray powerfully and effectively with the Holy Spirit praying through us.


1. Please share your story about being filled with the Holy Spirit, did you speak in tongues yet? (Only share if you’re comfortable with that)

2. How should we answer the objection that tongues sounds like gibberish?

3. Do you get put off speaking in tongues because you don’t see value in it? Why?

4. What are the benefits of praying in tongues?

5. Why do you think God made it so that we needed to press in to get it – to be hungry and wait on Him seriously before we could obtain the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues?

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Preaching message for Plenty Valley Church Sunday 21st April 2013

Ps John Matthews.

You’re are full of it – The Holy Spirit



Why we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit – To be a witness

Pastor Craig talked about The person of the Holy Spirit


Pastor Craig talked about what happens when we are born again, how we become  a new person, Regeneration takes place our spirits are made anew. What happens when we are born again is a new life beginning, later we need to receive the POWER of the Holy Spirit for witness. There is two steps.

Week 3  (today) Allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, Living with the power.

My baptism story

I was 16 and going to a church youth group, I had asked Jesus into my life about six month earlier. We call that being born again. The leader at the time was talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues;

That got me really interested, I had heard other people talking in tongues (a languish that was not their natural one),  I had wondered what that was about. The leader talked about having a languish that talked straight to God.

I said to myself I want that, after the leader had finished talking he invited anyone who wanted the be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues to come and get prayed for, The Bible says how they laid hands on them to receive the Holy Spirit (Act 8:17)

So I got prayed for, as he was praying for me I tried so hard to speak in tongues

For I believe I was filled with the Holy Spirit, but I did not speak in tongues.

I walked away a bit disappointed, it did not however stop me from having a relationship with God. It was about two week later when I was praying in my bed room just telling Jesus how much I loved him, music turned up getting lost in His presents,  that a different sound came out of my mouth, it surprised me that I stopped. I realised that I had tried so hard to make tongues work, I wasn’t until I let go of trying that I made room for the Holy Spirit to do His work in me.

Living in the power of the Holy Spirit

 Act 1:8  But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit come on you. And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Power means strength,

For what you may ask?  I believe there are two reasons.

1.   To live our life to the fullest

(a) When life throws curve ball at you.

i.      Strength

ii.      Might

iii.     Power

iv.      Over comer

My story of the Holy Spirit pouring himself over me in a time of need.

Sitting in my office feeling very overwhelmed with life, needing the power of the Holy Spirit to bring a peace , strength and to revitalize me.


  • Wisdom and understanding, Gift of God, Spirit of life, Speaks, Guides
  • Teacher, Helps in our weakness, Comforter

2.    To be a great witness to the world

Does the world know there is something different about you

i.      A peace

ii.      A strength

iii.      Knowing who you are

(a) Jesus living in us, forgiven set free

We have been talking about how you are full of it  –  The HOLY SPIRIT.

Having the power of the Holy Spirit and not utilizing it is like having Bill Gates as your father, having all that he has at your disposal and you living as a pauper on the street without a place to stay .

God has created us for this purpose to tell the world about Jesus, We cannot effectively do that without the help of Holy Spirit.

To get our head in the game, our thinking right (Pressure of the word)

Power to share the good news, Wisdom, Guidance

Look at this verse with me… Act 1:8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

You are the answer to this world; let’s step into the fullness of God using the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to help this hurting world


1. How would you describe living a supernatural life with the Holy Spirit living inside you?

2. What are some of the ways the Holy Spirit can assist you as a Christian believer.

3. When you feel overwhelmed, how can you relate to the Holy Spirit in your moment of need?

4. Explain how you can be the answer in this world to people all around us through the power of the Holy Spirit.

5. Read Acts 1:8 all together –  what is God saying to you in this verse?

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The story of my baptism. I went to church for the first time when I was 20 years of age and I became a Christian on my second visit to church. Later, after about six weeks, I was water baptised. During this baptism my pastor also encouraged me to believe for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Sort of two for the price of one!!

As they prayed for me, and the pastor and his assistant were praying in other tongues, and I was concentrating on receiving from God. Nothing much happened and I went home rather disappointed. However, I was determined to receive this gift of speaking in other tongues because I had heard a lot of other people speaking in tongues and if they had received it then I want to receive it also. So for three more weeks I was praying to God and asking for this gift. I became more and more desperate for this gift as time went by. This is what I now understand to be hunger and thirst.

