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Pentecost is about meeting with God. Mount Sinai was completely covered in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Then the blast of the trumpet sounded long, and came louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. Now that's the first Pentecost. It's about engaging in intimacy with God. It was no work, no labour, no striving, no struggling, and they gave to the poor.
How many knew it was Pentecost Sunday this Sunday? Well that's fantastic, so Pentecost Sunday. I thought well if it's Pentecost Sunday, we should focus on that this Sunday, so we're going to go back quickly to the Old Testament, then I want to pick up three things in the New Testament. It helps if we get a context for it, and so let's go in the Old Testament, the first Pentecost, oh how glorious! Look at this, Exodus 19.
It came to pass on the third day, in the morning, there were thunderings and lightnings, a thick cloud on the mountain; the sound of trumpet was very loud, and all the people in the camp trembled! Oh glory! And Moses brought the people out of the camp - and here's what it's about - to meet with God. Pentecost is about meeting with God - and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was completely covered in smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire. Its smoke ascended like the smoke of a furnace, the whole mountain shook. Now that is something! Then the blast of the trumpet sounded long, and came louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice. Now that's the first Pentecost. Isn't that fantastic?
The first Pentecost was a meeting of God with His people. It was a demonstration of the nature, the power, the goodness of God. Notice that. Smoke and thunder and lightnings, mountains shaking - that's not something hidden away is it? That's something that's so visible, that everyone got a bit scared of it; then they heard the voice talking from the mountain. This is the first experience of Pentecost. I won't go into the Hebrew background of this, but very simply when you look at the whole context of it, God was meeting with them, to invite them into a marriage relationship with Him. There are many pictures and symbols in there that indicate that the Hebrews would have understood this, including what happened after, the giving of the law as being God entering into a marriage relationship with a people, for the very first time in history.
So Pentecost is not just about the smoke and thunder and lightnings and fires. It's about engaging in intimacy with God. That's what it's primarily about. We're going to look at two or three things related to it shortly. Let's have a look in Leviticus, Chapter 23. This was such an important feast, one of three major feasts, that God required they remember the feast, and interestingly enough He talks about it in Leviticus 23. You know I'm going to go to Acts, but I'll get there in just a moment. He says now - in Verse 16 - count 50 days - Pentecost is 50 - 50 days to the day after the seventh Sabbath; then you'll offer a new grain offering to the Lord. So notice that they count 50 days, 50 days after Passover was the Feast of Pentecost. Then on that day, it was a new offering to the Lord. In other words, it was a meeting with God again. Now when you came to Christ, Christ became your Passover. You experienced the power of salvation. You experienced change in your life, but now He's saying there's another meeting with God.
This one is to enter into intimacy with Him, and so notice He makes several things about it - I'll come back to this, and refer to these a little later, because they're quite important.
Notice it says that He says: you'll bring an offering. You'll come to God, presenting something. The second thing I want you to notice is this. In Verse 21 it says: this is a holy gathering or convocation to you. Do not ordinary work on it. So notice this: come with an offering, and no work. We'll show you what this means just shortly, and how vital this is. This is giving us an idea of what is about to come up, in terms of living and walking in the spirit. It's about an offering to God; and no work; no struggling, striving or trying. You actually rested on that day, so Pentecost then was a day when they rested, and it was a day of engaging God, and they rested.
Now the next thing it says - and this is also important - when you reap the harvest of your land, you won't wholly reap the corners of your field when you reap, nor gather any gleanings from your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger: I am the Lord your God. Now I want you just to notice these. We'll come and I'll refer to them when we get into the New Testament fulfilment. Here's what He's saying. Pentecost - now He required they celebrate this every year. Every year they were required to gather and celebrate this feast for a day. Notice this - they came before the Lord to experience and encounter Him. They came to give Him something. It was no work, no labour, no striving, no struggling. It was rest, and they also gave to the poor.
Now we're going to go into the New Testament and look at Pentecost, and you'll see all of these facets are there in what Pentecost really means for us today. I know the moment I talk about Pentecost you'll think of speaking in tongues, and that's a part of it, but there's somewhat more to it than that. So let's go into Acts, Chapter 2, where there's the fulfilment of this. Remember the Old Testament was just the picture; here is the reality. Here is the substance. This is what it was always pointing towards. So the disciples, Jesus has offered Himself. He's become the Passover lamb. He's risen from the dead. He's become the first fruits to the Lord. Now, 50 days later, they've been in prayer, they've been in hungering, and it is the Feast of Pentecost. Everyone has gathered in the city. It's a day when they're going to celebrate the feast, and they're going to make an offering to God. There'll be no work, and it's a time of giving to the poor. Now notice what happens.
