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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Three Levels of Spiritual Development by Zac Poonen

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 Three Levels of Spiritual Development by Zac Poonen

In John's gospel, Jesus used the symbol of water to describe three levels of spiritual development possible through the Holy Spirit:

Level 1:
In John 3:5, He spoke of being "born of water and the Spirit". This is "the cup of salvation" (Psa.116:13), with which we begin our Christian lives. With this cup of water, we are cleansed and brought into God's kingdom as His children.

Level 2:
In John 4:14, Jesus went further and spoke of that cup becoming "a well (spring) of water". This is a deeper experience of the Holy Spirit, where all our inner longings are met by Him, so that we live in perpetual victory and joy, lacking nothing. A man who has a well in his own compound is not dependent on the city corporation's water supply. No outsider can turn off his water supply, for he has the source of water within his own compound. This is how it is with the Christian who has found the secret of perpetual abundance in Christ. No-one outside of him can cut off his supply of joy or peace or victory (John. 16:22).

Level 3:
In John 7:38, Jesus went still further and said that the well would now become a river, and many rivers, flowing out of the believer. This is a picture of overflowing abundance. Such a believer is able to quench the thirst of many needy people around him. Whereas a well satisfies only our own longings, rivers of living water make us a blessing to many people, wherever we go.

The blessing with which God blessed Abraham was, "I will bless you....and in you ALL THE FAMILIES of the earth shall be blessed" (Gen.12:2-3). This is the blessing that can now be ours through the Holy Spirit (Gal.3:14). When God blesses us to the point of rivers flowing out of us, many families in many parts of the country and even in the whole world can be blessed through us.

The good news of the gospel is that we can be saved from sin and be a blessing to others. We can now have rivers of living water flowing out through us constantly, and be a blessing to every family that we meet. We can be merciful to others just as God has been merciful to us. We can release others just as God has released us. We can bless others just as God has blessed us. We can give freely to others just as God has freely given to us. We can be large-hearted to others just as God has been to us.

A.W. Tozer in his article Five Decisions for Spiritual Power says: "If you are really serious about your spiritual development - the gaining of new joy, new power and new life - then you should make certain decisions in your heart concerning your life, and proceed to keep them.

"One decision is: Never pass on anything about anybody else that will hurt him”.

"'Love covers a multitude of sins' (1 Pet.4:8). The talebearer has no place in God's favour. If you know something that would hinder or hurt the reputation of one of God's children, bury it forever. Let God take care of it. 'With what judgment you judge, you will be judged' (Matt.7:2)."

If you want God to be good to you, you must be good to His children. The rules of our Father's table demand that you don't tell stories about others who are sitting around that same table with you, no matter what their denomination, their nationality or their background." (From the book THE BEAUTY OF HOLINESS).

It will be a good thing if all of us make that decision today - never to pass on anything about another that will hurt him or his reputation - and keep that decision, not just for the rest of this year but for the rest of our lives. Those who have lived by that decision in past years have found that when they discarded the worthless from their daily conversation, and spoke only what was edifying and profitable, God in turn, fulfilled His promise, and made them His spokesmen - His mouth (Jer.15:19).


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

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 Re: Three Levels of Spiritual Development by Zac Poonen

Thank you.


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David Winter

 2019/4/19 17:35Profile
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 Re: Three Levels of Spiritual Development by Zac Poonen

Zac Poonen wrote: "It will be a good thing if all of us make that decision today - never to pass on anything about another that will hurt him or his reputation - and keep that decision, not just for the rest of this year but for the rest of our lives."

Sounds good...but that isn't the Biblical model. Everyone gets outed in the Scriptures, from Eve's gullibility and Adam's willful sin, down to Paul and Barnabas' heated parting of ways over Mark's place in the ministry to John bowing to an angel after receiving such incredible Revelation, and being rebuked for it. Demas, Nicolaeus, Alexander the coppersmith, Hymenaeus, and so many others are called out for error. Only our Lord Jesus is above reproach. Yes, there are Biblical protocols for dealing with a brother gone astray, as we all know, but the Word does NOT say what Zac Poonen or even Tozer alleged.

To be truly candid, the religious professionals get uneasy if names are named BECAUSE IT IS BAD FOR BUSINESS and it may jeopardize their income and "beloved" status. When Stephen spoke the truth, his face shining like an angel, the religious crowd went berserk after his stinging censure and stoned him to death...and who will deny that he was in the perfect will of God in that moment? Our Lord Jesus stood to His feet to receive this dear saint after that blistering PUBLIC REBUKE of the Jewish prelates in Acts 7.

B. H. Clendennen, a fine Pentecostal preacher, once said, "Christianity has largely lost its ability to CONFRONT."

Selah.


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Alec

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 Re:

Brother,

I agree with what Zac Poonen said, and yes he does have the Word of God to back him up, because God hates gossip and slander.

"These six [things] doth the LORD hate: yea, seven [are] an abomination unto him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
A false witness [that] speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." ( Proverbds 6:16-19).


God hates it when discord is sown upon brothers in the Lord. There is a correct biblical protocol to follow when brothers are in error, but it not to hurt him, or tear him down. The Word tells us that we are to speak the truth in love. Brothers only want to hurt other brothers because they themselves are wounded, and often there is a root of bitterness that has not been dealt with. I believe that this was demonstrated on this forum recently. It is much different in the way that we would deal with a false prophet or teacher, who should be confronted, and his error exposed.

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." (Ephesians 4:29).

"To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, [but] gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men." (Titus 3:2).

"The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."(Proverbs 18:18)

"A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends." (Proverbs 16:28).

"He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth [very] friends." (Proverbs 17:19")












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Mike

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 Re:

Deleted.


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David Winter

 2019/4/19 19:31Profile
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 Re:

I neither said nor suggested that, David, and obviously agree with all of the verses regarding discreet behavior and not engendering strife, but there is a time & a season for everything, as Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes. I'm not talking about betraying a trust, but there are times to speak out (which put many of the saints of old in peril of their lives).

John the Baptist publicly told Herod the tetrarch that it was not lawful for him to have his brother's wife. Gutsy move, and it cost him his freedom and ultimately his life.


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Alec

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 Re:

I'll delete it.

Blessings. Have a good Easter or resurrection day


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David Winter

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 Re:

You didn't say anything inappropriate, David. Yes, Happy Resurrection Day to you, too!

One more thought on this topic...feel free to agree or disagree, standing upon the Word in agape love, of course.

Not every statement that one makes to another about an evil saying or deed perpetrated by a third party qualifies as gossip. Case in point: our Lord Jesus told the parable of a man who was forgiven a great debt by a king, but the man proceeded to unmercifully demand payment for a much smaller debt by his fellow man. We know the conclusion of the matter, but I want to draw attention to Matthew 18:31: "So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done." This was not idle gossip, yet they did the very thing Zac Poonen was advising Christians not to do.


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Alec

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 Re:

No problem. Thank you for your thoughts.

Also, I need prayer tonight from about 8 until 10 if you have a chance. I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew. It will be a adventure of sorts.


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David Winter

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 Re:

Will do. Hopefully others will see this in time & pray, too.


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Alec

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