Only the Obedient Spirit Filled

This brings us to another tremendous truth concerning obedience: Only those can be filled with the Spirit who are obedient. This means that the spiritual gifts cannot be demonstrated in the life of one who is breaking God's law. Jesus said, "If ye love me keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever" (John 14:15,16).

The sequence is distinctly set forth in this text. Love leads to obedience, and obedience leads to the filling of the Spirit. No one should overlook the relationship between obedience and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The most basic fact about the Spirit is that He leads into all truth and convicts of sin.

"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, 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" lohn (14:26).

Again Jesus said, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth ..." (John 16:13).

What is included in "all truth" and "all things" which the Spirit will guide us into? The Sabbath would be there, along with all the other nine commandments. In fact, the very first work of the Holy Spirit is to convict of sin. Christ described that ministry of the Spirit in John 16:8. "And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment."

What is sin? "... sin is the transgression of the law ..." (1 John 3:4). Obviously one could not be filled with the Holy Spirit without being reproved of breaking the law. Lying, stealing, adultery and Sabbath-breaking will not abide in a Spirit-filled life. The deliberate practice of those sins will effectively frustrate the operation of the Holy Spirit. Willful sin and the gifts of the Spirit are just as alien to each other as God and Satan. In fact, Jesus taught the startling truth that offending the Holy Spirit leads to the unpardonable sin.

"Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come" (Matthew 12:31, 32).

The most serious mistake anyone can make is to reject the guiding, convicting influence of the Spirit as He seeks to lead into obedience to God's law.

The principle was eternally settled by Luke when he wrote under inspiration, "And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him" (Acts 5:32).

How clearly we can now see why the miracle-workers were turned away by Jesus as "workers of iniquity." Having rejected the will of the Father, His law, they lost access to the power of the Holy Spirit. At that point Satan stepped in to supply a continuation of power by producing the same apparent miracles as the Holy Spirit produced.

Lulled into a fatal blindness by grieving the Spirit which convicted them of disobedience, the professed Christians lost their sensitivity to the violation of God's holy law. Under the exciting emotional stimulus of Satan's spirit they continued to exercise a counterfeit religious power, based on feeling rather than the authority of the Word of God. Christ taught in Matthew 7:22 that the end time will produce a phenomenon of Christians claiming the Spirit's power in miracle ministry, but who are actually manipulated by the devil.

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