Charles Carrin Ministries

WHAT DOES THE SCRIPTURE TEACH ABOUT “LAYING-ON-HANDS?”

May 9, 2017

“Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.” 

Acts 9:17-18

Of the 27 times the New Testament speaks about “laying-on-hands” it devotes only four references to the ordination of pastors and deacons. The other 23 times deal with the impartation of the Holy Spirit’s baptism, miraculous gifts, and other related topics. Tragically, much of the modern church denies the supernal works of God and has relegated hands-on ministry to those few practices of which it personally approves. The loss is tragic. For the first 27 years of ministry I too was a hard-line nonbeliever in the “hands-on” impartation and power of the Holy Spirit. Though there was no scriptural support for the position my denomination held, we insisted that miraculous gifts vanished when the Apostles died and I wrongly carried that error to others. We, like many evangelicals, would not admit that the Spirit’s withdrawal was because of our own unbelief. God had not left us; we had left Him. Not only did I preach against these “strange” ideas but ridiculed those who believed them. Then an abrupt change came: God sovereignly slammed me against my religious wall. In 1977, when I faced my greatest crisis, a young, Spirit-filled prisoner in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary laid-hands on me and I was delivered from a horrible spirit of depression, inferiority, other attitudes that had dominated my life, and was filled with the power of God. 

The inmate’s exact words to me were “Brother Charles, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road as you came has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17). I returned home and had an encounter with God so spectacular that I was totally–permanently--freed of oppression and changed forever. There is no way to describe the effects of the Holy Spirit’s impartation when that young man laid his hand on my head. As a Baptist pastor and Presbyterian Seminarian, I had come into the “Renewal Movement” explosively.  Now, more than 40 years later I am still vibrating from the power of my “baptism in the Spirit.”

When I emerged again, submitted to God and better informed scripturally, I was a new man, had a new message, was anointed for new ministry, and walked with God in new authority and power. As with Israel’s double baptism—“baptized unto Moses in the sea and in the cloud” (I Corinthians 10:2) I too experienced a dual baptism unto Jesus. The first, had been  in 1947,“in the sea,”—my water baptism—and in 1977, a wondrous baptism in the “Cloud”—the Spirit. Today, in my 67th  year of preaching, my ministry is more relevant, more energized, more far-reaching, more consistent with first century Christianity than in all previous years combined--and the end is not in sight. I say that to the Glory of God. Since my “Renewal” I too have laid-hands on thousands of others and seen them be miraculously delivered and filled with the power of Almighty God. This includes alcoholics, drug addicts, suicidals, and scores of people battling life-destroying crises. Others have found themselves changed for Kingdom service. This note illustrates the power in “hands-on” ministry: 

“Dear Charles, I want to tell you how I was blessed in Toronto. You came to the row where I was sitting with folks from my church and when you touched my forehead the power of the Holy Spirit hit me like lightning striking a tree. A little while later you came back through our whole row. Once again, the power of the Holy Spirit hit me and I fell. You prayed over me for a very long time. When you finished I felt if you had not stopped I would have died! ... We met again the next day when you were coming down the aisle before the morning session. You greeted me again--and the power of the Holy Spirit came once more. I was on the floor for a period of time ... I can’t thank you enough for your ministry in Toronto! It greatly blessed me! I needed a power-encounter with the Living God.” —Betty.  Washington Crossing, Pennsylvania.

The writers testimony is not unusual.  She experienced a “sign and wonder” from the Holy Spirit and an empowering to benefit others (Acts 2:43; 4:30; 6:8). In the years following my renewal I have learned some valuable facts about “hands-on” ministry:

1.  First of all, there is absolutely no power in the human hand. None. The Holy Spirit releases power from the “Temple of the Holy Spirit”( I Corinthians 3:16-19) which is inside the human body. The hand has value only because it is an extension of the Temple. When a ministering Temple touches a receiving Temple there is a power-transfer from one Temple to the other.  This movement of the Holy Spirit can be restricted by “insulating” factors in either party; by “insulation” I mean attitudes of jealousy, anger, fear, pride, or other “works of the flesh.” Carnality grieves the Holy Spirit and restricts His ministry. Additionally, where there is no humbled-devotion and reverencing for the full New Testament truth there will be meager results.

2.  There is a vast difference between “hands-on” ministry and prayer-ministry. The  two may occur simultaneously but they are not the same and great care should be given so as not to confuse the two.

3.  Prayer is supplication; Laying-on-hands is impartation. Here is an interesting example from the Old Testament:

Numbers 27:18. “And the Lord said to Moses: Take Joshua  the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him.”

Deuteronomy 34:9-10. “Now Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of  wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him.”

4.   Talking, counseling, conversation, can be a handicap to hands-on ministry. “Hands-on” ministry is distinct, separate from prayer, and in a league to itself. Jesus did not say “These signs will follow those lay-on-hands and pray.”  This may seem to be a needless point but let me explain: Prayer is out-going, it is the outward flow. In hands-on ministry the direction must be reversed, the person receiving should stop talking, singing, vocalizing in any capacity that keeps them in control, and consciously do what Jesus said. His instruction was “Come to Me and drink!” It is impossible to drink and talk at the same time. Talking locks a person into his own introspection and self-consciousness. Jesus must become the center point not the individual.

I believe this so profoundly that there have been times when I put my hand on the person’s mouth, forced him or her to stop speaking, and said, “Please! Reverse the flow and drink!” Other times when the conversation has been centered too long on the problem, I have said to the person, “I am going to leave you for a few minutes–but I will come back. In the meantime, please forget me, forget your circumstance, forget everything around you, and be ready to receive from the Lord. Receiving is vital. Begin to drink.” Rarely have I known such instances to fail. When people make the transition from supplication to impartation they usually drop under the power of God.  I have seen people drop to the floor, begin vibrating with such intensity that they actually “floated” down the aisle.  Why? What was the purpose? I don’t know. It was simply a “sign and wonder” which God did not explain.

Sometimes I am in meetings where several thousand people receive “hands-on” ministry and crash to the floor under the Holy Spirit’s impartation. It would be totally impossible for me to minister to such crowds if I stopped to pray with each one. I repeat: I believe in prayer! But “hands-on” ministry is impartation–not supplication!  It is distinct, separate from prayer, and in a league to itself. I cannot overemphasize the fact that “hands-on” is God’s way of releasing His power from a ministering-Temple into a receiving-Temple.

Someone says, “But, I am being obedient and laying-hands on others but nothing like that happens. What do I do?” Our duty is to trust Jesus who said,  “These signs will follow those who believe: They will lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” True, none of us are worthy of that privilege. But, we must never forget that we function in the imputed righteousness of Christ not our own righteousness. (Imputed is another word for imparted.) You and I are not responsible for the results. We are responsible only to obey, to be certain we are true worshipers of Jesus, that our Temples are honoring the Holy Spirit, and that He feels welcomed and wanted inside us.

Fear is a frequent handicap in those ministering to others–that is, fear that nothing will happen; the one ministering fears he or she will look inadequate, unspiritual, incapable, etc. Such fear reveals two possibilities: The absence of faith and/or the presence of ego. In such cases there can be no expectation. And faith is expectation. Insecurity tempts the one ministering to by-pass impartation and provide more supplication. The great danger is that religion will then give a sense of false satisfaction without having met the need; in other words, duty has been discharged but the circumstance is left unchanged. To hide their deficiency, some over-zealous ministers push people to the floor in an imitation of spiritual power. This is contemptuous to God.

Remember also that God has not surrendered His sovereignty; He knows facts about the people we minister to which we don’t know. They may be resisting the Holy Spirit and privately protecting themselves from Him. A man may fear deliverance from a demon he wants to keep–lust, power, intimidation of others, etc. While you are to “lay hands suddenly” on no one”, that is, acting on your assumption about the person and not the Holy Spirit’s specific leadership, keep seeking His guidance and direction. At some point when you lay hands on another person the Holy Spirit will move in dramatic power. The first time it happened with me I was more surprised than the one who lay at my feet. In a surprising suddenness the Holy Spirit dropped the man into a deep, deep tranquility and took him far beyond our earthly realm. The following letter comes from a precious woman whose life was marked by constant abuse and pain but who received hands-on and entered into the “Lord’s rest.” Listen to what she says:

“Dear Brother Carrin, It is now two o'clock in the morning and I still can't sleep. I am shaking all over. I just think about the Holy Spirit and the shaking gets harder. It is not a bad feeling but like waves rolling over me. Tuesday night when you laid hands on me and I went down, I came up laughing like a dam bursting in me. That is when the shaking began ... Wednesday night when I came home it was as if I were up above the bed floating and shaking. If I even think the word "Holy Spirit" the shaking gets harder ... Brother Carrin, this is where I need your help: I don't know what to do with this experience. It's like I hunger, I long, just to sit in the presence of the Lord. At the same time, I know that it is leading me somewhere. The Spirit is saying that He has important things for me to do.”

As happened with the writer above, the Holy Spirit frequently identifies specific people in the congregation at the end of a sermon and has me call them out first for hands-on ministry. Whenever the order comes, I try to be obedient and minister to the party promptly. But it hasn’t always been that way. The first time I received such direction was at a Conference years ago in Indianapolis. All the while I spoke, it was as if the Holy Spirit were saying about a young woman in the congregation, “This one! This one! Now!” Whatever my reasons were, I allowed fear to stop me. She left without receiving ministry. God never let me forget my defiance--nor did He let me forget her need. The good effect was that my failure forced me to be more attentive to the Holy Spirit. Significantly, He has taught me truths about hands-on ministry that has proved to be immensely valuable.

The question arises, “But why is ‘hands-on’ ministry so powerful? What does it mean?” I can only answer that Jesus commanded us to do it. Millions of people world-wide have been dramatically blessed because another “Temple of the Holy Spirit” laid hands on them. I am merely one of those ordinary disciples who believes Jesus meant what He said. There is nothing special about any of us except that Jesus is willing to confirm His word if we obey. He is the Source, the Power, and the Glory! 

One of the greatest thrills I get in hands-on ministry is in seeing children and young people experience a life-changing encounter with God. Listen to what this mother says: “Dear Brother Carrin, I want to thank you for what you have meant to my life. I brought my daughter to you (she was 17 at the time) and you prayed for her. It was the beginning of a restored life for her. As a child, she was labeled as ‘learning disabled’ and was afflicted with epilepsy, migraines, and numerous other problems. She has not had one seizure, nor one migraine since you laid-hands on her. It is truly a miracle. I will never ever forget. Thank you!”

You can understand my gratefulness for the Holy Spirit’s changing my ministry. The first 30 years were good–but powerless. I could not say with Paul that my speech and my preaching were  “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power,” for they were not. Nor could I say that my preaching had confirmed my congregation’s faith “in the power of God.” That had not happened (1 Corinthians 2:.5,6)  

But, obedience to the Holy Spirit has not been without a price. Almost immediately after my baptism in the Spirit, my home church in Miami, Florida–the one that had ordained me in 1949–cancelled my ordination. In  surrendering my credentials, I explained about my new ministry and the benefits others experienced through the laying-on-of-hands. I assured them, “By the power of the Holy Spirit I routinely–sometimes daily–see drug addicts, alcoholics, suicidally depressed people, others with crushing problems, be delivered and permanently set free. Lives are changed, bodies healed, homes saved, children rescued. What better reason do I need to continue in my present work?! I could never go back to my former ministry in which I was powerless to help these people. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the greatest blessing my life and ministry ever received!”

Strangely, one of the men who signed the Revocation Order had just seen his son released from prison for homosexually molesting little boys. He read my letter in which I specifically told about such men being helped. I was totally baffled. Why did he not say, “Yes! Yes! I want that for my son! I want hands-laid on him in the Name of Jesus!” That never happened. Personally, I will spend the rest of my life wondering why good, God-loving people refuse the grace-gifts God offers. In appealing to others to believe in the baptism and gifts of the Holy Spirit, I find testimonies speak with loud authority.

Here is another dramatic account of a family being healed emotionally, spiritually, domestically, and numerous other ways. It was a simple laying-on-of-hands in the Name of Jesus that brought these wonderful results:

"Dear Pastor Carrin, Your ministry has changed my husband’s and my life. We lost our 4 year old daughter in a boating accident. We were Christians but knew nothing of the deeper workings and the healing power of the Holy Spirit. We were both very depressed and angry at God. When you *ministered to us we were “slain in the spirit” for the first time. The Holy Spirit began a healing work in us that has given us a reason to live and to worship His Holy Name. A hunger for more of God began in us that summer night--and praise God--the hunger has never been satisfied!! Since that time, we have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit operates in our lives. Thank you for giving your life to the ministry of people who are hurting; hopefully my husband and I will have the opportunity to give to others as you have given of yourself. GOD BLESS YOU!" —Susan Archer, Birmingham, Alabama     *hands-on 

Thank God for the Holy Spirit’s impartation that comes throught the “laying-on-of-hands!”

Chas


 

GOD’S “INTELLIGENT DESIGN” Vs EVOLUTION’S NON-INTELLIGENT ACCIDENT

March 23, 2017

Each square inch of your skin contains approximately 35 miles of nerves. An adult body contains 75,000 miles of blood vessels, serving more than 60 billion body cells. Some vessels are so microscopically small that only one blood cell at the time can squeeze through. If all of your blood vessels could be cut open and laid side by side they would cover an area the size of a football field. During its 120 day life-span, each blood cell makes about 75,000 round trips from the heart to other parts of the body. That is a total distance of approximately 5 billion, 635 million miles traveled in its lifetime. Each cell simultaneously brings nutrients and oxygen to the body while removing toxins. In a quiet room, cup your hands tightly over your ears–like you have done with a sea shell at the beach–and listen to the thunder of blood rushing through your body. That is literally the ocean-roar of life racing through you. Friction would instantly burn through your veins and arteries were it not for the protective coating of cholesterol lining their inner walls.

At the moment of conception, the invisible male sperm invades the almost-invisible female ovum and development of the billions of components listed above are perfectly–and explosively--initiated. We have nothing else in Creation with which to compare such massive and flawless organization of functioning parts. For example, in that miraculous event, millions of optic nerves connecting eyes to brain and brain to eyes begin their journey toward each other. At the moment of birth 280 days later all systems climax simultaneously.

David exclaimed: "For you have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them."  Psalm 139:13-16 

Oh, fools! Had we eyes to see,

Into the realm of microscopic things;

To step inside the spider's egg,

With its own suns and galaxies,

Here we'd behold Creation in full display

And the flawless pearl of system find,

That touches every insect, leaf, or stone,

With the same brush-stroke of design.

Astonishment would seize our breath,

Silence us as quiet as death,

To behold Creation's chartless realm,

Compressed inside the tiniest cell.

But more than that, to understand

God’s whole in intent in nature

Is inscribed in every cell of man.

CCC

If for a split-second’s time you could peak into the cell-formation and organizing of body parts in a human baby in the womb, you would see lightening-speed explosions blasting simultaneously inwardly and outwardly in the development of bones, brain, blood, organs, skin, personality, intellect, talents, etc., and all other components. Ecclesiastes 11:5. I Corinthians 12:18. 

Try to imagine a dynamite fuze reaching all the way from Boston to Miami--exploding every building in its non-stop path. What occurs in the development of a single human being involves a thousand times more separate parts than there are buildings between New England and Florida. If that baby is male, within four weeks after conception, all the quadrillions of sperm his body will ever produce will already be formed in his tiny being. Think of it! From a single ovum and a single sperm 280 days later emerges a functioning human being possessing an intellect capable of sending rocket ships into outer space.

