Doug Morse - "The Holy Spirit" - 2nd Pilerwa, Australia - 2011

Hymn 359: "So Strange it Seems and Wondrous"

At a sing once, a little girl asked if we could sing the strange hymn. We were puzzled but this is the one she wanted. It does seem strange to us and a wondrous thing that we are where we are.

I want to tell you a story that explains why I'm doing what I'm doing. One thing I've tried to do is be more positive. By nature I'm a pessimist. But it's good to think about whom we are and what we have. When I was still a young worker, our older brother, Howard Mooney, said, "You sometimes have to present some very straight messages, but don't leave them without hope!"

Charles (Vaughan) spoke to us about the Spirit, the Holy Spirit. We can all leave here with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit will leave here with each one of us. Even the non-believers, as a troubling friend John 16:7, "Nevertheless, it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." Expedient means "to your advantage." The disciples would have found this very difficult to comprehend. They would have understood, "Come, follow me," at the beginning. But now this? They saw His teaching, His compassion, His level of revelation.

What could be better than having Jesus with them? But there were limitations to having Him there in the flesh. He knew that if He left them they could experience having the Comforter, the Spirit with them. He could not be with them all the time even when He was on Earth.

John 4:8, Jesus sent the disciples away to buy food. He was on His own when He had a visit with that woman of Samaria. When the disciple returned, they said to each other, "Did we miss something here?" Well, yes, they did. They'd have heard that conversation about living water. Then there was that time on the Mount of Transfiguration. Only 3 of His disciple were there: Peter, James and John. The rest missed that, an experience second to none!

Jesus knew it was to their advantage to leave them so that the Divine Presence could come and dwell with them 24/7. We all leave here with the divine presence with us in us. The Spirit of God works in a life long before we are aware of it. Acts 10:1, Cornelius, he was a devout man who feared God. But he was not a saved man, not what we would call a "professing man," but his prayers were heard. The Spirit was there, working in him. And when the angel spoke to him he responded.

Everything we've learned and enjoyed has been revealed to us through the Spirit during this "engagement period" of our marriage to the Bridegroom.

What better one to do this but the Spirit? We read of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, three separate Beings. In the world there is a belief that this is one Being and it is spoken of as the Trinity. This is a manmade term and is wrong doctrine. A man named Constantine, in 300 AD introduced this idea to try to bring some unity in these already splintering groups. Col 2:9 speaks of the Godhead. (Also Acts 17:29, Romans 1:20) "For in Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily." God did not die on the Cross, and the Sprit did not rise from the sepulcher; it was Jesus.

To understand it a little better, it is like the clock on that post. It has three separate hands working together, in perfect unity. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost have an Oneness that we can't comprehend with the human mind. But they are three separate Beings. We can't subtract one from the other. They all serve separately but maybe one day will blended so perfectly.

It's like food, blended together nicely to make a meal. I hesitate to talk about food because for the next 30 homes I visit I will be served the same food! But I like spaghetti, with a nice garden salad, and garlic toast. But not all mixed up, all on separate plates. People say well, they all end up mixed up where they are going. That might be so, but I still like them served separately!

Romans 8:9, "but ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." V14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" V16, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." This chapter is a very helpful one to help us understand the importance of the Spirit and how necessary it is for salvation.

Sometimes people ask us which translation of the Bible is the best one. The King James version is a good one. But the Spirit is the one true translator. We need the spirit to give us the message for our lives, for the ministry, for morals. We need the Holy Spirit to fill in the details. No man can tell us what the Bible means for us, only the Spirit can do that. The Bible gives us the outline, the Spirit gives us the details for us personally. If we come up with something when reading, something we don't understand, the Spirit can help us. Just like when we were in school, we were told to colour in the picture, but stay inside the outline. If it doesn't fall inside the outlines then we need to keep searching. 

