|The Ministry of the Holy Ghost
Turning in our Bibles to John 14 beginning at verse 15 we find these words of Jesus: “If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another comforter, that He may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dweleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” (V.15-18)
Jesus spoke of the coming of the Holy Ghost several times especially in the book of John. He told of the importance of the coming of the Holy Ghost and how we needed Him.
The person of the Holy Ghost is shown to be active in the Bible from the very beginning, He was active in creation. (Gen 1:2) He is the power of God that makes what God says to become what He said. Holy Ghost is active from the beginning and will be to the end.
The Holy Ghost is introduced and revealed to us in New Testament scriptures by symbols as God does many things of the Kingdom. He is shown as a dove when coming upon Jesus at His baptism, a symbol of His gentleness and His indwelling. (Matt 3:16-17, John 1:32-34)
He is called water or river and fountain, this means He is life and there is a flowing abundance for all. (John 7:37-39)
Holy Ghost is called fire as a purifier and anointing power. (Matthew 3:11-12)
He is shown as wind when coming to fill believers and empower for service. (Acts 2:1-4)
He is the oil of anointing that is for the service and work of the kingdom. (Luke 4:18-19)
There is new wine which is joy. (Matthew 9:17, Mark 2:22)
Then He is comforter as He becomes our peace and stability. (John 15:26, 14:16, 14:26)
And we see Him as a cloud depicting His presence, glory, fellowship. We hear His voice! (Matthew 17:1-8)
Jesus never did anything without the Holy Ghost directing Him. He never taught, healed, or even began His ministry without the Holy Ghost coming upon Him. He did it just like we have to do it. (John 5:19-21)
Jesus even offered Himself for us to be crucified by the eternal Spirit. (Hebrews 9:14)
Now Jesus is no longer on the earth in His flesh body. He has gone to heaven to sit with the Father until His enemies be made His footstool. He told us that it was expedient for us that He go back to heaven, for if He didn’t the Holy Ghost would not come to us.(John 16:7)
You see the difference is that as good as it was to walk with Jesus, talk with Him, see His miracles etc. He could never live in us that way. He could only be with us. But now through the Holy Ghost He can live in us!
Jesus said that the comforter which is the Holy Ghost would be just like Him except He would not be in flesh form, He would be a Spirit. He also said that the Holy Ghost was the Spirit of truth. As believers we are to be taught the truth by the Holy Ghost. How sad it is that many still follow error rather than truth. What’s worse is that most people who are in error will defend their error as if it were the truth! It stands to reason that if all believers were following truth then all believers would believe the same thing, speak the same thing, and hold to the same teachings. Obviously there are a lot of professing Christians that are in error. We must be seekers of truth and ready to forsake all error in order to follow truth if we are to be taught truth by the Holy Ghost!
Holy Ghost is given to us as a gift from our Father. He is to equip us so that we can continue the works of Jesus. Not as one man, but as millions believing on Jesus, doing the works the He did because He has gone to the Father and sent us the Holy Ghost that we can do even greater works than He! (John 14:12)
By the order and agreement of the Father and the Son Jesus, Holy Ghost will work to bring us to Jesus as His first priority. We cannot come by ourselves, He has to draw us.
This is of the utmost importance to Him. He was sent to help mankind find their way to God by convicting of sin, showing us the Redeemer Jesus and revealing to us that we can come to God and be accepted. (John 16: 7-11, 6:44&45, Matthew 16:13-17)
When we accept Jesus as our Savior and put our trust in Him to save us from our sins, this is called being born again. You see, before Jesus, our spirit was dead and before we could live in the spirit our spirit had to be raised from the dead. The Holy Ghost comes in and raises our spirit from the dead and starts to live in us. He takes up residence in us giving us the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of Christ the son of God and from that time on we can call ourselves children of God! (John 3:3-8, 14:15-17; 22-23, Romans 8:9; 15, Galatians 4:6, I Cor. 6:19, Eph. 1:13-14; 2:22, I John 3:24, 4:13; 5:16)
The next work of the Holy Spirit is to fill us, also called the baptism in the Holy Ghost. Some refer to this as a second work of grace. Some refer to it as a work of the devil and some call it a thing of the past and is no more. Still others say it’s for some but not all believers and then others think it may be real but it’s just not for me or I don’t need it. This work of the Holy Ghost has been one of the most controversial issues in the church from the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) until now. Rightly so, because the devil doesn’t want people to have this gift and power from God. Jesus was filled with the Holy Ghost; the apostles after Him were baptized in the Holy Ghost, and they made sure believers after them knew about and received this precious gift. Now if they needed this work of the Holy Ghost, how much more do we need it today? As I think about this and having talked with people and preached for more than 20 years, I find that people are generally more reluctant because of the speaking in tongues portion of this baptism. So much has been said about this that very few really know what it’s all about. It’s not about speaking in tongues, although that is the first sign that we have received the baptism. It is about life!
