Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
Doctrine of The Holy Spirit
In the NT alone there are some 261 passages, which refer to the Holy Spirit. He is mentioned 56x in the gospels, 57x in the Book of Acts, 112x in the Pauline epistles, and 36x in the remaining NT.
A. The Study Of The Holy Spirit – “Pneumatology”
In the Greek language the word pneuma means wind or breath. The Spirit is the breath of God.
B. The Importance Of Understanding The Doctrine Of The Holy Spirit
Why study the Holy Spirit? Because the doctrine of the Holy Spirit is important to understand and the Holy Spirit is the least understood person of the Trinity. Just about every heresy deals with the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is involved in inspiring the Bible and preserving it [II Peter 1:21]. Inspiration of God is by the breath of God the Spirit of God. We must remember that inspiration not only includes the originals but also the preserved copies the authorized version 1611 King James Bible. Biblical criticism and that the church and men must preserve the scriptures is in fact an infringement upon the work of the Holy Spirit. When someone tells you, you have to be baptized in water in order to be saved they are infringing on the work of the Holy Spirit. Because in fact according to the Bible it is the Holy Spirit that baptizes you and gets you saved. A person is saved by the Spirit’s work of conviction, conversion, and regeneration the new birth [John 3:8]. We were born again when we were born of the Spirit [John 3:6]. Every person who tells you, you have to do something to be saved is denying the work of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit is conversion and when man teaches salvation by works again he is attacking the work of the Holy Spirit. Anyone who teaches that you can lose your salvation after you get saved is misunderstanding and misrepresenting the ministry of the Holy Spirit [Eph. 4:30]. Once you’re saved the Holy Spirit keeps you saved. Another heresy that we run into is the idea of a second work of grace where you do something to bring about a second work. Again this is a denial of the Holy Spirit. This business of soul winning by programs and by promotions is a denial of the Holy Spirit in dealing with men. The Holy Spirit chooses to use you and I, He allows us to get in on the glory. But the truth is He could do all the work and get all the glory for it but He allows us to be a part of it. A proper understanding of the Holy Spirit is basic to many Bible doctrines. For example, inspiration of the Bible, important aspects of salvation and many facets of the Christian life, if we can understand the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit then we will understand the Christian life.
II. The Personality Of The Holy Spirit
A. The Holy Spirit Has Attributes Of Personality
- Intelligence – the Holy Spirit knows and searches the things of God [I Cor. 2:10-11; Is. 11:2; Eph. 1:17], the Holy Spirit has a mind [Romans 8:27], the Holy Spirit is able to teach people [I Cor. 2:13]
- Emotion – [Eph. 4:30] tells us that we can grieve the Holy Spirit; [Rom. 15:30] Paul tells the believers to pray for him based on the love of the Holy Spirit
- Will – the important ministry of distributing spiritual gifts to the believers is done by the Holy Spirit [I Cor. 12:11], His will is seen also in his ability to direct God’s servants [Acts 16:6-12] it was the Holy Spirit’s will that Paul not preach in Asia but to go to Macedonia and preach there. We see Paul was instructed in a vision to go to Macedonia and the reason for that was Paul did not have the full written revelation of God. And we see in the OT and in the early part of the NT that God often spoke in visions and dreams because unlike today they did not have the full written revelation of God from Genesis to Revelation. That is why God does not deal with man today in dreams and visions because we have God’s full written revelation today in the Word of God.
- The Holy Spirit Performs The Actions Of Personality
Actions are attributed to the Holy Spirit that cannot be attributed to a mere thing or influence or personification or power or emanation. Such actions then must be those of a person thus proving personality of the Holy Spirit.
- The Spirit Teaches – [John 14:26]
- The Spirit Testifies or Witnesses – [John 15:26; Rom. 8:16]
- The Spirit Guides – [Rom. 8:14]
- The Spirit Convicts or Convinces – [John 16:7-8]
- The Spirit Restrains - [Acts 16:6-12]
- The Spirit Commands and Directs People – [Acts 8:29]
- The Spirit Performs Miracles – [Acts 8:39]
- The Spirit Calls For Special Service – [Acts 13:2]
- The Spirit Sends Forth Into Christian Service
- The Spirit Intercedes – [Rom. 8:26]
C. The Holy Spirit Receives The Ascriptions Of Personality
What we mean by that is that certain acts are performed toward the Holy Spirit that would be most unsuitable if he did not possess true personality.
- The Spirit Can Be Obeyed – [Acts 10:19-21]
- The Spirit Can Be Lied To – [Acts 5:3]
- The Spirit Can Be Resisted – [Acts 7:51]
- The Spirit Can Be Grieved – [Eph. 4:30]
- The Spirit Can Be Reverenced – [Psalm 51:1
- The Spirit Can Be Blasphemed – [Matt. 12:31]
- The Spirit Can Be Outraged – [Heb. 10:29]
D. The Holy Spirit Is Designated As A Person
The Greek word for spirit is pneuma and is a neuter gender word meaning it is neither, masculine or feminine. However what we find interesting is we find that the masculine demonstrative pronoun is used for pneuma or spirit in the scriptures [John 15:26; 16:13-14].
- By Personal Pronoun – “He” – why sometimes is the masculine pronoun he used to refer to the Holy Spirit and sometimes the neuter pronoun used to refer to the Holy Spirit? When you have the masculine pronoun he it is referring to the personality of the Holy Spirit and when we have the neuter pronoun used in it is not talking about the person of the Holy Spirit but the work of the Holy Spirit.
- Use Of The Neuter Pronoun “It” Discussed – [Eph. 1:13-14] which in [v 14] is the relative pronoun used for the neuter pronoun in this particular case. [Rom. 8:26] neuter pronoun used is itself.
E. The Holy Spirit Is Related To Others As A Person
- The Apostles – He is related to the apostles as if He has personality just as they did though human at the same time He is distinguished from them as a separate person [Acts 15:28]
- The Lord Jesus Christ – the Holy Spirit is related to Christ in such a way that if the Lord has personality it must be concluded that the Spirit does too. At the same time the Spirit is distinguished from Christ so that we know they are not the same person [John 16:14]
- The Other Persons Of The Trinity – the Holy Spirit is also related to both of the other persons of the Trinity in such a way as to indicate personality. In the passage where this occurs it would be completely unnatural to regard the Spirit as a thing while understanding the Father and Son as persons [Matt. 28:19; II Cor. 13:14]
- His Own Power – the phraseology of the above verses would be useless and inexplicable repetition if the Holy Spirit were thought of merely as a power of influence and not as a distinct personality with His own power.
III. The Deity Of The Holy Spirit
We should remember several things Jesus was sent by the Father [John 14:24; 17:3, 8, 21, 23, 25], the Holy Spirit was sent by the Father and the Son [John 14:26; 15:1-27], Christ submitted to the Father, the Holy Spirit submitted to the Father and the Son. In submission to the Son the Holy Spirit’s work was to illuminate that which the Son had spoken, the Word of God [John 16:13-15]. The Spirit was not to speak of Himself. In Genesis 24 we have a beautiful example of type. Abraham would of course be God the Father and he sends Eliezer, which would be a type of God the Holy Spirit to find a bride for Isaac a type of the Son.
A. The Holy Spirit Exhibits Divine Attributes
- Omnipresent – [Psalm 139:7-8]
- Omniscient – [I Cor. 2:10; John 14:26; 16:13]
- Omnipotent – [Gen. 1:2; 26:13; Luke 1:35; Heb. 9:14]
B. The Holy Spirit Identified With Other Members Of The Trinity
While the Holy Spirit does indeed occupy a place of submission in the Trinity He is not the least bit behind the Father or the Son and all their divine attributes. His perfect equality with them is demonstrated through His identity with them in the following examples.
- The Baptismal Experience Of Christ – [Matt. 3:16-17]
- The Temptation Of Christ – [Matt. 4:1-11]
- The Testimony Of Jesus In The Upper Room – [John 14:16, 26; 15:26]
- The Testimony Of Paul – [Eph. 2:18; II Cor. 13:14; Rom. 8:2-3]
- The Declaration Of Peter – [I Peter 1:2; 4:14]
- The Testimony In The Book Of Acts – [Acts 2:33]
- The Testimony Of Jesus On The Mount Of Olives – [Matt. 28:19]
- The Quotation Of Old Testament Verses In The New Testament – one of the strongest proofs of the deity of the Holy Spirit is the identification of the Spirit with Yahweh, the LORD. This is seen in passages where in the OT Yahweh said something and the NT quotation of the same passage is attributed to the Spirit as the speaker. Thus showing that the LORD of the OT is the Holy Spirit of the NT. [Is. 6:9 - Acts 28:25, 26; Jer. 31:31-34 - Heb. 10:15-17] [Acts 21:11] here we have the OT prophetic formula “thus saith the Lord” where we see the words Holy Ghost in the verse. LORD is replaced in the NT with thus saith the Holy Ghost
- Discussed – Holy Spirit And Holy Ghost, The Same – and the proof of this, is found in [John 14:16-17, 26]. The reason this is so important is because some believe the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost are different. Charismatic’s say when you get saved you get the Spirit and then you pray to get the gifts of the Holy Ghost. They say that the Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is true, but so is the Holy Ghost the Spirit of Christ. [II Cor. 3:17; John 4:24]
IV. The Names Of The Holy Spirit
- Names Which Are Self Descriptive
- The Spirit – [I Cor. 2:10]
- The Holy Spirit – [Luke 11:13]
- The Holy Ghost – [Matt. 28:19]
- The Eternal Spirit – [Heb. 9:14]
- Names Which Show His Relationship To The Father
- The Spirit of God – [I Cor. 3:16]
- The Spirit of the LORD – [Is. 11:2]
- The Spirit of the Lord God – [Is. 61:1]
- The Spirit of the Living God – [II Cor. 3:3]
- Names Which Show His Relationship To Jesus Christ
- The Spirit of Christ – [Rom. 8:9; I Peter 1:11]
- The Spirit of His Son – [Gal. 4:6]
- The Spirit of Jesus Christ – [Phil. 1:19]
- Names Which Show His Relationship To Men
- The Spirit of Burning – [Is. 4:4] this is a reference to the Second Coming
- The Spirit of Promise – [Eph. 1:13] here we have the order of a person’s salvation. [Rom. 10:17]- hearing the Word of Truth, trusting in what ye have heard in Jesus and then you are sealed.
- The Spirit of Truth – [John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13; I John 5:6]
- The Spirit of Life – [Rom. 8:2]
- The Spirit of Grace – [Heb. 10:29]
- The Spirit of Glory – [I Peter 4:13-14]
- The Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation – [Eph. 1:17]
- The Comforter – [John 14:26]
- The Spirit of Adoption – [Rom. 8:15]
- The Spirit of Holiness – [Rom. 1:4]
- The Spirit of Faith – [II Cor. 4:13]
V. The Emblems Of The Holy Spirit
- The Dove – [Matt. 3:16]
- The Dove typifies peace – [Gen. 8:8-11]
- The Dove typifies purity – [Song of Solomon 6:9]
- Water – [John 7:38-39]
- Water sustains life – [Is. 44:3; John 4:14]
- Water refreshes – [Ps. 46:4; Is. 41:17-18; John 4:7-14]
- Water is free – [Is. 55:1; Rev. 22:17; Gal. 3:14]
- Water cleanses – [Eph. 5:26]
In Israel olive oil was essential in the preparation of their daily meals. Oil was used to make cakes of manna that God gave in the wilderness [Num. 11:8]. In normal times cakes were made of flour and oil [I Kings 17:12-16] and sometimes with honey according to [Ezekiel 16:13].
- Oil is a sign of consecration – [Ex. 29:7; Lk. 4:18] in the OT olive oil was used as a type of consecration and it is the Holy Spirit that consecrates a man to God [Ex. 40:9-16; Lev. 8:1-10; Is. 61:1-2]
- Oil is a symbol of comfort – [Is. 61:3; Ps. 45:7; Heb. 1:9; John 14:26]
- Oil is a source of light – [Ex. 27:20; Matt. 25:1-13] Ryrie, says in his book that the sole light of the tabernacle was provided by the holy oil in the lamp stand which lighted the place where God was worshiped the place which in every particular refers us to the work of Christ. Likewise today it is the Holy Spirit who throws the spotlight upon Him who is the truth and glorifies Christ before the eyes of the Christian [John 16:13-15; I John 2:20]. A person who does not have the Indwelling Spirit has no light.
- Oil is an ointment for healing – [Luke 10:25-37; Lev. 8:30; 14:1-31] what this pictures is the healing ministry of the Holy Spirit
- A Seal
The seal is still used in the, far East, in business and personal transactions and we see this in a couple of passages of scripture [Jer. 32:11-14; John 3:33] and of course have their origin from Biblical times. In the west we are more familiar with the seal of a Notary Public that testifies of the authenticity of a document and the identity of a person authorizing it. In the old days the Europeans commonly used wax to set their seals on letters and official documents and nations have their governmental seals as well.
- It identifies – the moment a person is saved God places upon them the seal of His Spirit and says as it were I have redeemed you by the precious blood of My Son and you now belong to me and I thus place my mark of identification upon you [II Tim. 2:19]. Since we have been sealed we are now obligated to live as one who has been sealed. Since we are God’s property then it is our particular job to see that we never disgrace His name [John 6:27; Heb. 1:3]. Now if we have been stamped with God’s seal then we will carry with us a resemblance not of the Holy Spirit but of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this dispensation of grace the Holy Spirit’s ministry is to portray the Lord Jesus through our lives. Are we carrying the correct impression of our Master? Has the stamp of His seal become dim? [Job 37:7] Our fingerprints are not like any other human who has ever lived. We read in [Rev. 7:2-8] of a time when God is going to seal 144,000 Jewish young men to preach during the tribulation period. God’s seal identifies them and authenticates their ministry.
