DEVELOPING YOUR INNER LIFE

When we pray and meditate consistently on God’s Word there is emotional and spiritual space created in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit fills this space (OUR INNER LIFE) for the purpose of creating a greater level communion with us. He seeks inward fellowship with us.

 

I was encouraged early in my ministry to read The Art of Prayer (Faber & Faber). The Art of Prayer is concerned in particular with the most frequently used and best loved of all Orthodox prayers – the Lord’s Prayer. It deals also with the general question ‘What is Prayer?’, with the different degrees of prayer from ordinary oral prayer to unceasing prayer of the heart, with the dangers of illusion and discouragement, and the need for seclusion and inner peace.

 

(See https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571191659-the-art-of-prayer.html)

 

There is an excerpt that describes the holy need for developing our inner life through prayer and meditation. The excerpt reads, “There are many among you who have no knowledge of the inner work required of the man who would hold God in remembrance. Nor do such people even understand what remembrance of God means, or know anything about spiritual prayer, for they imagine that the only right way of praying is to use such prayers as are to be found in Church books. As for secret communion with God in the heart, they know nothing of this, nor of the profit that comes from it, nor do they ever taste its spiritual sweetness. Those who only hear about spiritual meditation and prayer and have no direct knowledge of it are like men blind from birth, who hear about the sunshine without ever knowing what it really is. Through this ignorance they lose many spiritual blessings, and are slow in arriving at the virtues which make for the fulfillment of God’s good pleasure.”

 

To develop inwardly and walk the path of spiritual growth, we must first be willing to grow in our devotional, relational and personal commitment to worship, prayer, study of the Word of God and to our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The initial steps to such growth happen naturally as we seek to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and stay committed to our own personal growth.

 

For we who want to go deeper in our personal growth need spiritual guidance from the Holy Spirit. He truly desires to lead us into an intimate and exciting realm of spiritual learning. Like attending any school, be it elementary or college, it is best to set a fixed time each day to worship, pray and study. It is best that during this time we allow no interruptions. If we remain committed and consistent in such disciplines, our spiritual life will become deeper and more glorious. The result will be a new found awareness of God’s Presence and power.

 

I encourage you to start with three mornings a week and then add a morning each week until every morning begins with Him. There are many of testimonies of people who chose to meet with the Lord each morning. This practice has resulted in the majority of them (from St. Francis to John Wesley to Billy Graham) experiencing marvelous spiritual experiences, including victories, miracles and great joy.

 

In my own life, I have found the continual development of my inner life to be encouraging, exhilarating, and very satisfying. I am reminded even now of the words to an old hymn. These words are the theme to the development of my own inner life. They are the goal to all I desire to become and I hope they inspire you as well.

 

“To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus. All I ask is to be like Him. All through life’s journey, from earth to glory, all I ask…to be like Him.”

 

 

Advertisements

Listen to What People Are Saying…

The Altar of His Presence will be available through our bookstore after June 20th. You can view it and my other books at http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

Here is a sampling of what people are saying about this dynamic new book…

Rev. Doyle Fulkes, Superintendent of the Southern Idaho Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God in Nampa, Idaho said, “Prayer is the power that sustains change, drives commitment, and creates the Christ-likeness for every Christian. Robert Stone has laid out the process, potential, and practice of prayer for the believer using systematic and biblically based principles in a devotional form. Follow these principles through study and reflection in each chapter and find a whole new way to experience Christ and the dynamic of the Holy Spirit with life changing results.”

Charles Patterson, Pastor Emeritus of Church of the Hills and Founder of Charles Patterson Ministries (in Austin, Texas) said, “Many people today are often intimidated by the idea of developing a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord. A relationship within which one can actually experience His Presence and recognize His voice as He speaks in many different ways. Robert Stone skillfully opens Scripture to reveal that this idea is actually God’s. Furthermore, as God’s invitation to us becomes our priority we discover God’s purpose, pattern, and path-way to know and experience Him in a new and very intimate way. I highly recommend this book both as a study guide and a daily devotion to discover the beauty of God’s Presence more fully. It will truly alter your life.”

Jeff Knebel from Cedar Park, Texas said, “Robert Stone is a revolutionary. In his new book, The Altar of His Presence, Robert gives insight to mankind’s ability to commune with God on a personal and unprecedented level. Robert can take the most difficult biblical concepts, particularly involving the wonderful intervening Presence of the Holy Spirit, and make them seem extraordinarily simple for the average Christian. Robert’s teaching that each of us can experience the manifest Presence of God through a loving relationship with our Lord is truly life-altering. I encourage everyone to join the Lord at the altar of His Presence (the meeting place of our heart). Thank you, Robert, for another “altar’ed” work. Your message has forever changed my view of the Holy Spirit and His work in my life.”

