LED BY THE SPIRIT

(Trumpet Ministries, Inc. / Word of Righteousness)

LED BY THE SPIRIT Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved

At one time Jesus Christ lived on the earth as a Man. He taught us concerning the Kingdom of God. Now He has returned to the Father. The Lord Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to enable us to become His Body, His Bride, and to enter the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit is with us and in us and performs all the will of God in the Church.

Table of Contents

Introduction

How the Lord Directed the Israelites

Directed in victory over the sin of their own personality Directed in ministry Directed in the conquest of Canaan

Led by the Spirit in Personal Victory

Chapters Two through Five of Romans Chapter Six of Romans Chapter Seven of Romans Chapter Eight of Romans

Led by the Spirit in Gifts and Ministry

Presenting our body a living sacrifice in order to prove the will of God The purpose of gifts and ministries Being led by the Spirit

Led by the Spirit in Governing the Creation

Conclusion

LED BY THE SPIRIT 

Introduction

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:4)

At one time Jesus Christ lived on the earth as a Man. He taught us concerning the Kingdom of God. Now He has returned to the Father. The Lord Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to enable us to become His Body, His Bride, and to enter the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit is with us and in us and performs all the will of God in the Church.

The Holy Spirit is God. Often we associate the Holy Spirit with a good feeling, with gifts, with revelations, with wisdom, with speaking in tongues and so forth. The Holy Spirit gives all these things but He Himself is above them. He is God.

We are baptized in water into the Holy Spirit because He is a Member of the Godhead.

On numerous occasions Christians confuse the Holy Spirit with other spirits and voices that are active in the assemblies of Christians.

The gift of the prophet and all other gifts are subject to the prophet or to whoever possesses the gift. The Holy Spirit, being God, is never subject to the prophet.

The Holy Spirit acts sovereignly in the Church. 

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2)

But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. (I Corinthians 12:11)

"I have called them." "He will."

The Holy Spirit gives the gifts. The Holy Spirit directs the ministry.

The Holy Spirit was sent by the Father to obtain a pure, holy Bride for the Lamb. The Holy Spirit never draws attention to Himself, only to the Lamb, Christ.

We are never to pray to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit assists us as we pray to the Father in Jesus’ name or to the Lord Jesus Himself.

Whoever receives the Lord Jesus receives the right to be a child of God. But as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

It is God’s will that all saved people on the earth learn to live by and in God’s Spirit.

There are only two ways in which a person can think, speak, and act. He or she can think, speak, and act according to the fleshly mind and desires of the flesh and soul, or he or she can think, speak, and act according to the Spirit of God.

To live according to the flesh is to bring corruption and death. 

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)

To live according to the Spirit of God is to gain eternal life and peace. 

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

The Lord Jesus was the first Person on the earth to live totally in the Spirit of God. 

For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him. (John 3:34)

After Him will march the firstfruits of the Bride, and then the fullness of the Bride.

Finally every saved person on the earth will be taught of God until all residents of the new world have learned to live, move, and have their being in the Spirit of God.

It is God’s will that every human being be directed by the Spirit of God in every area and action of living. There is to be no more "sea" of people who are driven here and there by the passions and ideas of the flesh and soul.

In this brief paper we will be speaking of how we are to follow the Spirit of God in three areas of endeavor:

In personal victory over sin.

In ministry and the exercise of the gifts of the Spirit.

In governing the creation when the Lord returns.

Let us think for a moment about how the Lord God directed the Israelites in victory over the sin of their own personality, in ministry, and in subduing the land of Canaan.

In victory over the sin of their own personality.

In ministry.

In subduing the land of Canaan.

How the Lord Directed the Israelites

When we begin to consider how the Lord directed the descendants of Jacob we see that no area of life was left untouched. No aspect of moral behavior, of the priestly service (ministry), or of the conquest of the Canaanites was left to the ability, ingenuity, creativity, or other ideas or impulses of the human mind and soul. All was prescribed in statute or by the direct revelation of the Lord.

What does this reveal to us about the license taken by the would-be ministers of the Christian Church of the two thousand years of the Christian Era as they are driven by every conceivable motive to use their ingenuity in constructing what they believe to be God’s Kingdom?

Directed in victory over the sin of their own personality. The Israelites did not have the Holy Spirit, as we do, to help them with their moral behavior. But they did have the Law of Moses. Every aspect of their life was covered in the Ten Commandments and in the laws governing leprosy, crime, diet, the treatment of a slave, lending money and so forth. All was set forth in writing.

The Israelite was to carefully observe every point of the Levitical Law. There were several kinds of sacrifices designed to enable the worshiper to be reconciled to God when he or she had sinned in some manner.

The personal conduct of the Hebrew was more important to God than was true of any priestly ordinance, sacrifice, or the conquest of Canaan. 

And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)

The large, powerful Israelite army successfully attacked Jericho (under the precise directions of the Lord) but the sin of one man caused the wrath of God to fall on the whole camp. Personal righteousness and holiness come first in the Kingdom of God.

Directed in ministry. No element of the service of Aaron, his sons, or the Levites was conducted according to the ideas of Moses or anyone else. God very carefully gave explicit directions for the construction of the Tabernacle. He called by name those who were to construct the furnishings of the Tabernacle.

