The Big Diehl

{blog of adam}

06 Apr

Exactly What DOES Jesus Look Like?

Posted in Book Reflections, Evangelism, Finding God on 04-06-11

I am reading a book right now called “Untamed” by Alan and Debra Hirsch. In the first section, they make a case for “Untaming” (our perception of) Jesus. I thought this was very interesting. (For the record: I think Mark Driscoll is the man! But I also agree with this excerpt).

A recent example of reimaging Jesus was supplied by Seattle pastor Mark Driscoll. He has become somewhat infamous for his portrayal of Jesus as some sort of ultimate fighter. But in attempting to “butch up” [our perception of] Jesus and make him appeal to “real men,” has Driscoll come close to creating Jesus in his own image? Consider this from one of his sermons:

“Latte-sipping Cabriolet drivers do not represent biblical masculinity, because real men — like Jesus, Paul, and John the Baptist — are dudes: heterosexual, win-a-fight, punch-you-in-the-nose dudes. In other words, because Jesus is not a limp-wristed, dress-wearing hippie, the men created in his image are not sissified church boys; they are aggressive, assertive, and nonverbal.”

Now we don’t believe Mark’s original intention was bad. What he was trying to do is rescue Jesus from the overly feminized ways in which Jesus has been portrayed. We would agree and also want to rescue the image of Jesus from this. … But the problem with Driscoll’s ultimate-fighting Jesus is that Jesus has been freed from one distortion only to be captured by another.

It cannot be but a distortion. Is Jesus really some “punch-you-in-the-nose-type dude”? And is that really the model and type of Christlike masculinity to which every man should aspire? We think not.

I’m in full agreement. I prefer not to sweat when I work. I’ve never been in a fight. And I like lattes.

Was Jesus a manly man’s man? – You bet. But he was also kind and gentle. What if an effeminate man (with or without same-sex attraction) wanted to find salvation through Jesus? Does this demonstrate that our Jesus isn’t okay with him?

Jesus came to identify with all of mankind. Let’s be careful never to tame that.

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14 May

I Have Fallen In Love.

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog on 05-14-07

I just love this book. Lately it’s words have really been more vibrant to me than usual. The Bible really is “God-Breathed” (2 Tim 3:16). Think about what that means – “God-breathed.” Adam was just a pile of dirt until God breathed into him. The Bible would be a just a bunch of words – but God breathed into it.

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03 Feb

Is This The Day of the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit?
The Work of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Part 7 of 7.
Is the Holy Spirit Real?

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog, Finding God, The Holy Spirit on 02-03-07

[This is a series of blogs which are quoted from the book "Is the Holy Spirit Real?" by Dr. Paul E. Paino].

God promised through the prophet Joel that He would pour out His Spirit in the “last days.” For the past two thousand years (the last days), the Holy Spirit has been poured out. The Holy Spirit has been working throughout the entire church age. We have been promised a “former rain” and a “latter rain.” God is moving on schedule. Everything fits into His divine program.

Today we are experiencing an increase in the ministry of the Holy Spirit. There are reasons why the outpouring is so evident today. Let me name some of these reasons:

1) The Holy Spirit has come to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ in an age of false teachers, false prophets, false Christs, and false religions. (Matthew 24:24, John 16:13-14). On every side, we are seeing false teaching and preaching of false gospel. To counteract the cult and the occult, God is pouring out His Spirit across the earth.

2) The Holy Spirit is being poured out to counteract the Spirit of the anti-Christ. John told us in his first letter that the spirit of anti-Christ was working in the world already. Paul gave a special warning to us. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-9). Deception is the tool that anti-Christ will use. Humanity will be conditioned to believe the great lie. Revival fire is spreading and gaining proportion. The revival is preparing a SPIRIT-FILLED, SPIRIT ANOINTED, and SPIRIT LED church. The Holy Spirit is moving through the church to resist the deceptive powers of the spirit of anti-Christ.

