Friday, May 17, 2019
The gift of the Holy Spirit is to all born again believers, as God said, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38–39).
We exist in body, soul and spirit, and upon conversion faith in Christ our spirit is the habitation of God’s Spirit, and we are God’s “true Jew” (Rom. 2:28–29). God’s Spirit, then, dwelling in our spirit causes us to desire the truth of His Word and “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). Consequently, Spirit-led men and women affirm and defend God’s written Word, while our enemy the devil works to nullify and destroy it.
Understand that Satan’s goal is to destroy God’s Word. Many men and women led by their own will seek ways to twist God’s Word to force it to say what it clearly doesn’t say, even to saying the exact opposite of its plain truth. Such people are not Spirit-led, but have their own agenda of pleasing the world. They reject God’s leadership for His Church, but the Spirit-led discern it.
Jesus promised that “when He [the Holy Spirit] has come, [and He came at Pentecost] He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8). Thus, believers must be discerningly Spirit-led, and not by the flesh or traditions of men, the latter being polar opposite from the former. Being Spirit-led and Spirit-filled always affirms God’s Word “which was once for all delivered to the saints”, and will never seek to circumvent God’s Word.
The Holy Spirit will always lead us in the truth of God’s Word, and will never contradict or violate it. But one creates trouble for the Church when one departs from God’s authority which can result in anxiety, depression, insomnia, eating disorders, psychological and physiological disorders and more. If not repented of it can even lead to suicide which is self-murder, and God said “No murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:15). Yet very sadly today, pastoral suicides are at an alarmingly all-time high.
Christians must quickly and firmly agree with God and “not quench the Spirit” (1 Thess. 5:19), that we might walk in the fullness of the Spirit which results in the promise of God, that, “You [God] will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength” (Isa. 26:3–4).
Beyond the Holy Spirit given at conversion, there are nine gifts of the Spirit: “the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge…to another faith…to another gifts of healings…to another the working of miracles…to another prophecy…to another discerning of spirits…to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills” (1 Cor. 12:7–11).
We must emphasize verse 11 in this text, saying, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills”. That point is crucial, because in our fallen flesh we are prone to telling God what our gift(s) should be. But it doesn’t work that way. We’re all unique, and only God knows which gift(s) are best utilized in us for “the profit of all”. It’s not our choice, but the Holy Spirit’s.
Many declare they have this or that gift, only to be disillusioned, humiliated or both. Many are self-appointed “prophets”, but their folly is proven when just one thing they say doesn’t come to pass, which proves their falsehood, for God said “when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:32).
If you haven’t yet prayed for or received one of the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit, be encouraged to seek God in prayer. Don’t stop praying and asking. Be persistent. God wants to use you for His honor and glory and the benefit of other believers. Be encouraged by Luke 11:5–13 which concludes, saying, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
As you pursue spiritual gifts, you will gain knowledge of God and spiritual discernment which always affirms His Word and never opposes it. Walking in the Spirit matures and teaches us the truths of God, without which, we walk in the flesh. The Holy Spirit will ALWAYS affirm God’s Word, and NEVER lead contrary to it. Being Spirit-led results in knowing whether what we hear, see and experience is of God, or from man’s own self-serving agenda and flesh.
But be warned, by persuasive oratory, supposition and conjecture many make God’s Word appear contrary and culturally irrelevant. Here are just two examples of many: Jesus said He gathers His elect “Immediately after the tribulation” (Matt. 24:29–31), but false teaches say He gathers His elect before the seven-year tribulation even begins! And though God said “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:11–14) ~ (1 Cor. 14:34–37), false teachers loving the praise of man say the exact opposite, and promote women to positions of authority over men! Both examples are open rebellion!
Christians must not allow the undermining of God’s Word. If God’s Word is allowed to be manipulated unto unbelief, the cross is emptied of its power. And Christ does not give us His Spirit so we can disown His Calvary-purchased Word at our will. True Christians must “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 1:3). We do that by defending God’s Word, while lovingly yet strongly challenging those who would change it, because in new birth conversion faith we are spiritually married to Christ, not man.
Dear fellow believer, open your eyes and heart to the truth. Ours is the final generation before the return of Christ, and Satan is working relentlessly to destroy God’s authority and rule over His Church. If we allow the dissolution and rule of God personally and for the Church, then we promote what God calls “the falling away” (2 Thess. 2:3) and defend a lukewarm spirit for which Jesus said, “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:16). But our calling is to be holy, trustworthy believers.
Marlin J. Yoder