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TWO PHASES OF THE SPIRIT


 

In Godís calling there are two phases of Godís Holy Spirit given.

 

What are the two phases and when are they given?

 

What is the difference between the two phases of the Spirit?

 

When do we receive them?

 

When God first calls us He starts working with us and gives us a small amount of knowledge and enables us to understand the bible to a certain degree.  As we study the scriptures, we have a desire to study, a desire to learn, we try to change ourselves and better ourselves in line with the scriptures.

 

This is the start of our calling.  Letís look at the scriptures and see how some people respond to Godís calling at this point.

 

Mat 13:3  Then He spoke many things to them in parables, saying: "Behold, a sower went out to sow.

 

When God calls some people the truth is treated lightly, and it is thrust aside and not given any real value.  The precious truths are not valued or protected, they are just discarded and quickly destroyed, so that no profit can come from these truths.  These people simply do not want any part of Godís calling, or knowledge, or truth.  They place no value on the words, which could lead to eternal life for them. 

 

Mat 13:4  And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them.

 

Then we see another group of people who perhaps valued the words of God, but they had no deep desire for the truth, or no deep belief in God, and so they had a shallow relationship with God, perhaps it was for show, or appearance sake, that they became interested in God, but it was a superficial arrangement.

 

Mat 13:5  Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth.

 

Once these people were put under pressure, or some trials came their way, they could not stand up to it, and they gave up very quickly, again these people did not value this calling or understand what the full extent of the calling could mean.

 

Mat 13:6  But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.

 

Others were too involved with their physical lives, there was no time to devote to the growth of Godís words, the world had a strong pull and many people are drawn away from bible study, towards T.V. movies, and many other things that this world has to offer.

 

Mat 13:7  And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

 

Some people valued the calling of the Almighty God, they took it seriously, they took the time to study, to grow, to allow Godís words to dwell in their mind.  They valued this precious calling, they wanted to grow, they wanted to change and become like God.  Some more than others, as we see that some produced more fruit than others did, to achieve a great deal requires a great deal of effort and not everyone is prepared to give 100% of themselves.

 

Mat 13:8  But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

 

Even though the truth falls on good ground, what happens to it then, is up to the individual.  Some people put in more effort than others.

 

When God is happy with our attitude, and sees that we want to grow and overcome, He gives us the Earnest of the Holy Spirit.  We can only learn and understand to a small degree without the Holy Spirit, so our growth will be limited until we receive the earnest of the Holy Spirit.

 

This initial calling is receiving the milk of the word.  It is also the manna from heaven.  It is teaching from God, but it is not the understanding of eternal life.

 

1Co 3:1  And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ.

1Co 3:2  I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able;

 

Here we see some were not ready for meat, because they were not doers of the word, but hearers only.

 

Again this condition of being ready for meat, comes after many years of testing and trying, it is not obtained early in our christian walk.

 

Heb 5:11  of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

Heb 5:12  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

 

Heb 6:1  Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,

Heb 6:2  of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

 

Heb 5:13  For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

Heb 5:14  But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

Joh 6:31  Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'HE GAVE THEM BREAD FROM HEAVEN TO EAT.'"

Joh 6:32  Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.

Joh 6:33  For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."

 

Deu 8:3  So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

 

The earnest of the spirit is given at baptism, notice the example of when Jesus was baptized.

 

Mat 3:16  When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.

 

Peter taught what was required to receive the earnest of the Spirit

 

Act 2:37  Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

Act 2:38  Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Act 2:39  For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

Act 2:40  And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation."

Act 2:41  Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

Act 2:42  And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Act 2:43  Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.

Act 2:44  Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

Act 2:45  and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

Act 2:46  So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

Act 2:47  praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

 

2Co 1:22  who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

2Co 5:5  Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

 

Notice that we receive the earnest of the Spirit when we believe God.
So once we receive the truth, we accept the truth, we act and try to change, we have a desire to learn, and grow, and change and become like God, and we believe God then God will give us the earnest of the Spirit.

 

The earnest of the Spirit is a down payment of what is yet to come.

 

Eph 1:13  In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

Eph 1:14  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

 

Once the earnest of the Holy Spirit is given then we can grow and overcome and understand much more, without the earnest of the Spirit our understanding is shallow, we need the earnest of the Spirit to have a deeper understanding of Godís word.  We can begin our christian walk, we can understand the bible as God opens our mind to understand.  We can obey, we have belief, we have faith, love, and we should show the fruits of the Spirit.

 

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

Gal 5:23  gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

 

Once we receive the earnest of the Spirit at baptism, then we enter a testing period, this testing period is likened to the 40 years the Israelites wondered in the wilderness.
Just as they were tested during that time, so are we.
God watches us and sees what we do with the knowledge we have been given.  Do we hunger for more knowledge and more understanding?  Do we believe what we have been taught?
If this is the case God will be pleased with us.
If we complain and are rebellious and full of disbelief, God will see this also.

 

God wants to know if we are going to obey Him, believe Him, love His word, and what our hearts are like.  Are we fully committed to our calling, God sees all these things, and we are tested to see if we are suitable to receive Godís Holy Spirit of power.

 

Deu 8:2  And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not.

