Author Topic: SDA Sabbath School Lesson 4--1st Quarter 2017--The Personality of the Holy Spiri  (Read 2015 times)

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Wally

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Lesson 4 January 21-27





The Personality 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

(Commentary in Navy)
Inspired in Maroon


Read for This Week's Study: John 16:13, 14; Rom. 8:14-16; Rom. 15:13; John 14:6; John 17:17; Rom. 5:5.

Memory Text: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26

Because the Holy Spirit is occasionally depicted in the Bible in impersonal terms, such as wind or fire, some have concluded that He is impersonal, a type of divine power. In their view, He is more like an electric current that empowers us rather than existing as a personal Being. But the question is not whether some passages can be brought forward that denote more impersonal operations or influences of the Holy Spirit. The question is whether there are numerous portions of Scripture that positively do establish His personality.

There are texts that we need to take into consideration in order to gain a more complete picture of who the Holy Spirit is.

This week we will learn more about the personality of the Holy Spirit as He is described in Scripture. This truth will help us better understand the role of God's divine Spirit in our lives. And it will help us to gain a deeper understanding of the importance of the belief of the personality of the Holy Spirit for our spiritual life. Only if we entertain right thoughts about Him can we render to Him that love, reverence, confidence, and submission that are His due.

Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit is most important. We do not need to understand His personality to understand His role. It is good that we understand what is given to us about His personality, but more important that we learn about His role, for we are dependent upon Him for our understanding, our cleansing, and the power to do any good thing. If we are not possessed by the Spirit, then we do not have eternal life. Because many to not understand the fruits of the Spirit are the evidence of conversion (salvation), it is crucial to understand what is written in these few paragraphs sent from God.  Here is a description of the role of the Holy Spirit.

    The Holy Spirit is Christ's representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His successor on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high.....

     The Comforter is called "the Spirit of truth." His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself. 
     In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail. The power of evil had been strengthening for centuries, and the submission of men to this satanic captivity was amazing. Sin could be resisted and overcome only through the mighty agency of the Third Person of the Godhead, who would come with no modified energy, but in the fullness of divine power. It is the Spirit that makes effectual what has been wrought out by the world's Redeemer. It is by the Spirit that the heart is made pure. Through the Spirit the believer becomes a partaker of the divine nature. Christ has given His Spirit as a divine power to overcome all hereditary and cultivated tendencies to evil, and to impress His own character upon His church. 
     Of the Spirit Jesus said, "He shall glorify Me." The Saviour came to glorify the Father by the demonstration of His love; so the Spirit was to glorify Christ by revealing His grace to the world. The very image of God is to be reproduced in humanity. The honor of God, the honor of Christ, is involved in the perfection of the character of His people.   
     "When He [the Spirit of truth] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." The preaching of the word will be of no avail without the continual presence and aid of the Holy Spirit. This is the only effectual teacher of divine truth. Only when the truth is accompanied to the heart by the Spirit will it quicken the conscience or transform the life. One might be able to present the letter of the word of God, he might be familiar with all its commands and promises; but unless the Holy Spirit sets home the truth, no souls will fall on the Rock and be broken. No amount of education, no advantages, however great, can make one a channel of light without the co-operation of the Spirit of God. The sowing of the gospel seed will not be a success unless the seed is quickened into life by the dew of heaven. Before one book of the New Testament was written, before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon the praying apostles. Then the testimony of their enemies was, "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine." Acts 5:28.   
     Christ has promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to His church, and the promise belongs to us as much as to the first disciples. But like every other promise, it is given on conditions. There are many who believe and profess to claim the Lord's promise; they talk about Christ and about the Holy Spirit, yet receive no benefit. They do not surrender the soul to be guided and controlled by the divine agencies. We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us. Through the Spirit God works in His people "to will and to do of His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13. But many will not submit to this. They want to manage themselves. This is why they do not receive the heavenly gift. Only to those who wait humbly upon God, who watch for His guidance and grace, is the Spirit given. The power of God awaits their demand and reception. This promised blessing, claimed by faith, brings all other blessings in its train. It is given according to the riches of the grace of Christ, and He is ready to supply every soul according to the capacity to receive.  The Desire of Ages, pgs 679,671,672.


