July 2, 2017 English Message 9AM "Do not neglect the things of the Spirit."

Oh

I want to lead you through first

Corinthians chapter 12 just one verse

verse 1 although I mean the whole

chapter of first Corinthians 12 is so

powerful and so full of teaching and

content that we could be we could make

of that alone a series as we are doing

with this theme of the Holy Spirit the

spirit filled life the baptism of the

Holy Spirit the life of power in the

spirit all of these thoughts and

concepts revolving around the sermons

that we have preached I think this is

about the seventh sermon that has been

preached on this topic Greg has preached

a couple of them I preached for I

believe is my fifth on the baptism of

the Holy Spirit and the spirit filled

life and our our desire has been to to

teach to found to buttress this doctrine

of the Holy Spirit and how to live a

life that is powerful that is effective

through the Ministry of the Holy Spirit

in our lives and it's such a complex

subject that we wanted to kind of cover

different aspects of it and our desires

just to imprint you if you will with

this conviction that this third person

of the Trinity and his ministry is

absolutely essential in the life of a

believer and so first Corinthians

chapter 12 verse 1 and I want to lead

you to this idea do not be ignorant of

the spiritual gifts do not be ignorant

it's a very interesting way of phrasing

it no do not be ignorant of the

spiritual gifts and that's really what

it says there in verse 1 chapter 12 now

and Paul evidently is giving it's

following up on something that he has

previously stated he's talking about

different subjects and some students of

the scripture think that the Corinthians

this church in the city of Corinth had

submitted to him certain questions about

congregational life things that were

important to them that had a lot of

relevance to

life as believers they had written to

him about that or maybe sent a message

with someone and he was he was

responding he was a answering back about

different subjects of congregational

life and that this is really what we do

and we teach and we preach we we go

through different areas that constitute

spiritual health for our for the

believer and that's what we're doing

right now as we focus on this aspect of

the Christian life which is the life in

the power of the Spirit so Paul says now

concerning this area about spiritual

gifts brothers and sisters of course I

do not want you to be ignorant like

Nao's is the word that he uses in the

Greek original not to be lacking in

knowledge even is the idea about the

spiritual gifts and so I want to

challenge you about the thought that God

wants us to know the supernatural

elements of the Christian life he wants

us to know and be informed well informed

well instructed to be to have the

experience kill in managing and handling

the various aspects of the spiritual

life and I'm using that phrase the

spiritual life because Paul is here

speaking about spiritual things the

Greek originals pneumatic on pneumatic

on is that I don't want to be sort of

brandishing pretentiously Greek words

but that is the Greek and I think it's

very important it's not just a kind of

incidental thing when he went the the

expression that is translated into

English as spiritual gifts the original

that Paul employed was pneumatic own

it's the neuter if you want to get into

grammar so the neuter plural form of

spiritual thing of spiritual things the

Greek has a tense or rather a gender

that we don't have in English which is

the neutral and so really what he's

saying if you want to and I think it's

important for us to make that

distinction

he says brothers sisters I don't want

you to be ignorant about the things of

the

about matters of the Spirit spirituality

is another or spiritual things is

another way of looking at it so why do i

why do I make that distinction because

yes of course in the in the context of

the passage

I think translators when when they were

looking at all the things that he

discusses he does go specifically into

spiritual gifts what we know as

spiritual gifts of prophecy and tongues

and so on and so forth in order to

develop further his thought and so they

kind of concluded well why not put this

idea of gifts but it's it's so much more

than just the spiritual gifts as we know

them in the whole Pentecostal world he's

speaking about spiritual things as a

whole the matters of the Spirit in

general and that's really important

because um God does not want us to be

ignorant or immature in our knowledge of

the things of the Spirit but rather to

be mature to be deep you know many times

a congregation can be content we're kind

of just hovering over the surface of the

spiritual life and the sermon becomes

just a time of celebration and a time of

reiteration of basic things of being

Christians being believers and of

affirming and inducing hope and

encouragement and so on but you know I

believe at the preaching moment is about

so much more than that it's about

preparing the people of God for the life

of faith know to be effective servants

in the Lord the preaching moment is a

moment of yes of affirmation and

encouragement but it can be also a

moment of confrontation it could be a

moment of challenge it can be a moment

of informing and even of imparting all

these different things are involved in

that teaching moment and the thing

ultimately like once God wants for us is

maturity depth complexity in the way we

see the Christian life when we come to

church we come to be prepared we come to

be instructed we come to be equipped we

come to be prepared to be servants of

the kingdom effective servants of the

kingdom and whatever it takes if it

spoils our lunch

then so be it sometimes we come and the

word of God you know cuts through us and

challenges us in a certain way and

