Participants: Dennis Smith
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000295
00:31 Welcome to Faith Chapel, I'm Dennis Smith,
00:35 Pastor of the New Haven, Connecticut,
00:36 Seventh-day Adventist Church. In First John
00:39 we are told that those ready to meet Jesus will
00:41 be just like Jesus. Is that your desire to be
00:45 like Christ? Would you like to have victory over
00:48 every temptation and sin in your life?
00:51 Would you like to have the power of God
00:54 manifested through you in your witness?
00:57 Would you like to have power and authority
00:59 over Satan as Jesus said that His followers would,
01:03 if that's your desire you definitely want
01:05 to hear today's message. Let us pray.
01:09 Our gracious Father in heaven,
01:12 I pray that you would draw near as we open
01:14 your word today. I pray that you open our eyes
01:18 and ears to hear your word, you know just
01:21 the blessing that we each need,
01:24 and I pray Lord you provide that blessing
01:25 and I thank you for that
01:26 promise in Jesus name, amen.
01:33 What if you heard that Jesus was going to be
01:36 coming to your church to spend 3 and half years.
01:39 I'm sure that be a rather exciting experience
01:41 for every Christian. Think of it, Jesus coming
01:45 to your church to minister in your community
01:48 for 3 and half years that what mean that every
01:50 day you could go and hear Jesus teach,
01:53 you could sit at the feet of Jesus.
01:56 Also you would be able to go out with Him
01:58 and see Him minister in your community and
02:02 then besides that you have opportunity to go out
02:05 in the name of Jesus to minister as well to others.
02:09 I'm sure Christians all of us would think that
02:12 would be such a wonderful experience,
02:14 in fact if I could just tell that experience
02:17 I'm sure I would become more like Jesus.
02:20 Well, that very thing happened 2000 years ago.
02:23 Jesus came to this earth and then He began
02:27 a 3 and half year ministry where he had called
02:31 twelve disciples and those disciples were very
02:35 close to Jesus day after day, in fact,
02:38 there were three of them that were especially
02:40 close and sort of the inner circle Peter,
02:41 James and John, those disciples would sit
02:45 at the feet of Jesus. They would hear the teaching
02:48 of Jesus and they could ask him afterwards
02:51 what He meant at times by his teaching.
02:54 So they received instruction directly from
02:56 Jesus everyday, also they went with Jesus
03:00 on His missionary journeys. They saw multitudes
03:03 respond to the ministry and teaching of Jesus.
03:07 They saw Jesus healed the sick,
03:08 cast out devils and even raise the dead,
03:11 and besides that Jesus send them out in his
03:14 name to preach the gospel. And he saw men
03:17 and women respond to their preaching and
03:19 teaching about Jesus and they even in the
03:22 name of Jesus were able to heal the sick
03:25 and cast out devils. Well, you might think those
03:32 disciples were certainly ready to serve the
03:35 Lord after that kind of 3 and half year ministry.
03:40 Yet, on that faithful Thursday night
03:43 in the garden, when the mob came,
03:46 they all fled in fear, and Peter who was one
03:50 of the inner circle, one of the ones that were
03:54 closest to Jesus, who made I say probably the most,
03:58 some of the most dramatic statements,
03:59 affirmations of his loyalty to Jesus.
04:03 Peter, he lingered outside the judgment hall for
04:06 a while when they took Jesus in for the mock
04:10 trial as he was standing and warming himself
04:13 around the fire, a lady came up to Him and said,
04:19 certainly you're one of those followers of Jesus,
04:22 and Peter replied, I don't know what you're
04:24 talking about, surely not me. I'm not one of those.
04:30 A little later some more time pass and
04:32 a little later another individual came and said,
04:36 I know you must be one of those followers of Jesus,
04:39 and Peter said, this time with an oath,
04:41 I don't know the man, and then it happened
04:45 a third time. We read of this incidence
04:48 in Matthew chapter 26 verse 73, 74. And
04:54 after a while came unto him they that stood by,
04:57 and said to Peter, Surely you also are one of them;
05:01 for your speech betrays you. Then began he
05:05 to curse and to swear saying,
05:07 I know not the man. And immediately the
05:09 cock crew. Here we see a third time Peter
05:14 denying his Lord and not only simply denying
05:16 his Lord but denying his Lord with a curse.