It says they were gathered - Verse 1 - when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly a sound from heaven, like a rushing mighty wind - that word rushing is a roar, a mighty roar, like the roar of a thunder. It says a mighty wind - that means it's forceful and powerful, and notice then it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues, or flames like fire on them. They were filled with the Holy Ghost, began to speak in other tongues, as the spirit gave them utterance. Of course it was so noisy, 120 people filled with the Holy Ghost, the noise was so dramatic, everyone came to have a look at it. When they came to have a look, they were amazed because of what they heard, and experienced. The power of God, the presence of God had come upon a room. It was filled now, with the presence of God, and the people were speaking in tongues. They were full of joy and laughter, and were carrying on like drunk people. That's why some mocked and said: they've been drinking.
Now you would never say to a person: you've been drinking, unless you had evidence, or it looked like they were, so if you said to someone: you've been drinking, it's because you've observed something about their behaviour that indicates they've been drinking. In other words they're laughing a lot, they're staggering a lot, they're carrying on like drunk people. They are absolutely immersed in the Holy Spirit - so that's got to be a good thing, for all those who love to be in control. That's how God desires to do it. I didn't write that, He did. [Laughter] So I want to share with you three things, primarily focus on three things. Number one, Pentecost is about a personal experience, of being filled with the spirit of God. It's an engagement to Him, to enter intimacy, so you notice the first thing that happened is, they got baptised in the spirit, began to speak in other tongues. Now essentially it means this. The baptism in the spirit is an entrance into a new realm of relationship with God. It's the entrance into the supernatural. It's like a gateway experience you walk through, but here's the thing.
The role of a gate is to provide a separation between one realm and another realm. If you're going to go through the gate, the idea is you live in the realm beyond the gate, so the baptism of the spirit literally means to be immersed into the realm of the spirit, or to be able to engage with God, in a level of intimacy and spirit connection you never had before that experience. So the first one that comes is this dramatic manifestation of God, but it's just like it was, and similar to the Old Testament. God is setting up, hey, this is my engagement to you. You are coming into intimacy, and in order to be intimate, you need to talk, so a language is given, a language to be intimate with God. That's a great thing isn't it aye? So God wants us to be filled with the spirit.
Now the idea is not just that one time alone you enter that gate and you get in; well that's it, I've done that. Been there, done that, now what's next? You know, well there's a lot next, but it actually means learning how to live and enjoy and experience that realm, so God wants us to be filled with the Holy Ghost. Acts, Chapter 4, they prayed, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost. The Bible says: be filled with the Holy Ghost. God wants you to be constantly filled with the Holy Ghost. If you're not filled with the Holy Ghost, you'll be filled with something else. It's really as simple as that isn't it? So like for example in Ephesians 5:18 it says: don't be drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Holy Ghost, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; halleluiah, filled with the Holy Ghost.
Now let me just go into that verse just for a moment. Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess. What is it gets you drunk? Is it trying, or is it the wine? Think about that. Do you have to try and make yourself drunk? You don't try to make yourself drunk. Drunkenness, or the loss of balance, laughter, all that goes with that, is the consequence of receiving something into yourself. In other words, there's no effort to get yourself drunk, you just drink, and you'll get drunk, isn't that right? Have you noticed that Richard? [Laughter] I see you nodding. I never found it very difficult to get drunk at all. I still wouldn't - just keep drinking, you get drunk. You just keep drinking, and you get drunk. What do you do when you're full of wine? You get drunk, and you get out of your mind, and you say things, and you babble, all sorts of stuff - not good. Not good.
Now the Bible says: don't be drunk with wine. It says rather be filled with the spirit, so now a lot of people try to put on the life of the spirit. Christianity is all a big trying hard. The Bible tells us, it's not about that at all, it's about being filled with someone - filled with the Holy Spirit. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the natural - there's certain things are going to flow out of your life. You can't pin the oranges on a tree. You know, I couldn't go over the road to that oak tree over there, and pin some oranges on it, and try and fool anyone that it was anything but an oak tree. [Laughter] It's true isn't it? You cannot pin it on. You actually grow it. Joy is a fruit of someone expressing their life in you. Peace is the fruit of someone expressing their life in you. I believe many Christians really struggle, because they don't know how to get filled up with the Holy Ghost.