that's good

I'd also mean that it is any less loving

on the contrary this is the medicine the

nourishment that we need and so it is

important that we go into maturity this

is what the 1st Corinthians chapter 3

verses 1 & 2 Paul is speaking to a

congregation the Corinthians that were

there very strong in the things of the

gift and supernatural manifestations but

they seem to be weak in deeper knowledge

about Christian character and behavior

so in 1st Corinthians chapter 3 verses 1

and 2

Paul says brothers I could not address

you a spiritual but as worldly mere

infants in Christ I gave you milk not

solid food for you were not yet ready

for it indeed you are still not ready

there was division there was struggle

there was a all kinds of conflict in the

life of the Corinthian congregation and

Paul is writing to them to challenge

them to become deeper in the faith in

Hebrews chapter 5 verse 12 the writer of

Hebrew says in fact what we think over

11 we have much to say about this but it

is hard to explain because you are slow

to learn in fact though by this time you

ought to be teachers you need someone to

teach you the elementary truths of God's

Word

all over again you need milk not solid

food verse 14 but solid food is for the

mature who by constant use have trained

themselves to distinguish good from evil

so a first challenge I think that the

Word of God are issues to us this

morning is to not be content with just

remaining you know in the surface of the

Christian life don't be content with

just coming to church and you know

hearing things and you know going

through the motions of a Christian

service you are expected to grow mature

and deep and to search the deeper things

of the Christian life and for you

yourself to to become more and more like

Christ and our charge our duty as your

leaders is to to nourish you and to

equip you and to provide you with those

tools and

that understanding and those experiences

that you require to be fully equipped

believers so you know but to clarify

this text in particular of first

Corinthians 12 that I just read doesn't

refer just to the Christian life in

general this as week that I'm disco that

I'm discussing here but specifically to

the supernatural moving of the Spirit to

those gifts of the Spirit to those

manifestations of the Spirit that have

to do with the power and this is what he

goes on to discuss here as he discusses

prophecy and supernatural wisdom and

miracles and healings and tongues and

interpretation of tongues and all these

different things and also his desire in

this chapter is to to prove to a very

pagan community you know that had moved

in in the pagan worldview of different

spirits different gods sort of

specializing in different things it's

like you know in even to this day in in

in certain aspects of Latino

spirituality for example in Catholic

spirituality you have a saint for those

who are loved Lorne and a saint for

truck drivers and and the saint for

women who are looking for a husband and

so on and so for you have a saint for

everything and this idea that you know

there are God's for everything for

agriculture for whatever and Paul says

no that's not the way it is in in the

Christian ethos there is one God one

spirit who manifests himself himself in

different powerful expressions and but

it is it is one one spirit alone and in

that same way in the body you will see

that in chapter 12 as you read it in the

in the church life there are different

gifts as well there are officers who

have a spirit of service and and there

are those who move in in powerful

manifestations there are teachers there

there are evangelists their prophets and

so on and so forth but these are all

kind of expressions and a way of

externalizing one single personality

that is full of power full of gifts that

is unlimited in his capacity to express

his power and that is the Holy Spirit

Express

himself in different ways one single

spirit we have a congregation that is

very diverse but you are all part of one

body and that body is animated by a head

by a brain so to speak mind the mind of

Jesus Christ

mind that is coherent that is unified

that thinks clearly and in a unified way

and so is the life of the Spirit as well

so you know that is what Paul is trying

to his trying to describe the complexity

of life in the Holy Spirit and he

doesn't want us to be ignorant of the

different aspects you can see how many

things we have discussed in the past few

weeks I don't think we've been redundant

I think and I hope that every time that

we have come up here to talk about the

Holy Spirit and his gifts and his moving

and the life of power we have been

diverse in focusing on different aspects

of the life of the sphere and today I

just want to kind of unify a lot of what

I have said I want to be apologetic all

that means I'm not here to apologize for

the life of the Spirit just in case I

want to be clear on that when you say I

want to be apologetic all I meaning I

want to present the things of the Spirit

and the baptism of the Spirit and the

power of the Spirit from a proactive

defensive kind of way I want to convince

you I want to show you the rationality

and the commonsensical nature of the

Holy Spirit I want to show you that it

is scriptural that is biblical that it

is geologically solid that I'm not

pulling some sort of doctrinal you know

obscure or exotic doctrine from

somewhere what I want to convince you of

is the fact that this calling of the God

or this calling that we are issuing you

as your teachers and preachers about the

Spirit and the power the power focused

the life of the believer and the baptism

of the Holy Spirit is not some some sort

of incidental teaching it is it is the

center it is everywhere in the

scriptures because I wanted to feel good

and to feel fine about pursuing this

