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"And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him." (Gen.22:2-3)
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Br. Samuel Babu, Believers Brethren Assembly, (BBA), Majlis - Bahrain For the last few days, we have been relentlessly praying for Br. Samuel Babu, who suffered Cardiac Problems and was admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex, Bahrain. It was well pleasing for our Lord to call HIS child to the Eternal Home, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no tears, no sickness and no death. He went to be with the LORD around 10:30 PM Bahrain Time today (Friday 23rd 2015). Let us uphold the grieving family members to the Throne of Grace. May the Lord bestow upon them heavenly Grace, Peace and strength and console them with the word of God.
 
 
 
DOCTRINAL

PNEUMATOLOGY

(A study on the Holy Spirit)

Dr. Silas C. Nair

 

V. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

There is a widespread misconception among Christendom that the work of the three Persons of the Godhead is distinct and compartmentalized in different dispensations. It is this:

 

The Misconception

Creation is the work of the Father. Father worked in the Old Testament dispensation. Redemption is the work of the Son. He worked during the New Testament dispensation. Salvation is made effective in the believer by the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in the present dispensation. This is wrong.

All the three persons of the Trinity have been active always and we see them active from the moment of creation. There is absolutely no conflict among the three Persons and always they have been in counsel one with another and always working together.

 

A. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN CREATION.

 

a. The Spirit of God brings forth order into the universe.

In the beginning God (Heb. Elohim, plural) created the heaven and the earth. The earth was without form and void (Gen.1.1, 2). The interpretation of these two verses has created much confusion in the world. Gen.1.1 speaks of the fact of creation. This is a declaration of the primeval act of the Triune God, by which the universe was called into being. Only God existed in the beginning. In the words of Moses we read, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps.90.2).

The Son himself is the Word through whom God created all things. John says, ‘through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (Jn.1.3).

Likewise also the Holy Spirit is pictured as ‘hovering’ over the creation. “The creative Spirit of God, the principle of all life (Ps.33.6; 104.30), which worked upon the formless, lifeless mass, separating, quickening, and preparing the living forms, which were called into being by the creative words that followed” (Pentateuch, by C.F.Keil and F. Delitzsch, Vol.1, p.49).

The theory that between Gen.1.1 and 1.2 there was a great cataclysm in which the whole creation of God ‘became’ without form and void, generally called the ‘gap theory’ is unproved and not provable. It also does violence to the

Scriptures.

When God called matter into existence from nothing, the earth “was in elemental existence, still ‘unformed’ and unenergized, not yet ready for habitation… it was ‘void’ in the sense that it was not perfect (finished) until the end of the creation week, when God would pronounce it ‘very good’ and ‘finished’. The earth material was suspended in a matrix of water (the ‘deep’) completely static and therefore in darkness.” (Defenders Study Bible by Henry M.Morris). The Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) moved upon the face of the waters. This is the energizing work of the Holy Spirit in creation. The present earth, except the results of the curse, is the direct outcome of the work of the Holy Spirit.

 

b. The Spirit of God has garnished the heavens.

The creation of God is perfectly ordered. It is beautiful. The beauty with which God has decorated the heavens is marvelous. God uttered the word of creation by his will and the Spirit brought forth the hosts of heaven (Ps.33.6). The creation is vast, immense and limitless. Man has not discovered it in its entirety nor is it possible for him to do so. There are innumerable worlds in the illimitable space. The host of heaven cannot be numbered (Jer.33.22). They have been brought forth by the Spirit. And the Spirit has garnished (“adorned” NKJV) the heavens and His hand has formed the crooked serpent (Job.26.13). This is probably a reference to one of the constellations, which are presumably signs of His redemptive promises.

The Scripture records that the lights in the firmament of the heavens are not only to divide the day from the night, but also for signs, and for seasons and for days and for years (Gen.1.14)). “The constellations and their associated myths and traditions are themselves, in their original, from the very same prophetic Spirit whence the Sacred Scriptures have come, and they are of a piece with the biblical records in the system of God’s universal enunciations of the Christ’ (The Gospel in the Stars, by Joseph A. Seiss, P.6)

 

c. The Spirit of God renews the face of the earth.