- It secures – the seal of the Holy Spirit secures our transaction with God made when we believed and it shows that a Christian belongs to God until God takes him home [Eph. 4:30]. Security is identified as the quality of state of being safe, safety, assurance, freedom from harm and danger, something giving to guarantee repayment of an obligation. Stewart, in his book, The Heavenly Executive, says this: now blessed be God a finished transaction has taken place in the believer’s life. The Lord Jesus Christ died in the sinners stead and met the demands of God’s undiminished holiness. This vicarious sacrifice was one complete divine act never to be repeated. [Heb. 10:12; John 19:30] It is finished nothing left to do but take with grateful gladness what the Lord has done for you. But the work of Christ on the cross is only one side of the great transaction, the sinner himself must repent of his sin and bow before Christ as Lord and Savior then he can joyfully sing tis the great transaction done I am my Lord’s and He is mine He drew me and I followed on charmed to confess that voice divine. The transaction having been completed is then sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. An earnest is a token payment as assurance that the transaction will eventually be completed at a later date [II Cor. 1:22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14]. We can also illustrate this with the story told in Gen. 24.
- It authorizes – an official seal cannot be broken without violating the power and authority of the one who set the seal and we have some examples from the scriptures regarding this: 1. When Darius set the seal on Daniel in the lion’s den [Dan. 6:16-17] 2. When Haman plotted the murder of the Jews [Est. 3:6-12]. 3. When Pilate sealed the tomb of Jesus in [Matt. 27:66]. Because we have been given the seal of the Spirit we have full Sonship in God’s family.
- It sanctifies – the word, sanctify means to set apart or shut up. We see in the Bible several notable occasions of God sealing something shut and when He does something is shut in and something is shut out [Gen. 7:16; Dan. 12:1-4; Rev. 7:2-4, 20:3]. As a seal does these things so does the Holy Spirit to the believer. The believer now is set apart from the world and the things of the world.
[Acts 2:1-4] the day of Pentecost and the beginning of the church and this speaks of the Holy Spirit coming down and filling the apostles. [John 3:8] likens the Holy Spirit to wind.
- Wind is powerful – [Ezek. 37:9-14] it is the Holy Spirit that grants the new birth and quickens from the dead and brings the Christian back to life spiritually. And this same Holy Spirit will one day bring the dead body of the Christian back to life [Rom. 8:11]
- Wind is independent – and so is the Holy Spirit [John 3:8], the Holy Spirit does what He wants to do He is the third person of the Godhead and He obeys God’s will.
- Wind is invisible, but effective – [John 3:8] in other words we cannot see the wind itself but we can see the effect of the wind the same is true of the Spirit of God. We cannot see Him but we can certainly see where He has been and the effect of His work and in the lives of our brothers and sisters in Christ and in our own lives.
- Fire shows the presence of the Lord – [Ex. 3:2]
- Fire gives light – [Ex. 13:21; I John 1:5; Acts 2:3]
- Fire affords protection – [Ex. 13:21]
- Fire shows the approval of the Lord – [Lev. 9:24; I Kings 18:24-38; Acts 2:3]
- Fire shows the purifying from the Lord – [Is. 6:1-8; I Peter 4:12; Dan. 3:23-25; I Cor. 3:13; Rev. 3:18; I Peter 1:7]
- Fire shows the judgment of the Lord – [Heb. 12:29; Gen. 19:24; Rev. 20:14-15]
- Other Types Of The Holy Spirit
- Abraham’s servant Eliezer – [Gen. 24] –Stewart writes, in the person of the servant who had charge of Abraham’s goods we have the most perfect picture of the Spirit’s ministry. The Holy Spirit is sent to administer the estate of Christ to the redeemed ones. The Holy Spirit is seeking a bride for the Father’s Son. Like Eliezer He keeps Himself in the background and speaks of the glories of Christ and thus He woos and wins lost sinners to the Savior. Then His business is to conduct them home to glory to be received by their Isaac, a picture in type of Christ the Son
VI. The Work Of The Holy Spirit
- Concerning The Creation
- The Time of the Spirit’s Work in Creation – the original creation of the universe was uniquely performed at an unknown time in the past according to [Gen. 1:1]. But the Holy Spirit will re-create the universe after the Great White Throne judgment [II Peter 3:5-13; Rev. 21:1-4]
- Proof of the Spirit’s work in creation – according to David the Father created all things [Ps. 19:1], however in the gospel of John, he declares that the Son made all things [John 1:3-4], however in other passages it says the Holy Spirit created all things. Who are we to believe? All three created the universe [Ps. 104:30; Job 23:13, 33:4, Gen. 1:2]. The Father directed it to be done. The Son made the design and the Holy Spirit carried it out.
- Particulars of the Spirit’s work in creation
a. Life – [John 6:63; II Cor. 3:6; Job 33:4]
b. Order – [Is. 40:12-13; Job 26:7-13]
c. Adornment – [Job 26:13; Ps. 33:6]
d. Preservation – [Ps. 104:29-30]
- Concerning the Scriptures
The Holy Spirit’s job is not only to inspire the original autographs, but, to preserve the authority and infallibility of that text so that a believer in any age would have access to the Word of God. Even while the NT scriptures were being written men began to try and change their meaning and twist them to suit their own purposes. Paul made it clear that many were corrupting the Word of God [II Cor. 2:17] nonetheless the Holy Spirit has preserved the Word of God [Ps. 12:6-7]. Despite Satan’s attempt to destroy God’s Word the Holy Spirit has preserved the scriptures from those who would be used by Satan to corrupt them. By the grace of God we still have His Holy Word without error. The primary purpose for writing the scriptures was doctrine [II Tim. 3:16; 4:13-16]. Sound doctrine is the absolute essential quality in the last day in the Laodicean church and it is the last thing the modern day Laodicean Christian wants to fool with because it is divisive and controversial.
- The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Scriptures
a. According to David – [II Sam. 23:2]
b. According to Isaiah – [Is. 59:21]
c. According to Jeremiah – [Jer.1:9]
d. According to Jesus – [Matt. 5:18]
e. According to John – [John 16:13-14]
f. According to Peter – [II Peter 1:20-21]
g. According to Paul – [II Tim. 3:15-17]
- The Holy Spirit is the Interpreter of Scriptures – [Eph. 1:17; I John 2:20, 27; John 16:13-14 compare with Luke 24:32, 44-45]
a. Revelation – is that process whereby the Holy Spirit spoke to the 40 human writers of the Bible the message He wanted them to transmit.
b. Inspiration – is that process whereby the Holy Spirit guided the 40 writers using their own individual styles and personalities so that the message was accurately recorded and without error.
c. Illumination – is that process whereby the Holy Spirit takes the written Word when it is preached and read and enlightens those who will receive it.
- Concerning Israel
The Holy Spirit’s ministry to the nation of Israel took place during the OT but it will resume during the Tribulation. Ryrie says, apparently the Spirit’s work in believers during the Tribulation Period will follow the pattern of His work in the OT. Specific proof texts are scarce for the Bible says very little about the Spirit’s ministry during that time. One text that can be used is the quotation of Joel 2 in Acts 2 because for whatever purpose it was quoted on the day of Pentecost it obviously did not have a complete fulfillment on that day. Full fulfillment, awaits the Tribulation days since the passage expressly links the pouring out of the Spirit in the time when the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood. These events will occur at the close of the Tribulation just before the Second Coming of Christ [Matt. 24:29-30]. Another proof text is found in [Rev. 11:3-4] which links the ministry of the two witnesses during the Tribulation to the power of the Spirit [Zech. 4:6].
- During Old Testament (Not Permanent Indwelling)
a. Selective Indwelling – it appears that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit during the OT period was not the universal experience of God’s people. What do the examples given below indicate? Simply that although the Spirit didn’t indwell men in OT times it was a selective ministry both in whom He did indwell and for how long. Can this relationship be summarized in any simple way? Yes, for the Lord summarized by telling His disciples that up until that time His Spirit had been abiding with them though on and after the day of Pentecost He would be in them [John 14:17]. From this statement two things are clear concerning the OT work of the Spirit. It was not erratic even though it may have been limited to persons included and length of time they experienced His ministry. Nevertheless His ministry was different than that which was begun at Pentecost.
b. Holy Spirit’s Relationship to Man - His relationship may be comprehended by three words.
1. Spirit was “in” certain ones - First of all, it is said that the Spirit was in certain ones. For example, Joseph in [Gen. 41:38; Num. 27:18 in Joshua; Dan. 4:8; 5:11-14; 6:3 in Daniel].
2. Spirit “came upon” certain ones - Second, the Spirit is said to come upon man [Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 14:6; I Sam. 10:9-10; 16:13]. Is there any difference then, between the Spirit’s, being in or coming upon men? We are probably not to understand any significant difference except that the idea of coming upon seems to imply temporary and transitory relationship to the OT saints.
3. Spirit “filled” certain ones - Third, the Spirit is said to have filled some [Ex. 31:3; 35:31]. One may assume that this special filling for service presuppose the Spirit’s indwelling or at least His having come upon Him.
c. Enabled for services – some of the judges were given enabled, see scripture references above. [I Peter 1:11] says that the Spirit enabled the prophets to prophesy of the first and second coming.
d. Old Testament leaders spirit came upon – Joseph [Gen. 41:38], Moses [Num. 11:16-17], Othniel [Jdgs. 3:10], Saul [I Sam. 11:4-6], David [I Sam. 16:13] to name a few
e. Three Old Testament leaders relationship with Holy Spirit examined
1. Saul – with Saul we have the case of the Spirit coming upon and then leaving Saul [I Sam. 10:10; 16:14] and the scriptures do not say the Holy Spirit ever came upon him again.
2. Samson – here is a case where the Spirit came upon Samson, left Samson and then returned [Judges 14:6, 19; 15:14; 16:20; 27-30]. Lessons learned: Samson lost his power when he stopped living a godly life, but he repented and called upon God and God restored him one more time.
3. David – what is interesting about David in relationship to the Holy Spirit was he came upon David and He stayed and never left [I Sam. 16:13]. However, David realized that he could lose the Holy Spirit because of sin [Ps. 51:11] but the Spirit never left because David had received promises that the others never did.
Hebrews 11:32, note that David and Samson are listed, as heroes of the faith but Saul does not make the list. The indication is that Saul never got back what he lost and the implication is that Saul went to hell and died as a lost man.
- During the Tribulation – the instructor believes that He will be rebuking and exhorting the 7 churches as found in [Rev. 2-3]. There will probably be 7 local churches in the tribulation. We will also see Him at work in conversion for there are doubtless people who will be converted according to [Rev. 7:9-14], it talks about multitudes that will be saved from every kindred and every tongue. [Zech. 12:10] this verse talks about the conversion of Israel during the tribulation by the Holy Spirit. He will be an instrument of the regeneration of Israel during the tribulation [Ez. 36:24-29; Joel 2:28]. Partially Joel 2:28 was fulfilled at Pentecost but its true fulfillment will come during the tribulation. At the second coming we see God destroying the enemy of the children of Israel [Is. 11:4; Rev. 19:15]. We also want to note in [Rev. 11:3-4] the Spirit’s work concerning the two witnesses.
- During the Millennium – [Is. 11:2-3] during the millennial period the fullness of the Spirit on Christ the King will be evident and in fact we see in the disciples model prayer [Matt. 6:10] will be what takes place during the millennium. God’s will, will be done on this earth during the millennial reign of Christ. The Holy Spirit after the church age, His work will not be through He will be very much involved with God’s chosen people during the tribulation and during the millennial reign of Christ.
- Concerning the Devil
The Holy Spirit right now acts as a divine dam holding back and limiting the full power of Satan and of sin.
- As stated by Isaiah – [59:19] this reference is to Israel at the Second Coming
- As stated by Paul – [II Thess. 2:7-14] what Paul is saying here is that the restraining power of the Holy Spirit will be removed allowing Satan and the antichrist to rule over the world for 7 years
- Antichrist – the actual term antichrist is found only in the epistles of John, see [I John 2:18, 22; 4:3; II John 7] from these verses we see that they refer to three things; first, a spirit that opposes the Lord Jesus and denies His incarnation; secondly it refers to false teachers who are led by this evil spirit; third, to one individual who will be the manifestation of the devil himself. By His omnipotence the Spirit has always kept Satan from doing all that he desires to do, although according to II Cor. 4:4, Satan is the god of this world, God has always restrained him from carrying out his full designs upon the earth. See [Rev. 13] for the terror that the antichrist will bring upon this earth.
From His bodily conception until His ascension the Lord Jesus, was led, by the Holy Spirit. If the sinless Son of God found it necessary to be led by the Holy Spirit to form every word and guide every step how much more is this vital for us?
- Concerning the Savior
- Begotten by the Holy Spirit – [Luke 1:35; Matt. 1:18-20] the Holy Spirit was the Divine agent of the Virgin Birth. Mary was, impregnated, by the Holy Spirit and the real miracle was not in the Savior’s birth but in His supernatural conception. [Heb. 10:5] says the Father prepared Christ’s body while [Heb. 2:14-16] suggests that Christ by His own will took upon Himself flesh and blood. As in the creation of the universe all three persons of the Divine Godhead had a part.
- Anointed by the Holy Spirit – [Matt. 3:16; Luke 4:18-19; Acts 10:38; Heb. 1:9] – the anointing distinguished Jesus as the Messiah singling Him out for His particular work of redemption.
- Sealed by the Holy Spirit – [John 6:27] here the seal demonstrated the Son’s identification with, both Father and Spirit as well as the authority given to Him.
- Led by the Holy Spirit – [Matt. 4:1]
- Empowered by the Holy Spirit – [12:28] Jesus is saying here that the Holy Spirit empowered Him. [Phil. 2:5-8] we see that Christ did not use His Divine attributes while on earth but depended solely upon the Spirit.
- Filled by the Holy Spirit – [John 3:34] Christ came with the fullness of the Spirit, He was filled at all times. [Luke 4:1] the words filled and full refer to control, thus the Savior was totally controlled by the Spirit while on this earth. If He needed this filling how much more do we need it?
