BLOGS

 
 
PART TWO – UNDERSTANDING THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Presented by Marlene Anne Morphew Ministries/Rusty A Lang as part of a full Discipleship Course.
 
The believer is a “temple”, the resident being God, the Holy Spirit.
Man, in his original constitution, was a glorious temple.
Two facts prove this:
(a) firstly, he was created in God’s image (Gen 1:26), and 
(b) secondly God dwelt in him (see optional handout below). 
 
  At the time of creation man was holy, without sin. 
 When sin came, mankind lost his original resemblance to God and his mind became
“at enmity with God” (Rom 8:7).
 
 Then man dethroned God from His temple and in effect seeking to be a god to himself. Having cast God out, he moved in a circle of which he himself was the centre – all he did was from self and for self.
 
 The temple, now empty of God, was open to other ‘gods’. To be cleansed and fit for God to dwell there again, it needed to be cleansed, and renewed (renovated) – mankind needed to be renewed, regenerated (new start) - “born again.”
 
It was God’s eternal purpose to restore this temple. Satan had spoiled His handiwork, sin had marred man’s image, but God, motivated by His love for His creation, planned restoration. Man’s destruction was his own, but his recovery would be God’s. The price of pardon was Jesus’ own life and blood.
                  
Heb. 2:14-15 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil,  and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
 
 The next step in the accomplishment of restoration was the resurrection of Christ.
God made the way for the permanent indwelling of the Spirit in the believer through the obedience, death and resurrection of Christ.
 
 Thus God made the way for the permanent indwelling of the Spirit in the believer. Through the incarnation (deity nature), obedience, death and resurrection of Christ a way was opened by which God could again dwell with man.
He could resume His abode in the very temple man had destroyed. 
  
1 Peter 4:5 “as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house”
Romans 8:9 “But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you”
Romans 8;11 “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you …”
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Know you not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”
2 Corinthians 6:16 “And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them …”
Ephesians 2:22 “In whom you also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
 
The Holy Spirit enters a soul at regeneration, and dwells in the believer as a manifestation of divine glory. Solomon’s temple was of earthly splendour, but the Holy Spirit dwells within the heart of man in “not in temples made with hands” (Mark 14:58).
 
As a temple of the Holy Spirit, we need to keep ourselves holy. We are not our own, but were bought at a price. We need to separate from the evil that is in the world.
2 Corinthians 6:16 
“And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be My people."’
 
The importance of the abiding, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the believer, cannot be overestimated.
Posted by Rusty A Lang 23-4-18
For permission to copy contact Rusty 
 
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Part One - WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?
Presented by Marlene Anne Morphew Ministries/Rusty A Lang.
Edited/adapted from a one year full time Discipleship Course
 
The Holy Spirit is a member of the Godhead, who enters and resides within the believer at salvation. He plays an integral part in man’s salvation, redemption, and sanctification, but more than that He is a special person in His own right. To spend time learning to know the Holy Spirit is one of the most beneficial things any believer can do to enrich his/her life.

o He is God. 
o He has the attributes of God 
o He is eternal, all knowing, all powerful, and all present. 
o God is ONE God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit in essence but each have different functions.
 
When Jesus ascended into heaven, His physical presence left the earth, but He promised to send the Holy Spirit, so that His spiritual presence would still be among mankind (Lk 24:49).

The Holy Spirit presence in the OT – the Holy Spirit empowered specific individuals for specific purposes

The Holy Spirit presence in the NT - the Holy Spirit first became available to all believers at Pentecost (Acts 2) so that now all believers have the power of the Holy Spirit available to them.
1. The effect the Holy Spirit has on believer’s lives)
This is a reverent, holy relationship, not one of over familiarity. God is to be feared, reverenced and honoured. God is loving and friendly, but He is still God. The Holy Spirit has a unique relationship in the Godhead. He does not draw attention to Himself, but serves and reveals the Christ, as Christ did the faith. He is holy.
Believers live under grace (the power to do what we cannot do on our own) and are justified from their sin in Christ, but wilful sin and disobedience affects the relationship. The nature of the relationship can best be described by the fruit of the Spirit (See Stage 4). We must learn to be Christlike and so Spirit-like.
2. The Personality (identity, distinctive personal characteristics) of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit has all the attributes of personality: 
• Intellect (1Cor 2:1-10-11; Eph. 1:17)
• Emotions (Eph. 4:30)
• A will (1 Cor. 12:11)
• He teaches (Jn. 14:25)
• Witnesses (Jn. 15:26)
• Guides (Rom 8:14)
• Convinces (Jn. 16:7-8) and
• Restrains (Gen 6:3). 
• He commands and directs mankind (Acts 8:29; 13:2,13:4)
• Intercedes (Rom 8:26) 
• Can be obeyed (Acts 10:19-21a).
• Can be lied to (Acts 5:3)
• Can be resisted (Acts 7:51)
• Can be grieved (Eph. 4:30) and 
• Can be blasphemed (Matt 12:31).
Within these human attributes the Holy Spirit can also relate to people (Acts 15:28), as He also relates to the Godhead (Jn 16:4, Matt 28:19, Lk 4:14).
3. Ministry Implications
The Holy Spirit is often considered by His acts, and therefore made impersonal, but the believer can enter into a relationship with Him. He is our friend. 
 
