The Holy Spirit

Scripture: John 14:16, Matthew 12:31-32, Luke 11:9-13
Date: 07/19/2014 
Lesson: 3
"Of the Three Persons of the God head, the Holy Spirit is the least understood. It is ironic that the Person who is closest to us, the Being who produces the new birth in us, who dwells in us and transforms us, is the One we know so little about."
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Welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church. It's a beautiful sunny day here in Sacramento, California - the capital city of California - and we are just so glad that you are tuning in. Whether you're listening on the radio, watching live on our website or on the various television networks, we don't - it doesn't matter to us how you're joining us, we're just glad that you are and we have a special blessing for you today and we know that God has a special blessing for you and Pastor Doug will be bringing us our lesson study. But before we have our lesson study, we're doing something just a little bit different today. Instead of taking your requests that have come in from all over the planet, kula, jolyne, myself and Michael are going to sing a special song for you entitled 'wayfaring stranger'.

I am a poor wayfaring stranger, traveling through this world below. But there's no sickness, toil nor danger in that bright land to which I go. I'm going there to see my father; I'm going there no more to roam. I am just going over Jordan, I am just going over home. I'll soon be free from every trial, this form will rest beneath the sod; I'll drop the cross of self denial and enter in my home with God I'm going there to see my Savior, who shed for me his precious blood.

I am just going over Jordan, I am just going over home. I know dark clouds are gathering o'er me; I know the pathway's long and steep. But golden fields lie just before me where weary eyes no more shall weep. I'm going there to meet my father, I'm going there no more to roam. I am just going over Jordan, I am just going over home.

I'm going there to see my Savior who shed for me his precious blood. I am just going over Jordan, I am just going over home. I am just going over home. I am just going over home. Will you bow your heads with me? Father in Heaven, we are just wayfaring strangers on this world and we do have a home that's far better than what we have here.

And I pray that we'll always remember that and that we will keep our eyes on you because one day we will go home and see our father, our Savior, who has given his life for us. We thank you so much for doing that and for giving us the hope that we have as Christians. I pray you'll be with us as we open Your Word and we study together and be with our speaker. Thank you. In Jesus' Name, amen.

Happy Sabbath everyone. Glad to see you this morning and we're going to be continuing, in just a moment, on our lesson dealing with the teachings of Jesus. In particular, today, we're dealing with lesson #3 - now we're going through the high points of Christian theology - talking about God - talked about The Son. Today we're talking about the Holy Spirit. Next week it's about salvation and then the following week, 'what do I do to be saved?' These are just really important fundamental studies.

Today we have a free offer that goes along with the lesson on the Holy Spirit and it's called 'Holy Spirit: the need' - it's something written by yours truly that I just wanted to focus on helping people understand the work and the importance of the Holy Spirit. If you don't have this we'll send it to you free. Just call and ask for it. It's offer #723. Just mention that when you call.

And the number is 866-study-more - that's the acronym - 866-study-more and that translates to 866-788-3966 and ask for the book on the holy spirit. We'll send it to you. Please read it. Share it, then, with somebody else. The lesson today is dealing with such an important topic that, you know, even as I prepared and went over it several times I thought, 'boy, you know, when we talk about the Spirit of God we're really treading on holy ground and so I wonder if you would just join me for a moment - I would like to just pray - and you pray for me as I teach because the Bible says, 'as the heavens are high above the earth, so are his ways above our ways.

' So when a man stands before other men claiming to be able to talk about God we really need the Spirit to understand the spirit so Father in Heaven, just recognizing that we do need your spirit to understand these things and how frail even the human language is to describe them. I just pray that your presence will be here and that our understanding will be clear and just bless the presentation of the lesson today. We pray in Jesus' Name, amen. You can't be saved without the Holy Spirit. But so often, when we say the Holy Spirit, we're thinking of an it instead of a who.

Now we'll get more into that, but just remember the Holy Spirit is not some essence of God. It's not a force of God. It's not some separated power of God. The Holy Spirit is God - one of the persons of God - and understanding him and his work is actually even a little more difficult, you know, if there is a hierarchy in the Godhead - and there appears to be - where there's different roles and God The Father is always portrayed in the - as the supreme authority - and even when they're listed - 'go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing in the name of' - it doesn't say the Spirit, The Son and the father - it always says, 'the father, The Son and the Spirit.' And the work of the Spirit is to exalt The Father, to exalt the son - but it's easier for us, sometimes, to understand or to, you know, with our frail capabilities, to visualize the father. I mean, if I tell you to close your eyes and picture God the father, you might, in your mind, see this majestic looking being - kingly being - with, you know - he never dyes his hair.

