Monday, December 23, 2013

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit

The Lord has indicated that he is coming soon, and He is going to do mysterious things before He comes.  Because His time is short, He will use a madman, He will use a prostitute, He will even use a child that doesn't have any teeth in his mouth to testify of His coming before He comes. That is why we must correctly discern the things of the Spirit.  One can be very knowledgeable of the Scriptures, and still make a wrong judgment in this area, just as the scribes did.

"The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, 'He is possessed by Beelzebul,' and 'He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.'" (Mar 3:22)

Jesus warned them, "Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"-- because they were saying, "He has an unclean spirit." (Mar 3:28-30)

A pastor, named Yong Doo Kim, whom I love and respect, has explained it like this.  Just because someone has a difficult time believing the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, they must never judge or insult the work. We must be careful not to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, which includes neglecting, ignoring, or totally opposing the gift of tongues, prophecy, miracles, and interpreting tongues. It includes aggressively opposing the gifts that have or are manifested in different ways. The spectrum of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is very broad.  At one end of the spectrum are those who incorrectly make allegations, based on their prejudices and humanistic views. At the other end are those who judge and condemn others who operate in the gifts, as well as those who deny or reject the work or manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Those are the people who so easily drive out the work of the Holy Spirit and judge it as a cult or condemn it. Therefore there is the risk of progressing into the sin of blaspheming against the Holy Spirit.

On one hand, we should avoid the error that some have made of accepting every supernatural manifestation as genuinely coming from God.  People who do so tend to be mystical and easily deceived.  However, we must always cherish the presence and power of the precious Holy Spirit in our lives, and be careful not to lose it.  If we do, we could move into a place where we are left with nothing more than a cold doctrine of the Holy Spirit.  Once you do so, there is the possibility that this could eventually lead to blaspheming the Holy Spirit.  That is an eternal sin, which cannot be forgiven.  Those who commit this sin will be greatly judged and tormented in hell.

Therefore, we should love Him and fear Him. "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength."  (Mar 12:30)  And "do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and turn away from evil." (Pro 3:7).  Hopefully this little study has helped to restore you to a correct perspective.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. "Receiving the Spirit" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note Also see False Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, Discerning the Things of the Spirit, A Warning to the Nay Sayers, Testing the Spirits of False Prophets and Eternal Destinations.  You can access the Main Directory for this blog for more articles like this, as well as my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baptized with the Spirit

When a person gives his life to Jesus Christ, he repents of his sin, asks the Lord to forgive him, and invites Jesus to come and live inside his heart. At that point, the Lord takes up residence within him by His Spirit. But God has more to give. He has a gift for the believer. That’s what I would like to explore together in Scripture today.

Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit

First of all, John the Baptist spoke about this. He said, "As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Mat 3:11; cf. Lk 3:16; Ac 11:15-16). John the Baptist also testified, "I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.'" (Joh 1:33)  John made a clear distinction here between water baptism and the baptism in the Holy Spirit.

In Mark’s gospel, the two baptisms are even more clearly laid out as separate and distinct from each other. There we read of John the Baptist: “And he was preaching, and saying, ‘After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’" (Mar 1:7-8)

Some time after John made this statement, he baptized Jesus in water. Immediately afterward, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove upon Him in bodily form. Later “John testified saying, ‘I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, “He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.”'” (Joh 1:32-33). So the Father told John that Jesus is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.

Differences between the two baptisms
The word to baptize (Gr., baptizo) means to dip or immerse, to make whelmed, fully wet. It’s important to understand that it is not a sprinkling, but rather a dunking.

We should note that there are some similarities and differences between water baptism and Spirit baptism. Both baptisms are for believers, not for non-believers. They are both an immersion -- an action that makes the believer fully wet or whelmed. Yet the Holy Spirit baptism is distinctly different. Unlike water baptism, where the believer is immersed in water, now the believer is fully immersed or whelmed by the Holy Spirit. And this does not necessarily happen at the time of water baptism, as we will see.

In the case of the disciples, Jesus commanded them to wait for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. After he had risen from the dead and was about to ascend back up to heaven, He said to them, "And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." (Luk 24:49) Here he said that He would send what He called the promise of the Father. So whatever He was referring to was a definite promise from the Father, which Jesus Himself would send. You can be assured that this is not something God has forgotten about or that He takes lightly. God keeps His promises.

And Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for this promise, until they were clothed with power from on high. When you receive the promised baptism with the Holy Spirit, you will be clothed with power. The word for power here is dunamis, which means a miraculous, mighty, and wonderful power from God. It’s where we get our English word for dynamite, which produces violent explosions. This power was so important that Jesus did not want the disciples to go anywhere without this. They needed to wait for it. And you also need to wait for the Lord to send the promise, so that you can be empowered for service.

Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit
At the time that Jesus was baptized in water, He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Here is the account of what happened: “Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.’" (Luk 3:21-22)

Immediately afterward, the Scripture tells us that “Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness.” (Luk 4:1). This was the first time that Jesus was referred to as being full of the Holy Spirit. So it’s reasonable to say that from that point on, Jesus was full of the Holy Spirit. In fact, He testified of this Himself in the synagogue. He read the passage in Isaiah that says, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…” (Lk 4:18)

As Jesus said, the reason the Spirit of the Lord was on Him was to empower Him to preach the gospel to the poor, proclaim freedom for the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind and to set the oppressed free. And we know from his life and ministry that He did just that.

Power is the distinct evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit
There is distinct evidence when you are baptized with the Holy Spirit. You don’t need to wonder if it has happened to you, because the evidence is always power in your life. After all, this is what Jesus promised when He said, “You will be clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49b)

“Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, ‘Which,’ He said, ‘you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ (Act 1:4-5) So while they had been baptized in water already, Jesus said they would soon be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And he explicitly said that this would be evidenced by power. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Act 1:8). The power they would receive would enable them to be His witnesses throughout the world.

When they were baptized on Pentecost, here is what happened. “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” (Act 2:4). They had power to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

But it wasn’t a single occurrence. They were filled again later. “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Act 4:31). When this happened, the evidence was once again power to speak the Word of God with boldness.

Then there were the people in Cornelius’ household. He was a righteous and God-fearing Gentile man, who had invited his close relatives and friends to his home to hear Peter preach the gospel. “While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who were listening to the message. All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also. For they were hearing them speaking with tongues and exalting God.” (Act 10:44-46).  As Peter recalled the incident, He said, "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'" (Act 11:15-16).  The gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on these people in the same way as it had been poured out on the disciples on the day of Pentecost. And the evidence was the same. They all spoke in tongues. And Peter said the Lord had referred to this experience as being baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Another example is when Paul first encountered the disciples in Ephesus. “He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?’ And they said to him, ‘No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.’ And he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ And they said, ‘Into John's baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.’ When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. There were in all about twelve men.” (Act 19:2-7)

When Paul first found the Ephesian disciples, they had only been baptized into John’s baptism for repentance. He discovered this by asking them if they received the Holy Spirit when they believed. Amazingly they did not even know there was a Holy Spirit. So after Paul told them they needed to be baptized into Jesus, they did so. And then when he laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them. The power of God was evidenced there just as it was elsewhere. They began speaking in tongues and prophesying.

The same power was displayed when Peter and John were in Samaria. “Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." (Act 8:17-19) Just as had happened elsewhere whenever disciples had received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, so also there was evidence when the Samaritan disciples received this gift. That’s why Simon the sorcerer offered to pay money for this power. He was a magician who had supposedly given his life to Jesus. But when he saw and heard the powerful evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit that was given by the laying on of the disciples hands, he wanted this power also.

Scripture records that Peter rebuked him for this. But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! "You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. "Therefore repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if possible, the intention of your heart may be forgiven you. "For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bondage of iniquity." (Act 8:20-23). The gift of God cannot be bought with money, as Simon tried to do.

It is possible to be born again without being baptized in the Spirit
In this same passage, aside from the laying on of hands, and the evidence of supernatural power, I want to draw special attention to one other very important thing about the Samaritans who received the gift of the Holy Spirit. That is the fact that they had already believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and been baptized by Philip, before Peter and John arrived. Luke recorded, “But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike.” (Act 8:12). It was after they believed and were baptized in water that Peter and John prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit. “Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Act 8:14-16).

