No, Virginia, Pentecostals Do Not Swing From Chandeliers

Pastor Bill LeachWow! We had an absolutely amazing service yesterday morning at Calvary Assembly of God! All throughout the service we could feel that the Holy Spirit was moving, and we were all blessed by His presence.

Pastor Bill Leach was our guest speaker, and he used Acts 2 as his text to talk about some of the misconceptions people have about the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the correct biblical perspective of this empowerment for a Christian’s life. I tried to take notes as fast as I could, so below are the thoughts which especially caught my attention. Pastor Leach’s message was entitled “No, Virginia, Pentecostals Do Not Swing From Chandeliers.”

Our Pentecostal experience must be firmly established in the Word of God. Peter made this clear in his Day of Pentecost sermon (Acts 2:16, 25, 30, 34). This experience is not a fad, but we are involved in the eternal plan of God. So it is an important movement for us to be a part of (Acts 2:39).

When Jesus said “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4), He said it in the form of a command. Our Savior commands us to receive this Holy Spirit empowerment.

Luke describes the followers of Jesus as being “all together in one place” (Acts 2:1). In other words they were together together. This is a characteristic of followers of Jesus.

God’s temple is not a house, but people. Just as the fire was to be kept burning in King Solomon’s temple, God’s eternal fire fell on His followers on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:3), symbolizing His abiding presence in Christians.

The whole Godhead continually points to and glorifies the other aspects of the Godhead—“This is My Son in Whom I am well pleased”; “The Holy Spirit will testify about Me; and “I have come to glorify the Father.” When man was created God said, “Let Us make man in Our image—worshiping along side Us and enjoying Us!” The baptism in the Holy Spirit empowers us to do this!

Impossible obstacles must give way to the Spirit-anointed trod of the Spirit-baptized Church.

Pentecostals do not swing from chandeliers, but they have yielded their lives to the Holy Spirit’s empowerment, to be Christ’s witnesses and to display God’s glory throughout His creation.

This coming Sunday (May 24) is Pentecost Sunday, and I will be launching a new series about the Holy Spirit called simply The Counselor. Check back on my blog later this week for more details.

Special Guest: Bill Leach

Pastor Bill LeachI am so excited to welcome back to Calvary Assembly of God our District Superintendent Bill Leach and his wife Marilynn! Pastor Leach will be sharing a message with us this Sunday, May 17, in our 10:30am service.

After 27 years of serving our District as Superintendent, Pastor Leach is retiring at the end of the summer. We will miss his leadership, but on Sunday we will have the privilege of celebrating his faithful service.

Please don’t miss this very special service! 

Links & Quotes

link quote

Some good reading & watching from today…

“Christ calls us to take risks for kingdom purposes. Almost every message of American consumerism says the opposite: Maximize comfort and security—now, not in heaven. Christ does not join that chorus. To every timid saint, wavering on the edge of some dangerous gospel venture, He says, ‘Fear not, you can only be killed’ (Luke 12:4).” —John Piper

“Impotent dreaming will not do. The religious urge that is not followed by a corresponding act of the will in the direction of that urge is a waste of emotion.” —A.W. Tozer

“We dare not eat our seed. It’s our turn to give ourselves in mission. It’s our turn to take the baton and continue the tradition that began 100 years ago and with God’s help participate in the greatest evangelism the world has ever seen.” —Bill Leach

“Here’s what I know: If you don’t do it, it can’t come back to haunt you. That doesn’t just go for taking nude pictures of yourself. It also goes for speaking angry words, buying something you can’t afford, flirting with a married coworker, gossiping about a friend, drinking alcohol, using drugs, or letting a relationship go too far.” —Mark Atteberry

[VIDEO] The hilarious Ken Davis says, “Husbands: Do Not Answer This Question!”

Pastor Dave Barringer tells us to stop trying to be the perfect spouse!

I love this: Special Kneads Bakery creates jobs just for special needs adults.

Great reminders: 14 quotes from Mother Teresa on changing the world.

Believe it or not, there was a time when the US government promoted sexual purity & abstinence.

Good news: the Obama administration is dropping their appeals against some businesses after the Supreme Court ruling on Hobby Lobby’s case.

Love Dance

I sat enthralled yesterday morning at the ministry of Pastor Bill Leach! He opened my eyes to a well known passage in Philippians 2:5-11 as I had never before seen it.

In verse 7 the Scripture says that Jesus emptied Himself. Pastor Leach pointed out that this was not by laying something aside, but by taking on the human form. The Divine One became a doulos (the Greek word which means a bondslave with no rights of his own).

“Jesus is truly Man, but not merely Man.”

Jesus understood that being God is not getting, but giving. By taking on the human form, Jesus was showing us that He identified with us and therefore knew what to give us.

“For God so loved the world that He GAVE His One and Only Son.”

When we love someone, we enter into their orbit. We are focused on them and their desires. In the Trinity each part of the Godhead is orbiting (or dancing) around each other.

In order for us to love God, God had to enter our orbit. We were self-absorbed: we danced only around ourselves. When Jesus took on human form He could enter our orbit—He could dance around us. It’s only then that we could understand how to join the love dance with Him.

Pastor Leach’s message called to my remembrance something I learned from another great pastor, Dave Williams, from 2 Peter 1—

His divine power has given us everything we needfor life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. (v. 3)

This verse sets the stage for what comes next (verses 5-7). The Apostle Peter then tells us to begin to add to our faith and our love dance with God. Add is a compound word which means a lavish dance with no expenses spared!

Because Jesus chose to step into our humanity, He chose to step into our self-centered dance. And now that we have seen Him—the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14)—it’s time to leave our self-centered dance behind and join with a new Dance Partner who loves us like no one else ever has, or ever will!

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