BETHEL ASSEMBLY OF GOD

 

SEPTEMBER

23

 

 

know ye not that you are the Temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (I Cor. 3:16).

It is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity, Who has always carried out the Work of God on Earth. In fact, the Word of God begins by telling us that “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). As someone has well said, “The Moving of the Spirit is the beginning of life, and without a Moving of the Spirit, there is no life.”

Regarding the Godhead, the only thing the Spirit of God didn’t do on this Earth was the great Redemption process of Christ in coming to this world and dying on a Cross. But yet, the Holy Spirit most definitely superintended that great Work, the greatest Work of the ages, from beginning to end. The Holy Spirit even told Jesus when He could die.

Paul wrote, “How much more shall the Blood of Christ, Who through the Eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the Living God?” (Heb. 9:14).

It is the Holy Spirit Who makes Christianity different than any religion in the world. Nothing can compare with Bible Christianity.

Once I asked a Muslim why my Telecast was not allowed to air in Muslim countries, adding that Muslims could be on Radio or Television all over the United States if they wanted to be. He passed it off as just being their law, etc. But the real reason is that Islam cannot compete with Bible Christianity, and neither can any other religion.

Tragically, however, much of modern Christianity is corrupt, which means there is no Moving or Operation of the Holy Spirit. As such, the Church becomes ineffective. For the Church to be effective, for our lives to be effective, there must be a Moving and Operation of the Holy Spirit in the Church. This is absolutely indispensable!

When the Tabernacle was constructed, almost immediately after the Law was given by God, the Lord took up residence in the Tabernacle, actually residing between the Mercy Seat and the Cherubim (Num. 7:8–9; I Sam. 4:4). When Christ came, the Holy Spirit dwelt in Christ to a degree unknown by others (Lk. 3:22; 4:18–19; Ps. 45:7).

But the advent of the Cross, which atoned for all sin, satisfied the sin debt owed by all people. So now, upon confession of Faith in Christ, i.e., trusting in what He did for us at the Cross, the Holy Spirit comes into the heart and life of the Believer to abide permanently, as Paul records here.

Jesus actually had said, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter (‘parakletos,’ which means ‘one called to the side of another to help’), that He may abide with you forever (before the Cross, the Holy Spirit could only help a few individuals, and then only for a period of time; since the Cross, He lives in the hearts and lives of all Believers, and does so forever);

Even the Spirit of Truth (the Greek says, ‘The Spirit of The Truth,’ which refers to the Word of God; actually He does far more than merely superintend the attribute of Truth, as Christ ‘is Truth’ [I Jn. 5:6]); Whom the world cannot receive (the Holy Spirit cannot come into the heart of the unbeliever until that person makes Christ his or her Saviour; then He comes in), because it sees Him not, neither knows Him (refers to the fact that only Born-Again Believers can understand the Holy Spirit and know Him): but you know Him (would have been better translated, ‘but you shall get to know Him’); for He dwells with you (before the Cross), and shall be in you” (which would take place on the Day of Pentecost and thereafter, because the sin debt has been forever paid by Christ on the Cross, changing the disposition of everything) (Jn. 14:16–17).

However, it’s not finished yet!

The ultimate desire, that, in fact, which will be the ultimate conclusion, is when God changes His Headquarters from planet Heaven to planet Earth, which the last two Chapters of Revelation proclaim. Then everything will be as it ought to be.

John said, “And I heard a great Voice out of Heaven saying (according to the best manuscripts, the Voice now heard was heard “out of the Throne”), Behold, the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God (finally proclaims that which God intended from the beginning).

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes (actually says “every teardrop” in the Greek, referring to tears of sorrow); and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain (addresses sin and all its results): for the former things are passed away” (refers to the entire effect of the Fall) (Rev. 21:3–4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good News and Bad News

Read Nahum 1:1 through 3:19

A popular type of joke today uses the “good news/bad news” format. This is where someone says there’s good news about something but there’s also bad news about it. The humor or irony comes from how the bad news affects the good news or vice versa. In Scripture good news is no joke.

Look, there on the mountains, the feet of one who brings good news (Nahum 1:15).

Although it was not intended as humor, Nahum also had good news and bad news, depending on the perspective of the hearer. Things would go well for Israel and Nineveh, a long-standing enemy, would face judgment.

Likewise, the message about Jesus is good news to those who hear and accept it. But it is indeed very bad news for those who choose to reject the salvation Jesus offers to everyone.

Thought for Today: Oftentimes the difference between good news and bad news is perspective.

Quicklook: Nahum 1:12–15


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