Monday, 21 March 2016

Fire from Heaven

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is essential if we are to be effective in our Christian witness. When I was a child, I prayed 3 months without receiving the Spirit. But I knew that without the power, the fire, the anointing of God, I could never see men's lives converted. At Easter we used to have three Pentecostal Conventions in London. I determined to go and not leave until I had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit! The preaching was so long in the morning, there was no time to pray for people to receive the Holy Spirit! As a 13-year old I went up to those great men of God on the platform and said, "I only came to receive the fire, pray for me!" They took me to a small room, laid their hands on me, but their minds were on their lunch! I did not receive the Holy Spirit.

I was searching for something which does not come from men, the real power of God. One of those pastors saw my heart, opened the Scripture to me, then when he prayed and laid hands on me, it was as if the roof came off the building, I saw the Glory of God and felt the fire! The fire of the Holy Ghost, the power of God and the Glory of God came into my life! Now I had to become an evangelist! I had to preach Christ, and see the Power! That baptism was only the beginning! - If you want to be effective in ministry, you MUST be filled with the Holy Spirit!

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Monday, 14 March 2016

Prayer and Revival

My father, (a great man of God, converted in 1905 during the Welsh Revival, a great Bible teacher), taught me when I preached as a boy of 13 and no one repented, that Jesus said, "When the Holy Spirit is come, He will convict the world of sin and righteousness and of judgment to come!" He said, "Son, you haven't received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit yet!" It was a lesson which changed my life - because what I needed was the fire and the power of the Holy Spirit to bring conviction, conversion and a changed life when I preach! I asked my father to lay hands on me. He did, but I didn't receive the Holy Spirit. As a result, I spent the next three months in an agony, 13 years old, crying out to God, fasting and praying that God would give me FIRE and POWER through the Holy Spirit. When finally, I received the Holy Spirit just days before my 14th birthday, it totally revolutionised my life. From that moment God took control, things began to happen, people began to repent. But in order to receive, I had to be emptied of my self; God had to cleanse me and make me new. I needed to learn to submit to God, to seek Him, to desire His Spirit more than anything else. I spent months reading His Word, praying the Scriptures, desiring the Spirit. I was determined to receive the same Baptism that the disciples received at Pentecost! It's important to realise that the disciples spent weeks in prayer before the Spirit fell like flames of fire; you must be earnest in prayer too.

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Monday, 7 March 2016

Prevailing Prayer

We must prevail in prayer until God answers. In Numbers 14 we see Moses' power with God. Probably one of the greatest dialogues ever recorded between man and God is this one commencing with verse 11, where God speaks very directly to Moses complaining of the lack of response and the disobedience of Israel. Their lack of faith prompts God to say, "How long will they not believe Me, despite all the signs which I have worked amongst them?" As a result, He threatens to destroy the whole nation. But in verse 13, in one of the most amazing scenes in Scripture, Moses dares to argue with God! He says, "If you do so, then the Egyptians will hear and tell the other nations, all of whom have heard and seen the miraculous deliverance and mighty signs which You have worked in their midst. They will not blame Israel for their lack of faith and disobedience, but will blame You, saying that You did not have the power to deliver them." Then Moses demonstrates the power which he has with God as intercessor saying, "Pardon the iniquity of this people!"

God answers, "I have pardoned, according to YOUR word," verse 20. Moses 'made it happen'! Do you see what the intercessor has done? Moses as the intercessor has challenged God so that instead of turning His back on His people because of their weakness, because of their sin, because of their failure to evangelise and their failure to win the world, God says, "Because of the intercessor I will renew My Covenant, I will renew My Power, I will renew My Glory. I will send the Power of My Spirit on them, backslidden as they are, fallible as they are - because you have stood before Me!"

Then God says in verse 21, in confirmation of the further power of the intercessor (especially when compared with Elijah who called down God's fire in 1 Kings 18), "All the earth shall be filled with the GLORY of the Lord!" This Glory is the FIRE which surrounds God, and it will fill ALL the earth.

God is calling on you to pray for your nation! 'If My people will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven...' God is talking to you and me, not to the sinner: God is wanting His people to repent! When we pray, God says, 'I will answer!' - That is the Covenant we have with Him. When Solomon based his prayer upon the Covenant, what happened? - 'When Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven... (2 Chronicles 7:1). God will heal and restore your nation because you prayed!

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