Here we introduce various links you can use as well as interactive teachings
that will hopefully stimulate you to dig deeper into God’s Word
to discover more of His marvels.
(Keep scrolling down the page to dig deeper in the various teachings)
Ministries that seek to fulfill these
two encouragements from the Word.

1 Peter 3:15, 

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

Colossians 4:5-6, 

“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how youought to answer each one.

Bobby Conway


Ravi Zacharias


Lee Stroebel


Josh Mac Dowell

Scott Sullivan
Use daily / weekly devotionals and reading plans
for your encouragement
Bible Gateway: a variety of devotionals for families/ men / women in different categories
Chapter 1

Who is the Holy Spirit?

 He is the Third Person of God

 The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit

 2 Corinthians 13:14

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.

The aching void in mankind can only be filled with a meaningful and fulfilling fellowship with our creator. The good news is that God can be known and enjoyed as a person. Through Christ we can get as close to God as we want. Communion or fellowship is the Holy Spirit’s specialty. In this book we explore what the Word has to say about the Holy Spirit and how we can get to know Him better so as to better cooperate with God’s plan for our lives.


As a young virgin, Mary had the most incredible experience of her life. She was overshadowed by the mighty Holy Spirit in the most profound way to conceive the savior of the world. This miracle has fascinated mankind for centuries. Today the Holy Spirit wants to overshadow your life so that you too can experience Christ in the womb of your spirit, and bear the fruit of God’s plan for your life.


Jesus promised His followers that He would not leave them as ‘orphans’ or without spiritual parents (John 14:18). He would come to them again by the Holy Spirit. This wonderful mystery was fulfilled when He arose from the dead and breathed on His disciples saying, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (John 20:22).


There seems to be a resurging awareness of the need for strong supportive fellowship in a world that in many respects is not holding together too well. The Holy Spirit is poised and eager to fulfill that need in your life. He has been given to be your helper.

Fellowship Defined:

Where You Fit in the Big Picture

John 14:16, 26

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever…

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 

God the Father orchestrated the plan of salvation. In the fullness of time Jesus came in fulfillment of prophecy to deal with the issue of sin. He then sent the Holy Spirit to be our ‘helper’ in this dispensation. Our responsibility is to co-labor with the Holy Spirit in fulfilling the commission given to the church. The ‘fellowship’ every believer enjoys with the Holy Spirit is to participate together with Him in the cause of Christ to reach the world with God’s love.

Who Is the Holy Spirit?
First, the Holy Spirit is the third person of the God head. His supremacy is revealed by His name. He is called the ‘Spirit of God’ (1 Corinthians 3:16) and has all the divine attributes. For example, the Holy Spirit is everywhere present (Psalm 139:7-10), and has creative powers that only the supreme God can possess. For example, He was present and active when the world the world was created (Genesis 1:2). Only God can be and do these things. It is marvelous to think that we can have close fellowship with the one who was ‘hovering over the face of the waters’ when God spoke the world into existence.


Second, the Holy Spirit is not some impersonal force or influence like gravity. He is a person who speaks like a person, experiences emotion like a person, and has a will and power of choice like a person. When was the last time an impersonal force like gravity talked to you? It does not happen.
  • He speaks as a person:      

John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

Acts 10:19-21

While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you. 20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.”

  • He feels as a person: (impersonal forces do not feel grief).

Ephesians 4:30

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…

  • He makes choices as a person would as an act of His will:

1 Corinthians 12:11

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.


Relating to the Holy Spirit As A Person 

If you are to have a meaningful walk or enjoy fellowship with the Holy Spirit you must address Him as a person and not an ‘it’. Try talking to your wife, friend, family member as ‘it’ and see how much that helps in the relationship!

In addressing Him as a person, remember that He is God, and as such is to be properly respected and reverenced as supreme, the one to whom all of us will someday have to give account for our lives.

Your fellowship with the Holy Spirit can be cultivated when you recognize that He is a person. Take time to think about the above scriptures so that your fellowship with Him can begin to grow in a new and fresh way.

My Own Experience          

When my wife gave her heart to the Lord, she prayed that the Holy Spirit would convict me of my need for Jesus. I can say without a doubt that for two years I experienced an intense awareness of my need. The Holy Spirit was ‘convicting’ me every moment of the day. I could not get away from thinking about Jesus and God’s plan of salvation. My wife’s prayer was certainly answered.


Then, after I had given my heart to the Lord, I remember a specific time and even the place where the Holy Spirit ‘came over’ me and impressed upon me to “learn how to pray”. His presence was tangible in that I felt His weighty presence in the study of our rented house in Johannesburg South Africa, whilst sitting at my grandfathers old roll top oak desk. I have never forgotten that experience and many others over the years since then.

To me the scripture is true. The Holy is a person to be known and enjoyed in sweet, comforting fellowship.


(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
1. What is your foremost impression in reading this chapter?
2.Why do you think you were impressed in this way?
3. Was the giving of the Holy some random afterthought as Jesus left His disciples?
4 What scripture best shows your conclusion?.
5. To you, what makes the person of the Holy Spirit so special?
6. What to you is the most important revelation about the Holy Spirit that makes you want to fellowship with Him more?
Chapter 2
Why Jesus sent Him to Us
‘Our Divine Advantage’

John 16:7-15

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. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

In this passage we see a number of key areas in which the Holy Spirit gives you a divine advantage in your life and witness. If ever you have needed an advantage it is now, and God has given you one in the person of the Holy Spirit. His ministry in your life should not be seen as an ‘after market’ accessory, but rather as vitally central. The time for a casual approach to His ministry in the modern church is long gone.


Let’s therefore look at each of the following things the Holy Spirit does:

  • He convicts the world of sin
  • Guides you into all truth
  • Shows you things to come
  • Glorifies Jesus in your life.


To Convict (or Convince) the World of Sin, Righteousness & Judgment

First, the Holy Spirit works with you in your witness in word and deed to convince unsaved people (the world) of their need for Jesus. In this context, sin may be defined as refusing to accept Jesus as the solution to all root problems or ‘sins’. When you tell someone about Jesus, you provide the witness through what you say and do to demonstrate God’s goodness in Christ, and the Holy Spirit does the convicting.

In contrast, the Holy Spirit does not convict the believer of sin, this has already happened at conversion. His work now in the heart of the believer is to help him or her to grow in the righteousness that is deposited in them at the new birth.


To go back to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in the world, we look at when Peter preached the gospel to Cornelius’ household one day. Here the Holy Spirit was working with Peter to help him convict or convince the hearers of their need for Jesus.


Acts 10:44

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.

Learn to leave the convicting up to the Holy Spirit. Simply speak of and demonstrate God’s love, and leave the convincing up to the Him. Only He can change people’s hearts and give them a heart of flesh receptive to God’s ways (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Only He can regenerate them, (Titus 3:3-7), and make their hearts brand new. If you ‘overplay’ your part, you get in the Holy Spirit’s way. You cannot ‘force’ someone to admit their need of a sivior by heaping condemnation and guilt on them through some strong arm preaching set of tactics. This is not God’s way.

Second, the Holy Spirit works with and in you to convince the world of righteousness. Righteousness simply means to be right with God. It is a gift from Jesus through the Holy Spirit that must be received in the ‘soil’ of your heart and cannot be earned by self effort. He must convince the world that righteousness is only received, not achieved.

2 Corinthians 5:21

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

As a follower of Christ you live your life from a position of righteousness, not towards one. The Holy Spirit must convince you too of this liberating spiritual truth.

Romans 5:17

For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

When your heart is seeded with righteousness, you can now grow and produce righteous fruit. You begin to live right because you are in right standing (righteous).

Allow the Holy Spirit to convince you that in Christ you are righteous, and begin enjoying living life with a cleansed spiritual conscience.

Hebrews 10:22

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.

You will grow in leaps and bounds when you trust God enough to acknowledge every good thing in you.                

Philemon 1:6

…that the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgment of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.

The third area the Holy Spirit has been given to convince us of, is that satan has already been judged! He’s been found to be sorely lacking: a liar, thief and murderer (John 10:10). In contrast, Jesus came to give us life and has been raised from the dead and declared the victor in the cosmic battle for the souls of men.

Yet, it still remains true that what you don’t know can hurt you! Like the proverbial little old lady who died in a small cold apartment, not having opened the attorney’s letter mailed to her many years before stating that she had inherited a fortune, we too can live and die without enjoying our ‘divine advantage’.

Every believer needs convincing that satan is defeated, because circumstances around us seem to portray the opposite.

Colossians 2:15-16

Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

When Jesus rose from the dead, He took the keys (authority) of life and death from satan (Revelations 1:18 / Matthew 28:18), even going so far as to delegate authority to the church on earth to enforce satan’s defeat.

Matthew 16:19

“And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

The same Jesus, who lives in your heart today by the Holy Spirit, has been seated (in a position of authority) far above any demonic entity. All things are under His feet and by association, they are below our feet too! Only the Holy Spirit can convince you of this powerful revelation.

Ephesians 1:19-23

…and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Sin or satan no longer has dominion over you, and the Holy Spirit has been given to convince you that satan has been judged, is to be resisted and crushed under your feet by the God of peace!

Romans 16:19-20

For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly…

To Guide You Into all Truth

Another ministry of the Holy Spirit to the world and especially the believer is to guide us into all truth. The ‘all’ truth talked about here refers to matters that pertain to your own life. In order to fulfill God’s will in your life you cannot afford to ‘blindsided’ by ignorance of what is relevant to you. You must know ‘all’ things and only the Holy Spirit can cause you to know, understand and apply this truth in your life.

Regarding truth, people have argued what it is over the ages, but when the Holy Spirit convinces you, the matter is settled! The Bible says that Jesus is the “truth’ (John 14:6).

The Holy Spirit is the ‘Spirit of Truth’, so there is a witness that can be enjoyed in your heart as to the truth in any situation.  Learn to yield to the Holy Spirit who guides you into all the truth.

John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth

In a later chapter we look at more of how the Holy Spirit guides you, speaking of and confirming what He hears from Jesus and the Father.

To Show You Things To Come

God knows your future and what is required of you today in order to ensure that you step into His plan for you. He has given you the Holy Spirit to show you things to come, so that you can prepare. Life does not just happen. Tomorrow is a product of choices you make today. The Holy Spirit is here to give you prophetic insight into your future by showing you ‘things to come’.

In my experience, my wife and I spent a year preparing our hearts (and circumstances) before we moved our family across the world from our native land in Africa. The Holy Spirit had shown us in our hearts that change was coming, and we began preparing.

Become still and allow Him to give you the ‘divine advantage’ of His perspective of where things are going (or should go) in your life. Then make choices that propel you towards that future and hope.

To Glorify Jesus in Your Life

When you allow the Holy Spirit to control your life, the result will be that you will glorify Jesus. The Holy Spirit loves to glorify Jesus in what you say and do.  You are Christ’s representative on earth, and in order to accurately portray God’s nature and will to your fellow man, you need the Holy Spirit’s help. The way you speak, what you speak and also what you do, and how you react in different situations, either glorifies Christ or it does not.

When you are born again the Holy Spirit indwells your spirit and helps you produce ‘fruit.’

To Produce Fruit in Your Life

John 15:5-8

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

In this passage the connection between Jesus (the vine) and you and me (the branches) is clear. We are to bear fruit in proportion to the degree to which we abide in Him. To ‘abide’ means to make it our practice to yield to the Word of God that the Holy Spirit illuminates to us. You bring glory when you bear fruit out of your human spirit indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He does not bear the fruit, you do. He helps you make right choices, say the right things at the right time, hold back from this or that etc.

The ‘fruit of the spirit’ that are described in the book of Galatians are a product of the interaction of your newly recreated spirit and the Holy Spirit who now lives within your heart.

Galatians 5:22-23

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.

If it were all up to the Holy Spirit to produce fruit, without any cooperation, obedience and sacrifice on your behalf, then why the instruction earlier on to ‘walk in the Spirit’ (Vs 16), that is, make a commitment to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading?

Your life in the Spirit is like a ‘divine dance’ with the Holy Spirit’s hand in yours, leading you across the dance floor in a heavenly waltz. He takes a step, and you follow in unison. Harmony in this divine romance comes with time as you learn to yield to His ways.

On another note, if you want to know whether the Holy Spirit is in control of a ‘Holy Spirit meeting’, check to see whether Jesus is exalted. If a man, movement, or anyone else is, then put a question mark over that meeting.

Take Hold of Your Advantage!

It is to your advantage that the Holy Spirit now lives within you. Learn to live with an expectancy of the Holy Spirit’s ministry within your heart.

1 Corinthians 3:16

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

Remember the words of Jesus:

John 14:16-17

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever– 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.

The Holy Spirit lives within the heart of every believer and must be cooperated with to enjoy the ‘divine advantage’ God wants to give you in every area of your life.


(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
1. True or False: the Holy Spirit’s ministry is an optional extra for only the deeply spiritual.
2. In John 16:7-15 the key sin is defined as idolatry or not accepting Jesus for who He is?
3. Read Acts chapter 10 and see how Peter and the Holy Spirit act together in Cornelius’ household. What sticks out for you?
4. How do we become righteous according to the scripture?
5. Is it our job to defeat the devil…or ?
6. How does ‘ignorance’ of God’s power in us by the Holy Spirit impact our daily walk?
7. What scripture shows that God wants to help prepare us for the future?
8. The Holy Spirit always draws attention to Himself: True or False?
9. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to give us an advantage: in what way have you enjoyed the Holy Spirit’s help in the past?
Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
Chapter 3

What He does in your heart

(More Matters of the Heart)



To have sight without vision is to listen without hearing. You need the Holy Spirit to reveal what is not obvious to the natural eye and ear. Only He can give you divine perspective on things that happen. God can even be in the midst of your circumstances and yet you cannot perceive Him. Jesus told Nicodemus that he could only see the kingdom of God after he was ‘born again.’


John 3:3
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
Being born again is the gateway to spiritual revelation or ‘seeing’ into the realms of God. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of revelation who reveals things that are hidden.

The Spirit of Revelation

1 Corinthians 2:9-13
9 “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.” 
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 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. 12 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.



Our natural senses cannot always ‘see’ spiritual things even though they are happening right in front of us. God’s Word has to penetrate or gain entrance into our spirits by ‘getting past’ our unrenewed way of thinking (Psalm 119:130). We need to pray for a ‘spirit of wisdom and revelation’ to reveal to us the things God has prepared for those who love Him.


Ephesians 1:17-19

…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe…

The Emmaus Road Example

Jesus had repeatedly told his disciples that He was the Messiah, was to be betrayed, crucified and rise again from the dead. When it all actually happened they did not believe it, at first. Even two of His disciples head out from Jerusalem on the Road to Emmaus, a few miles walk away. (Read the account in Luke 24:13-35).

As they walked, they conversed and reasoned with their minds (Vs 15). Their human tendency was to gravitate away from the will of God. Yet Jesus came to them and whilst the Holy Spirit restrained their natural eyes, He talked to them about the weekend’s events (Vs 16 – 27).