- Sorrowed in the Holy Spirit – [John 11:33]
- Rejoiced in the Holy Spirit – [Luke 10:21]
- Offered Himself at Calvary by the Holy Spirit – [Heb. 9:14]
- Raised from the dead by the Holy Spirit – [I Peter 3:18; Romans 1:14]
- Commanded His disciples after His Resurrection through the Holy Spirit [Acts 1:2]
- Baptizes each believer into the spiritual body of Christ by the Holy Spirit [I Corinthians 12:13] this is spiritual baptism which happens the moment a person believes on the Lord Jesus Christ they are baptized into the spiritual body of Christ by the Holy Spirit
- Will someday return and raise the dead in Christ through the Holy Spirit
[Romans 8:11] the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will one day raise each believer from the dead by the Holy Spirit.
- Concerning the Sinner
During His midnight discourse just prior to entering Gethsemane our Lord spoke the following words to His sorrowing disciples Nevertheless I tell you the truth it is expedient for you that I go away for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you and when He is come He will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment: [John 16:7-8]. The key word in this passage is the word reprove it is also translated as convince in [John 8:46], also this word is translated convict [John 8:9] and also it is translated as fault in [Matt. 18:15].
- He convicts man of sin – conviction of sin does not mean conviction of sins alone for example fornication, it means to a greater degree the conviction of man’s alienation from God and his inability to please God. It means the conviction of rejecting Christ sacrifice on Calvary. Unbelief being the one sin, which can damn and condemn a man’s soul to hell forever [John 3:18]. See also Matthew Henry’s Commentary on John 16:7-15. The convincing work is the Spirit’s work. It is the method the Holy Spirit takes first to convince and then to comfort. The Spirit shall convince the world of sin not merely tell them about it. The Spirit convinces of the fact of sin, of the fault of sin, of the folly of sin, of the filth of sin, that by it we become hateful to God. Of the fountain of sin, the corrupt nature and lastly of the fruit of sin that the end thereof is death. The Holy Spirit proves that all, the world is guilty before God and He convinces the world of Christ’s righteousness.
- He convicts man of Christ’s righteousness – The Holy Spirit directed the Apostle Paul to write an entire epistle on this one word righteousness. In this epistle to the Romans, Paul stresses three things. Number one, God is righteousness. Number two, God demands righteousness. Number three, God provides, righteousness.
- He convicts man of future judgment – The Holy Spirit points out to the sinner that all unsaved people belong to Satan [John 8:44], also the Holy Spirit points out to the sinner that Satan’s doom is already in the making [Romans 16:20]. All the lost will someday share Satan’s doom [Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:14-15]. There are seven clear examples of this convicting ministry in the Book of Acts. First, at the day of Pentecost [Acts 2:22, 23, 36, 37, 38]. Second, [Acts 8:29-38] Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.
Third, we have the case of Saul of Tarsus [Acts 9:1-6], the word pricks here means it was hard to fight the conviction that Paul was under. Saul turned his life completely over to Christ and we see this when we hear him say, Lord, what will thou have me to do? Fourth, [Acts 16:25-34], we see Paul and Silas, and the conversion of the, Philippian, jailer. Fifth, Paul had the opportunity to witness before the great men of the world as he witnessed before Felix in [Acts 24:24-25]. Six, we see Paul with King Agrippa and he testifies before him [Acts 26:1-28] unfortunately we see that both Felix and Agrippa both rejected the Lord and salvation. The Holy Spirit investigates, this investigation is very thorough entering into every detail of the thought and life of the person concerned and bringing out awful realities that the person did not know existed. After this the Holy Spirit investigates, the word reproved is the word convict. What is the meaning of conviction? It means convincing the mind and heart regarding certain facts of life and death issues in relation to salvation and the soul’s rejection of it. Embedded in the word convict is the idea of a cross examination by a lawyer by which a man is proven guilty. Interrogation is a very necessary preliminary work of a man’s salvation because it brings home to himself his own sinful nature and desperate need of a personal savior. It is not sufficient for you to believe that Jesus Christ died almost 2000 years ago on Calvary for the sins of this world. That is only a general belief in historical fact. There is no virtue or no value in this, the sinner has countless sins for which he is guilty and he might confess them all but the confession of these sins does not bring salvation. The Holy Spirit convicts of one great sin and that is the attitude of unbelief and rejection of Jesus Christ. Then the Holy Spirit incriminates, He passes judgment on what He has discovered through investigation and interrogation He points His finger at the man and pronounces him guilty. The man’s mouth is stopped he has nothing to say for himself as he stands a naked guilty sinner before a Holy God.
- The Holy Spirit pleads with sinners – [Gen. 6:3] the Holy Spirit strives with sinners. We are told in [Ezek. 20:35-36; Jer. 2:35] that He pleads with sinners. But more than that He also draws sinners [John 6:44; 12:32] and He invites sinners [Rev. 22:17].
- Concerning the Church
Of the three basic institutions that God has ordained upon earth, marriage, human government and the church. None is more important to the Holy Spirit than the church. The church was purposed in the mind of God throughout the eternal ages it was pictured in the OT, promised by Jesus during His earthly ministry, purchased on the cross of Calvary, it was not produced however as a living reality until the day of Pentecost 50 days after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit and the invisible church He formed it [Eph. 2:19-22]. Regarding the Holy Spirit and the visible church [local church] He guides it.
- He desires to inspire its worship service – [Phil. 3:3] – in the Spirit, we rejoice in Christ, if the pastor and the people will allow the Holy Spirit to do so the Holy Spirit will manifest both the presence and power of God at each church meeting and any other manner of worship is vain or worthless.
- He desires to direct missionary work – [Acts 8:29; 13:2, 4; 16:6,7,10] – Mission work should be initiated and missionaries sent forth only at the direction of the Holy Spirit and then it will be successful.
- He desires to aid in its singing services – [Eph. 5:18-19] music and song services conducted under the direction of the Holy Spirit will be blessed by the Spirit this ministry is so important to prepare the hearts of worshipers to give thanks and to receive the Word of God. We must remember that musicians and singers should never be chosen by ability alone but according to their gifts and yielded to the Holy Spirit.
- He desires to appoint its preachers – [Acts 20:28] a preacher is to feed the flock and it is a tragic thing to appoint a preacher without the leading of the Holy Spirit. We have fewer God called, God appointed men today and too many hirelings.
- He desires to anoint its preachers - Not only does the Holy Spirit desire to appoint preachers but He also desires to anoint its preachers [Is. 61:1; I Cor. 2:4; Acts 10:38 gives us the divine order of service and He gives us the power to do what He has called us to do [I Tim. 1:12]. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is the endowment of power this power is the spiritual authority God gives to His servants so that the can accomplish the work they have been appointed to do.
- He desires to warn its members – [I Tim. 4:1]
- He desires to determine its decisions – [Acts 15:1-28], verse 28 shows us it was the Holy Spirit who made the decision.
- He desires to condemn or bless its efforts as needed – [Rev. 2:7] if you hear what He says you will be blessed if you don’t you will be condemned. Churches are often overly concerned about improving their image in the eyes of the world but the real concern should be directed toward the One who alone is properly qualified to improve and direct.
- He desires to direct its visitation and evangelistic endeavors – [Rev. 22:17] the Holy Spirit speaks through the church inviting the lost to come to Christ for the forgiveness of their sins and be saved. We can only do it through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Of all the important days in history the day of Pentecost must be ranked near the top at this time the Holy Spirit performed one of His greatest and far-reaching works. [Acts 2:1-4]
- Concerning the day of Pentecost
- The background of Pentecost – just minutes before His ascension our resurrected Lord commanded the disciples to wait for the promise of the Father. What was the promise of the Father? Something new and something that had never been known before. Various passages of scripture make clear it was a reference to the arrival of the Holy Spirit [Joel 2:28; Acts 1:16; John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7]. The Holy Spirit had already performed His OT ministry His new ministry was to perform three completely new elements.
- His new ministry was to be universal – previously the Holy Spirit had confined His work to the nation of Israel, while Acts 2 was not the fulfillment of Joel 2:28, it was a picture of its future fulfillment. The spiritual application of Joel 2:28 that Peter was making was that the Holy Spirit’s ministry would no longer be limited to Israel, but would now be expanded to include all who would believe.
- It was to be permanent – [I Cor. 3:16] indwelling each and every believer
- It was to be perfecting – [II Cor. 3:18; II Peter 3:18]
- The Chronology of Pentecost – Pentecost comes from a Greek word, which simply means fifty. Pentecost is the fourth of the seven great Israelite feasts mentioned in [Lev. 23]. These feasts summarized the work of the Trinity in the NT. Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is a reference to the work at Calvary [Lev. 23:4-8]. Feast of First fruits, which is a reference and picture of the resurrection of Christ [Lev. 23:9-14]. Feast of Seven Weeks, which is a prophetical reference to Pentecost when the church would begin [Lev. 23:15-21]. Feast of Trumpets is a reference to the Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ [Lev. 23:23-25]. Feast of Atonement, which is a reference to the coming Tribulation and God’s dealing with the Jews during that time [Lev. 23:26-32]. Feast of Tabernacles, which is a prophetic reference to the millennium, which is, the thousand, year reign of Christ [Lev. 23:33-43].
- The Comparisons of Pentecost between Old and New Testaments – we see
that the OT Pentecost occurred 50 days after Israel left Egypt [Ex. 12: 1-2, 6, 12, 31] and it appears that this probably coincided with their arrival at Mount Sinai in [Ex. 19:1]. The NT Pentecost occurred 50 days after Christ rose from the dead. Christ was crucified during the Passover week in April [John 19:14], He then spent forty days with the disciples after His resurrection [Acts 1:3], then, some ten days later we see that the NT Pentecost occurred [Acts 1:5, 2:1]. The OT Pentecost celebrated a birthday that of the nation of Israel [Ex. 19:5]. The NT Pentecost celebrated a birthday that of the church [Acts 2:41-47]. The OT Pentecost witnessed the slaying of some 3000 souls [Ex. 32:28]. NT Pentecost witnessed the saving of some 3000 souls [Acts 2:41]. OT Pentecost was introduced in a mighty way [Ex. 19:16]. NT Pentecost was introduced in a mighty way [Acts 2:2-3]. See II Cor. 3, in particular verses 5-6.
- New Testament Pentecost compared to Old Testament Babel
What we see at Babel is sinful men working for their own glory [Gen. 11:4], but at Pentecost we see saved men waiting for God’s glory not working for their own glory [Acts 1:14]. At Babel, God confounded man’s language [Gen. 11:9], at Pentecost God clarified man’s language [Acts 2:8]. At Babel, God scattered men throughout the world [Gen. 11:9], at Pentecost God gathered men into the church [Eph. 1:10].
- Concerning the Christian
- The Holy Spirit regenerates the believing sinner – See Ryrie, pg. 64, biblically the word regeneration is used only twice in the NT [Matt. 19:28; Titus 3:5]. In Matthew it is used as a description of the millennium when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of His glory. In Titus 3:5 it is connected with accomplishing of our salvation by the washing of regeneration. Since this term means born again other verses, which refer to the new birth are relevant to the doctrine. Theologically the term means the act of God, which imparts eternal life. Erroneously it is often identified with or inclusive with conversion, sanctification and justification. Those who in error hold that an infant is regenerated when the water of baptism is placed upon him make regeneration a work preparatory to conversion. Note, that regeneration is not the reformation of the old man but the creation of a new man. God literally gives the believing sinner a new nature the very nature of God [Rom. 8:9; I John 4:13]. The Holy Spirit thus acts as a divine midwife [John 1:6; 6:63; I Peter 1:23; James 1:18]. Regeneration is the impartation of life to men who are morally and spiritually dead because of their trespasses and sin [Eph. 2:1]. In [II Peter 1:3-4] we see that God’s definition of regeneration here is the impartation of a new nature, God’s own nature created in us. In the new birth we are given a new intellectual nature, an affectional nature and a new volitional nature.
- The Holy Spirit baptizes the believing sinner – [Rom. 6:3-4; I Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:27; Eph. 4:4-5; Col. 2:12]
a. False Doctrine – First of all we want to look at a second experience sought after salvation. There are many who believe the baptism of the Holy Spirit to be an experience to be sought by prayer and tarrying. There are those who link the baptism of the Spirit with visible manifestations such as speaking in tongues. But the Bible does not teach this. This is the basic position of the Pentecostal and other holiness churches as well as that of the charismatic movement. The popularity of this movement certainly does not speak well of them in the Laodicean church when Christianity is in its worst state in all of history. Secondly, another false doctrine is Baptist’s bride heresy. These Baptist believe there is a difference between, the baptism with the Holy Spirit as recorded in [Matt. 3:11; Acts 1:5, 11:16] and the baptism of the Holy Spirit as recorded in [I Cor. 12:13]. They say that this baptizing of the Holy Ghost happened only once at Pentecost and has never been repeated. This is another heresy only a one-time experience never to be repeated in other words the baptism of the Spirit only at Pentecost. Furthermore they teach that there is no such thing as the baptism of the Holy Spirit occurring today when a soul trusts Christ. A careful reading of the scripture makes it clear that the Holy Spirit does not baptize anyone, never has and never will. Each verse says that Christ baptizes with the Holy Ghost this then makes the Lord Jesus Christ the baptizer, the Holy Spirit medium as with the John the Baptist. John the Baptist was the baptizer and the water was the medium. To say as does Scofield that the Spirit forms the church by baptizing all into the body of Christ is nonsense. Nonsense is it? Let’s see if it is or a Bible truth. Why would one think because the baptism with the Holy Spirit was attributed to Christ that the Holy Spirit could have nothing to do with it? For example we read in [Heb. 9:14], it is clear that Christ offered Himself but He did it through the Spirit. Another example is seen through the creation [John 1:1-3; Col. 1:16], but there are other scriptures to be considered [Gen. 1:2; Job 26:13; 33:4; Ps. 104:30], both took part in creation, as did the Father. In like manner we see that it is Christ who baptizes with the Holy Spirit [Rom. 6:3; Gal. 3:27; Col. 2:12]. What kind of baptism could put us in Christ? Does Christ put us in Christ? In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians we find another verse that sheds more light on the subject [I Cor. 12:13]. Comparing scripture with scripture we see that all believers are baptized by, the Spirit into Christ. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ [II Cor. 3:17] you see Christ in His glorified body is in heaven at the right hand of the Father but He dwells in us by His Spirit so also while it is Christ who baptizes He does it by His Spirit. They both have a part in it. How do these folks handle [I Cor. 12:13]? They approach it in many different ways however every time they must change the scripture or try to say it means something other than what it says. Rather than change their doctrine to match the scripture they find it easier to change the scripture to match their doctrine and that’s what most cults do. For more on this listen to Both Romans 6:3 and Colossians 2:12 refer to the Spirit baptism of I Corinthians 12:13. So then what is the purpose of water baptism since only Spirit baptism will get a person into heaven? The apostle Peter says it is a figure a type of something. That means it is a type of something else. The earthly Tabernacle built back on the OT was a figure of the real Tabernacle that was in heaven according to [Heb. 8:5]. In the same manner water baptism is only a figure of the one real baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is spirit baptism that places us into the body of Christ and identifies us with His death. Water baptism is a public testimony of a believer to the inward work of the Holy Spirit. The visible representation of the invisible work of the Spirit. Our doctrine should never be above the Word of God and we have a wonderful example of this kind of humility in [Acts 18] with Apollos. God’s Word must be the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.
