PARTNERS WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT: PART I

When God created man, He put part of His Spirit into man. Therefore, God could stay in touch with man and partner with man (Genesis 2:7). Jesus, who was begotten of the Holy Spirit, became a “Man.” Jesus revived that partnership between man and God and the Spirit (Matthew 2:18-23). The power of Christ can free the human spirit of sin, so that the human spirit can partner with the Holy Spirit. The Risen Lord Jesus promised his disciples that the Holy Spirit would clothe them with power (dunamin), (Acts 1:8). Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit is more than an external visible power! The Holy Spirit is an indwelling of the Holy Spirit in man that will help man to believe and to understand what God and Christ are all about. According to the beloved John, Jesus gave two statements regarding the work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus also indicated what it takes to have the Holy Spirit live in man:

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you.

I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me does not keep my words; and the word which you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me (John 14:15-24).

But now I am going to him who sent me; yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow had filled your hearts. Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to our advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in me; of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me for he will take what is meine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

“A little while, and you will see me no more; again a little while, and you will see me” (John 16:5-16).

WHY DID THE HOLY SPIRIT COME INTO THE WORLD?

The answer that Jesus gave them is not the answer they expected. They expected Jesus to establish another “Davidic Kingdom,” so that they could rule and so that they could become part of that glorious “Davidic Kingdom.” However, Jesus came to establish God’s Kingdom! And God’s Kingdom is not of this world! Even Christians don’t want to endorse Jesus’ answer. Most of us believe that God is in charge of this world. God is not in charge of this world! The Psalmist correctly believed, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1). How heartbreaking it must have been for the Son of God, the Creator, when the devil offered Jesus all the kingdoms and all the riches of the world (John 1:1-5; Matthew 4:8-10; Luke 4:5-8)? Can we imagine? How our Lord felt when his own chosen people were ruled by the devil’s children (John 8:42-47)? Jesus’ Mission, as the Son of man, was to set up the “Kingdom of Heaven” and the “Kingdom of God” on earth (John 18:36-37). Christians, brace yourself, Jesus, your Lord, was not of this world! And neither are you! Take to heart, the “Prayer of Jesus!” And stop believing that God is in charge of this world. God will take charge on Judgment Day! God can not favor anyone before all have had a chance to make their choice (II Peter 3:9). Jesus said:

I have manifested thy name to the men whom thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them to me, and they have kept thy word. Now they know that everything that thou hast given me is from thee; for I have given them the words which thou gavest me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from thee; and they have believed that thou didst send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom thou hast given me, for they are thine; all mine are thine, and thine are mine, and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee, Holy Father, keep them in thy name which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I do not pray that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Consecrate them in the truth; thy word is truth. As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.

I do not pay for these only, but also for those who are to believe in me through their word, that they may all be one; even as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one. I in them and thou in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that thou hast sent me and hast loved them even as thou hast loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom thou hast given me, may be with me where I am, to behold my glory which thou hast given me in they love for me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world has not known thee, but I have known thee; and these  know that thou hast sent me. I made known to them thy nae, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:6-26).

THE WORLD HAS BECOME AN UMBRELLA WHERE GOD’S GRACE SHELTERS MANY DIFFERENT NATIONS

Jesus had some things to say on how to partner with the Spirit, so that godly people can live in the Spirit in this hostile world:

You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you.

You have heard that is was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:38-48).

The Apostle Paul counseled his converts with this message who live in a hostile environment:

Finally, be strong in Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace; above all taking the shield of faith, with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray that all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak (Ephesians 6:10-20).

JESUS CHRIST IS THE KEY IN IDENTIFYING THE HOLY SPIRIT AND JESUS IS THE LINK BETWEEN THE OLD AND THE NEW TESTAMENT

Then, we have Jesus, who claimed that He came from the world that only faith can perceive (John 1:14; 6:62). Jesus came to confirm the “Existence of God as the Spirit,” and to introduce “Himself as the Son of God” (John 10:34-39). Jesus added his Apostles to the list of God’s Messengers. The Apostles (disciples) were and they still are the “Witnesses” that the Son of God shared His Life with men and with women as the Son of man (Luke 24:48; I John 1:1-4; II Peter 1:16-18). Therefore, the New Testament also became Scripture; for the New Testament is the conclusion of God’s intentions in the Old Testament. The Holy Spirit’s Presence and the Holy Spirit’s Direction supervised all of the Bible (II Timothy 3:16; II Peter 1:19-21). Also, Jesus’ coming into the world was and still is the “evidence,” why life is necessary and worth living; for, it is the only life that prepares man for a new and better life for with God. Jesus was the “Evidence” in whom God’s Spirit lived and worked. The Apostle John showed us how we can know whether the true Spirit lives in us. And the Apostle Paul had this spiritual surprise, if the true Spirit does live in us:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether  they are of God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard that it was coming, and now it is in the world already. Little children, you are of God, and have overcome them; for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world, therefore what they say is of the world, and the world listens to them. We are of God. Whoever knows God listens to us, and he who is not of God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. There  is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because he first loved us. If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also (I John 4:1-21).

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glorification. None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, not ear heard, not the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him, God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who possess the Spirit.

The unspiritual man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:7-16).

THE BIBLE, OLD AND NEW TESTAMENT, IS GOD’S SPECIAL GIFT TO MAN — BECAUSE THE BIBLE CONTAINS GOD’S SAVING WORDS

The Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible! And therefore, men were only the Holy Spirit’s Scribes. The most important author was the Son of man, Jesus the Christ. The writer to the Hebrews laid it out for us, in chapter one. It is the Gospel in a nutshell:

In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He reflects the glory of God and bears the vry stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down a the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.

For to what angel did God ever say, “Thou are my Son, today I have begotten thee”? But thou are the same, and thy years will never end.” But to what angel has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation? (Hebrews 1:1-14).

In the Prologue of the Gospel of John, the Son of God, Himself, has become the “Message” and the “Word” in the Bible:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came for testimony, to bear witness to the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness to the light.

The true light that enlightens every man was coming into the world; he was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world knew Him not; He came to his own home, and his own people received him not. But to all who received Him, who believed in his name, He gave power to become children of God; who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have behold His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. (John bore witness to him, and cried, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, for he was before me.’”) And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God; the only Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known (John 1:1-18).

Truly, truly, I (Jesus) say to you, the hour is coming, and now is,  when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself, and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment (John 5:25-29).