“Oh, the unspeakable greatness of that exchange,—the Sinless One is condemned, and he who is guilty goes free; the Blessing bears the curse, and the cursed is brought into blessing; the Life dies, and the dead live; the Glory is whelmed in darkness, and he who knew nothing but confusion of face is clothed with glory.” Trailady

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A person God turned around many times.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

The Holy Ghost

“For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2Pet. 1:21).

Everyone has an influence. Some have a stronger influence than others. If the heart is good, the influence will be for good. An opposite, but no less sure result, comes if the heart is evil. The evil influences radiating from an evil heart are under Satan’s dominion. He forces his will against our will. And, likewise do his children manipulate and control.

The means by which we can overcome the wicked one is that by which Christ overcame,―the power of the word. God does not control our minds without our consent; but if we desire to know and to do His will, His promises are ours: “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” “If any man willeth to do His will, he shall know of the teaching.” John 8:32; 7:17, R. V. Through faith in these promises, every man may be delivered from the snares of error and the control of sin.
     Every man is free to choose what power he will have to rule over him. None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but that they can find deliverance in Christ. The Desire of Ages, p. 258.

But, the heart that is good never manipulates.

   In matters of conscience the soul must be left untrammeled. No one is to control another’s mind, to judge for another, or to prescribe his duty. God gives to every soul freedom to think, and to follow his own convictions. “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” No one has a right to merge his own individuality in that of another. In all matters where principle is involved, “let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” Romans 14:12, 5. In Christ’s kingdom there is no lordly oppression, no compulsion of manner. The angels of heaven do not come to the earth to rule, and to exact homage, but as messengers of mercy, to co-operate with men in uplifting humanity.
     The principles and the very words of the Saviour’s teaching, in their divine beauty, dwelt in the memory of the beloved disciple. To his latest days the burden of John’s testimony to the churches was, “This is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.” “Hereby perceive we the love of God, because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” 1 John 3:11, 16….
     This was the spirit that pervaded the early church. After the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, “the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own.” “Neither was there any among them that lacked.” “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 4:32, 34, 33.  Ibid., p. 550, 551.

The influence of the good heart comes from above, from Him who would never force anyone against his will. God uses loving-kindness as His only force, and everyone with the need for kindness will revel in His presence. Loving-kindness is holy; therefore, His loving influence is a holy influence—the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a third individual of the Godhead, but the holy winds of the great first person of the Godhead, “the Sun of righteousness”. (Mal. 4:2).

    Every soul that refuses to give himself to God is under the control of another power. He is not his own. He may talk of freedom, but he is in the most abject slavery. He is not allowed to see the beauty of truth, for his mind is under the control of Satan. While he flatters himself that he is following the dictates of his own judgment, he obeys the will of the prince of darkness. Christ came to break the shackles of sin-slavery from the soul. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” sets us “free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2.
     In the work of redemption there is no compulsion. No external force is employed. Under the influence of the Spirit of God, man is left free to choose whom he will serve. In the change that takes place when the soul surrenders to Christ, there is the highest sense of freedom. The expulsion of sin is the act of the soul itself. True, we have no power to free ourselves from Satan’s control; but when we desire to be set free from sin, and in our great need cry out for a power out of and above ourselves, the powers of the soul are imbued with the divine energy of the Holy Spirit, and they obey the dictates of the will in fulfilling the will of God.
     The only condition upon which the freedom of man is possible is that of becoming one with Christ. “The truth shall make you free;” and Christ is the truth. Sin can triumph only by enfeebling the mind, and destroying the liberty of the soul. Subjection to God is restoration to one’s self,--to the true glory and dignity of man. The divine law, to which we are brought into subjection, is “the law of liberty.” James 2:12. Ibid., p. 466. 

