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.
For years the Israelites had longed to be ruled by a human king. And, finally, God allowed it. He told the prophet Samuel to anoint Saul to be ruler over Israel. So the prophet met with Saul, poured a vial of oil over his head, and kissed him. Then he told Saul, "The Lord hath appointed thee to be captain over his inheritance" (1 Samuel 10:1).
If you're serious about your walk with God, then you want to get to know your heavenly father. And so you may study his majesty, his power, his glory. But do you know your Lord's human face?
You may wonder what I mean by this. After all, we know God is spirit and that he's invisible to us. Scripture states plainly, "No man hath seen God at any time..." (John 1:18). So, how can God have a human face?
"I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out [turned out] rather unto the furtherance of the gospel" (Philippians 1:12).
In this verse, Paul tells the Christians in Philippi not to worry about all the things they'd heard had befallen him. And those "things" included great afflictions and infirmities!
I believe Solomon represents the spirit and nature of the modern, last-day Laodicean church. And this church — here in America and throughout the world — is headed for the same ruin Solomon faced!
Scripture tells us:
"And Solomon the son of David was strengthened in his kingdom, and the Lord his God was with him, and magnified him exceedingly...." (2 Chronicles 1:1).
In recent weeks the Holy Spirit has been leading me to pray for a greater understanding of God's love to me. After reading 1 John 4:16, I realized how very little I knew about living and walking in God's love. John wrote in his epistle: "We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."
Let me introduce you to the most troubled, distressed, despairing believer of all time. He was a righteous, God-loving man — yet when sorrow and trouble overwhelmed him, he sounded like an atheist!
At the height of his suffering he said: "If I had called, and he had answered me; yet would I not believe that he hearkened unto my voice. For he breaketh me a tempest, and multiplieth my wounds without cause" (Job 9:16-17).
"By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:5-6).