By Robert Wurtz II
AN OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY GHOST
The Spirit that Now Works in the Children of Disobedience
Ephesians 2:2 describes the conditions of the former lives of genuine Christians. Paul writes that they walked in times past according to the course of this world, according to the Prince of the Power of the Air; the Spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. It is clear that they were enemies of God, because they loved the world and the things of this world. (I John 2:15) They loved the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. These things please the sinner well. The unsaved live in the flesh and hunger and thirst for unrighteousness. They are storing up for themselves wrath against the Day of Wrath. (Romans 2:5) They are earning wages for every single transgression and sin that they commit. (Hebrews 2:3) Each one carries the death penalty. (Romans 6:23) They walk in their own ways and fulfill their own will. (Proverbs 14:12) They love their sin and want to live in it. They continually resist the Holy Ghost. They strive with God not knowing He will not always strive with them. (Genesis 6:3) They are accountable to God for every measure of luminance that He has given them to see the path of righteousness so they could walk in it. Unrepentant sinners hold the truth in unrighteousness and God is going to someday cut them to pieces and cast them into an eternal hell. (Matthew 24:51) They are going to be beaten in hell for all eternity based upon what they knew to do right and rebelled against. (Luke 12:48) What is their crime? They resisted the Holy Ghost and yielded to the spirit of antichrist that has long been in the land. (Acts 7:51) They hate the light and refuse to come to it lest their deeds should be reproved- and for this cause God will cast them into OUTER DARKNESS. (John 3:20; Matthew 25:30) Here they will gnash their teeth for all eternity. (Matthew 8:12) And while the Children of God sing a new song before the throne of God; the only song they will sing will be... 'The harvest is past, the summer is ended and we are not saved!' (Jeremiah 8:20; end quote- from Leonard Ravinhill Judgment Seat of Christ)
The Most Deceived People on Earth
The most deceived people on earth are those who fool themselves into believing they are saved and yet have concocted theologies to keep on sinning. (I Corinthians 6:9, 10) They walk according to spirit that works in the children of disobedience and regularly ask God to forgive their sins. This is NOT Christianity. This is wickedness! Only the wicked would believe they could serve the devil and this world and reap the benefits of the Kingdom of God. You are not saved because you prayed a prayer- you are being saved only if you have turned to Christ in such a way that the Spirit of God has been welcomed to come in and take up residence in you. (I Corinthians 1:18; Romans 8:9) This means you have CEASED to resist the Holy Ghost and are yielded to Him. If the Spirit of God is not in you- you are not being saved. (Romans 8:9; I John 3:7-10) If the Spirit of God is in you- it will be evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of holiness. (Romans 6:22; Galatians 5) God is not in the business of saving people in their sins- He saves men and women FROM their sins. (Matthew 1:21) John makes it clear in his epistles that genuine believers live righteous lives and not sinful ones. Genuine believers that are truly saved are those whose meat (sustenance) is to do the will of God. Christians love God and the things of the Kingdom; the lost love sin and the things of this world. Christians are strangers and pilgrims in the earth- the lost feel right at home in this world and seek for no other country. Christians examine themselves whether they be in the faith- the deceived only concern themselves with making sure they don't get punished for the sins they won't stop committing. They resist the Holy Ghost and want to be forgiven in it.
When the Spirit of God is Poured Out
The first thing that will happen will be tremendous conviction of sin. We read in John 16:8-11, 'And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.' (NKJV) Jesus tells in this passage why the Holy Spirit convicts of sin, He says, 'Because they do not believe in Me (Christ).' Many say they believe in Christ and love Christ, yet their life is characterized by a hunger and thirst for this world that Christ hates- and it hates Him. How can this be? It cannot. If any man love the world the love of the Father is NOT in them (I John 2:15). If you love the world you are not saved no matter what you profess. Your faith is a ‘said' faith and not ‘saving' faith. You are in love with the enemy of God.
It is said that a Christian by the name of C. T. Stud was challenged by God with this quote from an atheist: 'If I firmly believed as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny it would mean everything to me. I would cast away earthly enjoyments as dross earthly cares as follies & earthly thoughts and feelings as vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image before sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I should labour in its cause alone. I would take thought for the morrow of eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained for heaven worth a lifetime of suffering. Earthly consequences would never stay my hand- nor seal my lips. Earth with its joys and its grief would occupy no moment of my thoughts. I would strive to look upon eternity alone and on the immortal souls around me who are soon to be everlastingly happy or everlastingly miserable. I would go forth to the world and preach- in season and out of it season and my text would be, 'What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world- but loses his own soul.' C. T. Stud said, 'I saw at once that this was the truly consistent Christian life. When I looked back upon my own life I saw how inconsistent it had been and therefore determined that from that time forth my life should be consistent and I set myself to know God's will for me.' (Quote taken from ‘A Challenge From an Atheist' www.sermonindex.net)
Evidence that God is Present
Jesus said that when the Spirit of God would come- He would reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. The Greek word for ‘reprove' in this passage is elegcho (el-eng-cho) and it is translated in the KJV as ‘rebuke' five times, ‘reprove' six times, ‘convince' four times, and ‘convicted' once. Literally the word means to tell you your fault(s). Holy Ghost conviction is God personally confronting you over your sin. Conviction in part is the illumination and revelation of a person's guilt before God. It is an added sense of the dreadfulness of your sin beyond that which is naturally produced in the conscience. The Holy Spirit came into this world to CONVINCE man of sin. Robert Murray M'Cheyne writes, 'The most powerful sermon in the world can make nothing more than a natural impression; but when God works through it, the feeblest word makes a supernatural impression. Many a poor sermon has been the means by which God hath converted a soul. Children of God, 0 that you would pray night and day for the lifting up of the arm of God!' And when God ‘raises His arm' to confront men and women in their sin- they cannot help but be bowed low.
