SIGNS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
“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.”
The prophesied coming of the Messiah was fulfilled through Jesus Christ and also as to the coming of the Comforter. Before the Lord Christ finally ascended in heaven he gave a hundred percent assurance for the coming of the Comforter. He as well promised to return to personally welcome those who will endure at the end; to receive the mansions prepare for them in the Kingdom of Heaven. With that being said it is unequivocal to conclude that the Holy Spirit will come first before the Christ’s purported Second Coming.
In John 14 verse 26, it is written, “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’s words are obviously clear, that is, the Holy Ghost will come “to teach” and “will bring into (our) remembrance” all things said by the Lord Christ.
Many Christians are contented with the plain notion that the Holy Spirit will come purely as a spirit and not in a “flesh and blood” simply because he is a “spirit” and not a “holy person”. If it is true, then there is no reason to believe that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. By having a second glance on the verse, “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”, we can have the following points to consider:
• Comforter – the Holy Ghost (who is to be) sent by the Heavenly Father in Jesus Christ’s name.
• Holy Ghost – will teach all things and will bring all things into (our) remembrance of what Jesus Christ had said and done.
The Lord Jesus Christ himself fulfilled many old time prophecies concerning his coming as the Messiah as he personally disclosed them in his words and deeds: he is born of a virgin and his name shall be Immanuel (Isa. 7:14 vs. Matt. 1:18-25); he is from the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18 vs. Matt. 1:1); he is from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10 vs. Matt. 1:2); he is the Son of God (Psa. 2:7 vs. Matt. 3:17); he is from the House of David (Jer. 23:5 vs. Matt. 1:1); and, he will teach in parables (Psa. 78:2 vs. Matt. 13:34), among others. These things the people knew and understood only after his death which brought remembrance to the prophecies from the olden days.
In other words, the Holy Spirit will come into this world in like manners the Lord Christ came, and will bring forth of the same things the Christ did, for our remembrance. Henceforth, he will be born as a son of a man and will complete his ministries in almost the same pattern as that of the Lord Jesus Christ’s. In John 16:7, the Christ Jesus said, “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”
In this chapter of the book we will see through available verses who the Holy Spirit is as prelude to the Second Coming of the Christ, and how can we know him when he comes in flesh and blood and not just a plain spirit in nature and essence.
The Spirit of God
The Spirit of God is God Himself manifesting in the form of spirit since the beginning of time. The Spirit of God is different from the Holy Spirit (also known as Holy Ghost) yet they shared the same attributes. Since God is a spirit, He is a conceptual ideal in form that can only be described intuitively and cannot be compared with anything material or physical thus our description can only be feasible in our cognitive domain. There is even a Hebrew belief that the Lord’s name cannot be just uttered as it should be because there is none, not even the letters in the alphabet that can represent Him or His name. During the early days, the Hebrews were abound instead to call the Lord in His name in the Tetragrammaton (quadrilateral divine name of God) form, meaning its four-letter forms, like JHVH (Jehovah), YHWH (Yahweh), or oftentimes LORD, all capitalized with the last three letters smaller in sizes, which means “Adonai” out of respect with God’s commandment “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain”. Each letter in the Tetragrammaton represents meanings designating godly attributes, as one cabbalistic interpretation explains, the Torah constitutes one long name of God, and that it was broken up into words so that human minds can understand it.
The Spirit of God itself is the divine mechanism of His Supreme Being which is in constant manifestation with His creations since time immemorial.
From the Old Testament verses listed below, we will find the gradual changes in the manners by which the LORD had manifested Himself to His people during the olden days, compared with the Holy Ghost of the New Testament, in the following selections:
1. In the beginning of time, following God’s creations of the heavens and earth. (Gen. 1:1-2):
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
2. Inside the Garden of Eden, subsequent to Adam and Eve’s disobedience to God by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. (Gen. 3:8):
And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
3. To Adam and Eve, when they were expelled out from the Garden of Eden as consequence to their disobedience of God’s ordinance. (Gen. 3:21):
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them. And the LORD God said, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”
4. To Cain, on his transgression after killing his brother Abel. (Gen. 4:15):
And the LORD said unto him, “Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.”
