PRESENT DAY ILLUMINATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
James W. Boyd
What does it mean to illuminate? It means to enlighten,
inform, bring light where there is darkness, reveal what has not
been revealed, give information that permits understanding. We
contend there is illumination by the Holy Spirit today, but not as
Before Jesus was crucified, He outlined the work of
the Holy Spirit in John 14,15,16 when speaking to the apostles. He
promised to send them the Holy Spirit. The work of the
Holy Spirit involved them and their preaching. The Holy
Spirit would convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment,
guiding the apostles into all the truth, bringing to their
remembrance what He had taught them, all in order to glorify
Christ. This was a promise, not to everyone, but to the apostles.
It was a promise the Lord kept beginning at Pentecost. That day the
Holy Spirit came upon the apostles and they spoke as the Spirit
guided. If this promise was not fulfilled to them, then Christ
broke His Word. But the Scripture affirms that total
truth, once a mystery, has been revealed and we have the full
revelation of God's will given to man during the lifetime of the
The Biblical evidence of this truth is in Acts 20:27
where Paul said he preached the whole counsel of God. Jude 3
teaches Christians are to contend for the faith once delivered to
the saints. Galatians 1:6-9 pronounces God's curse on those who
teach differently from what the apostles taught. Second Peter 1:3
affirms they received all things that pertain to life and
godliness. Second Timothy 3:16,17 says the Scripture furnishes us
all things. First Corinthians 13:10 says miracles were to last
until that which is perfect is come, meaning the full
revelation of truth. Ephesians 3:3-5, Paul had the
mystery revealed to him, he wrote it down by the Spirit,
and one can read and understand what is now revealed although once
unrevealed. Psalm 119:105 says Thy word is a lamp unto my
feet and a light unto my path.
Mankind is illuminated by the Holy Spirit today
by and through the revealed, verbally inspired, infallible,
inerrant, authoritative and all-sufficient Word of God, the Bible.
But there is much dissatisfaction among men with the
Bible. They resent being confined to the Word of God in the Bible.
They want more from God; something in addition and different.
Therefore, some claim revelations -- illuminations since the
perfect law of liberty was revealed. Some religions are
based almost entirely on the claims of latter-day revelations and
continuous unfolding of additional and different truths since the
Bible. Some claim to hold the Scriptures alongside their claimed
new revelations. But this is impossible as the Bible itself
teaches. Various individuals and churches claim visions, dreams and
revelations that are special from what anyone else ever receives
Many on the electronic church and the
television personalities make such claims. For instance, Pat
Roberson of the 700 Club constantly claims God is telling him
something nobody else hears. He says God is healing somebody
somewhere, here and there, he feels it, he knows it. He preaches a
health and wealth message.
Jim Baker of the PTL Club once claimed to
heal everybody on the top floor of an Atlanta hospital. Funny
thing, however, nobody at the hospital ever knew anything about it.
When that healing took place Baker shouted that the Holy Spirit had
outdone Himself. Baker also once claimed to have received a special
message from God right during his program (I was watching), and
following a commercial he revealed what God had said. God told him
that this was a special good time to ask for donations.
Oral Roberts once claimed to have seen a
900 foot Jesus rising above his hospital. (Wonder why there is a
need of a hospital since Roberts claims to be a miracle worker and
can heal everything from gout to cancer.) He once claimed God would
take his life if he did not raise four and one half million dollars
for his projects. He has millions from naive, gullible, Biblically
ignorant people. I have visited his crusades and know first hand of
his vicious deception. I have talked with those he
healed. He is a colossal fraud.
Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian
Science, claimed special revelation and founded that religious
movement on such things.
The Mormon Church stands on the claimed
special latter-day revelation of Joseph Smith. The president of the
Mormon Church still claims to receive messages from God. If that
be true, one can never really know if the message of the Mormons
who come to your house is true or not because their message is
subject to change as God speaks to their president. It is not
surprising that Smith wrote disparagingly of the Bible and that
Mormons use the Bible only as an entrance to get into homes to
propagate their religious lies.
