Preaching the Gospel, Preparing a People

Grieving the Holy Spirit

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Grieving the Holy Spirit

MP3 Audio (12.1 MB)


Grieving the Holy Spirit

MP3 Audio (12.1 MB)

Life's greatest mistake is grieving the Holy Spirit. Have you ever really stopped to focus on how serious that is?


This afternoon what I'd like to do is address a subject that certainly I, personally, feel may be one of the most important topics that needs to be addressed as we approach the Passover season. It's one that maybe we haven't talked about in specific terms. We've referenced it in general terms, but this is something that I think we can all glean some very important information from in the word of God and will help us to have, maybe, the best Passover ever.

One thing for sure, this sermon is not designed to cast stones at anyone, so don't anyone, you know, your toes start to curl a little bit and you start to feel the pinch. Just remember, it's happening to all of us because we're all involved in this calling. The Bible addresses these things in specific terms; and it doesn't want us to run away from it and wants us to face the reality. If we say, for example, as Passover approaches, that we have no sin, then we lie and the truth is not in us. Well, we want the truth to be in us. We want to understand how we can best serve the God who gives us every breath we breathe, and we know that we don't do that perfectly. We falter in many areas.

If you were to ask questions of people on the street—you know, you see these on-the-street interviews and they ask people questions—if you were to ask people, "In your opinion, what is the greatest mistake you've ever made in your life? What is life's greatest mistake?" Well, you might get answers like this: "Well, I messed up in school. I thought school was a joke, so really I didn't pay attention and I wasted my time and I really feel bad about that." Someone else might say, "Well, I got stuck in a dead-end job. I went for the money and I was sorry because it wasn't quite what I thought it was going to be. Now I have no prospects at all." Another might say, "Well, you know, I did a dumb, stupid thing and got messed up in drugs; and it really messed me up big time. But like so many others, I thought that was the thing to do, and now what I've done is I've ruined my health." Like you see this crystal meth and some of these things that, oh, it's sad to watch a person who can look so handsome or so beautiful, and then they look like, man, they're over the hill at such an early age because of these drugs.

Then, some might say, "Well, my biggest mistake and life's greatest mistake has been trusting the wrong people. They really let me down," and someone else might say, "Oh, I can tell you that one in a second. Marry the wrong person. That was my biggest mistake. Instead of discovering heaven, I discovered hell." And a lot of people feel that way about their marriage and what has happened. Some feel that, well, they bought the wrong house and that was the biggest mistake because they overextended themselves, and now they're in great financial difficulties.

The interesting thing is that mistakes these may be, but there's a far greater mistake that we as human beings make, and that's something that I think we need to look at today. That's the topic of this sermon: grieving the Holy Spirit. Grieving the Holy Spirit, because we're all guilty of this to one degree or another. Some maybe more than others, but you see, as human beings, in order to function every day, the Bible shows we're kind of a blend where the Bible uses the term, "body, mind, and spirit."

Genesis 2, verse 7, reminds us we're all from the dust of the ground. You ladies didn't come from the dust of the ground. You came from Adam's side. You have a special honor to be at the side of man who was taken from the dust of the ground. Then we find that with regard to the mind, the mind is the source of your conscience. And that plays a very, very important part in all of our lives. It makes us aware of what is right, what is wrong, and so forth; and then, of course, that terminates when a person becomes deceased.

In Psalm 146, verse 4, we're reminded that in that day when the person becomes deceased, the thoughts perish and that right now, while you're in the land of the living, you can be thinking of a million and one different things. You know, your mind is just racing all the time, thinking about this, thinking about that, what you're going to eat later tonight after services, and where you're going to go and who you're going to be with. But when you go horizontal tango, as they say, what ends up happening is your thoughts perish. It means something is not functioning anymore because, again, the body, the mind, or the conscience functions in conjunction with what Job said in Job 32, verse 8, and that is, there is a spirit in man and woman. God has placed that in all of us; and the spirit in man, as well as woman, combined with the physical brain of the body, produces the mind power and gives us the ability to have what we call conscience. And, then, something else is added in the process of a calling from God; and that calling, then, gives us access to the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God matching with the human spirit, opens up a whole new vista of understanding that is denied people who are living just on the physical plane. When you're on the physical plane, you don't even know what God is up to. But it says in I Corinthians, the first or second chapter there, where it says, God has made known these things to us by His Spirit. He has opened our eyes to see and grasp these things.

