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The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person

The Holy Spirit can be lied to, and the verse goes on to say that this Holy Spirit that was, lied to was God, Acts 5:3-4.
The Holy Spirit has the attributes of God. Omnipresence is ascribed to the Holy Spirit, Psalms 139:7-11
The Holy Spirit is omnipotent, Job 33:4; Psalms 104:30; Luke 1:35. Also see 1 Cor 6:11; 12:8-11; Acts 20:28; Luke 12:11, 12; 2 Peter 1:21.
Isaiah implies that the Holy Spirit is omniscient when he asks the questions of Isaiah 40:13-14
The Holy Spirit is called God, Acts 5:3-4.
God is eternal, and so is the Holy Spirit, Hebrews 9:14.
The Holy Spirit does the work of regeneration when one is saved. Only God can give new life to those who are spiritually dead, John 3:6.
Believers are sanctified through the Holy Spirit, and only God can make one that is unholy to be holy, 2 Thessalonians 2:13.

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The Holy Spirit is a Person, He has intelligence, possesses power, etc...

The Holy Spirit has a personality, and one should remember that personality is not an attribute of the body; it is an attribute of a spirit. As such, you yourself have never been seen; you are not a body, you are a spirit that has a body.
A Fity possesses intelligence, and it is clear that the Holy Spirit has intelligence, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.
A personality possesses a will, and the Bible tells us the Holy Spirit has a will, 1 Corinthians 12:11.
A personality possesses power, and the Holy Spirit is shown to possess power, Romans 15:13, Romans 15:19.
A person possesses love, and the Holy Spirit is shown to love, Romans 15:30.
A personality possesses knowledge, and the Bible shows that the Holy Spirit has knowledge, 1 Corinthians 2:10-12.
Actions of human beings toward the Holy Spirit imply personality, Ephesians 4:30. Also see Matt 12:31, Heb 10:29, Isa. 63:10.

The Holy Spirit performs actions of a person that would be impossible for an influence or emanation. It is absurb to think that an emanation or influence could perform such acts. Acts 89:29, Acts 10:19, Acts 13:2.

If a person can grieve the Holy Spirit, obviously the Holy Spirit isn't an emanation or influence. One can also see the same words used in the references below of the Holy Spirit that is used when we would refer to a person, Ephesians 4:30, Isaiah 63:10.

It should be noted here that the Jehovah Witnesses are one of the groups that deny the personality and deity of the Holy Spirit. From the previous two topics, The Holy Spirit is a Divine Person and is a Person, it should be clear that the teachings of those who deny the divinity or personality of the Holy Spirit are in error.

Further we see in Acts 5:3-4 that Ananias is accused of lying to the Holy Spirit, and in verse 4 Peter declares the Holy Spirit to be God. Ask yourself the question, "Who but a person can be lied to?" Then, in Acts 13:2-4, it is the Holy Spirit speaking and sending. It is only a person that can speak and send, not some kind of imagined force.

Christian Science is another group that denies the personality of the Holy Spirit. This topic, and the one above on the divinity of the Holy Spirit, is enough to refute those teachings. The views of the Jehovah Witnesses and Christian Science and others with like beliefs are not in agreement with God's word, as can be clearly seen.

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Personal Pronouns of the Holy Spirit - show Him as a person

The Bible doesn't give us a name for the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is a designation, what He is, and not His name. The Holy Spirit did not come to exalt Himself, but to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is possibly why He never used a name for Himself.
Jesus said He would send "Him" to you, John 16:7
Jesus again refers to the Holy Spirit as "He", John 14:16
Again, the use of personal pronouns by Jesus, John 14:17

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Reactions of the Holy Spirit show we can grieve, resist, and blaspheme Him

The Holy Spirit can be blasphemed, Mark 3:28-29.
The Holy Spirit can be vexed, Isaiah 63:10.
The Holy Spirit can be grieved, Ephesians 4:30.
The Holy Spirit can be resisted, Acts 7:51.

