Six Ways The Holy Spirit Will Communicate With You
One of the tragic loses in modern Christianity is the near-elimination of the Holy Spirit from the life and activity of many believers. Religion that is learned and formalized can function without the Holy Spirit; true spirituality cannot. A prominent church leader once said of his denomination that “If the Holy Spirit were to disappear from the Church 90% of its work would go on as if nothing happened.” In many cases that is so. The loss is enormous. While your church or denomination may not be like that there are still no known Christians today experiencing the Holy Spirit in the same capacity as did first century believers. Nor are we getting the same results. Modern Christianity exerts a fading influence in Western culture.
In John 16:13, Jesus promised, “When the Spirit of truth has come He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is mine and declare it to you.” And again, in John 15:26 He said, “When the Helper comes whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.” The word Jesus used for “Helper” has a rich and wonderful meaning in its Greek equivalent, parakletos, and was used in the ancient Olympic Games to identify those who accompanied a marathon runner by shouting encouragement to him. This example of the Holy Spirit and the Christian with the marathon-runner to his paraklete is an excellent illustration. Para = “alongside of;” kaleo = “to call.” Here are six scriptural ways the Holy Spirit wants to accompany our race and shout encouragement:
1. THE HOLY SPIRIT BEARS WITNESS DIRECTLY TO OUR SPIRIT AND LEADS US INTERNALLY: Romans 8:16. “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” 1 John 5:6-8. “And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.”
2. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL LEAD US EXTERNALLY: Acts 16:6-7. “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia but the Spirit did not permit them.” Genesis 24:27: “As for me, being on the way, the Lord led me to the house of my master’s brethren.” I Samuel 10:6. “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come upon you, and you will prophesy with them and be turned into another man.” Galatians 5:16-19. “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.”
3. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL SPEAK TO US IN WORDS AND SENTENCES: Acts 8:27-29. “And behold, a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasury, and had come to Jerusalem to worship, was returning. And sitting in his chariot, he was reading Isaiah the prophet. Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go near and overtake this chariot.’” Acts 10:19-21. “While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are seeking you. Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.’”
4. THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL SPEAK TO US PROPHETICALLY THROUGH OTHERS: Acts 11:27-28. “And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar.” Acts 6:8-11. “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and signs among the people. Then there arose some from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia), disputing with Stephen. And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.” Acts 21:9-11. “Now Philip had four virgin daughters who prophesied. And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit,’So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'”
5. THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES SPECIFIC REVELATION KNOWLEDGE: Ephesians 3:1-6. “For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles — if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets …” I Corinthians 12:8. “For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit.” I Corinthians 2:9-10. “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”
6. THE HOLY SPIRIT SPEAKS THROUGH THE WRITTEN WORD OF SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 1:19-2:1. “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” II Peter 1:20,21: “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
THE VITAL QUESTION IS THIS:
Please hear this carefully: It is absolutely impossible for any of us–now–later–ever–to fully explore the Being and ministry of the Holy Spirit. He is God. He cannot be restricted to the interpretation of our denominational boxes. All of us are learners on earth and will still be that 100,000,000 light-years into eternity. The Holy Spirit is illimitable, inexhaustible, inexplicable, unreachable, unfathomable, impenetrable, inconceivable–and much, much more. Our attitude before the Holy Spirit must remain one of unrelenting reverence, complete awe, and utter submission. When we have accepted this fact, submitted to this truth, and established this quality of relationship with Him, we will experience more quickly and deeply His influence in our lives.
On the Day of Ascension, Jesus told the disciples at the Mount of Olives, “John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now … You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:5,6. In a single statement, Jesus connected baptism in the Spirit to the imparting of His power. That wonderful event occurred on the day of Pentecost when 120 disciples in the Upper Room received the blessing. Scripture carefully explains that others who were not present at Pentecost experienced the same empowering later. That included the Samaritans, Acts 8:14-17, Saul of Tarsus, Acts 9:17, the household of Cornelius, Acts 10:44, and the Ephesians, Acts 19:1-7. Young Timothy followed the example. II Timothy 1:6. Of the two billion Christians worldwide, some 500,000,000 now accept the validity of the Spirit’s Baptism. In 1977, I received the Baptism through the laying-on-of-hands by a born-again, Spirit-filled prisoner in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Without question, that was the most phenomenal, earth-shaking day of my life. Would I go back to my previous life and ministry? Never!
