In Genesis 3:8-9 we read of God coming to fellowship with man:
“And they [Adam and Eve] heard the voice of Jehovah God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of Jehovah God in the middle of the trees of the garden. And Jehovah God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you?…. “
In Genesis 17:1-5 we read of God coming to talk directly to Abram who later became Abraham:
“And when Abram was ninety-nine years old, Jehovah appeared to Abram and said to him, I am the Almighty God! Walk before Me and be perfect. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.
And Abram fell on his face. And God talked with him, saying, As for Me, behold! My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. Neither shall your name any more be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham. For I have made you a father of many nations.”
Again God came in Numbers 12:4-5 to talk with Miriam, Aaron and Moses, but this time, like all the communications He later had with Moses, He came hidden:
“And Jehovah spoke suddenly to Moses and to Aaron and to Miriam, You three come out to the tabernacle of the congregation. And the three came out. And Jehovah came down in the pillar of the cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both came forth.”
Before the fall of Adam and Eve, it was possible for them to speak with God face to face, as they did in the Garden of Eden; but after their fall, it has become increasingly difficult and increasing rare, to fellowship directly with God. Though Moses spent weeks and weeks in God’s very presence, God was enveloped with either a pillar of cloud, or a dark cloud which enveloped them both, as well as whole of the mountaintop on which they met. Even so, in that dark cloud, the glory of God was so powerful that the face of Moses began to reflect the very glory of God, such that he needed to hide himself behind a veil to speak to his people, for they were afraid of him. As Exodus 34:30 says:
“And Aaron and all the sons of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face had become luminous. And they were afraid to come near him.”
There are also a few cases in the bible where The Angel of the Lord, often seen as euphemism for the pre-incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, met with individuals and in each of these isolated cases, an indelible impression was made by that contact. Meeting with God was a life altering experience!
Since the Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven to be seated on the right hand of His Father after completing all His work on the Cross of Calvary, the third person of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit, has been dwelling with us. The Bible describes the Holy Spirit as a wind, as the breath of God, whom we are unable to see or to touch but whose presence can be felt, whose presence can me sensed.
When we believe, and accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour and confess Him with our mouths, then the Holy Spirit of God will come and dwell within us, linking with our own God given spirit, that human spirit which makes us alive and makes us human.
In Philippians 2:1-8 we find a passage which describes fellowship with the Holy Spirit which indwells us, saying:
“1If there is therefore any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tendernesses and mercies, 2then fulfill my joy, that you may be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord and of one mind.
3Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
4Do not let each man look upon his own things, but each man also on the things of others. 5For let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, 7but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. 8And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”
This passage contains five signs, or five indications, of that which happens when we fellowship with the Holy Spirit:
v2 We become like minded.
v3 We become humble.
v4 We look out for each other.
v7 We receive a serving heart.
v8 We become obedient to God.
We also fellowship with the Holy Spirit when we take Communion. Acts 5:42 describes this interaction saying:
“And they were continuing steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine, and in fellowship and in the breaking of the loaves, and in prayers.”
Acts 2:43-47 then proceeds to record the changes which fell upon these early believers after they were baptised and shared the Lord’s Supper in Communion:
“And fear came on every soul. And many wonders and miracles took place through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things common. And they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need. And continuing with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they shared food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.”
Reading this passage, we can see how the lives of these new believers aligned with the principles of the five signs of Philippians 2:1-8. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and his linking with our God given human spirit, knit together to change us from the inside out. The changes which take place in us as we fellowship with the Holy Spirit, are a sign of His indwelling. The changes are not changes we need to seek, but changes which manifest because we are changed. They are the signs that that change has occurred and we are no longer the persons we once were; we are becoming more aligned to God.
Having established the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we need to nourish this relationship and not grieve the Holy Spirit. First Corinthians 14:1 tell us to “desire spiritual things, but rather that you may prophesy” and 14:4 asks us to speak in tongues, for “the one speaking in a tongue builds himself us, but he prophesying builds up a church.”
In Ephesians 3:16 Paul asks us to strengthen our own inner human spirit, with and by the Holy Spirit, saying: “ that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man…”
In Second Corinthians 4:16-18 we read again of the advantage of being filled and constantly filled with the Holy Spirit, so He can minister to our own inner spirit:
“For this cause we do not faint; but though our outward man perishes, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For the lightness of our present affliction works out for us a far more excellent eternal weight of glory, we not considering the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are not lasting, but the things which are not seen are everlasting.”
Read closely, for Paul is saying here that we need to see beyond the day-to-day things which are external and physical, to the inner spiritual things which are more important, for when our external body fails and dies away, our own inner man, our own inner God given human spirit will continue into eternity and into the everlasting.
In Ephesians 3:14-31 Paul explains about our inner-man in more detail saying:
“For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in Heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth and length and depth and height, and to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, forever. Amen.”
The Holy Spirit, as Jesus said in John 14:26 “… the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you.” In the Greek the Comforter is also known as the “παράκλητος” or “paraklētos,” the Paraclete, the one who comes alongside to help. We have we struggle in payer or in times of trouble, the Holy Spirit will give us the words and utterances we need, as He reminds us of all that which is in our subconscious and our intuition, but to which we have otherwise, lost access.
The Holy Spirit, in every way, strengthens our human spirit and as such, we can grieve the Holy Spirit in many ways. We can resist the Holy Spirit and render His advice and intuition null and void; we can provoke the Holy Spirit by our words and actions and thereby both quench and grieve Him. Ephesians 4:30 specifically warns us of this saying specifically: “… do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.”
What happens when we grieve the Holy Spirit of God? There are verses which plainly explain:
Matthew 12:31-32 “Therefore I say to you, All kinds of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men. And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him. But whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this world or in the world to come.”
Luke 12:10 “And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him. But to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven.“
Matthew 10:28 is a final salutary warning for us as Jesus says:
“… do not fear those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul. But rather fear Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”