Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Personality Of The Holy Spirit


First Quarter 2017 Adult Sabbath School Lesson
"The Personality Of The Holy Spirit"
January 28, 2017

For He said, "Surely they are My people,
Children who will not lie."
So he became their Savior.
In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the Angel of His Presence saved them;
In His love and in His pity He redeemed them;
And He bore them and carried them
All the days of old.
But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit;
So He turned Himself against them as an enemy,
And He fought against them.
Then he remembered the days of old,
Moses and his people, saying:
"Where is He who brought them up out of the sea
With the shepherd of His flock?
Where is He who put His Holy Spirit within them…Isaiah 63:8-11, NKJV.
Just a few hours ago I was driving home on snow-covered roads near our house. Coming to an intersection, I found two of our neighbors bending over the still-warm form of their precious two- year-old black Labrador Retriever, Sadie. This dog, with "not an unfriendly bone in her body," according to her owners Bill and Liz, had been bounding excitedly back toward them on the snow and did not see the pickup truck coming across her path. The fact that she was killed instantly was small consolation to our bereaved friends. They were sobbing out their sorrow. Placing her body in the back of our Suburban, we gave Bill a ride back to their home, as Liz brought home their other
two dogs. Tears came to our eyes as we thought of this precious dog, who had shown her happy friendship to us so many times on our walks, now alive no more.
And then it hit me. There is another Person feeling this pain.
The Holy Spirit is a Person, exhibiting traits of "love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."--Gal. 5:22,23.
No need to get bogged down in analyzing what personality type here. He has the perfect personality. A Divine, not human, personality:
The Holy Spirit is Christ's representative, but divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally. Therefore it was for their interest that He should go to the Father, and send the Spirit to be His successor on earth. No one could then have any advantage because of his location or his personal contact with Christ. By the Spirit the Saviour would be accessible to all. In this sense He would be nearer to them than if He had not ascended on high.--The Desire of Ages, p. 669.
God is love. Christ was given to humanity out of love, and He loves us as His brethren. The Holy Spirit is love. He longs to minister to us all the blessings of Christ's life and death on our behalf. But He can be turned away even as He seeks to bless and comfort.
And that means the Holy Spirit feels pain. In Divine fellowship with Christ, both He and the Father experience being touched with the feelings of our infirmities. But there is more than this.
The Holy Spirit is moment by moment actively fulfilling the Word of God in keeping every part of the creation intact.
The Bible shows us God in His high and holy place, not in a state of inactivity, not in silence and solitude, but surrounded by ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of holy beings, all waiting to do His will. Through these messengers He is in active communication with every part of His dominion. By His Spirit He is everywhere present. Through the agency of His Spirit and His angels He ministers to the children of men.--MH 417.
Each heart-beat, each breath, is the inspiration of Him who breathed into the nostrils of Adam the breath of life,--the inspiration of the ever-present God, the great I AM. The great and infinite God lives not unto Himself, but for the benefit and blessing of every being and every object of His creation.--AUCR, June 1, 1900.
When something goes wrong, when a beloved pet or a family member dies, or when any sin or rebellion occurs, the Holy Spirit is directly and forcibly pained. If we could but constantly be aware of His personal presence in our lives, perhaps a look at the cross would bring the repentance we so desperately need.
This is part of the intercession of the Holy Spirit for us - to bring us in our humanity into that Divine fellowship with the Godhead so that we see the cross for much more than a one-time event in history.
The cross is a revelation to our dull senses of the pain that, from its very inception, sin has brought to the heart of God. Every departure from the right, every deed of cruelty, every failure of humanity to reach His ideal, brings grief to Him.--Education, p. 263.
In the lesson this week we see the Holy Spirit as the Divine Comforter, Helper, Intercessor for our prayers, Spirit of Truth, and Teacher of Righteousness. All of these descriptions are of a Person ministering rather than a nebulous, impersonal force.
The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God."
--Manuscript 20, 1906.
God has always desired to put His Holy Spirit within us, to guide us as He did Christ, the second Adam. Jesus in faith submitted to the continual indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is the Faith of Jesus experience that we need, corporately and individually.
How was the Person of the Holy Spirit as Christ's representative treated at Minneapolis and thereafter? How much pain did we cause God then, and how much do we cause Him today? What can we and should we do about it?
On many occasions the Holy Spirit did work, but those who resisted the Spirit of God at Minneapolis were waiting for a chance to travel over the same ground again, because their spirit was the same. Afterward, when they had evidence heaped upon evidence, some were convicted, but those who were not softened and subdued by the Holy Spirit's working, put their own interpretation upon every manifestation of the grace of God, and they have lost much. They pronounced in their heart and soul and words that this manifestation of the Holy Spirit was fanaticism and delusion. They stood like a rock, the waves of mercy flowing upon and around them, but beaten back by their hard and wicked hearts, which resisted the Holy Spirit's working. Had this been received, it would have made them wise unto salvation; holier men, prepared to do the work of God with sanctified ability. But all the universe of heaven witnessed the disgraceful treatment of Jesus Christ, represented by the Holy Spirit. Had Christ been before them, they would have treated him in a manner similar to that in which the Jews treated Christ.--1888 p. 1477,1478.
The Lord has been calling his people. In a most marked manner he has revealed his divine presence. But the message and the messengers have not been received but despised. I longed that those who have greatly needed the message of divine love would hear Christ's knock at the door of the heart, and let the heavenly guest enter. But at the hearts of some Jesus has knocked in vain. In rejecting the message given at Minneapolis, men committed sin. They have committed far greater sin by retaining for years the same hatred against God's messengers, by rejecting the truth that the Holy Spirit has been urging home. By making light of the message given, they are making light of the word of God. Every appeal rejected, every entreated unheeded, furthers the work of heart-hardening, and places them in the seat of the scornful.--1888 p. 913,914.
God designed to work mightily by his Holy Spirit in that Minneapolis meeting, for all who would submit their way and their will to him. He would make that occasion a most precious school for all who would be teachable. However weak and imperfect in themselves, if they realized their weakness and their spiritual ignorance, they would receive divine strength and enlightenment. In that time of perplexity, if instead of sporting, jesting, and ridicule, there had been earnest prayer and an effort to promote harmony and unity, most precious victories would have been gained; which would have placed the work years ahead, and saved many souls. But the giving up to Satan's arrangements, and acting out Satanic attributes on that occasion, caused the record to be entered in the books of heaven, "Untrustworthy when important interests are at stake."

