Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chapter 7: Baptized With Fire



In this video, Brian Anthony Bowen reveals Scriptures the Church never talks about which prove that Jesus taught that LGBT people are born this way...and that prove the Apostle Paul ordained Gay Marriage...IN THE BIBLE!

This changes EVERYTHING!
More info:
http://BrianBowenMinistries.com

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Several times during the previous two Chapters of The Bed Keeper, we have seen many references to the Holy Spirit, which was part of the promise God gave to Abraham through his Seed, Jesus Christ.  We also learned that there is a difference between “receiving the Holy Spirit” and “being baptized in the Holy Spirit.”  I hope now to present the benefits of the Holy Spirit’s leadership in a way that leaves you feeling enlightened, encouraged, equipped, and empowered to become all that God called you to be, through a better understanding of the Holy Spirit and His role as the Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Stand-by, Comforter, and the Strengthener of our inner man (or our human spirit), that Jesus sent Him here to be!

I pray this teaching about eunuchs--and especially about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit--will become the seed in your life that grows into your own manifestation of the gifts God has placed in you as a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender child of God!  The Bed Keeper itself is the fruit of much prayer, fasting and following the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  It is also the result of my desire to cultivate the gifts God has given me in order to bear fruit for Him.  I consider The Bed Keeper to be a living testimony to the amazing results that can happen in the life of any believer if they will allow the Holy Spirit to lead their thoughts, deeds, purposes, speech, and every other area of their lives, as they too bear fruit for His honor and glory!

From the many years of rejection by the Church, I was never properly introduced to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and the key leadership role He plays in helping us become not only the righteousness of Christ, but everything else God foreordained us to be before the foundation of the world.  As gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, most of us have never heard too much about the Holy Spirit, because people were so busy telling us about sin, they failed to even tell us about His Son.  Simply put, The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God Himself living in our human spirit.  He is the third member of the Godhead, and is often referred to as the Holy Ghost.  

The Holy Spirit appears throughout the Scriptures.  We see that “in the beginning, the Spirit of God hovered over the waters.”  (Genesis 1:2)  Throughout the Old Testament, we see glimpses of the Holy Spirit at work in the earth, but only in the lives a few people, who were usually a prophet, priest, or king.  But in Joel 2:28-29, God prophesied that there would come a day when:

I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit.

It’s interesting to note that not only does God promise to give gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people a name that is better than “sons” and “daughters” in Isaiah 56, but also refers to “sons” and “daughters” in the Book of Joel concerning the Holy Spirit.

Today, the Holy Spirit’s power and gifts are available to everyone who believes that Jesus is the Son of God, and become partakers of God’s promise to Abraham that in his Seed (Jesus Christ), all nations would be blessed. 

In the next few Chapters of The Bed Keeper, we’ll begin to learn more about Who the Holy Spirit is, and the role He plays in the life of Christian believers.  Let us start first by looking at a few instances of His working in the earth among select individuals, and as we progress forward, we’ll learn that through the life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is now available to all who believe that Jesus is the Son of God:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place under these circumstances: When His mother Mary had been promised in marriage to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be pregnant [through the power] of the Holy Spirit.  Matthew 1:18

And it occurred that when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with and controlled by the Holy Spirit.  Luke 1:41

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when He came up out of the water, at once he [John] saw the heavens torn open and the [Holy] Spirit like a dove coming down [to enter] into Him.  Mark 1:9-10

We see here an example of the Holy Spirit’s participation in the lives of Mary (the mother of Jesus), Elizabeth (the mother of John the Baptist), and Jesus Himself.  Prior to Jesus’ baptism, we see John the Baptist telling people who had came to him to be water baptized:

I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins].  But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.  Matthew 3:11

One of the foremost things we need to understand when becoming acquainted with the Holy Spirit is that Jesus is the One Who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit.  In Chapter 6 of The Bed Keeper, we learned of Pentecost, which was the 50th day after Jesus' resurrection.  In the following selection of Scriptures, we’ll learn that before Jesus ascended to the Father, He told His disciples:

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, and Standby), that He may remain with you forever—

17 The Spirit of Truth, Whom the world cannot receive (welcome, take to its heart), because it does not see Him or know and recognize Him.  But you know and recognize Him, for He lives with you [constantly] and will be in you.