  Christ gave this man a test. He called upon him to choose between the heavenly treasure and worldly greatness. The heavenly treasure was assured him if he would follow Christ. But self must yield; his will must be given into Christ’s control. The very holiness of God was offered to the young ruler. He had the privilege of becoming a son of God, and a coheir with Christ to the heavenly treasure. But he must take up the cross, and follow the Saviour in the path of self-denial. Ibid., p. 519.

Everyone who has eyes to see, ears to hear, and a heart dying for holy love will be the recipients of His Holy Ghost. No one can see the holy winds coming from the Sun of righteousness; but every one who has given up all hope and dependence on this world can feel the holy influence of God’s Spirit and will testify that it is of God. Like the flowers that all lift their faces heavenward, these humbled, longing souls are receptors for the life and health streaming from the Father. No one else than the needy can ever know the experience of the power for good that attends the reception of God’s influence of love. And without His holy influence controlling the body, mind, and soul, there is no sovereignty of the Creator over His creatures; and thus, no salvation. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” (Rom. 8:9).

The influence of God is not only His holy presence, but also His power. That power, with His Son is what comes together to co-create life. The power to create comes directly from the Son, but the original, underived life flows from Him who sits on the throne, who “created all things, and for [His] pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:11). Divine procreativity results from the holy union of God and His Son.

Father and Son together have made all things. Creation comes out of the counsel of peace between Them both.

The Father “hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds; who being the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb. 1:2,3).

The Son “in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins: who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: for by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: and He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.” (Col. 1:14-17).

This arrangement speaks of perfect oneness and joy in the Godhead. The Father could have accomplished the creation alone. And, maybe, it was the great King who made the stars and galaxies and nebulae. We know that He can create alone, because it was He who incarnated His Son to human form.

“The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy Thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” (Lk. 1:35). The Father alone put His Son into human flesh and made His Anointed in the likeness of man. “A body hast Thou prepared Me.” (Heb. 10:5). But the incarnation was a parable, teaching us and all the intelligent creation of the original begetting of the Son from the Father, when the Father knew that it was not good for Himself to exist alone; so He brought forth His firstborn Son from His side. The Messiah’s earthly life was filled with His Father’s Spirit from the moment of conception until He ascended to sit at His Father’s side again.

“He that cometh from above is above all: He that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: He that cometh from heaven is above all.… For He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto Him. The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into His hand.” (Jn. 3:31,34,35). The Father filled His Son with His Spirit.

The Son of God had the inherent power of divinity. He could have done all the work of miracles of His own power. But, He had ever received of His Father, and that determined His practice every step of His life here. Thus, the Son of God had power to give spiritual life as well as physical life and healing. “That ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.” (Matt. 9:6).

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” (Jn. 5:24-26).

The incarnation taught another lesser lesson.

At the beginning, creation of the worlds was a joint effort. As mankind is given the ability to procreate, because we are made in God’s image, so did God through the bond of holy loving-kindness with His co-Creator Son, create mankind. Demonstrating the power to have children which He gave human parents, He said to His Son, “Let us make man in Our image, after Our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” (Gen. 1:26).

Ever since then, the result of resemblance between children and their parents has continued. “This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made He him; male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam.… And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image….” (Gen. 5:1-3).

The model for Adam’s creation and that of his world was based upon the Godhead and Their universe. Earth was meant to display to intelligent creation some new insights about the Creator and Their motive for creating. No wonder the angelic hosts loved to sing of creation. They were praising its Maker.

“And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to Him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, the four and twenty elders fall down before Him that sat on the throne, and worship Him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Rev. 4:9-11).

The Holy Ghost is the power of God permeating and upholding creation. It’s the power of the Highest, that is, God, the Father.

The Holy Ghost is also the mind of God through His Son.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1Cor. 2:9-16).

The Holy Ghost is not a supernatural power that turns intelligent men, women, and children into religious raving maniacs; It does not make them speak unintelligible gibberish. It makes no one foolishly roll around on the floor, walk on the back of pews, or handle poisonous rattle snakes. This is a disgrace to God the Father, one of Satan’s greatest laughs. The Holy Ghost is the wisdom of God and turns no man into fools, who are made to represent God’s image. Only Satan would discredit God and God’s favorite children like that.

