A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century – Vol 5 Pneumatology
A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century – Vol 5 Pneumatology
A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century – Vol 5 Pneumatology
Dr. Edward Rice
Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution 2.0
"Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, and Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially."
Good Samaritan Baptist Church GSBaptistChurch.com
54 Main St.. Box 99, Dresden, NY 14441
Cover Design and Photographs by:
Edward G. Rice
Principle Scripture Quotations are from the non-copyright
King James Authorized Version
A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century – Vol 5 Pneumatology
Download pdf at www.GSBaptistChurch.com/theology
Table of Contents
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
As a USAF retired systems engineer turned Baptist Preacher of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and armed with a staunch belief in the preserved accuracy of the inspired Scriptures, I praise the Lord that he has provided me the unique opportunity to assemble “A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century.”
As a systems engineer for thirty years (since 1972), I focused on systems analysis. Systematic theology has intrigued me ever since my first Bible institute course in 1975. I have amassed multiple systematic theology books and never found one that is wholly Biblical. In 2013 my seminary work at Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary, under Dr. Steven Pettey, assigned me to read and analyze six volumes of “Systematic Theology” by Lewis Sperry Chafer, the founder and previous president of Dallas Theological Seminary. Initial critique of this neo-evangelical's voluminous, wordy, often unorganized work, answered the question, “Is there not a cause?” A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century is indeed a valid need. It cried out to be written and it was a work that I was privileged to endeavor.
God says he built man with an inner knowledge of the Creator's eternal power and Godhead. Further, God reveals from heaven, to every man, his wrath against all ungodliness. This true Light “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” The Bible says the righteous God, The LORD of hosts, tries the reins and the heart of every man. The prophet Jeremiah writes of God, “I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” The psalmist says, “my reins also instruct me in the night seasons.” With his tugs on the reins of your heart, you have come far in your studies, be sure that you have come to a knowledge and submissive acceptance of God's only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The beloved Apostle John wrote, “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
Every Bible student is encouraged to follow through a list of Bible verses called by some the Romans road to heaven. The believing Bible student is encouraged to memorize them. That quintessential list of verses is John 3:16-19, 36, 5:24, Romans 3:10, 23, 5:8, 12, 18-19, 6:23, and 10:9-13. That last reference is God's formal acceptance policy for your receiving his free gift of salvation and eternal life. Got life? The beloved Apostle John writes, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” Selah! It is Hebrew for “go-figure”, and it intends that you pause, meditate, and consider what you just read.
A prolegomena for such a work as this is almost as great an undertaking as a work like this. While I add, modify and correct content in the volumes I must add, modify, and correct content in both the prolegomena and epilogue. As I face critique and correction I engage an ongoing struggle to capture in the right wording, to communicate in the right spirit, and to assemble in the proper prose what by intent captures the whole truth. As much as each of us is a work in progress, this prolegomena is a work in progress. The purpose here is to set out the justification and direction of the whole work, but as each of the other eleven volumes is completed this prolegomena should also contain a justification and summary of their individual accomplishments. The processes is spiraling toward a central point.
When I began work on my Ph.D. in 2014 I set a goal to finish this Systematic Theology for the 21st Century in a five year period. When I finished my Ph.D. in 2017, I reestablished the same goal. This year, after publishing at least a draft of all twelve volumes in 2019, the goal remains. My plea for critique and correction also remains the same. I prefer friendly and constructive critique, but have found the hostile ones to be enlightening and beneficial for rounding out a stronger defense of truth. Feel free to engage in this effort, the many inputs I have received have strengthened the cause.
There is a cause. I pray that this prolegomena fully captures at least that.
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:... Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:7-8,131
When Jesus summarizes a subject, there is no greater summary. This one from John 16 plants the seeds for understanding the person of the Holy Ghost, the purpose of the Holy Ghost and the methods of the Holy Ghost. Note that this is announced by Christ as a new role for the Holy Spirit of God, a role not seen in the Old Testament. Those seeds of understanding need to be developed into a proper pneumatology.
In the Bible the Holy Spirit of God is not only symbolized as wind and breath, he is titled with the Greek word for breath, pnoa (pnoa).2 Thus the title of the Holy Ghost, in Greek is pneuma (pneuma), literally the breath of God. The study of the Holy Ghost is thus called pneumatology from the Greek. However, pneumatology is much more than just “a study of” the Holy Ghost.
If one were to set in order everything that could be said about the Holy Spirit of God, the world could not contain all the words, he is infinite. This effort endeavors to set in order everything that should be said about the Holy Ghost. Such an effort would properly be called an “ology,” which comes from the familiar Greek word “logos.” Recall that in John 1 the Lord Jesus Christ was called “Logos” because he was the communication tool of God, indeed he was the manifestation of God. Because our topic is the Holy Ghost, it might be interjected here that some have tried to make him the manifestation of God. It is shown in this study that such practice is unBiblical and arrogantly dangerous. Christ, not the Holy Ghost, is the Logos.
The suffix “ology” is, however, derived from the Greek word “logos.” It implies a complete manifestation and communication of a subject. An “ology” is thus more than just “the study of” a subject. “Pneumatology,” is the manifestation of everything that should be considered about the Holy Spirit of God.
The difference between college and seminary is the difference between the “Doctrine of the Holy Ghost” and “Pneumatology.” It is the same study but going to a different depth. Just as one does college before seminary, it is necessary, in pneumatology, to start with a sound Biblical doctrine of the Holy Ghost. The late Dr. Cambron, a theology professor and dean at Tennessee Temple Bible College and Seminary founded by Dr. Lee Roberson, will supply the thorough Bible doctrine for this pneumatology. Dr. Roberson was a framer of the Independent Baptist movement. At the Bible doctrine level he establishes a firm foundation from which other insights are herein constructed.
Three areas of concern should be kept in focus during this effort. Satan, that masterful deceiver, would be well pleased if the Holy Spirit of God was not understood to be a person of the Godhead. If the Holy Ghost was just an influence of God, and not a person of the Godhead, then a wedge of ignorance could keep man from a full and complete knowledge of the trinity of God. Man's iniquity causes him to be very pliable to Satan's deceptions, so much so, that the rational mind of man will take a little deception further than it is initially want to go. The idea that the Holy Ghost is not a person, but just the power of God, found its strongest defense (and could it be said its strongest “rationalism”) in German Rationalism. Ergo every Biblical study of the Holy Ghost will, of necessity, emphasize that the Holy Ghost is a genuine person of the Godhead.
When the trinity and the person of the Holy Ghost are settled in doctrine, Satan is all too eager to mislead in other avenues. Man began developing an un-Biblical doctrine concerning the methods and purpose of the person of the Holy Ghost. It became widespread when the Holiness and Pentecostal movement turned into the Charismatic-Tongues movement. This movement put an untoward emphasis on the “spirit” and began to allow the “spirit” to serve as its final authority, rather than the Holy Bible serving as the final authority. Within the movement, the “filling of the spirit” began to represent the manifestation of the presence of God, rather than the only begotten Son of God being the sole manifestation of God.
Recall that the Holy Spirit of God “shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak” (John 16:13). All the speaking and all the truth was to come solely from the WORD. When the “spirit” leads followers to disobey the commands of Christ, recorded in the WORD of God, red flags should appear. In light of these areas, more might be said about the role of the Holy Ghost.
The role of the Holy Ghost has not changed from what Jesus outlined so systematically in John 16. There are movements afoot in the last hundred years which have departed from this clear Bible mandate, and consequently this untoward understanding of the role and operation of the Holy Ghost has mislead many. The Holiness movement, in putting its major emphasis on the Pentecostal tongues experience took a lead role in misrepresenting the role of the Holy Ghost. Therein they announced a new theme, “Don't let doctrine divide us, let the spirit unite us.” This “unifying spirit” which downplays Bible doctrine and defies Scripture, i.e. Scripture which according to 2Timothy 3, “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works,” is intended to unify all the “Christian Faiths and Denominations” into one unified movement. Such is not a function of the Holy Ghost, but it is the primary function of the “spirit” eluded to in the Pentecostal movement, the Charismatic movement, the “Signs and Wonders” movement, and their myriad of offshoots. These offshoots include the “Promise Keepers” and the “Purpose Driven” extensions of the Pentecostals. The role of the Spirit of God is to lead into truth and magnify the Lord Jesus Christ, not to lead into unity and magnify Benny Hinn3, or Rick Warren.4
The uniting of Pentecostals and Roman Catholics is characterized very well in an article titled “Pope and Cope extend Hope for Catholic/Charismatic union” which states:
Pope to Copeland: Catholics and Charismatics must spiritually unite. We are galloping toward a one-world melding of religions, and the ramifications are staggering. Pope Francis has now sent a video message to Word of Faith father Kenneth Copeland, urging a reconciliation between Catholics and Charismatics.
“The Catholic and Charismatic Renewal is the hope of the Church,” exclaims Anglican Episcopal Bishop Tony Palmer, before a group of cheering followers at the Kenneth Copeland Ministries. (Palmer was killed in an accident shortly after this story was published) Palmer said those words are from the Vatican. Before playing the video message from Pope Francis to Kenneth Copeland, Palmer told the crowd, “When my wife saw that she could be Catholic, and Charismatic, and Evangelical, and Pentecostal, and it was absolutely accepted in the Catholic Church, she said that she would like to reconnect her roots with the Catholic culture. So she did.”
The crowd cheered, as he continued, “Brothers and sisters, Luther’s protest is over. Is yours?”
Even Kenneth Copeland finds this development incredible: Said Copeland, “Heaven is thrilled over this…You know what is so thrilling to me? When we went into the ministry 47 years ago, this was impossible.”5
With these backdrops in place, the person of the Holy Ghost, the purpose of the Holy Ghost and the methods of the Holy Ghost can be more carefully detailed in a proper pneumatology. These errors about the role of the Holy Ghost will be examined more fully after careful examination of the doctrine of pneumatology. The precision of the King's English should be further examined before Dr. Cambron's documentation of sound doctrine is delineated.
In proper English, the word “ghost” is synonymous with “spirit” and it is used when the Person of the Spirit is referenced as the direct object of a sentence. It is not used in the possessive forms of the title. This represents a careful precision in the use of English form and that care best captures the exactness of God's wordings in the Bible's original languages. The modernist bible versions, translated from Westcott and Hort's critical texts, desired to steer away from this exacting use of the English language, preferring to “dummy down” the language and fit it into the modern vulgar English,... where they can secure lucrative copyrights. They were successful, and consequentially no modernist bible translation uses the proper English term “Holy Ghost.” In fact, in an effort to promote their copyright ventures they actually malign the more exacting English used in the King James Bible. Their modernized English, they say, makes their bible easier to understand, but it makes these modern versions much less exact. This author and this effort take great strides to trust exclusively in the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word of God, thus relying on the most exacting translation into the English language. Would to God that every theologian did.
Such exactness, and staunch reliance on the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word of God, is not found in any modernist version. Each uses Westcott and Hort's critical text as its basis. These Bible critics did not hold to Scripture's inerrancy. Each modern English version uses modernist translators that did not hold to Scripture's inerrancy or even its inspiration, supposing only original autographs were inspired. Moreover, each uses modern English which cannot capture the exacting genders, plurals, and singulars of Greek and Hebrew. The careful constructs of the King James English, the “thee”s and “thou”s, as it were, are necessary for the containment of verbal inspiration Such care is only found in the King James Bible called the Authorized Bible. The slovenly translated, modernist, critical, ecumenical, copyright bibles are not used in this effort, and should not be used in any serious theology effort. Examine for a moment the careful use of the title “Holy Ghost.”
Of the 93 New Testament uses of Greek agios pneuma (hagios pneuma) there are eighty-nine6 translated “Holy Ghost” and only four times was it translated “Holy Spirit,” Lu 11:13, Eph 1:13, Eph 4:30, and 1Th 4:8. That is no accident or coincidence. When God's words are exact, an English translation should be kept as exacting as possible.
Whether or not you become comfortable in carefully using the title “Holy Ghost” for all your direct object usages, be assured that the exactness of the King James English in this regard was carefully crafted. Many mistakenly think that the words of the Holy Bible were fit into the common English of the 15th century. Not so. In actuality, the common English language was crafted by the translators to capture the exactness of God's wording in the original languages. This fact is fully developed in the section titled “Bibliology” of this effort. Ergo God's Word modified the common English usage, rather than allowing the common English usages to modify the exactness of God's wordings.
This exactness is most visible in the use of “thee,” “thou,” and “thine” to indicate the singular second person, and “you,” and “your” to indicate the plural second person. These constructs were forced into the common English language by their reverent use in Bible translation where the Greek and Hebrew were just that exacting as to singular and plural usages. Thus, in truth, the Bible translation from very exacting written Greek and Hebrew drove the development of the King's English to approach their exactness. Thus, we find the use of the title “Holy Ghost” in all the direct object reference to the Holy Spirit of God, and the use of the title “Holy Spirit” in the four references where the title is used in the possessive or descriptive usage. One would properly say “the Holy Spirit of God” or “his Holy Spirit” in these possessive usages. Moreover, one would properly say, “found with child of the Holy Ghost” in a direct object usage of the title.
These are the same rules implanted in you when you learned not to say, “Give I the ball, me want it back.” Most of us never learned the rules about subject, direct object, indirect object, and possessive forms before we learned to communicate properly. Don't let modernist translators, trying to “dummy down” the words of God, throw you a curve about the title of the Holy Ghost or the giving of His Holy Spirit. They have erred, not knowing exacting English, preferring to move the Words of God down to the modern common language, rather than moving the modern guttural English up to the language of God as found in the Greek and Hebrew. For reference, below are the four uses of the title “Holy Spirit” as properly used in the King James Bible.
1) Lu 11:13 “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit ( agioV pneuma ) to them that ask him?” (Note that it is not the whole person but a portion that is given)
2) Eph 1:13 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit ( agioV pneuma ) of promise.” (Never is it translated “that holy Ghost” coming after a pronoun.)
3) Eph 4:30 “And grieve not the holy Spirit ( agioV pneuma ) of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” (Never is the possessive form translated “the holy Ghost of....”)
4) 1Th 4:8 “He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit ( agioV pneuma ).” (Never is the possessive form translated “his holy Ghost.”)
Doubtless, the exacting nature of the forms for subjects, objects, and possessives is not this authors forte. It was, however the forte of the 57 linguistic experts who took 7 years to translate the King James Bible into an exacting and unparalleled English rendition of God's Word. These linguists took God's Wordings and framed the King's English into an exacting language. Those who would malign their great care in order to sell a copyright version which has no such exactness should always be kept at bay.
In the Old Testament Hebrew text the title is never translated “Holy Ghost” it is always translated “Holy Spirit,” but alas, it is for the same reason. In Ps 51:11 it is referenced to “Thy Holy Spirit,” in a possessive form. And in Isa 63:10 and 11, it is referencing “His Holy Spirit,” likewise in the possessive. When in the possessive, proper English would not use “Holy Ghost,” it is properly rendered “Holy Spirit.” “Holy Ghost” is used to speak of the person in the most direct sense. When God's words are exact, an English translation should be kept as exacting as possible. This is minutia to some. Nevertheless, the point is critical; ecumenical modernists market the departure from the Old English as making their bible more readable. The marketers mock the use of the word “Ghost” in this context. Such marketers are in error.
Jesus carefully used the Greek word παρακλητος (parakletos) on purpose four times7. On those four occasions the word is carefully and meticulously translated “Comforter.” Therein fifty-seven of the greatest linguists ever assembled for a seven year task of translating every word of God from the original languages into English8, determined that there was no better word to capture that Greek word's full meaning in Christ's context. Its fifth use in 1John 2:1 is translated “advocate” by those same linguistic experts. Bible critics, seeking to discredit the Authorized Version and sell their “improved” copyright version have been moved by copyright law to use a different word than “Comforter,” but the change is not otherwise warranted.
There should be little tolerance for the modernists who think they could outperform those fifty-seven linguists who finished their task in A.D. 1611. They suppose that “comforter” is not the right word. Even some “fundamentalists” have jumped into this fray. Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, founder of Dallas Theological Seminary, accuses these fifty-seven of turning from the work of translation into the “way of misleading interpretations.”9 This is a powerful and even libelous accusation. There is no justification for this libel and Dr. Chafer offers no better translation, but supposes that a “transliteration” would be better. He thus supposes that, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Paraklete,” as a transliteration of the Greek term, is the better translation.
Transliteration is indeed a tool used in the Authorized Version. To “baptize” is a good example. There was no English equivalent for “completely immersing one into or under” and so the Greek word was transliterated and added to the English language. “For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5). The fifty-seven accomplished linguists had authority from the King of England to modify, enhance, and extend the English language in order to accommodate their translation task. They wisely chose not to transliterate the Greek word, Paraclete (paraklatoV ), and critical modernist striving for an ecumenical bible are ill-advised to reverse that decision.
