The Spirit Filled Church
Acts 2:16-18 says, “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
These past few weeks, we have been looking at what the Bible says about what a true New Testament church should be like. We have been dealing with the idea that the true New Testament church is not an organization or a building but rather the sum total of all born-again believers who exist all over the world. What we call “church” is when believers come together to fellowship in praise and in worship. We have also discovered what it means to be a Spirit-filled church, and this goes beyond the idea of participating in an experience; it is an actual way of life wherein the church is Spirit-filled, Spirit-led, Spirit-controlled, and Spirit-empowered.
Let’s examine some modern-day examples of what a true Spirit-filled church really looks like. I want to use three examples found right here at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries: Family Worship Center, Jimmy Swaggart Bible College & Seminary, and Crossfire Youth Ministries.
Family Worship Center is the home church of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, and it just may be unlike any other church that you have experienced. The praise and worship and anointed preaching and teaching of the Word of God is truly world-class! Brother Swaggart has been used by God to see literally millions of lives saved, and believers filled with the Holy Spirit and changed by the power of God. So Family Worship Center is the way it is due to its leadership—they allow the Holy Spirit to lead and direct the services. There have been times when the Holy Spirit has taken over a service from the outset of the first song and, through the praise and worship, sinners got saved, believers got filled and delivered, and healings took place. This is all because Family Worship Center is a church that is truly Spirit-filled—a true New Testament church!
Jimmy Swaggart Bible College & Seminary is actually the reason that I moved from Virginia all the way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I have spent more time in the Bible college than anywhere else on the ministry grounds. I have been an eye-witness to the powerful services we have experienced at the Bible college. My roommate came to JSBC before he received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, and, during our Bible Doctrines class, the Holy Spirit took over the class. As we all lifted our hands in worship and prayer to the Lord, I felt led to pray for my roommate to be filled with the Holy Spirit. As we prayed, he began to speak with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave the utterance. I was scheduled this past Wednesday to preach in the chapel there at the Bible college, but the Lord had something else in mind. As we began to sing praise and worship, the Holy Spirit began to move. Brother Larson handed me the microphone and said it was up to me as to which direction to go with the service. There was no doubt in my mind that the Holy Spirit had already preached the message. We opened up the altar and invited the students to come and cry out to the Lord to meet their needs and set them free. We have seen people get saved, healed, filled with the Spirit, and experienced great moves of the Holy Spirit at the Bible college—all because Jimmy Swaggart Bible College is a Spirit-filled example of the New Testament church.
Finally, I want to talk to you for a few moments about what God has been doing in Crossfire Youth Ministries. We have been experiencing a move of God take place that I have never seen before. The presence of the Holy Spirit has filled Crossfire in every service for the last several months. We have seen young people from all walks of life receive the baptism with the Holy Spirit service after service. The gifts of the Spirit have been in operation in a great and powerful way. Truly, we are witnessing what Joel told us we would, and what Peter said was available to all believers: the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our young people.
What separates the true church from the apostate church is the moving and the operation of the Holy Spirit. If the church is not allowing for the moving and the operation of the Holy Spirit, then lives cannot be changed. There are far too many motivational clubs and self-help groups that are posing as churches; they are led by the wisdom of man and empowered by the schemes of man. Sadly, this is leaving most Christians spiritually bankrupt and desolate. We need the moving and the operation of the Holy Spirit in our churches!
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