His hair is always gray - sitting on a throne, emanating light. And if I say, 'picture Jesus' most of us probably would paint in one of the many paintings we've seen of Jesus somewhere because, you know, you see a picture of Jesus in a book or something as a child and that sort of creates an impression that gives you context for what Jesus looked like because you don't find much in the Bible about what Jesus looks like. It says 'there's no outward form or comeliness that we should desire him' and Jesus seemed to be able to melt into a crowd like an average person. It never says he was striking like a movie star. But, you know, we usually see one of those typical pictures of somebody with brown or chestnut hair and blue or hazel eyes and the, you know, neatly trimmed beard and so forth.

But when I say 'picture the holy spirit' all of you are going to come up with vastly different mental images. The Bible says the Holy Spirit is like wind. Another place it says 'you'll be baptized with fire. Another place, 'it's like living water.' The Holy Spirit sometimes we think of, you know, things shake - it's like the sound of a train going by or - so comprehending the Holy Spirit is one of the most difficult things that we deal with in the Bible. What the Spirit does is clearly laid out - picturing the Holy Spirit or what the essence of God the Spirit is is a little harder for us.

Now, let me tell you why - at least my theory - why I think that is. When adam and eve were in the Garden of Eden before sin they had something we don't have now. They, for one thing, had some form of supernatural clothing because when they sinned, the clothes sort of disappeared - these robes of light. I believe adam and eve could talk to angels the way I'm talking to you. Angels aren't playing hide-and-go-seek with us.

Angels are spiritual creatures. The Bible tells us that they're spiritual ministering spirits of God. And there's a whole world around us right now. Are angels in this room right now? Good and bad, maybe, huh? But we can't see them because when man sinned we lost one of our senses. You know, you've got your sense of taste and hearing and sight and touch and so forth.

I think there was another sensory ability man had before sin to be in tune with the spiritual world around us. And when man sinned and the lights went out and the clothes disappeared and man began to die, we lost something. And it's hard for me to even describe it because if I could describe it I'd have to have it. But we lost something - we lost the ability - I mean, didn't man talk to God face to face? And God didn't have to perform a trick to reveal himself back then, man could just see him. We lost a spiritual sensitivity and that's why I think it's so hard for us to understand the Holy Spirit is because we live in these dark three-dimensional worlds where the fourth dimension of the Holy Spirit seems foreign to us.

Angels really have to go the second mile to reveal themselves to us and so when we talk about God the Spirit, what's important for us to understand is that he's very real and he can be in you. Now Jesus made it - well, first let's do our memory verse - I was getting carried away with my own voice. Memory verse is John 14:16 - John 14:16 - it's the new king James version. I invite you to say it with me. Ready? "And I will pray The Father, and he will give you another helper, that he may abide with you forever.

" Jesus said, 'I'm going away but I will pray - I'll intercede with The Father and he will send you another comforter.' And the word, sometimes, is counselor, comforter, helper. The word Jesus used in Greek is parakletos and that is a composite of two words para- meaning 'beside' and kletos- meaning 'called' - someone who is called to your side.' And it's used in the Bible in the sense of a counselor - even a defense attorney - and so the Holy Spirit is someone who is going to be there as to aid, to guide, to counsel - to help man in the absence of Christ. Now, when we think of God - this is something else important to understand. God is often described with three theological terms. God is called 'omnipotent' - what does that mean? All powerful.

Is there anything God does not have power? God is described as omniscient - all knowing - he knows everything. This idea that God's on a journey and he's learning along with us is absurd. God knows everything. He can't learn. You can't teach him anything.

He's all-knowing. And then another term we use to describe God - who knows? Omnipresent - I heard somebody say it - omnipresent - now what does that mean? Omni means 'everywhere - all encompassing'. That means you can be present everywhere all the time. It's like when you read in Psalms 139, verse 7, 'where can I flee from your spirit?' So is God's Spirit omnipresent? Is God The Father omnipresent? I've had lengthy debates with friends - 'will The Father be with Jesus when he comes?' Have you heard that before? It's kind of a trick question because, well, Christ brings the redeemed to The Father - it says, 'then he will send Jesus.' It makes it sound like Jesus leaves The Father and comes to earth. But then Christ says, 'I'm coming on the right hand of power.

Because The Father is omnipresent, Jesus never really escapes his presence. The closest you come to that was at the cross where The Father separated or, at least, veiled his presence from Christ for the first time in eternity. But when Jesus came to earth and he took on the form of humanity, he did something that was hard for us to comprehend. He laid aside a dimension of his divinity in that Christ was no longer omnipresent when he was on earth, right? He said, 'look, in order for me to be with you always - wherever you go - it must be through God the Spirit.' And so the Holy Spirit is omnipresent. And he sent us this counselor - this comforter - to be with us.

