"Studies about the Spirit in the New Testament"
August 01, 2020

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Paul: From Prison with Love
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Paul: From Prison with Love, is a basic commentary of the writings generated from Paul's first imprisonment in Rome. He had already written the book of Galatians in 49 AD, followed by First and Second Thessalonians in 5l AD. Trailing these volumes were First and Second Corinthians (56 AD) and Romans (56,57 AD).

Knowing these books were in circulation prior to the four prison letters is important chronological information. It means the books of James (44-45 AD) and Matthew (40 AD) were available to the early church, and their influence, no doubt, was impactful. However, Paul's revelation was certainly dynamic during those early days, as well.

This commentary seeks to draw on these facts and present a cascading treatise seeking to grasp understanding about their interaction. When Ephesians was born in 60 AD, did Colossians (61AD) expand upon Ephesians or is it a separate entity?

Each book of this foursome is in the chronological order of their issuance. As each unfolds their separate message, the commentator will seek to point the way to less obvious subjects that apply to the reader-regardless in what century they are read.

Unfolding revelation is beautiful to behold, and the excitement grows as one reaches into the promises of God found in each epistle. Each book is quartered into four parts in order for small groups to study as four lessons per month (except Philemon).

The Bible texts are also included along with commentary, allowing the reader to reference the material without having to turn to the Bible and then back to the commentary. This facilitates the use of other translations for clarity.

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En Punto, by Dr. C.R. Oliver, is a teaching text that moves the reader from the secularism of the day to a place near the walk of the early church. Beginning with the Preface, written by Missionary Russell M. Stendal, to the Addendums where Ex-Nun, Ann Hall, testifies about her En Punto walk, this book draws the reader into a commitment that is life-changing. Instead of the "haphazard" circumstance-driven life, there arises the awareness of how to live in the "exact" will of God, how to interpret life from a different view. En Punto challenges the reader to a new level of purity and power. Its studies include personal adventures using En Punto principles, as well as Biblical studies from both Old and New Testaments. Inside its main flow there is a special review of the tribe of Benjamin and how their history served as a model of moral relativism, and how they changed to strong determinism in God.

En Punto has been the source book for world Bible Studies, the subject of media interviews and a "must read" text for dynamic Christian living.

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August 1, 2020

"Studies about the Spirit in the New Testament"

You may watch this Newsletter in a video HERE.


As we enter the New Testament passages referencing the Spirit, let us recognize the instances the gospels repeat many of the same topics. Therefore, since Matthew was the earliest of the gospel writers (40AD), we will follow his lead and bring into play Luke, Mark and John (This is the order of their writings).

(All these Spirit studies can be used for home group study.)

After giving the genealogy of Jesus' ancestry through Joseph, Matthew penned a succinct description of the birth of Christ. Little could he have realized this event not only brought the Savior into the world, but would be a crisis point for religion. Nothing in Scripture is more basic than the virgin birth, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. When the Holy Spirit impregnated young Mary, who had agreed to be the vessel for God's use, He remained her comforter. Mary's visit to Elizabeth's house was Divinely ordained by the Spirit. It is in these opening Scriptures we realize how sweet and tender the Spirit is. We learn how He ordained circumstances which surrounded these events. It is not out of line to say He was a constant source for encouragement and strength to Mary and Joseph. Thus, when Mary yielded to the will of God and the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, He stayed with her throughout her life. Biblicists often fail to show the caring, loving, tenderness of the Spirit.

(Note: Luke registers the lineage of Mary in order to complete Jesus' genealogy [Luke 3:23-37]).

Luke 1:35-36:
And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:38:
Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her.

The Spirit performed a creative miracle in Mary as sovereign as the creations of Genesis. Howbeit, through the centuries, the Christ child's immaculate conception has become as controversial as unbelief in the inerrancy of the Bible. Modernists refute these passages (See: Harry E. Fosdick and Rudolph Bultmann).

The apostle John attacked those heretics:

1 John 4:2-3:
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

Thankfully, we have the writing of Matthew and Luke who testify to the power of the Spirit in the birth of the Son of God, thus fulfilling the Prophets forecasts.

