Harold Stewart - The Holy Spirit - Red Deer Special Meetings - 1978

I would like to speak about something that I feel very unworthy in speaking about and sometimes I feel I don’t know very much about it, but there have been times when I have been convinced of a working and I have simply marveled at seeing it working in others, and that is the working of the Holy Spirit.  I am convinced this morning that there is no more of the Holy Spirit in this meeting than you and I have brought here.  It is the presence of God.  It was when you were on your knees this morning before this meeting and got into the atmosphere of the Holy Spirit that enabled you to bring something into this meeting that makes it easy for the Holy Spirit to work.


Do you remember that time in Job’s experience when the people of God met together and it says the devil presented himself, also?  Do you know how the devil got into that meeting?  I believe I do.  God has used human flesh to display His life and character in the world.  The devil also uses individuals to display his life and character to the world.  I would never know what the Spirit of Christ is like if I hadn’t seen Christ lived over again in individual lives.  I am convinced that I would never know what the devil was like unless I saw him characterized and lived over again in individual lives.  I believe there was someone in that meeting that day when they gathered in the days of Job who said, “Doth Job serve God for naught?”  Someone brought that spirit into the meeting – saying it is because of Job being well off that he is prospering in the way of God.  I wonder if someone else said, “God has favoured him and built a hedge around him.”  I wonder if someone made the statement – “Touch the bone of his flesh and he will curse you.”  Was someone saying that it is because Job has good health that he prospers – if he had headaches like I have, or my rheumatism or arthritis, he would be a different man.  But God proved through experiences that those who made those statements were absolutely wrong because he took from Job everything he had, even his health, and he came through that experience a better man than he ever was before!


When Jesus left those disciples, He asked them to wait for 10 days to the day of Pentecost – and can you picture those disciples gathering in that upper room and waiting 10 days – can you picture the atmosphere in that meeting?  God promised He would send the Holy Spirit to be their guide.  When they had problems before, Jesus was there to answer their problem – but now He was taken away.  I believe I understand what it means when they said, “Why do John’s disciples fast and yours do not?”  Jesus said, "Why spend an hour fasting and praying on your knees when the Bridegroom is here and you can ask Him?"  The day will come when the Bridegroom will be taken and then you will maybe have to spend hours on your knees to get an answer from the Holy Spirit because you have to create an atmosphere for the Holy Spirit to speak.


I am so grateful for this miracle influence of the Holy Spirit that guides God’s people today.  If we didn’t have this, we would have to have a Board of Directors and a book of doctrine to produce in the world what we are trying to do and that would never produce what we are looking upon here this morning.  I am so grateful that there is a people in the world that is guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and I am grateful that there is a ministry that is controlled and maintained by the Holy Spirit.


Acts 5:32, the Holy Ghost is given to them that obey.  That makes it at the disposal of every individual.  It just means obedience to the will of God and then God imparts His Holy Spirit as a guide.  A guide is someone who can only take you as far as he himself has gone.  But there is one away back in the eternal past.  God and Jesus sat down in the atmosphere of the Holy Spirit and planned this way for people to walk upon this earth.  He is also our teacher.  A teacher is one that knows more than I do.  When the watchman was on the tower, his responsibility was to tell people when the enemy was coming and if he didn’t tell them, his blood was required of him; but the thing that cleared him was when he spoke in no uncertain words and told them the enemy was coming and they didn’t obey.  When the servants of God in your district are on the watchtower, there is no time then to ask how long – the time when the watchman gives the warning, there is no time to ask questions or argue.  It is time to run because he is warning concerning the future.


The Holy Spirit is a comforter.  I am so grateful for the intercessor who knows all about this body of mine and was tempted in every point like I am, and that is why He understands us.  The comforter is one who has gone through the same experience that I have.  It is wonderful when I have gone through the experience and I pour out my soul to them and they say, “I understand.”  The Holy Spirit understands and he knows the future.  I am grateful for the arrangements of the Kingdom of God on earth today; they were first made in Heaven and His servants just carry out what is already arranged in Heaven.  God’s servants seek on their knees what is already settled in Heaven.  John, on the Isle of Patmos, had all the answers for the problems of the churches in that day – because he heard the voice as a trumpet and then he gives you a picture of Christ.  Every part of His body is mentioned.  Those who have a perfect vision of the Christ are the ones today that have the answers.  The Holy Spirit brings to them what is right and what is wrong.


When Jesus left this earth, the Holy Spirit became the influence through the ministry.  God today is doing just as marvelous a work through the Holy Spirit as He has done in every generation.  You cannot separate the Holy Spirit and God any more than you can separate fire and heat.  I am so grateful for that day of Pentecost.  Jesus was with the disciples for 40 days and then the disciples waited 10 days and then the Holy Spirit ascended.  You realize the only ones that received the Holy Spirit that day were those who were already right with God?  The religious world would like to tell us that when the Holy Spirit was given, the Holy Spirit took over and they don’t need a ministry and the Holy Spirit comes to a person and he gets saved.  Since the Holy Spirit was given when Jesus left, we have no record of anyone receiving salvation apart from meeting a Holy Spirit sent messenger – and I am so grateful God’s plan has not changed.


