Holy Spirit, Part 1: The Necessity

Scripture: Acts 13:2, John 16:13, Ephesians 1:13
Date: 06/15/2002 
The Bible teaches about a triune God of which the Holy Spirit, a person of the Godhead. The Bible begins and ends with the Spirit. Jesus' ministry began and ended with the Holy Spirit. We ought to have God the Spirit in our hearts which is necessary to obey and to pray right.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Happy Sabbath! Our subject today is “The Holy Spirit.” I tremble as I enter into this study, because the topic is so big. What we’re going to talk about is God. The Holy Spirit is God. The Holy Spirit is not an “it”. You may find at times during the sermon I’ll slip into an old habit that many of us have and I’ll refer to the Holy Spirit as something inanimate, as a force, as a power. But the Bible is very clear that the Holy Spirit is a Person. He’s very real. He’s all the way through the Bible. Over five hundred references to the Holy Spirit in Scripture. Some have asked before, “What’s the difference between the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost?”

It’s really the same word. Matter of fact, I think the word “ghost” is a bit ugly and I wish the King James’ translators had abandoned it; but depending upon who was working upon what passage, sometimes they translated it the Holy Ghost, sometimes the Holy Spirit. It’s the Spirit of God. He has many names in the Bible. Just as you’ll find Jesus referred to by many names in Scripture. You find the Holy Spirit in the first chapter of the Bible, in the second verse:

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the Spirit of God moved upon the surface of the waters.

The Holy Spirit was there at creation. You go to the last chapter of the Bible and it says:

And the Spirit and the bride say “Come!”

I’ll tell you why this is so important. You cannot go to heaven unless you have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit must be in you. You cannot obey God; you cannot live the Christian life; you cannot even understand God; you’ll have no appetite for spiritual things, unless you have the Holy Spirit within you. I’m going to talk mostly today about our need for the Holy Spirit, and what He does for us. But maybe before I do that I should establish more firmly that the Holy Spirit is the third Person in the Godhead.

I’m going to say some things many of you have heard before; but they’ll bear repeating. There is one God. Moses said in Deut. 6:4,

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.

One God; and yet you go to Genesis and the creation and it says,

And God said, let us (plural) make man in our image. How can you have one God with three different people? Well, you have to understand in the Bible, in Hebrew, what the word “one” means. You also read in Genesis where Moses said a man and a woman will leave the father and mother and they will cleave to one another—they’re married and they become one. You’ve obviously got two distinct people that become one. That means they’re united in their purpose in their life, in their goal.

Jesus said “Can two walk together unless they are agreed?” —unless they’re one? Jesus prayed, before He ascended to heaven, that you and I might be one. There could be five hundred of us in this room, but we’re to be one in Christ. So when the Bible says there is one God, it’s not speaking of numerical quantity. It’s talking about our God is united. Many of the pagan religions of the world have a god of the trees, and he’s in charge of that. And they have a god of the ocean, and a god of the fish, and a god of the birds —all these different gods. Our God is one God, perfectly united and They’re cooperating for your salvation and mine.

Let me give you some scriptures that deal with that. You may want to take your pencil out and write these down. I have a lot of passages to share with you today. This is the place of industrial strength worship. We are a Bible-based church and we give you a lot of scripture for all of our presentations. We don’t want you to go home hungry! 1 John 5:7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. John often speaks in his writings of Jesus as the Word.

Matthew 3:16, 17 And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him. And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Notice what it says here, that when Christ was baptized, to inaugurate the beginning of His ministry, you have the Trinity being visible. Jesus is one; the Spirit of God descending; and a Voice from heaven. Who is that Voice? God the Father. So at the beginning of Christ’s ministry, you’ve got the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. At the end of Christ’s ministry, when He sent His disciples forth, how did He tell them to go?

Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Is the Father a Person? Is the Son a Person? And is the Holy Spirit a Person? One way we know the Holy Spirit is a Person is because He has all the characteristics of an individual. The Bible says the Holy Spirit can be hurt; he can be vexed; people can attempt to tempt Him; He can be lied to; He’s resisted; He strives; He convicts; He reminds; He comforts; He empowers. He has all the characteristics of an individual.

The Holy Spirit is not some inanimate, esthetical force that floats around; it’s not a chemical in the air. The Holy Spirit is a Person in the Godhead. Of the three People in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the most difficult for you and I to understand. Let me explain why.

Before man sinned, we lived in four dimensions. When Adam and Eve were walking in the Garden before they sinned, they could not only walk and talk with God, but they could see angels. There is a spirit dimension in the universe that’s in this room right now and you and I are oblivious to it because sin put out the light.

When man sinned, the light that covered him with a robe of living light went out, and he lost the fourth dimension. There are angels in this room right now that we can’t see because sin has blinded our eyes. It has put a scale over one of our senses. The Holy Spirit is hard for us to understand because when Jesus walked the earth, He left footprints. The Holy Spirit doesn’t leave footprints.

We all believe there is wind, right? When Jesus talked about the Holy Spirit, He compared Him to wind. He said, in John chapter 3, “The wind blows where it lists; you hear the sound thereof, but you can’t tell where it came from or where it’s going.” Do you believe there is wind? Is it just me? or does is seem like every time I watch the weather lately, there is a new hurricane? They name these hurricanes with different names; and there’s been so many—pretty soon it’s going to be Hurricane Zelda!

They go alphabetically through them. Andrew was the first hurricane; Zelda would be the last. You got that? That’s twenty-six hurricanes! It seems like every time I watch the news, they’ve got these new hurricanes. You ask the people, “Did you see the hurricane?” You cannot really see a hurricane—did you know that? You can see the water it blows around; you can see the trees that go flying through the sky; but wind is invisible. And just try to convince someone it doesn’t exist! Can we see the Holy Spirit? No.

Sometimes God in His mercy allowed the Holy Spirit to appear in different forms to help us to understand a little better. When Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit took on the form of a dove. Is that because the Holy Spirit is a bird? Or was that symbol there for you and I to understand the Holy Spirit brings peace into our lives? On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire, because God was going to give them power to speak the gospel with new tongues. So it came in the form of a tongue. Is the Holy Spirit a tongue of fire? No. These were just symbols to help you and I understand.

God’s Spirit can be everywhere at one time. Whereas God the Son took on the form of a human and Jesus is restricted geographically to one place at a time. That’s why the Lord said “It’s expedient—it’s for your benefit—that I leave that I might send the Holy Spirit in its fullness.” And that’s something we’ll get to in more detail as we go on. How important is it for us to have the Holy Spirit?

Jesus is talking to Nicodemus. John 3:5 Jesus answered and said, Verily, verily,(truly, truly) except a man be born of water (symbol of baptism and cleansing) and born of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

He may not? It’s going to be more difficult? Or he cannot? Matter of fact, there may be people in the kingdom who accepted the baptism of Jesus as their baptism because there was no other way (like the thief on the cross) but no body is going to be in the kingdom who does not have the Holy Spirit. How important is it for you and me to have that Spirit? Some have said what this verse really means is:

baptized in water means when a person is born they all come out of that water sack; baptized in the Spirit means that a person needs to be born of a woman and born of the Spirit. That’s really absurd. Why would Jesus say that? How many people here have been born of a woman? So why say it? So being born of the water means baptism; that’s the choice to be cleansed through the ceremony. Born of the Spirit means being filled with the Spirit.

Was Jesus born of the water? and the Spirit? On the same day. Washed in the water, commitment to God, He began His ministry at baptism, and He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Let me share one other thing. The Bible says that John the Baptist declared “I am baptizing you with water; but there is One mightier than I who come after me, He will baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire.” There the Holy Spirit was compared to fire. Born of the water; born of the Spirit. Two very cleansing elements in our world are water and fire. The Spirit is a symbol of cleansing. Do you realize that our world will someday be recreated; new heaven, new earth. But before our world can be inhabited by God, it is going to be washed in water (in the days of Noah) and it’s going to be washed in fire. Our world, where the new kingdom is going to be, is going to be baptized in water and baptized in fire. I’ll read that to you.

