Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 73
HOLY SPIRIT (PNEUMA HAGION) – 4
Psalms 51:11 and Luke 24:49
Okay, it is good to see everybody in. Again, we’d like to invite our television audience to get your Bible and compare Scripture with Scripture and check me out. I’ve already had some catch me on one from the last hour. There was a third Holy Spirit in the Old Testament that I missed. But that’s fine, we don’t mind that a bit. So instead of two, there are three, but nevertheless, the point was well made that we have a tremendous change in modus operandi of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament compared to the Holy Spirit’s work in the New—same person, same third person of the Godhead.
All right, we were in the Book of Acts, and we’re going to continue on. For those of you who may not have been with us, we’re talking about the Pneuma Hagion in the Greek, and this is the Holy Spirit. Pneuma is compared to air. It’s invisible. You can’t see it, but like the wind, you can feel its effects. All right, so what we have to do, as we did in the last program, is go through Scripture and see if they are talking about the person of the Holy Spirit, or are we talking about His power as Jesus called it, the power from on high?
Now, I’m sure that most thinking in Christendom is that the person is indwelling us. Well, I think from all these verses we’re showing you now, no, it’s not the person of the Holy Spirit. It’s the power of the Holy Spirit that is within us. And it’s the power that makes the change in our lifestyle. It’s the power that gives us understanding from Scriptures.
In fact, I may have referred to it in my last taping. I think I did, but it bears repeating. We met a couple down in Florida last spring who came out of Mormonism. They were died-in-the-wool Mormons, but they came to know the Lord and have a tremendous testimony. They stopped by the ranch and spent the afternoon with us. In the process of our visiting, I asked, “How could two intelligent people like you be steeped in something so false as Mormonism?”
And his answer was perfect. He said, “Well, until the Spirit enlightens you, you don’t realize that you’re wrong.” And that’s exactly right. It’s the Holy Spirit that has to open up the understanding, and as he said, “You don’t really get that until you’re saved. Then as soon as you’re saved, it just keeps opening up more and more and more, and you just can’t exhaust it.” This is what we have to realize, that when were dealing with the lost world, they really can’t comprehend this until the Holy Spirit convicts them enough that they take the time to see what the Book says. Until that happens—you know it, you’ve experienced it, they don’t want see it. You can tell them, “Well, let me show you the Scriptures.” And their reply is, “I don’t want to read it.” Why? Because they still do not have enough Spirit enlightenment to have any inkling to want see these biblical truths. This is where we have to be patient.
All right, for this half hour we’re just going to keep going on through our New Testament references where we have this constant referral to the Pneuma Hagion, the Holy Spirit. But we’re going to differentiate: is it the person, or is it the power from on high? Let’s come on over, I thought I was back in chapter 5, and I’m not finding the verse that I wanted. So I guess I’m just going to have to skip that one and go right on over to chapter 10.
Here we have Peter ministering to this house full of Romans, military at that. Now you know, there wasn’t much spirituality in the Roman military, was there? But yet miraculously the Spirit worked upon Cornelius and caused him to send some of his underlings down to find Peter. They brought Peter up. Of course Peter was still on the same premise that he had from the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, and that was what we call the Gospel of the Kingdom, and that was believing that Jesus was that promised Messiah and coming king, period.
Even though Jesus Christ had now been crucified, buried, and risen; Peter does not proclaim faith in that for salvation, as we must do today in the Age of Grace. All Peter proclaims is that even though their King had been crucified, He had been raised from the dead, and He was still capable of being the King. That’s why it’s called the Gospel of the Kingdom.
Now, again, a lot of people get all confused. They think that’s still a valid gospel today. No, that was just for a few years during the Book of Acts. But Israel in their total unbelief rejected it, and it just fell through the cracks and disappeared. And if you are aware of Scripture at all, after Saul’s conversion in Acts chapter 9, how much do you see of Peter in the Book of Acts? Almost none. He’s totally disappeared from view. Why? Because God has changed His program.
Israel has fallen away in unbelief. God’s going to set Israel aside now for 1,900 some years. He’s not through with them. Oh, He’s still going to come back and finish with His prophetic program. But by the time we get to Saul’s conversion, Peter and the Jewish program just disappear from view. If it wasn’t for Peter’s little epistle, we wouldn’t hear anything from him again, because Paul now fills the space with his message for the Gentiles in this Age of Grace.
But here in chapter 10 we’re still dealing with Peter, and God has seen fit to use him to open the door to Gentiles. And I think it was more for Peter’s benefit even than for Cornelius’. Because as I’ve said so often over the years, had Peter not had this tremendous experience in the house of Cornelius, witnessing with his own eyes that God was saving these pagan, immoral, military Romans the moment they believed—without repentance, without baptism. The evidence was there. All right, here we pick it up in Acts chapter 10 verse 44.
