Don't Be a Squencher

How Not to Quench the Devoted Spirit - Pentecost

To keep the Set-apart Spirit flowing in your life, you must take as much as you can as often as you can. Pentecost is a reminder to us of the free flowing gifts Yahweh Elohim offers to empower our lives for His service. Take as much as you can.

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Pentecost - Acts 2:1-4

Opener

TAKE AS MUCH AS YOU CAN: A city boy moved to the farm and bought a milk cow. Before long, the cow went dry. When he told the farmer next door, he was surprised. "I can't understand it," the city boy complained, "I was considerate of that cow's feelings. If I didn't need any milk, I didn't milk her. If I only needed a quart, I only took a quart." The farmer tried to explain to the city boy that the only way to keep milk flowing is to take as much as possible.

Likewise, to keep the Devoted Spirit flowing in your life, you must take as much as you can as often as you can. Pentecost is a reminder to us of the free flowing gifts Yahweh Elohim offers to empower our lives for His service. Take as much as you can.

Invocation

O Devoted Spirit, by whose breath
Life rises vibrant out of death:
Come to create, renew, inspire;
Come, kindle in our hearts your fire.

Pentecost

Pentecost, or "50 days" after Passover is the feast of Yahweh celebrating the giving of the law.  believers believe that Yahshua fulfilled the Old Covenant law and the New Covenant spelled the end of the old.  This idea is called supersession.  Is supersession a valid teaching?  If so, what makes it so?

Pentecost thus came to be known as the "birthday of the church," since it was on Pentecost that the Devoted Spirit fell on those who were at prayer, empowering them for witness.

Acts 2:1-4 (NRSV) {1} When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. {2} And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. {3} Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. {4} All of them were filled with the Devoted Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

This tremendous outpouring of power was the means Messiah employed to win the world in 300 years. It was considered the fulfillment of the prophecy of John the Baptist.

The Baptism with the 'Holy' Spirit and John the Baptist

John the Baptist was the forerunner and herald of Yahshua Messiah . He called the multitudes to repentance. When the crowd asked John if he was the Messiah,

John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Devoted Spirit and with fire." (Luke 3:16)

John was a powerful prophet. He prophesied that Yahshua was more powerful, and would baptize us with the Devoted Spirit and fire. The subject of the Spirit baptism is usually avoided by Methodist preachers. The experience usually avoided by Methodist congregations. Why? Because Spirit Baptism is a supernatural event. In this age of science, supernatural is synonymous with superstitious. If a preacher preaches this baptism, or if a person in the church receives it, he or she is often labeled as 'fanatic' or a 'nutcase.' But if Yahshua was resurrected purposefully for to baptize with the Devoted Spirit, then it seems we must determine why we don't condone it, seek it, or even acknowledge its validity.

2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity
By Eddie L. Hyatt / Strang Communications

Overwhelming evidence reveals contemporary Christianity roots in Pentecost! The world is taking notice and realizing that the fastest-growing segment in Christianity has an undeniable history with a pattern and a rich, deep foundation dating back to the New Testament. Explore overwhelming evidence that reveals how the gifts of the Holy Spirit not only have existed in the centuries since the early apostles, but have also survived the Middle Ages, the politicized church of Europe, and have experienced a spectacular revival this century. 2000 Years of Charismatic Christianity offers convincing evidence that the modern Pentecostal and Charismatic movements are rooted in the two-thousand-year history of the church. Those who identify with these movements will be affirmed in the experience of the Holy Spirit and will gain a new respect and appreciation for the movement of which they are a part. Those outside the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements will also benefit by reading this volume in that they will gain an understanding of this movement that Harvard professor Dr. Harvey Cox says is "reshaping religion in the 21st century."

Messianic Judaism: The First Study of Messianic Judaism by a Non-Adherent
By Dan Cohn-Sherbok / Continuum International

Who are the Messianic Jews? What do they believe and practice? What is the Jewish community's reaction to Messianic Judaism? In this pioneering study, Dan Cohn-Sherbok traces the development of the Messianic movement from ancient time to its transformation after World War II. Focusing on the nature of Messianic Judaism today, the volume continues with a detailed examination of Messianic practices, including the celebration of the Sabbath, Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot, festivals of joy, and life cycle events. The book then goes on to consider the place of Messianic Judaism within the contemporary Jewish community. Messianic Jews contend that they are fulfilled as Jews and that Messianic Judaism is a legitimate interpretation of the Jewish faith; its critics, however, argue that Messianic Jews and dangerous and deceptive. In the final section the author confronts this contentious issue and outlines three alternative models for understanding the relationship between Messianic Judaism and the modern Jewish world
A Baptist Among the Jews
By Mary Blye Howe / John Wiley & Sons

Many christians - from Evangelical to mainline Protestant - are struggling to understand the Jewish roots of their faith. A Baptist Among Jews tells the powerful, highly personal story of one woman's journey to reclaim those roots. Like most Christians, Mary Blye Howe was uninformed about Jewish ritual and tradition. To satisfy her curiosity she joined a Jewish study group held in the home of a Hasidic rabbi. A Baptist Among the Jews is Howe's first-person account of her eye opening experience of studying with that welcoming group and how this experience led her to a deeper, richer relationship with her God. While learning about the traditions of Judaism and studying the Torah, Howe discovered a new world of worship and ritual that expanded her experience to include several different Jewish groups, among them Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox. She reveled in the joys of arguing with God (even though God always wins), synagogue-hopping on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, and dancing with a sefer Torah through the streets of Dallas. Page after page we join Howe on her religious quest and discover how her once narrow concept of God has expanded with her ability to read the scriptures and understand this new faith. Howe's profound and transforming experieces helped her develop a new sense of worship - one that eschews spectatorship in favor of participation.

