W O RL D MAP W O R L D M I S S I O N A RY A S S I S TA N C E P L A N • FA L L 2 0 11
India Seminars, Nepal Talks Mark Giant Step Forward for God’s Purposes
Editor’s Note: This final section of “The Anointing of the Holy Spirit” highlights the life-giving, life-transforming power of the anointing, with a look at how the ingredients of the holy anointing oil in the Old Testament Tabernacle dramatically illustrate that power.
The Anointing of the Holy Spirit
Anointing is Not Designed to be Contained, Possessed, or Kept to Ourselves The basic purpose of anointing is to enable us to be effective in ministry or in our assignment. This includes freely giving away in ministry to others what has been given to us by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Himself, at the beginning of His ministry, said: “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me…” (Luke 4:16-21). You will note as you read these verses that Jesus then listed a number of things He was specifically anointed to do for others. Anointing is a sacred privilege. We should not desire it in order to be perceived as more spiritual or better than someone else. Anointing is an equipping from the Holy Spirit, given to make us more fruitful and effective in ministry and in our calling. This means that we will actually become better servants to all (John 13:12-17). A lifestyle and attitude of giving, at every level and dimension of life, is the Bible’s command to every believer (Matt 10:8; Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35). God desires His people to continually give of their resource and abilities to benefit others. Without a lifestyle of giving, we will not be healthy spiritually, and the Body of Christ will also be lacking. God has given us a profound example in the geography of Israel that will help to illustrate this principle.
Life Or Death Israel has two large bodies of water. One is the Sea of Galilee, the other is the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee is a beautiful, fresh-water lake that is full of life. The Dead Sea is exactly like its name. It is so filled with salt and minerals that it cannot support life. The water in the Dead Sea is undrinkable, and so harsh that prolonged exposure to it can burn your skin, cause blindness or even kill you! The Sea of Galilee is fed by fresh water flowing into it from brooks and streams. At the lowest end, this fresh water then flows out into the River Jordan, which then flows directly into the Dead Sea. How is it possi-
• WORLD MAP DIGEST / Fall 2011
by Rev. Frank R. Parrish
REV. FRANK PARRISH
ble, then, for the life-giving fresh water from the Sea of Galilee to become the toxic and lifeless Dead Sea? There is one important difference between these two seas: Good, healthy water flows into both, but flows out only from the Sea of Galilee. The Dead Sea has no outlet. The water in the Dead Sea just sits and evaporates, leaving behind an ever-increasing buildup of salt and minerals. The water becomes poisonous and lifeless. In the same way, the anointing of the Holy Spirit in the minister’s life is intended to produce the life of Jesus in others. It will increase the life of God within us, and then flow through us to others. We are to continually give away to others through empowered, lifegiving ministry and service. As we pray for others, preach, teach the Word and share words of edification under the Holy Spirit’s anointing, we are life-giving ministers who will bless and edify others. If we become selfish with our time or efforts – and choose to not provide a continual “flow” of the life of the Holy Spirit within us in ministry and service to others – the anointing of the Holy Spirit will stagnate within us. We are intended to continually and freshly receive from the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18,19), and then give away the “living waters” that we receive through ministry and service to others (John 7:37-39). You can read about this principle in Matthew 25:14-30. What happened to the servant who did nothing with the gifts and anointing God had given him? Anointing Can be Limited or Stopped We have learned that the anointing is the Person and presence of God the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a disembodied or impersonal force. The Holy Spirit is the Person of God. Scripture reveals that the Holy Spirit can be “grieved” (Eph 4:30). This means to be made sorrowful, become injured or become distressed. The Holy Spirit can also be “quenched” (1Thess 5:19). This word contains the idea of being suppressed or stifled, like a fire being dampened with water.
World MAP Vol. 51 • No. 4 / Fall 2011
Table of Contents
ACTS EXCERPT Anointing of the Holy Spirit ......................... 2
POISED FOR BREAKTHROUGH India Seminars, Nepal Talks Mark Giant Step Forward for God’s Purposes................ 4
READER RESPONSES Forging a Bond with the Word ...................10
WORLD MAP TEACHING Key Resource for All Denominations ........12
UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP The Tai Dam of Laos ...................................... 13
PRAYING FOR THE NATIONS Nigeria.................................................................13 WORLD MAP BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Jon Cook, Skip Mahoney, Hank Morris, Frank Parrish, Vic Torres. WMAP CANADA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Helmuth Lange, Dave McTaggart, Frank Parrish, Wendy Parrish, Horst Senkbeil. DIGEST STAFF: Frank and Wendy Parrish .........................Directors / Editors Gayla Dease ...Publications Coordinator / Layout Keith Balser .......................................Copy Editor
There are churches where people would much rather go through their own rituals and forms each week, with no desire to welcome the fresh work of the Holy Spirit into their services. When this happens, He is not free to work and move; thus the Spirit is “quenched.”
