17. THEN & NOW,
THE SIGN OF LOVE WILL BE TOTALLY EVIDENT
IF THERE IS REVIVAL
I John 4:1
"BELOVED, BELIEVE NOT EVERY SPIRIT, BUT TRY THE SPIRITS WHETHER THEY ARE OF GOD; BECAUSE MANY FALSE PROPHETS ARE GONE OUT INTO THE WORLD."
So, the Holy Spirit filled believer is far different from the demon spirit influenced person. The gifts are different... the fruit is evident in the Spirit filled one, the works of the flesh are evident in the demon influenced ones.
Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 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.
Notice in the works of the flesh, the devilish gifts, the last one is 'and such like', so even that list is not completed here. There are many 'gifts' of the devil to some...
The fruit of the Spirit is freely given, and needs exercised to keep... and to grow... it can be lost ... and yet, the Spirit filled person will have all of these...
if they do not, they are no longer 'filled'... they are part empty, for these are not present. That is why Paul said 'if you speak in the tongues of men and of angels and have not love, it profits nothing...'
Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Some can have an appearance of being 'HOLY SPIRIT filled, and yet, it is only a form, but it is not real.. they are denying the power of the Spirit, and we are to turn away from them...
II Timothy 3:5
"HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF, FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.."
One most identifiable sign of being Holy Spirit filled is the presence of love. When we seek spiritual gifts, and follow love, we are ready to be used with power... LOVE is an identifiable sign of being empowered and ready for the gifts of the Spirit.
I Corinthians 14:1
"FOLLOW AFTER CHARITY, AND DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS, BUT RATHER THAT YE MAY PROPHESY."
Many want power. Healings, miracles, etc. are desired by churches. It is frustrating when the power is missing from the churches. They have the "FORM" (morphosis, an outward semblance), of religion. This "form" is often called "tradition," and may be beautiful, and meaningful. Yet, the power of the religion is missing. The gifts are not in operation. There is a reason. The reason is that they are "DENYING" (arneomai, to act in opposition to profession, to have deeds show that the profession was false), the power.
How do we "deny" the power of our faith? The context of II Timothy 3:5 shows the reason. In verse 2, "LOVING SELF", and not others is shown as the cause. In verse four, "LOVING PLEASURE MORE THAN GOD" is shown as a method of "DENYING" the "POWER."
Misplaced love saps the power out of the Spirit filled Christian.
In verse 1 of the context, we are told the time of this is to be "IN THE LAST DAYS." So the last days are to see a powerless religion. During these last days, power is to be flowing through the revived saints, as never before. In others, the power is to be missing. How do we get the power?
Misplaced love caused the power to dissipate.
So we need to look at the subject of love, and discover its secret.
"GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD."
Grief is deeper than sorrow. Herod felt sorrow when he took the head of John the Baptist. Grief springs from love. The deeper the love, the greater the grief. Herod felt no grief, only sorrow. The Spirit feels grief, because He loves greatly. If the Spirit can be grieved, He must love us greatly. If we grieve the Spirit by our lack of love, the power of the Spirit cannot flow.
Note the context of the verse on grieving the Spirit. In the context the emphasis is love, or rather the lack of it, that grieves the Spirit.
vs 25 "PUT AWAY LYING"
vs. 28 "STEAL NO MORE"vs. 29 "LET NO CORRUPT COMMUNICATION PROCEED OUT OF YOUR MOUTH"
vs. 31 "LET ALL BITTERNESS AND WRATH AND ANGER AND EVIL SPEAKING BE PUT AWAY FROM YOU, WITH ALL MALICE"
When the Spirit sees the lack of love in the midst of Christians, it grieves Him. The gifts and the power of the church is sapped.
"THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS LOVE..."
It is called the 'fruit of the Spirit' because it is sourced from the Holy Spirit, and it is given, not earned, it is free and no payment is made to get it. It comes from the Holy Spirit at salvation as a gift. It is not one of the spiritual power gifts, but it is one of the many, many 'gifts' of the Spirit.
If the Spirit brings a harvest of love, He Himself must be love. The word "love" is the Greek word, "agape." This word refers to a strong, tender compassionate devotion, recognizing the spiritual worth of even the most unlovely of personalities. If the Spirit is to bring this into our lives when He dwells within, how can we deny this kind of love and expect Him to be there to let power flow through us.
"THE LOVE OF THE SPIRIT"
The Holy Spirit engenders us with a personal love, a love pure in content. Paul, in the context of Romans 15:30, recognized the need of prayer and power to come upon him while on the way to Jerusalem. So, by "the love of the Spirit", Paul requests prayer. Without the love of the Spirit, the prayers would have little power.
II Corinthians 6:6
"BY KINDNESS, BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, BY LOVE UNFEIGNED..."
Note that the "Spirit" is sandwiched in the verse between "kindness" and "love". Whenever the Spirit is allowed to work, kindness and love flow.