life of power and end of a baptism of

the Holy Spirit and as you know there is

a lot of ignorance

and a lot of controversy about this area

of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of

the Holy Spirit and the gifts and

Pentecostal versus evangelical and so on

and so forth there's a lot of

controversy and yes there's a lot of

things that are not clear there's a lot

of room for disagreement among

well-informed pious believers there's a

lot of space for that there's a lot of

complexity there's a lot of exaggeration

yes there's a lot of oversimplification

about the Holy Spirit and the baptism of

the Holy Spirit yes there is

nevertheless I think that it's

impossible to deny that there is a zone

of the Christian experience and of the

Christian life that refers to the Holy

Spirit to the baptism of the Holy Spirit

and to the life of power in the Holy

Spirit can you say amen to that how many

believe that I meant and I just want to

bathe you with that that idea I believe

that much of the ineffectiveness of and

the spiritual poverty of many Christians

today is due to the ignorance of how the

power and the mysteries of God work I

think that many of the infantile

liberties that we allow ourselves in

this age and in this culture in the

church is due to a faulty understanding

of the dynamics of the spiritual life we

don't understand about spiritual warfare

and the demonic for example in the

proper way we don't understand about the

counterintuitive nature of the Christian

life we don't understand often about

prophecy and about the flow of prophecy

from the old testament to the new and

the second coming we don't understand

about aggressive prayer we often do not

understand about the importance of

holiness in being able to to flow in the

power of the Spirit we didn't understand

also even about the the the

countercultural nature of the church

throughout 2,000 years and the fact that

we are called to be a distinct people we

are called to live in it wait

wholly different from the way the world

lives out there that that means that

some of the claims of this of the

Scriptures will be scandalous to the

mind that doesn't understand the things

of the Spirit and because we don't

understand these deeper mysteries of the

faith that we have not been able to

enter into this worldview if you will

that expresses itself through the pages

of the Bible we allow ourselves all

kinds of liberties oh yeah we can

dispense with this yeah well that's not

so necessary

oh yes that's that's all right you know

God is a loving God who accepts us as we

are and gee we just want Jesus and so on

yes all those things are true but when

they're expressed in a superficial way

they can be absolutely destructive to

the health of the church and it is this

kind of ignorance about how power is

expressed in the Bible how the Holy

Spirit works how are the gifts of the

Spirit manifest themselves this lack of

proper knowledge is I think what

accounts for much of the spiritual

weakness of the church in our times and

I might add it even it's manifest in the

Pentecostal charismatic world you know

there's a lot of oversimplification and

a lot of innocence even in the

charismatic Pentecostal world that

speaks about the spirit a lot of

exaggeration a lot of superficiality a

lack of understanding about human

dynamics and how the Spirit interacts

when it lands on on time in time and

space and I think it accounts also for a

lack of the a lack of a lack of

effectiveness in in the charismatic

Pentecostal world that speaks about the

spirit and that's all sometimes we

cannot be convincing enough because we

we have oversimplified the spirit even

while speaking about him and

acknowledging him the good thing about

the Pentecostal charismatic world yes at

least we acknowledge the importance of

centrality of the Holy Spirit

in this in the Christian life but we

become so enamored at time so focused on

the Holy Spirit that we forget all you

know huge aspects of spirit life for

example the

to the spirit which is often not

emphasized enough in the Pentecostal

world so complexity maturity and deep

knowledge about the things of the Spirit

is very profound the thing it affects

both the charismatic and Pentecostal

world and the evangelical

non-charismatic non Pentecostal world

and God is saying I want you to be deep

I want you to be profound I want you to

be complex in your analysis in your

understanding of the things of the

Spirit you have heard me say many times

that this idea of power Dunamis is

central to Pentecostal doctrine I think

central to scripture as a whole but

certainly to the Pentecostal doctrine

with which we identify as a Christian as

a charismatic congregation this idea of

power is central I want to I want to put

you at ease especially those who are you

know a little more sophisticated

intellectually with this idea of power

because it is crucial nobody more

complex than Paul as a thinker but he

spoke all the time about power for

example in 1st Corinthians chapter 2

verses 1 through 5

first Corinthians 2 1 through 5 Paul

says when I came to you brothers I did

not come with eloquence or superior

wisdom as I proclaimed to you the

testimony about God for I resolved to

know nothing while was while I was with

you except Jesus Christ and him

crucified I came to you in weakness and

fear and with much trembling my message

and my preaching here is the key concept

my message and my preaching were not

with wise and persuasive words bought

with a demonstration demonstration this

manifestation that he speaks about in

the chapter 12 with a demonstration of

what of the spirits power so that your

faith might not rest on men's wisdom but

on what on God's power you know there's

a temptation often in the Christian life

and for churches and ministries to to

become overly focused on on theology

