Part I (continued)
The Truthless Comforter
He called His twelve disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve....and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him. Mt. 10:1-2Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers." Mt. 7:22-23Woe to you Korazin! Woe to you Bethsaida! If the miracles that had been performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Mt. 11:21
That it is possible to receive only one nature of the Spirit is not difficult to demonstrate from scripture. The passages above give examples of people who either ministered or received ministry from the Comforter, but not with the Spirit of Truth. Even Judas ministered the Comforter's great powers bringing healing and deliverance. But he did not have the Spirit of Truth. The people of Galilee had faith to receive of these same miracles, but not the faith that introduced them to the Father through the Spirit of repentance. Jesus made clear that one may indeed offer a worship to the Father through the Spirit, yet be missing His Truth nature (Jn. 4:24).
Reviewing the history of God's dealings with man, we know that the major imbalance of God's people has always been their willingness to receive His blessings apart from obedience to Him. What we must see is that the coming of the Holy Spirit to the church has not changed this tendency. It still applies today. Thus, the preponderant error of the Church Age has been the receiving of the Comforter without submitting to Him as the Spirit of Truth. This has especially great bearing on our times. For as the Spirit has been poured out and continues manifesting at an exponential rate, the disaster that has accompanied His outpouring is due to the fact that so many recipients and vessels of the Spirit's comforting ministry have hardly or not at all received Him as the Truth.3
Today, the foundation of most spirit-filled people is one built on a relationship with the Comforter.4 This does not deny that God's mothering nature is indeed present. Blessings, miracles, healings and revelations all abound. And they are genuine. But the fathering nature of God through the Truth is either absent or, where present, has been "effeminized" by redefinition tailored to the Comforter's gentler nature. The deceptive tragedy of this is that saving relationship with God and growth in Christ cannot be established through an encounter with the Comforter, especially a corporate encounter. It can only be built on a personal knowing of the Father through individual surrender to the Spirit of Truth.
- The Silent Test
Therefore consider carefully how you listen [ie, receive the Spirit]. Whoever has [the Spirit of Truth] will be given more [of the Truth and the Comforter]; whoever does not have [the Spirit of Truth], even what he thinks he has [of the Comforter] will be taken from him. Lk. 8:18 paraphrased
The reason that it is so easy to continue receiving the ministry of the Comforter apart from the Truth is that there are no immediately apparent consequences for doing so. The Comforter comes. People rejoice. The ministry of conviction is swept under the rug. The church continues to rejoice. And the Comforter keeps on coming.
But the lack of visible consequence for this is quite misleading. For though the Holy Spirit may be willing to manifest Himself only as the Comforter in deference to our unbelief, He is still one within Himself. This means that, whether manifest or not, there is a real sense in which the Spirit of Truth is always present, even if He is incognito:
"The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good. Then all the churches will know that I am He who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds." Pr. 15:3; Rev. 2:23
Because the Spirit of Truth is omnipresent, our one-sided encounter with the Comforter still bears serious consequences for which we are morally accountable. Unseen to the naked eye, every blessing of the Comforter becomes a silent test of the Spirit of Truth to examine our hearts and see what is in us. Where we are fond of saying "The trials of God are blessings in disguise," here it is the reverse: "The blessings of God are testings in disguise." We see this in Heb. 3:7-9 where it states that Israel was simultaneously being tested by the supernatural blessings they received of God in the desert.
If we were not capable of dividing the Spirit's nature in our response to Him, the Comforter's ministry would be one of unqualified blessing—each miracle guaranteed to support the ministry of truth in our hearts. But it's precisely because of our capacity for skimming the cream of His blessings off the milk of His requirements that His blessings are themselves ordained as stealth instruments of testing. Each encounter with the Holy Spirit puts us on trial—whether we suspect it or not. His coming secretly proves what is in us, whether His conviction seems present or not. And you can be assured that, wherever a blessing of the Comforter is detoured from its mission to lead us to obedience of the truth, there is a clear price to pay. No, it is not the open judgment of fire falling from heaven like it did in the wilderness—but it is a judgment that is no less consequential...
Part 1 cont.... The Holy Spirit Of Delusion