18 I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, desolate, bereaved, forlorn, helpless]; I will come [back] to you.

19 Just a little while now, and the world will not see Me any more, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.

20 At that time [when that day comes] you will know [for yourselves] that I am in My Father, and you [are] in Me, and I [am] in you.

21 The person who has My commands and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I [too] will love him and will show (reveal, manifest) Myself to him.  [I will let Myself be clearly seen by him and make Myself real to him.]

25 I have told you these things while I am still with you.

26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things.  And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.

27 Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]  John 14:16-21, 25-27

26 But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me.  John 15:26

5 But now I am going to Him Who sent Me, yet none of you asks Me, Where are You going?

6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts [taken complete possession of them].

7 However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away.  Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

8 And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment:

9 About sin, because they do not believe in Me [trust in, rely on, and adhere to Me];

10 About righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God), because I go to My Father, and you will see Me no longer;

11 About judgment, because the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world [Satan] is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him.

12 I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them now.

13 But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future].

14 He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.

15 Everything that the Father has is Mine.  That is what I meant when I said that He [the Spirit] will take the things that are Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you John 16:5-15

8 You shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

9 And when He had said this, even as they were looking [at Him], He was caught up, and a cloud received and carried Him away out of their sight.  Acts 1:8-9

And as mentioned, we’ll recall from Chapter 6 of The Bed Keeper that the Day of Pentecost was the fulfillment of these promises from Jesus:

1 When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all assembled together in one place,

2 When suddenly there came a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, and it filled the whole house in which they were sitting.

3 And there appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were separated and distributed and which settled on each one of them.

4 And they were all filled (diffused throughout their souls) with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other (different, foreign) languages (tongues), as the Spirit kept giving them clear and loud expression [in each tongue in appropriate words]. 

14 But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them: You Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let this be [explained] to you so that you will know and understand; listen closely to what I have to say.

15 For these men are not drunk, as you imagine, for it is [only] the third hour (about 9:00 a.m.) of the day;

16 But [instead] this is [the beginning of] what was spoken through the prophet Joel:

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels] and your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [divinely suggested] dreams.

18 Yes, and on My menservants also and on My maidservants in those days I will pour out of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels and predicting future events pertaining especially to God's kingdom].

19 And I will show wonders in the sky above and signs on the earth beneath, blood and fire and smoking vapor;

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the obvious day of the Lord comes--that great and notable and conspicuous and renowned [day].

21 And it shall be that whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord [invoking, adoring, and worshiping the Lord--Christ] shall be saved.  Acts 2:1-4, 14-21

In previous chapters of The Bed Keeper, we have examined God’s Word in a way that shows God has indeed not written off gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, even if many Christians have.  We saw that He has foreordained us to fulfill a vital and prophetic role in preparing the Church for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  We saw in the account of the Ethiopian Eunuch’s baptism that the only requirement for salvation is that he believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  We have examined what God means by “taking firm hold of His Covenant,” and what it means to “keep the Sabbath sacred.”  We have now once again seen that in order to take advantage of these promises of God, we need only to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.  But what does “calling upon His Name” mean?

Many of us in our youth were brought up in a church, and at one time probably answered an altar call to “become saved.”  If you are one of those folks, you are well on your way to receiving everything God has promised gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, even if you may have lost your way in the course of time, just as I and countless other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have as we were pushed from God because of hateful attitudes or speech that came from those professing themselves to be Christians.

But some of us may have not yet called upon the name of the Lord.  After reading the previous chapters of The Bed Keeper, I believe you will be equipped to make an informed decision on whether or not you believe that Jesus is the Son of God, based on Scriptures.  We examined the prophecies that foretold of His coming, and we have examined the particulars of the Covenant relationship we enter into with God when we choose to believe Jesus is the Son of God.  But as we just saw in Acts 2:21, Scripture tells us once again that before we can take advantage of the promised Holy Spirit in our lives, we have to call upon the name of the Lord and be saved from not only eternal torment, but death itself!  So if you never have before, I’d like to pause here to give you an opportunity to call upon the Name of the Lord and be saved from death, and raised to eternal life with Him!

