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April 29, 2013

The past three newsletters dealt with the Person, the presence, and the power of the Holy Spirit. We now want to discuss the program of the Holy Spirit for believers.


First, I want to make it unquestionably clear that ALL – ALL – of God’s children are born into the family of God and BAPTIZED by the Holy Spirit the moment Christ is received. John 3:5 states: . . . Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. This second birth makes all the newlyborn ones members of the family of God. John 1:12 says: But as many as received [Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons [and daughters] of God. Since one can only be a son or daughter through birth, it is clear that the placing into God’s family by a second birth takes place at salvation. However, there is more to it because one is also BAPTIZED into the Body of Christ as the birth occurs. First Corinthians 12:13 states: For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body . . .. This baptism takes place at salvation and happens to every believer. Theological accurateness will not allow the BAPTISM to be a subsequent or second work of grace but the original work of grace that occurs at salvation. It is erroneous for one who is saved to seek the BAPTISM when one’s salvation produced the BAPTISM. In fact, . . . if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Romans 8:9) and we . . . have been all made to drink into one Spirit (I Corinthians 12:13). Since ALL means ALL and since this text has to do with salvation, then ALL who are saved have the Spirit or they are lost. This Holy Spirit dwells in every believer, but He does not necessarily control each believer. Hence, there is a “filling of the Spirit” which every believer, after salvation, may enjoy many times. There is one BAPTISM, but many fillings. That is why the literal Greek for Ephesians 5:18 is: Be being filled with the Spirit.


Now the filling and the baptism are two distinct things. The BAPTISM is the placing of a redeemed sinner into the Body of Christ at salvation, and the FILLING is one’s yielding to the INDWELLING Spirit’s control. Let’s delve deeper into the subject. Not only does every believer receive the BAPTISM at salvation, but he receives one or more of the GIFTS as well. Much is heard today about the Charismatic Movement. May I shock you and boldly say that every Christian is a charismatic! You see, the word charismatic or charisma only means a gift from the Holy Spirit. Every believer is a partaker of the Holy Spirit at salvation when the Holy Spirit baptizes him into Christ’s body. It is at this baptism that the Spirit bestows a gift or His “charisma” upon every newborn child of God. Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are the “charismatic” or “gift” chapters. Ephesians 4:11 describes gifted or charismatic ministers: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. The apostles were first because the church was built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20). Once the foundation was laid and the original apostles died, this gift ceased. Prophets were next and the gift was not only foretelling the future but forth telling the facts of the gospel. Today gifted preachers giving forth the “good news” manifest this evidence of the Spirit. Evangelists, pastors, and teachers are self explanatory and are also recipients of the Spirit’s gifts. This often explains the failures of men who seek the ministry as a vocation. They have never been called and “charismatized” by the Spirit and therefore fail. It is not a job, it is a holy calling.


Gifts For All Believers


The gifts that follow are signs all believers possess. I want to again emphasize that every believer receives at least one of the gifts of the Spirit. They are freely presented to all believers as a result of the BAPTISM that placed the gifted believer into the Body of Christ. Romans 12 speaks about this Body into which all God’s children are placed and states in verses 4-8: For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing [yes, differing] according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity [or liberality]; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.


Now verse 3 states: . . . God hath dealt to EVERY man the measure of faith (emphasis mine.) Some have one of the gifts mentioned already. Others must find theirs in I Corinthians 12:8-11: For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: BUT ALL THESE [Hear it again: ALL THESE] worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to EVERY MAN [How many? – EVERY MAN] severally as he [the Holy Spirit] will (emphasis mine).


It is not the gift one seeks that is important but the gift the Holy Spirit wills to give by grace. Please stay with the Book.


Different Gifts For All Believers


It is not God’s will that all members of the Body should have the same gift. When one has three eyes or seven fingers, he is a misfit. So it is with the Body of Christ when there is an improper balance of gifts. That is why Paul says in I Corinthians 12:15-18: If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, l am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, l am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.


Every part of the body is needed and every member in Christ’s body has a gift that fits into the program as needed. So we again find in verse 28: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.We will consider the gifts in their totality before concluding the book. The point I want to make now is that every believer has at least one gift, and each believer’s gift differs. Verses 29-31: Are all apostles? [The answer is obviously `No!’] are all prophets? [No!] are all teachers? [No!] are all workers of miracles? [No!] Have all the gifts of healing? [No!] do all speak with tongues? [No!] do all interpret? [No!] But covet earnestly the best gifts . . . .The gifts described as apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers lead to prophesying, ministering, teaching, exhorting, giving, ruling, and showing mercy. Clergy and laymen may experience these gifts. These are so understandable that we will only explain the final listing of nine gifts, described in I Corinthians 12:8-10.


