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Pneumatology (The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit)
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Pneumatology (The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit)

I.       What Is The Holy Spirit?

A.     The “Personality” of the Holy Spirit

While the Holy Spirit is spiritual and not fleshly, thus appearing beyond humanity and “personhood,” the Bible records the “personality” of the Holy Spirit. When the Lord Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit, the pronoun “he” was used, indicating the existence of a “personality” (Jn 14:26, 15:26, 16:8). “Personality,” as used here, may refer to the characteristics of a person, which may be categorized into three: wisdom, emotion, and will.

1.        The Holy Spirit can be characterized as having wisdom or intelligence. The Holy Spirit bears witness (Jn 15:26); he distinguishes between good and evil, which may lead to grieving over evil (cf. Eph 4:30); he creates all things (Gen 1:1, 2); he searches all things (1 Cor 2:10).

2.        In terms of emotion: the Holy Spirit grieves (Eph 4:30), comforts people (Acts 9:31), and intercedes for believers (Rom 8:27).

3.        In terms of will or determination: the Holy Spirit makes decisions (Acts 15:28), forbids disciples from preaching in certain areas in his guidance of the ministry (Acts 16:7), sends out holy workers (Acts 13:1–4), and distributes spiritual gifts to believers (1 Cor 12:11).

B.     Who Is the Holy Spirit?

In the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit is often called the Spirit of God, showing the Spirit and God are one and the same. They are
indivisible.

1.        The Holy Spirit is the one true God.

 a.      God said, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances” (Ezek 36:27; cf. 37:14).

 b.      Jesus said, “God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn 4:24).

 c.      Paul said, “There are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one” (1 Cor 12:6; cf. Phil 2:13).

 d.      Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit ... you have not lied to men but to God” (Acts 5:3, 4).

 e.      John said, “We know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us” (1 Jn 3:24).

2.        The Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ.

 a.      “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba!  Father!’ ” (Gal 4:6).

 b.      “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).

 c.      In Acts, the Spirit said to Philip, “Go near and overtake this chariot [i.e., the Ethiopian eunuch’s chariot]” (Acts 8:29). After Philip finished his work with the eunuch, the Spirit of the Lord (Jesus) caught Philip away (Acts 8:39). Thus, we see that the Spirit and the Spirit of the Lord are the same (Acts 8:29–39).

 d.      In Acts 16:6, Paul and the others were forbidden to preach in the Roman province of Asia. In Acts 16:7, some authoritative manuscripts read “the Spirit of Jesus” did not allow them to go into Bithynia.

 e.      “But the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him” (1 Jn 2:27). From this passage, we know that the “anointing” refers to the Holy Spirit or Holy One (1 Jn 2:20). Also, “the anointing which you received from him” may refer to the anointing by Jesus Christ (1 Jn 2:27).

 f.       “But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Rom 8:9).
From this passage we learn that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of Christ (Jesus) refers to the same Spirit. Thus, the Holy Spirit is God, for God is Spirit (Jn 4:24), and the Holy Spirit is Jesus Christ, for in Jesus is the essence of God (Col 2:9).

II.    Names And Titles Of The Holy Spirit

1.        The Spirit of God; the Spirit of the LORD (Isa 11:2; Mt 3:16).

2.        The Spirit of the Father; the Spirit of the Lord (Mt 10:20; Lk 4:18).

3.        The Spirit of Christ; the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7; Rom 8:9)

4.        The Spirit of truth; the Counselor/Comforter/Advocate (Jn 14:26; 16:13).

5.        The Spirit of holiness; the Holy Spirit (Lk 2:26; Rom 1:4).

6.        The Spirit of wisdom and revelation (Deut 34:9; Eph 1:17).

7.        The Spirit of burning; the Spirit of the fear of the Lord (Isa 4:4,11:2).

8.        The Spirit of grace; the Spirit of life; the Spirit of compassion and supplication (Zech 12:10; Rom 8:2; Heb 10:29).

III. The Work Of The Holy Spirit In The Old Testament

A.     Creation

1.        In the beginning, at creation, the Spirit of God hovered over the face of the waters (Gen 1:2).

2.        “When thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created” (Ps 104:30).

3.        “By his wind the heavens were made fair” (Job 26:13).

4.        “The Spirit of God has made me, and the breadth of the Almighty gives me life” (Job 33:4).