The ordination of the priests and the manner in which each sacrifice was to be made was described in detail. All was performed according to the pattern given to Moses on the holy mountain.

God did not leave it to people to decide what was sin and what was righteousness. God did not leave it to people to decide how to establish the priesthood or the sacrifices for sin. All was commanded detail by detail, and Moses carefully obeyed the directions given by the Lord.

What can we say about the Christian ministry? Is it God’s will that we follow the Holy Spirit in every aspect of ministry?

Directed in the conquest of Canaan. God did not leave it up to people to decide what behavior was sinful and what behavior was righteous and holy. All was set forth in the Law of Moses.

God did not leave it up to people to decide how to build the Tabernacle, who to ordain as priests, how the priests should dress and minister, or how the sacrifices should be made. All was set forth in the Law of Moses.

God did not leave it up to people to decide what land to invade or how to invade it. Each part of the operation was directed by the Lord from Heaven. The Lord was directing the army of Israelites under Joshua and the army of angels, who probably were commanded by Michael the archangel.

After Moses had died, Israel being assembled on the plains of Moab east of Jordan, God began to personally direct the invasion. It was not left to the Jews to decide what land to conquer or how to go about conquering it. 

From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. (Joshua 1:4)

And thou shalt command the priests that bear the ark of the covenant, saying, When ye are come to the brink of the water of Jordan, ye shall stand still in Jordan. (Joshua 3:8)

At that time the Lord said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time. (Joshua 5:2)

And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. (Joshua 6:2,3)

And the Lord said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed: take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai: see, I have given into thy hand the king of Ai, and his people, and his city, and his land: And thou shalt do to Ai and her king as thou didst unto Jericho and her king: only the spoil thereof, and the cattle thereof, shall ye take for a prey unto yourselves: lay thee an ambush for the city behind it. (Joshua 8:1,2)

And so on and on and on.

The Lord directed the moral behavior of the Israelites by means of the Law of Moses.

The Lord directed the priesthood of Israel by means of the Law of Moses, speaking often to Moses and directing him. Sometimes God sent fire from Heaven and consumed the offering on the bronze Altar of Burnt Offering.

The Lord directed the invasion of Canaan.

Nothing was left to the flesh of man to invent or contrive. When the Israelites obeyed the directions of the Lord they prospered. When the Israelites turned to their own abilities and desires they soon were brought down to destruction.

Let us turn now to the new covenant and consider how the Holy Spirit of God directs us in victory over our own personality and in the operation of gifts and ministries. We shall discuss also the role of the Spirit of God in the future when the saints return with the Lord Jesus and bring the Kingdom of God to the earth.

Led by the Spirit in Personal Victory

Let us remind the reader at this point that it is God’s will that people everywhere and at all times live in His Spirit rather than in the human flesh and soul. The Church is a firstfruits of what one day will be true of all of mankind.

There are only two ways in which a person can live: he can live in the flesh or he can live in the Spirit. To live in the flesh is to devote the great bulk of our time and thought to eating, sleeping, working, playing, and reproducing, and to engage in these activities by using our natural thoughts and abilities. This is the life of the animal.

To live in the Spirit is to look always to God in every aspect of our eating, sleeping, working, playing, and reproducing and to give time and attention to praying, meditating in God’s Word, assembling with the saints, giving, serving, and obeying God in all matters.

To live in the flesh is to produce spiritual death and the resulting corruption in every area of our existence including our resurrection from the dead. 

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8)

To live in the Spirit of God is to produce eternal life and the resulting righteousness, peace, and joy in every area of our existence including our resurrection from the dead.

Now let us think about the new covenant, the Christian covenant. It is not a covenant of the letter of the New Testament, although we must obey the commandments of the Apostles until we are brought fully into the rest of God.

The new covenant is a covenant of the Spirit. 

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the Spirit: for the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life. (II Corinthians 3:6).

Perhaps the most difficult lesson to be mastered by the believer as he seeks to enter the rest of God is that of looking to the Spirit of God for the wisdom and strength to respond correctly in every situation of life. Our mind is a tremendous obstacle to our progress in God. We must be transformed by the renewing of our mind if we would be able to do the will of God.

The goal of the saint regarding personal victory over his or her own personality, which we might term "internal conquest," is that he or she be brought into the image of Christ and into complete, untroubled rest in the Father through Christ. The goal is expressed further as being made a perfect man, attaining maturity as measured by the standard which is the full stature of Christ.

The Spirit of God accomplishes such perfection, such maturity, by teaching us, empowering us, and bringing to us the Virtue of the body and blood of Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who brings us into the land of promise of personal victory over every enemy that would hinder our attaining the full stature of Christ.

We shall turn now to the Book of Romans and examine the transition from direction by the Law of Moses to direction by the Spirit of God, for this is the transition we must make if we would attain the mark God has set before us.

Chapters Two through Five of Romans. Chapters Two through Five of the Book of Romans compare redemption through the Law of Moses with redemption through the blood of Christ.

The message of these chapters can be expressed simply. Now that God has given His Son as an atonement for our sins we no longer are to seek righteousness by means of the Law of Moses. God ascribes righteousness to the individual who looks up from the Torah, the Law, and puts his faith in the Lord Jesus, in His atoning blood.

