The Holy Spirit and the Church, Part 1

I’ve blogged mostly about why I believe that the Holy Spirit lives within the believer, but I don’t want to ignore an important implication of that belief: the Holy Spirit lives among believers, plural; unites believers and intercedes for believers and empowers believers to proclaim the gospel boldly. Plural. Plural. Plural.

When Ananias and Sapphira conspired to defraud the early church at Jerusalem and cheat the beneficiaries of that church’s generosity, the charges against them were not just fraud and cheating, not to Ananias:

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land?  Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” ~ Acts 5:3-4

And not to Sapphira:

Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” ~ Acts 5:9

Ananias and Sapphira, as nearly as we can tell (like every believer in Jerusalem) were the beneficiaries themselves of the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is no stretch of the imagination to understand that the same Holy Spirit within them – or at least among them – revealed their conspiracy and lie to Peter and the other believers.

Clearly, the Spirit is no One to be trifled with. Peter’s words to Ananias are clear: the lie was not just to human beings, but to God Himself.

It should not be a surprise that Paul links the Holy Spirit’s work to the unity of the believers, and advises them to maintain it in order to mature in Christ:

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. ~ Ephesians 4:3

Or that Paul describes how the relationship between Spirit and believer works in terms of unity:

But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit. ~ 1 Corinthians 6:17

Or that he cites it when encouraging believers to agree in humility:

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. ~ Philippians 2:1-2

And no wonder. Jesus’ prayer for unity – at the very table where one had separated himself to betray his Lord – describes His desire for that unity taking place by God being in us as well as us being in God:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” ~ John 17:20-23

He has just spent the text of the previous three chapters punctuating His final mortal discourse with them with hints at how His Spirit would help and unite them from within – beginning with:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. ~ John 14:16-17

So I think it’s clear as can be that the Spirit’s dwelling place within believers is also among believers. Where we have let Satan take us off-center with this is by believing the lie that our individual understanding of the scripture inspired by the Spirit is more important that our communal sharing of it.

But that’s where I plan to go in part two of this subject.

23 thoughts on “The Holy Spirit and the Church, Part 1

  1. Pingback: The Holy Spirit and the Church, Part 1 « Blog In My Own Eye |

  2. Really good thoughts on The Holy Spirit AMONG believers as well as individually IN believers. Thanks for listing all the scriptures, too.

  3. “…believing the lie that our individual understanding of the scripture inspired by the Spirit is more important than our communal sharing of it.”

    Amen, brother?  How can we spend so much time dividing over differing interpretations of the Spirit-inspired word, rather than rejoicing in the fact that “we were all given the one Spirit to drink”!?!?!

    When I consider the graciousness of God in coming to live with me in the form of His Spirit, teaching me, working in me, sanctifying me, interceding for me, transforming me…

    And then I consider that the same Spirit is living in you, doing all those things for you as well…

    And then I know that one day His work will be complete in us and we will both be like Him…

    Well, it’s hard to imagine anything much more thrilling than that!

  4. “Where we have let Satan take us off-center with this is by believing the lie that our individual understanding of the scripture inspired by the Spirit is more important that our communal sharing of it.”

    Keith, is this the great satanic lie to which you refer?

    Hbr 8:10 For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
    Hbr 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

    Sounds like you dispute every word in the new covenant. even called it a lie from Satan.

  5. I want to understand the Bible teaching on the Holy Spirit and His work in the lives of the individual today. First of all, we need to understand that all we can learn about the Holy Spirit comes from the Scriptures. And I am concerned about what the Bible teaches, not what someone might think or feel.
    Now, we need to understand, in the first place, that the Holy Spirit is a Divine person, one of the members of the Godhead. He is not just some kind of force or influence. But the eternal Godhead consist of God the Father, the Son (or word) and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is as much a person as Jesus Christ. Some people do not understand that. Jesus gave the Great Commission and mentioned these three persons. He said that the disciples should go and baptize “in the name of the Father, and Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).
    The Holy Spirit had a part in the creation of the universe, and the organization of the materials, and setting things in order in the natural realm. “Let us make man in our own image” refers to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit working in the creation of man (Gen. 1:26).
    The Holy Spirit also directed the Old Testament writers in giving the Word of God. 2 Peter 1:21 says that :” for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” “ Moved” means influenced by, directed by, the Holy Spirit. For example again, in Acts 1:16, Peter said that “the Holy Spirit by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas……” Therefore, we would understand that David wrote this by the direction of the Holy Spirit, So the Word of God is inspired by the Holy Spirit. “ All Scripture is given by inspiration of God….” (2 Tim. 3:16).
    When Jesus was about ready to leave this earth and return to the Father. He gave instructions to his apostles in John 14,15 and 16. These instructions dealt with the coming of the Kingdom and the great truths of Christianity shortly to be revealed. He said, “ I am going away, but another comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, will come and guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). So the Apostles would have divine power when they went forth preaching things concerning the Kingdom of God. The establishment of the Lord’s Church would have divine guidance. His Word would be preached without error. The New covenant would be given by the direction of the Holy Spirit.

    Likewise, Jesus said in Luke 24:49, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (After the ascension of Jesus, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem and waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit upon them.) That is, they would have “power from on high” They would be guided, influenced directly in their work by the Holy Spirit” They went forth preaching repentance and remission of sins in Christ’s name, beginning at Jerusalem. Jesus said, just before He ascended that the Apostles would receive “the promise of the Father” not many days hence.
    The “not many days” were about ten days. Jesus was alive on Earth from the resurrection until his ascension for 40 days. From Passover to Pentecost is fifty days. Therefore, for ten days the Apostles waited for the coming of this power from on high.