The linguists translating the Authorized Bible chose to stretch the envelope of a current English word around the Greek word that Christ used for the coming Holy Spirit of God. Again, this is not unprecedented. The Greek word εκκλησια (ekklesia) might have been transliterated, but instead the English word “Church” meaning “the Lord's house,” was taken and stretched to mean “the called out and assembled together body of believers belonging to Christ.” There can be latent confusion in stretching a word's envelope; some people still think Church has something to do with a building.
Rather than second-guess the fifty-seven linguists, it is better to comprehend and cooperate with their intent. The translation “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter (paraklatoV ), that he may abide with you for ever;” uses the best English word available, but the envelope of that word needs to be extended enough to realize that “comforting” must needs be multifaceted. There is the act of consoling in the word, but there is also the act of identifying with our best interest, the act of becoming our representative, the act of leading us along, and the act of going with us hand-in-hand. The word chosen here, “comforter,” is not restrictive of any of these functions, and each of these functions is carefully explained in the context of its use.
The Authorized Bible's English has become the platform where an English reader with no Greek learning could rightly extend the envelope of this word because of the functionality of its context. “But the Comforter ( paraklatoV ), which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26). And again, “But when the Comforter ( paraklatoV ) is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me”(15:26). The Greek scholars give themselves far too much credit for interpreting the word “Paraclete” for us when, the role of the “Comforter” is perfectly captured in the context which Christ gives. The entire role of the Holy Ghost is not captured in the word “Comforter,” neither is it intended to be. It is, however, captured in the Holy Scriptures, as it is intended to be.
There are many Greek and Hebrew words that have levels of understanding and depth of meaning that cannot be contained in one English word. The fine art of translation involves capturing those words in an English equivalent. This word, “Comforter” has captured this Greek word “Parakletos,” ( paraklatoV ) with the best English word for this context. Ecumenical marketers of copyright bibles must set aside their integrity to attack its use.
With this much of a defense against the critics of Holy Scriptures, let us examine more fully the doctrine to the Holy Ghost. Such a defined Biblical doctrine needs to be the foundation for the furtherance of pneumatology.
Dr. Mark G. Cambron (1911-2000) rapidly became a foremost theologian after his salvation in a Billy Sunday campaign in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1919. He served from 1948 – 1959 as theology professor and dean at Tennessee Temple College. From 1962 – 1977 he was co-founder and president of Florida Bible College, but during his tenure at Tennessee Temple he published his 300 page “Bible Doctrines, Beliefs That Matter”10. His strong stance on the Bible as the infallible, inerrant, verbally inspired Word of God, and its use as the sole authority for all doctrine, causes that Dr. Cambron's work is used without revision in this section of pneumatology. On this subject the basic doctrine is again best examined from Dr. Cambron's Bible Doctrines book. It is given in the block quote below:[block quote of Dr. Cambron's Bible Doctrines (Zondervan) 117-151, (TheCambronInstitute.org) 89-113] Dr. Cambron writes:
Pneumatology - The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit 88
(The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit) 89
OUTLINE FOR CHAPTER III
I. The Personality of the Holy Spirit.
A. Personal Property.
B. Personal Pronouns.
C. Personal Acts.
D. Personal Reactions.
E. Personal Relationships.
F. Personal Designations.
II. The Deity of the Holy Spirit.
A. He Is Identified as the Old Testament Deity.
B. He Is Called God.
C. He Possesses Divine Attributes.
D. He Performs the Works of God.
E. He Exercises the Sovereignty of God.
F. He Is to Be Recognized as God.
G. He Is to Be Depended Upon as God.
H. He, God, Can Be Sinned Against.
III. The Work of the Holy Spirit.
A. As Set Forth in the Old Testament.
B. As Set Forth in the New Testament.
Pneumatology is derived from the Greek word pneuma, meaning spirit, wind, or breath. Thus, pneumatology is the doctrine of the Spirit, or breath of God: the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
The doctrine of the Holy Spirit is indeed a Bible doctrine. The Bible is the only source from whence we can secure any information concerning Him. The Christian religion alone has the Holy Spirit.
As we study the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, let us keep in mind that Christ is the center of the Book, the theme of the entire secret writings. If we put someone in His place, confusion will result. The Holy Spirit cannot displace the Son of God. The Holy Spirit did not come to speak of (or from) Himself, but of Christ. One who speaks continually about the Spirit and omits the Son shows evidence that he really does not have the Spirit.
Here is one word of caution: Do not call the Holy Spirit “It.” We sometimes confuse personality with visibility. Personality is not an attribute of a body; it is the attribute of a spirit. You yourself have never been seen; you are not a body, but a spirit having a body.
A. Personal Property.
1. He Possesses Intelligence. “To one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit” (I Cor. 12:8). See also Isaiah 11:2, 3; Nehemiah 9:20; I Peter 1:11; II Peter 1:21; I Corinthians 2:10, 11.
2. He Possesses a Will. “All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (I Cor. 12:11).
3. He Possesses Power. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. . . . through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ” (Rom. 15:13, 19). See also Zechariah 4:6; Isaiah 11:2; Ephesians 3:16.
4. He Possesses Knowledge. “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (I Cor. 2:10-12).
5. He Possesses Love. “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Rom. 15:30).
B. Personal Pronouns.
The personal name of the Holy Spirit is unknown. The title “Holy Spirit” is a designation — what He is; it is not His name. The silence of the Scriptures concerning His personal name is very significant. He withholds His own name, that the name of the Lord Jesus Christ may he exalted. The title “Holy Spirit” is a neuter noun in the Greek, but whenever a pronoun is in its place, the pronoun used is always masculine. “I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. . . . But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:16, 17, 26). See also John 16:7, 8, 13-15; Romans 8:16, 26, R.V.11
C. Personal Acts.
Why do we act like human beings? Because we are human. Why does the Holy Spirit act like a person? Because He is a person.
1. He Speaks. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2).
2. He Intercedes. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Rom. 8:26).
3. He Testifies. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).
4. He Commands. “Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not” (Acts 16:6, 7). [pg92]
5. He Oversees. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).
6. He Guides. “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:13).
7. He Teaches. “The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
D. Personal Reactions.
Acts can he committed against the Spirit that can only be committed against a person. The Holy Spirit has feelings.
1. He May Be Grieved. “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
2. He May Be Vexed. “They rebelled, and vexed his Holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them” (Is. 63:10).
3. He May Be Tested. “Then Peter said unto her, how is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out” (Acts 5:9).
4. He May Be Resisted. “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcized in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51).
5. He May Be Blasphemed. “He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: because they said, He hath an unclean spirit” (Mark 3:29, 30).
E. Personal Relationships.
1. With the Father. “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19).
2. With Christ. “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:14).
3. With the Christians. “It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things” (Acts 15:28). [pg93]
F. Personal Designations.
1. The Name Paraclete. This is the Greek word meaning Comforter: one who is called to help. “When the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” (John 15:26).
2. Other Specifications.
a. Spirit of Promise. “After that ye believed [in Christ], ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).
b. Spirit of Might. “The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, and the spirit of wisdom and understanding. the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD” (Is. 11:2).
c. Spirit of Truth. “He shall give you another Comforter... even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16, 17).
He is a divine person. He is God! He is co-equal, co-eternal, co-existent with the Father and the Son. However, He is designated as the third person of the Trinity. In our own lives, there may be persons who are equal in station, but in position they are subordinate to others. It is the same with the Holy Spirit. As a Being, He is equal with the Father and the Son, but in position He is subordinate to the Father and gives precedence to the Son. Take note: there is no jealousy in the Godhead!
A. He Is Identified as the Old Testament Deity.
Jesus of the New Testament is Jehovah of the Old Testament; the Holy Spirit of the New Testament is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. “This shall be the covenant that I shall make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Jer. 31:33). “By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them” (Heb. 10:14, 15, 16).
B. He Is Called God.
1. In Acts 5:3, 4. “Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” Ananias and Sapphira died instantly for lying unto the Holy Spirit. They lied in the time of consecration. They were not struck dead because of withholding their money, but because they claimed to have given it all. They lied unto the Church, thus to the Holy Ghost. [pg94]
2. In I Corinthians 3:16. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.” We are the temple of God because the Spirit dwells within.
3. In II Corinthians 3:17, R.V.12 “Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
C. He Possesses Divine Attributes.
1. Omnipotence. “The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).
2. Omniscience. “The Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10). See also Luke 2:25-32.
3. Omnipresence. “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me” (Ps. 139:7-10).
4. Everlastingness. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14).
5. Love. “Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me” (Rom. 15:30).
6. Holiness. “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30).
D. He Performs the Works of God.
1. Creation. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. And 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” (Gen. 1:1,2). “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104:30). “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4).
2. Regeneration. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God . . . Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I say unto thee, ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell [pg95] whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:3,5-8).
3. Resurrection. “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11).
4. Transformation. “If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10).
5. Salvation. “Ye are washed . . . ye are sanctified ... ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (I Cor. 6:11).
E. He Exercises the Sovereignty of God.
“All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (I Cor. 12:11). See also Zechariah 4:6.
F. He Is to Be Recognized as God.
1. As Set Forth in the Great Commission. “Jesus came and spake unto them saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:18-20).
2. As Set Forth in the Apostolic Benediction. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (II Cor. 13:14).
3. As Set Forth by Scriptural Designation. “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev. 3:22).
4. As Set Forth in the Church’s Administration. “Now there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all” (I Cor. 12:4-6).
G. He Is to Be Depended Upon as God.
“When they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost” (Mark 13:11). See also Romans 8:26. [pg96]
H. He, God, Can Be Sinned Against.
“Peter said, Ananias, why hast Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While it remained was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God” (Acts 5:3, 4).
A. As Set Forth in the Old Testament.
Someone has said that the Holy Spirit is mentioned eighty- eight times in the Old Testament. However, the teaching of the Holy Spirit is not as clear in the Old Testament as it is in the New.
1. His Manifestations.
a. As Coming Upon Men. “Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel abiding in his tents according to their tribes; and the spirit of God came upon him” (Num. 24:2). “Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon” (Judg. 11:29). See also Judges 3:10; 14:6.
b. As Clothing Men. “The Spirit of Jehovah came upon [Hebrew — clothed itself with] Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him” (Judg. 6:34). See also II Chronicles 24:20.
c. As Poured Out Upon Men. “Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers . . . until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest” (Is. 32: 13, 15).
d. As Filling Men. “I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Ex. 31:3). See also Micah 3:8.
e. As Resting Upon Men. “The LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that when the spirit rested upon them they prophesied, and did not cease” (Num. 11:25). See also Numbers 11:26; Isaiah 11:2.
The Holy Spirit is never represented as indwelling the believer. The Holy Spirit filled them, but never took his abode within them.
No Old Testament saint was ever baptized with the Holy Ghost. That initial baptism came at Pentecost, fifty days after Christ arose from the dead.
2. His Ministration.
a. In Relation to Creation.
(a) Of Heavens and Earth. “By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathered the waters of the sea [pg97] together as an heap: he layeth up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast” (Ps. 33:6-9). See also Job 26:13.
(b) Of Animals. “O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. . . . Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps. 104: 24, 30).
(c) Of Man. “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the almighty hath given me life” (Job 33:4). See also Genesis 1:26, 27; 2:7.
(a) Of the Fallen Earth. “The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2b)13.
(b) Of Fallen Man. “Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood upon their feet, an exceeding great army” (Ezek. 37:9, 10). See also Isaiah 55:3.
a. “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth” (Ps.104:30).
b. In Relation to Satan. From the beginning the Holy Spirit has been the antagonizer of Satan. “The LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years” (Gen. 6:3).
c. In Relation to Israel.
(1) Her Fathers (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob etc.). “Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” (Gen. 41:38).
(2) Her Founders (Moses and his helpers). “The LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone” (Num.11:16, 17). See also Numbers 27:18, 19; Deuteronomy 34:9; Nehemiah 9:20.
(3) Her Judges. “The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war” (Judg. 3: l0a).
(4) Her Kings. Saul: “The Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly” (I Sam.11:6). See also I Samuel 6:14 — an evil spirit was sent by God as judgment upon Saul.
David: “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah” (I Sam.16:1:3). See also Psalms 51:11, 12; 143:10.
(5) Her Priests. “The Spirit of God came upon Zechariah the son of Jehoiada the priest, which stood above the people” (II Chron. 24:20a).
(6) Her Prophets. “Yea, they made their heart as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts” (Zech. 7:12). See also Nehemiah 9:30; Ezekiel 2:2; Daniel 5:1-14; Micah 3:8. [pg98]
(7) Her Sanctuary.
(a) The Tabernacle. Nothing was left to human wisdom; it was not made by the natural ability of man. “He hath filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship” (Ex. 35:31). See also Exodus 28:3; 31:1-5.
(b) The Temple, “Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things” (I Chron. 28:11, 12).
d. In Relation to Messiah. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn” (Is. 61:1, 2). See also Isaiah 11:2.
e. In Relation to the Millennium. “It shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants, and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” (Joel 2:28, 29). “Afterward” means after Israel’s restoration. See also Ezekiel 36:25-28 37:14.
f. In Relation to Inspiration. “Now these be the last words of David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweet psalmist of Israel, said, The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue” (II Sam. 23:1, 2). See also Numbers 24:2; Acts 1:16; 4:25; I Peter 1:10-12; II Peter 1:21; II Timothy 3:16, 17.
B. As Set Forth in the New Testament.
1. The Holy Spirit and Christ.
a. Reference to His Work in the Old Dispensation.
(1) In Preaching. “Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water” (I Peter 3:18- 20), This passage of Scripture has been used by several cults, which teach that God gives man a second chance beyond death. They interpret this portion of the Word as follows: Christ, between His crucifixion and resurrection, went to Hades and offered salvation to the wicked dead. If they believed in Him then, they were saved.
We know that the above theory is not true, for, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). No second chance here. The correct interpretation is that Christ, by the Holy Spirit in Noah, preached the Gospel to the people, warning them of world judgment. They refused the message; they died in the flood; thus, their spirits are now in prison, waiting for the last resurrection. [pg99]
(2) In Prophecy. “The prophets have searched diligently . . . 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” (I Peter1:10, 11).
(3) In Type. The Tabernacle is a type of Christ. Everything about it reveals the Saviour, And it was the Holy Spirit who endowed men to build the Tabernacle. “See, I have called by name Bezaleel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah: and I have filled him with the spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship. And I, behold, I have given with him Aholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan: and in the hearts of all that are wisehearted I have put wisdom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee” (Ex. 31:2-6).
b. Reference to His Work in His Earthly Manifestation.
(1) The Birth of Christ. “The angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35). Never in Scripture do we find that Jesus is declared to be the Son of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit produced the body, sinless; “a body hast thou prepared me” (Heb. 10:5c), not the Person.
(2) The Baptism of Christ. “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased” (Luke 3:21, 22). See also Mark 1:10, 11; John 1:32, 34.
(3) The Testing of Christ. “Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil” (Luke 4:1, 2a). See also Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:12.
(4) The Anointing of Christ. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). See also Luke 4:16-21.
(5) The Teaching of Christ. “He whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for he giveth not the Spirit by measure” (John 3:34, R.V.14).
(6) The Miracles of Christ. “If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you” (Matt. 12:28).
(7) The Life of Christ. “Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” (Luke 4:1). See also Luke 10:21, R.V.15; Hebrews 9:14.
(8) The Death of Christ. “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Heb. 9:14).
(9) The Resurrection of Christ. “If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you” (Rom. 8:11).
(10) The Pre-ascension Commands of Christ. Luke tells us that in his Gospel he wrote “of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles [pg100] whom he had chosen” (Acts 1:1,2). See also Acts 1:8.
c. Reference to His Work During This Dispensation.
(1) He Glorifies Christ. “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you” (John 16:14).
(2) He Witnesses to Christ. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him” (Acts 5:30-32).
(3) He Enthrones Christ. “I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the Holy Ghost” (I Cor. 12:3).
2. The Holy Spirit and the World.
a. Conviction. “When he is come, he will reprove [convict] the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more: of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged” (John 16:8-11).
(1) Of Sin. It is not the business of the Holy Spirit to convict the world of murder, adultery, etc; the law of the land does this. The Holy Spirit convicts the world of unbelief: “because they believe not on me” (John 16:9). Many times we get the word “convict” confused by thinking that it means to feel guilty; but that is not the meaning at all. “Convict” means to be found guilty as charged. The sinner has already been found guilty of sin — unbelief — whether he feels it or not. Yes, the sinner is already convicted, condemned, and waiting to be sentenced. “He that believeth on him is not condemned; but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. . . . the wrath of God abideth upon him” (John 3:18, 36c). The Great White Throne is not the place to determine the guilt of the sinner (to convict him as a sinner), but the place to sentence him to the degree of punishment which his works merit.
(2) Of Righteousness. In what manner does the Spirit convict the world of righteousness? The Holy Spirit does not convict the world of the righteousness it has, but convicts the world where righteousness is — in Christ: “because I go to my Father” (John 16:10).
