The Person and Work
The Holy Spirit
As Revealed in the Scriptures
And in Personal Experience
R. A. Torrey
Fleming H. Revell Company
New York, Chicago, Toronto,
London and Edinburgh
Copyright 1910, by
R. A. Torrey
Chapter I. The Personality of the Holy Spirit. Chapter II. The Deity of the Holy Spirit. Chapter III. The Distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and from His Son, Jesus Christ. Chapter IV. The Subordination of the Spirit to the Father and to the Son. Chapter V. The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit as Revealed in His Names. Chapter VI. The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Material Universe. Chapter VII. The Holy Spirit Convicting the World of Sin, of Righteousness and of Judgment. Chapter VIII. The Holy Spirit Bearing Witness to Jesus Christ. Chapter IX. The Regenerating Work of the Holy Spirit. Chapter X. The Indwelling Spirit Fully and Forever Satisfying. Chapter XI. The Holy Spirit Setting the Believer Free From the Power of Indwelling Sin. Chapter XII. The Holy Spirit Forming Christ Within Us. Chapter XIII. The Holy Spirit Bringing Forth in the Believer Christlike Graces of Character. Chapter XIV. The Holy Spirit Guiding the Believer Into a Life as a Son. Chapter XV. The Holy Spirit Bearing Witness to our Sonship. Chapter XVI. The Holy Spirit as a Teacher. Chapter XVII. Praying, Returning Thanks, Worshipping in the Holy Spirit. Chapter XVIII. The Holy Spirit Sending Men Forth to Definite Lines of Work. Chapter XIX. The Holy Spirit and the Believer's Body. Chapter XX. The Baptism With the Holy Spirit. Chapter XXI. The Work of the Holy Spirit in Prophets and Apostles. Chapter XXII. The Work of the Holy Spirit In Jesus Christ. Footnotes
CHAPTER I. THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Before one can correctly understand the work of the Holy Spirit, he must first of all know the Spirit Himself. A frequent source of error and fanaticism about the work of the Holy Spirit is the attempt to study and understand His work without first of all coming to know Him as a Person.
It is of the highest importance from the standpoint of worship that we decide whether the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, worthy to receive our adoration, our faith, our love, and our entire surrender to Himself, or whether it is simply an influence emanating from God or a power or an illumination that God imparts to us. If the Holy Spirit is a person, and a Divine Person, and we do not know Him as such, then we are robbing a Divine Being of the worship and the faith and the love and the surrender to Himself which are His due.
It is also of the highest importance from the practical standpoint that we decide whether the Holy Spirit is merely some mysterious and wonderful power that we in our weakness and ignorance are somehow to get hold of and use, or whether the Holy Spirit is a real Person, infinitely holy, infinitely wise, infinitely mighty and infinitely tender who is to get hold of and use us. The former conception is utterly heathenish, not essentially different from the thought of the African fetich worshipper who has his god whom he uses. The latter conception is sublime and Christian. If we think of the Holy Spirit as so many do as merely a power or influence, our constant thought will be, "How can I get more of the Holy Spirit," but if we think of Him in the Biblical way as a Divine Person, our thought will rather be, "How can the Holy Spirit have more of me?" The conception of the Holy Spirit as a Divine influence or power that we are somehow to get hold of and use, leads to self-exaltation and self-sufficiency. One who so thinks of the Holy Spirit and who at the same time imagines that he has received the Holy Spirit will almost inevitably be full of spiritual pride and strut about as if he belonged to some superior order of Christians. One frequently hears such persons say, "I am a Holy Ghost man," or "I am a Holy Ghost woman." But if we once grasp the thought that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person of infinite majesty, glory and holiness and power, who in marvellous condescension has come into our hearts to make His abode there and take possession of our lives and make use of them, it will put us in the dust and keep us in the dust. I can think of no thought more humbling or more overwhelming than the thought that a person of Divine majesty and glory dwells in my heart and is ready to use even me.
It is of the highest importance from the standpoint of experience that we know the Holy Spirit as a person. Thousands and tens of thousands of men and women can testify to the blessing that has come into their own lives as they have come to know the Holy Spirit, not merely as a gracious influence (emanating, it is true, from God) but as a real Person, just as real as Jesus Christ Himself, an ever-present, loving Friend and mighty Helper, who is not only always by their side but dwells in their heart every day and every hour and who is ready to undertake for them in every emergency of life. Thousands of ministers, Christian workers and Christians in the humblest spheres of life have spoken to me, or written to me, of the complete transformation of their Christian experience that came to them when they grasped the thought (not merely in a theological, but in an experimental way) that the Holy Spirit was a Person and consequently came to know Him.
There are at least four distinct lines of proof in the Bible that the Holy Spirit is a person.
I. All the distinctive characteristics of personality are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Bible.
What are the distinctive characteristics, or marks, of personality? Knowledge, feeling or emotion, and will. Any entity that thinks and feels and wills is a person. When we say that the Holy Spirit is a person, there are those who understand us to mean that the Holy Spirit has hands and feet and eyes and ears and mouth, and so on, but these are not the characteristics of personality but of corporeity. All of these characteristics or marks of personality are repeatedly ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments. We read in 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11, "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." Here knowledge is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. We are clearly taught that the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence that illuminates our minds to comprehend the truth but a Being who Himself knows the truth.
In 1 Cor. xii. 11, we read, "But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will." Here will is ascribed to the Spirit and we are taught that the Holy Spirit is not a power that we get hold of and use according to our will but a Person of sovereign majesty, who uses us according to His will. This distinction is of fundamental importance in our getting into right relations with the Holy Spirit. It is at this very point that many honest seekers after power and efficiency in service go astray. They are reaching out after and struggling to get possession of some mysterious and mighty power that they can make use of in their work according to their own will. They will never get possession of the power they seek until they come to recognize that there is not some Divine power for them to get hold of and use in their blindness and ignorance but that there is a Person, infinitely wise, as well as infinitely mighty, who is willing to take possession of them and use them according to His own perfect will. When we stop to think of it, we must rejoice that there is no Divine power that beings so ignorant as we are, so liable to err, to get hold of and use. How appalling might be the results if there were. But what a holy joy must come into our hearts when we grasp the thought that there is a Divine Person, One who never errs, who is willing to take possession of us and impart to us such gifts as He sees best and to use us according to His wise and loving will.
We read in Rom. viii. 27, "And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." In this passage mind is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Greek word translated "mind" is a comprehensive word, including the ideas of thought, feeling and purpose. It is the same that is used in Rom. viii. 7 where we read that "the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." So then in this passage we have all the distinctive marks of personality ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
We find the personality of the Holy Spirit brought out in a most touching and suggestive way in Rom. xv. 30, "Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me." Here we have "love" ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The reader would do well to stop and ponder those five words, "the love of the Spirit." We dwell often upon the love of God the Father. It is the subject of our daily and constant thought. We dwell often upon the love of Jesus Christ the Son. Who would think of calling himself a Christian who passed a day without meditating on the love of his Saviour, but how often have we meditated upon "the love of the Spirit"? Each day of our lives, if we are living as Christians ought, we kneel down in the presence of God the Father and look up into His face and say, "I thank Thee, Father, for Thy great love that led Thee to give Thine only begotten Son to die upon the cross of Calvary for me." Each day of our lives we also look up into the face of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, and say, "Oh, Thou glorious Lord and Saviour, Jesus Thou Son of God, I thank Thee for Thy great love that led Thee not to count it a thing to be grasped to be on equality with God but to empty Thyself and forsaking all the glory of heaven, come down to earth with all its shame and to take my sins upon Thyself and die in my place upon the cross of Calvary." But how often do we kneel and say to the Holy Spirit, "Oh, Thou eternal and infinite Spirit of God, I thank Thee for Thy great love that led Thee to come into this world of sin and darkness and to seek me out and to follow me so patiently until Thou didst bring me to see my utter ruin and need of a Saviour and to reveal to me my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, as just the Saviour whom I need." Yet we owe our salvation just as truly to the love of the Spirit as we do to the love of the Father and the love of the Son. If it had not been for the love of God the Father looking down upon me in my utter ruin and providing a perfect atonement for me in the death of His own Son on the cross of Calvary, I would have been in hell to-day. If it had not been for the love of Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God, looking upon me in my utter ruin and in obedience to the Father, putting aside all the glory of heaven for all the shame of earth and taking my place, the place of the curse, upon the cross of Calvary and pouring out His life utterly for me, I would have been in hell to-day. But if it had not been for the love of the Holy Spirit, sent by the Father in answer to the prayer of the Son (John xiv. 16) leading Him to seek me out in my utter blindness and ruin and to follow me day after day, week after week, and year after year, when I persistently turned a deaf ear to His pleadings, following me through paths of sin where it must have been agony for that holy One to go, until at last I listened and He opened my eyes to see my utter ruin and then revealed Jesus to me as just the Saviour that would meet my every need and then enabled me to receive this Jesus as my own Saviour; if it had not been for this patient, long-suffering, never-tiring, infinitely-tender love of the Holy Spirit, I would have been in hell to-day. Oh, the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence or a power or an illumination but is a Person just as real as God the Father or Jesus Christ His Son.
