In addition to enabling the apostles and those they hand chose to allow performing miracles, in confirmation of the Word of God, I would also like you to note that the relationship of the Spirit to the apostles was itself threefold in nature. Let us post part of the record of the given orders to the Holy Spirit as they were recorded when Christ enumerated and outlined them to his twelve apostles offered as proof of this premise.
“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.”
“I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into 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. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.” (John 16:7 – 14)
It is apparent that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit was promised to the twelve apostle and not to everyone in every time (John 14:23), and the Spirit’s coming was in part expressly for bringing to their remembrance all things whatsoever that the Savior had taught them.
(I had posted an article here last year titled “On Ignorance and Spiritual Gifts” that deals in detail with the work of the Spirit of Truth and of the outpouring of the Spirit both in general and specifically through the hands of the twelve apostles, and if you have not read it, it might be useful and informative to do so and to study the scriptures referred to there, in conjunction with this reading and study.)
It should be remembered that for about three years that they had been students of the teachings of Christ. During that time they lacked a clear understanding of many things, and that at times they even became hardened to what was being taught and done. As such some things could not be remembered by them, as they should have been. These things were too important to be left to time and chance, and so the promise of the Spirit and part of his purpose was that he would bring those things to remembrance and give to them the very words and understanding necessary to complete the issuance of the word of God.
God said that the Spirit would guide them into all truth. The apostles were standing there with the way before them never having been cut, the vast wilderness and territory of salvations way stretching out into the great future as an unseen vista, and they were to carry out and to clear the path for the rest of the faithful gospel preachers and teachers who were and are destined to follow.
Christ had said that the relation of The Spirit to the apostles was not to be simply to remind them of the past, but by the Spirit that they would be guided into all truth. Now there can only be one reason for this duty of guiding them into all truth — that no mistakes would be made. Once that second duty was completed, there remained to complete the charge the dispatch of the third and last.
The third part of the Comforters duty in the revelation of the Word of God was in revealing the future to the apostles.
Then the three parts of this express purpose were – to bring to remembrance a clear understanding of the Lords teaching, to guide them into the truth, and lastly to reveal the things which would be important to the bearing of the gospel and in the undertaking of the provision of that second charge.
And so I ask – do you believe that the Spirit appeared to the apostles and acted as their guide, that he caused them to remember all things necessary, to see what would be, and that with this work and within the concluding of these parts that he successfully completed and discharged his duty? Did he finish a complete work, and succeed in finishing his charges before them, and thus before God, just as Christ had completed his part? Then, do you have confidence enough to say that God’s plan is complete and that the apostles were indeed guided into all truth? Do you have perfect confidence in the gospel plan of salvation and in its fullness, confidence in the Way? Do you have confidence in the word of God which would certainly be part of that future vision duty?
I don’t offer praise to or sing songs to the Holy Spirit, as I have no example for any of that, and I am not anywhere given command or told to do so. I believe that is by design, as God has not left anything to the imagination (not to mine or to someone elses), and he did not solicit my opinion on this or any other matter (nor has anyone elses been solicited). I do not read of any indwelling of the Holy Spirit that is present in me except as I have the spirit that was of Christ and as I embody the word of God. The Spirit’s work was accomplished in the world exactly as was God Almighty’s and Christ the Lord’s.
I am to praise God my Father, Almighty God, and his Christ is my Lord in this life and for the next. The Spirit is to be “housed” within me as the word of God dwells within me richly, with the sword of the spirit being the word of God ready for use. And there is nothing at all miraculous about any of that. Through all of this then, the Spirit’s duty in this life was completely performed through the hands of the apostles and in those disciples and in the encapsulation of the word of God, and therefore it does not require any further input or adjustment. And so I must take that to mean that the Holy Spirit of God is now at his rightful place in the Throne Room of God Almighty in heaven.
Is that sufficient for you? Is that all-sufficient for salvation? If it is not, I feel compelled to ask, why is it that it is not? What could you possibly find lacking in any of this? Where do you find other things than this taught in the scriptures?
The plan was devised and executed, and the path has been cleared and the trail has been cut and cleared once for all times as the writer Jude proposed. All things necessary have been conceived, designed, constructed, consigned and executed exactly as the Godhead had declared and decreed.
Who is it here that will stand against the council of God?
Portions of the last three essays were based in part upon a lesson by N. B. Hardeman.