The Need for Revelation and Power

In Ephesians 1:17, 18, Paul had prayed that the Christians at Ephesus might receive revelation from the Holy Spirit. At the end of this first half of Ephesians, in chapter 3:16, Paul prays that they might receive power from the Holy Spirit. These are our two greatest needs – revelation and power. The Holy Spirit alone can give us both. The entire Christian life is dependent on the Holy Spirit. First of all, the Spirit gives us revelation on what God has done for us in Christ. Then, He gives us power to walk in a manner worthy of our calling, obeying all that the Lord has taught us.

In Ephesians 3: 18 & 19, we see that we can experience the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of Christ (there are four dimensions there and that itself goes beyond human knowledge!!) – only along with ALL the saints. We can never grasp the love of Christ all by ourselves. We need the other members of Christ’s Body. And further, we need ALL the members of Christ’s Body, not just those in our own little group. That is why our hearts should always be open to ALL believers, even to those who don’t agree with us, and even to those whom we would consider a bit extreme. We may not be able to work with all of them, and we certainly will not be able to meet all of them on this earth. But our hearts should be open to all of God’s children. Our hearts must have room for as many brothers and sisters as God has children – both barbarian and cultured.

That is why we need to be open to read the writings of ALL godly people – and not just to the writings of our favourite authors. Let me warn you, in advance, that in my lifetime, I have found very, very few believers who have such an open heart. But those are the few who are truly spiritually wealthy. The remainder carry on with their poverty-stricken, sectarian attitudes and live and die as Pharisees, missing out on the wealth that could have been theirs if they had been humble enough to accept all whom God had accepted.

Let us meditate carefully on the first three chapters of Ephesians and ask the Holy Spirit to give us revelation on these glorious truths. Once you have got revelation, you will be ready to seek the Spirit for His power to live an overcoming life, full of purity, humility and love. Then we will be able to put away ALL unwholesome words from our speech, and ALL anger and ALL bitterness from our hearts (Eph.4:29, 31).

Then wives will be able to submit to their husbands as the church is to Christ, and husbands will be able to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Eph.5:22, 25). Then we will be able to overcome Satan at all times (Eph.6:11-13). And then we will have the power to “become imitators of God” (Eph.5:1).

God is able to do far more in us and through us than we can ask or think.

To Him alone be all the glory (Eph.3:20, 21).

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** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at CFC India.com / Photo by Avery Nielsen-Webb at Pexels

Power with God and Power with Men

It is written in Genesis 32:29 that “God blessed Jacob there”. The word “bless” is perhaps the most frequently used word in the prayers of Christians; but few understand its real meaning.

What is blessing? What was the blessing Jacob got? It is described in verse 28 as “power with God and power with men”. This is the blessing that we all need and that we should be seeking for. And this alone can make the sun to rise upon our lives. Nothing less than this is what God desires to give His people.

Jesus referred to this blessing when He asked His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. He said, “When the Holy Spirit is come upon you, you shall receive power” (Acts 1:8) – power with God and power with men. Jacobs would be transformed by the Spirit’s power into Israels. This was what made the sun to rise upon Peter’s life and upon the lives of the other disciples that day in the upper room at Jerusalem.

And this alone can provide the answer to the crookedness of our self-life. It is not a question of reformation or of good resolutions or even of our determination. It is a question of the Holy Spirit possessing us fully and governing and ruling our lives.

But where does the Spirit lead us? Always to the cross. It is only when we are crucified, that Christ can live in us in His fullness. It was when Jesus was baptized, buried under the waters – symbolically accepting death to Himself – that the Holy Spirit came upon Him (Matt. 3:16). It was when Jacob was broken, that he was blessed. It was only after Moses’ self-confidence had been shattered through 40 years of looking after sheep, that he was ready to deliver Israel. The rock had to be smitten before the living waters could flow. The Israelites had to go through the River Jordan (symbolizing death and burial) before they could enter Canaan (symbolizing life in the fullness of the Spirit). Gideon’s army had to break their pitchers before the light inside was visible. The alabaster vial had to be broken before the odor of the ointment could fill the house. Peter’s boastful self-confidence had to be shattered before he was ready for Pentecost. We find this truth throughout Scripture.

