The Spirit and The Word 16th March
2 Ti 2:11-13 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.
How wonderful our God is – how truly glorious – the more I walk this way the more I am confronted by my own unbelief. Our God is faithful – no matter what we may do, He remains faithful. Faithfulness is a fundamental aspect of His very Being – it is His character and nature. God is Holy and therefore He cannot be unfaithful!! It is impossible for absolute Holiness and Majestic Glory to be unholy or un-majestic – God is faithful because He cannot deny Himself!!! No matter what, God is faithful!!
Jn 15:26 “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.
This is Jesus speaking and it is a beautiful example of the Trinity and the agreement they have as One – and as Jesus is the Truth, so the Spirit is the Spirit of Truth – and they both proceed from the Father who is the ultimate Truth – God is Truth and in Him is no lie – He is not a man that He should lie! Now I know we all believe this – or we think, we believe it – but over the years and maybe in part owing to our Pentecostal and experiential emphasised Christianity, and our longing for revival --
some of what we have come to PRACTICE and believe is not based on the Truth of the W.O.G. but on the doctrines of man – some of which are wrong – subtle little things, but things we must address along the way, if we are going to truly develop a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit indwelling us. I know we know all of this stuff and it seems a bit repetitious – but I am very challenged as I examine these scriptures again and I am surprised at my own areas of unbelief – of unfaith.
Mk 9:23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Mk 11:23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.
What we believe will totally dictate our spiritual lives. By believing, I don’t mean simply accept and maybe acknowledge – like, well that’s the W.O.G. – But believe! Truly believe enough to stake our lives and everything we are, on it. You know there is a type of faith that agrees with the W.O.G. – a faith that accepts it as being true – but in some perverse sort of fashion excuses itself from having to comply with it, or live by it – or stand upon it. It is the faith of no consequences – untested and untried faith.
1 Ti 1:5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere/unhypocritical faith,
So there is a type of faith and belief that is insincere – yet it is called faith. Remember when Jesus told the Samaritan woman she had had 5 husbands and who He was and she being convicted ran back to her village and told her testimony and many of the men went out to find Jesus –
Jn 4:39-42 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
In this age of TV, internet, movies and a countless multitude of books – testimonies of peoples divine encounters and healing and ministries – I think many of us believe because of their words, we are convinced because we HOPE for similar things to happen to us or through us.
We go to conferences with a theology of impartation – that simply be the laying on of hands – or even sitting under a ministry we will “catch” something – in fact there is a little saying – “it is caught not taught” even the way we consider prophesy is as if it is a divine enabling God gives us through a man. But it’s like a lot of what we BELIEVE – and I think it is possibly a very large amount – is not based upon the W.O.G. – but on testimony and books and healing meetings. (not opposed etc.)
Healing meeting – couple 70’s – white suit, responded to altar call and later came and talked with me. Minister for 40 years – never heard gospel etc. Took my message and preached it to his congregation.
Tradition, religion, culture – and even our modern versions of this, with making everything comfortable – coffee, cafes – type of music, building styles – keeping services crisp and finished on time – in and out in 1 ¼ -- all those things that are about US – and our comfort and never challenge our belief, our faith!
So one of the things this has helped to produce is a subjective, testimony, experience based understanding and belief in the Holy Spirit – His Person, His work, His influence in us, gifts and power. For many of us – if not most of us – our primary thoughts about the Holy Spirit are based firstly on what we have seen, heard and read about men and women who declare their actions and ministries are evidence of the Holy Spirit working in and through them. Benny Hinn, Khulman, Wigglesworth etc.
Now I do not deny some of these things are exactly that – the Holy Spirit manifesting Himself for the glory of Christ. But we cannot base our faith and what we believe on other peoples portrayals – on other peoples ministries – we can use those things to motivate us and stimulate us to search the W.O.G. and pray until we find the very things they have found in the W.O.G. that have enabled them to believe without doubt. We can look at their example and use it to compel us into Jesus –
But trying to compare ourselves, and copy them, and judge ourselves by what we see others seem to do, is not belief! And what we believe will determine what we expect, and what we seek after, and how we search to find the answers. I wonder if many of us actually right now think we do not have the Holy Spirit – that we are not as spiritual – or not as mature or not as WORTHY – as those we compare ourselves to. How many think that they are God’s chosen ones, His favorites? – But I’m not!
Already our belief is tainted! Already we have placed ourselves underneath, we have relegated ourselves to second place! --- And so you know what we have done right from the beginning is deny the FAITHFULNESS OF GOD -- and we begin seeking for the Holy Spirit already believing a lie, already denying Him – because the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of God the Spirit of Christ – hear oh Church the Lord our God is One!