a. Quenching The Holy Spirit. How do we quench the Holy Spirit? This most often happens when people are resistant to, or apathetic about, the working and moving of the Holy Spirit. If people are unwilling to respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings or desires to move among them, they can stop (quench) His work in their midst. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit can also be quenched when our human efforts or enthusiasm replace the actual work of the Holy Spirit. There are churches where people would much rather go through their own rituals and forms each week, with no desire to welcome the fresh work of the Holy Spirit into their services. When this happens, He is not free to work and move; thus the Spirit is “quenched.” There are other places where people want to “act” like the Holy Spirit is present. They may jump around, shout, shake, or other such things. It is true that when the power of the Holy Spirit is at work, there are sometimes physical manifestations. But if this is done just as a form, and is not in response to a genuine work of the Holy Spirit, this behavior can also quench the actual work that the Holy Spirit desires to do at that moment. Any time people choose to substitute a form for the actual presence and working of the Holy Spirit, He is not free to move as He desires. Thus, He is quenched. What do all of these examples have in common? They all reveal man’s attempt to control or imitate God’s work. People may decide that they are comfortable with a certain form or style that they want to adopt. Every week, it is the same schedule or form in their services. Unfortunately, this can prevent the Holy Spirit from actually working in their services to minister His life, power, healing and anointing to the people. There is no room or invitation for Him to come and work. In these instances, the will of man opposes the desire of the Holy Spirit – and the Holy Spirit is “quenched” or not free to work. The Bible specifically addresses the efforts of human flesh replacing the power and presence of the Holy Spirit: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts” (Zech 4:6). b. Grieving The Holy Spirit. The Scriptures also speak of grieving the Holy Spirit (Eph 4:30). To “grieve” means to make sad or sorrowful. The Holy Spirit can be made sorrowful by anything that we allow or harbor in our hearts that is unlike Jesus. We can have attitudes, habits, thoughts, words or actions – whatever is not Christ-like will grieve the Holy Spirit. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:30-32). Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesian Christians helps them to understand that they are the temple of the Holy Spirit, both individually (1Cor 6:19) and corporately (1Cor 3:9-17) as the Body of Christ. Because the Spirit of God lives in us, we can have intimate relationship This teaching continues on page 11
Fall 2011 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 3
POISED FOR BREAKTHROUGH! India Seminars, Nepal Talks Mark Giant Step Forward for God’s Purposes by Dr. Frank Parrish
“For a wide door for effective service has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1Cor 16:9). It was just prior to leaving for World MAP’s recent seminar in Jaipur, India, that I received the above scripture in an E-mail from one of our faithful prayer partners. She also wrote this encouragement: “I believe it to be an indication that the Lord is going to move mightily in that conference. Be encouraged that the door the Lord opens, no one can shut.” With a full heart I can now confirm the fulfillment of this word for World MAP’s Jaipur seminar – praise the Lord!
• WORLD MAP DI GE ST / Fall 2011
Hungering ... and ready to receive impartation from the Holy Spirit.
Though the seminar in Jaipur was not without “adversaries” – including a dispute between the owners of the conference facility just weeks before the seminar was to begin that threatened its availability – the Lord in His grace and power caused all things to work together for the good of the pastors who joined with us for this blessed and powerful time.
Outnumbered Yet Undaunted It is not surprising that there were adversaries to be overcome for the Jaipur conference. The ratio of Christians to the rest of the population in this area is just 1 in 10,000. In this city of 3.5 million people, there are only about 40 small Christian churches. “It felt like a spiritually dark and tense place,” explained Dr. Vic Torres, World MAP Board member
Freshly equipped for Kingdom work and fully empowered by the Spirit of God.
and part of the ministry team. “Tense, because of the nearness to the border of Pakistan, with whom India has had ongoing violent conflict. And also tense due to the anti-conversion laws that have been in effect for five years in Rajasthan (the Indian state in which Jaipur is located). “These laws make it a crime for a Hindu or Muslim to convert to Christianity. Christians can have their homes or jobs taken from them, and be thrown in jail. I spoke with a pastor who was attacked and beaten by 16 men with sticks and iron pipes because he was preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Though badly bruised, there was thankfully no permanent damage. But authorities not only turned a blind eye to the attack, they actually endorsed it. This is the environment that the evangelists, pastors and church leaders are dealing with on a daily basis.” But even with these risks and challenges, church leaders are willing to evangelize and share the life and hope that is found only in Jesus Christ. They are hungry for teaching and training; furthermore, since the need for careful and strategic evangelism and church growth is
F a ll 2 0 11 / WO R L D M A P D IG ES T
• * More than 320 church leaders traveled from 12 Indian states to Jaipur.
tremendous, they are open to hearing from the Holy Spirit how this can best be accomplished.
Hard Ground and Hunger The growth of the Church in northern India has been slow and difficult. The population is 75% Hindu and nearly 25% Muslim, with just .05% Christian. Because of the strict anti-conversion laws, a Christian cannot even openly carry a Bible without fear of violent repercussions. If believers meet together, they must do so secretly and keep their worship and activities very quiet. There is great spiritual oppression, with principalities and powers that oppose the work of the Gospel (Eph 6:12). It was into this delicate yet critical situation in Jaipur that World MAP brought a Spiritual Renewal and Equipping Seminar for more than 320 church leaders (men and women) who traveled from 12 different Indian states to receive. The team and I were amazed and humbled by the hunger evidenced in such effort made to attend. As we prayed before the conference even began, we could sense that God desired to impart something very significant to these dedicated workers in His Harvest. “Usually when World MAP conducts a conference, it is primarily for pastors,” shared Dr. Torres. “But in Jaipur, where so much work is yet to be done to establish the Church, we would estimate that at least 75% of those attending were also evangelists. This was great news for the potential growth of the Church in northwest India. We were blessed to work with ‘frontline’ soldiers of the Kingdom of God, especially because of the very hard ground in which they are attempting to sow the Gospel. What a wonderful opportunity to make a difference!” Out of Many, One Because of the numerous locations from which the pastors traveled, many of them did not know one another. But as we worshipped, prayed and feasted on
• WORLD MAP DIGEST / Fall 2011
the Word together, there was a powerful work of unity that began as relationships formed. The church leaders discovered that they are not alone in their work, and the challenges and difficulties they face are shared by others as well. It was a joy to see them openly encourage and strengthen one another! World MAP conferences are unique in that we make room for much more than just relevant Bible teaching. A primary emphasis is also placed on leaders working together to advance the Kingdom of God, rather than building personal kingdoms, becoming territorial, or competing with one another. We also openly welcome the work and presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst; this not only fosters unity among the brethren but also allows for specific times of personal ministry and healing, along with refilling and refreshing for the pastors. Freedom in Divine Order For the opening message, I spoke on what it means to be a Kingdom leader in these significant days in India and around the world. I could sense the excitement and readiness of the pastors to lay down anything that opposed the Father’s best for them, and to instead embrace all of His highest purposes. At the conclusion of the message, the Holy Spirit prompted me to invite the pastors to enter into a time of receiving personal ministry. With the immense challenges confronting the church leaders of northern India, it was understandable that many were discouraged, disappointed and profoundly weary.
