Written by John Foll
on 2/11/2017, concept developed earlier.© Copyright 2017 John Foll
“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.” 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 NASB.
If we have given our heart completely to God and have been born from above, we are following Jesus every step of the way, and God is leading us in triumph! This will manifest itself by others seeing our love for God in the way we treat them and others, and the way we speak of our God whom we love! Our face will glow like an angel, when we are animated with God’s love! He gives us the sweetness in life that attracts others to Him. We cannot help but do this, if we love God all the way and are born from above! “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:8-11 NASB.
To those who are drowning in this world of sin, and are wanting the way out, they will grasp the hope that we offer them, and our life will be a sweet aroma to them and to God.God is more than willing that all who name themselves His people should have this sweetness in their life, and He will grant this petition, if they would only pray for this and desire to be a sweet aroma to Him! “Who is adequate for these things?” No one but God. God will grant this to all who want it and are willing to obey Him! Those who do this, are not ‘peddling the word of God’ like many do, but are preaching the love of God from sincerity. This is what the world needs, sincere followers of Jesus and His Father, who have the sweetness from God that only those who have tasted and seen that God is good can know! Psalms 34:8.
Yes, the love of God and His salvation that He has offered to mankind because of what His Son Jesus did for us, when He died on the cross for our sins, is a sweet aroma to those who are perishing and among those who are being saved!
And when God’s children reproduce His character of love and help others to know and love Him, this is a sweet aroma to Him too! Yes, God is glorified by this, when all of His children bear much fruit for Him! Why? Because He loves everyone, and is not willing that any should perish!
2 Peter 3:9.
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Peter said, “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32 NASB.
So obedience to God is the condition for receiving the Holy Spirit! There is a true Holy Spirit, and there is a counterfeit. How do you know which Holy Spirit is the real Holy Spirit? If you are obeying God in what He has revealed in the Bible, or if you want to obey Him, He will give you the help you need and the continued desire to obey Him in everything He has said. If there is any resistance to what God has said, you can be sure that this soul does not have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Acts 7:51-53. If someone is disobeying any of God’s commandments willingly from the Bible, you can be sure that they don’t have the Holy Spirit. The fake outpouring of the Holy Spirit is ‘another Gospel’ (2 Corinthians 11:4), and can never satisfy the soul’s longing for peace, love and purity that God placed inside of everyone. God never compels any, but only those who want to love Him, and want to serve Him and obey Him, will be given the Holy Spirit in full. Sometimes the soul doesn’t want all of this when it first starts out, but just wants to be clean and pure before God, but the heart will be given the desire to love Him, and serve and obey Him, once the soul starts to cooperate with Him, and decides that they love Him more and more! This is the sign that the Holy Spirit is taking up residence in full in their heart! There is no compulsion, but there is a very sweet, strong desire to serve and obey God once you get the Holy Spirit in full! There is a sweet joy in communion with God that none but those who have experienced it can ever know or understand. This helps the heart to submit and completely surrender to God. Then what joy and love and peace will flood their soul! Then no trouble or perplexity will ever be able to dim their love for God!
Peter was brought back to the Council and the high priest at Jerusalem by the captain of the guard in Acts 5:26-28, after God had delivered him and the Apostles miraculously from prison (Acts 5:18). “When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man's [Jesus’] blood upon us.’” Acts 5:27-28 NASB. But Peter was filled with the Holy Ghost when he told them: “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.’” Acts 5:29 NASB and “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32 NASB.
What was Peter referring to when he said that the Holy Spirit is given to all that obey Him?Obeying God in every way. In this instance Peter was referring to the command by Jesus to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth (Matthew 24:14; 28:19-20; Acts 1:4-5, 8-9), but more specifically in this circumstance it was: “But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the gates of the prison, and taking them out he said, ‘Go, stand and speak to the people in the temple the whole message of this Life.’” Acts 5:19-20 NASB. Now ‘the angel of the Lord’ can refer to God or Jesus Himself (one example of many is Genesis 22:15), but it can also refer to an angel, but the command by the angel of the Lord for Peter to preach to the people in the temple the words of life was a command from God none the less. The rulers and high priest of Israel didn’t want the Apostles to preach the news of Jesus dying on the cross, because it put them in the spotlight as murdering Jesus, the Prince of Life! Obeying God is not just the command to preach the Gospel to the whole world of God’s love, but is also for every word contained in the Bible, for all of it is love for the human race, because God is love, and all of His words are love! 1 John 4:8. Jesus Himself said, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ Matthew 4:4, which was a quote from one of the books of Moses (i.e. the Law), Deuteronomy 8:3. Thus to obey Jesus or God, means to obey every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God in the Bible. But this is the Law of love, as Jesus stated in Matthew 22:36-40! Jesus came not to do away with the Law, which is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and all your mind, and all your soul and to love your neighbor as yourself, but to fulfill it. He came to provide a way for us to keep the Law! “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17 NASB. And in Acts 1:4-5, 8-9, Jesus tells His disciples to wait in Jerusalem, until they receive the promise of the Father for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit! Once they received this power from God, the Holy Spirit, they then had the power from God not only to preach the gospel of Jesus and His Father’s love for the world and salvation (words of life, Acts 5:20), but to live a holy life for God and to keep His law. This ability to keep God’s Law of love was prophesied in Jeremiah 31:31-34, where God promised to write His Law of love in the hearts of His people, so that all of them from the least to the greatest of them would all know Him; and He would forgive their iniquity, and He would remember their sin no more! Thus we see that obedience to God and the desire to obey Him in everything He has commanded, is the requirement for the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit!
The idea that we can have the Holy Spirit, but not obey God in all that He has commanded in the Bible is another gospel than what Jesus, Peter, John and Paul preached, and another spirit! This another gospel is a lie from the spirit of the Father of lies, not the right spirit! The right Spirit brings obedience and peace, but the wrong spirit tries to get you to disobey God and bring you no peace.
“But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:3-4 KJV.
Those that love God will not get deceived by ‘another gospel’ from ‘another spirit’, and will want the real outpouring of the Holy Spirit, not the counterfeit.
In the same way as the Apostles were to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father for the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so we too in our day are to wait before the Lord for this full refreshing of the Holy Spirit, by making our heart right with God and with others by confession of all sin. Yes God has promised the Holy Spirit to all Christians who would repent and receive Him! Acts 2:38-39. Then we will receive this wonderful power too, and we will have the full outpouring of the Holy Spirit to help us keep His Law, and to proclaim His love to the world! Pray for it, seek for it, yield your heart to God for it, and you will be richly blessed with peace, love and joy, and the desire and the power to obey Him!
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