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Category Archives: hunger for God

Bruisin’ # 2 – The Angel’s Joy

 

  “Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. ” Luke 15:10

Last Sunday morning, we had a first time lady visitor come to service with her 2 youngest daughters. They were there for kid’s church and also stayed for the worship service and preaching. They all seemed like they really enjoyed the service, and it seemed like everyone from our church did their best to welcome them. This past Thursday night, we were blessed to have Bro. & Sis. Baker with us. They have been with us many times and are a favorite among our church folks. This lady who had been with us on Sunday came to this service with her 2 daughters and also brought her oldest daughter who is 17. We had a wonderful worship service, and Brother Baker was under the anointing preaching the Word of God. At the close of the preaching when the altar call was given, the 17 year old girl was the first to leave the pew, followed by her mother. These ladies knelt down and seemed to really be pouring out their hearts to God. Brother Baker encouraged them to repent, and I felt like they did. Now some would stop here and ask, “Well, did they get the Holy Ghost?” No, they did not, but I feel like they got to square one, which is repentance. If the angels in heaven rejoice over this, then why shouldn’t we? Of course we want to see them filled with the Holy Ghost, but true repentance is so very important and something that really needs to be emphasized in our churches. I know God has more in store for these ladies, and I am rejoicing that they took a step closer to God. If the angels rejoice over this, then you know the demons of hell must not be too happy. Thank you, Lord, for bruisin #2!

 

According To The Bible, Am I Born Again?

A couple of years ago, a lady from our church wrote an excellent Bible study dealing with this topic. I have obtained her permission to post it here. I believe this is the most important question we can ever ask ourselves, for the answer will affect our eternal destiny. Many churches today preach and teach a plan of salvation that does not line up to what the apostles originally preached and taught in the book of Acts. It is my prayer that each person who reads here will carefully consider what is written, and that you will as the Bible says, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. (Philippians 2:12)

 

How to be Scripturally Born Again

(By Believing & Obeying the Gospel)

 

Before we can obey the Gospel we must know what it is. According to

I Corinthians 15: 1-4 the Gospel is the Death, Burialand Resurrectionof Jesus Christ.  In the Bible believing the Gospel (that Jesus died, was buried, and rose again), led one to obey the Gospel by Repenting – (Death), being Baptized – (Burial) in the name of Jesus and receiving the Holy Ghost – (Resurrection).

 

Believing and obeying the Gospel are inseparable as exemplified in Scripture.  In the book of Acts we can see how people were saved by believing and obeying the Gospel, as commanded by Jesus in the following scriptures:

 

v Matthew 28:19-20 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the nameof the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”

 

v Mark 16: 15-18 “Go ye unto all the world, and preachthe Gospel to every creature. He thatbelievethand isbaptizedshall be saved.”

 

v Luke 24: 45-49 “Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentanceand remission ofsins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem and ye are my witnesses of these things.  And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.”

(The Promise of the Father is the Holy Ghost see Acts 1: 4-5)

 

v John 3: 5 – 7 “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of waterand of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God…Ye must be Born Again”.

 

The above commandments were obeyed by the Lord’s disciples (Apostles) and recorded within the book of Acts for our observation.  The book of Acts is the blue print of the original New Testament Church purchased by the blood of Jesus Christ. You can see verbatim preaching of the Gospel by the Apostles to a lost world for the very first time in the book of Acts….take a look for yourself.

 

The Gospelwas preached by the Apostle Peter on the day of Pentecost

(Act 2:22-24). Those whobelieved the Gospel of Jesus Christ asked a simple question, “What must we do?”  Peter replied, “Repent (Death) and be Baptized (Burial) every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Resurrection)”(Acts 2:37-38).

 

v In his reply, Peter was telling believers how to obey the Gospel and be Born Again, according to the commandments given by Jesus in Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

 

When someone believed and obeyed the Gospel, the Apostles did not elaborate on that conversion in the book of Acts, but simply stated, “they believed” (see Acts 4:4, 5:14, 9:42, 11:1-18…etc). To the Apostles believing in Jesus meant someone had obeyed the Gospel and been Born Again of water – baptized and of Spirit – Holy Ghost.