ANSWER THE QUESTION
Ellen G. White, founder of Seventh-Day
Adventism, claimed special revelations about the Sabbath. They
believe in continuous revelation, as do Jehovah's Witnesses.
The Catholic Church is built on special
claims of special revelations.
The doctrine of Calvinism demands that
there be special operations of the Holy Spirit separate and apart
from the Word of God. Baptists are strong Calvinists. One Primitive
Baptist preacher told me when they assemble they have not studied
but wait until the Spirit moves them. Once during a campaign
against alcoholic beverages he claimed God told him to have a big
rally in the city auditorium, but from some experience I warned
against such a rally lest it flop because of rain, and the facility
being too large, the liquor people would gain rather than lose from
such an event. He later agreed. I just had to ask him why he took
my word over that of his special revelation. Baptists claim that
what they happen to think of has been placed there by the Holy
Spirit. They are sincere, but have no understanding of the
illumination of the Spirit.
Lynn Anderson, formerly of Highland Church
of Christ in Abilene, Texas, openly prayed that God would enlighten
the Word as if the Bible was a dead letter on its pages and needed
a push from the Spirit.
Pat Boone said one cannot understand the
Bible until you have the Spirit's experience. He said once it
happens to you, you will know it. There are some teachers in
colleges operated by members of the church of Christ who hold to
the same or similar false views.
There was a woman evangelist in Jackson, Tennessee
who told me she talked with God nearly every day like Moses and God
talked at the burning bush. She was unable to give me even one
single direct quotation from the Lord's mouth, however. In Memphis,
over television, a Baptist preacher claimed to be inspired by the
Holy Spirit and to the same degree as the apostles.
Don Finto, of the once Belmont Church of
Christ in Nashville, Tennessee, said over television that what he
was saying was no longer Don Finto, but I was God in Don
Finto. A visitor to my office once came asking for help to
restore his marriage. His problem arose because his wife claimed
God told her to move to California. She did, leaving her husband
Feelings, nudges, special instructions on what to
preach, where to preach, where to park the car, what to say,
seeking signs from God, this is what one hears repeatedly today.
People who study these matters could add instance after instance to
what I have said.
The unanswered and unanswerable question is, If
God is speaking to all these people as they claim, why do they
not speak alike, speak the same things and teach the same messages?
Why are they still divided? Is the Holy Spirit sending
contradictory messages? Is He inconsistent with the very Scripture
He gave? Or, are the claimants deceived or just flat out
lying? Jimmy Swaggart denies Oral Roberts
heard God tell him he would die unless monies were raised. But why
should we believe Jimmy any more than Oral? Both claim the Holy
Spirit guides them! Ephesians 4:4,5 teaches there is one
faith. Men of faith who subscribe to the faith are
willing to take God's Word and take God at His Word without
demanding, claiming, or advocating something more, less, special
WHAT IS LACKING?
In Luke 16, we read where the rich man in torment
wanted Abraham to arrange for his brothers to receive God's warning
in some special manner. Abraham's answer was that they had Moses
and the prophets. Let them hear what God has already revealed. But
many want something more and their desire for something more leads
them to claim something more.
The Truth is, Deity illuminates through the Gospel
(I Cor. 2:13). We are told to speak as the oracles of God (I Peter
4:11). We shall be judged by the Word of Christ (John 12:48) and
His Word is in the inspired Scriptures.
I am motivated to ask, What if God did actually give
somebody a special revelation? What would it accomplish? What would
be the purpose of it? Would it change His Word some way? If so, it
would deny First Peter 1:25 that says His Word will endure
forever. Will it add to it or take from it? If so, it
violates all the many passages that condemn doing that very thing.
Will it reveal truth thus far withheld from man? If so, Jesus did
not keep His promise to the apostles. Will it give us an inspired
interpretation of the Scriptures? If so, having given us the Bible
which we could not understand without inspired interpretation,
would He have to give us another inspired interpretation to help us
understand His inspired interpretation? Could not God provide
adequate revelation from the first? He said He would, and He did.