If we are truly going to develop a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit we must begin by getting rid of this subjective, comparison based belief and realign our BELIEF and FAITH on the W.O.G. and the Spirit. Just as our salvation is absolutely dependent upon Jesus so our sanctification – that ongoing process of being changed from glory to glory is totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit – we must know the Holy Spirit – He is the Spirit of Christ in us! – So please hear this and allow it to penetrate our hearts –
When God gave us the Bible it was complete and absolute. Finished and closed up to further addition. Please bear with me even though you know this but it is important –
2 Pe 1:20-21 knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
Re 22:18-19 For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
God speaks to us through the Bible in a way He is no longer speaking to us today! God does not speak to us in this way through a prophet or a miracle worker of healer or evangelist in this age – to do so would deny His own faithfulness which He cannot do! The Bible is the ONLY means by which God speaks to us – it is Divine, inspired and Holy it is the ONLY thing we can place our confidence in. God uses men and women sometimes to convey truth from the BIBLE –
The Holy Spirit uses people, and He manifests Himself in us, and through us for the glory of God – the glory of Jesus – but His vocabulary and His message is always and only in confirmation of the W.O.G. in the Bible. We can be inspired by men and deeply moved by the Holy Spirit in them – but they remain men and they cannot take the place of the W.O.G. – all prophesy and encouragement and all the gifts of the Spirit in operation should press us into the W.O.G. and the glory of Jesus Christ.
Our understanding of, and pursuit of, and relationship with, the Holy Spirit must be entirely based upon what the Bible teaches us of Him. You know there are some people who know the Presence of the Holy Spirit as a tangible, sort of feeling thing – there is a manifestation maybe in shaking or trembling or goose bumps – at times with joy and even laughter – but that is not the means of our guidance or direction as though it supersedes or over-rides the W.O.G.
It might be a tremendous encouragement and the means God has chosen to keep us in Himself – but it cannot replace the W.O.G. – and I know myself and many others have fallen into error and made mistakes when we have allowed this to be our guidance rather than the W.O.G. – (we will look into this whole area a little bit further on) – but this morning we need to concentrate on aligning our belief with the W.O.G. and His faithfulness.
Eph 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
2 Co 1:19-22 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Ro 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
If you are born again – if you have believed on Jesus Christ you have received the Holy Spirit – the Holy Spirit is in us – it is the Holy Spirit who witnesses with our spirit and gives us the assurance of salvation – that we are children of God! Jesus said it Himself : --
Jn 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
So we all have the Holy Spirit now and He is a Person – you cannot receive part of a Person – we cannot sort of get some of Him now, and a bit more as we get older or more mature – or because someone lays hands on us, or prophesies over us. We will not get more of Him if we go to this meeting or that ministry – He is the Spirit of God and He is a Person and He comes and dwells in us the moment we are born again – whether we know it or feel Him or even believe –
the W.O.G. is true and the W.O.G. tells us that if we are born again we have received the Holy Spirit and God is faithful – therefore we have the Holy Spirit and there is no doubt.!! – Now taking this as true and right – the first thing we need to do is abandon all those notions and teachings and beliefs we have taken on board that have taught us to WAIT for something else – for something more – because as long as we think like that, we are actually in unbelief concerning the truth – and –
we will only ever get what we are expecting to get and that is determined by what we believe. If we are waiting for more – we are not accepting and acknowledging what – or who we have already received! How can we pray in the Spirit if we believe we have not received Him? Or if we believe in some mysterious way we have only received part of Him? ( there are other things being filled and revival – corporate etc look at as we go) – but this is fundamental to everything else.
At Pentecost when they were told to wait – to tarry, the Holy Spirit had still not been given as Jesus had not yet ascended. They could not be witnesses without the Holy Spirit – they needed to be filled – but Pentecost was a one off thing – and as Peter preached the Promise of the Father from Joel – the Prophecy of the outpouring was fulfilled – and as soon as we believe, as soon as we accept the grace and faith we are sealed with the Spirit as promised – we have received Him.
If we continue to wait – to tarry for Him – we are declaring our unbelief – we are declaring our mistrust of the W.O.G. and how can we expect to receive anything from Him if we don’t believe He is there. Now I am not referring to spiritual gifts or power but much more fundamental and significant things : --
1 Co 2:9-16 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
The Holy Spirit reveals the things of God – deep things, wonderful things -- things we cannot know without the Holy Spirit – it is the Holy Spirit who reveals to us through the W.O.G. the things that God has freely given to us – Oh how we have been seduced, in a way, into a quest for power and place – for ministry and position – (the spirit of the world!) at the cost of wisdom and spiritual things that we can only know by the Holy Spirit – love and peace that passes understanding – joy unspeakable!
Ro 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Ro 9:1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit,
- \\ Ro 15:13 *Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
If we can stop thinking about more of Him and start learning to acknowledge Him, thank Him, try to hear Him as we read the W.O.G. – if we can begin to BELIEVE – you know Smith would say over and over again – “Believe only believe all things are possible to him who believes” – but he wasn’t talking about being healed or delivered – he was speaking about the W.O.G. – believing what the Bible says concerning the Holy Spirit.
Fear of failing
Fear of Deception