Jesus taught about The Indwelling Holy Spirit

The Indwelling Holy Spirit

© 2023 C. O. Bishop

John 14:16-16:15


One of the things Jesus had to do in the few hours he had left with his disciples, was to teach them what to expect regarding the Holy Spirit. He was also preparing them for His own Departure, but, since He was leaving, they needed to know that the Holy Spirit would take the Place of Jesus in their lives, and actually indwell them.

John 14:16, 17

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

This is a key passage, because in it we learn three things:

  1. The Holy Spirit is the Comforter (parakletos) who takes the place of Jesus as our comforter, protector and guide.
  2. The Holy Spirit will remain with us Forever! (No qualifiers, here!)
  3. The Holy Spirit is with us, and (since the day of Pentecost) He is in us.

He is God!

The Holy Spirit is God. We see that in Acts 5:3, 4, where Peter accused Ananias of having lied to the Holy Spirit, and then he clarified the accusation, by declaring, “You lied to God!”

He is a Person

He is a Person; specifically, the third person of the Godhead. In Colossians 2:9, we see that “in Him (Christ) dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead, bodily.” Paul warns us not to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) as He is the one sealing us in Christ until the day of redemption. He is not a “force:” (a force cannot be grieved.) He is not a feeling: Feelings have no authority and they cannot speak to a group of people, as in Acts 13:2, and, as God, send the servants of God out on a mission.

The Indwelling is permanent

In the Old Testament, no one was permanently indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Certain prophets were evidently temporarily indwelt by the Holy Spirit, but He gave no guarantee that He would stay, and David specifically begged that the Holy Spirit would not be taken from him, in Psalm 51:11. The New Testament believer has no need for such a “fear of abandonment.” Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would be with us forever.

Also, the Old Testament servants of God were frequently said to have the Holy Spirit upon them. Only in a few cases does the scripture suggest that He was in them. But Jesus made that New Testament distinctive very clear: the Holy Spirit was (already) with the disciples, but He would soon be in them! The New Testament, proper, began on the day of Pentecost, in Acts chapter 2.

John 14:18-21

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

This is another important passage, because, along with verse 23, it underscores the truth of the Trinity. Jesus had just said that he would leave them and that, in His place, the Holy Spirit would come and indwell them. But, in verse 18, He says, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. And, in verse 19, He says that He is in the Father, that we are in Him (the position of believers is “In Christ!) and that He is in us! So, in the person of the Holy Spirit, we are also indwelt by Jesus Christ Himself!

John 14:23

And in John 14:23, He states that He and the Father would come and make their abode with the believer. As the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit fully includes the entire Godhead, just as we read in Colossians 2:9, that Jesus, (God the Son,) fully included the entire Trinity.

John 14:28

Finally, in John 14:28, Jesus reminds the disciples that the Father is greater than the Son. (Bear in mind that in Isaiah 9:6, we see that the Son shall be called the Everlasting Father!)

Do I understand this? No! I accept it by faith, because God says it is so!

God has the authority to make statements that I cannot understand. I can either accept them as truth, even though I fail to understand them, or I can reject them, claiming that they “don’t make sense!” As a teacher of God’s Word, it is critically important that I teach what the scriptures actually say, and not try to make them palatable by “filtering out the hard things.” I have to be faithful to teach the whole Word of God, even when it seems hard to understand.

John 15:26, 27

26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

Something was going to change: when the Holy Spirit came, the disciples would testify about Jesus, because the Holy Spirit would testify about Jesus. Remember Jesus had already told them they would be scattered, and flee, when He was arrested (and they were, and they did!) But now He tells them that when the Holy Spirit finally came, something was going to change.

In Acts 1:8, 9, He told them the same thing, just before he physically ascended, back into Heaven. He said “But ye shall receive power (“dunamis”…strength; ability) after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

We are Called to Speak, and Called to Do, as He Does

The Holy Spirit speaks of Jesus. That is one of His character traits. He glorifies Jesus, in Word and in deed. And as He indwells us, He calls us to do the same. We have a problem, though: we still have our old sin nature, and we have to overcome a lifetime of habitual self-serving, in order to cut loose from our slavery to self and sin, and to freely follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

In Galatians 5:16, we are admonished, “Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” That is the only way we can serve God, and be free from our old slavery to sin. Jesus told His disciples, in John 15:5, “Apart from Me ye can do nothing.” It was the literal truth.