    This promise of being baptize in the Holy Spirit was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2. The Apostles only received this baptism, not the one hundred and twenty disciples. Acts 1 and verse 2 show that the promise was made to the apostles. Acts 2 uses the pronouns “they” and “them,” referring to the Apostles from Acts 1:26. Those who received this power were Galileans (Acts 2:7), but surely not all the one hundred and twenty were Galileans. Peter stood up with the eleven defending their actions (Acts 2:14). Thus, all the evidence shows that only the apostles received this power from the Holy Spirit.

    The word “baptism” used in Acts 1:5 is surely figurative. The word literally means to dip, plunge, overwhelm. So, the apostles were immersed in, overwhelmed, by the Holy Spirit. They were completely influenced by and directed by the Holy Spirit.
    When the Apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they began to speak with “other tongues (Gr.glosalia= languages) as the spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 1:4). I will stop right here and let the Lord define “speaking in other tongues.” Acts 2:8 shows the meaning:” And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” The Apostles then were speaking in the languages of the Jews from many different countries (Acts 2:6,11). They were able to do this by the influence of the Holy Spirit without going a School for 3 or more years. Today we have to learn those languages for at least 3 or more years. Just speaking syllables that no one can understand does not meet the bible definition of tongue-speaking. No one today has had the baptism of the Holy Spirit like the apostles in the first century. Thus no one today can speak in languages (tongue) that he has not studied.

    Jesus commanded the Apostles to go into all the world and preach to every creature. To help in carrying out this great task the lord gave them this power to speak other languages. Following this great outpouring on Pentecost day, Luke records that “many wonders and sings were done by the apostles” (Acts 2:43). Also Peter and John healed the lame man (Acts 3:1-8). In Acts 9, Peter raised Dorcas; Other Baptism of the Holy Spirit happened in Cornelius household (Acts. 10) Paul raised Eutychus from the dead in Acts 20. All this signs were done by the apostles for several years after Pentecost.

    Why were all these wonders and signs performed? The answer is to confirm the Word ( Hebrews 2:3,4; Mark 16:20). This means that they proved the word to be from God by doing supernatural things, which also proved them to be messengers of God. Magicians can perform tricks and deceive the people, but they can not raise the dead!
    Notice the reading of Hebrews 2:3,4:
    “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”
    The Holy Spirit also directed the recording of “all truth” for men of all ages. Paul wrote:
    “if indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3 how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: (Ephesians 3:2-5).

    We learn God’s will today by reading what inspired men wrote as directed by the Holy Spirit. No one today is inspired to write scripture or to preach without studying. Today we have an inspired book to read and study.
    When the lord was ready for the Gospel to go unto the Gentiles (as recorded in Acts 10 and 11), Cornelius was told to send for peter who would tell him words where by he and his house would be save. Peter went to Cesarea with six Jews brethren. While peter was speaking, the Holy Spirit fell upon Cornelius and his household as on the Apostles at the beginning (Acts 10:44; Acts 11:15). “The beginning” refers to Acts 2 when the church had its beginning on earth. This was the beginning of the Christian Age, some ten years earlier. There is not another example recorded in all the New Testament.

    Here is a summary of what I just said:
    (1) Joel foretold that God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh,
    (2) All flesh refers to both Jews and Gentiles,
    (3) The Jewish Apostles in Act 2,
    (4) And the Gentiles in Acts 10.

