The first three quarters of this writing covers an exchange I had with another teacher of the Bible considered an "evangelical." It was revised a little to go into bulletins for the brethren with additional information, being the remainder of this article. Finally, this is a complete revision for the general public.
Thoughout this article the word emotionalist will be confined to the use of a person who is emotionally driven, who acts on emotional feelings as evidence of ideas where there are no actual facts of evidentiary value in support of those ideas.
We would not know anything about the Holy Spirit had not the Bible said anything about Him. Therefore, it would follow that we first gather all information found in the scriptures regarding the Holy Spirit and the nature of His indwellings before we conclude that we have authority to entertain any thoughts or ideas as if coming from Him apart from the word of truth, found in the scriptures, known as the Holy Bible.
In the following article it is presupposed that this writer, the readers in general and those in opposition believe and trust in the inerrancy of the scriptures, the word of God found in the Bible. As to its sufficiency, the writer, I, believe it is all sufficient to produce and make people as it is intended for the purposes of God. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16-17. NASB).
This has to be mentioned beforehand because it is in the final conclusion of this discourse, that many do not believe that the scriptures inspired by God is adequate to equip an individual for every good work.
Nevertheless, as illogical it may seem to pursue a discussion as such, because of the foregoing conclusion, it is necessary as good form will allow and as love and the love of souls will reign to the end that truth will be obtained by some.
Answering The Manufacturers Of A Pseudo Holy Spirit – Part 1
Many problems of our day in understanding the scriptures are no different from those in the first century. Jesus spoke about those who closed their hearts to the faculty and exercise of perception. Because of this, they could not understand the words of Jesus. "'For the heart of this people has become dull, And with their ears they scarcely hear, And they have closed their eyes Lest they should see with their eyes, And hear with their ears, And understand with their heart and return, And I should heal them.'" (Matt. 13:15 NASB). Keep an open mind regarding the scriptures and exercise your perceptive abilities, guided with proven rules of interpretation.
Many principles of thought are required to understand and make application of the scriptures.
There is the reasonable principle of why human submission to a higher authority than man himself is practiced. Jeremiah said, "I know, O LORD, that a man's way is not in himself; Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps." (Jer. 10:23 NASB). The arrogant would think otherwise, but we are lost without the guidance of a higher authority than ourselves.
There is the reasonable principle that mental activity regarding presupposition or assumption takes no stage in establishing authority in our minds. Solomon said, "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." (Prov. 14:12 NASB). It is not safe to establish authority based on whim and fancy. Only the facts of truth will lead to life. Jesus said in His prayer to the Father, "Sanctify them in the truth; Thy word is truth." (John 17:17 NASB).
There is the reasonable principle that God being more and knowing more than mankind calls to our spirits to depend upon Him, in spite of our arrogance in substituting supposed independence from Him. ""For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways," declares the LORD. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts."" (Isa. 55:8-9 NASB). Men have always been worshipping creatures. Either they worship the everlasting God who knows more than they do or they worship themselves and Satan.
These reasonable principles are widely practiced in family relationships. Take parents and their children for example. Caring parents provide guidance and instruction for their children. Little children inherently depend upon the parent's age, experience, knowledge, love, and physical welfare. There are no assumptions with little children who have been cared for by their parents as to who has authority. Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. "Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3-4 NASB). In the spirit realm, many are lost and the natural inclination to trust our Father in heaven is hidden in a dark forest of doubt, ignorance, sin, and rebelliousness. Therefore, this trust must be taught and practiced. Be like children of humility.
As with many principles, they are only beneficial if they are accepted and practiced.
Where these principles have not been practiced is in the understanding of God working. We have only limited information on how God works in man today. Because the scriptures will provide all we need to please the Lord in every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17) and because the authority of the word of God in the scriptures was revealed, confirmed and established by the power of God (Hebrews 2:1-4), we must remain in the confines of the scriptures to gain insight into His workings.
