"Studies of the Spirit" - John 16:12-15
ZADOK PUBLICATIONS - Dr. C. R. OLIVER
May 1, 2020
ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
May 1, 2020
"Studies of the Spirit" - John 16:12-15
You may watch this Newsletter in a video HERE
"I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you
things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
For several weeks, I have been studying the work of the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments. This task caused me to examine every passage in the Bible that references
the Spirit (wherever the "S" is capitalized, as in Spirit of truth). The reason for this study is an upcoming meeting where the theme is, "Having a Spirit-Filled life." Fascinatingly, as one pulls each reference from Scripture, it affords a picture of the Spirit which cannot be discovered ordinarily.
Understand, wherever the Lord gives a word the Spirit is there as part of the Godhead.
So, what becomes evident, in such a study as this, is we are seeing the mountain tops, the unusual interventions, the vast range of the Spirit's operations in the affairs of mankind.
The method I will use in this study is twofold: of necessity, this work will be segmented over several months of newsletters focusing on the Old Testament first, then the New Testament. Next, the references will not be grouped according to theme or similarity of Scripture, but purely in the chronological order they appear in the Bible.
As you read this work, you will be impressed with the person of the Holy Spirit. As the Scripture passages concerning the Spirit are limited as to length, I would hope you would read "before" and "after" the scripted sections.
(All the passages are from the New King James Version of the Bible)
1. Genesis 1:1-5: Creation activity affords us the first glimpse of the Spirit in the Bible. Every prophet and all of the New Testament writers always spoke of this event as the bedrock to understanding Scripture. (See: Paul's message in Acts 17.)
To deny God being the first mover is to make the rest of Scripture moot. This is why
Darwinian constructs, along with the "Big Bang Theory," want to eradicate the truth of the following verses.
In the beginning God (the Godhead) created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So, the evening and the morning were the first day.
(Note: The Genesis passage that reads, "Let us make man after our image," incorporates Father God, the Son and the Spirit, hence, the "us" reference. When Moses was shown God's back, everything from that moment in time back to the Creation was revealed to him. Hence, his ability to write Genesis.)
2. Genesis 6:3-8: Scripture often skims large portions of history, so the next verse chronologically about the Spirit concerns Noah and the matters surrounding the Flood. Here, we see God is unhappy about the sins of man and plans a worldwide destruction. He establishes a covenant with Noah, which will be a basis for the new world order. The old order had refused to harken to His Spirit.
(A world without the Spirit is not one to be in! Neither is a church without the Spirit one to be a part of!)
3 And the Lord said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he is indeed flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years." 4 There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. Those were the mighty men who were of old, men of renown.
5 Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. 7 So the Lord said, "I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them." 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
3. Genesis 41:37-41: Again, a huge jump in time occurs between Noah and Joseph. In this passage, we see the Pharaoh recognizing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in this Israelite. Some say the Spirit of God came down upon persons in the Old Testament and only indwelled on and after the day of Pentecost. What does this Scripture say?
37 So the advice was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, "Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?"
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Inasmuch as God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you." 41 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt."
(Discernment and wisdom are part of the characteristics of having the Spirit. Notice that a non-covenant Pharaoh acknowledged the Spirit of God in the covenant life of Joseph.)
4. Exodus 31:1-11: Another huge jump takes place, as the focus moves to Moses and the artisans constructing the Tabernacle of Moses. At this point, we see the Spirit equipping men for service. (The Spirit always supplies everything needed to carry out the heavenly plan.)
1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2 "See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. 3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of
God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, 4 to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, 5 in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.
6 "And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you: 7 the tabernacle of meeting, the ark of the Testimony and the mercy seat that is on it, and all the furniture of the tabernacle - 8 the table and its utensils, the pure gold lampstand with all its utensils, the altar of incense, 9 the altar of burnt offering with all its utensils, and the laver and its base - 10 the garments of ministry, the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests, 11 and the anointing oil and sweet incense for the holy place. According to all that I have commanded you they shall do.
