Vol.XIII No.XI Pg.5
January 1977

- - - Does He Act Apart From The Word?

Robert F. Turner

(continued from previous page)

I need not say I do not know how deity dwells in humanity — you suspected that. But I will say that the search for metaphysical how is unwarranted. If Christ in-dwells by faith (Eph. 3:17) that is enough. And look again at Jn. 14:23. Does this necessitate the conclusion that after we have loved the Lord, and kept His words, then, as a third happening, the indwelling takes place? Could not the love, the obedience, and the indwelling be inseparable? Is not God in those who love and do His will with the spirit of submission that is the basic factor in being one of His children? (Rom. 3:29; 7:22,25; 8:1-6) There is no need to confuse this kind of knowing God with memorizing the written record of His will.

When we conceive of the Spirit directing leading or influencing apart from the word, sinner or saint, there is more at stake than differing opinions of good men. Does the Holy Spirit direct regardless of the human will? — i.e., is man left free to accept or reject that direction? Is the influence irresistible, or can man say No! to the Spirit? If the leading is irresistible free agency has been shot down. If the alien can resist, because of the old man in him, but the saint can not resist the indwelling Holy Spirit — then the spirit of Satan is stronger than the Spirit of God. How strongly do we believe in free will and free agency?

But that isnt all. If we hold to the free will of man then the leading of the Spirit must come in some way external to the mind of man. Man must be able to approach the lead objectively, understand it, and respond positively or negatively. That leading or influence then becomes a form of teaching — in essence, revelation of divine will in addition to the written word. Certainly we should not allow indwelling concepts to contradict clearly taught Bible truth.

Personal indwelling concepts are heavily subjective. They rest on inner feelings rather than external and objectively approached evidence. Although terminology will differ with religious expectations, an inner light or still small voice causes someone to feel that God is telling him something. The message is not subject to examination by others nor is it provable by the scriptures. We have only the claims of the claiming recipient, and they can be startling indeed. Bro. Moser wrote, (Way of Salvation, p. 141), Now, if one through the influence of the Spirit claims God as Father, this is proof of his sonship. This abandons the principle of an all-sufficient confirmed word, by which fruits may be examined and sonship proven.

Christ promised the Twelve another parakletos (advocate or comforter) who would, in lieu of the teaching done during the personal ministry, teach (them) all things. Surely we know better than to misappropriate this promise. Our Parakletos (1 Jn. 2:1), is the resurrected Jesus Christ, who functions as our High Priest at the throne of God (Heb. 9:25).

The blessings of Gods Spirit are available to whosoever will hear and obey the call of the gospel of Christ.