2 Peter 3:6, 7 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same Word are kept in store, reserved unto fire…”

The same thing this planet must go through to inherit eternity, you and I must go through. Not just everybody, but the whole world is going to be washed in water and fire, and then ready for a new eternity. How important is it for you and I to be filled with the Holy Spirit? It’s critical. Is it something we want?

Let me explain why it’s so important. First of all, in order for you and me to live the Christian life it’s essential to have the Holy Spirit. You and I are not capable of fabricating or impersonating in the slightest degree what it is to be a Christian without the Holy Spirit. You’ve got to have the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God in you. Let me give you some scriptures to explain that. You cannot understand what I am saying right now without the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One who takes the words of God, the words of truth, and makes them spring up in a person’s heart.

Just like seed that will lay cold and dead on the ground for years until it gets moisture, I could be preaching the truth week after week, every Sabbath, but unless you’ve got the Holy Spirit in your heart it will never spring up.

The Holy Spirit takes the words in my mouth and turns it into bees and puts honey on your hearts, and it finds its home. It’s just automatic, like that. If you don’t have the Holy Spirit, the sermon is always going to be empty and boring; you’ll be looking at your watch, wondering when church is over; while the person next to you is moved to tears. What makes the difference between two people sitting in the same room listening to the same message—it’s the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes we’re praying that God will change our preacher!! What we ought to be doing is praying that God will change our hearts. Might be nothing wrong with the sermon; might be something wrong with the soil that the seed is planted in.

It could be the most pitiful of all messages, but God can take the poorest presentation from a feeble pastor and somewhere through the air the Holy Spirit can get a hold of that message and by the time it reaches your heart it can turn your life around.

There’s power in the Word when accompanied by the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Bible tells us that without the Holy Spirit you can’t understand the Word.

John 6:63 It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: (some of you are here today in the flesh and you’ll profit nothing from what I’m saying) the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

The words are life. Whether we’re reading the Bible or listening to a sermon, it’s the Holy Spirit that gives life to the word that we hear.

Revelation 2:7 Jesus says He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says…”

Our ears must become spiritual, quickened by the Holy Spirit. This next verse is where Jesus makes it really clear. You cannot understand the word, whether in the Bible or in church without the Holy Spirit.

John 14:26 But the Comforter…who’s that? It’s another name for the Holy Spirit…But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and He will bring to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.

What is the job of the Holy Spirit? To not only help us recognize the Word of God, but to bring it to our remembrance when we need it. How many of you have had an experience where the Lord put you into a position where you had an opportunity to witness to somebody and you didn’t know what to say. You prayed and all of a sudden these things you’d read that you hadn’t thought about for awhile, or passages, came to your mind. You ever had that experience?

I’ve even had some really dramatic experiences where —the Bible’s a big book, over a thousand pages—I needed to find something for somebody and I didn’t not only know what the chapter number and verse number was, I didn’t even know what book it was in. And I said “O Lord, help me!” and I opened my Bible and it was the first thing my eyes landed on! It’s happened to me so many times I know there’s a God! That could not be an accident.

I don’t recommend you prepare for your Bible studies that way. “Well, let’s see what the Lord is going to say to us today!” (while opening the Bible at random). It might tell you to go out and hang yourself, like Judas! You’ve got to be real careful!

I know a lady who was trying to decide whether or not to get married to this fellow. She prayed and prayed, and couldn’t make up her mind—this is true! She set her Bible down, and said “Lord, please show me” and she put her finger down on the Bible and it pointed to a place where it said “If he bid thee, go with him.” She married the guy.

