THE SPIRIT AND THE WORD
A Treatise on the Holy Spirit in the Light of a Rational Interpretation of the Word of Truth
By Z. T. SWEENEY
GOSPEL ADVOCATE COMPANY Nashville, Tennessee
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PAGE INTRODUCTION 5
I THE SPIRIT AND THE OLD TESTAMENT 9
II THE SPIRIT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT 15
III THE PERSONALITY AND DIVINITY OF THE SPIRIT 35
IV THE SPIRIT AND JOHN THE BAPTIST 43
V THE SPIRIT AND JESUS 53
VI THE SPIRIT AND THE APOSTLES 65
VII THE SPIRIT AND THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH 81
VIII THE SPIRIT AND THE WORLD 98
IX THE SPIRIT AND CHRISTIANS 117
X THE PARTING WORD 141
Christianity is differentiated from all the other religions by the fact that it offers its followers a spiritual dynamic in living up to its precepts. That dynamic is the Holy Spirit, that sets the word of God on fire, warms the church from coldness to enthusiasm, and strengthens the Christian with a power not his own in the great battle between the flesh and the spirit.
Christianity is unique in making this offer. No other religion has any equivalent for it. The Holy Spirit is not obtained from the deductions of logic, the conclusions of philosophy nor from the investigations of science. All these are as silent as the grave regarding his presence and potency.
It is solely and distinctly a matter of divine revelation. It is not my purpose, therefore, to view this subject in the light of philosophic induction, logical deduction nor scientific investigation, but solely in the light of God's revelation. I shall gather the teaching of God's word around several important phases of the nature, mission and work of the Spirit. I do not speculate upon what God may do through his Spirit; I put no limit upon the power of the Spirit. He may work in a thousand ways, for aught I know. I am treating solely of that work of the Spirit which God has made plain in his revealed word.
For the sake of simplifying the treatment of the subject, I shall use the words "Spirit" and "Holy Spirit" instead of other terms used in the Scriptures. The Old Testament has eighty-eight distinct references to the Holy Spirit. In these references there are eighteen names applied. The New Testament refers to the Spirit two hundred and sixty-four times and uses thirty-nine names. Five names are common to both Testaments, which leaves fifty-two different appellatives for the Spirit. Seventeen appellatives express his relation to God, five his relation to the Son, five indicate his divine nature, seven describe his own character, while seventeen are used to indicate his relation to man. He is called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of his Son, of the Lord, of Truth, of Grace, of Holiness, of Glory, and of Adoption. He is called the Comforter, but this term never denotes his relation to man in general. It always describes a special relation to the apostles and their work.
I wish my readers to bring to the perusal of this work the same spirit of earnestness that I shall put into the task of producing it. We read in the language of Jesus that "every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven" (Matt. 12:31). "And every one who shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Spirit it shall not be forgiven" (Luke 12:10).
Whatever else these terrible warnings may teach, they undoubtedly teach that the greatest care should be taken by those who venture to discuss this subject or investigate such discussion. Let both writer and reader therefore cast aside any flippancy of spirit, also any preconceptions or prejudices, and say like young Samuel of old: "Speak, Lord; thy servant heareth."
The subject may be made plain or simple according to the manner we may treat it. If we view it in the light of psychological manifestation in our own hearts, or in the lives of those around us, which are ascribed to the Spirit, we shall find ourselves wandering in a maze of mystery. If we follow the word of God, which is the only source of knowledge, we shall find ourselves walking in a light that shall grow brighter as we proceed. It is impossible in a book the size of this to treat all the many passages that refer to the Holy Spirit, but we shall give those that have important bearing upon the subject.
THE SPIRIT AND THE OLD TESTAMENT
The Old Testament does not give the same prominence to the Holy Spirit as does the New Testament. This is doubtless true because the Old Testament deals largely with material things, while the New Testament is primarily and essentially dealing with the spiritual nature and actions of man. It is, however, referred to in more than half of the books of the Old Testament, while in sixteen of them there is no specific mention of the Spirit. It is, however, mentioned specifically eighty-eight times in the Old Testament. It is generally spoken of as the Spirit of God. The New Testament refers to these passages in such a way as to identify the Holy Spirit of the New with the Spirit of God of the Old. In Luke 4:18 Jesus says:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind. To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord."
This is directly connected with the "Spirit of the Lord Jehovah" in Isa. 61: 1, 2.
In the second chapter of Acts we have a direct connection with Joel 2. These are two of many such connections that bind together and identify the Spirit of the Lord of the Old Testament with the Holy Spirit of the New. In both Testaments we find God working by his Spirit. The Old Testament gives three lines of work performed by the Spirit:
1. HIS RELATION TO THE MATERIAL UNIVERSE.
(1) In Gen. 1:2 we are told: "And the Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters." The word "moved" carries the sense of "hovered" or "brooded." The previous condition of the world was "waste and void," or a "formless waste." In some way the Spirit of God fashioned this formless waste into the multiplicity of contrasts that followed. It bound together those elements that were homogeneous, and separated the heterogeneous and so prepared the way for the dividing the light from the darkness that followed. The mode of the operation we do not know, but the fact of the operation is clearly revealed.
(2) "By his Spirit the heavens are garnished" (Job 26:13). The expression could be better translated, "The heavens are made fair," or beautiful. That is, he set the constellations in their order. He gives one illustration when he says: "His hand hath pierced the swift serpent." Reference is here made to the beautiful constellation of "Serpens," or Draco, of graceful and striking appearance.
(3) God's Spirit made me man; 'twas the Almighty's breath that gave me life. This higher life that was given to man by an inbreathing of the Spirit distinguishes man (homo) from all other animal species.
2. THE RELATION OF THE SPIRIT TO CREATED MAN.
(1) Gen. 6:3. God tells Noah: "My Spirit shall not strive with man for ever, for that he also is flesh: yet shall his days be a hundred and twenty years." Here the work of the Spirit passes from the form of omnipotence to one of pleading or striving. The Spirit no more impresses his will upon the material universe, but expresses (rolls it out) to a rational creature. By the preaching of the faithful Noah the Spirit plead with the antediluvians to do right and escape the destruction that was coming upon a corrupt and wicked world. From this time onward the Spirit comes on men in various ways, qualifying them with supernatural power for the performance of special duties. (See Num. 11:25; Judg. 3:10; 1 Sam. 18:10; 10:11.)
(2) But we find no case of the Spirit falling on man to cleanse him from sin, or to confer upon him a special blessing. Later on in the prophets the Spirit becomes a revealing and inspiring Spirit. (See Isa. 61:1; Ezek. 2:2; Zech. 7:12; 4:6.) As a result of this revealing power, we have the great facts of the New Testament set forth in detail. The life, nature, character and mission of the world's Redeemer stand forth in beauty and symmetry.
3. THE RELATION OF THE SPIRIT TO THE INDIVIDUAL MAN.
The idea of holiness is not usually associated with the Spirit in the Old Testament. The term "Holy Spirit" occurs but three times in it. David prays (Ps. 51:11): "Take not thy holy Spirit from me." Isaiah says (63:10): "They rebelled and grieved his holy Spirit;" and again (63:11) he asks: "Where is he that put his holy Spirit in the midst of them?" It is, however, called "good Spirit" twice (Neh. 9:20; Ps. 143:10).
It is mainly in reference to Messianic days that we find this ethical and personal relation to the Spirit of God.
These three relations of the Spirit are in perfect harmony with God's law of progressive development in the world. We find him at first working upon a chaotic material universe; second, upon society, and, third, upon the individual character.
The work of the Spirit upon the material universe makes it a fit dwelling-place for man. His work upon society makes man fit to dwell in the universe, and his work upon the individual character makes man fit for a righteous and holy fellowship with similar characters.
