“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.
May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.John 17:20-23
It is illegal in the Kingdom to be born again and yet carry on with the carnal mind. We will not be able to grow in intimacy with God if we are continually mixing the ‘old man’ with the ‘new man’. The ‘old man’ is suppose to be dead. The ‘old man’ is limited because it is fuelled by human nature. The ‘new man’ has no limitations because he is fuelled by the living Spirit of Jesus Christ.Jasmin Frank
“And you call upon the name of your god, and I will call upon the name of the LORD, and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”1 Kings 18:24
There are many false gods today: wealth, popularity, sex, drugs, admiration and worship of others etc., etc.
None of these will sustain us in our needs or rescue us from our dead-end lives. All they will do is increase our death drive. All they will do is increase our hunger and thirst for more and more of that which will not satisfy.
1 Kings Chapter 18 we find the story of Elijah and his challenge to the prophets of Baal.
The prophets of Baal called and called. Begged and pleaded to their false god. He gave no answer.
“They raved all afternoon until the time of the evening sacrifice, but still there was no sound, no reply, no response.” – 1 Kings 18:29
The true God answered in fire and in power:
“Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the trench!– 1 Kings 18:38
Scripture shows this to be the greatest evidence of legitimacy of The One True God. The Living God comes in Fire and power!
He answered Elijah that way. He came upon the early disciples on the day of Pentecost in this way, with fire and power, baptizing them with the Holy Spirit. He comes upon all believers in the same way.
This is the evidence of God in every believers life: Fire and Power.
The fire of the Holy Spirit manifests it self in peculiar ways sometimes.
Jasmin said something to me once, along these lines, “If you are not involved in the Church, all this stuff would seem weird. We must look like mad men to those looking in on this” (paraphrase)
Does the power of God look strange to those on the outside looking in? Yes it does!
Does the fire of God manifest itself in strange ways? Sure does!
So how are these things not strange to believers? What makes the difference?
Relationship and revelation.
There are several ways that one can react to God’s manifest power.
The people who gathered on that hill with Elijah saw the fire of heaven fall down. Many of those present reacted to this fire by
following Elijah as he put to death the prophets of Baal. (verses 39 & 40)
King Ahab reacted by running back to his wife Jezebel with his tail between his legs. He told her what had happened and together they plotted Elijah’s death. (1 Kings 19:1-2)
Some reacted to the power they saw that day by acknowledging that Yahweh was truly God. (Revelation)
Some reacted to the power they witnessed with fear and anger. Fearful, that THERE IS A TRUE GOD; angry that their false gods were exposed for what they were. Angry that their prophets (keepers of their lies and falsehoods) were slaughtered.
It is the same today. One can see the Holy Spirit move in mighty miracles and react in fear and anger. Many of those who violently oppose the teachings of Jesus fall into this camp. Many others who claim to be Christians do this as well. They discount the works of the Holy Spirit because they would rather make an idol out of a book so they can use it to control and manipulate others. They are fearful of a Living and Active God. They are angry that He would dare move apart from their say so. If the Bible can be used as a static object, rather than “living and active”, then it can be dissected and misinterpreted to give men power over others. When the God of the Bible shows up in power, this disrupts these leaders “teaching” and exposes them as the charlatans that they are. Their natural response to these disruptions (the power of the Holy Spirit) is fear and anger. This is the same religious spirit that moved in King Ahab and Jezebel, the same religious spirit that moved within the Pharisees and Sadducees who put Jesus to death.
Some of those who witnessed the fire of God fall upon Elijah’s sacrifice continued on in their sin and pride while others humbled themselves and submitted and committed their lives to the one true God (Relationship).
“And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God! Yes, the Lord is God!”– 1 Kings 18:39
And God told Elijah, “... yet I will preserve 7000 others in Israel who have never bowed to Baal or kissed him.” (1 Kings 19:18)
How will you react to the Living God today? How will you react to His calling, to His power?
The Holy Spirit falls in fire on the sacrifice of obedience. He consumes the sacrifice presented. In Elijah’s day the sacrifice was the flesh and blood of bulls and goats. On the day of Pentecost it was the living sacrifice of the early believers. In both cases the fire of the Holy Spirit fell when the followers of the One True God responded in obedience.