The personality of the Holy Spirit comes out in the Old Testament as truly as in the New, for we read in Neh. ix. 20, "Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not Thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst." Here both intelligence and goodness are ascribed to the Holy Spirit. There are some who tell us that while it is true the personality of the Holy Spirit is found in the New Testament, it is not found in the Old. But it is certainly found in this passage. As a matter of course, the doctrine of the personality of the Holy Spirit is not as fully developed in the Old Testament as in the New. But the doctrine is there.
There is perhaps no passage in the entire Bible in which the personality of the Holy Spirit comes out more tenderly and touchingly than in Eph. iv. 30, "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." Here grief is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is not a blind, impersonal influence or power that comes into our lives to illuminate, sanctify and empower them. No, He is immeasurably more than that, He is a holy Person who comes to dwell in our hearts, One who sees clearly every act we perform, every word we speak, every thought we entertain, even the most fleeting fancy that is allowed to pass through our minds; and if there is anything in act, or word or deed that is impure, unholy, unkind, selfish, mean, petty or untrue, this infinitely holy One is deeply grieved by it. I know of no thought that will help one more than this to lead a holy life and to walk softly in the presence of the holy One. How often a young man is kept back from yielding to the temptations that surround young manhood by the thought that if he should yield to the temptation that now assails him, his holy mother might hear of it and would be grieved by it beyond expression. How often some young man has had his hand upon the door of some place of sin that he is about to enter and the thought has come to him, "If I should enter there, my mother might hear of it and it would nearly kill her," and he has turned his back upon that door and gone away to lead a pure life, that he might not grieve his mother. But there is One who is holier than any mother, One who is more sensitive against sin than the purest woman who ever walked this earth, and who loves us as even no mother ever loved, and this One dwells in our hearts, if we are really Christians, and He sees every act we do by day or under cover of the night; He hears every word we utter in public or in private; He sees every thought we entertain, He beholds every fancy and imagination that is permitted even a momentary lodgment in our mind, and if there is anything unholy, impure, selfish, mean, petty, unkind, harsh, unjust, or in anywise evil in act or word or thought or fancy, He is grieved by it. If we will allow those words, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God," to sink into our hearts and become the motto of our lives, they will keep us from many a sin. How often some thought or fancy has knocked for an entrance into my own mind and was about to find entertainment when the thought has come, "The Holy Spirit sees that thought and will be grieved by it" and that thought has gone.
II. Many acts that only a Person can perform are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
If we deny the personality of the Holy Spirit, many passages of Scripture become meaningless and absurd. For example, we read in 1 Cor. ii. 10, "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God." This passage sets before us the Holy Spirit, not merely as an illumination whereby we are enabled to grasp the deep things of God, but a Person who Himself searches the deep things of God and then reveals to us the precious discoveries which He has made.
We read in Rev. ii. 7, "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." Here the Holy Spirit is set before us, not merely as an impersonal enlightenment that comes to our mind but a Person who speaks and out of the depths of His own wisdom, whispers into the ear of His listening servant the precious truth of God.
In Gal. iv. 6 we read, "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Here the Holy Spirit is represented as crying out in the heart of the individual believer. Not merely a Divine influence producing in our own hearts the assurance of our sonship but one who cries out in our hearts, who bears witness together with our spirit that we are sons of God. (See also Rom. viii. 16.)
The Holy Spirit is also represented in the Scripture as one who prays. We read in Rom. viii. 26, R. V., "And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity; for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." It is plain from this passage that the Holy Spirit is not merely an influence that moves us to pray, not merely an illumination that teaches us how to pray, but a Person who Himself prays in and through us. There is wondrous comfort in the thought that every true believer has two Divine Persons praying for him, Jesus Christ, the Son who was once upon this earth, who knows all about our temptations, who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities and who is now ascended to the right hand of the Father and in that place of authority and power ever lives to make intercession for us (Heb. vii. 25; 1 John ii. 1); and another Person, just as Divine as He, who walks by our side each day, yes, who dwells in the innermost depths of our being and knows our needs, even as we do not know them ourselves, and from these depths makes intercession to the Father for us. The position of the believer is indeed one of perfect security with these two Divine Persons praying for him.
We read again in John xv. 26, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me." Here the Holy Spirit is set before us as a Person who gives His testimony to Jesus Christ, not merely as an illumination that enables the believer to testify of Christ, but a Person who Himself testifies; and a clear distinction is drawn in this and the following verse between the testimony of the Holy Spirit and the testimony of the believer to whom He has borne His witness, for we read in the next verse, "And ye also shall bear witness because ye have been with Me from the beginning." So there are two witnesses, the Holy Spirit bearing witness to the believer and the believer bearing witness to the world.
The Holy Spirit is also spoken of as a teacher. We read in John xiv. 26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." And in a similar way, we read in John xvi. 12-14, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you." And in the Old Testament, Neh. ix. 20, "Thou gavest also Thy good Spirit to instruct them." In all these passages it is perfectly clear that the Holy Spirit is not a mere illumination that enables us to apprehend the truth, but a Person who comes to us to teach us day by day the truth of God. It is the privilege of the humblest believer in Jesus Christ not merely to have his mind illumined to comprehend the truth of God, but to have a Divine Teacher to daily teach him the truth he needs to know (cf. 1 John ii. 20, 27). The Holy Spirit is also represented as the Leader and Guide of the children of God. We read in Rom. viii. 14, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God they are the sons of God." He is not merely an influence that enables us to see the way that God would have us go, nor merely a power that gives us strength to go that way, but a Person who takes us by the hand and gently leads us on in the paths in which God would have us walk.
The Holy Spirit is also represented as a Person who has authority to command men in their service of Jesus Christ. We read of the Apostle Paul and his companions in Acts xvi. 6, 7, "Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not." Here it is a Person who takes the direction of the conduct of Paul and his companions and a Person whose authority they recognized and to whom they instantly submit.
Further still than this the Holy Spirit is represented as the One who is the supreme authority in the church, who calls men to work and appoints them to office. We read in Acts xiii. 2, "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work where unto I have called them." And in Acts xx. 28, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood." There can be no doubt to a candid seeker after truth that it is a Person, and a person of Divine majesty and sovereignty, who is here set before us.
From all the passages here quoted, it is evident that many acts that only a person can perform are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
III. An office is predicated of the Holy Spirit that can only be predicated of a person.
Our Saviour says in John xiv. 16, 17, "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever; Even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." Our Lord had announced to the disciples that He was about to leave them. An awful sense of desolation took possession of them. Sorrow filled their hearts (John xvi. 6) at the contemplation of their loneliness and absolute helplessness when Jesus should thus leave them alone. To comfort them the Lord tells them that they shall not be left alone, that in leaving them He was going to the Father and that He would pray the Father and He would give them another Comforter to take the place of Himself during His absence. Is it possible that Jesus Christ could have used such language if the other Comforter who was coming to take His place was only an impersonal influence or power? Still more, is it possible that Jesus could have said as He did in John xvi. 7, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you," if this Comforter whom He was to send was simply an impersonal influence or power? No, one Divine Person was going, another Person just as Divine was coming to take His place, and it was expedient for the disciples that the One go to represent them before the Father, for another just as Divine and sufficient was coming to take His place. This promise of our Lord and Saviour of the coming of the other Comforter and of His abiding with us is the greatest and best of all for the present dispensation. This is the promise of the Father (Acts i. 4), the promise of promises. We shall take it up again when we come to study the names of the Holy Spirit.
