(June 1, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan comment on some Pentecost realities…
Acts 2:2-4 Message records an amazing breakthrough that the frightened, uncertain early church experienced on the Day of Pentecost – ‘Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.’
Wow! This was out of the blue! But it was something more than just worshipping God in new languages! It mightily changed those first disciples and they became daring men and women of faith who immediately witnessed the gospel and saw many converts genuinely repent of sin and turn to Jesus for salvation!
This Sunday, June 4 – is Pentecost Sunday this year and many churches ( not just Pentecostal) will be celebrating it as the…
Fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to everyone who follows him (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:45)
Supernatural occurrences of how that promise was fulfilled – flames of fire resting on everyone and a mighty wind (Acts 2:2)
Additional manifestation of the Spirit causing Jesus’ followers to speak in tongues that not only centred on declaring the wonderful works of God but so confounded unsaved people outside that it led to many salvations! (Acts 2:5-13)
First ever public pronouncement of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:31, 32, 36)
Confirmation that the promise of the Holy Spirit is for every born-again believer, not just a chosen few or a particular church group or only leaders! (Acts 2:38b)
Ground-breaking declaration that repentance is the only way to forgiveness of sin and to gaining salvation – not like many of today’s weak pleas of ‘All you have to do is just give your heart to Jesus, nothing else’! (Acts 2:38a).
(June 5, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words…
One of the words that often finds its way into Christian vocabulary is ‘fellowship.’ It is one of the great New Testament words but is has been used so often to describe such a variety of Christian groups that it has become devalued!
What is ‘fellowship’?
Is it just a term given to differentiate Christian groups from non-Christian groups, such as, Men’s Fellowship, Women’s Fellowship, Youth Fellowship and so on? Or does the New Testament use the word in a different way? That is what we are going to explore.
In the KJV the Greek noun koinonia has been translated by the words…
fellowship (12 times)
communion (4 times)
The verb koinoneo has been translated partake of, communicate and distribute. It is clear that it is a much more significant word than is suggested by the way we frequently use it.(more…)
(June 1, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares on Pentecost …
The Feast of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks) was observed by Israel over many centuries. It was an important time each year to celebrate the beginning of the early weeks of harvest with thanksgiving to God. Also a time to celebrate God’s deliverance of his people from Egypt.
After his resurrection from the grave, Jesus had given his followers a command to not depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father. He told them: ‘John truly baptised with water; but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’ (Acts 1:4-5).
Luke, writing the Acts of the Apostles, begins the second chapter with the words, ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.’
Then, verse 2ff, the Holy Spirit fell!
The focus of the feast
The Day of Pentecost was a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel. Devout Jews were used to celebrating the feast of Pentecost – but on the Acts 2 Day of Pentecost, the focus of the feast was changed for the followers of Jesus Christ!(more…)
(June 1, 2017)Stuart Reynolds shares a revelation…
From the presumed monopoly by denominations to the limits of our clever labelling, the Holy Spirit has been hijacked and sabotaged!
The sharp-sighted evangelist Vance Havner described the result of this misunderstanding, mishandling and misapplication: ‘Satan has scored a point in making us so afraid of extremism about the Holy Spirit…that we may miss the true in our fear of the false. We can be so wary of getting out on a limb that we never go up the tree!’
We need to let the Holy Spirit be himself, and that we may become and do all we were intended to.
May I introduce you to ‘The Pentecostal Baptist’ – someone the Bible records having these Holy Spirit credentials: ‘Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.’ And in that place many believed in Jesus’ (John 10:41-42, NIV).
1) An inviting clarification
We believe in ‘full salvation.’ The reality of God in the gospel of Christ is radical – God’s book teaches it…truly knowing Jesus Christ demands it…the presence of the Holy Spirit enables it. (more…)
(June 1, 2017) Brian Bell shares a meaningful meditation on the apostle Peter…
When you consider the experiences of Peter’s life from the day Jesus called Peter to follow him, then those experiences – which include presumptuous behaviour and speech rebuke by Jesus, and his denial of the Lord – they would not have pointed to him being the carrier of the powerful Acts 2 Day of Pentecost message for which he is best known.
Personally I draw great encouragement from Peter, for I know I am – at least – as imperfect as Peter, yet the Lord is prepared to use even me!