05:20 How could such a thing happen? Peter was weak.
05:25 Peter had been going on his own strength.
05:28 This could have been very, very discouraging
05:30 for Jesus. He was at the very end of His ministry
05:34 and it could have been discouraging thinking
05:36 he knew he would be crucified, resurrected,
05:40 send back to the father, and he personally
05:43 would not be with him, but Jesus knew something
05:46 else was gonna happen that would change
05:48 things completely. When we read in the book of
05:51 Acts a few weeks later we find that Peter and
05:54 John are preaching about Jesus and this time
05:58 the authorities come to them and they command
06:00 them and threaten them saying you must stop
06:02 preaching about Jesus. This time we find a
06:06 different Peter and a different John?
06:09 They were changed men and we read about this
06:10 incidence in Acts chapter 4 verse 18 to 20,
06:15 "And they called them, and commanded them not
06:17 to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
06:22 But Peter and John answered and said to them,
06:24 whether it be right in the sight of God to
06:27 hearken unto you more than to God judge you,
06:31 for we cannot but speak the things which
06:33 we have seen and heard." In this scripture we
06:38 see that Peter and John could not be intimidated,
06:42 a few weeks before they were easily intimidated,
06:44 they were denying their Lord. Peter was denying
06:46 his Lord with a curse and oath.
06:49 Now they stood the ground what made the
06:51 difference, only a few weeks difference in time.
06:55 What made the difference in this men's life?
06:57 Pentecost made the difference. Before Jesus
07:00 left he had commanded his disciples to wait,
07:03 he knew they were not ready to go out and
07:06 minister in his name. He knew that they were
07:10 still weak and they needed something and that
07:14 something was the baptism of the Holy Spirit,
07:17 and that's why in Acts chapter 1,
07:19 He had told the disciples to wait, he said,
07:21 you're not ready yet, even though you have
07:23 been with me for 3 and half years and even
07:25 though you have ministered in my name and you
07:29 have even seen devils cast out and the sick healed
07:31 in my name you are not ready to go forth
07:35 and minister in my name yet. He said,
07:38 I want you to wait and he said, I want you
07:40 to wait because you heard the promise of the
07:42 Father that the Holy Spirit would be poured out
07:45 and you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.
07:47 Now the disciples knew what that meant because
07:49 Jesus says, you must wait to receive the power.
07:53 He said, after the Holy Ghost has come upon you,
07:55 you'll receive power that's what they needed.
07:58 Power to remain firm and strong for the Lord,
08:01 power for witnessing and they knew what that
08:03 meant, they knew the waiting meant to wait
08:06 and pray, and they spent 10 days in prayer.
08:11 They didn't quit praying until they receive.
08:12 They prayed one day, two day, three days,
08:14 they kept praying and praying and claiming
08:16 promise, committing their life anew to Jesus,
08:20 and at the end of the 10 day prayer meeting,
08:22 the Holy Spirit was poured out in power and
08:25 these men and women went forth from that upper
08:27 room, no one can intimidate them.
08:30 The authorities could threaten to cast them
08:31 in prison, could even threaten them with death
08:33 and they would not back down. They remained firm
08:36 and strong and faithful to the Lord because they
08:39 were different men, they were filled with the
08:42 Holy Spirit. That must be the same experience
08:47 of those of us who live in the last days because
08:50 there will be great intimidation, great
08:53 intimidation as God's people go through
08:56 the great crisis that lies ahead.
08:58 Satan will do every thing he can to discourage and
09:01 to overwhelmed and overcome them.
09:03 He'll use temptations, he'll use force, everything
09:06 he can to get God's people to back off and back
09:09 down from completing God's work that he's called
09:11 them to do, and God's people in these last days
09:15 must be as spirit filled as those disciples were
09:18 on the day of Pentecost, and that is why the
09:21 baptism of the Holy Spirit is essential,
09:23 so important for those living in the last days
09:25 to be able to finish God's work in power.