It was a joy to see the pastors openly encourage and strengthen one another!
So I began by asking the leaders who felt discouraged to raise their hands. Then I asked the pastors seated around these leaders to lay hands on them and pray for them. There was a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence as the whole group moved into a time of aggressive spiritual warfare and intercession for one another. Next, I was prompted to call forward those leaders who felt overcome by either temptation or deception. This can be a difficult thing to ask of anyone, but especially church leaders who can typically be reluctant to reveal weakness or failure. But the Holy Spirit knew exactly what things hindered His shepherds and what He
I could sense the excitement and readiness ...
desired to do to free them. Many leaders came forward to pray, repent and recommit themselves to a pure call (2Tim 1:9), while the rest of the leaders were raising strong voices in prayer for them. It was then that I felt led to pray specifically for those who were being tormented by thoughts of worthlessness, failure and even suicide. We prayed specifically against the strategies of the enemy, and for bondages in their minds to be broken. We welcomed God’s peace (Greek: “eirene”, divine order) to fill their minds. This was a powerful time of freedom as the Holy Spirit ministered to the leaders, with many more coming forward to receive and be touched by the Spirit of God.
Fresh Atmosphere It was clear from the very first meeting that this was going to be a significant conference for every leader present. As the week unfolded, this proved to be true in a number of ways. The teachings brought by the ministry team (Vic Torres of Reach Out Church, Don Richter of Harvest Preparation International Ministries, and me) were eagerly received, and included these topics: the Baptism of the Holy Spirit; the Kingdom of God; mentoring new leaders; the Anointing of God; and confidence in the call of God. It was a joy to witness the ministry of the Holy Spirit as the pastors’ spiritual eyes were opened to practical biblical truths about life, faith and ministry. We were also blessed to see the noticeable growth of unity, fellowship and simple camaraderie taking place during the conference. The night that I taught on the Anointing of God, I could again sense the very real spiritual hunger of the pastors for more of God’s presence and power in their lives and ministries. At the conclusion of the teaching, we took time to welcome the Holy Spirit to come and fill and minister. Very quickly, there came strong and numerous manifestations of His presence and anointing, with powerful ministry. At the conclusion of that time, more than 50 pastors indicated that they had been physically healed; others testified to deliverance from oppression and anxieties; all
had openly received of the Holy Spirit’s refreshing and infilling. What a blessing to see the Spirit of God meet each one, bringing freedom and release and a fresh filling of His presence and power. Dr. Torres recalls, “The spiritual atmosphere changed dramatically from the time we arrived to the end of the conference. The leaders were truly encouraged and ‘filled up’, ready to go back into the field expecting a harvest. This was a critically important conference for piercing and pressing back the spiritual oppression in Jaipur and northwest India. “By the final meeting, the leaders had bonded with each other, and bonded with the messages of hope, healing and wholeness that were presented to them. Their spirits were filled, as evidenced by the strong and joyous worship at the final meeting of the conference.” As the World MAP Spiritual Renewal Seminar in Jaipur drew to a close, our hearts overflowed with both joy and sorrow. We had grown to love and admire these courageous leaders and it was hard to say goodbye. Yet we also had great joy in parting, knowing that the teachings had layered “line-upon-line” truth into their hearts. Each leader had been given a copy of World MAP’s 1,000-page training resource, The Shepherd’s Staff, a rich source of teaching and training for years to come. As we left the leaders in Jaipur, we also had firm confidence in the power and sustaining grace of the One whose presence remains with them, even until the end. We will continue to carry these beloved men and women from northern India in our hearts and prayers, and hope to be with them again someday soon.
... and the bond uniting pastors.
Formal Training – a First for Many The ministry team then traveled across the subcontinent of India to the southeastern city of Vijayawada for our next conference. This was World MAP’s second time in this commercial and financial hub of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. So our partners from IBL Ministries (who coordinate our India seminars) worked diligently to invite a whole new group of pastors who had not previously attended. This unfortunately meant turning away Fall 2011 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 7
to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. However, the birth rate is more than 12 times that amount (approximately 69,600 born daily). India also has the highest number of unreached people groups of any single nation – 310 distinct tribal language groups that have never heard the Gospel. So there are still major challenges to winning the nation of India for Christ!
The 600+ pastors were desperately hungry for Bible teaching and desirous of personal ministry.
hundreds who had been with us last year, but they understood that it was gracious and Christ-like to allow a new group to be able to receive ministry and training. The 600+ pastors who gathered with us in Vijayawada were also desperately hungry for Bible teaching and desirous of personal ministry. It is difficult to adequately communicate to you the nearly overwhelming challenges that pastors face in developing nations. In addition to the normal challenges faced by pastors everywhere, these beloved workers endure immense spiritual oppression, life-threatening persecution and grinding poverty – plus laws and governments that aggressively oppose the Gospel. Most have had no formal Bible instruction or ministry training. They come to our conferences so worn down, yet fully ready to hear and receive from the Lord. World MAP conferences are often the first (and sometimes only) leadership training and personal ministry times ever made available to them. What a privilege it is to serve them!