I believe Him. If He could not, can we be sure He can now? If He
did not, why does He hold man responsible?
Finally, what evidence is presented by these who
claim their special revelations to verify that they have received
what they claim? The apostles performed miraculous works to prove
they were speaking from God. They confirmed the Word in that manner
(Mark 16:20; Heb. 2:3,4). Their miracles were real, verified, even
not denied by their enemies because their enemies were confounded
by them. They made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to
walk, the dead to rise. They struck people blind, were unharmed by
vipers who bit them. Their healings were instantaneous and
complete. They were not involved in some psychosomatically caused
problem that can be corrected under the influence of
hyperemotionalism. Those who claim such powers today do not do what
was done by those of the first century as recorded in Scripture.
Where goes the claim, must go the demonstration. The
demonstration is lacking. Such claimants are false teachers and
false prophets teaching false doctrine. They are people who are
malcontent with the Word of God and deceive millions, raking in
millions of dollars into their coffers. We are not left in darkness
regarding the will of God. The Word lights, illuminates, leads,
guides, directs, converts and sustains. By and through the Word the
Holy Spirit operates, not apart from it. Thank God for His grace
and mercy in His inspired revelation, the Scriptures!
2720 S Chancery St.
McMinnville, TN 37110
Table of Contents
QUESTIONS ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
Garland M. Robinson
1. WHAT IS MEANT BY THE HOLY
The Holy Spirit is one of the most misunderstood
subjects in the Bible. I had an elder ask me one time if the
Holy Spirit and Holy Ghost are one and the same
or different. I informed him they are one and the same -- two
phrases describing the same divine person. The Holy Spirit is a
masculine personality and not an it. We should refer to
him as He.
The Holy Spirit is DEITY, one of the three members
of the Godhead. The word Godhead is a Bible term. We read
of it in Acts 17:29, Forasmuch then as we are the
offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead
is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's
device. Making up the Godhead are: the Father
(John 6:27; Rom. 1:7; 15:6), the Son (John 5:18; Titus
2:13; II Peter 1:1) and the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16; Acts
5:3-4; Eph. 4:30). All three personalities are God, --
they each possess the nature and attributes of deity. The
Father is God, the Son is
God and the Holy Spirit is God. They
are divine, deity.
The Holy Spirit is not an influence or some mystical
phenomenon. He is as real as the Father and the Son. The Bible is
His Word (Eph. 6:17; II Peter 1:21) given by the direction of God
the Father (John 16:13; II Tim. 3:16-17). His word (the Bible) will
be used to judge all of mankind in the last day (John
In Acts 5:3-4, the Holy Spirit is called
God. He is eternal -- everlasting (Heb. 9:14),
omniscient -- all knowing (I Cor. 2:10-11), omnipotent
-- all powerful (Gen. 1:1-2,26), and omnipresent --
everywhere (Psalm 139:7-11). The Spirit is spoken of as having many
other attributes, some of which are: He speaks (I Tim.
4:1), has knowledge (I Cor. 2:11), has affections
(Rom. 15:30), can be grieved (Eph. 4:30), can be
blasphemed (Matt. 12:31-32), can be resisted (Acts
7:51), can be lied to (Acts 5:3), He makes
intercession for us (Rom. 8:26) and He bears witness
The Holy Spirit is referred to 264 times in the New
Testament, using as many as 39 different names or terms. Since
there is so much said about the Holy Spirit in the Bible, it is
strange for there to be so much confusion and false teaching
regarding him. Let us remember that God is not the author of
confusion, man is (I Cor. 14:33)! Men are the ones that have
twisted the Scriptures unto their own destruction. Granted, some
Scriptures are harder to understand than others. And, it is these
which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they
do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction
(II Peter 3:16).
Study to show yourself approved of God (II Tim.
2:15; Acts 17:11).
2. DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT LITERALLY DWELL IN
THE PHYSICAL BODY OF A CHRISTIAN?
There is so much confusion and questioning
concerning the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a member of the
Godhead just like God the Father and God the Son. Why isn't there
confusion over the indwelling of the Father and the indwelling of
The FACT of deity dwelling in a Christian is not
disputed. The Bible says they do. ...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 (2 Cor. 6:16). God the Father, God the Son and
God the Holy Spirit, all three, dwell or abide in the Christian.
The question at hand is, HOW does deity dwell in a
Christian? There are two possibilities. They either: 1) literally,
personally, bodily, dwell in a Christian or they, 2)
representatively, through a medium or agent, dwell in a Christian.
The Bible answers this question in Ephesians 3:17,
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by
faith.... The Scripture says Christ dwells in our
hearts and then tells us HOW He dwells in our hearts,
by faith. The Holy Spirit dwells in a
Christian the same as Christ dwells in a Christian -- BY FAITH. The
Bible says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Rom.
The answer to our question above is NO. The Holy
Spirit does not literally, personally, dwell in the physical body
of a Christian. He dwells in us by or through faith -- the Word of
The Word of God, the Bible, is the revealed Word of
the Holy Spirit. It was given though Him (cf. 2 Peter 1:20-21). As
His Word abides in us, so does the Holy Spirit abide in us. When we
push the Word out of our heart and life, then the Holy Spirit is no
longer present. Are you allowing the Word of the Spirit to abide in
you? Obey the Lord today and live according to His inspired Word.
3. HOW DOES THE SPIRIT DWELL IN MAN IN
LIGHT OF Rom. 8:9; I Cor. 3:16 and II Tim. 1:14?
From these three verses we learn the Holy Spirit
dwells in the Christian. What many fail to understand (or even
consider) is HOW the Spirit dwells. This has led to much
false teaching and thus caused many to stray from the Lord. Many
conclude (without Bible evidence) this indwelling is personal and
manifests itself in tongues and other miraculous powers.
Such conclusions are foolish and fatal to one's salvation. These
verses say nothing as to HOW the Spirit dwells in us.
Without the Bible we would not even know there is
a Holy Spirit, HOW he dwells within the Christian or WHAT he does.
It is difficult to understand such controversy over the
indwelling of the Spirit when the Scriptures also plainly
reveal both the indwelling of God (I John 4:15) and the indwelling
of Christ (Rom. 8:10).
There are two possibilities as to how the Spirit
dwells: personally or representatively.
Ephesians 3:17 says Christ dwells in our hearts and he does so
by faith. Romans 10:17 says faith comes by hearing
the word of God; and, if Christ so dwells, then must also the
Father and the Holy Spirit. All these dwell exactly the same way --
by (through) faith.
The Bible is the word of the Spirit (Luke 8:11; Eph.
6:17). When we let THE WORD have free course in our life so as to
govern our mind and action, then God, Christ and the Holy Spirit
are said to be leading us. This is what we do when we
walk by faith, not by sight (II Cor. 5:7); that is,
we walk according to the teaching of the Word. When we are
led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14), we are guided by the
Spirit's WORDS. When we walk after the Spirit
(Rom. 8:1) we live by the Spirit's WORDS. The Spirit has always
worked through WORDS!
4. ARE THERE MEASURES OF THE HOLY
Thayer (pg.408) says the word measure means:
determined extent, portion measured off, measure or
limit. It is evident the Holy Spirit worked through different
individuals in the first century in varying degrees. While some
could work miracles, others could not. All were not able to do the
same things. The New Testament reveals four different
measures of the Holy Spirit.
1) Jesus had the Spirit without
measure. For he whom God hath sent speaketh the
words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto
him (John 3:34). Jesus had the Spirit without any
limitation -- in its fullness. He knew all and could do all. He was
truly God with us (Matt. 1:23).
2) The baptismal measure. John
the baptizer said, ...He that cometh after me is mightier
than I,...he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost...
