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The Amazing Work of Christ in You

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Here are some of Dr. Hasel’s statements, with which I don’t agree or for which I don’t see biblical support.

  • The Scripture does not present the Holy Spirit in any structured or methodical way (it appears there is no theological basis for the path he is about to take; rather, it is based upon human ideas and traditions)
  • The Holy Spirit plays a background position
  • The Holy Spirit doesn’t desire to be the center of attention
  • The Holy Spirit’s purpose is to give Jesus Christ all the glory and honor (what about the Father? Doesn’t the first angel’s message say to give glory to God?)
  • The Holy Spirit is elusive and shrouded in mystery
  • The Holy Spirit points people to God, and yet, is God himself, as a member of the trinity. (Conclusion: The Holy Spirit then points people to himself.)
  • The Holy Spirit knows God like no other being knows God; because he is God, he is fitted to reveal to us what God wants us to know
  • “God the Spirit” reveals Christ and God
  • The Father of Jesus is the Holy Spirit, and therefore, Jesus has God the Holy Spirit as His Father
  • The Holy Spirit generated Jesus
  • The Holy Spirit allows us to live as a forgiven sinner (Hmmm….what about a victorious one through grace by the faith of Jesus?)
  • The Holy Spirit brings character development (this is a false Gospel…the Bible doesn’t teach character development; rather, it teaches character transformation)

BOTTOM LINE: Hasel failed to fully grasp how the Holy Spirit truly works in the life of the believer. He discussed gifts and sanctification and character development, and yet, these all fall short if one doesn’t understand what the spirit truly is (as much as the Bible reveals), what the Spirit truly does, and who the Spirit truly is.

One thing we need to understand is, when dealing with spiritual matters, we must be in the spirit. The Greek educational system used in Adventist schools today, especially the seminary at Andrews, employs a method of Bible study called higher criticism. Further, it categorizes elements into a binary system of understanding, such that things are viewed as “either-or”. The biblical method of interpretation—line upon line, precept upon precept—categorizes elements into a more multifaceted system of understanding, whereby one is led to embrace a “both-and” paradigm. To that end, let’s examine three specific concepts during our study, as we seek to better understand the general nature, the work, and the identity of the Holy Spirit, as presented in the Bible.

Let me first begin with the following passages from the Testimonies, to ensure we’re all on the same page:

The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden. AA 52.1

It is not essential for you to know and be able to define just what the Holy Spirit is. 14MR 179.2

What the Holy Spirit Is

What is the Biblical definition for “Spirit”?

Isaiah 40:13 Who hath directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counsellor hath taught him?

Romans 11:34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

– Here we learn the plain Bible definition for “spirit”. Spirit = mind. Spirit of the Lord = mind of the Lord.

Note: the use of capital letters does not exist in the original Hebrew and Greek texts.

What is another Biblical definition for “Spirit”?

John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

– Jesus plainly taught that His words are two things: spirit and life. Thus, teaching that spirit = life. This spirit/life is in His words. Words express our thoughts/mind. God’s words express His divine mind. (NOTE: thoughts always precede words.) Now we can build this formula: spirit = mind = life.

Many people are confused over the ‘Holy Spirit’. How does God clarify the matter for us?

1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

– God’s spirit and man’s spirit are comparable to each other. We can learn about the Spirit of God by looking at the spirit of man. That is simple, since man was made in the image and likeness of God.

We know that Jesus was made flesh in John 1:14, and yet, what else was He made?

1 Corinthians 15:45

– The last Adam is Christ Himself (v.22), He was made a “spirit that gives life” or a “life giving spirit”. So, Christ was made 2 things: flesh and Spirit.

What did Jesus pray just before He went to the cross?

John 17:20, 21 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

– This is done through the Spirit of the Father and the Son: the Holy Spirit. We become one as the Father and Son are one.

How are the Father and the Son one?

John 14:10, 20 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

– Jesus and the Father are one through the Spirit which they share. This is the Spirit which the Father sends into our hearts.

  • The Holy Spirit is a person; for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. Ms20-1906.31
  • “The divine Spirit that the world’s Redeemer promised to send is the presence and power of God ST 11/23/1891
  • The Holy Spirit has a personality, else He could not bear witness to our spirits and with our spirits that we are the children of God. He must also be a divine person, else He could not search out the secrets which lie hidden in the mind of God. “For what man knoweth the things of a man save the spirit of man, which is in him; even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.” Ms20-1906.32
  • Christ tells us that the Holy Spirit is the Comforter, and the Comforter is the Holy Ghost “the Spirit of truth, which the Father shall send in My name.” Lt7-1891.13
  • Jesus is waiting to breathe upon all his disciples, and give them the inspiration of his sanctifying spirit ST October 3, 1892, par. 4
  • The Comforter that Christ promised to send after He ascended to heaven, is the Spirit in all the fullness of the Godhead, making manifest the power of divine grace to all who receive and believe in Christ as a personal Saviour.  BTS March 1, 1906, par. 2
  • “The Holy Spirit, which proceeds from the only-begotten Son of God, binds the human agent, body, soul, and spirit, to the perfect, divine – human nature of Christ.” 1SM 251.1
  • “…The Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Saviour, pervades the soul, renews the motives and affections, and brings even the thoughts into obedience to the will of God, enabling the receiver to bear the precious fruit of holy deeds.” AA 284.1
  • The Holy Spirit is a person; for He beareth witness with our spirits that we are the children of God. Ms20-1906.31
  • It proceeds forth from the Father and the Son; it is a personality; it is a person; presence and power of God

What the Holy Spirit Does

What will this Spirit do?

Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost.

– The Holy Spirit will give us the right words.

Matthew 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

– It is the Spirit of the Father. So, the Father has a spirit, and that spirit is a holy spirit. The word “Holy” is an adjective and describes the type of spirit it is; for example, the contrary is “unholy”.

Whom will the Father send to the converted?

Acts 3:19, 20 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.

– He will send forth Jesus.

How does the Father send Jesus to us? Is it Jesus in flesh or in Spirit?

Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

– The Spirit of His Son. It is the Holy Spirit of Jesus.

What happens to us when we receive the Spirit of Christ?

1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

– We become one with the Lord in the Spirit.

How is this process described by Peter?

2 Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

How do we become the sons of God?

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

– Through the Spirit that God gives us. His own spirit and life becomes ours. So we are adopted into the family of God.

What does Paul say that we, as sons of God, are?

1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

– God lives in us, His temple, by His Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the personal presence of Christ Himself, our Comforter.

  • The Holy Spirit always leads to the written Word…. When this witness is borne, it carries with it its own evidence. At such times we believe and are sure that we are the children of God. What strong evidence of the power of truth we can give to believers and unbelievers when we can voice the words of John, “We have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” Ms20-1906.31
  • “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you [currently], and shall be in you [future]” [John 14:16, 17].” 14MR 179.2
  • [Through Christ’s sanctifying spirit, He] is transfuse the vital influence from himself to his people. He would have them understand that henceforth they cannot serve two masters. Their lives cannot be divided. Christ is to live in his human agents, and work through their faculties, and act through their capabilities. Their will must be submitted to his will, they must act with his spirit, that it may be no more they that live, but Christ that liveth in themthat he and his people may be one in God. ST October 3, 1892, par. 4
  • “The Lord Jesus acts through the Holy Spirit; for it is his representative” RH 8/25/1896
  • “We cannot be with Christ in person, as were His first disciples, but He sent His Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, and through this power we too can bear witness for the Saviour” Ms 30, 6/18/1900
  • By the Spirit the Father and the Son will come and make their abode with you” BEcho 1/15/1893 par. 8
  • Convicts of sin; impresses the need for rebirth; bestows gifts; gives grace to overcome temptation; gives newness of life

Who the Holy Spirit Is

What did Jesus promise before He left?

John 14:16, 17, 26 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 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.

– Jesus will send a Comforter. The Comforter is the Spirit of truth. It is the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit.

Note: we read in 1 John 4:6 We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error.

If the spirit of truth (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13) is an individual being then we must also believe that the spirit of error is another individual being in his own right. On the other hand, it is clear that the spirit of truth is a reference to the Spirit of Christ Himself (Jesus said “I am the truth”), not someone else. Just as the spirit of error is a reference ultimately to Satan, not someone else!

Where does this Spirit of truth come from?

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me.

– The Holy Spirit comes from the Father. Proceeds from the Father. It means to go forth, to issue from.

If the Father has a spirit, does the Son have one, too?

Philippians 1:19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

1 Peter 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

– So, Jesus Christ has a Spirit as well.

How many sprits are there?

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.

– There is only one Spirit, not two or three. This one spirit is shared by the Father and Son. It is both the spirit of God and the spirit of Christ.

Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

– So, the Spirit of the Father and Christ is the same one Spirit. The Father and Son share that one spirit/life/mind.

So, when we receive the Holy Spirit, whom do we receive?

John 14:23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

– In receiving the Holy Spirit we actually receive the Father and the Son, not someone else different to them. The Holy Spirit is the personal presence of Christ Himself.

Who comes to us to be our Comforter?

John 14:18, 19 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

– Jesus Christ is our Comforter! It is Jesus, not another person, who comforts us in our trials on this earth.

When we receive the Spirit of Jesus, is that someone different to Christ?

2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.– The Lord is Jesus (1 Corinthians 8:6). So if there is one Lord, and there is one Spirit, and the Lord is that Spirit it follows then that Christ comes to us as the Holy Spirit. He Himself comes as a personal Comforter, not a different individual, nor an impersonal force.

– We become partakers by being joined to the Lord in Spirit.

What did Christ say about His words?