There’s really no “official prayer formula” for doing this.  An example of a simple prayer would be:

God in Heaven,

I believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
I believe that You raised Jesus raised from the dead.
I believe that I receive eternal life through Him.
I believe that I receive Your Holy Spirit.
I repent of all sin, and believe You have forgiven me.
I receive my forgiveness.
I am a believer.
Show me the purpose you have for my life and destiny!
Thank You Lord!
In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

If you had never prayed that before, let me be the first to welcome you to the Kingdom of Heaven!

To get started on the right foot, so to speak, let any of us who is already a believer now pause for what I call the “official welcome” from the Apostle Paul, so that we may all recognize exactly what has happened at this point for anyone just now praying this for the very first time:

1 Paul, an apostle (special messenger) of Christ Jesus (the Messiah), by the divine will (the purpose and the choice of God) to the saints (the consecrated, set-apart ones) at Ephesus who are also faithful and loyal and steadfast in Christ Jesus:

2 May grace (God's unmerited favor) and spiritual peace [which means peace with God and harmony, unity, and undisturbedness] be yours from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm!

4 Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love.

5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]—

6 [So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

7 In Him we have redemption (deliverance and salvation) through His blood, the remission (forgiveness) of our offenses (shortcomings and trespasses), in accordance with the riches and the generosity of His gracious favor,

8 Which He lavished upon us in every kind of wisdom and understanding (practical insight and prudence),

9 Making known to us the mystery (secret) of His will (of His plan, of His purpose). [And it is this:] In accordance with His good pleasure (His merciful intention) which He had previously purposed and set forth in Him,

10 [He planned] for the maturity of the times and the climax of the ages to unify all things and head them up and consummate them in Christ, [both] things in heaven and things on the earth.

11 In Him we also were made [God's] heritage (portion) and we obtained an inheritance; for we had been foreordained (chosen and appointed beforehand) in accordance with His purpose, Who works out everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His [own] will,

12 So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!

13 In Him you also who have heard the Word of Truth, the glad tidings (Gospel) of your salvation, and have believed in and adhered to and relied on Him, were stamped with the seal of the long-promised Holy Spirit.

14 That [Spirit] is the guarantee of our inheritance [the firstfruits, the pledge and foretaste, the down payment on our heritage], in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring [complete] possession of it--to the praise of His glory.

15 For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints (the people of God),

16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

17 [For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,

18 By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones),

19 And [so that you can know and understand] what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,

20 Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His [own] right hand in the heavenly [places],

21 Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named [above every title that can be conferred], not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.

22 And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church [a headship exercised throughout the church],

23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all [for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself].  Ephesians 1:1-23

If any passage of Scripture confirms that there are indeed no second class citizens in the Kingdom of God, this is it! Amen?

We’ll recall God’s prophecy to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people (collectively referred to as eunuchs) in Isaiah 56:5 where He promised, I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial and a name better [and more enduring] than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut off.”

Friends, in my considered opinion the only name better than “sons” and “daughters” that I can think of God giving us is that of “Brothers” and “Sisters” through Jesus Christ and our union with Him!  As God said, He gives us an everlasting Name that shall not be cut off, and the only “everlasting Name” is Jesus.

So, now that we are all Brothers and Sisters in Christ, let’s move more deeply into our acquaintance with the Holy Spirit, and what John meant when he said that Jesus would baptize us in the Holy Spirit and fire.

As mentioned previously in The Bed Keeper, there is a difference between receiving the Holy Spirit (which you just did if you prayed the prayer above), and being “baptized in the Holy Spirit.”  We see the distinction very clearly in these passages of Scripture, one of which appears just before Jesus ascended to the Father, 

And while being in their company and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to wait for what the Father had promised, Of which [He said] you have heard Me speak.  For John baptized with water, but not many days from now you shall be baptized with (placed in, introduced into) the Holy Spirit.  Acts 1:4-5

Another passage appears just prior to the account of the baptism of the Ethiopian Eunuch:

14 Now when the apostles (special messengers) at Jerusalem heard that [the country of] Samaria had accepted and welcomed the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 

15 And they came down and prayed for them that the Samaritans might receive the Holy Spirit;

16 For He had not yet fallen upon any of them, but they had only been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.

