THE TRUTH CONCERNING THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Hebrew and Greek words rendered “Spirit” occur 465 times in Scripture, and that is not to mention where the word is translated something else. That it pleases Yahweh to provide us with at least 465 references to look through, implies that it is a subject important to Him—and indeed, important to us, if we are truth-seekers, looking to understand the testimony of the sure Word of God. What we shall see as we progress in our considerations, is that the word “spirit” can have several different, yet related meanings and applications. All must be discerned by examining the context, and by considering other passages that teach the same point, but perhaps in a more easy to understand way—a system that we call “comparing Scripture with Scripture”—the only way to examine and learn The Truth.
THE SPIRIT AT CREATION
The first reference to the Spirit in Scripture is to be found in the book of Genesis, in its description of the formation of the Heavens and the Earth according to the will of the Creator:
“ … the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light:” and there was light” (Gen. 1:2-3).
We find that by implication then, the Spirit of God was the operative force by which the acts of Creation were performed. Evidence for this conclusion comes from the testimony of other related passages:
“Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Psa. 104:30).
“Praise him ye heaven of heavens … let them praise the name of Yahweh: for he commanded, and they were created” (Psa. 148:5).
“The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job. 33:4)
The Spirit of God “moved” upon the face of the waters; implying a readiness to engage in creative activity in response to the Word. This is an aspect which is not commonly investigated in religious circles. That which was created was made so by: 1. The “spirit” of God, and 2. the spoken Word. Indeed, the relationship between the Spirit and the Word is further illustrated when it is recognised that the word “spirit” in the original tongue literally signifies “breath.” Words spoken by the breath of the Almighty brought about the activities of countless angels in forming the Heaven and the Earth, to the Divine specification.
To further emphasise this point, it is written of Yahweh that:
“He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of Yahweh. By the Word of Yahweh were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” (Psa. 33:6).
So then, “through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the Word of God …” (Heb. 11:3). The Word, being expressive of Divine Intention was inextricably related to the Spirit, or Breath (Hebrew) of the Almighty which carried the power to execute the Divine Will.
This is very significant when we come to consider the New Creation. Just as the first spoken words spelled out a command for Light to be present, even so Paul informs us that in the case of the New Creation, there is again a Light present—a light given by verbal command of the Almighty through His Son, and witnessed to by the works of the Spirit.
“God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:6).
It is a Divine principle that once sent out, Yahweh’s word shall not return void: it shall accomplish that which He Pleases (Isa. 55:11). The Spirit being the “breath”, the Word is that which comes as a consequence of it’s being sent forth, and which enlightens the hearers of the Divine Intention. Because it is the spoken Word that gives the command to the Angels to carry out Yahweh’s purpose (Psa. 68:11), the words that brings vocalisation to the Purpose, are accredited as having accomplished the desired operation (as in the above passages). All is the perfect Will of the Deity being exercised, through the Spirit and the Word.
When we consider the events surrounding the New Creation, we find the pattern repeated. There is the “Light” of the glorious Gospel of Christ, which is given by the command of God (i.e. the spoken Word), and which enlightens the hearer. But then there was also the activity of the Holy Spirit which accompanied that Light in the form of the Gifts bestowed at Pentecost. Indeed, it is significant that when the Spirit was poured out upon the disciples at Pentecost, the first gift provided was the gift of tongues, enabling the gospel to be spoken:
“they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
Again, we read of the message of the prophets and apostles:
“prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet.1:21).
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God …” (2 Tim. 3:16).
In this latter passage, the word “inspiration” in the literal Greek signifies “breathed,” and implies the breathing out of the Word by Yahweh through his Prophets and Apostles. Notice, the pattern is the same as with the natural Creation: the Spirit provided the inspired (breathed) Word, and was the means by which the Divine Purpose would be accomplished.