I Peter 1:22
"SEEING YE HAVE PURIFIED YOUR SOULS IN OBEYING THE TRUTH THROUGH THE SPIRIT UNTO UNFEIGNED LOVE OF THE BRETHREN, SEE THAT YE LOVE ONE ANOTHER WITH A PURE HEART FERVENTLY."
When your soul is purified into obedience to the Holy Spirit, the result will be true agape love for the brethren. When this happens, the Spirit's power will be able to flow.
"WHO (Epaphras) ALSO DECLARED UNTO US YOUR LOVE IN THE SPIRIT."
Your love is inspired by the Spirit. We become like those with whom we live. Because we dwell with the Spirit daily, and His presence fills us, we should have a great amount of love. In the context of the above verse, Paul says that because of their love, they will be "STRENGTHENED WITH ALL MIGHT..." (verse 11) If love is present, power will be present.
The Holy Spirit is likened unto a dove (Matt. 3:16). The dove is a lovebird. As God spoke out of heaven -"THIS IS MY BELOVED SON...", the love-bird dove descended upon Jesus. The Trinity loves each other. When this Spirit comes upon us, His nature should also come upon us. Jesus began His powerful ministry after the dove descended upon Him. We need the Dove of love upon us.
The Holy Spirit is called the "COMFORTER." (John 14:16) He comforted the early church. Comfort is an outlet of love. If the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to comfort the believers, how can we get grudges, bitterness, anger toward those He is showing love and comfort, and not grieve Him and His power?????
"AND HOPE MAKETH NOT ASHAMED, BECAUSE THE LOVE OF GOD IS SHED ABROAD IN OUR HEARTS BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WHICH IS GIVEN UNTO US."
The Spirit floods our hearts with love. The more He has of us, the more we can exhibit the love of heaven. If we are co-workers with God, then we possess love. If we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have love. We cannot exhibit unlove, hatred, variance, lies and false accusations, threats and vehemence toward others, and claim to be Holy Spirit filled.
A lawyer may not love his clients.
A doctor may not love his patients.
A merchant may not love his customers.
But God does not want His co-workers to not love others. It is easy to work with God and the Spirit, if you love. When we cease to love another, the Spirit is grieved and the power of the Spirit dissipates. The Spirit is shedding love upon us, as we receive it and let it flow from us, so will His power.
If we are filled with the Spirit, we must be filled with love.
"BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW THAT YE ARE MY DISCIPLES, IF YE HAVE LOVE ONE TO ANOTHER."
The disciples at one time were anxious for supremacy over each other. Jesus said that greatness came through love for others. This love is to be our trademark. To deny the trademark that Jesus insisted that we have, and then to ask why there is no power in our midst, is foolish. To avoid love, avoids the power.
I Corinthians 14:1
"FOLLOW AFTER CHARITY (love), AND DESIRE SPIRITUAL GIFTS."
If we follow the order of the above verse, we will first "FOLLOW AFTER" the love for the brethren, and then DESIRE spiritual gifts.
To "FOLLOW AFTER" is from the Greek word - diokete. It means "to chase down and pursue." This indicates there should be a great effort made to achieve love.
Then we are told to "DESIRE" the gifts. The word "DESIRE" means "to earnestly want."
We earnestly want the gifts and the power of the Spirit in operation. Yet, some don't want to chase down the love that God wants in the body of believers. If we seek the gifts, and do not have love, we become "LIKE SOUNDING BRASS AND A TINKLING CYMBAL." (I Cor.13:1)
Gifts are linked to love in many places in the Scripture. We want gifts. Some have been given a gift many years ago, and haven't seen it operate for years. Some have never seen God use them with gifts. The reason deals with the flow of love. If we learn to unlock the flow of gifts, by using the key of love, we shall have gifts and power in abundance. In the flow of love will come the gifts. In the lack of love, we will find a "FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF."
The reason that the Spirit requires love to be flowing before the gifts can flow, is that the purpose of the gifts is to edify the church. To have the gifts in power as we desire we first must get into harmony with the reason for the gifts of the Spirit.
Peter and John loved enough to stop at the gate of the temple and speak to a lame man. The result was a miracle.
Friends lowered a man down through the roof to Jesus, because of their love for the man, and the result was a miracle.
Jesus loved Lazarus and the result was a resurrection from the dead.
Whenever love is poured out, the result is the POWER of the Spirit will flow. If we want miracles, healings, prophecies, words of wisdom, etc., let us chase after the love we need to allow the Spirit to flow with power. If we have grieved the Spirit with a lack of love, let us repent. We can unleash the power of the Spirit, see many signs and wonders, if we simply let love flow.
Spirit filled saints must be filled with love too... the power to fill us and to use us with gifts of power, is if there is LOVE within us. Chase after love, the Bible tells us, if we want the power gifts we desire.