THE STUDY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Course Study By: Dr. Grady
Different denominational Churches have been plagued with controversial issues concerning the Spiritual gifts. Some hold that the supernatural gift ceased with the apostles. Others believe that some gifts were temporary in nature but a few are permanent. A third group believes that the miraculous gifts of the Spirit did not cease with the apostles but are meant for the church today. Presented below are different perspectives written by several Christian authors.
Some believe and are taught that miraculous gifts of the Spirit were given only to the apostles and Stephen and Philip. “It is very clear from the record of the New Testament that the extraordinary charisma was not the possession of all Christians, but supernatural gifts to the few.”
Some propose “With the completion of the New Testament, and its almost universal acceptance by those true to God, the need for further unusual display of miraculous works ceased.”
Some believe and teach that most miracles happened within the time frame of three brief periods of history: the days of Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha, and Jesus and the apostles. Other cases of miracles took place as isolated cases as in the days of Isaiah (2 Kings 19:35-36; 20:1-11), and in the days of Daniel (Daniel 3:20-26). But these events were not characteristic of God’s dealings with men, as God has given the Scripture in substantial quantities.
Research in the Scripture shows many miracles working among God’s people. Scripture shows that miracles were prominent in three main periods: the time of Moses, that of Elijah and Elisha, and the New Testament era or Christ and the apostles. On the basis of both the biblical and historical evidence, it seems most active in the early church are no longer given to God’s people.”
We ask ourselves, were the gifts meant to be temporary? How could one explain the absence of miracles in the church when the New Testament is filled with miraculous gifts? The doctrine of cessationism did not originate from a careful study of the Scriptures, but it began with experience. The Reformers crystallized the arguments against contemporary miracles based on two reasons. One was based on Catholics proof of miracles show God’s approval on their doctrine. The other was the lack of experience of the miraculous. The negative about this believe was they could not produce a single text in the New Testament to prove that the spiritual gifts were confined to the New Testament period.
Once their theories failed, they were forced to appeal to theological searching the unproven theories. The arguments were many in great objection many times. The miracles were no longer necessary since the church possesses the miraculously attested, written word of God. If the primary reason for miracles was to authenticate Jesus as the Son of God, why did the apostles perform miracles? But if the first century converts required the miraculous authentication of the gospel message, why wouldn’t the succeeding generations require miracles at all? The only question remains then, for the need of miracles was to authenticate the apostles. But this argument loses ground, when it is proven that miracles did not authenticate apostles.
Scripture provides evidence in the New Testament for the purpose of the miracles. Mark says that miracles were to “confirm” (Mark 16:20); John says to “testify” (John 5:36), and Peter says that Jesus was “accredited” by miracles (Acts 2:22).
Other scripture provides evidence they were to authenticate the character of Jesus and His relationship with the Father. God is with Jesus (John 3:2); God sent Jesus (John 5:36); Jesus had authority on earth to forgive sins (Mark 2:10-11); Jesus is the Messiah (Matt 11:1-6) and the Son of God (Matt 14:25-33).
My studies have provided evidence that the main function of the miracles performed by the apostles was to confirm the Word. Luke said, concerning the ministry of Paul and Barnabas at Iconium, that the Lord “confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders” (Acts 14:3). Signs and wonders were not attested to the apostles themselves, but the message of salvation preached by the apostles. The main task of the Holy Spirit is to convict people to accept Jesus Christ as their savior.
Paul list the five ministries of Ephesians 4:11-13 given to the church? Scripture states, it was to equip the believers so that they can do the ministry (v 12), until we reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God (4:13) or until the church reaches its maturity.
There are two gifts”, listed in Ephesians 4:11: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers, and the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:6-10.
We know from scripture apostles were the twelve chosen by Christ. The Greek word apostolos means literally a delegate or messenger or the one sent forth with orders. Paul was not one among the original twelve, but was called to be an apostle by Jesus Christ after his ascension (1 Cor 15:8-9). There is a second way in which the word “apostle” is used in the New Testament. Paul called Silas and Timothy as fellow apostles (1 Thess 2:6-7). Adronicus and Junias also were outstanding among the apostles (Rom 16:7). Luke records the specific ministries of the apostles: they solemnly testified and exhorted (Acts 2:40); they taught (2:42); worked signs and miracles (2:43; 5:12); and gave witness to the resurrection of Jesus Christ (4:33).
Revealed in the scripture are five characteristics that are common to apostles. First is the suffering of an apostle (1 Cor 4:19-13; 2 Cor 4:7-12; Gal 6:17). God displays them as mere men but the glory of God is revealed through them. Second, an apostle had a divine insight into the mysteries of God (Eph 3:1-6; Rom 11:25-32). Third, was the presence of signs and wonders as they proclaim the Lord Jesus (Acts 14:3; 15:12). Fourth was the blameless integrity of the apostles (1 Cor 1:12; 2:17). Finally, was the apostolic authority (Matt 10:1; Mark 3:15).
Next were the gifts,” mentioned in Ephesians 4:11 is that of the prophet. A prophet was a person who spoke forth by means of supernatural gift from God. Some of the apostles were also prophets. There were also those in the New Testament times who were not apostles, but who had the gift of prophecy. Agabus “stood up and began to indicate by the Spirit that there would certainly be a great famine all over the world” (Acts 11:28). He warned Paul about the persecution awaiting him in Jerusalem (Acts 21:10-14). Others who were identified as prophets were Barnabas, Simeon, Lucius, Manean, Saul (Acts 13:1), Judas, and Silas (Acts 15:22). Philip had four daughters, all of whom were prophetesses (Acts 21:9).