5. To Noah, in preparation for the great flood. (Gen. 7:1):
And the LORD said unto Noah, “Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.”
6. To Abram (Abraham) for the fulfillment of the covenant between him and God. (Gen. 12:1):
Now the LORD had said unto Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will show thee.”
7. To Abraham, for and on the restoration of the covenant between him and God. (Gen. 17:1-9):
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.” And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, “As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.”
8. To Abraham and Sarah, for Sarah to bear a child; before the fate of the City of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen. 18:1-5):
And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them , he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant: Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant.” And they said, “So do, as thou hast said.”
9. To Isaac, on the event of famine, commanded by God to go to a land promised to him; renewed the covenant between his father Abraham and God. (Gen. 26:1-4):
And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, “Go not down into Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of: Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I swore unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”
10. To Moses, on top of Mount Sinai (in Midian) before his return to free the Israelites out from the land of Egypt. (Exod. 3:1-4):
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.” And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses, Moses.” And he said, “Here am I.”
11. To Moses and the Israelites during their stay in the wilderness of Sin (between Elim and Sinai) after their long escape from the land of Egypt. (Exod. 16:4-5, 10, and 19:16-20):
Then said the LORD unto Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.”
And it came to pass, as Aaron spoke unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying, “I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God.”
And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him by a voice. And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the LORD called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up.
12. In the tabernacle prepared by Moses on the occasions of the congregations of the Israelites. (Num. 14:10, 16:42, and 20:6):
But all the congregation bade stone them with stones. And the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of the congregation before all the children of Israel.
And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the LORD appeared.
And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.
13. To Prophet Samuel. (1Sam. 3:21)
And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
14. To King Solomon. (1 Kings 3:5, 9:2, 11:9).
In Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
That the LORD appeared to Solomon the second time, as he had appeared unto him at Gibeon.
And the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned from the LORD God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice,
15. To the Prophet Jeremiah. (Jer. 31:3).
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying , Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
Manners of Manifestations of the Spirit of God
1. As a spirit. (Gen.1:2; 1Sam. 11:6).
2. Like a man, in flesh. (Gen. 3:8; Gen. 18:2-5; Exod. 33:11).
3. As a mere voice. (Gen. 7:1; Exod. 4:4).
4. On a strange appearance. (Exod. 24:10).
5. As a flame of fire. (Exod. 3:4; 1Kings 18:38).
6. Like a pillar of cloud, like a pillar of fire. (Exod. 13:21).
7. A glory; a ray of light. (Num. 14:10; Num. 16:42; Num. 20:6).
8. In dreams. (Num. 12:6; 1Kings 3:5; Matt. 2:13; Matt. 2:19).
9. In visions. (Num. 12:6; Ezek. 1:1; Acts 18:9).
10. Will show Himself no more. (Deut. 18:15-16).
The Holy Ghost
The doctrine of the Catholic Church concerning the Holy Ghost forms an integral part of her teaching on the mystery of the Holy Trinity, of which St. Augustine (On the Holy Trinity I.3.5), speaking with diffidence, says: “In no other subject is the danger of erring so great, or the progress so difficult, or the fruit of a careful study so appreciable”. The essential points of the dogma may be resumed in the following propositions:
• The Holy Ghost is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity.
• Though really distinct, as a Person, from the Father and the Son, He is consubstantial with Them; being God like Them, He possesses with Them one and the same Divine Essence or Nature.
• He proceeds, not by way of generation, but by way of spiration, from the Father and the Son together, as from a single principle.
So, who is really the Holy Ghost? One reference also concurs that the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Divine Trinity. His personality is proved from the fact that the attributes of personality, as intelligence and volition, are ascribed to him. (John 14:17, 26; 15:26; 1Cor. 2:10, 11; 12:11); He reproves, helps, glorifies, and intercedes. (John 16:7-13; Rom. 8:26); He executes the offices peculiar only to a person. The very nature of these offices involves personal distinction. (Luke 12:12; Acts 5:32, 15:28, 16:6, 28:25; 1 Cor. 2:13; Heb. 2:4, 3:7; 2 Pet. 1:21).
