Day 16
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS OMNIPRESENT
TODAY WE TAKE a brief look at one of the attributes (characteristics) of God. The three “Big Os” are
His omnipotence—that He is all-powerful; His omniscience—that He knows everything; and His
omnipresence—that He is everywhere. In one of the most wonderful psalms—to which I referred
earlier—David said:
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make
my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your
hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
—PSALM 139:7–10
When we speak of God being omnipresent, we mean that there is nowhere God is not—in all
creation, in the heavens and the earth. His glory fills the universe. “‘Can anyone hide in secret places
so that I cannot see him?’ declares the LORD. ‘Do not I fill heaven and earth?’ declares the LORD”
(Jer. 23:24). It is impossible to escape the presence of God. “The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
keeping watch on the wicked and the good” (Prov. 15:3). “His eyes are on the ways of men; he sees
their every step. There is no dark place, no deep shadow, where evildoers can hide . . . He takes note
of their deeds, he overthrows them in the night and they are crushed” (Job 34:21–25). Jonah foolishly
thought he could “flee to Tarshish from the presence of the LORD” (Jon. 1:3, ESV). But he found that
this was impossible. God was present on the ship on which he sailed. God was present in the storm
that caused the panic among the sailors. And Jonah found that God was present in the belly of the fish
when he persuaded the sailors to throw him into the sea, for there he prayed with all his heart, and the
Lord heard him (Jon. 1:15–2:10).
There are, however, two ways by which the presence of God may be known: first, His
omnipresence, which may be unconscious to us. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies
proclaim the work of his hands . . . In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun, which is like a
bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion, like a champion rejoicing to run his course. It rises at one
end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is hidden from its heat” (Ps. 19:1, 4–6).
According to Paul, the very creation speaks to all humankind to display God’s glory and to expose
man’s hypocrisy. “What may be known about God is plain to them, because God made it plain to
them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine
nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without
excuse” (Rom. 1:19–20). Preaching in Athens, Paul stated that God gives all men life and breath “so
that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each
one of us” (Acts 17:27).
The second way is the manifest presence of God, which may be immediately recognized. His
manifest presence comes to specific people and locations by the sovereign will of God. Whereas the
unconscious presence of God is not at first recognizable, His manifest presence may be seen and felt
by its effect. It may result in conviction of sin (Isa. 6:5), the miraculous—sometimes called a healing
presence (Luke 5:17–26), and joy (Acts 13:52). The apostle John was “in the Spirit” and saw a
vision of the glorified Lord and said, “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead” (Rev. 1:17).
These things said, sadly there are those who might be physically present when God is showing up
powerfully but be so blind and prejudiced that they miss the Holy Spirit entirely.
There are times, however, when God promises to be present, and such must be taken by faith. Jesus
said, “Where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matt. 18:20). This is a
word that is taken by faith. We may not feel His presence, but we know He is there because Jesus
said so. So too when we are in a severe trial. God said, “When you pass through the waters, I will be
with you” (Isa. 43:2). “For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose
name is Holy: ‘I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly
spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite’” (Isa. 57:15, ESV).
We should be equally thankful for both the omnipresence of the Lord and His special, manifest
presence. He is everywhere whether we believe it or not. But when God’s Word says He is with us,
always it is a reference to the Holy Spirit—and how thankful we are for Him!
For further study: Genesis 3:8–13, ESV; Psalm 139:1–18; Luke 5:17–26; Acts 17:22–31
O gracious Holy Spirit, how I thank You that You are with me—even when I don’t feel
You present with me. Increase my discernment of Your presence lest I miss You when You
are right before my eyes. In Jesus’s name, amen.


Day 17
THE HOLY SPIRIT RESTS ON MESSIAH SEVEN WAYS
I WOULD LIKE TO write a book someday entitled Verses in the Bible I Don’t Understand . There are
more of these than I care for you to know! But I am going to deal with some verses now I don’t fully
understand. Here is one of them: “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is
to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne” (Rev. 1:4). My dilemma is rooted specifically
in the curious phrase “seven spirits of God.” It is found three more times in the Book of Revelation:
Revelation 3:2; 4:5; and 5:6.