Jesus is calling you into relationship with Himself. He died on the cross to purchase your freedom, to free you from the false gods you have aligned yourself with. He died so that you can come into relationship with Him. He rose again so His power can live within you and flow through you.
Jesus is acting right now for your benefit. He is drawing you close to Himself so that you can become who He created you to be. He works in power to draw all of His lost children back to Himself.
This is the character of Father God.
How you respond to this fire is your choice. How you respond to the revelation of Jesus is your choice! You can react in fear and anger or you can react by coming into relationship with the One True God—- Jesus Christ!
The Spirit of God falls like fire on those who are open to Him. He will consume you with fire and power if you call upon His name.
Jesus is King.
The veil is torn.
Sin no more.
Salvation in store.
The risen Lord.
We are free.
Life for ever more.
The King of Kings with nail scarred hands.
No grave can keep Him.
No jail can hold Him.
No hell defeat Him.
He rose from the grave.
He rose, grave clothes laid aside, Jesus Is alive!
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”Romans 8:14
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“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”Matthew 5:11-12
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Jesus and his disciples left Galilee and went up to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. As they were walking along, he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”Mark 8:27
If people truly knew the devastation of their sin, they would never “mess around”, “try it once”, “just have a little bit more”, say “it was just one time” or “it’s just a little lie.”
For those who have been burned by the sin they are in, or as a result of the sins of others, it’s just that, a painful fire of agony and devastation. It’s prison bars of hard labour and slavery to an unrelenting master.
Sin is woodworm. It rots the human soul at the roots, devouring all peace, joy, love and truth, leaving a putrid smell of rotting flesh.
Sin consumes and destroys. It destroys you and those around you. Like an uncontrollable fire ranging on a hot dry day. It devours everything that is set before it.
How poignant the picture of Jesus hanging on the cross. He who knew no sin. He never expressed, gave way or made provision for any vile thing. Even so, He choose to take the penalty of the sin we so readily invite into our lives.
The violence of sin ravaged His body, tore His flesh and disfigured the one and only God who came to earth as a human. For sin is the heart of violence, cruelty and malice.
Jesus hung on the tree to free us from our prisons, our own deplorable lifestyles. Our beautiful Saviour’s face dripped with blood and grimaced in pain.
The reality of sin laid bare. The result of sin is death.
Jesus took that death so we could be free from our own sin and the sin of others.
He bore our sin and shame. Jesus laid down His life and rose from the dead to break the curse humanity has been subject to since the garden.
He did not die to merely forgive your sins but to remove your sin.
He died not only to remove the cost of sin in our lives.
He died and rose again to restore us to our created value, like a great artist restoring His masterpiece.
Jesus meticulously removes the grime, dirt, mire and mud, revealing His original design.
The colour and depth of His creation lay hidden under the darkness of sin. He could not leave His art work hidden.
He needed to restore us!
No matter how deep and dark the sin. No matter how “far gone” you think you are, you’re not beyond the blood of Jesus Christ. You’re not beyond the loving gaze of the original artist!
He paid the ultimate sacrifice to restore you to who He created you to be.
His blood flowed to wash all your sin away. Your addictions, your fetishes and perversions; your lies and your cruelty.
Jesus’ blood was shed for all that has marred you, all that has crushed you, disfigured and twisted you.
Turn to Jesus and come into your designed purpose.
Come to Jesus and begin to live out the destiny He has had written for you before the foundations of creation.
Follow Jesus and enter into your true identity.
“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”– Acts 4:12
“But this is not the way of life that Christ has unfolded within you. If you have really experienced the Anointed One, and heard his truth, it will be seen in your life; for we know that the ultimate reality is embodied in Jesus!
And he has taught you to let go of the lifestyle of the ancient man, the old self – life, which was corrupted by sinful and deceitful desires that spring from delusions. Now it’s time to be made new by every revelation that’s been given to you.And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him! For God has re-created you all over again in his perfect righteousness, and you now belong to him in the realm of true holiness.”Ephesians 4:20-24