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By Doug Post

Consciousness is awareness or more specifically, the mind’s state of awareness – self-awareness. Metaphysically, consciousness is the act of observation and perceives what passes in the mind. Therefore, it is the awareness of reasoning processes, sense perceptions, involving all moral and spiritual actions, desires, intentions, and emotions. 

Consciousness is confined to the actions of the mind. It is the knowledge of itself which cannot be separated from every thought or action of the soul and body. Therefore, there is awareness of self as it relates to one’s moral intents and actions. Therefore, if a literal and personal dwelling of Deity within the flesh is accepted, then there must be consciousness of this.

A sensory perception or awareness of that alleged “fact” must exist, especially when one alleges there must be a direct Spirit on spirit communication or witnessing (Rom.8:16), wherein the consciousness of the mind must surely be aware. However, since literal/personal “indwellers” tell us there is no perceptual awareness or consciousness of such an alleged personal “indwelling,”, then their entire notion is contradicted, suspect, and false.

A literal dwelling of the Spirit presupposes that the Person of the Spirit – the very Being, Himself – personally residing in the individual, spatially present, inhabiting human flesh. And from this supposition evolves another supposition, which insists that the Person of the Spirit within human flesh, directly aids, comforts, and works (operates) within the Person.

That allegation is that the Spirit directly manipulates, provokes, alters, and redirects the natural human cognitive processes in order to will and to do what God desires. Direct, immediate, and supernatural energy is supplied and/or infused for the purposes of altering and manipulating the course of human thought and action.

Of course, without the theory of an immediate, direct supernatural human manipulation, the underlying theory of a literal and spatial habitation of the Spirit has no real significance. In other words, it would simply be a Divine or holy hibernation, having no purpose or reason.

But for many there must be a purpose and a reason, and as result, and this produces other wild imaginations associated with the Spirit’s alleged direct supernatural manipulation or interference of the natural human cognitive processes, which are essentially the influences of Calvinism and Pentecostalism. And we are told, “It just has to be this way.”

Ironically, personal/literal “indwellers” reject the Calvinistic notion, and rightly so, that the Spirit must directly, immediately, and supernaturally, in order to manipulate or interfere with the consciousness, mind, and cognitive processes of the unbeliever, because they are deemed “totally depraved.” The purpose for this direct work or operation of the Spirit is so the unbeliever will be converted to Christ and saved. Of course, Calvinists will typically point to passages such as John 6:44 in order to support their heretical supposition. 

Even the personal/indweller knows that John 6:45 must be considered and that one is drawn by God through teaching. That is, one is led or guided by the Spirit through the word of God. Just as the Constitution guides our country and out leaders (it’s supposed to) we can say the Founding Fathers guide us, not having left us to ourselves, but have left us their guide. In like manner, the same is true with the Scriptures. God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) guides us, NOT DIRECTLY, NOT SUPERNATURALLY, and WITNESSES to our spirit, NOT DIRECTLY and SUPERNATURALLY, with, by, and through His Word. Now if this is true with the non-Christian, and it is, then why do some continue arguing that we, as Christians, must be led or guided by the Spirit DIRECTLY and SUPERNATURALLY? It is still the very same operation. Jesus stressed this fundamental process, Himself.

He specifically told us that the seed is the Word and the soil is the heart. Whatever conversion there will be; whatever spiritual growth in faith there will be; whatever continued sanctification there will be, will all occur with, and through, and by the His Word. We note here that Jesus never mentioned anything about the Holy Spirit having to directly and supernaturally, manipulate our minds and interfere with our human cognitive processes. He simply noted that spiritual success we will have will be by the influence of His Word (seed) and because we have a good and honest heart. This is neither complex nor mystical as some brethren are wont to make of it.   

We know The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist and this knowledge comes through the Word THEY have given us, not through some inner feeling or sense. Through revelation (the Word) in our consciousness takes the form of ideas, to which faith gives the assurance of God’s reality. Paul said that he lived “by THE FAITH of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20).

While Paul was an apostle of Christ, having the power of the Spirit, able to perform signs and wonders, and speak by inspiration the revelation He received directly and supernaturally, he, himself, was not affected directly or supernaturally to be more spiritual in his personal life. He was not given “energy” like “supernatural steroids” in order to live a moral life and to win his victories over temptation. Rather, he won his victories over temptation, sin and the devil by knowing and submitting to the Will of the Lord in the Word of God. Quite simply, as the Holy Spirit said through Paul, he lived his life by THE FAITH just as David did when he said that he had hid God’s Word in His heart (Psa.119:11).

The Holy Spirit influences us through His Word and only through His Word. Of such influence, Alexander Campbell said: “The Spirit of God is ever present with His truth, operating in it, and through it, and by it.” I would add “And never without it.” The Spirit influences us through a means – the Word of God – of which the consciousness of the mind apprehends, creating faith from THE FAITH. It is THE FAITH – the Word of God – that quenches all the fiery darts of Satan (Eph.6:16). In conviction, conversion, and sanctification, the Holy Spirit influences on by His Sword (Eph.6:17) – through His Word. The Holy Spirit, Himself, specifically says that His very own Scriptures make complete and thoroughly equipped (2 Tim.3:16-17). The Holy Spirit does not say, we are made complete and thoroughly equipped through His Scriptures plus an additional working of the Spirit that is DIRECT and SUPERNATURAL, in order to prove more equipping to our moral thinking and actions, and so we can understand His Scripture. No that is not what the Holy Spirit. Only a cultist-minded delusional soul would so contend.    Send article as PDF   

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