of this theological synopsis resulted from preparing “7 Feasts Of The Lord”
according to Lev. 23 web site. Consequently, the
4th Feast, the “Feast of Weeks” that we call Pentecost, consequently
required an in-depth study / presentation:
The Holy Spirit has many descriptive titles, including
"the Spirit of grace" (Heb.10:29); "the Spirit of truth" (I John 5:6);
"the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear
of the Lord" (Isaiah 11:2). He is the "Spirit of promise", that is, the One Who came
in fulfillment of Christ's promise (Eph.1:13). He is also called, "the Spirit of glory"
(I Pet.4:14). The Holy Spirit, then, is complete personal and completely God.
Elohim as a compound word, meaning a singular God with a plurality of expressed
majesty; i.e. Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Father; aka a Triune, but singular God. Elohim is used over 2500 times in
Scripture starting at Gen. 1:1. God manifests Himself in three personifications; or persons; or “Divine
Essences”. Therefore, when we refer to “The
Holy Spirit” we are referring to God; as One Being with a plurality of form: Jesus the Person,
the Holy Spirit and God the Father. See "Elohim" link.
Scripture does say God is ‘one’ in Deuteronomy 6:4. The word for
‘one’ there is the Hebrew word Echad, which means a composite unity. For examples of this consider
Genesis 1:5, Genesis 2:24, Ezra 2:64, Ezekiel 37:17 where the same Hebrew word Echad is used, and means one
in unity, not in number.
Gifts of the Spirit:
“And 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? But covet earnestly the
best gifts: and yet show I unto you a more excellent way.” I Cor. 12: 28-31
“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 works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit
withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the
same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers
kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these works that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing
to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being
many, are one body: so also is Christ.” I Cor. 12: 4 – 12.
In John 14:15-18 Jesus promised
to send the apostles a “Comforter”: If ye love me, keep my commandments.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him;
for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
is noteworthy that on Easter Sunday evening (Feast of First Fruits) John 20:22 records that Jesus “breathed upon”
His disciples and said to them “Receive the Holy Spirit”.
40 days after this event (Day of Ascension), Jesus promised His disciples the Baptism of the Holy Spirit
Acts 1: 3-5,8:
“wait for the promise of the Father… you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not
many days hence…and you shall receive power
after the Holy Spirit has come upon (epi) you…and
be witnesses…”. This promise was fulfilled on the 50th day, on Pentecost (Feast
of Weeks) as noted in Acts 2:1-4:
“…and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in tongues”.
But note in Acts 4:29-31 Peter prayed:
"And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may
speak thy word by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of
thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together;
and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness" (again !).
Speaking to the Ephesian Christians, Paul wrote,
"Be filled with the Spirit" Eph.5:18. Being filled with the Spirit is not a
once-for-all experience, but one He intends to be repeated.
Question: Why would Jesus “breathe
upon them the Holy Spirit at the first day of His resurrection only to reappear to them on the 40th day
to say: “wait for the promise of the Father… you shall be baptized with the
Holy Spirit not many days hence…and you shall receive power…and be witnesses…”?
Didn’t Jesus already “breathe upon them the Holy Spirit”? Why would He be instructing
them to wait again to receive the Holy Spirit? The answer lies in understanding the difference between
“en” and “epi” Greek prepositions described below.
means the disciples conversion upon having received the indwelling presence “en” of the Holy Spirit on
Easter Sunday evening (Feast of First Fruits Lev 23) was followed up by the baptism in the
Holy Spirit “epi” on Pentecost (Feast of Weeks Lev 23 ) as promised by Jesus in John
Jesus while with his disciples had stated that He would pray the Father another “Comforter”
be sent to them, to not only be “in” them, but “upon” them; meaning an overflowing amount of the Holy
Spirit through the believer, manifested by instruments called the “gifts of the Spirit”, and further evidenced
in the believer by “fruits of the Spirit” to manifest God’s overflowing love to those who would believe.
While Jesus was still with the apostles prior to His crucifixion, in
John 14, Jesus is encouraging a discouraged bunch of disciples. He promises to send them
a Comforter – the Spirit of truth – Who would abide with them forever, “Whom the world cannot receive, because
it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you” John
14:17. Note that Jesus said the Holy Spirit was dwelling ‘with’ His men, or ‘alongside’
of them. The Greek preposition here is para. Yet soon the Spirit would
be more than ‘with’ the disciples; soon He would dwell ‘in’ them. Here the preposition
is en. I believe the disciples went from para to en
in John 20:22, when Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the
two prepositions characterize your own experience. Prior to your conversion, it was the Holy Spirit Who
convicted you of your sins. It was the Holy Spirit Who revealed to you Jesus Christ as the One Who could
take away your sin, Who convinced you to accept Jesus as your Lord. The moment you accepted Jesus as
the Lord of your life, the Holy Spirit came into you and began to dwell in you. You went from para
every believer, however, has the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:8 Jesus said to His men, You shall receive
power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” This is the
third Greek preposition, epi – the Spirit comes ‘upon’ you or ‘over’ you.
(I personally prefer the idea that He ‘overflows’ you.)
This epi empowers the believer for service. It is an outflowing of the
Spirit, a flowing forth from my life the power of God’s Spirit, working through my life and touching those around
me. In Acts 1:8 Jesus said, “You shall receive
power [dunamis] when the Holy Spirit has come upon [epi] you. This was 40 days after He
“breathed upon them the Holy Spirit in John 20:22 on Easter Sunday evening!
