Vol. 38, No 4 April, 2014
THE CHURCH’S GREATEST NEED FOR 2014. (Acts 2:1-11).
Dr. George Mills
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with ONE accord in ONE place. And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation underHeaven. Now, when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marveled saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and in Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia. Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes. Cretes and Arabians, we do HEAR them speak in OUR TONGUES the wonderful works of God.”( Acts 2:1-11).
There are several things that I wish to share with you today about this text in Acts, chapter two. Three great events
happened that day..
FIRST, every man heard the Word in his own language. Every word was clearly heard by everybody. The miracle was not in the speaking, but in the hearing.
SECOND, They were all baptized into one body called the Church. This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Since the day of Pentecost, every believer is baptized, or placed into the Body of Christ. “For by one Spirit are we ALL baptized into one Body, whether we be Jews or gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1Cor 12:13). This happens the moment we receive the Lord Jesus Christ into our heart. This is a matter of fact, and not a matter of feelings. This was in fulfillment to our Lord’s Words in Acts 1:5, “Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
THIRD, They were filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered for world evangelism. There is only ONE BAPTISM of the Holy Spirit, but there are MANY FILLINGS of the Holy Spirit. We do NOT pray for, or seek a Baptism of the Holy Spirit. That is a
one time event that happened the moment we were saved. We are
commanded to be “Filled with the Holy
Spirit.” (Eph 5:18). With these things in mind, let’s see the NEED OF THE CHURCH IN 2014.
1. SOME SAY THAT OUR NEED IS MORE BUILDINGS. And so, we have beautiful buildings everywhere, on every corner, beautiful buildings, but no power, no Revival.
2. SOME SAY THAT OUR NEED IS MORE MEMBERS. But on any given Lord’s Day, if every member came to one place in one accord, we could not seat everybody.
3. SOME SAY THAT WE NEED MORE MONEY. I guess that we all could use some more money, but unless a Church has overly extended itself financially, there is enough money to operate the Church.
4. SOME SAY THAT WE NEED MORE METHODS. And so we try everything that comes down the pike. Some have bought into the “tel-evangelism methods. Some have painted “God” on everything and have brought everything into the church. I know that this has produced noise, but “Rattles ain’t Revival” Anything that appeals to what you want is brought into the church, and we are entertained. But entertainment is NOT the empowerment of the Spirit.
5. SOME SAY THAT WE NEED MORE MUSIC. And so some churches have brought in rock and roll, and “contemporary” music to supplement the musical program. Every Church should guard the Musical program. This new style of “music” being promoted today, in the guise of “reaching young people” WILL NOT WORK. We must remember that the music of the world is “OFF KEY”
6. SOME SAY WE NEED ANOTHER MESSAGE. So, new “bibles” translations, up-dated versions are brought in. God help us here! God gave the English speaking people of the world a Bible (KJB) This Bible has brought us this far, and will take us all the way home. I marvel at the experts in “Greek” and “Hebrew” and their references to the “originals” when there are no originals. God inspired, and PRESERVED His Word. The Bible (KJB) is final, complete, and needs no up-dating. We have not seen Revival in our land since these new “versions” hit our pulpits. We do not need a new message. Let’s see our need in 2014…
1. THE PROPHESY. In Acts 2:16-21, The Apostle Peter quotes from the prophesy of Joel 2:28-32. Verses 17-18 have been fulfilled. Verses 19-20 will be fulfilled during the tribulation period. The Holy Spirit came in fulfillment of this prophesy and empowered the Church. Our Lord commanded His disciples to “tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be endued with power from on High.”(Lk 24:49). Jesus knew that the task of world evangelism would take supernatural power. The same power that motivated the early church is the power we need today.
2. THE PROPHET. John the Baptist said in Luke 3:16, “John answered saying, I indeed baptize you with water, but One mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose, He shall baptize you with The Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Lk 3:12-16) The Prophet spoke of the Holy Ghost given for POWER to witness, and the Fire speaks of PERSECUTION. They go together. Where the Spirit of God is working, the fire of persecution burns.
3. THE PREPARATION. Our text in Acts 2 is the Church in preparation for the coming endowment of Holy Spirit Power. Only a few were willing to tarry as Jesus commanded them. There was much preparation for the coming of the Holy Spirit to empower them. Some things had to be settled. Note their plan..