The Holy Spirit is not present because men and women feel fuzzy feelings of rapture and grandeur. The world can duplicate fuzzy feelings. You will know when the Holy Spirit is present because sin is confronted in EVERYONES life. God will confront people personally for their sin. It is a contradiction to say you can feel the presence of God and not feel conviction for your sin. The enemy would love this one thing- to get Christians believing that fuzziness is a sign of the presence of God and allow them to ‘feel this' with blatant sin in their life. They will interpret the fuzziness as divine approval and will NEVER REPENT of their sin(s). 'I feel God's presence' they say; but yet they feel no conviction? If there is one deception the enemy has passed on the Church it is false ‘presence of God' and he has done it through worship songs that are more like secular love songs than those that lend to a genuine awe and fear inspiring presence of God. If you can sing it with sin in your life it is not worship and what you are feeling is not the presence of God; especially if it is not accompanied by a confrontation with God about your sin.
When God is Near
When God is near the margin of error grows very slim. Ananias and Sapphira found this out the hard way. When God comes near He will bring tremendous reverence for Himself and a holy solemnity and awe. When God is near the first reaction of the holiest of men is, 'woe is me!' John the Revelator fell at the feet with Christ as a dead man. When God shook the prison in Acts 16 the jailer FELL at the feet of the man of God and cried out, 'Men what shall we do?' The primary reason sin has reached the level in the Church of Jesus Christ that it has is because there is little or no real conviction. Moreover, conviction is not tolerated well today. Why? Holy Ghost conviction is not a pleasant thing. It is the very revelation of your filth and iniquity in the eyes of God. Real Holy Ghost conviction moves beyond the emotions and attacks the will. It brings a solemnity to a service that makes everyone very uncomfortable. This must be. God must have time to deal with people. If there is ever to be revival in the Body of Christ the ministers of the Gospel are going to have to get used to seeing people broken before God in a state of great anguish of conviction. And then be led of the Spirit to know how to conduct those services with patience. We as Christians have to get prepared for the reaction of people who are genuinely wrestling with God. We have to travail ourselves in prayer for God to pour His Spirit out.
Holy Ghost Encounter
In order for any person to be genuinely CONVERTED they must first be genuinely CONVICTED of their sin by the Spirit of God. I personally believe that the lack of genuine conversions in our day can be traced directly back to a lack of genuine conviction of sin. The lack of conviction is the result of Christians having the mistaken notion that they can win people to Christ by their own methods and programs. Few still believe that it takes the moving of the Spirit of God to genuinely save a person from their sin. For those who have experienced genuine Holy Ghost conviction, they have not merely heard a sermon about God- but are brought into a real encounter with Him. The reality of God comes home in the midst of great Holy Ghost conviction.
Today If You Will Hear His Voice
Many have the mistaken notion that they will repent when THEY get ready. This is dangerous thinking because the Spirit of God will not always strive with man. Moreover, God will send people who continue to sin with a high hand a spirit of slumber. Thomas Shepherd writing in 1645 pens these words, 'When the wills and affections of men drink at fountains of forbidden pleasure, God will cause them to experience spiritual drunkenness. When they insist on imbibing the things their hearts should be weaned from, things, which should be bitter to them, God will give them up to this. In this sense the Prophet calls the Kings, Priests and People, "The drunkards of Ephraim" (Isaiah 28:1; Jeremiah 25:15-18). The Lord puts His cup of just judgments into the hands of those he intends to destroy and bids them take their pleasure in sins. They lose all fear of death and judgment even when both are at their very doors.'
John 6:44 reveals plainly that no one can come to the Father unless they are drawn of Him. The Spirit of God is striving with all of man to some degree. The intensity of this striving is greatly increased upon an individual when men and women travail in prayer for their soul. On the other hand, when mean and women harden their hearts and stiffen their necks God will give them over to their sins. Isaiah 29:9 gives us a glimpse into this process. Here we read, 'They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger but not with strong drink. For the Lord has poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes." In our generation people are choosing from one of two drinks- they will either drink (as it were) of the Holy Ghost or they will drink down the cup of slumber and staggering. As Christians we must drink from the wells of God's Holy Spirit. We must pray and seek God for His fullness. We must be FULL of the Holy Ghost if we are to ever make a real impact on our society.