Many people claim that when we believe in Jesus, and are baptized in water, that the Holy Spirit falls on us at that time. We cannot put God in a box. While this does happen in some instances where a person is baptized in the Holy Spirit when they are baptized in water or even beforehand, it is rather exceptional. The point here is that the Samaritan believers had “simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus,” and “the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen upon any of them.”

This is the same thing that happened in Ephesus, as I’ve already explained earlier. The Ephesians also received the Holy Spirit as a distinct and separate event that occurred subsequent to being baptized into Jesus Christ (Act 19:2-7). It proves that receiving the Word of God and being baptized into Christ does not necessarily mean you’ve received the baptism with the Holy Spirit.

In fact, you might even be a preacher or teacher who has been instructed in the way of the Lord. You may be speaking and teaching fervently about the Lord. You may be mighty in the Scriptures without ever having received the baptism in the Holy Spirit. That was true of Apollos. “Now a Jew named Apollos, an Alexandrian by birth, an eloquent man, came to Ephesus; and he was mighty in the Scriptures. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he was speaking and teaching accurately the things concerning Jesus, being acquainted only with the baptism of John; and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Act 18:24-26). My friend, please don’t assume you’ve been baptized in the Holy Spirit simply because you have become a disciple and been baptized into Christ, or because you are an effective Bible teacher. You will know when you have been baptized in the Spirit, because the evidence of supernatural power will accompany it.

Purpose of the Power
So what’s the purpose of this power that we receive, when we are baptized in the Spirit? It’s so that we can be witnesses for the Lord Jesus. Jesus told His disciples “that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luk 24:47-48). It was immediately after this that He told them to stay in the city until they were first clothed with power. So the power is needed to be His witness.

Jesus went on to say, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Act 1:8)

Being a witness for Jesus is not just a matter of talk but of power. Notice the way the believers prayed in the first church. They prayed, "’And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.’ And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.” (Act 4:29-31). As I mentioned earlier, Jesus said the same thing of Himself, after He was full of the Spirit, that He was anointed to preach, heal, and bring deliverance to those bound by Satan (Lk 4:18-19). He preached with authority and a demonstration of power. “And amazement came upon them all, and they began talking with one another saying, ‘What is this message? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits and they come out.’" (Luk 4:36)

“Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people. The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.” (Mat 4:23-24). Before you can be an effective witness for Jesus, you need to receive power from on high.

The outpouring is ongoing and for all mankind
On the day of Pentecost, Peter explained what was happening, when the disciples were baptized in the Holy Spirit. He said that this was a fulfillment of what Joel had prophesied that the Lord would pour out His Spirit. The Lord said that prophesying, dreams, visions, signs and wonders would accompany this outpouring (Ac 2:14-17). And He said the outpouring would be for all mankind, men, women, and children alike, not just a select few. It’s for every disciple of Christ.

At the home of Cornelius’, when the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit, Peter explained again what was happening. As he retold the event to the elders in Jerusalem, he said, "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, 'John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'” (Act 11:15-16). So Peter made a direct connection between what happened there and what Jesus meant when He said, “You will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Peter also said that what happened at Cornelius’ home was just like what happened on Pentecost. This proves that the outpouring would be ongoing, rather than a one-time event.

This ongoing outpouring for all mankind is in stark contrast to what happened under the Old Covenant. At that time certain people were filled with the Holy Spirit. But it was rather isolated and did not happen to everyone. For example, Elizabeth responded by crying out with a loud voice, when she was filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:42). Likewise, her husband, Zechariah responded by prophesying, when he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:67). And their son, John the Baptist responded by leaping for joy, when he was filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:41).

Everyone responds when filled with the Holy Spirit
Just as Zechariah, Elizabeth, and John responded under the Old Covenant, when they were filled with the Holy Spirit, everyone who receives this power responds. Peter responded with great boldness when filled with the Holy Spirit (Ac 4:8). Stephen responded by speaking fearlessly of his ability to see the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God (Ac 7:55). Paul responded by regaining his vision. Immediately it was as if scales fell from his eyes when he was filled the Holy Spirit (Ac 9:17-18).

Subsequent fillings with the Holy Spirit
There were subsequent fillings after the initial baptism with the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul taught the Ephesians, “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” (Eph 5:18). He contrasted this filling with being drunk with wine. Just as a person can repeatedly be drunk with wine, we are to repeatedly be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is not for the purpose of dissipation or wasting our lives, but so that we can build one another up by sing to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs that we sing to one another, as we make melody in our heart to the Lord (Eph 5:19).

The Greek word in Ephesians 5:18 is a continual action “to be”. Literally it means continually “be being filled” with the Spirit. This is consistent with what happened with the early disciples. When they prayed together after they had been filled with the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, they were filled again. These were the same disciples who were previously baptized in the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Ac 2:4; Ac 4:23-24,31). Likewise, Paul was subsequently filled with the Holy Spirit and displayed power as well as boldness (Ac 13:9-11).

Given through the laying on of hands
One of the elementary teachings of the faith that the writer of Hebrews mentioned is the laying on of hands (Heb 6:1, 2). As I’ve mentioned previously, the Holy Spirit is given through the laying on of hands. We saw this when the Holy Spirit was given in Samaria (Ac 8:15-18) and Ephesus. “And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying.” (Act 19:6). In the same way, healing and miracles happen when believers lay hands on the sick, just as Jesus and the first disciples did. (Mark 1:16-18).  However, just as healing and miracles can happen without the laying on of hands, so can the baptism of the Holy Spirit happen without it.  In fact, sometimes people are baptized with the Holy Spirit when there is no one else present with them.

It's a gift
If you are a disciple of Christ, you shouldn't feel that God will give this gift to others and withhold it from you. A gift is free, and that means you cannot earn it. Jesus taught us to ask for it. He said, "So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luk 11:9-13). Jesus explicitly said that the heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. So go ahead and ask. Then expect to receive!

How to Minister the Baptism to Others
One of the best instructions on how to minister the baptism to others is found on following, one-hour video by Charles and Frances Hunter, who had ministered the baptism to over 350,000 people during their lifetime (see here).

After you have watched this video, please go on to watch the second hour, which is a recording of a service in Florida, where Charles and Frances ministered the baptism to hundreds of people en masse.

Putting it All Together
Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit, and He is the One who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is given through the laying on of hands. The distinct evidence of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is power. The power we receive from the Holy Spirit is to be witnesses.

It is possible to be born again without being baptized in the Spirit. Under the Old Covenant, certain people were filled with the Holy Spirit, but it was rather rare and isolated and not common or widespread.

On Pentecost Day, Peter explained that this was the fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy where the Lord promised to pour out His Spirit on all mankind in the last days. Peter also explained that the experience at Cornelius’ home was a fulfillment of Jesus’ promise to baptize in the Holy Spirit.

There are certainly subsequent fillings with the Holy Spirit after receiving the initial baptism. It's meant to be a continuous lifestyle, rather than a single event in your life.

So if you are a disciple of Christ, who has never been baptized with the Holy Spirit, I encourage you to ask the Lord for this gift. He promises to give this good gift to those who ask.

And if you have received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, but it's been a long time since then, and you need a refill, I encourage you to pray and ask the Lord to fill you once again. Take the time to wait upon the Lord to send you a fresh outpouring of His Spirit.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the Main Directory for this blog at Home, such as Holy Fire Baptism, The New Wine, Led by the Spirit, Gifts and Fruit of the Spirit: What's the Difference?, Fruit in Every Season, The Holy Spirit Speaks, The Bodily Form of the Holy Spirit, and Supernatural Power for All Disciples. I also recommend Restored Truth.  You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."  "Receiving the Spirit" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Spirit without Limit

John the Baptist spoke of Jesus saying, "For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure.” (Joh 3:34).  

At first I thought it was saying the Father had given Jesus the Spirit without measure, but when I looked more closely, I realized that it is Jesus who gives the Spirit without measure.