(A) SUPPLICATION. “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication..”(Acts 1:14) Much prayer went up to God. And today, much prayer is needed. I do not mean that we are to meet together and say words and call that prayer. This comes from our inner being. We must have the conviction that nothing but God, and Only God can help. We MUST seek the face of God as did the disciples.
(B) SIN CONFESSED. There were differences to be settled.
(a) DISOBEDIENCE. Just a few nights before, all the disciples fled into the night. Later, Peter said, “I go fishing” and the rest followed him. They were not to leave the city until they were endued with power. We cannot have revival and be disobedient at the same time. Our Lord knows what He is doing.
(b) DOUBT was there. Doubt had to be settled. Thomas was there in the upper room. His doubts and the doubts of others had to go.
(c) DIVISION was there, in that upper room. You may remember that just a very few days before, The mother of James and John asked of the Lord Jesus that her sons might be seated on His right hand and on the left hand when He entered into His Kingdom. (Mt 20:20-24). The Bible says that “when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.”
Before the Holy Spirit can empower us, DISOBEDIENCE, DIFFERENCES, DIVISIONS MUST be dealt with. SIN MUST be confessed. We can have our meetings, but the Holy Spirit will not meet with us, and bless us, and use us.
4. THE PRODUCT.
(A) UNITY. They were with “One accord and in one place. UNITY. Acts 2:41-47 confirms their unity. They had “all things common” They continued daily with one accord.” And “with singleness of heart.” Nothing can stop a Church in UNITY. Divisions stopped the Corinthian Church. They had an abundance of gifts..BUT, they were divided. We can meet together, and still NOT be together. They met, their differences were settled, sin was confessed. We can have our meetings. We can have activity at the Church every night, and three services on Sunday. The Bible says that they were GATHERED TOGETHER in ONE PLACE, and in ONE ACCORD. We can meet together, and still NOT BE together. They met, sin was confessed, and then they were gathered TOGETHER.
(B) UNCTION. They Had UNITY, they had UNCTION, Anointing, Power, Spiritual fervor. They had power with God and with man. Acts 2:41 says that God added about three thousand souls. 2:47 says that the Lord added to the Church. 5:14 “Multitudes were added.” And 5:28 says that they “filled Jerusalem with their doctrine. Acts 5:13 says, “And of the rest durst no man join himself to them, but the people magnified them.” They were afraid to join the Church in those days after the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira. They were afraid to join then, now we are afraid they won’t join. In fact, we will do just about anything to get them to join. What UNCTION, what power they had. They had UNITY, UNCTION, and they had…
URGENCY. As you read the Acts Of The Apostles, you see, you feel the URGENCY of their message. There was a desire to go to Antioch, to Berea, to Macedonia, to Corinth. “All Asia heard the Word.” (Acts 19:10). “I must also see Rome.” (Acts 19:21).They continued in the preaching of the Gospel, that is, the Birth, Life, Death, Burial, and Resurrection of Christ. He’s Alive! And the URGENCY of our message is clear today, but we must have that UNITY, that UNCTION. We must work in the Power of the Holy Spirit. I know that the “tongues” crowd has mis-used, mis-applied, and mis-read this great passage, but the truth of the matter is this. In order for us to do the job before us, we MUST become obedient, Spirit-filled believers. We MUST labor in the Power of the Holy Spirit. This is the Church’s need for 2014, just as it has been since Pentecost…
FROM MY HEART
By Mildred Mills
HAVE A HOPPY, HOPPY, HOPPY EASTER!
I love the Easter Season with all the newness of life around us. The trees are bright and green once again, the flowers are beginning to bloom in all their beauty, colorful, beautiful, and happy to be alive. I even loved to dye the eggs and hide them for the kids to find so many years ago, lots of fun and sweet memories. I still dye eggs every Easter but I don’t hide them, we eat them, and we also have our share of jelly beans! Easter Season is beautiful and I love it! Hey, it’s Spring time, all the ugly of Winter is over and Spring has sprung! Time to come alive and rejoice in the beauty of Jesus! Sometimes our lives can become drab, gloomy, messy and troublesome just like a long, cold and ugly Winter season, but now is the time to forget all the “messy stuff” and start all over again. We need to leave behind anything the devil has thrown at us that has caused our lives to be troubled and just plain messy. Our Heavenly Father can take all the drab ole ugly things in our lives and make us new again, just like Spring! Let Him take all the negative thoughts away from us and fill us with new life, a life of joy, peace and happiness and a deeper love for Him, the One who gave His life on a cruel cross, suffered and died for our sin, was buried but came forth from the grave on the third day and is alive For Evermore! Hallelujah, What A Saviour! Now, that’s what Easter is all about!“I am He that liveth, and was dead, and, behold I am alive for evermore.” (Rev. 1:18).