THE SPIRIT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT
There are two hundred and sixty-four references to the Spirit in the New Testament. But in many of them there is no allusion to the Holy Spirit. In many places the expressions "the Spirit," and "the Holy Spirit," should be rendered "Spirit" and "holy Spirit," or frequently "a holy Spirit." The passages in this chapter are arranged in two columns: Column I contains the passages in which the definite article is to be found in the Greek. These should always be translated "the Holy Spirit." Column 2 contains the passages where the definite article is not found and which may be often—but not always—translated "a holy Spirit." The use of the article is often governed by other parts of speech. Where the Spirit sustains a universal relation to mankind, the word is italicized.
3:16. He saw the Spirit of God 1:18. She was found with child of descending as a dove, and coming the Holy Spirit. upon him. 1:20. That which is conceived in 4: 1. Then was Jesus led up of the her is of the Holy Spirit. Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 3:11. He shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit, and in fire. 10:20. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your 12:28. If I by the Spirit of God Father that speaketh in you. cast out demons.
12:18. I will put my Spirit upon 22:43. How then doth David in the him. Spirit call him Lord.
12:31. The blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.
12:32. Whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him.
28:19. Baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
1:10. Coming up out of the water, he saw ... the Spirit as a dove descending upon him.
1:8 He shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit dove descending upon him.
1:12. Straightway the Spirit driveth him forth into the wilderness.
3:29. Whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit hath never forgiveness.
12:36. David himself said in the Holy Spirit.
13:11. It is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit.
2:26. It had been revealed unto 3:16. He shall baptize you in him by the Holy Spirit. [the] Holy Spirit and in fire.
2:27. He came in the Spirit into 4:18. The Spirit of the Lord is the temple. upon me.
3:22. The Holy Spirit descended in 10:21. He rejoiced in [the] Holy a bodily form, as a dove, upon Spirit. him. 11:13. How much more shall your 4:1. Jesus ... was led in the heavenly Father give [the] Holy Spirit in the wilderness. Spirit to them that ask him?
4:14. Jesus returned in the power 1:15. He shall be filled with of the Spirit into Galilee. [the] Holy Spirit.
4:1. Jesus, full of the Holy 1:35. [The] Holy Spirit shall come Spirit, returned from the Jordan. upon thee.
12:10. Unto him that blasphemeth 1:41. Elisabeth was filled with against the Holy Spirit it shall [the] Holy Spirit. not be forgiven. 1:67. Zacharias was filled with 12:12. The Holy Spirit shall teach [the] Holy Spirit. you in that very hour what ye ought to say. 2:25. There was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; 24:49. Behold, I send forth the ... [the] Holy Spirit was upon promise of my Father upon you. him.
1:32. I have beheld the Spirit 1:33. The same is he that descending as a dove out of baptizeth in the Holy Spirit. heaven; and it abode upon him. 3:5. Except one be born of water 1:33. Upon whomsoever thou shalt and [the] Spirit. see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him. 7:39. [The] Spirit was not yet given. 3:6. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 20:22. He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye [the] 3:8. So is every one that is born Holy Spirit. of the Spirit.
3:34. He giveth not the Spirit by measure.
6:63. It is the spirit that giveth life.
7: 39. This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive.
14:16. He shall give you another Comforter.
14:17. Even the Spirit of truth.
14:26. The Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, ... he shall teach you.
15: 26. When the Comforter is come, ... even the Spirit of truth, ... he shall bear witness of me.
16:7. If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you.
16:8. He, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment.
16:9. Of sin, because they believe not on me;
16:10. Of righteousness, because I go to the Father;
16:11. Of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged.
16:13. 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.
16:14. He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall declare it unto you.
16:15. He taketh of mine, and shall declare it unto you.
1:4. He charged them ... to wait 1:2. He had given commandment for the promise of the Father. through [the] Holy Spirit unto the apostles. 1:8. Ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you. 1:5. John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in 1:16. The scripture should be [the] Holy Spirit. fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spake before by the mouth of David 2:4. They were all filled with the concerning Judas. Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as [the] 2:17. I will pour forth of my Spirit gave them utterances. Spirit upon all flesh: 4:8. Peter, filled with [the] Holy 2:18. On my servants and on my Spirit, said unto them. handmaidens in those days will I pour forth my Spirit. 6: 3. Look ye out ... seven men ... full of [the] Spirit. 2:33. Having received of the Father the promise of the Holy 6:5. Stephen, a man full of ... Spirit, he hath poured forth this. the Holy Spirit.
2:38. Ye shall receive the gift of 7:55. He, being full of [the] Holy the Holy Spirit. Spirit.
4:25. Who by the Holy Spirit, by 8:15. Who ... prayed for them, the mouth of our father David, ... that they might receive [the] Holy didst say. Spirit.
4:31. They were all filled with 8:16. For as yet it was fallen the Holy Spirit, and they spake upon none of them. the word of God with boldness. 8:17. Then laid they their hands 5:3. Why hath Satan filled thy on them, and they received [the] heart to lie to the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit.
5:9. How is it that ye have agreed 8:19. Give me also this power, together to try the Spirit of the that on whomsoever I lay my hands, Lord? he may receive [the] Holy Spirit.
5:32. We are witnesses of these 8:39. [The] Spirit of the Lord things; and so is the Holy Spirit. caught away Philip.
6:10. They were not able to 9:17. Jesus ... hath sent me, that withstand ... the Spirit by which thou mayest ... be filled with he spake. [the] Holy Spirit.
7:51. Ye do always resist the Holy 10: 38. God anointed him with Spirit. [the] Holy Spirit and with power.
8:18. When Simon saw that through 11:16. Ye shall be baptized in the laying on of the apostles' [the] Holy Spirit. hands the Holy Spirit was given, 11:24. He was a good man, and full 8:20. Thou hast thought to obtain of [the] Holy Spirit. the gift of God with money. 13:9. Paul, filled with [the] Holy 8:29. The Spirit said unto Philip, Spirit, fastened his eyes on him. Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. 13:52. The disciples were filled with joy and with [the] Holy 9:31. The church ... walking ... Spirit. in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, was multiplied. 19:2. Did ye receive [the] Holy Spirit when ye believed?... We 10:19. The Spirit said unto him, did not so much as hear whether Behold, three men seek thee. [the] Holy Spirit was given.
10: 20. Go with them.... I have sent them.
10: 44. The Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word.
10: 45. On the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit.
10:47. Who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?
11:12. The Spirit bade me go with them.
11:25. As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them.
11:28. Agabus ... signified by the Spirit that there should be a great famine over all the world.
13:2. The Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul.
13:4. They, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit.
15:8. God ... bare them witness, giving them the Holy Spirit.
15:28. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us.
16:6. Forbidden of the Holy Spirit, to speak the word in Asia.
16:7. The Spirit of Jesus suffered them not.
19:6. When Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them.
20: 22. I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem.
20: 28. Take heed ... to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops.
21: 4. These said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not set foot in Jerusalem.
21.11. Thus saith the Holy Spirit, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle.
28: 25. Well spake the Holy Spirit through Isaiah the prophet.
8:2. The law of the Spirit 1:4. Who was declared to be the of life in Christ Jesus made me Son of God with power, according free from the law of sin and of to [the] spirit of holiness. death. 5:5. The love of God hath been 8: 10. The spirit is life because shed abroad in our hearts through of righteousness. [the] Holy Spirit.
8: 11. If the Spirit of him that 8:4. The ordinance of the law raised up Jesus from the dead might be fulfilled in us, who walk dwelleth in you, he ... shall ... after [the] Spirit. give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit. 8:5. They that are after [the] Spirit the things of [the] 8:16. The Spirit himself Spirit. beareth witness with our spirit. 8:9. Ye are ... in the 8:23. Who have the first-fruits of Spirit, if ... [the] Spirit the Spirit. of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit 8:20. The Spirit also helpeth our of Christ, he is none of his. infirmity: ... the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us. 8:13. If by [the] Spirit ye put to death the deeds of the 8:27. He ... knoweth what is the body, ye shall live. mind of the Spirit. 8:14. As many as are led by [the] 9:1. I say the truth ... my Spirit of God, these are conscience bearing witness with me the sons of God. in the Holy Spirit. 8:15. Ye received [the] 15:30. I beseech you ... by the spirit of adoption. love of the Spirit. 14:17. The kingdom of God is ... righteousness and peace and joy in [the] Holy Spirit.
