A few important questions: If the Holy Spirit only operates today through the written word, then …
What scripture says so?
Doesn’t it stand to reason that He only operated that way in the first century too?
What scripture makes it clear that His operation changed from active to passive; from literal to figurative?
If His dwelling within the believer is figurative now but used to be literal, when did it change? What scripture makes this clear?
Are the promises regarding the Holy Spirit really different for people now than they were then? Does He no longer distribute any kind of spiritual gifts? Or any of the other aids mentioned in this previous post? If He does provide some but not all, which ones? How can one tell from scripture; which passage differentiates them?
If His dwelling within is figurative and always has been, how does He help believers through the written word only but in ways that only a living, present Person could (such as intercession in prayer)?
How much other scripture is figurative and not literal? How can we as readers know when God does not really mean what He says?
These are questions that beg an answer if the Spirit-in-the-written-word-only-today doctrine is to be taken seriously.
52 thoughts on “The Holy Spirit: Then and Now”
my take is that it shouldn’t be taken seriously.
James, if the doctrine of Spirit-in-the-written-word-only-today existed only as thing unto itself, I’d say, “Ignore it, and maybe it will just go away.”
But it isn’t, as you know; it’s believed on as if it were scripture itself by brothers and sisters in Christ whom He died for and are precious in His sight.
Many of them were taught this doctrine with the threat of damnation attached to any questioning of it. Like any doctrine of man, it has power and control at its heart; that’s how Satan makes it attractive so he can rob the believer of the power in the word, the power offered through the Spirit Himself.
It uses scripture the same way Satan did in tempting Christ: wresting it to say what it does not say through twisted logic and adding things that aren’t in it; ignoring scripture which contradicts his contorted “interpretation.”
So I do take it seriously as a lie and a false doctrine and a threat to the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace and to the bold proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
sorry, keith. i think i came across in a way that i’d have preferred not to. i meant only to say that this interpretation shouldn’t be given serious consideration as a possible understanding of scripture.
i didn’t mean that we shouldn’t take it as a grave and serious misunderstanding (and twisting) of scripture to suit one’s traditions, religious heritage, and preconceived ideas.
and i’m happy to have a “serious” conversation with my brothers and sisters concerning these issues. but it’s difficult for any discussion about scripture to be taken seriously once it becomes evident the authority of scripture is not acknowledged — and that, rather, one’s prior beliefs are king.
but i didn’t at all mean that you shouldn’t “waste your time talking about it.”
I apologize, James; I should have learned by now not to post when I have a bad headache – I tend to read things in a negative tone often not meant by the author.
eh… my fault for leaving a sentence and not explaining it. lone sentences are usually snide — unless they say, “great post.”
great post, by the way. i just subscribed to your blog two weeks ago — and am really enjoying it. thanks for what you do.
Keith the only verse in the King James that contain the three words, miracles, holy, and ghost is this one.
Hbr 2:4 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?
show me one place where it is said the holy spirit/ghost performed miracles.
Laymond – with all due respect, brother – I think your question misses the point. The Holy Spirit was not poured out by God to do miracles Himself as His primary task, but to enable believers to proclaim the word boldly, confirm it powerfully, and unite peacefully. He gave gifts for others to use to glorify God.
At Pentecost, when His power was revealed among the apostles, there were miraculous signs – visible and audible. If one accepts that the Father, the Word and the Spirit are One (and I know you don’t, as such), then it could be said that the Spirit performed those miraculous signs.
Why does this distinction matter to you?
Keith, have you so quickly forgotton the title to your last blog ?
“Does the Holy Spirit Work Miraculously Today?”
That’s why it matters to me 🙂
sorry, didn’t finish. why do you assume it ever did ?
Then forgive my phrasing … the Spirit, scripture amply attests, works miraculously through believers, often through the gifts He gives them.
” then it could be said that the Spirit performed those miraculous signs.”
I guess it could be said that Moses’ stick worked miracles also. 🙂
Keith, surely you will not argue with Paul.
Romans 15:15-19 — Paul declares his ministry established by his “mighty signs and wonders.”