“While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all them who heard the word.” Now, we don’t know how many were in the house of Cornelius, but it was an average Roman house. So, you couldn’t have had hundreds. There might have been a dozen, I just guess, maybe not even that many. But however many there were, Peter preached and presented as Israel’s Messiah this Jesus of Nazareth who had been crucified but God had raised Him from the dead, and He was still in a position to come and set up this glorious kingdom. All right, before Peter had ever finished, the Holy Spirit fell on these Romans. Now look at verse 45.
“And they of the circumcision…” These Jews who accompanied Peter—now we’ve got to find them over in chapter 11 verse 12, so we better look at it. Chapter 11 verse 12. Peter is rehearsing all this to the Jewish Church of Jerusalem who got all over him for going up to a house full of Gentiles. Peter is rehearsing with them, and I’m using this to show you who these men were that were with Peter.
“And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren (fellow Jews) accompanied me, and we entered into the man’s house:” Okay, so that’s who we’re talking about in Acts chapter 10, now verse 45.
“And they of the circumcision (These six Jews who went up there with Peter.) which believed were (What?) astonished,…” Man, they couldn’t believe their eyes. That Peter hadn’t even finished preaching, they haven’t repented, they haven’t been baptized; but yet they’ve got the evidence of the Holy Spirit. Unbelievable! So they were astonished. This has never happened before.
“…as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the (What?) gift of the Holy Spirit.” The gift! Not the person, but the power from on high.
Oh, I love this, because this makes sense. The person of the Holy Spirit isn’t indwelling every believer, even though He is present, but it’s His power, it’s His gift, and that’s what was poured out here. That they received the gift of the Holy Spirit, and here was the evidence. And we’re going to see it again in Corinthians, if we have time.
“For they (These Jews, now—Peter and the six Jews for a total of seven. See, God always does things according to his numbers. These seven Jews were astonished because–) they heard them speak with languages, (That they knew was not of the ordinary. It was a supernatural thing.) and (they heard them) magnify God. Then answered Peter, 47. Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the (What? Pneuma Hagion—the gift of) the Holy Spirit as well as we.” Not the person, the gift, the power from on high.
All right, now lets come on over to chapter 13. Now we’re going into another area of the work of the Holy Spirit. Paul and Barnabas had been ministering up there in Antioch. Gentiles are coming in, and now Paul is exercising his authority as the apostle of the Gentiles for the first time. We get into chapter 13, which was about a year and a half after he had been brought back to Antioch. Verse 1:
“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch (This, I feel, is a body of Christ—predominately, but not exclusively, Gentile believers.) certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit (Now what’s the next word?) said,(Who are we dealing with? The person! The person of the Holy Spirit—He speaks, and He speaks in a way that they could understand, because He said–) Separate me Barnabas and Saul (or Paul) for the work whereunto I have called them.
“And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. 4. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Spirit, (Now what part of the Holy Spirit? The power—you see, the power from on high is now on Paul and Barnabas as they go out on their missionary journeys.) departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus.” All right, now let’s look at the next one, and that’s going be in chapter 13. We’re going to drop in at verse 50. All got it? I’m trying to figure out where they are. I should know. But anyhow in verse 50:
“But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, (I’m thinking this must be up there in Thessalonica.) and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. (or their borders, their city limits) 51. But Paul and Barnabas shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium.” No, that’s up in Asia minor, I’m sorry.
“And the disciples (That is these converts of Paul and Barnabas who had heard Paul’s gospel of salvation. They had now become members of the body of Christ, and how do we know?) were filled with joy, and with the Holy Spirit.” Because they were filled with a person? No, they were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit. His power, His gift from on high—that’s why they were able to resist all of the pressures of the persecution that hit these new believers the minute they made themselves known. It was the power of the Holy Spirit that carried them through.
All right, now lets move on over to chapter 15 verse 28. This, of course, is after that Jerusalem council. And we know from church history that this Jerusalem council took place in A.D. 51. That’s about 11 years after Paul has begun his missionary journeys. And at this council, they have decided that Peter, James, and John would stay with Israel. They would stay with their Jewish economy and their Gospel of the Kingdom, and Paul and Barnabas could continue to go to the Gentile world with Paul’s gospel, as he calls it over and over.
Now, let me avert. Somebody at break time reminded me of it, and I think it behooves us, even for our television audience, to see what we’re talking about when I speak of Paul’s gospel. Romans chapter 2, now this is a little bit of an aside. We’re going to leave our thoughts on the Holy Spirit for just a moment. This is associated with that Jerusalem council. James and Peter and John are recognizing that the Holy Spirit is the leading power to recognize Paul’s apostleship of the Gentiles.
All right, in Romans chapter 2 verse 16, this is a verse that most people don’t even know is in here. You can show it to your Sunday school people, and they’ve never seen this before. I’ll guarantee it. They’ve never seen it, but here it is.
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ,…” Now I feel this is a reference to that Great White Throne that we looked at in one of our previous programs this afternoon—where Christ is going to be the eternal judge of all the lost of all the ages.
“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” Lost humanity will be judged by Paul’s gospel, and he speaks of it over and over—my gospel or that gospel which I preach. Well, now we’ve got to qualify. What’s he talking about?
