Pneumatology – The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Bible Doctrines – Beliefs That Matter
by Mark G. Cambron, D.D.
OUTLINE FOR CHAPTER III
I. The Personality of the Holy Spirit.
A. Personal Property.
B. Personal Pronouns.
C. Personal Acts.
D. Personal Reactions.
E. Personal Relationships.
F. Personal Designations.
II. The Deity of the Holy Spirit.
A. He Is Identified as the Old Testament Deity.
B. He Is Called God.
C. He Possesses Divine Attributes.
D. He Performs the Works of God.
E. He Exercises the Sovereignty of God.
F. He Is to Be Recognized as God.
G. He Is to Be Depended Upon as God.
H. He, God, Can Be Sinned Against.
III. The Work of the Holy Spirit.
A. As Set Forth in the Old Testament.
B. As Set Forth in the New Testament.
Pneumatology is derived from the Greek word pneuma, meaning spirit, wind, or breath. Thus,pneumatology is the doctrine of the Spirit, or breath of God: the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is indeed a Bible doctrine. The Bible is the only source from whence we can secure any information concerning Him. The Christian religion alone has the Holy Spirit.
As we study the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, let us keep in mind that Christ is the center of the Book, the theme of the entire secret writings. If we put someone in His place, confusion will result. The Holy Spirit cannot displace the Son of God. The Holy Spirit did not come to speak of (or from) Himself, but of Christ. One who speaks continually about the Spirit and omits the Son shows evidence that he really does not have the Spirit.
I. PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Here is one word of caution: Do not call the Holy Spirit “It.” We sometimes confuse personality with visibility. Personality is not an attribute of a body; it is the attribute of a spirit. You yourself have never been seen; you are not a body, but a spirit having a body.
A. Personal Property.
1. He Possesses Intelligence. “To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit” (I Cor. 12:8). See also Isaiah 11:2, 3; Nehemiah 9:20; I Peter 1:11; II Peter 1:21; I Corinthians 2:10, 11.
2. He Possesses a Will. “All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (I Cor. 12:11).
3. He Possesses Power. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. . . . through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 15:13, 19). See also Zechariah 4:6; Isaiah 11:2; Ephesians 3:16.
4. He Possesses Knowledge. “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spiritsearcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Cor. 2:10-12).
5. He Possesses Love. “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Rom. 15:30).
B. Personal Pronouns.
The personal name of the Holy Spirit is unknown. The title “Holy Spirit” is a designation — what He is; it is not His name. The silence of the Scriptures concerning His personal name is very significant. He withholds His own name, that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ may he exalted. The title “Holy Spirit” is a neuter noun in the Greek, but whenever a pronoun is in its place, the pronoun used is always masculine. “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. . . . But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:16, 17, 26). See also John 16:7, 8, 13-15; Romans 8:16, 26, R.V.
C. Personal Acts.
Why do we act like human beings? Because we are human. Why does the Holy Spirit act like a person? Because He is a person.
1. He Speaks. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2).
2. He Intercedes. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26).
3. He Testifies. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).
4. He Commands. “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not” (Acts 16:6, 7).
5. He Oversees. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
6. He Guides. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:13).
7. He Teaches. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
D. Personal Reactions.
Acts can he committed against the Spirit that can only be committed against a person. The Holy Spirit has feelings.
1. He May Be Grieved. “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
2. He May Be Vexed. “They rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them” (Is. 63:10).
3. He May Be Tested. “Then Peter said unto her, how is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out” (Acts 5:9).
4. He May Be Resisted. “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcized in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51).
5. He May Be Blasphemed. “He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: because they said, He hath an unclean spirit” (Mark 3:29, 30).
E. Personal Relationships.
1. With the Father. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19).
2. With Christ. “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:14).
3. With the Christians. “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things” (Acts 15:28).
F. Personal Designations.
1. The Name Paraclete. This is the Greek word meaning Comforter: one who is called to help. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).
2. Other Specifications.
a. Spirit of Promise. “After that ye believed [in Christ], ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).
b. Spirit of Might. “The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, and the spirit of wisdom and understanding. the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of theLORD” (Is. 11:2).
c. Spirit of Truth. “He shall give you another Comforter… even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for hedwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17).
II. THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
He is a divine person. He is God! He is co-equal, co-eternal, co-existent with the Father and the Son. However, He is designated as the third person of the Trinity. In our own lives, there may be persons who are equal in station, but in position they are subordinate to others. It is the same with the Holy Spirit. As a Being, He is equal with the Father and the Son, but in position He is subordinate to the Father and gives precedence to the Son. Take note: there is no jealousy in the Godhead!
A. He Is Identified as the Old Testament Deity.
Jesus of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament; the Holy Spirit of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. “This shall be the covenant that I shall make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:33). “By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them” (Heb. 10:14, 15, 16).
B. He Is Called God.
1. In Acts 5:3, 4. “Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thouhast not lied unto men, but unto God.” Ananias and Sapphira died instantly for lying unto the Holy Spirit. They lied in the time of consecration. They were not struck dead because of withholding their money, but because they claimed to have given it all. They lied unto the Church, thus to the Holy Ghost.
2. In I Corinthians 3:16. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of Goddwelleth in you.” We are the temple of God because the Spirit dwells within.
3. In II Corinthians 3:17, R.V. “Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
C. He Possesses Divine Attributes.
1. Omnipotence. “The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
2. Omniscience. “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10). See also Luke 2:25-32.
3. Omnipresence. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (Ps. 139:7-10).
4. Evelastingness. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14).
5. Love. “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Rom. 15:30).
6. Holiness. “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
D. He Performs the Works of God.
1. Creation. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:1,2). “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thourenewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30). “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).
