Posts Tagged ‘witness’

John 14: 17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you

Picture by Michael Dudash

How do I know I have the Holy Spirit?  In the past the main deciding factor among many Pentecostals was that people could speak in tongues.  tongues became the focus as to who did or did not have the Holy Spirit.  For others it might be the sacrament of Baptism.  For the more radical it might be drop down and roll that persuades them that the Holy Spirit dwells within.But what does the Bible say about this matter.  We are aware that tongues have been one of the most counterfeited of the spiritual gifts .  Anyone can have a few drops of water or even be fully immersed and still not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  A person can have full membership within a church and still not have the Holy Spirit..

John 16:13- 15  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.   All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH:

There are several things we can gleam from these verses

  1.   The Holy Spirit >> will be the spirit of truth.  So you will not expect to see him lying, but will always uphold the truth of scripture.
  2.   The Holy Spirit >>  will guide the believer to the truth.  So the end result should see an imparted desire for the truth.  He will always lead us to the truth.  That means exposing error and falsehood either within our lives or elsewhere.
  3.   The Holy Spirit>>  Does not speak or glorify himself.  So you would not expect the emphasis to be on the Holy Spirit.  Just as Jesus came to glorify the father, so the Holy Spirit has come to glorify the son.
  4.  The Holy Spirit>> Will take what now belongs to Jesus and reveal them to the believer.  So we would expect the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus.  

John 15: 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me

Now how does this work out within the believer’s life?

THE HOLY SPIRIT GLORIFIES JESUS:

If an individual is glorified more than Jesus, there is a good chance that this has not been initiated by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirits Job is to POINT us to JESUS.  It is his job to make real who this saviour is.   He takes what he has been shown and unravels it within our hearts and mind. 

Heb 10: 16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.

The focus of which is his truth, his revelation and the knowledge about him!!!  Scripture is at the heart of this.  Take scripture out and be assured it is not the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus made it clear

John 15: 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you

THE HOLY SPIRIT POINTS US TO HIS WORD:

Now the out working of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to encourage us to abide in his word .  If you abide in everything but his word then you can positively say you don’t have the Holy Spirit.  Just as some have placed the teachings of individual men above the scripture.  Allowing  what they have said to reinterpret scripture and change it to conform to ideas which are so contrary to scripture.  Others who places curses on anyones right to read and believe what scripture alone states.  Stating that they alone have some special dispensation to interpret the Bible.

Scripture states that we should study to show ourselves approved of God,  Sadly there are those who would deny such a right.  The HOLY SPIRIT takes the Bible and reveals it to the believer, making it both real and understood.  Often the difference before and after conversion of a soul is liken to one who only reads the Bible but without much understanding.  Then Reading the Bible after the conversion and the words just leaps out of the page.  The change is often dynamic and remarkable.

John 14: 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments

THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO LOVE JESUS:

How can we LOVE someone we have never met, let alone keep his commandments?  How is it that the believer has a love for Jesus whom he has not seen?  That too is the out working of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always  working to bring the reality of the godhead within our lives.  So that we can say we will follow this man Christ Jesus, but we will not follow anotherWhilst many have played the part of Jesus in blockbuster films and their acting have been well praised by fellow actors, they simply don’t express the real Jesus.  Or communicated the one in whom the believer adores above all else.

The Holy Spirit is our helper  and  he is able to take what we offer up in our worship and praise  and make it real and significant before God.  For how can we approach a throne that is beyond our vision, and yet feel we are truly there.  How can such worship be made acceptable  unless God himself is fully approachable and open to receive us.  Yet even in this the Holy Spirit continues to make his presence felt.

  The work of the Holy Spirit is to place God central to our lives.  If he is not then I would question WHY NOT?

John 17: 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

One of the signs has to be the same LOVE which the father had towards the son might also be within the believer.

So if we have a person who claims to love his church or institution more than Jesus that too will be a glimpse that something is wrong.  Now it’s not wrong to loves things, its only when we love them more than God that there is a problem.  Now even here some have manipulated people in order to control others for their own benefit. 

