Index by Subject

“Paul, An Apostle of Jesus Christ”

Paul began his epistles in a manner that was common in his day. The typical introduction to first century letters consisted of three parts: the name of the writer, the identity of the recipients, and a greeting.

In most of his letters, the first thing Paul would do would be to identify himself as an apostle and state the source of his apostleship. In this article, we will consider exactly what Paul was saying about himself when he claimed to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, why he had the right to make this claim, and what the claim says about the letters that he wrote. Continue reading » “Paul, An Apostle of Jesus Christ”

Sins Against the Holy Spirit

This is the final article in this series on the Holy Spirit. In our study, we have noted that the Holy Spirit is an equal member of the Godhead. He is God. The Holy Spirit bears the marks and characteristics of a person. The Holy Spirit is not an “it” – a mere force or influence of God. He is an individual, a distinct member of the Godhead. Continue reading » Sins Against the Holy Spirit

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

The denominational world is filled with the teaching and conviction that the Holy Spirit personally and literally dwells within the Christian. Many of these people do not propose to know how this indwelling takes place, nor do they seem to care how it takes place. They are just comforted by the presumed “fact” that it does happen.

This belief in a literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit is not limited to individuals in various denominations. Some of our own brethren believe in a personal, literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This view is held by some who are sincere and very knowledgeable in the Scriptures, but it is a view with which I do not agree. Continue reading » The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

The Miraculous Gifts of the Holy Spirit

There are individuals in the religious world today who claim to possess the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Religious programs portray televangelists speaking in tongues and healing the sick. However, excitement over these gifts is no longer limited to “charismatic” churches. In recent years, I have heard members of several different mainstream denominations claim to have the ability to speak in tongues.

No one can deny that the apostles and some other Christians in the New Testament possessed the ability to perform miracles. The question that we will address in this article is whether or not the Bible teaches that these same gifts exist today?  

Continue reading » The Miraculous Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Purpose, Regulation, and Duration of Miraculous Manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

There are a great number of misconceptions concerning the work of the Holy Spirit. It is no question that the Holy Spirit works in the lives of people, and most would not argue that point. However, many believe that the Holy Spirit works miraculously in the lives of people today as he did in the first century. The purpose of this study will be to consider that view in the light of divine scripture; the “sword of the [Holy] Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17).   In addition, this study does not in any way deny the Holy Spirit’s divinity nor His power. He is God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). He does have the power to work miracles (Acts 2). Thus this study is designed to consider His method of operation as it is laid out in the Bible, and as it pertains to followers of Christ.

Continue reading » The Purpose, Regulation, and Duration of Miraculous Manifestations of the Holy Spirit.

Gifts of the Spirit

Much skepticism surrounds those men and women today who claim the ability to see into the future or work other miracles by the power of God or some other source.

Rightly so, for their gifts are usually proven quite fallible and natural, and sometimes even very self-serving and duplicitous. At the same time, however, the word “miracle” is tossed about in our world quite freely, characterizing everything from the birth of a baby to an upset in the Super Bowl. Somewhere between the charlatans and the exaggeration is the truth about Bible miracles and that truth is surely found in the New Testament.

Continue reading » Gifts of the Spirit

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

Some people today profess to be able to speak in tongues, receive divine guidance, and perform miracles. All of this is possible, they claim, because they have received the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Members of the various “Charismatic” or “Holiness” faiths, who claim to be guided by the Holy Spirit, are surprisingly divided over the purpose and timing of Holy Spirit baptism. For instance, the United Pentecostals believe that Holy Spirit baptism is a part of the “new birth” (being born of the water and the spirit – John 3:5). They teach that one can not be saved until he has been baptized in the Holy Spirit and in water. However, the Assemblies of God teach that Holy Spirit baptism is a “second work of grace” that comes after salvation.

Continue reading » The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit and the Apostles

We must learn how to rightly divide the Scriptures if we are to properly understand God’s will (2 Timothy 2:15). While reading the Bible, it is essential that we take note of who is speaking and what he is saying. It is also important that we identify the one (ones) to whom he is speaking. Some Bible passages are universal in their application. Others apply only to specific groups or individuals. Many teachings of the Bible are perverted by men today simply because of a failure to recognize the intended recipients of a passage.

