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Monthly Archives: February 2014

The Language of the Spirit #prayerinthespirit

JumbleI’ve been posting about Prayer in the Spirit.  The last point I mentioned is that when you pray in tongues, you are not hearing the actual prayer.  It is the spiritual communication with God that’s the important thing.

Remember that until Adam sinned he didn’t hear God with his ears.

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
1 Corinthians 14:14

Paul goes on to say that not even your mind understands what is being communicated in the spirit with God.  This is an intimate conversation between your spirit and the Spirit of the Lord.  All of this is great, but what does it have to do with the power of God in my life?

Let’s get back to where we left off in that discussion.  When you’re saved, the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of you.  You are now connected to God’s wireless network.  You have everything you need to access the power of God for your life.  However, there’s still something you need in order for the connection to function properly.

Look at it this way.  You may have a state of the art computer with a cutting edge wifi or 4G adapter, but there’s still something it needs.  That’s because the internal language of your computer in incompatible with the language of the internet.

In order for the computer to talk to the internet, it needs a piece of software called a browser.  It’s the browser that translates the internal language of your computer into the language of the internet allowing it to access everything that’s available.

It’s the same in the spirit.  In order for you to use God’s network you need a “download” from the Holy Spirit.  Your spirit needs to learn the language of the Holy Spirit.

You’ve spent you whole life never speaking to God on His level, in the spiritual realm.  The gift of the Holy Spirit is the language of the spirit.  As a matter of fact the word tongue is the old English word for language.

The gift of the Spirit is really the gift of language.  The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the download of the spiritual language you need to access the power of God’s network.  This is why I usually call it the gift of language or the heavenly language.  I want to take the emphasis off of the physical (the tongue) and place it on the spiritual where it belongs.

Think about it.  According to language experts, what’s the most effective way to learn a new language?  They call it the immersion method, where they literally immerse you in the language you are trying to learn.  What’s the Biblical term for immersion?  It’s the word baptism.

It’s amazing how perfectly God chooses the words that He uses to describe His gifts.  The Baptism of the Spirit is your immersion into the language of the Spirit.  Unlike a natural language which may take months and years to learn, God can do the supernatural work in an instant.

This gift, the Baptism in the Spirit, opens up a new walk of power in the Holy Spirit.

Question: How has the Baptism in the Spirit blessed your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

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Posted by on February 28, 2014 in Power of God, Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Learning God’s Language

LanguageIn my last post I began to talk about the Gift of the Spirit.  We looked at the following verse.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:4-5

According to Christ, the Gift of the Holy Spirit is the Baptism in the Spirit.  This gift brings up so many questions surrounding it.  Is it important?  Is this gift even for today or not?  Was it just a one time thing to get the early church going?

I believe the Scriptures answer all these questions.

For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God.  Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit.
1 Corinthians 14:2

At one point, Paul wrote that he spoke in tongues more than all who were in the church of Corinth (I Cor. 14:18).  This tells me that he had an intimate knowledge of the use and the function of the gift.  Paul wrote about his experiences in the Greek language, which is a very descriptive language.

In order for us to understand what Paul wrote we rely upon translators to help us.  I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of these translators.  I’m in awe of the amount of work they have before them and realize that I could never accomplish half of what they do.  I’m very grateful for their work.

That being said, I also have a problem with a particular portion of their work.  As I’ve said, Paul wrote to us about his experiences in the deep usage of the gift of the Spirit.  Unfortunately, the translators who worked on that passage may not have even experienced the Baptism of the Spirit, let alone the deeper works.

In reading the words that Paul wrote, these translators didn’t understand why Paul was using the words that he used.  So they tried to explain Paul’s words instead of telling us exactly what he said.

Because of this, many of the deeper truths of the Gift of Tongues were lost.  It’s my prayer that the Lord will once again restore our knowledge of these concepts through godly teachings such as this.

