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Wednesday: The Holy Spirit, the Word, and Witnessing — 5 Comments

  1. Try reading the story of Jonah when you think about today's lesson. Most of us think of Jonah as a test of our faith. How is it possible for a large sea creature to swallow Jonah and regurgitate him several days later and still be alive? But if you read past the Jonah and the "Whale" bit you will find it is a story about the unfulfilled expectations of God's power and the disappointment of finding that God has organised a different ending to the story than was expected.

    Jonah expected that Nineveh would reject the message that he had been preaching and that God would destroy the city in a rather spectacular fireball. But Nineveh repented and the fireball did not occur. So Jonah sat and sulked under the gourd that God and given to him and sulked even more when it whithered and died.

    God had to spell it out:

    But the Lord said, “You have been concerned about this plant, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. 11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?” Jonah 4:10 NIV

    The lesson authors are right. We can indeed look to the Old Testament and learn lessons of perspective about the exercise of God's power with love and compassion.

    Just something to think about today.

  2. Why is the word of God so powerful in changing lives?

    “The creative energy that called the worlds into existence is in the word of God. This word imparts power; it begets life. Every command is a promise; accepted by the will, received into the soul, it brings with it the life of the Infinite One. It transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God”. — Ellen G. White, Education, p. 126.

    All I have been writing about in my posts related to the Holy Spirit express this same understanding. I do not read Ellen Whites quotes; when writing my posts, I find the same Spirit leading us to come to the same understanding. It is not because I 'like' Ellen White's writings, but rather I rejoice when finding the same Spirit working in us to bring about the same understanding.
    The Holy Spirit "transforms the nature and re-creates the soul in the image of God".

    Jesus' commission was/is to speak the Word of God which, after acceptance by the listener, will teach how to live in this world as the changed - born again - creature that we now are.
    The *TRUE* life is now the spiritually lived life - this is all that should matter to the believer! That which governed/gave identity to the old nature died or is in the process of dying, being replaced and established by the Holy Spirit's teachings which are of God to build in us the new nature - the one that is in "the image of God". We are being educated/transformed to be able to live in the spiritual Kingdom of God here on earth.

    John3:30-36 - The Holy Spirit always works the same way and to the same end - to awaken people and then lead them through the 'renewing of their minds' toward the fullness of the joy of living their new life being 'filled with the Spirit'!

    Matt.9:35 - Jesus was preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God! The believers live their new life in the new Kingdom. The Jew also hoped to be a citizen of Jesus' Kingdom, but they hoped for it to be established on earth; but Jesus came to preach of and teach how to life in the SPIRITUAL Kingdom of Heaven her on earth.

    Acts5:27-33 - In this new state of our spiritual existence, the Spirit of Life overflows its banks and spills into the surrounding area - this is called 'witnessing'.
    v.32: 'And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey (submit the old nature to) him'. Being filled with the Spirit, one cannot help but witness; He causes the overflow and outflow which is the expression of the Holy Spirit within and through all that we think and do.

    1Cor.2:9-15 - This passage speaks to the mighty work of the Holy Spirit -
    v.10: 'But the God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God'.
    v.12: 'Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; THAT WE MIGHT KNOW THE THINGS THAT ARE FREELY GIVEN TO US OF GOD'.
    v.14: 'But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned'.

    1Cor.3:1-3 - These verses speak to the process of learning to live with the Holy Spirit as He gradually changes the nature and understanding of the believer.

    Why is the word of God so powerful in changing lives? First we have to accept that He is the operational force in us and with us, and then submit to Him so He can do the work of our transformation.

    Heb.4:12 - Because the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intends of the heart.

  3. The Word of the LORD - Jesus only spoke what He received from the Father, the Holy Spirit only speaks what He receives from Jesus and the disciples only preached the Word of God and this is our commission to teach all Jesus' words. Matt 28:18-20, John 16:12-14, John 7:16-18, John 12:48
    Jesus' mission on earth was to glorify the Father and the Holy Spirit's purpose is to glorify Jesus. The wonder of the Triune God is each one glorified the other and they work in unity to achieve their goal.
    The Word of the LORD knows the thoughts of our mind and the intentions of our heart because the Word of the LORD is the thoughts of their mind and the intentions of their heart. Heb 4:12

  4. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12 Amen Amen.

    The Holy Spirit, the Word, and Witnessing

    The power of the Holy Spirit and his word in our witnessing.
    This morning before my reading of the lesson I began to meditate on how sinful I am and how I need to be cleansed. As I was meditating, the Holy Spirit revealed one of the sinful traits that is within me. I never knew I had that sinful trait. I began to read up on it and asked for Jesus' forgiveness and cleansing. The Holy Spirit will not only forgive and cleanse
    (inward change) but also encourage me to make that outward change in my life. Saying so, I have to make some decisions.

    I said this to say, many people want to be as powerful as the disciples in the bible. But we can go back to the bible and trace the steps of those people. It was a process.

    Their starting life and their struggles with sin, their disbelief, and their hatred of each other and other nations, they constantly were striving for supremacy about who was the greatest. Being so puffed up they were unable to do their work when they had a chance to do it. Matt 17:14-21.

    But the breakthrough came when Jesus told them to stay in Jerusalem. The 120 people spent 10 days. Those days were days of deep heart-searching. Making their wrongs right and asking for forgiveness. They put away their hatred, animosities, envy, and self-centeredness. As a result, they came together in Christian fellowship. Their attitude caused them to be drawn closer and closer to God as they were drawn closer to each other. Then the Holy Spirit was poured out on them. Being of one mind and spirit, they treated each as a valued child of God. We read those days they had no place to worship so the church began in the homes. All who had food etc, shared with those who did not have. People began to sell extra houses and lands and brought the money to the church because they had no money at that time. Many, because they believe in this new religion, were thrown out of their homes by families, other members took them into their homes. People saw what was going on with this new religion and wanted to be a part of it.
    As a result, the disciples became great witnessing to the word.

    For the present church to become filled with the spirit of God, and do greater work for Jesus, we need an upper room experience.

  5. Psalm 119, Proverbs 2&3, among others, help us to understand the place of God's Word in our lives if we would comply with the will of the Lord(Ps 40:8, Eph 5:17). This is how God has chosen to communicate His will to mankind, and our need for this word is above our need for food. This Word brings Life to the soul that assimilates it.


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