Acts 17:11 Bible Studies

The Spirit & The Bride


John 15:26 (NIV) "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me."

John 16:13 (NAS) "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all 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."

Walking In The Spirit

Gal 5:16,25 (NAS) Walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh... If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Gal 5:25 (NIV) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.

  • David Wilkerson: [all quotes in this study] "Walking in the Spirit is simply allowing the Holy Spirit to do in us what God sent Him to do... You can't allow Him to do that work until you understand why God sent the Holy Spirit.

    "The Holy Ghost has been sent down to us from the Father to accomplish one eternal purpose. And unless we understand His mission and work in us, we will make one of two mistakes:

    1. We will settle for a small portion of His work--such as a few spiritual gifts. How many believers have been stunted in their spiritual growth because they focused on one or two particular gifts of the Spirit, yet went no further? They were somehow convinced that the Holy Spirit's only work was to hand out gifts!

    2. We will quench the Spirit within us and ignore Him completely, believing He's mysterious and that His presence is something we must take by faith and never understand."
    John 14:16-17 (NAS) "And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you."

  • "The eternal purpose of the Holy Spirit is to bring us home to Jesus Christ as His eternal, spotless, bride."

  • The Story of Eliezer, Abraham's Servant, and His Special Mission

    Gen 15:2 (Amp) ...this [steward] Eliezer of Damascus...

  • "Eliezer's name means 'mighty, divine helper'--a type of the Holy Spirit..." [Oddly, Eliezer's name is never mentioned in the chapter you are about to read.]

  • Gen 24:1-10 (NIV) Abraham... said to the chief servant in his household, the one in charge of all that he had, "...get a wife for my son Isaac." The servant asked him, "What if the woman is unwilling to come back with me to this land?" "...If the woman is unwilling to come back with you, then you will be released from this oath of mine..." Then the servant took ten of his master's camels and left, taking with him all kinds of good things from his master...

    Eliezer Waits By The Water...

    Gen 24:12-22 (NIV) Then he prayed: "...See, I am standing beside this spring, and the daughters of the townspeople are coming out to draw water..." Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder... The servant hurried to meet her and said, "Please give me a little water from your jar." "Drink, my lord," she said..."I'll draw water for your camels too, until they have finished drinking." ...Without saying a word, the man watched her closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful... The man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels.

    Gen 24:34-53 (NIV) So he said [to Laban], "I am Abraham's servant... Get a wife for my son... 'What if the woman will not come back with me?'... When I came to the spring today... Rebekah came out... Then I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her arms... I praised the Lord." Laban... answered, "This is from the Lord... Here is Rebekah; take her and go..." Then the servant brought out gold and silver jewelry and articles of clothing and gave them to Rebekah...

    Gen 24:54-58 (NIV) ...When they got up the next morning, he said, "Send me on my way to my master." But [Laban]... replied, "Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; then you may go." But he said..."Do not detain me..." "Let us call the girl and ask her about it." So they called Rebekah and asked her, "Will you go with this man?" "I will go," she said.

    Gen 24:61 (NIV) Then Rebekah and her maids got ready and mounted their camels and went back with the man. So the servant took Rebekah and left.

    Out Into the Desert They Go. Eliezer Leads Rebekah Onward, Until One Day...

    Gen 24:62-66 (NIV) Now Isaac... went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. Rebekah also looked up and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel and asked the servant, "Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?" "He is my master," the servant answered... So she became his wife, and he loved her...

  • "The servant's entire mission was focused on one thing: to bring Rebekah to Isaac--to get her to leave all she had, and to be enamored of Isaac and espoused to him.

  • "So it is with you and me! God chose us to be His bride. Our salvation--our being chosen for the Lord--was done by the Lord. He sent the Holy Spirit to lead us to Jesus, and if we trust Him, the Spirit will bring us safely home as Christ's eternal bride!"

  • Deut 7:6 (NAS) "For you are a holy people to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth."

  • "Oh, how the Israelites loved this message! They loved being chosen, being special in God's eyes. But they wanted to enjoy the benefits of this without taking on the obligation and discipline of becoming worthy of their Master! You see, Eliezer had told Rebekah, 'You've been chosen. Now I will bless you with many blessings! ' And Rebekah put on the gold bracelets and rings, jewels, silver and expensive clothes he'd provided for her. Then Eliezer said, 'Come, go with me! '"

  • 2 Thes 2:13 (Jer) ...God chose you from the beginning to be saved by the sanctifying Spirit and by faith in the truth.

    Eph 1:4 (NAS) Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him.

  • "Yet suppose Rebekah had answered, 'Thank you for choosing me, and for all these blessings. But I can't go now--I'm enjoying my present place too much!'"