2 Corinthians 12:12 — Paul declares that his miracles, signs, and wonders form a part of his apostolic credentials.
2Cr 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
(seems Paul said “the holy ghost” was a sign designating “an apostle”
Hebrews 2:3-4 — The author speaks of the miracles, signs, and wonders performed by those who first heard Christ.
Miracles and healing were performed by the apostles and their close associates. Philip and Stephen are the only non-apostolic healers.
Summary and Conclusion, on an article written by Fred G. Zaspel
Published by Word of Life Baptist Church
copyright © 1987, Fred G. Zaspel
(please notice Mr. Zaspel is not a member of the “conservative Church of Christ” )
The gift of healings appears in the New Testament as a miraculous (sign) gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostolic company (2 Cor. 12:12) in order to confirm the new message which they were preaching (Heb.2:3-4). The gift involved the ability to cure physical diseases apart from the normal healing processes. The gift consisted of the ability to heal sicknesses and diseases at will, without medical treatment or any other curing agents. The gift is closely associated with that of miracles (the broader term, evidently) and functioned at all levels of human sickness — physical and spiritual. The man so gifted was able to heal organic illnesses (e.g., 3:1-11, a congenital illness), raise the dead (9:36-42), and even bring physical judgment (5:1-11; 13:6-11). This gift seems also to have included the ability to cast out demons (19:12), which then would be its spiritual dimension.
These observations are most revealing, especially in comparison with present-day claims to the gift. If there are similarities they fade quickly in comparison with differences which are much greater and more obvious. The gift of miracles enjoyed by the early church at the hands of the apostolic company appears to have been a unique experience which served its purpose and then faded away.
When Mr. Zaspel says “appears to have been,” he is drawing a conclusion based on his observations and opinions as well as scripture.
Were these gifts only promised and given to the apostles? Were they only temporary? Were the only transmitted by apostolic touch? Scripture does not say so.
What Paul says does not describe his credentials as uniquely apostolic – but they do confirm the gospel he has preached.
If a preacher today claims a D.Min., we do not assume he is the only preacher to have one or that only preachers are permitted to have one; if a church bulletin mentions that the congregation has a history of giving to the poor, we do not conclude that it is the only church which can make that claim.
Why do people make those assumptions with scripture, as if the word “only” were in each one, when it isn’t?
When Mr Brenton said ” then it could be said that the Spirit performed those miraculous signs.” he is drawing a conclusion that is not drawn in scripture.
Keith this is the best I can do, if you still believe, that the holy spirit is unexplainable, keep us informed as to where “the spirit of truth ” leads you. may God bless.
Isa 11:1 ¶ And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:
Isa 11:2 And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
Isa 42:1 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, [in whom] my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and [with] fire:
Mat 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
(Jesus did indeed baptize with the “holy spirit” the word of God, The gospel, “the spirit of truth”.)
Jhn 16:13 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 shew you things to come.
Jhn 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on [them], and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (the spirit of truth)
Jesus didn’t give anything to his apostles, that was not given him by his father, before.
I think that’s a pretty good New Testament/gospels summary of the Holy Spirit – not comprehensive, but tidy.
Does it say He stopped giving His Spirit with the apostles, or only to them? Nope.
Nobody wants to take on even ONE of those questions?
Keith, I can not answer for anyone else, but I believe the proof falls upon those who say the giving of the “holy ghost” continued past the apostles, or at least past first century Christians. As I suppose you know, it is almost impossible to prove a negative, at least way harder than proving a positive.( that IMO is why you keep asking for proof, of a negative)( I can only answer you in this way, I have no proof that he did or didn’t) I can only prove by scripture that the apostles received the “holy ghost” by the breath of Jesus, and they passed gifts to others by that same “H G” or powers given and received from God. If you have evidence that others received that power, the burden lies with you to back it up, by scripture, or eye witness testimony.
Just read 1 Corinthians 12-14 again, will you, Laymond?
The whole church was gifted. There’s nothing in Acts or the Corinthian epistles that says Paul or any other apostle laid hands on all of them, or that it was required. Indeed, the gifts are described as integral to the way the body of Christ works.
Are we guilty of cutting off digits and limbs of the Body by denying the Spirit and His gifts? I shudder at the thought, brother.
