The Holy SpiritThe Holy Spirit in the Covenant of Grace by Scott Bushey
It will be the goal of this paper to accurately define the working of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament vs New Testament saint.
We will distinguish between the Holy Spirit’s eternal omnipresence, the Holy Spirit in regeneration, the Holy Spirit that indwells all believers, The Holy Spirit in restraining sin, the Holy Spirit in theocratic anointings and the Holy Spirit during the Pentecost event.
To begin with, how does the covenanting Presbyterian interpret the new covenant? When does he see it beginning? When does the dispensationalist see it beginning? Is the timing of the New Covenant relevant to our discussion on the Holy Spirit?
It definitely is relevant; at face value, when reading the New Testament texts on the Holy Spirit, one would be led to believe something new is happening here that never occurred before. Jesus makes a few statements that would lead one to believe that this is a new thing-and it is, to a degree; I will touch on that a bit later in this paper.
Lets answer the first few questions I posed:
The covenanting Presbyterian see’s the new covenant starting in Genesis 3. It is at that same time the Protoevangelion is firstly proclaimed. To be accurate, the Westminster Confession of Faith states:
“WCF Chapter 7
5. This covenant [i.e., the covenant of grace] was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel: under the law, it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all foresignifying Christ to come; which were, for that time, sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the old testament.
6. Under the gospel, when Christ, the substance, was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the Word, and the administration of the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper: which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity, and less outward glory, yet, in them, it is held forth in more fullness, evidence and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the new testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace, differing in substance, but one and the same, under various dispensations.”
This is essentially saying that the people of the Old Testament and the people of the new testament were under the same covenant. Salvation came to both groups in the same fashion-by justification by faith alone, in Christ alone. Same Gospel message.
One covenant, two administrations.
One writer put it this way:
“There is one Covenant of Grace administered in different administrations of this over arching Covenant. The Covenants of Promise, which led up to the New Covenant are from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and David. Christ is the Promised seed who fulfilled the Abrahamic seed promised. And He, Christ, instituted the New Covenant in His blood; but they are all tied together in the administration of the Covenant of Grace which was announced to Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:15.
The New Testament is not contrary to the Old Testament. There is greater clarification and magnification in the new. But the Faith and knowledge is the same. There is nothing in the New Testament that is not in the Old Testament. The two must be interpreted harmoniously. All the functions of the Spirit are in operation through the redemptive history. We must be careful not to fall into the error of Marcionism, and Cerinthianism.
Another important thing to keep in mind is that the word “new” as in “new covenant” does not mean brand-spanking new, but renewed. The Greek term “neos” means new in time, just arrived, like “I have a new job”. The Greek term “kai-nay” generally means something that has been renewed, as in “I’ve got a new attitude”.
2537 kainós – properly, new in quality (innovation), fresh in development or opportunity – because “not found exactly like this before.”
So when Jesus says, ‘This is the New Covenant in my blood”, He is not implying that this is a brand new thing you have never seen before, but it is renewed. It is the consummation of what was started in Genesis 3.
Galatians 3:8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”
Since men are saved in the same fashion, whether old or new, the same gospel preached, there are a few things that must follow suit in our hermeneutic here, i.e. when we speak of the Holy Spirit, we are speaking of the same omnipresent spirit that saves us today as the spirit that saved in the day of Abraham. Does God change? No! Is the Holy Spirit God? Yes. Continuity is important when discussing the doctrine of the Holy Spirit.
Dr. C. Matthew McMahon says:
“The Lord comes into contact with men through the Holy Spirit. Christ, for example, never entered a human person, but took on a human nature. It is the Holy Spirit that directs such a contact between man and God (Job 33:4 echoes Genesis 2:7) and gives him the breath of life. He is the One who gives men both physical life and spiritual life.”
When we see references in the New Testament to a work of the Holy Spirit in the believer, we must remain consistent in our hermeneutic and apply the same treatment to the Old Testament renderings. Scripture defines scripture!
The Holy Spirit is Omnipresent
Is there a time when the Holy Spirit was not? No. He has and will always be.
Genesis 1:2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters
The spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life
When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth
The Holy Spirit is described as life-giving, and life-sustaining. The New Testament aligns with this thinking
John 3:5-8 5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 6:63 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
2 Corinthians 3:6
6 who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
It was recently mentioned to me that in the giving of the great Commission, Christ said:
“19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
My friend said, “Look Scott, it is implying that Christ was not with them ‘always’ before this time; he is now saying that He will be with us always!”
This is a good point that is easily explained; Christ is divine and fully human. We know that His Holy Spirit is omnipresent and has ‘always’ been with us. What could Christ have meant then? He was speaking of his humanity. Christ is in heaven, even now, fully human; He will return at the end of the age in the same way he left-in the clouds. Until then, He is with us always, even to that end.
The Spirit is given for restraining sin and teaching all the converted:
Nehemiah 9:20 You gave your good Spirit to instruct them. You did not withhold your manna from their mouths, and you gave them water for their thirst
But it is the Spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding .
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.
Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath Thou shalt restrain.
Rom 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
Gen 20 6 And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. 7 Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who areyours.”
The Holy Spirit is fully God
He is third person of the trinity; He is fully God. No less than the other two persons. There is not denigration because He is described as the third person; He is not third in that way. He is as equal to the Father as to the Son. If Jesus is omnipresent, then the Holy Spirit is omnipresent. He is not omnipresent as a result of God the Father or God the Son’s omnipresence, but as a result of His being fully God.
