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If you are not prepared to wait for someone even when you are told to, then you will have an inevitable tendency to ignore that person for the rest of your relationship because the first impression makes a high difference in any relationship whether that impression is correct or wrong.

Before He went to the cross, one of the last instructions of Jesus to the eleven centred around the Person of the Holy Spirit.  “If you love Me, you will obey what I command.  And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever— the Spirit of Truth.”  Then in the rest of the conversation, the Holy Spirit was mentioned again and again, and when He saw them again or when they saw Him again after the resurrection in John 20.19, after calming them down… again He mentioned the other two Persons of His life – the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Up until now they knew the Holy Spirit as the One against whom blasphemy is unforgivable and that when demons are driven out by Him, the Kingdom of God had come.  They knew the Holy Spirit would give them utterance when they were brought to trail… but now standing in front of them resurrected, Jesus told them, “Peace be with you!  As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.”  And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”  And He told them, “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.”  When the Holy Spirit finally did come on Pentecost day, would it not be logical to find out something about Him and to actually meet Him… to get to know Him or even to see Him?  For by Acts 1 or 2, they could say they knew Jesus, for after all, they did spent three years with Him, but the truth is… they did not know the Holy Spirit.  They knew of Him but they did not know Him.  For they did not wait in the city as commanded, but sometime later some went fishing, so Jesus had to go and get them… so that had it been God’s intention to send the Holy Spirit with His power before Pentecost day, we do not know.  What we do know is this… they did not wait until they were clothed with power before they went fishing… for if they had, Peter would not have had to swim to shore but walk… instead of jumping into the water.

As you examine the epistles from Acts to Jude, there is almost a complete absence of teaching by the eleven on the Person of the Holy Spirit.  The fruits and the gifts of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5.22-23, Ephesians 5.9, Hebrews 13.15, 1 Corinthians 12.8-10, Ephesians 3.7, Romans 5.17 and 6.23 are all mentioned by Paul.  There is no mention or teaching on the gifts or the fruits of the Holy Spirit by either Peter or John, nor are there teachings in the early chapters of Acts.

Certainly there is no mention of the eleven spending time to get to know the Holy Spirit as they did with Jesus, and yet Jesus said, “But you know Him, for He lives with you…”  They may have lived with the Holy Spirit… but again, Acts 15.28 shows they did not know the Holy Spirit.  For what honour would Jesus get (for it was Jesus who asked the Father for the Holy Spirit for us) from His disciples who were faithfully observing abstinence from eating blood, meats of strangled animals and food sacrificed to idols when it was He who ordered them to eat His flesh and drink His blood and declared all foods to be clean?  It was Jesus who taught His disciples to break Leviticus 17.  So what glory goes to Jesus if His disciples now fervently observe Leviticus 17?  Glory?  There is none… for His disciples would be saying that their Teacher was incorrect when He taught them about His flesh and His blood in John 6.  If it truly seemed good to the Holy Spirit as the apostles and the elders who signed off the Acts 15 letter would have us believe that gentiles are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality, then the Holy Spirit is no Spirit of Truth… for He is then not the Spirit who works for the glory of the One who sent Him.

The only reason it would seem good to the Holy Spirit from the apostles and elders’ perspective is because they did not really know Him even though it is obvious they worked with Him, they knew of Him and they appreciated His presence.  Anyone knows that you can know of a person, work with a person, even live with a person and yet not really know that person.  Either that or they never really understood what a man of truth is and therefore what (who) the Spirit of Truth is.  However, if you are a person who is still concerned about your reward, your entitlements, your sacrifices, your position, your calling, your ministry, all things that are still yours…. then you have never really come to know what it means to work for the glory of the One who sent you.  If there remains any dispute among you as to which one is considered to be the greatest, like there was among the eleven at the supper, then you are not really ready to work solely for the glory of the One who sent you. 

The Spirit Himself is holy because He has set Himself aside solely for the Father and the Son and by committing Himself to bring glory to Them only.  He is the Spirit of Truth who is the Holy Spirit.  He raised Jesus from the dead by His power, not for His own glory but for the glory of Jesus, and if Jesus is glorified, so is the Father glorified.  He permitted Himself to be poured upon all flesh, not for His own glory, but rather, for the glory of the Father and the Son.

And because the introduction was not correct, for they only saw Him as tongues of fire that separated and rested on them and they began to speak in tongues and praised God… they never really came to know Him.  Even when He was reminding them of Jesus’ teachings and giving them utterance before the Sanhedrin that amazed them, they praised God, but they had not come to know the Holy Spirit.  As the years passed, the failure to come to know the Holy Spirit meant that people who were introducing worse practices than holding back a little money were invited into ministry to even have a part in teaching, as evidenced by those who went to Antioch preaching circumcision.  Somehow the eleven, especially those who remained in Jerusalem, had permitted men who were preaching contrary to Jesus’ teachings to go forth in His Name.  Men who obviously knew nothing of the Holy Spirit, for if you did, you would know the Holy Spirit would never teach that circumcision of the flesh is a prerequisite to salvation.

