welcome to this christian website

 ernest (2)July 1st

Rev. E. Anderson

WELCOME TO THIS CHRISTIAN WEBSITE

Welcome to this Christian Website which has now been going for a number of years. Over 130,000 people have visited it since 2006. On the left hand side of the introductory page is a host of subjects and material that have been placed during this time and is there for your interest, study and perusal.

I feel it is time and right to change the format and to present day by day something a little simpler and trust will benefit and bless those who visit it. It will consist of A Golden Promise from the Scriptures, Wisdom that Works by Bob Stevenson, Choice Quotations and daily Meditations, working through the whole Bible, something to focus your mind on are included that can be developed more fully by you. I trust you will find such refreshing and helpful.

A GOLDEN PROMISE

“For you need endurance so that, having done the will of God,  you may receive the promise” – Hebrews 10:35

The KJV Bible says that we need patience, the NLT Bible says that we need patient endurance. The NIV Bible says that we need to persevere. In Hebrews 12:1-2, we are called to run the race uniquely marked out for each one of us. In light of eternity, it might be just a sprint. However, in the grind of daily life, it mostly feels like a marathon race that we are running.

That is why the writer of Hebrews encourages us to keep on persisting to do the will of God in order that we might receive all that He has promised. We know that we could never do anything to earn or deserve the free gift of grace that God has given us in Jesus Christ. So I do not believe that this Scripture is referring to self effort or human works.

Jesus told us that the work that God requires is that we believe on the One He sent. I believe that God is saying that if we will just believe in Him and obey His leading, that we will receive all that He has promised in His Word.  So don’t lose hope, don’t give up!  God’s promise is true for both me and you!  Keep running your race!

WISDOM THAT WORKS

BIRDS OF A FEATHER – Rev. Bob Stevenson

”As a mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kind of friends he chooses. Ambition and death are alike in this; neither is ever satisfied.

Read: Proverbs 27: 18-20

Like me, you have probably noticed many of these Proverbs have their counterpart in the quaint sayings put together in literature by the sages of generations The one I have selected for comment is this one, “Birds of a feather flock together. The inspiration for this proverb might well originated by reading the proverb we have before us today. The truth of the matter is,it comes to discovering the true character of a man, or woman, it is so often by the friends they choose.

I once heard a motivational speaker proclaim the following, “show me the books that you read and the company you keep and I will tell you what kind of person you are”.

Have you noticed that high achievers seem to mix with other high achievers irrespective of social status or educational pedigree? You may have heard the Bible text quoted that man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart. Unfortunately God is the only one who can and the rest of us have to settle for more visible evidences of character assessment. (See 1 Samuel 16:7)

Just in the same way a mirror reflects a man’s face so a person’s true character and make up can be assessed by the company they keep.

QUOTES TO NOTE – Albert Schweitzer

Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.

DAILY MEDITATIONS

A WISE WOMAN – 1 Samuel 25

There are a number of quality female characters revealed to us in the Bible and Abigail is one of those who ranked highly amongst them. She appeared on the scene in David’s life to give essential direction at a time when he needed it. He was bent on revenge against Nabal because of his evil words and action. He had thrown David’s kindness in his face and God’s servant felt insulted and so reacted in the wrong way. It was a a thoughtless and stupid course of action that was totally unwarranted. He really needed friends of this nature around him.

Thankfully there was this wise and humble woman who saw the danger and acted with speed and sense to allay the situation. She saw to it that there was a fullness of provision for David and his men and then wisely counselled him that Nabal was not worth the trouble of murdering him. She knew David was destined for great things in God and told him so. She stated that he ought not to let this be a cause of regret in the future. Wisely he responded to the sound guidance and allowed the Lord to be the judge. He gave her his blessing: “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person”.

How glad people ought to be when the Lord sends people across their pathway to give needful counsel so that no make mistakes are wrought that lead to regret! Instead of rushing ahead at times to justify ourselves, even though there may be a seeming just cause, we need the godly restraint that prevents wrong procedure. Be awake to people divinely sent into your life and affairs to stay from a course of action that will only lead to your loss rather than gain. At the end of the day the Lord desires that you respond aright in these awkward circumstances

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foundations of victorious christian living

FOUNDATIONS OF VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING.

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

All scriptures are in New King James, unless otherwise stated.

II. BATTLEGROUND – FLESH AND WORLD

Satan’s name means ‘Adversary’ and from the beginning he has been attacking the Word of God and tempting men and women to rebel. We see from Gen 2:15-17. 3:1-6 that God gave a command and a warning to Adam (2:17). Satan firstly tried to bring doubt, “has God really said …. ” (3:1), then he opposed His Word, “You will not surely die” (3:4), after which he tempted them into disobedience through pride (3:5). His strategy has not changed today, as he continues to tempt us to disobey God, for he knows that the Bible is powerful to those who believe. The Second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ was obedient to His Father and was completely holy, as a result Satan had no hold over Him (Jn 14:30). He was tempted in the wilderness (Lk 4:1-13) with the same temptations as Adam was in the Garden of Eden – “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life” (I Jn 2:16). The Bible says that He, “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 5:15). It is good to remember that it is not sin to be tempted, but rather it is sin, when we give in to temptation! To live a holy life and to love others is not easy, for there is much that would lead us astray, but His grace is always sufficient. The following are two areas of temptation and our victory over them in Christ.

1. THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE FLESH

a) Our decision – Way of flesh or Way of the Spirit. Rom 7:18-20. 8:1-2. God clearly shows us the path of righteousness by His Word and by the conviction of His Spirit. Satan continues, however, to use our weaknesses to try to make us give in to the “lust of the flesh”, but we cannot always blame him, for sometimes we enjoy our sinful habits too much and he just lets us carry on! All Christians know how this inner battle rages, between the way of the flesh and the way of the Spirit, but it is our decision which path to follow. The test of our decision is whether He is really Lord of our lives. If we decide to walk in rebellion (being led by our old nature), we become an easy prey for our enemy.

b) Our victory over temptations of the flesh. If we choose the way of Christ through repentance and obedience, then He is there to help us. Paul wrote, “O wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Rom 7:24-25). Our victory comes through being:-

(i)                   Crucified with Christ. Gal 2:20. 5:24-25. Paul teaches us in these verses that we are able to overcome by faith in Christ and His finished work on the cross. Picture by faith that you were in Christ, when He died on the cross. If we died in Christ (by faith), then our old sinful nature has lost its power to control us.

      (ii) Raised in His victorious resurrection power. Rom 6:3-12. 8:11. The Spirit who raised Christ is in us, empowering us to live that new resurrected life. Picture that you were in Christ, when He was resurrected from the dead. As we call upon Him in faith, so daily He will give us grace to make the right decisions, by dying to our old fleshly desires and grace to walk in His resurrection life. Remember, if we fail He is only a prayer away for a humble and repentant heart.

2. THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE WORLD

a) Our decision – Satan’s kingdom or God’s Kingdom. I Jn 5:19. 4:4. There is a battle between two kingdoms. The broad way of the world is always trying to captivate us with its many temptations. It is controlled by the Adversary, ‘the god of this world’ who is utterly opposed to the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. Its paths of success amongst others are – greed, power, sexual immorality and religion. The narrow way of the Kingdom of God is opposite to these – generosity, servanthood, sexual purity and a personal relationship with the Father through His Son and by His Spirit. Joshua said to God’s people, “choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve …. . But as for me and my house we will serve the Lord” (Josh 24:15).

b) Our victory over temptations of the world. I Jn 5:4-5. Paul wrote, “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world” (Gal 6:14). As we choose to follow the way of God, His grace will always be sufficient. Only as we choose to die to our ungodly desires and the temptations of the world system, will we have victory. The Bible says, “Submit to God, resist the Devil and he will flee from you” (Jms 4:7). Firstly comes submission to God in repentance and cleansing through the blood of Jesus, only then can we resist Satan. We all fail Him at times, but His grace is always sufficient for cleansing and reconciliation. Jesus said, “the ruler of this world is coming and he has nothing in Me” (Jn 14:30). As we walk in holiness and separation, so in Christ we too can walk in victory, even though at times the battle may seem intense (Jn 16:33).

Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what advantage is it to a man if he gains the whole world and is himself destroyed or lost” ( Lk 9:23-25).

 

 

foundations of victorious living

Rev. John Willoughby

FOUNDATIONS OF VICTORIOUS LIVING 

SPIRITUAL WARFARE

All scriptures are in New King James, unless otherwise stated.

1/.  BATTLEGROUND – GOOD AND EVIL

Paul wrote, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph 6:12). This is a continuous battle being fought by Satan against God, His people and His plans, which He has purposed through His Son. It is waged in the heavenly places and in the hearts of men and women. Those who are born again are involved at all times, for Satan hates God and will attack in every possible way those who are obedient to Him. He will try to stop us being converted (II Cor 4:3-4) and when we are, he will try to make us backslide. He will wage his war by using the world system and our fleshly desires. Many believe that we may well be the last generation before the return of Jesus and the Bible warns us that as we near the end, so the spiritual warfare will increase (Rev 12:12). However, we have many weapons at our disposal and our victory is certain through Christ, as we continue to follow Him in obedience to His Word.

2/. KNOW OUR ENEMY

It is good for anyone involved in warfare to make a study of his enemy. They are then better able to understand his tactics and are thus less likely to be taken unawares.

a) His name. Rev 12:7-9. The main one is Satan, which means the ‘Adversary’ and as his name implies, he opposes God and tries to deceive His children. Some others are:- Dragon, Lucifer, Serpent, Tempter, Devil, Wicked one, Prince of this world, Accuser of the brethren, Thief and Prince of the power of the air.

b) His Creator. Col 1:16. Before the world was made, Jesus (the Word) created different classes of angels to be servants of God, the greatest of these being Satan. The following may help us understand im better:-

(i) (Ezekiel 28:11-17) He was created, “the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty” (v12). He probably led the choirs of angels praising God before His throne for, “the workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created” (v13) and he had a very special place of authority in heaven for he was called, “the anointed cherub” (v14). He had close fellowship with God for, “you were perfect in your ways from the day you were created …. ” and he was “on the holy mountain of God” (v14-15). Somehow he was involved in an “abundance” of “trading” and as a result “became filled with violence within”. Because of pride, sin entered his heart and God “cast him as a profane thing out of the mountain of God” (v15-17).

(ii) (Isaiah 14:12-15) He was full of pride – note the ‘I wills’ of this passage. Self will – “I will ascend into heaven.” Self exaltation – “I will exalt my throne above the stars of God.” Self enthronement – “I will sit on the mount of the congregation …. ”. Self ascension – “I will ascend above the heights of the clouds.” Self deification – “I will be like the Most High.” But God said, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning, you shall be brought down to Shoel, to the lowest depths of the pit” (v12, 15). Jesus may well have referred to this event when He said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lk 10:18).

c) His companions. There seem to be two classes:-

(i) Fallen Angels. Rev 12:4, 7. We see that Satan drew approximately a third of the angelic host with him, when he rebelled (including archangels, seraphim and cherubim). These fallen angels are in constant battle with the angels of light in the “heavenly places” and are delegated positions of authority by “the prince of this world” in order of importance as “principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this age” and “spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Eph 6:12). We can infer from this that they try to control the world system as rulers of countries, states, cities, religions etc (Dan 10:10-13, 20), although God remains all powerful.

