© Charles A. Clough 2001
Charles A. Clough
Biblical Framework Series 1995–2003
Part 6: New Truths of the Kingdom Aristocracy
Chapter 2 – The Earthy Origin of the Church
Lesson 174 – More About Pentecost with Paul; Baptism of the Spirit
10 May 2001
Fellowship Chapel, Jarrettsville, MD
I want to go back to where we were on Pentecost for a moment, just to review for a little bit and we want to get into the doctrine associated with the event. We are dealing with the ascent of Jesus Christ and Pentecost. The Lord Jesus Christ ascended into heaven and sits at the Father’s right hand. At the point that Jesus Christ ascended and was there, He sent the Holy Spirit, and when the Holy Spirit came there were a number of overt signs. The Book of Acts picks up where Pentecost left off. So you can diagram the Book of Acts with two themes. One theme is the Kingdom of God that appeared very prominently in the early part of the book. When Peter addresses the nation right at the day of Pentecost and he basically gives a Kingdom offer to the nation once again. The Lord Jesus Christ in His earthly ministry gave invitation number one; Peter on the day of Pentecost gives invitation number two.
So the nation has officially been addressed that Jesus is your Jewish Messiah, the function and purpose of your nation in history is to bring in the Kingdom, and you can’t bring in the Kingdom without the King, so you need to accept Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Of course, the nation didn’t do that, they went negative here and they went negative here. And what happened was that you had a remnant of believers, people who responded to Jesus Christ and then in the Book of Acts this remnant becomes the seed of something else. Because the nation had not accepted Christ, Jesus Christ could not return to earth and establish the Kingdom. And God, with His strategic and sovereign finesse in history, began something else that was not obvious early on in Acts, and that is this new thing called the church. It didn’t become obvious for years afterwards because Acts says there was Pentecost and then there were these little mini-Pentecosts.
The one Pentecost on page 36, table 5, we outlined those mini-Pentecosts; we said there’s one in Acts 8, which is the Samaritan Pentecost. That was where the Lord worked out an event showing and proving to this Jewish remnant that non-Jews were accepting Jesus Christ and not only did they accept Christ, not only were they saved by justification by faith, but they shared in the coming of the Holy Spirit. So there’s something going on here that this Holy Spirit that was given in preparation for the Kingdom, now it seems to unify these people and here you have Samaritans who were Jewish-Gentile mongrels, who intermarried, etc., and were despised by the Jews. That’s why Jesus, by the way, picked out a Samaritan for the parable of the Good Samaritan. He picked out a despised person deliberately to make His point.
Then you have the second one in Acts 10 and that was when Cornelius, a Roman Gentile, became a Christian and Peter was astounded that here a person who was not at all related to the Jewish nation, not at all racially part of the Jewish clan, here you have him not only believe in Jesus Christ but he receives the Holy Spirit. The same thing that happened at Pentecost happens to the Gentiles.
So by the second mini-Pentecost we’ve integrated the Samaritans, we’ve integrated the Gentiles, and finally in Acts 19 that’s the passage where they integrate Old Testament in the Diaspora; in other words, here you have a remnant of Jews but they were a Palestinian remnant of Jews. As the gospel spread through the Mediterranean they would encounter these little clusters of people who were true believers in the Old Testament dispensation, they were saved, they had believed on Christ as far as they could believe on Him because they didn’t have that much content, but nevertheless saved by faith, just like Abraham, David, Joshua and all the Old Testament saints. Here you have Old Testament saints becoming New Testament saints - that is recorded in Acts 19.
So by the time you get to Acts 19 you’ve had all these little events happen and it’s the conclusion of the book that God is doing a new work and introducing this thing called the church. Obviously the person who’s central to this whole thing and takes over as the Book of Acts continues is the Apostle Paul. You have Peter involved early on and then Paul comes in. The interesting thing about Paul is that he was a member of the Jewish nation that had rejected, because Paul rejected at that point and Paul rejected at this point. Nevertheless, even though he rejected at both invitations to the nation to believe in Jesus Christ, eventually God in His grace called Paul. When Paul became a Christian on the Damascus Road something happened during that conversion process that I believe set up Paul’s theology for the rest of his life, in fact, set up a lot of the theology for the entire New Testament.
Turn to Acts 9:3 and observe something that happened that day on the Damascus Road. “And it came about that as he journeyed, he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him;  and he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting’ ” the object of the verb “persecute” is what we want to look at because this changed Paul’s life, and I believe this set up the New Testament theology. “ ‘… why are you persecuting,’ ” object of the main verb, ‘Me?’ ” He doesn’t say, “Why are you persecuting believers, why are you persecuting those who accepted Christ?” He says, “Why are you persecuting Me?”
In verse 5, we have his famous answer, “And he said, ‘Who art Thou, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are’ ” are now, present tense, “ ‘persecuting.’ ” So twice in that context the statement is made that Paul is persecuting “Me.” Let’s follow the logic here. How can Paul persecute the Lord Jesus Christ? Here’s earth, Paul’s on earth, the Lord Jesus Christ is in Heaven at the Father’s right hand. How is it that Paul can say that by attacking believers here, we’ll put –B for Paul, +B for these people have been led to believe in Jesus Christ.
So you have these people, many hundreds and thousands of them who are believers and Paul is going after them. Paul can’t go after the Lord Jesus Christ because the Lord Jesus Christ physically is at the Father’s right hand. So it must have come as somewhat of a shock to Paul that when Jesus, who shined down from heaven, and he’s basically having this vision of the ascended Lord Jesus Christ, and that ascended Lord Jesus who is far out of the reach of Paul, is claiming to be persecuted by Paul.