John 6:63 The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

– In other words the Spirit is Life. We can obtain this life by taking in the word of God.

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

John 15:5, 7 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

– When the word of Christ abides in us we have life. We have the Spirit of God. Christ abides in our hearts by His words, which are spirit and life!

What was the only means through which we could obtain this Life/Spirit?

John 10:11, 15 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

– Jesus had to lay down His life for us. He had to lay down His Spirit as a regenerating agent for us.

What is the invitation that Christ offers us?

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

– Christ Himself will come and live in us.

Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

– This is the hope of eternal life. Only through Jesus, and no one else, is this hope realized. Christ wants to live in our hearts through His Holy Spirit.

  • “Christ declared that the divine influence of His Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end” AA 49
  • “Christ is represented by the Holy Spirit” ST 12/1/1898
  • “The Saviour is our Comforter. This I have proved Him to be” 8MR 49
  • “As by faith we look to Jesus, our faith pierces the shadow, and we adore God for His wondrous love in giving Jesus the Comforter” 19MR 296-297
  • “This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter 14MR 179.2
  • “Let them study the seventeenth of John, and learn how to pray and how to live the prayer of Christ. He is Comforter. He will abide in their hearts, making their joy full” RH 1/27/1903
  • “Remember that He [Christ] is an unseen presence in the person of the Holy Spirit” DG 185.2, 1897
  • “Cumbered with humanity, Christ could not be in every place personally; therefore it was altogether for their advantage that He should leave them, go to His father, and send the Holy Spirit to be His successor on earth. The Holy Spirit is Himself, divested of the personality of humanity, and independent thereof. He would represent Himself as present in all places by His Holy Spirit, as the Omnipresent.” “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will [future] send in My name, He shall (although unseen by you), [This phrase was added by Ellen White.] teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you’ [John 14:26]. ‘Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will come not unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you’ [John 16:7].” Lt119, Feb. 18, 1895; DA 669; 14MR 23.3
  • This refers to the omnipresence of the Spirit of Christ, called the Comforter. Again Jesus says, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you into all truth” [John 16:12, 13].” 14MR 179.2
  • “Christ gives them the breath of His own spirit, the life of His own life DA 827
  • “We want the Holy Spirit, which is Jesus Christ.” Lt66-1894 1.6600
  • “The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ; it is His representative. Here is the divine agency that carries conviction to hearts.” 13MR 313.3
  • “The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Christ, which is sent to all men to give them sufficiency, that through His grace we might be complete in Him.” 14MR 84.3
  • “They have one God and one Saviour; and one Spirit — the Spirit of Christ — is to bring unity into their ranks.” 9T 189.3
  • Jesus comes to you as the Spirit of truth; study the mind of the Spirit, consult your Lord, follow His way.” 2MR 337.1
  • “Let them study the seventeenth of John, and learn how to pray and how to live the prayer of Christ. He is the Comforter. He will abide in their hearts, making their joy full.” RH January 27, 1903, Art. A, par. 13
  • Jesus is seeking to impress upon them the thought that in giving his Holy Spirit he is giving to them the glory which the Father has given him. ST October 3, 1892, par. 4
  • “In Him all fulness dwells. He has grace and pardon for every soul. As by faith we look to Jesus, our faith pierces the shadow, and we adore God for His wondrous love in giving Jesus the Comforter.” 19MR 297.3
  • “Christ is to be known by the blessed name of Comforter. ‘The Comforter,’ said Christ to His disciples, ‘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, Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.’” Ms7-1902.10
  • Christ declared that after his ascension, he would send to his church, as his crowning gift, the Comforter, who was to take his place. This Comforter is the Holy Spirit,—the soul of his life, the efficacy of his church, the light and life of the world. With his Spirit Christ sends a reconciling influence and a power that takes away sin. RH May 19, 1904, par. 1
  • Christ declared that the divine influence of His Spirit was to be with His followers unto the end. From the Day of Pentecost to the present time, the Comforter has been sent to all who have yielded themselves fully to the Lord and to His service. AA 49.2

Why Does It Really Matter?

  • Pivotal in the Investigative Judgment. Another being or spirit would not have the experience of Jesus.
  • “Under the Holy Spirit’s working even the weakest, by exercising faith in God, learned to improve their entrusted powers and to become sanctified, refined, and ennobled. As in humility they submitted to the molding influence of the Holy Spirit, they received of the fullness of the Godhead and were fashioned in the likeness of the divine.” Pr 159.4
  • “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” As the Father was manifested in Jesus, He wants to manifest Himself in us, thru the Spirit of Christ (1Ti 3:16 KJV)
  • To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Col 1:27 KJV) (refer to Phil 2:5)
  • In [Jesus] was life, original, unborrowed, underived. This life is not inherent in man. He can possess it only through Christ. He cannot earn it; it is given him as a free gift if he will believe in Christ as his personal Saviour. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” This is the open fountain of life for the world. {ST April 8, 1897, par. 2}