Divine grace given through the Lord Jesus has replaced the Law of Moses as the means of obtaining righteousness.

This is clear and accurate. But we Gentiles have grievously misunderstood these four chapters. We have supposed that Paul was replacing righteous behavior with Divine grace. This is not at all true and has destroyed the moral character of the Christian churches.

How could Divine grace be an alternative to righteous behavior when the very purpose of Divine grace is to produce righteous behavior?

We have become free from Moses by dying with the Lord. We have died to the Law so we may be married to the Lord Jesus. We are never without law or without righteous behavior. The Law of Moses produces righteous behavior if it is obeyed. Marriage to the Lord Jesus is the highest form of the eternal Divine law and always produces righteous behavior. God’s goal is to produce righteous behavior in His people so the nations of the earth will see this righteous behavior and glorify God. 

For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. (Isaiah 61:11)

Having your conversation [behavior] honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. (I Peter 2:12)

The current understanding that Divine grace replaces righteous behavior is the worst possible interpretation of the Apostle Paul. Paul never contrasted Divine grace and righteous behavior. He contrasted Divine grace and the Law of Moses.

Notice in the following verses that Paul was speaking of the Law of Moses in the early chapters of the Book of Romans. 

Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, (Romans 2:17)

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (Romans 3:20,21)

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:28)

Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law. (Romans 3:31)

For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. (Romans 4:13)

In many of his Epistles the Apostle Paul speaks of the absolute need for righteous behavior. 

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:21)

Contemporary Christian thinking is in profound error when it presents grace as an alternative to righteous behavior. The New Testament teaches Divine grace as the means of obtaining righteous behavior, not as an alternative to righteous behavior.

Paul understood that his teaching of the transition from Moses to Christ would cause people to speculate that God’s grace in Christ would enable them to sin and still be acceptable to God. And so we have Chapter Six.

Chapter Six of Romans. Chapter Six of the Book of Romans is one of the clearest expositions of the manner in which the new covenant operates. 

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? (Romans 6:1)

After having stated that we no longer are under the Law of Moses but under Divine grace, Paul asks the inevitable question. "Does this mean we now are free to sin?"

His answer, given in several verses in Chapter Six, is that we, having received the blood atonement, must now choose to be a slave of righteousness.

If we do not choose to be a slave of righteousness then we, although having chosen to be washed by the blood atonement, will die.

Paul does not mean we will die physically, for all people die physically whether or not they choose to be a slave of righteousness. Paul means we shall die spiritually. We had been touched with eternal life, with the Holy Spirit. But, as in the parable of the sower, the germinating life was overcome by the lusts of sin and no fruit was produced. The plant died. 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

The above verse often is preached to unbelievers. While it always is true that the wages of sin is death, the context reveals that Paul is speaking of those who, having been baptized in water, then choose to continue in sin. They die spiritually. They slay their own resurrection from the dead.

That God has given us the gift of eternal life means:

God has washed away our sins of the past through the blood of the cross.

God has invited us to become one with the crucifixion of Christ and the resurrection of Christ.

God has given us the body and blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Christ has been born in us.

Now we are authorized and competent (unlike the unbeliever) to choose to be the slave of righteousness. If we keep on choosing to be free from sin and to serve God we bear the fruit of holiness. The end product of our choosing to serve righteousness is eternal life. Being the slave of righteousness is the path and the only path to eternal life. 

But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end [result is] everlasting life. (Romans 6:22)

This is how we receive the gift of eternal life.

If we continue in sin we will die spiritually. 

Know ye not [Christian], that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:16)

Let us see where we are now. We are looking to the blood of Jesus for our righteousness rather than to the Law of Moses. But we have been informed that if we choose to continue in sin we will die spiritually.

How do we know when we are sinning if we no longer are looking to the Law of Moses including the Ten Commandments? How can we choose righteousness when we have no standard by which to measure righteous behavior?

Chapter Seven of Romans. Paul once again addresses Jews. 

Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (Romans 7:1)

Paul tells the Jews and us Gentiles that because we have died with Christ and our new man has been married to Christ we now are free legally from the Law of Moses.

Paul then reminds the Jews how unsatisfactory the Law proved to be when the sincere worshiper was seeking to be righteous. The worshiper loved the moral law of God but he discovered that another law, the law of sin, was operating in his flesh. The Law of Moses condemned him to death because the law of sin in his body was driving him to keep on sinning. Yet in his inner nature he desired to be righteous and to live in God’s sight.

We see then that we have received righteousness from God, apart from observing the Law of Moses, by believing in the atonement made by Christ on the cross of Calvary. We see also that, apart from the guidelines of the Law, we must choose to live righteously.

We are informed that we are legally free from the Law because we have died with Christ. We are reminded that the Law condemned us to death while in our heart we desired to live righteously. The law of sin and death in our flesh keeps urging us to disobey God while the Law thunders at us that the soul that sins will die. 

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Romans 7:24)

Chapter Eight of Romans. Chapter Eight gives us the solution. We find now the new law, the law of the new covenant, the law that takes the place of the Law of Moses. That law is the Holy Spirit Himself. 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

Notice that Paul does not state there is no urge to sin in those who are in Christ but rather that there is no condemnation. When we choose to live in the Spirit of God, obeying the Spirit in every detail of life, we are without guilt in the sight of God. 