The only way that Paul could conclude that this was so, because again here’s the main verb, “persecute,” “persecute Me.” The only way that works is if Jesus Christ is somehow in union with those people, and here you have the birth in history the idea of union with Jesus Christ. Here’s the heart of the New Testament theology; here’s the definition of the church and Paul never forgot this, he couldn’t have forgotten it because this was the time when he became a Christian. He must have been indelibly impressed upon his mind, it must have taken him… well it did, we know it took him years of study in the Old Testament and study of the Scripture and prayer, and thinking this through before he became the mature theologian that wrote these New Testament epistles.
That’s why, for example, if we turn to Ephesians 1 he can write this kind of material, he can say the things he’s saying because he has an understanding that there is a union of some strange sort that goes on between the risen Lord Jesus Christ and His saints who dwell on earth. Every epistle starts the same way; I just picked Ephesians, but notice verse 1 how he addresses the Christians. He says, “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, to the saints who are at Ephesus,” that’s their earthly location, “and who are faithful in Christ Jesus.”
The preposition in the Greek, en, or “in” and that preposition is used dozens and dozens of times in the New Testament. And it’s that sort of thing that we’re moving into now to understand that as we go into the doctrine of the Holy Spirit associated with Pentecost, because at the ascension of Christ was the heavenly origin of the church, then the coming to earth out of Heaven, the giving of the Holy Spirit is the earthly origin of the church.
The reason this becomes so important to understand is this question, and this is a question that is vitally related to the Christian life. In the dispensation of Israel, during that time period in the Old Testament, how were people saved? We know how they were saved because in Romans he tells us how they were saved; New Testament saints and Old Testament saints saved the same way, justified by faith. So it can’t be that the difference between a believer in the Church Age and a believer in the dispensation of Israel is a different method of salvation. The method of salvation is identical. So we can say they’re saved and they’re saved, there’s no difference there, the basis of their salvation is exactly the same, they were saved by faith. Nobody in the Old Testament was saved by keeping the Law. So we have no difference here.
So we’re asking our self, what different does Pentecost make then. If the method of salvation is the same, what is the whole deal with Pentecost? When we deal with the Rapture of the church, which seems to be confusing today with post-trib and post-mil, we’ve got the preterists, we’ve got the pre-wrath people running around, the three-quarter people, the mid-trib people, and a lot of them are totally confused about the removal of the Holy Spirit. They haven’t got a clue about it and I think the reason they haven’t got a clue is because they’ve never thought about this question, the front end of the Church Age. They can’t deal with the back end of the Church Age because they haven’t understood the front end of the Church Age.
When the Church is removed from earth, the peculiar work of the Holy Spirit begun on the day of Pentecost terminates. I was talking to one of these people the other day and they said well, the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, He’s always here. That’s right; He’s here in the Old Testament. But something changed in Pentecost. Well, this is the mirror image of Pentecost, this is the coming of the Holy Spirit, plus Pentecost here and minus Pentecost here. It’s bracketed [by] both ends of the Church Age. So if we’re not clear about what the Holy Spirit does here, we can’t be clear about what the Holy Spirit does there. It’s not true that the Holy Spirit is omniscient and He stays the same: He does not stay the same down through history.
Let’s go back further in history and ask ourselves, “What was the Holy Spirit’s ministry in the age of the Gentiles, before He made Israel? How did the Holy Spirit differ in what He did back here? Did He differ because of salvation? Was Job saved, Noah saved differently than Abraham and David?” No, they were saved and they were saved by faith. So again there’s no difference in salvation. Well then what is the area of difference? The difference is two-fold. First of all, the content of the gospel changes. By this I mean the content of the message that is embraced changes with dispensation to dispensation.
Let me illustrate. In the New Testament it’s quite clear that we are trusting in the announcement that Jesus Christ has died for our sins. Yes; everybody agrees. In the Old Testament, what was the content that people trusted in in order to be saved? The Abrahamic Covenant. Does it say anything about the cross in the Abrahamic Covenant? It does by implication, but they didn’t know that. So what was it that they believed in all during the Old Testament? They believed that Jehovah was somehow going to save them, but they didn’t have a clue about the details. So the content of the gospel does change from dispensation to dispensation. It’s not the same gospel in the sense that the content is identical. The content changes.
Here’s where Reformed theology gets into trouble because it always wants to make the gospel unchanging, like the way of salvation is unchanging. It thinks that the method of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, then the content of faith has to be the same yesterday, today and forever, and that’s not true. Noah, back here, only had Genesis 1–11, that’s the sheer content of the gospel known to them in that era. Did they know about Israel? Was there a special nation in it? Were there [the] Shekinah glory and the Ark of the Covenant then? Were there any special Mosaic Law Code rules then? No. So something changed.
So back here we can say not only did the gospel content change, but most importantly is the will of God for believers, what God expected of believers to be obedient in one dispensation is not what He expects of believers to be obedient in another dispensation. In the Old Testament the saints in had as part of the will of God for their lives going to the temple to worship. They were ordered, and they would have been disobedient had they not done it, to go offer blood sacrifices at the temple. Is that true of the will of God for believers in the Church Age? No it isn’t. And even your most ardent Reformed person will agree that well no, I don’t go to the temple to give blood sacrifice, that’s Old Testament. Right, so I’d have to agree you’re a dispensationalist. The will of God is different from dispensation to dispensation.
Now do we mean that the Ten Commandments have changed? Yeah, Paul says all the Ten Commandments are out in the Church Age. Does that mean the content of the Ten Commandments, “thou shalt not steal, etc., no, because nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament. But they’re repeated as teachings that come from heaven through the Lord Jesus Christ for His Church. And the reason that there’s a continuity of principle, of righteousness, from Old Testament to New Testament is because of what attributes of God that doesn’t change? His holiness. God’s holiness is the same from dispensation to dispensation.
