by Ron McGatlin
The major shift toward relational church is more than a change in where we meet and the size of the group. It may be an increased freedom in form but it is primarily a change in source. Where we meet is not nearly as important as the source of the ministry and guidance flowing in the meeting. In the institutional style churches, ministry activity has generally flowed from a heritage of traditional based form and programs and guidance has been mostly through a hierarchy of men.
The shift to dependence on the Holy Spirit as the source of ministry empowerment and guidance or headship from the throne room in heaven is truly a major shift. If this shift is not made we will only build again another man made institution in a somewhat different form. We are moving toward the Holy Spirit as the source to flow empowerment and direction of Christ for our daily lives as well as for meetings. Scripture refers to our daily experience of life as our walk. If we are truly in Christ we live and walk in the Spirit.
Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
The resources of Heaven are potentially available by the Holy Spirit. The love of the Father desires to impart heavenly wisdom, power and love.
A fundamental goal of the major shift occurring among God's people is a move from using natural or soul resources to flowing in heavenly or Spirit resources.
Using natural or human resources of mind, will and emotional desire to change our lives and the world is a futile venture. The kingdom of God is not built by human wisdom, strength, or desire. The world is not changed from evil by the efforts of man. More education and more prosperity by themselves only produce smarter and richer vile workers of evil.
Fallen man without the Spirit of God will become led by other spirits through his need and greed. Also Christians who are not walking in the Spirit of God will revert to fallen ways and become a confused mixture that cannot fully bring forth the kingdom of God.
What does it really mean to walk in the Spirit?
The work and role of the Holy Spirit has been treated as a doctrine and intensely debated in much of the institutionalized church and denominations. Rather than discuss the debates let us view some reality of the Holy Spirit. We live in the age of the Holy Spirit in which nothing flows from heaven or to heaven without the involvement of the Holy Spirit. It is by the Holy Spirit that God dwells in His temple on earth.
1 Cor: 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
By the Holy Spirit Christ if formed within His people. All real ministry is carried out by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It is through the Holy Spirit that Christ Jesus from the throne works with His disciples doing the works of God in the earth. After Jesus ascended the disciples went out and preached with signs and wonders, the Lord worked with them by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is like our helper enabling us to receive heavenly resources and commune with the throne.
Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
Without being IN THE SPIRIT it is impossible to see and move in the spiritual realm. Without having the SPIRIT IN US it is impossible to do the works of God in the natural realm. Being in the Spirit means moving from the natural realm into the spiritual realm. About a hundred years ago when this experience began to be more widely restored to the Body it was and is yet called being baptized in the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist referred to this experience as being baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Mark 1:8: "I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
Unfortunately the phrase "baptized with the Holy Spirit" became a buzzword for debate. It simply means to be placed into the realm of the Spirit and completely submersed or saturated in the Holy Spirit. In the early stages of the Pentecostal restoration this was taught as a once in a lifetime experience. And of course there is only one first time experience and it is life changing and does have continuing impact. It is actually to be a continuing experience. Yet, some in that day felt that they now had it and failed to continue to walk in it.
Water often compares to the Holy Spirit in Scripture. The river of renewal that began in the 90's can be seen as a mighty flow of the Holy Spirit in which people could walk into the river and become saturated with the Spirit. Soaking in the Spirit is a viable reality of remaining in the heavy presence of God until thoroughly saturated or as some have said marinated in the Holy Spirit.
Using this picture, one who walks into water becomes saturated with water, one who walks into the Spirit becomes saturated with the Spirit. As one continues to walk in the water he is in the water. As long as one continues to walk in the Spirit he is IN THE SPIRIT. If one then walks out of the water he is yet walking around soaking wet or saturated in the Spirit for a season. If one does not return to the water and walk into the river again he will soon dry out. Walking in the Spirit then is continuing to be saturated in the Holy Spirit. This gives one sight and hearing into the spiritual realm. In the Spirit one can more clearly see and understand the things of heaven and discern more clearly things that are not of heaven. Heavenly sight and understanding begins to be available to the one walking IN THE SPIRIT.
But what about the Holy SPIRIT IN US?
To receive the thirst quenching life giving sustenance of the water one must do more than be saturated with it on the outside. One must drink the water. To not only enter in and discern in the spiritual realm but to fully partake of the life giving sustenance of heaven one must "DRINK" of the Spirit. Drinking deeply of the Holy Spirit fills one's heart with the radiance of God's love, purity and power as the Holy Spirit brings the character and nature of Christ to literally abide within. The Spirit causes the word to become life in us and will perfect righteousness. The word is not fully digestible without the Holy Spirit.
Apart from walking in the Spirit and being filled with the Spirit there is no kingdom of God potential in the earth. Without the Holy Spirit there is no power for overcoming evil in the world. And no power for establishing righteousness.
