Category Archives: The Holy Spirit

The New Covenant

  • The New Covenant

    Living Under Law
    Living Under Law

Jeremiah was a gloomy prophet who lived between 600 and 500BC. We are very indebted to him for telling about the advent and work of the Holy Spirit that would take place when Jesus was raised from the dead.  He said; “This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” This New Covenant is generally understood to govern  the change that happens to a person when they take Jesus into their lives, their sins are forgiven, and they are born again.  Instead of staggering under the law of the ten commandments, plus the hundreds of other Mosaic laws that governed the Jews, they would be ruled by the Holy Spirit, working in their lives from within.

  • New Commandment

Taken in conjunction with the “New Commandment” (that we love one another ); this becomes a major change in the way we perceive God –  instead of quaking in condemnation under the weight of all those social and moral laws, we instead live in love and obedience, under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit.  When the religious leaders questioned Jesus about the law, He replied; “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and the most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ 40 The whole Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matt 22:37-40)

  • Ten Commandments Redundant

The consequences of this change are immense.  We no longer spend our lives trying to be good and living under law; but instead live a positive life of doing good.  Note the difference, not trying to BE GOOD, but DOING GOOD!  If you really love your neighbour, you don’t need commandments to “not covet his ass”, or to “not rob” him.  The old commandments become redundant in the light of the new commandment to Love your neighbour.  It is very significant to me that this paradigm shift in how we perceive God’s Kingdom is actually  a complete change from slavish reactive obedience to the law; to the proactive life of reaching out in love to all we meet. As we take that new commandment literally, we are too busy loving and being loved to get into trouble with the ten commandments. We do not need commandments when we are inspired by the Holy Spirit of God, and the fruit of the spirit** grows within us.

** Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Meaning of Born Again

  • Meaning of Born Again

    Born Again
    Born Again

The NIV of the Bible declares because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions . We are made alive; reborn; or born again when we take Christ into our lives.  He is the spark that enables us to live a victorious life in Him. We transcend the life of sin that seems to be the “norm” for us; and instead start to live in Love, Joy, Peace, and so on.

  • Born Again Baptism.

In baptism we learn that we are to die to our old life of sin when we symbolically submerge in the water, and are born again to a new life in Christ when we emerge again. The text we are studying here states that we are “dead” (in sin), then “made alive” (with Christ).

  • Living under Law.

In his writing to the “Romans” the Apostle Paul explains that it is implicit that because we live in sin, we also live under law.  The two go together like night and day and black and white. A lot of the old testament is about sin, breaking the law, and punishment, but the “New” testament is all about living in love with Christ, under the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit.  It is not about laws and punishment, but about doing good and loving one another. (Romans 6 – NIV “Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

  • Living in Love.

If you read the new testament of the Bible you will find that love is the recurrent theme; that it is mentioned all the time and that it is the perfect motivation for all human interaction. Jesus said;  (John 13:34-35-NIV;
 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Consider these “fruits of the Spirit” that grow in us after we are “Born Again” – love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control –  these all grow as we react together in love.

  • Born Again

So we go from Living in sin (transgression) to living in love with Christ. From dead in sin to alive in Christ and living a life of love; alive in Christ. We go from being dead in transgressions to being alive with Christ.

Bible Anomalies

 

I want to challenge you, Dear Reader, with this statement, that there ARE NO Bible

Bible-Anomolies
Bible-Anomolies

Anomalies Bible anomalies when you read the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit.  At the last supper Jesus promised that the “Holy Spirit would come and lead you into all truth”.   I do not remember ever meeting any spirit filled person who was bothered about Bible contradictions.  If we read His word in a prayerful and contemplative way, then the truth will be made plain to us.

  • Witness Statements

Any two people, describing the same event, will use different language, and will colour the event with their own interpretation, and this is quite evident in the various Bible records of history.  The fact that the description detail is different from witness to witness does not mean the event didn’t happen.  We need to always look at the underlying story that is being told, and look for the relevance of that story to our own life. The story of the loaves and fishes is not about how many people were fed, it is all about Jesus supplying our needs by faith.  Which He does!  That is the enduring truth that we may prayerfully perceive. We need always to seek the underlying truth in every Bible record.

