The ministry of the Holy Spirit 3

Saints of God, as we continue with the Ministry of the Holy Spirit, let me share this with you. The Spirit of the Lord woke me this morning at 04h15 [19\07\05], with this encouraging word from
Isaiah 40v31, ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall rise up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.’ God Almighty never faints, nor is He ever weary, [Meaning that God never gets tired physically from what He does] He upholds the whole creation, and governs all the creatures; and therefore, with no doubt, He has power to relieve His church [when it is brought ever so low], without weakness or weariness. You see, scripture says that when we wait upon the Lord, the Holy Spirit who is the Comforter, Helper, and Strengthener will empower us with strength. When we are renewed and empowered we shall mount up with wings as eagles [the eagles you know are big and powerful birds that can reach unbelievable heights, flying way above the clouds out of harms way.

To those who are sensible of their weakness and ready to acknowledge their weakness; God in a special way increases our strength; for when we are weak in ourselves, then we are strong in the Lord [Isaiah 40v28-31]. The Lord promises us strength to labour, strength to wrestle, strength to resist, and strength to bear. When we are strengthened, we shall be able to walk [the way of God’s commandments] and not be weary. We shall run [with perseverance] and not faint; reaping in due season [v31]

 

These victories cannot be attained unless we are dying to our sinful flesh, dying to the things of this world. We must allow the Spirit of God to posses us, to lead and guide and teach us. Jesus, before He was caught up in a cloud and carried away [Acts 1v9], He made this promise to His disciples [and us as well], that ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you; and ye shall be my witnesses, etc [Acts 1v8].

Folks, now being filled with the Holy Ghost we are able, we are efficient, and we are mighty in the Lord. Able to do what the Lord wants us to do; efficient in everything [not half- hearted] that we do for the Lord; and mighty to do [by the Spirit], that which we are told to do for the Lord. Recently I bought the ‘New Foxes Book of Martyrs,’ which is an updated version with several modern day stories of martyrdom for the cause of Jesus. Although not much is spoken about the Holy Spirit, let me share this particular story with you, about a dear lady who was obedient to the voice of the Holy Spirit. A dear lady who stood by her convictions concerning the Word of God and in particular the Holy Spirit. A lady, who was confronted by the might of the Church of England for her beliefs. Anne Mar-bury [Hutchinson] was born on July 1591, in Lincolnshire County, England. She was one of thirteen [13] children born to an English clergyman. Her father Francis Mar- bury was cast into prison several times for speaking against the Church of England. Anne had no formal education, but learned much from her father and his friends when they had many discussions about religious and political matters. In 1612 Anne married her childhood sweetheart, and they together had sixteen children. Though Anne was very busy as a housewife and mother, she was very active in religious matters. Anne herself was arrested several times for speaking against the false teachings of the Church of England.

 

Whenever and wherever she could, Anne travelled to listen to any minister who might be teaching the truth about God’s Word. She was an avid student of the recently published [1611] King James Version Bible. Anne strongly believed in the law of obedience to the inner guidance of the Holy Spirit; rather than to the law of moral rules by observing the letter of the law, which did not prove that a person was good in your heart by living according to the law.

The Hutchinson family had moved to America, where Anne opened her home to large classes of woman. She ministered healing with great success to both spirit and body. She was especially successful with sick babies, probably because of her compassion for them. She taught her classes that the Holy Spirit within a person controls the right actions of that person, if that person’s heart is filled with the true grace of God.

Brilliant, expressive, and well versed in the Bible and theology, she denied that keeping religious laws was a sign of godliness, and insisted that godliness came from an inner working of the Holy Spirit. She also believed and taught that persons under ‘a covenant of grace’ as taught in the New Testament could speak directly to God.

This of course brought Anne into direct conflict with the established clergy. As she was a woman preaching in a male  dominant clergy, and often criticising them for teaching that salvation came only through obedience to certain laws. Anne believed and taught that the Lord dwelt within each believer [through the Holy Spirit], and that salvation is attained by faith in Christ. In November 1637, Anne was brought to trial by the Governor of Boston. [The trial was a sham]. She was found guilty of sedition [conduct or speech tending to rebellion or breach of public order], and contempt [disobedience to sovereign’s lawful command’s or to authority of Parliament, and or the courts of law.