(ii) Demons or evil spirits. Lk 8:26-33. Note the following from these verses:- They are many (v30) and can live in humans or animals. They desire to degrade humans (v27), sometimes are extremely strong and can control the being in which they dwell (v29). They have names, which describe their activity (v30) and can speak (v31). They know the terror of the abyss, but they recognise spiritual authority (v28) and need to obey the command of the Lord (v31). The Bible is unclear about from where they derive, but clearly they join Satan in his rebellion against God and seem to be his foot soldiers. They dwell on the earth and influence people for evil in many ways. Amongst other things we also see that demons cause sickness (Lk13:11-13), wrong doctrine (I Tim 4:1), fear (II Tim 1:7) and are the spiritual power behind idols (I Cor 10:19-20).

3/.  TRUST IN OUR VICTORIOUS FRIEND

Paul wrote of Christ in Col 2:15, “Having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (NIV). Christ has won complete victory over Satan through His death, resurrection and ascension and He is a friend to all who would call on His Name. For His own purposes God continues to allow Satan to be the ‘prince of this world’, but that time will soon come to an end, when he and all his followers will be cast into the lake of fire, where they will be tormented forever (Rev 20:10). Remember that two thirds of the angels are still with God and that Christians have special guardian angels (Heb 1:14), also that in Christ we have complete victory over all the forces of darkness (Eph 1:18-23. 2:4-7)! Let us note the following. 

  • God is:- Satan is:-
  • Almighty – Omnipotent (Gen 17:1). Only mighty.
  • Creator (Gen 1:1). A created being.
  • Everywhere – Omnipresent (Ps 139:7-12). Only at one place at a time.
  • All knowledge – Omniscient (Prov 15:3). Limited in knowledge.

“They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony and they did not love their lives to the death” (Rev 12:11).

 

foundations of victorious living

Rev. John Willoughby

GOD’S GLORIOUS KINGDOM.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

I. THE KING OF THE KINGDOM

1. SECULAR AND GODLY KINGS

The basic principles of a Kingdom are – there must be a king or sovereign head, an area, subjects and laws or principles by which he rules. There are two common views of a kingdom:

a) World view – A titular king with ceremonial power. I Sam 8:4-7. Today there are democracies that have a titular head called a king or queen. They reign, but do not rule. Such leaders have little authority and are mainly figureheads (except in some Middle Eastern nations). The rulership of the country is usually undertaken by the elected Government.

b) Biblical view – The King with all power and authority. Ps 44:4-8. The King who is God Himself is awesome and His authority is absolute and final. He reigns and He rules. His word is law and in his hands are life and death. He is represented as One who is:

* Awesome. “For the Lord Most High is awesome, He is a great King over all the earth” (Ps 47:2).

* Mighty. “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” (Ps 24:8).

* Reigning. “God reigns over the nations. God sits on His holy throne” (Ps 47: 8).

* Fearful. “Who would not fear You, O King of the nations …. there is none like You” (Jer 10:7).

* Rules. “The Lord has established His throne in heaven and His kingdom rules over all” (Ps 103:19).

2. ATTRIBUTES OF THE KING

The word used in Hebrew for God in the first few chapters of Genesis is ‘Elohim’, which has a plurality of meaning. We see this plurality of the Godhead in Gen 1:26 where we read, “Then God (‘Elohim’) said, ‘Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’”. In Scripture this plurality consists of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each having the attributes of God. Some of these are:

a) Essential attributes.

* Creator. Gen 1:1. Even though angels are very powerful, they cannot create.

* All knowing (omniscient). Rom 11:33. There is nothing in the entire universe that He is unaware of in its finest detail.

* Everywhere at all times (omnipresent). Ps 139:7-12. There is nowhere where He is not.

* All powerful (omnipotent). Rev 19:6. There is absolutely nothing which He cannot do.

* Eternal. I Tim 1:17. There was no time when He was not, nor is there any time when He will not be.

* Self existent. Ex 3:14. He does not owe His existence to any other, nor does He depend on anyone or anything outside of Himself.

* Unchangeable (immutable). Mal 3:6. He has never nor will He ever change.

b) Moral attributes.

* Perfect. “As for God, His way is perfect” (Ps 18:30).

* Holy. “And one cried to another and said, ‘Holy, holy holy is the Lord of hosts. The whole earth is full of His glory’” (Isa 6:3).

* Love. “God is love” (I Jn 4:8).

* Righteous. “Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgements” (Rev 16:7).

* Faithful. “God is faithful” (I Cor 1:9).

* Merciful. “God who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us” (Eph 2:4).

3. AREA OF HIS KINGDOM

This would include all that there is in the universe. The following are aspects of His right to rule:

a) He created it. Ps 102:25. In Isa 40:25-26 we read, “To whom then will you liken Me, or to whom shall I be equal? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things, who brings out their hosts by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power not one is missing”. The vast and complicated universe and its billions of galaxies was originally planned, conceived and designed in the mind of God, even to the extent of naming every star. It came into being when He spoke and commanded it to be by the power of His Word, ordaining the paths of the galaxies and of our own sun, moon and planet earth (Gen 1:14-16).

b) He sustains it. Col 1:17. It continues to exist, to be held together and to function perfectly, “by the Word of His power” (Heb 1:3). If He should cease to exist for one second of time, there would be nothing remaining in the universe.

c) He has complete authority over it. Ps 115:3. His attributes give Him complete authority:

* As Owner. I Chron 29:10-12. Authority means ‘the power or right to enforce obedience’. As an example, an author has complete rights over what he has written. He has created it, therefore it belongs to him and he has the legal right to do whatever he so wishes with it. God is the author, architect, creator and sustainer of the universe, therefore He has absolute authority as King over it. His laws are irreversible.

* As Ruler. Ps 66:7. Authority means that there are people over whom He rules. The ‘Kingdom of God’ includes the sovereign right of God to reign, but it also includes those over whom He reigns. If there is a king, then there must be subjects. As God has all authority everywhere, His subjects include everyone and everything.