b. Four reasons for confusion – First, there is an improper understanding of the distinctiveness of the church to this age. This leads to confusion about the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit, which forms the church. If one mistakenly believes that the church began with Abraham or with John the Baptist then it will be difficult to understand the distinctiveness of the baptism of the Spirit to this age and what that baptism accomplishes. Second, there is an over emphasis on water baptism, which often obscures the doctrine of spirit baptism. When the two truths are not distinguished and properly emphasized it is usually the truth of water baptism that is lost. Three the association of baptism with the gift of tongues multiplies confusion. Four, sometimes baptism and filling are confused.
c. Purpose of the Holy Spirit baptizing the believer into the body of Christ – The purpose is two-fold first of all to answer Christ prayer for unity [John 17:21]. Second, it is to prepare a bride for Christ. And that bride is made up of all members of His body composed of all believers saved from the time of Pentecost unto the Rapture [Rom. 12:5; I Cor. 10:17; 12:13, 27; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:4, 12; 5:23, 30, 32; Col. 3:15; II Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:6-9]. Being baptized into the body of Christ is not confined to a few but is universal in the church age.
d. Baptism and Filling compared – Baptism has to do with the body of Christ, filling of the Holy Spirit has to do with the individual. Baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs only once in each believers life. The filling of the Holy Spirit is an experience that can be repeated. Baptism of the Holy Spirit never happened before the day of Pentecost. The filling of the Holy Spirit occurred in the OT times. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is true of all believers. The filling of the Holy Spirit is not necessarily, experienced by all. With the baptism of the Holy Spirit there is no command given with the filling of the Holy Spirit there is a command given. The baptism of the Holy Spirit cannot be undone. The filling of the Holy Spirit can be lost. The baptism of the Holy Spirit results in a position. The filling of the Holy Spirit results in power. The baptism of the Holy Spirit occurs when we believe in Christ. The filling of the Holy Spirit occurs throughout the Christian life. The baptism of the Holy Spirit there is no prerequisite except faith in Christ. In the filling of the Holy Spirit the continued filling of the Holy Spirit depends on yieldedness.
- The Holy Spirit Permanently Indwells The Believing Sinner
a. The Holy Spirit permanently dwells in every believer – He not only joins us to the Savior but to Himself as well [Rom. 8:9-10; I Cor. 3:16; 6:19; II Tim. 1:14; I John 4:4]. The Holy Spirit is the gift of God to all who believe [John 7:37-39; Acts 10:45; 11:16-17]. The only condition for receiving the Holy Spirit is to receive Christ as Savior. A man who does not have the Holy Spirit is lost [Rom. 8:9]. The Holy Spirit never leaves the believer [Eph. 4:30].
b. The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a special blessing and privilege for the saints of this age.
c. The apostles did not experience the permanent indwelling while Christ was on the earth. [John 14:17; Luke 22:32]
d. The permanent indwelling began in Acts 2 during the Feast of Pentecost. Being a transitional period during which the nation of Israel was to be temporarily set aside. God manifested the coming of the Spirit to the Jews as well as the Gentiles. In fact He displayed His coming to all three racial groups. [To Jews (Shem); Ethiopian eunuch (Ham); Gentiles (Japheth)] after Acts 10 the Holy Spirit would indwell every believer as they came to know Christ.
- The Holy Spirit seals the believing sinner. [Eph. 4:30; 1:13; II Cor. 1:22]
- The Holy Spirit spiritually circumcises the believing sinner – [Col. 2:11-12]. What happens in this operation is that the sins of our flesh are put off by, the circumcision of Christ. This circumcision miraculously separates our soul from the sins of our flesh. That’s what’s being cut away our soul from our sinful flesh or body. In the OT God commanded the Jews to circumcise every male at birth that physical circumcision was a type of the spiritual circumcision God performs on every born again believer [II Cor. 5:17]. Every person is born with his soul stuck to his body our sins are part of our flesh and as unsaved sinners we are spiritually dead in our sins. We are in our sins because our sins are in our flesh. They are part of us and we are part of them and if we do not get saved we die in our sins. After salvation we are free from sin but according to Romans 7:17-18, 24, sin is still present in our mortal bodies. This is why the Holy Spirit cuts our souls loose from our bodies when we get saved otherwise we would still be in our sins because of our flesh. [Rom. 6:6-8] in God’s sight our flesh is dead and no longer has power to rule over us. When we give into temptation we allow the flesh to rule and this is like committing spiritual adultery and when we do we become unstable in our mind and life [James 1:8]. [Rom. 6:11-12] even though we are dead we still have to put up with our flesh until we leave it. In reality the Christian is dragging a corpse around. The lost man has a live body and a dead spirit but the Christian has a live spirit and a dead body. In the OT there was no way for the soul to be cut loose this is why we see the words body and soul synonymous in the OT [Gen. 12:13; Pro. 13:25; Gen. 46:26; Ps. 59:3; Pro. 25:25], not once in the NT is the word soul used synonymous with body. In the NT Christ died and the Holy Spirit begins to spiritually circumcise believers cutting their souls loose from their bodies [Heb. 4:12-13].
- The Holy Spirit fills the believing sinner – [Acts 2:4]; Ryrie says this; from the viewpoint of practice and experience the filling of the Holy Spirit is the most important aspect of the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. Spirit filling is necessary in order to experience the full extent of the ministry of the Spirit to a believer. Thus to be spirit-filled is to be spirit controlled and to be so controlled requires dedication of life, victory over the reigning power of sin and constant dependence on the Spirit.
a. Why Christians are not filled – First, because they do not desire to be filled. The average Christian wallows in mediocrity inoculated with a mild form of Christianity he has become immune to the real thing. Secondly, they have quenched the Spirit [I Thess. 5:19], when a believer does not yield to the Holy Spirit he in effect throws a wet blanket over His blessed workings. Third, they have grieved the Spirit [Eph. 4:30]. The Spirit is grieved by sin and He will not fill an unclean vessel. When a believer lets known sin remain un-confessed the Holy Spirit cannot fill him.
b. How to be filled – First, we need to ask to be filled [Luke 11:9-13], the Lord desires that every believer be filled with the Spirit. Is our desire to enjoy the fullness of the Spirit? Among disciples there were the twelve who were called to be apostles. Among the twelve there were three who were in the inner circle [Matt. 10:2]. Among the three there was one disciple who was spoken of as the one whom Jesus loved [John 19:26; 20:2]. The truth is we can be as close to God and as filled with the Spirit as we desire. Second, yield to the Holy Spirit [Rom. 6:13-19]; to be filled we must confess all known sin and forsake all sin. In filling the believer does not get more of the Holy Spirit rather the Spirit gets more of the believer.
- All six ministries of the Holy Spirit (regenerates, baptizes, indwells, seals, circumcises and fills) happen instantaneously
a. All but filling cannot be lost – the first five cannot be lost but filling can be lost.
b. Filling can be lost – and therefore should be asked for as many times as needed. This is seen from scripture [Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16; Acts 2:4; 4:8; 6:3; 7:55; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9, 52]
c. First five give us peace with God, but the sixth, filling assures us the peace of God – [Rom. 5:1; Phil. 4:7] thus all Christians regardless of how backslidden they may be enjoy peace with God, but only Spirit controlled believers can know the blessed peace of God [Acts 2:13; Eph. 5:18] a comparison is made of being filled with the Spirit and being filled with wine. Both control the user and give him a new boldness. One in the good sense and one in the bad sense of the word. Both produce a desire for more of the same.
d. Filling is lost whenever disobedience is found in the life of the believer. This disobedience may manifest itself in either or both of the following ways. The sin of quenching the Holy Spirit involves not doing that which the Holy Spirit would us do. It is negative in nature. The same word is used elsewhere in reference to putting out a fire [Matt. 12:20; Eph. 6:16; Heb 11:34] in essence what you do when you sin is throw a wet blanket on the Holy Spirit so that He cannot work in you. The other way disobedience is made manifest is the sin of grieving the Holy Spirit [Eph. 4:30]. This involves doing that which the Holy Spirit would not have us to do. It is positive in nature. It consists of doing those things we know we shouldn’t be doing. The two sins if left unchecked can lead to the sin of death [I Cor. 5:5; 11:30]. We want to remember that the sin unto death doesn’t mean one loses salvation but it does imply the possibility that God will remove him from the seen down here than originally planned. This seemed to be in Paul’s mind [I Cor. 9:24-27]. Paul knew that if he didn’t live for God and persisted in sin God would take him home early.
R. A. Torrey in his work on the Holy Spirit as he is talking about grief; grieve not the Holy Spirit. He says here [Eph. 4:30] grief is ascribed to the Holy Spirit. In other words the Holy Spirit is not a mere blind impersonal influence or power that comes to dwell in your heart and mind. No, He is a person. A person who loves us, a person who recoils from sin in what we call its lightest forms as the holiest women on earth never recoiled from sin in its grossest and most repulsive forms. And He sees whatever we do. He hears whatever we say. He sees our every thought. Not a vagrant fancy is allowed a moments lodgment in our mind but what He sees it. If there is anything impure, unholy, immodest, uncharitable, untrue, false, censorious, bitter or un-Christ like in any way in word or thought or act He is grieved beyond expression. This is a wonderful thought it is to me the mightiest incentive I know to a careful walk. A walk that will please the Indwelling Holy One in every act, word and thought.
e. Filling can be and should be instantly regained – how can this be accomplished, how can the believer regain the filling of the Holy Spirit? First of all this can be accomplished by knowing God’s means of forgiveness and cleansing [I John 1:7b] the blood of His sin. Second, the Christian should confess his sins [I John 1:9]. Confession is absolutely vital because while Christ blood will cleanse us from all sin it will not cleanse us from a single excuse. God does not demand golden vessels or silver ones but He must have clean ones. Thus the union with the Spirit is so strong that nothing can break it. But the communion with the Spirit is so fragile that the smallest sin can shatter it. When God saves a man He puts him on the road to heaven. For a while the trip may go smoothly for the new convert but there will come a time when he may break down somewhere along the line. Perhaps the spiritual motor trouble will be caused by some anger words or a wicked deed or careless act. The Spirit has been quenched and grieved and all forward progress ceases immediately. There the man sits, what should he do? He should immediately secure the services of that Divine mechanic the Holy Spirit. If he confesses his sins and depends upon Christ blood his broken testimony will once again be restored. Then what should the believer do? The answer is obvious of course but there is a false conception among Christians today that once a child of God sins particularly if it is a serious sin he automatically loses all progress and must start all over. This is simply not the case. The secret of a spirit-filled life is the knowledge that broken fellowship can instantly be restored by confession and by Christ blood.
f. Filling assures the believer of many blessings – the Holy Spirit will pray for the believer [Rom. 8:26]; guide the believer [John 16:13; Rom. 8:14]; teach us [I John 2:27]; empower us [Acts 1:8]; He will give the believers the words to speak in a time of crisis or trial [Mark 13:9-11]; will impart the love of Christ to him and through him [Rom. 5:5]; conform us to the image of Christ [II Cor. 3:18]; strengthen our new nature [Eph. 3:16]; reveals biblical truth [I Cor. 2:9-10]; gives us assurance concerning salvation and service [Rom. 8:16; I John 3:24]; liberty [Rom. 8:2; II Cor. 3:17]; worship and praise God [Eph. 5:18-20]; the Spirit will develop within the believer a meek and gentle spirit in submission to authority and to other believers [Heb. 13:17; Eph. 5:21; I Peter 3:4]
VII. The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit
[I Corinthians 12, 13, 14] are the primary chapters dealing with the subject of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the purpose for writing I Corinthians was to dispel division and promote unity and the occasion for writing was contentions [I Cor. 1:10-11].
- The definition of a spiritual gift.
A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability given by Christ through the Holy Spirit to the believer at the moment of his salvation.
- The distinction between the gift of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit – now the gift of the Spirit is His abiding presence, His permanent indwelling [John 14:6] of the Spirit of Christ in man. First given to those at Pentecost [Acts 2:38], in the early part of Acts the gift of the Holy Spirit was given by laying on of hands by one of the twelve apostles [Acts 8:14-20]. Every believer since then received the gift of His abiding presence at the moment of salvation without the laying on of hands [Acts 10:45]. The gifts of the Spirit however are given after Pentecost on an individual basis to each believer. They are given at the Holy Spirit’s discretion [I Cor. 12:4-11] and the reason they are given is to empower the believer to do the work that God has given him to do.
- The distinction between gifts and talents – a talent is a human and natural ability given at birth but no natural talent however great it may be can ever be used to glorify God apart from a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit that enables Him to use that talent through us.
