Grieving and Resisting the Spirit

Scripture: Ephesians 4:30, Acts 7:51, 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21
Date: 03/18/2017 
Lesson: 11
"This week we will study biblical aspects that deal with the grieving, quenching, and resisting the Holy Spirit, and with the sin that will not be forgiven."
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Welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. We're so glad that you are tuning in, whether this is your first time, it is not a mistake, or you are a regular that joins us every week from across the country and around the world. I hope that you have had a wonderful week and you've been studying and you're ready to join us today for our lesson on the Holy Spirit, as we continue with our study on that. And, as we do every week before we start, we always sing. And I know that you have many favorites around the world because we hear from you and we love to sing with you and we know that you love to sing your favorite hymns.

So, like every week, that's what we're going to do right now. We're going to start with #212. Pull out your hymnals if you have those at home and join with us - 'tis almost time for the Lord to come - #212 - first, third, and fourth stanzas. It is almost time for the Lord to come. Can you say 'amen' to that? Amen.

You know, every week we have a special offer and today it's an excEllent one. I encourage you to call in or go to our website and request this. It is called the point of no return - it's written by joe crews who was the founder of Amazing Facts. It is offer #177 and you have an easy number to remember: -study-more - 866-788-3966. Our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor don mackintosh, who is the pastor of the weimar institute church just up the road from us, not that far, and he is bringing us our lesson study today.

Welcome, pastor don. Well, good morning, everybody. Good morning. How many of you are blessed today? Look at that person next to you and say, 'you look great!' Tell the truth. Good.

Well, this morning we have a rather somber lesson study. Hopefully there's going to be some hope in it as well. Grieving and resisting the holy spirit - grieving and resisting the Holy Spirit. Now, you know, I don't know - I'm thinking right now about my two dogs as I read that title, because I have two dogs. I have two australian shepherds.

How many of you know what australian shepherds are? And they're - they're very intelligent and when we got the dogs, we were coming home and I asked the kids, you know, what should we name the dogs? Maybe we should name them 'mack' and 'tosh' - kind of using our last name - mackintosh - and I was just kind of, you know, joking, and they said, 'no, that's a great name! Mack and tosh!' So, at least when I say my last name one of them listens. (Laughter) and the other one does not. Which do you think it is - the one that listens - is it mack or is it tosh? I hear confusionin the multitude. It's actually mack who listens and tosh - he listens but he disobeys. He looks right at me and then he will run away.

We have tried all manner of things with tosh. In fact, my one son, James - James madison sabbatismos, who I actually named one time on the Sabbath school hour a number of years ago - about seven years ago - he - he tried - I came out one day and, you see, we have a crate for the dogs - we have crates. It's like a den. They like them. It's not like imprisonment.

They like the safety. And he wanted to see - he wanted to get closer to the dogs - he wanted to see how they felt. And I went out and he was in the crate with the dogs. And I said, 'what are you doing in the crate?' He said, 'I just want to - I want to see what they feel like. I want to come close to them.

' I thought, 'man, that's the Gospel right there.' And you would think they would listen to James - both of them - but only mack does. So tosh has some problems, see? And I don't know that dogs can sense the Spirit, although they may be able to because, you know, there are different animals in the Bible that were used, right? Donkeys, roosters - but, if anyone needs the Holy Spirit in the dog family at our place, it is tosh. He needs some real help. And our lesson study today is talking not just about animals, but about people. How many of you have heard about people that are kind of stubborn, like a mule? Right? Nobody here? This is a good group.

So they need to have this conviction. So let's just start with a text this morning to remind ourselves of the work of the Holy Spirit because I just talked about the dogs to get your attention. This is a very sober topic. John chapter 16 and verse 8 summarizes what the Holy Spirit does and you may remember the text - John chapter 16 and verse , "and when he has come, he will convict the world of" - what? Of sin. "Of sin, and of" - what? Righteousness.

"Righteousness, and" - then what? Judgment. "And of judgment:" - to come. In other words, he tells us what's wrong, - that's what the Holy Spirit does - he tells us what's right, and he tells us that, when we know what's wrong and right, there's a judgment to come. There's a judgment all along, right? You understand that because if you're judging something, as to whether it's right or wrong, isn't that a judgment? But then there's judgment to come. So, this whole idea of the Holy Spirit is that he works with us as we're learning and then there's what? There's an ultimate judgment to come.

