Leaving Laodicea
431 - How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

431 - How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

August 20, 2019

As we begin to see the darkness come over our land and persecution confront the church in ways unimaginable just a generation ago, it is well past time for each of us to understand and embrace the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit like never before.  As Appollo Creed said to Rocky to shake him from his fear, "There is no tomorrow!"

And Appollo was right.  There is no tomorrow.  The time for spiritual preparation is today.  Actually, it should have been yesterday, or last week.  The time for fervency towards our Lord cannot be put off any longer.  The well-worn excuses about family responsibilities, career advancement, and the general business of life seem trite at best, and will mean nothing when persecution comes.  And it will come.  Most assuredly it will come.  The Scriptures promise persecution.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution - 2 Timothy 3:12

That is, of course, unless you aren't particularly interested in living godly in Christ.  Then you may be pretty safe, right up until the time you take the mark on your hand or forehead.  But that's another issue for another time.


How to be Filled with the Holy Spirit

The key to living a life of assurance and confidence in Him is learning how to remain filled with the Holy Spirit.  And before you can remain filled, you have to be filled in the first place.  This is what this message talks about. We talk about some steps you can take to prepare yourself for His filling.  They are as follows:

First, you must desire to live a life that will please the Lord.

Second, be willing to surrender your life totally and irrevocably to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Third, confess every known sin that the Holy Spirit calls to your remembrance and experience the cleansing and forgiveness that God promises in 1 John 1:9.

Fourth, ask Him, by faith, to fill you with the Holy Spirit. You can pray something like this:

Dear Father, I need You. I hunger and thirst for a more vital relationship with You. I admit that I have been in control of my life. And, as a result, I have sinned against You. Thank You for forgiving my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now confess and turn from my sins and surrender the control of my life to the Lord Jesus. By faith, I invite You to fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled. You promised to fill me if I ask according to Your will. I pray this in the authority of the name of Jesus Christ.

To demonstrate my faith, I now thank You for filling me with Your Holy Spirit and for taking control of my life. Amen.

But that's not the end of it.


There is so much more to learn.

You will need to understand the basis of God's filling, and it has nothing to do with the amount of time you spend praying or the people who lay hands on you.  The basis is on the command (Eph. 5:18) and promise (1 John 5:14-15) of God.  And the filling of the Holy Spirit is given to you the same way you received salvation, by faith.

But there is so much more about all this that we cannot do it justice in this simple summary. 

To find out more, you will need to keep listening. The following is a study on How to Be Filled by the Holy Spirit.

411 - We Will Not Be Equal in the Kingdom of God

411 - We Will Not Be Equal in the Kingdom of God

July 10, 2017

We will not all be equal in heaven.  Now we're not talking about salvation, but of rewards.  All of us are equal in regards to salvation because it is a gift given freely to those who believe.  In this, there is no question.  But what we do with our salvation is another matter.  And we will be rewarded for our faithfulness to Him in this life.  Consider the following:

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 - For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if anyone builds on this foundation with (1) gold, silver, precious stones, (2) wood, hay, straw, each one’s (personal) work will become clear; (how) for the Day will declare it, (how) because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s (personal) work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures (gold, silver, precious stones), he will receive a reward.  If anyone’s work is burned (wood, hay, straw), he will suffer loss (of reward); but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

Charles Stanley also spoke of this in his book, Eternal Security.  He said, “Some believers will be entrusted with certain privileges; others will not. Some will reign with Christ; others will not (2 Timothy 2:12). Some will be rich in the kingdom of God; others will be poor (Luke 12:21, 33).  Some will be given true riches; others will not.  Some will be given heavenly treasures of their own; others will not.  Some will rule and reign with Christ; others will not.  Privilege in the kingdom of God is determined by one’s faithfulness in this life.  It is true that there will be equality in terms of our inclusion in the kingdom of God, but not in our rank and privilege.”