How Will They Be Numbered? From the opening night, there was vibrant heartfelt worship and a strong sense of the Holy Spirit’s presence. As our meetings progressed, the ministry team was again struck by a strong impression that we were participating in a key season of the Father’s purposes being released and fulfilled in India. Though official reports indicate that only 3% of India’s 1.2 billion people are Christian, many believe it is closer to 7% as official counts include only registered, historic churches and denominations. The real growth and spread of Christianity is in the newer, unregistered and independent churches, which are mostly Pentecostal in doctrine and practice. This same pattern, as noted by missiologists, is also true in most developing nations. It is estimated that 5,000 people a day in India come
The Call Rings Out Each session of the Vijayawada conference was significant and powerful. But on the night when we ministered on the Anointing of God, we again saw the same pattern of sovereign physical healings, deliverances, releasing of new vision and fresh direction for leaders and their ministries – powerful and tangible evidences of the Holy Spirit’s presence and touch upon the pastors. With this ministry came a strong prophetic sense that leaders were being prepared and raised up to expand outward in a great evangelistic and church-planting thrust in their nation and even into other nations. Hallelujah! For the final session of the conference, I spoke on God’s call to leaders – that it is a supernatural call and because He has called them, He will be faithful to enable them to do all of His will and fulfill His purpose in the earth in these days (1Thess 5:24). The session ended with a declaration to pastors, quoting Isaiah 6:8, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Spontaneously and without specific direction to do so, the entire conference body, from the oldest to the youngest, stood to their feet. What followed was a powerful time of surrender, dedication, and strong praise and worship to the One Who had called them and Who also would do it. Amen!
“Whom shall I send, and who will go...?” The entire conference body stood to their feet.
Though official reports indicate that only 3% of India’s 1.2 billion people are Christian, many believe it is closer to 7% as official counts include only registered, historic churches and denominations. The real growth and spread of Christianity is in the newer, unregistered and independent churches, which are mostly Pentecostal in doctrine and practice. This same pattern, as noted by missiologists, is also true in most developing nations. • WORLD MAP DIGEST / Fall 2011
The door for the Gospel is still open, and NOW is the day of salvation! Pray for laborers to be raised up: those filled with the Holy Spirit, grounded in the Word of God, and fully committed to the Father’s will and to serving His Kingdom, ready to go as He commands.
At the conclusion of the conference, each participant received their own copy of The Shepherd’s Staff, an issue of ACTS Magazine along with a free subscription for future issues, and the love and embrace of the ministry team for each one of them. This year’s conferences occasioned my fifth opportunity to minister in the nation of India. From the very first day I set foot in the country, I have believed that this was a significant time and season for India. Our entire ministry and support team sensed this again this year, now more than ever. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, the things that God has in store just ahead for His faithful followers in India! Moving Mountains Following the India conferences, the ministry team flew to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. We journeyed to this small, ruggedly mountainous region in the Himalayas to meet with key leaders of Nepal’s fledgling church. Long ago, the Lord put the nation of Nepal on my heart and in my prayers, and I was thrilled to finally see the beginning of God’s purpose for World MAP in this nation being realized. It is only since the 1990s that it has been legal in Nepal to be a Christian or to share the Gospel. Prior to that time, Christians were exiled, tortured, imprisoned and murdered – and those remaining numbered only in the several hundreds. But radical changes in the Hindu-dominated government have now opened the doors to the Gospel in Nepal. In the past 20 years, Nepal has seen significant growth in new converts, signs and wonders, and church plants in this mountainous terrain. There are many churches, and dedicated believers who are even reaching into the remote tribal regions deep in the Himalayan range.
Hour of Destiny Our team met first with about 20 key leaders in Kathmandu to inquire as to how World MAP can best serve the Church in Nepal. After many questions and lengthy discussions, it became clear that these Nepalese leaders were eager to have World MAP come to Nepal for Spiritual Renewal and Equipping Seminars. They also wanted World MAP’s training resources, The Shepherd’s Staff and ACTS Equipping Magazines, to be made available to their networks of church leaders. Discussion ensued about the availability and feasibility of translating and printing our materials in Nepalese. Our few days in Nepal were full, but as we traveled to and from various meetings with different church leaders, it became clear that the Nepali people are in desperate need of the salvation that comes only through Jesus Christ. Nepal is the birthplace of Buddhism, and is still a stronghold of Hinduism and much superstition and
pagan religious practices. The bondage and hopeless oppression that accompany false religions were apparent everywhere we went. Please be much in prayer with us for this Spirit-born and Spirit-led connection with the believers in Nepal. Just the fact that our meetings drew together key leaders from various denominations and factions in the Body of Christ in Nepal was exceptionally unique and its own type of breakthrough. I believe this is just the very beginning of God’s prophetic purposes for this nation – and of World MAP’s role in seeing the Church of Nepal fulfill all that God has destined and ordained for it in this hour.
Nepal, birthplace of Buddhism and stronghold of Hinduism, is steeped in pagan superstition. We grieved to see the resulting spiritual oppression and bondage – yet rejoiced at the strong bonds being formed with Nepalese pastors.