Mike Valiton, Pastor of Finance and Operations, Lake Hills Church in Austin, Texas said, “The Altar of His Presence is a powerful, passionate, and uplifting read that inspires the reader to come experience the manifest Presence of God. This book is rich with spiritual guidance, biblical truth, and practical application. Robert leads us through a journey into the proper order of God and His will for our lives. The book details God’s promise to meet us, deliver us, heal us, and create in us a new heart and mind. All we have to do is believe!  Author Robert Stone uses Scripture, stories, and vivid word pictures to wonderfully illustrate how much God loves us and wants to bless us with a personal relationship with Him. This book is motivating, captivating, encouraging, and invigorating. Finally, The Altar of His Presence reminds us that through God’s grace we not only have a place, a person, and a people to meet the Lord, but most importantly we have God in us, and that is where God ultimately wants to meet. There’s no better time than now!”

Finally, Ministry Partner Dwight Karm from The Woodlands, Texas said, “The Altar of His Presence is one of the best books I have read. The book is full of insight born out of Robert’s research. He presents it in a very understandable way. The information about the materials and manner of how the people in the Bible built historical altars fascinated me. I was inspired to learn how God blessed every one of His people who came to the altar and that He gave many of them a special ability to communicate with Him and other believers. The book also reminds the reader that an altar can be built anywhere and at any time. The promise of God is true. If we will come to the altar, the Lord will always meet us there.”

To Order Your Copy of The Altar of His Presence click here or go to www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

Do You Have an Altar’ed Moment?

This past weekend was really special.  On Sunday morning I was ministering from God’s Word in a local church here in Texas. About halfway through my message I and everyone in the building experienced an “altar’ed” moment.

 

The Presence of the Holy Spirit poured into the auditorium. Without effort, the message I was preaching came flowing out from my heart and mouth like an unstoppable flood. The people began raising their hands and expressing themselves, each giving glory to God. The atmosphere changed in a matter of moments causing tears to flow and lives to be changed. For over an hour we embraced, enjoyed and experienced His glorious Presence.

 

A few hours later the Holy Spirit nudged me. Everyone had gone home and I was on my way home to Austin. That’s when the Spirit began reminding me of similar times and experiences. He reminded me of a time when I was a teenager. My family had moved because my dad had found a new job. Because of the move, I had to change school districts between my sophomore and junior year. Changing high schools can be hard. Making new friends, learning new teaching styles, adjusting to new teachers and new surroundings for some teens can be really difficult and the changes were taking their toll on me.

 

Then a few months into the school term I had an “altar’ed” moment. It happened during the praise and worship time of a Sunday night church service. We were not singing anything special or new. In fact, we were singing an old chorus, when all of a sudden the Presence of God began filling the room. Without invitation people began leaving their seats and moving toward the front and gathering at the altar.

 

A local ministry team/singing group called The King’s Witnesses (they were was based out of our church) went to the platform and began ministering in song. The pastor and the elders began praying for people. In a matter of minutes heaven filled the place. It was as though we were in the throne room of the Most High. You could almost hear angels singing. The Shekinah was so thick it felt awkward to breathe.

 

I was kneeling at the end of the altar when I looked up and saw my name written on the front of one of the guitars that belonged to a member of the King’s Witnesses. At that moment my life was altar’ed. I don’t know why me seeing my name on that guitar did anything. I just remember that at that moment…the Lord touched me and did the work. I don’t remember asking the Lord to act on my behalf, heal me or deliver me. I just know that at that moment, I was altar’ed and the struggle I had been experiencing was over.

 

Peace flooded my heart and soul like the storm surge that invades the coast when a hurricane comes onshore. I knew at that moment everything was going to be ok. I knew…that I knew…that I knew…the Lord would not leave or forsake me. I knew that He had the whole world AND ME in His hands! After that night the school seemed different. The teachers were not the same. The other students were changed. Even I was different. What had really happened? I can say with confidence, I had been altar’ed by being in the Presence of the Lord.

 

I have been reminded of that night many times since. It has become a “touch point” of faith for me. Whenever I face difficult circumstances or a situation to which I have no answer, I am reminded of that night. I am reminded that the Lord knows where I am, He knows who I am and He knows what I have need of before I even ask. The time spent that night at the altar…truly altered my life.

