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Archive for the ‘Ruach Hakadosh’ Category

When Hannah Mother Of Samuel Prophesied Of Jesus Christ

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

1 Samuel 2:1-10 reads:

And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. [There is] none holy as the LORD: for [there is] none beside thee: neither [is there] any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let [not] arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD [is] a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. The bows of the mighty men [are] broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. [They that were] full have hired out themselves for bread; and [they that were] hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set [them] among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth [are] the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

This prayer of Hannah is fascinating in ways that are almost too many to count. I will focus on some things that struck me about it as it read this text this morning.

1. How God uses adversity to bring about His purposes in His elect. This was a time of spiritual crisis among God’s people, during the time of the Judges. In these days Eli was the high priest charged with service of the tabernacle, as were his sons Phinehas and Hophni. However, Phinehas and Hophni were exceedingly wicked, and Eli, though he went through the motions of being outwardly righteous, refused to act to stop his sons, and also was willing to personally benefit from their evil deeds. God does not leave His people without a shepherd, however, so it was his purpose to raise up new spiritual leadership; a special child chosen from before his birth and set apart for this purpose.

In order to bring this about, God selected a righteous man, Elkanah the son of Jeroham, and his righteous wife Hannah. God temporarily closed the womb of this righteous woman, and permitted Peninnah, the other wife of Elkanah and who was bearing children, to vex and torment Hannah over her condition. Now this is yet another occurrence of rivalries between wives that the Bible tells us occurs with polygamy, including to the point of a woman using her children to gain status in the eyes of her husband at the expense of the other wives. However, also remember that during this time, childbearing was associated with God’s blessing and favor being with a woman, so a barren woman was often presumed to be disfavored by God, perhaps due to some sinfulness on her part. When you consider the very strong language that the Bible uses concerning Peninnah’s treatment of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:6 – and her adversary vexed her sore, forasmuch as she upbraided her, because the Lord made her barren – it appears that some very strong accusations were involved, and should make one consider the charges against Job by his friends: that Job’s sins were the cause of his condition.

But rather than her trials and tribulations being evidence of her sinfulness or her not being smiled upon by God, they were instead evidence of the work that God desired to work both within and through her (James 1:2-4)! For God wanted to use the seed of Hannah and Elkanah to raise up new spiritual leadership. God wanted the child of Hannah and Elkanah to be given totally over to Him; to learn about God’s laws and ways to that this child would be able to use this knowledge to execute his leadership more effectively and perfectly. God allowed – or caused! – the affliction of His servant Hannah so that – in her grief – Hannah would make a prayer to the Lord that was acceptable to the Lord. Now of course, this prayer was not of Hannah, meaning of her own flesh and carnal nature, but came as she was carried along by the Holy Spirit. But the point is that the trials and tribulations that God saw fit to have Hannah experience plowed and tilled the ground of her heart, to create the conditions for her to be carried along by the Holy Spirit to make this prayer. She prayed for a man-child (for the spiritual leader had to be male) and dedicated the child to lifetime service to God (thereby renouncing parental or familial rights that were very important in that culture for legal, economic and social status reasons) in her prayer, including the vow that her child would be a Nazerite. Remember the Lord’s Prayer, where we are supposed to petition that God’s will in heaven be done on earth. It was the will of God in heaven for such a child as this to be born and dedicated to Him, so God created the conditions whereby this woman would pray for the birth of this child, and sacrificially offer up her son – and herself – as vessels for this divine service. That Hannah’s motivation may have been to remove her own reproach, take away the ability of her rival wife to torment and provoke her, and thereby gain the peace of her own mind is of little consequence. The main thing is that through her trials, she offered up a prayer that was acceptable to God because it was the will of God, and thus God granted what she requested. And it should be pointed out that by Hannah’s giving the child to God – as opposed to her desiring to hold onto the child herself for the purposes of getting back at her rival Peninnah, the natural thing to do – was evidence of this woman’s righteousness and Godly heart. So, if you are a believer in Jesus Christ that is currently enduring hardships, heartaches, persecution and tribulation, then do not despair but rejoice, because God will use these things to bring about His purposes in you as He did with Hannah! On the other hand, if you are mocker and persecutor of God’s people like Peninnah, well beware! Please note that the Biblical record treats Hannah much more favorably than Peninnah, and moreover just as the evil behavior of Peninnah was recorded for posterity, God is keeping inventory of our behavior in His book!

2. Let us not ignore the positive role and influence that Hannah’s husband, Elkanah played. Though many men did mistreat their barren wives in that day and time, Elkanah did the opposite: he comforted, elevated, loved and had compassion on her! Unlike Peninnah, 1 Samuel 1:5 hints that Elkanah knew that Hannah’s being barren was not any indictment against her value or character, but was of the Lord’s doing. So, rather than despising and rejecting his wife after the worldly manner that his wife took, Elkanah respected and submitted himself to the will of God – to the right and prerogative of God to make his wife barren – and instead loved his wife as Christ loves the church (Ephesians 5:25). Rejecting his wife because God decreed her to be barren would have been akin to rejecting the decree of God, and thus rejecting God. But by honoring the will of God through loving his wife, Elkanah honored God. Now perhaps one can fault Elkanah for not intervening when Peninnah persecuted Hannah, but the Biblical evidence in such instances like Abraham dealing with Sarah and Hagar and Jacob dealing with Rachel and Leah leads one to believe that the custom of the day was for men to generally refrain themselves from disputes among their wives.

