God Has Feelings.

This evening, I had just poured hot water over some Green Tea to sip as I wound down and read in preparation for a good night’s sleep. As I left my tea on my kitchen counter to cool, I decided to take the trash and recycling to the end of my driveway for the pickup in the morning. I left my kitchen, went into the garage, and opened the garage door leading to the driveway. Right as I opened my garage door, I turned around and noticed that I had not pushed my kitchen door all the way shut and my 87 pound Akita had gotten loose and RAN FOR IT.

She was gone! My dog never goes far – but she is very fast and she won’t let anyone catch her until she’s tired. Nevertheless, I felt like I needed to try.

I was really frustrated when my dog took off. I had other, more relaxing plans for the evening! I went inside to get a leash and flashlight and I felt something stirring inside me. I stopped for a moment and said, “God, is there something you’re trying to show me in this?”

Without hesitation I heard the Holy Spirit say back in my heart, “Yea. You’re just as stupid as your dog sometimes.” (I don’t think God will call everyone “stupid” — but He will speak in terms that you can understand; hence “stupid.”)

I’m just as stupid as my dog sometimes? …

My dog had to have it’s fun. It had to run away from what was “right” and there was nothing I could do about it. I’m just as stupid every time I fall into sin.

Furthermore, I know that the worst thing that I could do to get my dog to come back to me is to yell at it and tell it how bad she is. I love that dog, and I want her to COME to me. So when she finally did, I did not yell but I gave my dog a hug instead. That wasn’t just correct training – that was how I actually felt. I was thrilled to have my dog back. Jesus feels the same way when we decide to stop “being stupid.”


As I trekked through my neighborhood this evening I pondered what else God might be saying. I was reminded of the verse in Ephesians 4:30a, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit.” I love the way TheMessage puts it:

Don’t grieve God. Don’t break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.

Quenching The Move of The Holy Spirit

1 Thes. 5 gave Christians instructions on how to handle a great move of the Holy Spirit when it told us us, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good…” “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” That means that we should be careful not to “shut down” the Holy Spirit if He’s moving in our group. Now you might say, “If God wants to do it, then he’ll do it.” Although I’ll never argue against the supremacy of Christ, I believe there are seven very common ways that Christians can stifle what God is doing in the Spirit:  

Control – Refusing to make room for the Spirit’s manifestations and activity. There’s nothing wrong with planning for a smooth church service, but we should be careful not the plan the Holy Spirit right out the door.

Exhibitionism – This is a lot like “control” but with a different motivation. This is when we add to the Spirit’s manifestations and draw attention to ourselves.

Neglecting the Word – This is neglecting to test all things by biblical standards. Some “trust” the Spirit’s leadership in a non-biblical way by trusting Him to uphold the Standard of the Word in our midst. 

Prayerlessness – Some “trust” the sovereignty of God in a non-biblical way by “trusting” God in their prayerlessness to do the part that He has assigned to US (prayer!). This is not trusting God, but rather it is presumption. Some people totally screw up the truth when they think if God wants to do something, He’ll just do it. But God has given us a dynamic role in determining things with our prayer and fasting. Take the farmer for example, God provides the sunshine and rain … but the farmer has to plant and pull weeds. Don’t expect the Holy Spirit to move if you’re not praying. 

Despising – We must not despise the times when God’s power is released in small measure. We walk in the tension of being grateful and faithful in the days of small things while continuing to be desperate to seek God for the full measure. We continue to pray for the fullness of revival because we see what we lack. However, we operate in faith by seeing what we have in God now.

Laziness – Some refuse the work and effort that required to regularly pray for people in need. It’s not easy, dude. 

Compromise – You can’t grieve the Holy Spirit and flow in the Holy Spirit at the same time. We should seek to fully obey God by living out the Sermon on the Mount. We must seek to live without compromise by declaring war on all known sin in our lives. Prayer and fasting are never a substitute or lack of obedience. The pursuit of full obedience is different than attaining it. There are powerful dynamics that occur in our heart when we aim at pursuing 100% obedience. Sesame Street taught me to always compromise. That’s fine if all that’s at stake is 5 minutes with a Tonka Truck, but a compromise in your spiritual life is a bummer. “You never win when you compromise.”

3) The Ministry of the Holy Spirit.

I am “for” the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I’ve written a lot about the Holy Spirit in the past, so I won’t waste typing time, you can read all about it here in my “Holy Spirit” blog category.

One new point I would like to bring up: The Holy Spirit doesn’t always make sense. I’ve heard about certain “works of the Holy Spirit” that sound outrageous to me — people barking like dogs, cavity fillings turning to gold, gold dust or oil appearing on hands, etc. etc.

