- Two Essential Truths About the Holy SpiritThere are two truths about the Holy Spirit that we need to have clear from the beginning.
- The first truth is that the Holy Spirit is a person not an impersonal force.
- The second truth is that the Holy Spirit is God not a creation of God.
- The Holy Spirit Is a Person
The most important passage to support the first truth is John 14–16. At least three things in these chapters confirm that Jesus thinks of the Holy Spirit as a person not a mere force.
1) Jesus calls him “another Counselor/Helper” in 14:16, “I will pray the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you for ever, even the Spirit of truth” (14:26; John15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
; John16:7 Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.). When Jesus calls him a Helper/Counselor or Comforter, he treats him as a person not a force. And when he calls him “another Counselor,” he means, “He will be a counselor like me.” The Holy Spirit is a counselor like Jesus is—he is a person.
Charismatic and Pentecostal, Full Gospel churches are noted for their preaching emphasis on the “works” of the Holy Ghost. Yet it is obvious that most Spirit-filled Christians are not doing what they were taught or if they were ever taught: Living in the power (“dunamis” Acts 1:8) of the Holy Spirit and the “…greater works…” of Jesus, John 14:12. There is a dire need today for a balanced emphasis on the Person, along with the “works” of the Third Person in the GodHead:
We have to learn a balanced emphasis on the Holy Spirit:
a. I Corinthians 12:4-6 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
- The Father operates the powers.
- The Son administrates (ministers) the authority.
- The Holy Spirit manifests the power.
- not everyone gets the gifts.
The limited “emphasis” on the Holy Spirit indicates that Full Gospel churches implement the Baptism in the Holy Ghost and enter into the experience, but do not, as a rule, practice the lifestyle as set forth in the Book of Acts.
- If one does not go beyond the “experience” of being baptized in the Holy Ghost, into a relationship with the Holy Ghost, he will soon slide back into nominal Christianity. He will go:
- From exuberant joy, to an attitude of nonchalance.
- From elated worship experience, to just enduring church services.
- From enthusiastic witnessing, to just holding a creed.
- The church must move past the dramatic “experience” of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit into a regular, intimate and real relationship with the Person of the Holy Ghost, so we can live with power, New Testament Christianity.
- This is NOT the norm in Full Gospel churches today for several reasons:
- The Person of the Holy Ghost and how to have a relationship with Him is not properly emphasized.
- The reason the Person of the Holy Spirit is not taught, is because of a deficit in our theology and thus in our doctrine.
- It is implied by current teaching about the Holy Spirit that He is an “influence,” a “power” or even just an “attitude.” He is looked upon as a Christian “tool.” Little or no emphasis being made of His “Godness” much less His real Person
- The reason His Person is not regarded or understood, is because He is not really seen in the Triune GOD, who He IS!
- The church today is so limited in the knowledge and understanding of the Trinity, that:
- They are ill at ease or embarrassed to refer to the Holy Ghost as “God” in their conversation.
- Their praying remains confused. In trying to relate to the God(Head), they little know or understand the place of the Trinity in their prayer life. They feel guilty of Tritheism.
- To consider the worship the Holy Ghost as God causes guilt, for they feel they are taking reverence away from the Father and/or the Son.
- Jesus says in Acts 1:5 and 8 that baptism in the Spirit means, “You shall receive power . . . and you shall be my witnesses.” This is an experience of boldness and confidence and victory over sin. A Christian without power is a Christian who needs a baptism in the Holy Spirit. I am aware that in 1 Corinthians 12:13 Paul says that baptism in the Spirit is an act of God by which we become a part of the body of Christ at conversion, so that in his terminology all genuine converts have been baptized in the Spirit.
- I was told multiple times “Brother if you don’t learn how to speak in tongues your will never have a powerful prayer life” My answer was always “What Verse?” But I have a couple for them….
- James 5:15 And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
- 1 Peter 3:7 Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.
- 1Peter 3:10 For “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit;11 let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
- 1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers
Well what about tongues and being baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues?
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The Greek word for power here is “Dunamis” it is the power for performing miracles, moral power and excellence of soul, power to overcome sin.
Ephesians 5:18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, The scripture here is present tense meaning to continually be filled. Baptism of the spirit is not a one time thing.
There are false teachings out there popular within the charismatic Pentecostal movement saying “the evidence of being baptized in the holy spirit is speaking in tongues.” Or gibberish as I would like to say.
Nowhere then, and this is very important, nowhere does the Bible teach that the gift of tongues is anything other than human languages. If you have a question about that, all you need to do is to go back to Acts 2:4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages, it’s the word language, they speak with other languages, as the Holy Spirit was giving them utterance.”
Notice that they didn’t have to learn how to do it? Somebody didn’t sit them down in a chair and say, “Empty your mind and start talking in unintelligible syllables.” No, the Spirit gave them utterance and they began to speak and what did they speak? It’s very clear, “The multitude came together,” Acts 2: 5 At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. 6 When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers.7 They were completely amazed. “How can this be?” they exclaimed. “These people are all from Galilee, 8 and yet we hear them speaking in our own native languages! 9 Here we are—Parthians, Medes, Elamites, people from Mesopotamia, Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, the province of Asia, 10 Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, and the areas of Libya around Cyrene, visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism), Cretans, and Arabs. And we all hear these people speaking in our own languages about the wonderful things God has done!”
Acts 2:6, “They were bewildered, they were from everywhere, by the way, “They were each hearing them speak in his own language.” It wasn’t doubletalk, it wasn’t gibberish, it wasn’t angel talk, it wasn’t celestial speech, it was just different languages.
It is very clear it was language. The word in Acts 2 is glossa, it means language. They were hearing people speak in their own language. That’s all; it wasn’t some angel talk, some gibberish, some secret ecstatic language, some nonsense talk. Then it says also they were hearing in their own dialektos, dialects, that also we find used in Acts chapter 2. So there were unbelievers present at Pentecost hearing God’s message in their own languages and their own local dialects, not ecstatic gibberish.