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Hold on to the anointing!

November 19, 2008 1 comment

The anointing is the manifest presence of God in our midst. Jesus Christ is The Anointed One. Someday there will come an Anti-Christ, an “Anti-Anointed one”. We need not wait for an Anti-Jesus! There won’t be one. Jesus expresses “Savior”. People everywhere know that we need a Savior. What will be contested in the Last Days will be the anointing of God!

God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and that anointing enabled Him to destroy the works of the devil. Saints, we also need the anointing to destroy the works of the devil in our day!

The struggle in our lifetime will be to hold on to the anointing!

But many times when the Holy Spirit is manifesting the presence of God, people will act in possibly upsetting and seemingly strange ways. Some will look like they are “drunk” as those on the day of Pentecost. Others will be dramatically “changed into another man” like King Saul when he was anointed with oil from the prophet Samuel and was found prophesying with the prophets.

“Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be changed into another man.” 1 Sam 10:6

As with Saul, so too today, experiencing God’s manifest presence does not guarantee that we will not fall back into sin and failure. Indeed are not the headlines full of “believing believers” who have made a mess of God’s anointing.

Our future is secure in Jesus however.

“You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.” Acts 10:38

Jesus was fully anointed with the Holy Spirit. Yet when Jesus breathed on the disciples and said “Receive the Spirit!” they could just have easily said: “That’s crazy!” “That’s too emotional for me…” But they had to receive the wind of the Spirit in that way!

OUR ROAD IS NO DIFFERENT!

1. Where do we see Holy Spirit demonstrations in Scriptures.

My message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

I see a BIBLE full of “Holy Spirit demonstrations”, most of the time involving “ignorant and uneducated men” (Acts 4:12).

Miracles that involve spitting into someone’s eyes. Mk 8.23
Putting fingers into deaf ears/ spit on tongue. Mk 7.33
Scales fell from Paul’s eyes. Acts 9
Rebuking a fig tree and the wind and waves.
Baby leaping for joy in the womb Lk 1.44 (Can someone not leap in the Spirit OUTSIDE of the womb?)
Speaking in tongues. Acts 2,10,19
Acting drunk by the HS. Acts 2.15, 2 Cor 5:13
Conversing with a donkey.
Throwing hankies /aprons on sick people.
Mist and a darkness fell upon him – Becoming instantly blind or mute as a judgment (or worse, falling down dead!) Acts 13
Dipping seven times in a dirty river to become clean, etc. Naaman

The list is endless.

The HS is like the wind… UNPREDICTABLE!! We might as well get used to it that the Holy Spirit will do things that will not make sense to our senses but will be agreeable in our spirits.

“The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

We need to be open to being touched by the WIND!! The breath of God!

2. Where we “shoot ourselves in the foot” when responding to Holy Spirit demonstrations.

a. “Street Smarts”

During my years living in Europe I traveled a lot by train. I remember standing in the Amsterdam train station late at night. There were not too many “normal” people around but it seemed like lots of people of “questionable character” were milling about. I had my back “pressed to the wall” to protect my backside and worked hard to keep my bags at my feet.

This is what I mean by “street smarts”. Watching out that we don’t get ripped off!! Being aware of potential trouble… BUT this attitude of protecting oneself does not serve us well in the KINGDOM OF GOD!

WE NEED TO BE CONVINCED THAT GOD IS ABLE TO BLESS US AND THAT IS GREATER THAN THE DEVIL’S ABILITY TO DECEIVE US!

b. “Taking Offense”

If you look at the healing of Naaman (2 Kings 5) you will see that Naaman knew what was wrong on the OUTSIDE (leprosy) but he didn’t know what was wrong on the INSIDE. (pride, presumption).

Naaman was so offended when things did not go according to his plan!

He wanted Elijah, the holy man, to come outside and wave his hand over the leprosy and pronounce to one and all his healing. BUT God had other plans; He had a different agenda. He wanted to cleanse the inside of Naaman and not just the outside. Fortunately for Naaman, he was able to humble himself and listen to his friends and dip in the river. His flesh became like that of a little child!

GOD WILL OFFEND OUR MIND TO REVEAL WHAT IS IN OUR HEARTS.

c. “Where’s THAT in the Bible?”

For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Cor 5:13-17

If you have found yourself in gatherings or meetings where the Holy Spirit is being manifested by physical manifestations of people, you must be careful that you don’t interpret that according to the flesh.

When the Holy Spirit was poured out on the day of Pentecost, the 120 in the Upper Room were accused of being “drunk with cheap wine”. Others though, witnessing the same outpouring, were amazed and perplexed. Still others were struck and smitten in conscience!!

Remember that 3000 people were saved that day. Who had the real scoop on what was happening?

tissmich

When King David danced before the Lord with all his might, leaping and dancing without his outer garments, he did so as an expression of the Holy Spirit releasing him. His wife, looking on from a distance through a window, despised him and judged him according to the flesh and was found barren from that day on.

Let her barrenness be a lesson for us today.

When Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” He was not asking a trick question for He knew that inside Himself power had left Him and entered someone else. The disciples, judging according to the flesh, could only see the multitudes of people crowded around Jesus and tried to reason with Jesus: “Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You.”

Let their empty words be a reminder that the Spirit blows where it wills and we might not understand or be aware of the effects of it ourselves.

Yours for the sake of the least in the Kingdom,

Jeff Gilbertson

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Unbelief in the believer. Trisha Gilbertson

November 14, 2008 Leave a comment

dscn2500Sitting on the couch in my apartment some of my friends and I were discussing Healing, and what prevents it from happening…we were bringing up various scriptures and personal stories as well as issues of doubt, unbelief, timing, etc. I don’t think we all agree, but we do agree that we shall pray for people to be healed every time, even if it doesn’t always happen.