With the Frontiers in Sight… Thank you for joining World MAP in prayer for both India and Nepal, and for this vast population of still-lost souls. The door for the Gospel is still open, and NOW is the day of salvation! Pray for laborers to be raised up: those filled with the Holy Spirit, grounded in the Word of God, and fully committed to the Father’s will and to serving His Kingdom, ready to go as He commands. Our Lord Jesus is bringing a great time of Harvest to the nations of the earth, and you are a vital and key part of His purpose in these days. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do as you partner with World MAP to fulfill God’s call to serve and reach India, Nepal, and all of the other frontiers of the Gospel. Amen! Fall 2011 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 9
FORGING A BOND WITH THE WORD
“I am deeply humbled and touched. My membership with you has produced results. I am able to teach my Sunday Bible class effectively. My special thanks to Frank and Wendy Parrish. If you ever visit our church, you will certainly see a big change in our services. Fellow deacons ask me which Bible school I attended, and I always tell them ACTS Magazines. My Shepherd’s Staff is always handy all the time.” – Deacon Godfrey Mwanza, Zambia
“The ACTS booklet lecture for the effective church leader is a very fantastic book. In fact it is very easy to understand, and so helpful in my ministerial activities. The lecture is full of Gospel teaching and pure. I pray that the Spirit of God will continue His assistance till eternity.” – Evangelist James Oyewole, Nigeria
“Thank you for the HECHOS [Spanish ACTS] magazine which has edified my life. Continue to send me this magazine. When I subscribed for the first time, I was in charge of a cell group. Now, I preach to 400 members. All that you have to offer is much needed. I appreciate all that you do for us, for your teachings.” – Carlos Herrera, Mexico
“I was very happy to hear about your ministry at the service of God which touched me deeply. Thank you very much because you have given me the book La Houlette du Berger [French Shepherd’s Staff]. It helps me in the service of God as an evangelist and a Bible student.” – Evangelist Leonidas Biziman, Burundi
“Thank you very, very much for sending me again your free ACTS Magazine. I can say every topic in ACTS is really very helpful and very useful in our Bible studies. Now we have Home Bible Churches in different places in Cavite Province... Praise God, ACTS has strengthened our faith, and makes clear to our minds about the spiritual teachings… One of our members in Home Bible Study asked me to give her this ACTS Magazine... The Lord used her now as one of the Bible study leaders.” – Mrs. Juanita Bayot, Philippines
“I have benefited from The Shepherd’s Staff which you sent me. It is a powerful companion in the ministry.” – Pastor Amos Kimau Njeru, Kenya
“I recently saw a copy of The Shepherd’s Staff in Portuguese. I was impressed by its rich content and vast amount of information it contains.” – Maria Angelica Marcao, Brazil
“ACTION [French ACTS] magazine is my main source of reference after the Bible.” – Pasteur Lycurgue Diogene, Haiti
“Blessings! Through this letter I would like to let you know that I have “This is just to thank you for received HECHOS. I would like to continue receiving the magazine. It ACTS Magazine. Every time has been a blessing to me and to the persons I share its teachings we read and make study, we with. Greetings to everyone. There are so many brothers who come back empowered and would like to receive your magazines.” refreshed by the truth and revelation – Pedro Aguilar, Nicaragua “My life through the reading of ACTS and the unequaled friend of the Bible, The Shepherd’s Staff, has made immense progress. Long live ACTS. Long live World MAP.” – Pastor Micheni Nyaga, Kenya
• WORLD MAP DIGEST / Fall 2011
we receive through the Holy Spirit. Thank you so much. God richly increase you. We pray for you always.” – Pastor Solomon Komape & Family, South Africa
ACTS “Anointing” excerpt, continued from page 3
with Him. The Holy Spirit can be grieved because He loves us (Rom 5:5). Let us depart from any thought or deed that may cause grief and sorrow to the Spirit of God living within us.
The Spirit And The Word There may be leaders who would say they welcome the work of the Holy Spirit in their midst. But they may become presumptuous by neglecting the diligent study of God’s Word and the preparation necessary to teach and disciple others in the ways of the Lord. They will just “let the Holy Spirit do the work.” This mindset is wrong, and can lead to serious problems in a leader’s life and within the church. This attitude can become an excuse for laziness or lack of discipline, which God will not bless. The Bible speaks very clearly to leaders about this issue. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2Tim 2:15,16). As leaders, we must prepare our hearts with much prayer, and fill our minds with the Word of God. We must diligently study the Scriptures and prepare teachings from the Word of God that will help those we lead to become mature disciples of Jesus Christ. We must never teach error, false doctrines or fleshly ideas due to a lack of study and familiarity with the truth of God’s Word. We will be judged on what we teach to others (Jas 3:1). When we are prepared from the Word of God, we can fully expect the Holy Spirit’s anointing to empower the preaching of the true Word of God. We can expect the Holy Spirit to use us as an instrument in that moment of ministry, and also expect His power in signs and wonders to follow. But if we are not diligent to study the Bible and pray, we will be far more likely to minister out of our own ideas or fleshly inclinations. How can the Holy Spirit anoint us when we are not presenting the Word of God or fully representing Christ in our lives and ministries?
Spontaneous Anointing The Bible does teach that there are times when the Holy Spirit can fill our mouths with the right words: “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak” (Matt 10:19; see also Mark 13:11 and Luke 12:11,12). However, these verses refer to situations of persecution or unusual circumstance, not to a normal weekly meeting of your flock! So this Scripture reference should never be used as an excuse to not diligently study God’s Word and prepare sound teachings. There may be times when we are called upon unexpectedly to preach, pray or minister. I believe that in those moments there comes a spontaneous anointing (help) from the Holy Spirit. Remember, He is the One who desires to make Jesus known, and to draw people to salvation through Christ! He will use us in any situ-
ation to do that. But the more prepared we are in the Word of God and prayer, the better prepared we will be for God to use us effectively. God requires His leaders to be diligent in and faithful to His Word. This is for the leader’s personal benefit, as well as for the benefit of those whom they lead. A daily habit of Bible study and prayer builds within us a “spiritual reservoir” from which the Holy Spirit can draw. The Holy Spirit then adds His power, wisdom and divine insight to what we say. This combination can change the life of the hearer! The Word of God exhorts us to always be prepared for the Holy Spirit to use us in any situation (2Tim 4:2; 1Pet 3:15). This is accomplished only through diligent study of God’s Word and prayer! Anointing can be abused or misused by: • moral weakness (Samson – Judges Chapters 13-16) • disobedience (Nadab and Abihu – Lev 10:1-3) • desire to control the anointing (the Elders – Num 11:16-30) • dishonesty (Ananias and Sapphira – Acts 5:1-11) • greed for money and power (Simon the Sorcerer – Acts 8:9-24) Your leadership role and anointing is both a privilege and a serious and essential responsibility. The Bible exhorts us as leaders to be examples to the flock of faithfulness, for Jesus’ sake and glory (Matt 24:13; Phil 3:17,18; 2Tim 4:6-8; 1Pet 5:2,3).