Their revelation of Jesus had fallen short of His true glory They saw Him only as a prophet and not the risen Messiah He was. They did not even believe the testimony of the women in the garden who had earlier seen the risen savior.

Jesus defines their problem: they were ‘slow of heart and full of unbelief’ without even knowing it (Vs 25). Jesus then focuses on the scripture, and plans to go on (Vs 26-28), but they constrain Him to stay (vs. 29) and they break bread together (Vs 30-31).

Their spiritual eyes are opened in the intimacy of that communion meal and they now knew Jesus ‘after the spirit and not the flesh’.

2 Corinthians 5:16-17
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer

The Holy Spirit of revelation had ‘burned’ the Word of God into their hearts. Like a CD burner on a computer etches a message onto the disc.

Luke 24:31-32

Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

As a result, they turned around and headed back to Jerusalem and back towards their destiny as disciples.

Right now ask The Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you in a fresh way. Perhaps you too will be turned around and make significant progress towards what God has called you to do.

‘Constrain’ the Lord (vs. 29), and invite Him to break bread with you. Do not move on without invoking His abiding presence in your life, family and church.

Then ask for the strength of the Holy Spirit to help you have a walk worthy of His calling on your life (Colossians 1:9-10). Why not pray that prayer right now.


Reveals God to You as Your Father

Romans 8:14-17

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ

Another key ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life is to reveal God as your Father. A father is one who gives life.

The Holy Spirit will primarily use Jesus as the way to understanding, enjoying and receiving from God as your Father. Jesus said: ‘He who has seen Me has seen the Father’ (John 14:9). God extended His hand of mercy towards you in Jesus. This is His custom (Psalm 119:132), and when you relate to Him as a loving Heavenly Father, He is pleased with your faith.

Perhaps you struggle with relating to God as your father is because of the imperfect example your natural father has given you. It is comforting to know that Jesus Himself had an imperfect step father in Joseph, who along with Mary misunderstood who He really was and even His calling ( Luke 2: 48). Yet he honored and grew under them.

Allow the Holy Spirit to help you develop a healthy relationship with God as your father, who, like the father in the story of the prodigal son, waits longingly for your return to restore and establish you in a position close to his heart.

You belong in God’s family as his precious son because of what Jesus did, so receive His love, acceptance and forgiveness.


(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
1. Can you know everything you need to know by just dong enough research on a subject?
2. True or false? When you are born again you now have the Holy Spirit within you.
3. Why did Jesus have to ‘go after’ the two disciples on the Emmaus Road?
4. Is it acceptable to ‘not let go of God’ till you get an answer to your questions’?
5. What is it that most impresses you about God as your Father?
Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
Chapter 4

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit


We have seen how the Holy Spirit helps the believer enjoy the ‘divine advantage’ Jesus promised when the Holy Spirit came. You might say He helps you ‘draw water from the wells of salvation’ (John 4:13) – things that benefit you personally.

In this chapter the focus shifts mostly to what the Holy Spirit does through you for the benefit of others. His power now flows out of you like a river (John 7:38-39) 


What He does Through You for the Benefit of Others


Acts 1:8

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.”

When Jesus commanded His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit’s power before launching out into the world, He introduced what has come to be known as the ‘baptism’ or ‘immersion’ in the Holy Spirit.  John the Baptist pointed out that Jesus would be the baptizer in this baptism. He would baptize the believer with the Holy Spirit and fire (Matt 3: 11), giving them power to be His witnesses.

 The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

This baptism was promised in Acts 1:4-8, and fulfilled in Acts 2:1-4 after the disciples had spent ten days preparing their hearts to receive this outpouring on the Day of Pentecost. Although they had experienced miracles before, now they were to step through the gateway of baptism into a lifestyle characterized by the miraculous.

Acts 2:1-4

Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

Note that they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, not just some only. From this scripture, and also Acts 8:14-17 / Acts 10:44, it is clear that God’s will is for all believers to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter in his Pentecost sermon boldly declared that the gift of the Holy Spirit’s power was to all generations in all places (Acts 2:39).

As on the Day of Pentecost, where the initial outward evidence was speaking in tongues, later recipients of the baptism also spoke in tongues. Although this may be controversial to some, it need not be, as the scripture is clear even down to Acts 19:6, that when a believer is truly baptized with the Holy Spirit, they will speak in tongues.

Acts 19:6-7

And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

The people Paul laid his hands on were already believers who previously had only been taught the baptism of John, a baptism of repentance. Paul thus took them further in their knowledge of God by introducing them to the Holy Spirit. This subsequent infilling empowered them for fruitful service and witness.

Devotional and Ministry Tongues

The Word teaches a difference between what may be called a ‘devotional tongue’ or ‘prayer language’ that is received when a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit, and the ‘ministry gift’ of speaking in tongues in a public setting for the edification of all.

1 Corinthians 14:4-5

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.

When you read around this passage you find that the context of Paul’s instruction to the Corinthian Church is how to properly conduct public meetings with regard to the use of the gifts. If a person speaks in tongues in a public setting, there ought to be an interpretation, and given for the purpose of edifying everyone else, not just themselves. In no way does he forbid speaking in tongues for personal edification (1 Corinthians 14:39. That practice of personal ‘devotional’ tongues is to be treasured, and exercised regularly for personal edification (Jude 20). However, when together in a public setting with ‘uninformed’ people present, when you speak in your ‘ministry gift’ tongue it ought to be interpreted, so that others can be edified. The public practice of tongues must conform to guidelines (two or three at a time) so that all things are done decently and in order.

Having said that, there times when believers get together in a meeting, and in unison ‘magnify’ God together by speaking and even singing in tongues at the same time. This is not out of order.

Personally, there have been many times when I and fellow believers have been mightily edified as we magnified God together by yielding to the Holy Spirit and making melody in our hearts by singing in tongues. On other occasions we have prayed or interceded for others in tongues when we did not know how to pray for them ‘as we ought’ according to Romans 8:26. The divine ‘helper’, the Holy Spirit was there for us in our ‘weakness’ or inability to pray properly as we ought. But, when a message in ‘ministry’ tongues was given, an interpretation was expected.

Jesus was Anointed

 Acts 10:38

…how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

The anointing or empowerment of the Holy Spirit was one key aspect that defined Jesus as the Messiah. Messiah literally means ‘anointed one.’ He was anointed for service at age 30 years after growing up in the Word all His life.

The Holy Spirit settled upon Him in the river Jordan when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in water to fulfill all righteousness. From that moment on, Jesus began to perform miracles (John 2:11). His miracle ministry began because He submitted to God’s will for empowerment.

If Jesus submitted to the empowerment of the Holy Spirit for service, how much more do we need to step through the gateway of Holy Spirit baptism into the miraculous? Signs and wonders should follow all believers.

How to Receive the Holy Spirit Baptism

Acts 8:14-15

Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit .

First, respect and reverence God’s desire to empower you through the Holy Spirit’s baptism by asking Him to fill you to overflowing.

Second, realize that speaking in tongues has three key benefits:


  • Speaking in tongues helps you magnify or exalt God in a special way that takes you beyond your regular devotion. (Acts 10:46 / John 4: 23-24).


  • Speaking in tongues edifies or strengthens you spiritually. It is as if your spiritual battery is being recharged. (Jude 20 / 1 Corinthians 14:4 / Eph 5:15-21).


  • Speaking or praying in tongues helps you intercede more effectively in matters not always clear to you. (Romans 8:26).


Third, recognize that receiving the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is an act of your will that requires you to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:4 / 1 Corinthians 14: 15).

Prepare your heart through prayer and confession, ask the Lord to baptize you with His Spirit (either on your own, or with a minister who has experienced this baptism himself), and yield to the Holy Spirit by taking a breath and speaking out your new heavenly prayer language (tongues).

Remember that, like a good father, if you ask God for the Holy Spirit, you will receive the Holy Spirit and no other foreign spirit. Be comforted by this.

Luke 11:10-13

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish , will he give him a serpent instead of a fish ? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”


The Holy Spirit’s Power to Witness in Word and Deed

You might have noticed that in some Christian circles most of what is said about the Holy Spirit baptism revolves around speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is no doubt a unique manifestation of the Holy Spirit’s power in the New Testament. Yet it is equally important to see the following examples of God’s manifest power that are still available to every believer. These are not for someone else in another place and time. They are for every believer empowered by the Holy Spirit to extend God’s kingdom.


  • Boldness in the face of intimidation: Acts 4:31

In this account the disciples were ‘refilled’ with the Holy Spirit – ‘topped up’ you might say, and began to speak God’s word with boldness.


  • Continued faithful witness under persecution: Acts 5:28-42

Here Peter and the apostles continued to faithfully teach and preach Jesus even after being unfairly beaten by the religious authorities.


  • Stephen’s Spirit-filled witness before he was stoned to death: Acts 6:8-7:60

Stephen was able to plead for their forgiveness with his dying breath by the power of the Holy Spirit.


  • Phillip performed healing miracles and deliverances: Acts 8:5-8

God’s miracle working power brought great joy to Samaria.


  • Peter’s Spirit anointed preaching at Cornelius’ household: Acts 10:34-47

The Holy Spirit fell as Peter preached.


  • Paul casts out a demon spirit by the power of God: Acts 16:18

He and Silas were then thrown in prison, yet were mightily comforted by the Holy Spirit throughout the night. Their praise invoked God’s miraculous deliverance at midnight!


I encourage you to seek God in prayer, for His power to play your part in the consummation of the great end time harvest that has already begun.


The Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit Work Together

Typically, some factions in Christendom emphasize the fruit whilst others the gifts. God does not want you not to get involved in arguing one against the other. Both are vital for a well rounded Christian witness.

Take the view that each compliments the other. The same way as character compliments charisma, the fruit compliments the gifts and vice versa.

Whereas fruit is developed over time through continued abiding in Christ, gifts on the other hand, are given or imparted at a particular time for miraculous service. That is why a ‘gifted’ believer who has simply received a gift may yet have to grow in Christ likeness, that is, develop fruit. They may act up carnally at times yet still operate in the gifts. This may be confusing to some, but not to God who gives gifts as He wills, not on the basis of maturity but on openness and desire. He continually works with all His children to bring them to spiritual maturity. Let Him be the judge. Your part is to that all believers grow in Christ like character.

Furthermore, fruit speaks of who we are created to be, whereas the gifts speak more to what we are to do in breaking spiritual yokes with God’s power or anointing.
(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit
1. In Jesus ministry, why did He tell the disciples to wait in Jerusalem till the Day of Pentecost?
2. Which scripture speaks most strongly to you about the baptism who the Holy Spirit being a further deepening of your experience with Him?
3. What role does laying on of hands play in the administering of the baptism or immersion in the Holy Spirit?
4. What are the three main advantages in speaking in tongues? 
5.Yielding to the ministry of the Holy Spirit is important. What does it mean to you to ‘yield’ to Him?
6. if you are going through this material with others – describe some experience you have had with the Holy Spirit.
Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
Chapter 5
God’s Gifts to us

The Holy Spirit Baptism is the gateway to serving God with His miraculous help. Not only does the Holy Spirit help us to produce Christ like fruit in our lives, He also empowers you to operate in what the Bible calls the gifts.

In this chapter you will learn about these Holy Spirit ‘manifestation’ gifts: what they are, how to desire, receive and operate in them.


1 Corinthians 12:7-11

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.


This brief overview introduces you to the gifts which are supernatural endowments from God and are not talents or skills that can be developed through study or experience. They are ‘distributed’ by the Holy Spirit as He wills, and are available to all believers who desire them (1 Corinthians 12:31).


There are Three Categories of Holy Spirit Gifts


#1 Revelation gifts: gifts that reveal something.


  • Word of knowledge – a supernatural revelation of the knowledge of God pertaining to matters of the past and present.

-Old Testament (OT) Eg: Elisha gets a word of knowledge about what his servant Gehazi has been up to (2 Kings 5; 20-27).

-New Testament (NT) Eg: Peter is shown through a word of knowledge that ‘men are seeking him’ (Acts 10:19).


  • Word of wisdom – a supernatural revelation of the divine purposes of God as to the future.

-OT Eg: The prophet Daniel received foresight of the future through this gift in the form of visions (Daniel 10:1).

-NT Eg: The apostle John received revelation of the future through this gift (Revelation 1:1).


  • Discerning of spirits – a divinely given ability to see the presence and or activity of a spirit that motivates someone whether good or bad. This is a supernatural ‘seeing’ that goes beyond the five natural senses.

-OT Eg: Elisha prayed for his servant ‘spiritual eyes’ to open so that he could discern or see the chariots of fire (2 Kings 6:17).

-NT Eg: Peter discerned that Simon’s heart was not right (Acts 8:18-23). Paul casts out spirit in slave girl who was trying to deceive. (Acts 16:16-18).


#2 Utterance gifts: gifts that say something.


  • Prophecy – an inspired supernatural utterance that pours forth to edify, exhort and comfort believers. (Most mentioned gift in the New Testament and different to preaching).

-OT Eg: The prophet Isaiah prophesies over King Hezekiah about his future (Isaiah 38:4).

-NT Eg:  The apostle John prophesied of things to come (Revelation 1:1-3).
  • Different kinds of tongues – a supernatural utterance in an unknown tongue given in public as a sign to unbelievers.

-OT Eg: No examples of the gift of tongues are recorded in Old Testament scripture.

-NT Eg: Here the sign (public ministry) gift of tongues is mentioned (1 Corinthians 14:22).


  • Interpretation of tongues – a supernatural verbalized interpretation (not translation) of a message delivered in tongues.

-OT Eg: No examples of the gift of tongues are recorded in Old Testament scripture.

-NT Eg: Here the sign (public ministry) gift of interpretation of tongues is mentioned (1 Corinthians 14:13).


#3 Power gifts: gifts that do something.


  • Faith – a supernatural endowment of special faith to achieve what is not humanly possible. (Distinct from natural human and saving faith, levels of faith available to all men.)

-OT Eg:  It took the gift of special faith for Daniel to spend a night unharmed in the lion’s den (Daniel 6:22).

-NT Eg: The gift of faith operated when Peter walked on the water (Matthew 14:29).

  • Gifts of healings – a divinely given ability to perform healing on people in various categories of sickness and / or disease.

 -OT Eg:  Elisha and the healing of the Syrian general Naaman (2 Kings 5:10).

-NT Eg: Healings in the ministry of Jesus (Matthew 4:24) and the disciples (Acts 28:9).


  • Working of miracles – a supernatural ability to perform deeds beyond human power where the laws of nature are altered or suspended.

-OT Eg: Samson and King David performed miraculous feats of strength: killed lions and bears (1 Samuel 17: 34-36 / Judges 14:5-6).

-NT Eg: Peter raises Dorcas from the dead (Acts 9:36-41).


When studying the above examples, notice that the ‘vehicle’ or manner of delivery might be a prophecy, vision, command or instruction. As such, one or more gifts may operate at the same time. For example when a ‘word of wisdom’ is given to somebody, it may come through by means of a prophecy.


Do not ‘Water Down’ or Explain Away The Gifts


Some modern churches that are unschooled in the miraculous and have little experience in the knowledge of The Holy Spirit’s gift ministry, try to explain away the gifts as follows.