(3) Of Judgment. If the world rejects Christ, there is nothing left but judgment. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The world’s conception of future judgment is confusing. Man has one false idea after another. Yet these universal beliefs, however wrong they may be, are proof positive that there is a time when man must give an account of himself unto God. The Bible is the only true source of the Great White Throne judgment.
b. Regeneration. “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Cor. 5:17). See also John 3:5. Man may lower the bars, thinking he can become a child of God another way, but God does not. He still requires that you must be born again. [pg101]
c. Hindrances of Evil. “The mystery of iniquity does already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way” (II Thess. 2:7). Lawless-ness will one of these days be headed up in one man, the Antichrist. There is a Person in the world who keeps sin from taking full sway even today; and that person is the Holy Spirit. During the Great Tribulation, when the Antichrist is revealed, the Holy Spirit shall step aside, taking His constraining hand off of sinful man, allowing him to plunge unto the depths of degradation.
3. The Holy Spirit and the Church. See Ephesians 1:22, 23; 2:12-16; 3:4-16.
a. The Holy Spirit Constitutes the Church. The Spirit’s baptism is the operation by which the Church is constituted. “By one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, and have been all made to drink into one spirit” (I Cor. 12:13).
There are seven references to the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Five are prophetic (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5); one historic (Acts 11:16); and one didactic (I Cor. 12:13). In the five prophetic Scriptures, we find that two speak of the baptism of the Spirit, and of fire. The baptism of the Spirit, and of fire, are not the same. The baptism of the Spirit speaks of the formation of the Church, while baptism of fire speaks of judgment. Matthew 3:11 and Luke 3:16 are those passages which speak of the baptism of fire. It was in these Scriptures that Christ was addressing His messages to saved people and to “vipers” (unbelievers). Mark’s and John’s accounts include no “baptism of fire,” for they are not addressed to “vipers.”
All five prophetic portions point to the future; the one historic passage looks back; therefore, the baptism of the Spirit comes in between the two. This is Pentecost.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit was not that enduement of power which enabled the apostles to do miracles, for they performed miracles before they were baptized with the Spirit. The Church is an organism, not an organization, and the baptism of the Spirit is that act of God which unites believers into that organism. Whenever the words “baptism of the Spirit” are used, they are always applied collectively, to a group, never to an individual. When were “we” and the Corinthians (I Cor. 12:13) baptized with the Spirit? At Pentecost, once and for all. When one receives Christ, he is sealed in Christ with the Spirit. “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13). He receives the baptism of the Spirit at the same time also.
As far as God is concerned, there is only one Calvary, and there is only one Pentecost. The sinner, however, must appropriate Calvary by faith, and he must acknowledge Pentecost by faith, to make both a reality to his own soul. This takes place immediately upon his acceptance of Christ as his Lord and Saviour.
We would like to give an explanation of the following verse, inasmuch as many use it for the above argument: “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph. 4:5). This does not speak of the Spirit’s baptism, but of water baptism. The preceding verse explains the Spirit’s [pg102] baptism: “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling” (Eph. 4:4). That one body is constituted by the baptism of the Spirit.
Pentecost always came fifty days after the Feast of Firstfruits. The Feast of Firstfruits was a type of the resurrection of Christ. The second chapter of Acts records the account of the hundred and twenty disciples in the upper room waiting for the fifty days to expire. The Holy Spirit did not come in answer to their prayer, for all of their prayers and fasting would not have hastened His coming. He came on time. It is inconceivable to think of the Spirit coming forty-nine, or even fifty-one days after His resurrection. He came on time — fifty days after the resurrection.
The Holy Spirit would have come had they not prayed. They would have been baptized and indwelt by the Spirit had they not prayed, but they would not have received power; they would not have been filled with the Spirit had they not prayed. More will be said about the filling of the Spirit later.
The Feast of Passover was fulfilled at Calvary. Christ will never die again. The Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled by the baptism of the Spirit, and there will be no more Pentecost. There will never be a re-fulfillment of the Passover Lamb, and there will never be a refulfillment of Pentecost.
The original Feast of Pentecost was also known as the Feast of Weeks, when the harvest was gathered. In Leviticus 23:22 we read: “When ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not make clean riddance of the corners of thy fields when thou reapest, neither shalt thou gather any gleaning of thy harvest: thou shalt leave them unto the poor, and to the stranger: I am the LORD your God.” Thus, we see that the harvest was for three classes:
1. Israel in General.
2. The Poor.
All three received blessings of the harvest. The baptism of the Spirit, which was the fulfillment of the Feast of Harvest (Weeks), was for three classes of people: 1. Israel. At Jerusalem (Acts 2:37, 39).
2. Samaritans (the Poor). At Samaria (Acts 8:9-17).
3. Gentiles (Strangers). At Caesarea (Acts 10:34-44).
The following is the process by which the above three classes received the Holy Spirit:
1. The Jews at Jerusalem.
(a) By faith in Christ.
(b) Then by water baptism.
(c) And then by receiving the Holy Spirit. [pg103]
2. The Samaritans at Samaria.
(a) By faith in Christ.
(b) Then by water baptism.
(c) Then by laying on of hands.
(d) Then by receiving the Holy Spirit.
3. The Gentiles at Caesarea.
(a) By faith in Christ.
(b) Then by receiving the Holy Spirit.
(c) Then by water baptism.
There were two operations of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost. They must not be confused. The two operations were the “baptism” and the “filling.” The believers were baptized with the Spirit at Pentecost, although the word “baptism” cannot be found in Acts 2. We know that the baptism occurred then, because of the words spoken by the Lord Jesus only a short time before His ascension. “John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:5).
There are some who believe that speaking in tongues was a sign of the baptism of the Spirit, but if you look closely, you will notice that they spoke in tongues because they were filled with the Spirit. No one was converted while tongues were spoken on the day of Pentecost, but three thousand were saved when Peter preached. Peter declared, “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy” (Acts 2:16-18). “This is that.” What? The event? The speaking in tongues? No. “This” is a quotation from Joel, and I am quoting him. Peter was giving Joel as an example, for He, God, who will bring to pass those things which Joel has prophesied, has caused these things to happen which you have witnessed.
b. The Spirit Abides in the Church. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (I Cor. 3:16).
c. The Spirit Builds the Church. “Ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:22).
d. The Spirit Administers the Church.
(1) He Appoints the Officers. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). See also Acts 6:3, 5, 10.
(2) He Directs the Work. “As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). See also Acts 29; 10:19; 16:7. [pg104]
4. The Holy Spirit and the Christian.
a. Beginning in the Spirit. “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:1-3).
We become Christians by the operation of God alone. A new life is imparted by the Holy Spirit. It is a new birth: “Ye must be born again. . . . That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:7, 6). God has never fellowshipped with unregenerated men in any dispensation until man received a new nature from Him.
b. Indwelling of the Spirit. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own” (I Cor. 6:19). What assurance does the Christian have of the Spirit’s indwelling? By feeling? By some great ecstasy? No — by the Word of God! The Spirit indwells the believer when he acts upon what Christ has done, when he accepts Christ Jesus by faith. The proof of His indwelling is not based upon feeling, for one’s feelings may change from one day to another. Christ’s work upon Calvary never changes.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not glorified.)” (John 7:37-39). This portion of God’s Word plainly states that the disciples had not as yet received the Holy Spirit, but would in the future — and they did so at Pentecost. Another passage reveals that they were not as yet indwelt by the Spirit until Pentecost: “For he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14: 17c). Before Pentecost, the Spirit was with them; after Pentecost, the Spirit was in them. No believer is to pray as David did, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me” (Ps. 51:11), for David was not indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Christian is! “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9).
Still another Scripture which has confused the child of God is Luke 11 13: “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Spirit to them that ask Him?” Some propose that we must ask for the Spirit in order to have him; but remember, this was spoken before Pentecost.
We have no place in Scripture which says that one should ask for the Spirit after Pentecost. Would the Father have given the Spirit to the disciples before Pentecost if they had asked for Him? The Lord Jesus said He would, but the truth is, they did not ask for Him. [pg105]
The last Scripture we shall deal with concerning the indwelling of the Spirit is John 20:22: “And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Many say that at this time the disciples were indwelt by the Holy Spirit, instead of at Pentecost. We know, however, that they did not receive the Holy Spirit at that time, for they were commanded that “they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:4, 5). Now, if they had already received the Holy Ghost, why were they to wait to receive him?
c. Sealing of the Holy Spirit. ‘In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).
“Sealing” is used many times in Scripture.
(1) The Sealer. The Sealer is God the Father. “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Cor. 1:21, 22).
(2) The Sealed. There are two who are sealed by the Father — the Son and believers. “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give you: for him hath God the Father sealed” (John 6:27). “Grieve not the holy Spirit, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). The Son was sealed because of who He is. We are sealed because of Jesus and our position in Him. The time of the believer’s sealing is when he accepts Christ as his Saviour: “In whom, having also believed ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13, R.V.16).
(3) The Seal. The Holy Spirit Himself is the seal. The seal is not secured through some emotional experience, but through belief in Christ: “In whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13, R.V,).
(a) The Seal Signifies Ownership. If we are sealed we have the ownership seal of God upon us. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity (II Tim. 2:19).
(b) The Seal Signifies Identification. It is our identification for the future. “In whom [Christ] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory” (Eph. 1:13, 14).
(c) The Seal Signifies Security. In Revelation 7:4-8 there are 144,000 sealed. Satan is sealed in the bottomless pit during the Millennium, (Rev. 20:3). The Book of Revelation has seven seals that no man can open (Rev. 6-8). We, the believers, are sealed unto the time of our redemption (Eph. 1:13, 14).
(d) The Seal Signifies a Finished Transaction. “I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances” (Jer. 32: 10). The seal of the Holy Spirit is that legal evidence which testifies to the fact that we have entered into the finished work of Christ. [pg106]
(e) The Seal Signifies Genuineness. “He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also” (Rom. 4:11). See also Esther 3:12.
(f) The Seal Signifies Unchangeableness. “Write ye also for the Jews, as it liketh you, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse” (Esth. 8:8).
(g) The Seal Signifies Value. “Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?” (Deut. 32:34).
(h) The Seal Signifies Impression. The seal always left its impression in the wax. If we are sealed with the Spirit, His impression should be on us. “It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment” (Job 38:14). “Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistles of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshly tables of the heart” (II Cor. 3:3).
d. The Earnest of the Spirit. “[God] hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Cor. 1:22). See also II Corinthians 5:5; Ephesians 1:13, 14.
“Earnest” is an emblem which speaks of the future. It is a part payment of that which will be paid in full at a future date. When earnest money is paid on a piece of property, both parties are bound. When God bestows His Earnest on us, He is bound for all time and eternity. The Holy Spirit is God’s Earnest, God’s down payment of our salvation. The believer has not all things as yet which he is to receive. There is more to follow. Indeed, this does stagger the imagination. If the Holy Spirit is only part of what we are to receive, and He is God, and God is everything, what will the rest be?
If earnest money has been placed upon a piece of property, and the purchaser should fail to complete the transaction, he will have lost his earnest money. God has given us His Earnest, the Holy Spirit. Should He fail to complete our salvation, He will have lost His Earnest; but we know this is impossible. Thus, it is a guarantee of our eternal salvation.
(1) Illustrations of Earnest.
(a) The Presents to Rebecca (Gen. 24). These presents were the earnest of what was to follow.
(b) The Fruit of Canaan (Num. 13). The fruit was the earnest of that which was promised, a foretaste of their inheritance which was to come.
(c) The Gifts of Boaz (Ruth 2). The handfuls of grain left for Ruth, and only for Ruth, were just an earnest of what Boaz had to offer in marriage.
(d) The First fruit (Lev. 23). This wave offering to God was man’s earnest that one tenth of his harvest was yet to go to God.
(2) Giver of the Earnest. God is the Giver! “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ and hath anointed us, is God; who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Cor.1:21,22).
(3) Description of the Earnest. The Holy Spirit is the earnest: “The earnest of the Spirit” (II Cor. 1:22b).
(4) The Place of the Earnest. That place is our hearts: “The earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (II Cor.1:22b). [pg107]
(5) Guarantee of the Earnest.
(a) Guarantees Our Resurrection. “Not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body” (Rom. 8:2.3).
(b) Guarantees Our Inheritance. “If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:17).
(c) Guarantees Our Glory. “We are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ” (lI Thess. 2:13, 14).
e. Filling With the Spirit. “They were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). “When they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31). “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18).
The filling of the Spirit has to do with the life and work of the Christian, by which he is empowered to do that which is commanded by the Lord.
(1) What? There are many opinions as to the meaning of the “filling” of the Spirit. Some say it happens when a person is born again. The believer does receive the Holy Spirit at conversion but this is not the filling of the Spirit; it is the regeneration of the Spirit (Titus 3:5). Others propose that the “filling of the Spirit is that experience by which [the believer] receives the Holy Spirit sometimes later after he is saved.” However, the Word declares that all believers have received the Holy Spirit: “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9).
The “filling” of the Spirit may be confusing to many because of that word “filling.” They think of a material filling, as a vessel being filled with water. The Spirit, however, is not a material thing, but a Person. It is true that a half-empty vessel can be filled with more water, but it is impossible for the believer, who has the Spirit, to get more of Him. One cannot get more of God, but God can get more of him.
Now the believer already has the Spirit, yet he is told to be “filled” with Him. The believer is indwelt by the Spirit; he is sealed with the Spirit; he is baptized with (in) the Spirit, and he is regenerated by the Spirit; and still he is commanded to be “filled” with the Spirit. What is the “filling’ of the Spirit? A better word or thought for “filling” is “controlled by” the Spirit. Thus, the Christian is admonished to be controlled by, to be possessed by, to be dominated by the Spirit. We know the full meaning now of the expression, “It is not how much of the Holy Spirit one has, but how much of one the Holy Spirit has.”
(2) How? Is this experience secured through seeking, and through prayer? There is no passage in the Word where a person ever prayed for the “filling” of the Spirit and received it. It is all brought about by yieldedness to the Lord. When we are yielded to him, our wills die, and His will is the will for our lives; our ambitions fall as ashes at our [pg108] feet. Some may ask, “What is ‘yieldedness’”? It is that act of the believer which places himself upon God’s altar: “Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour” (Eph. 5:2). The sweet-smelling savour offering spoken of here is the continual burnt offering: that offering which never lacked a sacrificial lamb, for when one was consumed, another was put in its place immediately — one in the morning and one at night. This was the only way it could be a continuous offering. This burnt offering was never instituted as a sin offering, but rather as a praise offering. The Christian is beseeched to give himself as a living sacrifice, a continual burnt offering, showing forth the praises of Him who hath called him out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9).
(3) When? When does the Spirit take over? When does He control the believer?
Just as soon as the believer yields — completely yields!
Are there a certain number of steps one must take in order to become yielded? No. What are the requirements, then, for yieldedness? A complete subjection to the will of God! For some it may take death to self; others, obedience to God’s call; still others, the forsaking of known sin, etc. Whatever it may take to become yielded to the will of God — that is the requirement!
(4) Why? Should the believer ever ask this question? Is there a need for the “filling” of the Spirit? We answer “yes” to both of these questions. Some Christians do not understand that there is such a thing as the “filling” of the Spirit, and therefore they are powerless. In addition to God’s command to be “filled” with the Spirit, we realize that this “filling” is mandatory for power in service and in life — not for selfish gain, but for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and the winning of the lost to him.
(5) What Then? A survey of those who have been truly “filled” with the Spirit reveals these results:
(a) They Will Reproduce Christ.
(b) They Will Convict the World.
(c) They Will Love the Word.
(d) They Will Be Filled With Power.
(e) They Will Be Full of Life. [pg109]
Contrast of Baptism With Filling
Baptism of the Spirit
Filling of the Spirit
1. Has to do with the body.
1. Has to do with the individual.
2. Baptism is external.
2. Filling is internal
3. Every believer is baptized with the Spirit
3. A believer may or may not be filled with the Spirit.
4. No believer is ever exhorted to be baptized with the Spirit.
4. All believers are exhorted to be filled with the Spirit.
5. An initial work at the time of salvation.
5. One may be filled years after the time of salvation.
6. The believer is baptized but once.
6. The believer may be filled many times.
7. No believer was ever baptized before Pentecost. Baptism puts the believers into the Body.
7. Some believers were filled before Pentecost. Filling is essential for service.
f. The Fruits of the Spirit. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Gal. 5:22, 23). The fruit of the Spirit is true Christian character. You will notice that the word “fruit” is singular. One has presented this portion of Scripture in this manner: “The fruit of the Spirit is love: joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
The life of our Lord is the greatest example of the fruit of the Spirit. Fruit always comes from the life within. When at Christmas time we see apples and oranges on Christmas trees, we know they have been tied on. You do not have to tie apples on apple trees; they grow there naturally. There are many social religions that are figuratively tying apples and oranges on Christmas trees. They pretend to bear fruit, but there is no life within, for they have not the Spirit; therefore, they have only the form of godliness and deny the power thereof. An apple tree does not work to produce apples; it simply yields. The same with the Christian. He does not bear the fruit of the Spirit by his own labor, but simply by yieldedness.
