"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." John 14:26.
"A knowledge of the truth depends not so much upon strength of intellect as upon pureness of purpose, the simplicity of an earnest, dependent faith. To those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance, angels of God draw near. The Holy Spirit is given to open to them the rich treasures of the truth."ó Christís Object Lessons, page 59.
God has always designed that His children be filled with the fullness of His own nature. Of the Son of God who was to become the Son of man as a pattern for manís achievement it was written: "And the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord." Isaiah 11:2.
As to the manner in which the child born into a peasant family in Judah was to receive access to those heavenly treasures, we are told by the messenger of the Lord: "With deep earnestness the mother of Jesus watched the unfolding of His powers, and beheld the impress of perfection upon His character. With delight she sought to encourage that bright, receptive mind. Through the Holy Spirit she received wisdom to cooperate with the heavenly agencies in the development of this child, who could claim only God as His Father." ó The Desire of Ages, page 69.
Would that more mothers would yield themselves so completely to Gods guidance that their sons and daughters might be assured of such heavenly training in their impressionable years. To them also, even as to Mary, is the promise given: "Even the babe in its motherís arms may dwell as under the shadow of the Almighty through the faith of the praying mother. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth. If we will live in communion with God, we too may expect the divine Spirit to mold our little ones, even from their earliest moments."ó Ibid., p. 512.
The Third Person of the Trinity had begun His teaching mission long before the Christian Era dawned. He found in Godís holy Son His most perfect and receptive student, but Scripture tells of many others who had been taught thus. The first of such recorded instances goes far back in Old Testament history. "And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art." Genesis 41:38, 39.
Thus we find that God had to send this lad away from home into slavery in Egypt to save him from the ruinous influence of an overindulgent parent. While there, Joseph came under the tutelage of the divine Teacher. In his more mature years, his wisdom and discretion were so noteworthy that a heathen monarch in the most sophisticated court of his day recognized that he had been taught of God.
Bezaleel of the tribe of Judah was singled out for recognition among those whose handicraft wrought the perfection of Israelís portable sanctuary. Of him God Himself gives the following recommendation: "And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship." Exodus 31: 3-5.
This manís infilling from the heavenly storehouse consisted not in political or economic acumen, but in highly specialized crafts that enabled his hands to design and fashion the lovely things with which Israel honored their God in the first house dedicated to His name here on earth.
Yet another phase of the Spiritís tutelage is evidenced in the preparation of Othniel, Calebís nephew and son-in-law, to free Israel from the yoke of the king of Mesopotamia, under which they had come because of their idolatry. "And when the children of Israel cried unto the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Calebís younger brother. And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim." Judges 3:9, 10.
Military strategy was strange to peace-loving Israel, but when the necessity arose to throw off the shackles of a foreign master, Othniel, who trusted in God, could be trusted by God to follow the guidance of One who has never lost a battle. It is noteworthy that of this man no unworthy deeds are recorded in his later career. This cannot be said of many of the men who judged Israel during this period of their national history. Still a different endowment of the Spirit of God was given to the youth David, called in from keeping his fatherís flocks to be anointed as Israelís future king by the prophet Samuel. "Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward." 1 Samuel 16:13.
The quality of Davidís statesmanship has never been questioned. The dynasty which he established knew its golden age in his reign and that of his son, Solomon. To him was granted the ineffable honor not only of being an earthly ancestor of the Messiah, but of establishing the royal line under which Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords will rule for eternity. "For unto us a Child is born, Ö Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever." Isaiah 9:6, 7.
Since Eden was closed to the pair who had chosen to doubt their Creator, the Spirit of God has been the One to bring to fallen man the messages his God has so graciously made available to him, recorded by "His holy prophets, which have been since the world began." Luke 1:70. First they were brought by word of mouth and later in written form so that future generations might benefit therefrom. As "holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21), the heavenly messages of counsel, warning, and comfort have come. Such a gracious sharing of His omniscience with a people who could no longer stand confidently in His presence has always been a part of Godís plan for manís restoration. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." Amos 3:7.
Indeed, all that man knows of the things of the spirit has been revealed to him by his heavenly Teacher, the divine Spirit of God. "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." 1 Corinthians 2:10, 11.
The work of the Holy Spirit as teacher is well illustrated in the experiences of the men whom Jesus chose to head up the Christian church. Drawn to Him by the loveliness of His character, fascinated by the daily evidence of His victorious life, they were unaware, it seems, of the true source of such power, or of its accessibility to them. In the light of His presence they were content to bask in its reflected warmth, satisfied with an occasional flash of insight into a greater experience possible to them.
"Even the disciples failed of understanding all that Jesus desired to reveal to them; but from time to time, as they surrendered themselves to the Holy Spiritís power, their minds were illuminated. Ö Often as He had presented the Old Testament Scriptures, and showed their application to Himself and His work of atonement, they had been awakened by His Spirit, and lifted into a heavenly atmosphere."
"It was not until after Christís ascension to His Father, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the believers, that the disciples fully appreciated the Saviourís character and mission. After they had received the baptism of the Spirit, they began to realize that they had been in the very presence of the Lord of glory. As the sayings of Christ were brought to their remembrance, their minds were opened to comprehend the prophecies, and to understand the miracles which He had wrought. The wonders of His life passed before them, and they were as men awakened from a dream."ó The Desire of Ages, pages 494, 507.
