God’s Holy Spirit
By Warren Zehrung – December 1, 2011
This sermon in #1 is a series on God’s Holy Spirit.
A Christian is one who is led by God’s Holy Spirit.
We’ve grown up in a culture and a world where we’ve always heard of the Holy Spirit – but the world in which we live has absolutely no idea about the correct concept of God’s Holy Spirit.
Today, we will begin an in-depth look at this concept that our Bible calls God’s Holy Spirit.
It is the Spirit of God the Father.
It is the same Spirit of Jesus Christ.
It is the same Spirit that God gives to His Children.
God’s Spirit is the one Spirit that the Father and Jesus Christ share with each other and with us.
“For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body… and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:13)
So, God’s Spirit is ONE.
If we do not have the Spirit of Christ, we do not belong to Him (Romans 8:9, 14).
Brethren, I cannot overemphasize how important it is to find and recognize all the facts that God has made known about His Holy Spirit.
With so many people holding misconceptions about God's Holy Spirit, how can we hope to have a handle on its true characteristics?
John 16:13 …the Spirit of truth, ..will guide you into all truth:
The world cannot understand the wonderful Truth that is available to those who have received God’s Holy Spirit.
God’s Holy Spirit is not a dove, ghost, fire, third person of a Trinity, or any of the other commonly misunderstood concepts about God.
We know of the physical world through our five senses – touch, sight, hearing, etc., but how do we learn about the spiritual realm?
The Scriptures speak of God and angels as being spirits, and of demons as being unclean spirits.
If it were not for Biblical revelation – no one would have any idea that the spiritual realm even existed.
Hollywood thinks that they know about spirit beings - but they do not.
“As it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
So we see that through the Holy Spirit, the profound and mysterious things of God are revealed to Christians who have God’s Spirit.
Brethren, never look down on those in the world who have not been privileged as we are.
**It is by His Spirit that God accomplishes His Divine Will.
What can we know about this non-physical term that the Bible calls, “spirit?”
The term “spirit” means that they are not of this physical, temporal realm in which man exists.
“Spirit” is not restricted nor constrained by the physical laws of nature and the universe.
John 3 – this is the first scripture we will turn to today.
Let me present a fact to you Brethren, that few understand.
“The spirit realm” is enduring – whereas the carnal realm is a temporary physical existence of which we are a part.
Jesus said that “spirit” is real, it is eternal and invisible – like the boundless wind.
Jesus spoke of the possibility for natural man to be Born of the Wind:
John 3:8 The wind blows where it wants to go, and you are able to hear the sound of the wind, but you cannot tell where it comes from, and where it is going: so is every one that is born of Spirit.
An interesting point that I’d like to mention here is the “Wind” and “Spirit” are the same Greek word.
We know that a physical man has life, and breath.
The word “breath” takes on a great deal of significance in the Bible.
It is God’s Holy Spirit that transforms a Christian into the Life and realm of God, making man a partaker of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).
Man begins to make the transition from his physical existence to growing in Spirit toward the perfection of Christ when he receives the first token of God’s Spirit at his baptism and the laying on of hands.
Ephesians 1:13… … “You were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
(Then, looking forward to our resurrection:)
Ephesians 1:14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13-14)
Earnest =pledge, security, trust, or guarantee of our inheritance until our resurrection.
** Why do we need God’s Holy Spirit?
Because without it, we lack the strength and ability to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8).
“The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you.
1 Peter 1
In the Old Testament, God gave His Holy Law to the Israelitish people on the Feast of Weeks which we know better as the Day of Pentecost.
That giving of God’s Law was an exact parallel or type of the New Testament Day of Pentecost when God sent His Holy Spirit to 120 converts – establishing the New Testament ‘Ekklesia’ – People of God.
On that Day of Pentecost, God poured out His Holy Spirit in a new and powerful way on the people He had called and given to Jesus Christ.
Prior to that, God’s Holy Spirit was not generally available to the people of the Old Testament.
God had put His Holy Spirit in various prophets and leaders of old – prior to the formation of the New Testament Church – for the purpose of prophecy, instruction, and the writing of the Old Testament Books of the Bible.
1 Peter 1:10 [Speaking of the salvation that Jesus ushered in] Of which salvation the [OT] prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:
1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
In them = this shows that the prophets were converted – God’s Holy Spirit was in them.
Jesus Christ is the God of the Old Testament.
When I was serving at Pasadena, one of the “high-ranking” ministers of the apostasy said in a sermon, “There is no mention of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.”
Actually, there are hundreds of references to God’s Holy Spirit in the Old Testament – just no third persons of a Trinity mentioned.
It is this concept of “Spirit” that we are explaining, exploring, and expounding upon in today’s sermon.
When we pray to God, we are physical – but He hears our prayer in Spirit. We are able to transcend the physical/spiritual gap between us because of God’s power to hear us.
We find a definitive statement in John 4:24.
