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Ministry of the Holy Spirit: Indwelling (part 2)

Pondering from the Ponderosa, continues. It is true that there was a time when God made Himself known to the Jews by revealing His presence in a temple made with hands. This temple was to be a very special place. God handpicked craftsmen to build it. Each of these builders was adequately equipped and given special wisdom and talent. There were engineers, carpenters, brick masons, and other specialists. They were all gifted artisans who came together to make all that the Lord commanded (Exodus 35:10; 36:1). They were to follow an exact blueprint that God gave to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 25:9).

God made it abundantly clear why such great care was to be taken on the physical earthly dwelling. He was going to meet with the people in that tabernacle (Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 6–8). That must have been an incredible sight. People stood in awe and watched as the cloud came down and rested upon the temple. The God who created them, the God who created this entire universe, visibly revealed Himself to fallen human beings. His presence made known in this way is called “the glory of the Lord” or the shechinah glory. In the Old Testament, these manifestations of God were in the form of the angel of the Lord, light, fire, or a cloud, or a combination of these.

God continued to manifest His presence to Israel in the temple for many years, but the Jews began to rebel against Him. Their rebellion became so blatant that Ezekiel wrote that God’s presence eventually left the temple. This extremely sad scene is described in Ezekiel. God is shown as leaving in stages, each one showing His reluctance to go. He went from the mercy seat and paused over the threshold of the temple and then moved above it (Ezekiel 10:4).

From the threshold of the temple, He moved above and beyond the temple and stood at the eastern gate (Ezekiel 10:18–19). Next the glory of the Lord went up from the east side of the temple and stood on the mountain (Ezekiel 10:22–23). At last, the word Icabod,which means “for the glory of the Lord has departed,” was etched over the temple. God had departed from the temple. What a horrible day that must have been!

Hundreds of years passed. Then one day, it happened. Catch this glimpse! God moved into a new temple, a temple not made of wood or stone or bricks. It is a temple not filled with pews or laden with carpets or with windows filled with stained glass or beautiful rooms with hanging chandeliers. Fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God sent the Holy Spirit who located His presence within the bodies of all believers. “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.

Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1–4). The church of Jesus Christ—believers from every nation, kindred, and tongue—became the dwelling place of God that day. The bodies of Christians are temples of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and we have been bought with the price of His precious blood. Therefore, we are to glorify (shed light upon) Him (1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 2 Corinthians 6:16).

Paul’s letter to Roman believers makes clear the same truth (Romans 5:5). The moment we become a Christian, God the Holy Spirit comes into our bodies and takes up permanent residence. In fact, the Spirit’s presence is absolute proof that we are connected to Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9).

Paul called the Holy Spirit “the Spirit of Christ.” This is one of the miraculous things about the Trinity. The members of the Trinity are coexistent. When one member is present, all three are there (Colossians 1:27). All of Christ’s prophetic words in John 14:20 are fulfilled. Christ is now seated with His Father, we are in Him, and He is in us! What an incredible thought! What an amazing glimpse into the unseen realm of a holy God. Stay safe and stay tuned.

 

Ministry of the Holy Spirit: Indwelling (part 1)

Still Pondering at the Ponderosa. Hope your family is hanging tough. Seven ministries of the Holy Spirit should be known by every believer. We have covered regeneration and Spirit baptism. Our next ministry is indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This subject will take a few days to explain. It all begins with these remarkable prophetic words of Christ found in John 14:20. “At that day you will know that I am in my father and you in Me and I in you.” Three spiritual transactions are covered. Let’s focus on the last part of the prophecy: “I in you.” Jesus meant that there would come a time when He would personally dwell in His disciples. This promise was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. On that day, the church of Jesus Christ was born.

There are great family traditions in the South, and church is one of the greatest of all. Heard in thousands of homes every Sunday morning is the question “Hey, you goin’ to church today?” Church may be a huge brick or concrete structure in a large city or a simple wood-frame building in the country. It may be identified as Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, or Pentecostal, to name a few that we are familiar with.