I am not the only one who is perplexed with this phrase. Consider the translators, for a start. The
KJV has “seven Spirits of God.” The ESV has “seven spirits of God.” The NIV has “seven spirits of
God” with a footnote: “Or the sevenfold Spirit.” Whatever does this phrase mean? One suggestion is
that the seven spirits are seven angels. Angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will
inherit salvation” (Heb. 1:14). The problem with that view is that a Trinitarian formula is implicit in
Revelation 1:4–5: “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and
from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the
firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” In between the explicit reference to the
Father and the Son is the phrase “seven spirits of God.”
You will have observed that much of this devotional book is exploring various ways the Holy
Spirit is active in the Old Testament. So when you come to Isaiah 11:1–3, in which you see clearly a
reference to the Holy Spirit, you notice that the Spirit is linked to Messiah: “A shoot will come up
from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (v. 1). Jesse is the father of David.
This shows that the Messiah would come from the Davidic line. There follow seven ways to which
the Holy Spirit is referred: “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of
understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord”
(v. 2). This is the nearest I can come to understanding the four references to the seven spirits of God
in the Book of Revelation.
1. The Spirit of the Lord. This is a reference to a general anointing upon Jesus. He Himself
quoted from Isaiah 61:1–2: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to
preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and
recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s
favor” (Luke 4:18–19). Jesus’s mission is further described in Isaiah 42:1–7.
2. The Spirit of wisdom. When you keep in mind that Jesus had the Holy Spirit without limit
(John 3:34)—this means He had all of God there is—you can grasp why He never made an
unguarded comment or put a foot wrong. He put the Pharisees to silence, so too the
Sadducees (Matt. 22:34–46). Truly “one greater than Solomon” had arrived (Matt. 12:42).
3. The Spirit of understanding. Moses asked to know God’s “ways” (Exod. 33:13). Jesus
totally and perfectly understood the Father’s ways. He not only understood the Father and
His purpose, but Jesus also understood humankind; He knew people—how they thought and
where they were hurting. Indeed, He knew “what was in a man” (John 2:25).
4. The Spirit of counsel. Isaiah called Jesus “Wonderful Counselor” (Isa. 9:6). A lawyer
gives advice, counsel. Jesus’s counsel came without a fee and was always what people
needed, whether telling Nicodemus he must be “born again” (John 3:3) or not condemning
the woman found in adultery but telling her to leave her life of sin (John 8:11). Is it
guidance you want? Jesus always knew the next step forward—exactly what to do now.
5. The Spirit of power. Jesus had power to heal every sickness and disease, to forgive sins,
to cast out demons, to raise up the disabled, to stop a storm by His sheer word, to preach,
and to teach. Not only that, but He actually raised Himself from the dead! “Destroy this
temple, and I will raise it up in three days” (John 2:19). He guaranteed eschatological
power too: as for the one who believes on the Son, “I will raise him up at the last day”
(John 6:40).
6. The Spirit of knowledge. This knowledge of Jesus comes down essentially to one thing:
He completely knew the will of the Father. This included theological, historical,
cosmological, and anthropological knowledge; He was the only perfect theologian. It meant
the knowledge of what to say and do—all he did and said was being directed from the
Father above and was carried out perfectly (John 5:19).
7. The Spirit of the fear of the Lord. Jesus was not afraid of the Father; He was not afraid
of anything or anybody. This refers to total obedience to the Law and the prophets. Those
who truly feared the Lord honored the Law and the prophets. Jesus was the only person
who kept the Law perfectly. He promised to “fulfill” the Law and the prophets (Matt. 5:17)
—and did so; He could say in the end, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
For further study: 1 Kings 3:16–28; Matthew 5:17–20; 12:39–42; 2 Corinthians 5:17–21
O glorious Holy Spirit, I thank You with my whole heart that all You are was totally,
completely, and perfectly resident in Jesus of Nazareth, the son of David. Grant me a
greater measure of Your attributes that I might bring maximum honor to Him. In Jesus’s
name, amen.Day 17
THE HOLY SPIRIT RESTS ON MESSIAH SEVEN WAYS
I WOULD LIKE TO write a book someday entitled Verses in the Bible I Don’t Understand . There are
more of these than I care for you to know! But I am going to deal with some verses now I don’t fully
understand. Here is one of them: “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is
to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne” (Rev. 1:4). My dilemma is rooted specifically
in the curious phrase “seven spirits of God.” It is found three more times in the Book of Revelation:
Revelation 3:2; 4:5; and 5:6.