Then one evening at church, the congregation were all asked to come forward to gather at the altar and just praise God and pray to Him. This was a time when everyone was praying and lifting up their voices to God at the same time. It was noisy. I was praying to God and saying, “If you don’t fill me with the Holy Spirit I’m going to die!”  Due to the loudness of everyone’s prayer around me, I lost my self consciousness about speaking out, and at the same time God filled me, and out of my mouth came a rush of language! I was speaking in other tongues and with it came the joy, the elation of God’s Spirit filling me.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit we learned last week is an experience that takes place after we receive Christ as saviour, after we are born again. The disciples in John 20:22 were born again. Jesus said to the disciples, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This was their Born Again experience. Later in Luke 24:49 He told them, “Wait here in Jerusalem until you receive power.” He then immediately ascended into heaven, that being the last thing He spoke to them while on earth. 10 days later they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2).


This morning, what I want to share with you, is the wonder of what takes place when you’re born again. What happens to us at the new birth?

Every human being is a spiritual creature. When we are conceived in our mother’s womb we are a spirit that is being clothed with a body. At that time and right on through our life we are a spiritual being but we are spiritually dead. That means cut off from God, having no relationship to Him. Although we exist as a spirit, because we have no relationship with God, He refers to this as dead. Though our life as a spiritual being has just begun, we are of the same nature as our parents. We are born into sin and have a nature that is rebellious and wants to sin and do wrong. Any parent will attest to this, disobedience comes naturally to a child.

Eph 2:1  And He has made you alive, who were once dead in trespasses and sins,

Eph 2:2  in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience;

Eph 2:3  among whom we also had our way of life in times past, in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the thoughts, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

Eph 2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He loved us

Eph 2:5  (even when we were dead in sins) has made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are saved),

Eph 2:6  and has raised us up together and made us sit together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, (NKJV)

As verse 6 says we are raised up together with Christ. Once we were dead (spiritually) now we are raised from the dead. We are now alive to God and living in relationship with Him. So what happens at the moment of salvation?

We are born again!

Joh 3:1  And there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.

Joh 3:2  He came to Jesus by night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no man can do these miracles which you do unless God is with him.

Joh 3:3  Jesus answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:4  Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?

Joh 3:5  Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Joh 3:6  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Joh 3:7  Do not marvel that I said to you, You must be born again. (NKJV)

Here Jesus likens the spiritual birth of a person their natural birth. When you are born as a baby, you become your parents son or daughter; later when you are born again you become God’s son or daughter. At the moment of salvation you are born again or born from above (as John 3:3 implies). Your human spirit which was dead in sin is regenerated. You are actually a totally new person spiritually.


Being a Christian is more than thinking differently, more than being sorry for your sins, more than taking on a new philosophy, more than changing your attitude, more than deciding to be different, IT IS BECOMING A NEW PERSON!

2Co 5:17  Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! (AMP)

When this happens, it is the Holy Spirit who does the work. We are born of the spirit. We are a totally new person spiritually, by the action of the Holy Spirit. The old person has died, so we bury them in the waters of baptism, and rise to newness of life.

Your new spirit is not only entirely free from sin and the nature of sin but it is recreated in the image of God.

2Pe 1:4  through which He has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, so that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Now that you are born again the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you. He is resident within your life as a co-resident in you.

Rom 8:9  But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God]. [Rom. 8:14.] (AMP)

1Co 6:19  Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, (AMP)

When you are born again, you are born of the Holy Spirit, and He dwells within you.

This is what happened to the disciples in John 20:22. However Jesus still asked them to tarry, to wait here in Jerusalem to wait for the promise of the Father, which you have heard of me. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is a later experience and it is for power; power to witness, as we learned last week.

The main reason we need the baptism of the Holy Spirit is that we would become a witness for Jesus. Every Christian needs this power of the Holy Spirit to become an effective witness for Jesus. It is our calling now, to go into all the world and preach the gospel and reach lost people. We can’t do it in our strength and Jesus wanted to equip us with the power to do it so He asked the disciples – wait for the power.

Act 1:8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

This morning, will you come and receive Jesus as your saviour – be born again?

This morning will you come and receive power as the Promise of the Father comes upon you – be baptised in the Holy Spirit?

In the next two weeks I will speak more about tongues and what it’s for and why we need that. Today come and receive power.


  1. Can you remember and share the moment when you were born again?
  2. Did anyone experience the “light going on” when you were born again? That experience of seeing for the first time the reality of what God has done for you?
  3. Read 2 Cor 5:17 and discuss how that can be applied to your life.
  4. Now that the Holy Spirit is living within you, what does that mean to you?
  5. How comfortable do you feel about talking to the Holy Spirit?