Matthew 1:20, this is the key to how the Holy Spirit works.  Joseph came to Mary and found her with child and he was going to put her away.  There was human reasoning.  Then it says, “As he thought on these things.”  I believe that Joseph had some sleepless nights.  I believe he pondered over, “What am I going to do?”  Then it says God appeared through an angel in a dream and He gave him the answer.  I don’t think God right out of the blue answers our questions without any thought.  Joseph was a disturbed man who knew what it was to pray and the Holy Spirit just revealed to him what the Lord’s mind was.  When those wise man came to visit and presented their gifts, I believe they had some very serious thoughts wondering what the will of God was, and I believe they had sleepless nights and talked over, “Are we responsible for what we promised to Herod?” – that if they found the Christ, they would return. They would have pondered that over — and it says that the Lord revealed to them in a dream, “Go back another way.”  That was just confirming their own conviction.  It is a wonderful thing to have a Bible to tell us what is right and a ministry to ask what to do, but I am going to tell you what is 1,000 times more wonderful than that, and that is when we are disturbed and don’t know what to do, and the Lord reveals to us His mind and will, and then when we read the Bible, it confirms what the Lord has revealed, and when we talk to someone, that person confirms what we should do!


After those wise men left, can you picture Joseph and Mary talking together and saying, “Do you think we are safe here?”  The wise men told Herod about the Christ child and I believe they had some serious thoughts.  It says the Lord revealed unto them in a dream to flee into Egypt.  The Holy Spirit just confirmed their own convictions.  Now they are down in Egypt.  I tried to picture their conversation.  “Do you think we are in the right place?”  “Do you think the Lord wants us to remain here the rest of our days?”  Maybe they read Hosea and came across that verse, “Out of Egypt, have I called my son.”  Then the Lord revealed to them in a dream to return to Israel – just confirming what they already had been troubled about.  Now we see them coming back to Canaan and they heard that Herod’s son was ruling in his stead, and I can hear them saying, “Do you think it is wise for us to subject ourselves to what we ran away from already?”  It says they were afraid and turned aside to Galilee because the Lord had warned them in a dream, and they settled in Nazareth and fulfilled the scripture that was prophesied that He should be called a Nazarene because He was brought up in Nazareth.


I Samuel 25, Abigail.  What was it that enabled her to take blame that wasn’t coming to her?  David sent his men down there to get a blessing from Abigail’s husband and he railed on them and now David was going down there to wipe the whole works off the face of the earth.  Abigail heard about it.  She lived with a bear of a man, but she had a beautiful countenance.  It didn’t show on her face what she was putting up with.  She said, “Put the blame on me.”  This is the hardest thing we have to do. 


Once I told a story about taking blame that is not coming to us and just as I finished, the phone rang. The son in the home went to the phone and one of the men he worked with had put in a complaint about him and he said, “I don’t know anything about it because I wasn’t there.”  The father took the phone and said, “I did it.”  I love that woman because she took the blame that wasn’t coming to her.


What enabled Joseph to know what the moral standard was in Egypt when he had no Bible and there were no workers?  What taught him what the moral standard was?  The test of a man’s character is what he would do if he would never be found out.  Thy Holy Spirit controlled him and gave him the answers.  Why didn’t he go back there and see his aged father?  The Holy Spirit wouldn’t let him.  He realized, “I don’t want to spoil God’s plan.”  He had that vision that one day they would come back to him and he wasn’t going to make a mess of it and spoil God’s plan.  He waited.  He was controlled by the Holy Spirit.


Walter Harris used to be in the work and died in his early years.  He originally had services in a school. Two servants of God asked for that school and he was the one that got saved.  Shortly after that, he was called into the army before he knew much about the standard or what we taught.  He was on a train going up to Terrace and he was walking by some people that were playing cards.  They asked him to fill in, and without thinking, he started to play.  He said the strangest feeling came over him and he broke out into a cold sweat and he made an excuse and left.  He said that was the last game of cards he ever played.  If the Holy Spirit’s control ever leaves us, we will be no different than the world.  The difference in being controlled by law is that you don’t need conviction to be controlled by law; all you need is someone to tell you what is right and what is wrong and you do it or you don’t do it and you are controlled by law.  The Holy Spirit brings conviction and we do things, not because the Bible says it or the workers say it, but because of a conviction in our own hearts.  There was a sign on the grass that said, “Please Stay off the Grass.”  Later, we saw a trail across the grass and a barricade had been put up.  It applied only to transgressors – it didn’t change the path of anyone else.


Galatians 3:19, the law was added because of transgressors.  I hope that the day will never come that we will have to put up signs to tell people what is out of bounds.  It will be a tragedy if the day ever comes when we, as servants of God, will have to be policemen to keep people from doing this and that.  It that day ever comes, we will be no different than the religious world.


Aaron’s two sons put fire in their censers and put incense thereon.  They didn’t get it off the altar; they got it from some place else and they lost their lives.  They knew the order that they were to get the fire from off the altar — kindled by God.  Can you hear them saying, "Fire is fire.  It doesn’t matter where you get it.  This fire consumes as well as the other fire.”  There is human reasoning — one was God’s order and the other was man’s reasoning.


11 Chronicles 26, Uzziah.  There was a barricade of 80 priests set up, and he walked through that barricade and did something that wasn’t his place to do, and he died a leper.  While he stayed close to Zechariah the prophet, he prospered.  The individuals who stay close to the prophets will prosper.  When the wolf comes, he takes those who feel they can take care of themselves and don’t stay close to the prophets.  I hope the day will never come when we will have to put up a sign to tell people what is out of bounds.  God planned His Holy Spirit to guide His people.


There was a man who had obeyed the Gospel 48 years ago.  Eight years ago, that man took offense and lost out.  He told us after he got right a few weeks ago, “I built a wall a round myself; it was 100 feet thick, and I never thought that wall would ever be broken down, even though I wanted to break it down."  He built that wall out of stones and resentment and unwillingness and offense. When that man came to himself and he came into the front room and sat down in the chair, 240 lbs, he burst into tears.  I said, “Will you do anything I ask you to do?” and he said, “Yes.”  He said the wall just crumbled; he walked through the door into a new world.  The stones crumbled and he was willing to do anything we asked to be right – and what he did proved that.


The Holy Spirit will guide you – but you must be willing.