John 16:7-11

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 depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

Jesus reminded them that it was necessary for him to end His earthly ministry, in order that the Holy Spirit could be completely free to indwell all believers individually. As God, He is omnipresent: He is in all places simultaneously. But Jesus chose to live His earthly life under the same physical rules that restrict each of us. So, while He remained in His earthly body, Jesus was bound to a single place and time at any given moment. He could only be in one place at a time.

Jesus is Omnipresent again, now.

Now, however, He is free to live in every single believer, in the Person of the Holy Spirit. He is free to act through each of us, and speak through each of us, to Glorify the Father by the Church.

Having finally come, the Holy Spirit has two separate spheres of influence: He lives in us, where He teaches, guides and protects us. But His service toward the World is completely different: He “Reproves the World of Sin, and of Righteousness, and of Judgment.”

By the Holy Spirit, especially as witnessed in His people, the World sees sin for what it really is. They may or may not respond in repentance, but they know sin, and by the same means, they know righteousness, and judgment. They can see that the judgment of God is coming.

John 16:13-15

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. 15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

The rest of the work the Holy Spirit does, is in teaching the believers: Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. He does not speak independently from the Written Word of God, but always within the context of God’s Word. He guides us so that we can see what is ahead. He receives all that Jesus is, and says, and does, and He delivers it to us at a level where we can understand it, or at least put it into practice.

He makes the whole Church to Function as it Should

He is the one who administers the Gifts of the Spirit, and He empowers the teachers and leaders He has given. The Holy Spirit is the one who fills the Body of Christ and makes it functional as a whole, rather than being just a cluttered pile of disconnected parts.

Notice, too, that, if the Holy Spirit is the One who is functioning, then the result will be that the actions and words will glorify Jesus, not the humans involved, nor even calling attention to the Holy Spirit Himself. He works to glorify Jesus. He does not speak of Himself, but of Jesus.

This parallels the story of the Servant in Genesis 24, who spoke only of the Son, and sought the Bride. He continued speaking of the Son, until Rebekah was able to look, for herself, to the bridegroom, and see Isaac. The Holy Spirit will glorify Jesus until we see Him face-to-face!

Ministry of the Spirit

In the outworking of the New Testament, we begin to see details of the change Jesus promised: We see the gifts of the Spirit laid out in 1st Corinthians 12. We see the unity of the Spirit, in Ephesians 4:3-5. And we see the Fruit (singular) of the Spirit, described in Galatians 5:22, 23.

We see that there is One Body of Christ with many Members. We see that there is One Holy Spirit, who works differently through each believer, in the various gifts, but they are always in keeping with God’s Word. (If they are not, then it is not the Holy Spirit who is at work.)

We see that the Unity of the Spirit (in that One Body of Christ) is created by the One Holy Spirit, but is to be maintained by the believers, collectively, by walking in obedience to Him.

We see that the Fruit of the Spirit has nine aspects, but that they all are to be there, in season: it is just one fruit, with nine characteristics, all of which have to be there.

Just the Facts!

This is not the “heady, psycho-babble” that typifies much of the foolishness taught today, about the gifts of the Spirit. It is simply the facts, as laid out in the Word of God. And, as we continue walking in the Spirit, the Lord raises us up as His servants and coworkers, so that the Gifts He has given find a place to function, and we rejoice to serve with Him.

Do I have to understand all the things God says about the Holy Spirit, in order to be aware of His leading in my life? No, I do not! If I am willing to obey Him and trust Him to lead me, then He will open doors before me and offer tasks for me to fulfill that will honor Him and please Him. He will direct our paths, if we are willing to follow His leading.

When we know the “general truths,” such as the fact that He has called us to be His witnesses, and that He has called us to leave our old ways of life behind, and commit ourselves to following Him in His Holiness, then we can start doing what we know to do, and looking to Him to lead us into a further walk with Him.

In Closing:

I want to close with one small point, in John 14:26. “26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Notice that it says the Holy Spirit will teach us, but it goes on to say, “He will bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”

Jesus primarily speaks to us through His written Word. Peter confirmed this, in 2nd Peter 1:19,  saying “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the daystar arise in your hearts.”

If the written word is the primary way Jesus talks to us, and if we are not spending much time in the Word, then He can’t say much to us…and “we aren’t giving the Holy Spirit much to work with,” in terms of bringing it to our remembrance. We can’t remember what we never heard or never read. We need to feed on the Word, to be prepared to follow His leading.

