by Carl H. Stevens
Day and night for three years, the apostle Paul taught believers in the city of Ephesus (Acts 20:31). During those days, people came out twice every day to hear the Word of God preached. Believers were hungry for the truth and recognized their need for a sure foundation in the midst of the turbulent times they were living in. Paul clearly understood this and made himself available to preach and teach so that these Christians would possess a stable faith.
Isn’t it true that we as Christians must be careful not to enter into a casual attitude about hearing and receiving the Word of God? Coming to church needs to be a priority for every believer. Many professing Christians consider reading the Bible and receiving instruction in the truth unnecessary. This continues even as things spin out of control in this world.
Our faith must be established on the absolutes of the Word of God. But, before they can be established in us, our hearts and minds need to hear these truths many times. This booklet discusses the importance of hearing and receiving the Word of God so that we can walk in the Holy Spirit in absolute faith.
Spirit-Led Into All Truth
“The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
“And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure” (Isaiah 33:5-6).
“And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it” (Matthew 7:26-27).
We live in an age where certain religious movements worship the Holy Spirit independent of His relationship to the Father and the Son. Therefore, I believe it is important to discuss the role of the Holy Spirit and the importance of having a living faith in every word that proceeds from God.
In the government of heaven, each member of the Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – is fully God. While they are distinct persons in their expression, they are identical in their character and equal in rank. The Father is the planner, the Son executes the plan, and the Holy Spirit convicts us of truth regarding the plan that is revealed in the Word of God. Together they operate as one Being, in absolute unity, and one is never jealous of another. The Holy Spirit (who is God) understands His role, which is to glorify Christ. Instead of drawing attention to Himself, the Holy Spirit works to convict people of the truth and lead them to Christ through the Word of God.
Human nature tends to be “religious.” Most people try to commune with God through natural forms of worship in human energy. Often, those forms of worship take on levels of emotional expression. But as Christians who have a capacity for God’s righteousness, who desire to experience the life of God, we can move in the Holy Spirit’s river. There, He fills us with wisdom and assurance as we abandon our lives to Him.
Indeed, the Holy Spirit is our Teacher, revealing Jesus Christ to our hearts by renewing us, convicting us, and guiding us into all truth. The Spirit takes everything that the Son says and reveals it to us. With this in mind, it should be easy to recognize how crucial it is for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He evaluates situations to give us wisdom. He completes judgment through the Finished Work, and testifies of Christ and His work in our hearts.
Each morning, we can recognize that we are broken vessels and begin to acknowledge God in all our ways through the Holy Spirit. As we trust Christ with our heart, we are renewed. We become sensitive to God’s initiations of love and life, truth is revealed, and we begin to have discernment. At that point, the Spirit can actually control us.
The beautiful thing is this: Jesus Christ gives us freedom to be motivated and He starts the river of the Spirit flowing inside of us for that day. We receive streams of revelation of God’s truth into the streams of our consciousness.
This can be such a powerful experience. We can grow in righteousness with God to the point where the moment the Holy Spirit is grieved, we are instantly aware and automatically respond.
His divine power in us makes us very sensitive as He guides us into all truth.
Filled with Rivers of Life
“Wherefore as the Holy [Spirit] saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
“Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness” (Hebrews 3:7-8).
People who allow their feelings to be hurt and wallow in their insecurities do not experience the flow of the Holy Spirit within them. Because these people only focus on themselves, rivers of life do not move in their souls, and the divine energy of God is not allowed to work.
We are in bodies of sin and death in the midst of Satan’s world system. Therefore, it is impossible to deal with our carnality unless we permit the Holy Spirit to empower us. We cannot afford to be caught up with natural impressions, careless opinions, and wild personality swings. Those things will cost us too much in our walk with God.
A Mandate and a Provision
“And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).
“Be filled with the Spirit” is a commandment – a mandate from God – which is our provision for life. In our daily lives, some of us get so upset over the simplest things. We get upset when we are not filled with the Spirit. If we are not filled with the Spirit, then we are living in personal sin.
We have a mandate to be filled continually with the Holy Spirit. When we are filled with the Spirit, we will live a selfless life. The Spirit takes self out of the picture and puts God in its place.