09:29 Jesus is our example in all things and we read
09:33 about Jesus experience concerning the Baptism
09:36 of the Holy spirit. In Luke chapter 3 verse 21
09:39 and 22, we read of his baptism, Now when all the
09:43 people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus
09:47 also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was
09:53 opened, and the Holy Ghost descended
09:55 in a bodily shape like a dove upon him,
09:59 and a voice came from heaven, which said,
10:02 Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I'm well pleased.
10:06 As we read the scripture we find that when
10:07 Jesus went to be baptized in water He did
10:10 something out when He was being baptized
10:12 we are told in the scripture He was praying,
10:16 what was He praying for. The scripture tells us
10:18 His prayer was answered, the Holy Spirit was
10:20 poured out from the Father. He was baptized
10:22 with the Holy Spirit. Jesus knew that He must
10:25 be baptized with the Holy Spirit. He must be
10:27 filled with Holy Spirit. If He was to go forth
10:31 and ministered in the power of the spirit,
10:34 to be victorious in the power of the Spirit.
10:38 The Holy Spirit was necessary the infilling of
10:41 the Holy Spirit was necessary in life of Jesus
10:44 for Him to be our example and live as we are to live.
10:48 It was necessary for Him to be filled with the
10:49 spirit in order to be victorious over temptation
10:52 because we read in Matthew chapter 4
10:54 verse 1 and 2, what happened right after he was
10:56 baptized in the spirit, then was Jesus led up
11:00 of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted
11:02 of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days
11:06 and forty nights, he was afterward hungry.
11:10 Jesus was not ready for these greatest temptations
11:14 in His life He was filled with the Holy Spirit but
11:18 after He was filled with the Holy Spirit He could
11:20 stand firm under any temptation that came,
11:23 and Satan could not take Him down.
11:25 He remained faithful to his Father.
11:27 The same is true with you and me.
11:30 We as Jesus need to seek the Baptism of the
11:33 Holy Spirit just like Jesus did. We must experience
11:38 that in front of the spirit because if we don't
11:41 we will not be empowered to gain the greatest
11:44 victories over the temptations, the
11:47 victories that we must have if we're to become
11:50 just like Jesus because those ready to meet Jesus
11:52 we're told we will be just like Him. Also we find
11:57 with Jesus ministry, He was filled with the Holy Spirit
12:00 we read about that now when you look at
12:02 our Luke chapter 4 verse 14,
12:06 "And Jesus returned in the power of the
12:08 Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame
12:13 of him through all the region round about."
12:17 We see after Jesus was filled the Holy Spirit,
12:20 He faces greatest temptations now He
12:22 came forth from that experience empowered by
12:25 the Holy Spirit, filled the Holy Spirit and His
12:29 ministry was a powerful ministry and His fame
12:31 went out all throughout the region.
12:34 A powerful ministry under the power,
12:37 direction of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus
12:41 in His first sermon spoke about this anointed
12:45 ministry that He had given in Luke chapter 4
12:48 verse 18 and 19, we read what Jesus said,
12:53 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because
12:56 he has anointed me to preach gospel to the poor;
13:00 he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
13:04 to preach deliverance to the captives,
13:06 and recovering of sight to the blind,
13:10 to set at liberty them that are bruised,
13:13 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord."
13:19 We see in these words of Jesus that He recognized
13:22 very clearly that in order to do His ministry
13:26 He had to experience the anointing.
13:29 The anointing was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit,
13:32 and as a result of being baptized by Holy Spirit,
13:35 He would have the anointing power to go forth
13:37 and do what he said he would in those verses,
13:40 to preach the gospel, to set the captive free,
13:42 to bring deliverance to those that are pressed.
13:46 Satan is on the prowl, men and women are
13:50 captives of Satan and he does not want let them go.
13:53 It was the same in Christ day as it is today,
13:55 and Jesus realized that He was filled with the
13:58 Holy Spirit, He could minister in the power
14:00 of the Holy Spirit and through the power the
14:02 Holy Spirit he would be able to deliver men
14:05 and women who are captives of Satan and
14:09 he did over and over again in his ministry.
14:14 We certainly need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
14:16 for this very, very same reasons.
14:19 Jesus our example in all things, and as He
14:24 needed that experience, we need that experience,
14:27 we need the same experience if we want
14:29 to have complete victory over temptation and sin.