The verse I just quoted is one such verse.  The English words used in the translation are not the Greek words used in the original text.  After Paul tells us that the person is speaking to God, not to man, the next sentence actually reads (in Greek), Indeed, no man hears him; his spirit speaks mysteries.

This gives us fresh insight into the gift.  When I pray in tongues, I’m not speaking to man, but to God.  What is coming out of my mouth is immaterial to the spiritual communication.

According to Paul, no man even hears what I’m saying to God.  It’s not your flesh that’s communicating with Him.  There’s no correlation between what’s coming out of your mouth, and what is being exchanged with God in the spirit.

This is an important truth in understanding the gift of the spirit.

Question: How important is the Baptism of the Spirit to your walk with God?

©Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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God’s Wifi

WifiIn my last post I concluded with the truth that our spirits are now alive to God – the lines of communication are open in Christ.  This is why the preaching of the Word is so important.  The only way God can speak to an unbeliever is through the church.  God speaks to us, then, we bring His message to the world.  This in itself is a supreme privilege.

Since the Holy Spirit now lives in you, your spirit is reconnected to the Holy Spirit.  I want you to see incredible opportunity that God has opened up to us because of this gift.

Until this generation there was no easy way of illustrating the spiritual principles that are at work here.  Now, because of our modern technology, it makes it easier to picture the work God has done in us.  Let me explain.

Before you came to Christ, you were an old, broken-down, unusable, burned out computer.  Then, Christ saved you, cleaned you up, fixed you and put a brand new processor on the inside.  He also wired you up with a cutting edge wireless network adapter – His Holy Spirit in you.

Before this generation, we couldn’t conceive of being connected to something bigger than us, wherever we go.  Think about the internet.  The internet covers the earth.  You can wirelessly connect to it wherever you are, 24/7.  That’s what God has done in our spirits.  He’s hooked you into His wireless system – His network.

It’s through this network that we have access to the power of God.  It comes from the very throne of God, through the Holy Spirit, into our lives.  That’s what this series of posts is about.  I want to show you how to access and utilize the incredible power of this spiritual network.  It’s greater than any human invention.

On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.  For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 1:4-5

There is probably no subject in all of Christianity that sparks more controversy than the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.   Even among the so called Pentecostal, Full Gospel, and Charismatic churches there are many divisions, inconsistencies, and misconceptions concerning this teaching.  So many terms are thrown around without the knowledge of what they mean in Scripture.

Terms such as the Gift of the Spirit, receive the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, Baptized in the Spirit, tongues, and prayer in the spirit.

It’s through the gift of the Holy Spirit that we have access to more power than we could ever even dream about.  There’s much more to it than just “speaking in tongues.”  It’s the greatest gift that we could ever receive, yet the most underused.  It’s my prayer and desire that the church enters into a fuller and deeper experience in this gift.

In my next post I will begin to explain this spiritual gift in more detail.

Questions: Have you been baptized in the Spirit?  How often do you use this gift?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Power of God, Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Alive to God! #prayerinthespirit

Garden PathIn my last post I showed that God’s definition of death is an inability to communicate.  In the same way, Adam didn’t die according to our modern definition.  He died in God’s definition.

From that point on God could no longer fellowship with Adam and Eve on the level He desired.

God wanted an interaction in the spirit, but this was no longer possible because of sin.  Therefore, to God, Adam and Eve were dead.  God could no longer communicate to them on the level of the spirit.  He would now have to use other means.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
Genesis 3:8

Notice the wording that’s used here.  The man and the wife heard the sound of God.  This is the first place in Scripture where it specifically says that God made a sound.

This is emphasized because Adam and Eve had never before heard with their ears, God making a sound.  Before that, they always communicated by the spirit.  This new experience inspired fear.

He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 3:10

We can hear it from Adam’s own mouth.  The two things that caused fear in him were hearing God, and seeing his nakedness.  At that point, as a race of people, mankind was cut off from spiritual communication with God.

Please understand, our spirits are still active.  This is how mediums, witch doctors, and spiritists can communicate with familiar spirits.  They can still interact in the spiritual realm, they just don’t understand the dangers of this practice.

