Tag Archives: the Holy Spirit

Hoshanah Harabbah – One Christian’s Perspective

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Hoshanah Harabbah – One Christian’s Perspective

The seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Succoth) is referred to as Hoshanah (Hoshanah Harabbah, Great Hosanna, Hoshanna Rabbah or Festival of Willows). It was technically the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. On this day the people would go to the synagogue and take a bundle of willows and some palm branches with them. The Hoshanot, The Psalms that begin with the word hoshana, were recited each of the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. It is from the word hoshana that the word hosanna. Hosanna is based on a Greek word of the New Testament that was derived from a combination of two Hebrew words of the Old Testament, pronounced yaw-shah, meaning to save or deliver, and naw, meaning pray. Originally intended as “Save/deliver us, I/we pray,” hosanna is now more often used as an exclamation of praise.

Psalm 118:25-26 NKJV
“Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.”

In the center of the synagogue the elders would march around the ark that held their torah scrolls. The people would march around the ark waving the palm branches seven times, crying, “Hoshana.” After the seventh time, the palm branches are laid down and the willows are beaten. This symbolized the casting away of sin.

The beating of the willows is also associated with the Geshem, or rain prayers. This physical act points to what happens in the spiritual realm. Succoth is a time of harvest, so literal rain is very much needed for the crops.

Joel 2:23-29 NKJV
“Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month. The threshing floors shall be full of wheat, And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil. “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, And praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; And My people shall never be put to shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God And there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days”

A great spiritual harvest is also coming, so we must pray for the rain of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit creates a spiritual thirst, convinces the world of sin, draws the sinner to Christ, and empowers us to be a witness for Christ.

John 16:7-11 NJKV
“Nevertheless 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 depart, I will send Him to you. And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.”

Without the Holy Spirit the believer cannot be an effective witness, and there will not be a harvest of souls into the kingdom of God.

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Endowed With Power

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Endowed With Power

Ephesians 5:17-18 NKJV
“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit”

The early church was a group of believers empowered by the Holy Spirit that spread the Good News. They waited in the upper room until they receive the promised gift from the Father. Only after they received the gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, did they go out into their world with the gospel.

Acts 1:8 NKJV
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, they began to fulfill the great commission – they were controlled and energized by the Holy Spirit. Each of the first believers had experienced a life changing encounter with God. They did not leave their encounter with the same way, they were changed. Too many times today people will come to the altar and experience an encounter with man then leave the altar unchanged.

Throughout the church today the question is often asked, “Why don’t we see the church of Acts today?” The answer is simple, we haven’t tarried in the upper room for the endowment of power. The same gift is offered to believers today, however fewer and fewer believers are asking for and receiving that gift, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And even less are truly walking in the Spirit.

All across the world there is a vast majority of people that have had an encounter with man (good song, good sermon, good program, etc…), but not a life changing encounter with God. Man, and the things of man, can not transform man. Only God can change and transform man – each one of us must come into the presence of God. Only in God’s presence are we changed. People can not be a witness for Christ if they have never really experienced an encounter with Him. In a court of law, a person can not testify with hear say – everything that a person bears witness of must have been personally seen or experienced by the person giving the testimony. The same is true in the spiritual realm -you cannot testify to (be a witness of) what you have not personally experienced. We can not testify to what we have not personally seen or experienced.

If we want to be an Acts church, we too, must be endowed with power. The only power that can transform us or our world comes from the Holy Spirit.

Dear Father,
By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we not be unwise, but understand what Your will is. Cause us to desire to be filled, and refilled, with Your Spirit. Cause us not to get in a hurry or become distracted, but may we tarry in the upper room until we receive the gift that You promised. Then may we go out into our world energized and empowered by the Holy Spirit, as we fulfill the great commission. Cause everything we say and do be controlled by the Holy Spirit. May each and every person that claims the name of a believer to experience a life changing encounter with Jesus and Your precious Holy Spirit. Don’t allow them to leave their encounter the same way, cause each one to be changed.
Fill each believer with a desire for more of You and for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And cause each believer to make the choice to walk in the Spirit. May our lives be a living testimony to those around us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Disciple Of Christ

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Acts 2:42 NKJV

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in prayers.”

New believers must be trained. There must be a uniformity of core beliefs. It is essential that new believers know what they believe and why they believe it. There is a great need for discipleship training in the church today. It is a must that each believer know what Jesus taught. A disciple is a believer in the thought and teaching of any leader; follower. How can a person be a disciple of Christ when they don’t even know what they believe about Him, or they don’t follow His ways?