Elkanah did not merely behave righteously with his wife, but also with his son. Imagine if your wife has a son, and she tells you “No, this is not going to be your child to love, raise, be proud of and carry on your name. No, I am going to give this child – your child – to the church. You are not going to have anything to do with raising this child … you aren’t even going to SEE this child. Instead, I am giving him away.” Even in our modern culture, that would be a difficult, almost unthinkable thing to do: the equivalent of a wife deciding to give up the child – the husband’s child – for adoption. In that culture, where men had almost absolute rights over their wives and children, and where male children gave great honor and esteem to their fathers before society, it was even more pronounced. Yet Elkanah willingly gave up his fatherly rights and privileges and consented to the designs of his wife. Why? Because he knew that the child was the result of God’s blessing his barren wife! He knew that this child came as the result of God’s honoring his wife’s petition, and that this petition included Hannah’s promise to give the child to God’s service. So, just as Elkanah submitted himself to God’s will when his wife was barren, he did the same when his wife was fruitful. This means that Elkanah’s love and obedience to God was not conditional! Instead, he honored and obeyed God regardless of the circumstances. Whether the Lord giveth (allowing his wife to bear children) or the Lord taketh away (causing his wife to be barren), Elkanah honored – or blessed – the Name of the Lord! In this manner, Elkanah reminds us of Joseph, earthly father of Jesus Christ, when he submitted to God’s will in taking Mary as his wife and raising Jesus Christ as his adopted son. Both Elkanah and Joseph chose sacrificial giving over behaving selfishly according to the interests of their own flesh. The union of Hannah and Elkanah was definitely that of a believing, obedient, faithful man and spouse, and such things are blessed indeed. Blessed is the man who has a believing, righteous woman. Blessed is the woman who has a believing, righteous man. And blessed is the God who providently brings the two of them together for His service and to His glory! In this case, God brought together a holy husband and a holy wife for the purpose of producing a child that would lead His people.

3. The angel of the Lord told Joseph in Matthew 1:21 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Jesus, or Joshua, or Yeshua, means “God saves.” In the opening of her prayer, Hannah rejoiced in her salvation by this same Jesus spoken of in Matthew 1:21. Let no doctrine or teacher deceive you concerning this fact. The Hebrew word used by Hannah was “yĕshuw`ah“, which means salvation by God. Later in this prayer, she states “The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up” … a reference to death and resurrection by the will of God, just as the death and resurrection of God the Son Jesus Christ occurred according to the will of God the Father. Further: “He will keep the feet of his saints …” that is none other than a reference to the perseverance of the saints doctrine where Jesus Christ said concerning the redeemed that none could take them out of His hand (John 10:28-29). Instead, “the wicked shall be silent in darkness” which is exactly where the Lord Jesus Christ said that they would be cast (Matthew 8:12, 22:13, 25:30). As for “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, [and] lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set [them] among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth [are] the LORD’S, and he hath set the world upon them” recall when our Lord said “the spirit of the Lord is upon me to preach the gospel to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” in Luke 4:18? Also when Jesus Christ said “Blessed are the poor for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” in the Beatitudes? Further, “The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth” is a summary of “the day of the judgment of the Lord” teachings both given by Jesus Christ and revealed to John in the apocalypse. Thus, this prayer of Hannah was packed with a startling amount of things that Jesus Christ would later teach. By the Holy Spirit, Hannah revealed some of the very things that Jesus Christ would preach many hundreds of years later. But that is not all.

“And he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed!” Keep in mind that this prayer of Hannah was given generations before Saul, generations before David, long before Israel asked for the king or the establishment of the monarchy. Yet here Hannah prophesies concerning the coming king – God’s king – whom she also calls God’s anointed! Christ, or Christos in Greek means the same as Hannah’s term mashiyach (Moshiach or Messiah) in Hebrew: anointed. In this prophecy song of praise, Hannah reveals Jesus Christ as king, savior, and Messiah. And again, as the monarchy had not been instituted and was not even on the horizon or thought process of the Hebrews at the time of the Judges, the context points to a UNIQUE king, savior and Messiah that God will pour out HIS strength upon and that God would uniquely empower, exalt and glorify to the point that through this king God the Father would subdue, rule and judge the entire earth. When one adds the reference to death and resurrection, the only major doctrine apparently absent in Hannah’s Messianic prophecy song is an explicit reference to Christ’s Sonship, and hence His divinity, whereby this anointed king of the latter verse would also provide the salvation of the Lord spoken of in the former verse. Yet by virtue of both being included in Hannah’s song – and one prominently in the beginning and the other prominently in the end, and please remember the nature of Hebrew poetry where ideas that are in the beginning and end of a poem go together, a type of parallelism or harmony – the concept of the divine Saviour and the Messianic king being one and the same is still contained within the prophecy even if it is not yet explicitly given at this point in progressive revelation.

It is amazing to read God’s Word and see how He used His handmaid Hannah to both bear the child Samuel that would lead His people in that time, but also to prophecy of Jesus Christ, who would save and lead His people for eternity! Thus Samuel, the child that Hannah had was the prefigure or the type of the child that Mary would later have. And this came after God created the circumstances for this event by making Hannah (temporarily) barren and having her suffer persecution in her own home for this condition, yet not leaving her alone during this time of affliction but providing her with a believing husband as her minister to comfort her and help her endure it (and view this in the context of the promise of God given to believers in 1 Corinthians 10:13 concerning God’s giving us the ability to bear trials).

The wisdom and might of God knows no end, and neither does His blessings! For these reasons and an infinite multitude of others, let us not be slack in giving God His due praise!

