Using Spiritual Gifts, part 6

Spiritual Gifts

Let all things be done

Let all things be done decently and in order.
–1 Corinthians 14:40 KJV

We are concerned that our church services be conducted “decently and in order.” But we can be so concerned about what we think is proper that we quench the Spirit.

Yes, we want decency and order, but above all, “let all things be DONE!”

1 Thessalonians 5:20 forbids us from despising manifestations of Holy Spirit.
In the parable of the talents, Jesus presses the point that we’re to use the gifts of grace He’s given us to build His kingdom until He returns. Those who obey in faith will be rewarded.

But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
–Hebrews 5:14 NIV

Concerning operating in the gifts of Holy Spirit, spiritually mature saints will learn to distinguish good from evil, what’s of God and what’s not—not by standing back and refusing to participate. Instead, they will train THEMSELVES through constant USE and PRACTICE.

“As John Wimber put it, spiritual gifts are tools. They are not toys. You need to practice using them, and you will not be an expert on your first try.” (James W. Goll, Releasing Spiritual Gifts Today, p. 20.)

Therefore, we must earnestly desire to be used in the gifts of the Spirit, step out in faith to manifest them, and consistently practice them to edify the Body of Christ. This is how we prepare ourselves and the Church for Christ’s return.

Using Spiritual Gifts, part 5

Spiritual Gifts

Use them or lose them

In Matthew 25:14–30, Jesus tells a parable about a master who entrusted sums of money to three servants to put to work while he was gone away. One who was given five talents earned five more. Another given two earned two more. The servant given one buried it in the ground.

The master returned and rewarded the faithful servants but scolded the lazy servant.

The context of this passage is the return of Christ. Jesus has gone away, but entrusted to us His Holy Spirit and His gifts. What will we do with them? Will we—of our own desire and sense of responsibility and stewardship—use them to build His kingdom? Or will we bury them deep within our earthen vessel?

Those who took the risk and, in faith, developed what they had, not only increased their abilities, but were rewarded with more by the Master.

But the one who neglected his gift and did not “lively and intensely set himself on fire” (2 Tim. 1:6) to use what he’d been given, was called “wicked and lazy.” What he was given was taken away from him and given to someone who would actually do something with it.

Romans 11:29 says “God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable” (NIV). Potentially, we always have the ability to move in the gifts. But if we don’t seek, develop, practice, and use them, we will lose the practical ability to manifest them when the Spirit moves on us.

God is serious about us taking the responsibility to use the gifts He’s given to us through Holy Spirit. We must “use ’em or lose ’em.” If we really want to please God, then we must learn how to move in the Spirit and manifest the gifts. It’s OUR responsibility.

Next time, we’ll conclude our study with a final exhortation.

Using Spiritual Gifts, part 4

Spiritual Gifts

We must stir ourselves up

Some believers have waited years for God to move on them to manifest a spiritual gift. But God says it’s our responsibility to first desire and believe and step out in faith to manifest the Spirit.

Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
–1 Timothy 4:14 NKJV

Paul reminded Timothy that a spiritual gift had been imparted to him when some elders had laid their hands on him and prophesied. The prophetic message revealed God’s intent to impart a particular spiritual gift to Timothy, and it was transferred by the power of Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands.

In Romans 1:11, Paul wrote, “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong.”

Spiritual gifts may be imparted by the laying on of hands at the direction of Holy Spirit. The word impart means “to share or give over.” Impartation must be directed by God.

Paul reminded Timothy, then, not to be careless of, make light of, neglect, be negligent to use, or disregard this spiritual gift. It was Timothy’s responsibility to use his gifts.

We can have gifts that are lying dormant and unused if we neglect to do what it takes to use them.

Therefore I remind YOU to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
–2 Timothy 1:6 NKJV

Again, Paul reminded Timothy, “YOU must stir yourself up to use your spiritual gifts.” It was not God’s responsibility to rekindle his zeal for manifesting the Holy Spirit, it was Timothy’s.