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 22

Jesus' Description of the Holy Spirit


Read from John

 16:13   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 show you things to come. 
 16:14   He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show [it] unto you. 

 15:26   But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 
 15:27   And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 

 14:17   [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 
 14:26   But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 


What very personal characteristics does Jesus attribute to the Holy Spirit in these passages? What does it mean to you that Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as a helper or comforter (parakletos)?

The Holy Spirit comforts all who want the truth. There is great comfort in the truth, but none in a lie. He is the heavenly Teacher that opens our minds to the truth. Without Him, we have no spiritual discernment. He will give us just as much truth as we can accept and use. He is the One who takes possession of the heart. He is Jesus' representative that lives within the heart which is fully given to God. He cleanses the heart as white as snow when we invite Him in. It is the Spirit that reveals grace that transforms the life. When He has possession of the heart, He gives us the fruits of His Spirit. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.


According to Jesus, the Holy Spirit guides, speaks, hears, discloses, and glorifies (John 16:13, 14, NASB). The Holy Spirit also teaches and reminds us (John 14:26). He dwells in us (John 14:17), He testifies (John 15:24, 26) and He convicts (John 16:8 ). These sound more like the actions of a sovereign personality than they do an impersonal force.

Read John 14:16-18.

14:16   And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 
 14:17   [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 
 14:18   I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 

How would Jesus' promise be fulfilled? How are the disciples not left alone?

The Spirit gives them great peace, power, and knowledge. He opens minds and hearts to the message they bring, and converts thousands. He sends with great power the Spirit when the disciples are ready for it in the upper room.


Jesus cares for His followers. He would not leave His disciples as orphans. He promised to send the Holy Spirit. Jesus here specifically says that He will send "another helper" or "comforter." The words that Jesus uses here are significant. He promises to send another helper. Not a different one. The Greek word for "another" is "allos." In the Greek language of the New Testament "allos" indicates that Christ will send another comforter who is numerically distinct but is of the same character, that is, who is similar to Himself. In other words, Jesus promises One like Himself, One who will take His place, One who will continue to do His work in us, and who is His representative.

This work of the Holy Spirit is the work of a helper or comforter. The Bible here uses the Greek word parakletos (John 14:16) to describe someone who is called upon for support, for assistance, someone called to our aid. Just as Jesus is a Person, the Holy Spirit is also personal. This idea is supported by the fact that personal attributes are often ascribed to the Holy Spirit (seex).

Why is it so much more comforting to know that the Holy Spirit is a personality instead of a mere force?

He is God, not a force. God is personal. He gave Christ to us at great cost and risk. The Holy Spirit guides our minds, He opens then to powerful truths about the godhead. It is through this knowledge of  God that we are reconciled to Him, not to a force. We are made in His image. Jesus is our Brother. He is God and man. Such powerful truths that through their love, grace, we are transformed into their image, character (2 Cor. 3:18). Do we always bow before God asking for the Holy Spirit before open His Word? Why do we do this? Why do some not do this?

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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Monday January 23

Personal Aspects of the Holy Spirit: Part 1


As you read the following texts, ask yourself if they sound as if they are talking about an impersonal force or about a divine Person.

Rom. 8:14-16, 27
 8:14   For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 
 8:15   For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 
 8:16   The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 
 8:27   And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God. 

Rom. 15:30
 15:30   Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me; 

1 Cor. 2:10
 2:10   But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 

Acts 8:29; 10:19, 20; 28:25
 8:29   Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 
 10:19   While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. 
 10:20   Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. 
 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.


Can an impersonal force intercede in our behalf? Does an impersonal spirit or power have the ability to reveal to us things about God? Does an impersonal influence have the ability to speak? All those biblical statements make much more sense if the Holy Spirit is a personal being as opposed to some impersonal force.

Read the following texts. What personal attributes are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in these passages?

Eph. 4:30
 4:30   And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 

Acts 5:3, 9
 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? 
 5:9   Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband [are] at the door, and shall carry thee out. 

