The Bible Teaching Series

To understand the role of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ, or in the life of the Christian man or woman, we must look back to the
scriptures to see why the Holy Spirit also known as the Comforter the Spirit of truth was sent to the church in the first place, and by
whom. Again, if we consider the fact that the Comforter the Spirit of truth is no respecter of persons, who speaks and reports what He
hears to and from the Father, John 16:13., then we will have no difficulty understanding why most conventional churches have
intentionally limited the involvement of the Holy Spirit in their services. (2 Chron. 19:7; 1 Pet. 1:17).  Just like the elders of Israel who for
their idol worship in the dark, thought that God could not see them, so are these conventional church leaders, who think that by
restricting the role and the involvement of the Holy Spirit in their services, that God cannot see what  they do when no one is watching  
(Ezek. 8: 3-18).

John 14: 16-17; 15:26
In the following passages, the Lord introduces the comforter, the spirit of truth that may abide with us for ever. John 14: 16-17, 26; 15:
26. Notice the use of the word “may,” signifying that you are in no way going to become a prisoner of this Spirit against your will.  It is
also true that the Holy Spirit will not involve himself in your life against your will; He must be invited in. In other words, individuals may
choose not to involve the Holy Spirit in their thoughts or in their lives. After all, those who are whole need no physician, but they that are
sick. (Mat. 9:12.). Just so, the Holy Spirit does not control believers in the sense of permeating our will, reason, and emotions, until we
have recognize Him as the One Who has been sent by the Father to sanctify our lives and trust Him to perform His Ministry in and
through us. As Believers, we receive the Holy Spirit after we have proven to Jesus Christ that we love Him by keeping His
commandments (John 14:15-17). One must first convince The Lord Jesus that he or she loves Him, then will He ask The Father to give
you the Holy Spirit. Again, by the prayers we offer to the Lord, we have continually asked for his involvement in our lives.  At the same
time, we must bear in mind that the Holy Spirit is the power of God in action, directed by the Son, and you must have all three: the
Father, Son and the Holy Spirit or you have nothing. (John 14: 21, 23; 1 Jn. 5:7-8.

The truth to the matter is that when God created man, he made him a free agent, free to chose whom to serve, and when the first man
Adam failed, the second Adam volunteered to come and did set the fallen man free from his enclave, so he may be free again to chose
whom to serve, and  free to chose his destiny. Heb.10: 7-10.  

Is Salvation Personal?  Phil. 2:12.

Yes! Salvation is personal and it is obtained by Faith and by true repentance from all sin from start to finish.  But God waits for the
unsaved man to avail himself or herself of the Salvation he or she needs by means of Faith. One of the reasons the Holy Spirit has so
little control over many Christians is because they think He works automatically in their heart. But the truth is that the Holy Spirit
indwelling a Believer is waiting to be recognized by the believer as the One to come to that Believer’s aid.

John 7:37-39
Here The Lord lays down two simple requirements for the fullness of the Spirit: first, a thirst for His control and a trust in the Lord Jesus
for the Spirit’s control. “if any man thirst” refers to a desire on the part of the Believer that the Holy Spirit be the One to control his every
thought, word, and deed. A desire for His control will include, among other things, a desire that He call us to judge sin in our lives and
keep it out, a desire that He separate us from all the ties we might have with the system of evil called the world, a desire that He
dethrone our self-life and enthrone the Lord Jesus as absolute Lord and Master, a desire that He produce in us His own fruit, a desire
that He make us Christ-like, a desire that He leads us and teach us. Of course, such a desire: The Spirit controlled life is a crucified life.
For the Spirit to be alive in us, self must be dead in us (1 Cor. 15:36; Gal. 6:7-8).

The second requirement is trust. Our Lord said, “He that believeth on Me, out from his inmost being shall flow rivers of Living Water.”
The trust here in this context is not only trust in Him as Savior, but trust in Him as the One Who fills with the Spirit. The point is that He
comes to our aid when we avail ourselves of His help. Therefore, there are just two things which the Believer must do in order to be
controlled by the Spirit, desire that control and trust the Lord Jesus for that control. Thus the greatest need of the Church is the Holy
Spirit, and that refers to His working in the hearts and lives of Believers in Jesus Christ.

