Monday, March 28, 2022

Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Part 9

 


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 27th 2022  by click hereLasya D via zoom. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

 

Revelatory Gifts - Words of Knowledge and Discernment of Spirits

 

The deepest desire of the human heart is to be known and to be seen. The God who created us alone knows how to meet this need. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the first thing they did was to cover themselves up and hide. So in our own knowledge of good and evil, we chose shame instead of freedom. Isn’t that tragic? The gifts of the holy spirit that we will address today have the power to meet that very need that we have forsaken in the garden, to know God and be known by Him, to see God and be seen by him. We are talking about the gift of the word of knowledge and the discerning of spirits.

 

Word of Knowledge:

This is a really exciting gift. It works very closely with the prophetic gift and the gift of healing. But we need to be very careful with it. A prophetic word reveals the heart of God while the word of Knowledge reveals the state of man. So we must be careful to bring the word of knowledge with the heart of God. A word of knowledge done right communicates to the listener that God knows them intimately and cares for them.

How does this gift work?

1 Corinthians 2:11- 12 “ For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.

 

We have access to the unknowable by having access to the thoughts of the omniscient God. I want us to think of the gift of the word of knowledge as a surgical knife that comes to take out something that is blocking you or to pour out something you need. God does not perform any unnecessary surgeries.

 

Where do we see this gift in operation in scripture?

       2 Samuel 12 - Nathan Rebukes David. V.7 Nathan said to David, “You are the man!.... You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.

       A slight detour - Heb 12:10 “He disciplines us for our good so that we may share in His holiness” The response of saul v. the response of David. When Samuel bring the word of knowledge 1 Sam 15:20 “But I did obey the Lord, Saul insisted” he was trying to defend himself and cover up. But when Nathan confronted David with the word of knowledge it says in 2 Sam 12:13 “Then David confessed to Nathan - I have sinned against the Lord”.

       Matthew 12:24 - 25 “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.” 25 Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”

 

How to receive the gift of the word of knowledge:

1 Cor 2: 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

     Ask for the gift

     Be sensitive to the holy spirit - be alert to anything you might sense in the physical or spiritual. You may receive a vision, you may sense heat or pain or something in your body, you may just have a feeling that is not normal, etc.

     Use wisdom and ask God about how to bring the word of knowledge. If it is about someone’s sin, take a leader along, do not do it in front of 100 people, etc.

     Take a risk.

     Be open to asking for feedback.

     Don't lose heart if it is incorrect. The gift is for the purpose of loving and serving the other person, it’s not about you.

     Sharpen your gift by asking God for more details about the word of knowledge.

     Above all, do it in love.

 

What is the purpose of a word of knowledge?

It is grounded in love for the person and not shame. You’re not taking a machete and cutting the person into pieces. It is a specific word that God has specific grace for the person.

       In the church, God gives this gift to protect connection, holiness and his purpose for our lives. It invokes a response of repentance and draws the person to worship wholeness and holiness. It is NOT to invoke shame, guilt, embarrassment.

       In the world: An opening for the gospel - The Samaritan woman’s testimony John 4:29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?

The word of knowledge is powerful to bring down defences and make way for the love of God and the grace of God.

 

Discerning of spirits

1 Corinthians 2: 14 “14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. We are spiritual people who live in a spiritual environment that can only be discerned by the spirit. India’s involvement with spirits. That is why this gift is so essential. We need to discern if what we are experiencing is from God, the Devil, the flesh or my own thoughts. This gift gives us the ability to distinguish between the spirit of God, angels, demons, the spirit of man.

 

Why do we need to discern these things?

2 Corinthians 10: 3-4 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.We are waging war according to the spirit.  Trojan horse effect - satan parades as an angel of light and we can get confused if we are not spiritually discerning.

Discernment is very powerful because it is the birthplace of deliverance.

 

Where do we see this gift in operation in scripture?

       Acts 16:16- 18 “As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” 18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.” Distinguishing between God and the new age.

 

This gift is not only to distinguish between evil spirits or good from evil but it discerns the good spirit that is on someone. Barnabus discerned the spirit in Saul when he spoke to the apostles about him. He did the same with Mark. He had a huge fight with Paul over Mark and went their separate ways and raised him up until Paul himself says in one of the gospels that Mark is very useful to him.

 

How to use the gift:

Discerning spirits is through the spirit and not the flesh. It means that we cannot just examine the physical phenomena and discern what is happening in the spirit. Even though there is usually physical evidence of supernatural activity, it is the effect and not the indicator of spiritual realities. Story of when Samuel goes to anoint the next king of Israel God says that man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at the heart. So the way to discern spirits is by the Holy Spirit.

     Ask for the continuous infilling of the Holy Spirit.

     Be aware of the spiritual realm. Do not assume everything is a demon but ask God.

     Speak / prophecy the opposite spirit. When you sense a spirit of fear in the atmosphere… Don't say I sense fear, speak out words of love and confidence in the nature of God. deal with spirits spiritually, not physically.

     Pray Mark 9: 28-29 “After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.” Eg: Sons of sceva in Acts 19 We gain authority by growing in maturity. We need to be a people of prayer to grow in spiritual authority. 