IV. A treatment is predicated to the Holy Spirit that could only be predicated of a Person.
We read in Isa. lxiii. 10, R. V., "But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit: therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them." Here we are told that the Holy Spirit is rebelled against and grieved (cf. Eph. iv. 30). Only a person can be rebelled against and only a person of authority. Only a person can be grieved. You cannot grieve a mere influence or power. In Heb. x. 29, we read, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" Here we are told that the Holy Spirit is "done despite unto" ("treated with contumely"—Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). There is but one kind of entity in the universe that can be treated with contumely (or insulted) and that is a person. It is absurd to think of treating an influence or a power or any kind of being except a person with contumely. We read again in Acts v. 3, "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?" Here we have the Holy Spirit represented as one who can be lied to. One cannot lie to anything but a person.
In Matt. xii. 31, 32, we read, "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." Here we are told that the Holy Spirit is blasphemed against. It is impossible to blaspheme anything but a person. If the Holy Spirit is not a person, it certainly cannot be a more serious and decisive sin to blaspheme Him than it is to blaspheme the Son of man, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ Himself.
Here then we have four distinctive and decisive lines of proof that the Holy Spirit is a Person. Theoretically most of us believe this but do we, in our real thought of Him and in our practical attitude towards Him treat Him as if He were indeed a Person? At the close of an address on the Personality of the Holy Spirit at a Bible conference some years ago, one who had been a church-member many years, a member of one of the most orthodox of our modern denominations, said to me, "I never thought of It before as a Person." Doubtless this Christian woman had often sung:
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him above, ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."
Doubtless she had often sung:
"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, World without end, Amen."
But it is one thing to sing words; it is quite another thing to realize the meaning of what we sing. If this Christian woman had been questioned in regard to her doctrine, she would doubtless have said that she believed that there were three Persons in the Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but a theological confession is one thing, a practical realization of the truth we confess is quite another. So the question is altogether necessary, no matter how orthodox you may be in your creedal statements, Do you regard the Holy Spirit as indeed as real a Person as Jesus Christ, as loving and wise and strong, as worthy of your confidence and love and surrender as Jesus Christ Himself? The Holy Spirit came into this world to be to the disciples of our Lord after His departure, and to us, what Jesus Christ had been to them during the days of His personal companionship with them (John xiv. 16, 17). Is He that to you? Do you know Him? Every week in your life you hear the apostolic benediction, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all" (2 Cor. xiii. 14), but while you hear it, do you take in the significance of it? Do you know the communion of the Holy Ghost? The fellowship of the Holy Ghost? The partnership of the Holy Ghost? The comradeship of the Holy Ghost? The intimate personal friendship of the Holy Ghost? Herein lies the whole secret of a real Christian life, a life of liberty and joy and power and fullness. To have as one's ever-present Friend, and to be conscious that one has as his ever-present Friend, the Holy Spirit and to surrender one's life in all its departments entirely to His control, this is true Christian living. The doctrine of the Personality of the Holy Spirit is as distinctive of the religion that Jesus taught as the doctrines of the Deity and the atonement of Jesus Christ Himself. But it is not enough to believe the doctrine—one must know the Holy Spirit Himself. The whole purpose of this chapter (God help me to say it reverently) is to introduce you to my Friend, the Holy Spirit.
CHAPTER II. THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
In the preceding chapter we have seen clearly that the Holy Spirit is a Person. But what sort of a Person is He? Is He a finite person or an infinite person? Is He God? This question also is plainly answered in the Bible. There are in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments five distinct and decisive lines of proof of the Deity of the Holy Spirit.
I. Each of the four distinctively Divine attributes is ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
What are the distinctively Divine attributes? Eternity, omnipresence, omniscience and omnipotence. All of these are ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the Bible.
We find eternity ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Heb. ix. 14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"
Omnipresence is ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Ps. cxxxix. 7-10, "Whither shall I go from Thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from Thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, Thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me."
Omniscience is ascribed to the Holy Spirit in several passages. For example, we read in 1 Cor. ii. 10, 11, "But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God." Again in John xiv. 26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Still further we read in John xvi. 12, 13, R. V., "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He shall guide you into all the truth: for He shall not speak from Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak: and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come."
We find omnipotence ascribed to the Holy Spirit in Luke i. 35, "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
II. Three distinctively Divine works are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
When we think of God and His work, the first work of which we always think is that of creation. In the Scriptures creation is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. We read in Job xxxiii. 4, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." We read still again in Ps. civ. 30, "Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created: and Thou renewest the face of the earth." In connection with the description of creation in the first chapter of Genesis, the activity of the Spirit is referred to (Gen. i. 1-3).
The impartation of life is also a Divine work and this is ascribed in the Scriptures to the Holy Spirit, We read in John vi. 6, A. R. V., "It is the Spirit that giveth life: the flesh profiteth nothing." We read also in Rom. viii. 11, "But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you." In the description of the creation of man in Gen. ii. 7, it is the breath of God, that is the Holy Spirit, who imparts life to man, and man becomes a living soul. The exact words are, "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." The Greek word which is rendered "spirit" means "breath" and though the Holy Spirit as a Person does not come out distinctly in this early reference to Him in Gen. ii. 7, nevertheless, this passage interpreted in the light of the fuller revelation of the New Testament clearly refers to the Holy Spirit.
The authorship of Divine prophecies is also ascribed to the Holy Spirit. We read in 2 Pet. i. 21, R. V., "For no prophecy ever came by the will of man: but men spake from God, being moved by the Holy Ghost." Even in the Old Testament, there is a reference to the Holy Spirit as the author of prophecy. We read in 2 Sam. xxiii. 2, 3, "the Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and His word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God."
So we see that the three distinctly Divine works of creation, the impartation of life, and prophecy are ascribed to the Holy Spirit.
III. Statements which in the Old Testament distinctly name the LORD or Jehovah as their subject are applied to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, i. e., the Holy Spirit occupies the position of Deity in New Testament thought.
A striking illustration of this is found in Isa. vi. 8-10, "Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. And He said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert and be healed." In verse five we are told that it was Jehovah (whenever the word LORD is spelled in capitals in the Old Testament, it stands for Jehovah in the Hebrew and is so rendered in the American Revision) whom Isaiah saw and who speaks. But in Acts xxviii. 25-27 there is a reference to this statement of Isaiah's and whereas in Isaiah we are told it is Jehovah who speaks, in the reference in Acts we are told that it was the Holy Spirit who was the speaker. The passage in Acts reads as follows, "And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed after that Paul had spoken one word, Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive: For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them." So we see that what is distinctly ascribed to Jehovah in the Old Testament is ascribed to the Holy Spirit in the New: i. e., the Holy Spirit is identified with Jehovah. It is a noteworthy fact that in the Gospel of John, the twelfth chapter and the thirty-ninth to forty-first verses where another reference is made to this passage in Isaiah, this same passage is ascribed to Christ (note carefully the forty-first verse). So in different parts of Scripture, we have the same passage referred to Jehovah, referred to the Holy Spirit, and referred to Jesus Christ. May we not find the explanation of this in the threefold "Holy" of the seraphic cry in Isaiah vi. 3, where we read, "And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory." In this we have a distinct suggestion of the tri-personality of the Jehovah of Hosts, and hence the propriety of the threefold application of the vision. A further suggestion of this tri-personality of Jehovah of Hosts is found in the eighth verse of the chapter where the Lord is represented as saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
Another striking illustration of the application of passages in the New Testament to the Holy Spirit which in the Old Testament distinctly name Jehovah as their subject is found in Ex. xvi. 7. Here we read, "And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that He heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we that ye murmur against us?" Here the murmuring of the children of Israel is distinctly said to be against Jehovah. But in Heb. iii. 7-9, where this instance is referred to, we read, "Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, To-day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts, and in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: When your fathers tempted Me, proved Me, and saw My works forty years." The murmurings which Moses in the Book of Exodus says were against Jehovah, we are told in the Epistle to the Hebrews were against the Holy Spirit. This leaves it beyond question that the Holy Spirit occupies the position of Jehovah (or Deity) in the New Testament (cf. also Ps. xcv. 8-11).