(Matt. 3:11). This was a promise made only to the apostles (John
14,15,16). Jesus said in Acts 1:4-5 that the baptism of the Holy
Spirit was a promise to be received and applies it to the
apostles. The apostles received the baptismal measure on Pentecost
ten days later (Acts 2:1-4).
From what is said in Acts 11:15-16, the Holy Spirit
falling on the household of Cornelius reminded Peter of Matthew
3:11 and was an incident used by God to convince the Jews that the
Gentiles also had been granted repentance unto life (Acts 11:18).
It is evident that the baptism of the Holy Spirit was not a common
or every day occurrence. Otherwise, why was such attention called
3) The laying on of hands measure.
...Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles'
hands the Holy Ghost was given... (Acts 8:17-18). The
apostles were the only ones that had the ability to impart
miraculous gifts to others. It was through the laying on of
the apostles' hands. The context of Acts 8:5-19
proves this is the case (see also Acts 6:6 & 19:6). Without the
apostles living today, there can be no miraculous powers passed to
others. It came only through their hands. First Corinthians 13
makes clear that miraculous gifts ended in the first century when
the New Testament was completed.
4) The ordinary or
non-miraculous measure. Those who obey the Gospel
have the Holy Spirit. But 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. 8:9-11). The Spirit is received through the hearing
of faith (Gal. 3:2). So then faith cometh by
hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom. 10:17).
The ordinary measure is the only one that
exists today, thus we walk after the Spirit
(Rom. 8:1,4). That is, we live according to the teaching of the
Spirit that is revealed in the Bible (John 12:48; II Peter
5. HOW DOES THE HOLY SPIRIT WORK
That the Holy Spirit works in the hearts and lives
of people, we certainly acknowledge. There's no real controversy
over this. The controversy comes mainly over HOW the Spirit works.
A careful reading and examination of scripture reveals He works
exactly the same way in both the alien sinner and the Christian.
HOW then does he work? He works BY and THROUGH his WORD, the Bible!
Let us remember, we would not even know there is a Spirit unless it
was revealed to us in the Bible.
There are only two possible ways in which the Holy
Spirit can work in one's life: directly (exerting personal
force upon us) or indirectly (working through an
instrument, a means).
The answer to our question is that He does not work
directly, instead, he works indirectly through
the use of an instrument. The instrument he uses is the BIBLE. The
Spirit's WORD abiding in one's heart and being obeyed in one's life
brings about all that is needed to be pleasing to God. If
ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples
indeed (John 8:31). It is the Spirit's WORD that is His
sword (Eph. 6:17) and through which He exerts His power (Heb.
4:12). Let us illustrate: A man uses an axe to chop wood. The
energy is inherent in the man; but, it is transmitted through the
axe to the timber, and the axe is the means by which the energy of
the man is applied to the wood. Similarly, the Holy Spirit, in both
conversion and sanctification, operates on human hearts; but, He
does so through the medium of the WORD which is His instrument.
And, as there is no direct impact between the man and the wood,
neither is there direct impact between the Spirit and the human
heart. The Holy Spirit's influence is brought about by means of the
WORD of God.
The Bible plainly teaches the Holy Spirit ALWAYS
operated through WORDS in both conversion and sanctification and
NOT by any DIRECT influence upon the human heart. The Gospel is
all- sufficient (II Peter 1:3; II Tim. 3:16-17). The WORD has the
power to convert (Rom. 1:16), save (James 1:21),
purify (I Peter 1:23), sanctify (John 17:17), and
cleanse (John 15:3). If the Spirit operates today separate
and apart from His Word as some claim, then He must supply
something His inspired word does not supply. He must supply
something that man cannot acquire by exercising his free-moral
agency in obedience to the Truth. If this is true, then the Bible
is not all sufficient!
The Holy Spirit operates or works then, through the
means of His inspired word; so that when we read of the WORD doing
a particular thing, we understand it is the Spirit doing it through
the MEANS of HIS WORD.
According to some, the Spirit works in a special way
other than the Scriptures; if so, my question is, What does he
do and how does he do it?
