Sep 24

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There is no greater subject that gets the attention than that of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is said to do many things, even today. However, the Bible does not reveal such! The greatest activity of the Holy Spirit was seen in the apostles of Christ. But, this is not his first activity, as he was active in the creation. He appears first to us in the opening statement of the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). It is not seen in English but in the Hebrew text, in the word “God,” which is the Hebrew word, “elohıym” which is translated God which appears to be singular but in Hebrew it is plural. It is all that is God, as we might say, the Godhead! His activity is seen clearly in creation of man, where Moses wrote “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Gen. 1:2) Here is the first action of the Holy Spirit, “And the Spirit of God moved.”
However, this would soon be followed with these words, which once more includes the Godhead: “And God (Elohiym) said, “Let us make man in our (plural) image, after our (plural) likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26). Notice it was the Moses who wrote: “let us (plural) make man in our (plural) image.” This is followed with: “So God (plural) created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” It is important that we notice this is not the action of the Holy Spirit alone but there are members of the Godhead, acting as one, which the Godhead is one!
With the above information in our minds, let us move to the New Testament as this is the place of much debate! There are at least two major questions before just here: 1) did the Holy Spirit dwell in the apostles personally and 2) does the Holy Spirit personally dwell within the human body? That the Holy Spirit acted in the first century is without debate! Here attention is called to the apostles of Christ as they are prepared to fulfill the apostolic commission. Luke recorded it this way: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4). It was the Spirit that gave the apostles “utterance” as they begin to speak on that great Pentecost day. It was unlike any other Pentecost! The gospel of Christ was preached for the first time in the age of Christ. Let me say a word about why I use the phrase, “age of Christ.” It is because it is the beginning of the rule of Christ and he will continue to rule as King over his kingdom until he returns to take his people home! Now to the question, were the apostles full with the literal Holy Spirit or were they filled with what the Holy Spirit gave them? The evidence is that they were filled with what the Holy Spirit gave them to speak, the gospel of Christ! The Holy Spirit does not have to literally dwell within in order to impart the gospel or for that matter, to give the power to do miracles of another nature, such as raising the dead! No, the only thing necessary is for the Holy Spirit to impart the ability to do things of an unhuman nature! The grand scheme of things was the written confirmed New Testament, which was as Jude wrote: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). Notice that “the faith which was once delivered,” the idea of “once for all time delivered!” This was the primary work of the Holy Spirit in the “age of Christ!”
To reduce the subject to question, “Does the Holy Spirirt personally dwell within the human body today is simple to miss the mark!” God dwelt within one human being and that was Jesus of Nazareth and no one person is such. As John wrote of Jesus: “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18).

Frank R. Williams

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