Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 3--1st Quarter 2017--The Divinity of the Holy Spirit  (Read 3909 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 3 January 14-20




The Divinity of the Holy Spirit




So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Richard Myers

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Sabbath Afternoon

Read for This Week's Study: Acts 5:1-4; 1 Cor. 2:10, 11; Isa. 63:10-14; Titus 3:4-6; Rom. 8:11; 1 Pet. 1:2.

Memory Verse: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." 2 Corinthians 13:14

All through the Bible, the deity of God the Father is simply assumed. We find this truth expressed both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. It is one of the most crucial and foundational of the many revealed truths in the Word of God.

The deity of Jesus also is affirmed in many places in Scripture, especially of course in the New Testament, both in the Gospels and the Epistles.

However, the deity of the Holy Spirit is taught in more subtle terms. It can be inferred from various indirect biblical statements. Here we need to compare scripture with scripture in order to study carefully what God has revealed in His Word about the Holy Spirit. In doing so, we should not affirm less than what Scripture states, and we also should not "think [of men] above that which is written," (1 Cor. 4:6,).  This topic demands a teachable attitude of humility; we should not make our human reasoning about God the standard of how the Holy Spirit should be understood. Instead we should accept and testify to what Scripture affirms, no matter how hard some of the concepts might be for us to grasp fully.

Amen! That begins with the truths Jesus spoke to Nicodemus. "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John  3:5-7.

In order to understand important truths, we must first understand our relationship to God when we are converted. Many have been deceived about their need of the Holy Spirit in their hearts and what it means to be born of the Spirit. Here is a verse that will help us to better understand what happens when we are converted, born of the Spirit. "Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." 2 Peter 1:4.

It is through the Spirit that we become partakers of the divine nature. Does this not explain the Spirit is God? Christ cannot be physically in the heart. It is His representative that takes possession of the heart. It is the Holy Spirit. And with Him He brings the character of Christ, each one of the fruits of His Spirit.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Sunday January 15

The Holy Spirit and God

The Bible does not present a systematic description of the divinity of the Holy Spirit. Instead we find interesting traces that indicate that the biblical writers considered the Holy Spirit to be equal with God. There are several biblical passages where the same activity is attributed to God and then also to the Holy Spirit.

Read Acts 5:1-4.

5:1   But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 
 5:2   And kept back [part] of the price, his wife also being privy [to it], and brought a certain part, and laid [it], at the apostles' feet. 
 5:3   But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back [part] of the price of the land? 
 5:4   Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.


What can we conclude about God and the Holy Spirit from Peter's words to Ananias?

If the Holy Spirit were not God, then Peter would have been speaking here in a very careless and fatally misleading manner. The interesting aspect about the nature of the Holy Spirit, however, is the fact that the apostle Peter puts God and the Holy Spirit on the same level. In verse 3, he asks Ananias why he has lied to the Holy Spirit, and he continues at the end of verse 4: "You have not lied to men but to God" (NASB). Peter clearly equates the Holy Spirit with God. His point is that Ananias was not just lying to the apostles, but to God Himself. Lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God. The Holy Spirit is God. The point is made here very clearly.

Why such a harsh punishment for what these two people did?

Harsh? Why do we say it is harsh?  Do not all die who do not live for Christ? Is this harsh? Then the reason for saying it was harsh is due to something else. But, because we do not see all, does not mean we cannot understand things we do not see. Maybe the author did not mean what we generally think of harsh as being.  Cambridge English Dictionary: unpleasant, unkind, cruel, or more severe than is necessary.

Many want to apply the same to the punishment God invoked upon Uzza. Was killing Uzza harsh also? "And when they came unto the threshingfloor of Chidon, Uzza put forth his hand to hold the ark; for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the ark: and there he died before God. And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzza: wherefore that place is called Perezuzza to this day." 1 Chronicles 13:9-11.

David thought God harsh, severe, and unfair in His dealing with Uzza. What do you think? Be careful you do not do as Satan wants, and judge God to be unfair. The Bible does not tell us any more about Uzza than what we read about his trying to catch the ark. But, if we know God's character as it is our privilege to know Him, them we understand God was fair with Uzza, just as He was fair with Ananias and Sapphira. They had a lifetime to learn to love God and their neighbors, but did not.

It is true that most do not die at the hand of God, but rather at Satan's hand or the result of their own lifestyle. There are times when God acts, such as when He killed everything off the face of the Earth, except what was in the Ark. Was that severe and harsh? I don't think so. It was necessary for our salvation.

God's act in killing Ananias and Sapphira was not arbitrary, nor severe. They reaped what they had sown, just as all will who do not live for Christ. Yes, I know they professed to be Christians, but they were not Christians at heart. This was not the first offense. Like Uzza it was not the first time they sinned against God. How do we know? Because God is perfectly just. Mercy has its end when she no longer pleads for the unrepentant sinner.


We must remember that the believers of the early church in Acts were "one in heart and mind" (Acts 4:32, NIV). This unity was a product of the Holy Spirit, and this is the reason they voluntarily and freely shared what they possessed. To lie with regard to the sharing was to deny the unity of the community and to belie the Spirit that undergirded that unity and made it possible.