Under certain conditions, some believers act strange and abstract around other Christians. They blame their reactions on phobias – but phobias are not the problem. The real problem is a violation of the mandate to be filled with the Holy Spirit. There is no fear in love. There fore, if I am filled with the Spirit, I can be around other people without submitting to my emotions of fear.
A Christian who is filled with the Spirit glorifies God with everything his hands find to do. His silence, his greetings, his handshakes, his countenance – everything about him points in some way to Christ. He is not “performing,” rather, he is honoring the royal law of love (James 2:8). He lives in Divine energy without mood swings. When someone is acting immaturely around him, he doesn’t react. Instead, that moment becomes an opportunity to glorify God and to minister love – either with his silence or through some other form of divine wisdom.
Human Energy Versus the Power of The Spirit
Quenching the Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19), means I put out His fire within me and stop His work in me; I do something to stop the flow of God’s river in my soul. When I am made aware of it, I need to instantly repent and rebound, asking the Lord to fill me afresh. But before I ever quench the Holy Spirit in me, I grieve Him.
Grieving the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) speaks of trying to control what He is doing in me. Suppose I am called to a specific ministry, wherever it may be in the world, and I know it is a definite call. If I refuse to be faithful to that call, though I may go to church and try to do everything right, throughout those years I have been grieving the Spirit, struggling to control the work He is doing in my soul. What I need is to follow Christ with every part of my life.
Some preach Christ and appear to worship Him, but they have been grieving the Spirit for eight, nine, ten years. They may be prospering financially; however, much of what they do is in self-effort – human energy – and in certain are as, they simply are not obeying what the Spirit is telling them.
Human energy can be a powerful force, particularly when a group gets together and operates in unison. Some religious groups can put up an entire church in just a weekend. The call goes out and hundreds of workers show up at a site with materials and tools. Yet, it is very possible that they organized with human energy under the motivation of a religious spirit instead of the Holy Spirit.
As a ministry, we will continue to go to every door and every neighborhood. We have a commitment to the Father and the privilege to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The Spirit always glorifies Christ, taking us out of the picture and putting God in.
Quickened According to the Word
“My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word” (Psalm 119:25).
This psalm speaks of Ezra’s teaching, which he imparted to the people as the nation of Israel was taken into captivity by the Chaldeans. The soldiers abused the children, the women, and the men who were chained together as they traveled from Jerusalem to Lachish and from Lachish to Babylon. Each day at dawn, they would begin marching, so Ezra prayed in the night for God to give him something to share with the people. He asked God to teach him in the night so that he could give doctrine to the people during the next long, difficult day. He developed an amazing ability to isolate the indescribable things being done to him. He knew the people would be looking to him for instruction.
“Cleaving to the dust” might have referred to how dirty Ezra felt after being mistreated by the soldiers. Constantly he had to isolate those feelings and enter into thinking moment-by-moment according to the Word of God.
“Thus saith the LORD; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy.
“And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border” (Jeremiah 31:16-17).
The prophet Jeremiah wept as he watched Israel being marched out of Jerusalem. But he kept teaching as they walked on. He had instructed Ezra, telling him, “Son, you will return. God will bring you back to this place.” And we know from the Scriptures that God was faithful. Ezra did come back to Jerusalem and led in the rebuilding of the city and of the temple (see Ezra 3 and 4).
Truth Chiseled in Our Souls
“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2 Ti mothy 3:5).
“Form of godliness” is morphosis eusebeia in the Greek text, and it refers to someone who has a semblance of reverence toward God – an outward appearance of godliness but no inner power. On the outside, everything seems right; but inside, the foundation is just not there.
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (Romans 6:17).
“Form of doctrine” is tupon didaches. Tupon describes the mark left by a stroke or a blow – such as a hammer and chisel being used upon a rock. Didaches describes the teaching of doctrine. This is a great picture of how God chisels the foundation of truth into our hearts by the Spirit. Objective truth becomes the stability of our lives as we exercise faith that is secure, built on absolutes, having a solid foundation – the Word of God that remains through the most violent assaults.God chisels the foundation of truth into our hearts by the Spirit. Click To Tweet
Renewed Minds Keep Commandments by Love
A Christian with the objective truth of doctrine hidden in his heart has so much more than knowledge. The objective Word brings in Resurrection life because it is built upon absolutes from God. Resurrection life clears away our Adamic personality. That leaves us with divine individuality, allowing the Holy Spirit to glorify God through us.