As far as communication with God is concerned, mankind’s spirits can not talk to God because of sin.  After the fall, God could only communicate to man by very limited means. God could speak bodily, through angels, a donkey, a voice, or by taking on flesh.  He could speak inwardly, directly to our mind.  He could also “move upon” someone, which literally means that He “put them on like clothes” and spoke through them.

This was the sad condition of the human race until Christ came on the scene.  He really was “God with us”.  The Gospels record the work He did for us on the cross.  Because of His death, burial, and resurrection we can now enter into a salvation that we could never experience in our own strength.

Now, if we receive His great gift, the Holy Spirit takes up residence on the inside of us.  This means that communication lines are open once again between us and the Lord.  According to God’s definition, we are now alive to Him.

In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:11

But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
Romans 8:10

It’s clear from Scripture that your spirit is now alive to God!!!

Question: How important to you, is the knowledge that God’s Holy Spirit lives in you?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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Death – A God’s Eye View #prayerinthespirit

GravesIn my last post, I talked about the three parts of our being – body, soul, and spirit.  Knowing all of this, let’s move on to an understanding of just how our spirit operates.  To do this we must go back to the beginning when man was first created.

There are a few basic things that I have no Scripture for, but I have to take on faith, knowing what the Word of God infers.  First, I believe what Jesus said – that God desires true worshippers who worship Him in spirit and in truth.

Second, I believe that God created Adam to be absolutely perfect and that in this perfect state Adam communicated with God the way God wanted him to.  Because of these two beliefs I infer that Adam, in his perfect state, did not communicate with God using his flesh.

All of the interaction between God and Adam took place in the realm of the spirit.  I also believe, if you will stick with me for a moment, that the Scripture will bear this out.

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”
Genesis 2:16-17

When I read this passage, I see Adam hearing in his spirit the command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He was warned that if he did ever eat it he would surely, definitely, absolutely, DIE.  My problem was this – when Adam ate from the tree, he didn’t die.  At least he didn’t die according to our modern society’s concept of death.

What I found was that we don’t understand what God means when He uses the word death.  We usually only see it from the earthly standpoint.  Just because our body stops functioning does not constitute death to God.

We are told in the letter to the Romans to “Count yourself dead to sin” (Romans 6:11).  Paul said that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. (II Cor. 5:8)  This tells me that when my body stops working, I merely change residences.

To understand the events in the Garden, I need to know what God means when He uses the word death.  A careful study of the Word will prove that when God says that someone has died, it means that communication has stopped.  There is no longer any capability to interact with that person.

That’s why, in the parable of the Prodigal Son, the father said, “My son was dead, but now is alive.” (Luke 15:24)  The prodigal was not physically dead, but the father could not communicate with him.  So, to the father, he was dead.

Even among Christians we’re told not to grieve like the world that has no hope.  We understand that when we attend the funeral of a fellow believer, the parting is only temporary.  Why do Christians grieve?  Because of a temporary loss of fellowship.

This concept is important to our subject.  In my next post, I’ll apply it to Adam’s situation.

Question: How does this view of death explain sin’s affect upon us?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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In the Spirit – A Special Time & Place

MeditationI’ve been posting about the intimacy that comes from worshipping God in spirit.  That brings us to another question. What does in the spirit mean?  It’s a common enough expression throughout the Word of God, but do we really know what it means?

On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet…
Revelation 1:10

This is the Apostle John describing what took place just as the Lord was about to show him the Revelation he recorded in the Scripture.  He went out of way to let us know that he was not just eating breakfast or reading the newspaper.  He was in the spirit.

It sounds like this is a special place.  Of course, that’s only logical.  Even in our natural lives intimacy with another person requires a special time and place.  A man could not be intimate with his wife in the stands at a hockey game.

In the same way, intimacy with God requires a special time and place – that is being in the spirit.

