The Indwelling Of The Holy Spirit

In order to understand this subject we need to keep in mind that the Holy Spirit, like God and Christ, is a Divine personality. He is one of three in the Godhead, as we have already abundantly proven in these Lessons. Therefore the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian in exactly the same way that God and Christ dwell in the Christian. It seems strange to me that people claim that the "personal Holy Spirit dwells in us" in some mystical unexplained way, while they would never make such a claim for God and Christ. Those who make such claims very freely admit that God remained in Heaven and that Christ returned to Heaven, but they have the Holy Spirit buzzing around all over everywhere here on earth doing everything from stopping rain to saving parking places for preachers. It is a revelation of any preacher's ignorance of the work of the Spirit who makes such claims, and who claims to be under the direct influence or guidance of the Holy Spirit in his preaching. Denominationa l preachers make the same claim while preaching different and conflicting doctrines.

Does the Holy Spirit guide one man to preach that water baptism is necessary to salvation, while guiding another man to preach that salvation is by faith only? What a conflicting conglomeration of doctrines we have in the religious world today with all of them claiming to be guided by the Holy Spirit in the preaching of these doctrines. Then to think we now have preachers in the church that are making the same claim. If you make this claim what right do you have to say that these denominational preachers are wrong. They have as much right to the claim as you do. The Holy Spirit does not operate in any such conflicting way. He dwells and operates in the Christian only through the Word, and in no other way.

Several years ago Oral Roberts claimed he had a vision in which he saw a nine foot tall Jesus, and that this Jesus told him to build a hospital in Oklahoma. Later he had another vision in which God told him to raise several million dollars from his duped followers. How did he prove these claims? By his own word. People simply had to take his word for it. And this is exactly the case with preachers in the church today who claim to be under the guidance and direct influence of the Spirit. They cannot prove it by the Bible, so they prove it by themselves! So did Ellen G. White, Joseph Smith, Oral Roberts, and a host of other false teachers, and anyone claiming the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, separate and apart from the Word of God, cannot disprove the claims of these false teachers, since they are all based on personal experiences, and not on the Bible. Yet, these preachers among us who claim the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit, will deny to these fanatical cults what they claim for themselves on equal experimental evidence, and equally unprovable!

The one who claims personal experience as evidence of the "personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit" abandons the Bible--He cannot prove it by the Bible, so he proves it by himself.

Now, I have shown in previous Lessons that Divine revelation began with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in the Apostles and Prophets, and was finished in the Written Word. When the Word of God was in the inspired man it required the performance of signs to confirm it and the power of miracles to prove it. Now the Word of God is in the book--the written word--and the direct possession of the Holy Spirit is unnecessary and superfluous. This written word is fully confirmed (Heb. 2: 1-4) and no man dare add to, or take from it.

If what some term "the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit" guided them in their preaching today, as they claim, what could he tell them that is not already revealed in the Book? If He should tell them more, He has told too much, and if he tells them less He has not told enough, and in either case He would bring the curse of Heaven upon himself and on the preacher. "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. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Gal. 1: 8-12) The Word of God is not the Holy Spirit Himself, but it is the medium (and the only medium) through which the Holy Spirit works. Thus the Holy Spirit operates upon and within the heart of man only through the Word. All the knowledge of God, Christ, salvation and spiritual influence comes only from the word of God. Apart from the inspiration of the Apostles and prophets it is impossible for the Spirit to communicate with our spirit except through words. God and Christ never personally occupied anyone; and for the same reason the Holy Spirit does not personally occupy anyone. We receive God, Christ and the Holy Spirit in exactly the same way, and that way is by faith. Now, Paul says that faith comes by hearing the word of God. (Rom. 10: 17) This, of course, is the faith that moves one in obedience to God.

When the sinner hears the word, Believes in Christ, Repents of sins, Confesses Christ, and is baptized for the remission of sins, he is thus baptized INTO covenant relationship with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit (Matt.28: 18-20) So, God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit enters into us by hearing and obeying the Word, and they stay in us in the same way. (Acts 5:32)

In Eph. 5: 18 we are admonished to be "filled with the Spirit" and in Col. 3:16 we are told that this is done by letting "the word of Christ dwell in you richly".

So, in conclusion, I again emphasize that God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit all dwell in the Christian in and through the inspired Word of God--And in no other way.

Return to
Special Study Section