In Jeremiah 23:23–24 it reads:
“Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD,
“And not a God afar off?
Can anyone hide himself in secret places,
So I shall not see him?” says the LORD;
“Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the LORD.
In Psalm 139:7–12
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
4Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me.”
Even the night shall be light about me;
Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light are both alike to You.
He is eternal:
Hebrews 9:14 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit roffered himself without blemish to God, purify our1 conscience from dead works uto serve the living God.
If the Old Testament saints were real believers, the Holy Spirit indwelt them. No one can be born again, believe, or repent without the inward work of the Holy Spirit and no one can stay a believer for one second without the ongoing permanent internal work of the Holy Spirit regardless if it is in the Old Testament or New Testament.
Gal 3:13 13Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
In the above passage, the spirit coming to the believer is contrasted to the Old Testament saint.
Eph 4 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
1 Cor 13:13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body–whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free–and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Look what John Owen says of the sealing for all believers:
“Sixthly, Wherefore, God’s sealing of believers with the Holy Spirit is his gracious communication of the Holy Ghost unto them, so to act his divine power in them as to enable them unto all the duties of their holy calling; evidencing them to be accepted with him both unto themselves and others, and asserting their preservation unto eternal salvation. The effects of this sealing are gracious operations of the Holy Spirit in and upon believers; but the sealing itself is the communication of the Spirit unto them. They are sealed with the Spirit. And farther to evidence the nature of it, with the truth of our declaration of this privilege, we may observe, — 1. That when any persons are so effectually called as to become true believers, they are brought into many new relations, — as, to God himself, as his children; unto Jesus Christ, as his members; unto all saints and angels in the families of God above and below, as brethren; and are called to many new works, duties, and uses, which before they knew nothing of.
They are brought into a new world, erected by the new creation; and which way soever they look or turn themselves, they say, “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” So it is with every one that is made a new creature in Christ Jesus, 2 Corinthians 5:17. In this state and condition, wherein a man hath new principles put within him, new relations contracted about him, new duties presented unto him, and a new deportment in all things required of him, how shall he be able to behave himself aright, and answer the condition and holy station wherein he is placed? This no man can do of himself, for “who is sufficient for these things?” Wherefore, — 2. In this stateGod owns them, and communicates unto them his Holy Spirit, to fit them for their relations, to enable them unto their duties, to act their new principles, and every way to discharge the work they are called unto, even as their head, the Lord Christ, was unto hia God doth not now give unto them “the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind,” 2 Timothy 1:7. And hereby cloth God seal them; for, — (1.) Hereby he gives his testimony unto them that they are his, owned by him, accepted with him, his sons or children, — which is his seal; for if they were not so, he would never have given his Holy Spirit unto them.”
There is one baptism, but different administrations of that baptism
Post conversion work vs Pentecost vs Theocratic anointings. All are the same baptism, but with a different amplification of the Holy Spirits power.
Do not confuse this with different baptisms that are post conversion, i.e. The Baptism in the Holy Spirit that the Pentecostals and Charismatics claim. This is error and should be rejected. Biblically speaking, these things that the Charismatics confuse with a second event after conversion are none other than the spiritual gifts given during the Pentecost outpouring and were for a short season to accomplish Gods plan. They have ceased after the event and task was completed.
Total depravity and the Old Testament saint:
Without the Holy Spirit continuously in and at work in our hearts, we will immediately apostatize.
You must think about total depravity; if the Holy Spirit doesn’t indwell a man, they cannot be NOT totally depraved. If one is totally depraved, they WILL apostatize immediately.
If you believe Old Testament saints believed by the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit but kept believing without the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit then saints in the OT were not as depraved as we are, as they did not need the ongoing indwelling work of the Holy Spirit. This discussion really then is a debate about the nature of total human depravity in the Old Testament. Nothing less than the indwelling of the Holy Spirit keeps a true believer believing, repenting, and obeying. To deny that the Old Testament saint had the benefit of the indwelling Spirit of God redefines total depravity, is sick with dispensationalism and rejects a biblical perseverance of the saint.
B.B. Warfield wrote, “shall we say that only in the New Testament times men are dead in sin, and only in these days of the completed Gospel and of the New Covenant do men need the almighty power of God to raise them from their spiritual death? Certainly the Bible lends no support to such a notion.”
John Owen writes on the state of men outside of the indwelling of the Spirit:
“All men by nature, not enlightened, not renewed in their minds by the saving, effectual operation of the Holy Spirit, are in a state of darkness and blindness with respect unto God and spiritual things, with the way of pleasing him and living unto him. Be men otherwise and in other things never so wise, knowing, learned, and skillful, in spiritual things they are dark, blind, ignorant, unless they are renewed in the spirit of their minds by the Holy Ghost. This is a matter which the world cannot endure to hear of, and it is ready to fall into a tumult upon its mention. They think it but an artifice which some weak men have got up, to reflect on and condemn them who are wiser than themselves On the like occasion did the Pharisees ask of our Savior that question with pride and scorn, “Are we blind also?” John 9:40. But as he lets them know that their presumption of light and knowledge would serve only to aggravate their sin and condemnation, verse 41; so he plainly tells them, that notwithstanding all their boasting, “they had neither heard the voice of God at any time, nor seen his shape,” chapter 5:37.