God would have his people sensible at all times, moving as under the eyes of the whole heavenly universe. Then when differences arise, there will be a burden of responsibility upon every soul. The fear of God will lead to solemnity, care taking, and earnest prayer, not to lightness and trifling, not to playing upon words, not to jesting and joking. All will be weighted with a sense of the consequences depending upon their own individual actions and decisions. If all the brethren at Minneapolis had been seeking the Lord with humility of mind, there would have been no conflict, no clashing, no uncourteous words, nothing unwise advanced. But men who were capable of being entrusted with great interests, desired to reveal their executive ability in guiding the vessel through the breakers to the harbor. They did not wait for divine guidance.

After we left Minneapolis, the battle had to be fought over and over again. Time was lost, souls lost, lives imperiled, all because men felt sufficient in themselves, and were not careful to keep the way of the Lord. The testing process is going on with every individual. Every movement is made before the whole heavenly universe. Whatever position men occupy, just as soon as they lift up their souls unto vanity they are left to make their own way without the help of God. He cannot co-operate with them.--1888 p. 1229,1230.
Those who, since the Minneapolis meeting, have had the privilege of listening to the words spoken by the messengers of God, Elder A.T. Jones, Prof. Prescott, Brn. E. J. Waggoner, O. A. Olsen, and many others, at the campmeetings and ministerial institutes, have had the invitation, Come, for all things are now ready. Come to the supper prepared for you." Light, heaven's light, has been shining. The trumpet has given a certain sound. Those who have made their various excuses for neglecting to respond to the call, have lost much. 

The light has been shining upon justification by faith and the imputed righteousness of Christ. Those who receive and act in the light given, will, in their teachings, give evidence that the message of Christ crucified, a risen Saviour ascended into the heavens to be our advocate, is the wisdom and power of God in the conversion of souls, bringing them back to their loyalty to Christ. These are our themes,--Christ crucified for our sins, Christ risen from the dead, Christ our intercessor before God; and closely connected with these is the office-work of the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ, sent forth with divine power and gifts for men.
The call is sounding, Come, for all things are now ready. Those who will be worked by the Holy Spirit bear the living testimony, and have not only a theory of the truth, but are God's witnesses. These will not continually follow the meetings, that they themselves may be benefited, by hearing more and still more, But in humble trust and living faith they will search the Scriptures, for Christ says, They testify of me. They will walk in the light they receive, and will communicate to others the precious truth. As they endeavor to impart that which they have received, more light will certainly shine upon them. In holding forth the word of life to others, they co-operate with the heavenly agencies, who are sent to impart the power of the truth.
--1888 p.1455,1456.
Shall we not allow the Holy Spirit to have His way with us today? It is a personal invitation!

~Todd Guthrie