(Note: Exodus 35:30-36 is basically a repeat of the above word.)
5. Numbers 11:17-18: Moses also needed helpers; the Spirit brought them. (When the Spirit was upon the 70 elders, they prophesied.) In these next two passages, we see Spirit transmission to others.
Numbers 11:17-18: I will take of the Spirit that is upon you and will put the same upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, that you may not bear it yourself alone.
(They became judges of the people in the wilderness.)
Numbers 11:25-30: Transmission (Impartation).
Then the Lord came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.
26 But two men had remained in the camp: the name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad. And the Spirit rested upon them. Now they were among those listed, but who had not gone out to the tabernacle; yet they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, and said, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp."
28 So Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' assistant, one of his choice men, answered and said, "Moses my lord, forbid them!"
29 Then Moses said to him, "Are you zealous for my sake? Oh, that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!" 30 And Moses returned to the camp, he and the elders of Israel.
(His prayer was answered at Pentecost!)
6. Numbers 23:28-24:2: Balak and Balaam witness Spirit Interruption.
So Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that overlooks the wasteland. 29 Then Balaam said to Balak, "Build for me here seven altars, and prepare for me here seven bulls and
seven rams." 30 And Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered a bull and a ram on every altar.
24 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times, to seek to use sorcery, but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2 And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him.
(When the Spirit came upon him all Balaam could do was bless Israel!)
7. Numbers 27:18-23: Next, we see Joshua empowered by the Spirit through the laying on of hands by Moses. This is a clear picture of transference by Spirit power.
And the Lord said to Moses: "Take Joshua the son of Nun with you, a man in whom is the Spirit, and lay your hand on him; 19 set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation, and inaugurate him in their sight. 20 And you shall give some of your authority to him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient. 21 He shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire before the Lord for him by the judgment of the Urim. At his word they shall go out, and at his word they shall come in, he and all the children of Israel with him … all the congregation."
22 So Moses did as the Lord commanded him. He took Joshua and set him before Eleazar the priest and before all the congregation. 23 And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.
8. Judges 3:9-10: Othniel is another example of Spirit empowerment. The Lord never calls someone to duty that He doesn't empower them through the Spirit. Beginning with Joshua, there came a whole string of great men of God that were empowered to do exploits.
When the children of Israel cried out to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel.
9. Judges 6:33: Gideon. Here is a man who is featured in Hebrews 11 as a great man of faith.
God would not hear his poor self-evaluation, but continually addressed him as the man he would be in the future. (We all are acquainted with his three hundred men with trumpets and lanterns defeating a massive army.)
Then all the Midianites and Amalekites, the people of the East, gathered together; and they crossed over and encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. 34 But the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon; then he blew the trumpet, and the Abiezrites gathered behind him. 35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, who also gathered behind him. He also sent messengers to Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.
10. Judges 11:29-30: Jephthah. Again, we are familiar with Jephthah's covenant and the sacrifice of his daughter.
Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah, and he passed through Gilead and Manasseh, and passed through Mizpah of Gilead; and from Mizpah of Gilead he advanced toward the people of Ammon. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord.
11. Judges 13:24-25: Samson. Two angelic visits persuaded Samson's parents that God was causing them to have a son of destiny. The angel made sure they understood the terms of his greatness would depend on being a Nazarite. Nonetheless, he made it to the Hebrews "hall of fame" even though he compromised himself. The following passage shows the beginning of his greatness.
24 So the woman bore a son and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him. 25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to move upon him at Mahaneh Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.
5 So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah. Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him. 6 And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done
12. 1 Samuel 10:1-10: Saul's anointing by Samuel (Spiritual exactness and direction)
Samuel utilized spiritual exactness through the Spirit. His narrative about certain events happening in sequence and in order reveal how the Spirit concertizes things in people's lives. They know these events could only be orchestrated by God and are not by happenstance. Each of the persons involved had to be at a certain place, at a certain time and they had to be doing various things at those times. When the events took place and Saul arrived at the group of prophets, he must have been overwhelmed and he was open to the Spirit.
