THE HOLY SPIRIT – Bible Overview

The Holy Spirit is God, and is equal to God the Father and God the Son, Jesus. Don’t ever speak of Him as “It” or refer to Him as an “influence”. He is not the power of God but brings the power. He is not the presence of God any more than the Father or the Son are “the presence.” He is God the Holy Spirit, and is set forth in the Bible as being distinct from the Father and the Son.

In the Genesis account of creation, He is seen actively engaged in the work of creation, along with the Father and the Son. In the Old Testament, He came upon men to empower them for service; but, when they were disobedient He departed from them. Read more

COME TO ME – Part One

The Journey of Self-Discovery – Part Two

We were talking about a JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY

Self-Discovery ——> Self-awareness — —> Self-expression

Courage — —> Compassion — —> Connectedness

I commented that to come to know yourself better and on a deeper level so as to discovery the real you…

I commented that you needed to seek to know God better because you were created in His image…

So to know yourself better you need to know Him on a deeper, more personal, and moreintimate level

This is accomplished by spending more time with Him and in His Word, the Bible Read more

BIBLE BASIS FOR BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT – [Apostolic Foundations #2]

The next step after being Born Again is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. THIS BAPTISM ALLOWS YOU TO WALK IN SUPERNATURAL POWER and the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). This is a second encounter with God allowing us to be “empowered for ministry” and so that we can prophesy.

THE PROPHECY

Joel 2: 28-29 “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”

THE PREDICTION Read more

The Baptism In The Holy Spirit And The Gifts

A CLOSER LOOK AT THE BIBLE BASIS OF THE BAPTISM 

There are three stages of the work of the Holy Spirit

1. The Holy Spirit “with” you

John 14:17 …the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  

 Before you are Born Again

 To bring you to the foot of the Cross and salvation Read more

Fivefold and the Local Church – Part Three

It should be the goal of local church leaders to identify, train, equip, and release fivefold ministers from within the local church. However, a local fellowship should not only desire to raise up fivefold ministers from within, they should invite fivefold ministers from outside of their local body to come in and minister. For example, the fivefold prophet can come in to a local church from the outside. He brings his prophetic gifts and anointing and releases these within the local church so that they become more prophetic in nature and in their ministry. He will also see young men who have a call to be a fivefold prophet and will begin to enable, equip, and empower them in their calling. So, over a period of time, the “imported” fivefold prophet is able to identify others of similar giftings and calling within the local church body. He can be involved in training, equipping, and releasing those individuals into their prophetic call as prophets. And, of course, local leaders will also be involved in the development of these young ministers – especially in the area of their character.

However, once a fivefold prophet is raised up in a local church – this does not mean the trans-local prophet is no longer needed. Even with resident fivefold prophets in the local church it is good to have trans-local prophets continue to visit. They can give a fresh perspective on issues that could be overlooked by someone who is there among the people all of the time. One of the abilities of fivefold ministers from outside the local body is their capacity to quickly identify others of similar gifts within the fellowship. These newly identified individuals and their developing gifts have the wonderful opportunity to learn from those “outside” fivefold ministers as they function together within the local fellowship. When fivefold ministers spend time with those who have a developing gift and calling, they can impart much to them. The developing minister can ask questions, talk about how their gifts should function and experience the anointing of an established and mature minister.

Let’s also talk about accountability for a fivefold minister’s personal life and the role of the local church. Since accountability is such an important aspect of the Christian walk, it is important that clear lines of accountability are established for every fivefold minister.

Accountability for the individual’s personal walk with the Lord and interpersonal relationships (both in his family and in the local church) comes from the fivefold minister being accountable to one or more of the elders on the leadership team. Every fivefold minister needs to have a place that he calls home. Within a local body of believers – whether it is a house church, a larger church with small groups or a mega church – the fivefold minister needs to walk in submission to the local church vision as he lives in accountability with other leaders within a local context.

Some trans-local ministers say they are accountable to the relationships that they have established on the road as they minister on their travels. But, let’s be practical – there is a certain amount of accountability that happens when I see and talk to someone a few times a year, but in terms of practical accountability, I need to be connected on a local level where I live. I should be in relationship with people who see me in my “everyday clothes.” It is easy to be enamoured of travelling public ministry. When I travel to minister, I use the best stories, talk about all the great things that are happening as I minister under “the anointing.” By contrast, I need to have relationships that see me when my guard is down – when I just finished taking out the garbage, the lawn mower broke, and I don’t have the message prepared yet for the weekend.

In short, I need to be walking and talking with people close to me in everyday life. Even if I am travelling to the nations, I need a local church expression with whom to walk in accountability. I am a part of a local church in my home city and because of my travelling schedule I miss many Saturday night services. Nevertheless, when I am in town, I attend both the weekend services as well as a small accountability group which I meet with weekly, when available, for lunch. I am submitted to him and he has my permission to ask how I am doing and cares about more than my ministry – he cares about me. Thus I am connected and accountable.

