1. Hello, listening friends.
2. We are glad you tuned in.
3. We are about to go into the second part of a series of messages on the life of the Apostle Paul.
4. We are calling it, “Looking Up…” when life knocks you down;
5. and I want to begin by asking you this question:
6. do you know the difference between pigeons and dove?
7. Pigeons are of the same family as doves and they look like doves;
8. but they are very different.
9. It is not an accident that the Holy Spirit was symbolized with a dove.
10. It is not an accident that, when Jesus went into the River Jordan to be baptized,
11. that God, the Holy Spirit, appeared in a symbol of a dove to testify that Jesus is God’s beloved Son.
12. Pigeons are the look-a-like of doves.
13. Pigeons are the counterfeits of doves.
14. The same thing happens in the Christian faith.
15. “Pigeon religion” is a counterfeit of the Holy Spirit.
16. Let me explain what I mean.
17. Those who proclaim a message that is inconsistent with the Word of God,
18. you have to conclude that this is a “pigeon religion.”
19. Let me give you some more examples so you will understand what I’m trying to tell you.
20. Those who display bitterness and anger and resentment in their lives are practicing what?
21. “Pigeon religion.”
22. Those who are involved in malice, fraud, lying and unethical business practices are practicing what?
那些涉及恶意、 诈骗、 虚假和不道德的商业行为的人，是在实践什么信仰呢？
23. “Pigeon religion.”
24. Those who cannot get involved in anything unless they control it and manipulate it are practicing what?
25. “Pigeon religion.”
26. Christians who are covetous and greedy and discontented are practicing what?
27. “Pigeon religion.”
28. Christians who are into all sorts of immorality are practicing what?
29. “Pigeon religion.”
30. It is not surprising that the Apostle Paul stressed the fact that true believers are not to grieve the Holy Spirit.
31. I want to explain the word, “grieve,” so that you will understand what I mean.
32. If you imagine that somebody yells at a beautiful little child,
33. what happens out of his or her grieving process?
34. You see that their chin starts shaking
35. and tears start coming
36. and, then, they run away from the situation.
37. That’s what grieving the Holy Spirit does.
38. When a person habitually sins,
39. they are grieving the Holy Spirit and the dove will fly away.
40. It doesn’t mean that they lose their salvation,
41. but they have grieved the Holy Spirit.
42. A pigeon does not grieve very easily, but a dove does.
43. A dove does not adjust to its environment,
44. but a pigeon does.
45. “Dove religion” does not adjust to sin;
46. but a pigeon can easily be enticed by any sorts of food that you throw their way.
47. The dove is not manipulated or fooled;
48. but pigeons are both intrusive and obtrusive.
49. A dove is a gentleman.
50. Pigeons fight each other all the time;
51. but doves do not.
52. Pigeons are territorial and very defensive;
53. but doves will only dwell in peace and serenity.
54. Why am I taking time to draw the distinction between pigeons and doves?
55. Because so many can grieve the Holy Spirit of God and replace Him with “pigeon religion;”
56. but they think that they are walking with God.
57. Have you ever wondered why pigeons walk funny?
58. A pigeon walks funny because it cannot see while it’s moving.
59. The pigeon has to bring its head to a complete stop before it’s able to see where it’s going;
60. and, when you are into “pigeon religion,”
61. you will have a hard time seeing where you’re going;
62. and, consequently, your Christian life will be a series of stops and starts -
63. not so with “dove religion.”
64. When you are conscious of not grieving the Holy Spirit,
65. when you are conscious of pleasing the Holy Spirit of God,
66. when you are conscious of the Holy Spirit’s leadership in your life,
67. your life will not be a series of stops and starts,
68. but it will be like what the Bible said—it moves from one point of glory into another.
69. Please turn with me to the Book of Acts, Chapter 13.
70. Here, we find a pattern for true awakening of the Holy Spirit,
71. not an imitation of the Spirit’s awakening;
72. and I have three things to tell you about practicing “dove religion.”
73. The first thing is that there has to be an unconditional surrender to the leadership of the Holy Spirit,
74. verses 1 to 13.
75. Secondly, there has to be unwillingness to sugar-coat biblical truth,
76. verses 14 to 42;
77. and, thirdly, there has to be an uncompromising steadfastness in the face of opposition,
78. verses 50 to 52.
79. First, unconditional surrender to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
80. The church in Antioch was a church that was totally submissive to the authority of the Holy Spirit.
81. They were not enslaved to worldly business practices.
82. They were not into manipulating people’s emotions.
83. In fact, verse 2 of Chapter 13 says
84. that, while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting,
85. they were not even ministering to themselves.
86. They were not ministering to one another.
87. They were ministering to the Lord in adoration.
88. While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit spoke and said,
89. “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work...”
90. Look at verse 3 of Acts 13.
91. After they heard the Holy Spirit clearly spoke, they fasted some more.
92. They prayed some more
93. and, then, they commissioned Paul and Barnabas to go.