It is one thing to have the Holy Spirit ‘with’ you (para), another thing to have the
Spirit ‘in’ you (en), but something even more to have the Holy Spirit ‘upon’ you
(epi). Allow me to illustrate the difference.
If I should place an empty glass next to a large pitcher of water, this pitcher would be para, ‘with’
the glass. If I start pouring the water, from the pitcher into the glass, the water is now ‘in’ or en
this glass. As the glass fills with water and I continue to pour water into it, the glass begins to overflow.
The water is now ‘upon’ or ‘overflowing’ -- epi, the glass. You
started out with the para, moved to the en, and wound up with the epi.
So it is with the Holy Spirit in our lives. He
is first ‘with’ us, He begins to dwell ‘in’ us, but as the Lord continues to pour out His Spirit ‘upon’
us, He begins to overflow from us.
While many Christians have
the Holy Spirit in them, the Holy Spirit is not flowing forth out of their lives. They need to experience
the epi, this baptism / overflowing by the Holy Spirit.
that the apostles “spoke the Word of God with boldness and in tongues” Acts 2:1-4. The apostles were empowered with boldness
by God’s Spirit, for the express purpose of being witnesses proclaiming Jesus resurrection and gift of salvation - by
manifesting His presence through the gift of tongues. Given that the apostles were speaking the Word of
God to peoples of many different languages, (i.e. the “Elamites” noted in Acts 2:9 from the mountains
east of Babylon), the Holy Spirit’s choice of gifting the apostles with an ability to communicate His love in this manner
of “tongues” to these multitudes is not surprising. Although He could have as easily chosen any form of manifestation
termed “gifts of the Holy Spirit” to enable the proclamation of His gift to mankind. Nevertheless
it would seem that tongues was the appropriate method God used to reveal Himself for this instance. In other words, tongues
is no greater, or less, a manifestation of “Baptized in the Holy Spirit” than any other gift
of the Holy Spirit; they are all the Holy Spirit. As John 6:63 says, “It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing…”
Back to the Question: Why
would Jesus “breathe upon them the Holy Spirit at the first day of His resurrection only to reappear to them on the
40th day to say: “wait for the promise of the Father… you
shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence…and you shall receive power…and be witnesses…”?
Didn’t Jesus already “breathed upon them the Holy Spirit”? Why would He be instructing
them to wait again to receive the Holy Spirit? The answer lies in understanding the difference between
“en” and “epi” Greek prepositions described below:
Baptism of the Holy Spirit (epi) is an additional separate experience after having
received Christ & having been filled with His Spirit to the knowledge of His presence ie. “Born
Again” (en). A person may receive an additional blessing - an overflowing of God’s
presence - Baptized with the Holy Spirit, empowered boldness to share the knowledge of God’s gift of salvation, through
one or more “gifts / manifestations of the spirit” to reveal God’s love through the sacrifice of Jesus for
our sins and proven by His resurrection. This revelation may or may not include the gift of tongues, and
may in fact include one or more of the other “gifts of the Spirit”, as the Holy Spirit so selects to manifest
His love - in the gushing out the living water of His presence to those who thirst.
However, according to
the above scriptures in I Cor. 12:4-12 and 28-31, not every one receives every gift / manifestation
of the Holy Spirit, nor is it permanent: In Acts 2:1-4 the apostles were baptized
in the Holy Spirit as noted thus far “…and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak in
tongues”. However note in Acts 4:29-31 Peter prayed again: "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings:
and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word by stretching forth thine
hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. "And
when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
and they spoke the word of God with boldness" (again !) Acts 4:29-31.
Being Filled with the Holy Spirit
/ Baptized of the Holy Spirit.
Excerpt from “Gifts of the Spirit Vs. Cessationist Theology”
Clarification on the difference between Para
(with), En (in), and Epi (upon):
As noted in John 14:15-18, Jesus promised to send the apostles a “Comforter”;
i.e. Jesus said: “the Holy Spirit, Who is (currently) with you, shall be in you”.
This occurred as written in John 20:22 on Easter Sunday evening, when Jesus "breathed upon" His disciples and
said to them "receive the Holy Spirit". Yet 40 days later in Acts 1:3-5, 8 Jesus
said to his disciples: "Wait for the promise of the Father … and you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not
many days hence … and you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you … and
you shall be witnesses ..".
Holy Spirit was only "with" or alongside of the apostles while Jesus was still with them.
In other words, they had not yet fully realized the deity of Jesus. Their recognition of His deity occurred after His
resurrection, when Jesus appeared to them on Easter Sunday evening. Consequently they became a filled
with the Holy Spirit and acknowledged Him as Lord and Savior. This is where the term "born
again of the Spirit" is applied. Jesus stated that: “unless you are born of the water (unto repentance)
and of the spirit unto salvation, you shall not enter the kingdom of God” 1 Jn.3:1-5. In other words,
they acknowledged Jesus’ deity and gift of salvation when He appeared to them on Easter Sunday evening.
Being filled with the Holy Spirit & acknowledging the deity of
Jesus on Easter Sunday evening, is different than, being empowered / baptized by the Holy
Spirit to be witnesses to Jesus’ deity and sacrificial death for our sins. This empowerment
gift of the Holy Spirit to be witnesses, is precisely what occurred at Pentecost (Feast of Weeks). This
is significantly different then what occurred on Easter (Feast of First Fruits) Sunday evening:
After Pentecost, according to the book of Acts, when people accepted Jesus as Lord
and Savior, the Holy Spirit entered new believers, and they were both filled with the Spirit of God (En - in)
to the knowledge of His deity, and empowered / baptized (Epi - upon) to be witnesses to this Good News.
