16 As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that
moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending
like a dove and lighting on him.
17 And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I
am well pleased."
The following are two Bible examples of men reacting in a most unusual way to the terrible circumstances they found themselves in. Instead of responding in the natural way to what was happening to them by complaining and asking the usual questions, “Why is this happening? Where is God, why doesn’t He do something?” They responded by rejoicing and by forgiving their tormentors.
40 And when they had called for the apostles and beat them, they commanded
that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
41 So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were
counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.
59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus,
receive my spirit."
60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not charge
them with this sin." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
After being beaten and threatened, the Apostles walked out of the council rejoicing. No resentment, no pity party, no questioning God. Instead they rejoiced that they had been counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. In the other incident, Stephen reacted to his predicament by preaching the most powerful sermon those men had ever heard. It infuriated them so much that they took him outside and proceeded to stone him to death. He departed this earthly life with a peace that only a child of God can know and the last words he uttered where words of forgiveness, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.”
Why did they react in such an unnatural way, what gave these men such boldness, such faith? Why were they able to realize personal victories out of what looked like defeat? Something had happened to them and they were radically changed, they were literally transformed. What made the difference? It was a person, the person of God’s Holy Spirit. It was the life changing, dynamic power of the Holy Spirit resident within them that made the difference. In themselves, these men would not have reacted this way. But because they were walking daily with the Holy Spirit, giving Him complete control over their lives, their thoughts, their speech, their actions and emotions, they reacted in a way that the world could not comprehend and could not duplicate. Each day they acknowledged His presence in their lives, so that whenever anything happened, they were ready, fueled up with a divine fuel and continued to move forward in power, not theirs, His, the divine Holy Spirit of God.
Zechariah 4:6 ‘
Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.
But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you,
He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal
bodies through His Spirit who lives in you
“I CAN DO NOTHING OF MYSELF”
Were these men different from the men of today? No they weren’t, they were ordinary men empowered to do extraordinary things because they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. What they needed in those days, we need today. Without God’s Holy Spirit in our lives we can do nothing of ourselves. We read in the Bible that when Jesus came to this earth He needed the same power to accomplish the Father’s will. He Himself said,
"Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He
sees the Father do;
Jesus is unique in His divine authority, His sinless life, His atoning sacrifice on the cross, His high priestly office, His place in the Eternal Godhead.
For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
But He was not unique in so far as the source of His power for His earthly ministry. His power to live a moral life free from sin and to do miraculous exploits. These things were unequivocally [clearly & unmistakably] attributed to the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus was anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit and went about doing good to all the oppressed.
"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went
about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
He passed this same power on to His Disciples by promising them He would send the Holy Spirit to empower them. He, the Holy Spirit would anoint them, teach them all things, bring to their remembrance all that Jesus had said and done, and tell them of things to come. God never meant to make life easy; He meant to make ordinary men great.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My
witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and
came to rest on each of them. Acts 2:3
We today need this same supernatural power to be able to cope with all that the enemy brings against us. This same power is still available to all God’s children; all we have to do is avail ourselves of it. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that what was true of those earliest Christians is any less true of Christians today. The same things they faced in their day we face today, trials, testing’s, pain, death, and challenges of all kinds to our faith and our trust and love for God. It is just as demanding for us to have resources beyond our human resources, as it was for the men and women of the first church. We are no more able today to cope with those things than were His followers in days gone by. We need God’s wonderful Holy Spirit!
So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
“ THE PERSON OF THE HOLY SPIRIT”
When we hear people speak of the Holy Spirit it is usually about what we receive from and through Him. We hear about the gifts, the fruit of the spirit, speaking in tongues, the anointing and the empowering, but almost never about the person. Yes, the Holy Spirit is a person, He is not an it or a gift, but a helper, a comforter, a personal councilor. He is the one by whom the Lord speaks to us directly and most emphatically.
"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may live with
Jesus told His followers that it was important for Him to leave and go back to the Father, for if He did not leave the Holy Spirit could not come. He said it was important that the Holy Spirit should come and it is just as important and maybe more so today. We need the moving of the Holy Spirit personally in our individual lives and corporately in the life of the church if we are to be part of and see the Last Day harvest reaped before Jesus returns.
"But I tell you the truth. It is for your good that I go away; for if I do not go away, the
Helper (Holy Spirit) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
The Holy Spirit was not to originate from the outside of man but from within him. He would dwell or live within the believer as well as being in the world. He would be with us always, a constant companion, one who will teach, council, and empower us. The Holy Spirit was to continue the work Jesus had started; He would be Jesus’ successor, He would glorify Him, He would not replace Jesus in our lives; rather He would reveal Jesus to us in all His glorify and we would receive a true manifestation of who Jesus really is.
13 "However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for
He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He
will tell you things to come.
14 "He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
The Holy Spirit is co-equal with the Father and the Son, the third member of the Trinity. He differs from Jesus in that He doesn’t have a human body, and He has only one nature because He is a spirit. We can’t see Him, touch Him or smell Him, three of our five senses but we can feel and hear Him, this means we can get to know Him in a personal way. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we don’t get more of Him, He gets more of us. Being filled is a daily process of yielding our lives and wills to Him and receiving His anointing and empowering, based on the integrity of the Word of God in Christ Jesus.
