Tag Archives: Godhead

The Nature of God: The Spirit as Testifier

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.

The Nature of God Index   
Previous: The Spirit as Intercessor 

Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.

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The Nature of God: The Spirit as Intercessor

The Holy Spirit

In an earlier post, I talked about the Son’s role as intercessor.  Romans 8:26, 27 speaks of the Holy Spirit as an intercessor as well: “Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities, for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  And he who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” 

We see the tender love of the Holy Spirit for us in these verses.  He sees our weaknesses, especially our prayer limitations, and makes Himself available to help us in them.  He so cares for us that He intercedes through deep groanings within us. 

I find it most interesting that two of the three Persons of the Godhead are involved in intercession.  And, since the Spirit breathed into man the image of God at Creation, (Genesis 1:26 and 2:7), if we are sensitive to His leading, we will be attracted to intercession as we are progressively restored into the Lord’s likeness.

In His dual role as Intercessor and Teacher, the Spirit helps us to pray according to the Father’s heart — something for which we are entirely dependent upon Him.  It is not possible for us to pray rightly, apart from the Spirit of God guiding and directing us.  Perhaps the reason so many prayers go unanswered in our day is because they are prayed out of our own natural thinking, rather than by seeking the counsel of the Holy Spirit and depending on His assistance in intercession.

Praying in partnership with the Holy Spirit is really not so much about us praying as it is about yielding ourselves to allow Him to pray through us.  When we learn to do that, prayer becomes an exciting adventure.

The Nature of God Index
Previous: The Spirit as Comforter
Next: The Spirit as Testifier 

Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.

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The Nature of God: The Spirit as Comforter

The Holy Spirit

And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.John 14:16

As Jesus prepared His disciples for his coming death, resurrection, and ascension, He wanted to assure them that they would not be left alone and to their own devices.  In John 14:17-23, He went on to say that this Comforter would live within them, and that through Him, Jesus and the Father would also come to live within them.  How does that work?  It is part of the mystery of the Trinity, which we are not able to fully comprehend; it is because the three Persons of the Godhead really cannot be put into separate compartments from each other.  Remember, we serve ONE God, not three.

How does the Holy Spirit fulfill His role as Comforter?  He gives us peace.  It is interesting that at the time of Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit appeared as a dove, the universal symbol of peace.  After explaining about the coming of the Comforter, Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you” (John 14:27).  He does that through the Spirit of Peace, Who now dwells within us.  Galatians 5:22 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ….”

Many Christians are not living in the peace that we were meant to enjoy.  We worry and fret, as if God had not promised to care for our every need.  The reason is that, in order for the Holy Spirit to release in us what He has been sent to give, we must yield ourselves to Him, and many of us are not yielding.  Galatians 5:18 says it is a matter of “being led of the Spirit,” while Jesus, when He promised to leave His peace with the disciples through the coming of the Comforter, continued, Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). Paul exhorted the Church to “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15).  It is a cooperative effort between us and the Spirit.  He will give us peace if we give Him rule over us.

The Holy Spirit fulfills His role as Comforter by imparting revelation to us.  Many times, as I have listened to the Holy Spirit speak about health issues, decisions, or other difficulties I was encountering, He has assured me everything was going to be all right.  And that revelation has always borne out to be true.  The Holy Spirit was comforting me by speaking about my future.  At times, He has warned me of an unexpected trouble on the way, but always with that information He has assured me, “I am with you in it.  You are going to come out of it OK.”

The Holy Spirit also manifests Himself as Comforter to believers by being the continual inner assurance that we are saved from hell and have been accepted into the beloved family of God.  Paul puts it, “You were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest [deposit, as in earnest money; guarantee] of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Ephesians 1:13, 14).

We must learn to yield to the Comforter within us.  He desires to help us live victoriously, with unshakable confidence in Him, during these troubled times.

The Nature of God Index  
Previous: The Spirit as Teacher
Next: The Spirit as Intercessor 

Excerpted from Before Whom We Stand: The Everyman’s Guide to the Nature of God — available in print from Full Gospel Family Publications and Amazon and in e-book form from many fine ebook sellers.

BeforeWhomWeStandsm