Saturday, June 7, 2014

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In this blog, I provide training and instruction on Who the Holy Spirit is, why we need Him, and how to receive Him, as well as His holy fire.  You will learn about the new wine, the biblical basis for the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the role of the triune Godhead in drawing people to Himself, and the supernatural power available for all disciples.  I also discuss the importance of correctly discerning the things of the spirit and testing the spirits.

As the Scripture says:

"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. "For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. "Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? "Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luk 11:9-13)

The Person of the Holy Spirit Baptized with the Spirit Holy Fire Baptism
Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit: What's the Difference? Supernatural Power for All Disciples Discerning the Things of the Spirit
The New Wine Testing the Spirits of False Prophets The Holy Trinity
The Role of the Trinity in Drawing People to God The Bodily Form of the Holy Spirit The Holy Spirit Speaks
The Spirit without Limit  The Laying on of Hands International Impact of Pentecost
Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit False Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit The River of God

Please read Opportunities to Serve the Body of Christ.  You may also access my complete blog directory at Writing for the Master.

Image credit: "Receiving the Spirit" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist. 

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Him.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.


Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org. Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry. Donate.

Donate


Our gift of these articles by Len Lacroix is made possible in part by your gracious support of the ministry.  Our ministry partners, who sponsor us, share a passion for reaching people for Jesus Christ, and we'd love to have you join us in this effort.  One way you can do so is by giving financially.

There are two ways to donate to Doulos Missions International. You may either send a check or money order by mail or you may donate securely online.

Doulos Missions International, Inc. is incorporated in the State of New Hampshire as a publicly-supported non-profit charity.  We are recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax exempt organization under IRC 501(c)(3). Contributions made to this organization are tax deductible.

Online Donations
You may use an electronic check or a major credit card to make a gift today. Click here to donate.

By Mail

You may send your check or money order made payable to Doulos Missions International to the following address:


Doulos Missions International
PO Box 5526
Manchester, NH 03108-5526

By Paypal or Payza
You may also securely send money directly to Len Lacroix via PayPal or Payza, which are alternatives to donating to DMI , especially for those who are not within the US or Canada.  DMI only accepts credit cards from the US or Canada, but PayPal and Payza are more international. Please note that this alternative is not tax-deductible, and will not be given to DMI, but to me personally. Just message me through the comments section of this post to get my email address for PayPal and Payza.




"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38


Thank you!

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Preparing the Way Radio

In December 2013, we established a new radio program called Preparing the Way, which is a worldwide radio broadcast via the Internet dedicated to preparing the way for the imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ in repentance, preaching holiness, righteous, and truth.

Scriptural Basis
As the Scripture says:

"A voice is calling, 'Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. Let every valley be lifted up, And every mountain and hill be made low; And let the rough ground become a plain, And the rugged terrain a broad valley; Then the glory of the LORD will be revealed, And all flesh will see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.'" (Isa 40:3-5)

“And all flesh will see the salvation of God.'" (Luk 3:6)

"Get yourself up on a high mountain, O Zion, bearer of good news, Lift up your voice mightily, O Jerusalem, bearer of good news; Lift it up, do not fear. Say to the cities of Judah, 'Here is your God!' Behold, the Lord GOD will come with might, With His arm ruling for Him. Behold, His reward is with Him And His recompense before Him."  (Isa 40:9-10)

“Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.  The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: ‘Say to Daughter Zion, “See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.”’ They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.” (Isa 62:10-12)

"'Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,' says the LORD of hosts. 'But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the LORD offerings in righteousness.'" (Mal 3:1-3)

Program Purpose
Our target audience includes pastors, elders, and disciples laboring for the Lord in all nations, as well as those who are lost. In Jesus' Mighty Name and with God's help, we pray that this radio broadcast will reach the nations.

Secondarily, we also plan to use the broadcast to increase awareness of the ministry of Doulos Missions International, its "parent ministry," helping to make disciples in Eastern Europe. This is another means of proclaiming what God is doing in Eastern Europe and other regions of the world. We trust in the Lord to successfully accomplish the purposes for which it was established, for God's blessing upon it and provision, along with His anointing and guidance for me.