  • Don't We Respond The Same Way?
  • "We take all the blessings--gold and silver--and we accept the 'chosenness.' But there comes a time when we must get up and go! We have to go with our Eliezer... He tells us, 'I have a divine purpose. I came with a mission from God--and I'm going to complete it!' And just as Eliezer came home with a bride for Isaac, the Holy Spirit will not come back empty-handed.

    "Israel never got up and followed the Lord's leading to the Promised Land. They never followed the Spirit at all costs. They continued in stubborn rebellion, backsliding, spiritual harlotry and idolatry. They were chosen, but not cleansed! They were special, but they never separated themselves unto Him. And when it was time to go into Canaan, they were not ready. Instead, they were turned aside, having learned nothing in the wilderness. They were as backslidden as they had been at the beginning. What a tragedy! Forty years of no growth--of only living for self!

    "This is truly a picture of modern-day Christianity. We gloat in being chosen and called of God, but we do not want the discipline of the Holy Ghost to prepare us for the holiness of the bridehood. We take all His blessings, His gold and silver and His great provision. But when the Holy Spirit says, 'Let's get up and go, it's time to get prepared as a bride for the Master'--then it's a different story!"

  • Everything the Holy Spirit Does in Us is Related to His Mission
  • "The Holy Spirit does not perform His work in us in some disjointed, haphazard way. He doesn't exist simply to help us cope with life, to get us through crises and to see us through lonely nights. He isn't there just to pick us up and pump in a little more strength before putting us back into the race.

    "No, everything the Holy Ghost does is related to His reason for coming--to bring us home as a prepared bride. And He acts only in keeping with that mission! Yes, He is our Guide, our Comforter, our Strength in time of need. But he uses every act of deliverance--every touch, every manifestation of Himself in us--to make us more suitable as a bride.

    "Neither is the Holy Ghost here just to give gifts to the world. No, His every gift has a purpose behind it. If you prophesy, that prophecy has one purpose: to glorify Christ and to make the world and His church fall in love with Him! Every time someone is healed, the Holy Ghost is saying, 'Take a look. That's your Jesus! Isn't He wonderful? He is healing--and you're just seeing the manifestation of who He is!'

    "Those gifts are our Eliezer, saying, 'Do you love Him? Look at what He's done for you!' Everything He does points to Jesus, for the Spirit 'shall not speak of himself.'"

  • The Holy Spirit has Only One Message:
  • "'You are not your own--you have been bought with a price. You have been chosen to be espoused to Christ. And I, the Spirit of God, have been sent to reveal to you the truth that will set you free from all other loves. My truth will break every bondage to sin and deal with all unbelief. For you are not of this world; you are headed for a glorious meeting with your espoused and are being readied for His marriage supper. All things are now ready--and I am preparing you! I want to present you spotless, with a passionate love in your heart for Him'... The Spirit is enamoring your hearts to Christ..."

  • Why Are The Manifestations And Gifts Of The Spirit Given?
  • "It is to bring us to Christ as a bride! Everything He does aims in that direction--and although we may forget this, the Holy Spirit never does. Not one of these gifts has any meaning whatsoever if it is separated from the Holy Spirit's eternal purpose. Instead, it becomes only a 'clanging cymbal.' The operation of spiritual gifts have meaning only as they conform us to the likeness of Jesus Christ!"

    Eph 4:30 (NIV) And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    "Have you ever been to a miracle or healing meeting? Did what you see humble you? Did it show you the 'exceeding sinfulness of sin'? Did it flood your soul with love for Jesus? Did it make you long for His return? If not, then the Holy Spirit was not present--because that is His work! His purpose is to draw the bride nearer to the Bridegroom. And if that didn't happen, then what you saw was of the flesh!

    "The Holy Ghost does not come to entertain, to provide signs and wonders and miracles just to thrill us or make us feel good. No, every one of His workings has this divine purpose: 'I'm preparing a bride.'

    "The work, ministry and mission of the Holy Spirit is singular: It is to wean us from this world... to create a longing in us for Jesus's soon appearance... to convict us of everything that would blemish us... to turn our eyes away from everything but Jesus... to adorn us with the ornaments of a passionate desire to be with Him as His bride!

    "The Holy Spirit must grieve as He beholds pastors and evangelists today turning His ministry into a circus. The Spirit cannot bear the manipulations and fleshly showmanship, all done in His name! I couldn't begin to explain to you some of the recent gimmicks I've heard about that are used to try to create a sense of His presence. How grievous that must be to God's heart.

    "If the Holy Spirit is at work in a church, then every song, every word of praise, every note of every instrument are all given unction by the Spirit to exalt Christ. The Spirit is doing what He has been called to do--presenting us to our Bridegroom in all His glory and majesty.