Church is where preaching and singing are heard and, at times, where one is inspired, convicted, and even converted. Church is where families watch children grow up, get baptized, and marry. It is where friends and family meet and eat and talk about life. It is a momentary reprieve from the stresses of the world.

The kind of church one attends or what religious denomination one is part of likely depends on one’s upbringing. Most seem to prefer a church with an air-conditioned and heated building, a steeple of course, organized meetings, Sunday school classes, great music, and dynamic age-appropriate programs.

This brings up an interesting question: is the true church of Jesus Christ a building? The fact according to the Bible, it is a building. However, it is not a building made of brick, wood, or steel. Nothing could be further from the truth. Catch this glimpse! The church is a building made of people.

The word church in the original language is formed from two Greek words. The little preposition ekmeans “from” or “out from.” The word kaleo means “to call.” When put together, the word ekklesia means “to call out from.” The church is made up of people whom God has called out from the world to be His very own possession. The church is God’s people who have received the ministry of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The God revealed in the Bible is infinite. This means that He goes far beyond our human ability to understand. We cannot begin to wrap our thoughts around Him. This entire universe with its countless billions of galaxies cannot contain Him. He exists outside of that which He created. That is an incredible thought!

Stephen made this point clear in his testimony before the Jews. He recalled the fact that Solomon built God a temple. But God does not dwell in temples made with human hands. Since heaven is God’s throne and earth is His footstool, what house could a human being build that could contain Him? He made everything that is made (Acts 7:48–50). Stay safe and stay tuned!

 

Ministry of the Holy Spirit: Baptism

I am still pondering from the Ponderosa. I realize that we live in a culture of soundbites, but here comes more strong meat from God’s Word.  There are 774, 646 words in the Bible and every word matters. God’s Word contains wisdom that human eyes have never seen, nor ears heard, nor wisdom that has never entered human minds before (1 Corinthians 2:9-14).  It is wisdom that is taught to us from God’s Word by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gives us eyes to see and ears to hear. I pondered yesterday the Spirit’s ministry of the new birth and how He births us into God’s Kingdom, which forever changes our destiny. Today I want to ponder the Spirit’s baptizing work which forever changes our identity.  

The moment we hear the gospel and trust Jesus Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit does many invisible works in our lives that change us forever. He immediately immerses us into the King (no water involved) (1 Corinthians 12:13).  This is the real baptism for which water is just a symbol. Paul wrote that there is one faith, one Lord, and one baptism (Ephesians 4:5). Water baptism is important, but it is just a symbol of this amazing work. What an incredible thought! At the moment of our faith in Christ, the Holy Spirit not only births us into God’s Kingdom, He baptizes us into God’s King. This is what is referred to as “Spirit baptism.”

Every believer instantly becomes a new creation; old things pass away and new things come (2 Corinthians 5:17). We receive a new life, His life, eternal life (1 John 5:11-13). We receive Christ’s relationship to His father, meaning that we become sons of the living God (Galatians 3:26-28). His righteousness is placed on our account (2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9). We need a righteousness equal to God’s in order to live with Him forever. Someone has written that God’s righteousness is the righteousness that His righteousness requires Him to require. Whew! 

And finally, we receive a new unity with the Body of Christ (Galatians 3:27-28).  Every wall that potentially divides us as human beings is removed. We become one body in Christ. And, oh by the way, this is how we get into our Ark, who will one day jettison us to a new heaven and a new earth (Revelation 21:1; 22:1-5). And as in Noah’s day, the Holy Spirit seals the door shut, and we cannot be lost (Ephesians 1:13-14). That is a good point to end on. Stay safe and stay tuned.   

Ministries of the Holy Spirit: Regeneration

Let’s ponder some of the deeper truths of God’s Word. The more we know these truths, the more we understand the absolute genius of their Author, and the more we love Him.  To truly know God is to love Him. Every believer needs to recognize at least seven ministries of God’s Holy Spirit.