Now, take away any one of those components and people are in trouble. The mind, for example, or the the schools today are being educated in the wrong way all too often. Colleges, libraries don't teach the right thing; and young people get all messed up in their outlook toward life. There's a lot of physical knowledge about the human body. But what about the spirit, the spirit in man? How people should control and guide their minds and how the Spirit of God plays into that is something quite different. But when people do become, a few of them become aware of the fact that maybe they should be seeking to develop the spiritual side of their life, all too often they go to the wrong spirit and they read the wrong books and feed their mind with the wrong things and end up with chaos, confusion, and, in some cases, people get so distraught that they even commit suicide, and that's sad. But that's everyday life. That's what we hear on the news. That's what's reported.

What you and I need to understand in terms of the Bible and what it's trying to convey to us regarding this subject, grieving the Holy Spirit, is that this is one of the areas that Satan is working overtime, I believe, in these end times. He wants us to grieve the Spirit of God because that will throw a monkeywrench into what God is doing in all of our lives. He {God} is bringing a transformation in our lives to help us fulfill the purpose for which we are called now, as men and women of God; and that is that we are to exercise the laws of God in our lives and, with the help of God's Spirit, we are able, then, to do what we cannot do on our own strength.

Now, the Old Testament is just an example of that. You look in the Old Testament and you see physical Israel, "All that You have said, we will do." They couldn't do it. God knew that from the very beginning. That's why all this was laid out from the foundation of the world, that Christ would have to die because He would have to be the second Adam. The first Adam couldn't deliver the goods, and none of us can deliver the goods. And as a result, we find ourselves stuck in a very, very dangerous state of affairs that only God can rescue us from. And that's the message of the scripture, and that's the good news, that as serious as our problem is, God has given us the good news that we can be rescued through Jesus Christ. He is the second Adam, and He is the one who will guide us and bring us ultimately to the Kingdom of God. He's the captain of our salvation, as it's put in other places.

Now, look at the world in which we live and what do you see today? You see terrible, terrible beating of the drum of negativity in the minds of people. People are just being bombarded 24/7 with negativity. That's why when we come together on the Sabbath, we come to worship God in spirit and truth, to leave the world outside. Don't bring it in here with us. Forget that and soak up as a sponge the word of God, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. You have to hear it, because what it does, it nourishes the spirit in man. You and I as men and women, cannot make this happen unless we nourish the spirit in man. God's Spirit has to help us in that process. That's why the glory goes to God, not to you, not to me, not to any human being, because, have you noticed lately? You can't keep the Ten Commandments. Have you noticed how many times you've said, "I'm not going to do that again," and you did! It happens in our lives. And Jesus made it very clear, He said, "The spirit is willing." Every one of us wants to do the right thing, but what's the monkey wrench in the whole operation? "The flesh is weak." Under the right pressure, the right circumstances, we all cave, don't we? Or as put in the sermonette, we crash and burn. Yeah, we do. Simply because we can't deliver the goods. The whole lesson of scripture is, we've got to go to the source where we can find the answers that will bring us the salvation we need.

There's a spiritual salvation and a physical salvation that the Bible addresses, and that is a very important area. The world is going to need God's physical salvation because if He doesn't send Jesus Christ to this earth, we're told in Matthew 24, there would be "no flesh saved alive," because we've got Netanyahu now who has become the Prime Minister of Israel. He has made it very clear. He says we cannot afford to have nuclear weapons in the hands of radical regimes. These people don't want to talk. They want to shoot missiles at you, and the Israelis know that. The Israelis are not going to stand by and just wait. Like he said, "They're after us now, but they're coming after you, too, America. You're the big Satan; we're the little Satan." So it makes it very clear that these are some very, very dangerous times, perilous times, as the scripture says; and what the word of God is designed to do, it's designed to feed the spirit in man, which, another way of saying that is how it acts on our conscience.

It feeds our conscience with the right response, what we should have. The Greek word means, "that process of thought which distinguishes what is considered morally good or bad." That says it all in the nutshell. God is teaching us to be exercising to know what is morally good and, you know, what is morally bad and to stay away from the bad and embrace the good. But humanly we can't pull that off by ourselves. We can acknowledge it mentally; but emotionally and physically, we don't have the strength to bring it to pass. That's where God's Holy Spirit comes into play. That's where it has been totally put in the background in this world. The Spirit of God has been misrepresented, and grieving the Spirit of God is something that the Bible tells us we must be very much spiritually aware of because that's how Satan is going to try to slip through the back door. He's going to try to do damage by causing us to grieve the Spirit of God because that's the very catalytic agent that brings about the transformation and the changes that you and I need in our lives. That's what we're going to see in just a little bit.