 

Would you like to share one of your “altar’ed” moments? If so, email me today at info@altarofhispresence.com. I will read your story and rejoice with you concerning the goodness of our Lord Jesus Christ. The bible says that we are to rejoice with those who rejoice and I want to rejoice with you. Let me know if I have your permission to share it with our readers. I know that there are many who are reading today that would love to hear the story of your life being altar’ed.

 

One more thing, if you are carrying a heavy burden or if you are ill, hurting or need an answer from the Lord, email me. Susan and I will pray for you. We will ask and agree with you for the Holy Spirit to provide an answer to your prayer. We will pray that He will give you an altar’ed moment! Soon you will be healed, delivered and rejoicing over what the Lord has done for you! Either way, write to me today and share your heart!

 

I look forward to hearing from you…Robert.

Clouds of His Presence

 

I pray that this blog on the ministry of the Holy Spirit has brought you in contact with the Manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit as never before. Every one of us experience Him in special and unique ways. Each person’s experience is different than that of others and yet similar. Examples of such are that in the Scripture He is said to manifest His Presence quietly and sweetly at certain times, then at other times He reveals His Presence with wind and fire (Read Acts 2). In the Old Testament the Manifest Presence of Yahweh (The LORD) is called Shekinah. The Shekinah is described in the Jewish Encyclopedia as the majestic Presence or manifestation of God which has descended to “dwell” among men.

 

In the Old Testament, the Shekinah generally manifested in the form of a cloud. Such is seen in 1 Kings 8:10-11 which says, “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the LORD, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the house of the LORD.”

 

In the natural clouds are visible accumulations of tiny water droplets or ice crystals in the Earth’s atmosphere. Clouds form when air becomes saturated, or filled, with water vapor. Clouds usually appear white because the tiny water droplets inside them are tightly packed, reflecting most of the sunlight that hits them. The color white is what we see because that is how our eyes perceive things when all the wavelengths of sunlight mixed together with the moisture.

The metaphoric and symbolic uses of clouds in Scripture are many, and provide some of the most powerful and glorious illustrations. English Baptist pastor and biblical scholar, John Gill wrote about the Shekinah being manifested as a cloud in his commentary on Isaiah 60:8 which says, “Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?” Gill believed that Isaiah was referring to a vast number of future converts. These converts are being compared to a “cloud” because of the number of them, because they covered the land of Judea as the clouds fill the heavens, and for their elevation and situation, being raised from an earthly to a heavenly state; being called with a high calling, and made partakers of an heavenly one; and for their being filled with the grace of God, as clouds with water; and for their unanimity, their coming together in a body, making as it were one cloud, and that openly and publicly, professing Christ, and joining them in His Church.”

No doubt the foundation of Gill’s understanding is found in Numbers 11:24-25. “So Moses went out and told the people what the LORD had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the Tent. Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took of the Spirit that was on him and put the Spirit on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did not do so again.”

 

Clouds, according to McKenzie, are “an almost universal element of the revelation of Yahweh to His people.” The occurrences of clouds indicate the Divine Presence is heavily distributed throughout both Testaments. The cloud is, perhaps, the earliest element that was connected to the Divine presence by Israel. Such is the example of the “Pillar of Cloud” which guided and protected the Israelites during their escape from Egypt. When the host of Israelites first met the LORD, at the foot of Mt. Sinai, the mountain was covered in a “Pillar of cloud.” Hiebert suggests that the image of the cloud is connected to the Hebrew term for “glory”. While this image is directly connected to Priestly writings and, often, associated with the Temple, Hiebert argues that it “may more narrowly also derive from the aura of the fiery storm cloud.”

 

I truly believe that we are seeing the formation of His glorious Presence. Pressure is being put on Christians from every country to surrender to secularism and religion. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is calling a group of us to come together for the purpose of true worship and intercessory prayer. The same type of pressure was put on the infant church right after the resurrection of our Lord. An in response to the obedience, worship and prayer of God’s people the manifested Presence of the Holy Spirit was experienced on the Day of Pentecost, during the prayer meeting in Acts Chapter 4 and at the house of Cornelius in Acts 10:44-47.

“While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.” Then Peter said, “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”

 

Let us pray for the Holy Spirit to manifest the Lord Jesus Christ into, for and through our lives. Such manifestation will reveal the love, the peace, the joy and the righteousness we see in the life of Jesus (as He walked here on earth). When others see His Presence being manifested in and through our lives they will see Jesus. They will see His grace, His goodness and His glory.

