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The Bible abounds in references to the "SPIRIT OF GOD. This Spirit was responsible for the creation of the earth, and...it is GOD'S SPIRIT which keeps the universe as it is. God's power or SPIRIT sustains all life and all the laws of nature. The term...HOLY SPIRIT is the Biblical term reserved primarily for God's power, used in an extraordinary (miraculous) context.....e.g. the conception of Jesus (Math 1:18-20), the power given to the early Apostles (Acts 2:4), while the term "SPIRIT of God" is usually associated with God's power in the natural universe (laws of nature).
The word "Holy Ghost" in the King James version of the Bible, is commonly remembered by people. The word GHOST was the 17th century English word for SPIRIT. The Holy Ghost and the Holy spirit are translations of the same original word. There is a very strong link in the Bible, between GOD and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is often referred to as being "of God", "of the Lord" or "of the Father". THE HOLY SPIRIT IS GOD'S POWER. The equivalence can be shown by comparing.......
Gen 1:1-2.................".... God created......spirit of God moved..."
Gen 2:7....................." The Lord God formed man...."
Job 33:4...................".....Spirit of God made me...."
Jer 10:12..................".....made the earth by His power...."
Acts 17:24-28..........".....God....made the world...."
So....THE HOLY SPIRIT and THE SPIRIT OF GOD are clearly words used to describe the power of God. The terms "GOD THE HOLY GHOST"...or "GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT", are NOT in the Bible. The Bible contains no concept of the Holy Spirit being an entity in itself and certainly NOT the third person of a Trinity. God is of course SPIRIT, and whatever He does is BY HIS SPIRIT.. (John 4:24). The Spirit is not a "separate" or "other person"....IT IS GOD'S OWN POWER by which He is everywhere.
THE SPIRIT REVEALS GOD'S PURPOSE:
One of the most important roles of the Holy Spirit was to reveal God's purpose to man, "....men were carried along by the Holy Spirit.." 2 Peter 1:19:21). God infallibly revealed His purpose, by the Holy Spirit, to the Old Testament Prophets and the New Testament Apostles, to give us the Bible; Paul writes."....All Scripture is given by inspiration of God...." (2 Tim 3:15:17)
There were times when the power of the Spirit was shown in wonderful works done by God....i.e."...mighty signs and wonders...by the power of Spirit of God"..(Rom 15:19). The miracles of Jesus in stilling a storm, feeding 5000 people and raising the dead, were all done by the power of the Holy Spirit, which He possessed. The Apostles, sent to preach the Gospel of Jesus, were also empowered to preach through the work of miracles...."signs and wonders, done by the Apostles.. (Acts 2:33,43).
BORN OF THE SPIRIT:
The mightiest WORK OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD is in a person's conversion.."...except a man be born of water and ...OF THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter...the Kingdom of God." (John 3:3,5). We are told to "..walk in the Spirit.....we shall, of the Spirit, reap everlasting life." (Gal 5:22). Paul, writing in Romans chapters 8 and 9, shows that a new Christian life can ONLY follow from being led by HIS SPIRIT. We ALL have access to this SPIRIT, through prayer and reading the Bible....." THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT....WHICH IS THE WORD OF GOD.".......(Eph. 6:17)
Shortly before ascending to heaven, Jesus made this promise to His Apostles.."..you shall receive ...the HOLY SPIRIT...and be witnesses to me."..(Acts 1:8). The Holy Spirit was "poured on" the followers of Jesus at the Pentecost feast, and they became able to speak in foreign languages, (Acts 2:6). These miracles were used to more effectively preach the Gospel (Acts 2:33...1 Pet. 1:12)). Furthermore, the Apostles went on to miracles of healing and raising the dead in Jesus Name, through the POWER OF THE SPIRIT.....(Acts 2:43, 3:4:7)
As there was no Bible as we know it, in those days, God needed a POWER to spread His word. The Apostles could not stay for very long in each of the places they visited. They had NO New Testament....only some "letters" written by Paul. They NEEDED " the gift of the Holy Spirit" to spread the word and thus the disciples, with these Holy Spirit gifts bridged the gap from Jesus to the era of the Bible. They had gifts...such as wisdom...knowledge... healing... miracles... prophecy... languages. (1 Cor 12:8:10). By these means, the members of each congregation were equipped to witness for Christ. NO ONE PERSON was given ALL the gifts, but they were all interdependent. The SPIRIT GIFTS of each could not be passed from one possessor to another person....only the Apostles could do that ..(Acts 8:14:18). It would seem that, as the Apostles died, so the passing on of the GIFTS died out also. These GIFTS were replaced with an accurate record of the Gospels in the New Testament.
"TONGUES" ARE FOREIGN LANGUAGES:
BUT....what of those who claim to posses the SPIRIT GIFTS today ? Most "speak in tongues"....(untestable), but NOT in foreign languages., as did the Apostles. (Acts 2:4,6,11). Mostly, present day "manifestations" occur in groups of "committed members", not as a preaching method as was the case in N.T. times....(1 Cor 14:22-25). "Speaking in tongues" is not confined to Christian groups. The N/T miracles of healing etc. were never carried out at "healing meetings". There was no "service"...hymn singing or emotional fervour, but instead DIRECT AND OPEN HEALING ON THE SPOT, for all to see and ponder on. (Acts 3:1-10; 9:36-41).
IF ANY PERSON DOES CLAIM TO HAVE THE SPIRIT GIFTS, we should "TEST the Spirits , whether they are of God"..(1 John 4:1). If the belief or actions are NOT Biblical, then we can be assured that THEY ARE NOT OF GOD.
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