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Posted in Bible, Christianity, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Messianic Prophecy, Moshiach, prayer, prophecy, religion, Ruach Hakadosh, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

John MacArthur: The Modern Blasphemy Of The Holy Spirit

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

http://gty.org

Posted in abomination, Bible, blasphemy, blasphemy Holy Ghost, blasphemy Holy Spirit, Christianity, faith, false doctrine, false religion, false teaching, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, religion, Ruach Hakadosh | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

John MacArthur: Giving Thanks To The Holy Spirit

Posted by Job on November 11, 2011

http://gty.org

Posted in Bible, Christianity, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, prayer, Ruach Hakadosh | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Necessity Of The Holy Trinity

Posted by Job on October 26, 2011

Motivated at least in part by the current controvery over oneness heretic T.D. Jakes, (also here and here) please read two very good pieces on the importance of the Holy Trinity. Hopefully, this will help Christians understand that we are to separate with heretics, not dialogue with them.

On The Trinity: Part One – Hermeneutics

On the Trinity: Part Two – The Trinity, Central to Apologetics and Evangelism

Posted in anti - Christ, Apologetics, apostasy, Bible, blasphemy, blasphemy Holy Ghost, blasphemy Holy Spirit, christian broadcasting, Christian hypocrisy, Christian salvation, christian television, christian worldliness, Christianity, church hypocrisy, church scandal, church worldliness, corrupt televangelism, discernment, evangelical, evangelical christian, evangelism, false doctrine, false preacher, false preachers, false prophet, false religion, false teachers, false teaching, grace, interfaith dialogue, irresistible grace, Jesus Christ, Jesus Only, modalism, oneness pentecostal, oneness pentecostalism, orthodoxy, orthopraxy, Ruach Hakadosh, syncretism, TBN, TD Jakes, televangelism, trinity broadcasting network, unitarian, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Paul Washer: Regeneration Versus Decisionism

Posted by Job on October 26, 2011

In this sermon Paul talks about the misuse of Scripture in the understanding of salvation.
http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=1021081230111
Regeneration vs Decisionism – DEEPER Conference 2008 Breakout Session (Living Waters & Way of the Master)

Posted in Bible, Christianity, discernment, election, evangelical, evangelical christian, evangelism, faith, false doctrine, false teaching, Holy Spirit, irresistible grace, Jesus Christ, Judaism, limited atonement, Reformed, religion, Ruach Hakadosh, salvation, salvation prayer, salvation through Jesus Christ, spiritual warfare, televangelism, testimony | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sin Results When We Forget What God Has Done For Us!

Posted by Job on April 5, 2011

Exodus 1:8 – Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph.

Oftentimes, the Bible is notable for its subtlety, for its ability to understate. In Exodus 1:8, it says that the new pharaoh didn’t know Joseph. What this means is that the entire nation forgot what YHWH did for their nation! Joseph was a type of Jesus Christ. He was, as the pharaoh of Joseph’s time testified of, one in whom the Holy Spirit lived. And the very name Joseph means “YHWH has added”, which means that YHWH had providentially given Joseph to that people and nation.

YHWH used Joseph to benefit Egypt in many ways. He wisely ruled the nation for decades, and though the Bible does not record Joseph causing the Egyptians to worship YHWH during the time of his stewardship, nonetheless during this time was a source of wisdom and order who greatly restrained wickedness and evil, which is what Romans 13:1-3 says is the role of civil government and those who serve therein.

Further, Joseph with both his power of prophecy and his gift of administration saved Egypt during the famine. The crops failed, the currency failed, yet Joseph saved them alive. And Joseph in particular worked to benefit the pharaoh and his line during this time, because he caused the transfer of all the money and land in Egypt to the pharaoh’s possession, and furthermore allowed the Egyptians to sell themselves as slaves to the pharaoh – giving him absolute power – in exchange for their lives. Also, Joseph redistributed the population of Egypt – making them easier to govern – and established a law where 20% of the wealth generated in Egypt had to go to pharaoh. This resulted in the Egyptian kings’ having an incomprehensible amount of wealth and economic and political power. Also, Egypt’s surviving a widespread famine that devastated the surrounding nations made them the unparalleled power in the region. These things and more did Joseph do for Egypt and its pharaohs, and they forgot them. And in forgetting Joseph, they forgot about the YHWH that sent Joseph, was with Joseph, used Joseph, and blessed all of Joseph’s actions on behalf of Egypt and the pharaoh.

In a very real sense, rejecting the man of God is akin to rejecting God. This was illustrated when the people rejected Moses in the wilderness, when the people rejected Samuel and asked for a human king, when the people rejected Jeremiah during the time of their subjugation to Babylon, and when the people rejected the ultimate Man of God, Jesus Christ. Egypt forgot about the man of YHWH, and in the course of doing so they forgot about the YHWH in whose Name this man came and labored.

So what happened when Egypt forgot about God? They sinned. They sinned by persecuting the people of God even unto a genocidal slaughter of all the males. As a result of this crime, Egypt was severely judged. It was bankrupted of currency, its mighty army was destroyed, its crops and livestock slain, its firstborn killed, and this proud nation was made into a public laughingstock before the very same world where it was the chief superpower by the God of its own former slaves. Egypt went from being the head (if only in a temporal or secular sense, for Israel by virtue of its election was the true head) to being the tail. All because they forgot about God and as a result were ungrateful for His works. This is highly reminiscent of the pitiful estate of the town of Mansoul when it forgot about and ceased to be thankful to Prince Emmanuel in the very underappreciated John Bunyan allegory “Holy War.”

That forgetting God and being ungrateful to Him is a cause of grotesque sin is confirmed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:21. The Holy Spirit speaking through this Paul says “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” The result of this forgetting of YHWH? “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Now when we forget YHWH, we have to thank SOMETHING … we have to put our faith and trust in SOMETHING. In the Holy War allegory, Mansoul put its trust in carnal security, their own physical accomplishments and defenses that could be seen with their eyes. Jesus Christ said of the rich young ruler that the wealthy put their trust in riches. In contemporary times, it is common to put your trust in some political ideology (i.e. democracy, liberalism or conservatism) or economic theory (capitalism or socialism) or on a more personal level one’s education/skills and earning capacity derived thereof. This means that when we forget YHWH and replace Him, we become IDOLATERS. And of course, wherever idolatry appears, pervasive sin of the most depraved and grotesque order follows after, and Romans 1 takes 7 whole verses (26-32) in giving a mere executive summary of it!