    The Apostles could not always remain with the congregations to teach and instruct. So it was necessary for other Christian to have miraculous (spiritual) gifts of the Spirit to edify the new Christians. (Ephesians 4:8-12) The New Testament had not yet been written. Therefore, the Apostles laid their hands upon some Christians to impart various gifts. See Acts 8:18. In this chapter, Luke recorded Philip’s work among the Samaritans, Two Apostles, Peter and John, were sent down from Jerusalem to impart gifts. Since Only the apostles received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, they only could impart Spiritual gifts to others. Philip could perform miracles because hands had been laid upon him by the Apostles as recorded in Acts 6:6.
    There are other several occasions where Apostles imparted gifts to other Christians by the lying on their hands. Paul laid hands on twelve men ay Ephesus (Acts 19:6).Afterwards they spake with tongues, and prophesied. Paul also gave a gift to timothy by the lying on of his hands (2 Tim. 1:6). Romans 1:11 shows Paul’s desire to impart some gift to the Romans.
    But there are no Apostles living today and neither can there be! So no one can have these miraculous spiritual gifts today. In the first century some Christians that lead the Church in Rome,(Romans 12:3) They were not allowing to use the natural talents develop by their faith in the word of God as is mentioned in Romans 12:6 “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them” every member of the body is useful in the kingdom (Church) even if they did not receive the imposition of hands but they grow up by their faith (2 Thessalonians 1:3) and the case of the Church at Corinth These brethren the apostle Paul at the beginning of chapter 12 says: 1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: in V.7 Says :” But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: This brethren did not have to Study as we do, because they have the “Holy Spirit by Measure” One person did not have all the gifts so the Church can be edified each other (1 Corinthians 12:12). Each member of the body of Christ has different gifts as given by the Holy Spirit “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.” (1 Cor. 12:11) We need to observe that all the members of the Church have not develop their faith, so some members in the church at Corinth by their faith develops some of this gifts naturally as (word of wisdom , word of knowledge , another faith)and also they receive help from the Holy Spirit message to edify each others, not all in the Church at Corinth were spirituals (1 Cor. 3:1-3). Have these gifts just given to the faithful leaders of the Church as the church at Rome? in the chapter 14, we found what was going on with this gifts given to the church and the apostle Paul tells them that they need to do everything with “spirit and understanding” (1 Cor. 14:14-15) that means Let all things be done decently and in order ( 1 Cor. 14:40 ). In 1 Corinthian 14:1 the apostle Paul says: “1 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy.” The word Prophesy (Gr. Propheteia) which literally means “to speak forth” (pro, “forth”; phemi, “to speak”). it also means proclaiming God’s truth. W.E. Vine says in his Dictionary of New Testament Words that a prophet is “a proclaimer of a divine message…. one to whom and through whom God speaks.” Vine also tells us that “propheteia… signifies the speaking forth of the mind and counsel of God…. “ The apostle Paul encourage the Christian to Grow in Love (2 Corinthians 8:7, Romans 12:10). These gifts ceased when the Apostles died and when those upon whom the Apostles had laid their hands died. The purpose for all the miracles, signs and wonders was for the giving and confirmation of the Truth. When the truth had been given, the miraculous gift were no longer needed.
    Now, let use an illustration. I have seen in some towns the construction of many buildings, condominiums, etc. There is much equipment and tools round about on the job site. But when the building is completed, all the equipment and machinery will be removed. In like manner, the gifts and “power (supernatural)” of the Holy Spirit were needed until the church was established and founded upon the rock (Mark 9:1; 1 Cor. 3:11; 1 Cor. 3:9-11). After the building (church” 1 Timothy 3:15”) was completed, then the tools (miraculous gift) were no longer needed. Paul said that 1 Cor. 13:8-10. “8 Love never fails. But whether there are 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, then that which is in part will be done away.”
    “That which is perfect” refers to the completed, sufficient revelation of truth, James 1:25 refers to the “perfect law of liberty” or the New Covenant of Jesus. Some think that “the perfect” refers to Jesus’ second coming. But nowhere in the whole context of 1 Cor. 12, 13 and 14 is the second coming discussed. Notice that 1 Cor. 13:10 does not say, ”When He who is perfect is come,” but rather it says, “when that which is perfect.” It refers to the fact that partial revelation and knowledge received through the gifts and powers of the Spirit would cease when the full revelation of truth was given. Also note Ephesians 4:11-13:
    “ And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

    After Jesus ascended, He gave gifts unto men (Eph.4:8)- until(Eph. 4:13) we all come in the unity of the faith. All can and should be united today in “the faith” of the gospel, since all truth about salvation has been given. See 2 peter1:3.

    For example: When we announce a gospelmeetings, we usually print in the tracts the place, date and hour and we says: this event continue until Friday night. After Friday, they will not continue. In like manner, Jesus gave gifts unto some until all the truth have been revealed. So after the church received that “perfect (complete) low of liberty,” the gifts ceased! God never intended that the “baptism of the Holy Spirit and miraculous gifts would continue down through the centuries”.

    Individuals make claims today of possessing miraculous power. But they need to be demonstrated! If one claim to have the baptism of the Holy Spirit, then he should be able to do what the apostles did! He could do things like raising the dead or restoring the sight to the blind. Today there is not man on earth that can go to a cementery and raise one from the dead. If so, I am ready to go with him to see it. No man on earth today can do it; and that’s not all, he will not even attempt it. That show to everyone today that individual do not have what the apostles had.
    While it is true that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit involved the ability to work miracles, wonders, and signs in the first century (Acts 2:4-12; 6:6-8; et al.), it is not the case that all the Holy Spirit’s indwelling must involve the miraculous. Not even in the first century did everyone have the ability to work miracles, wonders, and sings. Furthermore, lest one think that the Holy Spirit could not possible indwell a Christian without it involving the miraculous, consider the human spirit. All bible believer know that humans have a spirit which is given by God at conception (Ecc. 12:7; Zech 12:1; Jas 2:26). God’s initial creation of humanity with a spirit was clearly miraculous (Gen. 2:27). However, the procreation of humanity with a spirit in accordance with natural law established at creation is non-miraculously, then why can not the Spirit of God dwell in a human non-miraculously? Additionally, if all faithful Christian have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them, and if the miraculous age has ceased ( which it has, 1 Cor. 13:8-13), then the Holy Spirit’s indwelling must necessarily be non-miraculous.
    This ordinary no-miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the dwelling in the Christian through obedience to the word (Rom.8:11; Gal. 3:2); not directly, personally, but as God the father and Christ the son dwell in Christians . The Spirit leads, guides the Christian through the Word; not in a special, direct way. In obedience to the word Christian bring fruit the fruit of the Spirit, in their lives (Gal. 5:22,23; cf. 2 Cor. 6:16; Col.1:27)
    Now, how does the Holy Spirit today lead, guide, or direct people non-miraculously? The answer is: through and by the instructions of the Holy Spirit written in God’s word (1 peter 1:23). How does the Holy Spirit convict people of sin today? As in the past centuries by the word of God. The word is an instrument that the Holy Spirit uses to accomplish that work. As a man cuts down a three with an axe, so the spirit uses the Word to prick the heart of sinner and defend God’s kingdom when that divine message the Gospel is preached.

    For example, Romans 8:4 says” For many as are lead by the Holy Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” This verse does not say, though, how we are lead by the spirit. But elsewhere we learn that the Gospel (the Spirit’s teaching) is God’s power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). The Spirits leads us as we follow God’s word, which was given by the Spirit.