 

When any part of a believer’s experience did not contain a birth of water and/or a birth of Spirit, then the Apostles would expound on what they did to correct that situation.  Such was the case in the city of Samaria when the whole city believed the Gospel and was baptizedyet they had not received the Holy Ghost.  Therefore, Peter and John came all the way from Jerusalem to pray for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost. (Acts 8)

 

The city of Samaria’s conversion shows us that the infilling of the Holy Ghost does not necessarily take place the moment someone believes the Gospel because; the whole city believed and was baptizedyet did not receive the Holy Ghost. Therefore, we can deduct from this passage of Scripture that receiving the Holy Ghost is not always automatic when one believes, but rather a separate, distinct and necessary experience in the life of a believer.

 

Ask yourself this question, how did the Apostles know their new converts had not received the Holy Ghost?  There had to be observable evidence that was missing for the Apostles to know that something was wrong (Acts 8:18). To see what evidence the Apostle Peter used to determine that the Gentiles had received the Holy Ghost read Acts chapters 10 & 11.

 

Another example of believers missing something in their conversion can be seen in Acts chapter 19.  The Apostle Paul found some disciples of John the Baptist, and asked them, “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you have believed?”  They said, “No”, so Paul tells them to “believe in Jesus”. They respond by being baptizedin thenameof the Lord and receiving the Holy Ghost.  This is a very clear example of how believers were Born Again of water and Spirit when they believed and obeyed the Gospel. Do we need to believe and obey the Gospel today?  See Romans 1:16, and II Thessalonians 1:8, for the answer.

 

On the day of Pentecost three thousand people believed and obeyed the Gospel and were added to the Church (Act 2). The city of Samaria believed and obeyed the Gospel, by being baptizedand receiving the Holy Ghost (Acts 8). When God made a believer out of Saul -Apostle Paul, he was baptized and received the Holy Ghost (Acts 9).  Cornelius and his household believed and obeyed the Gospel, when they were filled with the Holy Ghost, then baptizedin the nameof the Lord (Acts 10).  When John the Baptist’s disciples believed the Gospel and obeyed it, they were baptizedagain, but this timein thename of the Lord Jesus; and received the Holy Ghost (Acts 19).

 

Can you see the Born Again experience consisting of water and of Spirit in the above examples?  Jesus said, “Ye must be Born Again” (John 3:5-7) and left us wonderful examples of how in His Word!

 

God delivered me (Theresa Halstead) from drugs and alcohol the moment I believed and repented. I felt brand new inside and was falsely taught that I had been born again. However, when I saw the Born Again experience in the Bible by obeying the Gospel, I was baptizedin JesusnameNovember 1983, and on February 6, 1984, I received the Holy Ghostjust like Cornelius did in the book of Acts! (Chapter 10, see also Acts 2:39, Acts 15:7-9, Ephesians 1:13, John 7:38-39)

 

You too can be Scripturally Born Again today by believing and obeying the Gospel. This New Testament Born Again experience works the same way two thousand years later if you can act in faith to God’s Word. The gates of hell did not prevail against the church that Jesus built and purchased with His Blood (Matthew 16:15-18).

 

The Bible is simply… sound doctrine (II Timothy 4: 2-3).  The Word of the Lord endureth for ever and this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you (I Peter 1:22 – 25).  We (Christians) are built upon the foundation of the Apostles…(Ephesians 2:20).

 

Scripturally Born Again by believing and obeying the Gospel is etched in perfect detail, rooted and grounded in Scripture, available to all, forever settled in heaven and recorded for us in God’s Eternal Word – the Bible (Matthew 24:35).

 

We are committed to restoring faith in the Bible and welcome the opportunity to share with you the Word of God and answer any pertinent questions you may have.  Please contact Cornerstone Pentecostal Church at www.cornerstonepentecostal.org.

 

Food, Glorious Food!

Recently the youth of our church, and whoever else wanted to join them, went on an extended fast.(coupled with prayer, of course) I just love fasting, don’t you? NOT!! Okay, my flesh does not love it, but spirtually speaking, I know it does a lot for me, and it has definitely helped our church. As we were nearing the end of the fast, I was anticipating the “light meal” (chicken tortilla soup, Caesar salad, bread and a few other goodies) that we would partake of at our house. My, my, my, food certainly tastes good after you go without it for a few days! Going to bed last night, I was excited that I would be able to have my oatmeal with dates, walnuts and almond milk for breakfast. That might sound gross to you, but it’s one of my favorite things to eat in the morning. Anyhow, as I was thinking about food this morning, this Scripture came to my mind.

