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THE HOLY SPIRIT

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            The subject on the Spirit starts right in the beginning of Genesis; chapter 1: verses 2 and 3.  Genesis is the embryo of most doctrines in the Bible, which is why Satan (through evolution) attacks it. 

            Anyway, back to Genesis.  There are two things here and they carry through the entire Bible.  In verse two we read that the Spirit of God moved over the face of the waters and in the very next verse are the words: “And God said”.  There are throughout

the Bible these two things; the Spirit of God and the Words of God.  We need both.  In John 6:63 Jesus Himself said: “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life”.  In the garden of Eden the Spirit of God indwelt the man and he was one with God, perfect and sinless.  The Son of God talked to him every day and gave him specific and easy instructions.

            Where are we now?  God has, of course, created us.  He has also given to us His Word for our instruction and His Holy Spirit to assure us that this is the very Word of God and to help us to understand it. 

            One more important point.  In chapter 1:4 we see that God called the light good and in verse 18 that God divided the light from the darkness.  This carries throughout Scripture.  God makes a definite distinction between light and darkness or good and evil or truth and falsehood.  Satan always works to destroy the distinction.  He likes gray areas.

            In Genesis 6-8 we see the story of the flood.  Man had not only disobeyed God’s one commandment in the fall but had become ever more wicked in mind and action.  God finally decided He had no choice but to destroy man and sent a world wide flood.  There was one good man and his family; one man who “found grace in the eyes of the LORD”.

There is a very important verse in Hebrews 11:7 showing us that Noah condemned the world by turning his back on it and refusing to have any more to do with it and it’s wickedness.  This is again a theme we see throughout the Bible.  In Ephesians 5:3 Paul writes: “But fornication, and covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints”.  Some people love the story of the sinful woman whom Jesus would not condemn, forgetting that she was brought to Him.  He did not go where she was.  In the story of the prodigal son the father never went to the pig’s pen but the son repented and went home to the father.  The work of the Spirit is to bring the unbeliever to God.  The work of Satan is to bring the Christian into the world.

 

In the Old Testament the Spirit of God came upon certain people for a specific task.  Today it is different as we read in John 14:16 and 17: “And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you”.

            One case is that of Bezaleel who was indwelt by the Spirit for the purpose of doing the fancy work of the tabernacle, especially working with precious metals.  We read about this in the first several verses of Exodus 31. 

Another example is that of David and Saul.  Saul received the Spirit and was given the heart of a king.  I Samuel 10:6: “And the Spirit of the LORD will come upon thee—and thou shalt be changed into another man”.  In I Samuel 16:13 and 14 we are told that the Spirit of the LORD came upon David and left Saul.  Because of Saul’s disobedience to God’s direct commands, Saul had been replaced.  Then an evil spirit sent by God came and troubled Saul.  In I Samuel 16:14-23 we see the story.  (Notice that not only did David come with a harp but Saul’s servants knew that a harp was the best instrument to drive away the evil spirit).  It was not just a figure of speech on David’s part when he prayed in Psalm 51:11: “take not Thy Holy Spirit from me”.  This would not have to do with his eternal salvation.  Saul, too, went toParadiseeven though the Spirit of the LORD had left him.  Remember, salvation is by grace alone. 

In this present age we cannot lose the gift of the Holy Spirit.  It is an everlasting gift from the Father and the Son.  But we can lose some of the gifts of the spirit. The primary work of the Spirit is to point us to Christ; John 16:13: :”He shall not speak of Himself” and in verse 15: “He shall glorify Me”.  This is the problem with thinking we have fellowship with the Spirit without the Words of Scripture.  There is a warning about this in II Corinthians 11:13 and 14: “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers—And no marvel; for Satan himself is translated into an angel of light”.  It is quite possible that when I think I am having fellowship with God that Satan puts Himself into the picture.  For this reason I need the Spirit of God and the Word of God.      

Now back to the limited gift or presence of the Spirit in the Old Testament.  Peter tells of this in II Peter 1:21: “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit”.  Only certain ones were ordained to speak the words of God to men.  In Exodus 25:22 Moses is told: “And there will I meet with thee, and I will commune with thee—of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children ofIsrael.”  And so also Isaiah in 50:4: “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary:”.  Today all believers have the complete Word of God and their task is to search the Scriptures and share their findings with others.

