FRIDAY MORNING MANNA 

 Biblical Numerology: NUMBER THREE- Part LII

The Three Mighty Truths Regarding the Holy Spirit

   Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Rom. 8: 26, 27, N.K.J.V.

French poet Charles Baudelaire said, “The greatest trick the devil pulled was fooling the world into believing that he does not exist.” Mark Twain wrote: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” Remember this familiar line? “If a man fools me once, shame on him; twice, shame on me.”  

Knowing his “time is short” (Rev. 12: 12), and shrinking every day now, Satan, the enemy of God and man, is employing special diabolical schemes from his bag of tricks perfected through the last 6,000 years to confuse and deceive the churches regarding who the Holy Spirit is and His final work on earth as the penitent sinner’s last personal connection to the ascended Savior, and through Him, to the Father.

While Christ, in His glorified human flesh (which He will retain forever!) as our merciful “great High Priest” and “Mediator of the New Testament” (Heb. 2: 16-18; 3: 1; 4: 14-16; 8: 1, 2; 9: 11-15) has been interceding, mediating, and advocating for all repenting sinners, and since 1844, judging the cases beginning with the dead from Adam, who professed faith in Him, the Holy Spirit, as the invisible third Person of the Godhead, is still “striving with men” on earth as He did with the antediluvians before the flood.

Paraphrasing Baudelaire, “One of the final tricks the devil is pulling is fooling the world into believing that the Holy Spirit does not exist as the third Person of the Godhead.” And yet Paul, in harmony with John and Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament, says that the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses for though we sincerely and often pray for ourselves and others we care for, in our naturally selfish natures and spiritual immaturity and pride, we do not know what we should pray for as we should. And seldom do we urgently and persistently “ask, seek, and knock for the Holy Spirit” as we do for other things. See Luke 11: 1-13!

Therefore, in God’s love and mercy, according to plan of redemption contemplated “before the foundations of the earth were laid,” the Holy Spirit guides our thoughts for what we utter is first a thought. And if we petition the throne of grace with less fervency as we ought, He Himself makes intercessions for us with groaning that cannot be uttered. O how amazing and comforting this is for all who think they are struggling alone in prayer! You don’t need dead saints! All we need to know and understand is the divine plan and science of answered prayer!

How many of us, like Christ, and the Holy Spirit, actually pray with groanings or with “spiritual violence” as did Jacob when he wrestled the whole night till daybreak with the Angel of the covenant, saying at last, when he finally realized who he was trying to defeat in his own finite strength—“I will not let you go till you bless me!” It was, in the fullness of time that Jacob’s name, meaning “supplanter,” was changed to Israel, meaning, “God contends.” The rest is history, and, of course, glorious prophecy remaining to be fulfilled in all the fullness of its time!

Now He who searches human minds has a divine mind of His own, that is, as the third Person of the Godhead, one that is in perfect harmony with the Father and the Son: “For there are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.” 1 John 5: 6.

In the Fullness of Time

 

    “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Eccl. 3: 1. “Under heaven,” that is, on earth in particular. It was in the “fullness of time,” or set time according to God’s purpose, not a split second earlier or after, that Jehovah Creator was “made of a woman, made under the law.” Gal. 4: 4. This was the fulfillment of the first promise and first prophecy in the Bible in the history of man before and after the fall in Eden. See Gen. 3: 15. He was “the seed of the woman.”

Here we consider the work assigned to the Holy Spirit in the fullness of His dispensation. “In the teachings of Christ, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is made prominent. What a vast theme is this for contemplation and encouragement! What treasures of truth did He add to the knowledge of His disciples in His instruction concerning the Holy Spirit, the Comforter! He dwelt upon this theme in order to console His disciples in the great trial they were soon to experience, that they might be cheered in their disappointment . . .  The world’s Redeemer sought to bring to the hearts of the sorrowing disciples the strongest solace. But from a large field of subjects, He chose the theme of the Holy Spirit, which was to inspire and comfort their hearts. And yet, though Christ made much of the theme concerning the Holy Spirit, how little is it dwelt upon in the churches!”- E. G. White in Bible Echo, Nov. 15, 1893.

“Prophet” also means teacher. “The prophet was chiefly a teacher of righteousness, spirituality, and ethical conduct, a moral reformer bearing messages of instruction, counsel, admonition, warning, whose work often included the prediction of future events.”  See Deut 18: 15, 18 prophecy regarding the “Prophet from the midst of thee.  Some say this is Moses; Islam says it is Mohammad. The Bible and SOP correctly point out that this pre-eminently refers to Christ whose office was to teach the everlasting  . Before vacating His own earthly office as “Teacher come from God” (John 3: 2), Christ introduced to His disciples His Successor in His valedictory discourse, for:  “Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His Successor on earth.” – Ibid, The Desire of Ages, p. 669.

Leroy E. Froom says, Jesus “unfolded the tremendous fact of the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, and this dispensational aspect cannot be overemphasized. It is based on the earthly work of Christ, and His coming was impossible until that work was finished, and He ascended. In John 14 and 16 Jesus opened before them the three mighty truths of — (1) the promised coming of the Holy Spirit; (2) the character and personality of the Holy Spirit; and (3) the mission, or work, of the Holy Spirit.” –  “The Coming of the Comforter,” Review & Herald Publishing (    ) p.  25.

