FRIDAY MORNING MANNA
July 18, 2014
The Holy Spirit: do we really know Him? – Part I
Much preaching and exposition is made upon the visible “fruits of the Spirit” (Gal. 5: 22-23) yet little is personally known of the invisible “Tree” who bears these nine fruits! Do we actually possess and are experiencing the ripeninggraces of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness faith, meekness, and self control in our own lives? Why not? How are these to be obtained, retained, and developed into our character?
See Luke 11: 9-13; John 14: 26. Like everything pertaining to eternal yet practical realities, specifically those determining our ultimate salvation, negligence resulting in misapprehension of the Holy Spirit, “who searches and reveals the deep things of God” (1 Cor. 2: 6-16), will be the downfall of countless souls. The merciful warnings of Bible prophecy fulfilling before our very eyes, tell us that the Holy Spirit is indeed withdrawing from the earth! See Gen. 6: 3; cf. Matt. 24: 37-39, etc.
“My people,” God laments, “are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4: 6, 1-9. (Compare to Isa. 1: 3; Jer. 8: 7, 15, 20). This is how “the great dragon, that old serpent, called the Devil, who deceives the whole world” (Rev. 12: 9; Gen. 3; John 8: 44) has been successfully deceiving souls whom Christ redeemed with His blood, with his subtle lies and specious errors regarding the Holy Spirit. Jesus gave the following warning, which, to me, is the most fearful to be found in the whole Bible:
“Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the [Holy] Spirit willnot be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of man, it will be forgiven him; but whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” Matt. 12: 31, 32, N.K.J.V.
Even those who have already “put on the new man,” Paul warns: “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed to the day of redemption.” Eph. 4: 30. The Bible defines blasphemy as: claiming God’s exclusive power to forgive sins (Matt. 9: 1-6); to be Jesus Christ (Matt. 26: 65, 57-64); to be God on earth (John 10: 33, 36); attributing Christ’s works to Satan (Matt. 12: 22-32); usurping the exclusive office of the Holy Spirit whom Christ designated as His successor/vicegerent, before and after His death. John 14: 16, 17, 26, 27; 16: 7-14; Acts 1: 1-5, 8, 9; 2: 1-18.
“Before offering Himself as the sacrificial victim, Christ sought for the most essential and complete gift to bestow upon His followers, a gift that would bring within their reach the boundless resources of grace. [John 14: 16-18 quoted].
“Before this the Spirit had been in the world [Gen. 1: 2]; from the very beginning of the work of redemption he had been moving upon man’s hearts. But while Christ was on earth, the disciples had desired no other helper [or Comforter]. Not until they were deprived of His presence would they feel their need of the Spirit, and then He would come.
The Holy Spirit is Christ’s Representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. 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. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Savior would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to [His disciples] than if He had not ascended on high.” – The Desire of Ages, pp. 668-9.
Lucifer, once a covering cherub of the great white throne of God, knows, above all created beings as to who the Holy Spirit is—His personality, office, work, and mission as the third Person of the Godhead in both the work of creation and the plan of redemption. He hates the Holy Spirit as much as he does Christ the Creator, God the Father, and all who rely on Christ as their only Savior. It has ever been his studied efforts to counterfeit and counteract everything about the Holy Spirit. As we start this short series, let us ponder upon the following extracts based on the Bible, from the pen of Ellen. G. White, my favorite author after the Bible:
“The promise of the Holy Spirit is a matter little thought of; and the result is only what might be expected,—spiritual drought, spiritual darkness, spiritual declension and death. Minor matters occupy the attention, and the divine power which is necessary for the growth and prosperity of the church, and which would bring all other blessings in its train, islacking, though offered in infinite plenitude.” – Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 21.
“Just prior to His leaving His disciples for the heavenly courts, Jesus encouraged them with the promise of the Holy Spirit. This promise belongs as much to us as it did to them, and yet how rarely it is presented before the people, and its reception spoken of in the church. In consequence of this silence upon this most important theme, what promise do we know less about by its practical fulfillment than this rich promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, whereby efficiency is to be given to all our spiritual labor?