 

  Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.  Job 23:12

It’s natural and easy to get excited about food, but how excited do we get about the Word of God? There is nothing like the Holy Bible, which is food for our souls.

His Word

-can encourage us when we are down

-gives us direction

-shows us the error of our ways

-will give us a better life on this earth, if we live by it

-will take us to Heaven one day, if we obey it!

 

I do need to fast to keep this flesh under subjection, but I’m thankful that I don’t have to go without the Word of God. It is so vital to my Christian walk that my soul would wither up and die without it. I will take all that I can get, through reading it on my own and hearing God called, Holy Ghost filled men preach it and teach it! Nothing else will feed the inner man like the Word of God. So get you some “soul food” today, and every day! :-)

 

 

 

Blessed Burial!

Thursday night was a great time of rejoicing as we saw Kanalis baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins. Even though I have seen many people baptized over the years, it is something that never ceases to thrill me. I know God has great things in store for this good brother and his 2 beautiful children. God is good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Baptized In Jesus’ Name

Repentant sinner

willing and obedient

surrendered and submitted

wholeheartedly following

Scriptures holy

sins are remitted

past buried

transgression all erased

cleansed, renewed

washed, sanctified, justified

Jesus’ name called

baptized

I am

baptized

called name, Jesus

justified, sanctified, washed

renewed, cleansed

erased, all transgressions

buried past

remitted are sins

Holy Scriptures

following wholeheartedly

submitted and surrendered

obedient and willing

sinner repentant.

1Peter 3:21  The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:

1Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.  Luke 24:47  And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.   Acts 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Acts 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.  Romans 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  Colossians 2:12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.  Acts 22:16  And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.

 

I’m Expecting!

I’m expecting…………….

but probably not as you supposed.

I’m expecting that the 9 year old girl who received the Holy Ghost last night will be baptized in Jesus’ name on Sunday!

I’m expecting her parents to come and feel the touch of God in the service!

I’m expecting to have a good crowd in church on Sunday, some of them also being filled with the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues!

I’m expecting that we will see even more baptized in Jesus’ name very soon!

I’m expecting God to work things out concerning our housing situation and my husband’s employment. I don’t know how He will do it, but I know that He will!

Doesn’t a woman in the natural have expectations for the child she is carrying before it is delivered? Nobody faults her for decorating the nursery, buying those cute little outfits and making arrangements for that new arrival.

So in the spiritual realm, I will prepare……………………

through praying

through fasting

through witnessing

through faithfulness

and through speaking my faith.

Yes, I’m expecting,

and I’m looking forward to seeing the birth of His promises!

 

Simeon’s Secret

Psalm 25:14

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Simeon had a secret. It was something that God had revealed to him. We don’t know exactly how God told him. Maybe it was a dream. Perhaps he heard and audible voice. The Bible does not say, but the Bible does tell us what God revealed to him.

 

Luk 2:25,26

 

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

 

 

And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Simeon had a wonderful promise that before he died, he was going to see the Messiah. How thrilled he must have been on that day, when that which he was promised came to pass! Sometimes, oftentimes, we are called to wait on God to see our prayer requests and petitions brought to fruition. God has a time and purpose for everything, and He definitely had a time in mind when He planned to manifest Himself in the flesh.

 

Galatians 4:4

 

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

I love the lyrics to the following Christmas song. It almost sounds like it could be a prayer of Simeon put to song and then his marveling at having that prayer answered.

 

The Hand of Sweet Release

 

Come thou long expected Jesus,
Come illuminate the mysteries of life.
Come redeem us from the refuse,
Bring an end to endless suffering and strife.
Be the star that shines so brightly
That it draws our weary eyes to the sky,
to Heaven’s sky.
Dearest child of new beginnings,
Be the start of something beautiful, I cry.