Where men have not remained in the confines of the scriptures is found in the manmade teaching and wisdom of the "feel good" religion or the intellectual manufacturing of a holy spirit. Today, many people believe in a pseudo or false holy spirit. This belief is deceptively driven partly by unjustified emotional stimuli or intellectual imagination. For these people, this is characterized as God working or the Holy Spirit working. They appeal to an emotional or imagined experience, self inflicted, as evidence of the Holy Spirit indwelling.
First, their misunderstanding of the true nature of the Holy Spirit indwelling is evident, based on the fact that their misunderstanding is nowhere found in scripture.
Second, their teachings are carefully constructed to subdue those whose consciences are weak, whose hearts or minds are in darkness and who are searching for another way to live. This emotional or intellectual experience deceptively portrays an answer to the mysterious and hidden things of God in which their minds are darkened. Therefore, for the emotionalists to have this experience, in their minds, how can they be wrong, because they "feel it" in their hearts? For the intellectually misguided by imagination, other deceptive forces are at work which do not allow the scriptures to be their only guide or rule of faith. For them, they are simply right because the leading or guidance of the scriptures alone cannot be right. They ignorantly or willfully rebel against the sufficiency and inherent power of the word of truth, the scriptures. In all this, the word of truth or the scriptures have not guided them; they have guided themselves with the destructive help of unjustified, unproven, self inflicted and deceptive emotional or imagined activity.
The issue of the Holy Spirit indwelling is not over the question of whether or not the Holy Spirit dwells in the faithful of Christ, I concede He does. The issue is "how" does the Holy Spirit indwell and thereby operate in people today? What is His mode of operation? Is it direct, indirect, or both? (This we will deal with a little more in Part 2.) For it is the operation of the Holy Spirit where we differ with these individuals as referenced above.
The religious emotionalists are sometimes called "charismatic." However, this word leads to a sense of ambiguity in the English language and in one definition of the word "charisma," calling them thus "charismatic," admits to them having extraordinary power. I will refrain from the use of this word. I do not believe they posses any miraculous power and in reality, any extraordinary power. It only seems like they do.
A teaching connected with these deceptive forces is the idea that the word of God is not the scriptures but Jesus Christ. A certain person I spoke with takes this position by teaching that since Jesus said He would send the Holy Spirit and what the Spirit gave is what Jesus gives to the Spirit, therefore the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of men today, brings the word of God and reveals God's thoughts apart from the scriptures. However, this does not mean that it contradicts the scriptures only that you can receive the message of God miraculously.
This last statement by the individual is simply a deceptive ploy to add weight to the genuineness of his supposed power. For the emotionalists if they have the "feeling," with thoughts apart from the scripture, they struggle not if they twist the scriptures.
Here is what this individual said,
"To me it is just clearer as seen in scripture to say that "The Word of God" is God Himself, to say that the scriptures are God's speaking to us, that the scriptures are from God, that is God's words or speaking. From this perspective you could say that the scriptures are "the word or words of God", because God clearly spoke them, that is the words found recorded in the Holy Bible, the Holy Books, the scriptures. However, the problem with continually referring and perceiving that the Bible or the scriptures is "The Word of God", is that it misleads people when studying and understanding the scriptures or the Holy Bible. What happens is that people go to study and understand the Holy recorded spoken words or speakings of God, and become confused as to what God's speaking or words are saying to them. They perceive that the Holy scriptures or speakings by God through men, or recorded by men, is speaking of its self (the scriptures)." (bolding mine ACW).
What is confusing and contradictory is what is said above. However, this individual is making an attempt to create a conflict between the scriptures (the written word of God) and Jesus (The Word of God, Rev. 19:13). This teaching is for a definite purpose. For this individual has a supposed direct working of the Jesus (The Word of God) in his mind and it is supposedly speaking to him, literally and miraculously.