The Lord in his description of the foremost responsibilities of the Holy Spirit, made it clear that  the Comforter is sent not only to reprove
(“convict”) the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment, but that the Holy Spirit’s primary responsibility will be to guide the
body of Christ and the Christian into all truth. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, and He will not lead people into error, nor will He
ignore error.

The Comforter is to be with us and in us, and he will not speak of himself, but of Christ.  He will testify of Christ, and will show us things
to come, and will remind us all that He the Lord has said. He shall glorify Christ, and will receive from Christ and show it to us. (John 14:
16-15, 26; 15: 26.

The Importance of  His Expedient Departure.   John 16: 7-15.

“It is expedient that I go away for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but If I depart, I will send him unto you.” In this
passage his disciples sorrow is offered the comfort that the departure will be for their advantage, as it is the condition of the fulfillment
of the promise of the Spirit. In (v.12) it appears that the point here is that the disciples could not experience the invisible presence till the
visible had been withdrawn; and the work of Christ in death and rising again had to be accomplished before the new life in the Spirit
could become the possession of the believers. Furthermore, this refers to the Lord’s ascension which was necessary in order for him to
make possible the coming of the Holy Spirit (v7). Fulfill his own prophetic word (Jn. 14:38; 16:5; 20:17); make possible the further work
of Jesus to prepare a place for his people and to intercede for them (14:2,3; Heb. 8:12); enter the Holy place in heaven with his blood to
secure eternal redemption (Heb. 9:11). The Holy Spirit could not come until the work of Jesus was completed on earth. Christ had to
die, rise again, ascend into heaven, and be seated at the right hand of the Father. This would signify that his atoning work was not only
complete, but was completely satisfying to the demands of divine justice. Only then could the age of the Holy Spirit as the vice-regent of
Jesus Christ on earth commence. To everyone who has received this Spirit is considered born of the Spirit, and is likened unto the
wind. (John 3: 7,8).

The Role of the Holy Spirit

John 6:8 - He will reprove (“convict”) the world of sin, and righteousness, and of judgment.  Sin consists in the refusal to accept Christ
and his message. Righteousness by the Spirit indicates that Christ’s death was not a defeat but a victory. Christ returned to the Father
who vindicated his mission and accepted what the Son had done. This Spirit’s judgment indicates that the life, death, and resurrection
of Jesus Christ constitute the basis on which God condemned the ruler of this world’s darkness.

Now to every one who has received this Spirit, is given according to the measure of the gift of Christ. To some he gave apostles, and
some prophets, and some evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers.  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ. Each of us in Christ now has a separate function, because Christ who came down amongst us,
and has now been exalted, so that the whole universe should be filled with his Presence. This same Christ has given each of us a
special gift, every one according to their several ability; which we are to use for the enrichment of the life of the Church. The aim of all
this, therefore, is nothing less than that the Church should be allowed to grow and mature through its members who have received these
gifts, until it expresses the wholesomeness of Christ in its life. (Eph.4:7-12).

Christ through the Holy Spirit provides the church with leaders: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. These have for
their ministry the perfecting of the saints, which is to encourage believers, strengthen them, and equip them for the purpose of
conforming them to the image of Christ.  Till we all come into the unity of the faith, which must lead to the knowledge of the Son of God
Jesus Christ, unto the perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ Jesus: These gifts, therefore, and the
exercise of them must remain and maintained in the Church until we all can make a clean break with the past. Until we all can live
Christian lives which means changed lives, a total re-making of our whole person(s) into what God intended it to be. A life spent in one
fellowship, where lies cannot be condoned, where there is no room for harboring grudges, dishonesty, a foul tongue, spite and ill-
tempter. Until we as Christians can begin to see these offenses as against God’s Spirit which is in us through Jesus Christ. (Eph. 4:
11,  13).