Gifts of the Spirit were widely distributed across the church. Prophecy is found in the church at Rome (Rom 12:6), in the church at Corinth (1 Cor 12:10), the church at Ephesus (Eph 4:11), in the church at Thessalonica (1 Thess 5:20), and in the church at Antioch (Acts 13:1).
Philip had an unusual gift of evangelism, which was demonstrated by his ministry in Samaria (Acts 8:5-13). He cast out the unclean spirits and healed the lame and the paralyzed (8:7). He received a special revelation from God concerning the Ethiopian eunuch (8:29), and after leading him to Christ, was miraculously transported by the Spirit (8:39). There were others with the gift of evangelism, such as the “men of Cyrus and Cyrene who came to Antioch and began speaking to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus: (11:20). Paul also possessed this special gift of evangelism. In fact, most of the pioneers of the New Testament were multi-gifted men.
The fourth and fifth gifts may be combined which are the gifts of the pastor-teacher. The didaskalos or the teacher was a person who taught the basic Christian doctrine. The pastor is shepherd, who is a teacher of the Word of God. The apostles also possessed the gift of teaching, as we read, “And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as Christ” (5:42).
Paul was one who probably possessed all of the five gifts mentioned in Ephesians 4. Timothy was an outstanding pastor-teacher. Billy Graham had the gift of evangelism, by which he has won thousands to Christ. God saw it fit that these gifts were necessary for “church planting,” and such a ministry has never ceased since the days of the apostles. A careful study of church growth reveals that men with various gifts of the Spirit have contributed greatly in recent times to establish Christian churches.
The nine gifts of the Spirit listed in 1 Corinthians may be classified as “Lesser Gifts”, since these gifts are meant for the support of the five-fold ministry. The word of wisdom, the work of knowledge, and discerning of spirits are gifts of revelation. Faith, miracles and healing are the gifts of power. Prophecy, tongues and interpretation belong to the gift of utterance.
Let us take on the task of explaining speaking in tongues. There are many reasons why people reject the gift of tongues. One of the reasons is that those who speak in tongues consider themselves above average Christians, and also think that tongues is the greatest of all the gifts. Another problem is the misuses of tongues, which has led a number of pastors to reject the issue entirely. My personal research reveals tongues to mean strictly other languages.
Paul discouraged the church from speaking in tongues because of these following problems? “Do not forbid speaking in tongues” (1 Cor 14:39). It does not make sense to leave such a command in the Scripture, if the tongues were going to cease in thirty to forty years. Then Paul goes on to say in 1 Corinthians 14:5, “I would like everyone of you to speak in tongues.” He further said, “But I would rather have you prophesy”. He declared again, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you” (1 Cor 14:18). This indicates that Paul spoke in tongues more than anyone in Corinth, that he exercised that gift more intensely than others, and he used it in his private life more than in the public meetings (1 Cor 14:18,19). This writer stands firm on the meaning of tongues as being other languages.
Paul explains, “He who speaks in tongue edifies himself” (1 Cor 14:4). Does that indicate a temporary nature of the gift? Hopefully, Paul was writing this portion of the Scripture under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This was not a personal opinion of Paul, but God’s opinion of the gift of tongues. Paul told the Corinthians, “You do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed” (1 Cor 1:7).
THE HOLY SPIRIT REVEALED IN SCRIPTURE
1.The Bible says that the Holy Spirit actually assisted in the works of creation Gen. 1.1. The fourth word, first verse of the Bible presents the word “God”. As we study through the Exegetical Technique, looking each word up in the original language Hebrew, we find God in this scripture known as Elohim is presented as plural which includes Jesus Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit. All three persons, God The Father, Jesus The Son, The Holy Spirit , all three in one, were the creators of all things. To back this up physically one only has to realize that they will breathe, creation still exist as we know creation.
2. The Holy Spirit came upon Mary, who eventually bore Jesus as full man and full God. Jesus freely handed over his spirit to his Father while hanging on the cross. Revealed in this study the Holy Spirit restrained sin in the area of Jesus’ ministry giving Jesus the protection he needed.
3. The Holy Spirit convicts us to accept the grace and become part of the Church of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit dwells in all believers. We must be continuously filled with the Holy Spirit. Spiritual gifts come through the Holy Spirit. Christian works are enabled through the help of the Holy Spirit. The conviction of believers as to sin is the continuous works of the Holy Spirit. We are baptized, and processed for the works of the Lord through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit also enables Christians to understand and gain knowledge.
4. After the Rapture, during the Tribulation, The Holy Spirit will not restrain sin. The Holy Spirit will be here on Earth during the seven years of tribulation. Many will be saved and the Holy Spirit being God is present and active in the complete role held previously except the restraining of sin. One the seven years of Tribulation are over, and the thousand years Millennium begins, The Holy Spirit will go back to doing just as he does today. Under the kingship of Jesus, The Holy Spirit will be there to convict them of Salvation. The devil will be un-bound for a while and many will follow him. Everyone has the same chance in free will from time beginning to the end of the Millennium. This is why a study of the end times is very important. One will learn of the seven judgments, which take in The Old Testament times, the Church Age, Tribulation, and the thousand years Millennium.
SCRIPTURAL AFFIRMATION AS TO THE DEITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
One title is given to the Holy Spirit, the title “holy” is given to Him as designation so that we may be able to distinguish Him form other spirits. This title is the most common given to Him throughout Scripture. There are titles given to Him which reveal His relationship to God the Father (Genesis 1; 2; Matthew 3:16; Romans 8:11), and God the Son (Acts 8:39; Romans 8:9); and 1 Peter 1:11). These titles are meshing of His relationship with the Godhead, known as the Trinity.
