Ablaze

As we continue through the book of Acts, I am reminded of just how amazing the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ was in it’s inception. How his followers carried out his commandments being empowered by the Holy Ghost and preaching the Gospel with all boldness. It was truly a Church ABLAZE!

Just as Jesus had promised, the Comforter would endue them with power from on high and on the day of Pentecost, being filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in tongues and magnify God. Peter preached the Gospel message of salvation and before the day was through, three thousand souls were saved.

Time and again throughout the book of Acts, the supernatural power of God is recorded as operating through the Church with the lame man at the gate Beautiful miraculously healed, earth shaking prayer meetings, a whole community of sick folk healed with some just by having the shadow of Peter the Apostle pass by them, miracles, signs and wonders. Perhaps one of the most remarkable manifestations of God’s power is the fact that the followers of Christ sold all their possessions, both poor and those with land, and brought the money to the disciples feet, where there was distribution made particularly to the poor. And they were united! (Acts 4:32-37).

The Church was on fire, set ablaze by the Spirit of God. In one instance the Church was described as; “These that have turned the world upside down” Acts 17:6.

God is calling the Church back to the same level of zeal and passion. Let us be mindful to not become so sophisticated and drilled in our church structure/services that we merely rely on rote and ceremony. We need the Holy Ghost to operate in us and through us. The Church is not a once a week event at a particular location, but it is the active ‘Body’ of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the church’s calling to turn our world upside down by bringing men and women to a saving knowledge of Christ. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, but that is just one component of the function of the Church. Our assignment is to invade the lost world for the sake of souls.

It starts by praying and seeking earnestly, with all our hearts, for God’s divine intervention in our lives and in our Church. We must enter the prayer closet and begin to stoke the flames of prayer and fasting until our lives, and our Church, is once again ablaze with Holy Ghost zeal.

Celebrating 200,000 views on YouTube

Just this week we surpassed 200,000 views on our YouTube channel! For some that may not seem like much but for us that represents thousands of people who have been exposed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We even have testimonies of people who have come to God through these videos. So to celebrate, we are going to list off our 10 most watched videos on YouTube!

10. We Praise Your Name

This is the POS Choir singing at Turning Point 2009. As you can tell the quality of our videos have changed over the years. 

9. Ride On King Jesus

This is the POS Choir singing at our Easter event in 2011. After this video there is only one other music based video in our top 10.

8. "Maranatha" - Loammi Diaz

We have been blessed over the years by the ministry of Rev Loammi Diaz. This is him preaching at Encounter 2012.

7. "I Am A Loser, But I Am Not Lost" - Loammi Diaz

Another video from Encounter 2012 with Rev Loammi Diaz. 

6. The Wind Is Blowing Again - Pastor Stan Harvey

The only video from Pastor to make the top 10 list. This is a powerful message about the Pentecostal experience.

5. "Keep Digging" - Sam Emory

Rev Sam Emory preaching a life changing message at Turning Point 2014. He has ministered at our Turning Point Conference the last few years (here are clips from 2015, 2016 & 2017)

4. "The Spirit of Fear" - Mark Morgan

This is a short clip from the incredible ministry of Rev Mark Morgan at Turning Point 2013. We have had him minister at our Turning Point Conference many times and were always blessed by his unique insights into scripture (more videos of Rev Mark Morgan here, here and here).

3. Created to Worship

This is a song performed by the POS Youth Choir with soloists Jyrome Wetere and Mariah Khoury. You can find more videos featuring Jyrome Wetere here and here.

2. A Divine Visitation - Anthony Mangun

Many years ago we were able to host the famous Because of the Times conference in Sydney and this is the message that Pastor Anthony Mangun preached at that event.

1. What Is Man - Jeff Arnold

Our most viewed video is from Rev Jeff Arnold ministering at our Turning Point Conference many years ago!

