S = self
Jesus said, "He that believes in me, as the scriptures had said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water" John 7:38
Understanding the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit
The Bible clearly makes a distinction between the three parts or Persons of God. They are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and this union is known as the Trinity. A spirit-filled life is a life where God sits on the throne of our lives. Before we were saved, self was enthroned in our lives. With God at the center of our lives, we are now led by His Holy Spirit. For those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14).
Galatians 3:26 - For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Who is the Holy Spirit
-The Spirit of Truth.
The Mission and work of the Holy Spirit
-To partner with us
-To bear witness of Jesus
-To convict the world of sin
-To help us
-To keep us
How to Receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Ghost was promised (Joel 2: 28-30; John 14:17)We need to ask (Luke 11: 10-13)We must have love for God and people (John 14: 15- 26)
Based on the premise of the authority given to Jesus by God His father, (Matthew 28:18; And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, “ All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”), we should pay close attention to what He requires for us to do in order for us to receive the Holy Ghost. My position is that if Jesus is the one who will be judging the saints’ then He will judge us based on His teachings.
For example, at the end of all my grade school and college courses, on judgment days (final examinations), as students we would always ask our instructors about the contents of the exams. Without fail the answer would always be, “if you study what I have taught you, especially the key points I stressed, you will pass the exam.”
Jesus has taught us everything we needed to know to receive the Holy Ghost and to fulfill His will so that we could receive our rewards. He even said that the Holy Ghost will teach, lead, guide us, and remind us of everything He had taught us. (John 14:26 -“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”). We should also be reminded of the fact that God identified specifically whose voice we should listen to when Peter suggested equal homage between Moses, Elijah and Jesus.
And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias”: not knowing what he said. 34 While he thus spoke, there came a cloud, and overshadowed them: and they feared as they entered into the cloud. 35 And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, “This is my beloved Son: hear him”.36 And when the voice was past, Jesus was found alone…”.
In other words, we need to heed and follow the instructions which were given to us through Jesus by God.First of all, the promised of Holy Spirit was prophesied by Joel the prophet in Joel 2: 28-29.
That scripture stated; “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.”
Secondly, we should ask God for the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said in Luke 11: 9-13;
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
There must be a dire need or thirst for a particular thing before we could ask for it. When a Christian fully understands the enormity and details of the Great Commission, and desires to execute it, the need for the Holy Ghost and the brotherhood will be obvious. He will not give us anything we did not ask for, even forgiveness and salvation. He created us with a will of our own to choose.
Thirdly, in John 14: 15- 26, Jesus gives a condition by which we could have the Holy Spirit released to us. He is the person who has to ask His father to release the Holy Spirit and power in our lives. Jesus is the Word, the spokes person, intercessor (Hebrews 7:25 - Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them), representative of the saints (Mark 9:7). He tells us where, when, why and how to receive the Holy Spirit. Now, let us dissect John 14: 15. “If you love Me, keep My commandments”. The verse begins with the word ‘if’, which means that there is a condition which must be met. This condition is that we keep His commandments. We could dig deeper to find out what His commandments are.
Luke 10:27 reads;
‘So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all of your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.” This means that whatever you desire for yourself, you desire for your neighbor. But there is a question that bugs us all. Who is our neighbor? Jesus was asked this question by a lawyer (Luke 10: 25-37). Frankly speaking, a neighbor is neither a family nor friend (Luke 6: 30-35), but a stranger. Speaking to this Jew, Jesus presented a parable describing what a relationship should be between a Jew and Samaritan, because the Jews hated the Samaritans.In other words, we are commanded to love people whether they look like us or not, or think like us.
Because of the lack of this love among believers, there are about 23,000 competing and often contradictory Christian denominations worldwide, according to the United Nations statistics (World Census of Religious Activities [U.N. Information Center, NY, 1989]).
A house divided is powerless. Jesus will never divide His church.Let us clarify this statement.
Matthew 5: 44,46:
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same"?
After analyzing John 14: 15, we can see clearly that Jesus will ask the father to send us the Holy Spirit if we love Him and keep His commandments. This understanding answered the questions I pondered over when I witnessed the separation of Christians by color and class, even color separation in cemeteries. I wondered how churches on either side of the railroad track claim to be filled with the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and yet their members cannot fellowship together. This is because many denominations teach that you have to ‘tarry’ for the spirit after which the evidence will be manifested in unknown tongues. Jesus never explained it that way. Therefore, the church will remain segregated and powerless until each person recognizes the vital essence of love for each other (Acts 2:1, 2).