So His ethical principles are the same from dispensation to dispensation but the cultural form in which they take it, the specific details, vary. Dr. Ryrie has said, if you want an analogy of the difference from dispensation to dispensation, think of an administration. You have in the United States a President of one party, he’s succeeded by a President of the other party, who’s succeeded by a President of the other party, and you have switching back and forth every four to eight years. Is there a continuity between Presidents? Yes. Is their office is in the same place? Yes. Do they operate on the same Constitution? Yes. Are their policies the same? No, the policies change.
That’s what different about these dispensations, so trying to zero in on what we’re grappling with here at Pentecost is we’re asking the question is what difference in the will of God and the content of the gospel happened as a result of Pentecost? And the reason we want to ask that question is because the New Testament is specifically addressed to the Church Age. It is the Old Testament that is addressed back here, and you’re going to see conflicts between the two if you don’t recognize that one is addressed to Israel and the other is addressed to the church. There are different things going on here.
The best example of our modern society is that in the Church there is no difference between Jew or Gentile or between racial groups. Is that true in the Old Testament? Was God acting differently to Jews than He was Gentiles in the Old Testament? Yes. Could there have been a believer in Assyria and a believer in Jerusalem and they both believed the same way, justified by faith? Is the will of God for this guy different from the will of God for this guy in his life? You bet it is; one was to function as an Assyrian, the other one was to function as a Jew inside their national entities.
There wasn’t any unified Church going on in the Old Testament. There’s a complete distinction between Jew and Gentile in the Old Testament as far as the will of God goes. If you were living, in Baghdad, that would be Syrian not Assyrian, but let’s say you were out in Babylon or somewhere out there in the Mesopotamian plain, and you had become a believer to the degree that you knew. In other words, here’s the gospel that you would have had and your contemporary over in Jerusalem, he would have had this much revelation, but both of you had become believers, both of you, if you were in fellowship with God were in fellowship only through the fact that in the future Jesus Christ would die for you both. You’re over here in the Mesopotamian Valley; this guy is over in Jerusalem, what’s the will of God for this guy for his worship? Go to the temple. What’s the will of God for this guy? Go to the temple? No, it’s not addressed to him. The point you want to see is there’s different areas in Scripture and they differ from dispensation to dispensation.
So when Pentecost starts and we have this formation of the church, you’re going to see some stresses, and that’s why in Acts 10 Peter is all stressed out about going into the house of a Gentile and eating Gentile food—fellowship with Gentiles? Yuk! But see, the point is, he’s operating as an Old Testament believer under the Old Testament dispensational will of God which was don’t eat with them.
Now why did God say don’t eat with them? Let’s think about this. Why was God discriminating between believer Gentile and believer Jew? There was a discrimination going on. Why was there discrimination? Because the nation Israel had a mission to perform in history that must remain distinct from the mission and role of Gentile nations. So it wasn’t just individuals, it was the mission of the overall nation. That’s one of the reasons for the difference. As we go into the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, we want to think about this issue, what’s changed as a result of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit? What new things have happened, what changes have happened from the Old Testament way of doing business?
On page 36 I mention something that we’re going to deal with when we get into the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. But we want to review this because this comes out of the book of Acts. They’re talking about it—John talked about it—the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It’s this baptism of the Holy Spirit that began on the day of Pentecost and is going to be one of the elements that forms something very, very interesting as far as the church is concerned—the baptism of the Holy Spirit. There are many baptisms; it may surprise you but there are six or seven different baptisms in the Scriptures. There’s the baptism of John that was water and wet. There is the baptism of Church Age believers and that’s wet. There’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit and that’s dry. There’s the baptism of fire and that’s dry. There’s the baptism of Moses, mentioned in 1 Corinthians and that was dry. Baptism isn’t always wet; baptism is used in other ways in the New Testament and also in the Bible at large.
But this particular baptism, this is a baptism of the Holy Spirit and it did not happen in the Old Testament, so this is something new and we want to see the implications of this. One of the implications of the baptism of the Spirit that you’re going to see, if you turn to 1 Corinthians 12:13 for a peek at what this has done. Remember, this is Paul writing, he’s discussing the baptism of the Holy Spirit and he’s saying that it does something. Here’s one of the things that’s changed from the Old Testament t the New Testament.
1 Corinthians 12:12–13, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” He’s inviting us to think about the church in terms of what? The design of the human body.
Here’s an interesting type. When God created man in the Garden of Eden, this is something, if you catch this, watch how this totally blows any compromise of evolution. If things were really the way they are presented in the public school classroom, if things are really the way the so-called intellectuals that dominate our culture believe, then the form of our bodies is a result of what? Why is our body configured with two hands, two legs, and why do we have this configuration anatomically? It’s a result of chance and adaptation under pressure, under environmental pressure.
In other words, we happen to be here in our present body design by accident. The Bible says we are here in our bodies by divine design that was done in a matter of seconds. Seconds, you say? Yes. How long did it take God on the sixth day to reach down, take a clump of earth, and turn that into a human body? Seconds. And you know He did it without consulting Darwin. It is absolutely amazing that God knew enough to be able to pull that off. He did it rapidly; it didn’t take Him millions of years to do that. Do you know why? Because God is smart. Chance, because it has no intelligence, takes a long time.