It would be dangerous for God to empower an unbroken man. It would be like giving a sharp knife to a 6-month-old baby, or like handling 20,000 volts of electricity without proper insulation. God is careful. He does not give the power of His Spirit to those in whom ‘self’ is still unbroken. And He removes His power from a man when he ceases to be broken.

Jacob was now blessed by God Himself. Earlier, Isaac had laid his hands on Jacob and blessed him when Jacob brought him the venison (Gen. 27:23). But that had brought no change in Jacob’s life. The real blessing came at Peniel. And this is the lesson we need to learn too. No man can ever give us this blessing. A man – even a saintly man like Isaac – may lay his empty hands on our empty heads and pray for us. Yet, we may get nothing. Only God can really empower us. When Isaac put his hands on Jacob’s head, the sun merely set on Jacob’s life. But when God blessed him, the sun rose! Power belongs to God and He is the only one who can ever give it to us.

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** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at cfcindia.com / Arnie Chou at Pexels

Resurrection Power

In 2 Kings 2:13-14, we read about Elisha dividing Jordan which is symbolic of a ministry of life that conquers and overcomes spiritual death. The waters of Jordan, in the Bible, are symbolic of death. And the parting of the waters is therefore symbolic of triumph over death. In the ministry of Elisha, we find him engaged again and again in bringing life out of death. In Jericho, he brought life into the barren land there (2 Kings 2:19-22). In Shunem, he brought life into the barren womb of a woman (2 Kings 4:8-17). Later, he brought life into a dead child (2 Kings 4: 18-37). He once brought life into a pot of deadly food (2 Kings 4: 38-41). He ministered life to a leprous general’s dying body too ( 2 Kings 5 : 1-14) Elisha’s power never faded away. Even after he was dead and buried and his body had disintegrated,when a dead man was thrown into his grave, the dead man arose!(2 Kings 13:20-21) This was Elisha’s ministry-bringing life out of death wherever he went. This was a direct result of his being anointed. This is the type of power that the anointing of the Holy Spirit brings-power to bring life out of death, resurrection power. This alone is the unmistakable evidence of the anointing. We read of this power often in the New Testament. Paul writing to the Ephesian Christians, says that his prayer for them is that they may know this power. He goes on to tell them that the greatest manifestation of God’s power was not in creation nor in the miracles recorded in the Bible, but in the raising of Christ from the dead (Eph. 1:19-23). Writing to the Philippian Christians, Paul tells them that his own desire is that he may know more of this resurrection power (Phil. 3:10).This, I am convinced, is the power that Jesus said His disciples would receive when the Holy Spirit came upon them (Acts 1:8) – resurrection power, the power to bring life out of spiritual death. And God desires to communicate this to us too.

This, brothers and sisters, is the mark of the anointing. Not some experience, not some utterance, but the power to bring spiritual life out of death wherever we go. Is our ministry accomplishing this? This is the acid test whether we have the anointing or not. Alas, so often Christians, instead of ministering life are ministering death. The heathen are so often driven away from the Lord instead of being drawn to Him, because of the bickering and quarrels, the lack of integrity and other un-Christlike habits that they see in the lives of those who profess to be born-again Christians. How we need to humble ourselves before God and ask for His forgiveness for bringing reproach upon His Name by our behaviour.

Let us not glory merely in the fact that we are “evangelicals.” If we are not careful, we can end up like the church in Sardis, having a name that we are alive but in reality being dead (Rev. 3:1). It is not enough that the creed we repeat and the statement of faith we sign are Scripturally sound. We may be able to sign the most fundamental statement of faith. So can the Devil! He knows the Bible well and so he is no modernist. He is a thorough fundamentalist as far as doctrines go! It is not much use therefore taking credit merely for our fundamentalism. Doctrines are important. God forbid that I should decry their value. But over and above doctrine, the thing that counts with God is whether we are ministering spiritual life or not.

The Apostle Paul could say that through God’s help, he was an able minister of the New Testament, ministering spiritual life (2 Cor. 3:5,6). He didn’t just boast that he was a fundamentalist. Neither did he merely talk of his experiences-either the Damascus Road one or the Straight Street one. No. He demonstrated the reality of his fundamental beliefs and of his spiritual experiences by constantly bringing life into situations of spiritual death.