The Spirit and the Word are inseparable in their relation to the outworking of God’s Will. The Revealed Word is a direct consequence of the breath of God expelled with Purpose, and the Angelic ministers do that which is commanded to make that purpose firm. The Word is a product of The Spirit, hence the Master declared: “… the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jno. 6:63). This being so, the influence of the Spirit upon an individual is commensurate with the amount of the Word they have received, something we shall proceed to consider later in our considerations.
The Spirit—Conferring Abilities
We have shown above that the Holy Spirit was that power which accomplished the Will of God in bringing about Creation. And that the same power is used to bring about the New Creation in Christ Jesus. We need therefore to focus our attention upon the role of the Holy Spirit in relation to God’s people, who collectively form the New Creation (Col. 1:16).
The early chapters of the book of Exodus recounts the emergence of Israel from the bondage of Egypt, and the events which followed in the erection of the Tabernacle to be a place of worship in the midst of the camp. Chapter 28 describes the making of “holy garments” for use by the priests:
“… thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office” (Ex. 28:3-4).
The task of making such garments required a particular skill, which evidently was not possessed by anyone in the Israelitish encampment. Yahweh filled the garment-makers with “the spirit of wisdom”, the effect of which was that individuals were given abilities that they ordinarily did not have to make garments that they ordinarily would be unable to make. We read of this same principle again a few chapters later:
“See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri … and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Exo. 31:1-5 see also Exo. 35: 30-31)
Again, the outpouring of the Spirit into Bezaleel was for the specific purpose of doing a work which required a particular ability that he did not possess.
Examples of this pattern could be multiplied. See the example of Samson. Again, Moses was given the Spirit in order that he could minister to the people (Num. 11:17). Similarly, it was given to Joshua for a like purpose (Num. 27:18). In each of these cases it is important to note that the Spirit was not given indiscriminately, upon each member of the congregation. It came upon those responsible for particular tasks in forming the national code of religion and worship, to give them the ability to do their job.
This Old Testament Spirit-bestowal was particularly important in the establishing of Israel as being a nation centred around the worship of Yahweh. In the beginning of the nation, individuals were chosen, and provided with the ability needed to erect the Tabernacle. Even so it is with the New Creation in Christ. Those who received the Spirit given at Pentecost were not endowed with some mystical and nebulous fuzzy feeling that is described today by those who claim spirit-possession. No, specific abilities were conferred, with the express view to establishing the First Century ecclesia. So we read that:
“there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit … to one is given by the Spirit the words of Wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another, the working of miracles; to another, prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another, diverse kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. But all these worketh that one and selfsame Spirit …” (1 Cor. 12:4, 8-11).
Again, we read that:
“he gave some apostles: and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a complete man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:12-13).
So again, the Word and the Spirit come together in the forming of a people for the Name of Almighty God. Most of these abilities thus described are to do with communication – that is, the making known of the saving principles of the Gospel of Christ. But all worked together for the unity of faith—the principles of which faith we ought to hold forth in our day.
The bestowal of the Holy Spirit was to give individuals the ability to do things that they ordinarily would be unable to do: i.e. speak in different languages. It was given to individuals to enable them to make the things needed for the Tabernacle worship, and again to enable the formation of the 1st Century ecclesia. In both cases, after the need for those abilities ceased, these Spirit-Gifts were no longer perpetuated and were eventually withdrawn (1 Cor. 13:10).