 

Some say, "I was baptized in the Devoted Spirit and fire when I became a believer." If you believe this then I say to you, "Does your life reflect the passion and fire of the Devoted Spirit?" "Are you working in the gifts of the Spirit daily?" "Are you living in spiritual victory despite the enemy's attacks?" "Do folks know you 'got it' when they see you?" "Are you 'on fire?'"

If you answer "Yes" to these, then I rejoice with you -- you do exhibit evidence of Spirit Baptism. But if you don't have the evidence, then you certainly don't have the Baptism. But if you're to fulfill your personal mission and experience your personal Pentecost, then you must be justified, sanctified, and Spirit-filled. No less will do.

Let's prepare to receive by acknowledging the Devoted Spirit in prayer:

O Devoted Spirit,
You are the seeker's sure resource,
of burning love and living source,
Protector in the midst of strife,
The Source and Sovereign of Life.

The Baptism with the 'Holy' Spirit and the Risen Yahshua

In Acts 1:4-5,8 the risen Yahshua reclines at the table with his disciples, and

{4} ... Yahshua gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. {5} For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Devoted Spirit. {8} But you will receive power when the Devoted Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses ...."

Here, Yahshua distinguishes Spirit Baptism from water baptism and he promises that his disciples would receive Spirit Baptism in a few days. So we learn

(1) Spirit Baptism doesn't happen when one is born again.

(2) Spirit Baptism is not the same as water baptism.

Thus we may be saved and baptized in water, yet still not have experienced the Spirit Baptism. Yet we learn

(3) Spirit Baptism is a gift from the Father in Heaven

(4) that empowers word and deed for the sake of evangelism

We need not wonder what holds us back from living a fulfilled and "perfect" believer life - we lack the POWER when we lack Spirit Baptism. Finally, we learn

(5) that Spirit Baptism is not something that just happens to us somehow and we don't know it happened.

Just like in Bible times, the Devoted Spirit may "come upon us" and baptize us supernaturally, changing fear to boldness in Yahweh's authority. And when He comes, He instills an evidence that remains in us forever. We know He's real.

Let's pray a petition to the Devoted Spirit in hope that he will enlighten and engift us.

O Devoted Spirit,
In you Yahweh's energy is shown,
To us your varied gifts made known.
Yours is the tongue and yours the ear.
Teach us to speak, teach us to hear.

It Happened on Pentecost

A few days after Yahshua told his disciples to wait for the promised Spirit Baptism, they all came together in a second story apartment in Jerusalem to watch and pray. (Like Friday's prayer vigil.) The King James Version says that they were all "in one accord," that is, they were single-minded in prayer.

Who was in this 'upper room'? Acts 1:6-7 tells us that the disciples were there along with all the women, and his mother was there, and his blood kin - and they were "constantly in prayer" for this promised baptism. (Now dramatically:) They heard the sound of the Spirit-wind; they saw the glory of the Spirit-fire. Then everyone in the room - men, women, and children - each was noisily and gloriously baptized with the Devoted Spirit. And they all began to praise Yahweh Elohim in languages they had never learned.

We don't have to know the psychological implications for speaking in tongues or the various uses of the tongues. All you need to know is that diverse tongues is Yah's way whether it's our way or not. So for the time being, let's remember that all in the upper room were baptized with the Devoted Spirit and all spoke in tongues, without exception. If the supernatural was for them then, then it's for us now.

Whatever Yahweh Elohim has for me, I want -- don't you? Let's ask the Father to send his Spirit upon us.

Breathe on us, Devoted Spirit -
Pour out Shekinah.
Baptize us with power -
Manifest your presence with cleansing fire.
We have been a scattered people. Gather us into your one-ness.
Send a mighty wind and bursts of flame.
Let us hear and see and feel.
And let us speak with new tongues the language of our heavenly home.

It Happens Now

In the first month of 1993, I was appointed a Wesley Class leader for a world congress of Methodists in Manchester, England. There were 120 delegates there from all over the world representing 20 million Methodists. There were many different cultures and races represented.

On the very last morning of the congress, we were all together in a great auditorium for worship. A Welsh pastor testified that he had been baptized with the Spirit and spoke in a language he had never learned, just like in the Bible. He begged the crowd to open themselves to Yahweh's will. Then he began to lead in a form of worship that took many of the old stoics by surprise -- for it was free worship and it was spiritual worship.

