It was Jesus Christ who said, “I am with alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28:20). Now, I do realize that some translations like the NIV indicate that Jesus said, He would only be with us until the end of the age, which could be at the end of the Jewish Age, or the age of the gentiles, but clearly that is not what was said. Contrary to the modern versions of the Bible the King James Version clearly says, that Jesus Christ will be with us until the end of the world. Every believer knows that Jesus Christ is with us through the Holy Spirit that resides in each one of us, giving us conviction, comfort, counsel, and direction. So as we approach the end of days we should take great comfort in the fact that He will be with us until the end of the world. I daily, look forward to receiving His wonderful counsel in a day of great confusion when we are all, being pulled in different direction, many times by the enemy himself. Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to guide us into a deeper understanding of His work in us. Every true believer in Christ knows with all assurance that we have received a gift of the Holy Spirit to reside in us throughout the remainder of our journey here on earth. He is not just a Holy Visitor but a Permanent Resident that will never leave us or forsake us. This Third Person of the Trinity is at all times connected to, in relationship with, and at One with both the Son and the Father. What an all powerful love, to be with us, to reside in us, throughout all of life, during the best of times and the worst of times.
Jesus Christ said, the Holy Spirit was given, “to teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). Furthermore, Jesus Christ had much more that He wanted to say to His disciples but they were unable to bear them so when the Spirit comes he would lead them into all truth (see John 16:12-13). And so He did, the disciples, most of them uneducated men, was led by the Spirit to pen the New Testament, giving us everything we need for both life and godliness. Let’s be very clear that Satan has vehemently denied this truth which has led to the current apostasy. This Spirit of truth now living inside each believer brings this truth to life, bringing God’s Word to our memory leading us to apply its teachings to every area of our life. In fact, the Holy Spirit’s job is to convict us when we do wrong utilizing all the commandments of God and to encourage us when we do right. Doing right will always lead to a fulfilled life, experiencing great joy, and a peace that’s beyond understanding. Even when unforeseen circumstances brings tragedy into our life God is right there through the Holy Spirit giving us needed counsel, which allows even a tragic circumstance to build character and strengthen our faith.
On the other hand to do wrong, regardless of the circumstance, will always lead to a life of depression, anxiety, and many other besetting sins for resisting the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Many have caused their conscious to become seared through countless times of ignoring His counsel to say no to their favorite sin. In their heart they may know that it is wrong, but they choose to do it anyway thinking that they have it within their own power to control it. I have seen this especially among drug and alcohol users, but can also be applied to any addiction or besetting sin. God was not kidding when He said through the Apostle, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). Friends, clearly to reprove someone will expose the sin in them, for all to see. Many troubles are caused by having fellowship with the wrong person, reading illicit books, listening to immoral music, scrolling to uncensored post on Facebook and especially watching television with its host of movies depicting all manner of evil. Let’s be clear once again, we can either listen to Satan’s counsel through these many different mediums in the world or we can choose only to listen to the counsel of God through His indwelling Spirit.
So how do we know if we are listening to the Holy Spirit? It is written that Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light offering his counsel to the world and especially to the unsuspecting Christian. God’s Word tells us to test the spirits to see weather if they are from God (see I John 4:1). To test anything one must compare it with the real thing. Banks for years now are teaching their tellers not to spend endless time studying the forgery but to spend their time studying the real thing. In the same way, we must know what God’s Word really says so we can immediately discern if the counsel is from God or from Satan. It is important to understand that Satan also knows how to quote Scripture, but always completely out of context and the only way you will ever know that, is to really know your Bible. In so doing you can speak back to Satan by saying that the Scripture also says this or that, and you are trying to lead me astray by quoting Scripture out of context. So dear friends, we must study the real thing, and follow the advice of the Psalmist who wrote: “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee” (Psalm 119:11). The other test to know if the counsel is from the Holy Spirit or from Satan, disguising himself as an angel of light, is asking how the counsel makes you feel spiritually. I can always know when I am getting counsel from the Lord, because there is heart wrenching conviction and a deep sorrow that leads to repentance. And when we accept His counsel there is the awesome feeling of being filled to overflowing with His presence giving us great clarity concerning the situation which often times brings tears to our eyes. Somehow you just feel connected as His Words flow into your heart from Scripture that you may not have looked at in years. On the other hand, Satan’s counsel almost always causes confusion, anxiety, and a troubled spirit. You actually feel that the Spirit is crying and you cannot quite put your finger on why until you remember that to resist the counsel of the Holy Spirit will actually grieve Him, cause Him to cry (See Ephesians 4:30).
So let me encourage you to be counseled continually by the Holy Spirit allowing Him to bring forth abundant fruit in your life. Allow Him to counsel all of your fears, anxiety, depression, guilt or any other emotional or psychological problem that is currently plaguing humanity. Do you really think that God does not have the answer to all of your problems? Do you really think that an all powerful God who created everything that exists can’t solve your traumatic experiences that have placed you under the care of the world’s counselors? Dear friends, God is able, won’t you decide today by recognizing your Holy Resident and letting Him know that from this day forward you will listen to His counsel alone trusting in Him to make you into a beautiful new creation so that you can participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. (See II Corinthians 5:17 and II Peter 1:3-4) And for those new Christians who are still putting God’s Word into their heart through the study of His Word, the Bible, let us praise God for the Church. Yes, praise God for the mature believers in the Church who are full of the Holy Spirit, who can also give us sound counsel because they have first received it directly from the Holy Spirit – the Spirit Counselor before passing it on to us. If you allow the Holy Spirit to do His job you will be all that Christ wants you to be.
In conclusion, let me say that the Holy Spirit not only convicts us but can bring immediate judgment upon those who openly lie to Him. We all know the story of Ananias and Sapphira who were struck down dead by God for lying to the Church, which was the same as lying to the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 5:1-11) You might think that is a bit harsh, but it did indicate for eternity the absolute importance of always speaking the truth to the Church, that is, to God’s beloved children. There is nothing here said about Ananias and Sapphira losing their salvation and going to hell, but rather losing their blessed privilege of living here on God’s beautiful planet and enjoying the fruit of their labor. This should still frighten the whole Church to the importance of always speaking the truth and never hiding under a facade of deception. To lead God’s children astray through false prophecy and man’s distorted theology could have immediate remedial discipline that could lead to death. I believe this is why many are suffering today. God help us to always speak the truth, especially to the brethren.
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