by Dr. Ray Self
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets" (Amos 3:7)
The Holy Spirit is continually revealing what lies ahead for the body, the church, and the world. I believe that the Lord is speaking and telling us what to expect. Our part is to develop our hearing. To accurately hear the voice of the Lord takes an intimate relationship with Him. As an example, you know the voice of a family member even in a crowd of people. A person who you are close to does not even have to identify himself when he calls on the phone. He just starts talking and you know who it is. This is because you have spent time with him and his voice is very familiar to you. So should it be with the Holy Spirit who is the voice of the Lord. His voice can become so familiar that we will not mistake it. One simple way to recognize His voice is that it will always be in alignment with scripture. The Holy Spirit will not reveal or speak anything that is in conflict with the teachings of Christ. Another way to know His voice is when He tells you something you could not have known or thought of yourself. I describe this as a, "Where did that come from?" thought or idea. Some call it an, "Out of the clear blue" thought. This principle is demonstrated in Isaiah 55:8 as God speaks, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways." You can know when the Lord has spoken something prophetically, because the end result will bring glory to Him.
The Holy Spirit will reveal what lies ahead for the believer as in the example of Paul in Acts 21:10-11: "And as we tarried there many days, there came down from Judaea a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was come unto us, he took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, 'Thus saith the Holy Ghost, "So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.'" This prophecy was a confirmation of what the Lord had been speaking to Paul. The Lord knows as His children know, that many times we need to be told something more than one time. Millions of parents have experienced the same thing with their own children. The Holy Spirit is happy to bring numerous confirmations of God’s direction.
We need to keep our hearts and ears open to receiving prophecy from the Holy Spirit. The disciples, for example, had a hard time receiving or recalling some of Jesus' prophecies: "From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto His disciples, how that He must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day" (Matthew 16:21). If the disciples had remembered what the Lord Jesus had spoken they would have not lived in fear immediately after the crucifixion. Jesus was foretelling the future to prepare and strengthen His disciples for the events to come. The Holy Spirit is still doing the same for us. John 16:13 explains, "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak from Himself; but what things whatsoever He shall hear, these shall He speak: and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come." Understanding what is to come can help strengthen and prepare us and the foretelling of these future events builds our faith and confidence in the Lord as we see them come true. He is also glorified in all of this.
Most of us need to be reminded of what the Lord has spoken to our hearts. We can easily lose our faith and confidence when we forget what the Spirit has told us. Thankfully, He is our reminder. In John 14:26, Jesus, in speaking of the Holy Spirit said, He will "bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Our memory has suffered since the fall of man. Thankfully, the Holy Spirit helps restore the mind of Christ to each one of us. Much suffering can be avoided if we are reminded of what the Lord has said. Jesus Himself knew that we needed to have our memory refreshed and in John 15:20a He tells us, "Remember the word that I said unto you." He will remind us of special promises. When Paul's life was threatened in Acts 23:11, ". . . the Lord stood by him, and said, 'Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.'" (see also I Kings 8:56). There are many wonderful promises intended for us in scripture. It can be life changing to remember God’s promises, especially in difficult times.
He will bring to memory specific thoughts and scriptures when a person is ministering. Many a preacher will testify that while he is in the act of speaking or ministering, scriptures seem to just "pop" into his mind. The Holy Spirit loves to help anyone ministering the word of God. In my own personal experience I have quoted verses of scripture during ministry exactly as written in the Bible. These were sometimes verses I had not personally memorized, but the Holy Spirit brought them to my mind. After the ministry was over I could not quote them exactly again. Here we see the Spirit bringing to mind just what is needed during times of ministry. We can rely on Him to empower us and give us the words for His work.
The Holy Spirit is the revealer and glorifier of Jesus:
Christ is revealed to the believer by the Holy Spirit. John 16:14 says, ". . . for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you."
Christ is revealed in the believer by the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 1:16 Paul writes that God was pleased "To reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen." Christ needs to be in us in order to move through us. Much of our witness is because of the obvious nature of Christ in us. This can be seen even by unbelievers but it can never be experienced by them until their own salvation.
Christ is revealed through the believer by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not magnify Himself or the vessel, but only Jesus. Consider carefully the words of Christ in John 16:14: "He shall glorify Me." The Lord wishes to move through us to witness to the world. The Holy Spirit is constantly looking for humble believers that He can move through. Pride is an obstacle that blocks the Holy Spirit, because pride gives glory to someone else other than Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is the reprover and convicter of the world. Speaking of the Holy Spirit, John 16:8 says, "And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment": It is interesting to note that the Holy Spirit is not just a convicter of believers but also a convicter of unbelievers. Without this conviction not one single person of the world could truly be saved. When witnessing to an unbeliever it is wise to pray for the Holy Spirit to touch the person's heart. Godly conviction is not manmade.
Chapter Six Review – The Holy Spirit - Lesson 6
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