Keith I do not now, or have I ever doubted the power of God. A person who can pick up a handful of dirt and breath life into it has no restrictions in my opinion.
What I do doubt is “the holy spirit ” is an individual person apart from God the father, and Jesus the son, who indwells the Christian, with the specific task of guiding that individual in the way of the lord. I have never seen one as talented as you are at side stepping the main argument, by building a straw-man then punching his lights out. Many times you have confused “the gifts” with the giver, and accuse me of doing the same, I do not, as you plainly know, I believe God is all powerful, and works through those powers. all gifts are given by the “holy ghost” but all gifts are not “the holy ghost”
I’m not side-stepping the argument; we’ve already had the argument!
I am aware of the difference between the gifts and the Giver; we just disagree on that because we disagree on the nature of God. I actually agree that gifts are given by the Holy Spirit but not all gifts are the Holy Spirit.
I’ve already stated that God gives the Holy Spirit, who is spoken of as a gift Himself:
“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” ~ Luke 11:13 … “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” ~ Romans 5:5 … “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us.” ~ Acts 15:8 … “Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.” ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:8
They give and distribute spiritual gifts; gifts of the Spirit:
“God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.” ~ Hebrews 2:4 … “Now about the gifts of the Spirit, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. … There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them.” ~ 1 Corinthians 12:1, 4
You understand this differently, and neither of us is able to persuade the other. I just don’t see the point in arguing it with you further, you know? We’ve been doing it for almost five years now, and we’ve not changed each other’s minds!
In Secular History of the 2 century apostate Church there was a person named : Montanus.
Montanism was an early Christian movement of the early 2nd century, named after its founder Montanus. It originated at Pepuza in Phrygia, a province of Asia Minor, and flourished throughout the region, leading to the movement being referred to as Cataphrygian (meaning it was “from Phrygia”) or simply as “Phrygians”. It spread rapidly to other regions in the Roman Empire at a time before Christianity was generally tolerated or legal. Although orthodox Nicene Christianity prevailed against Montanism within a few generations, labeling it a heresy, the sect persisted in some isolated places into the 6th century. Some people have drawn parallels between Montanism and modern Pentecostalism (which some call Neo-Montanism). The most widely known Montanist was undoubtedly Tertullian, who was the foremost Latin church writer before he converted to Montanism.
The early Christian prophet Montanus (active 2nd century) was the leader of a group of people who were convinced that their ability to speak in mysterious languages was a gift of the Holy Spirit. Montanism was later condemned as a heresy.
Very little is known about the life of Montanus He was probably an adult convert to Christianity, enthusiastic about his newly found salvation. About 156 he made a strong impression on the town of Ardabau in Asia Minor when he was overcome by a seizure of some kind and began speaking rapidly and forcefully about religion. He said that he was under the influence of the Holy Spirit and that he was prophesying. This happened a number of times over a period of months. Sometimes speaking clearly, sometimes babbling in what seemed to be foreign tongues, he succeeded in convincing several other men and women that the Holy Spirit was really present, to the point that they also would fall into a trance and prophesy. The group began to attract other followers, especially when the similarity between Montanus’s actions and some of the events described in the Bible was pointed out. Many people saw his followers as an elite Christian group calling the rest of mankind to a new spirit of religious fervor. They seemed to be inspired.
The movement spread rapidly throughout Asia Minor. Wherever Montanus and his followers went, they stirred the people into a state of ecstatic madness. Crowds screamed with joy, whirling, dancing, singing, convinced that the Holy Spirit was being poured into them. In moments of relative calm Montanus preached. He urged the people to pray and fast and punish themselves. The human body was troublesome, he said. Sex was evil, and marriage should be no more than tolerated. Christians must return to the original fervor of biblical times and give up worldly pleasures. The Holy Spirit, he said, was once again tangibly present in the world, acting through Montanus and his followers.
At one point Montanus preached that the world was about to come to an end. The heavenly Jerusalem, he declared, was soon to come down and be established on a plain between two towns in nearby Phrygia. From all over Asia Minor the followers of Montanus streamed to the appointed place. They were disappointed when the end of the world did not come about as Montanus had predicted. They kept faith in their prophet, however, and his movement continued to spread. It swept through North Africa and Greece, despite the excommunication imposed on its followers by a bishop in Phrygia. Two centuries later it died out, disappearing as quickly as it had arisen.