Matthew 1:18-23:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. 20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."

22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which is translated, "God with us."

Luke's account of Jesus' birth differs from Matthew in that he shows the peripheral events which surrounded the birth of Christ. Luke lingers with Elizabeth and Zacharias's gifted child by the Holy Spirit: John, the Baptist. Luke also shows how the Spirit moved upon Simeon and Anna to bless the child. He describes the intricate display of these events and their mark on history.

Matthew, however, adds to the drama by showing the visit of the wise men and the Spirit's directive to protect the child by fleeing to Egypt.

In Luke's account, he too adds to the scene by revealing how John, the Baptist, will be filled with the Holy Spirit from his mother's womb and when he ministers, he will be of the same spirit as Elijah.

Luke 1:13-17:
But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 He will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, 'to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,' and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."

Luke 1:41-43:
And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!"

Luke 1:67:
Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied.

(All sorts of Spirit directives were being synchronized by the Holy Spirit.)

Basically, the next set of events, where the Spirit surfaces mightily, is in the baptism of Jesus by his cousin John, who had proclaimed Jesus' superiority.

Mark 1:8-11:
I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

John Baptizes Jesus:
(Matthew 3:13-17; Luke 3:21,22; John 1:29-34)
9 It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. 11 Then a voice came from heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

Luke 3:15-17:
Now as the people were in expectation, and all reasoned in their hearts about John, whether he was the Christ or not, 16 John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.

Luke 3:21-22:
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased."

John 1:32-34:
32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God

Immediately, after Jesus' baptism in water and the Spirit with God's heavenly approval, Jesus was led by the Spirit to be tempted. One would think the work of the Spirit would not be to lead someone into this arena. These temptations covered all the bases of human experience: therefore, Jesus had to conquer satan in these areas.

Matt 4:1-2:
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

Luke 4:1-2
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, 2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days, He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.

Mark 1:12-13:
Immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness. 13 And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.

When one reads these accounts, it may be easy to forget the Spirit did not leave Jesus during those forty days. Spirit instruction and empowerment were and are vital resources against satanic attack! Jesus's life events revealed what a Spirit--filled life can accomplish.

Notice, how quickly Luke points to the Spirit after Jesus's temptation.

Luke 4:14-15:
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and news of Him went out through all the surrounding region. 15 And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Luke 4:16-19:
So, He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
18 "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."

The next venue in Matthew is well into the ministry of Jesus, where He sends out the twelve apostles.

Matthew 10:16-20:
16 "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore, be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.

Mark's gospel waits until Jesus is teaching about end-times to emphasize the voice of the Spirit during tribulation.

Mark 13:11-12:
11 But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

Luke also teaches about the voice of the Spirit indwelling the believer.

Luke 12:8-12:
8 "Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

10 "And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.

11 "Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."

The next passage on the Spirit in Matthew centers around the healing of a man with a withered hand being healed on the Sabbath. Of course, the synagogue leaders seek to punish Him; therefore, He withdraws from them. He continues healing on that day and quotes from Isaiah.

Matthew 12:15-22:
But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:
18 "Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen,
My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not quarrel nor cry out,
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench,
Till He sends forth justice to victory;
21 And in His name Gentiles will trust."

Jesus, operating in the power of the Spirit, managed to teach and practice deeds of mercy that riled the religious leadership of His day. They accused Him of being a devil.

Matthew 12:28-32:
28 But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house. 30 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. 31 "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.

Luke and Mark issue similar warning:

Luke 12:10:
10 "And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven."

Mark 3:28-30:
"Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Spirit Holy never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation" ― 30 because they said, "He has an unclean spirit.

Wherever people of religious authority encounter Spirit authority, there is often misunderstanding and even violent objection. (Could this signal the importance of being baptized in the Spirit and walking in His ways? Could this explain the onslaught against conservative fundamental Christians and their churches?)

Matthew 22:41-46:
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, "What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?"

They said to Him, "The Son of David."