2. Regeneration. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . . . Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearestthe sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:3,5-8).
3. Resurrection. “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11).
4. Transformation. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10).
5.Salvation. “Ye are washed . . . ye are sanctified … ye are justified in the name of the LordJesus.and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:11).E. He Exercises the Sovereignty of God.“All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (ICor. 12:11). See also Zechariah 4:6.F. He Is to Be Recognized as God.1. As Set Forth in the Great Commission. “Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:18-20).2. As Set Forth in the Apostolic Benediction. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (II Cor. 13:14).3. As Set Forth by Scriptural Designation. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev. 3:22).4. As Set Forth in the Church’s Administration. “Now there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all” (I Cor. 12:4-6).
G. He Is to Be Depended Upon as God.
“When they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost” (Mark 13:11). See also Romans 8:26.
H. He, God, Can Be Sinned Against.
“Peter said, Ananias, why hast Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3, 4).
III. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
A. As Set Forth in the Old Testament.
Someone has said that the Holy Spirit is mentioned eighty- eight times in the Old Testament. However, the teaching of the Holy Spirit is not as clear in the Old Testament as it is in the New.
1. His Manifestations.
a. As Coming Upon Men. “Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him” (Num. 24:2). “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed overMizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon” (Judg. 11:29). See also Judges 3:10; 14:6.
b. As Clothing Men. “The Spirit of Jehovah came upon [Hebrew — clothed itself with] Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him” (Judg. 6:34). See also II Chronicles 24:20.
c. As Poured Out Upon Men. “Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers . . . until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest” (Is. 32: 13, 15).
d. As Filling Men. “I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Ex. 31:3). See also Micah 3:8.
e. As Resting Upon Men. “The LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that when the spirit rested upon them they prophesied, and did not cease” (Num. 11:25). See also Numbers 11:26; Isaiah 11:2.
The Holy Spirit is never represented as indwelling the believer. The Holy Spirit filled them, but never took his abode within them.
No Old Testament saint was ever baptized with the Holy Ghost. That initial baptism came at Pentecost, fifty days after Christ arose from the dead.
2. His Ministration.
a. In Relation to Creation.
(a) Of Heavens and Earth. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layethup the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps. 33:6-9). See also Job 26:13.
(b) Of Animals. “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. . . . Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104: 24, 30).
(c) Of Man. “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4). See also Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:7.
(a) Of the Fallen Earth. “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2b).
(b) Of Fallen Man. “Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (Ezek. 37:9, 10). See also Isaiah 55:3.
(3) Preservation. “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps.104:30).
b. In Relation to Satan. From the beginning the Holy Spirit has been the antagonizer of Satan. “The LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” (Gen. 6:3).
c. In Relation to Israel.
(1) Her Fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob etc.). “Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” (Gen. 41:38).
(2) Her Founders (Moses and his helpers). “The LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of thecongregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone” (Num.11:16, 17). See also Numbers 27:18, 19; Deuteronomy 34:9; Nehemiah 9:20.
(3) Her Judges. “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war” (Judg. 3: l0a).
(4) Her Kings. Saul: “The Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly” (I Sam.11:6). See also I Samuel 6:14 — an evil spirit was sent by God as judgment upon Saul.
David: “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah” (I Sam.16:1:3). See also Psalms 51:11, 12; 143:10.
(5) Her Priests. “The Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people” (II Chron. 24:20a).
(6) Her Prophets. “Yea, they made their heart as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 7:12). See also Nehemiah 9:30; Ezekiel 2:2; Daniel 5:1-14; Micah 3:8.
(7) Her Sanctuary.
(a) The Tabernacle. Nothing was left to human wisdom; it was not made by the natural ability of man. “He hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Ex. 35:31). See also Exodus 28:3; 31:1-5.
(b) The Temple, “Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parloursthereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things” (I Chron. 28:11, 12).
d. In Relation to Messiah. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn” (Is. 61:1, 2). See also Isaiah 11:2.
e. In Relation to the Millennium. “It shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants, and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” (Joel 2:28, 29). “Afterward” means after Israel’s restoration. See also Ezekiel 36:25-28 37:14.
f. In Relation to Inspiration. “Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (II Sam. 23:1, 2). See also Numbers 24:2; Acts 1:16; 4:25; I Peter 1:10-12; II Peter 1:21; II Timothy 3:16, 17.
B. As Set Forth in the New Testament.
1. The Holy Spirit and Christ.
a. Reference to His Work in the Old Dispensation.
(1) In Preaching. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (I Peter 3:18-20), This passage of Scripture has been used by several cults, which teach that God gives man a second chance beyond death. They interpret this portion of the Word as follows: Christ, between His crucifixion and resurrection, went to Hades and offered salvation to the wicked dead. If they believed in Him then, they were saved.
We know that the above theory is not true, for, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). No second chance here. The correct interpretation is that Christ, by the Holy Spirit in Noah, preached the Gospel to the people, warning them of world judgment. They refused the message; they died in the flood; thus, their spirits are now in prison, waiting for the last resurrection.
(2) In Prophecy. “The prophets have searched diligently . . . what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow” (I Peter1:10, 11).