Stir is the word anazopureo, meaning “to rekindle or stir up.” It comes from a combination of three words: one meaning “intensely,” one meaning “a live thing such as an animal or beast,” and another, meaning “fiery, fire, or lightning.” This is not a calm word!

Paul was insisting that Timothy “lively and intensely set yourself on fire to use your spiritual gifts!” I get the image of kids vigorously scrubbing their feet across the carpet to build up an electrical charge so they can really shock someone.

God said, “YOU do it!” We’re responsible to step out in faith, accept some risk, and use what God has given us.

How do you stir yourself up?

Paul wrote, “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant” (1 Cor. 12:1 NKJV). You must not only understand spiritual gifts, but you must also be convinced it’s God’s will for you to move in them. This should be clear by now.

Besides tongues for personal edification, God may impart to you any of the nine gifts of the Spirit from 1 Corinthians 12:7–10. (God could give you any of them at any time to use in a ministry setting.)

We must also realize that we’re not perfect. We will make mistakes. But God doesn’t condemn us for trying to learn.

However, God will not accept us burying our gifts because we’re afraid we might make a mistake. So we remain humble, and give grace to others who make mistakes with the gifts.

And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith.
–Romans 12:6 NASB

Remember: gifts are given by God’s grace. We didn’t earn them. Whatever gifts we have, we are commanded to exercise them, to use them. How? By faith. The more we use them, the better we’ll get, and our faith will grow to use them even more.

You can also stir up the gifts by speaking in tongues. LOUDLY!

20 But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.
21 Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
–Jude 20–21 NIV

You build your faith by praying in tongues. Note in verse 21 that praying in the Spirit is also a way to keep yourself “in God’s love.” How are we to use the gifts? In love (see 1 Cor. 13).

Note also this verse has to do with expecting the Lord’s return. Jesus gave the Holy Spirit and His gifts to build up the Church to prepare it for His return.

Next time, we’ll learn that gifts are ours to use or lose.

Using Spiritual Gifts, part 3

Spiritual Gifts

We must earnestly desire spiritual gifts

A pious pastor once told me, “Seek the Giver, not the gifts.” There’s truth in that, but what does the Bible say?

But earnestly desire the best gifts. …
–1 Corinthians 12:31a NKJV

What are the “best gifts”? Those that build up the Church—individually and corporately.

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy.
–1 Corinthians 14:1 NIV

Therefore, my brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak in tongues.
–1 Corinthians 14:39 NASB

Why is prophecy so important? Because it’s immediately understood. Paul said, “in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.”

Paul was not criticizing messages in tongues, rather messages in tongues with no interpretation.

What good is the manifestation of a spiritual gift if no one understands what God is saying? Because prophecy is immediately understood since it’s in your native language, it will edify. Tongues with interpretation is the equivalent of prophecy.

In all these verses, the King James versions says, “covet earnestly.” That word covet in Greek is zeloo, meaning “to have warmth of feeling for, covet earnestly, desire, envy, be jealous over, be zealous for.”

God’s Word commands us to be zealous and envious to move in the gifts of the Spirit. Jesus said,

“Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
–Mark 11:24 KJV

Jesus said that whatever we desire, crave for, beg for… to not only ask God for it, but to believe and trust Him to the point that you can reach right out and take it. Then, He said, you’ll have it—it will come to pass.

That’s what we’re to do about spiritual gifts. We have what we need—the Holy Spirit—but we must covet the ability to step out and use that which He’s freely
given us.

Next installment, we’ll learn how to stir ourselves up.

Stanley Frodsham’s 1965 Vision of Coming Deception

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron…
–1 Timothy 4:2 NKJV

The following is an excerpt from a prophecy given at the Elim Bible Institute Summer Camp Meeting in 1965 by the late Stanley Frodsham (1882-1969). Brother Frodsham was a recognized prophet and teacher in the Body of Christ whose life and ministry spanned the Pentecostal Revival, the great Healing Revival, and the early days of the Charismatic Movement. He also authored the well-known book, Smith Wigglesworth: Apostle of Faith.

