The Holy Spirit: Questions by Hank

Hank made some interesting points in a comment.

What’s the point of dwelling in someone if God is a spirit?

I actually believe that God can operate directly upon me according to his will to either make me remember, cause me to forget, strike me dead in my tracks or whatever he so desires.

I just don’t think he must first get inside me personally to do so. After all, God is spirit.

As is so often true, it’s best to look back at the Old Testament background. In the Garden, God walked with Adam and Eve. He did the same with Abraham. He wrestled with Jacob.

But he appeared as a column of fire to the Israelites and then chose to “dwell” in the tabernacle among his people.

(Exo 25:8 ESV) 8 And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.

(Exo 29:45-46 ESV) 45 I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

Could God have dwelt among the Israelites by other means? Of course. Could they have known that he is their God by other means? Absolutely. But that’s the way God chose to do it, and being God, he gets to have his way.

Later, the same thing happened with Solomon’s temple –

(1Ki 6:11-13 ESV) 11 Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”

(1Ki 8:10-11 ESV) 10 And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.

And yet Solomon well understood that God’s dwelling in the temple was not all of God –

(1Ki 8:12-13 ESV) 12 Then Solomon said, “The LORD has said that he would dwell in thick darkness. 13 I have indeed built you an exalted house, a place for you to dwell in forever.” …

(1Ki 8:27 ESV) 27 “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!

(1Ki 8:30 ESV) 30 And listen to the plea of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray toward this place. And listen in heaven your dwelling place, and when you hear, forgive.

Solomon said that God’s dwelling is both heaven and the temple — and all the earth. But God chose to have a special presence in the temple for his own good reasons.

Yes, God is bigger than the Holy of Holies. Yes, God could have accomplished his purposes by other means. But this is how he chose to do it.

And that’s how it is today.

And there are reasons for the indwelling –

(Jer 31:33-34 ESV) 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

The activities of God prophesied by Jeremiah and confirmed in Hebrews 8 are all about God’s activities within the Christian. It’s not our reading a book and being persuaded — although that happens, too. This passage is about God working by inward action.

Just so, Deuteronomy 30:6 and passages in Ezekiel such as –

(Eze 36:27 ESV) 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

(Eze 37:14 ESV) 14 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.”

– prophesy that the Spirit will be “within” us. Why? So that we’ll “know that I am the LORD”! Where did we hear that before? In Exodus 29:46, quoted above! That’s the same reason he dwelt among the Israelites in the tabernacle! (Don’t you just love it when these things all tie together across the centuries?!)

The idea of the Spirit being within each one of God’s people is not a new concept in the New Testament. For example –

(Eze 2:2 ESV) 2 And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me.

(Eze 3:24 ESV) But the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and he spoke with me and said to me, “Go, shut yourself within your house.

When Ezekiel speaks of God’s people having the Spirit within them, we cannot ignore the antecedent verses that speak of the Spirit being “within” Ezekiel.

Now, yes, God is spirit. And he was spirit in the Garden, during the Exodus, and during the dedication of Solomon’s temple. He’s still spirit. And yet he clearly can have a special, located presence — and this has been true since Adam.

What’s the advantage of having the Spirit?

Basically, why would we require something today in order to obey God that our brethren did not need to have back in the day? Do you believe that you and I are more able to fully obey God today than were, say, Joseph and Zebedee?

Well, what does the Bible say? According to Jeremiah (just quoted), God will –

put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.

According to Ezekiel –

(Eze 36:26-27 ESV)  26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.

Plainly, the nature of the new covenant is that God will cause his Spirit to dwell within his people and an effect of this indwelling will be greater obedience to his commands. That’s what the prophecies say. And that’s true whether or not I understand how that works. In fact, I’m confident that I don’t understand because my brain is physical and the Spirit is spirit. These things can be at best glimpsed by mortal men and women. But I believe it.

Now, you ask why this matters, since obviously there were Old Testament characters who obeyed without the presence of the Spirit. Well, Joseph surely had the Spirit — as he had the gift of interpreting dreams and great wisdom. And the Bible confirms this conclusion –

(Gen 41:38 ESV) 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?”

Moses, the judges, Saul, David, Solomon, and the prophets all had the Spirit. But I’m no Calvinist, and so I’m not willing to say that obedience is utterly impossible without the Spirit. In fact, we can find plenty of examples of obedience in people who likely did not possess the indwelling.