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2)

Our new law is the Law of the Spirit of Life. It is this law that gives us victory over the law of sin and death that resides in our flesh. The new law sets us free from the lusts of the flesh. 

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Galatians 5:16-18)

The Spirit of Life sets us free from the law of sin and death. While we are following the Spirit we are not under the Law of Moses. When we as a Christian believer turn away from the Spirit of God and walk in the flesh we return under the condemnation of the Law. 

For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. (James 2:11)

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:4)

As long as we walk in the Spirit of God we are without condemnation. We through the Spirit keep on choosing to be the slave of righteousness. The Spirit helps us keep the commandments, given by the Lord Jesus and by His Apostles, not according to the letter as in the case of the old covenant but as interpreted by the Spirit of God. 

Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. (II Corinthians 3:3)

The Holy Spirit teaches us and gives us of the Virtue of Christ so we can overcome every aspect of worldliness, lust, and self-seeking in our personality. 

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:5)

The individual who is striving to keep the letter of the Law, such as not working on the Sabbath, must look down from Christ and in that part of his life live after the flesh. It is not the Spirit of God who is guiding him, in many instances, but his desire to be righteous by means of a religious act.

This does not mean that God despises, or we are to despise, believers who observe the Jewish feast days or dietary laws. These regulations are entwined in their faith and we are not to offend such weak believers if at all possible.

However, all righteousness gained by the observance of days, dietary laws, or any other ceremonial act is loss for Christ. 

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (Philippians 3:9)

The new Christian is to observe carefully all the commandments issued by the Lord Jesus and His Apostles, especially in the realms of immorality, anger, covetousness, and sorcery. When we are having a problem we are to come boldly to the throne of grace in order to obtain help in our hour of struggle.

If we do not make every effort to obey the Lord and His Apostles, claiming instead that we are "saved by grace" as today’s ignorance teaches, we will never be able to enter the salvation of the Lord. We will not be made a partaker of Christ. 

Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. (John 14:23)

We must keep the Word of the Lord and His Apostles if we hope to gain the rest of God, the fullness of salvation, which is the dwelling in us of the Father and the Son. 

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)

The Christian who keeps his mind on the things of this world instead of praying constantly and looking to the Holy Spirit for every thought, word, and action, will soon be abiding in spiritual death. Life and peace come as we commit every behavior, every decision, to the Holy Spirit and thus are able to live a holy, righteous life in the sight of God. 

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (Romans 8:7)

Our natural mind is in a warfare against God. Our natural mind can never be in subjection to the eternal moral law of God. It is as our mind is transformed that we are able to prove God’s will for our life. 

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." "Your mind "! 

So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:8)

We no longer are under the Law of Moses. We are under a different law, the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ. As long as we live in the light of our fleshly mind we cannot possibly please God. It is only as we keep presenting our body a living sacrifice, being transformed by the renewing of our mind, that God is pleased to ascribe the righteousness of Christ to us. 

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 have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9)

One may say, "I talk in tongues in church so that means the Spirit of God dwells in me and I therefore am in the Spirit at all times."

Talking in tongues is not the proof that we are living in the Spirit of God. Numerous people who speak in tongues also practice lust, murder, covetousness, partying, gossiping, witchcraft, drunkenness, lying, stealing, and every other evil work.

Whether or not we call ourselves Christians, if we behave wickedly we do not have eternal life dwelling in us. 

Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (I John 3:15)

The proof that the believer actually is living in the Spirit is as follows: 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22,23)

We know we are in the Spirit of God when we show in our personality love, joy, peace and the other aspects of the Spirit of God. The fruit of the Spirit does not become the fruit of the Christian until the Christian is living in the Spirit. 

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10)

It is true of both the unbeliever and the believer that the mortal body is dead because of the sin that dwells in it. The difference in the case of the Christian is that the Holy Spirit who dwells in him brings to him the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteousness of the blood of the cross, and this righteousness produce eternal life. 

But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken [make alive] your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:11)

The above verse emphasizes the goal of our redemption. The Spirit of God that dwells in us is a seal unto the day of redemption that is yet ahead. In the day of redemption our mortal body will be made alive by the Spirit of God who today is dwelling in us. Our inner man is alive because of the righteousness of the Lord Jesus. Our outer man is dead because of the sin that dwells in it.

Each day we make the decision to live according to the inner man or according to the outer man. If we choose to live according to the inner man, looking always to the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit will make alive our physical body at the return of Christ.

If we choose to live according to the lusts and passions of the outer man, not looking always to the Spirit of God, then, in the Day of the Lord, our body will not be made alive by the Spirit of God. We slay our own resurrection when we choose to live according to the desires of our mind, our flesh, and our soul. 

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. (Romans 8:12)

We hear people say that as long as we are in this world we cannot serve God as we would. We have to sin—at least a little. Our spirit is willing but our flesh is weak, and so forth. This is not the attitude of the victorious saint. He understands well that he owes nothing to his flesh. He keeps his body under subjection to the Spirit of God, often denying the cravings of his flesh and soul. 

