This is a most important principle to be held fast by all godly people, for the day may come when false prophets shall arise, and delude the people, and by this shall we be able to discover them; if they claim anything beyond what Christ has revealed, put them aside, for they are false prophets, wolves in sheep’s clothing. The Spirit only teaches us that which Christ has taught beforehand either by himself or by the inspired apostles. ‘He shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.’ Just now we are in little danger from the excesses of fevered brains, for, as a rule, our sin is in being far too cold and dead to spiritual influences. I fear we are liable to another evil, and are apt to forget the person and work of the Comforter altogether. From many modern sermons would you know that there was a Holy Spirit? If it were not for the benediction or the doxology you might go in and out of many churches and meeting-houses by the year together, and scarcely know that there was such a person as that blessed, blessed giver of all good, the Holy Spirit. Sometimes we hear a little about his influences, as if the Holy Spirit were not as truly a person as even Jesus Christ himself, who in flesh and blood trod this earth. Oh, dear friends, I fear the first danger, that of running wild with whimsies and fancies about inner lights and new revelations; but I equally dread this last, this going forth to work with the sword, forgetting that it is the sword of the Spirit, and only mighty as the Holy Spirit makes it mighty ‘to the pulling down of strongholds.’
For meditation: The Holy Spirit is grieved when we do what we shouldn’t (Ephesians 4:25–30). How grieved he must be when attributed with things which are nothing to do with him. The Holy Spirit is quenched when we fail to do what we should (1 Thessalonians 5:16–19). How quenched he must be when the truth of his real work is suppressed. Are you tempted to go to one extreme or the other?