Each of those minuscule sperm--containing that embryonic baby boy’s DNA—holds more than 3 billion genetic codes. If you were to spend 8 hours a day looking at each code for one second, it would take two years. If the DNA in that baby’s human cells could be unraveled and strung end to end, it would reach from earth to the sun, round trip, 400 times. Accidental evolution? Hardly. His entire body could be reconstructed from information stored in just one of his brain-stem cells; these are part of sixty billion more cells that compose his total being. The sound of his laughter, the curve of his eyelash, talents and attitudes he inherited from his grandparents are all perfectly recorded. At conception, the genetic code from mother and father merged into an ideal arrangement for the creation of his totally new, unique being. Billions and billions of components perfectly joined.

Be aware that there are more than 100 million different animal and plant specie on planet earth. Of some specie, there may be hundreds of billions of individuals. Each has its own distinctive genetic code. In the presence of overwhelming evidence of man's miraculous design, the claim of evolution becomes totally absurd.

Looking at yourself for a moment: Your brain contains as many synapsis as there are stars in existence. The synapse is the point of contact between neurons, by which nerve impulses are successfully transmitted through the brain. After birth, a baby’s brain continues to expand at the rate of 10,000 new synapses per second. Inside your head, you have a composite of total creation. If all five and one-half billion people on earth were talking on eighteen telephone at the same time, it would almost correspond to the electrical traffic handled by the brain. The corpus callosum tissue separating the two hemispheres of the brain contain as many connections as every telephone line in America. To cut through the corpus callosum of one human being would be equivalent to cutting every telephone line in the U.S. Next time you are outside looking at the stars realize that Creation's vastness goes just that far inside of you.

One much-disputed theory of science claims that the most basic particle of the sub-atomic world, beyond which nothing can be reduced, is “sound.” True or not, we know that Creation came into being when God spoke and sound was released. In the early 1990's one of Germany's most influential scientific magazines, GEO, published an article which publicly challenged the validity of Darwin's theory of evolution. The announcement which startled scientific minds around the world, made the following statement: "Gradual evolution by natural selection, the key element of Darwin's theory, no longer stands up to the latest scientific results..." In referring to the origin of the Universe, the article also included this statement: "The idea of a preconceived plan instead of a succession of coincidences suggests itself."

Victor Hugo said, “Where the telescope ends the microscope begins. Which of the two has the grander view?” Nearly 60 years ago I came across a poem by Atlanta author, Ernest Hartsock, whose insight grabbed me and never turned loose. He said: 

Ages of earth are in me; I am made

Of time's immortal matter, which is dust;

I am old atoms in a new parade,

I am iron, miracled from rust.

This that is I, has not been I forever;

Once it was pearl or spider, flame or fly.

Nature's destination is endeavor,

There is no dust beauty will let die."

The most shocking scientific discovery about the Universe came in 1912 at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, when Vesto Melvin Slipher, an American astronomer, discovered that approximately a dozen galaxies were moving away from the earth at speeds of a million miles an hour. It wasn’t until years later that Edwin Hubble, another astronomer, analyzed the implication and formulated a new theory about the earth's origin. According to Hubble, Creation had suddenly exploded from a central point from which the galaxies were still outwardly expanding. That point of beginning, they explained, was no larger than the period at the end of a sentence (.) This was distressing news to scientists. Hubble’s discovery was quickly dubbed the “Big Bang” theory. 

One of the last minds to accept the "Big Bang" and by far the most Influential, was Albert Einstein. Einstein rejected the theory because "it implied that Creation had a beginning." As a Jew, he believed in God, accepted Jesus as Messiah, but strangely rejected the idea of God as Creator. In 1930, however, Einstein visited the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California, looked at the evidence through the giant, 100 inch telescope and admitted the proof was there: The Universe had indeed originated in a single moment and everything was still flying outwardly from that incredible blast.

The “Big Bang” was not an accidental, uncontrolled, cosmological firecracker. As the physicist Freeman Dyson put it, the universe seemed to be acting in anticipation for the appearance of mankind. In fact, leading evolutionists, such as Dobzhansky and others have agreed that there has not been enough time for mankind to have assembled spontaneously within the time span of our universe.” (Both Italics mine) Dr. David Block, a Messianic Jewish believer, is Professor of Applied Mathematics and Astronomy at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. Besides two Bachelor degrees, Dr. Block holds a Master of Science in relativistic astrophysics and a Doctor of Philosophy in Astronomy. He is a world-renowned scientist, a consultant at the European Southern Observatory near Munich, West Germany, and the Institute of Astronomy, University of Hawaii. Relative to the reconciliation of Bible and science, he said “To the person who is seriously seeking, I would say, read the gospels from an objective pont of view, as Albert Einstein did. As Isaac Newton did.” 

The next question with which the scientists had to grapple was, "What came before the beginning?" "Who was the Prime Mover?" To this, a British Scientist, Edward Milne, gave the reply, "The first cause of the Universe is left for the reader to insert. But our picture is incomplete without Him."

To my satisfaction, Hubble's explanation is the best, non-theological explanation of Genesis 1:1: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth ..."

In the middle 1970's, leading astronomers in England reinforced the theory when they announced they had discovered the galaxies farthest removed from the center point of that "explosion.” These galaxies were actually the "edge" of the Universe. The British scientists went on to make a mind-boggling statement: "Beyond these galaxies, nothing exists; not even space." At that point, human intelligence proceeds no farther. As one scientist put it, "We are waiting for someone to step out of the crowd and tell us what it all means." As to the time and place of that “Big Bang” we find both in the opening verse of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” When God said, “Light be!,” light was!

In qualifying its position against Darwin's long-accepted claim the GEO article went on to explain That the “chief witness" in support of evolution, a fossil of the Archaeopteryx, or a bird-like animal claimed to be the missing link, has “lost its authenticity." In referring to the origin of the Universe, the article also included this statement: "The idea of a preconceived plan instead of a succession of coincidences suggests itself."

What the scientists are saying is that the mathematical perfection in creation excludes the idea of accidental evolution; rather, they are forced to admit that the Universe resulted from a “preconceived plan.” Whether we are theologians or scientists, we can prove by unwavering mathematical law that our universe was designed by engineering Intelligence. For example, take ten pennies and number them one to ten. Put them in your pocket and shuffle them. Mathematically, your chance of drawing out number one on the first draw is one in ten. Drawing out one and two in succession becomes one in 100. To draw out one, two, and three, in perfect order, your chance is one in one thousand. By fixed, mathematical law, your chance of drawing out all ten pennies in uninterrupted order is one in ten billion. These are the odds of chance. Simply stated, it can't be done. Now apply that law of chance to the multiplied billions of related complexities that are necessary for life to exist on our planet.

In recent years, the Hubble Telescope, named for Edwin and stationed in space was given a unique assignment. It was told to select a spot with the least density of stars and photograph it. The site chosen was equivalent in size to a grain of sand held between a man's finger tips at arm's length. What the telescope photographed through that tiny, minuscule window was breath-taking: In distances beyond comprehension, it showed stratum after stratum of uncountable galaxies disappearing into the distance. If such a panorama lies behind a pin-prick sized view, how great is the power that exploded the rest of it into being? More wonderfully, how great is the Creator who designed it!

Robert Jastrow, in the New York Times Magazine, years ago revealed more of the scientists quandary when he wrote, "Consider the immensity of the problem. Science has proved that the Universe exploded into being at a certain moment. It then asks, "What cause produced this effect? Who or what put the matter and energy into the Universe? Was the Universe created out of nothing, or was it gathered together out of pre-existing materials?" And science cannot answer these questions. Jastrow continues, "Now we would like to pursue that inquiry further back in time, but the barrier seems insurmountable. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as be pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries."

When Einstein was asked by a reporter if he accepted the historical existence of Jesus, he replied, “Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life. I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.”

Anthony Flew, an 81 year old British atheist-philosopher who for more than 50 years avidly denounced God, creationism, and Christianity--in defense of Darwin’s theory of evolution--has declared he is now a believer in God. His acknowledgment has staggered the scientific community. Flew is the author of scores of books and academic articles opposing God’s existence, including “Atheistic Humanism” and “Darwinian Evolution.” Renouncing his own writings, he now endorses science’s Intelligent Design Principle, “IDP,” more technically is known as the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, as the explanation for the origin of the Universe. That intelligent designer is God. This is now Flew’s position.* Flew explained, “Darwin himself,  in the  fourteenth  chapter of The Origin of Species, pointed out that his whole argument began with a Being which already possessed reproductive powers.” This is the kind of evidence that converted Antony Flew.

But what is the Christian view of the "Big-Bang"? Good Christians disagree and while I will not argue the point with anyone, I personally believe it is the most profound penetration which science has yet made into the creative-works of God. Even though the Bible gives us no more clue than “God said ’Light be! ... Let the dry land appear,’” it is easy to believe that He Himself is the center point of that explosion. Probably, His Throne occupies the "O" degree from which everything shot outward. He is the “Original Light” from whom all other light sprang. But where does this idea of a preconceived plan" take us? We are back at Genesis I: Even so, we must remember that "the world by wisdom, knows not God." Saving faith will never come through scientific discovery. Science can open  the door of inquiry; but only when that inquiry leads to the person of Jesus by whom the Father “made the worlds" can saving faith result. The verse quoted above goes on to say that “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believed."   Believe!

 

ALBERT EINSTEIN’S VIEW OF JESUS

Albert Einstein probably possessed the greatest mind of the past millennium. As a Jew, Einstein had distinct views on Jesus, the New Testament, and the Church. Below is a clip of an interview from the Saturday Evening Post, October 26, 1929: As a child I received instruction both in the Bible and in the Talmud. I am a Jew, but I am enthralled by the luminous figure of the Nazarene.  Have you read Emil Ludwig’s book on Jesus?  Emil Ludwig’s Jesus is shallow. Jesus is too colossal for the pen of phrasemongers, however artful. No man can dispose of Christianity with a bon mot [a witty remark].  You accept the historical existence of Jesus? Unquestionably! No one can read the Gospels without feeling the actual presence of Jesus. His personality pulsates in every word. No myth is filled with such life.”

Chas

 

FAITH–A LIVING REALITY OR A RELIGIOUS RITUAL?

February 16, 2017
It is significant that in the Old Testament the word “faith” appears only two times, Deuteronomy 32:20, “children in whom is no faith,” and Habakkuk 2:4, “the just shall live by his faith”. (NKJ) These represent the two extremes regarding faith. Beyond that, the Old Testament is strangely silent about spiritual-faith. Even so, the New Testament book of Hebrews, chapter 11, speaks of faith 26 times in acknowledging the faithfulness of Old Testament saints. For the most part, the Old Testament saints connected to God by means of rituals and religious rites. They did physical things to achieve spiritual ends. Observance of the Law gained their acceptance with God. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus radically changed that, ushering in a totally new day and new approach to God. Hear me carefully on this point:
 
Old Testament ritualistic-obedience brought God down to people on earth. New Testament transcendent-faith takes people up to God in Heaven. God came down to meet Moses on Mt. Sinai; the Apostle John was summoned to “come up here”.
 
Physical actions on the earth cannot transport anyone to Heaven. In contrast, immaterial, non-physical, spiritual faith escapes earth’s gravity and takes the believer out of its grasp. I use the word “gravity” in a spiritual sense. The ministry of Jesus was radical in that it drew an absolute line of separation between the Old Testament’s demand for doing religious things and the New Testament’s demand for transcendent-faith. Once we understand this principle we can understand the Apostle Paul’s relentless warfare against religious behavior substituting for spiritual truth. He shouted angrily at the Galatian church, “O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” 3:1-4.
 
Please know that the “hearing of faith” is vastly different from learning a Catechism, Confession, or Articles of Faith. Academic knowledge of faith is important but it is easy to possess an intellectual understanding of faith and totally miss the spiritual “hearing of faith”. What is the test that separates the two? True, authentic, spiritual faith always manifests itself in miraculous, supernatural ways. Why are Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, other denominations, turning diametrically against God’s Word on the issue of homosexuality and abandoning their own moral history? Their “faith” has become wholly intellectual, earth-connected, and has no union with Heaven’s spiritual dimension. Instead of seeing the spiritual identity of sin and its damning effects, they are blinded to a ground-level view of Bible teaching.
 
In one of the New Testament’s strongest defenses for the gospel’s inalterable faith, the Apostle Jude wrote, “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 3-5: The “once for all”, translation in our English Bibles comes from a one-word expression in Greek. It is “hapax” and in spite of its brief size carries significant authority. It, and its’ probable source, “hapas”, mean, “one, or a single time, conclusively, absolutely all, every one ...”
 
If you read the Apostle Jude’s statement again, it is impossible to defend the idea that the original gospel and the power it contained were later altered or modified.
 
The Greek language does not allow such an idea. The “faith which was delivered once for all” means that in a conclusive, inalterable, unchangeable, way the faith of the Apostolic era was delivered for “all time” and there will never be another. The gospel of the Kingdom is immutable. This agrees perfectly with Jesus’ instruction in Matthew 28:18 that believers to “the end of the age” be taught to “observe all things that I have commended you.” Then, as if to emphasize the inexorability of the gospel’s time-span, He said, “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Observe the expression “all things”. What did He mean by that expression? Scripture does not leave us to wonder. Matthew 10:7-9 makes it very plain: “As you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons . Freely you have received, freely give.”
 
How can humans accomplish these deeds of healing the sick, casting out demons, etc? Many sincere, Christians immediately cry out, “I don’t believe I can do that!” And of course, they can’t because Jesus said, “These signs will follow those who believe.” He never expected miracles to be done by anyone who was not divinely connected to Him. But He did say of believers, “In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." Mark 16:17-18. Jesus never implied that unbelievers could do His same works. But He emphatically declared that true believers not only could do them but would. The Book of Acts gives us a working model of a conscientious, godly pastor–Apollos–who preached a powerless gospel. Like many of us today, he was faithful, loved God, served the congregation, but was totally bereft of power. While away from his church at Ephesus, Paul came and found this little congregation of 12 male disciples with wives and children. In spite of Apollos’ having excellent credentials for ministry, Paul immediately recognized powerlessness in his flock. Both Paul and Apollos were men of God, both equally loved the Lord, and each possessed vast knowledge of Scripture. Even so, a major discrepancy existed between their ministries. Paul had power; Apollos did not. Paul preached the gospel of the Kingdom; Apollos obviously knew nothing about it.
 
In light of the Apostle Jude’s exhortation to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints”, we see how Apollos had accepted a partial gospel and experienced partial results. Apollos’ and Paul’s ministries are a parallel of pastors and churches today. I emphasize the fact that Apollos was ignorant because he had never been taught–not because he had knowingly rejected the truth. That innocence is absent in many pastors today who have knowingly rejected any truth that is not endorsed by their denominations.
  
Many Modern Christians 
Have Accepted An Alien Concept Of Faith.
 
The dictionary’s definition of faith is tragically insufficient and where this concept has been accepted it has stripped Christianity of one of its most fundamental powers. Today’s wrong usage–rampant even among believers--identifies faith solely as religious persuasion, moral conviction, doctrinal belief, ethical concept, organized creed, systematic theology, etc., etc, but offers no comment about faith being a spiritual force. Where spiritual-force is not present, there is no faith. Faith–as a living entity–must be manifested in power–not words only. Documents of faith are beneficial to the mind but powerless to heal the body. Faith is one of the divine provisions implied in Hebrews 6:4-6 that speaks of those who have been “... enlightened, have tasted the heavenly gift, have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come ...” The expression, “powers of the age to come” refers to forces, magnetisms, energies, life-qualities, etc., which are not characteristic of our present existence but will be characteristic in the future-realm of Heaven and eternity. In other words, they are “powers” already with God in His dimension but reserved for our future. Wonderfully, the Scripture reveals that some individuals experience those powers now. You and I can be among them. Cessation Theology claims that God removed the miraculous gifts and power of the Holy Spirit from the early church but has allowed Satan to keep his until now. How foolish!
 