    Are Christians being baptize with the Holy Spirit today? Are they being given special miraculous power? It is possible for a Christians to speak in tongues, heal the sick, and raise the dead?

    Remember that the promise to be guided into all truth was given to the Apostles, and they only received that “Power from on high” on the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus. The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles aided them in carrying the gospel to every creature, writing and confirming the New covenant, and establishing the church for which Jesus died. Be careful in our bible study to handle aright the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15). It is wrong to teach that promise applied to everyone when it was only intended and addressed to the apostles. The idea that people down through the ages receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit is nowhere taught in the scriptures.

    After the holy Apostles and prophets received “the mystery” of how lost men would be saved in Jesus, they recorded it for men of all ages to read (Eph.3:3-5). “All truth” was revealed to them (John 16:13), and the Scriptures warn for men not to change its message (Rev.22:18).

    The only power that the Holy Spirit exerts upon the minds of people today is the power of the truth of the gospel. The Holy Spirit with the word pricks the heart of the sinner and guides the Christian in his life through the word of God (1 peter 1:23).

    The Bible says that God dwell in us (1 Jn. 4:12,15), and that Christ dwell in us (Colossians 1:27). But how do Christ, the Father, and the Holy Spirit dwell in us? Certainly not physically “Literally” that would be incarnation. And the only incarnation we find in the scriptures is Our Lord Jesus Christ the word becoming flesh (Jn. 1:14). It can be said that they dwell in us when we listen the message of the Holy Spirit (the divine Word) love the word, and obey its message. We thus are guided, directed, and motivated by the Spirit. Eph. 3:17 says “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith,” and faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). And so it is by our obedience to the word of God that we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. This dwelling is not in a miraculous sense, enabling one to perform miracles or to speak in tongues today.

    Blessings are promised to those who obey the Lord. If we confess faith in Jesus and are baptized into Christ, then blessings are promise to those in Christ. All believers are commanded to be baptizing in water, but Holy Spirit Baptism was a promise to only a few. Miraculous gift were bestowed on some disciples in the first century. Note these words in Mark 16:15-20:

    “15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they[a] will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    Sometime people will say that this is what the Lord promised, so every baptized believer should have these powers. We must remember this rule of Bible study; that is, that not everything is taught in one bible verse. All God’s word is truth (Jn. 17:17). In this passage Jesus did not explain the matter. And we must be careful to read all that is said on the subject of the Holy Spirit. No two verses of truth contradict each other. One verse may shed more light on the subject, but it will not contradict another Bible statement.
    So if any individual today can speak in tongues instantly without studied, then they can also take up poisonous serpents and drink deadly things and raise the dead. But no one can perform these things today.

    A brother in Christ was preaching in a Gospel meeting and a man in the audience said that “ He had the baptism of the Holy Spirit”. After offering to close the service to go to the cementery to prove it, the man did not accept. He just sat there. So the brother continue with his lesson. Someone might say that it isn’t Christ-like to put someone to the test. But the message of the Holy Spirit says in John 4:1 commands:

    “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

    And John wrote to the Church at Ephesus in Revelation 2:2:

    “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars.”
    The Lord thus commended the Ephesians for trying these imposters. They found them to be liars.
    The Holy Spirit –through the word – is pleading with the world of the unsaved to turn to God and be saved. He is also pleading with Christians to continue in faithfulness. Please make note of the fact that it is through the word that the Holy Spirit does this. The Holy Spirit appeals to the intellect and the heart of man through the power of the Gospel. When man reach beyond this, he reaches into subjectivism and emotionalism.
    However, there are some among us who have taken the indwelling a step further and have said the Holy Spirit helps them directly in their preaching/teaching and in their study. This experience it is nothing less than a claim of miraculous inspiration today, which was prophesied to cease ( 1 Cor. 13:8-12), and was done away at the end of the first century upon the death of the last apostle (Acts 8:18-19).
    As Jesus prepared His disciples for His departure, He promise to send another comforter (Jn.14:16). Later, in His discourse in the upper room, Jesus revealed Who this Comforter is, and what this comforter would do. The other comforter is “the Spirit of Truth” (v.17), or” the Holy Spirit,” and his work was to teach the apostles all things, and bring all things to their remembrance (v.26). Further, He would “reprove the world of sin, and righteousness, and of judgment” (Jn.16:8).Also, He would guide the apostles “into all truth” and show them “things to come” (Jn.16:13). With this in mind consider three statement of inspiration.
    First, consider peter’s statement:” knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation,21 for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” ( 2 Pet. 1:20-21). Although there is much confusion as to the meaning of “private interpretation” It is simply to understand. In this passage there is a contrast being made between the “will of man” and “holy men of God spake as they were move by the Holy Spirit” Though some want to apply “private interpretation” to man’s various interpretations today. That is simply not what the text is saying. Peter wants his readers to understand the Scriptures are nor the product of the will of man or man’s own private interpretation. The book of Jeremiah and Lamentations were not Jeremiah’s private interpretation. The Pentateuch was not Moses’ private interpretation. The letters of Paul were not Paul’s private interpretation. The same can be applied to every writer of the sacred Scriptures. Rather than writing their private interpretation, the inspired writers were moved by the Holy Spirit. Thus, the Holy Spirit had a part in the writing of the sacred Scriptures.

    Second, consider Paul’s statement:

    “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1 Cor. 2:10-13).”

    Only the Spirit of God could know the deep things of God. Thus they has to be revealed in order to man to know them. Without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, one could not posses nor knows the revealed will of God. Thus, the things which the apostles and prophets of the New Testament spoke were not according to the wisdom of men but were taught by the Holy Spirit.

