E. R. (Eugene Russell) Hendrix.

The personality of the Holy Spirit online

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as was the coming of the Son of God. The '*'^''""
publicity of his coming was as much greater as
Jerusalem was larger than Bethlehem, and the
crowded city at Pentecost gave more of an audi-
ence than the shepherds and wise men, and
midday was more public than night, and the
sun was brighter than the star of Bethlehem,
and the rushing mighty wind was more start-
ling than the sweet strains of the Gloria in
Excelsis sung by worshiping angels to attuned
ears. There were flames of fire as symbols of
the Shekinah : and gifts of tongues and of mir-
acles ; of healing and of interpretation ; of proph-
ecy and of discerning of spirits, which made
good the promise of the departing Lord, "Great-
er works than these shall ye do also, because I
go unto my Father." As against the scanty five
hundred disciples gathered during our Lord's
three years of public ministry were three thou-

58 The Per sociality of the Holy Spirit.

sand converts on the day of Pentecost alone.
Christ was now lifted up, and all men were
being drawn unto him. Not until after the
true Lamb of God was offered was a single
priest influenced. After Pentecost "a great mul-
titude of the priests became obedient unto the

When our Lord gave his divine commission
to go preach and baptize in the name of tlie
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
bidding his apostles to begin at Jerusalem and
in Judea, in Samaria, and to go to the ends of
the earth, he promised, as the one who baptiz-
eth with the Holy Spirit, to be with them to
the end of the earth. How glorious the fulfill-
ment of that promise by the blessed epiphany
of the Spirit in every appointed field of labor!
At Pentecost Christ baptized with the Holy
Spirit, declaring that this was the fulfillment of
what had been preached by John the Baptist.
So wonderful was the miracle of this baptism
with the Holy Spirit that Parthians and Aledes
and Elamites and the dwellers in Mesopotamia,
in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia,
in Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Eg}'pt and the
parts of Libya about Cyrene, and sojourners

The Personality of tJie Holy Spirit. 59

from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans
and Arabians, heard tlic apostles speaking in
these various tongues the mighty works of God,
What had taken place in the more public assem-
bly in Jerusalem may be called the first epiphany
of the Spirit. After Peter and John had spent
the night in prison following the healing of the
lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple,
and the memorable discourse that proclaimed
Jesus and the resurrection, and they had de-
clared their purpose to obey God rather than
men, in the more retired place of their meeting
whether in Jerusalem or the suburbs, another
mighty display of the Holy Spirit's presence
was granted, shaking the very place where they
were gathered together. All the cities round
about Jerusalem were emptied of their sick folk
and those possessed with unclean spirits as they
were brought for healing to the apostles who
were filled with the Holy Spirit. Every epiph-
any of the Spirit meant a mighty movement
of power that swept multitudes into the fold
of the infant Church. But not only in Jerusa-
lem and in Judea were granted such wonderful
displays of divine power, but Samaria that was
included in the commission was to have one of

6o The Personality of the Holy Spirit.

her own. As John accompanied Peter to the
Samaria where he had once asked permission
to call down fire from heaven that he might
destroy the place that rejected Christ, he was
now to learn what manner of spirit must be
theirs whom our Lord could use when he would
baptize with the Holy Spirit. To the converts
of the faithful ministry of Philip there was to
be given more than the baptism of water which
they received at Ms hands. As Peter and John
prayed for them that they might receive the
Holy Spirit, such speedy answer was given and
such a change wrought upon the new disci-
ples that Simon Magus would fain have bought
with money the power which comes alone from
heaven. Again this display of divine power
opened the way to many villages of the Samar-
itans where the apostles preached the gospel of
the risen Lord.