Some at present talk much about the power of the intellectual faculties of our souls, as though they were neither debased, corrupted, impaired, nor depraved. All that disadvantage which is befallen our nature by the entrance of sin is but in “the disorder of the affections and the inferior sensitive parts of the soul, which are apt to tumultuate and rebel against that pure untainted light which is in the mind!” And this they speak of it without respect unto its renovation by the Holy Spirit; for if they include that also, they are in their discourses most notorious confused triflers.
Indeed, some of them write as if they had never deigned once to consult with the Scriptures, and others are plainly gone over into the tents of the Pelagians. But, setting aside their modern artifices of confident boasting, contemptuous reproaches, and scurrilous railings, it is no difficult undertaking so to demonstrate the depravation of the minds of men by nature, and their impotency thence to discern spiritual things in a spiritual manner, without a saving, effectual work of the Holy Spirit in their renovation, as that the proudest and most petulant of them shall not be able to return anything of a solid answer thereunto. And herein we plead for nothing but the known doctrine of the ancient catholic church, declared in the writings of the most learned fathers and determinations of councils against the Pelagians, whose errors and heresies are again revived among us by a crew of Socinianized Arminians.”
Again, to not have the indwelling spirit is akin to full blown Arminianism; how is one kept from apostatizing? How is sanctification accomplished in the Old testament saint? It would be practically impossible.
Tom Nettles writes:
“None of these affections or loyalties can exist on the one hand, or be maintained on the other, apart from their being the constant production of the Holy Spirit. If these in the roll call of faith did not have the Spirit, they would have no principle in them that opposed the desires of the flesh, would be given over to those desires as are the reprobate, and would thus “not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:17-21). Paul wrote, “Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:9). This does not refer to a superfluity of blessing, or the possession of a gift irrelevant to eternal life; it instead establishes a condition of moral necessity true of any believer in any age. If Abel did not have the Spirit of Christ, did he belong to him? If Joseph did not have the Spirit of Christ, he did not belong to him? If those “wandering about in deserts and mountains and in dens and caves of the earth” did not have the Spirit of Christ, even they did not belong to him. But they did belong to him, and that belonging was effected by the abiding presence of the Spirit.
Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “The natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Is one who has no indwelling of the Spirit a spiritual man? If not, then he considers the things of the Spirit of God as folly. Did Moses consider the Exodus folly or the Passover folly? These were spiritual things, and Moses saw their significance as types of the redemptive work of Christ, the “reproach of Christ.” After Jesus had said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is of no avail. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life,” Peter said, “We have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:65, 69). Did he believe this and confess this without an initiating and continuing effectual work of the Holy Spirit? Regeneration and indwelling are operations of the Spirit morally necessary for faith and perseverance in that faith.”
In Romans it speaks of Total depravity:
9What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. 10As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
12All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
13“Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15“Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16ruin and misery mark their ways,
17and the way of peace they do not know.”
18“There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Kuyper adds: “Hence the Holy Spirit must antagonize sin; His calling is to annihilate it, and despite its opposition to cause the elect children of God and the entire creation to reach their end. Redemption is therefore not a new work added to that of the Holy Spirit, but it is identical with it. He undertook to bring all things to their destiny either without the disturbance of sin or in spite of it; first, by saving the elect, and then by restoring all things in heaven and on earth at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.”
How can one fear the Lord if one does not have Gods spirit??? The passage above confirms that outside of Gods spirit residing in a man, he will not, cannot, fear the Lord.
The first area of the Spirit’s work is in the process of regeneration or being born again. The classic text for this can be found in John’s gospel: “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” (John 3:3). Don’t believe for a minute that this statement by Christ is a New Testament statement; he is talking to a Rabbi, a Rabbi that he rebukes for that Rabbi not getting it.
Later on in His dialogue with Nicodemus, Christ has this to say to him: “You are Israel’s teacher…and do you not understand these things?” John 3:10.
The point that Christ was making is that Nicodemus should have known the truth that the Holy Spirit is the source of new life because it is revealed in the Old Testament. For instance, Moses told the Israelites prior to entering the Promised Land that “The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live” (Deuteronomy 30:6). This circumcision of the heart is the work of God’s Spirit and can be accomplished only by Him.
If God circumcises the heart, that is akin to a change of nature; to not have the indwelling Holy Spirit in the old testament believer is to not have a changed nature. To not have a changed nature is to not be united to Christ:
So, according to Jesus, all the elect must have a spiritual rebirth to enter Gods kingdom. No man can serve God in his own strength. A house divided cannot stand. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons…..
Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
Rom 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
1Co 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Can a man be born again without a new nature? Can a man have a new nature without the Holy Spirit residing in him?
Ezekiel sheds some thought on the matter:
Ezekiel 37 The Valley of Dry Bones
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones. And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry. And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.”
So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I prophesied, there was a sound, and behold, a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them. But there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.’ Therefore prophesy, and say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will bring you into the land of Israel. And you shall know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people. And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it declares the LORD.” I Will Be Their God, They Shall Be My People
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, take a stick and write on it, ‘For Judah, and the people of Israel associated with him’; then take another stick and write on it, ‘For Joseph (the stick of Ephraim) and all the house of Israel associated with him.’ And join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand. And when your people say to you, ‘Will you not tell us what you mean by these?’ say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am about to take the stick of Joseph (that is in the hand of Ephraim) and the tribes of Israel associated with him. And I will join with it the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, that they may be one in my hand. When the sticks on which you write are in your hand before their eyes, then say to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the people of Israel from the nations among which they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and bring them to their own land. And I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel. And one king shall be king over them all, and they shall be no longer two nations, and no longer divided into two kingdoms. They shall not defile themselves anymore with their idols and their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions. But I will save them from all the backslidings in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them; and they shall be my people, andI will be their God.