The phrase "without measure He gives the Spirit" in Greek is eκ μeτρου δiδωσιν τo πνεuμα.   The verb didosin comes from didomi, which means to give, grant or bestow (Strongs).  

In this verse, the verb is used in the present active indicative.  The present tense represents a simple statement of fact or reality viewed as occurring in actual time. In most cases this corresponds directly with the English present tense.  The active voice represents the subject as the doer or performer of the action. e.g., in the sentence, "The boy hit the ball," the boy performs the action.  (Blue Letter Bible)

So this means John was indicating the fact that Jesus is the One who gives the Spirit without limit.  Jesus is the doer or performer of the action, and it is occurring in actual time.

Have you yet received the Spirit of God without limit? If not, then seek the baptism with the Holy Spirit. If you are a born again child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, then this gift is available to you.

Jesus said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luk 11:13) 

Let me encourage you to get alone with God and pray in Jesus' name, "Lord, please give me the Spirit without limit right now!" Then believe that you have received what you asked for.  You will receive supernatural power to be His witness when the Holy Spirit comes upon you (Ac 1:8).

Even if you have already received the baptism with the Holy Spirit, you should ask again and again for more of the Spirit, since the Lord Jesus gives Him without limit to those who ask.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog available through the links in the side bar, such as Baptized with the Spirit, Supernatural Power for All Disciples, Holy Fire Baptism, and International Impact of Pentecost.  You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."  "Receiving the Spirit" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Holy Spirit Speaks

Some people actually believe that the Holy Spirit does not speak.  Let’s see what the Scriptures say:

Jesus said, "For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.” (Mat 10:20)

Jesus said, "When they arrest you and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit.” (Mar 13:11)

Jesus said, "When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say."  (Luk 12:11-12)

Jesus said, "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me,” (Joh 15:26)

Jesus said, "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (Joh 16:13)

"Brethren, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit foretold by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus.” (Act 1:16)

“While Peter was reflecting on the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are looking for you.’” (Act 10:19)

Peter said, "The Spirit told me to go with them without misgivings. These six brethren also went with me and we entered the man's house.” (Act 11:12)

In the Antioch church, “While they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’”  (Act 13:2)

The apostle Paul said, "And now, behold, bound by the Spirit, I am on my way to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit solemnly testifies to me in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions await me.” (Act 20:22-23)

Paul said the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophet Isaiah. “And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after Paul had spoken one parting word, ‘The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your fathers,’” (Act 28:25).

Paul said we cry out by the Spirit, who testifies with our spirit.  “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a Spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,” (Rom 8:15-16)

The Spirit of Jesus is the One who cries out, “Abba, Father!” within the disciple of Christ.  Paul again said, “Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Gal 4:6)

Paul taught that it is the Holy Spirit speaking through us that Jesus is Lord. “Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, ‘Jesus is accursed’; and no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1Co 12:3).  If you want to speak by the Spirit, begin saying with power and conviction, “Jesus is Lord!”

Paul said, “But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” (1Ti 4:1)

The apostle wrote to the Hebrews, “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice,’” (Heb 3:7)

He continues, “And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,’ He then says, ‘And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’" (Heb 10:15-17)

Luke records what happened on the Day of Pentecost: “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.”  (Act 2:4).  When people are filled with the Holy Spirit, they will speak, because the Holy Spirit speaks. 

If the Holy Spirit does not speak, how could he give the disciples utterance to speak in languages they never learned?

"For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 'And it shall be in the last days,' God says, 'that I will pour forth of my Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of my Spirit And they shall prophesy.” (Act 2:15-18).

God said through the prophet Joel that in the last days He would pour out His Spirit on mankind, and they would prophesy, including both children and adults.  Once again, the Holy Spirit speaks through the people who receive Him when He is poured out.

Peter affirmed this fact when He said, “But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2Pe 1:20-21)

“And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, ‘O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, “Why did the gentiles rage, and the peoples devise futile things?”’” (Act 4:24-25)

In their prayer, the disciples indicated that the Lord spoke the words of Psalm 2 by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of David. 

The apostle John said, “This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” (1Jn 5:6)

Jesus continued to speak by the Spirit even after His resurrection.  Luke states: “The first account I composed, Theophilus, about all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when He was taken up to heaven, after He had by the Holy Spirit given orders to the apostles whom He had chosen.” (Act 1:1-2)

In fact, even when He spoke to the apostle John on the Isle of Patmos, He spoke by the Spirit:

Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” (Rev 2:7)

Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.” (Rev 2:11)

Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” (Rev 2:17)

Jesus said, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:29; 3:6, 13, 22)

Here are the words of the apostle John: And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them." (Rev 14:13)

The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.” (Rev 22:17)

Putting it All Together
It's abundantly clear from the Word of God that the Holy Spirit definitely speaks.  This is how all the Scriptures were written, as men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. In fact, everything Jesus said was spoken by the Spirit, even after His resurrection.  Even after His ascension, He continues to speak by the Spirit, as He did to John on the Isle of Patmos.

The Spirit of God speaks to and through every true disciple of Christ, who has received the Spirit.  Whenever the Holy Spirit comes upon mankind, people will speak. They will speak in tongues and prophesy, as the Spirit gives them utterance.  In fact, a disciple cannot even say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Spirit.  So let's begin to declare it out loud.  Make it known in the heavens and on the earth that Jesus Christ is Lord. If you say to God, "Abba, Father," that is the Holy Spirit testifying through you that you are God's child.

Anyone who says the Holy Spirit doesn't speak needs to read their Bible.  He still speaks today.  The only question is whether you hear what He is saying. You need to receive the Holy Spirit after you become a believer.  Have you received the Holy Spirit?  Let Him who has ears hear what the Spirit says to the Church.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Receiving the Spirit" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."  Also see the following posts:

The Person of the Holy Spirit
Baptized with the Spirit
Holy Fire Baptism
The Bodily Form of the Holy Spirit

Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Bodily Form of the Holy Spirit

As I have explained in previous posts already, the Holy Spirit is a divine Person.  He is the third Person of the triune Godhead.  I have also shown that the heavenly Father has a "bodily" form.  But does the Holy Spirit also have a bodily form?  Let's find out from Scripture.

In Luke's gospel, he records what happened at the water baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ.  "Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'"  (Luk 3:21-22)

Here we learn that the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in bodily form.  The Greek word for “form” is “eidos” meaning “1) the external or outward appearance, form figure, shape; 2) form, kind” (Thayer).  The word "bodily" comes from the Greek word "somatikos" meaning "1) corporeal, bodily 1a) having a bodily form or nature 1b) pertaining to the body" (Thayer).  The Spirit of God can appear or manifest Himself in a bodily form, figure, or outward appearance.

This bodily form was visible to Jesus and to certain others that were present.  If He had not been visible, then it would not have been recorded, because nobody would have known about it.  I know it is difficult for some people to understand how the invisible Spirit of God could become visible.  Yet John testified saying, "I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, 'He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.'" (Joh 1:32-33).  John testified that he had seen the Spirit.

So we know that the Holy Spirit appeared and made Himself visible, as He descended from heaven upon Jesus Christ.  But what was His bodily form like? We could assume it was like a dove, since the Scripture says, "the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove." (Lk 3:22a).

However, I do not believe the Holy Spirit is limited to looking like a dove any more than Jesus is limited to looking like an actual lamb.  As humans, here in the natural realm we place great emphasis on outward appearance, and we typically recognize people primarily by how they look. But in the spirit realm, we are known primarily by our inward character, while the outward appearance is a secondary way to recognize someone. The Lord and the Holy Spirit, as well as the holy angels, and even the devil and his demons, can appear in various forms. They are not limited to only one, single form.

For example, when the Lord appeared after His resurrection to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, the Scripture says He "appeared in a different form" to them (Mk 16:12). Later the apostle John saw Him as "a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain" standing at the center of the throne in heaven (Rev 5:6). Or for example, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit appeared as tongues of fire that separated and came to rest over each disciple present (Ac 2:3). He also appeared as seven lamps blazing before the throne of God in the revelation given to the apostle John (Rev 4:5). Likewise, the angels can appear as men, so that some have even entertained angels without knowing it (Heb 13:2). Similarly the devil can appear as an angel of light (2 Cor 11:4), a serpent (Gen 3:1; Rev 12:9,15), and a red dragon (Rev 12:3,7,13,17).

