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Just as the writer of Hebrews tells us that there are the principles of the doctrine of Christ and the elementary teachings about Christ, so too there are basic doctrines about the Holy Spirit and of His teachings.  And even though He does not speak on His own as Jesus said, we do know that the Holy Spirit had to speak on His own.

Jesus said, “He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears…”  However, we know that Luke recorded for us that the Holy Spirit did speak to Philip and then to the church at Antioch when He told them to set apart Barnabas and Saul for the work He had for them.  The verse of Acts 13.2 would appear to contradict what Jesus said that the Spirit of Truth would not speak on His own, He will speak what He hears, but in fact it does not.  For by the time of Acts 13, the infiltration of the Jerusalem church by the teachings of James and Nicolas must have been to the level that Jesus had asked the Father for the Holy Spirit to set His elect aside.

For the elect of the Holy Spirit is not a ‘doctrine’ that we have made up, but rather, it was Jesus who told us, “If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive.  But for the sake of the elect, whom He has chosen, He has shortened them.”  As such, the choosing of those who are the elect of the Holy Spirit had been spoken of by Jesus first, and as such, the setting aside of Barnabas and Saul for His work in Acts 13.2 is entirely in keeping with what He has heard.  As for the work that the Holy Spirit had for Barnabas and Saul, it is the same work that Jesus had given the Holy Spirit:

  • To teach us all things and to remind us of everything that Jesus had said – John 14.26
  • To testify about Jesus – John 15.26
  • To convict the world of guilt with regards to sin, righteousness and judgement – John 16.8
  • To guide us into all truth – John 16.13
  • To not speak on His own but only what He hears, and to tell us what is yet to come – John 16.13
  • To bring glory to Jesus by taking from what is Jesus’ and making it known to us – John 16.14-15
  • To give disciples power to be witnesses of Jesus – Acts 1.8

These were the things the Holy Spirit had to do and Barnabas and Saul were set aside for that as well, for Luke recorded for us:  Some men came down from Judea to Antioch and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised, according to the custom taught by Moses, you cannot be saved.”  And when Saul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem regarding this, it is obvious that the Jerusalem congregation had not held fast to what Jesus had said, but had tolerated the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees who opinionated, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the Law of Moses.”

Those in charge of Jerusalem had forgotten what Jesus said about the yeast (the teachings) of the Pharisees and the mixing of new cloth with old cloth, and new wine in old wineskins.  Furthermore, the eleven were obviously not well trained enough in the law to have stopped those Judaizers from teaching erroneously about circumcision, for they taught that circumcision came through the customs of Moses for salvation when in reality it came through Abraham for the purpose of friendship and blessing, not salvation.  For even Abraham needed Jesus to be His Saviour, which is why, as Jesus said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing My day; he saw it and was glad.”

As such, the Holy Spirit had to raise up Barnabas and Saul to send them to Jerusalem to do His work, and if that was the case, is it not obvious then that the church in Jerusalem was no longer really hearing what the Holy Spirit was saying?  There is no way the Holy Spirit would have approved and tolerated men going forth teaching circumcision as a prerequisite for salvation.

Thus, concerning the Holy Spirit and His work, these are very clearly outlined already by Jesus.  His role as Counsellor, Comforter, Helper and Paraclete are defined and limited by the parameters set by Jesus, and His gifts are to assist in the work He has to do as defined by Jesus.

As such, the purpose of hearing and recognising the voice of the Holy Spirit is not so that He would give you revelations contrary to Jesus’ words, but rather, so that you can recognise that it is the Holy Spirit who is guiding you into all truth, teaching you and reminding you of what Jesus has said, and so that He can tell you what He has heard and what is yet to come, in the context of what Jesus has said only.  His power is reserved strictly for the testifying to others of the reality and truth of Jesus’ words and personage only, and not for the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel or of the raising up of any particular human state over another.  Its manifestation is first for witness and when that witness is done, it is then for the establishment of the Kingdom of God within the disciples, for as Jesus said, “The Kingdom of God is within you.”

In this work of the resurrection of the Galilean congregation – the church that should have been launched from Galilee at Jesus’ ascension and not at Pentecost ten days later – the purpose is the completion of the work assigned to the Holy Spirit.  As elects of the Holy Spirit, you will have found that your work of restoring the command to “Listen to Him!” is in fact an extension of the Holy Spirit’s work to remind and teach everyone what Jesus said and to guide them into all truth.  For the words of Jesus are truly true forever.  Heaven and Earth will disappear, but His words will never disappear.  The practice of Jesus’ words, especially in power for miracles, is also in line with the work of the Holy Spirit to give power to disciples to be witnesses.

