Monday, April 28 2014
In today’s study we will examine the subject of the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer in the new birth from our text.
“And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever. 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.”
Focus will be on that last phrase of John 14:17:
". . . For He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you."
Being born again is not just an experience; rather, it is receiving the indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit, a Divine Personality, who comes to make His home in us.
BELIEVERS ARE THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Of all the mighty truths in connection with our redemption, the apex is the reality of our redemption is this: that after God Himself recreated us and made us new creatures in Christ and made us His own, and then He, in the Person of the Holy Ghost, makes our bodies His home! Let us consider a few verses of scriptures that spell this out.
1 Corinthians 3:16 (AMP) says:
“Do you not discern and understand that you [the whole church at Corinth] are God’s temple (His sanctuary), and that God’s Spirit has His permanent dwelling in you [to be at home in you, collectively as a church and also individually]?”
1 Corinthians 6:19 (AMP)
“Do you not know that your body is the temple — the very sanctuary — of the Holy Spirit who lives within you, whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own?”
2 Corinthians 6:16 (AMP)
“What agreement (can there be between) a temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the Living God; even as God said, I will dwell in and with and among them and will walk in and with and among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
So we see here that God no longer dwells in the earth-made Holy of Holies but our bodies have become His temple.
WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN?
This happened when at the cross Jesus said: “It is finished”. The bible says in (Matt. 27:51) that at that moment the curtain that partitioned off the Holy of Holies in the Temple was rent in two from top to bottom. Signifying that from then, God's Presence would no longer be kept shut up in the man-made Holy of Holies but instead, under the New Covenant, God would dwell in the believer (See Jer. 31:33,34;Heb. 8:6-3;10:1-17).
And so from that day God's Presence which had been kept in the Holy of Holies, moved out of that earth-made Holy of Holies and God has never dwelt in an earth-made Holy of Holies since.
Relatively few Christians are really conscious of God in them — dwelling in their hearts and bodies as His temple. If men and women were conscious of God in them as His temple, they wouldn't talk and act as they sometimes do. Some Christians constantly talk about their lack of power, and their lack of ability. But if they realized that God is in them, they would know that there is nothing impossible to them. The reason for this is because instead of believing what the Bible says, too many believers believe only what they feel.
A realization of Jesus’ promise; in John 14:16 He said, ". . . that he [the Holy Spirit] may abide with you forever"
The Holy Spirit didn't come as a guest to stay for just a few days. He didn't come on a vacation to dwell inside of you for just a short time. He came to dwell in you to be at home in you forever. The Holy Spirit's home in this life is in your body — God's temple.
THE BENEFITS OF HIS SPIRIT
1 John 4:4 says, "ye are of god, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." who is the "He" that is in the world? That is Satan, the god of this world.
But He who is in you - the Holy Ghost is greater! The Greater One is in you if you are born again. God Himself in the Person of the Holy Spirit lives in the born-again believer. All that God could possibly be to you and do for you, the Holy Ghost through His indwelling presence is to you and for you and in you.
If we were really conscious of the Greater One in us, then we would have no fear of the devil. We would have no fear of "he that is in the world" because "He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world." Why? Because God did not give us a spirit of timidity; not a spirit of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear, but the spirit He gave us is that of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 (AMP) – Rephrased.
Kenneth E. Hagin’s book; The Spirit and His Gifts was used as a guide for this study.
Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai
Monday, April 28 2014
This year, we are focusing on the HOLY SPIRIT. This is a very interesting and important study for us. The first two studies clarified His identity and deity.We also understood His attributes and His works in the believer's life.
Last week, we started examining the difference between salvation and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
There are schools of thoughts within Christendom that erroneously believe that at salvation, we are already filled or baptized in the Holy Spirit. We shall scripturally differentiate between these two wonderful experiences in this study.
1) Philip’s Encounter in Samaria; Acts 8:5-8,12
5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and PREACHED CHRIST unto them.