Again think of the analogy. If you have a car that doesn’t work in your driveway, you don’t want me working on it. I don’t know anything about the car engine. You take somebody who is a mechanic and he can do it fast. Ultimately I might be able to figure it out, so I have a certain amount of work that I do on that engine, so much energy goes into solving that problem. Does the guy who worked with the engine and solved the problem quickly, does he have the same amount? The same product happens. Which one takes the longer time? The stupid one. And this is why evolution and its associations take millions of years; such a process so stupid has to take millions of years and even then it can’t do the job. But smart people can do a job and do it rapidly and do is quickly and do it efficiently.
So it’s no shock that the human body anatomically was designed in a matter of … well, from all eternity, but the human body was put together in the garden very, very rapidly. As Tertullian, one of the great church fathers said, when God stooped down and grabbed that dirt from the floor of the garden and formed that human body, do you know what He had on His mind? The incarnation, because the human body is designed to glorify God as no other part of the universe can. God didn’t incarnate Himself in a dog, a cat, a lion, like the sphinx, remember, all your ancient deities were zoomorphic. Pharaoh, the falcon, remember Egyptian art, you always see the falcon head and then you see Pharaoh’s head, what’s that saying? So it is only in the Bible that God fully incarnates Himself in a human body because the human body is designed for the incarnation.
What Paul does in verse 12 is say that not only is the body designed for the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity to walk around in, but this body has another miraculous component to it. The bodily organization among all our parts, fingers, hands, toes, nerve system, GI tract, all the rest of it, all this intricate body of ours, is designed to be a picture of something called the church. And Paul says that the Church includes the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the head of the church. Where did the word h-e-a-d come from? The human body. Look at verse 12, he says as the body, “so also is Christ.” So the anatomy and physiology of the body is not an accident, it is not a result of some stupid zero intelligent process that takes millions of years to perform. It is a result of instantaneous act of God that is designed with an historic purpose in mind which is to glorify God and to teach us truths, so that in verse 12 Paul can teach truth by analogy with the body.
And one of the things he says is, verse 13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into” that body, now this is heavy stuff in the New Testament and it’s very difficult to grasp his point. This is not easy stuff. But the church is a body of some sort that is analogous to a human being’s body, and the Holy Spirit has put…, when you become a Christian, at one time you were not a part of the body of Christ, but the instant that you trusted in Jesus Christ the Holy Spirit baptized you into this church thing. This is not joining the church. This is not going through a liturgy at this point; the liturgy is there but the liturgies commemorate this act, they aren’t the act itself.
By the “Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” So he says there’s a diversity and there’s a unity, and whatever happened on the day of Pentecost, this baptism of the Holy Spirit started something new, the formation of the church, and this is not Israel, this is something altogether different. It’s the Spirit baptism which we have to get into and there are also implications as far as our life is concerned.
Turn to Romans 6 and you’ll see there’s a lot of stuff associated with this baptism of the Spirit. We’ll get into that eventually but we’re just showing you that associated with this baptism is a lot of stuff and that’s why we have to spend a lot of time making sure we understand what we’re doing here. In Romans 6 he’s addressing practical issues of the Christian life, and he says, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?”
By the way, the fact that he has to answer the question tells you that Paul taught grace so that it sounded and would lead to this question. That was the problem after the Protestant Reformation. In the counter reformation the Catholic Jesuits tried to attack the Protestant Reformers on this point, they said if you Protestants teach the gospel of believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, sola Christo, sola Scriptura, sola fei dei, if you really teach that, then your people, you Protestant people are going to live licentiously, because if you give people assurance of their salvation at a moment in time they’ll say huh, okay, I’m going to Heaven so now I can raise hell. That was the attack the Jesuits made against Protestants.
Unfortunately, and this is one of the weak areas of the Reformation, the Protestants didn’t come right back and say that’s exactly what we’re teaching. We are teaching that at the point of trust in Jesus Christ you’re forever saved and you have the freedom to live your life; however, if you, are a genuine member of the family of God and you mess around, there’s another little factor that comes up to balance it.
What they failed to do is bring this other little factor up, called discipline, and God’s discipline can be very nasty and very harsh and very painful. But instead of doing that they said ooh, my gosh, you know people might live licentiously so they backed up and started compromising and said well, if somebody does this or does that it shows that they really weren’t a Christian. It was a compromise. Now that’s true, you can have false faith and we’re not denying that. It’s just that you don’t try to use that defense on justification. Come on, what did Abraham do after he was justified, was he a perfect saint? Was David a perfect saint? Who are these people kidding, nobody is a perfect saint. The point is that they didn’t become saints because they were good, they became saints because they trusted that they weren’t good and received the legal work of the Lord Jesus Christ’s cross.
So the baptism of the Holy Spirit in Romans 6 is tied in with this problem of grace and sin. Verse 2, Paul says, “May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?” He’s saying it’s preposterous to think that if you have become a Christian that you’ll want to sin. “Or do you know that all of us,” he’s going to tie this in, we’re not exegeting Romans 6, all I’m showing you here is the word “baptize” in verse 3. I want to show it to you in verse 3 because I want you to see the context in which the New Testament talks about baptism. In Romans 6:3, “Or do you know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?  Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
So this baptism not only joins with the body of the church, in union with the ascended Lord Jesus Christ, but it does something else. If Jesus Christ is the head of the church, what was He doing before Pentecost? He was dying on the cross. What was His exodus from the earth? Dying on the cross. In some peculiar way isn’t what Romans 6 says not only are we in union with Jesus Christ at the Father’s right hand, He’s the head of the church, the Lord Jesus Christ, He’s ascended, He sits at the Father’s right hand, not only are we in union with Him at that point in history but we were in union with Him when He died on the cross. If you can’t understand union with Christ when He’s ascended, it’s almost impossible to understand how we were in union with Him when He died on the cross. Somehow we are identified with the Lord Jesus Christ and the cross.
