FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
August 22, 2014
The Holy Spirit: do we really know Him? – Part VI
HOW TO RETAIN THE HOLY SPIRIT
John 3: 1-21. If from a genuine conversion one has satisfied the conditions Christ specified to Nicodemus on how to enter the kingdom of God—by watery death-by-immersion-baptism (Rom. 6: 3-6; Matt. 3: 13-17), and receiving the Holy Spirit, experiencing Him as the Bible describes His role, various manifestations, and work in the plan of salvation, as Christ’s Successor—how do we retain His fullness so that He can continuously bear in us His nine fruits (Gal. 5: 22, 23) to maturation on the difficult way and narrow gate that results in character perfection (Matt 7: 13, 14; 5: 48)?
First, the Holy Spirit is the only Godhead-appointed Imparter of the divine nature to all who, by child-like faith receive Jesus Christ as their Substitute and surety, fully depending on His merits and perfect righteousness as Savior, Redeemer, Lord, Master, Deliverer, Intercessor, High Priest, Mediator, Advocate, and Friend in court with the Father in heaven. By the Holy Spirit, the apostles declared: “There is no salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Acts. 4: 12. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Phil. 2: 10, 11.
Second, all the spiritual gifts, talents, and endowments that the Holy Spirit “apportions severally as He wills,” can never be purchased with money. When Simon the sorcerer, upon seeing the people receiving the Holy Spirit by the laying on of hands by the apostles Peter and John at Samaria, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!” See Acts 8: 17-23 (see verses 1-25).
1 Corinthians 3: 16, 17; 6: 19, 20. Since our mortal body (“earthen vessel”) is the temple of the Father and the Holy Spirit, though He will continue to convict and convince the “unseared conscience” (1 Tim. 4: 2), conscience being “the voice of God heard amid the conflicts of human passions,” yet He will not dwell in a defiled body. In perfect harmony with them, Christ, “the express image of the Father” (Heb.1: 3), the visible “fullness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 1: 19; 2:91) cannot be glorified in that person, as in, “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1: 27).
The only remedy is to repent and draw near to God for He will draw near to us. Heb. 10: 19-23; James 4: 8. Dwell here is the Greek menor, “abide,” “to stay in a given place, state, relation or expectancy; continue, endure, be present, remain, tarry.” A person may presumptuously and stubbornly persist in sinning against the Holy Spirit until His conscience becomes seared; then darkness sets in the soul. Sear is the Greek kouteriazo – “cauterize; to brand; to render insensitive.”
“But Daniel [whose name means ‘God is my Judge’] purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.” Daniel 1: 8. “To Daniel and his companions, at the very outset of their career, there came a decisive test.
The direction that their food should be supplied from the royal table was an expression both of the king’s favor and his solicitude for their welfare. But a portion having offered to idols, the food from the king’s table was consecrated to idolatry; and in partaking of the king’s bounty these youth would be regarded as uniting in his homage to false gods.
In such homage loyalty to Jehovah forbade them to participate. Nor dared they risk the enervating effect of luxury and dissipation on physical, mental, and spiritual development.” – E. G. White, Education, pp., 54, 55. Question: Do you think it is right to eat in places where food items are openly offered to other gods “for good luck”?
Will not Abide with Strong Drink. Angel Gabriel announced John’s birth to his father, Zacharias, a godly priest in the days of wicked Herod. His wife, Elizabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron. The amazing prophecy regarding John included the Nazarite vow and being filled with the Holy Spirit even while in his mother’s womb.
“For he will be great in sight of the Lord, and, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God. And he will go also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the [first coming] of the Lord.
Luke 1 15-17. This is the last prophecy of the Old Testament, repeated by Malachi (3:1; 5:6). Roman Catholic priests drink fermented grape wine at every mass they officiate. Now see Leviticus 10: 9, 10, 1, 2. Nadab and Abihu, priest-sons of Aaron, did the same thing. God warned Aaron: “Do not drink wine nor intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die.
It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between clean and unclean.” But his sons presumptuously disobeyed, and, inebriated, “they took their censers and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane (strange) fire before the Lord.” God’s judgment was swift. “Fire went out from the Lord and devoured them.”
Will not Dwell with Sensuality. Jude prophesied of such persons in these last days: “These are murmurers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage. . .mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the [Holy] Spirit.” Jude 12-17. Compare to 1 John 2: 15-17; 2 Pet. 2: 18-21; 2 Cor. 10: 5-14, etc.
Contrary to the Lusts of the Flesh. “For I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so you do not do the things that you wish. . . Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murder, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal. 5: 16, 17, 19.
Will not Dwell in the Natural Heart. “But the natural [unconverted, carnal] 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.” 1 Cor. 2: 14.
God gives the Spirit. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a new heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36: 26, 27. “When Christ gave His disciples the promise of the Spirit, He was nearing the close of His earthly ministry.
He was standing on the shadow of the cross, with full realization of the load of guilt that was to rest upon His shoulders as the sin-bearer. He instructed His disciples regarding the most essential and complete giftwhich He was to bestow upon His followers,—the gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of His grace. [John 14: 16, 17 quoted]. The Savior was pointing forward to the time when the Holy Spirit should come to do a mighty work as His Representative. The evil that had been accumulating for centuries was to be resisted by the divine power of the Holy Spirit.” – E. G. White, Acts of the Apostles, pp. 47, 48.
Pledge of Adoption. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out,’ Abba, Father.” Rom. 8: 14, 15. Fallen mankind are not automatically sons of God! The gospel provides for our adoption through the plan of redemption!
Don’t Grieve Him. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”Ephesians 4: 30. “The impressions of the Holy Spirit if disregarded today, will not be as strong tomorrow. The heart becomes less impressible, and lapses into a perilous unconsciousness of the shortness of life, and of the great eternity beyond. Our condemnation in the judgment will not result from the fact that we have been in error, but from the fact that we have neglected heaven-sent opportunities for learning what is truth.” –Ibid, Desire of Ages, p. 490.
Don’t Dare Deceive Him. See Acts 5: 1-11. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira, “tested,” i.e., tried to deceive the Holy Spirit. They instantly lost their lives as a lesson to all.
We May Know if We Have the Indwelling of the Spirit. See 1 John 4: 1-6, 12,13. “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” Verse 6. “By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” Verse 13.
(Continued next week)