It Is Finished Audio

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

King of kings and Lord of lords: "Who is the Holy Spirit?" (Part 3)

Spirit of Wisdom, Knowledge, and Understanding

 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better” (Ephesians 1:17).

            In the United States, it is the law of the land that once a child reaches a certain age, he/she must be in some form of formal education. Rather done through public, private or home schooling, nearly all children are required to have education from grades pre-k to 12. Not only is learning a requirement for children, but in order to perform many jobs, there has to be some type of knowledge and skills attained. Therefore, most employers offer some type of on-the-job training, educational reimbursement towards a certificate or degree, and/or hire someone who has already graduated from an accredited college or university. Organizations and companies want to feel comfortable that whoever they hire is qualified to do the job.

It is the same way on the opposite end of the spectrum. A patient, for example, wants to know that when they go to a physician, that person has the necessary book knowledge and wisdom to properly assess their medical needs. It is not good enough just to have acquired the knowledge, but a person needs wisdom as to how that knowledge is to be used and when.

The Holy Spirit helps the believer with acquiring knowledge, wisdom and understanding. The Bible tells us that we are to study God’s word so that we may be careful to follow it. The Bible says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8). God was letting us know that we have to study His word continuously. When you are studying any particular subject, it calls for you to sit down, read, think, and take it in. For most people, it may require repetition in order to remember all that you have studied, but with good study habits, the knowledge of what you have read will stick. It’s the same way with God. The Holy Spirit helps us to study God’s word and not only study it, but He opens our understanding to it.

There is a story in the Bible about an Ethiopian who was traveling and reading the scroll of Isaiah. Even though he was diligently reading it, he did not understand what he was reading. However, God had a plan. The Bible says,The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked, “How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him” (Acts 8:29-31). The Holy Spirit led Philip to meet the Ethiopian eunuch on the road so that he could help him to understand the scriptures. As a result of that, the Ethiopian was baptized all because the Holy Spirit told Philip to go where he was so that he could help the Ethiopian understand about Jesus.

The Holy Spirit also grants wisdom, so that believer can not only understand and be able to use the knowledge given, but in order to know when to apply it. The Bible says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5). God never holds it against His children if they ask for wisdom. As a matter of fact, He encourages us to do so and has given us help to receive it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We are to ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom in ALL areas of our lives. Many people could have made better choices in life if wisdom from the Holy Spirit was given first. Unfortunately, many fail to ask and think that they can figure things out all by themselves, but then their lives become a complete mess. We are to seek God’s counsel and allow the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom to make the right decisions. The Bible says, “Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold” (Proverbs 3:13).   

Spirit of Counsel

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 Seek the Lord while he may be found, call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God; for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord” (Isaiah 55:6-8).

There are many people who look to outside sources to receive counsel for their personal lives. Psychiatrists, therapists, psychologists, psychiatric drugs, clergy and even talk show hosts are sought after to help people solve life’s problems with the hope of a possible solution. Life coaches, motivational speakers, and counselors of every sort get paid big money to give people advice, answer questions, and offer a road map for the direction that their clients’ lives should go in. Although counsel can be great, many have failed to seek counsel from the LORD first. The Bible says, “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me, even at night my heart instructs me” (Psalm 16:7).

            God has given us the Counselor to lead and guide us in whatever decisions that we have to make. Whereas people can give counsel based upon their own opinions, which may be of a worldly point of view, the Holy Spirit gives us counsel based upon the will of God. His counsel will never contradict that of the Father, but will fulfill the plans that God has for us. The Bible says, “What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught to us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words” (1 Corinthians 2:12-13). The best part about receiving counsel from the Holy Spirit is knowing that He will never guide you wrong. His words are of God because He is part of the Godhead; therefore, total trust can be given in knowing that He wants what’s best for us.

            How many people have laid on a therapist’s couch telling them all their problems only to be a dollar short with no answers? They may go week after week and still may not be able to come up with a solution to help whatever ails them. This is not to say that a person cannot get advice. The Bible says, “The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice” (Proverbs 12:15). However, when seeking advice, the believer should go to God in prayer first and allow the Holy Spirit to be the one doing the leading. The Holy Spirit may indeed send another person of faith to help guide the believer in the right direction. But should this take place, one can be assured that this person will give wisdom from the Lord which will never conflict with His laws. The Bible says, “Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” (Amos 3:3).

            As a believer, we are to live in accordance with the Spirit. Ungodly counsel has led many astray, but to seek the counsel of God is to allow the Holy Spirit to do the leading. We are God’s temple and the Spirit dwells inside all who invites Him in. Therefore, we are not our own but belong to the Lord. The Bible says, “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” (Romans 8:13-14). When the believer accepts Jesus as their personal Savior, all of Heaven rejoices. The Holy Spirit leads, guides, convicts and teaches right from wrong. He never forces Himself on anyone, but with an open heart, He will reside and give us the answers that we may so desperately seek. The Bible says, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:7).