Program Archives
You can watch previously aired programs through the links below and others available at  Preparing the Way.

Program Launch with Denis Lacroix
Interview with Brother Danny Hahlbohm, the artist who created the "Footprints in the Sand" painting; and that program included an interview with DMI President, Dr. Andrew Stenhouse.

Author's note The new radio program is online at Preparing the Way Radio. You may access the Main Directory for this blog or my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Him.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.


Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.

Opportunities to Serve the Body of Christ

Len and Jennifer Lacroix
We are missionaries, and our desire would be to come to your church or Bible Study group to preach and minister to you, while we are in the States.  If you would like us to do so, we can also make a presentation of our work in Eastern Europe.  Please pray about this.  It's a chance for us to encourage people to greater evangelism and commitment to completing the Great Commission globally, and we would be honored to come speak, if it is God's will.  So give us a call or leave a comment, if you would like us to come to speak to your group.

You can find more about us at Doulos Missions International. You're also invited to listen to our radio interview on the Truth Radio Network, which was aired September 7, 2013.  We were interviewed by Joyce George on the program "A Place Missionaries Call Home," which is recorded in the video at this link.

_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, June 6, 2014

The River of God

There is a river, known as the River of Life and the River of God.  According to King David the Psalmist, "There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, The holy dwelling places of the Most High." (Psa 46:4). It's a supernatural river, because its streams make the City of God glad.  It has supernatural qualities unlike any other river.  I'd like to explore that river with you in God's Word today.

God has always had a river
In the beginning, Paradise was on earth, which was a garden in Eden, as we read in Genesis.

"The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden; and from there it divided and became four rivers. The name of the first is Pishon; it flows around the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good; the bdellium and the onyx stone are there. The name of the second river is Gihon; it flows around the whole land of Cush. The name of the third river is Tigris; it flows east of Assyria. And the fourth river is the Euphrates." (Gen 2:8-14)

This passage teaches us that a river flowed out of Eden to water the Garden of Eden (Paradise).  So all the way back the beginning , God has always had a river.

The Lord is the River Source
It's important to note that The Lord is the River Source.  That's what He told the woman at the well.

"There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.' For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, 'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?' (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.' She said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?' Jesus answered and said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.'" (Joh 4:7-14)

Only Jesus can give you living water, because He is the Well Spring.  That is the same living water that flows through the River of Life in heaven.  Whoever drinks this water shall never thirst again.  The water that Jesus gives will become in you a well of water springing up to eternal life.  I know from first hand experience that there is no other drink that will quench your thirst or satisfy your soul like the living water.

Although this passage in John's gospel may seem like a new revelation, the Lord had identified Himself centuries beforehand as the Fountain of Living Water to His people Israel.

"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water." (Jer 2:13)

"A glorious throne on high from the beginning Is the place of our sanctuary. O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, Because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD." (Jer 17:12-13)

God's people today have done much the same as the Israelites did back then. Many have forsaken the Fountain of Living Water, even the Lord, because they do not trust in Him. Instead, they trust in themselves, so they hew for themselves cisterns.  The problem is that their cisterns are broken and leaking, so they cannot hold water.

We never thirst when we depend on Him.  If you trust in the Lord, He will always provide you with water, as He did for the Israelites in the wilderness. One of those instances was at Kadesh:

Then the sons of Israel, the whole congregation, came to the wilderness of Zin in the first month; and the people stayed at Kadesh. Now Miriam died there and was buried there. There was no water for the congregation, and they assembled themselves against Moses and Aaron. The people thus contended with Moses and spoke, saying, "If only we had perished when our brothers perished before the LORD! "Why then have you brought the LORD'S assembly into this wilderness, for us and our beasts to die here? "Why have you made us come up from Egypt, to bring us in to this wretched place? It is not a place of grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, nor is there water to drink." Then Moses and Aaron came in from the presence of the assembly to the doorway of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. Then the glory of the LORD appeared to them; and the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink." So Moses took the rod from before the LORD, just as He had commanded him; and Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly before the rock. And he said to them, "Listen now, you rebels; shall we bring forth water for you out of this rock?" Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation and their beasts drank. But the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Because you have not believed Me, to treat Me as holy in the sight of the sons of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them." Those were the waters of Meribah, because the sons of Israel contended with the LORD, and He proved Himself holy among them.  (Num 20:1-13)