The Holy Spirit helps a believer to understand things. He will guide us in all truth. Through the Holy Spirit in us we have the ability to understand God’s Word, His will (His desires) and His thoughts. Many times it is hard to understand the Word of God without the help of the Holy Spirit (our Helper). God reveals the truths in His Word to us through the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 NKJV

“However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom of God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard

Nor have entered into the heart of man

The things which God has prepared for those who love Him’

But God has revealed them to us through the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For ‘who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”

Dear God,

Thank-you for Your Holy Spirit, who gives me understanding and guides me in truth. Fill me with Your thoughts and Your desires. Cause each believer to know what they believe and why they believe it – increase discipleship among Your believers. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we understand Your Word, Your will and Your desires. May Your truths be revealed to us and may we act upon them.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

 

Guard Your Passion

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Guard Your Passion

The Holy Spirit desires to deposit a fiery passion within you. This passion will enable you to minister in His power under His anointing. The Holy Spirit’s anointing, power and gifts are very precious and should carefully be guarded. Anything that contaminates the Spirit’s flow in our lives hinders the work of His gifts and power through us. It will also effect our passion for Jesus.

GUARD WHAT HAS BEEN ENTRUSTED TO YOU

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit will help to guard against unsound teachings. Like Timothy, we need to carefully guard and hold fast to what the Lord had entrusted to us.

2 Timothy 1:13-14 NKJV

“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.”

1 Timothy 6:20 NKJV

“O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge”

We must remain committed to the truth that God has taught us through His Holy Spirit and His Word. You must know what you believe and why. Over time compromise, false teaching, or a watered down gospel may try to creep into your life if you fail to remain steadfast. These things (compromise, false teaching, or a watered down gospel) will have a negative impact on your passion for Jesus.

 

GUARD YOUR HEART

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit will help guard your heart. Out of our hearts flow the living waters of the Holy Spirit.

Proverbs 4:23 NKJV

“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”

Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the living water flowing from within our lives.

John 7:37-39 NKJV

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”

Just as we must guard the purity of fresh drinking water, not allowing anything to contaminate it, so we must guard our hearts. One definition of pure is not mixed with anything else. Our hearts cannot be filled with the things of the world and the things of God at the same time. Be careful to let nothing contaminate your life. Be holy, set apart for God.

Matthew 12:34 NKJV

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”

As a person thinks in his heart, so is he. We must be careful with what we see and hear because thoughts get into our hearts through our eyes and ears. When you take ungodly things into Your mind and allow them to settle in your heart it will lead to actions that can put out the flame of your heart’s passion for Jesus.

Matthew 15:18-19 NKJV

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man.
For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.”

 

Dear Father,

By the power of the Holy Spirit help me to guard my heart’s passion for Jesus. May I be careful to hold fast to what You have entrusted to me and remain committed to the truth that You have taught me through Your Holy Spirit and Your Word. Help me to guard against compromise, false teaching, and a watered down gospel. May I keep my heart with all diligence. I desire to be set apart for You. Help me to be careful with what I allow into my heart.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Direct Access To God

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BIBLE THOUGHTS

Hebrews 10:19-22 NKJV

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”

Jesus Christ, God’s own Son, left His place in glory to come to a sin filled world because of God’s great love for man.

 

John 3:16 NKJV

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

Jesus came to this world, led a sinless life, was rejected by men, beaten, crucified and died for man. Prior to the crucifixion, man did not have direct access to the manifest presence of God. Man was separated from the glory of the Lord by a thick veil.

 

Matthew 27:50-51 NKJV

“ And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split”

At the moment of Jesus’ death, the veil between the holy place and the holy of holies was torn into. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, we now have direct access to the very presence of God. The blood of Jesus Christ is our access to God. It’s up to each individual to use the access or to reject the access.

One day the true believers will be in glory experiencing a special intimacy with and worshiping our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. But for now, God has provided a way that we can still enjoy a portion of the intimacy and fellowship that we were created to have with Him.

God sent His Holy Spirit to teach us, strengthen us, comfort us, guide us, direct us, to pray through us and to help us draw closer to Him. God sent His Holy Spirit to help us worship Him. When we allow the Holy Spirit, He will worship God through us. We can experience the glory of the Lord (the manifest presence of God) right here on earth, if we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us and worship through us.

Wherever desperate people are, there God will be in the mist of them. If you are desperate for a greater intimacy with God, reach out to God and begin to worship Him. God will draw close to you, if you draw close to Him.

 

James 4:8 NKJV

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”

 

 

Dear Father,

Make us hungrier for Your presence. Cause us to be worshipers of You. Let our worship be a sweet smell to You and be pleasing. We are desperate for You and Your presence.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.