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STORY ABOUT A HOLY SPIRIT ENCOUNTERgirl-with-hands-raised-high2

In the second year of being a Christian I was asked to take a leadership role in my church over the teenagers group. The change of leadership from the former leader to the new one (me) took place at a youth camp. The former leaders were called up and prayed for, hands were laid on and they commenced a new ministry role somewhere else. Other leaders were prayed for also and set apart for their new roles. Somehow I was overlooked and not prayed for. I could have chosen to be offended about that, but instead I went back to the meeting place (auditorium) after lights out, when everyone else was in bed and asleep and I spent some time waiting on God. As I stood in that place at the altar with hands raised up and saying, “God please equip me for this new ministry role.” I felt the power and life of the Holy Spirit flow down over me and experienced such a tangible touch of the supernatural power of God. I was unable to stand and lay in the presence of God for a couple of hours.

The result was renewed power and boldness to serve God. This boldness took place not only in the ministry to teenagers but also at the university where I was studying; I was emboldened to witness and lead a Christian group there and reach out to lost people at the uni.

Look at this verse with me… Act 1:8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

Following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, He asked His disciples to wait for the Promise of the Father before they went out to preach the gospel all over the world. His intention was that when He left to go back to heaven after the resurrection that He would leave behind countless thousands of followers all equipped to the same level as He was to go out and preach the gospel all over the world. They would need supernatural power to preach, heal the sick and cast out devils, as well as many other things. Today His church world wide is Holy Spirit filled and empowered. Its effectiveness is in proportion to how full the individual is with the Holy Spirit.


Recently I was prescribed some medication to lower my cholesterol. As you get older the cholesterol levels creep up and if it’s high enough then it could be a present danger by clogging up your arteries.  After the prescription was filled, I was talking to a good friend of mine who warned me of the dangers of this particular medicine including side effects. So what did I do? I googled the drug name, and sure enough I came up with countless articles about how dangerous the drug is. So what did I do? I declined to take the medication.

How many know this decision was self medicating, and pure post–modern thinking? I decided that truth for me was what I could learn for myself from the internet. I decided that I know better than the professional with seven years university training and 15 years clinical experience. What I should be doing is sit down with the professional and ask for some perspective and take his advice, which is what I am doing.

In the same way, in the church, many people decide what they believe according to what they read on line, what their experience has been, and what has happened to other people. In this post modern world very few people take the word of the Man of God, compare it with the bible and act accordingly.

The result is the rise of the individual, countless thousands of Christians all with different opinions, instead of a united army marching to the sound of the one leader. That one leader is the Holy Spirit and He works through Godly appointed leadership people to lead His church.

This month, as we talk about the Holy Spirit, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the gifts of the Spirit and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, I wonder if you will be open to listen and be teachable and perhaps change what you believe; or will you be the post modern thinker and decide that truth for you is what you can find for yourself and what you have experienced.

Your pastors and leaders that minister the word of God to you here are trained and competent, and by their fruits you shall know them. They are ministers who know the word, have produced the fruit of souls saved, lives changed; and have the character that exemplifies Christlike values.


Who is the Holy Spirit?

The Holy Spirit is a person, He is God and He is part of the trinity, an understanding that God is one God and has revealed Himself in three distinct personalities; the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Extra material for the blog:

The Holy Spirit is not a force or an impersonal energy but He has “personal” attributes:

  • a mind – Romans 8:27
  • a will – 1 Corinthians 12:11
  • feeling – Ephesians 4:30;  Romans 15:30 (love)
  • knowledge (including self-knowledge) – 1 Corinthians 2:11

He is able to do things that only a “person” can do:

  • reveal things– 2 Peter 1:21
  • teach – John 14:26; 16:14;  Luke 12:12; 1 Corinthians 2:13
  • bear witness – John 15:26
  • speaks, cries out – Galatians 4:6; Hebrews 10:15
  • intercede – Romans 8:26
  • search – 1 Corinthians 2:10
  • speak – Acts 8:29;  10:19; 13:3; Revelation 2:7,11 (not about Himself – John 16:13)
  • choose – Romans 8:27; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 11
  • inspire – 2 Timothy 3:16
  • lead – Acts 8:29;  Romans 8:14
  • command – Acts 13:2, 4
  • give permission – Acts11:12
  • forbid – Acts16:6-7
  • be jealous – James 4:5
  • be grieved – Ephesians 4:30;  Isaiah 63:10 (or “vexed”)
  • be insulted – Hebrews 10:29
  • be lied to – Acts 5:3, 4
  • be blasphemed – Matthew 12:31, 32
  • give invitations – Revelation 22:17
  • strive with people- Genesis 6:3
  • be resisted – Acts 7:51
  • be tested, tempted – Acts 5:9
  • be described as “He/Him” – John 14:16, 17; 16:7-8, 13-14 (recorded 12 times in John 16 alone).