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The Holy Spirit Performs Personal Acts

There are those that say the Holy Spirit isn't a person but an influence or an emanation. That is, it is an outpouring, or a force, that comes from God. The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit performs actions of a person, which are impossible for an influence or emanation. The Holy Spirit speaks, feels, and shows all the functions of personality, Acts 8:29. Also see John 3:6; John 14:26; Acts 8:39; 10:19; 13:2; 16:6, 7; Rom 8:26.
The Holy Spirit speaks, showing that He is a person, Acts 13:2.
The Holy Spirit teaches others, and therefore is a person, John 14:26.
The Holy Spirit guides believers, and is therefore a person, John 16:13.
The Holy Spirit acts as a person by giving commands, Acts 16:6-7.
The Holy Spirit testifies, John 15:26.
The Holy Spirit intercedes, Romans 8:26.

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The Holy Spirit has Personal Relationships

The Holy Spirit has personal relationships with Christians, Acts 15:28.
The Holy Spirit has a personal relationship with the Father, Matthew 28:19.
The Holy Spirit has a personal relationship with Christ, John 16:14.

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The Holy Spirit is to be Recognized as God

The Holy Spirit is seen as God in the great commission, Matthew 28:18-20.

The Holy Spirit is recognized as God in the administration of the Church, 1 Corinthians 12:4-6.

The Holy Spirit is recognized as God by designation in the scriptures, Revelation 3:22.

The Holy Spirit is recognized as God in the apostolic benediction, 2 Corinthians 13:14.

The Holy Spirit can be sinned against, Acts 5:3-4.

The Holy Spirit is to be depended upon as God, Mark 13:11.

When a Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, they are said to be indwelt by God, 1 Corinthians 3:16, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Ephesians 2:22.

Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is an act against God, Matthew 12:31-32.

The sin of Ananias is a sin against the Holy Spirit and against God. This passage clearly shows that the Holy Spirit is God, Acts 5:3-4.

The Holy Spirit performs works that are possible only to diety. In Job 33:4 we see an act that only diety can perform.

These works that only diety can perform can also be seen in the following verses: 1 Cor 6:11, 2 Peter 1:21, Acts 20:28.

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The Sealing of the Holy Spirit - seals to the day of redemption

What does it mean, "to be sealed by God"? When we have made peace with God, we are born again, we have a new nature, and we are sealed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us and seals us. A seal indicates ownership, authority, responsibility, safety, and security. The Holy Spirit's presence in the believer is God's seal.

God is the sealer, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22.

The Father seals the Son and all believers, John 6:27, Ephesians 4:30.

We are sealed because of our position in Christ and Christ is sealed because of who He is. The Holy Spirit Himself is the seal and indicates we are owned by God, Ephesians 1:13.

A new believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit when they first believe the gospel, Ephesians 1:13.

The time of the sealing is when one accepts Christ as their Saviour, Ephesians 1:13.

The seal of the Holy Spirit identifies the believer as belonging to God and under his safekeeping. The believer will be kept safe till the day of redemption, Ephesians 1:13-14.

The seal of the Holy Spirit signifies ownership and in this case it signifies God's ownership of believers, 2 Timothy 2:19.

The seal of the Holy Spirit signifies security and believers are sealed unto the time of their redemption, Ephesians 1:13-14.

The seal of the Holy Spirit signifies something that is unchangeable, Esther 8:8.

The seal of the Holy Spirit signifies a finished transaction. The seal of the Spirit testifies that we have entered into the finished work of Christ.

The seal of the Holy Spirit signifies something of value.

The Holy Spirit is given to believers as the earnest of our inheritance, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. So it is God who seals us and gives us the "earnest" of the Spirit. Also note that when a capital letter "S" is used in the word Spirit, it always means the "Holy Spirit".

So we have the earnest of the Holy Spirit and the word "earnest" as used here means part payment, part payment of that which will be paid in full in the future. At the moment we believe we recieve the indwelling Holy Spirit which is a part payment of the things we are to receive, Ephesians 4:30, Ephesians 1:13-14.