So that probably is a good segue into the first section here dealing with 'the representative of Christ.' Now the Holy Spirit will never tell you or say anything different to you from Christ or from the word of Christ. One of the things that frustrates me is sometimes doing evangelism, you'll preach a very clear biblical distinctive and you might preach the truth about the Sabbath. And you can show a person, you know, 50 Scriptures on the subject that are just really powerful, convincing, slam-dunk Scriptures and then I'll hear someone say to me after the door, 'well, Pastor Doug, I know the Bible says that and that sounds very convincing, but the spirit is telling me something different.' You ever heard that before? Will the Spirit of God ever contradict the Word of God? If Jesus is the Word of God incarnate, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to bring to your remembrance what Jesus said. The Holy Spirit will always endorse and underscore and highlight what is in the word and so, if you ever see a conflict between someone saying, 'well, the Spirit is telling me this. I know the word says that.

' And I know I've shared this with you before but it's happened many times where I've talked to some - somebody who's supposed to be a Christian and they're married but they're having an affair - they've met somebody else - but they still want to be a Christian because - and they're saying, 'you know, the Spirit is telling me that I was meant to be with this person.' Have you ever run into this before too? Yeah. Will the Holy Spirit ever inspire a person to contradict one of the Ten Commandments? So always remember: Jesus is the word. The Holy Spirit's work is to reinforce - to endorse - to exalt the word. And so in doing so, he's exalting Christ. God The Father, son and spirit - God is always - he said, 'I'm glorifying The Son.

' The Son says, 'no, I'm glorifying the father.' the Spirit says, 'no, I'm going to glorify The Father and The Son.' And God operates as always giving away. And The Father, son, and spirit are always trying to endorse and glorify each other, whereas in our world we're always trying to sort of soak up the glory. That's what the devil does. He always wanted the glory for himself and God is the opposite of that. So the Spirit is giving.

He's giving comfort. He's giving support. Matter of fact, someone look up for me - we've got some verses we, I think, distributed. John 14:26 - who has that? Hold up your hand if you've got that. Over here - and you've got a microphone.

Do you have that stacy? We'll get to you in just a second. I'm going to read a couple of other verses - talking about the representative of Christ. In 1 John 2:1 he says, "my little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an advocate with The Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Now did you know what word was used there for advocate? Parakletos - so not only is the Holy Spirit called comforter and helper, but at least in this verse, Christ is called 'helper, comforter, counselor'. When Jesus was on earth among men, didn't he do those things? So when Christ said, 'look I can't be here personally but I'm going to send the Holy Spirit to do the same thing I did when I walked among you.

' That makes sense. Alright, go ahead read for us - :26. "But the helper, the holy spirit, whom The Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." So there you have it. This is the Holy Spirit's job - to exalt and to re-attract attention to Jesus. In 2 Corinthians 13:14, here in Paul's closing statement he says, "the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all, amen.

" Now, do you see the trinity in that verse? The grace of the Lord, the love of God, communion of the Spirit be with you all. So Paul is actually praying for the presence of The Father, The Son and the Spirit to be with us all. But which member of the Godhead brings us that presence? It's the Holy Spirit. He brings us - when you say, you know, 'I feel Jesus is close.' Or that you sense that Christ is with you, is Christ with you physically or is it through God the Spirit - that you sense Christ's presence? Is God The Father, The Son and the Spirit completely one? Hear o Israel, the Lord our God is one.' One God and yet they're manifested in three distinct persons. But they don't have strangely different personalities.

They are always going to be in harmony with each other and so one is going to be giving the impression and supporting the same sentiments of the other. So he's the representative of Christ here in the world. When Jesus went to heaven he said, 'so as The Father sent me, so send I you.' And so is Christ still in the world today? Through the Holy Spirit. But is Christ in the world today through the Holy Spirit blowing like wind around the planet? the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters? Or is God - is Jesus still in the world today through the holy spirit in people? So what did Jesus do when he was on earth? He taught, he healed, he loved people. How does the Holy Spirit now manifest God in the world? Through some electric thunder or is it through people? So Christ is still in the world today through the Holy Spirit being revealed through you and i.

So how important is it that we have the Spirit? If the world's going to see Jesus today, how is the world going to see him? Through the Spirit flowing through us. Christ said, 'I'll be in you a fountain of living water and it'll be artesian - it flows out to those around you. And so the Lord wants to reach others, as Jesus did, when the spirit of God is in us. You and I are the body of Christ. You and I are the hands and the feet and the mouth and the eyes of Jesus in the world today, right? Now this next section here - and I'm rushing because I think most of you understood the importance of the Holy Spirit representing Jesus.