 

        In the church - Identifying and raising up leaders in the church (Jesus sees Nathaniel - guileless spirit, the apostles choose men who were full of the Holy Spirit); casting out demons and rightly interpreting spiritual phenomena.

       In the world: Shifting atmospheres by discerning/ distinguishing between spirits. 1 John 4:4 for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. This is our mandate from heaven. Whether in the church or in the world, we are called to display His heart and His rule on the earth and these gifts help us to do that well.

 

 Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

 

Monday, March 21, 2022

Gifts of the Holy Spirit Part 8


 


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 6th 2022  by click hereLasya D via zoom. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.


Revelatory gifts - Word of wisdom,

 

How many of you have been in situations where you feel stuck because you don't know what to do or what's happening?

The holy spirit living within us is not only for relational intimacy. It is a partnership to advance the kingdom and we need to lean into him more. This is in continuation of our series on the gifts of the holy spirit - revelatory gifts. Today we will specifically look into the gift of words of wisdom/ utterance of wisdom. I believe this gift is like a key that unlocks situations.

1 Corinthians 2:16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.”

  Revelation is born out of a relationship. John 15:15 “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

 

1.      Word of Wisdom

This is the first gift mentioned in the list of gifts that we dealt with in 1 Corinthians 12.

 

1 Corinthians 2: 7-10: But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”

 

What is the word of wisdom? It is a gift of the holy spirit that grants us insight into the wisdom of God for a person or a situation. Solomon famously seeks wisdom over power or riches and God gladly grants him all these along with wisdom. What is the purpose of the word of wisdom? Eccl 10:10Using a dull axe requires great strength, so sharpen the blade.

That’s the value of wisdom;  it helps you succeed. The word of wisdom comes to quicken and give direction to people and situations. This is not the wisdom of the world. It comes from God.

 

Where do we see this gift in operation in scripture?

       Moses’ father-in-law Jethro in Exodus 18 sees how Moses was judging the people of Israel from day to night and he said in verse 17-19 ““What you are doing is not good. 18 You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. 19 Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you!

       Acts 15: 19-20 “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. 20 Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.”

 

How do you identify/ bring a word of wisdom?

James 3:17 “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere”

       Pure - no ulterior motives

       Peaceable - It does not stir up strife, it comes to make peace. When you are confused and feeling aimless, the word of wisdom comes to give direction and put things in order.

       Gentle - not forceful

       Open to reason - not insisting on own way

       Full of mercy - and not judgement (Counselling session with Colin and Navaz)

       Full of good fruits - love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.

       Impartial - no favouritism

       Sincere - vulnerable and honest. For your good, not their own.

Wisdom can unlock a dead situation like pretty much nothing else can.

 

How can you receive this gift?

     Seek wisdom - James 1: 5 “ If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

     Expect to receive the gift in faith James 1:6-7 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord

     Get close to Jesus. Read the scriptures carefully so you can understand his ways. The bible says, Israel knew the works of God but Moses knew the ways of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24 “to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God..” Colossians 2:3 “In Him all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden

     Read and listen to wise people.

     Surrender your tongue. The holy spirit said that he will give us the words to speak

 

HOW DO APPLY THIS GIFT IN THE WORLD:

 Ephesians 3: 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.”

Words of wisdom: Supernatural answers for the marketplace: Prov 18: 15-16 “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before the great.We are called to be the Josephs and Daniels of today. Joseph brought words of wisdom about how to deal with the years of plenty and years of famine and was elevated because of his gift. Daniel was the counsellor to the king not only for the interpretation of dreams but for his wisdom. We can bring God solutions to problems in the marketplace which no one is thinking about.  

 Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.  

Monday, March 7, 2022

Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Part 7

 


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 6th 2022  by Navaz D via zoom. For the audio & video please click here.  To listen to the worship please click here.

GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT PART 7 - BLOG

INTRODUCTION

In the last few weeks, we have been looking at the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are vital for us to thrive as Christ-followers and for the church to be a vibrant spirit-filled community.

The gifts are grace gifts and not rewards for good behaviour. You did nothing to earn it or deserve it. They are given freely as the Holy Spirit determines. They are given for the common good: to build up, encourage and comfort the people of God. They are also useful in our interactions with society – to heal the sick, raise the dead and cast out demons.

They help us fulfil our mandate to go into all the world and make disciples, to fill the earth with the Glory of God, to preach good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, set the prisoner free and release those in darkness. You cannot do this on your own. You need the anointing and enabling of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8 - But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends….

REVELATORY/VOCAL GIFTS

1 Cor14 Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.  I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy. 12 Since you are eager for gifts of the Spirit, try to excel in those that build up the church. 24 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, 25 as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, “God is really among you!” Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. 30 And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. 31 For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. 32 The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. 33 For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.

Today we are going to look at 1 Revelatory gift: Prophecy. It is such a large one and in essence what you learn here about how a prophecy functions applies to some of the other vocal gifts as well.

PROPHECY

God’s heart is to reveal Himself to us and to speak to us.

