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dohzman
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Joined: 2004/10/13
Posts: 2132


 Re: On target again

Tough to do-- that's why the cross is so important. It really takes a death to self inorder to walk this walk. BTW one of my favorite scriptures is Ps133.


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D.Miller

 2005/4/3 21:04Profile
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 Re: Worship in spirit part 2

I love simple. I've read both of your posts on worship and feel like just one thing lackest thou, go sell all you have give to the poor and follow me(Jesus' quote). I've been through so much fire and heart ache , teachings, study ect...that I've reduced much of this lifes christianity to some basic principles. Things I see and how I understand them when I cross thier path---I speak about the word of God here. I see the Word as being Jesus and He came from the Father--- The Father actually spoke from the abundence of his heart and that expression on earth was Jesus.I see Jesus' teachings as being very Spirit and truth. I see the Holy Spirit as very God in us to help us DO the teachings of Jesus in our daily Life, and that out of an attitude of Love. I see the doing of the word of God as being lead of the Spirit and walking in the Spirit and honoring Jesus and the whole thing being an act of worship. I love the music I love times of refreshings that come through an anointed song leader who has weep over his ministry to the body of Christ before leading in songs of praise and worship, BUT if I can not walk as an offering of prayer- praise- and worship daily, in life where ever I am then I know I've missed the best and highest for my life. That's why we need the cross, without it we cannot be an expression of the resurrection power of Jesus here and now.


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D.Miller

 2005/4/3 21:45Profile
Jimm
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 A healthy mind- part 2

Quote:
When it comes to the mind , though it would seem that so much of our daily battle is getting enough of our mind renewed to actually believe the things Jesus' has done for us in salvation.



Welcome Brother Daryl, and thank you for the company; it was becoming eerily quiet around here! As it happens the Spirit will now direct us in the direction you have stated. May the Lord Jesus guide us through his divine truths by His Spirit.

Let us examine a text that should lead us to a further meditation as to why a healthy mind is needful:

Romans 8:1-9 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.[b] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.[/b] For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Two laws are contrasted in the above text: the law of the Spirit of life and the law of sin and death. Let us consider this for a moment. We told that we have freedom from the law of sin and death, but nowhere does it say that the law of sin and death is rooted out or destroyed. Death is still in business and very operational; (the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death- 1 Corinthians 15:26). We are told however that as long as the law of the Spirit of life is operational, we are above the law of sin and death. What does this mean? Let us use a simple illustration to show how laws work:

I have a membership at a gym which allows me access to a running track. My membership allows me to walk freely on this track. The track is clearly marked though, so as to prevent those who are not members from accessing that to which they have no right and have not paid the fee (price) for. To be identified as a member of this gym everyday I must carry my gym card; the card is valid for five yeas but I must carry it for it to be effective. There are here two laws (or rules) in operation, the rule of prosecution and punishment is only applicable to those who are not members. The other rule, the rule of membership allows me to walk freely on the track, provided I remember (I am [b]mindful[/b]) to bring my gym card. If I do not have my gym card I will be treated as if I am not a member, and my privileges will be inaccessible to me, that is to say I will fall under the power of the rule of prosecution and punishment. From this illustration, there are only two ways to walk this track, under the law of prosecution and punishment or under the law of membership.

Let us now explain what we mean by this illustration. The law of persecution and punishment is like the law of sin and death. The track is like the world. The law of membership is like the law of the Spirit of life. If you are not a member you have absolutely no freedom to walk on this track and you are in bondage to this law; if you do not have the Spirit you have no freedom in this world and you are in bondage to the law. If you are a member you are free to walk this track with absolute freedom, provided we are mindful to carry our gym card; if you are born of the Spirit, you are free from the law of sin and death provided you are spiritually minded every day. Our membership is…” that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”(Ephesians1:13-14)If however we are not mindful of our membership we will suffer loss and we will have the experience of those who are under the law of sin and death.

We must present ourselves to the Lord daily as living sacrifices and be “transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” everyday. The mind needs to be renewed daily or else we will be conformed to the pattern of this world and not transformed… into the same image [Jesus} from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18) The life is always in us but it is activated by faith, and if our faith is not activated, the life is not activated…faith without works is dead also(James 2:26). We all (who are born of God) have a measure of faith but if we are not mindfully activating it, we will suffer loss.

