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Everything about the Holy Spirit

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. – John 14:26

Many Christians talk about the holy spirit, but few have a clear idea of exactly what it is or how it works in his life, The Bible ascribes many functions to it, including anointing, sealing, the witness of the spirit, begettal of the spirit along with being born again of the spirit. Many of these issues are treated in this issue of the Herald.

There are many illustrations used in the scriptures to describe the various functions of the spirit, such as a dove, light, wind, oil, and flames of fire. These pictures are discussed in the opening article, Symbols of the Holy Spirit.

The work of the holy spirit is not confined to the New Testament, but is also frequently referred to in the Old Testament. The difference of its functions in the time before Jesus and after are the subject of The Power and the Perception.

In the New Testament the holy spirit plays a far more personal role than in the Old as it begins its activities within the Christian as depicted in the article The New Creation.

Various chapter of the Bible deal specifically with the necessity of this work within, such as Acts 2, Romans 12, John 14-16, and 1 Corinthians 2. It is this last chapter that is analyzed in our verse-by-verse study feature. It is entitled Spiritual Discernment.

There has been much debate over the quotation of Joel 2:28 in the second chapter of Acts. The treatise on Pouring Out the Spirit seeks to shed light on this impelling query. This article is followed by a different solution to this discussion. The On the Other Hand furnishes another solution to the question by one of our editors.

The Witness of the Spirit is the next theme to be probed. It answers the question that looms in many Christian minds as to whether or not they have a personal relationship to God and possess the spirit within them.

Although much can be said on the various aspects of the spirit’s workings in our lives, perhaps none are of more practical importance than the development of The Fruits of the Spirit, which forms the theme of the next article.

The final treatise, The Power of the Highest, deals with certain scriptures about the holy spirit which have provoked numerous discussions over the years. Here the author attempts to shed light on these difficult texts.

The importance of the work of the holy spirit in the Christian life can never be over-emphasized. We need to pray for it, seek it earnestly, and endeavor never to quench its influence in our lives. It serves as our telephone line to God and to his Son, Jesus Christ. It is our teacher and our guide. May we ever keep it with us and continually pray for its influence in each of our individual lives.

Read more about the Holy Spirit here in the Herald Magazine

15 comments to Everything about the Holy Spirit

  • Holy Spirit – Speaking In Tongues – Question:

    On the Watchtower site under Speaking In Tongues

    https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2010735#h=22

    Is Watchtower trying to say they are the only ones that can do this?

    I understand it to be not of this time period to practice at all. That since the Apostles past that there is no need.

    Watchtower looks like they are saying that they are the ones speaking to all the world now??

    Can anyone help explain what this means??

    —————–
    BELOW COPIED FROM WATCHTOWER – PAGE LINK ABOVE:

    “The gift of tongues bestowed upon Jesus’ disciples, then, evidently had some additional objective.”

    “Spreading the good news to that extent would require the use of many tongues other than Hebrew.”

    “Thus, the gift of tongues served two vital purposes. First, it provided a sign as evidence of God’s backing. Second, it was an effective tool to help the first-century Christians fulfill their commission to preach to people of many languages. Does the speaking in tongues done in many churches today accomplish these purposes?”

    “Does the speaking in tongues practiced in churches serve as a tool for preaching the good news to people of different languages?

    Recall that observers who were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost 33 C.E. were from many lands, and they clearly understood the languages miraculously spoken by the disciples. In contrast, those who speak in tongues today usually utter speech that is unintelligible to any listener.”

    “Clearly, modern-day speaking in tongues is very different from the gift of holy spirit given to Jesus’ early followers.

    In fact, there is no reliable record of anyone receiving that same miraculous power since the death of the apostles. This is not surprising to Bible readers. Regarding the miraculous gifts, including that of speaking in tongues, the inspired apostle Paul prophesied: “They will cease.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)

    How, then, can one discern who has the holy spirit today?

    Who Give Evidence of Having Holy Spirit?

    Jesus well knew that the gift of tongues would cease relatively soon after the formation of the Christian congregation. Shortly before he died, Jesus mentioned a timeless sign, or mark, that would identify his true followers. “By this all will know that you are my disciples,” he said, “if you have love among yourselves.” (John 13:35) In fact, in the same verse where God’s Word foretold that the miraculous gifts would eventually cease, it says: “Love never fails.”​—1 Corinthians 13:8.

    Love is listed as the first of nine aspects of “the fruitage,” or product, of God’s holy spirit. (Galatians 5:22, 23) So those who truly have God’s spirit​—and hence God’s backing—​would show genuine love for one another. In addition, the third aspect of the spirit’s fruitage is peace. Thus, those people who today have holy spirit would be committed to peace, earnestly seeking to rise above bigotry, racism, and violence.

