Gifts - 5 Fold from Jesus

The Purpose of the 5 Fold Gifts is 5 Goals

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It was he who gave some to be [1]apostles, some to be [2]prophets, some to be [3]evangelists, and some to be [4]pastors and [5]teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Ephesians 4:11-13

The last set of gifts was given by the Head of the Church Jesus to make His church grow strong! These gifts were the gift of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher. These five gifts were given to work together to keep His church from staying infants (verse 14). The five gifts given by Jesus are often called the five fold or 5 offices.

It is Jesus’ Church

There are two analogies used to describe the church in the Bible – a human body and a building, When the church is described as a body then it says Jesus is the head.

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:22-23

When the church is described as a building then Jesus is described as the cornerstone.

…you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20

Jesus uses the analogy of constructing a building to describe how the church is to be built. A building needs to be straight and square in order to not fall over and to last during the onslaught of bad weather. In past times, a perfectly straight and square stone was used to be the guide that all of the subsequent walls were aligned to. This was called the cornerstone. Jesus tells us in this passage that He alone is to be that cornerstone. Jesus is the unequivocal leader of the Church.

Who Governs the Church?

But Jesus does not govern His church as a one man ruler. He is the head but He picks people to fill the 5 offices (gifts) to help Him start and mature the church. The 5 offices help believers become mature leaders. After that elders and deacons are appointed from the mature leaders. The elders and deacons govern the church. Some of the elders will also include the people in the 5 offices.

We see in Acts 13:1-3how the Holy Spirit (intermediary for Jesus) chose Saul (Paul the Apostle) and Barnabas for the work of starting new churches.

In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

We then see later after Paul had started churches he appointed elders to run the church. This became the model for his whole ministry. Elders were positions that governed the church.

Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust. Acts 14:23

We see deacons being appointed by the original 12 in the first church at Jerusalem to help in the service jobs of the church.

So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:2-4

Qualification of elders and deacons are found in 1 Timothy 3. While the 5 offices are picked by Jesus, everyone can aspire to be an elder or deacon (1 Timothy 3:1). The requirements emphasis maturity and a strong character.

Order Within the 5 Gifts

In past times of building, after the cornerstone was placed exactly where it needed to go, the next thing to do was to pour the foundation around the stone. It was critical that the foundation be aligned in all directions with the cornerstone. If it was not the walls built on top of the foundation would not be square and would eventually cause problems for the inhabitants.

Jesus gave instructions that it was to be apostles and prophets that were to be placed into the church after Him. They were to be the foundation poured around Him. They were to be the primary gifts used for a strong foundation of maturity.

built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:20

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets. 1 Corinthians 12:27-28b

After Jesus Christ is placed as the cornerstone, then the apostles and prophets become the foundation that the other 3 gifts – teacher, pastor, and evangelist are placed on.

Responsibility of 5 Gifts

The purpose of the 5 offices according to Ephesians 4:12-13is to teach and impart into believers the following 5 goals.

Training in the Bible and Ministry (Train)

Encouragement in Life’s Walk (Encourage)

How to walk in Unity (Unity)

Grow in their Knowledge of Jesus (Revelation)

How to become Mature (Maturity)

Each of the 5 gifts is the ‘lead’ for one of the 5 goals.

The purpose of the 5 gifts is 5 goals!

Each of the 5 gifts is to lead in one of the 5 goals!

Here is the list again with the gift/office that is to take the lead in that area. The key is the word lead. Every office will help in all areas. But the offices are to work together as a team deferring to one another in the area of anointing that Jesus as the head has given them.

Train – Teacher

Encourage Pastor

Unity –Evangelist

Revelation – Prophet

Maturity – Apostle

Apostle

“Foundation Conscious”

“General Contractor of the Building”

Greek Definition: “messenger, He that is sent”

This is the first office manifested in the Church. The twelve original disciples were ordained as apostles by Jesus. That’s why you see Apostles everywhere in the New Testament. They were the ones trained by Jesus. It took several years for the other gifts to manifest because the believers had to be trained and raised up!

Apostles are the ones that start new works. That is why they are called sent ones. The one that sends them is the Holy Spirit. They are responsible for implementing the vision given by Jesus. They are good at building and developing structure in the church in order that everyone can mature. They create a structure that allows the other offices and  gifts to flow and bless the people . They are also responsible for seeing that other leaders are raised up to form a strong team to continue to lead the church.

Prophet

“Presence Conscious”

“Building Inspector”

Greek Definition: “Forth telling of the truth”

Prophets are like the watchmen in the Old Testament. They help the body to see what is coming in the Spirit. They greatly affect the spiritual climate of the church. God uses them to see spiritual destiny in people and raising up leaders to fulfill that destiny. They are used greatly by Jesus to reveal His presence and majesty.

Evangelist

“Lost Conscious”

“Host”

Greek Definition: “Preacher of the Good News”

Unity? Yes! Evangelists are very conscious of people that should be connected to the body of Jesus and are not. Evangelism is bringing people into the body of Christ that were not there before. They have a burden for completing or unifying the body into one. Evangelists also train the believers how to minister to unbelievers.

