Susan Osten’s Testimony

I was fifteen years old when I realized that I loved God, and wanted to serve Him. I decided to ask my dad about becoming a Nun. He told me there were many ways to serve God, and he handed me the Bible. He told me the Bible would answer and questions I have about God. I took the Bible and in the evenings, I would read the Bible under one of the lamp posts, a few yards away from my home.

I didn’t follow through with the desire of my heart; instead I succumbed to peer pressure and hung around with a group of godless teenagers. I did drugs and became a very rebellious person, and my life began a downhill spiral.

It wasn’t until I was nineteen years old, that things started to fall into place regarding my relationship with God. It was Spring time, and I remember driving down the highway looking at all the beautiful flowers, while at the same time, I was wondering what could I do to feel as pretty inside as those flowers looked outside. I felt so dirty. After I became a Christian, I realized that dirty feeling was the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

A few days later, I was ironing and watching TV. I was listening to Pat Robertson, the host of the 700 Club. Pat asked a question that got my attention, immediately. He asked, “Is there anyone out there who has not asked Jesus Christ to come into their heart, and to forgive their sins.” Then he extended an invitation to the audience to pray the “Prayer of Salvation” with him. I prayed, too. When we finished praying Pat encouraged all those who prayed that prayer to call somebody that you knew, or call the 700 Club and tell them that you had just prayed the “Prayer of Salvation.”

“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10 (NIV)

I called the 700 Club. The lady who answered the phone was happy for me. As we were wrapping up our conversation, she asked me, “Have you received the “Baptism in Holy Spirit” since you believed?” I told the her, “no” and I asked her to mail some information to me about the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.”

As the days passed, I began to read my Bible, regularly. I found that I needed to be baptized in water.

Water baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.

I had no church affiliation, and I didn’t know which church to call to be baptized, so I decided to open the telephone book to Churches, close my eyes and point. When I opened my eyes, my finger was on a church called: Full Gospel Fellowship. I called that church, and asked the Pastor to baptize me in water. He was happy to do so, and he told me what time to be at the church service for the baptism. When I went into the church, the people were very friendly. I was baptized and began attending that church on a regular basis.

Several weeks went by and Tina, one of the Elder’s wives approached me and asked me if I would like to have a Ladies Bible Study in my home. I had a hunger to learn more about God and His Word, so I told her, sure! At the end of my first Ladies Bible Study, Tina asked me once again, if I had received the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit,?” I told her, no. Again, she asked me if would like to receive the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit?” I was a little embarrassed, because I didn’t know what to expect, so I declined.

After everyone went home, I began to think about her question. I came to the conclusion, that if God had more to offer me: I wanted it, so I got down on my knees land asked God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit. God answered my prayer. I was so excited! I went to the telephone to call one of my friends and tell them the Holy Spirit is real. I picked up the and receiver my legs buckled: I slid to the floor. It turned out my friends weren’t as happy for me as I thought they’d be, but that didn’t slow me down. I had more zeal than knowledge of God’s Word and I had not yet learned to be led by the Holy Spirit, so I suffered some emotional bumps and bruises, as I began to witness for Jesus.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a blessing from God which causes ordinary people to become extraordinarily effective as witnesses for Jesus Christ.

“For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, LORD, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:5-8 (KJV)

By it, God equips believers today with the same power we read about in the New Testament. Since the Day of Pentecost. Please read the second chapter of Acts.

God’s plan has been to supernaturally equip every believer, so that the ministry of Jesus Christ may continue through us.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” John 14:12 (KJV)

His ascension into heaven:

“And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.” Acts 1:9 (KJV)

did not mean that Jesus’ ministry on earth stopped, but rather it was an essential step which released even more of His ministry. As the Head of His Church He now directs growing multitudes of Spirit-empowered men and women to carry His Gospel around the world:

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” Luke 24:45-49 (KJV).

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is the impartation of this necessary power so that God’s servants can carry out their calling.