Revelation Gifts:         Represents advanced education, the gift of intellectual ability


Utterance Gifts:          Is inspired preaching and a linguistic ability to preach in different languages.


Power Gifts:                The ability to encourage people to trust God.

Represents the modern day medical centers – Doctors, Hospitals & medicines which relieve human suffering.

Miracles represent miracle drugs & breakthroughs in medical science.


These churches tend to deny the modern day supernatural reality saying that somehow that the day of miracles is long past. The Word of God and millions of people worldwide testify that this is definitely not the case.

Miracles are for today and actually on the rise in communities that yield to the ministry of the Holy Spirit.


How to Desire, Receive and Operate in the Gifts


1 Corinthians 12:31

But earnestly desire the best gifts.

1 Corinthians 14:1

Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts,…

1 Corinthians 14:39-40

Therefore, brethren, desire earnestly to prophesy, and do not forbid to speak with tongues.


First, it is clear that your desire is a key to receiving an impartation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. God has promised to fill the hungry, and wants you to serve His purposes by ministering to others in the power of the gifts. If you consecrate yourself to be used of God, He will oblige by meeting people’s needs (healing, deliverance) through the manifestation gifts.

Second, you may receive the gifts through the laying on of hands by a trustworthy anointed minister of the gospel used by God for such impartation. Timothy received his gifts through Paul Barnabas and Silas – the eldership.


1 Timothy 4:14

Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.


In short, know that the gifts are promised and provided to all believers who are born again of God’s Spirit, baptized with His Spirit and hungry to see God glorified through the manifestation gifts.

A supernatural ministry, once initiated, must be ‘developed’ or ‘practiced’. Simple neglect can negate the operation of the gifts. That is why Timothy was reminded to play his part in stirring up the gift God had given him. Through time he had become intimidated. You and I are to actively ‘press in’ against opposition and fear (intimidation), and expect God to use us in the gifts we have received.


2 Timothy 1:6-7

Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.


Faith is the ‘spiritual ingredient’ necessary at all times. God will not simply ‘take over’ and get you to operate in the gifts without you exercising some faith. An example of this is found in the gift of prophecy.


Romans 12:6

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith…
Study out all the scriptures and ask God to direct your paths in these matters. He has promised to lead, guide and empower you.
(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
God’s Gifts to us
1. What does it mean when the word manifestation is used?
2. What part does your desire to be used by God in this area play?
3. What did you notice about Elisha and His servant as it pertains to the gift of the word of wisdom (knowledge about what is to happen)?
Note: when God gives you something about a person in a situation, He does not reveal all that there is to know about the person – just a ‘word’ or enough to help the person break through in the particular area of their need.
4. In your understanding is there a difference between private / devotional tongues that a person has and the gift of tongues and interpretation of tongues used in a public assembly?
5. Explain what you know about the difference between the ‘measure of faith’ that God gives all believers and the ‘special’ gift of faith listed in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 ?
6. Gifts are given freely by God, they are not earned by study and effort. How does this tie in with the teaching that the Holy Spirit gifts have ‘supposedly’ passed away (cessasionist teaching)?
7. Is there an area where you’ve seen someone held in a situation where you know only God’s supernatural power can set them free?
If so, ask God to gift you or someone else to be able to minister to them in a powerful way, as well as an opportunit

How to get to know the Holy Spirit better

Fruitful Intimacy


In order to fully enjoy the divine advantage we have been given by the Holy Spirit living inside of us as our comforter and helper, we must continually get to know Him better. God takes natural symbols or familiar material emblems to unfold new spiritual realities about the Holy Spirit).


Romans 1:20

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead

Get to Know the Holy Spirit Better Through Symbols

Consider the following examples: water, wind, fire, wine, oil, clothing and the dove.

The Holy Spirit Symbolized by Water

Isaiah 44:3

For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,

And floods on the dry ground;

I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,

And My blessing on your offspring;


John 7:37-39

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive;


As water is vital for physical life so is the Holy Spirit for spiritual life and vitality. Out of the heart or belly are the issues of life. The Holy Spirit’s influence in your life is like a river flowing out into ‘dry’ circumstances.

Rivers also speak of movement: something characteristic of the Holy Spirit’s operation. He is always moving, and never stagnant. His dealings can be recognized as He shapes the landscape of your heart and mind to become more like Christ. Like flowing river water has the capacity to carry debris along with it, and even rub off sharp edges making smooth stones, so too the Holy Spirit has the capacity to remove filth from your life, and even smooth off rough edges in your personality.


Ezekiel 36:25-27

Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.


Rivers also speak of productivity. The Holy Spirit will produce fruitfulness in your life when you yield to His dealings.


Revelation 22:1-2

1 And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.


Water comes in different forms: rain, dew and vapor. For water to condense as droplets of rain or even dew overnight, certain atmospheric conditions must apply, the primary one being cooling. In the stillness and cooling of night, symbolic of difficult circumstances, the refreshing and life sustaining ‘dew’ of the Holy Spirit can distill out to bring life into dry situations (Hosea 14:5). Look for the Holy Spirit reassurances, especially in difficult situations. Be calm, rest from your own efforts to make something come to pass, and let God have His way in the attendant silence.

Remember, speaking in tongues is evidence of surrender and activates the strengthening or edification ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life. So make a practice of speaking in tongues daily and enjoy the refreshing effect. It’s like taking a spiritual shower, bath or swim.

The covering ministry of the Holy Spirit is described as a ‘cloud’ by day (Exodus 13:22) sheltering the Israelites of old from the hot desert sun on their journey to the Promised Land. In like manner, see the Holy Spirit sheltering you from the ‘heat’ of adverse circumstances as you progress on your spiritual journey.

One final point about water. The rainbow has seven distinct colors or aspects, as does the Holy Spirit.


Revelation 4:5-6

And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.


Most commentators attribute the following seven characteristics of the Holy Spirit to His ministry: teacher, advocate, counselor, guide, strengthener, comforter and intercessor. Once again, get to know the Holy Spirit in the multiplicity of His grace. There is always more to explore.

Wind, Fire and Wine as Symbols

Acts 2:1-4, 13

Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

13 Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”


All three symbols are connected to the Spirit’s outpouring on Pentecost: wind, fire and wine. The wind is the ‘breath’ of God that when it blows has a sound. There is a particular sound to God’s voice. It carries peace, comfort, strength, power, healing or whatever you need at any particular moment. The wind can be mighty like a gale, or like a gentle breeze but always appropriate for the need of the moment. The Holy Spirit will speak to you in a tone and with the intensity that is suited to your situation. When you need healing and comfort when you are bruised, He will be gentle. When you need loud correction when in danger, He will be more forceful. Learn to discern by practicing your listening skills.

With fire comes light, heat and even cleansing. The spiritual light we are given by the Holy Spirit must be set on a hill for all to see. Jesus said that we are the ‘light of the world’ (Matthew 5:14), and must shine in dark places. Let the Holy Spirit embolden you to let your light shine. In the coldness of life’s difficulties, you can also provide warmth and comfort through the Holy Spirit to people needing comfort.

Also, be open to the cleansing and purifying effect of the Holy Spirit in your life. If you let him, he will ‘burn’ up things that are impure. The fires of heaven will burn up the fires of hellish situations that may be burning in you or those you love. For example, in 1666 AD the city of London England was ravaged by bubonic plague carried by rats. A great fire broke out and burnt up significant parts of the city. However, as a result, many rats were killed and the bubonic plague stopped. A ‘cleansing’ took place that, in the long run, saved the city. In like manner, there may be a ‘fire’ of adverse circumstance burning in your life, that can be cleansed if you are ‘set on fire’ by the Holy Spirit.


Malachi 3:2-3

“But who can endure the day of His coming?

And who can stand when He appears?

For He is like a refiner’s fire

And like launderer’s soap.

3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;

He will purify the sons of Levi,

And purge them as gold and silver,

That they may offer to the LORD

An offering in righteousness.


Matthew 3:11-12

He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

In addition, when the disciples spilled out into the streets on the day of Pentecost, and the locals mockingly thought they were drunk with wine, Peter corrected them by referring to Joel’s prophecy of the Holy Spirit’s outpouring.

Wine as a Biblical symbol speaks of refreshing, stimulation and abandon to God’s purposes. Obviously wanton drunkenness is to be avoided, but Spirit filled abandon is to be encouraged.


Ephesians 5:18-21

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.


Joy is to characterize your life, and not bitter vinegary expressions of prideful and empty religion. Your heart is like a wineskin that must be soft and supple to receive and contain the ‘new wine’ of The Holy Spirit. Old ways and attitudes must make way for the joyful new.


Luke 5:37-39

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.


Oil as a Symbol of the Holy Spirit

In the story of the ‘good Samaritan’ the unfortunate traveler who fell among thieves had oil and wine poured into his wounds the Samaritan. This speaks of the the new birth and infilling of the Holy Spirit bringing about recovery from trauma. The trauma of sin that has affected all mankind needs to be dealt with by a twofold operation of the Holy Spirit. The wineskin of our broken hearts must be restored and softened before receiving new wine. So there is the new birth experience then the Holy Spirit baptism or infilling.


Luke 10:34

So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine…


Oil is also used as a symbol of anointing for service. The prophet Samuel anointed King David with a horn of oil (1 Samuel 16:13). Jesus, the king was anointed for service (Acts 10:38), and the early disciples were continually refreshed with an ‘oil change’.



Psalm 92:10

10 But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox;

I have been anointed with fresh oil .


Acts 3:19-20

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,


Acts 4:31

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.



They recognized this and yielded to these times of refreshing and were “re’- filled with the Holy Spirit time and again. They had previously been born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit, but still felt the need in this threatening situation to be ‘refilled’ with the Spirit, a ‘topping up’ if you please.




The Dove as a Symbol of the Holy Spirit


Matthew 3:16-17

When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.



The Holy Spirit is likened to a dove in Jesus baptism, and in keeping with the first direct mention of the dove in scripture, is used to speak of the peace He always brought to any situation. (Olive branch of peace that the dove brought after the flood of judgment began subsiding – Genesis 8:7-12). After all, Jesus is described as the prince of peace! (Isaiah 9:6). In your life if ever you want to recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit look for peace, that’s where He will be.

Then, like a dove broods over its eggs in order to bring forth new life, the Holy Spirit in you broods over new things he wants to bring forth in your life. He is gentle and protective and will speak comforting and encouraging things to you.

The dove in the natural is faithful to its one mating partner, is gentle and is able to keep its eyes focused. The Holy Spirit in turn is faithful to never leave you, is gentle and controlled, and keeps your eyes focused on Jesus (John 14:16 / Isaiah 42:1-4 / Matthew 6:22). It is also ‘harmless’ or as is implied in scripture ‘unmixed’ or innocently unmingled.


Matthew 10:16

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.


Your witness in the world must reflect the purity of a dove like holiness. That is something only the Holy Spirit can give you. Your enemy, the devil, is unholy in all that he does, and you and I must cooperate with the Holy Spirit to be set apart from evil in all we say and do. Allow the inner seed of positional holiness given to you at the new birth to grow into the fruit of practical holiness as the ‘divine dove’ gains more and more control over your life.


Philippians 2:14-15

Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless , children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
How to get to know
the Holy Spirit better
1. How does God help us get to know the Holy Spirit better? – Explain.
2. Can a Christian be fruitful without the help of the Holy Spirit?
3. What does a river conjure up in your imagination?
4. How does this apply to the Holy Spirit in your own life and experience?
5. In your walk with the Lord which symbol of the Holy Spirit’
s work in your life do you best relate too: wind, wine or fire?
Describe and explain.
6. To be ‘dove – like’ may appear to some in society as being weak.
Why is this not so in God’s scheme of things for you?
What Went Wrong?
(In the area of man’s physical being)
When God created mankind and placed them in the Garden of Eden, everything was perfectly in harmony with His will. It was all ‘good.’ No sickness or disease besides a perfectly harmonious relationship with God.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.
Genesis 1:26-31
Man was created in God’s exact likeness and image. However, at the fall through Adam’s willful sin, sickness and death entered into the earth. Even the very earth itself was now cursed and subject to unnatural decay and disharmony. 
Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Genesis 2:15-17
Adam was subject to a test of his willingness to obey God. He was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If he did, he would surely die. The original Hebrew brings out the point that death would be a process. Literally the amplification is this: “In dying you shall surely die.” This means that Adam would suffer ‘spiritual death’ or separation from God first, and then physical death would be its later consequence.
Sadly, Adam did disobey God, sinned and brought a curse on the earth. Adam became subject to mortality and would return to ‘dust.’ The tree of life was guarded from him lest he eat from it, and live eternally in a fallen state with no hope of restoration.
Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’:
“Cursed is the ground for your sake;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you,
And you shall eat the herb of the field.
In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread
Till you return to the ground,
For out of it you were taken;
For dust you are,
And to dust you shall return.”
Genesis 3:17-19
So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 3:24
The fall affected both the ‘inner and outer man.’ Sin had entered in, and death followed. 
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men,…
Romans 5:12
Notice that death means ‘separation from’ its source of life, not a cessation of life. So when the inner man separates out from the body we call this physical death. When the inner man is separated from the Spirit of God we call this spiritual death. Adam’s physical death was the consequence of his spiritual separation from God.
So, for God to set a plan in motion to restore mankind to his original condition, He would have to take care of spiritual death and replace it with life. This would impact the physical body too, because the spirit and the body are tied together.
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
Acts 3:19-22
All things are to be restored! God’s plan was, and still is, a ‘whole plan for the whole man.’ It does not artificially separate the inner and outer needs of man.
Although scripture recognizes spirit, soul and body, we are still one human being.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Jesus came to live and die as the culmination of that prophetic plan, and to restore us to a quality of life as God lives it. Through faith in Christ we are connected to the source of life: God Himself. 
…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10
The plan to restore mankind continues in our time as Jesus calls, restores, equips, trains, and releases believers like you and me to further God’s will in our generation.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 
Mark 16:15-18
Notice that in His commission to the church Jesus links man’s spiritual well being with the physical. God is interested in making the whole man whole again. This plan must be known, enjoyed and shared with others. It began in the Old Testament and followed through to the New Testament or ‘Covenant.’
Covenant in the Bible has always implied an exchange: “What is mine is yours; and what’s yours is mine!” In other words, God made a way to exchange His health and healing for our sickness. This exchange took place on the cross, at least in God’s mind! It is now up to us to believe and receive this for ourselves.
When Jesus died on the cross, He not only took our sin on Himself as the sacrificial Lamb of God, He also bore our sickness and pain.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:4-6
Most people do not realize that according to the original Hebrew language the ‘griefs’ and ‘sorrows’ refer to ‘sickness’ and ‘pain’ respectively. Sure, most Christians accept that Jesus’ substitutionary sacrifice on the cross purchased forgiveness for our sin, but not all believe that the stripes He bore on His back as part of His crucifixion also purchased healing for us! It is true to say that healing is as much part of the atonement as forgiveness of sin.
When Jesus gave Himself up as the perfect covenant sacrificial lamb, He revealed God’s compassion and provision for total restoration of fallen man. It is by His blood that we are forgiven, and by His stripes we are healed!
In fact, the Psalmist exhorts us not to forget either of these covenant benefits:
Bless the LORD, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases, …
Psalm 103:1-3
God’s person, nature and intent are consistent through time. He does not change with time. Jesus is the same as He has always been. What He does stems from who He is, and He has not changed His mind about our healing.
“For I am the LORD, I do not change;…”
Malachi 3:6
This means that if He was the healer of afflicted bodies then, He still is now! When He revealed Himself to Moses, He showed Himself to be ‘Jehovah Rapha.’ This covenant name describes both God’s person and will. Healing is not merely something God does. It is inherently wrapped up in what makes Him God. He is ‘I am’ the ‘ever existent Lord who heals and continues to heal.’ He is not the ‘I was’ God who used to heal, but has now decided not to heal anymore in our time. This is utter nonsense. Thank God He still heals today.
For I am the LORD who heals you.”
Exodus 15:26
Useful Definitions
Here are some useful definitions to serve as a foundation for understanding God’s will regarding our healing. These are definitions distilled out from looking into the Greek and Hebrew from which our modern translations were derived. The original languages that the Bible was written in tend to bring out aspects not normally evident in modern English.
Sickness:  “state of disease and disorder, imbalance, distress, infirmity or weakness.”
Death: “separation from the source of life: both physical and spiritual.”
Health:  “state of well being and soundness where there is freedom of function.”
Healing:  “to make whole, to remedy, to cure, to restore to a sound state.” 
Covenant:  “two party contract of agreement to bring about mutual benefit.”
Salvation:  “deliverance, safety, preservation, healing and soundness.”
Gospel: “good news of God’s salvation for man through Jesus.”
Compassion:  “tender love, pity and felt distress.”
(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
What Went Wrong?
1. What significant event happened to cause sickness and disease to enter into man’s experience?
2. What convinces you that God’s plan of restoration is for the ‘whole man’: spirit soul and body?
3. How do you understand the meaning of ‘covenant’?
4. Healing is one of God’s benefits; true or false?
5. How does the definition of ‘death’ play into an understanding of sickness entering in the earth?
Understanding The Blood Covenant