(3) In Type. The Tabernacle is a type of Christ. Everything about it reveals the Saviour, And it was the Holy Spirit who endowed men to build the Tabernacle. “See, I have called by nameBezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that arewisehearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee” (Ex. 31:2-6).
b. Reference to His Work in His Earthly Manifestation.
(1) The Birth of Christ. “The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Never in Scripture do we find that Jesus is declared to be the Son of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit produced the body, sinless; “a body hast thou prepared me” (Heb. 10:5c), not the Person.
(2) The Baptism of Christ. “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art mybeloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21, 22). See also Mark 1:10, 11; John 1:32, 34.
(3) The Testing of Christ. “Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:1, 2a). See also Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:12.
(4) The Anointing of Christ. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). See also Luke 4:16-21.
(5) The Teaching of Christ. “He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for he givethnot the Spirit by measure” (John 3:34, R.V.).
(6) The Miracles of Christ. “If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Matt. 12:28).
(7) The Life of Christ. “Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1). See also Luke 10:21, R.V.; Hebrews 9:14.
(8) The Death of Christ. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14).
(9) The Resurrection of Christ. “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit thatdwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11).
(10) The Pre-ascension Commands of Christ. Luke tells us that in his Gospel he wrote “of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen” (Acts 1:1,2). See also Acts 1:8.
c. Reference to His Work During This Dispensation.
(1) He Glorifies Christ. “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:14).
(2) He Witnesses to Christ. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:30-32).
(3) He Enthrones Christ. “I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of Godcalleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost” (ICor. 12:3).
2. The Holy Spirit and the World.
a. Conviction. “When he is come, he will reprove [convict] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more: of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:8-11).
(1) Of Sin. It is not the business of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of murder, adultery, etc; the law of the land does this. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of unbelief: “because they believe not on me” (John 16:9). Many times we get the word “convict” confused by thinking thatit means to feel guilty; but that is not the meaning at all. “Convict” means to be found guilty as charged. The sinner has already been found guilty of sin — unbelief — whether he feels it or not. Yes, the sinner is already convicted, condemned, and waiting to be sentenced. “He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. . . . the wrath of God abideth upon him” (John 3:18, 36c). The Great White Throne is not the place to determine the guilt of the sinner (to convict him as a sinner), but the place to sentence him to the degree of punishment which his works merit.
(2) Of Righteousness. In what manner does the Spirit convict the world of righteousness? The Holy Spirit does not convict the world of the righteousness it has, but convicts the world where righteousness is — in Christ: “because I go to my Father” (John 16:10).
(3) Of Judgment. If the world rejects Christ, there is nothing left but judgment. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The world’s conception of future judgment is confusing. Man has one false idea after another. Yet these universal beliefs, however wrong they may be, are proof positive that there is a time when man must give an account of himself unto God. The Bible is the only true source of the Great White Throne judgment.
b. Regeneration. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17). See also John 3:5. Man may lower the bars, thinking he can become a child of God another way, but God does not. He still requires that you must be born again.
c. Hindrances of Evil. “The mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (II Thess. 2:7). Lawless-ness will one of these days be headed up in one man, the Antichrist. There is a Person in the world who keeps sin from taking full sway even today; and that person is the Holy Spirit. During the Great Tribulation, when the Antichrist is revealed, the Holy Spirit shall step aside, taking His constraining hand off of sinful man, allowing him to plunge unto the depths of degradation.
3. The Holy Spirit and the Church. See Ephesians 1:22, 23; 2:12-16; 3:4-16.
a. The Holy Spirit Constitutes the Church. The Spirit’s baptism is the operation by which the Church is constituted. “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one spirit” (I Cor. 12:13).
There are seven references to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Five are prophetic (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5); one historic (Acts 11:16); and one didactic (I Cor. 12:13). In the five prophetic Scriptures, we find that two speak of the baptism of the Spirit, and of fire. Thebaptism of the Spirit, and of fire, are not the same. The baptism of the Spirit speaks of the formation of the Church, while baptism of fire speaks of judgment. Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 are those passages which speak of the baptism of fire. It was in these Scriptures that Christ was addressing His messages to saved people and to “vipers” (unbelievers). Mark’s and John’s accounts include no “baptism of fire,” for they are not addressed to “vipers.”
All five prophetic portions point to the future; the one historic passage looks back; therefore, the baptism of the Spirit comes in between the two. This is Pentecost.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit was not that enduement of power which enabled the apostles to do miracles, for they performed miracles before they were baptized with the Spirit. The Church is an organism, not an organization, and the baptism of the Spirit is that act of God which unites believers into that organism. Whenever the words “baptism of the Spirit” are used, they are always applied collectively, to a group, never to an individual. When were “we” and the Corinthians (I Cor. 12:13) baptized with the Spirit? At Pentecost, once and for all. When one receives Christ, he is sealed in Christ with the Spirit. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). He receives the baptism of the Spirit at the same time also.
As far as God is concerned, there is only one Calvary, and there is only one Pentecost. The sinner, however, must appropriate Calvary by faith, and he must acknowledge Pentecost by faith, to make both a reality to his own soul. This takes place immediately upon his acceptance of Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
We would like to give an explanation of the following verse, inasmuch as many use it for the above argument: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). This does not speak of the Spirit’s baptism, but of water baptism. The preceding verse explains the Spirit’s baptism: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling” (Eph. 4:4). That one body is constituted by the baptism of the Spirit.