B.     Giving Power to People

1.        God’s Spirit gave Joseph the ability to rule (Gen 41:38–41).

2.        He gave Joshua leadership ability (Num 27:18–20; Deut 34:9; cf. Josh 4:14).

3.        He enabled seventy elders to rule over Israel (Num 11:16, 17).

4.        He gave knowledge and craftsmanship to Bezalel and others (Ex 31:2–6, 35:30, 31).

5.        He gave Samson immense strength (Judg 14:6, 19, 15:14, 16:28–30).

6.        He gave Daniel the ability to interpret dreams (Dan 4:8, 9, 18, 5:14; cf. Dan 1:17–20).

C.     Instruction, Warning and Prophecy from the Prophets (Neh 9:30; Zech 7:12; Heb 1:1; 2 Pet 1:21).

1.        The Spirit of the LORD made David prophesy (1 Sam 16:13; 2 Sam 23:2; 1 Chr 28:12).

2.        God’s Spirit made Azariah exhort king Asa (2 Chr 15:1–7).

3.        The Spirit of the LORD made Jahaziel predict the victory of Judah for king Jehoshaphat (2 Chr 20:14–17).

4.        God’s Spirit moved Zechariah to warn king Joash (2 Chr 24:20–22).

5.        Micaiah predicted that king Ahab would die in the battlefield (1 Kgs 22:13–25).

6.        Ezekiel was brought by God’s Spirit to speak all things to the people of captivity in Chaldea (Ezek 11:22–25).

7.        Micah, filled with power from the Spirit of the LORD, declared the transgressions and sins of the people to Israel (Mic 3:8).

IV.  Symbolism Of The Holy Spirit

A.     Wind (Jn 3:8; Acts 2:2)

“Wind, “breath,” and “spirit” are all the same word in Hebrew and Greek.

1.        The wind (breath) sustains life.

 a.      Breathing gives us life, and the wind is our breath (Ezek 37:9, 10).

 b.      Likewise, our soul cannot live without the Spirit of God (Ezek 37:14).

2.        The wind blows away the clouds (Job 37:21).

In nature, the wind blows away clouds, which clear up the skies. Likewise, the cares and sorrows of people who have the fullness of the Holy Spirit will also be blown away. Naturally, with the fullness of the Holy Spirit, our inner brightness and joy will overflow in abundance (cf. Acts 5:41; Gal 5:22; 1 Pet 4:12–14).

3.        People can see the movement of the wind (Jn 3:8).

The wind itself is not visible, but the objects blown by the wind can be perceived. The same is true for those receiving the Holy Spirit. While we cannot see the Spirit, we can perceive when one has received or been touched by the Holy Spirit, e.g., through bodily movement or a renewed life (Acts 2:33, 8:18, 10:44–47).

B.     Fire (Isa 4:4; Acts 2:3)

1.        Fire has heat.

 a.      The Holy Spirit helps God’s chosen to be fervent (Acts 2:44–47).

 b.      ‑Jeremiah was moved by the Holy Spirit, which was like a burning fire within his heart (Jer 20:9).

2.        Fire has light.

 a.      The light of the Holy Spirit shines in us (2 Cor 4:6).

 b.      The Holy Spirit helps us distinguish between good and evil (1 Cor 2:10; Eph 1:17, 18).

 c.      The Holy Spirit guides our way (Ex 13:21, 22, 40:38; Ps 105:39).

3.        Fire can burn and melt.

 a.      The Holy Spirit burns away our filth (Isa 3:3, 4).

 b.      The Holy Spirit fuses the many different believers into one body (1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:3).

C.     Rain (Zech 10:1)

1.        The rain waters the earth (Isa 55:10).

 a.      ‑The Spirit of God comes to us like rain, which waters the earth (Hos 6:3).

 b.      Human hearts are like “a garden without water” (Isa 1:30).

 c.      After the downpour of the Holy Spirit, the barren wilderness of the human heart becomes a fruitful field which bears various fruits (Isa 32:15, 16; Gal 5:22, 23).

2.        God causes the rain to pour abundantly upon humanity by gathering small drops of water in the air to form clouds (Job 36:27, 28).

 a.      If clouds are full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth (Eccl 11:3). This distilling of the clouds may mean that those full of the Spirit will spread their goodness to the earth.

 b.      The Holy Spirit comes upon those who seek God fully and earnestly in their prayers (Lk 11:5–13; Acts 1:14; 2:1).