The Spirit Imparted No Moral Qualities
Sometimes it is assumed that when a man is given the Holy Spirit power, this has some mysterious operation upon his mind to make him more morally aware, and to automatically obey the commandments of God. However, this is not taught in Scripture: possession of the Spirit or the Spirit gifts did not constitute a man righteous. Consider Judas; he was amongst other spirit-endowed disciples who were sent forth preaching (see Mat. 10:1). Yet, he has gone down in history as being the greatest betrayer, and a traitor to his Master’s cause. Again, Matthew chapter 7 speaks of those who preached with the Master, yet who trusted in their own righteousness to save:
“Many will say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out demons? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Mat. 7:22-23)
Here is Messiah’s rejection of salvation by works alone. Though these people may well have been possessors of the Holy Spirit, their faith was lacking. The apostle also speaks of those who had received the Spirit, yet went astray:
“it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance …“ (Heb. 6:4-6)
Again, it is evident that the believers at Corinth were misusing the gift of tongues to elevate themselves (Cp. 1 Cor. 14). What this shows is that the possession of the Spirit-Power did not impart any moral quality in itself—only in the sense of the Word received and understood. Indeed, the prophets themselves, after they had received the Word, then had to sit and study, diligently searching out the meaning so that they could understand how it related to Jesus Christ:
“… of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow” (1 Pet. 1:10-11, see also Dan. 8:15).
Notice here, the Spirit operating within them is described as being “the Spirit of Christ” because it was the spirit testifying of Christ, something which we will come to again later.
The Spirit, whilst conferring specific abilities to men and women, did not in itself make them righteous. They, like us, had to give attention to the Word, and become justified through their faith in it (2 Pet. 1:11). Some of those who had been given the Spirit fell away, the classic case being that of Judas the betrayer.
Disposition of Thought
In addition to referring to the Deity’s Power, the Scriptures also use the word “spirit” to describe aspects of a man’s character, or disposition of thought. Consider the following testimonies:
“and it came to pass in the morning, that his spirit was troubled” (Gen. 41:8)
“when they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had sent unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived” (Gen. 46:27)
“They hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage” (Ex. 6:9)
“and they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing …” (Ex. 35:21)
If “the spirit of Jealousy come upon him …” (Num. 5:14)
“I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit” (1 Sam. 1:15)
“Yahweh is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit” (Psa. 34:18)
“spirit of holiness” (Rom. 1:4)
In each of these places, it is quite plain that “spirit” is referring to the life-force of a man, speaking more particularly of the mental, moral and intellectual aspects of his character. Each verse cited demonstrates a mental disposition towards particular states of mind (i.e. sorrowful, contrite, holy). This is of particular importance in attempting to understand some “difficult” passages (2 Pet. 3:16)—we need to establish whether or not it is the Holy Spirit power being referred to, or the natural spirit, or disposition of the individuals. A case in point is Romans chapter 8:
Romans Chapter Eight
An often cited verse used by those who claim present day possession of the Holy Spirit is Romans 8, verse 9:
“now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his”
So, it is claimed that if a man does not possess the Holy Spirit, then he is none of Christ’s. However, this claim is not as straightforward as it may seem: we need to establish what is being referred to: Holy Spirit possession, or a Christ-like Spirit? It is significant that the phrase is divorced from it’s context in this citation, and we submit that it is the context that determines the sense of these words.
Verses five and six of this chapter sets out the context:
“they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit the things of the spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:5-6).
We find then, that the immediate context is to do with a disposition of thought: to be carnally minded, or spiritually minded. Those who are carnally minded are related to death, are at enmity with God and are “in the flesh”, being unable to please God (verses 6 & 7). So the Apostle continues:
“but ye are not in the flesh, but in in the Spirit if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:8-9).
The context of the chapter therefore proves that the “spirit of Christ” which a believer must have, is a Christlike spirit, or disposition of mind, as distinct from being “in the flesh”, or having a fleshly, carnal mind. The Apostle speaks likewise to the Philippians: “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). The Scriptures are clear therefore: If we do not have the mind, or spirit of Christ, and “walk in the spirit” (Gal. 5:16-17) we are none of his.
When considering passages that speak of a “spirit” within, or being part of a person, great care needs to be taken to establish from the context whether or not it is the Holy Spirit Power that is being spoken of, or an individual’s own disposition of thought. As an example text, the context of Romans 8 demonstrates “the spirit” spoken of in this chapter is a Christ-like spirit, elsewhere described as “the mind of Christ” which a believer must seek to develop to be considered as one of His.