Another example on this line is that of Abraham.  Three times he is called the friend of God.  This was an unusually high honor as Zabud was a friend of David; (see I Kings 4:5 and Genesis 18:17)  The friend was closer to the king than a general or the members of the kings cabinet.  The king shared with him the secrets of his heart.

 Now in the New Testament time we are all invited into this close fellowship with Christ.  In John 15:15 Jesus told His disciples: “Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what has Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you”.  The verse just before tells us that we are His friends “if ye do whatsoever I command you”

  You could look at the Bible in different ways.  One way would be to note that God created everything perfectly good.  The tree was good for food and also pleasant to look at.  But everything in all things created were friendly to the tree.  The sun was just what the tree needed.  In fact, it was good for many things used by the tree; the rain came which the tree needed and the tree itself was good for the shade it gave and for the birds that nested in it.  Everything in all creation was perfectly related to everything else.

            But man rebelled against God and the result was what is known as the fall.  Man was created to have fellowship with God but instead became a rebel.  Then God, looking down in mercy, took on Himself our punishment and restored us into fellowship with Himself.  Finally, God gave us a book to show us his will both for time and eternity.  One of Satan’s goals is to make people believe that the Bible is old fashioned, a book of fables and irrelevant for us, especially so today. 

Remember that in Genesis (and in the first chapter we read that God divided the light from the darkness (verse 4) and called the light good (verse 18).  Now comes the question: did the curse replace the blessing or was the blessing still there with the curse added?  The latter is true.  The light is still there as before but there is now a greater darkness.  Isaiah speaks of a veil that is spread over all nations: 25:7.  Even among non-Christians there are those who love their wives and children as Adam loved Eve.  What has been added?  Bitterness, anger, jealousy, etc.  If there was no more blessing but if the blessing had been replaced by a curse what would the first men to come to the new world have seen?  A continent of weeds and blow sand.  But what was the reality?  An unpolluted continent rich in foliage, resources and minerals.  Here were oak trees over a hundred feet high with trunks that were six feet in diameter.  The entire continent was covered with an abundance of wild life.  The blessing was there in richest measure.

But there was something else here.  There was a certain amount of sickness and

disease in both plants and in the animal world.  There was sickness, death and killing among the tribes.  The curse that Adam brought into the world had it’s influence in the created world.  We also must remember that sin is like a leaven.  It grows and eventually infects the entire created world.  For that just look around, especially at what man has done

            What then is the work of the Holy Spirit in all of this?  Throughout the ages He has been working to bring man back to God.  Also in the time of the New Testament His work is to bring us to God.  It is not just to point us to Christ, the only way to the Father, but also to tell us of the lies of Satan who constantly works to deceive us.  The trouble is that we are by nature on Satan’s side.  Jeremiah17:9 (my favorite verse for many years for fear I was being deceived): “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it”?  We must always bear in mind that the Holy Spirit wants to point us to Christ and bring us to heaven.  Satan’s purpose is to bring us to everlasting suffering in hell.

In Romans 1:4 we see the phrase: “Spirit of holiness”.  This is a very   important point.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:16 that others may see our good works and glorify the Father in heaven.  In the Old Testament Isaiah in chapter six sees the Lord on a throne in the temple.  He is struck by the absolute holiness of God.  In John 12:37-41 we are told that the One on the throne is the Lord Jesus.

            In Isaiah 6:5 the prophet makes a bit of an unusual statement where, after seeing God face to face he is forced to admit: “Woe is me, for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of  hosts”.  Being a good Israelite I doubt if he or the people He associated with would take God’s name in vain.  There are the non Christians who use every kind of bad language; then there are the religious who attend church but it has little meaning in their lives.  You will not find them taking God’s name in vain but a good deal of bad language seems to come naturally from them, which is often called barnyard language.         

Paul writes the same thing in Ephesians 5.  I’ll just quote verse 4 here: “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks” and in verse 3: “let it not once be named among you”.  I have known those who went around warning others about the gross sins they were involved in and then, as they dwelt on it too much, went back into it.    