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

So, when Egypt forgot and thereby rejected YHWH through their rejection of His representative Joseph, it was a symbol of both how mankind forgot God when it knew God through Adam and thereby fell into original sin, and how mankind forgot and rejected YHWH through their rejection of the God-Man Jesus Christ. The very same people who witnessed His great miracles, who marveled at His teachings, who heard the sermon on the mount, who saw Him expose and confound the scribes and Pharisees, who ate their fill when Christ feed the 5,000 and the 4,000, and who cheered “Hosanna!” when He entered Jerusalem yelled “Crucify Him!” when Pilate sought to release Him, and mocked Him while He lay dying on the cross. His own disciples left Him in Gethsemane, and Peter denied Him thrice!

How quickly we forget, and how great is the extent of our forgetfulness! Just as Israel forgot about their deliverance from Egypt as soon as they got a little hungry and thirsty and began to grumble, we so often forget about YHWH and succumb to the temptation to rely on the arm of flesh, our own human talents and ideas, when adversity happens!When the going gets tough, how rarely do we get on our knees, remember YHWH and thank Him for trying us by fire? How quickly do we forget that the Bible says that we are to count it all for joy? That God allows such things to happen to us in order to rebuke, reprove, chasten and refine us because we are His sons and not His servants? Not only do we fail to remember God and God’s servant (the Bible and its teachings) during these times, but we accuse God of forgetting and being unfaithful to us just as did Elijah when he prayed to God to raise the boy from the dead! That God continues to endure us despite our forgetting Him over and over again is a testimony to precisely how patient, loving and merciful our God is!

Moses was on Mount Sinai less than 40 days when Israel said “We don’t know what happened to this guy, so let us build a golden calf and worship IT as the god who led us out of Egypt!” Now please note: they didn’t forget coming out of Egypt. No, they forgot Who led them out of Egypt! So, since they needed to give the glory to someone, they chose a dead, dumb idol that was the work of their own hands! And Aaron, the priest of YHWH went along with this idolatry just as so many pastors and preachers do the same when confronted with adversity and temptation!

How many pastors and preachers lead their congregations into their vain ideas and wild schemes instead of teaching them with their own example to trust God? How many pastors and preachers when confronted with hardships are known to say “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh away (for all things are God’s to give and take away in the first place) and blessed be the Name of the Lord!” How many pastors and preachers succumb to the notions of personal failings and the need to get up to do something to rectify it by adopting some program or strategy, instead of just accepting the moving of God’s sovereignty? How many pastors and preachers are conforming to some internal or external expectation rather than being conformed to God through His Word no matter the result?

Again … remember Jeremiah: he didn’t win any converts. No, it was the false prophets who spoke lies in their own name, who passed on revelations from devils bent on causing the people to stumble and be destroyed, who gained the huge followings. Yet the contemporary message today is how we need to be more like the false prophets to get the crowds coming and churches growing again, more like Zedekiah who assaulted and mocked Micaiah – and by extension YHWH by saying “Which way went the Spirit of YHWH from me to speak unto thee?” Instead of being like the prophet of God, we choose to be like the blasphemers of God. The reason for this is that we have forgotten YHWH, and as a result we are judging by external (carnal) standards rather than by righteous judgment (John 7:24).

So how fortunate are the elect that in the time of judgment, those saved by Jesus Christ will have Him, the righteous Judge, to speak on the elect’s behalf? Jesus Christ will not speak for the elect on the basis of the elect’s righteousness, because it has been proven time and time again that the elect is unrighteousness if for no other reason that we frequently forget YHWH and fall into idolatry and sin. Instead, Jesus Christ will speak for His bride on the basis of His own righteousness that He imputes to His bride by way of the work that Jesus Christ did on the cross!

So, even though we forget YHWH, Jesus Christ has not forgotten about us, as He was slain for us! In a similar manner, the Holy Spirit has not forgotten about us, as He regenerates us and keeps us in the faith, and God the Father has not forgotten about us, as He chose us from before the foundation of the world. Because of this, though we sin, our sins are forgiven. God is just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness! Because of this we must rejoice in YHWH with worship and praise, but we also must do so with reverence, fear, trembling and the utmost humility! In all things, we must remember that if YHWH forgot about us the way that we so often forget about Him, we would be doomed to an eternity in the lake of fire! How amazing, how wonderful, how awesome it is to have such a great and loving God who forgives us; One who never forgets us as we forget Him! How great a God, and how great a salvation … who can despise or trivialize it and stand before this God?

Yet, we are saved by grace. We are justified by faith. We are sanctified not by the works of our own, sinful idolatrous hands, but instead by the workings of the sinless Holy Spirit upon us. These facts are true as clearly set forth by the Bible. Yet it is equally true – a fact of the same Bible – that we are not to use that truth as an excuse to wallow in error! Jude 1:4 calls this denying – or forgetting – YHWH. So though we are not saved or sanctified by our works, by our striving, work and strive we must do. It is what God commands us, and the man who loves God is the man who keeps YHWH’s commandments (John 14:15). The man who calls upon YHWH but fails to keep His commandments is a goat, and Jesus Christ says that the goats will be forgotten, left outside the camp and cast into outer darkness, on judgment day (Matthew 25:31-46). So though we are saved by Christ’s obedience and not ours, woe is the man who forgets YHWH and rejects obedience!