John 4:24 "God is Spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
What is spirit?
I have chosen Luke 4 to demonstrate a few points that will help us to understand this concept of “spirit.”
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of [the] Holy Ghost [Pneuma] returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit [Pneuma] into the wilderness.
“Ghost” and “Spirit” are the same word in the Greek [Pneuma].
When used alone, Pneuma means “breath,” as in, He took a deep breath.
“Breath,” takes on an expanded significance in the Scriptures.
God builds on the concept of “breath” to help us grasp the meaning of “spirit.”
The term, “pneuma,” the breath in man, is interchangeable with and corresponds to Spirit when used in reference to God.
It is only by the context of the verse that we are able to determine if a Scripture is speaking of breath or spirit.
For example, when we read, “God is pneuma,” we realize that He is more than mere air or breath, and therefore we are able to interpret the verse as, “God is Spirit” (John 4:24).
We have this same word, pneuma, in English – as in pneumatic tools – which are Air actuated tools.
When ‘hagios,’ [Holy], is added to ‘pneuma’ in the Scriptures it takes on the meaning of holy breath OR Holy Spirit – the breath or life of God.
As we study through the Scriptures – some translations will have “Holy Ghost” instead of Holy Spirit.
Please disregard that faulty and confusing translation of “Ghost,” as it goes back to archaic English and is used widely in the Catholics heretical Trinity doctrine.
Because the King James Translators were laboring under the false Trinity understanding – they inserted the specific article in front of Hagios Pneuma – rendering it, “The Holy Ghost.”
In 52 places in the New Testament – there is no article in the Greek, and yet the King James Translators translated Hagios Pneuma as “THE” Holy Spirit.
It should be correctly translated - Holy Spirit.
The correct translation of Luke 4:1 is then:
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of Holy Spirit [Pneuma] returned from Jordan, and was led by Spirit [Pneuma] into the wilderness.
Definition: A comparison of Luke 24 and Acts 1 clearly shows that the Holy Spirit is not a third member of a Trinity – but it is called the Promise of the Father – Power from on high.
**Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high [Holy Spirit].
Act 1:4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.
**Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with [the] Holy Spirit not many days hence.
I have become accustomed to reading right over the word “Ghost” and substituting Spirit.
“Spirit” is a hard to grasp concept because we are physical – We are flesh and blood – we can’t see “Spirit”, we can’t feel it, we can’t hear it or taste it.
2 Peter 3
As I mentioned earlier, none of our 5 senses can perceive “spirit.”
It is hard for us to comprehend what “spirit” is because it is an entirely different realm or reality than the one we are now limited to.
Indeed, if the Bible did not reveal so much about “Spirit” we would have no way of knowing about it.
God is Spirit.
Spirit is more real than physical is.
Physical things are temporary – they will cease to exist one day.
2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
At that time, only things “spiritual” will remain.
To us the stars, sun and universe seem to be permanent – but they are not – – they had a beginning and they will have an end.
God has no beginning and no end.
The Children of God have a beginning – but after the resurrection into God’s Spiritual Family – they too will be spirit and have no end.
Spiritual things are not subject to the constraints of time and space.
God is Spirit – and He is eternal – He has and will always exist.
God, who created all things is “more real” than this temporary universe that He created.
God exists in eternity, in infinity, with all power – He could cause this temporary universe to cease to exist altogether.
Even scientists realize that if we were broken down into our nuclear components of electrically charged particles revolving around neutrons and protons – we are mostly hollow atoms of nothingness.
It is by the spirit power of God that we exist at all.
Hebrews 1:3 …[God] upholds all things by the word of His power.
There is a vast difference between things spiritual and the physical realm.
We are told in the Scriptures that God can be understood to some extent by looking at His creation.
The works of His creation show His handiwork…
Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead;
God teaches us in analogies, types, and patterns.
Understand this: God is greater than His creation.
God is a spiritual being.
God is greater than His creations – He is greater than mankind, and He is greater than the universe that He made from nothing.
Let’s look at an example of how God teaches us in analogies, types, and patterns.
Let’s look at one in Luke 11
In the same way that a daddy gives his child the things that he needs – God gives us everything we require for salvation.
**What is it that our heavenly Father gives us for eternal life?
Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil [we are sinners], 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?
Man is not able to perceive or comprehend the realm of spiritual things.
With the GIFT of God’s Holy Spirit, man is able to comprehend spiritual things.
Brethren, I’d like to insert a very important clarification in this sermon.
(Red Flag Warning here)
God’s Spirit is a gift that can be rescinded.
Sometimes I get the distinct impression that within God’s Church there are those who have bought into the Protestant concept – “Once saved – always saved.”
It is going around in some of the larger Church organizations in various formats.
We need to be very wary of the false doctrine that says “God has chosen us – and He loves us so much – and He will forgive us no matter how we are living our lives – because He will never reject us.”