Pentecost always came fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits. The Feast of Firstfruits was a type of the resurrection of Christ. The second chapter of Acts records the account of the hundred and twenty disciples in the upper room waiting for the fifty days to expire. The Holy Spirit did not come in answer to their prayer, for all of their prayers and fasting would not have hastened His coming. He came on time. It is inconceivable to think of the Spirit coming forty-nine, or even fifty-one days after His resurrection. He came on time — fifty days after the resurrection.
The Holy Spirit would have come had they not prayed. They would have been baptized and indwelt by the Spirit had they not prayed, but they would not have received power; they would not have been filled with the Spirit had they not prayed. More will be said about the filling of the Spirit later.
The Feast of Passover was fulfilled at Calvary. Christ will never die again. The Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled by the baptism of the Spirit, and there will be no more Pentecost. There will never be a re-fulfillment of the Passover Lamb, and there will never be a re-fulfillment of Pentecost.
The original Feast of Pentecost was also known as the Feast of Weeks, when the harvest was gathered. In Leviticus 23:22 we read: “When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy fields when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” Thus, we see that the harvest was for three classes:
1. Israel in General.
2. The Poor.
All three received blessings of the harvest. The baptism of the Spirit, which was the fulfillment of the Feast of Harvest (Weeks), was for three classes of people:
1. Israel. At Jerusalem (Acts 2:37, 39).
2. Samaritans (the Poor). At Samaria (Acts 8:9-17).
3. Gentiles (Strangers). At Caesarea (Acts 10:34-44).
The following is the process by which the above three classes received the Holy Spirit:
1. The Jews at Jerusalem.
(a) By faith in Christ.
(b) Then by water baptism.
(c) And then by receiving the Holy Spirit.
2. The Samaritans at Samaria.
(a) By faith in Christ.
(b) Then by water baptism.
(c) Then by laying on of hands.
(d) Then by receiving the Holy Spirit.
3. The Gentiles at Caesarea.
(a) By faith in Christ.
(b) Then by receiving the Holy Spirit.
(c) Then by water baptism.
There were two operations of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They must not be confused. The two operations were the “baptism” and the “filling.” The believers were baptized with the Spirit at Pentecost, although the word “baptism” cannot be found in Acts 2. We know that the baptism occurred then, because of the words spoken by the Lord Jesus only a short time before His ascension. “John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5).
There are some who believe that speaking in tongues was a sign of the baptism of the Spirit, but if you look closely, you will notice that they spoke in tongues because they were filled with the Spirit. No one was converted while tongues were spoken on the day of Pentecost, but three thousand were saved when Peter preached. Peter declared, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16-18). “This is that.” What? The event? The speaking in tongues? No. “This” is a quotation from Joel, and I am quoting him. Peter was giving Joel as an example, for He, God, who will bring to pass those things which Joel has prophesied, has caused these things to happen which you have witnessed.
b. The Spirit Abides in the Church. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Cor. 3:16).
c. The Spirit Builds the Church. “Ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22).
d. The Spirit Administers the Church.
(1) He Appoints the Officers. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). See also Acts 6:3, 5, 10.
(2) He Directs the Work. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). See also Acts 29; 10:19; 16:7.
4. The Holy Spirit and the Christian.
a. Beginning in the Spirit. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:1-3).
We become Christians by the operation of God alone. A new life is imparted by the Holy Spirit. It is a new birth: “Ye must be born again. . . . That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:7, 6). God has never fellowshipped with unregenerated men in any dispensation until man received a new nature from Him.
b. Indwelling of the Spirit. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own” (I Cor. 6:19). What assurance does the Christian have of the Spirit’s indwelling? By feeling? By some great ecstasy? No — by the Word of God! The Spirit indwells the believer when he acts upon what Christ has done, when he accepts Christ Jesus by faith. The proof of His indwelling is not based upon feeling, for one’s feelings may change from one day to another. Christ’s work upon Calvary never changes.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not glorified.)” (John 7:37-39). This portion of God’s Word plainly states that the disciples had not as yet received the Holy Spirit, but would in the future — and they did so at Pentecost. Another passage reveals that they were not as yet indwelt by the Spirit until Pentecost: “For he dwelleth with you, and shall be inyou” (John 14: 17c). Before Pentecost, the Spirit was with them; after Pentecost, the Spirit was inthem. No believer is to pray as David did, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11), for David was not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Christian is! “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if anyman have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9).
Still another Scripture which has confused the child of God is Luke 11 13: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Some propose that we must ask for the Spirit in order to have him; but remember, this was spoken before Pentecost. We have no place in Scripture which says that one should ask for the Spirit after Pentecost. Would the Father have given the Spirit to the disciples before Pentecost if they had asked for Him? The Lord Jesus said He would, but the truth is, they did not ask for Him.
The last Scripture we shall deal with concerning the indwelling of the Spirit is John 20:22: “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Many say that at this time the disciples were indwelt by the Holy Spirit, instead of at Pentecost. We know, however, that they did not receive the Holy Spirit at that time, for they were commanded that “they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:4, 5). Now, if they had already received the Holy Ghost, why were they to wait to receive him?
c. Sealing of the Holy Spirit. ‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).
“Sealing” is used many times in Scripture.
(1) The Sealer. The Sealer is God the Father. “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Cor. 1:21, 22).
(2) The Sealed. There are two who are sealed by the Father — the Son and believers. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:27). “Grieve not the holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). The Son was sealed because of who He is. We are sealed because of Jesus and our position in Him. The time of the believer’s sealing is when he accepts Christ as his Saviour: “In whom, having also believed ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13, R.V.).
(3) The Seal. The Holy Spirit Himself is the seal. The seal is not secured through some emotional experience, but through belief in Christ: “In whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13, R.V,).
