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The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Church

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    The Purpose of the Gifts

    God in His mercy has given the Holy Spirit to the church, and in His Holy Word He has clearly indicated some of the specific blessings this heavenly gift will bring in preparing a people for entrance into the kingdom of God. In his Gospel, John mentions several important experiences that come to the church “when the Comforter is come.” Let us observe:BSPC 137.8

    He will teach you all things. John 14:26 He will bring My words to remembrance. John 14:26. He will testify of Me. John 15:26. He will reprove of sin. John 16:8. He will convict of sin. John 16:8, margin.

    He will guide you into all truth. John 16:13. He will reveal the future. John 16:13.

    Emphasis is laid upon the fact that these blessings will be seen “when the Comforter is come”. (John 15:26). “When he [the Spirit] is come” (John 16:8), “when he, the Spirit of truth, is come” (verse 13), with the advent of the Comforter, “the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name” (John 14:26).BSPC 138.1

    More specifically we might observe the purpose of the prophetic gift in the church of God, as it is—BSPC 138.2

    1. Related to individuals

    a. To David; God sent the prophet Nathan with a special message, which brought conviction to the heart of David and led him to humble confession before God. (2 Samuel 12:1-7.)BSPC 138.3

    b. To Paul; The prophet Agabus indicated to Paul what would happen to him on his journey to Jerusalem. (Acts 21:10-12.)BSPC 138.4

    c. To Cornelius; The Spirit of God in vision directed Peter to a longing soul, to a man searching for the truth of God. (Acts 10.)BSPC 138.5

    2. Related to crises

    a. In the case of the apostle Paul and the shipwreck in the Mediterranean Sea. Paul received a vision from God giving direction in this crisis. (Acts 27:23, 24.)BSPC 138.6

    b. In the case of Jehoshaphat and the battle with the enemies of Israel. God sent His prophet Jahaziel with a message of counsel which, when obeyed, wrought a remarkable deliverance. (2 Chronicles 20:14, 20.)BSPC 138.7

    c. In the case of the council at Antioch. (Acts 15.)BSPC 138.8

    Although Judas and Silas did not make the decision that was reached at this general council, they were in attendance, and their influence meant much to the body of believers.BSPC 138.9

    3. Related to the church

    (Mention was made earlier in this chapter of the work in general of the Spirit of God in the church, but in this classification attention will be drawn to a few specific instances of His work through the gift of prophecy in directing the activities of the church.)BSPC 138.10

    a. In the choice of Saul. (Acts 9:10.)BSPC 139.1

    God moved in the conversion of Saul by direct intervention, also in directing Saul to the organized church. This was done by the gift of prophecy. Even Ananias, who was chosen by the Lord to convey His message to Saul, received his direction in a vision from the Lord.BSPC 139.2

    b. In carrying the gospel to the Gentiles. (Acts 10:9, 10.) These texts record the story of the vision given to Peter, also the vision given to Cornelius. In this way God directed His church to the open door of the Gentile world.BSPC 139.3

    c. In indicating the time to open work in new areas. (Acts 16:9.)BSPC 139.4

    The apostles in all good faith were bound toward a special field of service, but the Spirit of God intervened, and directed them to go in another direction—to Macedonia.BSPC 139.5

    Similar experiences have come to the remnant church through the ministry of the prophetic gift. The counsel that has come to God’s work, especially in its formative years, and also in the days of worldwide expansion, has been of inestimable blessing.BSPC 139.6

    May we pray as did David, the sweet singer of Israel, centuries ago: “Incline my heart unto thy testimonies.” Psalm 119:36.BSPC 139.7

    Then shall we be able to testify with him:BSPC 139.8

    “Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever.” Verse 111. I have kept thy testimonies.” Verse 22.BSPC 139.9

    “Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.” Verse 24.BSPC 139.10

    “Thy testimonies are my meditation.” Verse 99.BSPC 139.11

    There will then well up in our hearts the joy and satisfaction of genuine fellowship with the Lord, and we shall be able to say:BSPC 139.12

    “I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies.” Verse 14.BSPC 139.13

    “Therefore I love thy testimonies.” Verse 119.BSPC 139.14

    And we shall know to the fullest extent what the promise of the Lord means when He says, “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” Verse 2.BSPC 139.15

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