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Sabbath: Spirit-Empowered Witnessing — 23 Comments

  1. There are a lot of books filled with expectations about what will happen when we are filled with the Holy Spirit. A fair bit of it is a bit like one of those superhero movies where the hero is a mild quiet softly spoken person, who given the right stimulus suddenly morphs into a powerful hi-tech bullet-proof, fire-eating, building-leaping fighter for justice and truth.

    Sometimes we miss the real message of what the Holy Spirit is about. Maybe empowerment for us is often more subtle. Empowerment to reach out and touch someone who is suffering, offer a word of comfort to a person who is grieving, patience to a wayward teenager who is flexing their boundaries, and so on.

    The Holy Spirit often works quietly in very ordinary ways. Note the conversation that Jesus had with Nicodemus, a leader of Israel.

    The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
    Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
    Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? John 3:8-10

    Quite possibly, the message for us today is that the Holy Spirit is like the wind, unseen but effective. Just something to think about as we study this week's lesson.

  2. John 3:3-7, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being "born again". No one can entre the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Verse 8 is talking about who ever is born of the Spirit.

  3. Signs and wonders versus the still small voice, thousands converted in a day versus one at a time. Amazingly the LORD through His Word, the Holy Spirit and us, His servants, does both!
    World population is 7.8 billion,
    Christians in the world 2.4 billion
    Don't be alarmed by the numbers, the LORD has plans for reaching everyone with the truth of His love and His Everlasting Covenant, His angels - messengers - are flying around the world.
    My question to myself is what is my part in the LORD's overall plan? Has the Holy Spirit through this quarter's study guides revealed to you your part in His plan? What is your Spiritual Gift? Are you producing the Fruit of the Spirit?
    The phrase that impressed me in today's guide is:

    be filled with the Holy Spirit then speak the Word of the LORD with boldness

    • Hello Shirley. You posed a great set of questions we should be asking ourselves, thank you! Would you mind clarifying the question "Are we producing the Fruit of the Spirit?" Is this question referring to us in our witnessing efforts; or are you referencing that this is a goal that we should be instilling into the people we are witnessing to; or both?

      Thank you Shirley. I always enjoy your insights.

    • Shirley - I suggest to change the wording of your question from: "Are you producing the Fruit of the Spirit?" to "Is the Holy Spirit able to produce its Fruit in you?".
      To fully comprehend the difference the refersal of the question makes is incredibly difficult to communicate. But it makes all the difference in the perception of who the active agent is that guides and empowers our lifes. It is not us, it is the Holy Spirit.

      • Thanks Bridgette, but I meant the question the way I put it. It is meant to make people think about the effect of being filled with the Holy Spirit..

        • Great questions Shirley!

          I would like to add to your question, by reminding everyone what are the Fruits, and the Gifts (or talents) of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the same Lord over the Fruits and the Gifts; you must come through Him to receive and cultivate His gifts that he gives to us. (Many "so-called" evangelists have claimed to have the Fruits and Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but that's a subject for another time.)

          Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."
          We will not concentrate on the last part of this verse right now; let's concentrate on the actual gifts of the Spirit. Here's the list, and now see if you can define them. If we have these fruits of the Holy Spirit as a part of our character, then We can successful witness to anyone.
          - love,
          - joy,
          - peace,
          - longsuffering,
          - gentleness,
          - goodness,
          - faith,
          - Meekness, and
          - temperance.

          I know what you are thinking, "That's a lot of character traits to have! Am I supposed to show all of these traits all the time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? If so, I deemed!" But that's the point, you are not suppose to do it on your own. We are suppose to depend on the Holy Spirit to help us, that's why they are called the Fruits of the Spirit.

          Now, I knew that was a lot, but now I have to list the Talents. (this is why I don't post here as often as I should, because my post are too long; but I write as I am moved by the Holy Spirit.) These talents are given by the same Spirit, God the Holy Spirit. Read the entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 12, but here are the verses that list the Gifts of the Spirit:
          "4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
          8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
          9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
          10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
          11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will."

          So, here's the list of the Gifts of the Spirit, again try to define them for yourself, as tools that can be used in witnessing and spreading the Word of God.
          - the word of wisdom;
          - the word of knowledge;
          - faith;
          - the gifts of healing;
          - the working of miracles;
          - prophecy;
          - discerning of spirits;
          - divers kinds of tongues;
          - the interpretation of tongues.

