EXPOSING THE GREAT 'HOLY SPIRIT'
DECEPTION - Parts One to Seven
by John Aldworth
Published May 5, 2013
Christendom has an obsession with “the Holy Spirit”. According to common belief it is God’s will for people today to be baptised in or with “the Holy Spirit”, kept and sanctified by “the Holy Spirit” and empowered to do miracles by “the Holy Spirit”. Indeed it is often claimed a Christian’s very life is in “the Holy Spirit”. But is this true?
I am going to suggest to you that all this is a deception. For example, a wide majority is convinced that the Comforter Jesus promised He would send in John 14 is the Holy Spirit? But that is not what Jesus said, nor is it what the Bible says. What He actually said was that He would send “…the spirit of truth” and "the Holy Ghost".
Again, almost everybody is utterly convinced that on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2 “the Holy Spirit” was poured out on the apostles thus beginning the “church” which is still in existence today. But, again, this is not what the scripture says. It was not “the Holy Spirit” that was poured out at Pentecost, no church began in Acts chapters one or two and nowhere does the Bible teach that in today’s dispensation of the grace of God and the revelation of the mystery any spirit of God is being poured out on believers in the Pentecostal manner now.
If by now you’re frothing at the mouth and convinced that I’m a heretic, hang in there. As Proverbs 18:13 says: “He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shameful to him”. Decades ago I too would have dammed as a lost sinner anybody that spoke against “the Holy Spirit”; in fact I might well have believed he had committed “the unforgivable sin”. Since then, however, the Lord has shown me much light and I pray this study will shed light for you too.
So stand by for a shock. Not a single verse can be found in the King James Bible to support popular assertions about “the Holy Spirit”. This is because the words “the Holy Spirit”, with a capital H and a capital S, cannot be found in the 1611 Authorised Version, which I hold to be God’s anointed and perfectly preserved word in English, the universal language of today. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself.
So deep is the deception today that even so-called King James Bible believers fall for it. Relevance is an online website supposedly dedicated to promoting to KJB truth. One of its studies is headlined: “Bible verses about The Holy Spirit from the King James Version” when actually the 1611 KJB has no such words in it. The study then lists 10 verses not one of which contains the words “The Holy Spirit” with a capital H and S. Talk about the blind leading the blind!
Where’s the proof of all this? you ask. Well, study the KJV with a concordance like Cruden’s and it will be found that the third person of the Godhead is consistently called “the Holy Ghost” in the N.T., not “the Holy Spirit”. In fact the name “the Holy Ghost” appears 91 times in the New Testament King James Bible text; the words “the Holy Spirit” not once.
To obscure this important distinction Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words gives no definition at all of the word “Ghost” but instead refers the reader to its section on “Spirit”. Here two tricks are played on the unwary. First, Vine baldly states an untruth: that the New Testament uses the Greek word pneuma to mean “the Holy Spirit” which it doesn’t and cites Matt. 4:1 as an example. But Matt. 4:1 actually says that Jesus was “led up of the spirit (small “c” and certainly not ‘the Holy Spirit’ into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil”.
Second, Vine cites Luke 4:18 saying that it refers to “the Holy Spirit” when the verse clearly references “the Spirit of the Lord”, i.e. the Spirit of Christ instead. (If you really want to know the third Person of the Godhead then you will get to know Him as He really is under the titles “the Spirit of the Lord” in the Old Testament and “the Holy Ghost” in the New Testament.)
Then under a subheading entitled The Holy Spirit Vine says:
“The Holy Spirit is spoken of under various titles in the N.T. “Spirit” and “Ghost” are renderings of the same word pneuma; the advantage of the rendering “Spirit” is that it can always be used whereas “Ghost” always requires the word “Holy” prefixed”.
Yes, Mr Vine, “Ghost” does indeed require the word “Holy” prefixed and so it should, it being the proper name of the Spirit of Christ. And neither you, the Revised Version, nor any other modern translation has any valid scriptural ground whatsoever to alter it to “the Holy Spirit” just to make it easier in translation.
Surely our Lord is entitled to decide by what name His Spirit is to be made known to men? And if He chose “Holy Ghost” – and He did – then that should be good enough for all of us.
Now in Phil. 1:10 the saints are urged to approve the things that are excellent” or “the things that differ” (1611 KJB margin note). Clearly then “Holy Ghost” differs from a "holy spirit of God" and that difference should be respected and preserved. That said, it is granted that there are references to the “the Spirit” and to “the holy Spirit of God”, in Eph. 4:30, for example. However, note that in the latter verse the “h” in “holy” is not capitalised and in the original 1611 version neither is “s” in “spirit”.
And it is “thy holy spirit” not “the Holy Spirit” that David asked God not to take from him in Ps. 51:11. He also asked God to uphold him “with thy free spirit” (no capitals). (By the way for the meaning of “free spirit” check out 2 Cor. 3: 17). In other words it was a holy spirit from God that David did not want taken from him; it was not “the Holy Ghost”, still less “the Holy Spirit”.
So what’s in a name? According to God, a great deal. Correct nomenclature may not be important to people who devise concepts of their own and then fiddle with scripture and change names to produce the many modern Bible perversions, but throughout the KJB God insists on being known by His own name and not that of another. For example:
I am the Lord: that is my name and my glory I will not give to another (Isaiah 42:10).
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of Man it shall be forgiven him but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world neither in the world to come.(Matt. 12:32)
Note in the verse above that the sin is against “the Holy Ghost”, not “the Holy Spirit” as many proclaim. Now consider John 14:26 which makes clear who the Comforter is and what name He will use.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
“…in my name”? No wonder then that Paul the Apostle writing later in Rom. 8:9 says:
Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ (capital S, capital C), he is none of his.
The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Christ. But if that’s not proof enough then read Galatians 4:6, which says:
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba Father.
When still on earth Jesus Christ told his disciples that the Comforter He would “send from the Father” (Jn. 15:26) would be “…the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father; He shall testify of Me”. Again, and importantly, here the “Spirit of truth” is not called “the Holy Spirit”.
People commonly talk of “having received the Holy Spirit”. But have they? In 1 Cor. 2:12 Paul states that “…we have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit which is of God”. The Spirit is in view; it is a spirit of, or from, God, but is not a Person. By contrast the Person who speaks and teaches words is named in scripture as “the Holy Ghost”, see 1 Cor. 2:13.
In Acts 2:4 they were filled with “the Holy Ghost”, not “the Holy Spirit” and in Acts 19:6 it was “the Holy Ghost” that came upon the re-baptised Jewish disciples of John, not “the Holy Spirit”.
In Phil. 1:10 saints in the present dispensation of grace and the mystery are urged to approve the things that are excellent” or “the things that differ” (1611 KJB margin note). Clearly “Holy Ghost” differs from “Holy Spirit” and that difference should be respected and preserved. Moreover there’s a very deep and, to the Lord Jesus Christ, a profoundly personal reason as to why. In the gospels we are told that when Jesus died on the cross it He yielded up His "ghost". And in plain English ghost means the spirit of a departed or dead person.
While both “Holy Ghost” and “the spirit of God” are scriptural terms they have different meanings. In `short the “spirit of God” is a spirit sent from God. It is a gift. Just as God gives the breath of life to every human being and animal He also gives a spirit to each man and woman. That is why He is called “the Father of spirits” (Heb. 12:9) and the “the God of the spirits of all flesh” (Num. 16:22, 27:16). In the same way in John 15:26 Jesus promised to send his disciples “the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father”.
By contrast “the Holy Ghost” is always spelt with a capital “H” and “S” in modern King James Bibles. In the 1611 original it was “the holy Ghost”, so named because He really is the Ghost of the Son of God. And that “Ghost” has been speaking with and to man ever since creation. For example, in Acts 28: 25 Paul writes by inspiration:
Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, Saying, Go unto this people and say, Hearing ye shall hear and not understand; and seeing ye shall see and not perceive…”
Now you will not find the term “Holy Ghost” in the Old Testament because although it truly was the Spirit of Christ speaking back then, as the above verse shows, a person’s spirit does not become a “ghost” until his death in the correct meaning of the word.
That is why in the KJB in Mark 15:37 and 39, Luke 23:46, Matt. 27:50 and Jn. 19:30 it is His “ghost” that Jesus yields or gives up at his death. The NIV by contrast in Luke 23:46 says that Jesus “breathed his last”, falsely suggesting that He never breathed or lived again. That, of course, cannot be true, or Christ Jesus would not be alive today, still less be “a quickening Spirit” for others. Remember that the root meaning of “spirit” is that of life or breath. So once again, as so often, the NIV is found to be a liar.
Importantly, then after his ascension to heaven Jesus Christ fulfilled his promise to his disciples by returning as “the Holy Ghost”, the Comforter. And it really was his “Ghost” that came upon the apostles at Pentecost. Consequently, throughout the Book of Acts in the true King James Bible it is always “the Holy Ghost” that acts, never “the Holy Spirit”. When “the Holy Ghost” speaks it is Jesus Himself speaking. When “the Holy Ghost” is “poured out” it is Jesus Christ in person who is received. Thus, speaking of the Pentecostal “baptism with the Holy Ghost” in Acts 3:26, Peter declares:
Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning every one of you away from his iniquities.
While “the Holy Ghost” was poured out at Pentecost it was “the Spirit” that gave them utterance to speak in tongues (Acts 2:4-5), thus denoting a difference between the Giver, “the Holy Ghost”, and that which is given, “the Spirit”. Of course, that Spirit is holy; it comes from God who is holiness personified.
However, once in contact with man the Spirit undergoes change. It may be grieved, quenched, even defiled. This is why our spirit though regenerated needs constant “renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). Un-renewed, unwashed by new birth it can even become an unclean, that is it becomes an unbelieving spirit. Witness Tit. 1:15: “…unto them that are defiled is nothing pure: but even their mind and conscience is defiled”. And, folks, conscience is a function of the spirit.
Thus we see that while the Holy Ghost is always God, being either the Spirit of pre-incarnate Christ, or literally His “Ghost” after His death, the “Spirit” or “a spirit” is his gift and a respectful distinction must be maintained between the two. It is very wrong that modern bibles confuse the two and thus label both “the Holy Ghost” and the spirits of life given by Him as “the Holy Spirit”. Remember that God “…giveth to all life and breath, and all things” (Acts 17:25). Man and every other living creature has been given “the breath of life” (Gen. 6:17, cf 2:7) by “the Lord God”. Would you call the breath of life in a snake “the Holy Spirit”?
Fact is that every human being has received a spirit, and a holy spirit at that, from God at birth. Thus in John 1:9 it is said of Christ:
That was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
John’s meaning is that only Christ has a spirit so holy it can shine forth like a searchlight. Not even John the Baptist, filled though he was with “the holy Ghost even from his mother’s womb” (Luke. 1:15), could hold a candle to the illumination provided by Jesus Christ. “He was not that light but sent to bear witness of that light” John 1:8 says.
Now, if the spirit that God gives us at birth and renews again at conversion could stay and be kept holy by us it would have been pointless for the Apostle Paul to write in 2 Cor. 7:1 that:
Having these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
In 1 Cor. 6:17 the 1611 Authorised Version makes plain that that there is a difference between “the holy Ghost” and the spirit of a man. “He that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit”, it says using the small “s”.