4. SUBJECTS OF HIS KINGDOM

Insects, plants, birds, fish, animals and angels were all created wonderful and with great variety, simply for His pleasure and as in the case of angels, to do His bidding. He also originally created man to:

a) Have a deep relationship with Himself.Ps 139:13-18. We see that God made man in His Own image and according to His likeness (Gen 1:26), in order that primarily He might have a relationship with him. We see this partly working before the fall, when Adam and Eve enjoyed a deep communion with their Creator (Gen 3:8-10).

b) Have “dominion”. Gen 1:26, 28. In both of these verses God told man to, “have dominion”. The Hebrew word for ‘dominion’ is ‘radah’, which means ‘to tread down’, ‘to rule over’ or ‘to reign’. This word (‘radah’) is rarely used in the Bible, but in Ps 72:8, 11 we read, “He shall have dominion (‘radah’) from sea to sea and from the river unto the ends of the earth …. Yes all kings shall bow down before Him, all nations shall serve Him.” The same word used in this passage as ‘dominion’ (‘radah’), for the Messiah’s rule over all the earth, is used for the authority originally given to Adam in Gen 1:26, 28. Man was created to “have dominion” (‘radah’) over all the earth and he was to do this with God’s blessing and with His delegated authority.

c) Have a position next to Himself in authority. Ps 8:4-6. We read, “For You have made him a little lower than the angels” (v5). The word ‘angels’ in Hebrew is ‘Elohim’, which elsewhere in the Scriptures is always translated as God – as in Dt 6:4, “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God (‘Elohim’), the Lord is one.” Only in this one Scripture (Ps 8:5) is it translated as “angels”. David is actually saying that God made man ‘a little lower than Himself’ in the order of creation. This is the reason that He gave to man all authority over the earth, for the “all things” (v6) included this earth and everything in it. Therefore, before the fall the Bible says that his position of authority was so great that he was next only to God Himself. It was only after the fall that Adam lost this position and was demoted as we read in Heb 2:7, “You have made him a little lower than the angels (Gk, ‘Aggelos’)” . This lower station is, however, only temporary for those who believe in Christ as their Saviour.

foundations of victorious living

Rev. John Willoughby

GOD’S GLORIOUS KINGDOM.

(All scriptures in ‘New King James Version’, unless otherwise stated.)

VICTORY OF THE KING

1. STAGES OF CHRIST’S VICTORIOUS KINGDOM

We see in Scripture that the Kingdom of God is manifested in three stages:-

a) It was announced at the coming of Christ. Mt 4:17. John the Baptist, the preparer of the way (Mt 3:3), having recognised Jesus as the Messiah declared, “Repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 3:2). After this and His own announcement, Jesus immediately began to teach the principles of the Kingdom in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt Chapters 5-7) and urged His hearers to build their lives on these foundations. This victory was fulfilled through Christ’s death and resurrection.

b) It came on His disciples with power at Pentecost. Lk 24:49. After the 120 disciples waited and prayed for 10 days, the Holy Spirit was outpoured, giving them power to witness (Acts 1:8). The reason for this outpouring was that He was, “exalted to the right hand of God” and had “received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:33). Jesus knew that His followers would need the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish the great commission. Paul wrote, “the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (I Cor 4:20). Since that time He has moved in power, in particular through those who have been baptised in the Holy Spirit and who are continually being filled by the Spirit.

c) It will soon be manifest in glory at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. Rev 11:15. It will then become a visible, physical Kingdom covering all the kingdoms of this world and this will extend into eternity.

2. THE VICTORY OF SATAN FOR A TIME.

a) Adam’s disobedience led to Satan’s victory. II Cor 4:3-4. The results of the fall were enormous, for when Satan deceived Adam he took from him the title deeds of this world. We read in I Jn 5:19, “We know that we are of God and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”. By allowing themselves to be seduced by the devil, they took themselves and all of humanity out from under the covering of God’s rule and placed themselves under the rule of Satan, who became, “the god of this age”. Those things which God had given to Adam to rule over were now under the rulership of Satan.

b) Rebellious man under Satan’s rule. Job 1:6-7. The sinfulness of man resulted in a great world flood, which destroyed all living things, apart from Noah and his direct family. God then called out a special people, the Jews, to be His own. He gave them laws and covenants, sent them prophets, judges and kings, but they broke His laws, rejected His covenants and rebelled against those He sent to govern them. God, however, had another plan and in the fullness of time He sent the Messiah (Gal 4:4).

c) The Messiah recognised the legal validity of Satan’s rulership. Mt 4:8-11. When tempted in the wilderness, Jesus did not question the right of Satan to offer Him, “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory” (v8). He later acknowledged Satan’s right to rule when He said, “the ruler of this world is coming and he has nothing in Me” (Jn 14:30). Satan only had a legal right over a fallen, sinful world. He had no authority over the One who had no sin in Him.

3. THE VICTORY OF CHRIST OVER SATAN.

Rom 5:18-19. Through Adam’s sin all mankind were made sinners and subject to death (Rom 5:12). God’s great plan was to provide eternal salvation and restoration for mankind.

a) A perfect substitute was needed. Gal 3:13. Instead of the continuous offering of the blood of spotless male goats or bulls, which would atone for or cover (but not fully forgive) the sins of the Jewish people for a period of time only (as under the Old Covenant); a completely sinless man would have to suffer and shed His blood for the penalty of sin for all mankind forever. The only One who could qualify to do this must be a man and He must be sinless. In order for this to happen, He needed to be born of a woman (a man) and He needed to be conceived of God (sinless).

b) Jesus Christ became that substitute. II Cor 5:21. “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit” and “’Behold a virgin shall be with child and bear a Son and they shall call His name Immanuel’, which is translated, ‘God with us’” (Mt 1:18, 23). In Heb 10:12-14 we read, “this Man after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, …. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified”. The eternal Son of God became the sinless Son of Man, that the sinful sons of men might become the beloved sons of God. No other could have accomplished this, only the God-Man, Christ Jesus could fit the role. Christianity is the only faith in the world, which has the sinless death and resurrection of its founder at the heart of its belief. He:

* Redeemed us. “Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people” (Tit 2:14).