    "In every healing, prophecy and manifestation of God's glory in His house, the Holy Spirit is at work, saying to us, 'This is the love of your espoused--this is what He is like. Isn't He wonderful? Isn't He kind, gentle, considerate, merciful? Yet you're seeing only a glimpse of Him to whom I lead you!'"

  • The Holy Spirit has Been Sent to Give Us a Foretaste of Christ!
  • Eph 1:13-14 (Phi) ...And after you gave your confidence to him you were, so to speak, stamped with the promised Holy Spirit as a pledge of our inheritance, until the day when God completes the redemption of what is his own; and that will again be to the praise of his glory.

    "Paul described a people who ...are no longer 'of this world', since they have set their affections on things above, not on the things of this earth. They are not moved by the world's events; rather, they are unshakable. They are no longer lukewarm or halfhearted. Instead, their hearts cry out night and day, 'Come quickly, Lord Jesus...'

    "What happened to them? The Holy Ghost gave them a foretaste of the glory of His presence! He came to them, rolled back heaven--and they experienced a supernatural manifestation of His exceeding greatness!

    "This is why it is so necessary that God's house be holy--why our hearts and hands must be clean, why we can have nothing in us to hinder the Spirit's work. It is because the Spirit of God delights in pulling back the veil, to give us a foretaste of what is coming!"

    Eph 1:18 (KJV) The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance...

    "Right now the Holy Spirit is opening the eyes of His chosen ones... The Holy Spirit comes to a church that wants Him and is praying... To shepherds who are broken before God... To believers who have no concern other than to see the body of Christ conformed to the image of heaven.

    "God is sealing such people right now! You can go to meetings where Jesus is so real that you taste a little bit of heaven in your soul. You come away with such a sense of eternal reality that your problems no longer bother you, the lapsing economy doesn't shake you, and you're especially not afraid of the devil. God puts a holy fire in your soul, and you say, 'This is supernatural. This isn't me--this is God's Spirit working in me!'

    "He gives us 'a little heaven' to go to heaven with--a whetting of our appetite. He opens the windows of heaven and lets us look into the glory that will be ours. We get a taste of His holiness, His Peace, His rest, His love--and we are forever spoiled for this earth, because we yearn for the fullness of what we have tasted!"

    Ps 34:8 (NIV) ...Taste and see that the Lord is good.

    1 Pet 2:2 (NIV) Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

    The Spirit's Mission Is Not Complete Until...

  • "What kind of bride do you think the Spirit will present to Jesus Christ? One who is halfhearted? Whose love is lukewarm, or cold? Who is not devoted to Jesus? Who does not want intimacy with Christ?"

  • Rom 8:26 (NIV) ...The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. We do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.

    2 Cor 5:2,4-5 (NIV) Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling... For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened... to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

  • Yearning For Christ
  • "You can yearn after Jesus so much that you sit in His presence and nothing comes out but a deep groaning--something that cannot be uttered. It says, 'Jesus, you're the only happiness there is in this world. I've tasted and seen that You're good--and I want all of You.'

    "This is the deep, inner cry of someone who hungers for holiness and is anguished over his iniquities. Yet he admits, 'I don't know how to pray, I don't know what to pray for, or as I should.' His heart's cry is: 'Holy Spirit, come! You know the mind of God. You know how to pray according to the will of the Father. Walk with me--take control!'

    "This is the mark of one who is walking in the Spirit: He has an insatiable appetite for Jesus. Yet it's not just because he's sick of all the garbage he sees in the world--all the filth, crime, drugs and unemployment. No, rather, it's something very positive. Like Paul, he's just anxious to depart and be with the Lord!

    "This person is being moved upon by the Spirit to go after Christ with such passion and emotion that He is overwhelmed. His heart so longs for Christ, no words can express his hunger and love. It is a marvelous, powerful experience--yet it is also painful, because he cannot yet come into the fullness that awaits him!"

    "Sadly, Few Today have this Passionate Groaning After Christ... Dear saint, what has happened in your life since you got saved? Are you just going through the motions? Are you lukewarm? Are you afraid to get 'on fire' for the Lord because you'll be considered a fanatic?

    "Ask the Holy Ghost to so reveal Christ to your heart that you'll be totally weaned from this world. Can you say right now you're ready to go be with Him, that you want Him more than your very life? You may say that often--but do you mean it when you sing, 'He's more than life to me?' Are you more passionately in love with Jesus now than when you first met Him?

    "Right now, the Holy Spirit is poking at the dying embers of your love. It is because He is desirous of setting your heart on fire. Are you allowing the Spirit of God to convict you of sin and unbelief? If so, rejoice! He wants you to be cleansed from every spot or wrinkle on that day when you meet your Bridegroom!

    "So yield to His leading. Let Him do His work in you completely--and you truly will know what it means to walk in the Spirit!"



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