He CANNOT deliver unto us MORE REVELATION,
for He has already given all that is needed in the inspired Word
(Jude 3; II Peter 1:3; II Tim. 3:16-17).
He CANNOT lead us contrary to HIS WORD, for
if He did, He would contradict Himself (Gal. 1:6-9).
He CANNOT cause one to OBEY THE GOSPEL, for
such would contradict the free-moral agency of man (II Cor. 5:10).
What DOES he do or CAN he do that is not provided
by his Word, the Bible? And, if someone claims that He does/can,
then by what means will he use to prove it?! The better felt
(experienced) than told idea is a figment of man's
We are told to try the spirits (I John
4:1) and prove all things (I Thess. 5:21). If a doctrine
cannot be found in the Bible, then it matters not what one may
see with their own eyes or experience in their own
life. The WORD says, We walk by faith, not by
sight (II Cor. 5:7). Faith comes by hearing God's word
(Rom. 10:17). If God's word does not teach it, then it's not true.
Faith is real, it is not just a feeling or a
belief. It is based upon evidence (Heb. 11:1).
Note what the Holy Spirit provides for us THROUGH
his WORD: He produces faith (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31),
gives understanding (Psalm 119:104), converts (I
Peter 1:23), saves (I Cor. 15:1-2), sanctifies
(John 17:17), cleanses (John 15:3), purifies (I
Peter 1:22), quickens (John 6:63; Psalm 119:50),
enlightens (Psalm 119:130), leads (Psalm 73:24;
119:105), comforts (Rom. 15:4), produces spiritual
growth (II Peter 3:18), produces fruit (Col. 1:5-6),
strengthens (Rev. 12:11), regulates our lives (I
Tim. 3:14-15), warns (admonishes, I Cor. 4:14), guards
and makes wise (II Tim. 3:13-15), stirs up (II Peter
1:12-13), and exhorts (I Peter 5:12).
It is very interesting that throughout the Bible
when you read of the Spirit doing a thing, it is said that the WORD
OF GOD does it. In Ephesians 6:17 we read that the sword
of the Spirit is the word of God. A
sword is simply a tool used to accomplish a task. For the
word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any
twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and
spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the
thoughts and intents of the heart (Heb. 4:12).
The Spirit works, but he does so though the use of
an instrument, which is HIS WORD. Notice the chart below that gives
some examples of the Spirit working through his word, the Bible.
|Witnesses (Rom. 8:16)
|Witnesses (John 5:39)
|Instructs (Neh. 9:20)
|Instructs (II Tim.
|Teaches (John 14:26)
|Teaches (John 6:45)
|Convicts (John 16:8)
|Convicts (Titus 1:9)
|Begets (II Cor. 3:6)
|Begets (James 1:18)
|Saves (Titus 3:5)
|Saves (James 1:21)
|Sanctifies (I Cor.
|Sanctifies (John 17:17)
|Cleanses (I Cor. 6:11)
|Cleanses (John 15:3)
|Washes (I Cor. 6:11)
|Washes (Eph. 5:26)
|Comforts (Acts 9:31)
|Comforts (I Thess.
|Gives Love (Rom. 5:5)
|Gives Love (I John 2:5)
|Leads (Rom. 8:14)
|Leads (Psalm 119:105)
|Indwelling (Rom. 8:11)
|Indwelling (Col. 3:16)
|Strengthens (Eph. 3:16)
|Power (Rom. 15:13)
|Power (Heb. 1:3)
|In Resurrection (Rom.
|Born of the Spirit (John
|Born of the Spirit (I Peter
Other scriptures show what the Spirit does as well as HOW
he does it. There need not be any confusion over this subject! If
we will follow the Bible instead of our thinking (or what we think
we experience) we would be obeying II Corinthians 5:7 which says,
For we walk by faith, not by sight.
