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Posts Tagged ‘holiness’

Thomas Boston as quoted in sermon notes by Charles Spurgeon.  1884

The sermon outline was “Where is the God of Elijah?”

1.  The God of Elijah gave him the sweet experience of keeping warm and lively in a very cold and dead generation; so that he was best when others were worst.

….. But where is the Lord God of Elijah in these dregs of time, wherein professors (believers) generally are carried away, with the stream of impiety, from all their liveliness and tenderness that aforetime have been among them, when the more wickedness sets up its head, the more piety is made to hide its head?  It is a sad evidence that God is gone from us, when the standard of wickedness makes advances, and that of shining holiness is retreating, and can hardly get hands to hold it up.

2.  The God of Elijah gave him the sweet experience of the power of prayer: James 5:17…

….. But where is the God of Elijah, while the trade with heaven by prayer is so very low?  Alas, for the dead, cold, and flat prayers that come from the lips of the professors (believers) at this day, so weak and languishing that they cannot reach heaven!

3.  The God of Elijah gave him the experience of the sweet fruits of dependence on the Lord, and of a little going far, with his blessing: I Kings 17:16

…..But where is the God of Elijah at this day, when what we have seems to be blown upon, that it goes in effect for nothing?  Our table is plentifully covered, yet our souls are starved; our goodness sometimes looks as a morning cloud, it blackens the face of the heavens, and promises a heavy shower, but so quickly proves as a little cloud, like unto a man’s hand, which is ready to go for nothing; yea, this generation is blinded by the means that have a natural tendency to give light.  Ah!  “Where is the God of Elijah?”

4.  The God of Elijah gave him the experience of a gracious boldness to face the most daring wickedness of the generation he lived in, though it was one of the worst.  This eminently  appeared in his encounter with Ahab: I Kings 18:1

…..But where is the God of Elijah now, while the iniquities of our day meet with such faint resistance, while a brave brow for the cause of God, a tongue to speak for him, and a heart to act, are so much wanting?  The wicked of the world, though they have an ill cause in hand, yet they pursue it boldly; but, alas!  the people of God shame their honest cause by their cowardice and faint appearing in it.  If God give us not another spirit, more fitted for such a day, we shall betray our trust, and bring the curse of the succeeding generation on us.

5.  The God of Elijah gave him the experience of a glorious and powerful manifestation of himself, in a solemn ordinance, even at the sacrifice on Mount Carmel, which was ushered in with the spirit of prayer in Elijah:  I Kings 18:37-39
…..But where is the God of Elijah when so little of the Spirit’s influences is found in ordinances, even solemn ordinances?  Here is the mantle, but where is the God of Elijah?  Here are the grave-clothes, in which sometimes the Lord was wrapt up, but where is he himself?  Communion days have sometimes been glorious days in Scotland, and sometimes the gospel hath done much good, so that ministers had almost as much to do to heal broken hearts as now to get hard hearts broken; but where now is the God of Elijah?

6.  The God of Elijah gave him the experience of being enabled to go far upon a meal:  I Kings 19:8

…..But where now are such experiences, while there is so little strength in the spiritual meals to which we now sit down?  This is a time wherein there is much need of such an experience; the Lord seems to be saying to his people, “Rise and eat, for the journey is long”; and what a hard journey some may have, ere they get another meal, who knows?  Oh, for more feeding power in the doctrine preached among us!

7. The God of Elijah gave him the experience of the Lord’s removing difficulties out of his way, when he himself could do nothing at them:  Jordan divided.  So Peter had the iron gate opened to him of its own accord:  for when the Lord takes the work in hand, were it never so desperate as to us, it will succeed well with him.  Sure we have need of this experience this day.  How is the case of many souls so embarrassed at this day that they cannot extricate themselves, by reason of long and continued departures from God, so that all they can do is that they are fleeing and going backward!  Ah! where is the God of Elijah, to dry up those devouring deeps?  Enemies have surrounded the church, and brought her to the brow of the hill, ready to cast her over; where is the God of Elijah, to make a way for her escape?

My Sermon Notes, Genesis to Proverbs, p. 88-90

Charles Spurgeon

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As I wrote in an earlier post,  A Simple Faith, endeavoring to find the line of truth in Christianity at large after coming out of a cult system is incredibly frustrating. A person suddenly becomes aware of all the infighting and denominational barriers the body of Christ has toward one another. To join one faction one must often deny some element of teaching from various other factions.

Where can anyone find a group of believers that are committed to deeply knowing the Word of God as the anchor of truth, living pure and holy lives, AND who also walk in the powerful reality of a Living God, not just a theoretical one – living the fullness of a direct connection to God Himself which is our birthright as sons and daughters of the New Covenant? For now we have had to pray for contentment in one or the other. But both sides are lacking such an essential element it’s almost like going to a wedding where either the bride or the groom is missing. Seems pointless, and of course, fruitless.   We found false signs and wonders equally as troublesome as those who teach God’s powerful presence and gifts were only for the early church.  My husband and I have often longed to see people worship in Spirit AND the Truth of God’s Word.   For a long time we allowed the confusion and static around us to cause us to doubt the simple truth in the Word of God.