Can the Spirit teach one thing to one person and another thing to someone else on the same topic? The answer is No and Yes. When speaking of doctrine, the Spirit will not teach us something different where the doctrine of salvation is concerned for instance. But what about the "grey areas" and I hesitate to use that term. Can I be convicted of something for my individual life? Paul spoke a little about this, he said some things that he felt were things he was convicted about himself, and they were not necessarily the words of Jesus. He said these things are my convictions: for instance, raising children. Some parents have very different convictions about the right way to raise their children. I have seen some totally different approaches to raising children when it comes to discipline. Yet the children grow up, they profess, they even have a meeting in the home, and yet they were raised entirely differently. Take sport at school. Some parents say, "No, not outside of school." Some have different ideas. Sometimes it can be confusing for the children. I think it is very important to let the children know that just because we do it this way and they do it that way doesn't make them wrong. It's important to tell the children this.

I was staying with a family once. There were some cousins visiting too, 4 or 5 boys between the ages of 12 and 15 or so. It was a hot weather and on Sunday afternoon we all went for a walk along the creek. We came to a place where there was an inviting pool. One of the boys said, "Let's go for a swim." They began to peel off their shirts. One of the cousins said, "But it's Sunday, we can't go swimming on Sunday; it's wrong." The others hesitated but went into the water. I said to the boy, "Come and sit with me a while, here on this rock." And I began to talk with him about how some families have different ideas about these things. He was indignant and even a bit self-righteous about it all. But as we talked he could see what I meant and to give him credit, he understood what I was saying. After a while he peeled off his shirt and took a little swim with the others.

There were two men working in a brewery and both professed. After a while one man said, "We should not be working here, they make beer," etc. He left his job and because of his age he did not find it easy to get other work. The other man said, "Well, it's only a few years till my retirement and I'm a payroll clerk, working in an office." So he stayed on at his job. The problem was they were both at the same meeting and it caused problems. The first man got quite an attitude about it and after a while he stopped coming to meetings. The other man simply, quietly kept doing his job and is still going along nicely. The first man had a wrong spirit. He tried to judge the other man.

We can breed a critical spirit when we would be better to respect other people's convictions provided they don't fall outside of correct doctrine.

I like to think about the role of the Holy Spirit in my life. We read in Genesis 24:2-4 where Abraham's servant was sent to find a bride for Isaac, the son. There are a lot of parallels in Old Testament stories. In this story Abraham was the father, like God. Isaac was the son, like Jesus. Abraham's oldest and most trusted servant was like the Holy Spirit.

The servant was sent out with instructions and he obeyed Abraham. V4, He asked some questions, "What if she won't come with me? What if she is not willing? What if she won't leave her kindred? Should I take your son there?" Abraham said, v6 "No, bring not my son thither again." He said that twice as if to emphasize it. V8, It was a picture of God and His Son, God watched His Son die once and He's not going to watch that again. The servant performed everything that his master asked of him, just as Jesus did.

The servant took camels for the journey, camels are like the servants of God. The servant made the camels kneel down, v11, to be laden with his master's goods. This is a nice picture — a kneeling ministry, a praying ministry, a Spirit-directed ministry. Acts 16, Paul and Silas in prison, prayer was made.

V14, The servant asked for a sign that he might know he had the right bride for Isaac. We don't work alone, there are signs from above. He asked that the woman who comes to the well will accept not just the servant but the ministry. Matt 10:40, Jesus said, "Those who receive you receive me."

Genesis 24:17-19, Servant ran towards the young woman and asked for a drink. There was an urgency! She brought him a drink and for his camels too.

V21, the servant held his peace and wondered. Is she as sincere as she appears to be?

V22, He took out a golden ear-ring, two bracelets and other gifts. She had given him water, he was giving her gold! Well, water for gold! What an exchange!

In John 2, we read of the time Jesus turned water into wine at the marriage feast. Common wash water in exchange for best wine! What treasures are in the house of God!