15:13. That ye may abound in hope, in the power of [the] Holy Spirit.
15:16. The offering up of the Gentiles might be made acceptable, being sanctified by [the] Holy Spirit.
15:19. In the power of [the] Holy Spirit.
2:10. God revealed them 2:4. My speech and my preaching through the Spirit; for the were ... in demonstration of Spirit searcheth all [the] Spirit. things. 2:13 In words ... which [the] 2:11. The things of God none Spirit teacheth. knoweth, save the Spirit of God. 7:40 I think that I also have [the] spirit of God. 2:12. But we received ... the spirit which is from God. 12:3 No man speaking in the Spirit of God saith, Jesus is anathema; 2:14. The natural man and no man can say, Jesus is Lord, receiveth not the things of but in [the] Holy Spirit. the Spirit of God. 14:2 In [the] Spirit he speaketh 3:16. Know ye not ... that mysteries. the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
6:11. Ye were justified ... in the Spirit of our God.
6:19. Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
12:4. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
12:7. To each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal.
12:8. To one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit.
12:9. To another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit.
12:11. All these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will.
1:22. Who ... gave us the earnest 3:3. Ye are an epistle of Christ, of the Spirit in our hearts. ... written ... with [the] Spirit of the living God. 3:6. The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 3:18. We all ... are transformed into the same image from glory to 3:8. How shall not rather the glory, even us from the Lord [the] ministration of the spirit be with Spirit. glory?
6:6. In kindness, in [the] Holy 4:13. Having the same spirit of Spirit, in love unfeigned. faith. 11:4 If ye receive a different 5:5. Who gave unto us the earnest spirit, which ye did not of the Spirit. receive.
12:18. Walked we not in the same 6:6. In kindness, in [the] Holy Spirit? Spirit, in love unfeigned. If ye receive a different 13:14. The communion of the Holy spirit, which ye did not Spirit, be with you all, from receive. glory to glory, even as from the Lord [the] Spirit.
3:2. Received ye the Spirit by the 3:3. Having begun in [the] works of the law, or by the Spirit, are ye now hearing of faith? perfected in the flesh?
3:5. He ... that supplieth to you 4:29. He that was born after the the Spirit. flesh persecuted him that was born after [the] Spirit. 3:14. That we might receive the promise of the Spirit 5:5. We through [the] through faith. Spirit by faith wait for the hope of righteousness. 4:6. God sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our 5:16. Walk by [the] Spirit, and ye hearts. shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 5:17. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the 5:18. If ye are led by [the] Spirit against the flesh. Spirit, ye are not under the law. 5:22. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace. 5:25. If we live by [the] Spirit, by the 6:8. He that soweth unto the Spirit let us also walk. Spirit shall of the Spirit reap eternal life.
1:13. Ye were sealed with the Holy 1:17. That God ... may give unto Spirit of promise. you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of 2:18. Through him we both have our him. access in one Spirit unto the Father. 2:22. In whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God 3:16. That ye may be strengthened in [the] Spirit. with power through his Spirit in the inward man. 3:5. It hath now been revealed unto his holy apostles and 4:3. Keep the unity of the prophets in [the] Spirit. Spirit in the bond of peace. 5:18. Be filled with [the] Spirit.
4:4. There is one body, and one 6:18. Praying at all seasons in Spirit. [the] Spirit.
4:30. Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed.
6:17. Take ... the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
1:19. The supply of the 2:1. If there is ...any fellowship Spirit of Jesus Christ. of [the] Spirit.
3:3. We are the circumcision, who worship by [the] Spirit of God.
1:8. Who also declared unto us your love in [the] Spirit.
4:8. God, who giveth his Holy 1:5. Our gospel came not unto you Spirit unto you. in word only, but ...in the Holy Spirit. 6:19. Quench not the Spirit. 1:6. Having received the word ...with joy of [the] Holy Spirit.
2:13. God chose you ...in sanctification of [the] Spirit.
4:1. The Spirit saith expressly, 3:16. He who was ... justified in that ... some shall fall away from [the] spirit. the faith.
4:14. Neglect not the gift that is in thee.
1:7. God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline.
1:14. That good thing ... guard through [the] Holy Spirit.
3:5. He saved us through the ... renewing of [the] Holy Spirit.
3:7. Wherefore, even as the Holy 2:4. God also bearing witness with Spirit saith, To-day if ye will them, ... by gifts of [the] Holy hear his voice. Spirit.
4:3. Even as he hath said. 6:4. Were made partakers of [the] Holy Spirit. 4:7. He again defineth a certain day. 9:14. Who through [the] eternal Spirit offered himself without 9:8. The Holy Spirit this blemish unto God. signifying.
10:15. The Holy Spirit also beareth witness to us.
10:29. Hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
4:5. Doth the Spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?
1:11. Searching what time ... the 1:2. In sanctification of [the] Spirit of Christ ... did point Spirit. unto. 1:12. Preached the gospel unto you 3:18. Put to death in the flesh, in [the] Holy Spirit. but made alive in the spirit. 4:6. Live according to God in 4:14. The Spirit of glory and the [the] spirit. Spirit of God resteth upon you.
1:21. Men spake from God, being moved by [the] Holy Spirit.
2:20. Ye have an anointing from the Holy One.
2:27. The anointing which ye received of him abideth in you.
3:24. We know that he abideth in us by the Spirit which he gave us.
4:2. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God.
4:6. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.
4:13. He hath given us of his Spirit.
5:7. It is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth.
5:8. There are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood.
19. Having not [the] Spirit.
20. Praying in [the] Holy Spirit.
1:4. The seven Spirits that are 1:10. I was in [the] Spirit before his throne. on the Lord's day.
2:7. Hear what the Spirit saith to 4:2. Straightway I was in [the] the churches. Spirit.
2:17. Hear what the Spirit saith 11:11. The breath of life from God to the churches. entered into them.
2:29. Hear what the Spirit saith 17:3. He carried me away in [the] to the churches. Spirit into a wilderness.
3:1. He that hath the seven 21:10. He carried me away in [the] Spirits of God. Spirit to a mountain.
3:6. Hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
3:13. Hear what the Spirit saith to the churches.
4:5. Seven lamps of fire ... which are the seven Spirits of God.
5:6. Seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God.
14:13. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors.
22:17. The Spirit and the bride say, Come,
THE PERSONALITY AND DIVINITY OF THE SPIRIT
Two views have been entertained concerning the Holy Spirit: (1) That it is a divine influence proceeding from the Father, an emanation from or manifestation of the divine, or a mere impersonal force. (2) That he is a person and active in all the ways of a personality. That the latter view is the correct and Scriptural one is evident from the following considerations:
1. HIS WORKS PROCLAIM PERSONALITY.
(1) He speaks. "But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith" (1 Tim. 4:1). A speaker is a person; no influence or principle can speak.
(2) He testifies. "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" (John 15: 26).
(3) He teaches and quickens the mind. "But the Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you" (John 14:26).
(4) He guides. "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye can not bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth" (John 16: 12, 13).
(5) He leads and forbids. "And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden of the Holy Spirit 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" (Acts 16:6, 7).
(6) He searches. "But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God" (1 Cor. 2:10).
In the above passages the Holy Spirit is said to speak, to testify, to quicken, to teach, to guide disciples, to lead, to forbid and to search. All these things unite in showing the Holy Spirit to be a person, for nothing but a person can do them.