Since Jesus Christ gave his life for you and me, we can say he purchased us. Therefore, since we have now given our life to God, he has sealed us with his Spirit and thus we are safe and secure until the day of redemption. The Bible tells us that God is all powerful so no one can undo God's seal on our way to heaven.

It should also be noted from the above references that we receive the Holy Spirit and are sealed at the moment we believe and it does not exclude any believer. Therefore, all believers are sealed when they first believe.

When is the day of redemption? Redemption means deliverance by payment of a price. To be redeemed is to be saved from sin, death, and the wrath of God and to be saved to heaven and an eternity of peace and happiness with God. Therefore we are safe and secure while in this life until we go home to be with God.

Satan will be sealed in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years, Revelation 20:3.

The book of Revelation tells of 7 seals that no man can open, Revelation 5:1.

Believers are sealed unto the time of their redemption, Ephesians 4:30.

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The Holy Spirit and the Church

The Holy Spirit constitutes the church. It is the operation of the baptism of the Holy Spirit that constitutes the Church, 1 Corinthians 12:13-14.
The Holy Spirit abides in the church, 1 Corinthians 3:16.
It is the Holy Spirit that builds the church, Ephesians 2:22.
The Holy Spirit administers the church by appointing officers, Acts 20:28.
The Holy Spirit directs the work of the church, Acts 13:2-4.

One of the relationships of the Church to Christ is that of being His spiritual body. This refers to the "body of Christ" and this body of Christ, the Church, is formed by the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1:22-23.

The Holy Spirit baptizes believers into the body of Christ the moment they accept Christ as their Saviour. Scriptures never direct a believer to seek baptism with the Holy Spirit.

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The Holy Spirit and Christ

The Holy Spirit and the birth of Christ, Luke 1:35.
The Holy Spirit filled Christ from His mother's womb, Luke 1:15.
The Holy Spirit and the baptism of Christ, Luke 3:21-22.
The Holy Spirit and the testing of Christ, Luke 4:1-2.
The Holy Spirit and the anointing of Christ, Acts 10:38.
The Holy Spirit and the miracles of Christ, Matthew 12:28.
The Holy Spirit and the death of Christ, Hebrews 9:14.
The Holy Spirit and the resurrection of Christ, Romans 8:11.
The Holy Spirit enthrones Christ, 1 Corinthians 12:3.
The Holy Spirit glorifies Christ, John 16:14.

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The Baptism of the Holy Spirit

The baptism of the Holy Spirit isn't to be confused with water baptism. We could say that water baptism is the symbol of what was accomplished by the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Baptism of the Holy Spirit should not be confused with the filling of the Spirit or the indwelling of the Spirit. The indwelling of the Spirit occurs when one accepts Christ as their Savior and the indwelling is permanent. Infilling of the Spirit comes and goes, and occurs only as the believer yeields himself to the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit into the body of Christ occurs at the moment of belief, and is a one time event.

The Bible never suggests that anyone "be" baptized by the Spirit, because this occurs at the moment of belief. This baptism into the body of Christ identifies the believer with Christ in that the believer has a new position in Christ. Because of this position the believer receives the blessings that were purchased for them by Christ. This new union not only unites the believer to Christ, but to every other believer.

When one first believes they are born again and baptized by the Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ. This baptism identifies them with Christ, His righteousness, death, resurrection and glorification. This is a new union in Christ is permanent union. One is no longer a child of the world, they are now a Child of God and placed in the body of Christ. One can now be used by the Lord for His purposes. The new believer is given needed gifts, and is now enabled to accomplish the purpose of God.

Formerly we were in Adam, but now we are in Christ, and have a new inheritance, access to God, victory over sin, justification, sanctification, and glorification. Our old position in the world has changed, and we are now delivered from the power of the world. We will be living in the world, but we are not of the world, we have a new life, Romans 6:3-4.

Believers are placed into the body of Christ by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Each person that is born again, is at that moment, baptized into this body by the Holy Spirit. Every born again believer is a member of this body, and has a distinct place in the body. We should remember that when one is baptized into the body of Christ they are given gifts. The purpose of the gift(s) is to keep the body functioning properly, Ephesians 4:15-16, 1 Corinthians 12:18-28.