I am not the only one who is perplexed with this phrase. Consider the translators, for a start. The
KJV has “seven Spirits of God.” The ESV has “seven spirits of God.” The NIV has “seven spirits of
God” with a footnote: “Or the sevenfold Spirit.” Whatever does this phrase mean? One suggestion is
that the seven spirits are seven angels. Angels are “ministering spirits sent to serve those who will
inherit salvation” (Heb. 1:14). The problem with that view is that a Trinitarian formula is implicit in
Revelation 1:4–5: “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and
from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the
firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.” In between the explicit reference to the
Father and the Son is the phrase “seven spirits of God.”
You will have observed that much of this devotional book is exploring various ways the Holy
Spirit is active in the Old Testament. So when you come to Isaiah 11:1–3, in which you see clearly a
reference to the Holy Spirit, you notice that the Spirit is linked to Messiah: “A shoot will come up
from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit” (v. 1). Jesse is the father of David.
This shows that the Messiah would come from the Davidic line. There follow seven ways to which
the Holy Spirit is referred: “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of
understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord”
(v. 2). This is the nearest I can come to understanding the four references to the seven spirits of God
in the Book of Revelation.
1. The Spirit of the Lord. This is a reference to a general anointing upon Jesus. He Himself
quoted from Isaiah 61:1–2: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to
preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and
recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s
favor” (Luke 4:18–19). Jesus’s mission is further described in Isaiah 42:1–7.
2. The Spirit of wisdom. When you keep in mind that Jesus had the Holy Spirit without limit
(John 3:34)—this means He had all of God there is—you can grasp why He never made an
unguarded comment or put a foot wrong. He put the Pharisees to silence, so too the
Sadducees (Matt. 22:34–46). Truly “one greater than Solomon” had arrived (Matt. 12:42).
3. The Spirit of understanding. Moses asked to know God’s “ways” (Exod. 33:13). Jesus
totally and perfectly understood the Father’s ways. He not only understood the Father and
His purpose, but Jesus also understood humankind; He knew people—how they thought and
where they were hurting. Indeed, He knew “what was in a man” (John 2:25).
4. The Spirit of counsel. Isaiah called Jesus “Wonderful Counselor” (Isa. 9:6). A lawyer
gives advice, counsel. Jesus’s counsel came without a fee and was always what people
needed, whether telling Nicodemus he must be “born again” (John 3:3) or not condemning
the woman found in adultery but telling her to leave her life of sin (John 8:11). Is it
guidance you want? Jesus always knew the next step forward—exactly what to do now.
5. The Spirit of power. Jesus had power to heal every sickness and disease, to forgive sins,
to cast out demons, to raise up the disabled, to stop a storm by His sheer word, to preach,
and to teach. Not only that, but He actually raised Himself from the dead! “Destroy this
temple, and I will raise it up in three days” (John 2:19). He guaranteed eschatological
power too: as for the one who believes on the Son, “I will raise him up at the last day”
(John 6:40).
6. The Spirit of knowledge. This knowledge of Jesus comes down essentially to one thing:
He completely knew the will of the Father. This included theological, historical,
cosmological, and anthropological knowledge; He was the only perfect theologian. It meant
the knowledge of what to say and do—all he did and said was being directed from the
Father above and was carried out perfectly (John 5:19).
7. The Spirit of the fear of the Lord. Jesus was not afraid of the Father; He was not afraid
of anything or anybody. This refers to total obedience to the Law and the prophets. Those
who truly feared the Lord honored the Law and the prophets. Jesus was the only person
who kept the Law perfectly. He promised to “fulfill” the Law and the prophets (Matt. 5:17)
—and did so; He could say in the end, “It is finished” (John 19:30).
For further study: 1 Kings 3:16–28; Matthew 5:17–20; 12:39–42; 2 Corinthians 5:17–21
O glorious Holy Spirit, I thank You with my whole heart that all You are was totally,
completely, and perfectly resident in Jesus of Nazareth, the son of David. Grant me a
greater measure of Your attributes that I might bring maximum honor to Him. In Jesus’s
name, amen.