In Paul’s life, as in Elisha’s, there was no fading away of the power. There was no losing of the anointing in later years, as seems to be the case with so many servants of God in our day. Paul and Elisha never came to a stage where all they could do was to glory in what God did in days of yore. They constantly lived in the present enjoyment of the anointing and of God’s power. Their spiritual strength instead of waning, waxed more and more. As their days, so was their strength. Their light shone brighter and brighter until the perfect day. What a blessed way to live! And yet this is the path that God desires all His children to walk in (Prov. 4:18).

Elisha lived in constant touch with God and this was why he was always able to bring life out of death wherever he went. And so people came to him with their problems and their needs. He didn’t have to go looking for a ministry. He didn’t have to go around asking people to sponsor him and to invite him. No. Opportunities for ministry came to him in abundance, without any fleshly efforts on his part.

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** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at cfcindia.com / Photo by Rachel Claire from Pexels by

Be Anointed With the Holy Spirit and Power

Acts 2 we find that when those 120 people waited for the Holy Spirit, they did not know how long they would have to wait, because Jesus never told them. If they knew it would be only ten days, it would have been easier for them to wait. When God keeps us waiting for something, He does not usually tell us how long we have to wait for an answer.

God wants us to live by faith, because that is the only way to grow spiritually – and waiting is one way by which our faith is strengthened. If we knew how long we had to wait, then there would be no faith there. It is only afterwards when we look back that we can say, “I had to wait for three days (or three years)” for that.

If you had gone to those waiting disciples and asked them, “How will you know when you have been baptised in the Holy Spirit?” – They would not have said that they would speak in tongues. They would have said that Jesus had told them that they would receive power. You may ask “How will I know that I have received this power?” God can assure us of that, just like He assured us that our sins were forgiven. The Holy Spirit, Who bears witness with our spirit that our sins have been forgiven will also bear witness that we have been endued with power. Ask God to give you the assurance for both these important matters. So they were waiting for power. But when they got power they also received the gift of speaking in unknown languages (tongues).

The tragedy today is that many who claim to have the gift of tongues do not seem to have any power. Tongues can be imitated, whereas power to overcome sin and to be a bold witness for Christ cannot be imitated.

Consider this illustration: You go to a shop to buy a computer (power). The shopkeeper tells you that a free CD (tongues) is also being offered with every computer. You didn’t go to the shop to buy a CD but a computer. But since the CD is being offered freely, you take both the computer and the CD. But now your friend sees your CD and goes to the same shop and pays for the computer but brings home only the free CD!! How foolish! That is a picture of those who received the gift of tongues but not the power.

We read that a noise and a wind filled the house where they were praying and tongues as of fire rested on everyone’s head. These were only the externals. The receiving of an anointing and power were the major events. The externals were different when Jesus was anointed. In His case, there was no wind or fire but a dove and a voice. But the power and anointing He received were the same as these apostles received. We all need to be “anointed with the Holy Spirit and power” as Jesus was (Acts 10:38).

The physical and emotional experiences may vary with each of us. If someone were to give you an expensive diamond as a gift, it wouldn’t make any difference if it came wrapped crudely in ordinary brown paper or in a shiny paper with fancy ribbons? It is the gift inside that is important. Only babies are taken up with the wrappings, the externals – the wind, the fire, the noise, the tingling sensations, etc. Adults are taken up with the gift – the anointing and the power of the Holy Spirit. When people testify about and glory in the wrapping in which they got the gift, you know that they are still baby-Christians.

The tongues of fire that sat on everyone’s heads indicated that the most important part of our body that God would be using in the new covenant age would be the tongue – a tongue set on fire by the Holy Spirit and under His total control all the time. This is also part of the symbolism of the gift of tongues. God wants to use your tongue to bless others with, not only if you are a preacher, but also in your ordinary conversations with people every day. But for this, you must let the Holy Spirit have full control of your speech, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In 2:14, we see one wonderful result of the Spirit indwelling all the apostles. We read here, “Peter stood up, backed by the other eleven” (MSG).