But there's much debate on the next section. Is the Holy Spirit a person? Now I don't have time to go into all the history of some of the views about the trinity and arminianism and oneness. Some people believe that God is one God, meaning that one God manifests himself three different ways - that God sometimes appeared as The Son and he sometimes appears as the spirit and he sometimes identifies himself as The Father - but the problem you have with that doctrine: it's like one God has many masks that he wears. The problem with that theology is at the baptism of Jesus - a number of problems. When God The Father is in heaven the heavens part and God the spirit comes down upon Christ and God The Son is in the water and God The Father says, 'this is my son' - so is God being a ventriloquist? Or do you see God, at one moment, in three different persons? So that idea doesn't work.

But there are still some that struggle with the idea that Jesus, at one time, was created in the remote recesses of history and the Holy Spirit is really the force through which The Father and The Son operate. But the Bible uses every term it possibly can to tell us that the spirit is a he. Matter of fact, it was in our memory verse. It says 'that the Holy Spirit will come that he may abide with you.' Why couldn't Jesus say 'it'? Didn't Jesus know the word 'it'? Doesn't Jesus sometimes use the word 'it'? He does. He doesn't refer to the holy spirit as a thing or a force.

They had all those words in Greek and Hebrew. But he specifically used the word 'he'. Someone look up for me 1 Corinthians 12:11 - we'll just get you ready. Who has it? Over here? Okay. And I'm going to read John :13, "however, when he, 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.

" Do you notice that? One verse. I didn't count. How many did we come up with? Let's do it right here. Hang on. He, he, he, his - can I count his? He, he, he - I got seven including 'his'.

One two three four five six seven terms here that identify him as a person in one verse. Jesus could have said 'it' and he didn't. He said 'he'. Alright, go ahead read for us 1 Corinthians 12:11. 1 Corinthians 12:11, "but one and the same spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as he wills.

" It says, 'the Spirit is distributing as he wills.' John :26, "but when the helper comes" - the parakletos - "whom I shall send to you from the father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from The Father, he will testify of me." And there's so many verses that bear this out. Acts 15:28, "for it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things:" so here the Holy Spirit is laying a burden. He's guiding the church. And so often they prayed and said the Spirit - he - told us to go here or to do this and to do that and he's giving individual guidance. They could have said Jesus told us to do this or that.

Now it just popped into my mind, is there anywhere in the Bible where we are told to pray to Jesus? We're not explicitly commanded anywhere in the Bible to pray to Jesus. We are told to pray in his name. I can think of one place in the Bible and you might think of another but I've not found another, where someone did pray to Jesus and it's when stephen is being stoned and he sees the heavens opened and he sees Jesus on the right hand of The Father. There, again, you've got two individuals - and he prays as he's dying, 'lord Jesus receive my spirit.' So usually we pray to our Father in Heaven but he actually saw Jesus in heaven and so he prayed to Jesus. Now is that wrong to pray to Jesus? No, I don't think so.

We typically, I mean, Jesus is our friend and we talk to him. A lot of children are taught to pray, 'dear Jesus' - right? We always teach them - not that that's wrong but I think let's not neglect to tell the children also to pray to their father in heaven in Jesus' Name. But they need to understand that also because that's explicitly taught in the Bible - that we address The Father - so we need to do that. But where in the Bible do they pray to the Spirit? There's no real prayer addressed to the Spirit because the Spirit is often the bridge through which prayer flows. He is the one who often is delivering.

When you pray and you don't know what to say, it's the Spirit that takes our groanings and makes them eloquent before God. That's a paraphrase of what Paul says. Something else: what does the word 'Messiah' mean in Hebrew? Anointed. What does the word 'Christ' mean? Greek - anointed. They both mean anointed.

Like when you take the oil and you poured it on a king or you poured it on a priest, that was called anointing. And sometimes they would anoint the altars - that means you would paint something. This time of year, around the fourth of July, you should all go outside anointed with sunscreen. That's what anointing means - to cover something or to pour something on somebody, right? What was Jesus anointed with? Ah, he says, 'the Spirit of the lord is upon me for he has anointed me to preach.' Right? And when he was baptized the Holy Spirit came down like a dove. Christ was anointed with the Holy Spirit at his baptism.

He was the Christ and what happened to David when they poured the oil on him and he became king? Christ, at his anointing, in a special way, was filled with the Holy Spirit. By the way, that same anointing of the Spirit - not that we become the Messiah - but it's promised to followers. That's the baptism of the holy spirit. And we're getting to that later in the lesson. Alright, a couple more highlights about Jesus - I'm sorry - the Holy Spirit being a person.

