"I will go before you
and make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the gates of bronze."
THE GLORIOUS CHURCH
As we come to the end of the year 2014, the Lord desires each of His beautiful children to come up into the higher ways of being led by His Spirit and the deeper walk of faith for exciting times are opening up ahead of us.
TIMES OF REFRESHING FROM THE PRESENCE OF THE LORD
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.” See Acts 3:19-21.
Definition of Refreshing: recovery of breath; revival
When God made man out of the dust of the earth, He breathed into His nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being. The Hebrew scribes say “man became a speaking spirit.” When Jesus was speaking on the new birth, He told Nicodemus “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5
What do times of refreshing or restoration look like?
That’s our lesson for this week, tapping into the supernatural!
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” See Acts 2:2-4.
Jesus had told the disciples of that which was to come, “out of your heart will flow rivers of living water,” and “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” See John 7:38-39 and Luke 3:16.
THE HOLY SPIRIT: The Restorer!
“For with stammering lips and another tongue
He will speak to this people,
To whom He said, ‘This is the rest with which
You may cause the weary to rest,’
And, ‘This is the refreshing’;
Yet they would not hear.’” Isaiah 28:11-12
Weakness of the spirit will leave you vulnerable. Selah
What major events can we see taking place after the entrance of the Holy Spirit in the upper room?
One of the first things I see is the fulfillment of Jesus promise to baptize believers in the Holy Spirit and to give them power and be His witnesses. Acts 1:5 & 8.
We can see evidence of this manifestation as we immediately see a big change take place in Peter. Just weeks before Satan had “sifted him as wheat.” He even denied ever knowing Jesus. Now Peter stands up before the multitudes with great boldness and wisdom and gives his first sermon. Result? Three thousand souls were converted and that was only the first day! Acts 2:41
What’s happening? The birth of The Church!
Times of refreshing had come. Recovery of breath: revival!
DISCIPLESHIP, FELLOWSHIP, AND MIRACLES
“And they continued steadfastly
in the apostles’ doctrine
in the breaking of bread,
and in prayers.
Then fear came upon every soul,
and many wonders
and signs were done through the apostles.
Now all who believed were together,
and had all things in common,
and sold their possessions and goods,
and divided them among all,
as anyone had need.
“So continuing daily
with one accord
in the temple,
and breaking bread from house to house,
they ate their food with gladness
and simplicity of heart,
and having favor
with all the people.
“And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47
FAITH IN HIS NAME
The man who was lame from his mother’s womb asked Peter and John for money as they entered the temple. What was their response?
“And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, ‘Look at us.’ So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.’”
See Acts 3:4-6.
“And all the people saw him walking and praising God!”
Peter quickly brought correction to those who thought this miracle was a result of his own power. “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong, whom you see and know. Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” Acts 3:16
Jesus had taught His disciples many times that He could not do anything of Himself but could only do what He saw His Father do and could only say what His Father told Him to say. See John 5:19 & 12:49-50.
So it was with Peter.
It’s and Inside Job
It was the Spirit of God who was working through Peter in the name of Jesus Christ that made this lame man rise up, walking, leaping, and praising God!
Peter’s part was to hear and do.
TIMES OF RESTORATION: OUR GENERATION
Along with the release of God’s power comes a requirement for obedience, responsibility and speaking the truth. An atmosphere of respect and honor should always be given place as we enter into God’s presence.
Let’s look at the account of what happened to a man and his wife who were part of the early church…for a very short time.
Lying to the Holy Spirit
“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
“But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.
“Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.
“Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, ‘Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?’
She said, ‘Yes, for so much.’
“Then Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband. So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.” Acts 5:1-11
Was this a sign of revival?
The Heart of the Matter
Someone said, “I thought Ananias and Sapphira were just speaking to Peter.”
No, Peter was standing in front of them, but Someone unseen was directing events and knew the hidden deception that was in the heart of this couple. It’s good to remember that presenting tithes and offerings are holy to God. “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD.”
THE PRESENCE AND GLORY OF THE LORD
Words are containers, carriers of what is in the heart. When Sapphira spoke those words to Peter she was revealing the sin that was in her heart.
As we get closer to the fulfillment of the ages and God’s holiness and purity of glory begin to increase in our churches with signs and wonders, we need to observe honor and respect in His presence.
Years ago I was attending a church where God’s glory was beginning to manifest during the worship services. One of the ladies on the worship team was wearing a dress that had many large designs and symbols of Egyptian idols. It was very disturbing. I spoke to the leader of the group about it but that lady wore the dress several times after that, and then I noticed her absence from the church. A few months later the church had her funeral service.
When David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, Uzzah put out his hand to steady the cart and died. Why? Because God had said only the priests could touch the ark.
See 2 Samuel 6:7.
When Moses went up the mountain and met God, the LORD told him, “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5
“And the heavens will praise Your wonders, O LORD;
Your faithfulness also in the assembly of the saints.
For who in the heavens can be compared to the LORD?
Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened to the LORD?
”God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints,
And to be held in reverence by all those around Him.” Psalm 89:5-7
The Holy Spirit will show us the way!
PRAYER WITH PURPOSE
As we intercede for The Church this week, let’s pray for Pastors, worship leaders, and members of the Body to flow with the Holy Spirit and God’s plan for revival.
Ask for signs and wonders to be done by faith in the name of Jesus Christ.
Praying for: The Church The Lost Elected Leaders in our counties.
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