17 Then [the apostles] laid their hands on them one by one, and they received the Holy Spirit.  Acts 8:1-17 

Yet another passage appears in the same Book of Acts some chapters later:

1 While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul went through the upper inland districts and came down to Ephesus. There he found some disciples.

2 And he asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [on Jesus as the Christ]?  And they said, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.

3 And he asked, Into what [baptism] then were you baptized? They said, Into John's baptism.

4 And Paul said, John baptized with the baptism of repentance, continually telling the people that they should believe in the One Who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus [having a conviction full of joyful trust that He is Christ, the Messiah, and being obedient to Him].

5 On hearing this they were baptized [again, this time] in the name of the Lord Jesus.

6 And as Paul laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them; and they spoke in [foreign, unknown] tongues (languages) and prophesied.  Acts 19:1-6

Notice that in Jesus’ words (and in both of these accounts of people receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit), the people had already confessed their belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and had been baptized in water for the remission of sins.  We’ll discuss water baptism a bit later, but notice that in both accounts that there are 3 distinct events in the life of a new believer. 

First, there is confessing and believing that Jesus is the Son of God.  There is then also water baptism.  And then there is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit!  Notice also the different results of being baptized in the Holy Spirit.  In the first example, the apostles simply laid hands on the people, and they received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  But in the second account, they also spoke in unknown tongues and prophesied.

Many people have heard of “speaking in tongues,” and it has caused some controversy in the Church.  Some people believe that speaking in tongues is a necessary “proof” that a person has been baptized in the Holy Spirit, but that cannot be true in all cases.  As we see in these passages of Scripture that although both groups of people were baptized in the Holy Spirit, only one of the groups of people spoke in tongues and prophesied.

The gift of speaking in tongues therefore is not the sole “proof” or “litmus test” of someone’s salvation, or their having been imbued with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  There are many gifts of the Holy Spirit, and Scripture tell us that they are varied and dispensed individually as the Holy Spirit chooses.  Let’s take a look at some of these other spiritual gifts as explained by the Apostle Paul:

1 Now about the spiritual gifts (the special endowments of supernatural energy), brethren, I do not want you to be misinformed.

2 You know that when you were heathen, you were led off after idols that could not speak [habitually] as impulse directed and whenever the occasion might arise.

3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking under the power and influence of the [Holy] Spirit of God can [ever] say, Jesus be cursed!  And no one can [really] say, Jesus is [my] Lord, except by and under the power and influence of the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same.

5 And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served].

6 And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all.

7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit.

8 To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit;

9 To another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues.

11 All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.

12 For just as the body is a unity and yet has many parts, and all the parts, though many, form [only] one body, so it is with Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

13 For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit.

14 For the body does not consist of one limb or organ but of many.

15 If the foot should say, Because I am not the hand, I do not belong to the body, would it be therefore not [a part] of the body?

16 If the ear should say, Because I am not the eye, I do not belong to the body, would it be therefore not [a part] of the body?

17 If the whole body were an eye, where [would be the sense of] hearing?  If the whole body were an ear, where [would be the sense of] smell?

18 But as it is, God has placed and arranged the limbs and organs in the body, each [particular one] of them, just as He wished and saw fit and with the best adaptation.

19 But if [the whole] were all a single organ, where would the body be? 

20 And now there are [certainly] many limbs and organs, but a single body.

21 And the eye is not able to say to the hand, I have no need of you, nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.

22 But instead, there is [absolute] necessity for the parts of the body that are considered the more weak.

23 And those [parts] of the body which we consider rather ignoble are [the very parts] which we invest with additional honor, and our unseemly parts and those unsuitable for exposure are treated with seemliness (modesty and decorum),

24 Which our more presentable parts do not require.  But God has so adjusted (mingled, harmonized, and subtly proportioned the parts of) the whole body, giving the greater honor and richer endowment to the inferior parts which lack [apparent importance],

25 So that there should be no division or discord or lack of adaptation [of the parts of the body to each other], but the members all alike should have a mutual interest in and care for one another.