The Scriptures plainly present and unite the Holy Spirit with God. The Holy Spirit is presented with Jehovah in the Old Testament, and is found in the Book of Isaiah. In Acts 28:5, we find that these two titles are associated with the Holy Spirit. The same words stated in Isaiah 6:9, 10 are quoted in Acts 28:26, 27, this is confirmed by all three, which is the trinity and confirms the seal of deity to the Holy Spirit.
THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
One writer states “we must remember that God is One, while at the same time three Persons.” All Persons of the Godhead had a part, in the creative process.
Scripture presents a main view that surrounds the imminence of God. God is said to be present in His creation, then it is evident that the Holy Spirit is also, because He is God. Presented in the Creation account in Genesis 2:7 is “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 being”; the evidence of the work of the Holy Spirit. One must understand that even the breath or spirit sustains the life of man. God was the only creator and is the only sustainer.
The creation was designed to bring glory to Him. In the Book of Job, we find that the Holy Spirit completed the finishing touch of splendor and beauty to the universe, and in Psalm 19:1 we are shown “The heaven declare the glory of God”.
The Holy Spirit must continuously fill man. Man must request to be forgiven of their sins and ask that the Holy Spirit fill them continuously. The result is evident as we see what man and the Holy Spirit do together every day with our beautiful buildings, vehicles, things we call stuff. The Holy Spirit does have a specific part in the preservation and renewal of creation everyday. The initial work of creation was completed in past time and explained for the reader in the Creation account in Genesis
REVELATION AND INSPIRATION.
The word revelation is derived from a Greek root word (apokalupto), which means the uncovering, or unveiling. The word revelation is used when speaking of the content of the Bible. Revelation is one of the ways in which God has revealed Himself to mankind. Revelation is seen in the ennoblement of individuals to discern the Scripture and understand the message. Man may add to this the fact that God Himself became incarnate and revealed Himself in the Person of Jesus Christ. Through creation God has revealed Himself to mankind.
The word inspiration means, “The supernatural exerted over the writers of the Scripture which guarantees the accuracy of their writing, “and the expression, “given by inspiration of God,” is found in a Greek word, (theopneustos). Theopneustos means God-breathed and only relates to the origin of the Scriptures.
THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN REVELATION AND INSPIRATION
Scripture provides evidence to the fact of the Holy Spirit’s work in revealing God’s Work is found in the New Testament. Peter presents a view to help; “for no prophecy ever came by the will of man; but men spoke from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). Peter presents the revealing work the Old Testament prophets, and also the New Testament prophets.
Presented in the Old Testament we find the phrase, “Thus says Jehovah,” Revealed in our studies, theologians view that when this phrase is presented in the Old Testament it usually refers to the work of the Holy Spirit in revelation.
Further studies revealed that God implemented and used dreams. Presented often in the Old Testament are examples where God spoke to His prophets through dreams. Quite often the person receiving a dream was not even a prophet.
God revealed to His prophets many times through the use of visions. God presents a vision differently than a dream is presented. The dream is revealed when a person is asleep, and a vision is presented while the person is completely awake.
Scripture reveals that God created trances to present His mind and will to the prophet. The significance of trances is very small in the communication of God’s revelation to the prophet. The coming of Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy, a Revelation preached. The Church continues to deliver with the help of the Holy Spirit, revelation and inspiration.
History was recorded in the Old Testament as history was being made. Inspiration holds records of forth coming to accurate record of what God had revealed. Scripture reveals accurate records recorded were over seen by the Holy Spirit, which included the testimony of the Old Testament authors. The authors of Scripture clearly state that they were conscious of the fact that they were writing God’s words down (2 Samuel 23:2-3; Isaiah 59:21; Jeremiah 1:9.
Scripture reveals and has declared the work of the Holy Spirit in inspiration within writers work in the Old and New Testament. There were at least six different phrases implemented in the Old Testament, which show this work to be of the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament Scriptures are said to be “the Word of Jehovah,” “Thy Word,” and “His Word.” These titles are mentioned over one hundred times throughout the Old Testament.
Scripture reveals that Christ testified to the fact that one of the primary works of the Holy Spirit was the inspiration of the Old Testament Scriptures (Matt 22:42, 43)
Jesus preached this and we have the testimony of the apostles. The apostles then brand testimony into the New Testament in Acts 1:16 and in Hebrews 3:7. Jesus and His apostles testify to the fact the Old Testament was inspired by the Holy Spirit, which proves the human authorship.
In the Book of Genesis, God spoke to Moses through a burning bush or He did not. Jesus walked on water or He did not. Jesus died for sins or he did not. Writers of Scripture heard the voice of God or they did not.
Scripture provides evidence the Holy Spirit took part in creation (Genesis 1:2; Psalm 104:29; 30; Job 26:13; Isaiah 40:13). The root Hebrew word translated spirit is (ruach), and from this Hebrew word comes forth breath or wind. The words breath and wind are used in the same likeness in regard to the Holy Spirit. In comparison, Psalm 33:6, “By the work of Jehovah were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the (breath) of his mouth, “the same word is used in Genesis 1:2 for the Holy Spirit. As researched in Typology, Elihu’s statements were very similar, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty giveth me life”. Not only in Job but many other Old Testament books brought forth the Spirit typed to (the breath) and (the wind) of God.
The work of the Holy Spirit in creation is also found in the root of the Hebrew word (Elohim). Elohim is in the plural and refers to the One who is doing the creating. Elohim then, according to the work of creation, presents a view all three Persons of the Godhead took part in the creation. I believe this to be very clear and states there are no valid arguments against the Trinity. Trinity found in the first verse, first sentence of the first book of the bible today. Fourth word proves the trinity.