Until we as Christians can individually  and consistently from the heart of our hearts, show kindness, generosity, and a forgiving heart -
knowing that these are not more than our just debt to God, who has forgiven us, when we accepted  the death and the resurrection of his
son Jesus  Christ. Until we Christians as God’s children, make Christ our pattern, and that means showing to each other the same kind
of costly love as Christ has shown to us, irrespective of our backgrounds.
Until we Christians have made this clean break with the past, knowing that casual sex relationships, greed, envy, hatred and filthy talk
will bring God’s punishment. Until all who are members of the body of Christ make no mistakes about that, and have learned to keep
away from people who say and practice these things. Until we all come to recognize that the diversity of gifts in the body of Christ, are
given by the same Spirit. (Eph. 4:17-32).  Again, the Believer is exhorted to Be filled with the Spirit, possessing the mind and heart of
the Believer. The Holy Spirit is a person to control another. He is not a substance to fill an empty receptacle. Thus, the Holy Spirit
possesses or controls the volitional, rational, and emotional activities of the Believer who is said to be filled with Him. (Eph. 5:18)

Prophecy or Speaking in Tongues

To prophesy, in the biblical sense - is as true in the New Testament Church, where it is called “speaking with tongues”.  In  1 Cor. 12,  
we find that Apostle Paul’s object is to put the question about “speaking in tongues” in its proper perspective. In this passage, the
apostle is admonishing Christians who have known religious ecstasy of pagan before coming to Christ, to now recognize that where
speaking in tongues proclaim Jesus as Lord, it is the operation of the Holy Spirit.  Paul then went on to show that the charismatic
possession that on occasion seized the “judges” and the prophets in the early old testament times, are not the only way that the Spirit of
God laid hold of a man or a woman, although it is the most convincing way for the spectator. Paul then speaks of a few of the many gifts
that are given by the same spirit - showing the many ways in which the spirit of God is active within the Church.  Therefore, the whole
body of Christ must now recognize that all the work and worship of the Church, teaching, healing, believing, preaching, wisdom,
knowledge, faith, charity, miracles, as well as the gift of  “tongues” and prophecy,  is nothing but the Holy Spirit in action.

The man or woman of God, therefore, ought to teach these truths, that all these have their place in the Church, which is the body of
Christ, and that all are essential to each other as are the various parts of the human body.  For it is God who has given these gifts to the
church, some apostles, prophets, preachers, healers, administrators, miracles, helpers, church governments, diversities of tongues,
and interpretation  of  tongues. Therefore, since it is obvious that none of us would hesitate to accept any gift from the Lord, we must in
the same manner, relate to the whole gift package, including the gift of speaking with other tongues as one of the essential tools given
to the Church by the Lord for the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

However, when Paul says that the Corinthians are to “covet earnestly the best gifts,” he never meant to say that there are more
important gifts than speaking in tongues, he was not suggesting that you can pick and choose, but it is God who gives to everyone
according to his or her calling in Christ Jesus. Yet even then, believers who cherish any gifts who pray to receive them must remember
that they are given according to God’s will. (1 Cor.12:  11-18).

(1 Cor. 12; 13)  In these chapters, we find that Paul was concerned about the conduct of some in the Church in Corinth who claim to
have received these gifts, who make false professions of faith in Christ, either deliberately or unwittingly, pretenders and are sinners;
Paul intended to educate them on the basic principles of Christianity: Faith, Hope, and Love. Paul warns the Corinthian Church of his
fears that the sinners and misguided men among them may not repent and thus the problems may continue to persist. In that event he
will come to reprove and rebuke them. If he comes and finds things out of order, he will not spare anyone. He will do it so that they know
Christ is speaking in him. Paul emphasizes that the believer must have very good understanding of these three things, which some in
the church in Corinth seemed to lack.  Love among the brethren as was commanded by the Lord must be taught with all seriousness,
and without ceasing. (John 14:15; 15:10,12,14,17; 1 Jn. 3:22-24). Without which the unlearned Believer could go on working and
believing while in disobedience of the Lord’s commandment, which could result in a total rejection of all the believer’s works that the
believer had purportedly rendered in the name of Christ (Matt. 7:21-28;  1 Corinthians 3: 12, 15).

In 1 Cor. 14, we find that because it was evident that there were carnality among the members: envying, strife, divisions. Paul now
exhorts Believers to follow after the commandment of the Lord, (John 15:12-13) making certain of  our motives each time, in what ever
we are trying to accomplish in the Lord. Believers’ work must be based on these principles, especially on this “Love” which passes all

However, one might argue that since these appeared to have received the gifts of the Holy Spirit, it would seem then that they already
have the basics. But what we as Believers receive after we come to the Lord are gifts from God the Father, for abandoning our
reprobate ways and returning to Him through Jesus Christ, having accepted the sacrificial death of Christ and his resurrection.
Gifts from God the Father are never based on merits, and God does not take them back, because they are gifts. Thus, it is only the
receiver of these gifts that can reject them. However, the Holy Spirit will continue to try to guide the Believer into all truth, but the Holy
Spirit even though it was given that it may abide with the Believer for ever, may at some point leave the Believer if the Believer no long
desires Him. (Judges 16:20, I Sam. 16:14; Eph. 4: 30).