Pastor

“Sheep Conscious”

“Building Caretaker”

Greek Definition: “a herdsman, sheepherder” – literally, “shepherd”

There is only one place in the New Testament (Ephesians 4:11) where the word pastor is used. But the verses about shepherds apply to the pastor because they use the same Greek word. They are the first line of protection, care, and nourishment of the believers in the church. Pastors are the primary encouragers of the body ministering compassion and mercy.

Teacher

“Truth Conscious”

“Building Tour Guide”

Greek Definition: Instructor

The teacher makes clear the Word of God with accuracy and simplicity – even on deep subjects. They are the primary trainers on the Bible, who God is, and how to do ministry. They also have the ability to apply the word of God to a person’s situation in order to give them steps to victory.

Teamwork

It takes all 5 offices to take care of the sheep and bring them to maturity. There is no one man show in the New Testament church. Christians will not be balanced unless all five gifts are present. Where a gift is missing then the Christian will be unbalanced in that area.

Apostolic Church

What is meant by the term “Apostolic Church”? An apostolic church has Jesus as the head and the 5 offices being led by an apostle. This means that the senior leader is not a pastor, teacher, or evangelist but an apostle. An apostolic church is different. It is constantly moving.  It’s goal is changing people, families, communities, and nations into the likeness of Jesus.

“Apostolic ministry lays the foundation of Christ’s Lordship and the vision and values of His kingdom. We all then build upon that foundation.” Rice Broocks“Every Nation in our Generation”, pg. 192.

Summary

It’s important for every church to grow to the place where every one of the 5 gifts are identified and released in ministry. This is the only way that the church can be fully mature and well rounded. Each of the offices are important and needed. If any of them are not raised up and released then the church will be immature in that area. If only the gift of pastor is emphasized then the people are greatly encouraged but will be lacking in other areas. If the gift of teacher is over emphasized then the people will be well trained but will be lacking in some other area. No one gift is more important than another. Jesus saw the need of all of them working together to form His body the way that He desires her to look.

Jesus is restoring this truth of the need for all 5 gifts and subsequent 5 goals to be restored to His church. He is raising up His church to be fully mature, totally spotless and wrinkle free! It will take all5 gifts working with every elder, deacon, minister, and saint to accomplish this awesome purpose!

Miscellaneous

Patience–Becoming Partners with Holy Spirit

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Patience is given a hard time. It gets no respect as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Everybody wants love and peace. People like gentleness and self-control, but nobody wants patience. People make jokes about patience. They talk about it like it’s a disease. It’s just not right. This article is to give honor to a great fruit!

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT) But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

Patience makes us a high level soldier in God’s army.

Patience enables us to walk with Holy Spirit.

Patience turns us into a partner with Holy Spirit.

Are you starting to want patience? I can feel progress being made.

Patience involves many things, but nothing describes patience like the word waiting. There I said it, one the most dreaded word in the human vocabulary, waiting. But waiting makes us a high level soldier and a partner with the Holy Spirit.

Our inability to wait makes us poor soldiers and partners. The lack of waiting causes us to move too quickly and shoot ourselves. The lack of waiting causes us to run ahead of what God is doing. In this article, I am using the word waiting to mean the same as the word patience.

Waiting teaches3 things, builds3 things, and requires 3 things to do.

Patience Teaches us 3 Things

  1. Patience Teaches Us Inactivity is not No Activity

When God makes us wait, it feels like we’re wasting valuable time. But He is working in us and around us. God wastes nothing in your life. He is always training you, changing you, readying you for what He wants to do in you.

Yes, I know, we are ready now! We live in a microwave, drive-through restaurant, all information is available from our phone’s browser. We’ve grown accustomed to fixing our dinner in 2-3 minutes.  We watch a TV show develop a situation, reach a climax, and be resolved in less than 30 minutes. “If human beings can fix stuff quickly, surely God can, too,” we think.

Remember this, God has a purpose and a plan in waiting.

He also may not be waiting on you. Everything of importance requires more people than you, more resources than you have, and proper alignment of circumstances. You may be ready, but other people, resources, and circumstances may not.

  1. Patience Teaches Us Whose Agenda is First

When I am required to wait, it means I didn’t get my way. Patience means I must wait on him and His agenda. But we don’t like to wait. We want what we want, and we want it now!

Many of us are “fixers” by nature. We see a problem and do our best to fix it, often without ever seeking God. Learn to adjust your speed to His speed. If we do it His way, it will always be in the right time.

The issues we take to God are sometimes urgent to us, but from God’s perspective may not be as urgent. Patience adjusts our expectations and agenda to His. We are learning to see from His perspective.

  1. Teaches Us to Be Partners with God

Patience is the art of learning to work the way He wants to work and at the speed He wants. He is teaching us to be sons and fellow workers in in His ways. Why are we in a hurry if He is not?

Patience Builds in Us 3 Things

  1. Builds His Glory

Patience – through trials – deposits parts of God in you.

1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV 1984) Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.