Having cited those examples of various forms, and their changeable nature, let's return now to considering the passage of Scripture about the Spirit's descent upon Jesus at His baptism. When it says the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus "as a dove," this expression helps us understand not only the nature of his appearance (His form), but also the manner of his descent. Matthew records it like this in his gospel.  He states: "After being baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, 'This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.'" (Mat 3:16-17) 

How does a dove descend?  It descends differently than other birds.  Perhaps we could say it hovers, floats downward, rather than swooping down to kill its prey as a an eagle, or circling overhead like a vulture, or flitting about recklessly like a bat.  I believe there was a smooth, steady, deliberate, innocent, pure, and harmless manner in which the Holy Spirit descended on our Lord that can only be compared to the beauty of a white dove descending. Matthew says, "descending as a dove and lighting on Him," indicating that the Holy Spirit came to rest and remain upon Him in the same manner as a bird would light upon Him or land on Him.

Therefore, I believe the use of the dove simile in this passage of Scripture describes the manner of His descent, and it may also describe the bodily form of the Holy Spirit in that particular instance, but I do not believe the Holy Spirit is limited to the bodily form of a dove. He can take on many other various forms. So in light of that, do you think He could appear in the likeness of human form? If so, you would need to have Scriptural support for that viewpoint. So where would we look in Scripture to find the answer?

As I mentioned in my blog, The Bodily Form of God the Father, God has a bodily form in whose likeness we humans are made.  He has a head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, hands, fingers, feet, sandals, and a robe.  Of course we know that the Word of God became flesh and took on the likeness of men (Phil 2:7-8).  And even now that He has ascended into heaven, the Lord still has His glorified body of flesh and bone.  Therefore, it is quite reasonable to assume that the Holy Spirit may appear in a bodily form resembling the heavenly Father and Jesus.  That would mean He also has a head, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, hands, fingers, feet, etc.  I believe it is possible He may have come in a bodily shape like this at the baptism of Jesus, in order to reveal His Personal nature and substance.
 
If you have always believed -- as most Christians do -- that the Holy Spirit descended in the bodily form of a dove with two eyes, wings, bird feet, and a beak, that’s fine.  I believe He can appear in that form, if He so wills. But if you could believe that, why is it so difficult to believe He could have a bodily form in the likeness of the heavenly Father and of Jesus? Perhaps when He descended on the Lord Jesus at His baptism, both the manner of His descent and His bodily form resembled that of a dove, and yet at the same time He may have had features similar to a human, such as His beautiful face and His all-powerful hands.

Personal Testimonies About the Holy Spirit
Such a notion as I have just described may come as a surprise to you, and seem rather incredible, so I would like to share the testimonies of four people who have seen the Holy Spirit.

Prema Pelletier
The first person is a sister, named Prema Pelletier, who testified that the Holy Spirit visited her in her home.  She described it this way:

"I was suddenly put into a very deep sleep, in a trance-like state. This is what I saw and experienced. I saw myself sitting on the couch in our living room. The couch was facing the door to the balcony. Coming from the direction of the balcony was the most awesome Person. The Person of God the Holy Spirit! Walking behind the Spirit of the Living God was an angel, not more than four feet tall. God the Holy Spirit came directly towards me. As He slowly walked to me, His head held high, His shoulders thrust out, all Majesty, Authority and Power, the thought was imparted to my spirit, 'This is God the Holy Ghost!' Because the Lord Jesus has appeared to me over twenty-one times, one of the first things I remember thinking was that the Holy Spirit looks so much like the Lord Jesus. He looks like His Twin! But, I seemed to also notice the difference between Them. In the visions granted to me of our Lord Jesus, His hair is down close to His shoulders. The Holy Spirit's hair was not down, but sticking out with power. Thinking about His hair afterwards, it reminded me of someone sticking his finger in a live electrical outlet."

"This Mighty Holy Spirit, this very beautiful Third Person of the Godhead, strode toward me and I stood up. The Spirit of God stood about fifteen inches in front of me. I looked into the very penetrating, deep, serious, serene and very holy eyes of God the Holy Ghost, and I felt I was looking into Eternity! At that moment, I found myself looking down on the carpet where I was standing. I trembled in the Presence of this Holy One with an awesome reverence. As this Holy Wonder of the Lord stood before me, I put out both my hands before Him, palms facing upwards, and I spoke these words, 'Would You please pray that Jesus would always keep me?' When I spoke these words, God's Holy Spirit placed both His Palms on my palms. I felt the sensation of electricity surging through my entire body."

"Next, with His eyes still staring into my very soul, the Spirit of God began to rub my palms with His Palms, one at a time. He slowly rubbed one palm after the other, in a striding type of way. By this time, my eyes were staring at both His Hands. I believe the Lord's Holy Spirit rubbed my palms about eight times. As He did so, I was amazed to see Oil gushing out of the middle of His Palms over mine! The Oil which flowed freely from the Holy Spirit's Palms was bearably hot, and as it overflowed my palms, it went to the back of my hands. As I stood there before the Lord, I found myself rubbing my hands with the Oil still overflowing and dripping on the carpet. I found myself saying these words, 'These hands shall be laid on the sick and they shall recover.' With that, God the Holy Spirit and the angel both turned and walked back the way they came."

So she actually saw the Holy Spirit in bodily form and she said He looks like Jesus!  This confirms what we understand from the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit, Who is present everywhere in the temple of the Body of Christ on earth, does have a bodily form like the Father, not like a dove.

Angelica Zambrano
Another sister named Angelica Zambrano, is a young lady from Ecuador, who also saw the Holy Spirit.  She states: "I also started to see the Holy Spirit; He is my best friend; He is Holy, He is omniscient; He is omnipresent! I could see Him, transparent and brilliant at the same time; with a brilliant countenance, I could see His smile and His loving gaze! I can hardly describe Him, because He is more beautiful than angels. The angels have their own beauty, but the Holy Spirit is far more beautiful than they are! I could hear His audible voice, a voice full of love, a passionate voice. I just can't explain His voice; a voice like lightening, yet at the same time He would say, 'I am with you.' so I would strive to continue walking with God, even as trials surrounded us. We were going through very difficult moments, but victorious ones at the same time. I said, 'Lord, let Your will be done.'"

Danny Hahlbohm
The third testimony I would like to share from someone who saw the Holy Spirit comes from brother Danny Hahlbohm, the artist who painted the two pictures featured in this blog. When he read this blog, he commented, "I think it is very important, especially in these last days, that we the church and children of God know who the Holy Spirit is. Even myself, being a Christian for over forty years, only became fully aware that the Holy Spirit is not just a 'mist' or a ghost, but an actual person. I have seen Him too and He is glorious and beautiful."

So I asked him to tell me in more detail what he saw, and he replied: "Yes, one day while I was in my God Room the Lord gave me a vision (or perhaps peek) at the Holy Spirit.  What I saw was the Holy Spirit descending down in slow motion, almost like I would envision took place when he descended upon Christ at His baptism. In the vision the Holy Spirit descended down from the right hand corner to the lower left hand corner. The robe he was wearing was the purest white, and was loose fitting, so it fluttered behind Him as He descended, giving the appearance of wings behind Him almost."

"I did see His face which also shone brightly, but could not make out any real definitive details, except He did have the appearance of a Man. I do not recall the length of his hair. I do not even recall seeing hair at all, which may have been because it was white like the robe itself, and that is why I don't remember seeing it."

"Personally, I think the reason why God may have shown me this vision was to point out why the Bible said the Holy spirit descended LIKE a dove on Jesus, and is NOT a dove. It was beautiful to watch. I tried to depict it as best I could in the painting you used in this message, but of course anything man-made, like paintings or statues could never come close to depicting the glory of God."