And so we're kind of in this probationary period where we're learning what's right and wrong and we are responding as a result of learning what's right and wrong. Now, this week's lesson speaks of - of basically four things that we can do with the Holy Spirit. And let's just look at them: 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 - let's look there together - 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 - and we will look - now, you remember, 1 Thessalonians - every single chapter in 1 Thessalonians ends with what? A picture of the second coming. Jesus is coming again - chapter , chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, chapter 5 - every single chapter ends with a picture of the second coming. It's kind of like our song service this morning - lift up the trumpet and loud let it ring, Jesus is coming again - right? So every single chapter.

And the whole book is to get us ready for that second coming and, in that setting, look at 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 - you should all be there - and, um, the exhortation that comes with some short verses, all kind of like in a riff. "Rejoice always," - verse 16 - "pray without ceasing," - we already studied that in our lesson, right? Prayer in the Holy Spirit; rejoicing in the Holy Spirit - "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." The power of thanksgiving - the Holy Spirit can come in through thanksgiving and then this: "do not" - what does it say? - "Quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things. Hold fast to what is good.

" So, one thing that we can do with the Spirit is quench it. We'll come back and talk about that in a minute. Then there's another verse that we had in Ephesians 4 - Ephesians chapter 4 - we're just giving an overview now and then we'll go back and think about these - Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 30 - Ephesians chapter 4 and verse 30, "and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." So the first thing we could do is what? We could quench the Spirit. And here, what's it saying? Grieving the Spirit. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, is the second thing that we could do with that.

And notice, it says also, there, not to get into it too much now, "by whom you were sealed." So, grieving the Holy Spirit in its sealing work is really what it's talking about, okay? And then, finally, Matthew chapter 3 - Matthew, Mark, Luke - let's look at it together - or let's look at Mark, rather, Mark :28 and 29 - third thing we can do with the Holy Spirit - Mark chapter 3, verse 28, "assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven The Sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation." So that's the third thing - quenching the Spirit, grieving the Spirit, blaspheming the Spirit - or I might say, the last one we'll talk about is receiving the Spirit, amen? So we have several options now. By the way, receiving's the wrong word because we all receive the Holy Spirit. Everyone who ever lived received the gift of the Holy Spirit. If you know what's right and wrong in any way, that's the Holy Spirit, right? So maybe accepting the work of the Holy Spirit would be the last one, okay? So, quenching, grieving, blaspheming - so now let's look at them one by one. We'll go back to 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 19, "do not quench the Spirit.

" Um...and let's think about that for a moment - our first one - quenching the Spirit, what is that meaning? You know, to quench, it actually - what does it entail? What does it mean to quench something? Is there any volition involved? Is there any thought involved? Is there any use of the mind, if you're quenching something? So, you might say what? That quenching the Spirit is a choice - yes or no? Would you say that's true - quenching it? So, if I have a fire - you know, we think of quenching fire - if I have a fire and it's going well, and I decide to put it out - I decide to quench it - that's a decision - a deliberate act that, you know, that I make. I make that decision and I quench the fire. Now, if I'm camping here in northern California, I mean, especially the last few years - not so much now. I don't think it would be much of a problem trying to start a fire now - it probably wouldn't start anywhere, right? Because of all the flooding and all the rain and all that, but I remember just a couple years ago where, you know, it was very dangerous if a fire starts. And they have all these rules about quenching it and you have to make the decision to quench it.

But, in this case, you know, the Holy Spirit's like a fire that's going to come down, metaphorically speaking, and that fire is supposed to do its work in burning away sin and the dross and what not, so that we're gold tried in the fire, right? And the deliberate choice to quench it is really, you know, not a good choice. Verse 19, "quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesying." So the idea of quenching the Spirit has something to do with despising prophets and their messages. And that word 'despise' means to treat as no account. And let's think about that just for a minute.

You know, what is this book made up of? What is it? I mean, you've got all kinds of what in here? Prophets, right? The Bible is the only book of the major religions that has prophesy throughout. You know, you talk about other books of other religions - the qu'ran, maybe the bhagavad gita - the sanskrit Scriptures and whatnot - do they have prophesy in them? Not very much, if any. But the Bible has how much in it? They say 26 to 30 percent of the Bible is straight-on prophesy. And so, what it's saying here is, you know, don't despise that - don't quench that. Now, of course, not only are there prophets in the Bible - the major prophets and the minor prophets - but there's also prophets that the Bible talks about that were not in the Bible.