In closing, I urge you: do not forget what YHWH has done for you. Do not dare forget that YHWH sent His only begotten Son to die on a cross for sins that were not His Son’s, because being equal with God and being God by nature of His Sonship and pre-existence, the Son was and is sinless just as is the Father and the Spirit. Do not forget that YHWH verified His Son’s identity – including His sinlessness – and validated His work and mission by raising Him from the dead and accepting Him back into heaven where He sits on God the Father’s right hand, interceding for His bride, His church. Do not forget that YHWH did these things so that men might have their sins forgiven and inherit eternal life in His service. Do not forget that as a result of this, eternal torment in the lake of fire is not the future of those who believe. Instead, have faith, remember these things, repent of your sins so that they will be forgotten, and believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Go, and do it quickly by:

Following The Three Step Salvation Plan!

Posted in Bible, Christianity, devotional, Egypt, Holy Spirit, idolatry, Jesus Christ, Ruach Hakadosh, slavery | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Romans 11:26 – When Will All Israel Be Saved? See Zechariah 12

Posted by Job on March 11, 2011

Romans 11:26-27 reads “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.” Now John Calvin, despite his being right on so many other matters, erred when he claimed that this passage refers to spiritual Israel, the church. This cannot be the case, because Sha’ul the Benjamite Jew (more commonly known as Saul, or Paul) had already made the distinction between Israel and the church, between natural Israel and spiritual Israel, earlier in Romans (such as Romans 2:28-29 and Romans 9:3-4), and furthermore declares himself to be a member of both natural and spiritual Israel. Also, “when I shall take away their sins” cannot in any sense refer to the church, because Paul is referring to a prophecy that is as yet unfulfilled with respect to national Israel. For we all know that spiritual Israel, the church, has already had its sins taken away.

So, Romans 11:26-27 refers not to the past/present church, but a future event when national Israel is saved and joins spiritual Israel; when natural Israel becomes a member of both groups just like Paul and the other apostles. John Calvin was unable to acknowledge the plain meaning of that text because of his theological bias; the covenant theology framework that refuses to acknowledge a distinction between Israel and the church, claims that Israel was the church of the Old Testament, and that (among other things) where infant circumcision was the covenantal inclusion ritual of the Old Testament church, infant baptism is the covenantal inclusion sacrament of the New Testament church.

So, allowing Romans 11:26-27 to stand as written, when will this event happen? When will Israel’s national salvation occur? The hint occurs in Revelation 1:7, which reads “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” That text points directly to Zechariah 12:10, which reads “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Now the spirit of grace and supplications (see Romans 8:26-27) is the Holy Spirit. The One who sents the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete (see John 14:16-26), is Jesus Christ. So, Jesus Christ is the “me” whom “they” have pierced, and “they” in this specific context are the Jews, who bear the national responsibility for killing Jesus Christ through the actions of their religious and political leaders in the time of Jesus Christ, Caiaphas the high priest and the Sanhedrin.

So, when this prophecy is fulfilled, the same Holy Spirit that currently indwells the church, spiritual Israel, will also indwell the Jews, natural Israel. And if this prophecy is to be interpreted literally, this will not be the result of individual conversion by way of preaching the gospel as happens with the church, be its members (Messianic?) Jewish or Gentile, but instead an act of national salvation akin to God’s delivering Israel from Egypt and making the covenant with the Jewish nation at Sinai as recorded in Exodus. (It is obvious – to me anyway – that this precludes any notion of “free will salvation.” Just as Israel had no choice in the matter at Sinai, but instead God imposed the Sinai terms on His vassal nation as its Suzerain Lord) they will have no choice to choose or reject Jesus Christ when He comes to fulfill Romans 11:26-27 with respect to the Jewish nation.

And when will this event happen? As Zechariah 12 is obviously linked to Revelation, which deals with the fate of the church (and please recall my position that there will be no “pretribulation rapture”, or even if there is one, it will be a partial one that will leave the vast majority of the church to endure the great tribulation), Israel and the world, this event will happen at some point during the great tribulation. More specifically, as Zechariah 12:10 and Romans 1:7 obviously describe the second advent of Jesus Christ, the best Biblical evidence (again, according to my opinion) is that this blessed event will occur at the time described in Revelation 19:11-21, which is Jesus Christ returning from heaven with His saints and angels to defeat the armies of the beast (or anti-Christ) and – according to those of us with premillennialist leanings – set up His 1000 year kingdom.

It is impossible to claim that Zechariah 12:10, or more accurately the much longer prophecy block that includes much of Zechariah 12-14, has been fulfilled already. It cannot refer to the Assyrian siege of Jerusalem or the Babylonian destruction of the same, as those had already occurred when Zechariah – who lived in the time of King Darius – wrote his book. It also cannot refer to 70 A.D., because of Zechariah 12:7-8, which reads “The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify [themselves] against Judah. In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David [shall be] as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.” The fact that God did not defend Jerusalem in 70 A.D precludes any preterist interpretations of Zechariah 12:10, particularly since preterism holds that Jesus Christ came to punish the Jews in 70 A.D., not to fight and overcome their enemies for them.

Still more evidence? Zechariah 12:2-3 reads “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.” This is a reference to how during the endtimes, the Gentile nations will attempt to destroy Israel and Jerusalem. It will be at that time that Jesus Christ makes His return. Where will this return be? The Mount of Olives according to Zechariah 14:1-4. “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”

Before you stumble at “and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished, and half of the city shall go forth into captivity” and consider that this may refer to the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians or some other event, please recall Revelation 13:7, which speaks of the beast “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” Now the Jews at this point are not “the saints”, but it is rather logical to conclude from that verse that the evil forces will inflict no small damage against Jerusalem and its inhabitants before Jesus Christ comes to save them, just as many Christians will perish at the hands of the anti-Christ before the days of the great tribulation are cut short for the elect’s sake (see Mark 13:20 and Matthew 24:22). Further, please recall that Romans 11:28 refers to the Jewish nation as being God’s elect also, thus Jesus Christ will return to ensure that some of both natural and spiritual Israel will survive the great tribulation. From these passages, it appears that natural and spiritual Israel will be combined into one elect church at the second advent of Jesus Christ.