content teaching scripture and that

might sound scandalous to you

but if that is done at the expense of

dealing with the dynamics of power and

when how to live that life that is

aggressive militant powerful forceful

and the lack of consideration about the

mysterious the magical if you will the

the miraculous nature of the Christian

life if we establish a false dichotomy

between those two and there's a problem

I think there's a lot of churches that

sort of revel in the fact that we have

good teaching and every Sunday is a

display of a theological prowess and

that is good but you know people need to

be taught also about how to fight the

good fight effectively

I mean imagine an army which every day

is subjected to wonderful expositions

about military history and about

strategy and that is equipped with

wonderful teachers about the different

battles that were fought throughout

history and the strategy that were

employed and and you know how victory

was attained and the stock talks about

the complexities of military doctrine

and about peace and justice and all

these different things that you know

influence of the military life they're

taught every day about these things but

they're never sent to the field to

handle a weapon or to learn how to evade

the enemy or how to fight actually with

a weapon or how to you know be effective

soldiers are trained to be trained

physically in in being in good form and

so on and so forth

that army it may have wonderful brain

knowledge but an army as I said earlier

is about power it's about fighting it's

about being effective against an enemy

and it is the same thing there is a

dimension of the Christian life that is

conflictive in nature we fight you

remember the words and I love I'm

getting ahead here myself but the

Apostle Paul says for our struggle

remember that word is not against flesh

or blood or blood and flesh first

Corinthians chapters I know sees me

Ephesians chapter 6 our struggle the

nature of our struggle the essence of

our struggle as believers is not

it's not about physical things but

rather we fight against principalities

and powers let me even look at it

because I think it's an important

concept here you know the Christian life

is not just about knowledge we are in

struggle with powerful forces in this

world that requires an understanding of

the nature of conflict and power it is

all over the the Christian ethos

Ephesians chapter 6 verse 10 finally be

strong in the Lord there's that word be

strong in the Lord and in his mighty

power the language I've sustained of the

old tests of the New Testament

particularly is the language of power

never mind the new the Old Testament

it's full of struggles and armies and

fighting and so on and so forth and the

New Testament really follows that in a

very different way more sophisticated

perhaps more descriptive more analytical

but it's still about power about

struggle so Paul here says finally be

strong in the Lord and his mighty power

put on the full armor of God military

imagery so that you can take your stand

against the devil's schemes to talk

about the devil by the way is not just

for you know primitive Pentecostals it's

okay to be sophisticated to talk about

the devil for our struggle is not

against flesh and blood but against what

but against the rulers against the

authorities against the powers of this

dark world and against the spiritual

forces of evil in the heavenly realms by

the way Paul was using very military

language there these powers were you

know the hierarchy of Hell hell has its

hierarchy as well and it's demons are

organized as well and they move and

discipline the systemic sort of ways and

Paul says you know the real struggle of

the believer you know whether you're all

to alternately whether you're fighting a

mental battle whether you're fighting

for your marriage whether you're

fighting for emotional freedom whether

you're fighting for many different

things ultimately there is a dimension

of spiritual struggle that varies but

there it is that there is that dimension

and because believers sometimes don't

know how to pray

in a military sort of way and to

struggle into wage warfare we are often

defeated and we have been taught many

times

unfortunately in in our churches that

know that you know that excessive talk

about the devil is just very damaging

very yes excessive talk is bad but

certainly the devil has its place in the

spiritual economy and so you see he or

Paul saying you know arm yourselves with

the full armor of God so when the day of

evil comes you may be able to stand your

ground and after you have done

everything to stand so this language of

power what I'm trying to is just ease

your mind about this idea of the life of

power this mentality of power permeates

the entire New Testament and and some of

those spiritual elements or gifts are

the ones that he mentions in chapter 12

you know these manifestations of God's

power now that there are other there are

other things that I want to direct your

mind to as you walk your spiritual life

and in you know I what I want to do sort

of give you lenses to be alert when you

see these things in scripture to be able

to interpret in the light of power that

I've talked to you but you know I've

mentioned one one area of a scriptural

teaching which is spiritual warfare many

congregations do not teach about

spiritual warfare many believers are

ignorant of spiritual warfare demons are

real I have dealt with demonized

individuals through 30-some years of

pastoring and I have I have seen what

how real the devil is as he has spoken

at times in a demonized person I have

dealt with demonize people have seen the

power of the word of God the blood of

Christ the name of Christ the power that

these concepts have on on demons I have

dealt with the demonic in my own life as