Personal review questions –
Q Do I treat Him as a person in my thoughts?
Q Do I regard Him as being loving, wise and strong; as worthy of my confidence, love and surrender?
Q Do I know the communion of fellowship with Him?
 Posted by Rusty A Lang 19/4/18
For permission to copy or enquiries about the full resource contact Rusty
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SUSPENDED written by Rusty A Lang
Used by permission Christian Devotions published 13th April 2018
 ‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’
(Hebrews 11:1).
We all held our breath.  The flames were almost on him. 
Just as the raging bush fire rose up behind him, the man leapt from the rock. He reached forward to the other side of the river.  For a while he seemed suspended in mid-air. 
We all breathed a sigh of relief when the man landed on the other river bank. We knew it was a movie but the scene was so real. His elation was evident as he moved forward with zeal and purpose out of harm’s way of the heat and flames.
The apostle Paul was suspended twice during his missionary journeys. Once for eighteen months in Ephesus and then three years in Corinth. Both times the Lord changed Paul's strategy for making disciples. By suspending Paul, the gospel spread throughout the known world by those Paul trained.
Esther was suspended between leaving her people and becoming queen. During this time of preparation, God was changing circumstances to make the way for her.
Jesus was suspended between earth and heaven after his crucifixion.   During this time he rose from the dead and appeared before many, confirming Him to be the only living God.
In all these biblical examples and others, God worked,  His purposes went forward, and He accomplished His will.
We all go through seasons when we take leaps of faith. We feel suspended awhile before we land safely into the next adventure with God.  Time and life pass by. We know we are going forward and that God is with us, but we feel suspended- that we are not going anywhere.
We will reach the other side and land safely. For God is with us and is working behind the scenes to prepare the new way for us.
Faith in Jesus will see you safe to the other side.
                                          Posted by Rusty A. Lang on 13-4-18
For permission to copy contact Rusty
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COURAGE TO OBEY THE LORD 
written by Rusty A. Lang
Published as a devotion by DARLENE FRANKLIN on 9th April 2018
 
There is a perception of Christianity on some people’s radar of a sanitised person wrapped in perfect obedience. I carried this false image for many years and found I was failing miserably to measure up to my own expectations. 
Then came the time I knew I was to write my life story and publish it. The courage to write was no problem. For I knew the writing exercise was not therapeutic but confirming what God had done in my life. But the fear of people surrounding publishing and then marketing became a huge hurdle.  
Why was I so apprehensive? 
• The transparent writing style left no stone unturned.
• It exposed areas of my life I would preferred to keep hidden. 
• It opened up issues with family members that would be difficult to face.
• It obliterated anyone’s false perception of my now sanitised persona. 
The Lord came to my rescue as I chose to obey him. He showed me any future ministry he led me to, Satan or the world in general could not point any finger concerning my past. For no man can judge what God has forgiven.
There is a passage in 2 Chronicles where the Spirit of the Lord speaks to the Israelites saying, …’if you seek Him, He will let you find Him, but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you.’  
As the Israelites began to seek the Lord and find Him He responds to Asa, the King, ‘But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.’
The king obeyed the words of the Lord, by removing all the abominable idols from the land of Judah and Benjamin. Sometimes it requires courage to obey the Lord. 
What is God asking you to do that is difficult?
 Posted by Rusty A Lang 10-4-18
For permission to copy contact Rusty
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LISTEN AND LEARN 
(Marlene Anne Morphew Ministries/Rusty A Lang)
              In 2014 I went through a time of being falsely accused. The instigators of this divisional exercise took their complaints to oversight who believed everything said. I still shake my head if I think of the lies and false experiences mentioned. The main instigator elicited her boyfriend and he simply repeated everything she said though he also was not present at any of the so called infractions.
How did I deal with it?