“Lo, this only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions.” (Ecc. 7:29). Charity “doth not behave itself unseemly.” (1Cor. 13:5). “These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: but if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth…. Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (1Tim. 3:14,15;1Tim. 4:12). “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1Cor. 14:33).

The Holy Spirit leads fallen man to a new heart that transforms his old life into a new one, even the life of faith and beauty. Never would God take His image of soberness and order, and bring it down to confusion like the beasts that perish. “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matt. 12:25).

When the soul surrenders itself to Christ, a new power takes possession of the new heart. A change is wrought which man can never accomplish for himself. It is a supernatural work, bringing a supernatural element into human nature. The soul that is yielded to Christ becomes His own fortress, which He holds in a revolted world, and He intends that no authority shall be known in it but His own. A soul thus kept in possession by the heavenly agencies is impregnable to the assaults of Satan. But unless we do yield ourselves to the control of Christ, we shall be dominated by the wicked one. We must inevitably be under the control of the one or the other of the two great powers that are contending for the supremacy of the world. It is not necessary for us deliberately to choose the service of the kingdom of darkness in order to come under its dominion. We have only to neglect to ally ourselves with the kingdom of light. If we do not co-operate with the heavenly agencies, Satan will take possession of the heart, and will make it his abiding place. The only defense against evil is the indwelling of Christ in the heart through faith in His righteousness. Unless we become vitally connected with God, we can never resist the unhallowed effects of self-love, self-indulgence, and temptation to sin. We may leave off many bad habits, for the time we may part company with Satan; but without a vital connection with God, through the surrender of ourselves to Him moment by moment, we shall be overcome. Without a personal acquaintance with Christ, and a continual communion, we are at the mercy of the enemy, and shall do his bidding in the end. Ibid., p.324. 

It was the Holy Ghost that spoke to the apostles, commanding them, and guiding in the extension of the kingdom of loving-kindness and grace of God.

“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2). “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.” (Acts 15:28). “Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia. After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” (Acts 16:6-9).

The Holy Ghost sounded like the same commanding voice on the holy mount. “While he [Peter] yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.” (Matt. 17:5,6).

In the Revelation we get a close up view of the Holy Ghost that moved the prophets.

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass; and He sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” (Rev. 1:1). “And he [the angel] saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:9,10). Even though it was called the Revelation [from] Jesus, He received it from His Father. The Holy Ghost originated from His Father. Jesus was the Word of God; “God’s thought made audible.” The Desire of Ages, p. 19. Jesus passed to His angel God’s thoughts.

“And he [the angel] said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent His angel to shew unto His servants the things which must shortly be done. Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book. And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.” (Rev. 22:6-8). “I Jesus have sent Mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.” (Rev. 22:16).

We need the holy influence of God to direct our paths. Of ourselves, we have no good influence that is strong enough to withstand the barrage of satanic worldliness and to change the hearts of fallen mankind. But, if we will learn to ally ourselves with Jesus and His loving-kindness, then He will imbue us and His holy influence of loving-kindness, wisdom, and power will flow out of us, affecting people with a great power for good that counteracts the powerful ill effects of Satan and his hosts.

Only those who, in the worst way, need Jesus and His Holy Ghost, will touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and His presence will pervade our hearts and minds. Only by His Spirit can we ever do the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus. Only by relying wholly upon the Son, His life of compassion, and the power of His living word, can the gospel go to the world. Evangelism and every other commandment are possible only through receiving the holy influence of Christ. Any kind of service without His Spirit is worthless.

“But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.” (Jn. 1:12).

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2Cor. 13:5).

“Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.… And if Christ be in you, the [fallen nature] is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Rom. 8:9-11).


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