- The extent of spiritual gifts
- Each believer possesses at least one spiritual gift – [I Peter 4:10; Eph. 4:7; I Cor. 7:7; 12:7, 11]
- No believer has all the gifts – [Rom. 12:5-6; I Cor. 12:29-30]
- The possession of a spiritual gift does not mean one is necessarily spiritual
The church at Corinth had in its membership every spiritual gift according to [I Corinthians 1:7], but was at the same time carnal and full of serious problems. There were contentions, jealousy, divisiveness, sexual immorality and failure to discipline.
- Spiritual gifts are to be stirred up and used – [I Tim. 4:14; II Tim. 1:6; I Peter 4:11; according to [Rom. 12:6-8] God expects us to concentrate on exercising our gifts in the church. Every one has a gift therefore all should be encouraged. No one has all the gifts therefore all should be humble. All gifts are for one body therefore all should be harmonious. All the gifts are from the Lord therefore all should be content. All gifts are mutually helpful and needful therefore all should be studiously faithful. All gifts promote the health and strength of the whole body therefore none can be safely dispensed with. All gifts depend on His fullness of power therefore all should keep in touch with Him.
- The discovery of one’s spiritual gift
- Study – the gifts of the Spirit as revealed in the scriptures [Rom. 12; I Cor. 12; Eph. 4:4-13; I Peter 4:4-10], note the attributes of those in the scriptures that possessed certain gifts along with men today.
- Desire – the areas of ministry that we take pleasure in or have a deep desire may be an indication.
- Ability – in a particular area of ministry may indicate that one is gifted in that area. Ability improves with practice [II Tim.1:6; Rom. 15:19]
- Ask God – as Solomon did [I Kings 3:5-13; I Cor. 12:31]
- Ask a mature Christian – by their observation
- Take part in different church ministries – as opportunities present themselves and spend time with other Christians who are known to have certain spiritual gifts.
- The purpose of the spiritual gifts
- To glorify the Father – [Ps. 34:3; 69:30], anything we do as Christians we are to magnify the name of the Lord. [Rev. 4:11], God is worthy to receive glory and honor and power.
- To edify the church – [I Cor. 14:12; Eph. 4:11-12]
- The abuse of the spiritual gifts
- Not using those gifts imparted to us – [I Tim. 4:14; II Tim. 1:6] In [Matt. 25] we see the unfaithful servant abused the talent given him by the Lord by not using it properly. In the same way, a, spiritual gift may be abused by despising it, hiding it, or failing to use it to edify, other believers, and give glory, to God.
- Counterfeiting the sign gifts – for a vain show of power and false spirituality [Prov. 25:14]
- Not using the gifts in love – [I Cor. 13:1-3], only eternity will reveal the number of men in the ministry who should have never been there. On the other hand and just as tragic there has doubtless been a great company of men who were called into God’s service but never answered it. Perhaps the greatest abuse of all is the use of gifts without love. If one rightly comprehends the material given thus far on gifts one can understand why God sometimes seems to use a carnal Christian in a great way in spite of the glaring or often secret sins in his life. However, in such cases God is only blessing the gift and not the man personally. In this life he will surely reap what he sows or has sown. Certainly at the judgment seat of Christ there will be a lot of surprises because it is not the quantity of what people do for the Lord but the heart motivation behind it.
- The description of the spiritual gifts
- The number of spiritual gifts
a. Where to find in scriptures – [Rom. 12:6-8; I Cor. 12:4-11, 28; Eph. 4:11], listed separately they number 24. The gift of a prophet and the gift of prophecy are considered separately. The gift of government and the gift of ruling appear to be the same gift that brings the number down to 23. The gift of healing, gift of interpretation of tongues and the gift of an apostle are found twice among these lists that leaves 20. All together then there are 20 gifts. Of the gifts 4 of the gifts are sign gifts that are no longer in operation today. That leaves 16 gifts of the Spirit available to Christians for service in the church today.
b. Temporary sign gifts – are miracles, healing, tongues, and interpretation of tongues
c. Remaining permanent gifts
- The History of the sign gifts
a. Given to the nation of Israel - A brief history of the sign gifts. First of all, the sign gifts were given to the nation of Israel. The nation of Israel began with signs - In fact the nation of Israel itself begins with signs [Ex. 4:1-5]. The reason God gave Moses the sign was so that they may believe the God of their fathers. This is the sign gift of miracles. [Ex. 4:6-8], is the sign gift of healing. [Ex. 4:9], is another sign.
b. Purpose of the sign gifts - [Mark 16:19-20], the reason for the signs was to confirm the Word so people would believe that the apostles were from God Himself and the message was from God Himself. Two important scriptures in relation to the Jews and the sign gifts are [I Cor. 1:22; 14:22] sign gifts are for unbelieving Jews that’s what the Bible clearly tells us. The Jews need a sign to believe a message from God and you will see signs always being used in relation to the nation of Israel.
c. The sign gifts and use of by the apostles in the gospels - Jesus, in the gospels chooses twelve Jewish apostles and gives them their commission and sends them only to the nation of Israel [Matt. 10:1-8], the kingdom of heaven they were to preach about is the literal kingdom where you’d have Jesus Christ sitting on the throne in Jerusalem where He would rule and reign for a thousand years. It is not talking about the kingdom of God, which is a spiritual kingdom that one enters into now in the church age when you believe on Jesus and are born again. Their ministry to the nation of Israel was to continue after the resurrection and ascension of Christ and again they were to go to the Jews only and again they were given sign gifts [Mark 16:15], we have to remember that this is not the gospel of grace which Paul preached and Paul defined in [I Cor. 15:1-4], this was the gospel of the kingdom of heaven. The same one that John the Baptist preached, that Jesus preached and the apostles preached while Jesus was on this earth. [Mark 16:16-18], and in verses 17 and 18 we see the sign gifts that are going to go along with the men and the message. The qualification for an apostle: they would have had to have been accompanying the others and been with Jesus from the beginning. They had to have been baptized with the baptism of John [Acts 1:22] and they would have had to have, seen the resurrection.
d. Continued use of sign gifts by the apostles in the early chapters of the Book of Acts - [Acts 2] their audience was the Jews and the sign gift was tongues so that the Jews would believe. The turning point in the Book of Acts when we start to see a change away from the Jews is in [Acts 7]. Here we see that God gives the Jews one more chance to get right as Stephen preaches that they are to repent of killing their Messiah and they instead kill Stephen. It is after this as we go through Acts that we see a turning away from the Jews by God and going to the Gentiles. We see an emphasis of going from Peter the apostle and his ministry to the Jews to the ministry of Paul to the Gentiles. No longer do we see the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom but it turns to the preaching of the gospel of grace. In fact in [Acts 15] we see the apostles and the church leaders coming together in Jerusalem and we see in [Acts 15:11] that Peter rose up and said, but we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they. As a result of turning from the Jews to the church we see the sign gifts dropping off and diminishing and finally going away and we see evidence of that [II Cor. 12:7-9; I Tim. 5:23], if the sign gifts were still going why didn’t he heal Timothy. [II Tim. 4:20] if the sign gifts were still in operation Paul could have healed Trophimus, but he had to leave him sick.
e. The sign gifts in the future – [II Thess. 2:8-11], we want to note this is talking about the antichrist and the context of the passage is the Second Coming. The signs show up again because during the Tribulation God is again dealing with the Jews, the church has been taken in the rapture. This time the signs are not to enlighten the nation of Israel they are to deceive the nation of Israel and the whole world according to [Rev. 13:11-12; Zech. 11:15-17; Rev. 16:13 – the unholy trinity, 14], because they can work supernatural signs and wonders they will be able to gather the whole world against God and the whole world will believe they are going to win but it is all a deception. Signs are given to those who don’t believe.
- Examination of the sign gifts – John sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was the Messiah [Matt. 11:3-5] and Christ reminded John of the signs and this is just what a Jew would have expected according to the prophecies of the OT. [Is. 35:5-6], the sign gifts were given to Israel. The gifts of miracles, healings, tongues, and interpretation of tongues.
a. The gift of miracles – is a supernatural ability to perform those events outside and beyond the realm of nature. [I Cor. 12:28]
b. The gift of healing – is a supernatural ability to cure human ills whether of physical, mental, or demonic origin. Robert Sergeant points out some interesting facts in his book entitled The Landmarks of Baptist Doctrine Book II, Doctrine of the Holy Spirit. He says the gift of healing is one of the hallmarks of the modern day charismatic Pentecostal movement. The question is what does the Bible say about healing? God is omnipotent and His power extends to His ability to heal the physical body. The issue is not can God heal but rather is the gift of healing operational today?
1. The healing ministry of Jesus Christ – [Matt. 4:23-24], the Bible records 18 specific miracles of healing by the Lord Jesus. A careful study of these reveals the following facts. Christ healed people where he found them; unlike the charismatic movement there were no healing lines. Christ healed all manner of sickness; unlike the charismatic movement Christ had no screening process. Christ healings were complete; unlike the charismatic movement Christ had no failures, relapses, no convalescence. Christ healings were free of charge; unlike the charismatic movement Christ had no offerings, no books, no handkerchiefs. Christ healed someone who came requesting it and Christ healed some who didn’t request it. Christ, generally healed without touching, in other words, not with all the theatrics you see with the charismatic movement. Christ never prayed before He healed someone. Christ discouraged testimonies [Mark 7:36], in order to let the miracle speak for itself. Christ healing ministry related to Israel and He didn’t require faith on the part of anyone. Those healed were either unsaved or saved at the same moment.
2. The healing ministry of the apostles – the Book of Acts records four specific miracles of healing and three general statements. In considering Acts 3 note the following the apostles healed people were they were. The afflicted did not come seeking to be healed according to verses 2-3. Apostolic healings were complete and they were a minor part of their ministry and were always accompanied by gospel preaching [Acts 3:13-15, 19-20]. The apostles did not require faith on the part of the recipients. Healing requires power not faith.
3. God stills heals today – God still heals the physical bodies of people today; clearly, however, the criteria is if it be thy will. We should be careful to seek His will before we seek to be healed. You may wonder how could it be a mistake to ask the Lord to heal? God has given us an example in the OT [Is. 38-39], but Hezekiah probably wished he hadn’t done that sine it caused him to fall into sin. Many Christians have been healed as a result of prayer. Furthermore there are many notable stories of God healing His servants that we know also. Still many we must remember were not healed.
4. It is not always God’s will to heal – as seen in the case of Epaphroditus [Phil. 2:26-27]. [I Tim. 5:23; II Tim. 4:20], when God ceases His dealings with Israel as a nation the sign gifts to Israel ceased. Toward the end of the Book of Acts no one is being healed. Paul himself suffered from a malady that required the attention of Luke. Instructions for medical care were given to Timothy [I Tim. 5:23], further, instructions for prayer for the sick are found in the epistle of James [5:13-16]. Furthermore after the Book of Acts there is no record of anyone being healed.
c. The gift of tongues – [I Cor. 12:10], since speaking in tongues is one of the so-called marks of the charismatic movement the following facts should be understood.
1. Fact #1 – Every time the word tongue is used in the Bible it always means known earthly languages – [Gen. 10:5, 20; Deut. 28:49; Ezra 4:7; Acts 2:4-11, 21:40; 22:2; Rev. 5:9; 7:9; 13:7]
a. John MacArthur – Reasons Gifts of Tongues Known Languages – “There are a number of reasons why known languages are always in view when the true gift of tongues is mentioned in scripture. Here are several key arguments. The Greek word, glossa, primarily means human language when used in scripture. Several times in the NT it refers to tongue but it is the normal word for a known language. Also used is the Greek word, dialektos, from which we get the English word dialect. Some of those at Pentecost heard God’s message proclaimed in their own language, some in their own dialect. Classifications like language and dialects would have never been used if a static speech had been presented. Third, the same term for language is used later in the Book of Acts and in I Corinthians 12-14, some Pentecostals and charismatic’s claim, yes languages are mentioned in [Acts 2], but after that it means something else. But if we look at the mention of tongues in later chapters in [Acts 10:46, 19:6] we will find the very same word being used glossa languages. Throughout the Book of Acts the Greek word used for tongues is consistently the one that refers to normal languages. It is interesting to note that glossa always appears in the plural form in Acts indicating a multiple of languages. Four, [I Cor. 14:21] indicates that tongues were a foreign language given as a sign to unbelieving Israel. Paul referred to [Is. 28:11-12] “for with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” Then Paul went on to say, that tongues, were, a sign, not for believers but for unbelievers. Unbelieving Israel as [Is. 28:11-12] points out. Who were the men of strange tongues that fulfilled the prophecy of Paul? They were the Assyrians who spoke genuine Assyrian. [Acts 2:8-11] lists the foreign languages spoke on the day of Pentecost. [I Cor. 14:9-11] also makes this fact clear. Many in the charismatic movement claim that the gift of tongues is a private prayer language a static uttering in a language known only to God but here in [Acts 2] the disciples were speaking in known languages. Unbelieving Jews living in Jerusalem at the time were all amazed and marveled saying one to another how here we every man in our tongue wherein we were born.
b. Tongues of Angels – discussed – as used in [I Cor. 13:1] means the ability to speak more perfectly. This is only questionable exception to the meaning of the word tongues and at best the meaning of the expression tongues of angels is uncertain for where can we look in the Holy Scriptures to find an angel speaking in some heavenly language unknown upon the earth? There are no examples to be found. What we do find is that when angels speak to men it is in a known language that the man can understand. [Dan. 9:21-22; Luke 1:26-28; Acts 12:7]. The only other utterance found in scripture apart from human known language is that spoken of as a groaning that cannot be uttered in reference to the prayerful intercession of the Holy Spirit on our behalf [Rom. 8:26]. Obviously since they cannot be uttered they have nothing to do with the discussion at hand. Never attempt to interpret a clear passage of scripture in light of another passage of scripture that is obscure.
c. The adjective “unknown” – discussed: is used in verses 2, 4,13,14, 19, 27 in I Corinthians 14. What does that unknown tongue mean? It means a language that is unknown to the hearer. Some would say that an unknown tongue is a language that is not known by any one but the speaker. But what we’ll find out by studying the Bible is that if someone speaks in an unknown tongue it may be unknown to some people, but it will be, known by other people. [II Cor. 6:8-10], Paul is speaking about himself and his own ministry here and the word unknown is being used in the sense that some people knew Paul and some people didn’t. [Gal. 1:21-22], what Paul is saying here is that the folks of Judea did not know him by face, but that did that mean that nobody knew Paul by face? Of course not a lot of people knew Paul by face. [Acts 17:23], He may have been unknown by the Atheans but He was not unknown to Paul. An unknown tongue this is when somebody stands up and speaks in a language that we might not know but that somebody else certainly does know. That is why I Corinthians 12 when it lists the gifts has the gift of interpretation right next to the gift of tongues. Do you know? Because all tongues are to be interpreted. I Corinthians 14 says, do not speak in tongues unless there is an interpreter. So anytime anyone is speaking in a language that no one can interpret they are speaking outside the Bible and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Bible.