Indeed, the apostles themselves were at first only filled with
the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed upon them the Holy Spirit Easter Sunday evening (Feast of First Fruits).
But it was not until Pentecost (Feast of Weeks), that the apostles received the Holy Spirit, empowering them
to be witnesses with the manifestations of God's Spirit working through them.
This empowerment / baptism of the Holy Spirit is manifested by
God - working through us according to His will, as we are willing servants. That is
why Paul often encourages believers to be “filled with the Holy Spirit” Eph. 5:18, “who
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” Rom. 8:1; in order that we may do the will of God; and willing to let
Him work through us, as we are submitted to His will. Reference Romans one 8:1-4.
God will not manifest Himself through us, when we choose not to walk according
to His will, choosing instead to reject the will of God in our lives. In other words, by NOT doing the will of God, we are
NOT acknowledging Jesus as Lord and Master of our lives, and therefore we are NOT filled with the Holy Spirit.
This is being filled with the Holy Spirit: doing the will of the
Father in true acknowledgment of Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives. Then
God can manifest Himself through us, “empowering” us with gifts of His Spirit to make known His love.
By NOT doing the will of God, we are NOT acknowledging Jesus as Lord and master.
This is why Jesus said: "Not all who say Lord, Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but they who do the will of
My Father." (Mth. 7:21). This means that still have a free will choice to follow after Jesus,
or not, such as Judas Iscariot.
However, this is NOT to be
construed to mean that salvation is lost when we fail. In contrast to, turning away from God as
a matter of choice; in blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.
of Salvation Clarification: How can we have a secure "assurance of salvation"?
The apostle John likes to nail things down, to "know" this-or-that, for
sure. Some two dozen times in his First Letter he says we can "know" that we "know" the truth. Half of
those times he uses the word ginosko, which means to be informed, or to gain the knowledge of. The
other half he uses the word eido which means to know by perception of truth, i.e. common sense.
He has "written unto you . . . that ye may know (eido) that ye have eternal life" (1 John 5:13).
spiritual common sense give us this "assurance"? The answer is in 1 John 5:11: "God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son."
"God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son" (Jn 3:16). Three times in Romans 5, Paul emphasizes that God has given us the "free gift" that has
reversed the "condemnation" that came upon the human race "in Adam,". John says, that
gift is "in Christ." The Father gave Christ to the world, that He might already be "the Saviour of the world,"
"the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe" (Jn 4:42; 1 Tim 4:10).
boils down to is this: Salvation is due to God's initiative; damnation can be due only to our own initiative
what we choose not to "believe" the truth. As surely as Esau had the birthright, so surely you have eternal life
in Christ. He gave Himself for you and to you. He not only offered to give you the gift of eternal life so that your salvation
would not depend on your own initiative; He actually gave you the gift so that in eternity you would never have any reason
to "boast" that you took the initiative. It's 100% "by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
yourselves: it is the gift of God [there's that word again!]: not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph 2:8, 9). Although Esau had the birthright, he chose to "despise" it and
"sold" it for a trifle of worldly pleasure (Gen 25:34: Heb 12:16). "He that believeth not" takes the initiative of choosing unbelief;
in his being lost at the last (Jn 3:18, 19), "despising" what God has given him "in Christ."
Cherish your assurance in Christ. =================================
Tongues is one of many gifts - that when one is baptized with the Spirit
of God, God blesses with special gifts that may be used to honor Him. If that gift happens to be tongues,
according to scripture, it is limited to either private prayer / devotions, or interpreted if in church;
I Cor. 14:4-5,12-19, 26-28, or as an emboldened
witness that may, or may not, be in another language. “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken
where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness
and in tongues .” Acts 2:1-4. They spoke as an emboldened
witness to convey the word of God to those who have yet to believe, which may, or may not be in another language, but could
even include a different spiritual gift. The apostles were changed from fearful (Mark 14:67-71) to emboldened
(Acts 2:1-4) by the overflowing Baptism / with the Holy Spirit, as “living water”
to a dry and thirsty people, through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit - in this instance by virtue of the gift of tongues.
See I Cor. Chapters 12, 13 & 14.
While “tongues” is a special gift, it is not always evidence of being “Baptized in the Holy
Spirit”. God has/can/will give one or more of the “spiritual gifts” to flow through us
as an instrument to manifest His presence and love, in the method and time He chooses. Based upon scriptures
(see page one), a person can be baptized with the Spirit of God and receive a “spiritual gift” from God, without
necessarily that gift being tongues; as tongues is only one way (gift / manifestation) the Holy Spirit selects.
Tongues may not always be evidence of being “Baptized in the
Holy Spirit” when used improperly in the flesh. This may be precisely why the use of tongues according to Paul was restricted
to private prayer, unless another person exercises the gift of “interpretation of tongues” I Cor. 14:28
in the church either unto edification I Cor. 14:26-28, or unto interpretation of prophecy (See next paragraph).