When we set aside our modern sensibilities and read the Bible through ‘covenant eyes’ we see the greatest story ever told dripping in blood! Of course we want to know why there is this emphasis in the Bible.

Blood represents life, and the giving of one’s lifeblood for the benefit of another is the essence of covenant as the Bible reveals it.


Leviticus 17:11-12

For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’


In this chapter we explore ancient covenant beginnings in order to lay a foundation of Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross and what it means to us today as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper.


What is A Covenant?


Briefly, a covenant is a binding pact between two parties involving the ‘cutting of flesh where blood flows’. This Old Testament practice is carried into the New Testament where the definition includes a binding contract or league made with another party. Covenant is mentioned over three hundred times in the Bible, and involves agreements in three different categories: between God and man; man and man; and man with God.

As this and later chapters unfold these definitions will be expanded on and better understood in relation to what happened in all the historic covenants leading up to our own covenant in Christ.

The very first recorded covenant event in the Bible was when God clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins after the glory of God that previously clothed them was lost when they fell into sin (Genesis 3:21). Blood was shed as the animals were killed to procure the skins that were used to cover them. This was symbolic of God’s provision for Adam and Eve in contrast to their own earlier efforts to cover themselves with fig leaves.



The Need For Covenant


God created the earth for man to enjoy and have dominion over. Regrettably Adam, who is called the ‘son of God’ (Luke 3:38) and made in God’s likeness and image, sinned. His sin effectively ‘sold out’ or transferred his God given and delegated authority on earth to the ‘illegal’ ruler or ‘god’ of this world system: satan, the fallen angel. The following scriptures make the connection between God’s delegated authority, Adam (representative of mankind), and satan usurping authority on earth from man through sin.


Genesis 1:26

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”


Psalm 115:16

6 The heaven, even the heavens, are the LORD’s;

But the earth He has given to the children of men.


Psalm 8:6

6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands;

You have put all things under his feet, …



Luke 4:5-7

5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.


For the temptation described in Luke 4:5-7 to be genuine, satan must have had authority on earth given to him by the one who was already in authority, that is: the man Adam. If satan had been lying to Jesus about this authority (Vs 6) Jesus would have pointed this out, making the temptation not real. Adam had come under satan’s authority when he sinned at the fall. Since that time all mankind has needed to be brought out from under evil authority by means of God’s covenants.

The Bible teaches that God is ultimately sovereign, and will work all things to His glory, so we see man’s history characterized by God coming to him in covenant to offer a way out of the dilemma of sin and its terrible consequences. The power of choice we have to come out from satan’s authority falls within the larger orbit of God’s ultimate authority or sovereignty, and make us beings created in God’s image and not mere robots. True love and worship  of God is based on conscious choice, not coercion.

Authority on earth given to man could only be reestablished through man, (God could not ‘legally’ go against His own choice of delegation), yet because spiritual death and corruption had been introduced to man’s natural and spiritual genes through Adam’s sin, there was a problem. This meant that mankind was inherently unable to save himself. Only a perfect man: a ‘second or last Adam’ could save man. Consider these powerful scriptures that point to Jesus Christ functioning in His humanity as the perfect man, reversing what Adam did.


Romans 5:12, 18-19

12 Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…


18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense (Adam’s) judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s (Jesus’) righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.


1 Corinthians 15:20-23

21 For since by man (Adam) came death, by Man (Jesus) also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.


From scripture we know that Jesus was uniquely the ‘God-Man’ (fully God and fully man). He was born of a virgin, and thus qualified by his sinless birth and life to stand as the perfect covenant mediator between God and man. This is the genius of God manifest in the seemingly vulnerability of a ‘man’ giving His life for His brothers and sisters in covenant.

God the Father began setting things up for Jesus the Son to come as the Messiah (anointed by the Holy Spirit) way back in the beginning of man’s history by means of a series of ancient covenant practices. The first time the word ‘covenant’ is used is when God made a covenant of protection from disaster with Noah when the whole earth was flooded.


Genesis 6:18

18 But I will establish My covenant with you; and you shall go into the ark–you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.


Since that time God has unfolded His plan for the salvation and restoration of man through three main covenants. (There were other sub-covenants like the Noahaic, Davidic and Palestinian covenants that also reflect God’s plan to redeem and restore mankind to full sonship, but for our purposes we focus on the following three main covenants outlined below:


  • The Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 15:18) – established with Abraham the ‘father’ or originator of our faith to create the chosen people or Jews who would bring forth the Messiah, the Savior of the world.


  • The Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 19:5) – added as an addendum to the Abrahamic Covenant because of Israel’s sin for a season till the Jewish Messiah Jesus came and fulfilled the Abrahamic Covenant as the promised ‘Seed’.


  • The New Covenant in Jesus blood (Luke 22:20) – the consummation of all previous covenants that had been entered into before, and the covenant under which all believers live today.


These covenants are all connected in some way because of God’s unchanging nature, purposes and dealings with man. They all point to and ultimately focus on the centrality of Christ and His completed work at the cross.


Hebrews 1:1-4

1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, …


Right now we live our lives based on what God has already achieved in Christ. What went before must now be seen in this glorious light. He is the one we look to, not Moses, Abraham or anyone else for that matter. He is the one seated at God’s right hand, upholding us in all that we do or hope to do. Not Moses, Elijah, Abraham, but Jesus alone sits at God’s right hand…and we are in Him (Ephesians 2:4)!

Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and no one must supplant His preeminence. Everything we see and experience must be ‘filtered’ through a revelation of the risen Christ. It would be folly to settle for anything or anyone else now that God has spoken to us through His Son!

Jesus is the ‘heir of all things’ (Hebrews 1:2) and there is nothing worthwhile outside of a life in Christ. He is the hinge on which all history turns. Be sure to go through this door.
(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
The Blood Covenant
1. Blood is a necessity for life. What does God say aboput the part blood plays in the covenant.
2. Grace and works contrast is found in the Adam and Eve clothing story. How so?
3. Why didn’t God simply come down wipe everything clean and restart the whole ‘mankind project ‘when Adam sinned?
4. Was the temptation of Christ on the high mountain a real temptation?
5. What are the three main covenants in the history of God’s dealings with man?
6. What stands out as special to you from the scripture in Hebrews 1:1-4?

“New Covenant Realities “in Outline                                    

Introduction & review:

Jesus is the centerpiece of God’s restoration plan through covenant.  

Heb 1:1-3

-All covenants will have elements of His nature & original intent.

The Old Covenant and the New contrasted. John 1:17


The New Covenant:

* Covenant prophesied in Old Testament.                   

Jer 31:33-34

* Exchange of heart nature: old for the new!               

Titus 3:15

* Covenant meal: ‘last supper at Passover.’                 

Luke 22:19-20

* Covenant sacrifice: body and blood of the ‘lamb’.     

John 19:17-18

* Covenant words: blessing and curse.                         

John 3:14-18

* Covenant mediator or ‘go-between.’                         

Heb 8:6

* Covenant seal: Holy Spirit given to every believer.   

John 14,15,16

           Hearts circumcised: set apart for service.

           -Equipped and anointed for service.

 * Covenant tabernacle:

-Christ’s own body.               

 Colos 2:9

-Our bodies, indwelt by the Holy Spirit.                       

1 Cor 6:19

* Covenant priesthood:

-All believers. 1 Pet 2:5-9      

Christ as our High Priest. Heb 2:17

The purpose of the law:    Gal 3:19

* Law defined: moral, civil and ceremonial.

* Given to Moses and Jews for a season till Christ came.

* Chief purpose summarised:

-To point to God’s holiness

-Man’s sinfulness

-God’s solution in Christ.


Today we have a new & better covenant with better promises. 

Heb 8:6-7

* External law on stone      Vs  Internal law on hearts.       

Heb 8:8-11

* Covering of sin                 Vs  Cleansing of sin.           

Heb 9:14

* Repeated animal sacrifice Vs Jesus’ sacrifice once.         

Heb 10:12

* Select priesthood              Vs  Priesthood of all believers          

Heb 10:19-22


What’s left for us to do?

* We now offer sacrifices of:

-Our bodies in service:                                    

Rom 12:1-2

– Praise and good deeds.                                  

Heb 13:15

-Ministry financial support.                            
Phillip 4:18
(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
New    Covenant                 Realities     
Spend time reading up the scriptures and discussing how they fit into the Big picture of God’s covenant plan to redeem and restore us to wholeness.

The Disciples Heal the Sick




Some say that Jesus simply healed to prove that He was God. We have seen that this was not His primary motive. He was moved with compassion for sick people. When he called his disciples on one occasion and gave them power to heal as well, it was so that God’s mercy could be passed on to more people through delegation. He wanted to reach more and more people in need, and was able to do so through the transfer of His anointing to His disciples.


Jesus Delegated His Power

First, Jesus appointed the twelve apostles to extend His healing and deliverance ministry. He literally gave them in-service training.


Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.  He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. And He said to them, “Take nothing for the journey, neither staffs nor bag nor bread nor money; and do not have two tunics apiece. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them.” So they departed and went through the towns, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Luke 9:1-6


They had to learn His modus operandi for themselves. They were to preach to build faith in the hearer, and heal to confirm the word with signs following which the Holy Spirit performed.


Later, Jesus further extended His ministry by delegating the same power to seventy others also.


After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. … And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

Luke 10:1, 9


The kingdom of God is characterized by healing! We are taught to pray that God’s will is done and that His kingdom come. Be fervent in praying that healing come in our time.


Jesus later extended His healing ministry to a much broader category. He included anyone who believed!


And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 

Mark 16:15-20


At His ascension, He included ‘those who believe.’ Some erroneously claim that only the apostles had the power to heal so that the early church could be established. Obviously scripture teaches otherwise.

The believers in the early church were instructed to follow the same pattern: go preach or proclaim the good news, and heal the sick. The healing ministry is central to the gospel, and is not some side issue relegated to super Christians, ministers or the specially gifted. Healing is the responsibility of all believers!


What it was like in the Early Church?


It is interesting to note the faith filled environment in which healing took place in the early church. It is my conviction that if we were to reproduce such an environment of faith and heightened spirituality, we would be blessed to see many more healings in the modern church than we see now. In fact, there are some churches and ministries where miracles are a regular occurrence. As you consider the following scriptures, look for areas where your own life and that of the church you belong to, can and should change.

First, the early church was characterized by diligent devotion to the Lord through four key areas: apostolic doctrine, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers.          


And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

Acts 2:42-47


Their brand of steadfastness found expression in a daily commitment to God. He was not relegated to a Wednesday evening / Sunday morning slot in some sort of part time devotion. They were radically consumed with a passion for God and His people. This was the ‘mix’ that encouraged the Spirit to move in their midst.

This new life also produced unity, and a spirit of generosity.


Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.  And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.  Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

Acts 4:32-35


Their attitude towards sharing their possessions seemed to keep the heavens open for great power to be demonstrated through the leadership. Unity is a heaven sent blessing that encourages the miraculous. So is servanthood.

In the next passage we see the disciples selflessly serving their fellow man in any way possible. The net result was that the leadership was able to focus on prayer and the ministry of the word. They dealt with the food distribution problem at hand in a responsible and Godlike manner. The flow of the Spirit was kept open to the congregation and the miracles continued as proper delegation was established.


Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a murmuring against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch, whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.

Acts 6:1-8


The following examples illustrate the point that healings occurred after Jesus’ return to heaven. They also give insight into the operation of the Holy Spirit with the believer in this dispensation of God’s grace.

Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the hour of prayer when the lame man was cured. This man’s focus was different to theirs. He looked to passersby to meet his needs through the giving of alms. Peter and John’s focus however, was on the power of God to meet needs. Whilst he had resigned himself to a lifetime of looking to man, they had given themselves to seeking God in prayer. Had they not been focused on a disciplined lifestyle of prayer, the man may not have been healed!


Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them–walking, leaping, and praising God.

Acts 3:1-8


Peter and John used the most powerful name in the universe to effect this healing. They yielded to the anointing of the Holy Spirit and lifted him up by the hand. They simply ministered healing. They already knew God’s will was to heal this man, so did not even need to seek God’s special permission or guidance. They acted in the authority they already had been delegated with. The Holy Spirit gift of healing was performed with no evident faith on the lame man’s behalf, and this shows that there are occasions where the Holy Spirit moves on people as He wills.

The word records that Stephen was a deacon who served tables in the local church in Jerusalem. He was not even an apostle, yet was anointed to perform miracles as a believer!


And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people.

Acts 6:8


Stephen was ‘full’ because he hung around the apostles who were devoted to prayer and the ministry of the word. He stayed full of the Spirit as his faith was constantly being fed as he sat under their word. The great wonders and signs he performed were a by-product of his close association with the Lord and the apostles.

Phillip the evangelist followed the pattern. He preached and healed. He was not an apostle either. Yet the power of God flowed mightily through this believer. The city

rejoiced as many paralyzed and lame were healed, and the possessed delivered. The city erupted in joy as God’s kingdom had come to them through this bold believer’s ministry.


Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city.

Acts 8:5-8


Later, the apostle Paul was preaching the gospel in Lystra. Obviously part of his message was that God had a plan for the whole man: spirit, soul and body. The man heard Paul speaking and faith arose in his heart. Romans 10:17 shows that faith is a product of hearing the word and does not come from prayer, good works, or some other source. It comes by hearing, and this man had heard the word. Paul was drawn to him and observed him intently. He then commanded him to rise up and walk. No prayer or anointing with oil was needed, only a bold command to be healed!


…they were preaching the gospel there. And in Lystra a certain man without strength in his feet was sitting, a cripple from his mother’s womb, who had never walked. This man heard Paul speaking. Paul, observing him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, said with a loud voice, “Stand up straight on your feet!” And he leaped and walked.

Acts 14:7-10


This is another clear example of the authority of the believer in operation. Paul had shared a gospel that included healing as the will of God.



In summary, we have seen that healing in the ministry of the apostles, deacons, evangelists and believers was not administered in some sort of spiritual ‘vacuum.’ The key ingredients for healing miracles were: corporate obedience in the church, preaching of the gospel, faith, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and a bold exercise of delegated authority.
(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
1. What was Jesus’ motivation for healing the sick? How does this affect us?
2. What is your understanding of  delegation?
3. What were the key features of the early church that appear to have ‘helped’ create an atmosphere of faith for miracles?
4. Describe and discuss the use of the name of “Jesus” in healing.

Staying Stable in Unstable Times – Part 1 & 2

The Warning 


Now the Spirit expressly says that in the latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons…

1 Timothy 4:1 


The Spirit of God has spoken a clear warning: there will be those who depart from the faith in the latter times. Having started well they will end up departing from the faith. Deceiving spirits and false doctrines will lead the unsuspecting astray.


Discernment in this environment becomes absolutely vital in the defense against deception. Jesus instructed the disciples that the key to avoiding temptation was to watch and pray. (Matthew 26:41)


Being alert and watchful is necessary for guarding the treasure of faith. Christians cannot afford to be ignorant of the enemy’s strategy. The hidden works of darkness have to be recognized for just what they are. They are hidden from view and have to be discerned! The ‘eye’ has to be trained in discernment.


What makes the times so perilous is that Satan is more sophisticated when dealing with those in the faith. He resorts to twisting and perverting the truth by introducing small amounts of leaven to the whole lump of revelation. In time the small error he introduces, grows to have a large effect. He silently and secretly works among believers by subtly introducing the false which always appears real. Being solidly grounded in apostolic doctrine and practice provides the believer with a measuring rod against which false doctrine and practice may be accurately judged.


Discernment is needed to tell the difference between:

  • Live and dead works
  • Profane and holy
  • Spirit and flesh
  • True and false worship
  • Genuine and counterfeit miracles.


If the difference were obvious there would be no need for discernment. Things are not always as they seem on the surface. It takes the Spirit of God to cut through the externals and get to the real substance of a matter. Fortunately, God has provided for the Christian’s every need through His precious promises and so what remains is for the child of God to discover and walk in this provision through His word.


Discernment Defined


To discern means to perceive by sight or some other sense. It involves being able to recognize as different or to discriminate or distinguish. It implies an ability to recognize the essential elements of a situation and accurately observe differences.

In the church world today things are not always clear at first and it takes a discerning eye to ‘see through’ the smokescreen of deceit in much religious practice today. The enemy is full of guile or craftiness and practices deceit or the art of concealment. He camouflages his true intentions we need to have discernment operating in his life to survive and prosper in a wicked and perverse generation.


Satan is the master tactician of misinformation. Our decision making process must therefore be founded on discernment. Our ability to discern is based on our word level.


We are instructed to examine and investigate all things. The truth must be separated out from a web of untruth: the precious from the vile. Notice that the precious must be separated from the vile, not the vile from the precious! There is a difference in focus. As Christians we are to focus on the good and not spend so much time focusing on the vile.


Discernment involves God’s supernatural insight and is not based purely on a study of background, circumstances and external evidence alone. Of course the senses can be trained to discern according to Hebrews 5:14, but this level of discernment is not the same as the supernatural gift. The gift of discerning of spirits recorded in 1 Corinthians 12:10 is divinely given and constitutes one level of discernment available to the believer.


Another level of discernment involves the prophetic office where God empowers and gifts His prophets to ‘see’ into His prophetic purposes in a supernatural way. This ability to see is supernatural and not achieved through human effort or study for example. The prophet is able to discern things by means of the Spirit of God.


This does not mean that the Christian having the Spirit of God resident in him will not be able to read the signs of the times and recognize things God is doing prophetically. The scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit will show us things to come, but this does not make everyone who ‘sees’ something prophetically is now a prophet. However, when a prophet does speak to the body of Christ and the prophet is received, his reward is also received. The reward is that those who hear his message will ‘see’ things the way the prophet sees them. The body is thus equipped according to the purpose of the 5-fold gifting listed in Ephesians 4:11-12. The ‘eyes’ of the body, the prophets are conveying information to the body as a whole in much the same way as the eye of the natural human body conveys information to the body via the brain.


Every believer therefore fits somewhere in the spectrum of discernment:


  • General level of discernment applicable to anyone who has the Holy Spirit living within them.
  • Specific and supernatural gifting of the discerning of spirits: good and evil.
  • The prophetic office where special prophetic revelation is given to help discern current and future situations.


All of the above levels are subject to the written word of God as the final standard. All revelation and discernment must be filtered through the general framework of God’s word. God and His Word are one and He will not reveal anything to someone that contradicts that which He has already revealed in His word.


 Condition of the Church


…that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things… Ephesians 4:14-15


The overall condition of the church may be likened to that of a child that has not yet grown up into full maturity. Of course there are individuals and pockets of the Church that are mature in the Lord and not subject to being tossed to and fro. The future and hope is that we will be presented to the Lord as the glorious church and fulfill our destiny. The Holy Spirit is not finished with us yet!


However, at present many in the church are still:

  • Unstable and gullible
  • Able to handle only milk and not meat
  • Fractured in its relationships
  • Knowing His works but not His ways
  • Carnal and divided into camps
  • Trapped in extremism
  • Busy with their own programs and agenda.


In many cases the church is largely untrained and ignorant of the exceeding greatness of God’s power available to it. Its power is relatively untapped and often lacks focus. It is in this spiritually anemic environment that the enemy gains an advantage. 


The Carnal Corinthians


For example, the Corinthian Church was highly gifted, and operated in the supernatural with childlike abandon. However, the power of the Holy Spirit gifts was ‘mismanaged’, and they were sadly divided into camps: one of Paul, the other of Apollos etc. They were not open to the whole counsel of the Word coming through the variety of gifts that God had provided. They were locked into their favorite teacher-preacher and had not kept their focus on the Lord. Caught in their carnality, they lacked discernment as to the true purposes of the body, communion and gifts.


They certainly knew how to operate in God’s works, (the gifts) but did not know His guiding way of love. They were caught up in the periphery, without firmly having grasped the core of God’s purposes. They partook mostly of His power, but still had to enjoy the fullness of His love nature.


God could not yet trust them with the meat of the Word and they needed apostolic correction to put them back on track to maturity.


Peter’s life and ministry provide an example of how important discernment is to the plan of God. Peter grows from spiritual immaturity, and its cousin instability, to become a solid foundational apostle of the Church that shook the world in the first century. 
(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
1. Why is our faith described as a treasure?
2. What is a key tactic of our adversary (satan) against Christians?
3. Why is discernment even needed in our times?
4. Outline the three levels of discernment?
5. Why is it that some Christians are easily ‘tossed to and fro’ in their walk.

Staying Stable in Unstable Times – Concluding section

Discernment And The Fear Of The Lord 


The life of Jesus illustrates some key truths concerning discernment and how to walk free from the ‘Peter syndrome’. The Lord was able to discern or distinguish between good and evil in every situation. On the surface, this distinction was not always apparent to His followers. He did not judge by what He saw with the natural eye or by what He heard with His natural ears.


His delight is in the fear of the Lord

And He shall not judge by the sight of his eyes,

Nor decide by the hearing of His ears.

Isaiah 11:3


In this prophetic reference to the Messiah we see that the ‘fear of the Lord’ plays a foundational role in discernment. The reverential awe of God opened the door to the wisdom of God flowing in Jesus life. Practically, the fear of the Lord involved reverencing His Word above all else. To reverence God is to reverence His word, for God and His word are one. What God said in His word was paramount – it was the divine plumb line by which He measured all His actions.


On one occasion spies were sent to Jesus. Their motive was to catch him out in what He said.


So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor.

Luke 20:20


In their pretended support they nevertheless spoke accurately about Jesus’ ministry:


Teacher, we know that you say and teach rightly and you do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God truly; 

Luke 20:22


Yet they were unsuccessful in their attempt to catch Him out on the tax issue with Caesar. Jesus perceived their craftiness and saw through the hypocrisy. The word of God in Him, energized by the Spirit, acted as a ‘…discerner of the thoughts and intents…’ of their hearts. (Hebrews 4:12.) It acted as a sharp sword that cut to the heart of their deceitful maneuverings. The fear of the Lord had produced wisdom in Jesus that served to protect Him against their religious falsehood.


Jesus operated as a priest under the Nazirite vow recorded in Numbers Chapter 6 that separated Him unto the Lord.  As a Nazirite, Jesus was able to walk continually in Spirit-filled discernment. He kept Himself pure and ‘sober’ – minded. He avoided the intoxicating pursuits of status, prestige and all that the world would offer.


He walked in obedience to the Law (by  the operation of His faith) and fulfilled the instructions given through Aaron the High Priest to the priests.


Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generation. That you may distinguish between the holy and the unholy, and between the clean and unclean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.

Leviticus 10:9-11


Jesus was able to discern between the unholy and the holy, precisely because he was sober-minded. His thinking was clear and he was therefore qualified to teach the people with authority like no other priest before Him. His authority came from true holiness and the inherent purity of His heart. His consecration qualified Him to speak as the very ‘oracles’ of God.


In contrast, the scribes and Pharisees had only a form or shape of outward holiness and not the substance. Their teaching had no life in it and their followers received only deceptive dead religion.

(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
1. Why do we need discernment?
2. Define what you understand ‘the fear of the Lord’ to be.
3. What kind of intoxication is perhaps clouding your discernment or judgment – if any?
Peter’s Renewed Mind


What had happened is that over the years Peter’s thinking had been shaped, molded and renewed in a process that caused his mind to conform to that of Christ. He no longer judged by natural eyesight or hearing alone. He learned not to be moved by circumstance and as he walked in the fear of the Lord this delight produced true commitment. He was able to ‘judge’ or discern clearly as he walked in the light of the word.


His delight is in the fear of the Lord,

And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes,

Nor by the hearing of His ears;

But with righteousness He shall judge the poor,

And decide with equity for the meek of the Earth;

He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth,

And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.

Righteousness shall be the belt of his loins,

And faithfulness the belt of his waist.      Isaiah 11:3-5


This passage although a prophetic reference to the coming Messiah applied now to Peter as he flowed in the Messiah’s anointing as an apostle.


The Spirit of Christ within Peter enabled him to discern, judge and decide accurately. Peter also learned to control his tongue and to use it to the glory of God. The things of this earth became subject to the ‘rod of His mouth’ and wickedness was slain ‘with the breath of His lips’ (Isaiah 11:5). Peter’s maturity was measured by the control that the Lord had over his tongue. His tongue now lit heavenly fires in the hearts of his hearers having been set on fire itself on the day of Pentecost!

(Either write your answers in a book set aside for these exercises …
use the questions to open up discussion at a small group meeting / devotional)
1. What is the connection between a renewed mind and fruitful maturity?
2. What was a key measure of Peter’s maturity? (Clue: a part of the body).

Some Things Are Not Always Obvious


Truth and falsehood often live closely side-by-side in life. There is not always a clear line of demarcation to separate them. A key ‘spiritual skill’ to be learnt alongside the principles of proper interpretation therefore, is the ability to discern between the true and the false.


Discern Between The True And The False

Many unsuspecting people have had their faith shipwrecked by ‘getting the wrong end of the stick’ through poor interpretation as well as false teaching perpetrated by false ‘teachers, prophets and apostles’. The following scriptures speak of who we are to beware of:

False apostles –

2 Corinthians 11:13

False brethren –

2 Corinthians 11:26

False prophets and teachers –

2 Peter 2:1


Of course, God is well able to shepherd His people trough truly gifted leaders who are faithful to the written Word or Canon of Scripture. God is always the initiator of truth, and the adversary is always the counterfeiter of God’s truth.

Sad to say there are deceivers who lie in wait for the opportunity to deceive immature and unschooled believers.



Ephesians 4:11-14

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the

trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful

plotting, …(Emphasis added).


The doctrine (or teaching) of such people and the unbiblical practices they want you to adopt must be countered with the truth. The adversary of our souls (satan) is behind all deception. Knowing what the Bible actually teaches and how to interpret and properly apply its truth is critical for every believer and not just the domain of spiritual leaders like the pastor.

Some errors are more obvious than others, but the more subtle the differences the more dangerous. That is why it is important to know your Bible through the teaching of the Holy Spirit confirmed by the gifts given by Christ to raise up His body or church to stable and safe maturity in the faith.

The plethora of false teaching and deception in the 19

th and 20th

centuries is well documented and yet God’s Spirit is moving across the globe in phenomenal ways spreading the Gospel through whole nations like wildfire.


A Case Study

Discernment In The Life Of Jesus

The life of Jesus illustrates some key truths concerning discernment. The Lord was able to discern or distinguish between good and evil in every situation. On the surface, this distinction was not always apparent to His followers. He did not judge by what He saw with the natural eye or by what He heard with His natural ears.

Isaiah 11:3

His delight is in the fear of the Lord

And He shall not judge by the sight of his eyes,

Nor decide by the hearing of His ears.


In this prophetic reference to the Messiah we see that the ‘fear of the Lord’ plays a foundational role in discernment. The reverential awe of God opened the door to the wisdom of God flowing in Jesus life. Practically, the fear of the Lord involved reverencing His Word above all else. To reverence God is to reverence His word, for God and His Word are one. What God said in His Word was paramount – it was the divine plumb line by which He measured all His actions.

On one occasion spies were sent to Jesus. Their motive was to catch him out in what He said.


Luke 20:20

So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, that they might seize on His words in order to deliver Him to the power and the authority of the governor


In their pretended support they nevertheless spoke accurately about Jesus’ ministry:


Luke 20:22

Teacher, we know that you say and teach rightly and you do not show personal favoritism, but teach the way of God truly;


Yet they were unsuccessful in their attempt to catch Him out on the tax issue with Caesar. Jesus perceived their craftiness and saw through the hypocrisy. The word of God in Him, energized by the Spirit, acted as a ‘…discerner of the thoughts and intents…’ of their hearts. (Hebrews 4:12.) It acted as a sharp sword that cut to the heart of their deceitful maneuverings. The fear of the Lord had produced wisdom in Jesus that served to protect Him against their religious falsehood.