* Paid a ransom for us. “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28).

* Reconciled us to God. “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom 5:10).

* Paid the price to appease the wrath of God (propitiation). “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth to be a propitiation by His blood through faith” (Rom 3:24-25).

* Made atonement for our sins. “The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin” (I Jn 1:7).

4. THE VICTORY OF CHRIST FOR MANKIND AND ALL CREATION.

Jesus regained the legal right to the headship of God’s Kingdom, but His purpose is not to hold it for Himself, but rather to share it with mankind, as God originally planned. By faith those who are His can receive this inheritance now, but one day soon all in creation will come into the full reality of His rulership. Victory was accomplished because He:

a) Humbled Himself.Heb 2:9. We read in v14, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is the devil” and in Phil 2:7 He, “made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men”. Angels are immortal, therefore Christ made Himself lower than the angels, so that He might die in the place of fallen man.

 

b) Released us from Satan’s hold. Col 2:15. Through His death and resurrection, He has delivered from Satan’s tyranny those who believe and has restored them to a place of access and complete acceptance of a holy God. We read in I Jn 3:8, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

c) Is risen and is seated with all authority on the right hand of the Father in heaven. Eph 1:17-23. Christ is no longer lower than angels (for He took that place that He might die), but now God has raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand above all. We read in Heb 8:1, “We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.”

d) Raised us in Christ.Eph 2:4-7. We are no longer lower than the angels (as a result of the fall), but God has restored us (those who are born again of His Spirit) in Christ to our former place of authority. The last Adam (Christ) has restored all that the first Adam lost – “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive” (I Cor 15:21-22).

5. THE VICTORIOUS CHRIST.

Wherever we look, Christ is there:-

Look back – He is our Creator. Col 1:16.

Look ahead – He is our Judge. II Cor 5:10.

Look up – He is our Saviour and Lord. Phil 2:5-10.

Look down – He is our Foundation. I Cor 3:11.

Look right – He is our Teacher. Mt 23:8.

Look left – He is our Advocate. I Jn 2:1.

Look within – He is our Life. Gal 2:20.

foundations for victorious living

Rev. John Willoughby

FOUNDATIONS OF VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING

THE HOLY SPIRIT

All Scriptures are in the New King James Version, unless otherwise stated.

Study 12  THE GIFTS OF HEALINGS.

It is, ‘A Supernatural ability to heal sicknesses, without human or medical aid.’ In every case mentioned in I Cor 12:9, 28, 30, it is in the plural, meaning that there are different gifts for different ailments.

1. CREATIVE AND MEDICAL HEALING

God in creating the body has given it an ability to heal itself in many wonderful ways. Also He has given us the ability to use herbs and plants for medication. Luke was a doctor and I am sure that he ministered to Paul and others. Paul, in writing to Timothy advised him to take medication for his stomach (I Tim 5:23).

2. OTHER MEANS OF SUPERNATURAL HEALINGS

a) Through obedience to His Commandments. Dt 7:12-15. God said to Moses, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you, which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you” (Ex 15:26).

b) Through the Word of God. Prov 4:20-22. Meditation and quoting healing Scriptures often builds up faith for healing. The Psalmist wrote, “He sent His Word and healed them and delivered them from their destructions” (Ps 107:20).

c) Through the Atonement. Isa 53:4-5. As we study v4, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”, we see that the word “griefs” can also be translated as ‘infirmities or sicknesses’ and the word “sorrows” as ‘pains’.

d) Calling for the elders of the Church. Jms 5:13-16. Note that this includes confession of sins.

3. SCRIPTURAL EXAMPLES OF THE GIFTS OF HEALINGS

* In the Old Testament. Elisha is used to bring healing to Naaman of his leprosy (II Kings 5:9-14).

* In Jesus’ ministry. Jesus, “healed all who were sick” (Mt 8:16).

* In the early church. Through the ministry of Philip, “many who were paralysed and lame were healed” (Acts 8:5-8).

4. PURPOSE OF THE GIFTS OF HEALINGS

a) To bring glory to God. Jn 9:2-3. After the blind man was healed by Jesus in Lk 18:35-42 we read in v43, “And immediately he received his sight and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it gave praise to God”.

b) To prove Christ’s claim to be the Son of God. Mt 11:2-5. Jesus said, “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me and I in Him” (Jn 10:37-38).

c) To deliver the sick and suffering. Mk 1:40-41. We read in Mt 14:14, “When Jesus went out, He saw a great multitude and He was moved with compassion for them and healed them.”

d) To destroy the works of the devil in people’s lives. Lk 13:10-13, 16. John wrote, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the evil one” (I Jn 3:8).

e) To confirm the Word. Mk 16:15-20. Paul and Barnabas stayed at Iconium, “a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands” (Acts 14:3).

f) To attract people to the sound of the Gospel. Mt 4:23-25. Peter, “found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years and was paralysed. And Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.’ Then he arose immediately. So all those at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord” (Acts 9:33-35).