1 Samuel 10:1-10:
1. Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on his head, and kissed him and said: "Is it not because the Lord has anointed you commander over His inheritance? 2 When you have departed from me today, you will find two men by Rachel's tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah; and they will say to you, 'The donkeys which you went to look for have been found. And now your father has ceased caring about the donkeys and is worrying about you, saying, "What shall I do about my son?"' 3 Then you shall go on forward from there and come to the terebinth tree of Tabor. There three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you, one carrying three young goats, another carrying three loaves of bread, and another carrying a skin of wine. 4 And they will greet you and give you two loaves of bread, which you shall receive from their hands. 5 After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying. 6 Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man. 7 And let it be, when these
signs come to you, that you do as the occasion demands; for God is with you. 8 You shall go down before me to Gilgal; and surely, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings and make sacrifices of peace offerings. Seven days you shall wait, till I come to you and show you what you should do."
9 So it was, when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, that God gave him another heart; and all those signs came to pass that day. 10 When they came there to the hill, there was a group of prophets to meet him; then the Spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them.
(This sounds like when Jesus instructed His disciples about where to find the "colt" for the triumphant entry or when He instructed them about the upper room.)
1 Samuel 11:4-8: The Spirit of the Lord assisted Saul by ensuring his acceptance as King, and by giving him military prowess. The Spirit can promote, sustain and glorify those who will follow His leading. When the Ammonites threatened Israel, Saul rose to power.
1 Samuel 11:4-8:
4 So the messengers came to Gibeah of Saul and told the news in the hearing of the people. And all the people lifted up their voices and wept. 5 Now there was Saul, coming behind the herd from the field; and Saul said, "What troubles the people, that they weep?" And they told him the words of the men of Jabesh. 6 Then the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard this news, and his anger was greatly aroused. 7 So he took a yoke of oxen and cut them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the territory of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, "Whoever does not go out with Saul and Samuel to battle, so it shall be done to his oxen."
And the fear of the Lord fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.
(Spiritual victories cannot occur without the direct hand of the Spirit.)
13.1 Samuel 16:13-15: David … Scripture takes another leap from the rise of Saul to his
demise and how God chose David and anointed him as King. Again, the Spirit comes upon man, empowering him for service.
1 Samuel 16:13:
Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So, Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
I Samuel 16:14: (A Distressing spirit troubles Saul after the Holy Spirit departs.)
14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and a distressing spirit from the Lord
14. 1 Samuel 19:18-24: Saul's plans to take David failed because of the Spirit. Saul's messengers also failed because of the power of the Spirit. They even began prophesying. So, when Saul joined them, he fell under the power and prophesied. ("The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of prophecy.")
1 Samuel 19:18-24:
So, David fled and escaped, and went to Samuel at Ramah, and told him all that Saul had done to him. And he and Samuel went and stayed in Naioth. 19 Now it was told Saul, saying, "Take note, David is at Naioth in Ramah!" 20 Then Saul sent messengers to take David. And when they saw the group of prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as leader over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied. 21 And when Saul was told, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise. Then Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied also. 22 Then he also went to Ramah, and came to the great well that is at Sechu. So, he asked, and said, "Where are Samuel and David?"
And someone said, "Indeed they are at Naioth in Ramah." 23 So he went there to Naioth in Ramah. Then the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on and prophesied until he came to Naioth in Ramah. 24 And he also stripped off his clothes and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Therefore, they say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"
The Holy Spirit saturates the atmosphere where Spirit-filled folks are in command. (I have seen people fall out under the power just coming close to where a meeting was being held.)
15. 2 Samuel 23:2-3: David's confession: David acknowledges that he spoke by the Spirit.
It would be well with all of us to follow his example. (Paul admonishes that one speaks as speaking the oracles of God. This kind of preaching is rare in these times.)
2 Samuel 23:2-3:
2 "The Spirit of the Lord spoke by me,
And His word was on my tongue.