1 Cor. 12:11
 12:11   But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 

Rom. 15:30
 15:30   Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me; 


The distinctive characteristics of personality are knowledge (or understanding), feeling, and will. Only a personal being can be grieved. Only a personal being can be deceived and lied to. Only a personal being has the ability to choose as he wills and has his own volition. The will is perhaps one of the most distinctive elements and characteristics in any personality. And only a personal being has the capacity to love. True love is not conceivable in an abstract and impersonal manner. Love comes with a very personal touch. These predicates of personality indicate that the Holy Spirit is a self-conscious, self-knowing, self-willing, and self-determining being, capable of love. He is not a shadowy effluence or an impersonal essence. The Holy Spirit is spoken of in these personal ways because God Himself is a personal 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." - Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 617.

How does the biblical perspective that the Holy Spirit has characteristics of a personality impact our relationship with Him?

Since He is ever in us or wanting in us, since He brings good gifts, since He loves us when we were yet sinners, since He comforts us through the truth, we surely must be appreciative of His work, even if it hurts when He convicts us of sin in our lives. It is for our good.

What would be different if the Holy Spirit were just an impersonal power as opposed to God Himself?

Do we like to talk to Him? Do we seek Him? Do we ask Him to go to others to help them? Does He consider why we ask for help? Yes, He does, and yes, we do. Then we understand there is a thinking process that knows what is for our best good. It is God that keeps our hearts beating, not a force independent of God.

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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Sunday January 22

Jesus' Description of the Holy Spirit


Why is it so much more comforting to know that the Holy Spirit is a personality instead of a mere force?

He is God, not a force. God is personal. He gave Christ to us at great cost and risk. The Holy Spirit guides our minds, He opens then to powerful truths about the godhead. It is through this knowledge of  God that we are reconciled to Him, not to a force. We are made in His image. Jesus is our Brother. He is God and man. Such powerful truths that through their love, grace, we are transformed into their image, character (2 Cor. 3:18). Do we always bow before God asking for the Holy Spirit before open His Word? Why do we do this? Why do some not do this?

The Holy Spirit loves us as does the Father and the Son, for "God is love" (1 John 4:16). We need to humbly bow before God and ask our Father in Heaven to send us the Holy Spirit because unaided by divine wisdom, we are liable to wrest or twist the Scriptures, which the Holy Spirit inspired the holy men of God to write. We need Jesus in order to do any good thing, and He comes to us by sending us His personal Representative, the Holy Spirit. I am thankful that as I acknowledge my continual need of Jesus, it is the Holy Spirit abiding in me that gives me the grace to live a new life--not just pardoned from sin, but empowered to bear fruit after the image of God--all of the fruits of the Spirit without one missing! What a Gift our Father in Heaven sends us through Christ--the Person of the Holy Spirit!
"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! Imagine thinking the Holy Spirit is just a force. He lives within our hearts. He understands our needs. He is the Great Teacher. He responds to our thoughts and our words. He is able to teach us just what we need to know each day, every moment. How personal is that!

It one thing to not be able to know things about God that we we are not told. It is altogether different to be ignorant of those things clearly given to us in the inspired writings.

     The Comforter is called "the Spirit of truth." His work is to define and maintain the truth. He first dwells in the heart as the Spirit of truth, and thus He becomes the Comforter. There is comfort and peace in the truth, but no real peace or comfort can be found in falsehood. It is through false theories and traditions that Satan gains his power over the mind. By directing men to false standards, he misshapes the character. Through the Scriptures the Holy Spirit speaks to the mind, and impresses truth upon the heart. Thus He exposes error, and expels it from the soul. It is by the Spirit of truth, working through the word of God, that Christ subdues His chosen people to Himself.
     In describing to His disciples the office work of the Holy Spirit, Jesus sought to inspire them with the joy and hope that inspired His own heart. He rejoiced because of the abundant help He had provided for His church. The Holy Spirit was the highest of all gifts that He could solicit from His Father for the exaltation of His people. The Spirit was to be given as a regenerating agent, and without this the sacrifice of Christ would have been of no avail.
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 24

Personal Aspects of the Holy Spirit: Part 2


A challenge we face in understanding the Holy Spirit is that we can imagine God as a Father in a somewhat tangible way. Many also have a concrete picture of Jesus, as He is described in the Gospels. He took our human nature and appeared to us in human form.