              I remembered Jesus, ‘And while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously’ (1 Peter 2:23).

              I gave up my role but I gained favour and strength through the experience.

The whole episode backfired in a way. I had been asking to be relieved of this position (overseeing an Annexe Church) for the Lord had raised up leaders to take over and I was being called to my next assignment, though I did not know what it was at the time. Oversight did not want me to leave as I was carrying all the responsibility for the Annexe and change was not welcome. 

Persecution is coming to true believers

               As we draw close to a time of year we remember Jesus crucifixion I was reading about his trial in Matthew 27. Jesus first comes before Pilate, the governor of the day. 

‘And while accused by the chief priests and elders, He did not answer’(v12). Then Pilate asked Jesus ‘Do you not hear how many things they testify against You?’ And Jesus again did not answer Pilate with regard to even a single charge (v13-14). Later the Word tells us it was because of jealousy/envy the religious leaders had handed Jesus over for trial and crucifixion. (v18).

               Many of us also will be persecuted and falsely accused. Learn from these verses. Know it is for envy your accusers speak. Do not try to justify yourselves. Jesus didn’t and nor did I. If I can remain silent so can you for we share in the sufferings of Christ Jesus. 

               Do not fall away because your roots are shallow (Mark 4:17) for the Word says if they persecuted Jesus they will persecute believers (John 15:20)

Be warned, LISTEN AND LEARN.

 Posted by Rusty A Lang 28-3-18

For permission to copy contact Rusty
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 RIDICULOUS PHRASE?

by Guest blogger Troy Nipperess

 

One of the most ridiculous phrases I've heard within church circles is this; 'Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary use words.'
This whole statement is built around the premise that our actions should speak louder than our words, but if our actions are all anyone ever 'hears', we're not preaching Christ at all, we're simply preaching ourselves through our actions.
Of course we are to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel(Philippians 1:27), letting our light shine before people(Matthew 5:14-16), and letting our good deeds be seen by all(1 Peter 2:12),but living right, letting our light shine and doing good deeds is not the same as actually preaching the Gospel.
Yes, doing such things will authenticate what we speak when it comes to the Gospel, because no-one will ever listen to a hypocrite, but if Christ isn't being preached, how then can anyone ever be saved?(Romans 10:11-14).
It doesn't matter how good or kind or loving we are because nothing of ourselves has the power to bring men to repentence... only the Gospel of Christ does through the drawing and power of the Father(John 6:44).
But even though the Father draws those who are being saved, the Gospel must still be preached, because everyone deserves the chance to either respond to it or reject it.
Scripture says the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those being saved it is the power of God that brings about our salvation((1 Corinthians 1:18).
Nothing of us but all of Christ through us.
If we continue to preach ourselves instead of the Gospel, people will be drawn to us instead of the Christ in us, and if this is the case, they will more than likely not go on in Him.
We want people to commit to Christ through faith, and the only way this can happen is if He is the only reason they come to faith in the first place.
1 Corinthians 15: 3 says, 'For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.'
What was the thing of most importance passed on by Paul?
The spoken Gospel.
Nothing about preaching the Gospel through the 'victorious christian lifestyle' here.
In fact, to a certain extent it was all talk and no action from Paul when it came to him preaching the Gospel, as it was with all the Apostles.
The only actions they relied upon were the acts performed through them by the power of the Holy Spirit in the form of signs, wonders and miracles. The very thing Scripture says is a sign of a true Apostle(2 Corinthians 12:12).
They didn't look to 'live the gospel', they just preached it.
Their lives became a testimony to all they met as to what God had done in them, saving them not only from sin but from every dead, lifeless religion known to man.
Were they persecuted for preaching the Gospel and living how God wanted them to live?
Absolutely.
As Paul said, "Everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."(2 Timothy 3:12).
But is this something to be afraid of?
No, because God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
A power not of ourselves but of His Spirit, a love not of ourselves because human love can indeed grow timid, and a self-discipline which trains us to walk the godly life God expects of us, while never making the Gospel a lifestyle instead of a declaration.
Of course we are to love our neighbour and be kind and compassionate, but if Christ is not being made known through this, how can they be saved?
 Posted by Rusty A Land on 27-3-18
For permission to copy contact Rusty
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Nip on the Ankles by Rusty A Lang
Used by permission - Published by Christian Devotion Ministry on 21st March 2018

 ‘But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you will be My people, and you will walk in all the way which I command you, that it may be well with you’ (Jeremiah 7:23 NASB).