14:34 And let me tell you, the crisis that's coming
14:38 is no easy difficult time or crisis or tribulation
14:43 to get through. Satan will put all the pressure
14:45 on that he can to get God's children to give up
14:47 the faith. And as Jesus was victorious through
14:51 being filled with God's spirit, so we must also
14:54 have that same experience if we're going
14:57 to make it through that final crisis. Ellen White
15:00 in Desire of Ages, page 173 makes the
15:03 statement of the current showing this,
15:05 "when the Spirit of God takes possession
15:07 of the heart, it transforms the life.
15:12 Sinful thoughts are put away,
15:15 Evil deeds are renounced; love, humility,
15:19 and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife.
15:26 Joy takes the place of sadness, and the
15:29 countenance reflects the light of heaven."
15:33 That's a very beautiful statement isn't it?
15:36 And that tell us very clearly the experience
15:38 that God wants us to have, to have the
15:41 peace of heaven in our heart. We need the
15:46 Baptism of the Holy Spirit to become just
15:47 like Jesus to have his character, just like
15:50 Ellen White described in that statement and
15:54 we find in Second Corinthians chapter 3
15:56 verse 3, another statement from scripture on this,
16:00 "for as much as ye are manifestly declared
16:02 to be the epistle of Christ, ministered by us,
16:06 written not with ink, but with the Spirit
16:08 of the living God; not in tables of stones but
16:13 in the fleshy tables of the heart."
16:17 You see the new covenant promise is to write
16:18 God's law on our heart and the way that takes
16:22 place according to what we just read.
16:26 That takes place by the power of the Holy Spirit
16:29 and I find it interesting when you compare the
16:32 writing of the Ten Commandments on stone
16:35 with the writing in the commandments on our
16:36 heart it's very similar because we know that the
16:39 commandments were written on stone by
16:40 the finger of God and if you compare a couple
16:43 of scriptures in the gospel where Jesus says,
16:45 I with the finger of God cast out the devil and
16:48 a parallel scriptures says I will the spirit of God
16:51 cast out the devil that indicates that really
16:54 the finger of God and the spirit of God referring
16:56 to the same thing. And so, when God wrote
16:59 the Ten Commandments on the tables of stone
17:01 it was really the Holy Spirit during that writing
17:03 and the same is today that as we receive
17:06 the baptism of the Holy Spirit, God began
17:08 writing his Ten Commandment law on our
17:11 heart by the Holy Spirit. You see,
17:14 the Ten Commandments is a transcript of God's
17:16 character. Jesus came to reveal the glory,
17:20 the character of the Father and that is how
17:23 we become like Jesus that we are filled
17:25 with the Holy Spirit and God begins writing
17:28 his law on our heart and we begin developing
17:30 the character of Jesus Christ.
17:33 And one thing I want to make clear here
17:34 sometimes as Christian we confuse our will,
17:38 giving our will to God versus will power.
17:41 We often thing well I have got to use my
17:44 will power to be victorious over temptation.
17:48 We don't have the power in us,
17:50 in fact in John chapter 1, we are told that
17:52 as many are to receive Jesus, God gave them
17:55 the power to become the Sons of God.
17:58 So when we accept Jesus and then accept and
18:02 receive the infilling of Holy Spirit that's where
18:03 we receive the power. You see it's God that
18:07 comes into our life and gives us the power
18:08 to change we simply say Lord change me and
18:11 then we corporate with God by simply choosing
18:15 to let Him come into our life and change us.
18:18 If there's a temptation we choose to let God
18:20 give us the power to be victorious over that
18:24 temptation. We look to God for the victory
18:27 it's not a matter of strong will power,
18:30 some may think it is but I tell you this I learned
18:32 through experience those that struggle with
18:34 strong will power they maybe to a degree
18:36 get some victories but not in the long run and
18:39 not the great victories. There is only one way
18:41 to have the true victory in Jesus Christ is to
18:44 receive the power of God through the Holy Spirit,
18:48 and so God wants to write those laws on
18:50 our heart and the character of Jesus that
18:54 character of Jesus in the New Testament is
18:56 also called the fruit of the spirit.