THOSE THINGS DON’T MAKE SENSE TO ME! Unfortunately, I think many of those outrageous-sounding “works of the Holy Spirit” are, well, outrageous. Sometimes there are counterfeits, but if you find counterfeit money — you don’t stop using money. Even the cow knows when to spit out the briers.

In Acts 3 there is an account of Peter and John healing a crippled beggar. The crippled man stood up and ran around telling everyone how he was healed. The people recognized him as the crippled man — “and they were filled with wonder and amazement” (verse 10).

That phrase jumped out at me — they were filled with wonder. To me, that says that not everything the Holy Spirit does is going to make sense. And if there is scripture to show that not everything the Holy Spirit does is going to make sense — then I will not condemn someone else’s outrageous spiritual encounter simply because it doesn’t make sense to me. It’s not supposed to make sense — that’s kind of the whole point.

So many people are defined by what they are against, declaring how they are against this type of stuff. I don’t want to be defined by what I’m against — I am “for” the full ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Prostitutes, Paths, and The Holy Spirit.

The imagery of a wedding to express the intimate relationship between God and his people is found all throughout the Bible (Rev. 19:7, Isa. 54:5-7, and Hos. 2:19). I’d like to show you one passage in particular. This is Matthew 22:1-14.

In the Bible’s imagery, God is the groom and the Church (Christians) is the bride. This husband and wife relationship should not be seen as feminine personification, but as a great description of the intimacy God wants with His church (past, present, and future).

If we truly want the Holy Spirit to move in today’s church we need to start living like it. God wants to marry a beautiful bride — not a whore! If this offends you, I’m glad — that’s kind of the point. It should offend. We say, “Holy Spirit come here and do amazing things among us” yet we don’t change our lives — we don’t clean up. God will come with great power when we have prepared for Him something better than a slutty prostitute.

God’s wants to move in our midsts. I believe God wants to blow our socks off. But we are not preparing the way for His presence.
Let’s prepare the way! Let’s put on our “wedding clothes.”


This past weekend was a great service at New Hope. We were very blessed to have singer Jeoffrey Benward (of Aaron*Jeoffrey) ministering with us. He had come up for a special appreciation dinner of Gilbert Dilley, an older gentleman who served years as a pastor and evangelist. (Gilbert Dilley had a profound impact on many young people in the 70s during the Jesus Movement. He led many people towards the baptism in the Holy Spirit during late night prayer meetings in his house – among the group were both of my parents and Jeoff. We owe a great deal of gratitude to people such as Gilbert Dilley who influenced the lives of the people who are influencing us! Seeing the legacy that Gilbert Dilley has already left made me think – what kind of legacy am I leaving? Will the people who I am influencing influence others? I can only pray and trust God that my influence will be lasting.)

During the special time of appreciating Gilbert, Jeoffrey was saying a few words. I had never seen the prophet side of Jeoffrey Benward – but it was definitely there. He was speaking to Gilbert directly when he said words we should never forget, “You will never loose your relevancy when you are working with the Spirit.”

How true is this! The push among many young Christian leaders today is to remain “relevant.” Many of them say that to be relevant you must use proper technology, use special words to develop branding, advertise a certain way, and wear blue jeans on the stage. I’m not speaking against these things — but being “relevant” without working in the Spirit of God is wrong. We can never loose our relevancy when we are being led by the Spirit of God.

My fear (and what I have observed) is that while young Christians have a desire to remain “relevant” — they listen to U2, but they’ve stopped listening to God. U2 doesn’t bring relevance to your ministry (although their sound is really tight!) – the Spirit of God has stood the test of relevancy. That’s relevant.

Aslan is on the Move!

I took a walk yesterday and my dog came with me as usual. I live on a dirt road with very little traffic so I wasn’t concerned with a leash or anything. I was surprised to see my two cats come on the walk though. They just followed me everywhere I went a few feet behind mine. Sometimes they stopped to smell something, and then they had to work extra hard to catch up. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to them because I was on the move, but they were constantly following me. Were they expecting something? I don’t really think so. They followed after me because I was the Master and they didn’t want to miss what I was doing.

“Aslan is on the move!” This popular line comes from C.S. Lewis’ book The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. This fictional story is an allegory of the true story of our salvation through Jesus, represented in the story by Aslan the lion. In the story, the main characters are told that Aslan had been away for a long time, but he was coming again very shortly. Then came the noted phrase, “Aslan is on the move!”

I got some news, guys. “Aslan” is on the move again.

God is on the move!

Do you really believe that? Are you following Him as intensely as my cats followed me, simply because they didn’t want to miss something that their Master was going to do? If Jesus Christ were just outside your front door right now, would you pursue Him with the same intensity that you are pursuing Him right now?

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?

[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.]

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?

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.]

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

[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.]

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

[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.]