In this world death is a process and a necessity. The grass withers, the flower fades, because the Spirit of the Lord blows upon it (Isaiah 40.7). But when God sends forth His Spirit they are created: and thou renew the face of the earth.(Ps.104.30). This renewal is the work of the Spirit.

The seasons also are the work of His hands. Spring follows the winter. The East wind brings death with it. The grass and the flower fade because the Spirit of the Lord blows upon it (Ps.104.30). This is a reality. This is also a necessity. This is the process by which the Spirit of God renews the face of the earth. “Thou send thy spirit and they are created; and thou renew the face of the earth”. This is the life giving Spirit.

In the West one is able to see the seasons and the renewals. In the Fall season all the leaves of the trees fall of and everything is barren. Then the wind blows and the chill and the snow follow. Everything is covered with snow. Death is everywhere. Slowly the seasons change and the Spring appears and with it the life too.

 

d. The Spirit of God also sustains the universe.

In the present physical order the Spirit sustains and supports vegetable and animal life. (Ps.104.10-14, 30).

He sends the springs into the valleys and they run between the hills. The animals and man also quench their thirst because of the rain that God gives. Even the birds of the heaven need water as much as the other animals and they congregate at the springs. Where these springs cannot reach, God sends forth rain from his ‘chambers’ in the sky and the hills and the earth are satisfied with the fruit of his works. There is grass for the cattle and herbs for every man. Though man ploughs the earth and sows the seed it is God who gives the increase and sustains his life. This is the work of the Spirit of God.

 

e. The Spirit of God gives life to man.

God made man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul (Gen.2.7) Man is a conscious soul. Though there is life in plants and animals, in man life is different. In Him was life and the life was the light of man (Jn.1.4), Man created by God could look into the face of his creator and know him. That is the light man has.

 

B. THE WORK OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN REVELATION.

God has revealed Himself to man in various ways. Unless God who is Infinite reveals Himself man cannot know Him. He has revealed himself in the following ways:

 

a. In Creation

Can by searching man find out God? (Job.11.7). He has made of one blood all the nations, and set the bounds of their habitation. He wanted them to seek Him and perhaps find him (Acts 17.26, 27). “What may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead so that they are without excuse” (Rom.1.19,20). But man rejected the revelation of God in nature and served the creature more than the creator. Man changed the glory of the incorruptible God into corruptible images and worshiped and served the creature.

 

b. In conscience

There is also the revelation of God in the conscience of man. When Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things contained in the law, these although not having the law are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness (Rom.2.14,15).

 

c. In the Law

By the law is the knowledge of sin (Rom.3.20). The law is the expression of the will of God to man. Finally He sent His son to us to reveal Himself.

But the revelation of the Spirit of God is distinct from all these. By direct revelation God revealed himself to certain individuals and groups of people by different means, such as visions, dreams, events etc.

God made his revelation to different people but all of them were not prophets. The prophets who received the revelation were asked to communicate it to others. The source of revelation is God himself and he communicated to men irrespective of their natural ability. “Prophecy came not at any time by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet.1.21). It is the Spirit who imparted the revelation (Ezk.2.2; 8.3; 11.1, 24; Mic.3.8). Though in many instances the Scripture records that it was Jehovah who spoke, it is the Spirit who spoke.

Dreams (Ge.20.3-7; 31.10-13; 37.5-20; 40.5-16), visions (Isa.1.1; 6.1; Esk.1.30, trances (Ezk.8.3; 11.24) and the spoken word are the methods of this special revelation of the Spirit of God. By revelation God spoke to the prophets and imparted knowledge of Himself and His will to them and by inspiration we have received the written word of God.