This teaching holds to the idea that the Holy Spirit is operating directly or miraculously in the hearts of persons today. If you look very closely at this teaching, it is put together in such a way that it teaches that the scriptures (the written word of God) is separated from Jesus Christ (The Word) who is supposedly manifested in the direct Holy Spirit indwelling today. That is, because there is a conflict between the written word and this supposed indwelling, it necessitates a separation of Jesus' spoken word and his written word. Therefore, when the emotionalist or innovative thinker has something to say and he "feels" or thinks it is so authorized from God, apart from the scriptures, it trumps the scriptures (the written word) if his "feeling" or thoughts of the scriptures is not in harmony of his so-called indwelling. This individual believes that when the bible says "the word of God," it is not talking about the scriptures, but Jesus Christ, that is, his supposed indwelling of the Holy Spirit. In the end, what are trusted are a feeling or an arrogant innovative thought and not the faith of Christ.
This teaching is full of confusion and contradiction within itself and with the scriptures.
Part of the cause of this person's error stems from a misapplication and use of the Greek word logos, sometimes translated word. Because Jesus is referred to as the Word in John 1:1-2 figuratively, this individual will take this statement and apply the narrow meaning to other passages using the Greek word logos yet having a literal sense. John said, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." John 1:1-2 NASB This is a figurative use of this word Word. We need not spend a lot of effort to show the difficulties and errors that are created by misapplying meanings and uses of words when the context and the type of language are disregarded. However, I will provide a few examples relative to our present discourse:
1.) The word logos is translated as "account" or "treatise" in Acts 1:1. Luke was referring to a former composition. This composition implies a written document.
2.) Acts 15:24. "Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls," (NASB). The word "words" here refers the men's logos, not God's.
3.) Acts 16:36. "And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, "The chief magistrates have sent to release you. Now therefore, come out and go in peace." (NASB). These words were the jailer's logos, not God's.
4.) 1 Cor. 1:17. "For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, that the cross of Christ should not be made void." (NASB). The word "speech" here is logos and it applies to men's speech.
6.) 2 Tim. 2:17. ". . . and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus," (NASB). The word "talk" is logos, but their logos is bad logos.
7.) Acts 17:11. "Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so." (NASB). The word "word" is logos spoken and it was checked out by the written word for verifying it's truthfulness. This passage not only shows how it would be in error to apply the meaning of the phrase "the word" to the person Jesus Christ, but also shows that if anyone speaks something and says it is from God and if it is not in the scriptures, it does not belong in the category of THE LOGOS. It is not from God. Enough said.
If these individuals receive directly from the Holy Spirit something that is the same as the scriptures teach, then why do they need a bible?
If these individuals receive directly from the Holy Spirit something different than what the scriptures teach, it violates Galatians 1:6-9. This brings upon them a curse.
Peter the apostle said, "that you should remember the words spoken beforehand by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken by your apostles." (2 Peter 3:2 NASB). The Lord spoke to Paul, an apostle in the first century and what Paul wrote is what the Lord spoke. I see no conflict or separation between the spoken or written word. Therefore, I see no conflict or separation of Jesus, the Lord whose words he spoke are the same that were recorded using written words. Here is what Paul the apostle wrote, "If anyone thinks he is a prophet or spiritual, let him recognize that the things which I write to you are the Lord's commandment. But if anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized." (1 Cor. 14:37-38. NASB, bolding mine ACW).
The attempt to substitute unjustified feeling in the body or arrogant imagination as Jesus speaking and working, falls flat on its face because of the above passage. Gone is this attempt in putting in ever-present danger the corrupting of the scriptures.
John the apostle wrote, ". . . and He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." And He who sits on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." And He said, "Write, for these words are faithful and true." (Rev. 21:4-5. NASB, bolding mine ACW).
