The Holy Spirit Dwelling in the House and in the Individual; Independent Action of the Holy Spirit

John 14:17; Acts 8:26; Acts 13:2; 1 Corinthians 2:2; 1 Corinthians 12:4; 1 Corinthians 14:15; Ephesians 4:8
I have not the least doubt that the interpretation* of John 14:1717Even 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. (John 14:17), though very common, is a mere blunder. "Dwelleth" is the same word as "abide" in verse 16. Christ the Comforter would not "abide" with them as He then was, nor was He "with" them. The other Comforter would abide "with" them, and "be in" them. "Will abide" in Greek would be the same word as "abide," save an accent, and there were none originally: μένει abides; μενεῖ will abide.
(* 'I cannot see that the Spirit took up His abode in the house, or in them in any way separate from, or distinct from, His being in them individually. By the fact of His being in thorn individually, and being Spirit, He was of necessity in them collectively, and in no other way that I can see... " He is with you and shall be in you ": on this is founded the whole thought of the presence of the Spirit with us, apart from His being in us. as the leader of the assembly. I understand the Lord to mean that He Himself, having received the Spirit, He, the Spirit, was with them, because Jesus Himself was with them, and He was in Jesus; but that by-and-by the Spirit would be in them in like manner as He was in Jesus: that at Pentecost they should themselves receive the Spirit, and that now the Spirit is not with us in the sense in which that verse speaks of His having been with the disciples.')
Next, Acts 13:22As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. (Acts 13:2) was not the assembly. The prophets were fasting and praying together and the Holy Ghost spoke with authority by one of them, "Separate me." The state* of the individuals sent had nothing to do with it. God in His government may employ a fitting vessel, but no state of fitness can separate by divine authority a person for a specific apostolic work. And this is the point: the free action, and divine authority of the Holy Ghost; that is, of God. I have no doubt, as a general rule for edification, usefulness in service depends on the state of the servant, but to use this as a plea for denying the direct action of the Spirit is ruinous. It is not a chandelier of light, though each should be filled with the Spirit, but the personal free action of the Spirit. Scripture recognizes the diligent use of the word, "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them," etc.: but to use this to deny the sovereign freedom of the Spirit is also ruinous and destroys our dependence on and guidance by Him. In Acts 8 we have first "the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip." Now, I do not doubt that the Lord chose a fit person in Philip, but the angel's speaking to him was not the state of Philip's soul. Then we find the Spirit telling him to go to the chariot. Then the Spirit "caught away,"—a word in Greek or English leaving no pretext for the interpretation** given to it—" and the eunuch saw him no more." In Paul's journey the Spirit of Jesus did not allow him to go into Mysia, and they were forbidden to preach in Asia or Bithynia.
(* The Spirit in me, if not grieved or otherwise hindered by me, would produce in me a state coincident with His presence in me, in which state I should be alike capable (1 Cοr. 2) and free (2 Cor. 3) to answer to the leadings of the Lord according to my relative place in the body (1 Cor. 12) as He took His place as Leader of the assembly.')
(** Taken off his feet, and carried off.')
It is alleged that this independent action of the Spirit belongs only to the Old Testament, as Saul, Balaam,* etc. This is a mistake: Caiaphas prophesied. It will be said that this was in Judaism. But Paul teaches it doctrinally (1 Cor. 13), "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am... nothing." The very fact of tongues is an independent action of the Spirit, for they did not understand what they said, and if there was not an interpreter were to remain silent. Tell me that this is lost—I understand you, but then do not deny that the Holy Ghost so acted. But there is a difference to be made between 1 Cor. 12 and Eph. 4 In the former the Holy Ghost down here acts with divine authority and power, but it is simply giving power (in gifts) to whom He will; but "the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets," not more than "two or at the most three" were to speak. The word of God, the authority of Christ in the church, ordered the exercise of the power. If a man spoke with tongues, and—it was so completely the Holy Ghost—he did not understand what he said (a case supposed), he was to be silent, unless he or another could interpret. The apostle preferred to speak with his understanding, and edify the assembly, to which end all was to be directed. In the latter case (Eph. 4), it is Christ ascended on high, who, having received the Holy Ghost from the Father, gives for the spiritual need of the church (and here there are no gifts which are miraculous, in the ordinary sense, but) "apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers," and the promise that these will continue to the end, and then (ver. 16) what every joint supplies in the measure of every part.