Ephesians Chapter Three
Another passage often referred to is the Apostles prayer for the Ephesian believers:
“that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16).
So it is contended that the “inner man” is strengthened by some mystical Holy Spirit bestowal. The precise nature of the “strengthening” is not defined, neither is it possible to quantify or evaluate how or whether the strengthening has taken place.
The greatest weakness of this position, is that the verse itself does not define how “the Spirit” accomplishes such a thing. The claim that it is by the operation of the Holy Spirit directly influencing a person’s thought pattern is often made, but never proved. We have already seen that spirit-bestowal was to confer a particular ability not previously possessed—that is, for a very specific purpose.
Whereas those who claim spirit-possession in our day report a warm and fuzzy feeling in some nebulous and difficult to define way. Significantly, Ephesians 3 does not define a specific ability being imparted, but rather the strengthening of “the inner man” (which Romans 7:22 defines as being the “new man” begotten by the Word, as distinct from the old man of the flesh which believers seek to crucify daily see 2 Cor. 4:16 ). The question therefore, is How does God strengthen this “inner man”?
To begin with, it must be recognized that because we are His workmanship (Eph. 2:10), we are individually an ongoing work of God: the accomplishment of His Word breathed out (Isa. 55:11). The strengthening experienced by the “inner man” is not some nebulous warm feeling that makes one feel good, as some may think. Rather, it comes about by making use of those things that Yahweh has provided us with. He has provided, and it is for us to apply what He has given. The Word, as an expression of the Spirit, is a “power” (Ro. 1:16, 1 Cor. 18) which enables us “to will and to do” God’s Will (Phil. 2:13, compare 1 Thes. 2:13). Those who give attendance to the Word are said to be “equipped” (2 Tim. 3:17, Grk) to do Yahweh’s Will.
When the Word imparts a strength to the developing embryonic “new man,” or “inner man” it is a work of the Spirit inasmuch as the influential word is the spirit-word derived directly from the Spirit being sent forth, and causing a spiritual mind to be developed. Indeed, it might be accurately said that any of Yahweh’s works are of the Spirit, for this is the very means by which He accomplishes His Purpose. Scripturally then, the way in which the “spirit of Christ” dwells in, or influences individuals is not passive—that is, something that mystically “comes on” people that they have nothing to “do” anything about, but is active, requiring the subject to read and constantly cleanse their minds (Eph. 5:26) with the influence of the Word, so strengthening the “new” or “inner” man to produce those characteristics that please our Father.
The following was published in 1870 by our earlier brethren, to deal with some of those passages which, when wrongly construed might seem to support the evangelical belief of present possession of the Holy Spirit.
Heb 12:2 The faith of which Jesus is the “author and finisher” is not the act of mind by which we lay hold of the gospel, but the system of truth described as “the common faith” (Tit 1:4), “the one faith” (Eph 4:5), “the faith that should afterwards be revealed” (Gal 3:23). If the act of faith were due to the volition of Christ acting upon us, there would be no need for the exhortation contained in the very place where the expression occurs: “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus,”&c. If a faithful state of mind were preternaturally engendered from without, after the manner of inspiration, there would be no need for those precautions and exercises which tend to preserve us “grounded and settled, and not moved away from the hope of the Gospel” (Col 1:23).
Rom 12:3 In the apostolic era, gifts were bestowed according to a certain measure of faith, or divine principle of distribution. To one was given by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another, the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another, faith by the same Spirit, &c.; to another, the gifts of healing, &c. (1 Cor 12:8,9). The object was “the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12). Paul, in Romans 12:4, exhorts the possessors of those gifts not to think of themselves more highly than they ought to think, but according as God had dealt to every man the measure of faith. “Having” says he (verse 6) “gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy let us” &c. We must not confound this “measure of faith” with that without which is it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6) a faith which is not a spiritual gift, but the belief of which God has declared concerning himself and His purposes.