 

There’s an end to all the waiting,
There’s an answer to the “who?” and “where?” and “why?” . . . tonight.
All the years anticipating,
Are surrendered to a tiny baby’s cry.
There’s a dawn to follow darkness,
There’s a face to fill the title, “Prince of Peace.”
What he promised, he delivered

I am saved by the hand of sweet release.

 

In this war I’ve been a captive,
Just a sinner seeking life and liberty.
But these hands that hold me tightly
Are the hands that set my shackled spirit free.
Blessed Jesus, meek and lowly,
You have come into my life and made it new,
Now I’m new.
Out of bondage into everlasting light,
I owe everything to you.

 

Words by Suzanne Jennings

 

Although it’s been many years since the time that God first came to earth in the form of a baby, we do have the promise that He is coming back again. 

 

Hebrews 9:28

 

 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

 

Titus 2:13

 

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

 

1Jn 3:2,3

 

Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

 

 

And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 

I believe many missed the first coming of Jesus, because, unlike Simeon, they weren’t looking for it. I’m sure many in his day studied the law and knew a lot about the Messianic prophecies, but I wonder how many were really looking for the Messiah and living their lives in a way(through prayer, devotion, dedication, obeying God’s Word)that said that they were longing and waiting for His coming?We many not know the day and the hour when Jesus is coming back, but just as He assured Simeon that He was coming the first times, so we have that confirmation through His Word that He is coming back.  May we have that spirit of Simeon where we live our lives in such a way that God knows that we are His and that we are waiting for His coming!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer’s Unpopular Sidekick

Fasting!

 

The Bible has a lot to say about it. It certainly isn’t emphasized or taught on as it should be. Do I look forward to doing it? To be honest, no I don’t. It is denying this flesh, which is always uncomfortable, but there certainly are benefits and blessings attached to it. Our church recently went on a 3 day fast(all those that were physically able), and I can see how God is blessing the sacrifice. There is a greater liberty in our services, and it seems people are responding more to the preaching and coming to the altar and being touched by God. It is wonderful to see! I’m no expert on the subject of fasting, but I just want to share a few quotes I came across that have some good information about it.

 

Fasting confirms our utter dependence upon God by finding in Him a source of sustenance beyond food.

Dallas Willard

Is fasting ever a bribe to get God to pay more attention to the petitions ? No, a thousand times no. It is simply a way to make clear that we sufficiently reverence the amazing opportunity to ask help from the everlasting God, the Creator of the universe, to choose to put everything else aside and concentrate on worshiping, asking forgiveness, and making our requests known-considering His help more important than anything we could do ourselves in our own strength and with our own ideas.

Edith Schaeffer

 

Prayer is reaching out after the unseen; fasting is letting go of all that is seen and temporal. Fasting helps express, deepen, confirm the resolution that we are ready to sacrifice anything, even ourselves to attain what we seek for the kingdom of God.

Andrew Murray

 

Fasting is important, more important perhaps, than many of us have supposed,… when exercised with a pure heart and a right motive, fasting may provide us with a key to unlock doors where other keys have failed; a window opening up new horizons in the unseen world; a spiritual weapon of God’s provision, mighty, to the pulling down of strongholds. (God’s Chosen Fast)

Arthur Wallis

 

In Shansi I found Chinese Christians who were accustomed to spend time in fasting and prayer. They recognized that this fasting, which so many dislike, which requires faith in God, since it makes one feel weak and poorly, is really a Divinely appointed means of grace. Perhaps the greatest hindrance to our work is our own imagined strength; and in fasting we learn what poor, weak creatures we are – dependent on a meal of meat for the little strength which we are so apt to lean upon.

James Hudson Taylor

 

Our greatest victories are won on our knees and with empty stomachs.

Julio C. Ruibal

 

When the devil, the foe and the tyrant, sees a man bearing this weapon [fasting], he is straight-away frightened and he recollects and considers that defeat which he suffered in the wilderness at the hands of the Saviour; at once his strength is shattered and the very sight of this weapon, given us by our Commander-in-chief, burns him.

Isaac of Syria

 

Do you have a hunger for God? If we don’t feel strong desires for the manifestation of the glory of God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world. Our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great. If we are full of what the world offers, then perhaps a fast might express, or even increase, our soul’s appetite for God. Between the dangers of self-denial and self-indulgence is the path of pleasant pain called fasting.

John Piper

 

 
 
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