Finally, consider Zechariah 14:6-9. “And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the light shall not be clear, [nor] dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, [that] at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, [that] living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” Does this not correlate strongly to the description of New Jerusalem in Revelation 21-22? Revelation 21:23 reads “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof.” Revelation 22:5 also says “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 22:2 reads “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” Zechariah 14:11 reads “And [men] shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.” Revelation 21:4? “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

It is simply inexcusable to ignore all this evidence unless one relies on a symbolic interpretation of not only Revelation, but the prophetic Old Testament material of Zechariah and elsewhere, not to mention New Testament prophecy outside of Revelation such as the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24-25, Luke 21 and Mark 13). The reason for such interpretation is the commitment to a theological construct that demands it (with the covenant theologian John Calvin mentioned at the beginning of this piece being an example). The fact that these texts have regrettably abused by many premillennial dispensationalists provides no justification for denying their plain meaning and application. At the very least, in order to be consistent, one must adopt a symbolic or “spiritual” interpretation of such Messianic prophecy texts as Isaiah 7:14 (yes, almah does mean “virgin” in that verse and not “young woman”, otherwise almah would not have been translated as parthenos, which can only mean “virgin”, in the Septuagint by Jewish scholars who lived over a hundred years before Jesus Christ!) and Isaiah 9:6.

Though the date of Israel’s national salvation will be the second advent of Jesus Christ, the question is the date of your salvation. This is so even if you are Jewish, for A) we do not know the day or the hour of Jesus Christ’s second advent and B) tomorrow is promised to no man. The Bible is clear: whether one is Jewish or Gentile, salvation is of the Lord, and there is only one Name by which men will be saved, and that Name is Yeshua Ha’Mashiach, with the common English transliteration being Jesus Christ. If you have not already been saved through Jesus Christ, I urge and entreat you to make your time of salvation right now.

Follow The Three Step Salvation Plan Today!

Posted in anti - Christ, anti - Semitism, antichrist, Bible, Christianity, covenant theology, election, endtimes, eschatology, great tribulation, Holy Spirit, Israel, Jesus Christ, man of sin, mark of the beast, Messianic Judaism, prophecy, religion, replacement theology, Ruach Hakadosh, the anti-christ, the beast, the false prophet, Y'shua Hamashiach, Y'shua Hamashiach Moshiach, Yeshua Hamashiach | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

The Strong Trinitarian Statement In 2 Corinthians 3:14-18 And The Second Blessing Doctrine

Posted by Job on December 26, 2009

Actually, the context for this statement is contained within the entire chapter of 2 Corinthians 3, which builds up to the last 2 or 3 verses at the end. However, for length purposes, only verses 14-18 will be considered.

But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Even from a direct literary interpretation with very little if any background in Christian doctrine required, this passage treats God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as being one and the same AND treats God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as being distinct. The Lord referred to in this passage is Jesus Christ. The Spirit spoken of in this passage is the Holy Spirit. Yet verse 17 specifically states “Now the Lord is that Spirit.” This can only be if Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are One. Yet verses 17 and 18 refer to the Lord (Jesus Christ) and the Spirit of the Lord (the Holy Spirit) distinctly, not as relationships, “divisions of an egg”, emanations, manifestations or any of the other ideas proposed by those who deny God’s eternal triune nature.

Implication:

If the Lord is that Spirit, meaning that Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, then receiving Jesus Christ means receiving the Holy Spirit. To receive Jesus Christ means to receive the Holy Spirit, and therefore receiving Jesus Christ (salvation) means receiving the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. That would mean that while these gifts and fruits may not all manifest immediately but instead may manifest and develop as the believer is being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ and matures in the faith of Jesus Christ, they are still given to Christians at the time of conversion, at the time that they are placed in Jesus Christ’s body and the Holy Spirit begins to indwell them.

So the doctrine of a second blessing of the Holy Spirit? Since Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit, then this “second blessing” can only mean receiving Jesus Christ a second time. How is receiving Jesus Christ a second time possible and why is this necessary? When considering your answer to this, ponder upon Hebrews 6:6, which reads:

If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Where the context of Hebrews 6:6 diverges somewhat from the matter being discussed here, it is still useful for establishing that receiving Jesus Christ once is sufficient just as was Jesus Christ’s going to the cross once was sufficient. The larger context of the book of Hebrews is actually very beneficial, because that epistle makes it obvious that only one sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross was necessary and links the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross to the one receipt of Jesus Christ by the believer. Thus, beware of any doctrine that teaches multiple receipts of Jesus Christ.

While this second blessing doctrine treats the Holy Spirit as acting separately, independently or at least supplementary to Jesus Christ with regards to the issue of salvation, Ephesians 4:7-8 says that Jesus Christ gives the gifts to the church.

But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

So why are these gifts (and fruits) commonly referred to as gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit as opposed to gifts and fruits of Jesus Christ? Again, from 2 Corinthians 3:17, Lord and Spirit are one! So, if the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are One and if Jesus Christ can only be received once, then how can there be second blessings, multiple blessings, multiple portions etc. of the Holy Spirit? It is so commonly accepted because saying “receive a triple portion of the Holy Spirit” sounds completely different from “receive a triple portion of Jesus Christ!” and more to the point “crucify Jesus Christ three times!” even though it is precisely what those terms mean.

