Q2 – June 2019 | web www.ear2hear.co.za
It is the middle of the year. Yes, the same thought that is in your head is also dancing through mine… time is running away! Don't worry, because this quarter we have an interesting newsletter worthy of your time and attention.
This month we discuss the person of the Holy Spirit and we give some feedback regarding various initiatives and projects.
We would also love to hear from you. Please send us your greetings.
Warm regards and happy reading…
The 9th of June 2019 is the global celebration of the Christian Holy day known as “Pentecost”. Almost 2000 years ago the Holy Spirit of God visited the followers of Jesus in an upper room. The scene was a mesmerizing one: of rushing wind; tongues of fire; tongues of the world praising God; and preaching that saw some 3000 people become born again in a single sermon. This encounter was nothing less than an extravagant gesture of God, to be with His people.
Almost every encounter that has taken place between people and the Lord in scriptural record and historical record through personal testimony has had a domino effect – touching individuals, communities, cities and even entire nations.
The Holy Spirit is given to be with us FOREVER
In the books of Acts we are told that the Pentecost encounter enabled the believers to turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6). The presence of the Holy Spirit engaging with us acts as a guarantee from God to His future Bride, the Church (Ephesians 1:14). The Spirit is the Lord’s assurance to us that we are His children and we can move in AUHORITY and POWER that before was not available to us.
Sadly many Christians believe and teach that the Holy Spirit is but a token; no longer applicable in an age of reason, Church Tradition and the Bible. How men think they can reason better than God the Holy Spirit… we may never understand? Those who teach that the Holy Spirit has CEASED to function cannot explain why their Christian walk is so joyless, boring, and in many cases lifeless! They struggle to glorify God out loud, they have little boldness and motivation for the spreading of the Gospel effectively… or powerfully.
They are not equipped with the gifts of the Spirit in the form of Prophecy, Words of Knowledge, Words of Wisdom, Faith, Miracles, Tongues etc. and as such cannot give the Church the nurture she desperately needs in the dark hour we are living in. (Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NLT) These are but a few troubling symptoms. There are many more when the Spirit’s work is rejected.
In the letter to the Romans we are told that the Kingdom of God cannot be separated from the Holy Spirit. Where the Kingdom is, the Spirit is…
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17NLT)
The Holy Spirit is the one who gives us the very nurture and boost we need in the last days, so that unspeakable joy and fullness of life can be with us in the toughest of circumstances. Contrary to some teaching the Holy Spirit is given to be with us FOREVER!!!!!! (Read John 14:16) There was never going to be a time of cessation of His work… ever.
Are there false manifestations and workings of that copy the Holy Spirit? Of course there are. Satan will try anything and everything to keep us from knowing the tremendous blessing of the true infilling of the Spirit. There are also false teachers and teachings about the Holy Spirit that spread propaganda about Him and His character. Sometimes people, who are filled with the Spirit, also misunderstand the Holy Spirit and behave out of line with HIM; but that is their human short comings – It is not the fault of God, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will convict all wrong doing – He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment (Read John 16:8).
We should never throw the baby out with the bath water. We need to stir a desire within disciples to hear the voice of God through the Holy Spirit – and as such seek the immersion experience that the Holy Spirit offers us. We also need to teach people how to differentiate between God’s voice and the voices out in the vast world, natural and supernatural.
Receiving God’s Holy Spirit baptism is part of His preparation process for the Bride of Christ. It is natural for a bride to experience fear, insecurity and intimidation at the thought of the marriage process.
Receiving the Holy Spirit is part of our marriage process. It is a big step. Once you take it you will not regret it. So come boldly and ask God without fear (Luke 11:9-13 NLT).
So come boldly and ask God without fear (Luke 11:9-13 NLT).
For those refusing the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you are losing out each day in the journey of preparing for that great spiritual marriage. For others who have opened there hearts to receive the promise made by the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit has become an unbelievable companion and He gives us an exciting walk with the Father and the Son that no person can steal away from us.
The views and opinions expressed in the EAR2HEAR newsletter are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the
official policy or position of EAR2HEAR. Any content
provided by our authors are of their opinion, and are not
intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization,
company, individual or anyone or anything.
Teachings on the Holy Spirit are available by EAR2HEAR as well as a variety of Bible teachers.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like more information.
“It is dangerous to learn the truth at a faster rate than we can practise it – that’s why I do not distribute Bibles to new converts.” So said a Chinese evangelist to representatives of a mission agency.
This particular evangelist began his ministry in the 1980s, when Bibles were extremely scarce. Travelling primarily in ‘revival provinces’, he found that each week roughly a hundred people would profess faith in Christ. But being a travelling preacher, he could not linger to disciple them. So his dilemma was always, “I’ve got nothing to give these people, but I must leave them something so they can keep on growing in God.”
So he devised a rather unique method of self-discipleship. Out of a hundred converts, he picked five people at random. He said, “You are going to lead a weekly meeting of 20 people.” Then he took the five leaders to a stream and picked out five smooth stones for each of them. On each stone, he wrote a verse of the Bible. He gave them the stones and said, “Each week, give a different member one of the stones. Let them live with the verse, think about it, pray about it, take it with them into the fields, put it next to their rice bowl. Then, next week when you all come together, you are to listen to what God told them about the verse on the stone. Do this for all five stones. At the end of the meeting, give the stones to another five members. I’ll see you in six months.”
When he returned, to his astonishment he discovered that nearly everyone was going on in the faith. “Normally the fall-away rate is 40 percent or higher, but for those using the method of the five stones, the fall-away rate was only about 5 percent,” he said. He felt he had stumbled on a vital truth about discipleship and explained to the mission representatives that even when he had the opportunity to give the new converts Bibles, he refused, insisting they start with his five-stones method. Only after a year did he give them a Bible.