Now, we live in a world filled with doubt. Doubt. There's an old saying: "He that doubts is damned already." You can just live in a world and just be bombarded with doubt, and then, finally you don't believe anything. And yet, the Bible constantly says your salvation is predicated on believing. As Jesus said, "Do you believe that I am He?" It's not Buddha. It's not Shinto. It's not any of the other types of religion in the world. It is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the one we've got to believe in. According to Acts, it tells us that there's no name given under heaven whereby we can be saved except through the Lord, Jesus Christ. Well, that sounds like priority to my mind, and it should be to your mind, as well. We should look at that very carefully and say we don't want to do as it says in I Corinthians 10, Paul's writings there in about verse 11, where it talks about all these things happened to them for our admonition in the church.

Well, what happened back there? You get the classic example. I'll just give you the scriptures, Psalms 78, verses 17-22, and you'll find out something there very interesting. They doubted God. They doubted. God brought them out of slavery, brought them out of Egypt, took them into the wilderness, provided for them day and night, their shoes didn't wear out, their clothes didn't, they had heat during the night with the fire, and they had a cloud during the day to keep them cool so they didn't burn out there in the desert, and guess what? "Can God give us food? Can God give us water?" Man alive, folks! What happened? Don't you remember what happened? But, you see, they weren't thinking of that. They weren't thinking of, "What a great God we have been blessed to come in contact with—the God of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who promised to deliver us; and here we are. We're delivered. We're free people." That didn't happen. It was in one ear and out the other. And so, all they were thinking about, "I'm hungry. I want flesh to eat." "All right, we'll give you flesh and let it come out of your ears and you'll drop dead with it, you'll be so stuffed with flesh," and that's what happened. They literally pigged out on it, as the old saying goes; and they ended up suffering terribly.

They doubted God, and that's where it says, you know, you make a major mistake in your relationship with God when you doubt what He says. That's what the Bible is telling us. They doubted God. And it says in verse 22, "Because they believed not in God and trusted not in His salvation..." They needed physical salvation. They're stuck in the middle of the desert, in the Sinai, and they have to get to the promised land. Unless you trust God, you're not going to get to the promised land, plain and simple.

Well, we've been promised the promised land, the Kingdom of God. And none of us will make the Kingdom of God unless we trust in God through Jesus Christ, plain and simple.

Now, who do we follow? Well, in this world, people are following all over the place; but you and I are told to follow the admonition of scripture. Now, why is that so important? Because it is the word of God. It is inspired by God in such a unique way that there is no other avenue that you can come up with the conclusion, "This has got to be God's word. How could it happen this way?" Men don't write the way the Bible is written. These types of words sink deep into your mind and they get into that conscience and they make you think. Again, if you're going in a way you shouldn't go, the Bible pulls you right back, because the Bible then feeds you through the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit of God, and feeds that spirit in man. That's why it's so critical because if we are ignorant and inexperienced in any given area, you need guidance and help. You need guidance and help. Now, who do we follow when it comes to spiritual matters? Well, the admonition is...and we've got two good examples: Proverbs 21:21 Proverbs 21:21He that follows after righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor.
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is King Solomon, the finest and greatest man of physical wisdom by God's decree. And he said there:

Pr. 21:21 — He who follows righteousness, notice that, follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor.

Now, the one that I think is unequivocally the final answer is Jesus Christ Himself. That's found in John 8, verse 12. And in John 8, verse 12, notice what Jesus said:

John 8:12 John 8:12Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
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— Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me," notice, if you follow Jesus Christ, "shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life," because He was the light of life. He came to bring the light of God's truth into a darkened world, and so, when we embrace Jesus Christ, we embrace the truth, we embrace the light of God's wisdom and understanding.

So, there you have a plain, simple answer to, if you don't want to grieve the Spirit of God, you've got to follow Jesus Christ. But look at the world today. Who are they following? They're following every Tom, Dick and Harry out there that's trying to come up with screwy ideas, telling them that, you know, you're already God, you already have God in you and you don't need God. Well, I'm sorry. They're wrong. They're very, very wrong. Some of the top leading personalities in the entertainment industry embark on some of these crazy projects, and the books that they advocate are absolutely blasphemous. And they're not the type of things that any sound-minded person should get involved in.

But here we find that the Bible gives two very important elements. Because God hides Himself, Isaiah 45, verse 15, we are told there:

Isaiah 45:15 Isaiah 45:15Truly you are a God that hide yourself, O God of Israel, the Savior.
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— Verily You are a God that hides Himself, O God of Israel...

And so, since He is invisible to mankind, how do we follow Jesus Christ? The only way that I know how is the word of God. The Bible is the written word of God. He was the physical representation of God's word, made manifest in human form. Now, isn't it interesting today that you and I find ourselves living in a time when, what? The Bible is under attack. "You cannot believe the Bible. You cannot put your trust in the Bible." Well, if I can't put my trust in the Bible, then I can't put my trust in the one who is called Jesus, right? Because He's in the gospel message.