The Bible has many teachings on the vine and the branches. With reference to the "body", when one is baptized by the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, they are as a branch is to a vine. We are in Christ and Christ is in us, John 14:20, John 17:22-23, John 15:4.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit is also that baptism by the Holy Spirit that forms the church, 1 Corinthians 12:13-14.

This passage also makes it clear that all Christians are baptized by the Holy Spirit and into the body of Christ. And that all who enter into the body of Christ do so because they are baptized by the Spirit. This means one need not seek another baptism by the Spirit. It should be noted that scripture never asks Christians to seek the baptism of the Spirit.

There are seven references to the baptism of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament (Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:33; Acts 1:5; and the one historical reference, Acts 11:16.). All references prior to Pentecost are prophetic, and all references after Pentecost treat the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an existing reality. If one looks at all of the prophetic passages and the historical passage, it can be seen that the baptism of the Spirit comes in between the two, and that is at Pentecost.

The baptism of the Spirit is not so one can be endued with power to do miracles. Scripture is clear that the disciples performed miracles before they received the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is that act which places believers into the body of Christ and unites them as a group. Baptism of the Holy Spirit is always applied to a group, and is never applied to an individual. We receive the baptism of the Spirit at the same time as we are sealed by the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 1 :13, Ephesians 4:4.

As we seen previously by looking at the prophetic passages and the historical passage, the baptism of the Spirit came at Pentecost. Pentecost comes fifty days after the Feast of First fruits. This feast was a type of the resurrection Christ. The 120 disciples were gathered together in the upper room waiting for the 50 days to expire. The Holy Spirit came exactly 50 days after the resurrection. The Spirit would have came without their prayers, and they would have been baptized and indwelt by the Spirit even if they had not prayed.

The Feast of the Passover was fulfilled at Calvary and Christ will never die again. Likewise, the Feast of Pentecost was fulfilled by the baptism of the Spirit, and there will be no more Pentecost. One should not confuse the baptism of the Spirit, which occurred at Pentecost, with the filling of the Spirit which can occur repeatedly at various times.

It is clear from Acts 1:4-5 that the baptism occurred at Pentecost.

The baptism of the Spirit isn't mentioned in the Old Testament, and in Acts 1:5 the baptism of the Spirit happened for the first time when the Spirit came on the Day of Pentecost. The purpose of the baptism of the Spirit is to join the believers to the body of Christ, the church. Since this is a spiritual baptism, it isn't something that we can physically feel. It is something that only God can do.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit gives us a new position in Christ. It places the believer into the body of Christ Himself. Before salvation, we are all in Adam and were partakers of Adam's nature, sin, and destiny. In regeneration by the Holy Spirit, the believer is removed from his place in Adam and placed in Christ.

John tells us in John 14:20, "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." This relationship is accomplished through the baptism of the Spirit. Christ becomes that sphere that surrounds us. If we are in the body of Christ we partake of all that Christ is.

It might help us to understand if we visualized a fish, a fish is in the water and the water is in the fish. Likewise, the believer is in Christ, and Christ is in the believer. Christ surrounds, encloses, and indwells the believer. It is a union with Christ, brought about by the baptism of the Spirit. This union with Christ makes us a part of the family of God. In this union with Christ, the Father sees a believer only in Christ, and loves him as He loves His Son, Jesus Christ, John 17:23, Ephesians 2:5-6.

Is speaking in tongues a sign of the baptism of the Spirit? Based partly on Acts 2:4, some say that speaking in tongues is a sign of the baptism of the Spirit, Acts 2:4. However, when we read the verse we note that it says that they spoke in tongues, not as a sign, but because they were "filled" with the Spirit. Being filled with the Spirit is an entirely different doctrinal subject.

Baptism of the Spirit has to do with the body, but filling of the Spirit has to do with the individual.

Baptism of the Spirit has to do with every believer, as all believers are baptized of the Spirit, but being filled with the Spirit is an often repeated experience that can occur many times.