IV. The name of the Holy Spirit is coupled with that of God in a way it would be impossible for a reverent and thoughtful mind to couple the name of any finite being with that of the Deity.
We have an illustration of this in 1 Cor. xii. 4-6, "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all." Here we find God, and the Lord and the Spirit associated together in a relation of equality that would be shocking to contemplate if the Spirit were a finite being. We have a still more striking illustration of this in Matt. xxviii. 19, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." Who, that had grasped the Bible conception of God the Father, would think for a moment of coupling the name of the Holy Spirit with that of the Father in this way if the Holy Spirit were a finite being, even the most exalted of angelic beings? Another striking illustration is found in 2 Cor. xiii. 14, "The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen." Can any one ponder these words and catch anything like their real import without seeing clearly that it would be impossible to couple the name of the Holy Spirit with that of God the Father in the way in which it is coupled in this verse unless the Holy Spirit were Himself a Divine Being?
V. The Holy Spirit is called God.
The final and decisive proof of the Deity of the Holy Spirit is found in the fact that He is called God in the New Testament. We read in Acts v. 3, 4, "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? Why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? Thou hast not lied unto men but unto God." In the first part of this passage we are told that Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit. When this is further explained, we are told it was not unto men but unto God that he had lied in lying to the Holy Spirit, i. e., the Holy Spirit to whom he lied is called God.
To sum it all up, by the ascription of all the distinctively Divine attributes, and several distinctly Divine works, by referring statements which in the Old Testament clearly name Jehovah, the Lord, or God as their subject to the Holy Spirit in the New Testament, by coupling the name of the Holy Spirit with that of God in a way that would be impossible to couple that of any finite being with that of Deity, by plainly calling the Holy Spirit God, in all these unmistakable ways, God in His own Word distinctly proclaims that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person.
CHAPTER III. THE DISTINCTION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT FROM THE FATHER AND FROM HIS SON, JESUS CHRIST.
We have seen thus far that the Holy Spirit is a Person and a Divine Person. And now another question arises, Is He as a Person separate and distinct from the Father and from the Son? One who carefully studies the New Testament statements cannot but discover that beyond a question He is. We read in Luke iii. 21, 22, "Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art My beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased." Here the clearest possible distinction is drawn between Jesus Christ, who was on earth, and the Father who spoke to Him from heaven as one person speaks to another person, and the Holy Spirit who descended in a bodily form as a dove from the Father, who was speaking, to the Son, to whom He was speaking, and rested upon the Son as a Person separate and distinct from Himself. We see a clear distinction drawn between the name of the Father and that of the Son and that of the Holy Spirit in Matt, xxviii. 19, where we read, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son comes out again with exceeding clearness in John xiv. 16. Here we read, "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." Here we see the one Person, the Son, praying to another Person, the Father, and the Father to whom He prays giving another Person, another Comforter, in answer to the prayer of the second Person, the Son. If words mean anything, and certainly in the Bible they mean what they say, there can be no mistaking it, that the Father and the Son and the Spirit are three distinct and separate Persons.
Again in John xvi. 7, a clear distinction is drawn between Jesus who goes away to the Father and the Holy Spirit who comes from the Father to take His place. Jesus says, "Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." A similar distinction is drawn in Acts ii. 33, where we read, "Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear." In this passage, the clearest possible distinction is drawn between the Son exalted to the right hand of the Father and the Father to whose right hand He is exalted, and the Holy Spirit whom the Son receives from the Father and sheds forth upon the Church.
To sum it all up, again and again the Bible draws the clearest possible distinction between the three Persons, the Holy Spirit, the Father and the Son. They are three separate personalities, having mutual relations to one another, acting upon one another, speaking of or to one another, applying the pronouns of the second and third persons to one another.
CHAPTER IV. THE SUBORDINATION OF THE SPIRIT TO THE FATHER AND TO THE SON.
From the fact that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, it does not follow that the Holy Spirit is in every sense equal to the Father. While the Scriptures teach that in Jesus Christ dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead in a bodily form (Col. ii. 9) and that He was so truly and fully Divine that He could say, "I and the Father are one" (John x. 30) and "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father" (John xiv. 9), they also teach with equal clearness that Jesus Christ was not equal to the Father in every respect, but subordinate to the Father in many ways. In a similar way, the Scriptures teach us that though the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, He is subordinate to the Father and to the Son. In John xiv. 26, we are taught that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and in the name of the Son. Jesus declares very clearly, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." In John xv. 26 we are told that it is Jesus who sends the Spirit from the Father. The exact words are, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me." Just as we are elsewhere taught that Jesus Christ was sent by the Father (John vi. 29; viii. 29, 42), we are here taught that the Holy Spirit in turn is sent by Jesus Christ.
The subordination of the Holy Spirit to the Father and the Son comes out also in the fact that He derives some of His names from the Father and from the Son. We read in Rom. viii. 9, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." Here we have two names of the Spirit, one derived from His relation to the Father, "the Spirit of God," and the other derived from His relation to the Son, "the Spirit of Christ."
In Acts xvi. 7, R. V., He is spoken of as "the Spirit of Jesus."
The subordination of the Spirit to the Son is also seen in the fact that the Holy Spirit speaks "not from Himself but speaks the words which He hears." We read in John xvi. 13, R. V., "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth: for He shall not speak from Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak: and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come." In a similar way, Jesus said of Himself, "My teaching is not Mine, but His that sent Me." (John vii. 16; viii. 26, 40).
The subordination of the Spirit to the Son comes out again in the clearly revealed fact that it is the work of the Holy Spirit not to glorify Himself but to glorify Christ. Jesus says in John xvi. 14, "He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you." In a similar way, Christ sought not His own glory, but the glory of Him that sent Him, that is the Father (John vii. 18).
From all these passages, it is evident that the Holy Spirit in His present work, while possessed of all the attributes of Deity, is subordinated to the Father and to the Son. On the other hand, we shall see later that in His earthly life, Jesus lived and taught and worked in the power of the Holy Spirit.
CHAPTER V. THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AS REVEALED IN HIS NAMES.
At least twenty-five different names are used in the Old and New Testaments in speaking of the Holy Spirit. There is the deepest significance in these names. By the careful study of them, we find a wonderful revelation of the Person and work of the Holy Spirit.
I. The Spirit.
The simplest name by which the Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Bible is that which stands at the head of this paragraph—"The Spirit." This name is also used as the basis of other names, so we begin our study with this. The Greek and Hebrew words so translated mean literally, "Breath" or "Wind." Both thoughts are in the name as applied to the Holy Spirit.
1. The thought of breath is brought out in John xx. 22 where we read, "And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." It is also suggested in Gen. ii. 7, "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." This becomes more evident when we compare with this Ps. civ. 30, "Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created: and Thou renewest the face of the earth." And Job xxxiii. 4, "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life." What is the significance of this name from the standpoint of these passages? It is that the Spirit is the outbreathing of God, His inmost life going forth in a personal form to quicken. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive the inmost life of God Himself to dwell in a personal way in us. When we really grasp this thought, it is overwhelming in its solemnity. Just stop and think what it means to have the inmost life of that infinite and eternal Being whom we call God, dwelling in a personal way in you. How solemn and how awful and yet unspeakably glorious life becomes when we realize this.
2. The thought of the Holy Spirit as "the Wind" is brought out in John iii. 6-8, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." In the Greek, it is the same word that is translated in one part of this passage "Spirit" and the other part of the passage "wind." And it would seem as if the word ought to be translated the same way in both parts of the passage. It would then read, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the 'Wind' is wind. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the 'Wind.' " The full significance of this name as applied to the Holy Spirit (or Holy Wind) it may be beyond us to fathom, but we can see at least this much of its meaning:
(1) The Spirit like the wind is sovereign. "The wind bloweth where it listeth" (John iii. 8). You cannot dictate to the wind. It does as it wills. Just so with the Holy Spirit—He is sovereign—we cannot dictate to Him. He "divides to each man" severally even "as He will" (1 Cor. xii. 11, R. V.). When the wind is blowing from the north you may long to have it blow from the south, but cry as clamorously as you may to the wind, "Blow from the south" it will keep right on blowing from the north. But while you cannot dictate to the wind, while it blows as it will, you may learn the laws that govern the wind's motions and by bringing yourself into harmony with those laws, you can get the wind to do your work. You can erect your windmill so that whichever way the wind blows from the wheels will turn and the wind will grind your grain, or pump your water. Just so, while we cannot dictate to the Holy Spirit we can learn the laws of His operations and by bringing ourselves into harmony with those laws, above all by submitting our wills absolutely to His sovereign will, the sovereign Spirit of God will work through us and accomplish His own glorious work by our instrumentality.