(1) Fruit in Relation to the Individual. Love; joy; peace.
(2) Fruit in Relation to Men. Longsuffering; gentleness; goodness.
(3) Fruit in Relation to God. Faith; meekness; temperance. [pg110]
g. Walking in the Spirit. “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). Another way of saying it is: “By the Spirit be walking.” The Spirit will do the walking. An old example is the suit of clothes: the person inside the suit does the walking. The responsibility of the suit is just to hang on. We should not have a will of our own, but like the suit, just hang on. Wherever the Spirit goes, we go. The will of the Spirit is our will.
h. Renewing of the Spirit. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5).
This refers to a daily enduement of the Spirit to live a victorious Christian life. We never come to the time of self-sufficiency.
i. Strengthening of the Spirit. Paul prays that God might grant the Ephesians, “according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16). The saints have attested to the truth of this Scripture.
j. Sowing to the Spirit. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption, but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Gal. 6:7, 8). This passage is not written to the unsaved, but to Christians. The Christian can sow to the flesh, that is, live in sin; however, reaping time will come.
k. Leading of the Spirit. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14). Some interpret this to mean that “those who ask the Spirit for advice in their decisions of life are thus assured they are the sons of God.” Now it is a blessing to ask and receive of the Holy Spirit His will in our decisions, but this is not what this Scripture refers to. The leading of the Spirit has reference to His guidance of Christians on the way to glory.
Though sorrow befall us and Satan oppose,
God leads His dear children along.
Through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes,
God leads His dear children along.
Some through the waters, some through the flood,
Some through the fire, but all through the blood.
Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song,
In the night season, and all the day long.
1. Sanctification of the Spirit. “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied” (I Peter 1:2).
m. The Supply of the Spirit. “I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:19).
n. The Gifts of the Spirit. [pg111]
(1) As to the Enumeration of the Gifts. “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant...For to one is 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: to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will” (I Cor. 12:1, 8-11).
(2) As to the Bestowing of the Gifts. The first thing we would like to point out is that the gifts are not given to man because of his desires and prayers, but according to the will of the Spirit: dividing to every man severally as he will.” The next thing we would call attention to is that gifts were given in order to substantiate the claims of Christ and His disciples, that Jesus Christ was truly the Son of God, and that the old dispensation of Law was at an end, and that the dispensation of Grace had begun. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation: which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?” (Heb.2:3, 4). Certainly there was a need for God to verify this new teaching which was begun by the Lord Himself inasmuch as the people had been under the traditions of the law for over fourteen hundred years, and thus it was hard for them to realize that God had done away with the Old Covenant and had established the New. Also, there were no New Testament Books yet written. Lastly, we emphasize the fact that no one believer receives every one of the gifts. “God hath set some in the Church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?” (I Cor. 12:28-30) The answer is no.
(3) As to Utilization of the Gifts. How were these gifts to be used? The thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians plainly declares they should be motivated by love. Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, states that if he had all the gifts, and had not love, he would be nothing; his life would be fruitless, and his rewards nil.
Some may ask, “Is the gift of tongues for today?” “Doesn’t the Bible say, ‘Forbid not to speak with tongues’?” This subject will be dealt with more fully in the next section; however, something may be said about it here.
First Corinthians 14:39 does clearly state: “Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.” But if chapter 14 is to be used as permission to speak with tongues, then they who speak in tongues must be governed by this same chapter as to their use of this gift. Should a person, then, be allowed to speak in tongues in a church service? Certainly, if it is done according to 1 Corinthians 14. “If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there is no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God” (I Cor. 14:27, 28). Whenever the gift of tongues is employed, only two or at the most, three, can speak at one service. This rule would eliminate much of the so-called tongue movement of today. Next in order is that the speaking shall be “by course” — one at a time. This would eliminate even more tongue [pg112] movement, for sometimes scores, and even hundreds are upon the floor at the same time. Then the Scriptures say that if there is no interpreter, let there be no talking in tongues whatsoever. More would be eliminated if this were followed. Finally, “Let your women keep silence in the church” (I Cor. 14:34). This practically puts to an end all tongue movement, for the majority of those participating are women.
Many will rebel at the quoted passage, saying that it does not mean “tongues.” If this does not mean “tongues,” it refers to everything, including tongues, when it says for the women to keep silent in the churches. This, however, has reference only to tongues, for other portions of this same book of I Corinthians allow a woman to speak or pray in church. “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven” (I Cor. 11:5). “Prophesieth” means to “forth-tell”; thus, a woman is allowed to “forth-tell” the Word of God at Sunday school, upon the mission field, and in like places.
(4) As to the Withholding of the Gifts. Can it be possible that God withholds many of the gifts from the believers of today, which He gave at the first? Not only possible, but a certainty. In chapter 13 of I Corinthians, the Holy Spirit states, “Charity [love] never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away” (verses 8-10). Remember, I Corinthians 13 is speaking about “gifts” of the Spirit, and when it says prophecies shall fail, it does not mean that some of the prophecies foretold by men of God, as recorded in the Bible, will fail to be fulfilled. It means that the gift of prophecy will one day be withheld. When it says that “tongues shall cease,” it does not mean that some time in the future all tongues will be silenced, but that the gift of the tongues will be withheld. And when it says that “knowledge shall vanish away,” it does not mean that there will be a time when knowledge will not be in existence, but that the gift of knowledge will be withheld. When will the gifts of prophecy, tongues and knowledge be withheld? When “that which is perfect is come.” This is not speaking of Christ’s second coming, but rather of when the full revelation of God’s Word is given. Have we the full revelation of God today? Yes, when the apostle John wrote, “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen” (Rev. 22:21), God’s full revelation was completed — that which was perfect had come. Therefore, since we have the full revelation, the gifts of prophecy, tongues, and knowledge have vanished away; they have been withheld. They are not for today.
Turning to Ephesians 4:11 we read, “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers.” We note by this later revelation that no miraculous gifts are listed, as were listed in I Corinthians 12, 13 and 14. There is no need for the gifts of miracles anymore, because we have the full revelation of God. The child of God is blessed more by having the complete revelation of God than if he had all the miraculous gifts.
The claim is made by some that we need these gifts for signs of the “filling” of the Spirit. It is true that God gave these miraculous gifts for signs; not however, for the “filling” of the Spirit, but for the confirmation of Paul’s apostleship (II Cor. 12:12); of Paul’s [pg113] confirmation to the Gentiles (Rom. 15:18, 19); of the confirmation of salvation through Christ (Heb. 2:3, 4); of the confirmation of the Word (Mark 16:20). Do we need these gifts today to confirm the Word, the Gospel, and the Apostle Paul? Two thousand years of Church history has confirmed them.
(5) As to the Remainder of the Gifts. “Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love” (I Cor. 13:13). These three gifts are possessed by every Christian. He, being controlled by the Holy Spirit, is to utilize them.
o. Witness of the Spirit. “The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16, R.V.17).
The law states that in the mouth of two witnesses shall the truth be declared. Thus, we have the two witnesses who declare that we are the children of God. They are the Holy Spirit, and our spirit. How does the Holy Spirit bear witness to our salvation? Through the Word. How does our spirit bear witness? By feeling, or conscience? No. Feelings are deceiving. Our spirit bears witness by faith in God’s Word. God’s Word declares our salvation when we trust Christ; we believe it. Therefore, the Spirit bears witness “together with” our spirit.
p. As to the Unction of the Spirit. “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things...But the anointing which ye received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and in truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” (I John 2:20, 27).
The words “unction” and “anointing” are the same in the Greek. “Anointing” in the Scriptures, whether in the Old or New Testament, was for some service. Kings and priests were anointed for their special service. Christ was anointed (Acts 10:38). The very name “Christ” means “anointed one.” He was anointed Prophet (for the past); Priest (for the present); King (for the future). The believer in Christ receives his anointing for service when he is born again: “Ye have received.” The anointing of the Spirit is not for a favored few. All believers are anointed: “Ye have received.” The Spirit’s anointing is once and for all: “abideth in you.” There is no place in the Scriptures where one receives a fresh anointing. False religions may try to turn you away from Christ, to induce you away from your faith; but you, upon hearing their inducements, do not yield, because you have the unction of the Spirit. “And ye need not that any man teach you.”
q. As to Worship by the Spirit. “We are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God, and glory in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3, R.V.18).
The only worship accepted by God has to be inspired by the Spirit. One does not worship Him with hands, feet and lips, but by the Spirit through the hands, feet and lips.
r. As to Communion of the Spirit. “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen” (II Cor. 13:14). The word “communion” is better translated19 “fellowship; partnership.” Thus, “communion” means “participating, partaking, and sharing.” The Holy Spirit and Christians have one thing in common — Jesus Christ!
s. As to Praying in the Spirit. “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth [pg114] what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26, 27).
Is it wrong to pray to the Holy Spirit? There is no place in Scripture commanding us to do so, yet He is a member of the Godhead; when we pray to God, we pray to Him.
t. As to the Warfare of the Spirit. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).
u. As to the Teaching of the Spirit. “God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God” (I Cor. 2:10). The Holy Spirit reveals His Word to only born-again Christians, and not to those outside of the Body of Christ. Man without the Spirit of God cannot learn the truths of God.
5. The Holy Spirit and the Scriptures.
a. Inspiration. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (II Tim. 3:16a). The literal meaning of “inspiration” is “God-breathed.” No prophecy is of man’s own ingenuity. We believe in the verbal inspiration of the Word of God. The words, not merely the thoughts, are inspired, as given by God in the original20. Some may ask, “Did not God use human instruments?” Yes, but the use of human instruments did not lessen it as the Word of God. When you read the Pentateuch, you do not read the words of Moses, but you read the words of God. See I Corinthians 2:12, 13; 10:11; Romans 4:20-25; 15:4.
b. Enlightenment. The best way to study the Book is to know its author. The best interpreter of the Book is the writer, the Holy Spirit. Just as the Lord Jesus made known the Scriptures unto the disciples, so the Holy Spirit will do for us today (I Cor. 2:9-14).
6. The Holy Spirit and Sins.
a. Grieving the Spirit. “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). Grieve is a word that has to do with love. People who do not love you will never grieve over you. The Holy Spirit grieves over us; therefore, He must love us.
b. Lying to the Spirit. “Peter said, Ananias, why hast Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?” (Acts 5:3). Ananias lied to the Church, the temple of the Holy Ghost.
We, too, can lie to the Holy Spirit. We can sing a lie. Sometimes in an emotional meeting people dedicate their lives to definite Christian service, but shortly after they neglect this decision. This is lying to the Holy Ghost.
c. Quenching the Spirit. “Quench not the Spirit” (I Thess. 5:19). To “quench” means to “extinguish.” One can quench the gifts of the Spirit, and can quench the Spirit in others by forbidding them to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit (Num. 11:28, 29).
d. Resisting the Spirit. “Ye do always resist the Holy Ghost” (Acts 7:51b).
e. Insulting the Spirit. “Of how much sorer punishment...shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God . . . and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace” (Heb. 10:29).
f. Blaspheming Against the Spirit. This is the so-called unpardonable sin found in Matthew 12:31, 32 and Mark 3:29, 30. If the grace of God, which will pardon all the sins of mankind, will not pardon this one, it must be an unusual sin. Murder is not the unpardonable sin. Unbelief is not the unpardonable sin. Where would we be if this were [pg115] true? Rejection of Jesus Christ is not the unpardonable sin; however, the man who rejects Christ and dies is indeed lost. The Spirit will not strive with man after death. His final rejection is not unpardonable, but unpardoned.
Man should distinguish between the following:
Unpardoned — Unpardonable
Unforgiven — Unforgivable
Unsaved — Unsavable
I believe the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which some term “unpardonable,” was a dispensational sin, limited for thirty-three years, during Christ’s stay on earth. There are no sinners on God’s blacklist today. God has never commissioned any man to go out and preach the message that there are some men He will not save.
Has anyone who has committed this blasphemy been saved? Yes, the Apostle Paul, “who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. . . . Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting” (I Tim. 1: 13, 16).
The word “speaketh” in Matthew 12:32, and verse 30 of Mark 3 are the keys to the correct interpretation.
7. Emblems of the Holy Spirit.
a. The Dove. “John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him” (John 1:32). Upon no other one did the Spirit descend in this manner. In Genesis 1:2 the Holy Spirit is pictured as moving upon the face of the waters, as a dove brooding upon her eggs. The dove is a gentle, clean bird, particular about its food. So are they who are of the Spirit. “Harmless as a dove” (Matt. 10:16). Truly an emblem of the Holy Spirit. The Word pictures to us the wrath of the Son, but never the wrath of the Holy Spirit.
b. Water. “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessings upon thy offspring” (Is. 44:3). See also John 7:38, 39. What water means to thirsty lips, and what rain means to the parched land, is what the Spirit means to the individual. There is nothing that quenches thirst better than water; there is nothing that satisfies the longing of the heart as the Holy Spirit.
c. Oil. “Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the LORD came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel rose up, and went to Ramah” (I Sam. 16:13). See also Isaiah 61:1; Acts 10:38. When the priest was anointed with oil, it took place in this manner: first, his ear — he was always to hear God’s Word; his thumb — his actions were to be for God’s glory; his big toe — he was to walk with God.
d. Wind. “Then he said unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. . . . and [I] shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD [pg116]
e. Fire. “There appeared unto them cloven tongues like as a fire, and it sat upon each of them” (Acts 2:3). fire signifies the Spirit of God. It is fire which purifies, consumes, warms, tests, illuminates and energizes. It is the same with the Holy Spirit.
f. Clothing. “The Spirit of Jehovah clothed himself with Gideon; and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered together after him” (Judg. 6:34, R.V.21). Clothing speaks of protection. The Spirit is our Protection. p11622
It may be remiss to add to what Dr. Cambron documented about the filling of the Holy Ghost and the baptism of the Spirit, but Charles Finney wrote extensively on that subject. Charles Finney (1792-1875) was an American Presbyterian preacher known for his revival services and extemporaneous preaching. As he observed other church leaders, he began to feel many of them lacked the “power from on high”—the filling of the Holy Spirit. In his book “Power from On High”23, he describes a filling of the Holy Ghost which drives home the outline of Dr. Cambron on this subject. Included below, from his book, is his Chapter 1 and 2, and one profound illustration from his Chapter 3:
Power From On High By Charles Finney
Many of the chapters in Finney's book, were originally published in "THE INDEPENDENT" in NEW YORK , from 1871-74 That series, in a somewhat different order with an additional article not published in The INDEPENDENT, was published as POWER FROM ON HIGH in 1944, and public domain portions, Chapter 1, 2 and portions of 3 are repeated below:
Please permit me through your columns to correct a misapprehension of some of the members of the late Council at Oberlin of the brief remarks which I made to them; first on Saturday morning, and afterwards on the Lord’s Day. In my first remarks to them I called attention to the mission of the Church to disciple all nations, as recorded by Matthew and Luke, and stated that this commission was given by Christ to the whole Church, and that every member of the Church is under obligation to make it his lifework to convert the world. I then raised two inquiries:
1. What do we need to secure success in this great work?
2. How can we get it?
Answer. 1. We need the enduement of power from on high. Christ had previously informed the disciples that without Him they could do nothing. When He gave them the commission to convert the world, He added, “But tarry ye in Jerusalem till ye be endued with power from on high. Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. Lo, I send upon you the promise of My Father.” This baptism of the Holy Ghost, this thing promised by the Father, this enduement of power from on high, Christ has expressly informed us is the indispensable condition of performing the work which he has set before us.
2. How shall we get it? Christ expressly promised it to the whole Church, and to every individual whose duty it is to labour for the conversion of the world. He admonished the first disciples not to undertake the work until they had received this enduement of power from on high. Both the promise and the admonition apply equally to all Christians of every age and nation. No one has, at any time, any right to expect success, unless he first secures this enduement of power from on high. The example of the first disciples teaches us how to secure this enduement. They first consecrated themselves to his work, and continued in prayer and supplication until the Holy Ghost fell upon them on the Day of Pentecost, and they received the promised enduement of power from on high. This, then, is the way to get it.
The Council desired me to say more upon this subject; consequently, on the Lord’s Day, I took for my text the assertion of Christ, that the Father is more willing to give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him than we are to give good gifts to our children.
1. I said, This text informs us that it is infinitely easy to obtain the Holy Spirit, or this enduement of power from the Father.
2. That this is made a constant subject of prayer. Everybody prays for this, at all times, and yet, with all this intercession, how few, comparatively, are really endued with this spirit of power from on high! This want is not met. The want of power is a subject of constant complaint. Christ says, “Everyone that asketh receiveth,” but there certainly is a “great gulf” between the asking and receiving, that is a great stumbling-block to many. How, then, is this discrepancy to be explained? I then proceeded to show why this enduement is not received. I said:
(1) We are not willing, upon the whole, to have what we desire and ask.
(2) God has expressly informed us that if we regard iniquity in our hearts He will not hear us. But the petitioner is often self-indulgent. This is iniquity, and God will not hear him.
(3) He is uncharitable.