Rejecting the Holy Spirit, How?

Understanding the things that God hates, might help explain to us how we sometimes grief the Spirit of God in us. The way this comes
about is for the believer to go against the will of the Spirit who dwells in his or her heart. Lack of love, lying, uncleanness are some of the
sins that interrupt fellowship between the believer and Christ. Sinning incurs the loss of the Spirit’s power and fullness.  Paul also says
not to quench the Holy Spirit. Neither is He to be outraged or insulted (1 Thess. 5:19-22; Heb. 10:29; Rom. 1: 21-32)

Therefore, those who wish to walk in the Spirit must shun fornication, adultery, all uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking,
and jesting. Those who practice these things can expect only the wrath of God on them. (Eph. 5:3).  The mind or “reason,” is the higher
part of man in his natural state; the “inner man,”  It is capable of knowing God, but becomes “reprobate” through sin (Rom. 7:22-25;  1:
28). In order that it may be a sure guide to truth and right, it must be renewed or “transformed” by the infusion of the Spirit. For the new
man, and his “creation,”

Again, the believer must use discretion and common sense at all times, and make the best use of his or her time. Avoid the false
excitement of intoxication; but drink your fill of the Divine Spirit; and when you want to sing, sing praise to God.” The believer is to
inculcate conscientious sobriety of judgment and the right sublimation of those instinctive impulses which when perverted lead to

Light as we know it, was used by Jesus Christ to describe true believers (Matt. 5:14). Paul in his thought, specially associated it with the
idea of the Church is the bride of Christ and Christ is the bridegroom (Col. 1:12, 13,).  Christians are children of light as belonging to
the new order of the kingdom of God. Sin itself is darkness, but the recognition of sin is a part of the light of the kingdom of God; and in
this sense it might be said that whatever is made manifest by the Word of God belongs to the realm of light (1 John. 1:5-7, 18-21).

Every believer
(one who keeps His commandments, John 14: 15-17) is sealed with the Holy Spirit; i.e., “marked with a seal, the
promised Holy Spirit” when born again or regenerated (Eph.5:18). But not all those who claim to believe in Christ Jesus are spiritual
Christians, some are carnal, or “mere infants in Christ”, leading a defeated life.(1 Cor. 3:1). “The mind of sinful person is death” (Rom 8:
6). Thus, a permanent canal state is evidence of non-regeneration. Christian maturity or the Spirit-filled life is the object for every
believer. It can be attained by (1) meeting the first prerequisite for being filled—confessing all known sins to the Lord, (1Jn. 1:7-9; 2 Cor.
7:1) (2) giving oneself over to God by laying the life at the feet of Jesus (Rom. 12:1; 6:13)  (3) asking God to fill one’s heart, believing He
will fill those who confess their sins and surrender their lives to Him; (4) embracing the promise that the Holy Spirit has filled them, and
(5) going out to live as one who has been filled with the Holy Spirit. (Col. 12:20.)

We may now conclude with this, that the stature of the full-grown man or woman is measured by the standard of all that Christ is (his
fullness). It is thus suggested that “perfection” in the full sense is not anything to be attained by an isolated individual, but the goal of the
Christian society (though in another sense each Christian is to be perfect; Col. 1:28).

Speaking with Other Tongues, the Barrier Breaking Miracle of the Gospel.

In this section we will attempt to give answers to the following questions which are often asked:  (1) How do we know that speaking in
other tongues is a tool given for the work of the ministry, especially the mission field?  (2) How do we know that tongues are languages
and not babbling?  
We know these things because from the passages of the Bible, it is quite clear that what Jesus had said during his ministry about his
Passion and Resurrection had been only dimly understood by the apostles, and it was the instruction of the Risen Lord himself to the
disciples that clarified their minds as to the true meaning of both of Jesus’ words and the Old Testament scriptures,  and gave them a
program of action for the new Israel, as Moses had done for the Old Israel. (Acts 1: 1- 2: 13,  John 16: 30, 31; Luke 24: 44).