  • Point Of View

If we see two different accounts of the same event, then we can meditate about it, and we will come to fuller understanding of what God is telling us.  In this way, an apparent contradiction will lead to a more rounded illustration of the story.  Think about why one writer was struck by one aspect of the event, and why another Bible author was impressed with a different  truth.  We all perceive things in a different way, according to our experiences and to our understanding. Each person hearing a sermon, will take home a different portion of the message, according to their need.

  •  Interpretation.

We perceive things differently because we always interpret what we see in the light of our own experience and knowledge.  Our understanding can only be based on our personal experience, qualified by what we believe about the world, and our pre-existing beliefs colour what we see.  For example, a person who has never experienced unqualified love, will have difficulty accepting that others are acting without  a personal agenda: They will suspect  self interest as a motive, and interpret motives accordingly.  They will need to come to an understanding of the spiritual disinterest of unqualified love to believe that the motive is NOT self interest.

  • Truth and Reality.

We need to understand that it is quite irrelevant whether Jesus fed 3000 people, or 5000 people, the point is that Jesus performed the miracle of feeding a multitude of people from a tiny quantity of bread and fish.  If we can grasp the concept that our God will provide for our needs, then it doesn’t matter in the least how many people were fed on a given occasion.  We need to open the eyes of our mind when we read God’s word, and let the Holy Spirit of God illuminate our understanding and bless our lives. There ARE NO Bible anomalies when you read the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit of God.

Worship in Spirit and in Truth

  • Praise and Worship

    Praise and Worship
    Praise and Worship

 

What does that mean, to Worship in Spirit and in Truth? What’s the difference? Does it Matter? We can get a clue for this from when Jesus was discussing theology with the smart Alecs in the temple, and they asked him which the greatest commandment was. Jesus Replied; “You shall worship with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind……” Again there are shades of meaning here that are not immediately obvious.

  • Obey The Great Commandment.

When we worship with all our heart, it is a physical thing. We are into praise mode, so we sing, or clap, or dance with an excess of enthusiasm. The mode of worship where we show our love from within our spirit is pure worship. Our souls are moved with passion and we pray or even sing our prayers in a much quieter and more reverent way. To love God with our minds, is to love from pure conviction, from our intellect; which tells us that God is real, that He loves us and answers our prayers. We show our love in worshiping with our minds when we engage in preaching, or testifying, or listening to such things. A common type of church service consists in praise, followed by worship, followed by a sermon or discussion – the three elements in the greatest commandment. [I.E., to love God with our hearts, our souls, and our minds]; so when we meet to worship in this way we are obedient to that commandment.

  • Worship in spirit and in truth

So then, praise is equal to worshiping with our hearts, sung or spoken prayer is worshiping with our spirit, and listening or giving a sermon or discussion is worshiping with our minds. To take this understanding and apply it to the expression “Worship in spirit and in truth”; then can mean that we move past simple praise when we worship. WE need to engage our spirits, and the conviction within our minds that recognising God’s truth will bring. Jesus told the woman at the well in Samaria that, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” It is not enough to only attend church and sing the hymns, we need to take an active part in the prayers of worship, and interactively listen to the message.

Can You Feel The Presence Of The Holy Spirit?

Can You Feel The Presence Of The Holy Spirit?

Can you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit when you join with other Christians?  Are you conscious that the Holy Spirit of God is there in the room with you when you are praying and worshipping, and sharing the Word?  I like to think that the strength of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God is in direct proportion to the intensity of the prayer being offered at the moment.

  • Miracles and Spiritual Healing

I went many times to the healing/revival meetings of Bill Subritsky, a well known  New Zealand/South Pacific evangelist. It was his practice to spend many hours in prayer before the meeting, and to have a team of strong pray-ers working in a room behind the stage while the meeting was in progress. Many dramatic healings and conversions, and miracles resulted from those meetings. (My wife, Mary, was cured of a BONE DEFORMITY!**) I am convinced of the direct connection between the praying and the miraculous results.

