The Great Need of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is not only to sanctify but to convict. No one can repent of his sins until he is convicted of his guilt. How necessary, then, it is that we should have the Holy Spirit with us as we labor to reach fallen souls. Our human abilities will be exercised in vain unless they are united with this heavenly agency. . .

-God's special messenger to the Advent people

"Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the utter most part of the earth." God has left nothing undone that could in any way work for the recovering of man from the toils of the enemy. He poured upon the disciples the Holy Spirit, in order that they might be enabled to co-operate with divine agencies in reshaping and remodeling human character. Of the Holy Spirit Jesus said, "He will reprove ["convince," margin] the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment." The Holy Spirit is not only to sanctify but to convict. No one can repent of his sins until he is convicted of his guilt. How necessary, then, it is that we should have the Holy Spirit with us as we labor to reach fallen souls. Our human abilities will be exercised in vain unless they are united with this heavenly agency.

Men have fallen low, they are sunk in depths of sinful degradation, and it is because of a lack of knowledge, of the want of connection with vitalizing truth, and because they are contaminated by the corrupting influence of error. In the work of saving men, men and angels are to work in harmony, teaching the truth of God to those who are unlearned therein, in order that they may be set free from the bonds of sin. Truth alone can make men free. The liberty that comes through a knowledge of truth is to be proclaimed to every creature. Our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the angels of heaven are all interested in this grand and holy work. To man has been given the exalted privilege of revealing the divine character by unselfishly seeking to rescue man from the pit of ruin into which he has been plunged. Every human being who will submit to be enlightened by the Holy Spirit, is to be used for the accomplishment of this divinely conceived purpose. Christ is the head of His church, and it will glorify Him the more to have every portion of that church engaged in the work for the salvation of souls.

Christ Our Sufficiency

Our Saviour is to be more distinctly recognized, and acknowledged as the all-sufficiency of His church. He alone can perfect the faith of His people. There is to be no wrestling for the supremacy among us, no exalting of self. No, brethren, let us lift up Jesus, and we shall reap a rich harvest. "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Lift Him up, then; exalt the Holy One; proclaim Him "the Desire of all nations," the "chiefest among ten thousand," the one "altogether lovely." Let every church of every clime take hold with an intense interest to help advance the cause. And while you labor for your own locality, pray for the general prosperity and upbuilding of the church throughout the vast harvest-field.

There is more joy in heaven over one sinner that repents, than over the ninety and nine who suppose they need no repentance. When we hear of the success of the truth in any locality, let the whole church join in songs of rejoicing, let praises ascend to God. Let the name of the Lord be glorified by us, and we shall be inspired with greater zeal to become workers together with God. The Lord urges us to fulfill the injunction, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." But we need to leave more room for the working of the Holy Spirit, in order that laborers may be bound together and may move forward in the strength of a united body of soldiers. Let all remember that we are "a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men." Therefore each one should quire with meekness and fear, What is my path of duty? Entire consecration to the service of God will reveal the molding influence of the Holy Spirit at every step along the way. When apparent impossibilities arise in your path, present the ever-ready, complete efficiency of the Holy Spirit before your unbelieving heart, that it may shame away your over-cautious spirit. When your faith is weak, your efforts feeble, talk of the great Comforter, the Strength of heaven. When you are inclined to doubt that God is working by His Holy Spirit through human agents, remember that God has used the church and is using it to the glory of His own name. If men will not obstruct the way, God will move upon the minds of many more to engage in active service for Him.

Christ's prayer to His Father in be half of His followers was not in the interest of a few; it embraced every believer in the Son of God. "Neither pray I," said Christ, "for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." The words of this prayer are very precious. Notice what follows: "And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."

Of all persons on the earth the true Christian is the one that the world has the most need of. But while they remain in the world, they are not to be of the world. The Saviour prayed: "I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil." The religion of the Bible is to be revealed in this world, in order that souls may be led to discern Christ, the Light of the world. As light is revealed, by following that light we may escape from all darkness; for He has said, "He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." The rays of the Light of life shining from the Lord Jesus enable humanity to pick their ground, to wage successful warfare, and triumph over the powers of darkness. This glorious Light reveals the abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Walking in its beams we find ready admittance there.

The Great General Is Leading

The great General is not only leading a few soldiers; but the Captain of the Lord's host is leading the armies of both heaven and earth to battle; they are marching on to a glorious victory. Every soldier is to put on the whole armor of God, and fight courageously, realizing that he is battling in full view of the invisible universe, If the Lord's army will obey orders, they find themselves influenced by the Holy Spirit to work the works of God. The battlefield is glorified with the light shining from the cross of Calvary.

The prayer of Christ, "that they may be one in us," should be responded to by every Christian. Each one should show an example of holy devotion, of unreserved consecration, to His service. They should be models of self-denying, self-sacrificing laborers, after the example of Jesus that God may be glorified on the earth, and that, beholding the love which binds the believers together world may realize that God has sent His Son to save them from their sins; and that, believing, many souls may be sanctified through the truth.

The promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit is not comprehended as it should be. The privileges to be en joyed through its acceptance are not appreciated as they might be. God desires that His church shall lay hold by faith upon His promises, and ask for the power of the Holy Spirit to help them in every place. He assures us that He is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, than parents are to give good gifts unto their children. Since it is possible for every one to have the heavenly unction, "ye need not that any man teach you," and there is no excuse for shunning responsibilities. No duty should be unwelcome, no obligation evaded. "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally." Place more confidence in "Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." The work of God is retarded by criminal unbelief in His power to use the common people to carry forward His work success fully. Because men cannot see every step forward distinctly marked out before them, they question, doubt, and hesitate, under the plea of caution. They will not walk by faith, but move by sight alone. O that frail man would realize that it is the General of the armies of heaven that is leading and directing the movements of His allies on earth. Christ himself is the renewing power, working in and through every soldier by the agency of the Holy Spirit. Every individual is to become an instrument in His hands to work for the salvation of souls. Not one who desires to labor for the Master is to be refused a place, if he is a true follower of Christ. Every one has his responsibilities to bear in the cause of Christ. The efficiency of the Spirit of God will make effective the labors of all who are willing to submit to His guidance. Therefore, how careful every officer in the Lord's army should be that he does not interpose the commandments and rulings of men between the soldier and his Captain. "Without me," says Christ, "ye can do nothing." If the officers abide not in Christ, they can do nothing. How careful, how humble, should every soul be that is enrolled in the Lord's army; how meek and free from self-sufficiency, should all His officers prove themselves to be.

The end of all things is at hand. God is moving upon every mind that is open to receive the impressions of His Holy Spirit. He is sending out messengers that they may give the warning in every locality. God is testing the devotion of His churches and their willingness to render obedience to the Spirit's guidance. Knowledge is to be increased. The messengers of Heaven are to be seen running to and fro, seeking in every possible way to warn the people of the coming judgments, and presenting the glad tidings of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. The standard of righteousness is to be exalted. The Spirit of God is moving upon men's hearts, and those who respond to its influence will become lights in the world. Everywhere they are seen going forth to communicate to others the light they have received as they did after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. And as they let their light shine, they receive more and more of the Spirit's power. The earth is lighted with the glory of God.

A Sad Picture

But O, sad picture! those who do not submit to the influence of the Holy Spirit soon lose the blessings received when they acknowledged the truth as from Heaven. They fall into a cold, spiritless formality; they lose their interest in perishing souls; they have "left their first love." And Christ says unto them, "Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candle stick out of his place, except thou re pent." He will take His Holy Spirit from the church, and give it to others who will appreciate it.

There is no greater evidence that those who have received great light do not appreciate that light, than is given by their refusal to let their light shine upon those who are in darkness, and devoting their time and energies in celebrating forms and ceremonies. Thoughts of the inner work, the necessary purity of heart, are not entertained. The absence of harmony with God becomes apparent. The light grows dim, goes out; the candlestick has been removed. There is much exercising of man-made authority by those to whom God has not given His wisdom because they did not feel the need of the wisdom from above. This wisdom, "first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be en treated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy," is contrary to their disposition. They have not the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, with which the believer in Jesus should be adorned. They do not represent the meek and lowly Carpenter of Nazareth. They set aside as of little value that which God has said "is of great price."

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
-God's special messenger to the Advent people

July 1973

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

"Let Marble Crumble This Is Living Stone!"

PIONEER medical missionary David Livingstone came to the end of his African safaris one hundred years ago, on May 1, 1873. He died alone, on his knees, in a temporary shelter near the shore of Lake Bangweulu in Northern Zambia. . .

So You're Up For Ordination!

WHAT is the significance of ministerial ordination in the Seventh-day Adventist Church? Is it the church's recognition of a divine call to "preach the word" (2 Tim. 4:2), or is it simply a recognition of faithful service? Should a man who is not a full-time preacher be ordained to preach? Should we ordain institutional workers, teachers, doctors, departmental men, and conference officers whose primary work is not preaching?

The Dating of the Book of Daniel Part 1

THE Seventh-day Adventist doctrinal structure is at several points similar to a spider's web suspended from a single vital strand. For example, our doctrinal distinctiveness lies in eschatology, and our traditional positions here are dependent upon the validity of the year-day principle and the sixth-century dating of Daniel. Concerning the former I have previously written in The Ministry, 1 and it is the purpose of the present article to consider the latter. . .

A Song in the Night

WE HAD finished two evangelistic campaigns in the Honduras Mission and were driving hard to reach the ferry that would take us back to our home territory of Newfoundland. . .

Why I Don't Keep a Notebook

UNTIL twelve years ago my wife and I kept in notebooks the quotations, notes, thoughts, and ideas that we wanted to save. Since then we have discovered a method of filing that has proved to be superior. We file valuable bits of information on 4- by 6-inch slips of paper or cards. . .

Another Look at Armageddon

SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS have spent a great deal of time studying, discussing, and puzzling over the question of Armageddon. The more adventurous continue to probe the subject even though it be with the greatest respect, caution, and reservation. In harmony with this posture, we humbly offer the following exposition. . .

Darwin's Error

IN A letter to Joseph Hooker on January 11, 1844, Charles Darwin wrote: "I was so struck with the distribution of the Galapagos organisms . . . that I determined to collect blindly every sort of fact, which could bear any way on what are species. ... At last gleams of light have come, and I am almost convinced, quite contrary to the opinion I started with, that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable. . ."

Adventist Health Evangelism Today

HEALTH has been emphasized as a cardinal feature of Adventist theology for more than one hundred years. The first health message of the church was given by Inspiration in 1848. By 1893 our founders' interest led to the development of the International Medical Missionary and Benevolent Association. . .

Inasmuch--A Parable

AND it came to pass in those days that there dwelt in a certain land ten honest and goodly men, filled with learning from the schools of the prophets. And as their forefathers had done in generations past, they went forth from the schools of the prophets to proclaim with much zeal the day of the Lord and to do good works. . .

Thoughts After 50

THE Five-Day Plan to Stop Smoking is a work of healing. Ask any physician about his cigarette-smoking patients with coronary heart disease, emphysema, Buerger's disease, or peptic ulcer, and he will tell you how necessary it is for them to stop smoking if they are to arrest their disease, avert serious complications, and initiate healing. . .

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - SermonView - Medium Rect (300x250)

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - SermonView - WideSkyscraper (160x600)