What Jesus could not accomplish in His entire lifetime is now accomplished at last: The twelve are all one body now. They did not compete to have the honour to preach. They supported Peter and were 100% behind him as he spoke. This is the greater work that Jesus had said they would do after the Spirit came – the Holy Spirit had baptised them into one body.

In 2:17, Peter said that the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was the fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel. All men and women could now have the Spirit poured out on them and they could prophesy. This was a privilege reserved only for kings and priests under the old covenant. But under the new covenant, all can receive the Spirit. We need to recognise what a tremendous honour this is.

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** Copyright – Zac Poonen. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author at CFC India.com / Photo by Jahoo Clouseau at Pexels

Don’t Despise Difficulty

One night, just before I went to bed, in my mind, I heard. “Don’t despise difficulty.”

In John 15:2 it says, “Every branch in Me that does NOT bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it…” Why does God do this? “… so that it (the branch-the Christian) may bear MORE fruit.
Vs.8 My Father is GLORIFIED by this, that you bear MUCH…fruit,.(not just a little, but MUCH fruit) and so prove to be My disciples.

To prune a tree, you must cut/remove specific branches or stems to BENEFIT the whole tree. The removal of dead, damaged diseased branches, HELP to PREVENT insect and decay organisms from entering the tree.

When God prunes me, ITS FOR MY BENEFIT! By the Holy Spirit He removes what is dead, damaged and diseased in my heart. When condescending words come from a co-worker, God can prune/cut off STEMS of pride, that are causing decay in your heart that says, how can you talk to me that way? I DESERVE RESPECT. IT’S FOR MY BENEFIT, when that big BILL comes. God can prune us to remove that disease of loving money, that UNREST you feel because your retirement fund has decreased.

God says, I’m pruning you, SO you CAN HAVE the BENEFIT of bearing MORE Fruit! Don’t despise the cuts, bear MUCH fruit! Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

Much more love for one another (John 15:12) with people who are different than you, rejoicing ALWAYS, peace that surpasses understanding, an ABUNDANCE of patience DURING being tempted to be annoyed at someone, the law of kindness ALWAYS on your lips though you you’ve just been insulted, the goodness of God flowing out of your heart, faithfulness to God, the gentleness of Jesus to others, and dependence upon the Holy Spirit for self-control.

Do you want that? REALLY?

God is saying don’t despise the pruning, the cuts of difficulty. I’m doing great things in your life! And yes, you can enjoy a good meal, a nice trip and even good sleep, BUT that’s NOT the ABUNDANT life, God is calling us to! We SET ourselves up for discouragement, when we LIVE for ease, comfort and pleasure.
Jesus said, where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt.6:19-21
We have to be careful NOT treasure our pleasure.

I also have to be careful what I call a BLESSING or a BENEFIT in my life.

I’m NOT COMPLETELY there yet, BUT I’m believing God WILL bring me to a place where I can ALWAYS see His pruning in my life, as an ABSOLUTE BENEFIT TO HIM! Not ONLY what benefits me. (2 Cor.5:9)

Just like we take our bags of fruit home from Safeway or farmers market. We enjoy eating the fruit. Can God do that too? When He walks out to the garden of my life, can HE partake of the Fruit of His Spirit? (Gal.5:22-23) Can He take each fruit, out of the bag and say Ah…humility? Another bite, Ah…love, ah…self-control? Another bite…ah patience, how good it is too eat of My children’s fruitful lives! If God does not prune me, I CANNOT give HIM that fruit! I cannot make Him go…Ah!

John 15:1 My Father is the vinedresser. He prunes, trains, and cultivates. If the fruit is NOT coming out of my branch, it’s possible I’m NOT abiding in the Vine, Jesus. Am I KEEPING His word? Am I dried up? Maybe you just got pruned. And you’re thinking, I got nothing man. PERFECT Vs. 5 Apart from Him, you CAN DO NOTHING! Realizing how INCAPABLE we are and how ABLE He is, will help us depend on Jesus, the Vine. His grace is sufficient (2 Cor.12: 9).