The argument goes like this:   

if you love God you will submit to his authority. That authority has somehow been placed in the hands of men. so you must obey that authority as if it came from God himself.  However when that authority  wants you to submit  and points you in a direction which is contrary to God.  In such a situation we are morally bound to resist such evil and obey God. Sadly history has seen such abuse place anathema upon anathema upon ordinary people to create an atmosphere of fear.  To stop them from even questioning such abuse.

 Biblical Love places God first, his word the Bible.  then our love for others.  But always in a true Biblical setting.

 You might respect your minister as a great man of God.  But you will never place him equal or above Jesus.  His authority will always be subject to Gods word.

Nor would we expect a true Holy Spirit filled man to start promoting new age mysticism, heresy, or to promote unscriptural teachings.  The true man of God would be prepared to submit his life to Gods word.  Nor would you be comfortable as Catholics do to exalt the finite and claim that this is the Holy Spirits doing.  Mary may have been Jesus earthly mother but no where is she promoted to some queen of heaven.  Such promotion does not stem from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Catholics will go to great lengths to get around the simply fact that there is no evidence that God crowned Mary, and that includes time itself.  When you had one catholic woman who started to talk about linear time and that God can bend time and thus crown Mary ahead of  anyone else . Such excuses are almost laughable if they were not so serious.

However Scripture cannot be broken and no one gets crowned before the rest of us. Nor would anyone of us be crowned with an ungodly title as the Queen of heaven.  Where in Catholic teachings do we have a Joseph the king of heaven, Or Paul and Peter as the Kings of heaven.  Or even Elizabeth as another queen of heaven.   In fact to date such a title has never been conferred upon anyone else.  Such a title is reserved for Mary alone, which exposes it as Idol worship.  No such inspiration is from the Holy Spirit.  Those who do so and are comfortable with it cannot know God.  When the simple  “Hello” from an angel becomes so distorted and made into a repetitious prayer.  A point which even Jesus rebuked.  Or as someone remarked its like saying to someone every second hello hello hello hello hello.  That not praying let alone talking to God. 

THE HOLY SPIRIT CHANGES US :

The Holy Spirit will also convict us of our sins.  He will not let go and will never cease to challenge convict exhort and teach the believer.    You will simply not be comfortable in a sinful situation.  It will always lead to repentance and a change of direction.

Heb 12: 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not

John 16: 9-10  Of sin, because they believe not on me, Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

But he will also convince us of the righteousness of God.  Which mean we will grow in our desire to be righteous?  WE JUST WILL NOT BE COMFORTABLE LIVING IN SIN OR IN SINNING.  There should be a hunger within the believer to do right and be right with God.  To walk in holiness and in a manner that is separated from what we know to be wrong.  As I often say God never leaves us how he finds us, but changes us to be like himself.  If you are happy as you once where and no change has occurred again the question is WHY, because there should be  a change.

John 14: 21, 23  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…..Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

There is a real sense that those who belong will experience and know the saviour in an intimate way.  The Holy Spirit is the one who makes this real.  So we can say we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  Yet whilst we cannot say how he physically looked like , yet we can say we know him and love him.

Now Jesus makes it clear that those who don’t know him will not keep his word.  They may sing and speak about “a” Jesus, but not really know the true Jesus of the Bible

John 14: 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me

THE HOLY SPIRIT PROMOTES THE TRUE JESUS :

The Jesus of the Moslems is most certainly not the Jesus of the Bible and as such they don’t seek to obey or believe the scriptures.  To them this Jesus was nothing more than a prophet.  A prophet that had to be rescued before he was killed, who allowed another innocent man to die in his place,  Then after three days pretended to be resurrected.  Such a deception does not express the true nature of Jesus. 

 Sad to say many a Roman Catholics see  Jesus submitting himself to the hands of a priest who pronounces some magically words over some cookie and Jesus becomes the Eucharist.  What you eat cannot produce the intimacy that scripture speaks about.  True Intimacy produce true obedience.  Obedience does not come out of a ritualistic relationship of I must or else, but out of a Love and devotion to the one whom the Holy Spirit reveals.  True intimacy realises that all glory belongs to God.  Our joy is to see God glorified and lifted up.  If you see a minister begin to glorify himself and basically say “LOOK AT ME, HOW GREAT I AM  ”  QUESTION IT!!!  When God moves he gets the glory and man is always humbled.