It should be clear by now that there is a difference between the Giver and the Gift of the Holy Ghost. In my view it is blasphemy for a person to say now in 2013 they are “filled with the Holy Ghost”. In the Pentecostal period men were so filled with “the Holy Ghost” that they could do nothing wrong. Every time they witnessed to the truth of Jesus Messiah miracles immediately followed. But those days are long gone. They ended in Acts 28 with the setting aside of Israel and the sending of salvation to the Gentiles. The miraculous filling stopped, the sign gifts of power departed, the gifts of prophecy and tongues ceased as the Apostle Paul pronounced they would (1 Cor. 13:8).
It is true that today we should indeed “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18) but the only way to do so is to have “…heard Him and have been taught by Him as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph. 4:21). And to do that one must come to:
…know the things 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 (1 Cor. 2:12-13).
It’s hard to think of anything more foolish than trying to understand spiritual truths from God by referring to “the Holy Spirit” when according to the Apostle Paul and the King James Bible the only Person who can teach them is “the Holy Ghost”.
EXPOSING THE GREAT ‘HOLY
SPIRIT’ DECEPTION - Part Two
By John Aldworth
Published May 24
You could call it the hoax of the century, except that it has already existed for much longer than that. So subtle and so compelling is the lie that it has duped Christians throughout the world. In fact this untruth has become so universally accepted that today any challenge of it instantly produces a hostile reaction.
Simply put the deception foisted upon believers is that the name of the third Person of the Godhead is “the Holy Spirit” when it is not. In the NT it is “the Holy Ghost”. As said previously in this study series this must be so since it was the “ghost” that Jesus yielded up on the cross and it was his “Holy Ghost” that was poured out on the day of Pentecost and that indwells believers today.
The King James Bible uses the words “the Holy Ghost” 90 times in the New Testament and “the holy Spirit” just once in Luke 11:13 (more on that later). It also uses the words “the Spirit of the Lord” in both the Old and New Testaments.
Importantly, in the Old Testament the proper title used consistently for the third Person of the Godhead is “the Spirit of the Lord”, the “Lord” being Jehovah, the pre-incarnate Christ, who as Elohim is God the Creator but as Jehovah is God in covenant with his creation. Is then “the Holy Ghost” the same as the “the Spirit of the Lord”? Yes, Jesus Himself as much as says so in Mark 12:36:
For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, the Lord said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool.
Compare this with 1 Sam. 16:13 where we read that “the Spirit of the Lord” came upon David from the day that he was anointed by Samuel the prophet. Thus it was “the Spirit of the Lord” which inspired him to write the prophetic psalms. The Apostle Peter also refers to “the Holy Ghost” speaking “by the mouth of David” in Acts 1:16 and in Acts 28: 25 the Apostle Paul writes, “Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers”. Thus the testimony of scripture is clear: “the Spirit of the Lord” and “the Holy Ghost” are the proper names and titles of the third Person of the Godhead, not “the Holy Spirit”.
So, you might ask, why do most Christians persist in calling Him “the Holy Spirit”, when the words in this form cannot be found anywhere in the original 1611 Authorised Version? Answer: Because of a wrong “persuasion” (Gal. 5:8) that “…cometh not from Him who calleth you”.
So powerful is this persuasion it blinds even erudite believing scholars such as Dr Bullinger who, in Appendix 9 to his AV version “Companion Bible”, states that the Hebrew word for spirit ruach is “used of the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity” in no less than 26 scriptures in the Old Testament, starting with 2 Sam. 23:2 and ending with Mal. 2:15.
The problem is that not one of these verses in the AV 1611 mentions “the Holy Spirit”, though admittedly Isa. 63:10 says “they vexed his holy spirit” while others talk of “his spirit”. In the others Ezekiel refers often to “the spirit” but of the 26 scriptures referenced by Dr Bullinger the overwhelming majority refer to “the Spirit of the Lord”, his proper Old Testament title. Blindness is also evidenced by a King James Bible believing website that offers “teaching about the Holy Spirit” citing 10 KJB verses that don’t contain the words “the Holy Spirit”.
What then is the origin of this widespread and erroneous belief that the third Person of the Godhead is “the Holy Spirit”? Answer: The presumption that the divinely preserved word of God in English, the 1611 Authorised Version, can be improved upon by man’s puny wisdom. Thus standing on the textual and translation work of doubting men the Revised Standard Version and the New American Standard Version (NASB), along with other modern translations have thrown out “the Holy Ghost” and replaced him with “the Holy Spirit”.
The result is confusion. The word “spirit”, often used without a capital initial letter in the KJB is used to describe not only the spirits of animals and men given them by God, the manifestation of invisible divine power and the invisible part of man but also spirits that may be either evil or good. All these are spirits that originated from God, in that he gives “life and breath” to all things (Acts 17:25). To sharply distinguish himself from them God has chosen to call his own Spirit, “the Spirit of the Lord” and “the Holy Ghost”, elsewhere referring to it as “my spirit” or “the spirit”.
By substituting “the Holy Spirit” for “the Holy Ghost” modern bibles have actually changed God’s name and opened the door to huge confusion about how God’s Spirit interacts with believers.
Today, given the evidence of widespread charismatic delusion, it is hard to believe that the dispensationally incorrect and unscriptural (in King James Bible terms) Pentecostal obsession could have come about if modern bible version translators had adhered to the time-honoured NT translation of “the Holy Ghost”. All the earlier English Bibles stretching back for hundreds of years, and their true predecessors in other languages, used the words “the Holy Ghost”, not “the Holy Spirit”.
And if you don’t believe the difference matters just compare 1 John 5:7-8 in the King James Bible with the blasphemous, lying, muddled mess the NIV makes of it. In it the NIV deliberately omits the key proof text for the triune Godhead. Both translations are set out below. So you be the judge. Is the original 1611 Authorised Version God’s perfectly preserved word in English or not?
AV 1611: For there are three that beare record in heaven, the Father, the Word and the holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that beare witness in earth, the Spirit, and the Water and the Blood, and these three agree in one.
NIV: For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement.
According to the NIV there is no witness at all in heaven to the truth of the coming of Jesus Christ because the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost have been ripped out of the sacred text. Verse seven has been dropped completely and this mutilation is covered up by splitting verse 8 into 7 and 8 in the NIV verse numbering.
In the King James Bible the first reference to “the Holy Ghost” is in Mat. 1:18: where we learn that Mary was “found with child of the Holy Ghost”. Subsequent scriptures promise that Israel will be given “the Holy Ghost”, which is also called “the Spirit” (see John 7:39). However, with the one exception already mentioned, the words “the Holy Spirit” do not appear in the King James Bible New Testament.
What’s more there is an important difference between the original 1611 Authorised Version and the later 1769 Oxford Standard Version of the King James Bible commonly used today. The 1611 AV says: “the gift of the holy Spirit”. The Oxford alters this to “the gift of the Holy Spirit”, incorrectly implying that it is the third Person of the Godhead that is given. It is not. God in fact gives a spirit, or life to all beings. In that they come from him such spirits or lives are holy but they are not “the Holy Ghost” and, most certainly, not the full Spirit of Christ, He who “filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:23).
One swallow does not a summer make. And one verse referring to “the Holy Spirit” does not prove this is the proper title of the third Person of the Godhead. Every word must be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses or it is false doctrine.
John 7:39 clearly teaches that throughout the period recorded by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the “Holy Ghost was not yet given because that Jesus was not yet glorified”. Thus there was no “Holy Ghost” available to be received by believers until the Lord “yielded up the ghost” at his death. It is this same “Holy Ghost” that was poured out on the Day of Pentecost.
By definition a ghost in ordinary human understanding is an apparition, “the merest semblance or shadow of a dead person”, according to Collins Dictionary. However, while human ghosts are the figment of overstrained imaginations, “the Holy Ghost” is the real tangible ghost of Jesus Christ, the only man thus far to come back from, the dead. It is also the proper name of the third Person of the Godhead.
The Greek word pneuma is translated in scripture variously as life, wind and spirit. It is found in English in the word “pneumatology”, which Collins Dictionary defines as “the doctrine of spiritual existences, the doctrine of the Holy Ghost”. Historically this Person has never been known as “the Holy Spirit” for the simple reason that any spirit given by God is “a holy spirit” at its giving. When God gave life and breath to all living creatures and breathed life into man it was “a holy spirit” that he gave.
Whether such a spirit stays holy or not depends upon what the human recipient does with it and Rom. 3:23 is clear: All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Consequently, the spirit of any man or woman today will be unholy. Now to emphasise that His personal Spirit is very different and always holy, God names it “the Holy Ghost”.
The great “Holy Spirit” hoax denies this and muddies the waters by asserting that people can “receive the Holy Spirit” as a second work of sanctification and thereby become holy in their own spirit. Not so. The glory of God is, among other things, that it is He alone who is holy. In Isaiah 42:8 “the Lord” states emphatically that: “I am the Lord: that is my name and my glory I will not give to another”. But the modern bible perversions have given his name to another, to “another spirit” to be precise, as Paul warned they would in 2 Cor. 11:4.
The light of all this has an important bearing on “present truth”. Accordingly, we pose the question: What is the “one Spirit” of Ephesians 4:4-6? Many would maintain it is “the Holy Spirit” but the King James Bible does not say so. In fact the 1611 original King James Bible states that it is “one spirit” with a small “s”, while giving a capital “F” to “Faith” and a capital “B” to “Baptism” in the context.
Why so, you ask? The answer is that in order to have the “one spirit” one must have the dispensationally correct right “Faith” and the right “Baptism”. This is because here in Ephesians we are in the dispensation of the mystery (Eph. 3:1-4) and it is a very different calling to that of both the Acts period Pentecostal dispensation and that of the gospel period that preceded it. Consequently the body of doctrinal truth, “the Faith” differs from that of the preceding Acts period Church of God teaching, and so does the “Baptism”.
This is why in the original 1611 King James Bible the initial letter of “Baptisme” carries a capital, as does the “Circumcision of Christ”. By making this distinction the King James translators recognised that both “the Circumcision made without hands” and the “Baptisme”, were entirely works of God that were not dependent on the cooperation of the believers. Remember, we are saved “by grace… through faith … it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8-9). In sharp contrast success in keeping the “one spirit” in Eph. 4:3, as we are instructed by the apostle to do, depends very much on how much each believer is willing to grow in truth.
Importantly, when “Baptisme” is mentioned in Col. 2:12 the word is denoted by an initial capital, thus firmly tying this very real “present truth” spiritual experience to the “one Baptisme” of Eph. 4:5. The verses in the AV 1611 read:
Buried with him in Baptisme, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead.
One Lord, one Faith, one Baptisme.
“Baptisme” here is given a capital “B” in the 1611 KJB to distinguish it from the water baptism practised in the Acts and from any attempt to produce pseudo Pentecostal experiences of being “baptised with the Holy Ghost”
What then is the one spirit of Eph. 4:4-6? I believe that it is the “unity of the Spirit” referred to in verse 3. Saints called in the “one hope of your calling” (see Eph. 1:22-23 and Phil. 3:14) are to keep this unity “in the bond of peace”. Clearly then the “one Spirit” is something that must be “kept” collectively by the believers of this calling. It is not “the Holy Spirit” because, as stated in the first part of this study series, no such words are found in the AV 1611 in that form. Nor is it “the Holy Ghost”, which words appear 90 times in the KJB New Testament.
It is in fact a spirit given and granted only to those chosen by God to be members of the heavenly mystery calling which is why even believers saved in the Acts period knew nothing of it. This is why the Apostle Paul prayed in Eph. 1:17:
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened that ye may know what is the hope of His calling and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.
And what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.