Now this works sometimes! I’m not saying you should do it, though! I just wanted to tell you that. God speaks through His word and through His Spirit. So you need the Holy Spirit to understand the Bible, to get a blessing out of the message. You need the Holy Spirit to pray. First of all, you need the Holy Spirit to want to pray. God loves God. God the Father loves God the Son. So when God the Father gave God the Son, that was a lot of love for you and me. God the Spirit loves God the Son. Matter of fact, when you study God you’ll find out They’re always trying to out-love each other. God the Father is trying to glorify the Son; make Him look good. Jesus lived for the purpose of glorifying the Father; and Jesus wanted to glorify the Spirit; and the Spirit wants to glorify the Father and the Son. So They’re always trying to glorify one another.

Now, if God the Spirit is in you, He will be attracted to God the Father in prayer. So you need the Holy Spirit to even want to pray. What does the Holy Spirit do for our prayers? Romans 8:26 You need the Holy Spirit to even pray right, and the Holy Spirit will make your prayers affective before God. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself makes intercession with groanings that cannot be uttered.

If God was to itemize for you the things you should be praying for right now, would it be a big list, or a small list? If God was to make your list of what you need to pray for right now, would it be a big list or a small list? How many would believe it would be a big list? I think it would be a big list. How many of you when you pray, it’s a small list—compared to what it ought to be? That’s the way it is with me. It’s pitiful sometimes when I kneel down and I pray, and I can’t think of what it is I’m supposed to pray for—but I know I need God, I go through the basics, I ask for the Holy Spirit, I pray for my loved ones—but there’s so much I’m forgetting!

One thing you can do to get over that is make a prayer list. But the Holy Spirit will intercede for you, and God in His love will answer prayers that you haven’t even prayed. Because the Holy Spirit knows what you have—and sometimes you have needs in your life and your heart—and our human language is feeble, it’s imperfect. We don’t even know how to verbalize what it is we need to ask for. And the Holy Spirit will take our groanings, bring them to heaven and make them eloquent before God’s throne. He helps us pray. That’s good news!

Very important. You cannot obey God without the Holy Spirit. We have people who are going through all the motions of Christianity, and they’re offering an abomination to God because they’re trying to live the Christian life without the Christian Spirit. You cannot keep the Sabbath without the Holy Spirit. You can be ever so careful to make sure everything is in order before the sun goes down; and all of your clothes ready—and you ought to do this, incidentally—your clothes are prepared, your shoes are shined, the meals are cooked; you’re all ready; all the worldly things are put out of sight and the television has been turned off, and everything’s just like it ought to be. You don’t drive too fast on your way to church; and you go home and you watch the clock; and as soon as the sun sets at the end of the Sabbath—you’ve not kept the Sabbath one bit if you don’t have the Holy Spirit.

Because the Holy Spirit is really all about resting in Jesus. It’s the rest, comfort, and peace the Holy Spirit gives you. And if you’re physically trying to not work, well, that’s commendable, but it’s not keeping the commandment unless you got the Spirit. You’re keeping the letter of the law, but not the Spirit of the law. You can’t keep the spirit of the law without the Spirit. Does that make sense? You can’t even obey God without the Holy Spirit.

What’s the best way to obey God? the best way to resist temptation? We sin because the devil gets in us. If you want to obey, you’ve got to get the Spirit in you. They don’t get along. The Spirit will chase the devil out. It’s very simple, but it’s true. Let me read something to you. Romans 8:13,14 For if you live after the flesh, you will die; but if you through the Spirit mortify (kill) the deeds of the body (flesh), you’ll live.

It’s only through the Spirit you can do that. For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Jesus, Matthew 12:43-45 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walks through dry places seeking rest and finding none. Then he says, “I’ll return to my house from whence I came out,” and when he is come, he finds it empty, swept, and garnished. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

Let me tell you what I think this passage is talking about. Many people want to be free from sin. And they come to the Lord, and the Holy Spirit sets them free. But once they’ve been set free they don’t realize how important it is to abide in the Spirit. The Lord sets them free—He chases out the demons that harass them. And they go “Praise the Lord. Thanks God, I appreciate Your saving me” and they don’t feel like they need God anymore.