2. HE HAS THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A PERSON.
We will mention a few of them:
(1) Mind. "And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:27).
(2) Knowledge. "Even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God" (1 Cor. 2:11).
(3) Affection. "Now I beseech you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me" (Rom. 15:30).
(4) Will. "But all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will" (1 Cor. 12:11).
(5) Goodness. "Thou gavest also thy good Spirit to instruct them" (Neh. 9:20). Goodness, will, affection, knowledge and mind are all characteristics of a person. By no stretch of the imagination can they be ascribed to a mere impersonal influence or principle. These five characteristics form the fingers in the hand of certainty by which we grasp the personality of the Holy Spirit.
3. HE SUFFERS SLIGHTS AND INJURIES THAT CAN ONLY BE ASCRIBED TO A PERSONALITY.
(1) He can be grieved and vexed. "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye were sealed unto the day of redemption" (Eph. 4:30). "But they rebelled, and grieved his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and himself fought against them" (Isa. 63:10).
(2) He can be despited. "Of how much sorer punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant where-with he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace" (Heb. 10:29).
(3) He can be blasphemed. "Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come" (Matt. 12:31, 32).
(4) He can be resisted. "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit" (Acts 7:51).
(5) He can be lied unto. "But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land?" (Acts 5:3).
A mere principle can not sustain any of the above slights. Nothing but a personality can be blasphemed, lied to, resisted or grieved.
4. HE IS A DIVINE PERSONALITY. This will be seen from the following attributes, which are the attributes of God:
(1) Eternity. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:14). "Jehovah is great in Zion; And he is high above all the peoples" (Ps. 99:2).
(2) Omniscience. "But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God" (1 Cor. 2:10, 11).
(3) Omnipotence. "But as for me, I am full of power by the Spirit of Jehovah, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin" (Mic. 3:8).
(4) Omnipresence. "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence?... Even there shall thy hand lead me, And thy right hand shall hold me" (Ps. 139:7, 10). "Can any hide himself in secret places so that I shall not see him? saith Jehovah. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith Jehovah" (Jer. 23:24).
5. THE WORKS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MANIFEST DIVINITY.
(1) The work of creation. "And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters" (Gen. 1:2). "By his Spirit the heavens are garnished; his hand hath pierced the swift serpent" (Job 26:13). "By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth" (Ps. 33:6). "The Spirit of God hath made me, And the breath of the Almighty giveth me life" (Job 33:4).
(2) The work of providence. "Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the ground" (Ps. 104:30).
(3) The work of regeneration and resurrection. "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:11).
(4) He is the source of the miraculous. "But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you" (Matt. 12:28). "To another faith, in the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healing, in the one Spirit; ... but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will" (1 Cor. 12:9, 11).
Thus in his works, his characteristics, the things he suffers, his attributes and his achievements, we have a fivefold cord of testimony that clearly demonstrates the Spirit's personality and divinity.
THE SPIRIT AND JOHN THE BAPTIST
The first mention of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament is in connection with John the Baptist: "There was in the days of Herod, king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah: and he had a wife of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless" (Luke 1:5, 6).
This Zacharias was taking his turn in the temple service, and an angel appeared unto him and announced that in answer to his prayer his wife Elisabeth should bear a son whose name should be called John; that he should be great, and should drink no wine nor strong drink, and (Luke 1:15) "he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb"; and "his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he hath visited and wrought redemption for his people" (Luke 1:67, 68).
And the child John grew and "waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel" (Luke 1:80). His private life was spent in the desert solitudes, where he was being strengthened in spirit for the great work God had prepared for him. This work had been foretold by the Holy Spirit. It spake through Isaiah the prophet (40:3), saying: "The voice of one that crieth, Prepare ye in the wilderness the way of Jehovah; make level in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the rough places a plain: and the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." Again, Malachi (3:1) says: "Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me."
In fulfillment of these predictions of the Spirit came John the Baptist in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Great multitudes flocked to his preaching and baptism. Among others came Jesus of Nazareth, and "on the morrow he seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold, the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world" (John 1:29). "This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man who is become before me: for he was before me. And I knew him not; but that he should be made manifest to Israel, for this cause came I baptizing in water. And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize in water, he said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit. And I have seen, and have borne witness that this is the Son of God" (John 1:30-34).
The next mention of the Holy Spirit by John the Baptist is in reference to the baptism in the Holy Spirit and in fire. In order that the reader may have a clear understanding of this disputed and difficult subject, I shall present the testimonies of the four Evangelists in parallel columns [paragraphs]:
And even now the axe lieth at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. I indeed baptize you in water unto repentance: but he that after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire: whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly cleanse his threshing-floor; and he will gather his wheat into the garner, but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.
MARK 1:7, 8.
And he preached, saying There cometh after me he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I baptize you in water; but he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit.
LUKE 3:9, 16, 17.
And even now the axe also lieth at the root of the trees: every tree therefore that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.... John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you in water; but there cometh he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; he shall baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire: whose fan is in his hand, thoroughly to cleanse his threshing-floor and to gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn up with unquenchable fire.
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize in water, he said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit.
John is preaching to a mixed multitude composed of those who would accept his teaching and baptism, and of those who would accept neither. Many the former would become disciples of Jesus and receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit to qualify them to take up the work of the Master and carry it on until the church would be established and the gospel fully revealed to men. The baptism of the Spirit, a purely supernatural thing, was necessary to qualify them for this work. Others would "reject for themselves the counsel of God, being not baptized of him." These should at last "have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone." That such a division was meant by John becomes evident if we examine the context carefully. In the above parallel columns the reader will observe that Matthew and Luke use the expression "in the Holy Spirit and in fire." They both use two illustrations to show what is meant by "in fire." One of the illustrations immediately precedes and the other immediately follows the expression "in the Holy Spirit and in fire," seemingly for the specific purpose of guarding against a failure to understand the expression "in fire." The illustration that precedes in both instances is: "Therefore every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire." The illustration that follows in each instance is: "He will burn up the chaff in unquenchable fire." With these forcible illustrations to guard the passage, can any one fail to understand what is meant by the baptism in fire? The reader will also observe that neither Mark nor John refers to the baptism in fire, and neither uses any illustration to explain it, because no illustration is necessary. Where the baptism of fire is used there was always something destroyed by fire. This interpretation harmonizes with the universal use of the word "fire" in the New Testament. (1) In not a single instance is it used to denote a spiritual blessing conferred upon the good. (2) In not a single instance does it refer to the work of the Holy Spirit in purifying sinners. It is connected with judgments, punishments, fiery indignation, devouring adversaries, consuming, and even with hell itself; but in no case does it refer to the power of God in the scheme of redemption to convert and save men.
Neither does the baptism of the Holy Spirit refer to cleansing men from sin and saving them. It was not given for that purpose. This is a foolish dream born out of the castaway doctrine of the total depravity of man and his total disability to hear, believe and obey the truth. Those who claim the baptism of the Holy Spirit to-day claim that it is the regenerating, converting, purifying power of God. But the Bible does not so teach. In every instance in which the word "purify" is found in the New Testament it is an act of personal volition—something a man must do for himself. John 11:55: "Now the passover of the Jews was at hand: and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the passover, to purify themselves."
Acts 21:24: "These take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges for them, that they may shave their heads; and all shall know that there is no truth in the things whereof they have been informed concerning thee; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, keeping the law."
Acts 21:26: "Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them went into the temple, declaring the fulfilment of the days of purification, until the offering was offered for every one of them."
Jas. 4:8: "Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye doubleminded."
1 Pet. 1:22: "Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth unto unfeigned love of the brethren, love one another from the heart fervently."
1 John 3:3: "And every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
"Men must cleanse themselves from wrong in thought, word and deed, and purify their souls in obeying the truth. The Bible teaches that this is God's way of purifying sinners" (H.R. Pritchard, "Addresses," p. 323).