If God has a gift for you that will enable you to live an abundant, overcoming life why wouldn’t you accept it? You know yourself how much there is to deal with in life, you know and see how the darkness of world sin is covering the earth. How can you make it unless you have the power and spiritual authority to do so? You can’t and you know it! The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. If this gift was given, and it was, then it is still available today. If it is not, then God could change salvation or faith or any other thing. But He can’t because He cannot lie. He cannot alter or change the Word and gifts He has given. So just ask and you will receive. And about tongues, that comes too. Just yield yourself to God and let Him fill you up and you will speak in tongues and you will be more than glad you did. (Acts 1:5, 2:1-4, 8:15-17, 9:19, 10:44, 19:2 10:38, Luke 11:13, Galatians 3:2, Acts 2:33-38, Eph.5:18) * If you need help or have questions in this area contact us, we will be more than happy to help you.
Now here we come to the major issue in all of Christianity. The love of God! For God so loved the world that he gave Jesus (John 3:16).God is love. We can find many scriptures to show you that we as Christians are to live the love of God. Jesus said that we would be known by the love that we have. Yet so many professing Christians are known more for their debates, sins, quarrels, church splits, disunity, greediness, and the list goes on. People say words like I love you, but really don’t mean it. Love has proving action with it. God’s love in us is what makes the difference. That’s the very reason I am writing this and you are reading this. Because love is the greatest force in the universe and we all need to be loved and to love others, God has given us the ability to love people even the worst of people, by putting His love in us by the Holy Ghost living in us. You can live the love of God because God enables you to and by living the love you’ll fulfill the will of God and gain great power of peace and strength in your life. God’s love! So Go ahead live it! (Romans 5:5, II Tim. 1:7, John 17:26, I John 4:7-27, I John 3:17)
Most people think that having a spirit filled life is living so far above everything that nothing can get to you and harm you. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. You can be kept from harm but only by learning to use the supply of the Holy Spirit for every occasion in life. We often refer to the anointing of the Holy Ghost and rightly so. We all should desire and seek to be anointed and function in that anointing. However there are times in life when it’s not a great powerful anointed display of the Spirit that we need but rather a word of encouragement, a decision to be made, a purchase to make, an accident that needs immediate attention etc. You get the picture. In life there are so many different aspects to living and each thing requires the supply of the Holy Ghost for that need or occasion. If we will simply learn to rely on Him and trust that He will act at each occasion with all of Him that is needed, we’ll find that the supply given of Himself for every occasion is always more than enough. (Phil 1:19, Romans 15:13, Mark 13:10-11)
He is the greatest teacher!
Jesus said the Holy Ghost would be our teacher when He came to abide in us. The prophet said they shall all be taught of God. Is. 54:13. It seems to be very difficult for people to believe and accept that God will teach us the truth and the right way to live. God is truth. He cannot teach one person or group one thing and then teach another something else and all of it be truth. No beloved, God will teach everybody the same thing everywhere if people want to know the truth. Often I find that people accept what someone said or what their ancestors taught with no real proof of its truth. Many times it’s what the denomination teaches or an, “I believe this way” thing. People somebody has to be wrong! God is only one truth and all His people have to be taught by the Holy Spirit the truth of God. Jesus said if we would continue in His word we would know the truth and the truth would make us free. The truth of God has to be taught spiritually by the Holy Ghost and only Him. Yes, God gave us anointed people to teach but it is the anointing that makes able teachers, not learning institutes. We can learn as we are able to be taught and only as we apply ourselves to the learning of truth from the Holy Ghost. (John 14:26, 16: 13-14, I Cor 2:9-13, John 16:12-13)
The Bringer of Life
Jesus told us that if we would believe on Him as the scripture has said that out of our bellies would flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38-39) He spoke of the Holy Ghost that would come to fill us with life so full and overflowing that it would flow out to others. Many times the master said He is the bread of life and if any man thirst let Him come to me and drink. I am come that ye might have life and that ye might have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
The writer of Hebrews 8:10 said that the Holy Spirit would write the laws (word) of God in our hearts and in our minds. The flesh profits nothing; it is the spirit that quickens (gives life). So we can easily see that the only way to have real life is to be born again and filled with the Holy Ghost. As we continue to learn and walk with Him in Spirit and truth His life will begin to flow out of us to others. That is what God wants in the first place a free flow of life from us to the world! An overcoming stream of life, pure love, pure Jesus! Holy Ghost gives us life! To be cont…, (Romans 8:11, John 6:63, Col. 3:1-4 II Cor 3:6; 17-18)
Testifies and bears witness of Jesus
We often hear these phrases among professing Christians, “testify or testimony” “witness or my witness.”
