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February 13, 2024

THE BODY OF CHRIST - PART 2

 

Well - last week we went through many Scriptures explaining the period of time for THE BODY OF CHRIST, which was all those people who had accepted Jesus as their Savior, between the time of the resurrection of Jesus and the Day of Pentecost.  I am calling this topic THE BODY OF CHRIST because those people of that day - and US TODAY - were - and are - all part of the BODY OF CHRIST.  If you weren’t here, you can go online to my website and read the notes.  

 

Unfortunately, this information has been left out of a huge amount of Christianity in today’s culture.  It has become a very delicate topic - but the Lord instructed me to tackle this subject and just get down to the nitty gritty.  It isn’t enough to just teach doctrine (although that’s very important) but the Lord has shown me that so many people have heard the doctrine but have not been taught, “Okay - so how do you do it - how does it apply to me in my life - explain the details to me so I can understand it!!!!!!!!”  

 

The Baptism in the Holy Spirit is for ALL CHRISTIANS, JUST LIKE IT WAS 2,000 YEARS AGO.

 

So - let’s just jump right in.  We’ve talked about those 50 days between the resurrection of Jesus to the day of Pentecost.  Jesus rose to Heaven on the 40th day after His resurrection and then, for the next 10 days the disciples did what Jesus had said for them to do.  He told them to tarry in Jerusalem - they were not to go out and preach the Gospel until they had received the PROMISE FROM THE FATHER.

 

Now this is a very important lesson for all of us.  We are to do what the Lord tells us to do.  We are not to do it our way - we are to do it HIS WAY.  I’m sure some of them were thinking, “Hey - we’ve got the most important message for the human race that there is - we can stay all together here but some of us could go out on the streets a little here and there and let people know that the SON OF GOD HAS TAKEN ALL THEIR SIN FOR THEM - AND PAID A PRICE THEY COULDN’T PAY.”  BUT JESUS HAD TOLD THEM TO WAIT AND THEY OBEYED HIM.  THAT’S A VERY IMPORTANT THING TO GET AHOLD OF.

 

So - for 10 days they had been waiting!  I’m sure they were praying a lot and talking together about what all they had learned from Jesus.  I have learned in my own life that obedience to the Lord is very important to walking in the blessings of the Lord.

 

So - I’m going to read this portion of Scripture - Acts 2: 1-6 - “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 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.  And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven.  And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language.”

 

Now - first I want to comment on the fact that THEY WERE ALL IN ONE ACCORD - IN ONE PLACE.  Unity among believers is very, very, very important - and is quite uncommon in today’s world.  However, there have been a few times when lots and lots of people have gathered together and God has touched thousands of people at a time.  The Billy Graham crusades were absolutely phenomenal!  Anybody but me been to one or more of them???  My husband and I volunteered to be on the team to help the people who came forward to an upcoming crusade in Kansas City in the 1960’s - we went to the meetings to be trained.  Then - we couldn’t do it because we were leaving to go to Canada to Bible School.  In fact, as we were in our car with our children, heading out of town, the Billy Graham trucks were coming into town.  We hated not being able to be a part of it - but, we had to leave.

 

By the way, did you notice, in that Scripture, that it does not say there was a wind - IT SAID THERE WAS THE SOUND OF A RUSHING MIGHTY WIND.  Then there were divided tongues of fire that sat upon each of them.  This was a unique way God used to bring this mighty power of the Holy Spirit to THE BODY OF CHRIST.  It does not happen this way today.  No sound of a mighty wind and no tongues of fire.  I believe God used this to usher in this wonderful thing that He was doing for all those who would believe and receive salvation and then the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.  

 

For those who may not be acquainted with a lot of the Old Testament, the supernatural fire of God consumed the sacrifices when the tabernacle was first dedicated and when Solomon’s temple was dedicated.  From that time onward the priests were supposed to just add wood to the supernatural fire the Lord had already kindled.

 

NOW WE ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE LORD AND WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT FIRST CAME TO INHABIT HIS NEW TEMPLE, THE SUPERNATURAL FIRE OF GOD WAS ONCE AGAIN PRESENT.

 

Now - the tongues that these believers spoke in were the languages of the people who had gathered together.  There was a huge crowd of people - they weren’t in the room they had been in.  In Acts 2:4, it tells about the places where all these people were from.

 

Now - I want to deal with something that is very confusing to people.  First of all, those disciples had absolutely yielded themselves to God.  They knew that they were to preach the Gospel to the world - but they were just ordinary people like you and me.  One important thing to understand, in receiving the BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, is that they were obeying and yielded to the Lord.  In other words, their attitudes were, “Here I am, Lord, use me - I am yours.”  The Holy Spirit did not overpower them without their consent.  Therefore, (Now - get this) They had to open their mouths and start to speak, and the words which were coming out of their mouths were languages they didn’t know.  The reason I am talking about this is because a lot of Christians just think that if God wants them to speak in tongues, God will just do it - WITHOUT THEIR COOPERATION.  It doesn’t work that way!!!!!!!