(a) The Seal Signifies Ownership. If we are sealed we have the ownership seal of God upon us. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity (II Tim. 2:19).
(b) The Seal Signifies Identification. It is our identification for the future. “In whom [Christ] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13, 14).
(c) The Seal Signifies Security. In Revelation 7:4-8 there are 144,000 sealed. Satan is sealed in the bottomless pit during the Millennium, (Rev. 20:3). The Book of Revelation has seven seals that no man can open (Rev. 6-8). We, the believers, are sealed unto the time of our redemption (Eph. 1:13, 14).
(d) The Seal Signifies a Finished Transaction. “I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances” (Jer. 32: 10). The seal of the Holy Spirit is that legal evidence which testifies to the fact that we have entered into the finished work of Christ.
(e) The Seal Signifies Genuineness. “He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also” (Rom. 4:11). See also Esther 3:12.
(f) The Seal Signifies Unchangeableness. “Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse” (Esth. 8:8).
(g) The Seal Signifies Value. “Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?” (Deut. 32:34).
(h) The Seal Signifies Impression. The seal always left its impression in the wax. If we are sealed with the Spirit, His impression should be on us. “It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment” (Job 38:14). “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistles of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart” (II Cor. 3:3).
d. The Earnest of the Spirit. “[God] hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Cor. 1:22). See also II Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13, 14.
“Earnest” is an emblem which speaks of the future. It is a part payment of that which will be paid in full at a future date. When earnest money is paid on a piece of property, both parties are bound. When God bestows His Earnest on us, He is bound for all time and eternity. The Holy Spirit is God’s Earnest, God’s down payment of our salvation. The believer has not all things as yet which he is to receive. There is more to follow. Indeed, this does stagger the imagination. If the Holy Spirit is only part of what we are to receive, and He is God, and God is everything, what will therest be?
If earnest money has been placed upon a piece of property, and the purchaser should fail to complete the transaction, he will have lost his earnest money. God has given us His Earnest, the Holy Spirit. Should He fail to complete our salvation, He will have lost His Earnest; but we know this is impossible. Thus, it is a guarantee of our eternal salvation.
(1) Illustrations of Earnest.
(a) The Presents to Rebecca (Gen. 24). These presents were the earnest of what was to follow.
(b) The Fruit of Canaan (Num. 13). The fruit was the earnest of that which was promised, a foretaste of their inheritance which was to come.
(c) The Gifts of Boaz (Ruth 2). The handfuls of grain left for Ruth, and only for Ruth, were just an earnest of what Boaz had to offer in marriage.
(d) The Firs fruit (Lev. 23). This wave offering to God was man’s earnest that one tenth of his harvest was yet to go to God.
(2) Giver of the Earnest. God is the Giver! “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (Il Cor.1:21,22).
(3) Description of the Earnest. The Holy Spirit is the earnest: “The earnest of the Spirit” (II Cor.1:22b).
(4) The Place of the Earnest. That place is our hearts: “The earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (IICor.1:22b).
(5) Guarantee of the Earnest.
(a) Guarantees Our Resurrection. “Not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, theredemption of our body” (Rom. 8:2.3).
(b) Guarantees Our Inheritance. “If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:17).
(c) Guarantees Our Glory. “We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctificationof the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of theglory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (lI Thess. 2:13. 14).
e. Filling With the Spirit. “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). “Be not drunk with wine, wherein isexcess, but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
The filling of the Spirit has to do with the life and work of the Christian, by which he is empowered to do that which is commanded by the Lord.
(1) What? There are many opinions as to the meaning of the “filling” of the Spirit. Some say it happens when a person is born again. The believer does receive the Holy Spirit at conversion but this is not the filling of the Spirit; it is the regeneration of the Spirit (Titus 3:5). Others propose that the “filling of the Spirit is that experience by which [the believer] receives the Holy Spirit sometimes later after he is saved.” However, the Word declares that all believers have received the Holy Spirit: “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9).
The “filling” of the Spirit may be confusing to many because of that word “filling.” They think of a material filling, as a vessel being filled with water. The Spirit, however, is not a material thing, but a Person. It is true that a half-empty vessel can be filled with more water, but it is impossible for the believer, who has the Spirit, to get more of Him. One cannot get more of God, but God can get more of him.
Now the believer already has the Spirit, yet he is told to be “filled” with Him. The believer is indwelt by the Spirit; he is sealed with the Spirit; he is baptized with (in) the Spirit, and he is regenerated by the Spirit; and still he is commanded to be “filled” with the Spirit. What is the “filling’ of the Spirit? A better word or thought for “filling” is “controlled by” the Spirit. Thus, the Christian is admonished to be controlled by, to be possessed by, to be dominated by the Spirit. We know the full meaning now of the expression, “It is not how much of the Holy Spirit one has, but how much of one the Holy Spirit has.”
(2) How? Is this experience secured through seeking, and through prayer? There is no passage in the Word where a person ever prayed for the “filling” of the Spirit and received it. It is all brought about by yieldedness to the Lord. When we are yielded to him, our wills die, and His will is the will for our lives; our ambitions fall as ashes at our feet. Some may ask, “What is ‘yieldedness’”? It is that act of the believer which places himself upon God’s altar: “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” (Eph. 5:2). The sweet-smelling savour offering spoken of here is the continual burnt offering: that offering which never lacked a sacrificial lamb, for when one was consumed, another was put in its place immediately — one in the morning and one at night. This was the only way it could be a continuous offering. This burnt offering was never instituted as a sin offering, but rather as a praise offering. The Christian is beseeched to give himself as a living sacrifice, a continual burnt offering, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called him out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9).