So, again, we’ll put the Holy Spirit on hold for just a moment. Come on over to I Corinthians. This is one of my favorite texts. I have to use it because nobody else does, and I can’t figure out why. Can you? Why don’t preachers and teachers use it? I still haven’t figured it out. I had a good article sent to me yesterday, again. First thing—I go right on down through it. They’ve got everything but I Corinthians 15:1-4. And he was a good man. The rest of his article was A-okay. But it’s like somebody just blocks this off. I’m going to keep hammering away because of the language—verse 1.
I Corinthians 15:1a
“Moreover, brethren, (He’s writing to Gentile believers at Corinth.) I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you,…” The one and only Gospel. Yes, it’s exclusivistic. God is particular.
In fact, I was just sharing with someone. I don’t remember if it was person to person with someone or on the phone. If God were to let someone into His Heaven by compromising any part of this gospel, could He shut the door and say, “Well, that’s all?” My, once you get a door open, can you ever close it? No, so He can’t let one slip in except by His own divine requirements, and here it is. This is it! And why is this so hard for people to swallow? Basically it’s what they agree to, but they always try to add a lot of garbage to it. But this is it in its simplicity.
I Corinthians 15:1
“Moreover brethren I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, (Now you want to remember, Corinth was a pagan, ungodly, wicked Gentile city, and Paul says–) which also ye have received, (They believed it.) and wherein ye stand;” That is positionally in their faith and their relationship with God. Now verse 2:
I Corinthians 15:2
“By which also ye are (What?) saved, (Now, is that so hard to understand? What does the gospel do? It saves people.) if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.” Now somebody just asked me this afternoon—what does that mean? Well, you’ve got to believe the right stuff. You have to believe what this apostle is laying out in front of us, and here it comes. This is what we are to believe. And most people are not even hearing it anymore. Verse 3, this is Paul’s gospel.
I Corinthians 15:3a
“For I delivered unto you (Corinthians, you Gentiles, you pagans, you and me) first of all that which I also received,…” Now you are to go to Galatians chapter 1. Where did Paul receive this gospel? From the ascended Lord who revealed it to him and instructed him not to take it back to Israel, but to take it to the Gentile world. And all of Paul’s doctrines flow from this gospel. All right, read on.
I Corinthians 15:3-4
“For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins (Well, what have I been stressing these last four, five, seven programs? The incarnate Christ and His finished work of the cross. That’s Paul’s gospel—that this Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the creator of everything died for our sins.) according to the scriptures; 4. And that he was buried, (we know three days and three nights) and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:” That’s Paul’s gospel by which we are saved.
Now, why is that so controversial? But, oh, they don’t want to hear it!! I hear it day in and day out, letter after letter, phone call after phone call. They don’t want hear it. But we do know that the god of this world blinds people.
All right, now Acts 15:28 and this is just after he had been meeting with Peter, James, and John up there in Jerusalem; because of the Judaizers that were coming behind the apostle and telling his Gentile converts that they couldn’t be saved by Paul’s gospel alone. Just like you’re hearing today, as people are always wanting to add to it. But God will have none of it.
The Judaizers were telling Paul’s converts that they had to embrace Judaism, circumcision, keeping the commandments, and all that. Paul and Barnabas finally make their point. And of course the Spirit of God enlightened Peter and James and John to recognize that, yes, Paul has a ministry all his own to the Gentile world with a whole new program, the Gospel of the Grace of God. All right, so in verse 28 Peter is now rehearsing it to his own church people in Jerusalem.
“For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; 29. That ye abstain from meats offered to idols,…” And so forth. But the word I want you to see is up there in verse 28. That it was the Holy Spirit’s leading to send this decree back to Paul’s Gentile congregations.
All right, let’s move to the next one in chapter 16 verses 6 and 7. Now, we’re moving along through Paul’s journeys, remember. We’re just simply looking where the Holy Spirit comes to the surface all the time. He’s the power from on high as well as that third person of the Godhead, but it’s up to you and me to determine from the text what it is talking about. Is it the power from on high that indwells us, that is within us, or are we dealing with the giver, the person?
Okay, now in chapter 16 Paul is on, I think, his second missionary journey, already. They’re approaching the Aegean Sea from the east, their western Turkey. They had intended to turn and head back east, back to Asia, but the Holy Spirit now makes His appearance. Verse 6:
“Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, (which is up there in central Turkey) and were forbidden of the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.” Person or the gift? The Holy Spirit the person reveals himself now to the apostle and says, no, I don’t want you to go back to Asia. So the Holy Spirit forbids him to preach the word in Asia.
After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: (again going back east along the northern part of Turkey) but the Spirit (the Holy Spirit, the person) suffered (permitted) them not.” We have to understand here that this is the very great difference again between the giver and the gifts. But you can do this on your own as you go on through the New Testament. You just constantly see this reference to the Holy Spirit, always the Pneuma Hagion. But is it the gift, or is it the giver?