Bonus Video

Pentecost and Beyond

What does it mean to be a Pentecostal Believer? It means that we share in the same experience as the early Church, as evidenced in the inauguration of the Church on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). The experience of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit was not merely a cerebral, or subdued, one but what characterised Pentecost was that there was a real and physical evidence perceived upon the Believers when the Spirit filled them. They spoke with other tongues, prophesied and were emboldened and empowered in a dynamic launch of the Christian Church.

We believe that this experience was not just a one time event but as seen throughout the Book of Acts, it is ongoing and relevant today for all who are hungry for God. “For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” Acts 2:39

Similarly, we are Pentecostal in that we believe and adhere to the same message of salvation that Peter preached in Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Without a doubt this is one of the greatest revelations and this experience is for all mankind today. So to be Pentecostal is not to be a part of a denomination but to have an experience that is absolutely necessary in being part of God’s Church and being saved.

However, Pentecost does not end with Acts 2 but as much as we follow this initial experience of salvation, we are to go on emulating the same spirit and evangelistic fervour of the early church and first disciples. Since Pentecost, the Church wrought miracles, multitudes saved, launched ministries, released missionaries, had revival, performed great sacrifices and turned their city upside down. As Pentecostals, we ought to aim for nothing less than what the early church witnessed. This is a call to Pentecost and Beyond!

Hear the final verse of the historical book of the Church: “And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him, Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.” Acts 28:30-31

Suffering Saviour

When we consider the many attributes of God, we often think of his awesomeness and grandeur. And so we should. However, perhaps the most powerful characteristic of our God is that of a suffering saviour.

This is significant because even though we live in a world filled with suffering, pain and injustice, the God of all creation did not stand outside of the human condition to judge a lost humanity. Instead the scriptures tell us that God became a man and as a man He endured the worst that the world could impose on a person, including the torturous death of the cross.

As a man our Lord Jesus experienced that gamut of human misery; in that He was homeless (Matt 8:20), rejected by society (Isa 53:3), suffered hunger and thirst (Matt 21:18, Jn 19:28), He was falsely accused, abandoned, tempted, stressed, He was beaten and tortured (Jn 19). His suffering ultimately culminating on the malevolent, Roman instrument of killing, the Cross.

While God has not removed suffering and pain from our existence, He stands with us in our suffering with nail scarred hands and feet, and a pierced side. He lets us know that He has suffered with us and that suffering and death has brought redemption to us, that regardless of what our lot is in this life, we can live with Him in eternal joy.

He proved this by being resurrected after being dead for three days. He demonstrated that He is indeed who He said He is, the Lord of Glory, the Word made flesh. When you live your life in Christ, you too shall live again because He died for all humanity. This is God’s great love.

1 John 4:14-16 - And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

An Exciting Time

What an exciting time here at the Pentecostals of Sydney as we launch our new service format with multiple services every Sunday morning, as well as our Wednesday night midweek Bible study at Church. This is a means by which we can make more room for more people to come and be part of God’s Kingdom and help deepen their walk with God.

Underpinning all this and all that we do in this Church is the burden and great passion of God; the making of Christian disciples. This is of vital importance because if heaven is real and if hell is real, as the Bible claims, then our loving God’s primary concern is that none spend eternity in torment but in heaven. This is why He gave us the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20) - to ensure that all people of all nations are brought into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

This great concern borne out of God’s amazing love is expressed in the method that Jesus taught through the discipleship of the whole world. This is our task and our method, we must do everything in our power, resources and time to live out this purpose.

God's amazing grace has afforded us this opportunity through the incarnation of God Himself into this world through the man Christ Jesus. As fully man He gave up His life in the horrific torture, and ultimately death, by crucifixion.

His death however paid the price for all of man's sin and His resurrection ensured the resurrection of all of His disciples. We are a month away from Easter, or Passover, in which we commemorate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Let this month be for us a journey of drawing closer to our heavenly Father as we walk in His grace and resurrection power.

Matthew 20:28 - Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Go Make...

