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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons :  God wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit

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followthelamb
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Joined: 2010/12/7
Posts: 1206
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

  God wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit

[edited to show that post is an excerpt from a lengthier sermon.]

"...I am not devaluing the gift of speaking in tongues. But how can you know whether what you have is the genuine gift of tongues?

I have been speaking in tongues for 37 years now and I can tell you what it did for me. I was a born-again Christian for 16 years before I spoke in tongues. And in all those years I was frequently discouraged, depressed, angry and having seasons of bad moods. I would sometimes be on the mountain top rejoicing but most of the time down in the valley of depression. I was just like most "born-again" Christians!! Then I read in 1 Corinthians 14:4 that "he who speaks in a tongue edifies himself". Well, I certainly wanted to edify myself. To edify means "to build up". If somebody put a bomb in this building it would be blown to pieces. Then if somebody built it up again, it would become a beautiful "edifice"...

So I asked the Lord, "Lord can You really rebuild this blown-up, backslidden life of mine? I am born again but I often have bad moods. I can't control my tongue and when I get angry I speak like the devil himself. Can You really give me a heavenly tongue? Can You really build me up into something beautiful? If so, I want You to do that in me - at any cost." I was desperate.

God then filled me with His Spirit and turned my life around completely. He not only gave me the gift of speaking in other tongues but also empowered me to control my mother-tongue! That is how I knew that the gift I had received was genuine. If you claim to have the gift of speaking in an unknown tongue but cannot control your known tongue, then your gift may not be from the Holy Spirit at all.

I also found then that I could overcome discouragement and bad moods - and "rejoice in the Lord always"....But above all, the presence of Jesus became real to me since I was filled with the Spirit. I know now that the One living in me is more powerful than Satan. Earlier, I was scared of encountering demon-possessed people. But now I can help such people, by casting the demons out of them. Once I was afraid of the devil. Now the devil is afraid of me.

I am not anyone special. But I got real, genuine Christianity when God filled me with the Holy Spirit. I have given my all to Jesus and now I have no ambition on earth, but to do the will of God every day until I see my Lord, face to face one day.

When I look at the lives of most Christians around me, who say they are born again, I see them in exactly the same state that I was in during the first 16 years after I was born-again. I do not despise such Christians nor do I criticize them. How can I? I too was exactly like them once. I only tell them, "God has something better for you. Turn around from seeking after earthly things and seek for the heavenly. Then Jesus will fill you with His Spirit. The new covenant life is a million times better than the old covenant life."

Jesus did not come to make us rich with earthly wealth, Neither did He come to give us honor - either in this world or in the church, He came to make us like Himself - loving, humble and holy. At the same time, He will allow us to be despised and rejected by men, as He Himself was. He may allow us to be poor in material things, but spiritually rich...

Do you hear a voice coming to you from heaven today? It is a very loving voice. The Lord says, "My son, my daughter come up higher. I don't want you to continue living at the low level that you are living at right now. Don't be happy that you are better than other Christians around you. Don't boast in your knowledge, or your experiences, or in the good opinion that others have of you, or in how spiritual you think you are. Don't even rejoice in how much you have been used by Me in the past. Come up higher."

God wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit. Will you say to Him, "Lord I want the genuine power of the Holy Spirit. I have lived long enough with a counterfeit."

Let me tell you one more thing: You don't have to wait. If there is a waiting period, it is because God is waiting for you to yield everything to Him - all your life and all your ambitions, etc., Perhaps there is something in your life that you still have not yielded to Him, some door in your heart that you still have not opened to the Lord, some habit that you are still not willing to give up. Are you willing to give it up now?

Are you willing to throw away those movie-DVDs that you have that you cannot let Jesus watch along with you? Are you willing to throw away those rock-music-CDs that Jesus would never listen to? Are you willing to throw away those pictures and magazines that you have, that you would be ashamed to let Jesus see? Are you willing to let Jesus examine your financial affairs and tell you how to use your money? Are you willing to let Jesus always be between you and your wife so that every time you speak to her, you will be speaking with Jesus standing in front of you?. And the other way around, if you are a wife?

If that is the life you are longing for, I can tell you, that you can be filled with the Holy Spirit today."