For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. (Romans 8:13)

The believer who chooses to keep on living according to his flesh and soul will drive out the spiritual life that was given to him when he received Christ, leaving only his adamic nature. The believer who looks to the Spirit of God every day will be able to kill the deeds of his own body, forcing his body to obey the Spirit of God. This individual will attain the first resurrection, the resurrection that will take place when the Lord appears. 

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14)

We know we are a son of God when we truly are being led in every area of life by the Spirit of God. Being led by the Spirit of God is an art, shall we say, that is mastered by long, faithful, patient enduring of our personal cross. 

For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19)

The natural creation is in the chains of corruption today because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. When the Lord Jesus returns He will be accompanied by His brothers, the sons of God. The sons of God, having conquered their own personality by following the Spirit of God into battle against their internal enemies, will then be able to drive Satan from the earth, thus releasing the natural creation from the bondage of corruption. 

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:22,23)

We of the Church have the firstfruits of the Holy Spirit. If we will be faithful in following the Spirit into full victory over the worldliness, lust, and self-will in our own personality, we will gain the redemption of our body, in the Day of Christ; we will attain the early resurrection from the dead. We then will be qualified and able to drive the spiritual darkness from the entire creation.

When the spiritual darkness has been driven completely from the natural creation, the peoples of the saved nations of the earth will be able to enjoy life lived in the Spirit of God, the eternal Life of which we of the Church have the firstfruits in the present hour.

We see therefore that our personal victory, the victory over our own personality, is made possible by the blood of Jesus, and also by the Holy Spirit as we make the effort in every area of our thinking, speech, and actions to be under the control of the Spirit of God. It is only through the Holy Spirit that we can attain the total victory we desire.

We are to learn to live in a prophetic environment every day and every night. The Holy Spirit will guide us in our home, with our children, on the job, in school, in all that we are and do. Any part of our life that is not under the control of the Spirit of God is still "in the flesh," and the result of living in the flesh is corruption and death.

Considerable experience is required before we are able to bring our entire personality under the control of the Spirit of God, but it is well worth every effort we make to do so.

The blood of the cross forgives our sins. The Holy Spirit then leads us each day into victory over the sin residing in our personality. As we confess our sins and turn away from them we are forgiven and the Lord drives the sin from our personality. Little by little, victory by victory, the enemy in our "land" is judged and driven out by the Spirit of God.

Total victory will be ours if we hold fast our confidence in Christ until the end of our life. 

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)

If we will continue in the Spirit we will enter the rest of God, the place where our whole personality delights to do the will of God. The Lake of Fire no longer will have authority over us. We, having been judged in advance, are now ready for the first resurrection from the dead. 

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)

The key to perfect victory over our personality is diligence in obeying continually the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ. We will reap eternal life if we keep on sowing to the Spirit of God in all that we do. 

Led by the Spirit in Gifts and Ministry

The manifestation of the Spirit of God is given to the members of the Body of Christ so that all may be built up in the Head. 

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. (I Corinthians 12:7)

The emphasis is on diversity but all are members of the one Body of Christ.

There are many kinds of gifts but they are expressions of the one Spirit of God.

There are several kinds of ministry but they are from the same Lord Jesus.

The gifts and ministries work in different ways but they are of the same God.

Two facts must be kept in mind when approaching the subject of gifts and ministries. One is the need for presenting our body a living sacrifice in order to prove God’s will. Apart from presenting our body a living sacrifice the talent that God has given us will probably never be used by us in the manner God intends.

The second fact is that gifts and ministries, as is true of every other aspect of our Christian life, must be directed by the Holy Spirit. It is not enough just to have a good idea or to be enthusiastic—or even to see a pressing need. We must be led by the Spirit in the area of gifts and ministry.

Presenting our body a living sacrifice in order to prove the will of God.

Being led by the Spirit.

Presenting our body a living sacrifice in order to prove the will of God. 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)

There is no way in which we can prove the will of God for ourselves other than by presenting our body a living sacrifice. Personal prophesy, visions, dreams, words of knowledge and wisdom, the laying on of hands of the presbytery, all help us find God’s will. But all of these aids will be ineffectual if we do not present our body a living sacrifice, taking up our cross and following after the Lord Jesus each day.

The author has seen several instances in which hands have been laid on people accompanied by prophecy in which the individuals were informed of the work they would do in the Kingdom of God. But more often than not the prophetic word did not come to pass. The believer lived an ordinary life without ever experiencing that which had been announced by the Spirit.

The reason for the lack of fulfillment is that the believer kept waiting for God to give some marvelous sign and to carry him out of himself until he was doing that which had been prophesied.

This is not how gifts and ministries come into effective use in the great majority of instances. The individual must seek God fervently as though he were the greatest apostle on earth even though there is no evidence that anything is happening.

In addition he must fervently covet the gifts of God according to the desires of his heart. God will steer him or her into the right ministry and gift once he or she begins to pray and seek God. 

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12:6-8)

The gifts and ministries are not just dumped on us while we live our ordinary life. We must seek them and attend to them. We must use our talents. If we do not use the talents God has given us we will face an angry Christ in the Day of the Lord. Our talents will be given to someone who has been more diligent and we ourselves will be thrown into the outer darkness.

The purpose of gifts and ministries. The special purpose of the present Church Age is to call out the elect from the world and to build them up in the Head, Christ.