From this chapter the reader will obtain the following Scripture facts:
1. The Holy Spirit rested on John the Baptist from his mother's womb.
2. The Holy Spirit filled his father Zacharias so that he prophesied.
3. The Holy Spirit bore witness to Jesus by descending and abiding upon him, enabling John to identify him.
4. John promised a baptism in the Holy Spirit to some of his auditors and threatened others with a baptism in fire.
1 Pet. 1:11, 12: "Searching what time or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did point unto, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow them. To whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto you, did they minister these things, which now have been announced unto you through them that preached the gospel unto you by the Holy Spirit sent forth from heaven: which things angels desire to look into."
THE SPIRIT AND JESUS
The relation sustained by the Holy Spirit to Jesus Christ is a twofold one. First: He predicted by the holy prophets the great facts in the life of the coming one. Second: He associated himself with that one after he came.
1. THE TIME OF HIS COMING WAS CLEARLY FORETOLD. He was to come "in the last days," or in the end of the Jewish Dispensation. "And it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it" (Isa. 2:2).
2. HE WAS TO COME WHILE THE SECOND TEMPLE WAS IN EXISTENCE. "Behold, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant, whom ye desire, behold, he cometh, saith Jehovah of hosts" (Mal. 3:1).
3. THE PLACE OF HIS NATIVITY WAS A MATTER OF PROPHECY. "But thou, Bethlehem Ephrathah, which art little to be among the thousands of Judah, out of thee shall one come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting" (Mic. 5:2).
4. HIS LINEAGE WAS DECLARED IN THE JEWISH SCRIPTURES.
(1) He was to be a descendant of Abraham. "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 12:3). "For verily not of angels doth he take hold, but he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham" (Heb. 2:16).
(2) He was to be of the tribe of Judah. "For it is evident that our Lord hath sprung out of Judah; as to which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priests" (Heb. 7:14).
(3) He was to be of the house of David. "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the root of Jesse, which standeth for an ensign of the peoples, unto him shall the nations seek; and his resting-place shall be glorious" (Isa. 11:10).
5. HIS CHARACTER WAS MINUTELY DESCRIBED BY THE PROPHETS.
(1) His wisdom. "And the Spirit of Jehovah 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 Jehovah" (Isa. 11:2).
(2) His obedience. "For I am come down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me" (John 6:38).
(3) His love of righteousness. "Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness: Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows" (Ps. 45:7).
(4) His gentleness and tenderness. "He will not cry, nor lift up his voice, nor cause it to be heard in the street. A bruised reed will he not break, and a dimly burning wick will he not quench: he will bring forth justice in truth" (Isa. 42:2, 3).
(5) His compassion. "The Spirit of the Lord Jehovah is upon me; because Jehovah hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" (Isa. 61:1).
6. HIS BETRAYAL AND TRIAL. As we approach the closing scenes of Christ's life the prophecies become more minute and remarkable.
(1) The betrayal. "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my hire; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my hire thirty pieces of silver. And Jehovah said unto me, Cast it unto the potter, the goodly price that I was prized at by them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them unto the potter, in the house of Jehovah" (Zech. 11:12, 13).
(2) His demeanor when on trial. "He was oppressed, yet when he was afflicted he opened not his mouth; as a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not His mouth" (Isa. 53:7).
(3) When crucified, the soldiers were to part his garments among them and cast lots for his vesture. "They part my garments among them, And upon my vesture do they cast lots" (Ps. 22:18).
(4) He was to be numbered with the transgressors. "Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors" (Isa. 53:12).
(5) He was to perish amid cruel mockings. "But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, Commit thyself unto Jehovah; let him deliver him: let him rescue him, seeing he delighted in him" (Ps. 22:6-8).
7. HIS RESURRECTION AND CORONATION.
(1) He was to rise from the dead. "For thou wilt not leave my soul to Sheol; neither wilt thou suffer thy holy one to see corruption" (Ps. 16:10).
(2) His ascension was also a subject of prophecy. "Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led away captives; thou hast received gifts among men, yea, among the rebellious also, that Jehovah God might dwell with them" (Ps. 68:18).
(3) His coronation is foretold and described. "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed" (Dan. 7:13, 14).
The above are only a few of the many predictions made by the Holy Spirit as to the character, life, sacrifice and dominion of our Lord. We notice now the work of the Spirit in, upon and through him.
1. HE WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Spirit" (Matt. 1: 18). "And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also the holy thing which is begotten shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35).
2. HE WAS ANOINTED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Matt. 3:16, 17). "And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in the Jordan. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens rent asunder, and the Spirit as a dove descending upon him: and a voice came out of the heavens, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased" (Mark 1:9-11). "Now it came to pass, when all the people were baptized, that, Jesus also having been baptized and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended in a bodily form, as a dove, upon him, and a voice came out of heaven, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased" (Luke 3:21, 22). "And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him, and I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize in water, he said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and abiding upon him, the same is he that baptizeth in the Holy Spirit" (John 1: 32, 33).
3. HE WAS LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. "Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil" (Matt. 4:1). "And straightway the Spirit driveth him forth into the wilderness" (Mark 1:12). "And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan, and was led in the Spirit in the wilderness" (Luke 4:1).
4. HE WROUGHT MIRACLES BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. "But if I by the Spirit of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you" (Matt. 12:28). "But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you" (Luke 11:20).
5. HE OFFERED HIMSELF UP THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT. "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" (Heb. 9:14).
6. HE WAS RAISED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. "But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:11). "Who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4).
7. HE GAVE THE COMMISSION BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. "The former treatise I made, O Theophilus, concerning all that Jesus began both to do and to teach, until the day in which he was received up, after that he had given commandment through the Holy Spirit unto the apostles whom he had chosen" (Acts 1:1, 2).
8. HIS ASCENSION AND CORONATION WERE ANNOUNCED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. "Being therefore by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he hath poured forth this, which you see and hear" (Acts 2:33). "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly, that God hath made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom ye crucified" (Acts 2:36).
Thus the Spirit predicted the coming of Jesus and the great facts of his birth, baptism, anointing, miracles, death, burial and resurrection, ascension and coronation, and then came from the Father to carry on the work of extending his kingdom. In the light of this testimony we can truly say with Paul in 2 Cor. 12:3: "Wherefore I make known unto you, that no man speaking in the Spirit of God saith, Jesus is anathema: and no man can say, Jesus is Lord, but in the Holy Spirit."
"I manifested thy name unto the men whom thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them to me; and they have kept thy word. Now they know that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are from thee: for the words which thou gavest me I have given unto them; and they received them, and know of a truth that I came forth from thee, and they believe that thou didst send me.... While I was with them, I kept them in thy name which thou hast given me: and I guarded them, and not one of them perished, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.... I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldst take them from the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one" (John 17:6-8, 12, 14, 15).
THE SPIRIT AND THE APOSTLES
In interpreting Scripture, attention should be paid not only to the speaker and his message, but also to the parties addressed. There are passages that are universal in their application, others that are national, and still others that are addressed to individuals only. Many promises are addressed to children of God only, and do not apply to those who are not citizens of Christ's kingdom. Again, there are commands that are addressed solely to men in a state of condemnation, and have no relevancy when applied to the children of God. Christ uttered many things to his chosen ambassadors, chosen to establish his kingdom on earth, which were never intended to be applied to any others. It is a mistake for the Christian of to-day to make universal, promises that were intended by our Lord for special individuals. It confuses the whole scheme of redemption and makes a mystery out of Scriptures that are perfectly clear when proper limitations are made. Things addressed to a chosen few have been wrongly applied to all and great confusion has resulted therefrom. It is my purpose in this chapter to notice some of these.
The fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of John contain a record of a private talk by our Lord to the twelve, and to them alone. Jesus was approaching the close of his earthly ministry. He had chosen his apostles, and they had left all to follow him. He had eaten, slept and companied with them. He had taught them the great truths upon which his kingdom would be founded. They had learned to depend upon him for advice, instruction, comfort and guidance. They confessed this when they said, "Thou hast the words of eternal life."
He was soon to leave them, and knew that they would feel that they were "as sheep without a shepherd." He wishes them to know that they should not be left orphaned. He tells them, "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter that he may abide with you for ever," or to the remotest age. That is, as long as you shall have need of him. The Greek word translated "for ever" does not necessarily mean unlimited duration. It is often applied to much shorter periods, even to a lifetime.
The word "Comforter" is a translation from the Greek word Paracletos, and it is a very inadequate translation. There is no word within my knowledge that will fully express in English the Greek word. It is much better to Anglicize the word into the English "Paraclete." This word is used of the Holy Spirit only four times in the New Testament, and is only used by the Saviour in his private address to the twelve, found in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth chapters of John. It is never applied to the work of the Holy Spirit in relation to mankind in general. It is promised only to the chosen, and Jesus tells them that the world can not receive "him."
This Paraclete is a distinct gift to the twelve, to take the place of the personal presence and guidance of the leader who is preparing to leave them.
What is the nature of this promised one? By examining the lexicons we find that Paraclete is:
1. One called or sent to assist another.
2. One who pleads the cause of another.
3. A monitor.
4. An instructor.
5. A guide.
6. A helper.
7. A supporter.
8. A comforter.
Of this Paraclete Jesus says:
1. Whom the world can not receive.
2. He dwelleth with you and shall be in you.
3. He shall teach you all things.
4. He shall bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have spoken unto you.
5. He shall testify of me.
6. He shall convict the world of sin.
7. He shall convict the world of righteousness.
8. He shall convict the world of judgment.
9. He shall guide you into all truth.
10. He shall show you things to come.
11. He shall receive of mine and show it unto you.
Here we have eleven distinct things that the Paraclete is to do for the apostles.
All these offices of the Paraclete were needed by the apostles in their work of proclaiming Christianity and establishing the church. They were ignorant and unlearned, humanly speaking, and could never have gone forth to success without this supernatural Paraclete. They took no thought what they should say, for it was given them at the proper time. Others have to take thought. Paul tells Timothy to "study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Timothy had to study because he did not possess the Paraclete. Yet Timothy did possess the gift of the Spirit. "For which cause I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee through the laying on of my hands" (2 Tim. 1:6).
Men to-day are required to study that they may know what to say. A failure to observe this exhortation of the apostle is the reason why a great many do not know what to say. The Paraclete was not only an instructor, but he was an infallible guide. This is evident from the fact that no apostle ever contradicted another nor said anything foolish. I never heard a man of to-day lay claim to being guided "into all truth by the Spirit," who did not say something foolish in the next five minutes. If any man claims the direct guidance of the Spirit to-day, he can not consistently deny that same claim to others. But we have all sorts of men teaching all sorts of doctrines, often contradicting each other. Does the Spirit guide one man to preach up Universalism and another man to preach it down! The same is true of Calvinism, Mormonism or any other ism.
This teaching places the Spirit in a very unenviable position, that of preaching four or five different teachings at the same time, each within a half-mile of the other. Suppose a preacher were to do that! What would the people think of him? It would ruin the reputation of any preacher in Christendom. There is something wrong, and that something is to apply to the world the promise of the Paraclete, which was only given to the apostles.
Paul tells Timothy: "The things thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also." Was that not an impertinence in Paul if Timothy had the same divine leading as he? Was it not impertinence in Jude to say that the faith was "once for all delivered to the saints," if there were deliverances being constantly made? What need to preach the gospel to the heathen world if God is directly leading men into the truth? What need for a New Testament if all men possess this Paraclete? How can one man deny the claims of another whom he admits to be divinely guided into all truth?
Some have thought that Christ bestowed the Paraclete upon the apostles when he breathed upon them and said: "Receive ye the Holy Spirit." At best that was a prophetic and not an actual bestowal, for after that onbreathing we find Peter (Acts I) calling upon the assembly of brethren to take a vote as to who should succeed Judas in the apostolic college. If he had possessed the Paraclete at that time, he would not have been compelled to resort to the judgment of his brethren to determine such a question. Moreover, Christ indicated when the Paraclete would come, by stating the work that would follow his coming: "When he is come he shall convict the world [age] of sin, of righteousness and of judgment." How did he do this?
1. His first act at his coming was to baptize the apostles in the Spirit and endow them with the Paraclete. "Ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts 1:5).
2. When the Spirit baptized these apostles with divine guidance he began his work of convicting the world through them.
(1) To convict the world of sin. Not of sin in general. It is a mistaken idea that the Spirit is sent to personally convict a man of the sin of lying, stealing or defrauding his neighbor. When I was a boy in old Kentucky the colored people used to hold great revivals; they generally selected corn-planting-time or harvest-time for these meetings. Many of them would lie for days in a cataleptic condition, which, they said, was a "conviction of the Spirit." A man would go groaning and moping to his task because he was "under conviction of the Holy Ghost." The above passage teaches nothing of the kind, nor does any other passage in the New Testament teach it. There is not a case in the New Testament where the Holy Spirit ever made an issue with a man to personally convict him of sin. All men are convicted of sin by the Spirit, but it is the Spirit working through the preaching of Spirit-filled men. "And he, when he is come, will convict the world [the Jewish world or age] in respect of sin, because they believe not on me." They called him a blasphemer, they rejected him, they took him with wicked hands and crucified and slew him; and the first thrust of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost was at this sinful act of the world: "This same Jesus whom ye took with wicked hands and crucified and slew, God hath raised him up and made him both Lord and Christ."
(2) "Of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more." If this passage teaches that men are individually convicted of sin, it also teaches that they are individually convicted of righteousness, and this would be a most herculean task, even for the Spirit, to perform. It is a contradiction of terms to say that the Spirit convicts a man of sin, then, in the next breath, that he convicts the same man of righteousness. And yet, the Spirit was to convict men "of righteousness"; but whose righteousness? The righteousness of Jesus Christ. "Of righteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more." When Jesus was on earth he claimed to be the Son of God; he claimed to come down from heaven; he claimed to be God manifest in the flesh; but, at the same time, he was a "man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." "There was no beauty that we should desire him." On this account the Jews refused to accept him as the Son of God; they denied his claim to divinity and called him a blasphemer for making himself equal with God; they believed that he was unrighteous in making that claim, and Jesus died because his claims were not accepted by his people; but after his death he was crowned with glory and honor at the right hand of the Majesty on high, and the Spirit came to demonstrate the righteous claims Jesus made while on earth. The Spirit came to convict men of the righteousness of Christ, and not their own righteousness. A simple illustration will probably throw light upon this thought. Forty years ago my father lived in a little village in the State of Illinois, midway between St. Louis and Indianapolis. One afternoon two young lads, covered with dust and toilworn, came to his house and told him they were sons of an elder of a Christian Church in Indiana; that they had been robbed in St. Louis, and were making their way home on foot; they asked for something to eat. My father doubted their claims; he felt that they were impostors; but my mother, who had boys of her own out in the world, and who always believed the best of everybody, said: "We will feed them and care for them during the night." Their wants were supplied, and they were given lodging for the night, and sent on their way the next morning with a good lunch for the day. Six months afterward, I preached in Monroe County, Indiana, and, stopping with one of the elders of the church, two young lads were introduced to me as his boys. They asked me if my father lived in Illinois. I told them he did. They then recounted their experience at my father's home, and said to me: "We would be glad when you return home if you will tell your father that you stopped at our house, and that you know we were what we claimed to be when we sought his aid." When I returned to my father's home I convicted him of the righteousness of those boys in the claim which they set forth, and which he had hitherto doubted. In a similar manner the Spirit of God came down to convict the world, that had rejected the claims of Jesus, of his righteousness in making those claims.