Their experience is not one of being filled. Their experience is one of struggling, and trying hard to be good enough, to be a good Christian. Would that be right? How many enjoy that experience? Its blimmin' miserable! It is miserable trying to be good, and here's why it's so miserable trying to be good; because you're forever blowing it. It's such an effort all the time to be trying so hard to look good, and be good, and here's why: because all your efforts are energised by the flesh and they can never produce the things of God. What is needed is the understanding of how we can be filled with the Holy Ghost, filled with the Holy Spirit, day after day after day. So normally the problem is this, it's that we don't really believe what God's word says. We believe what we feel and experience, and we in other words, believe in the things around us, rather than believing in what God says.
The big problem we have is believing life is found somewhere apart from God, so how can I be filled with the spirit? Let me give you two or three things that will help get you filled with the spirit - three things. There's probably heaps of things. Here's three things that occurred to me: number one, speaking in tongues is one great way to allow your life to become filled up with God. Why is that? Speaking in tongues - speaking in tongues is a great gift. I pray in tongues every day. I pray for a long time every day. I enjoy praying in tongues. I get energised - see, when you pray in tongues, your spirit is praying, as the Holy Ghost is giving you utterance, so now when you choose to pray in tongues, there's a flow from the spirit of God into your spirit. Your spirit begins to arise, starts to fill up with life, so praying in tongues is one of God's gifts to you, to help, because you can pray in tongues anytime you like. Build up your inner man, and start to come alive in God anytime! Anytime! Anytime! Ooh, [prays in tongues]
I pray in the morning, and if I get up too late and then there's people out I run into when I'm walking. They look... I say it's okay, I'm alright, I'm happy. [Laughter] I'm filled up with the spirit of God. I'm enjoying God. I'm using my language to love on Him. He that speaks in an unknown tongue is speaking to God. This is intimacy - you don't listen in. You know, you're talking with your wife, intimately, you don't want people listening in. You've got a good language, to be able to talk intimately with God, and not have people listen in, see? They just hear the murmur, but that's all, they don't know what's going on. It's between you and God.
Here's a second part of being filled with the spirit. This is perhaps one of the most powerful ways that you can do it, because it addresses where one of the biggest problems is. The biggest problem is what you believe in your heart, so here's the second way you can be filled with the Holy Spirit, is through meditation in the word of God. I cannot overstate how much meditation helps you to shift your believe system, and start to engage with heaven's reality - meditation.
You notice it says: they'll be filled with the spirit, and it says they'll have dreams and visions and so on. It talks about having dreams and visions. Now when God gives dreams and visions, there's nothing to indicate in those passages that those were open visions, or they saw them with their open eye. In fact when you dream, you actually close your eyes; you're asleep, and you have something come to you. Where does it come to you? In your mind and imagination, so clearly when God gives you dreams, then they come into your imagination, and likewise when God gives you visions, for the most part, unless it's a distinctly open vision, which is not quite so common, it comes into your mind and imagination as a mental picture. So we can see from that, that the imagination is a connecting point, between the realm of the spirit, and your soul or your spirit man.
So you can use your imagination creatively, for example, we can take the word of God, and create a picture in our mind, and begin to imagine what that would feel like, and look like, and how we would experience that. You see for many Christians, say for example the truth, that you are the temple of God; for many Christians, it doesn't mean much. It's just head knowledge, because they don't feel it. Many Christians, when we say that God loves you, it doesn't mean much, because they don't experience being loved by God, and experience is important to our being filled with God. One of the things that can help you immensely, is to train your imagination - you can pray in the spirit and get your spirit arising up, but to train your imagination, to meditate on truth, to picture it, as a reality for you.
So for example if I were to take the truth that I am the temple of the Holy Spirit, my body's a temple of the Holy Spirit, well you know that verse. See we know it in our head, but what if you were to become conscious everywhere you go, the spirit of God is living within me? What would it be like with God's spirit living in me? What would it feel like, if God was to just fill every part of me, just like He filled the Old Testament temple? What would it be like if God filled every part of me? I begin to imagine that, and I can begin to feel the spirit of God filling me. See, your imagination is the way for the reality of the truth to be experienced. A lot of people get worried about this. They think New Age and all that kind of stuff. Listen, New Age came around a long time after this. It's a latecomer on the scene. They just found what worked, and used it to their own methods without God. We're talking about taking the word of God, what God says, so for example, just Jesus - now Jesus reveals Himself in the Bible in many ways. There's many pictures formed of Him, so you could just imagine yourself encountering Jesus.