The first ministry of the Holy Spirit is His regenerating work. Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be born again, or he would not see the kingdom of God (John 3:6). The Holy Spirit births the believer into the Kingdom of God. This birth – as with any birth – cannot happen without seed. The Holy Spirit guides God’s supernatural seed of the gospel into the soil of minds all over the world – generation after generation. His seed never fails to accomplish its purpose (Isaiah 55:10-11). The Spirt then germinates the seed and God’s life comes. God has clearly taught us this spiritual phenomenon through His word and through His creation: no seed, no birth (1 Peter 1:23-25).  One example comes to mind. God opened Lydia’s heart to heed the things spoken by Paul (Acts 16:14).  God caused Lydia to be born again through His word (1 Peter 1:3-5).

God’s amazing seed is birthing a new civilization of people, giving us a passport to a new destiny.  Instantly, after hearing and believing the gospel, we are born into a spiritual kingdom here on this earth now, yet we have become citizens of a heavenly kingdom (Philippians 3:20). We are truly pilgrims and strangers here (Hebrews 11:13).  While on this earth, we are to be good stewards of the gifts that God has given to us (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). Why? We are destined to face the Judgment Seat of Christ (not based on our sin but our stewardship) and His glorious Marriage Supper. At that point, the King will take His throne and reign over all the earth.  This coming earthly Kingdom is what the majority of the Old Testament is all about: Jesus Christ as King will reign on His throne, and life will be restored to its pre-fall condition.  There will be true peace on earth.

The animals will be at peace. The nursing child will play by the cobra’s hole, and the weaned child will put his hand in the viper’s den without being hurt. Why? The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:6-9)

This kingdom will last for 1000 years (Revelation 20:1-7). During this kingdom believers will reign with Christ as His heirs. The value of this heirship is being determined now, as we invest the gifts that we have received from the Holy Spirit. We are to do business until He comes (Luke 19:11-28; Ephesians 4:7-16).  

Following this kingdom, the believer’s destiny will change one last time. This universe and this earth will be destroyed in an instant (2 Peter 3:5-10) and we will be jettisoned in our Ark, the Lord Jesus Christ, to a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness will reign not for a limited time, but forever (Revelation 22:3-5).

This all starts with the amazing seed of the gospel. No seed, no birth! No gospel, no birth. Have you been born again?

 

E-zine Volume 4, Issue 1

We are back!

After several months of surgeries, doctors, rehab, pills, and pain, I (Mike Moore) am back to once again, along with our  great team, share the wonders of God’s Word.

We have a solid group of writers, layout people, and others who are eager to tell readers the truths of the Bible and the things they’ve learned.

Nothing can stop the proclamation of God’s Word. The centuries have brought disease, war, bad weather, and other things. But the gospel continues to march forward. The Word goes out and is received.

Those of us at Glimpses of Grace want our readers to find assurance, learn about God’s plan for living life, and share that with others.

Our fragile bodies are able to keep going because of His grace.

Thank you, God.

 

Links to articles in this edition of the Glimpses Ezine:

Erase 2019 – Tanya Moore shares from her suffering how God has revealed His grace in her life through difficult times

Falling from Grace – Dick Hill’s Bible study answers the question, “Can believers fall from grace?”

Moore Thoughts – Mike Moore reflects on our times and where real peace can be found

The Piece – Jessica Moore Otto, in her “Front Porch Living,” reflects on a piece of stained glass and its significance in our lives

The Promised Land – Danny Forrest’s Kingdom Stories: Guardians of the Gospel, chapter 3

Well Said– notable quotes

Genesis Study – Dick Hill’s teachings on Genesis in audio. Join us for this exciting study!

Glimpses Conference 2020 – Due to the current pandemic, plans for a Glimpses Conference for this summer are uncertain. 

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Credits:

Richard J. Hill, Editor-in-Chief

Michael L. Moore, Editor

Linda Hill, Design Editor

Contact Info:

Glimpses of Grace, 2587 Attala Road 1153, Kosciusko, MS 39090

www.glimpsesofgrace.org

(662) 347-8291 (727) 458-1813

Glimpses of Grace Board Members:

Richard J. Hill, Linda Hill, Danny Forrest, John Howell Jr., Quinn Hill, Michael L. Moore, Ken Sheppard

Copyright 2020 by Glimpses of Grace, a 501(c)3 ministry.

 

 


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