"When on the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, they understood the truths that Christ had spoken in parables. The teachings that had been mysteries to them were made clear. The understanding that came to them with the outpouring of the Spirit made them ashamed of their fanciful theories. Their suppositions and interpretations were foolishness when compared with the knowledge of heavenly things which they now received. They were led by the Spirit, and light shone into their once darkened understanding."ó Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 267.
"Under the training of Christ the disciples had been led to feel their need of the Spirit. Under the Spiritís teaching they received the final qualification, and went forth to their lifework. No longer were they ignorant and uncultured. No longer were they a collection of independent units or discordant, conflicting elements. No longer were their hopes set on worldly greatness."ó The Acts of the Apostles, page 45.
If it was true that men who had daily lived with Jesus could not, without the ministration of the Holy Spirit, comprehend His teachings nor the plan of redemption which He demonstrated, how may we, who live so many centuries later, hope to understand without that same Teacher? The very differences manifested in that little group of believers before and after Pentecost should be both an encouragement and a warning to us who live in spiritual Laodicea.
"It is as true now as in apostolic days, that without the illumination of the divine Spirit, humanity cannot discern the glory of Christ. The truth and the work of God are unappreciated by a world-loving and compromising Christianity."ó The Desire of Ages, page 508.
"Only the mind and heart cleansed by the sanctification of the Spirit can discern heavenly things. Ö Let your hearts be yielded to the power of the Holy Spirit, and they will be made susceptible to the teaching of the word. Then you will be able to discern the deep things of God."ó Testimonies, vol. 8, p. 301.
Just what is to be the extent of the work of this Third Person of the Godhead in the twentieth century? Has His work as teacher been completed in the centuries since the Reformation started the church back to apostolic purity of belief? Is the church possessed of all the light she needs to lighten the earth with the glory of that other angel of Revelation 18:1?
"Great truths that have lain unheeded and unseen since the Day of Pentecost, are to shine from Gods word in their native purity. To those who truly love God the Holy Spirit will reveal truths that have faded from the mind, and will also reveal truths that are entirely new. Those who eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God will bring from the books of Daniel and Revelation truth that is inspired by the Holy Spirit."ó Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 473.
"A holy influence is to go forth to the world from those who are sanctified through the truth. The earth is to be encircled with an atmosphere of grace. The Holy Spirit is to work on human hearts, taking the things of God and showing them to men."ó Testimonies, vol. 9, p. 40.
The pen of inspiration has given us such a graphic description of the magnificent results to human beings from this type of education that we can but stand aghast that there have been so few who have matriculated in this divine school.
"There is a science of Christianity to be mastered,óa science as much deeper, broader, higher than any human science as the heavens are higher than the earth. The mind is to be disciplined, educated, trained; for we are to do service for God in ways that are not in harmony with inborn inclination. Ö
"The precious graces of the Holy Spirit are not developed in a moment. Courage, fortitude, meekness, faith, unwavering trust in Gods power to save, are acquired by the experience of years."ó Ibid., vol. 8, p. 314.
"Those who are under the training of the Holy Spirit will be able to teach the word intelligently. And when it is made the study book, with earnest supplication for the Spiritís guidance, and a full surrender of the heart to be sanctified through the truth, it will accomplish all that Christ has promised. The result of such Bible study will be well-balanced minds; for the physical, mental, and moral powers will be harmoniously developed. There will be no paralysis in spiritual knowledge. The understanding will be quickened; the sensibilities will be aroused; the conscience will become sensitive; the sympathies and sentiments will be purified; a better moral atmosphere will be created; and a new power to resist temptation will be imparted."ó Fundamentals of Christian Education, pages 433, 434.
All these benefits may be ours if we allow the Spirit of God to complete His sealing work in our individual hearts. Indeed, they must be ours if God is to make use of us in the closing work of the gospel. Touching our lives on every side are men and women unsatisfied in their quest for that complete expression of self to be found only when self is utterly lost in Christ. As long as we continue to be occupied in self-expression ourselves, we can never hope to impress them that what we have found is in any way superior to what they have. Only as the precious fruitage of the Spirit becomes daily more and more apparent in our lives can they perceive the true meaning of redemption as God intends it to be demonstrated in us.
We dare not wait for the pastor or some other Christian worker to give them this divine instruction. The wisest counseling along this line will prove meaningless to one who sees no evidence that Godís plan is practicable. From each of us God has a right to expect continual proof that the power He offers through His Spirit is effectual in changing lives and fulfilling manís greatest longingóto be like the One in whose image he was originally created.
The most powerful instruction will fail to open blind eyes unless the individual is willing to be instructed. Each individual must rid his own life of self in all its forms before he can receive the latter rain. When once this has been accomplished, then nothing on this earth can prevent the infilling of the divine Spirit. The initiative is manís.
"Place your mind and will where the Holy Spirit can reach them, for He will not work through another manís mind and conscience to reach yours."ó Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 214.
| Articles Index | Golden
Bible Studies | Ten Gospel Truths