When the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, we begin to make supernatural decisions that glorify God. The Spirit takes the words of Scripture and reveals what they mean, releasing God’s words to operate in us.When the Holy Spirit guides us into all truth, we begin to make supernatural decisions that glorify God. Click To Tweet
Then, a beautiful thing happens: our minds are renewed (Ephesians 4:23).
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
Notice these verses refer to the renewed mind, never to the emotions. The various words for “new” imply that nothing old is left. Everything about the mind is renewed when our faith is built on the absolutes of the Word. God’s words are spirit and life (John 6:63). Walking in the Spirit means that we do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. The Holy Spirit and the Word – that vital combination – guide each step we take (see Psalm 119:133).
This World Is Not Our Home
We are in the devil’s world system. There is a real battle going on in our midst. Always keep that in mind. This is not home for us. We are strangers; we are pilgrims and foreigners in hostile territory. Our home is heaven.
Therefore, the objectivity of the Word must be our foundation. For example, a husband should receive an hour of doctrine somehow every morning. As the head of his home, he needs to receive the mind of Christ for each day.
We cannot afford to get occupied with any priorities without doctrine flowing into our souls for this day. What we know means nothing if it is not operating as life in our souls. A message we heard three months ago means nothing for the adversity we may encounter today. God reiterates themes, because each time we hear a particular theme expanded upon, it helps us prepare to deal with the current activity of the kingdom of darkness.
God’s Timely Communication
God wants us to have a faith built upon absolutes. He wants us to pay attention to what is being preached now, as we hear it. Each message is for our sakes. To ignore a message is an insult to God’s initiations. If we are not in a place where we can get to church, we need to hear tapes and watch videos and read the Bible and other related books of life. Absolutes from the Book are imperative in order for us to walk in the Spirit.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Why do some Christians have such a problem bringing every thought into the captivity of obedience? It is because the proper flow of the Spirit is not at work in their lives. They do not put themselves in the place where they can receive divine truth through the Holy Spirit, along with divine checks and balances. “Bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This is a commandment – and God’s commandments are not grievous (1 John 5:3).
Tithing is a commandment. It is not a suggestion. More than four hundred years before the Law was given to Moses, Abraham tithed. Abraham commenced it, Malachi commanded it (Malachi 3:8-12), Jesus Christ commended it (Matthew 23:23), and the Word of God tells us to continue it. Abraham gave because the Holy Spirit taught him to do it.
To give a tithe is simply to pay dues to God from the first fruits of the increase He has provided me. He did not say, “Do it when you feel gracious.” God commanded that we tithe. This is an absolute we need to live by. Some believers will get to the Bema Seat and suffer loss of rewards simply because they refused to obey God’s absolute truth about tithing. They will see how they robbed God and rationalized it away.
It Is Love, Not the Law
Read the blessings of God and the commandments of the New Testament. Then, read John 14:15: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” The commandments are kept by love, not by works or by law. I am talking about being filled with the Holy Spirit in order to keep them.
The absolutes of the Word of God are there for us to live by. We cannot be forgetful hearers. God desires that we grow into something deeper than the place where we are right now.
The Holy Spirit will renew our minds for this day and give us the absolute truth to live victoriously, moment-by-moment, in this present evil world.
“Be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23).
The Greek grammar of this verse indicates, through the instrumental case, that the mind of Christ (the foundation of all doctrine), and the Holy Spirit are the instruments God uses to establish absolutes in our minds. We are to receive this action as it is initiated by heaven toward each of us.
God imparts His righteousness to us apart from our works, and He imparts His truth to us apart from our own efforts. The Holy Spirit works in our souls, going beyond our faculties and expanding our capacities, filling us with the doctrines of Finished Work righteousness. He equips us to obey His mandates through grace and through the filling of His Spirit.
Our faith, therefore, is not based upon a system of human energy. It is built upon Christ’s sure foundation of righteousness.
Everything I need for today is supplied through the absolutes that God communicates to me through His Word. This is the integrity of God’s character towards me as He fills me, takes me out of the way, and lives through me by the Spirit and the Word.