THE ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
Is it possible a person can be born without a fleshly father? Yes, by a miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit, as was Jesus Christ. The scripture reveals The Holy Spirit being the agent of Christ’s conception (Matt 1:18, 20, 21; Luke 1:35. The mystery of the eternal Second Person of the Trinity taking on flesh is known as the Hypstatic Union. With this knowledge one can understand how Jesus was born full man and full God.
The most significant aspect of the birth of Christ, besides His being born of a virgin, is the aspect of whether His birth was a product of generation or creation. Scripture states that Christ was born of a women (Matt 1:20; 2:1; Luke 2:7; Gal 4:4) and took on human flesh, and he was sinless? The Bible says that the Holy Spirit made a special “overshadowing” of the Virgin Mary so as to bring forth-sinless Humanity.
HOLY SPIRIT IN THE LIFE OF CHRIST
The Bible presents that Christ was filled with the Holy Spirit from the point of conception. Even though Christ was subject to physical growth and development (Luke 2:40, 52), as any normal human, it is understood that He possessed all the spiritual gifts because he was filled with the Holy Spirit. Christ stated that He had limitation of wisdom in His human nature (Matt 24:36; Mark 13:32; John 14.10).
It is clear that Christ’s baptism by the Holy Spirit is not the beginning of the Spirit’s ministry to Christ. The baptism of Christ is simply a new phase of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. At the time the Spirit descended and baptized Christ a new phase in the ministry of Christ took place as well. From this point forward we find Christ directly involved in His prophetic ministry. The Holy Spirit is the One who anointed Christ to preach (Isaiah 12:18; 61:1, 2; Matthew 12:18-21; Luke 4:21). We find that Christ chose to be dependent upon the Holy Spirit for the exercising of His prophetic gift and ministry.
Another point is the power by which Christ performed His numerous miracles. We are told in the Bible that Christ performed miracles by the power of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:28; Luke 4:14-19). This makes it absolutely evident that the Holy Spirit was assisting Jesus Christ.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE SUFFERING AND GLORIFICATION OF CHRIST
The role of the Holy Spirit in the suffering of Christ is evident as Scripture reveals itself. In Isaiah, Christ would be a man who would undergo a great deal of pain, suffering, sorrow, and grief. The Holy Spirit ministered to Him during His testing in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12; Luke 4:1-13).
Presented are several passages which indicate the Holy Spirit had a role in the resurrection of Christ, Romans 1:4; 8:11; and 1 Peter 3:18. The Spirit‘s role was evident in the glorification because of the Trinity.
SIN AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT, CALLED AN UNFORGIVABLE SIN.
During my studies in Green, this particular subject was one of my knowledgeable findings. Sin against the Holy Spirit is called a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and is similar to open defamation against someone today in our society. Blasphemy is better defined in the Greek language means (defamation), or evil speaking in general of someone. When we take the same Greek word and use as a noun, it means detraction or slander. It is not considered as an act of a thoughtless child, or of the ignorant, but a person commits it knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and presumptuously. The passage of Scripture dealing with the “sin against the Holy Spirit” is Matthew 12:22-32. Another is found in the Book of Mark.
Jewish crucifixion was the result for blasphemy against God by the Leviticus law (Lev 24:11, 16). Numbers 15:28-31 reads: “So the priest shall make atonement for the person who sins unintentionally, when he sins unintentionally before the Lord, to make atonement for him; and it shall be forgiven him. You shall have one law fro him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them. But the person who does any thing presumptuously, whether he is native born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the Lord, and he shall be cut off from among his people.”
One writer says that every sin short of definite rejection of Christ is ignorance rather than sin, but the real sin is the sin against the Holy Spirit. The sin against the Holy Spirit is a condition of the heart so radically and maliciously set against God. It usually results from a long term of self-hardening and self-depraving.
Mark 3:28-30 states, “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation.” Jesus said this to the Scribes and Pharisees when they declared that Christ had brought about healing by the power of the devil rather than by the power of the Holy Spirit. The Jewish people separated the duties of the Holy Spirit by teaching that He revealed God’s truth to men, or he was enabling men to recognize the truth when they saw or heard it.
Only through Christ can anything be revealed to the Father, and the Holy Spirit reveals Christ. Rejection of the Holy Spirit, is a rejection of the revelation of God, and constitutes a blasphemy against the Spirit; a rejection of the Spirit is a rejection of the presenter of Jesus.
Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is again mentioned in Matthew 12:32, “anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” The accusations that the Pharisees brought against Christ were much more serious than charging Him with breaking the Sabbath laws. They were convinced of the evidence of a miracle as much as the common people were, but refused to follow their convictions. The Holy Spirit’s main function is to convict the unbeliever. The people rebuked the Holy Spirit convictions concerning Christ work here on Earth, and could not imagine Him is God.
My exegetical studies revealed that Christ had just released a demonic from a horrible bondage by casting out the demon from him. Jesus did this in the daylight, which was recognized by many as a divine act. The Pharisees attributed the miracles to Him as working with Satan. Christ claimed He performed it with the power of the Holy Spirit.
One writer states that an unpardonable sin is that which has no remedy from the moment it has been committed. In the case of the sin against the Holy Spirit, God’s method of dealing with it is plain; the punishment will not be recalled. It was the distortion and perversion of moral vision of which the Pharisees were guilty which constituted the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. They called the Holy Spirit an unclean spirit, “Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit.” Apostle Paul before conversion was “a blasphemer and a persecutor and injurious” (1 Tim 1:13), and he compelled other to blaspheme (Acts 26:11). Yet he says he obtained mercy because it was done against the Son, and in ignorance. He had not received the light from the Holy Spirit, and hence it did not constitute a sin against the Holy Spirit. You will know that you have blasphemed if you hate Christian music, hate the word of God, rebuke discussions of the Lord Jesus Christ, curse God, and rebuke the true living Trinity. This is blasphemy in a common understanding. Knowing and willfully rebuking God is blasphemy. The blasphemy of God is better explained as to one who hates God, to denounce God, and not ask for forgiveness would be to have Him take your name from the Book of Life.