Another instance where God provided the Israelites with water in the wilderness was at a place called Beer:

From there they continued to Beer, that is the well where the LORD said to Moses, "Assemble the people, that I may give them water." Then Israel sang this song: "Spring up, O well! Sing to it! "The well, which the leaders sank, Which the nobles of the people dug, With the scepter and with their staffs." And from the wilderness they continued to Mattanah, (Num 21:16-18)

In these instances, the Lord was the source or spring of these waters.  Likewise, the Lord revealed to Ezekiel a river that flowed from the Temple, which is still future.  I believe it will be fulfilled in the future Millenial reign of Christ.  And from the very presence of God this river will flow.

Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar. He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side. When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins. Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded. He said to me, "Son of man, have you seen this?" Then he brought me back to the bank of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then he said to me, "These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh. "It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes. "And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many. "But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. "By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail. They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing."  (Eze 47:1-12)

The Millennial Temple will face east, and the River will flow eastward from the south side of temple.  What makes the temple so special is that the Lord Himself, the God of Israel will enter that place and His glory will dwell there.  The Prince will enter through the East gate, which is why Ezekiel was not allowed to use east gate, as only the prince was allowed to do so.  Therefore, the very presence of the Lord will be in the temple, and from His presence will flow this river.

We are led gradually deeper into the river
Ezekiel was led gradually deeper into the river. At a distance of 1000 cubits (1500 ft) from the temple, it was ankle deep.  At 2000 cubits (3000 ft) from the temple, it was knee deep.  At 3000 cubits (4500 ft) from the temple, it was waist deep.  At 4000 cubits (6000 ft) from the temple, it was deep enough to swim in.

Just as God led Ezekiel into the River gradually, so are we led gradually deeper into the river.  Most people want to stay close to the temple where their feet touch the bottom and they are not too far from home base.  Comfort zone.  They are still mostly in control.

The Lord gives each of us an invitation to wade out a measure further away into His River.  It may seem scary venturing off into the unknown where we’ve never been before.  Deeper waters.  But if we say, “Yes, Lord,” we will not be disappointed. We find ourselves in a place we never thought we could go.  We look back and realize the Lord took us there and it’s wonderful. But each time after we obey the Lord to go further and then make the adjustment to the new place in God, we realize we can trust Him.

When we get to the place where we are waist deep, we realize we are much less in control than ever before and the current is swift. But we are still safe.  Then the Lord beckons us deeper in Him, and we wonder if the water will overwhelm us if we go to the place He calls us to.  But if we will trust Him, we will find ourselves in a place in Him where we are out of control.  We cannot touch the bottom.  We can’t control the way things go anymore. We can’t maneuver around like we want to, and it’s unfamiliar to live like this. At this point, many people fight the current.

Professionally trained rescuers say that when people fall into the river, the mistake they make is thinking that the current will pull them under.  They say that people try to swim against the current out of fear and ignorance.  No one, not even a trained rescuer, is any match for that current.  This is how people drown. But they say the best thing is to let yourself flow with the current and even swim downstream, diagonally across the river to the other side.  If the current pulls you under, just be patient and you will pop back up to the surface again.

All we can do when we are in this place in God is to flow with the Lord.  Just rest in Him and trust Him.  Don’t fight against Him.  Go with the flow of His River.  Let it carry you deeper.  Swim in it.  Allow Him to have complete control.  You may be a mile away from the temple, and it is very unfamiliar to you.  There are many unknowns, but you are still in God’s River.  It’s exhilarating and refreshing.  You find He is still with you and you are still safe.