The relevance is that Montanus did not have the power of the Holy Spirit as he claim. This show that after 100 A.D ( 1 Corinthians 13:8-10 the Holy Scriptures were complete and the Prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come (NT Scriptures), then that which is in part will be done away.
He made belive the people that the Holy Spirit Guide Him literally doing things like this modern “Pseudohealers” he made a strong impression on the town of Ardabau in Asia Minor when he was overcome by a seizure of some kind and began speaking rapidly and forcefully about religion. He said that he was under the influence of the Holy Spirit and that he was prophesying. This happened a number of times over a period of months. Sometimes speaking clearly, sometimes babbling in what seemed to be foreign tongues, he succeeded in convincing several other men and women that the Holy Spirit was really present, to the point that they also would fall into a trance and prophesy.
The actions and following of Montanus may show that God did not choose to strike blind (or dead) those who trifled with the Holy Spirit as He did in Acts, but it hardly shows that the Holy Spirit and His gifts were withdrawn.
This article appears to be substantially identical to the one appearing at http://www.answers.com/topic/montanus-1, copyright 2011 Answers Corporation.
KB, What passage makes it clear that the H.S. Dwells in us physically? If the H.S. dwells in us physically, how is that differant from the incarnation of Christ? Christ was tempted as we are, yet he sinned not. Why, because there was one will, a “God” only will. If the Spirit was physically in us, there would be two wills, God’s and mine. Would you then say, the Spirit is irresistable? Is the war between the flesh and Spirit in Gal 5: 16,17 a physical war or a spiritual war? If I were to say the word of God dwells in me, would you think that the written word was physically in me? Eph 5: 18,19 “Be filled with the Spirit” Is not a promise , but a command. We decide if we are filled with the Spirit, it’s a matter of a change of heart and renewing our minds a change in the inner man, a change that we choose to make by submitting to “the word” and living what we have learned from “the word”.
Jeff, any scripture which says the Holy Spirit is in us, poured into us, or lives in us will suffice because none of them says He does so only through the word.
Joseph lived before Moses, who is credited
KB, None of them say physically either.
Then what would the average reader conclude from the phrasing “lives in you”? Especially in view of all those who are described of having been given that Spirit before there was a written word?
By the way, did evil spirits physically dwell in their victims, or just figuratively? Through some kind of anti-word; satanic bible? Why then does scripture describe them as being cast out, if they were not within?
… with writing the first books of the Bible. Yet he was recognized as having the Spirirt of God – by Pharaoh!
Moses hadn’t likely written them when God filled Bezalel with His Spirit and sills in design and crafting.
So even if you are willing to count a small part of scripture as the written word, there were those who were given God’s Holy Spirit before there was scripture for Him to operate through exclusively.
The difference between Christ and us can be expressed by words like “begotten” and “virgin birth.” The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ as surely as the Spirit of God. Whether Laymond agrees or not, Jesus Christ – the Word; the Logos – was/is with God and is God. Of course their will is one.
There are two wills in the believer – Paul describes the conflict which can arise between them … yet even though the Holy Spirit does and says what God desires, the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets; It’s not the Spirit’s job to force perfect behavior. Nor is it likely that – as long as we are in step with the Spirit, that Jesus will forsake us or leave us.
The word of God is Christ, and through their Spirit, the Word (logos) does live in us. Why would anyone assume otherwise? There were any number of people described in scripture in whom God was present through His Spirit before there was a gospel, before the Bible was set in canon, before moveable type or widespread literacy or printed scripture in hundreds of languages. While we may have that advantage, there are still millions alive today who do not have that access, and I would challenge anyone to prove that God loves them less or there is no need for either the scriptures or the Father God, self-sacrificial Son, or Holy Spirit whom scripture reveals.
Don’t forget that while we decide whether to ask for and accept this unique gift, the Spirit is given by God.
Now that I’ve attempted to answer your questions, Jeff, would you answer mine in the post?
