The Holy Spirit
John 15:26 shows us yet another function of the Holy Spirit. He testifies of Jesus. “But when the Comforter has come, whom I will send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me.”
This is very important to know. We live in an age when more and more people are craving anything of a supernatural nature, and sadly, even many in the Church are accepting without question every supernatural wonder that comes along. God is releasing miraculous phenomena in the earth today — but the enemy also produces many signs and wonders with the intent to deceive even God’s people.
We should not throw out the supernatural simply out of fear that it might not be God. Often, supernatural manifestations which truly are from the Lord are denounced by narrow-minded Christians who get nervous about anything outside their normal realm of experience. Jesus warned the religious leaders of His day who accused Him of doing miracles by the power of the devil, that this was blaspheming the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:22-32).
But we do need to carefully discern the true from the counterfeit. The #1 line of defense is to make certain that whatever is going on does not contradict Scripture. But deception can be so subtle that I believe we need to go beyond a surface examination of whether it appears to be OK biblically. It is necessary to be so intimately acquainted with the Spirit’s whisper, that we will sense whether something is from Him or not. If the foremost focus is sensations, thrills, unusual manifestations, and being “drunk in the Spirit,” rather than Jesus, something is off. The Holy Spirit always testifies of Jesus and glorifies Him above all.
The Holy Spirit not only testifies of Jesus to us, but also through us. He testifies of Jesus to the world around us: “And when he has come, he will reprove the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment” (John 16:8). Jesus goes on to say that the sin the Holy Spirit will reprove the world for is the sin of not believing on Jesus (John 16:9). How will He do this? Primarily through the Holy Spirit-led testimony of Christians, accompanied by signs and wonders such as mentioned in Mark 16:17-18: “And these signs shall follow those who believe: in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
In my series, Speaking as the Oracles of God, I talk about the necessity of speaking by the prompting of the Spirit, rather than from our natural understanding. When we do that, our speech will inevitably be filled with references to Jesus — and even when we are not directly speaking of Him, so much Christ-like grace and goodness will be evident that people will come to love Him by what they see in us and hear coming from our lips.
We were never meant to testify of Jesus in our own power, but by yielding to the Holy Spirit, so that He could give us just the right words for the moment. Jesus told His disciples, “But when they deliver you up, take no thought for how or what you shall speak, for what you shall speak shall be given to you in that same hour. For it is not you who speaks, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matthew 10:19, 20). This is why Jesus also instructed them to wait at Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came to infill them, so that they would receive power to be witnesses to Him throughout the world (Acts 1:8).
The Holy Spirit is the One who endows us with the nine spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, many of which are prophetic speaking gifts. I find it interesting that Revelation 19:10 comments, “… the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” True prophetic gifts, coming from the Holy Spirit, the Testifier, will point to Jesus.