Precious Spirit Of Holiness 8th June
Precious Spirit Of Holiness 8th June
Jn 16:12-15 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 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. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
When Jesus was telling the disciples of this Promise of the Holy Spirit, although He was talking to them as a group He was speaking of all who would believe in His Name -- prophesying to all Christianity to come that they would receive the Holy Spirit – Jesus was also talking to them of a personal relationship each of them could have with the Holy Spirit. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was a dispensation – the ushering in of the age of the Spirit.
An age that will last until Jesus returns a second time. But although the Spirit is available to every believer, as many who will call on His Name. His indwelling Presence is personal, individual and unique to every single person. The Holy Spirit is a Person and relationship with a person is only ever really a relationship when it is intimate and individual. Like we might all know Wendy Petrie because we see her every night as she reads the news.
She is personable and bright and has one of those personalities that makes you feel as though she is the girl next door, open and comfortable – she has even been embarrassed a couple of times and we feel it with her. But I was at a breakfast meeting a while ago and she came in and sat down and I didn’t KNOW her at all – and she certainly didn’t know me! – I think sometimes we have this sort of relationship with the Holy Spirit – we KNOW Him in His greater identity – but personally?
Maybe when we read the W.O.G. we read it more as a sort of “handbook for everyone” and for the B.O.C. – we read it as being part of “The Church” and we interpret it that way when we read of the Holy Spirit – and so I wonder if we, in our own study actually distance ourselves from seeing the intimacy – and with the current promotion of ministry and superstars, events and mega church – the whole role of the individual is diminished and the priesthood of all believers is submerged. (expand)
Ac 2:46-47 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
After the amazing events of Pentecost and the baptism in the Holy Spirit the church began to develop and form it’s structure. The foundation laid they began the practice of living Christianity. After months, maybe even a couple of years the apostles had matured in the things of the Spirit and the people were learning all the time. God was confirming His Word with signs and wonders and for the apostles, healing was an accepted part of their lives. They knew the Holy Spirit.
So in Acts 3 we read of the man lame for 40 years being healed and when we read this account I am sure most of us think of it as being an event – a huge crowd of people and God performing a miracle in their midst.
Ac 3:1-3 Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms.
It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon on a normal week day – no special meeting, no event, no great crowd, in fact Peter and John were probably talking about doctrine or scripture – maybe remembering together things Jesus had said and enjoying the afternoon walk. They still adhered to the custom of praying daily in the temple at the hours of prayer – so this was their simple daily practice. There would have been other people going up to prayer as well and others going about their business.
Ac 3:4-6 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
Peter and John, sometimes together, but many times individually walked this path as often as they were in Jerusalem – they would have walked past this man maybe hundreds of times before – this was his occupation! His family carried him up there every day to beg – but this day the Holy Spirit arrested their attention and in obedience they responded. We all know what happened – Peter took him by the hand lifted him up and he walked and leaped and danced – his response drew people.
But when the Holy Spirit first prompted Peter and John there were only the 3 people. It was not a corporate event. It was Peter and John responding to the indwelling Holy Spirit who wanted to glorify Jesus! After the miracle was done, the testimony of the healed man gathered a crowd but the healing simply came through Peter and Johns relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit – it was their sensitivity to Him on that day that prompted them to pray. – Stephen the martyr : --
Ac 7:54-56 When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth. But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”
I find this one of the precious accounts of the W.O.G. it always draws me into it – but the only reason we have this record of what the martyr saw is because God through the Holy Spirit wanted us to know about it. No One else saw what Stephen saw, no one else looked up and saw the heavens opened – those looking on were full of hatred and murder – they stoned him to death. Stephen had performed many miracles in the Spirit and many had heard and believed –
But this, Stephen did alone and he didn’t have time to write it or tell others – in fact if anyone heard anything at all it would have been : - “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” Yet we have this record of the Holy Spirit’s guidance and comfort – Jesus called Him the Comforter and we see this reality as Stephen saw the glory of God. The same thing is here in many instances – we slip into a detached “them and us” sort of view –
Ac 6:2-4 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
The Apostles were called to pray and study – to minister the Word – Moses and the prophets were still the confirmation to the Jews of what they preached – Christ is all the way though the O.T. – so they appointed 7 others, 7 young men just like us full of the Holy Spirit – isn’t it interesting that their account is given also – Stephen and the others – they were not apostles, they were not famous, they did not have ministries or profile – but they were full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom.
You know there is a wisdom that comes with the Holy Spirit by faith – how often we doubt and question and live in unbelief –
Jas 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
So this was their testimony full of the Holy Spirit and wise – they were not men called to try and emulate the Apostles – they were not called to the same sort of study and intense prayer – but they were called to allow the Spirit in them, to lead them. Sometimes we have a mindset that says once I am appointed, once I am recognized, once people see the gifts, the call, the desire of my heart I will be raised up. But these 7 were called out because they were “doing the stuff” already.