While Philip was caught away by the Spirit
for other noble service in the chariot of the
treasurer of Queen Candace, it was not alone
that he might send back to Ethiopia an intelli-
gent and devout convert, who should plant the
true faith where it remains until this day, but
under the quick movements of the Spirit should

The Personality of the Holy Spirit. 61

preach the gospel in all the cities from Azotus
to Cesarea. And in a land so filled with Gen-
tiles Philip was to be a forerunner of an apostle
who is soon to come from Joppa, however re-
luctantly, to preach to the household of Corne-
lius the Roman centurion, representative of the
entire Gentile world from which he was the
first convert, and to witness the same wonderful
epiphany of the Holy Spirit, with all the attend-
ant marks of divine energy and power as he had
witnessed at Jerusalem, in Judea, and in Sa-
maria. Who ever had a more serious audience
than Peter when the noble Roman said, "Thou
hast done well that thou art come. Now there-
fore we are all here present in the sight of God
to hear all things that have been commanded
thee of the Lord"? The miracle of tongues
was repeated for such hearers. Peter remem-
bered again what the Baptist had declared con-
cerning Him who should baptize with the Holy
Spirit, and as he recited the events to the apos-
tles they held their peace from any adverse
criticism of what God had so graciously ap-
proved, and glorified God, saying, "Then to the
Gentiles also hath God granted repentance unto
life." The last epiphany of the Spirit opened

62 The Personality of the Holy Spirit.

alike the Gentile world and loosened the yet
more rusty hinges of the hearts of the apostles,
and in that order. In fact, has not this been
the case since Pentecost that the Spirit was
poured out on all flesh, and that a genuine up-
ward movement has taken place since that hour
without which the conversion of heathen na-
tions would have been impossible? Has there
not been more "earnest expectation" among the
nations that sit in darkness than of consuming
zeal among those who have seen the great light?
Nothing short of such epiphanies of the Holy
Spirit as were given wherever the apostles went
as commissioned by their Lord would have
sufficed to take away the veil from their eyes,
a veil never removed finally until we feel, not
that the Spirit belongs to us, but that we be-
long to the Spirit of God. How startling it
may be to find when the books are opened how
more responsive to the heavenly vision has been
many a devout Cornelius than some Simon
Peter called to be an apostle ! Possibly we
would find that a man of Macedonia calls from
every shore if our hearts were keyed to fuller
sympathy with the lost sheep, the other sheep
which Christ hath which are not of our fold.

The Personality of the Holy Spirit. 63

The authority attached to the words of the ta^ sacred
Holy Spirit emphasized the sacred dignity of '^'^""^ "f

His person,

his person. No more was the Christ of God
authenticated by the voice of the Father, say-
ing, "This is my beloved Son," than was the
Holy Spirit authenticated by the voice of the
Divine Son. This was done not only at the
last Supper, when most of our Lord's discourse
was about the other Comforter, the Spirit of
Truth, who should come, but by the definite
assurance that they should not depart from
Jerusalem until they should be indued with
power from on high to make them witnesses
in all the world. As the whole of the Acts
was summed up in that sentence, so the whole
of the Apocalypse was given in epitome as the
Son of God seven times authenticated the voice
of the Holy Spirit by saying, "He that hath
ears let him hear what the Spirit saith unto
the churches." So fully did the voice of the
Spirit become the voice of the Bride that they
mingle and blend in their call for the return
of the Bridegroom as the Spirit and the Bride
say, "Come." "Yea, saith the Spirit," is the
delightful refrain of the whole book.

Becatvse Ananias and Sapphira invaded the

64 The Personality of the Holy Spirit.

Whythexud- sanctity of the Holy Spirit's presence with a
den fate of ^iQ^ thcy wcre smitten dead, Peter's words ex-

Ananias and

^^;j-^_ plained the tragic scene as they were borne out

to burial. They had not lied unto men, but
unto God. How awful the majesty of his per-
son when all manner of sin might be forgiven
men, and yet he that blasphemed against the
Holy Ghost had never forgiveness, for his was
an eternal sin ! How the early Church learned
that the immediate representative of Christ, who
alone proclaimed and made possible for men to
understand his Lordship, must in all things be
obeyed. All the warmth and glow of a great
revival in Samaria could not hold Philip from
the solitary chariot where the Spirit commanded
him. Peter dared no longer to call common or
unclean what God had cleansed, and with all the
prejudices and narrowness of his Jewish and
provincial life to overcome he hastens to the
Gentile household at Cesarea. The Church at
Antioch, despite their attachment to Barnabas
and Saul, must heed the Holy Spirit's com-
mand when he says, "Separate me Barnabas and
Saul for the work whereunto I have called
them." Paul and Timothy are sure of a great
and effectual door opened in populous Asia,