Baptism of the Spirit is an initial work at the time of salvation, while being filled with the Spirit can occur at various times.

Baptism of the Spirit puts the believer into the Body of Christ and no one was baptized into the body of Christ before Pentecost.

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The Work of the Holy Spirit in Creation

The Holy Spirit is seen as involved in creation, Genesis 1:2, Psalms 33:6.

Should one need further proof, it can be found in Isaiah. Isaiah shows us the Holy Spirit is the one who is without counsel, untaught, omnipotent and was involved in creation, Isaiah 40:12-14.

The Holy Spirit was active in the formation of the heavens, Job 26-13, Psalm 19:1, Pslam 104:29-30.

The Holy Spirit is active in the creation of life, Job 33:4, Genesis 2:7.

The Holy Spirit is active, not only in creation, but in the preservation of creation, Psalm 104:29-30.

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The Earnest of the Spirit, a down payment on the promises of God

Scripture tells us that God gives believers the earnest (a down payment) of the Spirit when we first believe, 2 Corinthians 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Ephesians 1:13-14. What is the meaning of the word "earnest?" It is a down or part payment on something which will be paid in full at a future date. The Holy Spirit is God's "earnest", or down payment, on our salvation.

God is the giver of the earnest. Since God has given His earnest (the Holy Spirit), if He should fail to pay the remainder of His promise in the future, He would lose His down payment. Since this isn't possible, it is a guarantee of our eternal salvation, 2 Corinthians 5:5, Romans 8:23.

The Earnest guarantees our inheritance, Romans 8:16-17.

The earnest guarantees our glory, 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14.

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The Filling of the Holy Spirit

The filling of the Spirit has to do with the life and work of a Christian, and it is this filling of (or control of) the Spirit that empowers the Christian to do that which is commanded by the Lord.

The doctrine of the filling of the Holy Spirit can be confusing to many because of the word "filling." Most think of a material filling such as a glass being filled with water. If one is filled with indignation, one is under the influence of this indignation, Acts 5:17-18.

If one is filled with envy, one is said to be under the influence of this envy. If one is filled with (controlled by) the Spirit, one is under the influence of, or controlled by, the indwelling Holy Spirit, Acts 13:45.

The next question that comes up is, how are we controlled (filled) by the Spirit? Scriptures no where tell us to pray for the filling of the Spirit. To be filled or controlled by the Spirit, one must yield to the indwelling Holy Spirit. This means our will is the will of the Spirit for our lives. Yielding to the Holy Spirit is a complete subjection of ones self to the will of God, which includes dying to self, obedience to God, and forsaking sin. Being filled with the Spirit is not a process of gaining more of the Spirit. A Christian already has the Holy Spirit indwelling them. Being filled with the Spirit is giving the indwelling Holy Spirit complete possession of ones self, Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessolonians 5:19.

Why must one be filled with the Spirit? We have God's command to be filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:18. Being filled with the Spirit is mandatory for power in service and in life, power that will bring glory to Jesus and win the lost to Him. If we attempt to live a life without the filling of (or being controlled by) the Spirit we will lead a defeated Christian life, we will have no power in our ministries.

Scriptures make a distinction between spiritual and carnal Christians, 1 Corinthians 3:3. This difference in spirituality can be traced to a difference in relationship to the Holy Spirit. Paul tells Christians to "walk in the Spirit" meaning also to be controlled, or filled, by the Spirit, Galatians 5:16, Romans 12:1. We are either a servant of God, or a servant of the world, Matthew 6:24. We are either filled with the Spirit, or we are not. It isn't a half full glass, it is either all or none.

There are some negative conditions in scripture regarding the filling of the Spirit. We are told in Ephesians not to grieve the Spirit, and then it mentions some of the things that grieve the Spirit, Ephesians 4:30-32. Then, in Galatians we are given some additional things that are against the Spirit, Galatians 5:17-21.

