Series XI-Rev. John Klemin
How To Have A Demonstration Of The Holy Spirit
I believe in the demonstrations of the Holy Spirit! The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Corinthian church, declared,
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God” (I Corinthians 2:1-5).
Paul sets before us here the true secret of any success in the preaching of the Gospel. When he went to Corinth, he did so, conscious of his own weakness, and not trusting in his own strength. He was aware of certain natural disadvantages as a public speaker. (See II Corinthians 10:10.) He also knew the Greeks placed great value on oratory. It was only natural that he should be solicitous as to the result of his labors in Greece’s most splendid commercial city. But he did not go to them with enticing words of man’s wisdom or with persuasive reasonings of the wisdom of men. He did not rely on that kind of oratory which was adapted to captivate and charm. His speech and preaching were in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.
The Holy Spirit furnished what he lacked. The Holy Spirit furnished the evidence of the divine origin of the gospel that he proclaimed. In another place Paul said,
“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost” (I Thessalonians 1:5).
The Holy Spirit gave demonstration of the truth of the Gospel and of the power of the Gospel in the conversion of sinners of all classes, ages and conditions. The Holy Spirit gave a demonstration of the Gospel Paul proclaimed in giving lost men and women peace, joy and happiness in the transformation of their lives. The drunkard became sober; the thief became honest; the indolent became industrious; and the unkind became kind. Wretched people became happy under the sound of the Gospel of Christ. The effect of the Gospel on lives is the evidence to which Paul appealed for its truth. This is the kind of evidence one may examine, and which no one can deny.
Yes, the transformation of lives is a mighty display of the power of God. What a demonstration of the Spirit when the proud are humbled, the profane are awed, the blasphemer is silenced, and men are brought out of darkness into the marvelous light of the Gospel. We desperately need such a demonstration of the Holy Spirit in this hour. And God wants to furnish us with this firm and solid demonstration that the work is from Him.
It is not a demonstration of human abilities that we need. It is not a demonstration of eloquence we need. And certainly we do not need a demonstration against our government. But when we see lives all around us held in the viselike grip of unclean spirits, when we see marriages and homes dissolving on every hand through the power of sin, we realize how much we need a genuine work of the Spirit of God.
The Bible provides us with a multitude of illustrations of fleshly demonstrations. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God in partaking of the fruit of the tree in the midst of the garden, we have our first demonstration of the flesh. When Cain rose up against Abel, his brother, we see another fleshly demonstration. In the intermingling of the sons of God with the daughters of men in Genesis 6, we clearly see evidence of flesh taking over. When Moses came down from the mount with the two tables of testimony in his hand and found the people worshiping before the golden calf, his anger waxed hot; and he cast the tables out of his hands. Why? It was a massive fleshly demonstration. In I Kings 18, where the prophets of Baal called on their god to answer by fire, we have another vivid demonstration of flesh. They called on the name of their god Baal from morning until noon. They even leaped upon the altar which was made. They cried aloud. They cut themselves until the blood gushed out. But there was neither voice nor any to answer.
On and on we could give examples of these demonstrations of the flesh. But since our purpose is to inform as to how the Spirit demonstrates, let us focus on this aspect.
Since the Holy Spirit is eternal (See Hebrews 9:14.), we find that He has been active from the beginning. During the pre-Pentecostal period (the Old Testament days), the Spirit of God came upon men for special purposes and then departed from them. There has been a gradual, progressive unfolding of the Spirit’s activities. In creation we have God for us. In Jesus Christ we have God with us. In the Holy Spirit we have God in us. We see an initial work of the Spirit of God in creation when the Bible says,
“The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:2).
How do we know the Holy Spirit is a reailty? Because we see the effects or the demonstration of His moving. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit was responsible for our very being.
“The Spirit of God hath made me” (Job 33:4).
No, we did not gradually evolve from some lower form of creation.
One can see a parallel in the moving of the Spirit of God in the first creation and the moving of His Spirit in the new creation in the transformation of the sinner. The natural man in his sinful, fallen state is without form, just as the first creation. His life is purposeless and unrelated to the aim of God in making him. But then the Holy Spirit begins to work upon the heart, bringing conviction and showing the individual the need of a change.
Has it happened to you, friend? You can become very miserable and hard to live with during those days of the Spirit’s convicting. But as you respond to the Holy Spirit, your life can become filled with meaning and purpose.
There are many references in the Bible to the Spirit’s working in, through and upon certain individuals. He gave power to Joseph to interpret dreams. He gave the workers of the tabernacle wisdom and knowledge to make material things. He enabled Moses and the elders to give just judgment. He inspired men to write songs. He gave men power to prophesy. (See II Samuel 23:2).