Neither does the Spirit makes us so obedient that we earn our salvation. No, we’re just more obedient than we otherwise would be.

You see, if you view the world through legalistic lenses, then obedience is either good enough or it isn’t. But if you view the world through the eyes of Moses, you realize that it’s about the state of our hearts — which is evidenced by obedience. Remember Deuteronomy –

(Deu 10:16 ESV) 16 “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn.”

Now, God expects our circumcised hearts to produce fruit of obedience — but the obedience is of no value at all if our hearts are wrong. For someone very ill, an obedient heart may be all he can manage. Actual obedience may be impossible. And yet his heart will be sufficient. But for someone who obeys but not from the heart, his obedience is worthless.

Because the heart is so very important to God, and because he so wants us saved and engaged in mission for him, he takes it upon himself to change our hearts. But this isn’t a deprivation of free will. Rather, we can resist God and his Spirit. But those with the Spirit are better equipped and better enabled to obey — because God is working on their hearts to change them.

(Deu 30:6-8 ESV)  6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.  …  8 And you shall again obey the voice of the LORD and keep all his commandments that I command you today.

One last point. You see, I’ve seen this in action. I’ve seen dramatic changes in people’s lives as God has worked on their hearts through the Spirit. I am amazed at how very much God can change us and shape us so that we can come closer to obeying this passage than seems humanly possible –

(Deu 10:12 ESV) 2 “And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,

We will never get there perfectly this side of Judgment, but I’ve seen changes that are beyond amazing.

Yes, people can obey without the Spirit, but they can obey much, much more with the Spirit, because their hearts will be all-the-more shaped by the Spirit. The Living Water can do astonishing things when we submit to him.

Avatar of Jay Guin

About Jay Guin

I am an elder, a Sunday school teacher, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a lawyer. I live in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide. I’m a member of the University Church of Christ. I grew up in Russellville, Alabama and graduated from David Lipscomb College (now Lipscomb University). I received my law degree from the University of Alabama. I met my wife Denise at Lipscomb, and we have four sons, two of whom are married, and I have a grandson and granddaughter.
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30 Responses to The Holy Spirit: Questions by Hank

  1. There are other considerations as well, like mission focus. Like Paul in Acts 16:6

    Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

    Why did the Spirit prevent them from going to Asia? Because it was outside of their mission focus at the time.

    The Spirit is also in charge of positioning men before the Lord and physically on the earth, like with Elijah or Philip.

    The indwelling is the key to being "more than conquerors", especially since self-control is a limited resource in the flesh (see http://blitl.us/zBZ8 and related studies). Otherwise you will conquer here and there, but always seem to return to the thing you conquered. You can win a battle in the flesh, but not the war, which was won by Jesus, and we participate in that winning through the indwelling.

    So much to meditate on, and I have so little brain power. As I tell my kids, never say no to a blessing! If God wants to put His Spirit in us, why resist by unbelief?

  2. Laymond says:

    Jay, I will address a few of the scripture you quoted, not all because I don't want to re-write your post.

    (Exo 29:45-46 ESV) 45 I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. 46 And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.

    Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
    ( I am among/in the midst of you, in name, and deed, and word.)

    (1Ki 6:11-13 ESV) 11 Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”
    (I will dwell among/in the midst of you, in name, and word, and deed.)

    (Jer 31:33-34 ESV) 33 But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”

    (I will put my law/word , within them)

    Let's look at what Paul said about this, we seem to like to quote Paul.
    Rom 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
    Rom 2:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

  3. Laymond says:

    Jay, I am of the same opinion as Hank. I can not recall an instance where God dwelled that was not Holy ground, why would he want to indwell an unholy being.

    Exd 3:5 And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest [is] holy ground.

  4. Tom Forrester says:

    According to Col 1:26 -27, Christ also dwells in us and it's called a "mystery." Certainly there's nothing mysterious about memorizing scripture and being obedient. So in what ways does Christ dwell in us? Jn 14:17-20 indicates that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is a result of the coming of Jesus (v.18). Back to Colossians – is not our hope his glory in us?

    We all need power in our lives to change, overcome temptation, serve when we're too tired, love our enemies, etc, etc. There is insufficient power in scriptural knowledge alone. I can have knowledge that it's wrong to steal, but if I have the heart of a thief, I will steal. I need a helper. I need God working in me. I cannot (personally) claim that my reading of the word transforms my heart simply because of my new understanding. Knowledge alone puffs up and simply fills one with pride. I (again personally) need help to have real love and power in me. Any righteousness in me must be God himself. Is that not why he alone deserves the glory?