Remember hulda the prophetess and others that were not actually written in the Scriptures, but they were still, prophets, right? And so, this idea is that you need to test the prophets to see whether or not they're valid - so there's prophets in the Bible and outside the Bible and you need to test those prophets and hold that which is good. Um - so in the advent movement, is there a claim to have the gift of prophecy in the advent movement? And do people despise that? Do some people despise that? I remember once there was a - those of you who are not, maybe, Seventh-day Adventist Christians, the adventist church has a lady, Ellen white, she's the most translated author in American history and, I think, the most translated female author in the world and, anyway, this - this lady wrote a number of testimonies directly to people that brought conviction of sin and of righteousness and of judgment to come, right in real time, right? And then they put all of these testimonies together in nine volumes. How many of you know what I'm talking about? The nine volumes? Anyone here ever read all nine volumes? Okay, so - you've got to get busy. These are great things - what she says in these. I remember I went to a country once and I asked some people about this and they said, 'we don't even know about that.

' I won't name the country, but I said, 'you don't know about this?' And I began to read some things from it and a group of young people went and they said, 'we have to - we need this - we need this information that you talked about.' And they have since then translated all nine volumes. Now, this whole idea of quenching it - I mean, if you don't even read it, how many of you think that's the way to quench it - you don't even start the fire, right? That's one way to really just avoid any flames whatever. And I would suggest you go ahead and read it because, even though we sing 'Jesus is coming again', as an adventist church, we've been singing that for a long time and the Bible tells us we're laodicean, which means Jesus is outside our church knocking - and he wants to get in! You know how he gets in? The testimony of Jesus - or the Spirit of prophecy. How many of you are with me on this? If you want to have one convicting time, read through the testimonies. I remember, I was reading through these volumes and a friend of mind happened to be a pastor.

He came to me and he goes, 'what are you reading?' I said, 'pastor, I'm reading the Spirit of prophecy. The Bible says 'quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesying.' And I'm reading this. He goes, 'oh, be careful. Be careful! I've seen people become very radical when they read that.

' And I said, 'you have?' He says, 'yes, it could change your whole personality. You're jovial - you - you - you love life. You're filled with energy. It'll take all that away.' It hasn't done that. (Laughter) how many of you noticed it has not done that? It hasn't done that, but I'll tell you what it did do, it convicted me almost every page.

In fact, one page I was reading, it says that Ellen white was talking about her writings and she said, 'the people that I'm talking to they don't listen to me. They don't listen to what I'm saying. I don't know why I do this. I don't know why I have this - this - this writing these prophecies out.' In fact, she got upset once and then she saw, in vision, this angel that kind of frowned at her, so she started writing again. She didn't want to grieve - grieve the angel messenger, right? And then the angel told her, he said, 'look, you just cut out the garments.

' And she said, 'those - the people that they are meant for they may not - they may reject them, but they will perfectly fit somebody else.' Do you know who that somebody else is supposed to be? You or me. How many of you don't want to despise or quench the Spirit by despising prophecies? I'll tell you one more story about this and then we'll go on to the next one. And I actually heard it in this community. There was a man here who told me about his - I believe it was a niece or maybe a more distant relative who worked in the new york world trade center - you remember that terrible day when they were struck by planes and they came down? How many remember this? Maybe some of you are too young to remember this, but some of us remember this terrible day. And this lady - this young lady was working in the first tower that got hit and was up on the floor and was sitting there in her cubicle and all of a sudden the whole thing shook.

Then, 'what is that?' 'Look! A plane hit it!' And then a police officer came in and that police officer came in and said, 'don't worry, this building is disaster proof. It has been, you know, designed in such a way that even if a jet hits it' - they didn't know that's what happened but - 'even if a jet hits it, it won't fall down. It is fireproof.' And that young lady remembered these worships she had had with her father growing up. Her father was reading, every morning for family worship, the testimonies when - and this particular statement is in volume 9, which means they had read all of them. She hated family worship.

She loathed it. She talked about how terrible it was. She despised it. She, essentially had quenched it until that moment. And when she heard that guard say, 'you know what? These buildings are fireproof.

' She said, 'they're not. They're not. I remember something from my family worship.' And she said, 'let's get out of here.' And the guard said, 'you just stay here.' 'No!' 'Don't take the elevator!' She said. They began running down the stairs. They got out.