If scripture is to be believed, and it is, then this is a spirit (note the small “s”) given by God. It is not God Himself, who as the third Person of the Godhead, is always named as “the Holy Ghost” in the King James Bible New Testament. Mark well that in the 1611 King James Bible the third Person of the Godhead is never called “the Holy Spirit”.
This has to be true because the “unity of the Spirit” produced by willing receipt of and trust in the “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:17) is of course “that good thing” which was committed unto Timothy (2 Tim. 1:14) and which he was instructed to “…keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us”.
Now, if the “good thing” is “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” given Timothy and other faithful believers by the Father then obviously it cannot be the same spirit as “the Holy Ghost” who indwells us to help us to “keep” it.
Furthermore, as stated in Part One of this study series, God is the “Father of spirits” (Heb. 12:9). He is the “the God of the spirits of all flesh” (Num. 27:16). That means men and women, animals, birds and reptiles too. And each case their spirit is given a small “s”.
This is said to underline the importance of distinguishing the Giver from the gift. God giveth life and breath to all things. He breathed “the breath of life” into Adam and has been breathing life into mankind ever since. The life, the spirit that is, that He imparts is holy since it comes from Him. But if we sin, and we all have, then it doesn’t stay holy. It becomes defiled.
The first mistake of most believers, so called “Pentecostals” in particular, is to replace the name of “the Holy Ghost”, which is the Spirit of Christ Himself, with the unscriptural term “the Holy Spirit”. The second is to then fail to distinguish the promptings of “the Holy Ghost” from those of their own error-prone human spirits.
Consequently suggestions of their own imagination are treated as “something the Holy Spirit said”. The end result of this unscriptural self-deception is a false sense of assurance of being in God’s will and purpose. Usually there is also a false hope – that of going to heaven without believing the mystery truth of the Pauline prison epistles revelation which right now in God’s purposes is the only actual gateway to heaven. You see, scripturally speaking, only those chosen “before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4) and following Paul in the “high calling” (Phil 3:14) will qualify to join the Lord in glory at His appearing in the highest heaven (Col. 3:3-4).
The Pentecostal errors, and many others rife in the professing church concerning “the Holy Ghost”, all stem from a refusal to trust the AV 1611 and to rightly divide the word of truth (2 Tim. 2:15) and to recognise the clearly marked differences between the Pentecostal calling of the Church of God in Acts, which will find its resurrection destiny on earth, and that of “the church which is His body” (Eph. 1:22-23), which very differently is looking for Christ’s appearing in heavenly glory (Titus 2:13).
Returning to Eph. 4:4, it can be stated categorically that the “one Spirit” given to unite the church which is His body, is not “the Holy Ghost” and, certainly, it is not one of the various spiritual gifts given by the Holy Ghost during the Acts period. They were all withdrawn at the end of the Book of Acts.
Just what this spirit is in the mystery grace dispensation is clearly stated in Eph. 1:17: as set out above. It is a spirit given and granted by the Father specifically to cause believers called and chosen to be members of the heavenly body of Christ to understand all the marvels of their heavenly destiny. Hence the strong emphasis on the doctrine this spirit teaches as found in both in Eph. 1:18-23 and Eph. 4:1-4.
To keep “the unity of the Spirit”, as the Apostle Paul urges us to do in Eph. 4:3, believers must be in agreement with the seven-fold doctrine of the “one body” as set out in verses four to six. This mandates, for example, that there be only one Baptisme. This Baptisme is unique to the mystery grace dispensation and is a spiritual Baptisme administered solely by God. It is described this way in Col. 2:10-12 in the 1611 original:
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. In whom also ye are circumcised with the Circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the Circumcision of Christ. Buried with him in Baptisme, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.”
This Baptisme “through the operation of God” is neither water baptism, nor the “baptism with the Holy Ghost” experienced by believers in the Acts period. Both of those baptisms ended with the setting aside of Israel in Acts 28. The “Baptisme” is in fact, as verse 12 teaches us, the spiritual reality of our Baptisme by God into the resurrection of Christ. In personal spiritual experience this means that God has so made us spiritually one with Christ’s resurrection that we truly know that “we are risen with Him” (Col. 2:12).
In the same way “Circumcision” has a capital “C” to indicate that it too is a work entirely done by God in ridding us of “the body of the sins of the flesh”. Trusting that God has already performed this operation in our lives results in a growing conviction not only that we have been “forgiven all trespasses” (Col. 2:13) but also that we are free from the guilt, power and temptation to sin.
This is why Paul with great confidence urges us to “mortify your members which are upon the earth” in terms of ceasing all “fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence and covetousness, which is idolatry (Col. 3:5). He knows that, thanks to the God-given Faith, Baptism and Circumcision we have been given, we are now empowered to do so.
For the same reason he can tell us, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth”, knowing that “through the faith of the operation of God” (Col. 212) we have the authority from God’s word to do so.
A further reason that “Faith” in Eph. 4:5 has a capital “F” is to underline the fact that the body of mystery grace truth found in the prison epistles, Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon is entirely of Divine origin. It was made known to the Apostle Paul by the direct and personal revelation of Christ Jesus and written for our benefit by the apostle during his imprisonment at Rome.
It is a pity that publishers of modern King James Bibles have failed to retain the translators’ original capitals because they teach that while the Faith (i.e. the mystery revelation doctrine), the Baptism and the Circumcision are entirely of God, the “one spirit” of Eph. 4:4 with its small “s” is actually a spirit that having been given by God through his truth has to be kept by man.
Kept, that is, in the same sense that Adam was to “keep” the Garden of Eden that had been planted by God. Hence it is a serious error to describe the “one spirit” as “the Holy Spirit”, if by that is meant the third Person of the Godhead who in any case should be properly addressed as “the Holy Ghost”.
That this is so is evidenced in the words of the original 1611 KJB in Eph. 4:3-4 where believers in the mystery calling are told they should be “…endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one spirit …”
The Spirit referred to here is the “spirit of truth” which is also the “spirit of wisdom and knowledge in the revelation of him (the Father). Note also, however, that “body” and “spirit” have a small “b” and “s” because both are dependent upon the believers’ response to the wonders of grace that God has worked and revealed through the Spirit.
You see, unless the seven doctrinal statements in Eph. 4: 4-6 are held by believers as absolute “present truth” there can be no “unity of the Spirit”. Similarly, unless believers grow up into the Head which is Christ Jesus “in all things”, meaning all the truths of the mystery revelation, the body cannot make increase “through the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4:8-10)
Thus the one body and the one spirit go together. This is because they are the joint human response to and expression of the unity that already has been provided by the Spirit, i.e. “the Holy Ghost”, who is the Spirit of Christ. This unity is a doctrinal unity achieved through understanding and belief of the “Faith”, that is the body of teaching of Paul the prisoner, described in 2 Tim. 1:13 as “the form of sound words”. It is described in Eph. 4:13 as “the unity of the faith”.
Thus the “one spirit” is the bond of fellowship that results when members of the heavenly Body of Christ rejoice in believing these truths together. EXPOSING THE GREAT HOLY
EXPOSING THE GREAT 'HOLY
SPIRIT' DECEPTION - Part Three
By John Aldworth
Published June 3 2013
Hold fast the firm of sound words which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee, keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us (2 Tim.1:13-14).
Christendom today believes the third Person of the Godhead should be named “the Holy Spirit” but this is not the teaching of history, nor that of God’s infallible word, the 1611 Authorised Version.
The King James Bible uses the term “the Holy Ghost” and so do all the earlier English bibles The current commonly used Oxford Standard 1769 edition of the King James Bible uses the term “holy Spirit” with a small “h” only six times, while “the Holy Spirit” (capital H) is found just once in Luke 11:13. But in the original 1611 King James Bible Luke 11:13 refers to the “the holy Spirit” with a small “h”. Thus in the 1611 original there is no reference at all to “the Holy Spirit”.
The issue is important, being one of both false teaching and bible corruption. The NKJV, NIV, NASB, RSV and others have thrown out the “the Holy Ghost”. However, in keeping with the revived pagan belief that the souls, essence or spirits of people live on after death, they accommodate human “ghosts” in their bibles.
For example, when the disciples saw Jesus walking on the lake in Matt. 14:25-27 in the King James Bible “…they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit, and they cried out for fear”. However, in the NIV: “It’s a ghost they said, and cried out in fear”.
When in Luke 24:37-39 Jesus appears to his disciples after his resurrection, the KJB says: “But they were terrified and affrighted and supposed they had seen a spirit.” By contrast the NIV says: “They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost”.
In reality there is no such thing as a human ghost on earth since at death the spirit, or life, of a person returns to God who gave it (Eccl. 12:7) and the body returns to the dust from which it was made and the soul along with it. Man “hath not power to retain the spirit” (Eccl. 8:8). And, once dead “the dead know not anything” (Eccl. 9:5).
The truth is that there is only one Ghost – that of Jesus Christ Himself. He is in fact the only revenant (French for a “ghost” that returns after death) in all of human history. That is why his Spirit is referred to as “the Holy Ghost” in the KJB. And “Ghost” is the right term because the word is derived from an ancient Germanic word meaning “a supernatural being”. This passed into Old English as gastein, to frighten and in Middle English became gast. Thus today we are aghast when shocked or frightened. When gast borrowed the “gh” from the Dutch gheest it became ghost.
So, for most of its linguistic life Ghost has meant God, that is, a supernatural Spirit whose appearance caused human beings to be frightened and the Bible is replete with examples of this. See Mat 14:26-27, 28:4 and Rev. 1:17. And Ghost, meaning God, was used in all early English bibles.
Thus in Wycliffe’s translation of 1395: “And the Hooli Goost cam doun in bodili shap…” (Luke 3:22). Not until the 14th century did the meaning of ghost as God give way to modern meaning of “a disembodied spirit” that after death appears to living men and women. Needless to say, there is no scientific proof that phantoms from the grave haunt mankind. But undoubtedly evil spirits, devils, do.
Belief in ghosts as the spirits of the departed dead is ancient but has hugely increased worldwide in recent times. Always a feature of pagan belief, it was only eradicated among the earliest Bible believers when they clung doggedly to the very letter of the sacred word. Such saints believed that, “The soul that sinneth it shall die” (Ezek. 18:4) and in the words of Jesus in Matt. 10:28, “Fear him that is able to destroy both body and soul in hell”, hell here meaning the grave.
The Bible clearly teaches that those who die still rejecting the gospel are lost. They “perish” and are “destroyed”. They live no longer. Yet the world and much of Christendom believes in “ghosts”; holding that the souls or spirits of unbelieving sinners live on after their death. They thus believe in a supposed “immortal soul” which at death is despatched either to heaven or hell. But this not taught in the KJB nor can a verse be found to support it.
What’s more, exchanging “the Holy Ghost” for “the Holy Spirit” has persuaded many to wrongly believe that by receiving this “Holy Spirit” they are made holy now and that both their spirit and soul thus “sanctified” will automatically qualify to go to heaven at the end of their life.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Consider the case of the Apostle Paul. If ever a saved man had a “sanctified” spirit it was Paul. Yet in Phil. 3:12 he writes:
Not as though I had already attained or were perfect but I follow after if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus”.
Paul had known more of the workings of the Holy Ghost than anyone alive today. Through his hands in the Acts period the dead were raised to life and thousands were healed. Yet here in his letter to the Philippians he confesses he is not yet in a fit state to go to heaven. What was needed to fit him for glory, you ask? In vs. 10 onwards he tells us it is:
Knowing the power of his resurrection.
Experiencing the fellowship of his sufferings.
Being made conformable to his death.