This is why the lie of Ananias and his wife falsified the divine work and presence of the Holy Spirit in the early church community. Such dishonesty toward God is destructive and hinders the Spirit of God from working effectively in the lives of the believers. God wants us to serve Him undividedly. Because the new faith community was at a crucial juncture, God used drastic consequences to make sure that the new church would work in unison and truthfulness with one another and be willing to be led by His Spirit.

Think how easily Ananias and Sapphira may have justified their sin. After all, haven't we sold our own property and given some of it to the church? What's the big deal if we keep a little? What should this story tell us about how careful we need to be regarding how we justify our actions?

Why, because we might die? Or because we would bring reproach upon the One who suffered and died that I might live? All around us we find many justifying sin, believing they do not have live an undivided life. They sin, and instead of realizing what they have done to Jesus, justify themselves because it was only one sin. Because punishment does not come rapidly, many think God's justice is not what it is. Is it severe? No, it is just and fair.  If we think this is severe or harsh, wait until the wicked are raised from the grave to suffer for each sin they have committed. Each will be punished or rewarded according to "the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Cor. 5:10.

Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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In Sunday's lesson, we see truths brought out in the life of Ananias and Sapphira, as well as with Uzza, that teach us an important lesson in relation to the Holy Spirit. Each of these people was granted a period of probation in which to form character, to decide to respond to the sweet pleading voice of the Holy Spirit, who is fully God, or to choose a life of sin. The sinner may not know when they have crossed the boundary line--when the sin they have committed they would never choose to turn from, but God knows. Probation for Ananias, Sapphira, and Uzza was closed after they had fully committed themselves to a course of sin, and because God is perfectly fair and loving, just and merciful, they were put to death. These people had become so hardened in sin that their cases were closed. God visited death upon them directly, not because He is harsh or inconsistent, but because to do so would serve as a warning to others whose probation was not closed. What a merciful God! We will either continue to look to man and tradition to try to make an excuse for sin, or we will humbly come to Christ as we are, confessing our CONTINUAL NEED of Jesus (by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind to keep it pure) to do any good thing, for He has the power to keep us from falling into sin.

Jude
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.


Let us choose Christ. Let us realize that God is speaking to us right now by His Holy Spirit--to do the right thing, because it is right, and because the truest motivation to do right is to behold the loveliness of Jesus.
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Monday January 16

The Holy Spirit's Divine Attributes


In several biblical passages the Holy Spirit is described as having divine attributes.

What attributes and activities of the Holy Spirit are listed in the following Bible passages that, otherwise, can be attributed only to God?

1 Corinthians 2:10, 11: "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."


compare with

Ps. 139:7 "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?"

Clearly, the Holy Spirit is able to be in all places at all times, and He is all knowing. He also knows our hearts and that unless we have made an entire surrender to His divine work, that are are not in a saving, abiding relationship with God in Christ. He is either knocking on the heart's door for entrance (Revelation 3:20), or we are enjoying the union and communion of fellowship with Him in our hearts and minds renewed by divine grace. It is very clear in the Bible as to our continual need of the Holy Spirit to indwell the heart: "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." (Romans 8:9).

Heb. 9:14: "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

compare with 1 Tim. 6:16: "Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen."

Praise the Lord! The Holy Spirit is eternal and is immortal! When we have Him abiding in our hearts through an entire surrender to Christ, we can begin even now to experience the blessing of eternal life--a life that has no end, for the only thing that could separate us from this joyous union is sin (Isaiah 59:2). Let us choose Christ continually by the agency of the Holy Spirit and experience the blessing of what God has in store for us!

Luke 1:35: "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
Rom. 15:19: "Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ."


compare with Ps. 104:30: "Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth."

The Holy Spirit is revealed as having the power to create and to work miracles. We read these accounts in the Scriptures for a very important purpose--that we can experience the greatest miracle in the Bible--the NEW BIRTH! This is the greatest miracle, and yet how few know this to be true in their experience! The new birth is rare in these last days, but God would have us clearly know how it can take place. Hear what Jesus said to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, in John 3:

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.


In his examination of the wisdom of God, Paul argues that it is the Holy Spirit who makes this wisdom known to us. "Like knows like" is the reasoning Paul employs here in his argument. Only one who is equal to God can know the deep things of God (1 Cor. 2:10, 11). There is no knowing God as does the Spirit, for He knows God from the inside. He knows in a way that an outsider does not. The Holy Spirit is indeed omniscient.

The presence of the Spirit is the presence of God. If I cannot flee to a place where the Spirit of God is not, He is omnipresent (compare with x).

The Holy Spirit is said to be eternal (Heb. 9:14). According to the Bible, how many eternal beings are there? Only God is eternal (1 Tim. 6:16). If the Spirit is called eternal, then He must be God.

The Holy Spirit also is all-powerful or almighty. In Luke 1:35 the phrases "the Holy Spirit" and "the power of the most High" (NASB) are synonymous constructions. Here they refer to a miracle of the first magnitude, the virgin conception. In Romans 15:19, the apostle Paul acknowledges that his ministry was achieved by "mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God" (NKJV). Indeed, the Holy Spirit can do divine miracles.