    Third, Consider Paul’s statement:” how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4 by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), 5 which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets:” (Eph. 3:3-5) The mystery of the Gospel was made known to Paul by the Spirit. Thus, when one reads, he is reading what Paul understood by revelation. This was not unique to Paul but was revealed in the same manner to all of Christ’s holy apostles and prophets.

    Thus, the Holy Spirit works today through the Spirit-inspired Word. It is God’s revelation to man –for him to follow and to engraft upon his heart and mind (Jas.1:21; Heb.8:10).

    Ephesians 5:18-19 and Colossians 3:16, parallel passages, illustrate this point. To the Christians of Ephesus, Paul wrote: “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” (Eph. 5:18-19). To the Christians of Colossian, Paul penned: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” (Col.3:16). The parallel is evident! In the later part of the verse(s), there is the parallel of the indwelling Word and being filled with the Spirit. Thus, being “filled with the Spirit” is the same as “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” Woods comments “To be filled with the Spirit.’was , in the inspired apostle’s concept, to allow “the word of Christ’ to dwell in you richly. (1)”

    Further notice the parallel though between the Holy Spirit, the Word, and baptism.

    . Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (Jn.3:5).

    . For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel (1Cor.4:15).

    . And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God (1 Cor. 6:11).

    . For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit (1 Cor.12:13).

    . That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word (Eph. 5:26).

    . Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).

    . Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:18).

    . having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1 peter 1:23).

    Obviously there is a common theme within these passages- baptism. What precipitated this new birth? Was is the Spirit, was it the Word, or was is the Spirit through the Word? The Holy Spirit guides a person to obedience of Baptism –being born of water- through, or by means of the Spirit-inspired Word.

    Further, it is interesting to see the correlation between the Holy Spirit, the Word, and assurance.

    . These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God (1 Jn. 5:13).

    . By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit (1 Jn. 4:13).

    . If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us (1 Jn. 1:10).

    . But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him (1 Jn.2:5).

    A casual comparison of these verses indicates that when a person keeps God’s Word, the Spirit dwells with him also. Again observe: [W]hoso keepth His word….are in Him” (2:5), and those who are in Him have His Spirit (4:13). Also, in light of these verses, take notice of the connection between Christians dwelling in Christ, and the Holy Spirit dwelling in Christians (4:13;2:5). When Christians keep faithfully God’s word, they dwell in Christ, Christ dwells in them, and the Holy Spirit dwells in them.

    Since it is the case that the Holy Spirit, through the Spirit-inspired Word, produce submission to the will of God in baptism and produces assurance, then it must be the case that He can and does produce other characteristic such as the fruit of the Spirit and wisdom. The various characteristics such as the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Gal. 5:22-23). – are taught within the pages of the Holy writ and are, therefore, produced by the Word of God. It is not by some direct operation of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of man. It is produced when one learn the truth, open his or her heart to the truth, and applies the truth to his or her life. The expression, “fruit of the Spirit,” means “produce of the Spirit.” In other words, what the Spirit produces.
    The same is true for wisdom. Wisdom is not something with which a person is supernaturally endowed. When the Word of God is written upon individual’s heart and mind, and when the difficulties of life come upon him, with experience and knowledge, he comes to know how apply what he has learned from God. That is wisdom. What is the beginning of wisdom ? is “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever (Psalm 111:10).” The human being is not endowed by some outside force of wisdom, but he has learned to apply the wisdom of God’s Word to his life. The most foolish person is the one who has learned but who refuses to apply to life what he has learned.

    This is, in part, the point Jesus make at the end of the Sermon on the Mount saying:
    “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
    26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall (Mat. 7:24-27).”

    What made the wise man wise? Both the wise man and the foolish man heard the word, but only the wise man had the mind- set to apply what he learned. There are many who hear the word, yea even memorize it, but who do not put God’s law into their mind and write them in their heart (Heb.8:10), and make them “the engrafted words” (James 1:21).

    Therefore the Holy Spirit is pleading. He pleads with the alien sinner and the Christian alike! The Holy Spirit pleads through His inspired Word.


    In Galatians 3, Paul made an argument concerning the Christians of Galatia. He asked: “This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (v.2). Then, in verse 5, he asked the same question:” Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” They only have two choices: 1) The works of the Law of Moses, or 2) The hearing of faith. The “hearing of faith” can refer to the act of hearing of faith or a thing heard.(1) Woods notes: The phrase, “by the hearing of faith” is, literally, by the message of faith.(margin, American Standard Translation).(2) He Continues:
    Faith here is a synecdoche for the Gospel…. The ‘gospel’ embraces the entire System of salvation. Thus, through the Christian system the Spirit came to the Galatians. But how was this system of faith made available to the Galatians? Though the preaching of the word (Rom. 10:17); ‘ So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.,) (3)
    Summing it up, Paul says: that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (Gal. 3:14). Both, Jews and Gentiles, were recipients of the blessing of salvation through Christ as promised to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 and 22:18. Taylor wrote: “The promise of the Spirit through faith is the Gospel of Christ.”(4).

    With this background, some of the works that both, the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, accomplish must be point out.