    Also, recall Jesus’ prophecy recorded at Acts 1:8. He foretold that his disciples would receive power to be witnesses of him “to the most distant part of the earth.” Jesus also indicated that this work would continue “unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20, King James Version) Hence, this international preaching work would continue to be an identifying mark of those who are truly empowered by holy spirit.

    What do you think?
    With what group of people do you find evidence of holy spirit today?

    Who are manifesting the spirit’s fruitage, particularly love and peace, to the extent that they suffer at the hands of governments because of their refusal to bear arms worldwide? (Isaiah 2:4) Who are endeavoring to avoid the works of the flesh, such as fornication, even removing unrepentant practicers of such conduct from their midst? (1 Corinthians 5:11-13) Who are preaching in all the earth the good news that God’s Kingdom is the only hope for humanity?​—Matthew 24:14.

    The publishers of this journal do not hesitate to say that Jehovah’s Witnesses fit the Bible’s description of the people having holy spirit. Why not become better acquainted with them and decide for yourself whether they truly have God’s backing?”

    • TedR (Bible Student)

      No they don’t claim to speak in tongues they way they did when Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. They do claim to be the only organization to have Gods Holy Spirit. They claim to be the only ones preaching the Kingdom worldwide in multiple languages. And they claim to be the only ones undergoing persecution because of the preaching work. Anyone who does an honest examination of these claims will realize the falsehood.

      • I see, so they make the entire world think that
        they are better than them. That they are the only
        ones doing and going through these things in the
        world.

        I preach Gods word all the time. I also get personally persecuted
        by people for doing what I am doing.

        I am told by Watchtower because I am not a JW, my voice does not matter.
        They teach shunning, which takes your own personal God given voice away to even utter one word!

        Christians all over the world that preach about God can be
        persecuted and thousands are!!

        I know speaking in tongues (gift from God) was used in biblical times by
        the Apostles just to spread Gods word so all the people could
        understand clearly since so many spoke in different languages.

        Which I dont even see Watchtower truly explaining clearly for the reader to understand
        why we dont speak in tongues today. They just turn the answer to themselves and what they are doing!!

        If there was only one world language at that time, there would
        be no need to speak in tongues for all to understand.

        But Watchtower looks, in the way this is written, that they have a gift from
        God that no one else on earth has. That they get to speak to the whole world
        due to the only ones spreading the word in all countries and printing in all languages.

        So I was thinking, are they making the reader believe that this gift speaking in tongues
        is them now by translating all their literature into multiple languages? So they reach as
        many as possible. Like the apastles were given the gift to speak to everyone and all languages would hear and understand them.

        So Watchtower from my view was like they spoke in tongues, and we now spread the word in all languages. – Like they have a special gift now.

        I know so many Christians spreading gods word all across the world too! But Watchtower says they were the first to ever do this the right way.

        So they make the reader believe they were given the gifts of the Holy Spirit directly as one group of people and no one else is or was in our day.

        That is what I gathered from it anyway. Thank you so very much for all the help!

        • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

          Sanura right, they claim having magazines in different languages makes them speaking in tongues so to speak. Bible houses have printed the actual word of God in many languages and continue to do so. Voice of the martyrs get these Bibles into countries where the winesses say they aren’t going because these countries chop your heads off. (pre-annual meeting talk, posted on you tube).
          The whole world doesn’t even think about what the watchtower magazine or the witnesses say or do. Many have never heard of them nor think about them from decade to decade.
          Only witnesses and xjw think about the governing body and the so called Jehovah witnesses. If you did a survey you would see they have very little impact on the world. They create their publicity by insisting a child or woman die from the no blood transfusion to keep them in the news. The no flag salutation, the shunning. all of this is publicity.
          In fact we probably give them more publicity than they can make for themselves. If I was not a part of this site I would talk about God and never mention the witnesses. I only am here because someone was there for me and I believe it is the ministry that my Saviour has given me and I accept it and will stay with it until He says enough. Even bad publicity is publicity and this is another one of their schemes that work in their favor. The devil is trying to make it look as if Jehovah is like these people but thankfully no one cares enough about them to read the jw stuff. Peace

          • You are one of the most amazing and beautifully spirited people I have ever met in my life!

            Yes!! I totally understand everything you help us all with my sister and as to why you do it! You all help me and now I need to help others too!

            I wish when I was a JW that we got to study world religion for what it truly is!!

