Sabbath: The Holy Spirit – Working Behind the Scenes

Read for This Week’s Study: Ezek. 37:5, Ezek. 37:9; Gen. 1:2; Job 26:13; Exod. 31:1-5; John 16:13-14; Gal. 5:16-23.

Memory Text: “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14, NKJV).

Holy Spirit Behind the Scene

Image © Lars Justinen

The Holy Spirit does not receive the same prominent attention in Scripture as do the Father and the Son. Nevertheless the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit was present at significant moments throughout sacred history. At the beginning, at God’s creation of this world, He was at work, but more in the background. He was active in the inspiration of God’s prophets, thus playing a key role in the writing of God’s Word. He was also involved with the conception of Jesus Christ in Mary’s womb.

Yet He is not at the center of the biblical record, and we know amazingly little about Him. He remains in the background, and that’s because His role is to advance the work of Someone else in the Godhead-Jesus, the Son of God-and to give glory to God the Father. All this so that fallen human beings might be saved from the eternal death that sin would otherwise bring them.

From the testimony of Scripture, we learn that the Holy Spirit willingly and gracefully accepts a supporting, helping, sustaining, and equipping behind-the-scenes role. No matter whether it is in creation or redemption or mission, He does not seek to stand in the spotlight, regardless of His crucial role.

Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, January 14.


Sabbath: The Holy Spirit – Working Behind the Scenes — 27 Comments

  1. We notice that in creation the Holy Spirit is moving or motivational. The basic motivation for creation could be the Spirit that motivates even God the Father and His Word (Christ). Is it Love?

    Could this Love motivate us as it did Jesus such that we can truly say, " I do nothing of my own self but the Father teaches me."

    • Christ demonstrated the self-sacrificing love of the Godhead to us. He said that anyone who has seen Him has seen the Father. Christ also told us that He would send us "another Comforter" (John 14:16) - one so much like Him that the presence of the Comforter would be the presence of Christ with us. (John 14:18) Thus we can see that every member of the Godhead is as much a person as any other and that every member is motivated by the same self-sacrificing love.

  2. I thank God for these lessons and as we enter a new year this quarterly is so timely and yes we have studied these lessons over and over and sometimes I wonder if we as a church or individuals is really lead by the Holy Spirit. Every sabbath I go to church I ask my self why can't I hear some different type of message (end time message) we preach everyday about the coming of chrust is at the door and yet we have a pack church with visitors and members sleeping away with some boring preaching I think personally I would love for an outpouring of the holy Spirit in my church and the leaders preach messages befitting to the time we are living in

    • I wonder Annette, just what an outpouring of the Holy Spirit would really look like? Is it possible that we are looking for the wrong thing. I know that some people are looking for tongues of fire settling on their heads like doves. Or perhaps they want feel a sudden urge to leap up and praise God in some spectacular fashion.

      But perhaps the Holy Spirit is going to come to you stealthily and whisper quietly in your ear. Maybe the Holy Spirit will ask you to take your neighbour's dog for a walk, or mind their kids for an hour or two.

      Church lasts only a couple of hours, but the Holy Spirit works 24/7. Is it time to ask for the Holy Spirit to work in our lives 24/7 and not just worry about the couple of hours over Sabbath.

      If you think that the Holy Spirit should spark a great revival, here is something to think about. I have lived through at least 2 revivals in the church (one of the benefits of growing old and staying in the church). In both cases there were young people dedicating their lives to God and doing things like preaching in the streets. They would have prayer meetings and Bible studies during the week. And then the enthusiasm waned and discouragement set in, and they left the church and often left their faith as well.

      Some people are going to say, "Ah well, it was a false revival, built on emotion!" but I don't think that fully answers the question. I think that the revival was real, but we need to understand that sustaining the same high levels of activity over a long period of time is seriously hard work.

      Maybe, the Holy Spirit wants us to develop a sustainable spirituality, rather than one that burns out quickly.

      • I would expect a true revival to last. We are warned that many false revivals will take place, but fade away, like the seed planted in the shallow, rocky soil. I have witnessed many false revivals that came on suddenly with such high emotion, then vanished in a short time. God knows the intent of the heart, and will not pour out His Spirit where it is really not desired. A flurry of activity is not revival. High emotions and great enthusiasm, especially the kind that rises suddenly, are not genuine revival.

        The life that forsakes "ungodliness and worldly lust", and lives "soberly, righteously and Godly in this present world" is the result of a true revival. The soul that loves God supremely and their fellowman as themselves has experienced a genuine revival. Most will not recognize a true revival, yet it is all around us. It will soon be evident to all, but most will rise up and call it "fanatical, seditious, singular, false, and unholy".

        The Holy Spirit can only respond to faith. Unshakable, consistent faith.

    • Annette, I understand somewhat the discouragement that occurs sometimes during the worship service. Past observations have opined that a sermon may have been just what was needed by someone. I have wished that the subject material could have been more to what I preferred and find criticism easy to come by. I always ask myself did I receive a blessing today? It is a difficult problem at times but I cannot omit asking for guidance and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit all the time. How about you?

      • The blessings come when we go to church with a spirit mostly to share as well as to receive. In listening to a sermon, our attitude should be to ask "Holy Spirit, what is it that you want me to learn from this message today". This has benefited me greatly.

        • The blessings come when we go to church with a spirit mostly to share as well as to receive. In listening to a sermon, our attitude should be "Holy Spirit what is it that you want me to learn from the message today". This has benefited me greatly.

    • I am sure there are more people who feel the same way you do. This also could be the working of the Holy Spirit in your life. Showing you where there is a need and preparing you to play a positive role. Remember we are all workers together with God.

    • How about praying for yourself to be filled with the Holy Spirit then maybe He would use you to deliver the same type of messages you think should be preached.

  3. Because Jesus sent us, a helper, a comforter, a needed replacement while leaving this earth, we are given just what we need. How thankful we should be, that help is available when confronted with the multitude of problems that we face. After reading a message from a conference president for the coming new year and the possibilities that might transpire, we should place our confidence and trust in the Father Son and the Holy Spirit daily. Uncertainty is at our door step. Pray for the needed help.

  4. I am happy that most of people are eager to sea how the Holy Spirit works in a Church congregation.
    I am a true Sabbath follower and in my church we're guided by Holy Spirit through out the service and we end our service with the same guidance.
    In other words in a church where Holy Spirit operates you plan for church programs but you may end up not fulfilling as planned because of the intervention of Holy Spirit.
    If read John 4:23-25 will tell you about the true worship and 1 cor 14:26 will tell you how a church congregation is suppose to be. And when you read 1 cor 13:1 talks about love but also illustrates what holy spirit can do but there must be with LOVE is when one can also see the doors of Heaven.
    For one to receive this spirit like in Deut 18:18 there are things you must do and must not do. no 1 is must observe Sabbath to the latter, Holy spirit does not need things like idols like the once mentioned in Genesis 35. with time I will find time to shade more light as far as Holy Spirit is concerned thanks my brothers.

  5. Thanka Maurice and Paul well said.
    Introspection was first and I pray daily for the holy Spirit to guide and lead me into all truth I think I am getting there gradually.

  6. We glorify GOD,the Father and Son for not abandoning us in this wicked world, thank HIM for the comforter.Amen

  7. The lesson introduction seems to present a limited view of the Holy Spirit's involvement as a member of the “one(echad) LORD" trinity. As the active and ever-present agent of the Godhead, how is it that He is considered in the background? He convicts the whole world, and leads each soul into “all truth”. It is HIS activity which gave utterance to the prophets and writers of Scripture. The Holy Spirit is indeed the Author of all inspired writings. It may be that there is not much said about the Holy Spirit specifically, but what is said tells us all we need to know, and reveals His constant involvement in all matters concerning creation and redemption. Remember Ezekiel's vision? Recall the vital action of the Holy Spirit and it's vital role in all things?

    We also should know that without the Holy Spirit in our lives, we have no power as witnesses for God, meaning we are instead, witnesses for the adversary. Jesus Himself lived by this same power, through whom “Christ [is] in you”, to “dwell in your hearts by faith”. Could we say that if the Godhead was a car, the Holy Spirit would be the drive-train, including the tires?

    But ultimately, can we really dissect the Godhead, who is ONE?

  8. Qn.the holy spirit is found in only adventist church or even others
    2, does the holy spirit changes the language and we talk un understundable words?

    • When we examine the New Testament that describes the result of the Holy Spirit's work, we find that the believers were enabled to speak in "other languages," (Acts 2:4), and "every man heard them speak in his own language." (Acts 2:6)

      So insofar as the work of the Spirit references languages, it is apparent that they are real and full understood by those who are listening. In fact, the Holy Spirit was given to help the believers fulfill the mission Christ gave them to preach the Good News to all the world. (Matt 28:19-20) Since the believers could not speak all the languages of the world, the Holy Spirit supplied the lack as necessary so all could understand the Good News about God and Jesus Christ who became "God With Us."

    • The Holy Spirit works on people irrespective of Church.

      One of the issues we face when talking about the Holy Spirit is we get caught up on a couple of big events in the early Christian church and think that they are defining moments for the rest of us. Physical manifestations (I don't really like that term) of the Holy Spirit may well serve a purpose, but there is ample evidence in the Bible (just read this weeks lesson) that talk about the silent quiet influence of the Holy Spirit. The metaphor of the wind should not go unnoticed.

      If we are looking for physical evidence for the work of the Holy Spirit, maybe we are looking in the wrong place. Did you feel the urge to say a kind word to someone? Did you mind your sister's children while she was sick last week? Maybe you wrote an encouraging letter to a friend who is struggling spiritually. All of these can be examples of the working of the Holy Spirit.

      If we find God in the ordinary things of life, then we can be used by the Holy Spirit in doing ordinary things for people near us.

  9. Hi everyone i am newto the whole sabbath lesson studies and i would really like to study with you all to increase my knowledge and understanding of the lords word. I do know however that without the holy spirit it is impossible to understand God's word.

  10. Everybody has the Holy Spirit but what makes the difference is the Holy Spirit working in you. Everybody can be inspired by the Holy Spirit but acceptance of the Holy Spirit's inspiration is the problem.
    Many are church members and they have no effect of the Holy Spirit but are hoping to go in heaven.

    My Question is: Can people without the Holy Spirit go to heaven?

    • I think that what you are trying to say Ssegawa Hope is that the Holy Spirit is available to all but only some people respond to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. That is indeed true.

      The second part of your observation/Question is more complex, but I would point you to Gal 5:23 as the answer: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

      People who are saved will bear fruit, not to be saved but because they are saved. And clearly of they are bearing fruit of the Spirit, then the Holy Spirit is active in their lives.

      It is useful to remember that "being saved" is not just about going to heaven but about living a "saved life" now.

    • Ssegawa, the answer to your question, I think, is, "No one will be in heaven without the Holy Spirit as the motivator of all thoughts and feelings."

      God's Love rules the hearts of His children. The Holy Spirit is the sourse and motivator of this Love.

    • Ssegawa, The Bible teaches: "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts". Jesus also taught that we receive power as witnesses for God "after the Holy Ghost is come upon you". Without this power received, we are witnesses for the adversary who will always overcome us if void of the Spirit of God.


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