It says, 'the Holy Spirit speaks' - acts 13:2 - and I'll put the notes online because I'm going through these quickly and I know you won't be able to look them all up. The Holy Spirit intercedes. He testifies - and, by the way, that's Romans 8:26 - he testifies - John 15:26. He guides - John 16:13. He commands - acts 16:6 and 7.

He appoints - acts 20:28. He leads - Romans 8:14. He reproves and convicts of sin - John 16:8. He seals God's promises in a believer's heart - Ephesians 1:13 and 14. He shapes the individual in the life to Christ's - Romans 8:1-17.

The Bible says the Holy Spirit has intellect, he has emotions and will, he can be grieved. Aside from the problem that the Holy Spirit doesn't have a body as we visualize a body, you tell me what words you would use if you were God - to try to emphasize that the Holy Spirit is a person - that God did not use. See what I'm saying? So if you wanted to communicate that the Holy Spirit was a person - aside from having a physical body as we do - what did God leave unsaid? You see what I'm saying? He gave him all the characteristics of person - he thinks, he feels, he talks, he grieves, he guides - I mean, he's doing everything a person does. Yes, it doesn't say he walks from this place to that place - because he's omnipresent so he doesn't walk from place to place. But in the respect of intellect and understanding, the Holy Spirit is always portrayed as having all of those features of a unique person.

And so, you know, I know that some people struggle with that because it's hard for them to conceive of the Holy Spirit, but I think the Bible tells us in pretty clear terms that he is real. By the way, spirit of prophecy on this point: this is from the book 'evangelism' page 616, 617, "he must also be a divine person else he could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God." So if you're wondering what the spirit of prophecy says, 'he must be a divine person or else he could not search out the secrets of the divine - in the mind of God.' Alright, so we've talked about, certainly, the Holy Spirit as a unique person but is he God? Is he divine? So let's talk about that for a moment. Alright, someone look up for me Luke 4:1 and I'll look to the right and then to the left - over here. We're kind of being a little bit - I think it's a little bit segregated in the way we're giving out the Scriptures. They seem to be on the starboard side of the church.

Maybe this one microphone is the problem. Alright, so someone look up Luke 4:1 and I'll get to you in just a moment. Here's an interesting verse: Mark 12:36 - this is Jesus speaking, "for David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'the lord said to my lord, 'sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.''" David said, 'by the Holy Spirit' so David is speaking under the influence of the Holy Spirit and then he quotes psalm - and Jesus, of course is doing this - he's quoting from psalm 110, verse 1, where the Lord says to my lord. And it was speaking of the Lord saying to my lord, 'sit at my right hand.' It's the holy spirit by which David said this. It doesn't say it was by God unless God is the Spirit and the Spirit is God.

Alright, go ahead and read Luke :1 for me. "Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness." Could something less than God lead The Son of God? Do you see what a problem that would be? And you notice it says, 'filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, led by the spirit'. It was the anointing of God the spirit that was controlling the life of Christ. Would you have something less than God - we've established the Holy Spirit's a person - but is this person less than God and he's leading God The Son? Certainly he would need to be God in order to do that. You know, there's another interesting verse I just found in my study this morning.

Look with me at 2 Samuel 23, verses 2 and 3 - and this was interesting - it's David, at the end of his life, he says, "the spirit of the Lord spoke by me, and His Word was on my tongue. The God of Israel said, the rock of Israel spoke to me:" - now notice, he says the Spirit of God - well, let me just stop right here. I think most of us would be reluctant to say 'the Spirit of God spoke by me' because, you know, don't you always cringe a little bit when preachers say, 'God's telling me this' and 'God's telling me that.' I think you've got to be careful about that. I certainly hope that the Lord speaks through me when I'm teaching from his book. I mean, wouldn't you hope that? But you better be real careful and humble about saying that because it could be taken wrong.

But did David say that? Wow. That's the same David that got into all that trouble with uriah and bathsheeba? But he said, 'the Spirit of the lord spoke by me.' Did he know it? He did. And then notice, not only does he say 'the Spirit' how does he call the Spirit? 'The God of Israel said - the rock of Israel spoke to me.' So he's making no distinction between 'the Spirit spoke through me' and 'God spoke through me.' Do you see that in this verse? And so is God the Spirit? Yeah, I believe so. Alright, talking next about the work of the Holy Spirit - now I've got - wow, I've got twelve points here. Again, I'll post the notes at the - both the Amazing Facts and the central church websites so you can - you look them up.