Jesus also says that blasphemy against the Spirit is unforgivable (Matt. 12:31, 32; Mark 3:28, 29). This is incomprehensible unless the Spirit is divine.

Why is it unforgivable? Because it is by the Spirit that we are converted, or born again. If we attribute that power to Satan, or we reject the continued pleading of the Holy Spirit to repent, there is no more that God can do for us. By neglect or rejection, we seal our own eternal destiny. Let us choose today to be continually sensitive to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit! Thankfully, we can know if we are abiding in Him--because He ALWAYS reveals Himself with ALL of the fruits of the Spirit in the life without one missing--this is  GREAT MIRACLE!

But perhaps the most amazing work of the Holy Spirit is His ability to change human hearts and minds. It is the Holy Spirit who accomplishes a new spiritual birth (John 3:5-8).


John 3:3-8
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.


He has the power to accomplish something that only God can do.

Amen! Amen! Amen! What a blessing to have our lesson bringing out the MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH for our time--the work of the Holy Spirit to change human hearts and minds! What a promise! What a glorious truth! When we are converted, the heart and mind is made pure and holy, and God will be able to work in and through us to will and to do of His good pleasure so long as we stay connected to Him, the life-source, the Vine, by the Holy Spirit's divine work! Praise the Lord to be having this taught in the Seventh-day Adventist church this quarter to go around the world!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

colporteur

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Thursday January 1


The Holy Spirit is affirmed as a proper object of worship in the New Testament, ......


I think he is on a very slippery slope here.  While we understand that The Holy Spirit is a Person and a part of the Godhead there are some very strange ideas developing within the church.  " The Father and the Son ALONE are to be exalted."  Youth Instructor July 7, 1898

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVyX-SOU5wg&feature=youtu.be
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

colporteur

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Thursday January 1


The Holy Spirit is affirmed as a proper object of worship in the New Testament, ......


I think he is on a very slippery slope here.  While we understand that The Holy Spirit is a Person and a part of the Godhead there are some very strange ideas developing within the church.  " The Father and the Son ALONE are to be exalted."  Youth Instructor July 7, 1898

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVyX-SOU5wg&feature=youtu.be

I am still looking but as of yet I have not found a SOP quote that says we are to worship or pray TO the Holy Spirit. We are certainly to pray for, accept, be comforted and taught by the Person of the Holy Spirit. I am struggling with the statement that the Holy Spirit is a affirmed as a proper OBJECT of Worship in the NT. While this I suppose boils down to defining "worship" by the same token  the Bible or SOP as given through Mrs. White seems not to make such a statement. While the anti- Holy Spirit as a Person people have some serious error in their belief system ( imho) I think they have this much right, or close to right. Can one pray TO and worship the Holy Spirit without exacting Him ?
It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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The study of the Holy Spirit this quarter is good. cp, I watched a little of the video you linked to. It is interesting how the truth is mingled with error. The preacher had a burden to point to us the Holy Spirit. His choice of words and his lack of understanding of some dangers in the church from false teaching would keep us from joining with him as he is now teaching. But, there is an important truth that needs to be taught in the church. The Holy Spirit has been neglected and vilified by some in the church. Many years ago when a pastor and I were praying privately just before we began an evangelistic series, I had asked for the Holy Spirit to be with us and to open the hearts of those who had come to hear the truth. The pastor responded that my prayer regarding the Holy Spirit was "Pentecostal." That was an eye opener for me. I have not heard that since from anyone else, but because of the false, some have become fearful of speaking about the Holy Spirit. How very sad. 

I have never "worshiped" the Holy Spirit as we worship God. But, He is God. I don't have any thoughts on the matter. But, we need to understand His office, His work. This has been neglected to be taught, and is greatly misunderstood. This is where our effort needs to be this quarter. What is the connection with the Holy Spirit and our character? Not only is there ignorance, but opposition to the truth that when converted, we have the Holy Spirit in our hearts and minds. He is the One who brings every one of the fruits of the Spirit into our lives when we are converted. And, He must be there in order for us to have salvation. This is not understood by many in the church. We do not hear this being preached or written. Why not?

The Holy Spirit's work is not understood. When we complete this quarter's study, I pray those who are studying with us will understand the work of the Holy Spirit in convicting of sin, of revealing the need for His righteousness, and what happens when we are converted in justification and sanctification (character transformation). He that hath the Son, hath the Holy Spirit in his heart and mind. And if we do not have the Spirit, we do not have the Son. And if we do not have the Spirit, we do not have life. From Romans:

8:8   So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 
 8:9   But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 
 8:10   And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. 
 8:11   But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 
 8:12   Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 
 8:13   For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 
 8:14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 


Simple truth we do not hear being preached. Why not?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Tuesday January 17

Biblical Hints

There are various references to the Holy Spirit in the Bible that are interchangeable with references to God.

Read Isaiah 63:10-14 and compare it with Numbers 14:11 and Deuteronomy 32:12.

 63:10   But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, [and] he fought against them. 
 63:11   Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, [and] his people, [saying], Where [is] he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where [is] he that put his holy Spirit within him? 
 63:12   That led [them] by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? 
 63:13   That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, [that] they should not stumble? 
 63:14   As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. 

