God’s protocol when serving Him, praising Him and worshiping Him:
It is very important to serve God like He wants us to. Protocol, when addressing God, is just as important in this regard. We know that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is very important in the earth today. He was sent by the Father and by the Son to complete the work Jesus Christ started. He is our Comforter, our Friend and our Helper. He is there to help us to do the work of the ministry. The Father and the Son equipped us with the Holy Spirit for this purpose. We however need to know that we are the bride of the Son. The Holy Spirit can and must NEVER replace Jesus Christ. We must have a very intimate love relationship with our Bridegroom and Husband, our Lord Jesus Christ. Even the Holy Spirit always points to the Son. He always diverts the attention and the affection towards the Son. This is very important. This is what Derek Prince has to say about this subject:
The first way I refer to in my little booklet Uproar in the Church, which I wrote about two years ago. I will just quote a few paragraphs: Another danger that threatens those who minister in the supernatural realm is the temptation to use spiritual gifts to manipulate or exploit or dominate people. At one period in my ministry I found myself casting spirits of witchcraft out of church-going people. Eventually, I asked the Lord to show me the true nature of witchcraft. I believe the Lord gave me the following definition: Witchcraft is the attempt to control people and get them to do what you want by the use of any spirit that is not the Holy Spirit. After I had digested this, the Lord added: And if anyone has a spirit that he can use, it is not the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God, and no one uses God. That is very important. The Holy Spirit is God, and no one uses God. Then I went on to say, Today I tremble inwardly when I see or hear of a person who claims that he has spiritual gifts which he is free to use just as he pleases. It is surely no accident that some of those who have made such claims have ended in serious doctrinal error.
It is important to see that there is a difference between the Holy Spirit Himself, as a Person, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In Romans 11:29, Paul tells us that the gifts … of God are irrevocable. In other words, once God has given us a gift, He never takes it back. We are free to use it, not to use it, or to misuse it. But even if we misuse it, God does not take it back. Otherwise it would not be a genuine gift, it would only be a conditional loan.
It is a fact that people do misuse gifts of the Holy Spirit. Paul provides a clear example in I Corinthians 13:1: Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. Obviously the Holy Spirit Himself does not become a clanging cymbal. But the gift of speaking in tongues – when misused – can become an empty, discordant noise. Unfortunately this often happens in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles.
I believe it is possible to misuse other spiritual gifts – such as a word of knowledge or a gift of healing. This can happen when a person uses a spiritual gift to achieve a result or promote a movement which is not in harmony with the will of God. One obvious misuse would be for personal gain. In such a situation, our safeguard is to be able to recognize the Holy Spirit as a Person and to distinguish between Him and His gifts. This, then, is the first and most important fact about the Holy Spirit: HE IS GOD. And we need to relate to Him and treat Him always as God.
The second fact about the Holy Spirit is that He is the servant of God the Father and God the Son. This is an exciting revelation because it gives such a high value to servant-hood. Many people today despise the idea of being a servant. They feel it is demeaning and undignified to be a servant. But I think it is wonderful that servant hood did not begin on earth. It began in eternity and it began in God. God the Holy Spirit is the Servant of the Father and the Son. This does not demean Him or make Him less than God. But it is a fact that we have to recognize about Him, which directs His activities and the things He does. In John 16:13-14 Jesus gives us a glimpse of the Holy Spirit’s ministry and activity: “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth: for He will not speak on His own authority [literally: from Himself] but whatever He hears He will speak: and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.” So we see: the Holy Spirit does not speak from Himself; He has no message of His own. Isn’t that remarkable? He only reports to us what He is hearing from the Father and the Son. Secondly, His aim is not to glorify Himself, nor to attract attention to Himself, but always He glorifies and focuses attention on Jesus. That is the second important way to identify the Holy Spirit.
