Hey Everybody! Mark your calendars for March 22-28, 2020
because right here in Albany Oregon we are going to have a…
HOLY SPIRIT ENCOUNTER week!
There are only eighteen spots available for this first class!
An HSE is like nothing you have ever experienced! No phones, no internet, no TVs, nothing but God, His word and His Spirit, and a close-knit bunch of your brothers and sisters for six days out on a beautiful farm in the Willamette Valley. We are going to dive deep into the things of God with an emphasis on growing in and practicing the gifts of the Spirit. You are going to get healed, delivered, blessed and inspired, and learn how to walk with God more effectively in everything that you do, regardless of how far you’ve gone with God already. It could be a great turning point in your life!
Night time sessions will be open to the public!
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV
One of the great ideals of the Gospel is to be care-free! Most of us have so learned to carry our burdens that to live without them is almost unthinkable. We often remind God about them, looking to Him and pointing to the heavy load on our backs. But that is not what He has said to do! He said to humble yourself by casting all your care upon Him. Sometimes, with burdens you have carried so long, you need help with loosing that thing. I remember as a young man going backpacking in the Sierra wilderness. It was such a blessing when someone helped me off with that pack at the end of the day! Same here with the burdens you have carried for years… you’re going to get lightened up and empowered this week!
We anticipate a minimal charge of $200 per person for room and board throughout the week. If you are interested, please contact Yahna at admin@lightbearers-ministries.
Love you guys! KRP
THE FACE OF AN ANGEL
…that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights (Grk. PHOSTER – lightbearers) in the world, holding fast the word of life… Phil 2:15-16 NKJV
Someone once said, the darker the night, the brighter the stars shine! The vast spreading darkness that is sweeping across the nations is going to create opportunities for believers to shine with ever increasing brightness. All those who are hungry will be drawn to the light!
Nothing succeeds without the willingness to sacrifice oneself completely, to give oneself up to see that success. The world gets us to waste days, weeks and years of our lives pursuing trivial things when we could have pursued God and had all those things added to us. The great regret of older people is a wasted life. The great joy and supreme happiness of well-travelled saints is a legacy of value added to the Kingdom and to the world.
There are only three people named in the New Testament who were described as being full (Grk. PLERES: replete or covered) of the Holy Spirit – the Lord Jesus, Barnabas, and the subject of our study, Stephen. We will see that four times he was noted as being full (Grk. PLERES) of the Holy Spirit. This was a man on fire!
Let’s dive into it…what made Stephen ‘Stephen’?
It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full (Grk. PLERES) of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business… And they chose Stephen, a man full (Grk. PLERES) of faith and the Holy Spirit…Acts 6:2-6 NKJV
The older I get, the more I cherish the value of a good reputation. A good reputation builds faith that opens doors that might otherwise remain shut. Everyone wants to be ‘the big cheese’ but Stephen was willing to serve tables and not make a fuss about it. Isaiah says that God dwells with the humble which we will see was a huge key to Stephen becoming the man we see in Scripture.
For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Isa 57:15 NKJV
The next verse after the choosing and ordination of the seven, including Stephen, is one of the eight great summary statements in the book of Acts.
Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. Acts 6:7 NKJV
There are eight great summary statements in Acts (2:47, 6:7, 9:31, 11:21, 16:5, 19:20, and 28:30,31) that build upon one another and detail the rise and the expansion of the Christian church. One through seven complete a set, and the eighth marks a new beginning, of which we become the following chapters. How is your chapter being written?
Stephen was…PLERES, replete or covered (I like this translation of ‘covered.’ What does it make you think of? How about THE LORD OUR BANNER? And when Jesus was conceived the Word says Mary was overshadowed or covered by the Holy Spirit. Are you with me?)…
full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, Acts 6:3NKJV
full of faith and the Holy Spirit, Acts 6:5NKJV
full of faith and power Acts 6:8NKJV
full of the Holy Spirit Acts 7:55NKJV
Seven things mentioned. Three times it mentions the Holy Spirit, three being the number of completeness, indicating that he was walking in all nine gifts of the Spirit. Then a special emphasis in the word of wisdom, the gift of faith and the power gifts of workings of miracles and gifts of healings. You see, you can operate all nine gifts effectively, but you will have certain gifts, because of your faith, love and calling, that you excel in (1 Cor. 14:12). You got it?
Now, since God is no respecter of persons, how did Stephen get all of this blessing, and how can we?
And all who sat in the council, looking steadfastly at him, saw his face as the face of an angel. Acts 6:15 NKJV
Under the anointing, Stephen had the face of an angel. The other guy in Scripture whose face shone, outside of the Lord Jesus on the Mount of transfiguration which is another story entirely, was Moses.
So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. Ex 34:31 NKJV
Aaron and the children knew they were in trouble because of their sinful acts when Moses showed up. But when his face was shining, they knew the authority of God was upon him, and judgment was coming down. What made his face to shine? What caused the Holy Spirit to cover him so completely?
Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses’ hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. Ex 34:29-30 NKJV
Moses spent eighty days in the manifest presence of God. Moses laid down all of his administrative/leadership responsibilities over the children of Israel to go meet the Lord for eighty days. Some people indicate they don’t have time to take a week to meet with God! Moses took the time to go into the manifest presence of God. The result was that he got the fullness, the covering of the Holy Spirit that enabled him to fulfill his ministry to the children of Israel. No great success is accomplished without the willingness of the one to give everything they have for that success. Do you see it?
Finally, we have to examine the question, why was Stephen killed? Certain authority issues would lead us to believe that Stephen could have been protected.
Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Luke 10:19 NKJV
Now Saul was consenting to his death. Acts 8:1 NKJV
We must realize that some lives are taken, and some lives are laid down. Jesus said that there was no greater love than that a man would lay down his life for others. Stephen, with his last breath, cried out an intercessory prayer, Lord lay not this sin to their charge! Don’t let Satan abort the divine destiny of the one who stands before me, killing me today! Who was that man? Saul of Tarsus…the future Apostle Paul. Stephen, in the ultimate act of love, was laying down his life to reach Paul…and thank God he did!
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Rom 12:1 NKJV
Throughout Pentecostal history, there are testimonies at times of those whose skin has shone like Moses and Stephen. God calls us to be living sacrifices, to give every ounce of our being, to serve Him and to advance His purposes. No great success can be accomplished for which someone is not willing to pay the price. Don’t waste your life with trivial things. Pursue Him and you too can walk with the face of an angel! Love you!
Remember dear ones, we must be about our Father’s business…