(2) The Spirit like the wind is invisible but none the less perceptible and real and mighty. You hear the sound of the wind (John iii. 8) but the wind itself you never see. You hear the voice of the Spirit but He Himself is ever invisible. (The word translated "sound" in John iii. 8 is the word which elsewhere is translated "voice." See R. V.) We not only hear the voice, of the wind but we see its mighty effects. We feel the breath of the wind upon our cheeks, we see the dust and the leaves blowing before the wind, we see the vessels at sea driven swiftly towards their ports; but the wind itself remains invisible. Just so with the Spirit; we feel His breath upon our souls, we see the mighty things He does, but Himself we do not see. He is invisible, but He is real and perceptible. I shall never forget a solemn hour in Chicago Avenue Church, Chicago. Dr. W. W. White was making a farewell address before going to India to work among the students there. Suddenly, without any apparent warning, the place was filled with an awful and glorious Presence. To me it was very real, but the question arose in my mind, "Is this merely subjective, just a feeling of my own, or is there an objective Presence here?" After the meeting was over, I asked different persons whether they were conscious of anything and found that at the same point in the meeting they, too, though they saw no one, became distinctly conscious of an overwhelming Presence, the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Though many years have passed, there are those who speak of that hour to this day. On another occasion in my own home at Chicago, when kneeling in prayer with an intimate friend, as we prayed it seemed as if an unseen and awful Presence entered the room. I realized what Eliphaz meant when he said, "Then a spirit passed before my face; the hair of my flesh stood up" (Job iv. 15). The moment was overwhelming, but as glorious as it was awful. These are but two illustrations of which many might be given. None of us have seen the Holy Spirit at any time, but of His presence we have been distinctly conscious again and again and again. His mighty power we have witnessed and His reality we cannot doubt. There are those who tell us that they do not believe in anything which they cannot see. Not one of them has ever seen the wind but they all believe in the wind. They have felt the wind and they have seen its effects, and just so we, beyond a question, have felt the mighty presence of the Spirit and witnessed His mighty workings.
(3) The Spirit like the wind is inscrutable. "Thou canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth." Nothing in nature is more mysterious than the wind. But more mysterious still is the Holy Spirit in His operations. We hear of how suddenly and unexpectedly in widely separated communities He begins to work His mighty work. Doubtless there are hidden reasons why He does thus begin His work, but often-times these reasons are completely undiscoverable by us. We know not whence He comes nor whither He goes. We cannot tell where next He will display His mighty and gracious power.
(4) The Spirit, like the wind, is indispensable. Without wind, that is "air in motion," there is no life and so Jesus says, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." If the wind should absolutely cease to blow for a single hour, most of the life on this earth would cease to be. Time and again when the health reports of the different cities of the United States are issued, it has been found that the five healthiest cities in the United States were five cities located on the great lakes. Many have been surprised at this report when they have visited some of these cities and found that they were far from being the cleanest cities, or most sanitary in their general arrangement, and yet year after year this report has been returned. The explanation is simply this, it is the wind blowing from the lakes that has brought life and health to the cities. Just so when the Spirit ceases to blow in any heart or any church or any community, death ensues, but when the Spirit blows steadily upon the individual or the church or the community, there is abounding spiritual life and health.
(5) Closely related to the foregoing thought, like the wind the Holy Spirit is life giving. This thought comes out again and again in the Scriptures. For example, we read in John vi. 63, A. R. V., "It is the Spirit that giveth life," and in 2 Cor. iii. 6, we read, "The letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life." Perhaps the most suggestive passage on this point is Ezek. xxxvii. 8, 9, 10, "And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them. Then said He unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army" (cf. John iii. 5). Israel, in the prophet's vision, was only bones, very many and very dry (vs. 2, 11), until the prophet proclaimed unto them the word of God; then there was a noise and a shaking and the bones came together, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh came upon the bones, but still there was no life, but when the wind blew, the breath of God's Spirit, then "they stood up upon their feet an exceeding great army." All life in the individual believer, in the teacher, the preacher, and the church is the Holy Spirit's work. You will sometimes make the acquaintance of a man, and as you hear him talk and observe his conduct, you are repelled and disgusted. Everything about him declares that he is a dead man, a moral corpse and not only dead but rapidly putrefying. You get away from him as quickly as you can. Months afterwards you meet him again. You hesitate to speak to him; you want to get out of his very presence, but you do speak to him, and he has not uttered many sentences before you notice a marvellous change. His conversation is sweet and wholesome and uplifting; everything about his manner is attractive and delightful. You soon discover that the man's whole conduct and life has been transformed. He is no longer a putrefying corpse but a living child of God. What has happened? The Wind of God has blown upon him; he has received the Holy Spirit, the Holy Wind. Some quiet Sabbath day you visit a church. Everything about the outward appointments of the church are all that could be desired. There is an attractive meeting-house, an expensive organ, a gifted choir, a scholarly preacher. The service is well arranged but you have not been long at the gathering before you are forced to see that there is no life, that it is all form, and that there is nothing really being accomplished for God or for man. You go away with a heavy heart. Months afterwards you have occasion to visit the church again; the outward appointments of the church are much as they were before but the service has not proceeded far before you note a great difference. There is a new power in the singing, a new spirit in the prayer, a new grip in the preaching, everything about the church is teeming with the life of God. What has happened? The Wind of God has blown upon that church; the Holy Spirit, the Holy Wind, has come. You go some day to hear a preacher of whose abilities you have heard great reports. As he stands up to preach you soon learn that nothing too much has been said in praise of his abilities from the merely intellectual and rhetorical standpoint. His diction is faultless, his style beautiful, his logic unimpeachable, his orthodoxy beyond criticism. It is an intellectual treat to listen to him, and yet after all as he preaches you cannot avoid a feeling of sadness, for there is no real grip, no real power, indeed no reality of any kind, in the man's preaching. You go away with a heavy heart at the thought of this waste of magnificent abilities. Months, perhaps years, pass by and you again find yourself listening to this celebrated preacher, but what a change! The same faultless diction, the same beautiful style, the same unimpeachable logic, the same skillful elocution, the same sound orthodoxy, but now there is something more, there is reality, life, grip, power in the preaching. Men and women sit breathless as he speaks, sinners bowed with tears of contrition, pricked to their hearts with conviction of sin; men and women and boys and girls renounce their selfishness, and their sin and their worldliness and accept Jesus Christ and surrender their lives to Him. What has happened? The Wind of God has blown upon that man. He has been filled with the Holy Wind.
(6) Like the wind, the Holy Spirit is irresistible. We read in Acts i. 8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." When this promise of our Lord was fulfilled in Stephen, we read, "And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spake." A man filled with the Holy Spirit is transformed into a cyclone. What can stand before the wind? When St. Cloud, Minn., was visited with a cyclone years ago, the wind picked up loaded freight cars and carried them away off the track. It wrenched an iron bridge from its foundations, twisted it together and hurled it away. When a cyclone later visited St. Louis, Mo., it cut off telegraph poles a foot in diameter as if they had been pipe stems. It cut off enormous trees close to the root, it cut off the corner of brick buildings where it passed as though they had been cut by a knife; nothing could stand before it; and so, nothing can stand before a Spirit-filled preacher of the Word. None can resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he speaks. The Wind of God took possession of Charles G. Finney, an obscure country lawyer, and sent him through New York State, then through New England, then through England, mowing down strong men by his resistless, Spirit-given logic. One night in Rochester, scores of lawyers, led by the justice of the Court of Appeals, filed out of the pews and bowed in the aisles and yielded their lives to God. The Wind of God took possession of D. L. Moody, an uneducated young business man in Chicago, and in the power of this resistless Wind, men and women and young people were mowed down before his words and brought in humble confession and renunciation of sin to the feet of Jesus Christ, and filled with the life of God they have been the pillars in the churches of Great Britain and throughout the world ever since. The great need to-day in individuals, in churches and in preachers is that the Wind of God blow upon us.