(3) When? When does the Spirit take over? When does He control the believer? Just as soon as the believer yields — completely yields!
Are there a certain number of steps one must take in order to become yielded? No. What are the requirements, then, for yieldedness? A complete subjection to the will of God! For some it may take death to self; others, obedience to God’s call; still others, the forsaking of known sin, etc. Whatever it may take to become yielded to the will of God — that is the requirement!
(4) Why? Should the believer ever ask this question? Is there a need for the “filling” of the Spirit? We answer “yes” to both of these questions. Some Christians do not understand that there is such a thing as the “filling” of the Spirit, and therefore they are powerless. In addition to God’s command to be “filled” with the Spirit, we realize that this “filling” is mandatory for power in service and in life — not for selfish gain, but for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and the winning of the lost to him.
(5) What Then? A survey of those who have been truly “filled” with the Spirit reveals these results:
(a) They Will Reproduce Christ.
(b) They Will Convict the World.
(c) They Will Love the Word.
(d) They Will Be Filled With Power.
(e) They Will Be Full of Life.
Contrast of Baptism With Filling
|Baptism of the Spirit||Filling of the Spirit|
|1. Has to do with the body.||1. Has to do with the individual.|
|2. Baptism is external.||2. Filling is internal|
|3. Every believer is baptized with the Spirit||3. A believer may or may not be filled with the Spirit.|
|4. No believer is ever exhorted to be baptized with the Spirit.||4. All believers are exhorted to be filled with the Spirit.|
|5. An initial work at the time of salvation.||5. One may be filled years after the time of salvation.|
|6. The believer is baptized but once.||6. The believer may be filled many times.|
|7. No believer was ever baptized before Pentecost. Baptism puts the believers into theBody.||7. Some believers were filled before Pentecost. Filling is essential for service.|
The Fruits of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22, 23). The fruit of the Spirit is true Christian character. You will notice that the word “fruit” is singular. One has presented this portion of Scripture in this manner: “The fruit of the Spirit is love: joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”The life of our Lord is the greatest example of the fruit of the Spirit. Fruit always comes from the life within. When at Christmastime we see apples and oranges on Christmas trees, we know they have been tied on. You do not have to tie apples on apple trees; they grow there naturally. There are many social religions that are figuratively tying apples and oranges on Christmas trees. They pretend to bear fruit, but there is no life within, for they have not the Spirit; therefore, they have only the form of godliness and deny the power thereof. An apple tree does not work to produce apples; it simply yields. The same with the Christian. He does not bear the fruit of the Spirit by his own labor, but simply by yieldedness.
(1) Fruit in Relation to the Individual. Love; joy; peace.
(2) Fruit in Relation to Men. Longsuffering; gentleness; goodness.
(3) Fruit in Relation to God. Faith; meekness; temperance.
g. Walking in the Spirit. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). Another way of saying it is: “By the Spirit be walking.” The Spirit will do the walking. An old example is the suit of clothes: the person inside the suit does the walking. The responsibility of the suit is just to hang on. We should not have a will of our own, but like the suit, just hang on. Wherever the Spirit goes, we go. The will of the Spirit is our will.
h. Renewing of the Spirit. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
This refers to a daily enduement of the Spirit to live a victorious Christian life. We never come to the time of self-sufficiency.
i. Strengthening of the Spirit. Paul prays that God might grant the Ephesians, “according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16). The saints have attested to the truth of this Scripture.
j. Sowing to the Spirit. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:7, 8). This passage is not written to the unsaved, but to Christians. The Christian can sow to the flesh, that is, live in sin; however, reaping time will come.
k. Leading of the Spirit. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). Some interpret this to mean that “those who ask the Spirit for advice in their decisions of life are thus assured they are the sons of God.” Now it is a blessing to ask and receive of the Holy Spirit His will in our decisions, but this is not what this Scripture refers to. The leading of the Spirit has reference to His guidance of Christians on the way to glory.
Though sorrow befall us and Satan oppose,
God leads His dear children along.
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood.
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season, and all the day long.
- Sanctification of the Spirit. “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied” (I Peter 1:2).
m. The Supply of the Spirit. “I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19).
n. The Gifts of the Spirit.
(1) As to the Enumeration of the Gifts. “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant…For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit: to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (I Cor. 12:1, 8-11).
(2) As to the Bestowing of the Gifts. The first thing we would like to point out is that the gifts are not given to man because of his desires and prayers, but according to the will of the Spirit: dividing to every man severally as he will.” The next thing we would call attention to is that gifts were given in order to substantiate the claims of Christ and His disciples, that Jesus Christ was truly the Son of God, and that the old dispensation of Law was at an end, and that the dispensation of Grace had begun. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation: which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (Heb.2:3, 4). Certainly there was a need for God to verify this new teaching which was begun by the Lord Himself inasmuch as the people had been under the traditions of the law for over fourteen hundred years, and thus it was hard for them to realize that God had done away with the Old Covenant and had established the New. Also, there were no New Testament Books yet written. Lastly, we emphasize the fact that no onebeliever receives every one of the gifts. “God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?” (ICor. 12:28-30) The answer is no.