     “The  Dispensation of the Holy Spirit. – Taking these in order, observe first the explicit declaration of the coming of the Holy Spirit.  One must be impressed with the fact that just as truly as the prophets announced Jesus’ advent, so He announced the advent of another, co-equal with Himself and successor of Himself. As one ascended, the other descended.  And the same recognition of authority and deference paid by the disciples to their Lord, was to be given to the Holy Spirit as Christ’s vicar on earth.

Three Mighty Truths Regarding the Holy Spirit: Definite time, Definite way, Definite work.

     “As Christ had a definite time mission, so the Holy Spirit likewise was a definite time mission, His special dispensation from Pentecost to the Second Advent. He is a person of the Godhead who came to earth in a definite way, at a definite time, for a definite work, and has been here ever since, just as really as Jesus was here on His special mission during His thirty-three years.” –Ibid, p. 27.

E. G. White says: “The dispensation in which we are now living is to be, to those that ask, the dispensation of the Holy Spirit.” – Testimonies to Ministers, p. 511.

     “We are under the direct, personal guidance of the third person of the Godhead as truly as the disciples were under the leadership of the second person [of the Godhead].

    “Pentecost was, as it were, the inaugural of the Holy Spirit for this special work, though the Holy Spirit was existent and operative for ages past. Many a biography of Christ begins with Bethlehem and ends in Olivet, despite the fact that He was from the days of eternity.

     “Eighty-eight times, and twenty-two of the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament, the Spirit is mentioned. The footprints of the third person of Godhead may be traced through the centuries from the beginning of the world.” Ibid, p. 27.

    “Old Testament Relationships. At creation the Holy Spirit was present, brooding over chaos, and was the agency in producing cosmos. [Gen. 1: 2]. He is also spoken of in definite connection with men. But before Pentecost He came more as a transient visitor, for the purpose of equipping certain men for their special work. His action was more intermittent than constant. He came upon individuals, working through or clothing them with mighty power for special deeds. He strove with men (Gen. 6: 3); He gave Bezaleel skill (Exo. 31: 3-5); He gave Samson strength (Judges 14: 6). Thus did the Holy Spirit make men His instruments, doing a work or delivering messages through them, as with Joshua (Num. 27: 18), Gideon (Judges 6: 34); Saul (1 Sam. 10: 10), and David (1 Sam. 16: 13).” Ibid, p. 29.

God’s servant wrote:

     “During the patriarchal age, the influence of the Holy Spirit had often been revealed in a marked manner, but never in its fullness. Now, in obedience to the word of the Savior, the disciples offered their supplications for this gift [even as Christ is “the unspeakable gift” of the Father, 2 Cor. 9: 15], and in heaven Christ addedHis intercession. He claimed the gift of the Spirit, that He might pour it upon His people.” – E. G. White, Acts of the Apostles, p. 37.

Froom observes that:

     “It is a significant fact that in the Old Testament the Spirit is never spoken of as the Comforter, or the ‘Spirit of Jesus’ (Phil. 1: 19, or the ‘Spirit of His [God’s] Son (Gal. 4: 6), and similar expressions, but as of God the Father.  Why are all these new titles found in the New Testament? Ah! something has happened! An event has occurred that has changed things!

     “Jesus was born and died for us, arose from the grave and ascended. And when Jesus completed His work on earth, and ascended with His glorified humanity, taking His place in the heavenlies, then the conditions were fulfilled, and the Holy Spirit came down as Christ’s official representative and successor to makeindividually efficacious that redemptive work. So He comes transcendently as the Spirit of Jesus.” – Ibid, pp. 28, 29.

    “The New Testament Provision. – It may be of interest, in passing, to note that the Holy Spirit is mentioned two hundred and sixty-two times-–a veritable battalion of texts.  Behind it all is the finished work and the glorified person of our adorable Lord. Reasoning back from a glorified Jesus, we see that it was because of His obedience unto death [Heb. 5: 8, 9; Phil. 2: 8] to bring us to god, through the vicarious substitution of His own sinless life and atoning death, meeting the demands of righteousness and justice as well as of holiness.

      “Thus the Holy Spirit came in recognition of the Father’s acceptance, and for the assurance of man. ‘By one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified [not merely justified]. Whereof the Holy Spirit also is a witness to us.’ Heb. 10: 14, 15.” – Ibid, p. 29.

     “Consider the two-fold work of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament He worked with men more from without inward, but did not dwell or abide in them permanently. He appeared to them and empowered them, but did not often take up His abode in them. But from Pentecost onward there has been a great change. His now is a special work, differing from that of the preceding ages. Provision is made for Him to enter and live in all Christian believers, and to work from within outward, filling and abiding.” – Ibid, pp. 29, 20.

     “This personal indwelling of the Divine Spirit is the distinctive glory of the Christian dispensation. Everything in the past was preparatory to this. The Old Testament provision was the promise and preparation: The New, the fulfillment and possession.” – Ibid.                                             (To be continued next week).

                                                 (To be continued next week).