Now having understood this salient point, the Holy Spirit not only works for the glory of the One who sent Him, but He will never participate or approve of anything that does not bring glory to Jesus or make Him out to be a liar and therefore make God out to be a liar, then one is ready to come to know Him, the Spirit of Truth.  There are therefore certain things He will never say.  As such, the Spirit will never tell the churches to get ready to go to Heaven, for having people going to Heaven does not bring glory to Jesus.  It is Jesus arriving back on Earth that brings glory to Jesus.  The Spirit would never tell the churches to split over doctrines, teachings or traditions, for a splintered church brings no glory to Jesus, but a church that is one as Jesus is One with the Father, now that is glory.  The Spirit would never tell the church to kill those who do not believe, torture those who do not agree or steal from those who are not members of His household… for that would make Jesus a murderer, a destroyer of men’s lives and a thief… without giving the church the ability to raise the dead, heal the sick and multiply the food and gold as well.  But above all else… the Spirit would never teach anything contrary to what Jesus has taught.  He would never remind us of things Jesus has not said.  Nor would He lead us into truths that do not glorify Jesus.  He does not tell us what He has heard others say, except the Father and the Son, nor does He leave us ignorant of what is yet to come.  When it comes to conviction, He convicts the unbelievers of their sin of unbelief of Jesus, not their sins as defined by the Law of Moses.  He convicts the believers of their righteousness that comes from believing and not of their works or absence of.  Certainly above all else, He convicts no one of condemnation, except Satan… for until the false prophet and the beast appear, no one is condemned, for the final judgment has not yet come and He has not yet purified the lips of all the peoples that they may call upon the Name of the Lord to serve Him… one last time.

Now we can spend another millennium arguing about who knows what of the Holy Spirit… and have another million councils and theses approving and disapproving what we say, what we know or what we believe of the Holy Spirit.  Certainly what little we have been shown and shared already is enough for many to consider us heretics of the worst kind, for we are pointing out the weaknesses, the disobedience and the ignorance of the foundations of the church – the apostles of the first century.  And quite rightly, for we should be considered most arrogant and despicable… if we had made these up from our own libraries.  However, the evidence we present does not come from libraries of our own pen or inspiration, but from the holy library, penned by men under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Himself.

It is the Holy Spirit who inspired the writer of Mark to tell us Jesus sent the twelve immediately to Bethsaida.  It is the Holy Spirit who inspired the writer of John to record that someone suggested Capernaum and they set off into the dark.  It is the Holy Spirit who deliberately made sure there is no mention of the twelve’s repentance for their disobedience so that we can only conclude they did not, for whatever else they did… their fright, their calling out to the Lord, their walking on water, their worshipping of the Lord and their immediate translation to Gennesaret were all recorded.  If the repentance of Nineveh and of Ahab were recorded, men and women who in the grand scheme of God for Jesus mattered little, then surely the repentance of the twelve would have been recorded had it occurred.

Unfortunately, these teachings so far are not cleverly made up from libraries of men and devils, but are extracted verbatim from the holy library itself.  What should astound any reader of these materials is not that we dare to write and speak thus… but that for all their years of personal devotion and study of the holy library, they were not shown what we have been shown.  So any enquiry should not be directed at us… but directed to the Originator of the holy library – the Holy Spirit.

For what is written and what is not written in the holy library tells us much of the Holy Spirit Himself, for it is He who inspired the writers to leave this record to teach, to correct and to rebuke.  If what the Jews called Scriptures are God breathed and men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit, then how much more the Scriptures of the church – the four Gospels and the Revelation – have been authored by the Holy Spirit who reminded the writers what Jesus said, and also the letters of the disciples approved for inclusion into the holy library.  Each one has its set purpose to show us, to teach us, to rebuke us and to correct us in the hope we do not make the same mistakes… in the hope we make the same success and victory… or in the hope we make the grade as the authors did despite their mistakes. 

The Holy Spirit is not here to condemn but to convict, and with regards to condemnation, He only convicts one person… Satan, because of his judgment, that is, his decision, and also God’s judgment (God’s decision).  But rather, He is here and has always been here to teach us, to remind us, to guide us into all truth, to tell us what is yet to come, to reveal what belongs to Jesus… and all for the glory of the One who sent Him.

If you come to know Him, then you will know what He considers to be good, what seems to be good… for Him… only that which glorifies Jesus is good.  So if they had written in Acts 15.28… It seemed good to the Holy Spirit to reject James’ judgment so as not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:  Follow Jesus, believe Him, listen to His words and practise them.  You will do well to do such things.  How different things would be and we would know they knew the Holy Spirit well.

So should we engage in a debate of words?  There is no need for words when there is power.  As the Spirit declared Jesus to be the Son of God by His power… so let the Holy Spirit declare those who are of the body of Christ by the same power… the power to cause the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the lepers cleansed and the dead raised as the Good News is preached to the poor, just like Jesus did when He was asked, “Are You the One…?”

For if we are making this up, no one needs to condemn us, for we have condemned ourselves beyond the reach of grace, for we have made the Holy Spirit out to be a liar.  As such, what we have risked is not life of a mortal body, but the eternal life of an immortal soul.  Having counted the cost, this is where we must stand, for the truth is… what God intended to show the disciples on resurrection morning must be revealed so that all may see and know what they had missed and repent for His glory.  Amen.

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