The same principle applies to other gifts of the Spirit; we are encouraged both in the Old Testament, and by Paul,
to test the whether the Spirit be of God or not: i.e. Deut.18:20-22, Deut.13:1-5,
The “tongues” experience, contrary to Scripture, is often skewed, and unfortunately elevated to a level
bordering on idol worship. This can be at the cost of discounting the importance of all other “spiritual gifts”,
which are equal to tongues in importance for the Holy Spirit to reveal His presence and love. In other
words, if one is “Baptized in the Holy Spirit”, other gifts of the Spirit may be observed.
test is of course, is whether or not they are false manifestations performed in the flesh, or as edification to the church,
or to unbelievers, as when the apostles “preached the word of God with boldness and with tongues” Acts
2:1-4. As John 6:63 says “It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh
profits nothing…”. 1 Thes. 5:19 states: “Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not despise prophecies (A gift of the Holy Spirit). 21 Test
Tongues is not
a badge to be worn as one person being better than another. On the contrary, one cannot receive & exercise
a spiritual gift, without first being filled with the Spirit and then baptized with the Holy Spirit of God. Tongues
is a gift from God that should be expressed for the purpose of honoring, Him in one of three manifestations
according to scripture:
1) Tongues used as a private prayer language / devotions / worship 2)
In public with an interpreter to edify the church, or as an interpretation of prophecy. 3)
As an actual language to reveal God to an unbeliever to proclaim God’s love for them. Paul instructs
on the use of tongues in the church, to let there be no more than two or three, & an interpretation
of tongues, or else be silent I Cor.14:4-5,12-19, 26-28. Paul’s main point of emphasis is that all
things be done unto edification – not self consumption. See I Cor. Chapters 12, 13 & 14.
Many people seek
to use tongues as a sign of spiritual superiority. They consider tongues a sign of being Filled or Baptized
with the Spirit. But if you do not have love, tongues are a sign of nothing, and can even be divisive.
For instance when a call in church is given out for those who speak in tongues to do so. This results in
those who do not speak in tongues, visitors, and unbelievers being singled out as not fitting in, and think you to be crazy.
I Cor. 14:23. This is wrong and contrary to Paul’s teaching in I Cor. Chapters
13 & 14; for all things to be unto edification.
is not the issue. The issue is how much love is manifested in your life by the presence
of the Holy Spirit. For the Holy Spirit IS God, and God IS Love and those who love are of God and manifest
the Holy Spirit within us as evidenced by “fruit of the Spirit”
I John 4:7 & Gal.5:22-26.
“He who believes
in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38
Probably Jesus was making a reference to Isaiah 44:3 in which
God promised, “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your
descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.”
The original Greek text in John
7 is far more dynamic and intense than the King James version indicates.
The word translated flow in Greek is actually the word for gush, while the word translated rivers
is the Greek term for torrent. So a better translation would be, “Out of his innermost being
there will gush torrents of living water.”
Lord never intended that the Spirit be kept bottled up within us to bless us. His objective is always that
you and I be the instruments through which the Holy Spirit might flow forth to the needy world around us.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding
brass, or a tinkling cymbal.” 1Cr 13:1
I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for Us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth
on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
“But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses
unto me … unto the uttermost parts of the earth”. Acts 1:8.
We are to be vessels used as a channel for God’s
Spirit to flow through us, via ‘gifts of the Spirit’, evidenced by the ‘fruit of the Spirit’, as He
wills to work at His good pleasure (not ours) through us.
Spirit wants to use you and me to bring the love of God to others. He wants His Spirit to flow like a torrent
of living water out of our lives and into the lives of those who have yet to quench their thirst at the fountain of God.
to the Ephesian Christians, Paul wrote, "Be filled with the Spirit" Eph.5:18. Being
filled with the Spirit is not a once-for-all experience, but one He intends to be repeated:
Easter Jesus “breathed upon the disciples the Holy Spirit”. John 20:22
the Day of Pentecost the disciples were filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:4).
few days later, in a dramatic prayer meeting, they had such an experience again (Acts 4:29-31): Peter prayed: "And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that
with all boldness they may speak thy word by stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders
may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where
they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness"
(again). Acts 4:29-31.
The filling of the Spirit
implies being given power and boldness for God's service, for strength to meet particular crises, or for everyday Spirit-led
living. We experience renewal when we pray, "Lord, fill me today with your Spirit. Keep
my eyes on you." The filling of the Spirit is an experience to be repeated as necessary in the life
of each believer. The literal thought in Ephesians is "Keep on being filled". Aka
the “Pursuit of Holiness”; without which “No one will see the Lord” Heb. 12:14.
Holy Spirit is not a package on a string let down from heaven. He is not a liquid, nor are we a cup.
He is a Person. It follows, then, that to "be filled" depends on your relationship to
Him. It is not a matter of receiving more of Him but of opening more of ourselves to a certain and stronger
relationship with Him. It is a matter of desiring Him to more fully occupy, guide, and control every area
of our lives. Then whatever life brings us, His power is more evident in us. His joy
and peace control our emotions. Overall, He makes us effectively fruitful for Him.
inner thoughts and motives are guided when we are filled with the Spirit. All we are and have is subject
to His control. The test as to whether or not you are filled with the Spirit is not "Have you received
an external sign or been given a particular gift of the Spirit?" The test is rather "Have you
given yourself wholly and without reservation to God?" Rom.12:1. Are you genuinely
willing that He should control your life, absolutely and entirely?