What an exciting time at the Pentecostals of Sydney as we launched our 2018 theme; ‘Go Make’ and reaffirmed our vision and values. The importance of this task can not be understated since it is very easy to become distracted and deviate from the purpose and objective for the very existence of the church. It is alarming to see the level of activity in nominal Christianity and yet often still missing the most crucial part of Church.

Churches abound in good works, with giving to the needy, providing material relief and a myriad of services. While these deeds are important and occupy a part in the ministry, the unfortunate reality is that it’s often done at the expense of what Jesus called the Church to primarily do and prioritise. That is; the preaching of the good news of salvation and the discipleship of all nations to the observance of the Word.

At the other end of the spectrum, many churches have such a strong desire to reach the masses, which is to be commended, but in their great burden for this cause, they have forsaken doctrinal integrity. The demands that the Gospel places on the disciples of Jesus are left out and instead a kind of Christianity Lite is presented. This hyper grace teaching all but diminishes the need for repentance (which is an act of personal commitment and change - 2 Peter 3:9), confession (Rom 10:10), baptism in Jesus name for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, Acts 22:16, Mark 16:16), receiving the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (Acts 2:38, Rom 8:9) and remaining faithful in the face of trial and temptation (Mark 10:22). All of these are essential for salvation in response to the grace of God. It is His grace that makes it possible at all that we have the opportunity to make these personal decisions. I am convinced that this can only be accomplished through the method that Jesus taught and exemplified; Discipleship.

It is incumbent upon the Church to focus on our purpose and primary objective and that is; to reach as many people as we can, with the teaching of Christ. This is in fact, the great commission that Jesus committed to the Church - Matthew 28:19-20

Make Disciples of all nations, Baptise them, Teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you.

This is what ‘Discipleship’ means.

So this year, let’s look at our habits, practices, church operations and ministry, and see whether what we are doing on a regular basis is fulfilling this model that Jesus gave to bring salvation to the world through the means of discipleship. 

Go……Make……Disciples

A New Year

It is hard to believe that another new year is upon us but it is exciting to be alive and living for God in AD 2018.

We had another amazing General Conference the first week of this month in Canberra with our guest speaker Rev. Woodward ministering the Word and moving in the Holy Ghost. Many lives were touched and saved, and we were refreshed by the fellowship of our brethren. Don’t forget to make plans for next year’s Conference in the same city.

As much as some of us are exhausted and beat from the struggles of last year, the new year always signals a fresh start and new hope. We have an opportunity to clear our heads and our hearts and begin the work of realigning our commitments and priorities.

For me anyway, the new year is an opportunity to put first things first, by prioritising my time, talent and treasure as I plan for the new year. So here’s the order:

God first, then Family, then Church, then reaching the world.

God is a God of order and priority and much of our effectiveness as God’s children is not necessarily working harder but working in order. Most business management tools encourage the manager to prioritise tasks and objectives in order to accomplish the important things. It often takes a lot of work and effort in planning but as the old saying goes; ‘If you fail to plan, plan to fail’.

One thing that is often neglected and left to last in our order of importance is our spiritual lives. Understand that our spirituality must take precedence over every other aspect of life. So plan your priorities in terms of your spiritual life first. This is done with prayer, devotion, fellowship, serving and witnessing. May this year be the best year ever because it’s our best year ever spiritually

The Word that I received for me and for our church from Conference this is is ‘Double Portion!' I am praying, and believing God, for a double portion year of souls being saved and the blessings of God being given and received.

Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Gratitude

For many people the final month of the year is welcomed with a long awaited sigh and celebration as it signals holidays, food, festivities and summer. For others however the season is viewed with a sense of dread and weariness, due to the stress of expenses, events, deadlines and get togethers, or not.

Regardless of whether this month energises or depresses you, one thing is for certain, it represents an opportunity to look back over the last 12 months and assess our successes and failures. This is vital in seeing whether we have been effective or not but don’t let that be the only function. Let this month also serve as a time to look back and be truly grateful for all that has transpired, both good and not so good.

Gratitude is not only a virtue that our parents insisted that we show as children with good manners but it is an attitude that secular researchers are now discovering has tremendous health benefits. In 2007, Robert Emmons began researching gratitude through a psychological lens. He found that expressing gratitude improves mental, physical and relational well-being. Being grateful also impacts the overall experience of happiness, and these effects tend to be long-lasting.

Little wonder that the Bible repeatedly commands us to give thanks. Col 2:7 tells us that we are to abound in thanksgiving. Luke 17 records the remarkable story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers. After instructing them to confirm that their leprosy had ceased to the priests, one of them came back immediately praising God and throwing himself at Jesus feet out of sheer gratitude. Jesus marvelled at the absence of the other 9 who were also healed but did not demonstrate the same level of appreciation. Due to this man’s gratitude, Jesus made him whole, the implications of which are that his sins were forgiven and possibly any missing body parts as a result of the leprosy were restored.

Gratitude is an attitude that the child of God ought to embrace. We have so much to be thankful for, even when our lives are not ideally placed. Get into the habit of giving thanks always (1 Thes 1:2). Get into a habit of being grateful. Here are just a few tips:

  • Keep a journal where you can list 2-3 things to begin your day being thankful for and end it in the same way. (I recommend the Five Minute Journal).
  • Spend a significant part of your prayer time thanking God for every detail. Count your blessings everyday and name them one by one.
  • Practice thanking your loved ones for something at least once a day
  • Say ‘Thank you’ often
  • Write a letter or send a gift of thanks to someone who has made a difference in your life.

We don’t celebrate a Thanksgiving holiday like in North America but we can exercise this wonderful virtue that can literally transform our lives every single day. Remember that the word gratitude comes from the same root as Grace. Gratitude is the appropriate response to Gods’ amazing grace in our lives.

Have a blessed season!

All Nations

As we celebrate the various nationalities in our local assembly, we are reminded of God’s great love for all mankind regardless of race, language or skin colour and how he has brought into His Church people from every corner of the globe. We are particularly blessed here at the POS that, from our last count, we have over 50 different nationalities represented.

With such varying backgrounds and cultures, there is always the possibility of misunderstanding and even outright offence from the differences of styles, approaches, nuances and idiosyncrasies unique to certain cultures. While we should not be removing these differences but rather celebrating them, yet there is a culture that supersedes all others and that is; the Culture of Christ.

When we become born again and come into the Family of God, we take on a new identity that permeates who we are as individuals. We become new creatures in Christ Jesus, although our unique qualities are not removed. We have a new spiritual family, we talk and walk differently, we take on different priorities in life, we celebrate things that matter to God, we embrace a whole new worldview.

This is why we rejoice, it’s because God has redeemed us from wherever we came from and has put us in His Body to serve Him and one another. So let us appreciate our differences, knowing that we are united by the one blood of Jesus Christ and we worship the one God and Father of all.

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation. | Acts 17:26

Battle For Truth

The social climate that we are currently experiencing in our country not only serves to challenge Christians to examine the strength of their convictions but also highlights the fact that the greatest warfare we face today is the ‘Battle for Truth’.

The prevalent post modern worldview asserts that there is no such thing as absolute truth and that it is relative, subject to individual opinions and choices. In the areas of theology, morality and what is presently on trial; gender identity, most people adhere to the idea that truth in these areas are determined simply by one’s own preference of belief, regardless of whether or not it is based on fact.

Not only is it disturbing to see the reach that this perspective has in our world but also to see the aggressive behaviours of the so called tolerant liberals being demonstrated towards those who don’t see eye to eye with them, with an almost fascist militancy. Adherents to the relative truth beliefs are faced with a dilemma of inconsistency because while their watch cry is that there’s no such thing as ‘absolute truth’, they face an even greater conundrum when that view is challenged by the question; “Is that really true?”

Thank God for the freedom of God’s truth that has claimed from the beginning that ‘God’s Word is truth’ (John 17:17). It continues to stand the test of history, science and time itself because He said that “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6

Keep standing for truth for it will never fail.