Years ago I met a saintly old man whom I immediately recognized was trustworthy in his love for God and his Christian testimony. As we talked privately, he told about an illness that not only put him in the hospital but caused his death. Of that event, he half-whispered to me, “I realized I was dead when I discovered that I could swing my legs down through the mattress.” Though the statement was shocking there was nothing unbelievable about him or his description of his death-encounter. Over the years I have met numerous others–just as believable as he--who had such death-bed or out-of-body experiences. What happened in his case was that death momentarily separated him from his body; while his physical-part lay motionless on the bed, his spiritual-part was totally free and independent of it. There is a “natural body” and there is a “spiritual body.” I Corinthians 15:44. It was the spiritual aspect of his being that was unhindered by the material substance of the bed and enabled him to swing his legs through it. We have a parallel of this the day of the Resurrection when Jesus appeared in the closed room where the disciples were meeting. Without effect on Himself or the wall, He simply passed through the material substance of the building in the same way the old man’s spiritual legs swung through the hospital mattress. John 20:22.
 
I mention this old brother’s experience because without an understanding of his (and our) dual spiritual/physical nature we will never grasp the reality of true faith. Hear me: “Faith is not native to our planet but is projected into our cosmos from the Great-Other-Realm. Therefore, the faith at work in you is not an attitude or mental effort on your part. Nor is it merely your religious concept or ideology. Faith is a living, trans-earthly power. It is native to the other realm and is only a visitor in ours. Faith came to because of your spiritually having heard ‘the word of God’, Romans 10:17, and God Himself having then dealt to you ‘a measure of faith,’ Romans 12:3. More happened than your physical-ears hearing the gospel. Nor was the resulting-faith mere psychological cause- and-effect. Scripture makes it very plain that faith is a spiritual life-force extended to you.
 
Perhaps you have seen someone receive laying-on- of-hands and immediately crash to the floor under the power of God. That manifestation happened because the Holy Spirit moved visibly from the person ministering to the person receiving. In that wonderful moment the Holy Spirit was applying some benefit of the Cross. In Galatians 3:5, Paul deals with this all-important subject when he asked the question: “He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” KJV. The answer to Paul’s question is obvious: It is the hearing of faith, not works of the law, that endowed some in the Galatian Church for the ministry of miracles and spiritual- impartation. Modern theologians are fearful of this text but the old King James translators gave the Greek-intent accurately. Read it again.
 
How can one hear faith? Faith is alive and has a voice. Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice.” John 10:27. In my opinion, it is impossible to separate the voice of faith from the voice of Jesus. Of that voice, Jesus explained, “I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.” John 12:49. Whether in the Church of Galatia or the Church today, “signs and wonders” occur during the laying-on-of-hands because our bodies are Temples of the Holy Spirit. The hand is an extension of that Temple and faith becomes the vehicle accompanying the release of power.
 
The Holy Spirit frequently overwhelms the person and they drop to the floor. His impact sometimes comes like an electric-shock and is usually irresistible. In the same way the Holy Spirit’s power passes through a living-body bringing healing, the power of faith passes through a living-mind. In many ways, the comparisons are identical. Faith, therefore, is not an exercise of your physical-brain any more than it was the old man’s physical legs that swung down through the mattress. We are spiritual beings, in contact with a Spiritual God, who communicates to us through the spiritual dimension. Jesus illustrated this dual spirit-physic dimension when He invited Peter to join Him on the water. Matthew 14:29. We Christians have missed the awesomeness of that invitation by assuming it was merely to display miraculous-power. Not at all.
 
In reality, Jesus was saying to Peter, “I have come into your physical--earthly--material–realm, bringing power from the ‘age to come’ with me. It has raised the dead, opened blind eyes, performed miracles. Now, Peter, I want you to come into My realm. Join Me on the water and you can step into My dimension ...” I repeat: This was not merely an invitation for Peter to get out of the boat and walk on the sea. Not at all. It was an invitation for him to exit his own physical realm of earth, sky, rocks, and air, and join Jesus in the immaterial, ethereal, non-earthly, “other” dimension. Had Peter so done, in that moment he would have “swung his legs down through the mattress.” That is what Jesus wanted him to discover. Please hear me: When Peter sank into the sea, he missed much more than a momentary miracle. Instead of experiencing the Glory of Heaven “opening on his eyes, and his ears with sounds angelic ringing,” he fell back into the dullness and dreariness of earth. Peter’s failure typifies the modern Church: Most Christians don’t expect out-of-body transports into the Other Dimension, we don’t expect “faith” to be anything more than sweet religious-presumption, we don’t expect Scripture to have revelatory power. That is true because we preachers have denominationalized the Bible’s message and, in consequence, have reduced Kingdom- truth to a lovely–but faithless--philosophy. My late friend Derek Prince used to say, “Any pastor who is not providing ‘signs and wonders’ for his flock should apologize to them for his failure”.
 
As an aide to helping myself get a more comprehensive understanding of faith I have joined it with another Greek word–peiro. Peiro means “to pierce through” and originates from the word peran meaning “other side”, “beyond,” “farther,” “over,” “across.” In Greek, the word for faith is pistis. The combination of the two words allowed me to visualize faith’s purpose in penetrating our physical realm. This penetration is absolutely necessary if there is to be miraculous healing, spiritual gifting, deliverance from demonic bondage, out-of-body transports, etc. “Peiros-Faith” is a force that comes to our dimension from the other realm, like sunlight passing through a window, goes through cooperative believers here. Then, like an X-ray it penetrates and effects change in the circumstance it touches. True faith has the potential to interact both with our physical dimension of time and space while it maintains a complete, uninterrupted union with the Eternal Dimension where it originates. In other words, faith is a symphonizing of these separate dimensions. Faith cannot merely lie on the surface of its intended target but must pierce the subject needing change. Both a sending and receiving are involved.
 
As I understand it, this interaction of “peiros” faith—that is “faith” from the “other side–the beyond–the farther–the over–the across”--like the conception of ovum and sperm--is a coming-together of the Holy Spirit’s power and the material substance of our realm. These two realms became visible minutes before Stephen was stoned to death when something happened that totally astonished his attackers. Scripture tells us that suddenly, “All who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel.” Acts 6:15. What caused this sudden change of the man’s physical appearance? His natural body momentarily began fading away and another–a more beautiful one–became apparent. Stephen was already in the transition of death and the “inner person” of his spirit momentarily became visible. In effect, he was already in the state of “swinging his legs down through the mattress”. 
                                                            
Jesus demonstrated this potential to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration, when “He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun and His clothes became as white as the light.” Matthew 17:2. In my 65+ years of preaching, only twice have I seen a person in this dual-state of “holy radiance”. But I have seen it. One was an elderly, farm-woman in a congregation of 700 whose face–during worship–shone so brightly that everyone within five feet around her blurred-out. The other was a godly minister, Virgil Agan, who, while preaching, had a “halo” of light appear around him. Both of those events occurred in the 1950's. It was this kind of Glory that appeared on Stephen when he was dying–nor was it stones that killed him. As Jesus gave up His Spirit from the cross, so Stephen gave up his.
 
There is a distinct, identifiable moment for many believers in which the “door of faith” is opened. Scripture explains: “Now when they had come to Antioch and gathered the church together, they reported all that God had done with them, and that He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles.” Acts 14:27. This opening can be both corporate as with the gentiles or singular as with an individual today. Another example: “Jesus said to them, ‘These are the words which I spoke to you ... And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” Luke 24:44-45. Does this kind of opening happen today? The answer is “yes” Ask the Holy Spirit to open the “door of faith”.
 
Chas
 

THE RAINBOW–EARTH’S SIGN OF HEAVEN’S TRUTH

January 18, 2017

On a flight out of West Palm Beach, Florida, we had just become airborne over the ocean when a boy sitting next to the window grabbed my arm. "Look out there!" he said urgently. "Look!" What I saw was one of the most magnificent sights of my life. Reaching down to the surface of the ocean and rising overhead as far as I could see was the full, unbroken circle of a rainbow. The color was indescribably brilliant with the lower part of the ring seeming to float on the surface of the water. There was no gap in it-just the breathtaking color of God's beautiful sign of covenant. Genesis 9:13.

I had learned a short time before that the complete rainbow, like the wedding band, is a continuous ring. It is much, much more than the mere half circle we see from ground level. At best, our earth-bound view reveals only part. To behold the bow's full circumference it is necessary to be above the earth looking down. The spiritual application of that truth is obvious: In this present life, we grasp only a fragment of the wisdom and strategy of God. Not until we are in heaven looking back at history will we be able to understand the full scope of His plan and purpose in our lives. But there on the plane, in an astonishing way, I realized the rainbow message also involves the operation of spiritual gifts. When you too grasp this holy truth, seeing yourself wearing an engagement ring from Christ, already seated with Him "in heavenly places,” it will release faith powerfully within you (Ephesians 1:3,20).

This truth is seldom seen but will be absolutely magnificent once you grasp it. The foundation is laid in the story of Isaac’s bride. Abraham sent his servant to get a bride for his son Isaac. The young woman chosen for this honor was Rebekah. In scriptural typology, Abraham represents God the Father; the unnamed servant represents the Holy Spirit; Isaac represents Jesus the Son. Rebekah symbolizes the bride of Christ-the church. Rebekah's name means "circles" or "loops of a rope." The imagery of the rope suggests her being "inside the circle" of God's providence and grace. This is a true concept of covenant. And in keeping with the covenant tradition, as soon as the servant identified Rebekah as God's chosen one, he presented her with golden "rings." Genesis 24:22. The shape of these gifts-circles-conveyed an important message which Rebekah understood. They were the rope loops that encircled her engagement to Isaac.

And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold (Genesis 24:22).

It is important to understand that these bracelets and rings were not wedding gifts. They were engagement gifts. Even today brides frequently receive two rings: One before the wedding, the other at the wedding. So it was with Rebekah. First came the engagement gift; these were followed with wedding gifts. In a similar way, Jesus is now offering you engagement gifts; you are part of His Bride. These gifts, brought to you by the Servant, the Holy Spirit, parallel the rings Rebekah received and those given to brides today. They are the "earnest of your inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession" (Ephesians 1:14). Your heavenly wedding gifts, which are beyond human comprehension, will not be given you until the Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:9). But please listen to me carefully about gifts which come in advance of the wedding: The charismatic gifts that the church is now receiving, by which she "tastes the powers of the age to come," are engagement gifts (Acts 1:5,8; Hebrews 6:5; Ephesians 1:21). Through them, the groom is showing His bride the "glories of His Father's house." 

This parallel of Rebekah and the church is exact. While Rebekah's gifts spoke of Isaac's love, they also revealed Abraham's great wealth. Just as Rebekah had never met the man to whom she was engaged, so the church has yet to meet her royal bridegroom. The gifts Jesus is now sending through the Holy Spirit correspond to the rings and bracelets given Rebekah by Abraham's servant. I have spoken to numerous churches where members were still opposed to spiritual gifts. They did not understand the miraculous operations of God and drew back from them. I explained that Christians who reject the gifts of the Spirit are actually telling the heavenly servant, "I don't like that bracelet. Put it back in your box! I won't wear it." Rebekah's acting in such ugliness is unthinkable. Not so with modern, self-centered Christians. Many become irate, incensed, at the mere suggestion of their experiencing the Holy Spirit's miraculous gifts. The gift of tongues is the primary offender because it is the only grace-gift deliberately designed to attack ego and pride. Thankfully, many in these congregations have seen the ugliness of rejecting spiritual gifts and have come forward, repentant, saying, "I don't fully understand the Holy Spirit's gifting-but I want whatever bracelet God has for me! Pray that I will receive it!"

There will be times when ministry is discouraging, life seems unfair, disappointing, painful, and you will need reminding that the view from above is very different from the one below. In those moments, you will benefit tremendously from the assurance divine gifts bring to your life. After God miraculously rescued him from a failed suicide attempt nearly three centuries ago, William Cowper wrote a hymn that has since blessed millions. In that famous lyric, "God Moves in a Mysterious Way His Wonders to Perform," Cowper said,

    "Cheer up, ye saints, fresh courage take,

     The clouds you so much dread

     Are rich with mercies and shall break

     In blessings on your head ..."

The words of Cowper's song and the incredible beauty of God's covenant-sign were still going through my mind as our plane left the rainbow behind. Leaning back in a state of awe, a series of revelations began flooding me. First was the amazing, spiritual beauty of the bow; its colors were ethereal, unreal. Second, its endless circle, representing the complete cycle of God's loving, sovereign perfection in creation, was overwhelming. Nothing was omitted from its meaning. The smallest, microscopic sea life in the ocean below me to the largest galaxy in space were all contained in the scope of His unified plan. What I glimpsed in that fleeting moment was the glory of the kingdom of God. Wonderfully, the apex of that revelation was heaven's grace to man--man who was destined to rule and reign in that ever-expanding, unending kingdom. For a moment, I was overwhelmed with the two-fold manifestation of grace:

1.  Through saving-grace, man is prepared for divine life in Heaven.

2.  Through gifting-grace, man is prepared for miraculous life on earth.

In that flashing moment I understood more about the grace of God than ever before. This fact seized me: God intended that the ordinary Christian life be a miraculous life. Once grace touches us, we are transformed both for eternity and for now. My mind was overwhelmed with what seemed to be giant ripples of scientific and theological fact, coming toward me from every direction. Each ripple brought a unique message about God's covenant plan. This I suddenly knew: All truth, regardless of its rising from the Old Testament or the New, whether it comes from Scripture or true scientific discovery, points toward ultimate reality: God is one; God is love; God is power. Creation pulsates with that oneness. Jesus is the one by whom the "worlds were framed," Hebrews 11:3, John 1:1, and is the incarnation of all three. His resurrection, as an explosion of that truth, defeated every opposing principle of disunity, hatefulness, and weakness in existence.  

Wonderfully, the Holy Spirit showed me the relationship between the rainbow and another biblical, covenant sign: circumcision. It too is circular. The revelation that took place that day went light years beyond everything I had understood about circumcision before. Circumcision means "circular cutting." Beginning with Abraham, every Hebrew male bore in his body this physical sign of God's covenant. Suddenly I realized that the miles-wide rainbow and the few inches of circumcision were identical. Each contained all the glory, beauty, majesty of the other.

With that realization, came an important question: "Why did God place the covenant sign on the male genitals?" The answer was awesome: God willed that the conception of every Hebrew child take place in the presence of his father's covenant-sign. Not only so, but the father's genes for every future generation passed through his covenant ring. The creative act of conception, in which those made "in His image" and "in His likeness," Genesis 1:26, takes place within the "circle of the covenant." Acts 2:39.  

By a painful cutting away and shedding of blood, circumcision is the uncovering of maleness. In scriptural typology, it is the exposing of man to His God. If you study the covering-and uncovering-of tabernacle furnishings in the Old Testament, all of which came under covenant instruction, you will understand more of the parabolic teaching present here. Exodus 35:12, etc. When miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit begin operating in us it is an evidence that we have experienced additional uncovering; that is, we have removed more of the insulation separating us and God. Grace, in an ongoing, deepening revelation, is taking place.

On the plane, my understanding about the covenant sign (that is, the circle) continued widening. I thought about how it applied to the marriage act. The groom penetrates the bride's temple body, and her blood is shed as the hymen is opened. The opening of her temple veil is done precisely where his own covenant blood had earlier been shed. In the process of their being united into one, each meets the covenant requirement of having given blood on behalf of the other: The man gave his blood for her; she gave her blood to him. This parallels Jesus and His bride, the church. Jesus shed His blood for the bride in order to redeem her (Colossians 1:20; Hebrews 13:20,21). His bride, the church, gives her blood back to Him when she shows her love through martyrdom (Revelation 12:11).

The New Testament makes the covenant meaning of Old Testament circumcision more beautiful than that which Israel understood. The death and resurrection of Jesus transformed circumcision into an experience of the heart. It is no longer limited to the outer body.

1. “He is a not Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).

2. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation” (Galatians 5:6, 6:15).  