Another negative condition in scripture tells us to not quench the Spirit. The word "quench" is used primarily as putting out a fire. Therefore, quenching the Holy Spirit is resisting the Holy Spirit. We quench the Spirit when we fail to speak out for Christ, when we oppose the will of the Spirit, and when we do not yield ourselves to the Spirit, 1 Thessalonians 5:19, Acts 13:2, Acts 16:6, Acts 8:29.

On the positive side, one that can be filled with the Spirit is one who completely yields to God, Romans 6:13, Romans 12:1. It should be obvious from previous comments that to be filled with the Spirit is a moment by moment relationship. This moment by moment relationship is a relationship that can be hindered by sin. This relationship is not a question of a so-called second work of grace, but is the normal experience of a Christian.

The filling of the Holy Spirit is a repeated experience. We know that Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Acts 2:4, He was also filled again Acts 4:8 and again in Acts 4:31.

We also see Paul filled with the Holy Spirit at various times, Acts 9:17, Acts 13:9, and Acts 13:52.

The effect of being filled with the Holy Spirit can be seen in all aspects of the Christian life and experience. The outward fruit of ones life always comes from within. If one is walking in the Spirit, filled by the Spirit, their outward life will show this fruit. A Christian does not bear fruit of the Spirit by his own labor, but by yielding to the Spirit. This fruit, in relation to the Christian, is love, joy, and peace. The fruit in relation to God, is faith, meekness, and temperance. The fruit, in relation to men, is longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness, Galatians 5:22-23.

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Spiritual Gifts, given by the Holy Spirit

Spiritual gifts are abilities given by God for use in His service. These gifts are given at the time of regeneration, or being born again, but may not be realized untill a future time. God gives both spiritual gifts and talents, but talents may or may not be used in service to God, while spiritual gifts are given for use in God's service, to benefit the body of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-14. Every believer receives at least one, or more, spiritual gifts upon being born again, but no believer receives all the spiritual gifts, 1 Corinthians 12:11. It should be noted that gifts are given to each believer at the will of the Holy Spirit, and not because of a believer's desires, works, or prayers.

There is a gift of teaching. A teacher is someone gifted by the Spirit to teach, and a teacher can be any member of the body of Christ. A pastor is also a teacher, deacons are apt to teach, and while teachers could be a pastor or a deacon, they don't have to be, 1 Corinthians 12:28. When one has made peace with God, there is they need for them to be taught. Therefore, God has given some the ability to teach spiritual truth. The teaching gift is a gift of supernatural ability to explain, and apply, the truths in God's word.

There is the gift of serving. All Christians have the gift of serving, the ability to minister, or help, in a spiritual way. Of course, different individuals will be able to minister in different ways. A Church cannot be successful, regardless of its leaders, without this gift, and its exercise, by the members, Romans 12:7.

There is a gift of faith. All believers have faith, but there are those in the body of Christ who are distinguished for their faith in the promises of God, and reliance upon His promises. They can accomplish much for the body of Christ through their prayers, and their faith in, and reliance on God, 1 Corinthians 12:8-9.

There is a gift of a Pastor. The Greek word for "pastor" is "shepherd", either literally or figuratively. This is because of the similarity of what a shepherd does when he cares for his sheep. The shepherd leads them, feeds them, and protects, and in a similar way, the pastor has this responsibility to those in his congregation. A pastor is also a teacher, but a teacher is not necessarily a pastor, Ephesians 4:11.

There are many other gifts such as, the gift of evangelism, the gift of mercy, the gift of giving, the gift of administration and others. This short article is not intended to be an extended study of the subject, but only to introduce it. You are encouraged to continue the study on your own.

It should be noted that the above gifts are of a permanent nature, but there were additional gifts to the early Church that were temporary. During the time of Christ and the Apostles, the Church was in a transition period (apostolic period), and the books of the New Testament were in the process of being written. During this apostolic period God gave to the Church apostles to lead and guide the Church, and miracles were common in order to verify that the teachings of the Apostles, were from God.