Jno 6:44, 65 True it is that no man can come to Christ except it is given him of the Father; but let us see where the “giving” begins, and what is the method of “drawing.” The first condition necessary to constitute a believer, is the possession of “good soil” or “an honest and good heart” (Mat 13:23). If a man have the brain of an idiot, he cannot be acted upon by the truth. If he have the honest and good heart that comes from a good phrenal organisation, he may, and this is “given” him, for truly no man makes himself. But there must be more than this before he will “come” to Christ. His “good ground” will bring forth no fruit without seed, and the seed is “the word of the kingdom” (Mat 13:19). If he never hears this, he will remain as far from Christ as an Hottentot; but let him hear this, and then the words of Christ apply: “He that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit,” &c. Now, the hearing of the truth is ultimately to be traced to the testimony of God by the prophets and apostles, for “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing (for if a man speak the truth, it is because he has learnt it) by the word of God” (Rom 10:17). A man with a good and honest heart, hearing the truth, is drawn by it to come to Christ, and as God speaks in the truth and has fashioned the heart of man, it is God that draws. This is the explanation Jesus himself gives: for he adds, “Every man therefore that hath HEARD and hath LEARNED of the Father, cometh unto me” (Jno 6:45). If the drawing were a sort of mesmeric attracting, no fault could be found with those who, not being so acted upon, did not come.
Jno 7:17 Those who were disposed to do the will of the Father did on their acceptance of Christ, “know of the doctrine” whether it was of God or Christ’s own invention. How? By the evidence vouchsafed to such, for as Jesus said, “He that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go unto the Father” (Jno 14:12). To apply this statement to any experience of which a man may be subject now, is a great mistake. There is only one rule to work by in our day; “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them” (Is 8:20).
Mat 16:17 It has been revealed to Peter that Jesus was the Messiah, and this revelation was the act of the Father; and not the information derived from flesh and blood in any form: but how was the revelation made? Not subjectively; that is, the Holy Spirit did not personally illuminate Peter as it did after the ascension of Jesus; for it is expressly testified that “the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (Jno 7:39). The Spirit was yet a matter of promise (Acts 1:8, Luke 24:49). How then had the revelation been made? By the witness which the Father gave to Christ. Of this witness, Jesus says; “I have greater witness than that of John: the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do bear witness of me that the Father hath sent me, AND THE FATHER HIMSELF, WHICH HATH SENT ME, HATH BORNE WITNESS OF ME (Jno 5:36,37). Did there not come from the excellent glory, a voice: “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased,” on the occasion both of the baptism and transfiguration of Christ? In all these ways, the Father revealed the truth to Peter.
Luke 11:13; 12:11 The promise of the Spirit was to the obedient believers of the truth, and not to unbelievers that they might become believers. Men had to believe and obey first.- (see Acts 2:38, 39; also 8:12-17). The promise was fulfilled in the experience of believers of the apostolic era. “The manifestation of the Spirit was given to every man to profit withal.” (1 Cor 12:7). It bestowed divers gifts that were extra to the powers of the natural man. These were necessary as a confirmation of the word preached (Heb 2:4; Acts 5:32; 4:29,30,33), and for the upbuilding of the community of the believers (1 Cor 12:28; Eph 4:11-16). When this purpose was served, the manifestation of the Spirit subsided with the death of those possessing it. Would to God it were renewed: but let us not deceive ourselves with a fancy, and surely the notion that the Spirit animates Christendom, is a fancy of the most outrageous kind, as pointed out in brother Handley’s letter. The Spirit subjectively taught the persecuted believers what to say in the very hour of their arraignment before the tribunals. Is anyone similarly inspired now? If so, where is he? When he is pointed out, we must try him by the word, whether he is of God. Mere loquacity is no evidence.
