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Lowell Brueckner

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Seeking the Spirit of the Kingdom, chapter five





Chapter 5 is taken from this book
When the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews cites a portion of the Scripture, he does not attribute it to a prophet, or the Psalmist, or any other human personality, but directly to the Holy Spirit. For example, referring to Psalm 95:7-8, he says, “Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 3:7-8).

In Hebrews 9:8, he shows that it is the Holy Spirit who is teaching about the Holy of Holies, mentioning that only the high priest could enter there and only once a year: The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed.”
For the third time, in Hebrews 10:15-17 he cites Jeremiah 31:33-34, attributing directly to the Holy Spirit, that which is written in the Old Testament: The Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying, ‘This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them,’ He then says, ‘And their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.’”

Obviously, the Holy Spirit still teaches us from the Old Testament: “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). The events of the Old Testament also are used by the Holy Spirit to teach us. These things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the age have come” (1 Cor. 10:11).

It is not difficult to prove that the Old Testament was written to the generations under the New Testament, even more so than to those under the Old. For example, Abraham only had at his disposal the story of creation, the flood and a few other details, which we have now recorded in eleven chapters of the book of Genesis. David never read the books of the major and minor prophets. Isaiah did not read about the return of the children of Israel to their land and about the rebuilding of the walls and the temple in Jerusalem. We have the complete Old Testament only 400 years before Christ. Many of the prophecies and symbolism given in the old Scriptures did not have true meaning until Jesus came.

The Bible is a unique and sure work without an error, given by God from His throne room in heaven. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16). God did not choose to give us His word verbally, because in that way men would have easily erred in their intent to transmit it from one person to another. For this reason, it was recorded in writing to be faithfully preserved forever. None of it originated in the heart of man, who was only the channel, through which this Word flowed.

God has kept it supremely pure, so that nothing of man or devil should enter, and He warned us that nothing should be added or taken away. “You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you” (Deut. 4:2; 12:32). In the wisdom of God, Agur cautioned, “Every word of God is tested… Do not add to His words or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar” (Prov. 30:5, 6). When we come to the end of divine revelation, as He concludes His special, unique book, God gives one final warning: “I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book” (Rev. 22:18-19).

Nevertheless, some perverse men have done it, exalting their own words to the same level as the Bible, deceiving millions of followers in this way. The Book of Mormon, written by Joseph Smith, the found of the Church of the Latter Day Saints is a good example. Many others, with a purpose towards arriving at their own goals, have dared to interpret the Bible in their own way. However, the Holy Spirit, who knew beforehand of these attempts, gave notice through Peter: “Know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Pet. 1:20-21).

Paul gave much attention to the following generation, so that Christian teaching would not fall into the hands of inexpert teachers. “An overseer (elder, pastor), then, must be… able to teach… and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil” (1 Tim. 3:2, 6). Timothy, to whom Paul is writing, was a young man, but he had had much contact with the Scripture, because his grandmother and mother were Christians. “From childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15). Added to this, Paul instructed him not to be careless with his ministry, but to stay faithful to teaching and take advantage of that which God had provided: Give attention to the public reading of Scripture… Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things” (1 Tim. 4:13, 16).


We dedicated our study from the epistle to the Galatians primarily to see the obstacles that can keep us from our intention to walk in the Spirit. We saw enemies that we will meet along the way. Now, we begin a serious search towards the person and the work of the Holy Spirit, emphasizing in the first place a paramount attribute – the truth. For that reason, this third volume of “Seek the Kingdom of God” is vitally connected with the second. It is impossible to seek the truth of the Kingdom without the guidance of the Spirit of the Kingdom. He inspired men to write the Word and he must inspire our hearts to enable us to understand it and to know what was in His mind, when He first gave it to us.

I have observed that when a teacher gives studies on the theme of the Holy Spirit, he usually will go directly to the book of Acts. This book, more than any other in the Bible, demonstrates the work of the Spirit, so that the listener can be informed, concerning the magnificent deeds that He can do. However, if he only hears of the deeds, he will not be instructed in the foundation, upon which these acts of the Spirit are built. For the most part, he will not know the reason and purpose behind the works.

On the night of the Passover, in which He was surrendered into the hands of the Jews to be judged, Jesus gave His disciples ample teaching about the Spirit; it covers chapters 14 through 16 of the Gospel of John. In the teaching, He called Him the Spirit of Truth: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive (14:16-17)… When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about Me… (15:26)…When He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth…” (16:13). The Holy Spirit is a teacher and His subject is truth. His textbook is the Bible, of which He is the author. “Your word is truth” (John 17:17). We have commented earlier that when a person is preoccupied with truth, that truth will lead him to Christ. For that reason, many times, as the first step, the Spirit impresses people to read the Bible, before they are convinced of the gospel or know how to receive Christ into their life. Jesus said to the Jews that by searching the Scriptures they could be brought to His person, in order to receive eternal life. “It is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life” (John 5:39-40).

The Spirit of God works in favor of and by means of pure truth. He does nothing that is questionable or deceitful and we can be sure that any manner or method that exaggerates or lies in the slightest degree does not proceed from Him. Since we are looking to function in the Kingdom of God and walk in the Spirit, we ought to know that one of the primary characteristics of an atmosphere filled with the Spirit of the Kingdom is that of absolute honesty.

