“Grieve Not the Holy Spirit of God”
The most terrible thing that any person, even a Christian can do, is to grieve the Holy Spirit. There are millions of professing Christians who have grieved the Holy Spirit and finally crossed the line of no return; and the terrible thing is that they do not know it.
The Jewish leaders in the time of Christ were leaders in the church of God and they had grieved the Holy Spirit and finally committed unpardonable sin. Yet they continued religious, thinking that they were the favourites of God.
The Adventist Church in 1888 was the very church of God, and the leaders had grieved the Holy Spirit and yet continued as leaders the following 26 years. “They began this satanic work at Minneapolis. Afterward, when they saw and felt the demonstration of the Holy Spirit testifying that the message was of God, they hated it the more, because it was a testimony against them. They would not humble their hearts to repent, to give God the glory, and vindicate the right. They went on in their own spirit, filled with envy, jealousy, and evil surmisings, as did the Jews. They opened their hearts to the enemy of God and man. Yet these men have been holding positions of trust, and have been molding the work after their own similitude, as far as they possibly could.” Test. to Min., p. 80.
This means that there is a danger that even educated, experienced ministers of the gospel, leaders of God’s church can grieve the Holy Spirit and drive Him away.
No one is outside the danger of grieving the Holy Spirit; children and young people can do it by carelessness. Any sin that we do grieves the Holy Spirit, and the more knowledge we have of the law of God, the more grievous our sin will be. There are private, secret sins that only God sees; but then there are open sins that can cause others to be tempted, and one of them is gossiping.
“Those who do evil with their gossiping tongues, who sow discord by selfish ideas and thoughts by any jealousies, evil surmisings, or covetousness, they grieve the Holy Spirit of God, for they are working at cross-purposes with God, instead of answering the purposes of Christ, instead of answering the prayer of Christ that His disciples may be one as He is one with the Father. They are working entirely in the lines the enemy has marked out.” Letter 20, 1899, pp.7, 7a (To Philip Wessels, February 3, 1899).
“For Christ’s sake, for your soul’s sake, I entreat you, do not talk of the deficiencies of your brethren! Go to work for yourself. Do not any longer grieve the Holy Spirit of God. The question is asked, ?Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?’ and the answer is, ?He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth no with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour. In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.’ (Psalm 15)” Manuscript Releases #1444, Book 20.
“God admonishes His people: ‘Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.’ Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.
“The sin of much talking is not small. Words bitter as gall may be spoken in the heat of satanic passion; but when the sin is realized, why is it not acknowledged? It may be that some have cultivated a spirit of evil surmising, and have communicated their suppositions to others. But those whose hearts are right with God will say: I cannot hear these evil reports. If you know evil of your brethren and sisters, go to them, in the spirit of Christ, and talk it over with them. Get it out of the way.” R & H, Sept. 21, 1897.
If we see a brother committing sin, the counsel of Jesus is to talk to this brother in private and let no one else know about it. But how often it is the opposite. Then sin of the brother is broadcasted behind his back and he himself knows nothing of it.
“When trials arise that seem unexplainable, we should not allow our peace to be spoiled. However unjustly we may be treated, let not passion arise. By indulging a spirit of retaliation, we injure ourselves. We destroy our own confidence in God, and grieve the Holy Spirit. There is by our side a witness, a heavenly messenger, who will lift up for us a standard against the enemy. He will shut us in with the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. Beyond this, Satan can not penetrate. He can not pass this shield of holy light.” COL, p. 172.
“Jesus is their friend. All heaven is interested in their welfare, and their fear and repining grieve the Holy Spirit.” Mind, Character, & Personality, vol. 2, p. 477.
“Dear Sister Marian: I keep your case before me, and I am grieved that you are troubled in mind. I would comfort you if it were in my power. Has not Jesus, the precious Saviour, been to you so many times a present help in times of need? Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, but cease worrying. This is what you have many times talked to others. Let the words of those who are not sick, as you are, comfort you, and may the Lord help you, is my prayer. If it is the Lord’s will that you should die, you should feel that it is your privilege to commit your whole being, body, soul and spirit, into the hands of a just and merciful God.” The Retirement Years, p. 149.