They got out of the building. She said, 'keep running!' Two or three blocks later - you remember what happened - the building came down. How many of you think that the Spirit of prophecy was useful to her at that time? So, quench not the Spirit. And don't quench - don't disallow other people from - I'm a pastor, right? People say to me, 'look, you need to just use the Bible.' Look, I can prove everything from the Bible but I have no problem reading, also, the Spirit of prophecy from up front. Amen.

I don't have any problem with that. Now, you've got to understand something about this. We have a - we have a conflict in Ephesians between the prince of the power of the air and the Holy Spirit that convicts and converts and seals and satisfies, and this idea of quenching - one last idea - now, this is directly from the Spirit of prophecy, but we've already proved it from the Bible. We've said quenching means to do what? To choose - yes or no? Isn't that what we said? Because quenching is like a decision. Now - now listen to this - it's from a book called the faith I live by - page 58, "men have the power to quench the Spirit of God.

The power of choosing is left with them. They are allowed freedom of action. They may be obedient through the name and grace of our redeemer, or they may be disobedient and realize the consequences. So, the reason I started the lesson with this one is because it just illustrates something. Quenching the Spirit is what? Related to a choice I make about either making myself aware of what the Spirit has written - that's why I ask you 'what have you read?' Or knowing what's written and saying, 'I don't want to do that'? That's a decision.

Aren't you thankful that not just one decision, you know, puts us out of the Kingdom forever? But it's not a good thing - how many think it's not a good thing? Every time my dog tosh runs the opposite way I say, 'that is quenching the Spirit.' He has made a conscious decision. He's a very bright dog. And see, if he just runs across the street he could get killed. I actually get grieved about it - I actually do. I say, 'wait a minute' - you know, I paid a lot of money for the dog - if my dog gets killed my kids will all cry, my wife will be mad - I mean, that's kind of a superficial thing, right? But I think that way - um - with this situation.

Plus, I love the dog. I don't want the dog to - you know, obedience to what I'm saying is actually essential for the dog's survival, right? That brings us to the next one. Number two - Ephesians chapter - so let's turn back there - Ephesians chapter 4 and verse , "and do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." First off, I mean, just when we're thinking about this, you know, we can quench it - that means we don't chose the right thing - we can grieve the Holy Spirit. Now, the first thing about that - you just have to notice - is what? When you say you can grieve the Holy Spirit, what's the first thing you think of? Alright, nothing. So, I'll tell you what I think of first - what's the first thing you think of? I think of, 'wait a minute, there's an emotional involvement.

' How many of you thought of that now that I thought of it - how many of you were thinking of it before I thought of it? Alright, it just grieves me a little bit here. So look, you know, think about that for a minute - grieving something - grieving someone - it's not something, you don't grieve a thing, right? You know, my car, if I don't get in the car it's not really grieved. It just sits there - some kind of, you know, vehicle. It never cries, 'oh, please come back!' But this is - this is a personality. This is the idea of emotional involvement.

I don't know about you but that makes my heart glad - does it make your heart glad? - That God, the Holy Spirit, would be grieved or could be grieved. How many of you think that's just good news? You think of all the major religions of the Bible - we said, in that last little segment on prophesying that there is no real prophecy in these other major religions - in their books. And there's also not much emotion. In fact, the whole idea of some religions in the world, is to get away from emotion. Yes? I want to escape.

I want to get into this nirvana where there's no pain - there's no emotion. God is seen as high and lifted up in another one of these religions and he never comes close. You know, he's so holy that he never comes close. There's no story of the incarnation in these - there's reincarnation, but no incarnation, where God comes down, he gets involved, he weeps, he - does this touch your heart at all? Just the word 'grieved'? Amen. You know? So, you know, if I do something wrong and my wife knows I do something wrong it's - God knows this is very true - but she knows I do something wrong but then she just looks at me apathetically and she makes - it makes no difference.

Well, like this morning, just to be, you know, up to date (laughter) it's not something I did wrong, it's something my kids did wrong. I got up and, you know, a lovely Sabbath morning, you know, and we have nice music on and all of a sudden I hear, 'why did you hit me in the face?' I'm like, 'oh boy, this is not good.' And so - and my wife heard it and I was there, actually, kind of working on the notes for this and I was like, 'I need to put the finishing touches here.' And then my wife says, 'did you hear that?' You know what that meant? You need some involvement, right? But when I went out there, my wife was actually - had tears in her eyes as she was talking to my son, and it brought tears to my eyes too. 'Why would you hit your brother? Why?' And there was grief there. So, when we see grief or when we see emotion, is that a good thing? And so it says here, it says, "do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." In other words, you see, the Holy Spirit comes and says, 'I'm going to tell you what's right. I'm going to tell you what's wrong.