- Zac Poonen

 2015/8/10 2:06Profile
Lysa
Member



Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3385
East TN (for now)

 Re: God wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit

Quote:
When I look at the lives of most Christians around me, who say they are born again, I see them in exactly the same state that I was in during the first 16 years after I was born-again. I do not despise such Christians nor do I criticize them. How can I? I too was exactly like them once. I only tell them, "God has something better for you. Turn around from seeking after earthly things and seek for the heavenly. Then Jesus will fill you with His Spirit. The new covenant life is a million times better than the old covenant life."



That is correct. Amen!!


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Lisa

 2015/8/10 3:47Profile
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1624


 Re: God wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit

Quote:

God then filled me with His Spirit and turned my life around completely. He not only gave me the gift of speaking in other tongues but also empowered me to control my mother-tongue! That is how I knew that the gift I had received was genuine. If you claim to have the gift of speaking in an unknown tongue but cannot control your known tongue, then your gift may not be from the Holy Spirit at all.



This is something that everyone who speaks in tongues should examine. Do you have control over your mother tongue? Are you able to accept false accusations from others and still keep your mouth closed like how Jesus stood before Pilate? If the gift of tongues cannot guarantee us this then it is a counterfeit.


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Sreeram

 2015/8/10 3:59Profile
romanchog
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Joined: 2011/10/27
Posts: 316


 Re: God wants to fill you with His Holy Spirit

This raises in me the question: if I do not speak in tongues, is he saying I am not filled with the Holy Spirit?

What if I have all the other things that Zac Poonen listed--yielding to God, seeking only after Him, separation from worldly things--does that not give evidence of being filled with the Holy Spirit?

We should be careful to equate being filled with the Holy Spirit with speaking in tongues. In 1 Cor 12 it is listed as a just one of several gifts that the Spirit gives to whom He pleases, for the benefit of all. If we start saying that only those that speak in tongues are filled with the Spirit, then we are not being true to the Word. We are also placing condemnation on many brethren who do not speak in tongues because the Spirit of God has not chosen to give them this gift. They may incorrectly feel that they are not filled with the Holy Spirit because of their failure to speak in tongues.

I can tell you that is how I felt for 15 years, thinking that speaking in tongues was the only demonstration of being filled with the Holy Spirit. I was wrong. I finally learned that it is a focus on Christ and His life in me, my total surrender to Him, my separation from the world, that demonstrate that the Spirit is at work in me. The scriptures surely demonstrate that the gift of tongues is just one gift among others.




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Natalie

 2015/8/10 16:42Profile
followthelamb
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Joined: 2010/12/7
Posts: 1206
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re:

Sister,

Good point. Thank you for warning against the false pressure or expectation that everyone must speak in tongues to be Spirit filled. That is not what brother Zac teaches at all and even has this to say in another article/ sermon:

"All believers do not speak in tongues, just like all believers do not have the gifts of healing. So obviously, God does not feel that "tongues" is an essential gift for all believers - either for being holy or for being effective in His service. If it were, He would have given this gift to everyone."

In my own walk with The Lord, on October 30, 2010 while alone in my bedroom in devotional time, The Lord suddenly manifested His presence, His love, in such a way that I wasn't sure at the time if I was about to die or what was happening, but when I've read testimonies of other saints it was almost exactly the same as what they describe as the baptism of the Holy Spirit..... For whatever it is worth, I did not speak in tongues nor do I believe one has to do so.

 2015/8/10 17:12Profile
ccchhhrrriiisss
Member



Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4476


 Re:

Hi Sree,

Quote:

This is something that everyone who speaks in tongues should examine. Do you have control over your mother tongue? Are you able to accept false accusations from others and still keep your mouth closed like how Jesus stood before Pilate? If the gift of tongues cannot guarantee us this then it is a counterfeit.



While I certainly agree that it is important for believers to control their tongues, I strongly disagree with your notion that a gift could be "counterfeit" if someone slips and allows their tongues to go unbridled. There are other gifts. If someone is given "wisdom" through the Spirit but sometimes acts unwise, do we assume that their "wisdom" was counterfeit?

Remember: Paul was forced to rebuke Peter publicly because of some of the things that he was doing. Was Peter's role as an apostle "counterfeit" because he was not living (or leading) correctly -- and even being a hypocrite (living like a Gentile but demanding that Gentiles observe Jewish ordinances)?