We are called to be the witness of Jesus to all people. We are also to testify of what He has done in our lives and in the lives of others. While these are good and should always be done, they are only outward expressions of inward truths. Though people may see outwardly that Christ has changed us, healed us, or did some other miracle in our lives, it must be the Holy Ghost that reveals that truth to them spiritually in their hearts.
The natural mind of man can never understand the things of God. The natural mind may explain away the working of God in our lives. However when the Holy Ghost testifies in the heart- becomes the witness in the heart which changes it all. This is one of the biggest reasons so much preaching and Christian work is and has been done that produced no eternal fruit, the Holy Ghost wasn’t sought for, the anointing wasn’t seen as needed, prayer wasn’t enjoined that would produce a witness of the Holy Ghost.
The writers of the scriptures taught that the Holy Ghost was sent to bear witness Of Jesus and He did and does! Without His involvement our profession is like all the other religions in the world, DEAD! (John 15:26-27, 16:14, Acts 5:32)
The word sanctify means to set apart, to separate. Not only does God sever us from the world, He claims us as His own. We belong to Him because He purchased us with the blood of His dear son Jesus. He wants us to be His and to be with Him. So when He gives us the Holy Ghost one of the things He is to do is to teach us how to cut all our ties with the world and our selves as well as the devil so we can be set apart as holy unto the Lord. One reason for this is those things are not good for us, they can only hurt us. Another is that learning to walk with God, separated from those things that harm us; we begin to live true abundant life. He also wants our lives to be an example to others so they will come to accept Jesus too. Then we see that He is preparing us for eternity. That’s a long time! Sometimes it seems to take a long time for us to get the idea and agree with God’s sanctifying work in us by the Holy Ghost. Oh, how much better it would be if we would let the Holy Ghost have His way! We would experience the glory of god much sooner and much more powerful here on earth and then forever! (Romans 15:16, II Thes. 2:13, I Peter 1:2, I Cor.1:30, Ephesians 5:24-27, II Tim 2:21)
He Anoints, Gifts, and Empowers for Ministry
Ministry is what we as Christians are suppose to be about. It’s what we are here for. Ministry is the act of declaring Jesus Christ to the world. It’s what Jesus did and the apostles; it’s also what we are supposed to do. Ministry has often been interpreted to mean preaching but it is really taking care of the whole need of man. The ability to do this can come only through the Holy Ghost as He anoints, gifts and empowers His people to do what each one is placed in the church, which is His body to do. One person cannot do all. It must come through joint ministry of every part. Just as our natural body is not complete with one part missing or one part not functioning so the spiritual body of Jesus, whose body we are, cannot do the whole ministry unless every part supplies what it’s given to supply.
When we are baptized in the Holy Ghost we are anointed, gifted and empowered for ministry. Until we are baptized in the Holy Ghost our labors are mostly in vain though they may be good deeds and needful deeds, they will not carry the life of Christ. This is why so much Christian service goes unrewarded with spiritual fruit. I know a lot of people do not agree but the Bible is very clear and the evidence spans more than 2000 years. Jesus said to the apostles to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. If they couldn’t minister without the baptism of the Holy Ghost, neither can we.
The Holy Ghost will gift us with spiritual gifts to use as well as gifts that seem to be very practical but are necessary to minister to the whole man whether in church or out. These gifts are usually not things that have been learned before becoming a born again and baptized in the Holy Ghost. They will more often be what you can only receive from God. This way no body can ever think that they can do it on their own. The Holy Ghost has to teach us and help us learn what our gifts and place of ministry are. Sometimes this comes very quickly, but most often it will take some time because we have to learn to know Him, walk with Him, hear His voice and submit to His will and way.