(3) He will convict the world of judgment, because the "prince of this world is judged." This passage does not say, as many preachers quote it, "of judgment to come," but "of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." This Scripture is often quoted to show that a judgment was pronounced upon Satan, who is often called the prince of this world. The word for prince in the original is used thirty-seven times—thirty-two times it clearly means an earthly ruler, and five times it may apply to Satan. There is no reason why the expression, "the prince of this world," may not mean an earthly ruler. It evidently refers to Pontius Pilate, in John 14:30, when Jesus says: "The prince of this world cometh, and he hath nothing in me." Pilate justifies that statement when he says: "I find no fault in this man." Nevertheless, as prince of this world, he pronounced the death-sentence and delivered him up to be crucified. This was the judgment of the prince of this world, but the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost reversed this judgment and pronounced a righteous judgment in its place, thus judging Pilate "the prince of this world." The above three things were accomplished on the day of Pentecost by the coming of the Spirit. The Jews were convicted of sin in rejecting and crucifying Christ; they were also convicted of the righteousness of Christ in claiming to be the Son of God, and likewise convinced that God had raised up Jesus and made him both Lord and Christ. In accomplishing this work the Spirit did it through the instrumentality of gospel preaching, and all subsequent convictions of sin, of righteousness and of judgment have been accomplished through the same agency, and will be till the end of time.
This Paraclete continued with the apostles till the end of their ministry, guiding, leading, and showing them "things to come," bringing all things to their remembrance that Christ had spoken unto them. Under this direct and supernatural control they preached the gospel to all the nations of the earth, and established the church with all its officers, ordinances, privileges and duties. They wrote the epistles to the churches and gave to mankind the New Testament, "the perfect law of liberty." The work of the Paraclete being finished, and his mission ended, no man has been guided, shown and directed personally by him since. God does no unnecessary work, and the work of the Paraclete is not necessary now. His work remains in the teachings and lives of the apostles. There are many things in the above-mentioned chapters that rightfully have a universal application, but the special promises concerning the Paraclete are not included in those things.
"Wherefore he saith, When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, And gave gifts unto men.... And he gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a fullgrown man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ" (Eph. 4:8, 11-13).
THE SPIRIT AND THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH
That the Holy Spirit sustained a relation to the apostolic church that it does not sustain to the church of to-day is clearly evident to the student of the Divine Word. The church of the apostolic age had no New Testament as we have to-day. Hence the necessity of a more direct and immediate leading than is necessary to-day. The apostle Paul states the difference between the two when he says: "For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away." This is not a contrast between the imperfections of our day and the perfection of heaven, but between the imperfection of the apostolic church and the perfection of the church of to-day. That which is perfect has come; a perfect revelation of Christian character, a perfect gospel, a perfect "law of liberty," a perfect New Testament. The apostolic church was limited to knowing in part and prophesying in part. "But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit to profit withal. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit: to another faith, in the same Spirit; to another gifts of healings, in the one Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits: to another divers kinds of tongues; and to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh the one and the same Spirit, dividing to each one severally even as he will" (1 Cor. 12:7-11).
Now, here was manifestly a condition in the first churches that does not exist to-day. Here are various direct and supernatural workings that are manifestations of spiritual power resulting from a direct gift of the Spirit to members of apostolic churches. Now, there was a purpose to be accomplished by this special gift of the Spirit. In the fourth chapter of Ephesians the apostle tells us the purpose of this gift. "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God." This gift of the Spirit accompanied the baptism of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost.
This brings us to a very-interesting question; viz., Was the promise of the "gift of the Holy Spirit," referred to by Peter on the day of Pentecost, a universal one to all who obey the gospel, or was it limited to those of the apostolic church who received it that they might manifest it in a supernatural way "to profit withal," or to the profit of all?
There are some who claim that "the gift of the Spirit" is one that belongs to all who obey the gospel to-day, that it is independent of the instrumentality of the gospel, and is the peculiar heritage of those who repent and are baptized for the remission of sins; that it performs a work in them other than is performed by the Spirit operating through the truth. There are others who claim that the "gift of the Spirit" was a supernatural power and was conferred on persons to qualify them to do a work or works peculiar to the age of miracles which obtained in the apostolic church. The only way to settle this is by appealing to (1) the consciousness of individuals, (2) to the Divine Word.
Before appealing to either of these tribunals, there are a few facts that we must consider. (1) This is the only passage in the New Testament that connects "the gift of the Spirit" with obedience to the gospel in the preaching of the apostles. We have remission of sins so connected on various occasions (see Acts 5:31; 10:43; 13:38; 26:18, etc., etc.), but nowhere else is this "gift of the Spirit" promised. If it is to be as universal as "remission of sins," ought it not to have the same prominence in apostolic preaching? This is an important factor in settling the matter. (2) In the only instance in which it is promised it is inexorably connected with baptism for the remission of sins. It is promised to no others, and all others are ruled out by the explicit terms of the promise.
With these facts before us, let us now appeal to the consciousness of the individual. If we consider numbers, it is safe to say that ninety-five per cent. of those who to-day claim "the gift of the Spirit" have never been baptized for the remission of sins. They have never performed the conditions upon which the gift was bestowed. Are they competent to testify? Of the remaining five per cent., there is not one who can give any definite reason why he is conscious of the personal indwelling of the Spirit within him. To demonstrate my statement I appeal to the consciousness of my readers. Are you conscious of any influence within you except a holy joy that comes from obedience to the will of God? If you are not, what evidence have you that the Spirit personally dwells in you? So much for the argument from consciousness.
Now let us appeal to the Divine Word. When the apostle Peter promised "the gift of the Spirit," he followed it with the words, "For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all them that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." He distinctly states that the gift of the Spirit is in fulfillment of "the promise." Now, is there in the Scripture any promise of a personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit as a result of obedience? Let us search the words of the Master. In Luke 11:13 our Lord says: "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 passage may be disposed of by saying that in the original it is a holy spirit and does not refer to the Holy Spirit at all. It represents God's willingness to give a holy disposition. Matthew explains it in the words "good gifts to them that ask him." In John 7:38, 39 we have recorded another promise: "He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believed on him were to receive: for the Spirit was not yet given; because Jesus was not yet glorified." This is evidently a supernatural gift, as he represents the recipient of it as a fountain from which flows rivers of living water. This is obviously not true of us to-day. Our Saviour also dates the bestowal as following his glorification, or on the day of Pentecost. In Mark 16:16-18: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned. And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." These five things that accompanied the believers are all supernatural. Of the three promises of Jesus—which are all that are recorded in the New Testament—only two refer to the Holy Spirit, and both of these to its supernatural manifestation.
If we go back of the Saviour to the Old Testament, we find a distinct promise of the gift of the Spirit: "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the hand-maids in those days will I pour out my Spirit" (Joel 2:28, 29). This promise is the one quoted by Peter to explain the manifestations on the day of Pentecost to the people drawn together by that wonderful event. From it he delivers by the Spirit a sermon on the claims of our Lord. He shows that they had taken the Lord by wicked hands and had crucified and slain him; that God had raised him from the dead and had exalted him to his right hand; had given him the promise of the Holy Spirit; that what they saw and heard was the fulfillment of Joel's promise. This promise was not simply to the apostles, for we read in the preceding chapter that the apostles, and the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brethren to the number of one hundred and twenty all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication. "And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." This shows that the gift of the Spirit came upon all the followers Jesus left behind him. When the multitude were convicted by the apostle's discourse, they "said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do? And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins: and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him." What promise! Evidently the promise of God, "I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh." There is no other promise in the mind of Peter and his hearers, and I know of no other promise the reader can have in mind. This position is amply supported by after-developments. "While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them that heard the word. And they of the circumcision that believed were amazed, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit. For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid the water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Spirit as well as we?" (Acts 10:44-47). This was in fulfillment of the promise not only to the Jews, but the Gentiles, whom the Jews regarded as "far off." Paul, speaking to Gentiles, says: "But now in Christ Jesus, ye that were once far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ" (Eph. 2:13). In this incident "the gift of the Holy Spirit" and "receiving the Spirit" are the same. And when Peter was taken to task for baptizing the Gentiles, he defends himself on the ground that God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit, "the like gift as he did also unto us." In the above instances, Pentecost and the house of Cornelius, the gift of the Spirit was the result of the baptism of the Spirit, the baptism of the Spirit was an outpouring or falling of the Spirit upon the Jews at Pentecost and the Gentiles at the house of Cornelius, to signify his acceptance of both Jew and Gentile into the kingdom of Christ. Paul undoubtedly refers to this when he says: "For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks" (1 Cor. 12:13). The baptism of the Spirit ceased when its object—the making of one body out of Jews and Gentiles—was accomplished, but "the gift of the Spirit" did not cease. It was conferred by the laying on of the hands of the apostles through all their lives. A few illustrations may be mentioned from the Scriptures.
