GUSHING AND SPLASHING

Acts 2:15-17 – These people are not drunk like you think they are, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. This is the fulfillment of what was prophesied through the prophet Joel, for God says:

‘This is what I will do in the last days —I will pour out my Spirit on everybody and cause your sons and daughters to prophesy, and your young men will see visions, and your old men will experience dreams from God.

God’s word is very descriptive and can often be seen as we focus in on key words in the scripture. In this passage the phrase “pour out” is very descriptive and and gives us a glimpse into the way the Holy Spirit works as He falls on us in fresh outpourings. Here is how the Passion Notes describe this phrase.

“Or “gush forth,” or “run greedily.” The Aramaic can be translated “I will be splashing my Spirit-Wind over all flesh” (humanity).”

So this phrase describes the Holy Spirit as gushing and splashing over all flesh. This awakens pictures of a dam that has been breached and is flooding over everything in its path. It also causes pictures of the splashing of the Spirit, everyone who gets close will end up getting wet.

The Kittel Word Book adds some more insight into this passage.

“Lavishing divine gifts or powers in fulfillment of Joel 3:1-2 is the point in Acts 2:16. As in the OT the outpouring of the Spirit means both ecstatic inspiration and inner renewal, so the same word occurs both for the giving of tongues (Acts 10:45) and the granting of the Spirit in baptism (Tit. 3:5). In Rom. 5:5-6 the overflowing love of God shown in Christ’s death brings us constant assurance by the Holy Spirit.”

I love this connection to the Old Testament. Kittel says that the Old Testament outpouring on the prophets would cause ecstatic inspiration and inner renewal. That’s exactly what we are in need of today. I need daily renewal by the Spirit to keep me satisfied, filled, and walking in the ways of the Lord. We need inspiration by the Spirit to walk in His plan for our lives as well as to have a message to impact our world. That’s exactly what the Spirit does; He gushes and splashes all over us that we may have inspiration and renewal.

SOBER INTOXICATION

Eph.5:18 – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,

There have been seasons of renewal all throughout church history. There are many similarities but also differences that can be observed. Two of the things that influence the way we receive and define renewal is our cultural bias as well as our theological bias. There was a powerful outpouring of the Spirit in the Roman Empire during the 3rd century after Christ. Imagine what a different world they were part of, totally different from the one we are part of today. Their view of Revival was effected by their culture just as ours is in our modern world. During the outpouring in the 1990’s I observed how theology could effect our view of Revival. I experienced the Vineyard version, the Assembly of God version, and the word of faith version; you can connect the dots. Here are two accounts of Revival from the 300’s from Cyril and Ambrose.

“They are not drunk in the way you might think. They are indeed drunk, but with the sober intoxication which kills sin and gives life to the heart and which is the opposite of physical drunkenness. Drunkenness makes a person forget what he knows; this kind, instead, brings understanding of things that were not formerly known. They are drunk insofar as they have drunk the wine of that mystical vine which affirms,“I am the vine, you are the branches”.”

“Every time you drink, you receive the remission of sins and you become intoxicated with the Spirit. It is in that sense that the Apostle said, “Do not get drunk with wine… but be filled with the Spirit”. He who becomes intoxicated with wine staggers, but he who becomes intoxicated with the Holy Spirit is rooted in Christ. How truly excellent is this intoxication which produces the sobriety of the soul!”

Even though there are differences in the way people respond and define outpourings of the Spirit, they are all essentially the same. Notice the similarities to what many of us have experienced. The things that stand out to me are the emphasis on joy, spiritual intoxication, the scriptures, redemption, and an emphasis on Christ Himself. People may respond differently under the anointing and have different interpretations of what it may mean; at the end of the day God has come down and refreshed our souls. Come and visit this generation Lord!

WITHDRAW THE VEIL

Rev.1:17 – When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man.

Have you ever fallen under the power? I used to think it was bogus. To me it was an embarrassing part of the charismatic renewal that I wanted nothing to do with. What changed my opinion? My opinion changed when it happened to me. What is falling under the power anyway? One way to explain it would be this, becoming so aware of the things of the spiritual world that you lose the ability to function normally in this world. It’s what happened to John on the isle of Patmos, Paul when he was converted on the Damascus Road, and Daniel when he was interceding for his nation. Today it often happens when the power of the Spirit falls upon an individual or a group of individuals and they end up on the floor experiencing His glorious presence. Jonathan Edwards often saw this manifestation in his services, here is part of his explanation.