I'm going to tell you there's a judgment and I'm going to get you ready for that judgment. I'm going to put right now, even before you're through the final exam, I'm going to put a seal on you that says you're mine. And I'm going to come into your heart and I'm going to be so invested in you, I'm going to be emotionally involved. He helps us succeed. Now, how do we grieve him? It tells us in the same chapter - look back in Ephesians chapter , verses 1 to 3, "i, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

" So, what does the Holy Spirit does - do - what does the holy spirit do in those verses? Makes us be able to be gentle, to be lowly, to be peaceful, to be in unity, okay? In unity. So, if you meet somebody who's always mixing it up - always stirring it up - what are they doing? They're grieving the spirit. If you, yourself, always do that - now, I'm not talking about valid reproof and correction, that's different, but if you're just kind of doing it - like my one son did this morning, frankly. The one boy was laying on a bean bag with - it's Sabbath morning, it's time to relax - it's a day of rest - and the other guy just jumps on top of him - he's covered up with a blanket, doesn't see it coming. This led to a huge explosion.

And then, you know, if that had been the first time this happened, you know, that's - you know, I'm serious it's not a nice thing - but it wasn't, and so I had a little talk and said, 'you know what?' He goes, 'he hit me!' I said, 'of course he hit you. You jumped on him and he didn't know that and so he hit you.' I told the other guy, 'don't hit people.' But I said to this guy, 'look, don't - don't grieve him like this.' You know? Right? So unity - are there people in the church today - in God's body that try and are disrupting the unity of the church? Is that happening today? Are there people - you know, in our church, the seventh-day adventist church, for those of you watching, we have this structure that if you have a problem it goes up higher and higher and higher and, finally, it goes to the general conference, which is like everybody together, and guess what they're supposed to do. They are supposed to be the ones with representatives from everywhere that says, 'wait a minute, this is the way we're going. It might change, we don't know, but right now, this time, we're going with this or whatever topic.' And I'm not talking about changing the Bible or anything, but what's the whole idea of that? To bring unity. How many of you think that's a good system? That's the whole idea and the spirit is to lead in that process.

Verse 22 of Ephesians chapter - chapter - chapter 4 - um - verse of Ephesians chapter 4 - let's look at some other things, "...put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts" - so you're grieving the Spirit if you're involved in what? Deceitful lusts. And can that happen in the church? What's a deceitful lust? It's something that masquerades of love, but it really never delivers, right? A lust is something we do that doesn't have spiritual fruit. It has diabolical fruit. Um - I wish I had time to go into that more, but we don't. Look at verse 25, ".

..putting away lying" - speak the truth to your neighbor - so lying - you find yourself lying - not telling the truth. This is grieving the Spirit. I had a student the other day, came to me and he said to me, 'I didn't get the assignment done and I want more time.' And I said, 'well, why would you want more time?' Well, he went into all kinds of things that were, essentially, lies. They couldn't have been the truth. And I'm sitting there listening - finally I just interrupted him and I said, 'you know, I don't want to be disrespectful, even though you're lying to me, but if you want mercy from me, you have to tell the truth.

I'll give you mercy but not if you're lying like this. Actually, I will give you more assignments if you keep lying.' He goes, 'what do you mean?' I said - I told him - and he said, 'you're right. I was lying. I was not telling the truth. I beg for mercy.

' And I said, 'okay, I'll give it to you.' God does not like us to lie. If you did something wrong, just say you did something wrong. Can he forgive it? Yes. But he can't if you lie because you're adding more wrongs on top of the wrong. So just tell the truth.

Grieving the Spirit through lying. Anger - verse 26 - I'm glad it says "be angry, and do not sin" - so how many are thankful you can still be angry? Only one of you. That's a very good church. I tell you, there's no fights in this church. Be angry and do not sin.

Do not let the sun go down on your wrath. So there's a time-limited - um - anger - there's a valid anger and an invalid anger. We don't have time to go into it all, but when I'm helping people with depression recovery and anxiety recovery, this is a huge thing. So be angry and do not sin: don't let the sun go down on your wrath. If you have, you know, that 24-hour period - or whatever it is, depending on the time of year.