Signs, miracles and wonders will always accompany the ministry that is by the Holy Ghost. The anointed power of the Holy Ghost will activate the free flow of resurrection life from us, the gifts will begin to operate and Jesus will be manifested! Praise God!
Jesus never began His ministry until He was baptized in the Holy Ghost, endued with power from on high. He is our perfect example. He never did anything without being directed by the Holy Ghost. Jesus only did what He was shown by the Holy Spirit. He only said what the Holy Spirit told Him to say. He was gifted and empowered by the Holy Ghost and He testified in the Synagogue when He read Is. 61 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me- today this scripture is fulfilled.” He said that only after He was filled with the Holy Ghost. Today you and I can say the same thing and we can preach the gospel, heal the brokenhearted, preach deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, set at liberty them that are bruised, and preach the acceptable year of the Lord! Hallelujah!!!
(John 7:38-39, II Cor. 1:21, Acts 1:8-6:3, Romans 12:4-8, Eph. 4: 7-16, I Cor 12:1-31-14:1-2:4-5, Romans 15:18-19, Hebrews2:4, Mark 16:20, Acts 8:29-10:19,13:1-3, Acts 16:6-7, Luke 4:17-19)
Our Closest Friend
Holy Spirit will be our very dearest friend if we will allow Him to be. He wants to talk to us. He speaks. Jesus said that He would do that and He does. People that really know Him will testify that Holy Spirit not only desires to communicate with us, He desires to have fellowship with us. That’s right! That’s what friends do. They discuss things. They share their lives, they talk of concerns, and they spend time in conversation with one another. When you hear people talk about God telling them something, or God said, they are really referring to the Holy Ghost. It is His voice that we hear. It is His presence that we feel. Oh how He wants us to spend life in fellowship with Him.
The Bible says that if you want friends you must show yourself friendly. (Proverbs 18:24) There is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother; I know you say that Jesus is my best and closest friend. This is true and should be true. Holy Spirit is not meant to take Jesus’ place, but rather to be Jesus inside us and help us to live as Jesus lived. He will never draw attention to Himself but will always point us to Jesus and magnify Him. When we are in love with Jesus, Holy Ghost is the happiest! (II Cor 13:14, Phil. 2:1, I John 1:3, John 16:13)
Empowers Us TO Be Over Comers
Before the coming of Jesus man could never defeat His enemies. In fact many people didn’t even know who their enemy was. Sadly there are multitudes today that don’t know either. People then as now accredited the work of the devil to God and God’s works to the devil. There sure is a real need for people to understand what God is really like so they can know who their enemies are and overcome them. Holy Ghost was sent to us for this purpose. Just as Jesus was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, so Holy Spirit is given to us so we can do the same.
We have three enemies, yet they are the same -the devil, world and our flesh. The devil is the god of this world who uses deceit and propaganda to entice our flesh to sin and live in the lusts of it, thereby worshiping him. It all seems to be far more complicated as we are living in it. However it is really that simple. If we can learn that these three are in union then we can see the strategy of our enemies and put their works to destruction and live. By the power of the Holy Spirit, using God’s Word, His armor, His blood we are made to be more than conquerors! Hallelujah! (Romans 8:13, Gal. 5: 16-18, I John 5:1-15, 2:15-17, I john 2: 13-14, I peter 5: 8-9, James 4: 7-8, Eph 6, Luke 10)
He Becomes Our Prayer Partner
Jesus was asked by His disciples to teach them to pray as John had taught his disciples to do. Jesus gave them the model prayer that many still refer to as the Lord’s Prayer. Why did they need a model? Because they, like us don’t know how to pray! We must be taught and helped. Jesus knew how for He spent all night in prayer many times yet He said of His disciples one hour was a challenge for them because the spirit was willing but the flesh was weak. Today, our flesh will still keep us from engaging in prayer that is prevailing. Bless me now clubs are a dime a dozen and some are cheaper than that. For God’s people to have answers there must be the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous that availeth much. We can purpose to pray but we need the Holy Ghost to help us reach into the spirit realm with truth and faith. He will bring out the sword, which is the word of God, and lead us right through enemy territory into victory. Paul said we should pray with the spirit and with the understanding also. He wrote again that we should build up our faith by praying in the Holy Ghost. Another time He said the Spirit would make intercession for us because of our limited ability as a flesh house.
