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Sunday: Jesus and the Promise of the Holy Spirit — 11 Comments

  1. “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. John 15:26 NKJV

    When I graduated from Avondale College, my first appointment was to teach in a church School in Western Australia. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the geography of this region of the world, Perth, Western Australia is about 4000km from Sydney, NSW. Further, my home was in New Zealand which is nearly 2000km east of Sydney. Going to Western Australia was like being sent to the end of the earth and to make matters worse, the only way we had of getting there was in a 20 year old Holden FJ car. It was scary stuff. Newly married to Carmel, we took a week to drive from one side of Australia to the other, sleeping in the car on the way.
    Fortunately for us, two of my father’s sisters had married Western Australian men and were living there. I had met them previously, and they and their families welcomed us with open arms and provided the sort of help and comfort that young people need when they are so far from home. They provided meals and put us up while we searched for a house to live in. And when we were settled in, they were always on hand to help if needed. It was reassuring to know that even though we were so far from home, we had family on hand to comfort us as we started our life in an entirely new place.
    When Jesus left the disciples to return to heaven, it must have been quite scary for them. They had had about three and a half years together before their whole world was turned upside down by the events of the crucifixion and now Jesus was leaving them, again. But he had promised they would have the Comforter with them. That was just like having “family” to help and encourage as they started their new life after graduating.

    • Hello Maurice, I also enjoy your insights as well and would like to pose the following question to you.

      You cited John 15:26. I would like to inquire about John 15:27. It states that the disciples must also testify because they have been with Jesus from the beginning.

      The disciples were able to personal from Jesus and was the Holy Ghost. We today have the same Holy Ghost that was sent from the father. Do you think think the disciples (by divine design) had a needed advantage (walking with Jesus and now the Helper) in order to develop our current belief. If we personally walked with Jesus (like the disciples), would our today's witnessing be different?

      I'm curious of your thoughts. Thank you Maurice.

      • Hi Nelson. thank you for your kind comments. I will answer your question with an illustration. We recently went to Iceland as part of our 50th wedding celebration. This was a country way off the horizon for us. We had 10 days to see and experience the sights of the country. But we did not just arrive there and say to ourselves, "Hey what will we look at?" We had studied the maps and looked at the Youtube videos, and further we had a friend Johanne Thorvaldson who lived there, and who we had first met on Sabbath School Net many years ago. So we prepared. The day after we arrived we called in to see Johanne, and his wife Ida, who welcomed us to their country. Then we travelled all over the country using our maps and itinerary. Then on the last day of our trip Johanne rang us to ask us if we were in a position to call it and seen them before we left. We just happened to be 15 minutes from the town where they lived, so we called in and reminisced about what we had seen (and what we had missed) as we travelled around the island. The trip to Iceland was really great, but what made it memorable was the personal touch of meeting up with friends and sharing together even though it was for such a short time. The friendship established a long time ago and renewed again made a wonderful experience for us.

        Likewise, our effectiveness as Christian witnesses depends on our relationship with Jesus, If we have together established that relationship, then the work of the Holy Spirit in us can be effective.

  2. What a privilege we have to walk and talk with Jesus through His Word as John said all these things Jesus said and did are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. John 20:31

    The lovely song - I come to the garden alone - tells of the experience it is possible to have with Jesus, listen to the chorus:

    and He walks with me and He talks with me, and He tells me I am His own, and the joy we share as we tarry there, none other has ever known

  3. The slothful man saith, there is a lion in the way; a lion is in the streets.

    Jesus and the Promise of the Holy Spirit
    Jesus was about to return to his Father to his home in heaven. The disciples were disappointed that he was leaving. He told them another just like him will come, an Helper.
    A Helper to us who will need him.
    This helper will have several different roles and duties. He helps us make decisions, helps with our witnessing, helps bear our burdens, sorrows, guides us into all truth, tells us about Jesus, brings things to our remembrances.
    The Holy Spirit dwells with every human being but not in every human being. There is a difference. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things are pass away, behold all things become new.

    Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord’s promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people “to will and to do of His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive. {Desire of Ages 672.1}

  4. The lesson writer closes with the statement: "Witnessing is simply cooperating with the Holy Spirit to glorify Jesus. In the Spirit's power and under His guidance, we testify of this amazing Christ who has transformed our lives."

    Co-operating - working jointly toward the same end -. I do not think that we can co-operate with the Holy Spirit. I agree that the Holy Spirit works through us, though only using our physical form to carry the spiritually saving message to a dying world.

    Our mind confuses, or considers as equal, the act of 'doing' with the spiritual power inherent in the act. Once we know how to separate the two, our witness will become more powerful. We want to always make sure that the spiritual message inherent in the act of 'doing' is understood clearly by the receiver - it is not I, my act -, but God's Holy Spirit power who does the saving of souls.

    Outside of the Holy Spirit, there is no other spiritual power that can testify to the Glory of Jesus and the Father; and the Glory of Jesus and the Father is what needs to be the focus when we engage in the act of 'witnessing'.

    We do not have any inherent spiritual power which can testify to the Glory of God. Outside of the Holy Spirit, there is only flesh operating! The difficulty of the mind to fully comprehending this spiritually discerned separation of flesh and spirit is what causes ineffectiveness of witnessing to the world.
    We need to ask God to open our spiritual eyes and give our mind understanding to discern the difference.

    We acknowledged the 'Early Rain' and understand that there will be a 'Latter Rain' coming to convict the world of its lost estate and to point to the door - Jesus - which is open to receive all that are called and lead them to live in the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth first, and in the new Kingdom at the time appointed.

    Rom.7:14-25 - At this point in time, we are learning to live in two worlds - the one made for the body, the other made for the Spirit; the first nurtures the body, the other the Spirit. Because the body with all its physical, mental and emotional functions attempts to remain dominant in this earthly life, it is extremely difficult for the mind to accept that it is not any longer in exclusive control of life in the born-again believer.
    The old nature has to die so that the new nature can live - this work is done by the Holy Spirit, based on our willingness to submit to His teachings.

    Once the Holy Spirit has taken residency in the born-again believer's mind and heart and expresses His preferences, He desires to lead the spiritual child of faith in this material life. The child of God will experience the two worlds in permanent conflict with each other; the more the old nature dies, though, the easier it becomes for the new, spirit-guided nature to lead 'naturally'.

    Often, this living in two worlds will cause conflicts/miss-appropriations of cause and effect and, if not carefully separated and guarded, results in ineffectual witness to the world.

    For the born-again Christian living in this material world, the carefully guarded emphasis is needed now to always be on the SPIRITUAL aspect of our daily life's activities - starting from the receiving the spiritual influence to the act by which we show our willingness to engage in what the Spirit impressed the heart and mind with.

    John 16:8 - The emphasis therefor is now always on that 'HE' will convict the world of sin. With all our busyness, we often do not pause long enough to reflect, to make sure that the receiver knows that it is not 'I' or 'we' who does the spiritual work.
    We need, as part of our 'witnessing'(living), make sure to communicate that it is the Holy Spirit's focused power which establises/provides the spiritual context in every 'act of kindness'.
    The simple saying: 'Give a person a fish and they can eat for a day, but teach them how to fish, and they will eat for a lifetime' demonstrates the effectual difference between our limited, physical work and the spiritual work of the Holy Spirit.

    We, as individuals as well as the organized church, are now the physical body of Christ. When Jesus' physical body departed, He provided us with His Spirit.
    We could not live a spiritual life without it! This is the selfsame Spirit that empowered and sustained Him and His life's work and mission - working miracles, revealing the perfect Will of the Father, filling Him with the strength to endure the many temptations and sufferings and sustaining Him at His time of death.

    Flesh did not gain authority in Jesus' life at any time; even the will, the desire, to resist temptation was made available by the Holy Spirit. Jesus submitted the flesh, 'self' died, so that the Spirit's work in Him may carry on.

    God's Mercy and Grace has saved us and His Holy Spirit sustains us! God will make a new earth and a new heaven - mankind is given a choice, we can be included in His Will that desires that no one should perish, or we can ignore His Will.
    The believers new, earthly life, initiated and sustained by God's Holy Spirit, is the 'fringe benefit' of God's Will. His ultimate focus is on our spiritual identity - are we HIS children and, if so, what do we need to remain members of His family?

    All members of Jesus' body, individually and as the church, need to achieve the same goal now that Jesus desired to achieve during His life on earth - the ultimate goal - to testify to the 'glorify of God the Father in Heaven'!

  5. It’s good to know Jesus for yourself, and eventually the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth.

  6. Regarding the Holy Spirit's role in witnessing: as with the lamp without oil can give no light, a witness without the Spirit cannot witness to the truth, and even the greatest effort will be powerless. The presence of the Spirit is as the presence of Jesus Himself(Eph 3:16,17).


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