Help Needed

There is a possibility that you are reading this blog because in some way you knew Bob Gordon. If that is the case this post is for you.

Hilda Gordon is currently starting to do some background research for a book about the life and ministry of Bob. If you have any memories of Bob then Hilda would love to hear from you so that they can be compiled and used in the book. You dont have to write well, just try to say what the memory was, why it might have made an impact to you, try to get the facts straight, such as peoples names etc. – and if you cant remember then dont worry there is a good chance Hilda will remember it.

The best way to get any stories to Hilda is by emailing it to her at masterbuilders@fastmail.fm or by emailing leaving a comment on this entry. Anything you write will be sent to Hilda.

One other thing, we shall have audio downloads available from the start of February 2010. All of these are being converted from audio tapes and it is a costly process. We have also been able to get a few video sessions converted too. All of these will eventually be put on the blog and will be available free of charge. If you want to give any sort of donation towards the cost of the conversion of these files do please contact us via email at the email given above or at blogrdc@bob-gordon.spirit-and-word.com

Many thanks,

Richard Chamberlain

DL Moody on baptism in the Spirit

“At the close of the service two women whom he had frequently noticed in attendance came forward and said they were praying for him, as they felt he needed ‘the power of the Spirit’. ‘I need the power! Why,’ said he in telling of the interview, ‘I thought I had the power! I had the largest congregation in Chicago, and there were many conversions. I was in a sense satisfied. But right along these two godly women kept praying for me, and their earnest talk about ‘anointing for special service’ set me thinking. I asked them to come and talk with me, and they poured out their hearts in prayer that I might receive the filling of the Holy Spirit. There came a great hunger into my soul. I did not know what it was. I began to cry out as I had never done before. I really felt that I did not want to live if I could not have this power for service.”

“My heart was not in the work of begging. I could not appeal. I was crying out all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day in the city of New York – oh what a day! – I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, I had such an experience of his love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you would give me all the world – it would be as small as dust in the balance.”

D.L. Moody

Baptism in the Holy Spirit

One of my fondest memories of Bob Gordon was listening to him unpack the words of other people, taking them, in my opinion, to a deeper level. Whether it was the Daily Telegraph, a frequent source of spiritual insight, or more obvious Christian sources, Bob could bring life and light out from many sources.

He[Jesus] said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.” Matthew 13:52

As I am about to start a three month preaching series on churches in Acts I was looking for some good quotes about the baptism in the Holy Spirit. The following is the first in a number I shall post that Bob used in teaching and preaching about the subject.

“Bro. Parham as he felt convinced in his own heart proclaimed with authority that the Baptism of the Holy Ghost was yet to be given to God’s people. And said he was praying for this outpouring on his life. He had visited Holiness movements and Faith works and Homes and had this burden upon him.

I had had some experience with the Lord and had tasted the joy in leading some souls to Christ and had some marvellous answers to prayer in guidance and in having my needs supplied. And was blessed with the joy and glory of the presence of the Lord to heal some who were sick in answer to prayer. I like some others was decided for a time that I had my Baptism and had received as I thought the Holy Ghost at a time of consecration or in sanctification in being separated unto the Lord.

But after hearing Mr Parham proclaim with much assurance and with power that the Holy Spirit was yet to be poured out, and to be given to believers, my own heart became so hungry for the promised gift and Comforter I began to cry out for this mighty fulfilment of promise. At times I longed for the Holy Spirit to come in more than for my necessary food and at night a desire was felt more than for sleep and I knew it was the Lord, Amen.

As the last of the year drew near some friends came from Kansas City to spend days with us during the Holidays. On watch night a blessed service was held praying and blessing God as the new year 1901 came in. During the day the presence and power of the Lord was present in a marked way giving refreshing and stirring our hearts to wait still upon Him for greater things. And God blessed us very much and the spirit of prayer was upon us in the evening. Near eleven o’clock on this first day of January it came to me to have hands laid upon me to fulfill Scripture. I remembered some where in the Bible the believers had hands laid upon them during prayer when they received the Holy Spirit. I asked Bro. Parham to pray and to lay hands on me that I might receive the Baptism of the Holy Ghost and as he prayed and laid his hands opon(sic) my head I began to speak in tongues glorifying God, Bless HIM! I talked several languages for it was manifested when a dilect(sic) was spoken Glory to God! I had the added joy and glory my heart longed for. And a depth of the presence of the Lord within I never knew before. It was as rivers of Living Water from within my innermost being. And it is surely as in St. John 7:37 – “In the last day that day of the feast Jesus stood and cried saying If any man thirst let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me as the scriptures saith out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit which he that believeth on him should receive for the Holy Ghost was not yet given because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” Bless God! It has been seen that all do not gain or have this marvellous fullness at the first coming in of the Spirit but in obeying the Holy Spirit adds of the fullness and Power. Amen.