5. ITS OPERATION

It is important to understand that only God can heal and He alone should receive all the praise and thanks. We are only called to be obedient to His Word and to be willing to pray in faith for the sick.

a) It is not an ability to heal all sicknesses. In everything, Jesus followed the directions of His Father in heaven. At one time He went to what would be a modern day hospital at the Pool atBethesda, where there was a multitude of sick people, but He healed only one (Jn 5:2-9). On other occasions He healed all who were sick (Mt 8:16).

b) Faith to give and faith to receive. Both of these are needed when both are believers, although God is often merciful, when faith is lacking. Hezekiah (a believer) had difficulty in receiving healing sent by God – yet he was healed (II Kings 20:7-11). On the other hand Jesus said to a sick woman, “Be of good cheer, daughter, your faith has made you well.” Her faith was such that she need only touch “the hem of His garment” to be healed (Mt 9:20-22). Often the faith of the believer has to carry the lack of faith of an unbeliever. In the case of Naaman, he was healed, even though he was an unbeliever before his healing (II Kings 5:9-14).

c) To heal the sick is part of the Great Commission. Jesus commissioned both His twelve apostles and His seventy disciples to, “heal the sick” (Mt 10:8. Lk 10:9). Similarly He has commissioned us to, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” …. “they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover” (Mk 16:15, 18).

foundations of victorious living

Rev. John Willoughby

FOUNDATIONS OF VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING

THE HOLY SPIRIT

All Scriptures are in the New King James Version, unless otherwise stated

Study 11 THE GIFTS OF FAITH AND MIRACLES

1. THE GIFT OF FAITH. (I COR 12:9)

It is, ‘A Supernatural ability to believe God to fulfil His desire through us, at a particular time for a particular purpose.’

a) General Faith. Heb 11:1-3, 6. This must not be confused with the gift of faith. ‘General faith’ grows from the seed of ‘Saving faith’, which God originally planted in our hearts, in order for us to believe (Heb 12:2). Its growth comes from feeding on the Word and putting it into practice in the difficulties of life (Rom 10:17). This faith can develop to a very high degree and varies according to the development of the believer, from “little faith” to “great faith”. Let us compare ‘General faith’ and the ‘gift of faith’ in Elijah’s life:-

* The gift of faith. I Kings 17:1.

* After the gift was used he became discouraged, but he had not lost his ‘General faith’ in God, as proved by his prayer to Him. I Kings 19:1-4.

b) Scriptural examples of the gift of faith.

* In the Old Testament. Joshua commanded the sun and the moon to “stand still” (Josh 10:12-14).

* In Jesus’ ministry. Peter walked on water at His command (Mt 14:28-29).

* In the early church. Paul commanded blindness to strike “Elymas the sorcerer” (Acts 13:8-11).

c) Its operation. The gift of faith is not always present, but is rather a special enduement of faith, given by grace through the Holy Spirit, to meet a particular need or to do something that God has asked the believer to do. At the time God supernaturally reduces doubt and fills the person with special faith that enables him to accomplish His purpose, despite everything working against it. Sometimes it happens to us, as with Daniel in the lions den. Sometimes it can happen through us, as in the case of Samson, when he slew the lion. It often works with the other gifts of power (‘the working of miracles’ and ‘the gifts of healings’), as well as with ‘discernment of spirits’, when casting out demons. It is important to speak out what God has put into our hearts to do (Mk 11:23) and then by faith to put it into action. James wrote, “faith without works is dead” (Jms 2:20).

d) A word of caution. The Bible says, “Let us run with endurance the race that is before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:1-2). Neither ‘Saving faith’, ‘General faith’ or the ‘Gift of faith’ is presumption, which comes from our own ‘good ideas’ on how to help God build His kingdom for Him.

2. THE GIFT OF WORKING OF MIRACLES. (I COR 12:10).

It is, ‘A supernatural power to intervene over the natural laws of nature for a particular purpose at a particular time.’ It is an enduement with power from God to do something completely beyond the range of human ability. A miracle is usually an instantaneous occurrence, in comparison to a healing, which may be gradual.

a) A life of miracles. All gifts of the Holy Spirit are miraculous, but the gift of miracles is an act of power, separate from the other manifestations. God is a God of miracles and the Bible is a book of miracles. Christianity is a faith founded on miracles, for without the manifestation of miracles it is lacking in credibility. God attested the ministry of Jesus through miracles, signs and wonders:-

* He moved in miracles. Acts 2:22. This was a sign that He was the Christ and as a result many followed Him. Amongst other miracles, He fed over 5,000 people with “five barley loves and two small fish” (Jn 6:2, 9-14), raised people from the dead (Jn 11:43-44), cast out demons (Lk 4:33-37), stilled a storm (Lk 8:22-24) and walked on water (Mt 14:22-26).

* Miracles gave a proof of the Resurrection. Acts 4:33. If Jesus is not alive, His Name would have no power to heal the sick and to work miracles.

b) Scriptural examples of the working of miracles.

* In the Old Testament. Elisha with the widow’s oil (II Kings 4:1-7).

* In the life of Jesus. He changed water into wine (Jn 2:1-11).

* In the early church. The transportation of Philip. (Acts 8:39-40).

 

c) The practical operation of the gift. God wants us to move in the gift of miracles, which often works together with the gift of faith. There needs to be an anointing of the Holy Spirit to give a special confidence and authority to speak or act with boldness. We see God’s heart concerning the miraculous:-

* Jesus sent His followers to do miracles. Lk 9:1-3. As Christ like people, they would do the works of Christ. To His seventy disciples He gave power to, “heal the sick” and to cast out demons in His Name (Lk 10:9, 17).

* He moves in miracles for His people. Acts 12:1-11. We see many examples of this in the Old Testament. In Acts 5:18-20 we read they, “laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out and said ‘go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.’”

* His disciples moved in miracles and as a result many believed. Acts 5:12-16. Peter spoke to the dead body of Dorcas, “‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes and when she saw Peter she sat up …. . And it became known throughout Joppa and many believed in the Lord” (Acts 9:40, 42).

* Jesus gave us the command to move out in miracles in this generation. Mk 16:15-18.

 

foundations to victorious living

Rev. John Willoughby

FOUNDATIONS OF VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING

THE HOLY SPIRIT

All Scriptures are in the New King James Version, unless otherwise stated.

