Posts Tagged John 16: 7

Fill ‘er Up!

Ephesians 5: 18

Be filled with the Spirit.

If you thought yesterday’s scriptures and the miraculous acts of ordinary people was something, just wait until the New Testament revelation of the Holy Spirit unfolds for you. We saw from the Old Testament scriptures how the Spirit would settle “upon” individuals. When the Spirit came upon people, they were emboldened and empowered. People who were moments before afraid became great leaders, prophets and miracle workers under the power that came upon them with the Holy Spirit.

The story of the New Testament is quite different though. In the New Testament, a different word appears in the context of the Holy Spirit working with and through people. Whereas the Old Testament regales us with stories of the Holy Spirit being “on” people, the New Testament transitions us to the Holy Spirit “infilling” us. He is now in us rather than upon us. There are only three Old Testament scriptures about someone being filled with the Spirit while there are twelve New Testament scriptures about being filled. Likewise, there are very few New Testament scriptures about the Spirit being upon a person. One notable exception is Jesus.

In Matthew 3: 16 is the account of Jesus’ baptism. When he came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descended and alit upon him. Shortly thereafter, Jesus was led, by the Spirit, into the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan. Luke’s description of this event says Jesus was “filled” with the Spirit (Luke 4: 1). So, which is it? Did the Spirit alight upon him, as in the Old Testament or did he fill Jesus? I believe the answer is that Jesus, again, is the exception to the rule. Jesus was an Old Testament Jew, but he ushered in the New Testament. In this sense, he was the bridge between how the Holy Spirit interacted with people in the Old Testament and how we are supposed to interact with him now.

At Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him. That language is clear and consistent. A short time later Jesus is described as being filled with the Spirit. In the intervening time Jesus bridged the gap between the Old and the New. He was the conduit through which the Old and New Testaments were reconciled. In him, the Father found the unity of paradigms which orchestrated the fulfillment of His promise to Israel, namely, the pouring out of the Spirit.

We have the greatest of all situations in Christ. He told his disciples that it was to their advantage that he depart because in his leaving he would send us another helper who would be with us and in us forever, the Holy Spirit (John 16: 7, John 14: 16). In this new dispensation the Spirit does not rest upon us for a time and then leave. He is with us and in us all of the time. He is as close as your next breath. In fact, you and he can be so intertwined that he is part of your DNA and that is where we want to go.

The Holy Spirit is who made Jesus the miracle worker he was. It was the Holy Spirit which made Jesus so attractive that he could simply say, “Follow me” and people would leave their occupations and follow him. The Holy Spirit was the power of articulation that gave Jesus perfect teachings and wisdom in his speech. How do I know? “Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner (John 5: 19). Now, the one who empowered Jesus to do all that he did, is available to us. We can be as intimately intertwined with the Holy Spirit as Jesus was which means that we can be led as Jesus was led and we can do everything he did (John 14: 12).

(See Also: Exodus 31: 3, Exodus 35: 31, Micah 4: 8, Matthew 4: 1, Luke 1: 15, Luke 1: 41, Acts 2: 4, Acts 4: 8, Acts 4: 31, Acts 6: 3, Acts 6: 5, Acts 7: 55, Acts 11: 24)

Wax Seals

Ephesians 1: 13

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the holy Spirit of promise.

I know that was a lot of text to take in so we will focus on parts of it. The first thing I want you to see is the companion word to the Holy Spirit. Paul calls him the Spirit of promise. If you look up all the references to the Holy Spirit in the Bible you will find that he is often linked with the word promise and this is not the only place he is called the Spirit of promise.

Way back in the Old testament times, God promised the Holy Spirit (see Joel 2: 28). He wasn’t the only one to promise us the gift of the Holy Spirit. In John 16: 7 Jesus said that it was to our advantage that he leave because in leaving he could and would send to us the Holy Spirit. So, the Holy Spirit has been promised you by both the Father and the Son. Now, some people say that receiving the Holy Spirit is automatic. Maybe, but I have noticed that the gifts of the Father are not usually automatic. We have to reach out and receive them. Receiving anything from the Father is an intentional act.

Regardless of your position on that argument the end is the same. If you have any doubt as to whether you have received the promise of the Holy Spirit, all you have to do is ask the Father and reach out, by faith, or in faith, and receive. God is not withholding the Spirit from you. In the same message to the disciples Jesus said, “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it “(John 14: 14). So the promise is for you and receiving the promises of God are as easy and reaching out to Jesus, believing he will give what you ask.