The Holy Spirit, however, is presented in a very different manner. He is seemingly impalpable, much harder to comprehend than are the Father and the Son.

In some ways this is true, but when we take the Bible as it reads, truly believing it, then we know Jesus by reading the Word, we know the Father because if we have seen Jesus, we have see the Father. But, this is all by faith, for we have not really seen Jesus, we trust the Word. But, it is different with the Holy Spirit. He is not something left to the imagination or the Word of others revealed in Scripture. The Word tells us about Him, but we know Him personally, don't we? Maybe not, not if you have not given your heart fully to Him. But, if you have, then who is it that revealed Jesus to you? Does He not talk to you every day? Not in audible tones, but through impressions upon the mind that give influence to the Words written in Scripture? Who is it that opens your mind to the inspired truth? It is the third person of the godhead, the One with whom we communicate with daily.

Some will question what is being shared here, but I ask: Do you not ask for the Holy Spirit to help you understand truth? If so, are you going to deny His work?


Hence some draw the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is only an impersonal power. As we have seen so far, that idea doesn't really do justice to the nature of the Holy Spirit. In fact, there are statements in the Bible that would make no sense if the Holy Spirit were just an impersonal force or (divine) power.

Carefully read the following two passages and see if they make sense if you replace the reference to the Holy Spirit by the impersonal word "power." Why do these texts make sense only if the Holy Spirit is, indeed, a Person?

Rom. 15:13
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 

1 Cor. 2:4
And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 


The statement of the apostles that "it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us" (Acts 15:28) would be absurd if the Holy Spirit were only a power or an impersonal influence. The statement instead indicates another personal being, much as both the Father and Son are personal beings.

Furthermore, how can believers be baptized "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28:19,) if the first two who are mentioned are Persons, but the third mentioned is not? That doesn't make the best sense. Instead, all three are mentioned as being part of the same one name in whom we are baptized. Thus, the Holy Spirit is revealed here to be on the same level as God the Father and God the Son.

Ellen G. White has perceptively stated that "there are three living persons of the heavenly trio . . . the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." - Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 615. She, too, is very clear about the existent personality of the Holy Spirit.

It seems that if there was any question about the third person of the godhead, it would be removed with this simple truth being presented. Why then are so many intent on rejecting this truth? I have not found a good reason to reject what is being said here. One argument presented to me by a pastor who has lost his credentials for teaching contrary to this, states that Jesus must be seen as the Son of God. Well, the correct teaching on the godhead does present Jesus as the Son of God. There is no need to argue against the truth as presented. To fight against the godhead as three pre-existent persons gains nothing, but loses much.
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 25

The Spirit of Truth


Read John 14:6 and 17:17.

 14:6   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

 17:17   Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 


What is the meaning of truth in these passages?

In the Gospel of John, the word truth is a key term. Our contemporary understanding of truth often is very abstract and theoretical. In the Western world it has been shaped by Greek philosophy. However, in the Bible, and particularly in John's Gospel, truth carries a rather personal and specific meaning: Jesus is the truth (John 14:6). While God's Written Word is truthful (compare with John 17:17, Ps. 119:142), God's truth is revealed in a supreme way in the person of Jesus Christ. A true knowledge of God is given to us in Jesus, of whom the Scriptures speak, because God has revealed Himself through Him.

Read John 15:26 and 16:13.

15:26   But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 

16:13   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 show you things to come. 


What function does the Holy Spirit have as the Spirit of truth?

In John 16:13 we are told that the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth. He does this by pointing to Jesus Christ and by helping us to remember what Jesus has said (John 15:26) and done for us. The truth into which the Holy Spirit leads us is very personal: He lifts up Jesus and leads us into a living and faithful relationship with Him. When Jesus talked with the woman of Samaria, He said that God must be worshiped in spirit and truth (John 4:24). When we ask for the leading of the Holy Spirit, He will lead us to Jesus, who is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6).