Being far more than a physical cutting of the outer flesh, it is now man's inner being, his heart, that bears the sign of covenant. No longer an earthly symbol, circumcision is now a heavenly reality, bringing ultimate relationship with the Creator-Father.

On this subject of rings, I wish to comment on the covenant meaning of the golden bells and pomegranates decorating the garment of Israel's high priest. Exodus 28:33,34. The fruit and bells on the hem of his robe undoubtedly symbolize the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22, Ephesians 5:9. As High Priest, Jesus is prophetically portrayed in ancient tabernacle worship and bears both fruit and gifts. Hebrews 3:1. To be like Him, we must bear the same. Christians who reject spiritual gifts are ripping them off the garment of Jesus. Don't do it. When viewed from the bottom, the bell is usually a round ring. In scriptural typology, that golden ring may be as wide as the rainbow or as small as the scar on a man's body. In either case, it speaks of covenant.

Failure to understand the purpose of Covenant and the rainbow as its physical sign leads to failure in a variety of ways.  For example, Apollos was the pastor of a small, struggling congregation at Ephesus to whom he failed to provide proper Covenant teaching. While he was away, Paul came to Ephesus and found Apollos' church of twelve male disciples with their wives and children. Paul immediately recognized powerlessness in this flock. Acts 18:24-19:20. In spite of Apollos having excellent credentials for ministry, he was not fulfilling the true New Testament example. He was stung with failure while Paul was not. Both men were called of God, both equally loved the Lord, and each possessed vast knowledge of Scripture. Even so, a major discrepancy existed between their ministries. Paul had power; Apollos did not. Carefully observe these seven facts which Scripture records about Apollos:  He was a Jew, an eloquent man, mighty in Scripture, instructed in the way of the Lord, fervent in spirit, taught accurately the things of the Lord, but, unfortunately, he knew only the water baptism of John-nothing about Jesus' baptism in the Spirit–a vital sign of the New Testament Covenant.

When Paul saw spiritual powerlessness in the Ephesians, he asked the all-revealing question, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They responded, "We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit." This tragic ignorance existed because Apollos knew only the baptism of John. He knew nothing about the baptism in the Holy Spirit and consequently left his congregation in that same theological vacuum. Paul immediately instructed the Ephesians about the Holy Spirit's empowering and when he "laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied."

Under Apollos's ministry, the church at Ephesus accomplished absolutely nothing to awaken the city. It demonstrated no kingdom power, remained spiritually paralyzed, and except for the local synagogue, its presence was virtually unknown. In that state, the congregation had no effective witness, made no impact on the people, was no threat to "powers, principalities, rulers of the darkness of this world," etc. Instead, the dark cloud of paganism gripped the land with unchallenged control. The Temple of Diana-or Artemis-already famous as the greatest of all seven wonders of the ancient world, dominated the area. It was in the shadow of this formidable enemy that this minuscule church, virtually powerless and unknown, lay dormant.

That changed when Paul arrived. When he came on the scene, Ephesus experienced a kingdom of God earthquake. Paul was not the power, but he was the instrument for that shaking. He merely provided the window through which the power roared. Apollos and twelve other windows were already present in Ephesus but they had never been opened.  Paul's first mission in the city was not to attack the goddess Diana. Not at all. His first mission was to impart to the church the power of the Holy Spirit. In the identical fashion that Ananias earlier laid hands on him in Damascus "that he might receive his sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit," Acts 9:17, Paul laid hands on the Ephesians believers with the same hell-shattering results. 

After "the Holy Spirit came upon them," Acts 19:6, the power of the gospel blew the city apart. A riot followed. These twelve disciples and their families become spiritual Hercules that multiplied into a hundred, then five thousand, then tens of thousands. Thousands more were converted, the church exploded in power, the Temple of Diana was ultimately emptied and destroyed. In time, the city of Ephesus became a Christian citadel known throughout the Roman world. For centuries the fire of the Ephesian revival burned out of control. 

What caused such a revolutionary transformation? It was not Paul. Hear me carefully: It was the power of the Holy Spirit working through Paul. And be aware of this important point of theology: That power did not come to Paul on the Damascus road when he met Jesus. Not at all. It came in the Damascus room. That day, under the hands of Ananias, Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:17. Identically, the believers in Ephesus were already born again when Paul arrived; they had a Damascus road encounter with Jesus. But not until Paul laid hands on them did they experience their Damascus room baptism in the Holy Spirit. That event anointed them with kingdom power. From that moment on, Ephesian paganism was doomed. One destiny awaited it: It would bow its knees to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

How appropriate that Paul should write the Corinthians, "I will come to you shortly ... and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power." I Corinthians 4:19. Eloquence, might, fervency, accuracy in the things of God-these things did not impress Paul. He had already witnessed the failure of Christianized wisdom. This fact prompted him to write that God has made us sufficient as "ministers of the new covenant; not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life." 2 Corinthians 3:6.

It matters not how eloquent one may be, how mighty in the Scripture, how instructed in the ways of the Lord, how accurately he teaches the things of God, how fervent he is in spirit, or how many degrees hang on his office wall, he may still be spinning his theological wheels, accomplishing minimal results, until he has been filled with the Holy Spirit. That is not my word; that is God's Word. If it were true of Apollos and the Ephesians, I can guarantee, it is equally true of us today.

There is not a city on this planet, be it Ephesus, Peking, Mexico City, Washington, Cape Town, New Delhi, Hong Kong, or Moscow, that can successfully resist such a dam burst of the power of God. Fifty years ago that dam burst happened unexpectedly in Argentina under the ministry of Tommy Hicks and has since turned Latin American upside down. Daily, more than twenty thousand new believers are coming to Christ in Latin America. God grant that someone becomes the North American voice who similarly shakes this continent to its core.

For that to happen, the church must jointly pray, "God Almighty! Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth as it is being done in heaven. Holy Spirit, wake up every powerless Apollos, change each into another Paul, shake us, stir us, challenge us, fill us. More importantly, send us forth in the full power of Your Covenant, as in Ephesus, bring the nations to their knees. Glorify Jesus in every city of our land!"

Chas

 

NOW THAT THE ELECTION IS OVER ...

December 19, 2016
America has just concluded one of the most hard-fought Presidential Elections in its history. Whether you like the outcome or not, Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in an overwhelming vote by the American people and is President-elect. The violence that erupted in various places in opposition to him reveals a vital truth:
 
Intelligent people do not prove their ability to run a nation by overturning cars, smashing windows, throwing fire-bombs, and fighting the  police. This is an  attempt at mob-rule. Those doing so only confirm their total inability to run a nation–or anything else, it matters not if they are Democrats or Republicans.
 
As Christians, our responsibility now is to pray for the President “and all who are in authority over us” whether they are the one we wanted or not.  The Apostle Paul said it this way: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  1 Timothy 2:1-5.
 
There are 3,141 counties in the United States. Trump won 3,084 of them. Clinton won only 57. New York state, where Clinton served as Senator, has 62 Counties:  Trump won 46 of them while Clinton won only 16. Five of those counties, comprising 319 square miles gave Clinton the lead over the 3,797,000 square miles of the Nation. This meant that–without the Electoral College–a few counties could have chosen the President for the rest of America. It was this very  possibility our Founding Fathers determined would not happen. The President is to be elected nationwide–not by a few neighborhoods. Each state would share equally in electing the President. Brilliant!
 
What is the “Electoral College” and how does it work? The concept actually began in the ancient Roman Republic. Under that system, adult male citizens were divided into groups of 100, called Centuries, with each group casting one vote either in favor or against proposals submitted by the Senate. In the American Electoral College system, the number of votes per State is determined by the size of each State's Congressional delegation. Our Founding Fathers not only knew ancient history well but they knew how to protect the history that would yet be made by future Americans. Thank God! 
 
Before the recent election, a large group of evangelical leaders met with Mr. Trump, prayed for him, and witnessed his personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord of his life.  Now, Christians across the Nation have the responsibility to pray for President Trump and support him.  He has not only publically declared his aim to help restore America to its historic position as “one Nation under God” but announced he will appoint an Evangelical Executive Advisory Board to assist him. This is not a violation of the “separation of church and state” concept, but is in keeping with our heritage: In 1892, the United States Supreme Court declared, "Our laws and institutions must necessarily be based upon the teachings of the Redeemer of mankind." Please re-read my recent article “Joseph Stalin’s Role In American Politics.” It explains much about the political invasion of Congress and the subversion of the Nation.
Our Founding Fathers did not leave us without guidance as to their intent for the merging of civil and religious matters in American life. Today, these men are being replaced by traitors to the cause of freedom. Our forefathers clearly expressed their position in the Declaration of  Independence when they said: "And for the support of this declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, and fortunes and our sacred Honor." 
 
When the U.S. Supreme Court building was constructed with Moses and the Ten Commandments given the most prominent position, it was with the full blessing of Congress.
 
President John Quincy Adams explained, "Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people.  It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." He went on to say, "The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: It connected, in one indissoluble bond, the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity."  Of the Declaration of Independence, he declared: "It laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity." Note the expression “indissoluble bond.”
 
In the recent election, millions of Christians refused to vote for Hillary Clinton because of her stated opposition to the Church and the Constitution.  She said, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will.  And deep-seated religious beliefs have to be changed.” How could a President of the United States make such a claim when the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits the government making any law respecting an establishment of religion or the free exercise of it? Thank God, thinking citizens stood up to her and said “No!” The First Amendment, protecting freedom of religion, was adopted December 15, 1791, as first of the Ten Amendments that constitute the Bill of Rights.
 
Hear this: The government of the old Soviet Union was militantly atheistic to its core, yet it dominated many areas of the Soviet Union by a mere 5% of “Card Carrying” Communists. The  95% were captives. Until recent years only 5% of America’s population were atheist–but they demanded their rights at the sacrifice of the 95%. Were the American patriots alive today who fought in the Revolution they would now fight atheism with equal furor. Can I prove that statement? Yes! When Patrick Henry said, "America was not founded by religionists, nor on any religion, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!," he was not booed-down by politicians. He was applauded by Statesmen. Were he now to return he would find that his beloved America was being robbed by political bandits. Where does Donald Trump stand in this regard? He has boldly stated his task is to “Make America great again.”  As Christians, it is our duty to prayerfully support him. Read again Paul’s exhortation regarding our prayer support for those in leadership. But has America really declined?
 
Hear this: America’s public education occupied the highest academic standard in the world until atheist Madelyn Murray O’Hare (one of the 5%) succeeded in removing prayer from public schools. Since that time American educational standard has plummeted to the level of a Third World Country. Whether the effect of prayer on individual students had been spiritual or psychological is not the issue. The fact is, the benefit was there. At an extremely high price America forfeited its educational accomplishment to satisfy the 5%. Michael Newdow, an atheist (one of the 5%) years ago filed suit in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to remove the words “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance and later sued to remove our national motto, “In God We Trust,” from all U.S. currency. Replacing American coins and bills will cost the national treasury billions of dollars. Newdow–and his kind care absolutely nothing about that or the rights of the 95%.  
 
What does Trump mean about making America “great again?” Military Chaplains are not allowed to speak the name “Jesus” lest it offend one of the 5%. Let the 5% adjust! Honor the nation’s history and those who fought to make it great! Out National Anthem, the “Star Spangled Banner,” contains the words “In God is our trust”. Another beloved national hymn, “America” says “God shed His grace on thee.” Also at risk are “God Bless America.” What about “Our fathers’ God, to Thee, author of liberty, to Thee we sing. Long may our land be bright with freedom’s holy light, Protect us by Thy might, Great God our King!”? The 5% tells the 95% they can no longer sing these in public. What does the majority do about it? Cry in their pillows at night! With little resistance from the masses, the 5% forbids displaying the Ten Commandments or other references to God in Courts, classrooms, and government property across the land. Washington, Madison, Jefferson, Adams, Hancock, and other early American statesmen would react violently to this destruction of our moral foundation. Donald Trump won the election because he said what Americans across the land want to hear. We are tired, fed up, with the deliberate betrayal by those we elected in the past. American grass-roots have spoken! Thank God! We are tired of the national-sellout of our land.
 
Political freedom and spiritual strength are inseparable. This nation is dependent on both. When the foundation of Godly truth is removed from political life the nation will collapse. There is no other way.
 
The failure of the Constitutional Convention was not in the Document they composed. Failure lay in the fact that the authors could not anticipate that centuries later devious minds would search for silent areas in the document and then claim those silences were what the framers’ intended to be its’ greatest strengths. The oft-quoted “separation of Church and State” expression, which does not even appear in the Constitution, came long after the drafting of the Constitution and appeared in a personal letter Thomas Jefferson wrote a Baptist Association in Virginia assuring them that the State would never threaten the safety and well-being of the Church. The State would remain separate from the Church’s operations.
 
Did Jefferson imply that all references to God would have to be removed from American government and public life? Absolutely not! That was not the consideration. Nor had it ever been. Instead, Jefferson stood with others whose signature on the Declaration Of Independence told King George that with "firm reliance" they depended on the "protection of divine providence." The Cornerstone of American government was laid in the cement of patriotic blood and patriotic devotion to the Almighty.
 
Today, in direct opposition to the will of the Constitution's authors, the 5% forbids displaying the Ten Commandments in class rooms and Courts of the land. The 95% doesn’t count. Instead, the intent is to reduce America to a godless atheistic society. Proof? The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the one hearing Michael Newdow’s case, has already ruled that judges--not parents--have final say in what 6 and 7 year old school children are taught about sex, homosexuality as an alternate lifestyle, the use of condoms, etc.
 
Question: Why have American Churches and other believers been spiritually and politically powerless before enemies who, numerically, are so vastly inferior?
 
Before giving my opinion as to the Church’s spiritual inability to withstand the 5% minority, let me first give an illustration from history: During Colonial America’s “Great Awakening,” 1740+, Jonathan Edward’s ministry was opposed by Charles Chauncy, a prominent Boston pastor who encouraged congregations to resist Edwards and the revival sweeping the nation. Even though tens of thousands of people were converted and brought into deep relationship with Jesus Christ, Chauncy insisted the unusual manifestations accompanying the ministry of Edwards, George Whitfield, others, were not the work of the Holy Spirit. To him, it was meaningless emotion.
 
Still true today, the manifestations Chauncy saw were shocking. People fell under the power of God, vibrated for hours, lay seemingly dead for a full day and night. The sight was alarming. But, in denying the work of the Holy Spirit Chauncy shoved New England into a pit of dark unbelief. Spiritual lights went out across the land, ultimately hundreds of historic churches went into Unitarianism, and denial of all miraculous manifestations became the public norm. Overnight, congregations became over-whelmed by agnosticism and ridicule of the miraculous. Without the Holy Spirit’s guidance, Christian bodies that had once been fortresses of evangelical truth were swept away by a subtle lie of unbelief.
 
With more pastors than judges, more churches than courts, the God-believers, like people hypnotized into inertia, passively watch the nation's moral identity be stripped away. Never in political history have “so few stolen so much from so many.”
 
Today, the 5% are “little foxes” that destroy the vines and are capable of bringing America to crashing defeat.  Song of Solomon 2:15. What can one do to help? First of all, become fully acquainted with the Holy Spirit. He is your source of wisdom and power. Accept Him as He is. Don’t try to re-cast Him into your denominational image. If His manifestations challenge you, accept the challenge. Don’t fight them. Your own survival and that of the nation depends on it. If you are a pastor preaching a watered-down gospel, stop it. Stop it now. Don’t become another Charles Chauncy. Be filled with the Holy Spirit as Jesus provided and be one of those--of whom the Lord said to Gideon--”Go in this your strength and you shall save Israel” (and America.).  It is unthinkable that the 95% of Americans can be defeated by a paltry 5%.
 