Stanley Frodsham

When I visit My people in mighty revival power, it is to prepare them for the darkness ahead. With the glory shall come great darkness, for the glory is to prepare My people for the darkness. I will enable My people to go through because of the visitation of My Spirit. Take heed to yourselves lest you be puffed up and think that you have arrived. Many shall be puffed up as in the olden days, for many then received My message but they continued not in it. Did I not anoint Jehu? Yet the things I desired were not accomplished in his life. Listen to the messengers, but do not hold men’s persons in admiration. For many whom I shall anoint mightily, with signs and miracles, shall be lifted up and shall fall away by the wayside. I do not do this willingly; I have made provision that they might stand. I call many into this ministry and equip them; but remember that many shall fall. They shall be like bright lights and people shall delight in them. But they shall be taken over by deceiving spirits and shall lead many of My people away.

Hearken diligently concerning these things, for in the last days will come seducing spirits that shall turn many of My anointed ones away. Many shall fall through various lusts and because of sin abounding. But if you will seek Me diligently, I will put My Spirit within you. When one shall turn to the right hand or to the left you shall not turn with them, but keep your eyes wholly on the Lord. The coming days are most dangerous, difficult and dark, but there shall be a mighty outpouring of My Spirit upon many cities. My people must be diligently warned concerning the days that are ahead. Many shall turn after seducing spirits; many are already seducing My people. It is those who do righteousness that are righteous. Many cover their sins by theological words. But I warn you of seducing spirits who instruct My people in an evil way.

Many shall come with seducing spirits and hold out lustful enticements. You will find that after I have visited My people again, the way shall become more and more narrow, and fewer shall walk therein. But be not deceived, the ways of righteousness are My ways. For though Satan comes as an angel of light, hearken not to him; for those who perform miracles and speak not righteousness are not of Me. I warn you with great intensity that I am going to judge My house and have a church without spot or wrinkle when I come. I desire to open your eyes and give you spiritual understanding, that you may not be deceived but may walk in uprightness of heart before Me, loving righteousness and hating every evil way. Look unto Me, and I will make you to perceive with eyes of
the Spirit the things that lurk in darkness that are not visible to the human eye. Let me lead you in this way that you may perceive the powers of darkness and battle against them. It is not a battle against flesh and blood; for if you battle in that way, you accomplish nothing. But if you let Me take over and battle against the powers of darkness, then they are defeated, and then liberation is brought to My people.

I warn you to search the Scriptures diligently concerning these last days. For the things that are written shall indeed be made manifest. There shall come deceivers among My people in increasing numbers who shall speak for the truth and shall gain the favor of the people. For the people shall examine the Scriptures and say, “What these men say is true.” Then when they have gained the hearts of the people, then and only then shall Satan enter into My people. Watch for seducers. Do you think a seducer will brandish a new heresy and flaunt it before the people? He will speak the words of righteousness and truth, and will appear as a minister of light declaring the Word. The people’s hearts shall be won. Then, when the hearts are won, they will bring out their doctrines, and the people shall be deceived. The people shall say, “Did he not speak thus and thus? And did we not examine it from the Word? Therefore he is a minister of righteousness. This that he has spoken we do not see in the Word, but it must be right, for the other things he spoke were true.”

Be not deceived. For the deceiver will first work to gain the hearts of many, and then shall bring forth his insidious doctrines. You cannot discern those that are of Me and those that are not of Me when they start to preach. But seek Me constantly, and then when these doctrines are brought out you shall have a witness in your heart that these are not of Me. Fear not, for I have warned you. Many will be deceived. But if you walk in holiness and uprightness before the Lord, your eyes shall be open and the Lord will protect you. If you will constantly look unto the Lord, you will know when the doctrine changes and will not be brought into it. If your heart is right I will keep you; and if you will constantly look to Me, I will uphold you.