D.     Water (Jn 7:37–39)

1.        Water relieves thirst (Ps 104:10, 11; Jn 4:13). The Holy Spirit fulfills humanity’s spiritual thirst (Jn 4:14; Rev 22:17).

2.        Water washes away filth (Num 31:23, 24; Heb 10:22).

 a.      The Holy Spirit sanctifies people (Rom 15:16; 2 Thess 2:13).

 b.      Water flows downwards, which teaches us that the Holy Spirit will be given to those who are humble (Acts 5:32; 1 Pet 5:5).

E.     Oil (Heb 1:9; 1 Jn 2:27)

1.        Oil is an item sanctified by God in sacrificial rites (Ex 30:25–29). It has been used for:

 a.      Anointing prophets (1 Kgs 19:16).

 b.      Those in the ministry must be anointed by the Holy Spirit (Lk 4:18; Acts 1:4, 5, 8).

 c.      Anointing priests (Ex 40:12–15).

 d.      All who are anointed by the Holy Spirit, the anointing of grace, are holy priests (1 Pet 2:5; Rev 1:6, 5:10).

 e.      Anointing kings (1 Sam 16:13).

 f.       Some authoritative texts point towards a conclusion that those who received the Holy Spirit have the power of kingship (Jn 20:22, 23; Rev 1:6, 5:10).

2.        Oil is a fuel for the lamp (Lev 24:2).

Filled with the Holy Spirit, people will radiate the light of life (Mt 5:16, 25:1–13).

F.      Dove (Mt 3:16)

1.        Gentle and meek (Mt 10:16).

The Holy Spirit grants peace, goodness, and tenderness (Gal 5:22, 23; cf. Isa 65:25).

2.        The Prefiguration of Noah’s dove (Gen 8:8–12).

 a.      Upon Noah’s first sending, the dove returned to the ark because the flood had not yet subsided. This typifies that the period/era of the indwelling Holy Spirit did not come yet. The Holy Spirit did not come during the period/era of the law (generally known as the Old Testament):

·         The time was not full. The Lord Jesus had not yet come in flesh (Gal 4:4).

·         Christ had not died for the sins of the whole world. The Holy Spirit would not come until God’s redemptive plan was manifested (Jn 7:37–39).

 b.      Upon the second sending, the dove returned to the ark with an olive leaf in her mouth (cf. Jer 11:16; Hos 14:6).

 c.      The dove’s second return typifies the period of the “early/fall rain” (i.e., the apostolic era), when the Holy Spirit descended on Pentecost. The early church bore many spiritual fruits by the Holy Spirit, which is symbolized by the olive leaf (cf. Jas 1:18). This is something that we too should try to exemplify today.

 d.      After seven days (i.e., God’s designated time), Noah sent forth the dove for a third time, but it did not return to the ark. The dove’s failure to return represented that the ground was dry and the work of the ark was complete—thus typifying that, during the period of the “latter/spring rain,” God will send forth his Holy Spirit to establish his true church on earth. The ministry of the Holy Spirit will not come to an end until the work of the church is complete and Jesus comes again (cf. Joel 2:28–31; Jas 5:7, 8).

G.     Seal (Eph 1:13)

1.        A seal certifies the completion of certain important procedures (Jer 32:10). That is, seals are an indication that certain requirements have been met. In the same way, the Holy Spirit is a seal in the sense that it verifies whether a person has completed the “procedures” of salvation, namely, belief, repentance, water baptism, etc. (cf. Mt 3:15–17; Acts 2:38, 19:2–7).

2.        The seal of the Holy Spirit proves that one belongs to God (2 Tim 2:19). No one belongs to Christ without having the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9).

3.        The seal of the Holy Spirit seals us for the day of redemption (Eph 4:30).

 a.      Written documents, authorized by a seal, may not be reversed or obliterated (Est 8:8; Dan 6:15–17).

 b.      The Holy Spirit guarantees our heavenly inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession (2 Cor 5:4, 5; Eph 1:13, 14).

V.     Prophetic Truth And God’s Promises

We must treasure the fact that the Almighty God gives us his Holy Spirit. The following are the prophecies and promises concerning the Holy Spirit.