Wherever the River of God goes, it brings life
This river is a literal one!  And wherever the River of God goes, it brings life. As we read earlier, it makes glad the city of God (Ps 46:4). It has many amazing qualities like this.  All kinds of living creatures are found wherever the water flows.  Salt water becomes fresh. The desert springs up like a garden filled with greenery. Many trees line both banks of the river. Fruit is on the trees for food. The leaves never wither and they bring healing. Compare this river that Ezekiel saw in a vision to the River of Life in heaven.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He *said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. "He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."  (Rev 21:1-8)

Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. And he said to me, "These words are faithful and true"; and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. (Rev 22:1-6)

I have read accounts of those who have experienced heaven, and they say that you can swim in this river, and you can even breath under the water.  It is the Spirit of God.  When you come out of the water, your clothing is not even wet. It’s the same one that Ezekiel saw flowing here on earth during the future Millennium. It's crystal pure.  It flows from the throne of God in heaven, spirals through the Holy City, and then down to earth in the invisible form of the Holy Spirit.

Abiding in Christ and drinking from this river are keys to a victorious, fruit-bearing life.  Hudson Taylor, the famous missionary to China, discovered this great spiritual secret.  In the biography, called Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, he quoted a poet named Tersteegen, who once wrote:

He told me of a River bright
That flows from Him to me;
That I might be for His delight
A fair and fruitful tree.

The Spirit and the bride say, "Come." And let the one who hears say, "Come." And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost. (Rev 22:17)

Isn't that a wonderful invitation?  If God were to charge for this water of life, nobody would be able to afford even one glass of it.  All the money in the world could not buy you even a mouthful of it.  And yet God is so generous, He invites everyone to come and take the water of life without cost.  But this is only for those who believe in Jesus.  Anyone that does not believe in the Lord Jesus and follow Him, all the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.

It’s the River of His delights.  As King David said:

Your lovingkindness, O LORD, extends to the heavens, Your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; Your judgments are like a great deep. O LORD, You preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God! And the children of men take refuge in the shadow of Your wings. They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. (Psa 36:5-9)

When you come to know Jesus, you can drink your fill of the abundance of God's house. He gives you to drink of the River of His delights.  He alone is the Fountain of Life.

Jesus also spoke of spiritual streams of living water.  He did so at the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot.  There was a ceremony at this feast, in which the priests poured out a golden pitcher of water from the top of some steps that flowed down the steps.  And it was at this feast that Jesus wanted everyone to know He was the fulfillment of that symbolic ritual.

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (Joh 7:37-39)

According to John J. Parsons of Hebrew for Christians:

"During the seven days of Sukkot a sacrificial pouring out of water (called a 'water libation') was performed at the Temple (Sukkah 51a-b). In a ceremony called nisuch ha-mayim, the High Priest would lead a procession to the pool of Shiloach (Siloam) where he would fill a golden pitcher with water and then return to the courtyard of the Temple. When the High priest would pour out the water, the great crowd of people would wave their lulavot and sing out:"
  
אָנָּא יְהוָה הוֹשִׁיעָה נָּא
אָנָּא יְהוָה הַצְלִיחָה נָּא
בָּרוּךְ הַבָּא בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה
בֵּרַכְנוּכֶם מִבֵּית יְהוָה

an·na  Adonai  ho·shi·ah  na,
an·na  Adonai  hatz·li·chah  na
ba·rukh  hab·bah  be·shem  Adonai
be·rakh·nu·khem  mi·beit  Adonai

"Save us, we pray, O LORD!
O LORD, we pray, let us thrive!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!
We bless you from the house of the LORD."
(Psalm 118:25-26)

My friend, everyone who believes in Jesus will have rivers of living water flowing from his innermost being.  Glory to God!  That's the Spirit of God, which Jesus was speaking about.  At the time He said this, the Spirit was not yet given.  For it was not until the Day of Pentecost that the Spirit was poured out (Ac 2:4).  If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Jesus Christ and drink.

