By Greg Robbins
( e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org )
John 14:15-16 “If you love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”
Do you love Jesus? Then keep his commandments. Obey the commands of Jesus Christ if you love him. Do what he says and what he teaches. This is what it is to love Jesus. Jesus says that that the one who does not love him, also does not obey his sayings. (John 14:24). In this manner, we can determine whether or not we truly love Jesus. Why is this important to know? Because Jesus sent the Comforter to abide forever with those who love him.
There is a real danger that people think that they have the Holy Spirit, but really they do not. First of all, the Holy Spirit is holy. So if he truly dwells in you, then you too will be holy. The Holy Spirit cannot and will not dwell in wicked people. Second, Jesus said that the condition for him to pray that the Father sends the Comforter to you, is that you love him and obey his commandments.
It is Jesus who prays for the Father to send the Holy Spirit, and to give him to you. Today people think that THEY are the ones to pray and receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus says that we are to meet the conditions of loving him, by obeying his commandments, and then HE will pray to the Father to give the Comforter to us.
Many people misunderstand the difference between the Holy Spirit dwelling with them, and being in them. You see the Holy Spirit can dwell with you and still not be in you. The world cannot receive the Holy Spirit. If a person is worldly and sinful, they cannot receive the Holy Spirit to live inside of them. Again, Jesus let us know that the condition to receiving the Holy Spirit, is to love him, by obeying his commandments.
John 14:17 “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.”
Remember that King Saul prophesied with the prophets all day and all night. He did this with murder in his heart. He came to Naioth in Ramah seeking David to slay him. Notice in this passage that all the messengers that Saul sent, and Saul himself, prophesied. It says that “the Spirit of God was UPON them”. It does not say that the Spirit of God was INSIDE of them. This is found in 1 Samuel 19:18-24. So it is with people today too. The Holy Spirit deals with them and maybe even comes upon them. They may prophecy as well, but still the Holy Spirit is not inside of them.
I got saved in January of 1980. At that time I was taught that the Holy Spirit lived inside of me. I believed that and taught it to other people. My Christian life was a rollercoaster. I couldn’t cease sinning no matter how hard I tried, or what extreme measures I took. This continued until March 29, 2009 when the Holy Spirit truly came to live inside of me. I remember hearing a booming voice inside of me (not outside or physically, but in my thoughts). This booming voice said, “You are now sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise.” From that day to this, I have lived a stable Christian life. The sinful lifestyle that I once lived, I no longer live. Since that time I have never backslid. Something stops me every single time that I go in that direction. Am I perfect? Not even close. But no one can honestly look at me and call me a hypocrite either. From that moment to this, the sins of the flesh have dried up. The few times that I have briefly stumbled, I have immediately ran away from it. I can no longer backslide, because the Holy Spirit now dwells in me, and has since March 29, 2009. It is one thing to have doctrinal beliefs, it is quite another thing to have a true and real EXPERIENCE. You may doctrinally disagree with me, but do you experience the Holy Spirit living inside of you? Are you living free of the sins of the flesh? I do. How about you?
I have a problem with the doctrine of being baptized with the Holy Spirit and speaking with other tongues. I know through personal experience and through observation, that the people who adhere to this doctrine still struggle with, and are slaves to the sins of the flesh. I now know and experience freedom from the sins of the flesh, by truly having the Holy Spirit living inside of me. The Holy Spirit is holy, and cannot live inside of people who are still slaves to the sins of the flesh. Remember that Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would come to dwell inside of his disciples FOREVER. That is why once he comes to dwell in a person, they can no longer practise the sins of the flesh or backslide.
I remember that sometime in the 1990’s I was seeking for the Holy Spirit to sanctify me. I was reading material written by the early Salvation Army leaders. They were once upon a time a worldwide fire of revival. They were sold out completely to Jesus and lived sanctified, holy lives. Their motto was “Blood and Fire”. I wanted this experience. So for about a week or more, I spent hour after hour calling out for the Lord to sanctify me. One afternoon as I was doing this, all of a sudden, it was as if the heavens momentarily opened up, and I heard a voice telling me of two sins I wasn’t willing to give up. It told me to do the two things that I wasn’t doing. I was filled with fear and terror. I couldn’t even pray again for quite a long time, for fear that I would experience that again. The Lord touched me with his holiness in that moment, and since I was still living in sin, the effect was one of terror. A truly holy person experiences joy, peace, and love when the Lord reveals himself to them. Anyways, the Lord shut me up and let me know clearly, that I had to cease those sins before he would sanctify me. Interestingly enough, in March of 2009, I had just ceased doing the second of those two sins. It was at that moment that the Holy Spirit came to abide in me.
John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
This is an awesome verse! The Holy Spirit shall teach you. Are you Bible taught or Spirit taught? What I mean is, Do you have learning of just the letter of the Bible and it’s doctrines? or, Has the Holy Spirit himself taught you? There is a world of difference between the two. There are thousands of different doctrines and Christian groups today. They all teach different things. The reason is obvious. They are letter taught and not Spirit taught.
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.”
There is no disagreement with God. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit all agree. So if people are truly Spirit taught, they will all learn and teach the same thing. This is so very obviously not the case today. So the deduction of thought from this, is that people today are letter taught and not Spirit taught. The good news is that anyone who meets the conditions set forth by Jesus, can and will receive the promise of the Father, and the blessed Holy Spirit will come to dwell in them, and he will teach them all things, and bring all things that Jesus has said to their remembrance. Praise the Lord!