By Eusebio Tanicala
The Holy Spirit is deity; the Holy Spirit is a distinct person from the Father and from Christ. Being a divine Person, the Holy Spirit, therefore, is infinite, boundary less, boundless, limitless in presence. The HS is omnipresent or present everywhere. He is inside or within the universe, within our galaxy and within our human personhood. At the same time, the HS is outside the universe, beyond the farthest stars. He is both transcendent and immanent. He is outside and yet inside.
Among Churches of Christ, the belief is that there are different levels of Holy Spirit powers which are (a) Full Measure which was present in our Lord Jesus Christ during His personal ministry on earth; (b) Baptismal Measure which was given by Christ to the apostles; (c) Miraculous Measure which was given to some groups upon whom the apostles laid their hands on; and (d) Ordinary Measure which is given to every true believer. The Ordinary Measure is also called the “indwelling” or special presence of the Holy Spirit in the Christian life as an earnest of eternal life and to assist him in godly living. See Romans 8:9, 11; 1 Cor. 3:16.
Does presence or dwelling automatically turn on miraculous and supernatural powers in the place or in the person? No. We might illustrate it this way: the presence or indwelling of a billionaire in a hotel does not automatically turn the hotel room into a magical mill that produces money. The billionaire has to will the release of his money as he sees the need and as he loves to spread out favors. The Holy Spirit dispensed miraculous gifts in the first century as He saw it fit. Churches of Christ submits 1 Cor. 11:8-11 to support the belief that the miraculous and supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit ended when the “complete” had arrived which is the revelation and full understanding of the gospel message by the universal church.
Ephesians 4:11-16; Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Cor. 12:12-31 tell us all that various levels of power and various types of gifts were distributed by the Holy Spirit in the first century. Distribution of spiritual gifts is willed by the Holy Spirit. Gifting of talents to individuals is willed by the Holy Spirit. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are also governed by the capacity and/or receptivity of the requesting individual.
The Holy Spirit is a person who wills and has the power to measure what He wants to release. If man has the power to measure the amount of electricity or light by releasing energy in 5 or 10 or 25 or 50 or 500 watts, the Holy Spirit is more powerful.
We could also think of localization and intensification of Holy Spirit power. While God is everywhere, God’s power and glory don’t explode in the same degree and same intensity in all places. Let’s cite various historical periods. During the Exodus, God was everywhere, but His power and providence was localized and intensified among the Israelites at the foot of Mt. Sinai. Such power and providence were not replicated in Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, China or India.
When God appeared to Moses or gave a vision to King Solomon or to Isaiah or Daniel such were not replicated in places like Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, China or India.
Our conclusion on this matter is this: Belief in the Holy Spirit’s presence or indwelling in the temple of Solomon or in a prophet of the Old Testament or in the Christian in the first century or a disciple in the 21st century doesn’t demand automatic miraculous powers manifesting in those places and persons. #