Many of you reading this have and are experiencing what we have talked about here. Others are not sure and others are aware that they are not experiencing all that the Holy Spirit has for all of us. If you are one of the unsure, here are some practical indicators that will help us to know if we are not yet fully walking IN THE SPIRIT: Are you not at least beginning to see things in your spirit that you do not know in the natural? Are you having a hard time really loving people? Are you often trying to find what the will of God is for you? Are you not experiencing any supernatural responses in your ministry or life? Are you not loving the word and have a hard time getting into it? Do you not hear and know the voice of the Lord speaking in your heart? Do you not feel uncomfortable when around immoral people or unclean things? These things are not rules nor a scientific test nor a comprehensive list but they are a few things that may serve as indicators of the lack of walking in the Spirit.
Becoming filled and saturated in the Holy Spirit
No, I am not about to give you a formula. One of the hindrances to saturation is not knowing the truth about the Holy Spirit. This can be the result of training that we have received that was either incomplete or in error. Personally, I have had to lay aside much of the training that I received through well meaning and sincere teachers who simply lacked revelation of what the Bible really said about the Holy Spirit. The word and the anointing of the Holy Spirit are our best teachers.
John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
1 John 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you. Get your concordance or your computer Bible program and search out and read the passages in the New Testament regarding the work of the Holy Spirit. Read what the Holy Spirit did and how He worked as recorded in the Bible. Then sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to do the same in you.
Mat 7:7-11: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
We will see the greater works that Jesus promised as the Holy Spirit empowers us or our group with the anointing of the anointed one. If you are a group or gathering leader, rather than continuing with the same way of doing, why not read some of the New Testament passages telling what the Holy Spirit does and as a group ask the Holy Spirit to come. Then wait quietly for Him to come and allow Him to lead the group as He desires. Jesus will come to us through the Holy Spirit.
John 14:12-18: Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.
If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He m ay abide with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Keep on Pursuing Love,
It Will Never Fail,
Lots of Love,
Baptized in the Miraculous
by Larry R. Taylor
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power who went about doing good andhealing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him." Acts 1038
Miracles were and are done by the power of Jesus Christ through the work of the Holy Spirit. The miracleworking power of God does not have its source in man, rather in God Himself. It (the miracle workingpower of God) is not manufactured by the work or desires of men. It is the Spirit of God working toaccomplish the purpose of God. To see the miracles of Jesus released today requires that we draw near tothe miracle worker, Jesus. We press in to Jesus, the miraculous flows from His presence.
As we encounter the reality of Jesus through the work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus simply does what He hasalways done whenever He shows up He does good. All those who were oppressed were healed. He has not changed since these words were written. He still goes about doing good healing all those that are oppressed of the devil. The only additional element is that now that same miracle working power hasbeen poured out on men. But the pri nciple has not changed, people are healed because God is with Him.
A move of the Spirit of God in which miracles are a hallmark still requires that Jesus be the focus becauseJesus is the miracle worker. Acts 222 "Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a manapproved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know"
God attested to Jesus by miracles, wonders and signs. God is not obligated to confirm our words with signs and wonders but He has made that commitment to those who preach His Word. Jesus said, "For I havenot spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." (JN 1249) The issue is that we first hear God, then like Jesus, we only speakwhat we hear the Father saying.
It is not as if we have to talk God into doing somet hing He does not really want to do. He formulated the plan,released the power and continues to shine the light of His Glory on Jesus through the work of miracles, signs and wonders. To flow in the miraculous simply requires us to cooperate with God in His revealed will and methodology.
In the prophetic word released at Gateway Fellowship in New Haven, CT three weeks ago, Dutch Sheets said the move of God now working in the northeastern USA would be noted for Gods people being "baptized" inthe miraculous. As most already know, the word translated in Scripture as "baptized" is the Greek word "baptizo".
1) to dip repeatedly, to immerse, to submerge (of vessels sunk)
2) to cleanse by dipping or submerging, to wash, to make clean with water, to wash ones self, bathe
3) to overwhelm
If you wash a cup you are literally "baptizo-ing" the cup. The cup is in the water and the water is in thecup. The cup has been immersed in the atmosphere of water. Surrounded, filled, submerged. God is immersing Hispeople in the atmosphere of the miraculous. Surrounded, filled, baptized! We are flowing in miracles andmiracles are flowing in and out of us. What a season.
But here is the most amazing aspect of the miraculous. The more miracles happen, the more the focusbecomes Jesus. Anyone ever used of God to see miracles actually happen is keenly aware of onefact–it is the power of God accomplishing the work, not the power of man. God is magnifying the nameof Jesus Christ through the working of miracles, signs and wonders.
Larry R Taylor
Posted from OpenHeaven.com Digest