3) The Holy Spirit is being poured out to counteract satanic activity and the flood of wickedness. It is apparent that iniquity is abounding in these closing days. (2 Timothy 3:13). There is a tidal wave of moral pollution. Pornography is sweeping across the world. Homosexuality is spreading like a cancer. Drug abuse has contaminated the nations. Witchcraft and the devil worship are on the increase.

It is into this atmosphere that God promised that the Spirit of the Lord would lift up a standard (Isaiah 59:18).

4) The Holy Spirit is being poured out to ready the church for the coming of Christ. The Father has sent the Holy Spirit into the world to seek a bride for Jesus Christ. Believers are on their way to a marriage celebration. It is the ministry of the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of believers . . . to present a spotless church as a bride adorned for the bridegroom.

5) It is the purpose of the Holy Spirit to bring in the greatest harvest of souls the Church has ever seen. (James 5:7).

The doors are open! It is harvest time across the world!! It is time for the church to move beyond its own walls and reach out to a world that is ready to receive Christ. This is the church’s greatest hour!

***

The Gifts of the Spirit

A distinction must be made between the Holy Spirit sent as “a gift” and the “gifts of the Holy Spirit.” The following distinctions must be understood:

1) The Holy Spirit as a Person being sent to indwell believers ["the comforter" that Jesus promised].

2) The Holy Spirit baptizing us into the Body of Christ [which is the same thing as "becoming a Christian." This is asking Jesus into your heart.]

3) The Lord baptizing us into the Holy Spirit.

4) The gifts of the Spirit (spirituals) operating in the life of a believer (1 Corinthians 12).

When we receive the Holy Spirit, he comes as a gift (John 14:16-17; John 15:26-27; and John 16:7-15). The Holy Spirit is a Person and was sent as a gift. Then there are “spirituals” that are referred to as the “gifts of the Holy Spirit.” There are nine of them (1 Corinthians 12:4-11). [That's not to say there are plenty of other gifts that are very spiritual, but there is a distinction to the nine listed in 1 Corinthians. These are the spirituals. Other "spiritual gifts" exist, and are available to ANY CHRISTIAN (regardless if they have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit or not). Examples would be music, helps, and encouragement. These are "spritual gifts," especially when used in the church. But they are not of the spirituals listed in 1 Corinthians].
The person who has not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit cannot become the channel through which these gifts can function. They are referred to as the “manifestations of the spirit.” Where people believe in and have received the experience of the baptism in the holy spirit, there will be evidences of the gifts of the spirit in their midst. [I have not found, nor did Dr. Paino provide sufficient scripture to support the statement that the spirituals only work in those who have received the baptism in the holy spirit. I think they could work in anybody, "just as the spirit chooses." However, in my experience and apparently in Dr. Paino's nearly 60 years of pentecostal ministry, the 9 spirituals only work through those who have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit].

The Apostle Paul introduces this subject in 1 Corinthians 12:1 when he writes, “Now concerning spirituals, bretheren, I do not want you to be unlearned.” He then writes chapters 12, 13, and 14 on the subject of manifestations, spirituals, or the gifts of the spirit, and concludes by saying in 1 Corinthians 14:38, “If any man be unlearned, let him be so.”

Very candidly, the apostle was saying, “I have just spent three chapters talking about these manifestations. If you choose to be without knowledge after I have shared this revelation, then there is nothing more that I can do about it.” God wants us to have knowledge of the gifts, and the Holy Spirit wants these manifestations to be evident among believers.

When we have a good perspective on the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, the things of the Lord are beautiful, powerful, and practical. The Holy Spirit came to give life and liberty to the believers! The Holy Spirit was sent so that those of us who desire to serve the Lord could be anointed to do so.

We have been commanded to be FILLED with the Spirit so that the fruit of the Spirit could be produced in our lives. Chrisitan character is developed to the degree that we stay FILLED. The Holy Spirit pours out a blessing after blessing to inspire us to worship and praise. We are blessed because we are loved.