Sometimes people say, 'doug, put the notes up. We use these to teach and you went too fast.' So I'm going to go through twelve points and I'm going to have to do it quickly because there's a lot of material here. Matter of fact, I've got a whole lot more notes here than I've got time for. I mean, how can you describe the Holy Spirit in 45 minutes? Aren't you glad this isn't my notes from the next wedding I do? Alright first of all, we need the Holy Spirit to understand the word. It's the Spirit that quickens.

The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.' Can you comprehend the Word of God without the Spirit of God? Someone look up for me 1 Corinthians 2, verse 14. You got that mike? Let's get you a microphone. There's one over here they'll pass you, okay? And in the meantime, Jesus said in Revelation 2:7, "he who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says..." Do you need special ears to hear the Holy Spirit? Well, yeah, I mean, your physical ears are not what you hear with, right? You need, actually, a special sensitivity to hear the Holy Spirit because is it possible to have someone speaking a spirit-filled message and people listening not hear it? So you need spiritual discernment to hear the Holy Spirit. That next verse fits right here so you go ahead and read that.

1 Corinthians 2, verse 14, "but the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." You've seen and heard before where someone picks up the Bible and they start to read and all of a sudden they're just overwhelmed with the power of the word and their hearts are transformed and they're convicted and they're repenting and they go through a dramatic conversion experience. Someone else can pick up the same book and they say, 'what a bunch of nonsense.' Paul talks about the God of this world has blinded them. Some people have just got the devil's wax in their spiritual ears and they can't hear. So spiritual things - that's what we just read - spiritual things are spiritually discerned. So how important is it for us to pray for the Holy Spirit before you read the holy Bible? Do you sometimes forget to do that? I do sometimes.

I figure, 'I'm a preacher. I'll just pick it up and' - you've got to pray for the holy spirit if you really want the word to come alive. John 14:26 - we already touched on this - "but the comforter, which is the holy ghost, whom The Father will send in my name, he will teach you and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you." Several times I've prayed because, you know, I was in some kind of a Bible study or debate and I thought, I can't remember everything. I can't find it. It's not at my fingertips.

But I claim this promise and I say, 'lord, you promised through the Holy Spirit' - computers are wonderful in that, you know, you type in the little search window when you're doing your Bible study and search - all I need to do is remember a few words in a verse and you can do a search and it'll immediately - within a fraction of a second - searches the entire Bible and shows you where that verse is - or all the verses that have that word and you can find what you're looking for just like that. And, you know, there are some words that only appear one time in the Bible. Those are easy to find - those verses. You put in the word 'the' - you're going to have a lot of verses, you know? But the Holy Spirit will work like some incredible search engine and I'll say, 'lord,' - and I've been giving Bible studies before where I don't know the next thing to say and just at the right moment it comes back to me and it comes back to me. Sometimes I'm standing in front of people preaching a sermon and it wasn't in my notes and the Holy Spirit reminds me - it happens frequently - the holy spirit reminds me of things that I didn't even think about in my preparation that were some of the best points and the best verses to prove a point and the Holy Spirit gives it to you at that moment.

And I think God does that to remind us that it's him and it's not us. And we need that reminding frequently. Another part of the work of the Holy Spirit is to obey God. We can't obey the Lord without the power of his spirit. Romans 8:13 and 14, "for if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God." Also, that would be the daughters of God. Those who have the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body. Ephesians 2:1 and 2, "and you he made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air" - the devil - "the spirit who now works in The Sons of disobedience." And so now you've got two different kinds of spirit. You've got one spirit of the devil - is he a person too? He's very real. He's got a personality - who's leading people to disobey and then you've got the Spirit of God who's leading people to obey.

You can't pray without the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26, "likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." I'm so thankful for good translators as I travel around the world because it's really difficult, sometimes, taking thoughts from one language and introducing them into another language unless the person translating has a very good command of both languages and all the little nuances of the word. I could tell you stories of some very funny things that were said when a translator mixed up some words from one language to another. Matter of fact, I've had translators stop and say, 'did you really mean? Do you want me to say that?' And we'll have a conversation right there before he translates. He'll say, 'you know what that sounds like in this language? You don't want me to.

..' I say, 'no, no, that's not what I meant.' And so having it translated - now, it's not that God needs a translator, but angels are listening and the Holy Spirit takes our prayers that may be cumbersome and rough and just shallow and he makes them eloquent with the merits of Jesus before The Father. He takes the groanings of our hearts that we can't find words for and, you know, sometimes your prayers - it's not so much the words that you choose in your prayers - have you ever seen someone read their prayer when they're up front because they get nervous? I'm not opposed to that. And you get into big formal gatherings at the church and someone has the time of prayer and you'll see them take their notes up there while everyone's got their heads bowed and they're reading their prayer. And you've heard of prayer books before? That's not all bad. There are some prayers that are beautifully written and if you can buy into those prayers - that's very important - I've heard some beautiful prayers that people have prayed that just touch your heart and move you.