2. Fact #2 – The Bible declares tongues to be a sign to unbelieving Jews [I Cor. 1:22; 14:22] we need to understand that every time the gift of tongues is manifested there are Jews and an apostle present.
a. Acts 2:1-13 – Tongues were a sign to unsaved Jews
b. Acts 10:44-48 – Tongues, were a sign to a group of saved Jews. Because the Jews require a sign the Gentiles spoke in tongues to confirm that they could be saved the same way the Jews could be saved. And this also convinced Peter because he confirmed it in [Acts 11].
c. Acts 18:24-19:8 – Tongues were a sign to Jewish
Proselytes, at Ephesus, who had believed the gospel of the kingdom probably preached to them, by Apollos in [Acts 18:24]. They had only heard of the baptism of John and did not realize that the Messiah had come, was crucified, resurrected and ascended to heaven. John’s Jewish baptism was replaced by Christian baptism after the NT was established in Christ’s blood. When Paul realized they had not yet received the Holy Ghost he explained the meaning of John’s baptism unto repentance in [Acts 19:4]. Paul presented the gospel of grace to them [I Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9] they immediately believed on Christ and were baptized by Paul in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And when Paul laid his hands on them they began to speak in tongues, this was a sign to the Jews that the gospel of grace preached by Paul had replaced the gospel of the kingdom of heaven that John had preached.
3. Fact #3 – The Bible places little emphasis on tongues – there are only three instances in the NT where the gift of tongues was manifested. In [I Cor. 12:28] we see the first abuse of tongues. There is not even one positive exposition of the gift of tongues in the Word of God. In fact the gift of tongues is found last in the gifts of the Spirit. Peter, James, John and Jude all spoke with tongues but said nothing about it in there epistles. Paul, only spoke in another language on special occasions [Acts 21:37-22:2].
4. Fact #4 – Several principles for the proper exercise of the gift of tongues are given in I Corinthians 14. Paul says these principles are to be acknowledged by spiritual believers as the commandment of the Lord. [I Cor. 14:37] What did Paul have to say about tongues in [I Cor. 14]? V. 19, 27, 28, 32, 33, 34
a. The gift of the interpretation of tongues – [I Cor. 12:10], this is a supernatural ability to clarify and interpret messages spoken in tongues.
b. Other considerations – having given these reasons for the cessation of the temporary sign gifts in order to give proper attention to all scripture on this subject we must note several things. Paul says that tongues are not to be forbidden [I Cor. 14:39]
1. Why does Paul say this? –[I Cor. 14:39] first of all there is a practical consideration here. The believers in Corinth were carnal and acting like children [I Cor. 13:11]. If you have a child you know that if you want to be sure a child does something just tell him he cannot. So Paul tells them not to forbid speaking in tongues lest there be more division and some might split off from the church and start a movement of their own based on false doctrine. Secondly, speaking in tongues, is not forbidden because it is one of the sign gifts for the Jews which will not be done away with until that which is perfect is come [I Cor. 13:10]. The sign gifts are not for this present dispensation of grace but will appear once again before the Lord’s return as signs to Israel during the time of the great Tribulation when God will deal with Israel as a nation and these signs will attend the preaching of the gospel of heaven. The kingdom of heaven is a literal visible physical kingdom with the Lord Jesus Christ reigning as king on a literal visible throne on earth. In contrast the kingdom of God is a spiritual kingdom within the believer according to Luke 17:21. It is not physical, not meat nor drink [Rom. 14:17] and one must be born into it spiritually [John 3:3-5] and sometimes in the gospel these terms are used interchangeably. The reason for that is because when Christ is present as king on this earth both kingdoms will be present at the same time.
2. Joel 2:28, was not fulfilled in Acts – this verse is one of the primary verses that those who teach that speaking in tongues and healing are still going on today. But this verse is clearly not a reference to the church age, but a reference to the millennium. How do we know this? In [Acts 2:16, compare with 33] Peter tells his Jewish audience [vv 5, 14, 22] that the prophecy of Joel 2:28 had reached the time of its fulfillment and that the filling of the Holy Ghost was being manifested by being able to speak in other tongues. The message winds up with [Acts 2:38] as per Joel 2:28 and Peter goes on to remind them the promise is unto you. If those Jews had believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and repented then the rest of the things in Joel 2 would have taken place even unto the coming of the Lord to establish His millennial kingdom. Of course they did not believe and Joel 2:28 was not fulfilled and the Second Advent was postponed. In [Heb. 1:2] says, that God in these last days has spoken unto us by His Son. It is obvious that the first and second coming are both included in the last days. When we understand that the first coming takes place in the end of Daniel’s 69th week [Dan. 9:24-27]. The passage groups the weeks in three parts. Seven weeks, 49 years, sixty two, weeks, 434 years and one week seven years. The 49 years are associated with rebuilding Jerusalem in troubled times. The 434 years relate to the intervening time before the cutting off of the anointed One, that’s Christ in [Dan. 9:26]. The seven years are connected with the period of a covenant between a ruler and Jerusalem, which is violated in the middle of the seven years in [Dan. 9:27]. The dispensational approach makes the seventy weeks a prophetic framework for end time events. The 69th week is seen as completed at Christ’s death while the 70th week is yet to be fulfilled at a future Great Tribulation Period. The interval between the two is seen as a parenthesis and the prophetic patent which contains the present church age and a period not revealed in OT prophecy. It is plain to see then that the literal fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy will take place at the Second Advent. [Joel 2:30-31]. See blood [Rev. 6:12, 8:7, 16:3-6], the word fire is found in [Rev. 8:7-8, 9:17-18; 11:5; 16:8] and smoke is found in [Rev. 9:2-3, 17-18]. All of those are our signs in the earth.
As for the wonders in heaven [Matt. 24:29-30] there are no less than five different references to these events in the Bible and all are connected with the Second Coming [Matt. 24:27-30; Is. 13:10; Ezek. 32:7; Rev. 6:12; 8:12] note that the expression the day of the Lord in [Joel 2:31] includes the millennium and the events leading up to it. We see the last days mentioned in [Is. 13:4-11; Zeph. 1:7-18], then we see the advent in [Jer. 46:10; Mal. 4:5; Joel 2:1-11] and then we see the millennium [Is. 2:12-21; II Peter 3:10-12]. On the day of Pentecost was there wonders in heaven and signs on the earth? Was there, blood, fire and pillars of smoke? Was the sun turned into darkness and the moon into blood and did the great and terrible day of the Lord come? Of course the answer to these questions is no. Not one of these things happened then nor have they happened since. It is not yet come to pass and all of it remains in the future. Peter was telling those Jews at Pentecost that they were getting a preliminary glimpse of the kind of power that the Holy Spirit would pour out upon all men in the millennial kingdom. It is evident from the content of Revelation that Joel was not talking about Pentecost nor the church age but about the things that will take place during Daniel’s 70th week just preceding the Second Advent. The full content of Joel’s prophecy makes this the only plausible interpretation. Why was Peter preaching a message on the Second Advent of Jesus on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2? Because Daniel 70th week had begun and the Second Coming would have been within seven years of coming to pass if the had believed the signs given unto them speaking in other languages. Furthermore [Joel 2:20] refers to the defeat of the northern army that wins against Israel in the tribulation time. And in [Joel 2:27] he speaks of the great revival that will bring Israel back to God another feature of the Tribulation not yet fulfilled. In [Joel 3:2, 12, 14] we have the description of the judgment of the nations at the end of the tribulation just before the establishment of the earthly kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. In [Joel 3:18-20] he gives a description of the millennial kingdom. Still the question did Peter quote [Joel 2:28-32] on the day of Pentecost in [Acts 2:17-21]? Some bible teachers say that Peter was claiming that the gift of the Holy Spirit to the church on the day of Pentecost was a fulfillment of Joel 2:28. But it was only a type of the final fulfillment. Charismatic’s also like to make a big point out of the former rain and latter rain of [Joel 2:23]. They want us to believe that the former rain was spiritual the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. The latter rain, according to them would also be spiritual supposedly it would be the outpouring of the Spirit of God on all men in the twentieth century. But the former rain refers to literal physical raindrops falling on the crops in autumn and the latter rain is the rainy season of the spring. Joel said, that in the millennial earth both of those rains will come in the first month. The point is that God will make the earth to bring forth an abundant harvest in the literal, visible, physical kingdom of heaven. The former and latter rains have nothing to do with Pentecost, the twentieth century or the Holy Spirit. Paul says that prophecy shall fail, tongues shall cease and knowledge shall vanish away until that which is perfect shall come [I Cor. 13:8-12]. What is Paul referring to in [I Cor. 13:10]? In there hast to find a biblical basis for an end to the gift of tongues today some would have us believe that it is the completion of the canon of scripture. But this will not work because we know that two prophets Moses and Elijah will be prophesying and performing miracles before many peoples, nations, tongues and kings [Rev. 10:11-11:12]. Therefore that which is perfect must refer to the Lord Jesus when He returns to rule and reign during the millennial. Only then will miracles, wonders and tongues cease forever. Currently the sign gifts have ceased because God is not dealing with Israel but the church. In the tribulation we will see the sign gifts come back because God will again be dealing with the nation of Israel because the Jews require a sign. Paul said [I Cor. 13:12] he says that when that which is perfect shall come we shall see face to face and shall know even as we are known. It is clear that even though we do have the completed canon of scripture we still see through the glass darkly and not face to face. Furthermore at present we still only know in part.
5. The remaining gifts for today
a. The gift of an apostle – [Eph. 4:8, 11] the definition of an apostle means he that is sent with authority. The term is used of the twelve who were chosen and sent by the Lord [Matt. 10:1-5]. In the epistles and Revelation the context shows where the twelve apostles are meant. Besides the twelve apostles that we ordinarily think of there were other apostles appointed by the Lord after His ascension. Such were Paul and Barnabas [Acts 14:4, 14; Rom. 16:7]. Today we call them missionaries and they are called by God and sent forth by a local assembly of believers. They are to go where there are no churches for the purpose of establishing a new work. [Rom. 15:20-21]. Missionaries are called, to the ministry, by God [Acts 13:2] Missionaries should be sent by a local church [Acts 13:3] Missionaries should be led by the Holy Spirit [Acts 13:4] Missionaries intend to establish churches [Acts 14:23] Missionaries continue to care for the churches they have established through a loving relationship with the pastor [II Cor. 11:28] Missionaries report to their home churches [Acts 14:26]. To be of the company of the apostles that Jesus chose. One must have seen the resurrected Christ [Acts 1:21-22] also says that they had to be men who had been accompanying them all the time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us beginning from the baptism of John until the same day He was taken up from us. For this reason some argue that this gift has past away. Paul reminds the church, at Corinth that he had seen resurrected Christ but he could not claim to have been with Him from the beginning nor would any of the other apostles already noted. The twelve were apostles to the nation of Israel while Paul was an apostle to the Gentiles [Rom. 11:13]. Furthermore we see that the gift of an apostle is still spoken of by Paul in [Eph. 3:5; 4:11] as being to the church. Characteristics of an apostle today; they must have the spiritual gift of an apostle with a definite call to work with a specific culture although not necessarily to a specific nation. Must be bold when entering into a field of labor ready to give his life for the Lord. Must be meek before the native inhabitants especially those in power; must be able to labor to please the Lord in the face of no visible result; must be able teacher and preacher capable of training others; must be longsuffering with converts who seem slow to progress; must have perseverance; must be able to maintain a personal relationship with God without the fellowship of other believers. In modern times we have men of notable example such as William Carey, Hudson Taylor, Robert Moffat, R. A. Jaffrey.
b. The gift of a prophet – [I Cor. 12:28; Eph. 4:11] the gift of prophecy is simply the gift and motivation to preach; a prophet has no authority over the churches except his own church if he is a pastor also. But, is, himself a gift to the church. A prophet has nothing to do with church government. A prophet was one who spoke for God and it applies to both the OT and the NT. It did not necessarily mean he foretold the future though sometimes that was done as with the case of Agabus [Acts 11:28; 21:10-15]. Prophecy was one of the gifts of the Spirit and its chief design was to comfort, exhort and testify from the scriptures for the edification of believers [Acts 15:32] Directions for their gift is given in I Corinthians 14.