Patience brings His glory! What is Glory? It is the manifestation of God’s presence.When we learn patience and wait on God, His presence rubs off on us! We become carriers of Him!

  1. Builds Maturity

James 1:3-4 (MSG) You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

As we patiently endure our trials, it makes us mature Christians. Yes, amid trials is where maturity comes. Doesn’t seem logical does it? How do you learn to be mature? Go through chaos.

  1. Builds Endurance

Here is my definition of endurance: “to outlast the enemy or the circumstance or maybe just that person that annoys you.”

Endurance gives us the ability to last. Endurance keeps us from running when times get difficult.

Patience Requires Us To Do 3 Things

Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting. – Joyce Meyer

  1. Do Resist the Urge to Do Something

Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”

Don’t do something just because you are tired of not doing something. You almost always end up doing the wrong thing.

Saul was about to enter a major battle with the Philistines in 1 Samuel 13:5-14. The prophet Samuel told him to wait 7 days and he would come and offer the sacrifice before the battle. After 7 days Samuel did not show up and Saul became impatient. He offered the sacrifice himself. His impatience caused him to lose God’s favor and eventually his kingship. Again, don’t do something just because your impatience has made you anxious to do something. It could cost you more than you ever thought.

Only do what you hear Holy Spirit say to do. Try to relax, enjoy God’s presence, trust God, and don’t get ahead of Holy Spirit. Patience will keep you in the timing of God’s plan. Don’t take matters into your own hands.

  1. Do Not Grow Weary in Waiting

Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV 1984) Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

We all get weary. Patience reminds us the promises of God will come.

  1. Do Rest

Relax. Seriously. If you are following God’s voice you will not miss His will. Impatience will cause you to run ahead of Him, go in the wrong direction, and in the end waste more time.

Isaiah 30:15 This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.

Rest and know God is working. He will make it all right. Is He God or not? The human nature requires us to work hard to enter God’s rest. Strange, isn’t it? Work hard to rest. I am afraid so.

Rest keeps us from making a mistake. Do we Trust God or Not?

Conclusion

Do you now appreciate the fruit of patience? It’s a fruit that helps us to be good partners with what the Holy Spirit is doing in the earth. Here is to patience!

Miscellaneous

You Are an Abolitionist!

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Once we are willing to work for a spiritual inheritance what do we do with them? The first thing we are to do is to free them—to become abolitionists!

Abolitionist: Alternate wordemancipationist. Definition-”a reformer who favors abolishing slavery”.

The ultimate abolitionist was Jesus. He has freed more people from slavery than anyone else. When Jesus started His ministry this was His stated goal.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. — Luke 4:18 NKJV

His purpose was to free us from the bondage that sin has produced. This means physical, soulish, and spiritual slavery.

150 years ago there were physical slaves in America. But brave men and women became abolitionists dedicated to freeing slaves physically from their bondage. After much war and blood shed there was finally physically freedom for blacks in the South.

But there is still much to be done.

All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Rom. 8:21 (NLT)

Today, God is calling for brave Christians to continue the emancipation movement by freeing people from their spiritual and soul bondages. We are a people that are learning how to answer that call!

You were made for a mission! You have a purpose! Many times as we are focus on getting our needs met we forget our calling. We need our needs met but don’t forget that God has given you the ability to meet needs! You have been made to be a blessing like God has blessed you!

It is in you because the Holy Spirit—the great needs meeter—is in you. On top of that you will find great fulfillment when you are used by God to meet needs!

People Around Us Are In Bondage

They may look successful and happy on the outside, but the truth is many people are in a mental prison. Only through the power of the Cross will people get totally free. They can cover up the problem with drugs, focusing on careers, relationships, etc. But these things only help the symptoms and don’t solve the root problems.

How Can I Free People?

The Gospels are full of stories of Jesus freeing people from their bondages. These people include the woman with the issue of blood for years, the man with a 1000 demons, the woman at the well who was getting her emotional needs filled with many husbands, etc. The list goes on and on.

The way we free people is to do it in the name of Jesus. It is not us that frees people.  It is Jesus that frees people. We can free people simply because we are His brothers and sisters. He has given us the right to use His name. He has not given that right to everybody, only those who are in covenant with Him.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt. 28:18-20 (NIV)

The same Holy Spirit He had to do miracles you have! The Holy Spirit is to guide us into all truth and to comfort us. But His role does not end there.

The presence of the Spirit in our life is not just meant for our own personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Its purpose is not just so we can have goose bumps and hair-tingling experiences.

One of the reasons that God gives you His Spirit is so that you can be a channel of blessing to others just like Jesus was.

Jesus died for the whole city

We are to meet needs in the church. But a great fulfillment is found when we learn how to meet needs outside of the church too. Jesus was constantly going outside the “church” of His day to meet needs. This is actually where He met most of the needs.

Just as He “touched” people, we are His hands and feet to “touch” people today. Do you realize that Jesus said He was the head of the church and we are His body. We are His hands and feet today. It is a privilege, scary, and necessary to take up His burden for people outside the church if it is going to be done.