But when you pray, it's hard for you to read someone else's prayer because the thing that is most important with prayer is when it's coming from your heart. When Peter was drowning and he said, 'lord, save me.' That wasn't very eloquent. It's pretty basic. A three-year-old can say that. But the urgency of his prayer made it eloquent.

And so, sometimes just the very urgency of your need is the most eloquent thing you can plead before God. We need the Holy Spirit for love. I'm running out of time. And that's Romans 5:5, "and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy ghost..." 'The love of God is shed abroad by the Holy Spirit.' We need the Holy Spirit for peace and comfort. Jesus said - John 16:7, "nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

" He comforts us. Acts 9:31, "then the churches throughout all Judea and Galilee and samaria had peace, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the holy spirit, they were multiplied." We need the Holy Spirit for cleansing - Romans 15:16, "that I might be the minister of Jesus Christ to the gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." Thessalonians 2:13, "but we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit..." What does the word 'sanctification' mean? Cleansing. And so the Holy Spirit has a cleansing influence in our lives - sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. We need the Holy Spirit for guidance. You remember when Elijah was out there in the cave and he heard this voice, 'what are you doing here?' There was a mighty wind and there was an earthquake and there was a fire and it says God wasn't in those things.

But then he heard a voice and that probably is like Isaiah 30, verse 21, "and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee," - you know why it says 'behind thee'? You ever think you hear something and you say, 'what was that?' And there's nothing there. It's because it's not - you know, your ears hear in stereo and based on where you hear, you know where to turn. But when you hear something directly behind you and there's nothing there, that means it was between the two ears that you heard. And if it wasn't in front of you, you figured it was behind you. But it was really right between your ears that you heard it, you know what I mean? Any of you ever felt like you almost heard the Lord speak to you because the voice of the spirit was so loud? Maybe it was conviction, you know what I mean? And you just, 'wow, I felt like I heard that voice of the spirit.

' "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'this is the way, walk in it.' Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." - You know, the older ships, I understand, had two compasses. They had one compass that was down by the steering wheel and they had another compass higher up on the mast. And the reason they put the other compass higher up on the mast is they had to get it away from all the metal that was on the deck so there would be no interference. And the Holy Spirit really - it's like a higher form of compass you might say. We need the Holy Spirit for power.

Micah 3:8, "but truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the lord," - 'not by might or by power, but by my spirit' says the Lord - "I am filled with the spirit of the Lord and of justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin." Acts 1:8 - for witnessing, "but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and samaria, and to the end of the earth." You ever wanted to be able to say more and do more for the lord but you just said, 'lord, I don't know what to say.' The Holy Spirit will then give you the word. Or you've looked for an opportunity. You're talking to a person or you're sitting next to someone you say, 'lord, can you open a door? Help me know what to say. Because if you don't have the spirit of God and you're trying to be a witness, you can be obnoxious and cumbersome and just do it all wrong. But with the Spirit of God seasoning your speech with grace, it gives you power to know how to witness.

And that same power works on the hearts of listeners. Oh friends, there's so much more in this lesson on the Spirit. I hope what you'll do is send for the book. We have run out of time. Please send for the book that says 'the Holy Spirit: the need'.

We'll send you a free copy and I'll post the notes and some of the other points I didn't have time to get to today and here's the book again and you call the number that is on your screen and we will study together again next week. God bless you, friends, and thank you for joining us today and the Lord be with you. Pray we can have a spirit-filled life. Amen? Did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room, but he was alive and probably telling stories about his floating zoo. From the creation of the world to the last day events of Revelation, 'Biblehistory.

com' is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible and draw closer to God's Word. Go deeper. Visit the amazing Bible timeline at ''. Have you ever wished you could do more to lead someone to Jesus? Have you ever felt the need for revival in your own life? Well, afcoe is the place for you.

The Amazing Facts center of evangelism has incredible training opportunities for anyone who wants to become a dynamic and effective soul winner. This coming fall Amazing Facts will be conducting an industrial strength afcoe evangelism training program in albuquerque, New Mexico. From August 14 to November 23, we're going to cover a broad range of topics including personal evangelism, public evangelism, preaching, Bible doctrines, prophetic studies and much more. Students will also receive hands-on experience in giving Bible studies, health ministry training and doing community outreach in conducting a city-wide net evangelistic seminar. Go to our website - 'afcoe.

com' - or call us at (916) 209-7249. Amazing Facts: changed lives. It was - it was ongoing with me. I would get up and drink. I would go to work and drink.