Spirit of Strength

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16).

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            There are times in life when the believer faces many obstacles that can be challenging and spiritually draining. The death of a loved one, the illness of a child, the loss of a job, or even the foreclosure of a home can drain a person to the extent that they will suffer from depression, anxiety and loss of motivation to do the things of God. Even the darkness that is increasingly obvious on the land as shown through the local news, social media, radio, and newspaper can cause many to lose heart and become greatly discouraged. The Bible says, “Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world for the heavenly bodies will be shaken” (Luke 21:26). Nevertheless, those who hold fast in God and endure to the very end have a guarantee from the Father that they will be eternally saved. The Bible says, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:12-13).

 The Holy Spirit provides strength to those who are weary and brokenhearted. He lightens the load for those who feel as if they are burdened down by the storms of life. He helps the believer to be replenished in their time of need and reminds them that God is forever present, and that security can be found in Him. The Bible says, “You are awesome, O God, in your sanctuary; the God of Israel gives power and strength to his people” (Psalm 68:35). The Holy Spirit is there to be the pillar in our lives when we feel that we can no longer endure the trials that we will ultimately face.

Jesus never said that following Him would be easy. On the contrary, He let us know in His word that everyone must carry their cross in order to be deemed worthy as a true follower of Him. The Bible says, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:27). This means that we should expect trials and tribulations to come our way. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that we get a free pass to travel down a smooth road. Despite the trials that may come our way, every believer can have faith in knowing that the Holy Spirit is there to be our rock of stability. The Bible says, “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer, my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2).

          The devil aims to discourage believers when they are at their lowest point in life. He tries to whisper in their ears that they are a failure, will never amount to anything, and that God isn’t pleased and doesn’t love them. However, the Psalmist, David, had to encourage himself when everyone had forsaken him and there was no one else around to turn to other than God. The Bible says, “David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6). Just as David found strength in God, there will be times in life when a believer will have no one else to turn to but the Lord as well. God is never to be our last choice, but always our first for He has given us strength through the power of the Holy Spirit.

            We cannot walk this road alone because we are subject to fall. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit is there to give us a hand in order to get up again. The Bible says, “For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes” (Proverbs 24J:16). All we have to do as believers is rely on His strength, not our own and allow the Holy Spirit to do the rest.

Monday, March 30, 2020

King of kings and Lord of lords: "Who is the Holy Spirit?" (Part 2)

Spirit of Power

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

            Prior to Jesus returning to Heaven, He told the disciples that He was going the send the Comforter to give them what they needed to accomplish the Great Commission. They would receive Power that could only be given through the Holy Spirit. But what was this power that would be given? The Power of the Holy Spirit is likened to a battery for an automobile. The vehicle may have all the things that it needs to operate such as tires, lights, gas, seats, and steering wheel. Nevertheless, if the vehicle does not have a battery that is fully charged, the other parts of the vehicle will remain useless. This is how it is without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives the believer power to do the things of God. The Bible says, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies” (Romans 8:11).

            The apostles would have been powerless to heal the sick, raise the dead, speak in other languages, and possess the courage to stand strong for God, while knowing that they would face death if it weren’t for the Holy Spirit. It was only through the power given to them from the Holy Spirit that they were able to operate in the fullness of what God had called for them to do. The Bible says, “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16). The Holy Spirit did not come until Jesus left, but on the Day of Pentecost, when the church was on one accord, the Spirit came down upon all who were present.  The Bible says, Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:2-4).

          The apostles never acted on their own account. They only acted as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance, through which, they were able to do many signs and wonders. The Bible says, And these signs will accompany those who believe in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well” (Mark 16:17-18). Jesus had a work for the apostles to do, and the Holy Spirit enabled them to be a light to all who were once in the dark. They were able to understand about God and receive healing in both the spiritual and the natural for all who believed. The same power of the Holy Spirit is still being given as a gift today. God has no respect of person and for all who ask and believe in Him, the same will be given and then received.

Spirit of Truth

“But when he the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is to come” (John 16:13).

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            There is so much deception in the world today. From mainstream media, to politicians, government officials, and even leaders within the body of Christ, find it hard to tell the Truth. Nevertheless, God never allows His people to be deceived. The Holy Spirit being all truth reveals Himself to those who earnestly seek Him. From the beginning of time, the devil has done nothing but deceive the whole world. His deception began with the angels in Heaven and after his fall from grace, he continued his destructive path of deceit, which led to the fall of man. The Bible says, “You will not certainly die.” The serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4-5). Satan deceived the woman into thinking that she could be like God just as he desired to be like God, but he failed to mention that it would have extreme consequences in the long run.  Therefore, the Spirit of Truth is needed for the believer.