18:59 We read about that in Galatians chapter
19:00 5 verse 22 and 23, "But the fruit of the spirit
19:06 is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness,
19:12 goodness, faith, meekness, temperance,
19:17 against such there is no law."
19:21 As we allow the Holy Spirit to write the law
19:23 of God in our heart, we start becoming like Jesus,
19:27 we start of obeying God from the heart,
19:28 internal motivation to obey not just the
19:31 external because the law says, obey.
19:34 We start wanting to obey from within,
19:37 a deep desire in our heart and so God begins
19:39 putting with in us what we just read here
19:41 in Galatians the fruit of the spirit,
19:43 it's a singular fruit. All of them are available
19:47 to us and when he begins with the fruit
19:50 of love that's where we have the primary
19:53 fruit because if we have love we will have
19:57 joy and we will have peace and the rest.
20:01 So the key to becoming like Jesus is to allow
20:06 the Holy Spirit to bring the fruit of the spirit
20:09 in our life and this fruit again is not
20:12 something we conjure up, we can't make
20:14 ourselves joyful, we can't make ourselves
20:16 at peace because if you recall in the
20:19 gospel Jesus said, my joy I give to you,
20:24 my peace I give to you. In Romans 5,
20:28 it says the love of God is shed abroad
20:30 in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.
20:32 So it is the love, the joy, the peace,
20:35 the faith and the rest of the list the fruit
20:39 of the spirit of Jesus because it's Jesus
20:42 living in us, manifesting those fruit
20:45 of the spirit, and Satan would do everything
20:48 he can to take you down on this matter
20:50 because He would try to take your joy,
20:54 and what he's after there is your strength
20:56 because the Bible says, the joy of the Lord is
20:58 my strength and so if we try going on our own joy
21:02 and own inner strength we can do it,
21:05 and we will go down but if we seek
21:07 the daily infilling of God's Holy Spirit
21:09 the fruit of the spirit will contain to be
21:11 manifest and it is a growing process,
21:13 we'll become stronger and stronger
21:15 in the Lord and the fruit of the spirit
21:18 become more and more manifest in our life.
21:21 I like the way Ellen White states
21:24 what happens within us as Christians,
21:25 as we're filled with God's spirit
21:27 in Desire of Ages, page 668,
21:30 "All true obedience come from the heart.
21:35 It was heart work with Christ.
21:38 And if we consent, He will so identify Himself
21:42 with our thoughts and aims, so blend our
21:45 hearts and minds into conformity to His will,
21:50 that when obeying Him we shall be
21:53 but carrying out our own impulses.
21:57 The will, refined and sanctified,
21:59 will find it's highest delight in doing
22:01 His service. When we know God,
22:04 as it is our privilege to known Him,
22:08 our life will be a life of continual obedience,
22:12 Through an appreciation of the character of
22:14 Christ, through communion with God,
22:17 sin will become hateful to us,
22:20 How clear that is. "Through the baptism of
22:24 the Holy Spirit we will experience
22:27 that inner change and our life will be a,
22:29 become a life of continual obedience to
22:31 God. And it's a progress of experience."
22:34 In Second Corinthians chapter 3 verse 18,
22:37 we read what Paul says along these lines,
22:38 "But we all, with open face beholding
22:42 as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed
22:45 into the same image from glory to glory,
22:48 even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
22:53 So I want to make it very clear to you,
22:54 don't get discouraged if you find that you're
22:56 not immediately change into the image of Jesus
22:59 and having victory after victory.
23:01 It is a growing process, remember we are
23:03 coming out of the Laodicea condition.
23:05 God is calling us out, and I like to look
23:08 at it this way, it's like a big glass of
23:10 water here and let's say there's rocks in it
23:12 and the water represents the Holy Spirit.
23:16 When we seek the baptism of the
23:17 Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit does come in
23:19 and what the Holy Spirit starts doing
23:21 and lets let these rocks represent self stuff
23:24 that's in our life that needs to get out.
23:25 The Holy Spirit begins moving in our life
23:27 and taking those rocks out.