This is Romans 6. What chapter comes before Romans 6? Romans 5, and what big idea did he introduce in Romans 5 that gives you a handle on where he’s going in Romans 6. Turn back to Romans 5:12, Now we begin to see something here, and this is where you get in real trouble if you’re not going to take a literal approach to all of Scripture. People get greasy in their idea in handling the early chapters of Genesis; here’s where you’re going to screw up and it’s going to torpedo your theology in a very bad and serious way.
In Romans 5:12 he goes all the way back to Adam and what does he go back to in Adam’s life, what event in Adam’s life? The fall. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law,” in other words, it wasn’t due to the Mosaic Law, people didn’t die as punishment for sinning, they died and all of us are under the sentence of capital punishment. It always amuses me; people say oh, I don’t believe in the sentence of capital punishment. We’re all under capital punishment. It’s just a question of when we die, that’s all, only one generation is going to escape capital punishment and that’s the generation of the rapture. So everybody’s under capital punishment. Try that one in conversation and see if it doesn’t lead you into interesting areas.
Verse 12, “… as through one man sin entered into the world,” not just into the man that sinned, it wasn’t just that sin entered into Adam, “sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death” did what to all men? It “spread to all men, because all sinned— Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of Adam’s offense,” in other words, there’s got to be a universal cause of physical death. Now the universal cause of physical death and capital punishment is the result of our union with Adam.
So now we’ve got a second ministry. Not only after we become Christians are we in union with Jesus Christ, before we became Christians we were in union with Adam and that’s why we die. People who don’t see this will come to a passage like Romans 5:12–14, particularly in university classrooms where the teacher tries to ridicule and break up Christians, and they’ll say see, this is very immoral, this is very unethical. How cruel of God to punish everybody because of this jerk in the garden, how wrong it is to be identified and have our destinies shaped by one guy back there. Now this isn’t too hard to understand. Is your destiny shaped politically by what George Washington and the founders of this country did? Their decisions have shaped our lives, have they not? All right. So does the predecessor determine the successor’s destiny? Sure it does.
In the grand scheme of things, who was the original predecessor? Adam. And in Adam was all the DNA. Was there any DNA outside of Adam? Here again, literal Genesis, the Bible is careful to say God did not create Adam and then He created Eve in the sense of separate. It says He created Eve out from Adam. What does that make Eve’s DNA? Adamic. So Adam and Eve both have and both come from a common biological source. That is not a random story; that is not some fairy tale that Moses thought was cool to make up in Egypt somewhere. That is a story that is very seriously related to the depths of history, to our bodies, to our design genetically, to our destiny spiritually, etc. These stories are very serious and should be taken very seriously, and not laughed at and ridiculed. The people who do that, I’m sorry, they’re shallow thinkers. I’ve really come to the conclusion that people who can act with that kind of an attitude to the text of Genesis are shallow people. They may be very smart people, but in this area they are not thinking maturely, they are thinking in a very sloppy way and a very shallow way.
In Romans 5 we have something that corresponds to the baptism of the Spirit. The baptism of the Spirit, in other words, takes us out of union the first Adam and plugs us into union with the second Adam. While we were in the first Adam what were we identified with? The fall and sin. When we are plugged into the second Adam what are we identified with? The Cross, and the exodus from this world.
Do we feel this? No, this is not a feeling, this is not an emotion. I don’t feel anything about the garden of Eden, I don’t have any historical part of it, it’s not my memory, I wasn’t there, I have no idea what it looked like, except when I read the Scripture. Nor do you. So none of us are connected in a direct emotional way with that act. But legally we are blamed for the fall along with Adam. In some way we are judicially in union with Him, such that when God sentences Adam He has sentenced you and me. Don’t ask me to explain it; all I know is what I read here.
The baptism of the Spirit is very difficult because we are now put in union with Jesus Christ who is said to be the second Adam, who now fulfills the role of the human race as the perfect God-man. This has implications about the life of Christ and the indwelling of Christ, and the basis of the Christian way of life and all the rest of it. All this flows out of this, but what I’m getting at is there’s something very profound going on here with this baptism of the Spirit.
Going further in the notes, we talked about the cessation. The fact is when the church formed all during these early years the church had living apostles, and while the apostles were with the church during the time of the founding of the church, all during this book of Acts, you had the apostles doing miracle after miracle after miracle after miracle, all of them authenticating that a dispensational shift had happened. But as the book of Acts go on these miracles spread out and become weaker, so that at the end of Paul’s life he no longer can walk by, as Peter did, with handkerchiefs and get people automatically cured; it’s not happening. So that’s why we say there’s a cessation. By cessation we don’t mean a cessation that God can’t heal people today, or God can’t do a miracle today, we’re not saying that.
Cessation has to do with the fact that these special gifts of apostle and prophet with this special authenticating miracles, that has ceased. And if you aren’t a cessationist, then you don’t have a closed canon of Scripture. It’s precisely the cessation of these gifts that shuts down the New Testament. That’s why in the Book of Revelation there’s a curse on anyone that adds to the New Testament, and that goes for Joseph Smith or anybody else that tries to come up with an addition to the Bible. There are no more additions to the Bible because there are no more apostles and there are no more prophets; the gifts have ceased. On the other hand, if the gifts are really genuinely continuing, let’s look around for Revelation 23, we ought to start looking for it, somebody should be writing it if we have prophets. If these gifts are continuing where is the Scripture? Where are the perfect prophecies? [blank spot]
… there is a living prophet around who infallibly prophesies, who meets the condition of Deuteronomy 13 and Deuteronomy 18, those are the two tests. A genuine prophet has to meet Deuteronomy 13 and Deuteronomy 18. Do they? Well, I do not really believe in infallible prophecy today. What other kind of prophecy do you believe in? It’s either infallible, or it’s not prophecy Scripturally. I think I’ve introduced enough issues so you can at least see why cessation is connected to this dispensational shift. We talked about the New Covenant; the Old Testament covenants are not fulfilled in the Church. So we come to the consequences of Pentecost, the person and work of the Holy Spirit. There’s a neat quote on page 42 that I found in Dr. Chafer, who’s the founder of Dallas Seminary. I want you to follow me through that quote, it has a little humor in it but it’s so true.
