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.
The Holy Spirit has been prompting me to speak out about suicide. At first, I rebelled against preaching about such a morbid subject, but there was no way I could shake off the urgency to warn young people about the horror of self-destruction. Consequently, for the past few weeks I have been preaching about suicide in all our city-wide crusades.
As we begin 2017, I believe it would bring great pleasure to the heart of God if we would fall to our knees and ask him what he would desire to see done differently in our church and our own lives.
Finding Our Victory in Jesus’ Work for Us
“And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:45-47, NKJV).
Are you facing a crisis that has driven you to your knees? Maybe you need physical healing. Perhaps you’re in financial turmoil. Your marriage might be on the brink. Has your trial continued for so long that your spirit has sunk into despondency?
Every follower of Jesus has a certain hunger in his heart. It’s a passionate zeal to be holy before God — free from sin, victorious over flesh, pure and spotless before the Lord.
This desire is actually something the Holy Spirit plants in the heart of every human being. It’s an innate longing to live rightly. People of every religion — and even no religion — are moved to live well, do right, love others, be the best person they can be. Some obviously flee that desire and do the opposite — but they’re still conscious of a deep desire to do right.
Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). Christ shared these words with his disciples on the eve of his crucifixion. It was meant to give them comfort and reassurance in what would be the darkest hour of their faith. Since that time Christians down through the ages have drawn comfort from Jesus' words here, to sustain them through their most difficult trials.
When God breathes the breath of his Spirit, everyone knows he has come. Luke, the author of Acts, writes, “Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind” (Acts 2:2). I like a different translation of this last phrase, calling it “a strong wind, a blast.”
According to this verse, God’s breath came at Pentecost with a “sound from heaven.” Luke says this sound was mighty, rushing, filling the whole atmosphere: “It filled all the house where they were sitting” (2:2).