            The Holy Spirit gives us Truth because God never deals in deceit. He longs for His children to be fully aware of the devil’s schemes and this is why the Holy Spirit empowers us to be filled with the complete Truth, so that we may not fall into the enemy’s traps. The Bible says, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place” (Ephesians 6:14). The world is deceived into thinking that everything is good and acceptable for them as long as their fleshly desires are appeased. However, when we understand who God is and allow His Spirit of Truth to reside in us, we can then appreciate God’s laws, for they are not to do us harm, but to give us standards in order for us to have the best life in Him.

            Jesus spoke of the devil as not knowing any other language other than lies, and we are to remain girded with the Spirit of Truth for the devil’s goal is to destroy us spiritually and in the natural. The Bible says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!” (John 8:44-45). In Jesus' day, the religious leaders could not accept Him as the Messiah because the devil had blinded their eyes to the truth. Despite all His teachings, they looked upon Him as a threat rather than a Deliverer. This was because those who think carnally cannot understand things of the Spiritual nature and therefore, do not understand truth. The Bible says, “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

            The Bible tells the story of a husband and wife, Ananias and Sapphira, who had promised to give the proceeds from land that they had sold to the church. However, they kept part of the money for themselves after they made the sale. Instead of being honest with Peter when asked if they had brought the full amount from the sale of the property, they lied and told Peter that they had. The Bible says, “Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?” (Acts 5:3). Ananias fell dead, and later, his wife did also. They had not only lied to Peter but to the Holy Spirit, for God is a God of Truth.

            The Holy Spirit gives discernment to the believer to know the difference between a lie and the truth. The Bible says, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God” (1 John 4:1-2). There are many people who are doing the things of God, but do not know God and therefore, they are leading many astray. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit who is all Truth will not allow the Children of God to be deceived. Those who seek Him in Spirit and in Truth will never be led astray, for we will hear the voice of God and will follow. The Bible says, “My sheep listen to my voice, I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Any voice other than God’s is a spirit of deception, but we have the Spirit of Truth.

Spirit of Prophecy

“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. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28-29).

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            God gave His people prophets by way of the Holy Spirit to be His mouthpiece and to deliver messages directly from the Throne to guide, teach and warn them of things to come. The Bible says, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5). A person who is truly a prophet of God is not designated by men, but of God. Jeremiah was chosen to be a prophet before he was even born. He was handpicked by God to deliver a word of warning to the Israelites who had turned away from Him and wandered into idolatry. God wanted the best for His chosen nation, but they did not align their will with His and were therefore judged.

God has a plan for all those who will be submissive to His will. The Holy Spirit, therefore, enables those whom God chooses to work in the office of a prophet, to speak on His behalf. The Book of Joel lets us know that God promised to pour out his Spirit upon all people where they would prophesy in the last days. This does not mean that everyone will have the office of a prophet, but God would pour out His Spirit to give dreams and visions so that His people would never be unprepared for the days to come.  The Bible says, “Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

God used many people in the Bible to give a prophetic word for His children. Prophecy should never be taken for granted, for it is God’s gift to the believer and is an important part of the believer’s relationship with Him. God gives the Holy Spirit messages to give to the believer because He loves and cares for us and His word never returns void. The Bible says, “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 56:10-11).

            Not only does the Holy Spirit imparts prophecy to the believer as a message from God, but the Spirit of Prophecy testifies as to who Jesus is. The Bible says, “At this, I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus” (Revelation 19:10). When Jesus was on earth, He spoke prophetically about things to come in order to warn His disciples concerning things that they would have to endure as well as the believer regarding to the end times. Yet, warnings are not the only work of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives prophecy to help guide the believer just as a map gives directions. Prophecy is like a reflective mirror of Christ and if we allow Him to lead us through the prophetic word, then we are being a representative of Jesus. This is why the Bible says prophecy is for the believer and not the non-believer. The Bible says, “Tongues, then, are a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers; prophecy, however, is not for unbelievers but for believers” (1 Corinthians 14:22).

            Many people have confused the Spirit of Prophecy with getting a word in regards to material possessions, jobs, status, fame and popularity. Many of the saints of God flock to prophets not to get a word from God in regards to being in good standing with Him, and to find out what they need to do to please Him, but they are looking for God’s hands to fly open. This, unfortunately, tarnishes the true meaning of the gift of prophecy, which is given through the Holy Spirit. It also misrepresents prophetic enlightenment when this is the mindset of Christians that is often endorsed by many televangelists, pastors, and self-proclaimed prophets; therefore, perverting the true knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, we as believers are to understand that the Holy Spirit imparts prophecy to us in order to enable us to be fully equipped for the Kingdom of God. The Bible says, “For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21).