His divinity is established from the fact that the names of God are ascribed to him (Exod. 17:7; Psa. 95:7; vs. Heb. 3:7-11); and that divine attributes are also ascribed to him, omnipresence (Psa. 139:7; Eph. 2:17, 18; 1 Cor. 12:13); omniscience (1 Cor. 2:10, 11); omnipotence (Luke 1:35; Rom. 8:11); eternity (Heb. 9:4). Creation is ascribed to him. (Gen. 1:2; Job. 26:13; Psa. 104:30), and the working of miracles. (Matt. 12:28; 1Cor. 12:9-11). Worship is required and ascribed to him. (Isa. 6:3; Acts 28:25; Rom. 9:1; Rev. 1:4; Matt. 28:19).
The Holy Ghost is one of the divine agents of God for which manifest itself in the form of divine wisdom or heavenly glory. It is the extension of the living power of God and is given to those who will invoke for it; for the Holy Ghost shall teach in the same hour what one ought to say. (Luke 12:12).
Obviously, the Holy Ghost is a separate entity but a part and a co-essential substance of God whose standing is co-equal with the Father and probably higher than the Son. The verse, “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” in Matthew 12 verse 32 implies that the Holy Ghost is in a higher hierarchy compared to the Son. This is subsequently supported by the verse, “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation.” (Mark 3:29). Nevertheless, the Holy Ghost cannot completely intercede with the faith and fate of men unless prior requisites must come to pass. (John 7:39, 16:7).
Early Manifestations of the Holy Ghost
1. To Elisabeth, cousin of Mary; mother of Christ:
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. (Luke 1:41).
2. To Zacharias, husband of Elisabeth; a priest:
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people. (Luke 1:67-68).
3. To Simeon in the temple during Christ’s offering of sacrifice:
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. (Luke 2: 25-26).
4. In Jordan River, to Jesus Christ following his baptismal:
And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. (Luke 3:22).
5. Again, to Jesus Christ prior to his fasting of forty days and forty nights in the wilderness:
And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. (Luke 4:1).
6. To the apostles and the early converts during the days of the Pentecost:
And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:4).
A HOLY SPIRIT
A holy spirit is different from the Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost. A holy spirit is one that stands for with the divine ordinances and working in accordance with the divine plans and wills of God. The Holy Spirit is the Divine Power which God uses to conclude prior events to happen for the culmination of Jesus Christ’s Second Coming in the Last Days. Originally, all spirits were holy just subsequent to their creations. Some became unclean (i.e. demons, evils) because they refused to follow divine ordinances and thus were cast down from heaven to earth and were called the “fallen angels” (Isa. 14:3-20) or the unclean spirits. Hence, being said, even the fallen angels still have the tendency to do good things despite being fallen (2 Cor. 11:14) yet have no chance in whatsoever means to regain their positions in heaven. “There are the workers of iniquity fallen: they are cast down, and shall not be able to rise” (Psa. 36:12).
Because of this the Lord Christ did warn us of the wickedness of Satan and his cohorts; of the evil spirits that are roaming around and ready to devour in times not expected, and that man must be guided accordingly, with knowledge of wisdom, through the holy spirits to distinguish the holy from the unclean ones. These words were exemplified in Matthew chapter 7, verses 15 to 18, by the Lord Jesus Christ:
“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.”
The Gifts of the Spirit
There are many human attributes that can be acknowledged as gifts of the spirit, yet the foremost of these gifts are, life, wisdom and spiritual salvation. Other gifts are, the gift of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues (1 Cor. 12:8-10), and the gift of righteousness (Rom. 5:17), among many others. There are different contentions as to the precise meaning and essence of these gifts. Nevertheless, these are discussed below on their simplest definitions:
• The Gift of Life
Every person is a living spirit because he is an entity in the unity of spirit and flesh making him a “living soul”. Life would be nothing if man has no spirit because he will live without a purpose. His existence would be like those of plants or animals only for the consumptions of others. It is the spirit that makes man unique from the rests of creations, and this is the reason why he was given the authority and dominion over all creatures. (Gen. 1:28). It is also through the spirit within him that man seeks, for the salvation his spiritual self. “Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (Rom. 5:18).
