Familiarity with the Holy Spirit

Grant Marshall – AoE Ministries UK

November 2020/5781

John 16: 13 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

In this message I want us to be reminded of who the Holy Spirit is. If we were to be familiar with Him, we would by measure be in disrespect. Jesus, before His departure from this earth, gave to us a helper. The word ‘Paraklete’ from the Latin ‘parakletus’ describes the Holy Spirit as an advocate or helper. This in no way denotes that the Holy Spirit is a familiar friend. As an advocate and helper, He helps us therefore to pursue a life that should be lived in accordance with the will of God, leading us into the truth and knowledge of God. In doing so, the Holy Spirit gathers our testimony which is given as evidence to God when we come to stand before Him in His courtroom. We are admonished to listen to the Holy Spirit as we walk through our life, for He will lead us in the way we should go. The Holy Spirit is also called the breath or wind of God. The word used here is ‘pneuma.’ It is the power of God, but is an allegorical or figurative term and is generally used in Christian theology to signify a hypostasis or three distinct, separate yet unified substances of the God head trinity. However, the Holy Spirit is God and in this we find that He is given no personal name.

God is complete, unified and coexists with His creation but can also separate Himself from His creation. In this respect we know that God is holy — separate. God identifies Himself in the Hebrew as ‘Ayer Asher Ayer’ Exodus 3:14 CJB, which again is generally translated as ‘I Am.’ It seems that in using this introduction given to Moses to give to Pharaoh in Exodus that not only is God telling Pharaoh that He exists, but that all things exist in Him and because of Him. Remember also that this is new to Moses too. 

In the Talmud we see that the Holy Spirit is called the ‘Ruach Hakodesh.’ It is the breath of YHVH and is also called the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Elohim which is manifest in many forms. It can appear as fire, a dove, sound, wind, a voice. It imbues all living things with life. In its dissemination, it will manifest in varying degrees throughout different generations according to each generation’s worthiness. We see in Joel 2 and Acts 2, that the people were gathered and consecrated to the Lord. God sees such consecration worthy of His response.

Having laid some kind of foundation, it would be good to address now our personal relationship with the Holy Spirit. Each genuinely converted soul becomes a dwelling, a container for the Spirit of God, a temple as scripture tells us in1Corinthians 6:19. Each container can be filled to varying degrees. He can remain for a time upon a person or persons or transfer to another. The example given in Luke 4:1-14 tells us that Jesus, full of the Spirit, went into the wilderness to be tested for forty days and returns in the power of the Spirit, and declares during His teaching in the synagogue: 

Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because He has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisonersand recovery of sight for the blind,to set the oppressed free, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 

So it would seem that even Jesus had to fulfil His ministry in the power of the Spirit. Each converted soul now belongs to God and that is crucial in understanding how God will move individually and corporately. Each soul should live to glorify God and thus God looks for this in every Spirit filled believer: John 4:24,God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and Truth.

The work of the Holy Spirit is completely comprehensive, in helping us to live by faith and to fulfill the purposes of God and to mature in the gifts and to attain holiness.

The Holy Spirit, does the work of God in this world and accomplishes all that He has been sent out to do.

Isaiah 55:11, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Thus, if we, having been bought by God through Messiah Yeshua’s blood, now belong to Him and are led by the Spirit, then we are the work of God. Though we are the property of God, we exist as His children, members of His family, because the act of redemption restores what already belongs to Him.

We now become co-workers with the Spirit to fulfill the work of God on the earth and in conjunction with Jesus, continue in the spreading of the good news — the great commission, to the lost sheep of Israel.

The Holy Spirit, can so often become a bit part player in our faith, and if we have made Him thus, we need to adjust our outlook and discontinue the kind of familiarity that looks upon Him as a servant, standing unseen in the background, fulfilling and attending to our every whim. In this divine relationship, we are co-workers and warriors in the heavenly realms as well as heirs. 