  1. The gift of wisdom or the ability to speak with discretion. One may have an earned doctorate and be unwise in the usage of accumulated intelligence. On the other hand, one with a minimum of acquired textbook knowledge may have the ability to say the right thing at the proper moment.

  2. The gift of knowledge or the ability to delve into the deep things of God and then communicate them with simplicity to hungry hearts.

  3. The gift of faith or the ability to attempt the impossible for God. Joshua believed God and the sun stood still. Peter believed God and walked on the water. Since this is not a gift for all, do not foolishly launch out on some gigantic project for the kingdom and fall flat on your face. Be sure the venture is in the will of God (I John 5:14-15).

  4. The gifts of healing are given to some, at times, who have the faith to trust God for miraculous healings. In Christ’s day, healing generally was not produced by any virtue of the person healed but entirely through the gift of the healer. The dead were raised. What faith did they have? Nevertheless, they were resuscitated. On the other hand, there are times when the gift of healing is impossible, even though the healer may be very sincere. The problem? He has not sought the will of God for the one he is attempting to heal. First John 5:14 states: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. When one has not sought God’s will and attempts to heal, it is all in vain. One goes through the motions and all is futile and hopeless. The Apostle Paul understood this well. That is why he left his helper, Trophimus, sick at Miletum (II Timothy 4:20). Epaphroditus also was left behind sick – nigh unto death (Philippians 2:27). Remember, God can heal anytime and anywhere when it is His will. The one enabled to heal will be given the faith to do the job properly, once God’s will is made plain to him through prayer and the Word for each case.

  5. The gift of miracles is the ability to win the lost for Christ. Do you know of any greater miracle than getting a man saved for all eternity? This is the reason: . . . ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me . . . (Acts 1:8).

  6. The gift of prophecy is the ability to tell forth the “good news” with power.

  7. The gift of discernment is the ability to judge whether the message is from God or Satan. I John 4:1 says: . . . try the spirits . . . .

  8. and 9. The gift of tongues and the interpretation of tongues was the ability to speak in unlearned, foreign languages. Acts 2, verses 4, 6 and 8, state respectively: . . . they . . . began to speak with other tongues. Also: . . . every man heard them speak in his own language . . . and . . . how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? And again: . . . we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God . . . (verse 11). Some 14 or more languages were spoken and understood. In I Corinthians 14 the word unknown is in italics, meaning that it cannot be found in the original Greek text. Think of what could happen if missionaries received the original gift as they went to China, Japan, Germany, etc. Again, the point I want to make in closing this chapter is: All of God’s people have the BAPTISM, and ALL HAVE ONE OF THE GIFTS – therefore, we are ALL CHARISMATICS. You do not believe it? The manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN to profit withal (I Corinthians 12:7). Verse 11 states: But all these [gifts] worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to EVERY MAN severally AS HE WILL (emphasis mine). Again: . . . unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ (Ephesians 4:7). If you, dear Christian, have still not located your gift, try “helps” in I Corinthians 12:28. If you “help” as a counselor, an usher, a choir member, a nursery worker, a bus captain, or a youth worker, and if God has given you a special knack in knowing how to do it, you have a “gift.” Because you have the baptism and the evidence, you are one who has the Holy Spirit and the evidence.

In the next newsletter I will discuss the filling of the Spirit. Although we have all of the Holy Spirit, He does not always have all of us. When He does, holy living becomes the believer’s experience. One can have the baptism and the gifts and still be carnal because he does not have the filling. One can minister the gifts and be out of fellowship with God – evangelists, pastors, and teachers often do. It takes a Spirit-filled Christian to minister properly. The gift is for service; the filling is for spiritual service.



FROM THE HEART OF DR. REXELLA VAN IMPE

I’m Looking . . . But Which Way?


What is the first thing you notice about a person? Some would say the color of their hair, their stature or even their weight. I must admit that I am immediately drawn to the eyes. Perhaps this is why I like the statement; The eye is the window of the soul. It was Benjamin Franklin who related this good thought, Learn to be gracious with the eyes; look deep into their eyes, and say with your eyes, I like you.


I especially enjoy looking into the eyes of children. Often I find myself wanting to get down to their level since they, above all, have that gentle, yet intense and honest way of looking directly into our eyes. They have discovered a secret which sometimes gets lost as they move into adulthood – it is this, the eyes reveal so much. Perhaps it’s the child in me, but conversation seems more personal when I am able to look into the eyes of the one with whom I am conversing. There seems to be an openness in communication when we can express our thoughts through our eyes as well as by our words.


