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I could not be happier with the service this past Sunday. Even though the temperature was -14, the service was well attended and spirits were high. We had a great time of worship, and I continued my series on "The Work and Ministry of the Holy Spirit." The service was followed by an all-church luncheon, and then we continued all day and into the evening on the aforementioned subject. A number of teachers from sister Baptist churches attended as well, and their enthusiasm for clear teaching on this subject was very encouraging.
This subject is especially timely as a so-called, self-proclaimed apostle from Kiev, Ukraine has arrived in town bringing division to the evangelical churches. One parallel passage that seemed especially helpful was the comparison of John 5:24 and Ephesians 1:13:
John 5:24 - Hear - leads to - Believes - leads to - Eternal Life
Ephesians 1:13 - Hear - leads to - Believes - leads to - Sealed by the Holy Spirit
Salvation, eternal life and the sealing of the Holy Spirit are instantaneous and inseparable from our salvation in Christ. I have spoken extensively on this subject over the years in churches and seminaries in Russia. The propensity for mysticism and spiritism makes Russia ripe for the false doctrines of the Pentecostal/Charismatic movements. (Look for the English / Russian series that I preached this past Sunday to be posted to the GCI sermonaudio page soon.)
By the end of the conference, members of the Reformed Presbyterian Church and sister Presbyterian and Baptist churches were asking about the Marriage Covenant Seminar which is to be given this upcoming weekend. The messages were so well received that we have had an additional 10 couples pre-register, and Pastor Ravil says that he is daily receiving calls, texts and emails concerning both the Holy Spirit seminar last week and the coming Marriage Covenant Seminar this next week.
One exciting development has occurred within the mid-week Bible study attendance. As a result of the enthusiasm from the seminars and Sunday morning messages, attendance to the mid-week studies has increased. A number of men who are new Christians are coming as well as a number of non-Christians.
God is certainly at work! I know that this would not be possible without the empowering prayers of you, our prayer warriors. How we praise God for your ministry of intercession as it ministers to us and to the church here in Tyumen.
By His mercy, II Corinthians 4:1 Rev. John S. Mahon
Feb 2013 - Holy Spirit SeminarWe had a great service this morning. Many couples were out with the flu, but many visitors attended...