If a man has the real witness of the Holy Spirit in himself, he will know it and also be able to distinguish it from presumption. It will be clear to him as the light of the day and obvious like the light of a star.
In like manner, there is an inherent, full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth about Christ from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts.
When we hear the voice of God, we know it was the voice of God. But how we know this, can no one explain neither man nor angel.
When God comes to abide with any soul or to speak to any soul, “Thy sins are forgiven thee,” – he must be willing that soul should know his voice; otherwise he would speak in vain. And he is able to effect this; for, whenever he wills, to do is present with him. And he does effect it: That soul is absolutely assured, “this voice is the voice of God.”
But yet he who has that witness in himself, cannot explain it to one who has it not: Nor indeed is it to be expected that he should. Were there any natural medium to prove, or natural method to explain, the things of God to inexperienced men, certainly the natural man might discern and know the things of the Spirit of God. But this is utterly contrary to the assertion of the Apostle, that “he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned;” [1 Cor. 2:14] even by spiritual senses, which the natural man does not have.
The evidence of God in us is made obvious by the testimony of our own spirit; by “the answer of a good conscience toward God.” [Acts 23:1] By the fruits which he has wrought in our spirit, we shall know the testimony of the Spirit of God.
The immediate fruits of the Spirit ruling in the heart, are “love, joy, peace, bowels of mercies, humbleness of mind, meekness, gentleness, long-suffering.” [Gal. 5:22, 23] And the outward fruits are, the doing good to all men; the doing no evil to any; and the walking in the light, [1 John 1:7] – a zealous, uniform obedience to all the commandments of God.
Thus we know the abiding presence of God by the same fruits and are able to distinguish this, from any delusion of the devil. A proud spirit cannot humble himself before God. A proud look would neither soften your heart, and melt it first into earnest mourning after God, and then into a filial love. It is not the adversary of God and man that enables you to love thy neighbor; or to put on meekness, gentleness, patience, temperance, and the whole armor of God. [see Col. 3:12-14; Eph. 6:11]
Devil is not divided against himself, or a destroyer of sin, his own work. No; it is none but the Son of God who comes to “destroy the works of the devil.” [1 John 3:8] As surely therefore as holiness is of God, and as sin is the work of the devil, so surely the witness you has in yourself is not of Satan, but of God.
The Lord of heaven has given us the unspeakable gift!” [2 Cor. 9:15] to “know in whom we have believed;” [2 Tim. 1:12] who has “sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our heart, crying, Abba, Father,” [Gal. 4:6] and even now, “bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God!” [Rom. 8:16] And see, that not only our lips but our life show forth his praise. He has sealed us for his own; consequently, we glorify him in our body and our spirit, which are his. [1 Cor. 6:20]
Beloved, anyone who is joined together with God and has the hope of glory in himself, purifies himself as Christ is pure. While you behold what manner of love the Father has given you, that you should be called a child of God; [1 John 3:1] cleanse yourself “from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God;” [2 Cor. 7:1] and let all your thoughts, words, and works be a spiritual sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God through Christ Jesus! [Rom. 12:1, 2]