(6) Resists conviction of sin.
(7) Refuses to confess to all the parties concerned.
(8) Refuses to make restitution to injured parties.
(9) He is prejudiced and uncandid.
(10) He is resentful.
(11) Has a revengeful spirit.
(12) Has a worldly ambition.
(13) He has committed himself on some point, and become dishonest, and neglects and rejects further light.
(14) He is denominationally selfish.
(15) Selfish for his own congregation.
(16) He resists the teachings of the Holy Spirit.
(17) He grieves the Holy Spirit by dissension.
(18) He quenches the Spirit by persistence in justifying wrong.
(19) He grieves Him by a want of watchfulness.
(20) He resists Him by indulging evil tempers.
(21) Also by dishonesties in business.
(22) Also by indolence and impatience in waiting upon the Lord.
(23) By many forms of selfishness.
(24) By negligence in business, in study, in prayer.
(25) By undertaking too much business, too much study, and too little prayer.
(26) By a want of entire consecration.
(27) Last and greatest, by unbelief. He prays for this enduement without expecting to receive it. “He that believeth not God, hath made Him a liar.” This, then, is the greatest sin of all. What an insult, what a blasphemy, to accuse God of lying!
I was obliged to conclude that these and other forms of indulged sin explained why so little is received, while so much is asked. I said I had not time to present the other side. Some of the brethren afterward inquired, “What is the other side?” The other side presents the certainty that we shall receive the promised enduement of power from on high, and be successful in winning souls, if we ask, and fulfill the plainly revealed conditions of prevailing prayer. Observe, what I said upon the Lord’s Day was upon the same subject, and in addition to what I had previously said. The misapprehension alluded to was this: If we first get rid of all these forms of sin, which prevent our receiving this enduement, have we not already obtained the blessing? What more do we need?
Answer. There is a great difference between the peace and the power of the Holy Spirit in the soul. The disciples were Christians before the Day of Pentecost, and, as such, had a measure of the Holy Spirit. They must have had the peace of sins forgiven, and of a justified state, but yet they had not the enduement of power necessary to the accomplishment of the work assigned them. They had the peace which Christ had given them, but not the power which He had promised. This may be true of all Christians, and right here is, I think, the great mistake of the Church, and of the ministry. They rest in conversion, and do not seek until they obtain this enduement of power from on high. Hence so many professors have no power with either God or man. They prevail with neither. They cling to a hope in Christ, and even enter the ministry, overlooking the admonition to wait until they are endued with power from on high. But let anyone bring all the tithes and offerings into God’s treasury, let him lay all upon the altar, and prove God herewith, and he shall find that God “will open the windows of heaven, and pour him out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
The apostles and brethren, on the Day of Pentecost, received it. What did they receive? What power did they exercise after that event?
They received a powerful baptism of the Holy Ghost, a vast increase of divine illumination. This baptism imparted a great diversity of gifts that were used for the accomplishment of their work. It manifestly included the following things: The power of a holy life. The power of a self-sacrificing life. (The manifestation of these must have had great influence with those to whom they proclaimed the gospel.) The power of a cross-bearing life. The power of great meekness, which this baptism enabled them everywhere to exhibit. The power of a loving enthusiasm in proclaiming the gospel. The power of teaching. The power of a loving and living faith. The gift of tongues. An increase of power to work miracles. The gift of inspiration, or the revelation of many truths before unrecognized by them. The power of moral courage to proclaim the gospel and do the bidding of Christ, whatever it cost them.
In their circumstances all these enduements were essential to their success; but neither separately nor all together did they constitute that power from on high which Christ promised, and which they manifestly received. That which they manifestly received as the supreme, crowning, and all-important means of success was the power to prevail with both God and man, the power to fasten saving impressions upon the minds of men. This last was doubtless the thing which they understood Christ to promise. He had commissioned the Church to convert the world to Him. All that I have named above were only means, which could never secure the end unless they were vitalized and made effectual by the power of God. The apostles, doubtless, understood this; and, laying themselves and their all upon the altar, they besieged a Throne of Grace in the spirit of entire consecration to their work.
They did, in fact, receive the gifts before mentioned; but supremely and principally this power to savingly impress men. It was manifested right upon the spot. They began to address the multitude; and, wonderful to tell, three thousand were converted the same hour. But, observe, here was no new power manifested by them upon this occasion, save the gift of tongues.
They wrought no miracle at that time, and used these tongues simply as the means of making themselves understood. Let it be noted that they had not had time to exhibit any other gifts of the Spirit which have been above named. They had not at that time the advantage of exhibiting a holy life, or any of the powerful graces and gifts of the Spirit. What was said on the occasion, as recorded in the gospel, could not have made the impression that it did, had it not been uttered by them with a new power to make a saving impression upon the people. This power was not the power of inspiration, for they only declared certain facts of their own knowledge. It was not the power of human learning and culture, for they had but little. It was not the power of human eloquence, for there appears to have been but little of it. It was God speaking in and through them. It was a power from on high—God in them making a saving impression upon those to whom they spoke. This power to savingly impress abode with and upon them. It was, doubtless, the great and main thing promised by Christ, and received by the apostles and primitive Christians. It has existed, to a greater or less extent, in the Church ever since. It is a mysterious fact often manifested in a most surprising manner. Sometimes a single sentence, a word, a gesture, or even a look, will convey this power in an overcoming manner.
To the honour of God alone I will say a little of my own experience in this matter. I was powerfully converted on the morning of the 10th of October. In the evening of the same day, and on the morning of the following day, I received overwhelming baptisms of the Holy Ghost, that went through me, as it seemed to me, body and soul. I immediately found myself endued with such power from on high that a few words dropped here and there to individuals were the means of their immediate conversion. My words seemed to fasten like barbed arrows in the souls of men. They cut like a sword. They broke the heart like a hammer. Multitudes can attest to this. Oftentimes a word dropped, without my remembering it, would fasten conviction, and often result in almost immediate conversion. Sometimes I would find myself, in a great measure, empty of this power. I would go out and visit, and find that I made no saving impression. I would exhort and pray, with the same result. I would then set apart a day for private fasting and prayer, fearing that this power had departed from me, and would inquire anxiously after the reason of this apparent emptiness. After humbling myself, and crying out for help, the power would return upon me with all its freshness. This has been the experience of my life.
I could fill a volume with the history of my own experience and observation with respect to this power from on high. It is a fact of consciousness and of observation, but a great mystery. I have said that sometimes a look has in it the power of God. I have often witnessed this. Let the following fact illustrate it. I once preached, for the first time, in a manufacturing village. The next morning I went into a manufacturing establishment to view its operations. As I passed into the weaving department I beheld a great company of young women, some of whom, I observed, were looking at me, and then at each other, in a manner that indicated a trifling spirit, and that they knew me. I, however, knew none of them. As I approached nearer to those who had recognized me they seemed to increase in their manifestations of lightness of mind. Their levity made a peculiar impression upon me; I felt it to my very heart. I stopped short and looked at them, I know not how, as my whole mind was absorbed with the sense of their guilt and danger. As I settled my countenance upon them I observed that one of them became very much agitated. A thread broke. She attempted to mend it; but her hands trembled in such a manner that she could not do it. I immediately observed that the sensation was spreading, and had become universal among that class of triflers. I looked steadily at them until one after another gave up and paid no more attention to their looms. They fell on their knees, and the influence spread throughout the whole room. I had not spoken a word; and the noise of the looms would have prevented my being heard if I had. In a few minutes all work was abandoned, and tears and lamentations filled the room. At this moment the owner of the factory, who was himself an unconverted man, came in, accompanied, I believe, by the superintendent, who was a professed Christian. When the owner saw the state of things he said to the superintendent, “Stop the mill.” What he saw seemed to pierce him to the heart.
“It is more important,” he hurriedly remarked, “that these souls should be saved than that this mill should run.” As soon as the noise of the machinery had ceased, the owner inquired: “What shall we do? We must have a place to meet, where we can receive instruction.” The superintendent replied: “The muleroom will do.” The mules were run up out of the way, and all of the hands were notified and assembled in that room. We had a marvelous meeting. I prayed with them, and gave them such instructions as at the time they could bear. The word was with power. Many expressed hope that day; and within a few days, as I was informed, nearly every hand in that great establishment, together with the owner, had hope in Christ.
This power is a great marvel. I have many times seen people unable to endure the word. The most simple and ordinary statements would cut men off from their seats like a sword, would take away their bodily strength, and render them almost as helpless as dead men. Several times it has been true in my experience that I could not raise my voice, or say anything in prayer or exhortation except in the mildest manner, without wholly overcoming those that were present. This was not because I was preaching terror to the people; but the sweetest sounds of the gospel would overcome them. This power seems sometimes to pervade the atmosphere of one who is highly charged with it. Many times great numbers of persons in a community will be clothed with this power, when the very atmosphere of the whole place seems to be charged with the life of God. Strangers coming into it, and passing through the place, will be instantly smitten with conviction of sin, and in many instances converted to Christ. When Christians humble themselves, and consecrate their all afresh to Christ, and ask for this power, they will often receive such a baptism that they will be instrumental in converting more souls in one day than in all their lifetime before. While Christians remain humble enough to retain this power the work of conversion will go on, till whole communities and regions of country are converted to Christ. The same is true of ministers. But this article is long enough. If you will allow me, I have more to say upon this subject.
Since the publication in the Independent of my article on “The Power from on High” I have been confined with protracted illness. In the meantime I have received numerous letters of inquiry upon that subject. They relate mostly to three particular points of inquiry:
1. They request further illustrations of the exhibition of this power.
2. They inquire, “Who have a right to expect this enduement?”
3. How or upon what conditions can it be obtained?
I am unable to answer these inquiries by letters to individuals. With your leave I propose, if my health continues to improve, to reply to them in several short articles through your columns. In the present number I will relate another exhibition of this power from on high, as witnessed by myself. Soon after I was licensed to preach I went into a region of country where I was an entire stranger. I went there at the request of a Female Missionary Society, located in Oneida County, New York. Early in May, I think, I visited the town of Antwerp, in the northern part of Jefferson County. I stopped at the village hotel, and there learned that there were no religious meetings held in that town at the time. They had a brick meetinghouse, but it was locked up. By personal efforts I got a few people to assemble in the parlour of a Christian lady in the place, and preached to them on the evening after my arrival. As I passed round the village I was shocked with the horrible profanity that I heard among the men wherever I went. I obtained leave to preach in the school-house on the next Sabbath; but before the Sabbath arrived I was much discouraged, and almost terrified, in view of the state of society which I witnessed. On Saturday the Lord applied with power to my heart the following words, addressed by the Lord Jesus to Paul (Acts 18:9,10): “Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; for I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee; for I have much people in this city.” This completely subdued my fears; but my heart was loaded with agony for the people. On Sunday morning I arose early, and retired to a grove not far from the village to pour out my heart before God for a blessing on the labours of the day. I could not express the agony of my soul in words, but struggled with much groaning, and, I believe, with many tears, for an hour or two, without getting relief. I returned to my room in the hotel; but almost immediately came back to the grove. This I did thrice. The last time I got complete relief, just as it was time to go to meeting. I went to the school-house, and found it filled to its utmost capacity. I took out my little pocket Bible, and read for my text: “God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I exhibited the love of God as contrasted with the manner in which He was treated by those for whom He gave up His Son. I charged home their profanity upon them; and, as I recognized among my hearers several whose profanity I had particularly noticed, in the fullness of my heart and the gushing of my tears I pointed to them, and said, “I heard these men call upon God to damn their fellows.” The Word took powerful effect. Nobody seemed offended, but almost everybody greatly melted. At the close of the service the amiable landlord, Mr. Copeland, rose and said that he would open the meeting-house in the afternoon. He did so. The meeting-house was full, and, as in the morning, the Word took powerful effect. Thus a powerful revival commenced in the village, which soon after spread in every direction. I think it was on the second Sabbath after this, when I came out of the pulpit in the afternoon, an aged man approached, and said to me: “Can you not come and preach in our neighborhood? We have never had any religious meetings there.” I inquired the direction and the distance, and appointed to preach there the next afternoon, Monday, at five o’clock, in their school-house. I had preached three times in the village, and attended two prayer-meetings on the Lord’s Day; and on Monday I went on foot to fulfill this appointment....
The baptism of the Holy Ghost, and the filling of the Holy Ghost are thus distinguished in the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and the power and importance of the filling of the Holy Ghost is given ample emphasis by Charles Finney's coverage of that subject. A clear understanding of each is important, and an endument, as explained by Charles Finney, of the later is empowering.
The 21st century has found a major disruption in its sound Bible doctrine about the Holy Spirit of God. The Holiness – Pentecostal movement draws away from the clear role of the Holy Ghost in the New Testament Church. The multifaceted role of the Holy Ghost has two primary functions, (1) to draw attention to the Word that became flesh, i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ called “the Word” in John 1, and (2) to draw attention to the Word which is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, i.e. The Word of God. The Holiness – Pentecostal movement, on the other hand, exalts the Pentecostal experience as the function of the Holy Ghost. In practice they make the experience the primary manifestation of God and the primary authority for their faith and practice. These two functional errors make for the systematic failures of the Holiness, Pentecostal, Charismatic movement, referenced herein as the Charismatic-Pentecostal-Tongues movement.
The North American “Holiness” movement of the early 20th century was a throwback of Free Methodists who wanted to go all the way back to Bible teaching. They broke from the Free Methodists who wanted only to go back to the teachings of the Wesleyan standards of the church. The movement put its major focus on the Pentecostal experience and swiftly took on that emphasis in their name. Frank S. Mead describes them in his “Handbook of Denominations in the United States.”
Pentecostalism is an inclusive term applied to a large number of revivalistic American sects, assemblies, and churches. Many have either a Methodist or Baptist background, and they are primarily concerned with perfection, Holiness, and the Pentecostal experience.... Most believe in... manifestations and “blessings” of the working of the Holy Spirit – the fiery Pentecostal baptism of the Spirit, … Many practice divine healing, and speaking in tongues is widespread.... Varying in size from small group meetings to huge mass meetings, pentecostalists are found in every state in the union, with greatest strength in the South, West, and Middle West. The churches bear a great variety of names and do not always include the word Pentecostal – for instance, the largest single group, Assemblies of God, with over half a million members, and the Church of God groups....The General Council of the Assemblies of God is actually an aggregation of Pentecostal churches and assemblies accomplished at Hot Springs, Arkansas, in 1914 24
While German Rationalism, which inferred that the Holy Ghost was not a person but just an influence, was Satan's weapon of choice in the 19th century, the gross misleading about the role of the Holy Ghost seems to be his weapon of choice through the 20th. In this regard, the Pentecostal-Charismatic-Tongues movement is a primary misleader. Protestants, in general, are broken into two major camps that divide along beliefs of Calvinism or Arminianism. The Pentecostals, springing from the ranks of Free Methodists, are predominately Arminian. (Recall, that Baptists are not Protestants, and dare not divide between these camps, remaining, instead, as strict Biblicists on the matters of election and predestination, and Dispensational rather than holding to Covenant/Replacement Theology.) The Calvinist's fatalism keep them from fully exploring the influence of the Holy Ghost on man's “free-will”25, and the Arminian's overt “free-will” causes them to over emphasize the effect of the Holy Ghost, seeking a Pentecostal tongues experience.
It is Christ who is the manifestation of God, it is not in the role of the Holy Ghost to be that manifestation. John Baptist said, “(Christ) must increase, and I must decrease.” So too for the Holy Ghost;
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you (John 16:13-15).
The Pentecostal tongues experience exalted by the Charismatic movement is predominately about the “spirit” speaking with little about the Spirit exalting Christ. It is the opposite of Scripture, in this sense.
In John 14:16-26 the role of this Comforter is not to be seen, but to indwell, to “teach you all things,” as the “Spirit of truth,” he shall ”bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have told you.” (verse 17, 26). The genius of C.I. Scofield says the role of this Comforter deals with four “I”s, Indwelling, Ignorance, Infirmity, and Intercession. The charisma of this misguided tongues movement says the role of the Comforter is only the Pentecostal tongues experience.
The Charismatic-Pentecostal-Tongues movement teaches that speaking in tongues is a sign of the Spirit of God being in you, but John 14:16-26 teaches us that the only such sign is “having and keeping Christ's commandments” (verse 21). In practice, the Pentecostals ignore many commandments of Christ because the “spirit” that is manifest in them has “lead” them to ignore Christ's commandments. Note especially the ignored commandment that women in the church are forbidden from speaking in tongues. Women are forbidden to preach, pray, or prophecy in the New Testament Church. Following that command alone would completely shut down the Charismatic-Pentecostal-Tongues movement. Alas, they have a strange manifestation and a strange authority.
Christ is the manifestation of God to the world. The manifestation of Christ in us is “to have and keep his commandments” (John 14:21, 15:10) and that we love one another (15:12, 17, 13: 34-35). The Holy Ghost is not to magnify himself, not to speak “of” himself, nor be the manifestation of God in the believer. Contrarily, all these roles are accomplished by the “spirit” in the Charismatic-Pentecostal-Tongues movement. Further, they take the leading of the spirit over and above the commands of the Word of God.