When you really stop to think about it, one of the most tremendous demonstrations of the Spirit is in the virgin birth of Christ. The angel told Joseph to,
“Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 1:20).
The prophetic witness to the virgin birth revealed that Jesus Christ would be of the seed of the woman. (See Genesis 3:5.) Here was a unique concept a “woman’s seed.” It is always the seed of man. This could only have come about by a demonstration of the Holy Spirit.
With great power, the Apostles gave witness of the resurrection. Why? This was another breathtaking demonstration of the Spirit. Romans 8:11 and many other scriptures declare Jesus Christ was raised from the dead by the Spirit. In the Old Testament when God wanted to give a standard of measurement of His power, He referred to His power displayed in bringing the children of Israel out of Egypt and through the Red Sea. (See Micah 7:15.) In the New Testament the unit of measurement of His power is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ephesians refers to,
“The exceeding greatness of His power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead (Ephesians 1:19-20).
This demonstration of the Spirit in resurrection is also a pledge of the future resurrection of believers in Christ. Aren’t you glad that Jesus Christ is alive today? Because He lives, you can live also.
In Mark chapter five we have a demonstration of God’s Spirit and power in three different lives. All of these we would categorize as hopeless cases. In verse 2, we have a man with an unclean spirit. In verse 25, we have the case of the woman who had suffered many hemorrhages for twelve years. Then in verses 22 and 23, the case of the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue who was lying at death’s door. In all three cases Jesus Christ showed Himself to be Master of the situation. He was Lord over the devils in the man and cast them out. He was Lord over the disease of the certain woman and healed her. Medical men did all they could, but only Jesus could heal her. He proved Himself Lord of death in the case of the twelve-year-old child and raised her up from death’s door.
Yes, Jesus Christ was the answer for the whole family�for the man of the house, for the woman, for the child. Jesus is equal to any emergency. No one can really do without Him. Jesus Christ is not far from any of you. He is nearer than the clothes you wear and the food you eat. You may think you can do without Him, but you depend on Him for every breath that you draw. I sense the Holy Spirit wanting to demonstrate His power in your life, friend, in your home and in your activities. You, too, feel like your case is hopeless, that there is no answer anywhere. You have tried drugs, and that has brought you nothing but added problems and distress. You have tried drink, and that is about to destroy your body as well as your home. I just want you to know that Jesus Christ loves you and is willing and ready to help you.
You can have a demonstration of God’s Spirit in your life today. God is wanting to pour out of His Spirit upon you now as He did on the Day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts chapter 2 when,
“Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:2, 4).
What a demonstration of God’s Spirit. The Bible says that this promise of the Holy Spirit is,
“Unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:39).
I have in my hand a letter from a man who for years had sensed the Holy Spirit dealing with Him to get acquainted with Jesus Christ. He responded to a small advertisement we had placed in a newspaper offering Bible correspondence lessons. As he studied the Word of God, he found his life opening up to the Lord in a beautiful way. He eventually took the initial steps of turning from sin towards the Lord. In his letter he is reporting on his progress. Here is what he says, “It happened on a Sunday evening, during a church service. I went forward and asked for prayer, for my heart was telling me that I should concentrate upon the Lord Jesus and what He had done for me and forget myself and what was happening around me. This I did, and I began to worship the Lord, to give Him the praise and the glory He deserves. There began to burn in my heart that joy, that warmth, that fire which only the Holy Spirit can kindle; and I was speaking in a strange tongue, talking to my Saviour, to my God, praising Him in a language that my mind could not comprehend, yet my heart was fully conversant with. I had reached the limit of human expression and the Holy Spirit interceded and continued to worship for me. Praise the Lord for the Comforter whom He promised to send and who came at Pentecost. Here He was in my life helping me just as Jesus said He would. I was drinking of the water that only Jesus gives. And you know, as I returned to my seat, that peace, the peace of God which passes all understanding, enveloped my soul; and I realized how much God does love us and how unworthy we are of that love. . .”
And, friend, even now, right where you are, you can invite our glorious Redeemer, Jesus Christ, to come into your life. He wants to dry your tears, comfort your heart and help lift your burden. Some of you are experiencing darkness in your personal lives. Bereavement has drawn the blinds for some. Others of you are passing through the darkness of a crushing sorrow or disappointment. Jesus does not want to remain in seclusion, but He wants to illuminate your pathway with the light of His presence. Oh, do allow Him to take command of your situation.
This sermon comes from the book “Harvestime Guest Pulpit Library” printed by the Word Aflame Press in 1982. This may be copyrighted and may be used for study and research purposes only.