"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you!" Acts 1:4-8, Acts 2:1-4
Hungry Believers Refreshed and Filled!
Clay Ford, HSRM Co-director: "Two workshops, back to back, in three hours at the Transformation Ministries 'UNITE' Annual Convention. What a wonderful sense of God's presence and power we experienced as we gathered in His name! Praise You, Jesus!!! Both workshops were packed out with people hungry for more of God's Spirit, and what a joyous time we had together, focusing on 'Holy Spirit Power: Compelling Reasons Why We need to Pursue a Deeper Filling of the Holy Spirit!' I'm very thankful to Jesus for blessing us with His presence, and grateful to Transformation Ministries leaders Willie Nolte and Doug Meye for giving me this opportunity. (NOTE: I recorded the workshop, and if anyone wants an audio recording along with the workshop outline, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you a link and an attached outline.)"
Did God change His Mind?
Clay Ford, HSRM Co-Director
An increasing number of my Christian friends have crossed the line now, from affirming the biblical view of marriage between a man and a woman to their new position that same-sex marriage is okay, no big deal. Did God somehow change His mind on this? Was He not enlightened yet, and now He sees the light? Has the church been deceived for two thousand years, and only now sees the truth? Was the Apostle Paul deceived on this issue? Was Jesus mistaken when He defined marriage as between a man and a woman in Matthew 19? This breaks my heart, to see so many friends drifting away from the clear truth of the Gospel. I believe the truth of the Gospel is at stake in this issue. Either we have a Gospel with transforming power, or we don't. Either we take seriously the authority of the Scriptures or we don't.Paul wrote, "...such WERE some of you. BUT you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” - I Corinthians 6:11
I am so grateful that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to transform our lives. We all have an orientation to sin, and we are all guilty of sinning. That's not the issue. The issue is this: Is there a solution to the sin problem? And the answer is YES, THERE IS! That's good news! It doesn't say, "such are you still," it says "such WERE some of you."
We were held captive by sinful lifestyles, facing God's judgment. But through faith in Jesus Christ, we have been washed, sanctified, and justified before God. To teach and preach otherwise is to teach and preach a false gospel. Distorting the Gospel is serious business. As Paul the Apostle wrote: “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” - Galatians 1:6-10, ESV
The Cure For the World is Spiritual
John Piippo, HSRM Co-director
I am praying to have a heart of love for my enemies, for those who are against me, for those seeking to hurt me. If I possessed this, I wouldn't be praying to have it.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
The only hope for humanity is transformation of the human heart, person by person, into greater and greater Christlikeness. Should this happen, then transformed persons would love, not shoot, their enemies.
A changed person would die for their enemies. While the Isis-message is "Die for God," the Christian message is "God died for us." This sounds as revolutionary and radical today as when Jesus spoke it two thousand years ago.
The solution for this world's violence is... more violence? Really? Violence has never worked in human history to make peace (because conquering violence always creates more enemies in its aftermath). Both large scale and small scale violence is impotent to create genuine peace, a peace that has captured hearts. I've worked with countless marriages, families, and relationships, and seen the post-war carnage. Violence that "wins" creates captives longing for retribution. Violence and hatred breed more violence and hatred.
Technology, for all its benefits, is no intrinsic peacemaker, since by it the means of war are increased. Thomas Merton writes: "No amount of technological progress will cure the hatred that eats away the vitals of materialistic society like a spiritual cancer." (Merton, Thoughts in Solitude, 13) "The only cure is, and must always be," said Merton, "spiritual."
The cure for the world is spiritual. Not political. Not economic. It concerns the "Us vs. Them" condition of the fallen human heart. When Jesus increases in us, hatred of them decreases.
Andrew McMillan, pastor of Comunidad Cristiana de Fe, a 10,000 member church in Medellin, Columbia, recently emailed HSRM:
"So glad Larry Sparks will be with you [at 2019 Holy Spirit Conference]. I used to pastor in an ABC church in Allentown, NJ and the Green Lake charismatic conferences were a life line. I remember when James Bealle preached and the Holy Spirit crushed me into pieces. Now I have been in South America for the last 33 years seeing revival. One day I really yearn to be at the conference again. Love what you are doing." Andrew McMillan www.fepaisa.com
Pastor McMillan recently visited Columbus Baptist Church in New Jersey where Dr. John Grove has been pastor for 37 years. Enjoy listening to Pastor McMillan's message in the accompanying video.
"Life changed" at Holy Spirit Conference
"'Top Pick, First Choice, Favorite.' Thank you, Holly Collins for these powerful words I remember from The Green Lake Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin this Summer. That week changed my whole life and bought me closer and closer to God. Those three little but powerful words had an real deep meaning to me. During the time at Green Lake, I had little to no anxiety or depression. The months prior I suffered major anxiety, depression and panic attacks that would end me up in the emergency room twice in the same day. Myself wishing to be put into an medical coma because I was suffering from a week long panic attack with heart palpitations. When I was away at Green Lake I felt this calmness over me. I felt loved and cared for by many people, but the most important of all is Our God. I encourage people who are dealing with any type of mental illness to keep going forward, you have a meaning in this world even if you feel hopeless like you have nothing for you here. But you do; we ALL do!"
FB post 10/18/18
Emotional healing for a 5-year-old
Beth and Charley Hatch: "We were recently on ministry team when a couple came up for prayer for their 5 year old daughter, for emotional healing. The little girl was going through absolutely awful fits of rage, and when they would ask her to say 'Jesus' she would scream 'NO!!' and run away; was not willing to accept love, etc. The little girl was an adopted child they had adopted as an infant, and had never had problems. We prayed for her and as we did we watched the little girl relax and put her head down on her dad's shoulder. The Lord gave us emotions to nail to the cross, and then we partnered with Him in inviting the opposite emotions to come. We could see the difference in her. She literally went from stiff and disengaged to relaxed and she kind of melted into her dad. We kicked out rage, disappointment, sadness, abandonment, and unhealthy grief, and we invited Shalom, joy, kindness and gentleness. We prayed a blessing over the mom and dad, and unity in the family. When they left, she waved bye to us. It was pretty sweet!"