The Lord desires that every believer receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

This opens the doors to spiritual manifestations, to praying and praising in an unknown tongue, and to be used of the Lord in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit.

He is here to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and to make us witnesses to the four corners of the earth.

My prayer is that YOU experience how REAL the Holy Spirit can be in YOUR life and ministry.

[Comments to this post are related to all 7 posts in the series of "The Holy Spirit's Role In Baptism." This subject is historically controversial. Comments from those who disagree or are searching for biblical truth are most certainly welcome, but comments believed to be trolling will be deleted. No trolling allowed.]

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02 Feb

What Must Be Done To Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
The Role of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Part 6 of 7.
Is The Holy Spirit Real?

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog, Finding God, The Holy Spirit on 02-02-07

There are several things that a believer can do to position himself so the Lord can baptize him [in the Holy Spirit].
1) The believer must seek the Lord with all his heart. Halfhearted seekers will never receive this blessing (Jeremiah 29:13). God demands unwavering faith when we ask the Lord to do anything for us (James 1:6-7).

When we combine a strong faith with a deep sense of our need, we have met the necessary prerequisites for receiving this glorious experience.

2) We must thirst after a deep relationship with the Lord. God feeds hungry souls. When a believer feels that his greatest need is to be baptized with the Spirit, then they will receive the divine blessing and be satisfied (Psalm 143:6; 119:174). Do we feel what the Psalmist felt? Is our spirit parched and dry? Do we long for God in the same way that the desert longs for water? He has promised that He would quench our thirst (Isaiah 44:3).

3) Our motives must be right! If we are to receive, we must thirst and we must pray. We cannot expect Him to give us the blessing until we are obedient. Our hearts must be free from condemnation (1 John 3:21-27).

As a candidate for this baptism, we must examine our motives and seek the Lord with a pure heart. A sanctifying work must be done in our lives so that we are free from the controlling influence of pride, from the negative power of bitterness, and from the destructive forces of anger and resentment. The believer must have a pure heart to be a receiver.

4) The seeker must not allow discouragement! Jesus tells the story in Luke 11:5 about a friend who arose and granted a neighbor his request because the man continued to ask. If we keep asking and seeking and knocking, our request will be granted.

5) To receive, we must confess our weakness! Too many of us tend to feel self-sufficient. We need spiritual power for spiritual living. The source of this power is in the Spirit of God. The baptism in the Holy Spirit brings a deeper relationship with the Lord, a wonderful sensitiveness to the things of God, a new dimension in prayer and praise, and permits us to be channels through which the Holy Spirit can manifest Himself in so many ways.

[For the sake of consecutive learning in the manner in which the book was intended (all in one chapter), comments to this post have been turned off. Discussion will open on Part 7.]

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01 Feb

The Initial Evidence.
The Work of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Part 5 of 7.
Is The Holy Spirit Real?

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog, Finding God, The Holy Spirit on 02-01-07

[This is part of a series of blogs which are directly quoted from a book by the late Dr. Paul E. Paino, Is The Holy Spirit Real?]

The doctrine that “speaking with other tongues” is the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit rests upon recorded cases in the Book of Acts. The New Testament contains no plain categorical statement concerning what must be the sign. However, the conclusion is that hte initial physical evidence of the Baptism in the Spirit is “speaking with other tongues.” It is the result of a logical sequence of reasoning.

The New Testament teaches that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is a definite experience. It is not the same as regeneration. It is different than anointing. And the experience is not the same as sanctification.

This spiritual experience must consist of some outward manifestation. The outward manifestation of the “new birth” experience is a confession by the believer that he has received Christ as Savior.

As we carefully examine the reccords mentioned in the Book of Acts, we will immediately conclude that the initial physical evidence of this experience is, indeed, “speaking with tongues.”

1) The Day of Pentecost. It is clear that tongues were the divinely chosen evidence to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The early believers received the Person of the Holy Spirit and simultaneously “experienced” the baptism in the Holy Spirit. Every believer spoke with “tongues” in this case. It was a supernatural manifestation of the “experience.”