Amen! The Spirit knows who I am, He knows my defects of character, He knows just what I need and when I need to know it. He is the One who opens my mind to the Truth found in Scripture. What is a "baptism of the Spirit"? Is it a Pentecostal lie, or is it truth? The devil always will take truth and pervert it. Study what it means to baptized of the Spirit. It is what we need, and what we may have each day. 

     This purifying of the temple illustrates the work that must be accomplished in every one who would secure eternal life. Patiently Jesus unfolded the plan of salvation to Nicodemus, showing him how the Holy Spirit brings light and transforming power to every soul that is born of the Spirit. Like the wind, which is invisible-- yet the effects of which are plainly seen and felt--is the baptism of the Spirit of God upon the heart, revealing itself in every action of him who experiences its saving power.  2SP 130. 


Truth in the Bible is no abstract thing or theory, such as often appears in philosophy. Truth encompasses a deeply personal and faithful relationship to our Creator and Redeemer, who is called "the God of all truth" (compare with Deut. 32:4, Ps. 31:5). Thus the Holy Spirit is aptly called the "Spirit of truth" (John 14:17, NASB; John 16:13, NASB), who is sent to us from God the Father (John 15:26), indicating not only His personal character but also His divinity.

We do tend to think of truth in terms of propositions, such as the logical concept known as modus ponens. "If A, then B. A, therefore B." And no question, a lot of what we understand as truth we understand as propositions. How, though, do you understand the idea of truth as a Person? Bring your answer to class on Sabbath.

"If A, then B. A, therefore B." This is reasoning, it is logic. But truth is truth. And, truth is presented in the Bible for us, because truth has been perverted. Before there was sin in heaven, what need was there to discuss truth? There was not any need to have the word truth. Now, we need to discern between truth and error. There are lies that the father of lies has hatched. God is truth. Satan has attacked God's character which is truth. We are fallen humans which are need of knowing the truth. It is by knowing the truth about God's character that we are reconciled to Him.

We need to know truth in a simple manner. We need to know God.

     We are under a debt of gratitude to God for the revelation of his love in Christ Jesus; and as intelligent human agents, we are to reveal to the world the manner of character that will result from obedience to every specification of the law of God's government. In perfect obedience to his holy will, we are to manifest adoration, love, cheerfulness, and praise, and thus honor and glorify God. It is in this way alone that man may reveal the character of God in Christ to the world, and make manifest to men that happiness, peace, assurance, and grace come from obedience to the law of God. Thus glory redounds to God in good and righteous actions through harmony with the laws of Jehovah's government.   
     It was positively necessary that man should know his Heavenly Father, and discern his paternal attributes of character; for in becoming acquainted with God, men may become partakers of the same virtues and the same glory. In the prayer of Christ for his disciples, the truth embodied is of the deepest significance and interest to all his followers. "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: as thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." To render acceptable service to God, it is essential that we should know God, to whom we belong, in order that we may be thankful and obedient, contemplating and adoring him for his wonderful love to men. We could not rejoice in and praise a being of whom we had no certain knowledge; but God has sent Christ to the world to make manifest his paternal character. 
     It is our privilege to know God experimentally, and in true knowledge of God is life eternal. The only begotten Son of God was God's gift to the world, in whose character was revealed the character of him who gave the law to men and angels. He came to proclaim the fact, "The Lord our God is one Lord," and him only shalt thou serve. He came to make it manifest that, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." That which proceeds from the mind of God is perfect, and needs not to be taken back, corrected, or altered in the least. We may ascribe all perfection to God. He holds in his hand the existence of every human being, and upholds all things by the word of his power. 
     Unless men shall know God as Christ has revealed him, they will never form a character after the divine similitude, and will therefore never see God. It is a matter for astonishment among the angels in heaven, that any who have once known God should become careless, should permit their minds to be absorbed in any temporal pursuit, and allow their attention to be diverted from the God of heaven, so that they wantonly and willingly forget their Maker, and substitute for him other lords and other gods. The day has come when there are lords many and gods many, and Satan has purposed to interpose himself between God and the human soul, so that men shall not give homage to God in keeping his law. Satan has wrapped about him garments of angelic brightness, and he comes to men as an angel of light. He causes the guilty soul to see things in a perverted way, so that he hates that which he should love, and loves that which he should hate and despise. God is so misrepresented to him that he cares not to retain the true and living Father in his knowledge, but turns to the worship of false gods. He knows not that the love of God is without a parallel, yet Christ has revealed that love to a fallen world. John calls upon the world to behold the wondrous love of God, saying, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not."  Review and Herald, March 9, 1897. 