    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, instruct (Neh. 9:30; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, convict (Jn.16:8; Tit. 1:9).
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, beget (2 Cor. 3:3; Jas. 1:18).
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, save (Tit. 3:5; Jas. 1:21).
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, sanctify ( 1 Cor. 6:11;Jn 17:17).
    . both, the Spirit and the Word, strengthen (Eph. 3:16; Acts 20:32).
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, make free (Rom. 8:2; Jn. 8:32).
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, lead (Rom. 8:14; Ps. 119:105).
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, comfort (Acts 9:31; 1 Thess. 4:18).
    . Both, the Spirit and the word, Quickens (John 6:63; Psa. 119:50)
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, have part in the new birth (Jn. 3:3-5; 1 pet. 1:22-23).
    . Both, the Spirit and the Word, Dwells in (Romans 8:11; Col. 3:16)

    The Holy Spirit and the word of God are never separate in conversion and sanctification.

    The Holy Spirit deals with two kind of persons – the alien sinners and the Christians. Only those who do not know the difference between “right and wrong” (Children who have not reached the age of accountability and those mentally incapable of doing so) are excepted. Since non-Christians are influenced by the Holy Spirit through the Word. The Holy Spirit works by influencing and impressing ideas upon the mind through teaching and words. Several passages prove that the Holy Spirit works by influencing non-Christians through teaching. For example Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek( Rom. 1:16).” Also, Christians are begotten with the Word of truth. James wrote: “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first fruits of His creatures ( James 1:18).

    Does the Holy Spirit indwell non-Christians who have been influenced by the Word? Obviously not. ( Mt. 13:18-22) There is a difference between being influenced and writing truth upon one’s mind and heart. The seed of the kingdom is the word of God (Luke 11:8). The seed can be and is planted in the soil of the heart of man( Luke 8:15 ). At this point, it obviously has influence (Isaiah 55:11).However, it has not germinated. It does not grow into a healthy, vibrant plant until the seed is transformed into a living plant. So, it is with Christians (Mt. 13:23, 1 Cor. 3:5-7). But How God gives the increase? In Colossians 1:10 says” that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God”. The knowledge of God helps us to grow as mention in Ephesians 2:19-22 “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
    The seed, i.e., God’s word is planted into the heart. The heart is influenced by the seed. However, it is not until the person submits to the will of God by engrafting the Word upon his heart that the Word truly indwell within him. When this take place, the Holy Spirit of God indwells that person as well.

    In this same way the Godhead indwells in the Christians. Christians are led, guided, and strengthened by the Holy Spirit. This is a fact that can not be denied. It is also a fact that this offers much comfort and assurance. How ever the same could be said of each person of the Godhead. The father dwells within Christian. In the seven “ones” of Ephesians 4, Paul says the “ One God and father of all” is “in you all” (Eph. 4:6). Also, the son dwells within Christians. Declaring this certainty, Paul says: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Gal. 2:20).

    Actually, Paul teaches that all three persons of the Godhead dwells within the Christians. Hear Paul as he imparts:
    “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you (Rom. 8:9-11).

    Since it is the case that all three persons of the Godhead dwell within the Christian, then it must also be the case that all three Persons of the Godhead dwell within the Christian in the same way. So how does the Godhead dwell within a Christian? The answer is found in Ephesians 3:17 ; “that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love.” Again, since Christ dwells in the Christian’s heart by faith, then all three Persons of the Godhead dwell in the Christian heart by faith. How does this faith come? Romans 10:17 answers:” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”


    When a person is influenced by the word, he is being influenced by the Holy Spirit of God. That’s the beginning of faith as mention in Romans 10:17. The Spirit, like the other Persons of the Godhead, dwell within a Christian through faith. When man reaches beyond this, he reaches into subjectivism and emotionalism.

    The Holy Spirit, through the Word is pleading with all men. The Spirit says: For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.: ” (1 Tim. 2:3-4). Through another of his penmen, He assures: “ The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). The Holy Spirit appeals to the intellect and heart of man through the power of God “the Gospel” (Rom. 1:16;Ps.19:7;Ps.119:105; Rev. 2:7). There is no operation of the Holy Spirit in conversion independent of God’s word. Whatever is necessary for man to understand and obey essential to his salvation has been clearly revealed in language that may be easily understood. Man today has all the truth, given and confirmed by men inspired of the Spirit, in the Bible; they may read and understand God’s will (Eph. 3:4). Gods mind has been communicated to man’s mind by words through men guided by the Holy Spirit. In conviction and conversion the Spirit operates on man through the word; in leading and directing the Christian in his life of service the Holy Spirit. There are no new Present-day revelations of the Spirit. “ Preach the Word” (2 Tim. 4:2).

    1.- Guy N wood, Question and answers Open Forum Freed-Hardeman College Lectures (Henderson TN:Freed-Hardeman College, 1976),Volume II, 280.

    2.- The analytical Greek Lexicon (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1974), 13.

    3.- woods, 279.
    4.- Robert Taylor, Jr., Studies in Galatians and Philipians ( Ripley, TN: Taylor Publishing, 1986), 51.

    • Well done guest for truth. K.B. maybe some time you can tell us what “spiritual gift” you recieved. What your saying is, right before you were baptized, there was something you could’nt do and right after you were baptized you could do it, what was it?

      • After I was baptized, I could tell people I was born again, a follower of Christ, a member of His Body, the church. That would be gift enough for anyone, I think – especially for a nine-year-old.

        Of course, if there are any other gifts that the Lord would like to give me through His Spirit living in me, I hope I will graciously receive them and use them to His glory.

        Thanks for asking, Jeff!

      • KB, I believe what you have stated would be “Spiritual blessings” found in Christ. Different from “spiritual gifts” which were always miraculous in nature.

    • Where does scripture make a big distinction between them, Jeff? Or say that spiritual blessings are separate from spiritual gifts? I read about them being given to the Gentiles by or through the Jews (Romans 15) and there’s a pretty lengthy list of them in Ephesians 1 … which also says that we are sealed in the Holy Spirit for the inheritance of salvation. Isn’t that a gift as well as a blessing? I know I didn’t earn it.

