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Can we be never abandoned by the Holy Spirit?

 

Billy Graham insists, “We will never be abandoned by the Spirit again.”

I believe that once we have been baptized into the body of Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit we will never be abandoned by the Spirit again. We are sealed forever. I believe we are kept by the Holy Spirit. (Billy Graham, The Holy Spirit, p.161.)

     The note, “We have been baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit,” is from the mistranslation of 1 Cor. 12:13. It should read, “We have been baptized in the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit.” The note, “We have been baptized into the body of  Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit,” also based on the misinterpretation. To believe in Jesus is to receive the Holy Spirit, and to receive the Holy Spirit is to be in the Holy Spirit. To believe in Jesus is to be in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit indwells every Christian. Here, it can be said that every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at the moment of belief in Jesus, so that those indwelt by the Holy Spirit are Christians. The note, “once we have been baptized into the body of Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit we will never be abandoned by the Spirit again,” can be summarized as, “once Christian believers who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit will never be abandoned by the Spirit again.” But it is thoroughly unbiblical and from the misinterpretation of the Bible. The following passages will confirm that if any Christian believer who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ has sinned against God, he will be abandoned by the Holy Spirit.

Guy P. Duffield/N. M. Van Cleave insist, “The Holy Spirit does not leave.”

We have studied the important part which the Holy Spirit plays in the salvation of a soul, and have realized that without this ministry no one could ever became a child of God. However, after the human heart has been regenerated by the Spirit of God and the life of Christ has been imparted, the Holy Spirit does not leave. (Guy P. Duffield/N.M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology, p.278.)

     The note is a mixture of right and erroneous elements. The note, “after the human heart has been regenerated by the Spirit of God and the life of Christ has been imparted, the Holy Spirit does not leave,” is thoroughly unbiblical since it is from the misinterpretation of the Bible.

Charles C. Ryrie insists, “It is true that sin affects the ministry of the Spirit to the believer.

However, it does not affect His indwelling.”

Does the Spirit abide permanently within the believer or is there some sin which would cause Him to depart? Some Christians sincerely believe that although the Spirit is given as a gift at conversion, he will withdraw himself when certain sin is committed. However, the Lord said that He would abide forever (John 14:16). It is true, never- theless, that sin affects the ministry of the Spirit to the believer. However, it does not affect His indwelling. (Charles C. Ryrie, The Holy Spirit, p.68-69.)
 
     The note, “It is true that sin affects the ministry of the Spirit to the believer. However, it does not affect His indwelling,” is thoroughly unbiblical since it is from the misinterpretation of the Bible. The note, “the Spirit is given as a gift at conversion,” is quite erroneous since the Spirit is not a gift but God the Spirit. It should be said “the Spirit is received when Jesus is received at conversion.”
     The note, “Some Christians sincerely believe that although the Spirit is given at conversion, He will withdraw himself when certain sin is committed,” is biblically accurate. Does the Spirit abide permanently within the believer or is there some sin that would cause Him to depart? The answer is “Yes. He may depart.” The note, “the Lord said that He would abide forever” (John 14:16), is right. But it should be understood that some word is tacit in this passage. So John 14:16 should be inferred to mean that the Spirit would abide with Christians forever if certain sins were not committed. 1 Sam. 16:14-16 declares that the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul since he had committed sins by disobeying the commands of God. The note, “the Spirit will withdraw himself when certain sin is committed,” is con- firmed as quite biblical.

John 14:16-17  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (NIV)

     The mistranslation of the NIV, “the Spirit will be in you,” should be, “the Spirit is in you,” as noted already. The phrase, “another Counselor to be with you forever, that is, the Spirit will be with you forever,” should be inferred to mean that the Spirit will be with you forever if certain sin is not committed. The following passages verify this conclusion.

Gen. 6:3   The Lord said, “My Spirit will not contend with man forever, for he is mortal.” (NIV)

     This passage should be translated, “My Spirit will not live with man forever, for he is corrupt.” God says that His Spirit will not live forever with that man who is corrupt. This passage means that if anyone has committed certain sin and become corrupt, even though he has believed in God, the Spirit will never live with him and will withdraw Himself.

God says, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.”