3 The God of Israel said,
The Rock of Israel spoke to me:
'He who rules over men must be just,
Ruling in the fear of God."
16. 1 Kings 18:9-14: Obadiah (Spirit Flight/ Transport) Here is the first place in the Bible that we encounter belief that the Spirit can transport a person (like Philip's Azotus travel in Acts 8:40) supernaturally from one place to another.
1 Kings 18:9-14:
So, he said, "How have I sinned, that you are delivering your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom where my master has not sent someone to hunt for you; and when they said, 'He is not here,' he took an oath from the kingdom or nation that they could not find you. 11 And now you say, 'Go, tell your master, "Elijah is here"'! 12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the Lord will carry you to a place I do not know; so when I go and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me. But I your servant have feared the Lord from my youth. 13 Was it not reported to my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid one hundred men of the Lord's prophets, fifty to a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now you say, 'Go, tell your master, "Elijah is here."' He will kill me!"
17. 2 Kings 2:15-22: Elisha. After Elijah's ascension, the Spirit came upon Elisha---(Spirit Succession)
A posse of fifty formed to search for Elijah against Elisha's prohibition. This was followed by various miracles: bitter water made sweet, for example. The Spirit affirms those whom He chooses.
2 Kings 2:19-22:
19 Then the men of the city said to Elisha, "Please notice, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the ground barren."
20 And he said, "Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it." So, they brought it to him. 21 Then he went out to the source of the water, and cast in the salt there, and said, "Thus says the Lord: 'I have healed this water; from it there shall be no more death or barrenness.'" 22 So the water remains healed to this day, according to the word of Elisha which he spoke.
18. 1 Chronicles12:16-18: (Spirit of Affirmation)
16 Then some of the sons of Benjamin and Judah came to David at the stronghold. 17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said to them, "If you have come peaceably to me to help me, my heart will be united with you; but if to betray me to my enemies, since there is no wrong in my hands, may the God of our fathers look and bring judgment." 18 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the captains, and he said:
"We are yours, O David;
We are on your side, O son of Jesse!
Peace, peace to you,
And peace to your helpers!
For your God helps you."
So, David received them, and made them captains of the troop.
Just when an encouraging word is needed, the Spirit supplies it! ("Take no thought what you shall say in that day.") After this, the Spirit gave David the plans for Solomon's Temple (which is the Spirit of Revelation).
Notice: I Chronicles 28:12 is the same as Exodus 31.
19. 2 Chronicles 15:1-9: Asa, the King, and Spirit Encouragement:
2 Chronicles 15:1-9:
Now the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded. 2 And he went out to meet Asa, and said to him: "Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel has been without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law; 4 but when in their trouble they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and sought Him, He was found by them. 5 And in those times, there was no peace to the one who went out, nor to the one who came in, but great turmoil was on all the inhabitants of the lands. 6 So nation was destroyed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every adversity. 7 But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!"
8 And when Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had taken in the mountains of Ephraim; and he restored the altar of the Lord that was before the vestibule of the Lord. 9 Then he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who dwelt with them from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon, for they came over to him in great numbers from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.
20. 2 Chronicles 20:13-19: Jehoshaphat was about to be attacked by Ammonites from Syria with a great army. The king goes to prayer and all the people with him (Spirit answered prayers are always with assurances).
2 Chronicles 20:13-19: Spirit Answered Prayers:
Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the Lord.
14 Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, in the midst of the assembly. 15 And he said, "Listen, all you of Judah and you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you, King Jehoshaphat! Thus, says the Lord to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God's. 16 Tomorrow go down against them. They will surely come up by the Ascent of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the brook before the Wilderness of Jeruel. 17 You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem!' Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you."
18 And Jehoshaphat bowed his head with his face to the ground, and all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem bowed before the Lord, worshiping the Lord. 19 Then the Levites of the children of the Kohathites and of the children of the Kohathites stood up to praise the Lord God of Israel with voices loud and high.