That compels us to acknowledge the rampant unbelief and Scripture-denial in today’s Church. In the same pattern of Chauncy and New England’s congregations, modern Christians have been taught to reject the Holy Spirit’s miraculous manifestations. An inestimable number of current believers have no concept of the Holy Spirit’s visible works. Like devout Jews on the Day of Pentecost who were “confused - amazed - perplexed”, Acts 2, these too accuse those experiencing such manifestations of the Spirit as being “full of new wine.” The guilty ones miss a genuine encounter with God and a lack of relationship with the Holy Spirit.
 
Where there is limited relationship there is limited power. Where there is limited power there is limited resistance. Where there is limited resistance, there is maximized failure. The enemy wins.
 

To miss any potential of the Holy Spirit is a loss of critical proportions. It affects every area of one’s life. And the modern Church has missed much. As New England Christians, who were powerful and strong, later found themselves defenseless  before demons of unbelief, so current Christians find themselves weakened before politically deceptive and faith destroying demons. In every case, the victim becomes easy prey to inferior opponents. The difference between the American Church now and at the time of the 1776 Revolution is that the Church then was more united in its fight against the enemy. Not so today.  Much of the modern church has switched sides.
 
A century ago, Charles Spurgeon shouted his warning about the Church’s denial of the Holy Spirit. He said: “Death and condemnation to a church that is not yearning after the Spirit, crying and groaning until the Spirit has wrought mightily in her midst. He is here! He has never gone back since He descended at Pentecost ... Brethren, if we do not have the Spirit of God, it were better to shut the churches, nail up the doors, put on a black cross and say, ‘God have mercy on us!’ If  you ministers have not the Spirit of God, you better not preach and you people had better stay at home. I think I speak not too strong when I say that a church without the Spirit of God is rather a curse than a blessing. This is the solemn word: ‘The Holy Spirit or nothing ... and worse than nothing!’”
   
The day Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor the American flag flying above the U.S. Naval base at Honolulu had a second flag beneath it: It was a simple white banner containing the Cross of Christ.  In full view, and with the approval of every government office from Hawaii to the White House, the Cross shared the same pole with Old Glory. No one dared challenge it. By long precedent, it is the only flag allowed a higher position on the pole than the Stars and Stripes. From the 1776 birth of this Nation onward, the Cross protected believer and unbeliever alike, identifying, defending, fortifying, the moral fabric, and heritage of the nation.
 
Moses and the Ten Commandments inject integrity, unity, character, wholeness, ethics, principle, rationale, and moral fortitude, into every aspect of American life. Our domestic foundation rests upon all of it. Without that understructure, we fall. In that fall, the Nation will have surrendered its greatness to inferior, low-level political demons. And America will become only a memorable page in history. If the 5% succeed in their attack against America, everyone–including the 5%–will lose.  To counteract that loss, our duty as Christians is to “mutually pledge to each other our lives, and fortunes, and our sacred Honor”, that “this Nation, so conceived, and so dedicated, may long endure.”
 
Whether or not America continues to provide a safe haven for Christians and others, the good news for believers is this: “Our citizenship is in Heaven from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.”  Philippians 3:20,21.  Hallelujah!  So ...
 
“Cheer up, ye saints, Fresh Courage take!,
The clouds you so much dread
Are rich with mercies
And shall break, in blessings on your head!”
 
Thank God for a new President who offers 
hope for restoration of the “American Dream.”
Chas
 

THE HOLY SPIRIT'S WORK IN JESUS

November 30, 2016
Jesus experienced two specific works by the Holy Spirit: Conception and Anointing. Conception occurred in the womb of the Virgin Mary and Anointing during His baptism in the river Jordan. One without the other would have left His mission incomplete. Jesus' conception by the Spirit was for the purpose of His incarnation and redemption; the angel explained this to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.’” Luke 1:35. In calming Joseph’s fears about Mary’s pregnancy, the same angel said, “She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins." Matthew 1:21. The work of conception pointed toward the Cross and redemption.
 
Jesus’ anointing by the Spirit was for the purpose of His public ministry. He explained this in His first sermon in Nazareth when  He said,"The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me  To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,  To proclaim liberty to the captives  And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;  To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD."  Luke 4:18-19. Prior to His anointing by the Spirit, Jesus healed no sickness, cast out no demon, performed no miracle.  That changed immediately with the Spirit’s descent upon Him.
 
To be thorough students of the Word, we must be theologically confirmed with both aspects of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in Jesus. Conception equipped Him for the Cross and Redemption; Anointing equipped Him for the miraculously endowed works of the gospel. Not only so, but we must realize that  the Holy Spirit has more purpose with us than just our new-birth/conception. We too urgently need His anointing.
 
1.  Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit:  Luke 1:35.  “And the angel answered and said to Mary, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”
 
2.  Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit. John 1:32-33: “John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending , and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'  Jesus later explained to the synagogue in Nazareth, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.”  Luke 4:18.  "Anointing" and ministry are inseparably connected.
 
Had Herod succeeded in killing Jesus at age two, Matthew 2:16, His blood would have been just as efficacious for the redemption of mankind as it was 31 years later. As an infant, conceived by the Holy Spirit, He was fully the Son of God when Mary gave Him birth; death by the Herodian sword or the Roman Cross would have made no difference. But, an additional work of the Holy Spirit was necessary before the benefit of His blood could be applied to mankind. As with Moses in Egypt, killing the Passover Lamb and putting its blood in the basin did not deliver Israel. 
 
The blood had to be applied to the doorpost of each person being saved. Without the application of the blood, the Israelite’s firstborn would have died with the Egyptians. Identically for us, the blood of Jesus must be applied personally to each one. It is this which necessitated the Holy Spirit’s second work in Jesus. By that, I refer to the anointing that came upon Jesus in the Jordan and which initiated His public ministry. Prior to the Spirit’s descent at His baptism, Jesus healed no one, performed no miracle,  preached no “Gospel of the Kingdom”. That abruptly changed when the Holy Spirit came upon Him.
 
3. The first disciples experienced the new birth-conception by the Holy Spirit.  The new birth: John 20:21-22. “So Jesus said to them again, Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.‘” The Resurrection now being historic fact and the New Birth having arrived with the New Covenant, these are among the first to officially witness the end of the Law and the introduction of the Reign of Grace.
 
4. The disciples’ anointing: Acts 1:5,8. Jesus said, “John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now" ...“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;  you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." 
 
Acts 2:1-4.  “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
 
5. The Samaritans experienced the new birth-conception and anointing by the Holy Spirit. Their new birth: Acts 8:12. “But when the Samaritans believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.”
 
6. The Samaritans anointing. Acts 8:14-17. “Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.  For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”
 
7. Saul of Tarsus experienced the new birth-conception and anointing by the Holy Spirit. Saul’s new birth: Acts 9:3-5.  “As Saul journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" And he said, "Who are You, Lord?" Then the Lord said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads."
 
8. Saul’s anointing. Acts 9:17-18. “And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized.”
 
9. Cornelius, the Gentile, experiences the new birth and anointing by the Holy Spirit.  Cornelius’ new birth: Acts 10:1-2.  “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.”  Acts 10:4. “So the angel said to him, Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.”
 
10. Cornelius and his household anointed. Acts 10:44-47: “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word ... And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also ... For they heard them speak with tongues and magnify God. Then Peter answered, Can anyone forbid water, that these should not be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”
 
11. Believers in Ephesus have been born again but not received the anointing. Acts 19:1-2. “Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples,  he said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ So they said to him,’We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’
 
12. The Ephesian believers receive the Holy Spirit’s anointing. Acts 19:6: “When Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”
 
At Pentecost the Holy Spirit anointed the second Body of Christ, the Church. Acts 2.  I Corinthians 12:27. Jesus’ specific instruction to the disciples was   “wait for the promise of the Father ...You will be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days from now ... You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:4-8. The 120 disciples were already born-again before Pentecost; that work of the Holy Spirit in them was complete. But not so in the Holy Spirit’s anointing them for miraculous ministry and the evangelizing of the world. Without the anointing of God’s power upon them individually and corporately the gospel could not be presented to the “ends of the earth”. The Holy Spirit’s provision for “getting the blood out of the basin” and onto the people occurred in two distinct events:
 
1. The anointing of Jesus in the Jordan.
2. The anointing of the disciples in the Upper Room.
 
In referring to the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Himself in the Jordan, Jesus said, :”The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel ... ” Luke 4:16-20.  Whether Christ or us, kingdom-preaching is inseparably connected to anointing. The words “Christ” and “Christian”--from the Greek word chrios–are not designations of the new birth but of the anointing. Information about the gospel may be learned academically but the actual ministry of the gospel can be rendered only by the Holy Spirit. The difference between preaching and lecturing is the presence or absence of the anointing. Tragically, there is much Christian “lecturing” in our day. Paul explained the difference, “Our sufficiency is of God who has made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” II Corinthians 3:5-7. The Apostle’s statement is unmistakable: Without the Holy Spirit’s illumination, preaching that relies solely on the letter of the New Testament produces death.
 
Observe how "anointing" and ministry are inseparably connected. Jesus' conception by the Holy Spirit was for the purpose of His incarnation and redemption. His anointing by the Holy Spirit was for " ... Healing the broken hearted, preaching deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, and setting at liberty those who are bruised." To be thorough students of the Word, we must make this distinction carefully. These two works of the Spirit in Jesus’ experience are distinctive; one does not replace the other, and both were essential for the completion of redemption. Prior to the anointing, Jesus preached no message, healed no sickness, performed no miracle. When the anointing came that inactivity immediately changed.
 
I am fully persuaded that Jesus’ cry from the cross, My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?!,” occurred because the anointing of the Spirit lifted from Him. His incarnation as the Son of God remained unchanged but the Holy Spirit’s work of  anointing was finished. Jesus’ gospel ministry was now complete. It is my opinion that if the Comforter had remained with Him He could not have died. As the ultimate scapegoat, Jesus had to be abandoned by the Father and the Spirit. But the abandonment was not negative for the Holy Spirit; He lifted from Jesus in anticipation of coming upon the new body of Christ–the Church–in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. Acts 2. The effect of the Holy Spirit’s descent on the disciples was as explosive as it had  been with Jesus. Immediately, they “went everywhere preaching the word.”
 
Historians estimate that within fifty-six years following Pentecost the gospel had been preached throughout the Roman world and much of the Far East.   The "anointing" made the difference. There is reliable evidence that the Apostle Thomas reached India, establishing churches.  If the first-century disciples needed the Holy Spirit's baptism, can we expect to need less? The answer is obvious.  This points out the Bible truth  that regeneration alone does not equip us for the spiritual work of ministry. Thankfully, every believer can quote Scripture--that is wonderful--but the gospel of the Kingdom is much, much, more than a mere presentation of Bible facts. In varying ways, this Kingdom-gospel is confirmed with “signs following”. Mark 16:17. Baptism and anointing in the Spirit opens the way for this to be done.  Through the impartation of this holy power, the Spirit and the Bride simultaneously say “come.”  Revelation 22:17.  In the intent of God, this is the only gospel; ageless, unchanged, eternally the same. It is the vocal, audible, declaration of Jesus’ atonement, accompanied by the Holy Spirit’s anointing, which draws into itself all the spiritual and physical benefits of Kingdom power.  Any lessor gospel is insubordination to the Kingdom. The purpose of the Holy Spirit’s anointing is to empower redeemed men and women with Kingdom authority to preach that gospel with all its original, miraculous manifestations.
 
The modern church lacks miraculous power because it has wrongly assumed preaching the gospel requires nothing more that the presentation of Bible facts. Absolutely, this is not so!  Seminaries, Bible Schools, wonderful as they are, can only impart academic knowledge. Even those which acknowledge the need for spiritual gifts are powerless to provide them. We receive them directly from Jesus as the baptizer in the Holy Spirit or we do not get them at all.  John 1:33.  A pastor can have a dozen University Degrees on his office wall and still be disqualified from providing genuine New Testament ministry. Paul learned Scripture at the feet of Gamaliel but said, “what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ.”  Philippians 3:7. He explained his true qualification for ministry to the Church in Galatia: “I went up by revelation and communicated to them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles.” 2:2.  Note the language that he “went up”, and experienced “revelation.” He further said, “The gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1:11,12.His “going up” and experiencing “revelation” challenged hearers with an irresistible authority that went far beyond his merely quoting Scripture. Paul verified the presence of this power when he wrote of things Christ accomplished in him ”in word and deed ... in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.”  Romans 15:18-19.  Paul equated “fully preaching the gospel” with “mighty signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God.” So it was then. So it is now.
 
In the exact pattern of other New Testament disciples Paul experienced two encounters with the Holy Spirit: The first on the Damascus road when he was born-again; the second in the Damascus room when Ananias laid-hands on him, filling him with the Holy Spirit. The first prepared Paul for Heaven; the second prepared him for power-endued gospel ministry. Without the second, the first would have been inadequate for preaching. Observe that this is an exact parallel of the Holy Spirit’s work in Jesus: First, birth by the Holy Spirit. Secondly,  empowering by the Holy Spirit. And this is the same two-step pattern intended for us: 
 
Regeneration and baptism by the Spirit. This was the identical pattern of the original disciples: On the day of the resurrection Jesus breathed into them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  John 20:22. This was the moment of their new birth. Their anointing at Pentecost occurred 40 days later.
 
When Peter preached to the household of Cornelius, “The Holy Spirit fell on all them who heard the word,” Acts 10:44-45. Today, as then, the empowered gospel can invade the physical realm, reconnect it to the spiritual by changing natural circumstances into supernatural manifestations. Peter’s presence as a messenger of the Kingdom was essential but the man himself was not the source of power--it was the Holy Spirit’s anointing upon him. Then, as now, the Holy Spirit anoints preaching that honors Jesus. “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit ...” 1 Thessalonians 1:5.  I say this to the glory of God but there have been times when the anointing of the Holy Spirit was so strong on me that people whom I approached in hotel lobbies, malls, parking lots, restaurants, wherever I happened to be, dropped to the ground under the power of God.  And God did not seem to care what the public thought. He simply met needs wherever He encountered them.  As with Philip’s preaching in Samaria, these people rose from that encounter experiencing “great joy.”  Acts 8:8.

How does one receive the anointing? Jesus said, "Your Heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.” Luke 11:13. Ask, friend, ask! If you have not done so, stop your foolish arguing and receive it! Your Christian walk will retransformed.     
 
Chas
 

JOSEPH STALIN’S POWER IN AMERICAN POLITICS

September 26, 2016
Joseph Stalin (1878-1953), was the Soviet Union's Dictator for more than two decades.

Besides fighting others in the Second World War, he murdered multiplied millions of his own countrymen.
 
Let me say this boldly: I am a “conspiracy theorist.” By that I mean, as an 85 year-old American-patriot whose great-great-great-great-grandfather fought in the 1776 Revolution, I believe our national security is being deliberately undermined by an enemy entrenched in Congress and other branches of the Administration. I am not saying all politicians are bad. But I am saying that the Nation is being destroyed by well-financed “plants” who are hostile to democracy and our way of life. America’s libertarian-decline is not by accident; it is by deliberate, calculated intent. I am not alone in this belief. Also know, I am not an anarchist and do not own a gun. My only weapon is the Bible–which Scripture and the Constitution encourages me to speak. I am not telling you how to vote but I am voting for Donald Trump.  Without his immediate, radical, restorative leadership to America I do not believe the nation will survive.
 
Justice Felix Frankfurter of the U.S. Supreme Court said: “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise their power from behind the scenes.” General Douglas MacArthur warned, “I am concerned for the security of our great nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.” Frankfurter and MacArthur spoke with backstage-knowledge — and that was many years ago.
 