It is the Word of God that is the authority of God for our lives, it is not the role of the Holy Ghost to be that authority. Many in the Charismatic-Pentecostal-Tongues movement allow the “spirit” which moves them to override the clear commandments from the Word of God. The inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word of God is to be our guide to all faith and practice. Letting a “spirit” take that role, has led to exotic abuses. There was a short period of time when the Holy Ghost authenticated the Word of God, but when the Word was perfectly written that ceased. In the 60 years it took God to have his Word perfectly written, men, i.e. males, in the churches would otherwise receive a message from the Lord and prophesy that message in the church. Prophesying was not, and is not, telling the future as some still suppose, it is, simply stated, bringing a message that begins, “Thus saith the Lord.” In Acts 11:28 where some “signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth,” there seems to be a foretelling of the future, but it is done with the unspoken context of “Thus saith the Lord.” Tongues, signs, and wonders were sometimes given to these first and second century prophets, in order to authenticate their prophecy. During this period these tongues, signs and wonders were judiciously allocated by God as an authentication of the preaching, they were not for the manifestation of God's presence.
For example, four times recorded in the book of Acts speaking in an unknown tongue is used as a sign of God's authentication; 1) at Pentecost, to authenticate the preaching of the gospel of Christ to the Jews (Acts 2), 2) at the city of Samaria26 to authenticate the preaching of the gospel of Christ to the Samaritans (Acts 8), 3) at Cornelius' house in Cesarean, to authenticate the preaching of the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles (Acts 10), and 4) at Ephesus to authenticate the preaching of the gospel of Christ to the disciples of John (Acts 19).
Further, consider that the Acts of the Apostles covers thirty years of history, A.D. 33 – 63, and at its close twenty-one New Testament Bible books were published and being distributed amongst the churches. The table below shows the approximate dates that these works were published.
The Gospel of Matthew
The Epistle of James
Paul's Epistle to Galatians
A.D. 51 & 52
The Gospel of Mark and Paul's 2Corinthians
Peter's First Epistle
Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon, Philippians, and The Gospel of Luke
1Timothy, Titus, 2Peter, Jude, Acts
In the same year that Luke closes and publishes his history book, The Acts of the Apostles, Paul writes 1st Timothy and Titus, Peter writes his second epistle, and Jude writes his epistle. Three years after Luke sets down his pen, the Apostle Paul writes his second epistle to Timothy. Thus, in a matter of 33 years, 21 of the 27 books of the New Testament are published and being distributed among the churches. The Book of Hebrews was subsequently published in A.D. 70 and the Gospel According to John, his Epistles 1,2&3 John and the Revelation of Jesus Christ were written after A.D. 90.
It needs stated again that these books were canonized by the Apostle's authority. The Apostles needed no aid from a Roman Catholic Church Father, Athanasius, from Alexandria Egypt in A.D. 367. The Apostles authority which canonized Scripture did not need “centuries of reflection.” They did not need the Council of Trent in A.D. 1546, or the Protestant's Thirty-nine Articles written in A.D. 1563. The canonization of Scripture had no reliance on the Westminster Confession of Faith in A.D. 1647, or an Orthodox Church's Synod of Jerusalem in A.D. 1672! All these entities are errantly credited for some involvement in the canonization of Scriptures. The Apostles are the only authority for writing and canonizing the New Testament Scriptures. This truth is thoroughly documented in the section of this work titled Bibliology.
When that which was perfect was come, the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired written Word of God, there was no need that men, i.e. males, would stand and say, “I have a word from the Lord, Thus saith the Lord....” No, now anyone could stand with a copy of the Word of God and say, “Thus saith the Lord...,” and so it continues to this day. The tongues, signs and wonders did all cease in the Christian churches for eighteen centuries. They were improperly resurrected by the North American Pentecostal movement.
During these centuries where tongues-signs-and-wonders ceased, there are only mystical miracles and apparitions of “The Blessed Virgin Mary” documented by the Roman Catholic Church. In A.D. 330, the mother of Emperor Constantine located the site of the crucifixion and ergo the Church of the Holy Sepulcher by some such mystical sign where she supposedly recovered the “true cross.” Her son also converted the whole Roman Empire to a forced Roman Christianity because crosses on soldier shields magically produced a great victory. Indeed the Roman Canonized Saints had to have a notable miracle attributed to their intercession, and so some mystical signs and wonders continued in the Roman Catholic Church, but nowhere where they present in the Christian churches that the Roman Catholic Church was persecuting. The signs-and-wonders of late reared up with an unBiblical format in the early 19th century in the North American Pentecostal movement.
The Pentecostals and their reliance on “the Spirit” as their authority, rather than the Word of God as their authority, have two “tells” which expose their underpinnings. First is their motto, “Don't let doctrine divide us, let the Spirit unite us.” The spirit which unites believers with unbelievers, light with darkness, Protestants with Roman Catholics, and Christians worshiping the Son with Eskimo's worshiping the Sun, is a spirit, sure enough, but it is not the Holy Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit of God brings separation from false teachers, not unity amongst all professors. Bible truth on unity and separation herein ignored by the Charismatics, is found in 2Cor 6:14-18,
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
A second “tell” obvious when the Pentecostals express reliance on “the Spirit” as their authority, rather than the Word of God as their authority, is their disregard for God's clear instruction about women praying and prophesying in the church. This is against a direct command from God.
The Bible is quite emphatic about the role of the woman. This emphasis is applied collaterally in the home, in the church and in the society. The rebellion against God's authority is exposed collaterally with rebellion in the home, rebellion in the church, and rebellion in society. Comprehending God's emphasis on the role of the woman in the home requires that we see it universally applicable in the church and in the Godly society.
God's role for woman is emphasized in, and illustrated in three particular commands of God. Women are not to lead in public prayer. The letter to Timothy, explaining how to behave in the Church (1Tim 3:15) is very clear on this point. Leadership in prayer is for men not women. "I will therefore men (males) pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with embroidered hair, or gold, or pearls or costly array; but which becometh woman professing Godliness) with good works" (1Tim 2:8).
The phrase "in like manner" does not connect the woman's role to leading in public prayer, it connects the woman's modest apparel, shamefacedness and sobriety to doing it "without wrath and doubting." Also, often taken out of context from this text is the broidered hair, gold and pearls. This Scripture is about the kind of attitude a woman professing Godliness should have. It has been used by some to forbid women from wearing makeup or jewelry. Such a legalistic stance gives little thought to the actual context of this command. The context teaches who should and should not be leading in prayer.
Secondly, women should not be in a position to teach a man. Again, this letter to Timothy is emphatic. "Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor usurp authority over a man, but to be in silence" (1Tim 2:11-12). Again, this Scripture might easily be taken out of context. The context clarifies who is to be doing the teaching. Scoffers dismisses this whole text because a woman keeping silence is beyond anything they could imagine. Women often roll their eyes when this Scripture is read because they refuse to acknowledge the context and its truth. Women should not teach men, the Holy Bible says so very emphatically.
Pause here to understand God's threefold reasoning behind these two commands. "For Adam was first formed, then Eve" (2:13). God first resorts back to his purpose in creation. The woman was created to be an appropriate help and companion to the man. "And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression" (2:14). The woman is a completely different emotional and hormonal package than the man. One is built for confrontational leadership decisions. One is built for non-confrontational compromised solution finding, and she is called the weaker vessel. (1Pet 3:7) It is not politically correct to say any of this, but is is certainly Biblical and correct. You must choose which correctness you will pursue, and there is not a non-confrontational compromised solution between the two.
The threefold in the chord of God's reasoning, reasoning which refuses women from leading men in prayer and in teaching men in class, is found in the next verse. "Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety" (2:15). Being "saved" in this verse has nothing to do with a soul's salvation. In the Holy Bible soul salvation is only done by grace through faith; not of works (Eph 2:8-9). When we "confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him (the Lord Jesus Christ) from the dead" (Rom 10:9). Then, and only then, can one have soul salvation. This verse in the letter to Timothy (1Tim 2:15) is referencing where the woman's greatest value is, what her function in life is, and what her emotional and physiological function was designed for. A woman was designed for motherhood. A woman, who will accept that role by faith and charity, and holiness with sobriety, has her perfected place, knows her place, and stays in the role for which God created her.
When God revealed to Joshua, his role for his life, he said, "This book of the law shall not depart out of they mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make they way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success" (Joshua 1:8). This promise is applicable and fitting for the woman who accepts her role as defined by God in his Holy Word. Submission to that role will bring prosperity and good success. Rebellion against it is the norm for our society, and unfortunately for our church leaders. Choosing it for your home will bring God's blessing.
The Bible further clarifies that the woman should not prophecy. Prophesying, in the Bible, is not foretelling the future. Prophesying is the receipt and delivery of a message from the Lord. Today, anyone who can read and has God's sixty-six books of completed revelation, has received a message from the Lord. Set aside the shenanigans of Benny Hin, Oral Roberts, Charles Taze Russel, and Joseph Smith, and recognize them as charlatans who claim to receive extra-Biblical revelations. Those who would take a Bible and proclaim, "Thus saith the Lord," are prophesying. And according to the Word of God, women are refused that position.
The Church at Corinth was having problems with this prophesying issue. They did not yet have the 27 books of the New Testament Scripture and in Paul's letter of reproof women where forbidden to prophesy or to speak in tongues. "Let your women keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law" (1Cor 14:34) This whole discourse on prophesying, and the woman's role, begins back in chapter eleven, but here it concludes very concisely, "And if they (women who wish to prophesy) will learn anything, let them speak to their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the Church" (14:35). This Scripture is dogmatic, and the principle that women are to know their position, is equally dogmatic. "But I would have you to know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" (11:3).
Many think this Scripture in 1Cor 11, is about whether a woman should wear a head covering. It is not. It is about whether we will recognize God's plan and order in life. The woman is not to be the leader, 1) she is not to prophesy, 2) she is not to lead in prayer, and 3) she is not to teach men. These three commands of God are justified in that 1) Adam was first formed, then Eve, 2) Adam was not deceived, the woman was, 3) the head of the woman is man (male), and 4) the woman has the physical, psychological, and emotional character for mothering, not for leadership.
Those who respond to these Scriptures with the unbeliever's cliché, "That is just your interpretation," are simply positioning themselves to reject God's role for the woman and press toward the more rebellious "woman libber's" position. Those who acknowledge the truths of these Scriptures, but then contend that it just doesn't work for them, need to acknowledge Christ's advice, "If ye27 know these things, happy are ye if ye do them" (John 13:17). There are also many who acknowledge these truths and pretend to abide by them, but their hearts are not in it. Such are wolves in sheep's clothing. And wolves in sheep's clothing, especially when they live in the Church parsonage, do appreciable harm to the cause of Christ.
A woman who will acknowledge this as her role and goal for her life, "if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety," can indeed have “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph 1:3). Marriage and home are meant to be a taste of paradise on Earth. A husband and wife who take up God's will and calling for their marriage is an essential first step in achieving that paradise.
God does not have three sets of separate roles for the creatures made in his image and likeness, one for the home, one for the Church and one for society. God's rules apply equally in the Christian house, the Church house, and the commercial house of business, and the White House of government. Where one has an ability to sway the world back to God's ways he should. The ways and commands of Christ are rejected by the world, yea the world is in an absolute rebellion against them, they actively hate them, and Him. Our Lord Jesus said it would be that way. Sadly, it is the same in the apostate church to often called the "Christian Church." A "Church" that refuses to acknowledge and adopt the Bible truths about the role of women is to be labeled "apostate," and a believer is to follow Christ's command to "come out from among them and be ye separate" (2Cor 6:17). When pressed by society to work with or for the woman which are errantly put into leadership, a believer must make a decision. The decision is highlighted by Solomon between Proverbs 26:4 and 26:5. If you cannot remain in the situation and uphold Romans 12:18, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men," if you are becoming a belligerent, hard to work with, i.e. an "I am right and you are wrong" pompous idiot, you should repent, or leave and live where you can put on Christ and be a Christian. There is no singular right answer that fits every situation. In the military I have often worked with, and for, women. There are some who are just ignorant of everything Godly. Some may be pompous and ungodly while others may know God's role and while in a leadership role, make a pretense to conform.
These considerations of the Biblical role of women are presented here because it exemplifies the Charismatic-Pentecostal-Tongues movement's brazen disregard of Bible truth. Where modernists allow political correctness to subvert these Scriptures, Charismatics allow “the spirit which moves them” to subvert the Scriptures and Christ's commands.
Charles Hodge (1797-1878), from Princeton Theological Seminary, may be considered “The Father of the Published Systematic Theology.” He was genius, a gifted communicator, and very Presbyterian. He worded a very “Reformed Theology.” Even so he made two glaring errors in his approach to theology and consequently, these effect his pneumatology. Charles Hodge considered theology a science that must follow a scientific method, just like the other sciences. Thus, for Hodge, theology does not have the inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired Word of God as its sole source. Instead, theology, following a scientific method, has its source in the hypothesis of men, which is developed and tested into theory, which is developed and tested into “all we know about God,” i.e. the truth from “scientific law”. That is the scientific method. True theology starts with the truth, and only debates about how these things can be. We are not theorizing to find truth, the Lord Jesus Christ is truth (John 14:6) Hodge's means of developing theology as a science was very popular in the 19th century because the scientific method was formalized and exalted as infallible at the end of the 18th century. This systematic error is frequent in published systematic theologies of the 20th century. They weigh in about various theories and strive to select the most promising ones, trying to discover truth.
Secondly, Hodge relied on the counsels, creeds, and edicts of the Holy Roman Catholic. He trusted their refining and development of these scientific theories about theology. This is again, a common source of error for all Protestant theology, and particularly all Reformed Theology. (Protestants in general are broken into two major camps which divide along beliefs of Calvinism or Arminianism. Recall that Baptists are not Protestants, and dare not divide between these camps, remaining, instead, as strict Biblicists on the matters of election and predestination.)
Roman doctrine is, obviously, what Reformers were reforming, and what Protestants were protesting. It is seen in Hodge's development of theology, that they never did abandon the systematic errors of the Roman Catholic Church. Most of these errors were just encased in a wordy rationalism which, using the scientific method, were developed into Reformed Theology. These source errors bleed into Hodge's pneumatology with particularly brazen and well documented clarity.
In his Volume 1, Chapter VIII “The Holy Spirit,” Section 3, “History of the Doctrine Concerning the Holy Spirit,” Hodge develops a scenario where the doctrine of the Holy Ghost started as “what was revealed on the surface of Scripture, and what was involved in the religious experience of all Christians.”28 Hodge thus describes an initial “shallow doctrine” of the Holy Ghost which was present in an “Ante-Nicene” period (literally “before Nicene”). Hodge asserts the belief in “this shallow doctrine,” as he calls it, was captured in their repetition of the apostolic benediction. He is saying that the Apostles had no sound doctrine of the Holy Spirit of God! Yet, these are the very Apostles which are called out in the Bible as the foundation of all Bible doctrine!29 Hodge goes on and accuses them of “great obscurity, indistinctness, and inconsistency of statement, especially in reference to the nature and office of the Holy Ghost.”30
Hodge asserts that this inconsistency and obscurity was to be expected because the Scriptures are, in his words, “unclear, confusing and contradictory in this doctrine of the Holy Ghost.” The doctrine of the Holy Ghost was then salvaged and founded, according to Hodge, by the Council of Nice, in A.D. 325 and then the council of Constantinople in A.D. 381. These Roman Catholic councils, according to Hodge, first “framed a satisfactory statement of the Scriptural doctrine on this subject.”31 These Roman Catholic councils, according to Hodge, repaired the “Creed of the Apostles,” which he implies came from the Apostles themselves. It did not. Here, documented in his own hand, is Charles Hodge's credo of where true doctrine originates. According to him, it is not from the Scriptures, and it is not from the Apostles, but it is from the councils, creeds, and edicts of the Empirical Roman Catholic Church. This dangerous thinking permeates the methods of Reformed Theologians.
Little more needs to be said about Hodge's development of the doctrine of the Holy Ghost. While these referenced councils were developing Charles Hodge's favored doctrine of the Holy Spirit of God, their authority, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, was persecuting, exiling, and executing Montanists, Novationists, Paterines32, Donatists and other excommunicated believers.33 Hodge says of this Roman Catholic Doctrine:
These creeds are Catholic, adopted by the whole Church. Since they were framed there has been no diversity of faith on this subject among those recognized as Christians.
Those who, since the Council of Constantinople have denied the common Church doctrine, whether Socinians, Arians, or Sabellians, regard the Holy Spirit not as a creature, but as the power of God, i.e., the manifested divine efficiency. The modern philosophical theologians of Germany do not differ essentially from this view. De Wette, for example, says, that the Spirit is God as revealed and operative in nature; Schleiermacher says the term designates God as operative in the Church, i.e., "der Gemeingeist der Kirche." This, however, is only a name. God with Schleiermacher is only the unity of the causality manifested in the world. That causality viewed in Christ we may call Son, and viewed in the Church we may call the Spirit. God is merely cause, and man a fleeting effect. Happily Schleiermacher's theology and Schleiermacher's religion were as different as the speculations and the every day faith of the idealist.34
In essence, other than this insight into Hodge's systematic error in his Systematic Theology, he adds no significant insight to Cambron's well developed and Biblical Doctrine of the Holy Ghost. For completeness, the chapter outline Hodge developed is shown below.