In conclusion, we must not trust in emotionalism, especially unjustified or unproven emotional activity. We must not trust in arrogant imaginations or "speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God" (2 Cor. 10:5 NASB). We must trust in the faithful word of God found in the scriptures. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16-17. NASB). If the scriptures provide all we need for every good work, then pray tell, why do we need a substitute and a fraudulent one at that?
The Direct Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit.
Concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, there are many errors people harbor as to its nature, purpose, and operation. It is true that God sent the Holy Spirit to dwell in those who obey Him. However, to treat the indwelling as a way to vent irrational emotions and passions and to reinvent the Holy Spirit's nature, purpose, and operations is a corruption of the Holy Spirit. Any teaching or saying fabricated and represented to be God's word when it is not, is simply a lie. All liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone. (Rev. 21:8). The errors of the emotionally driven and the intellectually clever regarding the teachings of the Holy Spirit indwelling come into conflict with the written word. These, will at times, reject the written word and rely upon their "feelings" or "intellectual craft" as faith; consequently, corrupting the word of God.
The bible speaks about the Holy Spirit indwelling in two ways. (1) Direct (miraculous) and (2) Indirect (non-miraculous). The use of the words direct and indirect is to show the difference in operation. In the scriptures, we see activity of the Holy Spirit that is miraculous in nature. The scriptures also reveal an operation of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man that is not miraculous in nature. First, we will deal with the nature and purpose of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus taught, "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation."" (Mark 16:15 NASB). If it is the will of God to have the gospel message spread throughout the world, it is also His exclusive right to choose what method to accomplish that task. The method He chose is to preach the gospel. However, not all people think this to be wise. "For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe." (1 Cor. 1:21 NASB). It is the message of God preached that contains the power to save the soul. Paul said, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." (Rom. 1:16 NASB). These passages, though dealing with the indirect operation of the Holy Spirit, are given here for distinguishing the kinds of power exercised by the Holy Spirit.
Before Jesus was crucified, he taught his disciples, "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you." (John 16:7 NASB). How would Jesus accomplish the task of spreading the gospel through his apostles if He left them? Since it is the gospel message that must be preached and only it will save, what if the apostles forget what to say? What if Jesus had more to say to the apostles concerning things they had not been acquainted with? For Jesus said to them just before he was crucified, "I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now." (John 16:12. NASB).
The promise of the Holy Spirit was not given for purely miraculous reasons; that is, the sole purpose of effecting direct miraculous deeds, notwithstanding the need for this operation. The apostles did not have a written document like the Old Testament to instruct them of what to preach concerning this new teaching.
Jesus said, "These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (John 14:25-26 NASB). In another passage Jesus also said, "When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me, . . ." (John 15:26 NASB). God the Father would send the Holy Spirit in the name of Jesus. Here, the purpose of sending the Holy Spirit was to provide all necessary information by teaching and to remind them of all that Jesus said to them while he was here on earth. The helper or the "Spirit of truth," would guide them into all truth. "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. "He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. "All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you." (John 16:13-15 NASB). It is clear in the foregoing passages that the Holy Spirit's work was to reveal or make known the words of God. Let me again emphasize the scripture, "He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." This part of the Holy Spirit indwelling consists of a direct operation of teaching and speaking of God's words which operation was miraculous in nature.
When Jesus walked this earth, He mentioned to the apostles this miraculous nature of the Holy Spirit. "So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute." (Luke 21:14-15 NASB). "And when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but it is the Holy Spirit." (Mark 13:11 NASB). These passages show clearly the miraculous nature of gathering information. The apostles were simply not to concern themselves beforehand in the gathering of information. In the natural course of learning, a person must read, study, meditate and/or have the information taught by a flesh and blood person. For the apostles to receive information in a way not natural to humans is miraculous.
The apostles were not the only ones who could miraculously speak the words of God. Stephen, not spoken as an apostle, was a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:5). When certain ones rose up and argued with Stephen they could not deal with the power and wisdom that was in him. "And yet they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking." (Acts 6:10 NASB). This direct operational indwelling evidenced by speaking information not previously known was miraculous in nature. This Holy Spirit indwelling served the purpose in making known unknown or forgotten information that would save souls.