            We honestly as Christians have or had no idea of our past history! Christianity has a huge global impact over the entire world since forever!
            The JW did not start this nor are they at all the only ones with Bible Truth!

            I was watching all these videos on Ethiopia and the very first Christians on earth.

            These documentaries truly open your eyes even more to all Gods doings.

            The Ark of the Covenant is also in Ethiopia today! They are protecting it and no one is aloud to go in see or touch.
            I know this is God using his power to protect it.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhdV6kiwZ1w

            Thanks so much for helping me find all these world clues! The Bible touches the entire world with Gods mark!

            • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

              Sanura you are so sweet, if only your parents knew what a beautiful soldier for Christ you are!
              I am in Chicago now at our 4th Sunday all day convention and guess what. The sisters are the mic carriers. The Bible does not prohibit women from being deaconesses. Two young adult females are doing a great job. Love it!

              • Aw, thank you!!! – Sisters are aloud to do all of that! WOW!!! That is amazing to hear, thank you for sharing!! I can not wait to attend a Bible Student Convention! YAY!!!

                The fact that I can even attend a Christian Convention at all without being shunned is also AMAZING! All these spiritual gifts just pouring in after completely getting away from Watchtower control in our lives! I can call myself a warrior now for Christ! We all are!!! Just amazing! Jehovah has blessed us all so much I cant even take it!

      • ZionsHerald

        The interesting thing about the context of Acts isn’t that they spoke in tongues, but what interests me more is that each person listening heard what was said in their own language. The gift also affected those who heard the message. This is very different from what is claimed by those who “speak” in tongues today.

        Acts Chapter 2 (NAS)
        4And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.
        5Now there were Jews living in Jerusalem, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6And when this sound occurred, the crowd came together, and were bewildered because each one of them was hearing them speak in his own language. 7They were amazed and astonished, saying, “Why, are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8“And how is it that we each hear them in our own language to which we were born? 9“Parthians and Medes and Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the districts of Libya around Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11Cretans and Arabs—we hear them in our own tongues speaking of the mighty deeds of God.” 12And they all continued in amazement and great perplexity, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” 13But others were mocking and saying, “They are full of sweet wine.”

        • Yes!! Exactly about the speaking in tongues! So many are trying to speak in Tongues today but they have no idea what it truly means and why it was used in Biblical times!

          There were so many different languages then and still are! Today we have translators and the Bible is spread across the world in every single language now!

          It was all Christians working together to get this accomplished and the Bible is all over the world now! It was not done by just Watchtower!!!

          Love you all!! Thank you so much!!

          • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

            Sanura the watchtower society only came in around 1927-1931 as witnesses, so they are building on all of the other major Christian religions that have been printing Bibles long before they existed. What narcissist.

            • I think this is why JW HIDE ALL OF THEIR HISTORY!!!

              Telling us all now, this is new light, the old light is not needed!
              What they are truly saying is we changed things!

              I found an article on the Watchtower history of Shunning and its roots of cutting people off and out of their religions and families. It is all Pagan nonsense.

              The JW say this too is OLD LIGHT! They are the ones who wrote the article in the Awake! HORRIBLE!

              https://www.jehovahs-witness.com/topic/203859/1947-awake-says-excommunication-unbiblical-pagan

              It was written by them too! All JW need to see this article, Look it up anyone who reads this!

              January 8, 1947 Awake!:

              Excommunication is “altogether foreign to biblical teachings.”

              It’s an unbiblical Roman Catholic teaching by which “you are looked upon with the blackest contempt… being cursed and damned with the Devil and his angels.”

              Its origins are pagan — supersititious Greeks and the Druids!

              It’s “an instrument by which the clergy attained a combination of ecclesiastical power and secular tyranny that finds no parallel in history.”

    • Jacqueline (Bible Student)

      Sanura I agree with the witnesses on the purpose of the gifts. Normally I read NOTHING that they write or say, in order to be truly free away from the dirt, try to remain free to show God I appreciate what he has done for me. But your postings are special.
      BUT!Listen to me for a sec.
      The queen of England is a woman. She has at least 2 grandchildren, she is older than 60, she wears a hat and can have a sharp tongue when provoked.
      I AM A WOMAN. I HAVE AT LEAST 2 GRANDCHILDREN I am older than 60, I wear a hat and can at times have a sharp tongue.
      Sanura, THEREFORE I AM THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND! No one else has been or will be the queen of England.
      CIRCULAR REASONING!!
      Now you see how they fool simple gullible people. Don’t I sound stupid drawing a conclusion that’s based on those true facts, that I am the queen of England.
      The governing body of Jehovah witnesses dont even try to fool you with complicated reasoning. The people left in there don’t require serious thinking they just accept this dumbed down reasoning. The guys responsible are probably laughing their heads off. They say they are the only people on earth that God talks to and accept as the the true path to him. That you must accept the governing body for God to accept you, quote in their watchtower.

