There is nothing more important in these last days that you know what is and is not the Holy Spirit. Discernment comes from understanding, Paul wrote to the politically charged congregation that they would grow in all knowledge and in discernment. (Phil. 1:9) Having this type of discernment means to cut through the hazy ethical issues. We are living in an hour that not having discernment will cause you to be deceived. The only way to grow in discernment is to grow in knowledge of the Holy Spirit of what theologians call Pneumatology.
Many do not have much of an understanding outside of the Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead and us Pentecostals love to talk about the “move of the Spirit.” However, as the last days begin to heat up, having personal and intimate knowledge of the nature and workings of the Spirit will become more critical. In other words, you can’t afford to know Pneumatology. What you believe about the Great Commission (missiology) and eschatology (End Times) will flow out of what you believe about the Holy Spirit.
I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. (Joel 2:28)
Before the rapture of the Church, there will a move of the Spirit that surpasses the Great Awakenings and Azusa Street. It will bring to completion the Great Commission. (Matthew 24:14) The message of Jesus Christ will be proclaimed to every people group with miracle confirmation before the Lord comes to catch away His Church. In other words, the Holy Spirit will become more and more important as we closer to the snatching away of the faithful!
Without the Holy Spirit, there is no bible!
This should go without saying but it seems that people do not understand that the Holy Spirit is the author of the Bible and without Him, there is no bible. More directly, the entire New Testament after the advent of Jesus would not exist. Everyone after the Book of Acts is written within the context of Acts. The Book of Acts more complete title would be “Book of Acts by the Holy Spirit through men and women of God.” Without the Spirit, they had nothing. They did not leave the Upper Room until they had the Holy Spirit. They lived in complete dependence on Him for everything they did.
From Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, almost every chapter has mention of the Spirit. Adam walked with God with the Spirit. (Cool of the day means the breath of God which is the Spirit everywhere else) The Spirit of God was in the midst of everything in the days of Moses, David and Elijah. There is no Samson, Daniel’s lion den, or the deliverance of the Jewish people without the third part of the trinity. Of the 1,189 chapters in the Bible, over 1,000 of them speak of the Holy Spirit, directly or indirectly.
If there is anything we learn from the scripture, it was men and women who had complete dependency on the Holy Spirit. They did nothing with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If you remove that from the Bible, what is left is just a few pages!
2. Without the work of the Spirit, there is no sanctification.
In the moment that you truly repent of your past sins and turn from wickedness in your sinfulness; the Spirit of God regenerates you into a new creation and you are set free from the jaws of sin, death and hell. In this conversion, you are not a child of God and not no longer a servant of your own selfishness. You are justified for your past sin and you are sanctified or set apart so you longer desire to live in the sin that you was did. This means among other things that you have a new King. It is no longer you but Jesus that is coming back for you soon and very soon.
The Greek talks about how when you are sanctified, you are actually consecrated to God for His purposes. It is the Spirit of God living in you that you no longer desire to live like the world does and you are no longer a slave to sin. Because you are a discipline of the Lord, you are led by the Spirit as the marking that you are a child of God. (Romans 8:14)
If you remove the work of the Holy Spirit from the conversion process, you have nothing left. You can not be saved with the Holy Spirit taking up residence in you and making you consecrated to God.
3. Without the Holy Spirit, there is no anointing.
The reason we have power over sin in this world is the anointing. It makes all the difference. That anointing is from the Spirit of God. Without the source, there is no outcome. To walk in the power of God, we must have the Holy Spirit. The anointing comes from allowing the Holy Spirit to work in you and work out of you your own selfish desires. The anointing of the Spirit comes from the crushing of the flesh. There is no death of self apart from the Spirit and as a result, there is no resurrection power but by the Spirit as well. The only way to have intimacy with the Spirit is by surrender to Him so your flesh can be translated into anointing.
The picture that is given by scripture is that being anointed, you are smeared with oil. You are covered and everywhere close to you is touched the oil that was poured out on you. Anyone that was close to someone that was anointed would come in contact with the oil. When we are anointed by the Spirit, we also are smeared and anyone close to us will be touched as well.
Having a desire to know Pneumatology gives you a framework for understanding and responding to the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The truth is that the more you know about the Spirit, the more anointed you can become in a faster time.
4. Without the Spirit, there is no discernment.
In the times we live, the need for biblical discernment is more important than ever. It is critical that people can discern if someone is send to you by God or by the enemy. If you lack in discernment, you will grow in deception. We are commanded to know people by the Spirit and not by the flesh for a reason. Flesh does nothing but someone with a demonic spirit can destroy lives. It is also true that a lack of discernment can destroy congregations as well. The closer we get to the rapture, the more important that it becomes to know who is and is not of the Spirit. We can only know through the Spirit Himself. We grow in it by learning the nature and role of the Spirit. One of the way is biblical study of Pneumatology.
Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about the need for discernment. Before any discussion about spiritual gifts or marriage, he made it clear the foundation for all thing spiritual is walking in the discernment of the Spirit. He tells us that we not know the thoughts of God without the Spirit, the what we walk in is not of this world but from above, and that knowing what spirit people are of is having the mind of Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:10-16)
“To discern spirits we must dwell with Him who is holy, and He will give the revelation and unveil the mask of Satanic power on all lines.” Smith Wigglesworth
5. Without the Spirit, there is no miracles
The Lord told us that we would preach the gospel with miracles. Mark, Luke. John and Peter all tie miracles to the gospel message. The early church believed the miracles were what would confirm the resurrection of Jesus. The book of Acts is about the spread of the gospel with signs and wonders. There is no healing, no deliverance from demons, no word of prophecy or knowledge apart from the Holy Spirit. Any attempt to do that would equal to divination. The same Spirit of God that redeemed you at the altar of conversion is the same Spirit that destroys cancer and depression. The same testimony of resurrection that creates regeneration in you also gives testimony of it by healing the sick and raising the dead.
The word used for the power of God often in the New Testament can be translated as miracles. There is a divine connection between the two. It is used over 100 times and almost 70 percent of the time, it is attracted to miracles in some form. When we say that God is Omnipotence; we are saying that the Spirit can and does still do miracles. There are at least 164 miracles in the Bible. (Oddly, there are more in the Old Testament than there is in the New Testament) That is a verifiable miracle ever 7th chapter in the Bible!
While some people do not like the talk about miracles (there is extra-biblical emphasis currently!), there is no denial of the miracles that happened in the Bible and there is no reason to believe that the frequency has changed. If anything, it would have increased as the population has increased on the earth.
Where do you go from here?
If you are more more interested in learning about how the Holy Spirit and growing in the understanding of Pneumatology, here is a few books that I would suggest.
- What the Bible says about the Holy Spirit by Dr. Stanley Horton
- Baptized in the Spirit by Dr. Frank Macchia
- Mission after Pentecost by Dr. Amos Yong