Other miraculous powers by the Holy Spirit were given to early Christians, but all were for the purpose of propagating and making firm the gospel in the hearts of souls. Here is a list of some of those gifts, "For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills." (1 Cor. 12:8-11 NASB). These were all miraculous in nature.
Listed among these are the gifts of healing and the effecting of miracles. The effecting of miraculous deeds, including all the other miraculous gifts, served a purpose for God. It is not up to us to assume God's purpose in effecting signs, wonders, or miracles. To do so potentially presents wrong ideas and leads to corrupted practices of supposed Holy Spirit indwelling. This we have seen in the religious emotionally driven and intellectually imaginative by the deceptive practices of fraudulent inspiration, phony tongue speaking, and fake miracle working. The bible tells us the purpose of God's real works of power.
Mark states plainly, "And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed." (Mark 16:20 NASB). Another passage is found in Hebrews 2:3-4, ". . . how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will." (NASB). Signs, wonders, and miracles were a means of God to authenticate and show the reliability of the things he spoke by the Holy Spirit. Consequently, this firmly verified in the mind of the hearers, the truthfulness of His word.
First Corinthians the thirteenth chapter shows that these miraculous manifestations were to end when the complete body of God's revelation was given. As a result, this would end the miraculous operation of the direct Holy Spirit's indwelling. From here on, all souls got the word of God in an indirect way. It was obtained through reading and preaching the written words or through those who heard by word of mouth. For the purposes of this lesson, this is called the indirect operation of the Holy Spirit; that is, we still obtain all of God's word for us by the Spirit, however, indirectly through the scriptures and not operationally and miraculously direct.
Receiving indirect information was not a new way of getting the word of God, for not every Christian in the earliest age of the church had the same gifts and in the same measure. Paul said, "And by referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, . . ." (Eph. 3:4 bolding mine ACW, NASB). Paul wrote the Colossians and said, "And when this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea." (Col. 4:16 NASB). Paul also said to Timothy, ". . . preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." (2 Tim. 4:2 NASB).
Miraculous gifts were given to early Christians when they received the Holy Spirit. The bible teaches the way a person received the Holy Spirit was through the laying on of the apostles' hands. "Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, . . ." (Acts 8:18, bolding mine ACW, NASB). "And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying." (Acts 19:6, bolding mine ACW, NASB). The only way these early Christians were to get the direct operation of the Holy Spirit was through the laying on of the apostles' hands. Any other way considered is unproven speculation. Even Philip who converted the Samaritans was full of the Spirit and wisdom, yet he was not an apostle and had not the power as the apostles in bestowing the Holy Spirit. (Acts 6:3-5; 8:5-19). However today, some people mistakenly say that we can get the Holy Spirit just like Cornelius.
In Acts 10, we read the story about Cornelius and the Gentiles receiving the Holy Spirit without the laying on of the apostles' hands. This was an exception how these individuals received the Holy Spirit. The extent and measure of what they received was limited and served the purpose of convincing Peter and his Jewish Christian brethren that the gospel of Christ was also for the Gentiles. Acts 10:46 teaches that when Cornelius and the Gentiles received the Holy Spirit they were "speaking with tongues and exalting God," nothing more. The scripture does not say if these gifts continued after they obeyed the gospel. In fact, it was not Cornelius or the Gentiles with their gifts that preached what they must do to be saved. For the scriptures teach that Peter said, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit just as we did, can he?" "And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ." (Acts 10:47-48a NASB). A strong argument that shows that the pouring out of the Holy Spirit upon the Gentiles was an exception is found in Acts 11:15. When Peter returns to his Jewish Christian brethren he recounts this Gentile event and he said, "And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, just as He did upon us at the beginning." (Acts 11:15 NASB). This does not mean the outpouring in every particular measure; but at least the same specific thing in particular of the outpouring that fell on the Gentiles also fell on the apostles at the beginning. This would not have been mentioned if this was the normal or common way of getting the Holy Spirit. If Peter's statement, "just as He did upon us at the beginning" did not mean to imply an uncommon event, it would have been superfluous.