The same issue can be raised over all manner of gifts. One thing that we all have in common is our flawed humanity on this side of the "glass darkly." We are all engaged in a war between the flesh and the Spirit.

While there is no excuse for the ungodly words that one might use, I think that it is a bit of a stretch to say that the gifts of God are "counterfeit" if someone operates (even for a moment) contrary to the leading of the Spirit.

I am reminded of Corrie ten Boom. In one of her books (I think that it was Tramp for the Lord), she wrote about meeting a former guard of the concentration camp in which she and her sister was confined. She had just finished sharing her story and message of Christ's love and forgiveness. The man, who had been sitting in the meeting, walked up to her afterward and stretched out his hand. She immediately recognized him. I found her account online. She wrote:

Quote:

“It was in a church in Munich that I saw him—a balding, heavyset man in a gray overcoat, a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken, moving along the rows of wooden chairs to the door at the rear. It was 1947 and I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives.

“It was the truth they needed most to hear in that bitter, bombed-out land, and I gave them my favorite mental picture. Maybe because the sea is never far from a Hollander’s mind, I liked to think that that’s where forgiven sins were thrown. ‘When we confess our sins,’ I said, ‘God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever. …’

“The solemn faces stared back at me, not quite daring to believe. There were never questions after a talk in Germany in 1947. People stood up in silence, in silence collected their wraps, in silence left the room.

“And that’s when I saw him, working his way forward against the others. One moment I saw the overcoat and the brown hat; the next, a blue uniform and a visored cap with its skull and crossbones. It came back with a rush: the huge room with its harsh overhead lights; the pathetic pile of dresses and shoes in the center of the floor; the shame of walking naked past this man. I could see my sister’s frail form ahead of me, ribs sharp beneath the parchment skin. Betsie, how thin you were!

[Betsie and I had been arrested for concealing Jews in our home during the Nazi occupation of Holland; this man had been a guard at Ravensbruck concentration camp where we were sent.]

“Now he was in front of me, hand thrust out: ‘A fine message, Fräulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!’

“And I, who had spoken so glibly of forgiveness, fumbled in my pocketbook rather than take that hand. He would not remember me, of course—how could he remember one prisoner among those thousands of women?

“But I remembered him and the leather crop swinging from his belt. I was face-to-face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze.

“ ‘You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk,’ he was saying, ‘I was a guard there.’ No, he did not remember me.

“ ‘But since that time,’ he went on, ‘I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fräulein,’ again the hand came out—’will you forgive me?’

“And I stood there—I whose sins had again and again to be forgiven—and could not forgive. Betsie had died in that place—could he erase her slow terrible death simply for the asking?

“It could not have been many seconds that he stood there—hand held out—but to me it seemed hours as I wrestled with the most difficult thing I had ever had to do.

“For I had to do it—I knew that. The message that God forgives has a prior condition: that we forgive those who have injured us. ‘If you do not forgive men their trespasses,’ Jesus says, ‘neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.’

“I knew it not only as a commandment of God, but as a daily experience. Since the end of the war I had had a home in Holland for victims of Nazi brutality. Those who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.

“And still I stood there with the coldness clutching my heart. But forgiveness is not an emotion—I knew that too. Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart. ‘… Help!’ I prayed silently. ‘I can lift my hand. I can do that much. You supply the feeling.’

“And so woodenly, mechanically, I thrust my hand into the one stretched out to me. And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes.

“ ‘I forgive you, brother!’ I cried. ‘With all my heart!’

“For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then”



In that moment of unforgiveness, should we suggest that Corrie ten Boom's gifts, love and even message were "counterfeit?" Or should we conclude that she was struggling with something that is common among all believers -- to truly live the Truth that we have received from the Lord?

May the Lord help us to live what we have received!


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Christopher

 2015/8/10 17:15Profile
dolfan
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Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re:

I do speak in tongues. I often pray in tongues. And on a rare occasion I speak in tongues in a meeting of believers. Recently, after 26 years of being a Spirit filled Christian, and having never done anything remotely like it, The Lord spoke to me a word of interpretation after another believer spoke in tongues at one of our meetings.