Methodists began to raise their hands in praise. The Spirit of Yahweh Elohim moved over the crowd, and some got excited. Then some began to speak in languages they had never learned. As praise from a hundred mouths filled the room, out of no where we heard the mighty blast of the rushing wind overhead. Everyone in the room remembered Acts 2 - Yahweh was moving in our midst. The sound and feel and worship and praise and prayer was just like a new Pentecost. The praise became charged with spiritual fire flying everywhere - a fitting climax to two weeks of seeking.

What about the sound of the wind experienced there in Manchester England in 1993? As it turned out, several RAF jet fighters chose just that moment to make a low pass over the auditorium. We experienced a "sonic boom." Father called in the Royal Air Force just for our own taste of Pentecost! Now isn't that just like a loving Mighty One to provide the sound effects? And Yahweh will provide for you when you are ready to receive from Him.

Don't Squench, But Receive!

It's critical to realize that Yahweh wants something new for us -- a new Baptism in Power. If we are to have it, we must wait and watch expectantly for His arrival, and we must be in one accord -- nobody may be contrary. To be against the move of the Devoted Spirit is the unpardonable sin. The Apostle Paul, who wrote the book on spirituality, commands us "not to quench the Spirit."

Vance Havner's friend coined a new word by combining 'squelch' and 'quench.' He used to say, "Don't 'squench' the Spirit." He once preached that,

We 'squench' the Spirit in more ways than we suspect. We do so when we stifle the desire to speak or act for the Master. When we criticize or discourage others by an unspiritual attitude, we 'throw cold water' on their inner fire. The Devoted Spirit can be squenched very easily. A frivolous attitude, a rebellious frame of mind, or a fed-up complacency will do it.

There are folks in this congregation who really covet Yahweh good gifts. If you don't want 'em, then don't be a "squencher." On the contrary, "make an effort" to receive instead. Give up religious attitudes, petty jealousies, and class distinctions and just receive. If I can coin a new word, we need one-accord-ness before Yahweh will do anything else here. If Father has a baptism of power for you, are you willing to surrender your agenda for His?

The Millionaire

Years ago there was a TV series called The Millionaire. In each episode, a multimillionaire philanthropist sent his agent out to give a $1,000,000 check to somebody worthy. In one episode, the check was to go to a businessman who had "pulled himself up by the bootstraps" through hard work. Try as he might, the agent couldn't get him to take the check. First, the man didn't believe the check could be for him. Next, he was sure there were strings attached. Finally, he said he was too proud to take anything because he'd always made it on his own. Although the millionaire never took the check back, the man it was intended for would never receive it because of his feeling of unworthiness, his pride, and his individualism. Thus he remained the perfect example of self-made mediocrity.

My Testimony

Yahweh Elohim has a gift for you worth much more than $1,000,000! I wouldn't take $10,000,000 for my experience of it. I was 14 years old. I read about Spirit Baptism in the Bible; I believed that the prophecy of John the Baptist was for me. The reality of Spirit Baptism was reinforced by righteous men and women, boys and girls, in my church who had received it. I seriously asked Father for this empowerment and spent hours praying at the altar after Sunday night services. After six months of tarrying in my own 'upper room,' the Devoted Spirit came upon my brother and I as we sat in the church balcony at a Sunday night service. The Devoted Spirit moved upon us both in tangible, real ways. We both began to speak in languages we hadn't learned. We left that church different than when we came in. We began to witness boldly together for Yahshua and what he had done for us. And now, thirty years later, the evidence we received has remained in us as a sign and seal. Brother Pete is in China suffering for the gospel, and I am likewise suffering here. As Spirit-filled men & women of Yahweh, it is our right and privilege to suffer for our Sovereign Master.

Invitation to Empowerment

Yes, the Devoted Spirit baptized me in 1968, and the evidence of it remains almost thirty years later. Yahshua promised that the same fire and wind and glory and power that fell upon the first disciples in the upper room would fall on you. How many have experienced this Baptism of power?

Now Yahweh offers all this same doorway to the supernatural as was opened for those who won the world for Messiah once they ventured through. Now Father promises his Baptism to you, a tangible gift, one that may be felt and touched and tasted and lived and proved beyond doubt. I invite you to

(1) cast away your 'theology' and be receptive to the Devoted Spirit,
(2) be in one accord with the elect ones of the church,
(3) seriously seek out the truth of scripture concerning this baptism,
(4) be diligent to continually ask Father to baptize you,
(5) make claim on the promise,
(6) and live in constant expectation of the tangible evidence,
(7) be prepared to use your new relationship with Yahweh Elohim to reach others.

Let us be in one accord and make an effort to receive all the grace, goodness, and gifts we deserve as children of Yahweh Elohim. Let's look to the sky! Let's expect Heaven to come down and glory to fill our souls! And Yahweh Elohim, the giver of good gifts, will be faithful to provide.

Flood our dull senses with your light;
In mutual love our hearts unite.
Your pow'r the whole creations fills;
Confirm our weak, uncertain wills.

Jackson Snyder, May 18, 1997

 

 

 

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