2) Samaria (Acts 8:14-18). In this particular case, there is no apparent indication as to the nature of the manifestation; however, when we read verses 18 and 19, we must logically conclude that Simon observed something supernatural and made an amazing request (Acts 8:18-19). This is proof that something very obvious had taken place.

Since the other cases in the Bible indicate that the manifestation of “speaking with tongues” was present, we are certainly justified in believing that this was the case in Samaria. “Speaking with other tongues” meets all the requirements of the context.

3) Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9:17; 1 Corinthians 14:18). The Scriptures do not record when the Apostle Paul received this experience. When we read Paul’s strong personal testimony in 1 Corinthians 14, we realize that he did speak with “tongues.” It was he who wrote three chapters concerning the “spirituals” (commonly referred to as the gifts of the Spirit). There is every reason to believe that Paul received this particular manifestation of “speaking with tongues” at some point in his spiritual experience just as the other apostles received it when they were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

4) The Household of Cornelius (Acts 10:44-47). The Scriptures state conclusively that the evidence that satisfied the Jewish believers that the Gentiles had received the Holy Spirit was their “speaking with tongues.” In verse 46 we read, “for they heard them speak with tongues.” This is a definite statement concerning this evidence. It reveals that this unique sign had already been accepted in the New Testament church.

5. Ephesian Believers (Acts 19:1-6). This company of twelve men received the Holy Spirit. The Scriptures plainly state: “They spake with tongues and prophesied.” Nothing could be more clear! Some nineteen years had passed since they day of Pentecost but the same identical initial evidence is found accompanying the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

***

It is clear that this evidence of speaking in tongues is spontaneous (Acts 10:44-46). The gift of speaking with tongues is controllable (1 Corinthians 14:28). The initial evidence can be given to any number as was done on the day of Pentecost, or a room full of people as at the home of Cornelius, or on twelve as is recorded in Acts 19 concerning those who were at Ephesus.

The use of the gift is limited to “two or at the most three” (1 Corinthians 14:27). These passages completely contradict one another unless a distinction is made between tongues as the initial evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit and tongues as the gift in the Body of Christ.

[For the sake of consecutive learning in the manner in which the book was intended (all in one chapter), comments to this post have been turned off. Discussion will open on Part 7.]

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31 Jan

This is That!
The Work of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Part 4 of 7.
Is the Holy Spirit Real?

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog, Finding God, The Holy Spirit on 01-31-07

[This is part of a series of blogs which are taken directly from the book, Is the Holy Spirit Real? by the late Dr. Paul E. Paino.]

On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came to indwell believers. Every believer is a temple for the Holy Spirit. From the time the Father sent the Holy Spirit, believers have been filled, blessed, anointed, and baptized.

When Peter stood up to explain the phenomena, he quoted from the prophet Joel and said: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.” (Joel 2:28-29).

“This is That” was not only prophesied by Joel but was predicted by John the Baptist (John 3:11). Peter shared in his sermon that the Holy Spirit had been given (Acts 2:38).

John the Baptist said that this baptism would be a baptism of fire. Fire denotes teh presence of God. This baptism was promised by Jesus. Jesus is the Baptizer. In the teaching of Jesus concerning the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer, He describes three distinct phases. He said that the Holy Spirit would be:

1) With You (John 14:17).
2) In You (John 14:17).
3) Upon You (Luke 24:49).

Jesus said He would be with you to guide. He shall “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13).

He is to be “in you” in regeneration. Jesu as Adam became a living soul in Genesis 2:7, so we become partakers of a divine nature through the Holy Ghost.

The Holy Spirit comes “upon you” to give power. This “power from on high” is to cause every believer to be a witness. The Holy Spirit gives life! The Holy Spirit fills, blesses, and anoints us. Then, the Scriptures make clear that every believer can be baptized into the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was predominant in the early church. The church was spirit filled na dspirit controlled (Acts 8:17).