the the enemy has tried to break my

ministry and to lead me in ways that the

Lord will not have me and every day as a

father as a husband as a mere man as an

administrator I deal with the demand

that wants to to destroy to steal to

take beautiful congregations and

assembly such as this one and so all

kinds of division is struggle and doubt

and discouragement these are ways at the

devil he doesn't just work you know with

a devil right in front of you in a red

you know tight suit in the tail and a

fork no he works in subtle sorts of ways

and you have to learn to discern that

but you have to know when to rebuke the

enemy you have to know when to discern

wait a minute it's not just a marital

struggle know this is the enemy doing

something in my life you have to know

when a time of a deep depression is not

just emotional or hormonal but it really

is demonic influence trying to to break

you and to destroy your life and you

have to rise and rebuke and bind and

confess and worship and seek blessing

and pray and seek you the strength in

your life there are moments

you see there are moments to use weapons

and there are moments to use knowledge

and there are moments to use praise you

have to put you have to be familiar with

a different weaponry of the Christian

life some of them are very subtle and

very sophisticated others are just you

take a bath and you swing at the first

thing that moves in front of you it

depends the spiritual warfare definitely

and I've read that passage that's

another I'll remit you to second

Corinthians 10:3 and for later on but I

don't have time to read them just want

to at least touch on half of what I have

here but spiritual warfare definitely

Christians need to be informed they

cannot should not be ignorant about the

elements of spiritual warfare and the

existence of conscious intentional

systemic evil that affects both the

church and individuals as well and also

affects governments and affects leaders

and affects systems of knowledge and

culture and all kinds of things because

the influence of evil is very

encompassing and very sophisticated we

need to know how to pray in those

different fields as well so spiritual

warfare is very important to this whole

concept of power and the spirit another

area is fasting you know many

congregations don't teach about fasting

because they think well that's something

of you know the

realistic system of the Old Testament

and Christ

you know overcame that and that's that's

now in Christ we have all that we need

etc no you will see in Scripture in the

New Testament several places references

^ fasting Jesus himself you remember

that passage with the demon eyes a young

boy that the disciples in their

ignorance precisely tried to you know

expel in that passage in Matthew 17 by

the way the disciples of Jesus are the

very embodiment of ignorance a demonized

voice brought to them and they don't

know what to do with him they try and

they do not succeed and then here comes

Jesus and he just gives a word and the

demon flees and then they come back to

the mall embarrassed quiet and said Lord

what happened how come we were not able

to do it and he just did it so easy he

says you know there are spirits that

only yield to fasting and prayer you

will see that Matthew 17 fasting how

many of you have benefited from a time

of fasting when you have been struggling

in life about something huh

I know I have and I still use fasting

for power I stay and I use it for

deliverance and and for vitality is that

important and you can do some weight in

the process well man you can't lose with

fasting so it's important to fast and

you know unless a congregation moves in

that ethos of power it's hard to

understand that because these are these

are constants that can only be

understood in the light in the light of

a whole paradigm so it's a big word but

sometimes when you try to teach people

who are not conversant with the

complexities of power and the Holy

Spirit and the baptists of the Holy

Spirit you're just throwing a pebble at

a surface made up of cement you have to

know about all these different things

your sensitivity has to be plowed and

your soil has to be broken about power

so that you can be receptive about power

and about the Holy Spirit so that when

these concepts are given to you like

fasting or spiritual warfare you'll say

oh yeah of course that makes perfect

sense to me

I can understand it now yeah because

you've been taught about the the lenses

the interpretive lenses which are

required to understand these different

ideas of different dynamics of the

spiritual life so spiritual warfare

fasting how about a prayer that is

aggressive and militant and bold in its

orientation you know because we can pray

in a nice sort of sedate sort of way but

the Bible speaks about being a praying

insistently this Jesus speaks about he

who seeks shall find he who knocks the

door shall be opened to them he who asks

shall receive you know these are

disciples who were in the upper room for

days on end clamoring for the Lord to

come forward and to bless them with a

spiritual power in the visitation of the

Holy Spirit there is a kind of prayer

that is desperate and you know the

Bible's I prayed I spoke about prayer

ages ago you remember and there is this

dimension about prayer which is the

desperate prayer which we see in the the

the woman with the flow of blood for

example who breaks through the crowd and

violates a liturgical law and and you

know touches the hem of Jesus and forces

power to come from him you know there's

the story of the men who broke the roof

where Jesus was preaching and brought

down their friend and thrust him right

in front of Jesus and said okay now what

are you going to do with him and Jesus

had to respond there are these desperate

beings that run through the pages of the