And a lot of people, when they read that text they say, 'I think I might move to norway' (laughter) 'where the sun doesn't go down.' But it still goes down. I mean, I went to norway - I lived there for awhile - and it still goes down, you know? It might be just a little bit. In fact, in norway you have less time with your anger when you really understand how the sun works over there, so don't try and move. So anger - verse 28 - stealing - stealing - "but...let him labor" - so, stealing, you know, have valid labor, don't steal - verse - these are ways to grieve the Spirit - "let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it might impart grace to the hearers." So corrupt words - and then the summary text for grieving the spirit - verse 31 - "let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor," - in the margin for 'clamor' it says 'loud quarreling' - how many of you know someone who needs to get rid of the loud quarreling - you know, if you're going to quarrel, how many of you are glad it still says you can quarrel? Can you say 'amen'? Amen. You can quarrel, you just have to keep the volume down.

When the volume goes up, that really quenches the Spirit, okay? "And evil speaking be put away from you, with all" - maliciousness or - "malice." So this is how we grieve the Spirit. Now notice something in verses through 19, "this I say, therefore," - Ephesians 4, verse - you're still with me in the chapter, right? "This I say, therefore," - verse 17 - "and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have" - what does it say next? - "Given themselves over" - now what does that mean? In other words, just like we saw in quenching the Spirit, that's a choice, so grieving the Spirit is a what? It's a choice. It's a choice, right? They give themselves over. Now, don't get me wrong, you can do things when you didn't really know any better and, you know, that's a different thing, but this whole idea - the whole path to just giving yourselves over - it's the power of choice as well. Now, let me read you another quotation now, from the Spirit of prophecy, which we will not despise, after our point #1, and this is the faith I live by, another quote from that book, the faith I live by, page 58 - the faith I live by, page 58, "conscience is the voice of God heard amidst the conflict of human passions" - how many have ever heard the voice of God amidst the conflict of human passions? - "When it is resisted, the Spirit of God is grieved.

" So that's like you're in a fight with somebody, let's say it's your spouse, and you know you should not say that. 'Nope, don't say that. Do not say that' - just the impression comes to you. 'No, no, don't say that.' And you say it anyway. That's grieving the Spirit, okay? Don't say it.

That's the whole idea. Some of you - I can tell by looking at you, you have done this, right? I have done that. Grieving the Spirit is resisting that real-time, you know, signal that says 'don't do that. Don't go that way, go this way.' Now, you know, does God give up on us for that? No. How many of you are still alive? Right? It's kind of like your gps.

How many of you have had your gps say, 'turn left in 500 feet' and you don't do it? How many of you just ignored? And what does the gps do? I mean, it's not emotionally involved, I don't think, it can't be grieved. But it's programmed to act emotional. Mine actually has an accent - it used to - I use my phone now. What does it say? Recalculating. Yeah, right.

Wow, this must have happened to you a lot. (Laughter) that was clamor - that was almost clamorous the way you answered there. So, right, recalculating. But isn't that a blessing? God still helps us even when we're grieving. Now number three - the most serious of our - our three that we're talking about today.

We had quenching, we had grieving, and now we have blaspheming. Mark chapter 3 - Mark chapter 3, verses 28 and 29, "assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven The Sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation. Alright, so, you know, what does this mean, 'blaspheming the Spirit'? Well, you know, the definition of blasphemy, many times we turn to John chapter 10, verse 33, in our minds which says, "the jews answered Jesus saying, 'for a good man we do not stone thee, but for blasphemy, and because thou, being a man, make thyself God." So blasphemy, in their mind, was someone who was human saying they were God. In other words, it's taking a role and responsibility that's not yours and going ahead, even though you know it's not your role or responsibility - that's what they accused Jesus of. Now, were they right in accusing Jesus of that? No, because he was God, they just didn't accept it, right? But, have you ever been in a situation where you have taken the role and responsibility that's not yours, and you say, 'I'm going to do it anyway.

' This is throughout the new testament. This - well, these things can kind of shift. But, like my son, not my only son - if this one doesn't work out I have another one - this son - that's a little joke, okay? I want them both to work out, but my son, the other day, he said, 'dad, it's time for me to tell you what to do for once.' I mean, we were both eating our cheerios, there was fruit nearby - and my wife - everyone heard it - it was established by two or three witnesses - and he actually said this, 'it's time for me to tell you what to do.' Someone is asking how old he was. It really doesn't matter. (Laughter) he is not of the age of accountability.