Those demons are wandering around, wondering where to go, and so they go back and check their house, and they say “Hey, it’s empty now! We left because Jesus moved in; but He’s moved out, evidently” so they move back in with seven more demons worse than the first. I know how this works in very practical ways. Karen and I have a little cabin up in Covelo. We used to have two—one was a little small cabin. Many years ago I was living in Texas doing some mission work there, and I got a phone call from a friend.

He said, “Doug, somebody’s moved into your empty cabin up in the hills.” I’d left it empty. You know, vacuums tend to fill in this life—you’ve ever discovered that? How many of you have built like a garage, and pretty soon its full? Vacuums fill; it’s a law of life! I said, “Who’s moved in?” He said, “Well, this family moved in. They’ve got several kids; a poor family.” I said, “Well, I want to try to help them.” Then he said, “There’s a problem, Doug. We went up there and found them living in your house—and they’re growing pot!”

I said, “Well, that’s not going to look good!” Pastor Batchelor’s arrested for cultivating marihuana. That won’t do! So I wrote some letters to these people. And I said “If you don’t mind, please move out of my house.” I’d never told them they could move in. And they said “Alright, we will.” But they didn’t.

And it got so bad I had to make a couple of trips from Texas to California, driving, and ask them to leave. They’d say “Alright, we’re going to move out.” They’d pack all their stuff up and they’d move out. I’d go back home—and they’d move back in!

They’d think “Oh, he’s in Texas, what’s he going to do?” So I came back out again, and it’s starting to bother me. I went up there with a policeman; and as nicely as I could, I said “You need to move out.” You know in Mendocino county, in fact all of California, if you’re found growing pot on your property, they take it away. They just take your land from you. And this really was making me nervous. And so I said “You’ll have to leave.”

Not only that, they’d taken all of our stuff and started selling it, basically stole all the stuff in the house. The police watched them pack up and the police watched them drive away. I said “Thank you very much” to the policeman, and I went down to town. I got the very uneasy feeling that they thought I was on my way back to Texas and they were going to move right back in again. So I got my friend Bob Watson—Bob won’t mind me telling you this story—and he and I quietly drove all the way up to the cabin, back up in the hills that night. We parked a couple hundred yards from the house, and started walking over. Sure enough, the lights were on. We tiptoed back to the house, and they were carrying stuff back from their little Japanese pickup truck back into the house again.

I said, “Alright, two can play this game.” I was going to come back with the police the next morning, but I wanted to make sure they were there. I wanted to make sure they were there when I came back. So I crawled over to the house, and I took the little caps off the air fillers on the tires—and you take a little piece of gravel and you put it in the cap and screw it on just enough where it starts slowly letting the air out, and you go to the next one.

I was going around the truck putting these little pieces of gravel—this will come in handy some day I’m sure!—screwing them all the way around, and they opened the door and came back out to the truck for another load. Well, I slid underneath the truck—this really happened!!

And there I am, I’m under the truck; and these people had broken into my house and they were kind of shady. They’re walking around the truck, and they’re arguing with each other—they were having a marital dispute, and I’m right there under the truck listening to things they didn’t want me to hear!

They finally went back inside again, and I did the last tire and I left. The next morning I came back, and he was walking down the road with a bicycle pump, because all his tires were flat! I came back with the police and I said “They’re there again. You told them to leave. They came back in. Now we need to take some action.” And they took the action and got them out for the last time. And you know what I had to do? I had to get somebody good to move in. Or I knew I would just keep having problems with pot growers moving into my home.

That’s how it is with our lives, friends. Dwight Moody used to illustrate it this way. He’d hold up a cup before his congregation, and he’d say “What’s the best way to get the air out of this cup?” People would recommend the most absurd things like put a cap on top and create a vacuum and pull it all out—all these strange ideas—finally Moody would take a pitcher and he would pour water in the cup, and as the water went in the air went out!