We must become familiar with every aspect of this relationship. We see in Genesis 24 that Abraham sends his servant to find a bride for his son Isaac. This is an allusion to the work of the Holy Spirit. The name of Abraham’s servant was Eliezer. His name means ‘God’s Helper.’ Eliezer was a confident and trusted servant of Abraham and had the power to choose the right wife for Isaac and to agree the terms of the engagement. We can see what level of responsibility his position held. 

The Holy Spirit does not come as a lodger but as the owner of souls. He can choose how He dispenses His power among each of us. He will not carry us up the mountain of trials, but assist us. He will not carry our burdens but will help us endure. He is not a genie who comes to grant us three wishes, or a magician that entertains with illusion. Through the valley of shadows He will guide and comfort us, assuring us that everything is in hand and inspiring us to greater heights. He causes us to worship and pray and speak the things of God — to bring things from the heavenly realm and the will of God to earth.

Soon the coming Kingdom of Christ will be upon us, and it is incumbent upon every bought soul and saved believer to make themselves ready and work alongside the Holy Spirit. The greatest battle of all will soon be fought. It is beyond comprehension, even to the angels. The Holy Spirit will help us prepare for this time and He will protect us from the arrows, pestilence and plagues that will fall upon humanity. However, He will not carry our packs or armour; that is up to us. If we have trained well, we will be strong enough to endure.

The survival of God’s people is at stake. We have been given every gift and every blessing. A man who walks with God lacks no good thing and his paths are made straight. In practical terms, we will give up on our journey  if we believe we can’t make it. That is lack of faith. 

All of God’s people are going in the same direction. They may be miles apart, as the multitude of the peoples in the desert were, during the exodus, but they were all going in the same direction — to their destiny.

In this passage in Deuteronomy 31, we see Moses encouraging  the people and Joshua. The Spirit over Joshua would embolden him to lead and to decide the tribal portions. Moses affirms that the Spirit of the Lord will go before him.

Deuteronomy 31 Then Moses went out and spoke these words to all Israel: 2 “I am now a hundred and twenty years old and I am no longer able to lead you. The Lord has said to me, ‘You shall not cross the Jordan.’ 3 The Lord your God himself will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations before you, and you will take possession of their land. Joshua also will cross over ahead of you, as the Lord said. 4 And the Lord will do to them what he did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, whom he destroyed along with their land. 5 The Lord will deliver them to you, and you must do to them all that I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

In Isaiah 30:21, we read: 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Our relationship with the Holy Spirit is based on utmost respect and fear, because we cannot pursue anything of God or the kingdom without Him. The Holy Spirit works according to the law. We must agree to do things His way.

Exodus 23 tells us that the angel of the Lord will walk with Moses in his commission and that He must be obeyed.  v20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for My Name is in Him. 

Friends, there are dire consequences when this law is broken.

Finally, let me leave you with this illustration. A person who has never fired a pistol or a rifle will approach the experience of doing so with trepidation, if they are fearful of the weapon and of their level of confidence. They will fear the explosion, the noise, the recoil and the power they hold in their hands. They may even fear a potential accident. However, with respect and training, understanding the capabilities they now possess, they can now protect life or destroy it, and with practice they will hit the mark every time. That is the type of familiarity we must have with the Holy Spirit. Consider now how we are listening to Him. The helper has come. He will not leave us nor forsake us.

This might come as a shock, but the Holy Spirit lives in dead men, so that His resurrection power can be seen by the living.  Our preparation continues each day and it must be in the knowledge that our Christian life is a constant battle. In heaven there is a book of remembrance; everyone who has been enlisted in the war has their names written in it. Their reward will be beyond title, decoration or medal. It will be a crown of glory and their banner will never fade. If we endure to the end then we can say that we have run the race, and we didn’t do it on our own. We did it with a lot of help.

Today, if we have neglected such relationship, let us repent. We need to consider our familiarity, our disrespect and our distrust.

Forgive me father for being over familiar with your Holy Spirit.  Help me Holy Spirit, to hear you clearly and to obey you without question. Thank you for always being there, leading me, helping me to walk this life of faith. Thank you for fulfilling all the purposes of God in me.

Shalom.

Grant Marshall AoE Ministries UK

2020/5871

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