      I don’t mind telling you some of the spiritual gifts I’m pretty certain that I’ve received: serving, teaching, encouraging, giving, showing mercy (Romans 12), and faith (1 Corinthians 12). I don’t know that they came all at once – I doubt it – but as they were given, I’ve tried to develop them by using them. That’s not to boast; they’re gifts.

      And you’d do well to let me say what I’m saying … because I never said there was something I couldn’t do before I was baptized that I suddenly could do right afterwards. You said that; not me. A spiritual gift could also supplement and strengthen the gifts and talents one already has; guide them into use glorifying God.

      • KB, If you were to study “spiritual gifts” where the term is used, you will see that the miraculous is always invovled. Spiritual blessings are what one recieves when they are baptized into Christ, nothing miraculous about them. In other words they are “blessings” from God and have nothing to do with the miraculous abilities many recieved in the first century. In Romans 15 I don’t see any “spiritual Gifts” being given out. I see Paul talking about how the power of the H.S. had helped him accomplish his mission to take the gospel to the Gentiles, maybe I missed it. Eph 1 several spiritual blessing are mentioned. I will say that everything we have is from God. Our abilities and talents. You mentioned your ability to teach, serve, to give etc, it is indeed from God. God gave us all a brain, the ability to learn, to grow in knowledge to use our talents but… He gives these things to all men, You sound like a educated man KB, did you have to work at it, study to get where you are, you make it sound as if God just gave it to you. You woke up one morning and could teach and write. Thats what happened in the first century when “spiritual gifts” were given out, they recieved miraculous abilities. Today in the non-miraculous age, we all have to work for what ever abilities we may have. All that remains today is, faith, hope and love, 1 Cor 13, and a commitment on our part to grow in spiritual matters. When we read the N.T. and read about “spiritual gifts” we must always think the miraculous, because that is what they were. All those written to, lived in the time of the miraculous.

      • Jeff, you said, “KB, If you were to study ‘spiritual gifts’ where the term is used, you will see that the miraculous is always invovled.” Did you accidentally skip my reference to Romans 12 above? Those qualities I lusted from there are spiritual gifts, but one would hardly call them miraculous.

        I think someone sold you a bill of goods as far as the idea goes that all spiritual gifts are miraculous.

      • KB, Romans 1:11 answers the question as to what “spiritual gifts” are in chapter 12. They were miraculous abilities given so the church there could be, would be established. Given by the laying on of hands to them by Paul. Unless an Apostle lays hands on you, you don’t have “spiritual gifts”.

      • You’d have to explain to me how Romans 1:11 says that the ine and ONLY way that someone receives a spiritual gift is through the laying-on of an apostle’s hands. I don’t see it saying that.

        If that were true, Paul would not likely encourage Corinthians to earnestly desire greater gufts when he could not be there to provide them (1 Cor. 12:31).

        Do I understand you to believe that the gifts described in Romans 12 are all miraculous? Seving? Teaching? Encouraging? Giving? Leadership? Showing mercy? All of them listed right there with prophesying?

        How does that square with what Paul says right before that list in v.6: “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Does no one have grace given them any more? Does no one have the gifts of teaching or generosity or leadership anymore?

        That don’t make right good sense, as my step-grandpa used to say.

      • KB, Acts 8:14 ” Now when the Apostleswho were at Jerusalem had recieved the word of God, they sent Peter and John to join them, who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might recieve the H.S. for as yet He had fallen upon none of them, they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord, then they laid hands on them, and they recieved the H.S. and when Simon saw that trough the laying on of hands the H.S. was given.”
        2 Timothy 1:6 “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you, through the laying on of my hands.”
        1 Tim 4:14 “Do not neglect the “gift” that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.”
        John 20:30.31 When the Apostles were commissioned, Jesus breathed on them and they recieved the H.S.
        Heb 2:4 “God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles and “gifts” of the H.S. according to His own will.” It is easy to see what “gifts from the H.S. were, and how people recieved them. As for 1 Cor 12, all those “gifts” or abilities were given miraculously. Why wouldn’t Paul encourage them to desire more gifts, that is how they would grow spiritually. We today should desire more talents and abilities so we too can grow and work in the kingdom. But we have to gain those things naturally, through stud and hard work. What your failing to understand, is this infant church would never have gotten off the ground without such help. You have mentioned “gifts that you “think” you have recieved, they knew when and what they recieved, there was no doubt. They recieved different gifts, why? so this young church would be established, ready to go. Grace, just what is Gods grace? I see Gods grace as His part, what He has done for us, we all have different abilities as given by the grace of God. “God’s grace has been shown or extended to all men.”

      • Jeff, you seem more certain that I don’t have the Holy Spirit than the apostles were certain that they did.

        It seemed good to the Holy Spirit a and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements…. – Acts 15:28

        … and I think that I too have the Spirit of God. – 1 Corinthians 7:40b

        It’s no wonder you can’t see the possibility of the Holy Spirit living and working in/through believers today if you insist that His work is only miraculous — in spite of all evidence to the contrary.

        You see, I don’t argue that His gifts were given through the laying-on of hands. I simply observe it is not the only way. You cannot prove that with scripture, becauseit does not say that.

        As far as your contention that gifts were given only to establish the church … well, it’s an assertion and proves nothing. I could just as easily assert that spiritual gifts are still given to perpetuate the church.