There is a difference between Old Testament and New Testament Prophets and Prophecy.

THE PROPHET and PROPHECY

OLD TESTAMENT

NEW TESTAMENT

The weight was on the prophet. If he was proved wrong, he could be stoned to death.

We need to weigh the prophecy.

It was one prophet that functioned at a time usually.

Today prophets function in teams. Now everyone can prophesy and the aim is to raise a prophetic people.

The prophecies of the prophets of the Bible were divinely inspired and we do not need to weigh them.

Today we prophesy in part and know in part. So, it needs to be weighed.

 

The prophets functioned independently

Function as part of a local church in submission to local leadership.

 

 

 

WHAT IS PROPHECY?

Prophecy is the ability granted supernaturally by the Holy Spirit to a believer to speak forth words that come from God, that do not come from your own wisdom and understanding. (Derek Prince)

Prophecy has been there right from the beginning of time to Adam and Eve, Abraham, Jacob, Esau, Hannah, Joseph, etc.

It is Forth telling – call into being. Causes things to happen – Ezekiel and the dry bones. Fore telling – tells you what is to come

 

TWO RESPONSES WE MUST AVOID

1Thes 5:19-21

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21 but test them all; hold on to what is good,

We are instructed to neither quench nor despise.

QUENCH: This imagery is linked to fire. You quench fire by pouring water on it. You cannot quench the Spirit himself but you can resist His working or grace upon your life.

DESPISE: To despise is not to give due honour or respect. To belittle or think less than. It could have been that things had gone wrong in the Thessalonian church. The hint lies in the next verse which says: Test everything. Hold on to what is good.  Remember we said all prophecy must be weighed. In other words: eat the chicken throw the bones.

Also, some commentators add that the Thessalonians probably valued the power gifts more and did not care much for prophecy. We need to value all the gifts and allow them to flourish.

HOW TO BRING PROPHECY?

·       Bring it with grace and love.

·       Bring it under submission to the leadership.

·       Humility – you could be wrong and be willing to be corrected

·       Wait for the correct timing. Sometimes God speaks way ahead of time and you must pray over it, refine and craft the Word and bring it at the right time.

·       You are the postman- your job is to deliver the

·       Do not bring personal prophecies to people whom you know well. Your personal biases can affect the world.

·       If you are new at this gift and you are bringing a word of knowledge or a personal prophecy you must have a leader with you.

·       Be a student of Scripture.

HOW TO TEST PROPHECY?

·       It must agree with scripture

·       Does it glorify Jesus?

·       Is it building up the person, bringing strength and encouragement?

·       Personal prophecy- Submit it your leaders. Let it be established by 2 or 3 witnesses.

 

HOW TO RECEIVE PROPHECY

·       Be open to God using another human like you that is loved by God and imperfect.

·       Be gracious toward the person

·       Does the person have a track record of accuracy?

·       If it is a condemning word step out from under it and be released.

·       If you are feeling manipulated in any way – please speak to your leaders

·       If it is a word that witnesses with your Spirit, then you have a responsibility to obey it.

 

ROLE OF PROPHECY IN OUR LIVES

·       Can guide and direct the course of our lives. 1 Tim 1:8 Paul encourages Timothy to live according to the prophetic WORD over His life. Numerous examples in the OT and NT

AREAS TO AVOID

Do not prophecy about birth, death and marriage. Remember we know in part. If you are wrong, it can have devastating consequences.

Do not give a personal prophecy alone. Always call someone who is a leader in the church to stand alongside you as you prophesy. It is a safety net for you and the person.

 

DIFFERENT LEVELS OF THE GIFT AND AUTHORITY

·       The gift of prophecy is for all of us. Paul says I wish that all would prophesy.

·       Maturing Gift/ Prophetic ministry – that is recognized by the wider body of Christ because of your track record over time.

·       Leadership with a prophetic edge.

·       Prophets – Eph 4:11 A Doma Gift

·       Prophet to the Nations.

 

VARIETY OF PROPHETIC IN TERMS OF SCOPE

·       TELESCOPIC – Prophecies into the distant future

·       MICROSCOPIC – Able to look into the heart of the matter.

·       WIDE ANGLE LENSE – 360 perspectives to help you understand things in relation to other things

HOW DO WE HEAR GOD?

·       Nudges, a sense- we have an impression or a thought.

·       Through things in our natural surroundings. God may arrest your attention on an object and speak to you through that.

·       When you are worshipping God may drop a thought in your mind, or a line in the song. Through a sermon.

·       Your daily devotions and scripture reading.

·       Dreams and visions

·       A conversation and circumstances

 

CONCLUSION

 

Don’t doubt the voice and promptings of God if they line up with all the safety measures we spoke about. Submit to your mentor or leadership before you bring it to the public. I did this for years and still do for larger gatherings.

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s a part of growth

Make sure you take care to walk in holiness before the Lord. Take care of your private life and devotion because if it is not right it will catch up with you.

God has given us a great privilege: to be His mouthpiece for a hurting individual or for some to the nations. Be faithful with the little and much will be given to you.

 Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is a part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.