26 And if one member suffers, all the parts [share] the suffering; if one member is honored, all the members [share in] the enjoyment of it.

27 Now you [collectively] are Christ's body and [individually] you are members of it, each part severally and distinct [each with his own place and function].

28 So God has appointed some in the church [for His own use]: first apostles (special messengers); second prophets (inspired preachers and expounders); third teachers; then wonder-workers; then those with ability to heal the sick; helpers; administrators; [speakers in] different (unknown) tongues.

29 Are all apostles (special messengers)?  Are all prophets (inspired interpreters of the will and purposes of God)?  Are all teachers?  Do all have the power of performing miracles?

30 Do all possess extraordinary powers of healing? Do all speak with tongues?  Do all interpret?

31 But earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (the higher gifts and the choicest graces).  And yet I will show you a still more excellent way [one that is better by far and the highest of them all--love]. 1 Corinthians 12:1-31

Notice verse 30, Paul specifically points out that not all believers speak in tongues.  Notice also how many extraordinary powers the Holy Spirit has to choose from in order to give believers the ability to follow the destiny and purpose God has planned for them!  This should quell any argument from anyone that somehow if a person does not speak in tongues they have no evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  It is quite possible they are gifted with another of the Holy Spirit’s powers instead.  I have seen too many Christians attempt to apply the “tongue test” to too many fellow believers, and is one of the reasons the Church has not realized the full power and range of the gifts of the Holy Spirit; too many Christians believe there is but one gift.  As we just read, Scripture provides us with quite another perspective on the matter.

We must realize that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a gift from God to and for every believer, whether they speak in tongues or not. Peter confirms this in Acts 2:

And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise [of the Holy Spirit] is to and for you and your children, and to and for all that are far away, [even] to and for as many as the Lord our God invites and bids to come to Himself.  Acts 2:38-39

Let us now take a look at water baptism, which differs from being baptized in the Holy Spirit.  We looked at a couple of examples of people receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and saw that one group of people spoke in unknown tongues and prophesied, and the other group had not.  Both groups of people had already come to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and both groups had already been baptized in water.  But there was yet another group of people who actually received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit before they had even been water baptized:

34 And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons,

35 But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him].

36 You know the contents of the message which He sent to Israel, announcing the good news (Gospel) of peace by Jesus Christ, Who is Lord of all—

37 The [same] message which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, starting from Galilee after the baptism preached by John—

38 How God anointed and consecrated Jesus of Nazareth with the [Holy] Spirit and with strength and ability and power; how He went about doing good and, in particular, curing all who were harassed and oppressed by [the power of] the devil, for God was with Him.

39 And we are [eye and ear] witnesses of everything that He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem. And [yet] they put Him out of the way (murdered Him) by hanging Him on a tree;

40 But God raised Him to life on the third day and caused Him to be manifest (to be plainly seen),

41 Not by all the people but to us who were chosen (designated) beforehand by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.

42 And He charged us to preach to the people and to bear solemn testimony that He is the God-appointed and God-ordained Judge of the living and the dead.

43 To Him all the prophets testify (bear witness) that everyone who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him, giving himself up to Him] receives forgiveness of sins through His name. 

44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message.

45 And the believers from among the circumcised [the Jews] who came with Peter were surprised and amazed, because the free gift of the Holy Spirit had been bestowed and poured out largely even on the Gentiles.

46 For they heard them talking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and extolling and magnifying God. Then Peter asked,

47 Can anyone forbid or refuse water for baptizing these people, seeing that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?

48 And he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ (the Messiah). Then they begged him to stay on there for some days.  Acts 10:34-48

So to summarize, we see there’s no set “formula” for receiving the Holy Spirit, water baptism, or receiving the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Again, Jesus is the One Who baptizes us in the Holy Spirit as a gift from the Father, in fulfillment of the promises God made to Abraham through his Seed, Jesus.