        You continue to avoid my questions about the Spirit’s subtler gifts in Romans 12. May I assume you have no answer?

      • One further question – how can something be called a gift that one has to study and work hard to earn?

        Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, a but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. – Romans 4:4-5

      • KB, You had stated some “gifts” that you believed God gave you, speacial gifts I assume because you are a christian. How are those “gifts” any different than the ablilities God has given all men? How did you recieve them and when? If you truly have the spirit as they did, you could now do things that you never had any instruction in. As for Romans 12 again, do you have the gift of prophecy? They had recieved differing gifts according to what God wanted each one to have, why? so the young church could be established, so it could be able to operate as a functioning body. It would have taken years to get to this point. The H.S. gave them these abilities directly, one moment they didn’t have them the next moment they had them. We have to aquire them naturally, over time. Its clear as to what Gifts were according to scripture, to think other wise is to assume and assert ones personal ideas.Can you prove your assertion, in what other ways can “gifts” be given? Jesus breathed the H.S. on the Apostles, every one else an Apostle had to lay hands on them. As for my “contentions” they are based on what scripture says, not what it does not say, or what I wish it said. You may indeed have the spirit, if you allow God’s word to dwell richly in you, but you do not have a member of the Godhead physically living in you, directing each step you take.

      • If you truly have the spirit as they did, you could now do things that you never had any instruction in.

        Assertion. Scripture which supports?

        We have to aquire them naturally, over time.

        Assertion. Scripture which supports?

        Its clear as to what Gifts were according to scripture, to think other wise is to assume and assert ones personal ideas.

        It’s clear to me that all of the spiritual gifts in Romans 12 are called spiritual gifts.

        Can you prove your assertion, in what other ways can “gifts” be given?

        Yes. Acts 10:44ff. 1 Corinthians 12:13. 1 John 4:12ff.

        You may indeed have the spirit, if you allow God’s word to dwell richly in you, but you do not have a member of the Godhead physically living in you, directing each step you take.

        Assertion. Scripture which supports?

        I don’t believe I – or scripture – said anything about the Spirit directing each step. But scripture is clear that we should keep in step with the Spirit and that we live by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Nowhere does scripture say that the Spirit lives in us only in the form of the written word, or metaphorically.

  6. Guest for truth, this essay – like so many others you’ve contrived – contains the same flaws in reasoning and assertions as the others to defend the man-made doctrine that the Holy Spirit operates only through the word.

    The error in this one begins at:

    “(1) Joel foretold that God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh,
    (2) All flesh refers to both Jews and Gentiles,
    (3) The Jewish Apostles in Act 2,
    (4) And the Gentiles in Acts 10”

    … and continues by asserting that (3) and (4) represent the complete and only fulfillment of (1), supported by the completely unsubstantiated (2). “All flesh” is interpreted to mean “all kinds of flesh,” and that if any Jews and any Gentiles received the Spirit, then the prophecy was completed and no longer in force. Yet it remains possible that “all flesh” refers to all mankind, and this possibility is not refuted.

    Perhaps you could not allow yourself to even see that possibility, or you’ve failed to carry out rigorous logic, pursuing only one possibility. An assumption.

    The second error begins with the assertion, “But there are no Apostles living today and neither can there be! So no one can have these miraculous spiritual gifts today.” Scripture never says that spiritual gifts were limited to the apostles and those upon whom they laid their hands. That is the second assumption, and no other possibility is refuted. So the possibility remains that spiritual gifts were imparted directly to others – as promised by Joel, repeated by Peter, demonstrated in his presence in Acts 10, and implied by virtually every epistle written thereafter. For instance, when Paul encourages Corinthians to earnestly desire greater gifts, he is not there to transmit them, nor is there any evidence that he would be, beyond a hope to return.

    Your essay goes on to discredit personal interpretation, which is ironic, since it is billowing with it.

    Your conclusion – “When man reaches beyond this, he reaches into subjectivism and emotionalism” – is flawed because of these assumptions stated as fact.

    Paul instructed Thessalonian believers: “Do not quench the Spirit.” He did not say “Do not suppress the word,” because the Spirit is given to live in the believer (John 14:17; Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 2:22). The Spirit is given to guide one into all truth – in other words, to weed out subjectivism and emotionalism.

    I don’t mean to be unkind, guest for truth, but your own subjectivism has blinded you to the possibilities opened by scripture. You quench the Spirit, brother, by distorting the meaning of the word He inspired, and adding to it the meanings and teachings you prefer. You do not trust the Spirit to live in you in a real way, rather than a simply metaphorical one, and so you have allowed these distortions to His word to give you an inaccurate picture of the way He works and the way God desires to work within the believer.

    You complicate this error by spreading it, completely oblivious to its logical fallacies, and this is something you need to stop, reconsider, cease to repeat the teachings of other men as if they were God, go to scripture itself and ask for God’s help in understanding what He has to say about the way He desires to live within you and work with you.

    And if His answer is through His very own Holy Spirit living and dwelling within you in the most real way possible, I pray that you will not refuse Him.

  7. Keith, I have given up on convincing you of the most simple things of the bible, because you insist upon making things hard to understand.
    You ask me one time WHY? would God take away the gifts he had given to some.
    There is a very simple answer in my opinion, it does not come right out in so many words as to say ” man cannot handle such powers” but it does say in different ways that man began to desire “powers” over forgiveness. I believe it starts with the apostles, then Paul told the twelve, you only received forgiveness, and not the power, and naturally they wanted the power, so Paul bestowed it upon them, it even got so that some were trying to by the power. And you wonder why it is no longer available.

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