Lord Jesus, empower us by Your Holy Spirit, and raise us up to walk in your footsteps. Teach us to understand Your Will and to obey from the heart.

Ultimate Blessing

Ultimate Blessing

© C. O. Bishop 2019

Isaiah 4:1-6; Revelation 1:10-18


Last time, we completed chapter three, and saw how God was going to purge Jerusalem of her sin. We saw that it could have been referring to the Babylonian captivity, but that it certainly had reference to the Great tribulation as well.

Chapter four skips all the way past the Great Tribulation, and addresses the blessedness of the surviving remnant in Jerusalem after the Lord’s return.

When we study God’s Word, especially when studying the prophetic writings, we must look for the correct, Biblical interpretation, before attempting to find appropriate application in our own lives. In other words, we must ask: to whom is this written, or regarding whom? What are the circumstances under which it is written? When was it written? (In what time period?) Are there any clues as to when the prophecy (or promise) is to be fulfilled? Exactly what is being prophesied, or promised? Are there conditions under which things could change? (For example, if there is a warning of coming judgment “…except ye repent”, does that mean there is a possibility of escaping judgment, if the recipients change their behavior? It certainly had that effect in Nineveh, didn’t it?)

So, beginning with those standards of study, let’s read Isaiah chapter 4. (Read all of it)

To Whom is this written?

As we read, we will keep in mind that, according to verses 2, 3, 4 and 5, these promises are to Jerusalem, Judah, and Israel, not the United States, Great Britain, or some other country. There may be application in our lives at one level or another, but the interpretation is definitely to the Jews, not any Gentile nation, nor even to the Church.

Where will it happen, and When?

Chapter 4

1And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

The prophecy in verse one could (possibly) still be in reference to the Babylonian captivity (because of the scarcity of men, after the siege and evacuation), but verse 2 makes it clear that the final fulfillment of this prophecy will be at the beginning of the Millennial kingdom:

In that day shall the branch of the Lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.

Verse two predicts that “in that day” the “branch of the LORD” will flourish (in reference to the returned and reigning Messiah), and that the fruit of the land would be excellent and beautiful for the remnant of Israel, who survived the tribulation. This is the “remnant” of whom God will speak over and over again: those Jews who survive the tribulation, and enter the Kingdom alive, in their natural, physical bodies.

Verses 3-6 make it clear that this is specifically in reference to the physical return of the Lord… the entire city of Jerusalem will be under the Glory of God, and every living person therein will be called Holy. When? “When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion.” At that time, every single living Jew will be a believer, and will be utterly devoted to his or her Savior. Where? In Zion, the City of the Living God.

And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem:

When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.

So the judgment that happens during the Tribulation period is for the purpose of purging and cleansing Israel, making her holy, and preparing her for the purpose He had announced from the beginning, that she should be holy, and a kingdom of priests. Remember, as we say this, that the Church is to be kings (plural) and priests. Israel is to be a kingdom (singular) of priests. The two are not the same.

What will happen?

And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence.

And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

We want to be especially careful in applying these sorts of prophecies—this is only in reference to Israel and Judah, and any misapplication can result in some bad theology. The closest proper application will be that at that same time, every living Gentile will also be a believer (this is immediately after the “judgment of the living nations” described in Matthew 25:31, ff). But the Gentiles will NOT be “called Holy”, and will NOT have the special supernatural blessings that will be in Jerusalem. Life will be better than at any time in history, all over the world, but the Jews in Jerusalem will be under the special blessing of the presence of the ruling Messiah.

Are there Applications for today?

In terms of today, in the Church age, I can think of no physical application, except to say that having Jesus residing in your heart is great, and an absolutely necessary result of your salvation: but having Him presiding there—reigning there—is greater still…and is what God wants for each of us, day by day. Jesus will be physically residing in Jerusalem, and reigning from there, over the whole world. I want Jesus to reign from my heart over my whole life. It is entirely possible for a believer, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, by the person of the Trinity, actually, to still be in active or passive rebellion against his or her Master. This would be a spiritual application of a physical reality.

I can also see some further spiritual application: in verse 5, he says that “a cloud and smoke by day, and a shining of a flaming fire by night” will be upon every dwelling in Jerusalem. Remember that, when the tabernacle and the temple were first built, God promised that he would literally move in, and live there. The smoke and the fire from those two edifices were to show everyone that God lived there. He did move in, and the glory of God shone out so brightly that no one could come near the place. (Exodus 40:34, 35; 2nd Chronicles 5:13, 14) In the Jerusalem of the Millennial Kingdom, He will live in ALL the dwellings…how does that apply today?