Let us gather together as mighty clouds of joy and fill the heavens with shouts of praise. Let us become one (as clouds do) and form one glorious cloud of His Presence. Let us be witnesses and surround the hurting and dying around us with the testimony of Jesus (which is the spirit of prophecy). For as we call upon the Lord together, humble ourselves and seek His face, then will we hear from heaven. Only then will the Lord heal our land. Bless His Name!

I love you!

Robert

 

 

 

The Spirit Filled Life is a Matter of Trust

On the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2) one hundred and twenty believers were filled with the Holy Spirit. They began speaking in languages or tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Many believe that the languages or tongues were used by God to testify of the Spirit’s control (due to the tongue being the member of the body that no man can tame—see James 3:8).

By enabling them to speak, the Holy Spirit was testifying that He was in control of the person and of the person’s unruliest member. Later, after the Church gathered for prayer due to the threatening’s of the Sanhedrin, believers were again filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Again, their boldness testifies of the fullness of the Spirit. Their boldness was a result of them submitting to the Spirit’s control and the Spirit manifesting His Presence.

We cannot appropriate the control of the Spirit unless we desire Him to control us. A desire for His control will include, among other things, a desire that He put sin out of our lives and keep it out, a desire that He dethrone our self-life and enthrone the Lord Jesus as absolute Master and Lord, as well as a desire to produce His own fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) and administrate His gifts for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7).5

Paul’s command to the Ephesian believers was that they be full of the Spirit instead of being in a state of intoxication with wine. The very fact that they were urged to do something, stresses as a logical accompaniment that the action of them being filled with the Spirit would be the result of them making the decision to be filled. This tells us that the believer is not controlled by the Spirit because the Spirit indwells him.6 There must be a continuous and conscious dependence upon and definite subjection to the Holy Spirit by the believer. Each of us must continuously, constantly and consciously yield to His ministry and be relentless in our leaning upon the Spirit for guidance and power.

The results of “being filled with the Holy Spirit” start, as stated previously, with the Spirit breaking the power of our sin nature, followed by the isolation, suppression, defeat and overwhelming victory over that nature. Such is followed by the person living by the guidance and sustaining energy of the Spirit.

The workings of the Holy Spirit are invisible, glorious, and gentle, and within them, He never tells us about Himself. He comes to glorify Jesus—helping us to see Jesus and His Church more, to understand better, to respond to the Lord more obediently, and to love Jesus and the Church with a deeper heart of commitment.7

The Spirit filled life is a matter of trust. Trust enables the Spirit filled believer to depend upon the Spirit for all needed guidance, wisdom, strength, and aid. He proceeds from the Father and the Son to assist us the moment we avail ourselves to His help. There are just two things which the believer must do to be controlled by the Spirit. He must desire that control and trust the Lord Jesus for that control.8

If we ask the Father to fill us with the Spirit and believe that He heard and answered our prayer, we need not ask again and again for the Spirit to fill us. The level of His fullness is dependent on the level of our yielded life and not upon the number of times we ask. Jesus said, “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”9

The Holy Spirit comes to penetrate us, which is the invisible penetrating the visible.  His penetration, direction and control should not be spasmodic. Paul’s imperative command speaks of a continuous process or state of being. Believers are to be constantly, moment by moment, filled and filled-full to overflowing with and by the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit filled life is God’s plan for a normal Christian life. The Spirit filled life enables us to live victoriously over sin, radiate the beauty, fragrance and character of the Lord Jesus Christ, understand the will of God for our lives, live a life of prayer and possess an understanding of the Word of God as we should. A believer who does not have and maintain an interest and hunger for God’s Word is not cooperating with the Spirit. The Spirit desires to work through the Word of God that we have stored within our hearts, not apart from it (Psalm 119:11).

The Holy Spirit’s fullness is to provide help to us. When we are sensitive and submissive to the Holy Spirit, we will easily (the yoke is easy) follow His direction (the burden is light). How does He direct our lives?