I must explain in very common language what the fruit of Blasphemy exposes. You are allowed to be a fruit inspector, not a judge of salvation, but a fruit inspector. Let me explain by asking you some questions first. When you are in your mother’s womb, are you a child of God or a Child of Satan? When you were conceived did you receive a sprit? If so who gave you that spirit, God or Satan? We all certainly will agree that Jesus gave us the spirit. In that moment are our names written in the Book of Life or are they written in the Other Books of the unsaved? One has to know we are in the Book of Life, when a little newborn child has only lived a few hours and dies, where does he or she go? Scripture tells us that we certainly go straight to Heaven. Why? Their names are written in the Book of Life.
Now here is how I believe God wants you to see blasphemy. The result of blasphemy is death. I am sure we all agree. So our name has to be removed from the Book of Life. To Denounce The Holy Spirit, not in casual or ignorant talk at an accountable age will not remove your name from the Book of Life. But if you are at accountable age, realized you are a sinner, accept Jesus Christ as your savior, filled with the Holy spirit, Jesus comes to live in your heart, wouldn’t you think kicking those two out , denouncing first the Holy Spirit would remove you from the Book? The answer is NO is the answer, Jn 3: 16 and other scripture are plain about eternal salvation. So who are those that could blasphemy The Holy Spirit? They are those who have reached accountable age, either not accepted Jesus as their savior, or did it through what you will learn a little later in this writing common grace. This is where the Holy Spirit was knocking on your door; you got those chill bumps and went before the church. You did not give your life to Christ; it was a deep dark secret inside you and may have been for years. Then one day, you get mad at the world, Curse God, curse the holy spirit, start walking out of the room when someone speaks of God, or opens a bible, and prays in your present. A Christian will know by your fruit. This is why we have some many mad churches out here in the world. They are not saved, get made at fellow Christians, move down the street and start a mad church. There are also some who never mad a claim, never will, continuously blasphemy The Holy Spirit. We know where they going for eternity, right?
COMMON AND EFFICACIOUS GRACE
(In my teaching of this writing one can truly be saved by understanding the difference below. Please take the time to read, open your heart, and move from common grace.
Common grace is defined as that grace which God makes available upon all mankind regardless of whether they are saved or will be saved. This grace is unable to save anyone but is shared if you have the desire to get out in the world. It is evident from the Scriptures that the Holy Spirit plays a significant role in the out-pouring of common grace upon the world. Beautiful Christian music, a great evangelist, or the communion with great fellowship can cause decisions within a church to claim salvation, but in reality it was only common grace. The Spirit’s actions with common grace are His relation to the revealed Word of God. The Spirit is working through the Word manifesting the truth to all men, regardless of man’s decision to accept. The Bible tells us that the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit. The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit has a three-fold work based upon this passage of John 16:7-11. The Holy Spirit would convict, reprove, and convince the world of its sin. Next the Bible says that the Holy Spirit would manifest the righteousness of God to the world. The Bible also states that He will convict the world of the coming judgment because Satan is already judged. These three-fold works are part of the common grace, which God has given to us.
The Holy Spirit does restraining work in the world as another aspect of common grace. It can be pointed out that the restraining work of the Holy Spirit is evident throughout the Scriptures, though it may vary from age to age (Genesis 6:3; Isaiah 59:19; 63:10, 11). More specifically we have reference to a restrainer working in the world today. This is seen in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. There seems to be many debates as to who this restrainer actually is. It seems quite evident from this writers studies that the Holy Spirit is the best possible answer. Common grace in simple terms is where the Holy Spirit knocks on your door, offers you saving grace, through Jesus. Many times one accepts the Charisma of the call instead of the grace of the call, which is leaving them in a common grace situation. This means the person is still not saved.
Efficacious grace can be defined as that particular work of the Holy Spirit, in which He so works upon the will of man to move them unto saving faith. No man would be saved without this powerful work of the Holy Spirit.
There are many passages throughout the New Testament, which substantiates that there is indeed a divine call to salvation, which results in certain salvation. This is quite different from common grace and the gospel being preached to all men. Common grace says the gospel is to be preached to each and every person, while efficacious grace is the effectual calling of the elect individual unto salvation. In researching, it was pointed out that the preaching of the gospel, which is common grace, does not save anyone while the divine call which is efficacious grace seals the elect unto salvation. Efficacious grace is giving your heart to Jesus and becoming as holy as you can. The word from God to this writer is the fact of five crowns available to the Christian. Efficacious grace in its fullest is a Christian walking around having earned and retained all five crowns. The crowns we will be honored with in Heaven by Christ Himself.
While discussing the differences between common and efficacious grace, research reminds that one is bestowed upon all men while the other is bestowed upon those who open themselves to saving grace. This is asserted throughout the Scriptures, especially Ephesians 1:4, “According as He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world This writer stands on the Word of God in 1 Tim 2:1-4.
Regeneration is the spiritual change wrought in the heart of man by an act of God whereby his sinful nature is changed and enabled to respond to God in faith. Regeneration requires illumination of the mind, a change in the will, and a renewed nature. This change of the total nature of man restores him to a right relationship with Christ. Regeneration has the basic idea, “to be born again,” or “to be restored.”
