School of the Word, Thursday, June 21

Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Study Guide

Below is the lesson from the School of the Word last night.  If you want to follow along, the study being used is Gifts of the Holy Spirit by Dr. Lester Sumrall.  We covered lessons 3 and 4 last night.

 

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Three Types of Leadership

Three types of leadership:

1) God-appointed: David was a prime example of a God-appointed leader.  Acts 13:22 says: And when he had removed him, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.

When God calls, it does not ensure that there will be no resistance from man.  Consider Jeremiah, who was called from his mother’s womb:

Jeremiah 1:5-8
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  Then said I: “Ah, Lord God!  Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”  But the Lord said to me:  “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.

If God calls, man cannot add anything to it or take anything away from it.  It is not a choice that we make, but God Himself sets the members of the body in place, as it pleases Him (I Corinthians 12:18).  Paul said, “woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (I Corinthians 9:16).  If you don’t have the woe, then do not go.  When God called me into the five-fold ministry, He did not ask my opinion about the matter.  And when after several years in the ministry, I got sidetracked with the corporate world, He did not say that He was done with me.  The gifts and the calling of God are without repentance (Romans 11:29).

At the age of 17, Lester Sumrall was on his deathbed.  The doctor had already written out the death certificate.  In the middle of the night, he awoke and looked to the right of his bed and there was a coffin.  Startled, he looked the other way and there was a giant Bible.  He heard God’s voice say, “you must choose tonight.”  Out of fear, he chose to preach and was miraculously healed.  Early on, Brother Sumrall preached out of fear of dying, but one day God have him a vision of mankind falling off a cliff and dropping into the lake of fire.  From that day forward, he preached out of compassion.  He went on to live in over 100 nations as a missionary apostle, and later became a pioneer in Christian television.

2) Man-appointed: Saul was a man that was man-appointed. He was selected because he was handsome, strong, and a good person: Saul, a choice young man, and goodly; and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people (I Samuel 9:2).

The nation of Israel rejected God as their King so that they could be like other nations.

I Samuel 8:7:
And the LORD said unto Samuel … for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.

Man-appointed leadership is a rejection of God Himself.  A denomination cannot call and appoint a pastor. To do so would be to reject God.  However, a presbytery may confirm and set apart a man to the office of pastor

I Timothy 4:14
Neglect not the gift that is in you, which was given you by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

Paul’s call as an apostle was confirmed in the following ways:

  • It was revealed to Ananias in Acts chapter nine.
  • It was confirmed by the Holy Spirit in the Antioch church (Acts 13:1-4).
  • It was blessed by the five-fold brethren of Antioch.
  • Peter accepted the apostleship of Paul (Galations 2:17-19).

However, there is a great distinction between receiving the confirmation of the brethren, and receiving your calling from man.

3) Self-appointed: Numbers chapter   16   tells the story of Korah’s rebellion. He rose up against the leadership of Moses and incited the people.  Korah was a Levite, but that was not enough for him.

Numbers 16:8-10:
Then Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the Lord, and to stand before the congregation to serve them;  and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? 

Self-appointed leadership sees the ministry as a ladder of success to be climbed. The attainment of titles and positions is the goal. Opportunism is not the path of God!  Many false leaders preyed on the early church for the power of position and authority.  A true leader will never lord it over a congregation.

Self-appointed leadership is rebellion and defiance to God.  Churches must seek the Lord before receiving the ministry of anyone.  I Thessalonians 5:12 says, know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord.

The early church tested those who made the claim of apostleship. In modern Christianity some have taken the title of apostle upon themselves without being tested as an apostle.

Revelation 2:2:
“I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars.

With restoration of early church ministries there should also come restoration to practices such as testing one’s credibility. Unfortunately, little testing or proving is practiced in the modern church. With divine calling comes fruit; even in the early stages there will be a measure of fruit.

The Glorious Church

Acts 2:1-4

The Bible clearly teaches that the times are going to get more evil as the days go by (see II Tim. 3:1-13). However, the Bible also prophesies that the end-time Church will have God’s visible, tangible glory upon it!