Since there are no more living apostles to bestow on anyone the Holy Spirit by the laying on of their hands, by implication, there is no more direct operation of the Holy Spirit in man today. It is also implied that the recording and confirmation of God's word is complete. To think otherwise is to assume or speculate beyond the scriptures. The scriptures do teach, "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16-17 NASB). If the scriptures provide all I need to please God, then what more do I need? If the scriptures do not provide all that I need, then the author of this passage is a liar. You cannot have it both ways. Either you trust this passage or by implication you call God a liar.
The scriptures, the word of God, contain everything we need to please God in our life and living. Those today that claim to have new revelation are lying and bring upon themselves a curse. However, this behavior by men is not new. Paul said, "But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. "As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed." (Gal. 1:8-9 NASB). Peter speaks about the end of those who distort the scriptures, ". . . as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction." (2 Peter 3:16 NASB).
The faith that comes by the written word of God (Rom. 10:17) has been given once and will not be given again. Jude said, ". . . contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints." (Jude 3 NASB).
Answering The Manufacturers Of A Pseudo Holy Spirit – Part 2
Remember that in Part 1 of Answering The Manufacturers Of A Pseudo Holy Spirit, some believe that there is a difference between the written word of God and the spoken word of God. In summation, when this kind speak of religious matters, if there is a conflict between what the scripture says and what they "feel" or intellectually speculate, they will trust in what they feel or speculate. This is because they believe their "feeling" or their intellectual cleverness is evidence of having the direct operation and miraculous indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
One individual went so far as to accuse me that the attitude I have toward the written word of God, called in the bible the "scriptures," was equal to an attitude of the Pharisees. The passage which was cited is John 5:39, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; . . ." (NASB). This individual thought this specific statement was an accusation by Jesus against the Pharisees. However, a closer look at the context will show this is not so. Before we deal with this passage, here is a quote from this individual in question showing his problem:
"They perceive that the Holy scriptures or speakings by God through men, or recorded by men, is speaking of its self (the scriptures). Then they miss the point that God is living and active today, that the Holy Spirit is leading today, speaking today, etc. That only those led by the Spirit of God are son's of God. They think instead, they are to be led by the scriptures, this is the same situation the Pharisees found themselves in." (bolding mine ACW).
This was written to me after this individual accused me in a discussion of being a Pharisee and following their error. Of course, if I am a Pharisee in my attitude, I am condemned, for Jesus said, "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt 5:20. NASB). This statement of Jesus is not to be taken lightly by me or anyone else.
I answered the accusation by this person by saying to him that the bible speaks of at least three errors of the Pharisees.
(1) Regarding John 5:39. It reads, "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; . . ." (NASB). One of the Pharisees' errors was not that they "search the Scriptures" because they thought eternal life was in them. You must read before and after John 5:39 to get a complete picture of Jesus' accusation. "And the Father who sent Me, He has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. "And you do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent. "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. "I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves." (John 5:37-42. NASB, bolding mine ACW). It is evident that the Pharisees did not accept the Old Testament witness and testimony concerning Jesus. You can't have one without the other. It's a packaged deal. If you believe the scriptures (the written word of God), you have to believe Jesus (the Word, John 1:1, 14). It is evident that after they searched the scriptures, they did not believe them; even if they thought eternal life was in them. Jesus went on to say to them, "For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me. "But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?" (John 5:46-47, NASB bolding mine ACW). There you have it! What made the Pharisee's name a dirty word is they did not believe God's written word. The Pharisees wanted eternal life on their own terms; just like many religious people today.