• The Gift of Wisdom
The spirit makes one wise (2 Sam. 14:20), which makes him able to discern the good from evil, to perpetuate those things good, and to avoid things evil, for which in turn makes him a noble person. (Dan. 9:21-22). The spirit makes man a master of his own field for it gives him a higher level of marksmanship (Exod. 35:31, 35), and understanding (Prov. 9:10); it controls the anger and makes man hold his peace. (Prov. 11:12). Wisdom is the principal among all spiritual gifts. (Prov. 4:7). This is the gift King Solomon asked from God, better than all material possessions which made him exceeded all the kings of the earth. (1Kings 10:23).
• The Gift of Knowledge
The spirit gives man the gift of knowledge. Knowledge is power and understanding. Understanding is wisdom. Accordingly, there is knowledge God forbids men to know yet the angels are in possessions since God laid the foundations of the earth. It says that the angels (including the demons which formerly were angels) have access to spiritual knowledge which remains secrets until men are ready to know of these. All spirits (in classifications and forms) in their original nature are the closest to the akasha records of information about everything, harking from the very fountain source of this knowledge (God), since the beginning. This same source of knowledge which is (now) partially conveyed to man gives him the gift of understanding.
It can be recalled that in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were forbidden to take fruits of the tree of knowledge of god and evil for they will surely die. Yet Adam and Eve did partake of the fruit the serpent gave. And this mere act of eating the fruits simply signified that they have already acquired some knowledge and have had in their possession since their expulsion from the Garden. Yet, the same knowledge is already known by the angels ahead of them. When the Watchers co-habited with the “daughters of men” they revealed these knowledge to them.
• The Gift of Faith
Faith is a gift from good spirits while fear is a feeling or curse from the unclean ones. Faith signifies spiritual relief and assurance in one’s quest for spiritual comfort and for the salvation of his soul, for it offers optimism and hope beyond material life. Faith brings man closer to God.
The whole Chapter 11 of the Epistle to the Hebrews discusses more about faith:
1. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
2. For by it the elders obtained a good report.
3. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
5. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6. But without faith it is impossible to please him : for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
7. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
8. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
9. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
10. For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
11. Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
12. Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
17. By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
18. Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
19. Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
20. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
21. By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshiped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
22. By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
23. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
24. By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25. Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
27. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
28. Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
29. By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land : which the Egyptians attempting to do were drowned.
30. By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
31. By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
32. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthah; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
33. Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
34. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
35. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
36. And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
37. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
38. (Of whom the world was not worthy): they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
39. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
40. God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
• The Gift of Healing
The gift of healing is perhaps the most common place recognizable gift of the spirit yet the most misunderstood of all the gifts. The gift of healing, like the gift of life, is inherent in every person yet only few have developed the ability to enhance and use this gift. This is because not everyone has able to tune himself to the subtle vibrations of the cosmic consciousness or to the akasha plain and drew from it the glory and bliss of this gift. Every person is by birth pure in spirit, and if only man can able to maintain this purity in his heart and deeds, then it would be easier for him to cultivate this gift, for his material body will be an abode of the holy spirits.
WORKS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Again, this verse would be our guiding light in our search of the coming Comforter as promise by the Lord Jesus Christ:
“He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”
Although, at one hand, there are thousands of those who can demonstrate a Jesus Christ-like enigma and claimed of divine interventions, the chosen few likewise, on the other hand, are in silent observance and acting in accordance with God’s divine plans. And that, many might have been convinced of those claims of divine utterances by the false prophets, still the sounds of trumpets are soundly harking calling for them to witness what were foretold to come in this generation of ours. The Lord Christ had laid the foundations and given mankind the examples of his works and words. Hence, history will repeat itself to remind us of the same examples in building the pillars of his city and the foundations of his kingdom in his coming reign.