The Apostle Paul, who received the Spirit’s imparting through the laying-on-of-hands by Ananias, later wrote an 84 verse treatise on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12,13,14. His explanation provides the most comprehensive, authoritative information we have on the subject. More importantly, It is the only resource bearing the seal of Divine Authorship. All conflicting opinions, no matter how cherished or long-established, are but human speculation and must be discarded. Scripture is our final, absolute authority.
The Apostle begins his dissertation with the plea: “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant.” 12:1. Interestingly, this appeal that we “not be ignorant” appears seven times in the New Testament; once by Peter, six times by Paul. Each time, the request reveals an especially deep concern of the writer. Its appearance here should command the attention of every conscientious believer. The Apostle then proceeds carefully to detail the operation of nine grace-works of the Spirit. These are the direct result of the Spirit’s baptism. Having defended the need and purpose of the gifts, Paul then concludes his discourse with the stirring rebuke, “But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.” 14:38. In other words, he says, “After this careful explanation of spiritual gifts, if anyone refuses to learn, I have nothing more to say to him. Let him remain illiterate!” Paul seemingly anticipated that some believers would reject his teaching on miraculous works of the Spirit and added this harsh warning: “If anyone thinks himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things which I write to you are the commandments of the Lord.” I Corinthians 14:37.
What are the “commandments” of which he speaks? The answer: The Apostolic teachings on spiritual gifts. I Corinthians 12 and 14 speak with God’s authority as much as any other of Paul’s writings. We are no more at liberty to reject these Biblically mandated instructions than any other commandment of the Lord.
Until recent years, there was probably no other subject about which the Church was more ignorant than that of spiritual gifts. Instead of heeding Paul’s instruction, the Church engaged in open warfare against them. This was done in full view of Paul’s exhortation that we:
1. “Earnestly desire spiritual gifts.” I Corinthians 12:31.
2. “Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” 14:1.
3. “Since you are zealous for spiritual gifts, let it be for the edification of the church that you seek to excel.” 14:12.
These admonitions do not indicate the reluctance that typifies the modern church’s attitude against spiritual gifts. There was no such lukewarmness on the part of Paul or the Corinthians. Identically, believers today are encouraged to exercise the gifts for the benefit of everyone: “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all; for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills … But if anyone is ignorant, let him be ignorant.” I Corinthians 12:1;4-11;38.
The argument immediately arises, “These gifts passed away.” Paul did not believe that. Nor should you. The New Testament does not teach it. In the introduction of his Corinthian letters (29 chapters and longest of all New Testament writings) Paul exhorted believers to ” … Come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” I Corinthians 1:7.
In that brief statement, Paul equated the duration of spiritual gifts to be the same length as the Church’s waiting for Jesus’ return. Examine it for yourself. This is precisely what the Apostle said. There is probably no greater ignorance in the Church today than of spiritual gifts and Jesus’ offer of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. But, someone asks, why do I need the baptism in the Spirit and the imparting of spiritual gifts? Here are a few of the many reasons:
Are you experiencing the Holy Spirit’s communication in all these ways? No matter where we are in our present walk with God, the Holy Spirit offers us far more than we are accepting. if our relationship with the Holy Spirit is not being enlarged and if we are able to remain comfortable with our limited contact with Him, then we have not fully encountered Him–either in Scripture or in Person. It is impossible for us as limited, human beings to be brought into contact with the infinite Holy Spirit and find that we already have a full, comprehensive, satisfactory, understanding of Him and His work. Any church or pastor who makes such a claim is already in profound error and spiritual ignorance. Those who claim that all their questions about the Holy Spirit were answered years ago and they have no need of further enlargement, are merely revealing the emptiness of their religious wells–plus the deception of their pride. Eternity itself will not provide us with sufficient time to master the incomprehensible work of the Holy Spirit. 1. Jesus said you needed it.
2. Without it, you are an incomplete disciple.
3. Good as you presently are, you will be better with it.
4. You need to be moved out of “soulish” effort into spiritual effort.
5. The baptism in the Spirit releases power in your life which can be had no other way.
6. Once you, your family, friends, recover from the shocking, personal change the baptism brings to your life, everyone will recognize you are a better person.
7. The Bible teaches it. Early Christians depended on it. History confirms it.
The Holy Spirits impartation of spiritual gifts into your life opens you to His other manifestations. You need every method of His leading–including the six named above. Stop your arguments and receive them!
Charles C Carrin