The stubborn cow would not budge. She refused to move through the race when prodded. We finally sent in the trained cattle dog who nipped her ankles just enough to jolt her out of her fear.

The cattle were yarded the previous day for drafting. It was time to wean last year’s calves and separate the steers for fattening. The draft race was narrow. One person stood on the rails at the drafting gate. As the owner did the selection and cattle moved through, the gate swung either left or right. The breeding cows went straight through. 

Once the holding yards on both sides filled, the cattle moved into larger yards. Finally being droved to their designated paddocks. Later in the year another draft would select those steers fattened for market.
 
Working with cattle reflect the seasons in our lives. We each have a purpose. Sometimes we are reluctant to move onto our next stage in life. Fresh freedom in God often awaits us but we hesitate.
  
It may need leaving the safety of what we have known. This could be parents, a location, a church family, a ministry or a job. We may need to build new relationships; new alignments for new assignments.  Just as calves wean from their mother’s milk and security, we too must be willing to obey God’s voice and move forward. 

Father God may cause a nip in our ankles by removing a crutch to prod us into our next phase. He does not want us to get stuck in our fear. He wants us to go forward. Jeremiah 7:23-24 reveals if we obey God’s voice things will go well with us. Yet if we do not obey and walk in our own way, we will go backwards.
Choose this day to go forward accepting the direction God’s Holy Spirit is leading.

Posted by Rusty A Lang 23-3-18
For permission to copy contact Rusty

 

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WHO is JESUS CHRIST?
presented by Marlene Anne Morphew Ministries/Rusty A. Lang
PART FOUR  – THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
• Christ predicted His resurrection on several occasions (Matt. 16:21; 17:22-  
   23; 20:19; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; Luke 9:22; 18:33). All the gospels stress 
   the physical resurrection of Christ (Matt. 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20).
NOTE TO READER – Take time to read a scripture reference from each of the witness accounts and ask yourself why it would be important to help people who do not believe in the resurrection of Christ accept the reality that he did rise from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. 
• There were numerous witnesses of His resurrection:
 Mary Magdalene and the other women (Mark 16:2-8; John 20:1); Peter and John (John 20:2-10);  Mary Magdalene (John 20:11-18); the other women (Matt. 28:9-10) 
 Two disciples travelling to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-32)
 The ten disciples gathered in the Upper Room (John 20:19-25)
 The eleven disciples gathered a week later (John 20:26- 31)
 The disciples fishing at Galilee (John 21:1-25)
 The  eleven in Galilee (Matt. 28:16-20)
 The disciples in Jerusalem (Luke 24:44- 49).
• John describes the face cloth still “rolled up” (John 20:7), retaining the
   circular shape as though the head were still in it but lying “in a place by
   itself.” It is detached from the rest of the wrappings, but the shape of the
   headpiece and the wrappings tell John what has happened. The body of the
   Lord Jesus Christ has passed through the wrappings—He is risen.
• The resurrection of Christ is the single most important event that confirms 
  His person and work. It is the one doctrine we must believe to be saved
  (Rom 10:9).
SUGGESTED REVIEW QUESTIONS for interaction or small group discussion.
In Part One and Two  we looked at six works of Christ. 
What are they?
What does each of them mean?
We also looked at the titles of Christ which declare His work. 
What does Lordship mean?
What does Christ mean?
What does Jesus mean?
What does Saviour mean?
 
In Part Three we looked at the Deity of Christ.
What does deity mean?
What are the six attributes mentioned?
What does eternal mean?
What does omnipresent mean?
What does omniscient mean?
What does omnipotent mean?
What does immutable mean? 
What does Life mean?
 
In Part Four we looked at the resurrection of Christ.
Of the seven appearances mentioned, which one means the most to you. 
 
What does Romans 10:9 declare?
 
 Posted by Rusty A Lang on 21-3-18
For permission to copy contact Rusty
 
 

Latest previous blogs:

Series Parts 1-4 Who is Jesus? (Marlene Anne Morphew Ministries/Rusty A Lang)

Series Part 1-4: Who is God? (Marlene Anne Morphew Ministries/Rusty A Lang)

Check Point by Rust A. Lang - A Devotion published by Christian Devotions .org
Brokenness Before the Lord by guest blogger Troy Nipperess
Series Part 1-6: The Anointing (Marlene Anne Morphew Ministries/Rusty A. Lang)
Issues: Words have power by Rusty A. Lang
Economic Empowerment by Rusty A. Lang