Regeneration is found in the New Testament in Matthew 19:28 and Titus 3:5. Titus explains the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. This term is not only applied to human beings but also to the renewed heaven and earth in the millenium (Matthew 19:28). Scripture reveals that when related to eternal life, it simply says new life, new birth, new creation, and new mind.
Regeneration is the work of God. The Bible speaks of the person regenerated as one. Regeneration is the result of the Holy Spirit. God is the source (James 1:17-18), and the Son is the means (John 5:21; 2 Cor 5:17), and the Holy Spirit is the agent of regeneration (John 3:3-7; Titus 3:5). The scriptures say that the work of salvation belongs to Christ, and the work of the regeneration belongs to the Holy Spirit. Jesus sent us this helper in Acts 2. The new life that is received through regeneration is supernatural. Bible Scripture again name with simplicity new birth, new creation, and spiritual resurrection.
To become a child of God, one must be born of God. Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). 2 Corinthians 5:17 states, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” In the study of Romans, one learns that a Christian is often said to be “alive from the dead” (Romans 6:13). This means the Christian was once dead but now is alive with eternal life by faith.
Textual studies show that regeneration must be considered part and parcel of salvation. One writer’s opinion is that regeneration is a work of God in the human soul which is below consciousness, making it unnecessary for one to be conscious of the happening. The writer goes on to say there is no age limits for receiving the gift of salvation. He points out Scriptural basis for infant regeneration, and uses John the Baptist as an illustration; he being filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.
The only basis for regeneration is faith through salvation. The decision is to believe and receive eternal salvation. Infants’ dying before the age of accountability is a complete different case. Eternal life begins with the creation of divine nature in the regenerated person. A change begins to take place in the individual with regard to manner, attitude, and things pertaining to God.
The sin nature is still evident in the individual. The state of perfection is never reached until death or the bestowal of the resurrection body at the Rapture, and Jesus purifies us. The new life brings with it new experiences. The old nature was dead spiritually, and was unable to experience many spiritual blessings. The new life begins to experience many spiritual blessings. The new life now begins to enjoy the intimacy of God’s presence in prayer and in reading the Word. Under the control of the Holy Spirit, one begins to manifest the fruit of the Spirit. The Christian experience now unfolds.
Regeneration is solely and completely a work of God, not by any means of man. This would include man’s will being absolutely and completely ineffectual in the act. Man is not able, in and of himself, to bring about his own or anyone else’s spiritual regeneration. One must not assume that God in His common grace has enabled man to make the choice to be regenerated or not. One being born could no more will, empower, or initiate his own birth than he can in his spiritual birth.
There are further biblical objections to the idea that baptism itself conveys regeneration grace. There are actually incidents of conversion without baptism (Acts 10:44-48); 16:14-15). The latter case is especially interesting, for the opening of Lydia’s heart is specifically mentioned before baptism. Regeneration grace comes direct by the Spirit to lost sinners. The Word of God brings it into expression in faith and repentance. A divine intervention, which makes the natural man receptive to God’s Word, must be open to hearing the Word in a saving manner. When this has occurred the Word of God brings the new life into expression.
When surveying all the Greek terms used in reference to regeneration, we notice that they all indicate a drastic and dramatic change, which may be likened to birth, rebirth, re-creation or even resurrection. Several of the terms in context indicate that this change has permanent and far-reaching effects in its subject.
BAPTIZING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Scripture presents the doctrine in sufficient passages to permit one to arrive at an accurate understanding of the truth. There are eleven specific references to spiritual baptism in the New Testament (Matthew 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; 11:16; Romans 6:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12:13; Galatians 3:27; Ephesians 4; 5; Colossians 2; 12). All the references after Pentecost treat the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an existing reality. The major passage, which may be taken as the basis of interpretation of the other passages, is 1 Corinthians 12:13.”
Salvation and baptism of the Spirit are coextensive, and that the Christian is baptized at the time of conversion. Presented in Ephesians 4; 5, Paul says that there is only one baptism, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” By the exposition of this verse, all should have one Lord, one faith or doctrine, and all should have one baptism. Baptism does not refer to water baptism; the baptism of the Spirit is the same with all Christians. This is the belief of this writer as well.
One writer states that “en” can be translated to man with, by, or possibly in. He presents the possibility that in both instances it does mean the same and refers to the same baptism. One learns in a Greek class that translation is based on gender of noun, verbs, and context and is not translated the same every time. In regard to the number observations Walvoord, a Christian writer of today, has made concerning the baptism of the Holy Spirit, one would believe he has made a tremendous contribution. He notes that the baptism is universal among those in Christ. The Holy Spirit Himself is the seal of our new position.
One notes important Bible Scripture is brought out in the New Testament to describe one and the same experience, “Baptized with the Holy Spirit; Filled with Holy Spirit; The Holy Spirit fell on them; I send the promise of the Father upon you.” Ephesians 4:5 states “There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” The Bible presents four baptisms, in water, in the Spirit, in the Body of Christ, and in suffering.
Water baptism is physical, and Theology plainly spells out the particulars of Spiritual Baptism. Water baptism is symbol of Christ death, burial and resurrection. Although the thief on the cross went to heave without water baptism, one must understand you can be saved on your deathbed. Again water baptism is symbolic of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The baptism of the Spirit is completely different from water baptism. The writer presents at this point how Jesus personally handled and separated the indwelling and the filling of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said that their names were written in heaven because they had believed. Jesus breathed on them the Holy Spirit, the indwelling of the Spirit. Christ commanded them again to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high, the filling of the Spirit. The disciples waited in the upper room, ten days prior to Pentecost, “they were all filled with the Holy Spirit” according to John 20:23. The disciples had waited for endowment of power from on high, and what they received was the experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit. The bible says and many joined the disciples while waiting in the upper room.