Hodge's Chapter VIII. The Holy Spirit.
§ 1. His Nature 522
--Proof of his Personality.
--Divinity of the Holy Spirit 527
§ 2. Office of the Holy Spirit
--1. In Nature;
--2. In the Work of Redemption.
--The Revealer of all Divine Truth.
--Applies to Men the Benefits of the Redemption
of Christ 532
§ 3. History of the Doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit 532
(soft copy 563-565)
Augustus H. Strong, 1836-1921, was a Yale graduate who taught theology at Rochester Theological Seminary for forty years and became the first president of the Northern Baptist Convention. In title he was a Baptist, but in conviction he was contaminated by both reformed theology and evolutionary Darwinism. His systematic theology has a tremendous depth and scope but his motivation in writing it depicts the grave danger in reading it. Strong strives to mold a traditional reformed emphasis and an evolutionary critical scholarship into the distinctive Baptist conviction. This dangerous combination of reformed theology and atheistic evolution blended into Baptist-Bible doctrine permeates every avenue of his work. As a result the pneumatology, the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, is only addressed indirectly under the Doctrine of the Trinity, and that is under his heading, “The Nature, Decrees, and Works of God.”
There is, thus, little to be gained in exploring what A.H. Strong discusses about the Holy Spirit of God. The doctrine of the trinty is detailed specifically in Cambron's “Doctrine of God,” addressed previously in this effort. A.H. Strong, who goes to great depth with clarity, and writes so well that he is the preferred reading of this author, does clarify the Holy Spirit's standing in the God head with the following description:
In the nature of the one God there are three eternal distinctions which are represented to us under the figure of persons, and these three are equal. This tripersonality of the Godhead is exclusively a truth of revelation. It is clearly, though not formally, made known in the New Testament, and intimations of it may be found in the Old.
The doctrine of the Trinity may be expressed in the six following statements: 1. In Scripture there are three who are recognized as God. 2. These three are so described in Scripture that we are compelled to conceive of them as distinct persons. 3. This tripersonality of the divine nature is not merely economic and temporal, but is immanent and eternal. 4. This tripersonality is not tritheism; for while there are three persons, there is but one essence. 5. The three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, are equal. 6. Inscrutable yet not self-contradiotory, this doctrine furnishes the key to all other doctrines.—These statements we proceed now to prove and to elucidate.35
A.H. Strong, unlike Hodge, recognizes that the doctrine of the Holy Ghost comes directly from the Apostles and the Bible, not from the Roman councils, creeds and edicts. He calls out Tertullian and Montanists as solidifiers of Apostolic doctrines, while Hodge, following the wording of the Roman Catholic Church, calls them mystics.36 Strong goes on to clarify the attributes of the trinity as follows:
Reason shows us the Unity of God; only revelation shows us the Trinity of God, thus filling out the indefinite outlines of this unity and vivifying' it. The term “Trinity” is not found in Scripture, although the conception it expresses is Scriptural. The invention of the term is ascribed to Tertullian. The Montanists first defined the personality of the Spirit, and first formulated the doctrine of the Trinity. The term 'Trinity' is not a metaphysical one. It is only a designation of four facts: (1) the Father is God; ( 2) the Son Is God; ( 3) the Spirit is God; ( 4) there is but one God.37
A.H. Strong further attests that the Holy Spirit is recognized as God and that he is the distinct Person in the the trinity. Each of the assertions is well documented with Scriptures, as is Strong's norm. He uses the following outlines in these assertions:
* The Holy Spirit is recognized as God.
( a ) He is spoken of as God; ( b ) the attributes of God are ascribed to him, such as life, truth, love, holiness, eternity, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence; ( c ) he does the works of God, such as creation, regeneration, resurrection; ( d ) he receives honor due only to God; ( e ) he is associated with God on a footing of equality, both in the formula of baptism and in the apostolic benedictions....
* The Holy Spirit is a person.
A. Designations proper to personality are given him....
B. His name is mentioned in immediate connection with other persons, and in such a way as to imply his own personality...
C. He performs acts proper to personality...
D. He is affected as a person by the acts of others...
E. He manifests himself in visible form as distinct from the Father and the Son, yet in direct connection with personal acts performed by them...
F. This ascription to the Spirit of a personal subsistence distinct from that of the Father and of the Son cannot be explained as personification.
The systematic theology of A.H. Strong is excellently developed and documented extensively with Scripture. His overriding purpose, to meld reformed theology and evolutionary scholarship into Baptist's Bible doctrine may, at times disappear into subtlety, but it is always present and always dangerous. His superb delineating of doctrine into digestible thought should only be enjoyed when conscious of this underlying systematic error.
“Power from On High” by Charles G. Finney (1792-1875) was quoted earlier because of his emphasis and documentation on the filling of the Holy Ghost. However, his Systematic Theology  is predominantly a moral dissertation by a verbose lawyer and covers nothing on pneumatology. Its 83 lectures filling over 1,000 pages does eloquently clarify several errors of John Calvin, but is otherwise laborious reading. The description of this voluminous effort is given below:
Charles Finney (1792-1875) was an American Presbyterian preacher known for his revival services and extemporaneous preaching. Systematic Theology is a collection of the lectures Finney gave at Oberlin College. They were later published in this volume for distribution to the British public. Finney is known as a heretic in many Christian circles, and Systematic Theology receives no lack of criticism. His theology of self-sanctification worries many staunch Calvinists, and Systematic Theology perpetuates the Calvinist/Armenian debate. But the lectures are well thought out and address diverse subjects - moral law, love, government, depravity, atonement, justification, sanctification, election, perseverance of the saints, and many others. Finney is revered by many and scorned by others, but his Systematic Theology is a masterpiece of religious text and should be treasured. Important for both debate and development of faith, this collection is unique and spirited.38
Other than his work already quoted Charles Finney's Systematic Theology adds nothing to a study of pneumatology, and little to the structured field of systematic theology in general.
Henry Clarence Thiessen (1885-1947) taught his "Introductory Lectures in Systematic Theology" which was published in 1949. Little is written about Thiessen's background. John MacArthur's Master's College history annals record him as the fourth president of the Los Angeles Baptist Theological Seminary. It was after Thiessen's death in 1947 that the seminary matriculated into the neo-evangelical Master's College under John MacArthur, but the seeds of that matriculation are evident in Thiessen's lectures.
Three systematic flaws of Thiessen must be held in background while critiquing his Pneumatology. First he did not use the Holy Bible as his sole or even primary source of theology. He holds that theology is just another “science” and one must use the scientific method. He thus uses theories and proofs to establish the truths he deems to be doctrine. In fact, Thiessen even denies the existence of an inspired, inerrant, infallible Holy Bible. He solidifies this errant doctrine thus:
Inspiration is affirmed only of the autographs of the Scriptures, not of any of the versions, whether ancient or modern, nor any of the Hebrew or Greek manuscripts in existence, nor of any critical texts known. All these are either known to be faulty in some particulars, or are not certainly known to be free from all error.39
That “all Scripture texts lack God's preservation and are thus faulty” is a misguided ruse. Thiessen continues in this ruse to express a faith in ecumenical critics of the bible who may eventually restore some approximate similitude of the very words which God failed to preserve for our present generation. Like all neo-evangelicals Thiessen makes a pretense that although God failed to accurately preserve his very words "textual critics tell us that the number of words that are still in doubt, whether in the Old Testament or in the New, is very small, and that no doctrine is affected by this situation."40 Thus, for Thiessen, the foundation is completely crumbled and uncertain but the building seems to remain intact. That is not a good system for a systematic theology.
Every lecture of Henry Clarence Thiessen is affected by his steadfast belief in this "situation." He therein does not use the Holy Scriptures as his sole source or even his primary source of theology. By his own testimony the Bible he holds in his hands is not the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. Everything in his 574 pages of published Systematic Theology must be weighed because of this systematic shortfall of Dr. Thiessen. But there is another systematic flaw in Thiessen's theology.
By inference a reformed theologian is always a reformed Augustinian theologian. Augustinian's philosophy, which constructed the Roman Catholic Church, is what the reformers were reforming, and Thiessen's second systematic flaw is that he was more a reformer than a Baptist. Roman Catholic Saint Augustine framed the doctrine that God has decreed, and God knows for certain, everything that ever is to happen in the universe. That is Augustinian doctrine, but it is not Bible doctrine. Any theologian who makes the concerted effort of rationalizing Roman Catholic Saint Augustine's doctrine of decrees into some rendition of a Bible doctrine is a reformer of theology and thus properly labeled a defender of reformed theology.
In force-fitting Augustinian doctrine into his theology Thiessen makes this audacious declaration:
Some hold that prayer can have not real effect upon God, since he has already decreed just what He will do in every instance. But that is an extreme position. 'Ye have not, because ye ask not' (Jas. 4:2) must not be left out of account. The facts seem to be this, that God does some things only in answer to prayer; He does some other things without one's praying; and He does some things contrary to the prayers made. In His foreknowledge, again, He has taken all these things into account, and in His providence He works them out in accordance with His own purpose and plan. If we do not pray for the things that we might get by prayer, we do not get them. If He wants some things done for which no one prays, He will do them without anyone's praying. If we pray for things contrary to His will, He refuses to grant them. Thus there is perfect harmony between the foreknowledge, decrees, and providence of God.41
There is no harmony between the Augustinian doctrine of decrees and the revelation of God in his Holy Word. No matter how much verbiage a theologian uses to rationalize the two views, Augustine's doctrines do not fit into God's doctrines. Those who repeatedly try to reconcile Augustinian doctrines into God's Word are reformed theologians attempting to reform what should have been discarded long ago.
Thiessen's third systematic flaw is directly connected to the first two, but is it so illuminating that it is included here as a separate entity. The inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God is clear and emphatic that man is made in the image and likeness of God, that God is a triune being, and that man is a trichotomy, consisting of body, soul, and spirit. Henry Clarence Thiessen declares that man is only material and immaterial, a dichotomy, just like the ancient Greek philosophers said, ergo the Roman Catholic Church adopted this dichotomy of man as their doctrine. In order to hold on to this Roman Catholic dogma, Dr. Thiessen not only rejects the Scriptures that reference body, soul, and spirit as separate entities42, he attributes 1Thes 5:2343 as nothing more than what Paul "seems to think."44 Dr. Thiessen has already denied the inerrancy, infallibility, and inspiration of the Bible he holds in his hands, he defends Roman Catholic and Reformed Roman Catholic doctrines of decrees, and now, in defense of a Roman Catholic dogma, he calls Holy Scripture just a matter of Paul's opinion! These three systematic flaws in Dr. Thiessen's lectures make the work, on a whole, very suspect and not reliable for use as a systematic theology. His Pneumatology suffers with these flaws.
Like Baptist theologian A. H. Strong before him, Baptist theologian Thiessen has no section of his systematic theology addressing Pneumatology, or the doctrine of the Holy Ghost. Instead, like Strong, he reveals his undue reformed theology leanings when he buries any doctrine of the Holy Ghost in his coverage of the decrees of God, and the trinity of God, the former getting most of the emphasis.
Thiessen only briefly covers the personality of the Holy Spirit in a section under his “Proof that there are three that are recognized as God..”45 Therein he never uses the title Holy Ghost, and prefers the renderings of the A.S.V.46 His systematic flaws are further evident in a section he titles “The means employed in the exercise of Divine Providence.” Therein he attributes the Holy Spirit of God a “special agent” employed in God's providential dealings.47 These misgivings mark a dangerous precedence in using Theissen's limited lectures on the Holy Spirit of God.
When a theologian is entangled in the error of reformed theology wherein God decrees who gets saved and who burns in hell, that error permeates every area of his theology. Here it mars Thiessen's brief discourse on Pneumatology.
Thiessen's Lectures in Systematic Theology adds nothing to a discourse on Pneumatology. His commentary rehearses A. H. Strong's discourse but does not attain the depth of Strong. His rejection and denial of God's preservation of inerrancy, infallibility, and inspiration of the Holy Scriptures make his writings a liability more than an asset. One need not read more of Thiessen's lectures on Pneumatology.
Lewis Sperry Chafer (1871 – 1952) wrote eight volumes of Systematic Theology, and Volume VI is 298 pages called Pneumatology. Consider first that Dr. Chafer and his theology were not as fundamental as is regularly supposed. He was the founding president of Dallas Theological Seminary and long-time editor of Bibliotheca Sacra. His Seminary had the motto “Teach Truth, Love Well” and was representative of 70+ denominations. Dr. Chafer was called a fundamentalist but a militant fundamentalist could not be representative of 70+ denominations. As song leader under C.I. Scofield he became a gifted teacher for the newly formed World's Christian Fundamentals Association (WCFA). And in 1924 his Evangelical Theological College, which became Dallas Theological Seminary, was called fundamental.48 However, evangelicals became neoevangelicals when they scoffed at the fundamental separatist position and refused the fundamentalist's militant attitude. Dr. Chafer never scoffed, but he never separated either. Dr. Chafer never mocked militants, but he never became one, and he never camped with any. Instead he coddled to 70+ denominations and the neoevangelicals which lived there.
Chafer displays two primary goals in writing his systematic theology. First he was intent on reaching the Presbyterian Denomination with a dispensational doctrine which would hold to a Biblical premillennial return of Christ. This would necessarily debunk their long held Covenant Theology and its underlying Replacement Theology.
Secondly, Chafer strives to write an “unabridged” systematic theology. Dr. Chafer contends that a Systematic theology is "the collecting, systematically arranging, comparing, exhibiting, and defending of all facts concerning God and His works from any and every source."49 It was stated previously that in making such a brash definition Chafer unwittingly puts philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato, and Roman Catholics such as Saint Augustine and Saint Aquinas, and Protestants, who persecuted Baptists, i.e. men such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, on equal grounds with Holy Scripture. In writing his eight volumes on Systematic Theology he repeatedly makes this blunder. A Systematic Theology is not to be an unabridged rendition of everything ever believed about God, as Chafer has boasted, it is to be a systematic organization of each truth that God has revealed in his inerrant, infallible, verbally inspired record. These truths are to debunk the theoretical conjectures of previous philosophers and theologians. Chafer uses none of this authority against Presbyterian error or the errors of the 70+ denominations he represents.
The first of these systematic purposes effects Chafer's pneumatology because he is careful to tiptoe around the 70+ denominations he is representing. In so doing he holds onto much of Presbyterian's Calvinism. However his second purpose, writing an “unabridged theology,” causes a systematic flaw which shows up in every avenue of his theology. “Unabridged” means uncondensed. In balancing the huge volume of “everything ever believed about God” Dr. Chafer never captures a systematic organization of any Bible doctrine. His voluminous effort is marked by sentences, paragraphs, and whole sections which have little redeeming value. His theology includes an overage of quotes of other 'theologians', and a famine of quoted or expounded Holy Scripture. In light of these drawbacks, little value can be extracted from Chafer's verbose 300 pages of pneumatology.
In what this author has labeled “a horrid preface to a profound subject,” Dr. Chafer presents four excuses for man's ignorance of the Holy Spirit of God. 1) Bad teachers, 2) the Holy Spirit is not an object of faith, 3) the Holy Spirit has no direct declarations, and 4) the Holy Spirit is impersonal. It is curious that these are indeed excuses, an excuse being once defined like bologna, a thin skin of truth stuffed with all kinds of byproducts. He states “If the teacher is given to neglect, ignorance, and error respecting any point of doctrine, the pupil could hardly be expected to correct these impressions.”50 In actuality it is the role of the Holy Ghost to defeat false teachers and to lead one into truth. Dr. Chafer denigrates the personality of the Holy Spirit, in the very volume where he must substantiate the Bible's portrayal of the Holy Spirit as a person with a personality! Thus Chafer does not begin pneumatology well.
In Chapter III Chafer does, however, expand the examination of types and symbols of the Holy Spirit. Dr. Cambron listed “The Emblems of the Holy Spirit” as a) the Dove, b) Water, c) Oil, d) Wind, e) Fire, and f) Clothing. Chafer expands the explanations of these and attempts to add Earnest, Seal, and Abraham's Servant to the list. Although these may not be emblems per se, he does give a profound insight concerning types:
Though the Bible abounds with metaphors, similes, symbols, types, parables, allegories, and emblems – a sevenfold classification of its figures of speech – it is needful to remember that behind every from of utterance there is a reality of truth, which truth must not be under estimated because of the form in which it is presented. All these varied forms of speech which the Bible employs are directly chosen and utilized by God the Holy Spirit. They in no way represent mere literary notions of men. It is of more than passing interest that the Holy Spirit Himself is presented under various types and symbols. The types and symbols which anticipate and describe the Second Person have been realized or fulfilled in concrete, visible from through His incarnation; but the Person and work of the Third Person remains in that obscurity which the invisible and therefore intangible ever involves. Since acquaintance with the Holy Spirit must depend so largely on what is said rather than upon what is seen or felt, attention should be given to every intimation. Though a number of secondary symbols obtain in Scripture, the listing given here will be restricted to the following which are well marked or major unveilings of the Holy Spirit.51
For those who have time for an unabridged coverage of everything ever believed about the Holy Spirit Chafer's volume six might be considered an asset. But a systematic theology being a condensation and organization of God's revealed truths, is quite the opposite of his unabridged effort.
