The Holy Spirit

Much maligned, much misunderstood, and sadly blasphemed by the church more than by the world, the Holy Spirit is absolutely key to God’s plan for intimacy of relationship with His followers, His sons, the spirit-led folks of Romans 8.

Jesus went so far as to tell us that, even though He was the Son of God – the long-awaited Messiah and Deliverer, that it was good and necessary for Him to depart, so that the Holy Spirit might come in fullness. This was in ADDITION to the work of forgiveness that was to be accomplished on the cross. So we have the work of complete forgiveness through the Atoning work by Jesus (on the cross), and then we have the necessary departure of Jesus, so that the Holy Spirit might come to earth in fullness, indwelling the fire-baptized believers, so that they might at that time rise up and serve God in power, advancing the Kingdom, knowing His will. The Scriptures say it pretty clearly:

John 16:7-15
7    “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
8    “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9    “of sin, because they do not believe in Me;
10    “of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;
11    “of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
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.
(NKJ)

That sounds like a great thing, and a wonderful plan that every single believer ought to embrace and understand. And yet, the Holy Spirit’s presence and ministry was to be so controversial, and so maligned, that Jesus spoke of it, with a warning label. I chuckle when Jesus says “Assuredly” – as if all the other things He was saying were not sure. His “Assuredly” puts an emphasis on His statement. He’s saying DON’T MISS THIS ONE:

Mark 3:28-30
28    “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 Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”–
30    because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
(NKJ)

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.
(NKJ)

Jesus proclaimed that blasphemy against HIM would be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Holy Spirit put someone in line for eternal condemnation, without forgiveness.

Why the increased penalty? Jesus said that HE would be sending the Holy Spirit, so there is somewhat of an inclination of order, and yet Jesus’ warning about blasphemy escalated the accountability of speaking against the Holy Spirit, above any warning to not speak blasphemy against Jesus. Why? I took this to prayer and I believe the Lord told me something.

The unbelieving and cynical WORLD will blaspheme Jesus. They don’t know better. They don’t know Him. Certainly no “Christian” group would do that. After all, they proclaim themselves as His followers.

But it is the CHURCH that will, and does, often blaspheme the Holy Spirit – declaring things accomplished by God as devilish, because those “things” are not on the grid of the church. The world, for the most part, has no clue about the Holy Spirit. For the most part, that’s learned after one gets saved. That is where the trouble can start. Sub-biblical Church teaching.

Paul said the natural man does cannot receive the “things” of God. Literally, the word “things” (Greek: “ho”) means just that: “things”. Stuff. All sorts of stuff. Anything God might choose to do. God, who has consistently proven His creativity and supernatural inclinations, God, who the psalmist says: “Only does wondrous things” has been purposely offending the religious spirit of man, in the church (or synagogue) from the very beginning. And He will continue to do so, because our God is looking for holy relationship above rote religion.

1 Cor 2:11-14
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.
13    These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14    But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
(NKJ)

God reveals via Paul in Corinthians, the obvious – only the spirit of a man knows the deep things of that man. And likewise, no man can know the deep things of God, except the spirit of God. That is precisely why God purposed to dwell IN us, via Holy Spirit infilling, so that we might have access to the knowledge of the heart and mind of God. That’s what it says. And that is amazing, and that ought to drive us into a place of hunger for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

And that is why our enemy has so determined to counterfeit, malign, distort, and distract the church from an understanding of the Holy Spirit, and how we are to be filled, and filled, and filled again, and how we are to nurture that intimate spiritual relationship, building ourselves up, praying in the Holy Spirit.

A group of believers walking in the Spirit are a formidable threat to the kingdom of darkness. A group of believers, taught and sanitized to discount the active work of the Holy Spirit, and choosing to embrace some sub-biblical “here’s how we act so as to not offend anyone” attitude towards the ministry of the Holy Spirit, are guaranteed to walk in weakness and frustration. Our Sabbath comes from ceasing from our works, and entering into His works (Hebrews 4:10). It is only through the Spirit-led life that we can redeem the time, knowing the will of God (Eph 5:16-17), understanding both what, and what not to be doing. It’s Spirit-led, or it’s worthless, and tiring, and frustrating.

Part of the work of the Holy Spirit is revelation, ongoing revelation of God. Once again, John 16 says:

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.

