SEEK 2018 – John Stumbo – A Primer on the Holy Spirit – Uncertain or Downright Fearful – Deltona

July 17, 2018


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“How open are we to the work of the Spirit of God in our lives? Are we making ourselves available to Him?”


The following is a raw, unedited transcript provided by a digital transcription service and may contain grammatical or spelling errors.


Speaker 1: Do you believe what you just saying? Okay, let me push you on it just a little bit. We just said that he is for us, not against us. All right. We’ve said he’s for us, not against this and we’ve invited the Holy Spirit because we believe that he is God, as a member of the trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Well, if we believe that he’s for us and if we believe that he is God, then why are you afraid of him?

Okay. Some of you are saying “I’m not, I’m not. I’m not,” but I’m pretty sure that somebody here is. Maybe not consciously aware or maybe very consciously aware. Maybe it started when you were six years old and you heard about the Holy Ghost and that kind of freaked out a little bit because you really didn’t know about Casper, in some movie that I don’t want to. What? What? What is that about? And then maybe at age 16  or somewhere along the line, you heard about what was happening in another church where the Holy Spirit was doing things that we don’t really believe the Holy Spirit does. And so just watch out for that over there.

Somewhere along the line, something developed, in Christians hearts in the Christian Ministry Alliance where we became uncomfortable or insecure or uncertain or guarded or downright fearful about the spirit of God.

And what I would like to do in these opening minutes today and our Brother Sunder is going to be giving two presentations this morning, are going to be hearing from missionaries this morning and taking a world tour this morning. It’s going to be a big morning and we are going to give you a break. So don’t worry about that. But I want to launch by just giving us a … what we’re calling a primer, an introductory, a primer, on the Holy Spirit. Now, if I had more time, I’d start all the way in Genesis 1 where the spirit of God is active in creation. But let’s jump all the way to Exodus, okay?

Last night, I didn’t give you any time to open your Bibles and turn, but I would love it if you would turn with me to half a dozen scriptures in just a few minutes’ time. Can’t linger on any of them, but do you know who the first person to be filled with the Holy Spirit was? It was not a prophet. It was not a king. It was not a ruler of some kind. The first person said to be filled with Holy Spirit, Exodus 31. Exodus 31.

It’s been a bad day of leadership in my mind for Moses. He’s been on top of the mountain and he’s been instructed that he’s supposed to like, get into architecture and design and construction and he’s supposed to not only that, but get into clothing design the priestly garments and the ephod, the breastplate and he’s supposed to get into perfumery and he’s supposed going into how in the world am I going to do all that, Moses has to be wondering as you read Exodus in the 20s and then you get to Exodus 31 and God says, “Then the Lord said to Moses. ‘See, I have chosen Bezalel,, the son of Uriah, son of Hurah, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the spirit of God.'” With skill, ability and knowledge and all kinds of crafts to make artistic designs to work with gold, silver, bronze, to cut and set stones to work and wouldn’t engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.

Ha! The first guy filled with the Holy Spirit in the Bible is an artist and a craftsman. Somebody who works with his hands, who can see something and make it. I envy you guys or women and that you can actually see something and create it.

See, in the Old Testament times, not everybody received the spirit. The Holy Spirit was given to certain individuals for certain tasks. That’s just how God chose to work during that era of his salvation plan for this world. Certain people received the spirit for certain tasks.

Let’s jump to Numbers chapter 11, next book of the Bible. Numbers, chapter 11, and there is another bad day of leadership in Moses’ life because now in Numbers, chapter 11, then we find out in verse four that the rabble among them began to crave other food. They were picking up the daily manna, but after a while they started wailing and said, “If only we had meat to eat, we remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, the garlic, and now we’ve lost our appetite. We never see anything but this manna,” and you can almost hear them spit as they say manna.

They’re in a good whine session. You know you’re in a really good whine session when you’re getting specific about it. It’s not just general, “Oh, we miss what we used to have.” No, no, no. We miss cucumbers. We miss leeks. I’ve never missed a leak in my life. But anyway, they did. They did.

And so here, they want to have something more to eat. And Moses heard, verse 10, “Moses heard the people of every family wailing, each at the entrance of his tent.” They didn’t have the decency to keep their complaints inside. No, they made the whole public thing out of this. And the Lord became exceedingly angry. Moses was troubled. The people are whining. There ain’t nobody happy in this whole chapter, okay? And Moses has this incredible, honest prayer about why have you brought this trouble on your servants and they’re wailing in their tents. Give us meat to eat.

And if you just, if you love me God, put me to death right now. That’s verse 15. If this is how you’re going to treat me, put me to death right now. If I have found favor in your eyes, don’t let me face my own ruin. Which being interpreted in my mind means God, if you don’t kill me, they’re going to. I’d rather die at your hand than theirs.

