The Holy Spirit Here Today
Who is the Holy Spirit? As a Spirit filled believer and minister of the Gospel for over fifty years, I am concerned about the mentioning and beliefs that many people have today about the Spirit of God and who He is. Growing up we always said “the Father , the Son and the Holy Ghost”. Still there are a few people who use the term Holy Ghost but in general that name for the blessed third person of the Trinity has fallen out of use, probably because of changes in the understanding of words in the English language. Languages always change over the years. I do notice that people are again beginning to0 use the name “Holy Ghost”, maybe some never stopped.
I have a serious concern about what I am hearing a reading about the use of the term “Holy Spirit” and how He is talked about. After serving God in ministry and studying the Word of God for over 50 years, I feel that our understanding may be a little flawed concerning Him. Some talk about Him as though He were this “spirit” that is given to us to reside within us but we do not have a clue as to who He really is. This could be due to a line of thinking in which we limit Him not realizing one basic but vital fact about Him. He IS God! He is God with us and in us. He is as much God as the Father and the Son Jesus. He is no less God. It is unfortunate that most Pentecostals do not use the ancient creeds of the church, which were totally based on scripture by the way.
Many grew up with the Apostles creed and the Nicene creed, which is a statement of the Christian faith. There is another ancient creed that tells of the Trinity which is in the prayer books of several old line denominations. Unfortunately these have been thrown out by most moderrn day evangelicals. The one creed that discussed the Trinity and who the Holy Spirit is, is the Athanasian Creed. Used once a year in some churches it is worth the read by all Christians for a fuller understanding of who God in Trinity is. I won’t quote the whole thing as it is quite lengthy and not one that you would want to memorize, but here is a part that refers to the Holy Spirit that should enlighten our understanding of how great He is.
“So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons;
one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other;
none is greater, or less than another; But the whole three Persons
are co-eternal together and co-equal.
So that in all things, as is aforesaid,
the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.”
Sound confusing? It is what we call the mystery of the Trinity. All of what I am getting at is that the Holy Spirit is not just this spirit that fills us and belongs to us. He is God Almighty dwelling in us and with us. He is the third person of the Trinity who brought the universe and all of creation into existence. He is All Mighty. There is no greater power. There is no God other than Him. He created all things and by His power all things exist. Do we even begin to comprehend how great God the Holy Spirit is? We cannot tell Him what to do but only ask. We cannot control Him but He must control us. The wind blows where it will and so is the Spirit of God. We must follow. He alone must lead. I fear that many consider Him this unseen thing that God puts within us that belongs to us. Do we realize that He is God dwelling in us? We should. Do we realize how great He is? No, that is impossible. I tell God all the time in my prayers that I am aware that nothing is impossible with Him and He can do anything. I’m reminding Him of who He is? No, I am reminding myself. I do not want to have such a limited view of God the Holy Spirit that I miss out on what He wants to do in my life. Open your heart to a deeper understanding that the Almighty God of all creation, the Master behind it all is dwelling in you and me by His Spirit. Realize that He is not the gift of tongues or any other gift but is the Giver of all these gifts. He loves us and reveals the beauty of Jesus to us. When He is in us, Jesus and the Father are in us spiritually as there is no separation in the Godhead. As the Bible tells us that fullness of the Godhead dwelled in Jesus bodily. God is ONE although three persons. Let Him lead you and let Him show you how powerful He really is. Never again take His power or presence for granted. The Holy Spirit is God with us. Don’t try to understand. Just believe and receive! There is no limit to what the Holy Spirit will do in you and through you.
I know what some pastors say, even remember saying it in the past. “I don’t want to talk about politics because I don’t want to turn anyone away from the Lord.” Those days are gone and I think even I was wrong at the time. Why mention political issues like abortion and freedom? Well, mainly because they are not political issues but spiritual issues. Our Constitution makes many so called political issues spiritual issues. We have seen the government this past 17 months do the opposite of what they say about separating church and state. The government has put severe restrictions on the Church under the guise of “health care”. Needless to say, yes there was validity in the so called pandemic and many people were affected and many died, however being a pastor for over thirty years and other ministry for more years than I will share, I have seen the Church go through many things and never did we shut down the Church or were shut down by the government. This is America and if we truly believe that the mission of the Church is to do what Jesus said, to heal the sick and save the sinner, then the Church must be open. The Church is even more essential than the hospital because we deal not just with the physical maladies of people but with their eternal soul. This past year with the shut down Church, there have been more suicides and murders that we have seen in a long time. This time has been horribly hard on our nation.
We visited a church a couple months ago in our community and the pastor’s whole sermon was on Titus 3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work.
Romans 13:1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil.