The Word is given to me for discernment as in Hebrews 5:14 “to discern both good and evil”: and the Holy Spirit will make his servant very uncomfortable among those who use bad language.  We must do what Jesus did; have them come to us where we decide what is right and wrong, where we control the agenda.     

 

  The Lord Jesus promised that when He ascended to the Father he would not leave the disciples alone but would send “another” Comforter Who would abide with  them forever=John 14:16.  He would not come to some of the saints as in the Old Testament but to everyone who put there trust in Christ.  Also, He would not come for a time and then leave but would “abide with you forever”.

The most important things the Holy Spirit does is point to the Lord Jesus.  In fact I suppose everything else hinges on this.  Here we go back to Genesis 1:2 and 3 where we see both the Spirit and the Word of God.  In John 1:2 it is said of Jesus that “in the beginning was the Word— and the Word was God”.  In John 16:13 and 14 Jesus tells His disciples that the Spirit would not point to himself but to Christ.  This is the mistake of saying that I have the spirit and do not need the Word.  In John 6:63 Jesus Himself said: “the Words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life”.  Along that same line Jesus made the promise in John 14:26: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”.  This again shows us the importance of words.  Remember that we cannot remember what we have not read.

 

Let me give you an example of the Holy Spirit pointing the believer to Christ.  We find this in Matthew 21;16.  The Pharisees  accuse Him of accepting the praise of children.  His response is ;Of course and quotes Psalm 8.   This is a psalm written in praise to God.   Jesus is here claiming to be God.  The one who listens to the Spirit will be alert o this.  I have heard more than one theologian say; nowhere in the gospels does Jesus claim to be God.

           How does the Spirit speak to me today?  The Bible tells us very clearly that at the end of this age there would be a good  deal of confusion and that many people would be deceived.  II Timothy3:1 and 7 tells us that in the last days perilous times would come and also that people would fail to come to a knowledge of the truth.  How can I avoid this trap?

            We must remember that the Holy Spirit has been sent to lead us into all truth and want to know how to have this direct contact with the Spirit (Who does lead me into all truth).  Jesus tells us in John16:13 that the Spirit would not speak of Himself but would glorify Christ.  Two chapters before in 14:26 Jesus  adds that the Spirit would also bring all things to our mind that He had said.  Notice that we are not told to remember everything that Jesus ever said.  I suppose that would be impossible.  He said that the Spirit would bring the things to mind that we need. We must bear in mind that we can only remember what we know. Therefore the more I’m in the Bible the more the Spirit has to work with.  How does this then work practically?  Jesus not only said: The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are life; John6:63.  He also said: I Am the truth.  How can I get answers from Jesus?  Read and think through carefully John 14:26. 

One of the things the Spirit does is to attract my attention to that which He wants me to see, especially doctrines which have to do with the Person of Christ. An example of this is that I have talked to more than one conservative theologian who insisted that nowhere in the gospels does Jesus claim to be God.  If one has the Spirit he sees it everywhere.  You can try this for yourself   Just put down: “Nowhere does the Bible say anything about (put in the one thing you want to hang on to) and let the Spirit  shew you what He has to say about it.  Let me just give a very small example of the Spirit speaking to me on something I would rather not do.  Several years ago I was driving north o fZeelandwhen I saw a car standing on the side of the road.  The driver was standing by the car so obviously it was not running.  I stopped and offered to bring the man home.  It was bitter cold and I did not want to get out of the car.  The man asked if I had a jumper cable.  Because he did not look like a handy man and not wanting to step out into the bitter cold I was tempted to tell him I did not.  The verse that came strongly to my mind was: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  That made very clear what I must do.  I would willingly have stepped into the cold wind for myself.           

There is one other advantage about being much in the Bible.   God likes me being in the Word  and will look ahead and meet me down the road. There were some in Somaliain  June, 1983 who had the legal power to hold me there until I paid them money amounting to several thousand dollars.  I was reading a psalm each morning and the morning I was to leave I was in Psalm 71:1-4 which settled the whole issue and helped settle my nerves.

GRANDPA 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by biblestruth

October 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Posted in scripture

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