6 And the people with ONE ACCORD GAVE HEED UNTO THOSE THINGS which Philip
spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed
with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city... .
12 But when they BELIEVED Philip preaching THE THINGS CONCERNING THE
KINGDOM OF GOD, and THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, they were baptized, both men
Jesus instructed us to go into all the world and preach the gospel. Salvation comes through the
preaching of the gospel, the Word of God. MARK 16:15,16. Philip did just that in Samaria, and the people believed, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. He went further in verse 12 to baptize them in water, since it was established that they were born again by believing the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ.
Then, in Vs 14-17, “Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had RECEIVED THE WORD OF GOD [con-cerning salvation], they sent unto them Peter and John: 15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might RECEIVE THE HOLY GHOST:16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS.)17 Then laid they their hands on them, and they RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST.”
Mighty miracles were constantly being manifested in Philip's ministry and many people were being saved. Yet notice that in Acts chapter 8, not one person received the Holy Spirit under Philip's ministry. Evidently, that was not a part of Philip's ministry, but getting folks saved and healed. However, the Bible says that when the apostles at Jerusalem heard about the wonderful things God had done through Philip's ministry in Samaria, they sent Peter and John to lay hands on the new Samaritan converts so that they might receive the Holy Ghost.
There is no record that anyone upon whom Peter and John laid their hands failed to receive the Holy Ghost because Peter and John had more of a ministry along this line. The Bible says, "Then laid they [Peter and John] their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:17).
The spiritual encounters in Samaria clearly nullify the assumption that salvation and the baptism of the Holy Spirit are one and the same thing.
2) Saul’s Encounter with Jesus; ACTS 9:15-17
15 But the Lord said unto him [Ananias], Go thy way: for he I Saul] is a CHOSEN VESSEL UNTO ME, to bear MY NAME before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for MY NAME'S SAKE.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him
[ Saul] said, BROTHER SAUL, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way
as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
The passage in Acts chapter 9 which records Saul's conversion and baptism in the Holy Spirit also shows us that receiving salvation and receiving the baptism in the Holy Spirit are two separate experiences.
Saul had a supernatural encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ on his way to Damascus in Act 9:1-9.
Saul got converted on that spot. Act 9:3-6;
“As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
There are three evidences of Saul’s conversion when he met with Jesus;
a) Acts 9:15,16; Jesus, speaking to Ananias in a vision, called Saul His chosen vessel.
“ But the Lord said unto him [Ananias], Go thy way: for he I Saul] is a CHOSEN
VESSEL UNTO ME, to bear MY NAME before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of
Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for MY NAME'S SAKE.
b) ACTS 9:17; Ananias greeted Saul by calling him "Brother Saul." Ananias recognised that Saul was already a Christian brother in the faith despite his past reputation.
“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him [ Saul] said, BROTHER SAUL, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mighest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”
c) We also know that Saul was already saved when Ananias came to lay hands on him to
receive the Holy Spirit, because the Bible says in Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall
call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." Saul called Jesus, "Lord" during his conversion on the Damascus Road.
It is clear then that even though Saul had received Jesus as his Lord, he was not yet baptized in the Holy Spirit until Ananias came and laid hands on him to receive the Holy Spirit. Acts 9:17.
Conclusion: Salvation and the baptism in the Holy Ghost are two separate experiences. There are other examples in the Bible like the Gentiles of Cornelius' Household in Acts 10. The men of Cornelius' household were all Gentiles, and they were not saved until Peter came and preached the gospel to them and got baptised in the Holy Ghost immediately.
We also have scriptural accounts of those who were saved and then immediately following salvation, they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Acts 19.
This study was extracted from Kenneth E. Hagin’s book; The Spirit and His Gifts
Contributor: Alex Alajiki.
Monday, April 28 2014
What is Salvation?
