Saturday, March 11, 2006

Holy Spirit

It has been a good week. Nothing much happening. Please continue to pray
for our shepherd, Jim Terry, as he battles lymphoma. – Kirk

What do you know about the Holy Spirit? So much superstition is held about him in our culture. It will be the purpose of this and following lessons to discuss some things we need to know about the H.S.
I. Views of H.S.
A. Pentecostal - Holy spirit gives gifts to empower Christians to work miracles and speak in tongues
B. Catholics - So ambiguous it leaves thought to direct and or indirect operation of H.S.
C. Seven Day Adventist & Branch Davidians, and New Agers, believe that the Holy Spirit is a feminine Motherly Being (sometimes referred to as Sophia).
D. In the belief of many non-Trinitarian religions Unitarians and Jehovah’s Witness, for instance — the Holy Spirit is God's spirit or God's active force, and not an actual person. In the Latter Day Saints the Holy Spirit is considered a third and individual member of the Godhead, a different being from the Father and the Son, having a body of spirit (whereas the Father and the Son are believed to be resurrected individuals having immortalized bodies of flesh and bone). The Living Church of God, teaches, "The Holy Spirit is the very essence, the mind, life and power of God. It is not a Being. The Spirit is inherent in the Father and the Son, and emanates from Them throughout the entire universe...”
E. Other observations:
a. Many have claimed that the Holy Spirit has given them the power to: Cure diseases by laying on of hands with prayer Speak a foreign language that he or she had not learned before Hear God speaking which guides one directly or helps make decisions during crisis Expel evil spirits that are possessing a person Speak in a heavenly language unto God Prophesies Have visions Work various miracles
b. The Holy Spirit is often depicted as a dove, based on the account of the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus in the form of a dove when He was baptized in the Jordan River. The book of Acts describes the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles at Pentecost in the form of a wind and tongues of fire resting over the apostles' heads. Based on the imagery in that account, the Holy Spirit is sometimes symbolized by a flame of fire. A-E Adapted from

It is certain, that the only way to discover who or what the is the Holy Spirit we must consult the dictionary, the book of life, the only book that gives any truthful details concerning this topic.

II. First let us discover that the Bible deals with the H.S. in a personal, masculine nature.
1. John. 16:13 When he the spirit of truth is come.... seven personal pronouns are used in this one verse. Therefore the Bible does not describe him as a glorified “it” or a mystical “influence” nor “female.”
2. Also the Bible proclaims that he is ‘a person.’
a. He speaks (Jn. 16:13; 1 Tim. 4:1).
b. Testifies (Jn. 15:26).
c. Teaches and stirs the memory (Jn. 14:26).
d. Guides (Jn. 16:13).
e. Leads and forbids (Acts 16:6, 7)
f. And searches (1 Cor. 2:10).
g. Though he is not a person like you or me - confined to matter and time, he is described as a being that has personality as a person of the earth would have. Fire influences one to come toward it when cold or run when too close ... Odor also influences. It repels or attracts. An optical illusion may mystify, yet none of these can guide, teach or testify of itself or about another. Only sentient beings of conscience can do such.
3. To further verify the fact that he is a person lets discover these attributes about him.
a. He has a mind (Rom. 8:27).
b. He possesses knowledge (1 Cor. 2:11).
c. He has affection (Rom. 15:30).
d. He has a will (1 Cor. 12:11).
e. He possesses goodness (Neh. 9:20).
4. Finally to comprehend his person, the Book tells this about Him.
a. He can be grieved (Eph. 4:30; Isa. 63:10).
b. Lied to (Acts 5:3).
c. Insulted (Heb. 10:29).
d. Blasphemed (Matt. 12:31, 32).
e. Resisted (Acts 7:51).
f. Only such treatment can happen to a conscience sentient being - not a force.
5. He is identified as a divine person - having all the attributes of divinity.
a. He is eternal (Heb. 9:14).
b. He is omniscient (1 Cor. 2:10, 11).
c. He is omnipresent (Psa. 139:7-12).
6. Finally we will examine his activity.
a. Had a part in creation (Gen. 1:2).
b. Has a part in salvation
1) By delivering the word to man (Jn. 16:13; 1 Pet. 1:10-12; 2 Pet. 1:20, 21).
2) Confirming the original teaching through miracles (Mk. 16:20).
3. By opening the hearts by convicting preaching (Acts 2:37)
4) By regenerating man through obedience to the word (Tit. 3:5).
5) To assert to the pagan world that the church is that body of people whom he loves and saves by calling attention to it through the gifts he gave (1 Cor. 12:4-11). 1-6 as found in “The Holy Spirit: Questions Often Asked” by Wendell Winkler.

7. What’s the point?
a. We live in a society which is religiously ignorant concerning the Holy Spirit. They have assumed that he manifests himself through feelings of euphoria or ecstatic emotions. What most do not know, is, emotions are manufactured. Sound and variable lighting situations causes the human emotions to fluctuate. For example - Theater - greater experience in a battle scene with ITHX surround sound. Erie music or low lighting situations brings panic. Glowing sun or a shot of wide open spaces affect a calming sensation. There are those in the religious field who know how to manipulate the emotions of their audience to the point that someone might think they are ‘getting the Spirit’ when actually they have been psyche up. I’ve been to Amway meetings and left those meetings like I could sell the world. I never sold a product (except to myself). Most of what is termed as H.S. worship can be observed at the local concert hall. Waving of hands, lighting of lights, clapping, swaying, dancing are all emotional outlets the fleshly minded practice.

Now before we throw out the baby with the bath water lets understand something. Worship is emotional. Singing is emotional. Praying can be emotional. Lord’s Supper can be emotional. Preaching may be emotional. But ‘spirit led’ worship is worship which follows the instruction of the Spirit of God not the emotions of man and we need to distinguish the difference.

If the persona of the Holy Spirit be in you, you will act like he does - HOLY, READY TO TEACH, KNOWING THE WILL OF GOD, POSSESS OODNESS AND INFLUENCING OTHERS TO RESPOND TO THE GOSPEL - NOT BECOMING RIGHTENED. How unfortunate that those who supposedly possess the Holy Spirit on Sunday live like the devil on Monday. If it be the case that the H.S. operates as they claim then they are held chargeable to God for such callousness on their part. By their behavior the Holy Spirit would be telling me that you can ‘feel’ religion, you just don’t have to practice it (and that’s not found in this Book)!

I know one who is filled with the Spirit - I see it in their behavior, their Christian activity, their contribution, their service to the church or their fellowman.

What about us? If the Holy Spirit be in us, what does that tell our neighbors? This is why we must walk in the spirit and not after the flesh fulfilling the lust thereof.

I know the spiritual charlatan - he claims - come get your miracle today, as if that’s what church time is all about. Let me razzle-dazzle you with hocus-pocus hand waving and slapping people on the head. Where do you read about that in the Bible? Let me holler and shout and shed tears then tell you I need to raise a certain amount of money or else I’m going to die because God has given me deadline. Charlatans are not just in the mega churches either. He has raped and pillaged rural America. But wait, that’s not all, now the Holy Spirit is coming to you via Woman. And who can argue with that? We are warned the devil transforms himself into an angel of light. Beware least anyone of you depart from the faith.

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