15 June 2013 by Donna Uning – CM
“God is transforming our church into a house of prayer,” exclaimed Elder Lian Paran at the fifth anniversary of the City SIB Church here Sunday. “I don’t want to look backwards, but look forward,” he said of the multinational church which has a congregation of students from various countries.
“The establishment of this church on a Pentecostal Sunday is not a coincidence,” he said. “It is one of the things the Holy Spirit does. God always tells us in advance what to do. We should know from the Word of God.”
Acts 2:16-18 tell,
“No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.”
In verses 19-21 tell of the last days. For Peter, it is only the beginning of the last days; it’s been almost 2000 years since the Holy Spirit came. “We are right in the end of the last days.”
“One of the ways God edifies the church is through prophesy. We have breakthrough in speaking in tongues, it’s the initial signs,” he said.
“All of us are sons and daughters of God. All of you should be able to prophesy if we allow the Holy Spirit to move in and through us,” he continued saying, “We are believing all of us to prophesy.”
If you have the Holy Spirit, we should be able to move in prophesy. Through prophesy God wants to edify the church. “If He allows the Holy Spirit to work through us, He said so.” He also explained how God does not look at gender.
“It is difficult to distinguish between the young and the old,” he told about when Abraham (75 years) and Moses (80 years) had visions. “As long as we are young at heart; our mind set.” Allow the Holy Spirit to work in us.
The difference between visions and dreams is that visions are pictures the Holy Spirit imparts while you are still awake. You get dreams in your sleep. “Too much TV makes it difficult for the Holy Spirit to work in us.”
“If you watch Arsenal on Saturday, they will lose,” Elder Lian told what his wife said if he watches too much football. “So, I stop watching on Saturday. But watching Korean dramas are even worst, it takes a lot of time.” It is not sinful, but it takes our time from God.
“If we want the Holy Spirit to speak to us, we need time to spend with God,” he said. There is no need to wait for the Holy Spirit, He is already in us. Just allow the river of living waters to work in us.
It’s like when you recharge your hand phone for one hour. “If you want to edify, spend more time praying in the spirit. If we don’t, we will not see much breakthrough in our lives.” The Holy Spirit wants us to move into prophesy. God wants His sons and daughters to prophesy. We should be able to move in prophesy, not to become prophets.
1 Corinthians 14:2-5 tells us to pursue prophesy. In 2000 years, we see how much room we allow the Holy Spirit to move in our church. “We have to believe that God wants us to move in prophesy.”
“There are two ways we can edify. First, is as we pray in the Spirit and second, if somebody prophesies over us,” he said in verses 2 and 4,
“For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit"
“Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church"
1 Corinthians 14: 2, 4
How do we know that somebody is prophesying? “There is exaltation, strengthening, comfort and it builds us up. That is how the Word of prophesy should come. If the word is negative or critical, that is not how the Holy Spirit moves,” he said.
“The Holy Spirit is a counselor; the opposite of the devil who is a liar,” he told saying the devil is our adversary, accuser and criticizer. “The Holy Spirit is exactly the opposite of the devil; He is the truth, the Word of life, comfort, hope and future.” He confirmed with verse 3 which tells,
“But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.”
1 Corinthians 14:3
“This is what God wants us to move as a church. The Holy Spirit wants to use each and every one of us,” he said. Verse 5 continues,
“I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.”
1 Corinthians 14:5
“If we prophesy, we edify the church. Prophesying is greater than tongues unless you interpret,”
“For this reason the one who speaks in a tongue should pray that they may interpret what they say.”
1 Corinthians 14:13
“These two gifts of the Holy Spirit, to me should be fulfilled and manifested in the church,” he said.
“You can prophesy one by one. It should be freely flowing as we gather, prophesy, tongues and interpretation,” he said, telling about our desire to prophesy in verse 39,
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues.” If we do no not desire, the Holy Spirit won’t force us to speak.
1 Corinthians 14:39
“As sons and daughters of God, we should allow the Holy Spirit to move us in prophesy; pray for interpretation,” he told. The whole chapter 14 is instructions on how to move in the realms of prophesy and tongues. Allow the Holy Spirit to move into prophesy in tongues and interpretation, if there is no interpretation, we should remain silent. Verse 28 tells,
“If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God.”
1 Corinthians 14:28
“This should be a normal experience in a spirit filled church. A common way the Holy Spirit manifest is through prophesies. We should be willing and have the desire. Do not forbid speaking in tongues, this is quite clear. If we stop, then we are directly against the Word of God. It is not a pleasant thing to resist the Holy Spirit,” he ended.
The 5th anniversary celebration brought in pastors from other churches and many visitors from all over the country. The day also marked Elder Lian Paran and Pastor Mary Lian’s 35th wedding anniversary. The church was presented with performances by the Sabahan nursing students, a solo performance, student testimonies, video presentation and cake cutting ceremony. The City SIB was established on Black Pentecost Sunday June 8, 2008.
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