They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony. And they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. Revelation 12:11 (NIV)

In †  Christian Love, Susan Osten

Susan Osten’s Testimony

When I was approximately, six years old, dad would drop me and my sister off at church, so we could attend Sunday School. When we were a little older, we would attend church periodically, with our neighbors. When I became a teenager, I realized that I loved God and wanted to learn how to reach Him, so I could talk to Him. I decided to ask my dad about becoming a Nun. He told me there were many ways to serve God, and he handed me the Bible and told me that it answer all my questions about God, so in the evenings, I would read the Bible under one of the lamp posts, a few yards away from my home. When I turned fifteen years old, I succumbed to peer pressure and I pursued the wrong group of friends and my life began a downhill spiral.

It wasn’t until I was nineteen years old, that things started to fall into place regarding my relationship with God. It was Spring time, and I remember driving down the highway looking at all the beautiful flowers, while at the same time, I was wondering what could I do to feel as pretty inside as those flowers looked outside. I felt so dirty. After I became a Christian, I realized that dirty feeling was the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

A few days later, I was ironing and watching TV. I was listening to Pat Robertson, the host of the 700 Club.  Pat asked a question that got my attention, immediately. He asked, “Is there anyone out there who has not asked Jesus Christ to come into their heart, and to forgive their sins.” He then extended an invitation to the audience to pray with Him, to ask Jesus to come into their hearts, so I prayed, too. When we finished praying, Pat asked all those who prayed the “Sinners Prayer” to call somebody and tell them what we had just done, or to call the 700 Club to let  them know.  I wrote down the number of the 700 Club, and called them.

For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  Romans 10:10 (NIV)

The lady who answered the phone was happy for me, and then she asked me the following question: “Have I received the baptism in Holy Spirit, since I believed?” I told the her no, and asked her to mail me more information about the Holy Spirit.

As the days passed, I began to read my Bible regularly and found that I needed to be baptized. (Water baptism is an act of obedience symbolizing the believer’s faith in a crucified, buried, and risen Savior, the believer’s death to sin, the burial of the old life, and the resurrection to walk in newness of life in Christ Jesus.) I had no church affiliation, and I didn’t know which church to call to baptize me, so I decided to open the telephone book to churches, close my eyes and point. When I opened my eyes, my finger was on a church called: Full Gospel Fellowship. I called that church, and asked the Pastor to baptize me in water. He was happy to do so, and he told me what time to be at the church service for the baptism. When I arrived, the people there were very friendly. I was baptized, and began attending that church on a regular basis.

After a few weeks, one of the elder’s wives approached me, and asked me if I would like to have a Ladies Bible Study in my home. I had a hunger to learn more about the God and His Word, so I told her, yes! At the end of my first Ladies Bible Study, the Elder’s wife whose name was Tina, asked me whether or not I had received the baptism in the Holy Spirit? I told her no, and then she asked me if would like to receive the Holy Spirit. I was a little embarrassed because I didn’t know what to expect, so I told her no.

After everyone went home, I began to think about her question. I came to the conclusion, that if God had more to offer me – I wanted it.  I got down on my knees and prayed, asking God to baptize me with the Holy Spirit and God answered my prayer.

The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is a blessing from God which causes ordinary people to become extraordinarily effective as witnesses for Jesus Christ (Acts1:5-8). By it, God equips believers today with the same power we read about in the New Testament. Since the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) God’s plan has been to supernaturally equip every believer, so that the ministry of Jesus Christ may continue through us (John 14:12). His ascension into heaven (Acts 1:9) did not mean that Jesus’ ministry on earth stopped, but rather it was an essential step which released even more of His ministry. As the Head of His Church He now directs growing multitudes of Spirit-empowered men and women to carry His Gospel around the world (Luke 24:45-49). The Baptism with the Holy Spirit is the impartation of this necessary power so that God’s servants can carry out their calling.

In Christian † Love, Susan Osten

The Holy Spirit – Hearing The Voice Of God

The Holy Spirit – Hearing The Voice Of God

Jesus puts it in plain terms, if you belong to Him, you can hear Him.  If you believe the Bible then God speaks to you.

John 10:27-28 (NIV) “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.”  John 10:27-28 (NIV)

This is a skill that you need to develop over time with practice.  The fundamental truth is God loves you, He longs to reach out and talk to you.  Even before you received the Holy Spirit, it’s likely that God would have tried talking to you. Most of the time people can’t differentiate or reject it out right, when God speaks.  People often think it’s their own mind or they think thoughts like it’s impossible for someone as great as the God of the universe to be interested in talking to them.

