THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT!
“And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth” (1John 5:6).
There are times when the Holy Ghost’s inner witness will not allow me to keep quiet. The Spirit rises within me and I have to speak up.
The Holy Spirit abides in us to reveal what is true and what is false. He speaks with a still, small voice, deep within the heart. Many of our holy forefathers believed in this operation of the Spirit in believers. They preached much about “having the witness.” But I don’t hear this truth being preached anymore. In fact, the witness of the Spirit is virtually unheard of in most churches today!
Believers need the Spirit’s witness as never before. And we’re going to need it more and more as the day of the Lord draws near! Satan has come brazenly as an angel of light to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect of God. His evil seductions are going to flourish: false doctrines, false teachers, false gospels.
The Spirit’s inner witness operates on the “principle of peace.” The peace of God is the greatest thing you can have. And when your peace is disturbed, you can be sure the Holy Ghost is speaking to you! When there is a troubling in your spirit—a shaking and a turmoil deep inside—God is telling you that something is false. You will feel his embarrassment—his grief and anger!
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15). Any hidden, unrepented sin will rob a believer of his precious peace! His heart will be torn by guilt, condemnation and fear—and the Spirit will only speak two words to him. “Repent! Flee!”
Yes, the Spirit will speak to you to correct you; he will deal with you about sin, righteousness and judgment. But when it comes to giving you direction—that is, the still, small voice which tells you what to do and where to go—he will not operate in an unclean vessel!
If you persist in sin—if you do not confess it or deal with it—your heart will feed you a steady stream of lies. You’ll hear teachings that make you at ease in your sin. You’ll think, “My problem couldn’t be that bad. I don’t feel convicted.” But you will be totally led astray!
Isaiah speaks of a people who went out claiming to desire the true counsel of God. They said: “Let him make speed, and hasten his work, that we may see it: and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and come, that we may know it!” (Isaiah 5:19).
But these people had deceit in their hearts—and they ended up perverted in all their counsel! Sin had perverted their judgment! As a result, they weren’t able to discern evil. And the things that were holy and pure they called unrighteous. Isaiah said of them, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).