Salvation is being saved from the just judgement of God that is inevitable upon the life of the sinner
When Adam was created, he was created from dust as only soul and body. God in His desire to make man to be like Him then breathed His breath into Adam. Man then was made up of Spirit, Soul and Body. Gen 1:26. God being a Spirit breathed His person into man. Therefore the spirit part of man was the likeness of God.
When man fell, the likeness of God in the Spirit of Man disappeared. Man was left with his own fleshy spirit. God being a just God was bound to condemn man during the righteous judgement. However, it is not His plan that any should perish. It is His desire that man should come back and be in the right standing with Him. God then had a plan to bring back His Spirit into man so that man would once again by like Him.
This provision was made available to us when Jesus Christ died on the cross. When we became born again, the Spirit of God comes into us and made our spirit alive to be like Him. Gods’ intention is for man to come back to the status that he ordained in the beginning.
However, our adversary the devil was not happy about this reconciliation. The devil’s plan which is to make sure that Gods’ plan does not succeed. In his bid to foil the plan of God, began to make it impossible for the Holy Spirit to have a place in us.
The good old tricks of the enemy came into play. He would concentrate on manipulating our soul which is represented by our emotions. This part of us is controlled by our physical senses. He then fortified himself within this part of us.
We can then say that we have an inner being and we also have an outer being. Our inner being is the real us while our outer being is just a house that we live in. Our inner being does not grow old but is renewed daily. Our inner being is our spirit man. It is during this renewal that our spirit man intermingles with the Holy Spirit and fortifies his spiritual senses.
As God is a Spirit, He can only influence our spirit man. That is why Proverbs 20:27 tells us that “…the spirit of man is the candle of the Lord…” Man can only be guided by the Spirit of God through the spirit of man.
How does God lead us? -Romans 8:14 – 16
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God”
• Man being a spirit being need to become spirit-conscious. We can then look beyond the physical realm of sensing and adopt a spiritual realm of a sensing way of life. Having the knowledge that Gods spirit leads us through our spirit will make us spiritually conscious and help us grow as a child of God.
• The experience we get when the Holy Spirit witness to our human spirit is different from when we are led by our spirit as our emotions becomes in charge. We experience excitements when everything is going right and depression when things are not going our way. However, when we are being led by the Holy Spirit we are consistent and stabilized during these variations.
• The part of us that refuses to give up is our spirit while the part that reacts to pressure is controlled by our emotions.
Remember that in Rom 8:16 “…..the Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God…”
This means that during trying times the Holy Spirit strengthens our spirit and in acknowledgement, our spirit responds in agreement with the Holy Spirit that we are children of God. He strengthens us to have the right thoughts, doctrines and make the right decisions. As we get used to receiving this strength from the Holy Spirit, we will invariably mature into a person led by the Holy Spirit and not by our emotions.
Contributor: Clem Roberts
Monday, April 28 2014
In our last teaching on this topic, we looked and explore the personality of the Holy Spirit through affirmations of His attributes and His works in the believer's life. Today, we will continue on the personality of the Holy Spirit by considering His diety.
The doctrine of the deity of the Holy Spirit has an intimate logical relation to the doctrine of the personality of the Spirit. It is clear that the Holy Spirit is God, He is also a person. In like manner therefore, if His Person be accepted, we are driven inevitably to the conclusion that He is God by the work He performs.
1. IDENTIFICATION OF JEHOVAH AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
According to scriptures, the term Jehovah is a title of deity (a Supernatural/ Supreme Being thought of as holy, divine or sacred). It is of great significance therefore that this title is given to the Holy Spirit.
"I heard the voice of the sovereign master say, “Whom will I send? Who will go on our behalf?” I answered, “Here I am, send me!” He said, “Go and tell these people:
‘Listen continually, but don’t understand!
Look continually, but don’t perceive!’"
"So they began to leave, unable to agree among themselves, after Paul made one last statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke rightly to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah when he said,‘Go to this people and say,
“You will keep on hearing, but will never understand,
and you will keep on looking, but will never perceive."