Now, I want you to listen to this carefully, because it is revolutionary. Any spirit that focuses on the Holy Spirit and glorifies the Holy Spirit is not the Holy Spirit. It is contrary to His whole nature and purpose. Once you have grasped that, it will open your eyes to many things which are going on in the church that are otherwise difficult to understand. For example, we have a very beautiful chorus that we sing about the Father, the Son and the Spirit. The first verse says to the Father, “Glorify Thy name in all the earth.” The second verse says to Jesus the Son, “Glorify Thy name in all the earth.” The third verse says to the Spirit, “Glorify Thy name in all the earth.” I love to sing the first two verses, but I decline to sing the third verse, because I do not believe it is scriptural. The Holy Spirit never does glorify His own name. His purpose is to glorify the One who sent Him.
Let me make another statement which may surprise you. I have not found in the Scripture anywhere an example of a prayer addressed to the Holy Spirit. So far as I can understand, no one in the Scripture ever prayed to the Holy Spirit. You probably would do well to check that for yourself, but I have looked carefully and have not found one example. You might ask, “Why so?” And I would give you this answer: It is a question of heavenly “protocol.” There is so little respect nowadays for protocol on earth that we sometimes do not realize that there is protocol in heaven. It is protocol relating to a master-servant relationship. In such a relationship, when you are dealing with a servant, you do not speak to the servant, but to the master. You ask the master to tell his servant what to do. It is wrong to directly address a servant when his master is available for you to speak to. I believe that is heaven’s protocol. When you recognize the relationship of the Holy Spirit to God the Father and God the Son, you understand that we never give orders to the Holy Spirit. When we want the Holy Spirit to do something, we address our request to the Father or to the Son.
When I was looking through this, I found a passage in Ezekiel chapter 37 which I thought, at first, was an exception. It is part of Ezekiel’s well-known vision of the valley full of dry bones with no life in them. First of all, he prophesied and the bones came together, but they were still lifeless corpses. Then, in verses 9 and 10: Also He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Come from the four winds, 0 breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.”‘” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceedingly great army.
So, I thought that the “breath” is really a picture of the wind – or the Holy Spirit – and so Ezekiel was praying to the wind. But he was not praying. He was prophesying. And it did not come from himself. He merely passed on to the wind a command that he had received from God Himself. Therefore, as far as I have been able to discover, there is not a single example anywhere in the Scripture of praying to the Holy Spirit. Now, I am not seeking to make a big issue out of that. On the other hand, I think it is very important as we try to discern the nature and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. You would say to me, “Well, doesn’t God hear our prayer when we pray to the Holy Spirit?” I think He does. But we are not praying in full accord with heaven’s protocol. If we really want to please the Lord and show respect for Him, we will show respect for His protocol.
The third important fact about the Holy Spirit is what is indicated in His name: He is Holy. This is His primary title: the Holy Spirit. In Hebrew it is the Spirit of Holiness. He has many other titles: for instance, the Spirit of Grace, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Power, and so on, But they are all subsidiary. His name and His primary title is the Holy Spirit. Anything that is unholy does not proceed from the Holy Spirit.
The Scripture also speaks of the beauty of holiness. There is a beauty in holiness when it proceeds from the Holy Spirit. It is not necessarily external. It may be internal beauty. For instance, in I Peter 3:4, Peter speaks about the hidden person of the heart, and he speaks about the adornment of a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of God is of great price. This is not external beauty. It is internal beauty, which comes from the Holy Spirit. I want to say, however, with the utmost emphasis: Anything unholy or ugly does not proceed from the Holy Spirit.
– Derek Prince
We should never be so much involved with the Holy Spirit that our love relationship with Jesus Christ is damaged. It is for a very good reason that the Bible never instructed us to pray to the Holy Spirit. It is for a very good reason that the Bible never instructed us to praise or to worship the Holy Spirit. People who puts too much attention on the Person of the Holy Spirit often have a not so noble reason for that. My experience is that such people are seeking the gifts more than they are seeking the Giver of the gifts, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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