A message of hope & instruction about the work of the Holy Spirit. 1 PTR 1:8 describes it, “It is joy unspeakable & full of glory!!” Divine prophecy tells of a time when God’s people will improve dramatically, & have better spiritual understanding, better spiritual eyes, & better spiritual ears.(1) “Of the increase of his [Christ’s] government & peace there shall be no end.”(2) It will keep increasing! “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.”(3) An example of this increase, in the 1990’s, the nation of Zambia, once 100% heathen, identified itself publicly as a Christian nation. The Dove is a symbol of the Spirit. Zambia can truly say, as the Song of Solomon 2:12, “The cooing of doves is heard in our land.” The joy of the Spirit is like a festival in the heart.
THE EXAMPLE OF LATIN AMERICA. Spirit-led Christians are on the increase in Latin America. The Holy Spirit has manifested Himself throughout Central & South America. For instance, Argentina was having strong Holy Spirit revivals in the ’80s & ‘90s, and Peru was seeing strong movements of the Spirit in the ‘90’s. One group of Christians, approaching the University in Cuzco, Peru for permission to spread the gospel were given a cold shoulder. To show that the Christian faith is relevant in a positive way, they took 2 days to clean the university’s long neglected nasty toilets. Amazed at the transformation of their toilets, many students were open to the transformation of their lives by the Holy Spirit. Chile was another nation, which was growing in the Spirit in this time period. Manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s power & presence have been widespread in Latin America during these last 30 years, and Rio de Janeiro is the geographic center of a movement of the Spirit in that whole region. The Spirit has also been active in the western Amazon region. Latin America is a dangerous area, and within a few years, Peru’s Shining Path communist guerillas had killed 300 pastors. One of the churches they shot up was in July, ’84. Shortly, afterwards, Peruvian govt. forces also shot up a church. Under the guidance of the Spirit, the Christians there created a Peace & Hope Commission to help Christians deal with the violence through forgiveness, peace & helping those in need. Since then violent communist leaders throughout Latin Amer. have given up their violence, accepted Christ, & are following alternatives for peaceful change & working for justice non-violently. The Spirit is leading a “post-denominationalism” move, so that more and more Christians are independent followers of Christ. We can identify the work of the Holy Spirit because He works the same throughout the world. In fact, the Psalmist wrote, “Where can I go from your Spirit?” (4)
WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE SCHOOL OF CHRISTIAN LIFE. All genuine Christianity is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Word of God repeatedly refers to how the Spirit is our instructor in life.(5) In fact, if you are not led by the Spirit, you are not one of the sons of God. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”(6) The anointing of the Holy Spirit teaches us.(7) And a look at the early history of the Christian church shows how the Holy Spirit was like a conductor guiding a vast spiritual orchestra.(8) This is why it is important we make sure we have the Holy Spirit guiding us and not some deceptive spirit. “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God.”(9) As the Spirit of God has moved through Latin America, He has convicted husbands to treat their wives with love, and He has turned the hearts of the fathers to their children and vice-versa.
WALK ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT (10).”If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit’.(11) The prophecy was that WHEN God’s Spirit was put into people, THEN they would walk in God’s statutes!(12) Or as one NT verse describes it, “walk worthy” of the Holy Spirit.(13) And if you want to get into the deep things of God…even deeper than the Scriptures…”the Spirit searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God.”(14) There have been Chinese & African Christians who were not taught in a seminary, but were taught by the Spirit, and who gained deep understanding of spiritually things. Some have written remarkable books on what God showed them. No wonder we are told to set our minds on the things of the Spirit.(15) Our lives are an open book to the Spirit, so the Spirit-led person is open to God, “Search me, O God, & know my heart, try me, and know my thoughts.”(16) If we please God’s eyes, who cares about the Illum.’s all-seeing eye watching us. When the Holy Spirit came in Bible times, it could sound like a mighty wind.(17) The same mighty wind sound was heard by a group of believers in South Africa in 1860 when the Holy Spirit blew upon them.
CONVICTION RATHER THAN CONVINCING. The Spirit convicts rather than use convincing arguments. Likewise a Spirit-led man will work more on convicting his opposition than out-arguing. A man convinced against his will is still not in your camp. The Holy Spirit’s standard is that our Spiritual be the dominant strongest drive in our life. The mind, will, and emotions are to take second place. And then underneath our will, mind and emotions is to be our physical. When the physical sensual drives overwhelm the spiritual, the person slides into the double-mindedness of Concupiscence (ROM 7:8, 1 THES 4:4,5), and when the Spirit is quenched, the person is now truly reprobate (ROM 1:28). Many scholarly ministers allow their minds (souls) to dominate over their spirits. The Spirit can be seriously hindered. They may give an intelligent sermon, which has no anointing or spiritual power behind it. So besides quenching the Spirit, we can grieve the Spirit. The person of God needs to open up and let the Spirit fill the voids in our lives. We need to adjust to the Spirit, and not expect that He will adjust to us. We orient ourselves around Him. What direction is the Spirit moving?? (And we may get direction without understanding the WHY. Philip did in Acts 8:26.) As the Word says, “Find out what pleases the LORD”.(18) Let us ask, and be open to learn from the Spirit. “When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you…”(19) Around the world, the Holy Spirit has been convicting men of their sins, and giving them power to do great things. In the early church, men like Clement & Origin wrote how the Spirit purged their souls. Another big work of the Spirit is making Christ known to the world. He will also help you form the right behavior, and will encourage and embolden you. The Spirit has empowered some to be evangelists, by all of us are commanded to share Christ with others. The Spirit can & will back anyone’s witnessing.
DOVES, A TRUE PICTURE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. The turtledove mates for life, is sensitive, never fights, is shy & does not like noise. It does not act like a pigeon, which is sometimes mistaken for a dove. Even the Bible makes a distinction between pigeons & doves.(20) The dove descended upon Yahshua when John the Baptist was baptizing him, and the dove remained. Yahshua was gentle, humble and peaceful. Just like the turtledove, the Holy Spirit leaves when there is no peace. That should encourage more of us to remain peaceful. We can lose our anointing. Samson did.(21)
The Spirit of God has inspired people worldwide to become servants of the most high, serving humanity with the love of Christ. Some believers in Latin America, Africa & China are getting heavy anointings, there is no border to the Holy Spirit. Truly, there is no end to the increase of Christ’s government.
(1) ISA 32:3,4; ZECH 14:6,7 & others. (2) ISA 9:7 (3) 1 COR 15:25 (4) PS 139:7 (5) NEH 9:20, LK 12:12, JN 14:26, 1 COR 2:13 (6) ROM 8:14 (7) 1 JN 2:27 (8) JN 16:13, ACTS 8:39; 10:19-20; 13:2; 16:6 (9) 1 JN 4:1 (10) ROM 8:4 (11) GAL 5:25 (12) EZEK 36:25-27 (13) EPH 4:1 (14) 1 COR 2:10 (15) ROM 8:5-7 (16) PS 139:23 (17) ACTS 2:2 (18) EPH 5:10…unfortunately PS 95 says, “They have not known my ways.” (19) JER 29:13-14 (20) LEV 12:8 (21) JUDGES chapt 14-16 show him having an anointing, and then it left at 16:20, & returned for the grand finale at the end at 16:30.