Before fruit appears/grows, it must go through a process of unseen nourishment from the vine.
So it is with fruit in my heart for God. Fruit will come as I get nourishment from the Vine/Jesus. That means I remain in His love and obey His word. Not copying and pasting on the fruit of the Spirit with some dead work, selfish motive. No, if I keep/obey His word, I can prove to God in MY HEART, I’m a DISCIPLE of Jesus. Not prove to others, BUT to God first, who sees and knows all, in the deep secrets of my thoughts and desires. To prove my devotion and allegiance to Him IN the difficulty. (John 15:8) Then the fruit can grow and be GENUINE.

If we look at Luke 14:25-33, we can see some ways our devotion and allegiances WILL be tested as a disciple of Jesus. My love for GOD should be MUCH greater in comparison to my love for others and for myself. So much so, that my love for others and for myself, LOOKS like hate. This is tested in the CLOSEST relationships. Father, mother, wife, children, siblings and even our own life (vs.26). All these relationships can have disagreements. And when you have a strong disagreement, you can have difficulty.

Jesus said in the very next verse, 27 “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
We face a choice to pick up our own INNER cross. We can decide to please others, please ourselves OR please Jesus. When we chose to please Jesus, it will cost us. It may cost us a “silent” treatment, disrespect, misunderstanding, others being angry with us and maybe even left alone or cut off. Yes, this can even happen in our OWN homes. (Luke 12:51-53).

In Phil. 2:1-11 We see the glory of Jesus, how He carried His cross. He humbled Himself His entire life, even to the point of death. Even in His own home, at least for a time, His brothers were not believing in Him ( John 7:5 ). They lived with Jesus and never saw Him sin even once! Yet they still mocked Him.
In Mark 3:21 says, “When His own people ( kinsmen-blood relatives ), heard of this, they went out to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He has lost His senses.” In other words, Jesus’ own family called Him crazy! These are just a few examples of what we can face if we live by Jesus’ standards. Jesus Himself said in:
Matt.10: 34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; 36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. 37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

Maybe it’s Jesus’ standard against the finances between you and your spouse. Maybe it’s Jesus’ standard in your wedding plans against your family’s standards for your wedding plans. Maybe it’s deciding what church to go to or continue to go to. Or even different opinions and thoughts about ministry in the church. Yes, even there we can find Jesus’ dividing sword of discipleship. If I can’t have a humble attitude and pick up my INNER cross IN my home, I certainly won’t be able to do it in God’s church.

God knows in these relationships we WILL be tested. We CAN carry our own cross, when we love Jesus MORE than our own families and our own life. And in so doing, we actually love them better. Whether others say so or not. If that happens because we’ve chosen to obey God, not man, He will honor us ( 1 Sam.2:30 ). And that is greater than ANY honor we can receive!

Jesus sums it up in Vs.33 “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.”
If we are holding onto these relationships at the cost of lowering Jesus’ standards to follow what they say, we cannot be His disciple.
Being a follower of Jesus, is not a matter of how many times we’ve read, studied or memorized the Bible. Not a matter of how many times we went to church, shared the word, gave a testimony, prayed or helped people. Yes, amen, we should do these things BUT it’s NOT what qualifies me to be a disciple of Jesus.

Though God may prune me in these relationships, I don’t have to fear
God DOESN’T prune us to be mean. John 15:4-10 says, He does this so we can remain in His love. And when we keep His word, that’s what happens. We remain in His love. He stays close to us and we to Him. And I NEVER lose out, though the pruning HURT.
We see in verse 11 Jesus asked, why have I said these things to you? To discourage you? No. I HAVE SAID THIS TO YOU, SO I CAN…. GIVE you MY JOY TO THE FULLEST!!!!

So, I’m believing God, that when I face difficulty and I’m getting pruned, I can ACTUALLY look forward to some Promises!
John 15: 8 When I bear fruit of the Holy Spirit, I WILL give Him glory. Verse 10 If I obey His word, I WILL abide in His love like Jesus did. And verse 11 When I do these things, I WILL get Jesus’ JOY…. to the FULLEST!
The Lord is so generous, He gives us His joy too when we are faithful to Him in difficulty.

If you are IN a tough spot now, remain in His love. Obey His word and believe God WILL fulfill His promises, even IN your difficulty!

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**By Paul Moore © Copyright – Paul Moore. No changes whatsoever are to be made to the content of the article without written permission from the author. https://nccf.com/ 

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