The Holy Spirit has placed a great variety of ministries and gifts in the universal Body of Christ. As far as we know, no gift or ministry is given by the Holy Spirit to a local assembly—always to the Body of Christ. The ministries are placed in the Body and the Body is one whole. 

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto [maturity as measured by] the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (Ephesians 4:11-13)

The above passage is sometimes interpreted to mean that the task of the five ministries listed above is to equip all the Christians so that they too may minister ("the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry"). This is a possible interpretation. However, this would make the purpose of ministry the creation of more ministry, which in turn would lead to the creation of more ministry, and so forth. The purpose of the gifts and ministries then would become the creation of ministry instead of bringing the saints to maturity, which is the stated purpose of the gifts and ministries.

Another problem here is that there is no evidence in the Book of Acts that the purpose of the apostle or the evangelist was to create more apostles or more evangelists.

After comparing Psalms 68:18 (from which the passage was taken) and thinking about the meaning of Ephesians 4:11-13 we have come to the following understanding.

The passage is saying that to some people it is given to be an apostle so that these people (the apostles) may be equipped to bring the saints to maturity.

To other people it is given to be a prophet so that these people (the prophets) may be equipped to bring the saints to maturity.

To other people it is given to be a teacher so that these people (the teachers) may be equipped to bring the saints to maturity.

To other people is given the gifts of healing so they may be able to bring the saints to maturity, and so forth. This interpretation fits the Book of Acts and all else that is said in the Scriptures on the subject. Also it is logical and sensible.

The purpose of the gifts and ministries is not to create more gifts and ministries but to bring the saints to maturity. Meanwhile the Holy Spirit assigns gifts and ministries as He will. It is the responsibility of the pastors and teachers to guide the growing Christians into the effective use of the gifts and ministries given to them by the Spirit of God. Then these maturing saints are able to build up themselves and others into the maturity God desires.

The gifts and ministries given to the ascended Christ by the Father have as their purpose the perfecting of the saints. This is the work of the ministry.

We must keep in mind that the five ministries listed here are intended to be representative. In no other passage are these five set apart from the remaining gifts given to the Body.

Compare: 

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. (I Corinthians 12:28)

In the above verse apostles, prophets, and teachers are placed in the same category as miracles, gifts of healings, and helps. This placement suggests that the five (possibly four) ministries named in Ephesians 4:11 are not elevated above the other gifts and ministries of the Spirit.

All the ministries and gifts given by the ascended Christ have been assigned by the Spirit of God for the purpose of forming the mature Body of Christ.

Psalms 68:18 (to which Paul is referring) when speaking of the receiving of gifts by the ascended Christ implies that the gifts of ministry are people—sometimes rebellious people. The purpose of the giving of these rebellious people to Christ is that God eventually might find rest in the perfected Body of Christ.

Philip was an evangelist. He brought the good news of salvation to people outside of the assembly of saints. People were delivered under Philip’s ministry and brought into the Kingdom of God. 

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. (Acts 8:5-7)

When the apostles who were in Jerusalem heard of Philip’s revival they sent Peter and John to Samaria. 

Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (Acts 8:14,15)

The Apostle Peter preached and multitudes were added to the church in Jerusalem.

The apostles established churches on the foundation, Christ. The prophets prophesied. The evangelists brought the Good News of repentance and forgiveness of sins through Christ. The pastors and teachers fed the flock of God. 

The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; (I Peter 5:1,2)

Does every believer have a gift and ministry? Yes, he or she does. Each of us has a ministry and we are to perform it diligently. If we do not we will be judged as someone who has buried his talent, and there is a harsh penalty for being lazy in the things of the Kingdom.

There is one Body of Christ. The Holy Spirit has placed within the one Body a great variety of gifts, administrations, and workings. The accent is on diversity. The chief purpose of all gifts and ministries is to bring the members to maturity. We are built up by that which every part supplies.

The Spirit of God works in such marvelous, wonderful ways that it is a feast, an adventure, a romance every day (although sometimes the outward circumstances become exceedingly grievous). As we listen to the Spirit He leads us step by step in personal growth as well as in ministry.

Those who have been fruitful in Christian service know that the fruit comes from our love relationship to the Lord Jesus. The fruit follows our love for Him. We do not have to go forth and blindly attempt to work for the Lord. When we do we may travel across land and sea to make one convert and then make him twofold more the child of Hell than ourselves.

We are always to wait for the Spirit. What an unceasing joy and wonder it is to see the myriad of subtle as well as dramatic methods the Spirit employs to bring people to Christ. We find ourselves watching the process and marveling at the joy and peace of the Lord.

Let us listen to the voice of the Spirit and watch for His leading. He will make us fishers of men according to our unique personality.

It is well to keep in mind when we are ministering that the Gospel is a seed that is sown. If we will patiently sow seed, as the Lord leads, the Holy Spirit will cause another to water. Then God will give the increase. We do not have to sow and reap in the same evening.

If our ministry is to reap what other people have sown, then the Spirit will lead us in this also.

If some conscientious believer who is reading these words feels forced to enter some kind of ministry, then let us lift the load of condemnation from that one. May our words come as a jubilee of deliverance so the humble may lift up guilt-free hearts and hear the sweet, gentle voice of the Spirit as our good Shepherd leads us into green pastures beside the still waters, and teaches us according to our unique personality and gifts to become a fisher of men. 

