Due to the popular coverage this blog message from our files (2009) are receiving over the past few months, I have decided to translate it also into English for purposes of all our international visitors to the website.
The message below is also an excerpt from the message that I have preached on the 23rd May 2009 at the Metanoia Assembly in Hercules, Pretoria of South Africa.
The week before the Mighty Men Conference (MMC-09) of Angus Buchan in 2009, the Lord Jesus explicitly gave me a vision with the scripture below and He dealt with me about the baptism of the Holy Spirit (or some prefer the Holy Ghost according to KJV) during the weeks thereafter:
“Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.” (Act 2:33 ESV)
I was so excited and looking forward to a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God (a fresh new outpouring of His true Spirit) on the men of South Africa. This would brought forth not a “revival” but a mighty transformation of men’s lives, causing a wide and significant impact in South Africa when more than 200 000 men return home (filled with the Spirit of God) and to their various churches and denominations.
And believe me, the spiritual hunger and thirst was there because thousands of men would go to the open air site even 3 hours before the time, just to find a seat as close to the stage as possible. Nobody complained about the straw bales used as seating, or the cold wind or the cold showers. Everybody who was there came with an expectation and thirst. Even after the first service the men were ready to receive more and to sing praises to the Name of Jesus Christ for hours on end – but unfortunately the organizers/musicians were not on the same page as they left the stage a half hour after the service. Maybe the Church has lost a golden opportunity?
Prior to bringing the message, the Lord laid it upon my heart that we (the Church) should confess first, that:
- We do not nurture the Holy Spirit as a treasure in our lives;
- We smother and suppress the Spirit of God and do not function in the gifts as we should;
- Our lives (fruit) do not attest of the indwelling Spirit of God;
- The speaking in tongues IS NOT the barometer of our current relationship with the Lord;
- The Church has only the appearance of godliness and has forsaken/denied the power thereof.
- This request to confess was also confirmed by my wife who has received it along the same lines.
Transformation or Revival?
By word of mouth from various preachers, we all agree that we should not be looking for “revival” – because history has shown that it is only temporary and won’t last. We are looking/seeking “Transformation” which are brought forth through the Gospel and is birthed IN the power of the Spirit of God. That is faith based and it will be everlasting!
- For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power. (1Co 4:20 ESV)
- But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. (2Co 4:7 ESV)
The Word of God nowhere refers to “Revival” – but only to the fact that a soul is re-created (a new creature) through the power and spirit of God. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2Co 5:17 ESV)
The Azusa-street revival in 1906 was brought about by the hunger and thirst of the members who seeked a deeper relationship of God and His Spirit. By they received more. They received a deeper understanding of the Word and being in relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, but unfortunately it was the church leaders who later on smothered and suppressed the flow of the Spirit of God, through their organizational and internal laws and programs. The same principle applied when the 10 leaders of the tribes of Israel brought back a negative report to Moses about the promised land, and therefore the whole complement of Israel had to spend 40 years in the desert.
From further insight over the past years, I would like to add the following to this message: Seeing that the majority of leaders of the Church of today are also bringing a “negative report”; they are either preaching only the “good news syndrome”, or they stifle the flow of the Spirit of God with their archaic programs and internal laws. The leaders should awake from their slumber and comfort zones and be filled again with a new anointing.
The Scripture for the evening was:
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” (John 6:63 ESV)
The Lord Jesus spoke these words within a framework of two days and where quite a lot of things had happened around Him, such as:
- The multiplication of the fish and bread;
- He declares that He is the Bread that brings life and then brings it in contrast with the manna in the desert that their forefathers enjoyed;
- That He is the Living Bread that descended from heaven.
But in Verse 54, He declares they should eat from His flesh and drink His blood to have eternal life. This declaration must have sunk a lot of people in His time? “Does He teach about cannibalism? And our Law is completely against such things!” But His words meant nothing else than that you should become One with Christ when you accept His sacrificial offer on the Cross and when you celebrate it through the Lord’s Supper.