Much of the difficulty that many find with John iii. 5, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God," would disappear if we would only bear in mind that "Spirit" means "Wind" and translate the verse literally all through, "Except a man be born of water and Wind (there is no 'the' in the original), he cannot enter the kingdom of God." The thought would then seem to be, "Except a man be born of the cleansing and quickening power of the Spirit (or else of the cleansing Word—cf. John xv. 3; Eph. v. 26; Jas. i. 18; 1 Pet. i. 23—and the quickening power of the Holy Spirit)."
II. The Spirit of God.
The Holy Spirit is frequently spoken of in the Bible as the Spirit of God. For example we read in 1 Cor. iii. 16, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you." In this name we have the same essential thought as in the former name, but with this addition, that His Divine origin, nature and power are emphasized. He is not merely "The Wind" as seen above, but "The Wind of God."
III. The Spirit of Jehovah.
This name is used of the Holy Spirit in Isa. xi. 2, A. R. V., "And the Spirit of Jehovah shall rest upon him." The thought of the name is, of course, essentially the same as the preceding with the exception that God is here thought of as the Covenant God of Israel. He is thus spoken of in the connection in which the name is found; and, of course, the Bible, following that unerring accuracy that it always exhibits in its use of the different names for God, in this connection speaks of the Spirit as the Spirit of Jehovah and not merely as the Spirit of God.
IV. The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of the Lord Jehovah in Isa. lxi. 1-3, A. R. V., "The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon Me; because Jehovah hath anointed Me to preach good tidings to the meek; He hath sent Me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, etc." The Holy Spirit is here spoken of, not merely as the Spirit of Jehovah, but the Spirit of the Lord Jehovah because of the relation in which God Himself is spoken of in this connection, as not merely Jehovah, the covenant God of Israel, but as Jehovah Israel's Lord as well as their covenant-keeping God. This name of the Spirit is even more expressive than the name "The Spirit of God."
V. The Spirit of the Living God.
The Holy Spirit is called "The Spirit of the living God" in 2 Cor. iii. 3, "Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart." What is the significance of this name? It is made clear by the context. The Apostle Paul is drawing a contrast between the Word of God written with ink on parchment and the Word of God written on "tables that are hearts of flesh" (R. V.) by the Holy Spirit, who in this connection is called "the Spirit of the living God," because He makes God a living reality in our personal experience instead of a mere intellectual concept. There are many who believe in God, and who are perfectly orthodox in their conception of God, but after all God is to them only an intellectual theological proposition. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to make God something vastly more than a theological notion, no matter how orthodox; He is the Spirit of the living God, and it is His work to make God a living God to us, a Being whom we know, with whom we have personal acquaintance, a Being more real to us than the most intimate human friend we have. Have you a real God? Well, you may have. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the living God, and He is able and ready to give to you a living God, to make God real in your personal experience. There are many who have a God who once lived and acted and spoke, a God who lived and acted at the creation of the universe, who perhaps lived and acted in the days of Moses and Elijah and Jesus Christ and the Apostles, but who no longer lives and acts. If He exists at all, He has withdrawn Himself from any active part in nature or the history of man. He created nature and gave it its laws and powers and now leaves it to run itself. He created man and endowed him with his various faculties but has now left him to work out his own destiny. They may go further than this: they may believe in a God, who spoke to Abraham and to Moses and to David and to Isaiah and to Jesus and to the Apostles, but who speaks no longer. We may read in the Bible what He spoke to these various men but we cannot expect Him to speak to us. In contrast with these, it is the work of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the living God, to give us to know a God who lives and acts and speaks to-day, a God who is ready to come as near to us as He came to Abraham, to Moses or to Isaiah, or to the Apostles or to Jesus Himself. Not that He has any new revelations to make, for He guided the Apostles into all the truth (John xvi. 13, R. V.): but though there has been a complete revelation of God's truth made in the Bible, still God lives to-day and will speak to us as directly as He spoke to His chosen ones of old. Happy is the man who knows the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of the living God, and who, consequently, has a real God, a God who lives to-day, a God upon whom he can depend to-day to undertake for him, a God with whom he enjoys intimate personal fellowship, a God to whom he may raise his voice in prayer and who speaks back to him.
VI. The Spirit of Christ.
In Rom. viii. 9, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His." The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ. The Spirit of Christ in this passage does not mean a Christlike spirit. It means something far more than that, it means that which lies back of a Christlike spirit; it is a name of the Holy Spirit. Why is the Holy Spirit called the Spirit of Christ? For several reasons:
(1) Because He is Christ's gift. The Holy Spirit is not merely the gift of the Father, but the gift of the Son as well. We read in John xx. 22 that Jesus "breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." The Holy Spirit is therefore the breath of Christ, as well as the breath of God the Father. It is Christ who breathes upon us and imparts to us the Holy Spirit. In John xiv. 15 and the following verses Jesus teaches us that it is in answer to His prayer that the Father gives to us the Holy Spirit. In Acts ii. 33 we read that Jesus "Being by the right hand of God exalted and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit," shed Him forth upon believers; that is, that Jesus, having been exalted to the right hand of God, in answer to His prayer, receives the Holy Spirit from the Father and sheds forth upon the Church Him whom He hath received from the Father. In Matt. iii. 11 we read that it is Jesus who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. In John vii. 37-39 Jesus bids all that are thirsty to come unto Him and drink, and the context makes it clear that the water that He gives is the Holy Spirit, who becomes in those who receive Him a source of life and power flowing out to others. It is the glorified Christ who gives to the Church the Holy Spirit. In the fourth chapter of John and the tenth verse Jesus declares that He is the One who gives the living water, the Holy Spirit. In all these passages, Christ is set forth as the One who gives the Holy Spirit, so the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of Christ."
(2) But there is a deeper reason why the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of Christ," i. e., because it is the work of the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to us. In John xvi. 14, R. V., we read, "He (that is the Holy Spirit) shall glorify Me: for He shall take of Mine, and shall declare it unto you." In a similar way in John xv. 26, R. V., it is written, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall bear witness of Me." This is the work of the Holy Spirit to bear witness of Christ and reveal Jesus Christ to men. And as the revealer of Christ, He is called "the Spirit of Christ."
(3) But there is a still deeper reason yet why the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ, and that is because it is His work to form Christ as a living presence within us. In Eph. iii. 16, 17, the Apostle Paul prays to the Father that He would grant to believers according to the riches of His glory to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith. This then is the work of the Holy Spirit, to cause Christ to dwell in our hearts, to form the living Christ within us. Just as the Holy Spirit literally and physically formed Jesus Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary (Luke i. 35) so the Holy Spirit spiritually but really forms Jesus Christ within our hearts to-day. In John xiv. 16-18, Jesus told His disciples that when the Holy Spirit came that He Himself would come, that is, the result of the coming of the Holy Spirit to dwell in their hearts would be the coming of Christ Himself. It is the privilege of every believer in Christ to have the living Christ formed by the power of the Holy Spirit in his own heart and therefore the Holy Spirit who thus forms Christ within the heart is called the Spirit of Christ. How wonderful! How glorious is the significance of this name. Let us ponder it until we understand it, as far as it is possible to understand it, and until we rejoice exceedingly in the glory of it.
VII. The Spirit of Jesus Christ.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Jesus Christ in Phil. i. 19, "For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ." The Spirit is not merely the Spirit of the eternal Word but the Spirit of the Word incarnate. Not merely the Spirit of Christ, but the Spirit of Jesus Christ. It is the Man Jesus exalted to the right hand of the Father who receives and sends the Spirit. So we read in Acts ii. 32, 33, "This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses. Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear."
VIII. The Spirit of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Jesus in Acts xvi. 6, 7, R. V., "And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden of the Holy Ghost to speak the word in Asia; and when they were come over against Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia; and the Spirit of Jesus suffered them not." By the using of this name, "The Spirit of Jesus" the thought of the relation of the Spirit to the Man Jesus is still more clear than in the name preceding this, the Spirit of Jesus Christ.