I also want you to see from this passage that you are “sealed” in someone. Who is that someone? It is Jesus. You are sealed in Jesus and the Holy Spirit is the sealant. Often, when I hear about seals I think of the old timey wax seals people used for letters and documents. Imagine, if you will, an envelope. On the back of the envelope there is a seal of red wax and in the center is the insignia of the one who sealed the envelope. The envelope is Jesus. The seal bears the initials “HS” and the content of the envelope, well, that is you. You are sealed in Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can break that seal. That is powerful imagery to me. We are completely enveloped in the loving, protective embrace of Jesus with the Holy Spirit making an impenetrable barrier from the world outside.

Paul’s writing can be convoluted and sometimes a bit difficult. Afterall, he was trained as a lawyer. However, I also believe he chose his words selectively, but not only that. He wrote under the unction of the Holy Spirit so when he wrote that we were sealed in Jesus by the Holy Spirit of promise, I think he used those specific words in order to reveal important elements of our life IN Christ. Sometimes you have to meditate on Paul’s writings for the meanings to become apparent but it is so worth it.

Fertile Desert

Isaiah 32: 16 -18

The Lord’s justice will dwell in the desert, his righteousness live in the fertile field. The fruit of that righteousness will be peace; its effect will be quietness and confidence forever. My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

Glory! Hallelujah! Does this strike you as good news? Or, perhaps, great news! I can even sweeten this by telling you when this is to happen. This is for you today.

The problem with many Old Testament verses is that people stumble over the timing. That is understandable. I will tell you that most of them are fulfilled in Jesus if you ever have doubt. The great thing about today’s verse is that Isaiah actually told us when this would become a reality. In verse 15 he disclosed that this change in the environment, this change in the world would come when “the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high.” Yahoo!

Jesus promised us another. In fact, he said it was better for us that he leave earth so that he could send the helper (John 16: 7). He told his disciples not to leave Jerusalem until they received that which was promised, or in other words, the Holy Spirit (Acts 1: 4 – 5). Then, on the day of Pentecost, the promise was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit was poured out from on high. You and I are not living in the time of which Isaiah spoke. This prophecy is for our time. We should take great joy in this good news.

Isaiah saw that because of the coming of the Holy Spirit we could live in peace and righteousness. This concept is very in keeping with other New Testament text. Paul wrote that we have become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5: 21) and did you know that Jesus is the Prince of Peace? Additionally, when he left earth, he left us his peace (John 14: 27). Increasingly, we are seeing all of the pieces fitting together. It shouldn’t be any surprise, though, because all of this was part of God’s master plan. He knew when He whispered in Isaiah’s ear that this day would come and that what He told Isaiah would be fulfilled in our sight.

There is a key to unlocking all of this though. The key is the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that he is the “Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you” (John 14: 17). It is the “in you” piece that is so revolutionary. The disciples knew of the Holy Spirit but Jesus was telling them that when he went away and sent the outpouring of the Spirit, then the Spirit would come to not only live with us but in us. This continuing presence of the Holy Spirit is a game changer. The sad truth, though, is that it is only a game changer for those who recognize the truth and embrace it. He was sent as our helper so we have to let him do his job.

In him is this peace, confidence, righteous enjoyment and all of the other great and wonderful things that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have worked to bring us. Their plan installs each of them in our lives as partners. Isaiah saw the desert turned into a fertile field. That desert is our lives and hearts. They have been renewed in Christ and we have a joyous and victorious reality to live.

Prayer Time

Daniel 6: 10


And he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God.
This verse used to really impress me. I was, and still am, humbled by Daniel’s devotion to God and to prayer. However, I have a new revelation of prayer, and perhaps you do too. Last week we considered 1 Thessalonians 5: 17 which says, “Pray without ceasing.” Well, if praying three times a day is impressive, how much more is praying without ceasing?

While I still applaud Daniel, it is true that this is an Old Testament view of prayer. Prayer no longer need be a formalized, ritualistic event. Don’t misunderstand me, there is nothing wrong with going into your prayer closet, kneeling or whatever you do, and praying. It’s all good and even to be encouraged but if you are going to move into new dispensation prayer and pray without ceasing then you are going to have to adopt some other methodologies. Consider Ephesians 6:18: “pray at all times”. What? How are we to do that?

The key is in the words I did not reveal to you from Ephesians 6: 18. The rest of the quote is, “in the Spirit.” There is our super-power. You see, in Daniel’s time the Spirit of God had not been poured out yet. We need to learn to walk in the Spirit, worship in the Spirit and pray in the Spirit. This is exactly what Jesus had in mind when he said, “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you” (John 16: 7). The apostles must have thought Jesus was crazy in saying that it was to their advantage that he leave but Jesus understood about life in the Spirit. He knew what it would mean to us and how the Spirit’s coming would change everything.

So there we are. Rather than praying three times a day, pray all day; pray without ceasing. Do you think this will change your life?