Incidentally, I shall point out that the idea that Jesus Christ’s one sacrifice on the cross was insufficient and that He must be sacrificed anew again and again to provide benefits and gifts to the church is something that touches the Roman Catholic doctrines of communion and specifically of transubstantiation. Words have meaning, including the words used in doctrines. If one does not understand the meanings of the words, then one will not understand the doctrine.

So, the question must be asked: what implication does the fact that “a receiving second blessing from the Holy Spirit” amounts to “receiving Jesus Christ a second time” and then “Jesus Christ being sacrificed a second time” mean for those who adhere to this doctrine? Thank you.

Posted in Bible, Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, Ruach Hakadosh | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Collusion or Collision? Romans 8:16

Posted by Job on February 16, 2008

Listen Watch 

BIBLE MEDITATION: “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.” Romans 8:16

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT: A farmer and his farmhand
went duck hunting. The farmer said to his friend, “You’re always
talking about fighting with the devil. I’m not a Christian, and I never
have to fight with the devil.” The farmhand answered, “Boss, if you and
I shot two ducks, one was wounded and one was dead, which one would you
go after first?” He said, “Well, I guess the wounded duck.” He said,
“That’s right. The devil knows you’re a dead duck.” If the devil
doesn’t bother you, it’s because he doesn’t have to bother you since
you and he are traveling in the same direction. If you turned around,
you’d have a collision with him. Right now, you are in collusion with
him.

ACTION POINT: Are you a child of God? Then,
praise Him that He has given you the power over Satan and placed you on
the pathway to see Him face to face! share devotional with a friend  visit lwf.org

Do you know Jesus?

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Being Filled With The Holy Spirit

Posted by Job on January 29, 2008

Listen Watch

BIBLE MEDITATION:
“…Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?” Acts 9:6

DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT:
So many Christians want to
be Spirit-filled, but have they ever asked why God should fill them
with His Spirit? I want you to imagine a man pushing a car into a
service station. It has no battery in it. The car has four flat tires,
a hole in the gas tank, and half the wires are disconnected. The
attendant comes out, looks at this rattle trap, and says, “May I help
you?” And he says, “Yeah, fill ‘er up.” What do you think that
attendant would say? “What for?” would be appropriate. I think God
sometimes says, “What for?” to us. Instead, we need to just sign the
contract at the bottom and say, “Lord, You fill it in.”

ACTION POINT:
Bow before the Lord, open your
hands and say, “Lord, It’s all You. I am nothing but a vessel for You
to use. Use me as You will.”  share devotional with a friend           visit lwf.org

Do you know Jesus?

,

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Holy Spirit Intercession For The Christian

Posted by Job on January 23, 2008


From
Living the Christian Life God’s Way by Dr. J. Vernon McGee 

The
Spirit of God cries out from the heart of a believer to God the Father,
especially in times of trouble. When you are going through a struggle,
when it looks dark for you, when you’ve been misunderstood, or when
your friends have turned on you, it is at those times that the Spirit
of God will bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God,
and the Spirit just cries out, “Abba, Father.”

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God’s presence is His Spirit Psalm 139:7-10

Posted by Job on January 12, 2008

Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from Your
presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in
the depths [or in Sheol, or in hell], you are there. If I rise on the
wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there
your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast.
NIV

God’s presence is His Spirit. God told the prophet Jeremiah that He
fills all things, that He fills the heaven and He fills the earth. It’s
not the visible, manifest form of God that fills the heaven or the
earth, but it’s that invisible, imperceptible presence of God the Holy
Spirit which permeates the entire universe.

No matter where we go, that invisible hand is stretched out to hold
us. No matter how far we may sink down or how high we may rise, we
cannot go below the level of God’s presence or ascend above it. God’s
presence is always with us. He hears every word we speak; He knows
every thought. He said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Sometimes we may feel bereft and forsaken, but it’s only in
appearance. The presence of God is always there, this side of the ocean
or the other, up or down, successful or in defeat, the presence of God
is always with us and ultimately His presence is our peace. – Derek
Prince

For another great resource from Derek Prince Ministries, check out the new Derek Prince Podcast on iTunes. It’s quick, it’s easy and best of all it’s absolutely free.

Also, be sure to listen in on this week’s broadcast of Derek Prince Legacy Radio as Derek brings more straight forward, practical teaching to help keep you spiritually strong.

Posted in Christianity, derek prince, devotional, Ruach Hakadosh | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Understanding the Holy Spirit

Posted by Job on December 22, 2007

By Steve Cornell Posted: 12/20/2007 Understanding the Holy Spirit by Steve Cornell

I. The personhood and Deity of the Holy Spirit: He is the third person of the Triune God.

A. Personality – The Holy Spirit is not a vague force. He is a person possessing everything essential to personhood. The following scriptural defense establishes this truth:

1. Personal pronouns: (Jn. 15:26; 16:13; Acts 13:2). The Bible reveals the Spirit not as an impersonal force but as a person referred to as “He, I, and Me.” (Note the use of masculine pronoun (ekinos) with the title Spirit which is neuter – Jn. 16:13-24; Eph. 1:14).

2. Personal characteristics:

a. Intelligence: (Ro. 8:27; I Co. 2:10-13; Jn. 14:26)

b. Emotion: (Eph. 4:30; Gal. 4:6; Rom. 15:30)

c. Volition: (Acts 16:6; I Cor. 2:11)

3. Personal tasks:

a. Communes – (II Cor. 13:14)

b. Comforts – (Jn. 14:16; Rom. 15:13)

c. Counsels – (Acts 15:28; Jn. 14:26; 16:13; I Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:7)

d. Convicts – (Jn. 16:7-11)

e. Glorifies – (Jn. 16:14; see also 17:4)

4. Personal treatment:

a. Lied to – (Acts 5:34)

b. Resisted – (Acts 7:51)

c. Sinned against – (Mt. 3:29)

d. Blasphemed (Mt. 12:31-32)

e. Grieved (Eph. 4:30)

B. Deity – The fact that the Holy Spirit is God can be understood through His identification with the other members of the Godhead and through His works and attributes.