  • Need For Caution

There is a powerful need for caution here in gauging the presence or absence of the Holy Spirit. There exists in some charismatic circles the belief that if those present all start making moo-ing and high pitched humming noises then the collective euphoria will induce the presence of the Holy Spirit of God.  THIS IS FALLACY!  It is NOT POSSIBLE to manipulate God. True collective singing in the spirit consists in simultaneous individual singing, pitched in musical harmonics, that sounds truly heavenly to those present.  It sounds like angels voices and acts very powerfully on the emotions of those participating.  A normal response to this experience is to feel totally uplifted, and to be in a mild, strong or even a total state of euphoria.

  • Singing in The Spirit

    Singing in The Spirit
    Singing in The Spirit

I would caution all worship leaders here to avoid attempting to induce singing in the spirit as a regular response to group worship. I believe that singing in the spirit is an unusual response, not a regular response, and must be indulged only when led by the Holy Spirit of God.  The suggestion that certain techniques of praise and worship will always lead to singing in the spirit is false, and is a totally unrealistic expectation* for the worshippers.  It happens naturally when the collective worship has been going on for some time and spiritual feeling is very intense.  This is a response to fervent prayer, and powerful worship, not to be attempted as an effect by worship leaders. True singing in the spirit will most likely start as a spontaneous individual response from among those present, not from the worship leader.  It is characterized by those singularly pure musical notes which are the true harmonics of normal music. Individual singing in the spirit is often in natural language, not tongues, and may be either prophetic or inspirational in content.
*(An exception might be in the case of a totally committed group, meeting often)

  • How to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit

My conclusion is that the absence or visible presence  of the Holy Spirit of God is directly related to the sincerity and power of the prayer and worship being offered.  It is worth considering here, that the recorded instances of revival have been preceded by intense and more or less continuous group prayer.  Therefore, to collectively  feel the presence of the Holy Spirit of God, you need to spent time in prayer and worship.

**Cured Bone Deformity. Please note there were “before” and “after” x rays of the bone, and also a subsequent video of this event, made by Dove Ministries”

Listen to The Holy Spirit

  • Listen to The Holy Spirit

I recently came across this quote; attributed to the late Christopher Reeve;And that is my religion. I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us. It may be God, I don’t know. But I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do“.

  • Holy Spirit, or Your Conscience?

This comes really close to what I believe about the Holy Spirit.  I feel that He lives in the same little room in my head where my conscience lurks, and that when I surrendered my heart and mind to God and was baptized with the Holy Spirit, then that little voice that formerly was my conscience became the voice of the Holy Spirit.

  • Tune Out The World Listen to The Holy Spirit& Listen to The Holy Spirit

It is really hard to Listen to The Holy Spirit , and I have to, as Reeve says,  “shut out all the noise and clutter from my life and listen to that voice”.  In the Bible, it is referred to as, “the still small voice within”.  This is a really accurate description for me, and I know I have to try very hard to shut out the world and tune in to that voice.  It takes considerable will power to do this, for me the greatest difficulty is that I tend to drop off to sleep; but when I finally manage to switch off the world around me, it is in that precious moment when the world recedes that that wee small voice can be heard.

  • Not The Only Way

This is, of course, not the only way to hear the voice of God; but it is a good reliable method if you want to seek guidance or inspiration; or if you need to preach a sermon. God speaks to us in our own idiom, in the terms that we are familiar with, and that we can clearly understand.  Think about that for a minute: He will always make himself known in familiar terms, so there is no rationale for talking in old-fashioned language when we are praying.  Our God is the God of the here and now, and the Kingdom of Heaven is right here where we are.  Why therefore would you want to address Him, or He us, in King James style English from the  mid 1700’s? Expect to hear God in your normal everyday language when you Listen to The Holy Spirit.