After the passing of the apostles and the writing of the New Testament, miracles were no longer needed to verify the Apostles and their teachings. Miracles still occur today but during the transition time of the Church miracles were used to attest to the teaching of the apostles and to attest to the deity of Christ. Miracles occur today through the intercessory prayers of God's people, and not through anyone who claims to have a gift.

While it is true that God gave miraculous gifts for signs during the apostolic period, these signs were to authenticate the teachings of the apostles, and with the passing of the apostles and the completion of the New Testament, the gift ended, 2 Corinthians 12:11-12, Romans 15:18-19, Heb 2:3-4, Mark 16:20.

Miracles were used in this manner during the period of Moses to Joshua, the period of Elijah and Elisha, and again during the transition period of the Church, or what we might call the apostolic period. With the passing of the apostles and the completion of the writing of the New Testament, there was no longer the need of a gift of miracles to man. This does not mean there are no longer miracles. There are miracles every day, but men are got given a gift of miracles. Miracles today come through God and the prayers of God's faithful people. When the New Testament was written, there was no longer a need for the apostles, or for miracles to attest their authenticity, 1 Corinthians 13:8-10.

This means that certain gifts mentioned will be withheld. Of these, the gift of tongues, the speaking in an unknown language, will be withheld. Supernatural knowledge will be withheld, as well as the ability to prophesy the future. Gifts of healing, given to the apostles, have been withheld since the passing of the apostles.This does not mean that God no longer heals people, it is simply done in a different manner. It is now accomplished through the prayer instead of signs. These gifts are no longer needed as we now have the written word of God that is accurate, and completed, and tells us all we need to know to live this life and all we need to know of the future.

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The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

A distinctive feature of the church age is that the Holy Spirit indwells everyone who has been born again. The Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost to form the church, and took up His residence in all believers, John 7:37-39.

This verse also tells us that the disciples had not yet received the Holy Spirit, but would in the future, and they did receive the Spirit at Pentecost. Jesus tells us that they were not yet indwelt by the Spirit until Pentecost. Before Pentecost the Holy Spirit was "with" the disciples but after Pentecost the Holy Spirit was "in" them, John 14:17.

It is important to remember that in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit did not permanently indwell a believer. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit filled people to enable them to do the work that God had set aside for them. See the section on the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament for an explanation.

The Holy Spirit has been given to every believer by Christ, and the Spirit is necessary in order to be saved and to belong to Christ. Therefore if one does not have the Spirit one is not saved. This means that a Christian doesn't have to seek the Holy Spirit. If one is a Christian he/she is already indwelt by the Spirit. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary for one to be saved.

The Apostle Paul tells us in the book of Romans that if one is not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, then they are not saved, Romans 8:8-9, Jude 1:17-19.

The Holy Spirit indwells us even if we should sin. If a Christian sins, then they lose the filling of the Spirit, but not the indwelling of the Spirit. The Corinthian church was encouraged to live a godly life and forsake sin "because" they are indwelt by the Spirit. Therefore, it is plain that the Holy Spirit does not leave a believer because of sin. However, one must be yielded to the Spirit in order to be filled with the Spiritm which is a different doctrinal subject. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Did Saul lose the indwelling Holy Spirit? (1 Samuel 16:14) The answer is no, because the Old Testament believers were never indwelt by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was with them and filled them to enable them to do the work that God had given them, but He did not indwell them. In the New Testament, one is indwelt permanently by the Holy Spirit and we are sealed with the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. Since a believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption, a believer can never lose their salvation.

Must one be yielded or obedient to the will of God in order to receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, Acts 5:32? A first look would tell us this would appear to be so. However, the word "obey" used here means submitting to an authority or a ruler. Therefore, it has the meaning of recognizing the person and authority of Christ and His finished work on the cross. The word obey, as used here, has no reference to moral commands or to a standard of life, but only that we believe in Christ, submitting to His authority.

On reading Luke 11:13 some become confused. We must remember that this was spoken before Pentecost. If the disciples had asked Him, the Father, for the Holy Spirit, there is no reason to doubt that the Father would have given them their request. But they did not ask for Him. Since all sinners now receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit at the moment of belief, it is no longer necessary to ask.