Most conservative scholars believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit has a permanent but one must be continuously refilled. This has noting to do with losing your salvation. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your savior, you truly believe in your heart, you cannot be snatched from your father’s hand. If this were true, the scripture is clear that the blood of Jesus saves us, and then if Satan tried to touch you in anyway, God would protect you. The Christian is joined through Christ in a believing eternal life, and they receive a new position in Christ. Removed from the former position in Adam, the Christian is placed in Christ. Either Christ died on the cross for all past sin, present sin, and future sin or he did not. If you accept Jesus as your savior you are saved. You receive the Holy Spirit at that very time. Jesus moves into your heart. In the Old Testament times the Holy Spirit would come and go. God was with us throughout that time. In the New Testament times, the church age, the time we live in, Jesus moves in our heart, and He does not leave a dirty house, ever. To say one loses his salvation would be to say Jesus is a lie.
The Holy Spirit is the agent of baptism. The Holy Spirit brings a person to Christ for salvation, and also serves as agent in equipping man for witnessing. It gave the disciples boldness to witness Christ, resulting in thousands of souls being added to the church. If one has fallen away, that simply means he must ask for forgiveness and ask to be refilled by the Holy Spirit. This can happen in your home, car any place anytime. God does not make it hard for one of his children to come home. In John 15 Jesus explains how in the vineyard he is the vine, we are the branches, and how he pruned the branches, that they bear more fruit. Jesus did not explain to his disciples that day that he cut the branches away and they lost their salvation, if this was true, then how could one bear more fruit?
THE INDWELLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. WHEN DOES IT TAKE PLACE? WHAT DOES IT SIGNIFY? IS IT PERMANENT?
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit occurs in the life of the believer who accepts Jesus Christ as Savior. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because of Grace, occurs instantly and the believer receives all man will ever receive. The power obtained as well as His sealing work and the beginning of regeneration is present the moment one receives Jesus as their Savior.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit occurs by Christ living in the believer, and the believer is no longer in an unsaved condition, which has been separated from God in the past. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit does not mean that the person will no longer sin, it means that he or she now has at their disposal the power to overcome sin. One is no longer bound by his sin nature, but has been given a new nature called the “new man” or “new creation. Charles Stanley says that the unsaved person was in need of salvation and the person who believes and is saved and indwelt by the Holy Spirit is in need of the leading guidance of the Holy Spirit by the continuous need to be filled by the Holy Spirit.
The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is permanent, once saved, always saved. This is clearly indicated by the fact that salvation, and all that is associated with in, is a free gift (Romans 5.5). Salvation is not based upon the works, but is based upon the sovereign election of God, through grace, by faith in Jesus Christ. Paul says because of ignorance in unbelief that Jesus saved him. The Greek root word for belief is translated to the word trust. Once one trust in Jesus then Ephesians 1:13, 14 become real for the new believer.
DO YOU HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT INDWELLING YOU?
I believe the Bible to be the true and infallible Word of God. I read, study and believe every word literally. There are many Scripture verses that tell of the Holy Spirit and the work of the Holy Spirit in the believer.
While attending seminary, there was much emphasis on the steps to explain Holy Spirit Indwelling. We find that Romans 5:5, 1 Corinthians 2:12 and 1 Corinthians 3:16 explains well that the third person of the Trinity is and does indwell in all believers.
One must say, I am not looking back to the old life or the old man. I know without any doubts the Holy Spirit indwells in me. I use as a guideline for daily life Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” If the Son of God lives in me, then the Holy Spirit lives in me; God the Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Holy Spirit. When we are saved by the Blood of Christ we become children of God the whole body of God in us, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
THE SEALING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The word seal in the New Testament has much the same meaning as it does today. A seal is for protection, security, and preservation. Taught in Theology in conservative colleges is that to seal, means branded. The word seal is used a number of different ways in Scripture, which are used in Typology. The sealing of Abraham, the covenant is a type of sealing or becoming of God. Abraham to the today believer is sealed and branded by God. We are protected and belong to Him. There are three specific passages which refer to this particular work of the Spirit: 2 Corinthians 1:21, 22; Ephesians 1:13, 14; 4:30.
The agents in this seal seem to be both God the Father (2 Corinthians 1:21, 22) and God the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30). Ephesians 1:14, 14 does not seem to clearly indicate any specific agent in this work, except that the phrase “you were sealed with the Holy Spirit.” In either case it has generally been held that the Holy Spirit is the agent of this sealing work in the life of the believer.
The Holy Spirit is to assure the believer that people will ultimately receive that which promised. This is plainly what is in view in Ephesians 1:13, 14, “…which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession” and Ephesians 4:30, “…. unto the day of redemption.” God promises, both by His Word and Seal, that He will complete and fulfill that which He has begun in life of the believer (Philippians 1:6; Romans 8:28-30). It is clear that God, by this seal, is marking His people with a mark of ownership.
Christ paid for our sealing, with His life as earnest for our redemption. Believers today appear no different from the unsaved in most things. They undergo all the same types of trials and troubles of life and finally death, but God has given His Holy Spirit to the believer as a pledge and guarantee that He will some day complete the work He has begun. How awesome and reassuring is this truth to us who are saved.
The sealing is not an experience at the time of salvation. It occurs each time of of being refilled with the Holy Spirit as a security of the promise of redemption of believers. This is a great significance because it serves as the guarantee of the eternal security of all believers. God by His Spirit sets His seal on His property, just as documents are sealed until the proper time for opening them, so the Holy Spirit seals Christians until their day of redemption.