Claire Andoun Atongo
Now for the fourth testimony I would like to share. On May 12, 2017, I read the following testimony of my dear friend, sister Claire Andoun Atongo Solomon, regarding a vision she had of the Holy Spirit while praying recently, just a little over two weeks before she passed from this life and went to be with the Lord. She wrote on her Facebook page on April 22, 2017 at 9:48 AM:

"After my Husband and I have finished to pray around 3 AM, we all slept off. I was privileged to see how the Holy Spirit guides us and how the Lord's angels protect us.

I was with my family on air in the cloud surrounded by Mighty Angels going for evangelism in a dangerous country. We were giving by God an assignment to go and deliver the Christians prisoners held captives by terrorists.

In the air were surrounded by Mighty Angels, 1-By our both sides, 2 - another sets of Angels following us at the back. Wow!

I remembered my daughter Nana was sleeping. I wanted to wake her, but one of our angels replied, "No, no. Leave her to rest. She is tired." He was so gentle. What amazed me is how Nana was moving with us even at sleep. This means even God understand when we are tired but in the Spirit the battle continues.

We were all INVISIBLE to the camp of the enemy. We see them and they can't see us. We will get into these terrorist camps and free all the Christians held captives there. And suddenly these Christians will also join us to fight the enemy. We were more than conquerors. Nothing can touch us.

But there is Someone I want to describe to all of us. THE HOLY SPIRIT. Oooo, He is So beautiful! He will be the One to lead us. He will be in front a bit far [i.e., a little farther ahead of us] to check the area. Once its safe, we will follow His direction.

How He looked like? The Holy Spirit in this vision looked like a BIG and HUGE DOVE, pure white. His wings are so beautiful! He moves them like waves of waters. The HOLY SPIRIT. You can see Him, but you can't touch Him. I was privileged to see His beautiful face like a human being, [yet] at the same time like the dove -- Difficult to describe.

With Him we were all secured -- we and the angels. I was given a new Shoe while we were on [the] air flying. One of the Angels said, "Make sure these shoes remain on your legs, so that you will always be invisible before the enemy when going for battle."

When I woke up, all the pains in my body had disappeared.  To GOD BE ALL THE GLORY!

Evangelist Claire Andoun Solomon"

Scriptural Basis
One further Scripture I would like to add is from a psalm that speaks about God's Dove.  In Psalm 68, the Lord makes an announcement, in which He says in part, "Even while you sleep among the campfires, the wings of My Dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold.” (Ps 68:13). 

This psalm is about how God protects us from death, and I believe this verse is about how the Holy Spirit, God's Dove, is always keeping watch over us to protect us.  He shines brightly with the glorious splendor of silver and gold.  Even while we sleep, He does not.  "Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep." (Ps 121:4).

His appearance is brilliant, even in the dark of night, as He constantly monitors all the events on earth.  If He detects that the demons are mounting an attack on His chosen ones, He arises and dispatches His mighty angels with their tens of thousands, and thousands of thousands of chariots, which go forth with lightning speed to scatter our enemies (see Ps 68:1-2, 12, 14, 17).

Putting it All Together
As you can see, the Holy Spirit is a divine Person, Who can make Himself visible.  He is not a bird.  He is far more beautiful than any angel, transparent and brilliant.  He is glorious and beautiful.  He has a head, hair, a brightly shining face, eyes, a mouth that speaks with a passionate voice like lightning, shoulders, and hands.  He has a robe of the purest white.  He resembles Jesus Christ, the Son of God, because they are One God. He can also appear in many other lovely forms as He wills.

He has been sent to the Church to live in us and teach us.  His presence is just as real to us as the presence of the Lord Jesus when He walked with His disciples on earth.  He is God, so you should love Him and worship Him. If you are a disciple of Christ and have never received the Holy Spirit, then you should pray and ask for the gift of Him.  It is called the baptism with the Holy Spirit, which you need to live a holy life for the Lord and be a powerful witness for Christ.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Most other Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®, unless otherwise noted. The "Holy Spirit" and "Baptism" paintings © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note Please prayerfully review Prema Pelletier's testimony and Angelica Zambrano Hell and Heaven in their entirety, and use the Testimony Review Process adopted by this blog, as you decide for yourself whether the Lord has spoken to them. Also see the following posts:

The Bodily Form of God the Father
The Bodily Form of the Lord Jesus Christ  
The Baptism of Christ
The Person of the Holy Spirit
Baptized with the Spirit
The Holy Spirit Speaks 
Holy Fire Baptism
Is Jesus God?
The Name of Jesus

You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
_________________________________________________

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Role of the Trinity in Drawing People to God

Today I would like to show you the wonderful work of the Holy Trinity in drawing a person to God.  It's amazing when you put it all together and consider it!

First of all, Jesus said, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (Joh 14:6).  So the Father loves you, and wants you to know Him, but there is no other way to the Father, except through His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Furthermore, a person cannot simply come to Christ unless the Father grants permission.  Jesus said, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father." (Joh 6:65).   The Father is the only One who can grant a person permission to come to Christ.  That must happen before anything else. In my diagram below, I've tried to illustrate this. 
How God Draws (click to enlarge)

While the first and last steps in the seven-fold process above are in their proper order, some of the steps in between may not necessarily be in this exact sequence.  The important thing is not the precise order, but to show you the involvement of all three members of the Holy Trinity in the process. Additionally, there are other aspects of the process that I have not illustrated here for the sake of space, such as being born of the Spirit. And the process does not end where my diagram ends.  It goes on and on with other wonderful experiences as we grow in our knowledge of God.

Once the father grants you permission to come to Christ, then He actually draws you to Christ.  Jesus said, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. (Joh 6:44).  The very Father Himself draws you to Jesus Christ, His Son, so that you may come to know the Father.

When Peter declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus said it was the Father, Who had revealed that to him.  And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 16:17)

Now let's look at the role of the Holy Spirit in this.  Jesus said of the Spirit, "And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; (Joh 16:8).  In order for you to come to Christ, you must repent and believe on Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins.  But you can't repent, unless you are first convicted on your sin.  In a civil court, when the judge convicts a criminal, he renders "a formal declaration that someone is guilty of a criminal offense." In a similar way, the Holy Spirit brings that confidence into your heart that you are guilty of breaking God's Law.  In other words, you realize you've sinned against the Holy Father in heaven, your Maker.

Not only does the Holy Spirit cause you to realize the truth about your sin, but also the truth about the righteousness of Christ, your need for His righteousness, and the coming judgment in which you will one day have to give an account for everything you've done while in the body, whether good or bad.  In fact, the Holy Spirit leads you into all Truth. Jesus said, "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. (Joh 16:13).  Since Jesus is the Truth, the Holy Spirit is the One who actually guides you to Jesus.  Although the Father draws you, He involves the agency of the Holy Spirit to do so.

You see, none of this could happen unless the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit agreed together upon it to begin with.  There is a marvelous cooperation between the members of the triune Godhead in bringing you into relationship with the heavenly Father.

Now I want to show you something else.  Only the Father knows the Son, and only the Son knows the Father, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him. Jesus said, "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Mat 11:27; cf. Lk 10:22).  So while the Father draws you to Christ by the Holy Spirit, Christ must will (or determine) to reveal the Father to you.

Once the Son wills to reveal the Father to you, then you will know Him.  As you come to know Jesus, you will know the Father.  Jesus is the exact representation of the Father's nature, and once you have seen Jesus, you've seen the Father (see Jn 14:9).

Once you've entered into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Heavenly Father through Him, then you will know you're a child of God.  "The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God," (Rom 8:16). The Holy Spirit will testify to you of this in your spirit. He will bear witness to you of this fact.

So as you can see, all three members of the Trinity -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- are actively involved in drawing a person to God.  I find it marvelous, amazing, mysterious, and wonderful.  If you already have a relationship in right standing with the heavenly Father through Jesus Christ, take some time to meditate on these truths and thank God for the active role that each member of the Holy Trinity had in bringing you to Himself.