What else is happening? Oh, well, you're hearing things like the DaVinci Code, where they say God is not really divine. Jesus is not divine. He's just a man. Oh! He's just a man, like everyone else. Then, did He die for His own sins, too? Because then we have no Savior if He died. But, see, they called Him, "Well, we be not born of fornication," so they slapped Him right in the face and they denied the one thing that God said He would give us. Isaiah the prophet said, "Behold, the Lord will give you a sign. A virgin shall conceive." The last time I figured that one out, virgins don't conceive unless they have another partner. They have to have somebody else to make a virgin conceive. There has to be a male counterpart. There was none in Mary's life. She was conceived of the Holy Spirit, it said. That was power from on high that God took that young lady, the handmaid of the Lord, and her womb became the carrying place for the body of the embodied Son of God who came to earth in an earthly form. And that's being attacked and destroyed today and torn apart, and so, again, people are saying in essence, "I don't put any faith, I don't put any confidence at all in the Bible." That's the way they're living their lives. But you and I are told in Romans 15, verse 4, that all of this is written for our learning, that we might have hope and confidence from the scripture. Well, we need hope and confidence today because we live in a negative world.

Now, faith is very important, but how does the word of God, how does it translate to us? How does it help us in any way, shape, or form? Let's go to Romans, chapter 8, and verse 14, and notice what it says:

Romans 8:14 Romans 8:14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
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— For as many, notice, as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons as well as daughters of God.

So you have to be led of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is always leading us in the right direction, and we're told in Romans 2 that the goodness of God leads us to repentance. It is going to show us where we're wrong and where we need to change, because if we don't change, then we're still stuck in the bad mode of operation. And what that does, it grieves the Holy Spirit. So faith is required.

Hebrews 11:6 Hebrews 11:6But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
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— But without faith it is impossible to please Him...

So the Bible is a book understood in the context of faith. You and I have to put our confidence and faith in God. If He can make the heavens and the earth and all the things that we see, can make male and female and all the marvelous creatures of creation, and He can't make this Bible tick? He can't bring this Bible together, make it happen? That's an insult to the intelligence of Almighty God because He did, and He says He did. All scripture is given by inspiration of God. "Theopneustos," God breathed. He has an active part in bringing all these pieces together.

So grieving the Spirit of God is when a person refuses to put faith and confidence in God, then the Spirit of God is grieved. Many times Jesus would say, even to His own disciples, "Oh, ye of little faith." Of little faith, and if you had even a little faith, what could you do? You could move mountains, he said, if it were necessary. In other words, with faith and confidence in God, you're connecting with the power of the universe when you connect with God, and that's why it is so important not to grieve the Spirit of God. If you were to, as we say, play devil's advocate, I can tell you where he's going to go after. He's going to destroy..."When the son of man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Now, why is that? Because if he {Satan} can wreck your faith, if he can destroy your confidence in the word of God, he knows that you will grieve the Spirit of God. It will stop the process that will bring the transformation that we all need, as men and women, to become the sons and daughters of God. This transformation goes on inside to the glory of God. As we're working out our own salvation with fear and trembling, it is God who works in and through us to accomplish His will and good purpose. He gets the glory. Why? Because you and I can't pull it off. But as we yield to Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God, then it is accounted as our faith is in there, just as we believe, like Abraham believed, it's accounted unto us for righteousness through Christ. That's the beauty of it. You and I, what's our righteousness? Last time I checked [sniffing], doesn't smell too good, like filthy rags. You and I need the righteousness of God at work in our lives.

So we see that faith is necessary. Let's take a look at Acts, chapter 5, verse 32. Now here we find that Peter is saying:

Acts 5:32 Acts 5:32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God has given to them that obey him.
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— And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those, note, who obey Him.

So faith will do what? It will begin with the Spirit of God working on the spirit in man, and it's going to, then, cause one to act obediently. That's why Jesus said, I think it was Luke 6:46 Luke 6:46And why call you me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
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Luke 6:46 Luke 6:46And why call you me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
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— "But why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say? You say in part, but you don't follow through."

The Spirit of God is going to lead us to do...and what did it lead us to do many years ago? It taught us that we have to be here on the Sabbath. That's why we're here, folks. To worship God in Spirit and truth, and God is the one who made that possible. You and I, for many years, maybe have been grieving the Spirit of God and didn't even know it, because there's a lot of things we don't know sometimes and God has to bring us to a step-by-step awareness as He spiritually works with us and helps us to grow in grace and knowledge.

So grieving the Spirit of God is impacted when, if you'll turn to John, chapter 16, notice what it says here, in verse 13:

John 16:13 John 16:13However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.
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— However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, another name for the Spirit of God. It says "He," but the Greek word is "ekeinos," meaning "it." Properly translated, it, this power source will transmit, it will guide you into all truth; for it will not speak on its own authority, but whatever it hears it will speak; and it will tell you things to come."