God is so kind. This is not the best prayer that Moses is going to pray. But in God’s kindness, listen to what God says in Numbers 11:16. “The Lord said to Moses, ‘Bring me 70 of Israel’s elders, who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting that they may stand there with you,'” that tent of meeting that that Bezalel helped build. “‘I will come down and speak with you there and I will take you the spirit that is on you,'” because we know that Moses was filled with the spirit, “‘and I will put the spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people said you will not have to carry it alone.'”

Verse 24. “So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said.” He brought together 70 of the elders and had them stand at the tent. “Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with them, and he took the spirit that was on Moses and put the spirit on the 70 elders. When the spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they didn’t do so again.”

However, Verse 26, “Two men,” whose names are Eldad and Medad, “remained in the camp.” Even if God himself calls a meeting, two of you guys aren’t gonna show up. Some NFL or NBA or something. I don’t know. NASCAR, probably, down here, okay?

They were listed among the elders, but they didn’t go to the tent, the spirit also rested on them and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ratted on them ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.”

Joshua, Moses’s aide, spoke up and says, “Moses, my Lord, stop them,” but Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and the Lord would put his spirit on them.”

Joshua, defending his leader. He knows that Moses is the leader, the one filled with the Holy Spirit, the one that we look to, the spiritual guy. And now wait a minute. What’s happening here? Is he nervous about … Does he think he can control the working of the Holy Spirit? Is there a sense of fairness? Because they hadn’t come to the meeting?

Is Joshua not ready for shared leadership? I don’t know all that’s going on in Joshua’s heart right now, but I know that he doesn’t like what’s happening and he wants Moses to stop this. And Moses says, “No, no, no, no, no. I wish that all God’s people had the spirit.” I’m calling that Moses’ prayer. He doesn’t direct it towards God, but it’s a heart longing that God hears. Moses’ prayer, I need to jump along way in the Bible now, I can’t take time in the psalms and other places, but if you go to all the way to Joel 2, the clean pages of your Bible, there in the minor prophets, book of Joel, table of contents, legal at this moment, Joel 2, verse 28, Moses’ prayer, is is Joel’s prophecy.

Joel 2, verse 28, “And afterward I will pour out my spirit on all people.” Now that’s a huge prophecy, because up to this point, it’s only the hall of fame that had the spirit. Moses had the spirit. David had the spirit. Saul had the spirit and lost the spirit, because at that time the spirit, which is given to certain people for certain tasks, it wasn’t like it was after the Pentecost, but at this moment it was just for special people, and Joel’s prophecy is huge to say that all God’s people will have my spirit.

Your sons, and no way, daughters. Women can have the Holy Spirit? In that day, that was a profound thing to say. Your old men will dream dreams. Your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men, in case you didn’t get it, and women, I will pour out my spirit in those days.

You see what Joel is prophesying? There will be no gender distinction, no age distinction, young and old, no class distinction. Even on my servants. I don’t know if there’s a class kind of thing there or not, but I believe as you go through the New Testament, you’ll also find no age distinction. No gender distinction, no class distinction, no racial distinction, that all God’s people have now.

According to this prophecy, there’s going to be a day that comes when God’s spirit will be poured out on everyone. Moses’ prayer is Joel’s prophecy that becomes Jesus’s promise. I could take you to John 7, but let’s jump to John 14.

We’re at the last supper. In the last supper, John 14. Jesus says, verse 25, “All of this I have spoken while still with you, but the counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, remind you of everything that I’ve said to you. Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Do not be afraid.”

Moses’ prayer. Joel’s prophecy. Jesus’ promise. It’s about to come. It’s about to come. That the counselor, the Holy Spirit will come to you. John 15, verse 26. “When the counselor comes,” 15:26, “when the counselor comes, whom I will send from the father, the spirit of truth, who goes out from the father, he will testify about me.” John 16. Spirit’s calling you, brother. Better answer. Sorry, I don’t mean to be sarcastic. But I am ADD, so I know what’s going on in the room.

“But I tell you the truth.” John 16:17: “But I tell you the truth, it’s for your good that I’m going away.” Those have to be the craziest words in the world for the disciples at that moment. “It’s for your good that I’m leaving you,” really? Because unless I go with the counselor will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you.

Moses’ prayer is Joel’s prophecy becomes Jesus’ promise. And you know what comes next, Acts 2, Pentecost provision.

So they’ve gathered in the upper room. 120 of them. Men and women are gathered and there is this moment that comes that is not for us to try to repeat, but as an entrance of the Holy Spirit coming into this world in a profound in dynamic way and people hear the Gospel spoken in their languages and Peter, one of the most greatest miracles of all of Acts 2 when the spirit comes is that Peter who just couldn’t even say the name of Jesus in front of a slave girl in the dark, is now standing before thousands of people, boldly proclaiming the name of Jesus, quotes Joel’s prophecy that we’ve just read in Acts chapter 2:17 quotes that and then coming down to the end of the message, he says, in verse 38, Acts 2:38, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and you’ll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

That’s crazy talk, in their sense, because … that Peter would understand so quickly that this has now happened. The thing that was only for certain people for select tasks, the hall of famers of the Old Testament, now Peter has received that. The 120 have received the coming of the spirit and he immediately knows that this is for everybody who will repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus.