God thinks you are important enough to talk to you, He loves you enough to care about the tiny details of your life.  The problem most of the time is that we are too busy and have no time for God.  Many times even when we hear God, we use logic and reason Him out saying this is not possible.

At times, your sins and your guilt make you feel dirty and unclean, you feel like you are undeserving of this privilege.  Keep in mind, God is willing to forgive you and clean you up.  Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for you just so that your sins can be forgiven and you can have a relationship with God.

Many people  do what they want to do, even when they know it is wrong and only when they run into trouble do they think of God.  They look at God as a troubleshooter and not a guide.  Others ask God for advice but they end up doing what they wanted to anyway.

“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:13 (NIV)

God looks at your heart, if you sincerely long for Him and want to hear Him, he will most certainly answer.  Remember for every one step you take towards God, He takes five steps to get closer to you.  Throughout the Bible, God has spoken to numerous people in different ways and even today God speaks to millions of people and guides them.  God is the same then, now and forever and He is willing to speak to you.  Are you willing to listen?

The focus of you spiritual life should be to answer yes to both these questions:

  • Am I looking forward to hearing God with all my heart?
  • Am I willing to obey Him when He speaks to me and guides me?

Life Application

  • God speaks personally to all His children, it is up to you to put in efforts to discern His voice.
  • Don’t look around you into the world for answers, most of the time God speaks to you from within in a still small voice.

3 Ways the Holy Spirit Speaks:

  1. GOD’S WORD: I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.”  Psalm 119:11 (NIV)
  2. THROUGH GODLY MEN AND WOMEN: The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.”  Proverbs 12:15 (NIV)
     
  3.  THROUGH THE STILL, SMALL VOICE:  The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

    “Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” I Kings 19:11-12 (NIV)

    In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

    Source: Blue Flame

The Purpose Of The Holy Spirit On Earth

The primary purpose of the Holy Spirit is to strengthen each believer and endow them with power and boldness so that they become witnesses for Christ.  The Holy Spirit lovingly watches over, encourages, nourishes and grows the church.

“I am sending the promise of my Father upon you.  But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”  Luke 24:29

This is what Jesus tells his disciples, he first asks them to take the Gospel to the ends of the earth, but asks them to wait till they receive the promise (Holy Spirit) which will give them power which they need to spread the Gospel.  It is dangerous and ineffective trying to preach Jesus to people when you yourself do not have the Holy Spirit.

“And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:”  John 16:8

Jesus also says that the Holy Spirit will show the world what sin is, how to lead righteous lives and share knowledge about the judgement of God.  This is important as without knowing what sin is, people see the need to repent.  Without sin there is no meaning for what Jesus did on the cross for us.  The next step after repentance is righteousness, once you know you are wrong and sorry, you begin to wonder what is the right way to do things.  The Word of God is the authority when it comes to righteousness.  Finally, the Spirit will also warn men of the final judgement of God.

Biblical Inspiration

The Apostles John and Peter were walking into a synagogue to preach the Gospel to the Jews there.  As they were entering they saw a man who was lame from birth.  This man was carried and put by the gates to the synagogue every day so that he may beg and survive on alms that the people offered him.  He was well known in the temple circles as he was a regular there.  When this man saw Peter and John he immediately asked them for alms.

Peter observed this man and saw that he had faith, he told this man that he does not have silver or gold but what he has he is willing to share.  He then told the man “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.”  As Peter spoke these words this man felt strength flow into his limbs, for the first time he was able to stand up.

He went into the temple with Peter and John and was jumping around praising God, along the way.  All the people who were at the temple were shocked and amazed.  They knew who the man was, but could not believe their eyes when they saw him healed.

This gave Peter and John an opportunity to preach the Gospel to the masses.  That day alone, five thousand people started believing in Jesus and were saved.  The next day the two Apostles were given another chance to preach the Gospel before the religious leaders of the time and once again the Holy Spirit gave them the exact words to speak.  The council was surprised with how two illiterate men, could know so much about the scriptures.

This is an example of how the Holy Spirit reached so many people and grew the church through two men who were willing to be led.

Life Application

  • You will not be successful if you try to influence the world without the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit teaches you the importance of a church and the value God places on the souls of other people.
  • He shows people what sin is and why they need the Gospel.

In † Christian Love, Susan Osten

Source: Blue Flame