The Pcrson-alily of the Holy Spirit. 65

where the seven churches of Asia were waiting
for the gospel ; but the Spirit suffered them not,
and they dared not disobey the call from IMace-
donia. The seed must be sown in Greece, tlie
gospel must be growing apace in Europe, while
the work is being done in Asia where they can
shortly return. The Church at Jerusalem dared
do none other thing than that which seemed
good unto the Holy Spirit and unto them. The
Holy Spirit proceeding from the Father and the
Son was the Eternal Spirit, searching and know-
ing the deep things of God as well as the hearts
of men. He who came as the Spirit of Truth
to guide men into all truth made unquestioning
obedience the condition of his guidance and
leadership. Loving and gentle, finding us in
greater depths of our being than we had ever
known ourselves, helping our infirmities as we
know not how to pray as we ought, we find
the Holy Spirit himself making intercession for
us with groanings that cannot be uttered, giv-
ing us spiritual longings even when our lan-
guage is inadequate to shape our prayers aright.
How vital not to resist or quench or grieve or
tempt the Spirit of God whereby these gracious
helps were possible! It was the fact of their

66 The Personality of the Holy Spirit.

yielding themselves to Satan in a conspiracy to
tempt the Holy Spirit to leave the infant Church
forever, after such lying and hypocrisy, that
made the sin of Ananias and Sapphira so odi-
ous. Only what was personal could feel so
deeply this affront to purity and truth. The
Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Truth has only
condemnation for whatsoever loveth and mak-
eth a lie. Was it because the offense was the
greater after our Lord's denunciation of hy-
pocrisy that the condign punishment was so
speedy and unhesitating?
Thu offices of By yirtuc of thc exalted offices of the Holy
Spirit we are assured of his personality. He
must be possessed of the highest order of in-
telligence and of sensibility and of will to be
the Teacher, Comforter, and Administrator of
the Church. He is the source of intellectual
life as well as the teacher and guide of the in-
quiring mind. While there is a spirit in man,
it is the Spirit of the Almighty that giveth un-
derstanding. Our very rational nature is his
gift. Whatever the various intellectual gifts of
men, whether for art or administration as with
Bezaleel and Joseph, whether for statesmanship
or generalship as with Moses and Joshua,


■The Personality of the Holy Spirit. 67

whether for the judiciary or the throne as with
Samuel and David, whether the eloquence of
an Apollos or the logic of a Paul, there are
diversities of gifts but the same Spirit. "To
each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit
to profit withal. For to one is given through
the Spirit the word of wisdom; and to another
the word of knowledge, according to the same
Spirit : to another faith, in the same Spirit ; and
to another, gifts of healings, in the one Spirit ;
and to another workings of miracles ; and to an-
other prophecy ; and to another discernings of
spirits : to another divers kinds of tongues ; and
to another the interpretation of tongues : but
all these worketh the one and the same Spirit,
dividing to each one severally even as he will."
The notable gifts following Pentecost had their
origin in the same Omniscient Spirit from whom
man received all his intellectual gifts in germ,
and Pentecost was but a bringing out possibili-
ties of which men scarce dreamed as part of
the common inheritance of the race. Men of
genius in all ages and lands have been dimly
conscious of some intelligence which they would
invoke as their muse, and were conscious of
greater mental acuteness after invoking his aid.

68 The Personality of the Holy Spirit.

Can it be that the unknown God which they
ignorantly worshiped we can now proclaim as
the Light that lighteth every man that cometh
into the world? God giveth not his Spirit by
measure. The limitation is never in God's un-
willingness to bestow, but in man's incapacity
or indifference to receive.

The Spirit of Truth is ever seeking to make
"sons O'f light," because they have the light and
believe on the light. To the anxious question
of the only Judas (not Iscariot) capable of such
spiritual longings, "Lord, how wilt thou mani-
fest thyself unto us and not unto the world?"
Christ taught that obedience was the organ of
spiritual knowledge. "If a man love me, he will
keep my word ; and my Father will love him,
and we will come unto him and make our abode
with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not
my words." It was immediately following this
declaration that Jesus said, "But the Comforter,
even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will
send in my name, he shall teach you all things,
and bring to your remembrance all that I said
unto you." To the Holy Spirit we owe the
entire body of sacred literature, whether of the
Old or the New Testament, as he found obedi-