Many believers come to a point
of utter frustration in their service for the Lord simply because they fail to realize the need to be filled with the Spirit
if they are to act in God's power. Just as we cannot save ourselves apart from the work of the Holy
Spirit, neither can we live the life of victory or serve the Lord effectively without the Spirit.
we learn to trust Him fully and allow Him to work through us, He frees us from the frustration of trying to accomplish spiritual
and eternal results solely through our human ability -- or, more properly, inability.
is the Holy Spirit Who delivers us from the power of sin: "Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me
free from the law of sin and death" Rom.8:2.
Through the Holy Spirit
we come to know Christ, and by the Holy Spirit's power we live and grow in Christ, in the service of the king and in the
fellowship of His church.
Paul gives an illuminating
"Be filled (keep on being filled) with the Spirit (Love of God). Speak to one another with
psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks
to God the Father for everything, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Eph.5:18-20.
“… Be ye
Holy for I Am Holy” I Peter 1:15-16
Prepare Ye The Way Of The Lord
Praise Ye The Lord
This Holy Spirit
theology I write is from the viewpoint of a conservative evangelical, with an acceptance of Gifts of the Spirit as theologically
sound doctrine, but initially failed to fully understand the theology behind “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”.
My theological arguments, so far, have held the presupposition that one actually believed in the Gifts of the Spirit.
For some odd reason I had completely forgotten that not all people held to that presupposition. So
it is necessary to backup a step and first address this issue.
My initial 5-
6 years as a believer, I attended the original Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, USA.; a charismatic church pastored
by Chuck Smith. This was NOT a pastor deluded by emotionalism, as opposed to sound doctrine, in fact just
the opposite. The next 10 years were spent in a conservative evangelical church, pastored by Chuck Swindoll and a similar
church for the following additional 9 years. So be assured that I am basically a very conservative evangelical.
Yet I cannot deny the revelation of Scripture by clear & literal interpretation that gifts of Spirit are applicable
for today as taught by Scripture, and by both pastors Chuck Swindoll and Chuck Smith. Ironically, Chuck
Swindoll once held to the cessationist doctrine, and even held position as President of Dallas Theological Seminary; a cessationist
theological doctrine seminary.
While not denying the Gifts of the Spirit, I
did not theologically understand the term “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”. Admittedly, my initial
research at first aimed to either prove, or disprove the term “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” by “clear & literal interpretation.
However, now I stand corrected as to the theological legitimacy of the “Baptism in the Holy Spirit”.
Although this was not withstanding hurtles, placed before me by some who apply excessiveness in the flesh, self-edification,
and even unbiblical interpretations of “Baptism of the Holy Spirit” theology.
I might mention that my wife also grew under Chuck Swindoll’s conservative
teachings, studied hermeneutics at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School with Dr. Walter Kaiser for her masters, interned on
staff one year with Chuck Swindoll, and then served as a missionary for 4 years through the Evangelical Free Church.
The point being, during her grammatical checking, she would also readily correct me if she felt my hermeneutics were
adrift. In fact she has been a great help in my struggle to further understand this topic.
Indeed, this process has been solely through the “illuminating and sanctifying help of the Holy Spirit”,
by “clear & literal interpretation”.
without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is …”.
arguments hold that emotions and experiences overwhelm the good senses of those who believe
in “Gifts of the Spirit” without sound doctrine:
of sound doctrine in addition to previously mentioned scriptural foundations:
If the spiritual gifts have ceased, then we must
cross out all the following passages from our Bible: 1 Cor.12:8-11;
part of 12:28-30; part of 1 Cor
13:1-2; 1 Cor.14:1-6; 14:13-15; 14:22-25 and 14:27-32, all due to misinterpretation of one word, in one verse – the word “perfect”
in I Cor. 13:10 !
Cessationist theology denies that
Gifts of the Spirit are applicable for today, and ceased at the end of the Canon when all the apostles died.
Cessationist consistently point to an over-emphasis on experiences and emotionalism, as reasons why charismatic / pentecostal
theology is flawed. I also concur that some Pentecostal beliefs are at times performed in the flesh, more
for self-edification than as intended by Scripture. Unfortunately some extreme Pentecostal movements
have done a great disservice to the church proper, leading to judgments that experiences and emotionalism had replaced sound
doctrine. In some cases this may in fact also be true, nevertheless, abuses do not constitute evidence
of an unsound doctrine. Gifts of the Spirit is a theologically sound doctrine despite abuses by some.
Just because there are doctrinal errors by some, and abuses in application of the Gifts of the Spirit, does not mean
that Gifts of the Spirit have ceased as cessationist claim.
Granted there have been, and will be abuses of the gifts, just as there were
in Paul's time, and the reason for his writing of 1 Corinthians
to deal with these abuses. Their problem is a lack of love in preference for spiritual gifts!
Therefore, to apply a “clear and literal” interpretation of scripture as cessationist would require,
one must interpret I Corinthians within context given by Paul.
That is to say, correct exegesis not isegesis hermeneutics to fit a preconceived view that gifts of the Spirit have
ceased at a particular time; by misinterpreting the singular word “perfect” from I Cor.13:10.
“Cessationist” Holy Spirit theology denies
the gifts of the Spirit as applicable for today:
I Cor.13:10 can supposedly be interpreted two ways, as to the meaning of when “perfect”
has occurred; at the end of the apostolic age (the cornerstone of cessationists theology), or at a latter time
such as described in Revelation that Pentecostal beliefs are supposedly based, neither of which is correct.
I Cor.13:8-10 states: “Charity never fails: 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.”