Imagine my excitement of recently finding others with this same yearning. I want to share the following which was recently sent out by Andrew Strom to his email list.  (He has given his recipients permission to pass along the following information.)  I realize the author he quotes may be contrasting those who have maintained the holiness focus of the earliest Great Awakenings to the later focus of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements.  However, I personally believe this can apply to a much broader scope of division within the Body of Christ and I hope and pray these walls can start to come down.

NOTE ABOUT the WORD & THE SPIRIT JOINED:
The world awaits a move of God that truly brings together
the strong, piercing preaching of the word along with miracles and
healings. For too long these have been separated into rival camps.
Smith Wigglesworth prophesied about a last great Revival- “There
will be evidence in the churches of something that has not been
seen before: a coming together of those with an emphasis on the
word and those with an emphasis on the Spirit. When the word
and the Spirit come together, there will be the biggest move of the
Holy Spirit that the nation, and indeed, the world has ever seen. It
will mark the beginning of a revival that will eclipse anything that
has been witnessed within these shores, even the Wesleyan and
Welsh revivals of former years…”

The piece below makes some interesting points about this:

THE WEDDING of PURITY AND POWER
by Paul Holdren.

The wedding of purity and power is a concept that the Holy Spirit
is promoting among believers in these latter days. As stated
earlier, in the late 1860s after the Civil War, a wave of the Holy
Spirit came like a mighty wind moving across the land bringing a
fresh awareness of the requirements of God to live a life pleasing
to Him. This was to be accomplished by the baptism of the Holy
Spirit. In the 1906 Azusa Street outpouring in the City of Los
Angeles, the church began to be reawakened to the powerful
manifestations of the Holy Spirit. This too was to be accomplished
by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Since the advent of the Azusa
Street outpouring, the body of Christ has been divided into the
purity and power camps.

For the past 100 years the Body of Christ has gotten as much
attention from its wild fires as it has from its Holy Ghost fire. For
the power camp the emphasis upon purity was almost anathema.
For the purity camp the emphasis upon power was almost
anathema. This was because each camp expressed doctrinal
positions that were unacceptable to the other. They vehemently
rejected each others’ positions. The power camp noticed that
purity expressed without power became both legalistic and
limiting. The purity camp noticed that power expressed without
purity became both carnal and limiting. Only by the wedding of
these two beautiful doctrines can the Spirit of God gain full
authority and appreciation within the Body of Christ.

In the present time, the Spirit of Christ is calling the Body of Christ
to be reunited in a mighty outpouring of His Holy presence – the
Spirit’s wedding of purity and power. Each doctrine has something
the other needs to hear, a compliment to and completion of God’s
design for the wholeness of the church. The power camp needs
to know of an exclusive holy love that is expressed out of a pure
affection for the Holy ONE. The purity camp needs to know a
holy power being expressed out of a manifestation of the Holy
Spirit’s gifts. The purity camp needs to share the beauty of
holiness in the spirit of humility. The power camp needs to share
the gifts of power in the spirit of humility. The purity camp needs
to exercise the power of Christ in “signs and wonders.” The
power camp needs to exercise purity in “laying one’s life down”
for another. With a discerning spirit, each can benefit from the
other, for these are perilous times in which we live.

Ezekiel added this dimension when he wrote of the prophecies
involving the requirements of how the priests were to keep the
holy law of the temple (Ezekiel 44-45) and when he wrote of the
river flowing from under the threshold of the temple (Ezekiel 47:
1-12). The purity of the priests was revealed in that they were to
have a certain appearance, conduct themselves in a particular
manner, and serve others in a specific way. Everything about
the Holiest of All is pure: pure oil, pure clothes, a pure man
placing the lamb’s pure blood on the pure gold of the mercy seat.
This was to be a pure presentation of righteousness, given to a
pure and Holy God. The “Holiest of All” is the place of purity. It
is here that the river of life has its head waters, emanating from
the holiness of God.

The power of the river of God continually increased. The farther
away from the temple it flowed, the deeper and wider it became.
As the river flows, healing comes to everything in its path. Notice,
however, it is the purity of the waters that allows it to contain
healing virtue. It is the river’s purity that allows the river to be
saturated with holy power. By comparison, only powerful men
can serve, but powerful men must serve with a pure love for God
and their fellow man. It is time for a wedding of purity and power.

-From “The Wedding of Purity and Power” by Paul Holdren.

To read about Paul Holdren and his testimony, click here

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