Putting it All Together
God has always had a river and He always will.  The Lord Himself is the Source of that River.

The Bible begins and ends in Paradise where the River of God flows. Sin interrupted the flow of that River to man in the pages between Gen 2 and Rev 21. Likewise, sin interrupts the flow of the River of God in our lives. When we forsake the Lord, we choose for ourselves cracked cisterns that hold no water.

Dick Eastman wrote a book called Love on It’s Knees.  He says that we will learn the lessons God wants to teach us either on our knees in prayer or through intense pain and suffering. I want to learn of the Lord on my knees in prayer.  How about you?

The Lord beckons each of us deeper in Him. Will you choose to stick close to home base where you can get your feet wet, but still be in control? Or will you wade out deeper in God to the place where he is leading you? Will you let Him have more control? Will you flow with His Spirit? You won’t be disappointed. Pretty soon you will find yourself deeper than you ever thought you could go.

He won’t just throw you into the deep end of the river.  He will take you there gradually over time. Each time you obey and flow with Him you’ll be freer in Him. Then when you get to the part that’s deep enough to swim in, you will participate with Him in seeing the Life of God brought to people and places wherever you go, because wherever the river flows is where you go, and wherever the River of God goes, it brings life.

I have a friend name Bill, who is a pastor.  One day he was preaching, and he realized he had slurred speech.  Within a couple weeks, he was undergoing brain surgery to remove a brain tumor.  He said later that his wife’s prayer life became much deeper through this experience.  That was one of those times of intense suffering, when love is on its knees, like Dick Eastman was referring to.

If the Lord is calling you deeper in Him, will you obey Him and wade out deeper? I invite you to do that today.

Image: "Living Waters" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note: Please see Opportunities to Serve the Body of Christ.  If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog, such as Baptized with the Spirit and Holy Fire Baptism. You may find the Main Directory for this blog at Home, and also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." 

Do you want to know Him?
If you want to know Jesus, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Him.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.


Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, March 21, 2014

False Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

In my previous article, I explained the Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, which is the only unforgivable sin.  Now I would like to talk about how satan and his demons tempt many people to believe they have committed this sin, when in fact they have not. He has been doing this for centuries.

Some of these people have come to me, seeking counsel in the past, because they thought for sure they had blasphemed the Holy Spirit.  This happened to at least three people I know, who had backslidden away from Christ, and then repented.  When they returned to the Lord, the enemy was so angry that he had lost them that he tried to get them to give up on serving Jesus.  The demons would whisper to them some horrible, blasphemous things to deceive them into thinking that these were their own thoughts, and then the demons would heap condemnation on them for having such thoughts cross their mind.

I would like to share some testimonies of those who have been targeted by such attacks, and who won the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rachel Mushala
First of all, sister Rachael Mushala, whom I have written about it in my article, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell, has also had this experience. She states:

"After my siblings and I repented of our backsliding and recommitted our lives to God, we went through a demonic attack. Only my youngest sister Lois was spared, but Zipporah, Ezra and I were all attacked. Demons would whisper blasphemous things we did not want to hear.  Sometimes they would also bring blasphemous images to our mind."

"This continued to happen, no matter how we tried blocking them.  It was a personal struggle, and we only knew we were all having the same attack when one of us decided to share about it with the others.  For me personally, it got so bad that it came to the point I thought I had blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, even when I knew it wasn’t me saying those things.  I felt guilty and depressed."

"I only overcame the temptations when I understood that the aim of the attack was to make me feel like I was the one who had said those things, so that I would give up. Once I understood that Jesus knows the truth, it helped.  I started rebuking the thoughts as soon as they came."

"Demons would tell me to just kill myself because I had already blasphemed against the Holy Spirit, and they would tell me that there was no forgiveness. This was happening during the period of fasting and prayer that we had in December 2011, when the first messages from the Lord were given to us."

