religionists believe in the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
However, most of them make the mistake of thinking the things
they are led to do by their own subjective feelings, their urges,
or their experiences are the things the Spirit has led them
to do. Consequently, there are devout and sincere people
going off in every direction, all attributing their direction to
the leadership of the Holy Spirit. If all of these truly were
being led by the Spirit of God, then God would be the author of
confusion, but First Corinthians 14:33, declares that,
".God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all the
churches of the saints." Furthermore, such leadership would
be somewhat ambiguous, since it would depend upon our properly
interpreting our feelings, our urges, and our experiences. Would
it not be much better if the Holy Spirit just communicated God's
message to us by telling us in words what he would have us know?
Some will be
surprised to know that this is the way the Holy Spirit does now
and always has, communicated God's message to man. How did
Adam and Eve know they were not to eat of the tree in the midst of
the Garden of Eden? Was it because of their feelings, their
urges, or their experiences? No, it was because "the Lord God
commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayst
freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof
thou shalt surely die" (Gen. 2:16-17).
How did God
lead Noah to know that he was to build an ark? Was it by causing
him to have certain feelings, certain urges, or certain
experiences? No, it was like this: "And God said unto
Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is
filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy
them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt
thou make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with
pitch" (Gen. 6:13-14).
How did God
let Abraham know he wanted him to leave his home country and move
into a land God would show him? Was it by causing him to have
certain feelings, certain urges, or certain experiences? No, the
answer is at Gen. 12:1, "Now the Lord had said unto
Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred and from
thy father's house, unto a land that I will show thee."
As one journeys
through the Bible, he will observe that God's message to man was
always communicated by speaking words to him, and never by a
person's feelings, urges, or experiences.
THE HOLY SPIRIT IS A SPEAKING SPIRIT.
Numerous passages show that the Holy Spirit is a Speaking
David declared, "The spirit of the Lord
spake by me, and his word was in my tongue" (2 Sam. 23:2).
Peter said, "Men and brethren, this
scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by
the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide
to them that took Jesus" (Acts 1:16).
Paul wrote, "Now the Spirit speaketh
expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the
faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
(2 Tim. 4:1).
The 2nd and 3rd chapters of
Revelation contains letters from the Lord to the
seven churches of Asia. In each of those letters may be
found the admonition, "He that hath an ear, let him hear
what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Rev. 2:7, 11,
17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).
These passages show that the Spirit's manner of
communicating His message to man is by speaking words.
THE SPIRIT SPEAKS TO THE MASSES THROUGH SELECTED
It has never been the case that the Holy Spirit
communicated God's message to the masses of people by speaking to
each one personally and individually.
Instead, God has selected certain ones as His spokesmen,
inspired those spokesmen with the Holy Spirit and those spokesmen
then infallibly delivered God's message to the masses.
This was true during the days before the flood. Noah
was a "preacher of righteousness" (2 Pet. 2:5), and
it was "by the Spirit" that he preached during those
days "while the ark was a preparing" (1 Pet.
1 Pet. 3:18-20,
"For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the
unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the
flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and
preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were
disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days
of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is,
eight souls were saved by water."
b. Note that the Holy Spirit spoke to those of Noah's day
through Noah rather than through every individual.
The law that was given at Mt. Sinai was for the
entire nation of Israel, but it was given to the people through
God's spokesman, Moses.
"For the law was given by Moses."
While the people were living under the Law of Moses, when
God had a message for His people, He spoke to them through the
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time
past unto the fathers by the prophets."
LEADERSHIP OF THE SPIRIT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT ERA:
When Gabriel, an angel of the Lord, appeared to Zacharias,
the one who would be father of John the Baptist, to announce the
upcoming birth of the forerunner of Christ, he told him that John
would be "filled with the Holy Ghost" (Lk. 1:15).
God could have sent His Holy Spirit to each Jew personally
and individually, but He did not.
He selected John the Baptist as the one who would
preach to the people, bringing them to repent and be baptized.
"John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of
repentance for the remission of sins."
Jesus referred to John as a prophet, and much more than a
prophet (Luke 7:26).
He also states that those who were not baptized with John's
baptism "rejected the counsel of God against themselves"
In refusing to be led by the preaching of John the Baptist, they
were actually refusing to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, after He was raised from the dead, gave what we call
the Great Commission to His apostles (Mk. 16:15; Matt. 28:19).
Jesus could have sent the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel
to each person individually and personally.
Instead, He sent the Holy Spirit to supply the message the
apostles would preach.
Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide the
apostles unto all truth.
John 14:26, "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."
John 16:13, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is
come, he will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of
himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and
he will show you things to come."
Peter said of the writers of the Old Testament that "holy
men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pet.
1. This is also true of the inspired
writers of the New Testament.
THE HOLY SPIRIT'S MESSAGE, THE BIBLE, IS HIS COMPLETE &
Does God have some additional messages to be revealed to
us, or is the Bible His complete revelation?
The Bible itself answers that question.
2 Pet. 1:3,
"According as his divine power hath given unto us all things
that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him
that hath called us to glory and virtue:"
2 Tim. 3:16-17,
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instructions in righteousness: That the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."
There is no need or authority for additional revelation.
So-called latter day revelations were not given by the Holy
But many religious people do not accept the Bible as the
complete and only authority in religious matters.
Ask a Catholic what he thinks about the Bible, and
he will tell you that it is God's book, but is authoritative only
in the hands of recognized Catholic scholars.
Ask a Mormon what he thinks about the Bible, and he
will say it is God's book, but is not complete without the
writings of Joseph Smith.
The average denominational preacher uses the Bible a
great deal, but also urges people to do what they "feel led
to do," or to do "whatever the Lord lays on your
In recent years some who formerly embraced the Bible as
the sole authority in religion and as God's complete and final
revelation have done an about face and are now claiming some
leadership of the Holy Spirit in addition to the Bible.
All of these have to go outside the Bible because they
cannot find authorization in the scriptures for many of the things
that they practice and teach.
ONLY THOSE LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, BY HIS INSPIRED WORD,
Sinners must be led by the Spirit in order to become
Christians, but as we have seen, the only leadership provided by
the Spirit is contained in the Bible.
Question: Does the Bible provide the kind of guidance in
leading and directing an alien sinner on how to be saved?
Answer: Indeed, it does!
Justification is by faith.
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God
through our Lord Jesus Christ:"
How does the Spirit produce faith in the heart of the
"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of
Repentance is also necessary.
"And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now
commandeth all men every where to repent: Because he hath
appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in
righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath
given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the
How does the Spirit bring about repentance?
2 Cor. 7:10,
"For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be
repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death."
"Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance
and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth
thee to repentance?"
No one ever experiences any godly sorrow or knows anything
about the goodness of God other than from the Bible.
When one confesses his faith in Christ as the Son of God
(Matt. 10:32), he is confessing that which he learned from the
The penitent believer who has confessed his faith in Jesus
Christ must then be baptized in order to have his sins forgiven.
Mark 16:16: Gal. 3:27).
Can the Holy Spirit lead him to be baptized? Yes! How?
He does not do so supernaturally, but by the inspired Word, the
Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17).
"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and
the same day there were added unto them about three thousand
Every thing that is required of us in becoming Christians
and living the Christian life is found in the Bible.
Either the Bible is our only guide, or it is not our guide at
all. It was written to be understood by all who are accountable
unto God. Eph. 3:1-6,