“For want of extended and constructive teaching with respect to the Holy Spirit, the Christian church is, for the most part, in the same position as the twelve disciples of John the Baptist whom Paul found at Ephesus. Their statement—sincere and free from pretense—was, ‘We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost’ (Acts 19:1). . . . Almost every”—now watch this very important statement that follows—“Almost every error or disproportionate emphasis upon some aspect of doctrine on the part of a few is caused by the neglect of that truth on the part of the many. The Pentecostal errors with their misuse of biblical terms and their assumptions would never have developed to any extent had the full and right doctrine of the Holy Spirit been taught generally in its right proportions.”
So it’s a lack of teaching about the Holy Spirit that has set off and triggered a lot of other stuff in the church. The baptism of the Spirit is often meant, in Pentecostal circles if you’re not familiar with it, it’s looked upon as a second work that you have to have after you’re saved; you’re a Christian, then later on you have this experience and that’s called the baptism of the Spirit. It doesn’t fit the Scriptures. Paul says that if you’re not baptized with the Spirit you’re not in the body, if you’re not in the body you’re not saved. “If any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” I know where they get it from. They get it from trying to interpret Acts as a norm and a standard, because in the book of Acts didn’t the Holy Spirit come secondarily to salvation. Yeah, remember, in Samaria they came up, they were believers, then the apostles had to come and lay their hands on them, so the baptism of the Spirit in that instance did follow by a time element. First there was salvation and then there was the baptism of the Spirit.
But what’s going on in the Book of Acts? How do we say that you have to look at the Book of Acts? We said you had to look at the Book of Acts as a book of transition where you’re moving from kingdom to the church, so you have the mini-Pentecosts happening and you can’t use one of the mini-Pentecosts as a norm for theology for the rest of the Church Age because we’re not having mini-Pentecosts. Those were special situations designed to authenticate the founding of the Church and tip off people by a dramatic miraculous special manifestation that the church was going on. That’s why they have miracles of speaking in languages. The idea that the speaking in tongues and speaking language is some sort of esoteric heavenly language, again it comes out of a misinterpretation of 1 Corinthians 13.
Remember we said in Acts 2 that the languages there were known, they were recognized. Not only were they recognized they were called the dialects. They even had an accent, you know, somebody comes to America and they hear somebody from Alabama talk to somebody in Brooklyn. They talk different, and that’s the dialect. And the miraculous thing in the original Pentecost was that those guys were speaking not only in the language, they were speaking in the dialect. So who observed that? It was Peter, obviously, and Paul got it from Peter, etc. Luke studied it, and I made this point, now maybe you’ll see why I made it. In Acts 19 Luke wasn’t there. Where did Luke get that particular mini-Pentecost from? He got it from Paul, who was there. Now if Luke is using the word glossa to describe Acts 19 and he’s saying that’s the same that’s happened at Pentecost, does the word glossa mean known or unknown languages? It means known languages. Who’s using the word there? Paul is, not Luke.
So now if Paul uses glossa in Corinthians, what does he mean by glossa? Known languages. So there’s no real justification for that interpretation that it’s some unknown heavenly language. Again, it comes about because in 1 Corinthians there’s this hyperbolic passage about “though I speak with the tongue of angels,” etc. By the way, what language do angels speak in? Think about it. Every time an angel speaks in Scripture, does he come up to Abraham and go blah, blah, blah, blah, blah? No, he speaks to Abraham in Hebrew. He comes to Daniel, did Michael talked to Daniel in a heavenly language, or did he talk to Daniel in Aramaic? He talked to Daniel in Aramaic. So angels apparently know the language pretty well; they went to language class.
We are coming now to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and page 41, we’re just reviewing those statements we made about the Trinity, because remember, the Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So our balance, and we want to start off with our balancing, don’t get this doctrine of the Holy Spirit messed up because you learn about it separated from the doctrine of the Trinity. You must learn about the Holy Spirit as He is in the Trinity. It will save you, it will keep you balanced, it will enable you to understand New Testament passages, and their Holy Spirit’s role in our lives. So just to review these points:
“God is Absolutely One: He cannot be divided into parts based upon some prior categories or qualities. He is fully each of His attributes.”
“God is Absolutely Three: God has an aggregative nature that is eternally threefold, which is itself the archetypical source of logic and number, basis of math by the way, the number theory begins with the Trinity.”
“God’s Threeness Refers to Modes of Being, Not Just Roles:” It’s not that God is God and then when He puts His working clothes on He turns into the Father, the Son or the Spirit. The Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father do have distinct and preferred roles, but beneath that they are inherently distinct. Otherwise they wouldn’t have been distinct before creation, because if their roles in salvation didn’t start until the fall, so if the roles didn’t start until the fall, does that mean that they weren’t distinct before the fall? I don’t think so. “The so-called “economic trinity” derives from a fundamental ‘ontological trinity’.”
“The Subordination within the Trinity Does Not Refer to Essence:” In other words, because we say there’s sort of a progression from Father to Son to the Holy Spirit does not mean the Holy Spirit is inferior to the Father or He has less of each divine attribute than the Father. This subordination is not one of subordinate essence. It’s rather to be looked upon as a team, and how a team works. The Trinity can viewed in one sense, now not absolutely, but in one sense these are the way they fit together, it’s like man and woman.