Now right up front it looks like we have to obey rulers regardless of what they say but there is much more to the story. The pastor of the church we visited said that he had been getting so many emails etc, and that people had such differing opinions. Actually many pastors and church leaders had differing opinions. His was that we are to obey the leaders in the land no matter what they say except in preaching the Gospel. In other words he never clarified if “preaching the Gospel” included being told what to do if it goes against God’s Word, the Bible. If what he said were true, that we had to obey everything the governing authorities said and that the Bible meant that, then there would be no America. America was founded by Christians who left England to be free. They decided that it was not God’s will to follow the government and the “state” church, or the Church of England to be exact, which has as its authority the Queen or King, whoever is reigning at the time. Christ’s Church should NEVER be run by a secular governing authority. The first people who came here from Europe did not come on a pleasure cruise and anyone who knows true American history would know that. They did not fight the Revolutionary War because they had nothing better to do. They fought for freedom which they believed was the right of every human being made in the image of God. If Romans meant what that pastor said, they would have stayed in England and never escaped to start a new life of freedom. The pulpits were the “news” of the day and the ministers were defenders of the Faith and Freedom.
Major General Peter von Muhlenberg – “The Fighting Parson” wrote,
“Reverend Sirs: When we contemplate the friendship and assistance our ancestors, the first settlers of this province (while overwhelmed with distress), received from the pious pastors of the churches of Christ, who, to enjoy the rights of conscience, fled with them into this land, then a savage wilderness, we find ourselves filled with the most grateful sensations. And we cannot but acknowledge the goodness of Heaven in constantly supplying us with preachers of the gospel, whose concern has been the temporal and spiritual happiness of this people…” Freedom was essential for the founding and beginning of America and the early pioneers were not going to give it up easily. My fear is that we have become so secularized that we do not know what the Bible truly teaches, the Bible upon which our Constitution is based.
What then do we do with these scriptures. Do we do nothing and let a Hitler or Stalin take over? You say that it is extreme. Well, I know personally people who lived under Hitler’s regime and know that it could happen again maybe even in America. In a land where there is less and less value of human life, including the life of the unborn children.
I believe that it is obvious that God wants us to have laws to live buy. After all, He gave the first laws through Moses. If we keep those ten laws then we will have freedom and peace. Unfortunately people do not keep them. The scripture says that authorities are appointed by God. Yes, but they are also human and do not always do what God says. It also says in scripture that we are to obey God rather than man. God’s Word always interprets God’s Word. We are to obey the laws as long as they are in accordance with God’s Word. Do some laws, like Roe vs. Wade need to be overturned, absolutely. How can we change laws? There are ways. I remember in San Diego many years ago the school system was in horrible shape mainly because of leadership. The Christians banded together and decided that they would have a voice. Many ran for school boards and were elected. Enough were elected to make a marked difference in that school system. That needs to happen again. Christians need to run for office in every strata of our society. The only danger that I should point out is that if elected, power is a terrible temptation and can corrupt even the most sincere, so beware but don’t stop. Run for any office that you feel you can do a righteous job in. God can bless and prosper you and open a door if you truly seek Him and His will for our nation. God wants to bless the people of the United States of America but He cannot bless unrighteousness and cannot bless a nation that kills it’s next generation.
Please pray about your part. God can use you and He will and we can change our nation by the help of God.
In 2017, Before many were saying anything about a Third Great Awakening the Holy Spirit began speaking to me concerning future ministry of Revival that was to come. I have to admit that I thought He was dealing with me alone concerning things in my ministry, possibly because of the way in which He spoke to me. In recent days as I have heard many prophets speak of coming revival, I have to wonder if it was not something greater and maybe even worldwide but definitely, I believe nationwide.
Let me give a short background to the vision. At 19 I dedicated my life to Christ in Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, California. Someone I met invited me to sing in a choir, knowing of my love of music being a musician, a choir for Kathryn Kuhlman, the lady evangelist who was coming to the Shrine Auditorium monthly for miracle services. I did not have a clue who she was but only what he told me. I auditioned for the choir and joined and my first experience to see miracles was sitting in the choir on the platform behind Miss Kuhlman. It was quite an experience to say the least. I did not realize at that time that God was calling me to be an evangelist.
Fast forward. Ministering starting in Bible College, I began to see God move in miraculous ways. This was the beginning of the Charismatic Movement and Jesus Movement. Ministering in churches over the years of many denominations from Pentecostal and everything in between to Catholic churches, I saw miracles that awed me. I remember one such meeting in the One Twenty Fellowship, a ministry in Escondido, California run by Merlin Carothers, a known author in the movement. The presence of God from the beginning of the service was like the building was filled with electricity in the atmosphere. There were not only healings, but the move of God was so powerful I felt like a bystander. I could have sat down and watched God move. People in that service said that they had never seen a move of God like it in those weekly services. It burned a picture in my memory that I have never forgotten and that was almost 50 years ago.