If you do not yet have a relationship with the heavenly Father, I want to to encourage you to seek Him with all your heart, while there is still time.  He loves you and wants you to truly know Him. Now is the time of God's favor. Today is the day of salvation.  Don't wait another day, because this might be your last chance.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Trinity" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note Also see the following posts:

The Person of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Trinity
Baptized with the Spirit
Holy Fire Baptism

You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Holy Trinity

The word "trinity" is not found anywhere in the Bible.  So does that mean it is a false teaching? Throughout the years, there have been many errors regarding the triune nature of God, and many of those errors still persist today.  I will not attempt to define or elaborate here on the erroneous teachings.  But I would like to show you what the Bible says about the Trinity.

The Heavenly Father
Many passages in the Scriptures refer to the Father in heaven, who has a face, a will, reveals things to man, loves children, and even feeds the birds.  Here are just a few:

"Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?" (Mat 6:26)

"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter." (Mat 7:21)

But He answered and said, "Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted." (Mat 15:13)

And Jesus said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 16:17)

"For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS." (Mat 16:27)

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 18:10)

"So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish." (Mat 18:14)

"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 18:19)

"My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart." (Mat 18:35)

"Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven." (Mat 23:9)

"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." (Mat 25:34)

"But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's kingdom." (Mat 26:29)

The Son of God 
Just as there are many passages about the Father, the Scriptures are also full of many references to His Son, known as the Son of God. Let me cite a few examples:

Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." (Mat 16:16)

But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus *said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN." (Mat 26:63-64)

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." (Mar 1:1)

"He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; (Luk 1:32)

The angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. (Luk 1:35)

And they all said, "Are You the Son of God, then?" And He said to them, "Yes, I am." (Luk 22:70)

"I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God." (Joh 1:34)

Nathanael answered Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel." (Joh 1:49)

"He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (Joh 3:18)

But when Jesus heard this, He said, "This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it." (Joh 11:4)

She *said to Him, "Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world." (Joh 11:27)

"but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name." (Joh 20:31)

"who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord," (Rom 1:4)

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." (Gal 2:20)

"until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ." (Eph 4:13)

"Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession." (Heb 4:14)

"the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil." (1Jo 3:8)

"Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God." (1Jo 4:15)

"Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?" (1Jo 5:5)

"The one who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His Son." (1Jo 5:10)

He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1Jo 5:12-13)

"And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: The Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet are like burnished bronze, says this:" (Rev 2:18)

This is not just a Christian concept from the New Testament. It's found in the Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures as well. One example is Psalm 2, which says, "I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession. 'You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.'" Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth. Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling. Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!" (Psa 2:7-12; cf., Heb 1:5)

The thirtieth proverb says, "Neither have I learned wisdom, Nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One. Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know!" (Pro 30:3-4)  I would like to ask you, my dear reader, to tell me the name of the Son of the One who established all the ends of the earth. Surely you know!

The answer to that question is found in the following verse, which says, "Every Word of God is flawless..." (Prov 30:5a, NIV). His name is "the Word of God."  I will elaborate on this title more in the following section, but I would also like to point out that another hint for the answer to the question, "What is His Name or His Son's name" is found in the first verse of this proverb that says, " The man declares to Ithiel, to Ithiel and Ucal..." (Prov 30:1b, NASB).  According to Matthew Henry, "Ithiel signifies God with me, the application of Immanuel, God with us...Ucal signifies the Mighty One." I will also elaborate further on these two titles in the following section.

Jesus is God   
Not only is Jesus God's Son, He Himself is God. I have already written at length about this in another post, called "Is Jesus God?" so I will not elaborate on this much here.  Two or three verses will suffice to prove the point:

Isaiah prophesied, "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." (Isa 9:6).  That term “Mighty God” in the original Hebrew is “El Gibbor.”

The Hebrew word “El” means God.  In the five instances in Isaiah, where El is used to mean an artificial, man-made god of wood, silver, or gold, which cannot save, the context makes it clear that it does not mean the Lord.  For example, “Who has fashioned a god or cast an idol to no profit? (Isa 44:10)

In the other seventeen instances where the Hebrew word “El” is used in Isaiah, it always means the one, true, holy and righteous God of Israel, the LORD, Who created the heavens and stretched them out, Who spread out the earth and its offspring, Who gives breath to the people on it And spirit to those who walk in it.  The Lord calls Himself “El.” (see Isa 43:12; 45:22).

And the exact same term, “El Gibbor”, which Isaiah used in 9:6, is used in Isaiah 10:21, where it says “A remnant will return, the remnant of Jacob, to the Mighty God.” The Hebrew word “Gibbor” means “powerful; by implication warrior, tyrant: champion, chief, giant, man, mighty (man, one), strong (man), valiant man.”  So the term “El Gibbor” could be translated literally “God-Man,” “God Champion,” “Warrior God,” “Strong God,” or “Valiant Man-God.”

So I ask you, my friend, to whom does the term “us” refer in this passage, where it says, “a child is born to us” and “a Son will be given to us”?  Is it the prophet and his wife? Is it the nation of Israel?  Who do you think had a Son called “El Gibbor”?  Only One Person is worthy of that name, and that is the Son of God Himself.  Jesus Christ is the “God-Man,” the “Mighty God!” So the term “Us” in this passage refers to the triune God-head, just as Elohim spoke in the first person plural at the creation, saying, “Let Us make man in our own image.” (Gen 1:26).

Another passage that illustrates my point is a tribute to the Messiah found in Psalm 45. It says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of joy above Your fellows." (Psa 45:6-7; cf. Heb 1:9). According to Hebrews 1:8, the psalmist addresses the Son, saying, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever." And in the next verse the psalmist says to the Son, "Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You." He is speaking to the Son saying, "O God...God, your God has anointed you." This could only be true of Jesus Christ, who is God, and whose God is the one, true God.

Prior to His becoming flesh, Jesus, the Word was with God at the dawn of creation. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God...And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (Joh 1:1-2, 14). The Word was God!

We learn from the Revelation given to the apostle John that "He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God."  (Rev 19:13, NIV).

And, of course, the term “us” in Isaiah 9:6 referred in part to Joseph and Mary, the earthly parents of Jesus. "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated, means, "GOD WITH US."  (Mat 1:23). The Lord Jesus Christ is "God with us" to all of us who believe in Him.

Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"  (Joh 20:28)

Exact representation of God 
Jesus is the exact representation of God's nature.

"And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high," (Heb 1:3)

Jesus the Image of God 
While man is made in God's image, Jesus is the actual image of God.

"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven."  (Col 1:15-20)

The original Greek word for “image” here is eikon, from which we get the English word icon.  It means, “a likeness, that is, (literally) statue, profile, or (figuratively) representation, resemblance: image.”  If you want to know what God looks like, just look at Jesus.  He takes after His Father, and resembles Him exactly.

Jesus at right hand of God
Not only is Jesus the image of God, He also sits at God's right hand, in the place of highest honor and power and authority, ruling the universe.

"So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God." (Mar 16:19)

"Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear." (Act 2:33)

and he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." (Act 7:56)

But to which of the angels has He ever said, "SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET"? (Heb 1:13)

"Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens," (Heb 8:1)

Jesus presents us to the Father 
The Bible teaches that Jesus will present the saints to the Father, making us to stand in His presence blameless, because of His atonement.

"Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jud 1:24-25)

The object of this sentence is "the only God our Savior," whom Jude refers to as "Him."  When Jude gives glory to "Him," the only God, he is referring to the Father in heaven. We know this for certain, because Jude says that we give this glory to God "through Jesus Christ our Lord."  We give the glory "to" God, and we do so "through" Jesus Christ our Lord. This shows a clear distinction between the Father and the Son.  And it is in agreement with the words of Jesus Himself, who said, "no man comes to the father except by Me." (Jn 14:6).

Jesus also said, "Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven." (Mat 10:32-33).  All of these verses together indicate that Jesus will one day present us in the Father's glorious presence and confess us before Him.

Father and Jesus Christ distinct Persons
By now it should be evident that the Father and Jesus Christ are distinct Persons of the Godhead. But if not, just look at the way many of the New Testament epistles begin.  There you will see the Father and Jesus Christ named separately and distinctly, which would be pointless, if they were the same Person:

"Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:" (Jud 1:1)

"Grace, mercy and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love." (2Jo 1:3).  The use of the conjunction "and" here indicates two distinct Persons.