As Paul tells us, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” (Romans 12:1-3)

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/4/4 5:53Profile
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 The fruit of the Spirit

The Spirit of God is on a constant quest to unify the children of God. Our devotion to the brethren should be unparalleled and surpassed only by our devotion to God. Although we as brothers and sisters in Christ have many differences the thing that unifies is the Spirit of Christ; the faith that saved you saves me; the Spirit that ministers through you ministers through me. Let us be clear my friends that any differences among those who are begotten of God are carnal and in the natural man, our spirits are unable to disagree for in Christ they are one. When we walk outside of the spiritual mindset that natural outer-man, mindset takes over. We must have before us a starting point for identifying the brethren, and John gives us a wonderful beginning as he says:

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1-3)

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? (1 John 5:1-5)

In the last section we have a word about the commandments of God. An examination of scriptures will soon have you to realize that most of God’s commandments are man-ward rather than directly God-ward. The “sermon on the mount” is the most expressive (in my opinion) illustration of the grace that is required of us, and this grace by Christ is to be expressed through us to one another. The expression of grace towards the brethren is particularly glorious, and causes the world to say within themselves, “what manner of people are these?” as they give God the praise.

The Spirit of Christ, as we have said before, has been given to us collectively, that we “may be one” in Christ. This is not the entire ministry of the Spirit but it is a very high level of Christianity that cannot be done apart from Christ. Again that high priestly prayer of Jesus Christ cannot be quoted enough:

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are… That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. (John17:11;21-23)

There is a glory that is in the church but we have largely not laid hold of this glory. It is a glory that no individual can express but must be the collective meditation of those “who are begotten of God”. As we mature in Christ, the love of Christ constrains us to not be wayward to one another. Paul tells us, the church (as his epistles are addressed to churches not the world):

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:21-25)

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/4/13 19:03Profile
Jimm
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 Spiritual Gifts part 1

We have not fully considered the fullness of the life in the Spirit of Christ but, we must at this stage digress and reflect on one function of the believer in relation to the Spirit. Let us first consider the origin of the gifts and then our meditation may begin in earnest after this introductory section. I pray that our Lord may enlighten our hearts and reveal some aspects of Himself to us by His Spirit and that He may give us the faith to hear what He has prepared for each of us. I pray Father that the glory of the Son may have preeminence and that the seeds of deception and confusion my not hinder us from knowing you the only true wise and holy God.

The Spirit of God through the scriptures tells us:

“…A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” (John 3:27)”

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” Luke 11:13

“ But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Ephesians 4:7-8

“So they stayed there for some time and spoke boldly, in reliance on the Lord, who testified to the message of His grace by granting that signs and wonders be performed through them.” Acts 14:3

“And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” Revelations 19:10

“ Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. (John 8:14)

The gifts of the Spirit are inseparable from the giver as the Jesus Christ is the gift and His Spirit manifests Him and testifies to Him. Jesus Himself bears record of Himself through us, His Bride and Body. The testimony of Jesus Christ is spiritual and supernatural for he is God, and “God is a Spirit…” (John 4:24). When we speak of the gifts of the Spirit we talk of that which is administered by Jesus Christ through his spirit as a testimony to His ministry in us. We must however tread lightly before we proceed and reflect on a few more verses:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Mathew 7:21-23)

Notice the sincerity these speak with. They genuinely believed that their works saved them. Not even spiritual works will get you to heaven. We are justified not by faith in works but faith in Christ. These were fully persuaded, that is, they had faith in their works. The Lord does not tell them that their works were false for it was not they that worked the works but it was our Lord who testified through them. This is perhaps a difficult concept but consider Saul (1 Samuel 19) and Balaam (Numbers 23) both prophesied in the midst of their own iniquity. Let us dear brethren have our faith place therefore on the testifier and not the testimony; prophesies, wisdom, faith, knowledge, healings and tongues are all to be desired but only that the Lord may have a means to testify through us and not that we work our way to God…that is heresy and its condemnation is deserved.



