Holy Spirit is Not a Mystical Force, But a Person

“Today if you talk to many Christians, they rarely speak of the Holy Spirit,” said Joel Beeke, pastor of the Heritage Reformed Congregation in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  “Many think of the Spirit today as a mystical force.”  But the Holy Spirit is a Person.

“There are 100 references to the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament.  And 250 references in the New Testament,” explained Beeke.  “He appears already in the second verse of the Bible in the opening scene of creation. ‘The Spirit of the Lord hovered over the waters.’

“The word of God itself is Spirit-breathed.

“And the Holy Spirit is linked to God’s hatred of sin. ‘Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight; so You are right in Your verdict and justified when You judge.’ (Psalm 51:4)

Later, in Psalm 51:11, David pleads with God: “Cast me not away from Your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me.”

Whether you are just reading these blog posts or watching the video stream of some of the key sessions of The Highway of Holiness Conference here in Asheville, North Carolina, what has God used to speak to you?  Send me, Adam McManus, an email with your full name, city, and state that I can post along with others. [email protected]

You can watch the keynote sessions of the Highway of Holiness live in Asheville, North Carolina at http://ift.tt/1PZ74Yo;  They will be archived for you to view at your leisure over the next 30 days.

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How to Grow in Holiness

“Adam no sooner heard the voice of a holy God in the garden, but he considered his own nakedness with shame and fear.  We must be touched with a sense of our uncleanness,” wrote Steven Charnock, the Puritan English Presbyterian minister who died in 1680.  “The clear beams of the sun discover that filthiness in our garments and members which was not visible in the darkness of the night. Impure metals are discerned by comparing them with that which is pure and perfect in its kind.”

After Paul Washer read that quotation, he said, “I hate to be simplistic.  You grow in holiness by meeting with the Lord in the word of God and prayer. The more you seek Him, the more you will see yourself in light of Him.  For you it is not a fear or a dread in Christ.

“The very One who reveals my sin is the very One who died for my sin.  I cry out,  ‘Help me, help me! — knowing that He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness, he will give us more of His spirit, more of His life.”

You can watch the keynote sessions of the Highway of Holiness live in Asheville, North Carolina at http://ift.tt/1PZ74Yo;  They will be archived for you to view at your leisure over the next 30 days.

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A Beautiful Sunset: Profane Next to Beauty of God

“All things which God has made on the earth express His glory. His wisdom and goodness, His power and holiness, are seen everywhere. The whole earth, with all its mountains, seas, streams, trees, animals, and people, lay the foundation of His praise,” wrote Albert Barnes, the American Presbyterian minister who died in 1870.

Paul Washer added his thoughts.  The most beautiful sunset, the leaves turning gorgeous colors here in Asheville in the fall – “it is nothing but a profane and twisted spark of the beauty of the Lord that’s awaiting me in heaven.

“I know most of you will go to a homeschool conference upon your death,” Washer noted with sarcasm.  “For me, the beauty of God will capture me wholly. Never to sin again, never an awkward thought.

“If there is any shaking to be done in your lives and the church collectively, it has to be done by a greater comprehension of the holiness of God.  We need to be disintegrated and reconstituted,” said Washer.

You can watch the keynote sessions of the Highway of Holiness live in Asheville, North Carolina at http://ift.tt/1PZ74Yo;  They will be archived for you to view at your leisure over the next 30 days.

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Our Sinlessness Results from Valuing His Holiness

 “God is absolutely distinct from all His creatures, wrote Louis Berkhof, the  American-Dutch Reformed theologian who died in 1957.  “This may be called the majestic holiness of God.”

“Lots of people hear the word ‘holy’ and they think ‘sinless,’” explained Paul Washer.  “Think of a woman with her carrots; she cuts and separates.  God is distinct, separate. He is in a category all to Himself.

“That holiness, that distinctiveness is demonstrated by God’s purity, His cleanness.  We need to value God.  It’s not just about our attempt to pursue sinlessness.  Don’t become a nit-picky rule-keeper, a legalist,” warned Washer.

In other words, our sinlessness is an outgrowth of our fresh appreciation of His holiness. We are like the moon in that we reflect the light of the sun.  When we reflect the light of Christ, the Son, we will be holy.

You can watch the keynote sessions of the Highway of Holiness live in Asheville, North Carolina at http://ift.tt/1OdkcJW will be archived for you to view at your leisure over the next 30 days.

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Washer is awestruck that holy God wants a covenant with sinful man

“When it comes to His holiness – it’s not something He has to work at. He is holy! And you can enter into a covenant with Someone like that.  The One who died for you is ‘holy, holy, holy’,” said Paul Washer.

In Scripture, the holiness of God is the one attribute which is repeated three times, unlike other character traits.  The emphasis of His holiness, due to the repetition, becomes self-evident.

“Think about the Christ at the age of 12 in the temple, teaching the priests.   Think about Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. Think about the cruel trial. 

“The One who did all that for me is the glorious God enthroned in heaven.  Every angel from the highest to the lowest order is at His beck and call.  They are constantly looking toward the throne, not in dread, but in hope that He will call upon them,” said Washer.

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To replicate Christ is a defamation

“What’s more like God?” asked Paul Washer. “The seraphim or a worm? Neither.

“There is no one or nothing like the Lord. He is far greater.  Any attempt to replicate Him in statue or picture is a defamation,” said Washer.

