More than once, while bouncing around in the trails around Lake City, Colorado I have encountered men, tired and dusty adventurers, with maps spread out on the hoods of their jeeps as they look around, scratch their heads and study the map this way and that, trying to figure out where they are and how to get to where they thought they were going. Trails can be marked with small faded signs, wilderness turn offs can be easy to miss. Mountain travel can be tricky on the best of days in the back country. There are wonders to be seen, historic mining days can be recalled in the funny sounding destinations such as Hurricane Basin or Picayune Gulch.
Steep white-knuckle rides such as Black Bear Pass dropping down into Telluride can make you reevaluate your relationship with the person who told you it would be lots of fun and fine to go that way! The GPS in your rented jeep may be telling you that it is only 35 miles from Lake City to Telluride and you should be there for lunch in half an hour! The information is intrinsically faulty and based on inexperience, lack of knowledge of road conditions and incomplete data! It may be only 35 miles but it will take you the better part of the day and your neck will probably never feel the same!(***author’s note: since composing this post earlier this week the Black Bear Pass has been closed due to another roll over!) This is not unlike the dangerous, slippery message that is being covertly telegraphed by Pastor/teachers who assure you that the Holy Spirit is alive and well in their lives and church. They gloss over it quickly, give the short historical overview of Pentecost and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. It’s hard to teach on something with any real depth when they themselves aren’t filled with Him, There is no appreciation for the Giftings that come along with His Presence. The poor pastor or teachers don’t realize that He is even missing because they never experienced His Presence. They have spent years assiduously avoiding the entire topic as though it were as desirable as a head lice infestation upon their poor church!
What you don’t know CAN effect your life adversely, both spiritually and physically, and leave you defenseless. I respectfully submit that staying in your comfortable, spoon-fed bubble may just get you killed in the serious battles to come. Folks, it may be time to learn something new! We need to be sensitive to Holy Spirit leading and teaching and allow ourselves be moved and empowered by the Holy Spirit! Some folks may be fearful of being out of control, worried about unknown prayer languages or being slain in the Spirit. Do you really think that the God who loves you so would give you anything bad or creepy? I’m sorry but, the Glory of the God should shake us up, make us fall down or strike us dumb for awhile- just as we see in the Old and New Testament scriptures.(2 Chronicles 7:1-3, Luke 1:5-79,Acts 9) Are we not devaluing Almighty God if we have no desire for His Presence nor expectation that the arrival of His Glory would and should dramatically and forever change the atmosphere where we are worshiping ? Do not be fooled: When The Glory of God shows up nothing is ever the same. It is big, it is showy and it is unmistakable in It’s POWER! The Holy Spirit is the Ultimate Change Agent! This shouldn’t be something that we fear we should be actively seeking it!
I had a pastor tell me, to my face, that the folks in his congregation were not “ready to hear” any teaching about the Filling of the Holy Spirit. He claimed that the folks in his church were not mature enough to” go there”! More likely he was reluctant to broach the topic due to fear of losing his pulpit. But, that doesn’t alter the fact that it is not his job to appease people but to teach truth. Lest we forget, in the early church this Holy Spirit teaching was the mainstay of Christianity 101- day one teaching!(Acts) This Filling Step is not for Salvation but it brought visible easily identifiable signs to signal the empowering wonder of the Spirit. We wander into very slippery territory when we begin to “out-vote” God on what is really important or acceptable to our standard and what is not.
I mentioned earlier that many Pastors and teachers are uncomfortable teaching about Biblical Prophecy. A local minister openly shared with me not too long ago, that he was not really interested in Bible Prophecy. While I hope that he really meant was that no matter what time there was left on the clock, his job was to preach the gospel. That wasn’t what he said, though, and either way, I find this more than terrifying. Revelations 19:10 tells us that the Testimony of Jesus IS the Spirit of Prophecy. Everything, absolutely everything, about Jesus’ first coming and his second coming are all about Prophecy and it’s fulfillment.
The fact that I am writing this Blog post as a grafted in, wild-olive-branch into that Messianic family makes me a fulfillment of Prophecy, as well. (Gen 26:3, Romans 11:17-24, Eph. 2:14) What an thrilling revelation! However, this reticence to “go there” could this be explained by the verses in Joel 2:28-32 that tell of an End Times enormous outpouring of the Holy Spirit to accompany the last Great Harvest? Stick with me here, because this is really, really important to catch! If a person, or a Pastor, the choir director or the Pope in Rome has received all that they will ever need of the Holy Spirit at Salvation- at that moment when they invited Jesus into their heart- then why would this future outpouring even be necessary? What could the purpose be? We can’t have it both ways, can we? It’s that old can of worms that nobody really wants to pick up. Let’s just preach on the wonderful love of Jesus!
Finally, as a Bible Teacher I have been cautioned not to take anything away or add anything to the Biblical record under very serious consequences.(Deut. 4:2, Rev. 22:19, Gal 1:8-12, 2 Peter 2:1-3, Matt 7:15-20 just to name a very few!) This is a very serious, sobering warning. This is the reason that I try to list chapter and verse every time I make a point. It is not to show off how smart I am or how spiritual I may be. I do it to prove, by the inerrant Word of God that I can support what I am saying to you with and through HIS Word. It is not my job to ‘make’ you believe anything. That is not my concern. My job is to give it to you straight and without bending anything like a proverbial pretzel to support it Scripturally with the Truth of His Word. This is important. Do not trustingly take my say-so on anything: pull out the Bible and look stuff up for yourself. Got questions, disagree or want to discuss it or argue a point? Leave me a comment or email me. If you don’t have a Bible you can download the App for your Kindle or electronic device. It is important to study to show yourself approved (2 Tim 2:15). And, according to 1 John 4:1-4 it is mandated that we test the Spirits so you don’t get tricker-ickered by the dark side of the Spirit world. By the way, If there aren’t Spirits in the supernatural realm in operation both Good and Bad then why are we told to be armored up to deal with their flaming arrows and to test them?
I understand that many of you may never have considered these conundrums before. Believe me or not, I hope that you will take some time and explore these scriptures and read through all 4 gospels and Acts. There is so much more on the table than just your one way ticket to heaven. It is an entire package deal that only awaits your request! The miracles, signs wonders and Gifts were the original Godly calling-cards boldly telling the lost world whom the bearer represented and were tools necessary to build up the Church. How has that ever changed from that day to this? How can it be any less important today as we represent a loving Savior in a hurting, blinded world.