Day 18
THE HOLY SPIRIT CANNOT BE FIGURED OUT
YOU MAY RECALL that there are basically two worldviews when it comes to faith: the secular atheist
view (seeing is believing) and the biblical view (believing God without the evidence). One reason
the secularist—whether he or she be a scientist, philosopher, or nurse—will not accept the God of the
Bible is that they want to figure out everything. They assume if something cannot eventually be figured
out, it is not worth pursuing. But I ask: Would you want a God you could actually figure out? Do you
want to remove the mystery and awe that is inherent in God? Some would be quick to answer: yes.
This way no God exists.
The true God cannot be fully fathomed, measured, or understood. “Who has measured the Spirit of
the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of
understanding?” (Isa. 40:13–14, ESV). It is interesting that when this verse is quoted in the New
Testament, “Spirit of the Lord” becomes “mind of the Lord.” “For who has known the mind of the
Lord, or who has been his counselor?” (Rom. 11:34, ESV). This shows that we can figure out neither
God’s mind nor His Spirit. For whereas the Holy Spirit has a mind of His own, for He is a person,
He never speaks “on his own.” Like the Son, the Holy Spirit only says and does what the Father
directs them to say and do (John 5:19; 16:13). There is perfect unity in the Godhead.
This is also true with the various manifestations of the Holy Spirit. The effect of His presence can
result in fear, awe, praise, worship, joy, or any of the fruit or gifts of the Holy Spirit. On the Day of
Pentecost the observers accused the disciples of being drunk (Acts 2:13)! And yet I know from
personal firsthand observation that the Holy Spirit can still do this sort of thing. I saw a lady clearly
filled with the Holy Spirit needing help to walk because of the undoubted fallout of the Holy Spirit in
a service. She was laughing her head off as two people helped her into the elevator and stayed with
her. This was in a hotel. There was a bar close to the auditorium where the service was being held. I
have no doubt that any bystander (not in the service) would have assumed she was drunk with wine or
bourbon without thinking there was anything odd about it. But if a great measure of the Holy Spirit
does that today, some Christians are shocked—if not offended! But if you were to see a DVD of the
preaching of George Whitefield and the effect it sometimes had on those present—people laughing,
crying, shouting, or “swooning” (the word they used then for falling down)—you could easily surmise
they were drunk on alcohol.
Figure that out!
If by chance this offends you, I would gently point out that Paul said not to be drunk on wine but
filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), knowing as he did that the Holy Spirit may bring such joy that a
bystander could think one was drunk. Does this surprise you? Wine may lead to debauchery; the Holy
Spirit leads to joy and a love for the honor and glory of God. The Holy Spirit can also bring a person
to the place he or she is not dominated or controlled by the opinions of people. “Fear of man will
prove to be a snare” (Prov. 29:25). As we will see further below, the Holy Spirit brings freedom.
Not knowing the mind of the Lord also refers to the future. You cannot figure out in advance what
He will do. When the disciples were filled with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, they did not know
that three thousand people would be converted before the days was over, that they would shortly see
miracles without Jesus being physically present, or that Gentiles eventually would be given full
membership into the church without being circumcised!
Jesus said to the Twelve, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear” (John
16:12). They probably thought they were up to hearing anything Jesus could say to them, but Jesus
knew better. We may think we want to know all that is in the future or the things God has prepared for
us, but God knows best. No good thing will He withhold from those who love Him (Ps 84:11).
When Paul raised the question, “Who has known the mind of the Lord?”, it was in an
eschatological setting—referring partly to the future of Israel. Who knows what God is up to? And
when Paul quoted the verse, “Who has been his [the Holy Spirit’s] counselor?”, it lets us know God
doesn’t need our input. Open theism (the view that God doesn’t know the future and needs our advice)
says that God needs counseling. Dear friend, He doesn’t. He doesn’t need our input, opinion, help, or
aid.
I love the Holy Spirit for being exactly like He is. Don’t you too?
