Rebelling, Vexing and Resisting

I Samuel 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king.

16:14 But the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord troubled him.

Isaiah 63:10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.



Matthew 12:31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

Mark 3:29 But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:

30 Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.


Defiling His Temple

I Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.


Grieving and Quenching

Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

I Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.


Doing Despite

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?


MEMORY VERSE: Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. —Hebrews 4:1


CENTRAL THOUGHT: The scriptures warn that through unbelief, we could fail to enter into the life of the Spirit. We are also warned to be careful not to defile the temple of the Holy Spirit, nor to grieve or quench the Holy Spirit Who has sealed us, nor through rebellion and resistance cause Him to depart from us. The most serious warning is that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is ultimately unforgivable.




Isaiah 63:10 “Rebelled”: From a root meaning bitter; contentious. “Vexed”: displeased; grieved; hurt.

Acts 7:51 “Resist”: fall against, as trying to crush an adversary in battle; oppose.

Matthew 12:31 and Mark 3:29 “Blaspheme against the Holy Ghost”: abusive or scurrilous language. Benson Commentary gives this excellent explanation: “Injurious or impious speaking against the Spirit of God, such as the Pharisees were now guilty of; that is, attributing to the devil those miracles which Christ gave full proof that he wrought by the Holy Spirit. That this, and nothing but this, is the sin here intended, is manifest from the connection in which the words stand in this place; and more especially still from the parallel passage, Mark 3:28-30, in which the evangelist, assigning the reason of our Lord’s making this declaration, adds, ‘Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit; that is, “hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of devils casteth out devils.’ This, then, and this only, is the sin, or blasphemy, as it should rather be called (and as the Scriptures always call it), against the Holy Ghost. It is an offence of the tongue; it is committed not by thinking, but by speaking, by evil-speaking, by belying, slandering, or reviling the Divine Spirit, by which our Lord wrought his miracles, ascribing them to the devil: which in fact was calling the Holy Ghost, or the Spirit of the one living and true God, the devil: a more heinous crime than which is not to be conceived.”

Ephesians 4:30 “Grieve”: to make sorry; distress; vex; hurt. “Whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption”: Referring to I Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 1:13, which says that believers are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, Who is the “earnest” of our inheritance until the redemption. The seal is a confirmation of ownership, which, when we wholly give ourselves to God, He confirms that we are His by sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. The Holy Spirit also stamps His image, instead of our self-centered one, upon us. He gives the Holy Spirit to His own children, as His heirs of the eternal kingdom; a small token of that inheritance which will come at the day of redemption, meaning that final day when He claims His own for eternity.

I Thessalonians 5:19 “Quench”: extinguish; suppress; thwart; stifle. “Christians are said to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire. He worketh as fire, by enlightening, enlivening, and purifying the souls of men. As fire is put out by taking away fuel, and as it is quenched by pouring water, or putting a great deal of earth upon it; so we must be careful not to quench the Holy Spirit, by indulging carnal lusts and affections, minding only earthly things. Believers often hinder their growth in grace, by not giving themselves up to the spiritual affections raised in their hearts by the Holy Spirit.” —Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Hebrews 10:29 “Despite”: insult; outrage; treat contemptuously or with insolence; mock at; show arrogance.




In the Old Testament, Saul’s tragic story begins when he was chosen to be Israel’s first king and given a special anointing of the Holy Spirit for this office. He became proud, self-seeking and rebellious, however, and God rejected him and his posterity from the kingdom. By not repenting but persisting in his rebellion, God entirely took the Holy Spirit away from him and instead allowed a spirit that was bad and troubling to oppress him. David, on the other hand, had a heart after God and God anointed him with the Holy Spirit to be the next king of Israel.

Our verse from the book of Isaiah, Stephen’s message in Acts, and Paul’s admonitions in Hebrews give the example of the Israelites, who, through rebellion and unbelief, forfeited their inheritance in Canaan; their children later rejected the worship of God and went after the idols of the heathen. In the same rebellious spirit, their descendants persecuted and killed the prophets who warned them and rejected Jesus Christ, putting Him to death. They resisted and vexed the gentle Spirit which bore with them and strove with them time after time, until He left them at last to utter destruction and desolation.

Jesus’ warning came after He had proven to the scribes and Pharisees that in the power of the Holy Spirit He had cast out demons. Calling this power “an un- clean spirit” when there was no doubt but what it was God’s Spirit upon Him, called forth this awful condemnation. There have been many sensitive souls who have been confused by this teaching. Yet it is so clear in the passage from Mark 3, that He is clearly referring to this specific type of blasphemy. The passage from Hebrews 10 seems to echo this warning.

In Paul’s writings we who have been sealed by the Holy Spirit are instructed to obey Him, continually yield and surrender to Him and be very careful with our words and actions so we will not grieve or suppress His sweet abiding presence. Everything we do with our bodies is to be to the glory of God, for we are warned that God will destroy us if we defile our bodies, which are the temple of His Holy Spirit.

—Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




1. Rejected: Which sins caused King Saul to be forsaken by the Spirit? What opposite attributes in David caused him to be a “man after God’s heart”?

2. Blasphemed: What had the Pharisees done to cause Jesus to pronounce upon them this warning?

3. Doubted: The warning in Hebrews 4 points back to what instance in Israel’s history? What does this event symbolize in the experience of the Christian?

4. Defiled: How may a person avoid this?
5. Quenched: Describe different ways in which this may be done.




We end this series of lessons about the Holy Spirit with some very serious warnings. The Holy Spirit has been symbolized by fire–a consuming fire. Let us reverence His awesome power. He also came upon Jesus in the form of a dove. Let us “go softly,” so as not to drive Him away. He is a Person. These Scriptures speak of personality traits, such as the ability to feel pain and sorrow. Let us soften our words; be very careful not to grieve His gentle Presence. He is represented by living water. May we never quench His flow into our lives, nor stifle His outpouring through our lives to others. The Holy Spirit is holy. Let us keep our bodies, minds and spirits holy and free from defilement.

There is a real battle being fought today against our faith. It was through unbelief the Israelites were shut out from Canaan; it will be through unbelief we will miss the sweet experience of being filled with the Spirit. Through unbelief we can pull back from total surrender, be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin and lose our souls.

Don’t resist the Holy Spirit!

–Sis. Angela Gellenbeck




He Wants His Way In Thee


“God has sent the Holy Spirit to our hearts an honored Guest,

To deliver us from evil, and to bring us peace and rest.

He has come to work within us, Heaven’s purposes so blest:

He wants His way in thee.


“Let the Spirit do the planning, point the way thy feet shall go;

Greater than thine own His wisdom, He the will of God doth know;

Better, wiser than thy choosing is the way that He will show:

He wants His way in thee.


“He doth sometimes work in silence, when thou dost not know at all;

He doth sometimes speak so softly thou must listen for His call.

But if thou wilt trust Him fully, He will be thine all in all:

He wants His way in thee.


“All thyself to Him surrender, as He pleases let Him do;

In the paths He leadeth, follow, whether they be old or new.

When the tasks seem hard before thee, He with power will endue:

He wants His way in thee.


Chorus: “Yield unto the Holy Spirit, Let Him have His way with thee;

Be thou ready to obey Him, He leads to victory.”


—C. W. Naylor, #93 in Songs of Grace and Glory, 1918

—Submitted by Bro. Harlan Sorrell