Ex. 32:30-35   The next day Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. But now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” So Moses went back to the Lord and said, “Oh, what a great sin these people have committed! They have made themselves gods of gold. But now, please for- give their sin–but if not, then blot me out of the book you have written.” The Lord replied to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book. Now go, lead the people to the place I spoke of, and my angel will go before you. However, when the time comes for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin.” And the Lord struck the people with a plague because of what they did with the calf Aaron had made. (NIV)
Ps. 69:28     May they be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous. (NIV)

     In Ex. 32:30-35 the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me I will blot out of my book.” The people of God sinned against God by making and worshiping gods of gold. All the people of God both in OT days and NT days, that is, every child of God both in OT days and NT days received the Spirit through his faith, and the Spirit lived with him and lived in him. If he committed certain sin against God, God said He will blot him out of His book of life. When God blotted him out of His book of life because of his sin, He withdrew His Spirit although the Spirit has lived with and in him. That is, he was abandoned by the Spirit since to be blotted out of His book of life is to be abandoned by God. It can be established as a doctrine, “to be abandoned by God is to be abandoned by the Spirit of God.” To infer that God abandoned His people and blotted them out of His book of life because of certain sin against Him, but yet the Spirit of God still was not withdrawn, it makes no sense at all. Ex. 32:30-35 and Ps. 69:28 confirm that the claim of Billy Graham, “I believe that once we have been baptized into the body of Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit we will never be abandoned by the Spirit again. We are sealed forever. I believe we are kept by the Holy Spirit,” is based on the misunderstanding of the Bible.

1 Cor. 9:27   I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (NIV)
NKJ              I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

     Paul says here, “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” If anyone inclu- ding the apostles of Jesus committed certain sin against God, he were to be disqualified, that is, castaway. Here, it can be said that to commit certain sin cause one to be disqualified by God, that is, to be a castaway. To be disqualified by God, that is, to be a castaway is to be abandoned by God, and to be abandoned by God is be abandoned by the Spirit. Billy Graham’s claim, “We will never be abandoned by the Spirit again,” is affirmed as unbiblical.

Samson’s case reveals that the Lord had left him, that is, the Spirit had left him.

Judg. 14:6    The Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat. But he told neither his father nor his mother what he had done. (NIV)
Judg. 16:20-21  Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison. (NIV)

     The phrase, “the Spirit of the Lord came upon him in power” in Judges 14:6, means that Samson received the power of the Spirit when He came upon him. He tore the lion apart with his bare hands through the power of the Spirit. The phrase, “Samson did not know that the Lord had left him,” means that Samson did not know that the Spirit of the Lord who gave the power had left him because of his sin. So it can be concluded that “the Lord had left him” is synonymous with “the Spirit of Lord had left him.” Samson’s case reveals that the Lord had left Saul, that is, the Spirit of the Lord had left him. Samson’s case confirms that Graham’s claim, “We will never be abandoned by the Spirit again. I believe we are kept by the Spirit,” is quite inaccurate. If we commit certain sin, we will be abandoned by the Spirit and not kept by the Spirit, and God will blot us out of His book of life.

 

Saul’s case reveals the meaning of “the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul.”

1 Sam. 10:1   Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul’s head and kissed him, saying, “Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?” (NIV)
1 Sam. 10:9-10  As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day. When they arrived at Gibeah, a procession of prophets met him; the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he joined in their prophesying. (NIV)
1 Sam. 15:1   Samuel said to Saul, “I am the one the Lord sent to anoint you king over his people Israel.” (NIV)  
1 Sam. 16:14-16   the Spirit of the Lord had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him. Saul’s attendants said to him, “See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better. (NIV)  

     The text says that Saul received the power when Samuel sent by God anointed him with oil. We also read that the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul because of his sin. The text confirms that the claim of Charles C. Ryrie, “the Lord said that He would abide forever (John 14:16). It is true, nevertheless, that sin affects the ministry of the Spirit to the believer. However, it does not affect His indwelling,” quite erroneous. The Spirit of the Lord who indwelt Saul and came upon him, departed from him. The note, “Some Christians sincerely believe that although the Holy Spirit is given at conversion, he will withdraw himself when certain sin is committed,” is right and biblical. In John 14:16 Jesus said that the Spirit would abide forever with the believer, but it should be understood that the Spirit abides forever with the believer when he keeps the word of God. Saul’s case reveals that the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented, that is, controlled him.

David prays, “Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.”

1 Sam. 16:12-13   Then the Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; he is the one.” So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. (NIV)

     The phrase “The Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power” means that David received the power of the Spirit when He came upon him. This means that God appointed David king over Israel, and He gave him the power of the Spirit.

2 Sam. 12:7-10    Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah to be your own. (NIV)

     The text reveals that David had despised the word of God, who anointed him king over Israel. David committed adultery with the wife of Uriah, killed her husband and took her to be his wife.