    The same is true of holiness – how can I be holy? Certainly not by sanctifying myself or by my own righteousness. It must be the actual presence of God because he is holy. If I'm going to understand the mysteries, the prerequisite is my seeking and God's manifestation.

  5. Jay Guin says:

    Laymond,

    I had this exact question come up in class this morning. We were studying Col 2. I'll type up the lesson and post it in a few days. But for now, reflect on God's visits to Abraham and God's travels with the Israelites during the exodus. The Sinai peninsula is holy land from the Red Sea to Canaan.

    The land where God dwells is holy because of God's presence. He isn't limited to dwelling on land that is already holy. And, of course, the scriptures call Christians "saints," meaning "holy ones." So it all fits.

  6. Hank says:

    Hi Jay,

    In the past, you welcomed honest and legitimate questions relative to your post – I assume nothing has changed.

    In a previous response, to prove that we can “resist the HS,” you cited Eph 4, Isa 63, 1 The 5, and Acts 7. But, according to your view, how could people in Isa and Acts 7 actually resist the HS when they didn’t even have him to begin with? And, assuming they were actually able to obey him rather than resist…how could they even want to if such requires the HS being personally in them first?

    To a more recent post, I asked:

    1. If the HS (via his personal indwelling) is the one who directly changes the heart of a Christian in order for said Christians to want to be God’s children, then who is the one who changes the heart of a non believer to make him want to be a child of God?

    2. If its the same HS, then how does he do all that heart changing without personally indwelling such non believers? And why/how is he able to change the heart of a non believer without a personal indwelling but not the Christian? (Besides, the Christian already wanted to be a child of God before he was baptized — why any need for a heart change after that?)

    Allow me to show more of my cards here:

    1. Throughout the OT God spoke of himself and described himself as "dwelling" in/at/between certain places that we understand as figurative as opposed to the idea that God was literally and personally taking up residence in said places. Even though he plainly said that he was (or would be) "dwelling" there. One example: 1 Sam. 4:4 — So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth #3427 [between] the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, there with the ark of the covenant of God. I don't believe that God was himself personally sitting down, enthroned upon, and living on the top of that ark up until it was stolen (we know that when the Philistines captured the ark, that it was not necessary for God to personally get up and leave). Scores of similar examples could be given.

    In such cases, I believe that when we read that deity was "in" or "on" or "near" a certain person, place or thing…that it was his influence or blessings etc., that are being referred to. Just like when Jesus said that he was "in" his disciples in Jn. 15 (and that they were "in" him as well). Nobody understands that to be any type of "personal indwelling." This is/was the normal way of understanding this up until the promises and work of the Spirit. For some reason, when it comes to the Spirit being "in" a believer….it just has to be deity personally and actually "residing", and I don't see why? Why not understand such passages consistent with the way we understand God "dwelling" between the cheribums, and with Jesus abiding "in" his disciples?

    And, if I am right, it does not prevent the Spirit from blessssing me with any so called "direct operation." For clearly, men and women were able to resist and/or obey the Spirit before and without having any type of personal indwelling whatsoever (ie, Isa. 63 & Acts 7).

    Finally, I would be very interested in reading what you have to say about:
    1. Whether or not individual believers can determine to be "more filled" with the Spirit this year than they were last year? And are recent converts just "as filled" with the Spirit as are the faithful believers of years and years (do all believers have the Spirit equally)?
    2. Is it possible for the Spirit to depart from within a believer?

    I will stop there (for now). And brother, I realize that my view is not at all popular. I used to believe just as you do regarding this subject but the above questions really got me to take another look. To date, nobody has been able to straighten them out for me.

    Thanks Jay.

  7. abasnar says:

    Laymond wrote:

    I can not recall an instance where God dwelled that was not Holy ground, why would he want to indwell an unholy being.

    That is precisely why we are to be born again and to be sanctified. The result is that our bodies become temples:

    1Co 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
    1Co 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
    1Co 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

    This is amazing, isn't it? It is even more thrilling when you read these verses:

    Joh 14:10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.

    Jesus says, the Father dwells in Him, and thus He did all these astonishing works. He continues, giving a promise to us:

    Joh 14:12 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.

    So we are to do the same things. How did Jesus do them? Because the Father dwells in Him. How are we going to do them? And what has His going to the Father to do with this?