14:11   And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them? 

 32:12   [So] the LORD alone did lead him, and [there was] no strange god with him. 



To whom was the writer referring in these passages, and what does this tell us about the divinity of the Holy Spirit?

In Isaiah 63:10, the people rebelled and grieved the Holy Spirit. However, the parallel account, as found in Numbers 14:11, states, "The LORD said to Moses, 'How long will this people provoke me?' " . And in Deuteronomy 32:12, we are told "the LORD alone did lead him, and [there was] no strange god with him". Obviously the biblical writers saw God and the Holy Spirit on par with each other.

In 2 Samuel 23:2, we read that "the Spirit of the LORD spake by me" whereas in the parallel statement in verse 3, it says: "The God of Israel said . . . to me". Again, the conclusion from this biblical parallel is that the Holy Spirit is considered to be equal to God.

Compare 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17 with 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 and compare 1 Corinthians 12:11 with 1 Corinthians 12:28.

 3:16   Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 
 3:17   If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are. 

 6:19   What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 
 6:20   For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 
 
 12:11   But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 

 12:28   And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 


How are the references to the Holy Spirit and to God used interchangeably in these passages? What is attributed to God and to the Holy Spirit alike?

In 1 Corinthians 3:16, 17, Paul uses similar language as in 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20. For the apostle Paul, to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit is to be inhabited by God. By equating the expression "temple of God"  with a temple "of the Holy Ghost", Paul points out that the Holy Ghost is God.

In 1 Corinthians 12:11, Paul writes that it is the Holy Spirit who distributes the spiritual gifts to each believer. A few verses later in 1 Corinthians 12:28, we are told that it is God who is doing it. The basic message is clear: the Holy Spirit does the same action as God is doing, powerful evidence that the Holy Spirit is equal to God.

Read again Numbers 14:11. "And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have showed among them?" In what ways might this be applied to us today?

How can we know if we are doing the same today? Are we doing the same today? Is Jesus speaking to us in Revelation chapter three?

 3:14   And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 
 3:15   I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 
 3:16   So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 
 3:17   Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 


Yes, He is. We are the seventh church. And, the condition still applies to the church today.


Think about the miraculous ways God has worked in our church. Think about all the reasons He has given us to believe. How can we make sure we aren't doing today what God's people did thousands of years ago?

How can we make sure we cease repeating the sins of Israel of Old?

Jesus did not end His counsel to us with a rebuke without telling us how we can make sure we cease repeating the sins of Israel. We will see revival and reformation. God's church will be cleansed. It begins with each one of us. Let it begin with me and my house. Here is what Jesus tells us we must do in order to be converted.

3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 


How do we buy gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and eye salve?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Wednesday January 18

Divine Work of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit performs certain works, which the Bible ascribes only to God. He is active in the divine work of the creation, and He is just as active in God's re-creation of sinners.
 
Amen! Actually, He is much more active in the re-creation of sinners than when creating humanity in the first place. It was easy to create Adam and Eve, but it is not so easy to re-create man in His image after Adam sinned. The fallen nature we have does not want to be "re-created." Sin has a hold on man and the greatest battle man and God will fight is in restoring His image in fallen man. Many have been called, but few will choose to be re-created. It is a shame since they have been given the opportunity to be re-created, to be set free from sin, and to live with Jesus in a perfect world free from sin and sinners.....for eternity. What an offer!! What love is seen in this great Gift!


Read Titus 3:4-6.

 3:4   But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 
 3:5   Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 
 3:6   Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 


How does Paul describe the involvement of the Holy Spirit in the process of re-creation?

The Holy Spirit is mentioned side by side with "God our Savior" (Titus 3:4) in the context of the washing of regeneration (baptism) and our spiritual renewal (Titus 3:5). He is the agent of our new birth. He renews our hearts. He awakens our desire to follow Christ. He is the Spirit of life (Rom. 8:2). He is the One who sanctifies sinners and transforms their character. He helps us to be obedient to Jesus Christ, who saved us. Only a divine being is capable of such wonderful things.

Amen!  And yes, baptism represents this washing of regeneration, but the washing and regeneration has taken place prior to the baptism. The heart has been made new, been cleansed from sin. This needs to be made clear, for this is where Satan has injected the great deception which allows church members to remain in a lost (Laodicean) condition believing they are converted, when they are not. Jesus pleads with the church that as a people, we "repent".


Compare Isaiah 6:8-10 with Acts 28:25-27.

 6:8   Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me. 
 6:9   And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. 
 6:10   Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. 

 28:25   And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, 
 28:26   Saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: 
 28:27   For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. 


Whom do the biblical writers attribute the divine speaking to?

I don't know of any Seventh-day Adventists who do not understand the Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Bible. Neither do we find many Christians in other denomination that do not understand the Holy Spirit inspired the Bible writers.


There are several biblical passages in which, on the one hand, God is said to be speaking and in which other biblical writers state that the Holy Spirit is said to be speaking. It is the Holy Spirit who supernaturally imparted the Holy Scriptures to us (2 Pet. 1:21), something that elsewhere is described as God's inspiration (2 Tim. 3:16). Giving the Scriptures is another divine work of the Spirit.

