“The Holy Spirit is looking for a friend,” said Pastor Philip Mantofa from Mawar Sharon Church in Indonesia, on 21st of May in Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre to more than 2100 attendees from 61 churches, of which 90 pastors across denominations also attended.
Called Jesus Festival Malaysia, this annual conference began in 2014 when God gave a vision to Pastor Albert Isaac, Senior Pastor of World Harvest Church in Bandar Sunway, to bring Jesus back as the central focus of His Church in Malaysia. Jesus Festival Malaysia 2017 will be held next year on Saturday, 20th May 2017.
“The Holy Spirit is not a lonely Spirit. He does not need us because He is with the Father and the Son. But we need God. In fact, we are a losing business. We only take, take, and take. What have we done to deserve God?”
When Pastor Philip knew Jesus in 1993, he began building his personal life by spending time in the morning and evening with God. The appointed evening time was 7 P. M.
“Why is 7 P. M. the best time? If you put an advertisement at 7 P. M., it will cost you millions of dollars. So, I gave Jesus my ‘prime time.’
“And ‘Cinderella’ always need to go home at a certain time. So, I would return home before 7 P. M. and prepare myself to be in the Presence of God. It was a time to hang out together.”
At one time, he forgot his appointment with God. While playing board games with his friends, he felt the Holy Spirit caressing his head, three minutes behind 7 P. M.
“I was a ‘baby Christian’ then but I could feel the Holy Spirit. I wanted to spend time with Him. I could recognize the Shepherd’s voice.
“So, He said to me, ‘Go out in the backyard, I want to spend time with you.’ I told my friends I needed fresh air cause I didn’t want them to think that I was weird.
“But when I went out, I literally melted on the grass. In the darkness, only shed by the dimming light of the furthest stars, tears came down my cheeks. I felt his manifested Presence – His Shekinah glory.
“But after ten minutes, the Presence left. I said, ‘No! Don’t take this Presence from me.’ And the Spirit asked me to stand up. The moment I did, my friend came.
“But the moment he left, God’s Presence came back! Aha! I got it! There is no third person in intimacy. I sang in awe, ‘Kujatuh tersungkur di bawah kaki-Mu; Ku sembah Kau, Tuhan; Ku sembah Kau.’”
“Then God said, ‘Look up to the sky. As many as the stars, so will be your children.’ Innocently, I thought, ‘Pity anyone who marries me.’ I was a ‘baby’ Christian then. But I just accept and say ‘Yes, amen.’”
So, the Holy Spirit is looking for a friend. And like what we are looking for in a friend, the Holy Spirit desires for intimacy and faithfulness. It goes both ways. The good news is that all of us can be close to the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Philip shared that the Holy Spirit is often the most misunderstood, under-treated, and under-appreciated person. But do you know that Jesus takes Him seriously? Jesus said, “I need to leave you for you to get the Holy Spirit” (John 16:7), and “You can blaspheme me but not the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 12:31).
“If you don’t understand the Holy Spirit, you will not understand the Father’s heart and the Son’s heart.”
Pastor Philip shared how he had to move around in a wheelchair, due to the tumors on his right knee. He would need to lean on a high chair while preaching onstage.
“The Holy Spirit said to me, ‘Why are you worried? If you stick close to Me, the devil cannot touch you. As long as you are with Me, you got Me, just ask.’”
In that preaching, he casually swept his finger across the front row, intending to point at a certain person. But to his surprise, the whole front row got slain inadvertently in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit said to Pastor Philip, “You just sit there and tell Me where you go.”
“I tell you: ‘you can take anything from me except my friendship with God!’ Have you treated the Holy Spirit like a special person in your life?”
Pastor Philip shared how he prayed and fasted for her daughter’s husband while she was still in her mother’s womb. He dreaded the time of handing her daughter to her husband. To him, as a father, she is a gift to her husband.
On one occasion, while he (Jesus Christ) was still eating with them (His disciples), 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)
“It’s a daddy’s nightmare to see his daughter abused by her husband. And that is how much God loves us – He is willing to separate from His Spirit for us! The Holy Spirit is a gift to us.
Jesus is now at the throne in Heaven, praying for us (Romans 8:34). But the Holy Spirit is in us now (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
“So, have you fellowshipped with the Holy Spirit like He is so precious?”
A young man once asked Pastor Philip for the same anointing he has. But the young man did not understand what he was asking. Pastor Philip’s anointing came from a place of brokenness and constant friendship with the Holy Spirit. But the sad thing is that people want the gift, but they do not want the Giver, the Holy Spirit.
How was Pastor Philip’s friendship with the Holy Spirit? From 1992 till 2004, the Holy Spirit emptied Pastor Philip of his gift in healing, following a vision from God. So, for 12 years, even though he vigorously prayed, he saw no healing miracle.
“But when God knew that He was my all in all, He returned the healing anointing with interest.”
In a 2004 healing rally at a mall, even the people on the streets got healed, because of the strong manifested presence of God within its walls.
People are usually drawn to with signs and wonders. But they have no interest to know the invisible Person behind these visible miracles.
After He (Jesus) said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, a cloud hid Him from their sight. (Act 1:9).
And till today, a cloud is still hiding Jesus Christ! The world does not see Him or know Him. But the Holy Spirit from Him sees Him, knows Him, and hears from Him. It is only through the Holy Spirit, we will know God’s Will and please God.