Joseph Stalin, premier of the old Soviet Union, who first sided with Adolph Hitler in the Second World War but became our ally, later announced his intention to destroy the U.S. Communism, in the dress of a “New World Order,” would replace all other governments worldwide. Stalin is now dead but his strategy is being successfully implemented by undercover agents in our national leadership. Stalin said:
 
“America is like a healthy body. Her strength is in her patriotism, her morals, and her spiritual life. If we can undermine those three things America will collapse from within.” — Joseph Stalin
 
I first became aware of Stalin’s scheme as far back as 1948 when I was a senior in high school and one of Florida’s State Debate Champions. The national topic that year was “One World Government” and my partner and I spoke against it. We defeated all our opponents and emerged as the State Champion negative team, but in the final round lost to the affirmative. We argued that the U.S., as an international-leader and haven for the oppressed, would be destroyed if the “New World Order” replaced its policies and power. That destruction could be best achieved, as General MacArthur stated, from within.
 
Notice Stalin’s specific areas of attack: Patriotism, Morals, Spiritual life. As a believer in God-given Constitutional Government and opposed to the “New World Order,” I have watched these three bulwarks be deliberately destroyed and their influence removed from American life. A nation cannot survive without them. America is no longer recognizable as the nation of my youth. Our Patriotism, Morals, Spiritual life, have been systematically dismantled. A hundred years before Christ, Marcus Tullius Cicero, 115–53 BC, the greatest political thinker in ancient Rome, explained the danger of Stalin’s method. Cicero said:
 
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”
 
Let me give brief examples of how Stalin’s 3-point plan for America is being implemented:
 
Patriotism: A New York City principal, Greta Hawkins of Edna Cohen School, for instance, in 2012, banned the singing of “God Bless the USA.” She told teachers that it might offend other cultures. This past September, she eliminated the daily singing of “America the Beautiful.” More recently, Hawkins prohibited the school’s pre-kindergarten class from singing “Stand Up For the Red, White, and Blue” at their graduation ceremony. When the children were practicing the song and waving mini-American flags, the Principal halted the rehearsal and scolded the teachers, saying, “You didn’t ask permission to do it.” In this last case, the principal was disciplined by her superiors. Many other anti-patriotic actions in public schools take place across the nation but go unchecked.
 
Morals: Nudity, drug addiction, sexually transmitted disease, are off-the charts. A new Gallup Poll says 72 percent of Americans believe moral values in America are “getting worse.” Nearly every major American city has parades in which men and women march 99% naked before the public. Their physical ugliness and moral indecency are shoved in our faces. The law protects them but not us. Where is that degeneracy coming from? Straight out of Joseph Stalin’s scheme to destroy America’s morality. Who is cooperating with it? Men and women we wrongly elected to Congress. If morality is dead why are churches and pastors needed?
 
Spirituality: In some states a pastor can go to jail for counseling a young person on homosexual issues. New Jersey, for example, considers such pastoral advise as “child abuse.” The State has replaced the church’s spiritual authority. At the same time, without parents approval, Public School first-graders are now being “educated” about sex, male and female roles, trans-gender, homosexual relations, etc. The government — not the home — dictates what the child is to believe about sexual morality. Parents have no voice in that decision. Some major denominations happily submit to this degeneracy and accept the corruption. As a consequence, pastors in the U.S. are quitting the ministry at the rate of 3,600 each month, and Christians are leaving the church by the thousands. Why? If morality is dead why are churches and pastors needed? They aren’t!
 
A student at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, was expelled from class because he refused to stomp on the name of Jesus written on paper and placed on the floor. The professor demanded he obey. The student refused–and was expelled. After a prolonged controversy in which the professor was vigorously defended, the student was restored.
 
In another situation, a high school team won a track-race but was denied the victory because one of the team members silently pointed his finger toward heaven. An atheist saw it, objected, and the school’s legitimate athletic-victory was over-turned. Where is the democratic-fairness in such stupid action?! It isn’t there! The game was over. The team had won! Religious freedom? The Bill of Rights? America’s political leadership has gone to bed with our enemies and betrayed us.
 
Crosses have been removed from military chapels, Bibles confiscated from hospitals, and chaplains ordered not to speak the name “Jesus.” U.S. soldiers are afraid of attending worship on military bases or be seen praying because it may cause them harassment and destroy their opportunity for promotions. Access to the Southern Baptist Convention website was recently blocked on military bases because Baptists were considered a “national threat.” Absolutely absurd! Baptists have given their lives for this country! Only after a public outcry was access restored. When did the American public vote to make such changes in our law? We haven’t!! Politicians made it without our consent because Joe Stalin’s henchmen are preparing the Nation to “collapse from within.”
 
Until recently, atheists in the U.S. accounted for only 5% of the population but over-rode the voice of the 95%. They have more support in Congress than Evangelical Christians who helped build this country. Note this similarity: In some areas of the old Soviet Union, less than 5% of the population were card-carrying Communists–but they totally dominated the 95%. Where was the fairness then? It wasn’t there. Where is the fairness now? It isn’t here.
 
Joseph Stalin also said: “It isn’t important how many people vote. It is only important who counts the votes.”
 
The U.S. Homeland Security has recently identified Evangelical Christians as a threat to national safety. That is absurd!
 
Significantly, Islamic Jihadists were not included.
 
For an example of what I say: Visit the Supreme Court Building in Washington! The marble carving of Moses over the Justices’ Bench holding the Ten Commandments has quietly become re-identified as Justice holding the first Ten Amendments to the Constitution. What happened to Moses and the Law of God? He has been removed. By the American public? No! By a few–behind the scenes–self-appointed undercover agents. Do you understand why I am a “conspiracy theorist?” Go back read the quotes by Justice Frankfurter and General Douglas MacArthur!
 
America is a richly endowed land. When World War II ended we voluntarily spent billions of dollars through the Marshall Plan rebuilding Japan and Germany. The same nations who attempted our destruction became the beneficiaries of our charity. America is still that great! But we cannot maintain that greatness by destroying ourselves from within. In my opinion, if America collapses, it will be because our politicians betrayed us.
 
U.N. troops are already stationed here in the U.S., and making carefully-selected appearances. Who authorized that? Washington’s lips are sealed. Am I in danger by saying this in a “Christian” publication? Absolutely! Even though the Constitution guarantees Christians and non-Christians the same right of free speech, my voicing a “political” opinion could endanger my “501-C3 status? Other Christians who have spoken critically about political issues have brought harassment upon themselves. Some have lost their tax-free privilege.
 
Congress is by-passed by the President’s 1,000+ “Executive Orders.” The IRS is accused of lying to protect itself. All the while, the Government uses intimidation to protect itself from criticism. Case in point: A new $1 million dollar program led by Palm Beach County, Florida, Sheriff Rick Bradshaw, has asked the public to report neighbors who criticize the government — a chilling reminder that this tactic was much used by Adolph Hitler. America are you listening?
 
Recently, when retired Lieutenant General William G. Boykin, an evangelical Christian, was invited to speak to the cadets at West Point, the Council on American and Islamic Relations (CARE) objected and West Point withdrew the invitation. That was an insult to every true American! General Boykin played a significant role in nearly every major American military operation for more than forty years. He said, “We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God, have been raised for such a time as this!” When such men are marginalized in preference for terrorists — that tells us that our days are numbered! At the same time our politicians ignore this statement in the Declaration of Independence:
 
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
 
As a Christian, I speak in defense of “Life, Liberty, and pursuit of Happiness,” and my observation of America’s governmental history goes back a long way. I was born at the southern tip of Florida during the Great Depression, 1930, and remember those painful years when the nation was on its knees.
 
Nor will I ever forget the Sunday afternoon the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. The day began as an ordinary one but changed suddenly when I heard my family yelling, “We’re at war! We’re at war! The Japs have bombed Hawaii!!” As an eleven-year-old I did not understand all the implications but knew the nation was in serious trouble. One of our neighbor’s sons was aboard the USS Arizona and was killed. I still have the newspaper I saved the next day with the banner-headlines announcing Japan’s attack and Congress’ Declaration of War. We huddled close to the radio and listened as President Roosevelt made the announcement. Our peaceful Miami-lifestyle ended abruptly that day. In Delray Beach a large colony of Japanese farmers were immediately transferred to Concentration Camps.
 
Soon, numbers of American ships were torpedoed by German submarines on our coast and explosions could be heard for miles inland. Many of my friends were awakened at night by the blasts. Local people used their fishing boats and flash lights to search for survivors. In Delray Beach the VFW Club became an emergency hospital. Volunteers sat nightly in the tower of an old beach-side hotel to watch for submarines. The bow of one American troop ship floated northward for a week still billowing smoke before it finally sank. Newspapers were under a gag-order and reported none of the sinkings. We spoke no German but sometimes heard Hitler’s screaming tirades on the radio. Other times we listened to Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin.
 
Truck-loads of German prisoners-of-war with huge “P-W” signs on their back passed our house daily. Armed guards stood over them. After a hurricane one summer they were used to clean our streets and we worried about their escape. Rumors were terrifying. We were told that Nazi troops had smuggled ashore and were waiting to attack. Every night there were “Black Outs”; windows had to be covered so that no light was visible to the outside. Shore-lights made it easier for submarines to silhouette ships and sink them. The ocean-side house where German-spies reputedly operated still stands in Delray Beach as a bleak reminder of those perilous days. Few Americans realize how close the Germans came to our shores. Fewer still, recognize that the enemy is now successfully encamped inside our gates. 
 
When the War ended I was a teenager and went to downtown Miami that night to witness the wild celebration that took place. Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler streets were cordoned-off. People danced, wept, prayed, got drunk, sang hymns, hugged and kissed strangers. Everybody was yelling “The War is over! The War is over!” Many were crying. The news seemed too good to be true. Our hostility with Hitler and the Japanese had finally ended. But that was not true with Stalin: his underground forces continue their communistic strategy against us to this day.
 
We defeated the Germans and Japanese but are losing America today because quoting Cicero — “An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly, but the traitor moves against those within the gate freely. The traitor speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and wears their face and their arguments. He rots the soul of a nation…A murderer is less to fear.”
 
Stalin was one of the worst mass-murderers of history and sent many friends and family members to Siberia, forced-labor camps, firing squads – or as in the case of the Ukraine–deliberate starvation of some 5 million men, women and children. In the “Great Purges” inside Russia, he was responsible for the deaths of at last 40,000,000 of his countrymen.  Stalin had no qualms against the mass-murder of old friends and supporters who stood in his way for grabbing total power of the Soviet Union. By cutting off the food-supply, he deliberately caused massive famines in the Ukraine in which an estimated 5 million people died. It is believed that during his twenty-year reign of death camps, purges, famines, state terrorism, slave labor, and forced migrations, Stalin was responsible for the death of as many as 40 million people–all within the borders of his own Soviet Union.  It may have been in reference to this fact which caused him to say:  
 
“When there's a person, there's a problem. When there's no person, there's no problem.” Or, “Death is the solution to all problems. No man - no problem.” “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.” “Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?” “Gratitude is an illness suffered by dogs.” This is the man whose ideas are promoted and defended in America today!
 
America!  Wake up–while you still can!      

Chas
 

THE DANGER OF PSYCHIC MESSAGES

August 24, 2016

The Danger Of Psychic Premonitions, Ouija Boards,

And Other Occult Messengers

A young man once came to my hotel room seeking advice about a troublesome, spiritual "message" he had received. It was this: On a specific, named day of the week, he was told that his wife and baby would be killed in a car wreck. He was even told the location where it would occur. The message further warned him not to tell anyone–not even his wife. When he reluctantly shared that frightening information with me, I immediately explained that he had received a psychic-prophecy. It was not God's "word of knowledge" but a demonic counterfeit, such as fortune-tellers and clairvoyants experience. I explained that genuine "words of knowledge," I Corinthians 12:8, are always in harmony with the Covenant of Grace. No where does the Covenant provide for car wrecks, mangled bodies, and broken homes. Read it for yourself. Jesus came to "heal ...deliver ...set free." Luke 4:18,19. Such psychic-initiated disasters are the works of Hell. I Peter 5:8,9. Satan came to "kill, steal, and destroy." John 10:10. Jesus brings life "more abundantly."

Since this young man, like many other Christians, was uninformed about the reality of such an experience, his wife and baby were in very real danger. As with most of us, he had probably read horoscopes, played with a Ouija Board, had his palm read, or done other things that left an occult shadow over him. Without wasting a moments time, I laid hands on him and took total, absolute, unconditional authority over that psychic message in the Name of Jesus Christ and cancelled it. As a believing disciple, empowered by the Holy Spirit and speaking the Word of God from my mouth--and not in any ability of my own--we destroyed the devil's forecast. It was declared null and void, powerless and impotent by the blood of Jesus. Do I believe disciples have that power? Absolutely. Jesus taught it, the Apostles confirmed it, you and I had better learn it. 30% of Jesus’ recorded ministry was spent in direct conflict with unclean spirits. Mark 16:17,18. Luke 10:17-20. James 4:7,8. II Corinthians 10:3-5. Matthew 10:1. Mark 6:13. Revelations 12:10,11.

As this young man talked, I remembered my own wife's tragic automobile wreck in which she had 13 broken bones and fractures, a collapsed lung, concussion of the brain, and so many injuries she could not be moved. That disaster followed a horrendous, month-long foreknowledge I had which was identical to this young husband and father. What I experienced was not God’s "word of knowledge", I Corinthians 12: 8, but the devil’s deceptive counterfeit. But, unlike the young man, no one told me what it was, where it came from, or how to stop it. In an almost identical way, I told him of another youthful Baptist pastor in a similar hotel room several years before who wept out the tragic story of a father in his congregation who dreamed a certain individual would be killed. A short time later the person died tragically.

Soon after that, the father dreamed again. This time it was his son who would be killed. He was told to warn the boy about his impending death. The father ignorantly submitted to everything the dream demanded, warned his son about the disaster, and two weeks later the boy died in a tragic automobile wreck. The church and family were both religiously and emotionally devastated.

Such tragedies are needless! God’s people are destroyed for "lack of knowledge", Hosea 4:6, because denominationalism is more determined to defend itself than to defend its members.

During my visit with this young man I recalled the time in Atlanta when another precious Christian brother was killed in a car wreck within ear-shot of my house a few hours after his wife foolishly obeyed a "message" to make his funeral arrangements. At the time, he was in robust health. Obediently, she carried out every detail of notifying the pall bearers, selecting the soloist and songs, informing the two ministers who spoke--I being one of them--and choosing the Funeral Home. She left nothing unfinished. Without realizing it, she cooperated with Hell and in-effect told the devil, "Go ahead." Within hours after the final arrangement was made the man was killed in a tragic automobile wreck. 

Another Christian family came to mind; a mother, father, two grandmothers, who were swept away in a flash flood after a relative had a psychic "warning" she ignored. Nothing was done to resist the disaster. As a result, lives were lost and children orphaned. That absolutely is not the will of God. It violates every provision of the Covenant. Later, the person, who had the "warning," received another. She dreamed that her daughter called in the night, shouted her husband's name into the telephone and said, "He's dead!" Again, the omen was ignored; no authority was taken in the Name of Jesus. Soon afterward, the mother's phone rang in the night, exactly as she had been fore-warned, her daughter shouted her husband's name into the receiver and said, "He's dead!"

The man had just been murdered. Shot in his office, behind his own desk. Again, there had been no exercise of Jesus' authority against the psychic prophecy. As I stood at that man's casket, I wondered, "God! What will it take to wake up people to the reality that we are in spiritual war?! How long will the church stumble on in its blindness?!" I am still waiting. But I am not waiting silently. Years ago God took me from pastoral work, sent me into the field, and said, "Go wake up my Church!" 

Princess Diana

Before her death in the Paris car-crash, Princess Diana was told by her psychic that "Happiness will always be snatched away from you." In submitting to that horribly-oppressed Medium instead of God, Princess Diana surrendered to Hell's agenda. The night of the crash, her new engagement ring lay beside her on the floor of the bloodied car. It was not even on her hand when she died. Instead, "happiness had been snatched away" from her. "Life and death are in the power of the tongue." Proverbs 18:21.