What does Romans 8:11 teach us about the divinity of the Holy Spirit?

But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you. 

The Bible states that the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead and will also raise us. Only God has the power to raise people from the dead. Hence the Holy Spirit is God.

And, it will bless many to understand from this verse that it is because one was converted when He died, that the Holy Spirit was in possession of the heart, therefore, since the Holy Spirit "dwelleth in you" then our mortal bodies shall be quicken by that same Spirit that is in us. This is the important truth we need to understand. When the Bible says "abide in me and I in you," it is through the Holy Spirit that Christ abides in us. He is Christ's representative. Christ cannot be in every converted Christian. He is bound by His humanity and can only be in one place at a time. He gave up His omnipresence to become one with us, our King and Brother.

Let us see more clearly what happens at conversion from the prophet Ezekiel:

36:25   Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. 
 36:26   A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 
 36:27   And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. 


It is the Holy Spirit that brings power to keep the law of God, that cleanses the heart from sin at conversion. Re-read these verses without prejudice asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth. The Laodicean does not understand these verses correctly. They have been twisted to allow from the professing Christian to believe his heart has not been cleansed from sin, that he does not have to keep the law of God, that he may sin and retain his justification (salvation).


What are changes you can make that would cause you to be more open to the leading of the Holy Spirit? That is, what practices might be keeping you from clearly discerning His leading in your life?.

Sin separates from God and keeps us from discerning the truth. But, we may ask for the Holy Spirit to make us willing to be made willing to not only understand truth, but to walk in the light of God's love and grace. When we are converted, then we walk in the light given to us. It is when we wander away from Christ, that the Holy Spirit will not dwell in our hearts.

What changes can one make that will cause him to follow God, to be able to hear the still small voice of God, the Holy Spirit? We must be converted and abiding in Christ. We must have Jesus, through the Holy Spirit in our hearts if we want to clearly discern God's leading in our lives. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned. We must have the mind of Christ. We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is a very straight message that many will refuse to accept, but it is the truth. We read from 1 Corinthians:

 2:14   But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 
 2:15   But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 
 2:16   For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. 


The "divine work of the Holy Spirit" is actively speaking to God's people. He is seeking entrance into our hearts. Is He speaking to you right now? What is He saying? Even the unrepentant sinner may hear the voice of the Holy Spirit convicting of sin. And, after we hear that, He then points us to Jesus as our only hope. "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." John 16:7,8.

And, He, the Holy Spirit will continue to work after we are converted. There will be times when we wander away from Jesus. Where is the Spirit then, and what is He doing? He is Christ's representative, so He stands at the door of the heart wanting back in. "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." Rev. 3:20.



Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

colporteur

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I believe that the spirit this man is trying to link up with is not holy. He is leading people to Kenneth Copeland and probably does not even know it. The fact that he is willing to be blindsided to any real concern regarding Spiritual Formation and Contemplative prayer is telling. While he may have a valid concern regarding accepting the Holy Spirit he is allowing it to take him off the other side of the beam. I would love to hear more of his message as this was less than 2 minutes. I am certain it would be a very startling message.


It's easier to slow a fast horse down than to get a dead one going.

Richard Myers

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Yes, cp, there is more than one spirit in the world. We cannot serve two masters. It is true we can be converted and ignorant of many truths. But, unless we are filled with the Spirit of God, we are not following the Holy Spirit. A hard lesson to learn. It helps to understand that when the Spirit takes possession of the heart, He brings with him, all of the fruits of the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. If we do not have these, then we are indeed following the wrong spirit. Then, we will see some of the works of the flesh in the life.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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How can we make sure we cease repeating the sins of Israel of Old?

Jesus did not end His counsel to us with a rebuke without telling us how we can make sure we cease repeating the sins of Israel. We will see revival and reformation. God's church will be cleansed. It begins with each one of us. Let it begin with me and my house. Here is what Jesus tells us we must do in order to be converted.

3:18   I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 
 3:19   As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 
 3:20   Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 
 3:21   To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 
 3:22   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. 


How do we buy gold tried in the fire, white raiment, and eye salve?


The answer is always the same. We must behold Jesus. "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). We buy "gold," the true faith that works by love, by seeing that genuine reality of glory--character--in the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. By beholding we become changed. "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." (2 Corinthians 3:18). Hence, this truth is so applicable to each of us, either in a Laodicean (lost) condition, or a repentant, fully surrendered (converted from Laodicean) condition: "It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day in contemplation of the life of Christ. We should take it point by point, and let the imagination grasp each scene, especially the closing ones. As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us, our confidence in Him will be more constant, our love will be quickened, and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last, we must learn the lesson of penitence and humiliation at the foot of the cross." {DA 83.4} We buy the gold tried in the fire from Jesus, but we must receive it by beholding His loveliness of character. We receive His white raiment (His spotless robe of character) just like the guests in the parable:

Matthew 22:1-14
1 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
2 The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
3 And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
4 Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
5 But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
6 And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
7 But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
8 Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
9 Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

Christ offers His loveliness of character to each of us--but it is up to us to spend time with Him and surrender our heart entirely for Him to cleanse us from sin, and for Him to give us that character change. The garment is freely offered, but "few are chosen" in the sense that few will choose to spend that time with Jesus for Him to do in them what only He can do, and then teach them the part they are to do--to yield their sin-polluted heart to Him to purify! What does the white raiment look like? It is His character--the fruits of the Spirit in the life without one missing!
Revelation describes this beauty of character in God's people who have accepted this experience of the imputed and imparted righteousness of Christ thus:

Revelation 19:7-8
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.