"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;"  (2Pe 1:2)

"what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." (1Jo 1:3)

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort," (2Co 1:2-3)

"James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings." (Jam 1:1)

"Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen." (Heb 13:20-21)

"Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph 1:2)

Jesus Himself indicated that while He was one with the Father, He was distinct from the Father. He prayed, "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (Joh 17:3).  Eternal life is knowing the the Father in heaven, only true God, and Jesus Christ.

"And they said to the mountains and to the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?'" (Rev 6:16-17)

“And they cry out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” (Rev 7:10)

“Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.’"  (Rev 11:15)

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.’” (Rev 12:10)

“So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” (Rev 12:17)

“These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” (Rev 14:4)

“Here is the perseverance of the saints who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.” (Rev 14:12)

“Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.” (Rev 20:6)

“I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.” (Rev 21:22)

“And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.” (Rev 21:23)

“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb,” (Rev 22:1)

“There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him;” (Rev 22:3)

cf., 1Co 1:3; Rom 1:7; Philemon 3; Titus 1:4; Philip 1:2; 1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 1:2; 2 Thes 1:2; 1 Thes 2:16; 1 Thes 1:1; Gal 1:1,3

The One "Who is and Who was and Who is to come"
As I have just proven, the Father and Jesus are distinct Persons.  This is very clearly evident throughout the entire book of Revelation, including John's greeting, which makes explicit reference to the Trinity.

He writes: "John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood--" (Rev 1:4-5).  Here John conveys a blessing of grace and peace to the seven churches in Asia.  The grace and peace are from 1) The Father, whom he refers to as "Him who is and who was and who is to come," 2) "and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne," which explicitly refers to the Spirit of God, 3) "and from Jesus Christ."  Each of these references are separated by the word "and" (Greek: "kai"), indicating that they are each distinct.  If they were not distinct Persons, then it would make no sense for John to use this expression the way he did.

Therefore, it seems quite clear to me that the Father is the One Who identifies Himself by declaring, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." (Rev 1:8).  He refers to Himself as "the Almighty," and John refers to Him as "the Lord God."  This is consistent with the distinction made throughout the book of Revelation, where only the Father is referred to as "God," or "the Almighty," or "the Lord God Almighty," and Jesus is referred to as "Christ," "the Son of God," "the Word of God," "the Lamb" and "The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God." (Rev. 1:1,2,6,8,9; 2:7,18; 3:1,2,12,14; 4:5,8,11; 5:6,9,10; 6:9; 7:2,3,10,11,12,15,17; 8:2,4; 9:4,13; 10:7; 11:1,11,13,16,17,19; 12:5,6,10,17; 13:6; 14:4,7,10,12,19; 15:1,2,3,7,8; 16:1,7,9,11,14,19,21; 17:17; 18:5,8,20; 19:1,4,5,6,9,10,13,15,17; 20:4,6; 21:2,3,7,10,11,22,23; 22:1,3,5,6,9,18,19).

That is why I am convinced it is the Father once again to Whom John was referring when he wrote: "And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.' Then He said to me, 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.'" (Rev 21:5-6) This was spoken by Him who sits on the throne, and all throughout the book of Revelation, the Father is consistently referred to as He "who sits on the throne," (Rev. 4:9,10; 5:13; 6:16; 7:10,15; 19:4; 21:5).  You can find the description of the Father, sitting on the throne in Revelation 4, and the description of Jesus the Lamb standing between the throne and the elders in Revelation 5.  Jesus is also depicted at the center of the throne (Rev 7:17)

Therefore, whenever you find expressions of worship to the One "who was and who is and who is to come," and to "Him who sits on the throne," they are referring to God the Father.  Here is one great example of such a praise:

“And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.’” (Rev 4:8-11; cf., 19:3-7)

The Alpha and the Omega
The term Alpha and Omega means First and Last, just as the letters alpha and omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. The term "first" comes from the Greek word, protos, meaning – foremost (in time, place, order, or importance); before, beginning, best, chief, first (of all), former.

The term "last" comes from the Greek word, eschatos, meaning – farthest, final, end, lowest, uttermost.

As I have just proven with certainty, it is the Father Who calls Himself "the Alpha and the Omega" in Rev 1:8 and 21:6. However, as with other names or titles for the Father, His Son Jesus shares many of the same ones.  This is also true of the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.  Jesus said, "Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Rev 22:12-13).  Here we know it is Jesus speaking, because He says, "I am coming quickly," and in the same context, "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star." (Rev 22:16)

Jesus refers to Himself as the Alpha and Omega.  Not only does He exist now, but He was and He is to come. Jesus is the beginning and the end. Jesus took the lowest place. He became the lowest during his passion and crucifixion. He was farthest from God when He prayed, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” No one has ever been farther from God than Jesus was. Now He is in the highest place! (see Phil 2:5-11). He declares the end from the beginning (see Is 46:10). He is exalted above all else! 

Jesus calls Father “My God” 
One of the most interesting things to me about the Godhead is that Jesus calls Father “My God.” That's right!  Even Jesus, Who is Himself God, has a God -- the one true God, which His Father.

About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" (Mat 27:46). 

Jesus *said to her, "Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I ascend to My Father and your Father, and My God and your God.'" (Joh 20:17)

Jesus said, 'Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God." (Rev 3:2)

Jesus said, "'He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.'" (Rev 3:12)

The apostle Paul understood this correctly when referred to the heavenly Father as the God of Jesus: "...that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him." (Eph 1:17; also see 1 Cor 15:24-25)

Finally, the apostle John also referred to the Father as the God of Jesus: "and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father--to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen." (Rev 1:6)

The Father's relationship with Jesus
There are many passages that show the beautiful relationship that Jesus and the Father have with each other.

At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."  (Mat 11:25-27)

At the baptism of Jesus, while He was praying to the Father "...a voice came out of heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'"  (Luk 3:22b)

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."  (Mat 26:39)  If Jesus and the Father were the same person, the this prayer would not make any sense.  Jesus would have said, "Not as I will, but as I will."  However, their wills are separate and distinct from one another, which indicates two persons.

He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, "My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done." (Mat 26:42)

"Or do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Mat 26:53)

"The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand." (Joh 3:35)

Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. "For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel. (Joh 5:19-20)

"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." (Joh 6:37)

"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. "It is written in the prophets, 'AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me." (Joh 6:44-45)

So they were saying to Him, "Where is Your Father?" Jesus answered, "You know neither Me nor My Father; if you knew Me, you would know My Father also." (Joh 8:19)

"I and the Father are one." (Joh 10:30)

"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God," (Joh 13:3)

"...I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me." (Joh 17:8b)

Jesus *said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him." (Joh 14:6-7)

"You heard that I said to you, 'I go away, and I will come to you.' If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (Joh 14:28)

"...then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet." (1Co 15:24-25)

The Father knows things Jesus does not
Something else I find fascinating is that the Father knows things that Jesus does not.

For example, the Father knows the day and the hour when Jesus will come back to the earth.  But Jesus does not know.

Jesus said, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone." (Mat 24:36). 

The book of Revelation begins with the words, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show to His bond-servants, the things which must soon take place; and He sent and communicated it by His angel to His bond-servant John," (Rev 1:1). Put differently, God gave this revelation to Jesus ChristIf God had to give the revelation to Jesus Christ, then the Father is the source of the revelation.  Just as Jesus only said what He heard the Father saying during his earthly ministry, in the same way after his resurrection and ascension, He received a revelation from the Father, which He delivered to the saints.

Pray to the Father 
Jesus always prayed to the Father in heaven.  A perfect example was in the garden after He ate the last supper with His disciples.  Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You," (Joh 17:1)

If Jesus was praying to Himself, why would He lift His eyes to heaven and address God as "Father?"

And His prayer was for the Father to glorify Him, so that He may glorify the Father.  Again, this prayer would not make any sense if Jesus were praying to Himself.  He would have to say, "I now glorify myself, so that I may glorify Myself."

When Jesus was asked by His disciples how to pray, He taught them and us to pray to the Father in Heaven.