A.     The Prophetic Truth in the Old Testament

1.        Explicit and definite promises

 a.      “Give heed to my reproof; behold, I will pour out my thoughts to you; I will make my words known to you” (Prov 1:23).

 b.      “For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring” (Isa 44:3; cf. 32:15).

 c.      “And I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will take the stony heart out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh” (Ezek 11:19; cf. 36:26; 37:14).

 d.      “And I will not hide my face any more from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel” (Ezek 39:29).

 e.      “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh...” (Joel 2:28, 29; cf. Zech 12:10).

 f.       John the baptist said, “but he who is coming after me is mightier than I ... he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire” (Mt 3:11).

2.        Implied and metaphorical promises

 a.      He will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain...” (Deut 11:14; Jer 5:24).

 b.      “Be glad ... for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before” (Joel 2:23, 24).

 c.      “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High” (Ps 46:4; cf. Ezek 47:9; Jn 7:38; Rev 22:1).

 d.      “On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter” (Zech 14:8).

B.     Promises Made by the Lord Jesus Himself

1.        Before the crucifixion

 a.      “He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water’ ” (Jn 7:38–39).

 b.      “And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever...” (Jn 14:16–18).

 c.      “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come” (Jn 16:13; cf. Lk 11:13; Jn 14:26, 15:26, 16:7, 17).

2.        After the resurrection

 a.      “He breathed on them, and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ ” (Jn 20:21–23).

 b.      “And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high” (Lk 24:49).

 c.      “Before many days you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4, 5, 8).

VI.  The Holy Spirit Has Come

The Lord is a faithful and merciful God who keeps his covenant (Deut 7:9). He remains faithful and cannot deny himself (2 Tim 2:13). He will fulfill what he has promised.

A.     The Former Rain Is a Metaphor for the Descent of the Holy Spirit in the Apostolic Era

The former rain came at God’s appointed time.

1.        John the baptist predicted Jesus would baptize people with the Holy Spirit (Mt 3:11; Jn 1:32, 33).

2.        During Jesus’ ministry, the Holy Spirit did not come until Jesus died on the cross, resurrected, and ascended for ten days (Jn 7:38, 39).

3.        Jesus promised his disciples, “If I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you” (Jn 16:7).

4.        The disciples obeyed the Lord, and waited in Jerusalem for the coming of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4, 5, 12–14).

5.        It came to pass that on the day of Pentecost, the promised Holy Spirit came (Acts 2:1–4, 16–18).

6.        During the early church period, for those who repented of their sins, believed in Jesus, were baptized in Jesus’ name, and prayed earnestly, they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:14–20, 10:44–47, 11:15–17, 15:8, 19:1–7; Eph 1:13, 14).

7.        “Our God, who gives the rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain” (Jer 5:24).

8.        The former rain and the latter rain, or the fall rain and the spring rain, metaphorically indicates a period when the Holy Spirit descends. In the near east, rainfall occurs in two seasons. The autumn or fall rain comes before the sowing season, bringing agricultural life to the parched land after summer. The spring rain, on the other hand, usually arrives in time to help ripen the crops. The Holy Spirit first descended on the day of Pentecost, resulting in the rapid growth of the early church, much like the fall rain results in agricultural growth (Acts 1:8, 2:46, 47, 6:7). Thus, the Holy Spirit the early believers received in the early church period was the “former rain.”

B.     The Holy Spirit Ceased to Come

The downpour of the Holy Spirit continued in the early church for a century or two. However, due to the heresies, apostasy, and false doctrines spreading the early church, the Holy Spirit departed from the corrupted church. The Holy Spirit’s departure from a corrupted church was not accidental, God knew beforehand what would occur in the midst of such corruption.

1.        Passages and Prophecies concerning the discontinuation of the Holy Spirit.

 a.      “You have polluted the land with your vile harlotry. Therefore, the showers have been withheld, and the spring rain has not come; yet you have a harlot’s brow, you refuse to be ashamed” (Jer 3:2, 3). This passage speaks of God’s chosen compromising with the world and being unfaithful to God, which results in a lack of rain.

 b.      The vineyard brought forth wild grapes, i.e. those of degraded quality. So God commanded the clouds that they rain no rain upon the vineyard (Isa 5:3–7; Jer 2:21).

 c.      “He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the wickedness of its inhabitants” (Ps 107:33, 34).

 d.      “On account of the evil of your doings, because you have forsaken me.... The LORD will make the rain of your land powder and dust...” (Deut 28:20–24).

 e.      During king Ahab’s reign, because of the apostasy of king Ahab and queen Jezebel, there was no rain in the kingdom of Israel. This typifies that God does not want to give the Holy Spirit to the apostate church (1 Kgs 16:29–17:7).