 

When a person receives the Baptism In The Holy Spirit, he has to open his or her mouth and begin to speak - BUT IT’S NOT COMING FROM THEIR MIND, WHICH IS IN THEIR SOUL - THESE WORDS ARE BEING DIRECTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND ARE COMING FROM THEIR NEW BORN AGAIN SPIRIT!!!!!!!

 

It is a human being on this earth communicating directly by the Holy Spirit with the Godhead!!!!!

 

Man oh Man - when I got ahold of this, it opened up a whole new world to me.  The Holy Spirit was in there - knowing and understanding the desires of my heart and the knowledge and enlightenment that I needed concerning the situations and people that I had already talked to Him about in my prayer time - FROM MY MIND -  and He was directing it all to the rest of the Godhead!!!!!!!!!

 

Now - that day - on the Day of Pentecost - He was directing their words in the languages of all the thousands of people who were listening - to introduce to the world that the Savior for all had come, taken their sin away, and all they had to do was believe and receive - and then get baptized - and receive the Holy Spirit!!  That was speaking in the tongues of men.

 

Now - I’m going to read this verse - 1 Corinthians 13:1 - “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.”  Man - when I got ahold of this verse, all those years ago, it helped me understand so much more about this whole subject of ‘speaking in tongues’.   

 

There is SPEAKING IN THE TONGUES OF MEN AND THERE IS SPEAKING IN THE TONGUES OF ANGELS.  That Day of Pentecost THE BODY OF CHRIST WAS SPEAKING THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE TONGUES OF MEN - Today, THE BODY OF CHRIST IS SPEAKING THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT  IN THE TONGUES OF ANGELS.

The Day of Pentecost was a very important day - It was the beginning of human beings receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit - it was the beginning of people from all around the world, all at one time, hearing the message of the Gospel - it was a day like no other.  Therefore, the Lord guided THE BODY OF CHRIST AND SUPERNATURALLY AIDED THEM IN THE FIRST REAL REACH OUT TO THE WORLD WITH THE GOSPEL.

 

I’m going to say this again, because it’s very important to get ahold of - GOD DOES NOT JUST OVERCOME PEOPLE WITHOUT THEIR COOPERATION.  In other words, He does not whoosh down and overpower you without your consent!  You have to be ready - and agreeable - and asking.  ALSO - HE DOES NOT PUT THE TONGUES IN YOUR MIND - FOR THEM TO COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTH - WHEN YOU YIELD THE RIGHT-OF-WAY TO HIM, THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS WORDS FROM YOUR SPIRIT - THEREFORE, IT IS YOUR SPIRIT IN HARMONY WITH CHRIST!  

 

Now think about this - the Holy Spirit is guiding the words that are coming out of your mouth, from your spirit, and the Father, in Heaven, is hearing how the Holy Spirit is directing the words and the thoughts and desires which are coming out of your mouth.  

 

Now - this is what I have learned.  The Lord knows us individually, inside and out.  He knows every detail of our lives.  He has a plan for each of us.  He has giftings for each of us and, because of the uniqueness of us all, He has things that the knowledge concerning those plans are available to only HIM and EACH ONE OF US.  Isn’t that just miraculously amazing.  The Creator of the Universe desires an individual relationship with every single one of His children - THE BODY OF CHRIST.  So - He has created a way for each of us to be in individual communication with Him.  We pray in tongues to Him - and He speaks to our hearts - and enlightens us, gives us understanding, gives us wisdom, shows us things that we would never have come up with in our minds - He comforts us with a peace that we cannot even explain - He guides us, directs us, helps us - BECAUSE HE LOVES US!!!!  WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST!!!!!

 

Now - this is what I have learned - down to the nitty gritty - of how this operates in and for us.  As I begin talking to the Lord - we call it prayer - I often tell Him, from my mind, what I am needing help with and about.  I talk to Him, as my Best Friend, My Father, The One who knows me inside-out, and I tell Him what’s in my heart, and I need to understand, and what I need help with.  Then, I usually say something like this - “Father, now I’m going to pray in tongues and I am trusting You to help me pray the perfect will of God.  Thank you, Father.”  I usually shut my eyes and I imagine these words that I don’t understand going right into the ears of the Father.  It’s me - having direct, personal contact with the King and Creator of the Universe.  I don’t have a exact time of how long I pray in tongues (or in the spirit, as I like to say) - sometimes it’s a long time - sometimes it’s a short time.  However, one thing I’ve discovered is that when I pray for quite a while, and am kinda’ ‘soaking’ in this close encounter with the Lord of Heaven and Earth, I feel like I get closer and closer to Him.