For the above purpose, let us take a second look of the things done by the Lord Christ which will soon be brought again into our very own eyes by the Holy Spirit himself; a reminder of the things done by the Christ, and a cue that the Comforter has finally arrived.
• He turned water into wine. (John 2:1-11).
• He healed the sick. (Mark 1:21-34).
• He healed the paralysis. (Mark 2:1-12).
• He calmed the storm. (Matt. 8:23-27).
• He raised the dead. (Matt. 9:18-26).
• He fed a multitude. (Matt. 14:13-21).
• He walked on water. (Matt. 14:22-36).
• He healed the epileptic boy. (Matt. 17:14-21).
• He healed a blind man. (John 9:1-34).
• He raised Lazarus from the grave. (John 11:1-46).
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The gifts of the Holy Spirit are higher in kind compared to the gift of a holy spirit for the Holy Spirit emanates from the highest spiritual category in line with the Spirit of God Himself. These gifts are manifested only among God’s special entities and elects, like the prophets, the apostles, and the Son of God (Son of man).
“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?” (1 Cor. 12:28-30).
• The Gift of Miracles
This is one of the major gifts of the Holy Spirit for it embodies the characteristics of the source. A miracle is a phenomenon discribed as a result of the divine act of God. No one, not even the angels of darkness can perform miracles unless with the intervention of the divine because this act is a distinction of the Holy One. Whenever God performs miracles these are without exemptions and lasting, and yet when the angels do, they would appear only as a mere magic or illusion that will last only for a while. In other words, the miracles of the divine are facts while those of the evil are mere illusions.
Examples of miracles are those performed by the Lord Jesus Christ which were testimonies proving his divinity; such us those previously enumerated. Other examples of miracles are those of the Prophet Moses as he turned the river into a stream of blood (Exod. 7:19) or split the Red Sea where they crossed upon (Exod. 14:21); or those of Prophet Joshua as he parted the Jordan River (Josh. 3:7-17) or delayed the setting of the sun (Josh. 10:12-15); or those of the Prophet Elisha as he made the Jericho spring water drinkable (2 Kings 2:19-22). These were all made possible through the mighty power of the Holy Spirit of God in harmony with the power of nature.
• The Gift of Prophecy
There are special people with the ability to see the future with a hundred percent accuracy. These are the people with the gift of prophecy and are called prophets. The prophets are the chosen people-mediator between God and his people.
The gift of prophecy comes to those who received divine revelations and are the mouthpieces of these events to come. All the prophets we knew of today as recorded in the pages of the Bible were, in one time or another, have received revelations either directly or indirectly from a divine source and given the ability through divine inspirations to interpret or reveal these things. “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” (2 Pet. 1:21)
Hence, not all those who profess of the same things and utter their fallacies, or of same sort of things, in this generation of ours, are not inspired by God which the Christ had warned us of their handiworks.
• The Gift of Discerning of Spirits
Yes, we were warned by no other than the Lord Jesus Christ himself to beware of those false prophets (Matt. 7:15) who will come to deceive many. (Matt. 24:11). These forewarnings and many others, of the Christ implied that a righteous man who serves God must know how to distinguish the good from the evil, the clean from the unclean, or the true from the false prophets. In other words, the gift of discerning of spirits is given only to those who serve God and not to those who serve iniquity, for this gift emanates from the divine spirit of the Lord Himself.
• The Gift of Tongues
It says that the first time the Holy Spirit manifested itself with the multitude during the Pentecost after the departure of Christ, He made everyone a mouthpiece of hidden knowledge as they began to speak with other tongues. (Acts 2:4).
It can be reacalled that prior to the Tower of Babel there was only “one language” the people on earth were speaking until God had compounded this language and scattered mankind on the face of the earth, and there, they populated the world according to their new languages. Henceforth, this “one language” is the compendium of all known languages today, and the gift of tongues is the same knowledge the Holy Spirit gives to his elects as a divine mechanism in order for them to speak all the known languages on the face of the earth. Perhaps, this is a provision to the verse, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt. 4:19).
