Oct 02

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Many among us believe that the Holy Spirit’s being, his person, dwelled within the apostles and even us today. However, is this true? Is it necessary for the Holy Spirit to personally dwell in one for person to have spiritual power? Is it necessary for the Holy Spirit to personally dwell with the Christian for the Christian to know that he is saved? These are most important questions that need to be answered!
First, let us take the apostles of Christ and the Holy Spirit. Did the Holy Spirit personally dwell within them? Here attention is called to the promise Jesus made to them. It is recorded by Luke in Acts one, verse eight; which reads: “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Is Jesus promising the personal Holy Spirit to dwell within the apostles or is he promising something else? It is my firm belief that Jesus is promising something else, which he names within the text. The Holy Spirit was and did come upon the apostles is not a question of debate. But other than the Holy Spirit coming upon the apostles, just what did Jesus promise?
Jesus said they would receive “power” and that from the Holy Spirit coming upon them. Just what was this “power?” This power would be that they would speak by inspiration as they delivered the gospel, that they would confirm the words which they spoke by miracles, and that they would be able to import spiritual gift to others. These three things the apostles did through the action of the book of Acts and which they wrote about in the letters to the churches. We will look more at this in a few moments. But first, all one has to do is reason with the text written.
We have spent so much time in trying to prove that the Holy Spirit personally, bodily, dwelled within the apostles that we have overlooked the facts given in the text. Did Jesus promise that the Holy Spirit would come upon the apostles, yes! But what did this do for the apostles? Read what Luke wrote in Acts: “And they were all filled with the Holy spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4). Being “filled with the Holy Spirit” is equal to having “power” to speak with “other tongues” in this case! This was necessary so they could speak to each group present that great Pentecost day. The lost were going to be saved on that day, having heard the gospel, and seeing it confirmed by the “tongues” which the apostles spoke. Was it necessary for the Holy Spirit personally to dwell within the body of the apostles for them to speak the gospel and confirm it with “tongue” speaking? No! Not in any way! This is to demean to Holy Spirit and his power, which he imparted to the apostles just as Jesus said he would (Acts 1:8, 2:4).
Here is a good question: “What was the purpose of the apostles being filled with “power,” if it was not to preach the soul saving gospel to the lost, while confirming it with “signs?” Those on the day of Pentecost needed proof that the apostles were in fact, preaching with “power” of the Holy Spirit and this required the supernatural. In this case, it was their speaking with “tongues!” One might ask, if present on that day, how do we know that you (the apostles) are speaking the word of God? It was not the “tongue” speaking that enabled the lost to be saved but what was spoken in “tongues:” the gospel. Remember, it is the “gospel of Christ” that is God’s power unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). It was not the Holy Spirit filling the apostles with the words alone, but also confirming it with signs, in this case, the tongues in which they spoke.
This would be repeated many times throughout the book of Acts of the Apostles! The apostles would speak the gospel and confirm it with signs; both coming from their being filled with “power” which came from the Holy Spirit. This would result in near 3,000 souls being saved on that great Pentecost day, as Luke wrote: “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41)
Therefore, the question: “Was it necessary for the Holy Spirit to dwell personally, bodily, within the apostles for them to do their work?” The answer is “no!” To demand that the Holy Spirit must personally, bodily, within us today, is to question the power of the gospel of Christ! It is the gospel that converts us today and not the personal Holy Spirit dwelling in us! Don’t demean the gospel of Christ and the power within it!

Frank R. Williams

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