The seal of the Holy Spirit cannot be broken. Also, we must keep in mind that what God promises He will fulfill; He is not like finite man who often breaks his promises, “Being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”
The seal of the Holy Spirit is its verification of the eternal security of the believer. God’s seal is upon the believer unto the day of redemption, which means that no power in the universe will ever be able to break the seal or to take the believer away from God (Romans 8:35-39). This scripture and study should become a total release from bondage for Christians who did not have these facts before this paper.
The Attributes of Personality
Adrian Rogers, one the great preachers of the 19th century taught the definition of the soul. He said a person has a mind, will and emotion. In fact Adrian preached that the devil had one source he went after in the saved person, which was the soul or better spoken, the mind, will and the persons emotions. Was he saying Satan could take the soul of a person, meaning their salvation? Absolutely not, Adrian preached eternal salvation, but he taught Satan was the prince of the air, and he only has one power. This power was to go after the mind, will and emotion of a person. I have taken the time to emphasize this because one should understand that a person also has a spirit. That spirit is not the same as a soul. Jesus said on the cross that he committing his spirit unto God. He had no mention of his soul.
The Holy Spirit is a person. He has the attributes as a person. The Holy Spirit has a mind (Rom 8:26, 27) and understands the thoughts of God (1 Cor. 2:10, 11). He also shares that wisdom derived from His intellect with the saints according to 1 Cor 2:12, 13. The wisdom of God is available to every Christian (James 1:5).
The Spirit in a person has emotion. Gifts of the Spirit are listed a Christian’s life (Gal. 5:22, 23. The Holy Spirit must possess these same gifts in order for Christians to receive those gifts when we are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit. We must continuously be filled with the Holy Spirit. How many times have we seen Christians lose their emotions and be accused of a false Christian?
If the Spirit did not possess these passions He could not reproduce them in the Christian. The Holy Spirit has feelings and can be grieved by disobedience (Eph 4:30). The Holy Spirit can be insulted by forsaking grace (Heb 10:29). The Holy Spirit is hurt when lied to by Christian (Acts 5:3). The Holy Spirit has feelings and they can be affected by a person’s behavior. The Holy Spirit possesses a will. He distributes spiritual gifts to the Christians as determined by His will (1 Cor. 12:11). He directs the affairs of the believers by forbidding and permitting many activities (Acts 16:6-10).
These scriptures and this teaching plainly presents how the person of the Holy Spirit is much like that of a human, a real person. How many times do we become grieved, insulted, forsaken, lied to? As a true Christian we can take this teaching to heart and understand life as we live it today.
The Actions of Personality
The Holy Spirit gifts Christians with the word of Christ found in the Bible (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit is our guide to understanding the truth concerning God and the Christian life (John 16:12, 13). Only the Spirit of God is able to teach Christians the wisdom within the Word of God (1 Cor. 2:14).
The Holy Spirit guides the believer into the will of God (Rom 8:14), and (Acts 13:1-3). Every Christian that is trying to live for the Lord can be assured of the Spirit’s guidance. The will of God becomes knowledge as the Spirit reveals it.
The Holy Spirit is our comforter (John 14:16, 17).
Instead of losing our salvation, when we are being pruned as Jesus taught in John 15, The Holy Spirit convicts or reproves the Christian of his sin. Again in John 16:8-11, the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. The Spirit brings a lost person under conviction. This happens during common grace, one lost. Again a saved person is also convicted of his own sin, therefore The Holy Spirit assist in a Christian’s sanctification. To the saved, this means leading a clean life. The Christian will sin and become convicted to repent and confess his sin to God in order to restore the broken fellowship with his heavenly Father (1 John 1:9). The Spirit inspires the believer to keep his life pure and free from sin. One must remember that man could not do this alone. Jesus can to give his life for our salvation. Jesus then sent The Holy Spirit to become our helper. We learned in the seminary Greek course that The Holy Spirit is called in the Greek a paracletos, that denotes a legal counsel for the defense or advocate. The Holy Spirit is a Christian’s defender.
To bring glory to Jesus, The Holy Spirit directs the Christian to be a part of three activities. These activities are working, worshipping, and witnessing. The Spirit glorifies Jesus Christ (John 16:13, 14). The Christian is empowered by the Spirit to glorify the Lord through his work, worship, and witness. The Spirit enables the saint to do even greater works than Christ, which brings Him glory (John 14:12). The believer may worship God in his spirit through the Holy Spirit (John 4:24The Church is encouraged by The Holy Spirit to spread the gospel through out the world (Acts 1:8).
Once a person experiences salvation he is called by The Holy Spirit to a Holy and sanctified life (2 Pet 1:3). The saint, a person who has accepting Jesus Christ as their savior, is commanded to imitate the holy behavior of the One who called him. The Spirit also calls people into service for the kingdom of God. In Acts 13:2 the Holy Spirit called Barnabas and Paul to mission work. The Spirit intercedes for all Christians (Rom 8:26, 27). The Spirit of God speaks to Christians. The Holy Bible speaks of instances of the Spirit communicating with man through dreams, visions, and words (Act 8:29). In the church age, or rather since Jesus came and died for our sins, The Holy Spirit speaks to the spirit of a Christian (1 Cor 1:12, 14). The message is communicated through the Word of God, the spoken word, and the written word spoken to the spirit of a Christian. The voice of the Holy Spirit can be heard by the reading of the Bible.
Are you washed in the blood of Jesus? If not consider accepting Jesus as your personal savior. Receive the wonderful free gifts of the Holy Sprit as I have described in this writing. Feel free to contact me from this web site and let me know you have accepted Jesus as your savor. Find a good Bible Church, Bible Teacher and become also washed in the word of God. Much can be revealed to you as a new Christian.