2.        The decline of the early church

 a.      In the early church period, some people preached another gospel—thus changing the original gospel (2 Cor 11:4; Gal 1:6–9).

 b.      Jude exhorted the saints to “contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).

 c.      According to Revelation 2 and 3, we know that the early church struggled in the faith and many churches were already corrupt.

 d.      Therefore, how could the Lord Jesus abide with, or the Holy Spirit indwell, in a church that was disobedient and had perverted the gospel? (Mt 28:20; cf. Josh 7:12).

C.     The Latter Rain, a Metaphor for the Descent of the Holy Spirit in the End Times—A Sign That the Church Must Resume the Divine Mission

1.        Prophecies concerning the latter rain.

 a.      “Be glad, O sons of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD, your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the latter rain, as before” (Joel 2:23; cf. Deut 11:14; Jer 5:24).

 b.      The farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience over it, until it receives the early and the latter rain (Jas 5:7). The former (autumn or early) rain comes between September and October; the latter (spring) rain comes between March and April. Rain symbolizes the Holy Spirit. The rain falls in two seasons, which represents the Holy Spirit will likewise descend in two periods. In the apostolic epoch, God gave the Holy Spirit as the “former rain.” And in order to complete the ripening of crops for harvest, i.e., salvation before the dreadful day of the Lord, God has given the Holy Spirit in the “latter rain” period (Joel 2:28–31).

 c.      “Ask rain from the LORD in the season of the spring rain” (Zech 10:1).

2.        End-time typologies of the restoration of the Holy Spirit in the True Jesus Church.

 a.      The type of Elijah’s prayer for the rain.

(a)     Elijah, a powerful prophet, prayed to God so that rain ceased to descend for three and a half years. Later, Elijah would pray for the restoration of rain in the kingdom of Israel. The prophecy in Malachi 4:5 states the Lord will send Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord, which indicates the True Jesus Church, like Elijah, will be sent to perform God’s works before his coming. Elijah guided an apostate Israel to return to God, which assuaged God’s wrath and resulted in the long-awaited rain (cf. 1 Kgs 17:1, 18:1, 21, 22, 41–45; Jas 5:17). Likewise, by the Holy Spirit’s power, the true church must contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. The true church’s responsibility includes guiding people to the truth, leading people away from their idolatry and false doctrines, and turning the heart of the heavenly Father to his children. Through the True Jesus Church, God has given the promised Holy Spirit to those who believe and accept the faith in the Bible. So the True Jesus Church must boldly work to spread salvation, lest the Lord come and strike the earth with a curse (Mic 3:8; Mal 4:6).

(b)     Elijah prefigures John the baptist. John was a forerunner paving the way for the Lord Jesus. In the last days, the true church appears in the world to pave the way for the Lord’s second coming (Isa 40:3–5; Mt 17:10–13; Lk 1:15–17).

 b.      The type of temple restoration.

(a)     The templeSolomon built was burned down as God’s punishment for the apostasy of his people Israel. Many Israelites were taken to Babylon in captivity, often known as the “Babylonian Captivity” (2 Kgs 25:8–12). According to prophecy, the captivity would last seventy years. In order to fulfill the prophecy, God stirred up Cyrus, king of Persia, to proclaim a decree stating Israelites could return to Palestine to rebuild the temple (2 Chr 36:17–23).

(b)     The temple restoration typifies the rebuilding of the spiritual temple—the true church, which would likewise undergo the same pattern: institution, destruction, and restoration (1 Cor 3:16, 17, 6:19; Eph 2:19–20; 1 Pet 2:5). Seventy years signify God’s designated period of time. At present, it is time to restore the temple (cf. Isa 58:12, 61:4; Amos 9:11). In the Old Testament, the building of the physical temple depended upon the Spirit of God (Zech 4:6). The present time is no different, the building of the true church also depends on our reliance on the power of the Holy Spirit. The fact that the Holy Spirit descended in this century shows we must rely on the Holy Spirit. All of God’s people have been working for the holy mission under the guidance of God’s Spirit (cf. Neh 6:3; Acts 1:8).