We choose to be a part of the "chosen" by spending time daily with Jesus. Many will not do this. They think they are too busy. I have an honest question: Are you too busy to eat? If so, you are probably too busy! But your "spiritual food" is of much more consequence than your physical life! We need to have Jesus daily, and we can do no good thing apart from Him!

Christ also is willing to give us eyesalve! This is the anointing of the Holy Spirit--true spiritual discernment!

1 Corinthians 2:14-15
14   But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 
15   But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.


A Laodicean (unconverted) person feels that they understand that they are doing "pretty good" or they are "rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing"--but they do not see their own weakness, the sinfulness of their fallen nature (which must be kept under by the divine nature moment-by-moment) and their continual need of Jesus. When we have been made partakers of the divine nature through a living, abiding faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit (the source of divine eyesalve) reveals continually our utter inability to do any good thing apart from Jesus. We sense that unless the Holy Spirit is indwelling our hearts moment-by-moment, we know not what to do or say...and so we continually pray and trust to the hand of infinite love that was nailed to the cross, that we may be guided by Christ through the agency of His Holy Spirit! This is our need! And the remedy is abundant to all who will "behold" Jesus! Praise God! Come join us as we do this in  The Desire of Ages forum! Be blessed in beholding Jesus!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Amen, Pastor Sean! Such a simple lesson. The "wedding garment" is indeed the "righteousness of Christ" imparted to the repentant sinner. Notice it is not imputed, but imparted. What is the difference? Imputed is the righteousness of Christ standing in our place. But, His imparted character is given to us. It is our character. How do we get it? Just as Pastor Sean has written, by beholding Jesus. "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." (2 Corinthians 3:18). What is His glory? It is His character. What is His image? It is His character. Who is it that does the transformation? It is the Holy Spirit.

It ought not be hard to understand, but it is for many. How often to we hear this being preached or see in books printed on our presses? Not often. Why not?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Pastor Sean Brizendine

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Thursday January 19

The Importance of His Divinity


What would be lost if the Holy Spirit were not God? If the Holy Spirit is not fully God, the implications for salvation and worship are serious. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is responsible for regenerating believers. He dwells in them and fills them. He renews our thinking and changes our character. He has the power to resurrect. He makes Christ's followers as God is: holy. If the Holy Spirit is not God, how can we be certain that He can do any of these things and do them in such a way that they are acceptable to God?

Amen! He, the Holy Spirit, must be fully God to do this! The Holy Spirit indwelling the believer makes the repentant sinner holy, filled with all the fruits of the Spirit so that not one is missing!

Read 1 Peter 1:2: "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied."
2 Corinthians 13:14: "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."
Matthew 28:18, 19.
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."


What does the fact that the Holy Spirit is mentioned side by side with God the Father, and Jesus Christ, the Son, in baptism and benedictions tell us about the place of the Holy Spirit in the adoration and worship of God?

He is fully God, and His ministry of transformation in our life is essential to our salvation. We must have continual communion with Him to be vitally connected to God--and that means He has the power to keep us from sin (for this is the one thing that will separate us from God). By the Holy Spirit, it is possible to live a holy life that honors God and brings Him glory, that will vindicate His character before the onlooking universe and seal the universe from ever having sin rise up again. What a privilege the Holy Spirit has to effect such transformations in our lives as we yield to and behold the one He uplifts: Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

The divinity of the Holy Spirit helps us to relate to Him in appropriate ways that acknowledge Him for who He truly is. His divinity is the presupposition for a God-centered spirituality. The New Testament church without hesitation mentions the Holy Spirit side by side with the other two members of the Godhead. The Holy Spirit occupies the same rank and position in the act of baptism as do the Father and the Son. Baptism has a deep spiritual significance and is an ordinance of profound worship. What is true in the act of baptism is equally true of the apostolic benediction. It is an invocation of adoration where the Holy Spirit is praised just as are the Father and the Son. All three persons of the Godhead are mentioned side by side and are equally affirmed.

The Holy Spirit is affirmed as a proper object of worship in the New Testament, not just in baptism and in the apostolic benediction, but also in the constant requirement that we depend on Him for all spiritual good and should obey Him as our divine teacher and sanctifier. Does it matter that the Holy Spirit is God? Yes, very much so. If we know who He truly is, and recognize and acknowledge His deity, we will honor His work and rely on Him for our own personal growth and sanctification.

There is reason for caution here. The Holy Spirit does not seek worship, but seeks to lead us to glorify the Son who leads us to always direct our prayers to the Father. We do not see one example in the Bible where we are taught to "pray to the Spirit"--rather, Jesus, who was led by the Holy Spirit and filled with His presence, directed us to pray to Our Father. Matthew 6:9: "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name." God is a God of order, and He is glorified as we approach Him the way His word prescribes.