Onto the vision. I was driving south on I-17 in Phoenix thinking about a move of God and back to when I heard Kathryn say that when the healings were taking place that it was like rays of golden sunlight on the individuals as she was “calling out” healings by the Word of Knowledge. All of a sudden while driving God gave me a vision. I cannot explain except that I saw this and also the freeway at the same time. Now almost four years later I can see the vision as it was given to me. It was burned in my memory. I was standing on the platform of a large auditorium with a balcony. The place was packed. I then saw the Glory of God come upon the whole auditorium, upon every person like golden rain falling on the everyone in the auditorium. I truly believe that God was showing me as He has shown others that we are on the verge of experiencing a great move of the Spirit, possibly the Latter Rain the book of Joel talks about. Many in the 1940’s called that the Latter Rain Movement, but many men and women of God are being shown that this is to be a great worldwide outpouring. I believe it. Let us pray and believe God to do what He has said and shown that just might be the last great move of the Spirit before the coming of the Lord. It was prophesied by a prophet over me years ago that this would be bigger than even I could imagine and three in three separate times and places prophesied to me the same thing, a great move of God. It IS Coming!!! Get ready!
“The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.” Isaiah 40:5 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. Hab 2:14
Perhaps there is not a greater controversy in the Church today than Romans 13. It probably would never have been brought to the forefront had it not been for the Covid19 Virus. The Lockdowns, the masking and social distancing mandate, the shutting down of churches for the sake of health. What does Romans 13 really say? I visited a church a couple weeks ago where the pastor’s sermon was specifically about this subject. His final statement was that we should obey the governing authorities in everything except when they say that we cannot preach the Gospel. The confusing thing was that almost everyone in the church was not wearing a mask and most were not social distancing which is mandated here and there were probably two hundred people in the church, if not more. So, we were pretty much all breaking the law, only that was not mentioned. Is that really what Romans 13 is saying? A closer reading of the chapters 12 through 14 show us what our attitude should be. And interpreting scripture is always in context of other scripture.
Rulers are appointed to give laws for the good of all.
Romans 13:1-14 (NKJV)
1 Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.
2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.
3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.
4 For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.
This portion states that rulers are there to give laws that protect society and give peace. Do all rulers do that? Of course not. Should they? Yes. What is the duty of all Christians regardless of what government they are under? It states it right there. The Christian is to do good works, glorifying God. We are to be peaceful so as not to bring reproach on the Lord and His Gospel. I don’t think that any true Christian would reject that. What it says very plainly is if we break the laws of the land then we will suffer punishment. Whether that punishment be from the government or God is not so clear. Possibly both. The catch here is what laws are we to submit to? All the laws, even those that go against our faith? What if a law such as in a Muslim country forbids Christian worship and proselytizing? Are we to obey that law? What if we are in an army of a country and we are ordered to kill Christians or any peaceful citizens? The answer is obvious. You may not know it but it happened in Germany when Christians were ordered by Hitler to kill Jews and and many who were Christians. You say how could you be a Christian and be in Hitler’s army? He drafted both my friend’s father and grandfather who was age 65 and both were killed in battle. They were Christians and yet had to serve in an army that did many evil things against the will of God.
What are the laws of our land that we must follow? The pastor I heard said that the Bible does not say we can march with placards. No, it does not but it says to obey rulers and in our land the laws are in our constitution. We are allowed by the first amendment to peacefully protest. It is our legal right and so therefore we are submitting to the governing authorities when we do that. It is interesting that in the latter part of the chapter it gives the answer that should settle the whole matter. It quotes some of the Ten Commandments, which are the laws given directly from God.
8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
9 For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
It is clear here that we are to love our neighbors as a priority and keep the laws of God. Those laws are the Ten Commandments. If we do that, we should not be punished as an evil doer. It seems that it is all based on the principle of Love. If we follow God’s commands, doing His commandments which were given not only to save us from our own selfishness and lust, but to do the works of righteousness then we will be pleasing to the Lord. In a civil society we will be looked upon with favor. Of course all societies are not civil and ours is quickly moving away from righteousness. It is a simple directive from the apostle and that is to do good, show love and you will live peaceably. If the society is such that persecution results from doing good, then we must obey God rather than man. Everything we do should be governed by love. If it is marching with placards peaceably to save the killing of innocents, then we are doing God’s work out of love for Him and for people, specifically babies. We are not to riot as some are but we are to do the whole will of God and that is not JUST preaching the Gospel.
“10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
I have been a Christian for a very long time. I have learned many things about life , probably because I’ve lived a long time. I have also learned much about the spiritual life. One thing I would like to share with you is about the big question that we ask way too much of God. That is the word “why”. Why does this happen and why does that happen in our life? The one thing I found out a long time ago is that it is pretty much fruitless to ask God why. There are things that God will give us the answer to and things that He won’t tell us, at least in this lifetime. We all have things happen we don’t understand. You may guess where I am going with this. There is much in the news these days that we don’t understand, and I will be bold enough to say that I rarely watch the news on TV anymore. I am smart enough to know when one station after another has slanted the news so much that it is very difficult to hear the truth on TV anymore. The ungodly liberal media has told so many lies, many of which I have caught them in and I just can’t stand to listen any more.