(c)     According to God’s promise, the splendor of the latter house shall be greater than the former one (Hag 2:9). The latter house refers to the spiritual temple.

 c.      Where is the true church established by the Holy Spirit in the last days?

(a)     “And the LORD God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed” (Gen 2:8). This passage suggests God placed his chosen in the east.

(b)     “At the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen 3:24). The flaming sword suggests that the only way to enter into eternal life or salvation is to go through the flames (suggesting the baptism of the Holy Spirit and fire; cf. Mt 3:11; Acts 2:3).

(c)     “The glory of the God of Israel came from the east; and the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters” (Ezek 43:2; cf. Rev 19:6, 7, 21:10, 11). Here, the passage speaks of God’s glory coming from the east (cf. Mt 24:27).

(d)     “Then I saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God” (Rev 7:2; cf. Eph 1:13). The messenger ascends from the east to seal with the Holy Spirit.

(e)     “Surely these shall come from afar. Look! Those from the north and the west, and these from the land of Sinim [Chin/Syene]” (Isa 49:12, NKJV). Sinim represents the east.

(f)      The gate to gain entrance to the tabernacle faced east, towards the rising sun, where Judah pitched its tents (Num 2:3). Whoever thus entered the tabernacle must do so in the light (Jn 3:19–21).

 d.      Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem (Mt 2:5–6), and later moved to Egypt (Mt 2:13). After returning from Egypt, he stayed and grew up in Nazareth, a place where no prophets had ever emerged (Mt 2:23; Jn 1:46, 7:52). Interestingly, the True Jesus Church grew up in and emerged from the east, a very unlikely place given Christianity’s long association with the Western society.

VII.           The Work Of The Holy Spirit In The New Testament

1.        The Holy Spirit gives people spiritual power (Lk 24:49; Acts 1:8, 4:13, 31, 13:9–12; 1 Cor 2:4; Eph 3:16).

2.        He convicts people of the consciousness of sin (Jn 16:8; Acts 2:37; cf. 1 Jn 2:27, 28).

3.        He guides people to know the Lord Jesus (Jn 15:26; Acts 16:14; 1 Cor 12:3).

4.        He reveals the truth (Jn 16:12, 13; 1 Cor 2:11; Eph 1:17–19, 3:5).

5.        He prays for the believers (Zech 12:10; Rom 8:26, 27; 1 Cor 14:2, 14, 15; Eph 6:18; Jude 20).

6.        He sanctifies the believers (Rom 15:16; 2 Thess 2:13; 1 Pet 1:2).

7.        He makes the believers bring forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit           (Gal 5:22, 23; Rev 22:1, 2).

8.        He gives various spiritual gifts (1 Cor 12:4–12).

VIII.        The Holy Spirit Is Vitally Related To Salvation

1.        To enter the kingdom of God one should be reborn in the Holy Spirit (1 Sam 10:6; Jn 3:5; Acts 2:38; Tit 3:5).

2.        The Holy Spirit gives humanity everlasting life (Ezek 37:14; Rom 8:2; 1 Cor 15:45; Gal 5:25; 1 Jn 5:12; Rev 22:17).

3.        No one belongs to Christ without the Holy Spirit (Rom 8:9; 2 Tim 2:19; 1 Jn 3:24).

4.        The Holy Spirit adopts the believers as children of God (Mt 3:16, 17; Rom 8:16; Gal 4:6–7).

5.        The Holy Spirit gives people a pledge for entering the heavenly kingdom (2 Cor 1:21; 22; Eph 1:13, 14).

6.        On the last day, the Holy Spirit will resurrect us (Rom 8:11; 2 Cor 5:1–5; Phil 3:21).

IX.  The Evidence Of Receiving The Holy Spirit

Believing in the Lord and receiving the Holy Spirit are two different matters (Acts 19:1, 2; cf. 1:4, 5). In the same way, receiving water baptism and receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit are two different matters (Acts 8:15, 16).

A.     The apostles regarded speaking in tongues as the evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit (Mk 16:17; Acts 2:4, 10:44–46, 19:6, 7).

B.     When the Holy Spirit comes upon us, our bodies will be visibly shaken (Acts 2:33, 8:18; cf. 4:31, 16:25, 26). The state of being filled with the Holy Spirit may sometimes be mistaken for being drunk (Acts 2:13), or having gone mad (1 Cor 14:33). At times, some may accuse one of being possessed of evil spirits.