Does this sound troubling to you?  Maybe confusing?  If so, keep listening to learn more.

The following is a study on the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Ceremony of the Lamb.

410 - Standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ

410 - Standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ

July 2, 2017

The Judgement Seat of Christ is the first of seven great judgments that will occur.  And for the believer, it's the most important.  Why?  Because at this judgment all church-age believers will appear before Christ to give an account of their lives for reward.  Or, in the case of many, no reward.  Consider the following:

2 Corinthians 5:10 - For we (Paul includes himself) must (not optional) all appear before the judgment seat (bḗma) of Christ, (why) that each one (personal and individual) may receive (review and reward) the things done in the body, (review) according to what he has done, (reward) whether good or bad.

These are some of the main areas that will be examined when we stand before the Lord:

  1. How we treat other believers (Matthew 10:41-42; Hebrews 6:10)
  2. How we employ our God-given talents and abilities (Matthew 25:14-29; Luke 19:11-26; 1 Corinthians 12:4, 7; 2 Timothy 1:6; 1 Peter 4:10)
  3. How we use our money (Matthew 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)
  4. How well we endure personal injustice and being mistreated (Matthew 5:11-12; Mark 10:29-30; Luke 6:27-28, 35; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 1 Peter 4:12-13)
  5. How we endure suffering and trials (James 1:12; Revelation 2:10)
  6. How we spend our time (Psalm 90:9-12; Ephesians 5:16; Colossians 4:5; 1 Peter 1:17)
  7. How we run the particular race God has given us (1 Corinthians 9:24; Philippians 2:16; 3:12-14; Hebrews 12:1)
  8. How effectively we control our fleshly appetites (1 Corinthians 9:25-27)
  9. How many souls we witness to and win for Christ (Daniel 12:3; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20)
  10. How much the Rapture means to us and shapes our lives (2 Timothy 4:8)
  11. How faithful we are to God’s Word and God’s people (Acts 20:26-28; 2 Timothy 4:1-2; Hebrews 13:17; James 3:1; 1 Peter 5:1-2; 2 John 1:7-8)
  12. How hospitable we are to strangers (Matthew 25:35-36; Luke 14:12-14)
  13. How faithful we are in our vocations (Colossians 3:22-24)
  14. How we support others in ministry (Matthew 10:40-42)
  15. How we use our tongues (Matthew 12:36; James 3:1-12)

Are you ready to stand before the Lord and have your life judged by His standards?  Because it will happen. There is no escape.  And if not, what are you prepared to do about it?  What changes are you willing to make in this life to be rewarded for in the next?  But be warned, time is running out.

If you want to find out more about how to prepare yourself to face the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ, then keep listening.

The following is a study on the Judgment Seat of Christ.

314 - How to Exalt Jesus More Than Ourselves

314 - How to Exalt Jesus More Than Ourselves

July 27, 2015
To totally commit our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ is the first thing we must do to spiritually prepare for the coming persecution in this country.  And, as we said last week, the way to do that is found in the words of John the Baptist.  John said, when comparing his ministry with that of his Lord:

"He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).

The first statement, the "I must decrease" part is easy to understand yet difficult to apply.  But what about the second statement, the "He must increase" part?  What does that mean?  How can I, a mere mortal, make Jesus more than He already is?  Or, what can I give Him, who created everything, that He doesn't already possess?

Keep listening as we begin to answer this all-important question that will give us practical steps to total commitment.

The following is a study on Total Commitment.

313 - “He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease”

313 - “He Must Increase, But I Must Decrease”

July 19, 2015
As we face coming persecution in this country, one of the most important preparations we can make is to totally commit our lives to the living Lord Jesus.  But that raises a few questions.

What does total commitment look like?
And what does total commitment really mean?

How can I be totally committed to Jesus?
Where do I start?
What do I do?