A comparison of the above scriptures will reveal that the Jehovah of Isaiah is the Holy Spirit of Acts. Jehovah is used of all three Persons of the Trinity severally as well as of the Trinity corporately. Another instance of identification of Jehovah and the Holy Spirit is found in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and Hebrew 10:15-17 (our texts).
2. IDENTIFICATION OF GOD AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
The term God as found in the translations of the Old and New testaments is frequently identified with the Holy Spirit. There are several instances in the bible which point to details of the confirming evidence.
The LORD’s spirit spoke through me; His word was on my tongue.
The God of Israel spoke, the protector of Israel spoke to me.
The one who rules fairly among men, the one who rules in the fear of God,
[2 Samuel 23:2-3]
In this scripture, the Spirit of Jehovah and the God of Israel are identified. Both titles refer to the same entity. In like manner, the presence of the Holy Spirit is said to be the presence of God. The Christian indwelt by the Holy Spirit is indwelt by God.
"Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?"
"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?"
[1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19]
Matthew 12:31-32 further illustrates the identification of God and the Holy Spirit by the fact that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is declared unpardonable by Christ. Blasphemy (the action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously [misuse/ violation of what is sacred] about God or sacred things) in its nature is an act against deity. If the Holy Spirit were not God, it would not be possible to commit this sin.
Another clear instance where the sin against the Holy Spirit is said to be a sin against God can be found in the account of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-4. An inescapable conclusion of the deity of the Holy Spirit is reached from these several identifications and illustrations.
3. ASSOCIATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WITH THE FATHER AND THE SON ON EQUAL TERMS.
The Holy Spirit is frequently associated with the Father and the Son in equal terms in scripture, thus predicating His deity. Examples can be found in the baptisimal formula (Matthew 28:19) where the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are related on an equal basis. Worthy of note here is the use of the name in the singular. The significance of which points to the fact that the final name of God is, "Father, Son and Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit is essential to the Triune God.
Also, a comparison of Scriptures often reveals an association of the Persons of the Trinity in terms which infer equality of association. Inspiration of Scripture may be traced to God (Hebrews 1:1), the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21) and the Spirit of Christ (1 Peter 1:11). The Holy Spirit is therefore accorded the same honor, position, and ministry as the other members of the Trinity. Another instance of this association is found in the apostolic benediction recorded in 2 Corinthians 13:14;
"May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
The Persons of the Trinity are displayed in all their equality, and accorded equal honor in this frequently quoted verse.
4. THE WORKS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
An extensive argument for the deity of the Holy Spirit is found in His works. Three of His works may be brought forward as being distinctively in the realm of divine operation.
a) The work of the Holy Spirit in creation (Gen.1:2) by its very nature could be accomplished only by one who is God.
b) His work in regeneration (John 3:6; Rom.8:11) likewise is clearly in the realm of a work of God.
c) The ministry of the Holy Spirit in effecting the sanctification of the believer (2Thess.2:13) is another illustration. Men may influence, but only God can sanctify.
From the aforementioned therefore, we can conclusively state without any further summation of arguments that the case for the deity of the Holy Spirit is non-contestable. The apostolic benediction in 2 Corinthians 13:14 amongst others, without any iota of doubt, establishes the deity and the equality of the Holy Spirit with God the Father and God the son.
*Most part of this teaching is culled from "The Person of The Holy Spirit" by John F. Walvoord.
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola
Monday, April 28 2014
The current trend of today's theological literature has been to emphasize the present work of the Holy Spirit without due consideration of His person. However, His work has no real foundation without digging deep into His Person. To this end therefore, we will begin our intense study on the Holy Spirit by considering His Personality. This will testify to the fact that the study of the Persons of the Trinity is foundational to all theological truth.
THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
It is a fundamental revelation in the Christian circle that the Holy Spirit is a person, just in the same sense that God the Father is a Person and God the Son is a Person. Without denial of the one Essence (nature) of the Godhead therefore, the personality of the Holy Spirit must be affirmed. We will consider the various affirmations of the personality of the Holy Spirit under different headings.
1. Personality of the Holy Spirit Affirmed By His Attributes.
The various qualities of the Person of the Holy Spirit demonstrates that personality is a necessity, the centre without which other qualities could not exist. The attributes of the Holy Spirit demand His personality. 1 Corinthians 12:11 states
"All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses [wills]."
It should be noted here that the Holy Spirit possesses the essential of mind or intelligence. The above scripture explicitly affirm that the Holy Spirit exercises a moral and sovereign will which is comparable to that of the other Persons of the Trinity. In connection with the sovereign bestowal of spiritual gifts on men, the Spirit is said to accomplish this "as He chooses" or "as He will". The essential of mind or intelligence is further confirmed by His works also. His works indicate intelligence, knowledge, and the normal functions of personality. Personality, which is an attribute of His Person, is demonstrated by the actions of the Person.
"Yet to us God has unveiled and revealed them by and through His Spirit, for the [Holy] Spirit searches diligently, exploring and examining everything, even sounding the profound and bottomless things of God [the divine counsels and things hidden and beyond man’s scrutiny].For what person perceives (knows and understands) what passes through a man’s thoughts except the man’s own spirit within him? Just so no one discerns (comes to know and comprehend) the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."
[1 Corinthians 2:10-11 AMP]
The attributes of omniscience (infinite knowledge) is evidence of the existence of mind and intelligence on a platform of deity.
Also, the Holy Spirit possesses life which is an essential of personality.
"For the law of the life-giving Spirit in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death." [Romans 2:2 NET]
On the human level, the possession of life is taken as proof of possession of personality, one without the other being impossible. As the Holy Spirit possesses life, personality is necessary. A mere influence (compelling force) as some believe the Holy Spirit to be or emanation, does not possess the attributes of life. Life on a moral platform is always associated with personality.
2. Personality of the Holy Spirit Affirmed By His Works.
Without any doubt, the most tangible and conclusive evidence for the personality of the Holy Spirit is found in His works. The very character of His works makes it impossible to interpret the Scriptures properly without assuming His personality. The following illustrations will be sufficient.
• His work in creation - Genesis 1:2
"Now the earth was without shape and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the watery deep, but the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water."
• His work in empowering - Zechariah 4:6
"Therefore he told me, “These signify the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength and not by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD who rules over all.”"
• His Teaching Ministry - John 16:13
"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. For he will not speak on his own authority, but will speak whatever he hears, and will tell you what is to come."
• His Guidance - Romans 8:14
"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God."
• His Comforting - Acts 9:31
"Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied."
• His work of convicting the world of sin, righteousness and judgement - John 16:8
"And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:"
• His Prayer - Romans 8:26
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings."
• His Restraint of Sin - Isaiah 59:19
"So [as the result of the Messiah’s intervention] they shall [reverently] fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives]."
• His Authoritative Commands - Acts 8:29; 13:2; 16:7
"Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, Go forward and join yourself to this chariot."
"While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, Separate now for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them."
"And when they had come opposite Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them."
From these citations, it should be crystal clear that personality is absolutely necessary to explain these ministeries. A mere inference to the Holy Spirit as an influence or emanation does not and can not create, empower, teach, guide, pray or command as affirmed by the works of the Holy Spirit. It will become necessary to attack the inspiration of the scriptures themselves in order to disturb the overwhelming evidence contained therein on this subject.
"Jesus responded, “Then why does David, speaking under the inspiration of the Spirit, call the Messiah ‘my Lord’? For David said,
‘The LORD said to my Lord,
Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’"
[Matthew 22:43-44 NLT]
*Most part of this teaching is culled from "The Person of The Holy Spirit" by John F. Walvoord.
Contributor: Leye Olayiwola