Study 10 THE GIFT OF DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS.

I Cor 12:1, 7-11. It usually operates with other gifts and as with all the gifts, faith must be in operation. It is – ‘A supernatural ability to distinguish between the spirit of man, evil spirits and the Holy Spirit.’ It is a divine gift given by the Holy Spirit to ‘see’ into the spiritual realm, to discern the origin of certain actions and teachings. This gift together with the casting out of demons is greatly needed in the Church today.

1. EXAMPLES IN SCRIPTURE

* In the Old Testament. King Solomon prayed, “give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil” (I Kings 3:9).

* In Jesus’ ministry. He, “knew all men and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man” (Jn 2:24-25).

* In the early Church. Peter said, to 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” (Acts 5:3).

2. ITS OPERATION

It is not the same as spiritual discernment, which comes through Christian maturity (Heb 5:14), nor is it an ability to criticise other Christians for their failings. It is rather a supernatural understanding of the nature and activity of spirits, giving the ability to discern:-

a) The origin of the spirit influencing man.

* The divine Spirit. Jn 3:6.

* The satanic spirit. Acts 16:16-18.

* The human spirit. Prov 16:18-19.

b) The result seen by spiritual influence.

* Their fruits. Mt 7:15-23.

* Their doctrine. I Jn 4:1-6.

* Their attitude to the Lordship of Christ. I Cor 12:3.

3. ITS USE WITH THE ABILITY TO CAST OUT DEMONS

The gift of ‘Faith’ to cast out demons needs to operate together with the gift of ‘Discernment of spirits’. It does not necessarily mean, however, that the same person is operating in both gifts. Some aspects of demons:-

a) They are deceptive. Rev 12:9. Satan is known as the deceiver and the father of lies (Jn 8:44). It is not always easy to discern whether something is demonic, for he can come as an angel of light (II Cor 11:14-15) and will always try to counterfeit the works of God. If demon activity is always very obvious, there would be no need for this gift.

b) They have personalities. Their nature is to lie, however, so care must be taken, when dealing with them. They have:-

* Names which describe their activities and sometimes they will make them known. Jesus asked the demon possessed man, “What is your name. And he said, ‘Legion’, because many demons had entered him” (Lk 8:30).

* A mind and emotions. James wrote, “You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble” (Jms 2:19).

* A will, “And all the demons begged Him saying, ‘Send us to the swine that we may enter them’” (Mk 5:12).

c) They regard the body they inhabit as their house. Mt 12:43-45. They often congregate in groups or families. When Jesus cast out Legion they said, “we are many” (Mk 5:9).

d) They have physical strength. Acts 19:15-16. Often the person operating the gift of discernment will know which is the strongest demon (usually the leader).

e) They have the ability to:-

* Cause sickness of mind and body (Lk 13:11-13).

* Live in both animals and humans (Mk 5:1-13).

* Do signs and wonders (Ex 7:9-12. 19, 22. 8:6-7. 16-18).

* Propagate their own doctrines (I Tim 4:1). Jesus also warned that this would be very prevalent in the end times (Mt 24:11).

f) They recognise spiritual authority and can be cast out. Mk 1:23-26. Jesus said as part of His great commission to all His disciples, “In My Name they will cast out demons” (Mk 16:17). It is interesting that they also know their final destination (Mt 8:29).

foundations of victorious living

Rev. John Willoughby

FOUNDATIONS OF VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING

THE HOLY SPIRIT

All Scriptures are in the New King James Version, unless otherwise stated.

Study 9   GIFTS OF THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE AND THE WORD OF WISDOM

I Cor 12:1, 7-11. The two gifts of Revelation, the ‘Word of Knowledge’ and the ‘Word of Wisdom’ usually operate together, but they can also operate with other gifts. As with all the gifts, faith must be in operation and the more they are used, the stronger they become. Any Spirit filled Christian who is willing to listen to God and is available may be used.

1. A WORD OF KNOWLEDGE

It is – ‘A small portion of God’s knowledge given by Him, to give insight into a particular situation at a particular time.’ It gives us certain facts and information about a person or event, by the supernatural revelation of the Holy Spirit, which could not be known by natural means.

a) Examples in Scripture.

* From the Old Testament. Elisha knowing the King of Syria’s mind (II Kings 6:8-12).

* In the Ministry of Jesus. Knowing about Nathanael (Jn 1:47-50).

* In the Early Church. Peter knowing about Ananias’s lie to the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:1-11).

b) Its use in Scripture. Other examples are:-

* To uncover sin. II Sam 12:1-15. (v10-11, 14)

* To give revelation by the Holy Spirit. Jn 4:16-18. (v18)

* To give guidance and direction. Acts 9:10-12.

* To minister encouragement. I Kings 19:9-10, 18.

* To impart knowledge of future events. Isa 53:7-9.

* To reveal hidden things. I Sam 10:21-22.

c) It’s operation. It is:-

* A “word” (logos) of knowledge, not the gift of knowledge. This is not to be confused with scriptural knowledge or the ability to study or understand the Bible. It is not worldly knowledge, gained by experience or study, nor human knowledge sanctified by God.

* A revelation, which comes quietly to the mind (as do most thoughts), the difference being that the information is supernatural and could not have been gained in any other way.

* Not necessary for it to be spoken for it to operate (Acts 9:11), but may become vocal when shared with others.

* Extremely valuable in the ministry of counselling and is often being used together with the Word of Wisdom.

2. A WORD OF WISDOM

This is a very important gift and is the first mentioned of the gifts. It is – ‘A word of revelation, given by God to solve a particular problem at a particular time.’ It is a fragment of divine wisdom, supernaturally imparted by the Holy Spirit and gives immediate wisdom to know how to react and what to do or say in a given situation.

a) Examples in Scripture.