          Shirley is right! We need to know our talents (Gifts), and ask God to help us with our Fruits of the Sprit, so that the Holy Spirit can work with us to fulfill Jesus' mission that to All of His Disciples (us) to "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:", Matthew 28:19 King James Version (KJV).

          God's Blessings you All!

          • Hi Toni - please, allow me to comment. It appears that you seem to appropriate the 'Gifts of the Holy Spirit' and the 'Fruit of the Spirit' as if given to yourself or, by implication, to all Christians.

            May I take a moment to explain. The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are the Holy Spirit's expression of spiritually applicable talents for the benefit of others. He does not 'deputize' us, so to speak; the effectiveness of these gifts (their spiritual active part) remains in His domain only - used only and employed with His permission/authorization.
            We are the vessel(s), the body of Christ, which He uses to further the Holy Spirit's work in people's hearts, minds and lives.

            The Fruit of the Spirit works differently; this Fruit is a spiritual Fruit to be growing in us as we walk by faith. It is given to us to help us to identify our old self should it differe from the Fruit of the Spirit and lead us to embrace our new identity - which is hidden in Christ Jesus.
            Yes, they also benefit others, because we can/will/should express this Fruit throughout our daily interactions with them.

            Also note, these are not Fruits(plural), but the Fruit(singular) of the Spirit. The changed heart and mind of the born-again believer has now become the conduit for the Gifts/Fruit of the Holy Spirit expressed in all its forms - love, joy, peace etc. and its spiritually employed talents.

            God's blessing to you and yours!

          • Thank you Bridgette, and I agree with your comments whole-heartedly.

            Thank you for expanding on your comments. It was, and is, the purpose for writing my little comment, so that I could get you and others to define for yourself what the Fruits of the Spirit, and Gifts of the Holy Spirit means to you. May God continue to bless, lead, and teach us all.

        • Matthew 3:8 Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.
          Luke 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

          I think the question is rightfully framed. The Holy spirit works in us but we are the ones to produce the fruits

          • Hi George - thank you for commenting. I am giving just a short reply. Why do you think it is always called the *Fruit of the Spirit*? The name speaks for itself! Does this name not show ownership of who the Fruit is produced by and by whom it is employed as a spiritual influence to develop in us the new nature?

            Yes, the Spirit works in us but not to the end of producing *our* fruit; the fruit being produced *in* the faithful believer is *His* Fruit! We have been producing our fruit for as long as we have not believed and have walked in our own light.
            Now, having believed and being born again, the Holy Spirit can produce His Fruit in us because He dwells in us for this purpose - to produce His spiritual Fruit!
            We have also been given the spiritually endowed talents to further the development of the new nature and to employ them to be faithful witnesses to God's Glory.

  4. The outpouring of the Spirit in the days of the apostles was the “former rain” and glorious was the result. But the “latter rain” will be still more abundant. What is the promise to those living in these last days?

    Christ declares that the divine of influence of the Spirit will be with His followers (us) unto the end. But by some, this promise is not appreciated as it should be; its fulfillment is not realized as it might be. Learning talents, eloquence, every natural acquired endowment, may be possessed; but without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner won to Christ. When His disciples are connected with Christ, when the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, even the poorest and most ignorant of them will have a power that will tell upon hearts. God makes them the channel for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe.

    E.G. White
    Devotional Sharing the Vision
    Real Appreciation October 25

  5. The Holy Spirit - my favorite subject! I came to learn about the Holy Spirit from members of the Pentecostal church family who's teachings focus very much on the Holy Spirit. Using John Chapter 3, I attempt to expound more in depth on the Holy Spirit's work.

    Many aspects are known about the work of the Holy Spirit. I am glad to see that the mainstream evangelical Christians have broadened their understanding of the work of the Holy Spirit to beyond 'speaking in tongs' and 'handling snakes safely', or liken the conduct of a 'born again' Christian to that of a 'super hero's' feats. 🙂
    Pentecostal faith and reliance on the Holy Spirit has often been maligned and their member's ridiculed as 'Holy Rollers' because of their expressive worship service of enthusiastic singing and praising of God; and God's adversary knows why He does this!

