Sunday, May 27, 2012


Jesus had told his disciples to "wait for the promise of the Spirit".  And wait they did, although I'm sure they had no idea how this drama would play out.  Perhaps they were looking for a dove to descend from heaven as happened to their Lord at His baptism in the Jordan.  How would He come?  What would happen?  Would they hear the voice of God say, "I am well please?" So as they were commanded, they waited and prayed And so we read in Acts:

And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they  were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all...For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need.

In the world of physical science. there is a natural law (I think it is Newtonian) that "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."  Action: we split the atom and there is an enormous chain reaction resulting in an awesome and terrifying explosion.  Although the atomic world is not visible to the naked eye and we cannot see the splitting of the atom - we can, in the larger world see, feel and hear the explosion.  We hear the blast and see the gigantic mushroom cloud which follows.  We can, with our instruments, measure the magnitude of the blast and the radiation which is released. So powerful is the explosion that it can only be expressed in Megatons (i.e. millions of tons of TNT better known as dynamite). Observing the explosion from an a-bomb test one can only exclaim "Oh my God!"  From the invisible comes a visible result.

So is it in the realm of the Spirit.  You cannot see the Spirit - as Jesus said, "It is like the wind.  You don't know where it comes from or where it goes." You can see the effect but not the invisible Spirit. 

This same Holy Spirit enters into mere mortal men and women.  When this happens there is a resultant visible explosion of grace, love and praise. Humans are changed in an instant and this new life rushing into the vacuum of their lives begins to express itself (or Himself) through these vessels - these people.  They begin to react to or manifest this new life  by selling homes and giving the money away to the needy - being in one accord - loving each other unconditionally - sharing their possessions - prophesying - and speaking with tongues (to name a few).  These are not "the Spirit" but are simply visual EFFECTS or the REACTION to the coming of the wind of the Spirit.

I find it interesting that our Lord promised, "You shall receive power (dunamis) when (after that) the Holy Spirit has come upon you..."  Power  is translated from the Greek word dunamis.  It is from this word that we derive our English word dynamite. 

From the invisible to the visible.  A divine explosion.

Where we err, is in our natural tendency to turn gracious acts of God into laws, rules, evidences, desired effects or "gifts" to be sought after - coveted.,  We become so enamored with these this divine activity that we soon forget that where there is a reaction there is first a divine action!

Consider the following example.  With the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:), as the Holy Spirit blew in and appeared as tongues of fire upon their heads, the scriptures tell us that they were "filled with the Spirit and began to speak with tongues...".

As a casual observer, I hear the rushing mighty wind. I see the fiery manifestation and I hear these people, now filled with the Holy Spirit, all speaking in strange tongues.  I can connect the dots.  Feel the wind - see the spirit and hear them speaking with tongues!  So I say to myself, the evidence of being filled with the spirit is...speaking with tongues!  Tada!  From now on if someone says, I just was filled with the spirit,  I say, "Wonderful, say something in tongues. then I'll know for sure that you have the spirit."  From all this spiritual activity I deduce a formula which says, "the visible evidence of being filled with the Spirit is the 'speaking with tongues'.

Once again, however, the scriptures upset my apple cart and I read  that the "fruit  of the Spirit is joy, peace, love...".  Oops there goes my theory.  But I'm a smart guy so i say to myself, "Wait a minute." I reason that  "Bearing fruit takes time. It's seasonal.  Brand new trees do not instantly bear fruit!"  So I modify my theory and my  new teaching is repackaged as the doctrine of "initial" evidence in the light of the fact that tongues appear initially and then the "fruit" comes later: in season!  Makes perfect sense!

It is difficult to stay focused on the unseen world: on the realm of the invisible spirit.  Its much easier to focus on the natural (soulish) realm.  It's 'natural" to focus on the physical manifestations of the indwelling spirit.  Sooner or later we begin to manifest, exhibit, or mimic the reaction, manifestation or gift without receiving the spirit. Yep, I hear tongues, they got it!  Instead of re-acting to a divine spiritual encounter - we just resort to acting! 

So here is George's law number 1.  When you receive the Spirit you will  speak with tongues. 

George's law number 2:  If you have the spirit you will sell your property and share with all (especially me) just as the early believers did. 

Or...easier yet...

Instead of seeking to be filled with the Spirit, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, why not demonstrate your spirituality by selling some stuff at a Christian garage sale and then give it away! 

Or...option 2...

If you don't want to do that then try speaking in tongues. You can do it!  Here. O'll help you.  Just open your mouth and begin talking like a baby. I'll help you!  Then try this. Say, lalalalala..dadadadada....bababababa (like a little lamb)... That's good keep it up.  See, there you've got it!  Welcome to the club. See, that's the Spirit.  Can you say Hallelujah?!

Now, finally, here's my two cents worth (after my long rant). Seek 'the promised gift of the Holy Spirit.  Seek to receive the life of God.  Don't seek after some gift or someone else's "experience".  But DO seek to be filled with His Spirit and when He comes we'll see what He  does! I  can almost guarantee that whatever it is,  it will be bombastic.  Don't seek the reaction or manifestation...just seek Him.   After all:

"If I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not love I am nothing.  If you sell everything - EVERYTHING and give to the poor but I have not Agape (love) my profit is a big fat ZERO!"

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