Tag Archives: Holy Ghost

The Nature of God: The Spirit as Teacher

The Holy Spirit

A primary role of the Holy Spirit is to teach the saints of God. Jesus said of Him in John 14:26, “He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.”

What does He teach us? He gives us knowledge of God’s ways and character, instructs us in how to live a life pleasing to the Lord, guides us in our decisions, makes known to us our personal destinies and how to walk those out, helps us to know when we are in need of repentance, and shows us how to pray (Romans 8:26, 27). We see Him already teaching God’s people under the Old Covenant (“I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go; I will guide you with my eye.”Psalm 32:8), but now that He indwells us, He fulfills that role to an even greater degree.

He teaches us in a variety of ways, such as speaking into our hearts through the inner voice, visions, and dreams. But over and above all other means, He teaches us by enlightening the Scriptures for us. Our natural minds are not capable of understanding the Bible adequately without the illumination of the Holy Spirit, but when we invite Him to read the Word with us, amazing truths unfold.

He is called the Spirit of Truth, and, as such, He guides us into truth. In John 16:13-15, Jesus said of Him, “When he, the Spirit of truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth. For he shall not speak on his own, but whatever he hears [from the Father] he shall speak, and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive what is mine, and shall show it to you. All things that the Father has are mine: therefore I said that he shall take of what is mine, and shall show it to you.”

As the Teacher, He is also the source of ongoing revelation to us. Jesus said He will “show us things to come.” Prophetic revelation of what is yet to happen is available to us through the Holy Spirit, Who reveals to us the plans of the Father for our lives and for the world we live in.

Through prophetic revelation He is able to guide our steps in detail. Expecting the Holy Spirit to give them specific direction was a normal part of the New Testament believers’ experience. One of many examples is found in Acts 16:6-10. There we see that Paul and his companions were “forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” They then attempted to preach in other provinces in the area, “but the Spirit did not permit them to.” Finally, He sent Paul a vision, in which Paul was directed to go to Macedonia.

The Holy Spirit also fulfills His role as Comforter by revelation, which we will discuss in the next post.

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

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 Fire

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is portrayed as fire in several places in Scripture.  The pillar of fire that went with the Israelites and covered the tabernacle likely was not merely a sign of God’s Presence, but an actual manifestation of the Holy Spirit.  Exodus 13:21 tells us, “The LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them in the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light.”  How well appearing as fire to give light fits with the Holy Spirit’s role of guiding our steps and revealing the hidden things of God to us!

We also see that He is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29).  As that consuming fire, He searches our hearts and cleanses out of us that which is impure.  And He is portrayed in Revelation 4:5 as the seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.”

Fire represents to us energy and power. Shortly before ascending into heaven, Jesus “commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the promise of the Father, ‘Which,’ said he, ‘You have heard about from me. For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now'” (Acts 1:4, 5).  Why were they not to go out and testify of Jesus immediately?  They had not yet been filled with the Holy Spirit, of Whom Jesus said,  “You shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you” (Acts 1:8).  That power was given to them on the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit manifested Himself as cloven tongues of fire resting on each of the disciples (Acts 2:3).

John the Baptist baptized with water unto repentance, but he foretold that Jesus would baptize believers with the Holy Spirit and with fire (Matthew 3:11).  When we receive the infilling of the Holy Spirit, as the first disciples did at Pentecost, we have the fire of His Presence burning within us, helping us effectively advance the Kingdom of Jesus in the earth, as we follow His leading.

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

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 Breath

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit, third Person of the Godhead (Trinity) is often, in the Church, the least talked about of the three.  And yet, it is by the Spirit that the thoughts of the Father, spoken into existence by the Son, are carried out.  The Spirit is the One Who dwells within the believer, and via the Spirit the Father and the Son come to abide in us as well (John 14:23).  The Holy Spirit is not an impersonal force — not an “it” — but a Person, with emotions and desires in oneness with the other two Persons of the Godhead.

In Hebrew, the word we translate as “Spirit” is ruach, and in Greek, pneuma — the breath, the wind.

We see Him at the very beginning of the Creation: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved [fluttered, as a breeze] upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).  We see the Spirit as the One Who moves (like wind) to bring forth the thought of the Father, which has been spoken by the Son.

As the Breath of God, it was the Spirit, Who, when man had been formed from the dust of the earth, “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).  He breathed into man of His own substance a spirit which carried the imprint of God’s nature and Spirit — the “let us make man in our image, after our likeness” of Genesis 1:26.

 As the Wind of God, He came to the 120 disciples in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost, filled the house with His manifest Presence, and also filled each believer there individually with His Presence.  “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. … And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit …”  (Acts 2:2, 4).  And so it should be in our corporate worship gatherings today as well — each of us personally full of the Spirit, and His tangible Presence also filling the atmosphere of the place where we are gathered.

 In coming posts, we will take a look at various functions of the Holy Spirit.  We will see what happens when the Breath of heaven blows upon the Church.  If the Church is to be the powerful agent to advance God’s Kingdom in the earth that we are meant to be, we must eagerly embrace the work of the Holy Spirit among us.

The Nature of God Index   
Previous: King of Kings
Next: The Fire 

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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