And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come." (Luk 11:2)

"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you." (Joh 15:16)

Jesus taught us to pray to the Father in Jesus' name.  Consider this fact in relation to the distinction between the members of the Godhead.  It is consistent with the evidence throughout Scripture that the Father and Jesus Christ are two distinct Persons.

The Father Has Given Jesus Authority
In His high priestly prayer on the night He was betrayed, Jesus prayed to the Father, saying, "Even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life." (Joh 17:2)

After His resurrection, Jesus came up and spoke to [His disciples], saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Mat 28:18)

If the Father were Jesus, there would be no need to give Himself authority.  Likewise, there would be no need to give Himself the disciples, as Jesus said in this prayer the Father had done: "to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life."

The Father and Jesus Have the Same Name
As I mentioned already, Jude referred to God the Father as the only God our Savior (Jud 1:25).  This is consistent with the Scriptures written before Christ, in which God was referred to as Savior (2Sa. 22:3; Psa. 17:7; 106:21; Isa. 19:20; 43:3,11; 45:15,21; 49:26; 60:16; 63:8; Jer. 14:8; Hos. 13:4).

And Jesus was named after His Father, for the very name "Jesus" means "Savior."  "Jesus" in Hebrew is "Yeshua," which means "Yahweh [the Lord] is Salvation."  The angel of the Lord told Joseph, "...You shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." (Mat 1:21)

Jesus said, "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him." (Joh 5:43)

Jesus prayed to the Father, saying, "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. (Joh 17:6).  What name did Jesus manifest?  He manifested or displayed the name of the Father, which is the same as His name, Jesus.

Again in His prayer to the Father, Jesus said, "I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are." (Joh 17:11)

Once more He prayed to the Father, "I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them." (Joh 17:26)

Isaiah prophesied, "For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace." (Isa 9:6)

Jesus also equated Himself with the "I AM" title God gave Himself in Exodus 3:14, when "Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I AM.'" (Joh 8:58). In Hebrew, this name that we translate "I AM" in English is "YHWH," the tetragrammaton for Yahweh, meaning approximately "he causes to be" or "he creates".  The Hebrews understood the holiness of this name, and did not write it out in full, preferring to use only the four consonants.  Rather than pronounce it, they preferred to say instead, "the Lord."

These passages and others make it clear that the Father and Jesus have the same name, as well as the same title.  It is part of the ancient Hebrew culture for a son to be named after his father, which is why it was so surprising to everyone when Zechariah named his son John (Lk 1:59-63).  We still do the same thing today, naming sons after their father.  The son always carries the father's family name, or surname.  For example, I have the same "Lacroix" name as my father, which is French for "The Cross." And sometimes a son also carries the father's given name.  For example, a father named "Charles" sometimes names his son, "Charles."

The heavenly Father did this when He named His Son Jesus.  However, having the same name does not mean they are the same person.  For more on this topic, see The Name of Jesus.

The Father gives the Spirit 
Many Scriptures teach that it is the Father who gives the Spirit:

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?" (Luk 11:13)

"And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high." (Luk 24:49)

"I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;" (Joh 14:16)

"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 that I said to you." (Joh 14:26)

"When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me," (Joh 15:26)

The Spirit of God
The Word of God is full of references to the Spirit of God.  In the Old Testament, He was called the ruach, meaning "wind" or "breath.  In the New Testament, He is called the pneuma, meaning "spirit," "current of air" or "breath."  The Old Testament revealed long ago that not only is God the Father, He also has a Spirit.  

He was present at the dawn of creation: "The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." (Gen 1:2)

There are many other Scriptures in the Old Testament about the Spirit of God.  But here are just a few examples: Is 11:1-2; 61:1; 42:1; Ps 51:11; Ez 11:1.  The prophet Isaiah prophesied that the Spirit of the Lord would be upon Messiah.  King David asked the Lord not to take the Holy Spirit from him.  The prophets, like Ezekiel, said the Spirit lifted them up. Now let's look at some from the New Testament.

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit," (Eph 5:18)

"But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law." (Gal 5:16-18)

"Do not quench the Spirit;" (1Th 5:19)

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. (1Co 12:3-5)

"They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia;" (Act 16:6)

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed." (Luk 4:18)

c.f., Ac 4:25-31; 1 Co 2:10-16; Jn 20:22; Mt 10:20; Lk 1:15; Rom 8:1-27 (Spirit raised Christ from dead);

For more on this, see The Person of the Holy Spirit.

Outpouring of the Spirit 
Even in the Old Testament book of Joel, the prophet foretold the outpouring of the Spirit that would happen in these last days.

"It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days." (Joe 2:28-29)

For more about the fulfillment of this prophetic promise, see Baptized with the Spirit.

Sevenfold Spirit 
We know there is only one Holy Spirit, since He is referred to in the singular form throughout Scripture, including the book of Revelation.  Yet another very amazing aspect of God is that the Holy Spirit is sometimes referred to as the seven-fold Spirit, which is sometimes translated as "the seven Spirits of God."

"To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: 'I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.'"  (Rev 3:1)

"Out from the throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;"  (Rev 4:5; cf., 5:6)

Trinity 
Lastly, I would like to point out some of the Scriptures where the inspired Bible writer referred explicitly to all three members of the Holy Trinity at once:

First of all, when Jesus was baptized, we see all three Persons of the Godhead manifested at once.  Luke wrote in his gospel: "Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, 'You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.'" (Luk 3:21-22).  Jesus was in the water praying to the Father, who was in heaven speaking to Jesus about how pleased He was with His Son, and the Holy Spirit was descending upon Jesus in bodily form.  This is undeniable evidence that the three Persons of the Godhead co-exist simultaneously.  They are not three manifestations of God that occurred at different points in time.

Jesus said, "For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Act 1:5, 7-8)

Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” (Mat 28:19)

The apostle Peter said to the high priest and his associates, "The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." (Act 5:30-32)

"Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure."  (1Pe 1:1-2)

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all." (Eph 4:4-6)

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." (2Co 13:14)

Then God [Elohim, a plural form of "God"] said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth." (Gen 1:26)

Jesus said, "'He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" (Rev 3:21-22)

Each of these passages above refers to the three members of the Trinity separately yet concurrently (cf., Joh 14:16, 26; 15:26).

The Prophet Elijah's explanation
One of my favorite people in the Bible is Elijah the prophet.  In John Bunyan’s Vision of Heaven, the holy prophet Elijah, who is apparently one of the twenty-four elders, told him:

“We clearly see here that from eternity God was sole existing, but not solitary, that the Godhead is neither confused in unity, nor divided in number. We see that there is a priority of order but no superiority among the persons of the Trinity, but that they equally have the same excellency and power, and equally are adored.”

This revelation was given to John Bunyan by Elijah in heaven.

Putting it All Together
Both the Old and the New Testament Scriptures clearly teach that the Divine Godhead is a Holy Trinity, although the term "trinity" is never used in the Bible. 

Surely the eternal God is One God.  As Moses taught, "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!" (Deu 6:4).  We are strictly monotheists.  Nevertheless, He is one Triune God in perfect unity of three Persons -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  In fact, many times the three Persons of the Trinity are referred to concurrently in Scripture.  They are simultaneous and co-eternal.

Therefore, we should not reject the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, as if it were a form of tritheism.  On the contrary, we should guard against error regarding the Holy Trinity, and believe the truth of God's Word.  Jesus is not only the Son of God, He IS God!  He is the exact representation of God, the perfect image of God.  He sits at right hand of God, reigning in majesty on His throne, and calls the Father “My God”.

The heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are distinct Persons.  One day, Jesus will present his bondservants to the Father.  And just as He prays to the Father, He taught us to pray to the Father as well.  It's the Father who gives the Spirit in the name of Jesus.  And the Holy Spirit is being poured out in these last days, just as the Father promised.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. The "Trinity" painting © 2012 Danny Hahlbohm, all rights reserved by the artist.

Author's note Also see the following posts:

The Person of the Holy Spirit
Baptized with the Spirit
Holy Fire Baptism
Is Jesus God?
The Name of Jesus

You can access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master." Now I'd like to ask a very important question.

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
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Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.