Your life and mine are like that. You either are filled with the Living Water, or you’re filled with the Prince of the power of the air, which is the devil. The two do not cohabit very well. If you do not have your life filled with the Holy Spirit, you’ve got something else there. Let me touch on that real quick.

The Holy Spirit fills us in different degrees. Do we all agree that Jesus had the Holy Spirit in His life before His baptism? Do we agree that He had a special filling of the Holy Spirit after His baptism? So are there degrees to which the Holy Spirit fills us? Can you have a cup half full of water and half full of air? To the same degree that you empty yourself, to that degree the Lord will fill you. The Holy Spirit wants to fill everyone of us, but typically our lives are so full of other things. So we need the Holy Spirit to obey. We cannot do it unless He fills us.

You ever have trouble forgiving someone who’s hurt you? It’s humanly not possible to forgive. You’ve heard the expression “To err is human, to forgive is Divine.” It’s only through the Spirit of God that we can forgive each other. Because Christ came to forgive, and it’s His Spirit.

Romans 5:5 And hope maketh us not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us.

God sheds His love in our hearts, and how is that demonstrated? By the way we treat each other, and forgive each other. The Holy Spirit comes bringing comfort. This term is often misunderstood. When the Holy Spirit is called the great Comforter, that word is translated “parakletos”. It’s almost like, and I hesitate to say this, a defense attorney. In our setting these days, that’s not always the best thing you can be!

But in the Bible, they had a family attorney who is a friend of the family who would represent the family, and he was always available without charge. He would go to their defense. This was the comforter. He would bring comfort when you were in trouble, when someone was accusing you. You see, the devil is the accuser of the brethren. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter; He takes away the accusation. He defends us.

Acts 9:31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace, and were edified and walked in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit they were multiplied. The Holy Spirit brought peace and comfort. Is your life trouble? You remember on the stormy sea the disciples were terrified and Jesus got up and He calmed the sea and He said “Why were you afraid, oh ye of little faith?” When you have the Holy Spirit you can have peace in the middle of a storm.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives us not only peace and comfort, but joy. Real Christian joy does not come from worldly entertainment. It comes from the Holy Spirit that lets you know your sins are forgiven. One of the primary reasons God gives us the Spirit is to provide power. The Holy Spirit was given to empower you and me. That word comfort is a combination of two words— The Holy Spirit is to come with power. That’s the comfort He gives you. He gives you the power and the strength to resist everything the devil throws at you. That’s comforting. Let me explain how comforting that would be.

Suppose you knew your adversary was coming at you, and he had a tank. You might be uncomfortable until the Lord tapped you on the shoulder and said, “Don’t worry, we got nuclear missiles!” You’d be more comforted then, right? The Holy Spirit comforts you when you realize that it’s God’s power in you. You don’t have to worry about it in your own strength. Micah 3:8 But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of judgment and might to declare unto Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin.

The Holy Spirit gives us power to speak.

Zachariah 4:6 Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.

In other words, not by human might or power, but by the power of My Spirit—that’s how we overcome.

What is that power for? Why does God give us the Holy Spirit’s power? To obey; and to be His witnesses.

For witnessing.

Acts 1:8 Jesus makes it as clear as day: But you will receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto Me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and even unto the uttermost parts of the earth.

Many people think in Acts 2 God filled them with the Holy Spirit so they could speak with tongues.

Aw, come on!

That’s not what it’s for! God doesn’t give us the Holy Spirit so we can babble in tongues. God gives us the Holy Spirit so we can speak the Word with power.

That’s what they did. Whether it’s in English or another tongue. It’s for the purpose of spreading the gospel.

“I’m giving you power that you might be My witnesses.”

When you hear the preacher talk about sharing your faith, do some of you get nervous? Do some of you feel inadequate? You feel like you don’t know where to start, or how to do it?

I don’t either, and I’m the pastor! But the Holy Spirit gives you power to witness. He will enable you to do in His strength what you are incapable of doing in your own.

Never underestimate what God and you can do working together!

Exodus 27:20 And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure olive oil for light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.

