Text: Acts 15: 36- 16:5 (King James Version)
"Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."
The Fields are white and the laborers are
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"
1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
1 Corinthians 12:2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
1 Corinthians 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
1 Corinthians 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
1 Corinthians 12:7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1 Corinthians 12:8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1 Corinthians 12:9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1 Corinthians 12:10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1 Corinthians 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
1 Corinthians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
1 Corinthians 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.
1 Corinthians 12:14 For the body is not one member, but many.
1 Corinthians 12:15 If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1 Corinthians 12:16 And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1 Corinthians 12:17 If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
1 Corinthians 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1 Corinthians 12:19 And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1 Corinthians 12:20 But now are they many members, yet but one body.
Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.
Father, Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN
God does not call the qualified . " He equips the Called"
Three Demons that still Attack the Church,
I The Spirit of Religion ' Rev 2:4-5, 7 (NASB)But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.5 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent. 7 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.'
A This church left their "first love" (not lost)
1 Doctrinally sound, theology solid...everything in order.
a But they lost their passion, passion for what? " HARVEST" Seeing Souls saved by the power of God.
"They left, walked away from their First love"? as recorded in Acts 19
Baptizing people, laying hands & people filled with the Holy Spirit, magnifying God by speaking in tongues. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. Acts 19:6 (NASB)
Casting out demons, healing people with prayer cloths, and their very shadows..
2The problem wasn't they were not a Hard-working church, they were indeed busy...but the thrill was gone! The passion was gone. And alas the power was gone.
a Religion had taken over with its dull duty & tired traditionalism.
b The power of God was missing; demons were no longer fleeing, tongues absent, miracles were a memory.
A loveless routine had replaced the power/ passion of the Holy Spirit.
The spirit of religion had settled over the church.
Can any deny the present reality of the destructive power of the demon of religion in the modern church?
1 Nothing any sadder than seeing a church grown cold after revival fires have burned out.
a Like Sampson with his hair cut by Delilah's shears of religion.
b Blind to the things of the Spirit, go through the motions/traditions without power.
2 This demon must be exposed & expelled.
II The Spirit of Intimidation 'Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.11 'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.' Rev 2:10-11 (NASB)
A Most people do not set out to be disliked or disowned (want to be liked, accepted).
1 Smyrna endured persecution, members died as martyrs.
a Satan sent intimidation, fear of "what if" among the congregation.
b Peter warmed himself by the fire on the night of Jesus' betrayal.
Remember what drove him over the edge?
The voice of a little servant girl.
2 Big Peter finds himself hiding in fear that night.
B Today, the church is silent, cowed down before the world/ governments. This demon must be cast out.
III The Spirit of Compromise And to the angel of the church in Pergamum write: The One who has the sharp two-edged sword says this: 14 'But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.15 'So you also have some who in the same way hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans.16 'Therefore repent; or else I am coming to you quickly, and I will make war against them with the sword of My mouth.17 'He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.' Rev 2:12, 14-17 (NASB)
A Pergumos (60 miles north of Smyrna) was a learning & cultural center.
1 Library had over 200,000 volumes (2nd only to Alexandria).
a Had temples to many deities (Greek outpost)
b Main god was "Asklepion", who was symbolized by a snake.
aa They believed that their god incarnated into area snakes, so snakes slithered freely around the temple.
bb Those who wanted healing would spend the night in the darkness of the temple, hoping a snake would crawl over them.
2 This was the city in which the church operated, ministered in.
a Had a hard time keeping the snakes from slithering in.
b Church today is similar: snakes of humanism, secularism come in...compromise sets in.
B The church must take active steps to stand strong!
1 Recognize the conflict
a Jesus didn't tell them to go somewhere else, to an easier people group with promising receptivity.
b You are in a rough spot!
c Operate under the banner of Christ
aa Never in our flesh, strength
bb The moment we do, we find the enemy finds our weakness.
2 Repent of compromise
a There was a serious doctrinal problem at Pergamos. Nicholas taught heresy, got others to follow him.
aa How sad when a church leader takes others with him/her.
b Discipline problem: ignored someone's sin, let it go.
c Spirit of Balaam (Balak brought Balaam's ministry)-money becomes the bottom line, goal.
aa Popular preaching replaced prophetic words
bb Image replaced annointing
cc Dulled our sword
3 Must rely on Christ-the Word is powerful. ...for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. 2 Cor 10:4 (NASB) Satan can be defeated by the power of the Word.
4 Overcomers are promised gifts.
a Eat hidden manna, not food offered to idols.
b The blessing of Jesus Himself.
aa Set among them a white stone
bb Acquittal, acceptance, acclaim
cc The new name? Jesus! New Creatures in Christ Jesus! But we must start dealing with these demons that are infiltrating our churches. That's why the Apostle Paul admonishes us in.
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
Ephesians 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Ephesians 4:5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Ephesians 4:6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Ephesians 4:7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Ephesians 4:9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
Ephesians 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
When we do that we also have the promise of this scripture!
Many are called and few is chosen!
Mark 6:7 And he called unto him the twelve, and began to send them forth by two and two; and gave them power over unclean spirits;
Mark 6:8 And commanded them that they should take nothing for their journey, save a staff only; no scrip, no bread, no money in their purse:
Mark 6:9 But be shod with sandals; and not put on two coats.
Mark 6:10 And he said unto them, In what place soever ye enter into an house, there abide till ye depart from that place.
Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
Mark 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.
Mark 6:13 And they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.
Acts 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
Acts 1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Acts 2:1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 2:2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
Acts 2:3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
Acts 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.