Many people will throw up the excuse that God can do anything he wants.  The one things God cannot and never will do is go against his nature.  We can glimpse that truth from scripture itself.  We would expect God to reproduce that very same nature within his people.  To love the way he loves and see things as he sees them.  That means we will have a love for his word.  If you don’t have a love for such a treasure, then ask yourself WHY NOT

Rom 8: 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS ASSURANCE OF SALVATION:

Now it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bare witness to Jesus and to witness to us that we belong to God.  Now as you can see he does not witness to our flesh, but to our spirits.  There is a deep knowing and assurance of belonging which cannot go away.  We become aware that this hell hole called earth is not our home.  We look forward to a home that we have never seen and yet we know its ours.  It’s the work of the Holy Spirit to convince this truth to us.  Because we are his, we long to be with him and be fulfilled in him.

Mankind was created to enjoy God and to have fulfilment in serving God.  When sin entered and man died spiritually it did not mean he ceased from having that ability to experience the supernatural.  However communion from God was cut off and man became alienated from the life of God.  BUT man continues to have that sense that there is something beyond what we see here.

So spiritualist,  Moslems, Hindus,  Buddhist, Shinto’s ,  and even atheist will have some experience of spirituality.  Many are in contact with demons and such like.  Who will push an agenda and philosophy which is anti Christ or an anti gospel message.

 How do I know that the message I receive is the right one?  Why Christianity as appose to Judaism or Islam or Hinduism?

 The Bible goes into a lot of detail to explain the how  and why things are and work the way they do.  The Koran copies material from all over the place including the Bible.  But because they don’t understand what the Bible teaches they come out with a very garbled message, and that includes using words straight out of their historical context.  For example we have a conversation between pharaoh and Moses over crucifixion.  The word crucifixion is Latin, a language which Pharaoh would not have spoken and a crucifixion as a form of killing would have been unheard of for many centuries, However when Muhammad wrote the Koran he would not have known that.

 THE TESTIMONY OF THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT AND THEY BOTH AGREE:

 John 8: 17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.

 John 3: 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.

 1 cor 1: 6 Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:

 Rev 1: 2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.

 2 Tim 3: 15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

 It is the work of the Holy Spirit to convince us by both his word and his spirit that this testimony is true. 

 GOD IS PRECISE IN HIS WORD:

 When we study scripture one of the things that will come out is that God is a very precise individual.  Nothing is said or done half hazard.  He is precise all the way through the Bible.  The Bible is like a mathematical formula; all things were done according to a structured program.  Even with mans fall and sin there is still this preciseness which does not appear in the Koran.  The law reveals mans dilemma and his need for an answer.  The cost of sin is the death of something, hence sacrifices.  God is not planning for what has happened now, but what will happen in the future and into eternity.  This is something you can see running all the way to the very last page of the New Testament. All the way through he is laying down a foundation of knowledge and understanding as to who he is and what he is and why things are the way they are.

 Scripture is laid forth and demands man to take a look at it and decide if we abide by the testimony God has given.  Now it is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal all this, and to persuade man both of his unrighteousness, his sin and his salvation.  But also it is the work of the Holy Spirit to change a person into the likeness of the nature of God.

 GODS WORK DOES NOT DEPEND ON FEELINGS.

 Feelings are common to all races religions and creeds.  Many religions will talk about warm loving feelings, highs and lows, euphoria’s, feelings of peace and tranquillity. But do any of these conform to what the testimony that God has given.  Faith in God does not depend on feelings.  Hebrews 11 never once mentions feelings.  It says they were persuaded.  The Bible appeals to the mind, it demands an intellectual answer.  DO WE BELIEVE THIS TESTIMONY OR NOT.

 Acts 17: 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

 They received the word , WHY?  Because they had warm feelings?  No, but  because they were open to read ,study and to be convinced by this message Paul brought.

 Remember that in most cases these people did not have a Bible as we have in our hands today.  Many were simply given a word from God and they believed it.  They were persuading enough to follow Gods direction.

 Heb 11: 6 But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

 Faith chooses to believe, but faith is not blind.  We don’t beat the air but we are given his word the Bible and the testimony and the question is do we believe it or not.  Moslems choose not to believe it, or if they did they would follow it.