Jesus operated as a priest under the Nazarite vow recorded in Numbers 6 that separated Him unto the Lord.  As a Nazarite, Jesus was able to walk continually in Spirit-filled discernment. He kept Himself pure and ‘sober’ – minded. He avoided the intoxicating pursuits of status, prestige and all that the world would offer.

He walked in obedience to His father to do His will thus fulfilling the Law and even the instructions given through Aaron the High Priest to the priests.


Leviticus 10:9-11

Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generation. That you may distinguish between the holy and the unholy, and between the clean and unclean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.


Jesus was able to discern between the unholy and the holy, precisely because he was sober-minded. His thinking was clear and he was therefore qualified to teach the people with authority like no other priest before Him. His authority came from true holiness and the inherent purity of His heart. His consecration qualified Him to speak as the very ‘oracles’ of God.

In contrast, the scribes and Pharisees had only a form or shape of outward holiness and not the substance. Their teaching had no life in it and their followers received only deceptive dead religion.


Grow In Discernment

This passage is so important that it bears repeating:

Ephesians 4:11-15

And He himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about by any wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head – Christ.


The Lord has set the ministry gifts in the body to function together to bring about unity and maturity in the body. In this way we are spared from being tossed to and fro, expending spiritual energy in side-to-side motion.

Natural children have a short concentration span and are easily sidetracked. They focus for a while then something new attracts them and they quickly move to that. A mark of maturity is to remain focused on something till the exercise is complete. Discipline is therefore a necessary ingredient in spiritual growth.

Children are natural believers. They are programmed to receive and believe. The problem is that they believe just about everything at first till they grow up in the school of hard knocks. Unfortunately, many children later become hardened to new input and become resistant to repentance and change. They join the ranks of adults, largely set in their own ways rather than God’s ways. Church leaders often face the difficulty of ministering to followers who have been spiritually abused in their youth. That is why the Lord warns of a strict judgment on those that cause ‘little ones’ to stumble:

Matthew 18:6

But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

In context, the ‘little ones’ are indeed young children, but I believe this also applies to ‘the young in the Lord’. Immature believers need careful nurturing. They need to be protected from offenses that can and do lead to cynicism, mistrust, bitterness and disillusionment. Sadly, much of the body of Christ today suffers from the scars of ‘spiritual child abuse.’     


Both Physical And Spiritual Growth Comes As A Result Of Feeding

Spiritual growth from babyhood to full fruitful maturity is not a matter of chance but a product of at least feeding on the Word of God in the same way as a baby feeds on mother’s milk and then later solid food.

1 Peter 2:2

As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby.

2 Peter 3:18

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Growth is not a function of doctrinal ‘facts’ or ‘head knowledge’ we have accumulated. This kind of knowledge only puffs up. We have to rather grow up in the experiential knowledge of Jesus – that is seeing Him actually move on our behalf as we apply His word creatively to our unique circumstances. Truth must be pertinent to our situation.

‘Historical’ or ‘factual’ truth may be interesting, informative and serve as a foundation to truth, but if it doesn’t help us practically, then it can cause our heads to swell with pride. For example, it may of historical interest for you to know the exact dimensions of Noah’s ark, but this knowledge will not help you walk free from say a relationship problem at work or at home. Rather you need to be built up in the experiential knowledge of your relationship with Christ and the authority and grace He gives to you as a believer.

Jesus Grew … In His Humanity

When we look at the life of Jesus, we see that He grew not only in His physical stature, but also in the grace of God! He did not walk in the fullness of all that God had for Him as a little baby. For instance, there is no record of Jesus performing miracles as a baby. He only began to perform miracles when the Holy Spirit came upon Him in power at the Jordan River under John the Baptists ministry. He showed us the way even in this matter of spiritual growth.


Isaiah 7:14-15

Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.


Luke 2:40, 52

And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Him… And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Both passages show that Jesus learned, grew, became, increased – words that describe development and growth. The curds and honey refer to the word that He studied. He based His life and ministry on a meticulous study of the Old Testament word and was a doer of this word in a creative and unique way. For example I believe Jesus applied the Word He had learned to still the storm:

Psalm 89:9

You rule the raging of the sea;

When its waves rise,

You still them.

As a meticulous student of the word from an early age, Jesus knew the nature and will of His Father in heaven. He only did that which He saw His Father in Heaven do. He had ‘seen’ the Father still the waves in the Word and so creatively applied the word to His circumstances. When He stood up to speak to the wind and waves, He did so on the authority of the Word!

On another occasion in what has been called the Sermon on the Mount, He sat down with His followers and pronounced to them the Beatitudes or states of blessedness. He had studied Deuteronomy where Moses in like manner after being on the mountain, outlined the states of blessedness to the Israelites in keeping the Old Covenant. As the ‘prophet like unto Moses’: (in His humanity) Jesus modeled His ministry on Moses.


Deuteronomy 18:15

The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren, Him you shall hear.


Our Spiritual Growth And God’s Love

Spiritual growth must be firmly rooted in the love of God; otherwise it will be hampered by a fear that God is out to ‘get you’ the moment you step out of line. The word teaches that God is long suffering and patient and when we are ‘rooted and grounded’ in love we will be:

Ephesians 3:17-18

…able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height – to know the love of Christ.

True comprehension and revelation of God occurs when we begin to move in the realm of love: His realm. We may teach, preach, prophesy, work miracles even, but until we are rooted and grounded in the love of God we can’t be:


Ephesians 3:19

…filled with all the fullness of God.


God’s Love Opens Our Eyes

Love opens the door to clear vision and discernment. For example the Corinthian church was not walking in the God kind of love and their spiritual perception was impaired. Paul even lamented that he could not speak to them about ‘grown up matters’ because they were carnal and childish. Revelation was cut off from them because of strife, division, envy, and their carnal lifestyle. God was not going to give them more keys to the kingdom so they could go around abusing His revelation. They had to grow up. The famous love chapter of 1 Corinthians 13 is Paul’s exhortation to walk in the love of God. They were using their gifts in damaging ways. Love was to provide the anchor to their anointing. When Paul wrote to them and gave his great sermon on the gifts it was for the purpose of bringing them to maturity in the use of their gifts. The love walk is the highest path to follow.

God’s love gives us divine perspective! When we walk in the flesh and the distortions of the unrenewed mind we lack discernment. We may be quoting scripture, prophesying and having visions but if we are not walking in love we cannot truly communicate the heart of God! The knowledge we have only ‘puffs up’. Love does not parade itself saying ‘look at me’ in a proud display of possession.

Some denominations are inclined to ‘parade’ their doctrine, experiences, expressions and gifts in a manner that creates walls of division between them and other groups. Particular church and denominational distinctives are not to be displayed as trophies of achievement in the Lord. Rather they are to be humbly submitted to others in the fear of the Lord. In this way the body is built up into the fullness of the diversity that the Lord has intended. There is to be a life flow between the members of the body where each member is to consider the other in order to stir up love and good works. (Hebrews 10:23) We are to ‘consider’ how we impact our brothers and sisters in other flows and expressions of the Christian faith. Others are to be attracted to what we have from the Lord not repelled by our pride and arrogance.


Peter’s Example

As an example, the Apostle Peter learned through time to communicate his strong convictions in a manner that was not offensive, yet without compromise. In his later instructions to Christians we pick up on the preciousness of a gentle and quiet spirit:

1 Peter 3:1-5

…let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

Peter had lost none of his earlier zeal, but now it was tempered with love. He was therefore able to instruct the wives out of that which he had become: a ‘gentle giant.’ His strength was now controlled and focused on God’s purposes.

He had undergone a training process where he was taught and equipped in the word. Jesus knew that disciples are to be trained in righteousness, made through a process of training and not through haphazard evolution. They don’t just evolve through regular church attendance, men’s and ladies meetings and potlucks. Disciples are made or fashioned through systematic teaching of all that Jesus commands.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

Some leaders imply the body of Christ has been ‘over taught’ – that the day of teaching is now past, and that all the body needs today is more of the ‘anointing’ or manifest power of God. God’s power is always welcome, but according to Jesus example of ministry, the anointing falls after teaching and preaching! The anointing fell as He spoke the word.

Matthew 4:23

Now Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people.

Of course exposure to teaching that is diluted by the opinions and traditions of man will render us weak and jaded. It takes a fresh anointing to lift us to a new level. But the word has to accompany any move of God. The Word and the anointing work together. Sins confirm the Word! The word acts as a foundation for the anointing and ministers are made complete and thoroughly equipped with the word:

2 Timothy 3:16-17

All scripture is… profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.


‘Solid Food’ Makes Us Discerning

We start off with ‘milk’ and then progress to ‘solid food’, which, as we grow spiritually, makes us proficient in discernment.

Hebrews 5:13, 14

For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Christians who partake only of milk are ‘unskilled in the word of righteousness.’ The inference is that only when you partake of solid food are you able to ‘discern both good and evil.’

Discernment Defined

To discern means to ‘perceive by sight or some other sense,’ or to ‘recognize as different’ or to ‘distinguish between’. By definition therefore, the distinction between good and evil is not always clear! Some things may be obvious but subtle sin is just as destructive as obvious sin.

We need to understand the nature of reality and how it is perceived. Reality is determined by the ‘mindset’ a person has. A ‘mindset’ is that set of interconnecting thoughts that serve to filter everything we perceive through our senses. All the stimuli to the brain are interpreted in terms of a framework or paradigm of thought that is already in place. This framework is called a mindset.

Our external senses are the gateways to the mind and the inner man. We say we ‘see’ with our eyes and ‘hear’ with our ears but in reality, these organs merely receive and channel external and physical stimuli from the outside world through to our brain by means of the nervous system.

The optic nerve, for example, carries electrical messages to the brain, which processes these and lets us know what we have just seen. Similarly, when sound waves impact the ear, these compressions of air are translated by the inner ear into electrical signals, which in turn are transmitted through the auditory nerve to the brain, which recognizes these as sound. The brain is actually an intricate filter that interprets the information it receives according to its programming.

From a spiritual point of view, consider two people viewing a music video at the same time. One responds to it saying that its ‘ungodly’, the other says that there’s nothing wrong with it: ‘It’s just music.’ Why the difference? Both people had exactly the same input, hearing exactly the same sounds. The answer lies in the mindset of each respondent. The one person’s mind has been renewed to the word of God. The other’s mindset has not been renewed by the word. It remains programmed by the world’s point of view. He ‘sees’ or interprets things differently. The first person has his spirit alive to the things of God through His word and his thinking has become renewed to God’s word in a process of transformation. By reason of ‘use’, his ‘senses’ have even become trained to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 5:14

But solid food belongs to those of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The other person however, does not have this advantage and ‘sees’ things differently. His spirit is not alive to God, and he still thinks in line with whatever input he has received whilst growing up. His mindset is not renewed to the Word. He has no reference point against which good and evil can be measured. He is considered to be ‘natural’ and not ‘spiritual.’


1 Corinthians 2:14

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 spiritual discerned.

Jesus said that His words were of a spiritual nature:

John 6:63

The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.


‘End Time’ Deception

In these end times or last days (2 Timothy 3:1), before Christ personally returns, we know that many false Christ’s will arise to deceive many by means of false doctrine and counterfeit signs. By its nature a counterfeit resembles the real and is difficult to detect except to the trained eye. It becomes imperative that the word of God be known and understood if error is to be avoided. God has given His people a sure test of discernment: fruit!

Fruit cannot be hidden from sight. Bad trees cannot produce good fruit and inherent flaws will begin to show in time. That is why ministries are tested to see whether they stand up to the plumb line of the Word through time.

The enemy is subtle in his corruption of the truth. He is not always blatant and likes to operate under cover and remain undetected. He takes error and ‘parades’ it as truth. We are therefore warned to take heed that the ‘light’ or spiritual illumination that is in us, is not in fact ‘darkness’.

Luke 11:35

Take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.

True light comes as the whole counsel of the word gains entrance to our inner man and alters our thinking.

Psalm 119:130

The entrance of Your words gives light;

It gives understanding to the simple.

Isaiah records that people who have no ‘light’ in them are those that do not speak the word of God!

Isaiah 8:20

To the law and testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

The connection is clear: no Word – no light. Spiritual illumination only comes when the Word gains entrance to the inner man. It has to ‘get past’ the doubt, fears, insecurities, unbelief and traditions that plague the unrenewed mind.

Repentance involves a changed way of thinking that comes when we are convinced of the integrity of God’s word. When the truth is heard, the Holy Spirit of Truth works with the word to convince us of our need for change. True repentance translates into a changed lifestyle with fruit in keeping with a changed heart.

In the ongoing process of mind renewal the key mental posture to adopt is one of humble submission to the Lord’s higher wisdom contained in His word.The Phillips translation puts the process this way:

Romans 12:1-2

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God re-mold your mind from within…

We are ‘remolded’ from within! The wayward and lawless thoughts and mindsets that have developed over years must be taken captive and brought into subjection to the word. Empty, non-productive or vain imaginations must be pulled down from the prideful high places in our thinking.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

…the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…

Spiritual Warfare

Right here we have the major area of spiritual warfare. It does not involve necessarily involve direct confrontation with demonic forces out there somewhere. Through a continual feeding on and submission to God’s Word in faith, the enemy’s hold on an individual is loosened as the word gains entrance to the strongholds of erroneous thinking. Satanic influence and control is exercised through the mind and hidden operations are described as occult. He avoids coming out into the open and much demonic activity takes place in the thought realm. When the Word shines into our thinking, satan’s control is loosened and his lies seen for what they are. Up to this point his lies are paraded as truth.

The Christian is translated into God’s kingdom, placed in a position of authority over his mind and needs to guard this ground against the lies of the enemy. Jesus stripped and disarmed Satan of the authority that he illegally wrested from Adam.

Colossians 2:15

…disarmed principalities and powers.., made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it…

With Satan defeated, why would we need to go out and battle him again? The only fight we have is the good fight of faith. We are to hold onto that which Christ has achieved for us!

Paul is at pains to describe the authority that believers in Christ have in the first three chapters of his letter to the Ephesians. He also labors in prayer, praying that they get a revelation of the power that works towards us in Christ. (See the prayers Paul prays in Ephesians chapter 1 and 3. He saw that a realization of God’s truth does not automatically gain entrance to a believers mind and heart: it has to be prayed ‘in’. Apostolic prayer is thus vital to the growth of the body and leaders are to be continually in prayer for the spiritual growth of the saints. It is the prayers we pray after our sermons that really count for spiritual growth.

When we properly interpret and apply God’s word with discernment we will walk in the victory and freedom Jesus purchased for us at the cross.

With Doctrine being so important, it is votal that we enjoy a spirit of discernment operating in our lives as Christians.
Read the Book of Acts and the epistles in this light.


 Worship – Ed Horak

2nd Edition

Scripture taken from the New King James Version.

Copyright © 1979,1980, 1982 by

Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used with permission.

All rights reserved.

Worship © 2010 Ed Horak.