Soon after my return to Delray Beach, Florida, in 1978, a friend and I went to a Psychic Fair at the local Mall, set up our own table and passed out tracts entitled Is It Dangerous To Consult Psychics? The tract contained Scriptures warning those who practice and those who receive divination. Deuteronomy 18:10-12. II Kings 17:17,18. Isaiah 47:12-15. Ezekiel 12:24. I Samuel 15:23. II Chronicles 33:6. Exodus 22:18. Galatians 5:19-21. Acts 16:16. Understandably, the psychics were outraged, the police were called, reporters and photographers came on the scene. My friend and I were portrayed by the newspaper (with our photographs) as the real villains.

 

Later, the man in charge of the Fair approached me privately. He had read the tract, was genuinely concerned, but defensive for the fortune tellers. "I've worked with these psychics for eighteen years," He said, "and I know that what they say frequently comes to pass." I agreed. Pointing to the parking lot, he explained, "Suppose that a psychic tells you that tomorrow at this same time there will be a green car in that spot, a white one next to it, and a red truck speeding by." I listened. "They tell you that a child runs out from between those cars and is killed. You come here tomorrow and it happens exactly like they said ..."

The Ouija Board Explained

I stopped him. "I know what you are saying is true. Psychics, Ouija Boards, Palm Readers, and other occultists, frequently tell things that actually happen — But you don't understand, they are not merely predicting them--they are causing them. Through their evil prophecies, they are proclaiming the devil's will. If we accept his proclamation as true–submitting to it--we are giving permission for him to bring it to pass."

When I said that, truth shot through him like a bullet. He slumped, turned slowly toward me, wide-eyed, mouth open. I will never forget his stare or the terror in his eyes. "How do I get out of this?!," He asked. "You need to be saved," I answered. "How?!" "Ask Jesus to forgive you. Tell Him you want to be born-again," I explained, "Commit your life to Him." Standing there in the Mall he did exactly that, humbly, sincerely praying the salvation-prayer.

But this raises a bigger question: What about the girl whose husband was named in advance by the Ouija Board? What about such a marriage. Paul explained that the devil’s worst trick can still be turned into the saints greatest good: “all things work together for good to those who love God.” Romans 8:28

People with histories of psychic premonitions need deliverance. Such patterns frequently exist for generations in families. If you ever receive a dream or message such as those I described,   do not accept it. It may destroy you or someone you love. God gave you the authority to crush its effect in your life. Romans 16:20. Luke 10:17-19. Mark 16:17-20. I Peter 5:9. Revelation 12:10,11. Be alert! Be informed! Most importantly of all, be victorious! Know the difference between God's "words of knowledge" and the devil's "psychic deceptions." Life depends on it. Don't become another statistic of Hell's destruction.

A Pastor’s Wrong Choice

A Church of Christ pastor in Tennessee called, was in great distress and in urgent need of help. We met at the Nashville airport and went to his home where he shared his crisis: "The only power in my ministry was argument and debate," he explained, "there was no manifestation of God's presence like the early church experienced. I became so despaired with my spiritual deadness that I turned to other sources. And I made wrong choices--I went into Eastern Mysticism." I listened as he continued. "I found real power--but power that soon became dark and frightening.

The problem was that having invited it into my life, I could not make it leave. It began to dominate, control, and in a merciless way, force its' will upon me." His story was familiar. The "spirit-guide" that had invaded his life, harassed his sleep, affected his family relationships, and succeeded in separating him from those he loved. In time, it destroyed his ministry. As we talked, depression clung to him in a merciless way. When he finished, I explained that he had "touched the unclean thing," Isaiah 52:11, which God forbad. The good news was that his repentance and the power of Christ could free him. I reminded him that there is no power of darkness that can successfully stand against the authority of Jesus. Philippians 2:9.

He sat on the end of a sofa, I stood beside him, and as I laid-hands on him in the Name of Jesus, he began growling, curled into a tight ball, and rolled head-first onto the floor. I knelt beside him, kept my hands on him, and commanded the spirits of witchcraft and Eastern Mysticism to go.

As I did, he started wretching, gasping for air, and experiencing tremendous pain in his spine. A few minutes later, he was free. The darkness, pain, and oppression, that had hovered over him were gone. I then prayed for him to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

As he lay beside me, I thought of a Sunday School teacher who had studied parapsychology, palmistry, automatic handwriting, and other occult teachings. At the time of her deliverance, she had such severe back pain that she was several days recovering. There were others who came to mind. Looking back over years of this kind of ministry, I realized that many had undergone painful spasms in their vertebrae during deliverance from psychic-spirits. When I shared that with the young pastor on the floor, he answered, "Oh, I can explain that!" What he told was shocking. "I was instructed to invite a serpent-like spirit to enter my body and coil at the base of my spine. As I progressed in psychic-power, it rose up, wrapping itself around my back-bone." We sat silently for a moment. He then explained, "When you cast it out, it wrenched my back."

I had no difficulty believing his explanation. When Paul cast out the "spirit of divination" in the young woman at Phillippi, Acts 16:16-18, the Greek text says she had a "python." This serpent kills by strangulation, wrapping around the victim. It is not coincidental that Jesus used serpents as symbols of demonic power. He said, "I give you power to tread on serpents ..." Luke 10:19. Mark 16:18.

More recently, a young Assemblies of God pastor came to me at a Conference in Florida and asked if I would minister deliverance to him. I agreed and we went to a private room. This gentleman was a well-groomed college graduate with a successful ministry and family life. "My ancestors have practiced Druid worship and psychic-powers for generations," he explained, "And I experience torment from its presence. I am not participating in any way with witchcraft but I feel that darkness constantly hovering over me. It torments me." He paused. "I explained the problem to my Presbyters and asked them to minister deliverance to me but they refused. Our doctrine denies that Christians can have demons in their bodies or minds." I reminded him that none of us have yet been through the Resurrection. I Corinthians 15:53,54. Demons can go anywhere sin and disease can go. If Christians are immune to demons they are also immune to sin and sickness. Like it or not, we are still vulnerable to powers of darkness and must fight as Jesus taught.* Spiritual warfare is a constant, on-going battle. Ephesians 6:10-18.

A Demonic Manifestation 

In the next few minutes, astonishing things happened. Demons began speaking out of him in guttural, dog-like growls, contorting his body, changing his appearance into something ugly and grotesque. Mark 1:26; 9:26. Four major spirits were identified. One of those was the spirit of "idiocy." When we challenged it in the Name of Jesus, the man's eyes suddenly crossed, his hands became spastic, his tongue thickened, turned sideways in his mouth, and be began slobbering with senseless jabberings. In a split-second, he became a full-blown idiot.

The good news is that he was totally delivered; the mental pain was gone forever. But please be aware of this frightening truth: Had this young pastor not received deliverance, the spirits hiding in him would ultimately have destroyed his sanity, ruined his family and ministry, and had him locked away in an asylum. Could that happen to a born-again pastor? Yes. Absolutely. I have no doubt that asylums needlessly contain many such Christians.

Someone asks, "How can sincere Christians, such as the ones I described, experience such ominous dreams and devilish messages?" The answer is that we are engaged in constant, unending spiritual war. Ephesians 6:10-18. Our regenerate spirit is immune to demons, yes, but soul and body, mind and flesh, remain their battleground. If unprotected, these areas can be penetrated by powers of darkness. Scripture and common sense confirm this fact. Luke 9:55. II Corinthians 11:4.

"For unclean spirits crying with a loud voice came out of many who were possessed and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished (bewitched) the people of Samaria ..." Acts 8:7-9.

I have a reason for quoting the preceding Scripture. It mentions Simon the Sorcerer, demons, and victims in Samaria who were lame and paralyzed. Hear this carefully: Though the townspeople held Simon in high regard, he was actually the source of much of their ills. Without realizing it, those who sought his sorcery received far more than psychic-predictions. They became infected with crippling spirits that brought muscular deadness and twisted limbs. Simon's presence acted like a magnet that attracted these spirits to himself and then projected them upon the people. Jesus had earlier identified this same "spirit of infirmity" in the woman with the crooked back. Luke 13:11.

While spirits of infirmity cause a variety of ailments, it is significant that leprosy, blindness, deafness, and other diseases common to the day, were not mentioned in regard to Samaria. Hear me carefully on this point: Simon's variety of witchcraft was uniquely accompanied by demonic-problems related to the muscular and skeleton system. Why is that so? The young Church of Christ pastor gave the explanation. Read it again.          

Chas
 

GOD’S GIFT THAT TERRORIZES THE CHURCH–TONGUES

July 30, 2016
 
In 1977 I became aware that I desperately needed the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the power Jesus promised in Acts 1:8. At the time, I was nearly 30 years in pastoral ministry, but was void of all New Testament power and was witnessing the death of entire Associations (Synods) of Churches in my denomination. These were vanishing in epidemic proportions. Some were historic, pre-Revolutionary War congregations. Watching that tragedy, I knew my own ministerial-death would soon follow unless God came to my rescue. Our "denominational" gospel had no spiritual power and I knew it. Nor did I have answers for my own spiritual crisis. My wife had been in a critical automobile wreck and I was trapped in an equally critical depression. 
 
Though I began praying earnestly to receive the Holy Spirit’s impartation, there was a serious problem blocking my way: I did not want to speak in tongues. That was my absolute, final, unchangeable position, and I told God so. To me, tongues denoted an intellectual level just one step above idiocy. I had no respect for people who claimed such unintelligible babbling and publicly declared that in my preaching. For that reason, the instruction I gave the Lord in prayer was this: "Lord, I want to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. I need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. My only condition is this: I do not want to speak in tongues, I do not want to shout, I do not want to be spectacular. With that understood, You may go ahead." –But, as you have already guessed, absolutely nothing happened. Even so, I kept praying, waiting in full expectation that God would eventually accept my terms. He didn’t. And I got steadily worse–losing the battle against horrendous depression.
 
The day I finally received the Spirit’s impartation I was in the visitors’ room of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary counseling an inmate. The year before our meeting this young man had been miraculously born-again, miraculously delivered from drug addiction and suicide, and miraculously filled with the Holy Spirit. I did not know how to explain such transformation in a man’s life and was secretly afraid of his spirituality. In every way, he was a walking miracle which my theology could not explain. His "words of knowledge" and ability to tell me private events in my own life were outside my realm of understanding. He was locked behind bars but knew facts which he could have learned only from God. Thankfully, that cold November day my own depression was too desperate for me to put any more conditions on the Lord. I felt like one whose boat was plunging toward Niagara Falls and could hear the thunderous roar below me. It was the prisoner who laid-hands on me, quoting Ananias’ words to Saul of Tarsus, "The Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road as you came has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." The scene must have been puzzling to the Maffia inmates and their wives who were watching from other tables: The pastor was receiving prayer from the prisoner. He was aglow with the glory of God–I was in deep distress.
 
What happened to me soon after I got home–a baptism of unspeakable joy and bone-rattling power–totally, radically, changed my life, my ministry, my theology, forever. That awesome day, "Heaven came down my soul to greet, And Glory crowned the Mercy Seat." I rose from the encounter a new man, a new minister, a new husband, a new father. Depression was gone forever. My encounter with the Holy Spirit was very similar to what Dwight L. Moody and Charles Fenny described in theirs. I soon began experiencing phenomenal power in ministry, received amazing "words of knowledge," prophetic wisdom appeared, people were healed, hardened sinners were born-again—but I still felt insufficient because I could not pray in tongues.
 
Some will not believe mine was a genuine baptism in the Spirit because I did not immediately experience this gift of the Spirit. Ideally, one does, but I did not because God demanded deeper repentance from me. My years of ridiculing and scorning the gift exacted severer penitence and I began to beg for it. Nor was this begging a mere, routine prayer. At times I lay face-down on my office floor weeping, other times I curled into a tight, prenatal position, crying out to God for forgiveness in having reproached this special provision of His grace. Once at a night-time home meeting, I sat outside in my car in the dark, refusing to go in because I felt spiritually naked without the gift. In a very graphic way, God showed me I dared not call any provision of His grace "common or unclean".
 
And I had done that arrogantly in reproaching the gift of tongues. Nor could I plead ignorance; in such cases God expects everyone able to read the New Testament to believe and practice all of it.
 
Then it happened: Two years after my baptism, I was standing–praying alone–in my church office. Suddenly, an unseen power slammed me so hard against the wall I knocked a picture loose from its’ nail. The room was filled with the Presence of God and moments later, I found myself face-up on the floor, listening to an unknown Oriental language flowing from me. It came forth poetically beautifully–rhythmically–like a flow of music. In the next half-hour the tongue changed languages about seven times, climaxing, finally, with my singing what I believe was a Hebrew Psalm. As I lay there, I could not believe it was finally happening: That wonderful gift had come at last!
 
Learning A New Lesson About The Gift
 
A few years later, on the closing day of a Conference in Sierra Leone, West Africa, where I had been invited by the Mercy Ship, Anastasis, to speak at a series of Conferences, I had just finished my final message, when the Holy Spirit began sweeping through the room in an astonishing way. What happened was wonderful. The people in this congregation spoke creole-English and some fifteen other African tribal languages. The words, however, that began rising from us were in none of these tongues. People rose to their feet, and as the Holy Spirit started moving, we were instantly caught up in the glory of singing in the "tongues of angels". I Corinthians 13:1. The experience was awesome. As we worshiped "in the Spirit" we were suddenly in a realm beyond human understanding. Paul said, "I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding." For that wonderful time, like Paul, we too were beyond human "understanding" and lost in the dimension of the Spirit.
 
I had been in similar meetings in Latin America where Spanish, English, and Indian languages were in use, but this experience hit me with an understanding I never had before. In spite of all the cultural, ethnic, and language barriers that were crowded together in Sierra Leone’s Miatta Center, all of us were suddenly transported out of ourselves and into "the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace". There is no way to describe the experience. It was as if the Glory of Heaven had suddenly fallen upon us. In that moment we ceased being Americans, Africans, New Zealanders, or Europeans, and instantly became "The Body of Christ." Our separate identities disappeared into an ocean of God's love. What I realized was this:
 
One of the blessings of tongues, "singing in the Spirit", I Corinthians 14:15, is God's way of drawing believers out of their own racial differences and into the universality of the Body of Christ. It transcends every form of human division and locks Christians into a oneness unlike any other. The only way I can describe the experience is that it was "heavenly". Nothing else would have accomplished this unity except the Holy Spirit's gift of worshiping in His infinite language. This kind of holy adoration puts Africans and Americans on equal footing. In it, one nationality is not superior to another, nor is one separated from the other. Rather, through it, the Holy Spirit inseparably joins our spirits –not just our voices. Believe me, when this happens, one is instantly aware of the fact that he is part of a Greater Body than just his own congregation. Denominations, factions, splinter-groups, lose all their meaning and importance before such an awareness. In moments like these, the "Kingdom of God comes with power." Mark 9:1.
 
Ordinary singing would not have done this, preaching would not have done it, healings, and other miracles would not have done it. In His wisdom, God knew how to provide the perfect instrument of worship which would allow men who could not otherwise communicate with each other to instantly become one united voice in praising Him. In Heaven, people out of "every tribe and tongue and people and nation" will join in singing a "new" song which none of us yet know. We may have not yet heard it, but if there is anything on earth that gets close to that heavenly song, it is this blessing of "singing in the Spirit".
 
History records that early Christians gathered on open hillsides and sang for hours. While I know of no reference to their singing in tongues–"in the Spirit"–at these events, it seems very likely that they did. 
 
Nor can I prove this, but I personally believe the Gregorian Chant which became part of 6th century Catholicism was a poor substitute for the lost "tongues of angels" which they had formerly known.
 