The future growth of our church is outside the church! This is where the future believers, pastors, group leaders, etc. are! After His resurrection, Jesus met with His disciples and deputized them as His ambassadors. He told them, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you” John 20:21 (NIV). He endued them with a sense of mission and the same mission that was theirs is now yours.

God has given you the tools now! We don’t need these after we die and go to heaven:

And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who believe: They will cast out demons in my name, and they will speak new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous, it won’t hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick and heal them.” Mark 16:15-18 (NLT)

Five Areas in Which He Wants to Use You

It is your destiny to walk in these 5 things. These are the same 5 things that Jesus declared over Himself in Luke 4:18 before He started His ministry. He did it by faith. Declare over yourself these same 5 things by faith believing for the Holy Spirit to help you accomplish yourdestiny.

1. Preach the Gospel to the Poor

The world is full of those who are spiritually or financially poor. They are waiting for someone to point the way out of their hopelessness and despair. That is your first and primary purpose in life: to preach the good news that Jesus’ death and resurrection can cause you to rise from the dead too!

2. Heal the Brokenhearted

At some point in their lives, most people will suffer from some tragedy or difficult circumstance. They encounter rejection, heartache, betrayal, or death, and literally feel as though their hearts are broken.

Ask the Spirit within you to fill you with compassion for the brokenhearted. He will then prompt you to minister true love and healing to those who need it.

We are often afraid to minister to people when they are not Christians. But you will be surprised by the amount of people that just want relief. If you can give them relief then they will see the power of God and then become Christians. It is the goodness of God that leads to repentance.

Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness  and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? Romans 2:4 (NASB)

3. Proclaim Liberty to the Captives

Captives refers to people who are held in the grip of drugs, nicotine, alcohol, pornography, and other activities over which they have lost control. They have become prisoners to these demonic obsessions and need someone with the power of the Holy Spirit who can minister freedom to them. That’s your role as a Spirit- filled believer!

You don’t have to understand everything or have all the answers; you only need to be full of the Spirit and willing to step out in faith and let God use you. He will do more than you can imagine.

4. Give Sight to the Blind

You probably know many people who need a healing touch in their bodies. God wants to heal them and use you to minister physical healing to those who are sick. As you pray for them and lay hands upon them, the Holy Spirit is released to do His healing work.

This is referring not just to physical healing but spiritually. Many people are blind to the spirit world and it’s consequences. Through your witness you can open their eyes that the world around us is not all there is. The eternal world is bigger and is the “final” world. We can show people how to become citizens of the eternal world.

5. Set at Liberty Those Who are Oppressed

This includes people with mental oppressions. You have the ability to minister to those suffering from bondages like suicide, depression, grief, guilt, or condemnation. All these things press upon an individual and cause him to lose hope.

But the flame of the Spirit within you can break any bondage and speak hope into the life of those struggling with oppression.

Summary

As a Christian, you have a choice to make. You can be an average Christian who looks to God primarily for personal fulfillment, or you can be a supernatural Christian who knows that you were saved to served and made for a mission.

One Christian is self-centered, and his walk with God is centered on, “What’s in it for me?” The other Christian is focused on winning and healing the lost at any cost. Jesus did His mission of Luke 4:18 at a huge cost to His life.

A part of our fulfillment comes from winning another soul for Jesus and seeing them healed, delivered, and discipled. We believe that through training every Christian can learn how to pray for the sick, deliver others of demonic oppression, and teach others to learn to hear the voice of God.

Take up the banner and march on! Change your world by humbly asking the Holy Spirit to use you to make a difference to those around you who are in bondage!

Discipleship

The Original Commandment

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Matthew 22:37-39 lists the two greatest commandments Jesus gave us.

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

2000 years later after Jesus spoke these words they are still the 2 greatest commandments. But these two commandments were not the first or original commandment given to man. There was another commandment that preceded man’s sin. These two great commandments were necessary to give because of man’s sin. Before Adam and Eve fell to sin they naturally did these 2 commandments without being told.

So what Is the original commandment?

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:27-28 (KJV)

This command is still valid today. It is very informative because it shows what was the original intent God had for man before the fall. Jesus came to earth to restore to man the capacity for purpose that he had before the fall. So it is very important that we study these two verses and find out what our original purpose was!

4 Parts

There are 4 parts to this command.

1. Fruitful

2. Multiply (and replenish)

3. Subdue

4. Dominion

God has commanded us to be fruitful, multiplysubdue, and take dominion. The order here is important and intentional. Each of the parts builds on one another so that we can take dominion.

1. Fruitful

God expects us to be fruitful. Many Christians think that they can just sit around and wait on Jesus to come back. This is opposite of the expectations given us in the Bible. The Bible is very clear that God expects us to be fruitful in 2 areas:

1. Fruit in Ourselves (Maturity)

2. Fruit in Others (Ministry)

Fruit in Ourselves – (Maturity)

For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit [bad fruit] had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit [good fruit]unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Romans 6:20-22 (KJV)

What does the Bible mean when it says fruit? It means the 9 things found in the following verses that the Holy Spirit develops in us. We also call this fruit character.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. Galatians 5:22-26 (NIV)

Fruit in Others – (Ministry)

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruitamong you also, even as among other Gentiles. Romans 1:11-13 (KJV)

Paul was desiring to help the Romans develop fruit in their lives. When we help others grow in the Lord it produces fruit in their lives. This is called developing fruit in others. It is what we are all to do. We need each other to grow and develop. It is very hard to develop fruit on your own. God wants us to be involved in each other’s lives.