The Bible teaches that on the cross Jesus Christ “poured out his soul unto death” (Isa. 53:12). In other words He died and his soul died also. To put it another way, as “a living soul” (Gen. 2:7) Christ ceased to exist. In reality man is a living soul, rather than having a soul. But all down history he has been so self centred, so self preoccupied he sees his soul as a separate part of himself. But it is our soul that we have to die to if we are to become part of the “one new man”, the new creation.
It is a faithful saying: For if we are dead with Him we shall also live with Him (2 Tim. 2:11).
Only by being quickened and by learning to live in the “inner man”, not the body-conscious, world-conscious soul, can we be “made conformable unto his death” and thus apprehend that for which we have been apprehended. This is why we need to be “strengthened with might by his Spirit (i.e. the Father’s Spirit) in the inner man”. It is also why, having been saved by the “washing of regeneration” (Titus 3:5) we need the ongoing “renewing of the Holy Ghost”, not a “Holy Spirit”. Receiving varied emotional experiences supposedly from “the Holy Spirit” won’t cut it.
It will come as a shock to many in Christendom to learn that the concept of a soul within that cannot die first became “church doctrine” only in the 2nd century. Of course, the idea that souls “live on” after death and are either eternally tormented in fire or alternately rewarded with comfort in another world was taught in ancient Greece and Egypt for thousands of years before Christ came. However, it was Athenogoras, a Christian whose teachings, according to the Encyclopaedia Britannica were strongly influenced by Platonism, who introduced the concept of “an ever living soul” to the church.
Fact is that, ignoring and defying the clear teaching of scripture to the contrary, the theories of Plato (427-347BC) and other heathen philosophers were injected into the professing church. According to an internet posting, The Origin of Hell-Fire in Christ Teaching, by 187AD phrases such as “perpetual existence”, “continuance of being” and man’s “immortal nature” were appearing widely in so-called Christian writings.
Inevitably this false idea of “an immortal soul” led to the teaching of an eternal place of punishment. Thus about 240AD Tertullian of Carthage proclaimed the further falsehood that lost sinners suffered endless fiery torment as a parallel to the equally wrong concept that the saved enjoyed eternal blessedness immediately upon death. Actually the wicked either sleep “a perpetual sleep” (Jer. 51, 39, 57) or are consumed by fire (Is. 66:24, Rev. 20:15)
But all this was nothing new. Such fables been taught in ancient Greek and Egyptian religion for thousands of years before Christ. And they are still widely taught in churches today, despite not a single scripture being found to support them. Despite Paul’s warning to “beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit” (Col. 2:8) Christendom began to blend Greek philosophy, based on godless pagan, intellectual speculation with God’s word not long after the Apostle’s death.
Christians talked of “the immortal soul”, though such words are not found in scripture. To the contrary Jesus Christ said “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul” (Mat. 16:26). Our Lord spoke truth. In sharp contrast the lie of “perpetual existence” for mankind was first voiced by the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
(God said) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it for in the day that thou eatest of it thou shalt surely die (Gen. 2:17)
(The serpent said) Ye shall not surely die. (Gen 3:4).
From Eden onwards the lie of belief in an immortal soul runs throughout human and church history. According to David Green of the Inter-Varsity Fellowship New Zealand, it was strongly taught in the professing Christian church by the neo-Platonist Clement about 220AD and then by his pupil Origen about 254AD. Their thinking won the day against other church fathers such as Novatian (about 280) and Arnobius (330) who upheld the teaching of the Apostles and Jesus that both soul and body die at death and that immortality only comes to believers through the resurrection.
Those who poisoned Christendom with Platonic “soul immortality” and eternal punishment in hell or purging in purgatory include Tertullian (240), Cyprian (258), Chrysostom (407) and Augustine (died 430AD). Augustine wrote a book giving 16 reasons for soul immortality and his theology became standard for the Catholic Church and through Calvin for Calvinism thus infecting much of Protestantism. Though no scripture can be found for it, these men and others taught that at death souls were judged and sent either to heaven or hell. In popular belief this theology gave rise to the idea that souls who had been wronged in this life came back to haunt their oppressors and murderers.
In sharp contrast John Wyclif, the Waldenses, John Huss, Martin Luther and William Tyndale were firm believers in the Bible truth that the wicked indeed received everlasting punishment (i.e. punishment that lasts for ever in that it is final and irrevocable) but they did not believe in continuing or “eternal punishment”. What’s more they did not believe in the immortality of the soul. Why should they when 1 Tim. 6:16 clearly teaches that to date only the Lord Jesus Christ has received immortality. The saved are still in their graves awaiting theirs.
Sadly, the legacy of these stalwarts for truth and that of the 1611 Authorised Version is spurned by the slew of modern bible translations which without exception introduce human ghosts while at the same time, perversely changing “the Holy Ghost” into “the Holy Spirit”, thus making the third Person of the Godhead an anonymous spirit, rather than “the Holy Ghost” of Jesus Christ.
By using the words’ “the Holy Spirit” modern bibles blur the proper scriptural distinction between God’s own Spirit, “the Holy Ghost”, and spirits given by Him. The latter include the “spirit of love, power and a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7) and the “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:17). Today in grace the purpose of such “gift” spirits is to enable believers to understand “the form of sound words” given to the Apostle Paul, “the prisoner of the Lord”.
Importantly, it is the extent to which such mystery truth is studied and believed that determines the presence and activity of such spirits within each believer. Thus 2 Tim. 2:15 urges:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
And in Col. 3:16 the apostle commands:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…”
In contrast to this church teaching based on modern bibles holds that all that is necessary is to be led and guided by “the Holy Spirit”. He, they say, will lead you “into all truth” without the need for intensive Bible study. But being led by the Comforter into all truth was specific teaching for the Acts period Church of God, not for believers in the current dispensation of grace and the mystery (Eph. 3:1-4). The revelation of grace and mystery truth was written in letters printed in our bibles. Further, it is widely believed that the presence of “the Holy Spirit” within in and of itself makes a person holy, if not infallible. In the Pentecostal deception so widespread today so called “prophets” have been known to berate critics of their utterings by saying, “How dare you contradict the Holy Spirit?”
And, if individual holiness “from the Holy Spirit” is not enough, then sweeping movements “of the Spirit” at mass meetings can also make believers “more holy”, it is believed.
A very different approach to godliness is set out in Phil. 1:27:
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ; that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
Here there is no mention of “the Holy Spirit”. The “one spirit” referred to is not “the Holy Spirit”, nor is it the scripturally correct “Holy Ghost”. It is the product of “one mind”, the agreed thinking of believers who having studied the “form of sound words” are together convinced of its truth. It is the same as the “one spirit” of Eph. 4:4 – a bond of love and understanding which is forged through Bible study together by members of Christ’s Body, called in the “high calling” (Phil. 3:14).
Thus we see how important it is to separate the gifts from the Giver, “the Holy Ghost” who is Christ Himself and through the Word of God to “divide asunder” soul and spirit (Heb. 4:12), thus “discerning the thoughts and intents of the heart”. Modern bible church teaching says that this work of discerning is done “by the Holy Spirit”. But scripture says, “..the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword”. You see it isn’t “the Holy Ghost” that is a sword; rather the “sword of the Spirit” is the word of God.
It is no coincidence that the widespread “Holy Spirit” craze all but ended bible study groups, courses and colleges in the churches it affected. Time was when most everybody took a bible to church. Today by and large a verse or two on the screen is as good as it gets. Thirty years ago most everybody read the King James Bible; today scarcely anybody does.
All this is a result of confusing the gift with the Giver thanks to the wrong translation of “the Holy Spirit”. To Bible believers the importance of this difference is clearly shown in 2 Tim.1:13-14:
Hold fast the firm of sound words which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee, keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
The “good thing” which was committed unto Timothy was the “gift of God which is in thee by the putting on of my hands” (2 Tim. 1:6). It was “…the spirit of power, love and a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Notice that this spirit given by God has a small “s”. Why? Because its effectiveness is determined by the extent to which a believer walks in it. Timothy is told to “keep that good thing … by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us”.
Clearly the indwelling of “the Holy Ghost” is unconditional as is our being “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13), miscalled “the promised Spirit” in the NIV. But, of course, this important distinction is largely obliterated when the words “the Holy Ghost” are changed to “the Holy Spirit”.
EXPOSING THE GREAT HOLY
SPIRIT DECEPTION - Part Four
By John Aldworth
Published June 20, 2013
Heb. 4:12: For the word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Ever wondered why there needs to be a “dividing asunder of soul and spirit” and why only the word of God can effect such a separation? The answer is relevant to the Great Holy Spirit Deception of our time.
The Apostle Paul wrote the above verse, fearing Hebrews might miss out on “entering into his rest” (Heb. 4:1) because of unbelief. He was afraid they would again “refuse him who speaketh from heaven”. He urged them to “labour to enter in” by both hearing and believing the gospel of the earthly kingdom and Christ’s resurrection preached unto them in the Acts period.
However, while Hebrews is definitely a Jewish epistle, meaning that it is written for Israelites not Gentiles, the principle of Heb. 4:12 found in it also applies to Gentile believers in the “high calling” (Phil. 3:14). In fact it is a trans-dispensational truth. The word of God will always “divide asunder soul and spirit”.
Indeed it does just that when we consider the word “soul” and rightly divide Paul’s later prison epistles from his earlier letters to the predominantly Jewish Church of God in Acts. Doing so, we find the word “soul” in Romans, Corinthians 1 and 2 and Thessalonians but not in the unprophesied “present truth” epistles of Ephesians through to Philemon.
The difference is important because it signifies a change both in God’s dealings with mankind and in the way the Holy Ghost ministers to us. In failing to acknowledge such a change Christendom clings to the Pentecostal form of the Spirit’s ministry, believing the wrongly named “Holy Spirit” is still poured out to fill believers today.
The question is: Why would soul be missing in the “form of sound words” given the Apostle Paul for us Gentiles? The answer is that an important meaning of soul is life. And for those called in the current mystery dispensation, it is Christ “who is our life”. (Col. 3:4) and who will continue to be our life when we appear with Him in glory in the highest heaven. Put simply, we should live in Him and for Him, not ourselves. Like Paul we should say: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21).
Ours then is a heavenly calling and the truth is that our passport to it is found exclusively in the prison epistles of Paul. However, there is also an earthly calling, the prophetic truth concerning which is found in the Old Testament, the gospels and Paul’s Acts period epistles. Saints in this now superseded calling hoped for resurrection into God’s kingdom on earth in the future Day of the Lord and expected to have a life or soul of their own. Accordingly, in 1 Thess. 5:23 Paul prays for such believers that:
Your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Contrast this with Paul’s statement in 2 Tim. 4:18 that:
“…the Lord will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom”
Paul’s calling in the latter verse is clear. He is looking to appear with Christ when Christ appears in his heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. 4:1, Titus 2:13). He is certain that his identity - “me” - will be preserved in resurrection to that heavenly place. Notably, however, he makes no mention of his soul being preserved. This is because, for Paul, as for us, our “life” is hid with Christ in God. In other words our life will be in Him, not in our own soul.
Contrast this with the second coming calling of 1 Thess. 5:23 in which each believer will be resurrected on earth, each with a life and soul of his or her own. This is in keeping with much Old Testament and other prophetic scripture. Ps.66:9 speaks of “God which holdeth our soul in life”, and in Acts 4:32 the multitude “were of one heart and soul”.
In Rom. 2:6-9 we learn that God will render to every man according to his deeds, “…tribulation and anguish on every soul of man that doeth evil”. James 5:20 says that “…he that converteth a sinner from the error of his ways shall save a soul from death…” The soul is also used to describe a whole person in Jas. 1:21, saying: “…receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save your souls”.