The promise, verse 39. The promise is for you and for your children. Your children? Yes. Kids don’t receive a miniature version of the Holy Spirit. They received the full Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off. Far off in time, coming to us, coming to us today, far from God right now, for all who are far off, for all whom the Lord our God will call.

Moses’ prayer is Joel’s prophecy is Jesus’s promise is Pentecost provision that becomes the believer’s privilege. Galatians 5, Ephesians 5, the work of the spirit available to us.

Friends, we’ve got the whole day together. But as we launch this morning, I wanted to get us thinking in terms of how open are we to the work of the Spirit in our lives. And I want to say one more thing, feel free to disagree with me on this. I’m disagreed with often, so I’m fine with that, but can I present to you that there is a similarity between our salvation experience and entering more fully into a relationship with the Holy Spirit, in this kind of way?

I’ve heard testimony of people who have said that when they came to Jesus, they had this profound experience, when they received salvation and forgiveness of sins, it was up-ending their life, turned upside down. One guy said to me, “It hurt me to swear. I used to swear all the time. It actually hurt my mouth to swear after I gave my heart to Christ and couldn’t do it.” I’ve heard people be delivered from addictions on the spot when they gave their heart to Christ, some tremendous emotional experience. Where they knew they were forgiven. I heard people testify of how when they came to faith in Christ, suddenly they saw the world’s difference. Like there’s colors out there, there’s life out there, and their eyes opened up to a world they’d been living in for 30 years, but never saw.

And I’ve heard testimony of people who said, “I can’t tell you the exact day that I came to faith in Christ I just know that I’ve come to trust in Christ for my salvation. I’ve asked. I want him to be the forgiver of my sin. I want him to have my life. I don’t know when that happened. I just know that’s how I am.”

Whether you had a dramatic or profound experience or not, or whether it’s been something that’s been more subterranean or subtle or gradual in your life, as long as you know that Jesus is the one who forgives you and redeems you, and as long as you’re trusting him for your salvation, I think that’s great. Our goal is not to repeat somebody else’s experience. In fact, our goal is to not repeat somebody else’s experience. God never does the same thing twice in every individual’s life. He’s working uniquely in you. It’s your story, not an imitation of somebody else’s story.

Well, is there not a parallel in our walk with the Spirit as well? I know of people who have had a profound and dramatic experience of the Holy Spirit and they walked away from that moment at an altar or some event and they were changed and they had dealt with their old, sinful nature in such a way that they knew they wanted Christ to be on the throne of their life and there was a new presence and power within them that they could tell and they could sense in a very dramatic moment in time. Some received a gift of being able to speak in a language they had never learned. Others received gifts that they had never been able to experience before. Suddenly they’re leading people to Christ. They’d never let anybody in Christ before in their life and suddenly, after this encounter with the spirit, a healing came to them in a deep emotional way where something that needed to be worked on deep in their soul and it happened in a dramatic fashion.

Others I believe are walking with the Spirit, filled with the Spirit in a way that we see Jesus in them and the fruit of the spirit is being born from them but it was more, well, excuse me, less experiential. It was more a deep work over time. Now, we believe in crisis and progressive sanctification at Christian Ministry Alliance, that there is some starting point to that where they realized I can’t be the lord of my own life. I need Jesus to be the Lord of my life. But that varies from person to person as far as how that experience happens.

Please, please be released from the need to try to compare your story with somebody else’s story. Well, they have this and I haven’t had that. No. Just be released from that. That’s not part of the New Testament, that everybody go through a certain process. No, no.  We’re not supposed to repeat New Testament experience. We’re not supposed to repeat each other’s experience. We are supposed to enter into whatever experience the spirit of God has for us and to be fully open to that work.

And so we’ll keep talking more about this today, but the question is how open are we to the work of the spirit of God in their lives? Are we making ourselves available to him? Are we welcoming all that he has for us? Are we afraid? Are we holding onto something, not wanting to release something?

So, would you just take a moment of reflection right now and we’ll have more of these times throughout the morning. Just gonna take a two minute silence pause while the music plays and either just listen and be quiet or talk to the Lord with what’s ever on your heart.

Let’s stand together. You’ve just heard hundreds of prayers, or whispered hundreds of things, or maybe there’s been silence on both our side and yours, at the moment. We keep waiting on you, Lord, throughout this day. Welcoming, open.

We prayed it together last night, our father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. In my life, as it is in heaven, may it be so. May it be so. In Jesus’ name.


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