• The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues
The gift of interpretation of tongues is simply a provision to the gift of tongues which suggests it be the ability to understand all known languages, old and new, for all languages emanated from “one language”, which is the language of God.
THINGS IN OUR REMEMBRANCE
“These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.” (John 16:25).
Find a man who is doing or did exactly all the things done by the Lord Jesus Christ. If anyone can find this man in the likeness Jesus Christ in deeds then this man must be the fulfillment of the promised Comforter by the Lord Christ to send. In so doing, let us list down all the known miracles of the Christ and the possible candidates therein then examine against the list if everything ever they have done all equated with that of the Christ’s did and qualified to be considered as such fulfillment of the promise.
However, it is not an assurance that whoever we found is the one we are looking for unless the Holy Spirit concurs Himself, in secret. Hence, we may find hundreds of individuals with almost the same attributes and deeds like the Christ but we must also be guided by the words of the Christ Himself; to beware of the false teachers and prophets who will also cast unclean spirits and speak strange utterances during the last days. And that, we may also find individuals claiming divine utterances and professing of the mysteries of the Holy Spirit yet, in their wills and spirits, they are the cohorts of the evil’s wickedness. For the Christ once said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21).
• Healing the sick
Obviously, for many, healing the sick is the most commonly acclaimed act attributed to the divine spirits. In the Philippines alone, there are countless individuals who are known of their healing powers and abilities who can able to heal even those cases of terminal sicknesses claiming divine act or intervention of good spirit entities or some sorts of known saintly spirits in their healing activities. Some even invoke the names like, Sto. Nino, Virgin Mary, the Christ, and other known saintly beings of the Catholic fold and affirmed as the sources of their healing powers. There are also known quackers who practiced medium healing through the help of medium spirits from an unknown sort or from the underworld. Yet, the Lord Christ had healed lots of sick people, ranging from the ordinary to the almost hopeless cases, such as paralysis, blindness, epilepsy and the like, through the power of divine healing which is possible only to those of divine beings. It means those who have claimed of the gift of healing may really have the power to heal but have not duplicated exactly those healing miracles done by the Lord Christ. Again, we must be reminded that even the angel of darkness can show himself as an angel of light and can also perform healings.
Nonetheless, if the Lord Christ did heal many, the Holy Spirit as well will do the same when He comes to bring forth in our remembrance the things done by the Lord Jesus Christ.
• Turning water into wine
Not to my knowledge there any man in our present generation had turned water into wine in an instant. We understand as science explains that the best wine is a product of fermentation, such that it takes days, months or even years to turn a natural fruit juice into a good wine. Yet, the Lord Christ did turn water into wine in an instant by just blessing or saying a prayer of a sort. This was the first miracle of the Lord Christ which never been duplicated by anyone else. It’s a miracle of a holy being, hence a big point to consider in our search for the promised Comforter.
• Calming the storm
Had anyone heard of a man who also had calmed the storm as the Lord Christ did? Basically, we knew that nature has its own pattern of activities beyond human power. This is the law of nature and man is in no way has the ability to counter this power because he is just a mere part of this same nature. This only implies that man has no power to overturn or to control nature but must submit himself on it instead. Yet, the Lord Christ had calmed the storm whose power is not within the realm of ordinary men; a power that never been duplicated by any person or even by the most advanced technology ever invented by man; which power is possible only with those of the divine beings, like him.
• Raising the dead
Is raising the dead already a modern-day phenomenon that is being practiced nowadays in the field of medicine and paranormal? If that is so, then there is no need of the many advance technologies and new medicines that have been invented for curing to save the lives of thousands who are suffering from serious cases of incurable diseases. But none has yet been reported who did this thing except those of the Lord Christ as recorded in the Bible. And the truth is, no one can stop death and no one in our knowledge has the ability to restore life that has already been gone for many days. And yet the Lord Christ did so when He raised Lazarus from the grave or when He raised a dead young girl. So, if there is a man claiming to be the returned Christ let him prove his claim by doing the same and raise the dead, too.
