Last week I shared mostly on the non-verbal ways the Father speaks to us through the Holy Spirit, focused on discerning the difference between the traditions of men and the pure Word of God. Yet because we aren't taught to listen and trust in that inward witness, I'd like to share more on how the Spirit of Truth 'speaks' to us all the time; because He is Truth, and then refocus on discerning oral tradition from the Word.
Love that cobbler
Barb tried 2 new peach cobbler recipes, making a half recipe of each. When they were baking she had a nagging in her spirit that she recognized in her mind - something was wrong with one of the recipes. She thought on it as they were baking, going through a process of reviewing each written recipe.
The first recipe she reviewed seemed to 'sit right' in her spirit...she had peace in her spirit about it, yet the nagging feeling that something was wrong still dominated her mind. She reviewed the second recipe which called for some lemon juice. When she got to that part of the recipe her spirit bore witness, even leaped within her, that was where something was wrong. Immediately she thought 'I don't think I halved the lemon juice, I think I added the amount for a whole recipe.'
When the cobblers were done and the tasting began she said: "Yep that confirms it, I halved everything on this recipe but forgot to halve the lemon juice - it's really strong." (You could taste the lemon, but I liked the combination of peach and lemon...at least for me it was edible, but then I rarely turn down food :-)
The Spirit of Truth within us is Truth no matter the situation. He can only state the truth, only reflect on truth, only respond honestly and truthfully about any situation. When she made a mistake on a recipe, He, the Holy Spirit, could only bear witness of that truth to her spirit. Her mind then had to perceive, discern, notice that something in her spirit was telling her something wasn't right. She had to think it through and review each recipe until her eyes drifted across the lemon juice part, and immediately upon doing so, her spirit leapt within her and her mind recognized that leap. That's how it works.
There is a blonde man on Christian TV used by many as a fund raiser - he gives me the creeps. I can't help it, the first time I saw him my spirit cringed with that feeling it gets when there is a wrong spirit attached to someone. My reaction is because my mind checks with my spirit to see how it reacts, and the Holy Spirit of Truth evidently has communicated to my spirit that there is a non-holy spirit attached to the guy...and that is the creepy feeling my mind notices in my spirit.
Back in 1979 I applied for a job with a ministry because in my mind it seemed the right thing to do. I didn't know the Lord's will, but firmly believed I needed to do what I could do in the natural and let Him guide me from there. (I still believe this; even God can't steer a parked car.)
But as I worked my way through the job application my mind noticed that in my spirit it felt like a heavy hand was pressing down like a weight saying 'no' to the job. The further down the single page application I got the heavier this weight, this hand upon my spirit, pressed...finally I could take it no more and told the lady I couldn't finish the application. She told me to sign what I had and they'd keep it on file. My mind noticed the Truth in my spirit - this wasn't God's job for me - so I moved on.
Truth and sin
Several of us were discussing various things happening in the body of Christ, and one asked about a particular manifestation and whether it was God or not. I jumped in rather forcefully and said it wasn't scriptural, shutting the man down abruptly. I did mean to offer a scriptural opinion, but I did not mean to blurt out so forcefully in a way that would hurt his feelings.
He seemed fine, but immediately my mind noticed a grieved feeling down in my spirit - I knew I had sinned though the man gracefully showed no evidence of such. But I knew, and the Spirit of Truth bore witness with my spirit by being grieved, that I had sinned. That grievance in my spirit and regret in my mind stayed with me though I asked forgiveness of the Lord right away - I was just kicking myself for speaking so boldly and forcefully in such a manner.
The Spirit of Truth is truth - when we sin He lets us know. If we insist on repeating a sin going against that voice of the Spirit, we become dull of hearing as we no longer have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to us...and only repentance and a willingness to instantly obey the next time we sense that grievance can renew our sensitivity in that area.
Trusting the Spirit of Truth
The subject of this series is discerning between true and erroneous Bible teaching, but the first step is to recognize the Spirit of Truth within as seen above. Last week I talked about the words used in the New Testament that describe a person's mind recognizing something in their spirit from the Holy Spirit: Witness, discern, perceive, reveal.
Hebrews 5:14 says, "Strong meat is for those who by reason of use have trained their senses to discern between good and evil."
This is strong meat - But it must become a way of life if you want to walk in balance and not be led astray as a child by every wind of doctrine that comes your way. Notice this maturity happens 'by reason of use' - that means trial and error and a dogged determination to go through trial and error because it is by reason of use that we grow. (This is true with just about anything, from driving a car to walking with God - we have to apply head knowledge by doing it, learn from our mistakes, and try again. That is growth)
Secondly notice we are to train our senses to discern. In the first teaching visitation I had on October 1, 1986, when the Lord appeared to me, this instruction stood out:
"The words used in the New Testament like perceive, discern, witness and reveal, describe the process by which the mind picks up on what is in the spirit (by the Holy Spirit). You must train yourself to constantly switch your attention back and forth between the natural senses and your spiritual senses..."
When Jesus asked, "Who touched me?" in Luke 8:46 and Peter told Him everyone was touching Him, Jesus most certainly knew the fact there was a mob touching Him. But Jesus trained His senses to switch back and forth between the natural senses and the spiritual senses - and when He did so He perceived power flowing out of His spirit and asked, "Who touched me, for I perceive power flowed out of me."
Bring it on home
Paul expressed concern and taught about false teachers and false teachings in II Corinthians 11, saying, "if someone comes preaching another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive another spirit which you have not received, or another gospel which you have not accepted..." (v4)
Notice - another Jesus that Paul did not preach, another spirit they had not previously received, another gospel they had not previously accepted. Therefore the false presents a Jesus not found in Paul's writings which make up the bulk of the New Testament, a spirit different from the Spirit of Truth, and a different gospel than the core gospel we'd previously accepted.
Because we have the Spirit of Truth within us, He will bear witness with our spirit and our mind can discern, perceive, witness to or receive revelation of error in 1 or more of these 3 areas.
So Blondie is on TV trying to raise money for the Christian network and talks of the 100 fold return, or someone says we need to scream/pray/shout/fast to get an open heaven, or someone says God wants us to worship on Saturday, or someone says it is a sin to drink wine, or someone says if you give X money to their ministry you will be healed/receive answered prayer...and your spirit has a 'check', your mind detects an uneasy feeling in your spirit, but your mind and emotions are also intrigued and want to know more...what do you do with a 'check' in your spirit yet your inquiring mind wants to know more?
And that's where we'll pick it up next week for I'm out of space today...blessings