(2) A second error of the Pharisees included hypocritical behavior in regards to the word of God, the scriptures. Jesus said in Matthew 23:2-3, ". . . saying, "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses; therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things, and do not do them."" (NASB bolding mine ACW). The Pharisees were simply disobedient towards the written word of God; just like many religious people today.
(3) A third error of the Pharisees included the perversion of the scriptures. Jesus quoted Isaiah in reference to the Pharisees, "This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men." (Matt. 15:8-9. NASB, bolding mine ACW). Read also the previous verses. The Pharisees, added, subtracted, twisted, and substituted the scriptures; just like many religious people today.
Every error of the Pharisees that we cited here is connected with their irreverence towards the written word of God; just like many religious people today.
With this information above, I answered the accuser this way:
"Therefore when you said, "They think instead, they are to be led by the scriptures;" my question to you is, don't you think you "are to be led by the scriptures," or are you just like many people today who will not be led by the scriptures?"
"Remember what the scriptures teach, "These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11 KJV).""
"Would you not say concerning the Bereans, "They think" "they are to be led by the scriptures?""
The Pharisees did not believe, obey, or revere God's written word. THEY WERE NOT LED BY THE SCRIPTURES.
The Pharisees corrupted God's written word by adding, subtracting, twisting and substituting their own teaching. THEY WERE NOT LED BY THE SCRIPTURES.
The Pharisees gave a white walled impression that they were righteous, yet behind that front were unrighteous and dead souls. They made sure that everyone else was to heed the scriptures except themselves. As a result, Jesus called them hypocrites and liars. THEY WERE NOT LED BY THE SCRIPTURES.
And now this accuser wants us to believe that it is a Pharisaic attitude to think we are to be led by the scriptures. Who is twisting the scriptures now and acting like a Pharisee?
The Indirect Holy Spirit Indwelling Today
As was mentioned earlier, the Bible speaks about the Holy Spirit indwelling in two ways. (1) Direct (miraculous) and (2) Indirect (non-miraculous). The use of the words direct and indirect is to show the difference in operation. In the scriptures, we see activity of the Holy Spirit that is miraculous in nature. The scriptures also reveal an operation of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man that is not miraculous in nature. Earlier, we dealt with the direct operation of the Holy Spirit through miraculous means; that is, the miraculous spiritual gifts such as tongues, prophecy, knowledge, faith, interpretation of tongues, miracles, and healings. These served a purpose and are not in existence today because they are no longer needed since we have received the complete work of textual revelation from God, the scriptures; 1 Corinthians 13; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.
Concerning the Holy Spirit indwelling today, the scriptures show another purpose and nature of His indwelling. The purpose of this indwelling is God working in us through His word toward the end that we will be obedient and faithful resulting in our salvation. The nature of this indwelling is an active operation by means of the word of God, the scriptures. This indicates the Holy Spirit indirectly working; therefore, an indirect indwelling and non-miraculous.
One of the ways to understand this indwelling is to understand how Christ and the Father dwell in Christians today.
Jesus gave his promise to the apostles, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18 NASB). How Jesus would come to them is explained in the verses that follow.
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him." (John 14:21 NASB).
Though this statement could be misunderstood by applying it to only the apostles, Jesus dealt with the statement of Judas, "Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?" "Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him."" (John 14:22-23 NASB).
The above passages in John 14 incorporate an aspect of indwelling by Jesus and the Father. This is the disclosure or the making known of the person Jesus Christ. It is not the person himself indwelling; it is the making known (disclosing) of the person. It is evident by these passages that when Jesus would come to the apostles or any disciple for that matter ("If anyone loves me"), He would come based upon whether or not the disciple kept His word, that is keeps His commandments, and the disciple who keeps His word is the one that loves God. These passages in John 14 are not necessarily bound to the idea that only the Holy Spirit's miraculous spiritual gifts were under consideration. For it follows that "If anyone loves" Christ, they first have the word before they can keep the word. In the following passages in this lesson we will see how they were to get the word to keep. Nothing here in these passages above speak directly about the person the Holy Spirit, yet speaks about the Father and the Son dwelling in those who love Him ("We will come to him, and make Our abode with him").