• Feeding a multitude (Matt. 14:13-21)
Again, not to our knowledge there any man who can able to duplicate this same miracle done by the Lord Jesus Christ. And if there anyone who can do the same then he must be the fulfillment of the promised Comforter. For example, is there any man in this generation of ours who can feed a multitude out from only few foods, like the Christ did when He fed a multitude of people out of only five loaves of bread? Yet, none is been recorded so far.
• Walking on water (Matt. 14:22-36)
And who among those claiming to be the returned Christ can demonstrate a Christ-like enigma by walking on water like the Christ did? This is also something they have to consider before openly flagging themselves as the returned messiah because claiming something without proof is tantamount to lying, for lying is also the work of the devil.
However, I saw one particular illusionist in the person of Mr. Chris Angel who also walked on top of water, like the Lord Jesus Christ did and also levitated himself and crossed over from the top of one building to another, like a god, floating in the air amidst of astounded expectators. I am almost convinced that Mr. Blaine really possessed a power like the power of the Lord Christ but I am doubtful of its source. Enough that I saw him performing those magical illusions yet I have no right to judge him, but I am pretty sure he is not the promised Comforter.
HE IS ALREADY AMONGST US
“Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” (Matt. 13:13-15).
Like the above verses concerning parables, the coming of the Holy Spirit as promised by the Lord Christ might already have been fulfilled without our notice. In this case, we might be like those priests and scribes being the administrators of temples and divine worships who supposed to be protecting him against his transgressors yet the one who persecuted him because of their ignorance of the state of affairs of God. The irony now lies to the fact that there are millions of people claiming to be true Christian faithfuls and their respective denomination the true church of God proudly proclaiming of their fallacies yet never in their entire lives have received true revelations or even visions directly from God. In other words, they are just the fulfillment of the words of the Prophet Jeremiah saying; “Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.” (Jer. 23:32). The same words came from the mouth of the Apostle Paul saying, “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.” (Gal. 6:4). These people; these religious leaders are succumbed and contented with their false doctrines without even examining deeper unto their very foundation and sources.
In this generation of ours, there are thousands of Christian sects and denominations resulting from either personal or secular interpretations of the Bible; whose very foundations are likened to those “seeds fell by the way side or on stony places” (Matt. 13:3-8). The truth is, the Bible is likened to a treasure map pointing to the treasure’s exact location yet it will be revealed only to those whose faiths have rooted into the good grounds. Always remember that the angel of darkness might also appear like an angel of light and will court those ignorant of the truth on the earthly affairs God. We were also warned by the Lord Christ himself of the false teachers and prophets who will surface and claim of divine utterances during the last days. With these we must therefore always beware more than ever.
Because the truth is, the Holy Spirit had already fulfilled the prophecies concerning his coming. The Lord Jesus Christ as well had already returned as he promised two centuries ago. Ours’ is the time for the fulfillment of these promises; this is the time of the Renewed Covenant (Jer. 31:33) and we are now living in the time of the Holy Spirit. Again, let me reason out for a while. Today, people are generally designated with three names: first, middle and surname signifying “trinity”, unlike before when people have only one or two names. Is this an obvious sign in our time?
And again, let us examine the implications of the false prophets foretold long time ago. If we were warned of these false forecasters who will show up during these days, there will also be “righteous prophets” who will appear at the same time. They are the true hosts “blowing the trumpets” (Isa. 18:3) and holding the New Covenant with them in this generation of ours’.
As it is always said, history is a continuous process, like a journey that is continuously moving towards its designated end. But this journey’s end is unpredictable and changing because we tend to go back to our previous path and progress on the same scale. Perhaps, there must be something back in our previous trails that we unconsciously ignored to heed for but a prerequisite to further our journey. In this same manner, I believe, there are also prophets who are continuously blowing the trumpets for our generations to heed – that the Holy Spirit has come and had already sealed his New Covenant with his chosen people.
Hence, it is a pronouncement to all concerned. “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to lose the seven seals thereof.” (Rev. 5:5).
(End of Chapter Two)