The Holy Ghost, as a person of the trinity, plays a significant role in God's relation with humanity. A holistic study of his person and that role is the purpose of pneumatology. In John 16 the Lord Jesus Christ expounds the role of the Holy Ghost for the New Testament believer. He declares that when he goes away he will send “another Comforter” which is the Holy Spirit of God. Thus the Holy Ghost will henceforth be the one who will 1) reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment, 2) guide believers into all truth, and 3) be the new “Comforter” which consoles, identifies ones best interests, and becomes our representative, leader, and friend. These roles were fulfilled by God in the Old Testament, by Christ when he ministered in the flesh, and now are assigned to the Holy Ghost under the title “Comforter.” The doctrine surrounding the Holy Ghost is vast but well outlined herein; the role of the Holy Ghost is misunderstood and misrepresented in the era of modernism; and the true filling of the Holy Ghost is dearth in fundamentalism. Pneumatology is worthy of additional study.
The Holy Bible
Bancroft, Emery H., Elemental Theology, 1932, Baptist Bible Seminary, 1945, 1960, Zondervan 1977, [In 1932 Emery H. Bancroft became the first Dean of Baptist Bible Seminary, Johnson City, NY and published his text for his course Elemental Theology. In 1968 the Seminary relocated to Clark Summit PA. In 1970 this author attended Practical Bible Training School on the Johnson City campus and studied Bancroft's text. In 1999 – 2000 this author attended Baptist Bible Seminary to take Greek (NT502 and NT503) via a 3 hour commute from Hammondsport NY to Clark Summit PA, and was reintroduced to Bancroft's exceptional work.]
Cambron, Mark G. Bible Doctrines. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954, [Independent Baptist, Professor and Dean, Tennessee Temple Bible School-College-Seminary, 1948-1959, serving with Dr. Lee Roberson (1909-2007) the founder of Tennessee Temple University in 1946], [Bible Doctrines, Beliefs That Matter is available at http://thecambroninstitute.org/library/Bible%20Doctrines.pdf and https://heritagebbc.com/bible-doctrines-class-complete/ ].
Carroll, James Milton, The Trail of Blood, 1932, open source, public domain, from https://archive.org/details/TheTrailOfBlood.
Chafer, Lewis Sperry. Systematic Theology. Dallas Seminary Press, 1948.[Lewis Sperry Chafer was an American theologian. He founded and served as the first president of Dallas Theological Seminary, and was an influential founding member of modern Christian Dispensationalism. Born: February 27, 1871, Rock Creek, Died: August 22, 1952, Seattle, Education: Oberlin College, Wheaton College. For my Doctorate of Philosophy in Theological Studies through LBTS, I was tasked to analyze all six volumes of his Systematic Theology]
Satan, 1909, Free ebooks - Project Gutenberg,2004, http://www.gutenberg.org accessed 06/01/2013
Christian, John T., A History of the Baptists, Vol 1&2, The Baptist Bible Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana, first published in 1922, public domain, soft copy http://www.pbministries.org/History/John T. Christian/vol1/ or http://www.reformedreader.org/history/christian/ahob1/ahobp.htm.
Dollar, George W., A History of Fundamentalism in America, Bob Jones University Press, 1973.
Erickson, Millard J. Christian Theology. Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985.
Finney, Charles G., Power from On High, Christian Literature Crusade, public domain, from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/finney/power.html
Gaussen, L., Theopneustia – The plenary Inspiration of The Holy Scriptures deduced from Internal Evidence, and the Testimonies of Nature, History and Science, David Scott's translation, Chicago, The Bible Institute Colportage ASS'N., 1840.
Geisler, Norman L, Systematic Theology in One Volume, Bethany House, 2002, 3, 4, 5, 11 [Geisler, also a neoevangelical, sharply contrasts with Lewis Sperry Chafer in that Geisler 1) admits what he is, neoevangelical, 2) admits what he is attempting, a compilation of evangelical theologies, 3) shows superb organization and structure of thought, 4) contains depth, and 5) is a masterful communicator. This author cannot endorse all that Geisler believes to be true, but can endorse that he seems to capture all that has been believed by conservative evangelicals.]
Hodge, Charles, Systematic Theology: Volume I-IV, Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940, Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org, public domain. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01hodg], [Charles Hodge, 1797-1878, Presbyterian Minister, Princeton Theologian].
Larkin, Clarence. The Spirit World, Published by the Clarence Larkin Estate, 1921, Cosimo, 2005
Miley, John, Systematic Theology Vol. 1 & 2, The Library of Biblical and Theological Literature, New York: Eaton and Mains, 1894, The Internet Archive http://www.archive.org/details/systematictheolo01mile, [John Miley (1813-1895, Methodist Theologian].
Rice, Edward G., The 357 Magnum Errors of the Modernist's Critical Texts, Public Domain, http://www.gsbaptistchurch.com/baptist/bible/texterror.pdf, http://www.lulu.com/shop/pastor-edward-rice/the-357-magnum-errors-of-modernists-critical-texts/paperback/product-5586759.html
Ryrie, Charles C., Basic Theology. Victor Books, Wheaton, Illinois, 1981.
Schaff, Philip. The Creeds of Christendom. Three volumes, 1877, reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1977.
----------. History of the Christian Church. Third edition, revised in eight volumes, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1910.
Schofield, C. I., Prophecy Made Plain, Photolithoprinted by Grand Rapids Book Manufacturers, Grand Rapids, MI, 1967.
Shedd, William G. T., Dogmatic Theology, Roosevelt Professor of Systematic Theology in Union Theological Seminary, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1888. [The Internet Archive www.archive.org/details/dogmatictheology01sheduoft], [William G.T. Shedd, 1820-1894, Old School Presbyterian & Reformed Theologian].
----------. Calvinism: Pure and Mixed, A Defense of the Westminster Standards. 1893, reprint, Edinburgh, UK: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1986.
----------. Commentary on Romans. 1879, reprint, Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1980.
Strong, Augustus H., Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1, Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993. [Augustus H. Strong, 1836-1921, American Baptist Pastor & Theologian].
Thiessen, Henry Clarence, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949. [Henry Clarence Thiessen, ? -1947, President of Los Angles Baptist Theological Seminary, later renamed John MacArthur's The Master's College].
Lectures in Systematic Theology. Revised by Vernon D. Doerksen, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 2006.
Waite, D.A.. Defending the King James Bible. The Bible For Today Press, 1992 & 2002.
Yoho, Walter Allan, YAHWEH The Greatness of God, Volume 1 thru 3, FBCPublications.com, 2010. [Dr. Yoho teaches theology at Tabernacle Baptist Theological Seminary 717 Whitehurst Landing Rd. Virginia Beach VA 23464 under Pastor. James Baker. We met after our military-hop to Norfolk VA on our return from Mazara Del Vallo, Italy in May 2016. I have been enthralled with his three volumes of theology since that meeting.]
About the Author
Pastor Ed Rice is a retired USAF Systems Engineer surrendered to be a Baptist Preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Saved in 1960 at the age of eight he grew up tutored in the Scriptures through Tuscorora Baptist Church in Addison NY, where he married his high-school sweetheart Beverly Cook Rice. Drafted into the military off of the dairy farm in 1972, Ed and Bev Rice raised 3 boys while serving as a Missile Technician in the USAF. After completing a USAF AECP bootstrap program he graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in electrical engineering and was commissioned in the USAF where he served until 1995 as a systems engineer and weapons integration specialist at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and Rome Laboratories, Rome NY. He finished his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering through The Air Force Institute of Technology in 1990.
After being commissioned as a USAF officer in 1982 he pursued his systems engineering work in several classified research and development programs. While moving around the USA in his twenty three year military career he was a youth pastor and associate pastor in Independent Baptist Churches near his station. In 1995 he became Captain Rice, USAF retired, and surrendered to be a Baptist Pastor.
In 1998 he took the senior pastorate at Good Samaritan Baptist Church, in Dresden, New York where he pursued his theological studies at Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary. At LBU Pastor Rice received his second masters degree in 2013, and his PhD in 2017. His son Michael is US Army retired living near Fort Hood Texas, Shane is an Independent Baptist Missionary pastoring Chiesa Biblica Battista, Mazara Del Vallo, Italy, and Matthew is serving our Lord Jesus Christ near Hamilton NY. Capt Rice has spent seven years teaching math and science with the ABeka Christian High School Curriculum, and seven years teaching college mathematics, a love of his life, at community colleges near his church.
Dr. Rice's staunch belief in the preserved accuracy of the inspired Scriptures and his extensive background in systems engineering make him uniquely qualified to assemble “A Systematic Theology for the 21st Century.”
Personal Testimony of Pastor Edward Rice.
I was saved in 1960 at the age of eight. My father and mother were saved and founding members of Fellowship Baptist Church in Gang Mills New York. In 1958 my dad, Levi O. Rice, an agnostic, was invited by Cecil Palm to be a founding member of that church; both of my parents were born-again-saved two weeks later. My mother, Doris was converted form Roman Catholicism, and became a Christian. She stopped her Roman penance and practiced Bible repentance, stopped praying to Mary and called upon the Lord Jesus Christ to save her. She was thus converted from Roman Catholicism to the Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone needs converted from something. Mom and Dad were now born again, and two years later I was saved in revival services with Evangelist Dale and Opel Linbaugh. Opel cut the flannel graph burden of sin off little Christian's back in her Pilgrim's Progress presentation, and I was born-again-saved before it hit the basement floor. In 1995 I retired from the USAF as a systems engineer and became an ordained Baptist Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 18:3). Being converted is quite like a new birth, Jesus said so. If you have not been converted you should trust Christ today, and you must tell him that that is your intent. (see Romans 10:9-13).
1The Holy Bible
2 “The New Testament, The Greek Text Underlying The English Authorised Version of 1611”, The Trinitarian Bible Society, Public Domain
3 "Benny" Hinn (born December 3, 1952) is a televangelist, best known for his regular "Miracle Crusades"—revival meeting or faith healing summits that are usually held in stadiums in major cities, which are later broadcast worldwide on his television program, This Is Your Day. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benny_Hinn accessed 12/11/2014
4 The trademarked term “purpose driven” comes from the teaching of Rick Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California. It originally came into use as a paradigm taught to pastors and other Christian leaders. This teaching is embodied in Warren's best-selling book, The Purpose Driven Church, first published in 1995. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purpose_Driven accessed 12/11/2014
5From http://standupforthetruth.com/2014/02/pope-to-copeland-catholics-and-charismatics-must-spiritually-unite/ accessed 01/22/15
6 Mt 1:18,20 3:11 12:31,32 28:19, Mr 1:8 3:29 12:36 13:11, Lu 1:15,35,41,67 2:25,26 3:16,22 4:1 12:10,12, Joh 1:33 7:39 14:26 20:22, Ac 1:2,5,8,16 2:4,33,38 4:8,31 5:3,32 6:3,5 7:51,55 8:15,17, Ac 8:18,19 9:17,31 10:38,44,45,47 11:15,16,24 13:2,4,9,52 15:8, Ac 15:28 16:6 19:2,6 20:23,28 21:11 28:25, Ro 5:5 9:1 14:17 15:13,16, 1Co 2:13 6:19 12:3, 2Co 6:6 13:14, 1Th 1:5,6, 2Ti 1:14, Tit 3:5, Heb 2:4 3:7 6:4 9:8 10:15, 1Pe 1:12, 2Pe 1:21, 1Jo 5:7, Jude 1:20
7 John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7
8 D. A. Waite, “Defending the King James Bile”, The Bible For Today Press, 1992, 67.
9 Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology, Vol. 5 , Dallas Theological Seminary, 1948, 38.
10 Mark G. Cambron, “Bible Doctrines”,Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House, 1954.
11 Dr. Cambron's unfortunate preference for the Revised Standard version of the Bible in this instance stems from his shortsightedness about how far Satan would take, and how effectively Satan would use, the “Bible Critics,” the “Bible Correctors,” the “Textual Critics,” and the “Copyright Mongers” of the modernist ecumenical ilk.
13 Dr. Cambron makes this reference to “The Fallen Earth” as if he held to the GAP theory devised in the nineteen hundreds in an attempt to correct the Bible because rocks are obviously millions of years old and the Bible needs correction to keep up with “science.” Once they force-fit a gap into Genesis 1 they crammed it full of some pre-earth creature that messed up and fell into destruction and death before the garden of Eden was created. Such foolishness needs a “Fallen Earth” scenario, The Bible does not.
17 Dr. Cambron's unfortunate preference for the Revised Standard version of the Bible in this instance stems from his shortsightedness about how far Satan would take, and how effectively Satan would use, the “Bible Critics,” the “Bible Correctors,” the “Textual Critics,” and the “Copyright Mongers” of the modernist ecumenical ilk.
19 Dr. Cambron use of the phrase “better translated” here is unfortunate; so many use that to attack the KJV translators. I am sure if he was confronted by the fifty-seven expert linguists who took seven years to come up with “communion” he would rethink his argument.
20 Modernists consider that only the original autographs were inspired and nobody has an inerrant inspired Holy Bible after the Apostle John's ink dried. I am sure Dr. Cambron would rethink this ugly slant on inspiration, if he saw how far modernists corrupted God's words.
21 See previous note on the unfortunate paradox in Dr. Cambron's preference for an R.V.
22 Block quote of Dr. Cambron's Bible Doctrines (Zondervan) 117-151, (TheCambronInstitute.org) 89-113
24 Frank S. Mead, “Handbook of Denominations in the United States” Pierce and Smith, 1951, 194 - 195
25 “Free-will” is a common misnomer, Mans will is not perfectly “free”, however he clearly does have a will and some sovereign ability to determine his own destiny. That, despite Roman Catholic doctrine, John Calvin's ideology and Reformed Theologies decrees.
26 receiving the Holy Ghost with miracles and signs
27 Do not be afraid of the "ye"s in the Holy Bible. They are the simply the first person plural pronoun differentiated from the first person singular pronoun "thee." Just learn to pronounce every “y” pronoun with a “you-all” in mind.
28 Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology: Volume I, Charles Scribner & Company, 1871, Hardback- Grand Rapids, Mich., Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1940, 564 (of 682 pages in soft copy).
29 1 Cor 3:10-11, Eph 2:20, Rev 21:14
30 Ibid., Hodge, 564
31 Ibid., 565
33 John T. Christian, A History of the Baptists, Vol 1, public domain, first published in 1922, The Baptist Bible Institute, New Orleans, Louisiana, soft copy http://www.pbministries.org/History/John T. Christian/vol1/ , 3 (of 286 pages in soft copy).
34 Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology: Volume I, 565 (of 682 pages in soft copy).
35 Augustus H. Strong, Systematic Theology:Three Volumes in 1, Philadelphia, Valley Forge PA, The Judson Press, 1907, 35th printing 1993, 322.
36 Charles Hodge, Systematic Theology: Volume I, 85 (of 682 pages in soft copy).
37 Ibid., Strong, 322
39 Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949, 107.
40 Ibid., 107
41 Ibid., "The Works of God: His Sovereign Rule", closing paragraph, 187-188.
42 1Sa 1:15, Job 7:11, Isa 10:18, 26:9, 42:1, 51:23, Da 7:25, Mic 6:7, Mt 10:28, 12:18, 1Co 5:3 6:20, 7:34, 15:45, Eph 4:4, 1Th 5:23, Heb 4:12, Jas 2:26
43 1Thes 5:23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
44 Ibid., "The Trichotomous theory", 227
45 Henry Clarence Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, Grand Rapids, Mich., William B. Eerdman Publishing Company, 1949, 144
46 ASV is the registered trademark of Thomas Nelson & Sons and symbolizes the bible which was copyrighted and published by Thomas Nelson & Sons in 1901. In 1928, the International Council of Religious Education (the body that later merged with the Federal Council of Churches to form the National Council of Churches) acquired the copyright from Nelson and copyrighted the ASV in 1929. Even quoting Thiessen, this author cannot recommend or condone the use of any of the modernist ecumenical copyright bibles, all of which brazenly disregard the inerrancy and infallibility of the verbally inspired Holy Bible by utilizing the Westcott and Hort Bible criticism, textual criticism and critical text as their source.
47 Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, 186
48 Dollar, A History of Fundamentalism in America, 160
49 from www.ChristianBook.com book promotion accessed Dec 2013
50 Chafer, Systematic Theology, Volume 6, pg. 4.
51 Ibid 47.