I John 5:7
For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word (Jesus), and
the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
WHO IS HE?
He is the third person of the Trinity. God the Father – God the Son – God the Holy Spirit.
I John 5:7
For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the
Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
He was with God at the very beginning.
The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
He is not a thing or an it. He is a person and has feelings.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
He is Omni-scient He understands the things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:10-11
10 The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except
the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows
the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
He is intelligent.
"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach
you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
He comforts us.
And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were
He can be sinned against.
31 "Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the
blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.
32 "Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but
whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this
age or in the age to come.
He lives within us.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are the Temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you?
“HOLY SPIRIT BENEFITS”
All the previous verses imply that both God and Jesus consider the Holy Spirit a very vital part of our everyday lives, and that this same Spirit literally lives within us. Most of the time we only hear about the many gifts He blesses us with, we don’t very often hear about Him, the person, our helper, teacher, counselor, comforter and friend. The one who walks with us daily, desiring to help us accomplish God’s will and purpose for our lives. The following are some of the benefits we can claim if we are walking with God’s Holy Spirit.
– We have an inner dynamic to handle life’s pressures.
– We are able to be joyful – - in spite of.
– We have the capacity to grasp and to know the deep things of God.
– We have less difficulty maintaining a positive attitude of unselfishness, servanthood, and
– We have a keen sense of intuition and discernment, we can sense evil.
– We can be vulnerable and more open with others, we are not easily intimidated.
– We can rely on the Holy Spirit to help us when we don’t know how or what to pray for.
– We need not fear evil or demonic assaults for Satan cannot enter a Spirit filled believer.
– We are able to stand strong, with confidence even if no earthly friend stands with us.
– We experience an inner assurance concerning important decisions we have to make.
– We have an internal filtering system that helps us know right from wrong and to keep our
– We can actually live free from worry.
– We are able to minister to others through the spiritual gifts He blesses us with.
– We have an intimate, abiding “Father – child relationship” with the living God.
– We have the Him as a permanent resident in our earthly temple; for He lives within us.
Then there are the times;
– When without warning, trials and testing’s come into our lives. We face circumstances
from which we cannot escape; false accusations, lies, betrayal.
– The telephone rings in the middle of the night, news of a tragedy leaves us reeling.
– The results come back from the doctor’s examination, the report can be devastating.
– We need to know God’s will in a very important matter, one that could totally change
On such occasions worry usually kicks in, our stomachs churn, our heads spin, we get nervous, panic sets in, and we need help, now! We call on Jesus and find He is already here in the person of the Holy Spirit, waiting for us to acknowledge Him. We need Him to take charge, step in and calm our fears. We need the confidence that comes from our faith in His Word that He is here, always here, as close as our very breath. We so often need the reassurance, the total reassurance that He is always there, just as He said He would be. In our weakness, our confusion, He takes control and gives us peace.
"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid; for the LORD your God,
He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you."
“ CONFIDENCE & ASSURANCE”
How do we get this confidence and assurance? Is it for everyone or just a special few? The good news is, God is no respecter of persons, and this assurance comes from only one source, Him and it is for all of His children. There is no upper class or lower class in God’s Kingdom. It comes through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we
should pray for as we ought to, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us
with groaning’s which cannot be uttered.
Who are we are talking about? The Holy Spirit, He is the one who takes full control and reassures us of God’s presence in our lives. He calms our fears, removes our confusion, and brings us a sense of God’s presence and His wonderful peace.
1 Corinthians 14:33
For God is not the author of confusion but of peace,
This peace and assurance comes from a lifestyle of one who has made Jesus Lord of their life. Because of this the Holy Spirit is a constant friend and companion who sticks closer than any brother. All of this to the natural man is foolishness and he cannot know nor understand any of it, and what a loss it is for him.
1 Corinthians 2:14
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.
We are talking about the Holy Spirit, our Friend when we are alone, and our Helper when we are in need, our Comforter when we are troubled. He is the one who is always with us, just waiting for us to surrender and acknowledge our need of Him. When we stop trying to do it in our own strength, when we realize our limits, when we let go of the reins, it is then we sense the realization of God’s marvelous presence in our lives through His Spirit.The Holy Spirit is always with us even when our circumstances are pulling us down. He gives us the power to rise up and begin praising God and to give Him thanks in all things, for this is His will for us in Christ Jesus. This in turn, elevates us above the circumstances.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
What fuel is to a car, so the Holy Spirit is to the believer. He energizes us, empowers us, strengthens us and keeps us going when the road gets rough and we are lost. He shows us the way the Lord would have us to go.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;
When the hill gets to steep to climb, the obstacles to high to get over, and we grow weary trying to climb over them and try to understand with our human reasoning all that is happening. When we run into one brick wall after another, it is then we realize there are some things we cannot do ourselves. When this happens the blessed Holy Spirit reminds us of what God’s Word says to us:
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
It is the Holy Spirit who comforts us in our distress. He calms us in times of disaster. He is our companion in our loneliness and grief. He gives us discernment when we have to make decisions in both spiritual and natural matters. When we try to operate without Him, or use substitutes such as our emotions, feelings, intellect, our own understanding, then everything grinds to a halt. It would be like substituting water for gas in our cars, same results. We grow weary, our resolve breaks down, and we lose sight of God. Rather than being upset, frustrated, and confused, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to fill us afresh with His divine fuel. Then and only then will we experience that spiritual renewal.