So the Spirit of God nourishes the spirit in man and gives you the ability, through your mind and conscience, then, to see and understand things in a spiritual dimension that you could not see before. That becomes a powerful, powerful testimony to the word of God.

When we do not call on God for help, that's another aspect of how we grieve God's Spirit, when we don't call on Him for help. He tells us, if we have any needs come up, He says come before the throne of grace, come boldly. But sometimes we don't do that, do we? Sometimes we've been guilty of trying to work things out our own way. And that, to a degree, has happened to all of us. And we have to learn that our way doesn't work. And even if it works temporarily, that's all you've got—temporarily. And it will cease to exist. Because once you're dealing with the scriptures and the revelation of God and once you understand about the scripture concerning grieving, God deals in this way. Anything that we do in this life, no matter how important we think it is, goes nowhere. One hundred years from now, every one of us in this room will have been forgotten, if time were to go on, based on present situations. Things may change and the Kingdom of God may be here by that time, a hundred years, and, God willing, we'll all be a part of it. That's what we pray and we watch for; but if, in theory, time just went on like it always has been going on, the rise and fall of nations and what have you, what do you have? You're forgotten. Who knows about Genghis Kahn? Who cares about Adolph Hitler? You know, people today don't even believe Adolph Hitler killed six million Jews. That's how fast they've forgotten, and that's only sixty some years ago. Ask a Jew that's got a number written on his arm, tell him that it never happened.

These are the things that show how fast we forget. And if you remember, there was that movie by Mel Gibson called "The Patriot." And in that movie there was one very sad scene where the British grab all these continentals and they stick them inside, these citizens, and they stick them inside of a church and lock the door and throw a torch on it and burn the whole place down. And the commanding officer tells the other guy who's kind of emotionally torn, "Should we have done this?" He says, "Hey, a hundred years from now, nobody's going to remember this incident. Nobody's going to care." And that is true, folks. That's the sad part of it. These terrible atrocities that have happened down through time, nobody cares. Only God and Jesus Christ have witnessed these terrible things down through time, and He has told us about this, and He said it's going to happen again, just like it was in the days of Noah, and you're going to live to see it. And either there's a God who's got a strong hand from somewhere who's going to do what He says He's going to do, or we've had it, folks. Plain and simple! Because you can't save me, I can't save you, nobody can save us. Only God and Jesus Christ can save us. And the Bible says He's going to send His angels to do what needs to be done at the proper time, and then He's going to send Jesus Christ to come back in absolute power and glory, and those who have been faithful will be excited and looking for that wonderful time. The others are going to be terrified out of their very heads. They're going to be absolutely horrified, wanting mountains to fall on them. Who can stand before the day of His wrath? Because they know they've stepped over the line.

Well, not calling on God can be very bad. Isaiah 43, verse 22:

Isaiah 43:22 Isaiah 43:22But you have not called on me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel.
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— "But you have not called upon Me, O Jacob..."

You see, we're not calling on God today. It happened in Old Testament times. It's happening today. We're not calling on God. Do we have leaders that are standing up and saying, "Let's call on God and see if God will heal our land. Let's humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God. He's done it before. He can do it again. We've been in terrible situations before. He delivered us. We can do it again with His help." Will we go to God that way? No. It's just mouthing form and ceremony in our world today. Ignoring God's call can be devastating because mankind today does not want to listen to the law of God. They don't want to hear about that. And the law of God is critical because that is part of the New Covenant. It has to be written in our minds and it has to be written in our heart. What that basically translates to, it means it has to be stamped in our character because Jesus Christ will not violate the law of God, and if Christ is in us, Galatians 2:20 Galatians 2:20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
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, then what? You are crucified with Christ, yet you live, yet not yourself. It is Christ who lives in you. It is a miraculous process that God is doing in our lives. It's called the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. And that's why it is so imperative that we don't grieve it. Because by doing things that grieve the Spirit of God, it's like throwing a monkey wrench into the gears of operation. There's an operation of faith going on here, and then it gets disrupted and we can't afford to let that happen.

Spirit-led men and women are going to be filled and seeking constantly the spiritual power that comes from on high. Jesus said to His own disciples, I think it was in Luke 24, somewhere in that area. Let's go back and take a quick check on that. Let's go to the latter part of the book of Luke. Luke, chapter 24, I believe it is. Yes, Luke, chapter 24, verse 49. It says:

Luke 24:49 Luke 24:49And, behold, I send the promise of my Father on you: but tarry you in the city of Jerusalem, until you be endued with power from on high.
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— "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with," notice, "power from on high."