When the Spirit of God comes on a person with a prophetic word, the multitudes can be assured it is a true utterance. Jahaziel's heritage was comprised of trustworthy people. The congregation
could not restrain themselves-they burst out in praise and worship.
Based on the forgoing Scriptures, we can draw some conclusions about the work of the Spirit.
We have seen examples of the following attributes of His Presence. Let us review:
l. Spirit as Creator: in the creation of heavens and earth as well as man.
2. Spirit as sustainer as in the case of Noah and also later in Joseph.
3. Spirit as provider as in case of Moses (artificers in the Tabernacle).
4. Spirit transmission: Moses and the elders (laying on of hands on them and Joshua).
5. Spirit intervention: Balaam.
6. Spirit deliverance: Gideon, Jephthah, Samson.
7. Spirit anointing: Saul and David.
8. Spirit affirmation: David.
9. Spirit transport: Obadiah and Elijah
10.Spirit succession: as in the case of Elisha.
11.Spirit encouragement: Asa, Jehoshaphat.
12.Spirit warring. Jehoshaphat.
Honestly, the ferreting of these Scriptures has been a delight. Please read the verses
and allow the Spirit to be your interpreter.
Until next month,
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
From Chamroeun Mau, President, Shade of Grace Community, Inc:
The Shade of Grace Community Ministry, led by Chamroeun Mau, has ministry outreaches in the country of Cambodia. They have schools, churches, sewing centers, computer tech projects, and a preaching ministry. Mr. Mau travels periodically from his home and business in South Texas to Cambodia.
Here is another good report from Cambodia with Bro. Mau's latest visit (ending in March). Some of the laptops you will see among the students were supplied by Oliver Evangelistic Association and support monies in the form of offerings in the past years. Chamreun was sentenced to death during the North Vietnam invasion, but God spared his life and even though he was hanged - he lived.
Now, he fosters many kinds of ministries as you will see and please add him your prayer list.
Camroeun Mau sent the following two videos which detail some of his ministry in Cambodia:
You may see the first video HERE
You may see the second video HERE
From Christian and Karen Hedegaard - Evangelist Ministries International
Christian and Karen Hedegaard
Evangelist Ministries International
1025 S Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32805
Having met recently with these missionaries to the US from Denmark, it is appropriate to feature their activities and acquaint our readers with their ministry. Below is their latest newsletter.
Dear Friends in Faith,
In this season, my schedule as a traveling evangelist has been put on hold due to the pandemic. Last month I was ministering in Australia, and before this we were in Denmark and Ecuador. We came back to the USA on March 16th as our president recommended social distancing and new rules of engagement. We did not have to self quarantine, but I am thankful that I was able to return home before everything shut down. The world has changed forever. Nothing is the same anymore, schools, entertainment, sports etc. has been shot down, while we are told to stay at home as much as possible, only leaving the house when it's needed. We keep hearing the word "essential". Only essential businesses will be open, like grocery stores, doctors offices, fast food restaurants and … the list is long!
Church Is Essential
So now we are here in Orlando, waiting for the plague to pass by, and in this season the church is essential. People are desperate, laying sleepless at night, turning to drugs and alcohol or even suicide because they are fearful waiting for God's children to be revealed and the good news to be preached. We cannot sit idle, we have a calling on our lives to be servants and witnesses of Christ. Our challenge is to find out what this looks like "in such a time as this", not to act out of fear, but to keep the faith.
At Powerhouse Church we are reaching out to some of the weakest people in society and for them the church is an important daily salvage raft that gives them hope and joy and a Jesus touch when most needed. For them surviving daily in the streets is a much bigger threat than the virus. We follow the daily news of the streets of Orlando, news of murder, rape, broken families, addictions, gang, aids etc. We see people with cancers, open operation wounds, stab wounds. For them the corona is just another thing on the list to fear.