The children of Israel were instructed that when they built the tabernacle, the sanctuary, they made this lamp with seven candlesticks. It was in the holy place. And they had these pipes of the lamps that were filled with olive oil.

Not just any kind of olive oil—but pure oil. And that oil kept the light burning. The purpose of the oil was to create the fire. The oil is the Holy Spirit. When someone was anointed as priest or prophet or king, they poured a horn of oil on their heads and it was a symbol of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

When we pray for the sick and we anoint them with oil, is there a lot of healing power in a little bit of olive oil on the head? There might be something there we don’t know about, but that’s not where it’s at. That oil represents the Holy Spirit, because who is it who heals us? It’s God’s Spirit in you. So there’s power in the Holy Spirit.

So there’s power in the Holy Spirit for witnessing. What was the oil for? To keep the light burning. What did Jesus say you and I should do? Set your light on a hill for all to see—let this little light of mine shine. It’s the oil that enables you to let your light shine.

The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to enable you to be a witness. It’s where the power comes from. Symbolized by fire.

Do you realize that you burnt your way to church this morning? How many of you drove an automobile? You came as a result of combustion. You don’t think so, I’ll ask my son to go out into the parking lot and disconnect your coil wire and see if you make it home! All you have to do is separate the spark from all that intricate machinery in your car, and without the spark you don’t go anywhere, do you.

And you know, sometimes our churches are like that. We’ve got all the machinery in position— It’s like we’ve got the canon ball; we’ve got the canon; we’ve got the powder. But all that stuff is useless. You just try to pull down a fort by throwing canon balls at the walls!

Without the fire to ignite it, it has no power in our churches. In many cases, what we need is a revival that will come from having the Holy Spirit. We’ve got programs, and we’ve got machinery, and all these techniques and methods and training. And that stuff is good, but if you don’t have the spark of the Holy Spirit you’re not going anywhere.

It’s probably the most desperate need in our lives individually and in our churches is God’s Spirit.

We need the Spirit to guide us.

Isaiah 30:21 And thine ear shall hear a word behind thee saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand or when ye turn to the left.

God’s Spirit will guide us.

John 16:13 However, when He the Spirit of truth is 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 tell you things to come.

Back a couple of hundred years ago, ships had compasses. But many ships had two compasses. They had one by the pilot who could look over the steering wheel, but it was not really dependable. Because they recognized that compasses can sometimes be interfered with by iron that was magnetized a little bit. Even back then, the ships had elements of iron.

They put a second compass up on the wooden mast. And every now and then they would have one of the mates go up the mast and check the compass that was higher up with the lower compass.

Well, the Holy Spirit is our higher compass, so to speak. Because you and I sometimes when we’re making decisions, our directions are influenced by our carnal desires—by what we want.

We say, “Yeah, I know God wants this! This is what God wants!” You’d be amazed how many times as a pastor I hear somebody say “Well, I think the Lord brought us together.” And I say, “You don’t think the Lord may be against this because you’re both married to someone else?!?”

You’d be amazed how many times I’ve heard people blame God for their following a earthly compass.

We need to ask the Holy Spirit to show us and then be willing to listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. He gives us ears to hear.

One other thing I need to touch on.

Jesus said the Holy Spirit will not speak on His own, but whatever He hears, He’ll speak. He will bring to your remembrance what Jesus has said.

You know, there are a lot of churches who put alot of emphasis on the Holy Spirit to the point that they think the Spirit of God will tell them something contrary to the Word of God.

I’ll show them in the Bible where it says that if we love God we will keep His commandments; and they will say, “Well, the Spirit is telling me we don’t need to keep the commandments anymore. I live by the Spirit and not by the book.”

O, that’s very dangerous, friends. The Holy Spirit will never, never, ever contradict the Word of God. His purpose is not to speak on His own. And you’d be amazed how many times I’ve heard somebody say in the name of the Holy Spirit, God showed me something new. The Spirit is giving me fresh information; this is an old letter, it’s dead.