Ephesians 5:27
That He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish

There is a great revival coming upon the face of the earth! Great signs and wonders will be done by God’s people.  Jesus hasn’t been spending the last two-thousand years building something that is going to be worse off than when He started.  God has saved His best wine for last! What we read in the Book of Acts will pale in comparison with this mighty outpouring.  God will use all who are available and willing. He will bypass many that are set in their own ways.  Many who were thought to be Generals will turn out to be privates; many who seemed to be privates will be raised up as Generals. Why? Because of obedience to the Commander in Chief.

Joel 2:11
The LORD gives His voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the one who executes His Word.

What will happen with this great revival coinciding with this rapid increase in evil? Supernatural confrontations!  Just as it was in the days of Elijah, when he called down fire from heaven.  As the darkness intensifies upon the world, God’s glory will intensify upon the Church.

Isaiah 60:2
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you.

The promise that Jesus made two-thousand years ago concerning His Church (Matthew 16:18) will be fulfilled in glorious fashion.  In this clash of good and evil that is brewing upon the earth, the Church will prevail!

Matthew 16:18
On this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it!

My Prayer:
O’ God, pour out Your Holy Spirit upon Your people at The River.  Raise us up to do mighty things for Your kingdom in the southeastern Arizona area… and the world.  All you need is obedience… make our hearts pliable in Your hands Master.  May we be sensitive to Your voice and step out in faith at Your command.  We ask forgiveness for the religious sins committed in this area.  Remove the blinders from off of the hearts of those who are in the man-made prisons of religion and falsehood.  Teach our hands to war and bring revival that will be be noised abroad and cause men’s hearts to turn to Jesus.  Bring unity to the Body of Christ in this area and help us to work together as one force for the Kingdom of Light.  When You return Lord Jesus, may we be found doing the Father’s will.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Operation of Angels

Colossians 1:16 speaks of the spirit world in a way that is just as real as the physical world.  It is invisible to us because we have on the veil of the flesh.  Once the veil is removed at death, we enter into that world.  It is just as tangible as the physical realm; it is just on a different plane.  It is in this world that demons have their habitation; it is also where the angels of the Lord do their work.  There are 294 references to angels in the Bible. There are 104 appearances of angels to men recorded in the Scripture.

Remember, there are exactly twice as many angels as there are demons (Revelation 12:4). Elisha told his servant, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (II Kings 6:16). Elisha prayed that the eyes of his servant would be opened to see, and he saw. The mountain was full of the armies of heaven – God’s angelic host (v 17).  Most paintings portray angels as some cute baby with wings, or a harmless female.  This is not the picture the Bible gives us! Angels are mighty in stature and very powerful. One angel once killed 185,000 enemy soldiers in one night (Isaiah 37:36). Daniel 10:13, 20 makes it very clear that angels are in constant battle with the demonic hosts.  Chapter 12 of the book of Revelation reveals the climactic culmination of that ongoing battle:

Revelation 12:7-9 And war broke out in [second] heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in [second] heaven any longer.  So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Until this time of final eviction, there remains a war that rages, and the Saints of God are right in the middle of it. As well as doing warfare on our behalf, angels are also present in our daily life. Hebrews` 1:14 says that angels are “ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation. “ Among their functions and ministry to mankind are:

  • Strengthening in trial (Mark 1:12-13)
  • Protecting those who fear God (Psalm 34:7)
  • Personal Guardians (Matt. 18:10)
  • Deliverers from danger (Acts 5:18-20)
  • Assisting in salvation (Acts 10:1-5 )

I want to show you how every Christian can affect the outcome of these battles taking place in the heavenlies through the power of prayer and the Word.  In Acts chapter 12, Peter had been arrested and thrown into jail. Verse five says, “Peter was kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.” As they prayed, God sent an angel to deliver him.  Peter was miraculously delivered from certain death by the angel of the Lord, in answer to the prayers of the church.

Psalm 103:20 says, “Bless the LORD, you His angels, who excel in strength, who do His word, heeding the voice of His word.”   Angels heed the voice of God’s Word. That is why it is so important to speak the Word and not the problem.  Jesus said to speak the Word to the mountain (Mark 11:23).  Who do you think it is that picks up the mountain and moves it?  The angel of the Lord! As we stand in prayer, speaking the Word of God, we cause angels to “excel in strength.” It is like fuel to their engines!

Psalm 35:4-6 Let those be turned back and brought to confusion who plot my hurt.  Let them be like chaff before the wind, and let the angel of the LORD chase them Let their way be dark and slippery,` and let the angel of the LORD pursue them