V23, The servant asked if there was room in her father's house. Is there room in our life for these things? She said there was plenty of room and for the camels too.
V26, The man bowed down his head and worshipped. It was all coming together now.
V29, Rebekah's brother went to meet the man at the well. He could see that her life was already enriched when he saw the gold upon his sister's hands.
V31, Laban said, "Come in, why are you standing out here?" The servant was still standing by his camels —it's hard to separate the camels from the servant.
V33, a wonderful meal set ready but the servant would not eat until he had told of his errand. The Spirit is called the Comforter but it's not about his own comfort

V34, The servant said, "I am Abraham's servant." The focus was on the Father, just as it was with Jesus. Then he went on to tell of his master's flocks and herds and so on. Told every detail. When the Spirit has a willing audience it does not withhold help. We've heard things here, nothing held back, told every detail.

V49, The servant said, "This is of God." And he bowed again, v52, and worshipped.
Then, V53, he gave gold and precious things to the family. When someone commits themselves to God, everyone in the house benefits. All of a sudden, there is something very precious in that home.

V54, "Send me away unto my master." The family said, "Hold on, wait a minute." They saw the cost. "Let the damsel abide with us a few more days, ten days at least. Then she can go." Then it would be, well, it's nearly her birthday, or Christmas or something like that. They were procrastinating. A little human nature comes in! When we procrastinate, we are making a compromise. That's nothing but defeat on an installment plan!

V56, Servant said, "Hinder me not." So they called Rebekah. She stepped up and said said, "I will go." There was total trust, total dedication.
V59, Rebekah said good-bye and got on the camel and they rode away. She followed the servant. Like a Spirit-guided life.

We would think the servant had pretty much done his job. At least half of it anyway, but it was the smallest half! He had to protect her and guide her, all the way back. There would be bandits and thieves, snakes, maybe blisters and dehydration and so much more. He would have to educate her, there was so much to cover. She would want to know what is my bridegroom like? What is his father like? What is the kingdom like? There would be endless questions. The servant would patiently answer her and help her and prepare her to meet her bridegroom. Just like the Spirit helps us.

V63, Isaac was out meditating in the field. He knew they were coming but not when. We don't know when Jesus will come again, even Jesus Himself does not know the time. Then he sees, here comes the servant on the camels and he knows his bride will be with him.
V64, Rebekah lighted off the camel, and asked, "Who is this walking in the field?" The servant said, "It is my master."
She would have seen many men on her journey. She took a veil and covered her face, she would not take it off for other men.

On the day we meet our Bridegroom, when the Bride and Bridegroom come together, something will tell us, but the Spirit will be there. It will be like a double reassurance.

V66, The servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Nothing hid between the servant and the son. They shared everything. I'm sure the servant told him everything. How Rebekah had never wanted to go back, she had just been so faithful, how he could have confidence in her.

There would be a wedding feast and she would get to meet the father. When we meet our Heavenly Bridegroom, we will get to meet our Heavenly Father and all come together as one. We cannot comprehend it now.

V67, Isaac took Rebekah to be his wife and he loved her. The Bridegroom of our soul loves us also. The journey was complete, it was a total success.

Luke 17:21, "The Kingdom of God is within you." Our spirit communicates with the Divine Presence in us. Give the Spirit full attention. Full co-operation. It is imperative for our success. There's a very special place in our heart for the older servant, the Spirit. I have a sneaking suspicion that he will be there when we meet our Bridegroom face to face and we will be loved deeply and have fellowship for all eternity. We cannot understand the depth of that fellowship. There will be a special place in our heart for the trusted servant and we will meet our Bridegroom every day and be loved for all eternity.

I hope you all have a good year; you won't be alone. You will be accompanied by the very one God has chosen as his most trusted oldest servant. When we make it to the wedding feast who knows the depth of that blending? Will the camels be at the wedding feast? I think so! Have a good year, the best of years.

Hymn 208: " Our Blest Redeemer"