“Let us rationally consider what we profess to believe of the infinite greatness of the things of God, the divine wrath, the divine glory, and the divine infinite love and grace in Jesus Christ, and the vastness and infinite importance of the things of eternity; and how reasonable is it to suppose that if it pleases God a little to withdraw the veil, and let in light into the soul, and give something of a view of the great things of another world in their transcendent and infinite greatness, that human nature, that is as the grass, a shaking leaf, a weak withering flower, should totter under such a discovery? Such a bubble is too weak to bear the weight of a view of things that are so vast. Alas! What is such dust and ashes, that it should support itself under the view of the awful wrath of infinite glory and love of Jehovah! No wonder therefore that it is said, “No man can see me and live.”

There was a season when Jonathan’s wife Sarah was experiencing this phenomenon in her life. He said there were certain words (like Holy Spirit) that he would avoid using at home because it would set her off. Its not falling or not falling that makes any difference. What matters is having a glimpse behind the veil; when that happens you might find yourself as a heap of joy stuck to the floor.

TOO EXCITED

Acts 13:52 – And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

The worldly man knows about the pursuit of pleasure. He chases it in bars, hunting and fishing trips, casinos, strip clubs, golf courses, and football season. When it comes to church the attitude is more like “don’t get too excited”. Excitement and joy in church is often written off as frivolous exploits into religious extremism and fanaticism. That is really strange if you think about it; being happy in the pursuit of carnal pleasure in earthly things is acceptable and healthy, the pursuit of joy and excitement in church is treated as weird and totally unacceptable. I wonder if that’s why so many people are abusing meds and alcohol, maybe it is the result of misdirected pursuits of joy. Jonathan Edwards wrote extensively about revival and the pursuit of spiritual joy. Here are some of his comments about excitement in church.

“Though there are false affections in religion, and affections that in some respects are raised high, that are flashy, yet undoubtedly there are also true, holy and solid affections; and the higher these are raised, the better: and if they are raised to an exceeding great height, they are not to be thought meanly of or suspected, merely because of their great degree, but on the contrary to be esteemed and rejoiced in. Charity, or divine love, is in Scripture represented as the sum of all the religion of the heart; but this is nothing but an holy affection: and therefore in proportion as this is firmly fixed in the soul, and raised to a great height, the more eminent a person is in holiness. Divine love, or charity, is represented as the sum of all the religion of heaven, and that wherein mainly the religion of the church in its more perfect state on earth shall consist… therefore the higher this holy affection is raised in the church of God, or in a gracious soul, the more excellent and perfect is the state of the church, or a particular soul.”

So when was the last time you got criticized for being too on fire or being too expressive in your worship of God? Maybe our tendency to back off and but a lid on our affections in church is really holding us back. I think the desire to live for God outside of church springs from our affections that we have and show toward the Lord. So I say don’t hold back, let your love of God be released in demonstrations of affection.

CHRISTIAN PRIVILEGE

Jn 16:7 – But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.

In our toxic political environment we hear a lot about white privilege and American exceptionalism. I am not a politician and those topics are not what this is about but another kind of privilege and exceptionalism that we have as Christians. I have always believed that Christians have an unfair advantage in every arena that we are involved in, the Bible calls it the blessing of the Lord. In today’s verse Jesus pointed to where this privilege or advantage comes from. He was telling His followers that the result of His crucifixion and resurrection would be the coming of the Holy Spirit Who would anoint us to do great exploits in this life. Talk about exceptionalism, there is no other people who can come close to the power and favor on the Lord’s people. Here is how J.C. Ryle describes our advantage.

“If Christ had not died, risen again, and ascended up into heaven, it is plain that the Holy Spirit could not have come down with special power on the day of Pentecost, and bestowed His manifold gifts on the Church. Mysterious as it may be, there was a connection in the eternal counsels of God, between the ascension of Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit.

If Christ had remained bodily with the disciples, He could not have been in more places than one at the same time. The presence of the Spirit whom He sent down, would fill every place where believers were assembled in His name, in every part of the world.

If Christ had remained upon earth, and not gone up into heaven, He could not have become a High Priest for His people in the same full and perfect manner that He became after His ascension. He went away to sit down at the right hand of God, and to appear for us, in our human nature glorified, as our Advocate with the Father.”