12 Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God.  Hebrews 2:12

Much more than speaking in tongues, I believe God is revealing the hidden (or intentionally ignored) prophecies that He makes to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender believers through His prophecy to eunuchs in Isaiah 56, but also to help us receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as well.  Why He’s chosen to reveal it in this day and age (or through folks like myself) is God’s Own counsel for Him to keep.  However, I believe that He’s doing so in order to make His house a house of prayer for all people, and in order to pour His Spirit out upon all flesh, so that “sons” and “daughters” begin prophesying, so that old men dream dreams, and young men see visions, and also so that even the menservants (a common occupation of eunuchs) and maidservants may also prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels and predicting future events pertaining especially to God's kingdom].  (Joel 2:29)  

It is clear that with the increasing acceptance and understanding of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people all around the world, that the time will soon come for the Church to catch up, and I believe that the message conveyed in The Bed Keeper is but one small part in helping to prepare the Church for the return of Jesus.

I believe it is in part to also build up His Church and to prepare the hearts of believers from every background to accept His Holy Spirit into their lives, and begin living the fruitful lives we are all destined by Him to lead, and that can only be planned and empowered by God Himself, through His Holy Spirit indwelling our human spirit!  

I see these things in three passages of Scripture in particular:

28 And afterward I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

29 Even upon the menservants and upon the maidservants in those days will I pour out My Spirit.

30 And I will show signs and wonders in the heavens, and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.

31 The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.

32 And whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered and saved, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the remnant [of survivors] shall be those whom the Lord calls. Joel 2:28-32

And:

11 So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 For you shall go out [from the spiritual exile caused by sin and evil into the homeland] with joy and be led forth [by your Leader, the Lord Himself, and His word] with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; and it shall be to the Lord for a name of renown, for an everlasting sign [of jubilant exaltation] and memorial [to His praise], which shall not be cut off.  Isaiah 55:11-13

1 Thus says the Lord: Keep justice, do and use righteousness (conformity to the will of God which brings salvation), for My salvation is soon to come and My righteousness (My rightness and justice) to be revealed.

2 Blessed, happy, and fortunate is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold of it and binds himself fast to it, who keeps sacred the Sabbath so as not to profane it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.

3 Let not the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord say, The Lord will surely separate me from His people.  And let not the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.

4 For thus says the Lord: To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths and choose the things which please Me and hold firmly My covenant

5 To them I will give in My house and within My walls a memorial and a name better [and more enduring] than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will not be cut offIsaiah 56:1-5

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God Romans 8:14

Do you have to have the Baptism of the Holy Spirit to make it to heaven?  No!  But I can tell you that it certainly makes the journey called life abundantly more awesome, more wondrous and more impacting to every believer, and the lives we touch! 

For some it also unlocks what is commonly referred to a "prayer language" which is a bit different than speaking in tongues.  Basically speaking in tongues is for giving an utterance to the congregation.  Our prayer language, on the other hand, is a language that can be developed with practice, as the Holy Spirit gives utterance, and as we seek to know God in a more intimate way through our prayer time.  I liken our prayer language to the Buddhist chants, in that they are utterances through which our spirit prayers directly to God, though we do not comprehend their meaning with our mind.  Unlike Buddhist chants however, these are not memorized prayers of a human language.  They are unknown prayers in a heavenly language. 

These prayers are led by the Holy Spirit, Whom Romans 8:26-27 explains “comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.  And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.”

I have included the entire chapter of Romans 8 here so we can also have the context and a fuller explanation of what I have shared in this chapter of The Bed Keeper.  I pray it blesses you with an even fuller comprehension of all that God has done for us and given us by giving us the Holy Spirit!

1 Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

3 For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

4 So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

5 For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.

6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter].  But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

7 [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot.

8 So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.

9 But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you].  But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God].

10 But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you].

11 And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.

12 So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh.

13 For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die.  But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.

14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

15 For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)!  Father!

16 The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.

17 And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

18 [But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us!

19 For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God's sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship].

20 For the creation (nature) was subjected to frailty (to futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it--[yet] with the hope

21 That nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God's children.

22 We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now.

23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the firstfruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God's sons).