The whole purpose of the Holy Spirit is to bring to remembrance what Christ has said and this is the record of what Jesus said.

Then finally, and believe me, I’ve not covered it all, one of the most important things that the Holy Spirit does for you and me is He cleans us. The Holy Spirit is God’s medium for cleansing us. The Holy Spirit applies the blood of Jesus to your heart and mine.

Romans 15:16 That I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified, [cleansed] by the Holy Spirit.

Again, 2 Thess. 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 and belief in the truth.

What is it that sanctifies us? God’s Spirit cleanses us, sets us aside through belief in the truth.

One more scripture. In the last days, everybody is going to have a spirit. In the last days, everybody will be sealed or marked, either by the Spirit of God or the spirit of the devil.

Revelation says one group will have the mark of the beast, the other group will have the seal of God. Everybody gets something, in the last days. I don’t have the time to go into all the details of a visible mark and what that entails, but there is something inner that God seals us with.

Ephesians 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit— Did you know that you and I can hurt the Spirit; He’s a person. —of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

It’s the Holy Spirit that seals us; it’s the Holy Spirit that marks us with the mark of God. And there is also something in the life more practical that can be seen; but obviously everybody lost has the spirit of Satan. Everybody saved has the Holy Spirit of God.

We need to ask the Lord to fill us and seal us with His Spirit. Have you ever thought that the reason that Jesus came was to bring the Holy Spirit to this world? Think about this for a minute. The Father sent Jesus to reveal Himself. Jesus came to show us the Father. Jesus then in turn sent the Spirit to reveal Himself.

Christ said “Not only am I going to be watching over you, I’m going to be in you.”

How is Jesus in each one of us? Through the Holy Spirit. The Father sent the Son to reveal the Father. The Son sent the Spirit to reveal the Son. And now the Spirit has sent you and me to reveal God to the world. It’s just a continual cycle.

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It’s to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him.

Did Jesus go? Did He? Did He send the Holy Spirit? There is an underlying thought that God is waiting for the appropriate time to fill us with the Holy Spirit—He’s not ready.

That’s a mistake. God sent the Holy Spirit. Jesus’ sacrifice was complete. The obstacle is not that God is not willing—but maybe we’re not available.

God is wanting and ready and willing; Jesus with His sacrifice purchased the right to fill everyone of us with the Holy Spirit—but we need to ask.

The Bible says that “if you being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more will the Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.”

There is a true story. Many years ago when some settlers were settling a valley in an undeveloped part of North America, and they were having some wars with the Indians. They had these forts stationed at different parts of the valley, and in the middle of the forts they had these long poles, and at the tops of the poles there was a big wire cage filled with flammable material.

If one of the forts was attacked at night, someone would climb the pole, ignite the torch and bring help from the other forts that could see the warning, the signal.

Well, one of the forts was attacked by some Indians who were shooting flaming and poisonous arrows. As soon as somebody tried to get up the pole, they’d start shooting arrows at the person. This one brave teenager started up the pole, and an arrow pierced him; and then another; and another. He kept going up and he wouldn’t stop until he had lit the flame that brought deliverance. Then he fell dead.

Did you ever consider that one of the main things that Jesus did when He came to our world and died for our sins was to restore the dimension of the Holy Spirit that you and I lost because of sin? When you and I sinned, it separated us from God the Spirit. We were created with God in us, and sin took God out of us. Jesus died on the cross to bring God back in us again, so that we can be restored to His image.

He made that sacrifice to provide the Holy Spirit for you and me, and how it must grieve the Father, Son and Holy Spirit when He’s done that—and we don’t have any room at all in our lives for God’s Spirit.

Would you like to invite the Holy Spirit to come in? You know, the devil will barge into your house. He has no manners at all. But Jesus through the Holy Spirit knocks on our hearts and He asks us to open the door.

If you’d like to invite Him in, why don’t you reach for your hymnal, turn to number 269 and let this hymn be our prayer. Let’s stand together as we sing.

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