In fact, when feminism invaded evangelical circles there were two famous women who wrote a book on it and it’s interesting that when they dealt with this issue of role, they insisted that a subordinate role meant subordinate essence. That’s the basis of feminism. I read the book because I said to myself, “Hmm, this is going to be interesting. I want to see what these women are going to do with the doctrine of the Trinity.” So I went through their book page after page after page, watching for it because I knew if they had any scholarly integrity they must address the issue of the Trinity because in the Trinity you’ve got the same problem. You’ve got roles that look like inferiority but aren’t. Their argument was that the way the family is designed, and some families were designed like this …, in defense of feminists, there is some iniquity there that had to be straightened out, yes, but when they got here I knew they were going to have a problem, and sure enough, they got to the point where they had said that the Trinity has to be rethought. You can smell a rat right away; if your view of truth is such that it doesn’t fit the Trinity, I think we have a rather basic problem going on here. This is not a peripheral, incidental, side issue somewhere; this is right at the heart of Christian theology.
So those are the main points, “The subordination within the Trinity does not refer to essence. There is a relationship among the three Persons of subordination from the Father through the “begotten” Son to the “proceeding” Spirit.” And those two words you want to know, because next week we’re going to take those two up. The word “begotten” is used of the Son. The word “proceeding” is used of the Spirit throughout the church and the creeds, and [these are] two words that you want to know as Christians. When you get some cultist that knocks on your front door someday, and they’re going to pin your ears back because they’re going to say see, we believe the creeds, Jesus is begotten of the Father, and that means that He’s inferior, He came after the Father.
The last one, “With Respect to the Salvation of Man the Triunity is Perceived With Both Threeness and Oneness: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit each have distinct roles in man’s salvation, yet at the same time we worship the One God.”
I want to take you to two passages to remind you that when we went through the Trinity doctrine I referred you to key passages that referred to the Trinity, because you’ll get somebody that says oh, the Trinity is never stated in the Bible clearly and you Christians can’t show us a passage of Scripture that refers to the Trinity. Well yes I can. Turn to Isaiah 48, this is one of those oh-oh verses. I’m going to show you two verses, both from Isaiah; by the way, what’s the clearest reference to the Trinity in the New Testament? Think of a mission’s conference. At a missions conference what is the verse everybody talks about? The Great Commission. And what in the Great Commission is the clearest New Testament statement of the Trinity, “baptizing them in the name,” does it say “names” or does it say “name?” The noun “name” is singular, “name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Clear statement, Matthew 28, but we don’t want to use the New Testament; we’ll go to the Old Testament, just for our Jehovah’s Witness friends.
Isaiah 48:16, “Come near to Me, listen to this: From the first I have not spoken in secret, From the time it took place, I was there.” Everybody cool so far? God’s speaking? Yes. What do you do with the last clause? “And now the Lord God has sent Me, and His Spirit.” See what I said, oh-oh. What do we do with this one? Clearly God is speaking; clearly He says God has sent Him, and clearly He says He has the Spirit with Him. There is the Trinity in the Old Testament.
The second passage you want to think about, write down somewhere in case you have to use it someday, Isaiah 61:1, you have to go to Isaiah 60:22 to see the context, it says “I, the LORD, will hasten it in its time.” That’s who’s speaking. Now in Isaiah 61:1 the same person is speaking, it’s a continuation, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me—to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners.” It talks about the Spirit of the Lord is upon me, and then it says the Lord has anointed Me. Who quoted verse 1 in the New Testament? In the synagogue? The Lord Jesus Christ. So the Lord Jesus Christ Himself used this particular verse to explain how He understood Himself. And people were really ticked when He did this; they got the point, a very non-politic type of verse unless you really are the Lord. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me—to bring good news to the afflicted.”
The point I’m saying is that the Father, Son and Spirit have to be thought about together, don’t get imbalanced, and that’s going to be important when we think about, “What does the Holy Spirit do for us?”
Question asked: Clough replies: You’re speaking of the flamboyant TV thing; some of that has died down but there’s still some of it left. [same person says more] That’s a good point you’ve raised about much of the television (quote) “religious” programming in particular they’re kind of hoopla evangelism I call it. I think the best example of the right way to do it is Billy Graham. You never see any of that hocus-pocus stuff with Graham. He’s always had a straightforward thing and we can criticize him for maybe this or that in the gospel presentation but Billy has always maintained his integrity, and he’s always maintained a decorum there, which I appreciate.
Same persons says more: Clough says: The big issue with all of that kind of activity that you’re talking about is that if you kind of back off from all the details and ask yourself the question, what comes out at the end of all of this, and I think you have to agree that it certainly isn’t a clear gospel that comes out at the end, there’s not a clear understanding that comes out in the end. It caters to an emotional mystical type approach. I think we’ve gone through enough of the New Testament, particularly the stuff tonight, I mean, the truth of the Word of God is so heavy and so deep that it does overwhelm you, but not like that. It overwhelms you in the sense that sometimes you almost despair of ever saying that well, God I know you in the sense I really understand what You’re doing here, because so many times because He’s incomprehensible, and He has so many twists and turns to His plan, that it sort of thwarts you.