X.     What Is The Spiritual Tongue?

A.     The spiritual tongue is the utterance done by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4, 19:6).

B.     Generally, no man understands the tongue (Acts 2:13; 1 Cor 14:2, 14, 16).

C.     The unknown tongue is not an earthly language (1 Cor 14:10, 11, 13).

D.     With the spiritual tongue the Holy Spirit prays and makes supplications for believers (Rom 8:26, 27; 1 Cor 14:15).

E.      The tongue edifies believers (1 Cor 14:4).

F.      The unknown tongue is meaningful; and God moves other people to interpret the tongue, i.e. through the gift of interpretation if necessary (Acts 2:5–11; 1 Cor 12:10).

G.     If some one interprets the spiritual tongue, i.e. the gift of different kinds of tongues of another person, the spiritual tongue becomes an understandable prophecy to all (1 Cor 12:10, 14:26–28).

H.     “To another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues” (1 Cor 12:10). Here the tongues are those which edify others and the church (1 Cor 14:26–28), and are interpretable if one is moved to do so. This kind of spiritual tongues is a special gift; and not every believer who has received the Holy Spirit receives this gift of speaking different            kinds of tongues (1 Cor 12:30, 14:5, 13, 28).

I.        Sometimes a person filled with the Holy Spirit is moved to sing spiritual songs (1 Cor 14:15; Eph 5:19; Col 3:16).

J.       One should never restrain others from speaking in tongues, whether self-edifying or in edification for the church (1 Cor 14:39, 40; cf. 1 Thess 5:19).

XI.  How Can One Recieve The Holy Spirit?

A.     A person should have a genuine and correct faith (Jn 14:15, 16, 21, 22; Acts 5:32, 10:44–48; Gal 3:14; Eph 1:13).

B.     A person should be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38, 19:2–6).

C.     A person should receive the laying of hands by the ordained elders or deacons (Acts 8:14–17, 19:6; cf. Num 11:17–25).

D.     A person should pray earnestly and diligently (Lk 11:5–13; Acts 1:14, 2:1–4).

E.      A person should wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit in the holy city—the true church (Zech 14:17; Lk 24:49; Acts 1:4, 5; cf. Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22).

XII.           How Can We Distinguish The Holy From Other Spirits?

When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit, he or she often manifest physical vibratory movements. However, people may also vibrate when filled with other spirits, namely, evil spirits.

1.        The vibratory movement of people filled with the Holy Spirit is orderly and decent. Oftentimes, while speaking in tongues during prayer in the Spirit, one may laugh, cry, clap their hands, or sing spiritual songs. After the person concludes the prayer in which the Holy Spirit moved him or her, the person is composed as usual. A person’s spiritual tongue or song is distinct and powerful, and it issues from the innermost part of one’s being. Moreover, after the infilling of the Holy Spirit, a person who has the indwelling Holy Spirit is very peaceful and spiritally joyous (cf. Jn 7:38; Rom 14:17; 1 Cor 14:32, 33, 39, 40).

2.        Possession by an evil spirit is usually manifested by a very disorderly vibratory movement. The crying or laughing goes beyond normal and is queer. Additionally, facial or physical gestures are often grotesque. When one is controlled by evil spirits, the person becomes uncontrollable. He speaks in false tongues which are generally short, quick, vague, and feeble. His utterance is labial, i.e., coming from the lips rather than from a spiritual tongue. Also, the utterance is often mixed in with intelligible words, though it may be a foreign language. At times, the demoniac may act extravagantly or excessive. He may become haughty and proud, calling himself Jesus, the Holy Spirit, a great hero, or an ancient saint. Sometimes, a demoniac may point out certain Scriptures, pretending to be an angel of light, but the instructions are for the most part profane and distorted (2 Cor 11:14). A demoniac’s spiritual songs are mostly the tunes of this world, i.e. popular or secular music. When a demoniac is moved by the evil spirit, he loses consciousness and cannot control himself. He may squeak or mutter during a possessed state (Isa 8:19), and he may seem to be in agony or heavily burdened. Sometimes, a demoniac may roll on the floor, foam at the mouth, have bodily convulsions, or inflict pain on himself or others. His face may turn pale and his hands and feet are usually cold (cf. 1 Sam 18:10; Isa 8:19; Mk 5:5, 9:8; Jn 3:31; Acts 16:16–18; 1 Jn 4:3, 5).

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