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. (Psalms 27:14)

The standard of maturity to which we have been called is the "stature of the fulness of Christ."

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, gifts of healing, of miracles—all are for the purpose of creating the complement of the Lamb, the pure and holy Bride.

The Body builds up itself in the Head until every member arrives at the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, until he is a perfect man as measured by the standard, which is the Lord Jesus.

We see, in the Great Commission, the emphasis on building up the saints. 

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (Matthew 28:19)

The commission given to the early apostles was to go into all the world and make disciples. The evangelist has the task of introducing to Christ those whom God has called out of the world. After that there is a whole array of gifts and ministries that labor to present each man and woman perfect in Christ.

Being led by the Spirit. Notice how the ministry of Paul began. 

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2)

Not every person who receives a gift or ministry has a Divine intervention as spectacular as that which happened to the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. Also, most of us do not experience a call as clear as that given to Barnabas and Saul as they ministered to the Lord and fasted.

Nevertheless the Holy Spirit is always sovereign in the work of the ministry. It is He who gives gifts and ministries and directs the use of them. How different Church history would have been if people had permitted the Holy Spirit to perform the work of ministry! How different things would be today if people would permit the Holy Spirit to perform the work of ministry!

As we go through the Book of Acts we can see how carefully the Holy Spirit guided the Apostles as they preached the Word. 

So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus. (Acts 13:4)

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. (Acts 16:6,7)

Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city. (Acts 18:10)

"I have much people in this city."

This verse is particularly significant because it reveals that, although the Gospel is to be preached to every person, God has particular people whom He has appointed to eternal life. 

And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48)

The term church means "called out from." The purpose of the Church Age is to call the foreordained members of the Church out from the world and to build them into the perfect, complete Body of Christ.

Compare: 

For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (I Corinthians 1:26)

Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Acts 2:47)

We are to preach the Gospel to every human being, as the Spirit directs. We must be careful to follow the Spirit because He is seeking those whom the Father has ordained to life.

So many times evangelism becomes a human effort in which the idea is to get as many people as we can to change to our way of thinking, to join our church. The evangelistic effort often is blind, using every fleshly means to gain proselytes.

In actuality the evangelist is one of the ministries given by the ascended Christ for the purpose of seeking out those whom God has appointed to life.

Notice how specific the Lord was with the Apostle Paul. 

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. (Acts 16:9)

And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do. (Acts 22:10)

"All things which are appointed for thee to do." Each of us must present our body a living sacrifice so we may perform all things appointed for us to do. 

And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me. (Acts 22:17,18)

And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. (Acts 22:21)

Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. (Acts 27:24)

The adventure of the life of faith is to look to the Lord each day that we may discover what He has for us that day. 

On the morrow, as they went on their journey, and drew nigh unto the city, Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour: And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance, And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat. (Acts 10:9-13)

No doubt the vision of the sheet was not something Peter expected to see that day. But Peter was a man of prayer and so he was directed by the Holy Spirit. 

While Peter thought on the vision, the Spirit said unto him, Behold, three men seek thee. Arise therefore, and get thee down, and go with them, doubting nothing: for I have sent them. (Acts 10:19,20)

The Spirit is desirous to use you and me if we will pray and wait for His guidance. Sometimes we must wait many years. Our task is to pray each day and look to the Lord, meanwhile asking that we might be of use in the Kingdom of God. This is a prayer the Lord will hear and answer.

Our task is to be faithful in doing each day that which God gives us to do. If we will be faithful to the Lord in diligently performing what He has given us to do, never tiring of the Lord’s work, the Lord will build His Church on the Rock that He Himself Is.

There is pressure today to "save souls from Hell," to add numbers to the church, "win souls for Christ," and so forth. While good may be accomplished by this attitude, the pressure in some instances may not be coming from the Lord but from the spirits of ambitious people. It appears that the end result of a continual emphasis on going out and saving souls, witnessing, and so forth often is churches full of immature believers. If such efforts are not followed by inspired teaching the Kingdom of God will not be greatly strengthened.

Some large assemblies of our day are built by appealing to the family instincts of young people. Whenever there is a large group of young people, other young people will be drawn because of the boy-girl attraction. Having a separate "youth culture" of this kind is characteristic of the American social system.

We know there are special gifts that minister to young people, particularly the young people of America who have become disenchanted with American values. Such special ministries have their place in the work of the Kingdom.

But building an assembly on the family urge of young people, stressing only the basic work of evangelism, is not accepted of God. This device may draw a crowd but it is not accepted of the Father. Also, such an assembly will not stand the Divine shaking when it comes, for every work shall be tried by fire in the day in which we are living.

God’s pattern is to have families together in the Christian assemblies. If one of the family members has received Christ and is living in Him, then the entire family is holy and may receive the Communion elements.

It is not the Lord’s will that the young people of Christian families have their own Divine service apart from their parents. Before the revival comes that numerous Christians are expecting today, God wants the hearts of the parents turned toward the young people and the hearts of the young people turned toward the parents. Nothing else is accepted of God.

Satan would fragment the family into young people, adults, and senior citizens. God wants the family intact and worshiping together as a unit. Only then will the Presence of God be among us.

