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Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Cup and the Fire # 12

The Positive Nature of the Holy Spirit

Luke 12:49, 50; Acts 1:4, 5

"Wait for the promise of the Father ... not many days hence." The thought that I want to pass on to you concerns the positive nature of the Holy Spirit. We know that the Holy Spirit is the answer to the words of the Lord Jesus: "I came to scatter fire." The baptism of the Holy Spirit was a baptism of fire. Now fire is always positive; and if the Holy Spirit corresponds to the fire, it means that the Holy Spirit is also positive. Fire is neither cold nor neutral: fire is positive. When you touch it, or when it touches you, or when you get near it, you know that you are in the presence of an element that is positive.

The Spirit Abhors a Vacuum

Now here in these words at the beginning of this book, which we might call "The Book of the Scattered Fire," we have a pause, a suspense, a kind of parenthesis. The Cross with all its meaning is an accomplished fact. The work of redemption is finished. Everything has been done as to the basis of the future. And everything has been foreshadowed and foretold as to the purpose. Here it is: "Ye shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem ... Judea ... Samaria... unto the uttermost part of the earth" (1:8). Meeting His disciples after the resurrection, He had given them the great commission and told them what was to be their future ministry and work to the nations, to the remotest parts of the earth. Everything foreshadowed and foretold, as to the purpose: and yet, a pause, an interlude, with a big question hanging over it: a waiting. They can do nothing, with all that. With all that, it is still negative, it is still all in suspense, it is still in this state of question. And the Holy Spirit was the answer. The Holy Spirit moved right into that 'neutral zone' and turned it into a positive; changed the whole thing from negative or neutral or question, into a mighty, positive affirmative. The rest of this book is just the story of the positive activity of the Holy Spirit.

That may seem very simple; it may not strike you as having very much in it, or being very profound. But in fact there is a very great deal in that that we ought to think about, we ought to recognize. Let me say again: wherever you come upon the Holy Spirit in the Bible, you will find He is positive. He does not believe in vacuums. The Bible opens with a vacuum - and immediately it says: "the Spirit of God." "The Spirit of God brooded upon the face of the waters." The Spirit of God is reacting against a vacuum. 'Without form and void - empty ... and the Spirit of God ...'. You begin your Bible with this very positive characteristic of the Holy Spirit.

And so it is all the way through. If you run through your Bible, even from memory, with this thought in mind, when you come on the Holy Spirit in any expression, whether in symbol or in action, you will find that He is always tremendously positive. You have only to recall the beginning of Ezekiel's prophecies. The living ones, the wheels, and the Spirit - and they go! They go, and they go straight forward; they turn neither to the right hand nor to the left. It is the Spirit Who is the Goer; the Spirit of the positive, Who is against all that is negative, all that is neutral and all that is empty, always seeking to be on the move forward towards the great and consummate end. He is the  'Goer-Spirit,' if I may coin that phrase. He is always the executive of the Godhead, the energy of God in the things of God. He is always in action. So this book ought to be "The Acts of the Holy Spirit," for it is that.

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 13 - (A Positive Walk)

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