 

Twelve Reasons The Devil Hates Tongues (revised)

1> Tongues are a sign of the Holy Spirit coming upon us

Private Tongues and the gift of prophecy are understood by some denominations as the two “initial signs” that the Holy Spirit is upon you in power

Acts 19:1-6 “And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” And Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking in tongues and prophesying. There were about twelve men in all.”

Read more

Fivefold and the Local Church – Part Two

The Lord wants to change our former way of thinking. The old paradigm involved giving the sole responsibility for feeding the flock to the senior leader of the church, often called the senior pastor. All the teaching, training and ministry was to be completed by him on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday night.

The New Testament paradigm is for both the fivefold and local leadership to work together so they can bring the Church to maturity and strength. To this end, the Church is filled with the power of God with the saints doing the work of ministry as Jesus intended! David Cannistraci says, “When we return to the pattern of the early Church we will recover the power of the early Church.” This cannot happen apart from the fivefold ministers fulfilling their role in training, equipping, mentoring, and releasing the Body of Christ.

The Holy Spirit wants to take us from a place where fivefold ministers and local church leaders function independently of each other and bring them to a place of interdependence, both realizing that they need each other. The trans-local fivefold minister needs the local leadership team of elders for accountability, affirmation of ministry, and a place to see his gift used effectively. Local leadership teams need the fivefold ministry to work alongside them assisting in training, equipping, and releasing the local congregation into all that God has for them.

The worst mistake we can make at this point is to give up on the trans-local fivefold ministers because of problems and misunderstandings from the past. If we ignore these ministers, we lose their valuable contribution and impartation to the Body of Christ. Jesus never intended the local church leaders to work alone. He provided the fivefold ministry so that local leaders did not have to be “everything” the flock needs. Instead, they can draw on the anointing of the evangelist to see people saved and stir others with the desire to share Jesus with their friends and neighbours. He can receive the help of the prophet to keep the work on track and “up to speed.” The leaders can draw on the teacher to impart the deeper things of the Word into people’s hearts that is able to save their souls and bring about change. They can receive the help of the apostle to make sure they hold fast to the vision the Lord gave them and ensure a continuous outward and forward thrust of ministry. And, the fivefold pastor can help train the people in pastoral care and help them to fulfill the 59 “one another” verses in the New Testament. This would enable the body to minister to the body.

Not only can the local leadership team draw on these fivefold gifts, but these ministers impart into the lives of the people to bring them to a greater level of spiritual maturity. And, if the local church leadership team is weak in any area, then they can be taught, encouraged, and strengthened in that area by the appropriate members of the fivefold ministry team.

 

Fivefold and the Local Church – Part One

Let’s talk about the fivefold ministry team and the local church. God has designed the Church so that we are interdependent on each other. Because the fivefold ministry gifts are so critically needed, it is important that local church leaders endeavour to relate closely to these trans-local ministries given to the Church.

For too long, the trans-local fivefold ministers have been looked upon as a threat to the one who leads a local church. The fivefold ministers have been accused of trying to build their own ministries rather than working with the local church. They have not been perceived as supporting the local church leaders to build in a way that would demonstrate unity. In some cases this is an accurate scenario. But there are reasons for this, which we will explore briefly along with looking at some guidelines to help the fivefold ministers and local church leadership work together in a way that God designed them to.

God gave the fivefold ministers so they could help build the Church. They were meant to build alongside the local leadership and assist them in building the church. Because they often have not been properly cared for in the local church, many fivefold ministers shy away from the local church and tend to look after themselves. Subsequently, they have become more independent in nature and sometimes viewed by others as being aloof, hard to work with and not willing to make an investment in their local church.

There are many sad stories of fivefold ministers who have come into a local church on a weekend, sown division, spoken out of place, and left on Monday morning with the senior leader and his team left with a mess to clean up. Obviously, this does not further the cause of Christ and puts a bad taste in the mouth of the local church leadership team for fivefold ministry. Therefore, they are sometimes held at arm’s length by local church leaders, often viewed as ministers to be utilized for a short time and then sent on their way.

There is a need for this to be corrected so that long-term healthy relationships can be formed and maintained between those in the trans-local fivefold ministry and local church leadership. All ministry arises out of relationships in the Church that Jesus is building. So, healthy, long-term relationships are vitally important for the local church to grow and thrive, fulfilling it’s mandate and call. So, local leaders and fivefold ministers need to relate and come to understand one another, receiving each other as brothers and fellow workers in the harvest field.

The truth is that fivefold ministers have been given by the Lord to assist leadership teams in building the local church. God’s plan is for trans-local fivefold ministers to walk alongside leaders to help build the local church – not be used as “flash-in-the-pan” ministries and then leave again. A fivefold minister cannot impart his heart,  his anointing, and his message during one or two meetings. So, a fivefold minister should continue to come back to a local church two or three times a year to train and equip people in the ministry skills that he exhibits within his particular call. In this way, the Church is build systematically, step by step.