“That is why religion doesn’t work in the Kingdom of God. Some people are zealous for God, just like Paul. But when the light of God struck Paul, a voice asked, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’
“You will not have a clue on how to please God, if you don’t fellowship with the Holy Spirit. It’s interesting that the disciples of Jesus were slow learners. Day and night, they were physically with Jesus – for three and a half year!
“Yet they did not get Jesus because they were carnal – the Holy Spirit was not given to them yet. They had a physical relationship, but they did not build a spiritual relationship with Jesus.
“So, they were always one step late, from Jesus. When Jesus talked about the yeast of the Pharisees, they thought it was the bread He was talking about (Matthew 16:6-7).
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus , who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:11)
Pastor Philip shared how the angels were perplexed seeing Jesus’ disciples intently watching Him going up to the sky (Acts 1:11). This is because while they were still looking, Jesus was already ahead of them – He was already after the 3000 people in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41-42).
“Why were the disciples always one step late? This is because they operated from the position of sonship. But we need to learn to operate in the position of the bridehood of Jesus, which is better.
“For example, if you have children, you will realize that they don’t learn very fast and they won’t be able to get to where you are. But my wife is always in step with me.”
Like preparing for a trip, a wife gets up the same time as her husband to pack for supplies. Only after the preparation, the children are awakened and prepared to join the trip. The wife moves with the husband.
“How do you know a man better? Know him through his wife. A man has ego, hidden by a cloud. But when you talk to his wife, she will tell you everything about him.”
Hence, because Jesus is also hidden by the clouds, only the Holy Spirit can help us know Jesus as our Groom. Only through the Holy Spirit, we can become His Bride.
“When you operate in the spirit of bridehood, you will not be one step late. We must not be late with what God does in our life. God is on time. I love my children, but though they can work for me, they cannot do my work.
“But with my wife, when I just look at her, she knows what I want. I can trust my life with my wife completely because she knows me inside out.”
Pastor Philip also shared how although he was the legal spiritual authority at home, his wife could direct him to any shops in a mall. In other words, although he is the spiritual head, his wife is the legs. She can turn him wherever she wants. A bride can turn her groom wherever she wants, in an interlocking arm-to-arm relationship with him.
“Moses was so powerful in his partnership with God, that even though he disobeyed God, the rock obeyed his command. But he had to pay the price (Numbers 20:11-12). It is better to know God first than to steer Him. But if we know Him, He will allow us to steer Him.”
Pastor Phiilp also shared about his heart to see revival in Malaysia. Although he loves Malaysia, revival will come from the hands of a Malaysian.
As Malaysians, we are responsible to God for the blood of our people! God loves every person in Malaysia.
“Malaysia, your flight has been delayed. You should start running now because the gates for Malaysia are closing. Otherwise, Indonesia and Malaysia will have a big gap. Don’t be surprise one day, if there are more Indonesians than Malaysians in Heaven.
“This is not the time to encourage you. You should be sharing the gospel already, it should be old-fashioned. ‘Let’s fill the stadium up to one hundred thousand people?’ Who needs faith for something like that?”
With exhortation and encouragement, revival in Malaysia will only come when the Bride of Christ is ready for the Groom. We can only be the Bride of Jesus Christ, when we walk intimately and closely with the Holy Spirit.
If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25)
ABOUT JESUS FESTIVAL | Jesus Festival is a celebration of who Jesus is, what He has done and who we are in Him. As the name of Jesus is lifted up, all are drawn to Him through encounters and experiences coming from His presence. In His presence and through the Word revealed, lives are changed, transformed and restored, and we become reflectors of His glory. It’s all about Jesus.
Jesus Festival began in 2012 in Manila, Philippines. Since then, it is being held once a year in various parts of the world. Three conferences are held yearly in the Philippines in three cities: Manila, Baguio City and Tacloban City. One conference is held yearly in Malaysia and in Hong Kong.
Jesus Festival Malaysia began in 2014 as God spoke to Pastor Albert Isaac, Senior Pastor of World Harvest Church Malaysia to bring the body of Christ together to celebrate and lift up none other than Jesus alone. Jesus said, “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto Me.”
People responded to the preaching of the Word; healings and salvations took place and God’s glory filled the atmosphere. Jesus Festival is all about Jesus and our desire is for the lives of people to be forever changed by the Gospel and that we become the living demonstration of Jesus in all spheres of society.
JESUS FESTIVAL SPEAKERS | Jesus Festival speakers are a diverse group of personalities from all over the world with backgrounds touching different aspects of the 5-fold ministry. What they share in common though is a passion to make known the beauty of Jesus Christ and the impact of His presence in people’s lives.
This year we were honoured to have Pastor Paul Chase (New Life, Alabang, Philippines), Pastor Jocel Evangelista (New Life, Alabang, Philippines), Pastor Mylene Evangelista (New Life, Alabang, Philippines), Pastor Lawrence Lim (New Creation Church, Singapore), Pastor Stephanie Isaac (World Harvest Church, Malaysia), Pastor Alvin Dela Pena (New Life, The Fort, Philippines) and Pastor Philip Mantofa (Mawar Sharon Church, Indonesia).
JESUS FESTIVAL MALAYSIA 2017 | Jesus Festival Malaysia 2017 will be held on Saturday, 20th May 2017 | www.jesus-festival.com
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