However, there is no saving of souls and not even a mention of the word soul, in the prison epistles. This is because in the dispensation of grace God’s purpose is not to preserve our individual souls but rather that we should find ourselves incorporated in Christ, as “members of his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:23).
This is why in Phil. 3:8-9 Paul counts the loss of all things but dung “that I may win Christ and be found in him”. Does the “loss of all things” include Paul’s life and soul? I believe it does, since in Phil. 1:21 he says: “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain”.
Heb. 4:12 says that “the word of God (is) piercing to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit”. We can experience that for ourselves if we comply with Paul’s instruction to Timothy to:
Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee. (1 Tim. 4:16).
Notice first that no saving of the soul is in view here. Rather Timothy is told that in “rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15) and heeding the doctrine taught in the prison epistles “thou shalt save thyself”. What is to be saved then is one’s identity, not one’s life or soul.
When the word of God “divides asunder” soul from spirit, the soul is found to contain our human and, sadly, often selfish mind, will and emotions, or feelings (By contrast the spirit is that by which we “know” ourselves (1 Cor. 2:11); thus the regenerated spirit’s faculties are thought to include intuition, communion and worship by which we discern, hear from God and love and obey him). Let us look at these faculties in detail:
Mark well that it is only in the mystery revelation scriptures that each aspect of the soul (as outlined above) is replaced by a faculty of Christ. Accordingly those in the “high calling” (Phil. 3:14) are told to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5).
And this we can do because we have been given “the spirit of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). This “sound mind” must be that of Christ Himself, since, in the last analysis his is the only human, fully comprehensive, balanced and therefore “sound mind” in existence. However, we should realise that we receive his thinking only by revelation through “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph. 1:17).
Importantly, we must not confuse our own soulish thinking with that of the mind of Christ; rather we must “divide them asunder”. A humanistic, intellectual interpretation of scripture is favoured in many churches and among those who attend them. But “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14). A sharp intellect can be useful bible study tool, but in the end the true meaning of scripture will only come by revelation as we wait on the Lord. His ways are higher than our ways and his thinking on a loftier plane than our soulish interpretations.
Now not long ago I would have quoted 1 Cor. 2:16 “But we have the mind of Christ” and applied it to the Acts period believers. However, the context precludes such a meaning. The “we” in the verse actually refers to the epistle’s writers, Paul and Sosthenes and perhaps others of his teaching team. They had the mind of Christ but, as is evident from their carnality and attack on Paul, most of the Acts period saints did not. Twice, in Rom. 11:34 and in 1 Cor. 2:16, Paul had to remind them, “Who hath known the mind of the Lord?” because although he and his team did know the Lord’s mind, at least to a considerable extent, those he was writing to did not. The use of “we” and “us” in verses 6,7, 10, 12 and 13 shows that it was Paul and his fellow preachers who are the “we” who have the mind of Christ in the context, and no one else.
If we now apply right division to 1 Cor. 2:16, we of the mystery calling should see that we are not even in the Corinthian audience Paul is addressing. Nor, of course, are we part of Paul’s Acts period ministry team. Actually, as members of the “fulness body” (Eph. 1:22-23) we can only find doctrine directly applicable to us in the “present truth” of the prison epistles.
And looking there we find that God our Father has “abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence” (Eph. 1:8) and that the Apostle Paul has prayed that the Father may give us “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Eph. 1:17). Therefore “the eyes of our understanding (are) enlightened that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints”. Here in the mystery then we only have to “let the word of Christ dwell in (us) richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another...” (Col. 3:16). When we do, we truly experience his thinking, not ours. He is the “Head” and consequently should do our thinking for us.
In the mystery teaching, just as the soul’s “mind” aspect is replaced by the mind of Christ, so the soul’s will is also superseded by the will of God. Thus Phil. 2:13 unequivocally states:
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
The will, of course, has to do with obedience. In verse 12 believers are told to obey in Paul’s absence by working “out their own salvation with fear and trembling”. And in verse 14 we are urged to do all things without murmurings and disputings. Other prison epistle scriptures also point up the importance of exchanging our soulish will for the “perfect” will of God. They include Eph. 1:5 and 9, 5:17, 6:6 and 7 and Col. 1:9. Evidently it is God’s will that we should “…stand perfect and complete in all the will of God” (Col. 4:12). When we do we find our own soulish will has ceased to exist.
Feelings run the lives of many people, sometimes driving them to do things they later regret. Equally soulish feelings hold people back from doing that which they know they should do. Yet, strangely, in Eph. 4:18 we are told that unsaved Gentiles:
…being alienated from the life of God (are) past feeling.
Clearly then there are right feelings and wrong ones. God wants us to exchange our soulish feelings for the love of Christ. Paul longed after the Philippian believers “in the bowels of Jesus Christ”, that is in the very heart of Christ. In other words he loved the Philippians as much as Christ loved them. Accordingly, in Phil. 2:1 he asks:
If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy that ye be like minded, being of the same love, being of one accord of one mind ”.
Col. 3:12 urges:
Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels or mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering. Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against an, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
If our soulish mind, will and emotions are replaced by the thinking, will and love of Christ, then truly our life is in Him. Accordingly, in the prison epistles a sharp line is drawn between Gentiles who are “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1) and those “quickened together with Christ” (Eph. 2:8). This difference is further underlined in Eph. 4:18-19 where unsaved Gentiles are described as:
Having the understanding darkened being, alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.
However, believers in the grace dispensation are not alienated from life in God. Although positionally we are “dead”, Christ is indeed our life, and this life “is hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3). Already we are “risen with Christ” (Col. 3:1) and have “the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 1:1). This experience comes because we have acknowledged the now revealed truth of the mystery and the new and different gospel sent as “salvation” to Gentiles in Acts 28:28. In 2 Tim. 1:10 this gospel is said to have been:
“... made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel”.
The “appearing” here is Christ’s appearing as Saviour to Gentiles. This is described in Acts 28:28 as the “salvation of God … sent to the Gentiles”. Consequently the gospel referred to is indeed good news, since it brings hope of life and immortality direct to Gentiles for the first time. Hitherto Gentiles had only been able to have a hope of resurrection by being baptised into Israel, described in 1 Cor. 15:29 as being “baptised for the dead”. According to Eph. 2:12 we Gentiles were in “time past” until this salvation was sent to us. And in time past we were:
…without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope (of life that now is or of that to come, see 1Tim. 4:8), and without God in the world.
Can you see the difference? Until this new gospel was preached Gentiles who did not join Israel were dead and cut off without hope. After the pronouncement of Acts 28, however, Christ appears as “salvation” to all Gentiles to bring them life now and hope of immortality to come. This new gospel, preached to them by Jesus Himself (Eph. 2:17), is characterised as one which brings “life and immortality to light”.
This gospel then offers life and a hope of immortality that was not proclaimed before. This “life” is in Christ, hid in God, but it is not in the soul. That is why there is no mention of “soul” in the prison epistles.
In today’s mystery grace dispensation then, life for the believer in the “high calling” is “hid in Christ” and will be made manifest along with each grace-saved believer at “his appearing” (Col. 3:3-4). Sadly this thrilling truth is wholly obscured for most people by the great Holy Spirit deception which incorrectly asserts, as we will show, that “the Holy Spirit” operates on the soul to make it holy and, so sanctified and without a scripture to support asserts that the soul then goes to heaven. Consider these examples drawn from three major streams in Christendom:
CATHOLIC TEACHING: “When a person is confirmed they receive the Holy Spirit in their soul. In Acts they laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. This laying on of hands is the origin of (the Catholic rite) of confirmation. The Holy Spirit comes to strengthen and encourage us and gives us the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord.” Foundational Catholic philosopher/theologian Thomas Aquinas opined: “The soul can subsist without the body. Since the knower becomes what he knows the soul is definitely not corporeal”.
CALVINIST TEACHING: “Regeneration consists in a new spiritual, supernatural, vital principle infused into the soul … by the power of the Holy Spirit…” (John Owen).
PENTECOSTAL TEACHING (The Assemblies of God): “Every person has an eternal soul that will spend eternity in heaven or hell and that all will be conscious of their final state.” Holiness Pentecostal Church: “The soul joins God in heaven and waits for the culmination of time when Jesus comes back.”
But none of this is what Jesus said in the gospels. Nor is it what Paul teaches in the prison epistles. In fact such teaching defies both. Mark well, no mention is made in the theological statements quoted above of being joined to Christ, of being in Christ, of being resurrected with Christ, of being found in Christ and of our life being in Christ, the grace principles by which believers are actually saved and sanctified today. Sadly the “great Holy Spirit deception” and the lie of “the immortal soul” have blinded nearly all of Christianity to these vital prison epistle truths which are the only true pathway to heaven.
For the record then, Jesus taught that “soul” and “life” had the same meaning and that a man’s soul, his life and indeed he himself could be lost.
Matt. 16:26: For what is a man profited if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul, or what shall a man give in exchange for his own soul?
Luke 9:24-25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man advantaged if he gain the whole world and lose himself, or be cast away.
Again, for the record, Paul says (Col. 3:3-4) that our life is hid in Christ (not our soul). Neither Jesus nor Paul ever said the Holy Ghost, still less “the Holy Spirit”, worked upon or through the soul. However, as mentioned, in 1 Thess. 5:23 Paul prayed for the preservation of body, soul and spirit for believers hoping to be resurrected to live again on earth, not go to heaven.
Why then is this great Holy Spirit deception so popular. Answer: because it caters to the selfish, self-centred soulish desires of man and for many avoids the need for serious Bible study which, according to 2 Tim. 2:15, is required to shew ourselves approved unto God”.
What is the remedy? It is to allow the infallible word of God, preserved in English in the Authorised Version 1611, to pierce us to the “dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and the marrow” because “it is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”.
What are the “joints and marrow”, you ask? The joints are our inward parts that are truly joined to Christ. The body of Christ grows by that which each of these joints “supplieth” (Eph. 4:16). In our inner being they must be divided from the “marrow”, that is the hard bone of our old nature, or “the old man” if you will, which we must put off so that we can put on “the new man” (Col. 3:9-10). And only the word of God is quick and powerful enough to perform this vital task of “right division”.
EXPOSING THE GREAT HOLY
SPIRIT DECEPTION - Part Five
By John Aldworth
Published 24 June 2013
We in the “high calling” (Phil. 3:14) of the mystery grace dispensation (Eph. 3:1-4) are together experiencing a sharp learning curve to learn the meaning of the “fulness” of Christ.
While much of the professing church believes the only spiritual progress necessary comes through having “more of the Holy Spirit”, the prison epistles direct those “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world” (Eph. 1:4) to the need to have the “eyes of your understanding enlightened” (Eph. 1:18) by the Father’s gift of the “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him”.
The purpose of this is that “…ye may know what is the hope of his calling and the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints” (Eph. 1:18). Now the hope of his calling is resurrection or change to a glorious body “like unto his” in time to come. But the glory of his inheritance is something we can experience now in this life as we learn what it means to be members of “the church which is his body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23).
Thankfully in Eph. 4:11-16 there is set out the growing up process necessary for believers to realise this fulness. This process began when Christ “gave” (note the past tense) the ascension gift ministries of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers.
These ministries were given to edify the Body of Christ “till we all come in the unity of the faith and knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man…” However, with one exception their ministries drew to a close after our “completeness” in Christ (Col. 2:9-10) was revealed. Thus there is no need for apostles (with one exception, that of Paul), prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers once the “statute of the fulness of Christ” has been achieved (Eph. 4:13).