Scripture reveal that many had left Him. His words were too hard and too direct and maybe not understandable for some and today many people still leave the Church because they do not understand the true meaning of salvation and grace and the Rigtheousness of Christ. And the answer is quite simple:
- “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit”. (Rom 8:5 ESV)
People who are not born again (not been transformed yet), will not be able to discern between the physical (flesh) and the Spiritual aspects. Being transformed mean you are not “adjusted” to be a better caterpillar (worm), but you are completely recreated through the Spirit of God as a new creature (seen in the transformation process of the catterpillar and butterfly). You will think differently, act differently and even your priorities and personal agendas will change according to the Word and will of God. In Verse 63 (John 6:63) the Lord Jesus Himself declares: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
When we read this, we come boldly to the conclusion we cannot serve the Lord in the flesh. People who serve Him in the flesh are those:
- Who perform good deeds to receive favor from the pastors;
- Who seek status and honor amongst men and in the church;
- Who quickly get tired and bored in the service and continually looks at the time;
- Who are “high maintenance” members (they can’t pray for themselves and cannot apply the Word or faith in their circumstances);
- Who quickly backslide with the smallest of problem – especially when the pastors don’t give them attention.
- They try to “adjust” their behaviors according to the church protokol – and will fail miserably in the end.
And I am not condemning anyone. Unfortunately this is the hard facts of the situation! “It is the Spirit who gives life;” Therefore it is so much more important that everyone be baptized (filled) with the Holy Spirit AND Power (fire/boldness) from on high. It is only through the Spirit of God that you can have a relationship (especially that intimate loving relationship) with the Lord Jesus Christ and to grow to maturity in faith. Paul affirm that we are baptized into the Body of Christ through the one Spirit of God.
- “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free–and all were made to drink of one Spirit. (1Co 12:13 ESV)
That means there is only one approach to find access to the Body of Christ – and it does NOT include the following:
- Through membership of a specific church denomination;
- Through traditions or rites such as infant baptism; confirmation; etc.
- By upholding the Sabbath or any Law of Moses – that is based on self-righteousness;
- Or by fulfilling the requirements of the local church in the observance of specific “holiness” and other laws concerning clothing and hats, etc.
The English translation says “and all were made to drink of one Spirit”, but the Afrikaans translation has another word in here which I feel describes the process of being filled by drinking from the one Spirit a little more clearly. It uses the word “deurdronge” which basically means “being saturated with”. And this is exactly what the Church needs today: To be once again saturated with the One Spirit of God! There are too many “spirits” and personal opinions flowing and moving in and through the Church which is not the Spirit of God, such as:
- A religious spirit – people tend to do the right things, but there is no anointing and no spiritual growth. The best to describe such a congregation is that it is a good social club.
- A spirit of entertainment – the church leadership compiles programs to entertain the members and the members participate in these programs to sooth their conscience.
- The Mammon spirit of money – all programs are focused on the money side of matters;
- The spirit of false prophecy and gimmicks – to smooth the ears of people which contributes to the “good news syndrome” in churches. In most cases the “prophets” uses the Word to speak to people and prophecy only good news and promises to them. Where the leaders are aware of the absence of the Spirit of God, but try to fill it with manifestations and religious gimmicks to retain their members.
- The Jezebel spirit – this is a demonic spirit of manipulation and undermining of the authority structure of God for the assembly.
The time has come that the Church should go back to the “basics”. There where the Lord has circumcized our hearts through His Spirit so that we can be changed/ transformed to the image that God originally intended for His Bride.
- 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. (2Co 3:18 ESV)
In the second part of our theme scripture of John 6:63, the Lord boldly claims “… the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”
There is only one Gospel and one Lord Jesus Christ and one Savior and He speaks today through His servants all over the world and His Word “…that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
If the Church overall confesses that so many members (the majority) are filled with the Holy Spirit and they experience the movement/flow of the Spirit of God in their services, why:
- Is the Church of today still dead / powerless / without love?
- Why are churches closing down and buildings being sold to the Moslems and business men to be used as pubs?
- Are there still so many people (in churches) who are broken and shattered and who struggle with depression, hatred, bitterness, fear and unbelief?
- Are less than 30% of the world population born again as children of God after 2000 years since Christ died on the Cross?
Where is the problem?
- Has the power of God’s Spirit diminished over the 2000 years? Never!Paul says:
- For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:16 ESV)
- Or did the focus and passion of the Church (Leaders and members) maybe shifted from the Spirit to the physical (flesh)?