    In John 3:1-21 - This passage is a good example to help understand the all-encompassing influence of the Holy Spirit when we witness.
    Nicodemus is much like many Christians and non-believers - he has heard a lot about Jesus, 'knowing' that He is a teacher come from God, (2) 'for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him'.

    'Knowing about' is different from 'believing'! The difference between the two is that the first position leaves your life where it is, the second position changes your life!
    When someone believes in Jesus, this means he/she believes in who He is, why He came and what He speaks about, His message and His mission. One cannot separate Jesus from His mission or message. People have tried to do this by diminishing His position from being the Son of God to being a teacher send by God.

    (v.3) In response to Nicodemos, Jesus states: '..except a man be born again(from above), he cannot see the kingdom of God. 'See' could be interpreted as 'understand' or 'being there in person'. Both are true because both refer to our life here on earth. The mention here of the Kingdom is not the Kingdom IN heaven, but the Kingdom OF heaven.
    We live here and now as citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven; governed and protected by its laws of righteousness, mercy, and grace.

    (v.5)..'he cannot ENTER INTO the kingdom of God'. The Holy Spirit is the 'gateway' the 'door' to enter, and essential to the life of the citizens of the Kingdom of God; this life is spiritually discerned and administered; its teachings of wisdom, guidelines, promises, purpose, vision, is taught by and can only be understood by the Spirit dwelling inside of us.
    The Holy Spirit invites the ones drawn by Him to live in this Kingdom instead of in the world and do so by faith.

    (v.6) 'That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit'.
    The two have their existance in separate worlds. Flesh does not understand the things of the Spirit, but the Spirit can interpret the things of the flesh.
    (v.8) ..canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth: so IS every one that is born of the Spirit. The Spirit inspires us and directs us to engage in the things important to the Holy Spirit. The effects of 'being moved by the Holy Spirit' is observable to the world through the FRUIT of the Spirit - Gal.5:22,23.
    (v.11,12) Jesus sees that Nicodemus does not understand Him and His message; believing comes when we 'understand', and understanding is the mission/work of the Holy Spirit. Those that understand should not grieve the Holy Spirit by turning away from Him calling them; persistent refusal will result in being lost.
    (v.14,15) ..'the son of man must be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life'. Being born again, the Holy Spirit will now laser-focus our life on Jesus; gone are confusion and uncertainty!
    (v.16-21) This is Jesus' mission statement - This is the heart of the Gospel message in a nutshell (condensed)! The follower of Jesus is now the citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, but those that do not believe are condemned by their unbelieve.
    (v.19) 'And this is the condemnation, that LIGHT is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil'. The Light of the Word of God is the Holy Spirit and administered by the Holy Spirit!
    (v.20) 'For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (discovered)'.
    (v.21) 'Buth he that doeth TRUTH cometh to the Light, that his deeds may be made manifest, THAT THEY ARE WROUGHT *IN* GOD'.

    There is no righteousness residing in the flesh - all righteousness is vested in the Spirit of God. He motivates the believer to engage in acts of righteousness 'wrought in God' and so becomes a witness to the Glory of God.

  6. We believe the Holy Spirit is one of the Godhead(Trinity).If the Holy Spirit who is God is in us, what can we not do?All the powers of heaven will be ours.What makes the difference between spiritual inactivity and spiritual power is the Holy Spirit. Our lives will be transformed. Our thoughts will be changed. Our mind will be renewed.Our words will have power.Our testimonies will be alive.When people will look at us they will see a remarkable difference.Our witness will touch peoples' hearts.The Holy Spirit will spring up the fruit of the spirit in us which will make us attractive to the world. That is true empowerment.

    • Hi Omwenga - Yes, as you said: "what can we NOT do"? The fruit of the Holy Spirit in Gal.5:22,23; by its fruit shall the world know us. I agree with you: 'The Holy Spirit makes the difference between spiritual inactivity and spiritual activity'. Even though we be engaged in ministering activities, if it is not spiritually endowed, it is missing its mark; it will feed the body but does not include the blessing through the power of the Spirit.

      If the Christian world does not fully comprehend the Holy Spirit's true place and function in us, His identity and work in our lives, how can we expect the world to distinguish our works done in the flesh from the works done by the power of the Holy Spirit?

      Many Christians appropriate the work done by the Holy Spirit to themselves. If its outcome is benevolent, the world will find us - the Christian - 'attractive'. Many might want to join the church then because of the 'benefits' they expect to gain improving their material life.

      If we fail to 'set the record straight' and not correcting their misunderstanding of US doing it versus the 'Holy Spirit in us' doing the good work, we will have missed the opportunity to witness God's Goodness to them.

      I agree, our acts of witnessing receive their true, spiritual empowerment only through the Holy Spirit and are meant to be done for the Honor and Glory of God.
      If the receiver is told who the true source, the true Giver of the gift is, the receiver in turn will be lead to praise God, rather than the person who provided the 'gift'.

  7. Spirit empowered witnessing.

    Can anyone witness for Jesus without the Holy Spirit empowering them to do so? Yes/no. Then there must be a spiritual force behind what they are doing. The question is then asked- how do we know that we are being led by the Holy Spirit in our witnessing. Is there a tell-tail sign? I see people going about so often from door to door with Bible different from the Holy Bible to tell others about our wicked world and what we need to do. What Spirit is directing these people?
    Not all who says they are empowered by the Holy Spirit are so empowered. The line between good and evil are very near, many times it needs spiritual eyes to separate the truth from error.
    If any man be in Christ he is a new creature- can we see this in anyone, how do we know?
    I believe the empowerment of the Holy Spirit is a process. Day by day we grow in love with Jesus.
    I once attended a Pentecostal church with my mother years ago. The Pastor and some members spoke in “tongues”. Myself and mother never did. As a child I always had questions, I probably fall under the banner of Thomas, the doubting ones. Very hard to believe things. But the Bible can’t lie, many Spirits are in the world today.
    Evil angels lead us into different paths, when I get angry with people, I stop and ask Jesus to change me, the fault lies with me more than them.

  8. Omwenga, I am not certain if the Holy Spirit dwelling in Christians will make us attractive to the world. I believe the world will hate us just as they hated Jesus and the disciples. Spirits of two different natures doesn’t like each other. That is why the Bible tells us so much about love. He that loves not, do not know God, for God is love.
    If someone have the spirit of hatred, jealousy, malice, envy etc and they see you with something they need but can’t have, do you think they will love you or be attracted to you.
    Many people now as in Bible time will want to buy the Holy Spirit. Christians should be happy people. When I go to work I like singing, many people want to have that happy spirit. They asked me what makes me so happy. In such a way I can see we can attract the world.

    • Hi Lyn Lew, What will make us attractive to the world is the fruit of the spirit which is the product of the Holy Spirit.Jesus said the whole world will know that we are his disciple if we are united. Unity is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

  9. Hi Nelson, with the Holy Spirit in my heart my character will change and that will affect my witness, the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, self-control

  10. I have known a group of people who have the idea that when The Holy Spirit comes to our church, it will look like it did when the apostles were all together and the tongues of fire came down. They have focused on the mighty miracles performed by the apostles and I fear that the idea of it looking like that will limit God’s ability to work in and through our lives. It will most likely look different for each person. For me, the power of the Holy Spirit is not limited to miracles of healing or speaking in tongues, the most powerful thing the Spirit can do is change a life. Only the Holy Spirit can do that.

  11. How little we seem to value this greatest Gift Jesus could give to His people in the Holy Spirit. If we valued this gift, we would be possessed by it and see the results among us. Yet this Gift is still offered to all who will seek it above all else by being zealous to repent, and with faithful, earnest prayer(Acts 2:38). Once we receive this Gift we will receive it's power, and the result which is “Christ dwelling in our heart”(Eph 3:16,17). As Jesus promised, those who believe in Him will to “greater works than these”, due to the number of witnesses working in His place. God is willing to give this Gift, but the church seems yet to comprehend its true value, and our great need.

  12. Thank you Bridgette, and I agree with your comments whole-heartedly.

    Thank you for expanding on your comments. It was, and is, the purpose for writing my little comment, so that I could get you and others to define for yourself what the Fruits of the Spirit, and Gifts of the Holy Spirit means to you. May God continue to bless, lead, and teach us all.


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