This fulness, this completion, of course, is only achieved by faith. However, in God’s mind it has already been achieved in us, which is why in 2 Tim. 2:2 a new order of ministry subsequent to that described in Eph. 4:11 is revealed. Thus Timothy, a called and ordained minister, is not told that he is or should be an apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher or evangelist. Instead he is urged by Paul to:
- Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus
- Commit the things he has heard of Paul to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.
In this new order of “complete” or “completed” ministry there is only one apostle, and he is Paul. This is why only his writings are incorporated in the Bible. Evidently God did not see fit to preserve any of the writings (if there were any), utterings or teachings of Timothy, Titus, Ephraphas, Epaphroditus, Demas or others who were fellow apostles or workers with Paul prior to the “completeness” and “fulness” being revealed.
Thus for Bible students the only “ascension gift ministry” now seen operating in this latter stage of the dispensation of the grace of God and the mystery (Eph. 3:1-4) is that of the Apostle Paul himself. And while no doubt evangelism and teaching as such continue to this day no one other than Paul is designated as a teacher or apostle. Timothy is told only “to preach the word … reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine”.
Timothy is not told he is a pastor or a teacher, nor yet an evangelist, nor has he received any additional revelation of truth from the Lord. In no sense is he to take Paul’s place. Rather Paul charges him to “do the work of an evangelist. Make full proof of thy ministry” (2 Tim. 4:5)
So we see that all truth now necessary for the “perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph. 4:12) in the current dispensation is found in Paul’s prison epistles. It comes to us from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, as revealed to and through the Apostle Paul.
The purpose of this body of truth is plainly stated to be our perfection. It is for “the perfecting of the saints”, which in itself is a process:
Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (vss. 12 and 13).
Verse 14 provides further proof that the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4:3) is in fact the unity of faith and that God calls every believer in the mystery grace calling to so know “the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery” (Rom. 16:25) so that they are no longer “children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive”.
Sadly, far from grasping the truth of the mystery-grace revelation given to the Apostle Paul, Christendom at large is all at sea, “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (vs. 14). But God does not want us to be children, unlearned in these things.
Still less does He want his saints taken in by the “sleight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive”. In our time artful deceit about the supposed availability today of the Spirit poured out at Pentecost is evidenced both by the slew of corrupt modern bible versions produced in recent years and the pseudo “Christian” churches that have come into being as a result of them. Widespread pseudo Pentecostalism, mega churches such as Joel Osteen’s Lakeside Church and the “Emerging Church” movement” are examples.
Rather, God wants those He has chosen out of the called to “grow up into him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ”. And this “growing up” is achieved, we are told, by “speaking the truth (of the mystery revelation) in love”. And herein is the secret of how we can “keep the unity of the Spirit”. It is by understanding, grasping by faith and trusting our very life to, the truths of the grace mystery dispensation
This process begins with the realisation that through Paul the Lord has revealed vital new information, essential to the hope of our calling which is to appear with Christ in glory. Such truths are found only in the mystery revelation of the prison epistles. They must not be confused with, or “read back” into, the Acts period epistles and the teaching found there.
Importantly, it is up to each of one of us learn and grow up in Christ. It seems that Christendom with all its denominations has determined not to “grow up”. It refuses to leave the “milk bottle and messy nappies” stage of a believer’s growth. There is no desire, no appetite for “the strong meat of the word”. Perhaps those who won’t “put away childish things” should be reminded that it was the Beefeaters of Old England who were bravest in battle. It was beef that gave them courage not milk and sops.
Today it is no coincidence that churches which refuse to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15) have no stomach to “fight the good fight”. The world attacks true Christianity with rejection of its truth through teaching of evolution, promotion of promiscuity, witchcraft, idolatry and the abomination of same sex “marriage”. In the face of it the “churches” stay largely silent. Nor can they “keep the faith” as Paul did, for the simple reason they do not know what it is.
Allow me to stress again that it is up to each one of us to grow in grace and truth and to learn do so with other, like-minded believers. Fact is that if we don’t do it, then no one, including God, will do it for us. Read this in Eph. 4:15 and 17 and 2 Tim. 2:15:
But speaking the truth in love grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ”
This I say therefore and testify in the Lord that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Care, nutrition and love are all important for a baby’s growth. But only the baby can do the actual growing. Neither, Mum, Dad nor nurse can do it for him. It is just the same for the believer. The Lord has given us his “Holy Ghost” to dwell within us (2 Tim. 1:14) and to keep “that good thing” committed unto us, which, according to the context, is “the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me (Paul), in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus”. God has also given us the “mind of Christ” to change our Gentile, pagan thinking.
Furthermore “the Holy Ghost” has provided absolute truth in the form of a book, our King James Bible, and the Father has given us “the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of our understanding being opened” (Eph. 1:17-18) so that we can grasp it. The dispensational differences have been quickened to us along with the truth of our salvation, our especial calling and our divine election “from before the world began”. But we must lay hold of these realities for ourselves.
The great “Holy Spirit” deception of our time fights against this need to “grow up” in several ways. First, as noted in our first study the original 1611 Authorised Version does not contain the words “the Holy Spirit”. However, later editions of the KJB which departed from the original capitalisation feature it just once, in Luke 11:13 where Jesus says:
…how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
If, your trust is in the original 1611, then verse reads:
…how much more shall your heavenly Father give the holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Is the difference important? Yes, because if the 1611’s usage of capital letters is retained then nowhere in its pages does the King James Bible use the title “the Holy Spirit”. True, the words “holy spirit” or “holy Spirit” occur in six other places in the 1611 Authorised Version but the fact remains that 90 times in the New Testament the 1611 gives the title of the third Person of the Godhead as “the Holy Ghost”. Thus the 1611 removes all scriptural support for Christendom’s distorted emphasis upon and obsession with “the Holy Spirit”.
Then the prevailing deception of our times further muddies the waters by resorting to “private interpretation”, despite it being clearly denounced in 2 Peter 1:20. It is suggested and taught widely that through “the Holy Spirit” Christians can receive a special revelation that goes beyond what scripture actually says. What’s more it is held that the Holy Spirit can instantly teach a person what to know and what to say in any given situation without even opening a Bible.
This, of course, is a vain attempt to “recover” the spiritual gifts of “word of knowledge” and “word of wisdom” (1 Cor. 12:8) which ceased with the setting aside of Israel in Acts 28. Such error deceives Christians into thinking that they can learn truth outside of scripture. “Why spend hours and days in Bible study when the Holy Spirit can show me what I need to know in an instant”?
And because the words “the Holy Spirit” are not found in the AV 1611, a slew of corrupt bible versions have been produced to remedy this presumed deficiency. The notion today is that “the Holy Spirit” can do both the Christian’s Bible study and his “growing up” for him. According to one chorus “It’s changing me this very hour, this Holy Ghost power”. But it isn’t. The sensations felt by those believing these delusions are either produced either by their own imagination or by “another spirit” (2 Cor. 11:4).
What’s more such “rear view vision mirror” interpretation of scripture is used as a device to keep the newly saved in nappies. Indeed translators of corrupt modern versions use this technique to change the very meaning of truth preserved in the King James Bible. For example, consider this segment of Eph. 1:13 first in the KJB and then, as perverted in the New International Version (NIV);
In whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. (KJB)
Having believed you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. (NIV).
Here we are in Ephesians learning for the first time of the dispensation of the grace of God and the mystery of Christ newly revealed to the Apostle Paul. But the NIV in verse 13 would cast the reader back into Acts 1 by referring to the “the promised Holy Spirit”.
Two things wrong with that. First, it is not “the Holy Spirit” but “that holy Spirit of promise”, which in vs. 14 is said to be “the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased passion, to the praise of his glory”. It is a real foretaste in our heart of the spiritual glory we will share with Christ in the highest heaven when we appear in glory with Him (Col. 3:3-4).
Second, this Spirit of promise comes from the future not the past. We are sealed with this Spirit “in him”, that is Christ, as He will appear in glory. This Spirit does not bear the same name and, consequently, is not the same spirit that was promised and then poured out at Pentecost. Moreover the miraculous working of the Holy Ghost in Acts ended in chapter 28 with the setting aside of Israel to whom such supernatural signs and wonders belonged. The effect of the NIV’s tampering with God’s word is to suggest the believer can experience afresh the Pentecostal outpouring when the truth is that he cannot.
As to “glory”, it is true, that in the Pentecostal dispensation believers were “…changed into the same image (that of the glory of the Lord) from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18). But that was under the New Covenant (see verse 6) which Jer. 31:31 informs us is made “with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah”, not with us. Today Gentile believers in the dispensation of the grace of God and the mystery (Eph. 3:1-4) are “strangers to the covenants of promise” (Eph. 2:12).
Therefore this form of being changed into glory is not for us. Those seeking to experience such glorification will find themselves engaged by a delusion. How much better to believe the “present truth” which does not lie and thus experience the real foretaste of glory promised as a down payment on our inheritance in Eph. 4:13.
Today changing ourselves is not brought about by “the Holy Ghost”, still less the wrongly cited “Holy Spirit”. Rather it is the result of believing in all that God has done to baptise us into Christ’s resurrection and to cut off our sinful nature through his circumcision, “the circumcision made with out hands” (Col. 2:11). It comes through Bible study and believing the promises of the mystery revelation. Then, it comes by putting them into practice by putting off the old man and putting on the new man, who is “renewed in knowledge after the image of Him who created him” (Col. 3:9-10).
Note that “knowledge” not supposed infilling of “the Holy Spirit” is now the key. It is by learning from and believing the Book that we grow, not by undergoing supposed spiritual experiences that are ruled out as past and gone when we “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
Christendom in altering the name of the third Person of the Godhead from “the Holy Ghost” to “the Holy Spirit” obscures the truth that “the Holy Ghost”, like the “Spirit of the Lord” in the Old Testament is the Spirit of Christ Himself. If we are called and chosen we are also given a spirit from the Father which is the “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him”. We must all “grow up” and part of growing up is to get to know the “Father of glory” (Eph. 1:17), especially since it is to his glory that we are called.
And as we advance upwards by faith in this quest we will have the joy of finding others alongside us who are being taught the same truths by the Spirit. This is where fellowship and unity begin.
As we move to even higher ground in the “mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4) keeping this new found unity becomes ever more important. The devil will tempt us with distractions and deviations galore. Believers may be sidetracked into social or political concerns and others will slip backwards into Acts period truths that do continue into the mystery grace dispensation. But those who are “faithful in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:1) will keep the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” through the “unity of the faith”, that is the body of mystery truth teaching found in Paul’s prison epistles.
As they do so they will realise the “body” truth of Eph. 4:16 that when believers “grow up into the Head” they become “fitly joined together” by that which “every joint supplieth” (Eph. 4:16). In this happy state the body of Christ, though not meeting on earth in any formal church or assembly, is found growing:
…according to the effective working of in the measure of every part maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
And, it is at this point that “the church which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all” becomes the “one body and spirit” of Eph. 4:4.
EXPOSING THE GREAT 'HOLY
SPIRIT' DECEPTION - Part Six
Published July 9, 2013
By John Aldworth
Luke 3:22: And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou are my beloved Son; in Thee I am well pleased.
Notice, “And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him…” Bodily is an important word. After his resurrection Jesus Christ was at pains to teach his apostles that He was not “a disembodied spirit”, although New Agers and many Christians and the NIV apparently believe in such things.