Now, I do not see biblically where it is a required initial evidence of Spirit baptism that one speak in tongues. I certainly do believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit as a work of God in the believer subsequent to salvation. Other non-tongues speaking believers such as DL Moody and AB Simpson certainly believe so as well. So did our brother Chuck Smith.

I certainly do not hold that it is a badge of any particular advanced spirituality. I am thankful he gives this gift, thankful that we need this gift. We need the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We need a new baptism. A refilling, a re-immersion into the power that Jesus promised in Acts chapter 1:8.

Even if we don't know it by that phrase or that name, we need it. If we seek God with our whole hearts and ask him to give us everything he has, he is the faithful one and he is the one who will not withhold any good thing from his children. Oh God we need your power. We need your spirit.


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Tim

 2015/8/10 18:36Profile
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1624


 Re:

Quote:

While I certainly agree that it is important for believers to control their tongues, I strongly disagree with your notion that a gift could be "counterfeit" if someone slips and allows their tongues to go unbridled. There are other gifts. If someone is given "wisdom" through the Spirit but sometimes acts unwise, do we assume that their "wisdom" was counterfeit?



That is not my point at all. I wrote that "If the gift of tongues cannot guarantee us control over our mother tongue then it is a counterfeit."

Having control over our mother tongue does not mean we will never slip up and never speak evil. As long as we live in this human flesh we will always be tempted and may even fall because we did not seek his grace during temptation. But the important thing is to set it right and repent.

Apostle Paul reviled the High Priest publicly but then apologized (Acts 23:5). Apostle Paul spoke in tongues by his own testimony. He clearly could not control his tongue when he was ordered to be slapped on his mouth. Does that mean Apostle's tongue is a counterfeit? We have to examine how Apostle Paul immediately set his conscience right by apologizing publicly for his mistake.


I can speak from my own personal experience, my Christianity is not just theology, it is a practical religion. I speak in tongues. I got this gift only last year. I did not get it along with my baptism of Holy Spirit, but got it after I asked a Godly man to lay his hand on my head. Yesterday, I came home late and was very hungry, but my wife wanted me to take her out to a friends place for dinner. I was in extreme hunger and was tempted to speak against my wife for not being concerned about the hunger of her husband who comes home after a long day of work. But it was God's spirit who kept battling with me, showing me how Jesus was hungry after 40 days of fast still did not lose his temper.

In short if a person is unable to control his tongue and speaks as he wishes, no matter what other tongues he speaks, he is having a counterfeit gift.

A person who sees Christianity only as Theology may not agree with me. I cannot deny what I have experienced.


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Sreeram

 2015/8/11 3:42Profile
El-Bethel
Member



Joined: 2010/2/7
Posts: 46


 Re:

Hi Sree,

Appreciate your personal testimony and the grace to control your tongue. But I think there is a point in what Christopher has stated. Your statement doesn't give provision for setting right and repenting after a slip but an outright condemnation. People whose Christianity is practical and who have the gift of tongue slip too. We don't need to compromise and at the same time we don't need to be stricter than God either.

 2015/8/11 8:46Profile
Sree
Member



Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1624


 Re:

El-Bethel, there is big difference between a cat falling into gutter and a pig falling. The cat will immediately get up and cleanse itself. So is a man who has control over his tongue but failed in one temptation.

Also in my post, I said Holy Spirit guarantees us the control over tongue during Baptism of Holy Spirit. Anyone who has experienced the real Baptism of Holy Spirit would have experienced power over sin. Such a person will not say that I am still powerless against sin.

For example imagine a man who speaks in tongue and then yells at his wife. Then justifies himself saying he is still in flesh so it is fine to yell. Such a tongue is fake. Because he has not experienced any power nor does he have any faith on the power he has experienced.

Even after baptism of Holy Spirit, I have still fallen in sin. But I confess that it was not due to lack of power, it is due to my pride that prevented HIS grace to work. I have never justified myself saying it is natural for me to fall.

I find 2 extremes in this subject of Sinless perfection. One extreme believes that we are already sinless and perfect and cannot sin. This is wrong and unscriptural. Second extreme is where someone falls and keeps telling that it is natural. Both are wrong.



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Sreeram

 2015/8/11 10:06Profile





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