1. Divine identification:

a. Called God (Acts 5:3-4)

b. Temple of God/temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19-20)

c. In commission (Mt. 28:19)

d. In benediction (II Cor. 13:14)

e. In spiritual gifts (I Cor. 12:4-6)

f. In salvation (Eph. 1:3-14; I Pet. 1:2)

g. In creation (Gen. 1:1-2; Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:1-3)

2. Divine works:

a. Creation (Gen. 1:2;Job 26:13; 33:4; Isa. 40:13; Ps. 104:30)

b. Revelation (I Pet. 1:11; II Pet. 1:21)

c. Incarnation (Lk. 1:35)

d. Resurrection (Rom. 8:1)

e. Regeneration (Jn. 3:5-8; Ti. 3:5)

3. Divine attributes:

a. Omniscience (Jn. 16:13; I Cor. 2:10,11)

b. Omnipresence (Ps. 139:7-8)

c. Eternality (Heb. 9:14)

II. The Ministry of the Holy Spirit

A. In salvation: The Spirit is involved in four primary ways at the moment of salvation.

1. Regeneration: The impartation of spiritual life to the one who has faith in Jesus (Ti. 3:5; Eph. 2:1; I J. 5:11-12)

2. Indwelling: Christians may have varying degrees of spiritual power and fruitfulness but Scripture clearly teaches that all Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 6:19-20; II Cor. 1:21-22).

3. Baptism: At salvation, “we all were immersed in one Spirit, so as to become one body” (I Cor. 12:3; Matt. 3:11). In the book of I Corinthians, Paul recognizes different levels of spiritual growth and different spiritual gifts among the believers in Corinth. Yet he says, placing himself with them, “we all were immersed with one Spirit…” The Corinthian reference (12:13) supplies definition of the historical illustrations in Acts 19:1-7).

4. Sealing: The Spirit who regenerates, indwells and unites, is the seal of security guaranteeing the completion of our salvation (Eph. 1:13; 4:30; II Cor. 1:21-22).

B. In Christian living: The Holy Spirit is involved in the life of every believer in the following ways after salvation:

1. Producing Christlikeness: (II Cor. 3:18; Jn. 16:14; rom. 8:28,29)

2. Filling: Every believer has all of the Holy Spirit he will ever have at salvation, but throughout Christian living many believers do not yield themselves completely to the controlling influence of the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, the filling of the Spirit is a command, not a prayer request. The meaning and means of the filling of the Spirit must be carefully understood if we desire to experience the fullness of His ministry in our lives.

a. Meaning: The word “filled” carries the idea of wind filling a sail or someone being filled with joy or grief. Permeation, like salt permeating meat, and total domination are also involved. The dominating influence of the Holy Spirit should permeate our character to the extent that being with us is like being with Christ.

b. Means: To be filled with the Holy Spirit implies that we are empty of selfish ambition. Our total desire must be to please God in every area of life. This type of living will involve three continual practices.

1) Feeding on God’s Word: Colossians 3:16, 17 reveal the same results of dwelling on the Word as the results of the filling of the Spirit listed in Ephesians 5:18-20.

Thought: “As we give ourselves to the study of God’s Word, we shall begin at once to experience the benefit of the indwelling Spirit’s cooperating action. For if as we study we are willing to learn and to be led, the Spirit will become our teacher and enlighten and increase our understanding, so that more and more we shall discern what we should believe, and how we should act to please God” ( J.I. Packer, The Spirit Within Us, p. 53).

2) Confession of sin: As we are in the Word, God will reveal sin to us. This will lead to confession based on I John 1:9. To confess sin is to agree with God about it.

3) Yielding to God: The filling of the Holy Spirit requires submission to God. Rebellion- in any form- hinders the filling of the Spirit and places a roadblock on the path toward maturity. Yielding to God involves humility and implies that we choose God’s will in our decisions (Rom. 6:12,13).

Final thought: writes, “This is something we are told to be doing all the time C namely, to keep ourselves full. We keep our lungs full of fresh air by constantly breathing; we are to keep ourselves filled with the Spirit by constantly exposing ourselves to His active ministry towards us” (J.I. Packer, The Spirit Within Us, p. 60).

3. Producing Fruit: The results of the Spirit filled life are observed in objective character traits. Just as we recognize an apple tree by the apples we see on it, so we can recognize the Spirit-filled believer by the fruit he or she produces. Two primary passages apply to this: Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:18-21.

4. Other works:

a. Pouring out God’s love (Rom. 5:5)

b. leads to obey (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:16-18)

c. Assurance (Rom. 8:16)

d. Intercession (Rom. 8:16)

e. Producing hope (Rom. 15:13)

f. Strength (Eph. 3:16)

g. Unifying the church (Eph. 4:3)

h. Giving spiritual gifts (I Cor. 12:7-11)

i. Power for witness (Acts 1:8)

j. Comfort (Jn. 14:16)

k. Cooperative witness (Jn. 15:26, 27; Rev. 22:17)

l. Illumination (Jn. 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; I Jn. 2:20,17)

C. Toward the unbeliever: The primary work of the Holy Spirit toward unbelievers is the pre-salvation work of conviction concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment (Gen. 6:3; Jn. 16:7-11; Acts 7:57; 24:25).

See also: http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/category/spiritual-disciplines/

Distributed by www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com

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