And there you have it; His death, burial, resurrection, and glorification made it possible for us to be anointed with the power of His presence. Since He returned to heaven the Spirit is not limited by a human body to be in one place at a time, the Holy Spirit is working simultaneously in the whole world. He is also able to function as our High Priest before the Father in heaven. I have to say, I like the idea of being privileged.

EFFECTED

Eph.3:20 – Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,

Have you been filled with the Holy Spirit? If you want to start a fight just ask that question in the middle of Christians from different persuasions. Of course everyone thinks they are filled with the Spirit but there are some differences that we must explore. First of all Paul spoke about being filled with degrees of the Spirit. 2 Cor.3:18 – “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” From the context of this passage, the more we come under the influence of the Spirit there are greater degrees of His influence in us. I have to agree with that, I think there is more of the Spirit available to all of us than we have ever begun to experience. If that is true think about today’s verse. It seems to me the more we are effected by the Spirit the more He does through us. Today’s verse says He can do anything in and through us according… According to what? According to His power within us. Here is how Wuest describes today’s verse.

“The power (dunamis) that is putting forth energy in us, is the operation of the Holy Spirit in His work of sanctification. God is able to do for us and answer our prayers according to the efficiency, richness, and power of the working of the Spirit in our lives. This latter is determined by the yieldedness of the believer to the Holy Spirit. Thus, the saint determines what God is able to do for him. In His inherent ability, there is no limit to what God can do in and through the saint. But the saint limits the working of God in and through him by the degree of his yieldedness to the Spirit.”

So how much have you been effected by the Spirit? Have you been effected enough to change your own life? What about other people’s lives? Have you been effected enough to impact others? If this verse says what I think it says the Lord can do way more than we think through us. What is the determining factor? I think its how much we have been effected by the Spirit.

POT OF OIL

2Kings 4:2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil.

I love the story of the widow and the pot of oil. The miracle of provision for this mom left in financial need on the death of her prophet husband is beautiful and displays the Lord’s supernatural provision for His own. But there is another side, and even deeper side to this story. This pot of oil is a picture of us, we are the vessels of oil that this story speaks about. As Paul said, “We have this treasure in jars of clay”. The oil, or the treasure, is the Holy Spirit. Just as the oil was the solution to this woman’s dilemma, the Spirit is the solution to all of life’s dilemmas. There is oil in the vessel, this supernatural oil effects every part of our lives. It effects our mind and intellect, it effects our physical well being, it also effects our emotions and makes us emotionally whole. If you have oil in your pot you have all the answer you need. Here is how A.B. Simpson describes this.

“Yes, our very bodies will feel the fullness. The Holy Ghost is a true tonic for physical energy and perfect health. The fullness of the Spirit is the elixir for body and brain and being. To be filled with His blessed life will make our feet spring, our nerves steady, our brain strong, our circulation regular, and our whole being at its best for God and holy service.

•  Then, also, our very circumstances keep time to the blessed fullness of the heart within.

•  Like the widow’s pot of oil that flowed out into every vessel, so the presence of God touches everything that comes into our life, and we find that all things work together for good to us if we love God and fulfill His purpose.

•  Our circumstances will become adjusted to us, or we become adjusted to our circumstances, and the whole of our life, “fitly framed together,” will become vigorous, and full of power and blessing.”

As this widow began to pour out the oil her problems were being solved. Her sons were no longer being taken into slavery and she was not going to lose her house. What saved her from her certain destruction? She had oil in the pot.

HE ANOINTS MY HEAD WITH OIL

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Psa. 23:5 ¶ You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;

you anoint my head with oil;