    Joh 14:16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,
    Joh 14:17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.

    So we need a helper, and the helper will dwell with us – the Holy Spirit. He will enable us. But there's more to the story:

    Joh 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

    When the Spirit comes, it is actually Jesus who is coming. So the meaning of "Christ in you" (Col 1:27) is tied to the indwelling of the Spirit. And it becomes even more fascinating:

    Joh 14:23 Jesus answered him, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

    So the Father and the Son make their home in us through the Spirit. I am not claiming that I am able to explain this. It is a mysterry and we have to take it as it is.

    There are some consequences however: You cannot unity the temple of God with the body of a prostitute (1Co 6:15). We are being made holy, we are a dwelling place of the living God. What ever we do with our bodies – He is involved. So, whereever we move, God moves also. If we go to the sick, God goes to the sick. If we sit in front of the TV, God sits in front of the TV.

    The sum total of this is twofold:
    It is a serious call to holiness
    It is a serious call to serve our neighbours in the name of God who works through us as He worked through Christ.

  8. Jay Guin says:

    Hank,

    My answers will be posted at 6:00 tomorrow morning, CT.

  9. paul says:

    I don't know if this helps, but…

    Why did God created humans? Could it be that He wanted us to have a voluntary relationship with Him, something that animals could not provide? Adam had a personal relationship with God. And the Holy Spirit living in us provides a means by which a fallen creature such as ourselves can also have a personal relationship with Him.

  10. Laymond says:

    I feel safe in saying no one here believes that Jesus, is literally a grapevine, and that the apostles were branches of that literal vine.

    Jhn 15:1 ¶ I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
    Jhn 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
    Jhn 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
    Jhn 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

    (I believe that Jesus is saying that as long as the apostles believe in and abide by the word that Jesus spoke on behalf of his father, the father will purge them of all uncleanness, and they will be more productive in their teachings. And how are they cleansed,? by the word.)

    Jhn 15:5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

    (I believe I can safely say, no one here has ever seen a grapevine, indwell the branches of that vine. although the sap of that vine runs through the branches and provides life to those branches, because it they are cut off from thay sap, they die.)

    Jhn 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.
    Jhn 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
    (I believe Jesus gives this lesson in varying ways, if we are cut of from God we die.)

  11. Laymond, if the Holy Spirit only dwells in us figuratively, then is His down payment on our salvation figurative, too? Did Jesus breathe the Holy Spirit on His apostles figuratively (John 20)? Is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit punished only figuratively (Mark 3)? When the Holy Spirit was poured out on / came upon / filled individuals – including prophets, apostles, disciples and Jesus Himself – was that only figurative, too? Was Paul speaking only figuratively when he said in 2 Timothy 1:14 that the Holy Spirit lives in us?

    Or does your distaste for Paul render any scripture having to do with Paul null and void?

    Can you show me ANY place in scripture where "word" and "Holy Spirit" are used interchangeably?

    (I can show you John 1, where "the Word" refers to Jesus, but I know you don't agree with that.)

  12. Hank says:

    Keith,

    I understand where you are coing from, I used to believe the same. But, when God said that he atually dwelled between the cheribums….was it "figuratively"? Or did he really dwelll there? When Jesus said that he was "in" his disciples in Jn 15, was it only "figuratively" or was he actually "in" them? If so, how?

    While I cannot speak for Laymond, it appears as though he is merely trying to be consistent.

    Example — When Jesus said that he was actually "in" his disciples in Jn. 15 (and that they were actually "in" him)….was it for real…or only "figuratively"?

    You tell us how Jesus was "in" his disciples before they ever "had" the Holy Spirit.

    And I don't see any justification for you accusing Laymond of having any "distaste for Paul"….

  13. Hank says:

    Jay,

    In all fairness…it seems as though you are misrepresenting me. For, in your post "Questions by Hank," you make it seem as though I asked a question which I never actually asked. For example, at the top of this post, you make it appear as though I asked, "What’s the point of dwelling in someone if God is a spirit?" ….

    While that may in fact be your understanding of what I wrote…I never actually asked "What’s the point of dwelling in someone if God is a spirit?" And to make a new post entitled "questions by Hank", I would appreciate the questions being ones which I actually asked. — When did I ever ask "What’s the point of dwelling in someone if God is a spirit?"

    Honestly, you make it appear as though I asked a question which I never actually asked.