“A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see Me have”, He said (Luke 24:39). “And when He had thus spoken He showed them his hands and his feet”.
While “God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 3:24) in the New Testament Jesus Christ is always represented as having a body. So much so that in Eph. 5:30 Mystery dispensation believers are told that, spiritually speaking, “…we are members of his body, of his flesh and of his bones”.
In our time then Christ still has a Body and we are members of it. In fact the most sublime truth of the mystery revelation give the Apostle Paul is that “in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Col. 2:9). This means that it is in us, believers in the high calling who comprise “the church which is his body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22-23), that the fulness of the Godhead now lives.
That saved sinners should form a body in which the fulness of all that is God lives is a stunning thought. It climbs the very pinnacle of the love of Christ for us as revealed in the mystery revelation of Paul’s prison epistles. It is hard to believe. Nevertheless that God really does pour all of Himself into us His body is confirmed by Eph. 2:22:
(The Lord) In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit”.
Thus we see that the Body of Christ is now the dwelling place of the “fulness of the Godhead bodily”. But what has that to do with the Holy Ghost you ask? Answer: Much in every way. You see it is “Christ who is our life” (Col. 3:4) and as previously shown in these studies it is also Christ who is the Holy Ghost. And in 2 Tim. 1:14 Paul advises Timothy:
That good thing which was committed unto thee, keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
It is not stretching things too far to say that the Holy Ghost is our life, since we are clearly taught in Col. 3:3-4 that Christ is our life and in 1 Cor. 15:45 that he (Christ) was made a quickening spirit. Thus Titus 3:5 teaches that we are saved “by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost”.
Christ clearly taught that He was not, and is not, a “disembodied spirit” but He most definitely is “a quickening spirit” (1 Cor. 15:45). That means that He is a life giver. In fact He gives life to his own body. This is seen in the Bible’s first use of “the Holy Ghost” in Mat. 1:18:
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
That the Lord as the Holy Ghost gave life to his own human body even conceiving it in Mary’s womb is further shown by Luke 1:34-35:
Then said Mary unto the angel: How shall this be, seeing I know not a man. And the angel answered and said: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Jesus Christ in his earthly life was both God and man. Today, as the risen, ascended Lord sat at the right hand of the Father, He is still both God and man. And the “man” part of our Lord today is his body composed of believers called by God in the “high calling” (Phil. 3:14). Just as He gave life to what was to become his physical human body in Mary’s womb so today Christ as the Holy Ghost gives life to “the church which is his body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all”. We are told twice in Ephesians chapter 2 (verses 1 and 5) that we who were “dead in trespasses and sins” have been quickened by the Father together with Christ. But Christ is Himself a quickening spirit (1 Cor. 15:45).
In Eph. 1:13 we find ourselves “sealed with that holy Spirit of promise”, which, importantly, is not “the promised Holy Spirit”, i.e. that came at Pentecost, as the NIV wrongly renders it, but is the “earnest” or foretaste of glory to come, as clearly set out in Eph. 1:14. This Spirit comes from the future, not the past and is a foretaste of the glory we will share with Christ at his appearing when we will also appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:4).
If you are still pondering whether Christ is indeed the Holy Ghost, then remember that on the cross Jesus Christ “gave up the ghost”. And it was “the Holy Ghost”, i.e. his Ghost, which was poured out on the day of Pentecost.
I believe that then as now, it is Christ Himself that is “the Holy Ghost” which is given. As Peter says in Acts 3:26: “Unto you first God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities.” And in Eph. 4:16-17 the whole purpose of “strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man” is that “Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith…”
However, there are important differences between the giving of the Holy Ghost at Pentecost and the gift of the Spirit today. Firstly in the current dispensation of grace and the mystery the power sign gifts that were a hallmark of the Acts period are entirely missing. Today to pretend to prophesy, heal the sick, have words of knowledge or wisdom, speak in tongues or perform miracles is to be deceived. All such activities are “lying signs and wonders” and the work of the devils.
Secondly, notice that at Pentecost God only gave some of his Spirit, not the whole. Pentecost then was but the partial fulfilment of Joel’s prophecy that:
…in the last days I will pour out of my Spirit on all flesh. And on my servants and handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit and they shall prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18).
God “pouring out of his Spirit” means that He only poured out some on that occasion “on all flesh”. In sharp contrast God “giveth not the Spirit by measure” unto He whom He hath sent, i.e. Christ (John. 3:34). Furthermore God giveth neither the Spirit nor the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ by limited measure to us in the mystery dispensation. He gives grace and Himself as the quickening Spirit fully. Accordingly in Eph. 4:7 we are told:
But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of Christ.
And in Eph. 4:13 we learn that together as the Body of Christ we are to all come:
…in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
This goal would be impossible for us if only part of the Spirit of Christ were given us and not the whole. This is why we are assured in Col. 2:10 that we are “complete in Him, which is the head of all principality of power”. And we are complete in Him because “…in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily”.
For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell (Col. 1:19). And He has "… put all things under his feet and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His Body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all” (Eph. 1:22).
And as we advance upwards by faith in the quest to appreciate the “fulness” we will have the joy of finding others alongside us who are being taught the same truths by the Spirit. This is where fellowship and unity begin.
Consequently, as we move to higher ground in the “mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4) keeping this new found unity becomes ever more important. The devil will tempt us with distractions and deviations galore. Believers may be sidetracked into social or political concerns and others will slip backwards into Acts period truths that do not continue into the mystery grace dispensation.
But those who are “faithful in Christ Jesus” (Eph. 1:1) will keep the “unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” through the “unity of the faith”, that is the body of mystery truth teaching found in Paul’s prison epistles.
As they do so they will realise the “body” truth of Eph. 4:16 that when believers “grow up into the Head” they become “fitly joined together” by that which “every joint supplieth” (Eph. 4:16). In this happy state the body of Christ, though not meeting on earth in any formal church or assembly, is found growing:
…according to the effective working of in the measure of every part maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Now, compare this sublime body truth with a perversion of it currently taught in at least one church stream. The following statements are taken from the Local Church, which describes itself as “the Lord’s Recovery”. Nevertheless the underlying thinking, albeit less clearly stated, is also an undercurrent in other parts of the professing church. I quote the following from Local Church writings:
“The unique requirement of the Bible is that we walk according to the mingled spirit. By living in the mingled spirit we let Christ fill us and saturate us until we are permeated with Him and He is expressed through us. We are simple one with Him in the mingled spirit and fulfil his requirements spontaneously”
Rom. 8:4 “walk according to the spirit” and Eph. 3:16-20 in the Recovery Bible version are cited as proofs of this proposition. However, the AV 1611 says “walk after the spirit” in Rom. 8:4 and says nothing about any mingled spirit in Eph. 3:16-20.
The Local Church Witness Lee teachers go on to say that the “mingled spirit” teaching is based on 1 Cor. 6:17, “Now he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit”. They claim it is the “secret to the Christian life – we need to live in the mingled spirit in all that we do”.
But do we? Isn’t it more important to be found in Him and in his grace? In any case the words “mingled spirit” are not found anywhere in the King James Bible. Furthermore where the word “mingled” is used it is usually in a bad sense. Old Testament Israel was commanded: “Thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed” (Lev. 19:19) and the nation was condemned in Ezra 9:1 for mixing themselves as “holy seed” with Egyptians and other Gentiles.
Only once in our Bible is God said to have mingled spirits and when He did in Isa. 19:14 it was in terrible judgment:
The Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof and they have caused Egypt to err in work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.
God’s work today is not to mingle spirits but to separate unto Himself, by the truth of grace and the mystery, those believers He has called out from being “blown about by every wind of doctrine”. Christ can indeed dwell in our hearts by faith but He is not mingled with our spirit. Rather we are “found in Him” and we are told to “put off the old man and put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him” (Col. 3:9-10).
The “mingled spirit” then is definitely not part of the new creation. Nor is it or “the Holy Spirit” any part of rightly divided scriptural King James Bible truth.
EXPOSING THE GREAT HOLY
SPIRIT DECEPTION - Part Seven
By John Aldworth
Published June 24, 2013
Satan is subtle. His devices are dark. His lies counterfeit the truth so closely that even sincere saints are taken in.
It is just so with the Great Holy Spirit Deception. Almost all of Christendom has been deceived by it but this paper and the others in this series of studies are written so that you won’t fall for it too. Hopefully, a series of questions and answers and an explanation will expose thus subtlest of Satan’s devices.
So, allow me to ask first: What was “shed forth” (Acts 2:33) at Jerusalem during the feast of Pentecost? Answer: The gift of the Holy Ghost with the power to witness in speaking of tongues; that is the supernatural ability to speak foreign languages unknown to the speaker (Acts 2:4, 8, 38).
On whom was it “shed forth”? Answer: Only on the House of Israel. Only Jews and proselytes were present (see Acts 2:5, 10). No Gentile was there because the outpouring took place in the temple (see Acts 2:46), where no Gentile could enter on pain of death (see Acts 21:28). And, if it wasn’t for Gentiles then, why do so many misguided Christians believe it is for Gentiles now?
The bulk of the professing church maintains, in one way or another, that each believer can experience his own outpouring of the “Holy Spirit” in a re-enactment of the Acts 2 Pentecostal experience. But the Holy Ghost ceased this ministry nearly 2,000 years ago when God set Israel aside. It is a lie of the devil that He continues it today.
Now fast forward some 33 years from the Acts 2 outpouring and let’s ask what was then “shed (forth) abundantly” first on the Apostle Paul in a prison cell in Rome and then subsequently on others? Answer: Grace (Titus 2:11, 3:5-7) in the form of salvation according to his mercy by “…the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 3:6-7).
In contrast to the Pentecostal outpouring in the grace “shedding forth” there was no outward sign, no speaking in tongues. However, a profound inward work was done entirely by God. We will look at it in detail shortly.
But on whom was this grace “shed”? Answer: On all mankind, not just the people of Israel. And how was this grace “shed”? Answer: By the grace of God Himself.
Already from these few sentences you can see a huge difference between these two outpourings or "sheddings forth". It is no coincidence but God’s divine choice of words that allow these two very different experiences to form an antithesis in the King James Bible. In both verses there is a “pouring out” because the Greek word excheo, which is used in both Acts 2:33 and Titus 3:6, means both to shed forth and to pour out.
But with that the similarity ceases. In Acts 2 it is the gift of tongues and the power of witnessing that is poured out upon the apostles. It is a baptising with the Holy Ghost from without that manifested the outward signs of tongues of fire, prophesying and the ability to supernaturally speak unknown tongues (unknown to the speaker, that is). By contrast that “shed on us” Gentiles in Titus 3:6 is an inward work. And it is entirely of grace.
But before we look more closely at what differs, let’s see the things that are the same. In both Acts 2:33 and Titus 3:6 the word “shed” ,is used, meaning to “pour forth, to cause to emanate, flow out, to spill, to let fall”, according to Collins English Dictionary. “Shed” is a word God uses just four times in the New Testament, each time to describe some mighty blessing he is pouring out. Thus:
Matt. 26:28: This is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Acts 2:33: Jesus: Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, He hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.
Rom. 5:5: And hope maketh not ashamed because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given us.
Titus 3:5-7: Not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
The careful bible student will realise of the four outpourings mentioned above only the last in Titus 3:5-7 applies to Gentiles outside of Israel and, since Israel was set aside in Acts 28:27-28, this “shedding forth” is therefore part of the “salvation sent to the Gentiles” at that time.