Think about what it means that the Holy Spirit, God Himself, is working in your life. What great promises are found here for us in knowing that it is God who is working in you to change you into what you can be in Him? Why is this an uplifting and affirming truth?

It is so important for us to experience the loveliness of Jesus in our lives by beholding Him. It is the Holy Spirit that leads us to "look and live" and see what Jesus has done for us, and what the Father risked in sending His Son. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit will come and give us a new heart and mind filled with all of the fruits of the Spirit. This is the greatest miracle! And it is possible NOW as we make a full surrender to God by beholding the loveliness of Jesus. Let us appreciate the agencies employed to make us like Jesus!
"When we live by faith on the Son of God, the fruits of the Spirit will be seen in our lives; not one will be missing." {The Desire of Ages, 676.4}

Richard Myers

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Amen, Pastor Sean! It is by the Spirit that we are made holy. It is the Spirit that cleanses the soul when we allow Him to. It is the carnal heart that is renewed, washed clean the Holy Spirit takes possession of it. It is a new heart such as is revealed in Ezekiel 36:26 and 27. We have defiled the temple of God, but the Holy Spirit comes with power to create in us a clean heart. Though my sins are as scarlet, the Holy Spirit will cleanse my heart and make it white as snow! Such a promise!! Such simple truth.

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." 1 Cor. 3:16, 17. No man can of himself cast out the evil throng that have taken possession of the heart. Only Christ can cleanse the soul temple. But He will not force an entrance. He comes not into the heart as to the temple of old; but He says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him." Rev. 3:20. He will come, not for one day merely; for He says, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them; . . . and they shall be My people." "He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea." 2 Cor. 6:16; Micah 7:19. His presence will cleanse and sanctify the soul, so that it may be a holy temple unto the Lord, and "an habitation of God through the Spirit." Eph. 2:21, 22. The Desire of Ages, pg 162
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Richard Myers

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Friday January 20

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, "Misrepresentations of the Godhead," pp. 613-617, in Evangelism.

Here are a few statements from this reading in Evangelism:


The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour. There are three living persons of the heavenly trio; in the name of these three great powers --the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit--those who receive Christ by living faith are baptized, and these powers will co-operate with the obedient subjects of heaven in their efforts to live the new life in Christ...

Christ is the pre-existent, self-existent Son of God.... In speaking of his pre-existence, Christ carries the mind back through dateless ages. He assures us that there never was a time when He was not in close fellowship with the eternal God. He to whose voice the Jews were then listening had been with God as one brought up with Him.....He was equal with God, infinite and omnipotent. . . . He is the eternal, self-existent Son....

We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds....

The Holy Spirit is a person, for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. . . .

The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."

The Power of God in the Third Person.--The prince of the power of evil can only be held in check by the power of God in the third person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit.....
 
In Co-operation With the Three Highest Powers.-- We are to co-operate with the three highest powers in heaven,--the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, --and these powers will work through us, making us workers together with God.

As we have seen this week, the biblical evidence for the divinity of the Holy Spirit is very convincing. The Holy Spirit is God. But remember: in thinking about the Holy Spirit, we are dealing with a divine mystery. We reiterate the point: just as we cannot fully explain God and His nature, we have to resist the temptation to make our human comprehension the norm for how God should be. Truth goes far beyond human comprehension, especially when that truth deals with the nature of God Himself.

Amen! We are on dangerous ground when we go beyond what we have been told in Scripture.


At the same time, faith in the divinity of the Holy Spirit means more than accepting the bare teaching of the Trinity.

Godhead is a much better word. Trinity is not Biblical, it is Roman Catholic and its use invites needless opposition to the godhead.

It includes reliance on and confidence in the saving work of God as it is commissioned by the Father and accomplished through the Son in the power of the Spirit. "It is not essential for us to be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. . . . The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden." - Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, pp. 51, 52.

Discussion Questions:

    Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once wrote: "What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence." Though his context was quite different from what Ellen G. White wrote above, the principle is the same. That is, why is it better to keep silent about aspects of God and of spiritual truth in general that have not been revealed by Inspiration?

Speculating is dangerous. If God wanted us to know something, He would have revealed it to us. We have been given much truth. Why not study it? Would it not be good to understand the gospel instead of speculating on what we have not been given?

     We are in continual danger of getting above the simplicity of the gospel. There is an intense desire on the part of many to startle the world with something original, that shall lift the people into a state of spiritual ecstasy, and change the present order of experience. There is certainly great need of a change in the present order of experience; for the sacredness of present truth is not realized as it should be, but the change we need is a change of heart, and can only be obtained by seeking God individually for His blessing, by pleading with Him for His power, by fervently praying that His grace may come upon us, and that our characters may be transformed. This is the change we need today, and for the attainment of this experience we should exercise persevering energy and manifest heartfelt earnestness. We should ask with true sincerity, "What shall I do to be saved?" We should know just what steps we are taking heavenward.  1SM 187.