Now you're not going to worry about the colour of His hair, or how tall He is. You're not going to be worried about the colour of His eyes. There's no need to be looking at that. We need to be looking at the character of the person Jesus, so what I'm looking at, is what the Bible describes of Him: His eyes are ablaze with fire and passion and zeal, of immense love for me. Now as you behold this, it begins to affect you. You become changed as you behold - that's how you get changed, not by trying. You get changed by stopping trying, and beholding. You get changed by believing, not by working. How did you get saved? Did you work real hard to get saved? No, you chose to believe, but then from then on, we work hard. Meditation allows us to see and experience the truth that is, and it changes our experience. Our dilemma is one of unbelief.
A dilemma is one of not really believing what God says, so if I was to meditate, which I do every day, that Jesus is before me, I'm standing before Him, and I begin to look, and I'm looking at His character. I'm not looking at the colour of His eyes. I'm looking at the fact that His eyes are ablaze with passion and zeal, and He looks right through me, so I'm just going to be transparent before Him. I can't hide. No one can hide, but religion is all about hiding who you really are, and trying hard to be something you're not, or taking the methods you hear preached on a Sunday. You hear something, and then you turn it into a method, but it's never about methods. It's about believing what God says, and our challenge is we don't really believe. If I knew and believed in my heart I'm filled with God, so everywhere I'm going, God's presence is flowing, how would I behave? What would I feel like? When I face difficulties what would I do? The Bible says: you are the temple of God, so as you meditate and believe what God says, you start to be changed to be like that, not by trying harder. That's the dilemma everyone has, they try harder, and we try so hard; if I do this, I'll be blessed. Well see there is the problem straight away. Why don't you just handle this completely different, and say: I am already blessed with every blessing. I'm a blessed person. Now Lord, what would a blessed person behave like, talk like, and look like?
See, in other words, we are so bombarded and pressured to conform to the world and the image of what we used to be, it takes time and effort to renew our mind and heart, so we understand who we've become now in Christ. Most people just don't do it, so therefore they struggle immensely, but if you were to just take these disciplines, very simple disciplines, of the praying in tongues, and allowing your spirit man to flow; and taking the word, and begin to meditate in who you are, and who Jesus is. I have stood and just meditated on Him loving me, what it would look like in His eyes. You know when you don't feel loved, you don't really want to look in anyone's eyes, or look too hard at their countenance. You'll just want to say things and do things to prove you're okay, compress them, but if I just come before Him, and stop trying to do anything, and just hold the truth in my heart and meditate on it, the lies will come up quite quickly of course. You need to deal with those. Sometimes we need deliverance and healing to deal with those lies, but it always helps to meditate in the truth, the truth of being the temple of God, the truth that wherever you are, you're not waiting for revival to come, it's inside you.
You're not waiting for God to do a big thing. He's inside you waiting for you to believe and flow, and so meditating in that, changes your experiences with God and changes you. It's been practiced as long as time goes, and it works. If you talk to anyone who experienced God on a regular basis, and you'll find that engaging their imagination with the word of God is a vital part of that. It's important to do that. The third aspect of being filled, is choosing to yield and stop working to make something happen, and start believing and yielding. One of the challenges people have is just to let go control. We're so uptight, and so afraid, and so in control, you come and say: would you pray for me for God to do something? You can almost feel the tension inside of all the control and the fear, rather than actually being renewed. God is not angry with you, He loves you. Before you came to Christ, He died on the cross. Now won't He give you everything you have need for today? Can you imagine God being so mean, that He would die on the cross, but then make life miserable for you the rest of the time, hold back from you? It's just not true. God is good all the time.
All the time He's good, so meditating in His goodness and His nature, taking the truth and allowing your heart to rest in it, you start to get filled with God. All I can say is: I'm not trying; I'm choosing to yield and believe, and that's where the life flows. It's in the yielding and believing, so when you come to pray for someone, come to minister to someone, just - Gill, you're nearby, just come here - and that brings us to the next thing. We're not just to be filled with the spirit, we're also to be ministers of the spirit. You can hardly minister something you don't have much of, but God's intention is all minister. 1 Corinthians 12:7, now the gift, and the manifestation of the spirit of God, is given to every person - given, therefore it's just received. So the deal is just about receiving, so I don't need to try hard to do anything. Just come around here. I don't have to try hard to do anything.