There are two directions of tongues. The first is from God, downward to the people. This comes as a public message to the congregation which requires interpretation. I Corinthians 14:27,28. When Paul asked, "Do all speak with tongues?," this is the one under consideration. The second direction of tongues is upward, from the people to God. This may be prayer, worship, or "singing in the spirit". I Corinthians 14:15. Of this message, we are told to ask for the interpretation–which may, or may not, be given. I Corinthians 14:13. Every Spirit-baptized believer should expect this type of prayer to become an important part of his spiritual life. I was late receiving because I was late repenting. That fact brings up this question: Why would any sincere Christian pastor such as I hold this gift in such low esteem? The answer is important: 
 
Tongues is the only spiritual gift deliberately designed to attack man’s ego and pride; it exposes insincerity, self-centeredness, falsity, and other negative traits in believers. 
 
Because of its unique attack on the human intellect, tongues remains the eternal "watch guard" at the gate. In a very calculated way this gift protects the other gifts from exploitation. The Holy Spirit will not allow us to choose one charisma and reject another. Many seek the gifts of healing, words of wisdom, faith, prophecy, etc., but will not endure the reproach of this strange gift. God says "No!" to this attitude. We must accept all grace-gifts as one package or we do not get any of them. Simply said: Unless you deal with pride and ego in your own life, become willing to endure the public’s humiliation and scorn, you will not be entrusted with other gifts. But that is only one aspect of tongues. This is also the only gift which personally edifies the believer.    
 
While "tongues" becomes the key that unlocks amazing spiritual power in someone, it does that by "building up" the one who is employing it in prayer. Strange? Yes. Do I understand it? No. Do I believe it? Absolutely. 
 
The Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board once announced that they would assign no one to the mission field who spoke in tongues. But–once the Board’s vote was taken–the Director, Jerry Rankin, acknowledged that he had prayed in tongues for the past 30 years. More recently, Lifeway Book Stores, the official book-seller for the Convention, conducted a survey and found that 70% of Southern Baptist lay-people believe that spiritual gifts, including tongues, are valid today; 50% say they are open to receiving that gift. More astonishingly, the survey discovered that 50% of SBC pastors privately pray in tongues. This disclosure was a spiritual-earthquake to SBC Executive leadership. 
 
Historically, Baptists have been "cessationist"–claiming that the gifts ceased with the death of the Apostles or completion of Scripture. But Paul did not believe that. Nor does the New Testament teach it. In the introduction to his Corinthian letters Paul exhorted believers to " ... Come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 1:7. In that brief statement, Paul equated the duration of spiritual gifts to be the same length as the Church's waiting for Jesus' return. Examine it for yourself. This is precisely what the Apostle said. There is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than of spiritual gifts and Jesus' offer of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But, someone asks, why do I need the baptism in the Spirit and the imparting of spiritual gifts?
 
Why You Need The Baptism In The Holy Spirit
 
On the Day of Ascension, Jesus told the disciples on the Mount of Olives, "John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now ... You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you." Acts 1:5,6. In a single statement, Jesus connected baptism in the Spirit to the imparting of His power. It is significant however, that on the evening of the Resurrection, before Pentecost, John 20:19-22, Jesus suddenly appeared in the closed room with the disciples, breathed into them, saying, "Receive the Holy Spirit." This was their first receiving of the Spirit. But this encounter with the Spirit was not their "baptism" or an empowering for their gospel ministry. This first reception of the Spirit was their "new birth" and their personal regeneration. Pentecost was yet to come.
 
That wonderful event occurred forty days later when 120 disciples in the Upper Room received the miraculous blessing with tongues of fire blazing upon them. Even after Pentecost the disciples experienced many subsequent "fillings" of the Spirit. Scripture carefully explains that others who were not present at Pentecost received the empowering later. That included the Samaritans, Acts 8:14-17, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:17, the household of Cornelius, Acts 10:44, and the Ephesians, Acts 19:1-7. Young Timothy followed the example. II Timothy 1:6. Identically, today, multiplied millions around the world have stepped into the Spirit's wondrous baptism. It is estimated that of the world’s two billion Christians presently alive–one-fourth–or five hundred million now believe in the full quota of spiritual gifts.
 
The Apostle Paul, who received the Spirit's imparting through the laying-on-of-hands by Ananias, later wrote an 84 verse treatise on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12,13,14. His explanation provides the most comprehensive, authoritative information we have on the subject. More importantly, it is the only resource bearing the seal of Divine authorship. All conflicting opinions, no matter how cherished or long-established, are but human speculation and must be discarded. Scripture is our final, absolute authority. 
 
Once when I addressed the student priests and faculty at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Seminary in Boynton Beach, Florida, I taught on this same subject of spiritual gifts and was afterward surrounded by a flock of these excited young men eager to hear more. Some were so over-joyed they were literally dancing on their toes.

When I said to them, "Don’t do like I did ...", one of them interrupted me and said "But, Father! (a title I don’t claim) You are what we want to be!" A shocking statement from young priests to an Evangelical? Yes. But they were hungry for truth. Some of them recognized the emptiness of ritual and their need for real spiritual power. 

But, hear this: I have given this same teaching to so-called Bible-believing, Evangelical Churches and had them become irate and hostile at the mere suggestion they needed spiritual gifts. Denominational Christians should realize that God does not read church signs–Catholic or Protestant. He reads hearts. Mainline believers need to repent of their conceit, prostrate themselves before God, acknowledge their sin of sophistication, and accept the humbling experience of tongues. God’s motive is not to terrorize the church but to bless it. Stop your arguments about His "watch guard at the gate,"–the gift of tongues–and receive His complete provision. You will be very glad you did!
 
Charles
 

OUR CHRISTIAN PRIVILEGE TO PROTECT THE JEWS

June 27, 2016
“My heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” Romans 10:1
 
Worldwide, violence against Jews is again spreading at a frightening rate.  Attitudes that gained hellish control over Nazi Germany in the 1930's are reappearing across Europe and around the world.  As Christians, our responsibility is to oppose this darkness and help protect the Jews from a repeat of the Holocaust. Paul identifies the root-cause of this hatred as “principalities,  powers, rulers of darkness of this world, spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12. There can never be peace in Germany and the rest of Europe until these dark-powers are pulled down by spiritually-endowed believers. The church was given this authority by Christ but has refused to believe it or use it. Luke 10:19.  Consequently, the "Kingdom" has not come to Europe nor has it learned its lesson from two bloody World Wars.
 
The following article by Jon Henley first appeared in The Guardian; a publication that speaks loudly against anti-semitism. As Christians, we stand firmly with the author and the publication. Unfortunately, our national leadership and public media distance themselves from favorable reporting about Israel and/or Christianity. For that reason it is vitally important that believers remain alert to facts and not be misled by a reporters interpretation of the facts. Read Mr. Henley’s report carefully. This information is about 16 months old. It is frightening to all civilized people.  He said:
 
“In the space of just one week last month, according to Crif, the umbrella group for France's Jewish organizations, eight synagogues were attacked. One, in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, was firebombed by a 400-strong mob. A kosher supermarket and pharmacy were smashed and looted; the crowd's chants and banners included "Death to Jews" and "Slit Jews' throats". That same weekend, in the Barbes neighborhood of the capital, stone-throwing protesters burned Israeli flags: "Israhell", read one banner.
 
“In Germany last month, molotov cocktails were lobbed into the Bergische synagogue in Wuppertal – previously destroyed on Kristallnacht – and a Berlin imam, Abu Bilal Ismail, called on Allah to "destroy the Zionist Jews … Count them and kill them, to the very last one." Bottles were thrown through the window of an antisemitism campaigner in Frankfurt; an elderly Jewish man was beaten up at a pro-Israel rally in Hamburg; an Orthodox Jewish teenager punched in the face in Berlin. In several cities, chants at pro-Palestinian protests compared Israel's actions to the Holocaust; other notable slogans included: "Jew, coward pig, come out and fight alone," and "Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas."
 
“Across Europe, the conflict in Gaza is breathing new life into some very old, and very ugly, demons. This is not unusual; police and Jewish civil rights organizations have long observed a noticeable spike in antisemitic incidents each time the Israeli-Palestinian conflict flares. During the three weeks of Israel's Operation Cast Lead in late 2008 and early 2009, France recorded 66 antisemitic incidents, including attacks on Jewish-owned restaurants and synagogues and a sharp increase in anti-Jewish graffiti. But according to academics and Jewish leaders, this time it is different. More than simply a reaction to the conflict, they say, the threats, hate speech and violent attacks feel like the expression of a much deeper and more widespread antisemitism, fueled by a wide range of factors, that has been growing now for more than a decade.
 
"These are the worst times since the Nazi era," Dieter Graumann, president of Germany's Central Council of Jews, told the Guardian. "On the streets, you hear things like 'the Jews should be gassed', 'the Jews should be burned' – we haven't had that in Germany for decades. Anyone saying those slogans isn't criticising Israeli politics, it's just pure hatred against Jews: nothing else. And it's not just a German phenomenon. It's an outbreak of hatred against Jews so intense that it's very clear indeed."
 
“Roger Cukierman, president of France's Crif, said French Jews were "anguished" about an anti-Jewish backlash that goes far beyond even strongly felt political and humanitarian opposition to the current fighting: "They are not screaming 'Death to the Israelis' on the streets of Paris," Cukierman said last month. "They are screaming 'Death to Jews'." Crif's vice-president Yonathan Arfi said he "utterly rejected" the view that the latest increase in antisemitic incidents was down to events in Gaza. "They have laid bare something far more profound," he said.
 
“Nor is it just Europe's Jewish leaders who are alarmed. Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, has called the recent incidents "an attack on freedom and tolerance and our democratic state". The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, has spoken of "intolerable" and clearly antisemitic acts: "To attack a Jew because he is a Jew is to attack France. To attack a synagogue and a kosher grocery store is quite simply antisemitism and racism".
 
“France, whose 500,000-strong Jewish community is one of Europe's largest, and Germany, where the post-war exhortation of "Never Again" is part of the fabric of modern society, are not alone. In Austria last month, a pre-season friendly between Maccabi Haifa and German Bundesliga team SC Paderborn had to be rescheduled after the Israeli side's previous match was called off following an attempted assault on its players.
 
“The Netherlands' main antisemitism watchdog, Cidi, had more than 70 calls from alarmed Jewish citizens in one week last month; the average is normally three to five. An Amsterdam rabbi, Binjamin Jacobs, had his front door stoned, and two Jewish women were attacked – one beaten, the other the victim of arson – after they hung Israeli flags from their balconies. In Belgium, a woman was reportedly turned away from a shop with the words: "We don't currently sell to Jews."
 
“In Italy, the Jewish owners of dozens of shops and other businesses in Rome arrived to find swastikas and anti-Jewish slogans daubed on shutters and windows. One slogan read: "Every Palestinian is like a comrade. Same enemy. Same barricade"; another: "Jews, your end is near." Abd al-Barr al-Rawdhi, an imam from the north eastern town of San Donà di Piave, is to be deported after being video-recorded giving a sermon calling for the extermination of the Jews.
 
“There has been no violence in Spain, but the country's small Jewish population of 35,000-40,000 fears the situation is so tense that "if it continues for too long, bad things will happen," the leader of Madrid's Jewish community, David Hatchwell, said. The community is planning action against El Mundo after the daily paper published a column by 83-year-old playwright Antonio Gala questioning Jews' ability to live peacefully with others: "It's not strange they have been so frequently expelled."
 
“Studies suggest antisemitism may indeed be mounting. A 2012 survey by the EU's by the Fundamental Rights agency of some 6,000 Jews in eight European countries – between them, home to 90% of Europe's Jewish population – found 66% of respondents felt antisemitism in Europe was on the rise; 76% said antisemitism had increased in their country over the past five years. In the 12 months after the survey, nearly half said they worried about being verbally insulted or attacked in public because they were Jewish.
 
“Jewish organizations that record antisemitic incidents say the trend is inexorable: France's Society for the Protection of the Jewish Community says annual totals of antisemitic acts in the 2000s are seven times higher than in the 1990s. French Jews are leaving for Israel in greater numbers, too, for reasons they say include antisemitism and the electoral success of the hard-right Front National. The Jewish Agency for Israel said 3,288 French Jews left for Israel in 2013, a 72% rise on the previous year. Between January and May this year, 2,254 left, against 580 in the same period last year.
 
“In a study completed in February, America's Anti-Defamation League surveyed 332,000 Europeans using an index of 11 questions designed to reveal strength of anti-Jewish stereotypes. It found that 24% of Europeans – 37% in France, 27% in Germany, 20% in Italy – harboured some kind of anti-Jewish attitude. So what is driving the phenomenon? Valls, the French prime minister, has acknowledged a ‘new’, ‘normalized’ antisemitism that he says blends “the Palestinian cause, jihadism, the devastation of Israel, and hatred of France and its values’.
 
“Mark Gardner of the Community Security Trust, a London-based charity that monitors antisemitism both in Britain and on the continent, also identifies a range of factors. Successive conflicts in the Middle East he said, have served up ‘a crush of trigger events’ that has prevented tempers from cooling: the second intifada in 2000, the Israel-Lebanon war of 2006, and the three Israel–Hamas conflicts in 2009, 2012 and 2014 have ‘left no time for the situation to return to normal.’ In such a climate, he added, three brutal antisemitic murders in the past eight years – two in France, one in Belgium, and none coinciding with Israeli military action – have served ‘not to shock, but to encourage the antisemites’, leaving them ‘seeking more blood and intimidation, not less.’
 
“In 2006, 23-year old Ilan Halimi was kidnaped, tortured and left for dead in Paris by a group calling itself the Barbarians Gang, who subsequently admitted targeting him ‘because he was a Jew, so his family would have money’. Two years ago, in May 2012, Toulouse gunman Mohamed Merah shot dead seven people, including three children and a young rabbi outside their Jewish school. And in May this year Mehdi Nemmouche, a Frenchman of Algerian descent thought to have recently returned to France after a year in Syria fighting with radical Islamists, was charged with shooting four people at the Jewish museum in Brussels.

“If the French establishment has harboured a deep vein of anti-Jewish sentiment since long before the Dreyfus affair, the influence of radical Islam, many Jewish community leaders say, is plainly a significant contributing factor in the country's present-day antisemitism. But so too, said Gardner, is a straightforward alienation that many young Muslims feel from society. ‘Often it's more to do with that than with Israel. Many would as soon burn down a police station as a synagogue. Jews are simply identified as part of the establishment.’
 
“While he stressed it would be wrong to lay all the blame at the feet of Muslims, Peter Ulrich, a research fellow at the centre for antisemitism research (ZfA) at Berlin's Technical University, agreed that some of the ‘antisemitic elements’ Germany has seen at recent protests could be "a kind of rebellion of people who are themselves excluded on the basis of racist structures.
 
“Arfi said that in France antisemitism had become ‘a portmanteau for a lot of angry people: radical Muslims, alienated youths from immigrant families, the far right, the far left’. But he also blamed ‘a process of normalization, whereby antisemitism is being made somehow acceptable’. One culprit, Arfi said, is the controversial comedian Dieudonné: ‘He has legitimised it. He's made acceptable what was unacceptable.’
 
“A similar normalization may be under way in Germany, according to a 2013 study by the Technical University of Berlin. In 14,000 hate-mail letters, emails and faxes sent over 10 years to the Israeli embassy in Berlin and the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Professor Monika Schwarz-Friesel found that 60% were written by educated, middle-class Germans, including professors, lawyers, priests and university and secondary school students. Most, too, were unafraid to give their names and addresses – something she felt few Germans would have done 20 or 30 years ago.
 
“Almost every observer pointed to the unparalleled power of unfiltered social media to inflame and to mobilize. A stream of shocking images and Twitter hashtags, including #HitlerWasRight, amount, Arfi said, almost to indoctrination. ‘The logical conclusion, in fact, is radicalisation: on social media people self-select what they see, and what they see can be pure, unchecked propaganda. They may never be confronted with opinions that are not their own.’”
 
To Jon Henley and The Guardian we say Thanks!  We stand with you in defense of the Jews.
 
Charles