old the New Testament particularly of

Jesus that draw power from him because

they were desperate they were aggressive

they were in your face they were

impolite and God honors that kind of

Prayer as well and that kind of prayer

is more understandable in the light of

you know that idea of power and of

insistence and of being bold before the

throne of God instead of prayer as a

generic kind of thing that you engage in

every day there are times in your life

when you're going to have to just cry

out to the Lord and say Lord if you

don't bless me I'm going to die

and you just got a cry out to him and I

think an ethos of power is so much more

conducive to that kind of Prayer the one

who kind of prayer just as a generic

kind of thing a worship you know

scripture will often show worship in the

light of power to me the classical text

is a Jehoshaphat praying as an army

comes in to invade Jerusalem so much

more powerful than the Hebrew army

there's no way that they can win that

battle and the Lord gives an answer

through a prophetic word actually when

when Jehoshaphat calls the entire people

of God and by the way puts in front of

the the army and the people who are

marching a bunch of worshippers and the

Bible says that that God gives a word

through a prophet that is in the

Assembly because Jehoshaphat clamors to

the Lord Lord we don't know what to do

and we trust our eyes toward you and a

word it comes forth as a stand and just

worship the Lord and so the people of

God start worshiping God and declaring

his goodness and declaring his power and

it says as they expressed the power of

God through this aggressive militant

worship the Spirit of God began to move

in such a way that this army became

confused and they started fighting with

each other and killing each other and

they destroyed themselves completely

without having to with other people of

God having to fire a shot so to speak

because prayer and excuse me worship

especially can have that effect but it

has to be done in a in a way something

like what we did today as we worship the

Lord militantly as we declared your

strong Guinness we will not give up we

will continue fighting will believe in

you we will stay in the ground that's

not pain worship that is prophetic

insistent expectant militant worship

that's the kind of worship that breaks

the power of the devil

that strengthens you that fills you the

inspiration fills you with hope you come

in oak all depressed and doubting your

own salvation and you get out of here

you come out like a mighty warrior of

God because you've been inspired

you've been inhabited by the power of

God it's the words of the script you

have run through you it's important to

declare the Word of God and worship Him

when you are in trouble

when when everything seems hopeless

praise the Lord don't go into your bed

and you know cover yourself up and go

into a pity party worship the Lord even

if you don't feel like worshiping him

just do it out of sheer discipline and

that praise that worship that is

sacrificial would break the bonds of the

devil so worship in done in a from a

perspective of power and also the gifts

of the Holy Spirit they're not often

talked about because they are complex

yes they are subject to controversy yes

there are abuses about tongues and about

prophecy and about healings there's a

lot of false claims there's a lot of

exploitation of people when when in

talking about these things yes but do

not throw the baby out with the

bathwater you know there's a lot of

truth and a lot of value in the gifts of

the Spirit as Paul says here do not be

ignorant as a matter of fact I believe

it's in there's another passage I think

it's a Colossians let me just it come to

my mind right now that passage in

Colossians oh boy I don't want to stop

too much but it is a passage where and

if you remember it is we might tell me

where Paul says do not do not reject

prophecy ah look it up and I haven't

here right I want to stop to look at it

someone says you know do not look down

upon prophecy do not denigrate the gifts

of the Spirit you know why why was Paul

saying this to to the to the Colossians

because I think what happens is that

often you know the people of God have

been so scandalized by a lot of the

the False Claims of Pentecostals about

the gifts of the spirit about

exploitation through television and TV

evangelism financial exploitation of

people who profess to have the power of

God and some of them who have some but

also have been you know thrown by the

devil into a different corrupt direction

and so a lot of people have been

scandalized about prophecy a lot of

people have been scandalized by false

claims of healing a lot of people have

been discouraged by people who they

thought were actually genuine prophets

and expressions of the power of God and

when they saw that these guys were not

that they were corrupt that they were

weak that they were mere men or women

and when they have seen some of the

inconsistencies that are so prevalent in

the Pentecostal world they are so

scandalized as they've asked it's all

baloney we're not we're not even going

to think about it we're not even going

to talk about it we're not going to

preach about it and so you have a lot of

congregations

I just heard for example of a one of the

finest men of God in America has founded

an extraordinary number of churches and

it's one of the great great teachers of

our time and somebody is a graduate of

one of our universe one of our

seminaries not too far and they asked

them you know what about because that

person grew up in a Pentecostal

environment and that's well what what

role does the the Holy Spirit and the

baptism of the Holy Spirit play in your

ministry in your life it's been it's a

very effective ministry by the way and

he said you know I I when I was a young