In the Western world we place a major emphasis on gaining knowledge as an end unto itself. But the Bible does not do this. It’s emphasis is on bearing fruit that produces maturity in us. Knowledge is a part of this but not an end. That’s why it is so important to apply the Word in your life, not just learn it.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

You can have knowledge without fruit. But you can’t have fruit without knowledge.

2. Multiply

Definition of Multiplication: Multiplication is helping someone else walk in fruit of their own using yourself as the template. You can also call this reproduction.

After we are fruitful He then wants us to multiply it! But we only want to multiply after we are fruitful. Why does it need to be in this order? You can multiply anything – good or evil. We only want to multiply God’s goodness which is called holiness!

You can teach someone anything, but you can’t multiply something into somebody you are not. You can talk about it, but that does impartinto them. You can only impart what you have – which is fruit – good or bad.

God does not want us to always stay on the receiving end. He wants us to reach out and minister to others just like others ministered to us. If we stay on the receiving end all of the time we are no different than being a natural baby that never gets off the bottle. Many Christians are still bottle fed.

God from the beginning has told us to be a producer.The Western church is all about being a consumer.

God from the beginning has told us to be a blessing. The Western church is all about being blessed.

Multiplication means that you take the time to help other people walk with God like He is teaching you to walk with Him. It is pouring your knowledge and life into others so that they can also grow and mature. You won’t reach your full potential as a Christian without multiplication. It is natural to multiply – everything in creation multiplies. You know you have multiplied when there is someone who is walking in fruit of their own because of you.

3. Subdue

Subduing is putting whatever keeps you from multiplying under your feet. Subduing is putting whatever keeps you from moving off of step 1 away from you. Subduing is putting those enemies under your feet – they can be within or without. Subduing is cutting the root that is choking us and not just trimming the branches.

The greatest battle is not between who you are and what you used to be, but between who you are and what you can be. This is why the prophetic is so important. It reminds us and declares over us our potential. God is always calling us into a life that we never thought we could have on our own. Remember, God would never call you to something that He doesn’t empower you to do.

God wants you to be victorious and an overcomer. But you have to fight some battles along the way. Victory is not just handed to you. God does not change your world from the outside in, but He changes your world from the inside out. He gives you a vision of what can happen so that it motivates you to overcome your circumstances. When your vision becomes greater than your circumstances you will break out of your life of containment!

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Ephesians 3:20 (KJV)

Let the Holy Spirit inside of you give you the strength to overcome your circumstances and not give up.

4. Dominion

Dominion is when the Godly fruit that the Spirit of God has worked in you is affecting the world around you. This is a time of reaping from all of the hard work and planting that you have done.

Remember the steps to have dominion – Fruit, Multiply, Subdue, then Dominion. God is not going to give the earth to unfruitful and lazy folks. He is going to give the kingdom to fruitful, multiplying, and subduing people. We are kingdom minded people!

Gifts - 5 Fold from Jesus

The Prophet’s Gift is Their Voice

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The Prophet’s gift is their Voice. What I mean by their Voice is the word they speak for God. Their Voice is to reflect what they are seeing and hearing from God not what they think. They are allowed their own opinions, but they need to qualify what they are saying as just their opinion.

The key verse for the Prophet is 1 Cor. 2:4 (KJV) And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

The prophet has a need to speak. It’s part of their gift. The challenge for the prophet is to not speak in the name of God unless they meet the conditions of 1 Corinthians 2:4. The prophet’s Voice calls us to align with the plumb line of what God is saying.

Unfortunately, sometimes their voice is an echo of their human spirit and not Holy Spirit. This does not mean they are a false prophet. A false prophet speaks knowing they are false. Instead, it may just mean they are inexperienced at discerning their own voice from God’s. Therefore, all prophecies are to be judged. It is a protection, not an attack, against our imperfections. A true prophet wants their words judged.

Don’t think the enemy wants to stop the Prophet from speaking, quite the contrary, he wants them to talk a lot. He just doesn’t want them to stop being an echo of God’s voice. Instead of a clear word from Holy Spirit, he wants their voice to become mixed with their soul and no longer a clear word, but still call it God. This causes confusion and misdirection in people.

Remember, the language used by the enemy to deceive Eve in the garden of Eden sounded close to what God said. God said, “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. The devil said, “You must not eat from anytree in the garden”.

The prophet that no longer has a clear voice says things that look like meat (God’s word)–but only at a distance. When you get close, you realize that the meat is past its prime, is decaying, death has set in, is man’s wisdom, and the tree of knowledge of good instead of the tree of life.