"It was only on the 5th day of fasting and prayer, when I got baptized with the Holy Spirit and Jesus spoke to us, that I found peace.  The Lord told us, 'satan has been lying to you that you have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit so that you would give up.  You have not blasphemed.' That was when I knew that Jesus understood all that was happening."

Zipporah Mushala
As Rachael mentioned, her sister Zipporah, whom I have written about previously in Zipporah Mushala Testimony of Hell and Zipporah Mushala’s Second Testimony of Hell, was also attacked in this same way.  Zipporah states:

"I would like to share what happened to my sister Racheal, my younger brother and I, when we first gave our lives back to God.  Demons started whispering blasphemous thoughts about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit -- things we would rather never have thought about, because of their sexual nature.  Sometimes instead of just thoughts, images would flash before my eyes.  In my case, it was because of disobedience. I was afraid of praying alone because I feared demons would attack me."

"The Lord had told me not to be afraid, and reassured me that He would be there with me, but I still was too scared to pray alone. Therefore, demons oppressed me mentally like that for about three months until the day I finally obeyed." 

"I know first hand what it is like to come under such a demonic attack. One who is tempted in this way might just want to die, because the after demons whisper such things to you, they convince you that the thoughts are your own, and that you have blasphemed against the Holy Spirit."

"I'd just like to give you a description of what it feels like, trying hard not to have those thoughts. Its feels like running downhill at top speed, knowing there are crocodiles down there, afraid of reaching it, yet never reaching, and unable to stop running.  It’s a constant fear that is new every morning.  I remember I liked going to bed early and waking up late just so not to have them."

Are You Being Attacked Like This?
It could be that you have been attacked like this in the past.  I know I have personally been. Or perhaps you are presently being tempted this way.  If you are being tempted with such thoughts now, it is my hope and prayer that this blog has helped you.  I believe it will be a great relief to a troubled heart.  Let me encourage you with two verse of Scripture:

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death." (Rom 8:1-2)

"Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"-- (Mar 3:28-29)

Please read Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit in order to understand what this sin actually is.  And also remember that if you feel convicted for sin, that itself is a work of the Holy Spirit in you.  Jesus said, "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged." (Joh 16:8-11, NASB).

So if you can still experience conviction for sin and godly sorrow, then the Holy Spirit is still at work in you to bring you to repentance.  If you are convicted of sin you have committed, then repent and ask forgiveness.  If God had finally determined not to forgive you, because you had committed the unpardonable sin, then why would the Holy Spirit still be working to convict you and bring you to repentance?

There is also a difference between a temptation and a sin.  It is one thing for an unwanted thought to cross your mind, which can be a temptation placed there by a demon.  However, you must reject that temptation the moment it comes, and you must not agree with it or entertain it.  The best way to rid yourself of it is through prayer, fasting, and the Word of God.  Spend plenty of time each day in prayer, pray without ceasing, and spend plenty of time reading the Word of God.  Ask the Father for (and receive) the baptism with the Holy Spirit, as well as the Holy Fire Baptism.  As soon as you wake up in the morning, get on your knees in prayer and put on the full armor of God (Eph 6:10-18).  Then plead the blood of Jesus upon yourself and your dwelling place.  I also encourage you to pray a Covenant Prayer that I have found to be very helpful  Close every door that was open in your life to the enemy.  Renounce every form of sin that you have been involved in.  Spend time each day making your own personal proclamations of faith, and continue to trust in the keeping power of God .