The Holy Spirit was poured out into the lives of those who were gathered in the home of Cornelius (Acts 10:46). Peter testified in Jerusalem that “the Holy Spirit fell on them as on us at the beginning” (Acts 11:15). The criticism of the brethren ceased and praise commenced.

Nearly twenty years after Pentecost, there was a similar outpouring in the city of Ephesus (Act 19:1-7). It is evident that the baptism in the Spirit was a standard experience among the believers in the early church. Sometimes it was necessary to tarry. Sometimes it happened during the laying on of hands. Sometimes it was a completely spontaneous experience. However, it always came after conversion and was a distinct and separate experience. The glorious Person of the Holy Spirit predominated and empowered the life of the first century church.

The Baptism in the Spirit occupied a permanent place in the Apostolic church. There is no indication that it was that generation’s exclusive possession. Down through the centuries, men and women of God have enjoyed the same experience that happened to the one hundred twenty believers on the day of Pentecost.

Today people react in various ways to this spiritual phenomenon. Some are amazed. Others are in doubt. Some attempt to explain away the experience. They reject the supernatural. Peter declared that “this is that” which Joel prophesied. “This is that” is still happening in the Body of Christ today!

[For the sake of consecutive learning in the manner in which the book was intended (all in one chapter), comments to this post have been turned off. Discussion will open on Part 7.]

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30 Jan

How To Receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.
The Work of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Part 3 of 7.
Is The Holy Spirit Real?

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog, Finding God, The Holy Spirit on 01-30-07

[This blog part of a series of blogs which are a direct quotation from Dr. Paul E. Paino's book, Is The Holy Spirit Real? If you haven't read prior blogs in this series, I encourage you to read previous blogs from the "The Holy Spirit" category on this blog. The information in these prior blogs will be important in understanding latter information.]

How To Receive the Baptism in Holy Spirit

There is no set formula for a person receiving this experience. It is almost pointless to write guidelines for experiencing the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. It is Jesus who does the baptizing. It is necessary that we come to Him for this glorious experience.

However, there are some very important steps that must be taken before this is possible. There are some steps that need to be taken in order that we may become candidates for this baptism.

First, a person must be born again [saved, a Christian, asked Jesus into their heart, etc.]. Without repentance and confession of Jesus Christ as Savior, there can never be a spiritual baptism. A person cannot qualify because they are a member of a church, or because they have lived a good life. Doing good deeds and being a proper person is not sufficient to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Then, we receive the Baptism in the Holy Spirit when we ask Jesus for it (Luke 11:9).

There are instances where people have received the baptism without asking for it. In Acts 10:44, we read that the people who had gathered in the home of Cornelius were gloriously baptized and they all spoke with “tongues.” This is an exception to the rule.

Asking Jesus for anything is an expression of faith! The Lord honors us when we come to Him trusting His promises.

Then, we receive the baptism when we are willing to believe that we have received. In the spiritual walk, seeing is not believing. The very opposite is true. Believing is seeing (Mark 11:23-24).

In conversion, we must believe in our heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried and rose again. We must acknowledge that He is our living Savior. Then, it is necessary for us to give an expression of our faith. We must confess with our mouth that we believe in our heart.

The disciples received the baptism through the laying on of hands. Today thousands of people experience this glorious baptism when hands are laid on them in the Name of the Lord (Acts 19:6).

In every case in the Scripture, where it is evident that persons receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit, they speak in tongues. Peter knew that Cornelius and his household had received the baptism for they heard them speak with tongues.

There must also be an expression of faith. Without the believer yielding his life, his voice, his will, and his mind to the Lord, there will be no baptism. When an attitude of worship and praise fills the heart and we surrender totally to the Lord, He will baptize us. The Lord does the baptizing, but we must do the speaking.

As long as we speak in our native language, our spirit is not totally yielded tot he Lord. When we begin to speak words that have no meaning or significance to our mind, it gives our renewed spirit the privilege of praying and praising in a dimension the believer has never experienced before.

We need not be fearful or hesitant when we ask the Lord to baptize us (Luke 11:11-13).