boy and as growing up in a Pentecostal

environment I was so scandalized by what

I saw and all the inconsistencies in

that world that I decided to just not

even well there I don't think he

necessarily denied that the reality of

some of what was contained in that world

but he had been so hurt and he had seen

as it had seen as a very critical person

and very powerfully you know critical

individual that he is in the best sense

of the word he had seen all the

inconsistencies he had been scandalized

by it and so he was led to the other

side of underestimate he has been led in

my opinion he has been led to

underestimate and to minimize the role

that the spiritual gifts in that

prophecy plays in in the in the

Christian walk and so you know I think a

lot of evangelicals in America and all

over the world particular particularly

the Western world rightfully so see the

complexity and see the the false claims

and the exaggerations of the people who

accept and believe in the holy spirit

and also the lack of many many things of

dealing with integrity and so on that

they're led to the opposite extreme we

won't talk about it we won't mention it

if anybody speaks to us of a prophecy or

about gifts of healing we won't even go

there and so they end up minimizing and

understating that aspect of the

Christian life I think doing harm to the

health of their congregations and so I

think we we do need to speak about the

gifts of the Holy Spirit and we need to

ask the Lord for wisdom and

understanding as well because that's one

of the gifts that God gives actually the

capacity to speak about the things with

spirit in a wise balanced sort of way

and we need to keep pressing into that

dimension of the Christian life and as

we do that God will show you the way

don't be dissuaded don't be discouraged

don't be scandalized by the complexities

and the contradictions of that dimension

and I think the enemy has a perfect

interest in feeling that dimension of

the Christian life with complication and

in controversy because it can be so

powerful a weapon against him so he's

very interested in soiling that water

but the Bible says do not underestimate

prophecy do not underestimate the

importance of the gifts cultivate that

dimension of the Spirit I got to find

that that verse until I find it I'm not

going to be happy it's Tess alone in

Saha yeah I know it's Colossians the

solonian I got to read it what is it Sam

yeah I knew it was one of those I do

have marked here 119 119 or

5:19 okay what does it say there do not

put out the spirits fire wow that's even

better than I expected

do not put out the spirit fire what a

better description than that for what

it's done many times I've seen

congregations where the Lord started

doing something and moving and and the

fire destroyed was put out because it

was threatening to the established

Church look at the Great Awakening I

wish had more time and I am closing down

here people the Great Awakening in the

18th century here in New England how in

Jonathan Jonathan Edwards time you know

there was a spontaneous explosion of the

Holy Spirit even be we're talking about

200 years or more before the the

Pentecost was that you know the

beginning of Pentecost here in the 20th

century

in America and you know the spirit was

moving in such a powerful way even

before there was an established doctrine

about the Holy Spirit and all the signs

and all the manifestations that you see

in in in Pentecostal environments where

manifests in Jonathan Edwards time in

Northampton and what happened it became

a very threatening thing as laypeople

started testifying as women were

empowered to move in ministry as you

know the all of a sudden became clear

that the Spirit was for everyone

it became threatening to the established

teachers and preachers here in Boston

the luminaries here in Boston because

all of a sudden their trade was now

being threatened and and they're in a

sense you know their claim to speciality

in in ministry and and so immediately

there was an attack against the

expressions of the holy spirit in

Northampton or in many other parts of

the colonies at that time and what

happened within a few years that thing

was dead and shortly thereafter what

came Unitarianism which invaded New

England and which are still you know

still at work destroying so much a

spiritual life here in New England and

all over the world really because when

you

the spirit when you grieve the Holy

Spirit because because you know when the

Holy Spirit comes in his wind his fire

his power he's he can be a little bit

threatening and then people are you know

threatened by that especially those that

like order and predictability in control

and or in any you know system because

sometimes when the spirit comes in he

just blows and throws everything down to

the ground and then comes the time for

building and for systematization and

people become scared when the spirit

begins to manifest itself people become

scared when somebody what gets up and

says praise the Lord hallelujah and you

know the past is the first one who gets

what and you know there's a lot of

people give dirty looks immediately to

that person then you know everything is

back to the order yes we do have a nice

orderly service but it's dead many times

not always we should never quench we

should never put out the true genuine

fire of the Holy Spirit now I tell you

yes that there are there are moments

when it's not the fire of the Holy

Spirit and that's where a pastor with

authority and discernment needs to say

no sister brother sit down that's not

what God wants and that's where you need

also supervision when the Holy Spirit is

allowed to move you need spiritual

authority to keep control because

there's a lot of also neurosis that

begins to manifest it's not the Holy

Spirit just pure neurotic energy and you

