Creflo Dollar - From Prayer Into Communion: The Holy Spirit
I wanna spend some time in this session talking about the person of the Holy Spirit, because if you're talking about, you know, prayer into communion, we need to take some time to talk about the Holy Spirit, the one who you will be communing with. And, you know, the Holy Spirit is probably one of the most misunderstood entities and personalities in the Bible. And he has a job to do, though. It's not just about jerking, jiggling, and running down the aisle. I don't have any problems with that, but we need to understand the purpose and ministry of the Holy Spirit, and the part that he plays in our prayer lives.
And so, I wanna start off with this statement right here. Some people teach that you can't have any sin in your life, or God won't fill you with the Holy Spirit. I don't know if you've ever heard that before, or heard people kinda make reference to that. Some people think that you can't have any sin in your life, or God won't fill you with the Holy Spirit. And they think that God won't fill you with the Holy Spirit. They think that God won't fill a dirty vessel. That's what he's saying. That "you know what? God won't fill a dirty vessel".
I want you to think about what I'm about to say. God doesn't have any other kinda vessel to fill. If everybody was perfect, everybody was flawless, and if everybody was sinless, you would not need the person of the Holy Spirit. You would not need the spirit of grace to come into your life to try to change your desires, and that's the thing I think people need to get, especially religious people. Somehow, you think because you're religious that you're flawless, you're perfect, and then you kinda start operating in self-righteousness and judging other people. But the Holy Spirit was sent to us to lead and to guide us into all the truth, and God doesn't have any other kinda vessel to fill than those who need help, those who have fallen, those who have been through things.
And so, if you are perfect without the Holy Spirit, you wouldn't need him. Think of that. If you were perfect without the Holy Spirit, you would not need him. There's a lotta things that if you were perfect, now, here's the real deal, you're not. You're not perfect, you're not perfect. Listen, if you were perfect without the Holy Spirit, you wouldn't need him. And, in some cases, even with the Holy Spirit you're still not perfect, you know? He's there to help you. He's there to work with you. He's there to bring you towards that place of perfection. And so, I'm bringing the Holy Spirit up because with the Holy Spirit comes the speaking in tongues part.
With the Holy Spirit comes the praying in the Spirit part. But before we talk about, you know, praying in the Spirit, I wanna talk about speaking in tongues just for a moment as we move into this level of prayer that I think will really bless you. So, what's the purpose for tongues, speaking in other tongues or speaking in a language that you cannot articulate? I remember in the book of Acts they said they heard them speak in their own native tongue. So, there were some foreigners there that heard their language being spoken by Gentiles, heard their language being spoken by people who couldn't speak their language. And so, there's a lotta great controversy about tongues. Some people believe in it. Some people don't believe in it. Some people just skip all the pages and don't wanna have anything to do with it, and so before we get into this let's talk about the purpose of tongues.
Number one, the first purpose for tongues, is to build up your faith. To build up your faith. That when you speak in tongues you're praying. You're opening your mouth, saying words that you don't understand, and you're doing that by faith. It's to build up your faith.
Number two, it draws out the power. When you pray in tongues it not only builds your faith, but it draws out the power. The Bible says that out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water, okay?
And then, the third purpose for tongues is that it draws out knowledge that is in your spirit, deposited by the Holy Spirit. It draws out knowledge. By the Holy Spirit wisdom comes out of you. By the Holy Spirit revelation comes out of you. It draws out knowledge that is in your spirit.
Now let's look at a couple of Scriptures here. Acts chapter 2:4. So, in review, purpose of tongues will build up your faith. The purpose of tongues will draw out the power, and the purpose of tongues will draw out knowledge that's on the inside of your spirit. Now, Acts chapter 2 and verse 24 he says, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost," on the day of Pentecost, "and they began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit of God gave them utterance".
Now, notice this Scripture here. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And notice what comes with being filled with the Holy Spirit: they began to speak with other tongues, other than the ones that they could speak, other than the ones that they could articulate. They began to speak with other tongues, and he says that this came because the Spirit that filled them gave them the utterance, or literally gave them the words, gave them what to utter. Oh, man, this is like this other level now, okay? This is not something you're gonna learn in Sunday school class. That when you're filled with the Holy Ghost, we're talking, you know, when you're born again the Holy Spirit comes in at the time that you're born again. But I'm telling you, man, when these guys were filled in the time of Acts, they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and they began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit in them gave them utterance.
So, we make a distinction today between the infilling of the Holy Spirit and the baptism of the Holy Spirit, where that Spirit on the inside of you begins to come up and upon your life and begins to affect everything there. Look at 1 Corinthians chapter 2:14. 1 Corinthians chapter 2:14. I just want you to pay attention to the Scripture. This is not a made-up fable. This is real. He says in verse 14, "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him".