 Consciousness of the prescience of a god is not unique to Christianity, in fact there can be many times that a Christian feels nothing.  We all go through illness or conflicts or even despair or even chastisement.

   But the thing that we hold onto is that faith is not a feeling. It is a choice to believe. And belief brings obedience to that testimony.  Faith may start of as a mere intellectual assent but it becomes an assurance that says this is what I believe and hold to. It is something deeper than a mere feeling.

 Heb 11: 13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth

 True faith will embrace the testimony of God, believes it and is persuaded by it. True faith will also see a person move on that faith.  Abraham moved from his home to a land he had never seen.  Faith moved him to look for a city prepared by God.  Faith says even though I do not see it know I am convinced it is real.  True Biblical faith acknowledges that what God says about mankind is true.  True faith even if everyone else says it wrong faith holds to what that testimony has to say.

 WHAT WE HAVE DOES IT CHANGE US:

 The work of the Holy Spirit is to conform the believer into the very  NATURE of God.  Gal 5  The fruits of the spirit is love joy peace patience goodness…”.  Is what we have the same as what the Bible teaches.  Moslems would deny the fundamental issue of  original sin.  A sin nature that from the moment we are born begins to form that rebellious nature that says

 ME, I WILL , I don’t care about others.  I WILL GO MY OWN WAY.

  God’s nature is no longer I, BUT THY WAY, THY WILL, THY PLEASURE.  We are being conform to love that which gives God pleasure.  We delight in obedience to God. Because of this we will always seek to live and obey  according to Gods will.  We may fail and we do many times, but we will hate it when we fail to please God.  When it comes down to a choice we always seek Gods will on any matter.

 That means obeying what his word teaches.  If Moslems believe they would dump the Koran and obey the scriptures.  But they don’t.  They fundamentally have a religion of works in the hope that the IF, BUT MAYBE, their good deeds will outweigh their bad deeds.  They have no assurance of salvation as such.  All religions have this concept bar one. Christianity says no amount of good works can please God.  The debt has to be paid for by the death of the innocent.  Christ was that innocent Lamb of God who came lived a perfect life and died for our sins.  His atonement paid the debt.  Islam rejects this sacrifice which means no matter what feelings they may get, it is not in line with the testimony God has given.  Jesus does not send a person to hell because of what they feel but what they did with his word.

 John 5: 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

 THE CLIP ROUND THE EAR!

 The Holy Spirit convinces us that we can’t save ourselves; NO amount of good works will make us acceptable to a thrice holy God.  He convicts us that we are as wicked as any natural born person alive and our only hope is in the finished work of Christ.  NO other religion has that experience or testimony.  Many religions will seek a testimony of how good they can become, the Holy Spirit will expose your heart for what is in it in order to change it.  God never leaves us where he finds us, he changes us.  The Holy Spirit has NOT come to make us comfortable and feeling  at one with the  world.  He will convict convince and push and shove to reveal what we are and when we are change, then the blessing and peace and love and warm feelings come, because he will also convince us when we are right with him.  When we fall, sin or mess things up the Holy Spirit is there to guide and assure and do whatever needs to be done.

 GOOD FEELINGS AND GOOD WORKS WONT WORK.

 Math 7: 21-23  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 Notice what it says many will call me lord.  So it is not in the name we use that is so important.  Many will use the right name of God in their prayers.  Many will say WE prophesied.  Well there are plenty of those around today.  They even cast out demons, Spiritualist will testify to cleansing or a house of a troubled spirit.

 Acts 19: 13-15  Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of [one] Sceva, a Jew, [and] chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?

 The sons of sceva received some warm cuddly experiences there and then when this one demon possessed guy beat them up.

 So many people can claim they did many many good works.  But even so good works is not what is important.  Many religions do great and marvellous good works.  Yet these all loose out WHY?  Because they did not do what JESUS asked them?

 Do Moslems do what Jesus asked them, DO Hindus, or Buddhist or even those who profess Christ.   So you see it is not in what we confess but do we do with what we confess?  We call upon God to save us because we have been convinced that we can’t save ourselves and unless God saves us we will be lost.

 Peace and joy comes because we are obedient to God, just as the loss of peace and joy can come because of the chastisement of God.  Feeling come and go, but Gods word does not.