The answer is two-fold and is crystallized in the words of John the Baptist.  He said, "He must increase, but I must decrease" (John 3:30).   Ah, that's it.  First, Jesus must increase and, second, I must decrease.  Or is it the other way around?

These are vital questions that need to be answered, and answered now.  Keep listening to find out more.

The following is a study on Total Commitment.

312 - Why Should I Give My Life Totally to Jesus?

312 - Why Should I Give My Life Totally to Jesus?

July 13, 2015
With the winds of the coming persecution beginning to blow our way, we must ask ourselves this all important question:  Is there something we can do now, before the persecution begins in earnest, to prepare for what is soon to happen?

And we discovered the answer is, yes.  We can do the following:

One, we can totally commit our life to the living Lord Jesus.
Two, we can begin to disengage from the world’s system and begin to live in His kingdom.
Three, we can embrace persecution as a means of furthering the Gospel by looking beyond ourselves and looking only at Him.

Which sadly, leads to a few more questions that each of us struggle with.

How can I totally commit my life to the living Lord Jesus?  Is that even possible?
Is He trustworthy?
Will He keep His promises and  Word to me like He said?
Does He really love me that much?

To find out the answers to these question, keep listening.

The following is a study on Colossians 1:19-23.

311 - How to Prepare for the Coming Persecution

311 - How to Prepare for the Coming Persecution

July 6, 2015
We  know it's coming.  We can see the signs of it everywhere.  Persecution for the church has now come to our own shores and, quite honestly, we are ill prepared for it.  Which raises the all important question:  Is there something we can do now, before the persecution begins in earnest, to prepare for what is soon to happen?

And the answer is, yes.  

One, we can prepare spiritually by totally committing our life into the hands of the living Lord Jesus, come what may.
Two, we can prepare physically by disengaging from the world's system and begin to live in His Kingdom.
Three, we can prepare emotionally by embracing persecution as a means of furthering the Gospel by looking beyond our own circumstances and looking only at Him.

And we can begin to prepare today.  

The following is a lesson on Preparing for the Coming Persecution in America.

287 - Returning to the Place of Pleasant Memories

287 - Returning to the Place of Pleasant Memories

February 2, 2015
Sometimes the Lord moves us from a place of marginal fruitfulness or limited success to a place of profound fruitfulness— and we often view it as a retreat, a failure, something akin to running away.  Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

It seemed Jesus faced one confrontation after another during His short ministry in Jerusalem.  In fact, some would call His efforts marginally fruitful, at best.  But when He withdrew "beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing first" (John 10:40), everything changed.  Many believed in Him (John 10:42).

Do you know why?  Have you figured out the great lesson for us in what Christ did by leaving Jerusalem and going back to a place of good memories?  If you're not sure, then keep listening.

This is a study on John 10:33-42.

250 - The Return of Christ

250 - The Return of Christ

July 27, 2014
Embedded in chapter 14 of Zechariah, in the middle of the Lord telling His people about how He will "fight against the nations" that fought against Jerusalem, we possibly find a cryptic description of the effects of a neutron bomb.  It reads:

Their flesh shall dissolve (or, rot, waste away) while they stand on their feet,
Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets,
And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths (Zech. 14:12).

How can that be?  And what does that mean for us today?  Is this really the effects of a neutron bomb?

Keep listening to find out more.

The following is a study on Zechariah 14:1-15.

To download the notes from this message, click – HERE

245 - A Warning to the Church and the Nation

245 - A Warning to the Church and the Nation

June 23, 2014
We are living in troubling, turbulent times... but not unlike the times of the prophet Jeremiah.  In Jeremiah's day his nation was facing destruction and decay both from within and without.  The judicial system had been perverted and compromised.  Infant murder (abortion) was rampant and the people were engulfed in sexual sin.  Does that situation sound familiar?  I thought so.  Sounds much like today, doesn't it.

So listen to see what Jeremiah would say today to both the church and the nation.

The following is a study on Jeremiah 7:1-34.