It is the same battle for all of the gifts. For instance, the Apostle’s gift is the word Build instead of Voice. Their key verse is…1 Cor. 3:9-11 (KJV) For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

False apostles never stop building and the enemy does not want them to. He just wants them to build on the wrong foundation thinking it is God.

You can tell a true prophetic voice-it sounds like God’s voice–it is clear, simple, and usually brief.

Ecclesiastes 5:7 (NIV) Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.

Proverbs 10:19 (NIV) When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.

Helpful? I hope so!

Miscellaneous

Why Am I Burning? It’s Because of The 3rd Baptism

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Ahhhhh! I feel like I am in the middle of a rope being pulled in two different directions by two different strongmen. What is this tug of war going on inside of me? If the pressure doesn’t let up I am going to be torn in two. Guess what? If the pressure doesn’t let up you will be torn in two.

Let me encourage you with this statement, God will not let you be pulled apart — You only think you will.

Do you remember the passage in James 1:2-4that talks about how trials will make you matureand complete (NIV)? It might be a good time to go back and re-read it. This is the tug of war. Let me explain.

“Mature” means perfect in labor, mental, and moral character. “Complete” means perfectly sound in your whole body. One of the strongmen pulling on the rope is the Spirit of God. The other strongman is your mind. You are literally in a fight for your life to see who will control you by pulling you to their side.

You may be saying again, “Craig, I know that principle, but why is it so intense now?” Good question. It is because the third baptism that the Godhead has for us is starting to come into full speed.

Third Baptism?

Third baptism? Most people have only heard of two. Each of the Godhead has a baptism that they want to release on the earth. The purpose of these baptisms is to make a bride for Jesus. All that God has done in the history of His people is to bring them to a place of where they could be a worthy and suitable bride for His Son Jesus.

Father God, is going to give away a bride to His Son just like Fathers give away their daughters in marriage today. Father God is not going to give away any second hand gifts. He is only going to give away a gift or a bride that is worthy to be called His daughter-in-law. That bride is you and I along with everyone else saved.

In many cultures today, the Fathers still pick out the brides for their sons. In these cultures every good father is going to have to do three things to get a bride ready for their son:

Ask a girl to say yes to be his future daughter-in-law. Of course, he wouldn’t just ask anyone, but someone that he knew who would have great potential.

Give the girl the tools and resources to reach her full potential and be successful as a bride and future wife. This could mean training, money, authority, etc.

Examine, test, and train her character, motivations, intentions to insure that she has a heart for his son. He does not want a self-centered girl. He realizes this does not make for a good marriage.

These are the same things that the Father God is doing for His Son Jesus. Ephesians 5:21-33spells out how believers are the church and wife of Jesus.

The 3 Baptisms

Each person of the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—have taken responsibility for one of the steps to prepare us as a bride for Jesus. There are three major steps or the Bible calls them baptisms.

John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. I [1]But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit [2]and with fire [3]. Luke 3:16 (NIV)

First Baptism of Water

The first baptism is the baptism of water. This was symbolized by John the Baptist. It is a baptism of repentance. It is saying in effect, yes I want to be linked with Jesus. I want to be saved and to be His bride. Jesus enabled this baptism by paying for our sins on the Cross. Because of His death we now have the opportunity of becoming His bride.

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”….Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. Matthew 3:1,2,6 (NIV)

When we get saved and baptized we have entered into the first step in the eyes of the Father of becoming a bride for His Son. The results of this first baptism is fruit of a changed allegiance to your future bridegroom.

Second Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The second baptism or major step is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit and is called the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This second work of the Godhead came upon the first believers 50 days after Jesus left the earth on the Jewish day called Pentecost.

He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:7-8 (NIV)

When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place…..All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:1,4 (NIV)

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit gives us the resources to carry out our jobs as Jesus’ wife. It gives us power, gifts and fruits to do what we need to do.

Third Baptism of Fire

The final step is purifying, pruning, and processing the Bride’s motivations and intentions. The Father is carrying out this job through the Baptism of Fire.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 1 Peter 4:12 (NASB)

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, or our “God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:26-29 (NIV)

God is setting us on fire to produce a good work in us!

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. I Corinthians 3:13-15 (KJV)

Remember Gideon’s army that demolished the enemy. We all want to be a part of that army. Do you remember how it went through two “cuts” before the final number of people were chosen by God. We are going through tests and fiery trials now to become a part of that final army who will also be a beautiful righteous bride.

This third I will bring into the fire;I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God.’” Zechariah 13:9 (NIV)

This is our tug of war. The results of the Baptism of Fire is Holiness. The Father is “pulling” out of us motivations, intentions, and emotions that keep us from right living in the family with Jesus as our Husband.

Even Jesus went through these three baptisms.

As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. [baptism of water]At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him [baptism of Holy Spirit]. Matthew 4:1 (NIV)

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil [baptism of fire]. Matthew 3:16 (NIV)

The Father deals with us as individuals but He also deals with us as a group of believers. We lost many biblical truths when the church went into the dark ages starting in the 4th century.

When Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity the State Religion and built the first “Christian” buildings in 327 AD the church lost it’s relationship with God and became a religion. It was not an overnight change but it did cause a major shift in the direction of Christianity.