(* ' These examples are Old Testament, and only speak of the operation of the Spirit, not of His presence, or the manner of it in the Church')
But the Holy Ghost has been given, and come down, and all goodness and wisdom in exercise is from Him. He formed the body, He also makes us members. Even Christ "by the Spirit of God cast out devils." We are to be "led by the Spirit," and surely in the most solemn part of our lives here, our spiritual activity in the church of God, this is not to be given up, and we do without it. This is not giving up, or acting without, our understanding. The apostle preferred action with understanding, but that did not exclude the direct action of the Spirit. Men speak of impulse,* so that the notion of the Spirit's action is lost, and it is of man. But if it is not of the Spirit, it is merely of man. The apostle would have the Spirit and the understanding. (1 Cor. 14:1515What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. (1 Corinthians 14:15).) The saying we could not then judge is a strange blunder of human reasoning, for it was when there was direct revelation they were called on so to judge. Faith, direct looking to God and His power, is identical with the action of the Spirit in its source and results; and what is called faith in Heb. 11 is constantly referred to the Spirit in the Old Testament. All direct action of God as to the creature, and finally in divine things, from creation on, is by the Spirit in scripture: no good thought in us but from the Spirit, no wisdom. It is the Spirit that lusts against the flesh. Waiting humbly on the Lord, that He may lead us to act, or not to act, and lead us in acting, and that habitually and in all things, is not acting from impulse, but the contrary, and the leading will not fail. If we are to judge, what are we to judge—whether what is said or done is of the Spirit, or not? If it is not of the Spirit, it is of the flesh: only the paramount authority and order of the word, which is certainly by the Spirit is maintained.
(*I understand the leading of the Spirit as characteristic of the Christian at all times, whether in or out of the assembly. (Rom. 13:1414But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:14).; Gal. 5:1818But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Galatians 5:18).) But any other leading in the assembly, as from a Spirit separately distinct from us and in our midst, I do not see, as though I should wait upon Him as outside of me till He impels me to act. That I conceive would be inspiration (2 Peter 1:22Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (2 Peter 1:2)), and would hinder any action I took under such impulse from being judged in the assembly according to 1 Cor. 14:2929Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. (1 Corinthians 14:29); while also the waiting for such an impulse would hinder self judgment in me as to my own spiritual state. All that is there done should be done τὼ πνεύματι καί τὼ νοί (1 Cor. 14:1515What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. (1 Corinthians 14:15)), not ὑπὸ πνεύματος (2 Peter 2:2121For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (2 Peter 2:21)), as if He were there apart from His being in us; for then no one could judge the ministry as we are now told to do. (1 Cor. 14:2929Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. (1 Corinthians 14:29).) ')
Further,** the Holy Ghost being individually in our bodies, "` as temples, is not all. He forms the body, or rather formed it on the day of Pentecost—not by spiritual progress, but by coming personally down, and baptizing into one body. Nor is that all. The Holy Ghost is not in an assembly as God's house or dwelling, but in the assembly. In 1 Cor. 3 they are collectively God's temple, Christendom (see 1 Cor. 1:22Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: (1 Corinthians 1:2)), only realized especially at Corinth. (Some will say it [ver. 12] is doctrine: it is so, but realized in men; as "the seed is the word of God," Luke 8:1111Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. (Luke 8:11); "the good seed are the children of the kingdom," Matt. 13:3838The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; (Matthew 13:38).) So, in Eph. 2, "Ye are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit." That is not individual; and if the Holy Ghost dwells in the habitation, is He to do nothing there, or direct everything? The assembly is as much the house, or temple of God, as it is the body; only all the members of this last are personally dwelt in by the Spirit and members of Christ. As to two Spirits, it has no ground at all. It would be much more applicable to dwelling in individuals, but this is carefully guarded against (1 Cor. 12), in contrast with demoniacal inspiration. Whatever is not of the Spirit is of the flesh.
(** He dwells in the church, but it is He who dwells in us who for that reason is there, and not separately, as though there were two Spirits or that I had to look out of myself to find Him in the assembly, save as much as He is in every other Christian; nor that I am to wait upon His acting on me, but rather to know, and that, too, by the state which His presence in me produces, that He dwells in me, to act by me—if the flesh in me be not allowed to control me instead.')