The next morning after receiving this mighty gift, I was accosted with questions about my experience the night before. As I went to answer I was so full of glory I talked in tongues and motioned for pencil and paper to write. When I began to write I wrote characters of other languages and had joy with the Lord talking in tongues. Some of the writing has been interpreted and is a wonderful message. And at this time I was edified, and God was making others hungry for His coming in. Praise GOD.

“1 Cor. 14:2,4 – For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men but unto God for no man understandeth him. Howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself.”

Praise God He is mighty to manifest Himself to astonish unbelievers.

I pointed out Bible references to show that I had received the Baptism as Acts 2:4 – “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” and Acts 19:1-6 – “Paul said unto them ‘Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed. And they said unto him we have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost … And when Paul had laid him hands upon them the Holy Ghost came on them and they spake with tongues and prophesied(sic).”

        Agnes N Ozman LaBerge’s Eyewitness Account of Topeka, Kansas

Things I Have Learned

Reading on the Desiring God website (http://www.desiringgod.org/) I found the following list posted by John Piper. it is a summary of ‘things’ his father had learned and is full of loving, sweet wisdom of an older saint who has now passed on to glory. It is worth ten minutes of most peoples time to read, pray and meditate upon.
The full article, which includes some annotations from John Piper is found at http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/MostPopular/2032_Things_I_Have_Learned/

1. The right road always leads to the right place; therefore, get on the right road and go as far as you can on it.
2. There is only one thing to do about anything; that is the right thing. Do right.
3. Happiness is not found by looking for it. You stumble over happiness on the road to duty.
4. The door to success swings on the hinges of opposition.
5. God in the right place in my life fixes every other relationship of life (Matthew 6:33).
6. It is never right to get the right thing in the wrong way—like good grades, wealth, power, position. Don’t sacrifice your principles.
7. It is a sin to do less than your best. It is wrong to do [merely] well.
8. It is wrong to be yoked to one who refuses the yoke of Christ.
9. The part of your character that is deficient is the part that needs attention.
10. Don’t quit. Finish the job. God can’t use a quitter.
11. Anything you do that hinders your progress for God is wrong.
12. Beware of any society in which you feel compelled to put a bushel over your testimony.
13. It isn’t enough to be good. Be good for something. The essence of Christianity is not a passionless purity.
14. Positive living produces negative effect[s].
15. Learn to be sweetly firm.

New Years Resolutions

A teacher once told me (with a certain glint in his eye), “We all agree that the Bible is the Word of God, the problem is what does it say?”. Whilst I can’t tell you the answer to that question, (though maybe your theological package is more tightly tied up than mine), I can tell you that I am frequently left aghast at my ignorance of what the Bible says. This was in fact highlighted for me as I, with great embarrassment, tried a quiz on the biblicalstudiesorg.uk blog (http://biblicalstudiesorguk.blogspot.com/2009/12/12-days-of-christmas-quiz-day-1.html). I know nothing and immediately resolved to read the Bible better in 2010.

Now this brings me to the point – possibly the number one resolution for Christians is, “I will read my Bible more,” or even better, “I shall read the Bible from cover to cover this year”. Yet such a task does seem to be notoriously difficult, one which we need some extra help in. For a few years I used the excellent NIVChronological Bible (available from various sources, such as http://www.amazon.co.uk/One-Year-Chronological-Bible-NIV-Bible/dp/1414314094/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262169028&sr=8-1) and found it excellent. But after the third reading I needed a fresh way of reading and so found some other sites which helped me adapt to the way I wanted to read whilst still ensuring a good daily does of the Scriptures.