Holy Spirit Power

A recent commentator said; “If the Holy Spirit is given authority in your life BY YOU, it will always use you to preach, heal, and more.”  This is so profound.  The Holy Spirit is always gentle, and polite, never pushy, never demanding, and we have to ALLOW Him to work, or nothing happens.  The Christmas reading today underlines the action of the Holy Spirit on Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She had to listen to the Holy Spirit; she had to permit the Holy Spirit to act in her life, (as did Joseph too!) – or none of us would be doing what we are doing today!

  • Our Commitment

It is our commitment to our faith that allows the Holy Spirit to work on those around us.  We have to say; “OK Lord; I will take this step in faith; or that step in faith.” Thus God can work in the world. God is not powerless, but He has chosen to work His will through us, and it comes down to simple obedience on our part.

  • The Whole World In Your Hands
    Whole World In Your Hands
    Whole World In Your Hands


This is an immensely sobering thought, that God will often only act through our obedience.  We do, in effect, hold the fate of the world in our hands.  We can choose to obey, to step forward in faith, or we can choose NOT to act, to put off that inner prompting.  To do this is to rob ourselves of blessing because God will often find another person to do His will, and they will be blessed instead.

  • Open Our Minds

There is a very big challenge here.  If the above be true, as I believe, then we can open our hearts and our minds to God to WHATEVER He might ask.  I think we are usually tempted to only ask for and to pray for those things that we judge are likely or possible, and in so doing we limit God to the bounds of our own intellect. Historically we know that in Him ALL things are possible, but we shut down on the unlikely things, and thereby limit Him to very small and mundane blessings.

  • The Challenge –

The challenge therefore, is to open our minds to whatever the Holy Spirit might be prompting us to do.  To believe in the impossible; to expect miracles, and so to grow our faith and our expectation of God to wonderful new heights.  Let us step out, and up, and believe that He will indeed empower us to “Preach a Sermon, and Heal, and More”!

More Evidence of The Holy Spirit

I have written before on How You Recognize the Holy Spirit in someone, and the question

More Evidence of The Holy Spirit
More Evidence of The Holy Spirit

that is continually asked on this Blog is, “What is the Evidence of The Holy Spirit”. The quick answer, of course, is in what Jesus said; “….by their fruit you shall know them”. This is totally true today, that has not changed one little bit.

  • Real Christians

A real Christian is led by the Holy Spirit of God, and the truth of that is evident in their lives. They genuinely love others, and this is evidenced by their actions; they befriend the lonely, they succour the needy, in fact they live out the basic Christian precept of; “Love one another”.

  • Wannabe Christians

A wannabe Christian doesn’t do that, what they do (I speak from former experience here!), is rush around trying to earn their place in the Kingdom with “good works”. They are so busy being ‘do-gooders’ they are deaf to the leading of the Holy Spirit, they don’t have time to meditate on His Word; they are, like the priest and the Levite in the story of the Good Samaritan, far too busy to stop and render aid to a person in need.

  • God is Love

So how do you pick the Christian from the “Wannabee”? You examine the result, the “fruit”. The consequences of spirit led acts will always be good – the recipients will feel good about what has happened to them, the hearers will be inspired and blessed when anyone preaches such a sermon. Because the Christian is led by the Spirit of God the result MUST BE characterized by God’s fundamental ethic; I.E., LOVE. So everyone will recognize God’s hand in what has happened and will be uplifted, or inspired, or soothed, or whatever as a result.

  • Spiritual Peace

I have listened to many speakers who were preaching a sermon using their own agenda, and I always feel uneasy about what I am hearing, I doubt the validity of the points they are making, and my spirit does not agree with what is being offered. You should be convicted by what you hear; and you MUST feel at peace with what you hear, or it is NOT from God. Likewise with actions, if you are not feeling blessed by someones actions, then their motivation is worldly, NOT heavenly. If they are responding to God’s urging, then it must be in response to some need of yours, and you will welcome that. God would NEVER urge them to some action that didn’t benefit you!