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up
with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
We dare not try to replace the Holy Spirit in our lives with anything this world or Satan offers. He is the one the Father sent to be with us when Jesus returned to Heaven. It is through Him that we are able to honor, glorify and truly give God thanks in all things. When things begin to happen, we don’t need to ask God to send help our way. The help we need is always there in the presence of the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is to acknowledge His indwelling presence and consciously allow Him to take full control. Every true believer is a child of God and His Spirit bears witness to this and because of this we can avail ourselves of all that God has supplied, for we are heirs of God and joint heirs with His Son Jesus Christ.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
17 and if children then heirs– heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,
No substitute, God has given us His best. Because of His Spirit we know without a shadow of a doubt that we are His children and that we have been made a member of the Body of Christ the true Church. Never, ever, doubt that.
1 Corinthians 12:13
For by One Spirit we were all baptized into one body– whether Jews or Greeks,
whether slaves or free– and have all been made to drink into One Spirit.
Our Comforter, Teacher, Baptizer, Guide, our ever present Helper, God’s presence in our lives, the personal, always caring Holy Spirit, who is the third Person in the Trinity and we are to acknowledge Him daily, talk to Him, love Him. In many lives He is like a forgotten guest, unrecognized, unacknowledged. We invite Him into our home, show Him to the guest room and close the door on Him. He is not invited to our table, to our family discussions, or to our family functions. He is in the house, but He is a forgotten guest. Not intentionally, but still forgotten.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,
We do not want to be found guilty of grieving the Holy Spirit nor of resisting Him. The sad commentary for some is that His presence has left them and they don’t realize it. We all remember the story of Samson and how he flirted with sin until he succumbed to it. One of the saddest verses in the Bible is the one that says, “But he [Samson] did not know that the Lord (His Spirit) had departed from him. Judges 16:20
"You stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the
Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.
Let that not be said of us. God has sent his Holy Spirit, His personal Ambassador, to be the source of our strength, to give us gifts for ministry, to teach us the things of God, to guide us down the path the Lord would have us walk. He empowers us to be God’s witnesses and to come against the enemies strongholds and tear them down. He gives us discernment to enable us to make the right decisions and choices. He anoints and baptizes us for ministry and when we come to the end of this life, however it may be, He will be by our side.
But he, (Stephen) being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the
Glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,
What a beautiful picture is given to us here, one of God’s faithful servants, Stephen, who because of his testimony was being stoned to death. Before he dies he is allowed to see into the very throne room of God. What he sees is the glory of God and Jesus standing beside the Father, not sitting, standing, which to me is very significant. Other than this scene, Jesus is always seen sitting at the Father’s right hand. This time He was standing because He was cheering Stephen on, and I can almost hear Him saying to the Father, “Look Father, he’s going to make it, he’s coming home,” and Jesus just could not stay seated, He stands with open arms to greet Stephen who is being ushered into His presence.
Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he
will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
“ALL HE IS TO US”
Fills us Acts 2:4
Speaks to us Acts 28:25
Helps our weaknesses Romans 8:26
Comforts Acts 9:31
Baptizes Acts 2:17, 41
Anoints 1 John 2: 20,27
Guides John 16:13
Empowers Acts 1:8 Romans 15:16
Indwells Romans 8:11 1Corinthians 3:16
Regenerates John 3:3,5
Gives Joy Romans 14:17
Gives Discernment 1Corinthians 2:10-16 1John 4:1-6
Gives Gifts 1Corinthians 12: 3-11
Gives Spiritual Fruit Galatians 5:22,23
Illuminates the mind 1Corinthians 2:12,13 Eph. 1:16,17
Reveals the mysteries of God 1Corinthians 2:10,13
Our Helper John 14:16,26
He can be grieved Ephesians 4:30
He can be resisted Acts 7:51
He convicts of sin John 16: 8-11
This was just small attempt to approach a subject that could fill a multitude of books. The subject we discussed was the Person of the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His followers that the Father would send His Holy Spirit. This could lead some to conclude that there are three Gods. This is not so and we must keep in mind the doctrine of the Trinity and the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Trinity. We must always remember that the three are but one and are not separable from one another. They all are working together for one specific purpose and that is our Salvation. Through the power of the Holy Spirit ordinary people like you and I can become extra-ordinary to accomplish the great task that Jesus has set before us. The harvest fields are ripe unto harvest, night is coming when no man can work, and we must help bring in the harvest. This will be accomplished as we go forward in the Holy Spirit. We can never do it on our own and He didn’t expect us to. The Spirit of God will never take us to where the Grace of God will not protect us, so we move forward led by His Spirit, unafraid of what the unknown future holds, faithful workers reaping the last day harvest of lost souls.
Multitudes,multitudes in the valley of decision
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.