We are shown that praying in the Spirit is part of spiritual warfare and must be used to obtain victories over our enemies. Jesus is our faithful high priest in heaven that makes intercession for us. Hoy Ghost is our faithful prayer partner in His house, which is our body. When praying we must invite and rely on the Holy Spirit to help us pray, pray for us, pray through us, direct the prayers and the praying according to the will of God. We need not pray as many do; “if it be thy will” we have the spirit of truth that knows His will. Get unified with the Holy Ghost in prayer and watch what God does! (Romans 8:26-27, Eph. 2:18, 6:17-18, Jude 20, I John 2:20)
Since the beginning of man he has always worshiped something or someone. This is because he was made for God’s pleasure and worship is pleasing to God. However, man has never really understood worship because he hasn’t understood God. Real worship comes from the heart and only from the heart. Most of mankind even when attempting to worship God tried to do it by bringing something to Him other than what He wanted. People brought animals and thought that was worship. Now we find that people sing songs and call it worship. Not every song or all singing is worship. Some of it people can barely listen to, much less God. Some go to church or do church service and call it worship. As good as some of these things may be the only real spirit worship that God accepts must be taught by and carried out through the Holy Ghost. The Bible tells us that God is seeking for true spirit worshippers. The Holy Ghost will show us how. Worship exists first in the heart or spirit, but must come out of us and be directed to God and Him alone. Expressions of worship vary but will all be of the purest form when by the Holy Ghost.
Sometimes people in their zeal or lack of understanding can get completely out of order in their attempts to worship our Holy God. However there is always repentance and the availability of seeking what is right if we will just do it. Be a seeker of truth and you will find truth. Often worship will come as a song, but never brassy or to loud, But always from the heart. Sometimes there is the lifting of the hands, the bowing of the knees or laying prostate. We find in scripture where they bowed their heads and worshiped and Jacob leaned upon his staff while worshipping.
True spirit worship must come from true spirit worshipers and such will always be seeking for deeper and more meaningful worship and ways to express it, for they will always be seeking deeper more meaningful fellowship with the father through Jesus Christ.
How do we know when we get it right or we are headed in the right direction? Simply this, the presence and glory of God will fill the place with signs, miracles and wonders, not because we asked but because that’s what He does. When He is pleased He will show it! (John 4:23-24, Phil.3:3)
I have in this study given a brief overview of the ministry of the Holy Ghost and attempted to make people aware of how much we all need Him. Many people in Christianity know the term Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, today the phrase is Spirit filled. But as much as people may know the names or the terms, that doesn’t mean that they know Him. Nor does it mean that He is active in their lives. I have shown you here that we must desire, seek for, receive and allow the Holy Spirit to fill us and trust Him to teach us these truths and much more.
The Bible tells us that God is protective over the Holy Ghost and that the Holy Ghost is a perfect gentleman. He will not force His way nor will He come upon you by his own choosing. If He did He would just fall upon everybody in the world and the entire world would be saved, healed, delivered, etc. and everybody would go to heaven! That’s His desire but He won’t make people accept Him.
The Holy Ghost can be stopped from His ministry, even among people who do know Him. Just stop praying, studying God’s Word, assembling with believers, using faith, submission to Him, etc. and see what happens. You’ll find yourselves cold, lifeless, and powerless. We are taught that we can quench Him and grieve Him. Often we find that Jesus was grieved in Spirit and He could not do His work in some places because of unbelief. The fire of god is given us when we are baptized in the Holy Ghost, but we must feed the fire, fuel it in order for it to stay hot and for us to grow and mature with His teaching.
In the book of Acts we find that they were filled and refilled. There is one baptism, but many fillings and we must be continually be seeking for and receiving the fillings. I have found that by doing so the fillings become more often and more powerful with each experience.
Here is a major key, obedience and desire. Many have desire but when it is time to act upon the work and ministry of the Holy Ghost they shy away and He can’t work or do as He desires. So obedience must come with desire just as the first recipients had to speak as He gave the utterance. We must do the same and in all else that He desires as well. His desire is all that matters! If we will simply see that and submit, sow to the spirit and you will reap of the spirit. I long to hear of your experiences with the Holy Ghost! (Acts 7:31, Eph. 4:30, I Thes.5:19, Rom. 6:13-17, Matt. 7:24-27, I Peter 1:22-23, Gal. 6:8, Romans 8:5, Acts 4:31, Hebrews 2:1, Titus 3:4-6)