It should be noted that Jesus did not say the Holy Spirit would cease revealing the plans and purposes of heaven as soon as some prayerful people got together and canonized the Scriptures. It is a religious spirit that would panic over the possibility of God continuing to reveal new “things” to His people. But God is constant, always being the Creator, always being creative, and the revelation is to continue forever. The constancy and consistency is the statement that anything and everything the Holy Spirit will ever truly reveal or accomplish will glorify our Lord Jesus, our heavenly Father, and all they stand for. But new revelation will continue. It is the heart of God, and we are wired to thrive on new, fresh revelation, never ditching or forgetting that which has been revealed to us in the past, and never ever veering away from the holiness of God.

Part of the church’s apparent issue with the Holy Spirit is the matter of praying in tongues, which would best be simply described as praying in a heavenly language, typically and for the most part unintelligible by another person, but nonetheless effective in this holy and supernatural conversation. Remembering that James tells us it is our tongue that often gets us into deep trouble – we’d almost wonder why God would hand over to us so dangerous a weapon. Unbridled, it is a monster in our mouth. Here’s the upside: it is the surrender of the tongue by a holy believer that can usher them into intimate communication with God.

Where did all this “tongues stuff” come from? Did twentieth century charismaniacs make this up? It’s a little older than that. We’d have to go back and see our Lord Jesus (who knew and knows it all) tell His disciples to go no place until something wild and crazy occurred:

Luke 24:49
49 Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
NKJV

So they waited in Jerusalem (Acts 2), and the Holy Spirit shows up like “tongues of fire” and they all start talking so weirdly, the local conclusion is that there’s a bunch of early-morning drunks upstairs. It’s told us that people from different countries HEARD them speak in their native (the hearer’s) native tongue. And that is the beginning of God offending the religious with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and that has been offensive to the intellect, and the flesh, and the religious spirit, ever since. Personally I believe the sound of a true son/daughter of God praying in their heavenly language, aligned with the prayer and worship of heaven, making way for the Holy Spirit to cry out and intercede with words we do not even know how to verbalize (Rom 8:26) is a siren to satan’s ears.

Paul, the primary writer of the New Testament tells us of his prayer life:
1 Cor 14:18
8 I thank my God I speak with tongues more than you all
NKJV

..and then goes on to say that his self-strengthening, by praying (and singing!) in the Holy Spirit, in tongues, places him in the qualified and healthy spiritual position to then prophesy – which ministers to others. That aligns with Jude telling us to build ourselves up, praying in the Holy Spirit.

And what is the entire creation groaning and waiting for? Romans 8 says it is the revelation of the Spirit-led sons of God. That is us, as we determine to leave Spirit-led lives. I would say that by imitating Paul (1 Cor 11:1) and his prioritizing praying in tongues, we can achieve our destiny position.

Chapters 12-15 of 1 Cor confirm the following:

YES – the unlearned and the uninformed might well come into a meeting and hear tongues, and determine that the speakers are out of their minds.

And YES – unless everything we do in the name of the Lord is done in love with pure motives it is all a waste of time.

And by the way – NO – there is no place in the Bible that clearly says that if someone does not pray in a heavenly language then we can conclude they are not Holy Spirit baptized –  so there’s no reason to set that low bar. Let’s set the high bar,  striving for all that is available to us.

Each time in the Book of Acts that folks received the baptism of the Holy Spirit there was a “hearing” experience cited. Acts 2:6, 10:46, 19:6. All the recorded Holy Spirit baptisms mention praying in tongues. There are no references, in Scripture, to Holy Spirit baptisms without praying in tongues. Paul spoke in tongues more than everyone else. Paul said he wished we all prayed in tongues. Do the math. And pray.

The creation is groaning waiting for the revelation us. Jesus said one work of the Holy Spirit was the ongoing revelation of the will of God. We’re told the spirit of a man knows the things that are in a man, and Jesus tells us the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, will come and indwell us. That indwelling will equip us to know the mind of God. What is the problem with any of these magnificent promises of empowerment? God wants His sons and daughters strong, in Him.

Holy Spirit, come.

 

 

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One Response to The Holy Spirit

  1. Mida says:

    I like your Web Site!
    I have so many stories on what God does daily in my life.
    I share them as life goes on and It Glorifies our Lord.
    Lives Teachings are Awesome for Everyone!
    We all need to Share, He fills us as our faith is strengthened by His Hand at work in our lives

    When We Sit in a Position of Come Holy Spirit
    When We Say Empty Me, My God!
    When We Say May I enter into your Throne Room of Grace, My Lord?
    He Say’s Yes My Favorite ( we are all His favorite) Come and Dwell With Me
    His Amazing Love leaves Me in a Awe State of Mind.
    Jesus I love You, You are My Life.

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