TEEN TALKS THAT MATTER
By Ashley Stevens
Luckily for me I was able to attend a Bible-believing Christian School and I had no problem accepting Creation Science. Also, by going to a Christian School I knew the weaknesses and the wrongs in the theory of evolution. However, if you are among the ones who attend a public school and have never had the chance to accept Biblical Creation, you may believe that the earth came about through evolution. As Christians, we know, understand and accept that the Word of the Lord is true. No matter how smart we think we are, God’s knowledge and strength is far beyond our own.
“In the beginning GOD CREATED the heavens and the earth.” (Gen. 1:1).
There was no scientist. We are not created from a “big bang.” The only person who was there in the very beginning was God. No one will ever have more knowledge than our God. No theory will ever be proven true, because our Great and Almighty God was there; only Him alone. He spoke and it happened. Don’t ever let someone else try and persuade you that this beautiful world was created any differently. Stand up for what you believe in! Tell them about the way that you believe and know that the Lord Jesus Christ created the world. What a great opportunity to lead a lost one to Christ.
May God Bless your life each and every day.
Until next time, Ashley Stevens
“O come, let us worship, and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord our maker.” (Psa 95:6) Many of the beautiful Psalms deal with worship. Today I would like to share with you a message from Psalm 15. This is known as The Worship Psalm…
“Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy Holy Hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but he honoreth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
Two questions are asked in v1..
“Who shall ABIDE in Thy Tabernacle?
“Who shall DWELL in Thy Holy Hill?
The contrast is between ABIDING in verse 1, and MOVING in verse 5. The Tabernacle was the center of worship. The Holy Hill is Mount Zion. This is where the blessings were. This is where God met with man. This is the place of safety. This is the place of the Mercy Seat, and the Glory of God. That’s the place where I wish to dwell, to live, to abide. To ever be in His Presence. To Worship in His Holy Place. People all over the world attend Church, they carry a Bible, they sing songs, they write songs about Jesus, They pray, they raise their hands in worship, but very few ever really Worship God. Worship is more than meeting in a building and listening to a sermon. Worship has to do with the heart. The real inner-man. We enter a spirit of reverence, of adoration, and of praise, not from our lips, but from our hearts. We need to take inventory. “Is our Worship acceptable to God?” The Lord Jesus said to the woman at the well in John 4:24, “God is a Spirit (Capitalized) and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit (not capitalized) and in truth.” If my “spirit” is to be in fellowship and praise with His “Spirit” If we are to worship God, we must worship Him His way, in spirit and in truth. I believe that “spirit” and “truth”in this text refer to the condition of the heart of man in worship. These words are not capitalized. As we go to our text in Psalm 15, let us see how the “spirit” and “truth” of man is involved in worship.
(A) SPIRIT. The things that come from deep within that hinder our worship. The things that determine our attitude. These things must be harshly dealt with and put away. Now, Psalm 15.
(a) “He that backbiteth not with his tongue” v3. According to the Book of James, Ch. 3, the tongue is a deadly evil. The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity.” “It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God the Father and therewith curse we men…out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing . My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” James goes on to say, “But the tongue can no man tame.” BUT God can! The tongue that is surrendered and controlled by the Spirit of God is filled with sweetness, and kindness, and praise to God. Let none of us try to convince ourselves that our worship is acceptable to God if our tongue has been used as a cesspool to talk about others, to downgrade others. Slander is a work of the devil.