IX. The Spirit of His Son.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of His Son in Gal. iv. 6, "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." We see from the context (vs. 4, 5) that this name is given to the Holy Spirit in special connection with His testifying to the sonship of the believer. It is "the Spirit of His Son" who testifies to our sonship. The thought is that the Holy Spirit is a filial Spirit, a Spirit who produces a sense of sonship in us. If we receive the Holy Spirit, we no longer think of God as if we were serving under constraint and bondage but we are sons living in joyous liberty. We do not fear God, we trust Him and rejoice in Him. When we receive the Holy Spirit, we do not receive a Spirit of bondage again to fear but a Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father (Rom. viii. 15). This name of the Holy Spirit is one of the most suggestive of all. We do well to ponder it long until we realize the glad fullness of its significance. We shall take it up again when we come to study the work of the Holy Spirit.
X. The Holy Spirit.
This name is of very frequent occurrence, and the name with which most of us are most familiar. One of the most familiar passages in which the name is used is Luke xi. 13, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" This name emphasizes the essential moral character of the Spirit. He is holy in Himself. We are so familiar with the name that we neglect to weigh its significance. Oh, if we only realized more deeply and constantly that He is the Holy Spirit. We would do well if we, as the seraphim in Isaiah's vision, would bow in His presence and cry, "Holy, holy, holy." Yet how thoughtlessly oftentimes we talk about Him and pray for Him. We pray for Him to come into our churches and into our hearts but what would He find if He should come there? Would He not find much that would be painful and agonizing to Him? What would we think if vile women from the lowest den of iniquity in a great city should go to the purest woman in the city and invite her to come and live with them in their disgusting vileness with no intention of changing their evil ways. But that would not be as shocking as for you and me to ask the Holy Spirit to come and dwell in our hearts when we have no thought of giving up our impurity, or our selfishness, or our worldliness, or our sin. It would not be as shocking as it is for us to invite the Holy Spirit to come into our churches when they are full of worldliness and selfishness and contention and envy and pride, and all that is unholy. But if the denizens of the lowest and vilest den of infamy should go to the purest and most Christlike woman asking her to go and dwell with them with the intention of putting away everything that was vile and evil and giving to this holy and Christlike woman the entire control of the place, she would go. And as sinful and selfish and imperfect as we may be, the infinitely Holy Spirit is ready to come and take His dwelling in our heart if we will surrender to Him the absolute control of our lives, and allow Him to bring everything in thought and fancy and feeling and purpose and imagination and action into conformity with His will. The infinitely Holy Spirit is ready to come into our churches, however imperfect and worldly they may be now, if we are willing to put the absolute control of everything in His hands. But let us never forget that He is the Holy Spirit, and when we pray for Him let us pray for Him as such.
XI. The Holy Spirit of Promise.
The Holy Spirit is called the Holy Spirit of promise in Eph. i. 13, R. V., "In whom ye also, having heard the Word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation,—in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." We have here the same name as that given above with the added thought that this Holy Spirit is the great promise of the Father and of the Son. The Holy Spirit is God's great all-inclusive promise for the present dispensation; the one thing for which Jesus bade the disciples wait after His ascension before they undertook His work was "the promise of the Father," that is the Holy Spirit (Acts i. 4, 5). The great promise of the Father until the coming of Christ was the coming atoning Saviour and King, but when Jesus came and died His atoning death upon the cross of Calvary and arose and ascended to the right hand of the Father, then the second great promise of the Father was the Holy Spirit to take the place of our absent Lord. (See also Acts ii. 33.)
XII. The Spirit of Holiness.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of holiness in Rom. i. 4, "And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." At the first glance it may seem as if there were no essential difference between the two names the Holy Spirit and the Spirit of holiness. But there is a marked difference. The name of the Holy Spirit, as already said, emphasizes the essential moral character of the Spirit as holy, but the name of the Spirit of holiness brings out the thought that the Holy Spirit is not merely holy in Himself but He imparts holiness to others. The perfect holiness which He Himself possesses He imparts to those who receive Him (cf. 1 Pet. i. 2).
XIII. The Spirit of Judgment.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of judgment in Isa. iv. 4, "When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the Spirit of judgment, and by the Spirit of burning." There are two names of the Holy Spirit in this passage; first, the Spirit of judgment. The Holy Spirit is so called because it is His work to bring sin to light, to convict of sin (cf. John xvi. 7-9). When the Holy Spirit comes to us the first thing that He does is to open our eyes to see our sins as God sees them. He judges our sin. (We will go into this more at length in studying John xvi. 7-11 when considering the work of the Holy Spirit.)
XIV. The Spirit of Burning.
This name is used in the passage just quoted above. (See XIII.) This name emphasizes His searching, refining, dross-consuming, illuminating and energizing work. The Holy Spirit is like a fire in the heart in which He dwells; and as fire tests and refines and consumes and illuminates and warms and energizes, so does He. In the context, it is the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit which is especially emphasized (Isa. iv. 3, 4).
XV. The Spirit of Truth.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth in John xiv. 17, "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him; but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you" (cf. John xv. 26; xvi. 13). The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth because it is the work of the Holy Spirit to communicate truth, to impart truth, to those who receive Him. This comes out in the passage given above, and, if possible, it comes out even more clearly in John xvi. 13, R. V., "Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He shall guide you into all the truth: for He shall not speak from Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, these shall He speak: and He shall declare unto you the things that are to come." All truth is from the Holy Spirit. It is only as He teaches us that we come to know the truth.
XVI. The Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of wisdom and understanding in Isa. xi. 2, "And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD." The significance of the name is so plain as to need no explanation. It is evident both from the words used and from the context that it is the work of the Holy Spirit to impart wisdom and understanding to those who receive Him. Those who receive the Holy Spirit receive the Spirit "of power" and "of love" and "of a sound mind" or sound sense (2 Tim. i. 7).
XVII. The Spirit of Counsel and Might.
We find this name used of the Holy Spirit in the passage given under the preceding head. The meaning of this name too is obvious, the Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of counsel and of might" because He gives us counsel in all our plans and strength to carry them out (cf. Acts viii. 29; xvi. 6, 7; i. 8). It is our privilege to have God's own counsel in all our plans and God's strength in all the work that we undertake for Him. We receive them by receiving the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of counsel and might.
XVIII. The Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord.
This name also is used in the passage given above (Isa. xi. 2). The significance of this name is also obvious. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to impart knowledge to us and to beget in us a reverence for Jehovah, that reverence that reveals itself above all in obedience to His commandments. The one who receives the Holy Spirit finds his delight in the fear of the LORD. (See Isa. xi. 3, R. V.) The three suggestive names just given refer especially to the gracious work of the Holy Spirit in the servant of the Lord, that is Jesus Christ (Isa. xi. 1-5).
XIX. The Spirit of Life.
The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of life in Rom. viii. 2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of life because it is His work to impart life (cf. John vi. 63, R. V.; Ezek. xxxvii. 1-10). In the context in which the name is found in the passage given above, beginning back in the seventh chapter of Romans, seventh verse, Paul is drawing a contrast between the law of Moses outside a man, holy and just and good, it is true, but impotent, and the living Spirit of God in the heart, imparting spiritual and moral life to the believer and enabling him thus to meet the requirements of the law of God, so that what the law alone could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, the Spirit of God imparting life to the believer and dwelling in the heart enables him to do, so that the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. (See Rom. viii. 2-4.) The Holy Spirit is therefore called "the Spirit of life," because He imparts spiritual life and consequent victory over sin to those who receive Him.
XX. The Oil of Gladness.
The Holy Spirit is called the "oil of gladness" in Heb. i. 9, "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Some one may ask what reason have we for supposing that "the oil of gladness" in this passage is a name of the Holy Spirit. The answer is found in a comparison of Heb. i. 9, with Acts x. 38 and Luke iv. 18. In Acts x. 38 we read "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power," and in Luke iv. 18, Jesus Himself is recorded as saying, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor," etc. In both of these passages, we are told it was the Holy Spirit with which Jesus was anointed and as in the passage in Hebrews we are told that it was with the oil of gladness that He was anointed; so, of course, the only possible conclusion is that the oil of gladness means the Holy Spirit. What a beautiful and suggestive name it is for Him whose fruit is, first, "love" then "joy" (Gal. v. 22). The Holy Spirit becomes a source of boundless joy to those who receive Him; He so fills and satisfies the soul, that the soul who receives Him does not thirst forever (John iv. 14). No matter how great the afflictions with which the believer receives the Word, still he will have "the joy of the Holy Ghost" (1 Thess. i. 6). On the Day of Pentecost, when the disciples were baptized with the Holy Spirit, they were so filled with ecstatic joy that others looking on them thought they were intoxicated. They said, "These men are full of new wine." And Paul draws a comparison between abnormal intoxication that comes through excess of wine and the wholesome exhilaration from which there is no reaction that comes through being filled with the Spirit (Eph. v. 18-20). When God anoints one with the Holy Spirit, it is as if He broke a precious alabaster box of oil of gladness above their heads until it ran down to the hem of their garments and the whole person was suffused with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
XXI. The Spirit of Grace.
The Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of grace" in Heb. x. 29, "Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" This name brings out the fact that it is the Holy Spirit's work to administer and apply the grace of God: He Himself is gracious, it is true, but the name means far more than that, it means that He makes ours experimentally the manifold grace of God. It is only by the work of the Spirit of grace in our hearts that we are enabled to appropriate to ourselves that infinite fullness of grace that God has, from the beginning, bestowed upon us in Jesus Christ. It is ours from the beginning, as far as belonging to us is concerned, but it is only ours experimentally as we claim it by the power of the Spirit of grace.