Before this time, there were no “Christian” buildings. There were no hierarchal organizations of leaders. The people worshipped in simplicity led by the five-fold ministers working together as a team (Ephesians 4:11).

Constantine brought into the church many practices that shifted the focus from one of Jesus to one of ritual. Even the buildings themselves were modeled after the Roman judicial courts and the pagan temples. The concept of priest was introduced because pagan religions had them. Before this time Hebrews tells us everyone was considered a priest with Jesus being our high priest.

God’s heart broke as Christianity moved from freedom to bondage, salvation by grace to salvation by buying indulgences, worshipping Jesus to worshipping saints, being a dynamic body with Jesus as the head to a religious organization. This period lasted from approximately 300 AD to 1500 AD. For 1200 years the church lost all contact with what it was, why it was here, and who it was here for. It was so dark that historians now call it the Dark Ages.

But the Godhead—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—had a plan. That plan involved birthing (or should I say rebirthing) truths by each member of the Godhead into believers. There have been many moves of God. But there have been three major moves representing one person of the Godhead. Each of these major moves have been followed by minor moves reinforcing the major move. You could think of each major move as a large earthquake followed by smaller tremors.

Since the Dark Ages the Father has been helping the church rediscover His plans, ways, and purposes. During the last 500 years starting with the Protestant Reformation the truths and experiences of the first two baptisms has been largely restored to the church. The third baptism of fire has not been widely experienced by the Body of Christ until now. This baptism is now being unleashed upon the Body by the Father Himself to finish the job the first two baptisms started.

That is why you are feeling a tug of war between your mind and spirit like never before. We will soon see that this is a great time to be alive when we see the results.

Overview of the 3 Baptisms

Here is a list that will give an overview of the three baptisms.

1. First Baptism of Water from Jesus turns Heart (Repentance)

2. Second Baptism of Power from Holy Spirit

3. Third Baptism of Fire / Holiness from Father

James 1:2-4 talks about how trials will make us mature and complete (NIV)us.  The Father is “pulling” out of us motivations, intentions, and emotions that keep us from being a worthy bride.

Each of the steps that a good Father does in looking for a bride for his son are also being done by our Heavenly Father for His Son Jesus. These three steps are represented by the three baptisms. These are what the Father God is taking his Son’s bride through.

John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. I [1]But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit [2]and with fire [3]. Luke 3:16 (NIV)

History of Baptisms Being Restored

On October 31, 1517, the first baptism—the baptism of water—was released back into the earth in an earth shaking way. This baptism was to bring people to repentance and turn their hearts to Jesus. Before this day people did not even understand how to reach God. They were told so many “religious” lies and deception was so dark over the people that a concept of a relationship with Jesus was foreign.   

What happened on that day? Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic Priest, nailed a written document containing 95 truths to the door of a chapel in Germany. These 95 truths challenged the “status quo” maintained by the Religious Spirit of the day. Space will not allow much detail of this time period, but here are the major truths God restored back into His church.

  • Saved by Faith Alone
  • You Can Approach God directly. There is no need for a priest as a mediator.
  • Authority of the Word of God and the right of each Believer to read it.

These truths seem so basic to us today. But these were revolutionary truths 500 years ago that started the restoration of the Church to be Jesus’ bride. These truths were so radical that they caused literal wars and the followers were called “protestors” resulting in the name

“Protestant Reformation”. The truths so changed people’s hearts back to God that it was not called a revival but a reformation. Besides men’s hearts being changed, change came to all areas of life on the earth—civil, family, marriage, etc. The first baptism—one of repentance that would produce fruit and change in people was birthed into the earth to willing men.

It took approximately 400 years for these truths to be understood, assimilated, and incorporated into the lives of believers. There were many tremors that took the “earthquake” into full truth. One of the biggest was the Holiness movement that gained full momentum around 1800 and was the strongest in the Methodist church led by John Wesley. At the heart of this movement was an emphasis on the presence of the Lord inside of us and how that was to be used to turn us towards holiness.

But the second “earthquake”/baptism/major truth was released on December 31, 1900 in Topeka, Kansas. At the Charles Parham Bible School the Baptism of the Holy Spirit was poured out on all of the students. But the real pouring out across the world happened in 1906 with a Black Holiness preacher named William Seymour in an old building on Azusa Street in Los Angeles. There is much we could talk about, but you probably know most of what happened.

God through the Pentecostal movement, and the other tremor movements know as the Latter Rain, Charismatic, Word of Faith movements birthed much truth. The major truths restored were: the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Enthusiastic Worship, Dancing, Deliverance, Ministry of the Believer, etc.

This movement gave the newly (400 years old, 1500-1900) found bride the tools, power, and resources to become a beautiful bride! But the job was not yet complete—step 3—purification was to come.

The Charismatic movement—last movement of the 2nd Baptism—started in 1960. I believe it ended in the year 2000. The number 40 often means one of deliverance to a new thing.