That Greek word means power. "You're going to be given spiritual assistance to help you in the job that you have as My disciples." And we are the disciples of God in this end time. We're called to do our part in the work of God. Hebrews 11 says that they without us cannot be complete. It's a united effort that God has purposed from the beginning.

Now, we are told that marvelous things happen when that power is available. For example, Joseph had access to that power, and you remember he had gone through a lot of hurdles and problems in his life. But finally, when he came out, God raised him up because He gave him the blessing. He had access to that power of God. He had visions and dreams, and he saw the seven fat cows and the seven lean cows, and then he told Pharaoh what it was. He said it's going to be seven years of prosperity and seven years of leanness. And Pharaoh said, "Why don't you take charge of that." And so, that's exactly what happened. And Joseph got busy and he started gathering all the food stuffs and everything, and what did he do? He saved the nation and the ancient world at that time from starvation. It was a serious problem, but his ability to have access to God's power in those visions and the gift that God gave him, bingo! The ancient world was indebted because people came from different places to buy food stuffs, and that's how God, in His great wisdom, was going to bring down somebody from Palestine and that area and Canaan, brought the family down, the brothers, and there was a reuniting and you know the rest of the story.

In the book of Joshua, or excuse me, the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 34, verse 9, Joshua is recorded as leading the nation to glorious victories against superior enemies, superior odds. How'd you like to go against 20 to 1 odds in a battle? I think every man, if you were in combat, would say, "Twenty to one odds? I ain't got a chance!" How you going to survive?

Well, it's like the story that I read one time about a British RAF fighter pilot in World War II, in the battle of Britain. Phenomenal story. He said, as a young boy...I say young boy, 19, fighter pilot, a teenager, jumps in a spitfire and goes up against, as it says in the book, his story, twenty-to-one odds against Messerschmitt fighters, you know, and bombers; but the planes were just all German and they're going up into this, and here's what he says. He says, "You know, you only have so many rounds of ammunition. You've got to make it count." You can't just hold the button down on the machine gun, or you'd shoot up all your bullets and you're in trouble, against twenty-to-one odds, so what you do is you make your moves, you go into your dives and attack the enemy. You shoot bursts, and you hope that burst hits the target right where it needs to go. Here's his answer. He says, "It was just as if angels were guiding our bullets to the target." He says, "I could not miss." Now, to me those are miraculous stories. These are men who have lived it. You know, he could have been shooting and the bullets going every which way. He's watching planes go down. Even against twenty-to-one odds, they were tearing the Germans up in the skies, and that's why it says, "Never has so much been owed to so few," the famous saying by Winston Churchill, those brave men that took to the skies against twenty-to-one, maybe thirty-to-one odds. But God was there, watching over. And God gave Joshua those types of victories.

And you have David. David was just an unknown shepherd boy, but God's eyes were watching. He says, "I see that guy on the hillside over there, that young kid. I like what I see. He has the right kind of heart toward Me. He sees the creation. He sees all the beauty of these things. I want him to be the future king of Israel." And that's what happened. He became one of the greatest kings. They're still naming their kids "David" to this day because he was such a powerful man in the history of Israel; and, guess what else? He was one of the most prolific songwriters of the day. He wrote the Psalms and those Psalms were sung to music with the Levites. It was a phenomenal thing that David was able to do. He was well known for that.

John 3, verse 27, says something that I've always felt personally and believe. This happens in everyday life, in the eyes of humankind. John the baptist is recorded as saying that a man can receive nothing except it be given to him from heaven. That's another way of saying that God rules in the kingdoms of men. Everything that goes on in our lives, God has a part in it. You don't maybe see it and understand it, but it's there. God is going to fulfill His will and His purpose with humankind. And what man receives comes from heaven.

Now, there's a guy, a scientist, who's sitting around with other scientists and discussing an idea, and suddenly he gets a brainstorm. He thinks it's his idea. His name, Albert Einstein. He comes up with the discovery of an equation called E=MC2 and suddenly the nuclear age is born. Matthew 24, no flesh should be saved alive. Suddenly, we have entered into a different time frame of human history.

Have you ever heard the old expression, "So and so was ahead of their time." In other words, they had the thought in mind, but they didn't have the technology or the wherewithal to bring it to pass. There's been a lot of people like that. Michelangelo, Sir Isaac Newton, many of these people, phenomenal individuals; and when you read their history, it tells you something that because of the way they were looking at life and what they were trying to accomplish, God would sometimes give inspiration because you read that the spirit in man is given inspiration and encouragement from the Spirit of God. It comes from God, working with human beings, because He's fulfilling His purpose in the lives of the masses and He's working with human beings, and we have Jesus' own words in John 5, verse 30, where He was asked about certain things and He answered in the following:

John 5:30 John 5:30I can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me.
American King James Version×
— "I can of Myself do nothing."