24 For in [this] hope we were saved. But hope [the object of] which is seen is not hope.  For how can one hope for what he already sees?

25 But if we hope for what is still unseen by us, we wait for it with patience and composure.

26 So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

27 And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.

28 We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

29 For those whom He foreknew [of whom He was aware and loved beforehand], He also destined from the beginning [foreordaining them] to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the firstborn among many brethren.

30 And those whom He thus foreordained, He also called; and those whom He called, He also justified (acquitted, made righteous, putting them into right standing with Himself). And those whom He justified, He also glorified [raising them to a heavenly dignity and condition or state of being].

31 What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us?  [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]

32 He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?

33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself?  Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen?  Will God, Who acquits us?]

34 Who is there to condemn [us]?  Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?

35 Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love?  Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation?  Or calamity and distress?  Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?

36 Even as it is written, For Thy sake we are put to death all the day long; we are regarded and counted as sheep for the slaughter.

37 Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us.

38 For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,

39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

So if you are ready to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, there's a few ways to go about.  Sometimes God will simply cause you to speak out in a language you have never learned or spoken before.  If He does, just go with it until it feels natural to stop.  This is your prayer language.  You don't have to be in Church to receive it.  As in my case, many Christians have received it spontaneously without even knowing what it was at the time.  You can research local churches in your area and ask if they minister the Baptism of the Holy Spirit if you'd like for someone to go through the process with you.

But remember that Jesus is the One Who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.  Just as simply as you pray to receive Jesus and the eternal life He died to give us, you can also pray something like the following:

God in Heaven,

I believe You sent the Holy Spirit into the world to be our Guide, Teacher, and Comforter.
I believe You intend for me to be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
I believe Jesus will baptize me in the Holy Spirit right now.
I fully expect to begin seeing the Fruit of the Spirit and the Gifts of the Spirit operating in my life for the benefit of my prayer life and the spiritual growth and life of those around me!
I receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Lord!  
Fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit!

Thank you Lord!
In Jesus' Name. Amen

Don't be surprised if you don't "feel" any different after you pray this than you did before.  This gift is received by you by faith, and not by feelings.  If you feel compelled to pray more, feel free to do so, and if you desire to pray in an unknown tongue, ask God to grant the gift to you.  As Paul taught, 

1 Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make it your aim, your great quest]; and earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual endowments (gifts), especially that you may prophesy (interpret the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching).

2 For one who speaks in an [unknown] tongue speaks not to men but to God, for no one understands or catches his meaning, because in the [Holy] Spirit he utters secret truths and hidden things [not obvious to the understanding].

3 But [on the other hand], the one who prophesies [who interprets the divine will and purpose in inspired preaching and teaching] speaks to men for their upbuilding and constructive spiritual progress and encouragement and consolation.

4 He who speaks in a [strange] tongue edifies and improves himself, but he who prophesies [interpreting the divine will and purpose and teaching with inspiration] edifies and improves the church and promotes growth [in Christian wisdom, piety, holiness, and happiness].

5 Now I wish that you might all speak in [unknown] tongues, but more especially [I want you] to prophesy (to be inspired to preach and interpret the divine will and purpose).  He who prophesies [who is inspired to preach and teach] is greater (more useful and more important) than he who speaks in [unknown] tongues, unless he should interpret [what he says], so that the church may be edified and receive good [from it].

6 Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in [unknown] tongues, how shall I make it to your advantage unless I speak to you either in revelation (disclosure of God's will to man) in knowledge or in prophecy or in instruction?

7 If even inanimate musical instruments, such as the flute or the harp, do not give distinct notes, how will anyone [listening] know or understand what is played?

8 And if the war bugle gives an uncertain (indistinct) call, who will prepare for battle?

9 Just so it is with you; if you in the [unknown] tongue speak words that are not intelligible, how will anyone understand what you are saying?  For you will be talking into empty space!

10 There are, I suppose, all these many [to us unknown] tongues in the world [somewhere], and none is destitute of [its own power of] expression and meaning.

11 But if I do not know the force and significance of the speech (language), I shall seem to be a foreigner to the one who speaks [to me], and the speaker who addresses [me] will seem a foreigner to me.

