There has been a lot written and said about the indwelling measure of the Holy Spirit today. Somehow (?) it has taken on the term "ordinary measure" in comparison with the apostles' measure. A cloud of mystery usually surrounds this because it is left unexplained by those speaking or writing. This should not be. The Holy Spirit, the Comforter, has already come and fulfilled His role with man today. There is no "ordinary measure," nor mysterious being, dwelling within man, given at baptism, to direct his footsteps. The scriptures teach instead a God given intelligence given at birth.
The Holy Spirit was assigned the job of revealing Jesus after He left this earth (Jno. 14:16-17). This has been fulfilled. How? Paul said, "If any man thinketh himself to be a prophet or spiritual, let him take knowledge of the things I write unto you, that they are the commandments of the Lord" (I Cor. 7 14:37). Paul was also writing to us by and through Words revealed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was from God giving the commandments of the Lord. Is the Spirit still doing this in a supernatural way? No, he has already done this through Paul and the other apostles.
Acts 2:38 is used by many to show the Holy Spirit is given at baptism. He dwells within our body; it is claimed, as a supernatural being that assists us in choosing right from wrong. Acts 5: 32 is claimed to prove it. One question: The Revelation of John -- was it John revealed or something revealed through John? So it is with the Holy Spirit; he gave and was not given. Acts 5:31 states, "... to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins." These things, along with others, were GIVEN as Acts 2:38 had promised a gift would be given. How else are we to know of remission of sins? The Holy Spirit through Words spoken by Peter revealed remission of sins by baptism. Words pricked the hearts of the Jews in Acts 2:37.
Man was given intelligence. It is lower than God's (Isa. 55:8-9) and higher than the animals' (Gen. 1:26). It was given at birth (Ecc. 12:7). It came from God and dwells in man (I Cor. 3:16-17). The eighth chapter of Romans points out the Spirit of God in verse 9; the Spirit of Christ in verse 9; and the spirit of man in verse 16. The first Two are one in agreement. We must align our spirit by hearing and believing what the first Two have agreed upon. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing from the Word of God" (Rom. 10:17). Our God-given spirit is quickened by words. Jesus said, "It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I have spoken unto you are spirit, and are life" (Jno. 6:63).
Our spirit responds differently to given words such as pain, anguish, happiness and pleasure. It will also respond to spiritual words. Paul said his speech and preaching were demonstrations of the spirit and power (I Cor. 2:4). He also said in I Cor. 2:13, "Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Spirit teacheth; combining spiritual things with spiritual words." (ASV)
We then can understand the plan of salvation; the grace and love of God; the church, etc. God has placed upon man the responsibility to obey Him. "He that comes to God must first believe that He is . . ." (Heb. 11:6) "He that believeth and is baptized..." (Mk. 16:16) "Repent and be baptized..." (Acts 2:38) Christ dwells in us by faith (Eph. 3:17). This faith comes from understanding the completed work that the Holy Spirit revealed. The Spirit revealed the Truth because he bore the Truth (Jno. 15: 26) from the Father (Jno. 17:17).
Jesus said if we want to live with him, do not lie for all liars will be punished (Rev. 21:8). My God given-intelligence can understand that. I decide either to lie or not to lie; receive reward or punishment. Spiritual words teach both of the above for my understanding.
Romans 8 is also used by some to prove an active Holy Spirit today. First, it is an assumption that the Holy Spirit "groans" on our behalf (v. 26). Of the three spirits mentioned in Romans 8, (v. 9, 26) I know mine is not groaning. The One that came from God brought the Truth (Jno. 15). The Spirit of Christ (v. 9) is left. Jesus IS our advocate (I Jno. 2:1). He IS our mediator (go between) (I Tim. 2:5). He prayed on behalf of the apostles and us in John 17. Since the Spirit in verse 26 is called Spirit and not Holy Spirit, many assume it is the Comforter. Instead, it is our Saviour pleading for us as He knows our weakness from having lived in the flesh.
Conclusion: The Holy Spirit from God came and revealed the Truth. The Truth comes by Divine Words that our God-given intelligence can understand. This intelligence has its beginning at birth. This intelligence must hear and obey the Word of the Gospel. It then must grow on the milk and meat of the Word to a mature Christian (Heb. 6:13-14).
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV; 36, pp. 11-12
July 23, 1970