It was the multitude the Apostles asked who is it among you – these 7 were recognized because they already behaved in such a way the multitude could tell they were Spirit filled and wise. It was the multitude – not the apostles, not the leaders, not some training school or ministry that pointed them out – and that’s the way it should be – we are all filled with the Spirit here –(if not pray after) – if we wait to be appointed we might wait forever – we must learn to respond to the Spirit.
Do you know the Holy Spirit is constantly wanting to lead, to comfort, to guide us into all truth – every single moment of every day – He never leaves us – He abides within and you know there is not a moment He is not willing to glorify Christ in us and through us – but we have this ministry, corporate mindset now – remember when you first got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost maybe the first thing many of us noticed was how we stopped swearing! Just stopped!
1 Co 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
The indwelling Spirit of God just spoke into your spirit this is wrong, not acceptable for a Christian – you didn’t hear a sermon or a teaching or even a rebuke about swearing you just stopped as the Holy Spirit brought an inner almost inaudible prompting – very wise? Many of the things the Holy Spirit does in us are secret, inner and simply require obedience – as we become obedient the more sensitive we become – the more sensitive the more obedient! Philip was one of those 7 ---
Ac 8:29-30 Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot.” So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
Ac 8:39-40 Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing. But Philip was found at Azotus. And passing through, he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea.
That chariot was out on a desert highway – there was no one else around but here is this Ethiopian with some great authority – it was advantageous for the K.O.G. for the gospel and the glory of Christ that this man of position hear the gospel. It was simply by Philips obedience, he was told by an angel to go out into the desert and when he saw this chariot the Holy Spirit told him to run and catch up to it and overtake it. There was no one else as witness, no crowd –
Philip in obedience witnessed to the eunuch and then the Holy Spirit translated him several miles away. No witnesses, no personal glory – in fact the only we way we know is because it is recorded for us here – but it is recorded that we might see this is normal Christian life – this is walking in the Spirit and the primary purpose is that Jesus is glorified – it was the testimonies that told what had happened but the principal players, Peter and John and Stephen and Philip responded in private
To the indwelling Holy Spirit and that is why this W.O.G. is given to us – that is why these things are recorded like this that we might know – “this is the way walk ye in it!” -- I have said these last few weeks that I believe for us in this age – in this time God has chosen for us to live and be in NZ -- in His Sovereign Majesty and for His glory – we are living in an age of great deception and God given delusion – we must love the truth – Oh church we must LOVE the truth at all costs!
To know the TRUTH we must KNOW the Holy Spirit for ourselves – you cannot KNOW Him through me, you cannot depend upon me to get you through. Or any other ministry or teaching or program no matter how anointed – in the end it is down to you and I to Know the Holy Spirit and KNOW Him in such a way that Christ is glorified in us – and you see it is not difficult, it is not impossible, it is not secret or hidden – do you know it is not even special or because of giftedness
It is simply by learning to respond and obey and that by KNOWING the W.O.G. ---- remember we have been looking at this passage of scripture : --
2 Th 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
We are seeing this, and it will increase and abound – we must be prepared and to Know whom we have believed and be persuaded to stand strong. We must not contend even with our friends for God given delusion can only be broken by God – but we must know Graciousness and LOVE and avoid self righteousness – don’t for a moment think this testing, as it were, is only for those who are deluded – no it is for all the Body of Christ – maybe this is the judgment beginning in the H.O.G. we
Have prayed for – maybe this is how revival will come – maybe we should be as desperate for them as we are for the lost – but those scriptures we have read are followed by these – in 2 Thes.
2 Th 2:13-17 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
We must allow the setting apart by the Holy Spirit – the sanctification – the Holiness – you KNOW He is the Spirit of Holiness the same as raised Jesus from the dead – we must begin to seek to KNOW Him and honour Him and allow the glory of Christ in us – that is our hope! The Holy Spirit’s ministry in us is not primarily about gifts, about ministry – it is about presenting us to God as Holy and spotless and unblemished – it is about sanctifying us unto holiness –
It is about leading us into all truth – it is about guiding us and leading us and teaching us how to have clean hands and a pure heart so that we might ascend – The Holy Spirit wants us to ascend the Hill of the Lord to be seated with Christ in heavenly places – and that Means being HOLY – for without holiness no one will see the Lord! – So there is that Spirit working in us constantly – always prompting, guiding, leading – showing us things to come – if we can hear Him!!
Ac 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.
Ac 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:
Ac 16:6-7 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.
Ac 18:5 When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ.
1 Jn 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
Jud 20-21 But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.