KB, You haven’t answered mine, If the H.S. dwells in us physically, would the war of the Spirit and flesh in Gal 5 be spiritual or physical? I would say there is only one will in me, mine. Am I going to give in to my desires, or am I going to submit to the will of God. Its my choice.
Jeff, what if the conflict described in Ephesians 5 is both physical and spiritual? What our spirits decide can have physical outcomes – with regard to how we speak and behave. I can’t see it as an either-or question because it’s both.
Paul, in Romans 7, describes a battle that is both. There is conflict between the desire for sin living in him, and his delight in God’s law. The conflict is resolved in chapter 8 by giving over the mind to the Spirit’s control:
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man a is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature a but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”
Yes; Galatians 5, not Ephesians 5. Juggling too many monkeys here.
Fruit of the Spirit – Visible Growth in Jesus Christ
“Fruit of the Spirit” is a biblical term that sums up the nine visible attributes of a true Christian life. Using the King James Version of Galatians 5:22-23, these attributes are: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. We learn from scripture that these are not individual “fruits” from which we pick and choose.(Romans 12: Rather, the fruit of the Spirit is one ninefold “fruit” that characterizes all who truly walk in the Holy Spirit. Collectively, these are the fruits that all Christians should be producing in their new lives with Jesus Christ.
Fruit of the Spirit – The Nine Biblical Attributes
The fruit of the Spirit is a physical manifestation of a Christian’s transformed life. In order to mature as believers, we should study and understand the attributes of the ninefold fruit:
Love – “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16). Through Jesus Christ, our greatest goal is to do all things in love. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
Joy – “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).
Peace – “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Longsuffering (patience) — We are “strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Colossians 1:11). “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
Gentleness (kindness) — We should live “in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left” (2 Corinthians 6:6-7).
Goodness – “Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power” (2 Thessalonians 1:11). “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9).
Faith (faithfulness) – “O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth” (Isaiah 25:1). “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:16-17).
Meekness – “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). “With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2).
Temperance (self-control) – “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
Please credit this, guest for truth, so I don’t have to delete it.
Sorry, because I was radical saying that there are 9 but there are more than those, but this are some of the fruits that show the dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us, in our dayly life. I miss to explain the others from Rom. 12 also those from 2 Peter 1:5-7. When we are baptize into christ we are New Creatures (Romans 8:1) “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. “
KB, I believe the credit goes to the Holy Spirit.
The expository material on the verses, that is. (Just trying to protect someone’s copyright, if there is one. It’s the legal and responsible thing to do.)
sneaky, but it didn’t work 🙂
Then no one will be offended if I point out that it appears to be identical to an article at http://www.allaboutgod.com/fruit-of-the-spirit.htm, copyright 2002-2011by AllAboutGod.com….?
I thought you were trying to disclose the idenity of “guest for truth” and maybe you did.
KB, In your post #33 you said, “by giving over the mind to the Spirits control.” What exactly does that mean to you? Do you have control of your mind and willingly submit to God’s word, or are you saying the Spirit took control of your mind and it is irresistable, and the Spirit physically controls your thoughts and actions. Have I been talking directly with the Spirit? It seems that you have three beings, your spirit, the Spirit and Keith. Just who have I been talking too?
Jeff, I hope you din’t take this the wrong way, but … sometimes you don’t make no sense at all!
And I’m pretty sure it was me who said that.
Nice response KB, But it is hard to follow someone who speaks out of both sides of their mouths. If the Spirit is physically in you why couldn’t, why wouldn’t He physically control you? Maybe I don’t make sense, because you refuse to answer the question? Romans 8 is talking about our spiritual mind, the mind we develope by following God’s word. If we don’t, we remain carnal minded. To be carnal minded is to give in to the desires of the flesh. God is spirit, we worship Him in spirit and in truth, which means from the heart, and truth, “thy word is truth.” And KB, the “hostile heart” can submit to God, once it’s pricked. Are not all hearts “hostile” until the gospel is obeyed? Even later our hearts can become “hostile” once again. We can even be “hostile” to the word of God. Does one not need to hear and then believe, hear and believe what?
Why wouldn’t the Holy Spirit control someone from within them? you ask.
