Not long ago, I began planning a book on the suffering of God's saints. I've wanted to encourage Christians about the Lord's faithfulness to his people in the midst of their trials. Since then, many readers have written to me, testifying of how God has given them grace in their times of suffering. One woman wrote of an enduring physical trial:
The apostle Paul said, "Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). He also said, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit" (verse 25).
As Christians, we have heard this phrase throughout our lives: "Walk in the Spirit." Many believers tell me they walk in the Spirit — yet they cannot tell me what that truly means. Now, let me ask you: Do you walk and live in the Spirit? And what does that mean to you?
The following is a prophetic warning from Azusa Street 75 years ago, concerning the dangers of a Christless Pentecost!
Frank Bartleman was an eyewitness to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in 1907 at Azusa Street, Los Angeles. He has been characterized as the Reporter of the Azusa Street Revival. Nearly 75 years ago, during the outpouring, he wrote a tract warning of a Christless Pentecost.
On the night before his crucifixion, at the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples, “Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me” (John 14:19). What an interesting statement for Jesus to make, knowing the disciples wouldn’t grasp it. One of them asked, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” (14:22).
In the Old Testament, Habakkuk gives us an amazing prophecy about the end times. This praying prophet’s name means “embraced by God.” Scripture indicates Habakkuk was a man who wrestled with the Lord faithfully in prayer. And his prophecy came during a time of gross immorality.
Isaiah warns that in the last days, God will turn the world upside down.
All the Old Testament prophets foretold the coming of Christ. Upon his arrival, he would perform glorious blessings — binding up the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives, healing the sick and building a new church (see Isaiah 61:1). He would “give...beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (61:3, NKJV).
The New Testament tells us that in the last days scoffers are going to appear. Jesus says these mockers will ridicule all doctrine that says Christ is returning to establish a new kingdom. If you try to explain this doctrine – that when Jesus comes again he’ll set up a kingdom of eternal righteousness – you’ll be called insane.
What does the word "passion" mean to you as a Christian? I think passion at its truest and deepest level cannot be defined by any dictionary. Let me show you from Scripture what I believe it means to have a passion for Christ.
As I read the Bible, I see passion for Jesus as an ever-increasing obedience to his Word. Most of us think of obedience as personal, individual compliance to God's commands. Yet obedience to his Word has implications far beyond this. It isn't merely a personal pursuit but a fervent desire for the sake of the Lord's body.
Israel was in a hopeless predicament. They were trapped, with the Red Sea before them and the mountains on their left and right. An angry Pharaoh and his iron chariots were closing in on them from behind.
This is a very familiar story, one you’ve heard your whole church life. The children of Israel were led by God into a horrible crisis where they were surrounded by a fierce enemy. Incredible as it seems, the Lord had purposely led his people into this precarious spot. I believe it is a story with great importance for the church today, indeed at this moment in history.