He is distinct from God the Father & Jesus Christ the Son – Matthew 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Peter 1:2;  Acts 10:38; 15:28.


Nicene Creed – This creed formed in 381AD by the church fathers explains the relationship of the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, light from light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father; through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. (Catholic here means universal)
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Global Expansion – http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/april/7.30.html

With more than 580 million adherents (growing by 19 million per year and 54,000 per day), the Pentecostal/charismatic movement has become, in just 100 years, the fastest growing and most globally diverse expression of worldwide Christianity. At the current rate of growth, some researchers predict there will be 1 billion Pentecostals by 2025, most located in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The Role of the Holy Spirit.

The role of the Holy Spirit is simple: He is to empower the church for the task of reaching the whole world with the gospel.

Here is the main verse: Act 1:8  But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth. (AMP)

Before the disciples went out to preach the gospel all over the known world they waited in the upper room as Jesus commanded them.

Luk 24:49  And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high. (AMP)

Have you been clothed with power from on high? This is what we need in order to become His witnesses. We need the power of the Holy Spirit living within us to help us preach with power, heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead. It’s a big challenge in this rational post modern world to be called to this, but the power of the Holy Spirit is far greater then the power of unbelief.

Didn’t I receive the Holy Spirit when I got saved?

Yes, that was being born of the Spirit, regeneration, but we are talking about the being clothed with power from on high.

The disciples received the Holy Spirit while Jesus was still with them:

Joh 20:19  Then on that same first day of the week, when it was evening, though the disciples were behind closed doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, Peace to you!

Joh 20:20  So saying, He showed them His hands and His side. And when the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy (delight, exultation, ecstasy, rapture).

Joh 20:21  Then Jesus said to them again, Peace to you! [Just] as the Father has sent Me forth, so I am sending you.

Joh 20:22  And having said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit! (AMP)

For the disciples this was their born again experience. Up until now they had been believers and followers of Jesus, but now that Jesus has died on the cross and atoned for their sin by the offering of His blood, now they can be born of the Spirit.

Yet He says wait here in Jerusalem for power. Luk 24:49  And behold, I will send forth upon you what My Father has promised; but remain in the city [Jerusalem] until you are clothed with power from on high. (AMP) Right after this He ascends up into heaven, so it was the last thing Jesus said on earth.

It was after he ascended into heaven then 10 days later they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost.

Act 2:1  AND WHEN the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place,

Act 2:2  When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting.

Act 2:3  And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them.

Act 2:4  And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words]. (AMP)

This experience is so vital and so important for every believer. It is what empowers each one to be a witness for Jesus. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is far more than just the gift of speaking in tongues. It is the power of God. It is to be clothed with power from on high. To be completely filled and flooded with the Power of the Holy Spirit for this great purpose – TO BE A WITNESS!

Testimony from Reinhard BonnkeBonnke quote 1

In one of his earliest evangelistic campaigns he went to a church of 40 members and hired a ten thousand seat stadium. It was God’s doing!

Next week we will speak about what actually happens to a person when he is born again. This experience of regeneration is monumental, life changing and if understood will revolutionise your life. We will speak later about tongues and what it’s for and who can receive it as well as the other gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The only question you must ask yourself every day of your life is “How thirsty am I?”

Joh 7:37  Now on the final and most important day of the Feast, Jesus stood, and He cried in a loud voice, If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!

Joh 7:38  He who believes in Me [who cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me] as the Scripture has said, From his innermost being shall flow [continuously] springs and rivers of living water.

Joh 7:39  But He was speaking here of the Spirit, Whom those who believed (trusted, had faith) in Him were afterward to receive. For the [Holy] Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified (raised to honor).

Are you thirsty for God to fill you with His supernatural power?

Are you so glad of your salvation that you want to be of service to Him every day of your life? Are you bored with the passing fantasies of this shallow worldly life and seeking a more eternal and significant encounter with heaven.

Would you stay on for a few minutes and worship God with us this morning and simply ask the Holy Spirit to fill you and equip you.


1. Can anyone share about a time when they felt the power of the Holy Spirit upon their life?

2. What was Pastor Craig’s point about whether we should decide truth for ourselves by reading the internet, going by experience, or some other way?

3. Where do we get truth from?

4. What is the main reason God fills us with the Holy Spirit? (Acts 1:8)

5. If you are thirsty for the Holy Spirit – what might that look like?

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