 

This growth can take many years until God offers the knowledge of eternal life.
This knowledge can only be understood when God opens our minds to hear it and believe it and understand it.
Letís look at the example of the disciples.
They were given the earnest of the Spirit.  Notice that they were given the Spirit at the beginning.  This enabled them to understand some things, 

 

Act 11:15  And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning.

 

However the knowledge of eternal life was a mystery to them, they could not understand these things.

 

The disciples did not know that Christ was going to die for the sins of mankind.  What Christís death meant, and why He had to die was a mystery to them.

 

Mar 9:31  For He taught His disciples and said to them, "The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day."

Mar 9:32  But they did not understand this saying, and were afraid to ask Him.

 

Notice that the understanding was hidden from them, they did not have the Holy Spirit of power and therefore could not understand.

 

Luk 9:43  And they were all amazed at the majesty of God. But while everyone marveled at all the things which Jesus did, He said to His disciples,

Luk 9:44  "Let these words sink down into your ears, for the Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men."

Luk 9:45  But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.

 

They were unaware of His rising from the dead.

 

Joh 16:18  They said therefore, "What is this that He says, 'A little while'? We do not know what He is saying."

Joh 16:19  Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'?

 

Once the disciples received the Holy Spirit of power, the spirit brought to remembrance the things Christ taught them.

 

Joh 12:16  His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.

 

Joh 14:26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

 

It could be quite a puzzle to understand why the disciples had the earnest of the Spirit and yet did not understand.

 

As we explained earlier, with the earnest of the Spirit we can understand a good deal, but for the knowledge of eternal life, requires a further step, God must open our minds to greater understanding.  This happens when God shows us the scriptures, if we have a desire to understand, grow, and believe what God shows us, He opens our mind to greater understanding.

 

Luk 24:44  Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me."

Luk 24:45  And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

 

Once God opens our understanding to the scriptures, then there is a period of time until we receive the Holy Spirit of power, in the case of the disciples it was the period from when God opened their minds to understanding, till Pentecost.
In the case of the disciples, Christ was with them for 40 days teaching them, and showing them about the Kingdom.


In our case it is the same, God teaches us and shows us many things until we receive the Holy Spirit of power.

 

The giving of the Holy Spirit of power, is a very serious time in our spiritual life, and God takes the giving of His spirit very seriously.  When we receive it we have eternal life inherent.

 

The two phases of the spirit are very different, the first, the earnest of the Spirit, is the down payment, of eternal life, it is a deposit of greater things yet to come.
The Holy Spirit of power once it is given is eternal life inherent.  Great power is given with this phase of the Holy Spirit it is called the spirit of power, or truth.

 

Act 1:8  But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

 

Many readers might think that the disciples first received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, but the following verse shows that they already had the Holy Spirit and were to receive another comforter. 

 

Joh 14:16  And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever

 

There is a huge difference in the spiritual understanding we receive with the earnest of the Spirit compared to the Holy Spirit of power.

 

The Holy Spirit of power or truth enables us to understand the things pertaining to eternal life.

 

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW THESE TRUTHS WITHOUT GOD FIRST OPENING OUR MINDS TO UNDERSTANDING THE THINGS OF ETERNAL LIFE.  AFTER WE ACCEPT THE TRUTH AND BELIEVE THE TRUTH, WHEN GOD DECIDES, WE ARE GIVEN THE HOLY SPIRIT OF POWER. WHEN THIS HAPPENS IS ENTIRELY UP TO GOD. 

 

Notice how God gives us understanding.

 

1Jn 5:20  And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

 

2Ti 2:7  Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

 

We must come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

1Ti 2:4  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

 

We must have a desire to learn, believe, and obey, then we will find the knowledge of God.

 

Pro 2:3  Yes, if you cry out for discernment, And lift up your voice for understanding,

Pro 2:4  If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures;

Pro 2:5  Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, And find the knowledge of God.

 

When we receive the truth we must also believe it.

 

1Th 2:13  For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.

 

2Th 2:13  But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth,

 

We receive power when we have the Holy Spirit of power.

 

Mic 3:8  But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the LORD, And of justice and might, To declare to Jacob his transgression And to Israel his sin.

 

2Ti 1:7  For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

 

Letís look at some of the things that are opened to our minds once we have the Spirit of power.

 

THE FATHER IS THE ONE TRUE GOD.

 

The knowledge of the Father and the Son is eternal life, we must know that there is one true God and that is the Father, He is the only one who has existed for all eternity.  He is the self existent one, Jehovah.  Jesus Christ has not always existed, He is from the beginning, He was born before creation. He is the firstborn Son of God.  He is God but He has not existed for eternity.  He is second in charge to the Father.

 

Joh 17:3  And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

 

Jer 10:10  But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation.


Mar 12:32  So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.


1Co 8:6  yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.

 

1Ti 2:5  For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

 

Once we learn these truths God will show us many more things, like the correct day of the Passover, the correct meaning of the Holy Days and much much more.

 

The prophets and other righteous people would not have been given certain knowledge because it was to be revealed to the disciples, until then it was not known.

 

Mat 13:17  for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

 

This knowledge is to be restored in the end time church.  All things will be restored.  This knowledge will eventually fill the whole earth.  It was known by the disciples, but lost since then, to be restored in the end time.

 

Mat 17:11  Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming first and will restore all things.