In Matt. 26:28 the “shed” blood is that of the new covenant which the Lord made only with the House of Israel and the House of Judah (Jer. 31: 31). It was for Jews, not Gentiles outside of Israel. Proselytes apart, Gentiles in the flesh were then, and today, until saved, still are, excluded “from the covenants of promise” (Eph. 2:12).
It was not until Paul wrote in Eph. 2:13 that “now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are now made nigh by the blood of Christ” that Gentiles were assured for the first time that the Saviour’s shed blood now availed for them without their having to be baptised and “graffed” as a wild olive branch into Israel (Rom. 11:17)
And what applies to Matt. 26:28 is also true of the shedding forth of the Holy Ghost in Acts 2:33 and the outpouring of God’s love into hearts by the Holy Ghost in Rom. 5:5. The latter two were blessings God outpoured during the Pentecostal dispensation that runs through the Book of Acts. As such they were restricted to Jews who believed in Jesus, then extended temporarily to Gentiles saved under Paul’s gospel in this period to “provoke (Israel) to jealousy” (Rom. 11:11 and 14).
Fact is, these two outpourings of the Holy Ghost ceased at the end of the Book of Acts when Paul pronounced that God had set aside Israel by sending salvation to the Gentiles (Acts 28:26-28). They came to a screeching stop along with healings, tongues, prophecies and other miraculous and supernatural signs and wonders.
What’s more the preaching of Christ shedding his blood for Israel to confirm the new covenant (Matt. 26:28) was replaced after Acts 28 by the grace revelation that it pleased the Father “having made peace through the blood of his cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself” (Col. 1:20). Now “all things” means all people in the world, not just Jews in Israel or the Gentiles then added to them as “second class citizens” in the Acts period “Church of God”.
The truth is that in the prison epistles, written after the close of Acts, Gentiles are given their own gospel promise, unattached to the covenant made with Israel that Christ would die for their sins (Isa. 53:4). Thus Gentiles were and still are told:
And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreprovable in his sight. (Col. 1:21-22). And:
(God) who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (2 Tim. 1:9).
The verses above are part of what Titus 3:7 says is the process of being “justified by grace that we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life”. And this phrase is in itself the divine description of the shedding or outpouring of grace detailed in Titus 3:4-7.
It should now be clear that after the termination at the end of Acts of the Pentecostal outpouring of the Holy Ghost, God shed forth an outpouring of a very different kind to all people on earth. It was and still is an outpouring of grace, not of signs and wonders and other gifts of the Holy Ghost.
Yet Satan has succeeded brilliantly in blind-siding nearly all Christians to this wonderful truth. He has done so by convincing the church at large that the wonders of Pentecost are still theirs and that they can saved by water baptised and believing that the blood of Jesus shed for Israel was shed for them. Then they can receive the “baptism with the Holy Spirit”, maybe speak in tongues gibberish (not actual languages, you note), prophesy, perform miracles and be sanctified, all through the work of “the Holy Spirit”.
This manifold heresy stems from a refusal to obey the divine injunction to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). Thus nearly all interpretation of scripture today muddles different truths together in a bid to create a seamless, timeless whole. Ignoring the progressive nature of God’s revelation of Himself in his word, they treat the Bible as a flat historical plain teaching the same truths to all men at all times. Thus, refusing to see the things that differ, most preachers try to see them as the same
Please note again before we proceed to unpick the detail of this amazing grace package in Titus chapter three that Gentiles are now, in this new mystery revelation justified by grace, not by faith. And this is an entirely new principle.
True, believers today still exercise faith in that they “trust in Christ” upon hearing “the word of truth the gospel of your salvation”. But nowhere in the prison epistles are they said to be justified by faith, or indeed saved by faith. Eph. 2:8-9 says:
For by grace are ye are saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
So the only “decision” sinners need to make now is to trust in Jesus. Even the faith to do so is “the gift of God”. Certainly, it is “not of works” as it was for those saved into the “Church of God” calling in the Acts period Pentecostal dispensation. Consequently there is no repentance, no calling on the name of the Lord, no opening hearts to God, no water baptism needed in the new grace dispensation. In the salvation now sent to the Gentiles all that is required at the start is to trust Jesus and then to be “taught by Him as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph. 4:21). And the essence of the truth Jesus teaches now is that there is now an outpouring of grace, not of Holy Ghost signs and wonders.
The professing church won’t admit it, pastors daren’t believe it and most Christians will ignore it, but this is the truth: Believers in God’s latest word, found in Paul’s prison epistles, are chosen by grace (Eph. 1:4), called by grace (2 Tim. 1:9), saved by grace (Eph. 2:8-9), justified by grace (Titus 3:7), and have grace shed, or poured out, upon them (Titus 3:6). Neither the “Holy Spirit”, nor any re-enacted “baptism with the Holy Spirit”, perform any part in these transactions
By the grace of God we will now endeavour to unpack all the details of the grace outpouring found in Titus 3:4-7. It is of supreme importance to understand it because, just as Israel could not be saved except through the witness of the Holy Ghost outpouring at Pentecost, neither can Gentiles at large be saved now except through the grace “…shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour” (Titus 3:6.
This is why Titus 2:11 says that “...the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men”. Allow me to hammer home the meaning. Until salvation was sent to the Gentiles, as pronounced by the Apostle Paul in Acts 28:28, there simply was no grace of God for “all men”. It was only for Jews and proselytes.
At that time Gentiles as a whole were excluded from any hope in Israel. They were “aliens from Israel, strangers from the covenants of promise, without Christ, having no hope and without God in the world” (Eph. 2:12). Such Gentiles as were added to the Jewish Church of God in the Acts period were saved only to provoke Israel to jealousy and had to repent, be water baptised, have hands laid on them to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and keep the sabbath just as Jews did. In the Acts period Church of God Gentiles were definitely second class citizens, saved as proselytes to Israel, not as Gentiles in their own right.
Then something “appeared” that had not been seen before. It was the grace of God to all men, not just Israelites. In Titus 3:4 Paul describes it as the appearance of “the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man.” As noted, Titus 2:11 says: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men”.
In early Acts it was the love of God for his special people Israel that caused Him to raise his Son Jesus Christ from the dead and then to send Him to them in the outpouring of the Holy Ghost to turn them from sin (Acts 3:25-26).
In Titus chapter three salvation for Gentiles, apart from Israel, follows a similar pattern. Thus just as Jesus the Messiah “appeared” to Israel by ministering to them for three and a half years so Jesus now “appears” to Gentiles. Just as there was an outpouring of his “Ghost” at Pentecost, so there is a shedding forth of his grace in a manifest outpouring on Gentile believers.
Firstly then the kindness and love of God to all mankind not just Israel appears in the form of a gospel. This is the “good news” that salvation has now been sent to all Gentiles (Acts 28:28). In 2 Tim. 1:9-10 it is said to be the good news of a “calling” out of believers “according to his (God’s) purpose and grace which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began”.
We are then told this good news is “...made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and brought immortality and life to light through the gospel”. When did the Saviour so appear? When He was sent as “salvation to the Gentiles” (Acts 28:28).
How did He appear? In a gospel to all men proclaiming that He had abolished death and that now for the first time offers all mankind the opportunity to believe in Him and so obtain life and immortality. It’s a first, it’s news, and to Gentiles held in bondage by fear of death it’s the very best of good news.
Then follows the outpouring of grace, the Gentiles’ own “Pentecost” if you will allow the allusion. This is shed on all who are called and believe. They comprise the “us” and “we” of verses 4 to 7. However, keep in mind that the offer of this new salvation “hath appeared unto all men”.
The detail of the outpouring is found in verse 5 and 6:
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour”.
Mark well who is doing the shedding forth, or outpouring here. It is “God our Saviour”, that is God the Father. He is outpouring his grace. Why? Eph. 2:4 has the answer. It is “for his great love wherewith He loved us”. Thus God “who is rich in mercy…, even when we were dead in sins hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved). God the Father has a great love for us Gentiles, for all mankind in fact.
So great is his love he is pouring out his grace like a fountain to Gentiles. It is antithesis of what happened at Pentecost where the risen Christ, not the Father, poured out the Holy Ghost, his own Ghost, not grace (Acts 2:5, 33; 3:26) to Jews only.
Notice that here we are told that God’s shedding forth of grace and salvation is strictly according to his mercy. It has nothing to do with, nor does it stem from, any supposed “works of righteousness which we have done”. Today works of righteousness are rife in Christendom. They include penance, charitable works, church going, repenting, forsaking sin, altar calls, being water baptised and rigorous soul and self examination.
Yet according to the sacred word of God we are considering not one of these things will bring anyone a whit closer to being saved today. Again, this is in marked contrast to the Acts 2 outpouring. There repentance and water baptism were required as prerequisites for Jews receiving the “gift of the Holy Ghost” and thus being saved (Acts 2:38).
How does God in mercy save Gentiles? Answer: “By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost”. Regeneration means being born again and as Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3-6 except a man be born again he can neither see nor enter the kingdom of God. Those who received Jesus during his earthly ministry were “born of God” (Jn. 1:13) in preparation for the resurrection into Israel’s own “regeneration” of the kingdom of God during the Day of Christ (Matt. 19:28).
Significantly neither Acts nor the pre-prison epistles, Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians and 1 and 2 Thessalonians, refer to anyone being born again or being regenerated. I conclude therefore that no one was “born again” on the Day of Pentecost. So when the Father Himself washes us clean with the regeneration of his word in the grace outpouring his act is in sharp contrast to what took place in Acts 2.
“Renewing by the Holy Ghost” is also different to being “filled with the Holy Ghost”. David in Ps. 51:10 prayed “...renew a right spirit within me” and 2 Cor.4:16 states that as the outward man perishes the inward man is “renewed day by day”. Rom. 12:2 urges Acts period Pentecostal believers to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind”. Only in Titus 3:5 do we learn that we are now saved “by the renewing of the Holy Ghost”. Indeed it is the first time this phrase is used in the whole Bible. So, while some were filled with the Holy Ghost at Pentecost there is no evidence to say they were “renewed by the Holy Ghost”.
While the Holy Ghost is indeed an instrument in this new and very different salvation for Gentiles, it is important to see that the operation as a whole is one of the Father’s grace. This Titus 3:6 states that the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost is that which He: “…shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour.” Comparing verse 4 and 6 we learn that both God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ are engaged in saving us in this outpouring of grace. Again this is contrast to Acts 2 where only the resurrected Son and his poured out “Holy Ghost” are in operation.
Titus 3:7 amplifies the truth that this new and separate process of salvation for Gentiles is all of the Father’s grace and not due to anything its recipients do:
That being justified by his grace we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
In fact the Father “justifies us by his grace” precisely by saving us “by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost”. The whole process, the whole operation is done by Him.
Contrast this with very different process of justification of believers in the Acts period Pentecostal dispensation. In Rom. 5:1-2 Jewish and Gentile believers are told that they are “justified by faith”, not grace. That means they are in fact saved by their own faith, just as “their father” Abraham “...believed God and it was counted unto him for righteousness”.
But, please note again, that in Titus 3:7 justification is by grace, not by faith at all, thus again proving that God’s way of saving Gentiles, proclaimed by Christ Jesus through the Apostle in the prison epistle scriptures, is hugely and importantly different to that which obtained either in the Old Testament, the gospel period of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John or in the Acts period.
And the reason 99 per cent of Christians remain ignorant of it is that they believe the devil’s lie that the present day professing church began on the day of Pentecost and that the ministry of “the Holy Spirit” is the same now as it was throughout the Book of Acts. As made clear in this series of studies nothing could be further from the truth.