If that's the Son of God talking and it says in His physical form He couldn't do anything, but the Spirit of the Father working through Him was the one doing it, then how much less can we, unless the Spirit of God is working in our lives.

All right, we're told, also, then, in order to find the source of holiness, wisdom, judgment, all the good things of life, it is by faith that we link up with that power source of God and the Holy Spirit. And then we have to do something. It says, "Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and the doors shall be opened to you." Galatians, chapter 5, verse 16, says:

Galatians 5:16 Galatians 5:16This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
American King James Version×
— ...Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

In other words, if you don't let the Spirit of God lead you, then you will just live your physical life according to the fleshly desires of life: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, the pride of life. If you're over here walking in the spirit, then what you're going to do is, you're going to be spiritually aware of this other side of your nature. This is what Paul was saying, "Oh, the good that I do I don't do it and things I should do I don't, and..." He's struggling with himself. That's written for our learning. We all struggle. We all have these moments. We have to wrestle with ourselves and get a handle on ourselves. But if we ask, then, as it says in verse 13 of Luke 11:

Luke 11:13 Luke 11:13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
American King James Version×
— If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!

And that scripture made me ask a question of myself. Maybe you've asked the same question to yourself. I got to thinking about, "Now, wait a second. Does that mean everybody out there, if they just ask, they suddenly get the Holy Spirit?" And the answer is, no, they don't. But there is something they can get, if they ask. If they will humble themselves, they can have God's Spirit working with them. But then it will lead you in a process to where it will come and dwell in you.

John, chapter 14, verse 17. This is a process that has happened in all of our lives. It says:

John 14:17 John 14:17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.
American King James Version×
— ...the Spirit of truth, and I've always found this quite interesting. It says, whom the world cannot receive...the spirit of truth, God's Holy Spirit, it cannot receive it until there are some changes made. It says, because it neither sees Him, or it, nor knows Him, doesn't understand how it operates as God's word talks about it, ...for it dwells with you and will be in you.

What that is saying is that every one of us went through pre-conversion times when God's Spirit was working on our minds through the spirit in man and it was affecting our conscience to the degree that we began to realize, "You know, I can't go to church on Sunday anymore because He said the seventh day. He didn't say the first day." And then we found out about other things that we needed to do, that God wanted us to be much more careful about how we take care of ourselves, the way we think, the way we eat, the way we sleep. I mean, everything is covered by the power of God's Spirit and presence. And so, we started learning things to change.

"Well, you know, I thought I liked pork chops, but I can't eat them anymore." But a lot of people, "Why don't you eat them? They taste good!" "Well, I'm sorry. The word says stay away from them." And how would you know that except the word of God? Because there are people that eat anything and everything that crawls. They think that's what life's all about. They think if it moves, eat it; and God says, "No way. I put you on this earth and you're supposed to be holy like I am holy, and I want you to follow my direction and instruction."

So we ask for that Spirit. That Spirit, then, will come to anyone, I believe, who humbles himself and asks. If you're praying and asking that Spirit of God, it says He's more than willing to give if you ask.

Now, let's bump it up another notch. How much more for us in the church of God should we be asking, since we have taken a step beyond that. Not just being softened up to the truth of God, but we have stepped out in good conscience and we now, in faith, have been led to baptism through a repentance, and now we have had hands laid on us. We've received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and that's why it says there in Acts that He only gives His Spirit to those that obey Him. And so, whatever spirit people think is of God, if they're not obeying God, it's not the right spirit. It's a wrong spirit.

So we're told to walk in that spirit, the Spirit of God. Now let's close by going to Ephesians, chapter 4, and seeing just exactly what's coming down in how God addresses this thing about grieving not the Spirit. Not only does this apply to the broad general consensus of working with people in the everyday world, but how much more so to those of us in the church of God, because these things, unfortunately, have happened in God's church. It's sad that it does, but it does. People get into certain modes of operation, the way they think, the way they operate, and then they do things that hurt brethren, and the Spirit of God is grieved. And we're told to be careful on that. All right, those who desire not to grieve God's Spirit need to put away sin in all its forms. Now, that's what the day of Passover and the days of Unleavened Bread are all about. They're teaching us what to put away. If we think we haven't got sin in our lives, we're lying. "It's not there." That's not true. But if we recognize that, then we've got a job to do. We have to put off that which grieves God's Spirit.