(b) “Nor doeth evil to his neighbor.” V3. According to Luke 10:30-37, our neighbor is not just the man next door, but it includes anyone we may come in contact with. We should never do wrong, by word, or deed against others. This text suggests a willful wrong act, or deed against others. We cannot be wrong with man and right with God. Now, I am in no way suggesting that we should just lie down and let others walk over us. There is a Spiritual way to handle wrongdoers. We should never be guilty of willful wrongs against others, that is, if we want our worship to be acceptable to God.
(c) “Nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.” V3. The thought in this verse conveys the idea of broadcasting the shortcomings of someone else. You know, we have found out something about someone and we just can’t wait to tell someone else about it. “WHERE’S THE PHONE?” “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”(Pr 25:11) Sometimes silence is golden, especially when something we say will do more damage, hurt, or character assassination.
Again, if these things be in our lives, rest assured, our worship is NOT acceptable, although we may testify, pray aloud, lead the song service, or even preach. Now, I did not say these things, I am only reading the Bible.
(d) “He that putteth not out his money to usury.” V5. Usury is interest forbidden by law. (Ex 22:25) Do not charge interest if you loan your money to someone. Let the banks, the loan companies, the financial institutions charge their interest. But not us. Let us deal with our Christian brothers and sisters in honesty and kindness. This text also suggests our doing things just for the sake of getting something back. We sometimes want someone to be indebted to us so we can claim that at some later time.
If we are going to worship God, we must worship with a clean heart and life. God will NOT accept our worship if these things are in our lives. Even though we are saved, these things hinder our worship. We must pray with the Psalmist, “Search me O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me.” (Psa 139:23-24).
(B) TRUTH. This deals with the things we MUST have, if our worship is acceptable to God. Psalm 15.
(a) “He that walketh uprightly”(v2).An upright walk. This has to do with our relationship to MEN. “He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also to walk even as He walked.” (1Jn 2:6) “How then, did Jesus walk?”
He walked by Faith.
He walked in the Spirit.
He walked in obedience.
He walked in such a way that His greatest critics could find no fault in Him.
(b) “And worketh Righteousness.” (v2) He practices righteousness. Right living. This has to do with our relationship with GOD. He does what he knows is right to do. “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17. He knows what God’s Word says, and does that.
(c) “And speaketh the TRUTH in his heart.” V2. This has to do with our relationship with OURSELVES. “He speaks the truth in his heart. His heart does not condemn him because he has been truthful. He is not a hypocrite. God, give us a generation of real worshipers. These are folks you can trust, you can depend upon
(d) “In whose eyes a vile person is contemned.” (v4). This has to do with our relationship with SINNERS, with wrongdoers. He honors the Godly, but has no fellowship with the ungodly. A true worshiper will hate all evil and the things that the Bible condemns.
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” (Eph 5:11) He is not “Holier than thou” He will help who he can and how he can, but he is not friends with the wrong crowd.
(e) “He that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not.” V4. He will keep his word. This has to do with our relationship with the WORLD. This man will keep his word, even if keeping his word will result in bringing hurt to himself. Where are the honest, truthful, men and women who you can really trust?
The TRUE worshiper, the one whose worship is acceptable to God is the Believer, man, or woman, you can trust. Oh, they are not yet perfect, but as the best they can, their relationship with God, the world, the church, sinners, and their own selves is kept right.. Is our worship acceptable? Do we really have the assurance that we have been with God, or have we just been to another meeting? Has the Holy Spirit reminded you of something that is not right? Then do that which you know would make that thing right with God and with man. Sometimes just a simple phone call, or a visit to a wounded brother would make the difference between acceptable worship and meaningless motion. Let our “spirit” be ever close to His “Spirit.”
Question: “There are so many religions and doctrines and different people saying different things, I just don’t understand. Is Salvation all that complicated?”
Answer..First, you must understand that you are a sinner. We are born sinners. Adam sinned and incurred a sinful nature which was passed on down to us. (Ro. 3:23)
Second. You must understand that there is a price to pay for sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Ro. 6:23). Christ paid that price for us.
You must understand that Salvation is the FREE GIFT of God. (Eph 2:8-9).
You must, by faith alone, receive Jesus Christ. He alone can save you. “How then, do I receive Him?” The Bible says, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” He will hear your heart’s cry. Tell Him; “in the best way I know how, I receive receive Christ as my Saviour TODAY! (John 1:12).
Begin TODAY to live FOREVER!