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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/4/15 10:44Profile
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 Re:

Quote:
This is all because we don't do one thing, either in ignorance or just neglect. We don't seek the counsel of the spirit of God. On some levels we want to work for God but we want to do things on our own terms and therein is the problem.


Is this a personal confession or an accusation? It is difficult to tell which.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/4/15 11:50Profile
Jimm
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Joined: 2004/4/27
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 Re:

Hey Ron

Quote:
Is this a personal confession or an accusation? It is difficult to tell which.



Welcome aboard sir! I am sorry, I do not seem to remember where I posted that but that particular line and in what context. I am just guessing here but, if I said it, it was probably an observation I made from my own life.

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/4/15 14:10Profile
Jimm
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 Re: Gifts of the Spirit part 2- Different administrations

Romans 7:22 says, "For I delight in the law of God according to the inner man." Our inner man delights in the law of God. Ephesians 3:16 also tells us "to be strengthened with power through His Spirit into the inner man." In 2 Corinthians 4:16 Paul also said, "Though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day." 1 Peter 3 says in verses 4 and 5: Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. And Finally our Lord says in Luke 11:39 Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

Let us realize that scripture divides our being into an “inward part” and an “outward part”. The outward part of our being is naturally adorned with abilities and natural gifts. Let me say plainly that spiritual gifts are not natural gifts; there is a distinct difference between spiritual gifts and natural gifts. The natural gifts are those which are possessed by the outward man, and the spiritual gifts are those which are possessed by the inward man. Our natural wisdom and knowledge and teaching ability will yield natural results but, our inward (spiritual) abilities will yield inward spiritual results.

The Lord adorns the inward part for this is His dwelling place and that which is in communion with Him and as we said in the preceding section, it is He who testifies through the gifts in us. Now let us add a further fact that this testimony proceeds from the inward spirit in us who are “born again” (..that which born of Spirit is spirit…John3:6). The gifts lie in that inward new man, “…which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians4:24). I can naturally learn to teach, but this is not the gift of teaching. I can naturally speak in different languages, but this is not the gift of tongues. Let us be clear, that which can be done naturally without the testimony of Jesus Christ is natural and not a spiritual gift.

Let us now proceed by being looking at the Bible objectively (uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices) and not subjectively (influenced by experiences and bias). We must not let external evidence and experience dominate our thinking, but in faith we must accept that which is not seen or tangible. We are not seeking after the gifts and testimonies of Jesus Christ that we may have something to do blindly, or that we may establish ourselves and our ministries.

We seek after God’s gifts sacrificially because the spiritual problems in the Church and world require spiritual supernatural testimonies of Jesus Christ. Our natural testimonies may be disputable, but the testimonies (gifts) of Jesus Christ are supernatural and spiritual. Again let us say it is not us who testify and the credit must go entirely to Him, He testifies of Himself and the works are His.

The first distinction we are going to make concerning the Lord’s servants is that of office. We are each appointed with and office and a capacity in which we serve the Lord and the office is distinguished from the gift. There are gifts and then there are administration (offices) through which the are effected.

The offices which are commonly noted are found in Ephesians 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”. And other offices are presented in Romans 12 verses 7 and 8: Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering… Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. And so we have; apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, ministers, exhorters, givers, rulers and mercy showers. I do not believe the list is exhaustive or definitive but I put it this way that this way that we can see a range of ways in which the Lord may use us and in which He can be in service through us.

I do not believe the Apostle was attempting to define the offices but to point out rather that there is a distinction between the office and the gift. Even the list which I have put is subjective but I am attempting to draw attention to the fact that we all have offices in the body. Paul says plainly, “ Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. (1 Corinthians 12:4-6)

The order in which the Lord works is not definable, “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). Although we can see the distinction between the gifts and the office I cannot tell you how the Lord will manifest. In some the office may be more apparent than the gift, in others the gift is more apparent than the office, but as we mature in Him these things become progressively more evident. The first thing (the list of “first things grows longer and longer”) we must do is accept the divine truths of the Bible and that the gifts of the spirit were never cancelled, just as the Devil never cancelled His oppression. The gifts of the Spirit are very much alive and operational in Christ, but if you deny them and doubt them they may never become apparent.



