Adams, Rumors and the Deep End
Connie W. Adams
Louisville, Kentucky 40219
Twice in the last two weeks, once in Kentucky and again in Ohio, I have been asked if I have changed my views on the Holy Spirit. Each time the person who asked me had been approached by another inquiring about a rumor to the effect that I had taken a "Pentecostal position or that "Connie Adams has gone off the deep end on the Holy Spirit." Who started such a rumor is unknown to me nor is the motivation behind it, clear. Neither do I understand why interested parties have asked someone else instead of me. I am still alive, active and able to speak for myself.
Such a rumor will surely surprise the brethren where I have done local work over the last twenty years and congregations where I have preached in meetings. It will surely shock the elders at Manslick Road. It will be a shock to the Pentecostal preachers I have engaged in public debate on the subject. It will surprise gospel preachers who have heard me preach on the subject and defend the truth in public debate against Pentecostalism. It will stun the elders and brethren at Hillsboro, Ohio where I defended the truth on this subject in a four-night debate the first week of June this year. It surely will amaze my wife and sons who are totally unaware of any such change.
In local and meeting work over more than two decades I have spoken a number of times on various aspects of this subject. Much time has gone into the study of it, both from the text of the Bible and from articles and books written on the subject by brethren. While faithful brethren have always agreed that the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased when the New Testament revelation was completed, they have not always agreed on how the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian. So far as I know, all are persuaded that the Spirit dwells somehow in Christians. Numerous passages plainly state that (Rom. 8:9, 11, 13). I am persuaded, as I have been for two decades, that God gives the Spirit to all who obey the gospel (Acts 2:38). That in this he seals us (places his authentication upon us as taught in 2 Cor. 1: 22), and that he thereby gives us his earnest (pledge, down payment against the future reward-2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13-14). It is further my conviction, as it has always been that the Spirit makes "intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26). I agree with Paul in the implication of his question, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" (1 Cor. 6:19). The evidence of the Spirit being in one is that he manifests the "fruit of the Spirit" (Gal. 5:22-25).
I am further convinced that the only source of information as to what the Holy Spirit does, or how he does it, is the word of God. Anything which one attributes to the Holy Spirit for which he has no New Testament passage, is pure and simple, and should not be taught as the will of God. The human feelings of man never constitute the standard by which to measure the work of the Spirit. I have never (nor do I now) taught anyone anywhere that there is any other source of information on what the Spirit does, or how he does it, than that which is plainly stated in the word of God, which is "the sword of the Spirit" (Eph. 6: 17).
In September 1970, I presented three lessons on the Holy Spirit at the Thayer Street lectures in Akron, Ohio. The brethren assigned the subjects and I spoke one day on "The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit," the next day on "The Baptism and Gifts of the Holy Spirit" and the third day on "The Holy Spirit and the Christian." In that third lesson I set forth what I have briefly summarized in this article. A number of gospel preachers were present together with several elders (including those from Thayer Street and two from Brown Street in Akron where I labored almost five years). At the close of the third lesson Sewell Hall came to me and expressed his appreciation for what I had said, and stated that I had expressed his position exactly. James E. Cooper said that had always been h* position. Most of the preachers present made similar comments. Two or three came to me privately and questioned my conclusions on two or three passages. Outlines were printed of those lectures and many brethren over the country now have copies of them.
In the summer of 1971, the church at Mooresville, Indiana had a special meeting dealing with the Holy Spirit and asked me to speak one night on "The Holy Spirit and the Christian" and to submit an outline to be printed and given to those in attendance. I sent the same identical outline used at Thayer Street. After the speech there was an open forum during which a number of questions were asked and comments made by various brethren in attendance. Some disagreed with the application made of a few passages. I disagreed right back and we had the kind of frank, brotherly study, which the Lords people should always be able to have. When the service was over, most of the preachers present expressed appreciation for the lesson and agreement with what was presented.
Unless I have misunderstood what I have read from others on the subject, I stand where Moses E. Lard stood in his exchange with Dr. Christopher carried in Lards Quarterly, where J. W. McGarvey stood in his comments on Acts 2:38, where Ferrell Jenkins stood in his article on this subject in the special issue of the Gospel Guardian devoted to the Holy Spirit, and where James P. Needham stood when he was writing the column "Whats Your Question?" in Truth Magazine and answered a question on "the gift of the Holy Spirit" mentioned in Acts 2:38. 1 do not cite these men as proof on anything, but I suppose that "misery loves company" and if I am "in the swim" with some respectable brethren. Does anyone think they have "gone soft" on Pentecostalism?
For what it is worth, I was one of the first writers to inform brethren on evidences that Pat Boone was going into Pentecostalism. This was done in The Enlightener, monthly bulletin of the Brown Street church in Akron, Ohio. I warned brethren of the coming battle and against attributing anything to the Holy Spirit, which the word of God did not teach. I warned against emotionalism and intuition as evidences of the Spirits work and expressed amazement that the time had come when it was necessary to turn the arguments, which we had made ill debates against Pentecostals, on some of our own brethren. That is still an amazing thing to this writer. In case anyone is interested, the writer has a booklet of over 30 pages entitled "Miraculous Divine Healing" - FAITH or FACT- which deals with the Holy Spirits work in revelation and confirmation, with the purpose and duration of miracles and argues that all such ceased when the revelation of divine truth was completed in the New Testament. You can purchase it from Truth Magazine. Though written eight years ago, it still sets forth my views on this aspect of the subject and against Pentecostalism in general.
If anyone comes to you asking about this wild rumor, will you please show him (or her) this article and suggest that if they want to know what Connie Adams believes on this, or any other subject, to please ask Adams, since he is still able to speak for himself. I am trying very hard to be "angry, and sin not."
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XVII: 2, pp. 12-13