OLD TESTAMENT FORETYPES OF ANOINTING As we continue our study, let us examine some Old Testament foretypes of anointing. As referenced earlier, the Old Testament was given for our instruction and example (Rom 15:4; 1Cor 10:11). It will help us to gain a fuller picture of anointing as a promise given that was initially fulfilled at the beginning of the New Testament Church age (see Acts Chapter 2).
Symbolic Foretypes There are a number of symbolic foretypes in the Old Testament of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit. a. Fire - In the Tabernacle and on the altar of incense, the burnt offerings had a continuously burning flame that was originally started by God (Lev 9:24; 2Chr 7:1-3). This flame was to be kept burning always (Lev 6:13). This same image of fire, which symbolizes the living presence of the Spirit of God, is also seen in the New Testament (Matt 3:11; Acts 2:3). b. Water - Water is a symbol used in the Old Testament to signify the Holy Spirit bringing spiritual refreshing and blessings from God. In this part of the world where water was scarce, the symbolic use of water to represent God’s Spirit spoke clearly to people (Ps 23:2; Isa 35:6,7). Ezekiel had a vision of a great river flowing from This teaching continues on page 14
Fall 2011 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 11
World MAP Teaching:
Key Resource for All Denominations
By Keith G. Balser oo little sound teaching and too many untrained pastors – these grim facts cross denominational lines, a South African pastor has found. Yet he sees in World MAP’s Bible-based resources a bright ray of hope for changing all that. “It is my belief,” he writes, “that as many workers and leaders [as possible] from various denominations existing worldwide should be exposed to your publications, namely: The Shepherd’s Staff and ACTS Magazine.” The Bible and these two World MAP resources accompany him on what he calls his “insatiable quest to plant a true church of Christ in every denomination.” His Shepherd’s Staff is “now completely worn out, because everyone keeps borrowing it for study and reference.” Having established lasting relationships of trust with pastors in various denominations throughout South Africa, he focuses on one denomination at a time, strengthening and guiding the leadership; then he moves on to another denomination to do the same. He focuses on “preaching, counseling, motivating, teaching, or maybe even giving support in one way or another.” He does not belong to any denomination himself, nor does he seek to establish his own congregation. His vision and mission mirrors that of World MAP, for he is indeed living out Paul’s charge in 2 Timothy 2:2: “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” The faithful men he has equipped through the Bible, ACTS Magazine and The Shepherd’s Staff are already seeing revival in their lives and ministries. “Great wonders indeed by the Holy Spirit! The Spirit of Christ is now penetrating new grounds (i.e., religious institutions) by using their leaders, who before were spiritually dead, to transform gatherings, individuals and ways of worship.” Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow Penetrating new ground – by equipping native pastors to penetrate new ground – is vital to World MAP’s global ministry. The Shepherd’s Staff is a “Bible school in
• WORLD MAP DIGEST / Fall 2011
a book” that is also, like ACTS Magazine, a “Bible school without borders.” As the reader responses on page 10 show, though the church leaders served by World MAP come from widely-varying cultures, they still share a strong common denominator: World MAP’s Kingdom-focused Bible teaching, which places strong emphasis on building unity among churches and releasing revival in every church. Training pastors – such as this South African – to train still other pastors does even more than cross denominational and national lines. It holds the key to ensuring the unbroken and unaltered transmission, across generational lines, of “the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints” (Jude 3). “Both your publications, The Shepherd’s Staff and ACTS Magazine, ideally stand for faith in Christ yesterday, today and tomorrow. Your work has, is and will continue to bless many believers.” To bless more and more believers, please use the coupon on the back cover to help equip church leaders with ACTS Magazine, The Shepherd’s Staff, and the powerful mentoring of a World MAP Spiritual Renewal Seminar.
UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP
T h e T A I D A M of LA O S
Home: Narrow upland valleys of Khammouan Province in central Laos.
Earthly fame: The religion of the Tai Dam is a blend of spirit-worship and Buddhism. They pray for guidance to ancestor-spirits, offering sacrifices of food to attempt to keep them from turning into evil spirits. Their creation myth, handed down orally, goes as follows: Their original ancestor spirits, the Grandfather of the Sky and Grandmother of the earth, magically induced a worldwide flood to end a drought that had killed all living things. Then gourds containing various Tai Dam clans (along with varieties of rice, fish and animals) were placed on the receding waters, populating Laos first and then other parts of the world. The myth concludes by asserting that the fame of the Tai Dam people would sound forth like a loud drum throughout the earth.
When Law Breeds Lawlessness
Population: 155,215,573 50% Muslim • 40% Christian 10% Indigenous (polytheism, spiritism) Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the seventh most populous country in the world. Average life expectancy: 47 years (third lowest of the world’s 222 countries) Population below poverty line: 70% (about 108 million) President of Nigeria: Goodluck Jonathan Vice President: Mohammed Namadi Sambo Nigeria is a federal republic divided into 36 states. A house divided – and ransacked: The symbolism of Nigeria’s flag is among the world’s most ironic: Green represents the country’s wealth of natural resources; white represents peace and unity. Yet rampant violence, wasteful corruption, tribal hatred and political turmoil are seared into Nigeria’s past and present. The 1967-1970 civil war between government forces and the breakaway state of Biafra horrified the world. Estimates of starvation deaths resulting from the Nigerian blockade of Biafra run as high as 2 million. Also horrifying – and ongoing – is the violent persecution of Christians in the arid, Muslim-dominated north since the imposition of Sharia law there in 2000. An estimated 1,000 churches have been burned and as many as 10,000 Christians killed since then.