  • Apply These Tests

To be sure that the Spirit is in what is happening, apply these tests: You must be at peace about it, God is a god of peace and love. You must feel conviction inside yourself, in your spirit, not doubt, or stress. And, of course, it must agree with scripture – God does not contradict himself.  Read the Galations account of the “Fruit of the Spirit”, and look for those fruits in the lives and actions of those around you. Every one of those fruits has an opposite, and if you are seeing those opposites, those negative fruits, then you are seeing the fruit of the “other” kingdom, NOT God’s Kingdom.

What is The Evidence of The Holy Spirit

  • Evidence of The Holy Spirit

    Evidence of The Holy Spirit
    Evidence of The Holy Spirit

How can you discern the Holy Spirit in others? This question is very relevant to our growth and spiritual well-being. Why? – Because we need to know when what we are hearing is the inpired word of the Spirit of God.  If we just accept everything we hear we will soon be led down the path of spiritual error.

  • Fool-Proof Test

There is one fool-proof test you can apply to determine if what you are hearing is spiritual truth; and that is this. Consider what James says here in Chapter 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. From this we can reliably infer that we MUST have a peace about what we are hearing. If you can apply all the tests in this Bible verse to what you hear, you can be confidant that what you are hearing is from the Holy Spirit of God – it will be full of mercy, good fruits, impartial and above all pure and peaceful.

  • Unquiet Spirit

There is one thing the devil CANNOT fake, and that is love. You may be hearing stuff that sounds very reasonable at the time, but if it leaves you with an unquiet spirit, then you can be assured that it is NOT from God. If what you see and hear makes you feel restless, discontented, anxious or worried, you can be confidant that it came from that other kingdom – the kingdom of darkness.  God is Love: Therefore anything from God must be pure; have an underlying theme of love, and leave you with a feeling of peace.

  • Simple, Reliable Test

Jesus gave us a very reliable and simple test to apply when we are not sure what we are confronted with.  In effect, He said; “Look at the fruit to see what sort of a tree it is” [Matt 7:16  By their  fruit  you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? …….20  Thus, by their  fruit  you will recognize them]. So if the visible fruit in the life of the person you are listening to are the fruits of Love, Joy, Peace, etc, of the Spirit, described in Galations, then you can be sure that the Spirit of God is directing that person’s life.

The Person of The Holy Spirit

  • The Holy Spirit; His Fruit and His Gifts

Questions about the person of the Holy Spirit, His gifts and His fruit, are both simple and complex. Here are some simple answers –

  • The Holy Spirit
    The Holy Spirit

    The Fruit of The Holy Spirit.

The [fruit of the Holy Spirit] Galations 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. are those character elements that grow in our lives after we are born again, and the Holy Spirit is enabled to work within us. As a ‘new baby’ in the spiritual world we need to develop, just as does any new baby in the temporal world. When we give our lives to Him we are filled with love,  and we become filled with joy.  After the first excitement dies down we gain the peace; and the other fruits of patience, kindness, and so on start to develop. It is not by chance that the last fruit to grow is self-control; it naturally grows after the others have matured.

  • The Gifts of The Holy Spirit.

[The [9] Gifts of The Holy Spirit]1 Corinthians 12: 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines are given at will by the Holy Spirit, and may be withdrawn also at will. Do not confuse these gifts with the [7] [motivational] gifts that are listed in [Romans 12] 5 So in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.. These motivational gifts [in whatever ratio we may posess them] are the God-given gifts we were born with, they govern our character and define our role in God’s kingdom.  On the other hand, you can pray for any one or more of the spiritual gifts, just as you like.

  • The Voice of The Holy Spirit.

For me, the best description of the voice of [God] the Holy Spirit, is the term used by the writer of  1 Kings [19:12] when he said; “a still, small voice“; in telling about God talking to Elijah after the voice of earthquake, wind, and fire.  I have this mental picture of the Holy Spirit in the same room in my head as my conscience, and speaking to me in the same way –  I have to listen real hard to hear Him, and it certainly helps to be in a quiet place, so as not to drown out the sound of the still small voice

  • More About Hearing From God

You can read more about hearing from the Holy Spirit of God in Chapter 14 [Wisdom From God – Concience and The Holy Spirit] of my e-Book, “Good Lord, It’s Morning”!