XXII. The Spirit of Grace and of Supplication.
The Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of grace and of supplication" in Zech. xii. 10, R. V., "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto Me whom they have pierced: and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for his first-born." The phrase, "the Spirit of grace and of supplication" in this passage is beyond a doubt a name of the Holy Spirit. The name "the Spirit of grace" we have already had under the preceding head, but here there is a further thought of that operation of grace that leads us to pray intensely. The Holy Spirit is so called because it is He that teaches to pray because all true prayer is in the Spirit (Jude 20). We of ourselves know not how to pray as we ought, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit of intercession to make intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered and to lead us out in prayer according to the will of God (Rom. viii. 26, 27). The secret of all true and effective praying is knowing the Holy Spirit as "the Spirit of grace and of supplication."
XXIII. The Spirit of Glory.
The Holy Spirit is called "the Spirit of glory" in 1 Pet. iv. 14, "If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part He is evil spoken of, but on your part He is glorified." This name does not merely teach that the Holy Spirit is infinitely glorious Himself, but it rather teaches that He imparts the glory of God to us, just as the Spirit of truth imparts truth to us, and as the Spirit of life imparts life to us, and as the Spirit of wisdom and understanding and of counsel and might and knowledge and of the fear of the LORD imparts to us wisdom and understanding and counsel and might and knowledge and the fear of the LORD, and as the Spirit of grace applies and administers to us the manifold grace of God, so the Spirit of glory is the administrator to us of God's glory. In the immediately preceding verse we read, "But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings: that, when His glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." It is in this connection that He is called the Spirit of glory. We find a similar connection between the sufferings which we endure and the glory which the Holy Spirit imparts to us in Rom. viii. 16, 17, "The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him." The Holy Spirit is the administrator of glory as well as of grace, or rather of the grace that culminates in glory.
XXIV. The Eternal Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is called "the eternal Spirit" in Heb. ix. 14, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God." The eternity and the Deity and infinite majesty of the Holy Spirit are brought out by this name.
XXV. The Comforter.
The Holy Spirit is called "the Comforter" over and over again in the Scriptures. For example in John xiv. 26, we read, "But the Comforter which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." And in John xv. 26, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me." (See also John xvi. 27.) The word translated "Comforter" in these passages means that, but it means much more beside. It is a word difficult of adequate translation into any one word in English. The translators of the Revised Version found difficulty in deciding with what word to render the Greek word so translated. They have suggested in the margin of the Revised Version "advocate" "helper" and a simple transference of the Greek word into English, "Paraclete." The word translated "Comforter" means literally, "one called to another's side," the idea being, one right at hand to take another's part. It is the same word that is translated "advocate" in 1 John ii. 1, "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." But "advocate," as we now understand it, does not give the full force of the Greek word so rendered. Etymologically "advocate" means nearly the same thing. Advocate is Latin ("advocatus") and it means "one called to another to take his part," but in our modern usage, the word has acquired a restricted meaning. The Greek word translated "Comforter" (Parakleetos) means "one called alongside," that is one called to stand constantly by one's side and who is ever ready to stand by us and take our part in everything in which his help is needed. It is a wonderfully tender and expressive name for the Holy One. Sometimes when we think of the Holy Spirit, He seems to be so far away, but when we think of the Parakleetos, or in plain English our "Stand-byer" or our "part-taker," how near He is. Up to the time that Jesus made this promise to the disciples, He Himself had been their Parakleetos. When they were in any emergency or difficulty they turned to Him. On one occasion, for example, the disciples were in doubt as to how to pray and they turned to Jesus and said, "Lord, teach us to pray." And the Lord taught them the wonderful prayer that has come down through the ages (Luke xi. 1-4). On another occasion, Peter was sinking in the waves of Galilee and he cried, "Lord, save me," and immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him and saved him (Matt. xiv. 30, 31). In every extremity they turned to Him. Just so now that Jesus is gone to the Father, we have another Person, just as Divine as He is, just as wise as He, just as strong as He, just as loving as He, just as tender as He, just as ready and just as able to help, who is always right by our side. Yes, better yet, who dwells in our heart, who will take hold and help if we only trust Him to do it.
If the truth of the Holy Spirit as set forth in the name "Parakleetos" once gets into our heart and abides there, it will banish all loneliness forever; for how can we ever be lonely when this best of all Friends is ever with us? In the last eight years, I have been called upon to endure what would naturally be a very lonely life. Most of the time I am separated from wife and children by the calls of duty. For eighteen months consecutively, I was separated from almost all my family by many thousands of miles. The loneliness would have been unendurable were it not for the one all-sufficient Friend, who was always with me. I recall one night walking up and down the deck of a storm-tossed steamer in the South Seas. Most of my family were 18,000 miles away; the remaining member of my family was not with me. The officers were busy on the bridge, and I was pacing the deck alone, and the thought came to me, "Here you are all alone." Then another thought came, "I am not alone; by my side as I walk this deck in the loneliness and the storm walks the Holy Spirit" and He was enough. I said something like this once at a Bible conference in St. Paul. A doctor came to me at the close of the meeting and gently said, "I want to thank you for that thought about the Holy Spirit always being with us. I am a doctor. Oftentimes I have to drive far out in the country in the night and storm to attend a case, and I have often been so lonely, but I will never be lonely again. I will always know that by my side in my doctor's carriage, the Holy Spirit goes with me."
If this thought of the Holy Spirit as the ever-present Paraclete once gets into your heart and abides there, it will banish all fear forever. How can we be afraid in the face of any peril, if this Divine One is by our side to counsel us and to take our part? There may be a howling mob about us, or a lowering storm, it matters not. He stands between us and both mob and storm. One night I had promised to walk four miles to a friend's house after an evening session of a conference. The path led along the side of a lake. As I started for my friend's house, a thunder-storm was coming up. I had not counted on this but as I had promised, I felt I ought to go. The path led along the edge of the lake, oftentimes very near to the edge, sometimes the lake was near the path and sometimes many feet below. The night was so dark with the clouds one could not see ahead. Now and then there would be a blinding flash of lightning in which you could see where the path was washed away, and then it would be blacker than ever. You could hear the lake booming below. It seemed a dangerous place to walk but that very week, I had been speaking upon the Personality of the Holy Spirit and about the Holy Spirit as an ever-present Friend, and the thought came to me, "What was it you were telling the people in the address about the Holy Spirit as an ever-present Friend?" And then I said to myself, "Between me and the boiling lake and the edge of the path walks the Holy Spirit," and I pushed on fearless and glad. When we were in London, a young lady attended the meeting one afternoon in the Royal Albert Hall. She had an abnormal fear of the dark. It was absolutely impossible for her to go into a dark room alone, but the thought of the Holy Spirit as an ever-present Friend sank into her mind. She went home and told her mother what a wonderful thought she had heard that day, and how it had banished forever all fear from her. It was already growing very dark in the London winter afternoon and her mother looked up and said, "Very well, let us see if it is real. Go up to the top of the house and shut yourself alone in a dark room." She instantly sprang to her feet, bounded up the stairs, went into a room that was totally dark and shut the door and sat down. All fear was gone, and as she wrote the next day, the whole room seemed to be filled with a wonderful glory, the glory of the presence of the Holy Spirit.