"...when that which is Perfect is come ..." refers to Love personified in the person of Jesus
upon His return. Scripture states that "God is Love.." and the only "perfect" expression
of God. Upon Jesus return, "that which is in part shall be done away"; i.e. there will no longer
be any need for gifts / manifestations of the Spirit.
I Cor. 12 & 13:1-9 preceding vs. 10, topic is specifically about pursuing Love as a priority to
spiritual gifts. How, therefore is the topic suddenly switched to a cessation of gifts, at the end of the apostolic
age, or any assumed age? Particularly, when the topic before and after, is encouraging the pursuit of Love,
in lieu of spiritual gifts? Is this not clear and literal? Cessationist doctrine states that the spiritual gifts died with the apostles, along with the completion of
the Canon of scripture, as an interpretation of when “perfect” occurs as a matter of
time. Nevertheless, there is no exegesis hermeneutics to substantiate that theology; only so-called
historical evidence that spiritual gifts were no longer available; obviously not reliable exegesis hermeneutics.
Secondly, “perfect” does not refer to a “time”, but a state of perfection; meaning love.
Which is exactly the context of what Paul is addressing in I Corinthians. That
is, Love will never die, for God IS Love, but gifts of the Spirit manifested through man will cease.
I John states: “And we have known
and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him,”
I John 4:16. This is the “perfection”
that Paul and all of scripture admonishes us to seek! i.e.: ".. be
ye Holy for I AM Holy" I Peter 1:15-16.
And He (Jesus) answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. Luke
10:27. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
This is the context of I Cor.13, the true meaning of “perfection”, and the fundamental problem being addressed
by Paul in I Cor.13:1-7. Their problem is
a lack of love in preference for spiritual gifts! Therefore seek love as a priority –“clear
EARLY CHURCH LEADERS TEACHINGS ON GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT:
Dr. Ken Johnson
On Church History
Peter, Paul & John --- Clement of Rome
Tertullian --- Cyprian
John --- Polycarp --- Justin Martyr
--- Ignatius ---
Mark --- ???
--- Pantaenus --- Clement of Alexandria --- Origen
Paul --- ??? --- Mathetes
The above chart shows the primary
successors of the apostles. These are the ones we know of through their writings.
Irenaeus says he was a disciple of Polycarp when he was young in "Against Heresies 3.3"
who was a disciple of Irenaeus, says Titian was a disciple of Justin Martyr in Refutation of all Heresies 8.9
This A.D. chart shows when each gift was specifically mentioned in history
by early church records:
Gifts (in general)
Justin Martyr (165 AD) writes:
82 - The prophetical gifts are only manifested among Christians and still continue.
- Dialogue 85 - Jewish exorcists make use of craft when they exorcise,
even as the Gentiles do, employing fumigations and incantations.
- Dialogue 51,52 - Jewish Prophets ceased after John.
Irenaeus (177 AD) writes:
- Against Heresies 2.31 - Christians still heal the blind, deaf,
and chase away all sorts of demons. Occasionally the dead are raised. Gnostics and other non-Christians can't chase away
demons - except those demons that are sent into others by themselves, if they can even do so much as this.
- Against Heresies 2.32 - Some
Christians do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently
both believe in Christ, and join themselves to the Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions,
and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea,
moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us for many years. The Church does not perform
anything by means of angelic invocations, or incantations, or by any other wicked curious art; but, directing her prayers
to the Lord.
Heresies 4.9 - In 1 Corinthians 13, "that which is perfect" and "face to face" refer to the second coming.
- Against Heresies
5.6 - Those who are "perfect" are those who have received the Spirit of God, and who through the Spirit of God do
speak in all languages, as he, Himself, used also to speak. In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the Church,
who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit
the hidden things of men, and declare the mysteries of God, whom also the apostle terms "spiritual," they being
spiritual because they partake of the Spirit, and seek spiritual understanding to become purely spiritual.
Origen (240 AD) writes:
- Against Celsus - 1:67 Christians
still expel demons and heal the sick.
- Against Celsus - 2:8 Christian still do miracles and prophesy.
- Against Celsus 7:3 - A true prophet under the control of the
Holy Spirit does not fall in to Ecstasy or madness like the pagans do.
- Against Celsus 7:4 - Prophets become clearer of mind. Every
Christian even new ones have no problem casting out demons.
- Against Celsus 7:8 - Sine the time of Christ there has been no Jewish
prophets only Christian ones.
- Against Celsus 7:9 - The spirits speaking through the pagan prophets claim to be God, but their speech is "strange,
fanatical, and quite unintelligible words, of which no rational person can find the meaning: for so dark are they, as to have
no meaning at all; but they give occasion to every fool or impostor to apply them to suit his own purposes."
Irenaeus writes 178
AD regarding “Perfection” in I Cor. 13:10 :
- Against Heresies 2.28 - Perfect Knowledge Cannot Be Attained in the
Heresies 2.32 - Gnostics try to pass over to the state of perfection. Some Christians do certainly and truly drive out devils,
so that those who have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe in Christ, and join themselves to the
Church. Others have foreknowledge of things to come: they see visions, and utter prophetic expressions. Others still, heal
the sick by laying their hands upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have said, the dead even have been
raised up, and remained among us for many years. The Church does not perform anything by means of angelic invocations, or
incantations, or by any other wicked curious art; but, by directing her prayers to the Lord.
- Against Heresies 3.12 - The spirit came with
prophecy and tongues, and Peter said it fulfilled Joel's prophecy. When we say the apostles were perfected, we mean their
writings are inspired therefore 100% accurate.