 

My answers come back to me in all kinds of ways.  Sometimes, just all of a sudden, I understand something that I had been praying about to understand.  Other times, I’ll be talking to somebody and all of a sudden, deep within me, I SEE what I couldn’t see before.  Other times, I’ll be reading the Word, and, all of a sudden, my spiritual eyes will be opened and I will have understanding of something I had been praying about.

 

Other times, there will be a change in a situation, or a person will say something which shows me that God had changed a course.

 

Sometimes, when I am praying in the spirit for a family member or close friend, who is not walking with God, while I am praying for them, I imagine the person worshiping God.  I have a grandson like that, and, while I’m praying, I imagine him, standing with his hands raised to the Lord - worshiping the Lord.  It has become so real to me, I know, that I know, that I know that I will see that one day with my physical eyes - him really worshiping God.  In my heart, it’s a done deal!

Now - I want to clear up something that is confusing to lots of people.  There is another thing about the gift of tongues that I want to clear up.  There are several verses which refer to speaking in tongues and interpreting what was spoken in tongues.  I’m going to read a verse, which is right in the middle of talking about giftings from the Holy Spirit - It’s 1 Corinthians 12: 10 - I’m not going to read the whole section - just this one verse - “to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.”  This is referring to individuals who the Lord uses to speak a message in tongues to a group of Christians (usually in a church service) and then uses another person to interpret what the message in tongues meant.  It’s right there in Scripture.  I have been in services where this has occurred.  I just wanted to make that clear.

 

Now - I want to read another verse - This is something that the Apostle John (who called himself, the one Jesus loved) wrote - and he heard Jesus say this before HE was crucified - John 14:26 - “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

 

Oh - how I love this verse!  This is the way I see this verse and have used it in my life.  The Holy Spirit is my Helper.  The Father sent Him to me when I finally gave in and asked!  So - when I need to understand something, I tell Him, and then I pray in the Spirit (in tongues) and the Holy Spirit helps me to, in that way,  spend time with the Father - the Creator of the Universe - and then, sometimes a couple minutes later, sometimes the next day, sometimes at a later time, the answer to my situation that I prayed about, comes into my conscience and I GET IT!!!!!  WHAT A WONDERFUL GIFT!!!!!  Sometimes, the answer is understanding about the situation, enlightening me about what is really going on.

 

Now - another funny thing about this is that, when we get older, sometimes our memory isn’t like it used to be and the Holy Spirit can HELP US REMEMBER!!!!  PRAISE THE LORD!  Now - get this!!!  Everything that Jesus speaks will be brought back to us, while anything that was from the flesh will not!

 

Now - I want to get down to details of how this all works.  First - I want to read this verse - Mark 16:17 - “And these signs will follow those who believe; in my name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues;” - Then in the following verse it is talking about other new spiritual abilities.  But I want to just focus on the last part of that verse.  These words were spoken by Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  What it really boils down to is that WE HAVE TO BELIEVE WHAT HE SAID.  Now, this is a quote of words which came out of the mouth of Jesus, after He was raised from the dead and before He went to Heaven.  It’s just a short sentence - easy to remember - “THEY WILL SPEAK WITH NEW TONGUES.”  Our religious backgrounds can hinder us from REALLY believing this and that can hinder us from receiving from the Lord.

 

Believe me - I know - because I struggled with this terribly - as I shared with you last week.

 

However, if you are a born-again child of God - meaning that you have received Jesus as your Savior, and you have not received this gift yet, YOU HAVE TO OVERCOME THE WRONG THINGS YOU HEARD ABOUT ‘TONGUES’ EARLIER IN YOUR LIFE - AND REALLY, REALLY, REALLY BELIEVE VERSES LIKE THIS.  

 

And - as I said before - you have to realize that God’s not going to put words into your mind for you to say - because these tongues are not coming out of your mind, which is in your soul.  They are going to be coming out of your spirit.  You have to believe that - to the point that you can open your mouth and start to speak - AND HE WILL BRING THE WORDS (OF TONUES) OUT OF YOUR MOUTH.  Now - I know it’s weird - to our natural minds - but it takes us operating in faith!!!!!!!

 

It’s worth it!!!!!!  It is the most powerful thing that the Lord has made available to us.  It will open the door for understanding and wisdom and answers like no other.  It will provide a way to pray for our loved ones, also, like no other.

 

Now, pretty soon, we’re going to pray here in this group so that anyone who wants to receive the  BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT will be able to receive - RIGHT HERE TODAY - but first - I want to give anyone who has questions about any of this the opportunity to ask.  I’m certainly not one with the answers to everything, but I will surely help if I can.  This is going to be a time in a small group of people, sitting here together in unity - and in love for one another - with no embarrassment  or judgement - just THE LOVE OF GOD.

 

So - any questions??????    

 

Scriptures for today’s lesson

Acts 2:1-6

1 Corinthians 13:1

1 Corinthians 12:10

John 14:26

Mark 16:17

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