He's seven years old. 'It's time for me to tell you what to do.' This is a form of blasphemy because he's taking my position, or wants to, and he says, 'you stay in that position.' And this is why, in Timothy, it says, 'disobedient to parents at the end of time' and all that stuff. Is it - is today - do we live in a blasphemous society where children actually think they're the parents? Do people actually go around parents to the kids and say, 'you should decide how your parents spend their money.' Do your kids ever come to you and say, 'I want this, that, or the other' and you wonder how they even knew about it? Okay? But there's other - there's other roles and responsibilities, as well, in the new testament, right? And, throughout the pastoral epistles especially, whenever this has shifted - whenever a role is shifted in an invalid way that is blasphemy. Now, all those things can be forgiven, but this text says what? If you blaspheme the holy spirit, it can't be forgiven. Why? Not because God doesn't want to, but you took away what? You took away the very voice of God.

If you're not going to listen to God, then how can that be forgiven? Right? Now, there's an interesting passage in Timothy, which I studied for about three years, a couple years ago. In 1 Timothy 1, where you have these two guys at the end of the chapter - alexander and hymenaeus - these guys are licentious guys, they're not doing what's right. And so, guess what? Guess what Paul, through the inspiration of the Spirit says to them: 'deliver such a one to satan.' Satan doesn't listen to God so deliver them to satan - 'that they may learn not to blaspheme.' Can you say, 'hallelujah? So, they're delivered so they can do what? Learn. Praise the Lord. How many want to learn not to blaspheme before you blaspheme? How many of you want to learn not to blaspheme the Holy Spirit before you ever would do that? Man, I'm nervous about those not raising their hand.

Let's just raise our hands together. This is a very serious question, okay? (Laughter) this is - this is it because, if you go that far, this is what it's saying: in light of all the evidence that's out there, you know, even when there's evidence, if you keep going on, you know, Jesus would heal people. Look at verse 7 of chapter 2 of Mark, "why does this man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone? But immediately, when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, he said to them, 'why do you reason about these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'arise, take up your bed and walk'? But that you may know that the son of man has power on earth to forgive sins''" so here's the idea: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is blasphemy and saying, 'look, I don't believe God is in this' even though you see all kinds of evidence. You see evidence after evidence after evidence. I mean, it is so clear.

And you say, 'I'm - you know what? I don't accept it.' That's the idea. And it says when that happens - what? Mark 3:29 - one who does this is in danger - the new king James tries to make it a little softer - of eternal condemnation, but it's actually damnation. But the word in Greek there, damnation, is 'crisis' or 'judgment'. What does the Holy Spirit do? Convicts of sin and of righteousness and of judgment, right? Is there going to be a judgment? Are all the decisions that we've made going to come up again? Right? If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and then they're covered, amen? And they - they're put on the cross, but every time we quenched, every time we grieved - and if anyone's concerned at all what I'm talking about, you have not blasphemed the Holy Spirit, right? That's not where you are, but - and that's why that free little book from Joe Crews, you know, in the library of sermons, the point of no return, it's actually an excEllent book to read because some people can get the idea that they blasphemed the Holy Spirit and many times, as I've talked to people - I've never talked to one person yet, that I believe has blasphemed the Holy Spirit as they're talking to me about it, because they're concerned about it, you know? It's the people that are not talking to me at all about it that may be, you know, having a problem. Okay, so have we accomplished what we set out to do? We looked at quenching the Spirit, which is a what? A choice, right? We looked at grieving the Spirit - we saw these different things - the emotions of God, and we looked at blaspheming - blaspheming the Holy Spirit as well.

Now, I'm going to read to you again from that little book the faith I live by. I like how it summarizes what we just learned. "The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit does not lie in any sudden word or deed. It is the firm, determined resistance of truth and evidence. It is not that man sends out a decree that men may not be saved.

He does not throw out with the darkness with the eyes, which cannot be penetrated, but man, at first, resists the motion of the Spirit of God and, having once resisted, it's less difficult to do the second time, less the third, far less the fourth, then comes the harvest to be reaped from a seed of unbelief and resistance." So God really destroys, in the same quotation, no one; the sinner destroys himself by his own impertinence. In other words, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the same thing. It's a choice, again. How many can see that? Quenching's a choice, grieving is a choice, blasphemy is like the combination of all those choices altogether. Now, nobody can judge one another as to whether or not they've blasphemed the Holy Spirit, but sometimes, you know, you have your concerns.

