Are there things that move you in this life? Paul knew whatever happened he wouldn’t be moved because he didn’t count his life dear to himself. Even persecution couldn’t move him.
II Corinthians 11:22-27 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
We need to get to the point that nothing will move us, so we don’t have a breaking point – not by problems or persecutions or poverty or what people think. We need to be saved and then be sanctified so we have the power of the Holy Ghost to not let anything move us. Salvation and sanctification are two separate experiences. Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, but he didn’t receive the Holy Ghost until later.
Acts 9:3-6 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
Several days later, we see that God sent Ananias to pray for Paul to receive the Holy Ghost.
Acts 9:15-17 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
If we’re not sanctified, there will be something in this world that will move us from the gospel of Christ. The ten spies could only see the giants. Caleb and Joshua saw the giants but knew that God would help them overcome.
Numbers 14:1-2 And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!
Numbers 14:6-10 And Joshua the son of Nun, and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, which were of them that searched the land, rent their clothes: And they spake unto all the company of the children of Israel, saying, The land, which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is with us: fear them not. But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation…
Joshua and Caleb had another spirit in them, the Holy Spirit, that helped them see things differently than the other spies.
Numbers 14:24 But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.
We need the Holy Spirit in us to see beyond the temporal things like Joshua and Caleb did. To receive the Holy Spirit, we can’t count our own life dear to us or have any reservations. The first thing Jesus told the disciples was to follow him. To follow him, we have to keep our eyes on him. In military service, you have to abide by the rules. You can’t go into the military and criticize the military or the officers over you. In salvation, there’s a relationship established, a rank or order we must to summit to, and rules we must follow.
Paul was six years younger than Jesus. At 15 years old Paul went to school at the temple and learned the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible, the books of Moses) and was taught by Gamaliel. At 27 Paul was persecuting the church after Jesus was crucified. When Philip preached Christ to the people of Samaria, they received the word with great joy and were saved.
Acts 8:3-8 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word. Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.
Then Peter and John went to Samaria and laid their hands on them and prayed for them to receive the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:14-15 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
Something will come up–persecution or being offended–that will move us if we’re not filled with the Holy Ghost. Apollos was saved but hadn’t heard about the Holy Ghost. He gladly received the Holy Ghost when he heard. On the day of Pentecost the people all heard in their own language. Modern Pentecostalism tongues is not about hearing in a language that can be interpreted but is a jibber jabber or incomprehensible language that no one really knows what is being said. God doesn’t cause us to act in an unseemly (inappropriate, immodest) way when we’re filled with the Holy Ghost.
Acts 19:1-6 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.
Daniel was 15 or 16 years old when he was taken to Babylon. He went to school there to learn the language and the sciences. He purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself. If we’re not filled with the Holy Ghost, the carnal nature will overcome us no matter what we purpose to do. Daniel had an excellent spirit. If we’re not sanctified, there will be things that our spirit wants to do and we won’t give up what God wants us to. We must have it settled that we’re going to serve God no matter what happens – what our family thinks, what those we work with think or say about us, or whether people approve of us. The ones Daniel worked with tried to find fault but he was innocent. He didn’t do anything against the people he worked with or against the king or God.
Daniel 6:20-22 And when he came to the den, he cried with a lamentable voice unto Daniel…O Daniel, servant of the living God, is thy God, whom thou servest continually, able to deliver thee from the lions? Then said Daniel unto the king, O king, live for ever. My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.
The king wouldn’t have made a decree if Daniel hadn’t kept an excellent spirit by controlling himself and his tongue.
Proverbs 15:1 A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
David sent ten men to help Nabal’s servants shear the sheep and to protect them. Afterward when David asked for food, Nabal disrespected David. David was angry and took 400 men to kill Nabal, his family, and his servants. Abigail was married to Nabal by an arranged marriage and she knew he was churlish or rude and bad-mannered. She couldn’t help how Nabel acted but she went to ask David for mercy on them. She did it because she knew it would hurt David when he became king if he took revenge instead of letting God take whatever revenge was needed. She had a soft answer for David and it turned away his wrath (I Samuel 25:1-35). If someone speaks to you in anger and you feel anger rising up in you, get away someplace to pray and don’t answer back in anger. If you utter all your mind or the first thing that comes to your mind, you’ll be a fool. If you pray first, you will be able to answer with wisdom.
Proverbs 29:11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)