Chapter 1       Called to Worship                        5

apter 2       God’s Presence                             9


Chapter 3       All out Worship                            13

Chapter 4       Shifting Focus                               19

Chapter 5       Ways of Worship                          23


Chapter 6       Persistence in Worship                27


Chapter 7       The Benefits of Worship             31


Chapter 8       A Heavenly Mixture                    35


Chapter 9       Practicing His Presence               39




Chapter 1  – Called to Worship



Give unto the Lord the glory due unto His name;

bring an offering, and come before Him.

Worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness.

1 Chronicles 16:29




he Lord deserves our worship. He is the creator and sustainer of our lives, and is worthy of our praise and adoration. We are to give Him glory, bring an offering and come before Him in worship. These are all appropriate responses to His call to worship.

When God takes His proper place in our lives in worship, our attention shifts from what we can get from our relationship with Him, to spreading His fame to all men. We are thankful for what He has done for us, and want to declare His goodness to others. Thanksgiving, praise and worship thus become the foundation of our witness, the priority of our lives. When we open up to the revelation that God is good and has called us to lift up His name amongst men, we establish the priority of worship. We move from the traditional song service that serves as a mere prelude to the Sunday sermon, to a daily expression of passion towards the greatest lover of our soul: the Lord Himself. We love Him because He first loved us. We respond to His goodness and favor in our lives.

It all begins with the light that comes when we are born again and saved from a life filled with self, sin and satan. We are created, or recreated in our spirits to bring honor to the Lord. We are now called to praise Him, and will experience a measure of lack and frustration if we do not fulfill our first ministry to the Lord and bless His name. This priority of passionate love for the Lord is expressed in both music and song through thanksgiving, praise and worship.


Consider these Definitions


Thanksgiving:       Expressed gratefulness to God meeting our needs.


Praise:                   Joyful and exuberant lifting up of God’s name for what He has done.


Worship:               Reverential and intimate adoration of God’s person.


We are called as a holy nation and royal priesthood to express our devotion to God through thanksgiving, praise and worship.


But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood…that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.

1 Peter 2:9



God is Looking for Worshippers


God still seeks worshippers who will walk in the fullness of their priestly calling. Every believer is a ‘priest’ or one who draws near to God. We all have the privilege of responding to God’s invitation to worship Him.

God looks out across the world and seeks those who will respond to His advances. We are chosen for the purpose of being a holy nation, set apart to praise Him and be a witness to a world lost in confusion and spiritual darkness. As Christians, we have found the pursuit of our lives, and now share this with others by boldly declaring His fame to those around us who have yet experienced His goodness.


…for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

John 4:23


God loves intimacy and close fellowship and desires to draw near to us with His manifest presence. The Bible teaches that it was God who made the move to seek us out and to save us. He does not want to relate to us from afar. He came real close in Jesus, and wants us to respond to Him by drawing close to Him.

We must realize that we have our part to play. Through our desire and obedience, we set in motion a process of intimacy.


Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8


God has already made His move by sending Jesus who paved the way into the presence of God through His blood sacrifice. As we follow Jesus, and obey the command to worship, we get closer to God and He gets closer to us. We can say that we ‘attract’ the presence of God through our desire expectancy and obedience. The contrary is also true: we ‘repel’ God with complacency and disobedience.




Faith is Our Response to God’s Advances


In addition, faith is a vital feature of our interaction with God. Faith is simply responding to God’s desire: we draw near to God expecting in faith that He will meet with us as He has promised. Personally, I have found that every time I make the effort to give thanks, praise and worship Him in simple faith and obedience, He rewards me with His presence. It is not a matter of hit or miss. You can be certain that God will honor His promise. He will respond to your faith as you draw near to Him through the blood of Jesus.


But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 4:29-30


Notice the certainty here. If you seek God, you will find Him! Never doubt that He is there for you.


Chapter 2

God’s Presence



Proper Protocol



here is a proper protocol in entering the presence of God the King. As the King of Kings He has a divine order, or the way things are done. It works the same way in the natural. For example if you wish to see the President or king of a nation, you don’t simply show up and demand an audience on the spot without following the proper protocol. There is a proper way of approaching any dignitary. I believe it is also true to say that our approach to any person, dignitary or not is vital to ensuring a warm reception.

Many people relegate protocol and proper manners to something irrelevant, a relic from a bygone age. Yet the word of God teaches that the manner of approach to God is as important as a pure heart attitude. God is still God, whether we have been taught protocol or not. When our hearts are set on learning about God and His ways, we will pay attention to what The King demands and expects.

Entering God’s presence is not a casual thing, with hands in pocket, so to speak, but a great privilege that has been bought for us at a high price. The only reason why we can boldly enter into the throne room of grace is through the precious blood of Jesus. In Old Testament times, the priest dare not enter into God’s presence without the proper approach. He had to be cleansed from his sins and present the blood of sacrifice to be received. The same applies in the New Testament. We now have permission to enter into God’s presence because of Jesus blood of sacrifice.



Thanksgiving and Praise


Like the Old Testament priests, we as New Testament priests, enter into God’s presence by first acknowledging His goodness towards us with thanksgiving and praise.


…Enter into His gates with thanksgiving.

And into His courts with praise…

For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting.

Psalm 100:4-5


It is appropriate and fitting that God be thanked and praised for His goodness and mercy. The fact we are even still alive today, shows God’s goodness to us. We owe God worship for the ground we stand on, the food that sustains us, even the air we breathe. Without His abundant provision we would be instantaneously lost and without hope.

We thank God for our salvation, then for His mercy where we yet fall short of His glory. Begin all your times of prayer and worship with thanksgiving and praise. Don’t launch straight into a ‘shopping list’ of what you need from God. First give Him what He seeks: your worship! He is our heavenly Father and He knows what we have need of before we even ask Him. So follow the protocol. Hallow His name first and foremost. Jesus taught us this priority in what is commonly known as the Lord’s Prayer.



Our father in heaven

Hallowed be Your name…

Matthew 6:9


All prayer should begin with honoring God. The Lord is holy, and our worship must be offered in the beauty of holiness. When we acknowledge God’s holiness or worship goes deeper than thanksgiving and praise. We respond to God’s holiness by being holy ourselves. As we live uprightly before Him we can then bring our sacrifice of worship before Him with much confidence. Our holy upright living is the ‘platform’ for acceptable worship, and as we walk in obedience to His word we draw near to Him with a clear conscience. We can stand uncondemned before God. It is little use to live in the ‘flesh’ all week, and then suddenly put on a Sunday morning religious face and march into church and expect to worship God in the beauty of holiness. He is not impressed, neither is anyone else for that matter. Living for God is a lifestyle, not a weekly put on man pleasing event. Worship is about pleasing God and not about fulfilling some religious duty.

It is a reassuring to know that not only is the Lord holy, but we are holy though what Jesus did! We are reconciled to God, who is neither angry with us, nor holding our trespasses and sins against us.


There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Romans 8:1


Nor even does God deal with us according to our sins or iniquities! Rather, He relates to us through His covenant promises and is greatly merciful to us.


He has not dealt with us according to our sins,

Nor punished us according to our iniquities.

For as the heavens are high above the earth,

So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him;

As far as the east is from the west,

So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Psalm 103:10-12


We can boldly enter into His presence and stand before Him with our hearts cleansed from a sense of shame and guilt. We stand before Him clothed in a robe of righteousness that He gave us in Christ. It pleases your Father in heaven when you worship Him in the beauty of holiness.


Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

Psalm 29:2


What freedom! What a privilege to meet with our creator in such intimacy where sin is no longer the issue, but righteousness peace and joy.




Chapter  – All out Worship



God wants all out worship



od expects us to worship Him with our total being: spirit, soul, and body. In God’s sight there is no artificial separation between the inner and outer man. They are all interconnected and so our worship becomes an expression of our whole being.


You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Deuteronomy 6:5


Our innermost heart motivations are to honor God. Even our thinking must be focused on Him, and our bodies must harmonize with the rest of our beings. Worship involves an expression of all that we are. It is no trivial practice that we casually engage in during suitable song service moments.

It is sad to see even church folk stand during a time of praise and worship with their mind apparently ‘at the beach’ and their bodies disengaged. They neither understand nor express their worship acceptably with raised hands and outstretched arms to the Lord. Their hands remain glued to their pockets and there is no connection.

I can speak this way because I have been there myself. There was a time when worship was foreign to me. My reluctance was born from ignorance and pride, and did not honor God. But thank God I saw the light and was taught the way of worship. The church I grew up in had three key thrusts in its fellowship: worship, the word and a strong witness through evangelism. I was taught to accept the word as God’s will for me and so I started to raise my hands in obedience to what I saw in the Word. My self-awareness became less important than touching the heart of God with my worship. I learnt to abandon myself in adoring God, and know by faith that my worship was acceptable to Him. I learnt to become more conscious of God than the issues that faced me in the natural. The Bible teaches that joy is found in God’s presence, and that this joy is our strength.



How Worship is Expressed


Worship is expressed through music, song, and a variety of physical actions and postures. What’s in our hearts will and must come out. In true worship, our spirits overflow into the natural realm where we lift our hands, clap, shout, sing, dance, bow and kneel before God.

The Bible teaches that all expressions of worship are considered by God to be holy, appropriate and reverential.



Shouting and Singing


Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!

Serve the LORD with gladness;

Come before His presence with singing.

Psalm 100:2


God encourages our enthusiasm, and our displays of exuberance and emotion are totally acceptable! When we are grateful for His goodness, our shouts of praise please God. It is true to say the converse is also true. When we are silent when God expects a shout, is to be irreverent. Reverence is not necessarily some quiet, supposedly ‘dignified’ moment. God is neither nervous nor deaf. The scripture is full of occasions where the people of God shout joyfully. His definition of dignity is surely not that of religious prune faced ‘Pharisees’ bound by tradition that invalidates the word of God. Let us be sure not to quench the Spirit by remaining silent when God is urging us to give a victory shout of praise. There is a release of God’s anointing in shouts of praise, especially when it is directed in honor of God.

Our approach to God is one characterized by festivity. When Jesus was greeted at His entry into Jerusalem and palms were laid at his feet, there was shouting and much festivity. The children reveled in the freedom that Jesus brought. In stark cold contrast, the religious establishment was shocked, outraged and downright envious of Jesus as He received the praise and worship of the happy multitude.





Let them praise His name with the dance;

Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.

Ps 149:3


Dancing before the Lord is scriptural, especially when expressed in a way that does not detract from a focus on the Lord. Dancing should allow all worshippers to participate rather than merely spectate. Worship is not to be a ‘performance’ but a corporate experience where the Lord’s beauty remains central. Historically, the cultural Hebrew dancing was all associated with worship and praise of God and involved both sexes and all ages. It was mixed with exuberant singing and festivity and was totally acceptable to God who Himself rejoices over us with singing!


The LORD your God in your midst,

The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17


God is the author of singing, and we are to listen for and enjoy God’s singing over us! I have heard angels sing during a particularly anointed worship service and what a beautiful experience. I know by faith that God’s own voice is far better.



Musical Instruments


Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;

Praise Him with the lute and harp!

Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;

Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

Praise Him with loud cymbals;

Praise Him with clashing cymbals!

Psalm 150:3-5


A variety of string, percussion and wind instruments are listed as acceptable in praise and worship. Throughout history people who are liberated through faith in Christ’s salvation alone, have always expressed their worship with music and instrumentation. Trumpets, timbrels, and clashing symbols all suggest loud and exuberant expressions are acceptable to God. Of course there are moments of intimacy where quieter adoration is appropriate. Sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit is of central importance here. God does have moods and the Holy Spirit knows the heart and innermost thoughts and intentions of God the Father.


For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 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.

1 Corinthians 2:10-11



Clapping of Hands


Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!

Shout to God with the voice of triumph!

Psalm 47:1


Clapping is not merely a way to keep the congregation in time with the music. It is a joyful means of expressing praise. Notice the injunction to shout with a voice of triumph. Many of our worship services are far too sedate. When we realize the greatness of our deliverance and God’s great goodness, we will shout and clap to the glory of God. Although people clap in applause of human achievement at ball games and other performances, it is nevertheless a legitimate expression that God encourages amongst His worshippers. Once again, it is necessary to clap at appropriate times as led by the Holy Spirit.



Lifting of Hands


Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,

And bless the LORD.

Psalm 134:2


As we lift up our hands we indicate submission, surrender and a loving profession of blessing towards God. We express trust when we empty and lift our hands to God. It is hard for many to surrender to God’s supremacy. I have learnt to enjoy the freedom that comes from acknowledging my own inadequacy through empty hands to the God whose hands are full of provision and protection.



Singing with Understanding: hymns, choruses

And with the Spirit: tongues, a new song


…I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.

1 Corinthians 14:15


God has provided different ways of touching His heart. When we yield our minds to compose songs that express our devotion to Him, this is good. So too, when we give our spirits over to Him and worship Him in tongues with the Holy Spirit’s help, this is acceptable. (This expression is different to the ministry gift of a message in tongues with an interpretation given for the purpose of edifying, comforting and exhorting the congregation. The focus is different. In the one the focus is on God, in the other on the congregation.)

Be open and sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit to express your worship in the above ways. Learn to yield yourself to singing to the Lord. He will not force you to worship Him in any way. He wants your cooperation.






Chapter 4

Shifting Focus



From ‘Me to You’



he whole worship experience involves a shift of focus from self – our needs and desires, to a total concentration on God Himself and His desires. We move from the benefits we get from interacting with God to the benefits He gets from interacting with us. This shift occurs as we ‘enter in’ and become more consumed with God’s person, and not so much His provision.


Oh come, let us sing to the LORD!

Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;

Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

For the LORD is the great God,

And the great King above all gods.

In His hand are the deep places of the earth;

The heights of the hills are His also.

The sea is His, for He made it;

And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Psalm 95:1-6


Notice that thanksgiving is offered first and then worshipful adoration. When a person kneels before the Lord, he has reached a point where his needs no longer count. He becomes focused on God alone. Thanksgiving expresses our gratefulness to God for meeting our needs.  We give thanks to God for what He has done for us.

We then exalt God’s Name before others.  We spread His fame amongst all men as we praise Him. His greatness is underlined as we shout joyfully. 

Worship finally focuses our adoration on His person alone. Worship is what we do for Him. We actually give of our innermost beings to Him in worship, as we gaze upon His beauty and become enraptured with His presence. We are ‘caught up’ in God, surrounded by Him and the things that trouble us and hold our attention fade into insignificance. As we focus on Him we gain perspective of we are in comparison to God and we kneel in adoring submission.  It is in this place of concentration, that God’s desires are met, and our joy is made full.


But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.

John 4:23


Begin your personal and public devotion or worship with thanksgiving, then give praise and then move to worship. Choose prayers and songs that reflect this progression. Be led by the Holy Spirit who will guide you in what is acceptable to God.

Be sure to mix in thanksgiving praise and worship into your prayer habits too. It is the ingredient that gets God’s attention.


While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.”  So Jesus arose and followed him…,

Matthew 9:18-19


The ruler understood the protocol. When you approach God and make a request, it is proper to offer worship. We see Jesus immediately respond to his request. Worship gets God’s attention. When we obey Him and show the proper respect, the way is clear for our needs to be met.