P r a yi n g fo r t h e Nations
PRAY FOR: • A realization by the Tai Dam that their inherited myths and empty spiritual rituals offer no hope, that only faith in Jesus Christ will deliver and save them. • Laborers to be sent forth to bring the Tai Dam people a vibrant Gospel witness (Matt 9:38). • Sound Bible teaching for Tai Dam converts, so they can show others the stark contrast between man-made myths and the eternal plan of God as unfolded in His Word. • Tai Dam evangelists to be raised up and equipped – so that the Gospel, not fleeting earthly fame, would sound forth from them (1Thess 1:8).
PRAY FOR: • Divine protection for Christians and church leaders in Nigeria, especially in the Muslim north. • God’s Kingdom purposes to come in the northern states governed by Sharia law where that oppressive Islamic legal code now rules: Zamfara (the first to impose Sharia), Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe, Kaduna, Niger, Gombe. • Wisdom and protection for President Jonathan, who professes faith in Christ; and the hearts of all the political leaders to be turned toward God’s purposes (Prov 21:1), especially the governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, who upon his May 2011 election vowed renewed commitment to Sharia law. • Frank Parrish and the ministry team from MCI, who will be conducting seminars for pastors in Nigeria from October 24 through November 3.
JOIN THE WORLD MAP PRAYER CORPS AS WE CIRCLE THE GLOBE WITH INTERCESSION FOR THE ADVANCE OF GOD’S KINGDOM. E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org – and send us your name and address or E-mail address.
Fall 2011 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 13
ACTS “Anointing” excerpt, continued from page 11
God’s dwelling place in His temple (Ezek 47:1-12). This was reflective of the unrestricted flow of God’s Spirit upon His people. Jeremiah uses the “fountain of living waters” (Jer 2:13; 17:13) to portray God’s presence by His Spirit. Jesus also speaks of living waters: “…out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. But this He spoke concerning the Spirit…” (John 7:37-39). In this instance, Jesus was specifically prophesying about the coming outpouring of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16,17; Acts 2). c. Blood - We read in the Old Testament about a special anointing for the priests involving blood (Ex 29:19-21). d. Oil - The use of oil was widespread throughout the Old Testament. From common usage in cooking, lamps and cosmetics, to the highest of temple functions, oil played an important role. Oil was especially symbolic of the presence and consecrating power of the Holy Spirit. We see this with kings (1Sam 10:1), priests (Ex 29:1-9) and the ceremonial cleansing of lepers (Lev 14:10-18). Oil also symbolized joy (Isa 61:3), and its absence represented sorrow or humiliation (Joel 1:10). Oil was also an image of prosperity (Deut 33:24), comfort (Job 29:6) and spiritual nourishment (Ps 45:7).
A Powerful Symbolic Picture From just this brief look at the Old Testament, we see the rich deposit of symbols, pictures and imagery that reveal much to us about the anointing of the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives. As foretypes, these represent the anointing and work of the Holy Spirit that we now have available to us today! This anointing is the fulfilled promise of our heavenly Father (Joel 2:28-32) to pour out His Spirit upon His people (Acts 2:33-39). One of the most powerful symbolic pictures of the anointing of the Holy Spirit is the making and use of the holy anointing oil. A study of Exodus 30:22-33 will give us much insight into the nature and function of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The anointing oil was sacred and holy unto the Lord. The Israelites were to view the anointing oil in the same way. This mixture was a separate and unique anointing oil to be used only for sacred functions (vs.31-33). God gave a divine formula for this anointing oil (vs.22-25). It was not to be duplicated for other uses. Its use was forbidden to anyone outside the covenant people of Israel (v.33).
Divine Appointing As it was a foretype of the anointing of the Holy Spirit, the very strict statutes regarding this special anointing oil reveal to us three very important principles. First, God has a sovereign will regarding the anointing of His Spirit. Just as He directed the ingredients of the anointing oil (Ex 30:22-25), God alone 14
• WORLD MAP DIGEST / Fall 2011
directs His anointing (1Sam 10:1) and how this anointing is to be expressed through a person’s life (1Cor 12:7,11). Second, the anointing oil was intended for the priests who served in the Tabernacle (Ex 30:30). It was not to be poured upon a person’s flesh (30:32). All genuine believers in Jesus Christ, as the “royal priesthood” of God (1Pet 2:9,10; Rev 1:6), have an anointing of the Holy Spirit (1John 2:20-27). This anointing is not available to the unbeliever. The Spirit of God lives only in those who are saved and who walk in obedience to God (John 3:5,6; Rom 8:1416; 1Cor 12:3). Third, the anointing oil is not to be duplicated for other uses, nor is it to be counterfeited (Ex 30:32,33). Anointing with oil in the Old Testament symbolized God’s divine appointing of an object or person. This appointment dedicated the object or person to a special place or function in God’s purposes. With a sovereignly-commanded appointment came the authority and power needed to equip the individual to fulfill what God had decreed (1Sam 16:13; Is 61:1). The same principle is true for the New Testament believer, regardless of the place of service God has given them inside or outside the Church. This is also true for those whom God has called specifically to full-time ministry service (2Cor 1:21; 1Thess 5:24). God makes available to us everything we need not only to be fruitful servants of His, but to be overcomers in life and ministry! The Problem With Counterfeits The availability of God’s anointing to us is wonderful news! But we must be careful not to miss the warnings in Exodus 30 about counterfeiting the anointing oil. God considered this a serious, even criminal, offense (Ex 30:32,33). One who sinned in this manner was “cut off” from the people of Israel. Biblical scholars often associate this phrase with being put to death. What does this symbolism of counterfeiting mean to us today as New Testament ministers? We have seen that it is a sin to use God’s anointing for our own gain (Phil 1:15,16). There are other ways in which God’s anointing is counterfeited in ministry today. Some people in ministry mistakenly think that the goal of their preaching is to get people excited. So they counterfeit the anointing by their exuberant style of preaching or teaching. Sometimes they will say things that people want to hear, even if it contradicts the Bible; they might tell exaggerated stories; or they might use other forms of manipulation to excite the crowd. Others in ministry may want to be impressive and gain a following for themselves. They may counterfeit anointing by pretending to understand “deep mysteries” that no one else knows (2Cor 11:3,4); claim titles or positions in order to be impressive to others; or use their position or authority to influence others to do things that may be unrighteous or that may benefit the leader. There are many other ways in which people are tempted to counterfeit or misuse anointing. But the