However, the bottom line is that a genuine relationship with the God of the Bible always involves the mind, and if we had time we could go into the epistles, there are passages, particularly in Corinthians, because that church seemed to have big problems, where Paul says that when the emotional lifestyle, the mystical, the emotional, the subjective lifestyle is allowed to dominate, it actually destroys the perception of the believer. He has an expression, when you enlarge your stomach, I think is the literal Greek, and the stomach was always considered to be the organ of emotion, primarily I guess because when you’re emotional it affects your stomach, it’s called ulcers. The point is that he says when you focus on this you destroy the ability to know Jesus Christ. And it’s simply because the Bible always comes to you, not just mentally, it’s not just mental. It does have emotion, but the emotions are responding to what it’s saying. And that’s the center of the gospel; the gospel is a message.
Think what the Second Person of the Trinity is called, what’s an alternate name for the Second Person of the Trinity, besides God the Son? It’s the “Word.” “In the beginning was the “logos,” so what does that mean. It seems to mean of all the three persons of the Trinity, which one is an exposition of content? It’s the Son. We’ll see that when we get into the roles of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father is the source, He’s the personal source, the Son is the content of the message, so to speak, that’s one way of looking at the Trinity, and the Holy Spirit is the effects, the Holy Spirit is analogous to when we receive a message what does the message do to us, and that doing, the message doing, is what the Holy Spirit does.
You see that in creation when God creates the world he says “in the beginning” it was this and that, “and God said,” but involved in the process, early on in the narrative, who is it that’s hovering about the earth on the waters? It’s the Spirit of God. So the Spirit is the One … I always visualize, if you can think of a play, somehow this is the analogy that is somewhat used in the notes about Poythress, but if you think of a play and think of the playwright, and think of the actors and the actresses that are carrying out the drama on the stage. Think of the technicians that deal with the lights, the makeup artists that deal with the costumes, etc. Then if you were to say what the roles look like, the Father is like the scriptwriter; the script acted out is the Second Person of the Trinity, and the thing that supports the stage, supports the lights, supports the people, supports the actors, etc. is the work of the Holy Spirit. So, that’s how they kind of flow together.
But I think it’s important at this time, because we’re going to get into this, that kind of stuff that was just pointed out, that is often taken to be “see, that’s a manifestation of the Spirit,” got to get the Spirit, and it almost becomes a facetious cheap and ridiculous association with the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God isn’t like that. The Spirit of God, if you think about it, is the One who holds the universe in an orderly way. But that’s the sloppy way we’ve got it, and people associate that, they’ll say oh, they’re really moved by the Spirit. They’re not moved by the Spirit, they’re moved by their emotions. The Spirit is not the emotions, there’s a difference in that. And if we don’t perceive that we can get screwed up very quickly in our Christian life, because if you identify the Spirit with your emotions what do you do when you’re depressed? What do you do when you’re tired? Now you’re going to think that the Holy Spirit is less with you because you’re tired, you’re exhausted, you don’t feel good, you’re sick. Does that mean the Holy Spirit is not there? So see what happens when you mistakenly identify those two, you can really get tubed because now you’ve so identified them that when this goes to pot, then the Holy Spirit must be going to pot and that can’t be true. So there’s a caution there.
Question asked: Clough replies: Yes, in the degree that, there’s a book in the Old Testament written to protect against self-righteous discrimination of Jew against Gentile, and that’s the book of Ruth, because Ruth is a good example, a good counter example of a Gentile being absorbed into the Jewish line, without prejudice. But in that case she’s living in the land, and in that case she’s trusting in Jehovah, and in that case she’s married into a Jewish family, under the headship, by the way, of a Jew. So in that case you’ve got a balance to show people that just because you’re racially a Jew doesn’t give you a right to discriminate against the racial Gentile.
What I meant by discrimination wasn’t a cruel social thing. What I meant was that clearly if you lived in Israel and were Jewish there was a will of God for you that was laid out in excruciating detail in the Mosaic Law Code. If you lived over in the Mesopotamian valley or China, or the North American continent, what was the will of God for you? To come three times a year to Jerusalem? I don’t think so, didn’t know anything about it. So what was the will of God for them? The only will of God was intuitively perceived through the conscience, and whatever remnant they had left from the Noahic Bible. So they were not filled in on the details, nor were they compelled, for example, to be circumcised. Why should they be circumcised? Where’s the directions. So there was a distinct difference. And why I’m making this point is that if we don’t get it straight at Pentecost we’re not going to get it straight at the Rapture, that when the church is raptured, society reverts back to the discrimination. That’s what it means, when the church is raptured and gone and you have believers that are both Jew and Gentile in the tribulational period but the point is there’s going to be a difference between them.
Question asked: Clough replies: If he wanted to join the nation, the Jews had a ritual in which the Gentiles could join with them, and at least in Jesus time and in late Judaism you had to be water baptized, that was what was so offensive to John the Baptist when he required of Jews the same thing that the Jews had been requiring of the Gentiles. That wasn’t very nice. But you had to take a not-nice guy like John the Baptist to do that. The point was that the Gentiles that were in Israel would obviously have to conform to the law code, but if you read the law code, it discriminates. It’s just that in cases like Ruth you see the heart of it, that a Gentile is a believer, and a Jew is a believer, and they both are believers the same way, and ultimately they are both going to be in heaven, and ultimately both worshipping God before the throne. It’s just that the will of God for their lives is different and it’s because of a reason. Israel has a function to perform in history. They have to be the custodians of the Scripture, they have to manifest the temple, they have to prepare the way for the Messiah. Assyria didn’t. The North American Indians didn’t have that role, didn’t have to. So they weren’t obligated to act that way because that wasn’t the mission for the nation. So there’s that difference.
It gets fuzzy in some areas, I grant you. But you do want to be careful that you don’t make every believer, whether they’re Jew or Gentile, in the Old Testament like the New Testament. See we tend to read back because we live in the Church Age and everything is nice and even, but don’t read that back into the Old Testament because it isn’t there. Okay, we’ll reassemble next week.