Ps 27:11 David was taught the way of the Lord, for his “last words” are: “The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word is on my tongue” (2 Sam 23:2). It would be a privilege to be taught as he was taught; but inspiration is not among our experiences in this Gentile night. We have, however, a “mighty deep” of inspiration, in which to bathe our souls continually, and that is the written oracles of the Spirit, which are able to guide us unto all truth, and shew us things to come. Let us keep close by the Bible, and not wander after the “will of the wisp” inspirations of modern superstition.
2Cor 8:16 If there was an earnest care in the heart of Titus, God put it there, for all things are of God, but please recognize God’s method of doing His own work. God first brought Titus on the scene with a certain constitution of mind, then placed him in relation to the truth by hearing; and to the Corinthian believers, by acquaintance; and the result was a certain solicitude in his mind on behalf of the Corinthians. “Immediate,” in the sense of direct bestowal of this solicitude, by the Spirit, is a clumsy suggestion. Mechanical benevolence of this sort would have been no pleasure to God, no refreshment to the Corinthians and no credit to Titus. God works widely, largely, wisely, and develops finer results than would follow the narrow ways ascribed to him by popular theology.
(The Christadelphian, April 1870)
GOD IN THE BELIEVER’S LIFE – A SUMMARY
The following statement sets out Biblical teaching, in its positive and negative aspects. It is the Christadelphian position.
SCRIPTURE TEACHES THAT:
- The foundation of belief is the Scripture written by the agency of the Holy Spirit, and therefore an infallible and truthful guide.
- This Scripture is the written record of the things God has done for our salvation, instructions as to how avail ourselves of that salvation, and prophecy showing how that salvation will ultimately be brought about.
- The Scripture is the voice of God and His Son, and as such is powerful to change the characters of those who come to it with an honest heart.
- It does not, however, reveal its secrets to those who are not prepared to read it in its natural sense. Those who expect hidden meanings to be divinely revealed will ‘receive’ varied and often extraordinary interpret ations not obvious to a reasoned study.
- Christ is formed in us through a careful reading of the record about him, and through keeping his commandments. In this way we can un derstand hid character, his words and his works and so come to grow more like him. He dwells in our hearts by faith, i.e. through our belief in the things concerning him.
- Of great importance in the altering of our characters is the knowledge that Christ will return bodily to the earth. Until that time we are guided as to right and wrong only by the Word.
- We are, however, under the control and guidance of angels, who watch providentially over the lives of all believers, and control the circum stances of their lives. But within that framework of angelic control we are left to ourselves (with help and guidance from the Word) to deal with the situation.
SCRIPTURE DOES NOT TEACH THAT:-
- There is a divine influence which, entering into our hearts, causes us to understand Scripture.
- There is any influence received direct from God which improves a be liever’s character, or helps him to overcome sin.
- Men are unable to do good even when they accept the Scripture until the Holy Spirit has acted upon them.
- Men in our age receive the Holy Spirit directly, as in the First Century, either:-
(a) before they can repent
(b) after they repent
(c) when they are baptised
(d) when they are converted
(e) whenever they pray for it.
RECOMMENDED FURTHER READING
Faith and Conversion, Bible Study Publications. Available from 1 Penrith Place, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG19 6NE.
John Allfree, Geoff & Ray Walker
Bible Teaching about the Holy Spirit, Bible Student Press. Available from 44 Colindeep Lane, Sprowston, Norwich, NR7 8EQ.
The Spirit, Logos Publications.
The Work of God on Men’s Hearts, Bible Student Press. Available from 44 Colindeep Lane, Sprowston, Norwich, NR7 8EQ.
Do We Need the Spirit to Understand the Bible?, The Christadelphian, January 1992, p. 15.
The Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit Gifts, Logos Publications.
Christendom Astray, Chapter 6, Logos Publications.
The Ways of Providence, CMPA.
Clerical Theology Unscriptural, Logos Publications