In the light of this the apostles became anxious to know how soon the mission of the new Israel (the Church) will be accomplished, and
they are told that it means first proclaiming the Gospel in Jerusalem, and from there to the fathereth corners of the earth. This of course
they could not do, without new power from God, and they are instructed to await for the coming of this new power, the Holy Ghost which
will make their task possible (Acts1:1-8).

The Obstacle of  Language Abolished

Acts 2: 1-13
On the day of Pentecost, the scripture describes a communal religious experience shared by the apostles such as has been repeated
in some degree at various times and among various groups within the Church since New Testament days. In this passage, the Bible
tells us that the disciples were all with one accord in one place when suddenly there came a sound from heaven of a rushing wind, and it
filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like a fire, and it sat upon each of them. This
marks the end of the period of waiting, of reflection, of doubt and despair turning to conviction and expectancy, and heralds the
launching of the mission to Jerusalem, which took the Twelve apostles and other believers who were with them out from the seclusion of
the upper room and into the conflicts and stresses of the public proclamation of the Gospel. This is the basic fact that they went out as
men transformed, with a new sense of power and began to speak with other tongues or languages, as the Spirit gave utterance.  
(2)  From this passage, we now know that the tongues the apostles spoke under the influence of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost were
languages spoken on earth. We know this because the Bible accounts that there were Jews who had come to Jerusalem from every
nation on earth, and that “when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded. They were confounded  
because that every one of them heard the apostles speak in his or her own language; “ in a way which is already familiar from our
knowledge of early Old Testament prophecy, and which has been experienced in the history of fervent evangelistic revivals in later
times. These heard intelligible speech in other languages than that of the Galileans, which aroused their curiosity. It is clear from Act 2:
13, where cynical bystanders concluded that the apostles were intoxicated, others were plainly impressed, but were without an
explanation. So it remained for Peter to give the true reason for the astonishing event.  That was the first occurrence within the Church
of the phenomenon known as
glossolalia or “speaking with tongues,” i.e., men in the grip of the Spirit speak with other tongues, and
behaving in a way which non-participants would view with mixed feelings. However, this was a common feature of early Church life as
indicated by references such as Mark 16:17; Acts 10: 46, 47; 19: 6, and by St. Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth.     
with Other Tongues, A Tool for Evangelism.

Now to those within the Christian community, speaking in other tongues, is a sign that the Holy Spirit had taken possession of a
believer, as was indeed the case. However uncongenial the case may be to the more conventional branches of the Church, it is true that
in many true Christian Communities, this is a genuine sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit as the more contemplative experience of
the orderly inward response of the churchman or woman to  the word of God.

With other tongues, i.e., languages given to them by the Holy Spirit which they did not know themselves. Some think the disciples
spoke just one language and that the audience composed of speakers of different languages that were given the gift of understanding
the disciples’ language. It seems clear enough, however, that his disciples were given the gift of speaking in the languages of the other
people present (Acts 2:4)

The importance of Pentecost, however, is that this was the first time of such evidence of the presence of the Spirit in the Church, the
climax of the period of waiting for the promised power.  It is something that can only be described in terms of wind and fire, symbols of
God’s power and judgment. It is also the first token of the barrier-breaking miracle of the gospel, which here symbolically abolishes the
obstacle of language, the equally symbolic punishment for human pride, which since the days of the Tower of Babel had kept men
apart. Pentecost turns the Tower of Babel upside down.

We are grateful to Him who is faithful in providing the church such a wonderful tool “the gift of tongues,” which should enable us take the
gospel to the innermost part of the world, without the obstacle of language. But as in the same manner in which the children of Israel
rejected the Kingship of God over them, so have many conventional churches rejected the gift of speaking in other tongues, describing
it as babbling. These having rejected the gift of tongues, and have devised other methods for overcoming the obstacle of language, a
job the Lord has already assigned to the Holy Spirit, in the interest of His church for taking the Gospel into all nations.  1 Sam. 8: 6, 7.

Now we see how the new language of God’s love in Christ which lay deeper than mere words, and which by the time Acts came to be
written had won men’s hearts and minds in all parts of the civilized world, was born in the power of Pentecost.
The Comforter the Spirit of Truth
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