Our complaining grieves the Holy Spirit, whatever the reason for it may be. Because old Israel murmured in the wilderness they could not enter into the promised land. “Your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against Me.” Num. 14:29.
Even if we are sick and about to die, it is sin to complain about it. We must remember that, “All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” Rom. 8:28.
Maybe we do not kill, steal or lie, but we can grieve the Holy Spirit by neglecting missionary work. The work of saving souls has been left to the people of God to do.
“O my brethren, will you grieve the Holy Spirit , and cause it to depart? Will you shut out the blessed Saviour, because you are unprepared for His presence? Will you leave souls to perish without the knowledge of the truth, because you love your ease too well to bear the burden that Jesus bore for you? Let us awake out of sleep. ?Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
“The work is before us; will we engage in it? We must work fast, we must go steadily forward. We must be preparing for the great day of the Lord. We have no time to lose, no time to be engaged in selfish purposes. The world is to be warned. What are we doing as individuals to bring the light before others. God has left every man his work; every one has a part to act, and we cannot neglect this work except at the point of our souls.” R & H, March 22, 1887.
“Let your heart be drawn out in love for perishing souls. Obey the impulse given by High Heaven. Grieve not the Holy Spirit by delay. Resist not God’s methods of recovering souls from the thralldom of sin. To every man, according to his several ability, is given his work. Do your best, and God will accept your efforts.” Test. Vol. 8, p. 56
“I would that all my brethren and sisters would remember that it is a serious thing to grieve the Holy Spirit, and He is grieved when the human agent seeks to work himself and refuses to enter the service of the Lord because the cross is too heavy or the self-denial too great.” CH, p. 561.
“Again I call for the help that we ought to have had, the means we must have if anything is accomplished in this country. Let your minds be drawn out for perishing souls. Obey the impulse given by High Heaven. Grieve not the Holy Spirit by delay. Resist not God’s methods of recovering poor souls from the thralldom of sin. To every man was given his work. Then do the very best with the powers God has given you, and He will accept your efforts put forth with an eye single to His glory. To every man He has given His work according to his several ability.” The Home Missionary. Nov. 1, 1893.
Many professed Christians will be lost for neglecting the work of soul saving. By this neglect they grieve the Holy Spirit.
Every talent that we have must be put to use. The servant who did not use his talent was cast into outer darkness, and this is the condition of a person when the Holy Spirit departs from him.
The Holy Spirit is the most precious gift that the Lord has given us. If we lose this gift, then all will be lost. “I saw that all heaven is interested in our salvation; and shall we be indifferent? Shall we be careless, as though it were a small matter whether we are saved or lost? Shall we slight the sacrifice that has been made for us? Some have done this. They have trifled with offered mercy, and the frown of God is upon them. God’s Spirit will not always be grieved. It will depart if grieved a little longer. After all has been done that God could do to save men, if they show by their lives that they slight Jesus’ offered mercy, death will be their portion, and it will be dearly purchased. It will be a dreadful death; for they will have to feel the agony that Christ felt upon the cross to purchase for them the redemption which they have refused. And they will then realize what they have lost—eternal life and the immortal inheritance. The great sacrifice that has been made to save souls shows us their worth. When the precious soul is once lost, it is lost forever.” Test. Vol. 1, p. 124.
In the time of Noah the whole world had committed an unpardonable sin and were ready for the destruction. Today we are nearing the same condition. Few people still can be saved and for their sake the Lord has given us more time. “And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man.” Gen. 6:3.
Suddenly the Spirit of God will stop striving with the careless, complaining, neglectful, and gossiping Christians and the mighty shaking will separate from the church the foolish virgins who had no more oil in their vessels.
May the Lord help us to realize the danger of grieving the Holy Spirit and through thorough soul searching find out the areas in which we may be found guilty.
Timo Martin, Canada