 

INSPIRATION

           All scripture is inspired of God (2 Tim.3.16). It is God breathed (Gk.Theopneustos). We would see the process through which the Spirit of God accomplished this.

a. The Spirit gave special gifts to different men (1 Cor.12.4). This was his sovereign act. These human authors had a work to do and these special gifts qualified them to do it.

b. The Spirit revealed truth to these authors, the apostles and prophets (Eph.3.2-5). These are special revelations. Natural mind could not reason these things out or could grasp them themselves. This was a special act of the Spirit.

c. The Spirit gave these revelations to the prophets (1 Pet.1.10-12). This was independent of the thinking of the prophets. (cf. Also Lk.7.20; Isaiah 35.5,6) Natural human reasoning could not understand this. Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed them to us through His spirit. (1 Cor.2.9, 10)

d. When these revelations came to the prophets they could not keep quiet. (2 Pet.1.21) The prophets were born along (Gk. Pheromenoi) by the Spirit. The prophecy never came as a product of man’s will. When it came to men and they were carried along with it they were responsible to obey. The Holy Spirit is the originator of the Scriptures. When the Word came to Jeremiah he decided that he will not speak it out. But it was as a fire in his bones and he could not keep quiet (Jer.20.9). As the wind in the sails carries the ship forward, the prophets were born along by the Spirit of God. Yet they were not asleep. They were conscious.

e. The voice in the Scriptures is the voice of the Holy Spirit (Heb.3.7 with Ps.95.7,8). It was the Holy Spirit who spoke. The covenant that God made (Jer.31.33) is witnessed by the Holy Spirit (Heb.10.15).

f. The Spirit of God in speaking through the apostles and prophets not only gave them the thought but also gave them the exact words in which the thoughts were to be expressed (1 Cor.2.13). Nothing was left to the imagination or intelligence of men. Moses wrote all the words of the Lord (Ex.24.4). Isaiah inscribed in a book the word of God (Isa.30.8). Yet there is a marked difference in vocabulary and style from writer to writer. Jeremiah wept, Nahum and Micah thundered, Isaiah’s expressions were powerful. Paul sometimes pleaded and some times commanded. These words speak of verbal inspiration of the scriptures.

g. All scriptures are inspired of God. (2 Tim.3.16) This is plenary inspiration. Some of the translations which carry the words “Every Scripture inspired of God is profitable” etc. is an incorrect translation. There is no Scripture that is not inspired of God. All the sixty-six books we have in our Bible is inspired of God. “Whatever is written in former days was written for our instruction” (Rom.15.4).

Modernism says that the Bible contains the word of God, and as any other books the Bible became the victim of its times and myths and legends were incorporated into the Bible. The supernatural revelation that we have in the words of Scripture is also supernaturally preserved for us and God has not permitted men to add anything to it. Neoorthodoxy says that the Bible becomes the word of God. One has to demythologize the Bible to find the real message of God in the Bible. To such the Bible is not the revelation of God but becomes the word of God in a personal encounter with it.

h. Holy Spirit also is the interpreter of the scriptures (1 Cor.2.14-16). It is the Author of the Scriptures that gives light, or illumination to understand the scripture. The Holy Spirit interprets: “my ears have thou opened” in Psalms 40.6 as “a body have thou prepared for me” in Heb.10.5. Scripture interprets the Scripture. As the Author of the Word He alone can make us understand the true meaning of every word.

 

INERRANCY

When Orthodoxy claimed that the Bible is the inspired word of God they claimed that it is true of every word in the Word. Since God cannot lie (Heb.6.18) and His word is truth (Jn.17.17) the word of God is infallible. Modernism came out with the view that the Bible is infallible but not inerrant, since there are mistakes in the dates and other chronology of the Bible. When every word of God is inspired there is no room in it to doubt the word. It is infallible and inerrant. The Bible is not a scientific book but when it speaks of scientific subjects it was true when it was written and is equally true today. There is no error in it. Whether it is history, astrology, astronomy, geology, or any other science every word in the Bible is infallible and inerrant.

 

 
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