Immature believers are of little use to God and they are not a threat to Satan’s Kingdom. The Lord told us to feed His sheep. When the sheep become strong and fat they are able to break the yoke of Satan.

We think it is time to listen to the Lord, to the Holy Spirit. We need to know what God’s will is for us personally so we do not rush forth in the blindness of the flesh, not truly understanding what the Lord wants us to do. We cannot do everything and be everywhere at once. We need to know what the Lord wants us to do today where we are.

There is a time for evangelism and then there is a time for building up the saints. As the saints are built up in Christ the people around them will be drawn to the Lord. The sheep gate comes before the fish gate. The sheep do not have to be forced to reproduce. They will reproduce naturally as they become mature. 

Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests, and they builded the sheep gate; they sanctified it, and set up the doors of it; even unto the tower of Meah they sanctified it, unto the tower of Hananeel. And next unto him builded the men of Jericho. And next to them builded Zaccur the son of Imri. But the fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build, who also laid the beams thereof, and set up the doors thereof, the locks thereof, and the bars thereof. (Nehemiah 3:1-3)

It is the ministry of some to go to the heathen and save them from the chains of Satan. It is the ministry of others to teach the saints so they may continue to be saved from the chains of Satan. Salvation operates at every level until we stand perfect and complete in all the will of Christ.

Led by the Spirit in Governing the Creation

As we have stated, we must be led by the Spirit until we are loosed from the image of Satan and union with Satan and brought to the image of Christ and are in complete, untroubled union with God through Christ. This is personal victory—the conquest of our own personality.

We also must be led by the Spirit in the exercise of gifts and ministries, being called by the Spirit and directed by the Spirit.

It is God’s will that we come to the point that every area of our thinking, speaking, and doing is performed in the Spirit and is of the Spirit. It never is God’s will that any human being live in the flesh but only in the Spirit. To live in the flesh brings corruption and death. To live in the Spirit brings righteousness, peace, and joy—the eternal Life of God.

When the Lord returns the sons of God will return with Him. Their task will be to drive the works of the flesh from the creation until all saved people and all of nature are filled with the Spirit and living in the Spirit.

Only the sons of God, only those who are led by the Spirit, are qualified and capable of entering the work of releasing the material creation from the bondage of corruption. 

Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (Isaiah 42:1)

"I have put my spirit upon him." This is the meaning of the term "Christ," or "Messiah"—the One anointed with the Oil of the Holy Spirit.

The Oil of the Spirit must flow down over each member of the Body of the Anointed One. 

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; (Psalms 133:2)

The Servant of the Lord is Christ—Head and Body. The Servant of the Lord will bring justice to the nations of the earth. God’s Spirit abides on the Servant so He can rid the earth of injustice.

The following is a picture of the Spirit of God flowing from the personalities of the saints and bringing eternal life to the nations of the earth.

Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. (Ezekiel 47:7-9)

There is another picture of the nations of the earth coming to the Spirit-filled saints. 

And the Gentiles [nations] shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. (Isaiah 60:3)

The sons of God who return with the Lord Jesus will have been trained during their life on the earth to live in the Spirit of God. When the Lord returns these victorious saints will be filled to overflowing with Divine Life. It will be the power of the Holy Spirit in them and with them that will enable them to bring the nations of the earth under subjection to the Lord Jesus.

The overcomers will receive the crown of life, that is, the power and authority to govern by eternal, incorruptible resurrection life. This is how the Lord Jesus lives and governs. 

Conclusion

We have seen that if we would gain victory over our own personality we must be led by the Spirit of God to do so.

We have seen further that gifts and ministries are given by the Holy Spirit and the believer is to be led by the Spirit in the use of gifts and ministries. It is not enough to receive gifts and a ministry. We must learn to follow the Spirit in the use of them in every instance.

The saint must come to understand that life is to be lived not by might nor by power but by the Spirit of God. Everything we think, everything we say, and everything we do is to be under the guidance and enablement of the Spirit of God.

Learning to be led by the Spirit of God is an art that must be practiced every day. Speaking in tongues helps us move into life lived in the Spirit. There is a multitude of voices in the spirit realm that would counsel us. We must look to the Lord constantly, always testing every spirit that would guide us.

Do not ever be afraid to test a spirit. You will never displease the Lord or the Holy Spirit by questioning a voice that attempts to guide you. God’s Word commands you to try the spirits and you must do so if you wish to avoid being deceived. 

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. (I John 4:1)

The Holy Spirit is always willing to be tested. The wisdom that comes from above is always willing to be questioned, always willing to give you time to use your judgment and the Word of God to determine if what you are hearing is really the Spirit of God.

Whenever there is a feeling of fear or haste, a driving spirit accompanying a voice that speaks to you, this is not the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is always gentle and patient and will wait until you are certain it is God who is directing you.

It is God’s will that all saved people learn to live in the Spirit. This will be much easier in the ages to come than it is now. Today we have to fight the world, our flesh, the demons, and our own pride and self-will in order to enter the rest of God, the place where we are at rest in the Spirit and will of God.

We are a firstfruits of God’s creatures. We are a warlike remnant determined to press into our land of promise, into life lived in every area under the guidance and enablement of the Holy Spirit of God.