The primary position of a prophet in the OT was his position with God and against the world. They were raised up as a watchman [Ezek. 3:17] to warn the about their sin, to proclaim the judgment of God and call men to repentance. In this sense there are still men of God who are prophets. But rather than foretelling their ministry is one of forth telling. Just as the OT prophets they are called to take a stand with God and against the world, to publicly warn the nation about their sin and the judgment of God and call men to repentance by the preaching of the Word of God. God’s prophet’s give us the issues of the day and warn us of, a, nations, sins. However a unique part of the OT prophet’s ministry that has passed away with the sign gifts is proclaiming and recording of future events supernaturally revealed to them by God. Some of those events would not happen until thousands of years later but some happened during their own lifetime. Still today the prophet does proclaim future events but only as revealed by the Lord in the written Word of God. It is the unique sign gifts that have passed away but not the office and gift. Characteristics of a prophet; a prophet must have love without hypocrisy despising that which is evil and loving that which is good. He must edify the body of Christ, exhort them and stir up the hope that is within them by the spirit of God. Because his ministry is particularly directed against open sin he must live a peculiarly separated life in stark contrast to the world. If a prophet is going to point out the sins of a nation openly he must have a close walk with God know His will and keep himself, free from sin. Prophets are not highly esteemed [Jonah, Elijah, John the Baptist] by the religious establishment. One reason for this is because part of their ministry is to point out the sins of church leaders and the local church. [Examples of prophets; Peter, Acts 2:14-40; 3:12-26; 5:3-11; Stephen, Acts 6:9-7:60; Paul]
c. The gift of an evangelist – [the supernatural ability to preach to lost sinners about their unsaved conditions, their certain judgment, their eternal destiny and their need for salvation]. Many who claim to have the gift of evangelism today find they do not possess this gift at all. Realizing that they are not involved in preaching to the masses of lost sinners but more often to backslidden Christians. Timothy was not an evangelist but he was a soul winner [II Tim. 4:5]. Some characteristics of an evangelist: they require great physical stamina to enable them to travel many miles by car, train or plane. He must be able to preach night after night for days or weeks when necessary in churches, rescue missions and on the street. He must be willing to sacrifice and spend time away from his family. [Example – Philip, Acts 8:26-40; 21:8]
d. The gift of a pastor – [I Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; I Peter 5:1-4; Acts 20:17-28; Eph. 4:11] Pastors are shepherds of God’s flock, they are those whom God has specially gifted to deal with the problems of His children to encourage and comfort them and build them up in the Christian faith by teaching them God’s Word. [Heb. 13:17] his authority in the church as God’s leader is a moral and spiritual power not a legal one. His authority rests in the power of a godly example as well as in the fact he is a biblical officer. The pastor should exercise leadership and he must refuse to compromise biblical convictions, be gracious in attitudes and never be stubborn about personal opinions or desires that do not involve biblical principles. He is not to be a lord over God’s heritage, he is no biblical right to be autocratic or dictatorial or domineering no man of God filled with the spirit will manifest such an attitude. Godliness of life is the basic example. He is to preach the Word with urgency and to reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. The pastor must teach, challenge and lead the church in aggressive evangelism while he edifies the saints and equips them to serve the Lord.
e. The gift of a teacher and of teaching – [Rom. 12:7; Eph. 4:11] – the supernatural ability to instruct others in the Word of God in a clear and understandable manner. Characteristics of a teacher; Rom.12:11- not slothful, fervent in business serving the Lord; II Tim. 2:15 – must study and do his work as unto Christ not unto man; I Cor. 11:19 – he must be approved; II Peter 2:1
f. The gift of prophecy – I Cor. 12:10; 14:1-6; Eph. 4:8-11 – the spiritual gift of prophecy today is the motivation to proclaim the Word of God to speak out against sin and error. It is the God given ability to be persuasive in preaching the Word of God, to be able to use the Word of God to bring to light things concealed and to be able to bring a man’s conscience into the light of God’s presence.
g. The gift of exhortation – Rom. 12:8 – the Greek word for exhortation means to come along side of. The gift of exhortation is the ability to encourage, stimulate, prompt others in the church to spiritual growth and a desire to experience a close personal walk with the Lord. There appears to be two basic thrusts of an exhorter. To fire people into action and get them to follow through. Characteristics of an exhorter: an exhorter must be able to see hope in and for others, be patient with slow progress and persistent in praying. Examples; Barnabas, Acts 11:22-24; Judas and Silas, Acts 15:32; Paul, Acts 14:22; II Cor. 5:9; Peter, I Peter 5:1; Jude 3
h. The gift of ministry – [Acts 6:4; 20:24; Rom. 12:7; Eph. 4:12; I Tim. 1:12] puts a man into the ministry and equips him with the supernatural ability to the spiritual needs of others by the Word of God. Instructor believes this covers those mentioned in [Eph. 4:11-13]. Characteristics – Rom. 12:10-15 those given to the ministry of the word must have compassion and a genuine affection for others being able to demonstrate brotherly responsibility and be willing to work without the praise of men. Furthermore they should consider themselves as servant of servants even as our Master the Lord Jesus Christ set the example
[Matt. 20:26-28] Examples; John Mark, Acts 13:5;
Aquilla and Priscilla, Acts 18:26, I Cor. 16:19; Stepahnas
I Cor. 16:15; Epaphroditus, Phil. 2:25]
i. The gift of helps – this is the supernatural ability to minister to the physical needs of others [I Cor. 12:28] this includes Christian workers, camp workers, cooks, and janitors etc. There is a great need for those with the gift to employ it in the church today. Characteristics – [Matt. 25:44] a person who has this gift must have compassion and care for others. Be able to demonstrate brotherly responsibility and be able to work without the praise of men. Examples [The deacons, Acts 6:1-7; Dorcas, Acts 9:36-39; Phoebe, Rom. 16:1-2; Mary, Rom. 16:6, Urbane, Rom. 16:9]
j. The gift of knowledge – the supernatural ability to know things by the revelation and illumination of the Holy Spirit. And this gift especially applies to the study of the Word of God. It is obvious that certain men like Spurgeon, Scofield, and Ruckman possessed an unusual gift of knowledge in studying the scriptures. [I Cor. 2:6-10] Paul was one who had this gift [Eph. 3:7-9], by inspiration the Holy Spirit revealed the Word of God to Paul the apostle, then by the gift of knowledge he was given understanding of the scriptures that he might be able to preach and teach the knowledge given to him. The most important characteristic of one holding the gift of knowledge is the fear of the Lord [Pro. 1:7]. Then comes humility for knowledge the Bible warns us puffeth up [I Cor. 8:1-3] Examples: Daniel, [Dan. 1:17, 2:21]; Paul, [I Cor. 13:2, 14:6]
k. The gift of wisdom – [I Cor. 12:28] the supernatural ability to critically evaluate and employ knowledge [I Kings 3:5-12] Characteristics, fear of the Lord along with meekness and humility [Prov. 9:10] Some examples are: Solomon, Joseph, Daniel, Stephen and Philip
l. The gift of discerning of spirits – [I Cor. 12:10] the supernatural ability to distinguish between the natural human spirit, devils, and the spirit of God in another person. It also includes the ability to know the spiritual condition of others as God reveals it. [Acts 5:1-5; I John 4:1] Characteristics of the gift; must be sober minded and filled with the Spirit of God and sensitive to His voice. Furthermore, this, person, must not be a gossip one must keep to himself what is discerned and make it a matter of pray before any action is taken based on what is discerned. Examples; Peter, Paul, [Acts 16:16-18]
m. The gift of giving – [Rom. 12:8] the motivation to gain assets to share them with others in and for the work of the Lord. It is the God given ability to give, to be able to heed the Holy Spirit’s guidance in meeting the financial needs of others and to trust personal assets to others for the furtherance of their spiritual ministry. Characteristics; Rom. 12:13, a giver must take a genuine interest in the needs of saints and strangers giving to their needs according to the direction of the Holy Spirit. Examples; Macedonian churches [II Cor. 8:1-5], Jerusalem church [Acts 4:32-37], Barnabas; Galatian church [Gal. 4:15]; Philippian church [Phil. 4:10-18]
n. The gift of governments – [I Cor. 12:28] the supernatural gift to organize, administer and lead the activity of others in the accomplishment of common goals. It is the God-given ability to lead to identify objectives and to help those involved, to accomplish them. Characteristics: a leader who rules must be diligent in directing the affairs of the church able to take criticism and capable of appointing others to a position of authority. [Rom. 12:9-18] seems to be especially applicable to this gift. Examples; 12 apostles, [Acts 6:2-6]
o. The gift of faith – is a supernatural ability to believe and expect great things from God. This gift, manifest itself in unusual deeds of trust and commitment. Characteristics of the gift of faith. The one possessing this gift has the capacity to see what God is doing or wants to do in a given situation and is able to believe that God will do it even though it looks impossible. Examples: all of the saints listed in [Heb. 11] are OT examples. The emphasis is on what God can do despite what they see in this world. Stephen [Acts 6:5] in the NT
p. The gift of mercy – [Rom. 12:8] – the gift of mercy gives the motivation to identify with and share in the joys and sufferings of others as a comforter. It is a God-given ability to empathize with the misfortunes and miseries of others to mentally and emotionally relate to their needs and be able to bring comfort through the Word of God. This person must give themselves unselfishly to those who have no way of repaying them. [Rom. 12:15] characteristics of someone with the gift of mercy: the merciful must cheerful and uplifting being ready in mind to share the happiness of those who are happy and the grief of those who sorrow with promptness. Examples: Joseph of Arimathea [Matt. 27:57-60], The Good Samaritan [Luke 10:30-37]
VIII. The Fruit Of The Holy Spirit
In a very real sense it best demonstrates his ultimate goal here on earth namely to bear fruit for Christ through believers [Rom. 6:22; 7:4; Col. 1:10].
A. The commands to bear fruit – [Gen. 1:28] We are commanded to bear fruit for
God. God desires the believer to fulfill the prophecy concerning Joseph [Gen. 49:22]. God desires that His children experience the blessings of [Ps. 1:3]. God desires Christians today to function, as His tree of life will in eternity [Rev. 22:1-2]
B. The prerequisites for bearing fruit
1. One must die to this world – [John 12:24]
2. One must abide in the Savior – [John 15:1-5, 16; Ps. 80:8; Hosea 1]
3. One must yield to the Spirit – [Rom. 6:13-19] Paul is instructing them now
that they are born again and they are dead to sin that now they are to yield
themselves to the Spirit of God.
- The New Testament Speaks of several different kinds of fruit
- Souls won to Christ – [John 4:35-36; Prov. 11:30; Rom. 1:13]
- Holy living – [Rom. 6:22]
- Gifts brought to God – [Rom. 15:26-28]
- Good works – [Col. 1:10; Eph. 2:10]
- Praise – [Heb. 13:15]
- Christian character – [Eph. 5:9; Gal. 5:22-23] – regarding character it should be noted that the word fruit in these passages is in the singular. Paul does not say the fruits of the spirit are rather the fruit of the spirit is. The reason for this is all attributes of the fruit of the Spirit unlike all the individual gifts of the Spirit are to be displayed by every believer. All nine attributes are to be displayed in the life of the believer.
- The purpose of the fruit of the Spirit
- Magnify the Lord Jesus Christ – God’s purpose for producing fruit in the life of a believer is to magnify the Lord Jesus Christ. The fruit of the Spirit gives testimony to the transformed life of the one redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. It shows the work of God in our lives [Ps. 29:2]. When we do not lead holy lives the fruit of the Spirit is hidden in our carnality and we can never exalt Christ in words alone. We have a saying actions speak louder than words. Another saying is what you do, speaks, so loudly I can’t hear what you say. If we are filled with the Spirit of God others will know and Christ will be exalted. [Job 36:24] Only as the Savior is exalted in our lives will men be drawn to Him [John 12:32]. We can do this by proclaiming His Word but no one will believe it until we do it by proclaiming our lives. The more we are like Christ inwardly the more we will be like Christ outwardly. The purpose of the fruit of the Spirit is to present the very nature of Christ to the world so that the lost will be saved.
- Give Testimony to the transformed life – as a result of trusting Christ and
show the work of God in the believer’s life.
- Show the work of God in believers life - Wiersbe said, it is unfortunate that an over emphasis on gifts as led some Christians to neglect the graces of the spirit. Building Christian character must take precedence over displaying special abilities. Scofield says, Christian character is not merely moral or legal correctness but the possession and manifestation of nine graces and he lists them as follows. Love, joy and peace character as an inward state. Longsuffering, gentleness and goodness character as an expression toward man. Faith, meekness and temperance character and expression toward God. Taken together they present a moral portrait of Christ and may be taken as the apostles explanation of Galatians 2:20, when Paul said not I, but Christ and as a definition of fruit in [John 15:1-8]. This character is possible because of the believers vital union to Christ
- [John 15:5; I Cor. 12:12-13], and wholly, the fruit of the Spirit, in those believers who are yielded to Him.
- The presentation of the fruit of the Spirit
It is the privilege of all believers to have the fruit of the Spirit manifested in their lives. Understanding the plain teaching of the scriptures on this subject will enable us to facilitate the work of the spirit of this lovely God before an ungodly world. [Gal. 5:22-23]
- Nine is the number for fruit bearing – for example when Abraham was ninety and nine he bore fruit with the birth of Isaac. If you look at the front of your King James Bible you see the number 1611 and if you add them up it comes to nine and so this is the Book that will bear fruit. In [Gen. 1:11] we read that the Lord made a fruit tree whose seed is in itself life only comes from life. That tree could only reproduce because its seed had life in it as well it is like the Word of God [I Peter 1:23]
- By their fruits shall ye know them – Wiersbe suggests that the characteristics that God wants in our lives are seen in the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit. Paul begins with love because all the other fruit are really an outgrowth of love. Compare with [I Cor. 13:1-8; I Tim. 1:5] Paul instructs us in [Col. 3:14], note the singular fruit all of them together are a package and God desires to produce fruit in each believer. When these fruits are manifest in the life of the believer it will be known of them [Prov. 20:11]. What we are is going to tell on us sooner or later because of what we do and say. Therefore we can tell much about others by observation, in this sense all believers ought to be fruit inspectors [Matt. 7:16-20].
[Gal. 4:8-11] Paul is telling these folks that he is afraid for them here because he is concerned for their souls. What he is saying is you folks say you are saved but you act like a bunch of heathen idolaters. I am afraid some of you are not born again at all but just think you are. I’m afraid that there are a lot of church members, today, who are not backslidden at all, they, are, simply lost. One day these false professors are going to die and no one will even know if they were lost or saved. Is there enough evidence of the fruit of the Spirit in your life to convince folk you are saved? If we are walking with God we will manifest God’s fruit garden everywhere. That’s the testimony of holiness in our lives for everyone to see. If we don’t then no one will know for sure if we are saved and the truth is we won’t know for sure either. Get it settled.