Chapter 5

Ways of Worship




orship has suitable physical postures that reflect our hearts and minds that are turned towards God.




Bowing and Kneeling


Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.

Psalm 95:6


Both these physical postures indicate surrender and respect. Personally I find a release from self-reliance and pride when I bow and kneel before the Lord, both in private and in public worship services.

In Old Testament times, rebellious and proud people were described as ‘stiff necked.’ They would not bow, but remained upright in arrogant defiance. However, those that bow and kneel show their God that they are prepared to receive His love, mercy, and direction in their lives.

Submission and surrender is encouraged by revelation of God’s love and care for us as well as a simple recognition of His majesty. It is easy to bow before Him in surrender when we remember that He is the Lord and King who cares for us.

Modern western culture does not always appreciate nor teach the value of these practices. They are relegated to something old fashioned and obsolete in a society bent on self- aggrandizement. Yet God is the same as He has always been, and His grandeur transcends any particular cultural focus on self. Be sure to renew your mind to the importance of showing your subservience to the King of Kings.





Behold, bless the LORD,

All you servants of the LORD,

Who by night stand in the house of the LORD! 

Psalm 134:1


Sitting when you are supposed to be standing is improper. Where do you see a servant sitting down when his master needs his service? He stands up in readiness. In the days in which the psalms were written, it was common for servants of the king to stand ready for service all night long, just in case he needed something. Such was their devotion. They were always ready to serve. They were on His timetable, not their own. Whether anything happened or not was not the issue. They were to be ready. In the end time spent in God’s presence is never wasted.

When we stand before the Lord in quietness, ready to serve Him, He is sure to engage with us and speak a command. To be seated at rest when the king calls, is to be out of order.

When we stand before Him it indicates to that we are not easily drawn aside by some distraction or other pursuit. Our hearts are for Him and we are committed to stand in His presence as a sign of reverence and respect.

Practically, I am not advocating you spend the whole night standing up. You might fall over with fatigue. There are times however, where the Lord requires you to adopt a posture of readiness in your heart which at times finds expression in simply standing on your feet in quiet submission to Him.



Prostrate on Your Face


Also He brought me by way of the north gate to the front of the temple; so I looked, and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD; and I fell on my face.

Ezekiel 44:4


In this account, the glory or manifest presence of God was so powerful that it caused men to fall prostrate on their faces.

I have experienced occasions where God’s presence was so strong that you cannot but fall on your face. I remember when I was standing in the presence of the Lord during a worship service and fell forward flat on my face, even ripping a button from my shirt. I have also fallen backwards under the power of God and rested there in submission to His dealings during what some have called ‘carpet time.’ These occasions may best be described in these terms: where the supernatural meets with the natural, the natural has to give way.

Then there are occasions where one’s will is involved. It is totally appropriate to prostrate oneself before the Lord simply as an act of willful devotion. Exercising your will out of faithful obedience pleases God.





Lying on Your Bed and Singing


Let the saints be joyful in glory;

Let them sing aloud on their beds.

Psalm 149:5


Faith has a rest. As you lie on your bed and sing aloud to the Lord, do so from a heart of faith. When you are lying down, there is no more that you can do that day. Our own efforts cease, as we anticipate God’s protection and provision as we sleep. Our sleep is restful when we commit our trust to Him. He commissions His angels to watch over us like sentries standing guard at night. We can rest assured that all is well, as God our watchman by night stays awake and alert. Praise is fitting on our beds for such a God who cares for us.





Chapter 6

Persistence in Worship



Devoted despite Difficulties



here is a difference between having devotions or praise and worship sessions, and being devoted to the Lord as a lifestyle. “Devotions” are typically confined in set moments in time, like church song services, whereas a “lifestyle of devotion” brings the Lord into the center of all that you are and do at all times. Most churchgoers praise God only at the set time of a public worship service, and when they are feeling good. Yet God wants us to be devoted to Him in both the good times and the bad.

God is raising up a generation of worshippers that will praise Him at all times. That means at work, at home, and at play. In this lifestyle of worship, there is no artificial separation between the secular and the spiritual. Worship becomes woven into our everyday activities. Worshippers who are marked by the abiding presence of God release a ‘spiritual fragrance’. Jesus maintained a lifestyle of worship and surely fulfilled this psalm as He persisted in worship.


Every day I will bless you…

Psalm 100:4-5


              The writer to Hebrews encourages us as Christians to persist in our worship.


…let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God…

Hebrews 13:15


When we give our worship to God, we must offer it in spirit and truth. This means that not only that we offer it with the right heart attitude, but also that we do not limit our worship to a specific place and time.

In the Old Testament, the religious tendency was to restrict worship and sacrifice to special feast days and certain seasons, yet God’s best was for His people to draw near to Him and walk with Him by faith no matter what day or the circumstance, good or bad. God is to be honored at all times, not as a matter of convenience, but out of conviction. Our response to God’s call to worship ought to be act of our will in obedience, and not depend on a particular set of emotions or feelings. Our motivation is based on a revelation of the goodness of God, and it takes faith to worship God in the face of adverse circumstances. We worship God when things go well and when they don’t. In the midst of difficulty we have the hope that God will intervene on our behalf and we praise Him at all times.


I will bless the LORD at all times;

His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psalm 34:1


Paul and Silas were thrown into extreme circumstances. They had been serving the Lord faithfully and were severely persecuted for their obedience. As they sat in prison at midnight, they had a choice. Praise God at all times or feel sorry for themselves. As an act of their will, they chose to praise God, not for the circumstances, but for His goodness and the hope of their deliverance. Their praises were heard not only by the other prisoners, but also from God, and an earthquake jolted the prison setting them free! Their praise precipitated the miraculous.


But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.

Acts 16:25-26


When faced with difficulty, praise God anyway, not for the problem, but for His goodness. He has promised to deliver you and provide a way of escape from your problems.


No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape , that you may be able to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13





Chapter 7

The Benefits of Worship



Praise and Worship Benefits Both God and Us



orship may be described as a divine exchange of blessing. God blesses us first, then we bless Him in return, and the cycle continues.

As we choose to draw near to Him in worshipful obedience, God’s heart is satisfied and blessed. His needs are met!


Praise the LORD!

For it is good to sing praises to our God;

For it is pleasant, and praise is beautiful.

Psalm 147:1


In turn, our needs are also met in God’s presence.  When we touch the ‘heart’ of God through worship, His ‘hand’ of provision touches us. God is committed to our well – being and delights in our prosperity. It is His heart to bless his children. May your heart be to bless Him.






Your Worship Establishes His Lordship


When we praise and worship God, we establish His lordship over our lives. He is literally ‘enthroned’ as King of our hearts. He governs, guides and guards our hearts as we yield to His kingly rule. God’s throne is made of our praises!


But You are holy,

Enthroned in the praises of Israel.

Psalm 22:3



God’s Name and Fame is Lifted Up


We play a part in spreading His fame as we join together and magnify God in our communities. Praise ought to catch the attention of the public. Of course our motive is not to show off, but to lovingly declare to a world in need that God is so good that we simply want everyone to know it.


Oh, magnify the LORD with me,

And let us exalt His name together.

Psalm 34:3


More and more worshippers are realizing that worship is not to be restricted to the four walls of the church building on Sunday mornings when most folk are still quite groggy from the day before. Worship is beginning to take place in the market squares, highways and byways of the world. Praise marches are now held world wide, right out in public. God is magnified in the world He created.






We Fulfill our Calling as ‘Priests’


God has called every believer to be a ‘priest’ to Him. A priest is one ‘who draws near’ to His God carrying a suitable sacrifice. As we have seen, our sacrifice in today’s terms is that of praise and worship. When we praise and worship the Lord we fulfill our calling as priests.


Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Hebrews 13:15



We Engage in Spiritual Warfare as We Worship


Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,

And a two-edged sword in their hand,

To execute vengeance on the nations,

And punishments on the peoples;

To bind their kings with chains,

And their nobles with fetters of iron;

To execute on them the written judgment–

This honor have all His saints.

Praise the LORD!

Psalm 149:6-9


Satan craves the worship rightfully due to the one true God. He knows that worship is the central feature of our relationship with God. When we praise and worship Him we indicate our total devotion to Him, and this leaves satan out of the picture totally. He can’t stand it so he works hard to distract our worship. The worshipper who stays focused on God wreaks havoc in satan’s kingdom in the spirit realm. It is the honor of God’s people, His saints or sanctified ones, to ‘execute vengeance, bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron.’

In Old Testament times this was manifest in actual wars where ungodly nations were subdued physically with God’s help. Today in New Testament terms, we bind the works of the enemy and exercise our authority in Christ as we praise God. It’s all about focus. If we keep our focus on Jesus, looking to Him at all times as the author and developer of faith, and praise Him continually, we literally engage in spiritual warfare and satan’s works are bound. The demons cannot stand to be around the praises of God. The key way to rid the atmosphere of demonic activity is to praise God!

Satan craves our worship because he knows that as a person worships him, he becomes lord of their lives. That is why he tempted Jesus to worship him. He wanted Jesus to sin and give His allegiance to him rather than to God. Thankfully, Jesus resisted this evil temptation, and remained true in His devotion to almighty God.




Chapter 8

A Heavenly Mixture



Our Hearts His Home



hroughout time God has sought to settle down and make His ‘home’ in our hearts. Since the garden of Eden, God’s desire has always been to walk intimately with us. He created us for close fellowship and friendship. Through Christ’s completed work at the cross, the broken fellowship that happened through sin, has been restored. The way is now clear for all men to walk in close communion with God.

A lifestyle of prayer and worship facilitates this close fellowship. God draws near to those who draw near to Him.


Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

James 4:8



Mix it Up


When we approach God, we ‘mix’ our prayer with thanksgiving, praise, and worship. The following scriptures show the close connection between prayer and worship.


Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Your name…

Matthew 6:9


…do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

Ephesians 1:15


…Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God…

Acts 16:25


Jesus, Paul and Luke all show that prayer and worship are connected.

The apostle John went so far as to say that God hears the prayer of the worshiper whose heart is turned towards Him. God readily answers the prayers of those who express their faith in Him through praise and worship.


Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.

John 9:31



The ‘House of Prayer’


When we read of Jesus entering the Temple, a place of sacrifice and worship, He describes it as a ‘House of Prayer’! Worship and prayer thus form a heavenly mixture, and should be combined to bring honor to God and release the miraculous. For where God is, there is the potential for the miraculous. The temple had to be cleansed of the commercialization of religion that had set in. Jesus drove out the moneychangers who preyed on the religious affections of the worshippers.

Our relationship with God should never be profaned by a trafficking spirit bent on merchandizing the religious affections of needy people. Prayer and worship are holy practices and we must guard our hearts against worldliness and profanity. Allow Jesus to drive any semblance of evil motivation for physical gain at the expense of someone else’s spiritual need far from your heart.


Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.'”  Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

Matthew 21:13


It may be true, but sad, that a key reason why many churches today do not see the miraculous is because they are so ‘worldly’ in spirit. The gospel cannot and should not be commercialized.



Chapter 9

Practicing His Presence



He is Worthy All the Time


If God is worthy to be praised at all, He is worthy to be praised all the time and under all circumstances. God is still worthy of our worship whether things are good, bad or indifferent. His worth does not change at any time. He is constant, does not change and is altogether without fault.


As for God, His way is perfect;

Psalm 18:30


“For I am the LORD, I do not change;

Malachi 3:6


God does not change and He deserves our worship at all times as we learn to be unchanging in our devotion to Him. Be open and sensitive to expressing thanksgiving, praise, and worship to God at all times, in all places, and under all circumstances. We don’t know everything. The Bible says we know only in part. So continue to praise God even when you have questions about why this or why that!




Worship Him at Home with Your Family


Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD.

2 Chronicles 20:13


Judah established worship as a practice at home. He stood before the Lord with his wife and children. Many Christians are caught in a mindset that confines worship to a few short minutes at a worship service on the weekend.

However, when worship is practiced at home, God’s presence is invoked there too. If ever there was a place where His presence is needed in these days of family life, it is the home. Worship God at home. Play Christian worship music and sing along. Mix thanksgiving, praise and worship into your family prayer times. Saturate your home with praise and worship.

In our home we play Christian music all the time. Personally when I study and work I play praise and worship music. It helps create the right spiritual atmosphere and even invokes God’s presence in our household. Chose scripturally based music which will build your faith as the scripture is sung to music.

The book of psalms serves as a treasure trove of praise that can be used at home when you pray. Simply read out loud relevant psalms and passages that the Holy Spirit quickens to you, and thank God continually for His person, provision and protection in your life. In this way you will ‘practice’ the presence of God in your personal devotion.

The word is our medium of exchange. It is what God responds to. He has promised to watch over His word in our lives as we present it back to Him both in thanksgiving, praise and in petitioning for particular needs.





At Large, at Work and in Public


When we practice worship at home and in private, we make ourselves ready for public worship. Personal devotion to the Lord serves as a platform or foundation for our public worship together. A special corporate dynamic develops when we join together in unity and worship God. My experience has been that worship often deepens and broadens when engaged in with other believers in unity.

A multiplier effect operates in corporate worship. I have enjoyed many precious moments of intimacy with the Lord in private worship, but never so deep as when together with others in Spirit-filled abandonment to God in worship.


I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go into the house of the LORD.”

Psalm 122:1


As the Lord’s second appearing approaches, let

us joyfully join together in worship of our

Father in heaven.



Praising God in Public?


Then there is the matter of praising the Lord in front of those who don’t know Him. Should we or shouldn’t we openly express our worship in public? I believe it is proper to do so. Much of our time is spent rubbing shoulders with people who do not know Jesus as Lord and savior, and the scripture encourages it.


Therefore I will give thanks to You, O LORD, among the Gentiles, And sing praises to Your name.

Psalm 18:49




Declare His glory among the nations,

His wonders among all peoples.

Psalm 96:3


So however it works for you, feel encouraged to praise the Lord in public. This may be quite a stretch for those who struggle to praise the Lord in a cosy church setting even, but the time is coming where public praise will be more and more common.

Musical groups who support the work of street evangelists, fulfill this scripture as they sing out the praises of God in the market place. Perhaps you are not gifted or called to do this, but support those that do. The Salvation Army has been doing this for over a century on streets around the world.


He has put a new song in my mouth–

Praise to our God;

Many will see it and fear,

And will trust in the LORD.

Psalm 40:3


In the workplace, at least our cheerful disposition towards the Lord is a witness to others there.


Be bold in your praise.


God be merciful to us and bless us,

And cause His face to shine upon us.


That Your way may be known on earth,

Your salvation among all nations.

Let the peoples praise You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You.

Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy!

For You shall judge the people righteously,

And govern the nations on earth.


Let the peoples praise You, O God;

Let all the peoples praise You.

Then the earth shall yield her increase;

God, our own God, shall bless us.

God shall bless us,

And all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.

Psalm 67:1-7

Make some time to read say I chapter a day or week, and then pray (talk) to God about how He wants to enrich you in your personal worship walk with Him.