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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/4/16 12:46Profile
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IN HEAVENLY PLACES WITH JESUS

 Seperated unto God part 1

Keeping in line with the pace and tenor of this thread we will consider a topic of utmost importance in relation to the spiritual walk in Christ. In the middle of his discourse concerning spiritual gifts (1 Corinthians 12-14) Paul stops to amplify the importance of an attribute that is of God- Love. The attributes of God are in the Son and to produce these attributes we are to be in the Son and to be dedicated to God. In the old testament holiness was always “of God”; it was when something was wholly dedicated to the Lord that it was considered holy. Holiness in not the irradiation of evil, though holiness in us does have this (the irradiation of evil) manifestation, but holiness is in God and obtained by being in Him, that is, in Christ. See also that holiness in not good works and behavior, although it does have this manifestation (good works and behavior), but holiness in of God and it is entirely His attribute and not ours. There is not such thing as holiness “unto oneself” (that is, you do not become holy based on how much evil is irradiated in your life and how many good works you perform) but holiness in always unto God.

Holiness is separation unto God and He is the only means by which holiness is imputed onto us. You do not come to the Lord to get a fill of holiness and then continue with your life until your supply has run out. No; that is not separation, it is not “unto God”. Many believers are trying to obtain a self styled holiness and righteousness from God. It is the belief of many that they would be holy with if they were less impatient with a dab of love and a pinch of faith and a little more perseverance and a measure of faith… this is a futile prayer! When we put it like this (as if holiness consisted of many different ingredients that God dispenses like a pharmacist) we see that holiness is far more than repentance and fruits of the Spirit. It is a difficult concept to express fluently but perhaps A.W. Pink’s account of God’s holiness will give us a good footing:

“Because God is holy, acceptance with Him on the ground of creature-doings is utterly impossible. A fallen creature could sooner create a world than produce that which would meet the approval of infinite Purity. Can darkness dwell with Light? Can the Immaculate One take pleasure with "filthy rags" (Isa. 64:6)? The best that sinful man brings forth is defiled. A corrupt tree cannot bear good fruit. God would deny Himself, vilify His perfections, were He to account as righteous and holy that which is not so in itself; and nothing is so which has the least stain upon it contrary to the nature of God. But blessed be His name, that which His holiness demanded His grace has provided in Christ Jesus our Lord. Every poor sinner who has fled to Him for refuge stands "accepted in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:6). Hallelujah!”

Now we have perhaps established that holiness is of God although such a revelation is one which comes from God alone and not from our texts but, if the Lord has been gracious enough to allow us to see this we will now ask how this fits in with the Spirit or should I say the HOLY Spirit. The Spirit is not only of God through God and unto God, He is God. The light of this revelation is staggering but let me say plainly that the holiness is God is expressed by God through His Son in His Spirit within us. It is not the works that are holy but the fact that they are from God that makes the holy. Hallelujah! When we see this, that God is not our aid to holiness but that He is our holiness we must fall on our face and worship the creator who is God blessed forever amen. God does not follow a higher moral code above Him, the Lord is the moral code and by that virtue anything that He does is pure and righteous and just and indeed, very good. Hallelujah! My words fail me on this matter and I cannot express it enough. Dr A.W. Tozer may provide some insight as to the fallacy of self-styled holiness when he says:

“If we compare what we ought to be and could be with what we are, and we don't see that we are in a rut and we are not concerned, then one of three things may be wrong. First, we may not be converted at all. . . .

Second, people may not be concerned about the rut because of sin they have committed...

Third, some people are so self-righteous that they are impervious to any work of the Holy Spirit. They cannot be cured of their blindness because they think they see. The Pharisees never got under conviction. They crucified Christ, they hated the Son of God, but they never got under conviction. They had ordered their religious life so as to be impervious to the arrows of the Holy Spirit. The adulterous woman could fall at the feet of Jesus, the tax collector who knew he had been crooked could run to the feet of Jesus to ask for help, and the poor came from everywhere to say, "What must I do?" They could come, but the Pharisees never did. They never got under conviction, and in hell I suppose they are still fighting and saying they are right. If people judge what they could be and ought to be with what they are and can still go home and have a good night's rest, shrugging it off, perhaps they have never been converted. Maybe they have sinned against light until they are temporarily under a terrible cloud of God's judgment. Or maybe they are so self-righteous that they cannot get under conviction.”