      Circular reasoning (Latin: circulus in probando, “circle in proving”; also known as circular logic) is a logical fallacy in which the reasoner begins with what they are trying to end with. The components of a circular argument are often logically valid because if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true.

  • traveler

    (Ephesians 1:13, 14) . . .But YOU also hoped in him after YOU heard the word of truth, the good news about YOUR salvation. By means of him also, after YOU believed, YOU were sealed with the promised holy spirit, 14 which is a token in advance of our inheritance, for the purpose of releasing by a ransom . . .

    I don’t belong to the organization. Although your last statement suggests this was not a considration on your part, but very like the organization.

    “Beware of those who seek to cloud this. Their motive is to teach something “organizational” rather than what Christ taught about it.”

    I assume you are not the “channel of God” his last word as the oganization puts forward. Maybe consider Elijah,and Elisah Or the “spirit of understanding” the last “gift”. I agree it is God’s force to give, but clearly ours to recieve and retain within his will.

    • Just Stay Sweet and Good

      Travler…Yes, also when we choose to be obedient in all things we then have a “spirit” about us that truly is astounding from the worlds point of view. It is “holy” because it is God breathed into a son of Adam, but it changes us into a child of God. However, Jesus said when we do the right works of faith we are still “doing what we should do”. We can take no credit, it is a gift we allow our hearts to embrace. We are “compelled”.

  • The Holy Spirit was not a White dove; it descended upon Jesus “like” a dove. (Images are dangerous).

    With reference to what the Holy Spirit is, we should not be saying, “The Bible” ascribes many functions to it … or what “The Bible” says it is.

    Our mindset should be on what JESUS says or taught it to be. Many keep on referring “The Bible” as if “it” speaks. If Jesus says something, why not ascribe the thing said by him to him saying it. Not “The Bible” saying it.

    That Jesus – not a book – is “The Truth” and “The Word of God” – it is to him that we should look to for answers to what the Holy Spirit is. (John 14:6; Rev 19:13; Luke 9:35)

    What does Jesus say about Holy Spirit?

    First Jesus taught that his Father is Holy? (Matthew 6:9, 10)

    Jesus also taught that his Father is a Spirit. (John 4:23-24)

    Those “taught” by Jesus understood that God is not flesh and blood but INVISIBLE. (Col 1:15, 1 Tim 1:17)

    So the Holy Spirit is something from the Father. What? It is His power.

    Jesus was full of this power as God gave it to him freely from the moment he came up out of the Jordan. Jesus did not have his own power to perform the many miracles and other powerful works. He did these things by God’s permission, authority and power God gave him. This is seen by Jesus’ own words:

    “I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative; just as I hear, I judge; and the judgment that I render is righteous, because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (Johm 5:30)

    So the Holy Spirit is God’s Power and it can only come FROM the Father to us (at present) through his Son.

    The Holy Spirit is ALWAYS given. It is always given to do that which cannot be done by “human” power. That Jesus had to be “given” Holy Spirit is a talking point that he was not God. If he was God, he would not have had to be given it.

    We see this at Mark 13:11:

    “But when they are leading YOU along to deliver YOU up, do not be anxious beforehand about what to speak; but whatever is given YOU in that hour, speak this, for YOU are not the ones speaking, but the holy spirit is.”

    Notice that the Holy Spirit will “given” to “powerless” men to speak what they could not under human power. Notice that we are told that it will be the holy spirit speaking. In other words, it is by God’s power that they speak.

    Notice how Acts 4:7-8 reads. Notice how Holy Spirit is associated with power:

    “… and they stood them in their midst and began to inquire: “By what power or in whose name did YOU do this?” Then Peter, filled with holy spirit, said to them: ..”

    Reading further from Acts 4:8-12, Peter mentions God raising Jesus from the dead. In other words, it was by God’s own power that Jesus was raised from the dead.

    So when Peter was asked the question: “By what power or in whose name did YOU do this?” The answer, by God’s power or Holy Spirit.

    Many people take people through long complicated iterations about what the Holy Spirit is. It is really not complicated. It is the power gives that enables us to speak or perform acts that we could not do under human power (human spirit).

    Beware of those who seek to cloud this. Their motive is to teach something “organizational” rather than what Christ taught about it.

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