- Against Heresies 4.38 - Man was not created perfect. Men who try to perfect themselves invent gods or systems then
become trapped in those systems they invent, never coming to the complete knowledge of the one true god. Romans 3, teaches
every group of man - pagan, gentile, and Jewish became entangled in the system they had.
- Against Heresies 5.6 - Those who are "perfect"
are those who have received the Spirit of God, and who through the Spirit of God do speak in all languages, as he used Himself
also to speak. In like manner we do also hear many brethren in the Church, who possess prophetic gifts, and who through the
Spirit speak all kinds of languages, and bring to light for the general benefit the hidden things of men, and declare the
mysteries of God, whom also the apostle terms "spiritual," they being spiritual because they partake of the Spirit,
and seek spiritual understanding to become purely spiritual. The soul, body, and spirit are three separate parts of man, and
in order to be whole and perfect he must be in possession of all three and in union with the Holy Spirit.
mentioned, Chuck Swindoll a very conservative evangelical himself, also once held a Cessationist view (for decades).
More recently he has revised his position supporting gifts of the Spirit as valid, and currently applicable sound doctrine.
Neither he, nor I went ballistic, unfortunately a common view by those refuse to believe. No, he
simply quit denying the ability of God to manifest His love through manifestations called “Gifts of the Spirit”.
See his sermon on gifts of the Holy Spirit dated 10/28 & 29/2003 from James 5:13-16 on-line at:
or CD available for purchase – see http://www.insight.org/.
The choice to accept
a limitation of God’s ability to manifest His Love through gifts of the Spirit by false interpretation of I Cor.13: 10 is a tragedy.
It is actually an impossible stretch of exegesis to deny, rather then to accept the multitude of “clear and literal”
statements of Scripture supporting manifestations of the Holy Spirit, as God’s choice and capability to demonstrate
His presences of love in any age of time!
I Cor. 13:10, the cornerstone of cessationist theology,
even reaches beyond Scripture to historical documents to substantiate it’s position. i.e.:
John MacArthur’s article: At: tongues. Also see cessationist Grace To You website. A
most notable hermeneutical error; history can always substantiate 2 sides to every statement, & certainly is not reliable
exegetical hermeneutics. Nevertheless,
the above provided historical records also prove this position as false.
In any case, IF I am to err, I will err in good company, and on the side of not limiting God, in how and when He
chooses to manifest His love to a dry and thirsty land. Who am I to limit God?
To deny Gifts / Manifestations of the Spirit is tantamount to denying an all powerful God, His ability to work
through us by His Spirit, as we choose to be submitted to His will. To deny the Holy Spirit working
through us, as we are willing servants, is truly a tragedy.
1 Thess.5:19 says “Do not quench the Spirit.
20 Do not despise prophecies (A gift of the Holy Spirit). 21 Test all things”
Precisely! But by denying the “Gifts of the Spirit”,
we do exactly that – Quench the Spirit!
Are legitimate healings today only to be written off as just over emotional / experiential
faith, or as the ability of a Holy / merciful God to manifest Himself as He so chooses? Not surprising,
others like the Pharisees did the same thing in unbelief when Jesus performed miracle healings. Are we
also to write-off the Paul’s “road to Damascus experience? What about all the prophets when
God “spoke” to them, was that just emotional / experiential faith? To have faith, you must
first believe that He exists. Yet we are commanded to also test all things to be true or not. 1 Thess.5:19 states: “Do
not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things.”
Another striking example comes from the “Jesus Films Project” dated 3/15/2006
(full 4-page report available upon request, or see web site: http://www.jesusfilm.org/), where the film crew approached a Muslim village and were reproached by their Muslim Leader who informed the Jesus Film
crew to leave and “do nothing here”. The Jesus film person states his response was:
“With the Holy Spirit as my guide, I respectfully replied, ‘We are coming here to show you and your people
the JESUS film, preach the gospel and heal the sick.’ He responded: ‘What did you say?
Heal the sick? . . . Really? Is that possible?’ ‘Yes, if you allow us to show the JESUS
film and preach the gospel.’”. Consequently, the chief relented, based upon their promise to
heal the sick. The film was shown to over 5,000 people, at the end of which a young girl of 7 years
born blind received her sight, after her father had brought her to them for healing. So, are the
film crew liars, or did the Holy Spirit manifest His presence through the gift of healing? Is this
just experiential / emotional theology, or proof of God’s working through Gifts (manifestations) of the (His)
Example of the “Gift of Teaching” (I Cor.12:4-12). I once asked Chuck Smith, pastor of Calvary Chapel, of Costa Mesa, CA. the question: “You
teach about the gifts of the Spirit but don’t exercise them yourself in church, why? He simply responded,
“God gave me the gift of teaching, so that is the gift that I exercise, but for those who believe that they have received
other spiritual gifts we make a room available for their meeting”. Simple but so true, His gift was
truly teaching. He has taught 3- 4000 people, four times a week for many decades now; consequently spawning
well over 1,000 churches worldwide, all from this one man! (See CalvaryChapel.com interactive map of churches;
key word search “churches”.)
he do this all on his own, without the “empowerment” of the Holy Spirit, without the “gift of teaching”
inspired by the Holy Spirit? Are both he and Chuck Swindoll wrong? Very doubtful,
particularly since interpretation of I Cor.13:10 can supposedly be interpreted
two ways, as to the meaning of when “perfect” has occurred as a state of time, OR, of love perfected.