23:28 He moves into this room in our life
23:31 and that room in our life and as the rocks
23:33 come out, as more and more self is overcome,
23:35 more of the spirit comes into fill,
23:38 so it is a process. It's a growing process
23:41 and that's why it's so urgent that we respond
23:44 to the call of God today to be filled with
23:45 his Holy Spirit because it's necessary for us
23:49 to begin that process, so we can grow into
23:52 the fullness of Jesus. So we'll be ready
23:55 for the final crisis and Christ second coming.
24:00 In First John chapter 3 verse 2,
24:03 this verse again describes those ready to
24:05 meet Jesus. "Beloved, now are we the Sons
24:10 of God, and it does not yet appear
24:13 what we shall be, but we know that
24:15 when he shall appear, we should be like him;
24:18 for we shall see him as he is."
24:23 That's the call to become just like Jesus.
24:28 We are to receive the character of Jesus,
24:31 we are to receive the same power Jesus
24:33 received for witnessing, we are to receive
24:37 power to defeat Satan just like Jesus received
24:40 that power. In fact, in John chapter 14
24:43 verse 12, Jesus told us about the minister
24:45 we are do, he said, "Verily, verily,
24:47 I say to you, He that believes on me,
24:50 the works that I do he shall do also;
24:52 and greater works than these because
24:55 than I do because I go the Father."
24:59 Here we see very clearly Jesus says,
25:01 we were in order do the works he did because
25:04 he went to the Father, what that had to do
25:06 with it because when he went to the Father,
25:08 the Holy Spirit be poured out and made
25:10 available to us, and we are to do the same
25:12 ministry he did. And over in Luke chapter 10
25:15 verse 17, we read, "And the seventy returned
25:20 again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils
25:22 are subject to us through you name."
25:26 The seventy were so excited when they saw
25:29 in the name of Jesus, he thought they had
25:31 over Satan and Jesus clarified even more
25:34 clearly the authority they would have in
25:36 Jesus. We read about that, in verse 19
25:39 of the same chapter, "Behold, I give unto
25:42 you power to tread on serpents and scorpions,
25:44 and over all the power of the enemy,
25:46 and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
25:49 In this scripture we see the Jesus is saying
25:52 very clearly that the disciples in the name of
25:54 Jesus would have power over Satan.
25:56 I used to think that it was more or less God
25:59 and the devil and me. I knew God was over
26:01 the devil but the devil seemed to have a
26:03 lot of power in my life but what I've
26:05 discovered through the baptism of the
26:06 Holy Spirit and understand the authority
26:08 we have in Jesus, that it is God,
26:10 me and the devil. It is God, you and the devil.
26:13 The devil is under you when you're in Jesus.
26:15 Because Jesus says, I give you power to tread
26:18 on serpents and scorpions.
26:19 How many times you might feel you're being
26:21 run over by the devil. You don't have to be
26:23 if you are filled with God's spirit
26:25 and you understand the principles in God's word
26:30 of how to be free. That is God's desire for you
26:34 and me, and I have seen, you know
26:37 there was a time when I doubted the power
26:40 of the God's power, I never told anybody
26:42 I was a Pastor but I didn't see it.
26:43 I know it was supposed to be there
26:45 but I didn't see it. But praise God
26:48 I can tell you, I've seen it.
26:51 I've seen men and women who have accepted
26:53 Jesus and who were shrugging their life,
26:55 able to be free from the oppressions
26:58 of the enemy in their life. God wants to free
27:01 you and me from every oppression, attack,
27:05 temptation of Satan in our life.
27:08 He wants to free us from addictions,
27:10 from any and every stronghold
27:11 that's within us, and through the baptism
27:14 of the Holy Spirit that freedom can begin.
27:17 It can begin in no other way.
27:18 It is only through the baptism of the
27:20 Holy Spirit that we truly become like Jesus,
27:24 empowered as Jesus was to overcome all
27:28 temptations, empowered like Jesus
27:30 was to minister unto the anointing of the spirit
27:34 to lead men and women to accept Jesus.
27:36 Empowered to become just like Jesus.
27:41 That is why God's given that call today
27:43 to come out of Laodicea, be filled with
27:48 the spirit become just like Jesus,
27:51 and I pray you will accept that call
27:53 that God is giving to you this day.