The Spirit

John 7: 39

But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
But now the Son of God is glorified and seated at the right hand of God. Now the Spirit is a gift to all those who believe in the Son. The Old Testament people met God though they knew very little about the coming Messiah. They only knew that He was promised. In the New Testament, we meet Jesus, the Messiah; the once promised, now come Son of God. Jesus then told about the promise of the Holy Spirit. He even said that it was to our advantage that He go away so that He could send us the “Helper” (John 16: 7). There were many who did not recognize the promised Messiah once he came. Let us not miss the promise that has come in our age, the promised Holy Spirit. He is our helper and our teacher and we really need His help. Call upon Him just as you would our Father and our Lord Jesus to help you in a time of need. Let Him lead you and guide you into all knowledge. He is your constant help in a time of need. Call Him.

Destiny Thinking

Romans 8: 5

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

So the question is, “What am I thinking about?” Is this convicting or what? I must admit that the greater part of my thoughts in a day are about things of the world rather than spiritual things. I am thinking about my work, my family, my workout, my diet, leisure, and on and on. What percentage of the day am I really considering my heavenly Father, big brother and the Spirit of God? How often am I considering Dad’s goals and wishes? In truth, the things of the Spirit and prayer are taking up a smaller portion of my day than the things of the flesh. How, then, can I truly say that I am a spiritual person. Those whose thoughts are predominantly of the world and the things of the flesh are those who are “according to the flesh”.

I believe we are all called to be people of the Spirit. That is why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. Before he left the earth he said that it was to our advantage that he leave so that he could send the Spirit (John 16: 7). We are the New Testament temples because the Holy Spirit has come to make his abode in us. We were destined to have our being in him. Far too easily, though, the world comes to dominate our thoughts and everyday existence. Perhaps today’s verse acts as a reminder of who we are in Christ Jesus, who we are in the redemptive power of the Lord Jesus. However, we get to choose whether we will stand in the office preserved for us. We get to decide whether we will live according to the flesh or according to the Spirit. With that power comes responsibility. That is always the rub with the allocation of power.

Where we live our lives, whether in the flesh or in the Spirit begins, as it always must, with our thoughts. That is why David prayed for God to make the meditation of his heart acceptable in God’s sight (Psalm 19: 14). David realized that his heart and mind must hold onto the thoughts of God if he was to be successful. Paul taught this same idea in Romans 12: 2, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” If we are going to live our destinies then we must marshal the power of our minds and direct it towards God. We will have to intentionally seek direction and assistance in not only what we do but in what we think and think about. As a man thinks, so is he (Proverb 23: 7).

I am convinced that if we will invest our thinking time and power on the things of God, we will do all things better, even the things that are worldly, like our jobs. Our destinies are tied up in God’s thoughts. Think on Him and his ways and fulfill your destiny!

Seek and Find

Ezekiel 39: 29

“And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel,” declares the Lord.

Wow! You have God’s promise that He will show you His face. Isn’t that what He says? As you think on this verse, don’t get hung up on the language “the house of Israel” because we have seen in Joel 2: 28 that God said he was going to pour out His Spirit on all mankind. Besides, if you want to know the whole truth, you have been adopted into the family of Abraham so this definitely applies to you.

I really love how God had this all planned and how He was anticipating the pouring out of His Spirit. I can almost sense His eager anticipation. The sending of the Holy Spirit really was a huge deal. I often think that the modern church does not understand what a major event this really was. I have said it before – I believe we are living in the age of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament was mostly about Yahweh, God the Father. It looked forward to the coming of the Messiah and foretold that happy event. The New Testament is mostly about Jesus and the effect of His coming. Jesus foretells of the coming of another. He is looking forward and telling us of the new age to come. In fact he said, “It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you but if I go, I will send Him to you (John 16: 7). I can well imagine myself disagreeing with Jesus if he told me it was to my advantage that he go away. None the less, Jesus understood these things and knew the huge effect sending the Holy Spirit into the world would and could have.

This, then, is the age of the Holy Spirit. There is so little we know about him, so much we can learn. We don’t teach, preach or talk about him nearly as much as we should and there is such huge revelation just awaiting those who will seek it. God said He wouldn’t have to hide His face from us anymore because of the poured out Spirit. How huge is that? It is bigger than I can teach because I certainly have not grasped the enormity of God’s statement and the truths behind it.

I want to encourage you to seek the Spirit of God. He is the third person of the trinity so he is God. You can pray to him, you should talk to him. Invite him to fill your home and your body. Invite him to permeate your workplace. Let’s all invite him to be with us and to teach us. There is a great awakening, a mammoth revelation just waiting for us. Seek and find.

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