(3) As to Utilization of the Gifts. How were these gifts to be used? The thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians plainly declares they should be motivated by love. Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, states that if he had all the gifts, and had not love, he would be nothing; his life would be fruitless, and his rewards nil.Some may ask, “Is the gift of tongues for today?” “Doesn’t the Bible say, ‘Forbid not to speak with tongues’?” This subject will be dealt with more fully in the next section; however, something may be said about it here.
First Corinthians 14:39 does clearly state: “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” But if chapter 14 is to be used as permission to speak with tongues, then they who speak in tongues must be governed by this same chapter as to their use of this gift. Should a person, then, be allowed to speak in tongues in a church service? Certainly, if it is done according to 1 Corinthians 14. “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God” (I Cor. 14:27, 28). Whenever the gift of tongues is employed, only two or at the most, three, can speak at one service. This rule would eliminate much of the so-called tongue movement of today. Next in order is that the speaking shall be “by course” — one at a time. This would eliminate even more tongue movement, for sometimes scores, and even hundreds are upon the floor at the same time. Then the Scriptures say that if there is no interpreter, let there be no talking in tongues whatsoever. More would be eliminated if this were followed. Finally, “Let your women keep silence in the church” (I Cor. 14:34). This practically puts to an end all tongue movement, for the majority of those participating are women.
Many will rebel at the quoted passage, saying that it does not mean “tongues.” If this does not mean “tongues,” it refers to everything, including tongues, when it says for the women to keep silent in the churches. This, however, has reference only to tongues, for other portions of this same book of I Corinthians allow a woman to speak or pray in church. “But every woman thatprayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven” (I Cor. 11:5). “Prophesieth” means to “forth-tell”; thus, a woman is allowed to “forth-tell” the Word of God at Sunday school, upon the mission field, and in like places.
(4) As to the Withholding of the Gifts. Can it be possible that God withholds many of the gifts from the believers of today, which He gave at the first? Not only possible, but a certainty. In chapter 13 of I Corinthians, the Holy Spirit states, “Charity [love] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (verses 8-10). Remember, I Corinthians 13 is speaking about “gifts” of the Spirit, and when it says prophecies shall fail, itdoes not mean that some of the prophecies foretold by men of God, as recorded in the Bible, will fail to be fulfilled. It means that the gift of prophecy will one day be withheld. When it says that “tongues shall cease,” it does not mean that some time in the future all tongues will be silenced, but that the gift of the tongues will be withheld. And when it says that “knowledge shall vanish away,” it does not mean that there will be a time when knowledge will not be in existence, but that the gift of knowledge will be withheld. When will the gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge be withheld? When “that which is perfect is come.” This is not speaking of Christ’s second coming, but rather of when the full revelation of God’s Word is given. Have we the full revelation of God today? Yes, when the apostle John wrote, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christbe with you all, Amen” (Rev. 22:21), God’s full revelation was completed — that which was perfect had come. Therefore, since we have the full revelation, the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge have vanished away; they have been withheld. They are not for today.
Turning to Ephesians 4:11 we read, “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers.” We note by this later revelation that no miraculous gifts are listed, as were listed in I Corinthians 12, 13 and 14. There is no need for the gifts of miracles anymore, because we have the full revelation of God. The child of God is blessed more by having the complete revelation of God than if he had all the miraculous gifts.
The claim is made by some that we need these gifts for signs of the “filling” of the Spirit. It is true that God gave these miraculous gifts for signs; not however, for the “filling” of the Spirit, but for the confirmation of Paul’s apostleship (II Cor. 12:12); of Paul’s confirmation to the Gentiles (Rom. 15:18, 19); of the confirmation of salvation through Christ (Heb. 2:3, 4); of the confirmation of the Word (Mark 16:20). Do we need these gifts today to confirm the Word, the Gospel, and the Apostle Paul? Two thousand years of Church history has confirmed them.
(5) As to the Remainder of the Gifts. “Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (I Cor. 13:13). These three gifts are possessed by every Christian. He, being controlled by the Holy Spirit, is to utilize them.
o. Witness of the Spirit. “The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16, R. V.).
The law states that in the mouth of two witnesses shall the truth be declared. Thus, we have the two witnesses who declare that we are the children of God. They are the Holy Spirit, and our spirit. How does the Holy Spirit bear witness to our salvation? Through the Word. How does our spirit bear witness? By feeling, or conscience? No. Feelings are deceiving. Our spirit bears witness by faith in God’s Word. God’s Word declares our salvation when we trust Christ; we believe it. Therefore, the Spirit bears witness “together with” our spirit.
p. As to the Unction of the Spirit. “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things…But the anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and in truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (I John 2:20, 27).
The words “unction” and “anointing” are the same in the Greek. “Anointing” in the Scriptures, whether in the Old or New Testament, was for some service. Kings and priests were anointed for their special service. Christ was anointed (Acts 10:38). The very name “Christ” means “anointed one.” He was anointed Prophet (for the past); Priest (for the present); King (for the future). The believer in Christ receives his anointing for service when he is born again: “Ye have received.” The anointing of the Spirit is not for a favored few. All believers are anointed: “Ye have received.” The Spirit’s anointing is once and for all: “abideth in you.” There is no place in the Scriptures where one receives a fresh anointing. False religions may try to turn you away from Christ, to induce you away from your faith; but you, upon hearing their inducements, do not yield, because you have the unction of the Spirit. “And ye need not that any man teach you.”
q. As to Worship by the Spirit. “We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3, R.V.). The only worship accepted by God has to be inspired by the Spirit. One does not worship Him with hands, feet and lips, but by the Spirit through the hands, feet and lips.
r. As to Communion of the Spirit. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (II Cor. 13:14). The word “communion” is better translated “fellowship; partnership.” Thus, “communion” means “participating, partaking, and sharing.” The Holy Spirit and Christians have one thing in common — Jesus Christ!
s. As to Praying in the Spirit. “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26, 27).