point is this: Counterfeiting or misusing the Holy Spirit’s anointing is a serious offense to God. It is also a form of deception that, when pursued, will give place to the demonic realm in a church leader’s life. Ultimately this will bring the judgment of God on that person’s life as well. Counterfeiting the Holy Spirit’s anointing is addressed in the New Testament. One of the more pointed examples is when Paul condemns “false apostles.” Paul equates them with Satan’s attempt to mimic God’s angels in order to lead believers astray (see 2 Corinthians Chapter 11). There are those today who appear to be messengers anointed by God, but they are not. The New Testament gives many warnings about them (Matt 7:15-20; Acts 20:27-30; 2Cor 11:1-15; Gal 1:6-10; Col 2:18-23; 1Tim 4:1-3; 2Tim 3:1-9; 2Pet 2:1-22; 1John 4:1-6; Jude 3-19). Let us now examine more thoroughly the ingredients of the anointing oil and what they reveal about the Holy Spirit. Specifically, the anointing oil contained myrrh, cinnamon, sweet cane (calamus), cassia and olive oil (Ex 30:23,24).
Ingredients Of The Anointing Oil: What They Reveal About The Anointing Of The Holy Spirit Myrrh – a mild, pleasant-smelling narcotic used as a painkiller – speaks of how the Holy Spirit helps to bring people into healing and deliverance from their brokenness, bondage to sin, and sickness (Isa 10:27; Matt 2:11; Mark 15:23; John 19:39; Heb 2:9,14-18; 1Pet 2:24). Cinnamon – a rare, expensive, highly-prized fragrant spice with a fiery-hot taste – speaks of the fire or zeal that comes from the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Song 4:14; Matt 3:11; John 2:13-17; see also Acts Chapters 2 and 4 for the fiery zeal of the apostles proclaiming the Gospel in the anointing of the Holy Spirit). Sweet Cane (calamus) – a highly fragrant cane prized by perfumers – required the bruising or crushing of its root in order to release its pleasant aroma. This speaks of the bruising or crushing of a believer’s life that is necessary to release the fragrant aroma of God’s presence within us, thereby (1) putting to death our selfish desires and self-dependence (Luke 9:23-26; Rom 12:1,2; 13:14; Gal 5:16-26), and (2) “breaking open” our lives to allow a greater measure of the grace and power of God to be made manifest in and through us (2Cor 12:7-10). Every believer in Christ, and especially each church leader, is called to be one who “diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing” (2Cor 2:14,15). This aroma of the reality of God’s presence will be released through our lives as we yield to His holy “crushing” and transforming work. Cassia – the bark of a plant similar to the cinnamon plant, used as a laxative in Bible times – represents the purifying, transforming effect of the anointing of the
Holy Spirit (2Cor 3:18), a primary work of the Holy Spirit. He comes to purge out that which is not in line with the life, character and Person of Christ. Olive Oil – the symbol most often used to represent the Holy Spirit in both the Old and New Testaments – has elements of each of the other four ingredients, in that it is: medicinal (like myrrh); associated with fire (like cinnamon); made by crushing/bruising (like cane); and used for purifying (like cassia). Yet it adds one more feature – it is a natural lubricant, reducing friction. This speaks to us of the anointing of the Holy Spirit reducing friction and producing unity, a vital quality in the Body of Christ. This symbolism speaks to us of the necessity and importance of unity among God’s people. (Scripture presents this concept of associating anointing and unity together in a beautiful way in Psalm 133.) Unity among God’s people is a source of joy and peace. God is pleased when His people walk in right relationship with one another. His blessing is released and the anointing of the Holy Spirit flows more freely. Unity, however, is not the same as uniformity. The scriptural concept of unity is like a symphony. In a symphony, there are many different musical instruments. Each plays a different part. But these various parts are all working together under the direction of a conductor. Thus, there is a lovely, harmonious whole. This is also true in the Body of Christ. There are many different gifts, callings, styles, personalities and abilities. Yet we have all been called into a symphonic relationship (John 17:20,21). No one is exactly the same as another; yet each has been called to play an important part. God then directs the willing participants into a harmonious symphony – His Body, loving one another as a testimony to the world (John 13:34,35). Paul speaks of this as he discusses the manifestation gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians Chapter 12 (see also 1 Corinthians 14:26-40). The early Church was an example of this unity, which was fostered by the anointing presence of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:42, 44-47). As we grow and live in the anointing of the Holy Spirit, let us have grace and love for one another. As we do, the anointing of the Holy Spirit and the witness of Christ can be released more fully in and through us! This brief study of the holy anointing oil (Ex 30:2233) reveals that God has given to us some amazing images and foretypes of the work of His Holy Spirit. Surely, our study of the Scriptures gives us understanding, wisdom and hope (Rom 15:4).
Editor’s Note: This concludes our series of highlights from “The Anointing of the Holy Spirit.” For the full contents – and full impact – of this study, please click on the ACTS: “Anointing of the Holy Spirit” teaching link on the home page of our website, www.world-map.com.
Fall 2011 / WORLD MAP DIGEST • 15
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