Let us seek after God not for what he may impart but for Him. A greater measure of God is a greater measure of His attributes, but be aware, a greater measure of attributes is not a greater measure of God. Pray with me and mediate on it my friends, that the Lord may lead us into all truth, that is, into Himself. Amen and Amen!

James


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Farai Bamu

 2005/4/24 16:02Profile
Jimm
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 Spiritual gifts part 3- The gifts of the Spirit

Paul begins the discourse in 1 Corinthians 12 with this statement, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.” Elsewhere (Romans 11:25) Paul says, “For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits”.

Let us begin by saying that there is much wisdom in the world concerning spiritual gifts, and the prince of the “power of the air” propagates much of it, to the end that may not be established; that is, that we may be disconcerted (To frustrate (plans, for example) by throwing into disorder) by the mutual doubt both in us and in others. Fear, doubt and unbelief chokes the life out of the works and the witness of the Spirit. The ultimate example I suppose is that of our Lord Himself whose works were paralyzed by the unbelief that compassed Him (Mark 6: 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.) we have said already that the gifts of the Spirit are a testimony of Jesus Christ by which, He Himself testifies by the works which are manifest. Today the mighty works of Jesus are still being hindered by unbelief.

Again to pick up where Paul left us (…I would not have you ignorant…) let us say that the way to serve the Lord is not in paranoia fear and ignorance but, a good steward will seek after those things which are true and flee from what is false. May the Lord bear me witness in you spirit when is say that all the gifts of the Spirit in Jesus Christ are still available in the Church, and many of the are activated in a faithful few. All good things are from above and to those who lack faith the Lord gives, if the will only ask, and ask persistently until the have obtained that good thing (spiritual) which they seek.

The false religions and occult practices are producing real signs and wonders, and lthough identifying this falsehood is required, it is much more important to combat lies with truth. In these last days dear saints the supernatural testimony of Christ is needed much more than ever that the faith of the saints may have a firm foundation not in word only but in power and in much assurance. Our God is the Omnipotent, omnipresent, Holy One. As highly as we deem gifts of the Spirit (whether conscious or unconsciously), they are no great thing for the Lord to work in Him, if only we would not insult His sovereignty by doubting Him.

The office which the Lord appoints in His service and ministry is unlikely to change but the gifts are those which the saints are given to operate in the office, and these are variable… Let us consider a few verses to illustrate this point:

1 Corinthians 12:12-26 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, hether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary: And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

This establishes without a doubt that everyone in the body has a fixed role to play but Paul goes on to say some things that are rather unusual:

1 Corinthians 14:5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.


1 Corinthians14:23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

1 Corinthians 14:29Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

1 Corinthians12: 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

What is unusual are these statements, “I would that ye all spake with tongues…”; “But if all prophesy…”; “…covet to prophesy…” and “…covet the best gifts…”Careless reading of this text will lead to the one conclusion that some offices are more important than others but we know that, “there should be no schism in the body”. Let me illustrate this somewhat difficult concept with an illustration. A servant may have the office of preacher and he may for this office be equipped with the gift of wisdom, knowledge, tongues and healing. This servant of the Lord may rightly pray, ‘Lord give me the gift of prophecy that I may serve you more abundantly’, but it would not be right to pray, “Lord, make me and evangelist that I may serve you more abundantly”. An eye must remain and eye, a preacher must remain a preacher, but he may still covet the “best gifts”. There is no “best office” in the true church of Jesus Christ, but there are best gifts. Have all the great servants of the church been apostles; have all been prophets; have all been preachers; have all been teachers? The Lord does equip the saints with the gifts that are most needful to their office. Earnest expectation of the gifts is good and even conducive to receiving them. May the Lord graciously open the eye of our hearts. Amen.

James


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James Gabriel Gondai Dziya

 2005/4/28 22:43Profile





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