In John 14: 16, Jesus said, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever." This means, that when the love condition is met, He will make the request to God to send us the Holy Spirit. It takes love, compassion and self-denial to reach the lost for Christ. The Holy Spirit was given to us to help us fulfill the mission of Christ, not just to say “I got it, I got it, and I can feel it”. Let us not just limit Him to just 'tongues'.If we read the rest of Chapter, we will notice that the presence and residence of God and His Son demand for us to have love for God and Jesus, and our neighbors as ourselves (John 14: 21, 23, 24).21
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
In addition, John described the fire of the Holy Ghost as a cleansing agent to rid our lives of sin. It is not an emotional hype or physical expression.
He said in Luke 3: 16-17;16
“I indeed baptize you with water; but there is one mightier than I that is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather the wheat into His barn; but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire.”
The Evidence of a Spirit-filled Life
-Love (1 John 4:18)
-Boldness (Acts 1:8)
-Witness (Acts 1:8)
-Spiritual Fruit (Galatians 5: 22-26)
There is a lot of controversy concerning the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost in the life of believers. These differences range from speaking in unknown tongues, loud uncontrollable praises and body spasms, to being ‘slain’ in the spirit. The most recognized evidence in many churches is the speaking in tongues. Some denominations do not allow any Christian to teach, preach, or play any active roles if he/she does not speak in tongues. Many Christians seem to limit the manifestation of the Holy Ghost to unknown tongues, a special dance, a bass run, special organ chords and drum beats, a prophetic word, and loud speaking.We will be judged and recognized by our love for each other. Love plays the most part in the Christian faith. With love in the body, there is no place for un-forgiveness and separatism. God will never divide His body, but the devil will always try to do so. We should not give any place to the devil. (Ephesians 4:27- Neither give place to the devil).
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
1 John 3:14
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
1 Corinthians 13: 1-13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.....
And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
Matthew 25: 41-46
41 “Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 43 I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.’44 “Then they also will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to You?’ 45 Then He will answer them, saying, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’ 46 And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Whoever is filled with the Holy Spirit, will have the boldness to love everybody despite the opposition and rebuke of others. He will be obedient to the commands of Jesus Christ.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
1 John 4:17-19
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
-He will be our helper
-He will convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment
-He will guide us into all truth
-He will only repeat the teachings of Jesus Christ
-He will glory Jesus
-He will declare everything Jesus has for us
5 “But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6 But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; 11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 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. 15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Many Christians seem to limit the manifestation of the Holy Ghost to unknown tongues, a special dance, a bass run, special organ or piano chords and drum beats, a prophetic word, loud speaking, or “falling out in the spirit”. The Holy Ghost was given to assist us in performing the will of God by giving us the boldness to preach the gospel to all nations; and to perform miracles, healings, signs and wonders (Acts 1:8; 4: 29-31). The Holy Spirit is not like a cobra snake in a basket sitting in front of the congregation waiting on our actions like snake charmers, while we play and sing special music in order to make Him rise out of the basket and perform for us. There is no need to call Him up as with a ritual. Where ever we go He is with us because Jesus said that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We just need to walk in obedience to His will that was modeled through Jesus Christ.This power is boldness and courage to speak the truth of the gospel with confidence, as we witness especially in difficult, different, and unfriendly surroundings. It is also not about attending a “hyped-up” service where we listen to our favorite ministers and musicians. It is about wining souls, transforming lives, and bringing deliverance to those that are bound, with the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will be the one to convict the world of sin and not us.
Just remember what Jesus said in John 14: 15; John 16: 7-9.
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments (to love God and to love your neighbor as your self). 16 And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper (Holy Spirit), that He may abide with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. 8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me.
The Holy Spirit was given to us to equip and embolden us for service. I trust that our eyes are open to His words so that we can experience the fullness of His presence, thus effectively changing lives around us. (Acts 4:18-31)
Concerning The Evidence of Tongues on the Day of Pentecost
Many Bible scholars and Christians hold fast to the doctrine of tongues as the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Ghost. I dare to differ based on some revelation scriptures that the Spirit of the Lord led me to. These scriptures revealed that the miracle of tongues in Acts 2 was a fulfillment of a prophesy that was given to Zephaniah concerning the restoration of a unified language among the nations, especially among those that are called the children of God. Let examine these scriptures.
Unity among the People of God
The Tower of Babel
Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” 5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
“For then I will restore to the peoples a pure language that they all may call on the name of the Lord, to serve Him with one accord.
A Book of Remembrance
Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name.
Coming of the Holy Spirit
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
The Crowd’s Response
5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and was confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?”
... and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Unity through Humility
2 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
River of Life Evangelistic Outreach