Your training to testify for Jesus is part of that restoration of the witness program.  Even what you have been shown as to what is to come – the days of distress, the millennial reign, the coming judgement – all of that are the work of the Holy Spirit, and the work of the elect is to do exactly what He does.

Thus the work of the Holy Spirit is the work of the elect.  Barnabas and Saul’s work in Jerusalem in Acts 15 was to firmly refute what the believers belonging to the Pharisee party were saying and to bring the Jerusalem congregation back in line with the teachings of Jesus.  But instead, they allowed it to drift further when the congregation formalised the recommendations of James the Younger to the Gentile churches through their letter invoking the approval of the Holy Spirit.

A very basic doctrine about the Holy Spirit is this:  He will never approve or condone any teaching that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus, nor will He condone any practice that is contrary to the teachings of Jesus… even though He may show different ways to practise the words of Jesus.

For example, the Holy Spirit will never approve the teaching of resisting an evil person even if the grounds of resistance appear right in men’s eyes, for Jesus said, “Do not resist an evil person.”  ‘Good Christians’ resist evil men, even taking up arms to fight in a war because they have no idea what can be achieved instead with the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit.  Peter used the sword and cut off the soldier’s ear when they tried to arrest Jesus… but Jesus healed the soldier’s ear.  Neither would He approve the massacre and sacking of villages and lands that refuse the Gospel.  Jesus only told the disciples to shake the dust off their sandals, as He said, “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.”  He said nothing about taking people’s houses or their gold, or killing those who would not accept the message, and neither will the Holy Spirit condone such things.

As such, when you stretch the plumbline of the word of Jesus and its practices against that which has been practised, you will see that there is much that needs to be removed, demolished and readjusted.  However, we are not to judge, as Jesus said.  As such, as Paul wrote, we will judge nothing before the appointed time.  However, the successful raising up of congregations that do hear what the Holy Spirit is saying will bring about circumstances that will ‘automatically’ cause that which has not been done according to the word and will of Jesus to be corrected.

As a simple example:  When there are those who can testify that the constant practice of the words of Jesus they have heard has truly made them like wise men who built their houses on the rock, then the flip side of that verse, what happens to those who have heard but do not practise, will also manifest.  So that in the days ahead, you will see and hear also the truth of these words of Jesus as well:  “But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 

You see, the Holy Spirit is here to testify about Jesus with His power, and whether He does so alone or with us, it does not matter to Him, for as Paul wrote:  Let God be true, and every man a liar.  When the books are opened for judgement, you will find that anyone who heard the words and did not put them to practice will have lived a life like that of a man who built his house on the sand.  The Holy Spirit by His power will cause the rain to fall, the wind to blow, the river to rise and the torrent to strike to prove the words of Jesus true—exactly the way the Father showed Jesus to say them.

And everyone will realise then that the ‘rain’, the ‘wind’, the ‘river’ and the ‘torrent’ were all circumstances brought about by the Holy Spirit’s power to testify for Jesus, for after all, He is the Lord,  “…and there is no other.  I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.”

When you understand that the Holy Spirit Himself will also testify about Jesus… and He will, if need be, do it on His own as He said, “I looked, but there was no one to help, I was appalled that no one gave support; so My own arm worked salvation for Me, and My own wrath sustained Me.  I trampled the nations in My anger; In My wrath I made them drunk and poured their blood on the ground,” then you might just wake up and realise you are called, chosen and elected as Barnabas and Saul were, and this work the Holy Spirit has for you to do is the same work that He has to do for Jesus.

If the congregation at Jerusalem had deviated by Acts 13-15, enough for the Holy Spirit to set aside Barnabas and Saul, then should it surprise you that once more He is setting others aside… but this time it is not to send His elect to those who have deviated from the teachings of Jesus in the hope that they will listen.  Rather, this time the Holy Spirit is raising up a church that listens and hears what He is saying to them to show the rest and the world what Jesus had in mind when He said, “…tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.    He who an ear, let him hear with the Spirit says to the churches.” 

Indeed, what will we see… if any group of disciples is perfectly successful in their practice of the words of Jesus and there are men and women who can be trusted with the Holy Spirit without limit as Jesus is? 

Amen Holy Spirit.

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