“My servant David (Christ) shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children’s children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
“We conclude, then, that God’s glory is reflected most in His children; and since no man can be His child unless he is begotten of Him, we confess that His glory is most apparent in His elect or in His Church.”
“The answer cannot be doubtful. God’s children can never accomplish their glorious end unless God dwell in them as in His temple. It is the love of God that constrains Him to live in His children, by their love for Him to love Himself, and to see the reflection of His glory in the consciousness of His own handiwork. This glorious purpose will be realized only when the elect know as they are known, behold their God face to face, and enjoy the felicity of closest communion with the Lord.
Since all this can be wrought in them only by His indwelling in their hearts, and since it is the Third Person in the Holy Trinity who enters the spirits of men and of angels, it is evident that God’s highest purposes are realized when the Holy Spirit makes man’s heart His dwelling-place. Who or what ever we are by education or position, we can not attain our highest destiny unless the Holy Spirit dwell in us and operate upon the inward organism of our being.”
Job 33:4 4 The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.
Psalm 51:5 5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. 6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
How would it be possible for a man to remain in his walk with the Lord without the Holy Spirit teaching him, restraining sin? It is impossible. The New Testament confirms this. One cannot be converted without the Holy Spirit residing in Him.
Paul says in Galatians 4:29 concerning Isaac and Ishmael:
“But, as he who was born according to the flesh then persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, even so it is now.”
What Paul is saying is that, ‘It was this way then, and it is the same for us!’
Isaiah 63 lends a excellent reference to the nation of Israel in regards to Gods spirit and His giving of His Spirit to them:
7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.
8For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.
9In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.
10But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.
11Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is He that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is He that put his holy Spirit within them?
12That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?
Isaiah 63 shows that the HS was within the believer. It cannot be said that it is a theocratic anointing as it is described as a group, ‘them’. The Israelites.
1 Peter writes:
1:10 Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, 11 searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow
or how about Elizabeth?
39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah,
Luke 1:41 41 And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
The example of Elizabeth cannot be seen as a theocratic example. Additionally, the passage cannot be misinterpreted with the Holy Spirit that filled her yet to be son, John as the passage pertaining to John says conclusively that John was filled with the Holy Spirit from the womb. It doesn’t say that Elizabeth’s womb was filled; it says that she was (although, what was in her womb was filled).
Abraham Kuyper writes:
“But in the Old Testament there was also an inward operation in believers. Believing Israelites were saved. Hence they must have received saving grace. And since saving grace is out of the question without an inward working of the Holy Spirit, it follows that He was the Worker of faith in Abraham as well as in ourselves.
The difference between the two operations is apparent. A person outwardly wrought upon may become enriched with outward gifts, while spiritually he remains as poor as ever. Or, having received the inward gift of regeneration, he may be devoid of every talent that adorns man outwardly.”
It is important to note that the Reformed, in keeping with their emphasis on continuity, have typically equated Spirit Baptism with Regeneration.
No Spirit, No Salvation. Period.. You cannot be saved without the permanent indwelling of the Spirit of God whether you are in the Old Testament or New Testament. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:13 that we have the SAME Spirit of Faith as it was written in the Old Testament.
2 Cor 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.
13 And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke”, we also believe and therefore speak,
The above statement, “I believed and therefore I spoke’ is from Psalm 116; For Paul to make the statement, “And since we have the same spirit of faith according to…..” what? Paul is referencing the statement from David in the Psalm 116. He is essentially saying, same spirit in the OT saint as us.
“The Spirit of God of the Old Testament performs all the functions which are ascribed to the Holy Spirit of the New Testament, and bears all the same characteristics. They are conceived alike both in their nature and in their operations.”
We have the outward call of the preacher; we have the inward call from the Holy Spirit. We have the gift of faith, the response from the hearer thus accepting and receiving; we have the gift of repentance and of course, finally, justification. The order of salvation is the same throughout time.
Next question: When does the dispensationalist see the new covenant beginning?
Of course, at Calvary and when Christ actually said, “This is the New Covenant in my blood”. Is that true? Well, partly. The new covenant was consummated at Calvary and stamped with Christ’s approval at the last supper. It is a now and not yet decree. It was Abraham looking forward and us, looking back. Those that actually saw the crucifixion experienced it fully. Was Abraham at a disadvantage? Not covenantally. Practically, maybe. Are we at a disadvantage? Not covenantally; maybe not even practically either as we have the canon-neither of the previously mentioned had that.
So, the dispensationalist denies the covenant; in that denial, a bunch of dominoes fall as a result. The dispensationalist believes that the Old Testament saint is not saved in the same fashion. The New Testament saint definitely has a hands-up on the Old Testament saint and the cross of Christ is a New Testament phenomenon. There are so many more things to note, but that is another paper and I don’t want to lose tract of what we are trying to accomplish here. I will however, show that to believe the Holy Spirit was not indwelling the old testament saint that that idea is akin to thinking dispensationally about the doctrine and hence, error.
On or In?:
Is it possible to be in Christ and only have the spirit on you, not in you? What examples can we use to see the Holy Spirit coming upon a person. Surely we can use the instance of Saul.
Judges 15:14 As he approached Lehi, the Philistines came toward him shouting. The Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands.
Strongs #6743a Best interpreted in light of a proper hermeneutic would be ‘came mightly’, as in , The Holy Spirit came mightily to him-rushed.
