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Convicter of the world
John 16:8-11 MKJV And when that One comes, He will convict the world concerning
sin, and concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment. (9) Concerning sin,
because they do not believe on Me; (10) concerning righteousness, because I go to My
Father and you see Me no more; (11) concerning judgment, because the ruler of this
world is judged.
The Holy Spirit is a Comforter to the disciples and a Convicter of the world. When a
revival occurs the saints are comforted and blessed and the sinners convicted and
disturbed. The Holy Spirit is holy and the entrance of holiness into common life is both
startling and convicting. When the Holy Spirit comes in power people see that their
unbelief is sin, that Christ is perfect righteousness and that the world system and its ruler
are judged and must be fled from in holy terror.
During revival there is an overpowering sense of being rescued from “an evil and
perverse generation”, that the rottenness of the world has been exposed to the eyes of
God and that “judgment is nigh” to use an old-fashioned phrase.
To follow this thought a bit further what would a might revival in the “sin city” of Los
Vegas look like?
Firstly people would stop in their tracks and realize that they have not believed in God.
They would repent of their unbelief and turn from the bars to the churches. Bible
colleges would soon outnumber brothels.
Secondly, there would be a deep sense that Christ, (not Hugh Hefner and his like) was
the true model person and that the true and worthy lifestyle was one of holy love. There
would be deep changes in life-style as people became righteous and understood what
Thirdly there would be a sense that Vegas and its worldly system and all its “princes and
palaces” was under judgment and would soon pass away.
Therefore the key to social transformation is a mighty Holy Spirit revival that affects not
just the church but the world. Such revivals have always come in response to believing
The Holy Spirit is God, and as God is present in all places at all times, and is not
restricted to church on Sunday mornings. The Holy Spirit can, and sometimes does,
convict entire cities and nations. We need to have this larger vision of God the Holy
Spirit, who can move in entire communities and places and who moves in social
structures as well as in religious structures.
In one of my theological articles I wrote:
In Isaiah 62:10-12 quoted above salvation is constantly described in terms of
communities "daughter of Zion" "the peoples" "the Holy People" "the Redeemed of the
Lord" "a City Not Forsaken". These communities are just as "saved" as each individual in
them. The communities experience peace (Psalm 122:6), joy (Isaiah 65:18), prosperity
(Zechariah 1:17) and health (Isaiah 65:20-23) They know the favour of God and are
"witnesses" (Isaiah 43:10-12). The Holy Spirit dwells in their midst and sanctifies the
temple (Ezek 43:5-7), the city (Zec 12:10) and the nation (Ezek 39:29) through
conviction and purging (Isaiah 4:4) and the production of the fruits of the Spirit in the
community (Isaiah 32:15-18, 61:3). The nation can grieve the Holy Spirit (Isaiah 63:10)
which is "within them" (Isaiah 63:11)and gives them rest (Isaiah 63:14).. Ezekiel talks of
a "new spirit" being given to the house of Israel (Ezekiel 11:19,20, 18:31, 36:26-28) that
results in national prosperity. (Ezekiel 36:26-30 NKJV) The nation is a collection of
individuals who make decisions about God but it is also an entity in its own right before
God. The Spirit can be poured out on the nation as a whole. (Ezekiel 39:29 NKJV) 'And I
will not hide My face from them anymore; for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the
house of Israel,' says the Lord GOD." (see http://www.aibi.ph/urban/savegrps.htm )
Thus the Holy Spirit can convict “the world” and its unbelieving social structures of the
truth of the gospel and of the need to repent of sin. The Holy Spirit is more than just a
healing religious presence. As the Spirit of God He also acts in the political and social
arenas and is transformational across entire communities.
The Holy Spirit is also the Spirit of prophecy and when prophets address the world they
take up His three-fold theme.
1. You are deep in unbelief and that is sin. (John 16:9)
2. Jesus is the model for humanity and the true standard of righteousness. (John
3. The world, and Satan, its prince has been judged by God and faces sure doom.
In other words - you must believe, in Jesus, or otherwise perish.
Thus the Spirit does not dialogue with the world or negotiate with its terms. The Spirit
confronts the world and convicts it - and the prophetic voice is not soothing at all.
We cannot bring the world to its knees in repentance without the powerful presence of
the Holy Spirit. Reason alone is a futile weapon against the stubbornness of sin. We
must seek the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, not just in our worship services
but throughout our entire communities. When pastors and Christian leaders and
community elders band together in prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to come into their
community and change it then revival can break forth in mighty ways (as the work of Ed
Silvoso in Resistencia, Argentina has shown.)
Blessings in Jesus,