The eyes also can be a barometer revealing the state of our health. Doctors, for instance, look into the eyes when one is sick, and ophthalmologists detect many bodily illnesses the same way. The Bible has much to say about the eyes. The writer of Proverbs speaks of the bloodshot eyes of those who drink (Proverbs 23:28, 29). In fact, there are 499 references to eyes, and 98 to the eye in God’s Word. Since God has given such prominence and importance to the eye gate, Satan, with all of his sly and cunning ways brought sin into the world by persuading Eve to look and then partake of the forbidden fruit (Gen. 3:5-7).


God often speaks of His own eyes. How comforting it is to know that His eyes are lovingly upon us. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9 – also notice Deuteronomy 11:12; Job 34:21; and Psalm 33:18).


Why are our eyes so important? It is because what we see goes into our emotions (the soul). The light of the soul is what gives understanding, sound judgment, and the ability to discern between good and evil, truth and falsehood. Jesus spoke of this: The light of the body is the eye; therefore when thine eye is single (a clear conscience), thy whole body is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness (Luke 11:34.35).


Walking Visuals


What do others see when looking at us? If they are to be rightly influenced, how important it is that what they see is God-like. We are walking visuals. The Apostle Paul cautioned that we should be careful how we walk, not as unwise, but as wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:15, 16).


I heard the story of a little girl who told her pastor she knew Jesus and was saved. Which one of my sermons brought you to Christ? he asked. It wasn’t your preaching, it was my aunt’s practicing, she responded.


Indeed! What we do and say is being noticed. Man looketh on the outward appearance (I Samuel 16:7). That’s why we are to let our light so shine before mankind, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).


On one occasion, when the Apostle Paul was accused of being a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews and a ringleader of the Nazarene sect, he stood before his accusers and Governor Felix saying, I strive to always have a conscience without offense toward God and man (see Acts 24:16). What a wonderful way to live!


With all the discouraging news in the world today, seeming inconsistencies in the lives of those around us, and despair on the faces of millions of people, which way can we look to find peace and satisfaction?


Three Different Directions


We can look in three different directions: (1) Backward, to be discouraged; (2) outward, to be disheartened; and (3) upward, to be delighted.


Backwards:


More often than not, looking back leads to defeat and discouragement and possibly self destruction like Lots wife. We have a good biblical example in the Apostle Paul, who said, Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13, 14).


God can be counted on to give a silver lining to our dark clouds if we’ll begin looking forward. A friend has written: Let your life be a statement, more than your words, that Someone else is in charge. Let your demeanor reflect quality inner control, stability that comes from knowing and accepting that God is in charge. In God’s perfect timing wrongs will be righted, circumstances will change, He will come to your rescue. To believe this is to move ahead and live with hope.


I have been asked, How do you forget the bad times, the hurts, the injustices? My response is that we can’t blot out the past, but forgetting means not allowing the past to affect the present.


We can put whatever has hurt us under the blood of Christ. We can forget by imitating the way Christ forgives us – just as if it never occurred (Hebrews 8:12).


Outward:


As one looks around at the world today, he or she could become disheartened and disillusioned. The world is in a mess. Just pick up the newspaper, or turn on the evening news and it’s enough to disturb any thinking person.


How do we avoid the disillusionment and anxiety? David the psalmist said, It will not fasten its grip on me (see Psalm 101:3). There you have it; don’t allow it to grasp hold of your thinking.


What does God say? He tells us to cast our burdens on Christ (I Peter 5:7). We are human and feel concern, but we can turn it over to Him saying, God, this is too big for me to handle. By keeping our eyes on Jesus and the eternal truths of God’s word, we will be focusing our attention on that which enables us to handle all the bad things happening around us (see Hebrews 12:2).


Upward:


Remember what David the psalmist said? I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help (Psalm 121:1). This is surely the only direction to look for help, comfort, and yes, for delight in our souls and lives. We can bring our thirsty and wilting minds and bodies to the everlasting well of water, Jesus Christ Himself (John 4). All He asks is that we keep looking up, and as we do, look forward to an eternity with Him. Let us pray this beautiful prayer of the psalmist, I will direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up (Psalm 5:3).


I WILL LIFT UP MINE EYES UNTO THE HILLS…

-Psalm 121:1



CHANGED LIVES-one at a time

Good Morning Jack and Rexella,


I just wanted to write and let you know that I love you both in Christ. Thank you for standing against the world and those who want to silence you. Thank you for standing against false religions like Islam who blaspheme our Lord. Thank you for preaching God’s Word faithfully.


I’ve been watching you for probably 20 years or more now.

Hopefully Jesus comes today or very soon. He is my only hope.

In Him,

D. C.


 


JVI Ministries,


Greetings! I just wanted to let you know that I am truly thankful for this website. I recently moved from the USA to Germany and wasn’t able to find your station as of yet. This site is very helpful in that I won’t miss an episode. You all provide me with the most important information and I am glad that I can still remain informed.


In Christ,

A. M.



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Pope Francis, Armageddon, and Christ’s Return


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