(See John 14:16, 17; Romans 8:9)

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

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

So, we can see that every single believer is indwelt by the Spirit of God…no exceptions.

Why? What is the point? And, if it is so important, then how ought the world to know it? (See John 13:34, 35; Philippians 2:15, 16; etc.)

John 13:34, 35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Philippians 2:15, 16
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Notice that, in the Philippians 2 passage, Paul gives us some idea about what it means to “shine as lights in the World—holding forth the Word of Life.”

We are not just to be “fine moral examples,” or “upstanding citizens,” though those are also expected. We are to be a constant testimony to the saving Grace of God.

Jesus addressed this idea in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:14-16), saying, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

Our Love for the brethren and our good works in general ought to stand as a constant testimony to the living reality of God’s saving Grace in our lives. And, our words should match our life.

The Revelation Confirms It!

Oddly enough, in the opening chapters of the Revelation, God again refers to the churches as candlesticks. They are the light holders…the lamps. Collectively, we are called to be lights in the world…lamps, shining in a dark place. Jesus Himself is the actual source of the Light.

Revelation 1:10-18

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;

13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

15 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.

16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.

17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:

18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

The candlesticks (lampstands) are representing the Church at large: we are not the source of light…we are holders of the light. (Think back to Matthew 5:15; the man lighting a candle is God, in the person of Christ. Jesus is the light of the World. But where does he put that candle? On a candlestick! Each assembly of believers should be a light in their community.

In Philippians 2:15, we were told that we are to shine as lights in the world. And how? Philippians 2:16 says that we are to” hold forth the Word of life.” Who is that Word of Life? According to John 1:1, Jesus is the Word, and according to John 1:4, 5, Jesus is the Light, and the Life. The Gospel of Christ is the Word of Life we offer to the World, while we hold the light of Christ.

So the Light in the midst of the candlesticks, there in Revelation 1:13, is Christ… the lampstands, or candlesticks, are the churches (plural), and collectively, they are the Church, proper. The reason we separate the two ideas (singular and plural,) is that (as we will see in chapter 3) individual churches can fail, and be removed as lights in the world. The Church as a whole is held in place by God until we, as a whole, are removed at the Rapture of the Church.

The fact that there were seven candlesticks speaks of the completeness of the Church: there were many other churches within the Church at large. The number “Seven” is frequently used to indicate completeness, and it shows that the whole body of Christ is in view.

The Gold speaks of intrinsic value. Keep in mind, as we see the flaws in churches(plural,) that in spite of their flaws and their failings, they are still solid gold, in God’s eyes. Even when we see the stern warnings to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3, we need to remember that GOD said they were solid gold! When you feel tempted to be dismissive of another believer, for whatever reason, remember that they are precious in His sight.

The golden implements and vessels of the Old Testament temple were still holy to God, even when enemies had physically stolen them and used them for unclean things. (God judged Belshazzar in the book of Daniel for that very crime.) An individual church may become unusable, because of sin, but all the born-again believers in that church are still God’s holy people, and He will keep them, chastise them, correct them and recover them for His own glory, even if it means taking them home. Jesus has never lost a single lamb of His flock!  He himself makes that claim in John 6:39—“ And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Those are precious promises, aren’t they? Now, if I had to depend upon my own works to save me or keep me, I’d be lost: it is as simple as that! But Jesus says He will not lose a single one of us…and He says that we are precious in His sight. He calls us to choose holiness, and to lay our lives before him, daily, as a living sacrifice, so that every moment is to His glory.

Israel has a promise of great things to come: we have even greater blessing: we are the Bride of Christ, collectively, and are currently indwelt by His Spirit! Israel will be seen as a priesthood for God in the Millennial Kingdom, and marked, physically, by the column of smoke by day, and fire by night, from every residence in Jerusalem. We are to be priests in the World today, marked by Love and good works. We are to hold forth the word of life, and to shine as lights in a dark world, meanwhile, as it says in verse six, we are also to find in Him our only shelter against the trials of life: the heat of day, the cold of the rain, and the power of the storms of life. Find our shelter in Him, and offer that shelter, His Love and Grace, the light of life, to all those around us.

God help us to do just that!

Lord Jesus, change us from the inside, and make us able ambassadors of your Grace. Purge us of the fears and bitterness and anger that shackle us; the sins that so easily weigh us down, and free our hearts to serve you with Gladness.