1 sam 19:23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even upon him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth.
Strongs #1571 gam: also, moreover, yea
Original Word: גַּם
Part of Speech: Adverb
Phonetic Spelling: (gam)
Short Definition: also
from an unused word
also, moreover, yea
1 Sam 10:10 When they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophesying.
Strongs 6743a *see above
These are just a few examples that show that ‘upon’ is not meant to imply the spirit sitting, externally upon believers. In fact, if you do a deeper study of the Hebrew, you will find that the phrase “upon” him’ is not a transliteration at all in the Hebrew. Taking this rule into consideration, one would come away from this study seeing that when ‘come/came upon’ is used towards whoever, it actually defines as ‘came speedily, mightily, sufficiently’, not actually ‘upon’. Following proper hermeneutics and the consistency rule brings you back to the truth that all believers are filled with the Holy Spirit upon conversion. They have to be.
I want to add that Saul is an example that is a conundrum to most. Was he saved?
I will quote a bit from a friend of mine, Pastor Daniel Koc of the URCNA
“Does the fact this Saul lost the Holy Spirit indicate that he was saved (or regenerated cf. Belgic Confession, Article 35)? Balaam, a Midianite, also received the Holy Spirit to prophesy (Numbers 24:1-2) but he was a non-Israelite and died in his sins (Numbers 31:8 cf. Revelation 2:14). There is no indication that Balaam was saved from anything nor received the spirit unto salvation. Why would we say anything different with Saul when there is no indication that he had faith and works, both of which are indisputable signs of regeneration? When God gives a person the Holy Spirit unto regeneration they believe (1 Corinthians 2:14; 1 John 5:1) and they do good works (Matthew 7:18-20; Ephesians 2:1-10) and do not commit sin (1 John 3:9).”
God inspires special activities, in accordance with each man´s calling. Many examples of this occur in The Book of Judges, where it is said that “œthe Spirit of the Lord took possession” of those men whom he had called to rule the people [Judges 6:34]. In short, in every extraordinary event there is some particular impulsion. For this reason, Saul was followed by the brave men “whose hearts God had touched” [1 Samuel 10:26]. And when Saul´s consecration as king was foretold, Samuel said: “Then the Spirit of the Lord will come mightily upon you, and you shall be another man” 1 Samuel 10:6]. And this was extended to the whole course of government, as is said afterward of David: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon him from that day forward” [1 Samuel 16:13].
“we point out what special grace the Lord has bestowed upon the one, while not deigning to bestow it upon the other. When he wished to put Saul over the kingdom he
“formed him as a new man” [1 Samuel 10:6 p.]. This is the reason that Plato, alluding to the Homeric legend, says that kings´ sons are born with some distinguishing mark. For God, in providing for the human race, often endows with a heroic nature those destined to command.”
Zacharias Ursinus, in his commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism, notes:
“The Holy Spirit left Saul who was one of the elect. Therefore he may leave others also. Ans. It was not the Spirit of regeneration and adoption which forsook Saul, but the spirit of prophecy, of wisdom, courage and other gifts of a similar character with which he was endowed. Neither was he chosen unto eternal life, but merely to be king, as Judas was chosen to the apostleship. It is still further objected: The Spirit of regeneration may also forsake the elect; for David prayed, “Restore unto me the joys of thy salvation.” To this we reply that the godly may, and often do lose many of the gifts of the Spirit of regeneration; but they do not lose them wholly: for it cannot possible be that they should lose every particle of faith, inasmuch as they do not sin unto death; but from the weakness of the flesh, not being perfectly renewed in this life. This the apostle John expressly affirms when he says, “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:19) David in his fall, lost the joy which he had felt in his soul, the purity of conscience, and many other gifts which he earnestly prayed might be restored unto him; but he had not wholly lost the Spirit of God.”
Likewise Matthew Henry explains:
What occurred by the way, v. 9. Those signs which Samuel had given him came to pass very punctually; but that which gave him the greatest satisfaction of all was this, he found immediately that God had given him another heart. A new fire was kindled in his breast, such as he had never before been acquainted with: seeking the **** is quite out of his mind, and he thinks of nothing but fighting the Philistines, redressing the grievances of Israel, making laws, administering justice, and providing for the public safety; these are the things that now fill his head. He finds himself raised to such a pitch of boldness and bravery, as he never thought he should be conscious of. He has no longer the heart of a husbandman, which is low, and mean, and narrow, and concerned only about his corn and cattle; but the heart of a statesman, a general, a prince. Whom God calls to any service he will make fit for it. If he advance to another station, he will give another heart, to those who sincerely desire to serve him with their power.
Outside of the normal workings of the Holy Spirit, there are special circumstances where the Holy Spirit does what I call an amplified work. For instance, theocratic anointings. This cannot be confused or denigrate that which the immutable Holy Spirit does in the lives of the elect in regeneration and fighting sin.
To define Theocratic anointings:
“It is a special enduement” which “had to do primarily with the regal functions of those who stood as mediators of the divine government of Israel” (McClain).
The old testament reveals around 15 men – primarily Prophets, Judges or Kings and one unnamed musician, the craftsmen who built the temple and the 70 elders of Israel; This anointing was not the saving work of the Spirit but the Theocratic Work of the Spirit. Did these men have the HS in them savingly as well?-surely; Keep this in mind when you think of the NT saint and Pentecost. Utilize the same principle: See it as a special endowing of the Spirit for their function as Prophet, Judge, King, etc. It was the same special endowing of the Spirit that the Apostles received to do their work. It is an increase in capacity for kingdom business.
Example: David receives the Holy Spirit upon conversion. He is later endowed for a special purpose of God and the amplification for the task is applied at that given time. We can call this a theocratic ‘anointing’ or the ‘special enduement’.
This brings us up to the words of Christ:
A great quote from Ignatius from the Early Church,
“What I do not find in Moses and the Prophets, I’ll not believe in the gospel.” Ignatius continues “But there is no danger of this, no hazard of being put to such a trail; for certainly the New Testament saith none other than Moses and the Prophets did say and that should come to pass.”
19On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
I want you to remember for later on that when you see the term “Holy Spirit” in scripture that you define the Greek for each instance as it is important to see the distinction Christ is making. You will miss His distinction if you do not look closely at the lexicology.
For instance, when the Holy Spirit is mentioned above, here in the Greek is: Pneuma Hagion.
Strongs 4151 Pneuma Spirit: . the spirit, i. e. the vital principle by which the body is animated;
according to which τό πνεῦμα is the rational part of man, the power of perceiving and grasping divine and eternal things, and upon which the Spirit of God exerts its influence; (πνεῦμα, says Luther, “is the highest and noblest part of man, which qualifies him to lay hold of incomprehensible, invisible, eternal things; in short, it is the house where Faith and God’s word are at home”
The Hebrew counterpart (rûach) has the same range of meaning as 4151 (pneúma), i.e. it likewise can refer to spirit/Spirit,wind, or breath.]
Strongs 40 Hagios hágios – properly, different (unlike), other (“otherness“), holy; for the believer, 40 (hágios) means “likeness of nature with the Lord” because “different from the world.”
The next important thing to note here is: Are we to believe that the Disciples had not yet received the Holy Spirit? Christ tells them to receive, does He not?
Well, what does the apostle Paul tell us?
9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Apparently, obviously, the apostles did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. It is my belief, based on a systematic understanding of the ordo salutis and pneumatology that the disciples were not yet converted. Yes, I believe they were regenerate, but not converted. When Jesus breathed on them and they ‘received’ the Holy Spirit, it is then that they were converted and the ordo completed. Why is this? I have no idea. God does what He will. However, in light of these words and as I said, the systematics of theology, I must conclude that. I will as well soon, show additional support for my view.
Does this understanding of the apostles create any injustices towards God or the apostles? No. The Lord has used unregenerates before for even the performance of miracles, i.e. Judas. Does this theory assault the ordo salutis? No. There is no biblical proof that in every case, the ordo is instantaneous. Jesus warns that ‘some doubt’. Many believed in Him, but some doubted. Doubt is sin and not of faith;
Matt 21 21 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done.
Romans 14:23 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats…
Were these apostles converted? More likely they were either non elect or regenerated.
Can one be regenerated and not understand a parable?
Matt. 13:36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house. And His disciples came to Him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the tares of the field.”
Matt. 15:15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
Matt. 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”
Matt. 13:13 Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
Mark 4:33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.
10 days earlier, Christ tells the disciples:
John 15:26 “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me. 27And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”
And then in John 16:
“5“Now I am going to him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilta in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 9in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; 10in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
12“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.
This is the spirit…the pneuma of God.
Then in Acts he tells them and verifies again that the Paraklete will come:
Acts 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
Strongs 3874 Parakletos παράκλητος, παρακλητου, ὁ (παρακαλέω), properly, summoned, called to one’s side, especially called to one’s aid; hence,
Parakletos: Para: Alongside (the same ‘para’ used in ‘parable’. Kletos: ‘called’. Parakletos: alongside called.
Got that? In English it is the Holy Spirit and the helper; in the Greek, the pneuma hagion and the paraklete.
They are not the same per se, but they are (the same); just think amplification; God has turned up the volume on the actions of His Spirit for a particular event and task.
If you were an apostle and you are listening closely to what Christ is saying, you are a bit befuddled. Jesus tells you 10 days ago, receive the Holy Spirit! Now, 10 days later, he tells them that they are to receive something different-or is it? Is the Holy Spirit and the Helper the same thing? Yes and no! It is the Holy Spirit in an amplified portion-much akin to what occurred in the elect that were theocratically anointed. In the same way during the OT period, for a specific, unique event, God amplifies the Holy Spirit. It is my opinion that this is as well, the helper, the same helper that Christ promises the New Testament saints.
What happens in our day is that upon the readings of these texts, this important distinction is missed and in that, one can get things all askew. Most everyone has heard of the Holy Spirit and how this is applied theologically by the charismatic mainline and they read these passages with a flawed presupposition that they have picked up over time, not to mention all the junk out there in print on the Holy Spirit.
Here is where the timing, the Greek rendering and applying general systematic theology clears the way for the truth.
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit (God turns up the volume)
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
“One of the most difficult discussions on the Holy Spirit surrounds the nature of His outpouring in the New Testament. Most believe that in the New Testament outpouring in Acts 2 marks the inauguration of the giving and indwelling of the Spirit, unlike anything He had done in the past. If the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost, how could the Old Testament believers be partakers of His gifts? How is that outpouring different than those who are saved and gifted today? How could the apostles receive the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, when Christ had told them to receive the Spirit ten days earlier?” ~CMM
Lets look at a few passages relevant to Pentecost:
Joel 2:28 28 1 w“And it shall come to pass afterward,
that xI will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;
yyour sons and zyour daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
Acts 2 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath:
Bruce Buchanan states:
“The great difference in the work of Holy Spirit in the former age and in the present, is sheer quantity and a commensurate exhibition of power.”
Hodge on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit:
Hodge writes in his commentary on 1 cor 12
1Cor. 12:12 For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. 14 For in fact the body is not one member but many.
“It is one, not as united under one external visible head, or under one governing tribunal, nor in virtue of any external visible bond, but in virtue of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit i n all its members. And this internal spiritual union manifests itself i n the profession of the same faith, and in all acts of Christian fellowship.”
“The sense is then the same as in the reading without the as, ‘We have all drank of one Spirit.’ The doctrine taught is clear, viz., that by receiving the Spirit we are all made members of the body of Christ, and that it is in virtue
of the indwelling of the Spirit that the church is one.”
If the HS did not indwell the OT saint, how were they then ‘one’ with the universal church?
and here on 1 Cor 5:17 Hodge writes:
17. Therefore, if any man (be) in Christ, (he is) a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
“A further inference from what precedes. What was true in Paul’s case, must be true in all analogous cases. If the revelation of Christ, the apprehension of his glory and love, had wrought such a change in him, the same illumination
must produce a like change in others. He therefore says, If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. The proposition is general; it applies to every man. To be in Christ is the common scriptural phrase to express the saving connection or
union between him and his people. They are in him by covenant, as all men were in Adam; they are in him as members of his body, through the indwelling of his Spirit; and they are in him by faith, which lays hold of and appropriates him
as the life and portion of the soul. Rom. 8,1. 9. Gal. 5, 6, <fcc. This union is transforming. It imparts a new life. It effects a new creation. This expression”
In his exposition of Romans chapter 5 Robert Haldane writes:
“The work of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is exhibited, all severally acting, as God alone
can act, in the various parts of man’s salvation. The righteousness of God is imputed to the believer, who is therefore justified, and pronounced by the Judge of all the earth righteous. As righteous, he has peace with God, and free access to Him through Jesus Christ; and being thus introduced into the favour of God, he stands in a justified state, rejoicing in hope of future glory. Being justified, he is also sanctified, and enabled to glory even in present afflictions. He enjoys the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, through whose Divine influence the love of God is infused into his soul. Here, then, are the peace, the joy, the triumph of the Christian. Here are faith, hope, and love, the three regulators of the Christian’s life.”
Haldane goes on in Romans 8:9 to say:
“If so he that the Spirit of God dwell in you; The Apostle, in order to confirm those to whom he wrote in the assurance of their happy condition, now calls their attention to’ the evidence of being in a converted state, namely, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. ‘ Hereby we know that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit,’ 1 John iv. 13. This indwelling of the Spirit is a sure evidence of a renewed state; and believers should be careful not to grieve the Spirit, and should labour to enjoy a constant sense of His presence in their hearts. In this verse the word spirit in the first occurrence imports the gift and grace of regeneration. In the 2d and 3d it denotes the Author of that gift, namely, the Holy Spirit, who is Jehovah, a person in the self existent Godhead, equal with the Father and the Son in every attribute. He is called the Spirit, as being the breather or inspirer of spiritual life. Everything done by Him in this character tends to holiness, and therefore He is so often called the Holy Spirit. It is His Divine office to apply the salvation of Jesus, and to make it effectual. He does all in the heirs of promise. The Father gave them to the Son, the Son redeemed them, but they are in the common mass of corruption, dead in trespasses and sins, till the Spirit of life opens their hearts to receive Him, enters into them, unites them by faith to the Saviour, and makes them the subjects of a new birth. Of the Holy Spirit it is said, 1 Cor. iii. 16, ‘ Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? ‘ If it be asked how the Holy Spirit, who is co-essential with the Father and the Son, and consequently infinite, can dwell in believers, the answer is, that though everywhere present. He is said nevertheless to dwell in them on account of His operation and the grace of regeneration, which He produces. It is the Holy Spirit who unites them to Christ the Lord. It is He who quickens and regenerates them, on account of which regeneration is called the ‘ renewing of the Holy Ghost.’ He it is who leads, rules, and governs them, as it is said in the 14th verse, that as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God. What this expression, ‘ dwell in you,’ imports is, that being united to Jesus Christ and regenerated, the Holy Spirit dwells in His people not as inactive, but operates in them continually, and leads and governs them.”
“But, if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.—Here is a necessary reservation. If the Spirit of God did not really dwell in any of those whom the Apostle addressed, they were still in the flesh, notwithstanding all their profession, and all their present appearances, and his persuasion respecting them. And no doubt some will be found to have escaped for a time the pollutions of the world, who may afterwards show that they were never renewed in heart. Many
ridicule the pretensions of those who speak of the Holy Spirit as dwelling in believers; yet if the Spirit of God dwell not in any, they are still in the flesh; that is, they are enemies to God.”
One can easily see the rationale Haldane is offering; to be without the indwelling is to be outside of Christ. Hence, the Old Testament saint would have had to have the indwelling spirit.
John Owen writes:
“One is not by nature more unregenerate than another. All men since the fall, and the corruption of our nature by sin, are in the same state and condition towards God. They are all alike alienated from him, and all alike under his curse, Psalm 51:5; John 3:5,36; Romans 3:19, 5:15-18; Ephesians 2:3; Titus 3:3,4. There are degrees of wickedness in them that are unregenerate, but there is no difference as to state and condition between them, — all are unregenerate alike; as amongst those who are regenerate there are different degrees of holiness and righteousness, one, it may be, far exceeding another, yet there is between them no difference of state and condition, — they are all equally regenerate. Yea, some may be in a greater forwardness and preparation for the work itself, and thereby in a greater nearness to the state of it than others; but the state itself is incapable of such degrees. Now, it must be the same work, for the kind and nature of it, which relieves and translates men out of the same state and condition. That which gives the formal reason of the change of their state, of their translation from death to life, is and must be the same in all.
If you can fix on any man, from the foundation of the world, who was not equally born in sin, and by nature dead in trespasses and sins, with all other men, the man Christ Jesus only excepted, I would grant that he might have another kind of regeneration than others have, but that I know he would stand in need of none at all. 2. The state whereinto men are brought by regeneration is the same. Nor is it, in its essence or nature, capable of degrees, so that one should be more regenerate than another. Everyone that is born of God is equally so, though one may be more beautiful than another, as having the image of his heavenly Father more evidently impressed on him, though not more truly.”
Sproul says that the HS in the OT was like a dripping faucet; In the New, akin to a fire hose.
As previously mentioned, I like to think of it as amplification; The Holy Spirit was turned up for the event. Are the gifts still available? Tongues, Prophesy, interpretations, miracles? They are not. When the gifts ceased, so did this assignment. When God saw fit to stop the gifts, when the New Testament expression of the church was fully entrenched, there was no longer a need for this amplified Holy Spirit to continue in the same fashion. The Holy Spirit returns to what He previously was prior to Pentecost; again, seeing it as God turning the volume down. The continuity of the Holy Spirits eternality is not challenged. His omnipresence is realized fully. The dispensationalist idea that the Holy Spirit worked different in the previous epoch is shattered and corrected to God’s glory. I hope and pray this paper speaks to your heart and that you are encouraged by some simple, consistent facts in Gods word; He is unchangeable. His Spirit if for all who believe, whether old or new. That’ Spirit must reside in the converted; there is no biblical way around this truth. When it comes to soteriology, saying that the Holy Spirit works differently after the cross does no justice to Gods truth and in fact, as I have noted, it is an error of the dispensationalists.
It is also important to note that both the Westminster Confession of Faith and the London Baptist Confession both use typical language showing that the Old Testament saint had the indwelling:
“Apparently, the WCF and the LBC both use particular language in regard to the Holy Spirit’s indwelling believers:
“3._____ Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ; and that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is necessary an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure; yet they are not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty, unless upon a special motion of the Spirit, but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.
( John 15:4, 5; 2 Corinthians 3:5; Philippians 2:13; Philippians 2:12; Hebrews 6:11, 12; Isaiah 64:7 )”
Notice that it says, “there is necessary an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit, to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure”
Ch 16 of the WCF reads:
“II. Their ability to do good works is not at all of themselves, but wholly from the Spirit of Christ. And that they may be enabled thereunto, besides the graces they have already received, there is required an actual influence of the same Holy Spirit to work in them to will and to do of his good pleasure; yet are they not hereupon to grow negligent, as if they were not bound to perform any duty unless upon a special motion of the Spirit; but they ought to be diligent in stirring up the grace of God that is in them.”
~to work ‘in them’…..no one reformed agrees with the idea that the Holy Spirit didn’t indwell-unless of course you are ready to say that the references here are just in regards to the New Testament saint. That couldn’t be true as the documents speak to both dispensations. To think otherwise is dispensational and an error.
Ch 13 of the LBC:
Chapter 13: Of Sanctification
1._____ They who are united to Christ, effectually called, and regenerated, having a new heart and a new spirit created in them through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection, are also farther sanctified, really and personally, through the same virtue, by His Word and Spirit dwelling in them; the dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of all true holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
( Acts 20:32; Romans 6:5, 6; John 17:17; Ephesians 3:16-19; 1 Thessalonians 5:21-23; Romans 6:14; Galatians 5:24; Colossians 1:11; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Hebrews 12:14 )
It would be dumb to think that this document was written, not taking into consideration the OT saint and just for the NT saint. These people didn’t think so fragmented.
One cannot miss the obvious chronology:
1) Judas is a disciple-reprobate and unconverted-performing miracles.
2) The apostles were regenerated (not converted) prior to the Lords supper-Judas may have taken-thats disputable.
3) Peter denies Christ prior to receiving the pneuma hagion.
4) Christ is crucified, rises and gives the elect disciples the pneuma hagion and conversion.
5) Thomas verifies the gifting by confessing the Lord.
6) Jesus leaves and the elect receive the paraklete/the amplification at Pentecost as promised in Acts 1
7) When the sign gifts ceased, the paraklete resumes His duties as the pneuma hagion.
I have more sympathy for a semi-pelagian than I do for a person who claims attachment to the doctrines of grace and yet speaks Arminian. At least the SP is consistent.
And finally, a word from Matthew Mead:
“The great blessing of the Spirit, how sparingly was that given out at first, to a very few in number, and that in a small measure, in so much that it is said comparatively, the Spirit was not given. It was not given, that is, in comparison of what was to be when Christ had ascended. For the fullest enjoyment of the extraordinary gifts, and saving graces of the Spirit was reserved until Christ’s ascension, such as the fruit of his exaltation and triumph. So that the Spirit is said to be, “poured out,” in that day; (Joel 2:28). Therefore there is a greater measure of the Spirit enjoyed under the Gospel than ever was before, and let me tell you there is yet behind, another pouring out of the Spirit promised, that shall be greater than any ever yet was.”