Sabbath, August 9, 2014

“A revival need be expected only in answer to prayer. While the people are so destitute of God’s Holy Spirit, they cannot appreciate the preaching of the Word; but when the Spirit’s power touches their hearts, then the discourses given will not be without effect. Guided by the teachings of God’s Word, with the manifestation of His Spirit, in the exercise of sound discretion, those who attend our meetings will gain a precious experience, and returning home, will be prepared to exert a healthful influence.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 121.

The Holy Spirit’s work

1. What is the compelling power behind every true revival?

Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.

1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.

“Only the mind and heart cleansed by the sanctification of the Spirit can discern heavenly things.

“Brethren, in the name of the Lord I call upon you to awake to your duty. Let your hearts be yielded to the power of the Holy Spirit, and they will be made susceptible to the teaching of the word. Then you will be able to discern the deep things of God.

“May God bring His people under the deep movings of His Spirit! May He lead them to arouse, to see their peril, and to prepare for what is coming upon the earth!” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 8, p. 301.

2. Can anyone, by nature, be a Christian? Why, or why not? What brings about the change from darkness to light?

1 Corinthians 2:14, 11 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned…. 11 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.

“It is impossible for us, of ourselves, to escape from the pit of sin in which we are sunken. Our hearts are evil, and we cannot change them…. Education, culture, the exercise of the will, human effort, all have their proper sphere, but here they are powerless…. There must be a power working from within, a new life from above, before men can be changed from sin to holiness.” –Steps to Christ, p. 18.

The former and latter rains

3. What did Jesus do before He sent the Holy Spirit in full measure?

John 20:21, 22 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.

“Before He left His disciples, Christ ‘breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.’ John 20:22. Again He said, ‘Behold, I send the promise of My Father upon you.’ Luke 24:49. But not until after the ascension was the gift received in its fullness. Not until through faith and prayer the disciples had surrendered themselves fully for His working, was the outpouring of the Spirit received…. The gifts are already ours in Christ, but their actual possession depends upon our reception of the Spirit of God.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 327.

4. Before the Holy Spirit is poured out in fullness in the latter rain, what must first be received? What does this accomplish?

Hosea 6:3 Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.

Joel 2:23 Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

“Many have in a great measure failed to receive the former rain. They have not obtained all the benefits that God has thus provided for them. They expect that the lack will be supplied by the latter rain. When the richest abundance of grace shall be bestowed, they intend to open their hearts to receive it. They are making a terrible mistake…. It was by the confession and forsaking of sin, by earnest prayer and consecration of themselves to God, that the early disciples prepared for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The same work, only in greater degree, must be done now.” –Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 507.

Receiving the Holy Spirit

5. What must the earnest believer in Laodicea do to have clear spiritual eyesight?

Revelation 3:18, last part … And anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

“Therefore we need to be exceedingly careful, and walk humbly before God, that we may have spiritual eyesalve that we may distinguish the working of the Holy Spirit of God from the working of that spirit that would bring in wild license and fanaticism. ‘By their fruits ye shall know them.’ Matthew 7:20. Those who are really beholding Christ will be changed into His image, even by the Spirit of the Lord, and will grow up to the full stature of men and women in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit of God will inspire men with love and purity; and refinement will be manifest in their characters.” –Selected Messages, book 1, p. 142.

“The eyesalve is that wisdom and grace which enables us to discern between the evil and the good, and to detect sin under any guise. God has given His church eyes which He requires them to anoint with wisdom, that they may see clearly;… The divine eyesalve will impart clearness to the understanding….

“Oh, that you individually would apply the eyesalve, that you might see your defects of character and realize how God regards your love of the world, which is crowding out the love of God.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 4, pp. 88, 89, 615.

6. What else must one do to receive the Holy Spirit?

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

“Since this is the means by which we are to receive power, why do we not hunger and thirst for the gift of the Spirit? Why do we not talk of it, pray for it, and preach concerning it? The Lord is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to those who serve Him than parents are to give good gifts to their children.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 50.

Effects of the Holy Spirit’s actions

7. What will bring the Holy Spirit into one’s life? Have you had this experience?

John 3:3, 5-8 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God…. 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

“While the wind is itself invisible, it produces effects that are seen and felt. So the work of the Spirit upon the soul will reveal itself in every act of him who has felt its saving power. When the Spirit of God takes possession of the heart, it transforms the life. Sinful thoughts are put away, evil deeds are renounced; love, humility, and peace take the place of anger, envy, and strife. Joy takes the place of sadness, and the countenance reflects the light of heaven…. Then that power which no human eye can see creates a new being in the image of God.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 173.

“The influence of the Spirit upon the human mind will regulate it after the divine order. But the Spirit does not work in a manner and power beyond the human agent’s power of resistance.” –(Letter 10, 1897) Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 4, p. 1159.

8. How will it be seen that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in a person?

Galatians 5:22-24 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

“As you receive the Spirit of Christ–the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others–you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 68.

Necessity of the Holy Spirit to reach souls

9. lf the Holy Spirit inspires someone, why can nothing stop him from witnessing?

Acts 4:19, 20 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. 20 For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

“The truth is to be set forth in the power of the Holy Spirit. This alone can make our words effective. Only through the Spirit’s power will victory be gained and held. The human agent must be worked by the Spirit of God.” –Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 396.

“If we are forbidden by men to do this work, then we may say, as did the disciples, ‘Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.’” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 69.

10. What must every Christian do as earth’s history draws to a close? Why?

Colossians 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Ephesians 5:15, 16 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 

“The third angel’s message is swelling into a loud cry, and you must not feel at liberty to neglect the present duty, and still entertain the idea that at some future time you will be the recipients of great blessing, when without any effort on your part a wonderful revival will take place. Today you are to give yourselves to God, that He may make of you vessels unto honor, and meet for His service. Today you are to give yourself to God, that you may be emptied of self, emptied of envy, jealousy, evil surmising, strife, everything that shall be dishonoring to God.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 190, 191.