43 He said to them, "How then does David in the Spirit call Him 'Lord,' saying:

44 'The Lord said to my Lord,
"Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool"'?

45 If David then calls Him 'Lord,' how is He his Son?" 46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.

When Jesus was addressing His Disciples, He was constantly emphasizing the importance of obeying the Spirit. Here, we see Him rejoicing in the Spirit (Believers should follow His example for there is a vast difference in "Spirit rejoicing "and what passes as worship today).

Luke 10:20-24:
Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven."
Jesus Rejoices in the Spirit
(also, in Matt 11:25-27)

21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, "I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

23 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, "Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it."

Jesus' ministry was characterized by His teaching about the importance of the Spirit. Because the Gospel of John was written much later than the other three, many passages on the Spirit appear in his Gospel that are not shown in the other Gospels.

Let us review those passages separately, beginning with John 3 and Nicodemus.

John 3:5-9:
5 Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

9 Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be?"

      Spurgeon wrote: "Cold admiration, when studying the works of God, anyone may have, but the warmth of love can only be kindled in the heart by God's Spirit."

The new birth is totally a work of the Spirit drawing mankind to Jesus. It is the manifest love of God that is displayed in John 3:16ff. It is that love which draws the Prodigal home. It is that love which recues the lost sheep. It is that love which rejoices over one sinner that is saved.

Rejoicing is the nature of those who know Him; they too rejoice when souls are born again. Such is reflected in John's answer to the Jews who were baptized by him, for John the Baptist understood clearly his place in the plan of God.

John 3:27-36:
John answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, 'I am not the Christ,' but, 'I have been sent before Him.' 29 He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom's voice. Therefore, this joy of mine is fulfilled. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease. 31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true. 34 For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure. 35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand. 36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

Verse 34 is such a wonderful portent. Jesus walked in the fulness of the Spirit and so must we. Bless God, John G. Lake and Smith Wigglesworth understood this tenant of truth. It is past time for the church to embrace the fullness of the Spirit in these last days and to see a bursting force from God's people. Limitless grace is propelled by the limitless Spirit. That is what exploded on the day of Pentecost. Out of the upper room came a people that knew no boundaries. They exhibited a measureless anointing!

Jesus taught in the power of the Spirit. He gave one of the weightiest doctrinal truths to the woman at the well, but the truth He laid out was for all of us.

John 4:23-24:
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

Thank God for this truth! Much of what passes for praise and worship has no evidence of the Spirit in their ranks. Congregates have grown accustomed to Spirit-less services which yield no fruit. God is Spirit and the Holy Spirit is the sole progenitor of worship.

John 6:63:
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.

Observe the power of this next Scripture passage.

John 7:37-39:
On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

In Kiev, Ukraine, and in Brasov, Romania, and in many other places on earth, the Lord would cause me to preach from these verses. It is so true that living waters flow out of us to a thirsty world. Sometimes, the thirstiest place is the modern church!

Because there are so many carnal Christians, the following passage never gets taught in their varying venues. The world is not able to receive the Spirit of Truth. Yet, the following passage is part of Jesus' prayer.

John 14:15-18:
15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.

Jesus' prayer has been answered through the indwelling Spirit. The Spirit is the helper and He fills every void in the believer's life-walk.

John 14:26-27:
The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Being taught "all things" is a completeness which has alluded most believers. The state of knowledge that is capable from the Spirit exceeds our fondest imagination. The Spirit desires to teach the believer ALL things.

1 Corinthians 2:9-12:
9 But as it is written:
"Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

Marvelous is the next passage in John's Gospel.

John 15:26-27:
"But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. "

Couple the above passage with this one in the next chapter.

John 16:12-15:
12 "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

It is at this point in John's Gospel he expresses closure, by telling what the Lord Jesus did in the final days before His ascension.

John 20:19-23:
19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

21 So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Who among us practices verse 23?

Is is expedient that we return to Matthew 28, in order to finalize the Spirit passages in the four Gospels.