    Sometimes it is helpful to reflect upon a theological position by asking the question: "What would be lost if the proposal were untrue?" For instance: "What would be lost if Christ were not divine?" With regard to the Holy Spirit, reflect on the following question: "What would be lost if the Holy Spirit were not fully God?"

There is no need to question the truth. He is God.


    What does the following quote say to us on a practical level? "The Holy Spirit, who is to fill us, is not some vague influence or mystic force. He is a divine Person, to be received with deep humility, veneration, and obedience. Therefore it is not a question of our having more of Him, but of His having more of us-yes, all there is of us."-LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Coming of the Comforter, p. 159.

This seems to be a hard lesson to learn. Too many think they can have salvation when not making a full surrender of the whole heart. They think they can retain a portion of an evil wicked heart and escape death. God requires an entire surrender of the whole heart. We cannot hold anything back.

Jesus said "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:    And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment." Mark 12:29,30. If we still have pride, known or unknown, in the heart, then we have not kept this first commandment and do not have eternal life in us. When the Spirit takes possession of the heart, He sweeps it clean and makes it white as snow. It is our work to cling to Jesus that He (through the Spirit) may remain in the heart, for without Him we can do no good thing.


Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

ejclark

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In Sunday's lesson, we see truths brought out in the life of Ananias and Sapphira, as well as with Uzza, that teach us an important lesson in relation to the Holy Spirit. Each of these people was granted a period of probation in which to form character, to decide to respond to the sweet pleading voice of the Holy Spirit, who is fully God, or to choose a life of sin. The sinner may not know when they have crossed the boundary line--when the sin they have committed they would never choose to turn from, but God knows. Probation for Ananias, Sapphira, and Uzza was closed after they had fully committed themselves to a course of sin, and because God is perfectly fair and loving, just and merciful, they were put to death. These people had become so hardened in sin that their cases were closed. God visited death upon them directly, not because He is harsh or inconsistent, but because to do so would serve as a warning to others whose probation was not closed. What a merciful God! We will either continue to look to man and tradition to try to make an excuse for sin, or we will humbly come to Christ as we are, confessing our CONTINUAL NEED of Jesus (by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the heart and mind to keep it pure) to do any good thing, for He has the power to keep us from falling into sin.

Jude
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

1 Corinthians 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.


Let us choose Christ. Let us realize that God is speaking to us right now by His Holy Spirit--to do the right thing, because it is right, and because the truest motivation to do right is to behold the loveliness of Jesus.
Amen, I really like that.

ejclark

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Thursday January 1


The Holy Spirit is affirmed as a proper object of worship in the New Testament, ......


I think he is on a very slippery slope here.  While we understand that The Holy Spirit is a Person and a part of the Godhead there are some very strange ideas developing within the church.  " The Father and the Son ALONE are to be exalted."  Youth Instructor July 7, 1898

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVyX-SOU5wg&feature=youtu.be

I am still looking but as of yet I have not found a SOP quote that says we are to worship or pray TO the Holy Spirit. We are certainly to pray for, accept, be comforted and taught by the Person of the Holy Spirit. I am struggling with the statement that the Holy Spirit is a affirmed as a proper OBJECT of Worship in the NT. While this I suppose boils down to defining "worship" by the same token  the Bible or SOP as given through Mrs. White seems not to make such a statement. While the anti- Holy Spirit as a Person people have some serious error in their belief system ( imho) I think they have this much right, or close to right. Can one pray TO and worship the Holy Spirit without exacting Him ?
I believe that the spirit this man is trying to link up with is not holy. He is leading people to Kenneth Copeland and probably does not even know it. The fact that he is willing to be blindsided to any real concern regarding Spiritual Formation and Contemplative prayer is telling. While he may have a valid concern regarding accepting the Holy Spirit he is allowing it to take him off the other side of the beam. I would love to hear more of his message as this was less than 2 minutes. I am certain it would be a very startling message.



The pastor's name is Roy Ice. He is an Adventist pastor who is also the drummer for a "supposed Christian rock band" called Big Face Grace. Two other members of the band are Sam Leonor and Tim Gillespie, two of the seven co-founders of the One Project.

Wally

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  • Romans 8:35, 38, 39
Thursday January 1


The Holy Spirit is affirmed as a proper object of worship in the New Testament, ......


I think he is on a very slippery slope here.  While we understand that The Holy Spirit is a Person and a part of the Godhead there are some very strange ideas developing within the church.  " The Father and the Son ALONE are to be exalted."  Youth Instructor July 7, 1898

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVyX-SOU5wg&feature=youtu.be

Interesting that no "proof texts" were supplied to support his idea.  When  Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, He said nothing about us worshiping Him or praying to Him.  John 16:13, 14--Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.  The Holy Spirit never draws attention to Himself, but always points us to Christ.  Jesus was also very plain about Who to pray to:  "Ask the Father anything in My name"  (my paraphrase of John 16:23, and John 14:13.

Of course "God" is 3 Persons, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  So, when we worship God, one could argue that we are worshiping all 3; but we do not worship the Holy Spirit in isolation.  Throughout the Bible all praise and adoration is directed toward the Father and Son.

I wasn't disagreeing with you, cp, but I had to throw in that little monkey wrench.  ;D
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10