12 So it is with yourselves; since you are so eager and ambitious to possess spiritual endowments and manifestations of the [Holy] Spirit, [concentrate on] striving to excel and to abound [in them] in ways that will build up the church.

13 Therefore, the person who speaks in an [unknown] tongue should pray [for the power] to interpret and explain what he says.

14 For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit [by the Holy Spirit within me] prays, but my mind is unproductive [it bears no fruit and helps nobody].

15 Then what am I to do?  I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will sing [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also.

16 Otherwise, if you bless and render thanks with [your] spirit [thoroughly aroused by the Holy Spirit], how can anyone in the position of an outsider or he who is not gifted with [interpreting of unknown] tongues, say the Amen to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? [I Chron. 16:36; Ps. 106:48.]

17 To be sure, you may give thanks well (nobly), but the bystander is not edified [it does him no good].

18 I thank God that I speak in [strange] tongues (languages) more than any of you or all of you put together;

19 Nevertheless, in public worship, I would rather say five words with my understanding and intelligently in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a [strange] tongue (language).

20 Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men].

21 It is written in the Law, By men of strange languages and by the lips of foreigners will I speak to this people, and not even then will they listen to Me, says the Lord.

22 Thus [unknown] tongues are meant for a [supernatural] sign, not for believers but for unbelievers [on the point of believing], while prophecy (inspired preaching and teaching, interpreting the divine will and purpose) is not for unbelievers [on the point of believing] but for believers.

23 Therefore, if the whole church assembles and all of you speak in [unknown] tongues, and the ungifted and uninitiated or unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are demented?

24 But if all prophesy [giving inspired testimony and interpreting the divine will and purpose] and an unbeliever or untaught outsider comes in, he is told of his sin and reproved and convicted and convinced by all, and his defects and needs are examined (estimated, determined) and he is called to account by all,

25 The secrets of his heart are laid bare; and so, falling on [his] face, he will worship God, declaring that God is among you in very truth.

26 What then, brethren, is [the right course]?  When you meet together, each one has a hymn, a teaching, a disclosure of special knowledge or information, an utterance in a [strange] tongue, or an interpretation of it. [But] let everything be constructive and edifying and for the good of all.

27 If some speak in a [strange] tongue, let the number be limited to two or at the most three, and each one [taking his] turn, and let one interpret and explain [what is said].

28 But if there is no one to do the interpreting, let each of them keep still in church and talk to himself and to God.

29 So let two or three prophets speak [those inspired to preach or teach], while the rest pay attention and weigh and discern what is said.

30 But if an inspired revelation comes to another who is sitting by, then let the first one be silent.  1 Corinthians 14:1-30 

Again, these things are received, realized, and cultivated through faith.  We will discuss the subject of faith as Scripture defines it in Chapter 9 of The Bed Keeper, but one thing it's important to realize is that faith isn't a microwavable process that's over in a few minutes.  These discoveries will lead you into a destiny and life that you never even dreamed possible, and that will take the rest of your life to fully explore!  I'm just glad to have been some small part of it!  God bless you and yours richly and always as He leads you now by His Holy Spirit into your divine destiny!  In the next chapter of The Bed Keeper, we’ll begin to explore what “being led by the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) is all about, and how it empowers believers to be everything they are born to be, including those of us who are born gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender from our mother’s womb….for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven!

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Dear Valued Readers,
This blog continues to be a work in progress. As recent revelations and events throughout Christendom have created an increasingly fluid situation, updates will no longer be published at the end of each post, but rather only at the beginning of the corresponding posts so impacted.  As of August 1, 2013, the only updates to appear at the end of each post will be churches that are personally endorsed by The Bed Keeper as a "SAFE SPACE."

Readers may email thebedkeeper@gmail.com to discuss or comment on any posting.  Please note that while all feedback is highly valued and appreciated, it may not be possible to reply to each email.
 
UPDATE 01.15.12:
Lakewood Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

UPDATE 11.22.11:

Eagle Mountain International Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

THANK YOU for your generous support of this work!
 
Let him who receives instruction in the Word of God share all good things with his teacher, contributing to his support.
Galatians 6:6