So we need to distinguish between the word of the Holy Spirit in Regeneration, Anointing, Infilling, and Baptism. In Regeneration, we are “born again.” We receive spiritual life. We are quickened and made alive by the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead (Ephesians 2:1-5).

When the Holy Spirit Anoints us, it is because we have committed ourselves to serve the Lord someplace in HIs church. His anointing empowers us to do the work of the ministry.

Then, the Holy Spirit blesses us and fills us. He blesses us in order to encourage praise and worship. Then, the baptism in the Holy Spirit moves the believer into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Prayer life is expanded. There is a new dimension to praise and worship. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the door for the Holy Spirit to manifest Himself through the believer with the “spirituals.” Love for the Lord Jesus is intensified and a sensitivity to the will of the Lord is sharpened.

[For the sake of consecutive learning in the manner in which the book was intended (all in one chapter), comments to this post have been turned off. Discussion will open on Part 7 (at the end of the chapter).]

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29 Jan

What is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit?
The Work of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Part 2 of 7.
Is The Holy Spirit Real?

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog, Finding God, The Holy Spirit on 01-29-07

When a believer is baptized in water, it is the minister who does the baptizing. It is the believer who is baptized, and the element into which he is baptized is water.

When a person receives Jesus Christ as his personal Savior, he becomes a member of the Body of Christ. The Apostle Paul makes this clear in 1 Corinthians 12:12, “For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.”

Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is a member of the Body of Christ. No church, denomination, or group has exclusive rights to this privilege. Every person, regardless of color, age, or culture, can be a member of the Lord’s Body. The moment a person receives Christ as his Saviour, the Holy Spirit baptizes them into the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13-14).

Without this baptism, no one is a member of the Body. EVERYONE who comes to Christ is made a member of the Body of Christ by this baptism [once again, we're not talking about the Baptism in the Holy Spirit here]. At that moment, we are set into the Body of Christ and become “members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

It is important that all Christians understand that this baptism places all of us into Christ. Christ has only one Body. He is the Head of one church. There are hundreds of denominations but only one church. There are millions of believers, but only one Body (1 Corinthians 12:12).

It is time that everyone who names Jesus Christ as Savior recognizes that we are brothers and sisters and members of the same family. If we would walk in the light of this truth, there would be a unity among believers. The things that separate and divide us would be minimized and we could fellowship together as one in Christ. We may differ in many doctrinal insights, but it is time that God’s people recognize one another as “partakers of divine nature.”

There is a baptism into water, and there is baptism in the Body of Christ. When John spoke concerning baptism, he said that there was one coming who would have a different baptism, “I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: ‘Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12.

John was speaking of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost, several things happened simultaneously to those believers:

1) The Person of the Holy Spirit came to indwell every believer and to draw people to Christ.

2) Every person that was in the upper room was FILLED with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4).

3) They were BLESSED by the Holy Spirit.

4) They were ANOINTED to speak forth the wonderful news of God.

5) Peter was ANOINTED to stand and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

6) They all were BAPTIZED IN THE HOLY SPIRIT.

This is made clear because evidence of the experience was that each believer spoke with “tongues.” This special “evidence” was present at the household of Cornelius. (Acts 10:45-46). Under the Apostle Paul’s ministry, they spoke “with tongues” when the Holy Spirit came on them. (Acts 19:6).

In water baptism, our bodies are placed in the water. [This is the really good part coming up . . .]

In the baptism in the Holy Spirit, it is the human spirit that is baptized. In salvation, the first physical evidence of the experience is “confession with the mouth.” A person can believe in their heart that Jesus is the Saviour but they must bear witness with their mouth and declare Christ to be Lord and Savior. Then, the believer is filled with joy and possesses a blessed assurance.