I would come home and drink. And that was my way of life. I had an older sister and in we received a phone call from her husband saying that she was involved in a very serious home accident. She had fallen outside on her patio - it was a concrete patio and she hit her head because she was in a drunken stupor and she needed emergency - emergency brain surgery because of the trauma that she had suffered and so they were able to stop the bleeding in her brain, but her organs started shutting down one by one. So here I was, you know, I hadn't had a drink - being a full-blown alcoholic myself - hadn't had a drink in probably a full day, which was, you know, a lifetime for me.

And during the time we were watching her and they said she wasn't going to make it and we had made the decision as a group, you know, with her children present and her husband, that they were just going to go ahead and pull the plug. And during that time, watching her fade away - God forgive me - but I sat there asking her to die fast so I could go get a drink. And, you know, I didn't even see it then - I didn't see how bad I was at that time but, you know, I look back at it now and it just - it tears me up. And alcohol, that's what it does to you. I was walking out to go to work one morning with my breakfast, which was a six-pack of beer, and as I was climbing into my truck it just hit me that it was enough.

So I turned around and took the six-pack of beer and I threw it in the trash can and I went and told my wife I needed help. And there's two things I never do: ask for help and throw away beer. And, you know, thank God I was able to do both. Well, when I finally got to the hospital and they came and got me took me in and when they did a blood alcohol on me they had to do it twice because they weren't quite sure it was right because it was .38. They were all amazed I was even able to walk in there, let alone, you know, being conscious.

It was about two months after I got out of treatment and starting my fresh life I left home, left my wife and I was going to start my new life of sobriety and she wasn't going to be part of it. So I moved out and I was on my way to the store one morning when I was t-boned - broadsided - by an oncoming suv on the driver's side door of my truck and this driver was doing an estimated 65 to 70 miles an hour. He hit me smack on my side of the door. I woke up in the passenger seat of the truck and I remember coming to and hearing people standing outside, 'look, he's still alive!' There were hairline fractures in my pelvis and there was a compression fracture in my spine. And so for all intents and purposes I walked away from an accident I had no business living in.

Well, with a broken back, I wasn't allowed to be vertical for but very short periods of time and I wasn't very mobile with a fractured pelvis so I was forced to move back home and, you know, thank God I've got a stubborn wife who was willing to take me back and put up with all this. During my recovery, the only thing I could really do was watch television. And so, as I was thumbing through the channels I noticed a gentleman and I happened to stop because he was proclaiming that you can't prove biblically that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday and that it's not biblical. And I thought, 'well, you know what? I think I can do this.' You know, so I took up my Bible and I did something strange to me, which was actually study. You know, and over the course of several months of watching this man, who I would later discover was Pastor Doug Batchelor, I started trying to disprove everything he was saying and the more I read and the more I studied, the more I found out that not only could I not disprove it, I was believing it and I realized it was the truth.

Then I started soaking up everything that Amazing Facts had - I was at their website, you know, doing all the reading. I was looking at the Sabbath truth. I was, you know, downloading - streaming everything they had, you know, and I was really, really getting in - and it helped me so much. Over a process of about three months, while studying, you know, with Doug Batchelor and the Amazing Facts team and then, you know, of course, my Bible. But over that three months I had fallen in love with Christ like I never had before.

And not only was my back and my pelvis healed, but my soul was healed and I experienced an emotional and a mental healing that, you know, I had been longing for for years. I've got to do something. What do I do next? So I looked up in the phone book and I found the number for the local pastor and I called him and I said, 'hi, my name's brian and I've just been converted. Where do I go?' And the poor guy was like, 'brian, it's nice to meet you. Converted from what and go where?' And I said, 'that's what I want to know!' We had a little laugh over that and he thought it was funny and before you knew it I was, you know, heart and soul into this little church and I was studying with the pastor and decided, you know, I want to be baptized.

I want to be re-baptized. And we thought, 'great.' So I did some study and we agreed that I was going to be baptized on this date. Well, the next morning my wife asked me, 'well, you realize what day this is?' I said, 'well, it's Sabbath.' And, you know, Sabbath was amazing in itself, but she said, 'look at the calendar.' And I looked at the calendar on that day was my one-year anniversary of my sobriety. I was being baptized one year after being sober and I just thought, you know, there's no such thing as coincidence. That was just amazing that God would want that for me.

God has done amazing things with my life and I am - I have to give him, you know, all the credit because short of just responding, you know, I've done nothing. And it's been him and it's just pleasure - absolute pleasure to be called a child of God. I'm really thankful that God used Amazing Facts television program and Pastor Doug Batchelor to make a change in my life.

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