The Holy Spirit is a designation applied to the third (equal) Person in the Trinity. Four general divisions for the doctrine of the Spirit vary according to time periods:
(1) The Old Testament. Characterized by sovereignty, the first period begins with the opening of Genesis. A very wide range of activity is indicated by this characterization. (2) Christ's days of ministry. Characterized as progressive, the Spirit's operations in this period may properly be so described because He was now working together with and through Christ. (3) The present age. Now He is indwelling and ministering to the Church in various ways. He became resident in the world on the Day of Pentecost. He began to form the Church at the same time and filled subsequently all who were prepared for that climactic blessing. Seven different ministries of the Spirit in the present dispensation are to be noted:
restraining (2 Thess. 2:7), convicting (John 16:8), regenerating (John 3:5), indwelling or anointing (1 John 2:27), baptizing (1 Cor. 12:13), sealing (Eph. 1:13), and filling (Eph. 5:18). Several details may be recalled concerning the filling of the Spirit from Pneumatology: (a) the seven manifestations which constitute the filling, (b) the three conditions upon which one may be filled, and (c) the Old Testament type to be seen in Abraham's servant (Gen. 24:1-67). (4) The kingdom age (Acts 2:16-21 ; cf. Joel 2:28-32), wherein His ministry will be characterized by widespread witnessing.
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