Ephesians 4:20 Ephesians 4:20But you have not so learned Christ;
American King James Version×
— But you have not so learned Christ...notice, we learn about Jesus Christ. And where do we learn about Him? From the word of God, the Bible. If you close the Bible and put the Bible on a shelf and never open it, you can't learn about Jesus Christ, because He's the word of God. And only through the word of God can the Spirit of God lead you to understand how your Savior and your Messiah died for you and provides a way of salvation for you and your loved ones and for all mankind who turn to Him. Remember, Jesus said, if anybody tries to come any other way, He says, "I'm the way and the truth and the light." It's not Buddha, it's not Alla, it's not all these other diversified religions that people are running around with. It's the truth of God as found in the word of God. And he goes on to say in verse 21, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in what we find from the word of God defines truth.

John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
American King James Version×
— Thy word is truth.

Eph. 4: 22 —...that you put off, concerning your former conversation...we've had to learn how to clean up our language. We live in a world today where we are constantly vexed by the filthy speech of modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah, just like Lot was. You go to a movie today, you have to guard your mind because you'll hear four-letter words thrown at you. Just like we had our family night, we had that cute movie that we had, not one bad name, you know, nothing, not jumping in bed with people and having illicit affairs, just laughing ourselves silly, having a good time, showing that it can be done. But, unfortunately, today so many of the movies are R rated and there's, you know, caution. I have a problem when they say things like "adults only." What do you think curious little kids are going to think? "What are you seeing that I can't see?" And they can't wait to see it. I've often wondered if that's going to come home to roost sometime in a future generation. But it says put off the former conversation of the old man and make sure, because it's corrupt according to the deceitful lusts...verse 23, notice, renewed in the spirit of your mind...Your mind has to go through a change. You've got to think differently. You've got to take charge of how your thoughts are running. Are they just running all over the page, or are they running according to what God has outlined.

Verse 24 — ...and that you put on the new man, the new woman. We're to be a new creation in Christ Jesus. That's what the Bible is affirming, and the more we strive to do that, with the help of God's Spirit, the more we become that way, to the glory of God, because only God can do it. You and I cannot. And notice it says, which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. And, then, here, verse 25, we're told, Therefore, putting away lying...

You know, there was an incident not too long ago I heard in another church area where one of the members was misrepresenting himself to the membership, and the membership was very kind. They were trying to help this individual with his problem and difficulty, but he was misrepresenting himself. He said he had something wrong, a condition that he did not have. And it was found out, and all the brethren found out that they weren't helping. They had been aiding and abetting a serious problem in this man's life. Now, that's hurtful. That's hurtful because it shouldn't be. It was a form of lying, misrepresenting to the brethren; and they wanted to help, and he was taking advantage of them. Now I understand he's no longer with our fellowship. He's marched off to another fellowship somewhere, if my facts are correct. And so, again, let us speak truth, it says, to your neighbor. You don't tell your brethren that you've got a condition and try to play on their sympathy and have them run to your aid, and then you turn around and shortchange them. That's not the way it is. We are members, one of another, as it says.

In verse 26, there are times we may be angry about things, especially we have to be careful that we sin not when anger comes on the line. Don't let the sun go down on your wrath. Why? Because there's somebody out there walking around, seeking whom he may devour. Verse 27, Neither give place to the devil. Give place means you've got to open the door to let him come in. You cannot afford to let this god of this world come around. And if you were stealing in the past, steal no more. Rather labor, work with your hands, do what is good. Give to him that needs. Verse 29, Let no corrupt communication, in other words, don't allow yourself to get caught up in a moment of anger and you say something you wish you hadn't said. Always edify. Be positive. Speak good things. Uplift and encourage.

And verse 30 says the whole purpose of it is, why? All these things do something. It says, And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed to the day of redemption.

You're sealed by that, and if something happens to break that... Verses 31-32, Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one, Roy Holladay, when he was president, he said, looking back in the past history of the church of God, he said, one of the great problems in the church has been we have not treated each other properly. We need to treat each other kindly, tenderhearted...not hard-hearted, but tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's own sake has forgiven you.

Yeah, we've all been forgiven by the grace of God because we've sought that forgiveness, we embraced that forgiveness, and we thank God for that greatness that He has given to us in forgiving us.

Life's greatest mistake is grieving the Holy Spirit, brethren. I don't know if we've ever really stopped to focus on how serious that is. It is vital if we are to be the overcomers that God has called us to be, and that's what God wants from each and every one of us, that we will invite and take the lead of the Holy Spirit and invite the wisdom of God into our minds so that we can walk in the light and not in darkness. May God help us all never to grieve the Holy Spirit.


  • Tammy Vaught
    Mr. Martin was very thorough in taking us through some of our history and showing us how walking in the newness of life is profitable for all things, and crucially, never grieve the Holy Spirit of God by not doing all that God says to do today. He pointed out why God selects people and that God is still doing that today. It helped focused me into the fact that God has feelings and we are the Body of Christ, and that needs to be remembered especially at Passover coming up. I thank God for His Word and the grand examples we have of brethren walking in the Spirit of God.
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