One Spirit to Unity
'There is one body, and one Spirit..." (Eph. 4:4). As one body indicates unity in organization, so one Spirit indicates unity in REVELATION. This is essential to unity among believers. The one Spirit is the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost, the third person of the Godhead. Some deny this, and teach only one person in the Godhead. However, at the baptism of Jesus there is reference to three: Jesus in the water; the Spirit descending; and the Father in heaven (Matt. 3:16-17). Jesus promised that the Father would send the Spirit in his name (See John 14:26; 15:26 and 16:7-13). Baptism is "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 28: 19). The one Spirit is the Holy Spirit; He is divine.
The Work of the Holy Spirit
The Spirit was sent to REVEAL the truth unto appointed men. The truth is able to make one free from sin (John 8:32) has not always been known by men. Paul said that God had "made known unto me the mystery ... which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit' (Eph. 3:3-2). Then the truth "which is kept secret since the world began, but now is mare manifest" (Rom. 16:24.26), was revealed or made known by the Spirit.
In olden days the prophets inquired and searched diligently... searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow." But the apostle declares that unto these prophets "it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into (I Peter 1:10-12).
Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be sent unto the apostles to: (1) "teach you all things...'' (John 14:26): (2) "testify of me... John 15: 26) and (3) guide you into all truth..." (John 16:13).
When the Spirit came (Acts 2), He taught the apostles all things, made known unto them the mystery, and that is REVELATION. Only by this revelation can we know the things of God. "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God: that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God" (l Cor. 2:11-12). Paul said, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit"
(1 Cor. 2:9,10). Thus, those things that once were kept secret, which are called the mystery, have been made known, revealed, unto the apostles. That was one work of the Spirit.
The Spirit not only REVEALED the truth unto the apostles, He also INSPIRED them in their preaching and writing the truth. Had the work of the Spirit ceased with revelation, then we would have no written word that is infallible. Only the apostles would have had the truth, with assurance that no mistakes had been made, and others would have to depend upon the memories of the apostles to call to mind the truth, which the Spirit had revealed unto them. But such is not the case. The Spirit also INSPIRED those men in their preaching. In fact Paul declared that, "we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual"
(1Cor.2: 12,13). That's lNSPIRATION! That's VERBAL INSPIRATION!! The Spirit taught the apostles the very words they were to use in preaching the revealed will unto men. The Lord did not intrust this mighty, powerful, soul-saving message unto the minds of mere men, but after revealing the truth unto men he inspired them with the Spirit that their preacl1ing be complete and without error.
The Spirit also worked in CONFIRMAI ION. After revealing the truth unto the apostles, and inspiring them in their preaching, the Lord worked with these men by the Spirit, "confirming the word with signs following" (Mark 10:20; Cf. Heb. 2:3,4). "And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God" (1 Cor. 2:4, 5)
Work of Revelation Completed
The will revealed by the Spirit is called "the perfect law of liberty" (James 1:25). God has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness (2 Pet. 1:3). The apostle Paul said, "For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God" (Acts 20:27). He further wrote that the scripture given by inspiration of God is complete or perfect, and will guide the man of God into every good work (2 Tim. 3:16,17). Surely such statements as these should impress the honest seeker of truth with this fact: The work of revelation has been completed! We are warned, "not to think of men above that which is written"
(1 Cor. 4:6). Punishment will be brought upon every soul who adds unto or takes from the inspired word (Rev. 22:18,19); and all men and angels who would preach another gospel than that revealed unto the apostles, will be accursed (Gal. 1:6-9). The Spirit completed his work of revelation in the days of the apostles. All truth has been made known, therefore, there remaineth no truth to he revealed unto men,
All Claims of Progressive Revelation Are False
Many systems of religion hinge upon the claims of men and women to have received
"further revelation" from the Lord, and their so-called further revelation is always in conflict with that which was revealed unto the holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. A hundred years ago a woman claimed to have been caught up into the third heaven, where she saw tile tables of stone upon which were written the ten commandments, and a "golden halo" encircled the fourth command.
This woman claimed that the Lord told her to return to the earth and preach unto men to observe that command--"Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy..." This is the foundation of the Adventist movement, a false claim of progressive revelation.
One, Joseph Smith, claimed to have found some plates upon which were written further revelation from God. He claimed his writings of this revelation were "doubly inspired", yet his teachings are contrary to the New Testament.
Catholicism is built upon the claim of progressive revelation. The Pope is said to be the "Vicar of God", and when he speaks "from the chair" he is said to be speaking for God himself. The informed person knows that the claims of Catholicism are not taught in the New Testament. All of these claims of further revelation from the Lord actually make the teaching of the New Testament unreliable, for inspired men taught that all truth was revealed and preached in their generation.
Any claim of men that is contrary to the New Testament is false. "Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar" (Rom. 3:4).
There is but ONE SPIRIT--one source of revelation. He did not reveal one plan unto the apostles, and a different plan unto some men or women 1800 years later. Unity among believers will never prevail until and unless all recognize that there is one Spirit, and look unto that which He revealed as authoritative.
Let US be content to study and be guided by that which the Spirit revealed unto the apostles, and which they preached and wrote by inspiration of the Spirit. Upon this ground we can stand united.
Truth Magazine VII: 5, pp. 15-17