So, while it is true that aspects of Peter’s life before Pentecost may be less than impressive, it did not prevent the Lord from recommissioning and enabling Peter through the Holy Spirit – what an encouragement is that for every Christian!
Peter –an encouragement for every follower
Luke who penned the book of Acts makes specific reference to Peter’s ‘Pentecost’ message and writes of several of his ministry experiences that flowed on from that day. And while we don’t read of a repetition of the ‘Pentecost day’ experience, we can however see how the Lord clearly led Peter and he became an outstanding preacher, a leader with a pastoral heart in the early church. It is very clear that Peter was a changed follower of Jesus from that day! (more…)
VIETNAM/ENGLAND – 25 years of caring for orphans _____________________________________________________________________________________THE STUNNING SCIENCE BEHIND THE HEALING POWER OF PRAYER Dr Don Colbert(https://drcolbert.com/the-stunning-science-behind-the-healing-power-of-prayer/) shares good news…Even a mere 30 seconds of prayer, acknowledging God and giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, can have a powerful effect on your body, mind, and spirit.If you have a regular practice of prayer, then you are well aware that benefits are very real and wide-ranging. Many people who engage in these activities report psychological and spiritual benefits such as a sense of greater clarity, purpose, gratitude, presence, sense of connection, and overall well-being. However, these sorts of subjective benefits can be hard to measure scientifically.A beneficial ancient practice
Interestingly, despite the difficulty in quantifying the spiritual effects of prayer, there have been many studies looking at the physical benefits of this ancient practice. (more…)
(May 15, 2017)GodReports’Mark Ellis reports a great testimony
Nabil* and his family were refugees and had recently settled in a small apartment that happened to be near a Christian named Greg. Nabil found work at the lowest rung of the income ladder, as a manual labourer.
One day Nabil suffered a severe ankle injury that kept him off the job. Greg began visiting Nabil’s apartment regularly to help him rehabilitate, according to a report by Frontiers.
After months of therapy and rest, Nabil’s ankle was still so swollen that he could only take a few tentative steps across the apartment. It seemed it would take several more months before he would be pain-free and able to return to his demanding physical work.
Mysterious man in white
But one day Greg called Nabil and was surprised by an urgency in Nabil’s voice. ‘Greg, I need to see you immediately! Come over now and bring your Bible.’ (more…)
(May 15, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares a BIG challenge…
At last, I have got onto the subject of money for missions! This is a big subject because the need is big.
I mean really BIG! Regrettably, it sometimes becomes a point of confusion and even conflict when the amounts of funding for global mission are seen as diverting, or reducing the funding for local church needs.
I say, ‘Thank God for the pastors who understand this problem area and ensure good balance and understanding is maintained in their church. I belong to such a church, for which I gave thanks to God every day. I especially thank him for my pastor.
(May 11, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words…
The word ‘love’ is a very busy one in the English language and is used to cover many things. We can say that we love our car, dog, fish and chips, our parents, children, wife or girlfriend/boyfriend. We describe that warm fuzzy feeling for people we like as ‘love.’ Or we may use the word to describe a raging emotional or sexual passion.
Clearly ‘love’ is used to describe a wide range of experiences. But the Greeks used at least four words to describe some of the things we call ‘love.’
(i) They used the word philia, which is a word that expresses friendship (The verb is phileo). God did not make us to be socially self-existent – we need to have friends. But there is also a selfish element in philia – it is largely based on the premise that if you like me, I will like you! This mutually positive attitude is the basis of friendship. That is not to deny its value as friendship is an essential ingredient to enrich our lives and without it we are impoverished. Therefore philia is a love that we all need for friendship and is vitally important. (more…)
In brief, a pastor and four of his church co-workers began gaol sentences on April 21 for illegal financial activities, following on from being convicted in 2015. A fifth co-worker, who also received a jail sentence, is awaiting a Court of Appeals decision before his sentence will commence.
I’m referring to media reports of Kong Hee, who was the pastor of a megachurch in Singapore – City Harvest Church. Hee and five of his leaders were sentenced to imprisonment for the illegal misuse of around 50 million Singapore dollars. Their revised sentencing is for about half the time originally specified as a consequence of an appeals process.
A wakeup call
I must state that there was no joy in hearing that report – Kong Hee, the other leaders and the shaken City Harvest Church in Singapore need the prayers of caring people. (more…)