In John chapters 14-16, Jesus gave specific instructions and promises to the apostles. These promises were great, but they were only given to these specific individuals. Some of the confusion and error that exists on the subject of the Holy Spirit results from a failure to make this important distinction. Many read the Lord’s words given to the apostles and make application to themselves, without stopping to ask whether or not these promises were meant for all Christians.

In this article, we will examine these chapters and learn what the Holy Spirit was to do for the apostles.

Continue reading » The Holy Spirit and the Apostles

The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

Some believe that God the Father was at work during the time of the Old Testament, that God the Son was active only during the time that He was upon the earth, and that God the Spirit is now active during the Gospel dispensation. The Scriptures reveal that all three members of the Godhead have been active in every dispensation.

We should not make the mistake that the Holy Spirit did not begin to work until the time of the New Testament. Although His role may be more prominent in the New Testament, any Bible student can see that the Holy Spirit was active during the time of the Old Testament. This article will examine the work that the Holy Spirit performed in the Old Testament.

Continue reading » The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

The Work of the Holy Spirit

There is much confusion and ignorance in the religious world regarding different aspects of the Holy Spirit. While we have an understanding of the work that is done by the Father and the Son, we are not always as clear about the role and function of the Holy Spirit.

There are some things about the Godhead that will remain a mystery to us. However, we can know those things that have been revealed in Scripture concerning the work of the Holy Spirit. Understanding these things can strengthen our faith, give us a greater appreciation for the Holy Spirit, and equip us to teach others.

Continue reading » The Work of the Holy Spirit

Who Is the Holy Spirit?

There are many contradicting beliefs, teachings, and opinions in the religious world concerning the Holy Spirit. Some believe that they have been baptized by the Spirit and are empowered by Him to perform miraculous works. Others deny that this can happen today. Some believe the Holy Spirit personally and literally dwells in them. Others teach that this is impossible. Some teach that the Holy Spirit is just an influence or a mere manifestation of God – that He is not real. Others teach that He is a distinct member of the Godhead.

Sadly, some Christians are not equipped to defend the truth about this subject. Compared to the Holy Spirit, we know quite a bit about the Father and Jesus Christ, but the Holy Spirit remains a mystery to most of us. This is unfortunate, for the Holy Spirit is a prominent subject in the Bible, mentioned as early as Genesis 1:2 and as late as Revelation 22:17.

The only things that we can know for certain about the Holy Spirit are the things that have been revealed in the Bible. We must be content with the teachings of the Bible, as opposed to relying upon denominational doctrines, human opinions, and personal feelings. In this series of articles, we will discuss the Bible’s teaching on various aspects of the Holy Spirit. This article will serve as an introduction to our subject.

Continue reading » Who Is the Holy Spirit?

There Is … One Baptism

A reader asks for clarification:

"The Bible speaks of two baptisms – baptism with water and baptism of the Holy Spirit. Both are referred to on several different occasions, so both are essential (a few examples include Matt. 3:11, John 1:3, John 3:4, Acts 10:34-38).

"Ephesians 4:5, however, speaks of there being one baptism. Since the Bible actually mentions two of them, then this must mean that one of the baptisms takes precedence over the other. …which baptism is referred to here? Explain what it means to have [either] one superior to the other."

Baptisms Of The Bible

Actually, the Bible speaks of more than "two baptisms." It speaks of a baptism of suffering (Mk. 10:38, 39; Lk. 12:50), "the baptism of John" (Matt. 21:25), a baptism of fire (Matt. 3:11), and a baptism "unto Moses" (1 Cor. 10:2), as well as the aforementioned baptisms of water and the Holy Spirit.

Continue reading » There Is … One Baptism

A Free-Form Exchange on Instrumental Music and the Holy Spirit

( Editor’s Note: The following correspondence was initiated with brother Hafley by a man who sought to defend the use of instruments of music in Christian worship. We will limit our identification of the man to his first name, Don. Don’s grammar and punctuation, as well as his sentence construction, lacks formality. We thought it best, however, to retain the form rather than seeking to edit the posts of one with which we disagree. The correspondence is reprinted here for your study on this important subject.)