* From the Old Testament. Solomon settling a dispute (I Kings 3:16-28).

* In the ministry of Jesus. Answering His critics (Lk 20:21-26).

* In the Early Church. Choosing of the first deacons (Acts 6:1-5).

b) Its use in Scripture. Other examples are:-

* To encourage. II Kings 6:15-17.

* To bring release. Jn 8:3-11.

* To bring doctrinal guidance. Acts 10:9-16.

c) Its operation. Lk 21:12-15. It is:-

* A “Word” of wisdom and is not the gift of wisdom. It is not a natural wisdom, neither is it gained due to academic achievement, for one can receive it without being able to read or write. It is not gained by a deep knowledge of the Word of God, or wisdom to understand the Bible, nor can it be gained by Christian experience (which is extremely valuable).

* Used with other gifts, ensuring their correct use and application, for without it the result could be confusion. It is frequently used with the Word of Knowledge.

* Specific, being received quietly within the spirit and can be spoken out in counselling, preaching or prophesying.

 

foundations for victorious living

Rev. John Willoughby

FOUNDATIONS OF VICTORIOUS CHRISTIAN LIVING

THE HOLY SPIRIT

All Scriptures are in the New King James Version, unless otherwise stated.

Study 8  THE THREE GIFTS OF UTTERANCE FOR THE CHURCH

I Cor 12:1, 7-11. The Holy Spirit will always bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ in all He does (Jn 15:26. 16:14). These gifts are also given for, “ the profit of all” (v7) and for “the edification” of the church (I Cor 14:26). Paul wrote in I Cor 14:1, “desire spiritual gifts”.

1. THE GIFT OF TONGUES AND INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES

a) Tongues. I Cor 14:26. This gift is only identified with the Church and is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It is – ‘A supernatural gift of an utterance in an unknown tongue, which when interpreted is for the edification of the church.’ The following important points are taken from I Corinthians Chapter 14:-

* It must be accompanied by the Gift of Interpretation (v28).

* It should be confined to three utterances for interpretation in any one meeting (v27).

* It is a sign to unbelievers (v22).

* It should not be forbidden (v39).

b) Interpretation of Tongues. I Cor 14:13. It is the companion gift to that of tongues and can only be used with that gift. It is – ‘A supernatural ability to interpret an unknown tongue into a known language for the edification of the church.’

* It is not the ability to translate, but rather the supernatural ability to give understanding to the people of the message given by God in a language, which they can understand.

* The two gifts of Tongues and Interpretation, when used together are equivalent to the Gift of Prophecy (I Cor 14:5).

2. THE GIFT OF PROPHECY

I Cor 14:1-5. An important gift (v1), which is often used together with the gifts of revelation. It is – ‘An inspired utterance in a known language, to build up and encourage the saints.’

a) Its blessings. We read in I Corinthians Chapter 14:-

* The people receive the mind of God and are edified, exhorted and comforted (v3).

* It convinces the unlearned (v24-25).

* Believers may learn spiritual truths and be encouraged (v31).

b) Its operation. It will not break the spirit of the meeting, although it may change its course. Again in I Corinthians Chapter 14:-

* All should desire this gift for the purpose of blessing others (v1, 39).

* Responsibility for its use or abuse rests on the one using the gift, who is completely in control of all he says (v32).

* Everyone may prophesy, one by one, but not more than three in any one gathering (v31, 29).

* The person giving the prophecy must be tested by the fruits of his life (Mt 7:16).

c) A word of caution! It should not be confused with preaching or teaching, which comes from prayerful study and meditation of God’s Word.

* It is not generally for foretelling (giving future events), unless the additional gift of the Word of Wisdom or the Word of Knowledge is also in operation. If there is a predictive aspect, it will come to pass (Dt 18:21-22).

* It is not for personal guidance, but will only confirm what God has already spoken into the heart, by His Word and by His Spirit (Jn 10:27).

* It is given through a human channel, therefore it is fallible and not completely inspired and true as is the Word of God (I Cor 13:9).

* It should always be tested with the Word of God and must be judged (I Cor 14:29).

* This gift is not to be confused with the ministry of prophet (Eph 4:11).

3. OPERATION OF THESE GIFTS FOR THE CHURCH

I Cor 13:1-2. All the gifts must be motivated by love. Any spirit filled believer can be used and they are given, “as the Spirit wills” (I Cor 12:11). We need to:-

a) Be available. II Tim 1:6-7. Be relaxed and yielded to the Holy Spirit and be prepared to be used in all of these three gifts. It is good to develop a sensitivity, while in praise and worship, as to what He is wanting to do in the meeting. Be attentive to His voice within you and when you feel His prompting in your spirit, commit yourself as a channel for Him to use.

b) Wait for His timing. I Cor 14:32. There may be a growing, inner excitement and a deep awareness that He wishes to bless the people through you. Do not speak out immediately, rather wait for His timing (you will feel His inner prompting), or perhaps when there is a quietness in the meeting. He will not interrupt what is already happening in the service, nor will He cause confusion.

c) Move out in faith. Rom 12:6. For the use of any of the gifts of the Spirit, we need faith. If you feel He wants to use you in prophecy or interpretation, ask Him what He would have you to say. If you receive an impression, ask the Spirit what it means and to give you His words. Usually you will only have a sentence to start with, speak that out and God will give you more. Be careful to speak only that which you feel is from God and keep it simple. Do not add your own ideas, but speak according to your faith and then stop.

d) Speak normally. I Cor 14:8-9. When you speak, be calm and relaxed, speak in a normal and clear voice – you do not have to shout or effect a religious tone. Speak at a normal speed, seeking all the time to flow with the Spirit. When you have finished, remain silent and let the others (those who use the gifts) judge. Do not try to add to the message or give reasons for it. Remember that the gifts develop with use.

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