 

In March 1638, Anne was brought to trial again by the Puritan Church; for her unorthodox opinions. The trial was held at her own First Church of Boston, which again was a total sham. Her own pastor, John Wilson read in an ecclesiastical voice her expulsion from the church. ‘In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the name of the church, I do cast you out. I do deliver you up to Satan; I do account you from this time forth to be a heathen and a publican. I command you in the name of Jesus Christ, and of this church as a leper, to withdraw yourself out of this congregation.’

Anne’s only reply was, ‘the Lord judges not as a man judges. Better to be cast out of the church than to deny Christ.’ PRAISE GOD FOR SISTER ANNE!!!

With her family Anne settled at Pocasset [which is known today as Portsmouth, Rhode Island]. Once they were settled on their new farm, Anne renewed her teaching and healing ministry with great results. But her troubles were not over. Her persecutors from Massachusetts sent a delegation to inquire about her, and to warn the Puritan churches about her doctrines. Anne’s husband William was chief magistrate of Rhode Island, was approached by her persecutors, to try and influence him against his wife. William told them, ‘I am a part of my wife, and Anne is a dear saint, and a true servant of God. They tried to speak to her congregation at her home church, but Anne’s pastor refused them. They then showed up at the Hutchinson home, claiming they came from the Lord and the church. Anne said to them, ‘Which Lord do you mean? There are many lords, and many gods, but I acknowledge only one Lord. Your church is not the true Church of Christ’.

Let me end this story and carry on with the message. After being threatened by her persecutors, to forcibly take her back to Boston, and imprison her, and subject her to humiliation and public lashings, the Hutchinson family planned to leave Rhode Island.

Unexpectedly William died, and Anne was forced to travel to New Amsterdam, which was a Dutch colony. In the late summer of 1642 Anne and her children arrived at Long Island, and chose a home site at Vredeland, which is today known as Pelham Bay, in New York. Anne was warned that hostile Indians were killing the white settlers, but she chose to stay, believing if she treated the Indians well she and her family would be safe. Sadly in the summer of 1643, the Indians killed her and everyone that lived on the farm.

Now; some would say that Anne and her family were not martyrs, as they were not put to death specifically for their faith in Christ. Maybe! So what is this story all about?

 Well, this dear lady Anne Mar bury [Hutchinson] allowed the Holy Spirit to empower her. The same promise that Jesus made to His disciples in Acts 1v5, ‘For John truly baptized with water, but ye shall hereafter be baptized with the Holy Ghost, [and v8 continues with], but ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be my witnesses, etc’.

See what Matthew Henry [commentary] says of verse eight. If Christ makes us serviceable to His honour, in our own age and generation, let this be enough for us, and let not us perplex ourselves about times and seasons to come. Christ tells His disciples [and us] that [1] their work should be honourable and glorious. They shall be witnesses unto me; meaning we shall proclaim Him King, and publish those truths to the world. They must openly and solemnly preach His gospel to the world. They shall prove this; shall confirm their testimony, not as witnesses do [with an oath], but with the divine seal of miracles and supernatural gifts. You shall be martyrs to me [or my martyrs], for they attested the truth of the gospel with their sufferings, even unto death.

 

[2]That their power for this work should be sufficient. They had not strength of their own for it, nor wisdom, or courage enough. They were naturally of the weak and foolish things of the world. ‘You shall have the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon you, shall be animated and actuated by a better spirit than your own.

You shall have power to preach the gospel, and to prove it out of the scriptures of the Old Testament, that Jesus Christ is the Messiah Acts 18v28; and to confirm it both by miracles and by sufferings.

Folks, can you see [understand] Anne Mar-bury, [as you read her story] being filled with the Holy Ghost. Can you see [understand] Anne as she allows Acts 1v8 to be her portion, as the Holy Spirit empowers her to be Christ’s witness. Can you see [understand] as Anne opens her heart and soul to the Holy Spirit. The anointing becomes her portion, and she is able to pray for the sick in body and spirit. Can you see [understand] Anne suffer for the sake of the gospel, and the stand she took against false doctrines.

 

Oh, that you and I will be more like Anne. I pray that as you read this message, the Spirit of God will minister to your heart about the need to die to your sinful flesh, and to die to this world and its filth. So that you and I can be reborn in the power of the Holy Spirit. That we will allow the Holy Ghost to over shadow us, to fill us with Himself.

Saints of the living God, lets get serious about the Holy Spirit. For the Spirit desire’s to dwell within our hearts. To mould and make us more into the image of God’s Son. Dearly beloved, I trust you enjoyed this message, and that you will desire even more now to be empowered by the HOLY SPIRIT!

 

William.

 

 


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