This is why it would be good for us to spend a thoughtful hour a day contemplating the life of Christ. This is why we have in our possession a revelation of Christ in The Desire of Ages. We are without excuse for not knowing the character of our God, which is the truth the Holy Spirit is attempting to reveal to our minds.
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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Thursday January 26

Why Does It Matter?


The question of the personality of the Holy Spirit is of utmost importance, and it has highly practical implications. "If He is a divine person, and we think of Him as an impersonal influence, we are robbing a divine person of the deference, honor, and love that is His due."-LeRoy Edwin Froom, The Coming of the Comforter, p. 40.

We are doing more than this. The Jews crucified Christ. By not recognizing the role of the Holy Spirit, we are denying the Word of God. He who does not wish to be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is rejecting Jesus and our heavenly Father by rejecting their Word. They are refusing the aid of the Holy Spirit by refusing to see He is the One who dwells in the heart, He is the One who opens the mind to truth, He is the One who speaks as He knows best. The ladder between heaven and Earth is not our heavenly Father, but Christ. Since Jesus became man, He cannot be everywhere at once. He is restricted by His humanity. He is one with us in having a human body. That leaves only the Holy Spirit to communicate and indwell the hearts of all who will make a full surrender and maintain that surrender. The Bible makes it very clear who it is that we need in our hearts in order to have eternal life. Why is it that so many reject these simple verses from the Book of Romans?

 8:4   That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 
 8:5   For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 
 8:6   For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 
 8:7   Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
 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. 


If we think of the Holy Spirit only as a mysterious divine power, our thoughts will be: How can I have more of the Holy Spirit? But if we think of the Holy Spirit as a divine Person, we will ask: How can the Holy Spirit have more of me? The decisive point is: Do you want to possess the Holy Spirit, or do you want the Holy Spirit to possess you? Do you resist His influence, or are you willing to follow Him in joyful obedience (see Rom. 8:12-14, Gal. 5:18-24)?

In order to remove the great deception which has come into God's church, we need to also quote Romans 8:9. I did not know the lesson was going to quote these verses from Romans when I quoted them. But, why would we want to leave out Romans 8:9? Do we disagree with it? Do we think we are truly His when we do not possess the Holy Spirit? Many teach this. Many will argue against this believing we may possess eternal life, salvation, apart from the Holy Spirit. Such a lie. "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." We are under condemnation when we walk after the flesh. It is when we have the Spirit in our hearts that we are forgiven and are walking in the Spirit. We manifest all of the fruits of the Spirit,  not one is missing. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Romans 8:1. If we have the Spirit, we have the fruits of the Spirit. That is what this verse means about walking in the Spirit. "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, pg 676.


Do you want to use the Holy Spirit according to your plans, or do you rely on Him so that He can enable you to become more like Jesus Christ and do what He has in mind for you? Do you take seriously the fact that "know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God" (1 Cor. 6:19) and are you willing to glorify God with how you live?

Read Romans 5:5 and Ephesians 2:18, 19.

Let us read Romans 5:5 in context that we might better understand what it means to be converted, and why God allows bad things to happen to "good" people.

 5:3   And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 
 5:4   And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 
 5:5   And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 

 2:18   For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. 
 2:19   Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;   


Why do we glory in our tribulation? Because our trials are God's way of increasing the abundance of the fruit that the Holy Spirit brings into our lives. When abiding in Christ and filled with the Spirit, we are not tempted beyond what we can bear, but are given power to overcome the temptations that He allows. This will cause us to become more patient, it will give of a new experience which enables us to bear stronger trials tomorrow. We grow in strength of character in this manner. We also glory God as we are His witnesses in our great trials, thus the "love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." It was so very sad this truth was not revealed in our study of the life of Job. What a story is his life. What a character he had formed by obedience to the truth. But, when separated from the Spirit, Job condemned God that he might be seen to be righteous. We need Jesus through the Spirit all the time or else no matter how strong our character, we shall fall.