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So here are a couple of sites which provide some good plans which might help you fulfil the goal of reading the Bible in a year in 2010:

http://bibleplan.org/
http://www.esv.org/biblereadingplans
http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/all

I pray you will have the grit and determination to see the journey the whole way through, remember, we might occasionally miss a meal, but we don’t give up eating simply because of that. In the same way maybe you will fail here and there in your reading goal, don’t give up, restart and you will be amazed how blessed you feel at the end of 2010 when you have read the whole Bible in one year.

Joseph

For years I have been amazed by, and preached on, the example of Mary – the wonderful woman of God whom all nations rightly call blessed. I spent some of yesterday and today preaparing to preach at a local church tomorrow and found myself thinking about Joseph for a change – and being amazed by him too – consider:

He takes Mary with him from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Most commentators I read suggest this was unncessary, – and in my thinking it may be the long trip induced an early delivery of the baby Jesus – so why did he do it? One line of thinking has to be that it is out of concern for Mary (and his soon to be born child). Possibly the disgrace of being an unmarried pregnant woman was still very much at the forefront of village life in Nazareth. There was no sympathy and little support for Mary (and probably Joseph), and to leave Mary alone in Nazareth would have exposed her to all sorts of scurrulous comments and accusations as well as feelings of isolation and abandonment prior to the birth. Consequently, Joseph, who wanted the best care, love, attention and comfort for his wife during the difficult time leading up to the delivery of Jesus, took her with him. After all God had spoken to him, told him not to divorce the young virgin and to trust Him with what was going to happen – and now only Joseph could provide the best care that Mary needed.

I am humbled by the example of a man who seems full of integrity towards God and his wife.

Men of a Different Spirit (Part 2)

Numbers 14:24 – “My servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly.”

Over the past few years I have come to understand in a deep and personal way something of what it takes to follow the vision of God in one’s life. I have also come to realise that it is not the outside things that are most important but the deep realities of my inner life and spirit. It is this, above all, that will determine whether and in what way and extent I will serve the call of God upon my life.

I have often been struck very forcefully by these words which are God’s judgment on his servant Caleb. What if one verse were left on record that summed up our character and the nature of our work and service. Caleb stands head and shoulders above others of whom God spoke briefly and pertinently. He, of course, was the man who stood with Joshua in his positive report of the Promised Land while all other spies reacted in fear. He was the one who walked boldly through the desert certain of the promises of God. It was Caleb who entered the land with Joshua until he came to the place of the promise which he claimed from God. He was a man of a different spirit.

I know that this is precisely what God is looking for amongst us men of today. God wants us to be men who will display a constancy and strength of spirit. Men who will follow the way of God despite what others are or do.If we are to be men of a different spirit I believe that there are a number of vital attributes that God wants to develop within us.

First, is the need for a humility of spirit. This does not mean a false attitude of self-effacement. It is the result of a profound brokenness which results from a real spiritual experience and understanding of exactly who God is. Isaiah tells us that God lives with those who are “contrite and lowly in spirit.” We all want to know the way of power today. We sometimes fail to realise that there is no going up without first going down.

Second, it is a commitment of spirit. Caleb followed the Lord with all his heart because he had shared in the great vision of God’s purpose for His people. He brought them out to bring them in! When we see the vision of God for our lives it develops a sense of call, a passion of heart and a deep sense of commitment to what God has called us to.

Third, is a discipline of spirit. Inward discipline is surely one of the great lacks in the contemporary Christian scene! Integrity of life, ordering of spiritual priorities, management of time, control of thoughts, habits, speech. Surely we all recognise the need of God’s help in areas like these.

We could go on and on. It seems right to stress the need for a spirit of encouragement both for our own lives and for others around us. David knew how to “encourage himself in the Lord’. And he was reminded forcibly on one occasion by Joab of the need to encourage the men that followed him(2 Samuel 19:1 – 6). Of course, we can only bring the power of spiritual encouragement if, like Paul, we ourselves have been mightily encouraged by God.

“My son, give me your heart”, says the Lord. Only with the response of the Psalmist of Psalm 51 will we ever come close to becoming men of a different spirit.