I believe the final baptism poured out by the Father Himself —the baptism of fire—started in 2001. There are many things the Father is purifying us from and truths He is restoring us back to. But the most important thing He is restoring is a desire for intimacy with Jesus as the Bridegroom. What quality would a marriage be if the Bride did not get married with great expectation and excitement.

Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 (NIV)

This process of refinement to become Jesus’ bride is just starting. It is a hard process and a deep work. But we will come out with some gold and silver in our character to present to our future husband Jesus.  As we learn more about the ramifications of this baptism we will see that it will cause as many changes in the church as the Protestant Reformation and the Pentecostal movement did.

Are you on fire yet? I hope so—because a beautiful bride is coming forth from the fire!

 

Gifts - Supernatural from Holy Spirit

4 More Gifts to Be Restored!

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Church History and the Revealing of the Holy Spirit

Ever since the last part of the 19thCentury (1800s) the Holy Spirit has been tirelessly working to restore His 9 gifts to Christians as a normal part of life.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NIV 1984) To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.

Where are we at in History? I want to say we are almost at the end – just 4 more gifts to go! Yes, just 4 more to go. Let’s take a 30,000 foot view of history as I explain more.

1500’s

The Dark Ages (400-1200 AD) were called dark because there was no spiritual light! There was no light because the Holy Spirit was almost entirely shut out. There was no inhabitation, gifts, or fruits of the Holy Spirit in most of the world.

The main thing the Reformation restored was a salvation that brought the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit. This was a mighty thing. For the first time in 1200 years the inhabitation of the Holy Spirit was occurring. With this inhabitation people were first introduced to Jesus. This is the primary job of the Holy Spirit but He is so much more! He brings fruits and gifts with Him. Once He inhabits us He is on a continual journey to help us walk as natural in His fruits. He wants to do the same with His gifts! The gifts are listed above and here are the 9 fruits He brings.

Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV 1984) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

1700’s

The 1700’s saw the start of a very large movement that we now commonly call the Holiness movement (especially evidenced by the Methodist denomination through John Wesley). This movement emphasized that it was not enough to just be saved but you needed to take on the character – fruits – of the Holy Spirit. For the next 150 years the fruits of the Holy Spirit were emphasized.

Through this restoring of the fruits we have come to understand that Jesus is love, joy, peace, patient, kind, good, gentle, and full of self control. Who wouldn’t want to love a God like this?

The inhabitation and fruits were now common and accepted among Christians in the earth.

1906

In 1906 the Azusa Street revival started the widespread realization that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are valid for today. This was the start of what is commonly called the Pentecostal movement. Through this movement 2 of the 9 nine gifts were released on a large scale. These two gifts were speaking in tongues and the interpretation of tongues. We came to realize that our spirits could talk and receive direct input from God. This was exciting because another barrier to God was removed. Through this we were built up on in faith (Jude 1:20) and realized God wanted to communicate with us in a direct way. He desired to speak to us! The Pentecostal movement spanned the globe and it is estimated that as many as ½ of Christians believe in these 2 gifts.

2 gifts down, 7 more gifts to be birthed. More revelation of Jesus needed to be given.

1960

In 1960 the Charismatic movement was started that is still going on today. Much was birthed but it did restore to the church 3 more of the Holy Spirit’s gifts that He had to offer. They were Prophecy, Word of Knowledge, and Word of Wisdom.

It’s important to keep in mind that the goal is not the gifts. The goal is to see Jesus in His fullness. The fruits and gifts are to be used to reveal parts of Jesus that we wouldn’t see or understand other wise to ourselves and to others. It is no different that the fact that we get to know people by not just reading about them but watching their actions.

Through these 3 gifts we realize that Jesus is for us and that He desires to encourage and build us up. We realize that He knows all about us and has a good plan for us. Much revelation of Him has been revealed through this movement. It is not uncommon to hear about prophecies, words of knowledge and wisdom.

5 gifts down, 4 more gifts to be birthed!

2000’s

So we are now up to the present. I believe that we are at the beginning of a new movement restoring these final 4 gifts – healing, working of miracles, discernment, and faith. This will be completed with a widespread adoption of the final 4 gifts. We have seen some growth in these gifts but the Holy Spirit wants to release them in all Christians as a normal way of life.

These gifts are power gifts that will reveal the awesomeness of God and His desire to restore us fully body, soul, and spirit and bring His kingdom to earth (Matthew 6:10). As these gifts come into the world it will reveal that God is a GOOD God ALL the time. They will desire to be saved because they will want to run to a God that has these characteristics! As Christians, we will be consumed with seeing Him because we realize how wonderful He is.

Summary

This is a great time! We are at the beginning of seeing these final 4 gifts revealed in the earth! Ask the Holy Spirit to release these gifts in you to show you and the world how good He is. The completion of Acts 10:38 that Jesus started will happen with these final 4 gifts being released:

Acts 10:38 (NIV) how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing GOOD and healing ALL who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

Pray

Holy Spirit, I want all that I am able to receive from you. Do not let me ever limit or say no to you. What I can’t handle now, make me able to receive as soon as possible. Reveal to me Jesus in His fullness. Amen.