For Such A Time As This
People are telling me to wait. To take care of my self and not risk the life of our members. My question is; Wait for what? Jesus did not wait for anybody, He instructed us to have oil on the lamps, not to dig down our talents and to feed the poor. He touched the lepers and hung around sick people on a daily basis as he was doing his Father's business. "Today is the day of salvation, now is the appointed time" (2 Cor 6.2). That's the Bible and that is the timing. We are here for such a time as this. I do not live by fear, I live by faith, and my faith is being expressed in love. Perfect love drives out all fear. In times of social distancing, it is our time to show people our hearts. While Christians are praying in their homes, looking up end time prophecies on YouTube, their neighbors are sick of isolation and fear. This is the real killer! Who will show them the way to salvation, who will teach them to cry out and pray in times of distress?
What Are The Guidelines
Last month we called the Orlando Police Department to get guidelines in the current lock down. It provoked me that the churches are closed, while the store next door still can sell Coca Cola and snacks. Is church not more essential than Dollar General?, I asked. The lady on the phone gave me a link to the Orange County website, stating that "this Order does not limit religious or funeral services at any location, but all persons leading, performing or attending religious or funeral services are urged to fully comply with all measures advised by the CDC, including limiting gatherings to not more than ten (10) people and practicing social distancing of at least six (6) feet between persons." Essential workers includes workers who support food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, such as those residing in shelters, which also includes the church!
When our city closed down, we opened up a kitchen for our community, so that nobody has to worry about the necessities of life as long as the county is under lock down. We didn't do much advertising, but people helped us spread the word. From the very first night, people came walking, riding on bicycles and driving in cars for a hot meal made with love. It was a great success. We served 55 meals the first night and many more to come. As I am writing this we serve 4-500 a week. This is how we fight our battles. We pray, we worship, we stand on the Word and we feed the poor. We are the church, and in this season we have church, every time two or three are gathered, when we feed the poor from our soup kitchen. We are there for the people, sharing the good news in a time of much sorrow and distress. Serving God and serving people, that is still what we do.
Blessed to Be a Blessing
Today we received pallets of food and drinks for our food bank, reaching out to homeless and low income individuals and families in our community. We have started to distribute food on a daily basis as we drive around in the community knocking peoples doors and handing out provision. Every Sunday and Wednesday we have drive in service in the parking lot downtown Orlando, serving the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is lost. We don't know how long this is gonna last, but we will continue to do as much as we can. Things are growing! We need resources, but we believe God will give us as we continue to give out!
In January I was invited by Heart of Titus to go back to Ecuador ministering to churches in the Amazon area and visiting our mission project among the fishermen at the beach in Esmeraldas. This time we were able to buy fishing nets for the community. We had meetings at the beach, people were saved and baptized and now they want us to come back and start a church!
Karen and I spent a week in Denmark in the month of February. We had three days of revival with approximately 200 people attending. People got saved, healed, delivered and baptized with the Holy Spirit. We also did a few house meetings. One of them was only for Inuit people. It was a powerful night. Everybody we prayed for got healed!
The last week of February we were invited to attend a missions conference in Houston TX. This was our second time there. Great to catch up with many mighty ministers of the gospel from all over the world, including our son Noah who lives in Houston!
For a long time I have known that God wanted me to go to Australia. We were able to go in March and returned to the US on the day everything closed down. Great meetings in Brisbane, Melbourne and Gold Coast. There is a hunger and open hearts for the supernatural. We loved it down under. Great people, great pastors, just great!
We were planning two weeks of meetings in Pennsylvania and Maryland but due to the Corona virus, the meetings were cancelled, so we will be back!
Our annual Powerschool has been postponed since we don't know when people will be able to travel again. New dates for Powerschool 2020 will be September 14th to 19th.
Right now we are working on "The Promise", which is our new home on 12 acres outside Orlando. Many of you are following the progress we are making on Face Book. We have now submitted the building application and will be moving into our camper on the property within the next month!
Thank you for your continuous prayer and support. We need it more than ever in this season. Pray for wisdom to continue the work, as we walk out our calling. You can follow the work and sign up for our blog on our website https://www.powerevangelist.com where we have the option of
online giving as well.
In His Service,
Christian & Karen Hedegaard
Evangelist Ministries International
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