Ps. 51:1-3  When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin...I know my transgression, and my sin is always before me. (NIV)
Ps. 51:11   Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. (NIV)

     The prayer of David also confirms that the Holy Spirit will be taken by God and withdrawn Himself when certain sin is committed.

Heb. 6:1-8 confirms that those who are indwelt by the Spirit can be abandoned by Him.

Heb. 6:1-8   Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so. It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. (NIV)

     The phrase, “those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,” refers to those who were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, that is, the baptism of the Holy Spirit just as Samson, the kings Saul and David were. The text, “if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again…In the end it will be burned,” means that if those who were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit fall away, they will be blotted out of the book of life and not be listed with the righteous (Ps. 69:28). Heb. 6:1-8 confirms that if those who are   indwelt and  filled with the power by the Spirit fall away, they can be abandoned by God and the Spirit. Here, it is confirmed that Charles C. Ryrie’s claim, “It is true that sin affects the ministry of the Spirit to the believer. However, it does not affect His indwelling,” is thoroughly unbiblical.

Matt. 7:21-23 must be examined to understand “to be abandoned by the Holy Spirit.”

Matt. 7:21-23    Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we
not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ (NIV)
Matt. 24:23-24  At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect–if that were possible. (NIV)

     Some claim the phrase, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’” (Matt. 7:21-23), refers to false Christs, false prophets and unbelievers who performed great signs and miracles (Matt. 24:23-24). But it is quite unbiblical since it is virtually based on the misunderstandings of Ezek. 3:20-21 and 18:24-26.

The following passages show the meaning of Matt. 7:21-23.

Ezek. 3:20-21     Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before him, he will die. Since you did not warn him, he will die for his sin. The righteous things he did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the righteous man not to sin and he does not sin, he will surely live because he took warning, and you will have saved yourself. (NIV)
Ezek. 18:24-26   But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear, O house of Israel: Is my way unjust? Is it not your ways that are unjust? If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin, he will die for it; because of the sin he has committed, he will die.” (NIV)
1 Tim. 4:1-2    The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. (NIV)

     The phrase, “when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, and God put a stumbling block before him, he will die” (Ezek. 3:20-21), refers to a righteous man who first did the will of God, then turned from God’s righteousness and did evil. This is the righteous man who turned from his righteousness, committed sin and the same detestable things the wicked do (Ezek. 18:24). “None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of his unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed” in Ezek. 18:24, means that none of the righteous things which ‘in Jesus’ name, whether he did prophesy or drove out demons or performed many miracles (Matt. 7:21-23) will be remem- bered because of his unfaithfulness and the sins he has committed.
     Matt. 7:21-23 says, “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” What does this passage mean? This does by no means speak of the false Christs and false prophets who performed great signs and miracles. Instead, it speaks of a righteous man who turned from his righteousness and did evil and committed sins in Ezek. 3:20-21, 18:24-26 and Heb. 6:1-8. 1 Tim. 4:1-2 says, “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith.” The term “many” in Matt. 7:21-23 does not speak of the false Christs and false prophets (Matt. 24:23-26) but of “righteous men who turned from their righteousness and did evil, and who abandoned the faith” (1 Tim. 4:1-2). The passages confirm that the Holy Spirit will not keep a righteous man who turns from his righteousness, does evil, and who abandons his faith. The Holy Spirit will withdraw Himself when cerain sin is committed.

1 Cor. 12:3       I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. (NIV)
Matt. 7:21-23   Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (NIV)

     Both phrases in the text should be inferred to mean that if those who accepted Jesus as the Lord do not do the will of their heavenly Father, and if they turn from their righteousness and do evil, they will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The passages mentioned above confirm that if we commit certain sin, we will be abandoned by the Lord God and by the Spirit, and we will by no means be kept by the Holy Spirit even though once we were baptized with/in water and with/in the fire of the Holy Spirit in the body of Christ.

1 Cor. 3:16-17 confirms that the Holy Spirit can leave from the sons of God.

1 Cor. 3:16-17  Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (NKJ)

     The Spirit of God dwells in all Christians so that all Christians are the temple of God from the moment of accepting Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. The phrase, “If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him,” signifies that if every Christian believer who is the temple of God defiles the temple of God, that is, if the temple is no longer holy because of certain sin, God will destroy the temple, that is, him. The Spirit of God will not dwell in the temple destroyed by God. The Holy Spirit will leave the believers who commit certain sin. They will not be kept by the Holy Spirit even though once they were indwelt by the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ.