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Tuesday: The Holy Spirit and Witnessing — 8 Comments

  1. I was involved in teaching computer programming and computer skills during the period when computers were making their inroads into education. Often I would sit on committees that considered requests for new computer equipment to be used in courses other than computing courses. Some course coordinators were very excited and would ask for the most wayout expensive equipment imaginable. They would look at the brochures and say' "Wow, I would like that!" and they would put in thier requests. They would be asked why they wanted it and they would use phrases like, "It will enhance and encourage learning in our class." Other course coordinators would see the computers as an extension of things they were already doing. They did not care about the kind of computer, they wanted it to do a job. For example, accounting course coordinators saw the need for teaching spreadsheets (Yes, there was a time we did not use spreadsheets) There requests were couched in terms of, "We are already doing this by hand and see spreadsheets and the future extension that all our students will need to use!"

    Money was tight and we needed to make decisions about who could purchase new equipment. Typically those who had a prepared plan, were given preference to the dreamers.

    Like all illustrations, this one does not fit the bill exactly, but in our requests for the Holy Spirit, how many of us are dreamers, saying "I want some of that!" and how many of us are planners and doing the preparation and seeing the Holy Spirit extending what we are already doing. The Holy Spirit may suprise us in the way that it works but dreaming about it is quite different to preparing for it.

    The disciples had prepared for it. They had been with Jesus and witnessed what he had done. While we cannot be with Jesus physically as the disciples were, we can indeed prepare ourselves by reading and taking to heart the Gospels. A real step in our preparation for the Holy Spirit may be the careful and prayerful study of Jesus life while here on the earth.

    Amen!(42)
  2. Some, possibly many, of us do not think that the Holy Spirit is "still active and working today, just as He was in the time of the apostles and the early church". Some think that He will come back as the 'Latter Rain' , or even just for the purpose to bring in the harvest right before the time of the end. I want to share scriptual evidence to the contrary!

    If we believe that the Holy Spirit makes the difference between us living in the flesh vs. living by faith empowered and taught by the Holy Spirit, then we need to first make sure that we fully understand its working in our life.
    Our current lessons focus explicitly on the Work of the Holy Spirit, but what do we know about His identity? Understanding His identiy will hopefully change many sceptical minds.

    I suggest to the 'interested' participant in our blog to go to Wikipedia's article describing the 'Holy Spirit in Christianity'. Its biblical and historical references are numerous; it will bring about a new depth/completeness to our understanding when speaking of the Holy Spirit. One can spend a few hours just following up on all the related links provided in the main article.

    We all accept that The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and therefore indispensable for the spirit-filled Christian's life - we have been baptized into the Trinity, which includes the Holy Spirit - the 'Spirit of Christ'.

    WHY WOULD WE BE BAPTIZED INTO THIS POWER WHICH SUSTAINED CHRIST DURING HIS LIFE ON EARTH IF WE, LIVING ON THIS EARTH RIGHT NOW, DO NOT NEED IT TO SUSTAIN US? IT EMPOWERED JESUS' LIFE AND, IN HIS ABSENCE, IS GIVEN TO US TO EMPOWER OUR NEW LIFE. HE LIVES IN US AND WE IN HIM! 1John4:12-14 v.13:..'because he hath given us of his Spirit'.

    Following is a copy of the main article from Wikipedia. I removed from it the reference-links which you can find in the original article:

    'For the majority of Christian denominations, the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, is the third person of the Trinity: the Triune God manifested as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit; each entity itself being God. Nontrinitarian Christians, who reject the doctrine of the Trinity, differ significantly from mainstream Christianity in their beliefs about the Holy Spirit. In Christian theology, pneumatology refers to the study of the Holy Spirit. Due to Christianity's historical relationship with Judaism, theologians often identify the Holy Spirit with the concept of the Ruach Hakodesh in Jewish scripture, in the belief Jesus (who was Jewish) was expanding upon these Jewish concepts. Similar names, and ideas, include the Ruach Elohim (Spirit of God), Ruach YHWH (Spirit of Yahweh), and the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy Spirit).[6][7] In the New Testament it is identified with the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Truth, the Paraclete and the Holy Spirit.
    The New Testament details a close relationship between the Holy Spirit and Jesus during his earthly life and ministry. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke and the Nicene Creed state that Jesus was "conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary". The Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove during his baptism, and in his Farewell Discourse after the Last Supper Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his disciples after his departure.

    The Holy Spirit is referred to as "the Lord, the Giver of Life" in the Nicene Creed, which summarizes several key beliefs held by many Christian denominations. The participation of the Holy Spirit in the tripartite nature of conversion is apparent in Jesus' final post-resurrection instruction to his disciples at the end of the Gospel of Matthew (28:19): "make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," and "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." Since the first century, Christians have also called upon God with the trinitarian formula "Father, Son and Holy Spirit" in prayer, absolution and benediction. In the book of the Acts of the Apostles the arrival of the Holy Spirit happens fifty days after the resurrection of the Christ, and is celebrated in Christendom with the feast of Pentecost'.

    The above article quotes only partially Matt.28:19 . It leaves out the other important, indispensable aspect the Holy Spirit is involved with - TEACHING! It is not just to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but to teach in HIS Name(power). Teaching done in the power of the Holy Spirit is the crucial part because only this leads to true baptism(believing).

    Matt.28,19,20 - Jesus' quote in full: Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (20) TEACHING THEM to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded YOU: and, lo(be assured), I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

    Jesus said: "I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" ! This does not refer to the 'ends of the earth' as related to distance! Understood properly, how can He be with us until the "end of the world" - the physical end of this earth?
    The only way He can be present with us 'alway', is by His indwelling Holy Spirit! He will never leave us or forsake us because He dwells in us in the form of the Holy Spirit.
    John 14:16-20 - v.18: 'I will not leave you comfortless: I WILL COME TO YOU'.
    John17:21-23 v.23: 'I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; ...'.
    The Holy Spirit in/with/as Jesus, at the time of Jesus' physical presence with us, used to be the teacher who lead and introduced all listeners to the Truth of God - the Will of God, which saves souls!

    The Holy Spirit is now also OUR spiritual teacher and guardian - Jesus in Spirit within the born-again believer - guiding, guarding, empowering, enlightening him all the way to the end of days!!

    Amen!(13)
  3. To heed to the Holy Spirit is quite simple,

    "For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell. Acts 15:28-29.

    We make things complicated. Obedience is one of the keys to success concerning the Holy Spirit! To praise God is to be constantly connected to Jesus!

    Amen!(8)
    • Yield not to temptation for yielding is sin.
      Bro JC, what you said sounds so easy but is it reality so? If a person is a vegan/vegetarian-easy. If they are a eunuch- great. But is it the only two sins we should be aware of? Meat don’t worry me anymore, no matter how great it smells. Satan don’t ever bother me with meat anymore, but I struggle with other sins. What about obeying God and him alone. Why do we think thousands + people died in the wilderness? Those people literally heard God, saw the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night. His miracles were there etc, yet they sin. The disciples said though all forsake you, I will not!!! Many things look good on paper.

      Amen!(6)
      • I think we must be careful. The meat referred to in Acts 15:28-29 was meat offered to idols, not clean meat that Jesus and His disciples ate.

        Amen!(2)
        • Sieg, Jesus had many things He could not tell the disciples which they were not ready to hear yet. Health Reform(what does "reform" mean?) did not come to the church until the 1860's, yet, from scripture we can learn God never intended for man to eat flesh, excepting when no plants can be found, such as following the flood.

          It is also clear that God intended for Israel to leave flesh out of their diet when leaving Egypt, but Israel insisted upon having flesh, and having a king like the nations around them, and God granted their wishes. What happened to them at last?

          When we study Genesis 1-3, and Daniel 1, along with Exodus 16 and a couple of Psalms, God's will is made clear. Today, science agrees with God's will concerning the best diet for man, and the "stones" are crying out the health message which most church members have forsaken. We are repeating Israel's folly by departing from the expressed will of God. This matter is not a test of fellowship due to those places where an adequate plant diet is difficult to obtain.

          Perhaps you will point to the sacrifices which were eaten, and the incidents where Jesus ate a piece of broiled fish after His resurrection, and fixed the disciples a breakfast of fish. Study those prayerfully with an understanding of what God's expressed will for man is. God has shown great mercy and longsuffering towards the erring, but soon must judge the world, beginning with a people who have been greatly blessed with a knowledge of God's will like no other people since Eden, which includes health reform. We also have science confirming what is best for us today, and are left with clear choices to make according to our circumstances.

          Regarding the "clean meat Jesus and His disciples ate", the condition of the world and its meat supply has drastically changed since those times, and we have from Jesus through Ellen, a message of health reform which the world has gone ahead of us with.

          Amen!(1)
  4. The book of Acts is a clear testimony to the relationship of God with His people through the Holy Spirit. In the sanctuary the lampstand and its 7 lamps gave light by being filled with oil. We need a right conception of this relationship and how it is acquired. Can we see why that “without faith, it is impossible to please Him”?

    “Repent and believe the Gospel” was the core of Jesus' message to all who inhabit this fallen world. Without this action on our part, the Holy Spirit cannot be received. Jesus taught: “If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”(Luke 9:23). We also have the three parables of Matthew 25, with the very first being about this subject of being filled with the Holy Spirit. Notice that those without oil needed to go and "buy for [themselves]"? What does this mean? I believe Rev 3:18,19 helps us to understand.

    Amen!(1)
  5. The Tuesday lesson also teaches us that not only is the Holy Spirit an enabling power, but also at times a restraining power too (Acts 15:28-29; Acts 16:6-10), keeping us from being overbearing and from doing things that are not good for witnessing. Keep this in mind so you do not overfeed people with spiritual food with lengthy programs, preaching, studying, unnecessary restrictions, etc.

    Amen!(2)

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