If I just take your hand, and what I'll do is I'll say - why don't you close your eyes, and I want you to look towards the Lord and expect Him to do something for you. Look to Him, see. Already as she does that, something's starting to happen, see, already, without me doing anything. I'm not even trying to minister, just the presence of God. Now she began to direct her inner man towards God, and He began to move. Ministry is not something you have to work hard to do. It is the overflow of a person within you, and connecting with the Holy Spirit, connecting and being filled and yielding to Him. Now there's many ways we resist Him. When we get angry with people, and won't deal with our heart attitudes, when we hold unforgiveness and bitterness, we grieve Him, and therefore you can't be filled with the spirit, so you can't stay angry and be filled with the spirit. Face your anger, come honestly before God about what has caused you to feel such feelings, and what you really believe underneath about that, and ask God to show you the truth, and then be filled with the spirit again.
We don't have to stay living in these fleshy things. In fact the life of defeat as a believer, is inevitably trying hard to put on a good show, trying hard to look good. Now everyone's all dressed up, you all look good. You actually look beautiful, wonderful. [Laughs] However, we know that's not like that all the week. [Laughter] Isn't that right? Now you see if I was just to consciously think: well God, I'll just think about being the temple. Thank You Lord, I'm the temple of the spirit, and I would think these kinds of things; that Your presence just fills me, and fills everything around me, so wherever I am, Your presence is overflowing - now she can begin to feel that presence just like that. [Laughter] Full of joy. See, you notice it's not struggling, it's not hard. It's not something you have to struggle to do. Jesus said: this is the work. He said: strive to enter your rest. Isn't that a crazy statement? What He's really saying is this. He's saying: the challenge is not to work hard to be a better person; the challenge is always to break through unbelief and negative thinking, and believe.
So number one, get filled with the spirit, get filled with the spirit every day, and hunger for more of God. As you worship Him and yield to Him, stand by the bed and just lift your hands, oh! just let the Holy Ghost come on you and fill you. I have noticed, that if you will yield, He will come on you, as well as rise up within you, and the more He comes on you, and the more drunk you get in the Holy Spirit, it's got to be good for you. It's got to stop you being so uptight, to be filled with the spirit, huh? It'll be a lot better. Some people I look, and so many people are tense and anxious and wound up and uptight and stressed. Why don't you stop, STOP, STOP! STOP! God, I'm blessed with every blessing. Help me to remember. I've just forgotten it under the pressure of the world, who I am, and what I carry. I need to come back home again.
Through the Bible it says: through returning and rest, you enter and experience the things of God. Repenting, and just resting, and you come back into that place in God again. You know a lot of us would do a lot better in the life if we could just stop through the day for a minute every now and then, just stop: oh God, I just come back to You. Thank You, You're filling me - and we start to feel the joy again, feel the life come back again, start to feel happy again - might even look drunk. People say why are you laughing? [Laughter] Excuse me, why are You laughing? Why are you so happy? [Laughter] You're just drunk in the Holy - but I don't understand. How come you have a - this is not even midday, and you've been drinking. [Laughter] [I'm an early starter.] You're an early starter, confirmed. [Laughter] She's an early starter, I love that.
But you see, just even doing what we're doing, people start to get touched. There's a flow of the spirit. It's not a hard thing, and so we'll just finish now, and let me just finish with one last thing. Here it is here. You notice that number one, your personal experience, get filled with the Holy Ghost; number two is, learn to flow with the spirit. The more you flow with the Holy Ghost, the more you get filled again, get filled again. I'll just finish with the last one. Here it is, go down the end and here it is, blah blah blah blah, Verse 44: All those who believed were together, had all things common and sold their possessions and goods and divided them among all, so anyone had need they just gave to them.
Now here's the thing, practice generosity. You want to be filled with the spirit, please practice generosity. If you want to be filled with the spirit, practice generosity. There's no person can be filled with the spirit, and remain mean. It's just impossible. Generosity is the expression of love, so if you get filled up with the love of God, the first thing you want to do is to give to someone. You ever noticed drunken people give: here, here, here, have some. [Laughter] They kind of... you know? But generosity is the characteristic of God, and so if you're filled with the spirit you become generous, and God wants us to intentionally be generous with people who are poor, who are in difficulty, the unsaved, the widows or single parents, those who are without a father, those who are in need.