The book of Acts gives us a history of the Church during the time it was being formed, during the time the Church was in a transition period from Judaism to Christianity, and God gave signs, wonders, and miracles to advance the Church, and for confirmation of salvation, Hebrews 2:3-4. As we look through the book of Acts, we can see several references regarding the work of the Holy Spirit. During the transition period of the New Testament Church, we see the Holy Spirit coming into believers at the time of, or after, baptism in Acts 8 and 19. We see the Holy Spirit coming into believers before baptism in Acts 10. We see the Holy Spirit coming into believers by the laying on of hands in Acts 8 and 19.

Why this difference in the coming of the Holy Spirit? Does it contradict John's teaching? A problem comes about only if we take events in the "formation or transition period" of the Church and use them as a source doctrine for receiving the Holy Spirit in the present New Testament Church. Actually, there are at least four groups that were involved in the formation of the New Testament Church. They were the Jews at Jerusalem, the Samaritan Jews, the Gentiles in Acts 10 and in Acts 19 the believers at Ephesus.

From the day of Pentecost the kingdom was opened to the Jews, and there was commonly an interval between the time one accepted Christ in faith and the baptism with the Holy Spirit. Then in Acts 10, the kingdom was opened to the first Gentiles, and this is the normal experience for the present church age and includes both Jew and Gentile. They first received the baptism with the Holy Spirit when they first believed, and then they were water baptized. When one first believes, they are born again of the Holy Spirit, baptized into the body of Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, sealed by the Holy Spirit, receive gifts from the Holy Spirit and the list goes on, Acts 10:44-48.

Acts 18-19 tells the story of the believers in Ephesus. Appollos taught the people of Ephesus, but he only knew the baptism of John, Acts 18:24-27. Then, in Acts 19, the Apostle Paul comes to Ephesus, finding certain disciples there (those who had been taught by Apollos) and questioned them, Acts 19:1-2.

Just from the form of Paul's question, we can tell that they should have received the Holy Ghost upon belief. If we look at the question and their answer, we can see that they were not disciples of Christ, but of John the Baptist. They knew nothing of the fact that their Messiah had come, had been crucified, buried, and had risen from the grave to pay for their sins. When Paul instructed them, they repented, received the Spirit and were baptized.

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The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit did not indwell each believer as He does in the New Testament church. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon individuals according to His free and sovereign action.

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon men to give them the qualities needed for specific ministries or works. This can be seen in the instance of Joshua, Numbers 27:18. When Zerubbabel was called to rebuild the temple, he was given encouragement by the Lord, Zechariah 4:6. The Holy Spirit came upon men in the Old Testament to give them understanding and knowledge, as we read about Bezaleel, Exodus 31:2-3.

There isn't any evidence that the Holy Spirit indwelt the Old Testament believers on a permanent basis. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit on a permanent basis appears only in the Church age. The Old Testament does give readers a promise of the Holy Spirit at some time in the future. This is when the Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all flesh, Joel 2:28. The fulfillment of this promise began at Pentecost with the establishing of the Church, Acts2:16-18.

The Old Testament shows the Holy Spirit:
as being present in the world, and associated with creation, Job 26:13, Genesis 1:2.
striving with men. Genesis 6:3.
enlightening man, Job 32:8.
enduing with skill, Exodus 31:2-4.
as filling men, Exodus 31:3.
as coming upon men, Numbers 24:2. Also see Judges 11:29; 3:10; 14:6.
as resting upon men, Numbers 11:25. Also see Num 11:25; 11:26; Isaiah 11:2.
gave wisdom, Isaiah 11:1-3.
bestows physical strength, Judges 14:5-7.

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The Holy Spirit in Relation to Israel

The judges of Israel - Judges 3:10
The Prophets of Israel - Nehemiah 9:30. Also see Zechariah 7:12 and Ezekiel 2:2.
The kings of Israel - 1 Samuel 16:13
The Priests of Israel - 2 Chronicles 24:20

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