The promise of the Holy Spirit is casually brought into out discourses, isincidentally touched upon, and that is all. Prophecies have been dwelt upon, doctrines have been expounded; but that which is essential to the church in order that they may grow in spiritual strength and efficiency, in order that the preaching may carry conviction with it, and souls be converted to God, has been largely left out of ministerial effort. This subject has been set aside, as if some time in the future would be given to its consideration.
Other blessings and privileges have been presented before the people until a desire has been awakened in the church for the attainment of the blessing promised of God [such as eternal life, etc]; but the impression concerning the Holy Spirit has been that this gift is not for the church now, but that at some time in the future it would be necessary for the church to receive it.
“This promised blessing, if claimed by faith, would bring all other blessings in its train, and it is to be given liberally to the people of God. Through the cunning devices of the enemy the minds of God’s people seem to be incapable of comprehending and appropriating the promises of God. They seem to think that only the scantiest showers of grace are to fall upon the thirsty soul.
The people of God have accustomed themselves to think that they must rely upon their own efforts, that little help is to be received from heaven; and the result is that they have little light to communicate to other souls who are dying in error and darkness. The church has long been contented with little of the blessing of God; they have not felt the need of reaching up to the exalted privileges purchased for them at infinite cost.
Their spiritual strength has been feeble, their experience of a dwarfed and crippled character, and they are disqualified for the work of the Lord would have them to do. They are not able to present the great and glorious truths of God’s holy word that wouldconvict and convert souls through the agency of the Holy Spirit. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. A harvest of joy will be reaped by those who sow the holy seeds of truth.” –Ibid., Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 174, 175. (Itals mine).
The Holy Scriptures refer to the Holy Spirit as:
The Spirit of God – Gen. 1: 2
My Spirit– Gen. 6: 3
The Spirit of the Lord God – Isa. 61: 1
The Spirit of grace – Zech. 12: 10. See also Rom. 8: 26: the Holy Spirit is our prayer Intercessor on earth while Christ intercedes/mediates/advocates for His people as High Priest in His closing work of atonement in heaven (Rom. 8:34; Heb. chs. 3, 4, 5, 7-10)
The Spirit of truth – John 14: 17
The Comforter – John 14: 16, 26
The Holy Spirit – Ps. 51: 11, 12
The Spirit of holiness – Rom. 1: 4
The Spirit of life – Rom. 8: 2
The Spirit of Christ – Rom. 8: 9
The Spirit of adoption – Rom. 8: 15. (compare to: Rom. 8: 23; 9: 4; Gal 4: 3-5).
The Eternal Spirit – Heb. 9: 14
The Spirit of glory and of God– 1 Pet. 4: 14
The Spirit of Prophecy – Rev. 19: 10.
The inspired pen magnifies on these and other Scriptures, referring to the Holy Spirit as:
Author of spiritual life – A A 284
Heavenly Guest – CT 68, 363-4; FE 256; 8T 62
Guide in our perplexities – SD 295
Messenger, Gracious Messenger – CT 358, 363-4, 370; 6T 61, 62
Reprover – Testimonies to Ministers, p. 176
Searcher, Great Searcher of hearts – CT 68
Divine Spirit – DA 102, 241, 512; GW 57; MLT 46; SC 40
Spirit of Adoption– (Rom. 8:15); DA 412
Spirit of Christ– (Rom. 8: 9); CG 484; DA 210, 494; PP 372; SC 52.
Spirit of Grace– (Zech. 12: 10); DA 324; GC 402, 601; PP 635, 676.
Spirit of Heaven – TM 476
Spirit of Inspiration – COL 214; DA 33; Ed 154
Spirit of life – (Rom. 8: 2); DA 268; MH 75; SD 118
Spirit of prophetic power – SL 24
Spirit of Son of God – PP 667
Spirit of the Almighty – AA 54
Spirit of Truth– (John 14: 17); AA 532; DA 671; GC 526, 601; SC 91
Teacher, Great Teacher – CT 363; 8T 61
Third Person of the Godhead – DA 671; TM 392
Visitant, Heavenly Visitant – CT 364; 8T 62
Watcher, Holy Watcher– CT 369, 370; MM 151; DA 650; MM 296
Divine Witness – DA 651
Faithful and True Witness– (Rev. 3: 14)- CT 68.
(To be continued next week)