Matthew 28:16-20:
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

As we enter the "end of ages," we must be cognizant of Jesus' great authority and not shrink from the task of world evangelism. Jesus said He would be with us in these trying times. Displacement is everywhere as bewildered citizens seemingly have no place to turn. The darkness has claimed a proportion of life beyond our wildest imagination. Nations are in shambles and whole societies cry out for direction as a cultural revolution emerges on a daily basis, threatening disfunction at all levels of authority. Although these disconcerting events continue, let it be declared from the housetops,

Jesus has all authority in heaven and earth and has given us authority to bind and loose, forgive sin or call for judgment!

These are all the passages which reference "The Spirit" in the four gospels ― next month we enter the book of Acts.
Until next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.



Oliver Evangelistic Association, International is happy to announce that through your faithful giving, we were able to supply the $7000.00 requested by the missionaries in Botswana, Robert and Mary Grindley! Praise The Lord!

From Missionary Portia Sharp of Sharp Ministries, Kenya, Africa:

     Portia Sharp
     Sharp Ministries Intl
     P. O. Box 130851
     The Woodlands, Tx. 77393
     Email: Portia@sharpministries.com
     Telephone: (832) 326-3474
     Twitter: @portiasharpministry
     Web: https://www.sharpministries.com/
     Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/portiasharpministry/

NOTE: After a successful career in business, Portia Sharp felt the constant urging of the Lord to move into full-time missionary ministry. This was not something that was laid out in completion, but rather seeking the Lord one day at a time for His immediate direction. As Dr. Oliver so succinctly laid out in his book En Punto, it is a matter of being in the exact right place at the exact time at the direction of the Holy Spirit. It is in this framework that Portia Sharp moves. It would be a blessing to her if you would add her to your daily prayer routine that she would be able to hear clearly and move with exactness as the Lord directs. If you would like to receive her periodical newsletter please let her know by sending an email to Portia@sharpministries.com

This has been a most interesting year for Ministry as I left Houston on March 2 prepared to stay at least 3 months and minister in churches, seminars, and other group meetings. Little did anyone realize things around the world would quickly change.

Arriving safely in Kenya Tuesday night, March 3 and accomplishing business in Nairobi town on Wednesday, ministry began Thursday as I shared an encouraging word with this group of JCF Pastors in their monthly meeting.

I was scheduled to speak Friday night, 3 times on Saturday and Sunday morning in Rongai. This is a young church, but we had a powerful time together in the Word and prayer. Weekend meetings here are filled with people who expect to hear from God and experience His presence. Blessed are the hungry and thirsty for they shall be filled.

The last open church services were the weekend of March 20. I spoke to the congregation at God of All Grace Church, Magoon on Friday night and again in the morning service and an afternoon session with the ladies. We all followed the requirements of washing hands and social distancing as the government had requested. I shared by the unction of the Holy Ghost messages to encourage and uplift these precious people to "fear not", trust in the Lord and He will keep you. I've communicated with this pastor since returning home and he reminded me I was the last one to share with his church before the close all services order came. Thank God we share the life-giving words of Jesus - not our ideas!

I returned to the United States after only 5 weeks in Kenya. I spoke in 9 different meetings before the government began to close and limit public gatherings.

On April 2, we heard roads in and out of Nairobi were going to be closed. The embassy was working on getting Americans on a plane from Nairobi to DC on April 14. My friends invited me to come to their house so that I would be near the airport if I wanted to take that flight, I hired a driver and was able to get into Nairobi before they closed the roads.

Thirty minutes after I arrived in Nairobi, I received an invitation to return to Atlanta on a private jet with 3 other persons, (previously unknown to me) at absolutely no charge to me. After some delays we were able to leave Nairobi on Wednesday evening April 8. We stopped to refuel in Greece, Amsterdam, Ireland before arriving in Atlanta at 8:20 am Thursday. I was able to get a flight to Houston arriving at 11 am Thursday morning. Upon arrival to my house, I quarantined as required after traveling out of the country.

Truly the Lord orders our steps. I am so grateful for His care and your prayers. Thanks to each of you. I will return when all of this has passed.


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