Is it wrong to pray to the Holy Spirit? There is no place in Scripture commanding us to do so, yet He is a member of the Godhead; when we pray to God, we pray to Him.
t. As to the Warfare of the Spirit. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).
u. As to the Teaching of the Spirit. “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spiritsearcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10). The Holy Spirit reveals His Word to only born-again Christians, and not to those outside of the Body of Christ. Man without the Spirit of God cannot learn the truths of God.
5. The Holy Spirit and the Scriptures.
a. Inspiration. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Tim. 3:16a). The literal meaning of “inspiration” is “God-breathed.” No prophecy is of man’s own ingenuity. We believe in the verbal inspiration of the Word of God. The words, not merely the thoughts, are inspired, as given by God in the original. Some may ask, “Did not God use human instruments?” Yes, but the use of human instruments did not lessen it as the Word of God. When you read the Pentateuch, you do not read the words of Moses, but you read the words of God. See I Corinthians 2:12, 13; 10:11; Romans 4:20-25; 15:4.
b. Enlightenment. The best way to study the Book is to know its author. The best interpreter of the Book is the writer, the Holy Spirit. Just as the Lord Jesus made known the Scriptures unto the disciples, so the Holy Spirit will do for us today (I Cor. 2:9-14).
6. The Holy Spirit and Sins.
a. Grieving the Spirit. “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). Grieve is a word that has to do with love. People who do not love you will never grieve over you. The Holy Spirit grieves over us; therefore, He must love us.
b. Lying to the Spirit. “Peter said, Ananias, why hast Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?” (Acts 5:3). Ananias lied to the Church, the temple of the Holy Ghost. We, too, can lie to the Holy Spirit. We can sing a lie. Sometimes in an emotional meeting people dedicate their lives to definite Christian service, but shortly after they neglect this decision. This is lying to the Holy Ghost.
c. Quenching the Spirit. “Quench not the Spirit” (I Thess. 5:19). To “quench” means to “extinguish.” One can quench the gifts of the Spirit, and can quench the Spirit in others by forbidding them to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Num. 11:28, 29).
d. Resisting the Spirit. “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51b).
e. Insulting the Spirit. “Of how much sorer punishment…shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God . . . and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace” (Heb. 10:29).
f. Blaspheming Against the Spirit. This is the so-called unpardonable sin found in Matthew 12:31, 32 and Mark 3:29, 30. If the grace of God, which will pardon all the sins of mankind, will not pardon this one, it must be an unusual sin. Murder is not the unpardonable sin. Unbelief is not the unpardonable sin. Where would we be if this were true? Rejection of Jesus Christ is not the unpardonable sin; however, the man who rejects Christ and dies is indeed lost. The Spirit will not strive with man after death. His final rejection is not unpardonable, but unpardoned.
Man should distinguish between the following:
Unpardoned — Unpardonable
Unforgiven — Unforgivable
Unsaved — Unsavable
I believe the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which some term “unpardonable,” was a dispensational sin, limited for thirty-three years, during Christ’s stay on earth. There are no sinners on God’s blacklist today. God has never commissioned any man to go out and preach the message that there are some men He will not save.
Has anyone who has committed this blasphemy been saved? Yes, the Apostle Paul, “who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. . . . Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (I Tim. 1: 13, 16).
The word “speaketh” in Matthew 12:32, and verse 30 of Mark 3 are the keys to the correct interpretation.
7. Emblems of the Holy Spirit.
a. The Dove. “John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, andit abode upon him” (John 1:32). Upon no other one did the Spirit descend in this manner. In Genesis 1:2 the Holy Spirit is pictured as moving upon the face of the waters, as a dove brooding upon her eggs. The dove is a gentle, clean bird, particular about its food. So are they who are of the Spirit. “Harmless as a dove” (Matt. 10:16). Truly an emblem of the Holy Spirit. The Word pictures to us the wrath of the Son, but never the wrath of the Holy Spirit.
b. Water. “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessings upon thy offspring” (Is. 44:3). See also John 7:38, 39. What water means to thirsty lips, and what rain means to the parched land, is what the Spirit means to the individual. There is nothing that quenches thirst better than water; there is nothing that satisfies the longing of the heart as the Holy Spirit.
c. Oil. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah” (I Sam. 16:13). See also Isaiah 61:1; Acts 10:38. When the priest was anointed with oil, it took place in this manner: first, his ear — he was always to hear God’s Word; his thumb — his actions were to be for God’s glory; his big toe — he was to walk with God.
d. Wind. “Then he said unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. . . . and [I] shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD” (Ezek. 37:9, 14). See also John 3:3-8. Wind suggests activity. You cannot see the wind, yet is it powerful. Visibility is not the limit of action. The wind also speaks of “cleansing” (Job 37:21).
e. Fire. “There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as a fire, and it sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:3). Fire signifies the Spirit of God. It is fire which purifies, consumes, warms, tests, illuminates and energizes. It is the same with the Holy Spirit.
f. Clothing. “The Spirit of Jehovah clothed himself with Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; andAbiezer was gathered together after him” (Judg. 6:34, R.V.). Clothing speaks of protection. The Spirit is our Protection.