- Does the Church really serve and minister to the spiritual needs of the members to find deliverance, healing, restoration and support? Because we find thousands of people out there who struggle on a daily basis with old injuries through molestations, rape and rejection that has happened in their childhood years.
- They would be members of large denominations for years, but would find healing and restoration on a weekend camp (men and women camps) being conducted independently from the church environment, mainly because their need is not recognized and addressed through the Spirit of God in the church;
- I was quite shocked to see how many men stood up upon the invitation of Evangelist Angus Buchan for those who suffer from anxiety, fear and depression. Thousands of the men stood up and requested prayer. The experience left an imprint on my mind that Churches are focusing on the lost being saved in other countries, but they neglect the need in their own backyards.
In our local church in Danville, Pretoria we adopted the slogan from the USA Marines, that “We leave no one behind !” It is the responsibility of each brother and sister to look after each other. The other day I listened again to the famous song someone wrote: “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother”. Sometimes it is necessary to forget about your own circumstances and see how you can carry your brother or sister. (and this is figuratively speaking)
The fact remain: God implemented the congregation with the 5-fold ministry (authorative structure) and gifts to equip and empower the saints for their work – and not men and women camps. Understand me correctly, I do not have a specific objection to such camps, but some of them are being run by ill-equipped and sometimes even immature people who provide or allow false teachings to be provided to people who are already hurting – and we have to focus on the Word and the principle in discussion that Jesus established the congregation as an assembly. These camps and courses started off and gained momentum over the past 12 years due to the massive need that exists in churches and because the Church overall is not fulfilling her role as the Bride of Christ! And people are also making money (it has become a “money spinner”) in the process by hosting these camps. I truly want to urge the leaders to restore the true Spirit of God in your congregations and allow the Spirit of God to reign in your services!
“But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) (Joh 6:64 ESV)
So many people would confess being Christians, but they are also quick to admit they don’t actually believe in specific aspects from the Word. Think of churches who do not believe in the promise of the Holy Spirit or the gifts thereof? Or those who proclaim it is not necessary to be born again through water and the spirit (John 3:5)? But those who do not believe in the Spirit of God and its manifestations and gifts, are also those who try to analyze and examine the Word of God through their physical minds and not through faith. Maybe you don’t believe in it all, because:
- You don’t understand the Scriptures – when you are baptized with the Holy Spirit and Power (fire), the veil that covers your eyes and mind will be removed and you will understand more clearly. But it is a gradual process and you will grow the more you study the Word.
- You are perhaps skeptical/critical about the Word of God?
- “ So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Joh 8:31,32 ESV )
- You are spiritually still weak? The Word of God promise that you will receive spiritual power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and in you (Acts 1:8)
Today you have a choice:
- Accept the Word of God – as Jesus is speaking words of Spirit and Life into you! Even through His servants and still today!
- Accept the promise of the Holy Spirit – it is for you!
- Confess your sins and accept the forgiveness of God through the blood of Jesus Christ (1Joh 1:9)
- Be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and you will receive the promise of the Holy Spirit;
- And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” ( Act 2:38,39 ESV)
- It is a promise and a gift – accept it and seek it/desire it with all that is in you! You will not be disappointed!
- Don’t wait and postpone for another day.
- Discover your specific gift(s) and operate in it through the guidance of the Spirit of God!
- Be a blessing in your church and make a difference in someone’s life.
Father I pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. I have read the message above and I accept your work of salvation and redemption on the Cross of Calvary. <<< You can also confess specific sin in your life, lack of faith, maybe if you have backslidden, any bitterness and unforgiveness, being in a comfort zone, serving God in the flesh and not in the Spirit etc. now >>>> I accept that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanse me now from all sin and I accept your promise of forgiveness.
I proclaim today that I hunger and thirst for a deeper spiritual relationship with You. I desperately seek a fresh new anointing and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Send me (or renew) the promise of your Holy Spirit and fire as you have done in the day of Pentecost and use me as a vessel to bless someone else with your Word and Spirit. Guide me through your Word in spirit and in truth. Reveal Your specific purpose for my life to me and equip me and empower me with the gifts of the Spirit. Let my life attest through the fruit of the Spirit of Your indwelling Spirit and love! Amen!