Anyways… Julia was looking up the definitions in the Greek or something, the difference between doubt and unbelief. Doubt is like wavering in something you believe, much more temporary. Unbelief, on the other hand, is more like a direct stance or declaration against God, denying Him to be God.

We thought that would make sense in the context of Jesus doing only few miracles in his hometown because of their unbelief. The people in that town grew up with him, and didn’t really believe him to be God. It was different than doubting his power at that moment. But then someone brought up the verse somewhere where its said I believe, but help my unbelief. That didn’t really seem to make sense…it seemed unbelief was something that would only be possible in an unbeliever…maybe they mistranslated we said…all of a sudden something clicked, and it was like I received this instant revelation about unbelief in the believer. I will try to share it here, but it may be a little hard to follow 🙂

My revelation is about what unbelief is went way beyond instances of believing for miracles or signs and wonders. But rather at the deeper, heart level.

Basically to the measure of compromise we have in our life is the measure of unbelief we have in our hearts. Its like a direct association. I know, it may seem strange, but bear with me, please. (I just want to say that I had never thought of it this way until that moment, it was so cool!)(we can also have unbelief in the aspect of not truly believing God to be who He says He is…but that is a whole other topic!)

When we live in known compromise with sin, we are basically denying God the position of God in that area of our heart/life.

We be-little the words of scripture or the conviction of the Holy Spirit and make excuses for our compromise with sin. “God can’t expect me to be perfect, I’m human!” or “I’m sure ___ isn’t really that big of a deal…God is just over doing it” “Who cares if I gossip, I am a better Christian than most” “It’s just not realistic” or many other excuses may come up and we ignore the conviction that the Holy Spirit gave us and continue on. (now I want to clarify I am not talking about striving for righteousness but failing in our weakness. I am talking about indirect or direct rebellion. There is a huge difference).

If you think about it, that really is like having unbelief in our hearts. Just think of how different we would live if Jesus was right in front of us…and yet He is there, so why don’t we live that way? If we truly 100% believe God to be who He says He is and give him that position in our lives and obey His word accordingly, we would never make excuses for sin or allow compromise to be an option. Instead, we would strive for righteousness in those areas of weakness, repenting and moving forward…repenting and moving forward. Waring against sin instead of making it okay.

Does this make sense at all? We are denying God the position of God in those areas of our lives, which is basically the definition of unbelief…even though we are saved.

I began to “preach myself into conviction” as I explained my revelation to my friends. Think about the “little things,” not just the “big stuff.” Whenever the Holy Spirit convicts us, we must respond actively not passively. And we must be steadfast and faithful to continue living out our active response. We must believe He is who He says He is, give Him that position in every area of our life, and take Him at His word!

We get ourselves into such a mess when we begin to compare ourselves to others, saved or unsaved. Instead, we should be comparing ourselves to Jesus’ perfect example. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says:

“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

This is a command, not just nice words!

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit takes things one chunk at a time. Or else we would be completely lost and overwhelmed by our darkness.

I just want to challenge you all to look in your own hearts for areas of “unbelief.” Areas where you have ignored the Holy Spirit’s conviction, through His voice or through His word. Where you have compromised, compared yourself to others, and made excuses to continue in your compromise. If you can’t think of any areas of compromise, I encourage you to read the sermon on the mount again, asking the Lord to reveal any compromise in your life, cause I can guarantee it’s there, somewhere!

We want every area of our lives and hearts to be under His authority and striving to live in obedience to Him. And I really believe that as we begin to grasp this, we will see results. We will become more like his Son and people will know there is something different about us. God will release more of His supernatural power upon us as we weed out the unbelief inside us. Don’t let unbelief in your heart keep you from the things and ways of the Lord!

Many blessings!

Trisha

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Religion of the Mind or the Heart

November 4, 2008 1 comment

I often think back to a comment that I heard some years ago in Boston, as we were beginning our ministry there. One of our team members (from a mid-western state) innocently mentioned that “going to church in Boston is like going to school.”

What I hear in this statement (which, BTW, could probably be made in Brisbane or Bonn) is that the mind leads in our relationship to God not the heart. I hear a type of “Christian Darwinism” that puts down the “primitive” aspects of Christianity and exalts the more highly evolved, “civilized” aspects.

Yet when I read my Bible I see a religion full of “primitive miracles”, most of the time involving “ignorant and uneducated men” (Acts 4:12).

Miracles that involve spitting into someone’s eyes, rebuking trees and wind, speaking in tongues, conversing with donkeys, throwing hankies on sick people, becoming instantly blind or mute as a judgment (or worse, falling down dead!), dipping seven times in a dirty river to become clean, etc.

The list is endless!

Of course the Apostle Paul had a brilliant mind and used it often for God’s glory as he argued with and persuaded the Gentiles. But he would be the first to speak out to our generation and say: “Oh, for a faith that is not resting on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God and the demonstration of the Spirit”! (I Cor. 2:4-5)

In the book “The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church “ (R. Allen) echoes Acts 4 as it presents the case that groups in China:

“[those] that have learned the gospel from the relatively ignorant and untrained are often found to have learned it both truly and deeply and to be anxious for more.”

Following Jesus must be the simplest thing one could ever do!

Watch out! I didn’t say easiest. He is “more than enough” for every man, woman, and child on earth. Let us not let our minds get in the way and prevent others from falling madly in love with a Beautiful Savior.

Yours for the Least in the Kingdom,

Jeff Gilbertson

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