And I remember working in a hospital for many years, with people that were dying, and I remember - I remember a number of patients that, you know, when I requested to pray with them at the end of their life, 'no. I don't believe that.' And, you know, one of them even cursing that I leave the room. And so you're concerned about that, right? Well, that can happen. At the end, I wish I could end on like a real positive note. I want to, but I've got three minutes so it's not likely I'll end on a completely positive note in that amount of time, but let me just say this: in our lesson study, it made this big point - acts chapter 7, verse 51, "you stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did.

.." The lesson makes a point that that nation of judaism actually, as a nation, rejected the Holy Spirit. And then it seems to intimate that, you know, we should learn something about that. You know what we should learn? We are the laodicean church. And Jesus, in the laodicean church, is not pictured inside the church. Did you notice that? He's outside, knocking, which means every knock is a what? A resistance, if we don't open the door, to what? To the Holy Spirit.

Can you see how serious the lesson is for the laodicean church? Have we quenched the Spirit ever as a denomination? Have we grieved the Holy Spirit ever? Right? And that is why this lesson is actually present truth for us today. I mean, but to end in - on a good news, is there hope? If we can quench the Spirit, if we can grieve the Spirit, and blaspheme the Spirit, we can also, if we have not blasphemed the Spirit - I don't believe anyone here today has - we can also accept the Spirit. Jesus is outside knocking, but can we open the door? Amen. Can we let him in? I love this - this quotation - well, let me just look at Ephesians chapter 1 just briefly - go through a couple texts with you as we're closing. Christ is in heaven with all spiritual blessings available - Ephesians chapter 1, verse 3 - he can quicken and make us alive who were dead in trespasses and sins.

Ephesians chapter 2, verse 1 and verse 5. Ephesians chapter 4, verse 21, we can know the truth - we can put off the old man - verse 22 - we can - verse 23 - we can be renewed in the Spirit of our mind. Repentance means, literally, in Greek, 'change the mind'. Can you say 'hallelujah? So the message to the laodicean church is what? Be zealous and change your mind. Open the door.

So how do you open the door? It's by changing your mind. I want you to come in. I want you to tell me what's wrong. I want you to tell me what's right. I want you to direct me.

I want you to lead and guide, not me. It's only a door away. It's right on the other side. We can put on the new man. We can have the fruits of the Spirit.

We can be holy and without blame in him in love, Ephesians 1:4. We can trust the word - the Gospel of salvation. We can claim the sealing promise. There's a lot of practical things in Ephesians as well, and I'll just end with one as we close. They did a study recently, in fact, this year, of those in alcoholics anonymous.

Alcoholics anonymous is, you know, a program that helps people stop drinking and replace that with something else. And this did this study, just recently, and they discovered something. About 75 percent of people in alcoholics anonymous pray - they seriously pray. How many of you have ever been to an aa meeting? When I was a pastor in mid-America, I always went to aa meetings because I wanted to meet people that were really serious about repentance. You know, they really messed their life up so they're really serious about repentance.

Well, anyway, they did a study and they found something, in real time, by doing mris - functional magnetic resonance imaging - on people's minds. They looked inside their minds, while they were praying, and then while they were tempted - so they would have a picture of alcohol and different things and see what the cravings were and whatnot - and guessed what they discovered. The people that were praying in aa in real time, they saw those temptations go down. They could, in their brains, see that they were resisting temptation. It started right here in their brains and they could see it in real time.

In other words, God can give us the gift of repentance. Can you say hallelujah? Amen. He can. If we have quenched the Spirit, if we have grieved the Spirit, he can, in fact - if we have any desire, he can, in fact, do what? Open the door and give us the gift of repentance - he can change our mind. Do you want that to happen in your life today? Let's pray together.

Father, in heaven, Lord, thank you, today, for this lesson that shows, again, your overwhelming patience and your emotional involvement with each of us. We don't want to grieve you, we want to bring joy to you and we're told that when a sinner repents there's joy in heaven. And so, today, as we close this lesson, we want to, again, just say - we want to bring you joy. We do not want to resist the Spirit, quench the Spirit - so come into our lives, we pray, in Christ's name, amen. Let's face it, it's not always easy to understand everything you read in the Bible.

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