When The HOLY SPIRIT Withdraws
“Revelation 3:1 (NLT) stated, “Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive – but you are dead.”
Holy Spirit Is On Fire!
Luke 3:16 NLT says, ” John answered their questions by saying, “I baptize you with water; but someone is coming soon who is greater than I am – so much greater that I’m not even worthy to be His slave and untie the straps of His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with Fire.“
John’s baptism with water symbolized the washing away of sins. His baptism coordinated with his message of repentance and reformation. Baptism was an “outward” sign of commitment. To be effective, it had to be accompanied by an “inward” change of attitude leading to a changed life. John’s baptism did not give salvation; it prepared a person to welcome the coming Messiah and receive His message and His baptism. Although John was the first genuine prophet in four hundred years, our Lord Jesus Christ the Messiah would be infinitely greater than he. So much so that John would not even be worthy to be His slave.
The coming of the Holy Spirit had been prophesied as part of the Messiah’s arrival. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire revealed the identity of the promised Messiah (see Isaiah 44:3; Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Joel 2:28-29). The Old Testament promised a time when God would demonstrate His purifying power among people (Isaiah 32:15; Ezekiel 39:29). The prophets also looked forward to a purifying fire (Isaiah 4:4; Malachi 3:2). This looked ahead to Pentecost (Acts 2). The baptism with fire also symbolizes the work of the Holy Spirit in bringing God’s judgment on those who refuse to repent. The experience would not necessarily be like that recorded in Acts 2, but the outcome would be the same. This baptism would purify and refine each believer. When Jesus Christ would baptize with the Holy Spirit, the entire person would be refined by the Holy Spirit’s fire.
Quote from A. J. Gordon:
It easier to recite our prayers from a book than to read them from the tables of a prepared heart, where the finger of the Holy Spirit has silently written them, but the more difficult way is the more acceptable way to Him who seeks for worshippers who “worship in Spirit and in truth.” It is easier to get “the sense of the meeting” than to learn “the mind of the Spirit” by patient tarrying and humble surrender to God, but the more laborious way will certainly prove the more profitable way. The failure to take this way is, we are persuaded, the cause of more decay and spiritual death in the churches than we have yet imagined.
Why has then light been extinguished? What violence may have been done, by headstrong self-will, to Him who is called “the Spirit of counsel and might”? What rejection of the truth which He, “the Spirit of truth,” has appointed for the faith of God’s church until at last the word has been spoken: Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost; as your fathers did, so do you.” The Spirit will not be entirely withdrawn from the body of Christ indeed, but there is the Church, and there are churches. A man may yet breathe and live when cell after cell has been closed by congestion until at last only inhales and exhales with a little portion of one lung.
The Spirit is the breath of God in the body of His church. While that divine body survives, multitudes of churches have so shut out the Holy Spirit from rule and authority and supremacy in the midst of them that the ascended Lord can only say to them: “Thou hast a name to live and art dead.” Some trust in creeds, and some in ordinances; some suppose that the church’s security lies in a sound theology, and others locate it in a primitive simplicity of government and worship; but it lies in none of these, desirable as they are.
The body may be as to its organs perfect and entire, wanting nothing; but simply because the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn from it, it has passed from a church into a corpse. As one has powerfully stated it: “When the Holy Spirit withdraws … He sometimes allows the forms which He has created to remain.” The oil is exhausted, but the lamp is still there; prayer is offered and the Bible read; church-going is not given up, and to a certain degree the service is enjoyed; in a word religious habits are preserved, and like the corpses found at New York City because of this pandemic coronavirus, which were in a perfect state of preservation and in the very position in which death had surprised them, but which were reduced to ashes by contact with the air, so the blast of trial, of temptation, or of final judgment will destroy these spiritual corpses.
Do not be afraid and fear not. Be courageous, smart and vigilant against this pandemic coronavirus. God has purposes and everything is under His control.