"As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him." - Psalm 18:30

Manifestaions of the Holy Spirit


(From SOUND DOCTRINE Vol. 4, by C.R. Nichol and Robertson L. Whiteside, pp. 86-97. 1920. All Scripture quotations are from the American Standard Version of 1901.)

What or Who is the Holy Spirit? Many people are confused as to whether the Holy Spirit is, or is not, a person. Some contend that the Holy Spirit is only a power, influence, or force. Without an effort or desire to sustain any theory, let us see what we can learn from the New Testament.

1.    The Spirit Knows. “But unto us God revealed them through the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:10, 11). The Spirit which is here said to know the things of God is the same Spirit which the apostles received, and by which they were inspired. This the language plainly shows, and all agree that they were inspired by the Holy Spirit. It is plain therefore that the Holy Spirit knows.

2.    The Holy Spirit Speaks. The Holy Spirit said, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work where­unto I have called them” (Acts 13:2). “Thus saith the Holy Spirit” (Acts 21:11). “Well spake the Holy Spirit through Isaiah the prophet unto your fathers” (Acts 28:25). “But the Spirit saith expressly, that in latter times some shall depart from the faith” (1 Tim. 4:1). “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22). Many other passages might be given.

3.    The Holy Spirit Has Emotions. “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God” (Eph. 4:30).

The power to know, speak, and to suffer grief belongs only to intelligent beings.


There are three divine persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We need not bother ourselves about any speculations concerning the Trinity. Such speculations are profitless. We may know these divine persons exist, but we cannot comprehend their glory, majesty, and power. However, certain things concern­ing their work and their relationship to them are clearly revealed.

   The Three in Creation. Jehovah, the Father, was the designer. “Let us make man,” said he, “in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26). To whom was he speaking? Who was included in the pronouns “us” and “our”? It is certain that the Son, the Logos, the Word, was present, and that he was the active agent through whom the Father worked—that he was the executor of the Father’s will. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him; and without him was not anything made that hath been made” (John 1:1-3). “Who is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him were all things created, in the heavens and upon the earth, things visible and things invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things have been created through him, and unto him” (Col. 1:15­17). “God, having of old time spoken unto the fathers in the prophets by divers portions and in divers man­ners, hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds” (Heb. 1:1, 2). In these passages it is plainly declared that Jehovah made all things through the Son. But what of the Spirit’s work? “And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Gen. 1:2). The marginal reading here is very significant, “was Brooding upon the face of the waters.” “By his Spirit the heavens were garnished” (Job. 26:13). “Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, they are created” (Ps. 104: 30). Thus it is seen that the Spirit was the finisher, the beautifier, the one who brought order out of chaos, and made the world a habitable place.

The Three in Creating the Plan of Redemption. Many fail to realize that God is a God of order and system. In any well organized business, different men have different work assigned them. There is not the over­lapping of functions in the divine economy that some seem to think. Who has not heard people pray indis­criminately to God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit to con­vert, or eave the sinner? Such prayers show that the one praying does not realize that there is system or order in the divine operations.

The plan of redemption originated in the great loving heart of God, and the Son came to execute the Father’s plan (Jno. 3:16, 17; Col. 1:19, 20; Jno. 5:30: 6:38: 11:4). But after Jesus, through death and resurrec­tion, made possible the salvation of man, not a man knew of the significance of his death, nor how to be saved. So far as the people were concerned, the plan was in chaos, and darkness covered the face of the earth. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus ex­pressed the sentiment of the disciples: “But we hoped that it was he who should redeem Israel” (Lk. 24:21). Hence, no one could at that time appropriate or use the benefits of this new order created through the death and resurrection of Christ. The Holy Spirit then, as in creation of the world, had to perform his work to make useable that which God had through the Son created. Jesus had said to his apostles just before his death: “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with you for­ever, even the Spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive; for it beholdeth him not, neither knoweth him; for he abideth with you, and shall be in you.... 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” (Jno. 14:16, 17, 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 not come unto you; but if I go, I will send him unto you. And he, when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, be­cause I go to the Father, and ye behold me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world hath been judged. 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 shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall take of mine, and shall de­clare it unto you’ (Jno. 16:7-14). And he expressly charged them: “Tarry ye in the city (Jerusalem) until ye be clothed with power from on high” (Lk. 24:49). “It is not for you to know the times or seasons which the Father hath set within his own authority. But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:7, 8). On the first Pente­cost after the resurrection of Christ the Holy Spirit came, so enlightening them as to enable them to know and declare fully the plan of redemption. Jesus was preached, and inquirers were told what to do to be saved. (See Acts 2.)


It is said of Old Testament prophets that they “spake from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). That they were not baptized in the Holy Spirit is evident from the fact that such endowment is first mentioned in Matt. 3:11.