For further study: Isaiah 55:6–11; Romans 11:25–36; 1 Corinthians 1:26–31; 1 Timothy 6:11–16
Omniscient Holy Spirit, I feel so small in Your presence. Forgive me for a spirit of fear,
and do please open me up to letting You be Yourself in my life. I humbly ask You to take
over. In Jesus’s name, amen.Day 18
THE HOLY SPIRIT CANNOT BE FIGURED OUT
YOU MAY RECALL that there are basically two worldviews when it comes to faith: the secular atheist
view (seeing is believing) and the biblical view (believing God without the evidence). One reason
the secularist—whether he or she be a scientist, philosopher, or nurse—will not accept the God of the
Bible is that they want to figure out everything. They assume if something cannot eventually be figured
out, it is not worth pursuing. But I ask: Would you want a God you could actually figure out? Do you
want to remove the mystery and awe that is inherent in God? Some would be quick to answer: yes.
This way no God exists.
The true God cannot be fully fathomed, measured, or understood. “Who has measured the Spirit of
the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand?
Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of
understanding?” (Isa. 40:13–14, ESV). It is interesting that when this verse is quoted in the New
Testament, “Spirit of the Lord” becomes “mind of the Lord.” “For who has known the mind of the
Lord, or who has been his counselor?” (Rom. 11:34, ESV). This shows that we can figure out neither
God’s mind nor His Spirit. For whereas the Holy Spirit has a mind of His own, for He is a person,
He never speaks “on his own.” Like the Son, the Holy Spirit only says and does what the Father
directs them to say and do (John 5:19; 16:13). There is perfect unity in the Godhead.
This is also true with the various manifestations of the Holy Spirit. The effect of His presence can
result in fear, awe, praise, worship, joy, or any of the fruit or gifts of the Holy Spirit. On the Day of
Pentecost the observers accused the disciples of being drunk (Acts 2:13)! And yet I know from
personal firsthand observation that the Holy Spirit can still do this sort of thing. I saw a lady clearly
filled with the Holy Spirit needing help to walk because of the undoubted fallout of the Holy Spirit in
a service. She was laughing her head off as two people helped her into the elevator and stayed with
her. This was in a hotel. There was a bar close to the auditorium where the service was being held. I
have no doubt that any bystander (not in the service) would have assumed she was drunk with wine or
bourbon without thinking there was anything odd about it. But if a great measure of the Holy Spirit
does that today, some Christians are shocked—if not offended! But if you were to see a DVD of the
preaching of George Whitefield and the effect it sometimes had on those present—people laughing,
crying, shouting, or “swooning” (the word they used then for falling down)—you could easily surmise
they were drunk on alcohol.
Figure that out!
If by chance this offends you, I would gently point out that Paul said not to be drunk on wine but
filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), knowing as he did that the Holy Spirit may bring such joy that a
bystander could think one was drunk. Does this surprise you? Wine may lead to debauchery; the Holy
Spirit leads to joy and a love for the honor and glory of God. The Holy Spirit can also bring a person
to the place he or she is not dominated or controlled by the opinions of people. “Fear of man will
prove to be a snare” (Prov. 29:25). As we will see further below, the Holy Spirit brings freedom.
Not knowing the mind of the Lord also refers to the future. You cannot figure out in advance what
He will do. When the disciples were filled with the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, they did not know
that three thousand people would be converted before the days was over, that they would shortly see
miracles without Jesus being physically present, or that Gentiles eventually would be given full
membership into the church without being circumcised!
Jesus said to the Twelve, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear” (John
16:12). They probably thought they were up to hearing anything Jesus could say to them, but Jesus
knew better. We may think we want to know all that is in the future or the things God has prepared for
us, but God knows best. No good thing will He withhold from those who love Him (Ps 84:11).
When Paul raised the question, “Who has known the mind of the Lord?”, it was in an
eschatological setting—referring partly to the future of Israel. Who knows what God is up to? And
when Paul quoted the verse, “Who has been his [the Holy Spirit’s] counselor?”, it lets us know God
doesn’t need our input. Open theism (the view that God doesn’t know the future and needs our advice)
says that God needs counseling. Dear friend, He doesn’t. He doesn’t need our input, opinion, help, or
aid.
I love the Holy Spirit for being exactly like He is. Don’t you too?
For further study: Isaiah 55:6–11; Romans 11:25–36; 1 Corinthians 1:26–31; 1 Timothy 6:11–16
Omniscient Holy Spirit, I feel so small in Your presence. Forgive me for a spirit of fear,
and do please open me up to letting You be Yourself in my life. I humbly ask You to take
over. In Jesus’s name, amen.