 

• He guides us into all truth (Christ Jesus): John 16:13

 

• He quickens and convinces us: Romans 8:11-16

 

• He reveals the deep things of God: 1 Corinthians 2:10

 

• He empowers us to witness: Acts 1:8

 

• He testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children: Romans 8:16

 

• He intercedes for and through us: Jude 1:20 & Romans 8:26

 

• He produces fruit through our lives: Galatians 5:22-23

 

• He administrates His gifts: 1 Corinthians 12:1-28

 

• He gives us righteousness, peace and joy.  Romans 14:17

  1. He sets us free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 
  2. He searches all things, even the deep things of God: 1 Corinthians 2:10
  3. He gives life: 2 Corinthians 3:6 
  4. He sanctifies us through belief in the truth:  2 Thessalonians 2:13

 


 

 

 

End Notes

5.   Untranslatable Riches from the Greek New Testament, Kenneth Wuest. Pages 103-104

6.   1 Corinthians 14:1

7.   Jack Hayford, Symbols of the Holy Spirit, Article.

8.   Ibid.

9.   Luke 11:13  

Power to Witness

Up to now we have learned these things as to the power of the Spirit. He is the Spirit of truth; He guides into all truth; He brings to memory Christ’s teachings; He shows things to come; He glorifies Christ; He speaks not of Himself but of Christ; He, like believers, bears witness to Christ; He enables Christians to do greater works than those of Christ; He convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; He comes because Christ goes away; He is “another Comforter”; He is to abide with disciples forever.14

Now we come to Acts 1:8. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The Greek word for power is dunamis. Jesus was not speaking of political power, ecclesiastical power or electrical power. He used a new and different word meaning His disciples were “to be enabled.” This enablement was to occur “when the Holy Spirit is come upon you” (Greek: epelthontos tou hagiou pneumatos eph’ humas). Genitive absolute and is simultaneous in time with the preceding verb “shall receive” (lêmpsesthe). The Holy Spirit will give them the “power” as he comes upon them.15

This is the baptism of the Holy Spirit referred to in Acts 1:5. “For John baptized with (or in) water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” This baptism was to enable them to be witnesses.

You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:48-49

Therefore, it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection. Acts 1:21-22

We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. Acts 10:39

The word for witness or witnesses is the Greek word: matures. The word is generally translated into English as martyr. There for a witness had to have a direct and personal relationship with Christ Jesus, but they also were empowered to the point to having courage to witness—even unto death.

They were being sent from Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and then to the uttermost part of the earth. The Holy Spirit’s power would send and is continuing to send witnesses for one purpose—complete world conquest for Christ.16

The events within the Book of Acts follow this outline: witnessing in Jerusalem until the end of chapter 7, with the martyrdom of Stephen. The scattering of the saints sent the gospel through Judea and Samaria in chapter 8. The conversion of Saul and the spread of the gospel to Romans in Caesarea by Peter (chapters 9 & 10) took the gospel to the edge of Palestine.

The gospel spread to the Greeks in Antioch (chapter 11), and through Paul’s witness during his missionary tours which ended with his arrest and arrival in Rome (chapters 11 to 28).17

The power of the Holy Spirit enabled the Peter, Paul and others with a message and preaching that was not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that the faith of every believer might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.18

The only secure place for faith to find a rest is in God’s power, not in the wisdom of men. One has only to instance the changing theories of men about science, philosophy, religion, and politics to see this. A sure and powerful word from God can be depended on and experienced in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Such was the testimony of Paul to the Romans, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done—by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit.

So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.” (Romans 15:18-19) He wrote similarly to the Thessalonians. “Our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

The operation of the Spirit’s power is distinctly seen in the regeneration and sanctification of the believer as well as in the believer’s empowerment to confidently declare the gospel.

This endowment of divine power brings personal boldness and the power of the Spirit into the believer’s life in order to accomplish mighty works in Christ’s Name and thereby making his witness and proclamation effective.19

Other results of the power of the Spirit include: 1) prophetic utterances and the bold declaration of thanksgiving and praise (Acts 2:4; 10:46; 1 Corinthians 14:2); 2) enhanced sensitivity to any sin that grieves the Holy Spirit as well as a greater desire for righteous thinking and living (Ephesians 4:30, Romans 13, James 4:8-10); 3) a life that brings glory to the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (John 16:13-14; Acts 4:33; Ephesians 5:1-19); 4) a greater desire to pray (Acts 2:42-47; 4:23-31; 6:4; 10:9; Romans 8:26-28; 1 Corinthians 14:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:17); 5) a growing desire for the true manifestation of spiritual gifts and the spiritual maturity needed to rightly administrate them (1 Corinthians 12; 1 Corinthians 14; Hebrews 6:1-2).

We must embrace all of the elements of the Spirit’s action: the charismatic for mighty works; the intellectual for guidance into truth; the moral and spiritual for producing holy lives. The power of the Spirit transfers the kingdom, so to speak, from the shoulders of the Master to those of the disciples, but the latter are empowered for their tasks by the might of the indwelling and abiding Spirit.