Fivefold ministers are called to build the Church of Jesus Christ. They like to build systematically. They desire to build with a firm foundation and then systematically add to that foundation so there can be length, depth, and breadth added to the local church. If a church leader has a fivefold minister come and minister only once every year or two, there is far too much time between instalments for proper building to take place. Building systematically means the fivefold minister comes into a local congregation on a regular basis and builds on what was shared the last time he was there. This is, by far, many fivefold ministers’ preference.

The Ministry of the Fivefold Teacher – Part Four

As we were discussing yesterday, teachers desire to see many others released in teaching but hold fast to the preciousness of the Word and want the Word taught with accuracy. It is always easy to tell when there is a fivefold teacher in the audience. You will see them cross-referencing the verse that is being taught. Often they will come up afterwards and want to talk about what was taught, wanting more details and to interact with the fresh revelation they received. Often they will speak and release life back to me and I am challenged by what they share and their fresh insights into what I just taught.

Again, we must remember, that there is a difference between someone who has a teaching gift and someone who is fivefold teacher. Someone with a gift to teach has a discernible gift while someone who is a fivefold teacher has the other dynamics relating to a fivefold gift what we have been speaking of throughout this series of blog postings.

5> Fivefold teachers possess a passion for God’s Word. A teacher’s passion is the Word, the Word, and then the Word. They carry a God-given desire to see the Body of Christ reach a place of maturity so as to be able to handle the “meat” of the Word. They long for the deeper things of God and desire that the Body of Christ huger for it as well. They are builders in the Kingdom, grounding believers in God’s Word so they are firmly rooted and stand strong on the rock of His Word and the Rock, Jesus Christ. Teachers build on a firm foundation and want others to do the same so that the Body of Christ is immovable while under the attack of the enemy. They do not mind teaching the “milk” of the Word and can do it in a life-giving way, but they will become frustrated if people do not grow past the milk stage.

God matures the Church through the fivefold ministry. The fivefold ministry of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher work together as a team. These gifts are not independent of each other but interdependent upon each other so that as they work together the Body of Christ will be fully matured, grounded, taught, trained, equipped, and released in ministry to reach a lost and dying generation who does not know God. Each ministry gift is needed. These gifts are not in competition with each other; they bring completion to the Body. Each one carries certain aspects of Christ that are needed for His Kingdom to advance.

It is exciting to see the Lord restore these five gifts to His Body because without them we will never fulfill His Mandate. The Church of our generation will only come to maturity in Christ as we receive each of these gifts as they walk together in unity (Ephesians 4:11-16).

The Ministry of the Fivefold Teacher – Part Three

The characteristics of a fivefold teacher include:

1> Teachers validate truth. A fivefold teacher has the need to validate truth, particularly doctrinal and theological truth. They sped large amounts of time studying and meditating on the Word of God. Spending time studying the Word is not a chore for them;. They have inquiring minds and love to pour over Scriptures to receive fresh revelation from the Spirit of God. Usually the more difficult task for the fivefold teacher is being able to take all that he knows and deliver it in a concise time frame so that others are able to receive it.

2> Teachers speak with authority. They know who gave them the words to speak; they are not teaching their own pet doctrines; they are teaching and releasing life from the very Originator of life, the Lord Jesus Christ. Fivefold teachers know these things to be true because they spent time in the presence of God studying and preparing, comparing Scripture to Scripture, verse to verse and translation to translation. They have serious confidence that what they are teaching is true (Mark 1:21-22).

3> Fivefold teachers have the ability to articulate and express thoughts. They ave the God-given ability total something difficult and make it amazingly simple and easy for people to understand. A teacher is not easily persuaded or tossed about by every “wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14). They are like the Berea’s (Acts 17) who searched the Scriptures daily to determine whether the word was true or not. While we all should be like the Berea’s, this clearly describes the fivefold teacher. He studies to show himself approved.

4> Teachers train and release. A fivefold teacher desires to train and release other teaching ministries (2 Timothy 2:2). They mentor future teachers. This kind of spiritual parenting simply means that older established teachers take others under their wings, pouring their lives into them so that they can become more effective in teaching the Word. Paul took Timothy under his wings, and as a spiritual parent, mentored Timothy by both biblical example and instruction.

There was a deep connection between the content of instruction and the example of the teacher, since the teacher would often be imitated by the pupil. One this recalls Paul’s final words to Timothy, “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance” (2 Timothy 3:10). Doctrine and manner of life we intimately related.

This was also exemplified by Aquila and Pricilla in Acts 18, when they saw a certain Jew names Apollos, who was a very eloquent man and mighty in Scriptures, teaching in the synagogue. They took him aside and explained to him how to teach in a more accurate way concerning Jesus Christ. That is the spiritual fathering heart of a fivefold teacher and all of the fivefold ministers.