For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh.
Philippians 3:3

In this section, Paul is talking about those who were trying to place Old Testament rules on Gentile believers.  It’s about the overcoming church that he writes, “It is we who worship God in spirit.”  We are the ones who boast only in Christ.  True Christianity places no confidence in flesh.

The Scripture is clear that flesh and blood cannot worship at the level of the spirit.  The Biblical picture always shows that in worship, our flesh must be prostrate and silent.  That’s why we read things like, “I fell at His feet like a dead man.”

This means that my hands cannot worship God.  Neither can my mouth, my feet or my entire body.

Worship can only be an act of my spirit.  So, if I don’t understand how my spirit operates, then I really can’t understand true worship.

Let’s start with the basics.  God created us all in His image.  He is a three-part being – Father, Son, and Spirit.  God created us with the same three parts.  We have a body, a soul, and a spirit.

Our soul is who we are.  It’s the seat of our mind, memories, personality, and emotions.  My soul is the real me.  When I want to talk to you, it’s not your body I want to talk to, but your soul – the person inside the body.

Your soul is housed in a thing called your flesh or your body.  This is the part of your being that allows your soul to interact and communicate in the physical, natural realm.  It’s the part of you that can taste, smell, touch, hear, and see.

Unfortunately, this is the part of your being that’s marred by sin.  Because Adam chose the path of rebellion, the flesh now desires to be first place in your life.  This is what causes most of our trouble.

The third part of our being is our spirit.  This is the part of us that allows our soul to interact and communicate in the spiritual realm.  This is the dimension where God, angels and demons usually dwell.  It’s with your spirit that God desires to have fellowship with you on His level.

Question: Why is overcoming the flesh so important to the believer?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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The Best Way to Worship

TowerIn my last post I talked about being intimate with God in the place of worship.

Of course that brings us to the next logical question.  What’s the best way to worship God?  That was a very controversial subject in Jesus’ day.  As you’ll see it’s just as controversial today – but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Worship was especially divisive between the Jews and the Samaritans.  This was brought out in the discourse between Jesus and the woman at the well.  The Lord was trying to get her to talk about spiritual things by explaining to her about His ability to give her living water.

Instead, to change the subject, the woman brought up the controversy about where true worship was to take place.  Was it in Jerusalem, as the Jews believed, or the mountain where the Samaritans went.

Jesus told her that true worship is not about place.  You see, they had the same misconception that we do.  We refer to the “worship service” and we call our buildings “houses of worship”.  The fact is that very little worship, if any, goes on in these places.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
John 4:23-24

This is one of the most powerful, yet ignored verses in the Bible.  This should be the foundation of everything we understand about true worship.  Christ uses “worship” 5 times in these two verses.  His emphasis is clear, yet we never plumb the depths of what He’s saying.

He’s talking about the true worshippers of the Father.  Are we those who truly desire to lean forward and kiss the Father?  If so, then we must kiss Him in spirit.  This is not a function of our flesh.  I cannot do anything with my body that will bring forth the intimacy that God desires to have with us.

Make no mistake about it, this is one of the greatest desires of the heart of God.  The above Scripture says that the Father is actively seeking these people.  God desperately wants intimacy with His people.  Are you that person that God is searching for?  Are you a worshipper of the Father in spirit and in truth?

There’s something interesting that I noticed in this verse when I studied it in the original Greek language.  I found that some of the English words are not in the original text.  They were added by the translators to make it more readable.

I believe that a more accurate translation would be; God’s Spirit and those who want to lean forward to kiss Him must lean forward to kiss in spirit and truth.  The emphasis that Christ is bringing clearly teaches that God is seeking intimacy.

As we all know, intimacy can never be a “one way street.”  For it to truly be intimate, as I lean forward to kiss Him, God must also lean forward to kiss me.  It’s almost too good to be true.  The God of the universe wants a close, intimate relationship with me. (and you!)

Question: How intimate of a relationship do you want with God?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Prayer, Prayer in the Spirit

 

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