my cup overflows.
David was a man of the Spirit. His whole life and ministry where an outflow of the anointing that was on his life. From the lion and the bear, to the Philistine giant, the jealous king, the rebellious son, and the Philistine armies; David was able to rise above and conquer every foe. He understood exactly what he meant when he penned the words, “You anoint my head with oil”. Today’s church has majored on programs, ministries, and principles with little or no mention of the anointing. The anointing is the weapon of our warfare to do damage to the kingdoms of the world and to establish the kingdom of God. Martin Luther spoke of the intoxicating effect of the anointing of the Spirit and the powerful effect it has on our world. Check out Luther’s thoughts on the anointing of the Spirit.
“The Holy Spirit makes them not only courageous and bold, but also so secure and happy that they get drunk with a great and boundless joy. David is thus speaking here of spiritual power, joy, and intoxication-the power of God; and a joy in the Holy Spirit, as St. Paul calls it; and a blessed intoxication, in which the people are filled not with wine, for that is debauchery, but with the Holy Spirit. And this is the armor and the weapons with which our Lord God equips His believers against the devil and the world; that is, He puts the Word into their mouths and puts courage, that is, the Holy Spirit, into their hearts. Unafraid and cheerful, they attack all their enemies with that equipment. They smite and conquer them despite all their power, wisdom, and holiness. Such warriors were the Apostles on the day of Pentecost. They stood up in Jerusalem against the command of the emperor and the high priest and acted as though they were veritable gods and all the others mere locusts, and they pressed forward with all strength and joy, as though they were intoxicated, as some actually mocked them and said they were filled with new wine. But St. Peter showed from the prophet Joel that they were not filled with wine but with the Holy Spirit. Afterward he flays about with his sword; that is, he opens his mouth and preaches, and with one stroke he rescues three thousand souls from the devil.”
The one thing that can change the world is the one thing that has been ignored and even despised in church. We must have the anointing if we expect to change our world. The Lord has given Victory Fellowship a sharp sword to use in our battle in New Orleans. That sword is a production called Beyond the Grave. What is the source of the impact it has enjoyed? It is the outflow of Holy Spirit intoxication from the years of saturation at our church. Oh Lord, anoint our heads with fresh oil!!!

FILLED #2

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Eph. 5:18 ,19 – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

Continued from yesterday,
“Be filled” is plural and thus applies to the body of Christ collectively. God’s people collectively are to “be so ‘full of God’ by his Spirit that our worship and our homes give full evidence of the Spirit’s presence: by song, praise, and thanksgiving that simultaneously praise and adore God and teach the community”.

The Spirit filled life is closely connected to our Christian community. It is veritably impossible to stay full of the Spirit if you are not around Spirit filled believers. I am not talking about people who say they believe in being Spirit filled, I am talking about actually drinking of His Spirit corporately. Who you fellowship with will determine your ability to stay full of the Spirit.

Eph. 5:18-20 – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

“It ( the phrase. Be filled) is passive and thus could be translated, “Let the Spirit fill you” (NEB). There should be such an openness and obedience to the Holy Spirit that nothing hinders him from filling us.”

This is critical. Yielding, learning to be in a receiving mode, is key to receiving more of His presence. Many get stuck in a doing mode. Humility stays in a receiving state, I need Him in my life

DRINKING IS STEPPING INTO THE RECEIVING MODE

“It is a present tense and thus carries the idea of an ongoing action. As our physical bodies need the constant renewal that sleep brings, so the body of Christ needs the constant renewal that the Spirit makes possible.”

This passage could be translated ‘be being filled’. Be baptized or immersed into the Spirit is a continual thing. Paul is calling us to a lifestyle of drinking in the new wine on a continual basis.

Eph. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.
At the end of the day our life depends on being filled with the Spirit. Take time to draw near, you will benefit by His presence.

FILLED #1

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Eph. 5:18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

Paul draws a comparison to being under the influence of alcoholic beverages and being continually filled with the Spirit. There is an incredible pressure to drink in our present society. Those who don’t drink are often perceived as odd. Our society in America, as well as world wide, is changing rapidly. I became a Christian in 1973. Just in those years since my conversion things have changed extensively. In 1973 it would have been scandalous for a Christian to drink alcohol. Today it is not only accepted and normal, it is actually encouraged in many Christian circles. There was a reason drinking has been unacceptable for Christians, drinking brings all sorts of problems. Paul said there was a better way.

Rom. 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Gal. 5:16 ¶ But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

In the Life in the Spirit Commentary today’s passage is explained. It describes the alternative to drinking alcoholic beverages, being filled with the Spirit and the importance of being Spirit filled. Check this out.

“It is an imperative and is thus a command. Being filled with the Spirit is not an optional or tentative suggestion, as if we are at liberty to take it or leave it. It carries an urgent weight of importance.”
Paul tells us the urgency of being filled with the Spirit. Without the Spirit prevalent in our life we will easily succumb to the spirit that is in the world. Our purity and Christian testimony is at stake.

A. The Spirit within
John 4:10,13,14 – Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

B. The Spirit upon

John 7:37-39 ¶ On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

To be continued….