Personal Influencing & Fruiting Presence of the Holy Spirit (9)
By Eusebio Tanicala
Ang temang ito ang pinagdebatehan noong nakaraang taon sa Urdaneta City at Quezon City: “Resolved, that the Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit indwells, influences, and guides the Christian today only through the word of God.” Tapusin muna natin ito bago talakayin yaong “indwelling” kung referido ba sa individual Christian or the corporate church.
Sa mga sumusunod na talata, mababasa natin na human beings deal with a personal Holy Spirit. And if we deal with a personal Spirit and the Spirit being God, and God is everywhere, therefore, we are, some of the time, relating with a personal Holy Spirit. Christians are not always dealing with the impersonal written/oral word. Notice the following passages.
- Men strives versus the Holy Spirit. Genesis 6:3 and James 5:4 talk about the Holy Spirit striving with men. This suggests that on the other side of the fence, humans are struggling against the will of the Holy Spirit. Genesis 6:6-7 says that the LORD (HS included) was sorry and was grieved. This is personal on the part of the Holy Spirit. Men’s striving against the Holy Spirit is what Romans 8:1-11 & Galatians 6:8 terms as “sowing in the flesh and reaping corruption.”
- Men in the Book of Genesis didn’t merely strive or struggle with their mental knowledge God’s word. There’s an understood personal presence of the Spirit which the people disregarded. In like manner in James’ time and following generations men strive at the same level. Isaiah 63:10 says that the Israelites rebelled against God’s Holy Spirit and the Spirit turned Himself against the Israelites.
- Men Could Lie Against the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:3-4 says that Ananias has lied to the Holy Spirit. This strongly suggests that Ananias directed his lying to a personal Holy Spirit and a personal Spirit responded with a death penalty against the culprits. Today believers who are seduced by the Devil don’t lie to the impersonal word and the impersonal word doesn’t impart physical penalty.
- Men Could Test the Holy Spirit. Acts 5:9 says that Sapphira had tested the Holy Spirit. This reveals a relationship with a personal Holy Spirit and the penalty response is from a personal Holy Spirit. Our modern writing style doesn’t refer to any person testing the written word of God.
- Men Could Grieve the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 4:30 says, “…do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God…” Grief is an emotion just like Genesis 6 tells of God being sorry for having created men and was grieved for their continual rebellion. King Saul’s repeated disobedience grieved the Holy Spirit that dwelt in him. King David’s adultery and murderous acts grieved the Holy Spirit but he repented and prayed that the Spirit be not taken away from him. In Isaiah’s time, the Israelites “rebelled and grieved” the Holy Spirit says Isaiah 63:10. All these cases are suggestive of dealing with a persona. We don’t speak today of grieving the written or oral word.
- Men Could Quench the Holy Spirit. 1Thes. 5:19, “Quench not the Holy Spirit.” This reveals emotion so it means that we are relating with a personal being that has emotion and one that personally reacts. Today we don’t ever speak about believers quenching the written or oral word.
- When the Holy Spirit empowers a teachable disciple the Spirit is victorious. Acts 6:10, “…were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.” This, connected with Acts 6:5, suggests a personal Holy Spirit that gives courage and excellence in speech. The empowering personal Spirit is different from the speech of the disciple.
- Men Could Resist the Holy Spirit. Acts 7:51, “…You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.”
This suggests that men’s stubbornness or disobedience is a resistance against a personal Spirit.
- Men Could Blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Matt. 12:312 & Mk 3:29, “…but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men.” This is a strong suggestion that some acts of men are directed against a persona.
- Men Could Speak Against the Holy Spirit. Matt. 12:32, “…whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
- Ananias and Sapphira Wagered with a Personal Satan. Acts 5:3. Whys is Satan a persona in this chapter but not the Holy Spirit? The Spirit was given to Ananias and Sapphira after their baptism, but the roaring lion Devil (1 Peter 5:8) doesn’t spare even those in the church. Beware because Satan could even go and make a wager in the inner sanctum of the heavens. Read Job 1 & 2.
Satan was able to lure out Judas Iscariot from among the 12 disciples of Jesus (Luke 21:3) and this is a personal Satan working. Satan could even penetrate the inner circle of our Lord. Beware! This is a personal Devil prowling around.
Jesus says, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” I believe that a personal Satan dared to wager with Christ Jesus. It was a special prayer of our Lord Jesus that saved Peter from total apostasy. Peter denied Jesus three times that fateful night, but he had an honest heart and a strong determination to do what is right. He bitterly cried that same night when his conscience bothered him. With the help of Christ’s prayer!
If Satan personally and tirelessly works against believers, we should consider the idea that a personal Holy Spirit is present to strengthen believers. Woe unto the person who thinks he and his mental understanding of the scriptures are sufficient protection against all the allurements of the Devil.
Yes, the Holy Scriptures are sufficient to give objective directions for right living but the flesh is subjectively weak. Just as the Law of God which was mediated by Moses was good and holy but man is the weak party. Read Romans 7. Sweet Eve promenaded with deity at the cool of day but in an unguarded moment an innocently talking seducer lured her mind, her taste buds and her stomach. She was forever trapped. King David sang all his sweetest praise psalms but his hormones overpowered his mind. King Solomon could recite his thousands of wisdom-filled proverbs and recite the best dedicatory prayers but his pride and lust swallowed him up. Judas Iscariot sat down at the feet of Jesus and drank from the pure sermon-fountains of the greatest teacher but shiny silver coins blinded him. An Apostle Peter, the primus inter pares, could proclaim his undying devotion to his Master but in a critical moment thrice denied his God and he needed a special prayer from his Teacher and a period of grace for him to mature. All of these favored people failed and needed God’s patience. I’d be most delighted to see a brother who claims to be more intellectually endowed than King Solomon, more inspired than King David, more devoted to a Master than Simon Peter or a sister who has daily walked with God in the cool of day who could claim to conquer Satan single handedly through his/her pure hermeneutics without the mediation of the Savior and intercession of the Holy Spirit.
After having presented different viewpoints on this issue I now state my position: “The Holy Spirit indwells, influences, guides the Christian today through the word of God, sometimes personally in conjunction with the word, and sometimes without the word but not contrary to the word.” The degree of influence of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon the degree of a person’s surrender to the Spirit and dependent upon the degree of possession the Holy Spirit has of the inner being of an individual.
I hope that this short article has given some clarification in our search for more light. Kung mayroong kahinaan ang
aming analysis, handa kaming tumanggap ng inyong pagtutuwid.