Apologetic for the Spirit

A friend asked me, “What do you think is the evidence of the Lord removing the Candlestick from a church as referenced in Revelation 2:5?” My immediate impression was this is extremely serious and denotes the death of a church. The Candlestick represents the Holy Spirit which is the life of each Believer – no Spirit, no life. I share this to illustrate how seriously critical is the Holy Spirit, God’s presence on earth. In His honor, I would also like to explain the offense He regularly triggers in people. He is delightful, terrible, shaking, ecstatic, and able to disassemble people into their elemental parts. (1 Cor. 2:10) A part of us, our fallen human nature, is opposed to God and the Spirit, always consistently. (Gal. 5:17) Part of the Spirit’s work is to crucify the fallen human nature so Messiah Yeshua will reign and rule in us. (Gal. 2:20) 

Remember, the Spirit is like the wind, unseen, but with effect He blows by and messes up our hair. He dissects our ego and out comes black pride oozing. He speaks a word that cuts to our innermost being exposing  secrets and hidden shame. He shakes and rattles things we thought and wanted to be secure, but only things of God are unshakable. He is for our good, but His work at times is invasive, disturbing and messy. When we are stripped naked it is not pretty, nor always welcome, but it is often necessary, like EMS medics cutting off clothes from around a bleeding injury or wound. All this happens in the invisible spirit realm, but it is sensed nonetheless. The Spirit is also our source of joy indescribable, a spring of life and love overflowing with renewal and refreshing, the presence of God.

I must pause, because there may be infants and captives who have little or no experience with the Spirit. These descriptions, terms and analogies may not be acknowledged and appear strange. Many are taught the Holy Spirit is the third part of the Godhead, our comforter or advocate and that’s it. The word “Spirit” is used, but it has little or no application other than a reference to the Spiritual realm or spiritual issues like repentance, faith, and eternal salvation. Going beyond these basics may raise doubts and/or set off alarms built to barricade against faith healers, prophets, witches, Pentecostal maniacs, snake handlers, frauds, and all who speak in tongues. Some paint with a large brush everything they don’t understand rationally and group everything Spiritual together, good and evil.

We don’t want to be considered maniacs, fools or frauds. We appreciate the reason of scripture, sound doctrine and the full counsel of God. We believe in orderly conduct with submission to one another and under authority. We recognize the forces of evil in heavenly places. (Eph. 5:12) We follow the way of love and exalt the only Savior Yeshua Messiah. We love infants and captives and are seeking maturity, wisdom and holiness for ourselves and all. We desire unity of the Spirit. (Eph. 4:3) To this end we cannot deny the Spirit or close off the work He is doing among us and the Congregation of Believers world-wide. We understand and can ourselves experience the offense our fallen human nature inspires against the Spirit. (Gal. 5:13-26)

God is unfathomable and His Spirit works in ways we cannot limit to human rationalization and temporal reason. (John 3:10-13) As Paul was willing to be a fool for Christ, so will we, if necessary, because we cannot deny our very source of life and the guarantee of our salvation. Yeshua said, “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you…But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”(John 16:7,13-15)

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