When the believer’s spirit is baptized, the human spirit will speak forth a witness to this baptism. An English speaking person, when speaking in English, speaks with the mind and the understanding. But when the spirit of a believer speaks, the mouth will speak words that the mind does not comprehend or understand. The Apostle Paul declares, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also” (1 Corinthians 14:14-15). [I have also heard the idea that the evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit could be another one of the spirituals (i.e. prophecy or healing) and not just speaking in tongues. That hasn't been my experience. It apparently wasn't Dr. Paino's experience either (and he saw a lot). But I don't see why that couldn't be the case. Bottom line: your spirit will speak forth a witness when it is baptized (the baptism in the Holy Spirit).]
He makes a distinction between speaking with the understanding and speaking with the spirit. Only a baptized spirit can speak in tongues. The speaking with tongues is not the only evidence of a spiritual baptism, but it is the first physical evidence! In each case where the Holy Spirit came upon believers, it was evidenced by their speaking with tongues.

There is a distinction made in being baptized into the Body of Christ and being baptized “in the Holy Spirit.” Jesus brings the believer into this experience. Jesus is the Savior, the Baptizer, the Healer, and He is the soon-coming King.

[This entry is part of a series of blogs which are direct quotations from Dr. Paul E. Paino's book, "Is the Holy Spirit Real?" In any other book study, a group would not discuss a topic until the end of a chapter. This section will be like that. For the sake of consecutive learning in the manner in which the book was intended (all in one chapter), comments to this post have been turned off. Discussion will open on Part 7.]

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26 Jan

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Baptism. Part 1 of 7.
Is The Holy Spirit Real?

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog, Finding God, The Holy Spirit on 01-26-07

[This is part of a series of blogs discussing the Holy Spirit. It is direct quotation from "Is the Holy Spirit Real?" by the late Dr. Paul E. Paino. I know its a lot of reading, but if you can grab a hold of these truths I promise it will change your life forever.]

There are many questions that need responses:

1) Has every believer received the Holy Spirit?

2) Is the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and the baptism spoken of by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians the same? “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews of Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many” (12:13-14).

3) Can the “spirituals” (gifts of the Spirit) function and operate through a person who has not received the baptism in the Holy Spirit?

4) Does everyone who has received the baptism in the Holy Spirit speak with other tongues (unknown tongues)?

5) Is the baptism in the Holy Spirit for us today?

6) Is the baptism in the Holy Spirit and sanctification the same thing?

7) Is it possible to be sanctified and not have received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and be living a sanctified life?

Since I was born into a pentecostal home, I have been exposed an entire lifetime to “the Pentecostal movement.” i have witnessed thousands of people experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit! I have averaged more than five hundred church serves a year for the past fifty years in Pentecostal, full gospel, and charismatic churches.

Often there have been confusion and excesses. Misunderstanding has resulted because of semantics. One expression or term has been used that means one thing to one person and something different to another. The “experience” has often been emphasized over relationship. Spiritual gifts have been coveted more than a godly life. Blessing has been prioritized over service!

In spite of these weaknesses, the number of “Spirit baptized” people is now into the millions. During the “charismatic movement,” the Lord Jesus Christ baptized believers in the historic churches. Multiplied thousands sought the Lord and received their spiritual baptism. Catholics, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Baptists, and others sought the Lord and received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

A new liberty of worship resulted. Singing, rejoicing, dancing, and praising characterized those who were so enriched by the “experience.” Speaking in other tongues was no longer discarded, mocked or rejected. People in all walks of life realized that there was a spiritual experience that could move believers into a deeper and broader relationship with the Lord Jesus than they had ever known. There has been a spiritual renewal! The Lord has blessed His people with an awakening!! The words of the prophet Joel have a ring of reality today (Joel 2:28-29). (See also Acts 2:14-21).

First, I would like to address the subject: WHAT IS THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT? . . .

[That's all you're getting this time. Come back next Monday.]

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25 Jan

The Work of the Holy Spirit in Anointing. Part 2 of 2.
Is The Holy Spirit Real?