      Of Christ it is said that he received the Spirit “with­out measure” (Jno. 3:39). Old Testament prophets had that measure of the Spirit which enabled them to teach present truths and to reveal future events. They had that measure of the Spirit called inspiration, which enabled them to be God's spokesmen; for a prophet is one who speaks for another (Ex. 7:1). Some had an additional measure, enabling them to work miracles. We have no record that any of them had the gift of tongues. There was no need for such gift, as the prophets spoke only to their own people, unless Jonah be an exception. In the saying that Christ received the Spirit without “measure” the thought is presented that others did receive it by “measure.”

After Christ was raised from the dead he made ref­erence to baptism in the Spirit promised by John the Baptist: “John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence” (Acts 1:5). This was only a few days before the day of Pentecost. The apostles tarried in Jeru­salem as the Lord had directed them (Lk. 24:4649). “And when the day of Pentecost was now come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound as of the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them tongues parting asunder, like as of fire; and it sat upon each one of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-4).

What was this baptism in the Holy Spirit, and what were the results? The following results will help us to determine what the baptism in the Spirit was.

    Results of Baptism in the Spirit:

1.     The recipients were enabled to speak in tongues, that is, they spoke in other languages without the slow process of learning them. “They began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

2.     Inspiration. “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Mt. 10:20). “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” (Jno. 14:26). “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he shall guide you into all the truth: for he shall not speak from himself ; but what things soever he shall hear, these shall he speak: and he shall declare unto you the things that are to come” (Jno. 16:13). See also Lk. 24:49; 2 Cor. 2:10-13.

It appears that all the miraculous gifts of the Spirit were conferred by the baptism of the Spirit.

Baptism of the Spirit:

1.     Did Not Depend on Human Agency. It was ad­ministered by the Lord, and the apostles did not so much as know when they were to receive it (Acts 1:5).

2.    Did Not Purify the Heart. “And he made no dis­tinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith” (Acts 15:9).

3.    Did Not Sanctify. “Sanctify them in thy truth: thy word is truth” (Jno. 17:17). “Sanctified by faith” (Acts 26:18).

4.    Did Not Save. Although Cornelius received a miraculous endowment of the Spirit, it did not save him, for the angel had said to him, Peter, “shall speak unto thee words, whereby thou shalt be saved, thou and all thy house” (Acts 11:14).

5.    Did Not Convert. “The law of Jehovah is per­fect, restoring the soul” (Ps. 19:7).

6.    Did Not Give Faith. “And so spake that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed” (Acts 14:1).

7.    Did Not Purify Soul. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in your obedience to the truth” (1 Pet. 1:22).

8.    Was Not Common. In rehearsing the case of Cornelius before his brethren Peter said: “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them, even as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized in the Holy Spirit” (Acts 11:15, 16). The Spirit was given to the Sa­maritans by the imposition of the hands of the apostles (Acts 8:14-17). But in making reference to the Spirit falling on Cornelius and his house, Peter declares that it fell on them as on the apostles “at the beginning.”

The fact that he referred to the “beginning”—Pente­cost—for a like occurrence shows that from that date till the incident at thehouse of Cornelius there had been nothing like it.

                                               GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit” (l Cor. 12:4).

“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 another prophecy; and to another discerning 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” (1 Cor. 12:8-11).

From this it seems that a person ordinarily had only one gift of the Spirit, but this was not always the case, for Philip the evangelist, not only received direct communication from the Spirit, but he also worked miracles. (See Acts 8.) It should be remembered that the apostles who were baptized in the Spirit, had all the gifts of the Spirit.



Paul indicates in Eph. 9:8-14 that these gifts were meant to continue “till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a full grown man, unto the measure of the statue of the fullness of Christ.”

The fullness of the knowledge of the Son of God is revealed to us in the gospel. These gifts were to con­tinue then till the will of God was fully revealed—till the canon of the Holy Scriptures were completed— which was done with the giving of the book of Revela­tion. The sacred writing having been completed, there is no longer need for inspiration, nor for miracles to confirm the word.


The More Excellent Way. After having discussed at length the matter of spiritual gifts in first Corinthians twelfth chapter, Paul declared that he would show unto them a more excellent way. This more excellent way is revealed in the thirteenth chapter. In verse nine he affirms that they knew in part, and spake in part, that is, the gospel was revealed unto them a part at a time, and, of course, they could speak only that part re­vealed. The apostles had revealed to them at any given time only so much as was needed for the occasion, and, of course spoke only what was revealed. By this process the whole will of God was revealed—revelation was completed. Paul affirms that that which was in part, that is, those spiritual gifts, would be done away. “But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away” (1 Cor. 13:10). He had just affirmed that prophecy, or inspired revelation, and tongues would cease, or “be done away” (Vs. 8), and in this verse he tells when they would cease or “be done away,” namely, when revelation was completed. With John’s book of Revelation the sacred canon was closed—the gospel was completely made known. To us has been revealed fully man's origin, sin, and destiny; together with a knowledge of how he may escape sin and attain to the tree of life in the city of God. The miraculous gifts of the Spirit, having served their pur­pose, passed away, never again to be needed or used by man in this life. “But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three.” To contend for the miraculous powers of the Spirit now is to deny that the Bible is a complete revelation from God; or else the one so con­tending does not understand the purpose for which these miraculous powers were given.