A SPIRIT LED LIFE
Your Bible says that God wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit, yet there is so much confusion about the Holy Spirit. Who is he? What is He like? What are His benefits?
In this two part series, Steve Kelly will clearly answer your questions in regards to the Holy Spirit. He will talk about the difference between being born of the spirit, the work of salvation, and being baptized in the Spirit, when God fills us with the Holy Spirit. He will also discuss different gifts available through the Holy Spirit and how to access all God has for you. These two distinct experiences are available for you so don’t hesitate to learn more today.
I know for some people right now you are thinking, we love this. And for others you are saying, what? And others are going, are they snake handlers? I understand that. Believe me, I do. And as a pastor, I love you. And I fear God and I fear his word more than I fear how you may take this word. And I am jealous for you to get all that God has for you. So if you say you are born in the Spirit and I am baptized in the Spirit, can I just say can we weigh what that looks like against the word of God and let us just see if they match. And if they do not, we need to bring our life in line with his word. Amen. And tonight we are going to pray. We are going to believe God for a Holy Spirit night. These four examples, in terms of their scriptural reading will only take me fifteen minutes, tops. Then we are going to pray for people, we are going to minister in the power of the Spirit, in a real genuine, authentic, real, supernatural way. One of the greatest miracles that ever happened in this church was a beautiful lady named Beverly Burlich who was sitting in the old building right here. And I said if you need healing, lift your hand and we will pray for you. This sweet elderly lady lifted her hand and I saw Sheryl Monaco, one of the great women in our church, put her hand on that lady’s shoulder and that lady went home totally healed of cataracts in both eyes. She was going blind form the cataracts and needed surgery and she was totally healed. And do you know what I love about that? No one can take the credit for that. God is God. Sharon and I were in a Bible study one night and I was reading the story of the Apostle Paul about how scales fell from his eyes and he received his site. As I am reading that, this elderly gentleman started screaming in the Bible study. I said what is wrong? His name is Jeff Coontz. I said Jeff, what is wrong? He said Steve, I can see. I can see. And I said Jeff, you were never blind. He said no, I can see. And I said Jeff, I know you can see. I have known you for years. He says no, I am colorblind and for the first time in my life I see color. And the first color that he saw was the red ink in Acts chapter 9 where Jesus speaks to Ananias. God healed him. It is awesome. We are unashamedly a Spirit filled church. We believe in the power of it and I want to do this and help you on a journey, to introduce you to the power and the person of the Holy Spirit. If you do not know him in this way, I want you to know that is the secret behind Wave Church. That is who we are; it is what we do; it is what gives me the energy to do what I do. I have done my best to download to you what the Bible teaches about being born of the Spirit, which is a work of salvation and then being baptized in the Spirit which is actually another experience that is available to every Christian. Are you with me here? Not every Christian is baptized in the Spirit but my encouragement is that every Christian
should be open to it. Amen? You can be a Christian and not be baptized in the Spirit. I hope that was loud and clear and yet somebody still — we do not understand how deeply engrained we are in our church origins. Having preached that message this morning someone generally said, so let me see if I have this straight. I cannot be a Christian unless I am filled with the Spirit. And I said dude, you need to listen to the CD of the service you were just in. But it just goes to show how much our upbringing affects our thinking. Amen? And so there is a difference between being born in the Spirit and baptized in the Spirit.
So I gave you the first example of what it is to be baptized in the Spirit. What does that look like? What is that? It is a biblical term. It is in your Bible. It is in my Bible. Amen? Jesus taught us the only way to receive it is to ask God for it. But we really look at it and we actually looked at scriptures. The first one we looked at was the disciples on the day of Pentecost. Do you remember that? The Bible says here — I am going to read to you from Kyle Brumbrack. It says, the sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, tongues like as of fire and speech in other tongues. They spoke in other languages and this amazing phenomenon was the only definite continuing sign of the baptism in the Holy Spirit. It says the sound of wind and tongues of fire were only similes. We read, as of a rushing mighty wind and like as of tongues fire. But the sign of speaking in other languages was real. This was physical, tangible evidence, fully apparent to both the disciples and all the onlookers. Kyle Brumbrack writes, the wind and the fire were outside the disciples in the realm of nature. Think about it. Wind and fire, in the realm of nature. But the Galileans themselves spoke in other languages. The wind and the fire proceeded the infilling of the believers. Speaking in other languages came as a result of the infilling. The wind and the fire were never repeated.
Anywhere throughout the book of Acts it was never repeated again. But on the other hand, the ability to speak in other languages is the recorded accompaniment of several subsequent fillings.
I want you to turn to Acts chapter 8. I want to show you another illustration. And we talked about this as well this morning but I want to bring out another sign. It says in verse 15, “When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.” Again there is an illustration of being born of the Spirit and then later baptized in the Spirit. Have you got it? Peter and John placed their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now look at verse 18, “When Simon saw the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands he offered them money” — this is Simon a sorcerer, by the way, who bewitched the people with great signs of wonder himself. He said, “‘Give me this ability also that everyone that I might lay my hands on will receive the Holy Spirit.’ Then Peter answered, ‘May your money perish with you, because
you thought you could buy the gift of God with money. You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord, perhaps he will forgive you for such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and a captive to sin.’ Then Simon answered, ‘Pray to the Lord for me that nothing that you said will happen to me.'” So here is the thing, it says that the apostles came and laid hands on them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Are you with me here? We are not told what happened when these people received the Holy Spirit. But we can make several inferences here.