As for Emotions:
says: “Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises
unto our King, sing praises”. Praise is an emotional expression of gratitude for the greatness of
both, Who He is, and our love for Him. How can it be, that it is OK
for people to express very strong emotions at a football game, but not OK to do so about God. What is that
is the problem of honoring and praising God with all our heart in passionate worship?
Scripture commands us:
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart (emotions / love)…soul …strength …mind (intellect
/ sound doctrine) … Luk 10:27. Notice
sound doctrine does not exclude emotional expressions.
King David was also ridiculed for his dancing wildly celebrating the Lord: 2 Sam.6:16 “And
as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David
leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart”. Notice
he was despised by man, but not by God!
When we pray in song “ set my spirit free that I might
worship thee, let all bondage go, let deliverance flow, set my spirit free to worship Thee” do we really mean it?
However, this may be uncomfortable for us in our upper middle class life style. But for the
grace of God, there go I; not to mention my own tendency toward a self-conscious inhibited nature!
For some in great bondage, great repentance, and/or worship may be their need. Am to I to
deny them their need for deliverance for my personal comfort zone? Does compassion come into play here,
however uncomfortable to personal sensibilities? Is it not needed in sterile churches today where
people walk in, and walk out unchanged?
pray that I become a fool for Christ so that people have an opportunity to repent, rather than hide behind sterile conformity.
Bottom line here is that God made us with emotions; it’s part
(but not solely) of who we are in our worship and love of Him. Yet Scripture also admonishes
us to do everything “decently and in order”, particularly when it comes to exercising the gifts of the Spirit:
adds “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand”.
The question is: How do you define these terms of “decently & in order”? King David
danced wildly celebrating the Lord. Not that
I for one am so inclined, but what harm is it to express their love to God; setting their spirit free to worship before the
Lord with all their heart, soul and strength, provided of course that it is not sinful, or disruptive?
If it helps them set aside their cares and concerns of this world, enabling them to focus solely on God’s goodness,
why not? King David did, and was despised by man, but not by God!
Quite frankly there are a lot of dead churches out there, doing their Sunday
church thing. They walk in … and walk out … , “ever increasing in knowledge and never
coming to the truth” 2 Tim. 3:17. Primarily because humbleness and humility before the Lord is not strongly
encouraged, prior to receiving the Word of God. It’s like the parable of the grains of wheat
sown some in good soil, and some not & fail to take root. Unless the heart is humbled, the Word has
much difficulty taking root in unfertile soil. Nevertheless we also know that the Word of God “does
not return void” Is. 55:11 to those who hear it … even if their heart is not yet prepared to receive it!
Is this to infer experiences or emotions trump sound
doctrine? Of course not.
1 Thes. 5:19: Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things.
GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT - SUPPLIMENT
Comments on John McArthur’s book "Charismatic Chaos" content regarding various Charismatic
teachings on: health / wealth gospel, revelation from sources outside Scripture, miracles today, etc.
Yes, there are a large number of well-meaning Christians who
take Scripture and twist / distort it beyond what it says.
However that does not negate sound doctrine. Unfortunately over the past 30 years, I have seen a fair share
of twisted scripture to fit man’s purposes. Compassion and care to help the wounded is the priority. Satan often
deceives and twists, causing confusion to prevent a full appreciation of God's love. To some extent
these extremes still manage to do some good, despite incorrect theology, but just a little extra baggage
can distract them from the full truth of God's Love; as pointed out in John McArthur's commentary on I
Cor. 12. While there are some false teachers
in the charismatic movement, the same is true to those who deny the Holy Spirit manifestations today.
It is worthy to note that in I Cor. 12 - 14, Paul is instructing the
Corinthians to pursue Love, not the pursuit of spiritual gifts as a priority, and resulting divisiveness. This is the main topic: Love, IS
therefore, that which is "perfect" as referenced in I Cor. 13:10 "perfect".
Cor.13:8-10 states: “Charity
never fails: 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.”
I Cor. 12 & 13:1-9
preceding vs. 10, topic is specifically about pursuing Love as a priority to spiritual gifts.
How, therefore is the topic suddenly switched to a cessation of gifts, at the end of the apostolic age, or any assumed age? Particularly,
when the topic before and after, is encouraging the pursuit of Love, in lieu of spiritual gifts? Is this not clear
I Cor. 14:12 reiterates: "Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek
that ye may excel to the edifying of the church."
I John 4:16 “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love;
and he that dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him.” This is the state of perfection
Paul is in context talking about.
I John 2:5 “But who so keeps His word, in him verily is the
love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.”
Love is the topic; not a cessation, within some arbitrary time, the
manifestations / gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I Cor. 13: 8 is simply reiterating the obvious: "Charity never fails: but
whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there
be knowledge, it shall vanish away." But that which is of God, namely Love, is perfection
and will never cease, for God IS Love.
Is this not clear and literal in context, rather than superficially deriving another meaning
out of the word "perfect" in vs. 10, when "Love" is the topic, and that which is "perfect"? .
With this clear and literal meaning of this one Scripture
(I Cor. 13:10), cessationist theology crumbles! Would you not agree? All other scriptures referenced from
a cessationist view such as John McArthur's, only go to support an incorrect interpretation of one word, in one verse:
I Cor. 13:10 "perfect".
Is this adequate exegetical hermeneutics; one dubious word in one verse? Seems like a very large stretch to