    You did the same thing when you made it seem as though I asked — "What’s the advantage of having the Spirit?"….which again, I never actually asked.

    It just doesn't seem fair for you to write a post entitled "questions by Hank"….and then proceed to make it seem as though I asked questions which I never actually asked.

  14. Laymond says:

    Let's take a look at another instance where the Holy Spirit came from God to indwell another. Lets look at four differing accounts of the same event.

    Mat 3:16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
    Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:

    (actually the accounts of Matthew and Mark are pretty much the same, as always. in my opinion both Matthew and Mark are saying the spirit descended in the manner of a dove landing out of the heavens)

    (But Luke changes the story just a little, he not only said the spirit descended like a dove, it looked like a dove, something not mentioned in either Matthew, or Mark)
    Luk 3:22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

    Then, John gives a little more information, he like Matthew, and Mark didn't mention the shape of the spirit, but he did say " and it abode upon him.
    Jhn 1:32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
    (now if we take Luke's story, to be literal, and add John's story to it, then we are to believe Jesus walked around for three years carrying a bird, or the bird lived within Jesus' body) I don't believe that happened, do you? and I don't believe Jesus' spirit lives within your body either.

  15. Laymond says:

    Keith asked, "Laymond, if the Holy Spirit only dwells in us figuratively, then is His down payment on our salvation figurative, too?"

    Keith, I really don't believe God is paying for my salvation on the lay-away-plan, I believe his son paid the bill in full. bought and paid for.

  16. Aaron says:

    Hank,

    Just to clarify, Laymond has long-standing disagreements and arguments with Keith (and others) that carry over beyond any single blog post (or single blog, for that matter). Keith is referring to that larger debate when he mentions Laymond's distaste for Paul.

  17. Laymond says:

    Thanks Aaron, for the clarification, I have no distaste for Paul, I only know him through his writings, and writings about him. but what does cause a bitter taste is when "Christians" place the letters he wrote to individual churches above that of Jesus' hand picked apostles' writings on the gospel brought by Jesus. These apostles spent three years studying at the feet of Jesus, Paul claims a very short interlude with Jesus spirit on the road to Damascus, I don't see anywhere that Paul claims personal conversation with the spirit of Jesus before writing this advise to the churches, if you do please show me. I do see where Paul said after giving advise he said "I think I have the spirit of God" .
    No I have no disdain for Paul I am sure he did his best, but I do not place him on the level of my savior.
    I read Paul's writings often, and am amazed at some of his sayings, such as how men and women should ware their hair, to please God.

  18. Hank, I believe it's possible that Jesus was speaking prophetically in John 15; that He was speaking in a mixed tense similar to the one He used with the woman at Sychar in John 4 ("the time is coming and now is"). When Jesus said what He did in John 15, the time was coming and then was when He would be "in" them through His Holy Spirit. They were right on top of the moment. (We know from a few verses later, John 16:7, that the Holy Spirit would not come to them unless/until He went away.) You're making too fine a distinction in verb tense.

    About dwelling between the cherubim – I believe I would have to agree with Jay's assessment in his post above; that there was a special sense in which the shekinah, the presence of God, lived between the cherubim. Just because you and I can't be everywhere and any particular place at one time – that doesn't mean that God can't.

    (And I think you can catch a hint of Laymond's opinion of Paul at the bottom of his first comment above.)

    Laymond, I believe there is much more to salvation than any single event can encompass (<a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Peter+1:9&version=NIV&quot; rel="nofollow">1 Peter 1:9; <a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians+2:12&version=NIV&quot; rel="nofollow">Philippians 2:12) – and one of the aspects of the process that transforms us into the image of Christ (<a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians+3:18&version=NIV&quot; rel="nofollow">2 Corinthians 3:18) is being sealed for salvation by the Holy Spirit (<a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+1:13&version=NIV&quot; rel="nofollow">Ephesians 1:13). The Holy Spirit is a deposit in our hearts of what is to come (<a href="http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%201:22&version=NIV&quot; rel="nofollow">2 Corinthians 1:22).

  19. Mary says:

    To everyone:
    Here is another aspect that may add to the confusion, or (I hope) clear the waters a little for some… :)

    At the end of Matthew, when Jesus was speaking to his Apostles, he said:
    "…and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age."
    Mat 28:20

    Now, this is interesting to me, I read this for years before seeing what was actually here.