need discernment yes but it's not your

typical service I wish I were part of a

nice add a church right have I prepare

my sermon on Monday and then I Coast the

rest of the week and I come and I just

read from it it's agonizing sometimes

I'm walking up here and I don't even

know what I'm going to preach even

though I have an outline because the

Holy Spirit sometimes changes things

I got three-quarters of my sermon still

here but don't worry I'm not going to

preach it now but that's what happens

when you abandon yourself through the

Holy Spirit and you need to run the

risks of living the spirit filled life

it's a very difficult life it's a heroic

life but it's a wonderful life I would

not change it for anything in the world

and I encourage you to dwell in it to

live it and to explore it do not but do

not put out the fire

of the Holy Spirit do not treat

prophecies with contempt it's a lot of

Christians who hear people prophesying

and immediately they feel contempt in

their heart they do they look down upon

that crazy hillbillies putting us all to

embarrassment instead of the nice

elegant liturgical historical elegant

ways of worshiping the Lord I have

nothing against that but if that's your

substitute for true Christian experience

then you don't even go there the

Christian life is so much more than that

so much more complex do not treat

prophecies with content what you have to

do is what he says here test everything

and hold on to the good and avoid every

kind of evil man that's a powerful verse

right there why was fall writing that

because I think that by the time he

writes that decades perhaps after the

first manifestation of the Spirit in the

book of Acts people have seen then all

the complexities that are good that

emerge from the spiritual life over

culture you know takes over and as the

complexity of true Christian life takes

over the life of the church

a lot of people were already skeptical

beginning to be skeptical about the

manifestations of the Spirit so Paul is

correcting them and saying hey do not

treat them with contempt what you got to

do is listen to them ask the Holy Spirit

to give you this ernment and keep what

is good

why because many times I assume I have

heard people prophesy and you know that

may not be the most stylistically

skilled I wish they were you know they

use better grammar I use they didn't cry

so much I you know prefer I I wish that

you know they they did things

differently more according to my own

temperament and sometimes they you know

they mess up and they don't but it's

often and most often than not within all

that foliage there are some beautiful

pieces of good nourishment that I go

with to my house and have bless me

greatly you know in the course of and I

truly finish with this you know in the

course of our ministry people come to me

and to others with all kinds of

prophecies and dreams that they had

about me

in my family and some of them I just you

know I ascribe them to having eaten

eating too much pizza the night before

but often often they they are true and

they right on target and they coincide

with times of my life and they have

strengthened me let me give you just one

quickly this one and then we go

sorry Greg I know you got you know a few

months back I just about a month and a

half ago

a woman came to my wife and said to her

you know the Lord gave me a dream I saw

you crying in front of a etad a casket

in front of a white casket in front of a

white casket I saw you crying in front

of it

my wife immediately knew what that was

about now that woman knows my wife of

course because you know she's a passive

ear but months before in since our our

mother and my mother-in-law had been

sick with Alzheimer's for a long time

she passed away just this past week and

they in arranging for the funeral they

had chosen a white casket for her which

I got to see you you know when I was

there in Puerto Rico now for the burial

now this woman did not even I didn't

know that she had a you know white

casket chosen for her but my wife

immediately knew what what was going on

and that prepared her partially for what

came afterwards and and so you know I

think God wanted to show hey get ready

this is coming and so her prayer life

was strengthened by the the words of

that woman who came to her and and I've

seen that over and over again you know

that the gifts of the Spirit are real

the life of the Spirit is real the power

of the Spirit is real if you if you're

humble enough to to take your intellect

and bow before the mystery and the

unpredictability of the spirit filled

life God will do extraordinary things

through your life and that is what I

want to lead you to come forward please

say I know we've exceeded our time but

that's just the way it is you know you

got to be willing to pay the price and

so people of God I all we can do is

encourage you to undertake that journey

yourself you know I cannot teach you

everything

we cannot answer every question and

every concern but I do want to touch

your Sensibility I want to work on your

sensibility your openness your

disposition your receptivity to the

complexities of the spirit filled life

and if I can accomplish that and you

know I consider myself well done and so

receive whatever is of good in that word

that I've just shared with you and next

time I'm with you I will continue

because there's still a lot in that area

I see that we need to dwell on so

receive that word right now in your

spirit say lord I believe that it is

your word that comes from you I receive

it in my spirit teach me how to live a

spirit filled life and how to move in

the gifts of your spirit thank you Jesus

we worship your father thank you for

your beautiful spirit in our lives to

give you honor and grace and praise

Father in Jesus name Amen god bless you

people of God