The moment an unwanted thought comes, you should redirect your thoughts to the Lord, and there are a number of ways to do so. You can say aloud, "It is written...," and quote the Word to the devil, as Jesus did against satan in His wilderness temptation.  Take the sword of the Spirit and cut the demon's head off. You can shout, "Holy fire!" This is very effective, as the demons hate the holy fire.  You can plead the blood of Jesus.  You can say, "Get behind me, satan, in Jesus' name!" or "The Lord rebuke you, satan!"  or "I bind you, blaspheming spirit, in Jesus' name, and I command you to depart from me!" Learn about the power of The Name of Jesus and how to use it.  You can praise the Lord by saying, "Glory to God!" Or you could begin to sing a worship song to the Lord. The main thing is to fight those demons in the Lord's strength, and in His mighty power

The problem is once you begin to entertain a thought and actively participate with it, and provide it with a place to dwell within you, you are going in the wrong direction.  To the extent that you give in to it and accept it, then you are entering into sin.  The Lord knows the thoughts of your heart, and He knows the truth. So if you have given into it in the realm of your thoughts, you must repent and confess it to the Lord, asking Him for forgiveness through His shed blood on the cross.  Then receive His forgiveness!

And you certainly must avoid acting upon these thoughts in sinful word or deed.  I also encourage you to confess your sins to one another.  If you are a brother, then confess to a trusted brother, who will pray for you. If you are a sister, confess to another sister.  Ask for prayer, and the Lord will help you to overcome.  Cry out to God to rid you of these unwanted thoughts.  But even if you have committed sin in your thoughts, do not automatically assume you have committed the unforgivable sin, if the thoughts you had were blasphemous.  Rather, go to the Word and learn what the actual Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is, and then avoid committing it.

It could also be that you know someone who is being tempted like this, and you found this article in your search to help them.  If so, please share this article with them.

Author's note Also see Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, Discerning the Things of the Spirit, Rachael Mushala Testimony of Hell, Zipporah Mushala Testimony of Hell, Zipporah Mushala’s Second Testimony of Hell, and Eternal Destinations.  You can access the Main Directory for this blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.
 
Do You Want to Know Him?

If you want to know Jesus, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Him.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.


Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

The Lord has indicated that he is coming soon, and He is going to do mysterious things before He comes.  Because His time is short, He will use a madman, He will use a prostitute, He will even use a child that doesn't have any teeth in his mouth to testify of His coming before He comes. That is why we must correctly discern the things of the Spirit.  One can be very knowledgeable of the Scriptures, and still make a wrong judgment in this area, just as the scribes did.

"The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, 'He is possessed by Beelzebul,' and 'He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.'" (Mar 3:22)

Jesus warned them, "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"-- because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit." (Mar 3:28-30)

A pastor, named Yong Doo Kim, whom I love and respect, has explained it like this.  Just because someone has a difficult time believing the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, they must never judge or insult the work. We must be careful not to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, which includes neglecting, ignoring, or totally opposing the gift of tongues, prophecy, miracles, and interpreting tongues. It includes aggressively opposing the gifts that have or are manifested in different ways. The spectrum of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is very broad.  At one end of the spectrum are those who incorrectly make allegations, based on their prejudices and humanistic views. At the other end are those who judge and condemn others who operate in the gifts, as well as those who deny or reject the work or manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Those are the people who so easily drive out the work of the Holy Spirit and judge it as a cult or condemn it. Therefore there is the risk of progressing into the sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.

On one hand, we should avoid the error that some have made of accepting every supernatural manifestation as genuinely coming from God.  People who do so tend to be mystical and easily deceived.  However, we must always cherish the presence and power of the precious Holy Spirit in our lives, and be careful not to lose it.  If we do, we could move into a place where we are left with nothing more than a cold doctrine of the Holy Spirit.  Once you do so, there is the possibility that this could eventually lead to blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  That is an eternal sin, which cannot be forgiven.  Those who commit this sin will be greatly judged and tormented in hell.

Therefore, we should love Him and fear Him. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."  (Mar 12:30)  And "do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil." (Pro 3:7).  Hopefully this little study has helped to restore you to a correct perspective.

Image credit: "Receiving the Spirit" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note Also see False Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, Discerning the Things of the Spirit, A Warning to the Nay Sayers, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets and Eternal Destinations.  You can access the Main Directory for this blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Him.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.


Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
___________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He has been based in Eastern Europe, helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. He is currently on furlough, off the field, praying and seeking the Lord's guidance regarding where to be, and for the provision to fulfill the mission. www.dmiworld.org.