Number one, the giving of the Holy Spirit was not automatic on their conversion. Did you hear me? Because the apostles said, we have to send the brothers down because they had not yet received
— it is not automatic. If you think well automatically you get everything — you are born of the Spirit without a doubt. You are born again. You are going to heaven. It is a miraculous work. But it not automatic on their conversion otherwise they would not have felt the need to send brothers down and it would not have been recorded in the Bible. Is that good?
The second thing, they could not receive the Holy Spirit until someone had given them instruction and then prayed for them. They sent down James — Philip was there — but they had to send down others to give them instruction and to pray for them.
The Holy Spirit was given to them — number three — only after the apostles had laid their hands on them. In this Bible story that is what happens. So the reception of the Holy Spirit under these circumstances was certainly not silent, that the giving of the Holy Spirit was something that even the sorcerer had seen. Come on. It was not silent. It was not intangible. It was not invisible. It was not inaudible. It was not a matter void of any sign or evidence or emotion or feeling or witness. The language used, pray for them that they might receive and the Holy Spirit had fallen upon them, they received. That indicated beyond any doubt that there was a visible definite demonstration of the descent of the Holy Spirit. It was sudden and it was obvious. There was no doubt about the matter before. He had not yet fallen upon them. And there was no doubt about the matter afterwards because Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given. Come on, somebody say amen. No doubt before, they have not got it and no doubt after, they have it. Amen? So if you think, well I got it when I got saved and that is it. I have this warm glow. You were born of the Spirit beyond a shadow of a doubt but there is absolutely more that God would love for you to have. If it were not so, he would not have recorded it in his words. Come on. And I want to encourage you to look at your Bible. Let go of maybe some of the religious thinking that you have been brought up with and just look at the word of God and receive what the word of God is saying. Somebody say amen.
It is evident that Simon could not have seen the Holy Spirit himself yet he saw that the Holy Spirit came upon the people when the hands were laid on them. Obviously what he actually saw was the result of lying on the hands. He saw people receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit. In particular he saw the outward manifestation of that baptism. It was immediate, it was tangible and it was startling. Everybody say startling. Now this evidence could not have been miracles or healing or some great emotion such as joy for all these already occurred in Philip’s ministry. Amen? Simon himself had accomplished many extraordinary things. Are you with me here? So if it were those things Simon was already operating, why would he want to buy things he already had? Come on, somebody help me here. But now he has lost preeminence, he desired a sign that would surpass the miracles of Philip, so as to restore his prestige. Which is what Peter was nailing him on. Amen? This distinctive sign — or rather, the distinctive sign that would meet these requirements, I believe, is the remarkable gift of speaking in other languages. Extraordinary, arresting, entirely supernatural yet able to receive by young and old, men and women alike. Anyone who thinks differently, I would love to have you try to figure out what it would be.
Here, I will give you another scripture. Acts chapter 9, and we are going to look at the apostle Paul. And in verse 1 — we are going to read a fair bit of the Bible. Is that okay? We are a Bible church. I am preaching this because I want you to have a good understanding of what it is to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Amen? The Bible says, he meanwhile saw — this is the Apostle Paul before he was the Apostle Paul. He was Saul. It says “Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so if he found any there that belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light flashed from heaven around him. He fell to the ground” — how many have ever been told by preachers that he fell off his donkey? Let me see your hands. There is no mention of a donkey here. But I have heard plenty of preachers preach that here. Where is the donkey? You are making a donkey of yourself when you say that. He fell to the ground, the Bible says, “and he heard a voice say ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ ‘Who are you, Lord?’ Saul asked. ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting,’ he replied. ‘Now get up and go in the city, and you will be told what you must do.’ The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground but when he opened his eyes he could not see.
So they led him by hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” Who would, if God speaks to you audibly? “In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ he answered.” Now I do not
know about you, but I want to be like Ananias. If I just hear the mention of my name, I want to be so familiar with the voice of the Lord I would go, yes, Lord. Amen. “The Lord told him, ‘Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.’ ‘Lord,’ Ananias answered, ‘I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.'” Let me put a little addition. And you want me to go to him? All right. “But the Lord said to Ananias, ‘Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.'” There is a revelation. “Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, ‘Brother Saul'” — acknowledging him now as a believer. How many know it took faith for Ananias to do this? “‘The Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.'” Ananias laid hands on Saul, later became Paul that he might receive his sight and later be filled with the Holy Ghost. Though it does not say he spoke in other languages, later he made this statement to the Corinthian church. Listen to him, 1 Corinthians 14:18. He says, I thank God that I speak in other tongues, other languages, more than you all. Without a doubt the Apostle Paul received that ability to speak in other languages. Without a doubt, again for the laying on of hands.