    Jesus told his Apostles to teach ALL the disciples whom they were going to teach and baptize to "obey EVERYTHING" that Jesus had commanded the Apostles. I was never taught this…every follower who ever comes along is to be taught to obey everything that Jesus taught the Apostles. Yes, I may seem like a crazy person, but Jesus said it.

    Well, I was taught that only certain things in the NT applied to me (some were just for them)…but Jesus said ANYTHING and EVERYTHING that he taught the Apostles we are commanded to do as well and this leaves nothing out…nothing changed, we are living out Acts Chapter 29 until Jesus returns.

    Now, don't tell me we CAN'T do certain things, for we all know and quote "I can do all things through him who gives me power." (Php 4:13)

    Stop limiting things, "this can't mean that", etc, just open your eyes and see what is written there. Actually see what is there…Jesus never limited it or told us things would change! Joel's prophesy says it is for "all flesh" in the "last days". Jesus said his followers would do greater works than he had done because he was going to the Father. How could the followers do that? Through Joel's prophesy. The HS is God! When he is in us, we can do everything Jesus and the Apostles did (if we believe), that's what Jesus said, and we can do greater than Jesus did, just like he said, since we are still here!

    The church needs to wake up and take the authority that Jesus gave to us that he was given from God (Matt 28.18). Stop letting satan steal from us.

    Yes, I know most of you will think I am a radical, but take a few minutes and check out some youtube videos. There are real miracles out there, there are also fakes since the devil loves to counterfeit whatever God is doing to lead some astray, that is why we are told to "test the spirits" (1 Jn 4.1), etc. and be led by the Spirit of God.

    I have personally performed miracles in Jesus' name (and heard him tell me to talk to people about him-Jesus). God is still out there and active (not sitting and waiting), when are we all going to join him and quit sitting on the sidelines arguing like we were told not to? (Titus 3.2, 9; 1 Cor 1.11; 3.3; 1 Tim 6.4; etc.) Arguing is a great tool the devil uses to get us to waste our time.

    I look forward to your responses. :)

  20. Laymond says:

    Mary said, "I have personally performed miracles in Jesus’ name"
    I can't question the validity of what you say, because I was not present. But could you give a few examples of those miracles you performed.
    If you truly do perform miracles, that would go a long way in convincing the spirit truly does indwell your body.

  21. Mary says:

    Laymond,

    I was watching a youtube video where the Christians checked someone's leg lengths (this can cause back problems when they are not the same length). The person had one leg longer than the other and the Christian spoke to the leg (while having the person's heels resting on the Christian's palms). The Christian said, "In Jesus' name, leg grow." And I saw it grow!

    Well, I was just learning about the HS and things along this line and studying my Bible like a crazy person about it all. I knew for the past 23 yrs that my left led was almost 1/2 in shorter than my right. After seeing this I knew I had to do this on my leg.

    So I went into my bedroom alone and sat on my cedar chest and held my legs out in front of me. Sure enough, my left leg was still shorter. I looked at where my heels were, since the top of my feet could move and change the measurement. I looked down and copied what I heard the guy say, "In Jesus' name, leg grow." AND IT DID! In a split second it shot out and was even with the other one. I was so excited. I praised God! (I checked my legs daily for a few days and then weekly or so and they are still right on.)

    This was very neat to me, so I shared with my friends and co-workers, and to my excitement most of them wanted me to check their legs. And I have found that more than 1/2 of the legs I check are off. I have seen more than 20 people's legs grow out to where they are even. Every leg I have spoken to in Jesus' name has grown.

    The power is Jesus' name. For example, after Jesus SPOKE TO the fig tree and it died and the disciples asked about it, Jesus told them: And Jesus answered them, "Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and thrown into the sea,' it will happen. Mat 21:21

    This is the way we also saw the Apostles doing miracles, they even told Jesus "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!" Luke 10.17

    I have also "spoken" to sickness, stomach aches, headaches, etc. and told them to "leave in Jesus' name", and they did. I am not 100 percent consistent, but it is based on faith and I have more growing to do.

    Andrew Wommack has an article online titled: Our Authority Releases God's Power. It's really an eye-opener, along with some of his other articles.

    Hope this is what you were asking for. (I hope I don't scare some of you, I'm really not crazy)

  22. Laymond says:

    Well Mary, that is not the type of miracle I was hoping for, I doubt it would get you sainthood in the catholic church. but I guess all miracle workers have to start somewhere. :)

  23. Mary says:

    Laymond,

    You asked, I informed, you insulted (that's the way it appears…).