The minister of righteousness shall be on this wise: his life shall agree with the Word and his lips shall give forth that which is wholly true, and it will be no mixture. When the mixture appears, then you will know he is not a minister of righteousness. The deceivers speak first the truth then error, to cover their own sins which they love. Therefore, I exhort and command you to study the Scriptures relative to seducing spirits, for this is one of the great dangers of these last days.

I desire you to firmly be established in My Word and not in the personalities of men that you will not be moved as so many shall be moved. Take heed to yourselves and follow not the seducing spirits that are already manifesting themselves. Diligently inquire of Me when you hear something that you have not seen in My Word, and do not hold people’s persons in admiration–for it is by this very method Satan will destroy many of My people.

What is a true minister of righteousness? Jesus said, “By their fruit you will recognize them” (Matthew 7:16a NIV). “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8 NIV). And “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:27 NIV). Beware.

“They have an unhealthy interest in… constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. But godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:4-6 NIV). “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness'” (2 Timothy 2:19 NIV).

For a full version of this prophecy, see http://www.inthebeginning.com/articles/1965prophecy.htm.

Prayer for Revival

Prayer for Revival

Council of the Lord Series #7

I listened in on the council of the Lord on August 16, 2018:

My son, we have surrounded you with glory. We have surrounded you with angels. We have surrounded you with saints of the most high. You have come before the throne of God boldly to find grace and mercy in your time of need, and we will certainly provide it.

Ask what you will, and we will hear your request, and we will grant it in the name of the Son, Jesus Christ, that your joy may be full. For we desire that your joy may be full and that you receive answered prayer so that the Kingdom may come on the earth and God’s will be done.

Ask what you will, and it will be given to you. Know that if your heart does not condemn you, you have what you ask for.

Lord, I ask for revival. I ask for revival first in me and then in Jamestown. I ask for an outpouring of your Spirit that people may be drawn unto you and that signs and wonders be done in the name of your holy Child, Jesus.

Give us broken and contrite hearts, Lord. Give us hearts hungry for your presence and your glory and your power displayed in our midst. Do the work of establishing your Kingdom. Pour out your Spirit and let your Kingdom come here on earth, your will be done as it is in heaven.

If you are hearing or reading anything along these lines elsewhere, please comment with a link. Thanks and blessings.

Message of Revival

Message of Revival

Council of the Lord Series #6

I listened in on the council of the Lord on August 14, 2018, during which they again spoke about coming revival:

We are going before you to prepare you and to prepare the hearers of the message that you will bring. There is a message of revival, there is a message of renewal; it is coming on the scene. We desire that God’s people be prepared for the coming move of the Spirit.

Prayer sparks revival. Prayer prepares the heart for the reception of the divine inflow. We desire to pour out the Spirit of God with signs and wonders, with repentance, with healing.

We will speak the word of the Lord to you. We will reveal to you that which is to come. We will show you how to take advantage of this outpouring of the Spirit and to position yourself for greatest benefit. For we desire that this outpouring of the Spirit make the path straight and smooth for the coming of the Lord.

We desire to impart boldness to those who call upon the name of the Lord. Boldness for witness, boldness to testify, boldness to reach out to heal and to perform signs and wonders in the name of the Holy Child Jesus.

We will anoint you with power from on high. We will anoint you with a message, we will anoint you with words, we will anoint you with gifts. We will anoint you with a humility and a brokenness that makes way in the heart for the fullness of the Lord.

We desire fit vessels to contain this glory. We desire vessels to pour out this glory upon others. We will draw you; we will draw them. We will prepare you; we will prepare them.

Doubt not but trust in us to do this work. Prepare your hearts. Call upon the name of the Lord. Ask for rain in the time of rain, and we will pour out upon our Spirit of revival upon you abundantly.

If you are hearing or reading anything along these lines elsewhere, please comment with a link. Thanks and blessings.