I am going to give you one more. Are you ready for just one more? Turn to Acts chapter 10. I want you to see this in the Bible. I do not want you to go on what has been passed on to you from one faith to another faith. I want you to have your own living convention. Amen? I do not want this inheritance thing coming in here and it is a poor inheritance. We need a firsthand revelation about these things, not hand-me-down theology. Not denominational organization. And this is what we believe and if you are here — we are going to believe what the Bible says. We are Bible believing Christians. Do not just listen to me. Check it out for yourself. Amen? Acts chapter 10, we are going to read the story of a man called Cornelius. It says in verse 1, “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, ‘Cornelius!’ Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Lord?’ He asked. The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God.'” Your prayers and your generosity, your giving. Are you with me here? How many of you want to get God’s attention? You can get God’s attention for your generosity and for your prayers.
Amen? “‘Now send men to Joppa to bring back a man named Simon who is called Peter. He is staying with Simon the tanner, who lives in a house by the sea.’ When the angel who spoke to him had gone, Cornelius called two of his servants and a devout soldier who was one of his attendants. He told them everything that had happened and sent them to Joppa.” Now meanwhile, back at the ranch, here is Peter. Verse 9, “About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.” Now what most men do when they come home from work and they are hungry and the meal is not ready, they fall into a trance as well. It is usually in front of the television. But Peter had enough wisdom to leave the television off and he went up on the roof and prayed. And here is what happened. And of course we know the story. It contained four-footed animals and reptiles of all the earth and then a voice told him, get up, kill and eat. Surely not Lord, I am a Pentecostal. “‘Surely not, Lord!’ Peter replied. ‘I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.’ The voice spoke to him a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.” So God is setting Peter up. Are you with me here? “While Peter was wondering about the meaning of the vision, the men sent by Cornelius found out where Simon’s house was and stopped at the gate. They called out, asking if Simon who was known as Peter was staying there. While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Simon, three men are looking for you. So get up and go downstairs. Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.'” Why would the Holy Spirit say do not hesitate? Because he would have hesitated. He knew that Peter was what I call, a reluctant Jew. He has not yet received the revelation that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is not just for the Jewish house of Israel. God is trying to say, arise, kill and eat. That is all about an unclean animal and it was not about your diet, it was about giving you a vision in preparation for what I am about to do and it is going to make sense when I do it. You are going to remember the vision. But to get Peter to even go, the Holy Spirit has to say Peter, there are men looking for you. Do not hesitate. Are you with me here? “Peter went down and said to the men, ‘I’m the one you’re looking for. Why have you come?’ The men replied, ‘We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.’ Then Peter invited the men into the house to be his guests. The next day Peter started out with them, and some of the believers from Joppa went along. The following day he arrived in Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends.
As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Peter made him get up. ‘Stand up,’ he said, ‘I am only a man myself.’ While talking with him, Peter went inside
and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: ‘You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean.'” He understands the vision from heaven. Are you with me here? “‘So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?'” This is important, we are reading Bible tonight. Is that okay, church? “Cornelius answered: ‘Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor. Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. He is a guest in the home of Simon the tanner, who lives by the sea.’ So I sent for you immediately, and it was good of you to come. Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.'” And Peter is thinking, I do not know what to tell them. “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism'” — and Peter goes on for a whole two paragraphs but I am going to go down to verse 44. Peter is talking, talking, talking and God gets tired of Peter talking. God had a plan. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said, ‘Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.’ So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.” It is interesting to know, church, that Peter the reluctant Jew and those who were with him would only believe that the Gentiles could be filled with the Holy Spirit when they were faced with the inescapable evidence of speaking in another language. That is what caused them to believe that the Gentiles could receive the Holy Spirit. What was the evidence that made them believe that they could receive the Holy Spirit? Speaking in another language. Peter said, they received the Holy Spirit just as we did. Peter recognized that this promise which was initially referred to as the day of Pentecost was to be taken to all believing believers. Amen? And those of events Pentecost, specifically speaking in other languages, should be repeated to all who believe. End of the message.
What is it to be filled with the Holy Spirit? It was not the tongues of fire, they disappeared. It was not the sound of a mighty rushing wind, they disappeared. It was not joy or signs of wonder. They had happened before. They had even received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Samaria. The only one inescapable evidence — and let me tell you, I am not saying — some people say it is the initial evidence. I just believe it is the greatest primary evidence of what it is to be filled with the Holy
Spirit. It is in the Bible. And those who think it went out with the disciples, could you please explain to me Cornelius and the Gentiles. And if you look at Acts chapter 15, they had a whole church meeting over this instance. And Peter was rebuked and brought into question and Peter gave an account, God’s plan is bigger than ours. Then we have to figure out, what do we do with these guys? Do we get them to behave like Jewish traditions? And they realize, we cannot put that trip on them. They just said abstain from meat and sacrificed idols and do well. Now the church has made it a lot more complicated than that. But if you read your Bible, that is what it says. Anybody receive the word?