94. Please listen carefully to me, my listening friends.
95. The reason they were able to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice
96. is because they were surrendered to the Holy Spirit;
97. and, because they were surrendered to the Holy Spirit,
98. they were able to obey the Holy Spirit;
99. and, therefore, the Holy Spirit then sent them out to serve Him;
100. and they ministered in the power of the Holy Spirit, not their clever ingenuity.
101. How do we know that?
102. When they got into Cyprus, they went there, not because they thought it was a good idea.
103. No! They went there on the authority of the Holy Spirit,
104. because the Holy Spirit already wanted to be manifested among the people of Cyprus;
105. and we are told that when they got into Paphos,
106. there was a sorcerer by the name of Bar-Jesus.
107. This man was mesmerizing people with his magic.
108. Paul, who was surrendered to the authority of the Holy Spirit,
109. was able to blind that man for a time.
110. Listen to me, my listening friend.
111. When you have unconditionally surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit,
112. you will be able to discern.
113. You will discern deception from truth.
114. This magician’s name was the “son of Jesus,” or “Bar-Jesus;” but, in reality, Paul said, he was the son of the devil.
这个术士的名字是“耶稣之子”或者叫”巴耶稣” ， 而事实上， 保罗称他为魔鬼之子。
115. Even the Roman governor of the area turned to the Lord,
116. because he saw these men exercise the power of the Holy Spirit in front of him;
117. so, the first condition for genuine Holy Spirit awakening is an unconditional surrender to the Holy Spirit of God.
118. Secondly, there has to be an unwillingness to sugar-coat biblical truth.
119. Many people, today, want to downplay biblical truth.
今天， 有很多人 想淡化圣经的真理。
120. Some of them are embarrassed about the biblical truth.
121. There are some who are embarrassed about the truth of Hell as a place that is prepared for those who have rejected the Lord Jesus Christ;
122. but only willingness not to sugar-coat biblical truth will bring about the Holy Spirit’s awakening.
123. If you read this passage from Acts very carefully,
124. you will see that Paul knew that the task ahead would be difficult.
125. Paul knew that, when he shows them from the Word of God that the Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled in Jesus,
126. they are not going to like it.
127. He knew that the ones who have rejected the resurrected Messiah are not going to easily accept what Paul said;
128. but, nonetheless, he refused to sugar-coat biblical truth.
129. Paul knew that these leaders had waited for so long for the Messiah to come.
130. He knew that they were anticipating the Messiah would be from the line of David;
131. but that’s all they knew,
132. because their idea was that this Messiah was going to have earthly power, just like King David.
133. Their pre-conceived idea of the Messiah was that He is going to be a military hero and a conqueror;
134. and they allowed their pre-conceived ideas of the Messiah to cause them to reject the real One when He came;
135. but that did not deter Paul from proclaiming Jesus as the Fulfillment of the old covenant.
136. First, unconditional surrender to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
137. Secondly, unwillingness to sugar-coat biblical truth.
138. Thirdly, uncompromising steadfastness in the face of opposition.
139. Whenever the Holy Spirit is obeyed,
140. whenever there is proclamation of biblical truth,
141. there will always be two distinct responses:
142. those who believe and, thus, become saved,
143. and, those who reject and fight and, thus, sign their own eternal death;
144. and you see this very clearly in Acts, Chapter 13.
145. You see that some people were delighted to hear God’s message,
146. but some religious leaders threw Paul and Barnabas out of town.
147. What did Paul do?
148. He shook the dust off his feet, just like Jesus told the Disciples to do.
149. When Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off their feet,
150. they were saying to these religious leaders who would not believe,
151. “We consider you to be worse than pagans.”
152. Now, you cannot get any stronger condemnation than this;
153. but, in this day and age, we have this false idea that says that we must not call anyone “wrong;”
154. that “loving sinners” means that we never tell them that they are sinners and they desperately need Jesus.
155. Now, we have this idea that “loving sinners” means that we must not only accept them, but also accept their sin as well;
156. but that’s not biblical love,
157. because, according to verse 48 of Acts 13,
158. only the preaching of biblical truth will bring those who have been appointed unto salvation to Jesus Christ.
159. My listening friend, please listen carefully, as I conclude.
160. There may be a person listening to us today and says, “I’ve always been good.
161. I have tried to live a good life,
162. and I always thought that I would make it to Heaven...”
163. but you have never come into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
164. Perhaps, you have never come to the realization that you are a sinner by birth and a sinner by practice
165. and that you are heading for Hell without Jesus’ payment for the wages of your sins;
166. but, today, you can repent of your sins and receive forgiveness and salvation.
167. You can receive eternal life that Jesus made possible when He hung on the cross 2,000 years ago.
168. Will you accept His invitation?
169. It is our prayer that you will.
170. Until next time, I wish you God’s richest blessing.