The Psalmist said, Thy word is a lamp unto my
feet, and a light unto my path. Thy law is the
truth. I have hope in thy word (Psalm 119:105,
6. DOES JOHN 6:44 TEACH WE MUST WAIT FOR THE
HOLY SPIRIT TO DRAW OR CALL US?
John 6:44 reads, No man can come to me, except
the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at
the last day. Many refer to this verse in an effort to
support their man-made doctrine which says that only those whom the
Lord calls in some mystical way can be saved. This
devilish system of Calvinism teaches that man is totally passive
and cannot do anything until God zaps him with some special
anointing, thereby enabling him to believe. Such an idea is foreign
to the scriptures.
The next verse, John 6:45, reveals HOW God draws men unto
him. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all
taught of God. Every man therefore that hath
heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh
unto me. The means or method by which God
calls or draws all men is the Gospel.
Whereunto he called you by our gospel...
(2 Thess. 2:14). There is no special, mystical anointing of
the Holy Spirit. Paul said, For I am not ashamed of the
gospel of Christ: for IT is the power of God
unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the
Jew first, and also to the Greek (Rom. 1:16).
The preaching of the Gospel is God's power, his drawing
power, to save (1 Cor. 1:18-21). Therefore, all men, at any moment,
have the ability to respond to God's Gospel call. Alien sinners are
saved by God's grace when they respond in faithful obedience to the
Gospel (Matt. 7:21). God is always ready for men to repent and obey
(Acts 17:30; 3:19).
Salvation is available for all men, not just a
select few. Jesus died for every man (Heb. 2:9). God is
...longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any
should perish, but that all should come to
repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Who will have
all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the
truth (1 Tim. 2:4). The invitation is open to all, 24
hours a day. There's no such thing as waiting on God's special
One cannot get to heaven any other way than by God's way,
which is obedience to the Gospel call (Heb. 5:9). Those who attempt
to do so are counted as thieves and robbers. He that
entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some
other way, the same is a thief and a robber (John 10:1).
God's way is spelled out in the Gospel. Men must
believe and obey (Mark 16:16). Saving faith is alive,
not dead, and proves itself by obedience to the Gospel. It is a
faith which works (James 2:14-26). Faith alone or
faith without works, is no faith at all. The demons have
faith. Faith without works is a damning faith!
7. COULD THOSE WHO HAD SPIRITUAL GIFTS
CONTROL THE GIFT OR DID IT SOMETIMES TAKE CONTROL?
This question arises as a result of those who
claim miraculous gifts from the Holy Spirit. In the
assemblies of those who believe such manifestations, there is often
a frenzied display of undisciplined emotion. There are many
outbursts of movement and shouting as a result of what they claim
as the Holy Ghost moving among them. Many claim to
speak in tongues. These occasions are filled with
confusion, disorder and chaos. One can hardly concentrate and
meditate upon the word of God. It is hardly an atmosphere conducive
to worshiping God.
If the Holy Spirit were directing such services, there
would be no be confusion and disorder. The scripture, given by
direction of the Holy Spirit, says, Let all things be
done decently and in order. For God is not the author of
confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints
(I Cor. 14:40,33). The very subject of confusion and disorder
was part of the reason the epistle of I Corinthians was written.
The saints were told that such disorder and confusion did not come
from God! The point made was that THEY HAD CONTROL of the spirit
within them. There was no reason at all for their doing things as
they were. They were to take turns and do things orderly (I Cor.
The miraculous power within those that possessed it did
not take control of the person and speak. It did not cause
confusion and chaos. They were themselves to blame for their
disorder for ...the spirits of the prophets are
subject to the prophets (I Cor. 14:32). That is,
the one who had a spiritual gift was able to control it!
Jesus said true worship is directed in spirit and
in truth. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him
must worship him in spirit and in truth
(John 4:24). To worship God in spirit is worship
directed by the proper mind, attitude and intellect. This part of
worship is from the heart, the seat of man's conscience and being.
To worship God in truth is worship directed by the proper
actions and deeds. It is worship directed according to the Truth,
God's revealed will. It is not left up to man to worship God
entirely upon his own emotion and imagination. God prescribed
worship is from the heart AND actions dictated from God's Word.