What an odd question. Isn’t that what makes an evil spirit “evil” by definition? Forcing people to do things against their will, putting them out of control?
If prophets have their gift from the Holy Spirit within them and “… the spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets” (1 Corinthians 14:32), how can you ask such a question? We are to unite with the Lord; to be one in spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17). It is indeed up to us to submit, but not in His nature to control against our will.
Jeff, I’ve never said that the Spirit doesn’t live within us through the written word; I contest that He only lives within us through the written word.
I haven’t used the word “physically” because scripture doesn’t. I can’t explain how it all works or whether it’s metaphysical, spiritual, physical or all three with a few more we don’t have words to describe. I don’t know how. I’m just asked to welcome Him into my life. I believe that involves not closing the door on any way He can and will work through me.
Scripture describes many ways He can and has worked in the lives of believers. Why would anyone desire to close those doors in their own lives or encourage others to do so? That would surely be “quenching the Spirit.”
I don’t mind trying to answer questions that make sense, but that series of questions just doesn’t.
Speaking of refusing to answer the question ….
KB, If you believe that “evil spirits” can force me into doing evil, putting me out of control, then it would stand to reason, that if the H.S. physically lived in me, He could force me into doing good. If this is the case, what happened to our free will? You say you haven’t used the word “physical” and you haven’t. When you say the H.S. lives in us in other ways besides the written word, you imply the physical. There is only two ways this could happen, physcially or figuratively. If the H.S. lives physically in me, and does nothing physically for me, whats the point. If He lives in us figuratively I can better understand that I need to apply myself, study to show myself approved, to walk in the light, allowing my free will to operate as God intended. To be led by the “word” is to be led by the Spirit. I make the decision, am I going to follow Christ, or do I desire to follow the flesh. There was a time KB when Satan ruled the world and evil spirits were present. Christ defeated Satan when He died and rose again. We now have more power than Satan, we can reject him, and follow Christ. We can also reject Christ and live for Satan, it is up to us and our free will.
I think I already addressed that my belief is that it’s against the Spirit’s nature to force someone to act against his/her own will.
In the case of King Saul, the Spirit was given to him to change him into a different kind of person; he prophesied. But he did not want to be a different kind of person, and the Spirit left him, ultimately. The Spirit did not interfere with his free will. Your argument is based on a flawed premise.
You said, “If the H.S. lives physically in me, and does nothing physically for me, whats the point”? But He does live within us, in a very real and active way (if we let Him). If we don’t let Him act in our lives in a very real and physical way, I must agree: what is the point?
You continue to point out that when we are led by the word, we are led by the Spirit and I have no argument with that. I just don’t believe that is the ONLY way He leads us because scripture describes others. I’ve been clear about that.
You say that Christ defeated Satan at the cross and tomb and I thoroughly agree. But how can you conclude that Satan has no more power when people continue to sin? Even defeated warriors and armies continue to fight and undermine and destroy though the battle or war is lost.
So, are you ready to tackle any of my questions (this one, or any above, in the post)?
KB, I don’t believe I said that Satan has no more power. What I said was we have more power than he does. We can reject him and do what is right in God’s eyes. We can’t say the devil made me do it. We sin willingly or ignorantly by lack of knowledge. How does the H.S. act in a very real and physical way? And I don’t remember your questions.
“How does the H.S. act in a very real and physical way?”
Still don’t know how.
“And I don’t remember your questions.”
Well, I guess they’re not important, or you’d have surely set me straight on them by now! 🙂
But if the mood strikes you: Any above in the post itself – the article above the comments.
Keith said, “What an odd question. Isn’t that what makes an evil spirit “evil” by definition? Forcing people to do things against their will, putting them out of control?”
Keith is the following the work of an evil spirit, in your opinion?
Mat 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou [wilt].
No. He set His face resolutely for Jerusalem. He had been saying for days that He would die and be raised again. He never called out for rescue by legions of angels. He was led like a Lamb to slaughter, silent. It was His will also to come; to serve; to suffer and die.
The moment you cite, Laymond, serves to testify that this altogether divine Son was also altogether human, completely mortal … and completely aware of it.