by Manuel Vargas
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The Holy Spirit is also the Comforter (John 15:26/16:7 KJV). The fact that Jesus shared some sweet and tuff teachings in John chapter 15 about the hatred and persecution that the disciples may encounteróJesus had to give His disciples some sense of confidence by saying; But when the Helper (Comforter-KJV) comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning (John 15:26-27 NKJV).
The Extreme Comforter
Jesus had to inject the spiritual realities they will encounter as a result of serving Him in John Chapter 16:1-4;
1. Jesus told them these things before-hand so they wonít stumble in their walk of faith as they encounter the attacks v.1.
2. They will be thrown out of the synagogues v.2
3. They will be killed and those people will think that they are justified for killing the Christians v.2
4. They will commit these atrocities because they donít know God the Father or Jesus v.3
5. And Jesus mentioned this so they will remember when that time of persecution comes v.4
Think about the shock and pain of losing loved ones at church service in a synagogue a place they call the house of God where the words of God are shared to inspire people to live for God; Synagogue leaders rising up and kicking people out and others going to a religious extreme and killing new converts who accepted Jesus and embrace a new way of living for God by Grace and Faith.
Itís like being betrayed by your so-called spiritual mentors who failed to embrace the Truth. Itís happening everyday in the United States and around the world; Mostly in Muslim countries more than Israel and the US. I was thrown out of my first church by a Pentecostal Pastor who fought against me when God told me to preach about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit after the message, the altar call and prayer I laid my hands on them and they began to speak in other tongues.
I thought the Pastor was okay with the biblical practice (See how Paul did it Acts 19:1-7 NKJV). But I was told nothing happened and I was told not to come back to that church in 1993. As for the brothers who were touched by God they are still serving God till today. The Pastor ultimately caught heat and retired from the chaplain role.
As for going thru this experience I was hurt then after a few weeks I remembered these things that Jesus spoke about so I eventually took persecution as a grain of salt from that point on and I went on to minister to about 30 or more believers who God led me to lay hands on them for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts is a beautiful book of beginnings for the church that endured such atrocities, persecutions and hatred.
The Apostle Paul who was named Saul at the time stood there as they stoned Stephen Acts Chapter 7 and 8:1-3. Paul later wrote how he persecuted the Church of Jesus Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:9 and Galatians 1:13-14 before he was converted. Let me tell you sincere men and women of God that when God uses you in a great way naysayers and fake people we come against you--the devil and his demons will try to shut you up by using the same people you thought might support and cheer you on.
The Comforter is there to Console you
The practical part of the Holy Spiritís ministry to us as believers is to CONSOLE and COUNSEL us when we experience the Persecution and rejection. As we experience the attacks and escape them we will go back home tormented and confused, but as we cry out to God in prayer the Holy Spirit will inject Scripture to mind about what Jesus said in John Chapter 15 and 16. He will tell us that Jesus went thru this so did Stephen and we too had to go thru it.
Emotionally we will be offended and a bit sour about it but we need to stay focused-- itís a must if we want to make it in ministry. If not we can get discouraged to the point of not wanting to serve God anymore. So we must rise up against the emotional turmoil when we are persecuted.
Comforting youóConvicting the World
Another mission that the Holy Spirit will do on the earth is give unbelievers a powerful conviction of sin, unrighteous living and the judgmental feeling of failing to accept Christianity.
Jesus said, and when He (The Holy Spirit) has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: (John 16:8 NKJV).
Now Jesus begins to explain what He means by stating;
1. Of Sin-because they do not believe in Me v.9
2. Of Righteousness- because I go to My Father and you see Me no more v.10
3. Of Judgment- because the ruler of this world is judged v.11
Iím not going to go into detail breaking this down because Jesus made it simple to understand if we carefully read it thru. But to give you a practical idea of what Jesus meant here let me explain it another way. I shared a story in the ďGift of Mercy ArticleĒ when I said one day I went out to sit in front of Grandmaís stepís in Brooklyn in the summer of 2004, and my next door neighbor a young 23 year old stripper who knew me came and began to talk to me. Without me mentioning God or preaching against her way of life she began talking and she broke-down emotionally saying I donít want to do this anymore I want to stop and go the college and get a real job earning an honest living and be a good person.
I was shocked because as a minister and preacher I was waiting for an open door to preach to her. I didnít do anything. She heard about me from others who said Manny is changed heís in school and working. So the CONVICTION that the Holy Spirit laid in her heart was powerful enough to get her to come over sit down and share her true feelings about her lifestyle as a stripper. This is important for us to catch a supernatural revelation of this part of the Holy Spiritís Ministry. Because we think we always have to tell people how bad they are to get them to believe the Gospel and be converted.
When we actually have to grow up spiritually and learn how to be led by the Spirit of God and allow God to move people by way of convicting them to come to Him. Iím not saying we this is how God does it all the time, but many times I experienced people moving under conviction to talk about God or to question things about God without my suggestions or clever ways to get them to open up and have a spiritual conversation with me. Allow the Holy Spirit time to work with people around you and itíll make your job of ministry a lot easier. Amen
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The Comforter has come... And the hope HE brings the world didn't bring it, and the world can't take it away The joy HE gives the world didn't give it, and the world can't take it away the peace HE promises The world doesn't promise it, and the world can't take it from me!!