Miraculous gifts are no longer available today as
prophesied in I Corinthians 13:8-10. The baby things
(miraculous gifts) have been done away at the coming of the
completed revelation of God's will.
8. SOME CLAIM THEY HAVE BEEN BAPTIZED IN THE
HOLY SPIRIT. IS IT TRUE?
No, it is not true. The authority of the scriptures will
not allow it. I can only give an answer regarding what the Bible
says and the Bible does not say Holy Spirit baptism is administered
Many people prefer to believe what they think
they experience or see. To them, what they think they experience is
worth more than a whole stack of Bibles. However, when it comes to
spiritual things, Galatians 1:8 warns us not to believe anything or
anyone when they do not speak by the authority of the scriptures.
But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach ANY OTHER
GOSPEL unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him
be accursed. II Corinthians 5:7 says we walk
by faith, not by sight. Faith comes by hearing God's
word according to Romans 10:17. Faith cometh by hearing
and hearing by the word of God. Therefore, we walk or
live according to faith, i.e., according to God's word, not
according to what seems right in our own eyes. Proverbs 14:12
warns, There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but
the end thereof are the ways of death. Let's follow
The twelve apostles were the only ones who received the
promise of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:5 Jesus said
to the twelve, For John truly baptized with water; but ye
shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit unto the 12 apostles
to guide them unto all truth (John 16:13). The
baptism of the Holy Spirit was never promised to anyone today.
There's no reason for it. The Revelation of God's word is complete
(II Tim. 3:16-17; II Peter 1:3; Jude 3). There is no more to be
This subject is settled by Ephesians 4:5 for all who
respect the Scriptures. It says, there is ONE BAPTISM.
What is the one baptism? It is not Holy Spirit
baptism! It is the baptism of the great commission: water
baptism. Jesus said in Matthew 28:19 Go ye
therefore, and teach all nations, BAPTIZING them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Those who
believe and teach that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for people
today also practice water baptism. They can't have both!
Now, which is it going to be: Holy Spirit baptism or water baptism?
The Bible says there's only one, not two, and that's water
9. WHAT IS THE BAPTISM OF FIRE?
John the Baptist made reference to the baptism of
fire in Matthew 3:11, I indeed baptize you with
water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than
I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with
the Holy Ghost, and with fire (see also Luke 3:16). Some
preach and pray for people to receive the baptism of fire
today and believe it to be something desired. However, the context
of the passage clearly shows the baptism of fire is not that which
anyone should desire, but rather seek to avoid!
In the context, John is discussing two kinds of fruit:
good and bad. ...Therefore every tree which bringeth not
forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire
(Matt. 3:10). Likewise in verse 12 he discusses two kinds of fruit:
wheat and chaff. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will
throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the
garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable
The two figures used in verses 10 and 12 clearly
represent the two kinds of people in John's audience. He separates
the good from the bad, the wheat from the chaff, the righteous from
the wicked. Not everyone in his audience would receive the
baptism of fire but some would. Nor would everyone in his
audience receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit but some
would. The baptism of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled with the twelve
apostles on Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4) and Cornelius (Acts 10). There
is no record of it being received by anyone else. The baptism of
fire will be received by the wicked -- those who know not
God and obey not the gospel (II Thess. 1:7-9).
Some, however, believe the apostles received the baptism
of fire when ...there appeared unto them cloven tongues
like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them (Acts
2:3). But, there is no baptism of fire in this verse
because these tongues were not fire but
like as of fire. And, they were not
immersed in fire, it merely sat upon each of them.
It is clearly the wicked who receive the baptism of
fire by God's divine wrath which ends with unquenchable fire
in the final judgment. The parable of the tares vividly describes
the Lord separating the good from the bad. He will take the wicked
And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall
be wailing and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 13:42). Such
punishment is described as a baptism of fire. Surely no
one would desire such a dreadful event.
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