Part of Pentecost, and the Feast of Pentecost, now we'll just close it with this. In the Old Testament, when God prescribed the Feast of Pentecost He said this: gather, make an offering, here I am. No work [laughter] NO WORKS! No works. No works! Stop struggling - see? And then He said: and don't forget to be kind to the poor. So there it is. So in the New Testament they got filled with the spirit, they came and presented themselves to God, and received. Ah! No works! Got drunk and filled with the Holy Ghost. Then they began to minister the spirit, because that's the flow; what you've received you can give to others, and then finally they were generous. They were generous to the poor, and so Pentecost starts with experiencing God, and it finishes with a river of life, that expresses itself in ministry to needs and people, and giving and generosity to the poor.
So we want a new Pentecost? Well then it's time to stop working so hard, and start to make a decision to experience God again. Come on, quick, I'm going to start to just - you've got to do this, come on. Just do this. Now close your eyes just for a moment, lift your hands up now and start to begin to meditate, that you are the temple of God, and that God's spirit is just filling you, filling you, filling you. Just let it start, He'll start to fill you and oh! Spirit of God, here it comes. You'll be glad to have a wife full of the Holy Ghost - you'll have to let go control through. [Laughter] There it goes, praise the Lord. [Laughs] Quickly Rod, come on up here. Come on up and Bill, why don't you come up too Bill? You've always wanted to get filled with the Holy Spirit. Come, come, that's right, just stand in that place of presenting and surrendering. You'll start to feel the joy start to come on you. Ready Bill? Give me your hand and there it is, the presence of God - someone get behind him quickly.
See, now remember I was meditating - what was I meditating on? I'm the temple of God - ooh, got holy hands now mate. Listen to this, you take a handshake of this, the power, ready? Take a handshake, ready? [Boom! Power!] There's something happens see, filled with the Holy Ghost, here we go. Put that down and get drunk with the Holy Ghost. Put it down, just get drunk with the Holy - ready, lift your hands up, that's right, whoa! Okay, now just begin to meditate [laughter] there it is, Holy Ghost, look at that. You're living with a drunk. Here we are, come and have one too. Have a drink too, come on, have a drink of the Holy Ghost. This is what we need, to be filled with the Holy Ghost, ready? Just - okay, now just lift your hands up like you're drinking. Oh, I'm just drinking now, whoa! There it is, Holy Ghost. Come on her Lord right now. Look at that, that's happening so easy isn't it?
Now Brian, why don't you just stand there. Now I want to minister to you, I want you just to stand and close your eyes, and Jesus is right in front of you. He's just reaching out to you, saying have a drink Brian, have a drink. Let's have a drink together, come on, have a drink. [Laughter] Now you're - there it is, just a river of God flowing like that. Isn't this exciting? Isn't this fun? Why don't we all just stand up now and reach out, we need to finish now, but we need this river flowing constantly in our lives. Come on Brian, up on your feet. He's drunk - another drunk man over here, look at this. Holy Ghost. Come on, let's just stand on our feet, just lift your hands up to the Lord. Lift your hands up to the Lord, just close your eyes. [Laughs] Now for some of course, it'll be easier than others, because you've practiced this, for some it may not be, and if you're listening on the tape you could do this. Just stand. If you're standing at home alone you want to be standing by a bed in case you fall over, you can fall on the bed.
Okay, just lift your hands to the Lord. I want you just to use your imagination to just lock on, there is Jesus in front of you, about to fill you with the spirit. His eyes are ablaze, His countenance full of joy, and He's just opening His hands [exhales once gently] to release His presence into you. Just receive now. Holy Ghost, thank You for coming on me. [Laughter] That's right, relax and just yield to Him. [Laughter] Or you may want to take the picture of being the temple; there right inside you is the temple of the Holy Ghost, you're there. and the Holy Ghost is inside you rising up, filling, filling, filling. Holy Ghost come - look at this, people getting drunk already. Its okay, if you feel like laughing then laugh. [Laughter] Don't try to pretend. [Laughter] Holy Ghost, spirit of God, we need a fresh Pentecost. We need Your power coming upon our lives again in a fresh way. We need You to touch us powerfully.