Don (Post 1):

we better stop praying “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”there are musical instruments in heavenThank You Lord Jesus for filling this brothers heart with Your version of Your word.The Lord won’t agree with my version of “nothin.”Message text written by don

Larry Ray Hafley (Post 1)

Don,Where did you learn that there are “musical instruments in heaven”?Please cite the source of your information.Thanx. Larry Continue reading » A Free-Form Exchange on Instrumental Music and the Holy Spirit

Solid Food: Indwelling Spirit

As Romans chapter seven dealt with indwelling sin, chapter eight points to a subject of greater promise, the indwelling Spirit of God and Christ. Paul writes, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.” While this matter is one of great controversy with Calvinists, it need not be confusing to the new testament Christian. The Holy Spirit works in us and dwells in us in the same way that God and Christ do as we allow the divinely inspired word and example to influence our decisions and lifestyle so that we more perfectly employ and exemplify the will and wisdom of the Godhead.

In this article, we hope to establish the truth about the indwelling of the Spirit and then discuss six consequences of his abiding presence in the saint.

The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit is Beyond Dispute
That the Spirit dwells in the child of God is beyond dispute, but how he does so is another matter altogether. Continue reading » Solid Food: Indwelling Spirit

Associate Editorial: Are We Led by the Holy Spirit?

On different occasions, while talking with one of the Pentecostal or Assemblies of God persuasion, the subject of the Holy Spirit will be discussed. Since one of our disagreements lies in the area of the miraculous action of the Holy Spirit, when we deny that miracles occur today, the response is often a surprised, “Then you don’t believe that the Holy Spirit leads you today, do you?” His confusion is often compounded when my response is, “Of course I believe in being led by the Holy Spirit.” Brethren, that is not sophistry. We certainly should believe that we are led by the Holy Spirit of God in our lives. Continue reading » Associate Editorial: Are We Led by the Holy Spirit?

Voices from the Past: The Holy Spirit (Franklin T. Puckett)

[The Gospel Guardian, Vol. 27 No. 7, April 1, 1975.]
Special Issue dedicated to the life and work of Franklin T. Puckett

The Person of the Holy Spirit

Introduction

A. Perhaps as much is said and as little is known of the being, character, and work of the Holy Spirit as any Biblical subject that challenges our attention.

B. The indefinite and unscriptural concepts regarding the Holy Spirit and His functions result from a lack of proper study.

C. When controversy arises over such hazy, ill-defined ideas, our thinking is challenged and we are forced to re-examine our concepts in the light of what is taught in the Bible.

D. Recently a lot of conflicting ideas and controversial views have developed over the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of a Christian. It is fitting, therefore, that we study the Holy Spirit anew as it is revealed in the word of God.

E. Our study in this series will involve the person, work and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Continue reading » Voices from the Past: The Holy Spirit (Franklin T. Puckett)

Solid Food: The Holy Spirit in Acts

“And it shall came to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days” (Joel 2:28, 29).

“But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:16).

Any consideration of the themes contained in the Book of Acts must surely include the administration of the Holy Spirit. As Joel prophesied, the “last days” would see the pouring out of the Spirit of God. Peter, one of the twelve who received this pouring out in Acts 2, confirmed that God had kept his word, the last days had arrived and the Spirit was thereby being given. It is notable that the apostles were never confused about the Spirit, its mission nor its medium; but confusion reigns today as every charlatan and huckster seeks to make merchandise of the Spirit of God. How fearful it is to consider the fate of those who do despite to the Spirit. Continue reading » Solid Food: The Holy Spirit in Acts

Associate Editorial: The “Gift” and the “Promise”

“Then Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call'” (Acts 2:38-39).

I have often heard Acts 2:38 referred to as “our passage,” meaning that this verse of scripture is one that is uniquely accepted and applied by members of the church of Christ. I am not certain that I would argue with that premise, as most denominationalists do not teach the truth on the passage, holding to the premise that remission of sins precedes baptism and that eternal security is preserved at the point of faith that Jesus is Lord. I remember one Sunday morning while living in Houston, Texas, watching a young Baptist preacher on television, named Phil Arms. I regularly watched Arms as he was a really fine preacher, one of the best moralist sermonizers I had ever heard come out of Protestant Denominationalism. On this particular Sunday morning, Arms did a verse by verse exegesis of Acts 2. It was quick, but thorough. He did it over two Sunday morning half hour program segments. I was impressed, to say the least. He preached the truth on the Holy Spirit baptism of the twelve, which really surprised me. He had a good grasp of the chapter as recording the beginning of the church age. Continue reading » Associate Editorial: The “Gift” and the “Promise”