Sabbath, July 25, 2015

“The Spirit is given as a regenerating agency, to make effectual the salvation wrought by the death of our Redeemer. The Spirit is constantly seeking to draw the attention of men to the great offering that was made on the cross of Calvary, to unfold to the world the love of God, and to open to the convicted soul the precious things of the Scriptures.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 52.

The Lord’s Spirit at creation

1. What stupendous work did the Spirit of God carry out in this earth’s creation? Are we debtors to the Holy Spirit for our existence? 

Psalm 33:6 By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. 

Job 33:4 The spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. 

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 

Psalm 104:30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. 

‘When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.’ John 16:13. Only by the aid of that Spirit who in the beginning ‘was brooding upon the face of the waters;’ of that Word by whom ‘all things were made;’ of that ‘true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,’ can the testimony of science be rightly interpreted. Only by Their guidance can its deepest truths be discerned.” –Education, p. 134.

The Holy Spirit and prophecy

2. What happens when people are filled with the Holy Spirit? Who even made this experience in past times? 

1 Samuel 10:9-12 And it was so, that when he had turned his back to go from Samuel, God gave him another heart: and all those signs came to pass that day. 10And when they came thither to the hill, behold, a company of prophets met him; and the spirit of God came upon him, and he prophesied among them. 11And it came to pass, when all that knew him beforetime saw that, behold, he prophesied among the prophets, then the people said one to another, What is this that is come unto the son of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets? 12And one of the same place answered and said, But who is their father? Therefore it became a proverb, Is Saul also among the prophets? 

“The Lord would not leave Saul to be placed in a position of trust without divine enlightenment. He was to have a new calling, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon him. The effect was that he was changed into a new man. The Lord gave Saul a new spirit, other thoughts, other aims and desires than he had previously had. This enlightenment, with the spiritual knowledge of God, placing him on vantage ground, was to bind his will to the will of Jehovah.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 2, p. 1013.

“The manifestation of the Holy Spirit was similar to its manifestation in the days of Samuel and Saul in the school of the prophets. On one occasion the showers of grace were outpoured, and all that were gathered together were prophesying.” –Special Testimonies on Education, p. 79. 

“When the Spirit of the Lord rested upon the elders about the tabernacle, it fell also upon them, and they prophesied, speaking words of wisdom and eloquence.” –The Signs of the Times, August 12, 1880.

Inspiring the prophets

3. Who were inspired during the centuries to convey light and guidance to God’s people? Thanks to this wonderful process, what did they receive from the Lord’s mouth? 

2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 

“I take the Bible just as it is, as the Inspired Word. I believe its utterances in an entire Bible…. 

“The writers of the Bible had to express their ideas in human language. It was written by human men. These men were inspired of the Holy Spirit…. 

“The Infinite One by His Holy Spirit has shed light into the minds and hearts of His servants. He has given dreams and visions, symbols and figures; and those to whom the truth was thus revealed, have themselves embodied the thought in human language.” –Selected Messages, book 1, pp. 17, 19, 25.

Powerful support during Jesus’ ministry

4. How was the Holy Spirit’s presence revealed after Jesus’ baptism? In His ministry, did Jesus receive this precious Gift in a limited way? 

Luke 3:21, 22; 4:18 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased…. 4:18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. 

John 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. 

“The Lord had promised to give John a sign whereby he might know who was the Messiah, and now as Jesus went up out of the water, the promised sign was given; for he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit of God, like a dove of burnished gold, hovered over the head of Christ, and a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’…

“What does this scene mean to us?… The Holy Spirit will be given to those who seek for its power and grace, and will help our infirmities when we would have audience with God. Heaven is open to our petitions, and we are invited to come ‘boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.’ We are to come in faith, believing that we shall obtain the very things we ask of Him.” –Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, pp. 1077, 1078. 

Comforter and Guide to the truth

5. What special guidance was promised to the church following Jesus’ ascension? Being another Comforter and Spirit of truth, into what will those who receive this divine light be guided? 

John 14:16; 15:26; 16:13, 8 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever…. 15:26But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me…. 16:13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come…. 8And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.

“Christ declared that, after His ascension, He would send to His church, as His crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take His place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit–the soul of His life, the efficacy of His church, the light and life of the world. With His Spirit, Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power to take away sin.” –This Day with God, p. 257. 

“From the beginning, God has been working by His Holy Spirit through human instrumentalities for the accomplishment of His purpose in behalf of the fallen race. This was manifest in the lives of the patriarchs. To the church in the wilderness also, in the time of Moses, God gave His ‘good Spirit to instruct them.’ Nehemiah 9:20. And in the days of the apostles He wrought mightily for His church through the agency of the Holy Spirit. The same power that sustained the patriarchs, that gave Caleb and Joshua faith and courage, and that made the work of the apostolic church effective, has upheld God’s faithful children in every succeeding age. It was through the power of the Holy Spirit that during the Dark Ages the Waldensian Christians helped to prepare the way for the Reformation.” –The Acts of the Apostles, p. 53. 

Fullness of gifts

6. What gifts, administrations, and operations were supported by the Holy Spirit in the apostolic church? What are the believers urged to do? 

1 Corinthians 12:8-11, 31 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will…. 31But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way. 

“The talents that Christ entrusts to His church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11. All men do not receive the same gifts, but to every servant of the Master some gift of the Spirit is promised.” –Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 327. 

“The gifts of the Spirit are promised to every believer according to his need for the Lord’s work. The promise is just as strong and trustworthy now as in the days of the apostles…. This is the privilege of God’s children, and faith should lay hold on all that it is possible to have as an endorsement of faith.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 823. 

Promise of a special outpouring

7. To whom is a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit promised at the end of time? Who received this fullness in the apostolic days?

Joel 2:28, 29 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. 

“Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth,… the Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming. The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit.” –The Great Controversy, p. 464. 

An abundance of fruit 

8. What do those who receive the gift of the Spirit produce? What else is possible through the power of the Spirit? 

Galatians 5:22, 23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 

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.

“Those who become new creatures in Christ Jesus will bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, ‘love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.’ Galatians 5:22, 23.” –Steps to Christ, p. 58. 

“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. 67. 

“To all who believe, He is as the tree of life in the Paradise of God. His branches reach to this world, that the blessings which He has purchased for us may be brought within our reach…. He has given us a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, which will present to us the precious fruit from the tree of life. From this tree we may pluck and eat, and we may then guide others to it, that they also may eat.” –My Life Today, p. 50. 

  • For what mission was the gift of the Holy Spirit promised to the disciples? 
  • In your church, is there harmony and continual mutual prayer as there was in the days of Pentecost? 
  • What obstacles keep the Holy Spirit from empowering your life and ministry? 
  • What would you do if tomorrow the Lord poured the Holy Spirit upon you with all power?