How are the Holy Spirit and God's love connected? What impact does that have for you personally and for the church?

The gift of the Holy Spirit is given to those who desire to receive the love of God into their hearts. When we love God as He loves us, then we are given the Holy Spirit to cleanse us from all sin. He washes the hearts as white as snow.


Only persons can consciously choose to cooperate with one another. We are invited to work together with the Holy Spirit, while He leads and transforms us personally and God's church corporately. If we do not accept the Holy Spirit as a Person of the triune Godhead, it will be easier for us to ignore Him, to deafen our ears to His invitation, and to harden our hearts against His life-changing influence. And because we are fallen, sin-damaged beings in need of God's transforming grace, the last thing we need to do is ignore the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If anything, we need to give more of ourselves to Him. Thus, in our acknowledgment that the Holy Spirit is a divine Person who wants to use us, God stands at the center of our Christian experience.

What means "more of ourselves to Him"?  We can hold part back and He will come into the heart? No. He will not come unless we give Him our all. We cannot serve two masters. We serve one or the other. God requires we love Him with the whole heart, not part of it. Conversion is not progressive when it comes to the heart. It is all or nothing. What is the first great commandment?


"We cannot use the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is to use us." - The Desire of Ages, p. 672. What do you think Ellen G. White meant by that?

Continue to read after that quote all the way to page 676 where she wrote "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."

How can the Holy Spirit use us? (See Phil. 2:13.)

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. 

What will happen when He is seen in our lives, when we give Him the whole heart and the fruits of the Holy Spirit are seen in His people?

36:22   Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not [this] for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. 
 36:23   And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I [am] the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. 
 36:24   For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. 
 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.


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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  • A glorious sunset teaches of trust and faith.....
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Friday January 27

Further Thought: Read Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 669-672, where she speaks about the Holy Spirit. Also read Evangelism, pp. 613-617.

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: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:18-20).
Notice, as Jesus gave them their calling and work, He said to baptize disciples in the "name" singular, of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He didn't say "names" of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but just "name," (Greek onoma). This is more powerful proof of the triune nature of our One God ("Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:" [Deut. 6:4]). As this week's lesson has already pointed out, no one questions the personality of the Father and the Son; thus, why should anyone do that with the personality and personhood of the Holy Spirit? According to the Bible, we have the loving, caring, and comforting presence of God Himself working in us and through us. That's who the Holy Spirit is and what He does. And how much nicer it is to know that this abiding presence is a Person, just as much as the Father and Jesus are. Yes, it's hard to fully understand. But so what? If we can't fully understand the nature of something as basic as light or wind, how much more so will we not be able to fully understand the nature of the Holy Spirit Himself?

Discussion Questions:

    In class, go over your answer to Wednesday's question about truth being a Person, Jesus Christ. What does that mean? Why would Jesus be the Truth? How do we understand "truth" that way, instead of it being merely precepts or propositions?

    Ellen G. White wrote: "We need to realize that the Holy Spirit, who is as much a person as God is a person, is walking through these grounds." - Ellen G. White, Evangelism, p. 616. What does this tell us about the reality and presence of the Holy Spirit?

    Go back over some of the traits and characteristics of the Holy Spirit that we have seen this week. Which ones are especially comforting to you? Which one means the most to you? Share in class why you chose what you did.

    What can you better relate to, an impersonal force or a personality? What are the implications of your answer?

When sin entered this world through Adam, what changed in how heaven communicated with man?

Did our heavenly Father ever communicate directly with man after sin entered our world?

When did the Holy Spirit begin to communicate with sinful man?

Does Jesus communicate with you personally?

Has the Holy Spirit ever spoken directly to you?  Was it a force, or was it personal between an intelligent being who knows you and what you need to hear?
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of His Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.