The Personality of the Holy Spirit. 69

ent and holy men who were borne along by the
Holy Spirit, responsive to his guidance, and all
their powers consecrated to his service. He not
only brought all things to the remembrance of
the sacred penmen who wrote the Gospels, thus
guaranteeing the accuracy of their records, but
guided into all truth the apostles who submitted
themselves to his leadership as the Holy Spirit
took of the things of Christ and showed them
unto them. The intellectual awakening that fol-
lowed the ascension and Pentecost, when the
supernatural seemed to have entered forever
into the world of nature as the God-man bore
with him in perpetual incarnation his glorified
body and yet held constant communication with
men by the Holy Spirit, marked an epoch in
the world of mind. The mightiest Thinker in
the universe had become the Teacher of men,
and his unvarying theme was the Person of the
Son of -God, in whom were hid all the treasures
of wisdom and knowledge. What power of
illumination had he in convincing men of sin,
what convictions he wrought as to the right-
eous Lord from heaven who had returned to
heaven, and what displays of the judgment of
the world since its rightful Lord had come to

7o The Personality of the Holy Spirit.

assert his supremacy and the prince O'f this
world who had so long claimed its homage was
exposed and cast out as an impostor! "The
history of the world is the judgment of the

The Holy Spirit who guides into all truth
becomes the Comforter or Strengthener of men.
He gives comfort as he gives strength, the
strength which comes from clear conviction,
ample light, the knowledge of Christ whom we
have believed. "We have a strong consolation
who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope
set before us ; which we have as an anchor of
the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and
entering into that which is within the veil ;
whither as a forerunner Jesus hath entered fo'r
us." We are comforted by the light that shines
out of darkness, more glorious than that which
shone at creation, for it now shines in our
hearts to give the light of the knowledge of
the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
He comforts us by the Spirit of love through
whom the love of God is shed abroad in the
heart by the Holy Spirit that is given unto us.
The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace
and joy in the Holy Spirit. It is thus that the

The Personality of the Holy Spirit. ^i

God of hope fills us with all joy and peace in
believing, that we may abound in hope, in the
power of the Holy Spirit. It is he who makes
possible the communion of saints who are con-
scious of his love as a motive, so that Paul writ-
ing to the Roman believers says : "I beseech you,
brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the
love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with
me in your prayers to God for me ; that I may
be delivered from them that are disobedient in
Judea, and that my ministration which I have
for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints;
that I may come unto you in joy through the
will of God, and together with you find rest."

The Comforter who bears witness with our The God of
spirits that we are the children of God is in- "^^ '^°'^f'""^-
deed our Strengthener as he teaches us to say,
"Abba, Father." He is the God of all comfort
who comforteth us in all our affliction, that we
may be able to comfort them that are in any
affliction, through tlije comfort wherewith we
ourselves are comforted of God. This is pre-
eminently the communion or the communication
of the Holy Spirit to us in his office of Com-
forter as he reaches the heart through the in-
tellect and enables us to give to every man a

72 The Personality of the Holy Spirit.

reason for the faith tliat is in us. Therefore
Paul was far more concerned for spiritual states
than for spiritual gifts. Better than the gift of
tongues or of knowledge or of prophecy was the
spiritual state, the abiding state of love as well
as of faith and of hope. What could not one
endure with abiding love that taketh no account
of evil, that rejoiceth with the truth as a per-
manent possession, that beareth all things, be-
lieveth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all
things? Love never faileth. The fruit of the
Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, good-
ness, faithfulness, meekness, moderation. Para-
dise is restored when the boughs of the tree of
life bend with such celestial fruit.
The executive Now the great Lord of the harvest, as the
oj the God- executive of the Godhead, is the Administrator
Lord of the ^^ '^^ Church. He has called it into being.
harvest. The ccclcsia, "the called out," is the g-eneral as-

sembly who have responded to his call because
they first responded to his teachings and have
known his power to comfort and to strengthen.
"Where the Spirit is, is the Church !" As many
as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the
sons of God. For these received not the spirit
of bondage again unto fear ; but they received

The Personality of the Holy Spirit. 73

the spirit of adoption. The Spirit himself who
bears witness with our spirits that we are the
children of God teaches us that if children we
are heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with
Christ ; if so be that we suffer with him that
we be also glorified with him. In like manner
the Spirit helpeth our infirmities of whatever
sort, putting into us his courage, his power, that
we may be strengthened with miglit by his Spirit
in the inner man. Now it is according to this
power that worketh in us that we can give glory
in the Church and in Christ Jesus unto all gen-
erations forever and ever, unto him that is able
to do exceeding abundantly above all that w-e ask
or think.