Artists depicted the face of Jesus on the back of a tract used for evangelism in India.  An young Indian girl, who had placed her faith in Christ the week before, read this tract.  She returned to the missionary who had handed it to her, weeping and broken.

“Oh sir.  I thought He was much more glorious than this!”

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God’s Beauty Surpasses Streets of Gold

Paul Washer said, “I’m asked, ‘What topic should people study for a Ph.D?’  That’s simple: God’s beauty.”

He explained that he spent most of his years hunting squirrels in the woods, where he fell in love with the beauty of God’s creation.

“There is more for us than rules, ethics, and morality.  There is something out there calling: His beautiful face and joy unspeakable.

Every day in heaven will be a new revelation of His beauty so that the day before will pale by comparison.  His beauty is infinite.” 

Most Christians are consumed with the streets of gold and the gates of pearl.  “The appeal of those things will only last a few days. But His face is an attraction that will last for an eternity,” said Washer.

You can watch the keynote sessions of the Highway of Holiness here in Asheville, North Carolina at http://ift.tt/1OdkcJW will be archived for you to view at your leisure over the next 30 days.

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Our Savior is not a little lamb, waiting to eat out of our hand

“I have had sinners tell me, ‘I will stand toe to toe with God in heaven.'” said Paul Washer with alarm.

He is convinced that most Christians have an overly pedestrian view of God, a too familiar view of Him.

“You will melt before him like a tiny figurine before a blast furnace,” warned Washer.  “Don’t think this Savior is just a little lamb, waiting to feed out of your hand.”

John Calvin wrote that even angels cannot endure His brightness.

Matthew Henry wrote that in the presence of God, angels take cover.  They cannot stand; they bow.  They are ashamed to show their faces before a holy God. 

“I want you to see something,” said Paul Washer.  “This is not only a description of His pre-incarnate glory of God, but this is a description of what awaits us.

“So many believers have this idea – maybe because of wrong preaching – that the first thing we will see is a scowl on His face. He did not die on Calvary so that the first thing you see in heaven is a scowl from Him.“

We will be struck by His holiness, by His beauty.

You can watch the keynote sessions of the Highway of Holiness here in Asheville, North Carolina at http://ift.tt/1OdkcJW will be archived for you to view at your leisure over the next 30 days.

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God is Worthy of Our Fear

The Exaltation and Humiliation of Christ

Japanese cherish the cherry blossom; Christians should cherish Christ

The Japanese say that a cherry blossom is of such beauty that would not be a wasted life for a man to spend his entire life contemplating a single flower,” said Paul Washer.

“When we hear about the seraphim, we want to discover who they are. Those are the thoughts of the petty and the immature.

“We should fix our thoughts on one thing: Christ.  We should sit with an open Bible and declare, ‘I must have more.'”

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Washer: You cannot sin if you grasp God’s holiness

James Montgomery Boice says, “What Isaiah saw was the closest thing in all of Jewish writings to the living and holy God.  Then John takes the most exalted vision of God in the Old Testament and says it was a portrait of a carpenter who was about to be crucified.

“This is astounding!” declared Paul Washer. “That Someone like that would humble Himself to save someone like me is beyond overwhelming;  it’s mind-destroying!

“When you get your mind around this – God’s holiness – it just grabs you and carries you along. You cannot sin in light of this. You hate self and its exultation in light of this. Nothing, nothing but Christ.  And then you are on the Highway of Holiness.”

You can watch all the keynote sessions of the Highway of Holiness conference here in Asheville, North Carolina for free at http://ift.tt/1PZ74Yo; The videos will be available for viewing at your leisure for 30 days.

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Even the seraphim, the greatest beings, bow down to our holy God

“Great theologians and the prophets of the Bible are quick to explain that they did not see the essence of God, but pieces of His glory,” explained Paul Washer. John 1:18 says, ‘No one has ever seen God.’

John Calvin says that the prophets of old saw things associated with God: His throne and His robe.  What Isaiah saw was enough to make the seraphim – the greatest of all created beings – bow down to God.

“The tiny, miniscule, fraction of a vison of the glory of God that Isaiah glimpsed was enough to disintegrate the heart and the mind of any man,” said Washer.  “When the prophet Isaiah comes into the presence of God, he declares himself to be nothing.”

 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” (Isaiah 6:5)

You can watch the keynote sessions of the Highway of Holiness here in Asheville, North Carolina at http://ift.tt/1PZ74Yo; They will be archived for you to view at your leisure over the next 30 days.

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The cure to every malady: A greater vision of God

“When I am loveless, I need a greater vision of God,” declared Paul Washer.

“When the world pulls at me, and it does, I need a greater vision of God. For every malady, I find the cure is to find a greater vision of God.”

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To walk in truth is to walk on razor blade

Paul Washer said, “Sometimes I’m afraid to walk on the Highway of Holiness.  To walk in the truth, is to walk on a razor blade.  Antinomianism on one side, legalism on the other side. Taking away what God has said or adding to what God has said.

“The only solution is to keep my eyes fixed on Christ. When I follow Christ, I see a holiness as he walks toward Jerusalem.  I see only in Him the perfect example that holiness is manifested in love toward God. And love toward everyone else. He is not only holy in His justice, but He is holy in His mercy and grace.

“I want to be holy.  I know the motivation for holiness. It is Christ.  The goal of all holiness is Christ.”

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