Posted in Book Reflections, Devotional Blog, Finding God, The Holy Spirit on 01-25-07

Blessing Versus Anointing

The blessing of the Lord is often misunderstood as the anointing. The Spirit of the Lord moves upon us and we feel great joy. The power of God comes into our lives and produces deliverance. We are set free from some bondage or fear! The believer is released from some burden or torment. The heart rejoices!! We are filled with gratitude and suddenly, we break forth in praise, adulation, and worship.

The feeling is ecstatic!!! The release that is felt is indescribable. On occasions such as this, many lift their hands in thanksgiving to God. Others clap their hands in praise and worship to the Lord. It is not uncommon to see people dance, sing, weep, shout, and express great exuberance because of the blessing of God. However, there is a difference between blessing and the anointing of the Spirit of God!

After pastoring for more than fifty years, I have watched people come to church who would respond to ministry because they were seeking a blessing. If a singer could come that would stir their emotions, or if a preacher was a gifted communicator and could inspire and stir with their ministry, people were blessed. I have watched over the years as people have sought the Lord and followed ministry because they were interested in the blessing!

If someone could bless them, if someone could stir their emotion, if someone could inspire them, they would return home lifted in their spirit and anxious to return for another blessing. I have heard thousands of people seek the Lord for His blessing. The prayer that has been heard at our altars over the years has been “Oh Lord, bless me and my house!”

Thank God for His blessing! It is wonderful when the Lord stirs our emotion. It is exciting to be blessed of the Lord. The wise man said in Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich.” In Proverbs 28:20, the Scripture tells us that “A faithful man shall abound with blessing.” The prophet Malachi warned the children of Israel that God would curse their blessing; but He promised God’s people if they would be faithful with their tithe and their offerings that He would pour out a blessing that they could not contain (Malachi 3:10).

The Lord wants His people to be blessed! He wants to bless us physically and He wants to bless us financially. He wants to bless our families and our homes. He wants to bless His people in the market place. He wants to bless our children. The Lord delights to bless His people and certainly His blessings abound. The Lord can turn a curse into blessing (Deuteronomy 23:5).

God’s blessing should produce worship. The blessings call us to break forth with singing and with laughter. The blessing of the Lord will cause the children of God to offer praise. There is a little chorus that is often sung in our churches: “I am blessed, I am blessed, Every day of my life I am blessed.”

This is the testimony of God’s people. The Lord pours His blessings upon us and we thank God for them. (Hebrews 6:14, 1 Peter 3:9, Ephesians 1:3).

The Holy Spirit brings great blessing into our lives. As I reflect back over years of ministry, I can count hundreds of times when the blessing of the Lord rested upon me. HE blessed me when I was not filled with the Spirit. He blessed me when I was disobedient and unfaithful. He blessed me when I was not committed to service. The Holy Spirit is loving, patient, and desires to bless God’s people. He is the Blesser!

Too often many that have been the recipients of such blessing have done very little in faithful service to the Lord. One of the disconcerting things that I have noticed in my ministry is that, often, people who have been blessed with great talent and financial ability have not been faithful, dependable, committed, or loyal to the work of the ministry. Money can be given, but faithfulness to the church can be lacking.

I have also observed that all too often, those who cna respond so quickly with their emotions cannot be depended upon to carry a load. When you ask them to serve, they have excuses to offer and will hedge against a commitment. If some are not blessed, if they can’t be lifted to a “spiritual high,” if difficulities come to the “body” and a battle ensues in spiritual matters, those who depend upon blessing search for another source. I have watched, ain dismay, people who came and shouted when we shouted, sang when we sang, rejoiced when we rejoiced, but forsook the “Body” when reverses came and the church would face hard times.

Those who live for blessing only are usually shallow and fade as the flowers. The Holy Spirit is the Blesser. He delights in blessing all of us.

Regeneration produces life.

The Infilling produces fruit and character.

The Anointing provides ability for us to serve and to minister; and

The blessing generates praise, worship, and a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving.

These are the works of the Holy Spirit!

[This is a series of blogs which records the book "Is the Holy Spirit Real?" by Dr. Paul E. Paino.]

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