The Kingdom of God suffers violence when believers full of the Spirit’s power choose to pursue the Kingdom’s advancement. That advancement is clearly tied to the bold, obedient and holy lives of Christ’s disciples, who are full of the Holy Spirit.


 

End Notes

See Previous 1-12 End Notes in the Previous Two Blog Posts

13.  Robertson’s Word Pictures John 8:32

14.  ISBE 4385

15.  Robertson’s Word Pictures Acts 1:8

16.  Ibid.

17.  Ibid.

18.  1 Corinthians 2:4-5 

19.  Don Stamps Note, Life in the Spirit Study Bible, Acts 1:8

Experience His Power and Presence!

The truth of Christianity is spiritually discerned. In other words spiritual truth can only be discerned by the illuminating and indwelling POWER and PRESENCE of the Holy Spirit. In the name of “reality,” science sometimes repudiates these inner experiences as “mystical.” But as followers of Christ we cling to them as most real, data of experience as true and reliable as any other form of human experience.

To repudiate them would be for them to repudiate reality itself.8 For the greatest reality known within the human heart is when a human “knows” the Heavenly Father and the Son of God has come and made their home within the believer (John 14:23).

This is only made possible by the power of the Holy Spirit and no doubt is another form of assertion of the Spirit’s Presence within those who believe, and not a distinct line of mystical teaching. (Compare Woods, The Spirit of God in Biblical Literature, page 243.)9

In John 14:26 the promise of the Spirit is repeated. The Father was to send the Spirit in the Name of Christ Jesus and teach the disciples all things as well as reminding them of everything Jesus had said to them.

The power of the Spirit quickens the memories of those who have learned the Word of God. Throughout the New Testament, and especially in John’s and Paul’s writings, there is no sense of conflict between Father, Son and Spirit in their work in the Christian. Everything proceeds from the Father, through the Son, and is accomplished in the Christian by the Holy Spirit. When Paul speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ being and living within the believer, he is saying that the Spirit does nothing apart from Christ Jesus and is in the heart of the believer to glorify Christ Jesus.

There are several Scriptures that give us understanding of the personality of the Holy Spirit. The designation “another Comforter,” taken in connection with the description of his work, is one. The fact that the Holy Spirit is sent or given as “Another” and “Another” is seen in the specific work which the Spirit is given to do.

I shared in an earlier blog that the Holy Spirit is “Another of like kind” Who has become our Paraclete, Helper, and Advocate, with the Father (1 John 2:1). This old word, from parakaleô, was used for legal assistant, pleader, advocate, one who pleads another’s cause. This title of the Holy Spirit is only in John’s writings, though the idea of it is in Romans 8:26-34.10

In John 15:26 this concept is made even more comprehensive: “He shall bear witness of me,” and yet more emphatically in John 16:14, “He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.” The sphere of the Holy Spirit’s activity is the heart of the individual believer and of the community of believers or Church. The Holy Spirit’s chief function is to illumine the teaching and glorify the person of Jesus.11

John 15:26 says, “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.” This verse of Scripture supports the doctrine of procession of the Spirit. Jesus used the words I will send (Future tense of the Greek word: pempso) to describe the Spirit of Truth Who proceeds in the present tense (ekporeuetai) from the Father.

The present tense here suggests eternal action of the Spirit and has been taken to indicate an essential relation of the Holy Spirit to God the Father.12

The Holy Spirit is The Spirit of Truth. His power always involves truth.  When He convicts, He is causing the person to realize the truth. When He justifies, He is making the new believer understand the truth.

When He sanctifies, setting us apart unto Christ and empowering us to be holy as He is holy, He again is causing us to know the truth. In other words, He Who deals in truth, makes His appeal through the truth, causing us to know the truth and therefore to be set free from all sin, self-condemnation and shame.

Knowing the truth sets people free. This freedom is won alone by Christ (John 8:36) and we are sanctified in truth (John 17:19). In John 1:17 truth is mentioned with grace as one of the marks of the gospel through Christ.

Freedom (intellectual, moral, spiritual) is only attainable when we are set free from darkness, sin, ignorance and superstition by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that causes the Light of the World to shine on us, in us and through us.13 


 

End Notes

See Earlier Blog Post for Notes 1-7.

8.    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385.

9.    Ibid.

10.  Robertson’s Word Pictures Entry John 14:16

11.  International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Entry 4385

12.  Compare Godet, Commentary on John 15:26

13.  Robertson’s Word Pictures John 8:32