The Samaritans. When a bloody persecution arose at Jerusalem, following the death of Stephen, the disciples were scattered and went everywhere preaching the Word. Philip went to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. "But when they believed Philip preaching good tidings concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women" (Acts 8:12). "For as yet the Holy Spirit was fallen upon none of them: only they had been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus" (Acts 8:16). If the gift of the Spirit is to all baptized believers, why did not the Samaritans receive it? Philip was not an apostle and did not have the power to confer "the gift of the Spirit" by the imposition of hands, and, in order that they might receive this "gift," it was necessary that two apostles, Peter and John, should go to Samaria and lay hands on them, that they might receive the Spirit. Here is a clear case of baptized believers receiving the Holy Spirit by the imposition of hands.
Disciples at Ephesus. In Acts 19 Paul met certain disciples that had received the baptism of John. He showed them that John did not preach a full gospel, which embraced a belief in Christ. "And when they heard this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus, and when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them." This is another clear case of the Spirit being given by the imposition of hands.
Timothy. In 2 Tim. 1:6 Paul tells Timothy: "For which cause I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee through the laying on of my hands." This is a third instance of the gift of the Spirit by the imposition of hands, and they form just three more instances than can be found of the Spirit taking his personal "abode in men because they have believed and been baptized."
That the Spirit was imparted to many Christians in a similar way is clear. Paul tells the brethren at Borne: "For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may be established." It was not necessary that he see these brethren to the end that he might proclaim the gospel unto them; but it was necessary that he see them that he might lay hands on them and impart the gift of the Spirit.
In Mark 16:17, 18 Jesus concludes the commission as follows: "And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." Here is clearly the promise of supernatural power which he calls "signs." Signs of what? There is but one answer that can be given: signs of the indwelling of God's Spirit by which alone they could work these signs. Are these signs in existence to-day? No thoughtful reader will so affirm. If the manifestations of the Spirit have ceased, is it not reasonable that the "gift" has also ceased? If not, we have the remarkable fact of the Spirit dwelling in man and not being able to manifest any signs of his indwelling.
We are now enabled to reach two conclusions of importance: First, the "gift of the Spirit" was a supernatural gift for the purpose of enabling the "believers" in apostolic days to work the "signs" which Christ said should accompany them that believe, and ceased when the signs ceased. Second, many of the exhortations of the New Testament writers were to a church whose members were filled with the supernatural power of the Spirit, and should be interpreted in the light of that fact. We give a few examples that fall under this head: "Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness" (Rom. 1:4). "But ye are ... in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you" (Rom. 8:9). "Ourselves also, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit" (Rom. 8:23). "My conscience bearing witness with me in the Holy Spirit" (Rom. 9:1). "Now I beseech you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the love of the Spirit" (Rom. 15:30). "Now he that wrought us for this very thing is God, who gave unto us the earnest of the Spirit" (2 Cor. 5:5). "Ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance" (Eph. 1:13, 14). "Through him we both have our access in one Spirit unto the Father" (Eph. 2:18). "Be filled with the Spirit" (Eph. 5:18). "If there is therefore any ... fellowship of the Spirit" (Phil. 2:1). "Therefore he that rejecteth, rejecteth ... God, who giveth his Holy Spirit unto you" (1 Thess. 4:8). "For God gave us not a spirit, of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline" (2 Tim. 1:7). "He saved us through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit" (Tit. 3:5). "God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by manifold powers, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit" (Heb. 2:4). "Doth the spirit which he made to dwell in us long unto envying?" (Jas. 4:5). "Ye have an anointing from the Holy One" (1 John 2: 20). "The anointing which ye received of him abideth in you" (1 John 2:27). "He hath given us of his Spirit" (1 John 4:13).
All the above Scriptures become clear if we understand them to apply to a people through whom God was manifesting his presence by supernatural demonstrations, but many of them lack meaning when applied to people of God who no longer exhibit these supernatural powers.
THE SPIRIT AND THE WORLD
Hitherto we have been treating the Holy Spirit in terms of the past, but now we come to the present tense. Is the Holy Spirit a power in the present age? If so, what kind of a power? Is he making an issue with men as a direct power and working upon them immediately, or is he working through an instrumentality, and, if so, what is the instrumentality?
The Spirit is undoubtedly dealing with two classes of persons in his work to-day.
First, those who are not believers, and therefore unconverted and "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel."
Second, those who have believed and obeyed the gospel, and are therefore children of God.
We shall devote this chapter to the influence of the Spirit upon the unbelieving world.
In the very nature of things, the work of the Spirit is to make believers out of unbelievers, and convert the perverted. We all believe this. We believe that all believers are made by the power of the Spirit. We differ about whether he exercises that power directly from himself to the individual soul, or whether he exercises that power through the gospel, through the apostles and through Christ's word of truth. Reason, philosophy and experience exhausted themselves in discovering but two methods by which one spirit can exercise an influence over another.
First, a direct mechanical, immediate influence taking possession of the will and influencing the mind of and controlling the speech and actions of the subject. This takes place in hypnotism and is supposed to take place in clairvoyance and clairaudience.
Second, a rational moral influence exerted by ideas impressed upon the mind by teaching and words that represent ideas.
There is, there can be, no third way by which one spirit can influence another. You may study till you are gray-headed or bald-headed, for that matter, and you will discover no other way.
The Holy Spirit has used both of these methods in the past.
1. In the case of the apostles and prophets, he immediately, mechanically and directly controlled their actions and speech, so much so that Jesus told them that under the influence of the Spirit they should take no thought what they should say. "For it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Spirit" (Mark 13:11). "And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance" (Acts 2:4).
2. In the case of the men to whom the apostles preached on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit used a rational moral influence through the words of Peter's sermon, which conveyed ideas that swayed their minds and hearts. It is claimed by some that both of these methods are used by the Spirit to-day. The modern teaching concerning the first of these influences is well set forth in the following selection from a widely known book by L.B. Dunn, entitled "The Mission of the Spirit": "Even where the light of the gospel does not shine, and the institutions of the gospel are not enjoyed, there the Spirit acts directly upon man's heart and conscience, writes the law of God upon his mind, gives him the sense of sin and the need of forgiveness. Hence, wherever man is, there the Comforter is at work upon his heart and mind. The divine influence is imparted unconditionally and irresistibly. The Holy Spirit is ever employed to bring man back to God; and whether he desires it or not, whether he is willing or unwilling, still the Comforter comes to him with his heavenly illumination, his divine influence, convincing him of sin, and his consequent need of the mercy of God. May I not truly say that man really has no choice in the matter as to whether he will or will not have this divine influence upon his soul? He is, he must be, enlightened and convinced, whether he will hear or forbear, whether he will be saved or damned. He can not prevent the entrance of the Spirit into his heart."