That is the Gnostic concept that Christians are free to do what they want, because they are saved by Jesus’ grace.
Sometimes it is expressed this way, “Just do the best you can – and keep coming to church.”
Brethren, sin must be conquered and overcome – and that is a difficult battle – – no one coasts into the Kingdom of God.
No, Brethren, Sin still brings death!
Here’s what happens:
God will withdraw from us when we are not following the lead of His Spirit.
Sin separates us from God. Sin cannot come into God’s Holy Presence.
That is how we see so many who once heard God’s Truth – being pulled away.
King David, after he sinned severely, prayed in Psalm 51:11 “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.”
1 Corinthians 2
The world of the unconverted cannot grasp that true concept of God.
Paul explains the difference between the Christian and his unconverted counterpart in the world.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man [the physical man] receives not [he cannot detect or know of] the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Paul says that a truthful thinking man is able to look at the awesome things in nature and the universe and realize that it did not come about on its own accord.
But the truthful thinking man can never come to an understanding of God’s Spirit that God, Himself, reveals to His saints – because it is spiritually discerned.
Let’s go back up to 1 Corinthians 2:5 where Paul is explaining this concept:
1 Corinthians 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. [we saw where power from on high refers to Holy Spirit. ]
**God’s Spirit corresponds to man’s breath. Without breath we die quickly – but with breath, we breath, we live, we think, we comprehend, we continue to exist…
**In the same way, since God is Spirit – God’s breath [‘pneuma’], God’s Spirit is His Life, His Life’s power, His Mind, His Love, His Character – it is every characteristic of God.
We are totally unable to comprehend every characteristic of God’s Spirit with our fleshly mind. God is too great. Satan thought he was equal to understanding God’s mind – but he was wrong.
God the Father and Jesus Christ are of the same Spirit.
That same Spirit is what a Christian has been baptized into (Matthew 28:19).
1 Corinthians 2:16 “Who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? [the answer is No One!] But we have the mind of Christ.”
Besides our human life that we received from our dads and our moms, we have been conceived with the Spiritual Life of God the Father.
Being born into the Kingdom of God with eternal Spiritual God Life will come at the resurrection – if we endure until the end. (Matthew 24:13)
When God acts – He does so by His Spirit or by His power.
Genesis 1:2 …the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
**The scriptures are clear that God the Father created all things by Jesus Christ – not a third party (Ephesians 3:9).
“The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” was the work of Jesus Christ - not some third entity.
God creates and accomplishes His will – by His Spirit.
Even the Scriptures themselves are God-breathed, “theo-pneustos,” [pronounced, noose-tos] that is, inspired by God’s Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16).
1 Corinthians 2:6 Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to naught:
Brethren, this says that we know some things that the world cannot know – but do not let that puff you up – use it to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
1 Corinthians 2:8 Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. [they would not have killed Jesus Christ if they had had any concept of who He really was]
Paul quotes Isaiah 64:4 here – that is how Paul knew these things.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
**1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.
Brethren, if we know anything of God – of His glory, of His brilliance, of His love, of His power, of His plan – it has been revealed to us by His Spirit.
God has enabled us to understand of the deep things of God – by the power of His Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knows no man, but [by] the Spirit of God.
The spirit of man is what makes us human beings who are able to understand physical things.
Brethren, God has made us His children – we are Children of God – and therefore MORE than mere mortals – because of the token of God’s Life, His Spirit that is working within us!
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
We are able to cross the boundary which holds man back from freely knowing about God – and knowing God.
1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which [the] Holy Spirit teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. [God’s spiritual concepts are built – one upon another – we grow in grace and knowledge.]
We have spiritual discernment given to us of God to know what is good and what is bad – what is right and what is wrong – the world does not have this ability to the extent that we possess it.
Why, because the Law of God – that teaches us right from wrong, is being written upon our hearts.
1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man [the physical man in the world] receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Peter 4
Let’s close today with a section of Scripture written by Peter and inspired by Christ.
There is a practical application of what we have been looking into today.
1 Peter 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind [that is the mind and Spirit of Christ]: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
Trials are for the purpose of helping us to overcome sin.
1 Peter 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
Living according to the will of God is absolutely necessary.
1 Peter 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banqueting [drinking bouts and carousing], and abominable idolatries:
1 Peter 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
[What? Are you to goody–goody for your old buddies? We know you – you aren’t any different from us!]
Then, speaking of those worldly people:
1 Peter 4:5 Who shall give account to Him [Jesus Christ] that is ready to judge the living and the dead.
1 Peter 4:6 [For, for this cause…] For, unto this end was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. [we were all dead in the world – before our calling.]
That is why the Gospel is preached to all the world so that men will – live according to God in the spirit.
1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Let’s close with this powerful admonition from Peter to us.
1 Peter 4:8 And, above all things, have fervent [intense] [Godly-Love] among yourselves: for [Godly-Love] shall cover the multitude of sins.
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