Holy Ghost come, come. You ready Brian? Just step forward. If you step forward you get drunk - drunk, drunk, drunk! Holy Ghost, come on him right now. Its funny isn't it aye? That's right, step forward - there it is see, presence of God. That's right, now step into it. Use your imagination, and step into the presence of God, it's amazing what happens - whoa! Holy Ghost come, come, come. Spirit of God, come, the Holy Ghost, that's right, Holy Ghost come. [Laughs] Well I was feeling the touch of God. Why don't you come up the front, already feeling God's presence touching you well just come and stand around the front here, we're going to lay hands on you, just release more. Come on, we want a river of God flowing. If you want the touch of God on you why don't you come on up? There's a river flowing here!
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· Exodus 19:16-19 The first Pentecost – a visitation of God to His people.
· Thunder, lightening cloud, trumpet, fire, earthquake.
· God met with His people to become engaged to marry them.
· He required that they remember and celebrate this day each year!
· Leviticus 23: 16, 20-22 Pentecost instituted as an annual celebration.
(v16) Come before the host to make an offering and celebrate.
(v21 No work!
(v22) Remember to be generous to the poor.
*Pentecost begins with an encounter with God and ends with generosity to the poor.
*Church needs constant fresh encounters with God and filling with the Holy Spirit.
2. Personal Experience: Be Filled with the Holy Ghost
Acts 2: 1-4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit”
(a) Baptism In Holy Spirit is a gateway experience to Supernatural Life.
· God’s intention is for us to experience spiritual reality.
· Baptism in the Holy Spirit opens up realm of Supernatural.
· Further evidence – overflow with new languages of spirit – speaking in tongues.
· This is the language of intimacy with God (1 Corinthians 14:2)
· They received from God an impartation – speaking, joy, drunkenness.
(b) Keys to Ongoing Filling with the Holy Spirit
· Believers need to keep being daily filled with the Holy Spirit. The power to live the Christian life. (Eph. 5:18)
· Trying harder doesn’t change us or make us better, must learn to receive.
· Everything we receive from God comes by believing not trying.
(i) Speaking in Tongues
· When you speak in tongues you activate and energize your spirit man.
· You open up a direct flow with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4)
· You edify or build up your inner man. (1 Corinthians 14:4)
· Speaking in tongues is a powerful way to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
(ii) Yield to the Holy Spirit Within
· We receive from God by believing not trying – striving.
· To receive must first stop trying, striving, struggling
· Yielding is an act of surrender – letting go self effort: letting God.
· Our challenge is to believe what God says is true about us.
· John 6:29 “This is the work of God that you believe….”
(iii) Meditation – Imagining Gods’ Word
· V17 “Dreams and Visions” – both are pictures or imaginings.
· Nothing indicates they are seen with the natural eyes.
· Both are images in the mind, in the imagination.
· They are God inspired pictures in your imagination.
· Take Gods’ truth – practice imagining what it would be like to experience being in this truth. What would it look like? Feel like? Sound like?
Eg: Being in the Temple of God
Entering the Throne of God
Being filled with the love of God
· Stop working, striving to obtain – set imagination to see, embrace, believe.
3. Personal Experience: Flow with the Spirit
Acts 2: 17-18 “I will pour out My Spirit in those says and they will prophesy”
· You are filled with the Spirit for the purpose of mission.
· The overflow of the Spirit of God is seen in life and ministry to needs.
· 1 Corinthians 12:7 “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each man to profit all”
· ‘Given’ – you receive by believing not by striving or struggling.
· ‘Each man’ – Gods design is every believer ministers to others.
4. Practice Generosity (Fruit of the Spirit)
Vs 44-45 “Generosity to those in need were the consequence of being spirit filled.”
· Generosity is evidence of the love of God: can’t love without being generous.
· Pentecost starts with being filled with Holy Spirit and ends with generosity.
· Dt 24:18-22 “Pentecost was a harvest time – here is what God required.”
· World pressure – consumerism, pressure to spend all on yourself.
· God requires intentional generosity to be part of our life.
· Leave margins in your life – compassion for those in need, time, finance, talent, relationships.
· No quantity specified – the issue is gratitude to God and generosity.
· Command – this is a way of life of person filled with the Holy Spirit.
· Generosity to strangers, fatherless, widows.
(i) Are you filled with the Holy Spirit?
(ii) Are you flowing with the Holy Spirit?
(iii) Are you practicing generosity?