Though these passages above apply directly to the Father and the Son, these passages and other texts surrounding them help to establish a blending contrast of the two operational concepts of Holy Spirit indwelling.
First, we have the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus who would expose or make known the words of God. "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you." (John 14:26 NASB, bolding mine ACW). "But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." (John 16:13 NASB, bolding mine ACW). This part of the Holy Spirit indwelling is a direct operation which operation was miraculous in nature.
Second, concerning the Father and Jesus, their persons would be exposed or made known based upon keeping or obeying the words of God. This operation of the Holy Spirit is indirect by means of the scriptures and is non-miraculous.
Therefore, in the first century, the Holy Spirit would first miraculously reveal the words of God, and second if anyone kept the word by being obedient to the word, the persons of God would be exposed or made known. This is the indwelling of God.
The scriptures teach that the Holy Spirit is a person and is Deity (God). I have quoted a passage already that refers to the Holy Spirit using the personal pronoun He, a person. The following passages show He is Deity. "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. "But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. "But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you." (Rom. 8:9-11 NASB).
The Holy Spirit dwells in all who obey God. "And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." (Acts 5:32 NASB, bolding mine ACW). The nature and purpose of this indwelling is the same as the dwelling of God the Father and Jesus Christ. We have already seen in John the fourteenth chapter that Jesus and the Father dwell in those who keep His word, that is, who obey God.
This dwelling relationship by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is communion or fellowship in nature; based upon doing or keeping the word of God in the scriptures. It is a sharing or partaking of the divine nature; "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. "For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust." (2 Peter 1:2-4 NASB). "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with you all." (2 Cor. 13:14 NASB, bolding mine ACW). It is a dwelling relationship established and maintained by things from heaven (spiritual words).
This indwelling by all three is non-miraculous and the active operational means is considered indirect working. The Holy Spirit being an agent, His holy written words (given to Him by Jesus Christ, John 16:12-14) being the means by which this relationship and dwelling is established and by which without no one can be saved. "And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12 NASB). "Therefore putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls." (James 1:21 NASB).
Another way to explain the indirect Holy Spirit indwelling is by understanding the use of figurative language. When the bible speaks about the Holy Spirit indwelling in man, metonymy is the type of figurative language used. This means the use of a name or noun for that of another because of association. An illustration of this is given when Paul by inspiration said, "Drink the cup" (NASB) in 1 Corinthians 11:26. Paul does not mean to drink the physical container but the contents in the container, that is, the fruit of the vine that is in the container. Therefore, the word cup is used in place of the expression fruit of the vine because of its association with the fruit of the vine.
The early Christians received the Holy Spirit; not the person but miraculous power associated with the Holy Spirit. They received a direct operating power of miraculous spiritual gifts.
The early Christians and believers today receive the Holy Spirit; not the person but influence or non-miraculous power that is associated with the Holy Spirit. We receive this by the means of the word of God, therefore an indirect operating power of the Holy Spirit. The following passage speaks about this power, "And for this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe." (1 Thess. 2:13 NASB, bolding mine ACW). The word that performs a work, implies power or influence in itself.
The Father and Christ are one. Jesus prayed, "And the glory which Thou hast given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; . . ." (John 17:22 NASB). Since the persons of the Father and Jesus do not dwell in us, the same is true concerning the Holy Spirit. All three dwell in the Christian by the means of the word of God and if you know one you know all three. They are One. And since it is through your obedience to the word of God that He will disclose Himself to you, make Himself known to you; based upon your obedience, He will make His dwelling in you and you will dwell in Them.
"Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. "And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. "And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. "God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God," (1 John 4:13-16 KJV).