Basically, all of my life I have been on a quest for the real versus the fake…someone once did a study on renewal and revivals and they came up with this statistic
70% is real 20% is flesh and 10% is evil
I wonder at times if that is the way it is in the church not just revivals. For years it drove me nuts, why fake it, why let the flesh grab hold of it or why let wounds, jealousy, envy or whatever overwhelm us when what God has for us is so very real.
From George Whitefield to John Arnott it has been tough for those leading the move of God to separate out the good from the bad without hurting some of the good in the process.
Jesus dealt with this in this parable Matthew 13:24-30
Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. 25 But that night as the workers slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat, then slipped away. 26 When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew.
27 “The farmer’s workers went to him and said, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds! Where did they come from?’
28 “‘An enemy has done this!’ the farmer exclaimed.
“‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.
29 “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds, tie them into bundles, and burn them, and to put the wheat in the barn.’”
Why start out a teaching like this?
For years the church has been criticized for its hypocrisy but see as we now are beginning to understand the Kingdom. We can look around and begin to see what is wheat in our lives and in our church and what are weeds. We must sort out the weeds in our lives and trust that as the Lord has us.
Let’s begin our journey together
John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be his slave and untie the straps of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby), to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be in you. (Amplified version)
In order for us to explore what is real versus what is fake we need to understand who the Holy Spirit is….
I started with these two scripture passages because they tell us something about the Holy Spirit that impacts us as we are “baptized in the Holy Spirit”
Water versus fire
Water cleanses but basically leaves everything intact. John was prophetically comparing his baptism, a baptism of repentance and cleansing, with what Jesus would do as people receive the Holy Spirit
Fire burns away all of the impurities; fire changes us; fire purifies us! It is an inward action of purification. You are changed and transformed by fire. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit changes peoples hearts even further than conversion, you burn with the presence of the Lord as the disciples felt on the road to Emmaus “didn’t our hearts burn” motives are changed, you now understand the Father’s heart because the Holy Spirit lives within you as you practice His presence in your life.
The Jesus said I will send “another helper, comforter, advocate, intercessor, counselor, strengthener”
– this suggests that He is the first…
– The word “another” means one just like me, of the same essence, one identical to me
In the first 15 verses of John 14, Jesus is explaining to the disciples his unity with the Father, that they are one in essence when you see me you see the Father….then basically says when you see me you see the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t act differently from the Father or the son and same with the other twoso when you see someone claiming to be full of the Holy Spirit and it is disruptive or distracting from what the Lord has already been doing it is a pigeon not the dove (we will talk about that next week)
When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit they have been given a gift that the Old Testament saints yearned for but could not have.
This is the Holy Spirit. If we know the real the fake will never have an opportunity to deceive us. Here are 7 keys we need to understand about the Holy Spirit
1) Is God – He is a person equal as Jesus is a person and The Father is a person. He is not an “it”, a mood, an influence. He is God just as Jesus is and the Father is. He is different than the other two but in total and complete unity with them. He is personal and if you are baptized in the Holy Spirit He fills you and will lead, guide, and speak truth to you always
2) Is the Spirit of truth and leads to the truth– as we have seen from earlier in John 14 and then also in
John 16:13 “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth…”
God cannot lie (Hebrews 6:18, Titus 1:2). The Holy Spirit is incapable of error he will always guide you into what is true. You will want to live the truth, uphold the truth, love the truth and follow the truth because one of the signs of the failure of the last days is that people even in the church will not want the truth 2 Thessalonians 2:11,12. A sign the Holy Spirit is reigning in you is you desire to walk in and love the truth regardless of anything else. Jesus said in John 14:6 He is the way, truth, and life.
As it is impossible for God to lie, it is impossible for the Holy Spirit to mislead us in anyway including theologically. The one who wrote the scripture would never lead us into something that is not scriptural
2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
If we are moving in the Holy Spirit we will clearly walk in the truth always
3) The Holy Spirit convictsJohn 16:8
“And He, when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness, and about judgment: 9 about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message];”
The Holy Spirit will always keep you on the right path, correcting each step of the way to make sure we fulfill our calling always. There are so many distractions that would want to take us away from where we could or should be. It is his job to convict, not yours or mine, but His and He does a wonderful job sometimes too well
4) The Holy Spirit gives us clear and direct guidance – Philip and the Ethiopian
Acts 8:26, 29-31 As for Philip, an angel of the Lord said to him, “Go south down the desert road that runs from Jerusalem to Gaza.” The Holy Spirit said to Philip, “Go over and walk along beside the carriage.” Philip ran over and heard the man reading from the prophet Isaiah. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The man replied, “How can I, unless someone instructs me?” And he urged Philip to come up into the carriage and sit with him.
The result the Ethiopian came to Christ. There are many other cases where the Holy Spirit instructed people where to go, when to go, and he will show us when we have it right and when we have it wrong.
Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. (ESV)
We need to always understand and follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance
5) The Holy Spirit intercedes for us– we know Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father ever interceding for us, we have talked about that much in the last days but the Holy Spirit also prays for us Romans 8:26,27
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
This is Paul praying in the Spirit but it is the Spirit of God praying through him. It is the one time we can be assured we are praying exactly God’s will. Satan has no clue what we are praying
6) The Holy Spirit shows himself through various gifts– Paul gives us a list of the gifts given by the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10, 28-30.Paul also instructs us to seek the best gifts
1 Corinthians 12:31 “But earnestly desire the best gifts….”
Which means according to the need at the moment or long term there is a hierarchy of gifts and we should seek the best. Romans 11:29 tells us the gifts and calling can not be taken away which means neither our worthiness nor our unworthiness to use these gifts limits the gifts which should give us pause because neither our maturity, immaturity nor spirituality are indicated by the gifts (DON’T LOOK AT THE GIFTS AND ASSUME SPIRITUAL MATURITY)
Then what do we look at for spiritual maturity?
7) The Holy Spirit shows himself through fruit –
Galatians 5:22,23 – But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
The gifts do not show how spiritual or how obedient a person is to the Lord but the fruit always does. If we have anger, bitterness, pride, envy, jealousy and many or any works of the flesh the fruit will be gone and so will the Holy Spirit. The fruit flows out of being in the word of God and prayer. When it is not present you can be sure the Holy Spirit is not either.
If we live in and understand the real, we will never accept the fake. We’ll look at the real versus fake Holy Spirit attitudes and activity in more detail next week!