- Yielded to God – the truth is our fruit, which is hypocrisy stinks and everyone can smell it. In order for God’s people to look like what they are and live like what they are they must yield to God and bear His fruit. The Bible plainly instructs us to walk in the Spirit [Gal. 5:16] [Amos 3:3] ask the question can two walk together except they be agreed? Webster’s dictionary says the word agree implies unison or a complete accord, harmony as an opinion or action to exist or go together without conflict. Speaking of the Trinity in [I John 5:8] says, these three agree in One. There is absolute harmony and unity in the Godhead because they are in complete agreement. The scripture also says only by pride comes contention [Prov. 13:10]. It is plain to see then that the reason some believers aren’t in agreement with God is because they want their own way and not His. The reason some believers don’t bear the fruit they ought to bear is because they are not walking in the Spirit. They cannot walk in the Spirit because they do not agree with the Holy Spirit. Their thoughts and actions do not line up with His thoughts and actions. When a believer is not yielded to the Holy Spirit he has a disagreement with God and cannot manifest the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Their testimony is tainted and the world sees much of them and little of Him in their lives. The results are impotent lives with little impact on a hell-bound world. Note these four things regarding your relationship with God. No yieldedness no walk. No yieldedness no fruit. No yieldedness no power. No yieldedness no holiness. Webster’s say yield means to deliver up to give up. [Rom. 6:13-19] we become those things to which we are yielded, to [Eph. 5:1]. If we follow God we will have the fruit of the Spirit for all to see. That is why the Holy Spirit was careful to say fruit of the Spirit rather than works of the Spirit in [Gal. 5:22]. There the Lord is showing the difference between the old and new nature. We work to go to hell before we were saved now we rest in the Lord and bear His fruit [Rom. 6:23; Phil. 2:13]. The new life is thus characterized by, His fruit as a result of His work in us. The new life is His life and in no way the result of our works from the beginning to the end it is His work [Rom. 4:5; Phil. 1:6]. Three key words we want to remember are yield, agree and follow. The fact that Christ is working in us does not mean that we have no work to do [I Cor. 3:8; Col. 1:29; I Thess. 1:3; I Tim. 5:17]. Our works are a necessary part of obedience and service however if they are the outworking of the flesh are old nature it only brings a harvest of corruption. While if the outworking of the Spirit our new nature the harvest is eternal rewards [Gal. 6:7-9]. We can do no real work without His working in us. [Phil. 2:12-13].
- What is in, you?
A closer look at the works of the flesh will help us to understand why a Christian becomes sterile and unproductive. God is working in the life of every believer but we are still responsible to God for what is going on in our lives because the end result depends upon our response to God. In other words what He is able to accomplish through us depends upon how yielded we are to the Spirit of God. [II Peter 1:3-9] all these are ours as partakers of the divine nature however we must yield to the Spirit to reap fully the benefits of His work in us. Every believer has already taken one of two attitudes toward God. Jesus told the multitudes you, cannot serve both God and mammon [Matt. 6:24; Joshua 24:15]. The believer may resist the Holy Spirit and choose to follow the old nature in the flesh but thereby sowing to the flesh he will reap corruption. Or the believer may agree with the Holy Spirit in his mind, heart and action and thereby sow to the Spirit and reap life everlasting. Every, believer, is a true schizophrenic having two natures warring inside of them. Paul was aware of this [Rom. 7:14-18]. What the Holy Spirit desires the flesh abhors. What the flesh desires the Spirit abhors [Luke 16:15]. If a Christian is not yielded to the will of God he is yielded to the will of the flesh. If he is walking in the power of the Spirit, he is, obviously not being controlled, by, the flesh but at any moment he is under control by one or the other [II Cor. 4:16]. What is in us will be made manifest by our words and actions [Matt. 12:34; II Tim. 3:9; Eph. 5:13; Gal. 5:19]. Webster’s says manifest means made known or obviously understood by the mind, obvious, evident.
- The examination of the works of the flesh – [Gal. 5:19-21]
- Adultery – is sexual intercourse between a married man and a woman other than his wife or between a woman and a man other than her husband. This is something we will hear more of in the end times because of [Matt. 5:28]. Adultery is not only a physical act, but, a spiritual act in the mind. Television and pornographic videos have added a new dimension to this sin.
- Fornication – the forsaking of that which is lawful for that which is not. Physical or spiritual any unclean act and this is becoming more widespread today including child molestation and homosexuality.
- Uncleanness – is moral or sexual impurity
- Lasciviousness – sexually unrestrained without limit or control. Inclined to lust, lewd, wanton this is the natural progression of the first three works of the flesh.
- Idolatry – the worship of a physical object as a god. Also an immoderate attachment or devotion to something [I Cor. 10:14; Col. 3:5] Worship means extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object or person of esteem. Idol is an image or similitude of a deity used as an object of worship. Anything of a person that is an object of excessive or supreme devotion or that usurps the place of God in human affection. Idolater is a worshiper of idols or images. An adorer of some person or thing.
- Witchcraft – the use of power gained from evil spirits usually with the aid of drugs. The word pharmacy comes from the Greek word for witchcraft. Also an irresistible influence or fascination. (psychic) Many charismatic preachers today are teaching the doctrines of devils [I Sam. 15:22-23; I Tim. 4:1].
- Hatred – intense hostility, also a habitual emotional attitude of distaste coupled with sustained ill will, enmity, opposition [Prov. 10:12; James 4:4] A shocking fact is revealed here that a saved, born again child of God can actually become an enemy of God. The unsaved cannot be guilty of this for they have not God for, there Father.
- Variance – is being in disagreement, discord, dissension or dispute.
- Emulations – envious rivalry an ambitious desire to excel or contention or ill will between rivals, jealousy
- Wrath – is violent anger
- Strife – is bitter conflict for superiority, cliques, factions [James 3:8-16]
- Sedition – incitement of, resistance to, or insurrection against lawful authority, divisions closely connected with rebellion [II Peter 2:9-10]
- Heresies – an opinion or doctrine contrary to the truth, this is what we see in our cults today [Titus 3:10; II Peter 2:1]
- Envyings – painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage
- Murders – to kill unlawfully with predetermined malice [John 8:44; I John 3:15] hatred in the heart is considered murder in the Bible
- Drunkenness – is habitual excessive use of alcohol, intoxication [Eph. 5:18] the Christian is to totally abstain from any alcoholic beverages one drop is excess
- Revellings – is a wild party or celebration, wild meaning without regulation or control
All of the above is the manifestation of the nature of Satan just as the fruit of the Spirit is the manifestation of the nature of the Lord Jesus Christ. Are not some of the natures of Satan creeping into the lives of believers today? Wiersbe comments [Bible Exposition Commentary] the contrast between works and fruit is important. The flesh produces dead works [Heb. 9:14] but the Spirit produces living fruit and this fruit has in it the seed for still more fruit [Gen. 1:11]. It is possible for the old nature to counterfeit some of the fruit of the Spirit but the flesh can never produce the fruit of the Spirit. One difference is this; when the Spirit produces fruit God gets the glory and the Christian is not conscious of his spirituality. But when the flesh is at work the person is inwardly, proud of himself and is pleased when others compliment him. The work of the Spirit is to make us more like Christ for His glory not for the praise of men.
Works of the flesh Fruit of the Spirit
The table shows what the works of the flesh produce as opposed to what the Fruit of the Spirit will produce.
- The examination of the Fruit of the Spirit [Gal. 5:22-23]
- Love – [I Cor. 13] God’s Word tells us that love is the distinguishing mark of the indwelling Holy Spirit [Rom. 5:5] of being born again [I John 4:7] and of being a true disciple of the Lord [John 13:35] The word for love in [I Cor. 13] is charity love actually demonstrated. God’s love permeates everything He controls.
- Joy – [Rom. 14:17] the word joy comes from the Greek word chara meaning gladness, rejoicing, or triumphing [John 15:11] while the world may experience happiness true joy is uniquely the experience of God’s people. Joy is a unique quality of character often confused with happiness. The root word for happiness is hap, which has to do with chance or fortune. One’s hap is one’s lot in life. Therefore happiness is always conditioned by and often dependent on what is happening to us. However joy is a quality of life that rises above the event. In the 26 occasions where the word happy is found in the Bible it seems to be a synonym of blessed [Gen. 30:13]
- Peace – [Phil. 4:7] there are two kinds of peace mentioned in the Bible. There is peace with God as we find in [Rom. 5:1] this peace has to do with our position before God and has to do with all believers at the moment of their salvation. Not only is there peace with God, but, there is the peace of God. This peace is experienced and includes only those believers who are filled with God’s Spirit. It can be defined as reassurance in tribulation. This is the peace that is the fruit of the Spirit.
- Longsuffering – is the ability to patiently and cheerfully bear seemingly unbearable situations and to patiently endure the seemingly unendurable. Keller says this; (Gardener Looks At The Fruit Of The Spirit) so often we human beings rather than exercising longsuffering prefer to opt out of adversity endeavoring to escape from difficult situations we try to avoid and cut ourselves off from awkward people. We kick over the traces and take off the harness and break up anything that might bind us into suffering. Yet the longsuffering spoken of in the NT is just the opposite. It is really a picture of a beast of burden remaining steadily under control. It is an ox yoked to a plow breaking up the stiff soil of his owner’s field no matter whether the plow runs into rocks, stumps or heavy sod the patient beast just pushes on steadily. Regardless of summer sun, the annoyance of flies or chilling winds, the strong beast goes on breaking ground for its master. Longsuffering in God’s people is one of the signs whereby the unbeliever can discover something of the nature of God. This attitude will pulverize the non-believers prejudice more surely than almost any other Christian virtue. It will encourage him, convince him, and reassure him that there is more to Christianity than mere theory.
- Gentleness – a quiet and respectful kindness [Titus 3:2; II Tim. 2:24] gentleness is simply goodness and has to do with the way we treat others it is the demonstration of a considerate or kindly disposition it is quietness without harshness or rudeness
- Goodness – is wholesome acts going the extra mile [Matt. 5:41] of moral excellence, upright, a good person, benevolent, kind, or good heart therefore goodness is the demonstration of moral virtues of honesty, morality, benevolence, charity, generosity, duty [Luke 10:30-34] Goodness is exemplifying the nature of God [Matt. 19:7] when the Bible says there is none that doeth good no not one [Rom. 3:12] it means no man does anything good of himself, but the believer has a new nature that is good and produces goodness as one of the attributes of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
- Faith – [Gal. 2:20; 3:11] this is not the gift of faith that enables one to believe God but rather the fruit of the Spirit adorning the believer who has believed and followed after God having yielded his life to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. This is the faith we are to follow after [I Tim. 6:11]. It is actually faith demonstrated unto others in our faithfulness to God by our daily walk with Him [James 2:18]
- Meekness – means subdued strength. Paul demonstrated this attribute in dealing with the Corinthian church [I Cor. 4:21] it is the manner of spiritual people restoring a back slider [Col. 3:12-13; Gal. 6:1] It is to be exercised in keeping unity within the church [Eph. 4:2-3] It is the proper manner of dealing with all men [II Tim. 2:24-25] compare with [Titus 3:2] Never mistake meekness with weakness. Meekness is a strength that comes from the Spirit of God enabling the believer to have control of his deepest desires. Wiersbe writes the meek Christian does not throw his weight around or assert himself just as wisdom is the right use of knowledge so meekness is the right use of power. An example would Moses [Num. 12:3; Judges 5:24] the use of the word above in these verses suggests that meekness is an attribute that fits a man to lead and exalt him above his peers. We must be careful here not to mistake a rigid militaristic discipline for the tender attribute of meekness. The former will always break down and show its true colors while meekness comes from brokenness only after self has been denied and daily crucified. Keller wrote this quality of life that produces genuine humility in the human spirit bestows upon us a truly balanced view of ourselves, and others. We see the greatness and goodness in our God around us and in others. Likewise it enables us to see ourselves as we really are. We see our relative insignificance in the great mass of mankind and yet we also see we are of a great worth to Christ who has called us darkness unto the light of His own love. We see ourselves as sinners and yet at the same time we see ourselves as those who have been saved from their despair to become the sons of God. So it is the generosity of our God the kindness of Christ the patient perseverance of the Holy Spirit that draws us to Himself that humbles our haughty hearts. It is the depth of Christ compassion, which crumbles the tough crust that accumulates around our self-centered characters. The inflowing impartation of His own gentle gracious Spirit displaces our own arrogance and self- preoccupation it leaves us laden with His own fruits of lowliness and gentleness. [I John 3:16; Matt. 20:28; Phil. 2:7-8]
- Temperance – the great NT example of this is Paul [I Cor. 9:19-27]. The day in which we live is marked by no self-control. The attributes of temperance, is in marked contrast to all the works of the flesh. Around the world we see men given to excess in all that they do and our society is out of control. Nothing seems to be done in moderation anymore. We have trouble controlling our credit cards, eating, TV, sports and our desires. We are no longer shocked when we hear of gruesome murders, child molestation, adultery, drugs, and homosexuality. But we are troubled when so many of these criminals are set free by the justice system with only a slap on the wrist often they are deemed unaccountable by reason of temporary insanity, these criminals are out of control. But not without responsibility our children are out of control and government spending is out of control but still we lean on the arm of flesh that can never bring deliverance. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can we bring our lives under control and live temperate lives. This should be the goal of every believer.
In concluding having examined the beautiful fragrant appealing fruit of the Holy Spirit don’t you want a taste of it more fully and have the Spirit of God adorn your life with its testimony to a lost and dying world?
Will you yield to Him and let Him work? Some things to give us and maintain victory over the flesh:
Remember – Christ worked for you at Calvary [Heb. 12:3; Phil. 2:4-13]
Reckon – yourselves crucified with Christ [Rom. 6:1-11]
Rest - in the Lord by faith [Ps. 37:7; Heb. 4:9]
Request – His will [Rom. 12:2; Eph. 5:17; I John 5:14]
Receive – His work in your life [Phil. 1:6]
Rejoice – in the Lord [Phil. 4:4]
Resist – the devil and he will flee [James 4:7]