Because it is impossible to learn the truth of the Kingdom and live by it without the Spirit, Christ guaranteed His disciples that He would not leave them alone in this world. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth… I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:16-18). Since they are members of God’s family, He assures them that, as His children, He will not abandon them in the world, but a Person of deity Himself would be with them and in them. A Christian can never conduct himself independently, but everything that God commands him to do or speak, he must do always with his hand placed in the hand of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus said that He would be with us forever, He was including the 21st Century. When He prayed for His disciples, He prayed also for us: “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word” (John 17:20).

The Holy Spirit continues the work of discipleship in the followers of Jesus and no man can disciple others effectively without His presence and direction,. “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things” (John 14:26). He enrolls every disciple into His school individually. Charles Spurgeon compared discipleship with a garden that the Lord Himself tends and said that it is sown with knowledge. The seed is the word of God and without that seed there can never be any hope for fruit. He also added that the garden is watered by love and the weeds are rooted out by the Lord’s discipline. Love and discipline are inseparable. As we have said, the Bible is the basis of knowledge, but God’s Spirit also teaches us through experiences in life, many of which are difficult and severe.

“You have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him” (1 John 2:27). There are people with very good intentions, but with poor understanding, who often interrupt the classes, offering carnal help and causing the student to leave the classroom, the very situation, into which the Spirit has placed him. The consequence in the end is that, instead of cooperating with God, they oppose His purposes. There is a tendency to create certain types of green houses, artificial atmospheres, to protect people from the necessary elements that will strengthen them and make them resistant against the temptations and wiles of the enemy. In that condition, they seem to grow rapidly, but in fact they are weak and any small wind will bend them. Jesus prayed to the Father, “I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15). The Holy Spirit not only keeps His own, but utilizes the storms of this world to teach and discipline them.

In John 15:26, Jesus said that “the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify about me.” The Holy Spirit does not have anything strange or new to teach. Many times, I have heard fanatical teaching about the person and work of the Holy Spirit, but I fear that they speak more of experiences than that, which is founded in the word. They present the Spirit as an extremist, who does very strange things. John Wesley declared, “All new teaching is false teaching.” Yes sir, very well said and very true. The Father gave us the foundation of truth in the book of Genesis, as He began to teach His ways, purposes and plan, and continued to develop it throughout the Old Testament. God’s Spirit builds upon this foundation. He proceeds from the Father and never contradicts His word in the least; in fact, everything He does is in accordance with the plan of the Father. His teaching proceeds from the Old Testament and then gives testimony of the Son of God. His doctrine confirms the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels.

He points His finger towards Jesus, reveals who He is and impresses us to fix our eyes on Him. He has nothing new to teach. Everything that He opens to us has already been discovered by the saints of all ages in the church.

Jesus confirms this in the following chapter, verse 13: “When He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” The Spirit of Truth will conduct us towards the complete revelation of all that God wants to teach us. Remember, He is the author of the Scriptures and the only one capable of giving us understanding of all it teaches us, but He will not add anything on His own account. I have to emphasize it – He will not include anything new, apart from that which is already written. Do not wait for anything distinct from that which already has been placed in our hands. He makes clear and interprets, when it is necessary, and in many forms guides us to eternal truth. The truth is very old, but not at all out-of-date or obsolete.

The verse tells us that also He will teach prophecy. Many are afraid of the prophetic word, but that is a great part of Scripture. Jesus came in fulfillment of more or less 300 distinct details that had been prophesied in the Old Testament. Simeon, influenced by the Spirit, and Anna, the prophetess, along with others, were awaiting His coming, having been advised by the prophecies. The Spirit of God helped them to know the things that were to come. He will guide the church through the written prophecies into the events that will take place in our times. Anyone who is filled with the Spirit will be conscious of the days, in which he is living. He will not be in darkness, “that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober” (1 Thess. 5:4-6). We ought to be very awake to the events of the day, searching the Bible, so that the Spirit can prepare us for that, which is to come. Jesus promised that He would cause us to know all these things.

Above all, by means of the Holy Spirit and only by Him, can we live a life that glorifies Christ: “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you” (John 16:14). It is the Holy Spirit that breaks the egotistical nature, manifested in every human being, who has not been born again. The unconverted does not know what it means to live totally for someone else and cannot understand those who demonstrate that attitude. Fallen nature always seeks it own well-being. When I hear a preacher teaching his listeners about getting all they can of riches and things of earth, seeking God for the benefits that can be obtained, I know that he is not dealing with the new creature, but is only feeding old Adam. The Holy Spirit teaches us not to be egotists, but to live for Him, who loved us and gave Himself for us. The Christian, full of the Spirit, with a passion that the egotist cannot imagine, surrenders his life to glorify Christ. The love of God is poured into his heart by the Spirit that proceeds from the Father, takes the things of the Son and makes them known to us.

Before everything else in the Kingdom of God, we must be united to the Spirit, because in order to function in it, we must know how to walk in the truth. He is our teacher. We must be very much into the Bible and trust its author to teach us the things that we cannot understand by our natural faculties. George Mueller, who cared for 2,000 orphans, read his Bible on his knees completely forty-four times. As he did, so we must be in the habit of praying with the Bible open before us. Jesus emphasized, in order to teach us that the Holy Spirit would not leave us orphaned and exposed to all the deceit of the enemy, that He is the Spirit of Truth. He is the author and teacher of the Scriptures, the only one capable of giving us understanding concerning His word.


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