Special Insights No. 9
Second Quarter 2006
The Holy Spirit
(Produced by the Editorial Board of the 1888 Message Study Committee)
The Christians Guide
Question: Who is the Holy Spirit?
Answer: We have learned throughout these Lessons that the Holy Spirit is not an impersonal it, but is a He with a capital H. He is God, a Person of the Godhead.
Question: The Father is the Father and the Son is the Son; but what is the function of the Holy Spirit?
Answer: Jesus introduces Him to the disciples as another Comforter (John ). Another links the Holy Spirit with Himself. He has just told the disciples that He, Jesus, must go and leave them. He has been to them a Comforter these years He has been with them, but now in His going away He will send this Another. So this new Comforter will be to them all that Jesus has been to them. Therefore they must not feel like orphans. I will come to you, He says (vs. 18). The Holy Spirit is not identical with Jesus for He is Another, they are two Persons of the Godheadthe Son and the Holy Spirit, but still they are One, for it is I who will come to you.
Question: But how can that be? The disciples were with Jesus; they ate with Him, walked with Him, bought groceries for Him (John 4:8), etc. How can He come to them as He says, and yet they wont be with Him in the same way as they were?
Answer: The Comforter is an awkward (but best possible) translation of the Greek word Jesus used: parakletos. Its from two words, para, which we have in parallel (like two railroad tracks that are always together); and kletos, which means called. So the Holy Spirit is the One who is called to sit down beside you and never, never leave you. (Believe that with your whole heart, and you can never fall into depression as so many do!)
Question: Does this mean that we are actually closer to Christ today, by faith, than the disciples were 2000 years ago?
Answer: Precisely. Yesthrough the Holy Spirit.
Question: What did Jesus mean, that the Father will send [the Holy Spirit] in My name?
Answer: He is the true Vicegerent of Christ, His only true Representative on earth. Any man who claims that position is self-deceived; but Revelation declares that before the Loud Cry is ended and probation closes, some who uphold that position will be converted in the Loud Cry message (Rev. 15:2).
Question: Does the Holy Spirit always whisper sweet cuddly, soft things to us?
Answer: No, that would not be true love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend (Proverbs 27:6), and the Comforter is above all, a Friend. The Father has specified what His first work for us must be: And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin (John 16:8).
Question: How could a sharp, painful conviction of my sin be a comfort to me? Isnt it fun to deaden the sharp pain of a lethal cancer?
Answer: Yes, but such is never Good News, for the cancer will kill you unless it is removed stat. To sense the conviction of sin is the evidence that you have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit! It is not necessarily a sense of euphoria. The you that Jesus speaks of is not only us as individuals; it is the body of Christ, His church in a corporate sense.
Question: Does the Holy Spirit teach us especially in this final Day of Atonement?
Answer: Yes. If
Question: In the constant battle between the Holy Spirit and our flesh, who is the stronger?
Answer: It is an unpopular truthbut the Holy Spirit is stronger than our fallen, sinful flesh! Thus there is no excuse for us to continue living in sin! In fact, we cannot do so, unless we reject His guidance (cf. Gal. , 17, where we read that we cannot do the evil things that our flesh would prompt us to doIF we simply walk in the [Holy] Spirit (vs. 16), that is, let Him hold us by the hand (Isa. 41:13).
Question: Is it possible that the corporate body of the church can resist the leading of the Holy Spirit as He seeks to guide [the church] into all truth?
Answer: It was through the Holy Spirit that the Lord in His great mercy sent a most precious message to His people through Brethren Waggoner and Jones in 1888 (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 91), and Ellen White declares over a hundred times that we rejected His leading as the Jews rejected Christ. She even said that we insulted the Holy Spirit. Repentance is our only possible response! And that precisely is the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts -31).
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