The mighty Lord of the harvest knows every xjnwd
square mile of this planet where he claims do-
minion in the name of the Son of God, to whom
has been promised the heathen for his inherit-
ance and the uttermost part of the earth for
his possession. It is through him that Ethiopia
stretches out her hands unto God. While we
think in individuals he thinks in nations. In holy
confidence of the certain outcome, he has even
recorded for our instruction some of his "field
notes" as he has survcvcd the world which is


74 T^^ic Personality of the Holy Spirit.

the field. Listen to the record: "In that day
there shall be a highway out of Egypt to As-
syria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt,
and the Egyptian into Assyria ; and the Egyp-
tians shall worship with the Assyrians. In that
day shall Israel be the third with Egy^pt and
with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the
earth : for that tlie Lord of hosts hath blessed
them, saying. Blessed be Egypt my people and
Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine
inheritance." When this triple alliance is formed,
the map of the world shall be changed for the
new heavens and the new earth wherein dwell-
eth righteousness. Yet the zeal of the Lord of
hosts will perform it.

The Lord of the harvest, to whom we axe
bidden by our Lord to pray that he may send
more laborers into his harvest, shows his sov-
ereignty over men not only in opening doors
and breaking down the walls of hermit nations,
showing that the hearts of kings are in his
hands and he turneth them whithersoever he
will like rivers of water, changing dynasties and
overturning kingdoms, but he can even over-
come the selfishness and narrowness of his mes-
sengers until they think only of their mission

The Pcrsonulity of tJic Holy Spirit. 75

and their message. He can hurl a reluctant
Jonah "with the force of a catapult fully three
days' journey into the heart of Nineveh" to
preach the preaching he is bidden, or can send
a Hebrew of the Hebrews far hence unto the
Gentiles, transforming and ennobling human
personality until it becomes a chosen vessel unto
God to convey his name unto kings and the dis-
tant nations of the earth. He gives the power
of the keys to the men that are able to receive
them, and he fills and enlarges men that they
may be able to receive them. The measure of
the Spirit's power is found in the resistance to
be overcome, whether in human inertia and in-
difference or in selfishness and pride, and even
hatred of that which is good, as the carnal mind
is enmity against the law of God. His greatest
work is spiritual, the awakening and conviction
and conversion and regeneration and adoption of
sons, the giving men the power to become the
sons of God and then directing that new power
into unselfish service.

The ministry of the Spirit is best seen in the mxre^ro-
ministry of holy men and women whom he hath "'^'^'/°-"*'''

■' •' ax the might-

created anew in Christ Jesus unto good works, iestperson-
in the multiplication of himself through believ- "'"•''•

76 TJie Personality of the Holy Spirit.

ers filled with the Holy Spirit. "God manifests
himself through liis Son, but gives his life
through his Spirit." It is the life-giving Spirit,
imparting repentance, faith, hope, love, courage,
who is the great Administrator of the affairs of
the kingdom. Would you realize his work?
"Think away all the nineteen centuries and all
Christendom and stand face to face with eleven
men and their Lord promising to guide them
into all truth." Whatever increase Christ's king-
dom has had since the beginning has been through
the power of the Holy Spirit, and whatever suc-
cess it shall have in the future must be through
the same divine agency and his power of reach-
ing, renewing, inspiring, and commanding men.
What personality has ever swayed men as has
the Holy Spirit? He fills with new recruits the
ranks which death has thinned; he moves men
mightily with the memory of their Lord until
the love of Christ constrains them ; he gives tb.em
assurance of sonship and heirship of God and
kinship with men, until he gathers togetlier the
mighty army of witnesses of the resurrection of
Christ, and with himself as a co- witness he leads
them forth, conquering and to conquer. Napo-

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Online LibraryE. R. (Eugene Russell) HendrixThe personality of the Holy Spirit → online text (page 4 of 11)