    As Jesus commanded the Apostles, and we are commanded to obey everything he commanded them (Matt 28.20).

    "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay." Matt 10.8

    What would be the miracle you would need?

  24. Laymond says:

    Mary, I never meant what I said as an insult, I just doubt that many would see what you described, as miracles, the short leg problem is not the cause of back problems, it is caused by back problems , according to my chiropractor. if your spine is out of line one leg appears shorter than the other. He has worked that "miracle" on this old worn-out body many times, and I have never heard him utter Jesus' name. When I need a miracle I go to God in prayer, not a healer, and I do believe in miracles.
    Sorry if you were insulted, I apologize.

  25. Hank says:

    Keith,

    Your answers make my point exactly.

    1. When God said he was dwelling on the ark between the cheribums, you say that it was not actually God "personally."

    2. When Jesus said that he was in his disciples in Jn 15, again, you say that: a) he was not actually in them at all when he had said it and that 2) he would never actually be in them "personally."

    Yet when we are told just as plainly and directly that the Holy Spirit is in all believers after Penetecost, that that is different. With the case of the Holy Spirit, it just has to be that he is actually himself "personally" living inside our bodies.

    Again, you are suggesting that:

    When God said that he was dwelling on the ark — it was figurative. He did not mean that he was actually living there "personally"

    When Jesus said that he was living in his disciples in Jn 15 — that he must have been talking about a future time where even then it would be also figurative and not literally Jesus himself that would be living inside of our bodies "personally."

    But, when the Bible talks about the Spirit — that is in no way figurative speak. In his case, it is he, himself living inside of our bodies "personally."

    Isn't that a rather inconsistent position? Why the need to change everything when it comes to the Holy Spirit?

    I just dont understand that…

  26. Mary says:

    Laymond,

    It seems that I will not be able to convince you. But I learn slowly and will try anyway.

    I too have attended a chiropractor (many times) and every time I went he would do the classic adjustment to make my legs even (they would be off again the next time), but my legs have NEVER been off since Jesus grew the short one, NEVER.

    If you can simply look at your short leg and by the power of your mind get it to grow out, that would be a miracle (it won't happen). It is also a miracle to speak to it in Jesus' name and see it grow immediately by his power. This is something no man can do, only God's power. You can keep having the chiropractor adjust your back to get your uneven legs to match up, I am much more pleased with what my God has done with mine, and it only takes one time!

    If you felt God growing your leg, you might think again.
    Have a good night! :)

  27. Laymond says:

    Mary, as I was trying to explain the problem is not with your legs, the problem is with your back, now if Jesus caused one of your legs to grow, 1/2 inch, when the chiropractor straightens your back, the other leg is going to be short, and if you heal that leg, and if this process continues, you will soon be seven feet tall :)

    I'm sorry, I just had to.

  28. Royce Ogle says:

    Mary,

    Have you noticed that famous faith healers who performed similar to what you discribe, continue to die with cancer, heart attacks, and wear glasses, have hearing aids, and suffer the same physical problems every other human might suffer?

    I know a guy who told me I should tell my daughter's colon problem to leave her body, that I should 'Speak" to cancer, or any other physical problem. Now, a month later he is having agressive chemo and radiation trying to survive cancer.

    I know God sometimes heals in answer to prayer. But, it is clear he doesn't heal everyone.

    Royce

  29. Hank, you interpreted what I said to mean:

    1. When God said he was dwelling on the ark between the cheribums, you say that it was not actually God “personally.”

    2. When Jesus said that he was in his disciples in Jn 15, again, you say that: a) he was not actually in them at all when he had said it and that 2) he would never actually be in them “personally.”

    I said no such thing. I implied no such thing. I didn't even use the word "personally."

    The Holy Spirit is not some sort of New Testament-only "phenomenon." He is a Person, present in the opening passages of Genesis as well as in the closing passages of Revelation. He inspired writers of ancient books of scripture, leaders, judges, kings and prophets – as well as disciples and apostles. John the Baptist was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth. Yet He also appeared in the form of a dove when Jesus was baptized. Surely you are aware of these facts, Hank.

    God can be everywhere at once, and at one place at the same time. With God, all things are possible.

    I try not to make it a practice to make pronouncements about what God the Father, His Son, or His Holy Spirit cannot do. It's pointless.

    (And, no, Laymond, I still don't know how that One-and-yet-more-than-One relationship works. It's beyond me. It is what it is.)

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