He explained, “I don’t want them to encounter too much truth too fast. Otherwise they will get into the bad habit of never using what they know.” He said, “A verse a week is the right pace. It slows them down to believe at the heart’s pace. It is dangerous to learn truth faster than we can live it.”
What a challenge this is to the Western Church: we have so many books to read, and the Bible available in so many formats and versions. The danger is not so much a lack of Biblical knowledge, but rather an unbalanced Biblical knowledge. When too many scriptures are available too quickly, we can become selective and
‘choose’ only those we like or that fit our thinking. This does not mean adopting an unbiblical lifestyle, but rather becoming ensnared by an ‘unbalanced Biblical lifestyle’.
Well-balanced lives often require strength in a multiple of disciplines (virtues), not only one. A tennis player who can play brilliant forehands but struggles with backhands will never become a champion. A bird with one strong wing and one weak wing will fly in circles. A well-rounded student excels in more than one subject.
Think about it – Scripture is full of counter balances:
- It teaches prosperity, but also charity
- It teaches abundance, but also equality
- It teaches about grace, but also about works
- It teaches joy, but also anguish
- It teaches healing, but also brokenness
- It teaches peace, but also war
- It teaches on reaping, but also sowing
- It teaches truth, but also love
- It teaches about releasing, but also faithfulness
- It teaches us to believe, but also to test
- It teaches urgency, but also devotion
- It teaches unity, but also diversity
- It teaches humility, but also boldness
- It teaches about bearing fruit, but also about pruning branches
Many theologies too often focus on only one virtue. A balanced follower of Christ has an understanding that God wants us to prosper (this is not unbiblical), but equally to live life sacrificially for the benefit of others. If only ‘health, wealth and prosperity’ are emphasised, we create an unbalanced generation that nullifies the cross through self-obsessed lifestyles of self-indulgence and idolatry. On the other hand, if we only focus on hardship and suffering, we nullify the resurrection and lose sight of a God who gives joy for all to experience. There are always two sides to the same coin, and both need to be explored in the same measure. The secret to living a mature life in Christ is to place equal emphasis on all virtues necessary to ensure God-glorifying life disciplines. No single teaching of Christ should be placed higher than another.
May a balanced life mark every mature follower of Christ, especially in this season of anguish and brokenness.
~~ Author unknown
~~~ Source Unknown
BEWARE THE BEWITCHING POWER OF THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT!
“Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you?" Galatians 3:1 NLT
Throughout the chapter in the letter to the Galatians, Paul uses some strong rebukes to address a very serious situation within the local Church.
A Religious Spirit – an entity – had infiltrated the Church in Galatia. This Spirit was causing havoc by changing the landscape of a dear spiritual family into a dead, legalistic compound.
He rebukes them for receiving this spirit by calling them
- Foolish twice
- He calls their legalistic efforts nothingness, and vanity.
- He says that they are in danger of being under the curse of legalism
The Religious Spirit is a major enemy that Christian leaders easily underestimate. It burdens believers with the yoke of legalism. It can have devastating consequences if it is allowed to flourish in the Church. The greatest deception that believers can confront with the Religious Spirit is summed up by Paul in this way:
“After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (Galatians 3:3 NLT)
We can start very well in the Spirit but the end of the race may not look good for us. It is time that leaders in Christian communities, Churches and ministries look to the Lord to deal with this vile spirit that slimes its way into the lives of God’s people. We are warned that in the final days of the Church on earth, many people will grow cold with the Lord (Matthew 24). The Religious Spirit has a large hand to play in this last day devastation.
Remember the Spirit behind the persecution, torture and crucifixion of Jesus Christ was a Religious Spirit. The men who housed this spirit, Jesus called them white-washed tombs! The Religious Spirit targets where He smells spiritual death and decay.
Never fear, the Lord can renew and refresh our spiritual walk – but we are called to be proactive in our warfare against these powers (Ephesians 6:10-18 NLT) Remember demonic spirits are given an open door to enter in – they cannot make a door for themselves.
For more on this series of leadership insights concerning THE BEWITCHING POWER OF THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT please contact EAR2HEAR.
Gospels of John and similar scripture based tracts are freely available in the following languages. We have limited supply in English, Afrikaans, North Sotho, South Sotho, Tswana, Xhosa, Zulu, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Chinese, Shona among others.
We publish official prayer lists for you to download on our website. This is done shortly before the event to ensure that we have the most up to date prayer information available for you.
You are welcome to diarise the following prayer events in your calendar. We value your prayer support for the Kingdom work that we and our ministry partners undertake to do:
- Friday: Pray and Fast – 21 June 2019
- Friday: Pray and Fast – 19 July 2019
- AUGUST Prayer Sessions – 1 to 30 August 2019
- Friday: Pray and Fast – 18 October 2019
- Friday: Pray and Fast – 22 November 2019
- DECEMBER Prayer Sessions – 1 to 30 December 2019
EAR2HEAR supports a number of organisations and projects because people who care have been giving towards the needs of others…
- New and second hand clothes for men, women and children support homeless men; houses of safety and feeding schemes.
- Non perishable food contributions feed people living on the street and at feeding schemes.
- Stationery, books and crafts help children with extra-mural activities and support them with school projects.
- Wool and unworked-cloth help the elderly and various projects uplift the community.
- Finances help when we need to purchase fresh produce from the market in bulk! Consider supporting us – follow the link for our banking details.
Organisations we support in 2019: