The Holy Spirit Exposed
I have been told that I am "limiting God" by believing that the Holy Spirit does not, and will not operate in the same mode as in the first century. To that I reply: Jesus is God, but He is not the Father. They (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit) all have distinct personalities (if I may use that word) and roles that differ in the scheme of redemption. They are one in purpose, i.e. save man from his sins. I am not demoting the Holy Spirit, rather recognizing His rols as the the Bible teaches regarding this scheme. God the Father's role was a matter of purpose/determination of the plan. God the Son's role was to execute and fulfill the plan, and God the Spirit's role was to reveal and confirm the plan. They have completed these phases. Some are confused about the role which the three identities play. The Holy Spirit's role is that of revealing. Has He ever revealed directly into the heart of an individual? Yes! Does he do it today? No! When He completed the New Testament revelation and it was confirmed by miracles, signs and wonders, He ceased oprating in that mode. If He did not cease, then He is still revealing "new" truth and therefore scriptures are an insufficient guide. If He is not revealing "new" truth, then my argument stands, He has ceased. Why would some want to believe further revelation is needed?
Some believe the "gift" of the Holy Spirit is actually the Holy Spirit himself. As for the gift of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in Acts 2:38, let's say my friend Bill gives me a Buick. I would tell my neighbors that it was the gift of my friend Bill, or Bill's gift. They would understand by those phrases that I was not saying Bill was the Buick, but that the Buick was "from" Bill. It is the gift of the "of" or "from" Bill. but when folks say the gift of the Holy Spirit is the Holy spirit himself, they have turned the giver into the gift. In the context of Acts 2, "for remission of sins" is the gift under consideration, not God Himself or the Holy Spirit himself. "for this promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off..." The "gift" and the "promise" are one and the same and these terms descrbe the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham, "all nations of the earth shall be blessed."
Some say that Holy Spirit baptism is for us today. This is puzzling since Ephesians 4 states, "there is on baptism." Holy Spirit baptism was a promise to some not a command. Water baptism for the remission of sins, is a plain command to all. Men receive and enjoy promises, but a promise cannot be obeyed. If I obey the plain command of Jesus and then find myself receiving Holy Spirit baptism, I have had two baptisms! That's a problem. but the problem is solved when I realize that Holy Spirit baptism as experienced by the Apostles in Acts 2, was the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Joel 2. There is only one other case of such an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That was with the household of Cornelius, and this was experienced to show that they (Gentiles) could be accepted of God. Peter's rehearsal of this event in Acts 11:15 states, "and as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, as US at the beginning." Who are the "us" in the beginning? It was Peter and the eleven, (Acts 1:26, 2:14). Who were the recipients of Jesus' promise of the Comforter in John 14:16 & 26, which "shall teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things whasoever I have said to you...?" Whoever it was has to have been there to hear what Jesus said. Who was the recipient of the promise of the Spirit of truth in John 16:13 which, "...will guide you into all truth...and will show you things to come"? Not you and I.....it was the Apostles. These two situations cannot be duplicated today. Think about it.