So, a guy that's listening to me tonight, and he's comprehending what I'm saying through his natural mind, then it's foolishness to him. It's just plain foolish and for decades it's remained foolishness to a lotta Christians. They just think, "Well, that's foolishness," you know? But how do you explain these Scriptures that are in the Bible? How do you explain what's going on in the book of Acts? "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they're foolishness unto him: neither can he know them," why? "They're spiritually discerned". They're spiritually discerned. And so, there's a level of operating in the Spirit that will grant you access to greater things. See, you can operate in the natural and even you can pray, you know, prayers in the natural, but there's another level of communing with God through speaking in tongues, and this is spiritually discerned, that the Scripture says.
Now, look at 1 Corinthians chapter 14:13. Let's just for a moment read and see what the Scriptures are talking about. Verse 13 says, "Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue". Unknown to who? Unknown to the person that's speaking, but probably somebody somewhere knows. He says unknown. "He that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret". So, he says, you know, you can pray, "Lord, give me the interpretation of what I just spoke, what I just said. Give me the interpretation of what I just said".
Now, I'm gonna do a detailed teaching on this a little bit later, but I wanna just kinda lay some things out so we can talk about praying in the Spirit. And then, in Acts chapter 2. Acts chapter 2, verses 4 through 13. Let's look at this. Acts chapter 2, verses 4 through 13. He said, "And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance". Verse 5, "And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under the heavens at the time. And now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language".
Now, think about that. That must've been pretty fascinating. These people gather from different nations, and all those people in the upper room that were filled with the Holy Spirit started speaking a language that they hadn't learned, but the language was recognized by the people that spoke it. Wow.
I'm telling you that happened to me before. This is a testimony. I was in the chapel years ago, in this very building, and I began to prophesy in another tongue. Well, just so happened a man from another country just came in the door. He was standing by my mother, and he said to my mother, "Oh, I didn't know that your son spoke my language". And she said, "Well, I don't think he speaks that language. He was just praying in tongues". And I began to interpret what I had just said, and he said, "Oh, my goodness. He not only spoke the language, but he interpreted it". And that was a guy who learned how to speak that language, and he came in that day and heard me prophesying in tongues and giving the interpretation of it, and so I actually had the opportunity to experience that.
But imagine what it must have been like to be visiting in that city that day and hearing somebody speaking a language that they were not supposed to know how to speak, and it was being spoken by supposedly "uneducated people". I'm telling you, man, it's by the Holy Spirit, and he says, "And they were all amazed, and they marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans"? Verse 8, "And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? And the Parthians and the Medes and the Elamites and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea," he said in all those other places, verse 10, he said to them, he said, "And strangers of Rome and Jews and proselytes". Go verse 11. "The Cretans and the Arabians," he says, "we do hear them speak in our tongues," so they named all of these places where these people came from and all the tongues that were spoken. "We do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God". That's what they heard. They heard them speaking in their tongues the wonderful works of God.
Now look at verse 12. "And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, 'What meaneth this'? Others mocking said, 'These men are full of new wine'". So, there were others, and I'm sure when they heard their language it wasn't a joke to them. They were like, "What in the world? What meaneth this"? And then, there were other people who were just mocking 'em and saying that "they're drunk. They're full of wine. They're babbling because they're full of wine". And that's kinda like what it is in church. That people speaking in tongues, and they don't know the language they're speaking, so then they'll be accused of, "Well, that's just a bunch of babble, and they're just full of wine".
And so, it's been a great debate over the years. Tongues or not? Is it just babble? Have we just misinterpreted the Scripture? And I'm telling you it may be one of the most powerful gifts that God has allowed mankind to come across. Tongues is only beneficial while we are in our physical body. You won't need it when you get to heaven, 'cause the Bible says tongues will pass away when you get there. And so, if you don't use it here then you missed out on the opportunity to use it. And so, why would God allow this to be given to us here on the earth, in this physical world, in this physical body? If for no other reason, think about that. Why would God do this? Are you missing out on something because you reject speaking in tongues? Is there a level of communion and intimacy that you're missing out on because you neglect speaking in tongues?
And it is something that was a total revolutionary moment in my life, when I got filled with the Holy Spirit, baptized in the Holy Ghost, with the evidence of speaking in tongues. I remember I didn't believe it. I sat there, and it took a while. And they prayed for me and cast out the devil and all this kinda stuff trying to get me to speak in tongues, and the guy said, "Speak in tongues". And I says, "I speak English". I said, "How am I gonna speak in tongues"? And I could not figure out what they were trying to do, but this man, I remember he laid hands on me and all of a sudden stuff came out of my mouth. It was like it was coming out of my belly, and I began to speak in tongues, and from that moment forward it was a whole new level of understanding and Christian living.
And so, the Holy Spirit has come now to tell you and me everything that we need to know to walk in the fullness of God's plan for our life. The Holy Spirit has come to tell you and me what we need to know to walk in the fullness of our lives, so the Holy Spirit is not just a jerk, jiggle, shout, run. He has a very clear purpose to assist you in understanding the steps that need to be taken so that you can fulfill the will of God in your life, and yet there are lots of Christians who completely neglect the relationship with the Holy Spirit, the one who will lead and guide, and the Bible says to show you things to come. Glory to God. And so that you will perfectly fulfill the will of God for your life.
And so, that ministers to me a lot, that the Holy Spirit was sent so that I can know how to walk in the fullness of God's will. Don't you wanna know how to walk in the fullness of God's will? And yet we won't even get to know our unseen partner, the Holy Spirit. Our unseen partner, the Holy Spirit. Oh, praise the Lord. The Holy Spirit. I mean, he'll show you things to know. He'll show you things that you didn't know. I've had the Holy Spirit literally open things up to me, and I saw things, and I heard things, and I'm trying to figure out, "Where did that come from"? Later on finding out he was showing me something that was to come.
I would prophesy over people, and it was like taking dictation. I was just only saying what was being said to me, and then when I came back to awareness it was really ministering to the people. They were like, "How did you know that"? Well, I didn't in my natural, but when the Holy Spirit is leading and guide you, you'll begin to know those things. And then, I had to learn that I had to be a steward over the information God was sharing with me. I had to learn how to be a steward over his anointing. I had to learn that everything he showed me wasn't to be shared with everybody. It was just so I could know so that it could prepare me for the future and the things that were to come. And so, it's life-changing to have this relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Now, let's go to 1 Corinthians chapter 2. 1 Corinthians 2, verses 9 and 10. Let's read it in the King James and then the Amplified. 1 Corinthians chapter 2, and then verse 9 and 10. I feel like it's necessary for me to just kinda lay some of this stuff out for you. Now, verse 9 says, "But as it's written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the thing which God hath prepared for them that love him". Verse 10, "But God has revealed them unto us," how did he do it? "By his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God".
So, there are some things God wants to show you. He wants to reveal some things to you, and I believe as we begin to pray in the Holy Spirit he'll start revealing things to you. It's like we talked about prayer is not just a monologue. It's a dialogue, and I believe as we pray in the Spirit God's gonna begin to reveal some things to us by his Spirit. Look at this in the Amplified now. He said, "But, on the contrary, as the Scripture says, What eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, [all that] God has prepared (made and keeps ready) for those who love him".
There are things that God has prepared, made for us, stuff that he has, and the Holy Spirit is gonna assist us in arriving at that place. He says on next verse, verse 10, he says, "[Hold him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying him and gratefully recognizing the benefits he has bestowed]. Yet," verse 10, "yet to us God has unveiled and revealed those things by and through his Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsel and things hidden and beyond man's scrutiny]".
The Holy Spirit searches the very deep things of God concerning you, and then he's assigned to reveal those things to you. Christian person filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongue should not be in the dark on his life. A Christian person filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues should not be going around, "Well, I just don't know what's going on. I don't know". God has given us the Holy Spirit to dig deep into the will of God and the plans of God for your life. And why? To show 'em to you. To show 'em to you. The divine counsel of God, things that are hidden in God, things that are beyond man's examination and scrutiny the Holy Spirit knows. The Holy Spirit knows.
I cannot and I refuse to live my life without being in fellowship with the Holy Spirit, with the one who knows the steps I'm supposed to take, and we've got to learn how to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit and to walk with him. Now, look at this. Matthew, let's look at Matthew 16:13, Matthew 16:13. So, the Holy Spirit is going to assist us in receiving revelation of God. Verse 13, "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am"? They knew it was Jesus, but, I mean, do you intimately know who this is?
And then, let's go on down, verse 14. "And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some say you're Elias; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets". Now watch this carefully. "He saith unto them, but whom say ye that I am"? So, he's talking to his disciples. "And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ. You're the Son of the living God". "You're the Anointed One, the Son of the living God". Now, he didn't know that in his brain power. It was revealed to him.
Watch this, next verse. "And Jesus answered and said unto him, You are blessed. Blessed art thou, Simon son of Jonah," Simon. He didn't call him Peter. He said Simon son of Jonah. "For flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven". So, you didn't get this revealed unto you because of your study of Sunday school quarterlies. You didn't get this revealed unto you because you were smart. He said, "The Father in heaven revealed this to you".
Now, I want you to think about something. If the Father in heaven revealed what he revealed about Jesus to Peter, imagine what the Holy Spirit on the inside of you can reveal into your life today. He says, "My Father which is in heaven". Look at next verse, 18. He said, "And I say also to thee, That thou art Peter". He said, "You are a Peter". He didn't say, "Your name's Peter". He says, "You are a Peter, and upon this rock". All right now. So, here's what's going on. He says, "You are a Peter. You are a piece of the rock. You are a Peter, and upon this rock". What was the rock? This rock was revelation of Christ. This rock was a revelation of Christ. He says that "you just got a revelation".
This is so powerful. "You just got a revelation from the Father of Jesus, and upon this revelation of Jesus I'm gonna build my church on the rock. I'm gonna build my church on the revelation of Jesus". The church should be built on the revelation of Jesus, on the revelation of Jesus, him crucified, dead, and buried, rose from the dead, his finished works. Jesus is the cornerstone. Jesus is the foundation for everything, and yet Jesus is under attack. People are saying, "Don't believe in Jesus". People are saying, "Well, he's a white Jesus. Don't trust him". People are saying all kinds of stuff, and the Bible says that "I'll build my church on the revelation of Jesus Christ".